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Spring 2021

Let’s Get Ce-REAL

Written by Chamberlain Zulauf My roommate and I do a lot together: we watch TV shows (last semester it was Breaking Bad and this semester it’s Better Call Saul), we practice together on the track team and spend most of our time playing Pokémon Go. A long-standing tradition in 215 is to buy insane cereals. Anything is game, from combinations like Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms to Minecraft-themed cereal (Creeper Crunch). It’s a lot of trial and error. The Minecraft cereal was a letdown – it’s just bland cinnamon-flavored toasted oats and baby marshmallows. The Pokémon cereal was a little better, but the berry puffs with marshmallows are too sweet to have more than three bites. Evidently, I have staunch opinions and a healthy commitment towards cereal. I do consider myself an amateur connoisseur of breakfast foods. Here is what’s good and what’s bleh. Cinnamon Bun Frosted Mini-Wheats: underwhelming- a missed opportunity. Sour Patch Kid’s Cereal: the worst one we’ve tried by far. I don’t know why we bought those. Lil’ Yachty’s Reese’s Puffs: the same as regular Reese’s Puffs, but the box is cool. Pop-Tart cereal is also not as amazing as you’d think it’d be. It’s not all bad though. Oreo O’s are one of the best cereals I’ve ever tasted. Period. Fruity Lucky Charms are also really good. They’re almost too sweet for their own good, but the pink runes look like food art. Our endeavors in cereal exploration are far from over. There are so many more wacky cereals that I’d never even think of. The bucket list includes Drumstick, Nutter Butter and Jolly Rancher-themed cereal. Cinnamon Toast Crunch has churros cereal, but I think that’s a little too daunting for my palate. It would be awesome if Commons had Eggo cereal. Really, I’m just hoping…

Folk of ‘Noke: Natasha Saunders

Written by Zach Dalton This issue’s Folk at Noke is someone who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes throughout this month to ensure that each event for Black History Month went off seamlessly. So, everyone give a hearty hello to Ms. Natasha Saunders, the Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She has served as Director for x amount of years. This year she undertook the challenge of hosting a multitude of Black History Month events in the current Covid-19 focused climate. Some of those headlining events included a keynote talk with Yussef Salaam (held on February 23) and Voices of Resistance and Freedom: Afro-Colombian Female Poets (held on February 25). As of this publication she turned her focus in ensuring the Community, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium runs with ease on Saturday, February 27. The Symposium includes online panels featuring current and past students alike. For more information check out: roanoke.edu/BlackHistoryMonth. Ms. Saunders’s work does not stop in February. When asked about future plans of the Office of Multicultural Affairs she told Brackety-Ack, “​be on the lookout for some amazing events for Women’s History Month in collaboration with the International Education Office.” There would be more information on their plans as we approach the month. “Additionally,” Ms. Saunders continued, “we will be planning Sash Ceremony, a graduation ceremony for those affiliated with OMA.” Which should be quite the event and well earned for those involved. Every year OMA offers an awards ceremony during Alumni Week and Ms. Saunders was proud to confirm, “we are getting ready for Garren Diversity Awards and Heritage Ball which will take place during Alumni Weekend.” The Office of Multicultural Affairs warmly opens all its events to any interested students. “Some events have a registration some you can just pop in,” Ms. Saunders explained, “If…

Men’s Soccer Makes Season Debut

Written by Carter Weissenfluh Last Sunday the Roanoke men’s soccer team played their first game of the season against the Bridgewater Eagles. Last season, the Eagles gave the Maroons some problems in a tough 4-1 loss, but this time around it was a completely different game. The Maroons dominated time of possession and had significantly more Shots on Goal, with 25 for the Maroons and just 4 for Bridgewater. The Maroons had plenty of chances to score but they did not seem to find the back of the net. Due to COVID-19, it had been a long time since the Maroons had taken the field for competition, and unfortunately, it was apparent at the start of this game. However, once the Maroons worked their way into the second half they were able to find a rhythm as they moved toward overtime; they were clicking on all cylinders. Unfortunately for the Maroons, they were never able to find the back of the net and the Bridgewater goalkeeper made some tremendous saves down the stretch and in overtime. The final score was a 0-0 tie.  As their season heats up, the Maroons look to take on conference rival Washington & Lee on Sunday, February 28th at 1:00 PM in Kerr Stadium. This game will have playoff implications all over it and it would not come as a surprise if these teams meet again later on in the season. Hopefully, the Maroons can find the back of the net in their next game and work to get their first win of the season. 

Ephemeral Tranquility Debuts in RC’s Olin Gallery

Written by Jack Miller Beginning February 15, Olin Hall has unveiled a new collection of work by various artists, including Kyra Hinton, Kate Shortridge, Amy Herzel, Duane Cregger, and Yassi Mazandi. The exhibition is called Ephemeral Tranquility and focuses on Buddhist ideals of enveloping peace and harmony. The curators hope that by looking at these pieces, the viewer will turn introspectively and reflect on their own individual experience and overall position within this interconnected reality.  The artists understands both the grief and anxiety we all as a collective have experienced over the last year. They seeks to, in the midst of the pandemic with powerful forces of uncertainty and fear around, establish a position of stillness and tranquility that they hope the viewer can find refuge within. Ephemeral Tranquility works as a vehicle for the viewer to become immersed and as a result gain a moment of relief from the almost constant weight of their current situation. The pieces all use a multitude of colors, primarily pink and grey colors, seeking to capture a tranquil sense of both security and beauty. Olin Hall currently holds 13 pieces designed for this exhibition including the piece because you never truly left the womb of the universe, by New York born artist, Amy Herzel. This piece shows swirling clouds mixed with looping geometric designs that promote a mindset of peace and serenity (and offer a sweet photo spot). Ephemeral Tranquility will be on display in Olin Gallery, which is currently opened Monday – Friday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Bye-Bye Blues

Written by Zuba Mutesi Zoom university is a reality that many of us have come to accept because realistically, we have no clue on when life could go back to any form of normalcy. When this online learning and virtual world started, I was always trying to stay optimistic about the new methods being adopted and essentially breed a better perspective on it all. I waited and waited and waited, but it never really became one of those concepts that I am too fond of. If you, like me, are a person who finds it hard to learn in such environments, then you know that the semester blues can get to you much quicker than your average student. The beginning of the semester starts of lighthearted and the stress usually increases from there. However, these days it seems easier to catch the semester blues earlier, since we are not just dealing with academics but a more virtual world all together. But I am not here to keep being pessimistic about it or keep listing off the difficulties and agonies of this virtual world we now live in. As I keep thinking about the semester and how it is bound to get more stressful down the line, I chose to start finding ways of alleviating this pessimism into some more positive energy. If you are trying to conquer those semester blues like me, first I want to remind you to breathe. Literally take a guilt-free moment to step back when you feel like you are on the brink of madness. Allow your mind to have a break from taking in so much and give yourself a chance to breathe mentally, physically and sometimes emotionally. Secondly, communicate your stress when it is getting too high. Although many are reluctant to be vulnerable…

Fearless in the Music Industry

Written by Kristina Calhoun Taylor Swift fans will be excited to hear that their throwback songs will soon have a new tune to them.  Swift announced in her acceptance speech at the AMAs that she will be rerecording her older material to “regain artistic and financial control.” The decision comes after her old record label, Big Machine Records, sold her material in a reported $300 million deal to another record label that she had had prior problems with.  Since Swift did not own her material, she could not go after the label for doing so. She was not given an opportunity to buy her material or even have a say in what happened to it. Swift was very upset. “Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, and I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy,” she said. Good news came shortly after when her contract specified that in November 2020, she could record albums one through five again. Those albums include “Taylor Swift,” “Fearless,” “Speak Now,” “Red” and “1989.” Since her newest record, “Reputation,” was recorded under Big Machine Records, Taylor cannot rerecord it yet. According to the Rolling Stone, this is likely due to a common clause in contracts. The contract states that songs cannot be rerecorded until “the later of two years following the expiration of the agreement or five years after the commercial release.” In the case of “Reputation,” that means Swift unfortunately cannot rerecord the album until 2022.  What are the implications of Swift’s decision? After rerecording, she will have the freedom to do what she wants with her music — if she wants it to be used in an ad or a movie, for example, she can give permission for it to be used. This is exciting news, especially considering that Swift has been…

Listen to Your Gut: Keeping a Healthy GI Tract

Written by Zoe Manukian Over winter break, I was surprised to learn from my doctor that the gut essentially serves as the human body’s second brain. The way we treat our gut can greatly impact not just our stomach or our energy levels, but our hormones and mental well-being also. In fact, 90% of our serotonin comes from our gut, giving us a great reason to consider what we put into it. According to Dr. Siri Carpenter of the American Psychological Association, “In just the last few years, evidence has mounted from studies in rodents that the gut microbiome can influence neural development, brain chemistry, and a wide range of behavioral phenomena, including emotional behavior, pain perception and how the stress system responds.” She explains that we are all essentially born with sterile guts, and over time, we put both good and bad bacteria into it and ideally cultivate a strong group of organs equipped to ward off illness. The gut also regulates mood, memory, and learning capacity. According to Healthline, an upset stomach, unintentional weight loss or weight gain, sleep disturbances or fatigue, and food intolerances are all indications of an unhealthy gut. Certain gut problems or imbalances can be rectified with special attention to diet or by taking supplements such as Glutamine. Probiotics such as those found in Kefir are another great example of a supplement that can contribute to a healthy microbiome.  In times of pain, yoga or light exercise can alleviate discomfort, and those who suffer from long-term gut sensitivity may want to see a doctor about receiving a prescription. They may also want to avoid foods high in sugar and alcohol, and after drinking alcohol should consider eating a high-collagen, fibrous meal alongside taking a prebiotic or probiotic. Those who suffer from bodily pain, particularly…

Album Corner: “Rest Without Regrets…”

Written by Zach “Definitely Not a Music Major” Dalton You might remember a few issues back, I wrote an album review on Joji’s “Nectar.” Well, I am back with another album I feel deserves the love. “Rest Without Regrets…” by Griffin Boucher is an alternative-pop album I can best describe as an experience. When he is not singing for his band, Orange Culture, Griffin Boucher is working on his own music. As of last week, he released his first solo album, “Rest Without Regrets…,” which he described as, “the emotions and thoughts of a teenager who’s turning into an adult.” This is evident in his lyrics, which flow with the thoughtfulness and profound feelings that are generally associated with poetry. Boucher added, “As I graduated high school and started to see the world in a different way,” something you can hear in his lyrics, “I would pour those feelings into my music. That music all came together and became [the album].” His lyrics can best be described as hauntingly beautiful, especially in his song “Always Blue,” where he uses his own vocals as a background sound paired with the instrumentals. Later in the song, he plays with the track itself as it plays out and slowly distorts and turns into a faint echo. While the focus of his album is on his words and voice, which can compete against alternative industry giants, he also credited his friends for their help. “Charlie Lewis and Mark Raines (a.k.a. Marc Dragon) helped to really bring the songs to life,” Boucher commented. His friends helped provide the instrumentals to help produce his album. “Rest Without Regrets…” has a very strong focus on piano or guitar. The lead instruments both pair well with the other tracks. “It’s nice to collaborate with other artists and I…

Combining Mental Health and Music: “Bad Thoughts” by Belated

Written by Joyelle Ronan Is it nepotism to write an article about my musician brother? Possibly. But as editor of this page, it’s kind of my job to introduce the Brackety-Ack readers to all things Culture and Wellness. The new single “Bad Thoughts” by Belated just so happens to combine both of those things. The song details how difficult it is to deal with negative emotions after a breakup and the desire to “fade away.” The lyrics mention overthinking, not wanting to leave the house, and continuously visiting an ex’s social media. However, the raw and honest lyrics are offset by a catchy pop melody.  Belated singer and songwriter Jordon Ronan, 25, has come a long way from when he recorded his first song in 7th grade. But that experience of playing acoustic guitar and singing made Jordan realize his passion for music.  “It was never a thing where I wanted to be a musician, it was just that I liked listening to music, I wanted to see if I could write my own music. Music in general is the thing that makes me happiest. So, being able to make my own is pretty cool,” said Jordan.  The main adjective of Belated’s new music is to make people feel good while they’re listening. For the 17 minutes of the band’s new EP, Jordan hopes that people will be able to vibe with it and not think about the stressors in their lives. People will be able to enjoy, relate to, and maybe even be inspired by the emotional lyrics. Jordan found the process of writing the EP to be very therapeutic.  “Songwriting is definitely therapy. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m past an issue until I’m able to write a song about it. Usually, the end result is, if I…

Marvel Phase 4: What to Expect

Written by Charissa Roberson How do you move on from a finale like “Avengers: Endgame”? The epic climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3, which said goodbye to many founding faces of the Avengers, spelled the end of an era – but not, however, the end of the line. Marvel Studios is already underway on Phase 4 of the MCU, and, based on early reports, upcoming projects could be the most ambitious yet. Phase 4 kicked off with the debut of “Wandavision” on Disney+. This oddball, genre-blending series finds Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. Scarlet Witch) at the heart of an alternate reality that presents itself as a television sitcom. Each episode is styled after a particular decade of American television, from the ‘50s onward. Not only does this make for extremely entertaining viewing – watching the costumes, dialogue and camerawork evolve masterfully with each episode – but it raises suspicions about what’s actually going on in this unsettling “TV Land.” Viewers will have to wait until “Wandavision”’s last episode premieres on Mar. 5 to (hopefully) get answers. But “Wandavision”’s exploration of an alternate reality could have implications beyond the show itself. Rumor has it that Marvel is setting up something big for Phase 4. The upcoming “Dr. Strange” sequel (“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) might hint at where the superhero franchise is heading. That’s right – Marvel could introduce the multiverse. The third “Spider-Man” film (recently confirmed as “Spider-Man: No Way Home”), which stars Tom Holland as the titular web-crawler, has been surrounded by speculation well ahead of any official plot release. Could Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire – who each wore the Spidey suit in their own right – reprise their roles in a live-action version of the Spider-verse? Holland recently debunked this claim (Esquire), but even…