Through a Glass, Darkly

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Once Sanders has read the entire book on tape, the crew will edit the footage of him reading down to a highlight reel, splicing in footage of the impromptu Carioca performances. They intend to submit the film to the Nantucket Film Festival next spring. The projected completion date for the audio recording is mid-January; Sanders estimates he'll have between seventy and ninety hours on tape by then. The Tattered Cover has already pre-ordered ten copies for each of the store's two locations; a marketing scheme for the rest of the copies has yet to be devised.

But plans for a launch party are already under way. "We're going to have a bunch of local bands perform covers of old sea chanties," says Sanders. "That's if I make it. But I have to make it. I owe it to Melville. I mean, what a wingnut that guy was! Who the hell writes a 600-page novel about hunting whales, for Christ's sake? But if he wrote it, I can read it. So there's nothing I can do at this point but just keep plowing through."

And keep getting plowed.

The War on Drunks
Partying is hell on the Hill.
By Laura Bond

There are 225 places to buy alcohol within a one-mile radius of the University of Colorado at Boulder. From the school's northeastern border on College Avenue, it's approximately 150 steps to one of the busiest, oldest and most notorious of those places: the Sink, a cavernous beer-and-pizza joint with uneven floors and psychedelic, mural-splashed walls that have entertained buzzed coeds since the '70s. At 5 p.m. on Friday, the peak of happy hour on Halloween weekend, every spot at the Sink's bar is taken, and most of the tables and booths are getting there. Servers bus trays of food and booze -- microbrews and Jägermeister, Coronas and Purple Hooters -- and the place hums with the spirited, elevated chatter of the soon-to-be hammered.

Dr. Robert Maust sits at a corner table, nursing a Diet Coke. Forty years ago, as an undergraduate at Michigan State University, he drank and smoked, just like the students he works with every day at CU. But as chairman of the school's Standing Committee on Substance Abuse, and director of the alcohol-awareness A Matter of Degree program since its inception in 1997, Maust now has a very different relationship with booze: He works to prevent students from spending their college years in a hangover haze -- or worse. In September, Maust logged one notable failure when Lynn "Gordie" Bailey Jr. died while pledging the Chi Psi fraternity, covered with black marker and pumped with enough wine and whiskey to shut down his central nervous system.

"I've been hired by various university administrations for over thirty years, and I've seen students die over that span of time," Maust says. "When it happens, I have to make sure that I pause and reflect on that particular death. Where does it fit in the context of the larger picture? How might this moment contribute to something better than merely a warning, a tragedy?"

After Bailey's death, Chi Psi's charter was summarily yanked, and last month, all of CU's Greek houses went dry. (At a meeting of the school's Intra-fraternity Council just a week before Bailey's death, Maust complimented Chi Psi members for having called police when a dazed female student wandered into their house sporting a .3 blood-alcohol level.) As details of Bailey's blood-alcohol level broke, the local and national media went into hysterics -- Apparently students of non-legal drinking age like expensive microbrews! And drink from kegs at large, noisy parties! In fact, they'll drink anything! -- and the school responded in kind.

But for Maust, looking at the school's drinking culture is nothing new. In fact, this past July, he'd already taken steps to intensify CU's efforts against it. Incoming freshmen are required to pass AlcoholEdu, an online alcohol-awareness course currently in use at hundreds of colleges and universities in North America. More significantly, students can now be expelled for incurring just two alcohol-related offenses over the course of their enrollment; under the previous three-strike rule, the school was ousting about thirty habitually sauced students annually. The idea, Maust explains, is to weed out the bad apples early.

"We're not going to be losing our wonderful future astrophysicists, engineers, chemists, brilliant artists," he says. "We're losing people who are already at a very high risk of developing a serious problem with alcohol in the future.

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