Posted in Culture

New Trend: Old School

By Kaitlin Gertz

The twenties had flapper dresses and swing music; the fifties conjure up poofs of poodle skirts and the start of rock and roll; the eighties bring shoulder pads and long-legged supermodels, and today, we have vague trends of skinny jeans and graphic tees — and countless throwbacks to any decade but our own. Everything has come from the past; from wearing a tie-dye t-shirt to quoting Queen and The Breakfast Club. Thrift shopping is becoming a norm, versus consumer chains or high-end shops. Many people are now shifting their attention to past decades for inspiration in fashion, music, and technology. While passionately lipsyncing to “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “going for a grunge look” is all cool and dandy, the question still remains as to why so many people have decided that going back in time is forward thinking.

img-thingWearing iconic looks from the past is nothing new. Today, you can go into any major clothing store and find a t-shirt with the emblem of some eighties rock band or a pin-up perfect dress. There are a multitude of YouTube tutorials on how to achieve that perfect grunge look, and over twelve million Instagram posts tagged as such. Last Halloween,, an online magazine marketed towards millennial women, posted an article on the top eighties themed Halloween costumes, ranging from Michael Jackson to Pretty In Pink characters. But why replace current trends, like unisex clothing or punk, with something that’s been done before? Some say nostalgia, because we want to bring back values or norms of a certain time period. Others say aestheticism — maybe we’ve started wearing more and more flannel simply because we look better in it.

However, not all flannels were created equal. While mass-produced checks and stripes will add to your nineties vibe, actual flannel from the nineties gives your look more credibility. Thrifting has become a much more popular activity over the recent years, from Salvation Army to higher-end secondhand stores such as Plato’s Closet. As Regina George once said: “Vintage — so adorable.” It’s one thing to buy reproductions; going secondhand is proof the past was real and that you’re wearing it makes your take on the trend more authentic. And going to your local Goodwill is a great way to find old clothes that fit your old-school aesthetic, and double the points if you find some records while you’re there. No matter what style you’re trying to match, buying secondhand has earned certain bragging rights (because no one can believe you got a Jackie O dress for that cheap).

Jackie O isn’t the only sixties thing you’ll find gaining while wandering a secondhand store. There’s most likely some Simon and Garfunkel albums laying about, and they now share shelf-space with many mainstream artists who have started releasing albums on iTunes and vinyl. As with clothes, they’re available in just about every place you look; from chain stores like Barnes and Noble to online. While we’ve all listened to music from past decades without it ever being a trend (it is, after all, just good music), it’s the way people are listening to it that has taken a step back. Whether or not records are better than CDs or digital tracks is a question still contended; but either way, they’re now cheaper and much more accessible.

Polaroid-180-Review-Sample-1.jpgAs is with technology. It’s one of those things that usually moves forward instead of back. We’ve gone from hand-written letters to email to texting in thirty years. Every cell phone is now equipped with a camera, which was once a device only for those who had both money and time. But Polaroid cameras, staples of the seventies and eighties, are now coming back into the buzz. They’re cute, small, and can be purchased at affordable and accessible stores like Target, Best Buy, and Amazon. Over two million posts on Instagram have been tagged as polaroids (as it seems more than two mPolaroid-SocialMatic-Camera-image-002illion people are fans of taking pictures of pictures). It’s the choice between now and then that people can make these days, and it’s that choice that highlights just how far technolo
gy has come within a relatively short amount of time. You can snap pics on your iPhone, or wait for your photos to develop. Either way produces the same result — a picture — you pick the decade.

While we move forward, we also move back. Things such as medical and engineering breakthroughs are always needed whereas improvements to clothing and technology like cameras or music-players aren’t. As J.K. Rowling wrote, “Progress for progress’ sake must be discouraged.” Whether indulging your nostalgia or staying on trend, having an older aesthetic is a movement that will only continue to grow as time passes.

Kaitlin Gertz is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram.

Posted in 2015-2016, Culture

Getting Help and Getting Better

by Alanna Anderson

Depression, ADHD, failing a class, a mood disorder, an aspect of your life that is affecting your self esteem. What do these all have in common? Well, they’re all things that you can get help for. The ways that you receive help for these could vary, but there are options available to help you deal with them more productively. A lot of people will avoid help because they think that it makes them strong, or they have to deal with it on their own, or they’re afraid of becoming reliant on the method that is making them better. On the contrary, getting help does not mean you’re weak; getting help is what will help you face these problems more effectively.  

One of the first ways to encourage yourself to get help is knowing that you really are not alone. A lot of the time when people say this it comes off as patronizing and it can easily be taken the wrong way, but listen to this:  “As many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents have clinical depression.”(1) Pair that with the fact that “in 2015 the amount of students that were estimated to be entering into the 9th grade in a public high school was 4.1 billion.” I took the liberty of doing the math for you instead of leaving you to do it by yourself. There are around 512,500,000 adolescents in America that have depression. These 512,500,000 individuals could be going through a version of what you are going through and unless they tell you, you may not even know. So when I say that you aren’t alone, I mean that there are other people who are experiencing something similar to what you are. That doesn’t discredit your emotions or make them irrelevant, it just means that there are people out there who can relate to your struggles in some sense and can honestly say that they have been through hard and draining times too.

“Don’t let society hold you back from believing in yourself and having the confidence to seek out what makes you happy and healthy.”

A second way that I hope that I can encourage you is letting you know that you shouldn’t allow someone to discredit your feelings when you have a serious issue. What you consider a serious concern for yourself doesn’t just have to be something that a doctor can diagnose, a serious concern could also be in reference to things like your confidence and body-image. You may look down on yourself for a feature that you feel very negatively about. Maybe it’s something that you were born with (like hair color, skin color, biological gender, your nose, face shape, etc.), or maybe it’s something that you developed overtime or noticed as you got older (like acne, difficulty with school, social awkwardness, a bad habit, etc.) There is definitely help for these things, but pinpointing and acknowledging the issue is hard because it can feel like you’re admitting to having a weakness. But acknowledging a quality of yourself that you dislike can help you get on the path of seeking out a solution to it in a healthy manner, and in a manner that keeps your respect for yourself prevalent.

Society puts a lot of pressure on people to be skinny, hold certain beauty standards, get the highest test scores, abide by ‘gender roles,’ and to be a superhuman in a world filled with people who are obviously not that. These expectations are draining and damaging to people whether they are trying to fit inside of that mold or not. What doesn’t help the situation of overwhelming expectations is the bad habit that a lot of people have with comparing themselves to others.

You look over at someone’s paper and see that they have a higher score even though they are bragging about not putting effort into it. You study your butt off for a test and the slacker in class still seems to know everything by looking at it once. Or maybe you’re on the other side of this situation. You have to lie about how much effort you put into a paper just so your classmates don’t know how much frustration it put you through. You pretend to be the slacker in the class when in reality you sneak in study sessions whenever you can.


These expectations can be toxic and detrimental to overall health and they stop people from getting treatment because they believe that the majority of society will look down on them. “About six million people are affected by late life depression, but only 10% ever receive treatment.”(3) “Over 80% of the people that have symptoms of clinical depression are not receiving any specific treatment for their depression.”(4) Not only that, but “the number of patients diagnosed with depression increases by approximately 20% each year.”(5) Hopefully by seeing these statistics and data you will know that there are others out there who are also wary of seeking help. Even without our common knowledge there are so many of us who need to know that we’re not alone.

The issue can start small, like eating a little less each day, until you are more concerned with the idea of holding off on eating than the idea of being healthy. I’m not suggesting that one random missed meal is a sign of an eating disorder, but there are very relevant signs to pay attention to that could mean that something is wrong. Even if you aren’t able to get in contact with a doctor soon, contacting a professional is still preferable over self-diagnosing. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a doctor right away it’s still a good idea to have someone that you can express your feelings to in the meantime. If it’s not a family member or a friend, there are support groups that meet up physically and online. For people who need a safe place, these can be havens. Just keep in mind that doctors are here to help and that they can provide you with things, like medication and therapy, that those support groups will not be able to.

You must also keep in mind that while friends and family can be great sources of comfort, they will not be able to help you the way that a professional will be able to. While support is good, certain issues require professional care. A good idea for meeting with a doctor is to have some sort of plan in your head of what you’re going to tell them about your symptoms so that you are prepared to explain your situation in a more clear and organized way. Being prepared takes a lot of stress out of the situation and can make the healing process easier for you.

The point of seeking heimageslp is for you to attempt to take back some of your peace and happiness.  Treatment is not an overnight answer, but “up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning medication, psychotherapy, attending support groups or a combination of these treatments.”(6)

Even if the issue in your life isn’t depression, there are still ways that you can improve your situation. If you’re worried about a grade in a class you’re currently taking, you don’t need to worry about looking dumb by seeking help for that class because by doing so you are improving yourself.  If you think that you have a problem regarding weight, be willing to fix it healthily and don’t worry about how others will react. Don’t let stereotypes about your geographical locati
on, subculture, race, or your personal insecurities hold you back, be willing to improve yourself so that you can feel a sense of personal achievement in knowing that you helped yourself.

A lot of the issues in our life can seem like they’re never going to go away, that you’re helpless against them, and that there is no solution, but you would be surprised at what is available to you to aid in your process of healing. Don’t let society hold you back from believing in yourself and having the confidence to seek out what makes you happy and healthy. Remember, when it comes down to it, you are the one who is going to have to wake up every morning as yourself, not classmates, not people on the internet, or any other members of society. You are the person who can help yourself the most. Stay healthy, stay confident, stay woke. Adios.

Thank you to DBSA for helping people with disorders and for being a reliable resource for spreading awareness to those who are less knowledgeable about these disorders!

Sources (by order of appearance)
1(Center for Mental Health Services, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1996)
2(National Center for Education Statistics)
3(Brown University Long Term Care Quarterly, 1997)
6(National Institute of Health, 1998)

Alanna Anderson in a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram


Posted in 2015-2016, Culture

How to Make a Goth Fall in Love (In Just Seven Dismal Steps!)

A response to How to Make a Hipster Fall in Love (Ironically)

By Amelia Lowry

There’s two days ‘til Valentine’s Day, and many people still find themselves alone. After all, it takes time to find someone who you would like to spend all your time with. Goths have it even worse — a dying breed (inside and out), they find it hard to find the right person whose soul is theirs for the taking. Goths tend to have considerable trouble pulling someone icy enough for their liking, because not only do they need a person to spend all of their waking moments with, but someone to share all of their dead moments, as well.

That being said, if you’re a lonely goth looking for some quick love, keep reading for our list of seven ways to find love for this Valentine’s holiday!


Step 1: Look your best.

This piece of advice is older than time itself. You’ve got to look neat to get the meat! If you walk around looking perky, well-presented, clean, and pleasant, you’ll never get a date. So, stay awake for days at a time to get those succulent, puffy bags under your eyes, and don’t forget to rub charcoal eyeliner all around for that I-didn’t-wake-up-like-this-because-I-never-went-to-bed look.


Step 2: Smell your best.

Do you think the Bride of Frankenstein got her man by smelling like roses? I don’t think so! If you ghouls really just wanna have fun, you have to start by smelling the part. For that delightful, unshakeable scent of death, our style specialists at Forever Seventeen Magazine suggests that you dab the fresh blood of a parakeet behind your ears. If it’s overwhelming sadness that you wish to emit, bathe in the salty tears of a new widow. (Extra points if you widow her yourself!)


Step 3: Are you goth enough?

The last thing you want to do is be mistaken for an emo by a potential mate! Because, let’s face it — emos and goths are very different. Emos wear color sometimes.

It is essential when entering a relationship that you know who you are, and it’s even more important to know who you’re representing. Who cares if you’ve only ever read the Harry Potter series? Your favorite author is Poe. It doesn’t matter if you listen to some goofy hipster band when no one else can hear you. What matters is that you say your favorite band is Evanescence. Got it? Good.


Step 4: Find your one and lonely!

How are you going to find that unspecial someone unless you go out and just get ‘er done? Try walking down the street, and instead of creeping along the wall like you normally do, step boldly, and glare at everyone you see. Your ultimate goal is to find a timeless lover, so it is vital that you scare away the weak-hearted. Glare, stomp, hiss, bark — whatever you feel encapsulates you as a person.


Step 5: Give them your number!

Surely, you’ve attracted some attention from hissing and barking at passers-by. Now all that’s left is to seek out your life/after-life partner! At this point in the game, it is perfectly acceptable to groan at them in all six of your inside voices! If they are truly meant to be with you, they will understand. Should they pass all of these tests, the next step is to give them your number. Although, if they are still alive, we suggest that you ask their permission before etching your number onto them for eternity. The living ones tend not to like that.


Step 6: Take them on a date.

Chances are that you probably have a couple Marylin Manson concert tickets lying around. This could make for a fun date! You two could “accidentally” knock heads while headbanging, or have a deep discussion on the different shades of black. If you already used your Manson tickets, and if you’re in the mood for a particularly steamy evening, light a couple candles and break out the records — you can play them backwards together and hear your true calling.

A trip to the cemetery is always a gloomy, tomby adventure– perfect for you and your new girlfriend/victim/boyfriend. Picnics, rituals, grave-digging, making your funeral plans; there is so much to do and so little time!


Step 7: Take them to meet your family.

You’ve finally found the person or creature that you intend on spending infinity with, and more importantly, Valentine’s Day. As per custom, it is essential that this creature meet the people that raised you. Your mummy might unravel slightly at the sight of her little monster growing up, but that’s to be expected. When taking your lover on a tour of the house, your parents might tell you to keep your coffin door open, but they just like to embarrass you because they love you with such intensity that it feels like they loathe you.

At Forever Seventeen Magazine, we guarantee that there’s someone or something out there just for you. There’s no reason to be lonely this Valentine’s Day. Follow these seven, simple steps and we promise that you’ll have someone to love in no time!

Amelia Lowry is a sophomore at Barbara Ingram

Posted in 2015-2016, Culture

How to Make a Hipster Fall in Love (Ironically)

By Kaitlin Gertz

As we enter the month of February, Valentine’s Day approaches. Every store seems to have ushered in an aisle of anything red and pink and dipped in chocolate. There are commercials on every TV that sell rose bouquets, lacy lingerie, and the feeling that you’re inadequate if you’re not in a relationship. Children exchange cheap pharmacy-store valentines with cheesy sayings. Nobody seems concerned with the fact that Cupid is a businessman, taking money instead of giving love. However, if you’re above the capitalistic-consumerism holiday, there are still some things you can do with your Instagram-met honey.

You and your date can start by ditching a box of chocolates for a seven dollar cup of coffee in that little cafe you’ve been
dying to try out ever since nobody started talking about it. Of course, it’s organic and vegan, but feel free to wear a t shirt that says “Cannibal” ironically. You can assure your date that you didn’t even get it at Urban Outfitters — Goodwill is so much more “authentic.” And when Mac Demarco starts playing, talk about some of his earlier work. Your date will be very impressed.


Or maybe you’re more of a nature person. Going hiking is a great idea: it’s free, you can show off your organic granola-making skills, and show off a flannel out of your extensive collection. Bring along an extra just in case your date gets chilly. Make sure to take a lot of pictures to post on Instagram, too. Better yet, bring a Polaroid and then upload the pictures to Instagram for added effect. Talk about your plans to grow a GMO-free garden, if only your place in Greenwich Village had a backyard. Want some brownie points? Point at flowers and compare them to your date. Or even compare your date to a Sylvia Plath poem.

If you’re into poetry, that local organic coffee shop probably has a poetry slam going on some night. Dazzle your darling with your poetic skills. Compare them to a flower again (but this time, as a simile). With every couplet, they’ll be even more into the idea of you two as a couple. You can even quote John Green — but, of course, only ironically.

Maybe poetry’s not exactly your thing. Of course, you can still show your date a great time in an artistic setting. Buy some tickets to the latest (or earliest) indie band, or maybe even a music festival. Amidst the seas of people bearing sailor and pin-up girl tattoos, look for the merch table and get your honey a record. Whether it will be used as a wall decoration or listened to while discussing the legalization of marijuana, it will always be a reminder of the fun date you had together.

b0cb15df6571971afda63fe309342c92Perhaps the easiest date is one that requires little money and no preparation: a trip to your local Goodwill to try on all the vintage and authentic clothes you can find. Wear those dad jeans with pride. Try and match a turtleneck with your cat-eye glasses. Most importantly, tell your date how cute they look in everything (because they really do). Watch them enjoy themselves as they spend one of the best dates they’ve ever had with you.

After all, you don’t need a big corporate chocolate brand to sponsor your meal, or a generic poem written by someone at Hallmark. You don’t need to buy them expensive lingerie or even an expensive gift. The only thing needed is to tell them about the two different types of love: the one you have for t-shirts labelled “This is a t-shirt” (ironic) and the one you have for them (sincere).

Kaity Gertz is a sophomore at Barbara Ingram.

Posted in 2015-2016, Culture, Entertainment

Why You Should Like Marvel Universe LIVE!


By Alanna Anderson

The idea of seeing a show up close and personal has been around for centuries, but modern technology has given it a new edge. Some of those cool things are the introduction of voice overs during the show, improved lighting, video backgrounds, and safe ways of suspending performers from the ceiling. Recently I attended a show with all of these features that goes by the name of…(*drumroll*)…Marvel Universe LIVE!

Marvel Universe LIVE! contains “25+ characters” and “1 epic quest.” As expressed in the title, the show is a live performance and fully takes advantage of a lot of the performance technology that has recently become available. The show is meant for a family audience so the jokes are PG rated, but they still contain small references that can only be caught by older viewers. Even without being a genuine fan of the Marvel universe, someone can still enjoy the performance and even some of the various puns. But that’s part of the reason why this article is being written: so that I can inform you of the pros and cons to see if this show is right for you.


Pros and Cons

Pro: The Decorations in the Lobby

This technically isn’t part of the show, but it was still appealing. Even though I wasn’t transported into a “whole new world,” I still enjoyed the efforts that were made to incorporate the Hulk into a hat for employees to wear. So while the Spiderman webs hanging from the toy carts and the Marvel posters pasted everywhere were cool, maybe it was the suffering-glint in the employee’s eyes as they tried to sound enthusiastic with Thor on their head that really got me going.

Con: A Lot of the Attendees (Especially the Screaming Kids)

I understand that a show like this would draw in little kids, including my brother, but you can only get pushed by so many little Ironman’s before you start to lose your patience. Ironically, the only place that wasn’t crowded was the woman’s bathroom. While walking to the security guards to have them check my ticket, Soccer Mom #1 with the Unneat Bun bumped me with her purse. While walking up a set of stairs to get to the floor that had my seat, little Ironman, Hulk, Spiderman, Thor, Black Widow, and probably the whole Marvel Universe knocked into me. There were polite people that tried to stay out of my
way, but for the most part we were all so crowded together that it seemed like we were trying to imitate the codependency of Dean and Sam Winchester from
Supernatural. One of the worst parts had to be when I was standing in front of the toy cart to wait for my brother to pick something and Soccer Mom #2 with the Messy Bun and Mismatched Outfit, reached her arm so close in front of my face to point at something that I could see the mustard stain on her lavender cardigan, and smell the unpleasant scent of baby wipes mixed with olive oil. I still haven’t let that go, Soccer Mom #2.


Pro: The Snow Cone Cups

I was even further immersed in the show when I had the experience of slurping syrup out of Spider-Man’s head. I had finally caved in to the yelling and coaxing of the walking employees and decided to purchase a snow cone during an intermission. While the snow
cone itself wasn’t that good, it’s cool to have a Spider-Man head as a souvenir. I do have to wonder how many people have spent their money on this though since it 1. wasn’t very filling, and 2. was one of those purchases that while it doesn’t really mean much, it seems to make me think back and wonder if the money spent in the heat of the moment was worth it.

Con: The Cost

This is something that varies depending upon your own personal experience, but the cost of my family going was more expensive than some people would like to spend. The cost of four front row seats was about $360 — which is $90 each. I’ve listed this as a con because while my family was fine with this, it could be a deal breaker for other people. Front row seats gave us what we thought was the best experience, but it could still be fun for anyone anywhere that they may be seated. The problem with being in a different seat is that you may not be able to see all of the performance details and actors’ facial expressions, the person in front of you may be too tall to see over, and these problems are even more apparent when you’re faced with the fog that blows out fairly often due to performance enhancement. I personally loved my seat, but as always when you’re making a purchase, you have to figure out how much you’re willing to sacrifice for the sake of entertainment.

Theater-Marvel Universe Live

Pro: The Show Itself

Despite the cons that I’ve listed, I would definitely go to the show again and my family has agreed with me. It did at times feel as if the intermissions in the beginning were dragging on, but the show was a very enjoyable two hours. It’s background info was presented like a story by using video and voice over to make it seem like current news channels were speaking about a catastrophe happening in our world. The characters in the show had a 70’s-action-movie-flair and entered by flipping and jumping and climbing over ramps. Their actions were very exaggerated, but that added to the appeal of seeing a performance. Not only was there an actual plot to the show, but the large amount of action enhanced it instead of seeming to be random additions. The performers hung from the ceiling, rode around, did tricks on motorbikes, fought each other, and told amusing/horrible puns and fighting lines.

Like with the performers it’s obvious that the crew cared a lot about the production. The costumes seemed straight out of an action movie, the fighting choreography and stuntswere really entertaining, and the special effects helped the show. It was just really awesome to see and to know that there are people who care about the production of a show being amazing. It’s pretty rare that I have no issues with a show, but with this one I couldn’t really find any faults. There were no mistakes (that I know of), the story was organized and not just random fighting scenes with no connection to the plot of the show, all of the audience seemed to be completely entertained, and afterwards I kept replaying parts in my head that stuck with me. Not only do I give this show an 8/10, but I also recommend it to anyone who is into family-rated live action shows — and wants a Spider-Man head you can drink out of.

Live shows definitely aren’t for everyone, but they continue to be an element of our society that is still revered by many. Maybe it’s the sparkling lights, dazzling acting, and special effects — maybe it’s even the parts of the show that we personally think suck. Seeing a show live gives the audience a feeling of being connected and involved with the show. To many, the talent that it takes to not (noticeably) mess up and to nail a performance every time without the use of editing makes live shows more impressive than recorded shows. Either way, there most likely won’t be an end to live shows anytime soon. We seem to need this connection to the past that improves as time goes on. As long as people are still willing to use art to express culture and thoughts, and are willing to choose spending their money on shows over other things, the live show experience that we have today will not only continue, but also continue to get better.

Alanna Anderson is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram

Posted in 2015-2016, Culture

This Mad Fad Called Plaid: Why We Channel the Flannel

By Amelia Lowry 

Flannels, plaids, tartans– whatever you wanna call them, they’re everywhere and everyone wears them. Confused dads with fanny-packs and vests wear flannels; hipsters pair their plaid with vans and whiny voices claiming that they listened to Bon Iver before anyone else did. Greasy-haired, Kurt-Cobain loving people wear flannels over band t-shirts. Kylie Jenner wears her plaid tied around her waist and people who want to be like Kylie Jenner wear their plaid the same way for $300 less.


There is not one group of people that tartan is not advertised to. L.L Bean, the nerdy parent store, sells plaid shirts by the thousands. Forever 21 and H&M sell it to the youngins. Even obnoxiously expensive companies like Burberry and Chanel sell plaid to its obnoxiously rich customers.

The question that is banging its head against the wall, wanting so desperately to be asked, is why? What is it about flannel and plaid that everyone loves? Why is everyone going loony over this specific geometric pattern?

The answer may never be learned, but we can still investigate why the world is doused in plaid (and we will).

There are several clumps of people who started this flannel-fever, and it actually wasn’t the hipsters that did it first. Scotland in particular can be accredited for tartan. Way back when, before the mid-1800’s, tartans were crafted by local weavers and could be used to identify towns and general regions of people. This is partially because the dyes would have to be local, and partially because tastes and styles would differ from town to town. Though it is definitely rude in 2015, sometimes we can see people and identify where they are from based off of their style– for instance, if someone is wearing an organically-dyed maxi skirt and Birkenstocks, they are probably from Shepherdstown. When people wear denim shirts on top of blue jeans, they are trying to tell you that they are from Canada and the people who wear leather hats are almost always from your local Harley Davidson store.


After the 1850’s, there were more machines and available materials, such as dyes and fabrics. It was much easier for weavers to make family-specific tartans, and so many families had patterns unique to their family. If someone from nineteenth century Scotland were to time-travel to today’s time, they might start giving everyone hugs. For all they know, you’re their brother from another mother.

Another group of people who are strongly associated with plaid are the lumberjacks. Go ahead, search ‘lumberjack’ in your Google search bar. Every image is of a ripped hipster, complete with a pair of suspenders and a beanie and a beard and, most vital to the success of this paragraph, they are all wearing flannels! Part of the reason that the lumberjacks loved their flannels (and probably why so many people have become attached to their plaid shirts) is because of the comfiness factor. Lumberjacks would often live a migrational life, traveling from place to place and chopping down trees where they could find them. This meant that they had a rough time finding someone to love on them in the colder months. For this reason and this reason only– the lack of a lover’s warmth– lumberjacks would want to stay warm, and would use this blend of geometrically-woven cotton to do so. Maybe this is why everyone is wearing flannel all of a sudden– because they are single and therefore rendered perpetually cold.

A lot of people believe that those with symmetrical faces are more beautiful than people with regular faces, and this has been tested with science. According to a study by Anthony C. Little, Benedict C. Jones, and Lisa M. DeBruine on facial attractiveness, humans tend to lean towards people who have symmetry in their face due to Evolutionary Advantage. In essence, this means that we find will typically find someone who has eyes that are evenly lined up more delightful to look at compared to someone with eyeballs all over their face in uneven proportion because subconsciously, we see that person as a potential mate and we want our potential children to be perfect. At this point, you may be wondering what this has to do with plaid. I’m not so sure anymore. But, I think that one reason plaid might be coming back in such a big way is because it tends to be symmetrical. We like plaid because it is a good potential mate.

Whether people are wearing plaid to look like another Kardashian or because they liked it before it was cool, plaid is here to stay. The Scottish started it, the lumberjacks perpetuated it, and Beyoncé probably wore it better.  If you are a lover of plaid, you’re in luck! Plaid is here to stay, unless we make something else popular– something weirder than lumberjack-chic. Maybe plumber-chic? We can all have plumber’s cracks. It’s a real cute idea.

Amelia Lowry is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram

Posted in 2015-2016, Culture

Happy Harvest Festival

By Alanna Anderson

When you think of Thanksgiving, you may smell the teasing aroma of cinnamon from pumpkin pie, and see steam from a hot casserole. Or, maybe, you’re at a restaurant watching the waiters and waitresses scramble around to make it feel like home for their own feast. Wherever you are, and whoever you’re with, you’re doing something on Thanksgiving. We all have our own specific way of celebrating this holiday, but what was it like before our time? When the Native Americans and pilgrims sat together in 1621, did they suck cranberry sauce off of their fingers and watch a game? While they actually did neither of these, they did have a celebration notable enough that it carries on today.

“Remember to be grateful for the little things.”

First and foremost, some background information. Thanksgiving is often thought to have been made official by the pilgrims, but in reality the holiday wasn’t even popular or celebrated by all states for a while. Even when it wasn’t popular, there were other states (such as Texas) that claim to have people that celebrated it before the pilgrims.  It wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday. The decision to do so wasn’t instantaneous and it took the support of citizens, housewives especially. Writers such as Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, various cookbooks, and the editor of a magazine called Godley’s Lady’s Book, also helped the holiday be recognized. Something to take note of is the fact that Thanksgiving was about celebrating the harvest and reflecting on the struggles that were overcome. Another important fact to remember is that the pilgrims didn’t call the holiday “Thanksgiving,” it was just a “harvest festival.”

Now, it’s time for a little imagining. Close your eyes and imagine the perfect Thanksgiving. Does the delicious blend of food and companionship lift your mood? Can you see the golden skin of a stuffed turkey roasted to perfection in the center of a cloth-covered table? The same cloth-covered table that holds sweet potatoes next to cranberry sauce, and creamy gravy across from smooth pumpkin pie with golden, flaky crust. This isn’t what the Native Americans and Pilgrims saw. In fact, turkey wasn’t even that important to them. We know from Plymouth Colony governor William Bradford that they ate wild turkey, but they believed that waterfowl was the one who deserved the most love. Meat from waterfowl (which include duck, geese, swan, and eagle) was the most desired meat at the feast, and on the side was venison (deer), pigeon, eels, and shellfish. Other than these “delectable dishes,” porridge, peas, walnuts, plums, onions, carrots, and Indian corn also had a spot on the menu. What they didn’t have was pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce because they lacked the supplies for it. Men would go hunting together for “bro-time” and when they came back the women would tirelessly prepare the food. Aspects of this carry on today, except it is more common for a man to go “hunting” at a supermarket than outdoors, and men’s presence in the kitchen has notably increased.

After reading that, you may wonder how exactly the modern Thanksgiving came to be. Other than the fact that people love to eat and want an opportunity to eat more, an important reason was social impact and the introduction of modern traditions into an old, slightly unknown holiday. Many cookbook writers incorporated more elaborate recipes in their books that encouraged housewives (which, the majority of wives were at the time) to feel that Thanksgiving was cool, and fun, and something that any respectable family should be involved with. And really, who didn’t want to prove that they were a respectable family in the 1800s? America began to realize that they were missing out on food, and tradition, and impressing people.

There’s also the fact that modern America has the resources to trade and export that were not available back then, making it nearly impossible for the partakers of the Plymouth Thanksgiving to have things such as sweet potatoes.


This varies from the typical image that we have of Thanksgiving today:  the indoor celebration with the exaggerated turkey decorations hanging all over the place, and the odd candle names being advertised on TV and home magazines. There’s also the obvious difference that the Native Americans and pilgrims weren’t able to cram themselves into a living room to watch football together. There was no celebrating or groaning at a touchdown that was made, or name calling at a player who just wasn’t playing the way they should’ve been, or playing just a bit too well.

In actuality they had their feast outdoors. Just imagine trying to fit everyone into those houses of theirs! Instead of watching TV, they made do with what they had by playing games like “stool ball,”which is basically just volleyball. There was also the typical running games which, to put it simply, entailed running. “Catch” was a common game as well as shooting marbles through a “knicker box” and playing the “Pin Game.” Compared to other things about the feast, what they did for entertainment isn’t widely known. Apparently, they collectively decided that telling the future about food was important though.

Whatever it is that you get up to on Thanksgiving — whether it’s causing mischief with family, acquaintances, friends, or by yourself — remember to be grateful for the little things. Life definitely has its struggles but there are small things to be happy about too. Take indoor plumbing for an example, something that we take for granted but has unfortunately been scarce in earlier eras. Take this time to reflect on the things around you that fill you with joy — even if the amount is small. Despite the fact that we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving the way that we did before we still have at least one thing in common, and that’s that the holiday is a time to be joyful, and thankful, and loving.

Alanna Anderson is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram. 

Posted in Culture

One Emo’s Call for a More Pronounced Thanksgiving Season

By Amelia Lowry 

It’s not about liking the holiday as much as it is about hating Christmas.

“Dad, I’m hungry,” you whine from the passenger seat of his station wagon.

“Hi, Hungry, I’m Dad,” he says, and then chuckles.

You aren’t quite sure how to respond to your dad, so you angstily turn on the radio. You hope for some My Chemical Romance or some other emo screamo band.

Have a holly jolly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year…

“Wait, this isn’t Fall Out Boy,” you say tearfully under your breath. “It’s so hard being a teenager.”

“Hi, Christmas music, I’m Dad,” your dad says cheerfully.

Suddenly, it hits you that Christmas music is playing. It feels like just yesterday you had locked yourself in your room and repeatedly watched The Corpse Bride and celebrated the witching hour. This, more than anything, brings tears to your eyes. You hate Christmas, you hate being forced out of your room for extended periods of time. The idea of being bought colorful clothes by your un-edgy relatives makes your heart beat all “lickety split” as your dad would say. You hate when your heart beats, almost more than you hate Christmas.

“Where did Thanksgiving go? It’s not Christmas yet,” you say.

  “Why’d the turkey cross the road?” your dad asks. After a dangling five minutes of silence, he gives you the answer. “To make way for Christmas.”

He chuckles as you let a tear escape from one of your penciled-in raccoon eyes.

“I gotta get out of here!” Honestly, you just wish it was Halloween forever.

“We gotta get out while we’re young, ‘cause tramps like us,” your dad sings in a constipated voice, the one he uses to impersonate Springsteen. “Baby, we were born to ruuun!”

This doesn’t cheer you up — nothing does. You’re dead inside 364 days of the year. Halloween is the only exception, the only day that can ease your unending pain.

But Halloween is gone. And Thanksgiving is, too — you haven’t heard a peep about it since October 31st. Knowing that you’re hungry (and that he’s Dad), your dad drives you to the mall complex and you get a bite to eat. Afterwards, you take a stroll inside the mall.

You would have flown to your favorite store, if you weren’t so anchored by your soul of lead. So instead you just walk to the only place where you feel understood: Hot Topic. You are able to escape the Christmas spirit for five minutes as you browse amongst your own kind.

Unfortunately, nothing is forever, especially happiness. Soon enough, an emo cover of a classic holiday song begins to play and all the other people in the store begin to headbang. This is not your place anymore. You have to go.

You walk into JCPenny’s, knowing you’ll find your dad somewhere in between the bow-tie and sock section. You are immediately overwhelmed with red and green. To your left and to your right, Christmas sweaters are advertised on plastic women. Underneath pine tree green fedoras, plastic men wear t-shirts brandishing Santa Claus’s face and his nine reindeer. There are red boxes with red ribbons piled high, a sea of last-thought presents — but there are no turkeys. There aren’t any gravy-colored accessories, there are no pictures of sweet potato casseroles on the fronts of t-shirts and sweaters.

“Hey there, sugar plum!” your dad calls suddenly. You turn and see him coming towards you with antlers on his head, and he’s jingling.

“Dad, oh my God. What are you wearing?” you ask

“But wait! There’s more!” he replies. He presses a button in his pocket and
his green tie is alight with miniature-colored LED bulbs. “Like it?”

You begin to cry. This is the worst day of your life, nobody understands you. You just wish there was some way to postpone Christmas and have a little bit more autumn.

The thought comes to you fast like one of your nihilist poems at 3 a.m.

Thanksgiving! Why is everyone erasing Thanksgiving?

You are surprised that you are advocating for Thanksgiving, as usually you have nothing to be thankful for. But this year, you are changed. You would be so thankful if the happy holiday season would go away, if you could go another month without giving, without the singing. You wonder why winter even has to exist — you hate having to compete about whose heart is more frozen (obviously, it’s yours).

You wish everyone would stop pretending like there aren’t two months between Halloween and the 25th of December. You wish the world would slow down and forget about winter, that Santa Claus would eat one too many cookies and burst. You wish everyone could feel the pain that you feel when you see an Advent Calendar, or anything at all.

Amelia Lowry is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram. 

Posted in Culture, October 2015


By Alanna Anderson and Amelia Lowry

Fall is in the air and in our lattes, and there’s no denying that distinct autumn scent that blows in the wind.  The people at Yankee Candle know this best, and will collect thousands of dollars this season alone with scents like, “November Rain”, and “Autumn in the Park”.

Something smells fishy here, and it isn’t just a candle.

For those of us who have had or are evil siblings, we know the old catch-a-smell-in-the-jar trick, and we can’t be fooled twice. There is no way that they could capture the autumn air in a jar and mix it into wax, right? These sneaky labels must be taking familiar scents associated with fall and claiming them to be something they aren’t — and it happens right under our noses. That is, of course, unless Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candle are actually powered by super-human, malicious siblings who have mastered the art of trapping the smelly air inside a container, but our sources beg to differ.

There are many scents that our noses automatically categorize under a common fall-theme. Pumpkins, for instance, are almost always seen as a fun October activity — whole days are devoted to going to the pumpkin patch and picking out the best pumpkin in all of the land. After we snatch them from their comfortable homes in the dirt, we make them into pumpkin pies, roast their pumpkin seeds, slice and butcher them into Jack-o-Lanterns, and even squash up their innards for use in a pumpkin-spice latte. Cinnamon and apples have frequented their visits in seasonal scents as well. Finally, there’s nothing that screams fall more than a nice, smoky bonfire — but this can be achieved with a fairly small amount of effort considering the candle itself is on fire.

And, as it is, many of these familiar scents have been adopted by brands and given abstract names, when they really all smell the same. Bath & Body Works in particular has a penchant for apple-smelling perfumes and lotions, and the overuse of apples goes unnoticed once it is in its incognito form. While we understand that names such as “Crisp Morning Air”, “Bright Autumn Day” and “Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin” all give the illusion of smelling independently, each must consist of apple– straight to the core.

At least these fragrances have distinguishable contents. In some cases, candles have many more layers than what appears on the surface. Names like “Flannel” can be misleading– believe it or not, flannel candles don’t smell like cotton, and they don’t smell like elderly men from the smoky streets of Hagerstown.  It does, however, smell like the boys’ changing room in gym class. Not that we’ve been in there often…

What does a mountamlodgein lodge smell like to you? We were thinking it might smell like pines, maybe even bonfire-esque. Even the scent of fresh bed sheets washed with woodsy detergent would have been acceptable. In reality, “Mountain Lodge” by Yankee Candle also smells like an adolescent locker room and much more like the Hollister store than we feel is appropriate. It seems more logical that one would bring an axe on a trip to a cabin in the woods opposed to a can of Axe (how would you go about chopping wood with that?) but hey, you never know. “Sweater Weather” by Bath & Body Works doesn’t smell like Goodwill, and it doesn’t smell like The Neighbourhood, but it does smell a lot like a tree and that raises its own questions.

Some seasonal scents are less abstract, but they’re just as shameful as their artsy-fartsy co
unterparts solely because of the goofy commercialism behind them. A solid example of this so-called goofy commercialism would be the Mandle, or man candle– invented especially for people who think that candles have genders. These Mandles are the epitome of masculinity– there are no ‘manlier’ candles than bacon-scented candles and plywood-scented candles, after all. In other words, we see you toxic masculinity, we see you. As if this wasn’t disappointing enough, the Mandle called “On Tap” smells exactly like horse pee– just like beer.  

This could easily turn into a game: the objective would be to get a
fun, effervescent candle that would smell nice and make your home more seasonal, but first you have to pass the societal pressures and accept the fact that smelling good doesn’t belong to either gender binary.

Overall, you shouldn’t let a fragrance company get in the way of your autumn. Go outside, smell the November Rain and the Crisp Morning Air. Don’t believe everything you smell in a candle store. Better yet, buy what you want, whether you especially enjoy the scent of apples or if smelling plywood does it for you. Happy sniffing!

Alanna Anderson and Amelia Lowry are both Sophomores at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts

Posted in Culture

HalloWhat? What Does This Holiday Even Hallow-Mean?

By Amelia Lowry

The frigid wind has begun to pick up again. Sweaters aredownload worn by everyone this time of year, for style and for warmth. The air is thin. Everything smells like a pumpkin-spice latte. From the corner of the street, one can see pumpkin-spiced something or other being advertised in the windows of multiple shops. The sound of dead leaves crunching and people bragging of how many pumpkin-spice lattes/chais/milkshakes/cookies/etc. they have had fills our ears. Gloved thumbs skate up and down phone screens, revealing artistic and expressive photos of — you guessed it — pumpkin-spice lattes.

People call this Halloween.

For a lot of us, Halloween used to mean dressing up as our favorite superhero or Disney character and being escorted by parents up and down the streets of our hometown, watching hungrily as candy was dumped into our candy carrying devices. It was the one day a year where we were actually told to accept candy from strangers, a thrilling contrast to the other 364 days out of the year that we were told otherwise. Parents take hours out of their peanut butter and jam-packed schedules to set up the spookiest front lawn for Halloween night, all the while spending large chunks of their salaries to buy things like fake coffins and gravestones and little motion-censored rubber heads that scream when little kids walk by. Some of my most terrifying memories have taken place on October 31st, but the blows were always softened by bulging pillowcases full of candy.

People donning devil horns and red pleather walk the streets this night, alongside Frankenstein’s monster and his dead wife. There are Jasmines, Aladdins, Annas, Elsas, the occasional Pocahontas or Mulan. Vampires, witches, ghouls, and trolls are just a few of the creatures that make frequent appearances — and as scary as this is, the fright-level drops every year. Just a fraction. Halloween has transformed from genuinely fearing for one’s life to sipping on a pumpkin-spice latte while dressed like a Disney princess.

Thousands upon thousands of years ago, in Ireland and Scotland and Wales, there were no Starbucks coffee houses. The townspeople passed the time by working on their farms and milking sheep, or whatever it was that townsfolk would do. So, for the people living thousands of years ago, harvest-time was a pretty big deal and the 31st of October was just another day of celebration, another day of harvest. Unfortunately, there will always be that one guy who wants to screw everything up and in ancient Ireland and Scotland and Wales, that one guy was actually large groups of superstitious people who believed that the faeries would come out and the souls of the dead would return on October 31st, looking for bodies to possess. You know, that one guy.

This idea that the spirits of the dead would return was not as kooky as it may sound. November second, two days after Halloween, was regarded by the Roman Catholic Church as All Souls’ Day, where it was custom to honor the lives of those who had passed onto the next life. Some church folks would go from door to door and mutter prayers for those who had died. But as far as the groups of one guys were concerned, souls were not something to celebrate, but to fear.

“Tommy’s dad never did like me,” one might have said. “I bet he’d like to inhabit my body and devour my soul.”

Whether their thought process was logical or not, they would brandish torches and loud voices instead of prayer. They saw it as their duty to fend off the wayward spirits and souls of the dead — to protect the living — and they’d fill the streets with blundering noise in an attempt to scare off the supernatural.images

Over time, many people stopped being so superstitious and thanks to grocery stores and preservatives and worldwide shipping, harvest was mostly forgotten about and now we can have apples and corn all year long. Consequently, the one guy has had to evolve into a much different species to annoy people in 2015, but that’s a different story for a different time.

As more time went on, pumpkin-spice lattes were created, and so were Starbucks, and now there is no autumn without them. There’s nothing spookier than spending ten dollars on a coffee, right?

This year, as you parade around town in your ‘80s-themed costumes (yikes!) or your skeletal face makeup, just keep in the back of your mind the real purpose — to scare away spirits to make sure they don’t steal the bodies of your family members. Maybe All Hallow’s Eve is your favorite holiday, maybe you really do believe in faeries and that black cats will bring you bad luck. As you celebrate Halloween, remember all the people who have lived and died, think of their mega-great-grandchildren and how the times are changing. No matter whether you’ll be on your knees begging for candy or warding off ghosts, at least you’ll be able to dress up like your favorite-whatever while you do it.

Lastly, as watered-down as this holiday gets, your life is probably better than having to milk chickens every day and being made to change the horse straw. And if you have nothing else to be excited for besides an extra ten dollars, you can go get yourself a pumpkin-spice latte.

Amelia Lowry is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts