Posted in 2015-2016, Culture

Humanity’s Fling with Spring

By Kaitlin Gertz

So, what’s the buzz with all the bees (and flowers and pastels and everything spring)? Why are college students migrating to Florida? And what makes people so obsessed with spring that it makes them sick? Spring fever, usually associated with a physical illness, can also describe the intense focus people give to the season. There’s spring cleaning, spring break, and the cheerful alliteration of “spring has sprung!” In all, it seems people just can’t get enough of it.

Traditionally, spring is linked to rebirth and renewal. Youth and fertility are also commonly affiliated with spring; both were extremely prevalent and sought after throughout history. Renewal has heavy ties with religion as well. The Festival of Isis was an ancient Egyptian celebration marking the beginning of spring, as it was held around the Equinox. Romans had a rough equivalent with their Feast of Cybele. Even Christianity plays its part: Easter marks the end of Lent, which means people could then indulge instead of restricting.

The ancient Greeks, however, saw no problem with indulgence, and now lend the custom of spring break to college students. Anthesteria was a three-day festival celebrating Dionysus, god of wine. Everyone, no matter their social status, was allowed to party and get drunk because spring had arrived. Nowadays, we just call it “spring break.” Though the original festival was only three days, it was a chance to relax from the stress of winter and warm up. While winter back then might have meant certain crops couldn’t be grown or business for some would be hard, now it is associated with the pressure of exams and school. Spring break is a chance to forget about your worries and chill — or fly down to Miami and party.

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With modern traditions comes seasonal sports like baseball, softball, and the end of basketball. March Madness, the final championship of the NBA, brings in billions of dollars in bets and millions of dollars in revenue (if that’s not enough reason for the managers to love spring, I don’t know what is). Baseball can be a more twofold sport: not only do the major leagues also bring in millions of dollars, but so do the minor leagues. Money doesn’t translate to renewal, but it’s certainly a reason why people are anxious for spring.

So, spring fever could make you excited for the season, or just make you break out in hives when some designer declares florals “groundbreaking.” Whether you’re honoring the Greeks by partying, or the Romans by eating all you can, or even taking some time to relax and smell the roses, getting sick with spring fever might not be all that bad.

Kaitlin Gertz is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram.

Posted in 2015-2016, Culture, News

The Case Against the Gay Panic Defense

By Alanna Anderson 

Should penalties or convictions in regards to murder cases be lessened by this discriminatory legal tactic?

Imagine that you’re in the hallway at school when someone asks you to be their Valentine; they happen to not identify as the gender that you’re attracted to. Do you get upset about someone saying something to you that you’re uncomfortable with? Or do you let them down gently in order to erase any ill feelings from rejection?

If you happen to be fourteen year old Brandon McInerney, your reaction is going to be a bit more violent. You come to school the next day and shoot the person that asked you to be their Valentine while they are seated in a classroom. Instead of receiving a civilized answer, they end up being murdered. You also get to cut a deal with the prosecutors that will give you a lesser sentence of twenty-one years in prison. How do you manage to convince the jury that you deserve to have your sentence lessened: by using the Gay Panic Defense.

 

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Brandon McInerney (left) shot openly gay 15 year old Lawrence “Larry” King (right) in February of 2008

This may seem absurd to you, but it’s not the only case of murder being excused for this reason. Jonathan Schmitz murdered Scott Amedure, his friend, on the grounds that Scott had a crush on him. He directly stated that he was so embarrassed about Scott having a crush on him that he was unable to control himself and thus murdered him. To some, this would seem like a terrible excuse for taking someone’s life, but the jury bought it and the Gay Panic Defense was able to lessen Schmitz’s repercussions.

In 2002, a seventeen year old named Gwen Araujo, born with the name Edward, was brutally murdered by two other teens because she was a transgender individual. The murder was an act of revenge because they had slept with her and then compared their experiences to later on figure out that at birth she was considered male. She ended up being beaten, tied up, and strangled by them before she was buried in a shallow grave without being found for two weeks. One of the guys even admits to ‘vomiting and weeping’ at finding out that she was transgender, and that he hit her in the head with a frying pan. A third teen, who was not a part of the murder, aided in burying the body in order to stay loyal to their friends. In order to lessen the sentence of the attackers, the defense lawyers offered up the Gay Panic Defense.

In 2008, Joseph Bidermann, age 30, was acquitted of the murder he performed. The victim, Terrance Michael Hauser, was his neighbor and invited him to his apartment, though they had never spoken before. Bidermann ended up passed out on Hasuer’s couch, but awoke when Hasuer allegedly locked a grip around his neck and attempted to sexually assault him while a 16-inch dagger was in his hand. Bidermann responded by stabbing him 61 times essentially carving him to death.  He then fled to his girlfriend’s house where he took a shower. In place of calling the police, he and his girlfriend went to the hospital where Hauser went to get a knife wound on his arm treated, and a call to the police was made for them. In the end it was decided that Bidermann’s choice of stabbing Hauser 61 times was a justified way to handle the situation. And how did he get away with this: the Gay Panic Defense.

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(cartoon from SlapUpsideTheHead.com)


What is it about this defense that can cause murderers to get lesser sentences? Is it even valid?

According to data gathered by expert attorneys at NOLO, many courts have refused this defense, but despite that, it has still been used many times, like in the cases mentioned previously. It’s used when a defendant feels that their crime is justified because their panic over a romantic/sexual advance from a LGBTQ+ individual made them a victim, and in an act of self defense they were provoked into temporarily losing control of their behavior.

Courts defend their acceptance of this defense by stating that they don’t want to dismiss the fact that people can be provoked into actions, and they don’t want to charge them as much as someone who acted in cold blood. For them, the romantic/sexual advance acts as the provoking that the defendant needed to feel as though they were being attacked, and it justifies them going off the deep end.

But what about those victims who were walking home alone and were suddenly brutally attacked; or those minding their own business and not interacting with others? Is it fair to say that, because they were gay or transgender, they caused the people around them to ‘panic’ and lose control?

It is true that the opinions of others have to be heard in court, but there comes a time when the law has to decide whether something is fair or not. The whole point of the law system is to settle disputes between people in a civil manner that is unbiased and full of the rights that the constitution is supposed to provide us. But how can the court consider themselves fair and impartial when they are acting in a way that is discriminatory towards a specific group of people?

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Another thing to consider it that the situation can arguably become more or less difficult to assess when the defendant is there behind the stand ready to answer questions, and the prosecutor’s family is the one representing the prosecutor because they are dead and can’t do it for themselves. Is it really fair to say that the person who acted out of revenge for being ‘deceived’ was a victim, but the person who has ended up dead for being themselves is at fault for their own death? It seems that using that logic would be unreasonably blaming the victim for a crime that was committed against them and that they can’t even defend themselves against.

The court has to understand that when excuses like these are allowed in law, it is setting the bar for public opinion and stances on matters. The use of this defense in court reflects a grim idea of the parts of society that feel this is justified, and those hateful opinions are being entertained with its continuation.

We can’t expect for the citizens of a country to fully embrace progression and positive change when it’s apparent that’s not what the law itself is representing. On top of this, it also shows that there are those out there that will continue to use it as long as it’s around. There are those who will see the cases where it has succeeded in reducing sentences and provides people with the out that they need to get away with murder. There is no way that the continuation of this ‘defense’ can be argued in favor of standing for the equality and equal rights of all. If we want to provide a safer, more equal, more just government, then we need to take away these loopholes that victimize victims. We need to take away the Gay Panic Defense.

Alanna Anderson is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram 

Posted in 2015-2016, Culture

Kiss Me, I’m 1/64ths Irish!

By Amelia Lowry 

In 2012, Instagram was congested with Grumpy Cat memes. In 2013, it was Frozen. And every year, on March 17th, the pictures of everyone drinking green beer make their appearance.images

It’s St. Patrick’s Day — the one time of year when it’s actually appropriate to wear your “Kiss me, I’m Irish” merchandise (and receive zero kisses). This is the holiday to celebrate gingers, the color green, and pinching people. Here we are, finally at the one day where it’s socially acceptable to cozy up to people for money because you’re not a gold-digger, you’re just a leprechaun!

So, who is this Saint Patrick and why is he celebrated by canoodling “Irish” people and drinking green beer?

Well, in the late 300’s, Ireland was occupied primarily by Pagans and the like. It was a less-than-ideal environment for the teenaged Patrick, who was captured from his home of Roman Britain and forced to live in Ireland as a slave. But, despite this adversity, Patrick prayed and communicated with God every day. One night when he was twenty, Patrick received a message from God in his dreams, telling him that he could escape Ireland by going to the coast. Sure enough, Patrick was able to break free and go home to Roman Britain. For a few years he studied under a bishop, St. Germanus, eventually became a priest, and then later on, a Bishop. Thus, he became Saint Patrick. He was called to Ireland, where he felt it was his duty to bring the love and light of God.

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Saint Patrick

At first, people tried to kill him. But once he began to talk, people began to listen — his trick was to explain the gospel using a shamrock, a funny little leaf that everyone could understand. People liked that — after all, it was a pretty clover way to discuss religion. Over time, thousands of people converted to Christianity, and entire kingdoms were evangelized. After a long life of building churches and teaching faith, Saint Patrick died on March 17, 461.

So, why do people celebrate St. Patrick’s day?

For at least one thousand years, the Irish have observed St. Patrick’s Day as a holiday. March 17 usually falls during lent, so one of the exciting things about St. Patrick’s Day was that it was an excuse for the Irish to cheat and eat bad stuff for a day. (Although, if their beer was green back then, people might have gotten more than drunk. Like, probably dead.) The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in America, in 1762. People played music and embraced their Irishness, probably did some jigs and tweedily-doo, had some chinwags.

During the Potato Famine of 1845, a lot of sad and hungry Irish people emigrated to America to live better lives. Unfortunately, America was a little stingy and didn’t feel like sharing space with Catholics — let alone Irish Catholics. So every year on St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish people would hit the streets and celebrate the Saint that made their country what it was, and the “pure-blooded” Americans would sit on the sidelines, angrily waving their “Vote Trump 1850” flags.

There are so many different ways to celebrate this holiday. As mentioned before, parades are historically the way to go, and you can still attend them today. Although, today, the parades seem a bit more theatrical than they were 150 years ago. Another way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is by wearing green! This is particularly recommended if you are of ten years of age or below — you might get pinched if you show up to school greenless. For anyone older than ten, wearing green is still a verybig St. Patrick’s Day tradition (although, if you’re too edgy or if green doesn’t match your ~aesthetic~, don’t worry about it). Some people celebrate by searching for a four-leaf clover. It’s pretty discouraging to search through thousands of 3-leafers for that special little weed, but you might be the lucky 1%! And if all of that is too much work, you can always just go around pretending to be a leprechaun.

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The 251st annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 17, 2012 in New York City.

Leprechauns, according to myth, are traditionally crotchety, live alone, and make shoes in their free time. They are said to be about two feet tall. The cleverest of Irish fairies, they can and would do anything to escape human capture. Perhaps this is why leprechauns are everywhere — they are just so relatable. If a leprechaun is caught by a human, they can use magic to make an escape, by simply vanishing into thin air or by granting three wishes. For this reason, Irish people sometimes go looking for leprechauns so that they can have their wishes granted. For a tutorial on how to catch a leprechaun this St. Patrick’s Day, click here. Leprechauns are also supposed to be the bomb at playing music so if you
end up being successful on your quest, make sure to ask to hear some sick beats.

Most Americans obdownload (1)serve St. Patrick’s Day in some way or another — whether they’re wearing green or making a point not to in order to be edgy. While it is a small holiday, it’s a good time to appreciate and be thankful for the liberties we have. St. Patrick had a pretty rough life yet still found ways to flourish despite this (and it is his day, after all). So next time you’re invited to a St. Patrick’s Day party, you can tell everyone what you’ve learned and who this St. Patrick guy really is. Then again, if you aren’t invited to a party, never fret! You can always crawl into a hole somewhere in Ireland and never come out again, and live the rest of your life as a leprechaun.

Amelia Lowry is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram. 

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, popsugar.com, 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.

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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)
4&5(Healthline.com)
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!)

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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!

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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.

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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.