Abroad Profile: Filling the empty spaces

Jordan Javelet

Contributing Editor

I have never been particularly good with change. Up until now, the biggest change I had ever experienced was moving from my home in Denver to attend Goucher, and let me assure you—the transition was terrifying to me. Suddenly, I was on the other side of the country with no friends, no familiar spaces or comfort zones, no support other than what my parents could offer me over the phone. I spent nearly two weeks going through the motions of life and falling into bed at night, completely disheartened by my paralyzing fear of change.

But after two weeks, I began opening up. I made new friends. I became familiar with Goucher’s campus. I formed a support group of faculty members and fellow students. I no longer felt empty, and I was proud of my accomplishment. I actually grew to like the change from my hometown.

It was then that I realized that change was not really the thing that scared me: I was afraid of the transition that must take place for change to occur. I picture it like coming to the end of the chapter in the book and then turning the page to start the next chapter—the end of one chapter might be sad, but there is hope when the new chapter begins. The scary part is the blank space in between the last line of one chapter and the first line of the next, where all the doubt and uncertainty waits to seize you. What if you turn the page and hate follows? What if it’s nothing like you anticipated or imagined it would be?

All change comes with this empty space between what has been and what will be. It is the transition period between starting a new job, the settling in when you move to a new house. It is the tenuous limbo between here and there, the uncertain helplessness between now and then.

The blank space in my journey abroad has not been easy. I arrived in England a day before my program started, which meant I had one night completely alone in a hotel room across the world from anything I knew. I was trapped in the white space between chapters, waiting for the page to turn.

I spent the first two days in London craving some sort of permanence in my life. I was living out of two suitcases in a hotel room, I had no friends, and I certainly didn’t feel anything familiar. Looking around London was difficult because it felt almost like New York City, but there was this strange foreignness—something I couldn’t even fully describe—that kept me from feeling at home. I was scared that the blank space would never end, that I would never turn the page, never start my next chapter.

But then I remembered something: when I went to Goucher, I was unhappy until I took the initiative to make friends and familiarize myself with Goucher’s campus and the surrounding area. So on my third night in London, I decided to forego staying in the cocoon of my hotel room watching House of Cards on Netflix and, instead, venture out with my orientation group at ten o’clock at night in Central London. As we walked through the city, we began a lively discussion about free will and morality, quoting reputable sources, excitedly interjecting our insights, and I began to feel comfortable again. My knowledge became my comfort zone, confirming that I have something valuable to share, and suddenly I felt connected to ten new friends. And just like that, the blank space finally ended.

Tilling it Like it Is: GIG+Harvest Fest=FIG

Todd Troester

Staff Writer

When fall comes to Goucher, students begin to realize how drafty their rooms are and wish they had packed warmer clothes. As the chill sets in, Ag Co-op starts the preparation for their annual Harvest Fest. Although this year, things will be a little different; one might even say more cooperative. For Harvest Fest this fall, Maddie Lasser ’16 decided to reach out to Maren Stunes ’17, President of Ag Co-op, to help organize the event. Instead of Harvest Fest, the event will now be known as Fall Into Goucher (FIG), the fall counterpart to Get Into Goucher (GIG).

Typically, the Ag Co-op plans Harvest Fest and most clubs are invited, but only a few actually respond. This year, with Lasser’s experience on Programming Board, the pair was able to bring a variety of clubs together to participate in FIG. Stunes remarks that FIG is “Maddie’s Brainchild.” Lasser explains that this event will have more people and clubs; it’s a “community building event.” The idea is to “build bridges but hold onto the tradition of Harvest Fest,” says Lasser.

Harvest Fest, now FIG, will be held October 25, a few days before the predicted first frost. Lasser and Stunes aren’t willing to give anything away until the weekend before the event, but Harvest Festivals are generally associated with harvesting the last summer crops, picking pumpkins, and celebrating the bounties of the season. Stunes talks about what Ag Co-op is doing for the event, “We hope to pull everything out!” Ag Co-op wants to “clean the slate for next semester,” proclaims Stunes.

When asked about the possible negatives of associating an event with GIG, an event commonly associated with day drinking and free food, Lasser explained that the clubs involved in the event “made a unanimous decision” not to set that precedent. Lasser continues by explaining, “GIG is funded by OSE and planned by students and staff.” FIG is “planned and funded completely by students and clubs,” says Lasser. The pair predicts that the student investment in this event will encourage people to enjoy the activities and not mark FIG as another GIG.

Green Announcement:
The Green Fund is now accepting grant applications. The submission period ends October 31st. If you have an idea for a project to improve Goucher’s environmental sustainability, formulate your idea, then download and fill out the application online.
For access to the application, search “Environmental Sustainability” on the Goucher website or go to http://www.goucher.edu/about/environmental-sustainability/apply-to-the-green-fund
For more information contact the GESAC Co-Chairs: Gina Shamshak and Therese Neal

Grading television: mini fall reviews

Siobhan Dempsey

Staff Writer

“Forever:” 10pm Tuesdays on ABC
“Forever,” starring Ioan Gruffudd, Judd Hirsch, and Alana de la Garza, is a show clearly designed to monopolize off the recent success of various Sherlock Holmes adaptations. Dr. Henry Morgan (Gruffudd) is an immortal, infallible, insufferable Sherlock Holmes copycat who works in the NYPD medical examiner’s office and lives with his friend Abe (Hirsch). The show begins when Dr. Morgan is killed in a subway crash, and comes back to life naked in the East River. He then spends the rest of the episode investigating the crash with Detective Jo Martinez (de la Garza) as a reluctant partner. This show is an obvious knockoff of Elementary, down to the character design and title card. Dr. Morgan’s immortality is boring and his dislike of it, a cliché. There are better ways to spend your time than watching a pseudo-unique copycat.
Rating: C-

“Gotham:” 8pm Mondays on Fox
““Gotham,” starring Ben McKenzie as Detective Jim Gordon, tells the story of the titular city before Bruce Wayne puts on the bat ears and gets in the batmobile. The first scene of the show depicts his parents Thomas and Martha Wayne getting shot right in front of the young Bruce. The show primarily follows the very deadpan Gordon and his corrupt partner Harvey Bullock as they try to solve the Wayne case and survive in the seedy city full of future members of the Rogues Gallery. “Gotham” thrives in its darkness and is definitely worth watching, especially for the performances of the lead actors .
Grade: A-

“How to Get Away With Murder:” 10pm Thursdays on ABC
Viola Davis leads the diverse ensemble cast of “How to Get Away With Murder,” which is about as awesome as its name would indicate. It follows two timelines: one where Annalise Keating’s (Davis) students are being inducted into her class and her law firm and one on the night when Keating’s husband was killed apparently by four of her best students. This show is well acted and well written. The most common complaint I have heard about this show is that it’s not realistic. Who cares about realism in television? Boring people, that’s who. Viola Davis acts her butt off and her ensemble cast most prominently including Alfie Enoch, Dean Thomas from the Harry Potter movies are all fantastic. Sit back and enjoy the show.
Grade: A

“Madam Secretary:” 8pm Sundays on CBS
“Madam Secretary,” starring Tea Leoni as the title character, is a procedural with potential. Elizabeth McCord (Leoni) is the recently sworn in secretary of state, who now has to deal with case-of-the-week international relations situations and a conspiracy involving the death of her predecessor. McCord’s character design is meant to evoke visions of Hillary Clinton, but the show heavily emphasizes that she is a “Washington outsider,” which never seems like a good qualification for someone who wants to get into American politics. To her credit, McCord never describes herself as one and she adeptly deals with the issues given to her in the pilot. On another note, the secondary cast is stacked with theater regulars, which can only lead to good things. The pilot could have been better, but I have faith that this show will grow into itself.
Grade: B

“Selfie:” 8:30pm Tuesdays on ABC
“Selfie,” the terribly titled new show starring John Cho and Karen Gillan, is an updated version of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion. Eliza Dooley (Gillan) is a showy, social-media obsessed sales representative who, after an unfortunate (extremely gross) experience with illness on a business trip, realizes that she needs to change her image so she can actually gain and maintain friendships. She asks marketer Henry (Cho) to help her, and although he vacillates between enthusiasm and hesitation for the idea, he accepts the task by the end of the episode. Gillan and Cho’s performances were fantastic. Although the show veered towards over-shaming Eliza at times, it at least began to show faults in Henry’s character as well as beginning to explain why Eliza is so focused on her appearance both on and offline. I think Selfie will do well if it continues in that vein.
Grade: B

Reel talk with Annie: “Blue is the Warmest Color”

Annie Schwartz

Staff Writer

Gossip hit the airwaves when the jury of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival awarded the prized Palme d’Or to director Abdellatif Kechiche and actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos for “Blue Is the Warmest Color.” Controversial for its ten-minute, un-choreographed sex scene and rumored mistreatment of crewmembers, this film had both feminists and small town conservatives in outrage. Prepared to watch this three-hour French romance, I saw something quite different than what many referred to as pornographic and exploitative.

“Blue Is the Warmest Color,” based on the graphic novel by Julie Maroh, is a story of self-discovery and cultural-exploration. Caught up in the drama of high school, Adèle, a teenager from the city of Lille, uncovers her sexuality, leading to an intense relationship with Emma, a trained painter at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Emma becomes the center of Adèle’s life, and Adèle, Emma’s muse.

As a fly on a wall, we watch the relationship unfold. Kechiche delves deep into the relationship. Close-ups on the body–raw lips, the intertwining of arms and legs, the intense clutching of one being onto another–seem like pornographic ideals of the male gaze, however, it is impossible to avoid feeling the romantic anguish that overcomes these two women.

The strong connection between the viewer and the character is unlike any other. In many ways, Adèle is an extension of our lives, in that we grow and suffer with her. Allowed to experiment under the loose confines of the narrative, Exarchopoulos’ profound acting becomes our reality. Consumed by her struggles with sexuality, social class, and independence, one forgets that Adèle is fictional. The heart breaks as we watch her face these tormenting decisions in solace.

This film is challenging, what makes it spectacular also hinders its potential of becoming a masterpiece. What I love about this film is that the audience is immersed into details of a love story that are usually left untouched by the filmmaker. While I appreciate Kechiche’s efforts to convey Adèle’s reality, he ultimately enters into another level of voyeurism, turning the relationship into a spectacle rather than a sincere understanding.

Though Kechiche’s cinematic choices are questionable, his impeccably developed characters and beautiful narrative did not fail to grasp my attention. Exarchopoulos and Seydoux embodied these women on a level unlike any other; their methodical take on portraying these complex beings blurring the line between performance and reality. While it will be forever tainted by the harsh critiques of the film’s exceedingly pornographic nature, “Blue Is the Warmest Color” will remain renowned for its unconventional take on a love story driven by the breakthrough performances of two extraordinary actresses.

No Seriously, Eat Breakfast

Dani Meir-Levi

Staff Writer

Well folks, mom was right: breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. In a recent study, the American Dietetic Association confirmed that those who eat breakfast perform better at work and are less likely to gain weight. Ernesto Pollitt, a professor at the UCSF School of Medcine, also concluded that, “omitting breakfast interferes with cognition and learning, as well as the mechanisms that mediate this relation.”

Likewise, skipping meals, especially breakfast, will make weight control more difficult. Those who skip breakfast tend to eat more food than usual at their next meal or munch on high-calorie snacks to stave off the hunger. If you are getting enough sleep, you have essentially been lacking food for 7-9 hours. You may not think you are hungry, but the cells in your body are starving!

I get it. Some of us would rather sleep in an extra 20 minutes, instead of going to Pearlstone to grab some Wheaties. However, the benefits of eating a good, hearty breakfast completely outweigh those twenty minutes of REM. If you skip breakfast, you may feel sluggish and lack concentration by mid-morning. Similarly, if your breakfast involves a sugary doughnut or chocolate croissant, your blood glucose levels “bottom out” by mid-morning, and you will feel extremely tired by the afternoon. The breakfast you eat should be built around protein, like scrambled eggs and whole grain toast.

If you are a breakfast-skipper or lack lean protein in your morning diet, try to change up your breakfast plan! You will absolutely see the difference. I used to only drink coffee in the mornings, and the caffeine did not keep my batteries fueled for the day. Now, I eat low fat soy yogurt with baked granola after my morning run, and I am always energized. Seriously people, eat your breakfast

Remembering the Holocaust: “Artifact Drawings” exhibit

Emily Coons

Staff Writer

Artifact Drawings,” created by local artist Nancy Pratz, is an art collection dedicated to Holocaust remembrance. The new exhibit at the college that contains more than 125 beautiful small ink and pen, watercolor, and pencil portraits of Holocaust artifacts, is officially open for the Goucher College community to view.

Apart from serving as a powerful tribute to the Holocaust, the exhibit is also being used as an alternative teaching method for several schools in the Greater Baltimore area. This includes public and private schools, both Jewish and secular. Over the past few months, many middle school children have come to the Siebert Center to have an out-of-the-classroom learning experience on the Holocaust. Upon arriving to the exhibit, the students watch a video narrative, which was put together by Professor Michael Curry. This video has several students explaining the story and significance behind each artifact from the point of view of the person to whom it could have belonged. After watching the video, the students are set off on an exciting scavenger hunt around the exhibit. The scavenger hunt is designed to gain a better personal understanding of the exhibit.

The exhibit is being coordinated by student Justine Ruhlin, a senior history major and German minor. Much of Justine’s time at Goucher has been heavily focused on history, especially on the Holocaust. Justine was one of the few students to take Oral Accounts of the Holocaust, a class that allowed students to interview Holocaust survivors in the area and share their stories as a narrative with the community. This is one of several classes at Goucher that have influenced Justine to become more involved with Holocaust education.
Since the class, Justine has shared her survivor’s story over 25 times in various schools over the country. This exhibit is not the only educational event that Justine is a part of this semester.

Along with “Artifact Drawings” Justine and other various members of the Goucher community will be coordinating another Holocaust awareness event. On November 12, there will be an evening event dedicated to remembering the “Night of Broken Glass,” otherwise known as “Kristallnacht.” Kristallnacht refers to the night where Nazi officers destroyed thousands of Jewish owned stores, homes, and synagogues all throughout
Germany. During this event, some students will be retelling the stories of the Holocaust survivors they worked with in Oral Accounts of the Holocaust, along with musical performances presented by the music department.

For those who are interested, the exhibit will be open until December 5th Siebert Center, located in the Goucher College Library.
For more information on the exhibit or on Nancy Pratz, please visit the library’s event page.

Goucher Eats: Pieces of perfection

Jessica Gude

Features Co-Editor

One of my favorite things about home is going to work. For the past four summers (and during the school year before I started college), I have worked in a small seafood restaurant, appropriately titled Off the Hook. It has been a really wonderful experience with a lot of great people and out of this world food. Seared Ahi tuna, buttermilk battered calamari, grilled swordfish, white cheddar grits, corn and jalapeno crab bisque, trust me it’s all good; fresh, local seafood at its best. But my favorite thing on the menu isn’t fish; it’s not even an entrée. No, it’s the chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake.

The cake first graced our presence in the winter of my senior year of high school. Walking back to the kitchen with my hands full of plates, I saw my manager and several of the servers gathered around the prep station. “That should be illegal” one of the servers said as I came back out. “What?” I asked as my eyes fell upon the huge caramel covered mass in front of me. “Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake” my manager told me, each word like a prayer. I grabbed a fork.

Words cannot truly describe this dessert. First of all, it’s cheesecake, so it’s rich and creamy but not overly sweet, with a perfect graham cracker crust. Second of all, there are mounds of cookie dough and chocolate chips hiding inside all of that creamy goodness. I’ve found that the perfect bites have all three components; my favorite spot is near the bottom of the crust, with a hunk of cookie dough and chocolate surrounded by creamy cheesecake and tucked into a cave of graham cracker.

And that’s the way I usually get to enjoy it: by the rushed forkful. We cut desserts piece by piece, which means that usually the last bit is too big for one piece but too small for two. We resolve the dilemma by cutting the cake unevenly- the big half destined to be dressed up and served to guests in the dining room, and the smaller half to be descended upon with soup spoons, cocktail forks, and whatever else is clean and can be considered a utensil. It wasn’t until I came home from college for a weekend and my parents and I went out to dinner that I had an entire piece, garnish and all. Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, but don’t think that means that I shared it. Oh no, I got over the emotional trauma quickly enough and enjoyed every bite.

Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake. A mouthful of a name, but it’s my favorite dessert to recite to diners, and the one I always save for last. It’s also my favorite thing to deliver to a table. Eyes go wide as they catch sight of the cake, topped with a cookie, drizzled with chocolate syrup and sitting on a plate adorned with chocolate and caramel swirls. I smile as I set down the forks and ask if I can bring them anything else. The answer is always no, trust me; there’s nothing your life is lacking when you have chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake. When I return to ask how it is, I don’t need to wait for an answer, it’s written on their faces and the empty plate. It’s my favorite thing to force on new employees.

Whenever one of those magical misfit pieces appears on the prep table, I hunt down the newbies and make sure the other vultures save them a bite. And that bite tastes perfect every time. Whether it’s eaten off of a plate or a cocktail fork, eaten while sitting down or while walking from dish room to dining room, whether it’s the first time you tasted it or the hundredth, that bite is heaven.

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