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Spring 2021

Carter’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Written by Carter Weissenfluh With the NFL draft approaching in a few weeks, I wanted to share my insights and opinions about the incoming draft class. Here are my top 10 projections for the 2021 NFL Draft: Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson): If the Jaguars don’t take him with the first pick the NFL world will go crazy. To me, this is the easiest pick for any team to make with the first overall pick since the Colts took Andrew Luck. Trevor Lawrence is the exact guy the Jaguars need to turn their franchise around. New York Jets – Zach Wilson (QB, BYU): This pick is pretty much a lock considering the Jets just traded their former 3rd overall pick, Sam Darnold, to the Carolina Panthers. With a big market like New York, the Jets will need a playmaker and a box office attraction. Especially with his style of play drawing comparison to Patrick Mahomes, he’s the guy the Jets need right now.  San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State): When the 49ers came out of nowhere and traded with the Dolphins, it was clear they are looking for a new face of the franchise at quarterback. Some have the 49ers taking Justin Fields, while I have the 49ers getting Trey Lance. Considering they made this trade the day after his pro day, it seems like this is the direction the 49ers are headed in.  Atlanta Falcons – Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State): While there will be no mock trades in this list, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons were to trade out of this pick. However, if they keep this pick, I have them taking Justin Fields because Matt Ryan doesn’t have much left in the tank. Having Fields sit behind Matt Ryan…

Virginia Loosens the Leash on Entertainment Venues

Written by Mateo Biggs For over a year now, COVID-19 has affected everyone in every age group and has changed how everyone lives – especially with masks becoming a part of modern fashion with different patterns and images printed onto the fabric. Only recently were some students at Roanoke College able to join their classes in person with fellow classmates. Now, this may be the new normal for many of the freshmen here on campus, as they ended their senior years in high school with these strict mandates in place, but many upperclassmen may be missing the freedom of being students without their masks or the activities the college offered in previous years. Many freshmen may wish to partake in these activities as well, but instead many are stuck inside, unable to gain the whole college experience. Luckily, as the seasons change, the grip of state mandates is loosening. Virginia’s COVID-19 cases are appearing to drop and stabilize with help from the vaccines being handed out to high-risk citizens, and this improvement has led to changes in the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. One such regulation change is the amount of people allowed in areas for occasions like family gatherings, parties and other such major events. As of April 1, the capacity for indoor venues has shifted, with 30% occupancy now allowed within indoor venues. This could also equate to 500 people in total, depending on which number is less in comparison to attendees. Outdoor venues, on the other hand, are able to operate at 30% capacity with no numeric cap. What does this entail? Entertainment venues will now be able to welcome a slightly more regular number of attendees. Sporting events, for example, are increased to 100 people indoors while 500 people are allowed outdoors. This shows that the sports season…

Vaccination Disappointments

Written by Devon Mitchell In case you didn’t hear, Virginia has moved into phase 1c of their vaccination program. This means employees of higher education can get their vaccine, including students employed by the school. Additionally, Roanoke just announced they would be offering vaccinations to students next week! Roanoke students are receiving multiple opportunities to get vaccinated, but that’s not necessarily the case in other states. In my home state of New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu announced that out-of-state students are not eligible to receive the vaccine. This presents a flaw in New Hampshire’s public health system. It shouldn’t matter where someone is from, but where they are. Just because a student is from California, does not mean they are any less susceptible to COVID-19 while being in NH. Sununu’s declaration implies that the health and wellbeing of out-of-state students are lesser than that of in-state students. In general, it gives the impression that NH residents are more important than other states residents. Is this not a global pandemic? This raises questions about the selfishness of the human race. Not to get all philosophical on you, but this is all so, “us before them”, a mindset that has been detrimental to too many Americans. One would think that during a global pandemic, the human race would band together to fight for one another, but in many cases, we’ve seen the opposite happen. People still continue to fight to wear a mask, others refuse to get the vaccine, and on the global stage, Biden “shared” the AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico and Canada, despite the CDC not approving it.  I guess what I’m getting at is, if we can’t even share the wealth domestically, how are we expected to do so internationally? It’s sickening to hear these kinds of attitudes coming from…

Playlists: The Modern Mixtape

Written by Joyelle Ronan There is something so incredibly intimate about listening to music with another person. Sure, concerts are fun but sharing your favorite songs with someone and just listening together is an idyllic phenomenon. It takes you back to a particular moment in time like sitting in your friend’s car or cooking in your parent’s kitchen. Mixtapes and playlists have made it so we can combine all of our music memories and songs into unique listening experiences.   Our society has a fondness for the 1980s, even those of us born much later feel the sense of nostalgia. This feeling is likely influenced by some of the amazing artists that emerged from the decade like Queen, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. With the birth of MTV songs were being revolutionized by the mainstream success of music videos. However, it was the invention of the mixtape that made music a more personalized practice. Depending on when you were born, your idea of a mixtape might look a little different. Mixtapes became popular on cassette tapes back in the 80s. But if you grew up in the 90s or earlier 2000’s then you’re probably familiar with burning tracks onto a CD. If a physical copy of music is before your time, your mixtape may come in the form of a playlist. There is some debate on if mixtapes and playlists are considered synonyms, but ultimately they both accomplish the same job of compiling music of a certain theme or idea. For some, the mixtape is an artform. It is tracks arranged in a specific order meant to tell a poignant musical story. It can also be a shuffled collection of upbeat pop tunes that make you slightly more likely to exercise. The beauty of the mixtape is in its ability to be…

Volleyball ACE-ing their Season

Written by Katherine Clatterbuck The Roanoke volleyball team is off to a terrific start with their 4-2 overall and conference record. Averaging 11.8 kills and 17 digs per set, these Maroons are working hard in this shortened season. In total, the team will only have 11 in-season games, due to COVID-related restrictions and cancellations. The team has competed in 6 matches so far, with wins over Eastern Mennonite, Emory & Henry, Bridgewater, and Shenandoah. In their season opener, a tri-match with Lynchburg and Eastern Mennonite, the Maroons won 3 of 3 sets against Eastern Mennonite, with key players Linsey Bailey recording 14 kills and Kennedy Clemmer having 17 digs.  Clemmer continued her impressive dig records with 27 digs at the team’s match against Emory & Henry, resulting in a 3-0 set win for the Maroons.  Roanoke is currently ranked fifth in team digs, fourth in hitting percentage, and third in service aces, which proves that the hard work of these women is paying off in their play. Linsey Bailey was named ODAC Player of the Week for the week of March 30th. Bailey was recognized for her 23 kills in the team’s match against Bridgewater, leaving her ranked in the conference at second in kills per set and points earned, and third in points per set at the time of her recognition. The team is also highlighted in the conference rankings by Clemmer, who is ranked first in digs per set, third in digs, and fourth in service aces per set. Logan Pasley is tied with Clemmer for fourth in service aces per set. Olivia Newman is ranked fifth in assists per set. These stellar players, along with the rest of the team, have propelled the team to 5th place in the conference standings. The team is set to face…

Big Screen, Small Theatres: Where to Catch Your Next Flick

Written by Joyelle Ronan As the United States slowly becomes vaccinated, daily life is on the cusp of returning to normalcy. If you consider yourself a cinephile, this means regaining the beloved pastime of going to the movies. While your Regal Cinemas and AMC theatres offer perfectly fine movie viewing experiences, why not branch out and visit one of the many historic movie theatres Southwest Virginia has to offer less than an hour away.  There are great perks to patronizing a small theatre like cheaper tickets. Popcorn is also not as expensive as a chain theatre. It tastes better too. The seats may not be as comfortable, but historic theatres play better films so you’ll quickly forget about that. The beautiful architecture and ambience add a certain charm to the experience that makes it worth the extra drive time.  The Grandin Theatre// Roanoke, VA Built in 1931, The Grandin Theatre was the first theatre in Roanoke to have “talking pictures.” The theatre has a long history of opening and closing, moveover the nonprofit prides itself on being a cultural hub for its community. Pre-pandemic, the theatre would host free midnight and weekend showings of older films. Tickets for students $8.25. Minutes away from campus ~15 minutes.  Starlite Drive-In Theater// Christiansburg, VA Visiting the Starlite has been the perfect summer activity since 1953! You can also check out the flea market open Saturday mornings in the spring. The film selection is usually good and the snack bar is too (especially the fried mac and cheese bites,) so be sure to get there nice and early so your ride will have a spot. Tickets for students $6.00. Minutes away from campus ~27 minutes.   Lyric Theatre// Blacksburg, VA Lyric Theatre is a non profit run primarily by volunteers. The history dates back…

Three Poems

Written by Jasey Roberts Text from My Mother, 3:09pm Can you run Roomba and make sure she gets under the bed where the dust collects, and I cannot reach? Make sure she doesn’t get stuck, you know how she gets, with rotor-brushes like little spider fangs sunk into a sock she can’t suck up.  She works so hard, and I love her dearly for her belly,  crammed full of lint.   On Brushing my Teeth Late at Night Right now, it’s unconquerable.  Why do I do things with no immediate benefit other than the promise of eventual health?  Eventual security? I am in bed, and life feels pretty damn secure.   In the morning, my face has a swamp filled with frogs and ivory pads  floating in muck.  Or maybe- a rotting piano,  with uneven, pliable keys that could have been restored, if only someone had taken the time to do it.   Second Dog You’re not as nice as the first one.  I buy you treats to clean your mouth because it smells like rotten salmon and floor puff, but your mouth still stinks. When you sleep,  you don’t sleep in your crate like Bear did.  Instead, you scuttle into my room and get under the covers  and nudge yourself right between my legs,  cold wet puppy nose prodding everywhere.  We play fetch in the yard, and you run over Bear’s mound, bringing the ball  but refusing to let it go. I wonder how long it’ll take for me to get used  to the way things are, and how soon that moment will be  before they change again. 

22 Things… To Put On Your RC Bucket List

Written by Kaelyn Spickler I am now freshly 22-year-old, and unless something crazy happens, this is my last semester writing for the Brackety-Ack. 🙁 With that, I decided it would be fun for my final column to be “22 Things…” where I can sometimes share advice, list my favorites, or give some insight.  Stargaze at the Roanoke Star– you’ll probably spend more time driving than you will at the top, but it’s worth it! Win at BINGO (bonus points for being one of the announcers) Order a calzone at Mac N’ Bobs (or split one with a friend) Have a conversation with President Maxey Play sand volleyball– you’ll have to stake your claim fast because the courts fill up quickly on a nice day.  Get free wings at midnight on a Wednesday from Mac N’ Bobs Play an intramural sport or do a workout class– you get a free shirt if your team wins! Show off your line dancing moves at Sidewinders on a Tuesday night– bring out those cowboy or cowgirl boots.  Check out a choir concert or RC Theatre production– they are truly the hidden gems of campus. Hike McAfee’s Knob– definitely stretch beforehand! Watch the sunset on the roof of Center in the Square Go on a picnic or a run at Green Hill Park Host your own radio show– for a whole hour once a week you can talk about or play almost anything.  Host your own tailgate before your favorite sporting event– who says you have to have football to tailgate? Belt your heart out at Karaoke Night or perform at Roanoke’s Got Talent List five brews at Olde Salem– their Suit and Tie won awards! Take a day trip to Smith Mountain Lake or Claytor Lake– both are less than an hour away.  Get…

The Trial of Derek Chauvin So Far

Written by Joey Slusher 2020 was a year full of turmoil. So much so that many of us forget particular headlines and moments which, in any other year, would have dominated the new cycle for weeks. For example, prior to their recent interview, many Americans had all but forgotten the news of Meghan Markle and Princes Harry’s departure from the U.K.’s Royal family.  A piece of news which we all are unlikely to forget, which will surely stand out in many people’s memories of this past year, will be that of the death of Mr. George Floyd. Floyd was a 46 year old black man who was killed on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as the result of an extremely unorthodox law enforcement encounter.  Floyd was in the process of being arrested by the Minneapolis Police when he began to complain of difficulty breathing and began to resist, according to the arresting officers. Officer Derek Chauvin forced Floyd onto the ground and began to kneel on Floyd’s neck for a total of nine minutes and thirty-nine seconds. Investigators now believe that Floyd died at the scene of his arrest, with Chauvin baring much of the blame for the murder due to the fact that he had his knee pressed on Floyd’s neck and refused to allow emergency medical personnel to administer aid at the scene. As we know, Floyd’s death spurred millions to the streets in acts of protest against police brutality, police accountability, and systemic racism. These protests, often under the banners of Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police, spanned the whole of the summer of 2020 and crossed international boundaries.  Since the initial incidents, two autopsies have argued that Floyd was killed in a homicide. Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder,…

Roanoke Honors the Slave Labor that Built the College

Written by Devon Mitchell On Thursday, April 8, Roanoke College unveiled two plaques on the front of the Administration building honoring the slave labor that went into building the campus. The college held a ceremony including speeches from President Maxey, Chaplain Chris, and student leaders.  The ceremony opened with a prayer and speech from Chaplain Chris, calling on the school to continue working to recognize the whole truth of the narrative of the black voices which are a part of Roanoke’s history. The Chaplain then introduced President Maxey, who gave a history of how the school’s buildings were actually built. Specifically, the two slaves who were bricklayers that built up the Administration building were memorialized. Following President Maxey’s speech, students from the Black Students Alliance and the Student Government Association helped to unveil the plaques that were placed on the pillars on the front of the Admin building.  After the unveiling, President Maxey asked BSA President Jordan Robinson and SGA Vice President Devon Mitchell to speak on what this momentous occasion meant to them.  Miss Robinson thanked the college for beginning to recognize the slave labor which went into building the school. She spoke of the candlelit vigil BSA hosts to honor those slaves and how that and the plaques were a start.  “These are mere steps in order to rectify and acknowledge that without the work of these men and women, our College could not afford buildings of this caliber,” said Robinson. The BSA President concluded her speech by remembering the work that there is still to do, reminding us that it will take time. Robinson recalled President Maxey saying, “I would rather take my time and get it right than to rush it and be wrong.” Mitchell noted the meaning behind the plaques and how Roanoke will no…