March 13, 2019 | 34st.com
Discovering Where I'm From
The Jonas Brothers Are Back
Penn Student Wins Oscar
MARCH 13, 2019 3 WORD ON THE STREET
A long–expired license made me contemplate the idea of “fromness.”
EOTW: Anna Thompson, Libby Rockaway, Tom McCusker
Annabelle Williams, Editor–in–Chief Dalton DeStefano, Managing Editor Daniel Bulpitt, Audience Engagement Director Lily Snider, Assignments Editor Ethan Wu, Media Director Sophie Burkholder, Word on the Street Editor Katie Bontje, Ego Editor Sam Kesler, Music Editor Eliana Doft, Special Issues Editor Meerie Jesuthasan, Long–Term Features Editor Angie Lin, Developing Features Editor Bella Fertel, Style Editor Maryanne Koussa, Film & TV Editor Josephine Cheng, Arts Editor Emma Boey & Sophia Dai, Photo Editors Tahira Islam & Katie Steele, Copy Editors Dean Jones & Jackson Parli, Video Editors Ben Zhao, Print Director Ego Beats: Amanpreet Singh, Michelle Shen, Sophie Xi, Caroline Emma Moore, Chelsey Zhu, Sonali Deliwala
Mike Krol, the Jonas Brothers' Reunion, Libby Rockaway
McGillin’s, Women's History Month, Quaker Kitchen
On the clock, off campus
LOL 17 FILM & TV
Claire Sliney, Manic Pixie Dream Girls, Book–to– Movie Adaptations
Penn Masala, Mythic Creatures
Video Staff: Jean Chapiro, Christina Piasecki, Anab Aidid, Deja Jackson, Megan Kyne
Film & TV Beats: Anna Collins, Shriya Beesam, Shannon Zhang, Zovinar Khrimian, Calista Lopez, Ana Hallman, Samantha Sanders
Copy Deputies: Sarah Poss & Kira Horowitz
Arts Beats: Michelle Wan, Will Miller, Jess Araten, Katie Farrell, Adeleke McMillan Design Editors: Gillian Diebold, Lucy Ferry, Alice Heyeh, Jess Tan, Tamsyn Brann Associates: Dannie Watson, Joy Lee, Ian Ong, Jackie Lou, Anna Callahan, Isabel Liang, Christy Qiu, Nancy Kang Staff Writers: Liz Kim, Jordan Waschman, Anjalee Bhuyan, Shunmel Syau, Bebe Hodges, Emma Harris, Tara OʼBrien, Jessica Bao, Mehek Boparai, Zoe Young, Sophia Schulz-Rusnacko, Alex Cook
Music Beats: Beatrice Forman, Arjun Swaminathan, Teresa Xie, Melannie Jay, Johnny Vitale, Julia Davies, Paul Litwin
Illustrators: Anne Chen, Anne Marie Grudem, Brad Hong, Carly Ryan, Catherine Liang, Jake Lem, Reese Berman, Saranya Sampath, Jessi Olarsch, Christopher Kwok, Diane Lin, Jacqueline Lou, Sabrina Tian, Kathy Chang, Ben Joergens
Features Staff: Katrina Janco, Shinyoung Hailey Noh, Allison Wu, Srinidhi Ramakrishna, Caroline Riise, Paige Fishman, Chris Schiller
Staff Photographers: Sophia Zhu, Eleanor Shemtov, Alice Deng, Hoyt Gong, Sukhmani Kaur, Mona Lee, Sally Chen, Adiel Izilov, Christine Wu, Anran Fang
Copy Associates: Kate Poole, Serena Miniter, Erin Liebenberg, Lexie Shah, Carmina Hachenburg, Luisa Healey, Agatha Advincula Audience Engagment Associates: Brittany Levy, McKay Norton, Kat Ulich, Emily Gelb, Ryan McLaughlin, Valentina Escudero, Samantha Lee, Nadeen Eltoukhy, Fiorentina Huang, Rachel Markowitz, Julia Zhu Cover Illustration by Chris Kwok Contacting 34th Street Magazine: If you have questions, comments, complaints or letters to the editor, email Annabelle Williams, Editor–in–Chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us at (215) 422–4640. www.34st.com "Lily, call me when you're queer." ©2019 34th Street Magazine, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. No part may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express, written consent of the editors (but I bet we will give you the a–okay.) All rights reserved. 34th Street Magazine is published by The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc., 4015 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19104, every Wednesday.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
rom Feb. 7 to Feb. 28, I received no emails on my Penn account. So if you were trying to get in touch with me, I’m sorry, I never got it. Honestly, it took a long time for me to notice. I’d been using the email app on my phone and computer, and the barrage of emails to my Daily Pennsylvanian account distracted me enough that for three full weeks, I didn’t notice anything was wrong. The Thrive at Penn emails? Lost in the ether. My ENGL 051 professor’s comments on my work? Didn’t see ‘em. The Politico Playbook newsletter? Never heard of her. Once I realized that my email wasn’t working, I beelined to go get it fixed and ran into my friend Louis on Locust. I gave him a hug, got my hair caught in his stubble, and when he asked me how I was, as if on cue, I started crying (thanks for putting up with my emotional volatility, Lou!) I was stressed, really stressed, and so overwhelmed that three weeks I didn’t notice my own email was broken. I applied to jobs with that email, hooked it up to my PayPal account, and used it for class listservs. But I felt so frantic and overwhelmed that I didn’t even notice their absence. And I was so damn mad at myself. And then I walked into Steinberg–Dietrich Hall’s basement to see the Wharton Computing people. Even though I haven’t been a Wharton student for over a year, I had kept the email. No one from the College ever contacted me about setting up my @ sas.upenn.edu account. The access to Huntsman
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Style Beats: Karin Hananel, Allie Shapiro, Jen Cullen, Alice Goulding, Diya Sethi, Hannah Yusuf
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GSRs and the Wharton printing credit were incentive enough to keep it. But really, I was resistant to change. So I walked into the room, spoke to a Wharton Computing employee, and asked them to follow up later via my (now– working) email. A day later, I got a long message. The crux of it? They couldn’t recover my lost emails, save for their subject lines and sender. As I scrolled through, skimming, I saw a sentence I’d been dreading: “In our investigation, we have discovered that you have transferred to SAS and no longer a Wharton student. Because you are no longer a Wharton student, you are not entitled to a Wharton email account.” Don’t tell Wharton, but the account seems to still be open. But it’s time for me to close it out. I set up the SAS account, reached out to tell my CAPS psychologist and the jobs I’d applied to, and sat with it for a while. I did leave Wharton, and it’s time to cut the cord. I’m doing what I love now, as hard as it is to try to work in journalism. And I’m happy, I think. I’m trying to pace myself, to work through my stress, and to give myself time to do healthy things. I even tried kombucha this week. I’m going to try to be a little less resistant to change, and in turn, a little less stressed out. Even if I miss a few emails from time to time.
WORD ON THE STREET
word on the
A long–expired license made me contemplate the idea of “fromness” before uprooting myself again after graduation.
By Jackie Lawyer Memory works in a funny way. I struggle to remember the details of notable events in my life, but can recall any number of insignificant things—specific instances of pretending to figure skate on frozen puddles, reading through baby name books before playing with Barbies so that they weren’t always named “Lizzie,” and the color of Keenan Ryan’s turtleneck when we ended up in the same ski school group in third grade. It was white. One such memory that’s a little fragmented is the phrase, “you’re from wherever you learned to drive.” I can’t piece together whether it was said to me, if I heard it on the radio, read it somewhere, or at what age I first encountered it. It’s not even something I necessarily agree with, but there it is—nestled in my hippocampus, far too comfortable to leave any time soon. I suppose I focus so much on it because I’ve moved a few times, and I have great difficulty figuring out where I’m “from.” Currently the count for years and places I’ve spent my life is three years in Tokyo, eight in Chicago, seven in Minneapolis, and I’m going on my fourth in Philadelphia. After graduation, I’ll spend some unknown amount of time in Atlanta. This slightly nonsensical notion of attaching my from–ness to the place where I learned to drive might be
Understanding Where I'm From
Illustration by Alice Heyeh what’s preventing me from renewing my now–expired license. My parents recently sold the Minnesota house and established residency in Florida, so my currently– listed permanent address is a home newly occupied by a random family of four whose youngest son likes catching frogs. This technicality means that there will no longer be a small card validating the seven years I spent living in a house with an old canoe hanging from the ceiling and the dozens of gnomes hidden on the first floor, and the hill in the backyard where my brother broke his wrist sledding as a seventeen–year–old. When and if I renew my license this year, it will state that I’m from Florida.
While I never felt that Minnesota completely told the story of where I was “from,” it’s certainly more accurate than a place that I have never lived. The pending need to get rid of my Minnesota license feels a bit like turning the last page in a particularly good book—the story is over, but I’m not quite ready to acknowledge the ending. Minnesota stirs images of wholesome family fun, a touch of passive–aggressiveness to be blamed on those eternal winters and a ridiculous accent. It’s a sweet image, but if I abide by the “wherever you learned to drive” rule and say I’m from Minnesota, I feel like I’m negating the friendships, experiences and memories I’ve
made during the other two thirds of my life. Being from Chicago, on the other hand, means I’m from the “cool” Midwestern city. You pick up on some of the warmth associated with the Midwest, but East Coast residents will actually acknowledge it as a real place. I hate the question of where I’m from because the answer I give never measures up to the answer it deserves. I’d rather be from memories than places, but the geographical nature of it doesn’t let me say that I’m “from” summers at the cabin, “from” trying to subtly crack my knuckles at the kitchen table, or “from” growing up somehow loving and hating country music at the same time.
It’s not a question that calls for an explanation of the history behind my sister sending me a Halloween costume for my birthday every year. I don’t get to say that I’m “from” passing by a house with pig figurines stuck in its fence, “from” writing stories with my dad about magic Kool-Aid that turned kids into animals, or “from” knocking out my brother’s tooth with a plastic microphone at the top of our staircase—accidentally, of course. When people ask me where I’m from, I know they aren’t wondering about the mental list of crushes I’ve had since I was seven, how I’ve never had the discipline to keep a journal, or the reasoning behind my desire to get lost on each first day of school, but these little things explain so much more than a breakdown of my life by location. I’m holding off on the license renewal until I move to Atlanta. Even though the license will say Georgia, I’ll try to explain that I’ve actually spent the last four years resisting the urge to stop at Wawa on my walk home, complaining with my housemates about our differences in opinion on dishwasher loading techniques, and being annoyed with receiving twenty–seven group text notifications in the middle of class—half of which were heart reactions. I figure it might be nice to be from Philly for just a little while longer.
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EGO OF THE WEEK: Anna Thompson From winning the world championship with the U.S. mixed national frisbee team to loving &pizza. 34th Street Magazine: What was it like growing up in Washington and how do you feel like that compares to Philly? Anna Thompson: It was really fun. I really enjoy being there. I think I appreciate it more retrospectively because it's super outdoorsy, and I love to be outside. I love to ski, I love to hike. I rowed in high school, and so I love to be on the water. And here there's a lot less of that and there's a lot less access to that, so I developed a better appreciation for that once I lived here. I really love the people too. Everyone's really nice, they're really friendly and welcoming, which isn't to say that they aren't here, but it's a little bit of a different vibe. Street: Why did you decide to row? AT: My really good friend in middle school did it, and her older brother did it, so we started doing it together. Once there was this massive storm,
and we got blown to the side of a building. I just had to hang out there for long enough so that we could push off with our oars so we could try to manage to get home without flipping–it was kind of crazy. When I rowed in high school, there used to be float planes that would land on the lake, and they would land right next to us. Once we got trapped by three of them landing around us, and we just had to hope they didn't land on us. Street: Where do you ski? AT: I ski at Crystal, which is outside of Seattle. I ski a lot with my dad. we’re ski Buddies. one of my really good friends and her dad sometimes come along with us so we do little father daughter dates. my dad and I are really close we're really similar people and we like to do some more things. Street: Why did you decide to study econ? AT: I actually started out, like many people, as pre–med. I did
LIGHTING ROUND Do you have any weird or hidden talents? I can do the worm. What was your favorite class at Penn? Sex and Power with Dawn Teele. I thought she was really amazing. Smokes or Copa? Copa. Half-oﬀ Burgers on Wednesday. There are two types of people at Penn... Those who have the &pizza app and those who don't... and can I give you my referral code to include in this article? (You’re welcome Anna!) What is on your &Pizza? Half of the spicy tomato, half of the mushroom. Then shredded mozz, and basically all the vegetables. The key is deﬁnitely the balsamic at the end. Of the stickers on your water bottle, which one is the most important? Probably the Grand Canyon sticker. I went traveling to a bunch of national parks with my friends, and I mean, it really is grand. I can't honestly say anything else about it. 4
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NAME: Anna Thompson MAJOR: Economics HOMETOWN: Kirkland, Washington ACTIVITIES: captain of Penn’s women’s ultimate frisbee team, national champion with Philly AMP mixed ultimate frisbee club team, world champion with U.S. mixed national frisbee team
that for a year-and-a-half. I was interested neuroscience and cognitive behavior. Then I took CHEM101, and it nearly killed me. Between that, and realizing that I didn't want to do as much of the hard science aspect of behavioral and thought processes, I decided to switch to something that I felt fit more of a qualitative and rigorous way of looking at decisions and behavior. I think if I could whisper something into my freshman self’s ear, I would probably choose to make that switch earlier, since I've had to kind of accelerate the major a lot and do it in 2 years instead of 4. Street: When did you get involved with ultimate frisbee on campus? AT: I knew when I was coming to Penn that I wasn't going to do crew. I have played sports all of my life–they’re super important to me–so I wanted to join a team. Frisbee is really big in Seattle, so I had had some experience with it in middle school. I decided to join the team basically before I got here, honestly. Street: What is it like to play on Team USA? AT: The team that I've been on once before, and will be again, is the under 24 national team. We have a tryout application process. They’ll select a hundred men
and a hundred women to try out and there's a tryout weekend where there’ll be an East Coast round and a West Coast round. You'll go to one of those weekends, and it'll be just two days of playing with all these players that were selected, and then the coaches will select the rosters for men's, women's, and mixed, and then we usually have a training camp during a weekend. Street: What was your favorite part about playing for the world championship? What keeps me motivated and what I love about the sport is the people. I think they're amazing: everyone is genuine, they’re kind, they’re intelligent. Competing internationally is kind of like this honeymoon period of all these people who are really good at the sport, who loved it so much, and are just in this incredible place doing it. Being able to be passionate about something that maybe others don't understand, or see as much, is really telling of someone's character. Street: What was it like winning the world and national championships? AT: We played against Japan in the world championship, and it was a really great game. They have a contrasting style to us in how they play. It was a tight game, and we faced a lot of adversity, which was really fun, and definitely a really
Ethan Wu | Media Director
unique bonding experience. We ended up winning, which was incredible. This fall, my club team competed in the national championship, which is for club teams around the US, and we won that too. The previous year at nationals, we had lost by one point in the championship, which was pretty devastating. And then we came back this year and won it--it was pretty amazing. Street: Do you hope frisbee will be recognized as a professional or collegiate sport in the future? AT: I think that would be really cool, but for now I just really love playing it. I think if that falls into place, that would be great because the sport is really cool, and is really fun to watch, but right now I'm just focused on the teams I'm on and having fun there. Street: Are you playing ultimate frisbee after college? AT: I'm going to continue playing frisbee with Amp this summer, which will be fun, and then play in Germany with Team USA. I'm moving to San Francisco to start a job as a product and data analyst at a company called Aura/Ora in September. They have some really good teams there so next year I'll feel out the scene and see which ones I want to try out for. This interview has been edited and condensed.
Meet the Penn Senior Who Doubles as a Professional Service Dog Trainer Libby Rockaway trains these canine companions to help people with type 1 diabetes. Chelsey Zhu Libby Rockaway (C ’19) immediately catches the attention of everyone around her as she walks about Penn's campus. No one can take their eyes off of her—or rather, her dog. Libby has spent the last seven months of her college life with Franklyn by her side, a friendly miniature golden retriever sporting a blue “service dog in training” vest. She says it’s pretty normal for people to “just notice the dog and not the human,” but she doesn’t mind. Franklyn is adorable, and Libby, who is close to fully training her fifth service dog, is used to the attention. Libby started working with dogs when she was eight years old. She boarded dogs in her home while their owners were outside of town, an experience which made her realize that “most dogs are really ill– behaved.” This inspired her to turn her boarding service into a dog–training service, which she called Libby's Loving Leashes, and in middle school, she worked with a professional breeder to train miniature golden retriever puppies. In 2013, she started training her first diabetic alert dog, a dog that is specially trained to assist owners with type 1 diabetes. Libby’s friend was diagnosed with the disease, and she saw firsthand the daily difficulties that he faced as a child diabetic. “This is really a beast of a disease,” she says. “You do these calculations for how much insulin you should have based on what you’re eating, but weather, stress, hormones, all these other factors come in. You can do the same exact
thing two days in a row and have two different blood sugars.” According to Libby, being unaware of your blood sugar level as a type 1 diabetic can be extremely dangerous. If your blood sugar is too low, it can result in insulin–shock. People can’t always sense if their blood sugar is too high or too low. But, remarkably, dogs have an innate ability to smell blood sugar changes. Some dogs naturally react to blood sugar levels, often licking their owners incessantly when they sense a change, but any dog can be trained to alert their owners. To d a y, Libby’s Loving Leashes specializes in training diabetic service dogs. According to Libby, training a dog from start to finish is an intensive, year–long process. At the very beginning, she works with a breeder to pick the right litter of puppies when they are five to six weeks old. This gives her the chance to look at the parents and get a sense of the dogs’ behaviors. When the puppies are seven weeks old, she does a temperament test on her chosen litter, looking for traits that make dogs easily trainable. For example, she tests for persistence and food motivation by placing a treat under a container that the puppies can’t reach. The dog that simply won’t give up becomes a
prime candidate for service. Once she finds the right puppy, she starts obedience training right away. “I teach [the dog] that the scent of low blood sugar is something that results in cookies,” she says, laughing. “For them, it’s not too complicated.” Franklyn demonstrates the training process during our i n -
blood sugar goes low often, which means that Franklyn alerts her up to 10 or 15 times day. Franklyn is the third service dog Libby has trained while attending Penn. She says the experience of constantly having a dog–in–training has definitely shaped her college life. Franklyn is a “furry toddler,” and Libby is always thinking about things from her point of view. Whenever she travels or does something new, she has to make sure that Franklyn feels safe to reinforce calm b e h a v i o r. Whenever people try to get Franklyn’s attention (which happens often on a college campus), Libby has to teach her to keep her focus. The dog’s presence also affects her in sillier ways. Eleanor Shemtov | Staff Photographer “I have dog treats everywhere in my life,” she says. terview. Early on, she inter- “Every pocket, every crevice rupts our conversation to has dog treats.” tap Libby on the knee, her Although training a service alert to check for high or low dog in college is restrictive in blood sugar. Libby pulls out some ways, Libby wouldn’t a test strip, pricks her finger, trade the experience for anyand puts it into the reader. thing else. Franklyn is a “hapFranklyn has correctly sensed py,” “goofy” dog, and Libby that her blood sugar is low, so loves spending time with her. Libby gives her a treat, which “Every morning, she wakes she munches on happily. up so ready to start the new Libby shows me the tips of day,” Libby says. “As soon as her fingers, which are poked she sees that I’m awake, she’s with tiny holes. Although up in my face, essentially sayshe doesn’t have diabetes, her ing, ‘Good morning! Let’s go
outside! Let’s have breakfast!’ She’s also very good at her job.” Libby loves to see her learn and grow, knowing that she’ll be helping someone in need very soon. Franklyn, at nine months old, has been in training for seven months. At fourteen months, she will be fully trained for her new owner. For Libby, it is always hard to say goodbye. She says that there are usually tears involved in the process, but she often falls in love with the families who end up taking her dogs. Before giving them over completely, Libby spends four to six months working with the families, allowing them to visit and get accustomed to dog training. She says she feels fulfilled to see her dogs making a difference in their lives. “[Giving a dog up] is worth it the first time I get a text saying, ‘She gave an awesome alert tonight,’” she says. “Especially those times when they say, ‘I think she just saved my life.’ Those things are what make it 100 percent worth it, a million times over.” After graduation, Libby will be without a dog for the first time in three years as she pursues a master’s degree in animal behavior in Scotland. Although she has to give Franklyn and her training up soon, she’s looking forward to starting up again when she returns. “I’ll just be crying on the inside until then!” she says. See adorable pictures of Franklyn on Penn’s campus on her Instagram, @llleashes!
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Honest Toms Owner Tom McCusker on Running a Plant-Based Restaurant Meet the man who turned tacos vegan. Sophie Xi It’s 11:00 on a Saturday morning. Near 44th and Spruce Streets at Honest Tom’s Taco Shop, hungry customers who just crawled out of their beds have already lined up by the counter to order themselves vegan food to start the morning. Behind the counter, chefs and waiters in the half–open kitchen are busy chopping vegetables, stir frying potatoes, and heating tortillas for today’s operation. Boxes of fruits and vegetables are delivered to the door. Tomatoes, beans, yams, carrots, and lentils—they are common vegetables, yet essential to Honest Tom’s Plant Based Taco Shop. Once a taco truck that turned to brick–and–mortar seven years ago, Honest Tom’s Taco Shop made another transition this summer and announced that its
menu will be 100% plant– based. The restaurant is not even trying to make anything that has the taste of meat or dairy products; when I asked the lady be the counter whether if they have anything that was “cheese– like,” she shook her head and said, “We don’t make anything like that.” The shift in Honest Tom’s menu was prompted by the owner Tom McCusker’s own transition to veganism. “In the summer of 2017, one day I just woke up and did a five–day health care of life out of nowhere. Eating salads, going to the gym, and all that stuff. After a couple of days, I started doing a 30–day vegan thing just to see how I feel. And I just never stop after that.” He is the father of a nine–month– old son now, and his wife has become 90% vegan.
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Though Tom's choice to go vegan was quite spontaneous, he continued on with the diet. Instead of cooking with pork chops, he started to explore the variety of options of using nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits in cooking dinner. Now, his everyday meals are mostly composed of fruits, and watermelon is his favorite. He never has a day where he misses meat. This past summer, Tom decided to bring his new lifestyle to his restaurant. “Once I realized where [meat] all came from, I started realizing that I am not going to sell it any more.” He and his staff enjoy the process of experimenting with fruits and vegetables and creating new menu options. The ingredients are now seasonal and healthier, and local farms have started contacting Tom to try and get their produce on the menu. “Farms will hit us up and say, ‘we have these hot peppers,’ and so then we’ll do something with those peppers,” Tom explained the new process of sourcing food and said, “We’re kind of open to everything and searching for whatever we can get.” Tom first conceived the idea of opening a food truck after college graduation, when he and his friends drove motorcycles from Philadelphia to Austin. It took them five days on the road and they
stayed at Austin for two days. Tom said, “It was during that trip that we got the chance to eat breakfast tacos. That was my original idea of having the truck: making breakfast tacos everyday and working from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.” After he returned from Austin, he opened Honest Tom’s on Drexel’s campus. The opening hours were more flexible back then, and he would sometimes take a break if he had been too busy. Running a restaurant, however, is completely different. They have to open seven days a week, with fixed hours every day. Yet, Tom really enjoys
Ethan Wu | Media Director
what he does right now. Looking ahead to the future of his restaurant, Tom is thinking about eventuall moving out of the city at some point. He wants to open the restaurant at a place where he can grow food, sell it in the restaurant, and have a private space to live as well. Philadelphia has been too loud for him, and having a tract of land in the suburbs could perhaps further realize his restaurant’s principle of being plant–based, green, and healthy.
MIKE KROL BATTLES HEARTBREAK ON On his latest record, Krol barks and bites his way through lost love with his signature fuzz. JOHNNY VITALE
Provided by Grandstand Media For rockers like Mike Krol, leaving the safety of the garage can be a dangerous game. Beyond those thin aluminum walls is a world full of heartbreak and despair. On his latest record, Power Chords, Krol ventures outside, barking and biting his way through lost love with his signature fuzz, fists up the whole time. Influenced by the likes of The Strokes and Ramones, the Wisconsin–born, West Coast garage rocker is four albums deep into his career. Power Chords finds him at his most focused yet: There’s no “Piano Shit” on this record, just 33 straight minutes of power– pop revival. His last album, Turkey, only hinted at Krol’s combative nature on songs like “Neighborhood Watch,” where he warned a bike thief that, “If I see you, I'm gonna take you to the ground/ And make you say my name.” But on Power Chords, Krol is all fisticuffs, channeling a broken heart into a barrage of heavy–hitting jams filled with scuzzy guitars and screaming melodies. “I never understood the blues until the night I met you,” Krol monologues on the album’s opening track, setting the scene. “And everyday since, I’ve gotten better at guitar.” It’s an image of a lone man, heartbroken, strumming away in his room and
vengefully writing songs to get back at his ex. Across the 11 tracks, Krol directs angst towards his ex, but mostly, he battles with himself. He’s “staring in the mirror/Trying to pick a fight,” in “An Ambulance,” where he pleads that an ambulance be called in order to save him from his “self– offense.” On “Blue and Pink,” he wishes that the palm trees around him would “lean so far they break and crush me.” It’s songs like these that explain why Krol appears black–eyed and bloody–lipped on the album’s cover art. However, other songs find Krol on the offense. “Don't come to my town/Word gets around/If I see you on the street/Then I'm gonna stare you down.” Krol’s nasally, fuzzed–out vocals declare on the non–stop neck–breaker “Little Drama.” Slowing things down to a 60’s style pace on “Wasted Memory,” Krol declares that his past relationship was simply nothing more than a mistake. Obviously Krol has mixed feelings about this breakup as he constantly pendulums between vengeful and hopeless. What isn’t inconsistent, though, is the furious energy he brings to each track. TL;DR — Should I listen to Power Chords? This is a breakup album for the all the angsty fuzzheads
out there. With DIY sonics and power–pop songwriting, Power Chords will appeal to most rock fans. It’s his strongest work to date, and Kroll has ultimately aligned himself with garage rock greats like Jay Reatard and King Tuff. But if you wear a Ramones t–shirt and don’t know any of their songs, stay away. This kind of fuzz is only for seasoned veterans.
ESSENTIAL TRACKS “Power Chords” “An Ambulance” “Little Drama”
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THE JONAS BROTHER’S 'SUCKER' DOESN’T SUCK But spoiler alert: their comeback single is no 'Year 3000.' BEATRICE FORMAN
There are two types of people in the world: those who publicly worshipped the Jonas Brothers during their 2008 peak and those who buried their appreciation deep. The point is, if you had a pulse and access to Disney Channel, it was hard to avoid this trio of brothers, and even harder to dislike them. With a sound echoing the softer edges of late–90s and early–2000s radio rock, the Jonas Brothers infused the airwaves of Radio Disney with a pop–punk sensibility. “Year 3000,” a cover of a song by iconoclast pop punk group Busted, has all the beginnings of a pseudo–emo classic: jabs at boy bands, a pleasantly heavy guitar melody, and just enough social commentary to
anger parents. Even their bigger hits, like “Burnin’ Up” and “SOS,” were reminiscent of a prior era, where boys in bands actually played instruments. In short, the Jonas Brothers used to rock—but their comeback single, “Sucker,” doesn’t. Their first release in almost six years, “Sucker” offers a preview of what a Jonas Brothers return could sound like. It’s blissfully poppy, romantic, and slots nicely into the 2019 music landscape of mid–tempo hits. But, make no mistake, this is not the Jonas Brothers of our collective childhoods, with horrendously flat–ironed haircuts and endless love triangles. Despite Disney's near–omnipotent control, the Jonas Brothers were messy,
Photo by Mark O'Donald // CC by 2.0 and in their unrefined existence, exciting. Now, they are polished. They dress like Instagram streetwear models and have happy, adult relationships. Arguably, they may be best comeback of 2019, using nostalgia as a catalyst, not a
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crutch. However, they might also be a bit boring. “Sucker” aims to be a love song with teeth. Detailing a relationship teeming with commitment and lush displays of affection, the band of brothers, with assistance from hitmaker Ryan Tedder, temper the romance with heady imagery. The pre–chorus talks of singing on the tops of cars and stumbling drunk out of bars. It even shadows the pop–punk trope of dangerous romance with the dissonant lyric, “You're the medicine and the pain, the tattoo inside my brain.” The song pantomimes an edge that isn’t there, with the video depicting the brothers and their fianceés/ wives being avant–garde in a Victorian castle. Ultimately, the Jonas Brothers attempt to recapture what made their youth so successful: mischief and experimentation, which fade, rightfully and naturally, with age. Much of their new release feels like a lightning– fast yet ineffective “coolhunt,” with the band latching on to a
basic cultural trend, like Carpool Karaoke, but using it in a way that feels derivative and safe. Now the Jonas Brothers want to rock, but can’t. That being said, “Sucker” works remarkably well when it isn’t trying. Nick’s voice dominates every verse, flitting naturally between a Justin Timberlake–esque falsetto and sultry low notes. Meanwhile, Joe’s swagger pervades every inch of the video and note of the chorus. Remnants of his days with DNCE peek through, his voice mimicking the vibe of a casual kickback. Kevin does what he always did, crafting a minimalistic, but impactful, guitar–heavy beat for his brothers’ voices to shine. Overall, what makes “Sucker” isn’t so much its content, but the band behind it. This release represents a return to form, not sound. Each member slotted easily back into his old role: Nick overpowers, Joe enhances, and Kevin supports. Combined, they’re a recipe for a success, just not rock’n’roll.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK:
Stella Donnelly Isn't Afraid On 'Beware of the Dogs,' the Australian singer–songwriter calls out rape culture and white nationalism. SAM KESLER
Photo by Pooneh Ghana via Pitch Perfect PR Anybody who’s had a dog can tell you, they’re a lot of work. They take up your time and energy and demand all your attention. In Stella Donnelly’s Beware of the Dogs Dogs, she takes care of all the dogs that follow her with grace and style. The Australian singer–songwriter is known for her abrasive lyrics and airy, effervescent voice. Her 2017 EP, Thrush Metal Metal, was centered around her words and her guitar. On Beware of the Dogs Dogs, she brings in a full band to expand her sound, but never loses sight of her message. On the opening track, “Old Man,” Donnelly digs right in. “Your personality traits don't count/If you put your dick in someone's face,” she sings, directly addressing an assaulter. Meanwhile, the music digresses from the mood set by her lyrics, a slinky electric guitar across the song and a cool groove underneath while Donnelly delivers threats. Her ability to pair serious topics with a catchy hook only highlights her message, and when she says, “Oh, are you scared of me, old man?/ Or are you scared of what I'll do?/ You grabbed me with an open hand/ The world is grabbin' back at you” it’s haunting, but one can’t help but to sing along. The entirety of Beware of the Dogs is filled with these moments, like on the track, “Tricks,” when she sings, “You wear me out like you wear that Southern Cross tattoo,” calling out the white nationalist movement in Australia,
which has co-opted the Southern Cross. Donnelly said of the song in a press release, “This song is a playful zoom–in on the ‘Australian Identity’ and a loose dig at the morons that used to yell shit at me when I played cover gigs on Sunday afternoons.” The 26–year–old Fremantle, Western Australia–based musician cut her teeth in cover bands and playing in Perth’s Bells Rapids, all the while absorbing the Australian music scene and jamming with her dad, who is a mu-
sician, she explained on World Cafe. She started writing music on her own, and first gained wider recognition after her song, “Boys Will Be Boys,” went viral. The song, similar to “Old Man,” directly addresses an assaulter, and expresses her frustration at victim–blaming. She sings, "They said, ‘Boys will be boys’/ Deaf to the word no.” Although just as lyrically adept as she was on Thrush Metal Metal, her sound has evolved. Her electric guitar is sharp and jangly at
times, at others rounded and soft–spoken. On songs “Bistro,” “Die,” and “Watching Telly,” Donnelly trades her guitar for a synth and drum pad, with woozy, psychedelic loops. And the album is varied enough for steady listening. Between all her musical skill and her raw, unadulterated lyrics, Donnelly is one of the best artists to come out of Australia in the past few years, joining greats like Camp Cope and Courtney Barnett—with the
same no–bullshit attitude. Her music bears relistening, not because it’s easy to listen to, but because at times, it’s hard. When she sings, “Have a chat to your friends, 'cause it’s our words that will keep our daughters safe,” she’s looking to the listener to take action, even in small ways. Although much of her music is filled with whimsy and flair, it’s important not to let that get in the way of her message. The dogs, too, have something to beware of.
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Harnwell College House
Each semester, the College in collaboration with the College Houses and academic departments and programs holds a series of dinner discussions on majors, minors and academic programs. These dinners provide an opportunity to meet with faculty and upperclass students in a small, relaxed setting, and are free of charge. Please RSVP by the required date at the URL below. Contact Ashley Banks at email@example.com with any questions.
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Offset’s 'Father of 4' is the Best Migos Solo Album Yet The rapper goes solo and sets himself apart from his fellow Migos members. PAUL LITWIN
Each member of Migos— Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff— has each recently gone solo in an effort to individualize themselves from the collective rap trio. Quavo released Quavo Huncho and Takeoff released The Last Rocket, both in 2018, but Offset's Father of 4, released Feb. 22, explores heavy themes and boasts memorable tracks, something that cannot be said for the two previous Migos solo albums. Undoubtedly fatherhood take massive thematic roles in Father of 4, as does Offset’s on–again, off–again relationship with Cardi B and the eight–month old child they have together. In the album’s opening track, “Father of 4,” Offset addresses the three children he had before he met Cardi B, his sons Jordan and Kody and his daughter Kalea. In an album exclusively produced by Metro Boomin and Southside, two of hip–hop’s most talented producers, the melancholy trap beat on “Father of 4” complements Offset’s lyrics perfectly. He raps, “Kalea you my first first daughter / I missed the first three years of your life I’m sorry,” in direct reference to how his jail time affects his relationship with his children. Offset went to prison in February 2013 for violating probation on an original offense of firearms possession, and he (alongside Quavo) was arrested again in 2015 following a concert at Georgia Southern University on two
felony charges relating to firearm possession. Considering the extremely high recidivism rate in Georgia’s prison system (two–thirds of offenders released from prison are re– arrested within three years) and the racial prejudices of the criminal justice system (in 2013, African Americans made up over 60 percent of Georgia’s prison population), Offset opens up an important conversation by talking about these experiences. In “How Did I Get Here,” featuring J. Cole, Offset continues to pursue themes of crime and its impact on his life trajectory. Offset raps, “Have you ever done time? / Looking at my kids through the blinds / Confinement mind / How you feelin’ when you face a dime? / Truth be told / I’m supposed to be locked up and dead, cold.” J. Cole, similarly, wrestles with the juxtaposition of the luxuries of rap stardom and the struggles of growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a town that ranks as being more unsafe than 95 percent of other American cities. Cole raps, “in the dirty south where bodies pilin’ up / So high, they block the birds and rerouted ‘em / Plenty murders had observers but / You never heard a peep out of them / So many funerals it ain’t enough numerals to keep count of them.” One of the biggest questions surrounding the release of Father of 4 was how Offset would address his complex
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Reese Berman | Illustrator relationship with Cardi B. “Don’t Lose Me” is the definitive answer to this question. In a overt reference to his alleged infidelity with female rapper Cuban Doll, Offset raps to Cardi B, “Number one, it’s a loyalty code / Temptation, had the devil in my soul / I wanna be with you when we old.” The opening of “Don’t Lose Me” also features a recording of Offset’s public apology to Cardi B, saying, “And I apologize, you know what I’m saying? Breaking your heart, breaking our promise, breaking God’s promise, and being a selfish and messed up husband, you know what I’m saying? I’m trying to be a better person.” With a gloomy and desolate beat interspersed with subtle violins, “Don’t
Lose Me” represents yet another break from Offset’s typical energetic and aggressive rapping style. One of the highlights of Father of 4 is the track “Legacy,” featuring 21 Savage and Travis Scott over Southside’s production. “Legacy” sounds like Offset’s previous work, as the trap beat doesn’t lend itself to introspective lyrics compared to many of the other beats on the album. However, “Legacy” does act as a refreshing change of pace from some of the slower parts of the album, and Travis Scott and 21 Savage deliver solid features to round out the track's aggressive sound. Unfortunately, the depth and significance of Father of 4 declines as the album goes on. “Clout,” featuring
Cardi B, possesses none of the vulnerability and regret Offset displayed on “Don’t Lose Me,” and “Red Room, in which Offset makes reference to a near–fatal car crash in 2018 and his abuse of Percocet during his youth, is one of the only introspective tracks in the final quarter of the album. Offset, notorious for rapping about expensive watches and jewelry, makes a clear effort to pursue less materialistic themes on Father of 4. While some stretches of the album lack depth, overall it marks a significant step forward in his artistic ability. While Takeoff and Quavo have faltered in delivering meaningful lyrics in their solo albums, Offset has now set himself ahead of the pack.
McGillin’s: A Philadelphia Staple For 159 Years This ale house has survived the Civil War and Prohibition.
By Jennifer Cullen In 1860, Abraham Lincoln had just been elected president, South Carolina seceded from the union, and the Pony Express was in full operation. 1860 was also the year that two Irish immigrants moved their family of 15 to Philadelphia and opened a tavern, originally called Bell in Hand. Amazingly, this tavern, now named McGillin's Olde Ale House, has survived over a century, all while continuing to be a staple of the bar scene and part of the historical framework of Philadelphia. The classic ale house is nestled in a small alley near City Hall—which wasn’t constructed until 41 years after McGillin’s first opened its doors. The well–maintained alley is a quiet escape from the hustle of Center City. The building has a brick exterior, with yellow window sills adding a wink of color. The bar screams Philadelphia, but there's a distinct Irish touch. Walking inside is like walking into a history book. The walls are covered in pictures of the restaurant from practically every time period imaginable. A section of the wall even features every liquor license the spot has had since their first in 1871. Another famous element of its decor is its collection of assorted signs, mostly from other iconic Philadelphia stores and restaurants that McGillin's has outlived. The current owner is Christopher Mullins Jr., who took over for his parents Mary Ellen and Christopher Mullins Sr. Mullins’ grandfather was a bartender at McGillin’s, and when the original family put
it on the market, his grandfather bought it in 1958. Since then, the bar has stayed in the family. Christopher Mullins Jr. grew up in the Irish pub business with another bar his parents owned, but didn’t go to McGillin’s much growing up—although he has fond memories of going to work with his grandparents when he was home sick from school. He didn’t grow up knowing he would eventually run the family business, but soon realized it was a perfect fit for him. The family ownership is definitely one of the reasons for McGillin’s longevity. “I think we were pretty lucky that you know my own family were able to sustain their ownership for 99 years and our family's been able to find someone with the right fit that could manage it for the next generation,” Mullins mused. However, Mullins doesn’t want to pressure the younger generation to take over if it’s not the right job for them, and understands the tradition may not last forever. Still, he’s hopeful. Another strength of McGillin’s is its extremely central location. Mullins noted, “Our location does allow us a nice cross–section of business. So it's not like we're just a college bar or just a happy hour place or a spot for lunch. You get a little bit of everything.” Mullins believes that McGillin’s is the place that Philadelphia goes to celebrate, which makes for many exciting experiences. He fondly
recalls the night the Eagles won the Super Bowl, which is a personal highlight in his career owning the bar. He says that the place was packed, but when the team won everyone poured out into Broad Street, meaning that the staff got to close early to celebrate. McGillin’s also prides itself on being the place where more people have met their husbands and wives than any other place in Philadelphia. In fact, the bar has a book showing hundreds of couples who’ve met there, and the couples often come back for anniversaries. While they like to say the reason for this is the beer, Mullins thinks that it’s
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probably the fact that McGillin’s is an unpretentious place that allows people to let loose and be themselves. Although McGillin’s has been able to modernize and keep up with the times, the family is dedicated to preserving the history of the place. Mullins understands the immense responsibility he has, explaining, “This is an institution. And it's an important part of the fabric of Phila-
delphia but it's also a unique one. I can think of few restaurants and bars that are 50 years old, not to mention 159 years old.” Mullins knows that while he technically owns McGillin's, the bar truly belongs to the community. “We never consider ourselves as like 'this is just our place.' We're kind of the stewards of a lineage of a long history here in Philadelphia.”
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ON THE CLOCK, OFF CAMPUS When students look beyond Penn for work experience
ting jobs, which she finds through the Penn Nursing newsletter. Depending on each family’s needs, she does everything from taking kids to sports practices, tutoring, washing vegetables, preparing lunch, and doing laundry. While Karissa found her job as a way to gain nursing experience, Hyuntae got his job for financial reasons. Still, he says he’s learned from the experience. “It’s actually really difficult to scoop ice cream,” Hyuntae says. For his first week, he had to weigh out each serving. “It’s like six to eight ounces for a single scoop and you have to get within a certain range every time. It’s incredibly stressful!” The mint chocolate chip, which was his favorite flavor when he started, has become his least favorite. “It’s got so many chips in it, so the texture of it makes it really hard to compact it. Half the time it will fall off the cone and people will come back and ask for more.” Hyuntae also learned that scooping takes a lot of energy: “One of the things they tell you is to scoop using your bicep or you’ll get arthritis at the age of 20.” While Hyuntae works the counter, Xander Gottfried (C ‘21) works in the kitchen. Every Saturday, he works as a cook at Abe Fisher, a restaurant near Rittenhouse Square owned by the restaurant group behind Zahav and Federal Donuts. Xander enjoyed cooking before coming to Penn—and had cooked every day back at home—but his room in the Quad didn’t have a kitchen. HYUNTAE BYUN To find an outlet for his passion, he cold–emailed local chefs and asked for an internship in their kitchen. After a five–minute interview with the head chef of Abe Fisher, he was hired. But cooking isn’t all fragrant herbs and colorful spices: Xander has to stand for the entire duration of his 12–hour shift, lift heavy boxes, and reach into ovens as hot as 500 degrees.
There are definitely days when you show up at work and you don’t want to do this … but it doesn’t really matter how you feel about it.
Each weekend, Hyuntae Byun (C ‘20) bikes 30 minutes to Old City, walks into The Franklin Fountain, puts on a bow tie, and gets ready to work. At the old–timey ice cream parlor, he spends hours scooping ice cream from stainless steel tubs into waffle cones for a constant stream of strangers. Sometimes, his customers include Penn students; Hyuntae says he can usually spot them. Part of his job involves being conversational, so he’ll ask about where they go and what they study. It’s a familiar conversation, involving most of the usual Locust Walk niceties. At a certain point, though, they may start trying to explain some aspect of Penn to him, like what “BBB” stands for. “I’ll be like, ‘Oh, cool. Do you enjoy it?’” he says. “At a certain point, maybe it'll come up that I'm also a student here, and then it's kind of weird how differently people change in that moment. It goes from ‘You’re just a stranger’ to ‘Oh, you’re on my level?’” Hyuntae found his way to The Franklin Fountain in order to supplement his income. He has a work–study position at a microbiology lab at Penn, but needed another job to help pay for tuition. Many Penn students take jobs in the form of work–study grants, working on–campus in administrative branches or research labs to both gain experience and supplement their financial aid packages. But not everyone can find the jobs they need or want on campus. Students looking for unique work experiences or wanting to work more hours need to venture beyond Penn’s serene labs and offices. Some of them go into the service industry. They look after three–year–olds. They cure, spice, and smoke short ribs. They scoop perfectly sized balls of ice cream. Beyond the confines of Career Services and Handshake, these jobs require skills students can’t always hone on campus. Karissa Lam (N ‘20) works as a nanny and babysitter. She started nannying in her junior year of high school when she was hired by her mother’s coworker. Even after coming to Penn, she returned to nannying during the summer. “There aren’t a lot of nursing–specific jobs when you’re just fresh out of freshman year,” Karissa explains. She works during the semester as well, but it’s hard to nanny as a full–time student. Unlike babysitting, the job demands significantly more time and investment. “Nannying is more active than babysitting,” Karissa says. “You need to drive the kids places.” Since she doesn’t have a car at Penn, she sticks to babysit-
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At Abe Fisher, Xander is in charge of the annex station: “I take the dishes from other stations and lessen their load so that everything moves more smoothly,” he explains. He often makes short ribs, which the restaurant is known for. To make them, he first cures raw short ribs in a spice mix for ten days. At the beginning of each shift, he pulls out about eight of them and rinses them off to get rid of the excess salt and spices. After smoking them for an hour, he submerges them in canola oil and puts them in the oven for two and a half hours. Prep time can be stressful, because he only has five hours to get ready before opening. “You don't want to be scrambling to finish making some sauce,” Xander says, “when someone's ordered the dish that the sauce goes on.” Working in the service industry, often associated with difficult customers, physical demands, and late hours, involves skills and scenarios that these students don’t encounter as much on campus. Karissa, for example, spends a lot of time observing family dynamics. She works with all kinds of parents—some overbearing, some possessive—and sometimes she sees room for improvement. But I learned that as a domestic employee hired by the family, serving someone is she keeps her opinion in check. “If only did this, then they could fix that a beautiful concept… theyproblem,” Karissa says, “but it’s not my job to tell them how to parYou're putting so much ent, you know?” passion into something, For Hyuntae, there is a big difference between you're working on it so hard, approaching school and then it's being served to and approaching a job. “There are definitely days someone who's going to when you show up at work and you don’t want to do this,” then enjoy those efforts. he says, “but it doesn’t really matIt took me a while to ter how you feel about it.” It’s different than school: you can procrastinate on understand that. schoolwork, but you can’t skip your shift. Working in service has made Hyuntae think XANDER GOTTFRIED more critically about the way people view service work. “A lot of times, people will treat you as a means of getting something or an obstacle to getting something,” he says. People often cut him off while he’s explaining something then ask him to explain it again. He’s had a man use him as a tool in a fight with his female partner. The man and the woman were fighting over who was going to pay when the man shoved the woman’s hand away and said to Hyuntae, “If you’re a real man, you’ll take my mon
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ey.” One time, a woman spat on his face because The Franklin Fountain didn’t have frozen yogurt. For Xander, working in service has made him think more about what cooking means to h i m . When cooking went from a hobby to a job, it came with additional labor that he wasn’t used to, like getting burned and lifting heavy things for other people. That got Xander to reevaluate what exactly he’s doing all this work for. “I learned that serving someone is a beautiful concept,” he says. “You're putting so much passion into something, you're working on it so hard, and then it's being served to someone who's going to then enjoy those efforts. It took me a while to understand that.” Working in an environment removed from a college campus gives these students unique opportunities to get away from Penn. Saturdays are a break from campus life for Xander. “When I go to Abe Fisher, I forget about all [my exams]. It’s a different life. It’s still stressful, but it’s a different kind of stress … I guess you could call it procrastinating.” Karissa loves talking to people who aren’t her age, like the parents and younger kids. “When I came to Penn, I was like, ‘Man, I’m only talking to 18 to 24– year–olds.’” She also develops personal relationships with the families she works with. One parent she works for is a Penn Nursing alum and lets Karissa borrow her old textbooks sometimes. Above all, she says, getting off–campus is a way to remember that there’s more to the world than Penn. “It’s good to get out and realize that life goes on.”
Celebrate Women's History Month in Philadelphia These events around Philly are perfect ways to celebrate powerful women both in history and the present day. Jordan Wachsman March is Women’s History Month, which provides us with a great opportunity to honor the contributions of women throughout history and in modern society. Philadelphia hosts a variety of events to celebrate the month, from dance parties to comedy to art and history experiences. Read on to learn about some upcoming events to help you celebrate Women’s History Month. The Future is Female Dance Party Riot Nerd, a Philly–based entertainment blog, is hosting a dance party at Ruba Club on Saturday, March 9. The event will feature “all female DJs playing all female musicians/bands/artists of all genres!” Tickets are selling for $13 in advance or $15 at the door, and all proceeds are donated to Planned Parenthood. The event will feature DJs like DAME LUZ, Miss Powers, Baby.com, and more. The Women’s Film Festival The mission of the Women’s Film Festival is to create “a forum that inspires and cultivates a movement to celebrate and unite the power of women in the film and entertainment industry.” Since 2014, their team has showcased a plethora of films in Philadelphia. In 2019 the festival will showcase more than 70 films “made by, for, or about women” from Thursday, March 14– Saturday, March 23. Their opening night film is “This Changes Everything,” a documentary that examines sexism in Hollywood. Tickets for the opening night film with a reception go for $19.50, general
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admission tickets are $10, and all can be purchased on the event's website. Women’s Mobile Museum Through Saturday, March 31, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is hosting an incredible project that will get you in the spirit of Women’s History Month. Artist Zanele Muholi collaborates with other South African artists and with Philadelphia women to focus on identity, representation, and gender. The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center wants the space to be one where "women's social and economic equity are a central tenet for the transformative experience of participants and audiences." The exhibition can be found at Richard C. von Hess Foundation Works on Paper Gallery. National Constitution Center
In honor of Women’s History Month, the National Constitution Center is hosting a variety of special programming, free with museum admission for $10. They are offering a “Women’s History Self–Guided Tour,” as well as “Decoding the Lyrics: ‘Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage.’” This will analyze the pop song through the lens of women’s suffrage. Finally, a “Giant Game Board Activity” will be an interactive way to explore knowledge of women’s history. The Bechdel Test Fest The Bechdel Test Fest is a Philly comedy festival started in 2016 with the goal to “create a place to celebrate the talented and hilarious women (both cis and trans) and non– binary comedians who make up a significant part of the local comedy scene.” CJ Hig-
gins, Chanel Ali, Davine Ker, and more will be performing at the festival this year, which will go from Thursday, March 7– Saturday, March 9. Tickets for an individual night go for $12, while you can by a full pass for $35. You can purchase tickets here. Women in STEM On Saturday, March 23, The Franklin Institute is hosting “Women in STEM Day.” They encourage all to “join us for a day dedicated to spotlighting female role models and their impact on our world, and hear from the region’s top experts in a variety of STEM fields including medicine, neuroscience, physics, and engineering.” Activities will include a “Science Spotlight,” a Philadelphia Studio Ballet performance, and hands–on activities with a STEM focus. Tickets are in-
cluded with general museum admission, which costs $23. An Evening With Women in Leadership The National Liberty Museum (NLM) will host this event in honor of Women’s History Month and inspired by the one–woman “Welcome The Stranger,” exhibit, which ”reimagin[es] modern and historical ‘superheroes’ at NLM through June.” Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity to hear inspiring women leaders in the art, business, and music industries. Panelists include Cheryl Stoudt, owner of Stoudt’s Brewing Company, and Vernique Fields/Neeek Nyce, owner and DJ of Into Fields Live Entertainment. The event will take place Thursday, March 28 from 7 p.m.–9 p.m. General admission tickets go for $15.
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Penn Dining's 'Quaker Kitchen' Teaches Students How to Make A Three–Course Meal This initiative brings together students and dining staﬀ over delicious dishes. Bebe Hodges Feel like turning in Classical Studies for culinary school? On Feb. 13, Penn Dining gave us the newest iteration of Quaker Kitchen—a demo in which chefs from Bon Appétit, Penn's food service provider, gave students the opportunity to learn recipes for a three–course meal, talk with
the chefs, and taste the finished creations, all at New College House. The demo was Valentine's Day–themed: The menu included a cranberry and orange salad, shrimp fra diavolo with zucchini noodles (zoodles), and chocolate–dipped strawberries. Quaker Kitchen is a chef demo program in which students of all years, with or without a dining plan, can pick up a few cooking skills. The program began in fall
of 2017 and has since featured items like pumpkin risotto, bow tie pasta with sun–dried tomato pesto, and donut–glazed baked bread pudding. While the chefs make sure that the meals taught aren't too intimidating, they’d definitely put your bowl of cereal to shame. “We try to think of things that are simple—things that students can actually prepare in their dorm rooms,” said Christopher Smith, campus executive chef. After the demo, each participant was given a zoodle maker. Participant Samantha Hernandez (C ‘19) picked up on this too. Commenting on the zoodle maker, she elaborated “it wasn’t something that was just talk, they really genuinely mean that they want us to learn from the demo.” Throughout the demo, Shawn Jefferson, executive sous chef at Bon Appétit, gave the students possible substitutions to make preparing the meal in a dorm truly achievable. If you don’t have
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the knife skills to pare an orange, mandarin oranges canned in natural juice will do the trick. Don’t have a blender to make the salad dressing? Shaking the oils, juices, and herbs in a mason jar will get the job done. “We’re in the back a lot and we're doing what we do so it’s nice to … pause and connect with our guests and talk about food,” explained Chef Steven Green, the executive chef at NCH and Hill College House. Barbara Lea–Kreuger, director of communications for Business Services, saw Quaker Kitchen as an environment in which students could interact with chefs personally. Quaker Kitchen members include a large body of the Bon Appétit chefs, who come together to brainstorm ideas for the Quaker Kitchen menu. The process takes about a month or two to plan, but the chefs are able to experiment and design creative recipes they believe the students would like to see. The tomato sauce was made
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from scratch, with chopped tomatoes, onions, and garlic that— when mixed with the fresh basil and oregano—smelled seductive. The zoodles were healthy alternatives to normal pasta. The mixed green salad was light, and paired with fresh orange slices and a light citrus vinaigrette. For dessert, ripe strawberries were dipped in dark chocolate. “Food is about just having fun," says chef Shawn Jefferson. While I learned how to make a three course meal, I also learned fun facts like the reason chocolate has white spots or that sugar cuts the acidity of tomatoes. If you weren’t able to make it to this Quaker Kitchen, I encourage you to check it out next time. The food is delicious and meeting with the chefs is a really cool experience. While I may not have Zahav–level culinary talent, taking advantage of the unique opportunities Penn has for us is always a great time. Andnow I have the skills to prepare a healthy, delicious three–course meal in my dorm.
Revisiting Oscar Night with Claire Sliney, Executive Producer of 'Period. End of Sentence.' The Penn sophomore on winning for Best Documentary (Short Subject)
Photo courtesy of Claire Sliney
onstage to present the awards, Period. did win, and Claire was part of the coalition onstage. Later in the night, Claire passed a “sobbing” Lady Gaga and congratulated her on her win for Best Original Song. When reflecting on meeting celebrities, Claire catches herself from getting too caught up in the glitz. “Obviously it was so so fun, but also just within the context of the bigger picture, part of me is going ‘oh my god I feel so dumb for being excited by meeting celebrities and talking about it when I know the core, of the importance of it.’” Claire and the Period. team walked out of the theater as Oscar winners. But the story started years ago at Oakwood School in Los Angeles. Melissa Berton, a teacher
at Oakwood School and a producer on the film, took a school trip to the United Nations around seven years ago as part of Girls Learn International (GLI), a club that promotes equal access to education for all genders. After students on the trip learned that girls in developing countries often drop out of school and face other stigmas when they begin to menstruate, they brought the issue back to Oakwood School. After Claire joined GLI and became aware of this issue, she and other students started The Pad Project. One of its aims is to bring pad machines to communities around the world. These pad machines, which are featured heavily in the documentary, can be set up in homes and are used to manufacture sanitary pads. Oakwood School
by Annabelle Williams In the morning of Friday, Feb. 22, Claire Sliney (C ’21), a former beat reporter for The Daily Pennsylvanian, went to class until 11 a.m. By 1 p.m., she was headed to the airport for a 3:55 p.m. direct flight home to Los Angeles. But this wasn’t an ordinary visit. Claire and the rest of the team behind Netflix’s Period. End of Sentence., a documentary about raising awareness around menstruation and creating a business to sell sanitary pads in the Indian village of Kathikhera, were slated to attend the 2019 Academy Awards as a nominee for Best Documentary (Short Subject). She’d ordered some potential gowns online, but because of the snowstorm that week, the delivery was delayed. So she picked up a black dress and quickly got it hemmed. Saturday night was a dinner with the Period. team: pasta. Claire started her Sunday—
the day of the ceremony—at around 10 a.m. with hair and makeup. By around 2 p.m., she headed to Hollywood’s Dolby Theater with the rest of the team, including her mother, a producer on the film who runs awards strategy for Netflix, and some of her closest friends from high school, who’ve been involved with the project since the beginning. The group from Period. walked in and went to their table. They were seated next to Ron Stallworth, the man on whose life Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is based. “He was so cool, he just seemed very wise,” Claire says. In the bathroom, Claire ran into Emma Stone, who wished her luck. As the Documentary Short presentation drew closer, “none of us really expected to win. No one’s plan was to win,” Claire says. But when Awkwafina and John Mulaney came
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students raised money for a pad machine in Kathikhera and for the documentary through bake sales, yogathons, and ultimately a Kickstarter campaign. The women in Kathikhera started a business around this pad machine, and much of the film focuses on them trying to sell pads in–person despite a cultural stigma around talking about periods. Another related goal of the Pad Project is to create a conversation around menstruation. When The Pad Project’s members spoke about their work at an Oakwood School assembly, "talking about the fact that [they] were working
on a project about periods in front of high school boys," Claire remembers, "was so intimidating." Even at Penn, Claire still sees periods as a taboo topic. But now, she’s gotten over that awkwardness. “It’s definitely forced my mom, my friends, my coworkers, and other producers on the film to get 100% comfortable with the topic. I’m the person who could talk about periods forever.” The Oakland students, led by Berton, worked with Action India, a group working to enhance women’s rights and their access to public health and
civic services. Representatives from Action India acted as line producers and translators; the other on–site staff include Rayka Zehtabchi, the director, and Sam Davis, the cinematographer, editor, and co–producer. Though Claire wasn’t involved with the filming and editing, and has not yet visited Kathikhera in person, she de-
featured in the documentary, Claire felt star–struck, like meeting a celebrity for the first time. Previously, the team communicated via Slack, whether for a work project or for discussing arrival logistics for the ceremony. Meeting in person felt special—a kind of “unification of the team.” And after the win, Claire was
Zehtabchi, the director. As for The Pad Project’s next move, they hope to continue working with women in Kathikhera to keep the momentum going, make sure the women have a reliable energy source, and continue their partnership with the community. People in Philadelphia have been reaching out to Claire
scribes it as an “amazing community” and hopes to visit soon: “I think that they have come to us and now I think it’s our turn to go to them.” Her role in Period., she explains, focused on “ideation.” She reached out to partners, did research on the village, and handled much of “the structure and backbone of the project,” as well as “a lot of the marketing and sort of post–production framing of the film.” So the lead–up to the Oscars was the first time Claire met many of the women from Kathikhera. When she saw Sneha, one of the women
stunned by the reception from India. “I think that there’s a sense of pride coming from all over India the fact that it was an Indian film with Indian producers featuring Indian women talking about a problem that is sort of known in India, a problem that exists in India, and that it’s on the world stage getting so much attention from non–Indian people.” One of the Oscar statuettes will be housed at Oakwood after Berton takes it on a tour throughout India. Claire says that “it is just as much our Oscar as it is India’s Oscar, if not more theirs, truly.” And the other Oscar belongs to
about partnerships to support incarcerated women or women living below the poverty line with access to sanitary products, so that’s on the table too. And Claire’s experience with Period. has convinced her to look into a career path she never considered before: film. She’d originally wanted to do social justice and politics, but says that Period. “brought me back to film, it just brought me full circle.” While she doesn’t plan to change her major anytime soon, she thinks it might be time to at least take her first cinema and media studies class.
Live music • Film • Dance • Theater Art Education • Community FREE Workshop! Mar 11 2019 @ 6:00 PM Intermediate Grant Writing & Funder Panel Vision Driven Artists has teamed up with The Rotunda to bring resources and capacity-building workshops to self-producing artists/musicians, arts organization staﬀ, and event curators in all disciplines. Learn about local arts funding opportunities; receive personalized feedback on your grant proposals; practice reading and scoring actual grant applications. Refreshments provided. No signup necessary. http://www.visiondrivenartists.org/ Dot Matrix at The Rotunda 2 Mar 21 2019 @ 8:00 PM Suggested donation $5 - $10 Dorothy Matrix, Shari O'Sound, and the Game Boy Orchestra return to the Rotunda for another amazing musical adventure ﬁlled with improved graphics, high-ﬁdelity sound, and oh yeah, plenty of Prokoﬁev and Beethoven! Event Horizon Series presents Errant Space, Purna Mar 22 2019 @ 8:00 PM Admission is FREE Errant Space is a project of composer/recordist Craig Chin. Its primary goal is environmental enhancement through sound. Find recordings at /www.errant.space/. Purna is the east coast based trio of Elliot Perry, John Laslo and Shawn Maguire. Purna compiles guitar and synth drones, weather beaten cassettes, and found sounds to create their dense, foggy soundscape. Survivor Knights Philadelphia Art Show and Performance 2019 Mar 24 2019 @ 12:00 PM Admission is FREE Survivors of all kinds share their visual art, stories, and performance art at a FREE EVENT designed to bring the community together in mutual support. If you are a survivor who wants to display art, speak or perform at this event go here for details: http://sexabusesurvivor. com/2018/03/call-for-survivor-artists-and-performers-for-survivorknights-philadelphia-2019/ As an alcohol-free/smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides an invaluable social alternative for all ages.
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The Ever–Evolving Trope of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl
It's time for the all–too–familiar one–dimensional female archetype to end, once and for all.
by Shriya Beesam
I remember the first time I ever heard the phrase "manic pixie dream girl"—it was as though millions of tiny puzzle pieces clicked together in my head. It was the phrase that sat at the tip of my tongue for every heroine that fell flat, every female character that managed to strike just the wrong nerve. I knew something wasn’t quite right, but until that moment I was helpless when it came to articulating my grievances. A manic pixie dream girl is defined as “a female character whose main purpose within the narrative is to inspire a greater appreciation for life in a male protagonist.” Essentially, a manic pixie dream girl is synonymous with a cardboard cutout who the male protagonist uses as a tool for character and plot development. She’s too perfect, too quirky, and too idealized to ever be real, and that’s exactly what makes her so easy to fall in love with and just as easy to let go. Although the term was coined by Nathan Rabin in 2007 during his review of Elizabethtown, the persona has been around for a lot longer than that and will probably continue to exist in less obvious forms for at least the next few decades. Take, for example, almost any Audrey Hepburn movie. The roles she played were always whimsical to the point of surrealism, and she never really underwent the character development typical of a protagonist. The best example of this would be Roman Holiday, the quintessential Hollywood classic starring Hepburn and
Gregory Peck. As a die–hard fan, even I have to admit that Princess Anne is solely used to help Joe Bradley reach personal revelations. Purely one–dimensional, Hepburn’s character alone could not support an entire movie plot, let alone a pivotal scene or two. Her characters are the epitome of the manic pixie dream girl, yet the concept hadn’t even been established at that point in time. Look at almost any romantic film told from a man's point of view and you’ll spot them: the cool girls, the outsiders, the ones with bangs adorning their faces who smoke skinny cigarettes and dance in the rain. It doesn’t occur in just Hollywood films. As an Indian– American, I was brought up surrounded by Bollywood. Even as a child, I often found myself enraged beyond belief after watching yet another conventionally attractive heroine sit still and look pretty throughout a three–hour film, but my frustrations were always dismissed by everyone I attempted to discuss this with. I was told that it was simply how women were portrayed, but to me it provided incredible insight into how women were viewed in society as a whole, not just in the film industry. It isn’t as though a cardboard female character would be created with no basis in reality. Women are portrayed as manic pixie dream girls in male–centered films because women, for a majority of history, were thought to be manic pixie dream girls. That revelation, as opposed to the
Prosha Amiri| CC BY-NC 4.0
trope itself, is what often gives me pause after every 500 Days of Summer–esque film. Because of the widespread public aversion that came with it, Hollywood has begun to stray from the archetype. However, its lasting impacts are still seen today. Her, lauded as one of the best films produced in recent years, even contains traces of the manic pixie dream girl trope through the persona of Samantha. If asked to describe Samantha's development throughout the film, most
audience members of the movie would probably return blank stares. However, Samatha's impact on Theodore, our protagonist and his progression is so pronounced it's almost unsettling, clearly demonstrating the one–dimensional nature of her persona. Even a non–human being of artificial intelligence, apparently, can be a manic pixie dream girl. This manic pixie–ness is especially pronounced in young adult films, a genre catering to a group of youths desperately
clinging to any bits of fairytale they can get. High schoolers and middle schoolers flock to watch and read stories of utopian romance, longing for their Edward Cullen equivalent. It's rife with manic pixie, filled with Sams (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and Margo Roth Spiegelmans (Paper Towns). It's hard to watch, but it's even harder to look away. Although we may not see a blatant manic pixie dream girl on the big screen anytime soon, we as viewers need to be aware of the remains of this trope that linger in every romance. They might look, sound, and speak like real women, but they are far from what constitutes reality. The less we will them into existence with our imaginations and our hearts, the faster they’ll fade.
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Book–to–Movie Adaptations to Look Out For in 2019 Don't feel like reading the book? For these ten upcoming adaptations, you don't have to. by Calista Lopez
The art of adaptation has been put into practice a lot in film, and the trend is not stopping in 2019. Now, some of our favorite classic novels are hitting theaters. Here are ten of them to look out for. 1. IT: CHAPTER TWO
Release Date: September 6, 2019
It's back, and The Losers' Club is all grown up. Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, It: Chapter Two is the sequel to It, which was released in 2017 to critical and commercial success. Set in 2016, the sequel will follow the now– adult Losers' Club as they return to Derry and fulfill the promises they made 27 years earlier to defeat the resurfaced evil entity known as It. Bill Skarsgård will reprise his role as Pennywise, and James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and Isaiah Mustafa will portray the adult members of The Losers' Club.
Saranya Sampath 2. WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?
Release Date: August 9, 2019
Based on the 2012 comedy novel by Maria Semple, this adaptation will follow 15–year– old Bee Branch, who convinces her family to go on a family trip to Antarctica. However, the situation changes after her agoraphobic mother, Bernadette Fox, goes missing. Bee must gather clues to figure out her mother's true whereabouts. Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, and Kristen Wiig will star in the upcoming film. 3. ARTEMIS FOWL
Release Date: August 9, 2019
This upcoming fantasy film, based on the novel Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, will follow Artemis Fowl II, a young criminal mastermind. In order to free his criminal father and restore their family fortune, Artemis captures and exploits reclusive, magical fairy people with Butler, his
servant and bodyguard. Ferdia Shaw will make his acting debut as Artemis Jr., and Lara McDonnell, Nonso Anozie, Judi Dench, and Josh Gad will star. 4. LITTLE WOMEN
Release Date: December 25, 2019
The eighth adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's beloved 1868 novel Little Women is written and directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, and Meryl Streep. The movie will focus on the adult lives of sisters Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March in 1860s Massachusetts. However, the film will not be presented in chronological order and is said to focus more on themes rather than narratives. 5. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW Release Date: October 4, 2019
This upcoming mystery thriller is based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Dan Mallory, who
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wrote under the pseudonym A.J. Finn. The Woman in the Window will star Amy Adams as Dr. Anna Fox, an agoraphobic psychologist who observes a crime while spying on her neighbors and is faced with a difficult decision: whether or not to intervene. Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, and Anthony Mackie will also star. 6. THE AFTERMATH
Release Date: March 15, 2019
Based on Rhidian Brook's novel, this upcoming drama— set in 1946 Germany—will feature Keira Knightly as Rachael Morgan, who moves into a new house to join her British colonel husband Lewis (Jason Clarke) as he rebuilds a decimated German city. After Lewis decides to move them in to a house with a single German father played by Alexander Skarsgård and his daughter, Rachael is torn between her commitments and the promise of passion and forbidden love. 7. THE RHYTHM SECTION Release Date: November 22, 2019
Written by Mark Burnell, this novel tells the story of Stephanie Patrick, a woman on the hunt to find the truth behind a mysterious plane crash that killed her family—a plane she was meant to be on. After determining the crash was not an accident, Stephanie tries to track down those responsible. Blake Lively, Jude Law, and Sterling K. Brown will star. 8. TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE SEQUEL Release Date: TBA
A sequel to Netflix's 2018 summer hit To All The Boys I've Loved Before was officially announced and is currently in the works. The unnamed sequel will be based on Jenny Han's 2015 novel P.S. I Still Love You, in
which high school student Lara Jean Covey struggles between her loving yet turbulent relationship with Peter and her developing feelings for her childhood crush John Ambrose. Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, and Janel Parrish are likely to reprise their roles in the coming film. 9. THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR Release Date: May 17, 2019
In this adaptation of the novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon, Natasha Kingsley is met with a question of fate. The same day Natasha and her family are set to be deported from New York City back to Jamaica, she meets Daniel Bae, who she believes is the love of her life. Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton will star as Natasha and Daniel, respectively. 10. THE BEST OF ENEMIES Release Date: April 2, 2019
Based on the true story of Osha Gray Davidson's The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South, this drama follows an unlikely friendship made in the 1960's in Durham, North Carolina. Ann Atwater, a civil rights activist, and C. P. Ellis, a Ku Klux Klan leader, meet on opposing sides of a court–ordered desegregation decree. However, they find they have many similarities, which leads to an alliance in the midst of intense intolerance. Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell will portray Atwater and Ellis respectively. Whether you're excited to see your favorite book come to life or to watch these stories for the first time on the silver screen, we can all look forward to a promising year of adaptations.
Penn Masala's Spring Show Promises to Be Out–Of–This–World
2 0 1 9 L E V I N F A M I LY D E A N ’ S F O R U M
See Their Show 'Interstellar' on March 30th
Penn Masala, Penn’s South Asian a capella group, has been performing and creating music since 1996, and they have since established an international reputation for themselves. On March 30, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Penn Masala will host their annual spring show at Irvine auditorium—a ticket to the show costs $8. The theme of the show is reflective both of what the group does and what they aim for. This year’s show is titled Interstellar, and it carries a new important message. “Interstellar is a nod to Masala’s drive of continuously exploring new musical frontiers and reaching new heights with our music and community engagement, like what messages we want to portray to our fans. We believe in Masala that the sky is not the limit,” member Dev Shaurya Singhal (E '21, W '21) explained. Last year’s show was titled Kaleidoscope. Dev says, “We’re all South Asian people and some of us grew up here, and some of us are from back home in India. That [title] was a reflection of our colorful and bright heritage and our changing musical dynamic.” Dev, who is from India, says that he first learned about Penn Masala when he was still in high school. Like most people involved with Penn Masala, Dev had interest in joining but no prior experience. They practice Monday through Thursday typically for an hour or two, and Dev explains that you learn from everyone around you. The
group consists of thirteen Penn students. Penn Masala's style is unique, as they mix South Asian music with Western music. Their performances and albums have reached an extremely widespread audience, evidenced by their past tours, which took them to places like India, England, and other parts of the United States. In addition to hosting showcases, Penn Masala releases an album roughly every two years. Their newest album is scheduled to be released in June. Masala even released a video about the issue of mental health and emotional stress in the South Asian community. This video showed just how widespread Penn Masala’s reach is; they collaborated with a videographer in India. “We’ve been gaining more recognition in both India and here in the U.S. We strive to take our music one step further every year,” Dev says. Masala aims to make their fans feel more “rooted to their culture” with their music. Dev says, “Shows are definitely so much fun because there’s so much energy and we love to see people dancing to our music and having fun while we’re performing. With albums, it’s always great to release new music and reflect on how songs would go together well and work on that.” No matter what Penn Masala does, they inspire people with their music. “When people say that they like our music, that is the most rewarding part of it,” Dev explains.
Art and Politics, From Graphic to Cinema A Conversation With Marjane Satrapi BEST SELLING ARTIST/ILLUSTRATOR, FILMMAKER & AUTHOR
THURSDAY, MARCH 14 , 2019 • 4:30 P. M . DOORS OPEN AT 4 P.M.
Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Zellerbach Theatre 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia MARJANE SATRAPI, creator of the graphic novels Persepolis and Chicken With Plums
and director of their film adaptations, as well as the movies The Voices and the upcoming Radioactive, will discuss her art and how politics has been threaded through it over the years.
SAS.UPENN.EDU for tickets and information
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'Mythic Creatures' Exhibition at Drexel: Myth and Nature Are Not So Different, After All The Academy of Natural Sciences takes on the history of myth, exploring the relationship between nature and legend.
Jess Araten For those who grew up fascinated with the mythical worlds of dragons, sea monsters, and mermaids, the “Mythic Creatures” exhibition, held at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, is the perfect place to rediscover that old love. In a fresh take on the relationship between magic and science, the Academy invites visitors to explore sculptures, replicas, art pieces, and activities that focus on mythic creatures and the real life phenomena that may have inspired them. Through interactive exploration, the exhibit offers a unique opportunity to draw tangible connections between mythology and our natural world. During its opening weekend, the Academy offered
activities such as handling specimens and practicing penmanship with squid ink. Highlights of the exhibit include a vibrant sculpture of the African water spirit Mimi Wata, a “life–size” model of a European unicorn, and a dramatic model of a Kraken, whose tentacles appear to rise out of the floor as if surfacing from the sea. A replica of the “Fiji m e r m a i d ,” made famous by showman P.T. Barnum, can be seen as well. Originally created by sewing the head and
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torso of a juvenile monkey to the tail of a fish, the specimen was presented as the mummified body of a "mermaid." “Mythic Creatures” successfully examines the many ways cultures around the world have explained natural phenomena. Academy President and CEO
Scott Cooper says in an Academy statement, “I think our ancestors would have been relieved had they known that the scary and odd–looking creatures they encountered were really just part of our magnificent natural world.” By emphasizing cross–cultural myths as explanation of astounding science, and by depicting both similarities and differences between representations of the same mythological creatures, “Mythic Creatures” emphasizes
human connection while leaving room for unique cultural identities. The exhibition indicates an equally profound understanding of the importance of natural life and humans' relationships with the world we inhabit. Cooper asserts “every animal and plant has its place in the ecosystems of the planet and each has a role to play, as our Academy scientists continue to demonstrate through their research. By experiencing this exhibit, we hope our visitors will have a renewed appreciation for all living creatures.” In allowing attendees to experience the excitement of mythic understandings of natural life, the Academy restores a sense of
childlike wonder for our natural surroundings. A sense of individual impact permeates the “Mythic Creatures” exhibition. Through a hands–on, historical approach, “Mythic Creatures” educates visitors to feel connected to nature and its role in myth, and to see some cool creatures along the way. In crafting a space to explore our own human nature cross–culturally and cross–temporally, attendees should walk away from the Academy with a better understanding of natural world’s importance to our ancestors and to us today. “Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids” is on display at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University from Feb. 16 through June 9, 2019.
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