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magazine of the students of

the university of miami

december 2015


magazine of the students of

the university of miami

december 2015



magazine of the students of

the university of miami

december 2015


THE GUIDE 5 Appetite for Aesthetics Maria Hernandez

8 Speciality Gyms Allison Chin

9 Bookstores for Bibliophiles Asmae Fahmy

10 Museums in Miami Melissa Ostroff

IN THE LOOP 12 Perfect Holiday Party Rori Kotch

14 UM is #artsy Annalise Iraola

15 Indie Theatres Jamila Wright

16 Why is Everyone Trying to be a D.J.? Jorge Chabo

18 Boats & Bros Joe Gray & Rori Kotch

20 Sick Rides

Thomas Huerter

22 Different Sports You Need to Try Kendall Eisenberg

ART BASEL 24 ArtWalk is Overrated Lexi Williams

26 A Dummie’s Guide to Art Basel Marissa Vonesh

30 Fun Pop-Ups Morgan Meehan

31 Trendy Spots Near the Art

MAIN EVENT 51 New Technology that is Changing the Game Lynley Evans

Alexis Kesselman

55 Sex Uncensored


Alexis McDonald & Lexi Williams

34 Learning a Second Language Lizzie Wilcox

36 Meditation Asmae Fahmy

37 Pseudoscience Mercedes Espina

38 A New Spin on Fitness Lexi Williams

FASHION 40 Organized Kaos Miguel Rodriguez Clark & Hollie Pollack

49 Grow it & Show it Lexi Williams

58 Rich Kids of UM Chelsey Sellars

64 Holiday Gift Guide Melissa Ostroff

66 Student Profiles Lexi Williams

68 End notes

Alexis McDonald


december 2015

from the


“Geogia O’Keefe.”

Editor-in-Chief_Rori Kotch Executive Editor_Lexi Williams Managing Editor_Asmae Fahmy Co-Art Directors_Claudia Fernandes‐Hernandez & Allie Pakrosnis Photo Editor_Valentina Escotet Assistant Art Directors_Jess Clavero, Celeste Escotet & Christina Riccardi Assistant Photo Editor_Sidney Sherman & Olivia Stauber Copy Chief_Madison Cramer “Édouard Manet.” Assistant Copy Chief_Diana Rodon Voice Editor_Erin Fischer The Guide Editor_Julie Harans In The Loop Editor_Chelsey Sellars Health and Wellness Editor_Mary Selep “Andy Warhol.” Fashion Editors_Miguel Rodriguez Clark & Hollie Pollak The Main Event Editor_Jamie Servidio Public Relations Managers_Hannah Bursack Assistant PR Manager_Ava Taylor Business Manager_Kendall Eisenberg Faculty Adviser_Randy Stano

“Juan Luna.”


“Edward Hopper.”

Online Editorial Coordinator_Renee Perez Online Managing Editor_Veronica Lopez Online Copy Chief_Chidera Anugwom Entertainment Blog Editor_Brandon Carusillo Food Blog Editor_Rachel Cox-Rosen Online Fashion Editor_Nicole Echevarria Student Life Blog Editor_ Kamila Knaudt Sports Blog Editor_ Brandon Carusillo Travel Blog Editor_ Thalia Garcia Videographer_ Justina Coronel Social Media Editor_Rachel Watkins Assistant Social Media Editor_ Maggie Secor


ASSISTING FACULTY Bruce Garrison Sam Terilli Tsitsi Wakhisi

When it comes to contributors, we’re not picky. Whether you’ve found your niche in a bio book, you’re notorious for doing “nothing” at the comm or business school or you’re halfway into your college career and still wave that “undeclared major” flag, we want to hear what you have to say. Distraction is written for students, by students, and covers the full spectrum of student life here at The U. If you want to get involved or have any questions, e-mail our editor-in-chief, Rori Kotch, at The magazine is produced four times per year, twice a semester. City Graphics and Bellack Miami printed 5,000 copies of the magazine on 8.5 x 11 inch, 60-pound coated text paper 4/4. The entire magazine is printed four-color and perfect bound. Most text is nine-point Minion Pro with 1.8 points of leading set ragged with a combination of bold, medium and italic. All pages were designed using Adobe Creative Suite CC software InDesign with photographs and artwork handled in Photoshop and Illustrator. For additional information, please visit Questions and comments can be mailed to 1330 Miller Drive, Student Media Suite 200, Coral Gables, FL, 33146, dropped into SAC Student Media Suite Suite 200 or emailed to All articles, photographs and illustrations are copyrighted by the University of Miami.

Art Basel is literally my Christmas. When December rolls around, I instantly become a child– fangirling over famous artists, planning my daily schedules and laying out my clothes the night before in order to get dressed at lightning speed. I know a lot of UM students don’t quite feel the same way, but we’re here to let you in on the fantastical wonderland that is Miami Art Week, and if that’s not your thing, then to explore the Miami culture and what makes it so unique. If you’re new to the whole Art Week thing, this is your chance to learn all about it in just one sitting. We’ve laid it all out for you, from the actual Art Basel to the satellite shows that surround it. Read more about what all the hype is about starting on page 21 in our special Art Basel section. As for Miami, what makes it so special? For one thing, students can go boating just about any week of the year, which is pretty cool, if you ask us. Read more on the boating culture in Joseph Gray’s article on page 18. We all know walking through the breezeway is basically one of the worst things ever. Who knew avoiding eye contact could be so hard? Yes, we all hate accepting the flyers we feel almost obligated to take, but some of the clubs in the breezeway are pretty cool– especially the ones related to the arts. Did you know that UM has a symphonic wind ensemble? I didn’t… Whether you like it or not, we all know UM can be #artsy, so read more about all the awesome opportunities in Annalise Iraola’s story on page 14. Additionally, if you’ve ever walked through a parking lot at UM, you have probably seen a whole lot of fancy cars (page 54), designer clothes and more. Not only is this school expensive, it’s also located in a flashy city. So it’s only natural that if you’ve got money, you’re probably going to show it. Hence, the rich kids of UM. They’re in your classes, clubs and just walking around campus. Read more about them in Chelsey Sellars’ story on page 58. Basically, I am just excited for Art Basel. So, get #distracted from the stress of finals and check it out. You won’t regret it.


magazine of the students of

the university of miami

december 2015

magazine of the students of

art direction_celeste escotet, claudia fernandes & rori kotch. photo_valentina escotet. We don’t really know what art is, but we tried to make it ourselves. On our cover, we wanted to delve into the art world headfirst with a gold spraypainted chocolate bar, because that’s art, right? What really is modern art? Nowadays, it seems like anything could be art if you put a




the university of miami

december 2015

nametag or label on it. We like chocolate and we like gold, so why not combine the two? While we wanted to eat the chocolate after the shoot, we decided it was probably best if we didn’t, you know, ‘cause of the spray paint...You just wait, next year we’ll be at Basel.

art direction_claudia fernandes, rori kotch & allie pakrosnis. photo_valentina escotet. We decided to go grunge for our fashion shoot and do a urban, hip-hop sort of style. Our models are from KAOS, UM’s very own hip-hop dance crew. Our photo editor, Valentina Escotet, found an abandoned train station in the middle of Miami, and knew we had to shoot there.


Let’s be real though, the shoot day was a mess due to Miami’s infamous crazy weather patterns (thanks Mother Nature). In the end, the shoot came out perfectly. Thank you, KAOS, for believing in us! Want to get involved with KAOS? Shoot them an email at

Corrections appearing in print in October 2015 are as follows: Coolest Lounges was written by George Read and Restaurants With The Best Live Music was written by Morgan Meehan.


photo_valentina escotet.





The Guide



words_maria hernandez. photo_valentina escotet. design_claudia fernandes.

Coral Gables, known as the City Beautiful, stands out as a community that blends details, colors and Mediterranean architectural style. The neighborhood is also home to a variety of beautiful restaurants that feature all types of cuisines.

Crema Gourmet


This espresso bar, located on Miracle Mile, is locally owned and thus operates with customer satisfaction in mind. The extensive menu has everything from smoothies to sandwiches and salads and, of course, espressos. It’s perfect for grabbing a quick bite or enjoying a cup of coffee while doing some work. The wooden details on the walls and display of coffee makers and beans lend the place a classic café vibe. Crema Gourmet’s décor also includes inspiring posters and a chalkboard with graffiti featuring the store’s current deals. The lighting is perfect for an Instagram pic of your foamy cappuccino, and the background music is relaxing and calm– never too loud or distracting. If you purchase a coffee before 2 p.m., you get another for half off anytime before closing time, making all day study sessions a lot cheaper.

If you haven’t tried Akashi’s famous Alex #2 Roll, do you even live in Miami? The small and cozy Japanese restaurant serves delicious sushi rolls and other specialties. The interior has simple black tables and chairs, but what stands out here is the huge fish tank located in the back. You’ll be so mesmerized by all the beautiful colors, you’ll forget you’re even waiting for your food.

169 Miracle Mile R40

5830 S. Dixie Hwy.

Gables Juice Bar & Muscle Pizza 230 Almeria Ave.

This tiny juice bar’s atmosphere is contained in a small space; the walls are covered with music posters and mementos from legends such as the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Adorned with beautifully handcrafted chandeliers, this restaurant has a cozy, intimate feel to it.



To have an extraordinary meal, a few things are necessary. Good company and highquality food are major factors, but ambiance is just as essential. When a restaurant’s décor and overall appearance is appealing, it can really enhance the dining experience. Thankfully, neighborhoods such as Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Brickell and Wynwood offer ideal environments to accompany the delicious meals on the menus. The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION



In the middle of Miami lies Coconut Grove, best known for its green landscape bordered by the scenic Biscayne Bay waters that create a relaxed and charming atmosphere.

In Brickell and the downtown area, the views shift from palm trees to architectural masterpieces. Brickell offers a multicultural, urban neighborhood experience where skyscrapers and banyan trees meet.

Peacock Garden Café

Tinta y Café

2889 McFarlane Road

This casual restaurant attracts tourists and locals alike. Its French-style garden makes the space seem tranquil and secluded, putting customers at ease. The food just tastes better in this type of atmosphere– and the mimosas don’t hurt, either. Peacock Garden Café has rustic and simple trees, plants, and tables. Pieces of Miami and the Grove’s history can be found in the pictures that decorate the walls alongside Mason-jar lamps.

Strada in the Grove 3176 Commodore Plaza

This quiet Italian eatery is perfect for a peaceful lunch break or even a private, romantic dinner. The minimalistic yet rustic décor gives this place a classic, sophisticated atmosphere that sets it apart from some of the other flashy, “look-at-me” restaurants in the city.

Green Street Cafe 3468 Main Highway

This cafe fosters a friendly atmosphere in both its intimate interior and sunny outdoor seating. Though its best known for breakfast (if you haven’t tried their lemon ricotta pancakes, you’re missing out), the environment also draws customers with its plush red couches, golden chandeliers and brick walls. There’s a mirror with the quote “Where there is love there is life,” and the outdoor dining area is just as enjoyable with lights draping trees. STRADA IN THE GROVE at Commodore Plaza



The Guide

Village Portico, 268 S.W. Eighth St.

Brickell runs on coffee, and the best cortadito is found here. The flan is worth the extra hours of calorie burning at the gym– trust us. If you’re rushing to class, there is an outdoor walk-up window to get your goodies on the go. But if you have some time to kill, take a seat inside and enjoy the local art. Tinta y Café is cozy and creates a sense of belonging. It has several bar stools, sofas and tables decorated by a shelf stashed with books and antique cameras.


83 S.W. Eighth St.

Sure, Toasted may deliver some of the best hangover food you’ve ever eaten, but the real experience comes when you get yourself out of bed and actually make it to the restaurant. Sure, you’ll have to fight the crowds and maybe even wait a while to get a table, but there’s a reason it’s so popular. The exposed brick facade is a standout among the industrial-style buildings that surround it.

PM Fish and Steak House 1453 S. Miami Ave.

This upscale South American restaurant features brick and wooden touches as well as scenic pictures lining the walls and beautiful statues hidden away. The high ceiling and circular staircase only add to the sophistication.



We live in a city of endless options. With such a melting pot of cultures and highend tastes, sometimes making choices in the city can be difficult. If you’re looking for a cool place to get a drink, we’ve got you covered. Here are our suggestions not only for where to go, but also what to get.

For the artsy souls, there’s no doubt Wynwood is the place to be. Galleries, colorful walls and quotes on the sidewalks give the area its unique vibe.


2751 N. Miami Ave.

E l Tu c á n

The epitome of Miami’s fusion-food fever, Suviche offers the perfect blend of sushi and ceviche with a pisco bar as the cherry on top. Obviously, anything with pisco in it is worth the sin. It’s small, cute and trendy. The outdoor seating includes swings with pillows for comfortable lounging as well as a bar. The walls are decorated with graffiti art, which goes hand in hand with the surrounding area.

This new Brickell hotspot brings back the old-timey extravagance of Cuban culture. Featuring a cabaret-style “dinner and a show,” El Tucán has all the vintage charm you could possibly want. To really go for the authentic experience, order the old-fashioned.

Panther Coffee 3407 Main Hwy

H ave n

The epicenter of Wynwood is, of course, Panther Coffee, one of the coolest coffee shop in Miami. The vintage and artsy decorations inside transform the atmosphere of the whole place into something amazing. Plus, the coffee, brewed on-site in a vintage roaster with beans from selected farms all over the world, makes the whole shop smell nothing short of heavenly.

Listed on Thrillist’s 13 Most Beautiful Bars in Miami, Haven is the ultimate “Miami” sports bar. With blue and red lighting and ultra-modern décor, Haven is one of those spots that you need to be cool enough just to walk in. Of course, you must get the signature drink, the Haven Mule, while you’re there.

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar 2550 N.W. Second Ave.

If you want to dine in a place that’s just as beautiful as its food, look no further. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar’s dining room features abstract and futuristic paintings by artists Christian Awe and Santiago Rubino, with a bar embellished with lively murals. Outside, there’s the famed Wynwood Walls, a perfect setting to enjoy the delicious Latin-inspired dishes.

Coyo Ta co By now, you know this isn’t just the place to get really dank Mexican bites. Get through the back door and you’ll find yourself in a funky speakeasy with all of the fine tequila your liver can handle. While you’re at it, you might as well go for the full effect and get yourself a frozen margarita (spoiler alert: it comes with a popsicle).


R hy t h m a n d Vi n e

*distraction does not support underage drinking

Sure, this one’s in Ft. Lauderdale, but we wouldn’t include this on the list if we didn’t think it was worth the drive. It’s a beer garden, so obviously you’re going to want to snag a beer or two (or 10– hey, we’re not judging). The Thearts arts&&culture cultureissue issue DISTRACTION DISTRACTION 77

TO DO Green Monkey 1430 Madruga Ave., Suite 116, Coral Gables

Don’t consider yoga a workout? You may be doing it wrong. One class at this studio will revolutionize your take on this age-old practice. You will learn new things about your body and mind while strengthening your arms, core and legs in the process. Yoga is a globally influenced tradition of total well-being, and Green Monkey will leave you with a feeling of clarity, empowerment and growth. Xtreme Rock Climbing


13972 S.W. 139th Ct., Miami

THE NEW WAY TO WORK OUT? words_allison chin. photo_calisthenics academy. design_claudia fernandes.

Still trying to achieve that perfect South Beach bod, but sick and tired of fighting for an elliptical at the Wellness Center? Don’t worry– you’re not alone. Geared toward your personal interests, these specialty fitness centers offer twists on classic exercises to break your sweat and your routine. They provide a unique workout experience that’ll have you motivated and coming back for more every time. Each session will push you to your limit, and we bet you’ll be surprised by what your body can do. Calisthenics Academy


1825 West Ave., Unit 7, Miami Beach

Discover your full potential at Calisthenics Academy and engage in a creative, challenging, total-body workout led by world-renowned Barstarzz instructor Chris Heria alongside other certified personal trainers. This minimalistic gym is the perfect spot to achieve optimum personal fitness while participating in group classes, personal training or open floor sessions. Located in Miami Beach, this facility is even frequented by various celebrities such as Gonzalo Vivanco, Monica Noguera and Ibrahim Ashemimry.



The Guide

Ninja Lounge

3183 S.W. 38th Ct., Coconut Grove

14401 N.E. 20th Lane, North Miami

We all know what it’s like to wake up Sunday morning and wonder whether you went clubbing last night or took a gutsn-butts class without realizing it. If you’re into the dance workout scene, Vixen is the perfect outlet to unleash your inner dancer in an energetic workout session guided by Vixen warriors. If you love to drop it low but aren’t the most coordinated, you can safely bust out your craziest moves with the lights off and sweat out that doughnut you had earlier in the day. Who doesn't love a dance party?

Embrace your inner child when you step into this indoor playground. The recreational facility features an array of trampolines and an obstacle course nearly as extreme as the one featured on “America Ninja Warrior.” This cardiovascular workout will leave you feeling detoxed and energized. Plus, it will save your limbs by decreasing the impact on them by up to 80 percent compared to traditional workout methods. All you have to do is bounce!

ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN Refuel with a post-workout snack at one of these healthy spots: JUGO FRESH: 2516 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables

JUCY LU 2621 NW 2nd Ave., Miami

CHOICES CAFE 2626 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables

At this unique gym, you’ll unleash your inner monkey– and we mean that in the best way possible. This highly-rated facility allows you to climb along its walls and roof, which amount to more than 14,00 square feet. Let loose and channel your inner primate in this totalbody, intense workout. Miami Free Running Academy 8284 N.W. 66th St., Miami

If you’ve always wanted to join the parkour movement but aren’t quite ready to jump off of buildings, check out the first free-running parkour establishment in the state of Florida. This facility allows for full expression of the physical body. Don’t know any tricks? Come in and get trained. Already got a few up your sleeve? Come in and show off what you’ve got. Whether you’re a pro or a first-timer, you just may get hooked on the frenzy.

BOOKSTORES for BIBLIOPHILES words_asmae fahmy. photo_chloe glenn. design_claudia fernandes.

There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a bookstore– the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the hushed voices of Dickinson, Dostoevsky and Dickens whispering from the lines of shelves, the texture of worn-out paper, the stories floating inside. Miami’s bookstores tend to have a different binding, though. There’s the new and digitized (Barnes and Noble and their Nook, aka traditional readers’ worst nightmare), and the classic and quaint, where if you crease a page too much it might fall from its seams. Bibliophiles, read on.

The Bookstore in the Grove 3390 Mary St. #166, Coconut Grove

Injected into the walls that at one time held a Borders (rest in peace), this indie bookstore features an astonishing array of new and used books in an environment that boasts community camaraderie. Owners Felice Dubin and Sandy Francis are especially interactive with fellow book enthusiasts, offering their own touches of personal recommendations and advice. It’s known as the best indie bookstore in Miami, and with its computer lab, book club and computer repair service, you can understand why. Plus, there’s a café that boasts all-organic ingredients, allowing you to get lost in a writer’s work from a far away time while munching on delicious treats that didn’t come from too far away. Books & Books

265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables

TASCHEN MIAMI on Lincoln Road

Books & Books epitomizes the genre of the traditional neighborhood bookstore, bordering on more of a community center than a place to walk into, purchase a book in and leave. The store features around 60 author events each month– Leonard Pitts Jr., Chelsea Clinton and Sharon Millar are just a few well known visitors– to add a customized inscription and firsthand account of the novels you’re devoutly reading. Three Miami locations expand their facilities to a wider quantity of zip codes, and all locations include a café that serves quality, farm-to-table meals.


1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach

For a more modern, artsy bookstore (because this is the arts and culture issue, after all) enter Taschen, where shelves are sprawled with art and design titles that tend to be splayed out in Brickell coffee shops and chaise lounges in South Beach. Fierce blue and orange striped walls store a collection of eccentric and cultured novels, such as “20th Century Classic Cars,” “AllAmerican Ads of the 40s” and “Fashion Designers A-Z,” allowing photography, fashion and music aficionados to find their niche here. Fifteenth Street Books

296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables

Most used bookstores flaunt the hand-me-down versions of teen novels from the early 2000s, but rarely do they possess the ambiance that the dust-coated covers of rare or treasured antiques give to a place. Fifteenth Street Books carries treasures within their own right– collectibles, limited-edition prints, first editions and more. Art is heavily emphasized inside, with detailed reproductions from Palladio to Pollock available for purchase. The dimly lit floor-to-ceiling wooden shelves recall a scene from a Bronte novel, taking you deep into a place where stories never run out and the written word trails off the page and follows you afterward.

The battle between paper and screen is at its peak, with devout followers of each form of storytelling grimacing at the idea of ever converting to the other. But we’ll remain neutral on the topic and acknowledge that each has its own set of unique benefits.

BOOKS & BOOKS in Coral Gables



Classical folks, celebrate: a study found that reading in print enhances comprehension compared to reading digitally. Readers were also able to recall more information, probably due to their ability to physically track their progress. Plus, of course, there’s the added bonus of being able to mark your books and hand them down, something no Kindle-user can do.

The beauty of E-books is you can take your whole library with you when you travel, instead of having to squeeze heavy hardcovers in your carry-ons. You can also read whatever you want without having passerbys know the title, so I guess that’s good for you, “Fifty Shades” fans. And, having a definition appear when you touch a word helps enhance vocabulary, so you won’t have to abuse a thesaurus when writing your essays. The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION


TO DO Bass Museum of Art 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

words_melissa ostroff. photo_gammon koval. design_claudia fernandes.

Miami is a hub of cultural diversity, making it the ideal city to explore various interests and backgrounds. With so many different museums, though, finding the ones that are worth your time and money is easier said than done. Some museums are extremely well known and attract visitors from around the globe, but don’t forget to check out some of the lesser-known museums, too. Jewish Museum of Florida 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach Located in a beautiful Art Deco synagogue in Miami Beach, this museum has a great exhibit called MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida, which details the Jewish history in Florida over the last 250 years. This intricately designed synagogue hosted the first ever Miami Beach Jewish Congregation. The museum’s beautiful architecture is adorned with more than 80 stained glass windows, making it the perfect window for viewing Jewish history in Florida. Gold Coast Railroad Museum 12450 S.W. 152nd St., Miami Ever wanted to learn a thing or two about historic railroad cars and the fascinating stories that accompany them? Then check out this museum, which features vehicles as famous as President Franklin Roosevelt’s private railroad car. With all these museum visits, we bet your feet are getting pretty sore– lucky for you, Gold Coast lives up to its theme and offers train rides inside the museum! What better way to experience their interactive Thomas the Tank Engine tables than by riding along? Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center 1465 S.W. Eighth St., Unit 106, Miami Part live music venue, part museum, this spot in Little Havana will give you an authentic look at Cuban culture. Featuring the largest collection of Cuban art from between 1800 and 1956, Cubaocho seamlessly incorporates historical and modern exhibits.


Whether you want to learn about art from 500 years ago or browse more contemporary exhibits, this museum has something for everyone. Be sure to check out their vast collection of tapestries and altarpieces from the 19th century, which is a must-see when visiting Bass. Aside from the awesome art, you can also catch lectures, films, performances and any of the other insightful educational programs offered at the museum. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens 3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami Did you know that a magnificent mansion listed as a United States National Historic Landmark is located just five miles away from the University of Miami? An American industrialist built the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens back in the early 20th century, complete with 34 rooms, 2,500 art pieces and 25 acres of forests, all of which have housed notable people such as Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II. The mansion represents the enormous wealth and prosperity that abounded in the Gilded Age, leaving its visitors awestruck by its pure extravagance. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the great views of Biscayne Bay. Pérez Art Museum Miami 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami One of the most popular museums amongst students at the University of Miami, the PAMM always has new, Instagram-worthy exhibits. Featuring eye-catching contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries by the likes of Duchamp and Seagal– just to name a few– this isn’t your typical art museum experience. PAMM also makes significant efforts to engage the surrounding community and get visitors excited about art. People travel from across the world to see this museum, and it’s sitting in your backyard, so make this your next weekend adventure.


Ready to report? JOIN THE MIAMI HURRICANE! Come write, edit, design, sell ads, or shoot photos and videos for us. To see all available positions and to apply, visit:

words_rori kotch. design_claudia fernandes.


hen you think of the holidays, your first thought should be snow... just kidding– we live in Miami. But what Miami lacks in those magical December flurries, we make up for in great themed parties. It’s the holiday season, which means ugly sweaters, eggnog cocktails and cinnamon spiced everything. Basically, throwing a holiday party is the best idea since maybe ever, so take advantage of all of the holiday cheer and do it up before you go out of town for winter break.

12 DISTRACTION In the Loop

But throwing any party, let alone a themed one, is hard work, so we’ve got you covered. From the food to the drinks and attire– we’ve got it all! The only thing you have to worry about is the guest list, and then you’ll have a party. If you’re 21, congrats, you can participate in lifting your “spirits” to a whole new level. If not, well, who says you need alcohol to have fun, right? Just grab some candy canes and embrace the sugar high. Check out our simple guide to throwing the ultimate party that your friends won’t stop talking about until after New Year’s.



Eggnog is always delicious, but it’s time to try something new, and there’s no better time than now, amirite? Share a cup of easy-tomake, microwaved mulled cider with your friends (given that they’re of age). Tell everyone it’s your own secret recipe and get ready for the compliments to roll in.

At your party, holiday fruitcakes will be a thing of the past. Update this classic by recreating the cake but as cookies instead. Make any old sugar cookie recipe and throw in some chopped pistachios and cranberries. Dust with powdered sugar and consume.

1. Combine 1 cup of apple juice, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 dash of ground cinnamon, 1 dash of ground nutmeg, 1 dash of ground cloves and 1 dash of allspice in a microwave-safe cup 2. Microwave on high for 2 minutes 3. Pour in 1 shot of spiced rum to spike it 4. Serve! If spicy isn’t your thing, then you might want to consider something minty. If peppermint reminds you of the dentist’s office, fear not. Trust us– mint is for drinks, too. This ultimate holiday drink goes by the name the Hot Patty. 1. Whisk 2 cups of whole milk, 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons of chocolate liqueur, a drop of peppermint extract and an optional shot of whiskey in a saucepan over medium heat 2. Top with whipped cream and a marshmallow 3. Serve!

1. Make any sugar cookie recipe or mix 2. Chop pistachios and add them into the mix 3. Throw some craisins in there too 4. Bake 5. Serve!

ATTIRE Pop some tags at your nearest thrift store to obtain the ugliest and most cheerful sweater you can find. Grandma chic just became a whole lot more fun. If looking like an ‘80s Christmas card isn’t your kind of thing, throw a sophisticated get-together for a group of your closest friends instead. Allow each person to bring a plus-one, because what’s more fun than a date party? Side note, exclusivity makes the party even more classy– print out invitations and hand-deliver them to your party people.

The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 13

WYNWOOD WALLS is the best place in Miami to enjoy street art. This protected mural was found at the back of Wynwood walls.

words_annalise iraola. photo_chloe glenn. design_rori kotch.


niversity of Miami: Where the ducks and prestigious students come to play. But sift through the schoolwork, internships and the ever-dwindling social lives of these Canes and you’ll find a more #artsy UM. Sophomore Julia Mercedes is part of UM’s Symphonic Winds. With around 50 people, Symphonic Winds is one of The Frost School of Music’s seven large ensembles that entertain students with concerts on campus throughout the school year. “At Miami, you can really explore your outlets. If you come in classical, you go into jazz,” said Mercedes. She’s been a musician for 14 years and has explored her passion playing the bassoon at UM, which she’s been mastering since 2006. “It’s such a personal growth– you’re constantly learning. It’s really about pushing yourself to be better,” said Mercedes.  The theme of individually pushing yourself is evident across all creative talents, especially at The U. “Most of us have to balance work, school and rehearsal schedules; it’s best to be as flexible as possible with whatever you’re doing,” said graduate student Jenna Lorusso, a vocal performance major. She continues to study classical music at UM and is in Opera Theatre, while simultaneously working as a

14 DISTRACTION In the Loop

teacher’s assistant at Frost. Regardless of our majors, we are all busy. Everyone you talk to is doing their best to balance their personal orchestra of work, fun and health. For sophomore Maddie DeGrange, this couldn’t be more accurate. You’ve probably seen her perform if you’ve ever been to a UM sporting event– she’s a Hurricanette. She’s been dancing since she was three years old and she now loves being a part of the action at The U. “We always dance with the band; we’re technically a pom line but jazz and hip-hop are in all of our dances. Oh, and a lot of hair flipping,” she said. As a biology major, DeGrange knows the importance of time management. “You

“MOST OF US HAVE TO BALANCE WORK, SCHOOL AND REHEARSAL SCHEDULES” have to take time to breathe. Practice can sometimes seem arduous, but finding the joy in it makes it a lot easier,” she said. It seems like some UM students wouldn’t stop to breathe if they didn’t absolutely have to. Junior Christian Padron, a member of the Miami Classical Guitar Ensemble, recognizes the importance of time management when it comes to his art.“Nothing seems impossible, but when you’re limited to the hours in the day– subtract sleep and showering– it depends on how hard you hit it,” he said. Padron just transferred from Miami International University of Art and Design and loves all the outlets for expression that UM has to offer. “UM has a bunch of resources; they’re really cool and easy to access,” he said. “A lot of schools don’t have their own entire music library.”

Located right next to the Frost School of Music is the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. Named after a legendary UM alumnus, the Ring Theatre is currently in its 77th year of production. “Saturday Night,” cowritten by brothers Philip G. and Julius J. Epstein, just wrapped at The Ring Theatre on Nov. 21. The next production to be shown at The Ring will be “As You Like It,” a play written by William Shakespeare, which will run from Feb. 17-27. The box office is open every Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and tickets can also be purchased online. Prices range from $25 for regular admission, $22 for tickets for seniors and UM faculty, staff and alumni, and $10 for students. The Ring Theatre has a “Totally Free Totally Tuesday” for each production on– you guessed it– Tuesdays. All students need to get into a show for free are their Cane Cards, so there’s no reason to not come by and check out a show!

Indie Theaters words_jamila wright. design_christina riccardi.

Feeling artsy and looking to see some great independent films? There are plenty of great independent theaters in Miami waiting to be discovered.

TOWER THEATER 1508 SW Eighth St., Miami Miami Dade College’s Tower Theater, one of the oldest cultural landmarks in Miami, was founded in 1926. The Tower Theater is located in the heart of Little Havana on Calle Ocho and is known for showing foreign language independent films. Today, not only can you catch a great foreign film there, but you can also attend the Miami International Film Festival in the spring, usually during spring break. It’s currently showing films ranging from an American documentary about Misty Copeland to a Chinese film titled “The Assassin.” You’re bound to find an independent film made just for you at Tower Theater.

CORAL GABLES ART CINEMA 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables Though the Coral Gables Art Cinema is one of the newest independent film theaters in the Miami area, it still provides the indie vibe. The Coral Gables Art Cinema specializes in American independent feature and international films. Some are fiction, documentary or classic films that you won’t be able to catch at your local AMC or Regal Theater. Its HD theater-quality sound and stadium seating makes the Coral Gables Art Cinema one of the most comfortable places in the South Florida area to enjoy 16 and 35-millimeter films

that are as beautiful as they are unique. You can catch a movie at the Coral Gables Art Cinema any day of the week for about the same price that you would pay at your regular theater, but with the pleasure of watching an indie film so close to campus!

MIAMI BEACH CINEMATHEQUE 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach Built in 1927 in the Historic City Hall on South Beach, the Miami Beach Cinematheque is one of the premier art houses in Miami that strive to give an alternative to the commercial cinematic experience. It’s the only indie theater on our list that’s on South Beach. It’s located inside an Art Deco building, so it has that funky SoBe vibe. The Miami Beach Cinematheque is home to the Miami Beach Film Society and was recently renovated to include a screening room, a bookstore/ library, café and an art gallery. Whether you want to see guest speakers’ lectures on film or attend Miami premieres of Cannes Film Festival’s winning films, there’s something at this theater for everyone.

BILL COSFORD CINEMA 5030 Brunson Drive, Coral Gables We can’t talk about indie theaters and not mention Cosford. If you’re on a budget and want to see independent and classic films for free, check out Cosford Cinema’s website to view its variety of films. There’s always a huge selection of films available to watch right on campus with your friends. There’s sure to be something showing on campus that you’ll want to see!

Blue Starlite Drive-In Theater 2476 S. Bayshore Drive, Miami If you’re looking for a retro feel to add to your movie-going experience, check out Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In in Kennedy Park. Blue Starlite takes about 15-50 cars per night so that every customer gets the attention they deserve. It specializes in indie films, childhood classics and pop culture favorites. An experience at Blue Starlite includes specialty concessions that you can’t find at a commercial theater.


Michelle Leshem gets the party started with her mixer board. Her sick beats set the tone for an awesome night.


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words_jorge chabo. photo_valentina escotet. design_claudia fernandes.

At first there were a few lone wolves who dominated the Disk Jockey brand like Laidback Luke and D.J. Obscene. Now, with events such as Ultra Music Festival and radio stations like Evolution 93.5 making their mark in Miami, the EDM movement is clearly on the rise. But what makes a D.J. a good D.J.? Lately, it seems like anybody who has a “passion for music” and a cheap soundboard thinks they’re the next Diplo. Speaking of D.J. names, you’d think these creative gurus would put a little more thought into their stage names. They could learn a thing or two from our very own Eche Palante (who is actually clever, since his given name is Dylan Echevarria). To find out what makes a D.J. work, let’s take a look at this checklist: a laptop, mixing software (or GarageBand), turn tables (are those even still used?), a microphone, sound-crushing speakers and a set of business cards. Once that’s all taken care of, your next job is getting a gig. Find a party, have a solid playlist and be prepared for the endless string of requests that come your way. Bonus points if you can put an awesome mix on the stuff people ask for– like we said, you need to set yourself apart. If the term “lit” is thrown around after your session, pat yourself on the back, because you did a great job. Still, why does being a D.J. seem so appealing? Is it for the easy money and access to VIP parties? The girls kissing the ground you walk on? Or is it a genuine love for mixing great songs into party tracks? Miami has its fair share of trends that seem to come and go as fast as a South Florida rainstorm. With the ongoing popularity of dance music, becoming a D.J. just seems like nature running its course. However, just like in nature, not everyone is going to survive; there are more D.J.s out there than the number of parties needing them. Now more than ever, D.J.s have to find some way to stand out in the ever-expanding electronic music scene. There are a certain set of skills one needs to have when becoming a D.J. We know your playlist is fire, but that isn’t going to cut it, especially in Miami. D.J.s use software to blend tracks, paving the way for a nice change from chill house to bangerz trap. In the melting pot of Miami, we are used to various genres of music, making mixing easier, since there will always be a fanbase for the type of music the D.J. decides to play. The most difficult part is keeping the party alive; any mishap and you’re in for a world of hate and complaints about the set.

One reason behind becoming a D.J. is simple: fame. Alec Wasserman, a freshman at UM, is in the process of becoming a D.J. and believes the best way to gain recognition is by networking. “We party, have a good time and you automatically gain someone’s interest,” said Wasserman. As a business student, Wasserman realizes the benefits of networking and has found a way to make it both useful and fun. This presents another reason to become a D.J. It’s not just an art reserved for those specializing in music– it’s become a tool for the future. Freshman Cristian Pizarro is an aspiring D.J. and has been in the entertainment business for a little more than six months. Since he’s been in Miami, he’s already worked for parties and tailgates held by Kappa Sigma Fraternity. “I D.J. because I like music and it’s all I enjoy doing,” Pizarro said. Pizarro became a D.J. in high school. He’s also been trying to produce his own tunes within the genre of EDM; more specifically electro, house and progressive.


MICHELLE LESHEM turned everybody up at a private event.

“By the time I’m 21, I want to D.J. at a club or festival,” said Pizarro. For Pizarro, being a D.J. is more than just producing and mixing tunes; it’s an experience made great by its impact on those who listen. The D.J. profession has evolved through its recent popularity. No longer is it just a job reserved for those who do it for the music; it has become a convenient choice that allows for both creativity and opportunity that happens to fit seamlessly into Miami’s nightlife. It may seem like there are already too many competitors in the mix, but if you have a little creativity and a lot of passion, there’s always a way to set yourself apart from the competition.


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Ever wondered what the boating scene is like in Miami? If you’re looking for a boat to go fishing on all day or partying on until the sun comes up, distraction has talked to the student body and compiled a bunch of different options for students to find their way onto the water. words_joe gray & rori kotch. photo_rori kotch. design_christina riccardi.


hether you want to prove to your friends that you’re as awesome at fishing as you claim you are or you just want to dance the night away by the Miami skyline, we know where you should go as a baller on a budget for the perfect sea boating experience. Have you ever looked out into the water and seen people lounging around on the decks of gorgeous boats and wondered, “How can I do that?” You’re not the only one; a lot of students haven’t been on the water yet. That said, finding a way into this nautical world is a lot easier than you might think. Ever since the mid-1500s, Miami has been a home to sailors transporting cane sugar and rum from the Caribbean. Now it’s home to sailors, party animals and fishermen alike. Boating has always been huge here in South Florida.

“I think it is part of Miami,” said senior Nick Gangemi, a member of the UM Sailing Team. “I think we have one of the best locations in the country for boating … However, I think boating culture is segmented. There are boaters who race and are competitive and then there are leisure boaters who go out to the sandbar and drink.” Most students at UM are part of the latter group, but we’re not about to tell you to try and stalk your classmates’ Instas of their “study breaks” and hit them up for an afternoon on the water. The University of Miami Fishing Club has several students that either have a boat or have relationships with businesses that do. UM Fishing Club member Ryan Keller talked about his experience with the club, saying that the club often goes to the beach at least once a week to fish. “Many students seem to either have

boats or know people that have [boats] … but I do know of some companies where you can rent one,” Keller said. Fishing not your thing? Check out UM’s sailing club, where you can learn to sail competitively or just for fun. If you don’t have the time or energy to get involved in another student organization, consider going on a fishing tour. These boats go out for four hours anywhere between two and four times a day, meaning you won’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to go enjoy the water. For about $40, you and your buddies can get shipped off to some of the best fishing spots in the Miami area. Even if fishing or sailing don’t float your boat (get it?), Miami is overflowing with awesome water

activities that you can try. Gather up some extra cash and rent a Jet Ski, sailboat or powerboat– you name it. Many of these businesses are as close as Coconut Grove and won’t break your bank.


weekend, according to sophomore Rebecca Stienfeld. “Everyone that can get on a boat can come to these parties,” said Stienfeld. “All the boats anchor on a sandbar by Key Biscayne. About once a month, there’s a regatta, where a bunch of yachts take people out and anchor at the same sandbar as everyone else.” These yachts charge an entry fee, like any popular party in Miami does, but are open to people of all ages. Miami offers a boatload of things to do– now go out and get your sea legs.

Sports and fishing are great and all, but sometime you just want to live the high life and pretend you’re royalty for the day. Boat parties happen about every other KEY BISCAYNE is one of the many places where one can see sailboats, yachts and more. You can often find students relaxing on yachts or partying at the Nixon Sandbar.

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words_thomas huerter. photo_jacobo saldarriaga. design_claudia fernandes.


Nothing makes your car stand out more than a dazzling set of headlights, and you can find new, brighter headlights for almost any car make and model. BUMPER STICKERS:

They may seem boring, but a few signature bumper stickers will make your car unique and remind everyone that this is your car. You can even make custom stickers online. SIGNATURE AIR FRESHENERS:

Instead of buying some generic scent, creating your own air freshener will give your car an unforgettable scent. Easy ways to create your own can be found all over the Internet. REFRESH YOUR WHEELS:

Instead of dishing out thousands for a new set of wheels, revamp your current wheels at almost any body shop or on your own for much less. You can get them painted and customized any way you want. UPDATE YOUR DIALS:

Finding new and individual speedometers and other dials will help your car stand out on the inside.

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There are a few things that define success, and one of them is material possession; specifically what car you have in your garage. For most of the world, driving a BMW is an unattainable sign of success. Pull into any UM parking lot, however, and suddenly your speedy little Beemer is a dime a dozen. In fact, with Maseratis and Porsche 911s, you might even get a little bit of car envy. Nice cars seem to be everywhere. Miami has many subcultures, and one of those is to flaunt what you’ve got. Why do you think the same guy in the convertible Ferrari keeps going up and down Ocean Drive revving his engine? I promise you, he’s not lost. Living in Miami, we are exposed to an uber-flashy culture that for many of us, especially those from the Midwest, can be totally shocking. Warren Buffett of Omaha, Nebraska, one of the richest men in the world, drove the same 2006 Cadillac for almost a decade, yet many people in this city wouldn’t be caught dead in a 2006 Cadillac. This culture is not lost on UM students, like sophomore Nile Clark. “Miami, unlike other cities, is known for its lavish lifestyles,” said Clark. So are we all just being molded by the culture of Miami, feeling some invisible pressure from an unknown source to drive

expensive cars? Considering this isn’t the easiest school to get into, hopefully that’s not the case. After surveying the parking lots across campus, I noticed something that by now may seem obvious: There are a lot of high-end cars here. However, there are also a lot of regular cars to go along with them; they just don’t stand out as much. Basically, we are just paying attention to the flashy cars. We all have heard the stereotype of UM being a “rich kid” school. That stereotype doesn’t just exist outside campus, but is felt by current students, such as freshman Lily Feldman. “We go to a school where a lot of people just live off their parents’ money and that’s why they are driving around in nice cars,” said Feldman. While there are wealthy students at this school, there are also a lot of students who aren’t. In fact, the Princeton Review ranked UM as the No. 1 school in Race/ Class Interaction. So, to answer the question of why there are a lot of nice cars at Miami, it is because wealthy people drive nice cars, and Miami has wealthy students. However, Miami also has students who aren’t in the one percent. We are focusing on the nice cars, and not even paying attention to the average ones. The next time you are walking through a UM parking lot, focus not on the BMWs and Porsches, but the Toyotas and Nissans. It’s amazing how quickly your perception will change.

PORSCHE PANAMERA Spotted in front of Pavia Garage.

MERCEDES BENZ C63 AMG COUPE Spotted in the freshmen dorms parking lot.

MERCEDES BENZ C63 AMG SEDAN Spotted behind the College of Engineering.

BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT Spotted in the parking lot in front of the Bank United Center. The arts arts & & culture culture issue issue DISTRACTION 21 DISTRACTION 21 The



words_kendall eisenberg. photo_gammon koval. design_jess clavero.

We’re all familiar with sports like football, basketball and soccer, but have you ever wondered what else is out there? There must be more sports that put a twist on getting a ball from one half of the field to another (or that don’t even use a ball at all). From the most athletic to the barely coordinated, anyone can enjoy these new ways to get active. There are a bunch of sports for you to try out.


Soccer If you’re looking to start off simple, then give bubble soccer a try. Players put what looks like a giant inflatable ball over their heads and torsos. Some versions of the ball have shoulder straps, while others have handles inside. Once players are in the ball, they play a typical game of soccer. Unlike a normal game of soccer, though, when players collide, they bounce off of each other unharmed. Essentially, if you’ve ever wanted to play a sport while bubble wrapped, this is the perfect choice for you.

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Dodgeball This sport consists of playing dodgeball at a trampoline park. The first modern trampoline was created in 1936, but it did not become the ground for a mainstream competitive sport until it beacme part of the Olympic Games in 2000. Since then, trampoline parks (giant rooms with trampolines for floors and halfway up the walls) have soared in popularity. Since the creation of these trampoline zones, a variety of sports have now been modified to work on a trampoline– dodgeball included. Even just jumping around on the trampolines is pretty good exercise.

SKYZONE DODGEBALL is a great way to exercise.People played dodgeball while freestyle bouncing.





This is not the typical sport, but it is still sure to get your heart racing. In cup stacking, players stack and unstack 12 different cups into a variety of sequences. Players pair up to race against the clock and as a relay against other teams. They start with their hands beside the cups until the time starts. While this may not seem like a big deal, it isn’t easy to do. Players need strong hand-eye coordination as well as quick reflexes. Not just anyone can make it to the World Sport Stacking Championship.

Those who have natural athletic talent should look to tough mudders for their next challenge. Those not quite as gifted in the athletic field should also look to tough mudders to be a new, exciting challenge. The most popular version of this sport is likely the Spartan Race. In these competitions, racers compete in a series of challenges while climbing in, under, over and through the mud. If getting down and dirty is not your style, there are also color runs and inflatable obstacle course runs that you can try.

Not everything that glitters is gold, not everything that is art makes sense– but we’ll help you through it. Here is a guide to this year’s Miami Art Week.

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words_lexi williams. photo_chloe glenn. design_claudia fernandes.


nce an artcentric hipster’s paradise, the second Saturday of every month has brought rowdy college students and wannabe socialites to the streets and sidewalks of Miami’s Art District. The Wynwood Art Walk still has all the galleries, art institutions and funky retailers that first attracted its initial artsy crowd, but it’s no secret that the people and the atmosphere of the area have altered substantially over the years. Are people more interested in getting the perfect flower wall Instagram shot over actually appreciating and understanding the art? Our opinionated distraction staffers weigh in on whether this Miami cultural staple is overrated or if it’s worth the hype that surrounds it. 24 DISTRACTION Art Basel

WYNWOOD WALLS. Artist Fafi is best known for her curvy and sassy character. She decorated the Wynwood doors with colorful flowers and it is a common place where you could find UM students taking selfies.

Erin Fischer

Madison Cramer

Jamie Servidio

Voice Editor

Copy Chief

Main Event Editor

With the exception of taking your friends and fam when they come to visit, Art Walk is definitely overrated. Once you’ve been there once, you’ve basically seen it all– girls pretending to be candid in front of the flower walls and way too many people stuffed into Wood Tavern. Go be trendy somewhere else, please.

I don’t think Art Walk is overrated– it’s something unique to our city that we, as students, are fortunate enough to experience with just a short drive. I think everyone should venture to Art Walk at one point during their time at UM, but having only been there once so far, I can’t personally say whether or not it’s worth the return trip.

Art Walk is definitely an experience. If you have never been to Wynwood, there is no better introduction to the area than the event. There are tons of food trucks, vendors and of course, art that makes the event one of a kind. Personally, what I consider “overrated” is going out to bars in Wynwood such as Wood Tavern or Brickhouse later the same night. Art Walk brings in a lot of people to the area so it tends to be a lot more crowded than usual. No one likes being slammed into a bar that you can barely move in, and I generally get angry when it takes a long time for me to get a beer, but hey, that’s just me.

Asmae Fahmy Managing Editor While I'm a huge fan of art in general, I feel like the essence of it is lost to events such as Art Walk. It has become more about money, partying and socializing than about truly admiring and understanding the art.

Hollie Pollak Co-Fashion Editor

Mary Selep

Art Walk may be hot and overcrowded with first-time Wynwood visitors, but I would try not to let that ruin your time. With the right crew and a lil’ ambition to see some sick work, it can actually be pretty fun. Wynwood has a lot to offer. And if the crowds piss you off, head there early!

Health and Wellness Editor

Diana Rodon

Well, I've only ever gone for extra credit for an art class, but when I did, it was overcrowded and too dark for my taste. Waiting in line sucks and I got a sketchy vibe from the whole area at night. In general I prefer walking the Wynwood Walls during the day. I guess I'm not a gallery girl.

Christina Riccardi Assistant Art Director Considering Wynwood is the niche hipster area of Miami, the fact that they bus people in makes it super commercial and kind of touristy.

Rori Kotch Editor-in-Chief

I keep going to Art Walk almost every month, even though it’s relatively the same. I enjoy showing it around to people who have never been and seeing their reactions.

Art Walk is definitely a quintessential Miami experience. If you’ve never been before you should probably check it out. However, I will say that it has blown up in the past few years. It’s become more of a night out affair rather than an appreciating art sort of thing. Yes, I love going out in Wynwood just like every other basic betch, but if you’re just going to party, save it for another night.

Allie Pakrosnis

Claudia Fernandes

Art Director

Art Director

Wynwood is one of my favorite parts of the Miami area, and I think Art Walk really captures how unique the art scene is here. I have been several times and I find that there is always something new and interesting to see.

Art Walk has become an “IT” place for Miamians and visitors to go and take selfies. I’ve been going for about four years and I think the overrated part is how art appreciation has taken a backseat. It has become more about the event and less about the art, and that is sad. But if you are looking to spend a Saturday night at a “hipster” place and wear that black Panama hat that you bought at Urban, this is the place to go.

Assistant Copy Chief

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words_marissa vonesh. photo_rori kotch. design_allie pakrosnis.

A mixture of showcased art, intermingled languages and crowds by the thousands will flood Miami Beach again this December for Art Basel. Art Basel Miami Beach is North America’s largest international contemporary art fair. As a spawn of a Swiss art fair created in 1970 in Basel, Switzerland, Art Basel Miami Beach has been an established art gathering since 2002. Creators Balz Hilt, Ernst Beyeler and Trudi Bruckner developed 26 DISTRACTION Art Basel 26 DISTRACTION Art Basel

the concept of a global, contemporary art show and have been successful in their mission. The three Swiss gallerists bring together collectors, curators, artists, critics and citizens alike. Now the trio boasts three art fairs, one in Basel, another in Miami and the newest expansion in Hong Kong. In order to justly create transnational collaboration, the Swiss gallerists sought out a city that provided accessibility between global communities.

Miami proved to be an ideal location. The glamorous city is the gateway between North and South America, and its international presence allows easy travel for Europeans. Miami’s place on the world stage has enabled the city to be an independent art community of its own. The city attracts global artists for events beyond Art Basel, especially with newer developments such as the growing Wynwood Art District and the Pérez Art Museum.

WHAT TO EXPECT Art Basel is hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center from Dec. 3-6. This year, the fair will highlight more than 250 galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 73,000 people from the art community are expected to travel to see the established pieces of modern art and the works of many upand-coming artists. Art Basel’s program will be divided into nine sections to underscore different pieces of art. The sections include: NOVA: Galleries present one to three artists to showcase never-before-seen works of art. POSITIONS: Single artists from around the world each provide one major project. EDITION: Rare collaborations of artists and publishers are exhibited. KABINETT: Participants from the gallery sector are chosen to display curated works in a defined space. SURVEY: Historical projects that embody an array of cultures, generations and artistic methods will be shown. PUBLIC: More than 20 sculptures and installations are presented in Collins Park for the public to enjoy. FILM: Film screenings are presented for free oudoors at SoundScape Park. MAGAZINES: Global art publications stage their magazines in both booths and stands. GALLERIES: Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, films and additional works from the 250 international galleries are showcased as the main exhibit.

WHAT ELSE IS THERE? Art Basel, an art trendsetter of its own, has generated the creation of more than 20 satellite fairs during the same week. Basel is the main event of these many art fairs in what has come to be recognized as Miami Art Week, taking place during the first week of December. It is saturated with impressive events and alternate fairs in Wynwood, Midtown and South Beach. As a 24/7 art party with thousands of people from around the world, Art Week’s conversations, fashion and events reflect a high-class, global environment. People can be spotted in colorful, international designer clothing (or at least pieces from around the world that look expensive– fake it until you make it right?) while conversing in numerous tongues, kissing on cheeks, sipping drinks and gawking at contemporary pieces. Celebrities and exceptionally affluent people from around the world make appearances among the young business professionals, artists, curators and locals. Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Miley Cyrus, David Schwimmer, Kanye West and Rosario Dawson were just a few of the many celebrities that were recognized gazing at art, deejaying at parties and attending dinners last year. The week is an epicenter for hedonistic play. Although the majority of events are by invitation only– or come at a steep price– be on the lookout for open parties, dinners and concerts that won’t break the bank. Local Miami newspapers and bloggers usually release event dates one to two weeks before Art Week begins. Art Basel and Miami Art Week are part of what make Miami such a culturally rich city. Don’t be discouraged from attending the festivities simply because of the high-class territory. Art Basel, the satellite fairs and plethora of parties, screenings, dinners and performances are available to you. Many UM students have explored previous Miami Art Weeks and have had mostly positive experiences. “It was really cool and I liked seeing the unique pieces the artists made, especially the pear exhibit!” freshman Alisha Kabir said. Be adventurous, acquire some culture, dress up and go to Art Week.

Art Basel is held inside the Miami Beach Convention Center. Last year there around 267 exhibitors showing the work of around 4,000 different artists. The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 27

MIAMI BEACH FAIRS ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH When: Dec. 3-6 Where: Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive Tickets: $47 day ticket; $100 permanent pass

AQUA ART MIAMI When: Dec. 2-6 Where: Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Ave. Tickets: $15 one-day pass; $85 multi-day pass (includes access to Art Miami and Context)

DESIGN MIAMI When: Dec. 1-6 Where: Meridian Avenue and 19th Street, Miami Beach Convention Center Tickets: $25 one-day pass; $65 combo ticket (includes Art Basel)

INK MIAMI ART FAIR When: Dec. 2-6 Where: Suites of Dorchester, 1850 Collins Ave. Tickets: Free

NADA ART FAIR MIAMI BEACH When: Dec. 3-5 Where: Fontainebleau Hotel, 4441 Collins Ave. Tickets: Free


PULSE MIAMI BEACH When: Dec. 1-5 Where: Indian Beach Park, 4601 Collins Ave. Tickets: $25 one-day pass; $40 multi-day pass

SCOPE MIAMI BEACH When: Dec. 2-6 Where: Scope Pavilion, 801 Ocean Drive Tickets: $35 general admission; $100 VIP

UNTITLED ART FAIR When: Dec. 2-6 Where: Ocean Drive and 12th Street Tickets: $25 general admission

MIAMI PROJECT When: Dec. 1-6 Where: 7275 Collins Ave. Tickets: $25 one-day pass; $35 multi-day pass

FRIDGE ART FAIR When: Dec. 3-6 Where: Holiday Inn Miami Beach, 4333 Collins Ave. Tickets: $10 one-day pass

SATELLITE When: Dec. 1-6 Where: North Shore Amphitheater, 72nd Ave. Tickets: Free

ART ON PAPER When: Dec. 1-6 Where: Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Ave. Tickets: $25

Whether you’re snapping photos of celeb spottings out on Miami Beach, taking artsy photos in Wynwood or just an #OOTD selfie before hitting a Basel party, you have to make sure what you’re posting is on point. Here are some of distraction’s favorite editing apps.

Facetune If you’ve taken an utterly amazing photo but one minor facial blemish is bothering you, Facetune is the app for you. Buy for $3.99 on both iOS and Android.

VSCO Cam Some photo editing apps end up looking overdone, but VSCO Cam enables you to produce artsy, chic photos without any hassle. VSCO Cam is free for iOS and $.99 for Android users.

Font Candy To add fun overlays and masks, look no further than Font Candy. Transform a mediocre picture into a vivacious masterpiece using personality filled fonts and a variety of masks. This artsy app is free for iOS and offers additional overlay bundles.

Litely If you stand by the saying that “natural beauty is the best beauty,” meet Litely, your new best friend. This app contains realistic looking filters that are based on nature by using organized filters under themes inspired by the world around us. Litely is free on iOS.

MIAMI FAIRS ART MIAMI When: Dec. 3-6 Where: Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach Tickets: $47 day ticket; $100 permanent pass

CONTEXT When: Dec. 1-6 Where: The Context/Art Miami Pavilion, 2901 NE First Ave., Wynwood/ Midtown Tickets: $40 one-day pass; $85 multi-day pass (includes access to Art Miami and Aqua Art Miami)

ARTSPOT MIAMI When: Dec. 2-6, Where: 3011 NE First Ave., at NE 30th St., Wynwood Tickets: $5 general admission; $25 preview and weekend pass

SPECTRUM MIAMI When: Dec. 2-6 Where: 3011 NE First Ave., at NE 30th St., Wynwood Tickets: $10 general admission; $25 multi-day pass

PINTA MIAMI When: Dec. 1-6 Where: Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Wynwood Tickets: $20 one-day pass; $45 multi-day pass

RED DOT MIAMI When: Dec. 1-6 Where: 3011 NE First Ave., across from Art Miami Pavilion, Wynwood/ Midtown Tickets: $15 one-day pass; $25 multi-day pass

ART OF BLACK MIAMI When: Year-round, highlighted Dec. 3-6 Where: Kroma Art Space, 3670 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove Tickets: Prices vary depending on event

X CONTEMPORARY When: Dec. 1-6 Where: 240-252, NW 25th St., Wynwood Tickets: $10

MIAMI RIVER ART FAIR When: Dec. 3-6 Where: Miami Convention Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Downtown Miami Tickets: Free with printed pass

Last year, artist Nick Cave showed a coat completely covered in jewelry.

PRIZM ART FAIR When: Dec. 2-6 Where: Miami Center for Architecture & Design, 100 NE First Ave., Downtown Miami Tickets: By donation

Sometimes the pieces at Art Basel need some explaining, but don’t worry, there are plenty of people to explain them to you.

Miami Art Week is about to exponentially increase your chances of running into someone you’ve only seen on TV (and in your dreams), so how are you supposed to act if you see your favorite celeb strolling down the beach, admiring art next to you or sipping a martini at one of your favorite bars? You have two options: react with flailing arms, gibbered

speech and awkward photo taking, or keep your cool and still manage to make your presence known. As a general rule, don’t be a creep. Stalking, hidden photographing, yelling and other obsessive actions should be kept to a minimum. Celebrities are normal people; they don’t want to be observed like zoo animals.

Also, watch your timing. If it appears that the famous person you’re dying to meet is in the middle of a deep conversation, business deal or private moment, this is not the time to barge in and introduce yourself. Use your discretion. You’re in college; you should be able to understand basic social cues. You got this.

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words_morgan meehan. design_celeste escotet & jenni york.

What’s just as good as the art that pops up on the streets that denote Art Basel? The restaurants and shops that pop up with it. From boutiques to beauty sessions, this year’s Pop-Ups will surely leave a lasting impression. SHOPBAZAAR BOUTIQUE EXPERIENCE Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave, Eighth Floor Dec. 2-3 from 1-6 p.m., and Dec. 3-4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to shop from exclusive editors’ picks, enjoy complimentary beauty sessions, attend VIP dinners and cocktail hours, and much more! Guests will also get exclusive access to personal style consultations with the editors. ShopBAZAAR has a pop-up at Art Basel every year and it never disappoints!

THE MICHY’S POP-UP AND CAFÉ BY MICHELLE BERNSTEIN Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 South Florida’s famous chef Michelle Bernstein is bringing back her pop-up restaurant for Art Basel Miami Beach this year. Michy’s Pop-Up will serve dinner, and the Garden Café will serve breakfast and lunch. The Garden Café will offer table service along with the grab-and-go option. It will feature a daily menu, including an assortment of small plates and a premium bar and extensive wine list. You will be able to enjoy your meal inside the Botanical Garden’s Banyan Room or on its terrace. Dinner at Michy’s Pop-Up will require reservations beforehand.


ART MARKIT’S ART BASEL POP-UP EXPERIENCE Mondrian South Beach Poolside, 1100 West Ave. Dec. 2-7 from 12-8 p.m. Shop artist-designed products while sipping cocktails from Baron Von Fancy Bar, listening to D.J. Vanity Projects and chillin’ poolside. You can even get a complimentary nail art manicure. RSVP at with preferred time.

CHROME HEARTS 4025 NE 2nd Ave Opens Nov. 21 The upscale boutique, Chrome Hearts, is planning to collaborate with Ladurée and Sean Kelly Gallery to open a pop-up shop during Art Basel. The first floor of the pop-up will offer delicious, sweet options from the famed bakery, Ladurée. There will also be a collectible macaron box design displaying illustrations from Chrome Hearts’ Pete Punk Offspring line. The second floor Sean Kelly will present an exhibition of works by some of the galleries’ artists. This pop-up collaboration has been named the Design District’s hotspot during the art-filled week.

OLIVER GAL POP-UP ART SHOP 2819 NW 2nd Ave. Nov. 1 to December 29 This pop-up art shop will have original, limited edition Oliver Gal pieces for sale. There will even be pieces that have never been seen before! The team behind Oliver Gal described the art that they have created as “industrial chic,” saying they have a modern edge but still remain timeless pieces.

PHUC YEA 7100 Biscayne Blvd, Miami This once pop-up will soon have its own permanent location. Phuc Yea was one of the first pop-up restaurants in Miami. The closure of this temporary spot was mourned by many, but the restaurant continued to pop up around town, just for a night at a time, to remind its beloved customers it was still around. The menu is still in the works, but the pop-up menu featured Vietnamese inspired dishes such as Roasty, Toasty Goodness char sui roast pork, Oodles of Noodles bánh cuốn and sweet ‘n’ sour chicarrones heo xáo chua ngọt.

ZAK THE BAKER All of the pastries at Zak the Baker are sourdough except their challah. You can buy their bread at Whole Foods across the street from campus.

TRENDY SPOTS NEAR THE t words_alexis kesselman & lexi williams. photo_valentina escotet. design_celeste escotet.



e have all been guilty of typing “what to do in Miami” in Google when insufferably bored on the weekend. Visiting the Wynwood Walls usually appears on every top 10 list. Most of us are accustomed to opening Instagram and seeing the typical posed pictures in front of the flower wall, but as cool as the painted patterns are, standing in the blazing sun to capture hundreds of pictures may not be the best way to spend your day exploring the Art District. So, what else is there to do in Wynwood, especially during Art Basel? Let’s start with food. Wynwood is continuing to grow in popularity, and with this growth, many new restaurants are beginning to crop up. If you are looking for a simplistic, yet homey place to sit down and eat delectable sandwiches, soups and baked goods, Zak the Baker should be your first stop. Started by entrepreneur and baker Zak Stern, the former art gallery space has an enticing New-York nouveau café feel. When you’re there, make sure to try the avocado toast. Other places that you won’t want to miss are Panther Coffee for quality specialty coffees and a hip, caffeineloving environment, as well as Fireman Derek’s for melt-in-your-mouth pies. There’s a reason these food spots are in Wynwood– they’re too cool to be anywhere else.

In Wynwood

If you’re looking to do some shopping, the Design District has all of your staple high-end stores, but if you want something a little different, Wynwood has got you covered. Amidst the painted walls and graffiti-covered buildings lies Wynwood Letterpress, an adorable boutique paper store. From notebooks to birthday cards, this store’s nostalgic devotion to paper goods is evident from the moment you walk in. Another store to put on your list is Elemental, a design boutique that explores the ingenuity, humor and artistic nature of creating objects for décor, as w ell as objects from daily life that double as works of art. Wynwood is known for having a great bar scene, but that’s not the only thing its nightlife has to offer. For other entertainment activities, make sure to check out Villain Theatre and O Cinema. For a night filled with laughs, head down to Villain Theatre to watch Chicago-style improvisation, sketches and devised comedy. O Cinema, one of only a few independent cinemas in the Miami area, showcases first-run films from an array of different genres and styles. Different events and competitions throughout the year attract local Miami filmmakers and film fanatics to this eclectic, indie-style theatre.

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If you’re relatively new to Miami, you’ve always known Wynwood as the go-to spot for all things #artsy, but it wasn’t always the coolest neighborhood in the city. Once the warehouse and manufacturing district of greater Miami, Wynwood has transformed in a relatively short period of time. Next time you’re there, take a look around and appreciate the beauty that has been created out of a bunch of abandoned lots and buildings. Just standing outside, taking it all in will make you feel more cultured. Trust. It’s nearly impossible to go to Wynwood without snapping a few photos of the infamous, multicolored zig-zag patterns, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth adding a few more coins to your meter to get the full Art District experience.


How to look like a hipster without trying too hard The key to looking like a hipster without trying too hard is, well, not trying at all. When heading to the store to pick out your next outfit, try following these few tips: Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a torn up pair of ripped jeans, head to the nearest thrift shop– you’d be surprised at what you might find! Add certain touches to your outfit that you wouldn’t normally add. Maybe that means borrowing your brother’s Yankee hat for the day or wearing an old necklace from your mom’s closet. Embellishing your outfit will make your getup spunky and unique. Look through your parents old clothes to find classic vintage tees. O CINEMA SWEAT RECORDS

Throw a scarf around your neck– they’re simple and literally go with anything: tank tops, dresses, etc. Own your own style! Try picking outfits that reflect who you are. Accessorize with a Panama hat, some fun jewelry (especially bracelets) and a Courier messenger bag. Rather than trying to look like a hipster, wear what you love and love what you wear!


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words_lizzie wilcox. design_claudia fernandes.

It seems like everyone at UM is bilingual. Whether it’s the Miami natives fluent in Spanish, or the international students who speak a language you’ve never even heard before, you can hear so many different tongues just by walking around campus. If the extent of your knowledge on a foreign language is “hola,” it’s understandable that you’d feel left out of the bilingual club. Knowing another language enables you to eavesdrop on conversations when people think you don’t know what they’re saying. Of course there are other advantages, but let’s be honest, we all want to know what the international students are gossiping about in their beautiful tongues. Learning a second language can be hard, especially at our age. Fifteen percent of all undergrad students are international students, but most of them already know English before coming here. Picking up a new language is easiest during

early childhood, so the college years just miss the cutoff. This doesn’t mean that you should throw out your copy of Rosetta Stone and give up hope of ever being bilingual. While it may be a challenge, learning a new language is still a possibility. Sophomore Danny Katan is facing this struggle this semester in his Spanish 101 class. Katan is already bilingual in Hebrew and English; Hebrew was his first language and he learned English when he started school. “I caught on to the language because I was


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surrounded by kids who only spoke in English and teachers who only spoke in English too,” Katan said. While it was easy for Katan to pick up a second language when he was about two years old, he noted how much harder it is to learn a third language at 19. “It’s very difficult to learn a new language in college for the first time,” Katan said. “The critical period is over.” Alexandra Perisic, a French professor at UM, says the best approach to learning a second language is to expose yourself to the culture in any way possible. “Just trying to practice as much as possible and trying to immerse yourself in the culture [helps],” Perisic said. “[Try] watching movies, listening to music and the radio, reading in the language.” Netflix even has a genre specifically for international movies, allowing you to turn on English subtitles– making cultural immersion possible from the comfort of your very own couch. Carolina Ortega, a junior international student, has benefited greatly from being bilingual. Born and raised in Nicaragua, she started to learn English when she was eight years old and was fluent by the time she was 13. “[Being bilingual] puts you at an advantage in a lot of job descriptions in cultural fields; you can go somewhere

and you’re able to communicate simply,” Ortega said. “It’s a big deal knowing as many languages as you can.” After experiencing firsthand the benefits of being bilingual, Ortega encourages other students to pick up another language. “It’s something that big companies like and it opens a lot of opportunities for you,” Ortega said. Think about it, how many job descriptions have you seen that said something like “Spanish required” or “Being bilingual is a plus”? Especially in a global city such as Miami, fluency in more than one language is an extremely marketable quality. Plus, that hottie you always see in the Grove probably loves sweet talk in a foreign language. From conjugations to irregular verbs to exceptions of every grammar rule and everything in between, the process of learning another language may make you want to pull your hair out. While you’re writing a foreign language composition at 3 a.m., don’t think about dropping the class– think about how great it will be to one day travel abroad and speak to the natives perfectly in their own tongue. It will take some time and patience, but it will be so worth it.

LANGUAGE CLASSES @ UM Introductory classes to any language can be pretty tedious and frustrating. Why are there so many rules? And why are there so many exceptions to those rules? However, once you reach the higher levels, there are some pretty cool classes to take. Take, for example, FRE 322, better known as Topics in Global French Culture. The topics of this course change, but for the Spring 2016 semester, it will focus on food. Yes, a class all about French food. Tasting the food will be a part of the course. Enough said. Also, one of the best parts about learning another language is learning about the culture of that country. There are so many classes at the 300 level or above that are all about the cultures of Spain, France, Italy…the list goes on. And the classes aren’t limited to only the country where the language originated. Here are a few to consider: SPA 302 The Culture of Spain SPA 303 The Culture of Spanish America SPA 362 Caribbean Culture Studies ITA 321 Special Topics in Italian Literature FRE 322 Topics in Global French Culture FRE 360 The Caribbean Through Literary And Cultural Studies FRE 446 Debating Cultures and Societies in French

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MEDITATION BENEFITS: BRAIN & BODY words_asmae fahmy. photo_sydney sherman. design_asmae fahmy.

We are on– always on. We watch T.V., we read the paper (well, our computer screens), we meet eccentrics and engage in conversations about anything and everything. We are flooded with visual and auditory stimulation that makes nests in our minds and surges every dendrite branch. We are on when we’re awake and we are off when we’re asleep, but we rarely find an in-between haven; on pause, reflecting and probing into the very wires that form those dendrite branches themselves. That’s where meditation comes into play. It’s a concept that has existed long before we had the keyboard to write it with, an idea that has cross-checked almost every religious ideology with its focus on clarity, peace and perspective. You don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to adopt those practices. You just need to have 10 minutes to spare and a quiet place to sit, the desire to be still and the desire to be present. “I meditate in my Bikram yoga class. The instructor would call it ‘Shavasana.’ We would get into a relaxed pose and meditate after a strenuous pose,” said Adrianne Babun-Chavarria, a junior studying biology and English. “I was surprised how freeing emptying your mind and ignoring surrounding stimuli could be.” Meditation is simply the art of training your brain to blur out all but a designated point– a picture, a color, a word. A breath. There is a collection of techniques depending on the system you’re adhering to, but the barest form focuses on staring at a candle flame or listening to a gong and redirecting your thoughts to it when they wander. The idea sounds relatively simple in theory, but can prove challenging if your roommate interrupts your Zen by waltzing in singing Adele’s “Hello” or if you are

seized by an overpowering desire for pizza (which is what happened the first time I tried to meditate). I guess my nirvana involves food– no surprise there. “I’m not the biggest fan of meditation because I don’t have patience and I get bored very fast,” said Melissa Soto, a senior studying journalism. “I could totally sit still for 10 minutes, but my brain will keep going.” Relocating your consciousness can trigger an avalanche of mental and physical benefits that justify meditation’s popularity. It dissipates any cognitive cobwebs by promoting creativity and divergent thinking, allowing many writers, artists or anyone who feeds off rightbrain activity to embrace it. It’s a little disconcerting at first, when you realize just how cluttered your mind can be– thoughts of deadlines and dates and dilemmas might seep through the cracks, but ultimately you’ll find that prolonged practice leads to calmness– a calmness that can keep you from freaking out over every little thing, like the dining hall not serving late-night omelets. Because we’re all stressed, overworked college students, it’s important to take the time to cleanse ourselves of our daily woes and anxieties. And though we can’t all stay in an Indian monastery for three months like Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat Pray Love,” there’s a way to incorporate the practice into your daily life and reap its benefits. That is, of course, when you decide to finish being distracted.

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO MEDITATION 1. Find a relaxing place to sit. 2. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Posture is essential. 3. Either close or open your eyes, depending on what works better for you. Some people doze off when they close their eyes, while other people obtain better results from closing them. 36 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

Kyrena Dudley meditates on the Foote Green before class. Students are often found outside on the green relaxing, hanging out with friends or doing homework.

PSEUDOSCIENCE words_mercedes espina. design_celeste escotet.

Remember in middle school when you’d read the astrology section of “Seventeen” to see if this month would finally be the month you found the love of your life in homeroom? Yeah, so do we. Isn’t it just a tad ridiculous that we really believed a magazine, of all things, would be able to predict what would happen a month before it even happened? For many people, that’s not so far-fetched. Pseudoscience principles are emerging as popular practices and beliefs. But what’s all the hype? We decided to do some digging into three principles that have risen to popularity in recent years– astrology/horoscopes, fortune telling and crystal healing– to see what they’re all about.

Crystal Healing Crystal healing is a popular pseudoscience that has risen to fame recently, thanks to celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Jaden Smith. Crystal healing is said to harness the vibrations and energy that different rocks and minerals release into the atmosphere. It is an idea heavily grounded in color theory and chakras, a principle of Indian spiritual beliefs. Chakras are spiritual energy centers that are said to be found in different parts of the body. Humans are believed to have seven core chakras that each have different colors and functions. Crystal healing targets chakras, both through the color of the stone and the energy it releases. For example, if you are drawn to a red stone, such as garnet, you might be in need of healing in your root chakra. “The crystals choose you,” said Alessandra Hally, an employee at Five Sisters, a New Age gift shop in Miami. “They send off little messages through these vibrations, but we need to be trusting of our intuition in order to receive them.”

Fortune Telling Fortune telling is still one of the most debated aspects of the metaphysical sciences. How does some random person just happen to know all this weirdly personal information? We called UM senior Taylor Brotons, who has visited multiple psychics, to get an inside look into what it’s like to visit one. “They usually have candles or incense to create a relaxing, comfortable place,” Brotons said. “If you are tense for any reason, it makes you a lot harder to read. The best psychics I’ve seen don’t ask me any questions, they just tell me things. I’ve seen some who just read from tarot and don’t really give any hard facts; they say a lot of vague things like, ‘you’ve suffered a heartbreak.’ Who hasn’t? But then you have some who will say, ‘the tall boy you dated with the green eyes is going to be around you, avoid him.’ Sure enough, you run into him the following week. It’s creepy, but helpful stuff.”

Astrology and Horoscopes Both astrology and horoscopes involve looking at how the stars are positioned in the sky and determining how those alignments can affect our lives. Astrology gives you a full astrological profile as well as your star sign. It takes several factors into consideration, from the date and time of your birth to where you were born. It organizes these celestial body movements into a guide to your past, present and future self. Horoscopes are a little snapshot of your astrological self, rather than the whole profile. Instead of telling you about your past and present self, your horoscope gives you an outlook into the future based on your star sign’s alignment at any time. UM graduate student Armando Rubi practices astrology and has found that psychology is one of the biggest factors in explaining this pseudoscience. “The astrological signs are classical Jungian archetypes that have represented different personality types for thousands of years,” Rubi said. “Each sign has several characteristics that have come to define them, such as the stubborn Taurus. While not every sign-person combination is 100 percent accurate, it allows you to get an idea about who someone is before you get to know them better.”

IS IT LEGIT? Let’s be real, the free horoscope app you downloaded is just a little bit generic. If crystal healing leads to any real results, it’s from a placebo more than anything else. There’s nothing wrong with having fun with both, though, and if people derive a sense of peace or perspective from believing in pseudoscience practices, then all power to them. In our case, though, the only magic we’ll choose to believe in is managing to graduate without a truckload of debt. The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 37

words_lexi williams. photo_valentina escotet. design_allie pakrosnis.


am by no means a “good girl”– I rip shots on the weekends, I have multiple piercings and I am no stranger to the occasional, questionable hookup. However, I walked into the Kitty Kat Pole Dancing Studio with sweaty palms and a racing heart– this was unfamiliar territory, and even my sexy alter ego was nervous to try this alluring exercise trend. 38 Health & & Wellness Wellness 38 DISTRACTION DISTRACTION Health


F I T N E S S Wild salsa music pulsed through the speakers as Cynthia Muniz, the studio’s owner, looked up in greeting. She’s small but powerful looking, and extremely energetic in her welcome. She weaved between the eight poles that filled the front half of her small studio to turn down the raucous tunes. I looked around the room: the deep red walls paired nicely with the red light bulbs that casted a dark, sensual glow on the room. Floor-to-ceiling curtains hung open, revealing the only reminder that a world beyond this hedonistic haven exists. “For class, I close the curtains and dim the red lights,” Muniz said. The vibe of the room is sexy, but not intimidating. Anyone from a King of Diamonds performer to a middle-aged mom of three could twirl around on these poles and not look out of place. And yet, I was still terrified of taking my turn. “If you’re nervous, the first step is to just take the initiative and come,” Muniz said. “Once you’re in here, you’ll see that this is not perhaps what you thought it was. People associate the pole with stripping, but there’s a total dynamic of fitness.” According to Muniz, Miami is still behind the times compared to cities around the globe. Compared to places like Russia, Argentina and Australia, most of the U.S. holds negative stereotypes associated with pole dancing. Muniz worked as a pharmaceutical representative for 13 years before she was laid off. She began teaching occasional pole classes at another gym in Miami Beach and then branched out to start teaching at private parties. “When I first opened the studio in 2007, nobody knew about pole dancing,” Muniz said. “People were like ‘What, are you going to strip now?’ Back in the day, that is the reaction you would get from people.” Let’s think about this, though. Sure, strippers take off their clothes for money (girl power!), but have you seen their bodies? Pole dancing targets every muscle group in the body– namely the arms, legs and core. Plus, you don’t have to get naked to feel sexy (but you can if you want to– your body, your choice).

Once the curtains close and the smooth sounds of The Weekend ooze out of the speakers, women can let their hair down. It’s a no-judgment, nopressure zone, and they’re free to focus on their movements, how their bodies look and how it makes them feel. “I’ve had girls call me saying they’re going through a divorce or breakups and their self-esteems are down on the floor, and they call me to train,” Muniz said. “They get an emotional, psychological boost. I’ve always said that pole dancing has two sides to it– the fitness side and the personal, sensual side. “

“People associate the pole with stripping, but there’s a total dynamic of fitness”” In the 2011 rom-com “Crazy, Stupid Love,” Ryan Gosling’s character, Jacob Palmer, makes the following statement: “The war between the sexes is over. We won the second women started doing pole dancing for exercise.” Oh no, he didn’t. How could someone so beautiful be so, so wrong? “I don’t agree with this quote; this has nothing to do with dancing for men,” Muniz said in response. “There are ladies recognized worldwide in the industry of pole dancing, and they are not there to dance for anybody; they’re doing it because this is a sport.” Scoff if you want, but this exercise form is much more than just twirling around a pole and looking pretty. Men and women alike compete around the world to gain prestigious titles in the industry. The International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) is one of many legitimate organizations that promote the advancement of pole dancing as a genuine sport. The group is part of a larger effort, initiated by IPSF President K.T. Coates, to gain the International Olympic Committee’s recognition of pole dance as an official sport.

If pole dancing became an Olympic sport, wouldn’t it become a lot easier to become an Olympic athlete? I took to the pole to find out. Short answer: No. Slightly longer answer: Hell no. Muniz stationed herself at the pole in the front of the room. “I’m going to teach you a simple twirl,” she said. Immediately, I breathed a sigh of relief. “Twirl” sounded easy; “twirl” sounded pretty. But alas, Muniz whipped around the pole in such a quick, elegant and precise motion that I think I audibly gasped. After repeating her instructions step by step a few times, she indicated for me to take a stab at it. It wasn’t pretty. My legs stuck out at awkward angles and my body felt like it weighed double when I had only my arms for support. “Try again.” The second time was even worse. I confused my grip and somehow ended up stubbing my toe. But I was determined, and they always say that the third time’s the charm. So I went again, willing my arms to hold me up and begging my legs to form the beautiful angles to match Muniz. I watched myself in the mirror as I swung my body around the pole, and though it wasn’t perfect, I looked good. In that moment, I got a taste of what it was like to practice pole dance not as a way to make money, not to please a man, but to accomplish a goal I had set for myself. The fitness-driven, need-to-succeed good girl inside me embraced the hardcore, racy badass side and together, they pulled off a technical pole dance movement. Sure, I felt sexy, but more than that, I felt strong.

FIGURING IT OUT Executive editor Lexi Williams gives pole dancing a try. Studio owner Cynthia Muniz looked on and gave tips.

Kitty Kat Pole Dancing: 3301 NE 1st Ave #113, Miami (305) 799-9456

South Florida’s Secret Spots SEXY SASSY STRONG


305-401-3268 1791 SW 3rd Ave., Miami

954-926-7653 2850 Stirling Road, Suite H, Hollywood



305-532-7171 828 Washington Ave., Miami Beach

305-456-4171 7207 SW 48th St., Miami The The arts arts && culture culture issue issue DISTRACTION 39 DISTRACTION 39

photo_valentina escotet. styling_miguel rodriguez clark & hollie pollak. hair & makeup_celeste escotet. shoot director_celeste escotet. design_claudia fernandes hernandez. models_ alex besmer, megan bullock, nicole garbe, raphy kernisant, anthony preston, jamie servidio & joal swindells.


On Nicole: nude ribbed crop top, Topshop; black pants, Silence + Noise; sneakers, Stan Smith Adidas. On Megan: bodysuit, Urban Outfitters; jersey, Adidas; high tops, Converse All Star.

With clothes as dope as these, we knew we needed some dope models to wear them. Thankfully, KAOS, the University of Miami’s co-ed hip-hop dance team, was up for the challenge. The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 41


On Anthony: burgundy bomber jacket, Topman; jean shorts, Topman; white oversized tee, Feathers; white hightops, Nike Air Pythons.

On Joal: black pocket tee, Feathers; camouflage corduroy pants, Cotton On; shoes, model’s own.

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On Jamie: leather jacket, Silence + Noise; black crop top, American Apparel; green boyfriend jeans, Cotton On; black hightops, Converse. On Alex: hunter green quilted bomber, Your Neighbors; grey sweats, BDG; boots, Timberland’s. On Raphy: grey crop top, American Apparel; black ribbed midi, BP; necklace, model’s own; white hightops, Converse. On Nicole: black sweatshirt, Adidas; jean shorts, Levi’s; black beanie, Cotton On; sneakers, Stan Smith Adidas. On Anthony: green jeans, Cotton On; white tee, Feathers; hightops, Nike Air Pythons. On Megan: crop top, Brandy Melville; pants, Trouve; hightops, Converse.

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On Jamie: tracksuit, Stella McCartney for Adidas; sports bra, model’s own; sneakers, Adidas.

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On Alex: beige jeans, Obey; Kurt Cobain tee, UO Exclusive; black bomber jacket, Starter.


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he scruffy hipster look is in, but that doesn’t mean that you should just grow out your beard and think you could just pull it off. There are tons of grooming styles that you may not even know about. Here are a few tips for getting your effortlessly cool look without trying too hard.

The Caveman More and more, ladies are loving the full, rugged beard. Also known as The Lumberjack, this style actually requires little maintenance. However, it’s going to be a long, itchy journey. If you want to get the man-beast look, a la Chris Hemsworth in Thor, wait out the annoying growth phase until you can enjoy your sexy style.

The Handlebars Love ‘em or hate ‘em, handlebars are more than just a quirky fad. What started as a somewhat ironic trend has become a sophisticated style in and of itself. To achieve this much sought-after look, the first step is to not trim the ‘stache. It’s easier said than done, because the in-between phase is going to be a bit awkward, but seriously, don’t give in. After, you’re going to need to invest in some moustache wax so you can comb it into your desired shape.

words_lexi williams. design_claudia fernandes.

The F*** It It takes a lot of effort to look this effortless. Though it looks like you’re just growing out your five o’clock shadow, you really need to start with a professional shave job. If you want to go all out, ask your barber to contour your beard along the cheekbones. One look at your newly defined jawline and you’ll see why girls are so obsessed with the craze.

If you’re trying to achieve one of these looks but need some guidance as to how exactly to do it, check out these cool spots that are more than willing to help a guy out:

Junior & Hatter 2750 NW 3rd Ave., Miami Razzledazzle 241 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

The Baby Face The Dumbledore This one’s not for everyone, but if you’re trying to impress that sexy Ravenclaw in your chem lab, then this is sure to catch her eye. Though, whether she’ll be impressed or terrified is not our problem. Accio hottie.

We get it, you’re adorable. The girls love you, and their moms probably love you even more. If your facial hair grows in patches (or not at all), this is the obvious choice. Just make sure you follow a specific care routine, and don’t forget the aftershave.

Well Groomed Gentleman 130 Miracle Mile #102, Coral Gables The Spot 426 SW 8th St., Miami Churchill’s Barber Shop 12 SE 1st St., Miami

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words_lynley evans. photo_evelyn choi. design_miguel rodriguez clark, allie pakrosnis & claudia fernandes hernandez.

As promised by almost every science fiction movie ever created, 2015 has been a year saturated with futuristic technology. Although we haven’t quite mastered flying cars or living in space, almost every aspect of our life now incorporates something that must be charged or connected by Bluetooth. What was once a 20-minute walk to class is now a five-minute hoverboard ride. A sleek wristband now has the capability of tracking the number of steps we take as well as the amount of time we spend in REM sleep. A few taps on a screen and anything we desire is immediately accessible. While the heightened usage of new gadgets seems natural, it is hard to ignore our generation’s clear dependency on these new-age devices.

HOVER BOARDING Hover boarding is a newly popular mode of transportation for students at UM. This student hover boarded across the Shalala Student Center to the the Rat. The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 51



s a college student, it is difficult to last more than a few minutes without staring into a screen. This is even more challenging when classes are centered on online textbooks and PowerPoint presentations. It is almost impossible to survive any course without a laptop to connect you to websites such as Blackboard. Look around any lecture hall and the ubiquitous glow of the Apple symbol is as striking as a concert crowd holding up lighters. While many see it as a negative, the use of electronics in the classroom is in many ways beneficial. Freshman architecture student Olivia Cupo cannot imagine getting through her classes without her laptop. “Without Blackboard, I wouldn’t be able to access course documents and assignments as well as check my grades as easily. It is a key tool in my survival for college,” Cupo said. It is also easier than ever to contact a professor with a quick question between classes, get notes from a missed class or connect with classmates. Some professors are even recording their lectures so students can watch them after class to review areas of confusion. Outside of the classroom, technology is making similar strides, almost literally. Instead of opting for a bike or a pair of rollerblades, students



are choosing to ride hoverboards to class. Riders appear to effortlessly stand on the board while it carries them around. Ranging from about $200 to $800, this innovative mode of transportation does not come cheap. As expensive as it is, though, an overwhelming amount of Miami students have made the investment. Freshman Evan De Joya believes the benefits of a hoverboard outweigh its high price. “I ride it at least once a day. It has cut down the time it takes me to walk to class by a lot; probably around 30 minutes of walking per day,” De Joya said. While the idea of the board seems outrageous to some, who wouldn’t take the opportunity to avoid a sweaty trek across campus if they could? As crazy as it seems, the convenience it provides is tempting. While some use high-tech gadgets to avoid unnecessary exertion, those seeking to track and increase their physical activity have never had it easier. Fitness bands such as the increasingly popular Fitbit allow iPhone users to track their steps, record workouts, set alarms, view the number of calories they have burned and follow their sleep patterns through an app that Fitbit automatically


GO4D CT-GLASS Experience 3D images and videos on your mobile device. These students enjoyed a YouTube video in 3D.

syncs. More sophisticated models are capable of monitoring heart rates and using GPS tracking. Not only is this useful for athletes looking to analyze their workouts in more detail, but it’s also popular with the everyday student looking to set fitness goals or diet. Freshman Fitbit user Bella Brickle believes this device will really make a difference in her daily fitness. “I’m not sure how accurate the device is on tracking my calorie output and input, but having to log all of my activity and meals has made me more conscious of my food choices and activity levels. I’ve only had my Fitbit for about two weeks now, but I’m excited to see if I notice a difference in my health over the next couple of months!” Brickle said. As complex as the device sounds, all that is required of a Fitbit user is to simply wear the band and go about their everyday life– the rest of the work is done by the gadget. Devices such as Google’s Go4D C1-Glass take the concept of a virtual reality to a whole new level. While they may look like an ordinary pair of plastic glasses, don’t be decieved. Pair them with an Android phone and you can view pictures or watch videos in 3D, which gives you a portable theater at your disclosure. The simplicity and convenience of up-and-coming technology is what makes it the most attractive. As much as older generations love to scold us for our excessive screen time, it’s hard not to gape at and yearn for these seemingly simple gadgets that can accomplish so many amazing things. It’s easy to think that maybe flying cars and living in space aren’t so far down the road.

VSCO, growing in popularity, seems to be rivaling Instagram. The app allows users to edit photos with numerous filters– extra filters are also available for purchase– and post them to a ‘grid.’ Photos can also be organized into collections. Unlike Instagram, this app does not allow users to ‘like’ other people’s photos, and until the most recent update, users were unable to see who followed them.

BEBO The app Bebo is also on the rise. It allows users to create an avatar that resembles them, and then send funny illustrations and saying to their friends. This app is a great way to spice up texts in the place of emojis.

TECH GONE BAD While we normally see technology and social media as beneficial to our lives, that’s not always the case. The app Yik Yak has proved this. Originally intended for college students to talk and post about upcoming parties, this app became popular at schools across the country. Students used the app to bully their peers. The app has been shown to increase cyber bullying.



Many of our parents judge us for being too addicted to technology, and they may have a point. When our cell phone is dead for even a few minutes, we feel completely cut off. Not having a cell phone means missing texts, Facebook notifications, Instagram likes, Snapchats, etc. Similarly, laptops have become a lifeline for most people. We need them to complete work, send emails and watch Netflix, but let’s all try to moderate ourselves. The The arts arts && culture culture issue issue DISTRACTION 53 DISTRACTION 53


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Disclaimer: The following story contains sexually explicit themes and topics that may be offensive to some readers. If you are sensitive to graphic content (or if you just get grossed out by sex in general), please skip the next two pages and continue reading. As always, #getdistracted.

words_alexis mcdonald & lexi williams. design_rori kotch.




SEX. Just the word makes some people uncomfortable, but here at distraction, we’re open books. From bondage, literotica and toys, we’re here to fill in the gaps your high school health teacher left out. It’s natural, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel– but safely, of course. The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 55 The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 55

SAFE SEX– HAVE IT. “Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant, and die.” Don’t take safe sex tips from Mean Girls, take them from us! Though abstinence is the only surefire way to avoid pregnancy and STIs, not everyone wants to wait. Here are three options for safe sex. Have fun. Latex condoms Used for vaginal, anal, or oral sex, condoms are worn on the penis and work to prevent pregnancy as well as STIs. Birth control pills Females take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Keep in mind, they do not protect against STIs. Female condoms This is a pouch inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy and protect against STIs. Source: birth-control


ticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.” They say Rihanna is ahead of her time, and in this case, she totally is. Her controversial 2011 song “S&M” highlights a sex trend that’s made its way into the mainstream in the past few years. The video for the song, which depicts Rihanna using chains and whips during sex, was banned in 11 countries and needed viewers to verify that they were 18 years old or older before viewing it on YouTube. At the time of the song’s release, the world was not yet prepared to listen to a woman vocalizing her affinity for such a carnal, sexual activity– which explains why a single song caused such a fuss. If the video of Rihanna singing a song that promoted sadism and masochism put the media gods in a frenzy, they were completely caught off guard four months later when E.L.

BDSM REQUIRES FULL CONSENT James released the first installment of her wildly popular erotic trilogy, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Perhaps Rihanna’s sexy song paved the way for kinky sex’s journey to general public, or perhaps it was just time for the world to embrace more sexual trends– either way, the book series made reading erotica in public the norm. In fact, it spurred the hilariously vom-inducing term, “mommy porn.” Love it or hate it, “Fifty Shades” broke down barriers and made it more acceptable to discuss the more

unconventional sides of sex. Showing a oncesecretive world of BDSM in a more “normal” light allowed people who once shied away from more daring sexual acts to give it a try– and many found that they liked it. In 2012, the sales of erotic novels went up 356 percent from 2011. So, what’s the deal with this somewhat scary sex trend? Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) has become a catch-all phrase covering a range of activities that revolve around a power imbalance between the participants. Though this facet of the sexual experience has been around for decades, “Fifty Shades” sparked a popular new interest for kink. However, “Fifty Shades” should not be your handbook for all things BDSM. There’s a lot more to this sex trend than a hot, rich guy tying you up. The first thing people need to know about BDSM is that people who are into it are not all inherently messed up. It’s a common myth that enjoyment from BDSM activities stems from a history of sexual or verbal abuse. However, BDSM requires participants to give full, coherent consent to any and all activities that occur. Thus, it is not considered abuse. People just like what they like. “I like to be completely submissive and enjoy spanking, choking and bondage,” senior Candice* said. “Because I’m a complete control freak in most aspects of life, I like someone else firmly taking control in the bedroom.” Sometimes, it’s about relinquishing control, but other times, it’s about taking it. One partner may agree to do whatever the other says, or one partner may not be allowed to orgasm until told to do so. “I like playing around with the dominance aspect,” said Michael*, a junior. “My girlfriend and I just tried it out one day. It’s a fun role play activity we like to incorporate into our lives from time to time.” If you’re interested in dipping into the BDSM pond, read on for some beginner tips: 1. DO YOUR RESEARCH Keep in mind that sex is not all fun and games. When it comes to BDSM, you have a lot more to worry about than contracting an STI. Doing your research on safe methods for bondage and the likes could make the difference between life and death. First, make sure you establish a safe word so you and your partner can stop the action at any time. Also, if you explore choking or bondage, make sure you establish a safe gesture, because sometimes words won’t be heard. As a dominant, it’s important to look up proper ways to choke your partner, what level of pressure is okay and where to place your hands. You’d never want a fun situation to turn scary. 2. ESTABLISH MUTUAL TRUST WITH YOUR PARTNER In any relationship, it is important that you are with someone that you trust, but when entering into a physical relationship involving BDSM, it is critical that trust is the foundation of the relationship. Both partners have to respect the boundaries communicated by one another. If you are nervous about broaching the subject with a new sexual partner, be gentle, but firm about your preferences. Understandably, it may take some time for them to get used to it, though. “I have to make sure they know they aren’t hurting me,” Candice said. “I usually move their hand where I want it, just to give them an idea.”


3. CREATE A YES, NO, MAYBE LIST To avoid any grey areas (no pun intended) create a yes/no/ maybe list with your partner. Toby Berman, a Miami-based sex therapist, said this is a key factor to a healthy sex life. “The first step in a healthy sexual partnership is trust,” she said. “If you do not trust your partner, and vice versa, you need to take a step back.” Include acts you might do, would never do and would definitely like to try. The list will eliminate any confusion that may exist and open the lines of communication between both partners. Be sure your wants and needs are compatible with your partner’s needs. So maybe BDSM just isn’t for you– that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to plain sex for the rest of your life. There are plenty of other sex trends out there. You never know what you might like, so don’t knock it ‘til you try it!

EDGING Even if you have the patience of a saint, this one might take a little getting used to. Edging requires a strong willpower and can be practiced with a partner or by yourself. It involves working up toward the precipice of orgasm– and then stopping. You may be asking, “What kind of twisted, masochistic people would want to do that to themselves?” But here’s the thing– the more you get to the “edge” of your orgasm and then back off, the stronger and more enjoyable the actual orgasm will be.

ATTENTION DUDES: PORN IS FAKE If you think you’re up for the challenge and have a few hours to yourself (or with a partner), try it out. This is a low-risk option if you’re trying to spice things up in your sex life– you’re trying something new and most likely getting an increased amount of pleasure out of it. Everybody wins!

TANTRIC SEX This trend is actually part of the Eastern practice of meditation, where sex is treated as a very

spirited, religious experience. Participants are supposed to synchronize their breathing and focus on each other’s bodies through massage. The main point of tantric sex is to put any taboos out of your mind and focus on the act of sex as a powerful experience that will strengthen the bond between partners. If people can cast aside any weird feelings about sex and focus on pleasing each other, then tantric sex can work for anyone.

SENSATION PLAY Sometimes, getting stimulated “down there” just doesn’t cut it. For those bored with the typical genital stimulation, experiment with different items to see what feels good for you. Sometimes considered part of the BDSM realms, sensation play can include pain-causing activities like spanking, pinching and extreme temperatures. However, there are plenty of stimulation options that don’t involve pain. Try experimenting with different textures such a silk, fur or cashmere– just rubbing that against your or your partner’s skin can be arousing. Also try feather dusters, makeup brushes or loofahs. Sensory deprivation can have a lot to do with this trend. Blocking out visual or auditory stimulation only makes the physical sensations stronger. It’s a great way to break into the world of sensation play.

QUIET SEX Attention dudes: porn is fake. Most of us realize that by now, yet women are still expected to emulate the exaggerated sounds made by the women onscreen. Often, the screams, moans and sighs women make in bed correspond less to their own pleasure and more to the pleasure and ego of their partners. Let’s get back to basics. Quieter sex allows for both men and women to focus more on their own pleasure, rather than their performances. It gets people out of their heads and into the moment. Also, when there’s less pressure to give a PornHubworthy show, people are more likely to express their own genuine pleasures.

LOUD SEX It’s completely opposite from the above, but loud sex can also make for an intimate experience. But only if you do it right. Don’t force it– just let go of your inhibitions. Before you start your sexy session, tell your partner to be vocal about how they feel– grunts, moans, screams– anything goes. When you can genuinely express your pleasure, you and your partner will be able to better gauge how to please each other. Intrigued? Hopefully, this article got you thinking about what kind of sex you like, or cleared up some questions you may have. If you’re not yet satisfied, take a look at our sidebar for more information.

If you are having problems or would like to learn more, call Student Health Services (305)-284-9100 or the Counseling Center (305)-284-5511

MAYBE IT’S NOT FOR YOU... Sex should never make you uncomfortable, so if you balk at every idea we’ve mentioned so far, there’s nothing wrong with vanilla sex! Those in the kink world don’t look down on traditional sex– ”vanilla” is just used to differentiate it. According to Miamibased sex therapist Toby Berman, BDSM and other types of sex trends can be physically and mentally damaging. “Many college students have just begun experimenting with sex,” Berman said. “There’s no need to rush into something if you’re not comfortable. BDSM and other types of sex can be great for a relationship, but they can also be very traumatizing experiences. My advice is to do your research, talk to someone and go slowly.” Always know your limits and never do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. Also consider your partner at all times.

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words_chelsey sellars. design_ claudia fernandes hernandez & allie pakrosnis.


KIDS HERE ARE NOT SUBTLE ABOUT THEIR MONEY. IT SEEMS LIKE AN OBSESSION FOR SOME; THEY’VE MADE IT PART OF THEIR IDENTITY ow, you must be really smart if you go to the University of Miami. That, or you have a lot of money.” Ever since I started my UM journey, numerous outsiders have given me this comment along with a wide-eyed, astonished expression. “When I think of UM, I think of people that are probably rich and preppy,” said Kristin Rinehart, a junior at Florida International University. The University of Miami is a private learning institution with a prestigious reputation, and the words “private institution” instantly bring images of wealthy kids and dollar signs to our minds. To further instill this idea, compare the tuition costs of private universities to public ones: they’re a lot. According to, at the University of Miami, tuition and fees add up to over $45,000 a year for in-and out-of-state students. Meanwhile at the University Florida, students are paying far less. This public school asks for a little more than $6,000 for in-state students, and over $28,000 for out-of-state students. Take a short drive up State Road 826, 20 minutes away to be exact, and you will find Florida International University at a similar price tag; $6,556 for in-state students and $18,955 for out-of-state students. Public universities receive funds from the state government, while private institutions don’t. Consequently, private institutions have higher tuition rates to make up for these missing funds, making UM very private. But that alone does not make the U home of the rich kids. In fact, it’s the material possessions and way of life that some students are accustomed to that have boiled together to create the ultimate rich kid stereotype. Junior Kelly Neuenschwander said she comes from a wealthy town and was shocked by how students here show off their wealth The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 59

STUDENTS DON’T REALLY HAVE A PERCEPTION OF THEIR SOCIAL CLASS. YOU GO THROUGH YOUR DAILY LIFE NOT THINKING ABOUT IT compared to those back home. “Kids here are not subtle about their money. It seems like an obsession for some; they’ve made it part of their identity,” she said. Here’s a game: go to a campus parking lot and count the number of BMWs and Mercedes you see. Bonus points to you if you find the famous UM staple, the gold Maserati. Luxury cars are not hard to come by around here, but what is far more shocking is that all (if not most) of these cars belong to teens and 20-somethings. Let’s keep playing the game: take a ride on the Hurry Cane shuttle and try to find the students not using an iPhone. Tough one, isn’t it? These iPhones are usually accessorized with flashy Michael Kors cases or pricey Lifeproof ones. Those students are probably head bobbing to the music coming out of their Beats headphones or FaceTiming away to a distant relative about their amazing weekend. Be careful walking through the breezeway; someone gliding on a handsfree Segway might bump into you. You will probably encounter at least two girls using designer purses as school bags, filled with Apple laptops and MAC makeup products. All the while, the guys keep their shoe game strong


(Jordans, anyone?) while checking the time on their upscale time pieces. Professor Trevor Green, a School of Communication alumnus from 15 years ago, said that this isn’t anything new. “I remember when I was a student here, my friends would say they were going downtown or something and I’d usually have to back out because of money. Most of them didn’t even have jobs,” he said. Moreover, this rich kid culture can be observed beyond the boundaries of Cane territory, spilling into the lavish city of Miami and surrounding areas. From VIP lounges to rooftop shindigs, yacht parties to LIV, these rich UM kids are taking the magic city by storm. This is not a surprise at all, considering Miami is…well, Miami. When we think of the 305, we think expensive cars and million-dollar penthouses. Star Island, South Beach and Coral Gables are home to mansions that are the quintessence of decadence and the good life. The opulent world around our school explains why some of these rich kids come to study here in the first place. Plus, we are naturally compelled to surround ourselves with people who have similar interests, morals and economic statuses. “Students don’t really have a

perception of their social class. You go through your daily life not thinking about it,” said Aurelie La Torre, a sociology lecturer at UM. When you live in areas where people have a similar lifestyle as you, you sometimes become unaware of how the other half lives. This creates a gapping perception of social class, especially here in America. “When I tell my students to raise their hands if they think they are middle class, 90 percent of the class raises their hand. I tell them this is not possible … it has to be maximum 50 percent of an adult population for this concept of ‘middle class’ to work,” she said. People want to fit in with their peers and don’t want to stand out, which is why they declare themselves to be middle class, even when they aren’t. You don’t want to be too low on the spectrum, but you don’t feel comfortable claiming the high end, so we settle for the middle. According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2014, the median household income was $53,657. “You fall into middle class if your household makes between 66 percent and 200 percent of the national median income. Between the bottom and the top of that category you can have very different lifestyles,” La Torre said.

TOP THINGS PEOPLE SPEND MONEY ON WHEN THEY HAVE TOO MUCH OF IT Plastic surgery in Miami is like honeycomb in a beehive; goes hand in hand. Societal views on beauty and perfection have brought people as far as modifying their appearance in order to meet these standards. The most common procedures are as follows: 1. Brazilian butt lifts (buttock augmentations) 2. Liposuctions 3. Tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) 4. Breast augmentations 5. Nose jobs (rhinoplasty) Shopping. Sometimes people have so much money, they don’t know what to do with it. This ultimately leads to ridiculous and expensive purchases, such as: 1. Hoverboards (hands-free Segways) 2. LED lit sneakers 3. Lokai bracelets 4. Gold iPhones 5. Google glasses 6. The newest GoPro 7. Home improvement (nest, august, etc.)

HOW DOES UM STACK UP? We know UM comes with a hefty price tag, but seeing it next to other Florida schools puts it in a new light. We compared UM’s combined in-state and out-of-state tuitions (in orange) to other Florida schools’ in-state tuitions (light green) and out-of state tuitions (dark green), all for the academic school year. $50,000

Out-of-state tuition In-state tuition $40,000

$30,000 Tuition $40,340










Sources: Florida State University, Florida International University, University of Florida, University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University and University of Miami.

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With all this in mind, one may be a participant of this culture and be completely unaware of it. Many students can be highly uninformed of just how privileged they are in comparison to their peers until the gap is presented to them directly. “[Those of us who are not tight on money] find it weird when someone says they can’t go out because they are tight on cash, but we are willing to lend out that extra $10 or share our handle of tequila,” said junior Alex Veletsis. She said she has never felt belittled personally, but it’s “definitely noticeable when someone is insanely wealthy and well off.” The culture at UM can be fairly intimidating and overwhelming, and sometimes students who don’t have the means to meet it go to extraordinary measures to try to merge into it. With the emphasis on designer bags, clothing, shoes and accessories, it can be easy to feel out of place in plain ol’ PacSun jeans and beat-up Converse sneakers. Nevermind the kind of cars some kids are drivings or the type of venues they spend their nights in. RICHTER LIBRARY You can often find UM’s Wealthiest hanging out outside Richter Library.


Such was the case for junior Emily,* who drained herself mentally and physically to try to meet the UM standard of living. Emily came from a small town on a scholarship, with household earnings that would fall right at the border of low-income, and a burning desire to not let that hold her back from fitting in. “Back home, you don’t really feel like the odd one out, because everyone from my town had basically the same way of life,” Emily said. “Here it was complete culture shock– I was not used to people just throwing money around like that. I felt so out of place.” Instead of settling for mediocrity, Emily worked two jobs, including a night shift at a restaurant, and spent all her time and energy focusing on making money and spending it in the right ways, a precise scientific formula for assimilation. “It got to the point that I would choose dressing nicely over having enough food in the fridge,” she said. “My roommate was part of that ‘rich kid crowd,’ and I somehow fell into it and keeping up with it became all I

could think about.” Social media only adds fuel to this golden fire, with groups like “Rich Kids of Instagram”– where a lot of the featured kids are UM students and alumni– perpetuating this culture and making it seem like the only thing that matters. When it feels like the majority of the population lives a mechanical, orchestrated life on Instagram and Snapchat in order to project the most impeccable version of themselves, one can become lost in the shots of yacht parties and limousine rides, five-star hotels and endless stream of Cartier rings and Rolex watches. All the other posts on your feed become inconsequential compared to that one picture. 
As paramount as this culture may seem, however, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s only just a cluster of students who actually relish in it. Yes, there are an abundance of Beemers in the parking lot, but there are 2005 Toyota Corollas, too. Sure the person on your left has a Louis Vuitton backpack, but the one on your right came to class with a just a regular one. Contrary to popular opinion, not every student at

UM is rich. In fact, almost none of them are. The majority of the money they are spending is not money earned from working but rather money earned by their parents and sent as an allowance. “When you’ve worked for the money yourself, you are more painfully aware of how much you’re spending; but kids down here don’t always have to do that,” said junior Caroline Ashcraft. This is not to say that the “non-rich kids” are poor, but rather they might be a little more financially restricted than their classmates. Therefore, the grandeur of this culture can seem intense and fairly intimidating, which is why it’s important to take a step back and realize it’s just that– one group of people. “Eventually I learned to be okay with myself and I stopped trying so hard to be something that I’m not,” Emily said. “It’s hard not to be obsessed with fitting in, but you just have to learn to focus on other things, like the kind of person you want to be and the kind of people you want to surround yourself with.” *names were changed to ensure privacy

Where are the Rich Kids Hanging Out? RICHTER LIBRARY While most students congregate here during finals, the Starbucks here tends to attract UM’s most well-off students. SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION Walk by the Comm School’s courtyard and you’ll find the highest frequency of Louis Vuitton bags, Cartier watches and Marc Jacobs laptop cases.

PANHELLENIC BUILDING Between the exorbitant fees students pay to join the Greek community and the subsequent fees that come with keeping up with the lifestyle, this one’s pretty self-explanatory.

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Your boyfriend will love to live out his bartender fantasies through a deluxe mixology kit. This unexpected yet useful seven-piece kit comes with a mixing glass, strainer and basically everything else you need to make great drinks– minus the alcohol and mixers. Retails for $39 at West Elm.


$100 $39

Which dad doesn’t love a good ol’ watch? Watch addictions among dads seem to be a nationwide epidemic. The Kensington Leather watch from Nixon is sleek and will take your dad’s style from drab to fab. It comes in every color from a classic black or white to a bright red, if your dad is the adventurous type. Buy at for $100.




Whether your friend is into yoga, spinning, CrossFit or just good old-fashioned running, she’ll love a fresh new pair of workout pants. While this may seem like too practical of a gift, yoga pants come in lots of fun colors that can make for a personalized and creative choice. Buy at Lululemon for $88.


The classic North Face fleece jacket is light enough to wear in 60-degree weather, yet heavy enough to keep you warm even when it creeps into the 40s. With all the fun colors this jacket comes in, you can definitely find one that suits your sister perfectly. Buy at for $99.


Have a girlfriend, but not quite ready to put a ring on it? Wow her with a nice wallet from Kate Spade. It comes in seven unique colors, meaning you can definitely find one that fits your girlfriend’s personality. Buy at Nordstrom for $100.


design_claudia fernandes hernandez.


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These American flag shorts are great if you have a brother who is in college. He’ll be a hit at themed parties, music festivals, Fourth of July or wherever else he chooses to where them. Buy for $38 at Bonobos.


Grandparents love books, and this book will give them some perspective into the minds of . Plus, it will give you something to talk about the next time you get together besides the dreaded, “What are you going to do when you graduate?” question. Buy at Amazon for $17.04.



We all have that friend who idolizes Martha Stewart and would rather watch HGTV marathons on Saturday night than go out. He or she will love this D.I.Y. book that features an array of recipes and projects for every occasion. If you really want to impress them, keep the book for yourself and make something from it to give them instead. Buy at Urban Outfitters for $24.99.






Whether they’re into Star Wars, Superman or the newest underground fandom, the main goal of a Comic-Con geek is to collect as much memorabilia as possible from their chosen obsession. If the person you’re buying for is a Stars Wars fanatic, try a shirt from Under Armour for $25 and up.



You can’t go wrong with a pair of classic TOMS shoes for mom. They’re practical, yet they also look cute! They’re great for gardening, book clubs and other things that moms like to do. Buy at for $59.

ARTISTS OF UM words_lexi williams. photo_olivia stauber. design_claudia fernandes hernandez & miguel rodriguez clark.


mily Jordan Gerstein is perched atop her perfectly made bed as if it’s her throne. The 18-yearold owner of Emily Jordan LLC has a quiet confidence that’s unusual for a college student. She’s wearing a black top with warmcolored, psychedelic prints on the sleeves– an Emily Jordan original design.


Her fashion line is based on a collection of bohemian-style prints that Gerstein created at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. A high school junior at the time, Gerstein was tasked with designing a single textile for her printmaking class. She made 50. “I found my niche,” she said. “I thought, ‘this can’t be just an assignment; it needs to be more!’” Emily Jordan LLC was officially launched in August 2014, the summer before Gerstein’s senior year of high school. With her father, Robert Gerstein, as her financial investor, the young entrepreneur entered the fashion world. Now, the UM freshman is designing and selling her wares while also juggling a full course load as a public relations major. Though her main goal is to take the fashion world by storm, she wants to be well versed in all aspects of the business, which means learning how to market, promote and manage her company. Now, Emily Jordan LLC offers five different prints in a variety of shirts, shorts, scarves and more. The silhouettes of the pieces are very simple– boxy, even. Gerstein says she wanted a chic look with emphasis on the vibrant patterns. The idea of a clothing company conjures up images of sweatshops to manufacture the garments and office buildings to keep the business side of the operation running, so where in her immaculate dorm room is there

space to make this all possible? “I’ll show you,” she said excitedly, leaping down from her bed and sashaying over to her 5-by7-foot closet and dragging out a giant plastic storage container. First, she tossed aside some packaging materials, then, one by one, she lovingly lifted up articles of clothing. The box contained one or two of each size and style of her items; the rest of the inventory is at her parents’ home in Boca Raton. “And then I have all my personal clothes hanging,” she gestured to her closet. She picked up an orange and green, psychedelic-looking piece of fabric. “I’ve sold a lot of the UM headbands,” she said. “It’s the lowest cost item and my best seller.” She typically gets orders a few times per week, but managing her business is a 24/7 job. On top of making the executive decisions for the company, she also handles the website, Facebook page and Instagram account, which she posts on every day. So how would Gerstein sum up her own brand? “If Diane von Furstenberg and Tory Burch had a baby, that’s what I want Emily Jordan to become, but the boho, edgy version,” she says. Gerstein says that there is a certain essence that the wearers of her designs embody. She calls it the “Shop Emily Jordan Girl.” “She’s fashion-forward, but she’s classic,” she said. “She is empowered and she’s ready to make her mark on the world.” She posts about Emily Jordan Girl on Instagram using the hashtag #SES. “It is honestly inspiring to live with someone who owns her own business,” freshman Olivia Stauber said about her roommate. “It has inspired me to take my endeavors more seriously. I look up to her.” Gerstein plans to continue spreading the word about Emily Jordan and growing her client base through the rest of her time at UM. Her short-term goal is to have her clothing line in stores within a year. So while the masses are taking these four years to “find themselves,” Gerstein is going for fashion world domination.


hen your entourage includes backup dancers, your own band and the occasional Latin Grammy-winning producer, you know you’re going places in the music world. For senior Ariel Snihur, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Known by her stage name, Ariel Rose, the singer has been on the music scene since she was six years old. “I was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and there was this girl singing ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” she said. “I just remember thinking that I wanted to sing exactly like her… and it just came out. My parents were cooking the turkey and they came into the room, shocked. At that moment I knew that I wanted to sing for the rest of my life.” From there, Snihur’s mother wasted no time enrolling her in musical theater classes and voice lessons. Gaining experience at the Hollywood Arts and Cultural Center and the Miracle Theatre, Snihur quickly discovered that she wanted to take this dream to a professional level. She released her first CD– with songs in English and Spanish, to cater to the South Florida audience– when she was 15-years-old. “Growing up, lots of teachers and different people would ask me ‘What’s your Plan B?’” Snihur said. “But my parents always told me that I don’t need one, that I need to follow my dreams.” So far, her dreams have taken her to some pretty cool places. For the past three years, Snihur was the official singer for the Florida Panthers hockey team. Snihur became a regular at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, dazzling Panthers fans with the anthem at around 40 games per season. “I loved it, but this year, I decided that I was too busy to be doing all of that right now,” she said. “It was just very demanding with school, especially since it’s all the way in Sunrise. I just can’t sing at all 40 games with all the stuff I have going on.” On top of all of her

schoolwork, private gigs and participation in the Frost Chorale, UM’s premiere touring choir, Snihur is working on recording new music. This semester, she formed a band, comprised of all Frost music students, to accompany her vocals. Formally recognized by UM as a legitimate ensemble, the Ariel Rose Band is working on a new sound for the singer. “It’s sort of like an electropop style now,” she said. “It’s very dance-y with a disco vibe.” Snihur attributes her collaboration with her boyfriend-turned-band mate, Russell Pollack, to the creation of her new, funky sound. “I never thought that I would go with that style,” she said. “It just happened.” Artists always warn against mixing love and work, but for Snihur and Pollack, it just works. “We didn’t think when we first started dating that we would ever work together, but after about six months, we realized that we did work really well together.” For a woman who’s constantly on-the-go, meshing her personal and professional lives is one of the ways she can cope with such a busy schedule. Snihur attributes her finely-tuned time management skills to getting everything done. “I don’t sleep,” she joked. “Every hour of every day is planned. I know exactly what I’m doing ... I think that’s the most important thing, because otherwise it can become overwhelming.” Believe it or not, Snihur makes sure she has ample time to give back to the community. A regular performer for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Special Olympics, she said she loves seeing the impact she has on the audience. “Everyone seems to be affected in some way and that makes it all worthwhile for me,” she said. While it’s hard for some people to get through a class presentation without breaking into a nervous sweat, Snihur feels most at home in front of a large crowd. Having performed in front of thousands of Miami Heat and Dolphins fans, at a U.S. Soccer game and even at the Latin Grammys Street Party in New York City, Snihur is no stranger to being the center of attention. “The more people, the better,” she said. “I feel like I belong on stage with people looking at me.” Snihur is on her way to performing on her of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float. She just filmed a new music video and plans to release it, along with some new music, by the end of the year.


The arts & culture issue DISTRACTION 67

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photo_alexis mcdonald. design_rori kotch.


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