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New College House Chef February 21, 2018 | 34st.com

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Fetish or not? Dating while Asian

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VP Basement: Annotated

buying into the crypto craze Penn students enter the bitcoin bubble


february FEBRUARY21, 2018 Nick Joyner, Editor–in–Chief Remi Lederman, Managing Editor Angela Huang, Audience Engagement Director Annabelle Williams, Assignments Editor Autumn Powell, Media Director Haley Weiss, Word on the Street Editor Jamie Gobreski, Word on the Street Editor Emily Schwartz, Ego Editor Zoe Albano–Oritt, Music Editor Julia Bell, Senior Features Editor Sabrina Qiao, Special Features Editor Colin Lodewick, Long–Term Features Editor Dalton DeStefano, Developing Features Editor Lily Snider, Style Editor Catalina Dragoi, Film & TV Editor Sherry Tseng, Arts Editor Daniel Bulpitt, Lastpage Editor Ha Tran, Photo Editor Danny Rubin, Video Editor Lea Eisenstein, Copy Director Chris Muracca, Print Director Ego Beats: Valentina Escudero, Sami Canaan, Caroline Riise, Caroline Curran, Maryanne Koussa Music Beats: Paul Litwin, Amy Marcus, Arjun Swaminathan, Isabella Fertel, Michelle Pereira, Holden Caplan, Chris Troop, Natalia Joseph

3 WORD ON THE STREET

Transitioning to Natural Hair

4 EGO

EOTW: Ariana Martino, Figure Skaters at Penn

6 MUSIC

Country Music, Music & Gastronomy

Features Staff: Emily Rush, Angie Lin, Sharon Christner, Annika Iyer, Emily Cieslak Style Beats: Liz Kim, Frankie Reitmeyer, Lily Zirlin, Molly Hessel Film & TV Beats: Jonnell Burke, Ana West, Avneet Randhawa, Naomi Elegant, Bella Essex, Zovinar Khrimian Arts Beats: Sophie Burkholder, Lizzy Lemieux, Margaret Zhang, Xinyi Wan Design Editors: Lucy Ferry, Gillian Diebold, Ben Zhao, Christine Lam, Alana Shukovsky, Zack Greenstein, Morgan McKeever, Teagan Aguirre, Judy Zhang, Katie Waltman Lastpage Beat: Eliana Doft Staff Writers: Sophie Xi, Cass Phanord, Tamara Gelband, Jennifer Cullen, Isabella Simonetti, Vanessa Wanyandeh, Shinyoung Noh, Caroline Harris, Emma Moore, Anna Callahan, Sammy Gordon, Sydney Gelman, Charlotte Bausch, Jacob Winick, Alix Steerman, Sara Merican

8 STYLE

NCH Chef, Skincare, Juul Culture

LOL

12 FEATURES

Cryptocurrency, Romantic Preferences & Asian Students

Illustrators: Jessi Olarsch, Brad Hong, Anne Marie Grudem, Reese Berman, Judy Choi, Gloria Yuen, Carly Ryan, Saranya Sampath, Catherine Liang, Anne Chen Staff Photographers: Dayz Terry, Virginia Rodowsky, Christina Piasecki, Bill He, Avalon Morrell, Emma Boey, David Zhou Video Staff: Megan Kyne, Jean Chapiro, Anab Aidid, Sophie Pelosi, Abdul Sohu Copy Editors: Kira Horowitz, Kate Poole, Anna Waldzinska, Serena Miniter, Sarah Poss, Amber Auslander, Kimberly Batista, Riley Wagner, Morgan Potts

LETTERFROM THEEDITOR My favorite game to play during lecture is "What are my classmates shopping for today?" Need Supply, Uniqlo, Zara, ASOS, Adidas, and more. I've seen people get on Airbnb to look for a summer closet for rent in San Fran. And of course, there are your requisite lazy upperclassmen ordering toiletries and paper towels from Amazon. Who can blame them? Modern society has taught them to build self–esteem by buying things. And me too, honestly. My favorite peer–watching experience was in Stat class last semester. Week in and week out, I watched the kid who sat in front of me in purchase Supreme sweatshirts on a Monday and try to flip them in the Free and for Sale Facebook group on a Wednesday. Even I can admire dedicated entrepreneurship. I love to order a nice pine–scented candle here and there, or head over to Supremo to pick up a criminally cheap houseplant. There are endless skincare products on the internet, and I hope to acquire them all one day. There is comfort in giving yourself small physical tokens of affection. Because if you don't do it, who will? I'm by no means justifying conspicuous consumption, polluting the planet via compulsive online shopping, or contributing to a culture of disposability. But I do condone a little self–gifting here and there. Rough Wednesday? There's a pastry–filled farmers' market outside Cosi. Overslept? Get yourself a saucy foreign mag from Avril 50 instead of showing up late and out of breath. And if you've been reading my other letters, you know how I feel about Bursar–ing moleskines from the Penn bookstore. It might not be the healthiest of habits, but it sure feels good. This one is for all you classroom shopaholics. I see you. And I salute you.

LOL 16 FILM & TV

Queer Eye, Black Panther, Book > Movie

Sofia Price, Analytics Editor Cole Bauer, Senior Marketing Associate Marketing Associates: Lauren Donato, Chae Hahn, Brittany Levy, McKay Norton, Hanniel Dizon, Carly Shoulberg, Merry Gu, Paige Fishman Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Dayz Terry, Virginia Rodowsky, Ha Tran, and Christina Piasecki. Contacting 34th Street Magazine: If you have questions, comments, complaints or letters to the editor, email Nick Joyner, Editor–in–Chief, at joyner@dailypennsylvanian.com. You can also call us at (215) 422–4640. www.34st.com

20 ARTS

Emotive Space, Call Me by Your Name, Work-Study Students in the Arts

"Has it been ten seconds since we last looked at our lemon tree?!" ©2018 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.

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23 LASTPAGE Map of VP

Autumn Powell | Media Director


WORD ON THE STREET

word on the

STREET

MY NATURAL HAIR JOURNEY : : : EMBRACING MY BLACK IDENTIFY How one Penn student is tracking her journey of transitioning to her natural hair Eiman Eltigani

At the age of seven, I visited my home country, Sudan, where most people are dark–skinned. Before then, I never thought much of my dark skin. I saw it as an organ everybody had. I met my cousins for the first time. The first thing I noticed was the ashy, light brown color of their faces. Their arms were darker than mine, yet their faces were almost as light as the sand we stood on. Later, I found out they used a bleaching cream because lighter skin is seen as more beautiful. At a young age, I was taught that my dark skin wasn’t considered beautiful even by those who looked like me. Since then, I started feeling insecure about all my brown parts: dark skin, big lips, and most importantly, my hair. Over the years, my natural hair went from being the main cause of my insecurities to my greatest source of pride and heritage. My hair has the power to break combs and damage brushes, but its strength is not only limited to its ability to destroy hair tools. It gave me the power to challenge the common standard of beauty that was imposed on me from a young age and to be confident in my natural state of kinks and coils. Hair is a struggle all women can relate to regardless of their race, but for me it was a different battle growing up. Forget having a bad hair day. Imagine having a bad hair decade. My hair, like most African American hair, is thicker, frizzier, and curlier than white and Asian hair. I wore my hair naturally for the first eight years of my life without a single complaint, but the older I got, the less I liked it. I saw the models and actresses on the television and magazines (even the black ones) all with sleek, long hair. I got jealous and begged my mom to take me to a salon to straighten my hair until she finally agreed. The salon felt like a whole new world to me. I strutted all the way home with my hand on my hip and the wind blowing in my hair. My first time at the salon was the start of an addiction. I became obsessed. The only time I ever did my hair (including washing it) was at the salon. I felt gorgeous in my new updo and the compliments that kept pouring in only supported my thoughts that straight hair was the right hair for me. My mom was actually the one who encouraged me to get a perm. More commonly known as a relaxer, a perm involves applying a cocktail of chemicals to make the hair less kinky and more smooth. It completely damaged my

hair but I admired the praise I got: “Wow, your hair looks like white people's hair!” At the time, I thought that was a compliment. Once, during that period of straightening frenzy, I wore my hair natural to school. It looked different; my hair was less curly, more puffy, and had stringy, thin ends. Many people told me that I should stick with straight hair—it looked better. They told me to

realizing I was going to step into who I would be today. I did not realize that every time I wore my hair straight, I was apologizing for being a dark– skinned girl with curly hair because I was hiding it. I went into my natural hair journey looking for length, but came out with this amazing sense of black pride. There’s a history to it. Since slavery was abolished, black people felt the pressure to fit into the mainstream white society and they adjusted their hair accordingly. Natural hair still has many negative associations, and is still seen as ugly and messy and unprofessional. But by simply wearing natural hair, black women are carving out their own aesthetic and appreciating the very features that distinguish them. I recently created an Instagram account to photographically document my natural hair journey. Like most students, I tend to trade in self–care for time spent studying. My Instagram account, @Transitioningeiman, reminds me daily to take care of the important things in my life. My hair has served as a huge lesson. Through natural hair, I’ve discovered the confidence I have within myself, and that’s something I want to continue to celebrate. At first, going natural was difficult. I was "transitioning," and the hardest part was getting over my fear about how others would view my natural hair. The first time I went out with my natural hair, someone in my class named Phineas (I'll never forget your name, kid) asked me what was wrong with my hair. I decided that nothing was and continued to take care of my mane. I entered into the world of deep conditioners, bantu knots, and flexi rods. Protective Jessi Olarsch | Illustrator styles, hairstyles that protect hair from untangle my curls, so I did. Ever since I got a relaxer, external factors to keep it healthy, were soon my life. I noticed my hair would dry straighter and frizzier These styles are referred to as "protective" because of after washing it, until I completely lost all of my their ability to protect our hair from damage, but I curls. All the burning and damage caught up to me, think really they protect our culture, too. and my hair began to break off. My oldest sister still As my hair grew out, I noticed the new, undamaged jokes today about how I almost went bald. I decided curls at my roots. Over the years, I forgot what they I wanted my hair back, and researched how to do it. looked like, or that my hair could even look like that. WikiHow told me to stop using heat. I told myself I fell in love with my new curls, something I had I’d stop until my hair grew back out again, and then never thought I would do. This was the start of a I would just straighten it again. I wanted to go back new addiction, but a healthy one this time. I started to the same length as my white friends with long out natural for the wrong reasons, still trapped in hair. I went "natural" in order to match another one what I thought society viewed as better. But I stayed of society’s beauty standards for hair. natural for the best reason. I'm finally comfortable in I took away the straighteners and perms without my natural state. I'm comfortable in me. F E B R U A R Y 2 1 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E

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EGO

EGO EGO OF OF THE THE WEEK WEEK Behind the scenes at last weekend’s Vagina Monologues was the show’s producer Ariana Martino. Wearing a hat with the signature red V, Ariana talked about VagMons and their role on Penn’s campus.

Street: How did you first get involved with the Vagina Monologues? Ariana Martino: I have never been much of a performer. I did performing arts tech for a while, and I really liked that. That was my “in” in the performing arts community, and I had a lot of friends that were involved in VagMons that suggested that I would like it. So I joined, and I was like, “This is definitely a very worthwhile use of my time.” Street: What’s the producing VagMons?

hardest

part

of

AM: I would say the scale of it can be stressful because it’s such a large auditorium. Like, when you start out the year and you have no tickets sold, you know it’s going to come together but it doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s going to come together. So much of it gets done in the last couple weeks up until the show, especially in terms of donations and ticket sales. Knowing that you have to be patient can be very difficult. Street: How does VagMons balance sensitivity and inclusion while confronting issues head–on? AM: That’s definitely a challenge every year. One thing that I think a lot of people who aren’t involved with VagMons don’t realize per se is that we don’t have much control over the script. The script is decided every year by V–Day International and then disseminated. It’s approximately the same every year but they add several monologues every once in a while, particularly when they feel like there’s issues that haven’t been sufficiently expressed by the existing monologues. They’ll move some around or update them slightly. Street: Did anything change for this year? AM: This year, they did a pretty substantial change, which hasn’t been like anything I’ve seen in the past. Typically there’s a spotlight monologue, where it’s one monologue that’s only performed in one year. And it’s related 4

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to a particular theme of the year. So, last year, the theme was workplace violence, whereas this year, in place of doing a spotlight monologue, they gave us a little bit more flexibility. The theme was more generally activism and local activism. They invited us to find local activists who wanted to come speak or present something they had written themselves. We’re bringing in a member of our movement who performed last year. Her name is Marissa McCool, and she is a trans activist and poet, and she is going to be performing an original piece called “Ode to the Blocked” which is about people that she’s had to block on social media for various reasons. Street: Is there anything you wish you could change about the Vagina Monologues?

MAJOR ACTIVITIES

Physics

Vagina Monologues, Zeta Tau Alpha, University Honor Council, Osiris

HOMETOWN

Mooresville, North Carolina

ARIANA MARTINO

Autumn Powell | Media Director

these conversations all year long. It needs to be everyone having these conversations all year long.

Street: Do you think that the current cultural reckoning about sexual harassment and violence has affected this AM: I do wish sometimes that there were year’s Vagina Monologues? more flexibility for more students to be able to write their own content. We definitely had AM: We’re definitely mindful of the fact that this is more at more flexibility than ever with being able to the forefront of people’s minds than it might have been in bring in local activists, but more so I’d be previous years. But I think that the more important takeaway interested to hear how people who aren’t is that this is the show’s 20th anniversary. It’s two decades necessarily involved with the movement, old, so it’s not like any of this “news” is particularly new. or who are, but maybe not in a leadership The stories have always been out there, it’s just a matter of role, feel like their experiences aren’t being listening to them. represented in the show. And maybe write something of their own that we could be able to perform. We actually have been toying with the idea of having a few smaller The best part about Penn is... Philadelphia follow up events where people can present more original content. The worst part about Penn is… The rain! Street: What is the goal of VagMons at Favorite food on campus... Tacos at Distrito Penn?

LIGHTNING ROUND

AM: One of the things that I really love about VagMons is that it’s a time where a lot people go out of their way to think about these issues that they wouldn’t necessarily have on their calendars each year. It’s a show that reaches a lot of people and it starts a lot of conversations around the time when it’s performed. But I think culture in general can’t change until it’s not just the people who are putting on these shows that are having

If you could have a five–minute conversation with Amy G, it would be about… Sexual violence policies. There are two types of people at Penn… People who show up to the GBM and people who show up to the BYO. Did you prepare that answer? My roommate actually asked me when I told her I had this interview and I was like, I don’t know!


EGO

Meet Meet the the Figure Figure Skaters Skaters of of Penn Penn BY EMMA MOORE Just in time for the Winter Olympics Sleep, academics, social life, landing that double axel jump flawlessly—for figure skaters at Penn, balancing it all is second nature. This week, as bedazzled athletes jump, twirl, and land triple toe–loops in PyeongChang in hopes of Olympic gold,

here at Penn, 40 students are struggling to get recognition for their sport. For the last two years, Penn Figure Skating has fought and failed to gain funding from the University. As both a student club and competitive sports team, Penn Figure Skating must receive recognition and funding from Student Club Council (SCC), a branch of Penn Recreation, before registering with Student Activities Council (SAC). Yet for the last three years SCC has been unable tov accept new clubs. As a result, Penn Figure Skating is stuck in limbo. Chiara Bettale (C ’18), the club’s president, revived Penn Figure Skating two years ago. When she first came to campus, no one was

meeting at practice times and there were no regular board meetings. Now with over 40 active members, Penn Figure Skating is making its mark on campus as both an inclusive community for all skaters and powerhouse of extraordinary talent.

other club skating teams from schools like NYU, Cornell, Dartmouth.” explained Chiara. Alicia Lu (E ’21) started skating when she was nine, trained three hours a day for nine years, and competed nationally for five years. Last year, she was awarded prestigious membership to the U.S. Figure Skating National Honors team for outstanding athletic performance and academic achievement. “It’s an incredibly difficult sport that people don’t know enough about,” says Alicia. “I’m excited Virginia Rodowsky | Staff Photographer to share it with Penn, despite the funding Last September Emma Jang difficulties.” (E ’21) represented Taiwan Her family friend and in her eighth international skating rink partner Nathan skating competition, the ISU Chen is now competing for Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Croatia. “Last semester I would practice four to five times a week on ice. Now I’m down to three times a week if I’m lucky. It’s tough with scheduling classes around ice time,” says Jang. “I bring all my gear to DRL and bolt over to Class of 1923 rink between classes.” Emma was able to compete in Croatia with partial sponsorship from Taiwan and by paying out of pocket. Unfortunately for most members of Penn Figure Skating, club competition Team U.S.A. in college is no longer an Without funding, the club option. “We can’t pay for is unable to meet as a group registration fees or the for practice, let alone compete transport to compete against against other college clubs.

Virginia Rodowsky | Staff Photographer Renting out the rink costs $400 per session. Practice is confined to limited freestyle sessions during Monday and Wednesday afternoons which often conflicts with class schedules. When skaters can practice, they must pay $10 per session, making regular skating inaccessible for some members. Despite the odds, Penn Figure Skating is still going strong. “I’m optimistic about

and public screenings of the Olympic Games in the High Rises. Sarah Hughes, a former Olympic figure skating medalist and current Penn Law student, is also a member of the club. “She ordered one of our Penn Skate jackets!” Chiara told me. She’s hoping Sarah will also make an appearance at their upcoming show. Right now Sarah is at the Games in Pyeongchang

Virginia Rodowsky | Staff Photographer the freshmen on the board. I’m really proud of taking the club to where it is today,” enthused Chiara. They’re planning to hold free lessons for those learning to skate

South Korea, as part of the Presidential Delegation for the Winter Olympics. Mark your calendars, Penn Figure Skating’s first show is March 24th.

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MUSIC

A CONTEMPLATION OF COUNTRY MUSIC BY MICHELLE PEREIRA

Genre, sound, and more. What makes country music country? I don’t really care for country music. That’s not to say every country artist is terrible, though—far from it. There are definitely some standouts for me in the genre: Carrie Underwood, old Taylor, and, if you’re driving on a hot day with the windows down, perhaps even Florida Georgia Line. But what is so unappealing to me about country is that, ideologically, the genre doesn’t really hang together. It’s obvious that groups like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and Guns N' Roses are all rock 'n' roll groups. The moment you hear Jay–Z or Drake come on the radio, you know you’re listening to hip–hop. When you think of artists like Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, or Justin Timberlake, you might think, “Top 40.” Country music, on the other

hand, is a little more amorphous. When you boil it down to its sonic elements, it often doesn't sound that different from rock 'n' roll, alternative, or even some pop. Historically, country music was born out of the folk and blues traditions, carrying over folk’s strong narrative aspect and mixing it with the rhythmic 1–4–5 chord progression of most blues songs. With the birth of rock 'n’ roll, though, country emulated this new rough sound and gave rise to the “honky tonk” country that would eventually get smoothed out in the years to come. Country music, therefore, was never sonically original—as a genre, it just borrowed from other pre–existing musical movements. But most country music undeniably shares a list of

common traits: the vocals are often colored with a twang, it’s frequently patriotic, and it typically has a strong and easy–to–follow narrative. For me, though, the defining characteristic of country music is that it’s thoroughly

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Southern. However, I’m not sure the quality of “Southern–ness” is enough to make it its own genre. No other musical genre has regional ties that are as strong. What’s more, country music is strictly a national genre; no other part of the world has anything remotely similar to country music. Plus, when you put this quality of “Southern–ness” to the test, it doesn’t really stack up. Country music seems to be more a sum of its parts rather than a cohesive whole. For instance, consider a quintessential country band, Florida Georgia Line. Their hit single, “Cruise,” checks off all the boxes of what country music should be: patriotic (of course, the tune is populated with Chevy trucks), Southern (the song has a tremendous sense of place), and a strong narrative (about the leggy woman of interest). Now compare Florida Georgia Line to another quintessential country band, the Dixie Chicks. They, too, check off the same requirements, but there’s no denying that the Dixie Chicks sound fundamentally different than Florida Georgia Line. In many ways, the Dixie Chicks are more folk than any-

Anne Marie Grudem | Illustrator thing else—their rich, tonal harmonies and acoustic fiddle solos place them more in line with the likes of Fleetwood Mac than other mainstream country artists. The Dixie Chicks are considered country, though, because they present a Southern country narrative, despite sonically verging more on folk or even bluegrass. By the same token, artists who have a county narrative and background but lack this connection to the South are often excluded from the country label. Consider folk extraordinaire Bob Dylan. Much of his early work detailed rural country life and was colored by a cast of farmers, preachers, and con men, much like modern country is now. Yet Dylan’s northern origins (albeit strong opposition to Southern discrimination) places him firmly within the folk world. In many ways, the lines around the edges of country music are blurred. There are many artists that walk the line between country and other genres—whether it be pop, rock, folk, or even blue grass. But what draws that line is not entirely clear. Country as a genre is a conglomeration of many different sub–genres, and exists as a catch–all more than as its own distinct genre.


MUSIC

The Song Smacks: The Intersection of Music and Gastronomy Forget wine, we're pairing food with music. One of my favorite biological anomalies is a medical condition known as synesthesia. People with this condition associate one sense with a different one. To give an example, the smell of lilacs may make a person think of the color blue, for no particular reason at all. It usually appears in intriguing characters of novels as a way to make them more connected with the world around them, but it’s also prevalent among creatives. Though I am not on this plane of existence, I still think there are ways to have different senses compliment one another. One of my recent endeavors into this area recently has been an exploration into combinations of some of my favorite foods with certain songs. Through these sensory experiments, I hope to make each—both song and food—greater than they are alone. Let’s get weird.

Food: Chicken Fajitas Song: "Che Che Cole"—Willie Colón First off, both of these are amazing regardless of the presence of one another. Together, however, they make me feel like I am transported to an outdoor market late at night with people dancing all around me. Colón’s jazziness just feels right as it merges with the spicy steam erupting from my attempt at making Mexican food. I’m pretty sure it’s now one of my favorite foods to make because of how much the song makes me want to sing along while making it.

Food: Banana Pancakes Song: "Banana Pancakes"— Jack Johnson A little bit of a cop out, but you really can’t have one without the other. Jack Johnson warms your soul, like one of those bites that melts in your mouth. Perfect for

a Sunday morning where your sweet tooth is whispering in your ear to play something that will make you want to sing your heart out while cooking for the new bae you’re trying to impress. Make sure to have your black coffee steaming in the background for extra sensory overload.

Food: Thai Red Curry Song: "When the Truth Is..."—Hamilton Leithauser+Rostam They both seem like treasures you would find in a small NYC spot that you keep lowkey so they don’t blow up. They compliment each other like a fine Merlot with a nice cut of Peking Duck. It’s a feeling of Yuppie Americana that I treat as my guilty pleasure.

Holden Caplan

Food: Chocolate Lava Cake Song: "Brown Sugar"— D’Angelo Let’s get this straight: If you are eating any food and D’Angelo is playing, it is going to be a great meal. Chocolate lava cake brings out the wonders of the song with its voluptuously rich curves and warm center. It makes you want to melt, like the high notes of D’Angelo’s falsetto. I want every dessert moment to feel like how I feel when I listen to “Brown Sugar." This list has not been scientifically tested, or even empirically, so take all suggestions lightly. If you have any good combinations of food and music yourself, send them to me, as I would love to heighten my ex-

Virginia Rodowsky | Illustrator

perience of two of my favorite aspects of life. I have to admit that my hunger has overtaken me right after writing this. Next on my list to try is a spaghetti with bolognese sauce while jamming to “What More Can I Say” by NxWorries.

The song oozes with funk juices so simple yet complex, like the sauce on top of your fine Italian cuisine. Combine anything, try everything, and let’s make millennial food culture the new Billboard 100.

penn contemporary music

&

HARBISON

MUSIC OF

PRIMOSCH LUCY FITZ GIBBON

soprano

RYAN MACEVOY McCULLOUGH Wednesday, February 21 8pm Rose Recital Hall in Fisher-Bennett Hall -free admission-

piano

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ST YLE

BY MOLLY HESSEL Featured Foodie: New College House Chef Zach Hankins

This chef whips up restaurant–worthy creations in a college dining hall. Filet mignon, pumpkin risotto, and sea bass bouillabaisse—sounds like the menu of Philadelphia’s finest restaurant. Wrong. These are just a few of the “featured entrées” served up to students at New College House (NCH). Though seemingly unbelievable, NCH Head Chef Zach Hankins' social media is proof enough. Zach shows off his culinary creations daily on his NCH–exclusive Foodstagram, @ChefZachHankins. Hankins first became interested in cooking while watching his mom in the kitchen. By age four, he joked that he was already grilling up chicken breasts on his own. “I have a photo of myself from my fifth grade year book, and it says what do you want to be when you grow up, and it says

I want to be a chef and go to culinary arts school. [Ever] since I knew what a job or a career was, it was what I wanted to do.” Hankins followed his dream, earning his degree from the Academy of Culinary Arts. The curriculum at the school derives from Johnson & Wales University, the “Penn equivalent of culinary school” as he describes it. He then worked in the restaurant industry, earning experiences that would later influence his cooking at Penn. Hankins worked at Falk Dining Café in Hillel before becoming the head chef at NCH. His new location has a more intimate venue, perfect for crafting creative dishes for each dinner. “It is the most realistic [venue for a] hot line that I have seen on campus.

Students gather around and see us put the plates together. One guy is grilling steaks, another cook is helping to plate it up. They see it from start to finish. It gives it a more personal feel,” Hankins said. While he describes New College House as similar to a restaurant setting, it pales in comparison to his past culinary experience. “It is easy to crank 200 or 300 steaks out in a night. The atmosphere in here on a really busy night is pretty nice. When I was [working] in Atlantic City, I was on a grill cooking 800 steaks a night. That is what I am used to at this point.” Exclusive to New College House, the featured entrée each night is always a cooked–to–order dish crafted by Chef Zach

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Photo courtesy of Chef Zach Hankins

Hankins and his cooks. With the guidelines set by Bon Appétit, Hankins has control over most of the dishes he offers. “It is a very chef–driven kitchen. Whatever Zach is getting inspired by, we start there.” Hankins takes advantage of his culinary freedom in NCH. His favorite dish that he has prepared was for their harvest–themed dinner. He plated duck three ways: a confit duck leg with a duck pâté sauce over duck galantine. “It is cool to bring food that some people have never seen and bring it in the dining hall. I have friends that went to Penn State, and they see my food. They are blown away that we are able to do this at a University.” In addition to creative creations, Hankins also attempts to bring the flavors of home into the kitchen. During the dinner rush, he circles the dining hall to ask diners for recommendations, or “touch tables, as we call it in the industry.” After talking to one student from Italy, Hankins was inspired to prepare his attempt at a porchetta pork roast. “He said, my mom makes this great pork porchetta. So he inspired that. I said, I don’t know if I can make it like your mom, but I can sure try. I can put my own fine dining spin it. It is cool to bring food that

some people have never seen and bring it in the dining hall.” Coming up, New College House is hosting the College House and Academic Services’ Penn Student Film Festival. Even though it is not until March 28, Hankins has already started experimenting in the kitchen to craft the perfect meal. “They asked for a themed menu. They wanted Hollywood, and the first thing I thought of was surf and turf or caviar.” While caviar might not be included in a dining hall swipe, Chef Zach took inspiration from Penn's chemistry student to mimic the look of caviar with molecular gastronomy. The result is “balsamic caviar,” small balls of balsamic vinegar that burst like the fish eggs. “It's like a gusher, it looks like faux caviar. I am still working the kinks on how to mass–produce it.” While mixing science with supper might be out of some students’ comfort zones, Chef Hankins encourages his diners to try new foods and cooking styles. “I just want to continue to make good food and try new foods. And I want them to enjoy coming here. There is a lot of things you can do with [food] that people don’t know or haven’t seen.” They say college is for expanding your horizons, right?


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Taking Care of Your Skin This Midterm Season Liz Kim

Midterm season is upon us in full–force, and most of us emerge on the other side with a few scrapes, a bruised ego, and worst of all, acne flare–ups. Your face is suddenly red for a plethora of reasons: the embarrassment at the thought of receiving the worst grade in the class, the red pimples spotting your face, and it's all made even worse by the dry winter climate. Street spoke to dermatologist Rochelle Weiss, M.D. about how stress causes acne and how to avoid it. “A lot of acne is due to genetics,” admits Weiss, but environmental factors also have a big impact on the condition of your skin. The main culprit? Hormones. “Hormones aren’t always completely environmental, but women can especially be exposed to erogenous hormones—birth control pills and things like that.” Things such as stress. When your stress levels are high, your adrenal gland releases more of the stress hormone cortisol to help your body combat that stress, but that also causes your skin to produce more oil, specifically sebum, and make your acne flare. This raises the question: are you doomed to break out twice a semester due to stress? (Ed. note: Or, like, all semester?) After all, stress is inevitable during testing seasons. Weiss agrees, saying, “It’s stupid to say ‘don’t be stressed’ because everyone has stress.” She offers some advice in dealing with the situation and preventing your acne from getting worse. “It’s simply about keeping your skin clean. Keep your hands off your face—it sounds like a ‘duh’, but that’s

How stress and milk may be contributing to your mid–semester acne

Brad Hong | Illustrator a really big one. If studying makes you lean with your hand compressed on your face for 45 minutes, or if stress makes you manipulate and pick at your skin, it can be bad for breakouts. Sleep is another big one, because the less you sleep, the more stress hormones you will release.” However, there’s one positive fact about acne that will make you feel better about certain unhealthy stress–induced habits. “Diet plays a much smaller role than people think—with the exception of dairy products,” says Weiss. “It’s thought that the hormones given to cows to help them produce milk may be one of the explanations as to why dairy can cause flares in acne. So that’s why we try to encourage eating organic dairy, but of course, that can be costly.” But before you jump to

the conclusion that eating six cinnamon pop tarts and

three Mark’s Café pastries in the Van Pelt basement is a

totally acceptable and healthy way of coping, Weiss goes on to discuss the importance of maintaining healthy habits all around. While “eating pizza and chocolate won’t make your acne worse,” anything that makes you stressed, like having a crappy diet or not sleeping often or well enough, “can make your acne worse.” If you’re suffering from flare–ups right now, make sure you’re washing your face every morning and before you go to bed at night, as your face accumulates grime throughout the day. And don’t forget to moisturize, which is important even if you have oily skin, as a proper moisturizer will help reduce sebum production and hydrate your skin. Moral of the story: let yourself indulge in a little study break—your skin (and brain!) will thank you.

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ST YLE

Inside Juul Culture: A Campus Epidemic

Frankie Reitmeyer

The negative health effects of Juuling and why Penn students tend to ignore them It's hard to enter a party on crème brûlée, are much worse for campus without seeing Juuls your health than the fruitier ones. glowing as users take hits. These There has even been a change slim and small contraptions re- in the language regarding smoksemble USB sticks more than ing on campuses. When taking a e–cigarettes. The Juul became a hit of the Juul, you aren’t smokpopular smoking option in 2015 ing or vaping—you're "Juuling." and was marketed as a smoking This language changes the percessation device—it would deliv- ception around the devices beer the nicotine that cigarette ad- cause many do not consider using dicts required without the harsh a Juul to be vaping or smoking, chemicals in cigarettes. but an entirely new classification “I’ve heard it referred to as the of getting nicotine. It dissociates iPhone of e–cigarettes,” says Ellie the consequences from the acWynn (C ’20). tion. In fact, some people who It's incredibly easy to buy a use the Juul are unaware that a Juul. Customers can go onto their Juul is an e–cigarette at all. website and verify that they're 21. These devices have gained pop- can make it his or her own. The For about $50, a brand new Juul ularity with non–smokers, more Juul brand has built an image will be shipped to their door. In specifically with high school and empire: it has made something this age of internet purchases and college students. One of the main potentially fatal appear chic and millennials becoming increas- benefits of the Juul is that there sexy. Flexible and Double RoomsPeople • use Juuls is to get their ingly digital, the JuulLeasing brand is •is Single little to no smell and smoke, no exception. Additionally, it a lot easier smoke dose Individual LeasesJuul • Allmaking Amenities andtoUtilities Included of nicotine. The nicotine pods have flavors that mask the discreetly. creates a head rush that, when nicotine and create a milder form Ellie’s Juul is customized with paired with alcohol, can enhance of smoking. Dr. Frank Leone of her name and some designs on a drunk or disoriented feeling. Call Penn Medicine states that the it, evidence of just how much the But because of this nicotine condifferent flavors actually have e–cigarette has transformed into tent, Juuls are extremely addic215.662.0802 different effects due to the flavor an accessory. There are skins and tive. particles that are released when other customizable options for Irma T. Elo, a professor in the Email smoked. Creamier flavors, like the Juul so that each individual Sociology department who stud-

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Jessi Olarsch | Illustrator

ies health inequalities, states that many college students believe that they will only smoke during their college years and will easily be able to quit. Studies show that about 80% of daily adult smokers started smoking before age 21—during their undergraduate years. “E–cigarettes are relatively new and that is problematic in the sense that e–cigarettes and [electronic] vaporizers can lead to increased cigarette smoking later on … it may be the first step,” Dr. Elo explains. “We put nicotine on par with caffeine in terms of its ability to create a dependence tendency, but in fact it’s actually more powerful than heroin in creating dependency,” says Dr. Leone. Nicotine addiction isn’t a phase; this reliance consistently continues into life after college. While there is evidence to show that Juuls are safer than traditional cigarettes due to a reduced exposure to tar and other cancer–causing carcinogens, it is extremely hard to call them safe. Experts do not know the long term effects of e–cigarette use, but in the short term, they make it much more likely to make the transition to regular cigarettes. Despite the lack of long–term knowledge, people, even many of the users, understand that it

cannot be positive. “It can’t be healthy,” says Ellie. In addition to nicotine, Juul pods contain propylene glycol, one of the chemicals found in antifreeze. Though it is unknown the exact effects of inhaling this substance, it is known that putting antifreeze into your body is very harmful. In fact, in 2014 Fireball Whiskey was recalled in three separate countries for containing this ingredient. There is a lack of understanding among users as to what the Juul is, and what it contains, which leads users to make uninformed decisions about their actions. For those who need support in stopping their cigarette or e– cigarette usage, including the Juul, Student Health Services has smoking cessation resources on campus through their WholeBreath Smoking Cessation program. This includes one–on–one counseling or group sessions, in order to become tobacco–free and achieve a variety of goals including managing and identifying triggers, and quitting smoking. For people thinking about starting to Juul, Ellie firmly says “don’t.” “I really think the trend, or fad even, is not going to last that much longer anyway,” she qualifies. Only time will tell.


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Opening Keynote Speaker

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Howard Stevenson, Ph.D.

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Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education; Professor of Africana Studies University of Pennsylvania

Closing Keynote Speaker Elijah Anderson, Ph.D.

Sponsored By:

William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Professor of African American Studies Yale University F E B R U A R Y 2 1 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 1 1


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The Cult of Cryptocurrency: The Penn Students and Campus Groups Buying into the Boom Penn students have made—and lost—thousands of dollars through blockchain. And they can't get enough. By James Meadows

D

rew Stone (E ‘17) entered the world of Bitcoin in 2013, before most self–identifying financial experts. Purchasing his first bitcoins wasn’t a shrewd market calculation. He was a senior in high school, and he bought $200 worth of Bitcoin because a website offered 20% off an XBOX video gaming system with the purchase. Looking back to 2013, he couldn’t help but laugh: “I was that silly person that actually spent his Bitcoins,” he chuckled. “I probably spent three–quarters of a Bitcoin on that Xbox, which is now probably like $9,000.” Four years later, he still dabbled in cryptocurrency. During his spring semester of his senior year, Drew sold his shares of a second digital cryptocurrency called Ethereum for more than $20,000. His gamble of sinking a couple thousand dollars of his savings had paid off, and the price of his initial investment had increased more than ten times over. Little did he know that if he had waited a only a few days longer, the market would increase tenfold again, and Stone would have $200,000 sitting in the palm of his hand when he unlocked his phone. Questions of “what if?” plague the minds of the Penn students who invest thousands in these digital currencies. What if I had waited longer? What if I had sold sooner? What if I had invested more? “It’s definitely an addiction,” said Kudrat Lokman (W ’18), who started investing in the beginning of 2017 after talking to another student who had already seen large returns. After a couple of months, his initial investment of $500 had multiplied. “You get used to the dramatic drops because you believe, or you know, that it will go up again. I just see it as a game.”

mere three dollars. He watched as the total fund grew to a staggering $150 million in a matter of months—setting the record for the largest crowdfunding campaign in human history. Then, early in the morning of June 17th, 2016, anonymous users found a hole in the code that held the DAO together. Within a matter of minutes, they stole $50 million of digital currency, reminding Nathan that human greed persists even within the coded vaults of the internet. “From that moment, I thought ‘Holy shit, I don’t know what the fuck just happened, but that was the craziest thing I have ever seen in my entire life,’” he said. “It just kind of consumed my brain from there.” Now, two years after the DAO hack, securing a safer digital currency has developed into an obsession for Nathan. He decided to take a leave of absence from his studies at Penn this past semester—unbeknownst to his parents—to study blockchain protocol full– time. On most days you can find him holed up in Van Pelt Library, deep in research from the early afternoon until well past midnight. Nathan admits that his obsession has been taxing. He used to reach for his phone to check his investments as soon as his morning alarm went off. Now, to retain his sanity, he purged himself of any internet–connected devices during his semester off. He uses a “shitty” Nokia phone and a laptop without the driver. “I needed to totally disassociate myself with the market’s extreme volatility in order to work on it,” he said. Two years ago, before the gold–rush of the blockchain boom, Reed Rosenbluth (E ’17) founded the Penn Bitcoin Club, the neglected precursor of what is today’s Blockchain Club. He remembers that most club events would only have about 20 or so people in attendance. Now, Nathan finds that practically every Penn Blockchain–sponsored event—whether it be a visit from an influential blockchain developer or merely just an introductory class led by one of the club’s senior members—is filled to the rafters. Rosenbluth didn’t seem surprised: “That has everything to do with the price of crypto.” There’s one crypto–related event on campus that stands above all others: The Penn Blockchain Conference. The inaugural conference will take place on April 6, 2018 in Hunstman Hall. Touting the slogan, “Design, Build, Invest,” the conference will feature some of the foremost developers and

leaders in the blockchain industry, including Joseph Lubin, the prolific co–founder of Ethereum. Many of the details of the event are still kept under lock and key, but it has already garnered hundreds of RSVPs. At a university with an infamous reputation for streamlining business students into the cookie–cutter careers of finance and consulting and pushing budding engineers into the ilk of Silicon Valley, blockchain has offered countless students of both disciplines an entirely new frontier. Although many Penn students familiar with blockchain are only concerned with their own bank statements, the blockchain disciples of the Penn Blockchain Club believe in technology’s potential to shift the very nature of the internet on a tectonic level. To them, the emergence of the internet— the era of “The DotCom Bubble”—was the first iteration of the web; the rise of Facebook and social media the second; then blockchain, undoubtedly, is the third. Even the group’s mentor, Penn Egineering professor David Crosbie, who had logged many years amongst Fortune 500 companies and Wall Street banks, admits that he cannot overstate blockchain’s potential. “If you think back in human history, we used to live in little family groups and we used to only trust our blood relatives,” he said. “Now we do a deal with our government where we basically say ‘You can kill us, take our belongings, in exchange for a legal system.’”

The potential of Bitcoin and other digital currencies is, as he puts it, their ability to paradoxically take humanity back to a totally decentralized, even primal, idea of trust, where humanity can rely on digital protocols instead of corruptible or inefficient state institutions. In short: by trusting technology, we can trust ourselves. He’s even spearheading Penn’s first blockchain course in the upcoming fall semester. “The most profound effects will be in places where there is limited trust,” he said. “If you have a solution to this trust problem, then it will have the most impact in environments where there is the least trust. People will be essentially choosing between blockchain and anarchy.” A space with limited trust, for example, could be a corrupt bank in a developing country that siphons customers’ savings. In this situation, Bitcoin could create financial avenues for the world's most impoverished people. In theory, the idea of creating a universal and impregnable ledger can be applied to any number of ideas. It could potentially facilitate a universal healthcare database, track the world's refugee crisis, or prevent voter fraud. Depending on who you ask, concepts like these make blockchain potentially the most important technological innovation since the internet. This freedom has been made possible by the technology at the core of cryptocurrency: blockchain—a term often used interchangeably with cryptocurrency. Crypto, though, is merely the most visible manifestation of blockchain protocols. While each cryptocurrency is an electronic ledger, cryptographically sealed, blockchain code is the backbone of what makes these digital transactions possible. The electronic ledger that makes up the currencies’ transactions is replicated and shared across hundreds of thousands of blocks—hence the term block-

CRYPTO

chain—across the web. Each block stores an identical copy of the ledger, which is stored across the hundreds of thousands of computers, or “miners,” that make up the currency’s network. People all over the world—including Penn students in their off–campus houses and dormitories—lend their computers’ memory to process a currencies’ many transactions. However, despite its optimistic future uses, Bitcoin has dark roots. Some of the earliest to embrace crypto were drug dealers and other criminal syndicates. In truth, some of Penn’s earliest adopters of cryptocurrency did so for the sole purpose of anonymously purchasing a variety of illicit drugs off of the Dark Web and having them mailed directly to their homes. The week of Monday, January 28, the global market value of the world’s digital cryptocurrencies stood at a staggering $600 billion. By Friday, in one of the most violent drops in the market’s history, that number nearly halved to $348 billion. In a single day, the price of Bitcoin—the world's first and most prevalent of the cryptos—dropped an eyebrow–raising seven percent. Ethereum, the second most prominent of the currencies, nosedived a pulverizing thirty. Many students lost thousands. Some lost even more. Derek Hsue (W ’18) is one of the handful of student cryptocurrency investors who lost millions of dollars in cryptocurrency assets. Along with his partner Anders Larsen (W ’18), Derek presides over a multimillion dollar cryptocurrency hedge fund. With a drop of this magnitude, hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost in a matter of days. A seemingly crippling amount of loss, but Derek seemed unfazed by such sizable losses. At this point, they are normal even—drops like these have happened four or five times in the last two years. “Obviously the short term fluctuations are going to be stressful, but I think it’s super important to maintain a long–term vision,” he said. “We don’t invest in anything that we don’t believe will actually change society.” Like many investors, he has faith in cryptocurrency. In fact, he's buying even more.

James Meadows is a communication major from Washington, D.C. He is the crime and legal beat for the Daily Pennsylvanian. 11

10

The potential promised by blockchain has caused a surge of interest on college campuses across the country. The Penn Blockchain Club has grown to nearly 400 active members in a matter of months. The club’s members are not all just computer science engineers, but a collec-

tive of undergraduates and graduate students, Whartonites and Collegians, legal scholars and businessman. All of them want to get in on the action. However, it can be difficult to parse the fog of crypto mystery. More often than not, ask someone on Penn’s campus who invests in cryptocurrencies how they work and you will hear a response along the lines of “you won’t understand,” or that “it’s too complicated.” Beyond the raincloud of technical jargon, the basic mechanics of platforms like Bitcoin are quite easy to wrap one’s head around. At their core, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are digital ledgers—electronic account books— that are shared around the globe by their users. Every account is protected by a “private key": a meaningless array of numbers and letters strung together by an algorithm let loose on the English dictionary. While the value of national currencies are presided over by state–run banks, one of the greatest appeals of crypto is its decentralization. Tight security programing and the complex cryptography of these private keys ensures that the currency remains egalitarian, open–sourced, and— perhaps most appealingly—anonymous. If the Penn Blockchain Club is at the forefront of the University’s blockchain craze, then its presidents, Nathan Rush and Jitin Jain, are the club’s gravitational centers and leading visionaries. The two make an unlikely pair on first glance: Nathan is a 20–year old College sophomore studying computer science, while Jitin, at 32 years–old, is a second–year graduate student pursuing a MBA in entrepreneurial management and statistics. He returned to university purely to pursue his master's degree and blockchain ventures. The two met in the summer of 2017 while working at ConsenSys, one of the handful of emerging blockchain technology companies actively building software to enable decentralized governance through the internet. Like Drew, Nathan’s introduction to blockchain happened when he was still in high school. Nearing the end of his time in high school, his father had introduced him to the world’s first crowd–funded and crowd–managed venture capital fund: “The DAO.” Nate contributed a

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F E AT U R E

Dating while Asian at Penn

T

he room—loud with music and reeking of beer— was bright enough for Holly Li (W ‘18) to realize that almost all of the mostly–white fraternity brothers had brought dates who were Asian. It was a little after midnight, and she had just arrived at the on–campus fraternity’s house after a date night. She noticed there was a similar concentration of Asian women at past fraternity functions—by her count at least a third of the dates were always Asian women. As her date left to join the crowd circling the beer pong tables, Holly sank into the upholstery of a dingy couch. One fraternity brother sat down next to her. “Wow, this school really has an Asian fetish,” she remembers

saying to him. He slung his arm around her and slurred, “Yeah, we do.” _____________________ Dating application data shows that men of all races—except Asian men—respond the most to Asian women on dating apps. On Pornhub’s top searched terms in 2017, hentai (anime and manga pornography) ranked second on the list, Japanese ranked eighth, and Asian ranked 14th. These statistics speak to a larger problem that writers and academics describe as “Asian fetishization”—a problem that Asian students at Penn say exists right on our campus. According to Yale–NUS professor Robin Zheng, racial fetishism refers to “a person's exclusive

or near–exclusive preference for sexual intimacy with others belonging to a specific racial outgroup.” Under this preference system, Asian people are lumped together into sexualized stereotypes, romanticized, and exoticized. This idea of racial preferences for Asian women isn’t new. In fact, it can be traced to ideas of Eastern exoticism propagated by European explorers in the late Middle Ages. Historians say the issue became especially salient in America during the 19th century following years of Chinese immigration to the west coast of the U.S. But even though the problem has existed for centuries, it is still difficult to pin down and identify. Too often, the differences

Photo Courtesy of Anshuman

Anshuman posted several racist Grindr messages he received onto his private Instagram. 1 4 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 2 1 , 2 01 8

The Fine Line between Preference and Fetish Angela Huang & Ariana McGinn

between a romantic preference and a fetish just aren’t clear, leading one to ask: is that just their type? Or is it fetishization? Modern cultural assumptions are “inseparable” from the United States’ long history with Asia, explains Asian American Studies professor Josephine Park. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed to restrict Chinese laborers from immigrating into the States, and the government specifically kept out Chinese wives by accusing them of being prostitutes. When the United States fought in Asia— the Pacific War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War— soldiers often took war brides. They joked that their R&R in Asian villages stood for “rape and restitution,” explained Park. These brides were viewed as docile and a better fit for motherhood, in contrast to the growing image of the bra–burning American white woman. These residual stereotypes about Asian women still persist today, often falling into extreme binaries. Media agencies regularly reinforce this idea by depicting Asian women as either the “dragon lady”—like Lucy Liu’s cold dominatrix character in Charlie’s Angels—or the “China doll”—like the docile Asian woman Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly. “How can you tell if someone has a fetish for Asian women?” Park contemplates. “I don’t know! It’s impossible to judge

Julia Schorr | DP Digital Director

because of the cultural elements that determine desire. But it is important to interrogate it.” _____________________ At Penn, many Asian students say they can trace their first experiences with feeling objectified to their first year at Penn. During Emily Vo’s (E ‘19) freshman year, she was studying on her laptop in the Hill Library when she was approached by some male students who also lived in Hill, two of them white and one Asian. Mid–conversation, they told her that she was ranked on their list of “hottest Asian girls.” They phrased it as a compliment, and she took it as one at the time. Now looking back on that interaction as a junior, Emily explains that “things like this are part of the reason I’ve distanced myself from people who are not members of the Asian community.” Sarah Cho (C ‘17) also had a negative experience similar to Emily’s when she was an underclassman. One night, she was walking past the Blarney Stone bar from a pajama–themed mixer in a matching Hello Kitty pajama set when she noticed a group of white college students standing outside the bar. As she got closer, one of the male students walked towards her and shouted, “ching chong ling long.” Then, “love me, baby doll!” She flipped him off and told him to leave her alone, but he kept walking. He followed her down the length of the street


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and his friends did nothing to intervene. Sarah feels that her experience with harassment was clearly motivated by her race. But racialized motives are often blurrier in romantic settings. A former a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority, Sarah also says she has received comments from fraternity members at mixers that range from the sober “where are you originally from?” to the unrestrained “I’ve always wanted to fuck an Asian girl.” Sarah isn’t alone. Ashna Bhatia (W ’17) says boys in middle school wouldn’t reciprocate her feelings because they considered her “too Indian.” Then, upon coming to Penn, she noticed that boys suddenly became interested in her racial background. “You come to college and it’s like, ‘teach me Kama Sutra,’” she says. After comments like this, Ashna says she has a hard time trusting the intentions of the white men who flirt with her. She is wary to date them, and actively puts up a “protective layer.” This racial dynamic exists in the queer community as well, students say. “Asians are assumed to be submissive … so I know a lot of Asian men who are queer who make it a point to be the dominant one in relationships, especially when it’s a white partner,” says Luke (C ‘19), an international relations student who identifies as a half–white,

Ashna Bhatia

half–Asian man and requested his last name be omitted. “You know, as a form of decolonization,” he laughs. The prevalence of dating apps on campus can minimize the risk of face–to–face encounters, making it easier for people to be more explicit in their statements. Casually leaning across the table on a Friday in HubBub, Anshuman (C ’19), who requested his last name be omitted, thumbs through screenshots of Grindr messages. “Sup my curry n***a,” one reads. “Flash me that exotic chocolate ass.” It’s accompanied by emojis of a monkey, a dark– skinned man wearing a turban, and a pile of poo. Anshuman, a Mathematical Economics major from Tarrytown, New York who identifies as a gay Indian man, posted the pictures on a private Instagram with the caption: “Fetishization: A Saga.” Some students have developed makeshift social tests to assess whether their potential suitors are fixated on their race. They’ve investigated dating history patterns through social media, or heard through others whether their partners are “creepy with Asian girls.” Holly says dating history is often what raises alarms for her: “If I am the eighth Asian woman in four years, then I know.” To other students, it’s not so obvious. “It’s not like they’re petting your hair and asking you to tell them about your parents’ immigration story,” Ashna says. _____________________ Nick (C ’19) is an architecture student from New York who identifies as a white, Jewish, heterosexual male. In the past, he's had friends confront him about having a romantic preference for Asian women. Nick, who requested his last name be omitted, says he goes “back and forth between feeling weird about it.” In class, he says he notices the racial breakdown of girls he’s attracted to and notes which are white and non–white. “It’s not like it’s intentional; I feel like I happen to know a lot of

Asian people,” he says. In fact, he believes that dating people based on race is “dehumanizing.” “If I came to the conclusion that I was fetishizing Asian girls,” he ponders, “then what? How would I respond to that? It’s a very complex question.” Ben (C ’18), a member of an off–campus fraternity at Penn who requested that his last name be omitted, says the notion of dating women from other ethnicities was “definitely appealing” to him when he came to Penn because it was “something new.” Ben who identifies as a white, Jewish, heterosexual male, grew up in a mostly white neighborhood in Naples, Florida, where he didn’t know many non–white women. He says that he’s seen “really bad cases of yellow fever” on campus, but adds that it’s not just his fraternity—it’s a more pervasive “Penn thing.” Speaking about his preference for non–white women, Ben adds, “I’m kind of over it now, but it was definitely something I looked for.” Ben adds that he doesn’t see the harm in having a preference for Asian girls, and that he knows of friends who explicitly search for Asian women at fraternity events. He’s even heard friends joking about going to downtowns hosted by Sigma Psi Zeta, a multicultural, Asian–interest Greek sorority, in order to meet Asian women. “I think other people can be offended by it, but I think that’s stupid,” Ben said. “People are just so sensitive here. It’s the PC thing. Like, if I were to say I want to go to a Sigma downtown to hook up with Asians, that’s offensive, you know?” Cindy Fan (W ‘19), the president of Sigma Psi Zeta, found the idea that Penn men would go to her events only to flirt with Asian girls “quite disheartening,” as the events are meant to be empowering for women. “The goal of our downtowns have been and will continue to be to create a safe avenue for all students to have fun and socialize,” she said in an emailed statement. Andro Mathewson (C ‘18), who identifies as a white, hetero-

Sarah Cho sexual male, acknowledges that that is, but when I was younger he has predominantly hooked and people would say I was half– up with Asian women, adding something, I would take that as a that “very few men” would ad- compliment,” Grace Lee (C ‘19) mit the same. As a DJ, he says he says. likes Asian American girls because Unintentional or uncultured “they’re usually from California jabs about Asian culture haven’t and like electronic music.” He stopped students like Hana Yen thinks they’re more open and ma- (EW ’19) from enjoying it. “I ture than white American girls. love being Asian,” she laughs. She “I’ve hooked up predomi- takes pride in her Chinese culture. nantly with Asian girls. Many But at the same time, Hana guys would not say that because also acknowledges that she’s ofI know that many people will at- ten felt characterized as a “small, tack me for having yellow fever Asian girl,” and that size has to do myself,” Andro says. with the stereotype of the small, _____________________ submissive Asian. She, like many others, has been called “pretty for Being mixed–race can lead an Asian girl.” to its own form of fetishization. A freshman year friend told Luke believes this is because her that he’d never been attracted people are searching for “a more to Asian girls before coming to palatable version” of difference. Penn, but now she was one of the Being half Southeast Asian and few Asian girls he was interested half white, he says he feels as if in. Hana says she’s confused by people come after him specifically men who develop this preference because his appearance is slightly in college, but doesn’t think it’s more white. her job to decode their attraction: Although this does not affect “It’s not something you’ve every Asian person, students say done, it’s something the other Eurocentric beauty standards are person sees.” She pauses. “Your pervasive within the Penn com- race should not dictate how sexumunity. Even Asian culture itself alized you are.” seems to place a “premium on whiteness,” Holly says. “In my East Asian experience, some families socialize you to Ariana McGinn is a junior think that dating a white guy is from Manhattan, New York. usually a good thing,” Holly says. She is studying English. “It’s an aspect of the American dream... It’s this idea of social Angela Huang is a junior mobility by marrying into the from Diamond Bar, majority, assimilating through California. She is studying Marketing & Operations romance.” Management. She is For some, even being mistaken 34th Street’s Audience as mixed–race feels validating. Engagement Director. “If you’re mixed, you’re expected to be prettier. I don’t know why F E B R U A R Y 2 1 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 1 5


FILM & TV

The Movie Wasn't as Good as the Book

We never expect film adaptations to size up to their source material, but what helps them come close? Zovinar Khrimian

It’s not uncommon to feel a small pang of anxiety upon hearing that one of your favorite novels is soon to be adapted for the big screen. On one hand, the immortalization of your favorite stories is obviously very exciting. On the other, the movie could be a total flop, or worse, it could deconstruct and reinterpret the book in a way that strips it of its most effecting literary devices. Some books just aren’t meant for film adaptation, no matter how good they are; others have potential, but aren’t translated with the proper care and artistry, and then, on occasion, a movie will transcend the book from which it was inspired, using the medium of film to enhance the book’s best qualities. In my experience, there’s no greater disappointment when it comes to film adaptation than when a childhood favorite is not done justice at the cinema. The books that stuck with me through my childhood and re-

main the stories that I return to again and again serve as a marker of that time in my life. Whenever one of those stories is to be translated for the big screen, anyone touched by the source material would hope that the filmmakers felt as strongly about the book as they did, and would do all in their power to bring it to life in a way that evokes the same emotions they experienced during that first reading. In 2013, a film adaptation of Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief was released. While the book is written for and about children, the themes the text explores are quite dark, given that the book is set in Nazi Germany. Readers are constantly reminded of the war, death, and poverty that surround the protagonists. In fact, the narrator of The Book Thief is Death itself, who at times pulls back from the narrative and muses philosophically on death’s role in the lives of the characters. None of the darkness that

made the book so affecting, the scrawled cartoons that haunted the pages of the original novel, and the heart–wrenching moral dialogue that made it such an incredible book for young readers were brought to the cinematic adaptation. This pained me. Failing to preserve the tone of the source material was the fundamental flaw here. Books allow for long passages of philosophical discourse and can take breaks from narrative to paint tonal pictures across the landscape of a story. For a PG movie, The Book Thief simply wasn’t able to translate these devices. The Harry Potter franchise, one of the most successful book series adaptations of all time, was able to take on a darker tone as the series progressed. It is true that many of the fantastical details and intricate subplots adored by fans of the books were cut from the film adaptations, but their ability to preserve the feeling and intensity of the books made for

Autumn Powell | Media Director

a respectable batch of satisfying commercial successes. One particularly remarkable adaptation of more recent memory is that of Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel Call Me by Your Name, whose film of the same name came to theaters last November. The reason this adaptation defied expectations is that it was able to translate a novel almost entirely composed of internal monologue and sculpt it into a two–hour film without narration. The director, Luca Guadagnino, and writer, James Ivory, were able to shape the film through meaningful, albeit limited, dialogue, and a particularly effective handling of atmosphere. For instance, the moodiness and unpredictability of the adolescent lead, whose angst was narrated in

first person in the novel, was conveyed through facial expressions, bodily gestures, and a carefully chosen soundtrack. In a book–to–movie adaptation, it isn’t necessarily how closely mirrored the details are across the two forms of storytelling that make the adaptation successful, but rather how the filmmakers used the unique qualities of cinema to rework a beloved story. There are some people who claim that no movie will ever be as good as the book off of which it was based, and perhaps this is true. However, using cinematic devices to achieve the same depth as conveyed through the written word is a feat that only the best adaptations are capable of, and one for which they should be recognized.

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Saranya Sampath | Illustrator

FILM & TV

Black Panther was everything I ever needed. Aside from simply being a beautiful movie with dynamic characters, a perfect soundtrack, and an accompanying Kendrick album, it’s a cultural watershed for the black community. Even now, as I embark on writing this piece, I’m struggling to calm the flood of emotion rising up in my chest. Thinking about it and how it was such a monumental achievement for black people, especially black people in America, is a wave of awareness I’m unfamiliar with. I worry I may never be able to fully express the experience of being black while watching Black Panther. This movie felt like it was for me. The people on the screen looked like me, and they each represented the strength and beauty of blackness in ways I’ve never seen portrayed on the big screen. I’m sure black people all around are sharing this mishmosh of feelings during this strange point in our history. I’m happy, and proud, and in despair, and heart– broken, and tired, and energized all at the same time. Black Panther is thought–provoking in a truly novel way, and I’ll do my best to break some of it down—starting with the villain. In a way, we can all identify with Killmonger. Yes, he’s horrible. He shoots his own girlfriend in cold blood, and we don’t even see him mourn her. But he was created by a flawed system. After being abandoned as a child in a place where he didn’t belong, trapped in a country

'Black Panther':

A Black Cultural Moment Why Marvel's new release felt so personal and true Cass Phanord

where a little black boy is only barely welcome, he morphs into a horrible villain. Are we meant to be surprised by this? We, as a black audience, feel sorry for him because we can identify with him—he’s an angry black man, and justifiably so. His actions and methods are reprehensible, but his arguments make sense. This is a fact that is hard to deny—purposefully so. He’s been looking for somewhere he could be welcome, a place where he would be home. Instead, he walked around, “a kid in Oakland ... believing in fairytales.” Killmonger makes us think about where home really is, and we identify with his search for one. The Black Panther is a very different man, though. The audience sees how good he is again and again; we watch this hurt him again and again. “It’s hard for a good man to be king.” It seems like he’s supposed to represent a nonviolent path to freedom. He’s stern and, in the end, has the same goals as Killmonger. They don’t differ in value, but rather, in method. What we learn from his character is the importance of allyship. As overdone as this is, revolution couldn’t happen alone, and he isn’t successful working alone. It’s only with a strong, loyal team behind him that he can attain his goals, regardless of how powerful he is. Then there’s Wakanda. The concept of an African nation untouched by European colonization is so unbelievably

heart–wrenching. What if my ancestors weren’t torn away from their homes? What if they had the chance to live, thrive, and prosper? Part of me is proud because I know my worth, and I know black people have the potential to be excellent. Part of me is angry because that was stolen from me. There were white people who thought it was their right to own me and people who look like me. I was reminded of how disgusting that is. My people were enslaved and there was no one to help, no way to escape

bondage. Now, in the modern day, we’re still in bondage. People who look like me are scattered all across the world, and they’re suffering because we live in a state where the lines were drawn to benefit the fair–skinned. Structures of power based on color are so deeply embedded into our world that it probably would take a serendipitous hidden African nation and a full–blown revolution to free us. I was shocked by how many unexpected political themes Black

Panther brought up. It made me reflect on my life and the state of the world and my culture today. Black Panther repeatedly tore my heart to pieces and put it back into different shapes. The most heart–wrenching moment in the movie, in my opinion, was probably Killmonger’s death. He makes a powerful choice. It’s a line that’s been echoing in my mind since I watched it for the first time. “Bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors who jumped from ships because they knew death was better than bondage.”

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FILM & TV

Queer Eye: New, Raw, and Necessary Why we need the Queer Eye reboot now more than ever

In Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye, Tan France, the new fashion expert, announces the revival’s mission at the very beginning: “The original show was fighting for tolerance. Our fight is for acceptance.” I have to confess I was initially a little suspicious of this claim. I didn’t believe a formulaic makeover show could do anything to make a meaningful statement on LGBT or American culture in 2018. The good news is, I was wrong. The original Queer Eye, which premiered in 2003, has been hailed as a show that broke ground and helped foster positive attitudes about the LGBT community. However, it always had critics who objected that, at its core, Queer Eye was a show predicated on stereotypes—namely, the stereotype that gay men are more fashionable than straight men, and that the role they’re supposed to serve is that of “sidekicks” or “helpers.” Those who



objected to the first Queer Eye for playing into the “gay best friend” stereotype might be disappointed to see the reboot working off of the same premise. It’s worth noting, however, that the new show makes many important changes. Not

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only is the cast more diverse, but so are the people they try to help—and the issues they tackle in the process. One of the most striking differences is that while the original show was based in New York City, the Fab Five of 2018

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have pushed it further south to Atlanta. They drive around the South, helping an array of men that includes self–professed rednecks, religious fathers, and Trump supporters. You get the sense that the producers have picked makeovers with the most potential for conflict, and in the end, you are always pleasantly surprised by the grace on both sides. “I’ve never hung out with gay guys before,” one car–obsessed bachelor confesses. They respond in turn: “We all have fallen in love with you. I didn’t expect to have this moment with you, but you are such an amazing man.” The divide between gay and straight isn’t the only one the show is interested in reconciling. Sometimes, divisions are simply mentioned to be mocked: when revamping the closet of Neal, an app developer from an Indian–American family, Pakistani–British Tan jokes about immigrant mothers and cricket rivalries. In other moments, these di-

Ana West

vides become serious. There’s an incredibly tense moment where culture expert Kamaro, who is black, is pulled over by a cop who demands that Kamaro step out of the car. Although the officer, Forrest, is later revealed to be pranking them, the moment is used later as a catalyst for reflecting and bonding between the two men in what might be one of the most remarkable moments I’ve ever seen on reality television. The world is different from 2003. There have been many ups for the LGBT community since then, but there is continued pain and misunderstanding. The new Queer Eye is both a celebration of the progress that has been made and a reminder of what needs to come. It is not perfect and politically correct, but it is always well– intentioned. It's a smorgasbord of all of the current trends in reality television—house renovations, makeovers, and cooking combined. It is unabashed fun. It is also, at times, absolutely heart–wrenching. Episodes that end in a gay man coming out to his stepmother or an isolated geek giving a vulnerable thank–you to the Fab Five for helping him through a dark period in his life left the men—and me—in tears. Where you would expect biting snark from a show with Bravo Network’s DNA, the new Queer Eye contains little cattiness. It is all about genuine connection. The new Queer Eye is here to tell us that we live in a divided society, but we can bridge that divide; it is a delight to watch as they do so with makeovers, jokes, and love. Queer Eye is available to stream on Netflix.


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ARTS

Emotive Space:

How Museum Exhibitions Recreate Reality by Design

How the PMA and other exhibitions manipulate space Xinyi Wan David Zhao | Photographer

It was dim and cool in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but I felt giddy. It took me a while to believe that John Singer Sargent’s original "In the Luxembourg Gardens" was indeed inches before me. Eyes wide, mouth wider, I was filled with a sentimental attachment: this was more than a painting. Gazing at the painting, the loose, dashing brushstrokes that so elegantly depicted the garden scene, I sensed spontaneity and closeness. In his casual positioning of the figures and seemingly random choice of setting, I saw a friend in the painting. Artworks like this expand my

transient existence by allowing me to live, for a brief moment, in the grandmasters’ worlds across space and time. If an artwork is a time capsule of another world or an artist’s mental world, a good exhibition is a portal through which I travel into those secret domains. This makes art museums my pilgrimage sites in every city. The Van Gogh’s Bedrooms exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago pulled me into the intimate world of this volatile, neurotic artist. In the two chair paintings, I saw Van Gogh’s understanding of different personalities and interests between Gauguin and himself:

on Gauguin’s elegant walnut armchair he placed a candle and books, while his rustic wooden chair held a humble pipe and tobacco with a box of onions in the background. The curatorial decision of orienting two chairs facing each other further emphasized their conflicts and contrasting temperaments. The exhibition presented a life–size model of his bedroom, in which I felt Van Gogh’s presence—his excitement waiting for Gauguin in this room, and his despair realizing that they could not work together peacefully. It dawned on me that my previous notion of a museum

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was inadequate: a museum is never secondary to the history it records, nor is it just a keeper of the past. The curators actually set our perspectives and perceptions when they recreate their judgment of “reality” through the display planning for each object and the space allocation around it. Design decisions are guided by what to display and why as well as the focus of an exhibition. The storyline informs the amount of space required, the placement of objects, and the sequence in which visitors will move around the exhibition. These all affect visitors’ understanding. Not only interactive installations but also small details like lighting dictate viewers’ engagement and immersion. But at the end of the day, the recreation of what is reality is ultimately inexpressible. It’s an experience that can only be felt first–hand. This is why museums constantly work to rouse visitors’ admiration. On a large wall of the Special Exhibitions section at the PMA, for example, hung eight “Works of Hieronymus Bosch” from the John G. Johnson collection. Johnson thought these pieces were all original works by the artist, but curators and conservators have found over time that only one piece is a true Bosch. Instead of directly telling viewers which one it is, they invite them to take a guess and

then use a fan deck to learn what scholarly and technical research indicates. This instantly engages the audience, whose curiosity can’t fail to be stimulated. Bosch’s popularity also gets conveyed—those copies of his fantastical imagery showed how large a brand name he was. Viewing isolated pictures had become such a modern convention that collectors did not always mind this, but museum staff have worked to reconstruct the setting that gave rise to a group of related paintings. As the John G. Johnson collection says in the preface to the work, “over time their efforts have led to [our] greater understanding of what these various pieces are, where they came from, and how they were made and used.” It requires much effort today to present artworks that are removed from their original context and setting. A good exhibition not only shares the artworks’ aesthetic and historical values with the visitors, but also conveys unique insights into artists, their processes, and their challenges. It is like a portal that takes viewers into a everlasting, hidden world. While each object preserves a specific moment in history, museums are the keeper of our collective memory as a civilization; they enable us to expand our limited lifetime as individuals.


ARTS

How 'Call Me by Your Name' Portrays Art Cinematically Cézanne and Van Gogh have their fingerprints all over the film. Sophie Burkholder

Considered a frontrunner for the 2018 Academy Awards, director Luca Guadagnino’s new film Call Me by Your Name is one of the more powerful and beautiful movies of the year. As with any great movie, it leaves you with that distinct post–movie sense that you actually learned or felt something new. But what makes Call Me by Your Name so different is the way in which it so heavily brings art back into film. Set in a villa of northern Italy in the summer 1983, the plot follows Elio, the son of a professor of archaeology, and his family. The focus quickly shifts to the budding romance between Elio (played by Timothée Chalamet) and his father’s visiting doctoral student, Oliver (played by Armie Hammer). The relationship is tender and beautiful on its own, but Guadagnino enhances these qualities of it with the film’s cinematography. The distinctive feature of this movie is not just its inclusion of artistic elements, but also its application of them. There are too many Nicholas Sparks movies that tell and retell the same love story. In these, the focus is on the

those of the statues that Elio’s father is studying. In one scene, the father comments on the posture of a certain statue to Oliver, giving him a knowing glance as he explains that the torsion of his upper half “dares you to desire it.” It is a comparison between the bodies of Elio and the body of a perfectly sculpted figurine, a parallel of reality and the aesthetic. Most evocative of all, howCatherine Liang | Illustrator ever, is the now–infamous "peach scene" of the movie. After begincouple themselves. And though ning to acknowledge his physical Call Me by Your Name maintains feelings for Oliver, Elio continthis, it also pairs it with interues to explore them via a peach spersed artistic moments of awkfrom one of the backyard trees. wardness that make the relationThis scene is one of the most sugship more tangible and accessible. gestive and sexual of the entire As it is midsummer in Italy, movie, and while any fruit choice the gardens are verdant, the rivprobably would’ve done the trick, ers are a pristine blue, and the the peach has an artistic implicatrees are overflowing with ripe fruit. Each morning, Elio’s family shares breakfasts of citrus and soft–boiled eggs, and each evening, they drink wine in the twilight of their backyard. In these meals and the lush natural setting of the villa’s backyard are overtones of abundance that are reminiscent of a Cézanne still l­ife of peaches. And in the scenes of darkness, there is an ever–present tinge of blue so that the lights of a nearby town almost resemble Van Gogh’s "The Starry Night." Certainly not a coincidence. The summer heat and the cropped clothing of the '80s keep the characters shirtless for a significant amount of the movie. Even when they’re fully clothed, their outfits are loose and billowy. But this exposure allows for a comparison between the human bodies of the main characters and

tion. In art and writing dating all the way back to ancient China, the peach has been a symbol of homosexuality and love. Even today, the peach emoji maintains an erotic connotation. This piece of fruit becomes a tangible connection between Elio and Oliver, especially after the latter takes a bite out of it himself. The beauty behind Call Me by Your Name is inherent in its cinematography. It’s the final summation of each small element that brings a natural power to the relationship of Elio and Oliver in the spirit of romantic English poets like Keats. Guadagnino further enforces the development of this power by filming the movie chronologically, building the emotional momentum toward the tragic fireplace scene at the

end. But it’s the artistic focus on the sway of the peach trees, the glide of bodies through water, and the soft turn of a page blown by the wind that make the romance of this movie so beautiful. This film is dripping in desire and overtly sexual in its various forms of symbolism, but it’s also about self–discovery, excitement, and regret. We get to follow Elio in not only finding his sexuality, but also gathering confidence as he transitions from adolescence to adulthood. It doesn’t give you the happy ending you crave, but instead moves you with a motivating final speech from Elio’s father about the importance of feeling something over nothing, even if that means deep pain and sadness.

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ARTS

Behind the Work-Study Students in the Arts Plot Twist: An Artist Makes Money There’s this stereotype of the artist: someone who works in a cramped studio of an attic, the room lit only by a single beam of natural sunlight, and clad in a smock splattered with paint. The artist is hungry, but the passion is there. But work–study students are doing away with this starving artist stereo-

type. Filling the fridge isn’t the only benefit of working in an arts–related field; arts communities at Penn tend to be tightknit, and working within them is a way to both be a part of and support the community. As a freshman, Colleen Kutcher (C ’20) found a home in Platt after doing PennArts,

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a pre–orientation program. With a background in theater, it was there that Colleen attended workshops in dance, theater, film, and singing. “For a week, I basically lived at Platt before I knew where anything else on campus was, so through that I found kind of a home at Platt,” she says. It wasn’t until after her freshman year, though, that Colleen found out she could be a work–study student at her first home. Now, she works in marketing, publicizing the different performances. She also helps with the upkeep of the facilities to make it more enjoyable for the students, otherwise called “Platt Rats,” who find themselves camped out there doing homework or hanging out with friends. Despite the positive environment, arts related work– studies remain fairly obscure. As a webmaster and program assistant at the Kelly Writers House, Becca Lambright (C ‘19) says, “People are really intimidated by the Writers House. A lot of people don’t really know what goes on there, or I’ll have friends who I’ll have come meet me there, and they don’t realize that it ever existed. Maybe because they think of it as some weird, secluded artist place, but really it’s like anyone can hang out there.” The diversity of positions is also a well–kept secret, as Becca says that people “are always really surprised when I say I’m a webmaster, just because they just assume that because it says Writers House that there’s nothing tech–related that goes on in it.” And it’s not as if every student working for the different po-

Elizabeth Lemieux

sitions enter knowing how to code and are interested in the arts: Becca herself didn’t know how to code in the beginning. After she was hired, the Kelly Writers House paid for her to take a course so that she could better assist the community. It’s a perfect example of how arts work– studies at Penn provide new, relevant skills for those involved. Now, she’s in charge of everything from web design, creating calendars, and helping out with the almost nightly readings. Other students have also used tech as an entry point into arts. GSE student Lauren Matarazzo works in the Photography and Video

Becca Lambright

Equipment Room. Although she’s studying education and was initially hesitant to state that she works in the arts, Lauren says, “I’ve learned a lot about the equipment that we have, I’ve also made friends with the people that work here, and now I’m actually taking a class in the Fine Arts department.” Having taken an introductory photography course, Lauren is able to further the skills she acquired through her work. While arts related positions might seem hard to find and difficult to apply to real life, at the end of the day, arts–related work–study is an ideal role to combine creativity, community, and practicality.

Photo courtesy of Isabella Zapata


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