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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

Jake Ren

Jake Ren is a first-year majoring in biology and film. He can be reached at


Everything you need to know about how Tufts helps with prison reentry — and how you can help too

In movies, the process of someone being incarcerated often gets more attention than how they return to society. The entry to prison is often portrayed as a rugged odyssey, while the reentry to society is simply reduced to someone walking out the prison gates, to a car with a friend waiting. So what does reentry actually look like? And how has Tufts assisted with that process?Since 1994, federal Pell Grants (government funding that helps students pay for college) have been barred for incarcerated college students. This year, however, they are being reinstated for approved programs like the Tufts University Prison Initiative (TUPIT), which offers higher education in prison and will now be able to access this financial support.

Roland Pearsall is pictured performing in Cambridge.

Video: Ten questions with a street performer

On a rainless weekend morning above 40 degrees, you can usually find Roland Pearsall, director of institutional research at a small private college in Boston, lugging a cart with chords and amplifiers in one hand and a guitar case in another, about to start his day of street performance. Street performers often feel like a part of the space they’re in, but they all have stories, quirks and lives of their own. We sat down with Roland and asked the questions you’ve (maybe) always had about a street performer.

Replacement Graphic for JAKE Ren's column "Cabinet of Curiosities"

Cabinet of Curiosities: Pumpkins, underwear, the books of Rich Shapero

Although it is already December, pumpkins from Halloween continue to haunt the Tufts University campus. Remembering how these gourds were dismembered, carved, gorged and skinned to make into pie, perfume, spice and lattes in October, it is nice to see them just sitting around now. They often perch at inaccessibly high parts of buildings, upright and intact, as if giants had carefully placed them there as ritualistic protection so that “Attack On Titan” (2013–23) could conclude on a satisfying note (which was proven successful). 

Replacement Graphic for JAKE Ren's column "Cabinet of Curiosities"

Cabinet of Curiosities: Maybe Lena

I was loitering in my dorm one afternoon when I received the following text: “Hi Amy, I’m Lena, are you still in NY? I will come to NY next month. Do you have time to go hiking together?” I tried to remember if I’d left a fake alias of Amy anywhere, and when I couldn’t, I told her she had the wrong number. The conversation should’ve ended with whatever she’d say next, probably something short, but then came two cordially punctuated sentences.

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Joe Pera, Jim Carrey in alternative standup

On Oct. 6, comedian Joe Pera released his first standup special on YouTube. He opened it with the following words: “How ‘bout this door?” He then turned to gesture at the massive black door looming behind his substantially smaller body. “Something pretty big could come through this door.” Pera just smiled warmly and stayed pointing at the door awhile. The absurd investment was never mentioned again for the rest of the special. There is not an inkling of explanation for it.

Replacement Graphic for JAKE Ren's column "Cabinet of Curiosities"

Cabinet of Curiosities: Racismos Peculiares

I grew up in China, and ironically, my first taste of the modern American flavor of racism came from a Chinese American. It has a subtle taste, with a pinch of passive aggression and the type of aftertaste that makes you unsure if what you just encountered was racism.

Graphic for Jacob Ren's column "Cabinet of Curiosities"

Cabinet of Curiosities: The basement bathroom of Houston Hall

If you turn right on the basement floor of Houston Hall, you’ll see a signless grey door with a metal plate where the handle is supposed to be. Inside, you won’t find the popular ’70s R&B disco band Earth, Wind & Fire, but rather the stalls where Houston basement residents flush, brush and shower, surrounding you left, right and center.

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