This Wasn’t Supposed to Be About the Election, But…

I didn’t want to write about the election, because I feel that most have already dissected it enough. But I’m going to do it anyway.

The media’s had their frenzy, and so has everyone else. There’s really only so much that can be said. However, it’s come down to this: everyone knew that everyone had different opinions, but now, having to face those opinions without a way to hide from them, has really taken its toll. That toll is the realization that everyone’s own moralities–what’s right and what’s wrong–lie on different parts of the spectrum.

So, if you feel as if your country has failed you (and for many who did vote for Trump, it didn’t), what are you to do?

I went through the standard five stages of grief, (which really isn’t supposed to be understood the way it is and applied in order), and yeah, I’ve hit acceptance. He is our president, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. Respect should only be given if it is deserved, and after a campaign of racism and misogyny, I’m not entirely sure he deserves respect. That doesn’t mean I’m asking for a riot; I’m asking for peaceful protests. I’m not asking he be impeached, but I’m asking he educate himself about the mix of immigrants that constitute this country.

His failure to truly understand the plight of minorities is significant. It’s a sign that minorities–and white allies–haven’t been loud enough about their struggles. We’ve had the #BlackLivesMatter movement and police brutality has been publicized. Good. We need more revolution, we need more. This country was built on revolution.

We needed to fail, I think, because failure is what pushes us into action. It’s horrifying to see it this way, from a marginalized perspective. But failure is one of the few things that can propel us to rethink, regroup, and re-strategize. It fosters creativity and revolution.

I was having a conversation with someone the other day, and I found myself asking this: “Isn’t revolution supposed to uncomfortable?”

And I realized something that had never really occurred to me: yes. Yes, it is! It 100% is!

We rally for change, but we forget how uncomfortable it is to change, how uncomfortable it must be for those who are older, who have lived life for so long a certain way. I’m not trying to defend anyone here; I’m trying to urge everyone to understand.

You have to understand to change things. And you have to learn. And you have to be open to learning.

Presidency for Trump is going to be a long learning process. President Obama has already said he’s going to stay longer than usual to teach President-elect Trump how to run the country and effectively maneuver through all that this position of power grants him.

I don’t know if he’ll change, but I know that everyone has the capacity for change. I’m not asking that we give him a chance. I’m asking that now, when racism, misogyny, and white supremacy is at its peak, we rally back louder and stronger. We build bridges, and we make others understand, peacefully. We use this opportunity to weaken the us vs. them divide, and move toward a national “us,” a U.S. After, all what is the U.S. if not us?

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More Moana Please

Just like everyone, I was really looking forward to this break to relax a little yes, but more-so because I needed to catch-up on all the work I should have done earlier. However, procrastination was not about to disappear so easily, especially not during an extended weekend. I was not able to complete the ridiculous and unreasonable amount of work I had set out to do, but I got a decent amount done. Importantly, though, I did allow myself to relax. On Friday, after having a Thanksgiving Part II and feasting on all the leftovers from the previous night, my dad and I went to the movies.

We often went to the movies together when I was younger — my mom would be working the night shift in the ER, leaving me and my dad together at home. As I got older and became more busy with school, our trips to the movies came to a halt. Befitting a trip down memory lane to when I was younger, my dad and I went to see a Disney animated movie, typically targeted toward children. The type of movie alone reminded my dad of the movies we saw together in the past.

We went to see Moana.

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And it was FANTASTIC. My dad and I are both suckers for these kinds of movies. The animation is absolutely stunning. It was so beautifully drawn.

Also, the story is very heartwarming. I honestly had to actively hold back my tears a few times throughout the movie. To balance out the feels, there were many scenes that prompted laughter.

Aside from the message and animation, the most important aspect about this movie is the main character, Moana, and the people she represents. She is the first disney “princess” (she insists that she is not an actual princess) to come from the South Pacific, and because of that, she represents the Pacific Islands and their people. While you can’t lump all those cultures together and call them the same, little boys and girls from that region of the world and descendants of people from there have a Disney heroine with whom they can identify; A brown-skinned girl who looks like them, more-so than Mulan, Jasmine, Pocahontas, or Tiana. In a similar fashion to the creation of a black barbie doll, Moana is a presence of those cultures who have not yet been represented in popular culture until the creation of this movie.

While acknowledging the meaning of this South Pacific representation, some people have criticized the design of the characters.

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I don’t know how popular of an opinion the one above is, but I’m sure there are others who share the same view. In my eyes, the faces do not look the same. Moana’s features are distinct, and the cultural features becomes more evident in her family members’ faces.

Another critique was of Maui’s physique. He plays Moana’s Demi-God companion on her journey for most of the movie.

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People voiced that they saw Maui as obese and his presence in the movie glorified obesity. In response to the criticism, this photo was released demonstrating the thought process behind his design. His size and build are meant to represent strength, which is how I saw him.

It’s nearly impossible for any movie to escape backlash. For me, Disney did a pretty good job. I am half Filipino and love Disney movies. When I was little, I used to identify with Mulan, because she was Chinese so geographically was the closest to the Philippines, as well as Pocahontas, because we shared the same skin tone. Now, with Moana, I have a Disney “princess” I can really identify with. I can only imagine how much she means and will mean to the countless children who see themselves in her. Full of history and culture, Moana transports you into another world.

Go see it. Moana is a movie for everyone. You won’t regret it.

IT’S THANKSGIVING WE GET A FOUR DAY WEEKEND HAHAHAH

GUYS WE GET A FEW DAYS OFF THANK THE LORD HALLELUJAH.

Yeah sure I might sound excitable, or sound like I snapped or something (I might have, physics majors are drastically close to snapping 24/7, it’s what binds us together), but I had two exams last week, one at 11 PM and the other at 8:40 AM the next day so I’m so excited for this time off you don’t understand. How am I going to spend my four day weekend? I should study. Hopefully I will. I do know for a fact that I’m going to be cooking for Thanksgiving, as cooking is super relaxing. One day I’m celebrating with my mom and then another with my dad and grandma, so I get to cook a decent amount, which should be really fun.

The one with my grandma should be rather ordinary. I want to talk about the one with my mom, because the food should be kind of interesting, and maybe I can give some of you ideas because this is a first for us and may go horribly wrong, so lets see if people can either learn from our mistakes or utilize our success.

Guess who went vegan in my family last year? My kindhearted little sister. She saw a video around this time last year with a calf separated from its mother and all I heard for a month was “BUT THE BABY COWS, BECKY!!!” While she couldn’t persuade me to be vegan, I understand her viewpoint, and to be fair I don’t necessarily need to eat meat, so our household is much more vegetarian at this point. (Fun side note, only meat we have in our house right now is some ground beef for our dog because he hurt his spine and needs to take pills with ground meet, but he’s so prissy he won’t eat it. Our dog doesn’t even like meat; it’s complete nonsense at this point, his favorite food is apples —  I’m so disappointed in him).

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So, her new found veganism poses a challenge: what happens during Thanksgiving? We tried a tofurkey at one point, but they’re not good. It’s bitter and weirdly firm, just overall rather unpleasant. What my sister decided she’s going to try to do is make a seitan loaf. If you know what that is props for you because I had no clue until this vegan thing happened. It’s essentially fake meat made out of vital wheat gluten, and it’s high in protein and supposed to taste and feel like meat. However it’s so fickle that it’s ridiculous. Don’t just buy a block of seitan unless you know how to properly prepare it, which I do not, because then it just feels like a sponge when you chew it. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, so really all you have to go by is texture and either the brand I used or the way I made it was truly and wholly awful.

That doesn’t mean it’s bad though, honest. My sister actually made a delicious sandwich out of it, but she made her own seitan from scratch. It was a process, but I’m going to describe the gist of what she did so that if you ever want to try it you know how you should go about it.

The recipe was from “The Edgy Veg” (I mean I’d rethink that name personally but it’s kind of cute so meh), and it was for a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. Which was nice of The Edgy Veg because she made it so you could have a vegetarian Chick-Fil-A style sandwich without the homophobia, so good on her. Anyway, the basics of her recipe was mixing vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, seasonings, water, and tahini until it was an elastic dough. My sister said when she made it the dough looked and felt like a sponge so don’t be deterred. Then she covers small patties of the dough in vegetable broth and cooks that in the oven for an hour. I think that’s the necessary part, because when I used the packaged seitan I didn’t cook it for that long and, boy howdy, was it spongetastic. It was like I was chewing on a childhood memory, it was unfortunate.

The Edgy Veg goes on to bread and fry her patties so they would be like a sandwich. For Thanksgiving my sister is adding tofu into the mix and baking it without the additive of broth to resemble like, turkey maybe, I don’t know. Should be interesting. You can try it if you want, go for it, live the vegan life. It’s not the gluten free life, but it’s vegan, so… It should be interesting if nothing else, the chick-fil-A seitan cooked in broth was actually delicious, so if you want the recipe here’s the link to her blog.

Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich | Vegan recipe

What are y’all doing for the holidays? Have a happy and safe break, try a vegan recipe or try an old time family favorite, idk do you. Have fun though!

Symbology

Hey there everyone! I hope the exams aren’t hitting you too hard! This month I thought I would write about something I have always been fascinated by throughout my life: Symbols. Sometimes, we may easily overlook symbols that are prevalent in our daily lives. Some of the symbols we use in professional settings today are derived from the ancient eras.  I have gathered a few symbols which I thought are rather interesting. I hope you learn something new, and the next time you see any of these symbols, you’ll know  what they mean and where they came from! Enjoy 🙂

  1. Caduceus

You may have seen this many times in a medical context. However, its origin is actually a symbol of the Greek god Hermes who possesses this staff with two coiled snakes. Hermes is the Greek god of merchants and tradesmen, and the messenger between the gods and the humans. To Greeks, it represents commerce, eloquence, and negotiation.  Another interesting thing is that this symbol was originally used by the US Army Medical Corps, and since then it has been used as a motif in medical settings today.

2. All Seeing Eye

This symbol has been misconstrued to mean control and surveillance by the upper class. However, this symbol actually represents spiritual insight and occult knowledge. This symbols appears on the Great Seal of the United States! Look out for it!

3. Peace Sign

This symbol has been used in countless instances and has many meanings. Did you know that the peace sign was actually created by a man named Gerald Holtom to encourage British nuclear disarmament? It is actually supposed to represent a man outstretched in despair. Do you see it?

4. Swastika

This is actually another misrepresented symbol. In Sanskrit, this symbol means good fortune and well being. However, as many of you may know, Adolf Hitler misused this symbol by making it represent hatred, which is quite the antithesis of its original meaning.

5. Yin Yang

This is a Chinese symbol which represents the balance between the dark and the light forces. In Taoism, it is commonly used to depict how two halves complete to make a whole. Everything in the universe has a complementary force to it.

6. Pentagram

This is an ancient symbol of Witchcraft. It is made of five points, and the topmost point represents the spirit of Gaia, or Mother Earth, amidst the four other points which represent fire, earth, water, and air. This symbol actually has a positive connotation: it is deemed to protect you against the evil.

7. Fleur de Lis

This is known as the Lily of France. This symbol is a modified version of the Gaulish Lily which represents the Roman Virgin Goddess  Juno. This has come to represent perfection, light, and life.

8. Trinity Knots

This is known as the Celtic Trinity Knot (or “triquetra”). It showcases faith, devotion, and the belief in God. The symbol comprises of three segments representing the Holy Trinity. Today, the Celtics use this at weddings and engagement rings. They look at it as symbolizing a lifetime of devotion for God.

I hope you enjoyed this! Good luck on your exams!

You’ll Never Believe What This Blogger Has to Say About Clickbait

Love yourselves, you guys. Your time is worth more than this list of “66 Things Everyone from Lost Springs, Wyoming Will Relate To.”

I have a complicated relationship with clickbait in that I hate it with the entirety of my being. Every time I see a clickbait article I want to rip my eyes out and launch them into the sun so that I will never have to see anything so offensive to the eyes ever again in my entire life. But at the same time, I can’t stop clicking these stupid articles.

(I mean, I guess I could always acquire self-control, but I’m trying to be realistic here.)

I’d blame BuzzFeed, but even I have to admit that Buzzfeed sometimes produces actual quality content. I’m a sucker for the Try Guys, Ladylike, and that series where Steven and Andrew drive around and eat food at a wide range of prices.

But besides that, Buzzfeed has shown that pretty much just aggregating funny jokes scattered throughout the internet, making lists of weird stuff on Amazon, telling you what kind of cheese you would be based on your zodiac sign, and asking you “Just How Trash is Your Taste in Complimentary Bread?” is a legitimate business strategy. If this kind of stuff was just isolated to Buzzfeed, then fine, whatever. The disease is localized. But it’s not just Buzzfeed anymore —  it’s Upworthy and Brainjet and Viral Catching and 22Words and Laudable and Ranker. Even Answers.com is getting in on this nonsense. I can’t go through my Facebook feed without tripping on one and smashing my face into another. It’s exhausting and mind-numbing and time-killing.

There’s probably some sort of science behind clickbait. There has to be. In my totally unprofessional opinion, it’s the rush you get when you click on “WATCH THIS SOCCER MOM GET DEMOLISHED BY THIS CASHIER” that keeps clickbait viable. The titles of these so-called articles arouses enough interest to get someone to click and then prolongs the pay off. The curiosity can’t be satisfied until you see every item on this list of “18 PERFECT Responses These Students had for Their Teachers” and we all know that there’s going to be more than 18 pictures in this article which is, for some infuriating reason, a slideshow instead of a scrolling list.

And you know you’re going to see this through to the end. Because it’s not just one prolonged build-up and payoff. I mean, the ultimate payoff is when you get to the end of the list of “64 People Who Just Need to Stop,” but the little pay-off, the little reward that keeps you sucked into this nonsense, is what you see on the other side of the next slide button.

Once you escape that 100 slide photo presentation with who knows how many ads on each page,  you realize you’ve pretty much just wasted 5 minutes of your life. And then you waste another five minutes of your time on this earth looking through an “article” called “This Kid Just Got Annihilated by His Mom on Facebook” because you just need to know how this kid got what was coming to him.

Let’s be real for a second. I 100% would have found a way to waste my time without clickbait, but the thing about those other wastes of time is that I choose to do it. Sometimes it feels like clickbait bypasses that part of my brain that knows that something is bad for me and directly hits another part of my brain that wants to do it anyway. The only other thing that can really get to me like that is food, but at least food has value beyond instant gratification. Clickbait, I feel, appeals to that part of me that I should have trained out years ago. The part of me that is endlessly curious, but also has the attention span and impulse control of a toddler who had sugar directly injected into her bloodstream.

Like, be curious, but be curious about the right things, not “25+ Extremely Beautiful Minerals And Stones”  

It’s the most infuriating waste of time that I have ever encountered in my entire life and the thing that I’m most mad about is the fact that I’m not strong enough to stop myself from clicking.

Topic to Think About: “Race is a Social Construct”

One of my favorite aspects of my major is the array of classes I get to take, and hence, the diversity of the topics. I am a public health major, and while my career goal is to work in Health Administration, which is also offered as a major here at Rutgers, I chose to stick with Public Health because of the broader scope of classes it offered. So not only do I get to take classes about disease rates and prevalence, and how health differs globally, but I also get to take classes such as Health Disparities, which shows how health outcomes vary incredibly with factors such as gender, education, and race. Interestingly, when my class discussed race, my professor showed us a video called Race: The Power of an Illusion (A documentary I highly recommend). Watching that video in class led me to doing some further online exploration of my own, and I thought it would be interesting to share with you the viewpoint that race is nothing but a social construct.

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While many hold the belief that race is a genetic/biological distinction, science actually proves the opposite. The Human Genome Project (HGP) conducted from 1990-2003 actually shows that there is more genetic/biological diversity within those of a certain racial group than between varying racial groups. Additionally, the American Anthropological Association on Race released the following statement on May 17, 1998:

“In the United States, both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species based on visible physical differences. With the vast expansion of scientific knowledge in this century, however, it has become clear that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups. Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic “racial” groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within “racial” groups than between them. In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions. Throughout history, whenever different groups have come into contact, they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species”.

From this perspective, race is race because we say it is; more so, because we use phenotypical differences as our basis for categorizing groups. But if you do not agree with this statement, try this quiz and see how well you can predict someone’s race just by looking at him/her. The answers might surprise you.

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So, if race is just a social construct, why do we have whole classes dedicated to studying its effects? Well, the answer is in the question itself. Since race has been a method of differentiation for centuries, this division between people actually results in differences in outcomes for a variety of factors. Race may be a social construct, but its implications and effects over years and years have allowed for a noticeable difference in groups such as the following:

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So, now that we know that genotype does not equal phenotype, how will that shape our words and beliefs going forward?

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National Geographic: The Changing Face of America

 

Part-Time Commuter

Normally on Fridays, I could care less about where I am or what I do. In fact, I usually spend my Friday nights and weekends at home with family and/or friends, away from Rutgers and the party scene. I enjoy not having to worry about exams, essays, or any other commitments. Last fall, the only “event” I would attend on Fridays was tutoring for Expository Writing at 4:30 at the Plangere Writing Center, as my perspective on that class had changed entirely after “that first fail“. After tutoring was done, I was on the train ride home, excited to get away from the stresses, the wild nights, and the uncertainty that comes with being on the college campus. I was ready for a nice, relaxing weekend in the comfort of my own neighborhood. In case you were wondering, I only live 30 minutes away in Edison, so going home every weekend isn’t a problem. And I didn’t even have to drive. In fact, by the time Thanksgiving had rolled around last year, I was afraid that I would forget how to drive!

This semester, everything changed. I no longer take the train home, as I drive now. I purchased a parking permit to park on Busch (even though my dorm is on College Ave, which perplexes me). The reason for this is because weekends are no longer the stress-free getaways they were last year. Although I have only one class on Fridays, I have a much bigger commitment now than I ever did in all of my high school and college career: I am employed. I now spend most most of my weekends, including Friday nights, with the big-name Walgreens.

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Working in retail may have not been my first choice for a job, but since I had no prior employment experience, and because clinical positions at healthcare settings that I originally wanted required prior experience, I decided to give retail a try. Also, I originally wasn’t planning to work during the school year. I had applied to various places over the summer, including CVS, and Walgreens was the first one to call me back with an offer for a position. After going through the employment application, and the long in-store assessment, I was on my way to wearing that uniform.

All of these applications happened at the end of June. There were too many employees in this particular Walgreens at the time, and my employer told me to call back within a few weeks and she would have me begin training. But every time I called back to know about my status, I heard her tell me to give her a few more days/weeks since she didn’t have room for new employees, but that I was next on the list. What I didn’t realize was that this was to go on until the end of summer, since most of the people there were college students, who had no intention of quitting until school started. By the time I realized this, it was already August! I decided not to apply to any more places since they most likely would have been full, and besides, my employer wanted me to work at Walgreen, but just needed some time to get everything together. Eventually, I started doubting whether I would be able to work during the school year, and even thought about going into the store and telling my boss that I wasn’t interested anymore. I wanted to work for the experience, but didn’t want my grades to suffer.

Then, before I knew it, I got the call back on August 29! I was so excited to finally start training that I forgot about any qualms I had possessed. The first official day of work was challenging, having to stock items on the shelves, the cooler (freezing!), mopping the stockroom and breakroom, and then having to ring up sales at the register for the next 4 hours. Those of you who are wondering whether I already started to hate this job, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the most fun, but I still enjoyed it. Interacting with the customers, helping them with any problems with where items were or how much they cost, and of course, being able to purchase items for 15% off on my breaks are all things I enjoy about this job. Also, most of my coworkers are Rutgers students who decided to stay for the school year, so talking with them really helps me understand what motivates them to work, as well as what study strategies they use for exams. My employer, knowing that I’m a student, only puts me to work on weekends, and I can request off on weekends where I feel I will be busy with other commitments or upcoming exams.

I wasn’t discouraged. In fact, the main reason I decided to keep this job was because it took so long for me to officially start it, and also because I know just how much I am learning. I feel that my social skills and my ability to communicate with people is really improving. Also, I realize now the value of money that comes with working for hours on end, and how important it is to manage time to do well in school. I would usually have no fixed plan to study, and ended up procrastinating on assignments last year since I had so much free time. Now that I’m employed, nearly 10-15 hours are gone every weekend, and it feels necessary for me to plan in advance and distribute my study time appropriately for each subject. Thankfully, I am only taking 13 credits this semester, mostly science and lab courses, so this might be the most appropriate semester for me to work. Walgreens is only 20 minutes away from Busch, but I do have to plan for when I take my car from home so I can use it to drive there, and as soon as my shifts are over, I know I have to reenter the atmosphere of school during the week, but throughout it all I will fight. I will work to keep my grades up, and will never look at a cashier the same way again!

Walgreens also has a pharmacy, and my boss is thinking about training me there soon. I wonder if this job could double as the clinical experience that I passionately seek as a pre-med student.

Either way, I can now officially say that I have prior employment experience!

 

You, Too, Can Fake Calligraphy

Recently, I got hooked on watching calligraphy and hand-lettering videos by the likes of seblester, jeremytow_lcsc, and melanemagdalena. So, much like what I did with bullet journaling, I bought myself a brush pen, a fountain pen, some ink cartridges, and threw myself right into it.

Obviously, calligraphy is something that takes quite a lot of practice and patience to get right. As easy as these people make it look, their videos are often sped up to keep it within Instagram’s 30-second limit. So, as much as I wanted to progress rapidly through the steps, I simply did not have the amount of free time I needed to devote to practice writing letters over and over again.

Luckily, I found a method of faux calligraphy that would do just fine to tide me over until I could become more practiced with my brush pen and ink. Basically, you just write in your normal cursive (any kind of connected letters will do, really). Pay attention to where your pen goes up (this is called the upstroke) and where it goes down (this is called—yup, you guessed it—the downstroke). You want to artificially thicken your downstrokes in order to contrast against your (thin!) upstrokes. I’ve shown this process in the photos below:

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  1. Write out your word or phrase in your best cursive. You do want to leave some space between your letters, because they will get thicker. However, it is definitely totally fine if it’s not perfect, especially if this is just your first run. Besides, I personally hadn’t written in cursive since third grade.
      • a brief aside: Remember when your teachers told you that middle school and high school assignments were going to be completely in cursive? Remember when you got to middle school and found out that they all lied to you? Me too, man. Me too.

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  2. Draw in the lines for your thickened downstrokes. I’ve demonstrated this on the word “calligraphy” in the above photo. Alternatively, you can just go straight ahead and thicken the lines of the downstrokes until you’re happy with them, as I’ve done for the word “misanthrope” and the sentence “this is my handwriting”.
  3. You can get more advanced. Draw guidelines and do your cursive outside the lines on purpose to get a more “fun”, spontaneous look.

All you have left to do now is practice! The next step after mastering the art of fake calligraphy, of course, is to move on to the more advanced stuff. There are plenty of sites out there that offer free resources for people interested in self-teaching calligraphy. I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a few sites for you to reference:

I’ve actually taken to doodling words and phrases in class rather than my customary plants and animals. It’s calming and extremely rewarding when you do a particularly good bit of letter-work. Besides, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the advent of hand-lettering and the handwritten “look” being so in style these days.

Have fun and happy lettering!

Just Dance

My freshman year (2014) I wanted to volunteer and to do so regularly. So, I went to what was at the time volunteer services (now Give Where You Live) and looked at there Semester of Service programs for the semester. As luck would have it, there was one position that really stood out to me: teaching dance for the New Brunswick 4H dance program. As someone who took a variety of dance classes for thirteen years, this seemed like a great idea.

For the first year we ran the program for an hour every other Friday out of Unity Square. There were three teachers including myself and after the first semester none of us were working through any Rutgers program, but with the 4H. After that school year I was the only teacher to stay with the program.

Starting in the summer of 2015 we moved the program to the New Brunswick Public Library in the hopes of a higher attendance (hopes that were fulfilled). The program has been going on there for a little over a year with us holding one 2 hour session per month (days vary based on my class schedule). I’ve taught everything from ballet to soft shoe to break dancing to the cha-cha to students ranging from toddlers to grandmothers. We’re even expanding into the local after school system with a new STEAM Program which will combine basic science lessons with dance.

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It’s a great program to teach, requiring diverse knowledge and providing a great opportunity to expand kids’ cultural knowledge. For example, most classes we have a rotating door of students — each only staying as long as they can or only coming in when they hear a song they like. Last class, there was a period of twenty minutes where there was only this one fifth grade boy who only wanted to learn turns. So, I taught him to spot while doing chaines (two step turns), then showed him piques and arabesque turns, and releve turns. He was very excited about until I let it slip that these were ballet turns after which he started to complain because, “Ballet’s for girls.”

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Which was, of course, something I needed to correct immediately.

So I pulled out my phone and googled boys ballet and showed him the second video that popped up (watch it, they’re really good).  After a few moments, impatient with the fact we were no longer dancing, he commented:

“They’re wearing tights.”

“Yes, but do they look girly?”

“No”

“How do you think they look?”

“They look cool, can we get back to spinning?”

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Point made, we went back to turns until a group of boys came in who wanted neither jazz nor hip hop, but settled for Michael Jackson for the last fifteen minutes of the class. But still, at least one boy learned it was okay to do ballet.

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Not all of the classes have anything as clearly perspective changing as that, but I can still introduce pretty much any kind of music or dance that I want to, providing both physical activity and new experiences.

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However, I will be graduating next year and would like to start training new people ASAP, so if you’re an underclassmen and this seems like a position you would like to have, feel free to email me at: kpbookworm2196@gmail.com. Or if this just seems like something you would like to come and participate in, or if you know a kid who would like to participate, our next class is this Friday, November 11, from 1:30-3:30. The current plan, inspired by the boys from my last class, is “Thriller”. However, if there’s something you’d like to learn, feel free to ask.

Skate Night Fundraiser!

LIVE DJ • $6 ADMISSION • $4 RENTALS • $1 BAKED GOODS

As you may or may not know, the Rutgers Women’s Ice Hockey team will be having its second annual public skate night this weekend! We are proud to be hosting this event in conjunction with Eta Kappa Nu, the official international honors society for Electrical and Computer Engineers here at Rutgers.

Come out and skate in support of the team! All proceeds from admission, as well as the baked goods sale, will go towards our rink, travel, and team expenses. Cookies, brownies, and milk will be $1 each unless you buy two or a baked good + milk combo, after which you start getting a discounted price! We will be accepting both Venmo and cash.

ProSkate is located in Monmouth Junction, on Rt 1 South. A shuttle will be leaving from the Rutgers Student Center on College Ave at 8:45PM for those who do not have a ride. If you need a ride, please fill out this Google Form.

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