Scarlett Newman

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Human rights professor provides insight on genocide, resistance and Tinariwen

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Those who have walked into Dr. John Cox’s office are familiar with the impressive amount of books mounted on the towering bookshelves and the eclectic choice of posters he’s decided to mount on his walls just inside the door. All of this is an accurate representation of his teachings and interests.

As an Associate Professor of Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Cox is active in keeping students informed and educated on news and events that fall under those topics.

Cox became interested in these particular subjects during his undergraduate study at Appalachian State University. He took a couple of classes on the subjects and they seemed to connect with other things he was interested in at the time. This was during the time of the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, which was a significant world event.

Cox grew up in Greensboro, N.C., so he was very aware of the history of the civil rights movement in this part of the country. All these factors combined to attract his interest in question of resistance, rebellion and violence., “I teach classes and do research on these horrible things that humans have done to one another, but also on the more noble aspects of the human experience like artistic and cultural forms of survival and resilience,” Cox said.

Before attending graduate school at Brandeis University, located just outside of Boston, Mass., Cox worked as a labor organizer and at various restaurants in Washington, D.C. He went on to get his Doctorate at UNC Chapel Hill. “For my interests, it was the best place that I could go,” he said. “Regardless of the dismal Matt Doherty period of basketball.”

Circles of Resistance, the book he published in 2009, examines forms of anti-Nazi resistance inside Germany that had been looked over throughout history. Along with Circles of Resistance, Cox has had articles and essays published in various texts and newspapers and has another book to be released this year about genocide in the 20th century.

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“You get valuable feedback from your colleagues and peers through conferences and other means. It can be a laborious process, but the final product is ultimately rewarding,” he said. “Writing and research should be intertwined.”

Over spring break Cox and Judy LaPietra, another professor in the Dept. of Global, International & Area Studies, took 16 students to Poland to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau and  Kraków-Płaszów concentration camps.

“It was a very rich experience and great to see the students evolve emotionally and intellectually within a span of seven days,” Cox said.

Following this trip, students gave presentations based on their experience at the Jewish Community Center in South Charlotte on the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance. This got a great response, along with a brilliant turnout for the program, according to Cox. The success of the trip has prompted them to take another round of students during the same time next year.

Both of Cox’s parents are musicians, spurring his broad, eclectic and quite impressive taste in music. Some of his favorite artists include The Clash, John Coltrane, The Who, Fela, Radiohead and Tinariwen. He also enjoys a lot of music from the Middle East, North and West Africa.

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“One of the reasons why I use bands like Tinariwen or artists like Rachid Taha [an Algerian musician based in France] is that it shows that cultural boundaries are not impermeable. That’s an important thing I try to convey in my classes. You can’t draw borders around cultures or groups of people,” he said.

Tinariwen performing in Santa Fe
Tinariwen performing in Santa Fe

Dr. Cox is also an avid FC Barcelona fan, which serves as a great detachment to the serious, dark subject matter he teaches. He also enjoys traveling, film and literature.

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The three words he used to describe himself: indignant, appalled and optimistic. Three words, one could say, that are nothing short of accurate.

Interested in the UNC Charlotte Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies? Join them on Facebook for updates, articles, department events and much more: https://www.facebook.com/groups/248661328484817/ 

all photos courtesy of MCT Campus, Flickr Creative Commons, Amazon.com and Scarlett Newman

 

UNC Charlotte alumnus bikes cross country for a cause

Recent graduate Amy Casale is on her way to bike cross country to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

From June 2 to August 10, Casale and her team will be riding from Baltimore to San Francisco, a total of 4,500 miles. The number aligns with the amount of money they need to raise ($4,500) a dollar for every mile. They’ll ride 60 to 100 miles a day, with one day off per week, and will be reliant on local YMCAs, churches and households for sleeping accommodations.

The 4k sends four groups of 30 college aged students to four different locations out west: San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and Seattle.

“I just wanna help. I know that this is going to be something I will never forget, something that will change my life. I will have endless stories, and will tell them any chance I get. These people I meet will probably change my life more than I can ever change theirs. They are so strong, stronger than I will ever be. I’m not sure how yet, but there is no way something this big, bigger than myself, wouldn’t change me for the better,” Casale said.

Casale is doing this for her grandfather, who survived cancer, but when he passed away it wasn’t from cancer. She wants to express to the public (with a first-hand story under her belt) that it’s possible to make it and live out the rest of your life with your loved ones.

“The message that I’m trying to get across is that cancer is survivable and one person can help many people. Yeah, I won’t be curing cancer, but I am helping people, showing them that they are not alone. Even a complete stranger is there for them,” Casale said.

Along the way, she and her team plan to stop at hospitals, homes and wherever they can to inspire hope to cancer patients.

“I like to help people,” said Casale. “I’m not just raising money. I’m going to have direct contact with cancer patients and that’s awesome. I want to eventually work in the non-profit sector, so this is a cool way to start.”

Casale loves nature, physical activities and being outside, so this high-intensity biking voyage is right up her alley. This is a dream come true for her, seeing the country from a bicycle.

Donate at: http://4kforcancer.org/profiles/amy-casale/

The art of drag

For some, drag is a lifestyle. For others it’s what pays the bills. Many people have yet to experience a drag show, and don’t understand the process behind this coveted performance art.

Scarlet Fever host Buf-Faye working the crowd
Scarlet Fever host Buf-Faye working the crowd
Local Charlotte dance troupe Basic Instinct lit up the stage with their Beyonce Super Bowl performance.
Local Charlotte dance troupe Basic Instinct lit up the stage with their Beyonce Super Bowl performance.
UNC-Charlotte queen Deja Armani
UNC-Charlotte queen Deja Armani
UNC-Charlotte queen Isabella Mynx
UNC-Charlotte queen Isabella Minx
UNC Charlotte queen Bianca Huggnkiss
UNC Charlotte queen Bianca Huggnkiss

This past friday, UNC Charlotte hosted it’s annual drag show, Scarlet Fever. Scarlet Fever is put on by PRIDE every year and all of the proceeds benefited AIDS walk Charlotte. Hosted by local drag personality, Buf-Faye, Scarlet Fever served as an outstanding variety show featuring drag queens, Charlotte-based dance troops and singers giving their all to get tips donation for the AIDS walk. Scarlet Fever was able to raise $1,500 dollars this year. These shows seem to get better and better each year with turnouts that keep growing and growing. If you weren’t able to witness the greatness this year, make sure you mark your calendar for next year.

If you aren’t already familiar, a drag queen, generally, is a man who who dresses and personifies himself as a woman through performance. Although there is such thing as a drag king, queens are the more popular of the two.

“I wanted to be a drag king because I thought it would be fun to don another gender and parade around. It looked like a lot of fun, so I gave it a shot,” said Bonnie Green, PRIDE president and drag king.

When you think of a drag queen, usually what comes to mind is colorful (and very detailed) costumes, fabulous wigs and flawless makeup. While all of that is a part of the package, it isn’t what completes the package. There is a lot more than the superficial qualities of being a drag queen. You’ve got to have a spectacular, entertaining performance, killer choreography and overall star quality. Usually, that’s not something you can just pick up. Most are born with it.

A lot of the money made performing goes back into the complete package. The elaborate wigs have to be bought and kept up, you need special make-up to achieve a certain look and costumes have to be made or bought from a seamstress.

Drag shows can consist of lip-synching, comedy acts, single and group acts and skits. The level of experience varies as well. From an amateur performing in a bar, to a coveted elaborate pageant queen performing in a theatre.

Usually, a queen will have her own persona and perform around the essence of that, but a lot of the classic queens are known for impersonating famous female singers and personalities such as Cher, Bette Midler and Diana Ross.

“A big misconception about drag is that you don’t have to be l/g/b/t/q/i/a/anything to do drag, you can put on a dress or a suit and tie and dance around without needing to question your own gender identity,” said Green.

There are many different types of drag and drag queens. Categories include pageant, skag drag, camp, theatre and comedy, but the list doesn’t stop there. Thanks to prominent queens like Sharon Needles (winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season four) categories like spooky and ‘death drag’ are starting to surface. Due to the great deal of recent exposure of queens, the categories are broadening, and the cookie-cutter mold of a drag queen is diminishing.

Thanks to RuPaul’s Drag Race, a drag reality competition that has since become a cult classic after it’s premiere in 2009, queens have a great platform for exposure and are even rising to celebrity status. This show has allowed fans to see the break down of  the art–preparing for lip-synchs, the beauty process and the inspiration building that contributes to the the finished look.

We see the make-up process that the girls go through, the costume process (most queens make their costumes themselves) and all the work that goes into the hair. If you didn’t have an utmost respect for these men and their talents, then you will after watching the show. In the end it seems like glitz and glam, but you have to remember that as gay men, these people are experiencing hate, discrimination and are faced with ignorance from time to time.

all photos by Scarlett Newman

 

International students flourish this semester

by Arpit Ghosh

South African exchange student, Heinz Rautenbach with ISSO director Mariane Beane
South African exchange student, Heinz Rautenbach with ISSO director Mariane Beane. Photo by Heinz Rautenbach
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International Students enjoying their Spring Break in Miami this past week. Photo by Erhan Turkuer.

When Ziad came from Saudi Arabia this December and first set his foot on US soil he was taken aback by the grand splendour of this country. Everything was different and so well-organized. The same astonishment surfaced when he came to UNC Charlotte to begin his undergraduate studies in English. He was in a different country, thousands of miles away from the comfort of his homeland and in a totally different culture.
“Everything here is so well-organized and big. People are so helpful and it feels like a dream where everything is beautiful and lovely,” said Ziad. “And watching the snowfall made it look so panoramic.”
This spring UNC Charlotte opened its doors for 1092 international students hailing from 91 different countries including myself. I am certain that everyone will espouse the sentiments which Ziad has expressed. For some it is just another phase of life and for others it is fairy tale.
Marian Beane, the director of International Student/Scholar office said, “Working and knowing these international students, makes it worthwhile, meaningful and enjoyable.” She further added, “These students add to the wonderful richness and diversity of university experience and we are happy to have them here.”

The international floor at Witherspoon hall has been a favourite hangout place for most of the international students and the diversity and the mutual respect for each other’s beliefs and culture makes it a spectacular experience.
The regular visits to restaurants like Flying Saucer, Passage to India and doing things together starting from shopping, partying and sometimes cooking together as well, has brought these students closer to each other like a colossal family where each member speaks different language and comes from different background, but they all share a mutual feeling of love and friendship for each other.

Heinz Rautenbach, a South African studying Political Science said, “I love the ambience over here, it is much bigger and organized, and meeting all the new people and international students makes you feel like a true diplomat.” Rautenbach has since become very involed in international student life. “The campus facilities and the lifestyle over here are great,” he said.
Tomas Ayon, an exchange student from Nicaragua feels that the lifestyle over here is totally different then he is used to. He has to do his own daily chores and UNCC has so much to offer to the International students.

“It’s different but it is really a didactical experience and makes you realize how small you are when you see people from different from countries; we are a part of a gigantic and extensively diverse human race,” said Ayon.
The nightlife of Charlotte has been another invigorating experience amongst the international students. Regular visits to the local and uptown clubs and bars like Suite, Phoenix, Bad Dogs and Prohibition on the weekend are a regular habit amongst the students.
The eclectic Charlotte nightlife gives the international students a chance to meet new people, understand the American lifestyle and share their experiences with each other and with the new friends that they make.

It also helps to take out the tiredness of a week filled with studies alongside their favourite drinks and the latest chartbuster music.
“It has been a really enlightening experience for me. I never used to party back in my country or talk to so many strangers. Our lifestyle has been a really conservative one, but here when I went to Suite for the first time by the end of the night, I had met people from Nebraska, California, Dubai and so many individuals. I am still in contact with some of the people I met and we have been really great friends,” said Shiori, a Japanese exchange student studying Material Science.
For some it maybe a culture shock or a beginning of an exhilarating phase of life where you meet new people and make friends for life coming from places all around the globe.

The journey of an international student beginning from the first day to the last day of university is  like a Chopin’s composition, filled with exemplary emotions, colours and sentiments that intertwine with each other brilliantly.

Jennifer, is that you? One Niner’s journey to losing over 60 pounds

 

by Noel Holland

Jennifer Maley pictured on the left at 228 pounds.
Jennifer Maley pictured on the left at 228 pounds.

 

Jennifer now at 165 pounds
Jennifer now at 165 pounds

 

Jennifer Maley is a bright, outgoing and vivacious 24-year-old majoring in international studies in her third year at UNC Charlotte.  While she has spent the past three years at the university, not everyone would recognize her.  At 5-foot 10-inches and 165 pounds, Jennifer is a mere sliver of who she once was.

At the beginning of her freshman year, Jennifer weighed 228 pounds and seemed content enough.  The young, tall and fresh-faced with blonde hair and blue eyes girl had plenty of friends, family and was always in good spirits.  Friends and family describe her as bubbly and always full of laughter.

“[She is] always the one to laugh at herself and poke fun,” said Megan Jackson, a friend of Jennifer’s since kindergarten. “She is the ‘give the shirt off her back’ type of person and genuinely cares about others and their well being.”

It wasn’t until 2010, at her sister Emily’s wedding, that she realized she might not be as happy as she thought.

“A comment was made from a family member referring to my weight and after seeing the pictures from the wedding, I didn’t like my outer image,” said Jennifer.

Emily explained that throughout high school and college, her sister was insecure about being a little heavy and that their mother was disabled.

“That in itself can be difficult for any child, but when you add what happened in three years ago that makes it more of a struggle,” said Emily.

Three years ago Jennifer was involved in a bad car accident, which resulted in a neck injury and surgery.

“She could not do her daily activities, started to gain weight and had difficulty in school and holding a job,” her sister said.

After seeing that wedding picture and coming to terms with all that had happened in the past three years, Jennifer vowed to get into shape.  She began working out four to five times a week and made some serious changes in her diet.  She cut back on snacks, fast food and gave up soda completely and added a variety of fruits and vegetables to her meals.  Her goal, she says, was to just be smaller.

Jennifer has certainly achieved that.

Sitting in her apartment, she seems relaxed in Victoria’s Secret Pink sweats and a tank top.  This is her at home attire; around campus she runs around in workout gear, tennis shoes and a baseball cap.  With long black hair and bright blue eyes, she looks lean and long, like an athlete.

Jennifer says there have been some struggles and it hasn’t always been easy, but she recognizes it as a lifestyle change.

“In the beginning the lifestyle change was the hardest to come to terms with. Now it is the discipline of maintaining that change,” she said.

Keeping with this change has helped her keep the weight off.  She still works out regularly four to five times a week.  Her routine now consists of 30 to 40 minutes on the treadmill and three 10 to 12 sets of abs, push-ups and pull-ups.  She says the best time to work out is in the evenings and prefers to work out at the UNC Charlotte gym because “there is a variety of machines and equipment.” Her diet contains plenty of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, but she allows herself the occasional beer or glass of wine.

“[It’s] 70 percent eating and 30 percent working out,” she said, attributing the continued weight loss to her new lifestyle habits.

Her philosophy is:  you can eat what you want, when you want it. You just have to balance our your eating with exercising.  She says it takes discipline, but if you want something bad enough, you will succeed.

Her family agrees.  Leslie Nervenga, Jennifer’s cousin, contributes her success to her positive attitude.

“Jenny likes to bask in her accomplishments, rather than dwell on her struggles,” said Nervenga. “She would much rather celebrate than have a pity party.”

When asked about those accomplishments, Jennifer is humble and attributes it to dedication and hard work.

Now when former classmates or colleagues see her, if they even recognize her, they are amazed.  She says about 50 percent of people from her past recognize her and 50 percent don’t.  And there have been several occasions when out at bars that the doorman will question her driver’s license.

Her advice for others trying to lose weight is simply: “Do it the right way.  The key to losing weight is exercising more than what you eat.  You have to figure out a routine that works for you and start small and go with it.”

Jennifer is content with her weight for now, but is currently working towards a new goal.  She plans to lose another 30 pounds.  And if her previous efforts are any indication, she will meet that goal.

photos courtesy of Jennifer Maley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIDEBAR:

Distance makes the heart grow fonder

by Aimee Wood

High school romances almost always seem to wind down as the summer of senior year nears. Most of these couples know that college lurks around the corner, and for many this means traveling far apart from each other. Summer will fly by and then those sweet high school days will drift away, leaving an important decision to be made.

417 miles separate me from my boyfriend of nine months. We have known each other since the fourth grade and have always been close friends. I started dating Matthew last May, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to end our relationship after the summer ended. Thankfully, we both felt this way. I left my home in Maryland with tears streaming down my face to head here to UNC Charlotte; he to Jefferson College in Pennsylvania.

I am fairly new to this long distance feeling, and this may even be the most difficult thing a couple has to go through together – or rather, apart. The strength of a relationship and technology surely help. Communication is the most crucial part of staying connected while so physically distant. Skype, texting, Snap Chat and just talking on the phone are pertinent to maintaining the closeness that once existed. Keeping in touch consistently will help to suppress the sudden feelings of loneliness. As far as maintaining the relationship, both people need to stay optimistic. Having faith in what exists and allowing yourselves to give it all to make it work out will be surprisingly beneficial.

During the most difficult times, couples need to acknowledge how strong they have grown from continuing their relationships this way. I have to vouch that as hard as it is, I recommend long distance relationships for serious couples going into college. Visits are appreciated more and time spent together is that much more special. Most couples take advantage of the time they have with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Being apart is also necessary because it allows a couple to grow as two separate people and decide where to take the next steps in their lives while still being able to love one another. The countdown on your cell phones to the next visit gives you something to look forward to every day. Also, every visit is well worth the drive or flight because the preciousness of every minute together is heightened. The distance will be well worth the time spent apart to grow, that is, if you’re up for the challenge.

Queen City crafters sell handmade items on Etsy

Etsy has become one of the most successful outlets for creativity. It’s an online marketplace with a primary focus on handmade and vintage items, with shop owners and creators from all ends of the globe.

The possibilities are endless on Etsy. You can choose from a vast variety of clothing, jewelry, room decor, photography and random ‘knick-knacks’ that make for unique gifts. You usually wouldn’t be able to find gifts sold here anywhere else.

For an item to be sold with the tag ‘vintage’ on the site, it must be at least 20 years old.

Etsy is like an endless global craft fair that continues to grow and has given crafters an opportunity to showcase and make money off of the things they make.

The site was launched in Brooklyn, New York in 2005 by Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik. As a business endeavor that was built from scratch, Etsy is competing alongside eBay and Amazon in the realm of e-commerce websites. As you’ll learn after reading this article, it completely has the power to stand on it’s own.

It turns out that Charlotte has it’s own Etsy community, the ‘Queen City Crafters,’ that features 238 shop owners or, ‘etsiers’ who live in the Charlotte and surrounding area.

Jessica Ritzel, a Queen City Crafter, runs the shop called ‘Alltherightpieces. “I’ve always had a passion for fashion and outfits/accessories. I used to just make jewelry for myself/as gifts for friends and/or family and one day I decided that I wanted to create jewelry for a bigger audience. That is what led me to create an Etsy shop online,” Ritzel said. “My shop is full of unique and handcrafted jewelry. My pieces are simple yet edgy and stylish. I think a person of any age could wear my pieces because they are so versatile.”

Skull Bracelet
Skull Bracelet by Alltherightpieces

Her favorite part of the Etsy community are the teams, which give her the ability to get great feedback surrounding her products and her store from fellow members. It’s very interactive.

Compass Necklace
Compass Necklace by Alltherightpieces
Owl Pendant Necklace by Alltherightpieces
Owl Pendant Necklace by Alltherightpieces
Create Bracelet by Alltherightpieces
Create Bracelet by Alltherightpieces

 

“I think one important advantage (of selling on Etsy)  is being able to make the pieces yourself. I am able to create each piece for the individual who purchased it and I am able to package the item up and send it out. This makes me feel as though I am personally contacting with my customers,” Ritzel said.

Another Queen City Crafter, Lisha Sun, runs the shop BOOMPOW. She sells geek-inspired clothing and accessories, some of which are “upcycled.” Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

Crocheted scarf by BOOMPOW

 

“Starting an Etsy shop is great way to enter the entrepreneur world, and make money doing what you love. Research is very important. Etsy is a very competitive marketplace. Make sure your items are unique and have a special touch that attracts customers. Be realistic! Advertising is another huge thing. In the beginning it is very beneficial to put your brand out there on social media sites,” Sun says.

Visual appeal is also an important aspect of advertising on Etsy.  If you have quality photographs and an organized and creative shop banner, customers will trust in your products more. It makes for a professional look.

Sun has always been crafty, and has always made a lot of her own clothes and accessories. Her friends were always interested in buying her things.

Bronze key by BOOMPOW

Last year she sponsored a girl to go to school in Jamaica to gain a larger audience. As a college student with no income, Etsy became a great way for her to make money and to keep up with the sponsorship.

Sun is on several Etsy teams, and this has allowed her to share and listen to success stories of other sellers and as a source of inspiration. She feels this is what sets Etsy apart from other e-commerce websites.

Running a small business allows you to deal with customer service on a more personal level to provide them with the best shopping experience. The market becomes more of a community than a store.

“The biggest plus of running a small business is that you are able to deliver the best customer service personally. I feel closer to my customers, and I want them to have the best shopping experience. The market becomes more of a community than a store.”

Totoro charm by BOOMPOW

“Some of my customers follow me on my Tumblr afterwards because we are united with the same interests. Other customers give me the sweetest reviews that make my day. Another advantage of running a small business is that you are still able to do what you love how you want. As a business expands, bureaucracy increases and you lose the personal feel of your start-up,” Sun says.

If you’ve got a natural ability for working with your hands and creating original pieces, or you’re a photographer or an artist looking for somewhere to sell your work, give etsy a try. There’s a 20 cent fee per product you post to sell, which won’t even match the benefits you’ll reap in the long run. Visit Etsy.com to get started. Happy crafting and happy selling!

Last minute gifts for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day can be one of the toughest holiday’s to figure out what to ge someone. It’s not like Christmas or a birthday when you can simply ask, ‘What would you like?”

This is the holiday where you have to do everything in your power to come up with the most creative, original and unforgettable gift to give to your significant other. This may sound a bit intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be as costly and extravagant as it sounds.

As students, along with catering to our loved ones, we also have duties like work and school which can hinder the creativity process leaving you without much time to think about a Valentine’s Day gift.

Here are some easy and thoughtful gifts that will make a lasting impression:

1. Chocolate Cocktail: You were probably going to give he or she chocolate anyway. So why not put it in something decorative and functional? Pick up a bag of Dove milk chocolates from the grocery store. Dove makes seasonal heart-shaped chocolates for the holiday with romantic notes inside the wrappers. Get an oversized martini or wine glass and dump the chocolates in there. Take some red, pink or white ribbon and tie a bow on the stem of the glass, and voila! You’re done.

2. Photo-anything: If you’re dating this person, there’s a big chance that you’ve got some photos of the both of you, either on your phone or on your digital camera. Places like Target, Wal-Mart and Walgreen’s (which are all within five minutes of our campus) have photo centers where you can print photos from off of your memory card. Once you’ve done that the possibilities are endless. You can frame a few photos, make a collage or blow one up to a large size of the both of you. It’s hard to go wrong with a photo. I hear they’re worth a million words.

3. Mixtape: Music is a mood setter. Music makes people happy. Music makes people sad. It’s makes us mushy. It can even give us goosebumps. Another great idea for a last minute gift is to make your significant other a collection of your favorite songs and burn them onto a few CDs. Be sure to include a guide (hand-written or typed) that includes the song titles and artists. It doesn’t get easier that this, and becuase of the holiday, cheesy tracks are permitted and encouraged.

4. Cookie sale: The Communication studies department will be hosting the “Hang your heart” Valentine’s Day booth and bake sale in front of the Atkins Library . Bring your cash and spend some money on your sweetheart. Choose from a variety of cupcakes, cookies, candies and other sweets with a variety of messages for everyone to see. All proceeds will go to the Communication Studies award banquet. Today is the last day of the sale.

Panda Express alternatives for Chinese lovers

Recently, the beloved insta-Chinese restaurant Panda Express closed. Chinese food is one of the easiest comfort foods to access if you’re away from home. It’s also great if you’re lacking inspiration in the kitchen. Order some chinese! Most places give you plenty of food, so you can stretch your meals out for days. That can be a huge life-saver, as most of us are on the infamous college budget. Take-out & delivery is convenient, easy and won’t break the bank. Don’t worry Panda fans, you have a great selection of restaurants to fill your void; and you can choose from Take-out, delivery or you can sit down and enjoy a nice lunch or dinner.

House of Leng location 1 8933-l JM Keynes blvd. 980-207-3518

House of Leng location2 2712 W. Mallard Creek Church rd. 704-510-5081

Golden Coast II 3020 Prosperity Church rd. 704-594-9944

Lotus Buffett 9605 N Tryon st. 704-593-1388

China Palace 9211 North Tryon st. 704-503-5306

China Cafe 10230 Berkely Place Dr. Suite 150 704-688-0960

It’s 2013, and according to the Chinese calendar it’s the year of the dragon. The dragon is a very powerful sign-energetic, warm hearted natural born leaders. They are compatible with the monkey and the rat. Dragons live by their own rules and they usually live very successful lives. They’re helpful, but rarely ask for help. They’re passionate in all that they do. Beware! Dragons do have flaring tempers, so it’s best not to get on they’re bad sides!

 

 

Bossypants, a winner.

As an avid reader, it saddens me that I’m not able to do a lot of leisurely reading throughout the school year. Fortunately I found the time this semester to read ‘Bossypants’ by accomplished comedian Tina Fey.

‘Bossypants,’ published in 2011, isn’t a memoir, but a retrospective recollection of thoughts and comedic encounters that spans Fey’s entire career from when she started in musical theatre to when she created the Emmy winning hit show, ’30 Rock.’

This book reads like a string of short stories, rather than having chapters, but lucky for us at the end of each story there is usually a funny lesson or moral to take away. For example, there’s a section called ‘Things I Learned from Lorne Michaels’ It goes into a list of quirky, ecclectic yet useful advice about show business that she learned from the legendary creator of SNL, a show that Fey worked on for nine years.

Throughout the reading she often diverts from the flow of the story to explain in depth a point she made whether it be with a graphic, bullet points or even email threads.

Fey uses her imperfections as way to seem more relatable and real, often referring to her greek heritage, her weight struggles and making it in the industry without being blonde haired and blue eyed with a ‘barely there’ figure.

“What 19-year-old Virginia boy doesn’t want a wide-hipped, sarcastic Greek girl with short hair that’s permed on top?” she writes in the chapter titled ‘Growing up and liking it.’ “What’s that you say? None of them want that? You are correct. So I spent four years attempting to charm the uninterested.”

The part that interests most people and heart of the book with true grit is when she writes about her time on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,”  as well as her time impersonating Sarah Palin on a series of SNL specials during the 2008 presidential election. Moreover she gives SNL fans who aren’t familiar with the process of putting up a live sketch comedy show a bit of insight about the process and dives into her time as a cast member and head writer. We also learn about her relationships with co-stars and where the ideas for some of the most famous sketches came from.

If you’re familiar with Tina Fey’s work, then you can draw the conclusion from reading “Bossypants” that she is much like her character Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, and it helps that the book is like reading an ongoing 30 Rock script, aside from the really personal things.

It does get to a point where you do ask yourself, “Is she going to stop humbling herself? Is she actually this down to earth?”

Liz Lemon lives!  She’s Tina Fey. She’s untouchable; unstoppable even; the Queen of comedy. But she’s so darn real and after reading the book you’ll feel like you’ve known her for years. It may even inspire you to take up a career in comedy, writing or both. I know I contemplated it for a bit.

DIY J Crew look-a-like sweater

I’m always thinking about ways to alter the clothes already in my closet. I’m no seamstress, so I usually have to pull inspiration from something that’s already been done, take it and then somehow make it my own.

NC Grown blogger, Jessica McGill recently took a simple crew-neck sweatshirt and made it into a J Crew inspired sweatshirt, featuring a vibrant bronze-gold glitter heart on the front.

If you think you’re not a crafty person, go ahead and do away with your DIY inhibitions and make this sweatshirt! The supplies are cheap and your final product will provide you with a stylish on-trend creation.

what you’ll need:

  • A sweatshirt
  • Glitter
  • Paint Brush of some sort
  • Thick paper
  • Pencil

step one: Trace and cut half of a heart onto a magazine cover. It works better if the paper is thicker than notebook paper.

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step two: Fold the sweatshirt in half and line up the heart on sweatshirt.

photo courtesy of Living like a Lindstrom

step three: Trace the half you cut out with a pen.

photo courtesy of Living like a Lindstrom

step four: Open the sweater and finish tracing the heart.

step five:
Pour some modge podge into a bowl and then pour some glitter in with it. Mix the two until you have a very “glittery” mixture. If it’s too thick, add some more modge podge.
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 step six: start to fill in the heart you traced with your glitter mixture using using your paint or sponge brush
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Wait until each coat is completely dry before you start to paint on the next one. You’ll only need to do about three coats. If you’ve never worked with modge podge, you’ll notice that it’s a white mixture. The great thing about it is that it dries clear, so don’t be worried about the white residue. Once you’re finished, it will have completely disappeared!
Here’s what your final product will look like:
7 Heartttt

 

all photos courtesy of Jessica McGill at Living like a Lindstrom

 

 

 

 

Grilled cheese has met it’s match

 

photo courtesy of agingdragqueen
photo courtesy of agingdragqueen

There comes a time in your life when a plane-jane peanut butter and jelly sandwich just don’t seem to suffice anymore. What else can you to spice up this go-to snack? Fry it. As strange as it may seem, fried PB&Js are a lot better than they sound, and they’re super simple to make (dorm friendly as well, if you have a kitchen). If you don’t want to use jelly in your sandwich, opt fo Nutella or marshmallow cream. PB&J fans, rejoice! This twist on our beloved tradition has the possibility to blow your mind.

what you’ll need:

  • sliced bread (white or wheat)
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • a skillet
  • Pam spray

1. Heat the burner your stove to a medium-low heat and spray your skillet with Pam

2.Make your sandwich. Spread peanut butter on one side and jelly on the other for an equal distribution of condiments

3. Grill it on one side for four minuets and flip it on the other side for four minutes.

4. Drizzle your sandwich with chocolate syrup, sprinkle it with powdered sugar, cut it in half and enjoy!

A taste of Italy: Biscotti de pasta frolla

Biscotti de pasta frolla is a typical italian biscuit (more of a cookie by American standards) served with coffee and tea, or sometimes as a dessert. It’s really simple to make and calls for ingredients that you probably already have stocked in your pantry.

Indulge in this Italian delicacy

what you’ll need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 & 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 cup of flour
  • oven should be preheated to 350 degrees.

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First, you’ll take your egg and sugar and mix the two.

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Second, you’ll melt the butter in a bowl.

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Third, flour and melted butter into the egg and sugar mixture.

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Let this mixture sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

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Before you start to work with your dough, be sure to spread flour on a clean flat surface.

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Knead your dough as flat as you can get it.

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Cut circles in the dough with a cup.

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Place your cookie cut dough on cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes or until you notice the bottoms starting to brown.

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Let your biscuits cool and enjoy with coffee, tea, milk or alone!

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Marina shines bright like a diamond

On Tuesday, December 11 Marina and the Diamonds brought her Lonely Hearts Club tour to The Fillmore music venue. Needless to say, she didn’t disappoint.

Opening for Marina were Icona Pop, a Swedish electro-pop DJ duo consisting of two towering girls. The DJ synth-pop sound exuded European, and they also incorporated actual singing into their set. These two were a perfect warm up to get the crowd hype for Marina.

Icona Pop. All photos by Scarlett Newman.

Marina kicked the show off with her smash hit, “Homewrecker,” emerging from the darkness through fog wearing a long flowing bridal veil.

Marina of Marina and the Diamonds comes onto the stage.

Those familiar with Marina and her fan base know that she sports a tiny black heart on her left cheek, and so did most of her fans on Tuesday night.

Playing to a full house, Marina often stopped to talk to the crowd in between songs to share some life experiences and repeatitively expressed her shock about having fans in Charlotte, N.C. Naturally the crowd was charmed by her Welsh wit, laughing at her every word.

She explained where she got the inspiration from her songs. Her primary inspiration is Britney Spears, directly inspiring her upbeat rock track, “Bubblegum B*tch.”

Once she played “Bubblegum B*tch,” the crowd morphed into a bit of a fabulous mosh pit: Beauty Queen sashes, hair and hands all flinging in the air.

Marina sat down at the piano for some tracks, but the one that had the house silent was “Teen Idle.” The song was reminiscent of one from Regina Spector, and the crowd was able to truly witness the sheer quality of Marina’s voice. She has quite the range.

She closed the show with her popular pop anthem, “How to Be a Heartbreaker” tossing glitter and jumping around from every end of the stage, winding up the crowd one final time.

Marina and the Diamond is very pop, but its very alternative to many pop artists in the spotlight in the moment. She’s proven to be another fantastic export from the United Kingdom.