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September 11, 2019 |


How a Passion Project Turned into an Identity Crisis


EOTH: Stephanie Wu Kia DaSilva

Annabelle Williams, Editor–in–Chief Dalton DeStefano, Managing Editor Daniel Bulpitt, Audience Engagement Director Lily Snider, Assignments Editor Ethan Wu, Media Director Sophie Burkholder, Special Issues Editor Allison Wu, Long–Term Features Editor Ryan McLaughlin, Word on the Street Editor Katie Bontje, Ego Editor Sam Kesler, Music Editor Srinidhi Ramakrishna, Developing Features Editor Bea Forman, Style Editor Shannon Zhang, Film & TV Editor Sophia DuRose, Arts Editor Sophia Dai & Eleanor Shemtov, Photo Editors Tahira Islam & Katie Steele, Copy Editors Kira Horowitz & Sarah Poss: Copy Editors Dean Jones & Jackson Parli, Video Editors Alice Heyeh, Print Director


DIY Artist, No Man's Land, AOTW


Seltzer Ranking, Bryn + Dane's, 69th Street



Antidepressant Withdrawl


Falling Inn Love, Timmy Time


Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, Bill Viola


Ego Beats: Amanpreet Singh, Sonali Deliwala, Katie Farrell Music Beats: Mehek Bopari, Melannie Jay, Teresa Xie

Staff Photographers: Hoyt Gong, Sophia Zhu, Diya Sethi, Adiel Izilov, Sally Chen, Mona Lee, Emma Boey

Style Beats: Caroline Emma Moore, Diya Sethi, Karin Hananel

Video Staff: Sam Lee, Megan Kyne

Film & TV Beats: Shriya Beesam, Samantha Sanders, Anna Collins

Copy Associates: Kate Poole, Serena Miniter, Erin Liebenberg, Lexie Shah, Carmina Hachenburg, Luisa Healey, Agatha Advincula

Arts Beats: Jessica Bao

Audience Engagment Associates: McKay Norton, Rachel

Design Editors: Gillian Diebold, Lucy Ferry, Jess Tan, Tamsyn Brann

Cover by Ava Cruz

Design Associates: Isabel Liang, Ava Cruz, Joy Lee Staff Writers: Ana Hallman, Arjun Swaminathan, Tara OʼBrien, Hannah Yusuf, Sophia Schulz-Rusnacko, Jordan Waschman 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

Markowitz, Kat Ulich, Brittany Levy, Jessica Bachner

Contacting 34th Street Magazine: If you have questions, comments, complaints or letters to the editor, email Annabelle Williams, Editor–in–Chief, at You can also call us at (215) 422–4640. ©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.


was thinking a lot about mental health this week. For the last few weeks, we’ve been editing and shaping a feature on antidepressant use— more specifically, what happens when you go off an antidepressant. What happens to your body? How do you feel? What makes antidepressants so important for so many people, and, for some, so desperately hard to stop taking? I’m proud of how the piece turned out, a blend of first–person narrative and external reporting and an unflinching look at treatment for mental health. I’m also proud that it’s not against antidepressants, that the writer and those interviewed stressed the importance of medications, even with the challenges they present. But I started thinking about mental health more personally when campus was informed about the death of Gregory Eells on Monday. Like many other students, I went through an emotional gamut—shock, sadness, confusion, numbness, worry. Now, as I write this, I just feel tired. After taking some steps back and a little time to process, I realized that editing the feature story made me feel, in some ways, better. Hearing people talk candidly about their experiences felt equal


Features Staff: Zoe Young, Hailey Noh, Katrina Janco, Chelsey Zhu, Katie Bontje, Isabella Simonetti

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parts harrowing and hopeful. That being said, if you’re still in a raw place with your mental health, this week’s feature may not be for you. There are trigger warnings at the top and resources at the bottom of the piece. I don’t have any answers. It's not my place. I just want to say I love you all and I’m grateful for this community. And I hope that everyone takes care of themselves this week.


How a Passion Project Turned into an Identity Crisis My love for making YouTube videos made me question whether I was really happy with myself. Morgan Jones I’m inside a sweaty, rank basement with music that is far too loud, engulfed in a mass of unrecognizable faces. I came to the party for my best friend, but five minutes into the chaos, she disappears. I’m sure I don’t belong here. I think that if I don’t find someone familiar within the next five minutes, I should make the trek back home by myself. A screech sounds over the blaring EDM that I’ve quickly grown to hate, “Oh my god! Are you Morgan Jones?” I turn to see the youthful face of a new Penn student, glistening with perspiration and first semester excitement. She tugs me into an embrace, and I hesitate for a moment before returning the hug. I’ve coached myself over the last few weeks to have the perfect reaction, but it doesn’t feel any less unnatural with each smile or embrace. “I’ve watched all your videos on YouTube! I love you!” she says as she hugs me again. I’m flattered, and I wish I could say that my YouTube viewers are getting to know the real me. But I’m afraid I might just have nothing in common with the girl from a year ago, enamored by film and editing, who sat in her room and talked to a camera for the whole world to see. My life has always been a public affair filled with constant posts on Instagram, random tweets, and silly vlogs of my life. I’m aware that I’ve portrayed myself as a very confident, independent person, and while I believe I possess these qualities, the online persona I have created is not necessarily a full representation of who I am. I’ve tried my best to be authentic and honest with my audience, but they’ve arrived halfway through the movie. Any ounce of confidence or independence they see did not come from a self–help book. The truth is, any shred of independence on screen is just self–reliance, cultivated from the

Linda Ting | Illustrator struggles of being the “new girl” in high school. Confidence is a side effect of the tough skin I’ve built up over the past decade after being the subject of many racist and sexist “jokes.” I learned the hard way that anonymity can be blissful for one second and dehumanizing in the next, and when you aren’t a real person the cruelest of actions are fair game. Being alone gives you lots of time to work on yourself, and what happens when you don’t really have any friends? You make a YouTube channel. Making videos gave me purpose. It became a creative space for me, and for a while, it was also a safe space. Looking back, it seems completely irrational that I would find YouTube, a public digital media platform, “safe” by any means, but I really never thought anyone but my grandma was going to watch my videos. What was once a passion project of making lifestyle videos in my dorm room, has accidentally become the stimulus for a complete identity crisis. As much as teenage boys attacked every fiber of my being in high school, once my videos gained some views, internet trolls did not hesitate to do the same. “You don’t sound very intelligent,” commented one viewer. “Useless and delusional,” commented another.

YouTube viewers have gone out of their way to DM me on Instagram, calling me a “catfish” and pointing out fluctuations in my weight over the past year. One girl went through the effort of sending me a screenshot from a video I posted in January and my most recent Instagram post to compare the two photographs of me saying, “Same person? I would say no way.” I often receive kind messages, which I’m so thankful for, as well as messages from prospective Penn students. I try my best to help Penn hopefuls with their college applications and essays, but every now and then I will get the consecutive messages from a Penn applicant: “You’re honestly not that cute, but can you read my Common App essay plz lol.” I’ve never thought of my physical appearance in a terribly negative way, but with others constantly claiming that I “look like a different person in every photo,” I sometimes catch myself thinking that I may have no idea what I actually look like. Sometimes, I will glance in my bedroom mirror before leaving for class and realize something is not quite right. Should I put my hair in a ponytail? Should I leave it down? I might just want to tie it back to have it out of my face, but then I think, "No, Morgan wouldn’t do that." I

have to be "her," and look like "her," or else someone will say something. It might be a, “You look different today,” or a, “You look tired.” Maybe it will be the worst of them all: the classic once– over and the, “Are you okay?” Yes, I’m fine. This is just my face…or is it? I do my best to brush off the negative comments from trolls and “friends,” but recently, I’ve realized that the commonly prescribed, “Get over it,” is a pretty terrible remedy. High school bullies hurt me. Internet haters hurt me. That was hard to say, and I don’t think people admit these truths enough. I’ve been hurt by the world. That I’ve become my own destroyer through my love affair with the internet is difficult for me to accept. Even after admitting it, I’m still a long way from being over it. The most heartbreaking part of the whole fiasco is that admiration has become a double–edged sword. It’s surreal when someone recognizes me from a YouTube video of mine as I’m going about my daily life. I love meeting subscribers, I really do, but sometimes I have this uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach right after. Did I meet their expectations? Do I match their perception of the girl on screen? Do I look like "her"? Or should I say "me"? It’s the positive sentiments

from subscribers that have made me question myself the most. “You were such an inspiration to me when I was applying to Penn” said one freshman, as he stopped me on my way to British Poetry. “You’re literally goals. You’re thriving!” said another as I made my way back home after a tiring, never–ending day. I’m so astonished and thankful to receive these glowing compliments from complete strangers—at least strangers from my perspective—but I fear that these comments conflict with my current reality in the most dangerous way. Am I thriving? After spending three months in New York in a state of numbing isolation for my “dream” internship that ended up not being all that dreamy, and two weeks in my hometown avoiding anyone and everyone from my high school, I made my way back to Penn. I thought it would be my saving grace from the most intense loneliness and uncertainty I’ve ever experienced. I was finally going to be back with my people. I was finally going to feel whole, like myself again. Yet, I’ve found myself alone in a sweaty basement, surrounded by strangers who know everything about a “me” that is not real. I’ve found myself searching for my people to no avail. My people that now have boyfriends and girlfriends that have become their entire world. My people that now have other friends they would rather spend time with because they grew closer over the summer. My people that now do not respond for four days when I text them to make plans because they got “super busy.” My people that now have other people. While everyone else moves forward, I find that I’ve been put on pause in a little 1,920x1,080 pixel frame, and I’m not sure if anyone is coming back to press play anytime soon.

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Ego of the Week: Stephanie Wu

Sophia Dai | Photo Editor

The Penn Debate Society president discusses her love for gender equity and what it's like coming from Australia to Wharton

Hometown: Sydney, Australia Grade: Senior Major: Business Economics and Public Policy (BEPP), Statistics Activities: President of Penn Debate Society, Penn International Impact Consulting (PIIC), Turner Social Impact Society (TSIS), TA for BEPP233 and BEPP280

Amanpreet Singh 34th Street: What was it like growing up in Sydney? How does it compare to the US? Stephanie Wu: I get asked this a lot, and I think my experience is super defined by the bubbles that I grew up in within these two places. In the US, everyone I know is from Penn; all my interactions are at Penn. In Sydney, I would describe my bubble as a very Asian, magnet school, immigrant family bubble. When I say Asian, I mean Asian. In my high school, there were only one and a half white people and everyone else was Asian. My parents immigrated from Shanghai, China to Australia. When I was little I didn’t understand how much of a sacrifice that would be. I am incredibly grateful. I can’t even begin to imagine how lonely and — it’s hard. People are racist, you’re financially struggling. My mum would tell me stories about how she would go on a train every day to try to find jobs, and if she didn’t find a job that day, she’d feel so bad because she just wasted the train fare. So I don’t think I can make an accurate comparison between Australia and the US. But that being said, coming to Penn I had to learn to be a lot more assertive, especially in Wharton classrooms. Street: Why did you decide to come to Penn? SW: To be honest, I don’t have a very good answer for this. In Australia we don’t think that much about U.S. schools, so I applied quite last minute and generally just applied to schools I knew of. Penn was the only school that accepted me, so I was like ‘Here we go!’ I was really interested in economic policy, and I actually wrote my one essay on Econ policy — which now I know is not business 4

at all. The thing I do like about Wharton, or I guess Penn, is that there are so many resources for everything, so I definitely explored a lot of interests through the Public Policy Initiative in Wharton and the Turner Social Impact initiative. I really like economics, and I think the framework, even though they are problematic and need to be questioned, it’s a really rational and logical way of thinking about the world. Street: Why did you decide to get involved with Penn International Investment Club? SW: I was pretty confused my freshman year, and coming in, everyone at Penn knew exactly what they wanted to do or become, and in Australia we just didn’t think about the long– term. Freshman summer I had a lot of time and I watched a lot of different documentaries, a lot of Al Jazeera documentaries, about different things that were happening around the world, and I just got a lot more interested in international development. I didn’t really know what that meant until I joined PIIC and took a class on development economics (BEPP233). That really sort of introduced me to that discipline. In PIIC, we provide consulting for NGOs. We've worked with educational NGOs for both years in Guatemala and Costa Rica. It was valuable to be on the ground and see first– hand just how difficult it is. The circle of people I am friends with strongly believe in effective altruism. There are a lot of great arguments for that, but a lot of the time they sideline these smaller NGO operations. These operations still are changing lives and making a difference. They may

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not be the most sexily–marketed or sophisticated, but they are incredibly impactful. Those experiences were important to illustrate to me the human impact and practical impact that a lot of these things make and it's not just about the clinical numbers and measurements of the impact you're making. Just listening to the director of the NGO in Costa Rica — she had been there for ten years — and hearing how it was such a difficult operation and how they were close to dying out so many times, but at the same time they were providing so many crucial programs for kids who were just not getting enough education at school. She is changing lives but she's just not getting the funding and attention that she deserves just because she's not an anti–malaria foundation, or she doesn't have fancy research and isn't doing an RCT [randomized control trial] to prove her method, but she still is making a huge difference in the community. Because of a lack of government funding in rural Costa Rica, the children only get three to four hours of school a day, so she supplements that with English lessons and art lessons. Beyond the education it’s also social bonding for the kids as well. Street: What have you done over your summers? SW: Freshman summer I was an RA at Penn. I was working with Professor Sarah Light, one of the kindest mentors, really the kindest women, I have ever met. I learned about business ethics and corporate governance literature, particularly related to environmental law. Sophomore summer I was at Shahi Ex-

ports, and they're one of India's largest garment exporters. It was amazing. I think that was the summer where I really connected the dots from my past and realized I was really passionate about gender issues. It's always been something that's made me really angry. You know, I was called 'bossy' a lot as a kid — I've been that person who's gone to a Model UN conference and has been called 'aggressive' by a male who's probably been acting, objectively, much more aggressively. At Shahi, I was trying to see how we can get more women into positions of leadership. When you give women more power in households, kids are more likely to get to sent to school or they spend more on kid's healthcare. If women are in politics, they'll spend more on access to water. Putting women in power doesn't just have benefits for women, but also for children and all of society. Street: Why did you decide to join Penn Debate Society? SW: PDS was my first family on campus, and it has been

my core group throughout. The two biggest mentors for me in the grade above me were from PDS. The best moment was probably senior send–off last year. The senior year above us was a revolutionary class in the sense that they truly made it into a competitive force as well as just a family. It was a wonderful mix of tradition and beautiful speeches thanking the seniors. We all sang “Someone Like You” by Adele in a circle — you got to, right? If you didn’t sing Adele, did you even send off the seniors? I don't think I would have gotten involved in development or policy without that. Sometimes the Wharton curriculum, it's very practical, but a lot of the times you don't consider normative questions of 'Is this good?' and you also don't consider questions that don't have a clear answer. This is a generalization, but I think you're not encouraged to be uncomfortable with the uncertainty, and constantly thinking, and questioning. Debate has really allowed me to exercise those parts of my brain.

LIGHTNING ROUND Street: What is the top song on your playlist right now? SW: Oh haha “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. Always. Street: If you lost this item you would be unable to live your life. What is it? SW: It’s boring, but earphones. Street: What is the most interesting thing you’ve debated? SW: “Has Gidwell done more harm than good?” Street: There are two types of people at Penn... SW: Those who overthink things and those who go with the flow. Street: If you were a building on campus, which would you be and why? SW: Oh that’s hard! Probably Huntsman but wishes she was cool enough to be Williams.


Meet , Penn's Archeology Lover Who Spent Her Grew Up in the Quad From Riepe baby to Riepe RA, meet the Near East languages and civilizations major rooted in Penn’s campus. BY AMANPREET SINGH Kia DaSilva (C '21) is a Philly native, but she grew up very differently than any other students who hail from the City of Brotherly Love—Kia grew up in the Quad. “My mom was the faculty master for Riepe College House, so I was like the "Riepe baby." I’m actually an RA for Riepe right now, so it’s come full circle,” Kia says. “Penn is, in many ways, my home.” She moved in to Riepe when she was four years old, and lived in the college house until she was 10. “I just have a lot of fond memories of growing up in the Quad. As a child, it’s like literally growing up in a castle. There is this giant, imposing building, and all these narrow turns and hideaways," Kia says. "The Secret Garden was one of my favorite books growing up, just because I really related to her." After living in Riepe, Kia’s family moved 10 blocks west to a home on 48th Street, still close enough to engage with Penn’s campus and culture. Now, Kia makes her mark on Penn’s campus through her academic passions. She is a Near East languages and civilizations major. Growing up, Kia took Arabic at a camp called, "Al–Bustan Seeds of Culture," which was a large inspiration for her current course of study. “They very much instilled in me that language is also learning cultures, so I was learning about cultures in the Middle East, especially at a time there was a lot of Islamophobia and a lot of anti–Arab sentiment in the United States,” she says.

When Kia first came to Penn, she wasn't sure what she wanted to pursue. This changed once she took "Introduction to the Ancient Near East" to fulfill a requirement, and “fell in love with the course.” “There was one point where the professor pulled up an ancient tablet, and I was like ‘OMG can you read that?’ and he was like ‘Yes.’ He was reading it fluently from the screen, and it blew my mind," Kia says. "I couldn’t believe it. And so I said, ‘Can I take that? Is that a language I can take?’” The tablet was written in Akkadian, which Kia immediately signed up for, and has been taking ever since. This love of languages has persisted, and Kia worked on a project updating the interpretations of words in the Electronic Pennsylvanian Sumerian Dictionary during the summer after her freshman year. She is currently the only undergraduate student in advanced Akkadian. "Because I was the only student studying it, a lot of resources were thrown at me, and I got involved with archaeological science, because I still had an interest in science and the scientific method,” she says. Kia went on her first archaeological dig in Oman through the Penn Museum over last year’s winter break. They dug at an archaeological site called Bat, which is about three hours away from Muscat. “Being able to tell all sorts of details from literal fragments, and really inconspicuous, innocuous pieces of bone, or metal, or ceramic is mind– blowing," Kia says. "You really

feel like you’re contributing to knowledge in a way that other people can’t.” This summer, Kia also went on two Adiel Izilov | Photographer different digs in Azerbaijan and Israel. To avoid the brutal heat, per nerdy and overeager, I went work often starts and ends early to the Penn Singers while they in the day. In Israel, Kia woke were rehearsing for the Freshup at 4 a.m., started to dig by man Performing Arts Night, and 5 a.m., and worked eight–hour I was like ‘Hey! I’m Kia. I want days until 1 p.m. to know when your auditions One of the craziest things are!’ It was so embarrassing,” Kia encountered on her trips Kia jokes. was during a dig in Azerbaijan. The company just performed While the team only expected Candide written by Leonard remains from a Roman admin- Bernstein, which is a “whopistrative settlement, they also ping monster” of a show at two– found a baby burial ground. and–a–half hours. It is based on “All of a sudden we’re dig- Candide by Voltaire, and Kia ging, and someone was like appreciated “just really being ‘Wait, that’s a human bone!’ I able to immerse myself in the think we had over 20 burials, show, and in the music. It’s so mostly children and babies,” she interesting, and jarring and dissays. “I realized they’re all ori- sonant, but also beautiful.” ented towards Mecca, and then Kia also read the book so we were like ‘Oh, it’s an Islamic she could learn more about the burial ground!’ Being able to characters. have that direct connection with “Being able to understand humans—actual humans—is that book truly was just one of just incredible.” the best experiences I’ve had in Kia also recently declared a club at Penn. Being able to a music major and a minor in tie in academics that I kind of computer science. This feels ap- ran on my own schedule, with propriate, as she grew up sing- something that was fun and ening opera for most of her life, in gaging like performance, and both private vocal lessons and having those books influence locally produced operas as a the way I thought about my child. On campus, Kia performs character, was just really rewith the Penn Singers Light warding,” she adds. Opera Company, and she now After graduation, Kia hopes serves on their audition com- to maybe incorporate her intermittee. ests in computer science with “My first day freshman year, archaeology. I researched all the clubs. Su“There’s a growing field of

digital archeology and using digital tools to help with archeology and improve our data collection," Kia explains. She’s also interesting in pursuing academia. She looks up to her mother, who works as a professor in the History Department and founded the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at Penn. But Kia also searches for knowledge outside of the classroom. She has been a part of the Philomathean Society since her freshman year. She currently serves as the First Censor, and acts as the recruitment chair. "It’s a collection of thinkers and really people who are just curious about learning for its own sake and share the passions that you love with other people,” she says. “There’s this other girl who also loves opera and she brought in the composer–in–residence of the Philadelphia opera, and that was just one of the most magical conversations I had.” This passion accompanies Kia with almost every topic we touch on. Sitting across from me at Pret, she speaks excitedly about every class and club she's been involved with. “I knew this is where I wanted to be," she says. "I've been a part of Penn always."

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The Rise of the Artist How the relationship between artist and audience has evolved BY MEHEK BOPORAI Many of us probably wrote music while we were locked away in our childhood bedrooms, toiling in front our computer’s webcam and scribbling down emotional poetry. Broadcasting these diary entries to an audience of just ourselves, these creative moments tend to remain tucked away as digital files and forgotten as we age. But what happens when these pieces of content become more than just pastimes for the creative teenager? Such is the tale of Claire Cotrill (also known as Clairo), now 21 years old but only edging 19 when she was having a particularly rough day. Rather than pocketing her negative experience into the forgotten, she decided to detail it through song lyrics and teenage video editing before uploading it to YouTube. Such became “Pretty Girl”: a three–minute track of Cotrill dancing and lip syncing in an aloof manner with iced coffee and animal figurines for props. The website’s algorithm worked its magic, and the cheeky clips garnered millions of views. Those who listened to the song understood the feeling of having to change themselves for someone else—they found something to help them through their own bad days. Cotrill’s moment of vulnerability was received as a glimpse of genius, and she has continued to prove


herself over and over with each project. This past August, she released the critically–acclaimed album Immunity and received praise for the music’s intimacy through simplicity. It acts as a time capsule of youth and loneliness—what it’s like to sit next to someone pretending you’re not falling in love with them, reconnecting with someone and realizing your relationship is past its due date, growing up without noticing until it’s too late. Although her audience may have been given to her through a fickle YouTube algorithm, she's earned it over and over again with pure talent—Clairo has built up her career through being unapologetically herself and letting others flock to her. Controversy arose about how she received help from her family friend to get signed to The Fader's record label. However, at this point, she had already received a fair amount of public attention and offers, as she publicly noted online in 2017. She stands as the modern idea of the “do–it–yourself” artist, manifesting her musicianship by being her own brand. But

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Clairo at The Roxy // Photo by Justin Higuchi (CC by 2.0)

she isn’t the only notable example of this phenomenon, as the Billboard 100 is laced with many similar stories. Lil Nas X, whose song "Old Town Road" holds the new record for the most weeks spent at #1 on Billboard, revealed that last year he was sleeping on his sister’s floor with no money and hoping music would pan out into something more than a passion. Like Clairo, he went viral, and is now streamed at parties and on platforms everywhere. Blurring the lines between genres with his music— as many notably advocated that “Old Town Road” should be considered country—Lil Nas X is redefining the traditional path to stardom in the music industry that we see in movies such as A Star is Born. Instead of praying to get discovered by someone important and then

connected to a network that will hopefully get you noticed, being a do–it–yourself artist means relying directly on the public to put you on top, cutting out the need for a middleman. How is this departure from relying on the traditional music industry changing music? It seems to be giving us a layer of authenticity that was not seen with Disney’s child actors– turned songwriters, or artists picked up by major labels and then hand–molded into industry stars. Not to say that the immediate pursuit of a record deal is disingenuous, but it does not harbor the same honesty as, for example, a pair of siblings writing and producing an entire album from their childhood home (as Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas remind us). There is no longer a strict barrier between the artist and

the audience, as the artist is able to portray themselves on social media and through their work without interference. When one chooses to post their content online, the potential audience is infinite; other artists like Omar Apollo and Cuco have used this phenomenon to build a relationship with their audience by posting independent tracks on websites for fun. Online media is oversaturated with content, which, at times, may make it harder to find the next "big" thing. The concept of virality acts as a filter to show us what's worth paying attention to. Unlike other sources of popularity, such as radio time or interviews, it gives the consumer their own collective ability to pick and choose who deserves to be on top—which might be even more daunting.


Does Frank Turner Have a ? Place on

“Thoughts on No Man’s Land,” wherein he acknowledges that he is a man writing about the expeAs a man writing an album about women, is the English riences of thirteen women, sometimes rocker making a statement or mansplaining? in the first person. He also states that, BY MELANNIE JAY while “there is a political angle to the On Aug. 16, English folk rock around one question: what right record,” presenting it as “an agmusician Frank Turner released does Turner, a cisgender man, gressively feminist statement” his eighth studio album, No have to write an album about would “seem overbearing.” He Man’s Land, a concept album the female experience? simply sought to write songs detailing the lives of women Roisin O’Connor of The In- that no one else was writing, overlooked by history. At the dependent eviscerated the al- and that he was interested in. same time, he has been releas- bum on the basis of its premise. Although the vocals and lyring weekly episodes of a pod- O’Connor labeled No Man’s ics are all Turner, women were cast titled Tales From No Man's Land “a case of extreme mans- involved in the production of No Land, which gives a historical plaining” and questioned just Man’s Land: Catherine Marks account of the women included how "forgotten" some of these produced the album, and all inin the album. subjects were. Sister Rosetta strumentation was provided by Some tracks, like opener “Jin- Tharpe, the titular subject of the female musicians. While this, ny Bingham’s Ghost,” make the second track, has been called along with Turner opening himsubject immediately obvious, “the godmother of rock and self to constructive criticism while “A Perfect Wife” reads roll” and was recently inducted within the blog post, indicates differently once you realize that into the Rock and Roll Hall of an awareness of the implicathe narrator is Nannie Doss, who Fame. In Will Richard's review tions of the album and a desire was convicted of eight murders for NME he asserts that Turner’s to do better, one wonders if in 1955, including those of four voice overshadows those of the there is a happier medium beof her husbands. Separate from women whose narratives he at- tween Turner’s vision and his the lyrical and musical content tempts to tell. position as a man making a reof the album, discussion around Turner anticipated the con- cord about women. No Man’s Land has centered troversy with a blog post titled Concept albums are often an

opportunity for an artist to bring in friends and feature their vocal contributions. Razia’s Shadow, by post–hardcore outfit Forgive Durden, for instance, featured vocals from Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter, and other friends of frontman Thomas Dutton. When Hadestown was not a Broadway musical but an Anaïs Mitchell album, artists like Ani DiFranco and Justin Vernon lent their voices to Persephone and Orpheus. Even American Idiot featured Kathleen Hanna in the opening of “Letterbomb.” A version of No Man’s Land with performances by Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! or singer–songwriter Grace Petrie

may have made the album, especially the first–person tracks, more authentic. As a Frank Turner album, No Man’s Land is par for the course. His vocals are acoustically pleasing but somewhat limited in range, sticking close to the trademark sound he’s been developing since 2007’s Sleep is for the Week, and while the tracks range from the rollicking folk rock of “Jinny Bingham’s Ghost” to the stripped–down “The Hymn of Kassiani,” he never strays too far from his comfort zone. As a concept album, it is enjoyable, with a clear link among all the songs. As a political statement, it lacks a proper roar from a female voice.

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The trope of the unfulfilled businessman is a familiar, if all too real, one. We see it in movies like Netflix’s Set it Up, where a low–ranking finance bro finds true happiness by eschewing his corporate dreams, and in our daily lives, where 20% of the Class of 2018 entered the consulting industry after graduation. We hear little of these people’s hopes and dreams as they grow into middle–aged businessmen and women, leaving us to wonder: is there really life after we settle at Bain or BCG or Deloitte? If you asked Tim Ku, who goes by the DJing moniker Elephante, there is, but only if you’re willing to take risks. Ku, a Harvard grad and Econ major with a secret love for John Mayer and New Age philosophy, quit his McKinsey consulting gig after only a year to pursue music. Now going by the stage name Elephante, a nod to feeling like the elephant in the room, Ku produces melodic dance–pop and EDM reminiscent of a coming–of–age movie soundtrack. Sounding like the lovechild of a Passion Pit record and the main stage at Ultra, each of Ku’s songs bring a lyrical touch to the electronic genre. Hits like “Plans” and “Come Back to You” resonate both lyrically and sonically, cementing Ku as one of the most exciting DJs in the industry. Make no mistake—his rise to niche success is anything but planned. Beginning as a self–taught guitarist who wrote his first song for a girl who liked his friend, Ku entered the music industry as an acoustic singer–songwriter, playing in bands and at open–mic nights in Boston throughout college. Once he stumbled

the Week:


Learn how this Harvard grad turned DJ went from making Powerpoints to playing arenas.


upon EDM, however, his true passion was sparked. “[It was like] I had been drawing in pencil my whole life and all of a sudden I had crayons,” Ku said when Street caught up with him after playing a bombastic set at Made In America’s Freedom Stage. “It was amazing. Like imagine doing the most fun thing ever—making music—and suddenly there’s a whole new world and being like, 'WHAT?!?' So it was just an evolution, a new playground for me to play in.” Ku constantly brings his knack for lyrics to the forefront. Penning most of his songs solo, the unorthodox DJ is “always chasing the next cool idea.” He rarely writes at his computer and finds that his inspiration ebbs and flows, recording lines of songs as voice memos and saving them for weeks on end as he constructs bass drops in his head. This lyric–driven approach elevates his EDM, turning it into the kind of music you can sing along to and study with. “Dance music, I think, is always really sound–driven. It’s more about the energy and the beat, and the movement,” Ku said over the beat of an Anderson .Paak song playing in the background, “So, I asked myself, ‘Well what if I take that, take those sounds, take those ideas, take those values, and apply a more singer–songwriter mentality to create something different?’” Even so, Ku wasn’t always so sure of his musical abilities. As his days at Harvard wound down during the slow recovery from the Great Recession, he sat at a crossroads—did he want security, a nice blanket of money to keep

him warm at night, or did he want to follow his passion? Ku, like many burgeoning artists, chose the former, and soon found himself crunching numbers and churning out strategic recommendations at McKinsey and Company, a worldwide management consulting firm. “I was making music in college, going out to open mic nights and doing the whole thing and I was like, ‘Okay, you’re probably not going to be a rock star, so you should probably get a job,’" Ku reflected, chuckling at the absurdity of his decision. What he found while there, however, wasn’t the freedom, camaraderie, and problem–solving promised at on–campus info sessions. Ku openly admits to being a terrible employee, downloading recording software onto his work computer and leaving the office early to make beats. Throughout his year at McKinsey, Ku couldn’t stop thinking about music—and that’s when he knew to quit. “I fucking hated the job,” Ku admitted, “I remembered how much music mattered to me as a kid, and so to me, I just felt like what I was doing at work didn’t really matter—it just wasn’t what I was meant to do. You could replace me with any other drone and nothing would change, whereas with making music, there is nothing like the high of creating something.”

Eric Zeng | Photographer

Still, as much as Ku wants to forget his stint as another business school graduation statistic, he acknowledges the period made his music better— stronger, more deliberate, more emotional. His latest EP, Glass Mansion, reflects much of the remnant angst and his transient definition of success. “When I quit my job, all I ever wanted, all I ever asked for, was to make enough money to have a living making music,” said Ku, “But, the thing with experience is the bar of success keeps moving, right. All I wanted to make a living and pay rent, but once I was doing that, all I wanted to do was go on tour and I did that ... There’s always going to be the next thing.” And what’s that next thing? For Ku, it’s getting back to his roots and making the kind of music that makes him “feel like a little kid again,” all excited and teeming with potential energy. Oftentimes, it’s these songs that become hits, even if they didn’t set out to be. “Your conscious brain is pretty dumb. Your subconscious is where all the

good stuff happens. I’ve read so many interviews with amazing artists where every time they write something great, they’re like, ‘I have no idea where this idea came from. I just got out of the way and let it come out,’” Ku said, “So I think your subconscious is a lot better artist than your conscious brain.” Ultimately, Ku, like the rest of us, is still searching for something that gives him the same purpose as playing with action figures or kicking around a soccer ball as a kid did, where every moment, no matter how dull or exciting, captivated every inch of attention. For some, that something may lie behind a desk at a consulting firm. For others, it may be farther away, on a stage or in a kitchen or behind a computer. Whether you listen to EDM or John Mayer, let his story be a reminder of this: success is always moving, and to move with it, sometimes you have to take a risk. You can find Elephante’s latest single, “Diamond Days,” on all streaming platforms Sept. 12 and catch him on tour throughout the fall.

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Street's Official Seltzer Roundup Controversial opinions: sparkling water edition

Karin Hananel

Ethan Wu | Media Director Sparkling water is polarizing. There’s a divide between those who love or hate it, and a bigger divide between which brand you stay loyal to. With new brands being introduced faster than we can drink a pack of LaCroix, the sparkling water market is anyone’s game. With a mix of old classics and new innovators, Street puts seltzer to the test, tasting for crispness, flavor, and overall freshness. Vintage Seltzer Unfortunately, this one was doomed from the start. After letting it chill in the fridge for about an hour or so, I opened it only to have the bottle explode, drenching my shirt and kitchen. After taking my first sip, it became evident that this bottle’s tumultuous nature was tied to bad taste. It doesn’t go down

smooth and slightly burns the throat. Even though the packaging is pretty, this seltzer is a no from me. San Pellegrino While crisp, refined, and pretty to look at, it had been a while since I had some Pellegrino. It was an amazing experience after my disappointing encounter with Vintage. It went down smooth and tasted like a quintessential sparkling water— slightly carbonated, but not overwhelmingly so, and without any taste of the packaging. In short, San Pellegrino is a timeless classic. La Croix While there’s a seemingly endless list of LaCroix flavors, I went with the classic lemon. Despite my initial distaste for LaCroix at first sip all those years ago, this

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experience was slightly surprising. While not as smooth as the Pellegrino, the flavor was pleasant, with a whisper of lemon, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as the Vintage Seltzer. Recess When I read about Recess and saw the packaging, I just knew I had to order their starter pack. Recess infuses their sparkling water with hemp oil and l–theanine—the compound that’s in matcha. With ingredients like these, the fledging beverage brand claims its products help you stay calm, cool, collected, and simultaneously energetic. At $5 a can it isn’t cheap, but if it managed to live up to the expectations it set and taste good, then it would be worth it. With the sampler comes two cans of each flavor they make:

Blackberry Chai, Peach Ginger, and Pomegranate Hibiscus. Seeing as it’s low in calories and sugar, it’s probably closer to a guilt–free soda. Nonetheless, it was tasty, with a carbonation level that hovered above a gentle fizz. Blackberry Chai had a subtle kick, while the Peach Ginger and Pomegranate Hibiscus varieties were more sweet. However, the hemp flavor creates a potent aftertaste, which might be a turn–off. My mouth felt coated in hemp after finishing, distracting me from the initial bursts of vibrant flavors. Yes, the hemp is part of the gimmick, but it’s totally overpowering for a beverage that’s being marketed as sparkling water. Spindrift With Elle Magazine claiming that “the internet has turned its

back on LaCroix” in favor of this brand, I knew Spindrift had to be included on the list. While Spindrift also has a plethora of flavors, I tried the classic grapefruit because I’m a sucker for good packaging. While Spindrift does contain calories and small amounts of sugar, it is less soda–like than Recess. The grapefruit flavor is present, but not overpowering, and hits the right sweet notes. Ultimately, I can see why people are flocking to Spindrift over LaCroix, but with so many options, I still don’t get the cult following. Sparkling water is definitely all about preference, but San Pellegrino takes the top spot in my book. With subtle bubbles and no bizarre aftertaste, my experiences with it were overwhelmingly positive.

Main Line Favorite Bryn + Dane’s Takes Center City By Storm


They’re serving up goodness and green juice , one cup and bowl at a time. Beatrice Forman No trip to the Main Line is complete without sightings of green smoothies sloshing around in Bryn + Dane’s cups. This trendy favorite, known for serving an eclectic mix of bright– colored superfoods, is now hitting Center City and bringing with them a passion for philanthropy and pitaya bowls. Located blocks away from the Liberty Bell, expect all the Bryn + Dane’s classics in a space dedicated to cultivating change. The first thing you’ll notice upon a trip to the new Bryn + Dane’s is its openness. It’s got all the marks of a millennial–owned restaurant, like high ceilings and an abundance of floating plants. But it also tells a story. Located in the rear of the restaurant is a mural with a bold message. “Give Change,” it says, contrasted against a background of fire—engine red tomatoes and brilliantly yellow bananas. This simple statement is the franchise’s motto. Inspired by the owner Bryn Davis’ trip to Central Africa and some meaningful conversations with La Colombe Coffee owner Todd Carmichael, the franchise aims to invest in the region by providing local entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed. Set to open a location in Entebbe, Uganda, Bryn + Dane’s will use the profits from its stateside locations to provide Ugandans with a business built for them and their needs. Make no mistake though, the food is just as good the restaurant’s central message. Each smoothie bowl has a silky consistency and walks the fine line between soupy and frozen. The Pitaya Bowls are heavy with dragon fruit, allowing a smorgasbord of toppings to complement the fresh flavor. Meanwhile, their Blue Bowls—made with metabolism–boosting spirulina— taste like a sweet breeze, light yet satisfying. If you’re looking for something more substantial, try a Buddha Bowl. Made on a bed of well—seasoned whole grains, these bowls make for the kind of lunch you work into your routine. Filling and adventurous, each Buddha Bowl elevates the typical, trendy grain bowl to something of culinary wonder. The Sassy Ginger is topped with a carrot ginger sauce reminiscent of trips to an upscale sushi joint, while the chicken parm spins zoodles in a combination of tomato and zucchini so addictive you'll want to bottle it. Other highlights include the East Asian Bistro Salad and their selection of wraps. Basically a rainbow in salad form, the East Asian Bistro’s bright and citrusy taste is enough of a mood booster to kill any lunchtime rut. As for the wraps, each comes on a flaxseed tortilla that adds a grainy finish to each bite. The Tennessee Bleu, which is essentially a Buffalo chicken salad stuffed into a sandwich, has a potent kick perfect for any spice fiend, while the Charleston Honey infuses a sweet aftertaste to an otherwise simplistic chicken wrap. Ultimately, Bryn + Dane’s flips the trope of healthy fastcasual dining on its head, creating food that’s good for the body, globe, and soul. Head over for smoothies or salads, and save yourself from another boring desk lunch.

The Student Side Hustle Because everyone needs beer money

JEFFREY A. MILLER CATERING IS HIRING! Servers Bartenders Campus Recruiters Apply online! Flexible schedules, set your own hours!

Jeffrey A. Miller (W’82) founded JAM Catering in 1980 as a sophomore! S E P T E M B E R 1 1 , 2 01 9 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 1 1



Life after antidepressants We've begun to destigmatize meds for depression. What's less frequently discussed is what happens when it's time to stop the drugs.


**Content warning: The following text describes depression and substance use and can be disturbing and/or triggering for some readers. Please find resources listed at the bottom of the article.**

n orange pill, 100 milligrams, chased down with friends, who the half–empty La didn’t know Croix on my winme very well, dowsill, and a bitter weren’t in the aftertaste stinging position to heal the bottom of my me. I went on throat. This ritual, a walk without completed daily in my a destination, and Quad single, is how I considered checking started my mornings as a Margaret Zhang myself into the emerfreshman at Penn. gency room where maybe In the months leading up someone could ease my pain. to my arrival on campus, I cultivated Instead, I paused by the Schuylkill a fantastic image of my college experience: River, called my father, and told him I needed finding a best friend in my hall, working at the help. school newspaper, joining a sorority. Only one of those things panned out. At first, it seemed normal for me not to have many friends in colPeople need to have lege—I was adjusting to a new environment— first-hand stories but after a few months my family became of what it’s really worried about me. While other kids I knew would spend their weekends together at expenlike rather than sive restaurants or partying in newly purchased just Googling it. outfits, I ate stale Fruit Loops at Commons and — Sophia Schulz-Rusnacko practically lived in Van Pelt, overstudying for exams and rewriting essays. I was frustrated As I confronted reality head–on, I became so and sad, but also consumed by a mental fog. wrapped up in hurt that my only concern was I was high–functioning in that I showed up the immediate future. Side effects, withdrawal to class and did my homework and responded symptoms, and how much treatment cost my to text messages from home. But Penn wasn’t family weren’t considerations. I was desperate turning out how I expected it to, and I blamed for help, to feel like the eager 17–year–old I myself. Instead of trying to make new friends, was before I came to Penn. After the phone call I would spend Fridays curled up in my comwith my dad, I consulted a therapist and psychiforter, researching transfer admissions and atrist, and started taking antidepressants. Healgoogling how to drop out. For the first time ing myself meant therapy, but also prescription in my life, I felt like I was failing and I didn’t medication that was hard to stop taking. know how to fix it. Mental health issues are an epidemic on The evening of the homecoming game college campuses, and ours is no exception. against Princeton, I went for a walk down the Fourteen Penn students have died by suicide river, near Penn Park. I remember burying since 2013. In the past 12 months, 41.9% my hands in my red and blue wool sweater, of college students report feeling so dewondering why I wasn’t happy here. My few 1 2 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E S E P T E M B E R 1 1 , 2 01 9

after binge drinking. Excessive consumption of alcohol became commonplace for her. Often, pressed it was difficult to function, 63.4% she’d go out, drink to the point of blacking out, report feeling overwhelming anxiety, and and wake up in her room with puffy eyelids and 12.1% report having seriously considered no memory of the previous night. suicide, according to a spring 2018 study from Margaret, a former 34th Street Magazine the American College Health Association. It’s writer, believes this was partially a result of also no secret that many seek help through increased depression after abruptly stopping long–term use of antidepressants. About 15.5 Prozac. million Americans have been taking them for Margaret had been taking antidepressants five years, as shown by an analysis of federal since her junior year of high school. She data by The New York Times. decided to stop in college without consulting We’ve begun to destigmatize discussions a psychiatrist because she didn’t feel that the about depression on campus as well as the Prozac was working beyond a minimal plaprescription medications that treat it. What’s cebo effect. Then came a sudden decline in her less frequently discussed is what happens when mood, lots of binge drinking, missed class, and it’s time to stop the drugs. Treatment for mental poor grades. illness might seem as simple as showing up to “During that time I probably had more therapy sessions and picking up your prescripsuicide ideation,” Margaret said. “It was just tion from CVS until you decide to taper off like a worsening of depression that was already medication. there.” I continued to take medication throughout my According to Dr. Michael Thase, the director sophomore year. For a while, antidepressants of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Treatment saved me. That cannot be discounted. But even- and Research Program at Penn Medicine, stoptually the side–effects—weight gain, nightping medication without planning is common mares, nausea—outweighed the benefits. As I among young adults. practiced self–care rigorously, found friends I “When people stop medication, they generlove, and a purpose at Penn, I wondered how ally do it abruptly without a kind of careful, much I needed the medication. So I talked to planned discontinuation scenario,” he said. my doctor, tried to stop taking the drugs, and “So that’s why young adults taking antidepresexperienced constant physical and emotional sants are among a group of people who are distress. more vulnerable to experience discontinuation Treating mental illness is different for every- symptoms.” one. There’s no one solution. While I found Margaret admits that stopping Prozac was that they weren’t the right choice for me, some, “impulsive” and a “bad idea.” The summer including people in the narratives below, need after her freshman year, she sought the help of a antidepressants to function. But, in various psychiatrist and began taking Wellbutrin, which forms, we all experienced the pain that can acshe has since continued. company going off of them. Grace Ringling (C’20) has also experienced abrupt discontinuation of antidepressants—but it was accidental. There were a few instances During her freshman year, Margaret Zhang when Grace would forget to take her medicine (C’21), was MERTed twice and hospitalized before class or lose it for a few days. With-

drawal ensued, mainly causing dizziness and depression. “It seems like it makes so much sense looking back, but, at the time, when you’re not taking your medication it just seems like you’re just feeling worse,” Grace said. “But then you know. Eventually it's like, ‘Oh, maybe this is something else.’” Grace recently decided to go off of antidepressants permanently. She followed her doctor’s advice, gradually reducing the dosage, and the transition off was fairly smooth. “I have no regrets about that [taking antide-

I still have some of the messages with my doctors. One time, I was “sick and sweaty.” At the start of summer I talked about vivid dreams, feeling nauseous. I kept asking: “How long will the withdrawal symptoms persist for?

unbearable freshman year, a doctor at the Counseling and Psychological Services recommended that she go on medication. “It was definitely hectic, like, I didn't really know what was going on,” she said. “I'm from Minnesota so I came a really long way, and that was really hard for me, and I didn't really know anyone.” She said that she wasn’t warned by her doctor about any side effects or withdrawal or the consequences of drinking on antidepressants. Once Sophia had more of a handle on things and felt less anxious, she consulted her doctor for instructions on how to stop the medication. She followed his guidelines, weaning herself off of Zoloft slowly. The symptoms: vivid dreams and nightmares, abnormal increases in anxiety, and fingers so numb that she would grab something and be unable to feel it. Sophia experienced these both going on and off of Zoloft. She eventually was able to stop taking medication, but recently started on Lexapro to help with her anxiety.

— Isabella Simonetti

pressants]. I think it was a great idea. It’s just unfortunate that I’m one of the people that haven’t had a lot of success taking medications,” she said. Sophia Schulz-Rusnacko (C’21), a Street staffer, remembers waking up daily with no energy, asking herself why she was trying to stop taking Zoloft: “Why did I go off this? Is it really worth it just to say I can?” Before coming to Penn, Sophia struggled with anxiety, but when her depression became

Sophia Schulz-Rusnacko

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Sophia doesn’t regret taking antidepressants. Still, she believes that people struggling with depression and anxiety deserve more information about risk-factors before going on medication. “People need to have first–hand stories of what it’s really like rather than just googling it,” she said. It was Sabrina’s* (C’21) New Year’s resolution to get off of Lexapro. She wanted to remain anonymous because she felt her experience with withdrawal and mental illness was deeply personal. Around Christmas time during her second year at Penn, Sabrina’s parents, who had always been against her taking medication, started asking when she was planning on stopping. She’d been taking antidepressants since sophomore year of high

school. “It really really helped and I felt as though my life would be very different if I wasn’t on them,” she said. Sabrina had tried to stop taking Lexapro in her senior year of high school, after she had gotten into Penn and felt more stable. Trying to stop the pills gradually was met with serious symptoms. “I just started to get really really sad again,” she said. “I felt like I would never be okay without my antidepressants.” Ultimately, Sabrina didn’t manage to get off of her antidepressants until she tried the second time. Still, she was met with serious physical challenges like brain zaps—shocks in your brain that are a common symptom of discontinuing antidepressants—and nausea. Sabrina recalls lying in her bed one day at

Resources: The HELP Line: 215-898-HELP: A 24–

hour–a–day phone number for members of the Penn community who seek help in navigating Penn's resources for health and wellness.

Penn, cradling her head because it was hurting so badly. She was experiencing some of the worst pain she had felt in her life. “It feels like someone’s taking electric shocks to your brain,” she said. Sabrina has been off of Lexapro since January. Although when she was going through withdrawal, she hated the drugs and wished she’d never gone on them, she now is thankful for how they helped her. “I would say it changed my life,” she said. “I was convinced I was gonna be sad forever, and felt really helpless and very very very depressed and the antidepressants did wonders for me.” This summer, a few weeks after I decided to taper off my medication, I went to Washington D.C. for a meeting. I woke up in my hotel bed,

uncontrollably sobbing. I felt helpless and alone, like my body could never function without drugs. I cut my prescribed dose in halves and then into quarters. But I’d get to work and feel so dizzy and nauseous that I couldn’t concentrate. As a result, I had to switch to a different medication, and then taper off of that slowly. Two weeks later, I was taking the subway home after dinner with a friend, and I nearly passed out on the platform. I still have some of the messages with my doctors. One time, I was “sick and sweaty.” At the start of summer I talked about vivid dreams, feeling nauseous. I kept asking: “How long will the withdrawal symptoms persist for?” I am now completely off of antidepressants. No half or quarter or eighth doses or taking the pills every other day.

survivors of sexual and relationship violence regardless of whether they make a report or seek additional resources. Both male and female providers can perform examinations, discuss testing and treatment of sexually transmissible infections, provide emergency contraception if necessary and arrange for referrals and follow up.

Reach–A–Peer Hotline: 215-573-2727 Counseling and Psychological (every day from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.): A peer hotline Services: 215-898-7021 (active 24/7): The counseling center for the University of Pennsylvania.

to provide peer support, information, and referrals to Penn students.

215746-3535: Student Health Service can provide medical evaluations and treatment to victims/

Penn Violence Prevention: 3535 Market Street, Mezzanine Level (Office Hours: 9 am – 5 pm), (215) 746-2642: Read the Penn Violence Prevention resource guide.




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Being on campus and off medication has been challenging, and I still struggle with my mental health. Last week was my 20th birthday—something I had been dreading for a while. As trivial as it sounds, I didn’t want things to change. I didn’t want to get older or to be more of an adult. Still, like most other Wednesday nights, I went to my office at the newspaper to prepare for print production, put in inch counts for stories, and make final edits. I found my desk covered in gifts and cards: flowers from my best friend from home, birthday cake, kind handwritten notes. And I realized that for the first time since I’ve been at Penn, I’m in control of my body and emotions. I felt lucky.

*indicates name has been changed

Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention Team: A mul-

tidisciplinary team at CAPS dedicated to supporting students who have experienced sexual trauma.





Trained personnel offer crisis intervention, accompaniment to legal and medical proceedings, options counseling and advocacy, and linkages to other community resources. Penn Women's Center: 3643 Locust Walk (Office Hours 9:30 am – 5:30 pm Monday– Thursday, 9:30 am – 5 pm Friday), pwc@pbox. PWC provides confidential crisis and options counseling.


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Should You Stay Friends with Your Ex? Is the idea of remaining close to a former partner mature or masochistic? Sophie Burkholder One of the last things I expected to do my first week of senior year was share a meal with my freshman year ex–hookup. And yet, there we were. Maybe I said yes to his DM'ed dinner invitation because I wanted to tell myself I had fully moved on and genuinely cared about how he was doing. Or, maybe my self–righteous ass was just bored and wanted to give him shit for working at Google and hoped to get a free meal out of it (I didn’t). This passive–aggressive curiosity begs the question: is staying friends with an ex mature or masochistic? Maybe for the sake of karma and emotional balance, we should all try to stay friendly with our exes when possible. One of the best non– resume skills I’ve learned at Penn is how to control my nerves enough to smile and wave to an ex without also blabbing out an invitation to get coffee or dinner. And while there are actually some former partners I will take out my headphones for on Locust Walk, I don’t consider myself to really be friends with any of them. But college is full of clubs and lab groups and classes that can force you to see your ex far more than you’d like. Before you decide on trying to become friends with your ex, however, you should consider your motivations. I think we can all agree that if you still find yourself sexually attracted to that person, that forced friendship will easily turn into a situation where no one wins. Letting go of a relationship is difficult, and there’s usually a temptation to maintain that connection in some form. Though I don’t believe in many dating rules, there seems to be a universal acceptance of the post–breakup window before friendship with an ex. There’s no hard and fast rule on how long, so wait as long as you need to be comfortable before reaching out. Being friends with an ex before you’re ready is like buying a box of Oreos and telling yourself you’ll eat one. For some, the post–breakup window never ends, and that’s okay. No amount of time will ever want to make me get a drink with my high school ex. But for those that move on and feel ready to bring someone back into your life as a friend, I have a few words of wisdom. First, assess why the relationship ended. If the disconnect was sexual, becoming friends might be an easy transition. But if one of you took issue with the other’s character, a friendship might be harder. Second, if you and your ex mutually decide to try the “let’s be friends” thing, make sure you’re both on the same page. A secret mission to get back together under the guise of friendship will never work, and this kind of dishonesty will lead to even more pain. Third, you need to acknowledge the reality that both of you will start seeing new people. We have space in our lives for as many people as we want in it, but a new partner should never feel pushed out by an old one as you try to sustain a friendship with your ex. Of course, following all of this advice and your own emotional intuition can still result in issues. Maybe your ex changed in ways that makes friendship impossible. Maybe you did too. Even the best and healthiest relationships don't always translate into friendships, and the ulterior motives that can develop are almost always worth discarding. The transition from intimacy to friendship often requires immense self–awareness, but on the rare occasion that it works, you might have one of the most honest and understanding friendships of your life. S E P T E M B E R 1 1 , 2 01 9 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 1 5








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'Falling Inn Love' is a Waste of 98 Minutes


Nicola Dove / Netflix

Poorly used clichés cliches and regressive gender roles make this romantic comedy entirely unwatchable. Ana Hallman

Falling Inn Love is as unwatchable as it is cliché. Now, there’s nothing wrong with cliché—when done properly, it gives us exciting superhero movies and classic romantic comedies. Falling Inn Love, however, takes every unoriginal platitude and ruins it. At best, this is frustrating. At worst, it enforces toxic gender roles in the workspace and in romantic relationships. Gabriela Diaz (Christina Milian) is a successful woman working at a corporate design firm. She seems to have it all, until the moment the firm collapses and she breaks up with her boyfriend because he won’t fully commit to her. The break–up is awkward—when he explains his reason for needing personal space, she shakes her head with an incongruously wide smile painted on her face, tells him she can’t be in the relationship anymore, and walks away, the strange smile still plastered on her face. He looks after her, calling her name a couple times before calling it quits. The poor script and acting make this moment bizarre. Gabriela’s firm shuts down soon afterwards, and she feels

that her life is falling apart. She then decides to move all the way to New Zealand because an online ad promises a beautiful, free home (a move that feels naive and slightly dangerous). Of course, the house turns out to be old and decrepit. As Gabriela explores the house at night, it feels like the stage is being set for a grisly horror movie instead of an upbeat romantic comedy. The only thing that saves the moment is the cheerful music continuously playing in the background. Gabriela heads into town shortly afterwards to begin the process of renovating the inn. She meets Peter (Jonathan Martin) and Anaaki (Blair Strang), who quickly turn out to be the ubiquitous gay couple in romantic comedies who exist to cheer on the female lead. They fawn over her, give her free coffee, and encourage her in her endeavors, resulting in the frustrating “gay best friend” trope that robs gay characters of any dimensionality. And then, of course, there is the romantic interest. Gabriela partners up with Jake Taylor (Adam Demos) to fix

Nicola Dove / Netflix up the inn and restore it to its former beauty. Along the way, they learn more about each other—in particular, how different they are. They’re opposites. She’s attempting to climb the corporate ladder, and he’s a contractor with no real ambition. (Later, he turns out to be a firefighter as well, which makes for a terrible scene in which he slow–motion rescues an unconscious man from a burning building.) But there are more troubling elements to their relationship than just a few corny scenes. Gabriela is much more suc-

cessful than her love interest, Jake. Back home in San Francisco, she was an organized, enterprising woman, pushing her ideas of solar energy in her male–dominated firm. In New Zealand, she struggles to rebuild the inn, and ultimately asks Jake for his help. They enter into a business agreement where they have an equal say in the fate of the inn. In the end, they decide not to sell the inn and to run it together. In this moment, the playing field has been completely leveled, and no longer is she a woman pursuing her ambitions in San

Francisco, but a woman who has given this all up and co– runs a small bed and breakfast. In co–owning the inn, they are now equally successful, which sends the message that it is not romantic for a woman to earn or pursue more than her male partner. She’s changed who she is and what she wants for a man she’s only known a few months. Falling Inn Love is not worth anyone’s time. The poorly executed tropes, the awkward script, and the regressive gender roles make this movie an unwatchable 98 minutes.

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The Timothée Chalamet Phenomenon W hy is the world so obsessed with this young actor, and is it a good thing? Anna Collins Cecelia Vieira | Illustrator Last week, the trailer for The King was released. Unsurprisingly, Twitter was ablaze—screen–caps of the trailer, memes, and excited chatter about the upcoming movie filled everyone’s feed in unrelenting waves. However, none of the discussion was about the plot, characters, or setting of the film. It was about one thing: Timothée Chalamet. The 23–year–old was catapulted to worldwide attention in 2017 with the romance film Call Me By Your Name, which was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture. It was Chalamet’s pale pout and mysterious charm that amazed filmgoers from around the world and garnered him a Best Actor nomination. He and Armie Hammer were gawked at during their press junkets, even leading to people theorizing about a romance be-

tween them in real life. There are multiple factors that contributed to Chalamet's immediate stardom. First, CMBYN is a gay love story, directed by a gay man, that focuses on a very specific coming–of–age romance. These stories are, quite frankly, much rarer than heterosexual romances in film, so when a good one comes around, it tends to get more attention. Equally important in Chalamet’s rise to fame is his relative youth—he plays a 17–year–old in CMBYN, and in real life he's just 23. What makes actors popular today is how easily they can connect with their audiences. Chalamet's Twitter is cute and relatable, he talks like any other 23–year–old, and his use of emojis is certainly adept. He speaks the same language as those who love him, making him all the

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easier to connect with. Of course, he also has natural talent. It was not just people on social media who adored him in CMBYN, considering that he has an Oscar nomination to show for it, too. We see celebrities become popular for possessing these similar combinations of relatability, youth, and talent all the time—look simply to the enormous followings of YouTubers. Among actors, similar examples of the trope emerge: Tom Holland, Harry Styles, Cole Sprouse. The commonalities between the actors in this list are obvious—they're all young white ,boys under the age of 30. Chalamet is also a young, white boy, but this is not to say that I blame his fans for liking him. He’s a great actor, and generally likable. However, it still comes as no surprise that it's this par-

ticular subset of person that amasses the most fame. Chalamet’s fame is not problematic in and of itself, but the attention he garners may become an issue for the movies that he stars in. Last month, for example, the trailer for Little Women came out, starring talents such as Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, and Florence Pugh. Many discussions around this movie were not, as one might expect, about the titular women. They were about Chalamet and his character’s romance with Saoirse Ronan. How is it possible that the hype around a movie with women in the title is primarily directed towards a male love interest? Chalamet is the primary engine driving online conversation about The King, too. Unfortunately, there is little talk of the film itself. It was not until researching for this ar-

ticle that I figured out what, exactly, The King was even about: it's the story of Henry V, a loose film adaptation of many plays from Shakespeare’s Henriad. Fans of Chalamet are not ruining film or film analysis. It's just a bit predictable that the person getting this insane attention is a young, white man. It's also a little upsetting that the media frenzy he incites draws attention away from other co–stars. Hopefully, though, Chalamet can be appreciated alongside the work that he stars in, instead of eclipsing it. Ideally, The King can have value beyond Chalamet’s presence in it (and the details of his haircut). Fans on social media and journalists alike need to learn how to spotlight an actor without forgetting what's giving them a platform—the film itself.



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The Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show Is Back A tradition for over 90 years, the show will showcase art from across the country and beyond from Sept. 13–15.

Tara O'Brien Photos courtesy of Josh Schneeberger / Clean Production Co.


breathtaking tradition that started in 1928, the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show has only increased in popularity and reputability. The show will take place this fall from Sept. 13–15, and it will showcase over 140 artists from across the country and beyond. The “oldest outdoor art show in the country” occurs biannually in Philadelphia, once each spring and fall. With free admission, it comes as no surprise that this showcase attracts over 20,000 visitors. This tradition boasts a unique history. Beginning in 1928, art students started to hang their work around Rittenhouse Square on clotheslines. This display soon became popular, and professional artists began to feature their work. In less than 100 years, this display is now known across the nation and features artists from across the globe.

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With over 140 artists, visitors will need multiple days for the incredible experience. On Friday, Sept. 13, the show will run from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 14, the show will run from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 15, the show will run from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. A variety of different types of artwork will be on display, including mixed media, sculpture, printmaking, drawing and pastels, oils and acrylics, watercolor, and works from student artists. A few of the featured artists include Lila TurjanskiVillard, Charles Strain, Lisa Muller, Stuart Yankell, and Dean DiMarzo. A full list of artists can be found online. With a prime location in the center of Rittenhouse, visitors will be able to experience more than just the art. For past art shows, some of the restaurants in Rittenhouse have expanded their seating into the streets in order to create the 18th

Street Outdoor Café so that visitors have a chance to enjoy the fine dining in addition to the art. While the magnificent and vast display of artwork will certainly be attention–grabbing, visitors should not neglect incredible restaurants a few steps away. Parc—a Rittenhouse Square staple—is a must. At Harper’s Garden, the cocktails are just as good as the food. offers a unique yet delicious menu and the possibility of celebrity sightings. Vernick Food & Drink may be considered the best restaurant in Philadelphia. Zama is the place to stop for sushi. Oscar’s Tavern completes the Philadelphia experience with a cheesesteak. Finally, Giuseppe & Sons is the go–to for Italian. As the weather begins to cool, Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show will offer the perfect afternoon getaway full of art, history, tradition, and great food—right here in the heart of Philadelphia.


'I Do Not Know What I Am Like': Bill Viola at the Barnes The latest special exhibition at the Barnes is a video–centric spiritual wonder in contemporary Sophie Burkholder What is the human condition, really? This is a question that demands meditation, restraint, commitment, and, when the answer comes in the form of video art, extreme patience. That answer takes shape in the Barnes Foundation’s latest special exhibition, I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like, which displays seven works by Bill Viola, an American artist specializing in experimental video art. This exhibition, containing pieces from the years 1976 to 2009, looks with slow and quiet detail at our behaviors, our expressions, and our rituals as human beings throughout all of time. One of the most mesmerizing pieces is Ablutions (2005), located in the first room of the exhibition, where four different works project continuously onto each of the four walls.


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Bill Viola, 'Ascension,' 2000. Video/sound installation. Photo: Kira Perov

A deep and enveloping darkness carries the exhibition away from the bright summer light of the central Annenberg Court of the museum, an otherworldly transition underscored by the focused isolation of the videos that follow. Religious and ritualistic, the work that seems to most consistently transfix its viewers is Ablutions, a split-screen ten–minute video of a man and a woman washing their hands in steady streams of falling water. An ablution in Christianity is a ceremonial act of washing, most often performed during baptism, meant to symbolize purification—the sort of mental cleansing that feels necessary before the rest of the exhibition can be considered. Though Ablutions is ten minutes in length, if fully watched, the balance between the two figures and the constancy of the hypnotic running water wash away any impurities that might impinge on the same patient perception the other six works require. Apart from Ablutions, the first room also contains The Greeting (1995), inspired by Jacopo de Pontormo’s Mannerist altarpiece painting, The Visitation, though Viola’s rendition has only three women. Despite elements of modernity in the women’s haircuts and shoulder bags, The Greeting retains the vibrantly billowing fabrics and Mediterranean setting of Pontormo’s original, with Viola’s use of slow motion allowing


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for the notice of minute details as if the video were really a painting. These similarities between The Greeting and Pontormo’s sixteenth century altarpiece demonstrate the way that the mannerisms of certain human communications and traditions remain largely unchanged even after hundreds of years. This sense of ritual continues into Catherine’s Room (2001), a five–paneled video of a woman performing a series of tasks from morning to night in her daily routine. Though the room and camera angle remain constant in each, the furniture changes and moves position as the woman practices yoga, needlework, and writing, before lighting a roomful of prayer candles and then making her bed to fall asleep in the rightmost panel. With a structure modeled after a predella—a platform upon which altarpieces stand—the videos reveal the cyclical nature of time and human life, particularly as a single window in the room displays changing seasons across each panel. Despite the complexity of layered time in the videos themselves and their allusions to religious art, there is an undeniably simple comfort that comes from watching the woman go about her activities over and over again, recognizing my own patterns within hers. The fifth piece in the exhibition, Ascension (2000), is the culmination of the religious and ritualistic elements Bill Viola, 'Catherine's Room,' 2001. Photo: Kira Perov in the four pieces that precede it. Projected on nearly the entire wall of its own room, Ascension shows a fully clothed man plunging into water, feet–first, from the top of the screen to the bottom. Our viewpoint is entirely underwater, with so little light that I could almost feel my pupils dilate in the darkness. Again in slow motion, the moments in which the figure is not present feel so long that the deep blackish blue of the undisturbed water becomes a solemn peace, before being interrupted once more by the figure’s quick plunge downward, and his slow rise and fall that follows. With outstretched arms and a limp body, the man seems to have no control over his actions, and his vulnerability to both the water and the darkness increase as he falls out of our view forever, alluding in many ways to the ascension of Jesus, in figure and in fate. Where these first five pieces give us something to watch, the final two ask

us to look. In Pneuma (1994/2009), three walls of a room have projections of blurred security–camera–like videos, where shifts in light make figures and objects nearly unidentifiable. The longer we stare, the more unrecognizable their reality becomes, and the vague translation of its title seems to find a home in the way these ambiguous shadows emulate our senses, our memories, and our essences. And in He Weeps For You (1976), the earliest work of the exhibition, we see ourselves, projected upside down and unfocused through a video trained on a droplet of water falling from a copper pipe. Here, the drop never stops dropping, indifferent to our presence despite the intimacy of the work’s title. In this final piece, Viola makes us witness to a sort of infinity—whether we stay or leave will not interrupt, halt, or slow the drop from falling, yet so long as we are there, our reflections can become a brief part of its comforting perpetuity. The worst part of this exhibition is its end, not for poignant reasons, or even reflective ones, but because I, like many who visit the museum, chose to pay my respects to the Foundation’s permanent collection afterward. For those unfamiliar with the setup of most rooms in the museum, the gallery walls are known for their lack of labels, and careful arrangement of multimedia art, from antique door hinges to Renoir nudes to Renaissance-era religious portraits, in an effort to establish a unification of stylistic and thematic similarities. And sometimes it works. But the sticking power that derives from a prolonged viewing of undeniably good art—the kind that will come without fail from Viola’s— doesn’t hold up well in the face of the main collection. The similarities seem weaker, the points being made more diffident, the conversation between the pieces scrambled into cacophony. They are rewarding in analysis of form or color, but as far as making statements about the unifying aspects of the human condition, those should be left to Viola. Because even as I stood in front of my long–time favorites of the main collection, my mind couldn’t help but drift back to the dropping water in that final piece of the exhibition, and wonder if it really was still going.

I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like: The Art of Bill Viola will run through September 15. Student tickets are $5.

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