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b FROM GREEN Meet some of the select Ohio University athletes who are transcending the collegiate level & heading toward the big games.

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Contact Alecia Moquin 740.592.5262 or 740.591.6498

In the wee hours of the morning, when I’m editing the magazine or scouring for a job opening, I find myself saying: “What the hell was I thinking?” A journalist? Most people revere us as much as auditors or undertakers, but with lower starting salaries. Save politicians, we might be America’s favorite people to hate. And now, with the all-encompassing Internet, we have seemingly no purpose. Yet somehow, I still get a solid four hours of sleep and wake up thinking that I’m in a noble profession. My godsend? You won’t believe this… Facebook. Oh, and Twitter, too.

Bear with me. Facebook and Twitter are technological phenomena that prove just how obnoxiously obsessed we are with one another. Often obsessed to the point of repulsion (see Page 51 for details). Our desire to know what people—people who we may not even know—are doing with their lives has disintegrated the barrier between a newsworthy, public figure and your average Joe. On the surface, this seems like the No. 1 reason why the world doesn’t need more journalists—we can all just “retweet” a link to a news story. Why write a story 20 different times in 20 different publications? Well, not quite. What this says to me, and hopefully to the upcoming generation of journalists, is that there is a demand to be more in touch with our communities; that there is a need to know more about the guy who makes your coffee every morning; that there is a need to know where the girl in your English class buys her fashion-forward shoes; that there is a need to hear many voices all on the same topic. Whoever claims that the Internet killed local journalism is wrong. Even during one of the toughest economies, Backdrop—a nonprofit, entirely student-run publication—still manages to raise enough money and interest to maintain a local demand. And we’re not the only ones. The Post, Athens NEWS, ACRN, newcomer Thread and others, all manage to captivate an audience. So, in the Backdrop spirit of local journalism, we’ve packed this issue with more in-depth stories about other people, some of which may not possess a Facebook profile (21st century treason, I’m sure). For familiar faces, try From Green to Gold, profiles of OU athletes gone big league, or Diners, Davidsons and Dining Halls, a profile of the man-in-white who cooks up recipes for all of campus. For a serious and, all clichés aside, endearing piece, I strongly recommend Understanding Doug Latz, which unveils the real life of a campus celebrity most commonly known as “Can Man.” To all our readers, thank you for continued interest in the people and places of Athens. Feel free to “creep” on us on our website if you ever need an interissue fix. All the bests,


backdrop magazine



Elizabeth Sheffield MANAGING EDITOR

Doug Bair


Kim Amedro



Ryan Joseph & Tasha Webber CONTRIBUTERS Lauren Byrwa, Gina Edwards, Megan Helgeson, Angela Ignasky, Daniella Limoli, Lauren McGrath, Kyrstin Ratliff, Stephanie Stark, Melissa Thompson, Sandie Youngv

24 From Green to Gold

Each and every OU athlete works hard to excel in his or her respective sport. But these five ‘Cats have excelled to a level of competition beyond the college ranks. Some dominate rinks, others dominate pools and lakes but they’re all going for gold.



Sandie Young

Davidsons 30 Diners, & Dining Halls

The only thing OU executive chef Matt Rapposelli enjoys as much as his job cooking for hungry undergraduates is his motorcycle. This Cleveland-based food maestro motors around the country in search of the next big taste.




Rohan Kusre

DESIGN TEAM Cassandra Sharpe, Emilee Kraus, Kath Smidansky, Skye Gould, Stephanie Rumph ILLUSTRATORS Natalie Schultz


Loren Cellentani

backdrop » winter 2011

OU has joined the community of universities offering genderneutral housing. Now it’s time to take a deeper look at how this will change student life. Of all the puzzle pieces for gender equality falling into place, is gender-neutral housing the final one?


Conor Lamb


FEATURES » 21 Falling into Place

Alec Bojalad


Elizabeth Sheffield


PHOTO TEAM Jonathan Crosby, Kevin Briggs, Scott Marx, Steve Ross, Susannah Kay



Time to Improvise

An inside look at the birth of an improv troupe


Dorm Room Delicacies


Understanding Doug Latz

Dorm room recipes for those burnt out by Boyd, Nelson and Jeff A photographic essay about the life of Athens’ own “Can Man”


backdrop magazine



Annie Beecham


Keith Sluss

From Court Street to Front Street


Men in Waiting

Two lucky interns cover the Miss Universe pageant


Guest Speaker » Religion


Exhibit A

Stories of mistakes... in permanent ink





RR&R » Facebook PDA

Olympic-level athletes show you how to work-out

Ink Botch


Chatting with two of OU’s pre-eminent hotties


Gold Standard Workout


Lauren McGrath

H4T » Modest Hottness Cribs » Home Court



8 10

Sharing the Ice

ADVERTISING TEAM Emilee Kraus, Katie O’Leary, Skye Gould


What to do and see in Marietta


Molly Schneider 592-9686



Katie Mefferd

New expanded menu featuring locally produced items!


D2 The Mighty Bobcats

Two winter season coaches take you inside their pads Faith, God and everything in-between

Backdrop’s very own art gallery Pencil pushers

Check us out online at

Hannah Croft


Bethany Cook


Brenda Evans

MARKETING TEAM Alex Lubetkin, Angela Ignasky, Kelsi Bowes, Megan Hegleson, Shannon Miranda



Shannon Miranda Ryan Joseph

MARKETING TEAM Kelsi Bowes, Gina Edwards

2011 / 2012


Krystin Ratliff



What did you want to be when you grew up? An artist. And it flipped over when I was in fourth grade to being a psychologist and then I wanted to be an art therapist. And then before I went to college I really wanted to do things that were artistic, whatever that would be.

Do you have any pets?

These down-to-earth hotties know how to warm up winter quarter

My husband and I have two shelter dogs: a pug mix, named Daisy, and a beagle mix, named Stu. We also have two cats, Bitsy and Scrappy. And then there’s Mel, our little red canary with the little toupee.


If money were no object, how would you decorate your home?

Professor Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences Robert Briscoe Assistant What do you like about Athens? I like the architecture, actually. I like the brick sidewalks.

What do you like about teaching? I enjoy presenting material that I’m most interested in to students, especially when they’re inquisitive.

What is the best place you’ve ever traveled? Turkey.

Creamy or chunky peanut butter? Let’s go chunky.

Do you have any pets? Only a 2-year-old.

What is your favorite snow activity? Pulling a sled with my daughter on it. We also make little snowmen together. We actually make Totoro from the movie [My Neighbor] Totoro—Totoro is sort of a badger- rabbit- bear-like creature. From the Japanese animated film called [My Neighbor] Totoro. So we make those together, she really likes it.

You know, I love our home decoration the way it is, and money had very little to do with it. We find a lot of already used stuff and make it work in our house. I’ve collected some wonderful art from artists and photographers I’ve known over the years and that is what makes our space come alive. I love color and character in homes. I love efficient use of space. I’m all about the feng shui.

What is the best thing since sliced bread? My rice cooker.

If you could be on any reality show… Survivor! I’ve already applied. I think I’ve applied twice. I think they are missing something without me on the show.

What message would you put in a fortune cookie? “Dare to suck.”

Would you consider yourself romantic? Yes.

What is your worst habit? Going to bed late and getting up later than I would like. If I sleep much past 8 o’clock I don’t tend to get as much work done.

What can’t you live without? Probably my laptop.

Do you have any pet peeves?


Carelessness. Galileo Galilei invented the first air thermometer in 1607.

Stop by today for new Bobcat Gear!


Assistant Professor School of Visual Communication

CONTACT THEM 63 South Court Street • Ph: 740.593.5547


Julie Elman

We’re also your source for the largest selection of general reading books in Athens.





Greenlee’s Living Room





fter training with their athletes, two Ohio University head coaches take Backdrop into offseason territory—their homes. Wrestling coach Joel Greenlee is enjoying a winning season this winter. An experienced athlete, Greenlee personally trained with Olympic Gold medalist Bruce Baumgartner. Track coach Clay Calkins has been training indoors with his team and brewing his own beer in his spare time. Explore where these coaches take a time-out from college athletics.

Calkins’ Living Room



Calkins’ Antiques


The stained-glass lamp suits his antique, rustic decorations, while also declaring his loyalty to OU. A framed picture of Calkins and his wife hangs above an antique 1920s jukebox on the second floor. Calkins collects many antiques and heats his home with a wood furnace. During the day, a skylight allows rays of sunshine to illuminate the room.


Calkin’s home originally had a single-floor layout. He embarked on a restoration project that became his rustic three-story home. The entrance is encircled by a wooden porch, which is cluttered by stacks of wood, a bale of hay, a hammock and a hot tub. He also constructed two outbuildings and a cabin for close-to-home camping trips. He stores tools in the cabinets to work on his 1957 Dodge and Harley-Davidson.


A wood furnace expels the scent of burning timber in the center of Greenlee’s living room. When the power fails to heat his home, this furnace keeps his family warm. A small cage off to the left serves as an occasional holding area for his small grey canine. Greenlee’s bearded dog Isabel follows his every move and every command. With a f lat screen television and iPod Home speakers, this room keeps the wrestling coach relaxed after a tense match. Attached to the kitchen and dining area, snacks are easily accessible.


Greenlee’s Barn


Encircled with cabinets of antiques, photos and records, this second floor living room is scattered with remnants of Calkins’ home life. Calkins explains that the wooden railing leading to the third floor was originally an intricate part of a church. With just the hum of the wood furnace, this outdoorsman can enjoy some quiet time away from his five adopted dogs and 10 chickens in this serene room.


backdrop » winter 2011


Towards the end of his snow-covered driveway, Greenlee’s barn is home to four horses, a black cat and a rabbit. Greenlee and his family regularly ride the horses in good weather. They have plenty of space to roam and explore on Greenlee’s 17-acre property. To the left of the wooden fence, Greenlee built a tree house into the branches for his two kids to enjoy. The fastest a raindrop can fall is 18 mph.

Greenlee’s Driveway


Greenlee’s barn is home to his horses and lone rabbit. Beneath the overhang, the horses eat food from his open palm and avoid the falling rain. Several four-wheeled vehicles stay parked in the garage, including the lawn mower, golf cart and red four-wheeler. An outdoor black cat stays warm and well-fed in the corners of the barn. The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.





Are you there God

It’s Me, Stephanie



¬When I told Steve Hays, a professor in the department of classics and world religions, that I had surveyed 500 students regarding their religious devotion during college, he furrowed his brow and, with a genuinely engrossed look, said “How interesting.” But as it turns out, it’s not. The results of my survey suggest that most students are apathetic. Most students claim to be religious but do not dedicate time to their faiths, and the data says the majority doesn’t really care. I am an atheist from a Roman Catholic upbringing, and I assumed more of the students that are succumbing to sins of gluttony, sloth and lust every Thursday through Saturday were more like me; that they have no religious affiliation, considering the lines to get into confession are never as long as lines to get into the bars. It seemed to me that the features of a college town like Athens— the liberal atmosphere, the party scene and classes offered aiming to promote alternative thought—are enough to force any student into evaluating just where their morals lie. According to my survey, 87% of students claim to be religious and


categorize themselves as a follower of a religion, but only 12% attend a religious service regularly at school. So in such a place and such a time in our lives when it is so easy to use Athens as a vacation from religion, why is it still acceptable to claim a religious status? It’s acceptable to be pious—but if it’s inconvenient, don’t sweat it. Imagine being hired at a company but not going to work for four years because you’d rather do what you want to do, with every good intention of working sometime in the future. Would you still expect to be considered an employee? As a Catholic, going to church, confession and actively participating in religion were never an option. Neither was being a Catholic. Here at school, churches stand largely as pacifying checkpoints down drunken party streets, and to attend said churches is merely a nostalgic indulgence for our childhoods. At my confirmation at age 13, I was told I was making the decision and commitment to be a conscious Catholic. But I was never asked if that’s what I wanted. My individuality was disregarded for the common good of the religion. “Celestial dictatorship,”

anyone? Any 13-year-old would put his or her independent thinking on the backburner to make room for social acceptance. Soon, through more analytical thought, it became apparent that people I knew were not going to go to heaven, according to what I was taught. How could it ever be justified to set someone aflame for eternity, regardless of the magnitude of his or her sins? A thousand more questions ensued. Why is Catholicism the “right” religion? What about the millions of years before humans? What came before God? What about the dinosaurs? How does the Bible explain other planets? And, like the comedian Ricky Gervais also asked, if God exists, why did he make me an atheist? While I am ripped from one end of the spectrum at home—a pro-life, Godfearing, conservative atmosphere—to one of a free-thinking, conspiracy-crying liberalism at school, most OU students come from and go to somewhere in the middle. Still, the question persists: If you didn’t work for the company for four years, do you think that you would still get paid?

After polling over 500 OU students, the results are:

82 63 23 87 45 %





backdrop » winter 2011






A polar bear’s fur is not actually white; it is transparent and only reflects light.


Time to


The story behind the name is basically just us trying to come up with a name that is as many puns as possible.” Luke Null, AA’s Inaugural Creative Director



yle Miller is a fairy godmother. He holds up his arms by his shoulder, wrists hanging limply at his side, listening patiently while his “godson,” Sam Stefanak, kneels before him and makes increasingly bizarre demands. “Fairy godmother… I want a girlfriend. But she has to have a badonka, if you know what that is. And she needs double D’s or a size 32— whichever’s bigger. And of course she has to love Aladdin. But not the first

The only creature that remains on Antarctica through the winter is the emperor penguin.

one. Either the second or third one.” “Return of Jafar?” Kyle offers. “Yeah, Return of Jafar!” The other members of OU Improv surrounding the scene let out a collective laugh. Kyle lets his arms down for a moment, smiles and adjusts his glasses, then raises his arms back up. It’s Sunday at 8 p.m. in the Putnam Hall theater and OU Improv is having its first rehearsal of the quarter. If the name “OU Improv,” doesn’t ring a bell, it’s probably because they are better known by the name of the group’s first and, until very recently, only improv troupe: Black Sheep, Inc.



» Do

Pantomime action Make eye contact Give gifts Say “yes” Do find a game Give Luke a hand-j

» Don’t

Teach Fight/argue Ignore/take over Play kids as kids Kill people


backdrop » winter 2011

Black Sheep has been bringing its slapstick style of improv comedy to stages across Athens since 2004. Its shows traditionally consist of a few preprepared sketches followed by a series of improvisational scenes based around a word an audience member has shouted or the creativity of those on stage. In the past year, improv comedy gained a newfound popularity in Athens, not only in a growing audience, but also in a growing amount of applicants for the troupe Black Sheep. So last quarter, the OU Improv executives decided to create an entirely new improv troupe called Amsterdarn Alliterates, or AA. “The story behind the name is basically just us trying to come up with a name that is as many puns as possible,” Luke Null, AA’s inaugural creative director, says. “You’ve got ‘Amsterdarn’ instead of ‘Amsterdam.’ Then of course you’ve got perhaps the most obvious being ‘AA.’ It’s funny to hear members say they have to go to AA meetings. ‘Alliterates’ is referring to the fact that Amsterdarn Alliterates is alliterative, but also is a play of the misspelling of the word ‘illiterate.’ So really there’s a lot going on in the name alone.” During the fall quarter OU Improv auditions, AA netted its first six members: Travis Khoury, Max Monnig, Cat Abood, Drew Tonkovich, Carole Ivan and future fairy godmother Kyle Miller. To get up to the improv troupe magic number of 10 members, OU Improv staged additional auditions during winter quarter in a cramped fifth floor Baker University Center room.

“It was a little bit intimidating,” new recruit Patrick White says. “I think these people are incredibly funny, and I was going to be doing this improv thing for the first time.” During auditions, the incoming actors were asked to participate in a variety of games similar to what members do in rehearsals. “Someone would be performing an action and the person behind them in line would have to step forward and say ‘What are you doing?’ Then whatever you said you were doing had to be completely different than what you were actually doing,” Patrick says. Patrick made a typing motion and when prompted said that he was tickling children. “Yeah, I was behind you in line for that one,” another new recruit Caleb Fullen interjects. “I had to do that same tickling motion… and then I think I said I was eating olives or something.” By the end of the tickling-childrenand-eating-olives-filled auditions process, AA had four new “Alliterates:” Caleb, Patrick, Nate Dicken and Dan Moore. “I hadn’t really had any improv experience and didn’t know what to expect,” Nate says, “but when we started, my mind just went straight out the window and I wasn’t super aware of myself. You’re forced to be spontaneous without having any time to cultivate your spontaneity.” OU Theater Professor David Haugen echoes Nate’s sentiments about spontaneity. He teaches a class on improvisation for the school’s incoming freshmen. The end goal of this class isn’t to search for laughs like an Amsterdarn Alliterates show, but the technique is somewhat similar. “The difficult part with acting is that you rehearse something over and over and over again, but when you’re onstage you still need to make it seem like everything’s spontaneous and that you’re experiencing it for the first time,” Haugen says. Improvisational techniques and drills help to create this “spontaneous” foundation of acting. Haugen’s students participate in what is known as the “mirror exercise” in which both actors must appear to be on different sides

About 6,000 marriages take place each day in the U.S.

The difficult part with acting is that you rehearse something over and over and over again but when you’re onstage you still need to make it seem like everything’s spontaneous and that you’re experiencing it for the first time.” -David Haugen of the same mirror—mimicking each other’s actions as perfectly as possible. “We also do this thing where people are moving through space and I’ll have them toss these long wooden sticks to one another. Once you’ve got the stick you have to pass it again to someone else. It’s an incredible moment of improvisation with as many as five sticks flying all over the air among 15 or so people.” Amsterdarn Alliterates actually performs a similar technique in their Thursday practices, albeit without so many sticks flying around the room (which is probably for the better). It’s called “Yes.” The troupe circles up and takes turns saying the word “yes” to each other. Kyle will say “yes” to Nate who will in turn say “yes” to Luke and so on to create a chain in which one person may only say “yes” to one other person and the words crisscross around the room just like those sticks. After a few cycles, Luke adds another wrinkle in which they say the names of fruits

and movie sequels to each other. Part of the goal of these exercises is to craft appropriate dramatic and comedic timing but equally as important is the team building aspect of them. Walking out onto a stage in front of dozens of people and beginning a skit without any knowledge of where or how it will end requires a certain amount of trust in one’s troupe members. “This is a team sport,” Luke says. “You have to accept whatever the other person says as fact and then build on it to create a scene.” The four hours a week that members spend rehearsing and pretending to be fairy godmothers, scarecrows and nosey neighbors serve to help each other understand their peers improvisational styles and comic sensibilities. But that kind of chemistry and intimacy takes work. Two people participating in the same scene is comedy, two people participating in their own interpretation of one scene is just awkward.

“It’s still weird at practices sometimes,” Caleb says. “People will just come up and grab you within the context of the scene.” “Yeah we’ll know we’ve made it and we’re ready when we want everyone else to come up and grab us,” Patrick says. With all of the emphasis on building relationships and exploring them through scenes, Amsterdarn Alliterates doesn’t seem like just improv. It seems more like a group of friends’ excuse to create imaginary universes with each other like kids putting on a $1 show on a makeshift stage in their neighbor’s backyard. At the end of the Thursday practice, the members of Amsterdarn Alliterates gathered their things strewn across the old classroom, put on their coats and left as a group for an OU Improv party. They left their superhuman geologists, their Girl Scouts with iron lungs and their scarecrows and resumed their most well-rehearsed roles: college students.



» Shopping

From Court Street to Front Street



inter is perhaps the only season that even the most devout Court Street patron would actually want to skip town for a weekend. The weather lends itself to not much else but staying put indoors. The calendar shows no “fests” on the horizon and venturing out for a night on Court Street means lugging your winter parka through throngs of other students at packed bars. Athens just isn’t Athens during this bleak season. If you’re ready to put Athens in the rearview mirror for a day, pack some friends into a car and head east to Marietta. Although it’s the oldest city in Ohio, don’t let that fool you; Marietta packs the punch with bars and good eats. *All activities are located on or very near Front Street, Marietta’s equivalent to Court Street.


backdrop » winter 2011

students enjoy eating more » Dining College than most other activities. After a

quarter of serious nomming at Athens’ eateries, a change of place mats is needed. You’ll have no trouble locating a delectable meal in Marietta. Nicole Williams, a recent graduate of Marietta College, recommended Bar-B-Cutie, a barbecue restaurant that boasts to be the “best ever.” Whether they’re the best ever or even just better than Kiser’s BBQ Shack is up for debate. But like their Athens’ counterpart, they offer pulled pork sandwiches for about $5. A charming pizza shop called Over the Moon Pizzeria uses ingredients grown on the owner’s family farm like oregano, Roma tomatoes and basil that will satiate your pizza fix. If you’d just like to keep it simple, check out the Front Street Deli and Bakery—it’s a retro restaurant that will remind you of the Court Street Diner.

Cupid, or Eros in Greek mythology, is the ancient Roman god of love..

Marietta is home to a spread of nuanced shops that rival Athens’ selection. The downtown is dotted with gift shops of the predictable variety—the kinds that sell Vera Bradley, jewelry, wall art and other dispensable trinkets you could purchase on Court Street. What you won’t find in downtown Athens, though, is a Western boot shop. Schafer Leather Store has been outfitting the fine people of Marietta since 1867. An authentic pair of cowboy boots from the shop is likely to stand the test of time, just as well as the store has. The store also sells Brighton jewelry, luggage, wallets, purses, belts and other highquality merchandise. If finding unique, vintage or lightly used accessories appeals to you, peek into the upscale consignment shop, Change of A’Dress, across the street. While the clothing will appeal more to your mother, check out their designer handbags and wallets—you might score something pretty groovy.

» Lodging

If you happen to have a buddy who goes to Marietta College, your best and cheapest bet is to crash with him or her. If you don’t, Marietta is close enough that it’s ideal for a day trip. If you choose to imbibe in the nightlife, there are a few relatively inexpensive places to stay. The Lafayette Hotel, a riverboat era hotel within walking distance of many activities, offers winter packages that include breakfast starting at $89 for two people. There are a variety of motels nearby. The cheapest rate for a winter weekend night is at the Super 8, at around $50 for double occupancy. No matter where you stay, ask about winter discounts, as business is usually slow during the cold months.

bar scene » Nightlife The is probably

where most think that Athens and Marietta take their biggest divergence, but Marietta’s nightlife is hardly humdrum. Experience it for yourself if you’ve tired of your usual Athens’ watering hole. The Riverside 181 (formerly known as Slapshotz) is the type of place where the owner knows everyone by name, including its most popular patrons, Marietta College students. For the older crowd of regulars, there’s the Town House bar and restaurant. For live music, check out The Galley; their antique bar and wide selections of craft beers are additional draws. For a low-key evening, drop by House of Wines, a wine bar and pub owned and operated by a retired husband and wife. Order a glass of vino or one of their 400 imported and microbrewed beers at the bar, chat with the owners and munch on the ever popular “cheese board.” It would be tough for any small town street to enchant like Court Street, and while Marietta is undeniably no match, her drinkeries do have a cozy everybody-knows-everybody aura that anyone can appreciate. A final recommendation: locals advise to avoid The Locker Room Sports Bar like, well, a dirty locker room.

» Getting There The directions there are very simple, even for the most navigationallychallenged drivers. Time: 45 -50 minutes Directions: Take State Route 32 East from Athens. Stay on Route 32 until you reach Marietta. After crossing a bridge, turn right on Second Street, and right again on Knox Street, then left onto Front Street. Most of Marietta’s entertainment and dining is located here.

The tallest snowman, standing at 113 feet 7 inches, was built in Bethel, Maine in 1999.




The Best Internship in the Universe


eff’s voice strains as he speaks slowly into the phone. The 48Hour Shootout, Ohio University’s annual film competition, has come to an end, leaving senior Jeff Kolada sick from hours of shooting in the cold outdoors. Long, draining hours are not new territory for Jeff. Along with his counterpart, senior video production major Matt Mantyla, Jeff had worked 6 a.m. until 3 a.m. filming and editing the behindthe-scene lives of Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, all of which are part of the Miss Universe Organization. Often, in the case of one long Las Vegas shoot, there is a little more behind the scenes than one would image. “Every year [the directors of the pageant] work with Fadil Berisha. This year he decided that they would do body paint and give the girls the options to do it topless,” Jeff says. “So, it was my very unfortunate job ... to sit around by the private pool at Mandalay Bay and film supermodels getting bodypainted and photograph some of them topless.” His voice cracks in exhaustion at


backdrop » winter 2011

“topless.” “My voice would have to crack right as I say that.” Matt, however, was not lucky enough to be by his side for this job. Instead, he was on a party bus to another photoshoot in Los Angeles. Darn. Except for sporadic periods of travel, the guys spent most of their time living together in Queens, N.Y. with Jeff’s 90-year-old grandma, commuting an hour to the Miss Universe office. The content they captured, both photographs and video, chronicled the travels of the beauty queens for their 9,013 YouTube page subscribers. Although Matt’s previous internships with videography provided the basics for this job, catering to pageant queens made this summer internship different. “The thing that made me the most nervous was that I had never worked with an international superstar before,” Matt says. Matt and Jeff were responsible for being able to remain professional in situations where fans of these women would be in attendance, which often included the rich and famous. “You’re working around billionaires and presidents,” Jeff says. “ I was in

rooms with Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. These girls, everyone loves them. The big names show up when Miss Universe is there.” Matt and Jeff technically worked for Trump, the joint owner of the Miss Universe Organization alongside NBC, allowing them to learn the general workings and politics of corporate business—a latent learning experience they did not expect from the internship. Between big bosses and beautiful ladies, the men’s level of professionalism was truly tested. “Any Romances? Ha, no. It’s a

Goose bumps occur from the hair follicles contracting when they’re cold.

business place. Everything’s very professional,” Jeff says, his laughter more of a creak. Even had they been given the opportunity for romance, Matt says, it wouldn’t have been worth compromising their once-in-a-lifetime internship. As Assistant Professor in the School of Media Arts and Studies Eric Williams could attest, Matt and Jeff were both equipped with a distinguished level of professionalism before entering and being selected for this closed and exclusive internship

that is offered annually to OU E.W. Scripps School of Journalism students. “Obviously we have 600 students, there are a ton that are technically qualified,” Williams says. “We were looking for someone with a level of maturity and [Jeff ] is very respectful.” Just to be a contender for the internship, the two men first were recommended by Beth Novak, an assistant professor in the School of Media Arts and Studies. Although they maintained the professional standard for which they were recommended—no Royal/

The average person will spend about 20,160 minutes kissing in their lifetime.

photographer romances—the guys did form close relationships with many of the pageant contestants. “I still keep in touch with a few of the girls: Miss Russia, Miss Ireland and every now and then Miss Australia. And obviously Miss USA,” Jeff says. “Over Christmas I hung out with Miss USA, just on the side. We were both in Michigan for the holidays. She decided we should go out to her hot spots in Detroit.” Shortly after the 48-Hour Shootout, Matt too did some catching up with England-born Miss Indonesia via


b » FEATURES You’re working around billionaires and presidents. I was in rooms with Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. These girls, everyone loves them. The big names show up when Miss Universe is there.” - Jeff Kolada, former Miss Univerise Organization Intern Facebook chat. “It’s just small talk really: ‘How’s it going?’ ‘How have you and your family been?’ ... normal stuff,” Matt says. Matt and Jeff agree that, yes, the traveling was amazing, and, yes, the beautiful women were definitely a perk. However, the limit to which their technical and business skills were tested is unparalleled. Even despite their qualifications and formal training, the guys weren’t without a few blunders. “You’re shooting a reality show; reality happens so fast that if you’re looking the other direction you can miss something kinda important,” Jeff says. “I can’t think of anything that happened that was super bad— just missing focus on a celebrity shot.

That’s always disappointing.” A few mistakes are bound to happen and accepted when given enough leeway. Both Matt and Jeff agree that the thing they loved most was the creative freedom and immense respect and trust that was entrusted to them, no matter what challenge they were presented. This amount of trust and responsibility were the main ingredients to the intern’s growth in their future professions. “After having to work a real job and work around a schedule on location having crazy different call times and shoot schedules, it definitely helped my personal organization,” Jeff says, voice clinging to the last of its strength. Even with their real world experience, the time pressures of the

48-Hour Shootout still test the worldtraveled duo. “[My] 48-Hour Shootout was by no means perfect,” Matt says. “I learned a lot from Shootout. In our field there are so many different tricks and techniques. So, you’re constantly growing as a filmmaker.” Although Matt exited the Shootout with his health, Jeff’s video was the one to win a title: honorable mention. Now, two months removed from their dream-internship, the guys still agree there’s a lot to be learned on campus. There are still deadlines to meet and a standard of quality to maintain. And, just like after their MUO shoots, there is some serious sleep to catch up on.



OU Residential Housing creates more inclusive housing options » BY SHANNON MIRANDA



backdrop » winter 2011

Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here Fun fact goes here

The Lambert Glacier in Antarctica is the largest glacier in the world, measuring 250 miles long and 40 miles wide.



he evolution of social interaction is one of life’s most challenging jigsaw puzzles. Each uniquely-edged piece is as essential and enigmatic as the social dynamic it represents. With time and deliberation, tiny pieces form together to create bigger images that merge into a grander depiction. At Ohio University we have our own sector of the puzzle. In the past, we’ve seen pieces like racial integration and in-dorm gender integration redefine our image of social interaction. Today, we’re placing the gender-neutral housing piece. The challenge of placing genderneutral housing (GNH) has inspired conversations and debates all over OU’s campus. In fact, it isn’t all that new of a concept to other colleges and universities around the United States. About 55 schools nationwide, including Miami University, Stanford University, Harvard University, Yale University and Oberlin College, have already nestled GNH into their own social realms. Amelia Shaw, a straight ally and vice commissioner for LGBT affairs on Student Senate, brought up the idea of GNH at OU after attending an LGBT leadership camp. “I wanted to do something bigger than what OU already had because we are already pretty advanced,” Amelia explains. During 2010’s fall quarter, Student Senate conducted a survey of 1,176 students. Eighty-seven percent of students that took the survey favored GNH and 56% indicated interest in actually participating in the program. Over the past few years, OU has been rated 4 1/2 out of five stars for being LGBT friendly by GNH will be one more advancement that makes Athens a diverse and welcoming college city for many students. After less than a quarter, Student Senate, Residential Housing and the OU administration created a one-year pilot program for 50 upper-class students, says Dr. Kent J. Smith Jr., vice president of Student Affairs. Participants will have to fill out a separate application during the housing process before being considered. South and West greens, in the buildings of Smith House, Mackinnon Hall and Treudley Hall, is where GNH will be tested out in the fall of 2011.


backdrop » winter 2011

The concept of GNH originally grew out of transgender issues, and it makes sense. Remember marking male or female when filling out applications for Residential Housing? That is one of the most important components that Housing considers during the application process. It seems like a no-brainer for most incoming students—unless they are transgender: a person who identifies with, or expresses the identity of a gender that is opposite of his or her sex at birth, or doesn’t feel categorized solely as a male or female. A transgender student may not automatically know which box to mark, and “I prefer not to answer” or “Other” aren’t options. Gender is key to most housing placements at schools throughout the country. Residential Housing places transgender students into single rooms, which are more expensive to the student and usually resemble more of a broom closet rather than an actual living space. The part of the residential housing puzzle that didn’t fit was its inability to provide options for everyone. In this puzzle, the start of this plan came out of concern for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Kris Grey/Justin Credible is one of the many that would benefit from GNH. Kris is a second year student of a threeyear Master of Fine Arts program in ceramics, an active member of OU’s LGBT

On the Map

and a participant in “Ask A Tranny”—an ongoing, interactive, public performance on transgender issues. Unfortunately, according to Kris/Justin, housing isn’t the only area of concern, but GNH is a step in the right direction for the campus in general. “Gender gets constructed in many ways and it gets policed in places like public bathrooms and school housing,” Kris explains. “When I was identifying as a masculine woman, I had innumerable uncomfortable public bathroom experiences including being asked to leave women’s rooms.” GNH strives to be a program that focuses on creating an inclusive environment where students have the option of living with another student of any sex. “Any sex” refers to any gender, gender identity or expression of sexual orientation. However, contrary to many beliefs, GNH isn’t solely about transgender issues—students who want to live outside of the traditional dorm setting might find that GNH suits them well. The GNH founders struggled to establish a clear, new image for Residential Housing, one that provided more choices for LGBT and others, such as heterosexual couples or best friends of the opposite sex. Although the proposed vision has connected gaps, many students still express that pieces may still be missing.

On Campus

62.8% Would live in GNH

According to a Student Senate survey of 1,176 Ohio University students: Along the way, many people stayed focused on the obvious problems, the distinctly marked pieces or the ones with the speared corners. Couples? Yes, couples are going to be able to live together. What about fights and break-ups in relationships? “It is no different than two female students [who are roommates] who get into an argument and want to move to different rooms,” Smith says. To Smith and many other students and administrators, the benefits of the program will outweigh the discussion against it. This kind of living arrangement might not exactly be one thing about college that your parents are looking forward to either. But isn’t college about making your own decisions anyway? Nevertheless, the arguments against GNH seem like a flashback to many other changes in living situations from the past. “Some of the arguments that people are putting forth against GNH are the same arguments that people had many

37.2% Wouldn’t live in GNH


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GNH options will be housed in Smith House’s 3rd floor, Mackinnon Hall’s 1st floor, and/or Treudley Hall’s 4th floor.

years ago when African-American stu- es—the scope of OU’s social interactions dents were living with white students for will grow and, ideally, spawn new edges the first time,” Smith explains. “It is also for the unplaced pieces. Just how many of the same arguments like when men and those pieces remain may be the greatest women were first living in the same resi- part of our challenge. dence halls.” Although LGBT is the catalyzing piece *Project’s footage can be found at of the puzzle, much like racial and gen- der integration, the ultimate outcome is about everyone, including allies and straight students. It will foster an environment where there is open discussion about gender and sexuality, which aine Smith says OU owes to its students. uthern M ity of So Univers “The real story for me is that this College is about inclusion,” Smith says. Bowdoin rmont ity Of Ve “It merely creates an option.” Univers ge uth Colle With more inclusion— Dartmo e g e n Colle more connected piecn Colleg enningto ersity Emerso

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Major: Finance Position: Forward Age: 21 Year: Sophomore Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio





ast summer, Tyler Pilmore tried out for the chance to compete with the United States Men’s National University Team at the 25th Winter World University Games in Erzurum, Turkey. Similar to the Olympics, the WWUG brings together university students from across the globe, vying for medals in figure skating, skiing, snowboarding, curling and several other winter events. About two weeks after tryouts for the WWUG, players were informed if they made the cuts. “We met some of the guys at the tryouts and some were sending texts [saying] they made it,” Tyler says. “None of us had gotten a phone call that

backdrop » winter 2011

night. I figured I didn’t make it, but [the selection committee] called me the next morning and said they had the wrong phone number for me. So it went from really low to really high really fast.” Regardless of his opportunity to play overseas, nothing beats Tyler’s home rink advantage. “It’s one of the greatest experiences of my hockey career,” Tyler says. “You ask anyone that you play against from around the league; they say their favorite place to play is Bird Arena. It’s such a great atmosphere for hockey. There are lots of people there, it’s loud, it’s high emotions and it’s just a great place to play. There’s nothing like it. “

Richard Cadbury created the first box of Valentine’s Day candy in 1868.

fter sampling basketball, softball, soccer, tennis and gymnastics in her youth, Amanda Traylor knew swimming was her favorite. “I like the feel of the water, the feel of going fast, and I like improving. It’s also a good time to zone out and relax. You’re with your team all the time so you’re very close and it’s a good environment,” Amanda says about being a member of OU’s swimming and diving team. As much as she may love the sport, it is demanding both physically and mentally. “It’s a huge commitment,” Amanda says. “You’re practicing four hours a day during school, then six hours a day when we’re out of school and there are always meetings. … It’s exhausting.” The rigorous practice schedule pushed Amanda’s swimming to a higher level. During her freshman year, she attempted to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. However, several elements working against her prevented her from actually making the cutoff time required to compete at the trials. “Our trials are really competitive because the U.S. is really strong in swimming,” Amanda says. “A lot of people can [swim] at a time that would place at the Olympics, but not make the Olympic team just because there are so many people.” Having that experience slip out of her reach, Amanda is looking forward to the 2012 Olympic Trials. Over the summer she qualified for the 400-meter freestyle at nationals and will be working on qualifying for the 200-meter freestyle as well as the 400-meter individual medley until then.

achel Heim almost didn’t visit OU’s campus. “It’s actually kind of funny,” Rachel says. “[The coaches] recruited me and I had never heard of Ohio University before and didn’t really think I’d ever end up here. My [swim club] coach at home was going to make me swim the 200 breaststroke and I didn’t want to. … I decided to schedule a recruiting trip for that weekend so I could get out of it. OU was the only [school] with a trip so … I came out here and fell in love with it. This is where God wanted me.” Practicing twice a day, six days a week with OU’s swimming and diving team allowed Rachel to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Trials in Omaha at the end of her freshman year. Swimmers typically qualify for the trials throughout spring and summer, during long course season. Long course events are measured in meters as opposed to short course events measured in yards that are used throughout the collegiate swimming season. However, Rachel finished in 92nd place and about five seconds behind the winning time, while swimming the 100-meter butterfly. Despite the prestige of her 2012 Olympic Trials qualification, Rachel is unsure whether she will take advantage of the opportunity. “I’m definitely going to take spring quarter and the summer off,” Rachel says. “I’ve been training for 16 years, pretty much straight. Come September, based on what I’m doing in grad school and stuff like that, I’ll decide if I want to train again for Olympic Trials in July.”

Pistachios contain monounsaturated fats and zinc, which increase sexual desire.




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backdrop » winter 2011



yler Ardrey was convinced he’d play sports in college. Initially, he started tryouts for club soccer, but abandoned the idea once his friend mentioned joining the men’s crew team. Although he never rowed in his life, Tyler fell in love with the sport. “Coming out of high school, I knew I had to do something,” Tyler says. “I’m not one for boredom. I’m always up for new things. [College is] supposed to be the best four years of your life— might as well make the most of it. So, that’s what I figured I could do with crew.” During a regatta there are three levels of competition: novice, junior varsity and varsity. Despite being a club sport on campus, OU men’s

crew competes on the same level as schools where crew is considered a varsity sport. Unlike varsity sports, OU’s club crew team is responsible for raising half of the expected costs through dues and fundraising. Tyler is training for a seat in the World Rowing Under 23 Championships, where about 40 countries and around 600 athletes will compete in a 2000-meter regatta. Based on his time, Tyler will attend a selection camp to secure a spot in Team USA’s boat. “Right now, I’m 25 seconds [away] from qualifying for the U23 team and that’s a big goal that I’m going for. If I can make that, it makes this experience even more worthwhile,” Tyler explains.

The average person gains 5 to 7 pounds during the winter



anadian-born Cathryn Rogers stumbled upon a very unique opportunity at the end of her junior year in high school: she discovered her paternal grandfather was born in Jamaica, which in turn allowed Cat to apply for citizenship within the country and try out for the Under-17 Jamaican Nationals soccer team. “It was kind of complicated, but we got it done. We pulled some strings. It usually takes about a year [to apply for citizenship], but we did it in a day,” Cat boasts. While playing for Jamaica, Cat had the chance to play against her home country, including her old coach and teammates. “It was a crazy game,” Cat says. “We weren’t even supposed to be close. … We only lost 4-3, but we really gave [Canada] a run for their money. We

scored, they scored, and it was back and forth. They ended up scoring near the end to win it. We almost [won], and it would have been a huge upset.” The trip to Jamaica opened the door to OU’s soccer program. Her time spent playing soccer internationally deprived Cat of the typical college recruiting process. “I didn’t have that many options on the table,” Cat says. After speaking with OU’s women’s head soccer coach, Stacy Strauss, Cat visited and committed to attending here shortly thereafter. She has since traveled back to Jamaica, during the winter of 2010, to compete with the Jamaican Under-20 team in the World Cup qualifying games.

The first Winter Olympic Games were held in Chamonix, France in 1924.


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OU Executive Chef Matt Rapposelli loves his culinary profession...almost as much as his motorcycle DINER



quealing down the winding highway, music blaring and blue jeans thrashing in the harsh wind, Matt Rapposelli pierces the unknown landscape on his trusty motorcycle, cruising to his next destination. But he’s not hunting for a leather jacket store or even a Harley-Davidson convention; instead he’s exploring uncharted cuisine, one eatery at a time. Rapposelli, executive chef at Ohio University, motors to various foodie destinations, unearthing the delectable dinners and quirky cuisine offered by hole-in-the-wall establishments all along the East Coast. “[The restaurant] could be a complete dive that does one thing really well, or a wild place that just has great food overall,” he says. From New England to the Carolinas, Rapposelli has no qualms about crossing borders for his trips. He’s even ventured as far as Nova Scotia, Canada—a 1,400-mile ride from Athens. Typically clad in a crisp, white button-down chef’s coat, sporting a beaming smile and jolly figure, Rapposelli doesn’t typify a motorcycle enthusiast. Yet, his eyes brighten as he discusses the purchase of his first bike, which sprung from a need for transportation and a fib… or two. “I went to a dealer and lied: ‘Yeah, I have a license.’ So I hopped on one,” he says. Having never touched a hog previously, he managed to ride it a wobbly eighth of a mile before returning to the dealer and buying it on the spot.


backdrop » winter 2011

He then rode it the two-hour distance home despite being “scared senseless” on it, and has been riding ever since, albeit equipped with a license. Soon he found that motorcycle riding could assist him in scoping out delicious foods to satiate his professional knowledge and culinary curiosity, regardless of location. “I cannot tell you a trip [at] anytime that wasn’t based around food,” he says, adding that for business and personal trips, he researches out-of-the-way and unique places to visit. Traveling helps you to meet and see new people outside your own social framework, which can make you a very adaptable person, he says. Always trying to find the positive in his life’s journeys, Rapposelli appears to have found a hobby that fuses two of his favorite things. “Motorcycling and food go hand in hand,” he says. “Many of the same senses and emotions apply when you enjoy both: smell, taste, exhilaration, contentment and sometimes fear.” For him, these trips feature the perfect combination of the thrill of riding, the anticipation of what awaits and the experience of trying great food. One of his most memorable finds includes a “school bus” barbecue in Vermont. Rapposelli says the owner would drive his “restaurant” to a freeway interchange on weather-permitting weekends, and sell until he ran out of food. Rapposelli enjoys finding new people demonstrating alternative cooking techniques, like the school bus barbecuer, through varied combinations of ingredients, methods and

The first snowboard invented was called the “snurfer,” a combination of the words snow and surfer.

I cannot tell you a trip [at] anytime that wasn’t based around food.” Matt Rapposelli, Ohio University Executive Chef presentation, which he then incorporates into both his personal and professional life. Usually he hears about the places from the regional food boards and blogs that he follows, but also from word of mouth. “Anybody who knows me will let me know if they have come across some-

thing cool,” he says. “It’s all about the networking.” When he’s not traversing several states for a distinctive meal, Rapposelli clambers upon his 2000 BMW R110RT to commute to work, where he trades his helmet for a chef’s hat. There, he does everything from planning meals to exploring local food options for the din-

You burn 26 calories in a one-minute kiss.

ing halls and solving students’ dietary calamities. “Once I helped a student whose jaw was completely wired shut to enjoy some of his favorite foods like pizza,” he says, adding that he concocted a way to prepare the food so that it would fit through a straw. He also helps to push innovations such as a “cook-chill” facility, which will allow for Dining Services to utilize more local foods in the dining halls. And one of his incorporations from the road—a tofu “po’ boy” sandwich inspired by a New Orleanian—helped OU gain a “Top 10” spot in a peta2 “Most Vegetarian Friendly” contest. Rapposelli says that food has been a huge part of his life, as his passion started early in his childhood. A native of the strongly Italian Highland Heights area of Cleveland, Rapposelli grew up around regionally authentic cuisine, and a very “food-oriented” family. After his Italian-born grandfather, Harold Rapposelli, immigrated to the U.S., he started his own food brokerage business. Later, Matt’s father, Harold Rapposelli, opened one of his own as well. Wanting to forge his own path outside of the family food tradition as a young adult, Rapposelli initially studied recreation and wildlife, and worked for the National Park Service in the Cascades of Washington State for a time. But financial constraints eventually sent him packing back to the East Coast for culinary school at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. From there he worked at a small luxury inn in Hocking Hills, and opened his own bakery prior to accepting the chef position at OU. Today, he and his wife continue to run a local bed-and-breakfast—the Cabin at Chimney Lake. For now, he doesn’t know where his next food adventure will take him, but he would like to one day make a motorcycle trip overseas, which he says he would do in a heartbeat. As for the future, he figures that he’ll never retire and will always be on the move. “I never know where I’m gonna be headed next,” he says, “but I’m really enjoying this right now.”




Are the cold winter months giving you the exercise blues? Sure, Ping can be a far walk, but don’t just settle with the line “Phew, that trudge to Ping is enough exercise for today.” Take some inspiration from your fellow Olympicbound Bobcats and hit the gym—take a friend, and both the walk and the sweat will be a little more bearable!


backdrop » winter 2011

Jack Knife



You’ve got the legs; now, focus on your core. This move, from hockey player Tyler Pilmore, will have your abs in shape for upcoming spring break. This sequence is known as the “Jack Knife.” Do three sets of 10 reps to start.

1. Lay on the floor with legs out in front of you and arms supporting the back of your head.

3. Continue the motion with your legs, lifting both your legs and your upper body until you form a “V” shape.

2. Lift your legs approximately 6 inches off of the floor, keeping your abs tight.

4. Hold this pose for approximately five seconds.

Glute Ham Raise


5. After, holding the pose for five seconds, slowly return back to start. That’s one rep. Repeat until you feel a burn in your abs.


Want a swimmer’s legs? Get with a partner to do this hamstring/glute set, courtesy of Amanda Traylor. Three sets of six to 10 reps should be enough to make your legs sore, so take it easy on the first few times.

1. Sit on your knees with your torso erect and your arms crossed on your chest.

3. Lower yourself toward the ground keeping your trunk in line; resist gravity and try to go as slow as possible.

5. Push up from the ground to return to starting position.

2. Have your partner hold onto your ankles.

4. Put your hands out to catch yourself before you hit the ground.

Switch places with your partner after each set, so that you each do the move three times.

Some theorize that when you kiss a person with the same hair color as yourself, the result is a more passionate kiss.

The science of kissing is called philematology.

That’s one rep.



Got Swabbed?

OU’s Division 1 club hockey shares ice with new D-2 team

The Bone Marrow Drive is Back.



Save a life.



smell of B.O., the dirty clothes littering the floor and the thapthap-thap of fingers assaulting chew cans turn a tiny locker room into an exemplary man cave. Immune to the odor’s debilitating effects, the occupants—the Ohio University men’s Division 2 club hockey team—sit closely together, nervously awaiting the start of their game. A few words about a teammate’s hickey get tossed among the players who are restless with anticipation. They need something to unify them before they hit the ice, some words of


backdrop » winter 2011

encouragement, a solidifying moment, a… words of encouragement, a solidifying moment, a… “She got you good, fucker!” The players stop, immediately looking to the player-in-question’s grayish-blue neck adornment. The team erupts into laughter. The observation ignites the squad, breaking any pregame anxiety that might have remained. They then tightly circle together in the middle of the room, fists raised, before collectively screaming, “Let’s go, Bobcats!” Although they aren’t the Division 1

club hockey team so prominently featured around campus, this new group has strongly bonded together after only one quarter. They are all united by a passion to continue playing hockey at the highest level they can, even if it isn’t the top spot. For team president and cofounder Sean Roach, this unprecedented dedication was the main reason for adding another team to the OU club hockey ranks. “Just by the number of players who have come to tryouts for the D-1 team, the D-1 coach [Dan Morris], me and

Cashews are related to poison ivy

everyone involved thought it would be a good idea to make a D-2 team to strengthen the entire program.” Sean, a Pittsburgh native who started with the D-1 team, spent last summer looking for willing players who have either formerly played D-1 or were in the men’s intramural league at Bird Arena. After identifying a potential pool of players and convincing the club sports department, the D-2 vehicle came to fruition—with the stipulation that every player pay $1,800 to help cover the team’s total costs, a fee not assumed by D-1 players. Sean brought former D-1 teammates Nick Frasse and Anthony Finney into the fold as captains while graduate student Matt Staehely took the reins as the head coach. Playing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), the D-2 team joins a short list of 10 schools that currently field squads in both their D-1 and D-2 divisions. The team’s inaugural fall 2010 season in the ACHA brought equal parts frustration and success. They earned a 3-5-2 record with many of their games decided in either shootouts or narrow loss margins, with a tight schedule marked by late-night practices (the team is currently only able to practice for one to 1 1/2 hours per week because of the lack of available times at Bird Arena) and early games compounding the tough breaks. Through this adversity, a team conscience emerged, Anthony says. “We’re really starting to learn how to play on the ice and we definitely have a couple of lines that have a lot of chemistry,” he

says. “For example, my line with Frasse and Dar [aka Shane Darrow]. Another line is Jared Prior, Jarrod Carley and, gosh—who else?—Rob Morris. I’m looking to get our scoring up based off chemistry.” And it’s the team’s chemistry that keeps an optimistic attitude aloft. Although the team is composed primarily of underclassmen, the leadership of the handful of upperclassmen, including Sean, Anthony and Nick, bridges the gap between the various playing levels on the team. According to Nick, it fosters a unique attitude only found on hockey teams. “Unlike in football where there are 11 guys out there who have defined roles, in hockey you have to intermingle and back up one another,” he says. “Nobody’s role is assumed, so you have to know who’s on the ice with you and how it’s going to flow.” This familial attitude has trumped the start-up team’s numerous opportunity costs, financial included. There is only the unifying appeal of being the 28 founding fathers of a grassroots club program and obtaining a national championship banner to hoist among the Bird Arena rafters. As the players disperse from their spirited pregame huddle, Matt calls them to attention. His comments are short. He knows that they know what they need to do to succeed today, all of them now collectively attuned. As he concludes, the players form a single file line—fists bumping one another—and march out of the locker room to the rink. It’s game time.

Montana holds the record for the largest snowflake that ever fell, measuring 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick.

Join Ohio University students for a simple cheek swab and be among the thousands of possible donors in the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry.

Washington Hall Lobby Wednesday, Feb 23rd 11-4 pm Tiffin Hall Lobby Monday, Feb 28th 3-7 pm Bromley Lobby Tuesday, March 1st 6-10 pm Baker Center Thursday, March 3 11 - 4 pm

Sponsored by Hillel at Ohio University, Residence Life, and Gift of Life.



BOTCH The artist was almost finished shading in the last letter, “S.” Andrea couldn’t see the design, but she knew what she had asked for—black script lettering. She was excited to see how everything had turned out. Finally, the artist took a picture of Andrea’s lower back and showed her the completed tattoo. Andrea read the phrase slowly, taking in the last word one letter at a time, “You can’t kill H… E… R… O… S.” Heros. That doesn’t look right, she thought…

BY MEGAN HELGESON The art of tattooing has been practiced for centuries, and for centuries some people have regretted inking their skin. A person may dislike his or her tattoo for various reasons: it’s permanent, it’s a constant reminder of your ex, or a kindergartener has better craftsmanship. As tattoos have shifted from a nega-

tive social practice to an accepted form of individual expression, college-aged students are increasingly getting them. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in February 2010 found that 38% of people ages 18-29 currently have a tattoo, a larger percentage than any other age group. That doesn’t mean, however, that all

of that 38% love their tattoos—of the people who have a tattoo in a Harris Poll taken in February 2008, 16% say yes, they do regret their tattoos. The two tattoo parlors in Athens, Decorative Injections and Art Apocalypse, often have people come in asking for tattoo removals or cover-ups. “Maybe 30% of people get cover-ups

of just old tattoos,” Randy Stebelton says, the owner of Art Apocalypse. While neither tattoo parlor does tattoo removals, cover-ups are an option at both. Ohio University junior Lauren Elliott is one such person planning to get her tattoo covered up. On a whim, she went with her roommate to get a tattoo their freshman year. She had an idea for a tattoo that she’d been wanting since she turned 18. That day, Lauren walked out of Decorative Injections with a tattoo on her left back hip, but it wasn’t the one she had wanted for so long. She forgot the paper of the tattoo she did want: a heartagram, or morphed heart and star—the symbol for the band HIM. She had pictures of other tattoos she liked with her, though, and with the encouragement of a tattoo artist, she picked a blue heart with a pot leaf inside it. Lauren says the tattoo doesn’t bother her as much as it did, but she was upset after she got it because she felt the tattoo artist didn’t take the time or make an effort to make the tattoo decent. “It’s really deep, there’s nothing to it, it’s just a solid tattoo,” she says, referring to how the artist only used green for the pot leaf, when Lauren would have preferred some white ink to make it “pop.” Junior Vanessa Italiano, on the other hand, dislikes her three tattoos enough to get them removed, and she says she will never get another one. “After meeting me and hearing my experiences a lot of my friends and especially my boyfriend have really thought long and hard if they wanted a tat and pretty much all of them aren’t getting one because of my experience,” Vanessa says. Her first tattoo was the symbol for infinity, the second a quote on her right leg, which reads, “Sorry looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up,” and the third, which she got in Athens at Decorative Injections, is the word “Bella,” which her grandpa called her.

“I’m getting them removed because I was just dumb with the placement,” Vanessa says. “I really don’t like the infinity and ‘Bella’ at all, and I completely regret it, but the quote I wish I would have put it somewhere else.” Vanessa has received laser treatment on her first two tattoos eight times, which have faded, but are still visible. The pain she says “hurts like shit even with the numbing cream.” Laser removal pain varies depending on a person’s threshold level, and has been said to hurt to the same degree as getting a tattoo to 10 times more. To prevent people from having to go through this painful process, the two tattoo parlors deter individuals from getting a boyfriend or girlfriend’s name, the most common regrettable tattoo. “You may not be with that person a week from that time period,” James Kisor says, the owner of Decorative Injections. “You may not be with that person even two years, but either way you have that permanent date.” One strategy they use to stop people from making dumb decisions is not to tattoo anyone who is impaired by drugs or alcohol, which both owners claim they do. But sometimes someone slips by. “The occasional drunk person will make it back in here,” Kisor says. “They can kind of hold it together better than some.” Vanessa must have held it together then, because she got her “Bella” tattoo when she was drunk her freshman year, and she doesn’t remember a thing. “Whoever said they don’t give tats when you’re drunk was dead wrong,” she says. That’s why Art Apocalypse requires a customer consent form before the tattooing process—so they have people’s signature promising they aren’t wasted out of their minds. Stebelton says that “heads are going to roll” if he ever finds out someone getting a tattoo is drunk. “There’s no way in hell they’d be touched,” he says.


Serving individuals since 1924


Tour the tattoo parlor, ask to see the room and the sterilization process.

Develop a design; your tattoo should have meaning for you.

Research the artist’s work. Each artist has a different style, so look through his or her portfolio.

Clear your head. A tattoo is permanent, so avoid drugs or alcohol when deciding to get one.

backdrop » winter 2011


When Cranberries are ripe they bounce like a rubber ball.

Ask your tattoo artist which ointment he or she recommends.

Wash with an antibacterial soap using finger tips, repeat 3-5 times a day until fully healed (10 -21 days).

Donald Duck’s middle name is Fauntleroy

18 W Union St Athens, OH 4570 (740) 593-5060


Chicken and Tortilla Soup




Utensils: 2-quart casserole bowl, Microwave-safe plastic wrap

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup) 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 2 cups chicken broth 3/4 to 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 can tomato sauce 2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey 2 cups tortilla chips 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1 small avocado, peeled and sliced


1. Place onion and garlic in 2-quart casserole bowl. Cover tightly with microwave-safe plastic and microwave on high three to four minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth, chili powder and tomato sauce. Cover tightly with microwave-safe plastic and microwave eight to 10 minutes, stirring after four minutes, until boiling. 2. Divide chicken and tortilla chips among 4 soup bowls. Pour soup over chips; sprinkle with cheese. Microwave uncovered on high one to two minutes or until cheese begins to melt. Top with avocado.

Chicken Parm Sandwich



orget bundling up with five layers of thermals, tugging on your snow boots and putting on a hat; Nelson or Boyd’s Grab ’N’ Go just isn’t worth the hassle. Unless you’re one of the lucky few that has Shively downstairs the folks at Nelson and Boyd have Grab ’N’ Go downstairs as well, most of us are hibernating in the dorms until fest season. To spice up the winter, I have put together some dorm-doable recipes. The recipes can all be made within the dorm room using the cook ’n’ cool dorm appliance duo. For some of the recipes you may have to venture out to a true grocery establishment. However, if this is impossible, simple substitutes can be found through a quick Google search or by a phone call to mom. Depending on the make and condition of your microwave, you may need to add a little cook time. If the dish doesn’t seem ready, just add a minute or two. Here’s to serving up a home-cooked meal… well, as close as it gets!

From Betty Crocker’s Microwave Cookbook

From A Man, a Can, and a Microwave: 50 Tasty Meals You Can Nuke in No Time.



4 frozen breaded chicken patties 1/2 15-ounce can pizza sauce 3/4 cup finely shredded lowfat mozzarella and Parmesan cheese 4 whole wheat hamburger buns

1. Place the frozen chicken patties in a single layer in the 2-quart microwave-safe dish

Utensils: 2-quart microwave-safe dish Microwave-safe plastic wrap

2. Pour the sauce over them. 3. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan. 4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and nuke two to four minutes, or until cheese is melted and everything is heated through. 5. Slap ’em on to the buns.

Wicked Double Fudge Ingredients: 1 cup peanut butter chips 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Utensils: 8-by-8 inch pan Foil Cooking spray Microwave-safe bowl

From A Man, a Can, and a Microwave: 50 Tasty Meals You Can Nuke in No Time.


1. Line 8-by-8 pan with foil, leaving a little overhang for handles. 2. Coat the foil with cooking spray. 3. Put peanut butter chips, 1/2 can of condensed milk and 1/2 teaspoon of the

vanilla in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Nuke for up to a minute, or just until it can be stirred smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. (The chips will harden if you over nuke them, so be sure to stop every 30 seconds.)

4. Scrape into the pan and spread into an even layer. 5. Clean out the bowl (or find another bowl), and dump the chocolate chips,

the remaining 1/2 can condensed milk and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Nuke for 30 seconds to a minute, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Scrape into the pan and spread into an even layer over the peanut butter layer, shaking the pan to even out the top.

6. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate for two hours, or until firm. 7. Grab the foil handles and lift the whole brick of fudge out of the pan. Spread out the foil edges and cut the fudge into 1-inch squares.


backdrop » winter 2011

Ancient Greeks use tattoos to brand spies

All snowflakes have six sides.




Doug Latz I

t’s likely that you’ve seen 49-year-old Doug Latz on his bicycle somewhere in Athens County. Doug is a wellknown figure in the community but not many people, especially Ohio University students, know him beyond his “canman” identity. Doug, who has been mentally handicapped since his youth, is defined by his passions in life–bicycles and horses. Bicycles have given Doug freedom from his handicap. However, because the disability, he is a common target for ridicule. From neighborhood kids in Chauncey, to OU students, to residents of


backdrop » winter 2011


The Plains, Doug has encounters daily that upset and scare him. “When I am riding my bike, out in the community collecting cans, some strangers aren’t very polite,” he says. “Sometimes they threaten the life out of me and I’m not going to allow it.” These encounters deflate Doug’s normal persona full of joy and generosity. Despite these down moments, Doug finds refuge at various farms when spending time with horses and mules he considers friends. “If Katie the horse catches anyone hurting me, Katie the horse will be pretty upset,” he said. “The horse has feelings, I have feelings too.”

ON THE PREVIOUS PAGE: Doug Latz bikes on the Hock Hocking Adena Bikeway on Oct. 4, 2009 while collecting cans and visiting farms in the Athens area. Doug uses a network of streets and the bikeway to navigate Athens while avoiding busy roads. BELOW: Doug Latz, 49, sits on his back patio in Chauncey, Ohio on April 17, 2010. Doug is mentally handicapped and thought to have the mental capacity of a 4th grader. Despite his handicap, Doug regularly explores the Athens community by bicycle with a positive attitude.

“If Katie the horse catches anyone hurting me, Katie the horse will be pretty upset. The horse has feelings, I have feelings, too.”

ABOVE: Doug takes a nap on his couch in Chauncey on Nov. 7, 2009 after a morning of collecting cans in Athens. On any given day, Doug will bike for many miles all over Athens County, even to nearby Hocking College in Nelsonville to visit horses at the college’s stables.

DOUG LATZ LEFT: Doug hugs Connor, a donkey at a local farm in Athens, Ohio on Oct. 4, 2009. Doug bikes to various farms around Athens County on a regular basis to spend time with the animals. Often personifying horses and mules when he talks, Doug finds trust and affection in the animals. “If Katie the horse catches anyone hurting me, Katie the horse will be pretty upset. The horse has feelings, I have feelings, too,” he says one night at home while reflecting on his afternoon visiting a farm.


Katherine the Great had private ice slides


RIGHT: Doug tries to stay dry while taking the trash out during a rainstorm on May 2, 2010. Doug receives help with daily chores from Havar, Inc., a local company that assists disabled residents, but he also has a great deal of personal responsibility.

BELOW: Doug pauses on the side of the road in The Plains, OH to allow traffic to pass on Oct. 16, 2007. Havar, Inc. caretakers and friends of Doug prefer that he be home before dusk but when Doug is forced to bike at night, he takes safety seriously. Even during the day, Doug wears a high-visibility construction style vest and has multiple flashing lights attached to his bicycles for biking at night.

BOTTOM LEFT: Doug works on fixing the bottom bracket of a used bicycle on his back patio in Chauncey on Oct. 3, 2007. Doug’s father taught him all about bicycles and how to repair them. “I ride bikes, I fix bikes, because it’s my hobby,” Doug says.

LEFT: Doug straps aluminum cans collected from the Smiling Skull Saloon to his bicycle on Nov. 7, 2009 while bystanders walk by. As an extra means of money to help fund new bicycle parts, Doug collects and recycles cans from local companies. Unfortunately, when out in the community doing such work, Doug encounters unfriendly people. “When I am riding my bike, out in the community collecting cans, some strangers aren’t very polite. Sometimes they threaten the life out of me and I’m not going to allow it,” he says in an upset voice one day after returning home.


backdrop » winter 2011



Travis Barker





Flimsy and delicate, the parched leaves on the vine dispense dreams of growing tall to reach the sky.


The parched leaves on the vine were once living pleasures growing tall to reach the sky. Childhood was

Showcasing the most creative minds on campus

once a living pleasure. Shades of emerald overflowing childhood in patches of sunlight and flora. Shades of emerald overflowing, dispense dreams in patches of sunlight and flora, now flimsy and delicate.

Want to be featured in our next issue? Submit your art, photographs and poems to


Alligator Girl


Behind the Brick Building








is your best friend on campus! For only $8.00 per quarter (included as an option on your tuition bill) you can have access to a licensed attorney!


A Rainy Day in Paris


Center for

We can help with: • •

• •

Landlord/tenant issues Consumer problems (car issues, fraud, contracts, etc.) Legal problems in Athens County Legal advice and education

(see our website for limitations on our services) 50 South Court St. Suite D (above College Bookstore)


backdrop » winter 2011

G.I Joe is called “Action Man” in the U.K

The country with the most feral camels is Australia

(740) 594-8093



1 2

All answers to the clues can be found in this issue’s stories.





2. Professor Julie Elman will go almost anywhere, but she wouldn’t be caught dead at a convention.



11. Kyrstin Ratliff ruthlessly rants and rages about a new strain of public displays of affection that she calls _________ PDA.

DOWN 1. Video production majors Jeff Kolada and Matt Mantyla got to travel the world because of their internship with this organization. 5. The Amsterdarn Alliterates is a troupe that performs comedy. 7. OU soccer team midfielder Cathryn Rogers hails from what country? 8. Assistant Professor Robert Briscoe prefers his peanut butter ____________. 9. Ohio University’s Executive Chef Matt Rapposelli thinks that motorcycling and go hand in hand.


backdrop » winter 2011

» INST 369E: Politics, Religion & Terror in the Middle East » HIST 334A: Zionism & Modern Israel



For more information, contact Kevin Haworth,, or Rabbi Danielle Leshaw,



1 8 2


2 5

Study Abroad in

Tel Aviv


7 4



2 8

2 7

5 8

5 1

1 Find the answer to our quiz at

» ENG 200, T2: Intro to Literature with an Emphasis on the Middle East


10. Thirty-eight percent of people ages 1829 currently have a ..


Courses offered:


4. The number of acres that wrestling coach Joel Greenlee lives on

9. What page is the letter from the editor on?

Summer 2011 mid-June – mid-July



3. The direction one drives to get to Marietta from Athens.

6. Dorm dwellers can make chicken Parmesan sandwiches using this kitchen appliance.

cultural& israel: political intersections


7 4

9 2


3 9


2 Ancient Greeks use tattoos to brand spies

3 7



LAUNCHED check it out at








Vintage Clothing & Accessories Antiques & Ephemera, China, Books & more

Check out our fantastic selection of Vinage Vinyl!

90 N. COURT ST. / 592-6286

I am sure we all have our complaints about the Internet and social networking sites. Currently, my biggest annoyance is what I like to call Facebook PDA. The normal, public displays of affection are bad enough. I already have to watch you hold hands with your boyfriend as you walk to class together. I almost run into you because you are too busy making googly eyes at her to notice where you are going, and I hear the smack of your lips as you part ways to spend a whole 50 minutes away from each other. At least I have the ability to go home, to the confinement of my own apartment, to escape the torture. Yet, as I turn my computer on and log onto my Facebook account, there it is again. My News Feed is full of status updates: “I love my baby so much!” “I have the best girlfriend ever!” and “Going to the movies with the boy tonight.” And to top it all off, there just has to be a cute, little, heart-shaped icon attached to the end of each update. You love him; we get it. Of course, it only continues to get worse from here. You write “I miss you babe” on your boyfriend’s wall five seconds after he leaves your house, and you comment on his status as you are texting him about it. Have your personal conversations in private because, guess what? No one else cares that you think she is “so sexy”

in her new profile pic. Now speaking of profile pictures, I won’t complain if you want to make your picture one of you and your significant other with an arm draped around you, but an album full of 30 different angles of your make-out session is overkill. I don’t want to see it in person, why would I want to see it cemented in a photograph? Then of course we come to the climax of it all: the relationship status. I have to admit, I have used the term “Facebook official” on numerous occasions, and we all know that if you are in a committed relationship and choose to leave your status as “Single” then a dramatic argument will ensue. So, I can’t fault you for displaying your relationship status on your profile and, in fact, it is probably beneficial because it might help keep stalkers away from your page. When your status changes every week though, it’s tiresome. You’re with a new fling every week or you and your sweetheart continue to break up and get back together. Let’s face it, neither option makes you look so great. Unfortunately I don’t have a solution for you on this one though. There’s the option of “It’s complicated,” but that is just inviting people into your personal problems and that almost seems worse than the constant updates. Good luck with that. What I can tell you is this: When my News Feed says that you went from “In a relationship” to “Single,” I’m not going to feel bad for you. Instead of the pity you are looking for, I will only sigh with relief because I can finally escape the endless displays of affection that, honestly, probably weren’t even sincere to begin with.

Divorce is illegal in the Philippines


Winter 2011 (Vol. 4 Issue 2)  
Winter 2011 (Vol. 4 Issue 2)  

WInter 2011