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Spring 2021

Teaching English in an Unhealthy Global World

Devon Mitchell   This summer, I taught my first online English class for Blue Ridge Literacy, a local non-profit whose mission is to teach English to Roanoke’s immigrant population. I taught a beginner class that had one Haitian woman and four Afghan women. I began the summer nervous and ready to tackle the challenge of teaching five people English having no background in their languages. I had no idea what the end of the summer would entail. It first began when my student from Haiti told me she was going back to Haiti for an emergency. The next day on NPR’s Up First, I heard Haiti’s President had been assassinated. Shortly after, there was a massive earthquake and tropical storm. Although my student said she would be back “next week”, we have not heard from her in two months.   Then towards the end of summer courses, President Biden announced US troops would be pulled from Afghanistan. Many of my Afghan students became nervous about their families back in their home country. Some students even went back to Afghanistan to bring their families to the US. As the last few weeks of classes went on fewer and fewer of my students showed up to class.   It’s hard knowing that a group you have come to know and watch progress is in pain because of what is going on at home. Immigrants and refugees have gone through so much to be here, and they leave behind family, friends, jobs, a whole life. And yet the American point of view reeks of nationalism, without a second thought of the people who want to experience the so-called “American Dream”.   As a society, we need to listen and learn more. Find resources to help us understand other’s perspectives rather than closing our…

Senior Spotlight: Zach Behe and Erin Flamm

Written by Katherine Clatterbuck With fall athletics underway, many senior athletes are beginning their final season representing Roanoke through their athletic accomplishments. Erin Flamm is a center back for the women’s soccer team. The team finished last year’s season in the ODAC semifinals. Flamm commented that she chose Roanoke, “for a couple of reasons: the campus and its facilities, the coaches, and the team’s dynamic”. Flamm was named All-ODAC first-team and VASID All-State first-team during her junior year for her accomplishments as a defensive player for Roanoke. Flamm’s pre-game activities include snacking on Clif Bars and fruit snacks, and listening to Power by Kanye West. Flamm highlighted her team’s accomplishments during her four years here, saying “My greatest team accomplishment while on the Roanoke women’s soccer team would be beating Lynchburg for the first time in years on their home field my sophomore year”.  Zach Behe is a goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team. Behe enjoys a Jimmy Johns Turkey Tom sandwich before games. Behe commented about his pre-game ritual, “One song I listen to before every game is Enter Sandman by Metallica”. Behe was drawn to Roanoke because of the Cregger Center and the common goals he shared with the other players on the team. When asked about his greatest accomplishment while on the Roanoke team, Behe stated, “My greatest accomplishment so far as a Roanoke College athlete is making the 2019 NCAA tournament”. Roanoke’s 2019 appearance in the NCAA tournament was the first since 2012 for the men’s team, in which they kept a tie at 2 with Swarthmore until Swarthmore overcame them in the PK round.  Remaining proud of all of our Roanoke College athletes, we wish the best of luck to Erin Flamm and Zach Behe as they lead their respective teams during this year’s season. 

Cozy Gaming

Marisa Seager You might think that a “true gamer” is someone who plays stereotypical shooter games like Call of Duty and Apex Legends, however there is actually a whole different side of gaming with many categories to explore. As a personal favorite of mine, I’d like to tell you about some great calm, relaxing, and cozy games that can be found across multiple consoles and devices.  Calico – available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows In Calico, you are given the task of rebuilding the town’s cat café while completing tasks for others in the village. How can it possibly get any better than decorating and putting together your very own café? Okay, well you actually get to ride these cats too! Cozy Grove – available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, iOS, and Microsoft Windows  This was the game that I switched to after playing Animal Crossing all throughout quarantine! In Cozy Grove, you find new secrets and help the local ghosts through tasks all while decorating, crafting, and living on the island itself.  Lemon Cake – available on Microsoft Windows Lemon Cake is a casual baking sim where you are tasked with restoring an abandoned bakery. As you progress through the game you can unlock new pastry recipes, the ability to grow more fresh ingredients in the greenhouse, and upgrade the bakery in all sorts of ways. Spiritfarer – available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and macOS This one is a cozy management game where you essentially build a boat to explore the world and care for your spirit friends to help them with transitioning into the afterlife. Spiritfarer is definitely one of the more unique games on this list that I have played.  Coffee Talk – available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows,…

“What IF?”….Marvel Went There

Charissa Roberson   ***CAUTION: Here there be spoilers!***       Marvel’s animated series “What If…?” is quickly drawing to a close, with the final episode set to premiere on Disney+ on Sept. 29. In each 30-minute episode, the series reveals how events might have played out if an MCU character had made a different choice than they did in the “canon” timeline. Although the premise seems harmless and fun, Marvel’s first animated series has proven itself to be one of the darkest MCU installments yet.      The very principle of “What If…?” is that events do not unfold in the same way we have seen previously – and, by the same token, familiar characters do not have the same fates. Main Avengers, such as Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and Captain America, are no longer “protected” by their status as leading characters. Instead, in “What If…?”, we see these MCU figureheads killed off quickly, repeatedly and often brutally, far from the meaningful sacrifices of “Avengers: Endgame” (2019).       In Episode 6, for example, T’Challa/Black Panther, Rhodey/War Machine and Tony Stark are all murdered by Killmonger in less than five minutes. In Episode 3, an assassin targets the Avengers and kills almost all the core members before they can ever assemble. And, of course, in Episode 5, a zombie apocalypse transforms most of Earth’s mightiest heroes into brain-eating machines.     “What If…?” doesn’t elicit the same stirring, uplifting emotions as a typical MCU production. On the contrary, the animated series has a grim undertone, a pervasive sense of danger and moments of pure horror. No one is safe. Victories, when they do come, are bittersweet, and hope is mixed with fear and grief. Rarely do episodes have happy endings, even more rarely resolved ones. However, “What If…?” brings something different to the MCU – a…

A Career Marked by Excellence

Written by Lauren Roth Emilee Wooten has been a member of the Roanoke College field hockey team since 2017, and in her four years she has developed into one of the best players in program history.  Since Wooten’s freshman year, she has played and started all her games. During her freshman year, she finished the season with 16 goals, ranking her the fourth-best in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. She was named to the All-ODAC second team after earning 38 points that fall. Her sophomore year brought her to the top five in the ODAC for goals once again and ranked fourth in the conference with 32 total points. This time around, she was given the honor of being named to the All-ODAC first team. Wooten’s third year brought her to success once again, when her 18 goals for the Maroons brought her to third place in the ODAC. She was second in the ODAC with 49 total points and third in the ODAC with five game-winning goals. She received the recognition once again of All-ODAC first team, in addition to being named to the All-Region second-team.  In the spring of 2021, Wooten started and played in all 9 games in an abbreviated schedule due to COVID-19. She tied for seventh in the conference with her 6 goals. At the beginning of the season, Emilee Wooten broke the Roanoke College career points record, previously held by Shelbi Holloman. Shelbi broke the record in 66 games, while Wooten broke the record in 57 games. She finished the season once again on the All-ODAC first-team and VASID All-State first-team.  Wooten returned to Roanoke College and the field hockey program for a fifth year this fall. In her third game of the season, Emilee Wooten scored the opening goal against Southern Virginia University. With that…

The Legacy of Henrietta Lacks

Jack Miller This past Thursday, the College was visited by Dr. Sylvester A. Johnson, the assistant vice provost for the humanities and founding director of the Center for Humanities at Virginia Tech. He offered the Roanoke College community a seminar regarding the future of technology, the racialized problems that may come with it, and a meditation on the legacy left behind by Roanoke native – Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta Lacks was born in the Roanoke Valley in 1920 and worked for many years as a tobacco farmer. Lacks later moved outside of Baltimore, Maryland where her husband took up work at a steel plant. Upon the birth of her son, Joseph, Henrietta complained about a knot in her uterus. She was tested at Johns Hopkins, one of the few hospitals servicing Black patients in the early half of the 20th century, where she referred to a doctor – Howard W. Jones. Jones took a sample of a mass found in Lacks’ cervix, discovering that she had an aggressive form of cervical cancer. During treatment for the cancer, two samples were removed from Lacks without her knowledge or consent. These cells were transferred to cancer researchers at Johns Hopkins where they were experimented on. These cells were named the HeLa cell line and formed the basis for biomedical research on cancers. These cells were kept alive, due to researchers realizing that something about them was immensely strong and resilient. Henrietta Lacks’ cells were in fact the first human cells to be successfully cloned and used to study the effects of a multitude of diseases on human cells. Dr. Johnson explains the glaring ethical problem with the HeLa cells. The shameful, unethical treatment of Lacks broke ethics codes in the process of taking samples from her without constent. This was not all that…

North Korea’s Display of Nuclear Capability

Edgard Lacayo   This past Wednesday, North Korea launched two missiles from a train-based launch pad. South Korea responded three hours later by launching its own missile from a submarine. Both launches were parts of weapons tests, yet both of these actions have raised tensions in the Korean peninsula. Any hopes for diplomatic talks have been eliminated for the foreseeable future. Pyongyang claimed its missile was launched as a response to the ending of a treaty between the US and South Korea which limited the size and payload of South Korean missiles.  These missile launches are not the complete extent of Kim Jong Un’s latest display of nuclear capability.    Satellite images acquired by the commercial image company Maxar show that there is new construction underway in North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Research Facility. The site was previously dormant, but the renewed activity suggests that North Korea intends on increasing its uranium enrichment activities to build more nuclear weapons. This expansion is consistent with previous efforts to add more space to the facility. This additional space could serve to house more centrifuges which could increase enriched uranium production by about 25%. This is not surprising to some since North Korea’s actions are consistent with the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency which claims that a nuclear reactor had been restarted in the facility after last being active in December 2018. The report also stated that the continuation of the North Korean nuclear program is in clear violation of UN security council resolutions.  The Biden administration has also received criticism for not taking a stronger stance against North Korea. There has been little communication between the two nations since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of communication and outside supervision is exacerbated by the complete shutdown of the country’s borders…

From High School to College

 Sydney Young Almost weekly in high school a teacher would say “this won’t work in college” to me or a classmate. This was usually in response to us not drafting our papers far enough in advance, or because we wanted to go to the bathroom in the middle of class without asking for permission. Not only can you do both things in college, although you should write papers far in advance, these turned out to not be the struggles we would face as incoming freshmen. Instead, having the last two years of our education be disrupted by COVID-19, then having to go to college, would pose the biggest hurdle.  In an ideal world, the last year of high school is spent preparing for college. One would hopefully take on more interesting and difficult classes, take on leadership roles in clubs, and push towards the end of your high school career. But, with online classes, cancelled activities, and staying home most days, this wasn’t the case for this freshman class.  My school district never went back to in person more than one day per week, and that only lasted for a couple months at a time. While some districts kept in person learning, many also did not, so we are feeling the effects of this.  First up, academic success. When my school switched to distance learning hard work switched off with it. At first this was completely understandable; we were living through a pandemic mind you. However, some classes never picked the academic rigor back up. Classes that used to be hands on and engaging became busy work turned in through Google Classroom. Because of this, the already strange transition to college level work feels even more stark for some.  Freshman, Raigan Linquist, says that her unusual senior year left her…

Yik Yak is Back!

Rebecca Dance    For the reader’s convenience, I will recap my 2013 middle school experience: Yik Yak is an app that connects you with people within a certain geographic radius. The purpose of the app is to share and create discussion threads that can be participated in anonymously. Naturally, we loved it and used it to confess crushes, ask for anonymous ratings, and other middle school shenanigans. As often happens, the app experienced issues and service was discontinued. But that’s not the end of the story!  Yik Yak has risen like a phoenix from the ashes, and our campus is not afraid to use it. In the past week, whispers of “how funny it was that it’s come back”, and “it’s a hilarious throwback to childhood that allows us to share our current opinions”. Woefully, Yik Yak is only available on iOS, and I am the unfortunate user of an Android phone in an iPhone world.  While I strongly believe Android’s are the better choice, I’m regretting I can’t currently access Yik Yak because what I’ve heard so far is entertaining.   There are anonymous discussions on Greek life, sports teams, and Roanoke College faculty and staff. I’ve heard mixed reports on the quality of things shared, but the conclusion that I’ve reached is that it’s eerily reminiscent of middle school, but the opinions shared are a little more aggressive and a little raunchier.   In my opinion (unable to be shared on Yik Yak), it’s a good thing (despite the pitfalls of anonymous online participation) after more than a year of fear and concern over the fate of the world. As college students, we’ve been dealing with a lot: COVID, climate change, and a political minefield, to say the least. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that amid crisis, we’ve…

Festivals: Not for the Faint of Heart

Kristi Rolf         Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go to my first music festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I got my shifts covered for the weekend, let my professors know that I would miss class on Monday, and hit the road to see live music for the first time in several years.         My friends and I bought tickets for the Americana Music festival four months ago and spent the summer counting down the days. I had never been to a music festival before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect other than an empty wallet, which came true more literally than I expected when I got home and discovered that my debit card had been compromised. But hey, you only live once! What’s an hour or two on hold with the bank after a weekend packed with excellent live music? But I digress.         This may have been my first music festival, but it will definitely not be my last. That weekend was amazing! I learned some ways to make the next one better. First of all, festivals take a lot of energy! Each day had about ten hours of live music, with the main headliners appearing later in the day. By day two, I learned to take it easy during the first part of the day to save my energy for the most-anticipated shows. Next time, I’ll consider adding energy drinks or espresso to my hydration routine.          Speaking of drinks, you have to get creative with your fun-having if you aren’t 21. It came as no surprise that a mammoth amount of alcohol was sold at the festival during the weekend. For a group of 20-year-olds, FOMO was real. We spent most of our time people-watching and daydreaming about returning next year with “21+” wristbands.          I remember most vividly…