Distraction Magazine Summer 2021

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magazine of the students of

the university of miami

summer 2021


TOOTH GEMS Flash a smile

NOSTALGIA All the feels of yesteryear

TAKE ME BACK The Y2K comeback


magazine of the students of

the university of miami

summer 2021

tooth gems FLASH A SMILE

NOSTALGIA All the feels of yesteryear

MODERN LOVE An equestrian fairytale

TAKE ME BACK The Y2K comeback


magazine of the students of

the university of miami

summer 2021


magazine of the students of

the university of miami

summer 2021


TOOTH GEMS Flash a smile

MODERN LOVE An equestrian fairytale

TAKE ME BACK The Y2K comeback

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR If you’re lucky enough to get our nostalgia sticker pack, peel off your favorite and use it to memorialize your time at the U!

Inspired by classic Americana fashion, Modern Love turns the page on a tale of story book romance.

design_avani choudhary.

photo_sydney burnett.

Go back to the good ‘ole days with this 90s and Y2K aesthetic compilation.

We’re taking the idea of a sparkling white smile to the next level with an array of gleaming tooth gems.

photo_elana bush & teagan polizzi design_avani choudhary

As my time at the University of Miami comes to a close, I feel like I have yet to fathom that this time next year college will be a distant memory. All the fun (and not so fun) memories I made at the U were integral parts of my life. Like most students, the person that I was when I first stepped onto the Foote Green is not the same person that I am today—as you can tell from looking at my busted ‘Cane ID photo. Most of my final weeks at the U were spent in the Distraction suite. I took job interviews, toyed with the idea of a possible move to my parent’s basement and traded self-deprecating jokes with my staff. Distraction truly lived up to it’s name as it took my mind off my impending departure. As the office was filled with the sounds of my playlists from the last four years, and my staff and I skimmed through the issues of the magazines we poured our hearts and souls into, I finally began to feel a wave of something that I can only describe as nostalgia. I will truly miss the moments I shared with my staff hunched over computer screens at ungodly hours or hiding from campus security under the tables in our office. It was an amazing experience to share with special people creating something filled with so much love and passion. Having a physical reminder of what we shared in creating the magazine is something I will cherish forever. Although I will no longer be able to sit in the office and work with such a talented team after May, I can wholeheartedly say that I know the staff that is staying behind will continue to bring Distraction to the next level after I’m gone. I am especially proud of the magazine’s next editor in chief, my current executive editor, Emmalyse Brownstein. I know she will continue to be an integral part of Distraction—the glue that holds our ship together as I used to say. And with that, I send you off for one final time. And even after I’m gone, I hope all our loyal readers continue to get distracted. Until we meet again,

photo_nailah anderson. design_avani choudhary.


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summer 2021

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD SNACK? “-30-” indicates a staff member is graduating.


Scooby snacks.

-30- Editor-in-Chief_Olivia Ginsberg Co-Executive Editors_Emmalyse Brownstein & Gabrielle Lord -30- Managing Editor_Lauren Mokhtarzadeh Co-Creative Directors_Lauren Maingot & -30- Gianna Sanchez -30- Co-Art Directors_Giselle Spicer & Avani Choudhary Co-Photo Editors_Teagan Polizzi & Sydney Burnett Illustration Director_Rachel Rader Assistant Art Director_Giovanni Aprigliano Co-Assistant Photo Editors_-30- Tiana Torkan & Nailah Anderson Co-Fashion Directors_Keagan Larkins & -30- 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_-30- Anika Bhavnani & Sabrina Snyder PR Assistants_Katelyn Gavin, Amy Welsey, Emily Marquez & Geethika Kataru Co-Social Media Directors_Lindsay Jayne & Emy Deeter -30- The Guide Editor_Alexis Masciarella What the Fork Editor_Nailah Edmead Special Section Editor_Kathryn Ford Gushers. Health & Wellness Editor_Kylea Henseler Fashion Editor_Isabel Tragos Main Event Editor_Catherine McGrath Faculty Adviser_Randy Stano Supporting Faculty_Bruce Garrison, Samuel 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

CONTRIBUTORS Rachelle Barrett, writer Asia Chester, writer Nicole Julianna Facchina, writer Emma Goodstein, writer Camila Munera, writer Fern Paez, writer Amy Poliakoff, writer Ainsley Vetter, writer Maria Becerra, designer Rachel Bergeron, designer Isa Marquez, designer Katrina Schmidt, designer -30Demetrius Williams, designer Marielle Zuber, designer Abby Pak, illustrator Jayden DeGrace, photographer Julia DiMarco, photographer Ally Gaddy, photographer Daniella Pinzon, photographer Jamaya Purdie, photographer

Thin mints.

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.


THE GUIDE Welcome to your roadmap—whether it’s learning how to take care of your house plants, budgeting your salary or where to go for Miami’s best happy hours, The Guide has you covered. Ditch the Yelp reviews and TikTok tutorials and dive in.





We’re exposing the recent revival of film photography and sharing tips on how to get started with the vintage art form. words_kathryn ford. photo_teagan polizzi. design_lauren mokhtarzadeh.



The Guide

Allure of Film If you see someone carrying around an old, clunky camera, chances are it’s a film camera. The popularity of film photography has “been steadily climbing since about 2015,” said Peter Betancourt, co-owner of Palm Film Lab in Miami. “I would say it’s pandemic-induced,” Betancourt said about the most recent spike in purchases. “People had a lot of time on their hands to pick up some new hobbies.” In the digital age, there’s something alluring and nostalgic about having an archivable, tangible roll of film. “The fact that you can have a physical backup is very important, it’s very valuable,” he said. Eric Purcell, a recent University of Miami graduate and film photographer, said he started using film when digital photography began to feel like work. Purcell was interested by “the imperfectness of it” and “all the practical disadvantages that were, for some reason, kind of fun.” Now, Eric keeps his camera by his side, always ready for when the perfect shot presents itself.

How to Get Started Even with the fun, film photography often requires trial and error and can be frustrating at times. Betancourt recommends stopping into your local film shop, such as Palm Film Lab, for a crash course. “It’s just a combination of three things and how you balance them,” he said. “The lens opening, which is aperture, the shutter speed and the ISO.” Once you’ve mastered this balance and have taken a few photos, it’s time to develop them. It is possible to develop your pictures at home, but the tedious chemistry and expensive equipment involved is daunting for many. Both Betancourt and Purcell recommend having a professional do it for you. If you want to get into film, start now. The price of film cameras has skyrocketed, said Betancourt, “and as far as new cameras go, there is just nobody making them anymore.” Your best bet to find a working film camera is most likely eBay, a garage sale or your grandparents’ basement.

Film is extremely fragile and needs to be cared for. The best way to store film is in a refrigerator and out of direct sunlight due to the film’s sensitivity.


Palm Film Lab

There are three types of film: color negative, black and white and transparency (slide film). Color negative is the most popular for beginners.

2248 SW 57th Ave Located just two miles north of campus, Palm Film lab gives a 10% discount to students.

Bellows Film Lab 2051 NW 2nd Ave Bellows Film Lab offers a 20% student discount off development and scanning.






Budgeting isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when more often than not, it’s excluded from school curriculum. Budgeting is crucial for students looking to pay off loans, credit cards or other debts and will allow you to build funds for the future. It’s also important if you want to have some extra coin for beer and beach parties. words_camila munera. design_lauren maingot.



The Guide

WHERE DO YOU START? Before you begin creating your budget, you need to assess your current financial situation and distinguish between your wants and needs. Once that’s done, you can use a basic budgeting worksheet; there are many free templates online. If you find that you cannot stick to your budget, it may mean the budget is not flexible enough. Take the time to review your budget plan until you find one that works best for you.

IS THERE AN APP FOR THAT? Not only are free budgeting templates available, but there has been a rise of budgeting apps. While these apps require a slight change in habit, they can be helpful in making sure you are sticking to your plan. The two most user-friendly picks are You Need a Budget (YNAB) and Mint. YNAB is designed to “help you break the paycheck-topaycheck cycle, get out of debt and save more money.” This app is available for free the first 34 days, and then there is a fee of either $11.99 per month or $84 per year. For those on a tighter budget, Mint is completely free and offers many ways to save and track your money. Sending overspending alerts, tracking spending by category and analyzing cash flow are all functions of this app.







Unlike traditional budgeting, zero-based budgeting starts at zero, and justifies each individual expense for a period of time. This method starts from scratch, analyzing each granular need instead of incremental budgeting increases. While it may be timeconsuming, thinking about how each dollar is spent will result in a lot of savings.



If you want to focus on savings and paying off debt, the payyourself-first budgeting method is for you. Every time you get paid, money is set aside for your savings and debts. The remaining funds can be spent on necessities and desires. This method is perfect for someone who struggles with saving money or doesn’t want to meticulously budget out each expense.

The envelope system budget is all about the cash. Planning your spending each month and then utilizing an envelope for each spending category are the main elements to this method. Those utilizing this system withdraw as much cash as necessary to fill each envelope based on their budget. Keep in mind that this method is not for those aren’t comfortable carrying cash.



Getting to the point quickly is easiest using the 50/30/20 budget method. The idea is to break down expenses into three categories: 50% of your budget should be dedicated to needs like rent or groceries, 30% should be for wants like shopping and a night out and 20% to savings and debt payments. Excellent for beginners, this method doesn’t require reviewing all of your spending. However, it won’t work for someone drowning in debt or with big savings goals.

You can’t spend money that you don’t have, and that’s exactly what the ‘no’ budget method entails. Rather than creating a budget, one would keep an eye on their checking balance. Know when recurring bills hit your account so you can set aside cash. Spending what’s leftover is guilt free, since you won’t be overdrawing your account. This works for somebody who has a lot of discipline towards spending, since it only works when you say, “no.”

THE 50/30/20






Monty ’s Raw Bar Address: 2550 South Bayshore Dr. Happy Hour: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday Monty’s Raw Bar has proven to be a staple for students. Located in Coconut Grove, its proximity to campus and happy hour prices are unbeatable. With deals ranging from $3 to $6, students can indulge in mojitos, frozen drinks and more. Offering $1 oysters, shrimp and pacific stone crabs, you can literally taste the waterfront view.

Happy hour—that small window dedicated to catching up with friends or checking out that Tinder match who’s probably lying about being 6’3.” These local eateries have managed to offer great grub, beer, wine and cocktails—and all for one boozy bargain. With summer fast-approaching, it’s time to find your new favorite spot! words_alexis masciarella. photo_sydney burnett. design_geethika kataru.

Barsecco Address: 1421 South Miami Ave. Happy Hour: Daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. This stylish restaurant and lounge quickly became a student favorite for its airy, canopied terrace and daily happy hour menu. For four hours each day, you can sip on $6 craft cocktails and enjoy tapas, while the in-house DJ spins reggaeton and pop. Be sure to make a reservation if you don’t want to be stuck waiting in line.

Drunken Dragon Address: 1424 Alton Rd. Happy Hour: Daily from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For those craving Korean BBQ and tiki-themed cocktails, the Drunken Dragon offers happy hour, or “Dragon Hour,” daily from 5 to 7 p.m. House draft beers ($4), house wine or sake ($5) and over 10 signature cocktails ($6 or $7) can be enjoyed on the worldwide playground that is Miami Beach.


R House Address: 2727 NW 2nd Ave. Happy Hour: 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday Better known for its diva-filled weekend drag brunch experience, R House is a contemporary restaurant and bar located in the heart of Wynwood. During their weekday happy hour, enjoy bites and drinks from their diverse menu, including Miami classics like a Cuban sandwich ($7) and house mojito ($6).

Find Your Green Thumb After over a year spent mostly inside, indoor plants have perhaps never been more popular—especially in a smaller living space like a city apartment or college dorm. While filling our homes with plants may change the atmosphere effortlessly and inexpensively, it can still be stressful to figure out how to take care of them properly. These tips will make sure you never accidentally kill a plant again! words_alexis masciarella. photos_sydney burnett. design_olivia ginsberg.

The snake plant lives up to it’s name in look, but not demeanor. Their long, thin leaves will brighten up any space with a minimalistic and clean look.

Plant care is self-care—these green friends can purify the air in your home and improve your mental health in more ways than one.

Summer 2021 DISTRACTION 11

WHAT IS THE RIGHT PLANT FOR ME? Each plant needs unique conditions to survive, and each person has a different routine that determines how much nurturing can go into their indoor garden. Jonathan Taylor, the managing director of the plant market Andromeda District, said you must consider your environment in order to choose the best plants to flourish in your home without a lot of aid. Considering your environment includes taking note of the humidity, air quality and temperature, as well as determining the natural light levels. Plants generally fall into three categories: direct sunlight, indirect sunlight and shadow. Taylor recommends that plants with the ability to grow and be displayed on a desk or bookshelf are best for beginners. “These types of plants will give a student the knowledge in terms of how the plant behaves,” he said. “When the plant gives birth to new stems, it provides a very good sampling of the entire process and life of the plant.”

Whether you’re an expert grower or intimidated by demanding tropical plants, succulents are a go-to for low-maintenance plant owners. These drought-tolerant plants love soaking up the sun and don’t mind if you skip out on a few watering sessions.

WHY SHOULD I GET A PLANT? Plants allow us to mentally relax both from their aesthetics and through the physical act of gardening. “It has been proven that plants really enhance our living experience,” Taylor said. “They help us with a number of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.” Research from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology suggests that “active interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress compared with mental work.”

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY PLANT? Hanging plants can add a whole new level of life to your space—literally. Put them on window sills, attach them to wire racks on your wall or hang them from your ceiling with a wire plant hanger.


Moderation applies to all aspects of life, and it most certainly applies to plant care. “I believe that we have the knowledge innately within us to really connect to other living things,” Taylor said. “By having an interaction with the plant and seeing how it behaves, you are best able to care for it.” He even recommends naming your leafy friends by citing research that claims the survival rate increases from 40% to 80%. A good rule of thumb is that under-watering is always better than overwatering. From there, add small amounts and take note of how the plant reacts. Taylor recommends to fertilize plants using ingredients already on hand, including some things that may usually be thrown away. “Instead of going to buy chemicals,” he said, “you can use leftover coffee grounds or juicing pulp. Massage them into the soil, and the roots of the plant will soak up the nutrients.” When a plant lives inside, it doesn’t take long for a layer of dust to accumulate on leaves. This can block sunlight and reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. To avoid this, Taylor suggests taking a damp paper towel with a few drops of olive oil and wiping the leaves. If you are leaving for a short vacation, don’t fret. While you aren’t expected to install automatic irrigation systems inside of your living space, Taylor has some crafty ways to DIY. “Make three holes in an empty plastic bottle,” he said. “Then, you place a shoelace in the lid and fill the bottle with water completely. After, point out each of the shoelaces to a plant that needs to be watered. This is a very basic principle of drip irrigation that will help the plant receive water.”

Pick Your


When it comes to picking a plant it’s important to choose a species that is resilient—especially if you frequently leave home or forget to water your green friends. Even if you aren’t a caretaker, plants can be beneficial to your mental health. Here are a list of plants that require minimal effort and still make a beautiful addition to your home.

Devil’s Ivy Suggested use: Ideal as a potted plant indoors or outdoors. Exposure: Devil’s Ivy enjoys a light spot, but preferably not in direct sunlight. The paler the leaves, the more light it needs. Watering: Lightly water the plant twice a week once established or more often when extremely hot and dry. Care: Feed your Devil’s Ivy with slow release all-purpose granular fertilizer every three months.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Suggested use: Situate your fiddle leaf fig in a floor-standing container where the plant can grow to at least six feet. Exposure: Leave it in a partly shady spot. Watering: Fiddle-leaf figs like a moderate amount of moisture in their soil. Care: Fertilize throughout the growing season with a high-nitrogen plant food, following label instructions.

Air Plant Suggested use: Place air plants in a hanging glass globe or small container. They grow best near windows and humidity. Exposure: Hang near a window, but not in direct sunlight. Watering: Mist them with water every two to three days. Care: Cut off dead leaves and mist with houseplant fertilizer.

Christmas Cactus Suggested use: Place your christmas cactus somewhere bright and airy like an east facing window. Exposure: The leaves of this cactus plant are sensitive—too much direct sunlight can bleach its leaves. Watering: Water this colorful plant every two to three weeks. Care: In the fall and winter, the cactus needs to fed monthly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. From spring to early fall, the plant needs to be fed every two weeks.

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Mochee is proud to have past Distraction Magazine team members on our staff!

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! Shout out to our amazing interns Eliana Litos, Katrina Schmidt and Olivia Ginsberg




WHAT THE FORK Get ready to indulge your tastebuds. Learn what to whip up in your air fryer, put a spin on a childhood favorite by making a spiked popsicle or explore the variety of Mediterranean eats. It’s all right here in What The Fork, and it will leave your mouth watering.

Summer 2021 DISTRACTION 15

GOOD A.F. When you combine the limited living space and on-the-go lifestyle of college students, it’s always a recipe for convenience. The air fryer—a portable oven, of sorts—is popping up in dorms and apartments everywhere for its user-friendly, fool-proof cooking capabilities. Check out these fun and tasty recipes! words_emmalyse brownstein. photo_alexandra gaddy. design_isa marquez.

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What You Need • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning • 4 garlic cloves, minced • Salt and pepper to taste • 1 loaf sourdough bread • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions 1. Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Melt butter in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds. 3. Add olive oil, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the butter and stir. 4. Cut the bread half-way through in a diamond pattern. 5. Load the garlic olive oil butter into the cracks and crevices throughout the bread. 6. Add the cheese into each of the cracks. 7. Cook for five minutes or until the cheese is melted. 8. Cool before serving.

AIR FRYER CAULIFLOWER WINGS What You Need • 1 head of cauliflower • 1 cup flour • 2 tsp garlic powder • 1tsp onion powder • ½ tsp pepper • 1 cup almond milk • Hot sauce

Directions 1. Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Toss together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, almond milk and cauliflower. 3. Cook for 14 minutes. 4. Dip in hot sauce. 5. Cook for six additional minutes. With the busy schedules of college students, air fryer recipes are extremely convenient and can cook up a full meal in under 30 minutes.

16 DISTRACTION What the Fork



Kale chips



What You Need • 6 cups chopped kale, stems removed • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1tsp garlic powder • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp onion powder • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions 1. Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Mix kale and olive oil together in a large bowl until kale is thoroughly coated. 3. Add garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and pepper to kale and toss until leaves are evenly coated. 4. Transfer a single layera kale leaves to air fryer basket. Make sure they are evenly distributed. 5. Cook for six minutes. 6. Shake the air fryer basket to move the leaves around, ensuring leaves are evenly distributed. 7. Cook for two minutes more. 8. Transfer chips to a baking sheet to cool seperated (or else they will steam and not stay crisp). 9. Repeat steps three to seven with the additional kale. 10. Enjoy immediately or allow to cool completely. 11. Store in a container for up to two days.

What You Need • 2 pork loins chops • 1 tsp mustard • 1 tsp cayenne pepper • 2 stalks green onion • 1 garlic clove, pressed • ½ tsp ginger • 1 tbs rice wine • 2 tbs gochujang chili paste • 1 tbs sesame oil • 1 tbs sesame seeds • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions 1. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Toss meat with mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper. 3. Cook in air fryer for 10 minutes. 4. Add green onions and cook for another five minutes. 5. Whisk ginger, garlic, wine, chili paste and sesame oil. Simmer sauce for five minutes on low heat. 6. Slice pork loin chops into bit-size pieces and top with sauce and green onions. Garnish with sesame seeds. Crack bread

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BEEF EMPANADAS What You Need • ½ lb ground chuck • ½ yellow onion, minced • 2 tbs piri piri sauce • 1 tbs mustard • 6 cubes cotija cheese • 6 goya discos pastry dough

Directions 1. Preheat air fryer to 340 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, cook ground beef, onion and garlic until tender (about six minutes). Crumble with a fork and stir in the piri piri sauce. 3. Add beef and sauce mixture evenly to each empanada dough. Top with cheese and mustard. 4. Fold each in half and seal the edged with a fork. 5. Bake in air fryer for eight minutes, and flip halfway.


What You Need • 1 gala apple • 1 tsp peanut oil • 1 tsp butter, room temperature • 2 oz cream cheese, room temperature • 2 oz Greek yogurt • 2 oz caster sugar • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions 1. Preheat air fryer 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Drizzle peanut oil over the apple slices. 3. Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway. 4. Mix the remaining ingredients until everything is well incorporated. 5. Serve apple fried with dip on the side. Cauliflower wings

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18 DISTRACTION What the Fork

Popsicles are much more than a messy summertime dessert. These cool treats can be chocolatey, fruity and even boozy! The beauty of them is their simplicity—you can use the same base and switch up a few ingredients to enjoy completely different flavors. words_gabrielle lord. photo_gianna sanchez. design_lauren maingot.



Serving Size: 10 popsicles

VANILLA BASE • 1 cup milk of your choosing • 3 egg yolks • 1 tbs cornflour or cornstarch • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract • ½ cup sugar • A pinch salt • 1 cup whipping cream

PEACHES AND CREAM • 3 oz fresh or frozen pitted peaches • 1 teaspoon sugar • 1 teaspoon lemon juice BLUEBERRY VANILLA • 3 oz fresh or frozen blueberries • 1 tsp sugar • 1 tsp lemon juice COOKIES & CREAM • 3 Oreo cookies crushed into pieces

At three different locations in Miami, Paletas Morelia serves Mexicanstyle popsicles known as paletas. These tasty treats are made up of fresh fruit and creamy high-quality ingredients to satisfy your tastebuds. There are over 16 flavors that you can customize with your choice of dipping and toppings like graham crackers, almonds and Nutella.

FROHZEN 151 NE 41st St, Suite 137 Miami FL 33137

VANILLA BASE 1. Place the sugar, salt and cornflour into a saucepan. Whisk to combine and add in milk. 2. Heat the milk mix until the sugar dissolves and the milk is just under boiling point. 3. While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla in a small bowl. Once the milk has heated, pour about half a cup of the milk into the yolks while whisking. 4. When the egg yolks have been tempered, strain them back into the milk using a sieve. 5. Start by heating the milk-egg yolk combination on medium heat and gradually bring it to a boil, whisking regularly until a thick custard forms. 6. Cover and set aside to cool. 7. Once the custard has cooled. Add the lightly whipped cream to the cooled custard and fold it in gently until well combined—be careful not to knock out the air in the cream. Keep this covered in the fridge until you are ready to fill the popsicle molds.

PEACHES AND CREAM & BLUEBERRY VANILLA Fruit Flavor Portion 1. Add the fruit, sugar and lemon juice into a saucepan. Warm under medium heat, until the sugar dissolves and the fruits start to break down. Let it all simmer until the juices thicken into a syrup. This should take nearly 10 to 15 minutes. 2. Place the your desired fruits in separate mixing bowls and place them in the fridge to cool down. Peaches and Cream 3. Mix two heaping tablespoons of cooled peach compote with roughly ⅔ cup of the vanilla popsicle base. Mix just enough to create ripples. Transfer the mix into popsicle molds. Tap it on the table to remove any air bubbles.

185 NW 25th St Miami, FL 33127

Blueberrry Vanilla 3. Mix two tablespoons of cooled blueberry compote with roughly ⅔ cup of the vanilla popsicle base. Mix just enough to create ripples. Transfer the mix into two popsicle molds. Tap it on the table to remove any air bubbles.

COOKIES & CREAM 1. Break three oreos into a bowl. Mix in ⅔ cup of the vanilla base. Combine and transfer the mix into two popsicle molds. 2. Insert the popsicle sticks, cover and freeze overnight. 3. To unmold: hold the popsicle mold briefly under warm, running water to loosen the popsicle from the mold.

Executive Pastry Chef Salvatore Martone is the mastermind behind the innovative desserts in Miami Design District’s Frohzen. While Martone kept with classic staples like ice cream and popsicles, he took frozen treats to new levels when creating items like frohzen cupcakes and frohzen cakesicles which are essentially ice cream cakes on a stick.

CIELITO ARTISON POPS 2750 NW 3rd Ave Miami, FL 33127 Offering handcrafted popsicles, Cielito is not an average popsicle stand. Dedicated to using highquality ingredients free of artificial flavors or colors and hormone-free dairy products, they aim to keep their rotating menu of over 46 flavors tasty and healthy. They also offer vegan options and puppy options. That’s right, you can bring your canine in for their very own doggy pops made of fresh fruit and honey.

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20 DISTRACTION What the Fork

Traditional Mediterranean fare covers a lot of ground—and Americanized hummus bowls are off the menu. This time-honored cuisine is undoubtedly mouthwatering, lavished with olive oil and plated over a rich slice of culinary history. words_gianna milan. photo_gianna sanchez. design_lauren maingot.

Geographically speaking, “Mediterranean” is an eponymous descriptor for countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Its food cultures include the recognizable delicacies of Greece, Italy and Spain to the Middle Eastern zest of Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Syria. However, today’s modernized concept is often strictly tied to Greek staples like falafel, which tends to cancel out the significant diversity of Middle Eastern, Southern European and North African plates that make up this culinary lifestyle. Olives are a centerpiece of Mediterranean recipes regardless of each dish’s origin. The Mediterranean basin abounds with olive trees bearing the juiciest fruits for marinating, tossing into salad and, of course, extracting heart-healthy olive oil. Olive oil plays a pivotal role in Mediterranean favorites from refreshing tabbouleh (a Levantine minced herb salad) to hot Muhammara (the distinctly Syrian Aleppo pepper dip). It’s also drizzled and sprayed onto pans when cooking menemen (a Turkish egg scramble) and varieties of Middle Eastern kibbeh (ground meat and bulgur wheat patties). “Food is a major part of our culture. It’s meant to be shared and how we interact with each other. So, when everything’s piled into

one bowl, the food loses its importance,” said Maya Abdelnour, a senior advertising major at the University of Miami who was born and raised in Bhamdoun, Lebanon. Lots of her favorite home-cooked meals are almost always left out of the spotlight at Mediterranean eateries in the U.S. According to Abdelnour, Americanized tabbouleh, for instance, is prepared with too much bulgur and not enough parsley. And go-to breakfast flatbreads like za’atarman’ oushe (savory dried herbs blended with olive oil and sumac and smeared on toasted bread) and fatteh (pita with boiled chickpeas and tangy yogurt) are simply nowhere to be found in Miami. In the United States, interpretations of Mediterranean fare are correlated with Chipotle-style kitchens that don’t accurately represent the way such meals are enjoyed overseas. In Miami, for example, fast-casual spots like Rice Mediterranean Kitchen build heaping wraps and bowls of “Mediterranean” cuisine. On the other hand, Amal (the Abdelnour family’s Lebanese bistro set to open in Coconut Grove in fall 2021) emulates the authentic Mediterranean dinner table, where dips like hummus and baba ganoush are always a side platter or “mezze” (appetizer)—not dolloped onto everything.


Mediterranean food consists of lots of fresh vegetables and hummus, leaving you feeling light and fresh after this flavorful meal.

• 1 cup dried (uncooked/raw) chickpeas • ½ cup roughly chopped red or yellow onion • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro (mostly leaves) • 1 cup packed fresh parsley (mostly leaves) • 3 garlic cloves, quartered • 1 tsp sea salt • 1 tsp lemon zest • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp ground coriander • ½ tsp cracked black pepper • 1 tbs [extra virgin] olive oil • ½ tsp baking powder (optional)

Method 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 3. Scoop about 1 ½ to 2 tbs of the mixture at a time. Roll into 12 to 15 patties, being careful not to pack too tightly. 4. Arrange the shaped patties on the pan and coat generously with additional olive oil. 5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the patties are golden and crisp on both sides. Serve hot with a side of tzatziki.

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CLASSIC GREEK SALAD Ingredients • 1 English (green) cucumber, seeded and sliced • 1 or 2 red tomatoes, sliced • 1 green bell pepper, chopped • 1 slice (5 oz) feta cheese (you can cut into cubes) • ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion • ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives • Dash of oregano (optional)

Dressing • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar • ½ cup [extra virgin] olive oil • ½ tsp Dijon mustard • 1 garlic clove, minced • 1/2 tsp dried oregano • 1/4 tsp sea salt • Juice of 1 lemon • Freshly ground black pepper

Method 1. Whisk together all dressing ingredients except the olive oil into a bowl. Slowly pour in the olive oil and keep mixing until a vinaigrette materializes. 2. On a platter, assemble the cut vegetables and feta. Lather with vinaigrette and toss very gently. 3. Season to taste and top with pinches of oregano if you’d like. Serve cold or at room temperature. Spice up your Greek salad with some fun additions. This simple salad tastes great with quinoa and croutons, too.

HUMMUS & PITA Ingredients • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained • ⅓ cup tahini, homemade or store-bought • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced • 2 tablespoons [extra virgin] olive oil • ½ teaspoon ground cumin • ½ teaspoon sea salt • ¼ cup lemon juice • White or whole-wheat full-size pita rounds • More olive oil and sea salt Add-Ins • Kalamata olives • Roasted eggplant • Roasted red pepper • Spinach and artichoke • Extra garlic and lemon Garnishes • Chopped herb of your choice • Feta cheese crumbles • Plain Greek yogurt • Drizzle of olive oil • Toasted pine nuts • Paprika sprinkle

Hummus can be tweaked to satisfy multiple pallets by adding your favorites spices, ingredients and toppings like pine nuts or marinated red pepper.

Method 1. Place the pita round(s) on a baking pan. Salt as desired and drizzle with olive oil. Toast in a convection oven, flipping halfway as needed, until crispy. 2. Puree all hummus ingredients minus the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth. 3. Add the chickpeas and your favorite mix-ins and blend, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the consistency is too thick, blend in one or two tablespoons of water. 4. Taste and season to your desire. Serve immediately, garnished with toppings. 5. Break the warm pita into pieces with your hands and dip away, or refrigerate the hummus and use later as a spread for a sandwich, wrap or falafel patty.

WHERE TO DINE Mandolin Aegean Bistro $$$ | mandolinmiami.com 4312 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137 Maroosh $$ | maroosh.com 223 Valencia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 Khoury’s Mediterranean Restaurant $ | khouryrestaurantmiami.com 5887 SW 73rd St, South Miami, FL 33143

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FROSTED If you’ve ever seen Cake Boss or the Great British Baking Show, you might imagine decorating a cake to be a daunting task. Surprisingly, there are simple ways to DIY your confection. Once you get the basics down, the rest is, well, a piece of cake.


words_nicole julianna facchina. photo_daniella pinzon. design_demetrius williams.

Tools and Supplies When it comes to cake decorating tools, the variety you choose to invest in is completely up to you. Some common must-haves are cooling racks, spatulas (offset, rubber and icing are the most basic), piping bags and icing tips. As far as supplies go, you’re going to need icing and food coloring if you want an interesting color. Depending on what kind of look you’re going for, you may also want to get sprinkles, fresh fruit or other toppings. If you’re looking for a super clean finish, you could also choose to use fondant, which has a more clay-like consistency, usually used for more elaborate cakes.

To State the Obvious If you want to decorate a professional looking cake, you need a base first. When it comes to decorating, it doesn’t make a difference if the cake is made from scratch or a box kit. However, you should decide the shape and height before you get to baking.



The Fun


Once your cake is chilled and ready to be fully decorated, add another layer of icing over the crumb coat. Use a bench scraper to remove excess frosting and create sharper edges. From there, you can take some creative liberty. Here are some fun ideas: 1. Craft a summer-inspired cake by making your frosting green, creating a garden on top of the cake with multicolored flowers using piping bags and icing tips. Butterfly sprinkles would add a nice touch to this if desired. 2. Design an ocean-themed cake with different shades of blue icing on all sides, using a fork, knife or spatula to create the illusion of waves. Top it with a (nonedible) plastic surfboard or sea creature. 3. Cut up some fruit and create an Edible Arrangements bouquet on the top of the cake for a super fresh (and delicious) product. 4. Build a University of Miami-themed cake using orange and green icing, sprinkles and piping the “U” logo in the middle.

A Clean Canvas Now that you have your sponge, tools and supplies, you can start decorating your cake. After baking and letting it cool, put your cake in the freezer for at least a couple hours. Then apply a crumb coat, which is a very thin base layer of icing that prevents crumbs that can flake off while decorating. It makes for a smoother, more professional-looking finish. After the crumb coat, chill again to set.

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Chris Carson and Dylan Wacksman are the founders of Shoots Bakery & Bowls, a student-run Hawaiian-based food business. The two University of Miami juniors first met during their freshman year through Instagram, quickly became friends, roommates, and eventually, business partners. words_asia chester. photo_ jayden degrace. design_marielle zuber.

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ylan Wacksman, who hails from Honolulu, Hawaii, found himself missing the food from home when he moved to Miami for college. Especially poke—a traditional Hawaiian staple typically made of rice and raw fish. But, according to Wacksman, the popular Americanized poke bowl is inauthentic. He referred to it as “Subway make-your-own-poke” style. Traditional poke flavors are to stand alone, without toppings. In order to beat his poke craving, he and his roommate, Chris Carson, decided to bring authentic Hawaiian poke to Miami with their own business— Shoots. Wacksman thinks of it as his way of “bringing the food to the people.” Yet, Wacksman wanted to do more than just share his food—he also wanted to educate others on the rich culture and history of his home state. When Hawaii was populated by sugar plantations in the 1800s, labor was outsourced. This influx of people brought diverse cultures and food with it. As for Carson, he was inspired by the idea of bringing joy to others through food. He has some advice for those who may want to start their own business or go after an entrepreneurial dream. “There is likely someone else on campus that has the same

goals as you. Just go for it,” he said. “Have fun and don’t overthink it.” Wacksman said he believes food is indicative of people. In Hawaii, people are welcoming and family-oriented, with no “set way” of living. Although he is from Hawaii, Wacksman is not a native Hawaiian. This is an important distinction, he said, in the cultural understanding of Hawaii. Predominately comprised of Asian, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians, it is culturally diverse in a way that is unlike the rest of the United States. Wacksman and Carson started Shoots in January 2021, and in the few months that followed, have seen encouraging success. They usually sell out of food within 24 hours of posting an order link. They’re aiming to land a stall in University of Miami’s weekly farmers market next fall. To be in the market, they said, represents offering quality food at affordable prices. They also hope to become more inclusive, with plans to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. If you’re looking for a first-timer’s recommendation, both Wacksman and Carson agreed that the Spicy Ahi Poke Bowl is their go-to. To look at their menu or place an order for on-campus pickup, follow @shootsbb on Instagram.

To order Shoots, go to their IG @shootsbb to check out their menu and fill out an order form. Pre-orders open on Monday!

Shoots satisfys the cravings of students from the northeast with everything bagels handmade from scratch by Carson and Wacksman.

You can score this gyoza bowl for $9 from Shoots—it comes with five pork dumplings, white rice topped with furikake and soy sauce.

These donut-like treats are called malasada—a Portuguese dessert brought to Hawaii by immigrants that traveled there for work.

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switc it u . 88% a UM stu ents a ternate rin s wit water.


Nysier Bra□l<s



Estela Perez-samarriba



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NOSTALGIA We’re here to reminisce on the aesthetic of our past. Whether it’s debating the best TV shows of our childhood, hopping on the Y2K fashion trend or addressing norms that should be changed for good, you’ll get all the feels from this special section.

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I’ M T O T

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It has been over a year since schools were shut down, concerts were cancelled and offices were closed. Keeping distance and wearing a mask have become second nature. The distribution of vaccines has shown us a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. But that doesn’t mean life will completely go back to the way it was before. A post-COVID world will be a new type of “normal,” and this is how some things are changed for good. words_emma goodstein. photo_teagan polizzi. design_avani choudhary.


An economic downturn followed the start of the pandemic—businesses closed, millions lost their jobs, world trade was disrupted and tourism became almost nonexistent. But with vaccines becoming more widely administered, individuals are more inclined to start spending money like they used to. This spring, for example, there has been a noticeable uptick in travel and trip planning. Air travel has hit a “new pandemic high,” according to CNN, and Airbnb and hotel bookings have seen a surge in bookings. But with many eager to travel and purchase after this long period of waiting, some economists worry that there will be an overload of spending and that the economy may not be able to handle this sudden spike. “Covid has sort of reintroduced people to the business cycle by illustrating how events that are sometimes unpredictable can seriously affect the economy,” said Shannon Derouselle, a professor of business law at the University of Miami’s Herbert Busines School. While unemployment rates are still high and small businesses’ work hours are still low, stocks are near an alltime high, the housing market is thriving and the shift to online shopping has accelerated. And according to a CNN “Back-to-Normal Index,” the U.S. economy is operating at 86% of where it was in early March.

A completely post-COVID world seems like a fantasy. The gardens of Vizcaya almost make you forget about the changed world beyond its flora.


While it was stressful for some to think about the declining economy during the pandemic, others were focused on the positive environmental shifts taking place. Less traveling and working from home meant less carbon emissions from transportation. Experts are reporting that society’s response to this unique opportunity—a year-long stalemate in society—will lay the groundwork for our climate trajectory for thousands of years to come. While carbon emissions are down as of right now, concentrations are still rising as a whole. “Individual action—driving your car less, attending a meeting via Zoom rather than taking a business flight—is not going to be enough” said Richard Betts, head of climate impacts at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter, United Kingdom. Experts are calling for systematic action on international and state levels, meaning structural changes need to be put into place and continued far past the end of the pandemic. “These seemingly small changes offered the ability to collect data on the effect of what is happening in real time,” said Alexander Humphreys, a professor in the geology department at UM. Based on numerous reports by environmentalists, it looks as though the Earth has experienced more positive effects than negative effects since the pandemic began last year. Although this does not account for future consequences that are not yet known. For example, the increase in single-use items creates an entirely new wave of waste that the Earth will be left to endure. “These new kinds of disposable masks going everywhere are kind of like the new plastic bags,” said Humphreys. “Now we have another waste product that is being discarded everywhere and ending up in our oceans.”

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Smiling at strangers when you pass them to feel a sense of connection seems to be a thing of the past. The weirdest part about the pandemic for some is the way that masks changed the way we, as humans, communicate with others and the environment around us. Shielding our faces, becoming unrecognizable at times, allowed us to ignore and melt into our surroundings. When masks come off and life returns to “normal,” will interactions return to what they used to be? Will people restore society through small acts of kindness, like picking up dropped coins for the person in front of them? Or will insecurities, social anxiety and fear of sickness pave the road ahead? “I have gotten used to seeing only the top half of people’s faces, but I am so excited to see people’s smiles again,” said sophomore Danni Mackler.

Swapnika Alahari, senior, wears a floral slip dress from Asos.

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These are the years teenagers were told they would experience success, failure, pain, love, joy and disappointment. Of course, these emotions can still be felt throughout a global pandemic, but many feel like they have been robbed of many “real life” moments. Casey Grafstein, a sophomore at UM, shares how awful it felt to miss out on the opportunity of meeting her new baby cousin and experiencing the joy that her family shared together. “I wish I could have been there to celebrate this moment with my family, being that it’s not often we all get to be together” Grafstein said. With life goals and aspirations being put on hold, many young adults have reported a lost sense of self and a lost sense of motivation.“It may seem like a temporary setback for a teenager to lose out on an internship, but that missed opportunity can echo for years if it constrains their worldview or their sense of what they can achieve in life,” one article from WebMD wrote. Ariel Hartzy, a student in the Herbert Business School, said she feels a huge disconnect when trying to learn through an online platform. She said she felt “discouraged and unmotivated through the lack of interaction with peers and professors.” After the pandemic ends, there are going to be many different reactions. While some people may have a sigh of relief and run to concerts and gatherings, mirroring the energy of the Roaring 20s, others will still be worried about social interactions for years to come, simply having gotten too comfortable laying low. Globally, as communities begin to become more “normal”, every aspect of life will be reworked. Economically, environmentally and socially, the world will look drastically different in a post-COVID world.

BACK to NORMAL Only 12% of workers said they want to return to full-time office work, while 72% want a hybrid remote-office model moving forward. From BBC’s Future Forum research on 4,700 knowledge workers.


53% of consumers said that it is ‘quite likely’ or ‘very likely’ they will shop online more often, even after the pandemic. Findings from a survey of online consumers from nine countries conducted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.


62% of respondents said that they would prefer to keep virtual classes as an option after the pandemic. Based on 212 respondents to a Distraction Instagram poll.


71% of respondents said that they will continue to wear a mask when on airplanes, even after the pandemic. Based on 189 respondents to a Distraction Instagram poll.

82% of customers said that they will still order delivery or takeout from a restaurant after the pandemic is over. From the Zagat’s Future of Dining survey.

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Our memories are shaped by music—whether it’s that one song from TikTok that reminds you of the early days of COVID-19 quarantine or a throwback that your parent always played in the car, music has a powerful ability to hold more than just melodies and lyrics. This playlist is a curation of tunes that transport some University of Miami students back to the good ‘ole days. words_gianna milan. design & illustration_giselle spicer.

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our first week at The U. Your first middleschool breakup. A loved one’s last breath. The soundtrack of our past, present and future—shaped by milestones and setbacks—is infinitely replayable. Time travel doesn’t exist yet, but the power of music and the human brain allows us to transport, hurt and heal. “Music has a pretty astounding ability to take us back almost immediately to a certain person, place or time and elicit compelling feelings,” said Dr. Kimberly Sena Moore, a music therapist and associate professor at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. “It’s a phenomenon that continues throughout life.” In a 1999 study, American psychologists Matthew Schulkind, Laura Hennis and David C. Rubin first traced the “significant positive correlation between emotion and [long-term, autobiographical] memory” through music. They conducted and analyzed the results through a series of listening and memory-triggering exercises on adults of all ages. Excerpts were found to stimulate a particularly high emotionality rating among older adults recognizing popular songs associated with their youth. Memories of significant life periods and events often carry a heavier weight than others because nostalgia has the capability to supercharge memories. In other words, “the memories that we remember the strongest are the ones with an emotional tag,” said Moore. These chapters of life are synonymous with “discoveries of how we selfidentify,” Moore said—and all the more shaped by music. When soundscapes are thrown into the picture, soul-stirring experiences can be even stickier in both the emotional and memory systems of the mind. That is because sound can be retained consciously by explicit memory as well as automatically by implicit memory. Therefore, hearing the sonic backdrop stored with such potent experiences cues the brain to connect the dots, unlock information and induce pleasure or pain in response, according to a BBC article. No one component of the brain simply presses play, however. The organ works “like an orchestra,” Moore detailed. “Each individual musician is important and plays a critical role, but it’s really the coordination of the different sections that creates the cohesive music we hear.” Similarly, in the limbic system, the amygdala (an almond-sized structure responsible for telling the body what’s emotionally important in the environment) is functionally connected to the hippocampus (which absorbs and processes newly-learned material) and the hypothalamus (which releases dopamine, the nervous system’s ultimate feel-good neurohormone). The relationships between music, memory and emotion run deep, and today’s research efforts aim to unwrap their united therapeutic impact. Moore’s own patients with neurocognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s may have a limited understanding of their surroundings and a debilitated psychological network, but when playing or singing a song from their formative years, she’s often gifted with smiling faces. So, although they can’t cure all wounds, blasts from the past activate and energize the human mind. As Moore underscored, “We capitalize on music’s power to evoke, extend and shift how we feel,” and self-reflection through music is an eternal human ritual.

What Makes You Beautiful One Direction Tangled Up in Blue Bob Dylan Electric Love BØRNS Despacito Feat. Justin Bieber (Remix) Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee Fancy Iggy Azalea Feat. Charli XCX Take Me Home, Country Roads John Denver King Years & Years Cigarette Daydreams Cage the Elephant Memories Maroon 5 I Gotta Feeling Black Eyed Peas Hey There Delilah Plain White T’s Call Me Maybe Carly Rae Jepsen Love Story Taylor Swift Glad You Came The Wanted How Much I Feel Ambrosia Want U Back Cher Lloyd Dynamite Taio Cruz No Distance Warning Teleportation Young, Wild and Free (Feat. Bruno Mars) Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa

Scan with the camera icon on the Spotify app to listen to this playlist.

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OH SNAP? 34 DISTRACTION Special Section: Nostalgia

Andrew Young, an early leader of the Civil Rights Movement and close confidant of MLK, marching in the 1960s.

Aunt Jemima. Uncle Ben’s. The Washington Redskins. Land O’ Lakes. The list goes on, and you probably know the names. These companies have come under fire for their logos and branding during the recent racial and social justice movements, leaving many to grapple with a tough question: Where is the line between confronting racist history and erasing it? words_rachelle barrett. design_avani choudhary.

The Black Lives Matter movement has drawn national attention to systemic racism in America and around the world. One particular dialog has garnered quite a bit of attention lately: What to do about the racist history of common products that line store shelves and of large sports teams supported and loved by many. America is home to hundreds of traditional companies and industries, many of which have commonly celebrated, “all-American” origin stories. But some of these use outright racist branding and advertising. Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Butterworth’s and Cream of Wheat are food brands that use Black people in harmfully stereotypical roles such as housemaids, slaves or a “mammy.” Worse yet is that the individuals these labels were based on were likely never compensated for the use of their likeness, according to the Associated Press, whether it was modeling the product or even discovering the recipe. This issue goes beyond the Black community—the Land O’ Lakes label shows a native-American woman with a feather in her hair, yet the butter company is farmer-owned by non-natives. The banana company Chiquita is an American brand, yet their mascot is an exotic-looking, racially-ambiguous but presumably Latina woman donning a bright tropical dress. Eskimo Pie, an ice cream product, had a stereotypical Northerntribe figure as their mascot. Arctic and Canadian Inuit and Yupik descendants demanded the brand to be renamed once it was made clear that the term “Eskimo” is a derogatory word used for natives by white colonizers in the past, according to a Business Insider article. For many individuals, therein lies the problem: Predominately white Americans largely attacked these cultures and their members, only to turn around and profit off of their caricatures. Eskimo Pie, Land O’Lakes, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Mrs. Buttersworth and Cream of wheat have since changed their branding and names.

Racism in American brands doesn’t only reside in food—both college and professional sports teams also capitalize on prejudiced mascots and names. Just recently, the NFL team formerly known as the Washington Redskins stirred up nationwide controversy for changing their long-held name to the “Washington Football Team.” Similarly, Saint John’s University’s former mascot, Chief Blackjack, was based on a Native American character used to sell tobacco. After facing pressure from native students, the school dropped the mascot in 1994. The debate around changing racist labels is two-sided. Not necessarily between races, but between people who have nostalgia for the brands, those who want to see change and those who question whether it’s the most important issue to address at all. “People use the argument of tradition,” Nikki Metzgar, the communications director for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, said. “And, how precious these roots are, even the racist ones. Because it aids our society to grow from past mistakes, and erasing these traditions would only lead society backward into a repetitive state. It is commonly understood that using a slur, especially in branding, is morally incorrect,” continued Metzgar. “So would erasing these slurs from boxes and packages really lead society to forget about basic human decency and non-racism such as simply not using a slur to advertise pancakes?” So will changing all these labels really make a change in how minorities are treated in America? Raphael Vulcain, a University of Miami finance and marketing major, said he thinks the rebranding does make a difference. “It’s an attempt at amending the pain caused by racism. I think the history won’t be hidden or ignored either. In fact, it’ll be highlighted because of the change.” River Glassberg, a junior musical theatre major at the University of Miami, agrees that this rebranding movement isn’t a form of erasure that will harm the

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public. “To say that by changing the imagery on some of this branding is to erase history is a little bit of the wrong connotation,” they said. “To take that away is not to erase the history, but to hopefully start a change toward not ignoring that it happened, but accepting it happpened and moving in a hopefully better direction.” Sheikh Muhtade, a sophomore musical theatre major, said he is skeptical of the motives behind companies making changes. “Even if you change the logo, even if you do all these things, is it just a PR stunt? Is it just for saving face?” he said. “In marketing and branding, the concept of ethics plays a big role. I feel like that’s where a bit more work needs to happen before we can actually wholeheartedly believe the steps that these big brands take to let us know they are working towards change.” If these racist images continue to be circulated around the nation, mass-produced and distributed as normal, can America really move past its racist roots? Or will these seemingly little labels serve as a constant reminder of past horrors, which quite possibly won’t be forgotten even if some butter tubs are pulled from the shelves. To many BIPOC, these constant reminders can be degrading, belittling, unwelcoming, stereotypical and racist. When one digs deep enough, many things in American culture could be said to hold a racist background. For example, close to home, South Dixie highway and the Winn Dixie grocery store chain, both contain the word “Dixie” which refers to the Mason-Dixon line and the eleven Southern states that seceded from America to create the Confederate States of America. The list goes on. And though these everyday American grocery stores, schools, books, pancake syrup, football teams and ice cream bars were made to benefit Americans to a certain degree, it does not mean they can’t use a reboot.

this sculpture, called “Rumors of War,” was made by artist Kehinde Wiley. It portrays a Black man on a horse, making a purposeful contrast to the classic statues of confederate generals.

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Looney Tunes




Picture this: It’s 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night in 2007. You just fell asleep on your couch while watching Nickelodeon. Your older siblings nudge you awake and you catch a glimpse of Carlton dancing on your TV. You all beg your parents to let you stay up and finish the episode and, miraculously, they oblige. Life is good. words_scarlett diaz. design & illustration_giselle spicer.

Powerpuff Girls

Sugar, spice and everything nice! Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles were kindergartners who had to deal with normal kid experiences like losing teeth, sibling rivalry, security blankets and saving their hometown from supervillains and monsters.

Total Drama Island

Before we all grew up and discovered “Bachelor in Paradise,” “Total Drama Island” was the closest thing kids had to a reality TV show competition. The cartoon teenagers duked it out on an island and told “confessionnels” from a port-a-potty. Each episode, a member of the losing team would get voted off the island and had to take the “Dock of Shame” to the “Boat of Losers,” which would take them home.

Looney Tunes originally ran from 1930-1969, but the cartoon reruns and reboots never fail to make anyone smile. From “Tiny Toons” to “Space Jam,” Tweety Bird and the gang are going to be around for a while.

Flintstones Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool...” One sophomore reader says she’s never actually seen a Fresh Prince of Bel Air episode, but still knows every word to the iconic theme song. This show launched Will Smith’s acting career with its comedic banter—but part of what is so special about “Fresh Prince” is how the show handled topics like racism and classism while taking major strides in representation.

If you grew up thinking humans and dinosaurs roamed the Earth together, you have “The Flintstones” to thank. The 1960s show was the first ever animated series to air on Network TV. The cartoon romanticized the stone age and featured classic 1960s tropes about marriage and family values.

Winx Club

For many people, “Winx Club” was their first dose of girl power. At five, you learned that you could still be a badass in a mini skirt and fight off villains without a single hair flying out of place. “Winx Club” fairies were created to feature more women in cartoons and were based on artists like Britney Spears, JLo, Lucy Liu and Beyoncé. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if the new Netflix adaptation hits the same, but we like to stick to the OG.

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They say everything eventually comes back into style if you wait a few decades. Pop sensation Taylor Swift even alluded to the phenomenon in her recent, chart-topping album when she said: “I come back stronger than a ’90s trend.” And TSwift may just be on to something. words_scarlett diaz. photo_julia dimarco. design_giselle spicer.


n the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, of course nostalgia feels great. At least that’s how Mindy Gale, CEO of creative PR & digital marketing agency Gale Branding, put it. “Trends come back because it feels like ‘well, they worked once before, so they’ll work again.’ We say it’s cyclical. Everything comes back, but in a little bit of a different way.” The hit Netflix show “Bridgerton” was one example After it premiered internet searches for corsets rose by nearly 100%. Roller blading, puzzles and board games have all seen an uptick in popularity since the pandemic began. According to the NYPost, Google search interest for roller skates reached a five-year high in early May 2020. Viral videos of people doing TikTok dances on roller skates have frequented the app since last spring—the tag #rollerskating currently has 4.3 billion views. Gale explained that this resurgence in trends is part of a desire for not only physical and inperson intimacy, but for technology-free spaces.

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“Board games are a thing again, and a lot of that is because of the pandemic,” said Gale. “People were so overloaded on Zooming and backlit screens that board games started to sell through again, and also puzzles. They’re games that we used to play physically together in a room.” So how do brands go about marketing these old trends to a new generation? Community involvement is key. “The younger generation is very aware of giving back,” she said. “Years ago it wasn’t like that. Today, it is an integral part of rebranding.” Amy Agramonte, a University of Miami marketing professor and CEO of digital marketing company Blonde Concepts, said that she always asks her clients to describe themselves. “Once people in brands understand exactly what that is, it is much easier for them to organize their message,” she said. “A lot of times companies will rebrand because they’ve been unclear or too basic about who they are. They don’t stand for anything in particular and so, they stand for nothing.”

TRENDS clips Y2K style is everywhere lately, from butterfly clips to space bun hairstyles and tiny neon tank tops. This year, both Prada and Dior re-released purses and prints from the early 2000s, and the trends have trickled down to Instagram boutiques like @shopcolorfulnatalie, whose marketing centers on 2000s nostalgia.

baby tees Sami Ryan is an Los Angeles-based womenswear company whose collaboration continuously sells out over online boutique REVOLVE and the Sami Ryan website. They reimagined the cuddly stuffed animals of our childhoods, Care Bears, on stylish baby tees.

trucker hats Trucker hats have also been redone by brands like Aviator Nation—but nothing trumps the classic VonDutch trucker hat, which can be seen on the heads of UM students at the pool on any given Saturday. Even Greek Organizations and retailers nationwide have hopped on to this trend, revitalizing formerly outdated brands like VonDutch and Bass Pro Shops by stamping letters on it.

swimsuits Matchy-matchy vibes popularized decades ago are also back, but in a new way. According to whowhatwear.com, three-piece swimsuits, a bikini with a wrap skirt, are the hottest swim trend of the year. Shop the look! Sunglasses: PacSun Top: REVOLVE Hat: Ali & Ariel Bag: Luis Vuitton

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t ’ h t a s ho t ! Skinny jeans? Never heard of her. From Care Bears to roller blades and tiny purses, the 90s and 00s are back and hotter than ever. The looks Gen Z saw on their pop culture icons during childhood are finally back ‘in.’ We aren’t complaining. photos_gianna sanchez. design_avani choudhary. styling_gianna sanchez & lauren maingot.

Scarlett Diaz, sophomore, said she couldn’t resist this crop top. “I feel like a bit of a poser—I was never a Care Bears girl growing up,” said Diaz. “But when I saw this Sami Ryan shirt, I got hit with a wave of nostalgia. Care Bears are simple, colorful and fun. This shirt reminds me not to take things so seriously.”

40 DISTRACTION Special Section: Nostalgia

as if ! Think these models are faking it? As if! What better way to prove that the 00s are truly back in than to know that these models are in pieces from their own closets!

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Want the same look as junior Nate Dumont? Vintage football tee: Round Two Nike Sportswear woven shorts: Solefly Vintage Nike Blazer Mid ’77 shoes: Kith Vintage Florida Marlins Hat: Back & Forth

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s h e’ s a l l t ha t Nikki Bullard, sophomore, said the Y2K style trend is right up her alley. “My favorite thing is how experimental it is,” she said. “You could really play with any color or cut and make it work. I love Y2K especially because it’s everything I saw and wanted as a little kid.”

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t h a t ’s

ho t !

“When styling myself I always remember that confidence is key,” said Dumont “If I don’t feel good about what I’m wearing then no one else will.”

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Back In

class of 2021

The Day The student body at the University of Miami is full of unique students. After May 14, the Class of 2021 will be scattered around the world and not roaming the UM campus. With “adulting” on the horizon, the seniors of Distraction share highlights from their past four years at The U. Congratulations to the Class of 2021! OLIVIA GINSBERG editor-in-chief

words_lauren mokhtarzadeh. photo_teagan polizzi. design_giselle.spicer.

AVANI CHOUDHARY co-art director

GISELLE SPICER co-art director

GIANNA SANCHEZ co-creative director


ABBY PODOLSKY fashion director

TIANA TORKAN photographer

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Major: Creative Advertising Minor: Journalism, Art After her time at UM, Ginsberg will miss being in the Distraction suite with her team, being able to see her friends at any given moment and working on her graphic design projects next to Lake Osceola. It was in her favorite class, Typography and Branding with Professor Sarai Nunez, that her love for graphic design flourished. Not only did she learn how to create her own typeface, named “Blonde,” but she also built an entire mock brand around it.

Major: Computer Science, Studio Art Minor: Art History After graduating, Choudhary said she will miss seeing her friends every day and enjoying the comfort and security that UM provided. Over the past four years, she could typically be found by Lake Osceola, enjoying a coffee with a friend. As for the art lover’s favorite class at UM, that would have to be Art History with Professor Heather Diack. To feed her creative soul, Choudhary’s go-to is the breakfast wrap from Pura Vida, drenched in their delicious sauce.

Major: Public Relations Minor: Music Business, Motion Pictures After graduation, Spicer will miss her friends the most. “I’ve never had a group of friends like this before,” she said. “We are going to be scattered all over the country now and it will be sad not to see them every day.” For the first three years of college, Spicer could be seen rocking away at the Panhell gliders, but senior year, she’s content anywhere she can find a glider. She said gliders are great places to make memories. Evolution of Rock was this music lover’s favorite class at UM because she got to study the history of Rock and Roll, all the way from The Beach Boys to Nirvana.

Major: Broadcast Journalism Minor: Interactive Media, Music Business + Entertainment Industries When she wasn’t nibbling on chicken fingers and sipping a cookies & cream milkshake from The Rat, she could be found at the School of Communication’s courtyard, catching up with friends. She said this spot is just one of the things she’s going to miss after her time at UM, along with always “being five minutes away from my closest friends.” Her favorite class was JMM 527 TV Producing with professors Boriana Treadwell and Edward Julbe. “I want to be a producer, so it was the most fun and it didn’t seem like class,” she said. During this course, she was able to produce her own 15 minute show each class and get an inside look into life as a producer.

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Major: Public Relations Minor: Journalism After graduation, Mokhtarzadeh will miss her friends, UM’s campus and The Salty Donut truck. Over the years, Mokhtarzadeh could be found at her favorite spot on campus—the tables outside the Richter Library. At this spot, she would do homework, drink multiple cups of coffee and people watch under her sunglasses. “It’s a central part of campus, so I would always see a friend and get to enjoy Miami’s weather,” she said. During her time at UM, her favorite class was Marketing Foundations with Professor Jeffrey Weinstock. She said that it was a challenging class, but Weinstock’s passion was so inspiring that she is now pursuing a marketing career.

Major: Marketing Minor: Public Relations Podolsky said that after graduating this spring, she will miss the people, energy and weather the most. To Podolsky, UM is an eccentric place that inspires her to get out of bed and do her best. Her favorite class at UM was Marketing Management with Professor Jeffrey Weinstock because it was the most beneficial for life after college. As an underclassman, her campus go-to was Subway’s spicy Italian sandwich, but as her workload increased, she found herself turning to Starbucks’ pumpkin cream cold brew. After graduating, she will miss coming into the Distraction suite because “it’s a common area where creative people hang out and I can be myself,” she said.

Major: Interactive Media Minor: Media Management Over the years, Torkan enjoyed eating her Brown Butter + Salt donut from The Salty Donut on the steps by Lake Osceola. Whether it be catching up with a friend or working on an Orange Umbrella project, she said the view of the lake made work more enjoyable. Her favorite class was her freshman year English class, The Literature of Incarceration. In this class, she was given a pen pal in prison. They exchanged several letters over the course of the semester, learning more about one another. After graduating, Torkan is going to miss UM’s campus. “As I walk around my campus, I get to appreciate the great opportunities I have had and my friends that I have made,” she said.

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Styles For Juniors Teens & Kids Shop the latest juniors trends & styles: www.beantotween.myshopify.com jdmickey@mac.com 631-466-8429

Follow us on Instagram: @bean2tween

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Featured Brands: Whiteroom + Cactus Katie J NYC Storia

HEALTH & WELLNESS The end of a semester brings on a welldeserved break. Flip through Health & Wellness to explore the mental health effects of the pandemic, how two UM professors are destigmatizing sex education and if a suana could be the key to your R&R this summer.

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the new Did your parents sit you down at the kitchen table when you were younger to talk about the “Birds and the Bees?” You’re not alone. It can be awkward to talk about sex, but one podcast started by a University of Miami professor is here to destigmatize the subject and dish out some much needed advice. words_fernanda paez. design_olivia ginsberg.

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According to Planned Parenthood, 43% of female teens and 57% of teen males in the United States do not receive information about birth control before they have sex for the first time.

arketing wisdom tells us that “sex sells,” so why is it that so many school systems lack a comprehensive, inclusive sex education? The consequence is having tens of millions of young adults interested in sex, yet misinformed and misguided about it. University of Miami professor and passionate sex educator Dr. Andrew Porter has stepped up to help fill this void by starting “The Sex Wrap,” a no-holds-barred podcast that is just as entertaining as it is informative. “We’re in a world where everything is sexualized, and then the one thing that we’re not supposed to talk about is sex,” said Dr. Porter, assistant professor of public health in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. In the United States, sexual health education is often not accessible or incomplete due to funding cuts, abstinence-based education and heteronormativity, leaving many students with misconceptions and misunderstandings. “The Sex Wrap,” which Dr. Porter runs with co-host Dr. Spring Cooper, an associate professor from the Department of Community Health and Social Sciences at City University of New York, serves to inform college students—and whoever else wants to listen—about anything and everything that has to do with S-E-X. “Seventy to 90% of our students here are engaging in sexual behavior,” Dr. Porter said, “so abstinence-only education obviously didn’t work.” This begs the question: Where are students getting their sexual health information from? According to Dr. Porter, the answer is often porn. Seeing the scarcity of sexual health education and lack of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness within programs that did exist, Dr. Porter and Dr. Cooper created “The Sex Wrap.” Listeners—most of which are in their 20s—submit questions for Dr. Spring and Dr. Porter to answer, and the co-hosts “don’t pull any punches,” in doing so, ensuring that all

the information they’re disseminating is as “evidence-based as possible.” From butt plugs to blue balls, there is nothing they won’t talk about. But sometimes, Dr. Porter and Spring reframe questions so that they’re appropriate for high school and college students. The majority of the questions submitted by listeners, Porter said, are focused on insecurities like, “Am I big enough? Am I good enough? Is this right? Do I look right? Does it hang right? Are they big enough?” With “The Sex Wrap,” Dr. Spring and Dr. Porter hope to relieve any anxieties people may have concerning sex and address important social justice issues along the way. The mission, said Dr. Porter, is sex positive communication. “If you want to have sex,” he said, “I want you to have that sex, but I want it to be happy, healthy and consent-driven sex.” Some of their favorite topics to highlight are problems like racism in porn, which they have a must-listen-to mini-series on. Dr. Spring says she specifically enjoys serious questions, and hopes people will listen to them. For example, the pair recently put out their first episode on abortion, a topic Dr. Spring was surprised the team hadn’t covered until now. Sitting on the “cutting edge of public health,” the podcast engages with young people by letting them come to the experts, shared Dr. Porter. The crew emphasizes that their show is never supposed to feel like a classroom.

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Sydney Stropes, a sophomore intern in the School of Nursing and Health Studies, said she enjoys educating people through a different lens and using contemporary media as a platform to share. “Like here. This is a meme about queefing. That’s something that’s nice and relatable to you.” According to Dr. Porter, current research about sex often struggles to reach millennials and Gen Z, and while “The Sex Wrap” may not seem like a normal intervention, it engages with young people the way young people engage with the world. “Right now,” he said, “that’s through social media and cell phones.” Some people, the crew said, don’t understand the need for sexual education “When I mention that I work for a sex podcast, people automatically assume I must be promiscuous when, really, my job is to help people have safer sex and healthier relationships,” said Nina Wojtowicz, a Master of Public Health candidate at UM and lab manager for “The Sex Wrap.” The hosts tailored some “just the tip” pointers for Distraction readers. When asked about sex positions, Dr. Porter and Dr. Spring agreed that everyone is unique. According to Dr. Spring, there’s no best position—you should experiment with different ones to figure out which kind you like. “The ones that are very gymnastic, no one likes,” she said. “And no one actually likes the wheelbarrow, that’s just for fun.” When asked about sex toys, Porter had simple advice. “If you have a prostate, you will probably enjoy a prostate massager. And if you have a clitoris, you will probably enjoy a vibrator,” he said. “If you have a penis, you will probably enjoy a fleshlight.” But be warned, said Spring: If a sex toy is super cheap, it might be best not to purchase it, since you are putting it near a very sensitive area. You might learn about how to have a better orgasm on Dr. Porter and Dr. Spring’s podcast. But there are also other resources on campus. The Student Health Center and Counseling Center give free STI tests at the Adolescent Counseling and Testing Services on the medical campus. Plus, “V’s Take,” the sex and love column in The Miami Hurricane, also dishes out spicy words of wisdom for UM students. And remember, to stay safe and keep it wrapped.

Planned Parenthood plannedparenthood.org (305) 285-5535 Counseling Center counseling.studentaffairs.miami.edu (305) 284-5511 Student Health Center studenthealth.studentaffairs.miami.edu (305) 284-9100 Out of the Closet–Miami (HIV Testing) outofthecloset.org (305) 764-3773 Florida Department of Health floridahealth.gov (850)-245-4303 Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center jacksonhealth.org (305) 585-7273

According to aidsvu.org the number of people living with HIV in Miami-Dade County was 25,651 in 2018.

52 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

HOT AND HEAVY Hot. Steamy. Sweaty. Saunas aren’t typical therapy sessions, but man do they feel good. That’s right, therapy doesn’t just mean talking to a professional about your feelings. It might be time to take yourself off the proverbial “hot seat” and put yourself on a literal one to ease your stress and anxiety. words_ gabrielle lord. design_maria emilia becerra.

Dating back to ancient Greeks, Romans and Mayans, saunas are essentially rooms designed for your body to sweat. Typically set at 158 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, saunas work their magic by raising skin temperature and heart rate to make the body work to cool itself. According to Andres Preschel, a University of Miami graduate student working towards his master’s degree in applied physiology, when the body is exposed to such a high degree of heat, it causes a hormetic response. In layman’s terms, this means that the heat triggers the body to respond in a way that results in stress resistance. All saunas produce similar benefits. According to Healthline, overall benefits of saunas include reducing muscle soreness,

reducing stress levels and improving cardiovascular health. However, infrared saunas are different in that the special light penetrates deeper, all the way into the mitocondria of a cell. This helps these vital organelles to multiply and increase resting expenditure. “It’s a controlled environment of chaos that helps teach the body how to handle stress better,” Preschel said. UM junior Anjuli Sharpley suffers from asthma, but said she noticed decreased symptoms after using the sauna. “I would feel a sense of relief,” she said. “I’d go after working out and would feel very fresh after.” While saunas can work wonders, they are also the subject of some popular myths. According to Preschel, these hot little rooms

really can aid in strengthening and building muscle. The notion that you can “sweat out your toxins,” has no scientific evidence to back it up. In fact, most toxins in the body are removed by the kidneys, livers and intestines. The claim that saunas can help you lose weight is most likely false, as well. While it’s possible to see a fluctuation on the scale after a sauna session, Healthline says it’s from fluid loss, known as “water weight”, not fat. Before you start sweating, it is important to take proper precautions. Preschel recommends drinking water before, during and after your sauna session to make sure you are properly hydrated and avoid passing out. He also suggested starting small and gradually increasing it up to 20 minutes.

Summer 2021 DISTRACTION 53


No matter who you are, how much money you have or what shape you’re in, anyone can get a great workout in by trying out tennis. While hard-hitting stars like Serena Williams and Rodger Federer make this sport look anything but easy, we’re here to tell you that all it takes to start reaping the benefits of tennis is a racket and the courage to step out on the court—it’s aces! words_kylea henseler. photo_tiana torkan. design_lindsay jayne.

54 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

From cities to country clubs, tennis never really went away. “I tennis is a popular pastime for a want to play for the rest of my few simple reasons. It’s a social life,” Podolsky said. Today, she sport that provides a whole-body continues to rack up experience, workout which athletes can play but now as a summer camp throughout their entire life. Decoach, breaking out her gear spite the coordinated outfits and whenever she gets a chance back high-performance gear you may rom home. cities to country clubs, see on TV, it’s not that expensive tennis Tiffanypastime Bittar, afor a is a popular to pick up: all you really need are fewsophomore psychology major, simple reasons. It’s a social tennis balls and a racket, which sport has that a similar story, having played provides a wholecan even be borrowed in a pinch. body competitively in highcan school workout athletes play Abby Podolsky, a before coming UM. Tennis, throughout their entire life. to Despite the senior marketing major coordinated at Unishe said, is high-performance a humbling sport—it outfits and versity of Miami, pickedgear up her one to workit’swith you mayteaches see on television, not aanpartfirst tennis racket when expensive she was sport nerto (ifpick they’re doubles), up: playing all you really need just three years old and hasn’t andand allows one to test themself. are tennis balls a racket, which could put it down since. As a child, sheborrowed “It’s easy even be in aenough pinch. to pick up,” she played competitively, winning said, “but hard marketing to get goodmajor at.” Abby Podolsky, a senior two state championshipsatinUniversity high Playing singles, sheupsaid, of Miami, picked her also first inschool and being rankedtennis as theracketspires rely on and take when players she wastojust three years top female singles playerold in and Del-hasn’tresponsibility for themselves. put it down since. As a child, aware at one point in hershe career. Because when you’re the played competitively, winning twoonly state These days, Podolsky doesn’t play oneinout there, it’s hard to blame championships high school and being for the big trophies; despite being for mistakes. ranked as theothers top female singles player in scouted by colleges, she Delaware put her at one point in For beginners looking her career. These academic success over her athletto doesn’t step on play the court forbig the first days, Podolsky for the ic one. “I ended up choosing life despite time,being Podolsky’s advice is simple: trophies; scouted by colleges, over tennis,” she said. “I she wanted Just get out there.over While put her academic success herthe athletic to learn at a school that was can be played at atennis, very ”high one.at “I endedsport up choosing life over my level academically.” But level, lots of players of all ages she the said. “I wanted to learn at a school that do was at my level academically.” But tennis never really went away. “I want to play for the rest of my life,” Podolsky said. Today, she continues to rack up experience, but now as a summer camp coach, breaking out her gear whenever she gets a chance back home. Tiffany Bittar, a sophomore psychology major, has a similar story, having played competitively in high school before coming to UM. Tennis, she said, is a humbling


it purely for fun. As a workout, Bittar said, tennis provides a little bit of everything—players run and sidestep to hit the ball, working all sorts of muscle groups as well as testing cardiovascular stamina. It can be as intense (or un-intense) as theone players make sport—it teaches to work with a partner it—another reasondoubles), the sportand is allows one (if they’re playing popular amongst“It’s aneasy olderenough crowd.to pick up,” to test themself. said, “but “You probably can’t at.” Playing she hard to get good play football when 60,”players to rely singles, she said, alsoyou’re inspires said Catalina Gonzalez, vice on and take responsibility for themselves. president of UM’s Club Because when you’re theTennis only one out there, team and sophomore it’s hard to ablame others health for mistakes. management andlooking policy major. For beginners to step on the court “But is a lifelong sport. ” for thetennis first time, Podolsky’s advice is simple: get outGonzalez said the anyone Just there. While sport can be lookingatto play high on campus is welplayed a very level, lots of players of come club, which has As close all agesindothe it purely for fun. a workout, to 200said, members. with a bit of Bittar tennis Those provides a little competitive edge, she said, everything—players run andcan sidestep to hit try ball, out for the competition the working all sorts of team, muscle groups which travels around Florida stamina. It as well as testing cardiovascular playing schools. But for as the players can be asother intense (or unintense) newbies or individuals make it—another reasonlooking the sport is popular to play for she said the club’s amongst anfun, older crowd. recreational groupcan’t is a play greatfootball when “You probably place to started, make some vice you’re 60,get ” said Catalina Gonzalez, friends and work on new skills.team and a president of UM’s Club Tennis sophomore health management and policy major. “But tennis is a lifelong sport.” Gonzalez said anyone looking to play on campus is welcome in the club. Those with a competitive edge, she said, can try out for the competition team, which travels around Florida playing other schools. But for newbies or individuals looking to play for fun, she said the club’s recreational group is a great place to get started, make some friends and work on new skills.

WHERE TO PLAY Looking to get a few sets in? You don’t need a membership to a fancy club. Check out these free courts located near the University of Miami!

Neil Schiff Tennis Center 5821 San Amaro Dr. Coral Gables, FL 33146

Saga Bay Park SW 205 ST & 80 Ave. Cutler Bay, FL 33189

Phillip’s Park 90 Menores Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Brewer Park 6300 Miller Dr. Miami, FL 33155

Summer 2021 DISTRACTION 55

Get Your


The University of Miami campus spans about 239 acres, and with in-person classes resumed since the fall, students are strolling its sprawling grounds every day. Wondering how many steps you get in by walking to and from class all day? No need for a pedometer—we did all the math for you.


words_catherine mcgrath. illustration_abby paak. design_giselle spicer.

Lobby A of Lakeside Shalala Student Center “U” Statue Hecht Shalala Student Center Food Court Cox Science Building Richter Library Cox Science Building UV1 Mahoney Wellness Center Panhellenic Building

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146 263 775 268 670 264 209 426 888 1,143 713 1,339 1155



University Center “U” Statue Stanford Dining Hall Eaton Wellness Center Business School Richter Library Nursing School Mahoney Lakeside Patio Shalala Student Center Communication School Stanford Dining Hall

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BRAIN 58 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

Like a tsunami collapsing over the shoreline, “lockdown brain,” a COVID-induced crushing feeling of loneliness, isolation and depression, is sweeping over students across the U.S. While many individuals and organizations have been focused on physical health during this global pandemic, mental health is also suffering.

Since the pandemic, people of all ages have had to take social interactions behind screens, making real, in-person interactions a foriegn skill filled with stress and anxiety.

words_ainsley vetter. photo_nailah anderson. design_rachel bergeron.


ccording to resources from the University of California, Berkeley, depression symptoms are at least three times higher than they were before COVID-19 hit, and a study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University found that younger populations experienced an even larger amount of mental suffering. The CDC developed a list of ways to cope with Coronavirus induced anxiety, which includes recommendations like eating healthy, getting sleep and deep breathing. The organization also recommends breaks from the news and media, as constant exposure to virus information can be overwhelming. Rene Monteagudo, director of the University of Miami Counseling Center, said that academic distress has increased both nationally and more locally among University of Miami students. After the national lockdown began in April 2020, he said, student mental health worsened. But recent data is pointing towards some stabilization, especially during the fall 2020 semester. Much like the CDC, Monteagudo recommended having a set routine, eating well, getting good sleep and staying active to help students cope with “lockdown brain” feelings. Taking these steps, he said, may prevent worsening symptoms. “As with most things, being present and grounded can help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression,” Monteagudo said. “It has been a challenging experience, and it is quite understandable that one’s mental health would be impacted by the enormity and pervasiveness of this natural disaster. I would

encourage students to talk about their thoughts and feelings with people they trust or seek professional help if it becomes a daily disruptor.” Monteagudo also said he was impressed by the resilience of University of Miami students during the pandemic. Only seven percent of students coming to the counseling center cited COVID as a reason for their visit, he said, which is significantly less than the national average of 33%, indicating that they are utilizing counseling services. The feeling of being isolated affected UM junior Larry Lopez, who said he no longer has the desire to go out as much as before. “Lockdown has changed things for me; it has made me more of an introvert,” said the broadcast journalism major. Another student who experienced “lockdown brain” is sophomore Emilee LaRose, a music therapy major who was remote during the fall semester. “I’m already a bit of an anxious person,” she said. “But COVID has really exacerbated that, especially in certain areas of my life.” LaRose said she made the decision to stay home because she lacked confidence in the university’s safety protocols. “I have such a desire to hang out with my friends and I’m anxious that I’m going to lose them because I haven’t seen them,” she said. “Even being at home I didn’t go anywhere. But going to just the grocery store could almost give me a panic attack.”

Junior Emi Darquea, an international student from Ecuador, said her unique circumstances made the lockdown even harder—she hasn’t seen her friends from home in two years. “I love going out and I love making new friends,” she said. “Being away from my friends for so long has taken a toll in my overall happiness. During isolation, I was not able to go back home and I didn’t really have a lot of friends who lived near me. I felt extremely alone.” For students feeling the effects of “lockdown brain,” the University of Miami Counseling Center is just a phone call away at 305-284-5511. Additionally, an affiliated app called WellTrack allows students to report and track their own mental health. Whether you’re feeling stressed about COVID-19, tired from the semester or just a little bit down, there are resources to help.

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60 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness

FASHION Our Fashion section serves up cultural, historical and societal insight into the significance of today’s trends. Revel in the equestrian chic aesthetic, take a look at how you can make your own jewelry and learn how some people prefer their bling on their pearly whites.

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If you’re into the Y2K fashion trends popping up on social media, you might already own a butterfly hair clip or some colored sunglasses. But if you’re looking for funky jewelry accessories, chunky and colorful is the rage. Check out one artist behind the trend and even learn to make it yourself. words_ isabel tragos. photo & design_keagan larkins.


esin rings are trending this summer. It all started in December 2020, when New York designer Sandy Liang launched her first jewelry collection. Her pieces resembled iconic 1990s and early 2000s staples like drop earrings, chunking rings and cuff bracelets. Since then, celebrities, and stylists have been seen everywhere wearing rings made from resin, lucite plastic or clay. “I found some cute Instagram businesses that were making them over quarantine and I knew I had to style them,” said Lindsay Jayne, a junior creative advertising major. She said she is a fan of the brands Cher Moi and Bon Bon Whims. “I usually just wear the chunky jewelry together rather than mixing it with other metals,” said Jayne. The pieces are perfect on their own she said. You can find already made chunky jewelery on Amazon, or support independent designers on Etsy, Depop and Instagram. But if you’re up for the project, it’s actually relatively easy to make them yourself. Claudia Melton is a 23-yearold animator and illustrator

and the founder of her jewelry business, Chunkyresin. “I never had any intention of starting a jewelry label. It was more or less started by accident,” said Melton. She was first introduced to resin in a puppet making workshop at Cambridge School of Art. She began making resin accessories on her own and sold them on Depop, a clothing and accessory resale app. “I like to be creative and adventurous with my style,” Melton said. “I started making earrings that would match my clothes in designs that I’d wanted but never seen before.” When Melton’s business grew big enough, she transformed her Instagram into a platform to sell and promote her products. Today, her jewelry can be found all over the world. Melton’s advice to beginners who are first experimenting with resin is to wear gloves and buy an organic vapor mask. As for her own process, Claudia said she starts by writing out the pieces she needs to cast, separating them into different colors. From there, she uses heat to remove bubbles and makes sure to let her pieces dry in a well-ventilated room for at least 24 hours before they are ready to be touched up.

Want a personalized piece? Etsy is selling custom initial versions of acrylic rings.

You can even find rings to match your manicure! With hundreds of businesses selling acrylic jewels the possibilities are endless.

Here’s A Guide To Making Your Own What you’ll need: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Casting epoxy resin Resin ring mold Resin colors and pigments Fillers (like glitter or dried flowers) Wax paper or mat Latex gloves Blow dryer Measuring cups Toothpicks Popsicle Sticks An empty box or container Quick drying adhesive

Step 1: Gather materials Lay down your wax paper and set out all of your materials. Ensure that you work on a level surface. Step 2: Prep mix Mix equal parts resin and hardener with hot water. Be sure to use the instructions on the label. Next, add the color of your choice and sparkles to the mixture. You can use a popsicle stick to stir this up. Step 3: Pour mixture in mold Before you pour the mixture into your mold, spray it with a non-stick release spray to ensure the rings form properly and do not stick. Once that’s done, pour the mixture into the mold. Grab a toothpick to make sure you get all of the bubbles out. Step 4: Let dry Allow 24 to 48 hours for your mixture to harden and cure completely. Take an empty box and cover your molds so no dust or particles get inside. Step 5: De-molding Slowly remove the rings from the molds. They are ready to be worn!

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Tooth gems surfaced in popular culture in the 90s, with celebrities popularizing the accessory, and paving the way for current artists like Rihanna, Rita Ora and Halsey who have recently been seen sporting them. But this accessory’s roots are said to extend back to 300 AD, when Mayan leaders adorned their teeth in semiprecious stones. words_ anjuli sharpley. photo_nailah anderson. design_keagan larkins.

a Tooth gems may be a “trend” that comes in and out, but it dates back all the way to the Mayan Empire.

ccording to National Geographic, one of the first instances of tooth gems was found in a Maya tomb of an adult male believed to be a king. The British Dental Association noted that this was done by drilling holes in the enamels of Mayans and placing “stone inlays” in the cavities. “Trends tend to circle back every twenty years,” said Tamara Takacs, founder of Twinkles, a Miami tooth gem and whitening service. Takacs related the recent comeback in popularity to self-care trends, calling tooth gems “a version of self-care in which people can get a service done for themselves.” Centuries later, these installations no longer involve such harsh processes. Instead, licensed artists like Takacs bond gems to the outside of the client’s teeth with the same adhesive used to put on braces. The application is painless and takes a few minutes, Takacs said, with results that last from six months to a year. Prices range from $50 to $500, depending on the material and style. Takacs does everything from 18 karat gold to Swarovski crystals and diamonds. Over the past few years, she said, clients have gravitated towards popular designs like the Nike swoosh, the playboy bunny logo and dollar signs. Some students have even taken to learning the art themselves to keep up with the trend. “I’ve see them a lot on social media,” said University of Miami sophomore Kiyah Ivey. “They’re a really cool, yet subtle way to accessorize your smile. They’re not as flashy as grills, but just the right amount of sparkle.” UM junior Emily Bennett is currently sporting eight tooth gems. “The gems are an inexpensive way to get iced out teeth without having to get a full-on grill.” She said first tried the gems two years ago after noticing others flashing sequined smiles on a trip to California. Now, she likes to accessorize with a new set every year. Bennett said her roommate even sparked an interest in the accessory and invested in a gem kit when she could not find a tooth gem business near her hometown.

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MODERN With inspiration from classic Americana fashion trends and the romantic era, Modern Love is a celebration of the whimsical styling of a fairytale love story. photo_sydney burnett. design_olivia ginsberg. styling_keagan larkins, abby podolsky & avani choudhary.


Equestrian Elegance Horses are commonly symbols of power and status. They’re also associated with the romance of classic fairytales. Alongside Navya Kulhari is handsome bay thoroughbred horse, Toronto.

Cinched & Chic Shop the look for less: Kulhari’s white blouse is thrifted from Goodwill, her leather pants are BlankNYC from Revolve and her corset and hat are available on Amazon.

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—C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves 68 DISTRACTION Fashion

Sheer Moment Colin Jones is styled in a black pussybow blouse. Neutral colors are elegant and timeless— they represent simple sophistication.

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American Sweetheart Gillian Parkinson is wearing a silk calf-length dress and gloves with leather riding boots. The look takes inspiration from classic Americana silhouettes and the Romantic Era.




Story Book Serenity The backdrop of our the shoot, a horse farm in Wellington, Florida, gives off the light and whimsical aura to paint a scene straight out of Bridgerton.

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Connection What is modern love? It’s the best from the old and new—the fairytale mood of the renaissance and the contemporary notion of nonconformity.


MAIN EVENT Main event tackles the hot topics and happenings of society—take a look into the increased hate against Asian Americans, local businesses who have survived gentrification by selling their products in a collective space and one local art dealer who is catering to the Gen Z demographic.

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Ride Die OR


If you’ve taken an Uber or been delivered a meal from Postmates lately, you might not have thought about the person behind the wheel. From full time jobs to side hustles, carshare and food delivery services provide a way for just about anyone to earn extra cash. But COVID-19 has changed the nature of these apps and the way drivers do their job. These are the stories and perspectives of some Miami locals that were on the roads during the pandemic. words & design_emmalyse brownstein. photo_sydney burnett.


amilca Vieida grips the steering wheel of her Toyota Camry with blue latex gloves and peers in the rear view mirror through her face shield. Even though she’s wearing a surgical mask, the squint in her eyes tells you she’s smiling at her backseat passenger. Her cup holder doesn’t have a bottle of Pepsi, but a can of Lysol. When the pandemic first steered the public away from confined indoor spaces and close contact over a year ago, food delivery and carshare drivers were faced with a choice: Risk your health or lose your income. For some who do the job full-time, the latter wasn’t an option. For others who use it as a side gig, the risk to their health was worth the extra cash in their pocket. According to Uber’s annual report, carshare trips (not including those for delivery, frieght and other segments) dropped by 50% in 2020. “In 2020, many drivers stopped driving because they couldn’t count on getting enough trips to make it worth their time. Dennis Cinelli, Uber’s vice president of mobility in the United States and Canada, said in a recent blog post. For others like Vieida, 29, it was a concern for health and safety. Until the recent widespread availability of vaccinations, every day was a step (or drive) into the unknown. She said she stopped driving in March of 2020 to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. “It was scary,” Vieida said. “I worked for Amazon during the pandemic because it was more safe.” Vieida moved to Miami from Venezuela with her husband about three years ago, and has worked for Uber for about one year. She eventually returned to driving in November of 2020. And today, she said she no longer feels it necessary to wear a face shield or gloves. And although she has an upcoming appointment scheduled to receive her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, she said she is still very precautious.

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“I was scared. But I needed work.” —Jose Mendez, UBER DRIVER


“I’m scared to get sick,” said Vieida. “I go to get tested regularly, like every 15 days.” Jose Mendez, 38, never stopped driving during the height of the pandemic. He has driven for Uber and Lyft for the past four years part-time, but now averages eight or nine hours on the road each day. “I was scared, but I needed work,” said Mendez, who moved to Miami eight years ago from Cuba and has two children. Even so, Mendez said he feels safe with the added safety precautions—the apps require both drivers and passengers to wear face coverings at all times. “I’m not nervous to drive because of the masks, the sanitizer and God. Only God knows if I will get it.” Mendez said he has already gotten his first COVID-19 vaccination dose and has his second dose scheduled. In a poll on Distraction’s Instagram, 76% of the 225 respondents said that while their use of carshare services has decreased during the pandemic, their use of food delivery apps like Uber Eats, Postmates and Doordash has gone up. But this isn’t just a college student trend. Take out has been the lifeline of many local restaurants— ordering in gave those stuck at home a break from cooking and a taste of their favorite foods when going out wasn’t an option. So it’s no wonder that Postmates, for example, reported a 226% growth in revenue for 2020. And one UM alumna has reaped the benefits. Sophia Espinosa, a 2020 graduate, began doing deliveries for Uber Eats and Doordash during her sophomore year at University of Miami. “Whenever I was bored and had an hour to spare, I would go and do it,” said Espinosa. She now has a full-time job, but still considers it her “side hustle.” On her days off from work, she said spends a few extra hours making deliveries. “Even though I’m fine with my finances, it’s nice to have extra money,” Espinosa said. But for a time, she forfeited the cash. In March of 2020, Espinosa took a hiatus from making deliveries.

“The chances of you getting it [COVID-19] from handing something to someone really quick are obviously very low,” she said. “But during the big months of COVID, you didn’t want to even see other people.” However, the following November, Espinosa said she felt comfortable enough to start taking advantage of the apps again. The major food delivery services, according to her, made a major transition in response to the pandemic. Espinosa said that there’s now hardly any interaction in most of her orders—many restaurants have designated areas for food pickup and orders are set to be left outside by default, rather than directly handed off. That, in addition to the PPE requirements, is what Espinosa said made her feel safe. “To be honest, I’ve felt really safe doing it because of the fact that everything has switched to contactless and that the app always asks if you’re wearing a mask and makes you take a photo,” she said. “The job itself has been a positive experience.” Apps like Uber Eats and Doordash pay drivers the delivery fee, tips plus a small percentage of the total food order’s cost. As for services like Lyft and Uber, drivers earn a base fair plus amounts for how long and how far they drive and tips. But for another Miami local, working for Uber wasn’t exactly what he expected. David Afkham, 31, said he wanted to try out Uber Eats deliveries after her saw a video on TikTok of someone who claimed to make over $200 a day. He said he focused on lunchtime deliveries only, averaging about eight to 10 hours each week. At the time, August of 2020, Afkham didn’t have another job. “If you have no other options for work, it’s a good deal. You can set your own hours, you drive when you want to, you have no boss and the job itself isn’t very hard,” he said. Even so, Afkham decided to stop just two months later. “But in Miami, distances are far and there’s always traffic, so it’s tough to be quick with deliveries, which will impact your chances of making a substantial income. I wouldn’t do it again because it didn’t live up to my expectations.” Next time you need a lift to the beach or want Thai food without actually leaving your apartment, strike up a conversation with the driver or leave a generous tip. Chances are, they’ve put their life on the line at some point during the pandemic to provide that service. *Some interviews in this article have been translated.

“PPE items are completely free, including shipping, for all Dashers who have completed a delivery on the platform and can be reordered on a weekly basis,” Taylor Bennett, the global head of public affairs at Doordash, told Distraction.

Can you remember? Believe it or not, Uber became the first ride-hailing app on the market—all the way back in 2009!

To Drive or Deliver? Here’s a look at how the pandemic has taken a toll on rideshare and delivery services— by the numbers. The pandemic was a give and take for Uber—their gross mobility bookings were down about 50% in 2020 from 2019, but gross delivery bookings were up by about 130%.

Doordash, which saw a 226% growth in revenue for 2020, added nearly two million new “dashers” (AKA drivers) to their platform from mid-March through September of 2020.

Things may be getting back to ‘normal.’ Customer spending on Uber and Lyft increased 30% from February to March, according data from market research firm Edison Trends.

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Coconut Grove­—the home of Ladies Night at Sandbar, PK3s at Monty’s and rapidly rising rent rates. Nestled in the heart of this iconic neighborhood is the Coconut Village Collective, an eclectic bazaar where customers can browse a range of products from potted plants to fresh coffee and trendy roller skates sold by a diverse group of the Grove’s oldest and newest retailers. words & design_kylea henseler. photos_ jamaya purdie.


ver the years Coconut Grove has been home to hippies, yuppies, “Cocaine Cowboys” and college students—and according to the owners at the collective, it’s coming back in a major way. With the newly finished CocoWalk leased up, home prices rising steadily and even University of Miami students beloved Sandbar getting a makeover, big things are happening in the neighborhood. As the Grove evolved and rents skyrocketed, local business owners like Vivian Jordan, whose clothing shop, The Maya Hatcha, is the oldest in the area, found themselves without a home and chose to band together instead of being forced out. The result was the Coconut Village Collective, which is home to plant shop Kreative Gardens, artsy destination Kcull (pronounced “cool”), Catch a Wave surf shop, The Maya Hatcha, Cafe Vidita coffee shop and Therapia by Aroma, an essential oil shop. Jordan, a University of Miami alumna, opened her doors in 1968 with a vision of sharing her Guatemalan heritage with the community and selling a funky collection of goods from her travels around the world. At the time, her rent was just $100 a month. The laid-back Grove, she said, was the perfect neighborhood to launch such a business with her sister, who’s now a social worker.

Six businesses, one building, six unique stories. This colorful sign guides shoppers through the one-of-akind collective.


The Maya Hatcha sits in the middle of the collective, offering customers a unique selection of goods ranging from authentic Sioux dreamcatchers to African tribal jewelry. Among the most popular items, Jordan said, are “worry dolls,” thumb-sized fabric dolls that hail from her Guatemalan culture. “You tell them your worries,” she said, “and they worry for you.” As to whether Jordan herself is worried, she told Distraction: “I’m sad to see the old Grove go, but I’m receptive to the new.” When rising rent prices forced her out of her old storefront, Jordan somewhat reluctantly opted

Cafe Vidita serves fresh coffee grown in Nicaragua on family-owned farms that have been around since 1930.

to join the fledgling village collective in order to stay in the neighborhood that her business had become such an integral part of. “I couldn’t start all over again,” she said. “Everybody knows me in the Grove. I had to stay here.” The Coconut Village Collective, said Jordan, was the brainchild of Sam Noddle, a realtor with The Comras Company which owns both CocoWalk and the collective’s building. One of its first members was Catch a Wave, and Jordan said she was initially hesitant to mix the two brands. However, she said, as owners like Renee Molina of Kreative Gardens signed up, she bought into it. The concept for the collective, Noddle said, came out of a desire to keep shops in the neighborhood that “make the Grove the Grove.” When Comras decided to revamp CocoWalk, he said, it became his responsibility to negotiate rent relief with tenants—offering lower monthly payments in exchange for the right to take over their space when it came time for new construction. Many owners likely had little choice. When The Maya Hatcha’s lease was up, he said, Jordan’s new rent would have roughly quadrupled in her old space. Noddle said he would have felt bad if these tenants had to leave the neighborhood, so he came up with a solution. Coconut Village Collective, he said, has been around for roughly two years now and, despite growing pains, is in a good place. Early on there was squabbling and the layout was poorly organized. Then

COVID-19 came, closing the doors altogether. Comras, he said, offered the owners five months of free rent to help out—under the condition that they reorganize the store and move the shops around. Now, customers are greeted up front by the potted plants of Kreative Gardens and the Cafe Viditas coffee stand, and can wind their way along a colorful path to Kcull, The Maya Hatcha and Catch a Wave in back of the collective. Bob Dunbar, a lifelong ‘Canes fan who owns the surf shop with his brother Paul, said that Catch A Wave is happy to be part of the Grove’s “comeback.” Dunbar’s father Colin started the family business in 1979, making it one of the oldest businesses in Coconut Grove. Back then it was “Upwind Surfing,” a hotspot for, well, windsurfers. Now it’s “Catch a Wave,” and patrons can find everything from wind surfing to skateboarding equipment and beach apparel. TikTok trendy roller skates, he said, are the hot product right now and are featured prominently behind the front counter. “We were here in the crazy days of Coconut Grove in the 80s when it was on fire,” he said “and the 90s when it was super popular. Then it got slow for years and we watched it slow down, but it feels like it’s coming back.” High rent, he said, has often been an issue, but local businesses make the vibrant neighborhood what it is. There has to be the right mix, he said, of small, family joints and big businesses to keep that local flair. For the record Dunbar, who remembers the University’s “glory days” as well, believes the Miami Hurricanes Football team is also poised for a triumphant comeback…eventually.

Bob Dunbar, owner of Catch A Wave, stands behind the counter of the business his family has owned for over 40 years.

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Jennifer Noll manages the Collective in addition to owning Kcull.

While the collective is home to two of the Grove’s oldest businesses, it’s also ushering new retailers into the neighborhood. Both Kcull and Kreative Gardens opened their second locations here after thriving elsewhere. Kcull, owned by Jennifer Noll, is a collective within a collective, featuring stunning art, jewelry and apparel from Miami artists and creators. Painted denim jackets, digitally enhanced photography prints of iconic Miami locations and recycled jewelry grace her racks and walls. Noll got her start in retail selling cigars in Little Havana, but when that lease ended she set her sights on a new shop. Kcull was born in 2017, and


today carries clothes and creations from more than 40 local artisans. “The thing I love about this,” she said, “is feeling like I’m helping artists with a platform. It’s really rewarding to see them grow.” Noll is a Miami native, who says the possibility of commercialization is at times worrying but that local businesses can survive if they get creative. “With all the new construction and rent hikes,” she said, “I think we’re going to see more collectives where stores come together into a shared space. For a small business, it’s hard to compete with big corporate retailers.” Creativity, is something Kreative Gardens owner Renee Molina has in spades. Born in Nicaragua, Molina spent her childhood playing in the rainforest before emigrating with her family in 1978 due to civil unrest. Her plants adorn the front section of the shop, spilling out onto its expansive sidewalk displayed on refurbished furniture and wood pallets. Molina studied architecture, and the recycled structures that now showcase her goods are not her only invention. The “Root Orb” is Molina’s patented product, a ball made out of organic material woven with the plants’ roots that can take the place of a traditional pot. The orb doesn’t just provide a unique look; it gives owners a visual guide to watering their plants. When the orb is dry, depending on the species, it’s time to add some H2O. “The number one reason why people kill their plants is that they don’t understand its watering needs,” she said. “So the store has become sort of like a learning garden; the plant itself talks to you.”

So far the talking plants have paid off for Molina, who now has three locations including her shop in the Grove, a pop-up in Wynwood and her main store near Tropical Park. She leads a small team of local employees including a production team, sales team and carpenter and believes in treating them the way she’d like them to treat her. Outside of work, she leads the nonprofit Maderas Rainforest Conservancy, which focuses on protecting rainforest ecosystems, increasing awareness and empowering local communities. “I was trained as an architect and born as an artist,” she said “so everything I see in the forest I see as art. The nonprofit was born because of that sadness I had watching the rainforest disappear.” Like the nonprofit, the shop owners at Coconut Village Collective are conserving a neighborhood and a culture, coming together as a group that represents the Grove’s past and future. It has become a landmark itself, designated by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau as the “Official Welcome Center of Coconut Grove.” Each Sunday, even more local vendors flock to its 30-foot-wide sidewalk for a farmer’s market that brings the community together and let’s them enjoy some BBQ and pie, according to Noll. While the future of the Grove is unknown, Noddle said these iconic businesses will likely have a place in the neighborhood for as long as they wish to.

The Coconut Village Collective’s bright facade lights up Coconut Grove, and local businesses set up shop on their sidewalk each weekend for a farmer’s market.

ATTAC KS When most people have a bad day they take a nap or push through a workout to cheer themselves up. But in March of 2021, a man police claim was “having a bad day” drove to three spas in Atlanta and opened fire, murdering eight people—six of whom were women of Asian descent. It sparked a worldwide conversation about discrimination and an outcry for change.

ON AS I AN AME R I CANS words_rachelle barrett. design_ katrina schmidt.

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nfortunately, the Atlanta shooting wasn’t the first attack on Asian Americans this year. In February, a video of Vicha Ratanapkadee, an 84-year-old Thai immigrant, being tackled in San Francisco went viral. The video shows a man rushing across the street in broad daylight to charge at Ratanapkadee, who later died. Chesa Boudin, the city’s district attorney, told the New York Times that there was “no evidence to suggest” the crime was racially motivated. The suspect’s lawyers said he had an “outburst of rage.” While the number of hate crimes reported in major U.S. cities decreased last year, crimes directed at Asian Americans spiked. According to a study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, hate crimes in 16 metropolitan areas, including New York and Los Angeles, dipped seven percent from 2019 to 2020—but those targeting Asian Americans spiked nearly 150%. Stop AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Hate, a national reporting center, documented 3,292 anti-Asian incidents in 2020. And by February 28 of 2021, their national report stated 503 more incidents had already occurred. “The number of hate incidents reported to our center represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur,” the report said. “But it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face.” Most of the discrimination documented in the report are incidents of verbal harassment (68%) or shunning (20%). It said 11% of incidents were violent —a fact that University of Miami senior Sarah Simon said is new and scary. “Anti-Asian hate crimes are at an all-time high,” the exercise physiology major said, “and the physical violence is new for me. I’ve never really had to worry about that, and it’s crazy that I feel that way now.” Across the United States, many Asian Americans are on high alert. After the February attack on Vicha Ratanapkadee, the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Los Angeles warned Thai individuals in California to be keep their guard up when in public. According to the Tennessean, just 48.7% of Asian American students in Tennessee returned to in-person schooling when given the option to stop learning remotely—the smallest percentage out of any ethnic group. In New York City, Asian Americans make up 18% of students, but less than 12% of them returned to attend in-person classes. “I spoke to a school principal who said a


“The physical violence is new for me. I’ve never really had to worry about that, and it’s crazy that I feel that way now.” —Sarah Simon, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI SENIOR woman brought her child on the subway to school, and she was harassed on the train,” said Washington Post education reporter Moriah Balingit. “And after that, she decided to keep her daughter home. She was afraid to ride the subway. Asian Americans are disproportionately making the decision to keep their children home.” The Coronavirus is commonly cited as a major reason for the rise in anti-Asian American hate. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have definitely seen an increase in anti-Asian hate,” said senior Jamie Harn. “At first, it would just be people joking about Asian food and how it’s ‘sketchy and disgusting.’ But I think as more people started blaming China for the virus, people would always ask me if Vietnam was a dirty country or if our food can also cause a pandemic.” She said that even people close to her would say that they had to stay away from Asian food just in case. Some far-right groups and individuals including former president Donald Trump referred to the disease as the “China” or “Wuhan” virus. “A recent report by the University of California in San Francisco directly linked Trump’s first tweet about the Chinese virus to a significant increase in antiAsian hashtags,” said Yunqiu (Daniel) Wang, a senior lecturer and biology adviser at UM. “The election has corresponded with a resurgence of anti-Asian hate,” Joel Finkelstein, the co-founder of the Network Contagion Research Institute, told the Washington Post “There are a lot of people looking for others to blame.” In January, they reported, “Terms including ‘China,’ ‘Wuhan’ and ‘flu’ surged on far-right forums like Telegram, 8kun and TheDonald.

Harmful stereotypes and phenomena including the “model minority” label and fetishization of Asian women may also play into the violence. The “model minority” myth,” University of Maryland Baltimore County professor Charissa Cheah told the Washington Post, perpetuates the idea that Asian-Americans as a group have succeeded in this country and have “moved beyond discrimination.” She said another harmful and sometimes conjoined issue is “the sexualization and exoticization of AsianAmerican females in a very disturbing way.” The Stop AAIP Hate report showed that Asian-American women are 2.3 times more likely than men to report hate incidents. For Abby Pakk, a freshman at UM, “I feel like jokes towards the Asian race are often overlooked. Being called Jackie Chan or Ching Chong isn’t ‘just a joke,’ but actually so racist and hurtful. Ever since I was young I just laughed it off, especially because I grew up in a really white area,” said Pakk. She said that recently a man approached her while at a restaurant with friends and ask if she believed in God or studied the Bible. “When I said I didn’t, he said ‘oh, you study the Karate Kid right?’ Comments like that are often very unnecessary and just not funny.” When the Atlanta shooter confessed to his killings, he told authorities they were not racially motived, but that he was a “sex addict” trying to “eliminate temptation.” But many advocates, activists and academics don’t buy it. Instead, they note that such violence and sentiment lie at the intersection of racism and misogyny. “Violence can be racially and gendered motivated—that is, racialized misogyny,” said Donna

Coker, a professor at the UM School of Law. “That the two are intertwined. There is a long history of white men fetishizing Asian women, of presuming them to be sexually available. In addition, there is a long history of blaming women—and particularly women who are of racially subordinated groups—for male sexual desire.” “The killer showed that for him, these women were not worth respect as human beings, but were sexual objects,” said Claire Oueslati-Porter, a senior lecturer in gender and sexuality studies at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences. “He specifically went to Asian businesses with Asian workers. There were other businesses on the same street that he could have attacked but didn’t. The fact that he felt he had the power to ‘eliminate’ Asian women means that he was engaged in white supremacist patriarchal violence. He denied racism, but a lot of racism isn’t understood as such by the racist. The killer justified his violence by using his religiosity, describing these human beings as ‘temptations.” For all the claims of “bad days,” tantrums and sexual fanaticism, the numbers don’t lie: Attacks on Asian-Americans have skyrocketed in the past year, and it’s hard to chalk these incidents up to coincidence.

There are things people can do to combat anti-Asian discrimination, even if they aren’t personally affected by the phenomenon. “People should learn the history and culture of Asian countries and see all the beautiful parts of them,” said Harn. “It’s unfair to blame one single country for the pandemic when one, pandemics could and have originated from many places and two, other countries could have helped with the spread of it.” Pakk agreed. “I think UM students can help in combating the issue by always being an ally and watching what they say,” she said. “I know some people think they are just making a joke but it isn’t as funny as they think it is.” *Some reporting courtesy of UM Communications.

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Janet Kalaniuvalu left the mountains for the ocean. All the way from Orem, Utah, the young woman is spiking through life—on and off the court. With her passion and drive, she is unstoppable. Her first love was football, but now she commands the court as she plays volleyball for the Miami Hurricanes. words._lauren mokhtarzadeh. photos_um athletics. design_giselle spicer.


ootball runs in Janet Kalaniuvalu’s family. It was only natural for her admiration of the sport to turn into more than just something she enjoyed from the sidelines. Kalaniuvalu recalls her uncle Lewis Powell, a coach at the University of Utah, sneaking her into football camp, handing her shoulder pads and telling her “Here’s some pads, just go.” It was that simple. As a young girl, Kalaniuvalu ran the field calling plays and throwing touchdowns. With pads and a helmet on, she blended right in with the boys. So much so that when her helmet came off, shock could be seen on the faces of her male teammates. Kalaniuvalu was destined to stand out. But not on the field— instead she found her place on the court. As she grew older, the reality of Kalaniuvalu playing football was out of the picture because of her gender. She was heartbroken, but she could not stay away from sports. In the seventh grade, she traded in the shoulder pads for knee pads and started her volleyball career. Growing


up in Orem, Utah, a town 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City, she attended Mountain Valley High school, where she was known as the volleyball team captain and “boogie robot”—a nickname she garnered from a childhood email address. Her parents were always strict, telling her to “go to school, go to college and hopefully earn a scholarship to play college volleyball,” she said. And she did just that and accepted a scholarship to Southern Utah University to play college volleyball. In that moment, Southern Utah University was a good fit, especially because it was only 223 miles away from her family’s home. However, she needed to push herself more, especially when it came to her sport. She decided to trade the snowy mountain tops for the warm blue ocean and transferred to the University of Miami, 2,481 miles away from her home. This was a big change. Not only for Kalaniuvalu, but also for her greatest treasure, her family. Her and her siblings are extremely close. Each time Kalaniuvalu returns home to Utah, she goes back to her

first flame—football—tackling each of her siblings, one by one. The Kalaniuvalu family has many traditions surrounding football, specifically on Thanksgiving. They host a Turkey Bowl and enjoy a good old game of classic American football. She notes that the biggest lesson she has learned from her siblings is the concept of unconditional love. “No matter how much we’ve argued or all the crap that we went through growing up as kids, even being apart from them, I’ve learned that they’ll always love me, and I’ll always love them and be able to take care of them,” she said. Kalaniuvalu has a special bond with her younger sister, Teisa. Not only are they the only girl siblings, but they also played high school volleyball together. In fact, Kalaniuvalu is the reason why Teisa played volleyball in the first place. In the middle of her season at Southern Utah University, Kalaniuvalu drove four hours for Teisa’s high school senior volleyball night. “I watched her walk through the doors and I started crying, even though it wasn’t a big deal,” said Teisa. “But she just knows what’s important to people and she pulled through for me that time because she knew that her presence mattered. She found a way to get there for me.” Today, Kalaniuvalu is an outside hitter on UM’s volleyball team. “I wouldn’t say that she has changed,” Teisa shared. “I think that her opportunities have definitely gotten bigger. And her chances at playing sports at an even higher level have gotten bigger.” Reflecting on her time at UM, she said, “I just think I’ve matured a lot. She expressed how easy it is to get distracted in college environments but says she has become more focused on her future. And because of that, she feels that her volleyball skills improved. The advertising student is still deciding what her plans are after college and if playing professional volleyball will be in her future. “It’s been one of my goals for so long that I can’t really see myself not doing it, even if it’s just for a little bit,” Kalaniuvalu said. Kalaniuvalu views playing volleyball as a blessing. The journey of getting to play the game she loves was not easy. From day one, she said, her father instilled the definition of hard work and she has made it an expectation of herself to make her family proud. “My family is my biggest motivator,” she said. “They just have worked really hard, so that I could even have the opportunity to play volleyball,” she said. At five years old, Kalaniuvalu had a flaming passion, relentless drive and wanted to be the first girl to play in the NFL. Today, she continues to embody that energy and proudly represents the Kalaniuvalu name just this time with knee pads instead of shoulder pads.

Kalaniuvalu transferred from Southern Utah University to the University of Miami for her last two seasons of volleyball, where she serves as the outside hitter for the Hurricanes.

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The “Saint George & The Dragon” was presented Pope John Paul II in 1995 by the Dali Universe for display in Rome’s Vatican collection, according to one caption on @ theartplug’s Instagram. “In this sculpture, Dali focuses on the duality between life and death and good and evil.”

the art plug. Marcel Katz has become a well-known art dealer and curator in both South Florida and around the world. Katz, born and raised in Miami, got into the art world through working in the bustling Miami nightlife industry. He began collaborating with local artists and started his art marketing and curation business, The Art Plug, out of his mother’s bedroom. Over six years, Katz business has grown into an international success—at the age of 30, Katz became the youngest authorized Salvador Dali dealer, and now has access to famous works from renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. Katz is “disrupting the U.S. art scene,” according to Forbes. “My main mission is to make art more accessible for all,” Katz said. “Art is something that can open people’s minds and I think that if people were more open to it, the world would be a better place.” The Art Plug is a creative art and marketing agency where Katz curates mural advertising, brand design, digital content creation and experiential production. He has curated campaigns with brands like Lyft, Foot Locker, Red Bull and Stella Artois. The Art Plug Power House, a branch of the agency, is a platform that incorporates art with interactive


Marcel Katz is bringing a new vision of art to Miami. His creative marketing agency represents a global network of artists and his art platform is redefining what the traditional art fair looks like. words_amy poliakoff. design_giovanni aprigliano.

The Real Surreal and The Real Surreal 2 were curated by Marcel Katz and Bertrand Epaud in partnership with The Dali Universe, a group that organizes Salvador Dali artworks from around the world.

experiences. Katz aims to exhibit an interactive experience for the viewer. His shows cater to youth culture, often exhibiting extreme performance art and live interactive experiences which feature monster trucks, stuntmen and a variety of performance art that defy the very definition of the tradition of art itself. “Art is you embracing your own approach and direction, and concepts of life and living,” Katz said. “I felt with the Power House this was the only way to do that. You can keep people young and we are still able to play with monster trucks, motorcycles, trains, airplanes and helicopters. We can be kids forever.” Katz’ commitment to pushing the boundaries through sensory experiences have come to define true creativity. At Art Basel 2018, for example, an event he curated transformed a 30,000 square foot police impound into a contemporary art gallery garnering major attention. Even during the pandemic, when Art Basel was cancelled and many galleries suffered, Katz didn’t stop. He brought the first ever museum show of Salvador Dali to Miami. The free museum show, “The Real Surreal,” is still on display and located at the Confidante Hotel. It features works on paper and the famed bronze sculpture, “St. George and the Dragon,” along with a free virtual version. This COVID-friendly show, first opened (both inperson and virtually) in November of 2020. The second installment, “The Real Surreal 2,” opened in February. Katz believes in bringing culture to the masses and works to make his shows accessible for all. “Culture should be free, my shows are free, art is an experience and I know how to give the world the right medicine,” said Katz. “I feel like I stand for Miami and I feel like it’s my job to make sure Miami preserves its culture and continues to thrive,” said Katz. “As a person in the forefront of the art world, I think Miami is a great place to start.” The Confidante Hotel, which houses The Real Surreal exhibit, is located in Miami Beach at 4041 Collins Avenue.

Ticket information for The Real Surreal 2 is available at artplug. com. Frontline workers, creatives, students and teachers can email hello@artplug. com to claim their complimentary tickets.

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Your Last Distraction:

CAMPUS Have you ever wanted to learn more about the furry friends you see walking around campus? Distraction was lucky enough to get a few one-on-one interviews with our campus’s finest four-legged cuties! words_gabrielle lord. photo_tiana torkan. design_giselle spicer.

PUPS My name is: Groot

I am: 10 months old I am a: German Shepard/Husky Mix I love: Chasing birds outside, feeling the wind in my fur and playing with water. I hate: Playing fetch. Fun fact: I just graduated from Advanced Dog Training and am trained in English and German. I also have an Instagram, @grootsayswoof. I’m sorry but: I can be very stubborn when I’m not in the mood to listen What Mom loves most: “He is a very protective pup, but he’s also extremely friendly and loves affection.” –Michelle Marino

My name is: Dolly My name is: Lola

I am: 3.5 years old I am a: Chihuahua I love: Walks, outside and visiting friends. I hate: Being left alone. Fun fact: I love to see my owner’s friends and even know the way to their apartments. I’m sorry but: I eat iPhone cords. What Mom loves most: “She gets so excited over the simplest things, every morning she gets so excited to see my roommate and it just brings a lot of joy to us. I think having a dog here has really helped my mental health, she brings so much positivity and makes me leave my apartment to go outside.” –Riley Stewart

I am: 1 year old I am a: Maltese I love: Running around like a maniac and barking at bigger dogs to assert dominance. I hate: Kibble (unless I am being hand fed) and getting my nails done. Fun fact: I am constantly stretching and doing yoga poses. I’m sorry but: I hate being alone and follow my owner everywhere. What Mom loves most: “Even though she is spoiled and yappy sometimes, she has such a big heart and is SO SMART. She acts like a human, it’s so weird!” –Shreya Arun

My name is: Koda

I am: Just over 1 year old I am a: Mini Labradoodle I love: Chasing lizards and birds. I hate: Swimming in the ocean. Fun fact: I can dance on my hind legs. I’m sorry but: I hate boys. What Mom loves most: “Besides the fact that she is the cutest thing ever, she is so smart and loyal. I can let her off the leash and still feel comfortable that she will stay close by.” –Ali Ferris


Did you pick up the special sticker cover of our summer 2021 issue? Hint: If this cover has 12 cute icons on the front, you’re in luck! If not, be sure to head to the nearest Distraction bin on campus to search for it. Inside you’ll find fun and nostalgic stickers to slap on your laptop or water bottle. Let the hunt begin!

www.distractionmagazine.com Distraction Magazine @Distractionmag @DistractionUM

Peek-a-boo! We want you to 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!

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