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The Quindecim has 81 articles published.

Movie Review: I Am Not Your Negro

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Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Jessica Snouwaert, Staff Writer

March 5th, 2017

The film I Am Not Your Negro, directed by Raoul Peck, opened in theaters this February and is composed of James Baldwin’s writing from nearly 40 years ago. Baldwin wrote about race in the US during the mid-1970’s, yet his words ring far too clear for a 2017 viewer. The film is constructed around an unfinished book Baldwin wrote about the lives and deaths of Medgar Evers, Malcom X, and Martin Luther King Jr. It is truly a cinematic masterpiece, moving seamlessly between voice-over narration read by Samuel L. Jackson (which draws entirely from Baldwin’s writing), television interviews with Baldwin, historical photographs and clips, and snippets from past Hollywood movies and shows.

Baldwin’s voice and thoughts are two-fold through Jackson’s narration and Baldwin’s television interviews. At first it is difficult to connect the two as being one in the same, but it is easy for the viewer to jump into the rhythm of the film. During the film, the viewer clings to each and every one of Baldwin’s words. He is perceptive and critical, as if able to look directly into the viewer’s consciousness, asking questions about race that require deep introspection and should not go unanswered.

This film does what few others can, even at the best of times: it challenges white viewers with the rawest of truths, making them question the very core of society and themselves. Peck uses a multitude of techniques to accomplish this. Some of which include stark contrasts of cheerful visuals and audio with moments of the utter brutality, which highlight some of the deepest hypocrisy within the United States. The stark reality of the images the film uses forces a white viewer to acknowledge privilege that may have previously been avoided, evoking profound emotion and thought. It goes beyond what  we see in our grade school history books. It is harsh and it is real. But it is not despairing, for Baldwin says in the film, “I can’t be a pessimist because I’m alive. I’m forced to be an optimist.”

I cannot walk away from this film unchanged, returning to daily life the same way. I first wanted to see the film because beyond it being an incredible piece of art, I felt that it was my responsibility. The moment the lights came up in the theater I was struck with frustrated tears and anger. I was angry with the past. I was angry with my country. I was angry with myself. This film woke me up to the true responsibility. This film will evoke emotions and thoughts with which some people rarely dare to engage, but it is time we do so, it has always been time.

Mothpuppy!

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Nashalia Ferrara, Editor-in-Chief

March 5th, 2017

Morgan Murphy ‘18 is one of my favorite people, and I might be a little bit biased because she also happens to be one of my great friends. Last week, we sat down in Stimson’s dining hall to have some dinner and catch up with each other.  Murphy and her band, Mothpuppy, have been up to some pretty exciting stuff. At just 22 years old, she recently released a single, “Flea”, and has an album on the way.

mothpuppy

After our dinner, Murphy stopped by my room and gave me the exclusive.

NF: What is going on with Morgan and Mothpuppy right now?

MM: Mothpuppy is releasing an album called Cool and Pretty on March 10, ya got that? We recorded it in August at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia with Kyle Pulley and Joe Reinhart.

NF: Your single came out today?

MM: Yes! So our single is “Flea”, and it’s about fleas.

NF: Why is this the single? Is it your favorite song on the album?

MM: I don’t know if it’s my favorite song on the album, but it’s a lot people’s. I think it’s a good length and pretty simple, which makes for a good single.

NF: Where can your fans listen to “Flea”?

MM:  It’s streaming on Sad Cactus Records’ SoundCloud.

NF: Is it true that you’re 22 and you have a record deal?

MM: umm, I mean- I wouldn’t say that. I’m in association with a small record company, a very good record company, Sad Cactus.

NF: How many songs are on the album? And which one is your favorite?

MM:  There are 11 songs on the album. I like “Basketball Court” because we do some weird stuff, and I feel like it’s a good collaboration of all the band members’ talents.

NF: If your album were in stores, which genre would I find it under?

MM: I don’t remember the aisles anymore. I haven’t been to a record store in a while. Whenever I bring a song to the group, it really transforms into something that I’m not really quite sure what to call. We all have different musical backgrounds.

NF: Who is in the band?

MM: Shawn Durham ‘18  plays drums, Rebecca Willis ‘17 plays guitar, Ryan Vieria ‘16 plays the bass, and Becca Kotula ‘17 plays the violin.

NF: Do you write all your songs?

MM: Yes, me, Morgan, writes them all.

NF: You write all of them? Really?

MM: I write all of the base parts, like the chord structure and the lyrics and the melodies. Usually, I’ll write a song on the guitar and then bring it to the band. They take it from there and play what goes well with what I wrote.

NF: What’s harder, writing a short piece of fiction or writing a song? (Murphy is an English Major)

MM: It depends, sometimes it’s really easy writing a song. It can take as fast as the song is itself, and other times, I take a really long time and sit on a guitar part for months and months. That might have a lot do with procrastination, though. Fiction writing people make me write so…

NF: Why release your album on a cassette?

MM: Really just because we can’t do vinyl because our songs aren’t mastered, and we’re not that popular. [Vinyl] is super expensive, so we’re not doing that right now. There’s a market out for tapes because they are cheaper than CDs and more people like them because you can’t burn them and artists can customize the color. There is something appealing about them, right? It took a long time to decide, but our album will be on a gray cassette because it goes well with the album art.

NF: Where can I buy the physical album?

MM: You can preorder the cassette on sadcactus.us and you can also buy the digital album on March 10 through that website.

NF: So say a Goucher student stops you on Van Meter and asks you to sign their copy of Cool & Pretty, would you sign it?

MM: Yes, but I’ll never offer.

NF: When did you know that you were good at making music?

MM: Wow, what a question! I still don’t know. I still don’t know how cool the music is or how much people like it.

NF: Quickly can you explain the name Mothpuppy?

MM: Oh my god, it doesn’t mean anything. It was a mistake and I want to change it but it’s too late. It’s just silly and lifted from my snapchat name. Freshman year, people thought it was funny so they started calling me it.

NF: Cool & Pretty is the name of the album, why?

MM: There’s another single on the album, “Basketball Court”, which is coming out next, but yeah, it’s a line from that song.

NF: What’s the line?

MM: “I think about that in mysterious ways / I spend the time trying to know what to say / I lay in bed and waste half the day / he told me I was cool and pretty, cool and pretty, cool and pretty.” And it’s kind of just about putting more effort in a relationship. When you spend a lot time trying to find the perfect thing to say to people who mean a lot to you, and they come back with the most simple thing.

NF: That’s heartbreaking. Like they didn’t think hard enough?

MM: Yeah, basically, like “cool and pretty” isn’t really that hard to come up with. I could’ve said that too. It doesn’t really sound like much thought went through it, you know?

NF: What’s the theme of the album?

MM: Well, it was going to be called Housewife because a lot of the songs either put me in the position of singing to a child or sympathizing with the feeling of being like you need to devote yourself to something or someone. But that’s not the only theme, there are also songs about body image and identity.

Before Murphy returned to her rockstar life, I asked her a series of “quick fire” questions.

NF: Do you sing your own songs in the shower?

MM: Haha, I sing other people’s songs or I make up silly, new songs. That’s embarassing.

NF: Thoughts on “Happy Birthday” ?

MM: Overwhelming and repetitive.

NF: Taylor Swift?

MM: I just don’t know…

NF: Spotify or Apply Music?

MM: Spotify.

NF: Headphones, earbuds or speakers?

MM: Headphones, I like feeling immersed.

NF: An artist you were obsessed with in middle school?

MM: Green Day, and I still am. If you can get me to open for Green Day, I would kill for you!

NF: What instrument do you wish you could play?

MM: Piano.

NF: Least favorite noise?

MM: Oh god, I have a lot of noises I don’t like, but probably when there are too many people talking and the white noise that it all creates. It’s very bothersome.

NF: Most underrated artist?

MM: I don’t know; I told you not to ask me about my music taste, and this kinda falls under that.

NF: Most overrated artist?

MM: I can think of a lot but I don’t want to be mean.

Morgan Murphy is cool and pretty. Her band’s music is cool and pretty, but as she said, those words are too easy. They don’t capture Murphy, her short green hair, and all her glory just right. Murphy is talented beyond measure. On stage, her voice can get really loud but still sound as if it’s made of glass. The words she uses in her songs, stories, and conversations seem to be carefully chosen with a huge amount of thought behind them. She is the kind of person you leave Stimson and all its buzzing white noise to hear exactly what she has to say.

mothpuppy-2

Like Mothpuppy on Facebook to see when they’re playing next.

Listen to Mothpuppy’s single “Flea” here: https://soundcloud.com/sadcactusrecords/mothpuppy-flea

Life After Goucher: Hannah Kuehl ‘16

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img_1157-2-2Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

March 5th, 2017

What have you been up to since graduation? 

What haven’t I been up to since graduation?! Since last May, I’ve discovered what it’s like to be a nomad that lives by the seasonal work she can find. But I love it! Of course it has been a little stressful at times, but for the most part I’ve really enjoyed the freedom to move around and the different jobs I’ve done. Right after I graduated, I went home to New Hampshire and started working at a summer camp near my hometown called the Mayhew Program. I was co-leading outdoor trips of backpacking, mountain biking, and canoeing for groups of at-risk and low income boys. It was really exhausting, difficult work, but I loved it and learned a lot. After that, while I was applying for my next season of work and waiting to hear back, I worked a bunch of odd jobs…some apartment cleaning, babysitting, worked at a waterpark, paraprofessional at a high school, just about anything that came up. This was a little more of a stressful season and there were definitely moments when I wondered why I hadn’t gotten a “real job” after graduation…and then I heard back from the BOEC! This was an internship out in Breckenridge, Colorado that I applied for, and it was a position as an adaptive ski and snowboard instructor with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. So, I packed up the Prius and took a little road trip out to Colorado! I’m currently about halfway through my internship and loving it. I live with 11 other interns in a cabin, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new, and I’m outside working and playing every day! I plan to go back home for the summer and work with the Mayhew Program again, but next winter I hope to be back here with the BOEC. It’s been an adventurous year!

What do you miss about Goucher?

I miss the community of Goucher the most. Being able to walk two minutes and bust through your friend’s door is pretty great, and once you’re out of college it’s harder to connect with your friends in the same way. Even if you’re not living on campus, having all of your friends and a community of people to support you in the same area is really unique and a lot of fun. It’s also nice because you’re all essentially on the same schedule or are doing the same things so it’s easier to hang out…out of school people are working different jobs or living in different areas with time zone differences, so it can be tough to connect.

Any advice for seniors? 

Relax! Enjoy your last few months together. Then when you do start looking for your job or next step, do what you want. It’s okay to not have every step planned out, but find things that you’ll be happy doing. In my last semester, I remember one of my professors saying that every person should have at least a little time post-college where they’re living in a nasty apartment, barely scraping by each month, and living off of ramen. And that’s okay! My best advice is to not worry about finding the perfect job that’ll last forever. Do something that interests you, meet new people in a new place, and get some fun life experience.

What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?

I wish I had known how important connections are. Most of the work and things that I’ve done in the last year have come from random conversations and people that I’ve met, so I’m learning how important it is to foster these relationships. Previous experience and having a college degree are also definitely important in landing jobs, but it really has been the personal recommendations and the connections to different people that make the biggest difference in getting an interview. Be nice to people because, if they can, they generally want to help out!

What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out? 

This is a tough question to answer because there’s so much growth and change that happened for me throughout my four years at Goucher, and it’s hard to pick just one part that’s helping me now – being an athlete helped with time management, being a student taught me how to search for and use information, being at a liberal arts school opened my eyes to what’s happening in our world, having small classes taught me how to create relationships and get involved with people around me. Something that has surprised me, though, and has been more influential in my first year out than I expected, is my Spanish degree! Not only do employers love that I’m bilingual, but it’s also been incredibly useful (much more so than I expected in Colorado!). I give ski and snowboard lessons in Spanish, I can communicate with a lot of employees and people that work on the mountain, I can translate when there are language barriers on the bus, and just in general it’s been a great skill to have.

Life After Goucher: Isabel DaSilva ‘16

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Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

March 5th, 2017GraduationPic-2.jpg

What have you been up to since graduation?

I’ve been interested in publishing since about halfway through my time at Goucher and I’d had editorial internships at W. W. Norton & Company and at BookReporter.com during college. So, right after graduating, I attended the Columbia Publishing Course (CPC), a six-week long, intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. The course was structured with two weeks of lectures on the book industry, a week for the book workshop, two weeks of lectures on magazine and online publications, and a week for the magazine workshop. We also had sessions that allowed us to develop our resumes and cover letters, as well as individual meetings with the director the program, Shaye Areheart. There was a line-up of amazing speakers who came to speak with us: we got to hear from editors and publishers (like Morgan Entrekin from Grove/Atlantic, Liese Mayer from Scribner, Chris Jackson from One World, Nico Pfund from Oxford University Press, etc.), authors (Tayari Jones and Eddie Huang), along with agents, publicists, marketing directors, book jacket designers, and sales directors. Along with hearing from and being able to work with some of the best people in publishing, one of my favorite parts of the course was when I got to go up to Adam Rappaport, the editor-in-chief of Bon Appetite Magazine, and ask him what the chef Bobby Flay is really like in person.

What do you miss about Goucher?

I miss the proximity of everything. I miss having friends live on the other side of the wall or a few floors down instead of on the other side of the country. I miss being able to roll out of bed and walk to Van Meter in ten minutes to go to a class or have a meeting with a professor. I, of course, miss all the lovely people who are still at Goucher who I don’t get to see everyday anymore. I also kind of miss how, at college, there’s a lot of energy being focused on students’ personal growth (as there should be!). What I’ve found working at Bloomsbury, though, is that you are often working to assist someone else or working towards a larger goal, and—while that can be extremely exciting and rewarding in and of itself—I do sometimes miss having it be my own work that I’m focusing on.

Any advice for seniors?

Step one: DON’T FREAK OUT! Seriously, everything’s going to be ok. Step two: Have some sort of plan for right after graduation so you don’t feel like you’re just moving back home or stepping out into some void. Having a plan doesn’t necessarily mean having a full-time job right away (although, if you have one, congratulations!). I was able to go straight into the CPC program after graduation, and there are a ton of summer programs for different fields that you can participate in that will likely help you find jobs (or even just clarify what you want or don’t want to do). But even if you don’t have something more formal set up for right after graduation, I strongly suggest setting up informational interviews with people you admire in the field or fields you’re interested in pursuing. At the end of the summer after graduation, I was able to get an informational interview with the head of hiring at Simon & Schuster, and—although she didn’t have a job for me at the time—that meeting has led to several interviews, so you never know where meetings like that can lead (and you also get to meet some super interesting people!).

What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?

I guess my best advice to those somewhere at the beginning or middle of their college experience is that you don’t have to know what you want to do right now—and, even if you thought you knew what you wanted to do, it’s ok to change your mind. At the beginning of college I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do (I didn’t even know what I wanted to major in). At one point, I was positive I wanted to be an elementary school teacher and then I spent one hellish summer as a camp counselor and decided that profession seriously was not for me (education majors, I applaud you—you are fantastic people and much more patient than I will ever be!). It wasn’t until sometime in the middle of college, when I started working as a tutor in the writing center, that I realized reading books and working with people on their writing is actually a profession, so I started learning more about publishing. Since then, I’ve learned so much more about the field and about what editors do and have fallen in love with the industry. But who knows? Maybe in another year I’ll run off and decide I want to start my own cupcake shop! My point is, be diligent, do internships and informational interviews, but one of the best parts about being in college is that it’s fine not to know for sure and try out different things.

What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out?

I would have to say that the part-time jobs I did in my last two years at Goucher have had the most direct influence on the work I’ve done since. As I mentioned, at the writing center, I discovered how much I loved reading other people’s writing and tossing ideas around with them and working together to improve whatever essay or story they brought in, which led to my passion for editing. It’s been so exciting to be able to work for people who are editing the writing of authors for real books that are going out into the real world (seriously, go buy Hot Milk by Deborah Levy—my boss, Lea, was the U.S. editor for it and it’s a fabulous book!). It was my work, though, as an SLCA director for after-school programs run out of the office of Community-Based Learning (CBL forever!) that I think gave me the best transferrable skills that I could bring to my job or talk about in interviews. Any program you can find at Goucher that gives you experience working with or managing groups of people, honing your organizational skills, or working towards a common goal with a strict deadline is an amazing experience that will give you a leg up in anything you do after graduation. Goucher also taught me the importance of good mentors—lovely people who go out of their way to nurture your skills and help you succeed—from Lindsay and Cass at CBL to Mary, Juliette, and Arnie in the English department. Speakers at CPC also emphasized how important it was to them to find mentors in publishing, and I’ve been lucky enough to find a few people at work who I really look up to and hope to find more in the future!

Life After Goucher: Caroline Less ‘15

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Photo from Caroline Less.

Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

March 5th, 2017

What have you been up to since graduation?

Since graduating from Goucher, I have had so many awesome opportunities to work in public education. I completed my undergraduate degree in the Fall of 2015, and during the Spring of 2016 I worked in a middle school as a paraprofessional, where I was able to confirm my desire to teach. The summer after graduation I enrolled in Brandeis University’s MAT program and I am currently working towards getting my Masters in Secondary Education and dual certification in English and Moderate Disabilities.

What do you miss about Goucher?

I think the thing that I miss the most about Goucher is being so close to my friends all the time. In a community like Goucher, you get used to having all of your best friends within a 100 yard radius of you; it’s easy to meet up for lunch or coffee or a study session. It takes a lot more coordinating to meet up with friends post college because we all have really new and different schedules and don’t live in the same building anymore, or even the same state!

There’s also a lot more free time in college, and it’s easier and kind of cheaper to feed yourself when you have a prepaid meal plan and lots of healthy (not all healthy though) options. Grocery shopping and cooking takes up a lot of time!

Any advice for seniors?

I’d tell seniors to be selfish. Take the time to do things for yourself, and take advantage of all the things Goucher, Towson, and Baltimore have to offer. Your work will get done (you’ve gotten it done every year up to now!) and it’s important to realize that things might get harder and busier after college, so use this time to put yourself first and enjoy these last few months with your wonderful Goucher friends and the amazing and supportive Goucher staff and faculty.

What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?

As a retired college athlete, I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that my academic performance, extracurriculars, and who I am as a person defines me more than my identity as an athlete. I will always be hardworking, dedicated, kind, and occasionally frazzled, but I realized that it’s tough to try and keep up the identity of an athlete when more important aspirations and desires became apparent in my life in and out of college.

What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out?

I think my study abroad experience has been the most influential. You learn so much about yourself when you spend six months away from what’s familiar to you. Before I studied abroad, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to do after graduating from Goucher. While studying at St. Andrews in Scotland, however, I slowly realized my desire to teach, the only aspiration I could think of that would allow me to keep working with literature and help young people reach their full potential. My semester abroad also inspired me to apply for jobs abroad. I’m hoping to teach abroad after graduating and I have Goucher’s awesome study abroad requirement to thank for that!

When the Flowers are Frightening

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Sarah Hochberg, Opinion Editor

March 5th, 2017

A few days ago, I put on a dress and sandals, and read Harry Potter on the Great Lawn. Fellow gophers were playing Frisbee, catch, and generally enjoying the nice weather. The high temperature was 75 degrees, and the flowers outside my window have started blooming. However, it’s February.

Admittedly, I enjoyed the fresh air and not being confined to my dorm room because it’s too cold to go outside. I hate the winter, with its chapped lips and freezing winds – I would willingly have a year-round summer if I could. Everything I enjoy doing is better if it’s nice outside. Having said that, it wracks me with guilt that I’m enjoying this clear display of climate change. It’s frightening that the flowers are blooming, and will make harvesting schedules more difficult to foresee. Animals will suffer, and freak storms are right around the corner.

To try and put myself at ease, I focus on a few key statements. First, I can’t personally stop climate change. I will contribute in any way I can to the growing pro-environmentalist movement, but my singular actions will only matter in the sense that they are a piece of a puzzle. Second, whatever happens will not affect this one day of warmth and sunshine. If I stay inside frazzled or go outside and enjoy it, the world will keep on turning. Finally, just as a day of snow doesn’t disprove the warming of the globe, a day of sun needs to also be taken in context. The really scary numbers are the overall stats, that this year was hotter than 2016 which was hotter than 2015, so on and so forth.

So go out and enjoy the random nice day. Visit the horses and play frisbee on the lawn because self-care is important too. It’s okay to enjoy the weather. Use this as a concrete reason to get more involved in environmental groups and causes. Freak out in the back of your mind, and let that anxiety turn into action.

A Letter From President Bowen

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A few weeks ago our Sports editor, Michael Layer, reached out to several people on Goucher’s campus regarding the controversial photo of some Goucher lacrosse players. (You can read Layer’s article on the incident here).

Goucher’s president was among the few that got back to Layer. With President José Bowen’s permission, we wanted to publish the letter he wrote to The Quindecim‘s editors.

Dear Editors,

Thank you for your thoughtful letter regarding the College’s response to the men’s lacrosse incident last fall. I share your serious concern about the incident, especially in light of the current national climate. Here is what I can share.

As you know, Bryan Coker and I issued a joint statement immediately following the picture being posted, expressing our serious concern, and condemning the behavior. The men’s lacrosse team took prompt internal action with the responsible team members as well as the overall team membership. The matter was also referred to the Bias Education Response Team (BERT), which reviewed the matter and recommended educational measures. Since that time, our Title IX Coordinator has conducted educational sessions with the team as has the Assistant Dean of Students. The coach has been a model of responsiveness and the players have taken this very seriously.

While suspension from the team or public shaming might seem to offer a quick and strong response, such a sanction seriously diminishes opportunities for student learning and growth. We are an educational institution.  We invite students on to our campus to learn from their mistakes. Our approach to this incident has been – and will continue to be – learning-oriented. We probably should have provided some follow-up communication regarding these efforts before now, but I also think that what the public needs to know has to be weighed against the potential for real educational gains.

I have also attached my remarks from our Opening Convocation in January as they may also be informative of my position.  We are in a highly polarized moment in American history. When there is not much listening, there is not much learning and little chance for new communal understanding to emerge across thickly drawn lines of opinion. In my remarks in January, I asked student to expand their empathy this semester. I still think that is key. We need to have higher standards for dialogue and disagreement, but we also need to make sure we are having real dialogue–and that means some tolerance for failure. Exile is typically reserved for offences for which there is no chance of reconciliation. If we as a College cannot find some tolerance for failure in each other, then we will not be preparing you to be potential listeners, builders, creators, and healers in the wider world where you will soon find yourselves. There are very few places in the U.S. right now where such a diverse collection of people are living together and trying truly to get along. We are a long way from perfect. I am proud of our ambitious goals and high ideals, and I also know that brings more pain, misunderstanding and hurt along the way. We have chosen to confront the reality of our society. This is not the safe path and if we are to make progress we must both have higher standards for dialogue AND all be brave and willing to support each other in the effort.

BERT will soon be releasing an overview of cases they have considered over the past year, which will show all that is being done to address bias-related behaviors in our community. We are thankful to now have BERT, and hope to expand the opportunities for effective and educationally-based options for responses to bias incidents.

I am committed to learning, growth, and development as the ultimate outcome for this incident.

Sincerely,

José Antonio Bowen

Oscar Predictions

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Image courtesy of Google Images.

Teegan Macleod, Staff Writer

February 25th, 2017

This year’s Oscars boasts a great deal of talent.  It has been a few years since I’ve had so many favorites and many have been nominated for multiple awards. However, at the end of the day, someone must take home the award.  These are my picks for 6 of the categories: Best Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and Best Picture.

For Best Picture, I am firmly behind the film Moonlight.  It was far and away the greatest film to come out this awards season.  It tells an incredible story in three chapters about the life of a gay black man named Chiron from childhood through adulthood.  Every moment of the movie is utterly captivating and every facet of it works to create a beautiful work of art.  With that in mind, I am also picking Barry Jenkins for Best Director and Mahershala Ali for Best Supporting Actor. Mahershala Ali gives an unbelievable performance in the film as Juan, a drug dealer who takes care of Chiron as a child.  Ali gives new life to the too often marginalized role of the drug dealer with a heart of gold.  Barry Jenkins, as writer and director, created a masterpiece with Moonlight, I will make no bones about it. I cannot express enough how incredibly beautiful it is as well as the subject matter being very important. Moonlight is a film that reflects the time in which it is made in a beautiful and unforgettable way.

I think Moonlight deserves every single Oscar that it is nominated for, except for, Best Supporting Actress.   That award I believe belongs to Viola Davis for her role in Fences. I also believe that Denzel Washington deserves the Best Actor Oscar for Fences.  The two of them give unbelievable performances that drive the movie and make it an amazing experience.  They deserve to win the awards together because they both heighten each other’s performances.  Take one away and the other would not be as good in my opinion.  They play off each other in such a way that they bring the art of acting to new and incredible levels.

There are many other awards categories that I have opinions about but these are, in my mind, the essential ones.  Hopefully we will see a shift this year towards a more diverse winner’s circle.

Goucher Students March for Women’s Rights

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Usha Kaul, Staff Writer

February 15th, 2017

On January 21, 2017, the day following the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, over 4,956,000 people all over the world marched through the streets in order to send a bold message to our new administration. The Women’s March on Washington’s (WMW) Organization stated, “we are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.”

The Women’s March on Washington (WMW) was founded by a group of white women. Its intentions are that everyone can participate regardless of race, gender, class, religion, status or way you chose to vote. Hundreds of thousands of people took planes, trains, cars, buses to get to their nearest march. Almost all the major cities superseded their expectations of numbers of participants. There were a total of 418 Marches in the Unites States and 97 marches internationally, from the Antarctic Peninsula to the Congo, in countries such as France, Germany, and India. These numbers do not include the virtual marches and many pop-up marches that took place. Online marches made the Women’s March more accessible to people with disabilities.

The Women’s March was a time for people to  come together and recognize that women’s right are human rights and that discrimination is unacceptable. The WMW stated that, “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared.” The march on January 21st was just the first step in combatting this new challenge. Since this was the first day in office for President Trump, many individuals took this opportunity to protest other issues that affect the targeted communities listed above. There were signs about women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter and many more. Protesters sported posters supporting racial diversity. But don’t get me wrong. There was also an emphasis on the women’s issues. Many posters conveyed messages in support of planned parenthood and women’s empowerment in general.

A group of Goucher Students led by seniors, Usha Kaul and Sophia Robinson, departed from Goucher around 4:30AM. They were able to secure a spot on Washington D.C.’s stage where a handful of important speeches were taking place. They stood for around 7 hours and marched for another 2 hours. Speakers at the Washington D.C. March included actress and chair of the Artists Table of Women’s March on Washington, America Ferrera, Distinguished Professor Emerita at UC Santa Crus Angela Davis, filmmaker Michael Moore, actress and activist Scarlett Johansson, the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner and Jordan Davis along with many other wonderful activists and directors. Sofia Robinson stated, “The Women’s March was an incredibly empowering experience. People from all walks of life came together in solidarity, and stood up for themselves and everyone who is marginalized and not regarded as equals in the social, political, and private realms.”

Personally, I, Usha Kaul, was in awe of the immense amount of support from the entire world as we took a stand against our new government. As an Indian-American, I take pride in who I am and I want to continue to live in the United States and thrive here as such. I never want to be told I can’t. It’s part of my existence. My grandparents were a huge influence on me growing up. They fought for peace in India during partition and then I am proud to say that my grandmother, once in the United States, put on her sari and was the first Indian woman to run as a democrat for the NJ state assembly. I march for her. I march because I want the same freedom. I march because I am Indian and proud.

Violent Protests Set Divisive Tone For Trump Presidency

by

Sean O’Flaherty, Staff Writer

February 15th, 2017

An atmosphere of toxicity hung over the city. As Donald Trump prepared to be inaugurated as the 45th president. There was a palpable tension hanging in the air. Tension that had built up after a year’s worth of anger stemming from one of the most divisive presidential campaigns in American history.

Entering into the National Mall, Trump supporters and protesters had an uneasy coexistence and they made their way through the security checkpoints. At several checkpoints large groups of protesters linked arm to arm blockaded the street to prevent Trump supporters to be able to attend. Besides a few verbal confrontations and a standoff with the police, the protests were largely peaceful in the beginning of the day. On the National Mall near the Washington Monument, there continued to be this unusual mix of groups opposing and supporting the President. Due to the presence of security officials civility was maintained while President Trump took the oath of office and delivered his inaugural address. It seemed at this point that the rest of the day would be relatively peaceful, as the crowds dispersed with no confrontations.

However, it appeared that as former President Obama flew away on Marine one, he took America’s self restraint with him. Within an hour after the end of the ceremony there were reports of violent “Black Bloc” anarchists rampaging through the streets of DC committing acts of vandalism and assaulting Trump supporters and police officers. As I made my way towards Franklin Square, the reported location of these rioters, I received a text informing me that 90 people had already arrested and there was an escalating violent situation. As I approached Mcpherson Square witnessed these groups firsthand as I came across a rally of some sort. A band on stage played music interrupted only by a range of speakers. There was a assortment of radical far left groups occupying the space, the combination of which conjured up a scene which could have been out of the 1960s. Soon after I arrived a group of Trump supporters came and confronted this groups, as these groups shouted back and forth some escalated into direct physical violence. I noticed further up the road there was a very large crowd of people blocking off traffic. I made my ways towards the scene and stumbled into the heart of the violence reported from earlier. Masked protesters faced off against riot police while others were burning a pile of trash in the street and smashing up a nearby limousine and unmarked police car.  Media from all over the world looked on as the situation deteriorated further. One rioter walked past me with a tire he claimed to had stolen off a Trump supporters car. Within what only seemed like moments later this man had tossed the tire onto the limousine and set it on fire. As the burning rubber mixed with liquor bottles, which had been in the limousine, a large and uncontrolled fire continued to grow. The blaze grew so large that people around me were worried that the engine was going to explode and frantically were telling people to back away from the blaze. Word was spreading that the Washington Post building in which this scene was next to was catching fire. The police realizing the severity of what was happening began to push forward into the crowd causing panic as they shot off tear gas canisters. The large mass of both media and protestors rushing to escape the situation created for a moment a dangerous stampede of people. The police then formed a protective ring around limousine as the fire was put out by first responders.

In the following hour the police set up a perimeter several city blocks wide around Franklin, Mcpherson, and Farragut squares. Because there were several city sanctioned protest events within these squares, there seemed to be some level of confusion within the police and national guard forces. For the rest of the afternoon this chaotic display unfolded of a protest concert playing in the background of a back and forth battle between “Black Bloc” anarchists and riot police in the street. Rocks and bottles were being tossed at the police who answered with tear gas, flashbang grenades, rubber bullets and pepper spray. Throughout the square smaller trash fires were being lit and surrounded by groups of people. I suspect the police worried about a PR nightmare if they were to crack down too forcefully, hoping that it would all fizzle out as the night came. At around 8:30 Franklin Square was still occupied by large groups of protesters and another confrontation between Trump supporters and protesters led to several more fights breaking out. Suddenly, the riot police began to move into the square and break up the remaining crowd in a very coordinated and strategic way. Those who were not arrested in this initial move by the police broke off into smaller groups and began to flee down different streets into other parts of downtown. The group I followed decided to attempt and reach the convention center, where the inaugural ball was being held. The police, realizing, this pursued this group with speed and intensity and eventually was able to surround it in an intersection. Realizing they were not going to be able to reach the convention center, they began to sit down and block the traffic in the intersection. After about 20 minutes, the police started arresting people who remained in the intersection and the day ended in an anticlimactic whimper. The end result the day’s violence was nine police officers injured, six of which were hospitalized, and 217 protesters arrested.

Based on what I saw that day, I believe that the violence and divisiveness will be the tone of the next four years of Trumps presidency. The level of anger that I witnessed leaves me very skeptical on whether any common ground will be reached

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