The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

Author

Ella Farruggia

Ella Farruggia has 4 articles published.

mm

The Way to a Convoluted America’s Heart is Through the Stomach

by

For the older more metropolitan foodie generation of our parents and older cousins, David Chang may be a familiar name because of his restaurants, most notably Momofuku and NoodleBar. For us Millenials/GenZ-ers, David Chang is a bit more well-known because of his appearance in a Buzzfeed Worth It episode. (If you are still unsure, go back to the episodes “$13 BBQ Ribs Vs. $256 BBQ Ribs • Korea” and “$17 Fried Chicken Vs. $500 Fried Chicken” by Buzzfeed Worth it.)

However, the reason that I introduce this foodie to the Goucher public is because of Chang’s Netflix Original show, Ugly Delicious. The show came out in the tail end of February, and I spent one of the days of my spring break binge watching seven episodes of it (I had already seen the first episode). Now, the reason this is a solid show is not due to the influential names like Steven Yuan or Jimmy Kimmel who make guest appearances. Nor because of the mouthwatering foods like dumplings and fried chicken. But because of Chang himself and his unabashed personality as an American with a neo-metropolitan, Generation X outlook on life and food.

Unlike all other food shows on TV, Ugly Delicious does not have Chang teach the audience how to make obsessive and obscene foods. Nor is he trying the craziest of concoctions out there, giving a bad reputation to food joints and countries around the world. Instead, what Chang does is ask blunt questions about food and cultures, giving way to a thinly veiled political exploration.

To give the run-down as to why this is a political show that is not to be ignored is because when one delves deep enough into the food culture and the culture of the food, there comes the point where one must discuss racism and appropriation and wars and bloodshed. And in this day and age, when food seems to be the only thing worth bonding over, us inhabitants of the 21st century should know more about what we put into our body other than the calorie intake or dietary status. Now, as for Ugly Delicious, Chang overtly confronts the political issues. Sometimes it is addressing the unknown but omnipresent biases and racisms that plague the consumption of food. Such as why when eating Chinese food, one may feel as though MSG is destroying the body but when gorging on a bag of chips the only thing felt is that New Year’s resolution slipping away. But other times Chang outright asks political questions, giving insight as to why some people in the world think a certain way, such as when Chang talked with a Vietnamese restaurant owner who was a refugee in the 70s, over a meal with shrimp and crawfish. They discussed at one point how 40 years back the Vietnamese were fighting the KKK for their ability to work but now were hesitant when it came to wishing for a less complicated way for other refugees to go to America or other democratic nations. Chang has a way to get people to open up, be it pit masters in Tennessee or sushi masters in Japan, and while he challenges his audience’s beliefs, at no point does he try to change those ideals. However, ever so slightly he gets one to think and see things from a different point of view.

America is a melting pot. School House Rock sang about it; teachers teach about it, writers write about it. However, even with that, we have barriers to the type of foods. Everything is of a particular category, and when arguing against those put in place boxes, questions emerge. What qualifies fried chicken as authentic? What makes a pit-roasted pig BBQ but a Peking Duck not BBQ? What Chang does so honestly, is that he tastes, learns, watches, talks, and asks the questions that aren’t always asked but may be at the back of our minds.

So, while it is not the food itself that kept me listening for most of the day, I’m okay with that because the conversations that were going on about the food, cultures, and politics behind everything made the show a success.

Featured image: Chef David Chang. Photo Credit: Google Images

Goucher Problem #∞ (Though, Not Only Goucher’s Fault)

by

Upon putting together admission packets, scrolling through Goucher’s website and looking through courses offered, time and time again, Goucher seems to promote the Baltimore Student Exchange Program. For those who are not familiar with the exchange program, it is a way for students to take classes at outside universities if Goucher, or the other colleges part of the program, do not provide that class or language at the home institution. (And to be honest, that is a big reason Goucher appealed to me.)

Now comes into play why I have issues with our Baltimore Student Exchange Program. I wanted to take Chinese for my language requirement, a course no longer offered at Goucher, but I was not allowed to take it at a different institution. Goucher’s language requirement is three semesters for any language if they are to start as a beginner – and it is always best to start this requirement early, especially considering all of the other requirements we students now need to complete (cough, CPEs, cough). However, upon beginning the process of choosing classes, I came upon a roadblock. When I asked about taking Chinese at another institution, the answer I got was conflicting.

For starters, during the summer when Goucher hosted their YouTube live sessions for incoming freshman, I had asked: “How can I take Chinese at another school so I can fulfill my requirement?” And the answer I received was not encouraging and helpful, rather it was, in some ways, meant to deter me. The answer I got was along the lines of “Freshman are not allowed to study at a different institution because we want our freshman to become acquainted with our campus.” Now, the answer is a great one in theory. But the problem with it is simple, how much time would I honestly be spending at the other institution? I’d still be living at Goucher, taking three out of my four classes at Goucher, getting an on-campus job at Goucher, and spending most of my time here. So why was that the answer I got?

That aside, I decided to push ahead and see if I could take Chinese during my second semester. I started to research the system, came up with a class that had a boatload of empty seats and found one that worked great with my schedule. With everything researched I submitted my application and was pretty sure that I was going to be allowed to take the class. I mean the person running the program said in mundane terms, “You are most likely going to get in because it is a language requirement.” However almost half a month later right before finals were starting, I got an email telling me I was not accepted. The reason: there were not enough seats.

Now granted that part was not Goucher’s fault. Rather, it was the other institutions who claimed, when I called them, that there was no availability in the classes even though there was still a good deal more open seats (almost ten). However, with that said, there are still significant problems with Goucher and the inter-collegiate system.

If Goucher is going to be a part of and actively promote students’ abilities to study at partnering institutions, shouldn’t all students be allowed to take part? Goucher is at no point not benefiting if a student is only taking one course at a different institution. Moreover, even if they were not profiting, the pros far outweigh the cons. For us students, there would be more doors opened for educational opportunities, Goucher could be getting other students from those nearby institutions, and the students from Goucher would still be living and paying Goucher for their education due to them still being the home institution. However, if Goucher College is worried that allowing their students to study at colleges such as Towson University, Loyola Maryland or Johns Hopkins University would result in even more students transferring, well then, that is less a reflection of the program itself and more how Goucher deals with their academics.

Throne of Glass: A Review

by

Like every Young Adult Fantasy novel these days, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas has it all: a swashbuckling teen heroine who’s lived through more travesties in her eighteen years of existence than most people have in one lifetime; a creepy male antagonist who is hell-bent on world domination; and the quintessential duo of (male) best friends vying for the main character’s affection (of course, one of which is grumpy and stand-offish while the other is a lovable playboy). All this, along with a “healthy” dose of female competition, adorable animals, names that cannot be pronounced, and magic.
Published in 2012, Throne of Glass was not an instant success. Sure it had raving reviews, but unlike Maas’s books nowadays, it did not debut on the New York Times Bestsellers List. What made it a classic in the ever growing and fast-paced industry of YA fantasy are the characters and the world that Maas expands upon throughout the series.
However, I plan on only discussing the first book, so here we go.
The main character is named Celaena Sardothien, a first-rate has-been assassin, fighting in a competition to become the King’s Champion. She’s a bit self-centered, a bit egotistical, and only on occasion willing to play nice (as befitting a true eighteen-year-old). So, along with her new friends, Prince Dorian Havilliard and Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Royal Guard, Celaena must figure out a way to stay alive in the tournament to buy her freedom, keep her head down in the castle of her arch enemy and catch the castle murderer before she becomes the next victim. Piece of cake.
All in all, Throne of Glass is good, but not a great first book. The pacing isn’t too fast nor is it too slow. It checks off all of the boxes necessary for YA fantasy: court intrigue, a shadowy presence, snappy comebacks, minimal romance (compared to the series presently) and innocent friendship; not to mention a dedicated fan base who will love the series till their last breath. What makes the book truly worth your time is the well-articulated and beautiful style of writing that Sarah J. Maas has. I mean, just the way she describes a forest gives way for pause.
“The forest had gone silent. The ebony hounds’ ears were erect, though they didn’t seem to be bothered by the stillness. Even the soldiers quieted. Her heart skipped a beat. The forest was different here. The leaves dangled like jewels-tiny droplets of ruby, pearl, topaz, amethyst, emerald, and garnet; and a carpet of such riches coated the forest floor around them. Despite the ravages of conquest, this part of Oakwald Forest remained untouched. It still echoed with the remnants of the power that had once given these trees such unnatural beauty.”
Maas’s words flow naturally in such a way that many authors struggle with, and it is due to her ability to write images, characters, dialogue, and action that could entice someone to pick up the next book. Sarah J. Maas does a remarkable job of pulling you in just enough with the characters, plot, and storyline. But it is her gift as a storyteller that ensnares a reader that leaves you with wanting more.

From CDO to CEO: The CDO Rebrands

by
The CDO changes its name to the Career Education Office (CEO). Photo Credit: CDO Goucher on youtube.com

We all know that room at the end of that hallway in Van Meter. The one that has lights around the door and doughnuts on Fridays. It’s the Career Development Office, a.k.a. the CDO. However, on January 29, 2018, during the first-year group advising meetings, it was announced that the CDO would soon become the CEO.
Now, let’s backtrack a bit to when this plan was initially being discussed. At the end of last semester, the CDO was having focus groups with students ranging from those who have visited them to those who have not. The goal of these focus groups was to talk about what the student body thought of the CDO and what changes they hoped could be made. During these meetings, pizza was distributed, ideas were thrown out, and the general feeling was that the student body did not quite know what the CDO did. To be more precise, it seemed that students were scared of the CDO because it represented “the real world” after graduation. To students, the CDO seemed like a place to go after a resume had been drafted, a cover letter written, and an interview lined up.
So here’s a small snippet of what the CDO actually does. The CDO is a place to go for help writing a resume or cover letter. It has a closet for when one is unsure of what is worn typically for an interview, or for a formal or semi-formal event. It is an inviting place that offers discussions with alumni/ae both on Tuesday afternoons over tea, and on Friday mornings over doughnuts and coffee. Alums give advice ranging from when to go to Human Resources to when to quit a job.
In the spirit of innovation, the CDO has taken student advice and has decided to incorporate its services more into the experience both in and out of the classroom. Starting next year and with the class of 2022, the CDO will become the Career Education Office, or, CEO, the same acronym as Chief Executive Officer, although unintentionally .
What does this mean for Goucher? Well, for one thing, it means another wacky acronym that Admissions Ambassadors can throw around. But for future students, this means classes will incorporate goal-setting with regards to career plans within the curriculum and that hopefully, every student will have a resume by the end of their first year. However, for students graduating in 2021 or before, this means that the CDO (or CEO) will start to become a place that resembles less a door at the end of the hallway that should be avoided at all costs, and more of a friendly helping hand along the way to the next stage of one’s life, beyond the hallowed halls of educational institutions.

Go to Top