Distraction Magazine 2021

Page 1


magazine of the students of

suits, courts

the university of miami

spring 2021


IN THE MIX The art of mixology

LANGUAGES OF LOVE Words from the heart

ARE YOU MY DADDY? The love that flows from cash


2/17/21 6:33 PM


magazine of the students of

the university of miami

spring 2021


SUITS COURTS & FORTUNES Glimpse into your future

LOVE LANGUAGES Words from the heart

ARE YOU MY DADDY? The love that flows from cash


2/17/21 6:33 PM


magazine of the students of

the university of miami

spring 2021

are you my daddy? The Love That Flows from Cash


SUITS COURTS & FORTUNES Glimpse into your future

LOVE LANGUAGES Words from the heart

IN THE MIX The art of mixology

2/17/21 6:33 PM


magazine of the students of

the university of miami


spring 2021



SUITS COURTS & FORTUNES Glimpse into your future

IN THE MIX The art of mixology

ARE YOU MY DADDY? The love that flows from cash

2/17/21 6:34 PM



you’ve got questions. we’ve got answers.

1 2 3





















e Spread th

Now is as good a time as any to show someone you care. These organizations help you connect with people all over the world who are in need of a little extra love. 1 More Love Letters A global organization using the power behind social media to write and mail letters to strangers all over the world. moreloveletters.com

2 Love for the Elderly A group that invites you to write a kind letter to an elderly person who may not have friends and family to care for them. loveforourelders.org

3 From the Heart

This Facebook community is dedicated to spreading good cheer to the elderly through cards of all types. Addresses are published and updated directly on their Facebook page, so you can mail letters directly to those in need.

4 Braid Mission The Cards of Hope program sends cards to local group homes and facilities that house youth who are separated from loved ones. braidmission.org

5 Letters to Strangers Letters to Strangers focuses on using letter-writing to share vulnerability with strangers as a way to make mental health help accessible. letterstostrangers.org

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR, WITH LOVE Only a few weeks have passed since red hearts and roses were flying off the shelves. Instead of a date with a tall, dark and handsome lover, on February 14 I found myself frantically texting my staff about our special section. Although I might’ve missed my opportunity for the world’s next greatest love story, my heart was still filled with mutual love for the team that made this beautiful, ooey gooey, romance-filled issue possible. If you are in need of your own dose of love magic, look no further than our special section (page 25) where you will find everything from personal love letters to music for getting in the mood to sexy romances with a sugar daddy. If sappy tales of love are not for you and you need to eat your feelings, turn back to What the Fork (page 13). There’s plenty of pizza, charcuterie and drinks to drown your feelings (and inhibitions) in. If eating away your problems doesn’t work, there’s always The Guide (page 5), Health & Wellness (page 49) and Fashion (page 63) to aid you in practicing a little self help, self care and—most importantly—self love. If you’re looking to get serious (no, I don’t mean start going steady) turn to Main Event (page 75) to learn about the companies tracking your data online or possibly get convinced to start an OnlyFans account. Although this V-day didn’t leave me boo’d up, I do get to keep this issue as a souvenir of my misfortune. If you’re in the same boat, maybe this issue will help you get distracted (or at least feel a little bit better about yourself). P.S. If you know any eligible bachelors, my email is on the masthead ;) XO,

College is synonymous with beer, cheap liquor and sugary mixers, but what about those who are thirsty for more? In the Mix brings readers on a bar crawl through the most popular cocktails from past to present. You’ll be a master mixologist, but stay hydrated! photo_teagan polizzi

Are You My Daddy? The once endearing term has taken on new meaning with the introduction of the art of sugaring. Instead of a being a paternal figure, ‘daddies’ are dishing out thousands to fund the lives of their ‘babies’ in return for companionship and sex. photo_nailah anderson

LOVE—a word that strikes fear in some and melts the hearts of others. Distraction explores how people express their emotions using the five Languages of Love­—touch, acts of service, gift giving, words of affirmation and quality time.

Take a look into Distraction’s crystal ball in Suits, Courts & Fortunes. Get a complete introduction to tarot readings and look to the stars to learn the differences between Minor Arcana, Major Arcana, Court and Numbered cards.

photo_tiana torkan design_giselle spicer

photo_sydney burnett illustration_abby pakk











THE ART OF SEDUCTION. Sex work is now a multimillion dollar business, and everyone wants a cut.

WOOD FIRED. Get a taste of the ooey, gooey goodness of pizza Napoletana. This classic pie is made with fresh ingredients and minimal cooking time. Deliziosa!

LANGUAGES OF LOVE. What makes you feel most loved? Discover what makes you warm and fuzzy with our guide to the five types of affection.

KNOCK OUT. Jab your way through a round of sparring in this contact sport.

UNDEFINED. Masculinity is not defined by the clothes you wear. Time to show your softer side.

SUITS, COURTS & FORTUNES. The future is daunting, but with guidance from the cards, the stars just may align.




P.6 P.8 P.9




P.14 P.18 P.21 P.22




P.26 P.29 P.32 P.34 P.36 P.38 P.44 P.45




P.50 P.53 P.54 P.56 P.58




P.64 P.66 P.68




P.76 P.80 P.83 P.86 P.88




spring 2021

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PICK UP LINE? THE TEAM Editor-in-Chief_Olivia Ginsberg Co-Executive Editors_Emmalyse Brownstein & Gabrielle Lord Managing Editor_Lauren Mokhtarzadeh Co-Creative Directors_Lauren Maingot & Gianna Sanchez You bring a Co-Art Directors_Giselle Spicer & Avani Choudhary side of fries Co-Photo Editors_Teagan Polizzi & Sydney Burnett for that Illustration Director_Rachel Rader shake? Assistant Art Director_Giovanni Aprigliano Co-Assistant Photo Editors_Tiana Torkan & Nailah Anderson Co-Fashion Directors_Keagan Larkins & Abby Podolsky Co-Fashion Assistants_Roma Williams & Erika Pun Co-Video Editors_Travis Laub & Elinor Howells Co-Assistant Video Editors_Debra Baldwin & Molly Balsamides Co-PR Directors_Anika Bhavnani & Sabrina Snyder PR Assistants_Katelyn Gavin, Amy Welsey, Emily Marquez & Geethika Kataru Co-Social Media Directors_Lindsawy Jayne & Emy Deeter Social Media Assistants_Isabel Bauer-Nathan & Emily Bergwall The Guide Editor_Alexis Masciarella What the Fork Editor_Nailah Edmead Special Section Editor_Kathryn Ford Health & Wellness Editor_Kylea Henseler Wanna feel my Fashion Editor_Isabel Tragos shirt? It’s made of Main Event Editor_Catherine McGrath girlfriend material. Faculty Adviser_Randy Stano Bruce Garrison & Sam Terilli

The magazine is produced four times per year, twice a semester. City Graphics and Bellack Miami printed 2,000 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 9.8 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, visit distractionmagazine.com. Questions and comments can be sent to 1330 Miller Drive, Student Media Suite 202A, Coral Gables, FL, 33146, dropped into SSC Student Media Suite Suite 200 or emailed to oag27@miami.edu. All articles, photographs and illustrations are copyrighted by the University of Miami.





DISTRACTIONMAGAZINE.COM Digital Editor_Gianna Milan Assistant Digital Editors_Leslie Dominique, Ainsley Vetter, Anjuli Sharpley & Scarlett Diaz

Hey, I lost my snap. Can I borrow yours?

CONTRIBUTORS Abby Pak, illustrator Katrina Schmidt, designer Marielle Zuber, designer Ally Gaddy, photographer Daniella Pinzon, photographer Julia DiMarco, photographer Aaron Bissoondial, writer Austin Pert, writer Camila Munera, writer Cassandra Couri, writer Emily Louie, writer Isabella Vaccaro, writer Myles Griffith, writer Natalie Abatemarco, writer

I’m not a photographer, but I can picture you and me together.

When it comes to contributors, we’re not picky. Whether you’ve found your niche in a biology 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 an extracurricular/volunteer operation made 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, comments or concerns, email our editor-inchief, Olivia Ginsberg, at oag27@miami.edu. Correction: In Frat Star Fashion (page 68), a feature story in our Fall 2020 issue, the abbreviation for Alpha Phi Alpha faternity was misprinted as AKA.


THE GUIDE Welcome to your roadmap—whether it’s learning how to invest in the stock market, ways to get an internship or discovering tarot cards, The Guide has you covered. So ditch the TikTok tutorials and dive in.




SHOT The summer of 2020. Maybe you landed your dream internship or were bound to study abroad. But inperson experiences turned remote, and some were cancelled altogether. For many college students, last year was a wash. Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, these tips will make sure you have something lined up that’s worthwhile when the semester ends. words_emily louie. design_giovanni aprigliano.



The Guide

Use UM’s Resources One of the easiest ways to start your internship hunt is by taking advantage of UM’s very own Toppel Career Center. They have advisors to talk to about general guidance and regularly update their website with new opportunities in various fields. You should also consider contacting your academic advisor and department heads about upcoming internships or career fairs. Not only do they have suggestions, but chances are they’ve got plenty of contacts and alumni in your industry you can reach out through email or LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to cold message someone—your next connection could be just a type and click away. Really, the worst that can happen is that someone tells you “no.” So what do you have to lose?

Keep an Open Mind While you should apply for internships that align with your interests, it’s also important to be flexible and keep an open mind. Consider working in industries similar to but not exactly in your field—it’s likely that you will still gain valuable experience, skills and knowledge. But when doing so, make sure to stay honest on your resume and cover letter. Dr. Alyse Lancaster, a department chair and associate professor at UM’s School of Communication, advises students to tell the truth about their skills and qualifications and apply for internships you can contribute to in a unique and positive way. “While inflating your abilities and skills sometimes works, students who do this run the risk of being seen as duplicitous, particularly if there are a lot of short-term deadlines that require immediate skills,” said Lancaster.

Don’t Dismiss Remote Positions Despite the limitations that come with the pandemic, remote internships can be very beneficial. First and foremost, location is no longer a factor. Whereas before you might have had certain geographic limitations, a virtual experience broadens the scope of your search. You won’t have to scramble to find a three-month lease, roommates or spend your summer’s earnings on rent. Sophomore Rachel Keller said if her internship at SEAL Awards, a San Diego-based company, were in-person, she wouldn’t have been able to participate because of her need to stay in Chicago. According to her, it was “much more flexible when it comes to hours and deadlines.” Despite the benefits, the importance of time management is huge when it comes to virtual internships. “It’s a lot easier to lose sight of deadlines and other internship-related requirements when you’re not physically having to go into the office to complete the internship,” Dr. Lancaster said. “Organizations who are sponsoring interns remotely are having to put a lot more trust and faith in their interns to meet their deadlines from home.”

Prepare for the Interview “Tell me about yourself,” “What is your greatest weakness?” and “Why should we hire you?” are dreaded questions, but they are to be expected in most interviews. To prepare yourself for openended questions, imagine scenarios in which you have worked well on a team, succeeded or even failed. “Be genuine and confident while presenting your best qualities,” Dr. Lancaster said. “Do not try to give them the answer you think they want to hear if it isn’t accurate.” She recommends that students do their research before entering the interview. “Go through their entire website, read about their history, learn about who works there and know who their clients are,” she said. Be prepared to explain how you can apply your unique skills to benefit specifics within the company.

Revisit Your Resume When you are reaching out, whether it be to a stranger in the industry or your family friend, be sure to have a fresh resume ready to go. Don’t send it without reading it through— thoroughly. “I can’t tell you how many times I have seen students misspell basic words, and I can assure you, interviewers judge that,” Lancaster said. If you need a new pair of eyes to double check for grammar or spelling mistakes, enlist the help of a classmate, advisor, professor or Toppel employee.

Let’s Talk Logistics Secured the internship? Let’s talk logistics. Accepting an unpaid internship has its drawbacks, especially if you will have to pay for travel and housing expenses. “I believe students should not accept an unpaid internship unless it is remote,” Keller said. Instead, students should not be afraid to ask for assistance in making living arrangements or negotiate salary or stipends. Consider renting an Airbnb for summerlong internships or three-month periods, as many renters will provide discounts for stays longer than one month.



INVESTING FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS Were you confused by the whole GameStop saga? You’re not alone. Investing in the stock market can be both a risky and thrilling ordeal. Everyone should learn the ins and outs of Wall Street—it’s an opportunity to gain a new skill and to set yourself up for a healthy financial future.

As college students, making smart financial decisions is crucial to building good credit, paying off future debt and laying the foundations for retirement. Nicolas Chapman, an investment analyst at the University of Miami’s treasury, said that the best time to start learning is right now. “The earlier you get started, the more money you are going to make,” Chapman said. Chapman recommends considering investing in either a diversified index fund or big, blue chip companies like Apple or Amazon. The stock market is especially tumultuous right now, so going down the right path now can set you up for years to come.

words_cassandra couri. design_katrina schmidt.


04 0 4 01 01

Banks: Merrill Edge, TD Ameritrade, SoFi

RESEARCH COMPANIES BEFORE YOU BUY! Invest based on data, not emotional connections.

Brokers: E*Trade, Charles Schwab

Know what to look for: stability, consistent growth, upward trends and growth potential.

02 02

Take advantage of free access to business journals. “I would have more faith in students checking up on those newspapers once in a while to make educated decisions rather than calling a professional,” Chapman said.


Look into advice from big names like Warren Buffet, but don’t be afraid to venture out yourself.

Out of savings–save some for a rainy day, but excess can be invested. Out of income–Use the 50/20/30-style strategy to divide up after-tax income and allocate it to spend 50% on needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings.

Be tentative about your investments. You can always buy more stock if it proves to be successful.



05 0 5

Do not check your stocks obsessively. It’s okay to leave them and let them work.

RESEARCH AND CHOOSE WHICH TYPE OF INVESTMENT ACCOUNT SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE AND GOALS. Brokerage accounts offer no tax breaks but have very few rules. Retirement accounts: IRA, Roth IRA, Solo 401ks are taxadvantaged investment accounts designed for retirement.

03 03

Education accounts: 529 savings and ESAs provide an investment vehicle for building funds to pay for college for children.



The Guide

Don’t panic. If one of your investments has a bad day, that is not a reason to sell all of your shares. Look into news about the company and make a decision. The stock market can often be volatile, and external events may cause fluctuation. Remember that the money you’ve invested was designed to be set aside. Do not invest more money than you can spare from your everyday needs.

suits, courts

Fortunes &



When you think of tarot cards, you might think of someone sitting in front of a crystal ball. But despite the mystique that movies and social media may put around readings, just about anyone can learn to interpret the cards. words_camila munera. design_lauren maingot.

the suits

ds swor


The Suit of Swords, ruled by air, is the suit of the mind. This suit deals with decisionmaking and mentality, often appearing in times of conflict.

themed decks to Rider-Waite (considered the most traditional deck), there are plenty to choose from. What most decks have in common are their card components. The tarot card format is a 78-card deck with 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards based on the elements fire, water, air and earth and 16 court cards that are divided into each of the four elements. Many tarot decks come with a book that explains the meaning of each card. Sylvia said that for her, tarot cards have a powerful introspective component. “Tarot card reading can be very uplifting and inspiring,” she said. “For the most part, it’s a way for you to get in touch with certain messages you just need to hear.” Emma Lam, a University of Miami alumna who often gives tarot card readings, agrees. Lam, who earned a degree in psychology in 2020, said that tarot card readings don’t necessarily just predict the future. “I like to see it as a way to look at a situation from different angles, and a way to guide either yourself or another person to think more deeply and introspectively.”


The Suit of Coins (or Pentacles), ruled by earth, is the suit of the body. This suit covers the material aspects of our lives, including career and posessions.

wan ds


arot cards illustrate symbols and myths based on one’s life experiences and situations. By reading a personal experience in the cards, one can become a part of the collective whole of human experience. This is what is referred to as the akashic record, the astral record of all that has ever been and ever will be in existence according to San Francisco-based astrologer and tarot card reader Susan Levitt in her book “Introduction to Tarot.” It’s challenging to pinpoint the exact origin of tarot cards—there are several theories. Some teachers of metaphysics refer to the ancient Egyptians and the Hermetic School as the originators, but according to Levitt’s book, tarot cards came about in Italy during the early 15th century. Initially used for playing card games, tarot later gained a more occult usage in 18th century France. According to Laurie Alvarez Sylvia, a tarot card reader based in Fort Lauderdale, it’s actually quite simple to learn tarot card reading. The first step is to find a deck that resonates with you. From Game of Thrones-

The Suit of Wands, ruled by fire, is the suit of the spirit. This suit governs our core selves and driving forces and is associated with passion and creativity.


The Suit of Cups, ruled by water, is the suit of the heart. This suit is associated with emotions and relationships, both romantic and platonic.


Arcana The minor arcana appear as numbered or court cards in any of the four suits. They often refer to the daily aspects of a subject’s life, giving insight on present situations as opposed to longterm karmic influences.


Arcana As opposed to minor arcana, major arcana represent larger thematic shifts occurring in the subject’s life. These cards depict various archetypes telling a story known as “the Fool’s Journey.” The Fool (card 0) follows a path through the other 21 major arcana, each representing a life lesson. The major arcana have complex and powerful meanings—you should listen when they appear.



Court cards often signify the subject or people in the subject’s life. They each carry the energy of their suit, but express that energy differently depending on their role at court.



Each number of the minor arcana has its own theme and meaning, while the suit represents the manner it appears in. For example, aces often represent new beginnings, while tens represent completion.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 11


WHAT THE FORK From Sweetgreen salads to craft drink recipes, What the Fork has palettes for every foodie. Get boujee with a charcuterie board or heat things up with a fresh pizza Napoletana. Either way, things are bound to get spicy.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 13

In the

14 DISTRACTION What the Fork

Mix e

Mixology may seem intimidating, but at its core the art of drink-making is simple. Get tipsy with this curated list of Distraction’s favorite drinks.

words_kathryn ford. photo_teagan polizzi. design_olivia ginsberg.

The shape of a cocktail glass determines its intended use. For example, a rocks glass is traditionally used for whiskey-based drinks and a martini glass is used to serve its namesake.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 15

Margarita If margaritas often accompany your Taco Tuesday orders but you have never made one from scratch, think again. This fan-favorite cocktail can be made in just a few minutes. Tequila Fresh lime juice Orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec will do) Agave or sweetener of choice Optional: Salt and lime for garnish In a shaker combine tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, agave and ice and shake vigorously. For a salted rim: run a lime wedge along the edge of your glass and dip the rim in salt. Strain into a glass with fresh ice and enjoy!

Muddle berries at the bottom of your shaker or add mango nectar for an extra tropical margarita.

Gin & Tonic A gin and tonic, commonly referred to as a G&T, is a highball—meaning it contains only liquor and a mixer. Perfect for beginners, a G&T is a safe bet for any cocktail night. 2 ounces of quality gin 1 cup of tonic water Optional: Lime or citrus of choice Fill your glass with fresh ice cubes, pour over a good quality gin and top with tonic water. Stir to combine the ingredients and garnish with a lime wheel.

Old Fashioned The Old Fashioned is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy way to drink whiskey. If you are not too keen on sipping whiskey, try adjusting the sweetness and bitterness levels. A generous pinch of sugar (or sweetener of choice) 2-3 dashes of your preferred bitter 2 ounces of bourbon Optional: Orange peel Add the sugar, bitters and a splash of water to the bottom of a highball glass. Once combined, fill the glass with large ice cubes (you can buy special ice trays just for whiskey) and pour in the bourbon. Stir and top with orange peel.

16 DISTRACTION What the Fork

Rub the outside of an orange peel around the edge of your glass to add a bitter aroma to any drink.

Mojito The mojito is a refreshing, minty Miami classic perfect for a warm day. A handful of fresh mint leaves ½ lime, cut in wedges 2 tablespoons of sweetener 1 ½ ounces of white rum A splash of club soda Add the mint and lime to the bottom of your glass and muddle. Add sugar and remainder of limes and continue to muddle. Without straining, add ice, pour over the rum and top with club soda. Stir to combine and garnish with lime wedge. Tip: Muddle with strawberry, blueberry or watermelon for an extra fruity flavor.

Dirty Martini Shaken or stirred, a martini is made of two things: gin or vodka and dry vermouth. 2 ½ ounces of gin or vodka ½ ounces of dry vermouth Optional: Lemon peel or olives

Use ice in your shaker, but always add fresh ice to your glass before pouring.

Add your liquors into a shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled glass. To make it dirty: Add ½ ounce olive brine to your shaker and garnish with extra olives.

Aperol Spritz Bubbly and colorful with a mix of sweet and bitter, an Aperol spritz is the perfect summertime drink that will transport you to the coast of Italy. 3 ounces of Aperol 3 ounces of prosecco A splash of club soda Optional: Orange slice or olives Fill your glass with ice, pour in your Aperol followed by prosecco and top it off with a splash of club soda. Garnish with orange slices and olives.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 17


New Yorkers love their big, thin slices. Chicagoans are loyal to their deep-dish pies. All over the country, people devour their local specialties. But Neapolitan pizza reigns supreme. With its origin in Naples, Italy, pizza Napoletana is the ultimate combination of texture, flavor and simplicity. With only a few fresh ingredients, you can make it yourself. words & photo_teagan polizzi. design_olivia ginsberg.


Freshly made pizza calls for fresh ingredients. Check your nearest farmer’s market for high quality ingredients like tomatoes, basil or freshly-made mozzarella cheese. You’ll taste the difference.

According to The Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, what truly sets a Neapolitan pizza apart is its crust. It must have a raised edge (traditionally referred to as the “cornicione”), be supple to the touch and have a circular shape. Although you can a use store-bought dough, it simply doesn’t compare to one made from scratch. This recipe’s 50/50 combination of allpurpose and 00 (double zero) flours gives the pizza a wonderful flavor and balanced texture. Because Neapolitan dough is so simple, using high-quality ingredients and sticking to the method are crucial. Sam Sifton from New York Times Cooking recommends measuring by weight rather than volume to achieve the best product. Using a kitchen scale instead of typical measuring cups will give you more accuracy. Traditionally, Neapolitan pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven. But portable pizza ovens, like the Ooni Pro or the Roccbox, are great substitutes for pizza nights. If you aren’t looking to make a purchase, a regular oven set to 500°F (or as high as it can go) will suffice. Be sure to pre-heat a pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven for the best result. Then, all that remains is 90 seconds of cooking to transport you to Napoli.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 19

Delizioso! DIY DOUGH Yield: Two 12-inch pizzas Time: 20 minutes + at least three hours rising time Ingredients: - 153 grams 00 flour - 153 grams all-purpose flour - 8 grams fine sea salt - 2 grams active dry yeast - 4 grams extra-virgin olive oil Preparation: 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt. 2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200 grams of lukewarm tap water, the yeast and the olive oil. Then pour it into the flour mixture. Knead with your hands or with a standing mixer fitted with a hook attachment meant for dough until well combined, or approximately three minutes, then let the mixture rest uncovered for 15 minutes. 3. Knead the rested dough for another three minutes. Cut into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with a dampened cloth and let rest and rise for three to four hours at room temperature or for eight to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (If you refrigerate the dough, remove it 30 to 45 minutes before you begin). 4. To make pizza, place each dough ball on a heavily floured surface and use your fingers to stretch it. Then, use your hands to shape it into rounds or squares. Top and bake. *Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking

TOP IT OFF 1. Marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil 2. Caramelized onions and ricotta cheese, topped with A Pizza arugula and balsamic glaze after baking napoletana 3. Goat cheese and figs, topped with arugula after baking is typically 4. Marinara sauce, low-moisture shredded mozzarella and cut into four ricotta cheese, topped with arugula after baking slices, and 5. Pesto and tomato, topped with burrata cheese and one pie is toasted pine nuts after baking the perfect personal size. 6. Marinara sauce, pesto and fresh mozzarella 7. Nutella, strawberries and ricotta cheese, topped with fresh mint and powdered sugar after baking

20 DISTRACTION What the Fork

GRAZE Spilling with meats, cheeses, artisan breads, olives, fruit and nuts, the charcuterie board offers something for everyone. Although it may seem daunting, you can create a show-stopping grazing board with little to no effort.


Cheese & Things


Bread & Crackers



words, design & photo_keagan larkins.




Fresh Fruit

Choose high-quality, thinly-sliced meats with varying saltiness and spiciness like prosciutto and sopressata. Fold or roll the meat for the best presentation.

Choose any you’d like, but berries, apples and grapes are always a crowd pleaser. Don’t be afraid to slip a vegetable on your board, too, like these Persian cucumbers.

Begin by placing bowls filled with jam and olives. Then put down cheeses with varying texture and sharpness for the widest flavor variety. Don’t be afraid to try something new like this blueberry vanilla goat cheese.

Next comes the carriers. Buy a variety of crackers, some sweet, some salty, some big and some small. Don’t forget a fresh, thinly-sliced baguette.

The perfect charcuterie board is all about presentation, but you can never go wrong with herbs, dried fruit, and nuts. Grab a drink (wine pairs best) and enjoy.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 21



EN 22 DISTRACTION What the Fork


05 3 E

Salad probably isn’t something you find yourself craving often, especially if you’ve never been to Sweetgreen. This fresh spot with a cult following has finally landed in Miami—and it’s here to change your persective on leafy greens. words & design_lauren mokhtarzadeh. photo_julia dimarco.


ollowing it’s rise to a household name in major cities like New York City and Los Angeles, Sweetgreen has made its way to the Miami. The best part? Their first location is right here in Coral Gables, and another location is expected to open soon at CocoWalk in Coconut Grove. The premise behind Sweetgreen is a fastcasual style restaurant with farm-to-table ingredients. Each of its over 109 locations across the country serve produce from local farms and businesses. In Miami, Sweetgreen is partnering with local businesses like Zak the Baker, Keez Beez, Marjon Foods, C&B Farms and Lady Moon Farms to provide quality produce, bread and other menu

items. The Coral Gables location carries the brand’s classic salads like the Kale Caesar and Guacamole Greens, but also offers unique seasonal dishes and city-specific options like the Citrus Shrimp + Avocado Bowl. The Coral Gables location—nestled next to Coyo Taco and La Sanwicherie in Giralda Plaza—is bustling with a busy outdoor patio and socially-distanced line outside the shop. Whether you’re vegan, keto or anything in between, Sweetgreen’s customizable topping bar can work for all dietary needs. Options range from roasted chicken to goat cheese and roasted sesame tofu. Sarah Simon, a senior pre-med student at UM, said that she is a big fan of their blackened chicken and adds it on top of every Sweetgreen salad.

In addition to Sweetgreen’s mix-ins and dressings, their portion sizes are ideal for busy college students who don’t always have time to do meal prep. UM senior Gabrielle Butman said she always has leftovers, which stretches her dollar and saves her cooking time on her next meal. Even students who are unfamiliar with the chain say they are anxious to go. “I’m excited to try it, but a little skeptical due to all the hype around a $17 salad,” senior Tim O’Malley said. “So if it’s not worth the large price tag, I’ll definitely be disappointed.” This begs the question: is Sweetgreen worth the hype? You’ll have to try it for yourself to find out.

University of Miami Student Favorites Kale Caesar

Guacamole Greens

Citrus Shrimp + Avocado Bowl

Harvest Bowl

What’s inside: Roasted chicken Tomato Parmesan crisps Shaved Parmesan Shredded kale Chopped romaine Lime juice Caesar dressing

What’s inside: Roasted chicken Avocado Tomato Red onion Shredded cabbage Tortilla chips Spring mix Lime juice Lime cilantro vinaigrette

What’s inside: Roasted shrimp Avocado Tomato Red onion Cilantro Roasted sweet potato Shredded cabbage + spinach Tortilla chips Warm quinoa Ceviche dressing

What’s inside: Roasted chicken Roasted sweet potato Apples Goat cheese Raw pecans Warm wild rice Shredded kale Balsamic vinaigrette

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 23


PI BETA PHI Welcome to the UMiami Panhellenic Community AΔΠ ΧΩ ΔΔΔ ΔΦΕ ΣΔΤ ΖΤΑ ΠΒΦ For more information, contact: Ari Amato Panhellenic President umiamipanhellpres@gmail.com Marissa Katz Vice President of Recruitment umiamipanhellenicrecruitment@gmail.com Follow: @umiamipiphi @umiamipanhellenic

LOVE The driver of humanity. The infection to which no one is immune. As we wrap up another Valentine’s Day, we’re exploring the crazy little thing called love. From learning your love language to the nuances of dating in a global pandemic, you’ll discover this section has something for everyone.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 25

are you my daddy? The Love That Flows from Cash

26 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

What happens when you start falling for your sugar daddy? Find out in “Stranger Love,” an upcoming book by Isabella Vaccaro. words_isabella vaccaro. photo_nailah anderson. design_avani choudhary.


tella ran her fingertips along the smooth edges of her new purse. The leather felt so strong, yet so supple. What it really felt like was expensive. She quickly typed into Google: cherry print YSL bag to find out how much Louis had spent on her this time. Okay, woah, she thought, taking a breath. This was more than usual. Over the years, Louis had spoiled Stella with tons of cash, gifts, the occasional edible and even some books he’d thought she’d enjoy. The first year, Stella had kept count of her monetary gain and had cashed out around $1,000 from Louis, not including the fun, little extras he’d throw in every now and then. But, by year three of their relationship, she simply felt it wrong to keep counting. He’d sent her Gucci perfumes and designer clothes worth a few hundred in the past, but nothing as pricy as this purse. She wondered if it meant something more to him. Was it a pre-cursor to some grand gesture of love that would ultimately catch her offguard and force her to give in? Or was it truly just a “reward for getting such good grades this semester,” as Louis had written on the little gift card that came with the package? She’d be lying if she said she didn’t feel something—anything—for Louis. Stella knew from the first moment they matched on Tinder, after Louis had Super-Liked her and she’d finished the lyrics to a Tupac song referenced in his profile, that they’d at least get along. She didn’t know how close they would become, though, and after all, she had logged onto Tinder that day in her first year of college to find money, not a man. But, there was something about Louis. They liked the same music, had the same political views and even majored in the same subject in college. The 23 years between them seemed almost nonexistent compared to the dozens of things they had in common. I’m going up to Naples to visit my family, but I feel like shit. I think I have a cold, Stella texted him a few days after they’d matched. Poor thing, Louis responded, almost immediately. Just stay in bed all weekend.

Yeah I guess, ugh, Stella said. It had only been three days but it felt like she was already texting one of her best friends. Twenty minutes later, a little ping! distracted her from her misery. It was Cash App. It was $20 from Louis—For Soup, he had written. Stella raised her eyebrows, but let them droop back down in that allknowing way. She smiled and texted Louis immediately. You’re sweet. Thank you. And so it began. Louis played a role in Stella’s life that no one ever had before. He wasn’t a boyfriend, nor was he just a friend. He wasn’t her father, but he certainly treated her with the love and admiration of one. Rarely was Louis the second or third name listed on her Messages; he was usually the first. If Stella ever mentioned she was getting her nails done— ping!—$50 from Louis. For Nails. When she said she was out of weed—bam—bundles of edibles, carts or straight up grass were in the mail the next day. Stella appreciated the generosity, she really did. And she never asked for anything; Louis always offered, without expecting anything in return. But Louis did want one thing. He wanted to meet Stella—take her out for dinner or on vacation to Costa Rica or Bali. Stella declined every time. It became a sort of running joke that half of her allure came from the fact that she’d never let Louis meet her. Texting was their sole method of communication—no Snapchat, FaceTime, or even a phone call, ever—and Louis didn’t have social media, either. So, the only times he was able to lay eyes on the girl he was investing in was on her terms. Anytime Stella posted on her Instagram, she’d send him a copy of the selfie, or mirror pics of her outfits before going out. You’re so beautiful or My little goddess were typical responses from Louis. And, usually, he’d add a little zinger at the end like and smart, too. Those compliments made Stella feel like a real lady, like she knew that someone really saw her and adored every bit of her. And she certainly wasn’t getting those type of compliments from the childish college boys she entertained on a regular

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 27

basis. But, with every near-perfect scenario, there’s usually a catch. Louis was a drinker. And sometimes, it got bad. Sometimes she’d catch him in a weak moment with a pretty photo of her face and he’d utter more sexual compliments, sometimes over voice memos, which made Stella uncomfortable, to say the least. It was usually only when he was drunk, from what she could tell, but she still didn’t like how the harsh shift in his comments made her feel.

If this is what the conversations are gonna be, we should just stop talking. I’m not really interested in that stuff, Stella wrote out one day after Louis said something sexual, feeling vindicated for standing up for herself. A few days went by with no response from Louis. Stella, for fear of losing her new friend and financial sponsor, almost began to regret the message she’d sent. Couldn’t she have just put up with a few crude messages when he got hammered? Did she really have to go and open her mouth like that? And then the package arrived at her dorm. They were chocolates—sheep-shaped chocolates, because she’d told Louis that sheep were her favorite animal, and two books he’d recommended she read. “I’m sorry,” was written in pen on a fancy piece of card stock inside the package. Louis was a complex man. And in three years, Stella had come to understand the ins and outs of how his brain worked, as well as the struggles he faced. At 44, he’d never married or had kids and, save for a few serious girlfriends from his past, certainly hadn’t dated anyone in the time Stella knew him. Neither had Stella. She’d engaged in her fair share of hook-ups and even got close to dating this one guy, who, in the end, disappointed her. She’d tell Louis about the boys who circulated her apartment, and he’d commiserate with her about how ‘clueless and ignorant’ they were. I can never date anyone who doesn’t treat me as well as you do, Stella said to Louis after a long conversation about her love life. Then date me, Louis replied. Come on, let me take you to dinner. Stella seriously considered it for a half second. She even went to her roommates, her state of distress apparent on her paled face. “Am I in love with Louis?” she blurted in her friends’ faces. “No,” said one. “NO!” said the other. “Okay, okay,” Stella said, sighing a long breath of relief. But she knew it wasn’t true. She did love Louis, in a way. Maybe she wasn’t in

love with him. Not like that. But, she talked to him every day, about every little thing. He knew more about her life than some of her closest girlfriends. And he made her feel like the most important girl in the world. She did have love for him, she decided, for sure. But, not in the way he did for her. No, she replied assertively after a few minutes of contemplation. I’m not going out with you! You know that silly. I know, he answered. I gotta take a step back for a few days. We’re getting in a dangerous area, okay? Okay, she replied. Stella knew exactly what “we’re getting in a dangerous area” meant. Louis was in love with her, in whatever capacity you can love a person with whom you only share text messages, and he knew it was unrequited. He did this every so often, after she’d send him a pretty photo or they fell into some deep conversation about life. He’d retreat from her, maybe to grab hold of some stability— some sanity—before gravitating back to her company. Stella wondered how much longer he’d be able to keep up this act—if it were her on his end, it probably would’ve killed her by now. Every time he took a little longer to answer or sent her a one-word response, she worried it might be his last. It was only a matter of time before her sweet, sweet sugar daddy simply ran out of sugar. Sorry, I’m back. I love you, you know, he’d say when returning from a hiatus. I know, she’d say, never offering those three little words back. She showed her love in other ways: by comforting him when his mother died and by offering him her undivided attention, never letting a text go unanswered for more than a few minutes. And in return, he acted as a father-figure, sending her thoughtful gifts and spurts of cash when he felt she could use it. It was only in his moments of weakness that the father-facade came down to reveal the love-deprived benefactor he was. So, unsure of what else to do, Stella simply accepted the love when it came and forgave the outbursts, too. And every time she felt the taut leather of her cherry print clutch in her hand, it was almost as if Louis was there, pumping her up and reminding her how much she was adored by her devoted sugar daddy, or whatever you want to call him.

Inspired by the TV show Euphoria makeup artist Cleo Hastings (@facedbycleo) used sparkly makeup to decorate the faces of the sugar babies.

28 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

college sweethearts!

You never know when you might meet the one. It could be right here on campus, like models Dahlia Mason and Alexis Masciarella.

With the emergence of dating apps and hookup culture, it seems like less students find love through school involvement and more so on a frat dance floor. But don’t give up hope! You never know where love could find you. Many lifelong couples kindled their romance right here on campus—these are just a few of their stories. words_natalie abatemarco. photos_nailah anderson. design_avani choudhary.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 29



In 1981, Ed Pozzuoli and Gina Rodriguez were undergraduate students studying business at The U. It all started when they were paired on a student government campaign ticket—Ed was running for president and Gina as his treasurer. But Pozzuoli wished to be more than friends with Rodriguez—he wanted her to be his first lady rather than his treasurer. Ed asked her out, but she declined. “When we first met, I kind of didn’t like him much,” Gina said. “I thought he was kind of, you know…it just wasn’t really love at first sight.” Although the couple didn’t secure the presidential win, they would soon gain something more. Months later, on the day of the Penn State vs. Miami homecoming game, the two stood in the stands of the Orange Bowl next to each other. While watching the field intently, it began pouring rain. Naturally, Pozzuoli offered to share his umbrella with Rodriguez. “That’s just when it kind of clicked,” Rodriguez said. “After he asked me out the third time, I said yes.” The couple has now been married for 39 years. UM was meant to be, but that’s not how the pair saw things earlier in life. After graduating from high schools in Florida, both Pozzuoli and Rodriguez had hopes of attending northern schools. But their parents said they had to stay local. As it turned out, this was fate taking its course. Dating life at UM has changed quite a bit since the 80s, said the couple. “There isn’t even a dating scene today,” said Rodriguez. But meeting your true love in college is not impossible. In fact, their own daughter, Elizabeth Pozzuoli, met her current beau in much the same way as her parents.

Ed and Gina Pozzuoli at Kappa Kappa Gamma’s spring formal in 1983.

30 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love




It started in the spring of 2017. The two freshman had a class together in the School of Communication—Elizabeth was studying public relations and Will media management. They were classmates, but nothing more. “I didn’t think anything of it. I always thought he was cute, and he was one of few boys in communication school classes,” Pozzuoli laughed. The next fall, Elizabeth was planning an event on campus as part of her role in UM’s Homecoming Executive Committee. She’d booked one of the school’s Sebastian mascots to be there. The person who showed up in an Ibis costume turned out to be, you guessed it, Will LaRossa. After that, Pozzuoli and LaRossa began getting closer. The pair talked almost every day via Snapchat over winter break of their junior year. Both of them came back to campus before the start of the spring semester, Will to be an Orientation Leader and Elizabeth for sorority recruitment. Pozzuoli said she casually asked LaRossa to grab some food. “I never really interpreted it as me asking him on a date, but he thinks of it as our first,” she said. They went to Spris, a pizza restaurant near campus and hit it off. “We were there until the place closed just talking,” Pozzuoli said. Their favorite memory at UM, though, is Homecoming week during their senior year. Elizabeth was head of the homecoming committee and Will was a dedicated (but devotedly anonymous) Sebastian. “It was one of most memorable weeks at UM for us,” Elizabeth reminisced fondly. When COVID-19 sent students to virtual classrooms in March 2020, the couple were just weeks away from earning their degrees. Both graduated virtually and began applying for jobs. But a tough job market led them right back to each other—both are now back at The U in the MBA program.


In the fall of 1988, Dean Furman spent his days leading up to the student government election searching for someone to be the Mahoney-Pearson senator on his ticket. “I didn’t have someone to fill that spot, so a friend of mine had a friend who was a freshman, and her name was Christian Davis,” said Furman. Davis ran over to meet with Furman immediately after rowing practice and agreed to be on the ticket. A few days later, the two spoke on the phone to cover campaign logistics. Furman mentioned to Davis that she would have to contribute to a shared campaign fund. “She didn’t know there was money involved, and said no to being our Mahoney candidate,” said Furman. This left Furman with a day to find a replacement. “It left a bitter taste in my mouth and she was definitely on my ‘out’ list at the time,” recalled Furman. Once the heat of the election died down, Furman was able to focus more on the student-led paper, The Forum. He put his phone number in the paper for peers to give their feedback. “There was only one person who called me,” Furman recalled. “It was Christian.” Davis had been a fan of The Forum and decided to give Furman her positive feedback, unaware at the time that they had met previously. Furman had not forgotten the bind Davis put him in during the prior semester, but Davis had. This was the last time the two spoke until they were coincidentally Resident Assistants on the same floor of Mahoney. As RAs, Davis and Furman experienced special events together, including a retreat to Key West. During a round of ice breaker games, Davis made it clear that she was interested in Furman. “I kept asking him, ‘What’s your favorite color?’ ‘Your favorite food?’ It was obvious that I was trying to get to know him,” said Davis. One evening, at the dining hall, a fellow RA mentioned that Stevie Nicks would be coming to town. Furman said he would be interested in going. “As soon as I agreed Christian piped in…” said Furman. “I love Stevie Nicks. He is one of my favorites!” said Davis. She didn’t have as much interest in Stevie Nicks as she did in Furman. “I didn’t even know that was a girl!” she said. Their first real date consisted of them, Stevie Nicks and a fellow RA, Earl. Furman proposed to Davis during the winter break of her senior year. The couple was meeting up for the holidays, but Furman had bigger plans. “I was totally shocked,” remembered Davis. Clearly forgiving and forgetting can be worthwhile.

Dean and Christian Furman at a Hurricane football game in 1988.



Although the college dating scene has changed throughout the years, persistence remains one of the most vital tactics. In the summer of 1965, Herb Ford was attending the University of Miami to get his master’s degree. He spent the summertime studying and singing in the South Miami Methodist Church choir, that is, when he wasn’t teaching math. During one special choir practice, a girl named Sally Lieux walked in. “I was back in the bass section, and she walked in, and that’s where I saw her for the first time,” said Ford. She immediately caught his attention and he decided to try to catch her after rehearsal let out. “I thought, ‘Gee, maybe I should check out this girl.’” Lieux, going into her final year at the University of Miami, was to be married to a man serving in the Vietnam War. They had been dating for a few years and were to be engaged her senior year, according to her plan. After choir practices, many members would congregate at a local bakery for dessert and Cuban coffee. “Oh, it smelled delicious. You would go up US-1 and smell them baking bread,” said Lieux. Ford took this opportunity to ask Lieux out. “I can go out with you as a friend. My boyfriend is in the service,” she said. “No problem,” he replied. Five hot Miami weeks went by on campus. After a Tuesday night date, Ford confessed how he felt about Lieux. “I told her she was making a mistake by marrying the other guy and that she should marry me instead, because I loved her.” Lieux responded, “Well,

let me think about it. I’ll give you an answer in a week.” Lieux, a duo bass musician, played summer concerts with a local orchestra. She invited Ford to a rehearsal on a Friday night. As the musicians tuned their instruments, Ford wondered what Lieux’s answer would be. Lieux requested that Ford meet her underneath the bleachers. “She was standing there talking to a man I didn’t know…he turned out to be her teacher,” said Ford. Ford and the professor were mid-handshake when Sally said, “I want you to meet my fiancé.” The two were shocked, but Ford was thrilled to finally have the answer he was looking for. The two were married the day before Lieux’s graduation in 1966. After a night in Miami Beach, they headed to the Convention Center, where Lieux turned her tassel and graduated from the University of Miami. “Can we leave now?” Lieux remembered thinking. She was ready for the honeymoon. The two have since lived in Miami and are grandparents to Ethan Ford, a current student at the University of Miami. Lieux reminisced on the layout of the campus when she went to orientation with Ethan. “I asked, ‘Where is the bowling alley?’ That was where we had our first date…It’s not there anymore!”



You’ve heard their namesake around campus, but you might not know the epic love story of these UM beneficiaries. Together, they’ve given over $100 million to our university, benefiting the business school, the wellness center and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, to name a few. Patti and Allan Herbert crossed paths on campus in 1954, when Allan spotted her typing in the University’s student union while applying for a job with the Miami Hurricane student newspaper. “For me, it was literally love at first sight,” recalled Allan Herbert. But it would take a 3,000 mile trip to officially kick-start their relationship. While on vacation with his parents in California, Allan Herbert ran into, of all people, Patti McBride, who was also vacationing in the Golden State with her family. “That really started the romance,” said Allan Herbert. “I figured if it was that fortuitous that we could meet 3,000 miles away in a western town, then there was something special about it and we had to make the most of it. It was the beginning of a love story that would last forever.” So, he invited her on a date to visit a new theme park called Disneyland. It was Allan Herbert’s persistence that won Patti McBride over. “He wore me down,” Patti Herbert said. The couple married in 1958. Patti didn’t want a big wedding.“She said we should use the money to go on a honeymoon to Europe.” So, they did. They flew for 13 hours to attend the 1958 World’s Fair. From there, they took a helicopter ride to Paris, landing at the Eiffel Tower. “There we were, a 21-year-old and 22-year-old seeing Europe for the first time— on our own,” Allan Herbert said. *reporting courtesy of UM Communications

Allen and Patti Herbert not only had a special place in their hearts for each other, but also for their beloved university. As alumni, the pair made generous donations to UM that helped build new buildings and create new programs.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 31

All is fair in love and war, right? From heartbreak to soul mates, we had students write their deepest and truest thoughts to their lovers of the past, present and future. XOXO. design_avani choudhary.

32 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 33

lovesick lovesick To swipe right or swab? In the age of casual sex and hookup culture, how can you know that your f**k buddy won’t give you ‘rona? After all, we know the only six feet most college kids care about is the lie on their dating profile. words_scarlett diaz. photo_sydney burnett. design_giselle spicer.


e’ve all pictured it: That romcom movie moment. You walk into Shalala, hair blowing in the wind behind you, when BAM! You slip on the freshly sanitized floors. As you scramble to pick up your things, a handsome stranger comes to your aid. Your hands touch when you reach for the same bottle of Purell, you lock eyes and the rest is miraculously COVID-safe history. Unfortunately, college is not an episode of a TV drama. Enter the apps: Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and Grindr. Swipe right or left and find a dating buffet: those seeking serious relationships (Hinge) or one night stands (Tinder) or anything in between. But how do you trust someone not to give you a communicable disease? These days, safe sex has a double meaning. For one anonymous UM student, meeting up with a Tinder match last semester ended in a positive test result, a 10-day quarantine and the end to their Snapchat streak. But not all Tinder tales are epic fails. “I never expected to find real love on Tinder—nor did I expect to find someone I want to do long distance with who comes to visit me every two weeks,” said an anonymous student. “I just got really lucky that we were both on Tinder playing around.”

The student, who has immunocompromised family members, made sure their match got tested before they met up, and that every date for the first month was outdoors. But what happens when you catch COVID instead of feelings? For those who’ve chosen to quarantine with a FWB or new relationship, the odds aren’t always in their favor. “Quarantine kind of forced us into a stage in our relationship that we were not ready for,” said an anonymous male student who got COVID from his significant other last semester. “You basically agree to live with someone and suddenly you’re with them 24/7 and that presents a lot of challenges.” But despite the illusion that some college students’ social media might be presenting—that despite the pandemic, the party rages on and so do subsequent love lives—that is not the case. For many UM students, particularly those who are very COVID-cautious and therefore much more isolated, quarantine has provided a new sense of clarity. After all, you can’t exactly ride out months-long statewide shutdowns with someone who only wants to talk after 2 a.m. “The pandemic makes me realize that what I want is someone by my side, and at the same time, it makes it much harder to do so,” said an

34 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

anonymous junior. “I never was the hookup kind, and the pandemic makes me want to stray even further away from it—to be safe and also because keeping to myself made me realize that I’d rather spend my valuable time with myself or someone I care about.” Wherever your urges lead you, be it staying at home or sleeping with someone, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be poking through. And what’s coming (in more ways than one) is a “sex-crazed” Roaring 20s, according to Yale professor Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a social epidemiologist researching the impacts of COVID-19. The psychological effects of social distancing, isolation and, frankly, the past year in its entirety will be studied for years to come. In some ways, the research has already begun. Richard Slatcher, a professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, is one of the researchers behind the Love in the Time of COVID project. He agrees that many people will have a ton of “pent up sexual energy,” but that there’s a lot of geographic variability to this. Since many businesses in Florida have remained open, UM students have a very different pandemic experience—both socially and romantically—compared to students at schools in states with harsher regulations.

“I’m not that worried about the long-term [psychological] effects. I’m optimistic because humans are incredibly resilient,” Slatcher said. “We even see in our samples that people’s anxiety has gone down less and less and less over time, even as risks of COVID have gone up. I don’t want to minimize the effects that this is having. Especially for those people who are prone to depressive symptoms.” For some people, the current dating climate is less stressful than in non-pandemic times. “In some ways Tinder can cut out a lot of the awkwardness,” he said. One person from Tinder can also appear to pose less of a risk than being around hundreds of people at a party. At the end of the day, this all comes down to personal choices. If you find someone worth risking COVID for, Mazel Tov. If not, remember that you’re not alone. When we do finally get through this, the right one might just be waiting for you in a mask-less world.






Where Do You Stand? We wanted to know how Distraction readers felt about pandemic hookups, so we asked on our Instagram story.


of 211 respondents said they would risk COVID for their crush.


of the sample said they got COVID-19 from a hookup.


confessed that they broke social distancing rules with their newfound flame.

Let’s hope Julio Frenk doesn’t find out! It is a good thing that at Distraction, we never kiss and tell.

In 2020, Tinder reported having 57 million active users swiping through their app. All of them in the search of love, sex or companionship.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 35


love songs No matter who you are, chances are you have memories connected to certain songs. It’s a language in itself that can take us back to special moments in time. Music is universal, but so is love. Below are songs that remind University of Miami students of love—lost and won—and the stories behind them. words_aaron bissmodial. design_giselle spicer. The Beatles: They were the heartbeat of the 60s, and their rock anthems continue to melt hearts today.

Haley Shaheent For everyone I have feelings for, I usually have a song that I end up associating with them. I hear some songs and think, “The whole essence of how I feel is described better in this music than how I could ever say it.” I think music often encapsulates love better than our actual experiences. Music speaks to us about love because it has a beginning and an end. It’s limited. Sometimes when we fantasize about love, it’s this unlimited idea that says, “We’re gonna live in an apartment together in Seattle with two dogs and make freshly brewed coffee every morning.” Obviously it’s unrealistic to have specific expectations like that, but the fact that a song is a three-minute journey that can justify how we’re feeling is just beautiful. Alejandro Sanz: This Spanish artist has garnered 22 Latin Grammy Awards and four Grammy Awards for his ballads.

Alex DeWalt My grandma’s favorite song was “You Are So Beautiful to Me” by Billy Preston and each time I went to her house she would play piano and we would sing the song together. Later, I dedicated my high school senior recital to her and sang the tune for her. She started crying. That was the last time she got to see me sing and play before she passed. She’s the reason I am a musician and some of my happiest memories are of us making music together.

36 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

Valentina Shelton All the songs I listen to are about love, man. My high school ex-boyfriend’s family was from Spain and Ecuador. His mom loved the song Corazón Partío by Alejandro Sanz and one day he played it in the car. It’s a huge hit in many Latin American countries—especially with Hispanic moms. The next day I started singing it and he made fun of me. I don’t even speak Spanish, but I learned all the words. For two years, that was my favorite requested song for my boyfriend.

Billy Preston: This skilled R&B/Rock keyboardist had his height in the 1960s and played with artists like Little Richard, Ray Charles, the Everly Brothers and the Beatles.

Colin Logatto

John Coltrane: This saxophonist was a jazz pioneer who began his career while serving in the Navy at Pearl Harbor in the 1940s.

When I was 15, I had my first girlfriend. She’s probably one of the most awkward people I’ve ever met. We had the most interesting dates. Most would consist of her coming over to my place and us sitting in metal folding chairs in my basement. I’d hook up my PA system and we’d just hold hands and listen to music for hours. On our sixth date, we still hadn’t kissed. My best friend at the time knew this and it pissed him off. Between the two of us, he was the lady killer. So me and my girlfriend were hanging out and listening to music when I get a call from him. He told me to put him on speaker phone. I did, and then he said, “Can you fuckers kiss already?” I hung up the phone and we were both blushing. Blue Train was playing, specifically Coltrane’s second chorus. I went in for the kill. It was definitely a clunky first kiss. We both turned our heads the same way at first. But we just kept kissing the whole night. After we broke up, I couldn’t listen to Blue Train for a long time.

Tiana Torkan I feel like sharing music with people, especially people that you care about is really special. At the beginning of a relationship, sharing music can make some really good connections. especially, when you find out you have a shared taste in music. In the beginning of a relationship, this guy and I were sharing music. He had this playlist of all these classic old songs that I love, especially one of my favorites, Cigarettes and Coffee by Otis Redding. It was something that we got to bond over a lot and it was a really enjoyable part of getting to know each other.

ultimate LOVE SONGS Corazón Partío Alejandro Sanz

Otis Redding: Also known as The King of Soul, Redding quit school at age 15 to work with The Upsetters. He wrote the inconic “Dock of the Bay” just before he died in a plane crash at age 26.

Blue Train John Coltrane

Jaden Kim

Something The Beatles

My favorite love song has to be Best Part by Daniel Caesar. It holds a special place in my heart because this girl I dated and I used to sing it together all the time. Things didn’t work out between us, but we’re friends and I still have fond memories of the song and that time of my life in general. It always reminds me that when you really love someone a small part of it never really goes away.

You Are So Beautiful To Me Billy Preston

Daniel Caesar: This Canadian singer-songwriter broke into the industry with two EPs in 2014 and 2015, and later released his first album, “Pilgrim’s Paradise,” in 2017.

Best Part Daniel Caesar

Cigarettes and Coffee Otis Redding

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 37

Languages of


When it comes to displaying affection, there are five dialects—words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, receiving gifts and physical touch. Although they are different, they all translate to one distinct feeling­—love. We each have a native language—which one is yours? words_gianna milan. photo_tiana torkan. design_giselle spicer.

38 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

acts of service The fresh aroma of clean laundry perfusing the air and arousing your soul as you return home from an exhausting day is a conversation of love. Acts of service top the list for lovers who’d go out of their way to show how much they care rather than tell you. It’s the little life-simplifiers that speak volumes for natives of this language.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 39

receiving gifts Lovers of this language treasure symbols of admiration in the form of sweet, thoughtful presents. Gift-givers and receivers alike appreciate the careful process of gift-hunting, selecting and presenting. An gift’s monetary value is never the token of affection—what’s truly prized is the thought reflected in the giving gesture.

40 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

words of affirmation For lovers whose preferred instrument is the pen, a simple “I love you” or “you’re mine” can move mountains. Affirmations of love can be sweet nothings whispered into ears, generous paragraphs of adoration over iMessage or old-school love letters. Regardless of medium, speakers of this language value the weight of words.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 41

quality time While traditional dating may be gradually evolving into a thing of the past, some lovers still wouldn’t pursue romance any other way. Partners fluent in this language consider one-on-one time together to be the hallmark of their relationship. They take a special delight in beloved activities commanding undivided attention.

42 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

physical touch Kissing, cuddling, hand-holding and sexual intimacy are compelling ingredients of a deepened spiritual connection. For people who have this lustful native tongue, getting busy in bed isn’t solely about obtaining pleasure—the whole experience of opening up boundaries communicates confidence and security.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 43


Holding hands or talking for hours?

Big or small romantic gestures?


Road trip or spa night at home?






Cooking class or homemade meal?

What’s Your Love Language? Take this quiz to find out your own love language and to better understand your partner’s.

Love Note


24k gold necklace or love note?

Necklace Vacation

Go on vacation or get pampered?

Massage or love song?


Go on a fun date or cuddle in bed?




Bed Get a hug or dishes done for you? Hug


Get flowers or praise for a success?



Words of Affirmation

Physical Touch Quality Time

44 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

Acts of Service

Receiving Gifts

All aboard rocket number nine to Venus: the planet of love. The astrological implications of this celestial body indicate courtship, adoration and aesthetics. Ruling both Taurus and Libra, the placement of Venus in your natal chart reveals your romantic habits, what you value in a partner and what brings you pleasure. words_alexis masciarella. illustration & design_avani choudhary.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 45

People who have their Venus in Aries are confident, high-energy lovers who deliver straightforward honesty. And, they expect it back. This fiery energy may fall for someone at first sight and thrive against any competition. Physical touch, daring spontaneity and playful teasing keep this flame alive.

Taurean Venus seeks affectionate and fixed relationships. Indulge their five senses through fine dining, gentle caresses and intoxicating aromas. Tremendously loyal and steady, these bulls must guard against their innate jealousy and selfdestructive tendencies.

With little regard for physical appearance, humor and intellect attract the Gemini Venus like a magnet. There is often little to no distinction between friends and lovers, making this placement a bit of a flirt. Fear of obligation enhances their desire to entertain more than one lover at a time.

Safety, trust and security must be ensured before someone with their Venus in Cancer can crawl out of their shell. With a high regard for sentimental values, the crabs are at ease when their partner feels like home. However, these lovers can struggle with clinginess and mommy issues.

46 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

To worship or be worshipped? That is the duality of a Leo Venus. Constantly seeking their prince or princess, this fiery placement romanticizes the idea of a “power couple.” The prideful lion interprets rejection as a personal attack, and it is often met with extreme ferocity.

The Libran Venus has a natural inclination towards cerebral sensuality. These aesthetes are concerned with achieving balance, harmony and symmetry within their relationships. The downside to this placement is an overall lack of decisiveness and inability to say “no.”

A partnership with a Venus in Virgo must be based in reciprocity, practicality and acts of service. Grand gestures can intimidate these timid lovers, so subtlety is sure to make their hearts flutter. These problem-solvers expect perfection, so don’t take offense to their constant critiquing.

When sensual Venus occupies the celestial Scorpio, it is attracted toward deep, erotic intimacies with a splash of danger. Issues surrounding sex and desire are related to an uncontrollable jealously and possessiveness that can place high demand on their partners.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 47

In matters of love, the Sagittarian Venus needs a partner who is open to expanding each other’s world and consciousness. Adventure and a good sense of humor are their favorite aphrodisiacs. With a constant need to be entertained, these lovers are for the streets.

Progressive, unconventional and somewhat detached, the Aquarian Venus refuses to be restrained by the binds of a conventional relationship. Their ideal partners are not afraid to let their freak flag fly. However, too much freedom in this relationship can result in an innate lack of comfort and understanding.

48 DISTRACTION Special Section: Love

Someone with their Venus in Capricorn is old-fashioned and traditional with an intense desire for clout. Seeking out a sugar daddy or sugar mama for money or status is their way of protecting themselves from the vulnerability of getting hurt. As the boss of the zodiac, the sea goat finds an erotic outlet in experimenting with submissiveness in a partnership.

As boundless as the ocean, Venus in Pisces finds beauty in everything. Their affections are expressed in softhearted ways drawn to creative pursuits like music and art. Suckers for a sob story, these fish often find themselves to be martyrs of love.

HEALTH & WELLNESS Coming out of 2020, we all need some R&R. Flip through the pages of Health & Wellness to find self-care tips, read about the undertreated curses that are migraines and find out the latest developments of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 49


Most vaccines take years to develop, test and gain authorization—COVID-19 has shattered all records. In a race to develop called “Operation Warp Speed,” the FDA issued an emergency use authorization of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines less than a year after the virus was officially reported to the World Health Organization. words_gabby lord. illustration_abby pak. design_geethika kataru.

50 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness


o far 124 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered worldwide, according to Bloomberg, with the United States averaging 1.36 million doses per day. But many people are skeptical of its effects given the unprecedented turn around. From unsubstantial claims of being microchipped by the government to fears about the unknown long-term effects, the decision to receive the vaccine isn’t completely black and white. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the main priority is the inoculation of healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, which have seen a high death toll in the pandemic. Yet on campuses like the University of Miami, the vaccine is already being offered to faculty and medical students, who will soon work in hospitals. ​“I am surprised they opened it up to first and second years,” said Connor Shatz, a first-year student at UM’s Miller School of Medicine. After UM offered Shatz and other medical students the vaccine, he began researching and turning to colleagues for advice. “My worries quickly dwindled, and the only option seemed to be to get it,” he said. While talks of negative side effects swept across social media, Shatz said he believes there’s nothing to worry about. “A lot of people don’t realize that the side effects that people experience are just your body’s immune system kicking in and doing what it’s supposed to,” he said. According to the CDC, when a person is infected with COVID-19, it takes several days to weeks for the body to combat it. Once infected, the body produces memory cells that attack the virus if it’s encountered again. Different vaccines work in different ways to protect the patient from the virus, but all

vaccines leave the body with similar cells to help it fight sickness, which become effective a few weeks after vaccination. Multiple types of COVD-19 vaccines are currently in various stages of the trial or approval process, and the CDC states that none will give patients the virus. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have already been approved in the US and are mRNA vaccines. Unlike many traditional vaccines that inject the body with a weakened or dead virus, mRNA vaccines teach the cells in your body how to trigger an immune response that produces protective antibodies, according to the CDC. After a few months of stage three clinical trials, both companies reported a rate of 94-95% effectivity. Both approved vaccines require two shots administered three to four weeks apart. The CDC recommends the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 16 or older, while Moderna can be taken by those 18 or older. The most common side effects include pain, swelling and redness at the sight of the shot along with chills, tiredness and headaches. The Moderna vaccine was tested right here at UM under Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, an associate professor of clinical medicine at UM’s Miller School of Medicine. “The COVID-19 pandemic is having a tremendous impact in South Florida and across the world,” she said in a press release. “We are testing vaccines with the goal of finding a safe and effective way to halt the spread of the virus.” First-year medical student Serena Shah said she had no fears about getting the vaccine. “I believe in the power of science and research—two things that have fueled medicine and kept people healthy and safe for thousands of years,” she said. “Scientific evidence and expertise by medical experts made me confident in my choice to receive the vaccine.” Shah said she believes it is

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 51

important to get the vaccine not only to protect herself, but to also protect others. “Receiving the vaccine is a selfless and safe choice that protects yourself and everyone around you from experiencing a severe disease,” she said. After getting the first shot, her symptoms included soreness at the injection site, mental fog, fatigue and a lowgrade fever, all of which only lasted a few days. But not all students are as anxious to get the vaccine given the possibility of long-term effects. One nursing student is opting out of getting the vaccine after hearing that it could affect her ability to get pregnant in the future. “It’s not that I don’t want it or [don’t want] to end COVID,” she said. “I read an article that said it could affect fertility in women, and that is something that I’m not willing to risk at this time. My dream is to be a mom.”

While Florida is currently vaccinating healthcare workers, long-term care staff and residents and people over 65, it’s still unclear when the general public will get their turn at immunity. According to their website, the University of Miami says there are “plans to distribute the vaccine to faculty, staff and students in phases based on the quantity received and each individual’s risk of exposure, as determined by state regulations.” Many faculty members have already been vaccinated, like Monica Maingot, a business manager in UM’s IT department. Maingot said she received her first does on January 16 and second on February 13. “I was just grateful to be able to get the vaccine and how UM was able to offer it to us,” Maingot said. “I know of three other co-workers in my department that have been vaccinated.”

Even after you get the vaccine, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci says that individuals should still wear masks and practice social distancing until the shots are broadly available, as there is not yet data on whether vaccinated people can still spread the disease without getting sick themselves. As for the future of the vaccine, President Biden has signed 10 executive orders, memorandums and directives focused on combating COVID-19 including the acceleration of manufacturing and delivering supplies for vaccination and the establishment of the Pandemic Testing Board to expand U.S. COVID-19 testing capacity, according to CNN. Although life isn’t quite back to normal, the development of COVID-19 vaccines are certainly a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

the Moderna vaccine in early January and February. “I had a slight headache the day after, but went about my day as usual. Other than that, I had no side effects.” On the other hand, Ibrahim Ali, a secondyear UM medical student who received the same vaccine had a different reaction. Ali said after his second dose he experienced

“fevers, chills, fatigue a headache and redness at the injection site” that lasted for one day. Whether you feel side effects or not, don’t stress. These are “normal signs that your body is building protection,” according to the CDC website. If you receive it and have a severe allergic reaction, the CDC recommends seeking immediate medical care.

SIDE EFFECTS The CDC lists pain and swelling on the arm where you got the shot, along with fever, chills, tiredness and headache throughout the rest of your body as “common side effects” of the COVID-19 vaccine. For many people, like Connor Shatz, the side effects were minimal. Shatz is a first-year UM medical student who received

52 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

TAKE CARE Self care—where do we even begin? While those two words seem to be plastered on everything from blogs to beauty billboards these days, in the end taking care of yourself is all about making time to keep your body and mind healthy. You don’t need to buy the next hot product on your homepage—these tips are what you should really master if you want to work on yourself. words_ kylea henseler. design_ lindsay jayne.

Sleep, Seriously

Get Healthy

Treat Yo’ Self

Mind Over Matter

A good night’s sleep is an essential part of your day, and according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, it’s vital in making sure your brain and body function properly. Long-term deficiencies are linked to heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. For adults 18 and older, the institute recommends snoozing seven to eight hours per night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try putting the phone down before bed, picking up a book or developing a nightly routine to wind down your day. And since you’re (hopefully) not staying at the club until 2 a.m. this semester, it should be easy! Your body will thank you for a good night’s rest.

One of the most important aspects of caring for your body is focusing on nutrition. This doesn’t have to mean “dieting,” but rather eating mindfully and consuming mostly whole, nutritious foods rather than processed ones. “Abs are made in the kitchen,” or so the saying goes. But working out truly does provide immense benefits to your body and mind. According to Healthline, studies have shown that exercising regularly can boost your mood, increase your energy levels, improve brain, bone and skin health and even help you fend off chronic disease. And, if that isn’t enough, it can also improve your sex life.

Working out and eating right will keep you looking and feeling good, but there’s something to be said for going the extra mile to pamper your body just a little bit. Getting a manicure, taking a bubble bath or hitting the spa are just a few ways to treat yourself. You can even make a soothing face mask out of natural ingredients from your kitchen— like oats and honey! Even easier than whipping up a homemade beauty product is developing a everyday skincare routine. Start with a solid cleanser, toner and moisturizer and add products as you learn (or earn) more. And, if nothing else, invest in a good SPF— especially in the Miami sun.

Mental health awareness is on the rise, as it should be. Yoga, journaling, meditating and even just going for a walk are simple but great ways to unwind and reflect on your life. When life feels rough, practicing gratitude can go a long way. Even in this somewhat virtual world, making a point to check in with loved ones regularly can generate a lot of love and comfort in your life. If you are feeling really down never be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s confiding in a friend or family member or seeking out a professional set of ears, there is always someone available to talk. A journal is a great start, but remember it can’t talk back!

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 53


They’re not just headaches. For the millions of Americans who suffer from migraines, the painful attacks can be crippling and may even cause victims to take days off from work or school. And while this disability is both common and commonly misunderstood, professionals are adamant that remedies are out there that just might take the pain away. words_molly balsamides. design_giovanni aprigliano.


igraines, which UHealth describes as painful “attacks” caused by a chronic brain disorder, are extremely common. But they are just as commonly ignored. “They are actually the number one cause of disability in people less than 50,” said Dr. Teshamae Monteith, chief of the headache division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “It’s a treatable problem that is often undertreated and under-diagnosed.” Because migraines are so common, she said, many people tend to minimize or downplay the condition and “don’t recognize the link between disability and migraine.” “It was debilitating; when it would get to a certain point, I just literally couldn’t do anything,” said UM sophomore Charlotte Hoffman. “The only way to make it go away was to sleep. Sometimes, I used to even throw up.” Certain people are predisposed to migraines because the disorder is genetic and may react to triggers like stress, changes in sleep, weather, skipping meals and hormones. Lindsay Cruz, a sophomore in UM’s business school,

54 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

said she has suffered from ocular migraines, which affect vision, since her junior year of high school. “I get them before my period because my hormones drop rapidly,” Cruz said. “Before I get the headache, I see this white dot and it takes over my eye and everywhere I look, it’s there. Once that subsides a little bit I get the headache, which usually lasts the whole day. Sometimes I get nauseous and throw up from it. The only thing I can do is sleep in a silent dark room. Advil doesn’t even help.” Thankfully, Cruz has found a preventative remedy: birth control, which she said balanced out her hormone levels. As for Hoffman, her migraines started in middle school after an untreated concussion. The sharp attacks, she said, were triggered by reading, using a computer, or “basically any stimulus.” The migraines subsided until she went through puberty, which triggered her hormones again. These hormonal migraines, she said, felt like they started at her neck and wrapped themselves around the inside of her head. “I feel like a headache is usually just one spot,” she said, “like you get a headache behind your eye or something. But this would usually stem from the base of my neck and radiate throughout my head. It felt like my whole head was experiencing a lot of pressure from the inside which is why massages were the only thing, other than sleep and darkness, that would help.” Hoffman said that she used to experience these episodes every time she started her period, but now that puberty is over, they have subsided. According to UHealth, women are three times more likely than men to report migraines and 25% of women will experience a migraine in their life. This commonality, Dr. Monteith said, makes the disability seem more casual and thus less people seek treatment, which is unfortunate because reliable treatments are out there. “It’s a modifiable disorder, so there are good preventive therapies,” she said. “I think it’s important to let people know that a migraine can be treated very effectively.” While students reported turning to Tylenol or Advil, for example, Monteith said there are better treatments out there than over-the-counter medications. “If it’s preventing you from going to school or work or functioning and living your life,” Dr. Monteith said, “you should consider getting treatment by a neurologist, primary care doctor or even a headache specialist because it’s a treatable problem.”

The Stages of a Migraine Can’t tell if your headaches are more than headaches? These symptoms indicate that you have a migraine. Prodrome One or two days before a migraine, you might notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including: * Constipation * Mood changes, from depression to euphoria * Food cravings * Neck stiffness * Increased thirst and urination * Frequent yawning Aura Auras are reversible symptoms of the nervous system. They’re usually visual, but can also include other disturbances. * Visual phenomena or loss * Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg * Weakness or numbness in the face or body * Difficulty speaking * Hearing noises or music * Uncontrollable jerking or other movements Attack A migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours. During a migraine, you might have: * Pain * Sensitivity to light, sound, smell and touch * Nausea and vomiting Post-drome After a migraine attack, you might feel drained, confused and washed out for a day. Some report feeling elated. Sudden head movement might bring on the pain briefly. *According to Mayo Clinic

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 55

KNOCK OUT The University of Miami is a great place to be for those who are interested in various workout regimes, including the growing practice of boxing. From boutique gyms to UM’s own boxing club, the sport is readily available to anyone that is willing to give it a try, and its physical and mental benefits keep its practitioners coming back week after week. words_cat mcgrath. photo_tiana torkan. design_marielle zuber.


elf care, the practice of loving one’s mind, body and soul, has become especially trendy in recent years thanks to social media. Some people accomplish this by practicing restorative yoga or listening to guided meditations. And yet, however helpful these refined practices may be, there is something to be said for releasing one’s emotions through punching. The sport of boxing was first recorded around 3000 BC in Egypt and has ties to the ancient Olympics in Greece, according to the official Olympic Games website. It was introduced to the modern Olympic games in 1904, and since then America has produced world-renowned fighters like Muhammed Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier. A fixture in American pop-culture, boxing has inspired movies like the iconic “Rocky” series and made superstars like Floyd Mayweather and Sugar Ray Leonard into household names. For many University of Miami students, boxing is an integral part of a weekly regimet. During times of intense schoolwork and endless GroupMe messages, it can be a necessary escape. In the ring (or the gym) there’s no room for thoughts about an upcoming due date, and this can be blissful. Talia Mereles, a UM graduate student, who practices at Body & Soul Boxing gym, says the sport makes her feel “powerful, strong and driven.” Boxing, she said, “takes you out of anything you were thinking about before” as you focus on combinations of punches and slips. Much like a dancer, she said, boxers can get lost in the rhythm of their workout. Boxing doesn’t just provide significant mental and emotional benefits, it also trains the body in a unique way. Many describe boxing as efficient because it is a full-body workout that provides results quickly.

56 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

“You are constantly using your shoulder and back muscles when you are doing your jabs, crosses and hooks. As you are doing those movements you are also using your core and when you bring in the kicks, then you’re using your legs,” said Emily Lezcano, a trainer at Tapout Fitness in Coral Gables. Many clients, Lezcano said, see transformations in their abs and waist size. One of the cheapest and most fun ways to get involved in boxing is through the UM Boxing Club. The best way to get started, said their vice president Brianna Dessa, is to try a workout with some friends.. According to her, learning technique is the toughest part. But once you get the basics down, the fun can really begin. Richard Aurrecoechea, president of UM Boxing, said that anyone who wants to practice on their own can go to the Herbert Wellness Center on campus, where punching bags are available for students to use. “You could watch a video or two online,” he suggested, “that explains how to stand while boxing, where to put your hands, how to throw punches. There are plenty of online resources that can teach the very bare bones.” Boxing gyms around campus are always open to new members as well. Some, like Tapout in Coral Gables, hold boxing-inspired classes for all levels a few times a week which include combinations, strength training and conditioning. Body & Soul, near Merrick Park, also holds weekly boxing classes with various coaches and offers personal training and sparring opportunities. No matter your fitness level, boxing can level up your lifestyle and change the way you think and look. After the year we had, who doesn’t want to punch something?

UM graduate student, Talia Mereles, trains with her boxing coach CJ Lionheart at Body & Soul gym in South Miami. Lionheart uses his Instagram account (@cj.lionheart) to help motivate and showcase his clients’ individual progress.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 57

UP LIFT ED To build and maintain muscle, Caggiano makes sure she eats enough protein throughout the day to maintain her body’s metabolic processes.

58 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

Everyone’s fitness journey is different, but whether you’re just starting out or an experienced gym rat, you can probably learn something from Ella Caggiano. This UM sophomore has come out on the other side of mental health challenges with weightlifting titles and nearly 14,000 Instagram followers supporting her fitness journey. words_austin pert. photo_sydney burnett. design_ giselle spicer.


lla Caggiano, a sophomore at University of Miami studying media management, is something of a poster child for physical fitness and personal fulfillment. Her workout and wellness regimens are organized, topnotch and full of inspirational material. Contrary to first impressions, she may closer resemble someone from your neighborhood gym than a competitor in the CrossFit Games. But Caggiano wants peers to know that her journey to being in shape didn’t travel on an exclusive highway; anyone can start and finish on a similar path. It hasn’t always been dumbbells and deadlifts for Caggiano. Growing up in Needham, Massachusetts, she invested much of her time into art-related ventures like choir and theatre. Her first live performance was Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” But she felt something missing from her life, affecting her mood and well-being. “I had a very low self-confidence with my body and was not comfortable in my own skin, and really struggled with that relationship between food and exercise” said Caggiano. “I tried every sport. Nothing really worked.” She refers to the beginning of high school as the low point of her life. She went from the child-like mindset of thinking about favorite books or movies to worrying about things like prom, relationships and social life. High school is a hectic new reality for many 14 and 15-yearolds, and Caggiano felt the pressure. After going to therapy, she realized that joy wouldn’t come through materialistic aspirations, but natural pursuits. While traditional team sports weren’t a home run for Caggiano, she quickly realized that her best fit was—just being fit. “I lifted weights for the first time coming out of my recovery and I was like, oh my gosh, this is amazing,” she said. “A lot of times people think that they can find happiness in a smaller body, or they can find happiness in a certain weight or a certain amount of pounds on the scale, or being able to fit into a certain size

clothing. But at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with that. It’s all your own inner confidence in learning how to accept and love yourself.” Fitness wasn’t just something Caggiano did at the advice of a therapist or to pass time after school. It was her life. She would soon be living and breathing health and wellness, even at times when nobody else was. “I just became really passionate about it and started learning more. When people are watching Netflix on a Friday night or Saturday night, I was researching, reading and consuming content,” she said. “And it still is everything that I love and everything I want to do. That’s what I choose to spend my free time doing, because it really does inspire me, and I just find this stuff interesting.” Back in high school, she started an Instagram account to share her goals, progress and results. Over time, her account, @ellacaggfitness, has garnered nearly 14,000 followers. But she has faced her share of critical comments and DMs. “Obviously, people have things to say about people who stand out,” said the UM sophomore. “I really did face a good amount of backlash, honestly. People would make fun of my account and the content I was producing… [but] at the end of the day, that was really genuinely something I don’t re-route.” But that’s not a concern for Caggiano. Instead, she focuses on how to empower others. But it takes a lot of dedication. Instead of sleeping half of the morning away, Caggiano prefers to rise early, often around 7 a.m. Seeing the light of day before most of her friends, she looks at mornings as a head start that translates over to the rest of the day. “For the most part, my daily training, my structure, my mealtime, specifically and intentionally fuel my performance,” she said. “I’ll take pre-workout before my workout, usually about an hour before. My training sessions are usually around an hour and a half to two hours, and that’s all encompassing with my warm-ups, my cool-down, stuff like that.” As for how she ends the day,

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 59

Powerlifters wear flat shoes, like Converse, when lifting in order to maintain balance and form.

she stressed the importance of getting eight hours of sleep, even if it means skipping movie nights with her roommates. Music is also a key component in Caggiano’s disciplined routine. Going to the gym should be fun, she says, and a favorite song should be a stimulant, not a distraction. “I love listening to house music when I work out,” she said. “I love listening to rap music when I work out just because it gets me fired up, and I love country when I’m in the car and it’s nice out. I have an appreciation for all kinds of music.” As for her diet, she tends to eat most of her meals at home, but she also thinks it’s important to have balance. “If someone were to ask me ‘Can you eat healthy and live in Miami?’ I would say yes, one hundred percent,” said Caggiano. “There are always healthy options. There are always things you can make adjustments on.” Part of a healthy life also means having fun. Even if it’s necessary to step away from a regimen’s orthodoxy for one night. “Sometimes that means putting your fitness goals first, and sometimes that means saying fuck you to the fitness goals and doing what you want to do with your friends. That that balance is extremely important,” she said. Caggiano adheres to what she calls the “80-20 diet,” meaning 80% of her intake is strictly monitored, while the other 20% is relaxed. For many gym enthusiasts, the pandemic has been a mere inconvenience. Others have been directly affected by the virus, and Caggiano is one of them. “I knew I was going to get it because all my friends got it. I just knew it was a matter of time,” she said. “I didn’t feel great, not going to lie. But there have been way worse things.” Despite suffering from a number of flu-like symptoms for a few days in October, it was the disruption to her wellness plans that really threw her off. “I was not happy with the food they were giving me [in isolation]. The one thing that made me the most upset is that there was a lack of healthy options. I had to do a lot of requesting. I did

POWER PROTEIN *According to bodybuilding.com

Best Plant-Based Vegan Protein: EVL Stacked Plant Protein

Best Keto Collagen Protein: Obvi Super Collagen Protein

Best Whey Protein: Gold Standard Whey from Optimum Nutrition

This pea and rice protein is blend certified vegan, gluten-free, sucralose-free and made with non-GMO ingredients. Buy it on Amazon or evlnutrition.com

This brand is keto, dairy free, gluten free and non GMO. It comes in cereal-themed flavors that you can buy on Amazon or myobvi.com.

This protein powder has over 20 flavors including basic French Vanilla Crème to Mocha Cappuccino. Buy it at GNC.

• • • • • • •

• Whey Protein • Calories: 130 • Protein: 24g • Carbs: 3g • Sugar: 1g • Fiber: 1g • Fat: 1.5g

• • • • • • •

Pea Protein, Rice Protein Calories: 130 Protein: 20g Carbs: 11g Sugar: 2g Fiber: 6g Fat: 2g

60 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

Hydrolyzed Bovine Collagen Peptides Calories: 35 Protein: 9g Carbs: 0g Sugar: 0g Fiber: 0g Fat: 0g

some Uber Eats, stuff like that, but I also had no appetite, so it was kind of hard for me to really eat anyway,” Caggiano recalled. She took it easy during her first few days in isolation, but as time wore on in her small hotel room, she had “bouncing off the walls energy.” She channeled that by doing 1,100 push-ups in 24 hours and working with a 20-pound dumbbell her friend dropped off. “I’m a control freak,” she said with pride. “And so, it was hard to be out of control for a minute, but I think it’s a good practice to be thrown for a loop sometimes, because at the end of the day, I came out stronger because I got the rest that I needed, and I really did prioritize the rest aspect of fitness, which is not talked about enough.” Caggiano bounced back and was in the Florida Collegiate State Open Weightlifting Championships less than two weeks later. She lifted the heaviest weights of her life—including a 100-kilogram squat, a 60-kilogram bench press and a 132.5-kilogram deadlift— and placed third in her division against a field of significantly older athletes. “When you get up, that sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you can do that one thing, then you’ve accomplished a goal. Before 7 a.m. you’ve accomplished a goal,” she said. “The second thing I always tell people is to make a list. Make a list of the things that you need to do during the day and cross them off as you go. People think that their goals are going to come a lot faster, but I think that in reality, things take time. Especially major changes in your life take time. You need to break it down into small pieces so you don’t overwhelm yourself.” Goal setting is great, but Caggiano doesn’t believe one should ever set pure endpoints. “This isn’t a short-term thing. Physical and mental fitness is a lifetime experience,” Caggiano said. “This is a lifestyle, not a 30-day crash course. This says, ‘what am I going to do every single day so that I can have a healthy, amazing life?’”

According to Caggiano, it is important that powerlifters arch their back when bench pressing in order to maintain good form and not strain or injure other muscles.


m1am1 I



FASHION Fashion serves up historical, cultural and societal insight into the significance of today’s trends. Learn the intricacies of jewelry metals, how to perfect your winged eyeliner and the ways to challenge male masculinity.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 63


Eyeliner has been used to accentuate eyes throughout history—from ancient EYESHADOW WING NEON LINER civilizations in Egypt, India and Mesopotamia 1. Pick out your favorite eyeshadow shade, a 1. Choose a bright colored shadow or liner. to the makeup looks of dark brown shade is easy to blend and tends 2. Get an angled liner brush damp with water or setting spraybefore dipping it into flappers in the Roaring to look more natural than a black liner. 2. Begin applying the eyeshadow to the the product of your choice. 20s and today with upper lash line with a flat eyeliner brush. It’s 3. Line the upper lash line with the pop okay if it’s not a perfect straight line, you can of color from the inner corner to the outer trends like neon liner. smudge it out for an even more natural look. corner of the eye. Begin with a thin line and We’re walking you 3. Next, using a pointed eyeliner brush start create more definition at the end. 4. Repeat step two with a few coats of the through two traditional at your outer corner and draw a line about halfway to the end of the eyebrow. liner for more color vibrancy. and two modern 4. Blend the tip of the line back down 5. Use the angled eyeliner tip to create a toward the center of the lash line. This will wing from the outer corner of the eye to eyeliner methods to create a clean, long line of eyeliner. about halfway to the end of the eyebrow. make your eyes pop. 5. If desired, smudge the liner with a words_abby podolsky. photo_sydney burnett. design_giselle spicer.


ccording to Vice’s “The History of Eyeliner,” kohl was first used in Ancient India, Egypt and Mesopotamia during the Protodynastic period in 3100 B.C. Ancient Egyptians used kohl not only for cosmetic purposes, but also to reduce the glare from the sun and practice devotion to their deities. According to Fashion History Timeline, wealthy women in Egypt carried kohl in their toilette boxes. Queen Nefertiti, the queen of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, was a part of this trend and would often get herself painted or sculpted with bold black outline on her eyes. Today, in parts of India, Africa and the Middle East, a similar formula of kohl is still used to define the eyes and brows and even put on children to ward off the evil eye. In the United States, Hollywood’s debut in the 1920s contributed to the trend of eyeliner. On camera eye makeup allowed the black and white cameras to pick up facial expressions. In 1919 Charlie Chaplin was famously known for his character “The Tramp,” who flaunted a cartoon-like eyeliner look. In recent cosmetic trends, eyeliner has opened up a world of possibility—from using eyeshadow, to liquid, to gel in any color of the rainbow. However, the precision needed to create the perfect wing has proved to be a daunting task for many. Here are two traditional and two modern eyeliner options to expand your artistry and find the perfect look to accentuate your eye shape and color.

blending brush for a more natural look. 6. Finish by cleaning up any excess eyeshadow underneath the eye.

6. Make sure to connect the end of the

wing to the center of the lash line to create a smooth line. Repeat this step with a few coats of the liner for the most color vibrancy.



1. Start by drawing a winged line on the upper lash line—preferably with a liquid liner if you have one. Drag the tip of the brush to the outer corner of the eye with a slight upwards angle toward the end of the eyebrow. 2. Finish the line about halfway to the eyebrow’s end. To make this technique easier, use scotch tape to line up the outer corner of the lower lash line to the edge of the eyebrow. 3. Once this line has been achieved, you can thicken the wing as desired by adding more layers of eyeliner. Remember its easier to add more product than to take it off. 4. To achieve a double wing, remove the scotch tape and repeat steps 1-3 on the lash line, beginning at the center of the lower lash line and drawing parallel to the upper wing. 5. If the wing’s tips are too thick, dip a cotton swab in makeup remover and wipe between the wings to define them. 6. Try using a black upper wing and a dark green, copper, purple or blue shade on the lower wing—depending on your iris color­— to make your eyes pop.

1. Using a thin eyeliner tip, begin by taking a liquid eyeliner pen and lining as close as you can to your upper lash line. Line from your inner corner to the edge of your outer lash line. You can also define your inner corner with a clean ‘V’ shape to create a more pointed fox-like look. 2. Tilt the angle of your eyeliner on your outer corner up toward the end of your eyebrow. Draw this line about halfway to the end of your eyebrow. Once you have a clean line, connect the upward end of your liner to the center of your eyelid and connect it to your lash line. Again, tape is your best friend—use it to help create a clean wing. 3. Take the tip of your liquid eyeliner and go over the lash line one more time to create the straightest line possible. 4. Now it’s time to create the graphic line. Take the eyeliner tip to the end of the wing and look straight ahead. 5. Following the natural curve of your crease, draw the liner until you reach the middle of your pupil. Voila!

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 65


Excuse My Investing in quality jewelry is nice and sometimes necessary, but what about more affordable pieces? People tend to turn to cheaper alternatives to keep up with the trends, but there’s a happy medium between jewelry that turns your fingers green and Cartier. words_ isabel tragos. photo_ daniella pinzon. design_ keagan larkins.


What am I buying?

Where to Buy

Let’s unpack these common categories to understand what makes each of them unique in value and creation. According to CadCamNYC, a New York City-based jeweler, telling the difference between gold finishes is simple. While all of them have a gold layer on the surface, each has their own unique properties and qualities that are telling of their value.

In the market for new jewelry? Check out these two femaleowned brands that started their businesses online.

Vermeil: Vermeil jewelry “refers to high quality silver that is plated with a thin layer of gold,” according to CadCamNYC. To be considered a true piece of vermeil jewelry in the United States, the piece must be 2.5 microns thick and at least 10 karats. Gold Plated: According to CadCamNYC, gold plated jewelry is “brass, copper or a low-end metal electroplated with a thin layer of gold.” This option is cheaper than Vermeil, and it doesn’t have to meet any criteria. Gold Filled: Gold filled jewelry is categorized by a thick layer of gold over a base metal, like brass. “This makes a big difference in terms of the jewelry’s ability to resist wear and tear long term,” said CadCamNYC. Costume jewelry: Costume jewelry is less durable, yet more often a trendier piece of statement jewelry. These pieces are often made of brass or aluminum.

How do I care for it? Jewelry is an important facet of students’ everyday lives. “I love simple jewelry and combining it in layers. I feel like it is the cherry on top of getting ready,” said Maria Emilia Becerra, a junior at the University of Miami. “For me, it’s part of my daily process. It expresses my attitude or mood each day.” So how do you take good care of your jewelry? Different metals can require different cleaning methods. Simple solvents or even an old toothbrush and soap are best for cleaning and proper storage is vital—make sure to keep pieces separate so they don’t get tangled or scratched. Jewelry should also stay out of the sun and be removed while sleeping. For cheaper rings containing copper, clear nail polish can be your best friend. You can use it to coat the pieces to prevent oxidization. Removing copper-based jewelry before bathing can also extend the life of your pieces. Adding some shine to your jewelry is simple. Grab a toothbrush, soap and water and scrub until it sparkles.

Anna Petricoff, an 18-yearold from Charlotte, North Carolina, started making jewelry during the stay-athome orders last April. Her friends convinced Petricoff to create an Instagram page to sell her pieces. From there, her business, jewels By AKP, took off. “Everything I sell is gold plated, and would be considered costume jewelry,” she said. “This allows me to make a price point that is perfect for my target market, which is high school and college-aged girls.” Petricoff said she loves interacting with shoppers through direct message on Instagram, and recently created a website to drive even more traffic to her brand. “I absolutely love what I do, and I have been lucky enough to create a very successful brand while being a senior in high school!” Instagram: @jewelsbyakp jewelsbyakp.com Lauren Grace Murphy Designs had a similar start up. Lauren Murphy’s friends convinced her to start an Instagram page for her business, which is now booming. “Soon people from all across my town were reaching out to me about creating a design for them,” she said. Most of Murphy’s items are gold plated to keep cost low, but some of her items are gold filled. “In order to make my items, I buy pendants and chains from my wholesale retailers in bulk amounts and then put them together with my jewelry tools. I do this all at my desk in my bedroom,” Murphy said. After creating a website in January of 2020, her sales have tripled.

Items found at your local craft fair or market can be made with locally sourced material that make them unique to your area.

Instagram: @lgm.designs laurengracemurphydesigns.com

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 67



The December 2020 Vogue cover of Harry Styles—which featured the singing sensation in a dress and blazer—caused controversy and conversation about what it means to dress “manly.” The concensus? There are no rules. photo_teagan polizzi. design_lauren maingot. styling_keagan larkins, abby podolsky & roma williams.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 69

Fluid Fashion Gold eyeshadow, black nail polish and a thrifted woven suit set on model Jonathan Emmanuel challenge the definition of what it means to dress like a man.


un•defined Own It “Dressing like a man means dressing in whatever makes you feel the most like yourself and owning it,” said Emmauel.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 71

New Age Society is changing, whether you like it or not. It’s out with restrictive norms and in with boundless self expression.


Free To Be You


“As I’ve gotten older I’ve realize my wardrobe is a form of self expression, and I believe every person should be able to express themselves freely,” said model Christian Guzman.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 73

thrift umiami

Shop for: free every: wednesday 930am to 2 30pm

UThrift accepts lightly used donations such as clothes, shoes, books, accessories, and more from UM community members. For every item you donate, receive a UThrift credit. For example, donate 5 items and take 6 at any point through the semester. OR, take 1 free item at anytime.

linkedin facebook instagram 74 DISTRACTION Main Event

https://www.linkedin.com/company/uthrift UM_UThrift @UM_UThrift

MAIN EVENT Main Event tackles the hot topics and trends of society—take a deeper look into the lives of transgender people, learn how some college students earn extra cash from OnlyFans and read about the most memorable Zoom mishaps.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 75


SEDUCTION Chances are you’ve scrolled by social media posts of people buying new cars or paying off credit card debt with earnings they’ve made on OnlyFans. If you’ve ever been tempted to sell your own risqué content on the platform (or already have), you’re not alone. An increasing number of college students, including some at UM, have turned to OnlyFans for extra cash and even to fund their degrees. words & design_emmalyse brownstein. photo_tiana torkan.



t’s midnight on a Thursday and Daphne pokes around her house to make sure she’s the only one awake. Nothing but silence in her little brother’s room. The kitchen and living room are dark. From the master bedroom comes the best sound: the rumbling snores of her parents. Finally. She hurries back to her own room and locks the door, just in case. Underneath her baggy pajamas is a black lace lingerie set. She drags a mirror in front of her bed, stacks up some class textbooks as a phone stand and switches on her portable LED light. The photos she’s about to take will help pay for next semester’s college tuition. OnlyFans is a website where creators earn money from users who subscribe to them monthly. Although it wasn’t necessarily intended as a place to sell X-rated content when it launched in 2016—other genres includes musicians live-streaming performances and fitness instructors posting workout routines—that is, by and large, what it is known for. It’s “the paywall of porn,” as The New York Times called it in 2019. The platform has more than 50 million registered users and 700,000 content creators, according to a report from Variety last August. And although the top earners include celebrities like Blac Chyna and YouTube personalities like Belle Delphine, anyone 18 and over with Wi-Fi and a camera can make an account. Creators can choose to charge their “fans” anywhere from $4.99 to $49.99 a month to view their feed and can get extra “tips” from individual users for special requests. Less precarious than other methods of selling nudes (like sending photos via direct message on social media after an online transaction), OnlyFans acts like a “middleman” of sorts, according to Daphne, the alias that an undergraduate at the University of Miami uses for her account. That’s exactly why she started using the platform in June 2019. “I would post cute pictures in my bikini and things like that,” Daphne said about her Twitter account. She said she regularly received direct messages along the lines of “How much?” from random followers. “I thought, ‘Well I guess it wouldn’t be a dramatic change [to send nude photos] in a sense.’” So she began using apps like PayPal, Venmo and Cash App to accept payments. After a few months on Twitter, she began to notice an increasing number of posts on her timeline about other people’s success selling the same content on OnlyFans. That’s when she made the switch. Her account started out with just a handful of subscribers, mostly previous clients from Twitter. She began with photos of herself in lingerie and bikinis, but “branched out” to full nudity and pornographic videos. Within four or five months, she had garnered about 120 subscribers and regularly pocketed about $1,300 each month (after the 20% OnlyFans keeps). Daphne went on a trip to Spain with her friends in 2019, completely funded by earnings she made on her OnlyFans. While some of the most subscribed users rake in millions—Bella Thorne, for example, earned $2 million in her first week on the platform—most don’t. Daphne said she has recently “died down” her account, but even so, any extra cash is helpful for college students. Especially during a global pandemic. “It has helped me save up and pay bills,” she said. “This is another version of working from home. People are looking for other sources of income, and OnlyFans is definitely a way to do that.”

For another UM undergraduate, who preferred to stay completely anonymous, it makes the difference between attending classes and dropping out. The student is financially independent and, besides scholarships and financial aid, pays all personal and educational expenses on her own. In the summer of 2020, she was balancing two jobs to ensure she could pay the next fall’s tuition bill. She began selling content via Snapchat, but shifted to OnlyFans at the start of the Fall 2020 semester. She charges a $10 monthly subscription rate and said that although subscribers fluctuate, about 50 have been around from the very start. More goes into creating a lucrative OnlyFans than just snapping naked photos once a week before you shower. “There is a lot more to it than people talk about it—there’s all these production things,” said the anonymous student. “People think if you just post some nudes you’ll be fine. But it’s a full job and it’s a lot of work.” Daphne agreed— she said she spends several hours each week planning and creating content to maintain her twice-per-day posting schedule. Although the primary incentive, OnlyFans does more than make the students money—it’s empowering. “When I’m taking pictures of myself, I feel good,” said Daphne. “It doesn’t feel like work most of the time.” The anonymous student agreed. “It’s a job that really builds your self-confidence,” she said. “It’s not every day you have 50 people telling you how beautiful you are.” You can make potentially good money and apparently boost your self-esteem from OnlyFans. So why not start an account? For some college students, it’s tempting. But privacy—from future employers, family members and

“People assume that because you’re a sex worker you’ll do everything under the sun,” said an anonymous UM student. “Sex workers aren’t objects. We don’t have to do what you want us to just because you asked.”

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 77

the permanence of the internet—is probably the most submissiveness and domesticity. Women’s ‘true and common concern. Both of the students operate their honorable’ roles were only as mother, daughter, wife— OnlyFans accounts under pseudonyms and keep them within home and family. These normative structures then a secret from their families. “My mom would smite me,” cast any woman who worked outside as problematic, Daphne said with a laugh. She is a commuter student and and prostitution and sex work were seen as immoral and lives at home with her family. “I create all of my content outside the bounds of ‘respectable’ society.” in my room. It’s kind of like living a double life.” On the So comes the debate: Is sex work—particularly other hand, they said they are open about sex work with for women—empowering or objectifying? Is making their close friends, who are supportive. “I know quite a money from lewd photos and videos a way to ‘stick it to few of my subscribers in person,” the anonymous student the man?’ Or is it just making it harder for women to said. “So I feel fine in terms of my privacy.” be thought of as more than sexual beings? A trending Even so, they are aware of the potential risks and have movement on social media is #cancelporn, where seen them firsthand. Sharing content from the platform is thousands of users have made posts and videos arguing unlawful, in accordance with the Terms of Service users for the elimination of pornography on the internet. Their agree to on OnlyFans. But, according to Daphne, it still reasons vary from the dangers of revenge porn to porn happens quite often. “I know a lot of people in my area addiction and exposure to minors. and on my Twitter who have been exposed on Reddit and Chatterjee said her own position on the topic is stuff,” she said. “If you want to do OnlyFans, these are the conflicted. “I understand that if women go into this things you can be subject to.” The anonymous student profession as fully informed adults, it is their right to once found out through friends that a boy from her high do so. However, individual choice aside, the industry school had been screenshotting her photos and sharing and the systems in place (both pornography and sex them. In these instances, according to their website, work) still remain unregulated and deeply misogynistic OnlyFans issues perpetrators “formal takedown notices” in the structures as well as content,” she said. “There is against reported copyright violations. “The moment I tremendous objectification, violence and a particular found out that he had been attempting to distribute it, I brand of sex and pornographic images that is sold brought in an OnlyFans team,” she said. “It got handled through these industries which is harmful both to women within just a few hours.” and men. In the absence Two other of rigorous sex education “Sex work is work,” said University of Miami in high schools, young undergraduates, Lillian boys often access and Daphne. “It’s just another and Alex, said they have consume porn, and both considered creating their understanding of stream of income and I don’t accounts. “I probably sex, women and what think I should be hyperwould start one if I could is a healthy sexual assure people I know relationship is formed sexualized or not taken would not know about often in these viewings seriously because I do such it, but that seems like and could not be further an impossibility,” said away from reality.” a thing. Just the way you do Lillian. Alex agreed. “I The anonymous your 9-5, I’m essentially doing a student would not want [my refutes the basis family] to know about of the #cancelporn freelance job.” —Daphne, my OnlyFans [account] arguments. “They are ONLYFANS CREATOR supplying what people because of the stigma behind sex work and the are demanding, so there idea that pornography is unprofessional,” he said. isn’t much to be upset about,” she said. “Eliminating When it comes to jobs, the anonymous student said OnlyFans or Pornhub or any of these websites isn’t that if a potential employer somehow found out about the gonna stop anybody, it’s just going to cause people to put nature of her account and couldn’t look past it, she might themselves in dangerous situations.” not want to work for them in the first place. “If it really Terilli pointed out that OnlyFans has created, at the comes down to sex work for them, they might not be the very least, a safer medium for this type of content. “If employer for me,” she said. “Because that means they’re someone is inclined to do that, for whatever reason, it’s willing to throw everything else that I’ve done, all of my probably a whole lot safer to be on the other end of a qualifications, out the window. So, it might not be worth computer than to be out on the street,” he said. it to work for them if they’re so narrow-minded.” Both students stressed that not enough people see Sam Terilli, a media lawyer and professor at UM’s what they do as a legitimate job. “Sex work is work,” said School of Communication, said that he could see this Daphne. “It’s just another stream of income and I don’t becoming a more prevalent topic in the future in terms think I should be hyper-sexualized or not taken seriously of legality. “The discrimination issue is a tough one. If a because I do such a thing. Just the way you do your 9-5, company turns around and says ‘we aren’t hiring anyone I’m essentially doing a freelance job.” who ever worked in pornography because we’re a family Think twice before judging, said the anonymous values company,’ that might not be illegal. Not yet.” student. “It’s not different than any other job,” she said. Sumita Chatterjee, a lecturer in the Women’s and “Before you sit there and bash sex workers, your friend Gender Studies program at UM, said that if we want to could be one. Your sister could be one.” understand why sex work is stigmatized in the first place, Education, according to Chatterjee, is the key to we have to look through a historical lens. “Looking at dissecting the nuances of sex stigmatization. “The porn industry is not going away any time soon,” she said. “It modern times, I would probably trace it to mid-19th and should be regulated, and there needs to be alternate early 20th century discourses on gender roles, where this spaces where discussions on sex education and sexuality ideal of the ‘cult of domesticity’ or ‘true womanhood’ are not seen as taboo or immoral, but openly discussed was made the norm,” said Chatterjee. “This idea of and debated in schools and colleges.” womanhood placed value on purity, chastity, piety,


In addition to their regular feed content, OnlyFans users can fulfill individual requests from their subscribers with extra “tips.” The strangest request Daphne has ever received? “Someone asked me to shit on camera,” she said. “It was so insane. I don’t think I could ever do that.”

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 79

Modern technology offers users more convenience and connectivity than this world has ever known, but many Americans don’t realize these innovations often come at a price: privacy. While it may no longer be a surprise that social media platforms and Google monitor user activity, many people may be shocked to know just how much they are being watched, and what can be done with their information. And to the FBI agent watching me type this: I hope you have a lovely day. words_ & design_kylea henseler.



f you turn off the power in your house and draw the blinds, your world is pretty private, said Michael Froomkin, a professor at University of Miami’s School of Law, focused on privacy and robotics. But the second you open the blinds, the trade-offs begin: your neighbors might be able to see into your house, you could be spotted by facial recognition in a public place or the location services on your new car may track every place you go. And if you have an iPhone in your pocket, an Alexa in your bedroom or a smartwatch on your wrist, odds are that private companies, and even the government, know a whole lot more. This isn’t to say technology, convenience and innovation are bad, but that the privacy invasions can lead to dangerous consequences if unregulated. Information, Froomkin said, is power. And tech companies have endless incentives to gather as much information as possible about users and sell it to the highest bidder. “If they’re not charging you for the service,” he said, “you’re the product.” A vital part of the business model for companies like Google, he continued, is collecting information in order to help marketing companies reach their target audiences. The idea of an ad for golf clubs popping up on your screen every time you open Facebook might seem innocent enough if you like golf. If you’re in the market for a new putter, it might even be convenient. But, Froomkin said, companies aren’t giving you this information to help you, and they may even dabble in market manipulation. If Amazon knows you like golf, he said, why not charge you more for a set of premium clubs than someone else? Avani Choudhary, a senior at UM majoring in computer science and studio art, said these strategic displays of information aren’t limited to ads for your favorite products. What’s more sinister, she said, is that they can and have been used to target the perfect consumers for political, and sometimes false, information. This can impact elections at the highest level. “The Social Dilemma” and “The Great Hack” on Netflix, Choudhary said, are great films on this subject that cover, respectively, the dark side of social media and the 2016 Cambridge Analytica scandal. In the scandal, a British firm hired by Donald Trump’s

2016 campaign gathered personal data from millions of unknowing Facebook users, which they used to target political ads. The problem, she said, is that users don’t realize this information is being spoon-fed to them by an entity that knows what they want to see, and that their next-door neighbor is reading a completely different story. Choudhary said she is less concerned for herself than others, as being aware of targeted ads and planted news stories makes them easy to identify and ignore. But even when we log off, we’re still being watched. To be truly anonymous (if that’s even possible), said Dr. Ubbo Visser, associate professor of computer science at UM, one would need to drive an old car, get rid of smart technologies and pay in cash. Even then, Froomkin said, increasingly intelligent facial recognition software can

sometimes pick individuals out from a crowd. Such technology could be used in many ways, like helping police identify criminals—or round up peaceful protesters, if they wish. In the hands of malicious companies or authoritarian governments, modern technology can be an especially daunting tool. Froomkin gave the example of social credit systems in China, which allow entities like local governments and private companies to “score” residents based on data and even take away privileges like the ability to purchase a plane ticket. Such scores, he said, can also be affected by the company one keeps, creating an incentive to avoid anyone “politically suspect.” The issue of privacy became a hot topic at UM this year after a group of masked students who had peacefully protested the school’s COVID-19 policies were called

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 81

Protect Yourself in for a meeting with administrators. The story, originally reported by The Miami Hurricane, was picked up by national outlets as questions emerged concerning how the students had been identified. More than 20 human rights organizations, including Fight For the Future, demanded to know whether the UM police tapped facial recognition technology for this task, and signed a petition challenging school officials to ban its use on campus. Soon after this incident, UM senior Cassie Couri, who took classes remotely last fall, received an email from administrators stating that she had been “identified as being on campus,” and was required to come to the school for a COVID-19 test. “I asked them for evidence of my being on campus,” she said. “I received no response.” University of Miami Police Department officials did not respond to Distraction’s request for a comment. However, UM Police Chief David Rivero denied the use of facial recognition in the fall via an email to Miami Hurricane reporters, though he did note that of the campus’ more than 1,300 surveillance cameras, at least “some” are monitored 24/7 and all have recording capabilities. While the school’s practices have garnered controversy, faculty like Visser and Froomkin are studying machine learning, privacyviolating technologies and related laws, educating students on them and working to ensure they are used and regulated ethically. For example, Choudhary said, Professor David Didomenico, who taught her an “Ethics in Computing” class, discussed with his pupils the moral dilemmas involved with information technologies. He challenged them to think about case studies such as the extent to which social media sites like Facebook are responsible for their content. Visser, along with colleagues Rahul Kumar Dass and Nick Petersen from UM and Marisa Omori from the University of Missouri at St. Louis, recently completed


a study focused on looking at how facial recognition software underperformed when it came to identifying Black and female faces and making systems more inclusive. Datasets fed to machine learning entities to teach them to identify faces, he said, are often composed of athletes, celebrities and politicians—white males are often overly represented in these groups. Further, he said, machine learning considers backgrounds in photos. So, a palm tree in the background of a picture could serve as an indicator just like a facial feature. To eliminate this issue, the team ran AI tests on mugshots taken against a plain wall, using the same amount for four groups: White non-Latinx, White Latinx, Black non-Latinx and Black Latinx. The study found that with a balanced sampling of races, successful identification of individuals was very high—and relatively the same between races—though the technology struggled more when it came to predicting ethnicity. While Froomkin acknowledged that the lower accuracy of AI for BIPOC could pose a number of issues, he questioned how this issue should best be addressed outside of studies, and whether giving machine learning technologies more information about any individual was the best way to go. The future, he said, remains unknown. But one thing is certain: “Privacy doesn’t really matter if you’re dead,” he said. Behind tackling COVID-19 and addressing environmental issues, Froomkin said, informational privacy concerns are number three on the list of pressing issues that Americans are currently facing. The answer isn’t stopping innovation—it’s regulating potentially sinister technologies. He said that some countries present a good model, and that California is on the right track. But in the United States, this is an uphill battle due to powerful lobbyists and First Amendment concerns.“Protect yourself,” he said. “And if you’re in a room with a politician, say something.”

It can be daunting to think about the lack of privacy users face online, but taking the following steps will put you on the right path to protecting some of your online activities.

Consider a VPN Virtual Private Networks (VPN) offer a number of benefits, including protecting your online privacy and activity by providing a secure network connection. Notably, Froomkin said, all VPNs are not created equal, and some have technical issues that make them relatively useless. Users should be careful, he said, to go with a VPN incorporated in Canada, the U.S. or Europe.

Search Smart Instead of using Google, consider switching to a search engine like DuckDuckGo, a browser that prides itself on not collecting or sharing your information.

Monitor Your Settings The “settings” app on your iPhone or Android is where you can see and control which apps have access to your contacts, photos, messages and more.




Changes Most college students spend these crucial years discovering who they are and wish to be in life. But for transgender and non-binary people, there’s an extra layer of uncovering and pursuing their intrinsic gender identities. In addition to changing majors and hunting for internships, these students often find themselves navigating pronouns, bathrooms and the intersection of racism and transphobia. words_gianna milan. photo_ally gaddy. design_olivia ginsberg.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 83


ast summer, Oseye Riddle (she/her) stared back at herself in the mirror and toyed around with pronouns. At the time, Riddle, a junior keyboard performance major at the University of Miami, had been presenting as a gendernonconforming man. She was assigned male at birth, but throughout college she “enjoyed breaking rules of what men should look like”—unabashedly flaunting makeup, heels and dresses—and took pride in her rebellious, untraditionally masculine outlets of expression. As months passed, however, Riddle’s discomfort with her tenor voice and thoughts of manhood intensified. She was petrified of being perceived as male and felt a special freedom and joy when presenting as feminine. After questioning herself for a while, Riddle took the plunge with the mirror test. “I didn’t like ‘he,’ I was neutral toward ‘they’,” Riddle said, “but—even though I was very scared at first—I was really happy when I said ‘she.’” Riddle realized she was transgender, meaning that her assigned sex at birth didn’t align with her innate gender identity. She rebranded her anxiety as gender dysphoria, which is a medical term for the almost melancholy feelings of distress many trans people feel toward their anatomical characteristics. Riddle selected and embraced the name Oseye—meaning “one who is happy” in Egyptian—as a token to her “journey to be honest and kind” to herself. Oaklin Keefe (they/them) said they empathize with Riddle’s journey. For Keefe, a 2020 UM graduate, the journey began when they transferred to a boarding high school for two years, granting them an opportunity to “figure out” their gender identity while abroad. When they first donned a pixie cut hairstyle, Keefe was instantly stamped by classmates as gay. “I never identified as lesbian. That term never felt right with me,” said Keefe, who has always connected with the gender-neutral connotation of queerness. Gradually, they came to terms with being transgender non-binary, which is an identity falling under the trans umbrella that is not exclusively male or female. Keefe casually used they/them pronouns, but by senior year of college, couldn’t keep hiding behind their birth name anymore and publicly reintroduced themself as Oaklin, a non-binary trans masculine person. Both Riddle and Keefe set foot on the UM campus last fall with new names and pronouns. They had newly ignited senses of self-confidence that were tinged only slightly with fear of their peers’ impending reaction. “It’s hard for trans folks to come out and be visible. They’re often dependent on their allies to build safer spaces for them, which creates complex difficulties,” said Dr. Gisela Vega, director of UM’s LGBTQ Student Center. “Institutions are still not fully embracing folks outside the binary, but we’ve been instrumental in helping different areas modify their practices to be more inclusive of our trans community.” For example, Riddle’s ‘Cane Card was reprinted to reflect her name change without requiring legal documentation, and the University of Miami honored Keefe’s request to announce their chosen name at commencement. Sadly, Dr. Vega said these bare-minimum accommodations “still don’t happen” at some colleges across the country.


Through initiatives like the IBIS Ally Network and yearly Greek Week pronoun campaign, UM’s LGBTQ Center has trained students, faculty and staff to be at the forefront of LGBTQ empowerment, receptive to discriminatory issues and welcoming of learners of all genders. “When I came out on Facebook, I wasn’t expecting two professors I’m friends with to read my post, respond accordingly and instantly change how they refer to me,” Riddle said. While she was nervous at first about communicating with new mentors, she’s since found a “very supportive” classroom climate that keeps her dysphoria at bay. Keefe, knowing their birth name would still appear on attendance sheets, opted to email professors over the summer to avoid awkward first-day confrontations and “get the point across” about the name they go by. Deadnaming—the act of calling a trans person by their former or “dead” name—is dehumanizing when done intentionally. But everyone, of course, accidentally slips up sometimes. According to Riddle and Keefe, the best recovery from a mid-conversation mishap is to just self-correct and keep going. When people apologize and make a big fuss about it, they “throw unnecessary guilt on the trans person that we then feel pressured to alleviate,” Riddle said. In terms of pronouns, Keefe noted the contrast between a teacher initially challenged by singular they/them usage and an assembly of UM students who, according to Keefe, once derogatorily hollered “he, she, it, whatever” at their footsteps. When done “out of malice,” misgendering someone is a blatant gesture of transphobia, which Planned Parenthood defines as the “fear, hatred, disbelief or mistrust of ” transness and the gender-variant population. Transphobia encompasses a broad set of activities dismissing and invalidating trans and non-binary people’s existence, from deliberate pronoun mocking to some “compliments” that are actually nullifying. “OMG, I’d never guess you were trans!” may not seem like an obvious no-no, but to Riddle and Keefe, it’s a silent dog whistle that all trans people are expected to look a certain abnormal or inhuman way. “We must put our parameters aside. There’s no one way to look trans, non-binary or cis, for that matter,” said Dr. Vega, who applauded trans stars Elliot Page and Zaya Wade for loudening this narrative through their platforms. Another exclusionary myth is that all trans people will— or must—unconditionally blend in as cisgender (individuals who don’t experience a mismatch between their internal and external beings) and undergo medical procedures. Vega underscored that each person’s transition is an “individualized” process and not one experience is the same. With the average top surgery (an operation that reshapes a person’s chest to achieve the desired feminine or masculine contour) totaling up to $10,000, according to Healthline, transitioning can be a costly and dangerous choice that involves “personal decisions” that “may not be for everyone.” Ultimately, taking medical steps can be risky, but may be a necessary risk for some transgender people. Riddle, for instance, said hormone replacement therapy (a treatment process that injects estrogen into her body and blocks its testosterone production to feminize her secondary sex

That’s where I realized I could die at any minute, so I thought, I might as well be happy,” she said. “I’d rather be honest to myself and in danger than lie to myself and still face danger.” —Oseye Riddle UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI UNDERGRADUATE

Trans Terminology Go beyond putting pronouns in your bio. Brush up on current gender grammar to speak respectfully about and toward the LGB[T]QIA community. Don’t say “they’re a transgender” or “they transgendered.”

Do say “they’re trans,” “they’re a trans person,” “they

are a transgender person” or “trans people.” The word transgender is an adjective, not a noun or verb.

characteristics) is necessary for her to combat gender dysphoria. Keefe on the other hand said they firmly believe that you don’t have to medically transition to be transgender. For many trans individuals, simply going about everyday life in the body they aspire to live in can be expensive and potentially life-threatening. Figures from the European advocacy project Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide show that at least 350 gender-diverse people were murdered in 2020, a significant fraction of which were Black and Hispanic. Issues of passing, privilege and hate violence are painfully intertwined with socioeconomic and racial marginalization. In other words, those who are oppressed and cannot afford to physically transition or lack access to unisex bathrooms are disproportionately at risk. Keefe has recognized their privilege as a white, “typical-looking” nonbinary person. “When you Google ‘androgynous,’ you see photos of people who look like me, and it’s nothing new,” said Keefe. On the other hand, Riddle, a transgender woman of color, said she is in jeopardy “no matter what.” When she previously presented as a queer Black man, she adopted a hypervigilance that has since only multiplied as race and gender identity intersected. “Before coming out, I went to a memorial for Toyin Salau at the Torch of Friendship. That’s where I realized I could die at any minute, so I thought, I might as well be happy,” Riddle said. “I’d rather be honest to myself and in danger than lie to myself and still face danger.” Eventually, trans and non-binary people at UM and beyond will feel seen and be treated like human beings. “We’re slowly progressing toward a more trans-friendly planet,” Vega said, but it’s a dream that won’t come true overnight. Equity demands education, which starts by having conversations about the gender spectrum, asking about pronouns, introducing pronouns alongside names and shutting down J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans rhetoric. “Our trans community deserves the utmost love, support and respect,” Dr. Vega said, because, in Keefe’s words, they’re not doing this because they want to. “We’re doing this to survive. It’s our outlet to live authentically.”

Don’t say “male-to-female” or “female-to-male.” Do say “trans woman” or “trans man.” Don’t say “biologically female” or

“biologically male.”

Do say “assigned female at birth” (AFAB) or “assigned male at birth” (AMAB). Don’t say “they changed genders,” or “they had a sex reassignment operation.”

Do say “they transitioned” or “they underwent gender confirmation surgery.” Don’t say “preferred pronouns.” Do say “pronouns.” Pronouns are pronouns. Don’t ask about genitalia when someone comes out. Do listen to their story. Understand that being trans doesn’t revolve around surgeries and acknowledge your cisgender privilege. Don’t assume all trans people are gay. Do know that gender identity and sexual orientation are distinct qualities. What you identify as has nothing to do with who you are attracted to—if anyone at all.

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 85


Horror Stories You’re in a Zoom class when suddenly you hear something that sounds NSFW. You panic and check all your devices. Thankfully, it’s not you blasting a PornHub video. Your teacher has the decency to end class early, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to embarrassing Zoom experiences. words & design_olivia ginsberg.

Freaky Friday Imagine the horror of hearing your classmate moaning just as your professor is getting to the climax of a lecture. For Lindsay Jayne, a junior at the University of Miami, this nightmare was all too real. “We had just started our Zoom class when we started hearing some weird noises,” Jayne said. “I guess a girl had forgotten to turn her mic off and thought it was a good time to have sex.” After a few more minutes of mortifying grunting and groaning, the professor finally told the student she might want to save the hanky panky for a more appropriate time.

Doody Calls It’s difficult to ignore nature’s call to action, and for one UM student, not even an e-classroom full of peers and professors could stop them from dropping off a log. You would think having an audience when making a deposit in the porcelain bank might back you up, but this student wasn’t shy. Moral of the story, next time you’ve got to see a man about a horse, make sure your camera is off.


Lip Service Yes, we all trash talk our professors when we are offline, but we usually try to keep our mouths shut when our mics are on. For senior Lauren Mokhtarzadeh, after class sh*t talking became all too real. In the middle of her communication class, one of her classmates got a little too comfortable. “Someone in my class forgot to turn their mic off and started talking about the professor right in front of her,” Mokhtarzadeh said. “They said, ‘She’s such a bitch’ and the professor had to tell them their mic was on.” Zoom burnout is all too real, but taking it out on your 90-year-old teacher who’s just trying to make it through the day without too many electronic malfunctions isn’t the move.

Snog Sesh Students aren’t the only one’s with horror stories. For an anonymous School of Communication professor, Zoom has allowed him to see some of his students in a new light. His most recent run in? Seeing his female student’s significant other sucking on her neck for a majority of the class. “I let it go, but I did have a chat with her after class,” he said. “Her classmates were giving her grief in the chat.” But this professor’s after-school intervention didn’t go as planned. “She didn’t understand what was wrong with it.”

Corporate Catastrophe No one is safe from an embarrassing moment on Zoom. An anonymous UM senior recalls her brother’s experience with a Zoom slip up at his corporate job. “He said he was just in a meeting for work and someone forgot to mute their mic,” she said. “There was a lot of moaning.” After a formal apology to everyone later in the week, the group pretended it never happened. Or did they?

Spring 2021 DISTRACTION 87




Make of the most of your time in Miami, even if it’s during a pandemic. Start checking off this list of COVID-friendly activites for you and your friends! words_lauren mokhtarzadeh. design_katrina schmidt.

Sunrise yoga with 3rd Street Beach Yoga

Strawberry picking at Knaus Berry Farm

Pizza night on Key Biscayne

Wine Wednesday at Lagniappe

El Bagel to cure last night’s hangover

SoulCycle outside on a rooftop

Run (or walk) Rickenbacker Causeway

Shop at Sweat Records in Little Haiti

Bike the South Beach Boardwalk

Spend the day snorkeling in the Keys

Spend your entire paycheck at Komodo

Jet ski along the Miami skyline

Window shop at Bal Harbour Shops

Spend the day at Vizcaya Museum

Drag Brunch at The Palace or R House

Happy Hour at Barsecco

Drinks at Sugar in Brickell

Devour a Cuban meal at Havana Harry’s


Graduating Seniors and Graduate Students...

It’s Time For Portraits! Come Take Yours

WHEN? 2/24 - 3/5, and 4/7- 4/16 from 10am - 6pm WHERE? UC lower lobby near the information desk/staircase WHAT ELSE? Attire is business casual Appointments on weekdays only Social distancing required Signup upat at ibisyearbook.com ibisyearbook.com Sign

www.distractionmagazine.com Distraction Magazine @distractionmag @DistractionUM

Hey, baby—give us some sugar! Join our award-winnng staff. We’re always accepting writers, designers, photographers, videographers, PR pros and business-savvy sales reps. However you’d like to get in the swing of things, we have room for you. Contact our Editor-in-Chief, Olivia Ginsberg, at oag27@miami. edu for more information. Anyone is welcome to contribute!