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Fall 2019

Holiday Gift Guide

Written by Laurel Moore As the holidays are fast approaching, the time window for buying gifts is quickly closing. The Christmas season can seem a little stressful when you’re tasked with trying to buy the perfect gifts for your friends and family. Let’s face it, we are all broke college students expected to buy gifts like the adult everyone likes to think we are. It can often be hard to think of the perfect gift for all the special people in your life who mean so much to you. Here is a guide to picking out thoughtful, inexpensive gifts that will instantly be a hit. Funny yet relevant socks. Nothing says friendship (or family) like a pair of socks that portray the perfect inside joke or quote. These are usually under 10 bucks and are a very practical gift. They are a unique way to express your appreciation for anyone on your mind. A cozy beanie. Everyone, young or old, can love and use a nice winter hat. Even if they already own 6 or have never owned one, it will be useful for anyone you buy it for. It is more expensive than other things on this list, but it will definitely last for whoever you chose to buy it for. Simple jewelry. This is mainly for the women in your life but could be applicable to the others as well. Anything simple, necklace or earrings, is a perfect gift for any woman in your life, just remember less is more. Bath and Body Works. When in doubt, buy them something that smells great. This is a reasonably inexpensive gift that can be for anyone on your list. They have something there for any age as well. Between hand sanitizer, lotion, candles, or even something from the men’s collection….

A Meme Advent Calendar of the 2010’s

Written by Joseph Carrick As 2019 concludes, it is important to reflect on lessons learned from this past year. Most important of all: how many memes we managed to get through this year. If you happened to notice, 2019 is also the end of the 2010’s decade, and to commemorate such an important milestone, this advent calendar will be taking a look at memes not just from 2019, but from this entire decade.  The trend that started it all and thus shall start the list: Rickrolling. This bait and switch prank involved hyperlinking the 1987 “Never Gonna Give You Up” as a seemingly relevant contribution to an online discussion. Other famous YouTube memes from 2010 include the “Miss South Carolina Teen USA” with her incoherent answer to a question ironically about uneducated Americans, and “Leave Britney Alone” from early YouTube celebrity Chris Crocker.  2011 saw an explosion of the meme format and widespread pranking. The first meme formats include Scumbag Steve, Futurama Fry, the woke college freshman, business cat, the chemistry cat, the most interesting man in the world, Nyan cat, Alien man from the history channel, the unhelpful substitute teacher meme, anything Siri related, women laughing with plates of salad, and the baby godfather. Horsemanning and planking were two of the first early pranks that exploded on the internet. 2012 introduced the internet to Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, Bad Luck Brian, Suddenly Clarity Clarence, the really high guy, the overly manly man, Grumpy Cat (RIP), drunk baby, Ermahgerd Girl, Overly Attached Girlfriend, the botched “Ecce Homo” painting, unimpressed McKayla at the Olympics, the Bad-Joke Eel, and the Skeptical Third-World Child. 2013 saw the release of the Doge meme (wow), Brent Rambo approves of the Internet, Unflattering Beyonce, and Obama Skeet Shooting. In addition to these memes, twerking kicked off after…

RC Student Unveils Video Game History Exhibit

Written by Robby Mangum What could be cooler than playing video games and learning? Not much. From November 18-22, an interactive exhibit on history through the lens of video games was on display in the Bank Building. The display was put together by Roanoke College senior Paul Martin and was the conclusion of his distinction project for the Honors Program. The exhibit invited visitors to experience six video games from the past thirty decades and think about how they were portraying history. One could play Red Dead Redemption 2 and ponder the way it shows the so-called Wild West, and whether that challenges the player’s preconceived notions of the time period. Martin discussed how he went into the project with the goal of interrogating each video game for a variety of things: the expression of history through story and through genre, how the technology influenced the depiction of history, and how the time period the game was made in influenced the historiography. Historiography is a term that refers to how people in a certain time period think about history (a notable example is the ‘lost cause’ narrative of the Civil War). Martin said that one of the games, Medal of Honor, was actually produced by Steven Spielberg and fits excellently into the same historical view as “Saving Private Ryan.” Every game was selected because it was ‘authentic’ to the time period. Martin pointed out that accuracy is “getting every factual detail correct,” and the simple fact that a player can interact with the world means that a game will have inaccurate events. Authenticity is often more important since it captures the feelings of the time period. Paul Martin is a history and religious studies double major with a concentration in public history. He completed his distinction project with help from…

TI$ THE $EA$ON

Written by Caisi Calandra Hear me out — I love shopping. At any given moment of writing this article, just know I’m probably tempted to turn this into a Confessions of a Shopaholic thing. In the spirit of keeping things Holiday-oriented, I wanted to do a piece on the crazy shopping “holidays” we have going on this time of year. Not only do we as Americans spend a lot of money during the holidays, but the average American is said to spend over $700 on holiday gifts and goodies — the final spending amount coming in at around $465 billion dollars, according to ABC News. Now, I don’t know about you, but, while I’m in love with shopping, I do so sparingly because I don’t have a lot of money; I don’t regularly, if ever, ask my parents for money. My sisters and I got our first iPhones on a Black Friday event because they were cheaper, and my mother, who was still on the edge of getting them for us, decided it was a good deal. I think I was in my sophomore year of high school when I finally got that iPhone, and it was thankfully because of the deals on such a crazy holiday. I personally still go out on Black Fridays because I like finding affordable gifts for friends. I feel like there’s a lot of criticism around people who go “hard” on Black Friday, but I think those kinds of people just want to finally fulfill a want without breaking the bank. Sure, you can say we’re all sheep and giving into the ever-present obsession with material goods, but we live in a capitalistic society, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, so I say, “go with it.”

Christmas in the Classroom

Written by Devon Mitchell It’s the Christmas season and soon enough grades K-12 will be celebrating in the classroom. Christmas parties will be held, Christmas movies will be viewed, and fun festive crafts will be made. It sounds like a great time for kids, but could these traditions be unconstitutional? The constitution states that as citizens we have the freedom to religion. Considering that, it is considered unconstitutional for a public school to observe religious holidays as well as teaching religion. So, the question at hand is, is Christmas a religious holiday? Historically speaking, Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus, thus making it in the most traditional sense a Christian holiday. However, most recently Christmas has lost a large amount of the religious background. Instead of a focus on the Christian aspects, Christmas has become a holiday which isn’t celebrated in the pews anymore. Christmas has turned commercial as we all know. Kids can’t wait for Christmas day to see what Santa brought them, and parents in the weeks leading up spend hours in shopping malls and stores. So many people celebrate Christmas, even those who aren’t Christians celebrate Christmas now. All in all, in the 21st century Christmas has lost its religious meanings. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Christmas offers an opportunity for unity to all people, no matter their religious or ethnic background. It’s not even really about the presents. I’d argue that today Christmas is about family, friends and goodwill. All Christmas movies have similar themes, the protagonist always learns a lesson in spending time with loved ones and giving back to their community. All of this is not to say that Christmas is completely removed from religion. I grew up going to church every Christmas Eve and setting up manger…

Victoria’s Secret Fashion (No) Show

Written by Jessica Shelburne Every year since 1995, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show has aired across millions of television screens as women who embody the VS idea of beauty strut the catwalk in dazzling lingerie. However, it was recently confirmed by VS parent company, L Brands, that the 2019 fashion show has been canceled.  This comes as a disappointment for many loyal viewers and VS models well known for their angel status. Model Georgia Fowler says, “I’ve done it for the past three years and it was always a dream growing up to be a part of it…It’s disappointing it’s not going to happen this year – but who knows what will happen.” Leslie Wexner, chief executive of L Brands, claims there is a need to rethink effective marketing of the show, switching from broadcast television to digital platforms. Wexner believes the show “must evolve and change to grow” hoping to create “a new kind of event.” The cancelation of the show was only a matter of time and is truly a win for feminism and equality. Beauty standards have shifted dramatically in the last decade, conforming less to conventional ideals and instead promoting acceptance and positivity for all body types.  Viewing rates for the fashion show have decreased marginally each year since it’s initiation, largely due to the inclusion of only one body type (think VS model) that is considerably unrealistic for all and difficult to achieve. This lack of viewership is reflected in market shares for VS itself, which decreased nearly 10% between 2016 and 2018, though it is still America’s leading lingerie brand. There is hope that the fashion show will return in the future, perhaps on a different media platform. But in the meantime, anyone can receive a mini fashion show by taking a scroll through…

Finals Hack: Lazy Boy Exercises

Written by Kevin Vitkus As the holiday season comes and Thanksgiving goes, I find myself sitting at the table again, pants unbuttoned and my gut hanging out of my shirt. Now it’s time to hit the books and prepare for exams, so going to the gym is the last thing on my mind. Let’s get creative and follow some simple exercises that we can all do at our desks whether in class or studying for exams: The Hovering Leg Raise: Sit upright, raise both legs, then begin to lower them till they are about an inch or two off the ground. Then begin to hold this position until you can’t anymore and release. Seated Leg Raises: Again sit upright, raise one leg until it is parallel with the ground, then hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg. Complete around 15 repetitions for each leg. To help a little more with strength you can add a little weight. Like Stanley from The Office using boxes of paper at his desk, find something simple like you backpack or some books. The Football Fast Feet: While sitting flatten your feet on the floor. Rapidly tap your feet for 30 seconds. Then take a 30 second break, or until everyone looks away. Then go at it again for another 30 seconds. Try to do this once every hour that you are studying or sitting in order to keep your heart rate up. Now for the hardest of them all, this one is quite difficult and can really only be done when you are out of class. Get up and walk around!! The simplest exercise out of anything you can do. Just stand up and take a little walk around. It doesn’t matter how long or short it is, whether you have…

An AMA-zing Year for Taylor Swift

Written by Alexandra Gautier Basically all you need to know about the 2019 American Music Awards is: Taylor Swift. Oh, you want to know more than that? Ok. Swift won *6* trophies, bringing her grand total to 29 AMA awards – that’s five more than the previous record-holder, Michael Jackson with 24. Swift swept (yes, intentional pun) not only Artist of Year, but Artist of the Decade. This is such a good way for her to leave 2019 behind considering the beginning was tumultuous to say the least with Scooter Braun’s acquisition of Big Machine Label Group, shattering Swift. Other winners included Billie Eilish for new artist of the year and alternative rock artist, Halsey’s “without me” for pop/rock song, Taylor Swift’s “Lover” for pop/rock album, Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty” for country album, and plenty more.  Other musical fav, Lizzo, graced the stage with her presence as she performed “Jerome,” a lesser known song out of her massively impressive and catchy repertoire. The “Truth Hurts” singer was not the only exciting performance of the night – Post Malone, Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott and Watt performed “Take What You Want” for the first time on television. Post Malone and Ozzy Osbourne are definitely one of the more shocking collaborations of the year, though pleasantly surprising. Camilla Cabello got plenty of stage time this year as she performed her song “Living Proof” and later “Señorita” with her supposed boyfriend, Shawn Mendes. I’m not here to talk about the alleged PR stunt that is their relationship, but it’s a pretty enduringly long one if that truly is the case. The couple also brought home Collaboration of the Year for the previously mentioned song “Señorita.” It seems like every year is quicker and crazier than the last, so it’s nice to reflect on the…

Derry Girl for a Semester: Epilogue: In Which I Say Farewell and Reflect on the Past Semester

Written by Charissa Roberson I knew three months in Northern Ireland would fly by, but I still wasn’t prepared for how soon I would be writing this final article. Though I have been able to see beautiful sights, like the gorgeous coastlines to the North and the misty heights of the Mourne Mountains, what will stay with me the most are the people I’ve befriended and the truly special culture that resides on this island. I think of my Irish step-dance class, a group of about twenty dear ladies who all adopted me as their honorary child.  On the last day, my teacher announced that they had choreographed a new dance and had named it “Slán Charissa” (“Farewell Charissa”). Needless to say, we were both holding back tears. There have been so many older folk in Derry, some complete strangers, who have shown me kindness. A neighbor found out I was baking a pie and lent me her rolling pin so I wouldn’t have to buy one. An old woman in her nineties wouldn’t let me sit alone at a movie screening, and instead brought me over to sit beside her. There have been countless cups of tea, offers of biscuits and treats, and fond hugs that have blessed me during these months away from home.  I think of the friends I’ve made here who have welcomed me into their homes, their lives, and their activities. They have gifted me with so many memories- walks on the beach, adventures in the mountains, evenings in cozy pubs and restaurants, hours spent sipping tea and sharing deep conversation. My floor mates, too, have become like family, even though we hail from all around the world. During our months together, we have shared our cultures, languages, and foods through frequent movie nights, wild…

Students Compete in Salem Civic Challenge

Written by Jack Miller On Saturday, Nov. 23, Roanoke College hosted the 2nd annual Salem Civic Challenge. This event was a collaboration among the city of Salem, the RC Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Innovation (CLEI), and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) club. This challenge was open to all RC students with the aim of helping solve community issues. Students from all kinds of majors faced off in front of judges as well as experts from the City of Salem Economic Development Department to compete for their share of 1000 dollars in prize money. The students were presented with an issue currently being faced by the residents of Salem and other areas. They were then allowed time to brainstorm and develop creative and new ideas to assist in solving these problems and more within the community. The question posed to the teams was, “How can Salem attracted young professionals?” The city was interested in attracting these professionals to help develop and grow the area’s local economy. The teams were then given three hours in order to discuss, plan, and develop an ingenious way to solve this question. A multitude of answers were given, but ultimately some solutions that the judges really enjoyed involved assisting to fund individuals who have ideas but lack in fiscal ability or opportunities. The way to fund these individuals, the winning team suggested, was to offer college loan repayment for professionals living in the community. The coordinator of the event, business professor and CLEI director Steve Baker, said that the intent of this event was to bring together students from separate areas of discipline in order to unite around the promotion of common local good and development. All students are welcome to compete, and all students share in the goal of bettering their community. One of…