Page 1

ATLAS magazine


Fall 2017 The Elements Issue

1 | The Elements


ATLAS FALL 2017

EIC: Olivia Woollett Managing Editor: Caitlin Smith Creative Director: Hayley Broderick Fashion Director: Kristen Bruck

PHOTO Photo: Meagan Leotta Photographers: Hannah Choi, Mana Parker, Samantha Branch, Amelia Wright BLOG Blog Editor: Lauren Lopez Bloggers: Elise Sanchez, Emma Goodwin, Victoria Stuewe GLOBE Globe Editor: Anapurl Feldman Writers: Shafaq Patel, Kristi Szczesny, Charlie Boyle CITY City Editor: Caitlin Smith Writers: Jessica Morris, Britt Alphson

HEALTH Health Editor: Elizabeth Hartel Writers: Emily Cristobal, Emily Mason, Victoria Torres STYLE Style Editor: Melinda Fakuade Writers: Melanie Barreiro, Ruby Vishnick, Lily Bump CAMPUS Campus Editor: Lilly Milman Writers: Sarah Molloy, Kayleigh Waters

MARKETING Marketing Director: Rebecca Bass Marketers: Sarah Molloy, Sara Pirzada, Alena Jones COPYEDITING Head Copyeditor: Tara McDonough Copyeditors: Emily Cristobal, Emma Goodwin

Atlas Magazine | 2


MEET THE EDITOR el•e•ment a part or aspect of something abstract, especially one that is essential or characteristic the substances believed to compose the physical universe When the word “Elements” first came up during our brainstorming meeting, we all knew that we had found a theme for this semester’s issue. We immediately began researching elements to assign for the different sections and came up with the five featured here: water, fire, earth, air, and metal. The room was buzzing with ideas for shoots, stories, and the feel of this issue. It was a really exciting moment for me to see—the first moment that this semester’s executive board was coming together as a group to exchange ideas and begin to buckle down for the work ahead. For the first time since accepting the role of editor-in-chief at the end of April, I felt in a concrete way: Hey, we’re really going to make a magazine. This is really something we’re going to do. That’s really exciting! That’s what the Elements Issue means to me—disparate individuals combining their time and skillsets to create a cohesive, collaborative, creative work together. From marketers to photographers to copyeditors to writers, we all have something different and special to contribute to this magazine. I’ve had many moments of insecurity over the course of this tumultuous semester over whether I was prepared to be Atlas’s Editor-in-Chief. The lesson I’ve had to keep learning is that I wasn’t doing it alone. I’m extremely proud of the work represented in these pages, and none of it would have been possible without the combined efforts, commitment, and perseverance of every member on staff. I hope you read and enjoy.

Olivia Atlas Editor-in-Chief

3 | The Elements


MEET OUR STAFF MANAGING EDITOR Caitlin Smith

Atlas Magazine | 4

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Hayley Broderick

PHOTO EDITOR Meagan Leotta


FASHION DIRECTOR Kristen Bruck

BLOG EDITOR Lauren Lopez

GLOBE EDITOR Anapurl Feldman

CITY EDITOR Caitlin Smith

HEALTH EDITOR Elizabeth Hartel

STYLE EDITOR Melinda Fakaude

CAMPUS EDITOR Lilly Milman

MARKETING DIRECTOR Rebecca Bass

HEAD COPYEDITOR Tara McDonough

5 | The Elements


IN THIS ISSUE

pg. 10

pg. 19

pg. 32

pg. 52

pg. 40

Atlas Magazine | 6

pg. 56


FALL 2017

AIR campus

Making a City a Home pg. 10 If Emerson Were a Scented Candle pg. 12

METAL city

Raise Up Massachusetts pg. 16 Jamaica Plains - Town on the Rise pg. 19

EARTH globe

Parlez Vous... pg. 24 Karachi’s Fashion Market pg. 28 Cute Culture in East Asia pg. 32

FIRE style

Is the Concept of Capsule Concealing? pg. 38 In With the Old and New pg. 40 The Lingerie Look pg. 46

WATER health

The Ugly Truth: The Reality of Pollution and What We Can Do pg. 52 From the Amazon to Boston: Aqua Yoga is the Best New Way to Be Active pg. 54 Spilling the Tea pg. 56

7 | The Elements


CAMPUS Making a City a Home // pg. 10 If Emerson Were A Scented Candle... // pg. 12

Atlas Magazine | 8


9 | The Elements


WRITER: Sarah Molloy PHOTO: Hannah Choi Commuting every day makes getting from one end of the city to the other seem like no biggie, but when you’re on-campus, walking to Paramount most days seems like a struggle. Living off-campus may restrict us from going to some Emerson spaces, but it does some good to break out of the Emerson bubble. This shift in perception leads us to take advantage of what Boston, the entire city, has to offer. There can be a lot of advantages to living off-campus. For instance, you can fill your kitchen with all the foods you want and crave. You gain more space than what your dorm room could offer you, and distance

Atlas Magazine | 10

Making a city a home from campus can be refreshing when school becomes overbearing. The disadvantages, however, go beyond being unable to enjoy that 15-minute nap in your own bed between classes. Tara Lionetti, Communication Sciences and Disorders ’19, and new off-campus student, feels like Emerson no longer caters to her. “Being off campus,” Lionetti explains, “honestly makes me feel like I don’t actually belong at the school anymore. I feel like the college cares much less about the off-campus students and more things are catered to the freshmen and sophomores. We are literally not allowed in half the buildings on campus.”


Lionetti’s sentiments are common among the off-campus community. Off-campus students are allowed into the Quiet Lounge on the second floor of Piano Row, the Iwasaki Library if you want to get some work done, or the new commuterfriendly Center Stage. But other than that, there are few other spaces we can go to without being signed in by an on-campus student. It’s a strange new feeling, being limited to where you can go on your own campus. Sitting in Center Stage between classes as everyone goes in-and-out of the new Dining Hall, where you are now not allowed, is enough to make anyone feel slightly out of place. Luckily for off-campus students, the Community Ambassadors program, started by Jeff Morris, aims to connect off campus students with the school and with other off-campus students in their communities. Kayla Carcone, Writing, Literature and Publishing ‘19, is proud of the work she gets to do as a Community Ambassador. “Once students move off-campus, they are physically scattered all around Boston, so the Emerson experience feels different. We’re trying to give those students resources, in addition to fun programming they can go to in their own neighborhoods. Students shouldn’t always have to travel back to campus to feel a part of the student body,” Carcone said. However, being an off-campus student encourages you to make your own sense of home in spaces that may be new to you. The lively atmosphere of the library can be comforting, as the constant whispering and tapping of keyboard keys can be white noise in the background as you do your homework. The complete silence of the Quiet Lounge can be a safe place to close your eyes and recharge for a few minutes in-between classes. The high energy of Center Stage, with its various aromas of fried foods and microwaved lunches, can be a place to meet up with

friends and to people watch. The dedicated Off-Campus Student Lounge can be a nice place to watch a show or put your feet up, while not feeling closed off from the Max and the rest of campus. Emerson does its best to make spaces feel welcoming to all students, even those who end their days in a different part of town.

11 | The Elements


If Emerson Were a Scented Candle Atlas Magazine | 12


WRITER: Kayleigh Waters PHOTO: Samantha Branch When you are walking down Boylston Street, studying in the library, sitting in class, or in your dorm room, what do you smell? Certain aromas often trigger memories of distinct periods in a person’s life. After graduation, what scents will bring you back to Emerson? I spoke with a collection of different students on campus to compile a montage of fragrances of our atmosphere here at Emerson. For some, campus understandably holds the stench of urban life. Kelsey Pereira, ’20 WLP, says “I associate [Emerson] with the smell of the T, like that humid, underground scent.” But the scent of city-living isn’t always negative. Kelsey continues, “I associate the smell of espresso and chai and pastries with Emerson’s campus because I frequent the Thinking Cup so much while I’m here, and part of me associates the smell of cold. Like you know that clean, startlingly sharp smell of winter in New England, like we’re on the cusp of snow at all times?” Einstein’s Bagels was a former favorite study-spot and quick bite between classes for many students. I remember taking cover from the brisk February wind to grab a warm bagel with veggie cream cheese before heading to class. Nate Smith, ’20 BCE, reminisces, “Do you know the smell of Einstein’s, like the coffee and bagels? I used to smell that every morning and I miss that so much. It’s a happy Emerson memory smell.” Comforting fragrances of caffeine to keep students energetic through exams continued to be a theme among the responses. Piano Row resident Nina Fisher, ‘19 WLP, explains, “Emerson College smells like coffee.

I love starting the day off with an iced coffee, and I always have some with me in my dorm room.” Kasey Leibas, Comedic Arts ’20 also remembers a distinct smell that made her feel at cozy in her room in Paramount last year, “Vanilla. My roommate and I had a vanilla room freshener last year and I always drink vanilla drinks and coffee while I’m here.” But what about the smells of the Walker Building? “Pizza,” says Melissa Falcone, Journalism ’19. “Maybe it’s just me, but when I am walking to my journalism class on the 6th floor of Walker, I always smell pizza.” Practically everyone I spoke to agreed that Walker consistently smells like pizza, though no one could really figure out why. A true Emerson mystery. For Joe Cuccio, ’20 VMA, Emerson holds the stench of youth and discovery. He believes campus smells like cigarettes and marijuana, “because Emerson is full of college kids that are constantly pondering life whether it be with a cigarette in their hand or lighting up a joint, everyone is out here trying to figure themselves out.” While we run around trying to figure ourselves out during our college years, we may not acknowledge the aromas that fill our noses daily. The essence of Emerson’s smell may not be able to be squished into one singular scented candle, nor would some of us want it to be. But somewhere down the line, after graduation there will be something satisfying about suddenly catching a trace of an all too familiar smell, and being overcome with a wave of nostalgia about your best memories at Emerson.

13 | The Elements


CITY Raise Up Massachusetts // pg. 16 Jamaica Plains - Town on the Rise // pg. 19

Atlas Magazine | 14


15 | The Elements


raise up M A SSACH USETTS WRITER: Jess Morris PHOTO: Hannah Choi In today’s America, the cost of a college education is daunting. Many students at Emerson, other schools in Boston, and beyond know this well. Paying your way to a college diploma with minimal student debt feels like a pipe dream. A part-time job just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, leaving students struggling to stay afloat amidst rising debt. Luckily, a grassroots coalition formed of organizations from across the state of Massachusetts is hoping to influence the state’s economy in big ways. Raise Up Massachusetts is currently working to pass three different statewide laws, through ballot questions or the state legislature. Their proposals concern raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, guaranteeing paid family and medical leave for Massachusetts’ workers, and creating an additional 4% tax on income above one million dollars which would go toward funding public education and transportation. The latter proposal is referred to as the Fair Share Amendment. If passed, any of these laws would be huge for the state’s part-time and full-time workers— and for the state’s college students. Raise Up Massachusetts’ initiatives aren’t completely unprecedented. According to the coalition, California, New York, Rhode

Atlas Magazine | 16

Island, and New Jersey are all states that have paid family and medical leave. Raise Up also indicates that under their proposal, the threshold incomes associated with the Fair Share Amendment would be reassessed each year, to verify that the tax was only applying to those who could truly afford to pay it. The coalition has helped influence state law before. Andrew Farnitano, one of two Communications Consultants with Raise Up Massachusetts, has been active with the coalition since 2013, the year it was formed. According to Farnitano, Raise Up has been advocating for Massachusetts employees since its beginning. The coalition says that between 2013 and 2014, “more than 150 organizations and hundreds of grassroots volunteers formed Raise Up Massachusetts and collected more than 350,000 signatures to put minimum wage and earned sick time on the ballot.” The need for the minimum wage ballot question was avoided in 2014 when the state legislature passed the bill that would raise the minimum wage over the course of three years. In 2014, Massachusetts’ minimum wage was $8 per hour. Now, in 2017, the state’s minimum hourly wage is $11. That is $3.75 above the federal minimum wage of $7.25. However, the cost of living in Massachusetts is substantially higher than it is


in a variety of other states like Kentucky. For instance, the cost of housing in Massachusetts is 24% higher than the national average. Yet in 2016, The Brookings Institution named Boston as the country’s leading city when it comes to income inequality. “The coalition generally has three types of organizations. We’re made up of labor unions, community organizations, and faith groups,” said Farnitano. The organizations that have joined the Raise Up battle range from the Boston Workers Alliance to Rosie’s Place, a Boston women’s shelter. Representatives from these organizations and grassroots volunteers have been working tirelessly to gather enough signatures to get the Paid Family and Medical Leave and $15 Minimum Wage questions on the 2018 ballot. Work is being done in the State House on both Paid Family and Medical Leave and the Fair Share Amendment. Lauren Rothschild, a sophomore at Northeastern University and the Deputy Boston Regional Director of the College Democrats of Massachusetts (CDM), feels Raise Up’s goals could have a lasting impact on Massachusetts college students. “We are college students, so we’re a little bit younger than the target population that these initiatives would be aiming to help. But, in a few years, we’re not going to be

17 | The Elements


college students, so these things are going to be affecting us when we have jobs and need paid time off,” said Rothschild. She feels that these issues not only impact Massachusetts residents on a personal level, but also the state’s overall economy. According to Rothschild, members of CDM chapters across the state have organized for Raise Up at the grassroots level. With the high cost of college tuition, a higher minimum wage might also make it easier for students to afford their education. “We’ve fallen behind where we should be when it comes to an economy that works for everyone. It used to be that you could work your way through college. That’s just not true anymore,” said Farnitano. Before Edgar Farias, a Visual and Media Arts junior came to Emerson College, he was making $12.50 an hour at his job in his home state of California. California has already instituted a plan to increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023. In order to afford rent and groceries, Farias feels he must work a minimum of 20 hours per week at his local part-time job. Farias is paying for his tuition with loans, as his other wages must go elsewhere. “Sadly, I don’t want to work more because it’d cut into my class time and doing homework,” said Farias. But, “I feel like I’d have to work upwards to more than 20 hours a week to cover everything.” Farias continues to explain that, “There’s so much extra stuff that I want to do at Emerson but I feel like I have to go to work first and build my schedule around work instead of building it around my school time.” Farias believes that a higher minimum wage would allow him to focus more on his classes and extracurriculars, helping him to receive the full college experience. Ally MacLean, is a junior pursuing a BFA in Stage and Production Management. In addition to being a resident assistant, MacLeanworks a multitude of jobs on-

Atlas Magazine | 18

campus. Like Farias, MacLean aims to work 20 hours each week. “I’m responsible for paying a good part of my tuition myself and [20 hours a week] is enough to pay my tuition and it is enough to pay bare minimal necessities in terms of my medicine, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and that kind of fun stuff. But, I pretty often do have to rack into some credit card debt just for putting EC Cash on my card,” said MacLean. “I can usually make ends meet, but I can’t always comfortably make ends meet,” explained MacLean. She isn’t always able to work her ideal of 20 hours a week—the maximum number of hours students are allowed to work for on-campus jobs at Emerson. And while she needs to work, MacLean feels that during the day, she often wishes she had more time to dedicate to school assignments. With a higher minimum wage, MacLean believes her time at Emerson would be more manageable and more affordable.“I feel like if I wasn’t an RA, I don’t know if I would’ve come back to Emerson this year,” said MacLean. Getting involved might be necessary if you hope to see any or all of these proposals from Raise Up Massachusetts passed. “We can try to beg but if we don’t do something ourselves, we’re gonna be left behind. We have to try to make our voice heard,” said Farias. In terms of immediate action, Andrew Farnitano says that students can take part in grassroots organizing with some of the organizations involved with Raise Up. Signature collecting will continue until Raise Up’s proposals reach the ballot or they are passed in the State House. It’s easy to see how a higher minimum wage, in particular, would make a difference in the lives of college students. With the help of Raise Up Massachusetts, a future where higher education is affordable and accessible to all in Massachusetts might be on the horizon.


Jamaica Plains - Town on the Rise

WRITER: Britt Alphson PHOTO: Amelia Wright

Each major city invariably has one lurking in its suburbs, “The Up and Coming Neighborhood,” a quirky community waiting to claim its place as a destination spot for travelers who seek recluse from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. Jamaica Plain, with its natural beauty, delectable cuisine, offbeat shopping, and multifaceted appeal, earns its position as Boston’s “Up and Coming Neighborhood.” Jamaica Plain, a small industrial town, lies only thirty minutes from Back Bay by the Orange T-line. Often referred to by websites as “the Eden of America,” because of its natural beauty, the town is surrounded on all sides by a number of environmental “jewels”

from the Emerald Necklace parks system, such as the Jamaica Pond, the Franklin Park Zoo, and the Arboretum. Plethora of people move to Jamaica Plain because it is the “greenest” of the suburbs surrounding Boston. The trees, so spectacular in their sheer density and height, seem to eclipse the view of distant Boston skyscrapers. Nearly every communal building, such as the Jamaica Plain Branch Library and First Baptist Church, display a garden blooming with carefully tended to flowers. Piles of red, yellow, and orange leaves fall onto the residential streets, accumulating in charming autumnal mounds. The main drag of ‘JP’, as the residents affectionately refer to it, is Centre Street.

19 | The Elements


Centre Street houses delicious restaurants, as there is a large Hispanic population within JP. Two culinary staples within the town are the Spanish book-and-music-store-slashrestaurant Tres Gatos and Casa Verde, which serves more affordable options. Walking to Tres Gatos, one may be surprised at it’s architectural combination of classic elegance and modern edge. The interior displays muted warm tones such as chocolate brown and rusted red, which reflect the Spanish aesthetics also represented on the menu. Aromas of sweet cheese and savory meat waft from the kitchen, foreshadowing the mouthwatering meals one can expect to eat here. With daring options such as Salchion, acornfed sausage, and Octopus tapas, Tres Gatos asserts itself as a staple in Jamaica Plains. Just down the street from Tres Gatos lies Casa Verde, a more casual establishment which offers standard Mexican cuisine at a lower cost. With exposed brick walls, and splashes

Atlas Magazine | 20

of bold color manifesting themselves in the tables and chairs, Casa Verde is a perfect hub for residents and tourists alike. This taqueria offers classics such as carne asada and chicken tacos, for only $5 each. Verde’s prices and array of choices provide a perfect opportunity to split the food with friends and family. Aside from the delectable and affordable food, Centre Street also acts as a vintage shopping hub for many young people in particular. While thrift stores such as Goodwill and Boomerangs offer inexpensive clothing, the true gem of Centre Street is 40 South Street. Known to many as, “the best-kept secret in Boston,” 40 South Street seems to opt for anonymity with its unassuming storefront. However, the inside of the shop emanates coziness with its dim lighting and constant radio queue of 50’s love songs. Although small in size, many vintage finds are packed within the storefront, ranging from flapper dresses to distressed Harley


Davidson sweatshirts. A variety of strewn about trunks overflow with colorful scarves and berets. Circular racks of clothing are positioned neatly throughout the store, with sections dedicated to “women’s gowns” and “men’s blazers.” To the immediate right of the front entrance lies a whole wall dedicated to displaying retro shoes such as Mary Janes and Adidas Gazelle sneakers. The Boston Compass, a local publication written largely by teens living in the neighborhood, keeps the community up to date on artistic happenings in the Greater Boston Area. Sabene, one of 40 South Streets employees, stated, “a lot of the music and art scene is going underground.” The Compass agrees with this statement, and dedicates itself to making the underground scene easier to find. It communicates events such as the Hassle Fest, an underground music festival put on by Boston Hassle and BRAIN Art annually. Taped haphazardly onto street poles are numerous flyers advertising the latest flea market or local independent film screening. Walking down Centre Street is a young adult’s game. There are an array of bars, music venues, smoke shops, and record stores. However, when you reach the end of Centre Street, turn left onto Pond Street. This is where the true homeliness of Jamaica Plain becomes evident. The apartments-atop-store fronts give way to Victorian style houses. Thin avenues transform into lazily winding roads. Emma, a mother who lives with her two young children and husband in JP, states that “Jamaica Pond is a great place to have fun with (your) kids.” Jamaica Pond, a large body of water surrounded by an adorable beach and a few docks, best exemplifies the nature of the town: quirky yet quaint, happening yet homely. A young group of hipsters can be seen smoking on the remains of an old row boat, while toddlers splash in the water, their elderly grandparents keeping a close eye nearby.

So what makes Jamaica Plains so noticeable? Sure, it has has good food, good shopping, and good people. But a lot of Boston neighborhoods have that. What’s so singular about Jamaica Plains is that it’s a town with heart. A town with authenticity. While some other neighborhoods try too hard to be something they’re not, JP is unabashedly itself. Jamaica Plains is on the rise and taking me with it.

21 | The Elements


GLOBE Parlez Vous... // pg. 24 Karachi’s Fashion Market // pg. 28 Cute Culture in East Asia // pg. 32

Atlas Magazine | 22


23 | The Elements


PARLEZ VOUS? WRITER: Kristi Szczesny PHOTO: Meagan Leotta

My three year-old French host sister and I were probably learning a lot of similar things in our different classes -- numbers, the alphabet, vocabulary -- yet, she ran circles around me. She constantly mocked my poor grammar skills, spoke in elaborate sentences, tested what English phrases she knew and expressed her interest in learning more. At dinner, she belted in English across the table: “Oh clap yo hands! Oh clap yo hands!� She likely had no idea what she was saying, and still, she said it so naturally. The way she experimented and flaunted her language skills made me think about the ways in which we learn secondary languages in the United States. My host sister and I not only learned languages differently, we thought about them differently. I began to wonder if I had been learning language in the most effective way -- or if the language education of France and Europe was better than that of the United States. Admittedly, before my study abroad

Atlas Magazine | 24

program in the southern city of Aix-enProvence last May, I only had one semester of education in the French language. However, I believe that I gained a unique perspective of language learning from two cultures and education systems: from my language instruction within the French education system and my language instruction in the United States. Throughout the United States, foreign language education varies significantly. Some people learn and study other languages in school, others do not. Since the United States does not have any form of nationally mandated programs when it comes to foreign languages, the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank within the United States, states that many citizens lack the opportunity or urgency to study additional languages. A study by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences reports that around 20 percent of U.S. adults have knowledge of a foreign language, while 66 percent


of European adults report having similar knowledge. Meanwhile, many European countries set compulsory ages for language education. A 2012 report from Eurostat reports that many nations generally begin studying a second language around the ages of six and nine. This coincides with the critical period of language learning. As language scientist and speechlanguage pathologist Dr. Lisa Wisman Weil describes, the critical period is the time from early childhood to puberty that determines how easily one can pick up a language, and how fluent or native sounding a speaker can become. Dr. Wisman Weil teaches a course in language acquisition at Emerson College. She explained that it is much harder for adults to learn additional languages with native-

like fluency because they cannot acoustically perceive sounds beyond those of their native language. This is why some speakers have accents and others do not. The earlier a speaker picks up a language, the more open they are to perceiving other sounds and the more likely they are to acquire an accent. Emerson College French professor and Paris native, Pierre Hurel, began studying English at the age of nine. At eleven or twelve, he began studying his third language, Spanish. Hurel explained that this is not just typical among French students - it’s mandatory. In Hurel’s experience, as a professor, many students have had some form of exposure to foreign language. Such exposure could include classes in high school or college or through film or music. However, Hurel believes that language learning relies on the

25 | The Elements


desire to move beyond simple exposure, and the motivation of each individual person to learn more. “It would be like taking piano lessons but you don’t have a piano. You don’t have a keyboard. You don’t really study. You don’t really do anything. You’re like, look, what a beautiful instrument. I love piano music. But if you don’t practice, you’re never going to play… If you don’t practice your French, if you don’t seriously commit yourself to learning a language [you won’t be able to speak it.]...To really speak well, to have a broad vocabulary, to be able to express yourself confidently, it takes a lot of work,” Hurel said. The difference between American and European language education not only comes from the age at which they begin instruction, but also from the structure and philosophy

Atlas Magazine | 26

behind teaching. Unlike the French, Hurel explained, the American education system offers a much more open and understanding learning environment for students. In Europe, secondary language education is viewed as more of a necessity. Many Americans may think that they can get away with not learning another language because of English’s growing presence as a common language. However, for many Europeans, different languages are spoken in most neighboring countries. The desire to travel can require even more familiarity with English or other languages, Hurel explained. Therefore, the drive for speakers to pick up additional languages is necessary if they want to travel and communicate on a global scale. This has not just affected the way people learn language, it has also affected they way


they use it. “From the perspective of language development... it’s much more common worldwide to be bilingual or tri-lingual or to be able to code switch between the language of your community and the language of school” Dr. Wisman Weil said. Cultural curiosity, according to Hurel, is another major factor in the difference between American and European language programs. Do people have the motivation to learn additional languages? And do people believe that other cultures have something valuable to offer or teach us? Every individual has the choice to pursue language, but senses of motivation and curiosity also need to be there for language education to be successful. Jasmyne Raneri, Program Coordinator of Foreign Languages at the Boston Language Institute, studied in Italy from 2011 to 2012. Despite having studied Italian in the United States for six to seven years prior to going abroad, she says she would have only classified herself as an intermediate speaker. It was not until her schooling in Italy and her experiences living with a host family that her language skills really began to improve. The one thing Wisman Weil, Hurel and Raneri all stressed was the importance of travel in language education. World travel and study abroad programs offer speakers different perspectives and can open the door to other cultures and customs. Travel also gives you a better understanding and ear for a language. Like Raneri, my experience learning language in France when I could hear it and practice it every day greatly improved my ability to learn - more so than my years of language instruction in the United States. Between the relevance of travel and study abroad programs, as well as the globalization of technology and communication between different parts of the world, it is disappointing that language does not serve a greater place in the American education system. Often times, Raneri said, it

is because language education is not deemed valuable enough for funding. The push to learn English is very strong. Dr. Wisman Weil said she has encountered students who were not taught their native languages so that they could have ‘better English’ and hopefully, more advantages in life. However, this often has the reverse effect. In the end, no county’s education system is perfect. However, that does not mean that the education of secondary languages in the United States cannot be improved. The age one begins learning a language plays a crucial role. The motivation one has to learn language is also significant. And finally, seeing the study of foreign languages as more of a necessity could completely change the way we speak and communicate with others. Hurel believes there is nothing more essential than communication, and seeing people for who they truly are. “At the end of the day,” he said, “what [you] learn, I find, is that people are people. That people respond to similar things. That they have a heart like yours and mine. That they want the same things. They want to be healthy. They want to be successful. They want to be appreciated... Those are things you learn because you learn foreign languages, because you travel, because you realize that people are people.” If a greater number of Americans realized the importance and relevance of foreign language education, especially in the critical period of childhood, I believe that we would be better equipped to communicating and interacting with the world. If knowledge is power, than language is a key to unlocking it.

27 | The Elements


Atlas Magazine | 28


KARACHI’S FASHION MARKETS WRITER: Shafaq Patel PHOTO: Naushaba Patel

A man is diligently working on sewing together a salwar kameez, a traditional threepiece outfit with a long top, bottom, and scarf. He has beads of sweat on his forehead, as he is sewing together the outfit in one of the many outdoors fashion markets in Karachi, Pakistan. He works in Chandni Chowk, a street market that has a strip of small shops lined up next to each other with primarily men working on women clothing. He works next to two men trying to sell the fabric to women. And next to them are more men trying to sell laces and beads for embellishment. These shops continue for blocks, with each store providing something different to the process. The shops selling a variety of materials—fabrics, laces, buttons, patches, beads, threads—are situated near the tailors’ shops or dersis. With the population of Karachi being over 14 million people, all with an obvious need for clothes, there are many fashion markets spread out throughout the city. And everyday, these markets are crowded with women shopping for their outfits. Unlike America, where women usually buy their shirts, bottoms, or dresses off the rack from a store, women in Karachi design their own. Or, at the very least, personalize their outfit and get it sewn to their measurements. As women are the main consumers, the street

fashion markets primarily have clothes for them. Women, for the most part in Karachi, continue to wear traditional clothes whereas the men have shifted to western attire. From what I can tell, a big reason why women predominantly wear traditional clothes, besides custom and culture, is because of the huge fashion industry located in Pakistan. The women there are interested in trends and enjoy having their clothes personalized to them. Priyana Parmar wears many traditional clothes for cultural events in Houston. She says “Over the generations Pakistani clothes have changed and modernized but still have their traditional roots. The intricate details embellished within the clothes fascinate many worldwide. People in Pakistan are able to go to markets and buy cloths to be able to customize according to their preferences.” However, not every outfit in an average woman’s closet is made from scratch. Many of the shops now have pre-made clothes or a cut-out of an outfit.. There is also an increase in large malls in Karachi. Even though purchasing an article of clothing from a cut-out or rack removes the hassle and wait time for clothing, it also removes the individuality from the garments. Many who do buy pre-made clothes opt to individually embellish their garments as well.

29 | The Elements


My cousin, Farzin Alwani, a year younger than myself, refuses to wear anything that is “off the rack.� When she does buy pre-made outfits for daily wear, she always goes to the fashion markets and accessorizes the outfit to make it her own. I went to the shops with her once and saw her embellishing in action. She took a blue and white kurti, a long top, she purchased off the rack and then purchased blue and white tassels for the garment. She immediately sewed them on the bottom of the kurti. When I visited Karachi this past summer, I became overwhelmed with the amount of options available and the process itself. I had a vision for a specific outfit for the annual cultural events I regularly attend. Kaynaat Teja, my distant family member, helped me create an outfit from just my

Atlas Magazine | 30

simple sketch. Teja designed Pakistani clothes for my family and sent them to us in America. With her experiences of designing clothes, she was able to recreate my vision. I wanted a short embroidered top with a long beaded skirt; this outfit is similar to a sharara. I was on a mission, and Teja was kind enough to go to four different markets and countless shops for me to make my dream outfit. Teja took me to some wedding fabric shops to find a fancy light purple beaded lace fabric. After going to over three shops near each other, with the store owners competing for me to buy their products, I found the right one for me. I then bought a dark purple, velvet fabric from a different market known for their thick winter fabrics. From there, we went to another market to get the top embroidered with light purple flowers. We


finally went to the dersi, and he sewed the outfit together after I gave him my measurements and my sketch of the outfit. I am by no means a fashion designer, but I was able to make a sketch come alive. But it took so much effort and precision, as well as having someone who knew their way around the market. Creating clothes is a skill. I asked Teja about the process and she said that anyone can do it, but not successfully. She said not everyone had the eye for fashion and the skill to go through these markets and create a successful outfit. While not everyone can be a good or trendy fashion designer, I think it is interesting how easily accessible it is to make an outfit in Pakistan versus the fashion industry in America. The majority of people in America are limited to pre-made clothes they can buy. There is also a limitation to size, clothes only come in certain sizes even though bodies are different. Katrina Chaput, a sophomore at Emerson, thinks that it is bougie and high class to get things tailored in America. But she does personalize some of her own clothes. She saw embroidered clothes on Etsy but she said it was overpriced so she decided to learn how to embroider herself. She even sewed a few shirts and embroidered them, making them fully unique and one of a kind. “I took three shirts of different colors they were really cheap at Michael’s - and then I cut them up and sewed them up into different patterns and then I embroidered a sunflower on one and a beetle on the other,” Chaput said. Personalized clothes have a special value in America. There are so many YouTube videos about Do It Yourself clothing ideas because people like the idea of having something unique to themselves . But that is because there isn’t a huge market for it like there is in Pakistan. The Karachi fashion markets are truly unique because the culture normalizes personalized fashion and it is a part of the daily lifestyle.

31 | The Elements


Cute Culture in East Asia WRITER: Charlie Boyle PHOTO: Charlie Boyle Entering Japan is like stepping into an anime series. Kawaii, meaning cute and adorable, has fully permeated Japanese society. Cute culture in Japan is colorful, fun, and a little bit wacky. As its popularity grew, different sections of the culture emerged. One such example is street fashion, an area where even the men are becoming just as involved as women. These fashions are most visible in Harajuku, Japan, nicknamed the “Kawaii capital of Tokyo.” It is becoming more common for one to see the trend of Decora, where people layer on as many cute accessories as possible, with colorful clothing and matching surgical masks, or the Lolita trend, where there is a fashion basis rooted in looking doll-ish, with Victorian-era elements. At first, Kawaii culture was not widely accepted. In the 1970s, Kawaii started as a “cute handwriting” trend. Girls would insert adorable drawings into their Kanji lettering. Teachers, as a result, were unable to read their student’s handwriting, causing schools throughout Japan to ban the new trend.

Atlas Magazine | 32

From this cute culture grew a rebellion against the parameters of the highly orthodox nation and their traditional mindsets. People, mainly women at first, began to see the culture as empowering, giving them the freedom of expression and a sense of individuality. Due to Kawaii’s ties with traditional ideas of femininity, the trend spread into other parts of Asia as well, gaining a specific foothold in South Korea and founding the Aegyo trend (Korea’s version of Kawaii, referring to cute ways of acting). To further distinguish the two, Aegyo has taken the idea of cuteness and fused it into Korea’s admiration of innocence and childlike beauty, while also maintaining its disdain for the unorthodox. Cute culture in Korea takes careful steps to ensure that no one stands out; that people are not different from each other. All women will follow the same trends in fashion and makeup, with variations being very subtle. For instance, you would never see a Decora girl with flashy, neon tutus and layered accessories


walking down the street of Seoul as you would in Tokyo. In comparison to Japan, Korea harnesses the trend to set traditional, gendered parameters within their society. When I stayed in Seoul this summer, it was clear to me that women were still very much treated as second-class citizens. As an obvious foreigner, I was not treated in this way, but I was still very much affected by the restrictions for women in Korea. I would go to restaurants and the waiters would never address me or any other woman about their order, choosing to ask the men instead. When I asked to join a summer basketball league, I was pointed to the sole women’s league on campus. It had only seven girls, most of whom barely knew how to do a layup. When I asked these girls if they had ever played before, they replied that they hadn’t. Their parents had never let them play a sport, preferring for them to study instead. They explained that in South Korea, boys are expected to need a physical outlet or activity,

but girls do not require the same. Being sweaty and dirty is seen as highly unfeminine, and therefore, undesirable. Koreans, who value extremely skinny girls with zero arm and leg definition (also known as “chopstick legs”), must have been quite confused by the sight of me, sweaty and makeup free after playing basketball on the outside courts with the boys. I’ll never forget signing up for the school gym and realizing that I was the only woman lifting weights or, that every man had stopped what he was doing to stare at the odd foreigner benchpressing more than they were. I wondered what women that grew up in East Asia thought about the influence of cute culture and whether their experience was similar to women in South Korea. Yen Ru Lin, a freshman at Emerson College, grew up in Taiwan with the slowly growing market for cute culture infiltrating their society. Lin specifies, “It mainly comes from Japanese anime. Boys in Taiwan have been watching it for a long time and girls like it more now

33 | The Elements


too.” She claims that she has also been influenced by cute culture, saying that she acts shy in Taiwan because it’s considered more acceptable. “But I don’t want to be like that anymore. I like that in the US people are outgoing, and girls get to play sports here without parents disapproving.” Lin plays basketball for a team in Taiwan and is the team manager for the Emerson Women’s Basketball Team. In her opinion, the way women are depicted in Japanese anime has caused men to believe that their girlfriends should look and act in a similar way to these anime girls. Additionally, she believes that girls are held back by cute culture in Taiwan, as they’re expected to put marriage and childbearing above other things and keep men dominating the public sphere. Most shockingly, she said, “Most girls from Taiwan think that men should be above them. They should be stronger than them too so they can protect their girlfriends. Also, they need to pay for what their girlfriends want. In return, men expect their girlfriends to be cute and take selfies with them. Then they need to dress in cute outfits for them, and always be happy and joyful.” Peter Lovejoy, a film student at Emerson College, has been interested in cute culture since middle school, knowledgeable about both Japanese anime and Kpop. When asked specifically what he likes about it, he answered, “I like how different it is, whereas America is dramatic and intense all the time, it’s nice to have a fun change of pace.” When asked if he would like his girlfriend to participate in aspects of the culture as well, he said, “Once in awhile might be fun, but on the whole no. I’m proud my girlfriend is strong and independent. However, we do live in a culture that is still masculine driven and as someone who grew up in that environment, I still would like to be a protector and a provider for her.”

Atlas Magazine | 34

When speaking about the Kpop industry in particular, Lovejoy notes that, “Because of Aegyo and the desire for women to be cute, it’s hard for girl groups and female solo artists to stand out because they all go for the same cute concept. But if they try to distinguish themselves by being anything else,


they’re criticized for being different and they usually don’t sell well.” He adds that, “I don’t think it gives women an equal say in what they want to produce because the producers, writers, managers, and choreographers are mainly men. In that business, women are put behind men and I really hope they’ll be

elevated more.” How could something that started off as an empowering movement for women, become something that traps them as it grows in popularity? Hopefully, it will develop into what it was meant to be: a fun, colorful way of empowering women to exercise individuality.

35 | The Elements


STYLE Is Less More? // pg. 38 In With the Old and New // pg. 40 The Lingerie Look // pg. 46

Atlas Magazine | 36


37 | The Elements


is less more? WRITER: Ruby Vishnik PHOTO: Amelia Wright MODEL: Luke McDonough

Flames can rise high and take over, but ultimately will burn out. The first moment your eyes fixate on that perfect seasonal staple piece, it seems like nothing will ever cool that passion. But like all fires, they eventually burn out. A capsule wardrobe is an edited version of your full wardrobe, a carefully curated collection that can be paired in multiple ways for each season. This excludes accessories and shoes. Typically, a capsule wardrobe will change seasonally. However, this isn’t the be-all end-all. There are really no strict rules. Yet, once a vision is decided, you shouldn’t be pulling from the rest of your closet. A great pull factor for the capsule wardrobe is that there are only so many choices of items, but the way in which you can put them together are endless. A limited selection can cut down your time in the morning when trying clothes on and getting stressed. I was drawn to the idea of a capsule wardrobe because I thought it would help me rediscover items that had fallen to the back of my closet. As glamorous as the idea of a capsule wardrobe sounded, I wasn’t sure if it was a realistic undertaking for a college student.

Atlas Magazine | 38


It also emphasizes the importance of staple pieces. Every wardrobe should include some key pieces, such as the perfect pair of black jeans, or a simple white shirt, and even a beautifully aging leather jacket. These are staple pieces definitely worth the investment. In contrast, trend pieces, like a mustard sweater, or cold shoulder tops, should be bought from lower-price range shops on the high street. Those are the pieces you would switch out when changing your capsule wardrobe for the next season. Danielle Finelli, a Marketing student at Emerson College, decided to test the capsule wardrobe while studying abroad. She found that, “Travelling almost every weekend would mean a lot of leggings and sweatpants for comfort, and then something fun for going out and being of the legal drinking age in the evening,” she said. Finelli decided to concentrate on her evening outfits. Black jeans and a denim skirt are staples that will work with numerous tops, for day and night. “Comfort is key during the day and I don’t really care what I look like, but in the evening I like to go for it,” she continues. “Dark denim also conceals any spills I make at dinner and allows my clumsy self to wear the same jeans many times.” The concept can teach one to appreciate what he or she may have. The capsule wardrobe forces our stylish minds to go against our consumerism grain and be creative. People experienced with systems such as the capsule wardrobe often advocate for minimal shopping throughout the seasons. Instead, they advise to shop exclusively in the two weeks leading up to your switch in wardrobe, prior to the season change. This can be extremely helpful when budgeting your funds and can train you to become a more mindful shopper. One concern people have when considering the capsule wardrobe or trying

to practice such is believing that the pieces included will be able to hold their interest throughout the entire season. Eva Vanhaesebroeck, a second year student at Manchester University, dabbled with the idea of using a capsule for her wardrobe over the summer. But upon returning to college, found that it was an unrealistic goal. “At this point in my life, there are so many other things I need to be focusing on: my classes, my essays, my roommates, I did not want to be doing laundry all the time. I need to be able to roll out of bed and throw on whatever’s clean and begin my day,” she said. Vanhaesebroeck brings up a valid point, having a limited amount of clothes in rotation will, undoubtedly, increase the amount of laundry loads one would need to do. Laundry can’t always be a priority, especially for students. “I also shop predominantly in vintage stores which is all about timing. I can’t not impulse buy a fabulous shirt at a great price, knowing that it will probably not be there tomorrow,” Vanhaesebroeck continues. While the concept of capsule has so many positives, as a college student it may be more of a fantasy than a reality. Nothing can really stop me from buying that sweater I saw a week ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about since.

39 | The Elements


in with the

OLD AND NEW WRITER: Lily Bump PHOTO: Mana Parker MODELS: Victoria Nagy, Cindy Skalny, Sam Willinger

With the changing of seasons also comes the changing of trends. Cut-off overalls and tanktop bodysuits are replaced with edgy bombers and cozy sweaters. Espadrilles are thrown in the closet for next summer, with chelsea boots and leather loafers taking their place. These changes are self-explanatory; in the colder months, people need to change their clothes in order to face the chill. But what about color? Associating certain seasons with certain colors comes naturally. “When I think of fall and winter clothes, I think about burgundy, red, cream, and other cozy colors,” says Cassandre Coyer, Emerson College sophomore and Journalism major. “There’s that transition from the bright colors of summer to the comfortable colors of fall and winter.” As we (pumpkin) spice up our foods, we also spice up our wardrobe. There’s the changing of the leaves from summertime chartreuse to golds, coppers, and

Atlas Magazine | 40

deep maroons. Whispers of trick-or-treating during October bring about Halloween colors, such as black, orange, and purple. Thanksgiving is no different. The promise of turkey and cranberry sauce brings in all shades of brown and red. Snow showers and evergreen trees that come with winter shed light on white and deep forest green. But when it comes to fashion, is it really that simple? Are seasonal colors really that, well, predictable? The Pantone Institute of Color doesn’t think so. Every season, Pantone’s staff evaluates the colors shown at the New York and London fashion weeks and releases the PANTONE Fashion Color Report, which showcases the top 10 colors for the upcoming season. “Pantone has a huge influence in what magazines say,” notes Antonia Depace, Assistant Editor of Philadelphia Style Magazine. “As soon as Pantone comes out with their new color of the year, you’re gonna


41 | The Elements


Atlas Magazine | 42


see it in Vogue, Elle, and Cosmo.” Of course, the stereotypical colors mentioned above aren’t forgotten; they are, after all, timeless. “Orange, muted yellows and burgundy aren’t going to go out of style because they’re so classic. It’s near impossible for them to do that,” adds Depace. So, like Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says, New York’s Fall/Winter season is “bookended by a dynamic Grenadine red and a tawny Autumn Maple.” Grenadine red—a bold, sexy, in-yourface color—is leading the season. It’s such a statement color that often, it dominates an entire outfit or can be worn head-to-toe for a truly striking effect. Autumn Maple, a nice russet color, is reminiscent of your average autumn day, so it’s a perfect staple color for your wardrobe. As we would expect from the chilly seasons, “the color palette for Fall 2017 leans more to warmth.” This might bring about a sense of nostalgic comfort, but it’s also important to jazz things up. “Standout shades include a pale pink Ballet Slipper, a refreshing Golden Lime, and a bright Marina Blue,” says Eiseman. Golden Lime, a camo green with bright lime undertones, and Marina Blue, a calming cerulean, are the perfect transitional shades between August and September—bright enough for summer without being neon. Ballet Slipper is a sophisticated pink, easy to incorporate into your Fall/Winter wardrobe. “These hues add a striking touch when paired with the classic autumnal shades of Navy Peony, Neutral Gray, Butter Rum and Tawny Port.” We can’t help but agree -- something about a sweet Ballet Slipper pink and a dreamy Marina Blue can not

only enhance classic autumnal colors, but bring more individuality to your wardrobe. Neutrals are the perfect foundation for any autumn or winter outfit, but stepping beyond the expected is what really highlights a look. For instance, a black turtleneck and a pair of straight leg jeans might look great on its own, but the addition of a pair of Marina Blue earrings or a Grenadine Red jacket would hit the look out of the ballpark. The colors picked up by PANTONE, from London’s fashion week, are different than New York’s, but the same sentiment is echoed. “Led by a vivid Flame Scarlet, the color palette for [London’s] Autumn/Winter 2017/2018 is comprised of strong classic colors complemented by a few unpredictable shades for the autumn and winter seasons,” notes Eiseman. Much like Grenadine, Flame Scarlet is an eye-catching red that can be worn without being overbearing. “Unexpected combinations such as Royal Lilac and Otter Brown or Lemon Curry with Bluebell are eye-arresting and create an unusual color dichotomy.” Lemon Curry, a rich mustard color, would look great as a sweater, especially paired with a tote in the soft, light color of Bluebell. Following Pantone’s fashion research, it’s safe to say that classics will always be around, so there’s no harm in going out of the box and playing with color. “Classic colors are comforting, but it’s great seeing unusual trends pop up, like the bright yellow rain jackets I’ve been seeing this year,” says Coyer. She’s right—that sense of comfort that comes with autumn hues is like sitting next to a cozy, crackling fire. But what’s a fire without a little bit of spark?

43 | The Elements


Atlas Magazine | 44


45 | The Elements


Atlas Magazine | 46


the lingerie look

WRITER: Melanie Barreiro PHOTO: Samantha Branch MODEL: Kayleigh Waters

Usually meant for the bedroom, lingerie can be unexpected in a day to day look. From nighttime apparel to daytime outfits, lingerie can be dressed up or down depending on your style. Whether you’re looking for sex appeal, elegance, or you just want to make your wardrobe a little more interesting, the right piece is out there, and it might even already be in your closet. A few of the most popular types of lingerie include slip dresses, bralettes, and one pieces. Slip dresses, originally meant to be worn under gowns, can be made of silk or satin and usually have lace detailing. Bralettes are bras without underwire or padding that come in tons of different styles. They range from full-coverage to completely sheer, and can be found in almost any store that sells regular bras. Lingerie one-pieces are often made of lace and come in many different styles. One pieces can feature lowcuts, plunging necklines or cut outs. Think bodysuits, but a little more revealing. Bralettes have become the most common lingerie piece to be incorporated into daytime wear. This type of bra tends to favor the smaller-chested, but still works for a large range of sizes. Depending on the opacity of the top you’re wearing, bralettes can peek through or can be shown off in full detail. Wearing one with a see-through top

47 | The Elements


will emphasize your chest and can be great for going out, while having lacy or decorative straps peeking out of an off-the-shoulder blouse can make the look feminine and relaxed. Having fun with color is a great way to make the look more daytime appropriate. Colors like black, red, and white are great for channeling that sexy look, while pastel colors like baby blue, mint or a light pink can give you a more casual vibe. Casey Tsamis, journalism ’18 and assistant fashion editor for FASE Magazine, says to focus on colors that complement your hair color and skin tone. “Colors that seem to work for everyone are white, olive green and even navy.” Especially with the holidays coming soon, deep colors like maroon and emerald green work great on lots of different skin tones and have an air of elegance. Meanwhile, lighter colors and even super bright or neon colors are more whimsical, and make an outfit more fun and casual. For a more obvious lingerie look, a one-piece can be paired with lots of different options. The cut of the bodysuit can determine how sexy the piece looks, but also the type of garment you wear with the bodysuit can change a look from daytime to nighttime. For example, wearing a satin, opaque black bodysuit that has a deep neckline might seem too sexy on its own, but jeans, a jacket, and casual shoes like sneakers can make it perfect for daytime. On the other hand, a bodysuit that shows a bit more skin with cutouts along the bodice will make the look nighttime appropriate with a skirt and heels. For a look that is both sexy and subtle, a slip dress is the way to go. Compared to often lacy and intricate one-pieces, slip dresses are sexy in a simple, minimal way. Wearing a short slip with thigh high boots can be a great nighttime look. Colors like black and silver can give make the outfit more sultry while rich colors like gold or violet can

Atlas Magazine | 48

give the classic look a modern twist. For a more sophisticated feel, try a slip dress with a hem that falls at your knees or lower. The best thing to keep in mind when styling lingerie is fit. Taylor Carlington, journalism ’18, marketing intern for Veronica Beard, and former blogger for the Emerson College Fashion Society, says “I make sure my lingerie fits in the most comfortable way for my body, shows off my favorite body parts, and keeps me secure where I need it.” Depending on your body type, certain styles may work for you, while others may make you feel uncomfortable. Focus on your favorite parts of yourself, and buy the lingerie that shows them off. Avoid buying something because you think it’s sexy -- try to focus on how you personally feel in it and how it fits on your body. Of course, the ultimate way to pull off any of these looks has to be with confidence. For Tsamis, your mentality when wearing something sexy is key. “The whole purpose of lingerie is to make you feel great. You have to have the mentality that ‘I look great, I feel great.’ If you don’t feel that right away, you can always keep looking for the right piece where you can feel comfortable and sexy in. There’s so many different styles available, so your perfect piece is out there!” Depending on how you style your lingerie pieces, it can add a level of confidence in your wardrobe, especially when you know you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. The right pieces can work in both daytime and nighttime wear, so it’s best to make sure what you wear fits your body in the most flattering way, no matter if you want to be overtly sexy or not. It’s all about what you want to show off, so have fun with your lingerie.Take a peek into your closet, and don’t be afraid to bring some of your favorite bedroom pieces out into your everyday wardrobe.


49 | The Elements


HEALTH The Ugly Truth: The Reality of Pollution and What We Can Do // pg. 52 From the Amazon to Boston: Aqua Yoga is the Best New Way to Be Active // pg. 54 Spilling the Tea // pg. 56

Atlas Magazine | 50


51 | The Elements


The Ugly Truth: The reality of pollution and what we can do WRITER: Emily Cristobal PHOTO: Amelia Wright

Along the North Shore of Hawai‘i are beautiful beaches teeming with marine animals like dolphins, sea turtles, and seabirds. But a walk down the shoreline paints a notso-pretty picture. Behind the façade of clear blue water and fine-grained sand lies the reality of pollution on coastal beaches. Pieces of plastic and styrofoam are buried in the sand and move back-and-forth with the ocean’s current. This trash isn’t only from the locals that didn’t pick up after themselves; it’s also from other states and countries. The problem can also be seen in Boston. “The recycling rate in Boston is 30 percent, but at Emerson College it’s a little bit lower -- 26 percent is recycled while 74 percent is waste,” says Amy Elvidge, Sustainability Coordinator at Emerson College. Jon Honea, an environmental scientist and professor of The Science and Politics of Our Impacts on Water Resources, a class at Emerson College, further explains, “We’ve done surveys of our trash, like a huge percentage of it, almost half of it is recyclable. If people are that clueless, who knows how much of the material is even making it into the trash, it just becomes litter.” Boston and Hawai‘i may be on opposite sides of the United States, but they face similar struggles concerning water pollution. Pollution in these waters not only affect the ocean’s ecosystem, but also impact our own health.

Atlas Magazine | 52

HOW DID IT GET HERE? Trash enters the ocean through a few different ways. It can be washed up into storm drains or dumped illegally by cargo ships. Once this trash enters the ocean, it circulates in gyres, moving around until it washes up on shore. The trash that has accumulated in the Hawaiian Islands is just a small result of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. According to National Geographic, the patch isn’t an island of trash floating around in the middle of the ocean, but rather, a bunch of tiny pieces of debris and litter floating above and sinking below the surface of the ocean. Trash accumulates here because it does not biodegrade. Plastic, for example, takes 450 to 1000 years to decompose. This garbage patch is prevalent in all oceans, not just the Pacific. All of this trash poses serious threats to not only marine animals, but also humans. WHY IS IT BAD? Marine life, such as fish and birds, can easily mistake these small particles of plastic and styrofoam as food. A recent study done by Lund University in Sweden shows plastic was found in fish brains, causing them damage or possibly death. It was once commonly believed that if we consumed the fish that inhabit polluted areas, we wouldn’t bear the same detrimental consequences of their trash consumption. But Honea refutes this assumption, saying, “If it’s


getting into their blood then it’s also getting into muscle tissue, so we’re consuming it and exposing ourselves to these plastics.” Similarly, the Plastic Pollution Coalition states, “Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.” Furthermore, styrofoam contains dangerous chemicals as well. It is made from styrene, benzene, and dioxins. According to the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Toxicology Program, styrene and benzene are listed as possible ‘human carcinogens,’ while dioxins can cause immune and hormonal problems. Another concern is that the surface of plastics and styrofoam absorb other chemicals, such as pesticides like DDT, which, in an article written by the Pesticide Action Network, have been proven to cause “breast & other cancers, male infertility, miscarriages and low birth weight, developmental delay, and nervous system and liver damage.” When fish eat these plastics and styrofoam, they become infected with these chemicals. Thus, when we ingest fish, we also indirectly consume the same harmful chemicals. In places where seafood consumption is common, this health concern is emphasized. THE REALITY AND WHAT WE CAN DO Pollution is everywhere. One person’s trash becomes the world’s trash. Everything we throw away, water bottles, take-out containers, ramen noodle packages, or disposable utensils and plates, eventually accumulates if not properly taken care of. An article from KPBS described plastic being found in shellfish that lived in pristine locations on the Pacific coast. Through these findings, one can see that

pollution is unavoidable; plastic is still found in places that are believed to be clean. Although disposing your trash properly sounds like an easy task, the reality of the situation is that there is no “away”. The trash we produce and the food we consume create a constant cycle of pollution and exposing ourselves to harmful chemicals. The only way to stop trash from ending up in the ocean is by limiting the amount of it we produce. Elvidge explains that the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” are in a specific order for a reason. We should first reduce opportunities to create waste by doing something as simple as using a reusable water bottle. Reuse is the next step, taking a material that has already served its purpose in one way and using it in another. This can be accomplished through clothing shop and swaps. Finally, recycle, putting things into a disposable stream that doesn’t go directly to a landfill or an incinerator. She says, “Emerson’s actually been quite good at reducing and pretty good at reusing, where we’re struggling right now is recycling.” Honea says, “We are always trying to communicate to students that your tuition is paying for this (transportation of garbage), so you are basically just wasting tuition by throwing recyclable and compostable materials into the trash.” Because of this, the best thing we can do is be mindful. Recycle and compost; don’t just throw all of your waste into the trash. Be aware of the problem; be aware of the products that you buy and be conscious in using reusable containers, bags, and other utensils and dishes. We are consumers of the market, so every plastic and styrofoam product we refuse to buy will eventually stop being created. To put it simply, be conscious of your actions and inform your peers. Newsflash: Starbucks cups are recyclable.

53 | The Elements


From the Amazon to Boston: Aqua Yoga is the Best New Way to Be Active

WRITER: Emily Mason ILLUSTRATION: Hayley Broderick I brace myself for a chill, then step in and smile. The water in the pool is heated to a balmy 92 degrees. I spend the next couple minutes mingling with other students before class starts. Patricia McCallum, our instructor, enters the pool room and my first aqua yoga class begins. I was worried about a couple of things going into this class. For starters, imagining a pool room brought me back to the days I took diving classes at my local pool club; the water had always been freezing and there were usually small children screaming. Upon walking into Boston Sport Club’s echoing pool chamber, I saw that it was much different from my diving days. There was a large pool to the right and then a smaller one to the left. The large pool was empty and the smaller one only had people in the aqua yoga class. To my delight, the water in the smaller pool was heated. I was also concerned about the water aspect of class. I felt vulnerable and was worried that I would be asked to hold my breath or dunk my head below the surface in some sort of odd pose. To my relief, our heads never went below the water’s surface and I felt more as if the water was working with my body, rather than against it. We started class by practicing “meditative walking” along the width of the pool; the focus being on breathing and maintaining a consistent pace as we moved. I enjoyed the feeling of the water moving around me and it was a relaxing way to begin class. After this, we were asked to arrange ourselves in rows, standing with our shoulders

Atlas Magazine | 54

submerged. HISTORY Francoise Freedman is an English medical anthropologist who founded aqua yoga. She conducted extended fieldwork in the Amazon that happened to overlap with one of her pregnancies. During these fieldwork trips she was in need of a way to stretch and exercise. Swimming long distances -- her preferred exercise -- was not possible in the unknown Amazon waters, and neither was traditional mat yoga. “You can’t do yoga in the Amazon because of the ants and hazards on the forest floor, but in the water it became much more possible and beneficial and I realized I could do yoga in the water and really enjoy it.” Freedman said of her discovering aqua yoga. While in the Amazon, Freedman spent lots of her time with the local Amazonian women and they would comment on how her yoga movements resembled Amazonian animals and aquatic creatures. The local women soon started to join Freedman in her yoga practice. “The [local] women were copying me and we had lots of hilarious fun,” Freedman said. The bonding and enjoyment Freedman shared with the amazonian women inspired her to bring aqua yoga to England and eventually to create the Birthlight organization, which is focused on enhancing the health of women and their families. She continued developing aqua yoga and soon published several books on the topic including Aqua Yoga: Harmonizing Exercises in Water for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond. Aqua yoga began as a way to provide


a meditative and spiritual place for mothers and their children, but it has since been realized that aqua yoga can be useful for people outside of that demographic as well. Birthlight offers an aqua therapy course, which is available to anyone interested in participating, and aqua yoga classes offered at Sports Clubs are beneficial to anyone looking for a way to be active. INJURY PREVENTION As someone who exercises and practices yoga regularly, I was surprised to discover my thighs burning during the standing leg lifts and my balance faltering when standing in tree pose. The water adds resistance and instability, meaning that while practicing people need to focus more on form and balance. Matching my breaths with the yoga movements made me feel as if my body, my breathing, and the water were all working together. As I inhaled, I felt my body lift as my lungs filled with air while I raised my leg during the standing leg lifts. Then, as I exhaled and lowered my leg, I felt a sinking feeling as air left my lungs. “It is sort of sneaky strengthening. It is also a very good stretching class,” said Nadda Hobbs, a student who has been taking aqua yoga for nearly 20 years. She believes the warm water makes the pool a better stretching option than land for anybody with joint problems, and praises the opportunity it gives her to move without pain. “[Aqua yoga] doesn’t hurt at all. Unlike land, which I don’t do well with, the warm water helps make muscles softer and flexible,” said Hobbes, who has struggled with rheumatoid arthritis for years and praises the aqua yoga class for allowing her to stretch as little or as much as she can and for allowing her to do so without pain. This pain-free benefit also applies to injuries, which any active person can

take advantage of. This past year, I had a stress fracture in my lower back and a knee injury. Since suffering those injuries, I have experienced pain during traditional yoga classes. Conversely, in aqua yoga, I never felt as if my knee or my back was at risk, yet I still felt as if I was getting a good stretch. I have never made an effort to stretch before exercising, which is what made me susceptible to the injuries I faced this year. Yoga is an excellent way to improve flexibility and in aqua yoga the warm water provides an added layer of protection for those looking to avoid pain. RELAXTION AND SPIRITUALITY Rose Marie Sanson began her aqua fitness journey when the Boston Sports Club branch in Waltham, Massachusetts started offering aqua yoga 17 years ago. A few years later, she took over teaching an aqua tai chi class, while still attending aqua yoga. Sanson appreciates both the meditative and physical benefits that come from taking the class. She appreciates the opportunity she gets from the class to get in touch with her body and mind on Sunday mornings. “It’s spiritual and it’s what anybody wants to make of it. It’s their own personal, peaceful time,” Sanson said. Immersion in the water is an essential principle of aqua yoga and helps participants to relax better than they may be able to on land. The immersion allows participants to feel buoyant, which is thought to translate to a lightness in the mind. It takes the pressure of gravity off of the body, a rare and often relieving experience. Think of how cathartic a hot bath after a long day can feel -- aqua yoga takes that idea and creates a more mindful and purposeful experience while soaking in warm water. Aqua yoga is an excellent way to stretch, relax, and get active, so take your next free morning to give it a try!

55 | The Elements


Spilling the Tea WRITER: Victoria Torres PHOTO: Mana Parker

“Dear Autumn, I have come to the firm conclusion that tea is magic.” - Carrie Hope Fletcher As the colder months arrive, college students find themselves locked in the library for hours, bundled up in scarves and coats, running from one extracurricular activity to the next. Autumn can be an exciting but stressful time, and staying healthy as the weather gets colder can be tricky. A cup of tea can be the answer to many of these concerns; a way to slow down in times of stress, and no less with hidden health benefits. TEA IN TIMES OF STRESS In the rush of endless tests and extracurricular activities, a cup of tea can be the perfect thing to force us to slow down. “I primarily rely on it for stress relief. For me, drinking tea directly correlates to ‘me time’ ” says Journalism major and avid tea drinker Molli DeRosa. Peppermint and chamomile are particularly known for their relaxing qualities, and along with other herbs they provide many health benefits. Peppermint and licorice, found in many relaxing herbal blends, can be particularly soothing to a sore throat while hibiscus and rosehip are both effective in treating colds. Known as herbal tisanes, these teas are dried herbs that can be brewed into tea. Since they are simply dried fruit or herbs there are no actual tea leaves in herbal tisanes.

Atlas Magazine | 56

The lack of tea leaves ensures that all herbal or fruit tisanes will be caffeine free, which makes making them the perfect thing to reach for before bed. When looking to relax throughout the day, green and white teas provide enough caffeine for a mid-afternoon pick me up while still retaining a mild and earthy flavor. For those seeking a balance between higher levels of caffeine and soothing tastes, a lavender earl grey variety might be the way to go. Used in everything from food to body lotion, Lavender is known for its homeopathic, calming qualities. Adding it to earl grey tea imparts a sweeter flavor and floral aroma, creating an overall soothing experience.


FALL FLAVORS As the colder months come around, we turn to old comforts and holiday staples. Flavors like ginger, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom create the perfect balance between sugar and spice. Chai tea, a mix of black tea and spices, is the most popular brew during this season. Recently chai has gained a lot more popularity, to the point where there are now dozens of different twists on the original chai recipe being sold. There are sticky honey chai tea and popcorn chai tea, which are just a couple examples of the T2 chai campaign. Although chai teas tend to have the most caffeine, rooibos or red tea is blended with the same spices to create a caffeine free chai tea. Rooibos is a naturally sweet and warming

South African plant which makes it perfect to pair with chai spices for a comforting brew. Spices like cinnamon and ginger in these seasonal blends also have immunity boosting effects and can aid digestion. “Some people think that tea is just flavored water, but it isn’t, it’s a way of life” mentions Josh. An employee at T2, a Newbury Street shop specializing in tea, Josh relates tea not only to the blends and health benefits but to a larger experience of family and culture. Something as simple as a few leaves and some hot water speaks volumes to who we are as people, how we choose to fuel our bodies, how we choose to slow down in times of stress. Making a cup of tea means taking that extra moment to do something for yourself which is vital to our lives as students.

57 | The Elements


MEET THE BLOG Atlas Magazine | 58


Elise Sanchez After living in Boston for almost three months, I still consider myself a professional tourist. Professional tourist, what’s that you may say? Well, since I am still new to Boston I wouldn’t consider myself a Bostonian, but I am also just not a visitor anymore. Therefore, I just consider myself a professional tourist now. Through these few months of having my own time to explore and having visitors come to town, I have come up with a list of my favorite places to visit in Boston.

Emma Goodwin There’s a shocking degree of disagreement over what makes an ideal chocolate chip cookie. Some people are confused, and believe the word “cookie” means “top of muffin” or “weird small cake” – these individuals shall wander through life in search of soft cookies. Some people are wrong and/ or masochistic, and lead joyless existences filled with crispy cookies. For whatever reason, this group is unwilling to recognize that chomping down on a handful of gravel mixed with brown sugar would fulfill the same craving. And finally, some people are correct and know a chewy cookie to be not only the most satisfying of all cookie textures, but to be the best food on Earth. It may surprise you to discover that I am of the latter population. I spent much of my summer seeking cookie enlightenment. I was born granting chewy cookies their due respect, but I had another, far more broad quandary. What makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe?

Victoria Stuewe I remember the exact moment when my dad left me my freshman year during my move-in day. It felt too fast, with an unfinished goodbye. He was saying his “fatherly advice” bit and, too soon, his Uber drove up and it was time for him to go. I struggled to comprehend the actual meaning of him leaving me behind, on a street in Boston I couldn’t name even if I tried. Although a part of me felt ready to “be an adult,” I also knew I wasn’t fully ready to be truly left alone, in a city I had only previously visited once before. I didn’t cry, but I felt like I should have. It was supposed to be a huge deal and I should have been immediately homesick; at least, that’s how everybody told me I should have felt.

59 | The Elements


ATLAS magazine

FIND US ONLINE

Blog : atlasmag.wordpress.com Facebook : facebook.com/atlasmagazine Twitter : @Atlas_Magazine Instagram : @atlas_mag Email : emersonatlasmag@gmail.com

Atlas Magazine | 60


ATLAS magazine

Profile for Atlas Magazine

Atlas Magazine: The Elements Issue  

Fall 2017 Print Edition

Atlas Magazine: The Elements Issue  

Fall 2017 Print Edition

Advertisement