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Letter From the_editor Editor in Chief Derrick Schimke, student News/Editorial Desk Sarah Knapp, student Graphics/Layout Sarah Knapp Amanda Parker, student Seth Dickenson, student Tiffany Tieche, student News/Editorial Staff Laleh Azarshin, student Korrie Bennett, student Kathy Littfin, student Robb Main, student Amanda Parker Mike Roeder, student Article Contributors Mike Heagle, Faculty Chip Janigo, student Jessica Partida, student Payton Berger, student Katie Wahlquist, alumni Art Contributors Lisa Loudon, Faculty Alonso Sierralta, Professor of Fine Arts at Concordia University Mitch Stier, student Corey Deguia, student

With the election closed and the holidays around the corner, a lot of things are going to change. Here at Main_Frame I will step down as Editor in Chief after this issue. I will contribute to Main_Frame for the next two quarters and then I will be graduating. I have been with Main_Frame almost as long as I’ve been attending The Art Institutes International Minnesota, and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve seen people come and go and the paper evolve into a full fledged magazine.

I will be leaving Main_Frame in the very capable hands of our News/ Editorial Desk Editor, Sarah Knapp. I have the utmost confidence that she will lead Main_Frame to even greater success. I want to thank everyone I’ve ever been involved with since I started, especially Chris Title who trusted I could handle the Editor position in the first place. Thank you all, and enjoy the issue! We look forward to your comments about the issue and hope you won’t hesitate to share your opinion. The best way to reach us is at main_frame, or you can stop by every Friday at 11:00 am in room 011. If you choose to remain anonymous, we have a mailbox in the Academic Director’s office in room 341, or you may post on our forum located on the school’s web site. Article and art submissions are welcome as well, but please title and attribute them clearly. A folder in the drop-off drive is also available. We invite everyone to “raise their profile” by participating in one form or another. -Derrick Schimke

Administration Chris Title, Faculty Anj Kozel, Director of Communications Support Staff Jason Braun, student Jelena Tosovic, GD Academic Director Deb Weiss, Faculty Web Designer Chris Tetreault, student Cover by: Tiffany Tieche

Graphic by Jason Braun, Source: Registrar’s Office


Sick....and Broke? page_5

Eating on a Budget page_8









page_16 page_12



An RNC Diary

Breakfast of Champions page_6

People Get Ready Media Arts & Animation looks ahead page_18

Saw V


Siggraph 2008 page_14

Main_Frame Magazine is for students by students. Therefore, the views expressed in the Main_Frame do not reflect the views and opinions of Ai Minnesota and it’s administration unless otherwise expressed.


Finding a job—or a better one—is the obvious first step in the fattening-your-wallet department. Working part-time (or not at all) is probably not enough if you’re feeling the crunch. Even those of us who already put in a forty-hour work week might need to start flipping through the job listings in search of better pay, better benefits, and—if we’re lucking enough to hit the starving-art-student-jackpot—tuition reimbursement. But fear not, my fellow student friends! This dreaded task could be a lot easier than you think. It’s show season in the Theatre District, and a lot of restaurants and bars are still hiring for it. Sarah Mraz in Career Services is also available to help us with writing our resumés and finding other available positions. Don’t be afraid to ask around and strut your stuff, either—networking and advertising yourself are the easiest ways to catch a sweet gig. Start collecting jpg images of your work, and store them in your iPod or phone in case you run into any industry people or potential clients. Create an account on Etsy and try to sell your work or let people searching for custom-made art come to you. Search frequently for small business owners looking to hire students—there are more than you’d think. Freelancing is fun, easy, and a great way to not only make money, but also add quality work to your portfolio, give you professional experience, fine-tune your skills, spread your work around, and make new contacts in the industry. Federal and private loans and grants are words that give every student an instant migraine—especially when they’re rapidly becoming harder to obtain—but it’s worth it to take a few minutes (and a painkiller) and visit the school’s Student Financial Services office on the second floor to check and see what your options are and what you can do to add a zero or two onto the annual contribution to your future. Make sure you also check

by Laleh Azarshin

to see if you qualify for anything extra based on your GPA, or if you’re eligible for any scholarships. There are a number of web resources available to students in order to find obscure scholarships that are available to them, so start hunting! All you’ve got to lose is a few thousand dollars off of your tuition cost. If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard this piece of advice ad nauseam since the day you joined the work force, and never really bothered to sit down, do it, and take it seriously. Recently, I stepped up to the plate and figured out my own budget, and my financial life has gotten a lot easier.

DoÊy ourselfÊa Êf avorÊa ndÊ find a budget worksheet online and figure your own budget out. If there’s an area you have trouble with—that morning coffee turning into three, for example, or quick trips to the grocery store becoming a major expense—find a way to keep it under control before you’re left without room for your other “necessities.” After you figure out what your allotted budget is for lattés each month, load up a gift card at your favorite café and keep it yourself.

You’ll be able to see what you’re really spending on java, and won’t suddenly find yourself without rent money. Speaking of rent money, there’s one tried-and-true way of never finding yourself without it . . . not renting. I know it sounds pretty awful, but if you have the option of living with a friend, or with a family member who’s willing to take you in— and if you can appreciate it instead of hating it—it will take a pretty big load off your shoulders and put it right back into your wallet. I moved out of my parents’ house when I was fourteen, and now, after seven very long years of renting, I’m living with my fiancé, my grandparents, and my dad. Yes, under one roof. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine, but the amount of money we save by not paying rent or buying groceries is definitely enough to make up for it. Whether you’re paying $1500 each month or $200, that money would be better-spent on a Macbook Pro and some rubber cement—or stashed away in a savings account—than by flushing it down the toilet or your apartment. The next biggest hunk of saveable change is hiding in the center console of your car. If you’re lucky enough to live close to work and school, leave the car at home whenever possible. Even in a Minnesota winter, walking, biking, or riding the bus isn’t all that inconvenient if you’ve got the time. If that’s not an option, try to carpool. If you’re still out of luck, park your car a few blocks away and walk to your destination to save your ramp money. Parking in the ramp next to school will cost you over $3500 each year. Putting gas in your car costs about $2000 annually. My insurance adds up to about $1000 each year. All together, that’s more than $6k. If you spend $2 every single day of the year on Metro Transit fare, that’s still only $730—a pretty sweet deal, in my opinion.

My own biggest problem is that I leave home at five a.m. and get home around midnight almost every day of the week. Because I’m typically sleeping about ninetynine percent of the time that I’m home, I rarely remember—or have time—to pack food to bring, and end up eating while I’m downtown. Whether I spend two dollars each day or twenty, food ends up being a big expense. For those of you with more time to spare, I strongly recommend packing food from home in the morning or the night before. Even stocking up on granola bars and juice boxes helps. When in doubt, bring a spoon and a tupperware of dry cereal— there’s milk at school. Refilling a bottle of water or reusing mounting board—while little things like this might seem trivial—can actually save you a lot of money. I save about fifteen dollars each week just be reusing those things. Be creative—before you throw containers, knick-knacks, scraps, and other tid-bits away, ask yourself how you might be able to reuse them. My dad uses caps from laundry detergent, held in his car’s cupholders, to store quarters and other random stuff in. He also saves jars from peanut butter and whatnot to store nails, screws, and any other manner of random things around the house. I save jelly jars to keep larger amounts of mixed paint colors in so I can use them later.

Challenge yourself to find one thing in your budget to cut back on. I cut back to

smoking half as much as I used to, and save fifty bucks each month. I buy less expensive coffee drinks, and buy them less often, and save another fifty bucks each month that way.

Sick....and Broke? by Sarah Knapp

If you are an independent student like myself (as in, dependent on yourself ) you probably don’t have health insurance. The only bonus of not having health insurance, that I’ve discovered, is that the doctors seem to really care. In my experience, health care workers at low-income clinics are there because they are students (excited about what they are doing) or because they’ve been in the industry for many years and care a great deal about what they do. Here’s a list of places you can go if you are in a pinch and need to see a doctor (or dentist!). These clinics use the sliding-fee scale, and you may even qualify for free services if you are really broke! Many of them offer mental health, medical health, and dental health services. As a bonus, ask for generic prescriptions and go to Target, where they offer many generic medicines for four bucks a pop! Sweet! -Community-University Health Care Center Walk-ins, affordable payment plans, sliding-fee scale, mental/medical/dental health services 2001 Bloomington Avenue South Minneapolis, MN (612) 638-7000 -Green Central Medical Clinic Walk-ins, sliding-fee scales, well-woman, mental health, chronic illness management, specialist referrals 324 East 35th Street Minneapolis, MN (612) 827-7181 -Neighborhood Involvement Program Mental health/medical/dental services, rape and sexual abuse counseling for men and women, coloscopy and other ob/gyn services, rapid HIV testing, family planning, dermatology, youth services 2431 Hennepin Avenue S Minneapolis, MN (612) 374-3125 (south clinic) -Red Door Services Walk-ins, sexual health services, free/sliding-scale, HIV medical care, rapid HIV testing Heath Services Building 525 Portland Ave 4th Floor Minneapolis, MN (612) 543-5555 (calling ahead suggested) -Planned Parenthood Walk-ins, free/sliding scale, family planning services, STD/pregnancy testing, women/men/LGBT, general health care services 1200 Lagoon Avenue Minneapolis, MN (612) 823-6300 (uptown clinic)



Green Fire by Chip Janigo

It took losing a bet for me to become acquainted with jalapeno peppers. Over time, my brother and I forgot the premise of the bet. What I remember are the events that unfolded after I lost. The loser had to take the winner out for dinner. Although I stoically accepted my loss, little did I know what was in store for me during the payoff. The day for me to pay my dues eventually came. Drinks were included as part of the bet, and, aside from being real-life brothers, we also share an affinity for beer. We were hungry and thirsty. Soon after we arrived at Green Mill, a restaurant and microbrewery, we began drinking frosty lagers and red ales. After greedily pouring down three pints of liquid gold, we thought we were tough, so we ordered a jalapeno and pepperoni pizza. Our waitress even paused and asked if we knew how hot it was going

to be. The two of us nonchalantly nodded our heads. Soon, we clenched a fourth round of cold beers in our warm hands. Green Mill cooks their pizzas with wood fires in stone ovens. We figured that there was more than enough beer to help cool things off, so we weren’t overly concerned about the temperature. With our thirst partially sated, we anxiously awaited our entree. The waitress revealed the pizza at our table, and we relished the sight of it, so cheesy and immaculate. As good Wisconsinites, my brother and I love cheese almost as much as we love beer. We gazed longingly at the salty,

melted cheese and spicy pepperoni – a combination to

wreak havoc on the insides, loaded with saturated fats and sodium, clogging the arteries while the palette screams. The round, green slices of jalapeno peppers

contrasted the spicy red color of the pepperoni. The aroma enticed us, and the pizza smelled otherworldly. I felt as if I were someplace else in the world and not just fifteen miles from my hometown. We were famished. Food always seems to taste better when you’re hungry, and in that state, a culinary masterpiece evolves into a blissfully divine experience. The conversation ended abruptly as we sank our teeth into the first bites. Within seconds, the fire blossomed inside our mouths. Neither of us wanted to admit or

the true level of pain we were experiencing, show

so we tried to play it cool and continued to eat. We must have looked rather uncomfortable because our waitress came over with a smirk and asked how the pizza tasted. We both said it was awesome and quickly ordered more pints of beer.

go to page 26

Breakfast of Champions by Laleh Azarshin We’re told all our lives that every morning we should brush our teeth and sit down for a healthy, balanced breakfast—by moms, doctors, and cartoon spokespersons alike—but if you’re anything like me, you seldom do, opting for a caffeinated substitute. Believe me, I understand—between work, classes, and more work, I’m lucky if I have time for lunch or dinner. So

teachers growing up bringing in wheat bread, peanut butter and jelly for his students on test days. I sat down with Phil, a friend of mine who is a personal trainer (he recently opened 501 Fit on Washington Avenue)

what’s all the hype about breakfast? Why is it so important? The landslide of reasons might surprise you. Recent studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast can boost your memory and trim your waistline. A simple power shake packed with nutrients is considered an ideal start to your day by many nutritionists. Studies also show that when American students eat breakfast, their test scores improve. I distinctly remember one of my science


and nutrition freak extraordinaire, to ask him what the big deal was. “Your

blood sugar drops while you sleep,” he explained, “so then if you’re

really active when you wake up, your body will hold onto fat, burning muscle, bone, and connective tissue instead. Burn your breakfast instead of your biceps!” For students it’s especially important to eat breakfast, because the brain burns sugars and proteins for energy, and therefore has nothing to run on if you skip breakfast. Phil also warned not to spike your blood sugar in the morning with sugary cereals or energy drinks. “Instead, opt for oats, grapefruit, or a protein smoothie with fruit blended in,” he advised. For many—particularly students— time is the biggest issue. Waking up early and cooking a meal just isn’t an appealing option. So how about leaving home just a little bit earlier? Whether you have five minutes to kill before class go to page 07

La Belle Crêpe est un nouveau café, et c’est la trop mignon, avec le petit déjeuner trés delicieux! The owner is a charmer from Lille, France, and opened his first restaurant here just a few weeks ago on Nicollet Mall. Having worked in fine restaurants for much of his life, he decided to start his own legacy with something unique and unexpected. Having lived in France, I can tell you that a crêpe shop is neither unique nor unexpected in any city, but La Belle Crêpe combines the ubiquitious and simple crêpe with the fine cuisine he’s passionate about. With options from sweet to savory, even the dough is different, with a special crêpe recipe for each section of the menu. I can honestly say that these blow any crêpe I’ve ever had right out of the water, and it’s wonderful to find something inside other than jam and powdered sugar. I picked one crêpe from each end of the spectrum. The first was a sweet crêpe filled with bananas and nutella, and topped with homemade whipped cream and powdered sugar. It was warm, and not too sweet—made fresh to order before my eyes. The second was filled with eggs, bacon, and probably the most

spectacular hollandaise

sauce I’ve ever had. The eggs were perfectly fluffy, and the savory crêpe was just the right flavor to go with them. Both crêpes are generously portioned, and getting one of each is like an indecisive breakfast-lover’s dream. My only complaint is that the triangular fold was a bit awkward—easily reparable with the help of a fork—and that the crêpes got a bit soggy before long, but that’s to be expected. Be sure to check La Belle Crêpe out, it’s reasonably priced for such a killer breakfast! Hell’s Kitchen

80 South 9th Street in Minneapolis Orange Pekoe (Black) Tea $2.95 Mahnomin Porridge $3.75 Huevos Rancheros $9.95 To shake things up a bit, I went to Hell’s Kitchen for some award-winning and critically-acclaimed good eatin’ at 6:30 a.m. I actually wrote about five pages proclaiming the glory of this breakfast, but here’s the condensed version: The Mahnomin Porridge is absolutely killer. Decadent,

creamy, insanely rich and just a bit sweet, this would make

any bowl of cereal want to jump off a cliff.

The combination of wild rice, fresh and dried berries, roasted hazelnuts, and warm cream is exists in perfect equilibrium and makes you want to curl up in the corner of your booth and never leave. The Huevos Rancheros (described as “Rancheros of

go to page 27


La Belle Crêpe (pronounced krep, not krape) 9th & Nicollet Banana & Nutella Crêpe $4.99 Eggs Benedict Crêpe with Bacon $6.99

by Anj Kozel Culinary Instructor, Steve Lerach, has been in the press lately. Most recently, Rachel Hutton of the City Pages offered a positive review of his new book, Fried: Surviving Two Centuries in Restaurants, “An entertaining reminiscence on restaurants before chefs were celebrities and `foodie’ became a noun. Steve Lerach’s tales of cross-dressing dishwashers,

drug-addled cooks, and silverware-swiping servers remind me why every restaurant I worked at went belly-up.”

According to publisher Borealis Books, “Lerach has worked for more than 30 years in kitchens, starting as a dishwasher at the Ambassador Hotel in St. Louis Park and eventually running 12 kitchens at the University of Minnesota. He worked at Schiek’s Cafe in the early 1980s as sous-chef and later became executive chef. He now teaches aspiring chefs how to cook and manage their kitchens at The Art Institutes International Minnesota.” Darra Goldstein, Editor in Chief of Gastronomica, gushes, “Fried serves up exuberant vignettes that traverse the history of restaurants as well as the author’s personal history within them. As he befriends a cast of oddball characters, Steve Lerach discovers the restaurant as a site of unanticipated kindness and treachery, of human triumph and tragedy.” Jeremy Iggers of The Rake puts it more directly,

“Anthony Bourdain has met his match.”

Lerach has been working hard to promote his book by traveling to readings and signings around the country, but he is also busy teaching students. You’ll find him speaking from experience in classes such as Management by Menu, Career Development, and History and Culture of Cuisine.



or an hour, there are places close to school that don’t require you to venture too far into the great unknown of downtown, nor mess up your jam-packed schedule . . . and I’m not talking about McDonald’s.


restaurant is one-of-a-kind, with killer food, kick-ass staff, and art to die for.

the Gods” by were the perfect balance of spicy and sweet, and probably the best damn breakfast I’ve had in my life. If this is what they

hand out in Hell, I hope that’s where I end up. The tortillas were

Key’s at the Foshay Bar & GrillÊ by Seth Dickenson

crispy and light, and the eggs were absolutely amazing. The only letdown was that the salsa wasn’t spicier, but I’m sure they could kick it up a notch if I asked. I was completely full halfway through, but I cleaned my plate (and yes, I was tempted to lick it). If I didn’t have to make it to class, I’d have ordered another. The most interesting aspect of this restaurant, however, is the restaurant itself. You’re greeted by a chandelier that dangles butcher knives and cleavers over your head as you walk down the stairs, and the walls are plastered with art by Ralph Steadman and Joe Polecheck. This

Sitting in front of me were two of the largest buttermilk pancakes, I have ever seen, and a generous amount of hash browns. Key’s, and possibly my stomach, have led me to believe I could handle such a meal, however they both have fooled me. I have always considered myself an eater that can stand up to likes of Koboyashi. This feast on the other hand would soon show how I was more like a 6th grade girl at school lunch. By the end of the first pancake I was realizing that I still have not even touched my second pancake or the, Mount Everest sized, hash browns and I was becoming terribly full. Despite being full, the food

was great. I enjoyed the homemade taste of everything, which reminded me of when my mom would make pancakes for breakfast nearly every weekend. Not only did I think the pancakes were good, but the hash browns were done to the perfect degree. Not to soft, but not to crunchy. Unfortunately, I had to leave a good portion of the hash browns behind. Which was fine, because if I would have had any more I may have exploded. Leaving was another great part of the trip to Keys Café. My stack of pancakes was $4.75 and the hash browns were $3.95, which wasn’t hard on the wallet. Looking back I could have

only ordered one of the items and been better off and still been able to walk and breath at the same time. On the other hand, I did

appreciate getting a lot of food for my money. Overall the trip to the from

go to page 27

Eating on a Budget: Simple Recipes for College Students by Mike Roeder and Sarah Knapp

Hungry? Short on cash? Need some source of sustenance without the high price tag? Well, I’ve got a few great recipes just for you. Too often, college students need to be nourished but can’t be due to the unbearable price of food. But, with these helpful tips you should be able to buy all the ingredients on almost any type of budget.

Poor College Student Stew 1 cup Canadian Bacon 1 box Mac-n-Cheese 1 can Black Beans 1 can Stewed Tomatoes or 1 fresh tomato Tabasco Sauce, red or green 1-2 tsp. Cumin (opt) 1. Cut bacon into small pieces about ¼ inch thick. 2. Cook box of mac-n-cheese as directed. 3. While that’s cooking, in a separate pan cook the bacon, black beans, and tomatoes, covered for about 8 minutes. 4. Add the mac-n-cheese to the bean mixture and add Tabasco sauce or a teaspoon or two of cumin for an extra flare. -Total cost: $9, serves about 4.

Poor Man’s Burrito

1. First, you’ll want to wash the potato. Poke the potato with a fork all over, and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Allow it to cool, cut into bite-size pieces, and set aside. 2. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet. When the beef is just about fully cooked, add the potato pieces and cook until the beef is brown and potatoes are golden brown. 3. Add vegetables to the pan, cook for about a 2 minutes, then turn off heat. 4. Put filling in a tortilla and voila! -Total cost: $9, serves about 3. (Some really tasty and great suggestions for this recipe are as follows: instead of using potatoes, cook up some brown rice with shallots, chives, cayenne pepper, and cumin. The ratio for rice is 2:1, meaning 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. Also, to make it easier to roll the tortillas heat up a flat pan big enough to fit the tortillas nd heat up each side for about a minute. The tortilla is warm, soft, and ready to wrap anything up!)

Ramen Stir-Fry 4 packages Ramen 8 oz Fresh Vegetables (carrots, pea pods, broccoli, etc…) 2 Tbsp canola oil (for additional flavor, use peanut or sesame oil) Soy Sauce 1. Boil enough water to cook Ramen. 2. While the water boils, pour 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large wok, but using a large stir fry pan or skillet will do; allow the oil to heat up until it just begins to smoke. Add the carrots and broccoli, and cook for about two minutes. 3. Next, add the pea pods; cook for another 45 seconds then turn off heat. 4. By now the water should be boiling, so add ramen to water and cook as directed on package. 5. After everything is cooked, discard hot water, combine the Ramen noodles and vegetables and top with toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds as a great garnish which also adds wonderful flavor. -Total cost: $6, serves two.

Chili and Chese Casserole

1 16oz box of elbow macaroni 2 small bags* of shredded cheese (preferably either the taco blend or one cheddar one pepper jack) 3 cans of chili w/o beans (you can get it w/beans if you like) 4 Tbsp butter, cut into small cubes 1 pound of ground beef 1. Boil enough water to cook the pasta. I always salt the water to add flavor to the pasta; cook pasta for about 10-12 minutes, depending on how hard or soft you like the pasta. 2. While the water is boiling, cook down the ground beef. Drain grease, and save beef for later. 3. Grease up a large baking pan with either butter or nonstick spray. After the pasta is done, drain water and put pasta in the large baking pan. 4. Combine the pasta, butter, cheese, chili, and cooked ground beef. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350. For a little garnish, add more cheese and allow it to melt a bit. -Total cost: $16, but this recipe easily serves 6 people. *The bags of cheese come in many sizes, but the ones I bought were the two cup bags; cheap, easy to use and measure out. Also, as a good addition if you want to splurge you can pick up a small pepper, like a jalapeño, chop it pretty fine, and just add it to the mixture before it goes into bake. Adds a real nice kick!


I pkg. large tortillas 1 potato 1 can green beans 1 can corn 1 pound ground beef


Lisa Loudon

What goes on in one’s own head? What do we do when we think we are alone? How do we measure ourselves against archetypal fantasies?

How do we separate fantasy from reality in this culture of fear? These are all ideas I am exploring in my current body of work. Using the silhouette as everyman (or in most cases every woman) this body of work takes a look at our internal lives and private vs. public selves. Working with cyanotype and Van Dyke brown printing as my base, I build layers of patterning and silhouettes. I am intentionally creating a disjointed sense of space. The images are then finished with a variety of materials and stitching to create texture and add emphasis. Each idea, such as “The Gallery of Unreasonable Fears,” is addressed with a series of images meant to be viewed as a whole. The narratives

Lisa Loudon are intended to be metaphorical and influenced by the viewer’s personal experience.



gallery_ My most recent body of work reflects my experience as an immigrant. The work is not meant to be a political commentary, but rather a visual representation of transplantation using organic forms and natural motifs: pods, seeds, grass, mushrooms, roots, etc. Working with this metaphorical relationship, forms and materials are selected with the intention of creating both harmony and discord. Moving to a new country, learning a new language, giving up what is familiar elicits both optimism and fear. The spreading of seeds, roots, pollen, etc. are the basic inspiration for the sculptural form, disparate materials are then selected to create the sense of tension and

forced metamorphosis.

While for me the work is about moving to this country from Chile when I was fourteen, ideas


of growth, challenge, pain, and building a future are universal, not only for humans, but for all of the natural world. Through

this examination of displacement and adaptation the viewer is encouraged to create a variety of visual and conceptual associations.

Politics_ by Payton Berger I was born in the heart of a conservative state. During my early years, I was impressed with conservative values. As I grew older, punk music called to me, and it brought many of our society’s problems to my doorstep. It changed me. I embraced these new views with curiosity more than support, but at least I was tuning in to current issues. Now that I’m in college, I have become even more liberal; peace

is my strongest value, yet I want to fight for the down and out, fight to end the war, and fight for justice. Sometimes,

though, it’s hard to find the motivation, yet I felt it necessary to protest the wrongs I perceived perpetrated by the Bush administration and more broadly by the platform of the Republican Party and its latest candidate for president. My roommate Matt and I traveled from Fargo and met up with friends at the Republican National Convention that took place in Saint Paul last August. Day 1: Barricades and Batons Mike, Brent, Matt, and I arrived near the Xcel Center on pins and needles. Just moments after arriving, we were warned that groups of three or more were being gassed. Taking a closer look, we saw a line of police wearing gas masks, face shields, and body armor blocking the street. Shocking, is the only way to describe my first impressions of the environment. It


appeared the Xcel Center had been taken control by terrorists. As we made our way towards Harriet Island for Take Back Labor Day, the mood darkened quickly. Riot control police were everywhere. I became very conscious of my actions. It was like a zombie movie. We watched cops with wood batons and tear gas cannons marching the streets as if the country were under martial law. In effect, St. Paul was a police state. Eventually, we arrived at the concert and met a few others. Heading back to downtown from Harriet Island became very difficult. The local police had blocked two of the three bridges to downtown. The only bridge available was the furthest from the convention. The river was patrolled by at least ten Coast Guard boats armed with .50 caliber machine guns. As we crossed the bridge, protesters were hanging signs from another bridge. Below the bridge was a road directly parallel to the river which was under complete control of police and National Guard. Squad cars were coming and going and a marching line of fifty or so riot control officers were passing under us. Once across the river, we headed towards the Xcel center. We encountered a man rapping a protest song through a megaphone and ladies displaying a protest banner. They shouted at police, calling them “soccer cops.”

Finally we decided to head back to the vehicle, but that was easier said than done. The streets had been heavily blockaded with cement barriers topped by seven foot of fencing. We got lost. Police would not respond to our requests for directions. Finally, after winding around for what seemed like forever, we made it back to our car. Day 2: Tears Tension was high at Ripple Effect, a peaceful music festival at the state capitol. The festival was smaller than expected, but fun. At one point, several police started making their way toward the stage. They stopped to hassle two long-haired, drifter types. The police

pulled backpacks out of the men’s hands and searched them without their consent.

As the police were finishing their search, a crowd surrounded them; officers on bicycles came to support their fellow officers. The police finished their search and found nothing, and as the bags were returned to the owners, the crowd around began clapping and chanting, “no consent!” The cops warily returned to their original posts. The clouds opened up and the sun shown through for Michael Franti’s set, which was powerful and peaceful. After Michael Franti played, it was time for Anti-Flag. They told the crowd

Rage Against the Machine was on the capital grounds,

but the police would not allow them to play. Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello appeared and sang “Bulls on Parade” and “Killing in the Name” a cappella using a mega phone. Zack gave a speech saying that the government was not afraid of four musicians, the government was afraid of the people in the crowd. Once Rage disappeared, the crowd began to march. We joined in and followed the throng around all the cement and steel barricades as close to the Xcel Center as possible. Along the way chants about freedom, peace, and democracy filled the air. Once at the Xcel Center, the leaders of the march attempted to make a citizens arrest upon the politicians within the convention for causing the death of poor people within our country. The group leading the march then left, and the few hundred people remaining moved to the intersection by Mickey’s Diner. The police then blocked off two exits out of downtown and left only St. Peter Street as the way out. Being warned that the police were ready to attack the crowd, we decided to move away for safety. Four seconds after police gave a verbal warning, they began shooting

making it out safely became our top priority. While running, all I could see was gas and street. I managed to dodge an exploding canister no more than five feet in front of me. When we got some distance away, the chaos subsided, and my friend got much needed help for pepper spray in the eyes. The Aftermath This will forever remain one of the most intense experiences of my life. These were circumstances that never should have existed. The government took our freedoms from us, and I want them back. Our country was built on democracy, but at what point do you let democracy turn into fascism? Benjamin Franklin said, “The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either” We were in the streets afraid of our government, but, in reality, it was our government that was afraid of us.

tear gas canisters into the crowd. Even though we were now running away, we still were getting some gas in our faces. We held our hands up high and made peace signs and tried to move away. We

headed for parking lot for safety from the crowd and tear gas. The cops who were blocking off one of the intersecting streets sent us back into the street. This is when things became outrageous and unbelievable. As we moved into the street more tear gas was fired. As we ran, the tear gas filled our eyes, and then flash-bangs filled our ears. Without time to react my eyes were irritated and knowing where to run became difficult. The attempt to stay in our group became futile at this point, and

photos by Corey Deguia


multiple times to remain peaceful, and everyone did. When Anti-Flag finished, they advised the crowd not to go anywhere, and the crowd buzzed.

_visual effects and animation


by Michael Heagle Hey gang, it’s your roving correspondent “Hollywood Mike” Heagle with some important facts and figures. If you’re a student intending to enter the fields of Animation or Visual Effects, you’ll want to read on about what some major companies think about student demo reels. It’s an eye opener. There were some major companies represented on the panel this year at the mega-giant computer graphics conference in Los Angeles, Siggraph: Rhythm and Hues, the animationcentered visual effects house that brought you the character animation in live action films like Scooby Doo and Underdog (but also caught raves for their 2008 Hulk), Walt Disney Feature Animation, and a “headhunter” company called Fringe Talent, an outfit that specializes in finding qualified artists for studios in need. Anjelica Casillas from Rhythm and Hues started the discussion with an altruistic statement: know the studio you are applying to and cater the reel to them directly. As obvious as this sounds, there are numerous submissions made to major studios that are just not the right match for the company. One

computer graphics company even said that they received someone’s makeup effects reel! Wrong! In other words, do your

homework. In the case of R&H, the work is often about animals, and the byword is realism. Sending them work that is rooted is reality is an obvious move, even for “fantasy” characters. Showing a variety of styles in a reel is also nice, such as having the ability to do both rigid body models and organic models. As an “animal house,” R&H

also deals with quadrupeds and bipeds in equal measure, so don’t neglect your four-legged friends, modelers! There are essentially three types of artists in the industry: generalists, generalists with a specialty, and specialists. With large animation studios, it gets tricky to place “generalists.” Targeting a specific skill and being great at it is considered the way to go by the entertainment industry. For example, R&H has top flight animators, and top flight modelers. Which are you, really? Pick one, and get those skills going strong. An example at R&H would be a character rigging position: can you show a variety of rigged characters, and can you demonstrate that you can work with an animator to provide the types of controls they need? A representative from Walt Disney

Feature Animation talked about the highly specialized pipeline at their facility. They need lighters, compers, background painters, and everything else under the sun, but eighty to ninety percent of

the reels they receive are for the coveted character animator positions. Think about that, then multiply that by the number of submissions they receive. Are you ready to put your hat into that ring? Since the folks at Disney love their traditional skills, show your background here through figure studies, examples of shading, and other real-world skills. How much should you send them? If submitting for the position of storyboard artist, for example, you are expected to have about twenty four spreads of two pages each. You read that right. Twenty four pages. That’s up to sixteen images per page, and black and white is okay. This is what they consider a serious, “focused, dedicated artist.” So get your pencils out, gang. Like most major effects and animation shops, Rhythm

and Hues receives literally hundreds of reels every week. Put yourself in their shoes. Someone has to go through them all. They need to be able to assess immediately what an applicant’s strengths are, and the best way to do this is put your best work at the front. They want it short, a maximum of two minutes, and would rather see a few great pieces than a longer reel padded with mediocrity. And hey, be critical of your own work, because other people sure will be. Show fundamental skills and traditional skills too, because a house like R&H uses a lot of proprietary software and will be teaching you how to use their unique tools. It’s much more important to them that you understand the fundamentals of animation (weight, timing, acting) than how to use a pull-down menu to get to a fancy plug-in! A scene with two characters interacting is a great way to showcase these skills. Bad news,

rockers: studios aren’t interested in your choice of music. It’s actually better to put nothing on there, believe it or not! Music

comes with too much baggage, and as one recruiter said, “I love Linkin Park as much as the next guy, but if I hear it on your reel I will move on.” It follows that you shouldn’t cut the picture to music, as they aren’t hiring you for your editing either. But, if you have lip sync on your reel, make sure that there is no music going on underneath it and make sure those recording levels are appropriate for the medium of distribution. Break down your work at the bottom of the reel or at the end to let the viewer know what you did on the individual pieces. Most studios agree that DVD is still the weapon of choice for demo reels, but go to page 26

_student words

Beloved By Jessica Partida

One evening, my mom came home from work and announced that we were going to a concert. My mother was full of surprises. We were going to see Weird “Al” Yankovic. Little did I know, by the end of the evening, we would be surrounded by concert security, and I would receive a hug and an autograph from the man himself. He was pretty big in the early 80’s, and he’s still producing music. Meeting him then was a thrill for a kid my age. After our short visit with Al, he personally escorted us through a screaming mob of fans back to the stage entrance. Al and my mother hugged and said their goodbyes. As we walked back to the car, I looked at my mother and saw a grin on her face. “How do you know Weird “Al” Yankovic?” I asked. “Oh him? We used to go to school

together.” She seemed to know everybody in the world. My mother’s spirit seemed to touch so many other spirits. My mother was as vibrant as a firecracker. She created a brilliant display and made noise that captured the attention of everyone around her. But like a firecracker, her light all too quickly faded. She had blond hair and hazel eyes; our coloring was different, but our features were similar. My mother was not a saintly figure, but she had a heart of gold. She had the ability to comfort with a smile. It was her warmth, humor, and unconditional acceptance that drew people from all walks of life to her. She made a point to model this quality and to instill it in me. Her own lack of acceptance from our extended family made her that way. If a

person mistook her kindness for weakness, they discovered quickly their error in judgment. One fierce

look from her, and you knew she meant business. Independent, tough, and self-

sufficient, she was a single parent who worked four jobs, at times, to make ends met. She was over-protective, but she worked hard for all her gains. She could have you clenching your gut in laughter after an unexpected comment you could not imagine coming from a woman with such a baby face. Her teen years were spent volunteering with the Explorer Program in law enforcement, Job’s Daughters International, and countless other charities involved in giving back to Los Angeles communities. By the age of twenty, she had survived an abusive home, and accomplished the personal ambition of becoming a guardian. She became a rookie Los Angeles County sheriff officer. It was a position she held for a year. After receiving the news she was to become a mother, her intention was to remain with the sheriff ’s department. It was a domestic call she responded to that changed her plans. A glass bottle thrown at her head shattered on the squad car’s doorframe. Her stock.xchng

you know it is not easily forgotten. It has a way of humbling you to be thankful for the blessings you have.

shot gun from the unit’s holder In 1999, I learned what it is and fire two shots in the air to to be truly thankful. My mom disperse the group surrounding was diagnosed with uterine cancer. their squad car. After being awarded She underwent surgery to remove a merit badge, she decided it was time to quit. There were other difficult tests ahead. Upon the death of her sister’s husband, the decision was made to move back home to where the family roots began in the state of Minnesota. Taking charge, she packed all that we owned into a small Uhaul truck and drove us crosscounty to join her sister and my cousins. We lived in the small corner of the den in my uncle Tom’s basement. She did not want to leave me alone, but she had

to make ends meet and get us our own place. She taught me at an early age to start taking care of myself. She always said, “Listen to me. You will need to know how to do this in case I am gone.” I learned quickly

how to cook an egg, make toast, sort the laundry, and fight back against my older cousins who sometimes attempted to lock me in the closet because I dared to play with their toys. We moved out after six months. Later, my mom was able to secure a home for us. It was old and in need of repairs, but it was ours and ours alone. She worked hard, and decisions had to be made about what bills could be paid and which ones could not. To this day, I never take for granted a working stove, the ability to take a hot shower or the comfort of heat on the first cold days of October. If you have ever gone without,

the cancerous tissues. She was told everything looked good, and she was on the road to a full recovery. Through all this, she always made sure I had something to laugh about. She had a

effects. She had me lay down with her on the bed and she began to talk. She said,

“I need you to listen to me and do not interrupt.” I simply nodded my

head. She ran her hand through my hair as we lay together eye to eye. She spoke in a tone of voice I had never heard from her before. “I am in my last days. I know this, and I would like to wear the navy blue dress with the fur collar. It has the broach I want already pinned to it, and it is hanging in the front closet.” My pearl earrings are to go with me, but none of my rings, you are to keep all of those. Contact White’s funeral home to perform the service, and I want to be buried by your uncle Joe in Corinthian Cemetery in Farmington. Can you remember all this?” Without question, I

have remembered every detail of that afternoon, the way she looked laying there.

The sunlight streamed in through the half open blinds as I left her to nap. Making the decision to sign the Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form for a family member is not an easy thing to do. Neither is watching them die a slow and painful death. You feel utterly Getty Images helpless, exhausted, and at creative ability to make light out of any times, numb. You will witness their loss darkness. of appetite, early dementia, followed by All the laughter faded with a single episodes of agitation. Soon, their ability call from Dr. Kamueller announcing her to communicate will disappear, and their cancer was back, and this time it was eyes will remain in a half open state. They more aggressive. My mother continued call it “baby doll eyes” in the end-of-life to work while receiving radiation books hospice services provide you. You treatments. Hardheaded and stubborn, need to be careful what is said in their she refused to let these treatments stop presence; hearing is the last sensory her normal routine. function they lose before dying. One afternoon in June, she called me I signed the papers in a small to her room. The radiation dose a few conference room at the hospital sitting days prior was causing her pain and side go to page 26

_student words

fellow officer was surrounded by abusive family members on the front lawn of the residence. She was forced to pull the


People Get Ready: Media Arts &

Animation looks Ahead By Derrick Schimke

This year, as many of you know, the school has gone through a lot of changes. With the added security measures, new wing, and financial aide revisions, the school has shown us that it is always evolving. Animation students recently found many classes in their curriculum were changing as well. A new emphasis is being put on projects that directly relate to the industry. Shannon Gilley, Animation instructor and one of the teachers leading the changes in the Media Arts & Animation program, spoke to Main_Frame about what the future holds. M_F: How did you get interested in Animation and how did that lead to teaching? SG: I saw movies like Star Trek II and The Last Starfighter as a kid and I was completely engrossed in the 3D animated sequences. I didn’t realize I could actually try doing that sort of stuff as a career until my sophomore year at the U of M, when I started finding out about software users groups and animation studios in the Twin Cities. I started at a 3D shop called Windlight Studios in 1993 as an unpaid intern, and during my six years there I worked my way up to being a director, lead animator, and lead modeler. Some of my bigger jobs included the Disney series Rolie Polie Olie, a CBS sitcom pilot, and several Mattel toy commercials. I started transitioning into teaching in 1999, and I’ve been at Ai Minnesota for over six years now.  My experience on the job helps every day in the classroom—those years of production help immensely with problem solving and foresight. I also do freelance projects from time to time, which is a bonus since I still feel driven to create. M_F: The programs and curriculum at Ai

Minnesota seem to evolve, is this true with other Art Institutes? SG: I can’t speak to other Art Institutes—only what we’re doing here. We feel like we have a good amount of control over the curriculum, and we’re constantly trying to make it better, making sure it reflects the changing industry from both a technical and job placement standpoint, making sure the classes flow together, stuff like that. M_F: What sort of skills do you think will advance media arts and animation students? What about Z Brush? Do you think it will taught in classes? SG: If we add that, we have to move or drop something else, and you have to manage that domino effect.  For now I recommend digging into the self-paced learning resources for Z-Brush—there are online tutorials, DVD’s, and books all here at Ai Minnesota.  Students have been using these resources more, and that’s a great trend.  There’s so much to learn and we just don’t have time to cover it all in class. M_F: Recently you stated that you have been in contact with industry insiders to better understand what employers are looking for when it comes to prospective employees.  What types of companies/studios have you spoken to and what general advice do they give? SG: We just had two tours to Hybrid Medical Animation and Medtronic, and we got some great info from them— general industry stuff, not just medical animation related.  We got some great feedback from the recent Pizza with the Pros luncheon too. I’m making all those notes available as I get a chance to type them up. I also have some relationships with studio people that go back many years and I get candid feedback from them. And over the quarter break I had a great talk with a couple guys from Pixel Farm, who have hired several of our grads so they have first-hand knowledge of what we’re doing well and where we can improve. All of them stress the importance of knowing the fundamentals really well, like weight and timing in animation. They need their employees to have a whatever-it-takes-

to-get-the-job-done attitude. Their team members need good communication skills—and they need to keep project data organized! You never know when you’re going to get pulled onto another project and someone has to take over for you without missing a step. M_F: If any changes were to made in the curriculum, for instance if Z Brush was implemented in the classroom, how would that happen? SG: There are sort of two levels of changes that are possible—the first level can happen almost immediately, where you adjust what projects you give your students and tweak the subject matter, but everything still addresses the course competencies from the existing syllabus for the class. The second level is a bigger change, where the curriculum is updated in a way that the competencies and course description on a syllabus would be rewritten, or we would swap out this course for that one in the program, or a new course would be written altogether. These changes usually require a more thorough review process and it even involves approval from the state, so it’s more work and the turnaround time is slower. We are making the smaller changes on a regular basis, and we are talking about what kinds of bigger changes could best benefit the students.  M_F: What’s the biggest mistake someone can make as they are getting ready to graduate? SG: There are a few things that most pre-grads need to do better. I would say not getting out and networking with industry people is a big mistake— shaking hands is a big deal in getting connected to job opportunities. Also, students should be cutting their demo reels much earlier than they do now— the portfolios should start very early on and evolve after every quarter. And if you don’t have an online portfolio yet, you’re behind the curve. Make one right away. It’s not as hard as you might think. If you don’t know how to do something, just ask the people around you—eventually you’ll find your way to good sources of information. M_F: What’s the best thing a student could do as they are preparing to graduate?

go to page 26



photo from Getty Images

by Kathy Littfin

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that there is a lot of controversy going on about how we’ve been treating our earth. I am not here to convince you that there is a problem, most of us have seen “An Inconvenient Truth”, or whatever else, and know the gist of the issues. What I am going to do, is cut to the chase and tell how you personally can do your part to reduce your carbon footprint on our beautiful planet. There are basic things that seem fairly obvious that we all kind of forget about from time to time. There are also some things that we just never thought of in the first place. I hope this list of simple tips helps you realize that it is not that hard to cut down your carbon footprint.

 Unplug your electronics:

Most electronics still use energy even when turned off. The “standby mode” drains up to 10% of electricity used in most homes.

 Turn off your lights when they aren’t being used.

 Replace any incandescent

light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs or light-emitting diodes. By replacing just one incandescent light bulb, you can save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide, and, because it lasts eight to fifteen times longer than an incandescent bulb, you can save around $30 over the course of its lifetime.

 Wash your clothes with cold water and hang dry your laundry rather than using the dryer.

 Turn off the faucet while

brushing your teeth, you save 25 gallons of water per month.

 Buy goods that were

produced locally rather than transported across long distances.

 Use reusable shopping bags. The oil it takes to produce 14 plastic bags will power your car for a mile.

 Think before you drive. On

average, every gallon of gasoline burned emits about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. Don’t leave your car on, even for quick errands. Skip the drive through; park and go inside instead. Try walking, taking public transportation or riding a bike. Overall, try to cut down on unnecessary car trips.

 Say no to Styrofoam. It isn’t recycled, it never

biodegrades, and is just no good.

 Recycle and reuse as much

as possible. Each pound of trash you throw away emits approximately 0.94 pounds of carbon dioxide. The average person throws away over 1,130 pounds of waste per year, that is about 1,060 pounds of CO2. There are still many other things that an individual can do to cut down their carbon footprint. Please don’t be afraid to look for more answers and try them out, even for a little bit. You’d be surprised how quickly things add up.

Additional Resources: How_to_reduce_your_carbon_ footprint#Calculate_Your_Carbon_ Footprint action/solutions.php

2008 Main_Frame Poetry Contest Winner* Sonnet of Seasons by Brandon Werth Summer songbirds sing-along To an empty chorus still warm with sun, Until the fall. In the gallows of the trees, Bloody leaves are hung like thieves, And laid at our feet. Winter wings too cold to fly, Every wish now happily resigned, To the longest nights. April showers drown the shortest days, May flowers rest on winter’s grave. In every drop of rain all I taste is you, I can honestly say now, I am in bloom. Honorable Mention** “Face Behind the Mirror’s Surface” by Jeffrey McSorley “Another Month Yellow” by Amber Michaels “Blackout Angels” by Gregory Steinmann “Holiday” by Aimee Bey “The Proposal” by Leah Conn * receives $100, publication, and framing ** receive $10

by Korrie Bennett

I realize that there is a lot of hatred for the Saw franchise, but I have no problem admitting that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the series since the beginning. One could argue that the formula for the plot of each new installment matches that of its predecessor: the victim awakens inside a horrifying contraption, listens to spiel on the error of their ways, and then attempts to escape from said contraption to no avail. This I won’t argue against. However, the Saw franchise contains the element missing from most horror franchises: an attempt to create a storyline that’s at least somewhat engaging. Being the horror hound I am it’s no surprise that the instruments of torture throughout the films have kept me geeking out year after year, but for me the biggest draw has always been the storyline. The first four films did a fine job of carrying out an intriguing, ongoing story. Now, we have Saw V. The plot goes as follows; detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is the last person alive to carry out the legacy of Jigsaw, but when his secret is threatened by Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson), he must find a way to tie up

the loose ends. As mentioned before, I’m a loyal fan of the first four films, but having now seen the fifth chapter it pains me to say that the blade is getting dull. Each installment of the franchise has showcased an impressive array of story elements, plot twists, and characters that have held strong for the most part. Unfortunately, these ingredients are lacking in Saw V. The story here is simply not as interesting as that of its predecessors. This is mostly due to a subplot with five characters trapped in a room with each of them showcasing their stupidity, and an interlaced story that is as bland as their acting. I won’t spoil what the connection between the five is, but it’s one of little interest. Every time the film switched focus to these halfwits, I became bored; their storyline plodded along from one trap to another and the character development was almost nonexistent. When their presence reigned on screen, I waited for the focus to return to the struggle between Detective Hoffman and Agent Strahm; there was a far more interesting story to be told there. But alas, whenever tensions were high between the supporting leads, the audience would be sucker punched

by the less than stellar subplot. Don’t get me wrong, the film isn’t terrible by any means. There are redeeming factors saw that make this one a good watch. First, and foremost, is the story of Hoffman and how he fits into the Saw universe. I have to admit, his introduction in Saw IV left somewhat of a sour taste in my mouth, but after seeing him take hold of the reigns in Saw V, I see much promise and potential in his character. He does a fine job of establishing his character as a force to be reckoned with and plays a delightfully twisted antagonist. Tobin Bell also reprises his role as the lovable Jigsaw, via flashbacks of course, and his screen presence is still as strong as it was in the first movie. He is a strong actor and when he takes the screen his power and control are felt instantly. Aside from its choice in actors, the franchise has always also taken pride in the dark tone and gritty set pieces. The grungy locations and gritty traps have always been like characters all on their own and do not disappoint here. The sets and traps have clearly been crafted with care; there are some fantastic designs at work in this film. The use of practical sets go to page 26

Lionsgate Films

movie review_

Saw V


Bearing_Down by Amanda Parker Sarah Knapp


If you were to flip on the news or page through a newspaper, there is one issue you’d be sure to hear about, the economy has been making headlines and capturing the front page. There is a widespread fear that our economy is stuck in a dangerous downward spiral. The signs of an ailing economy surround us everywhere—high unemployment rates, low stock market levels. What does this all mean to an average college student? One concern of many college students is the cost of tuition. College is a large expense, and according to the 2008 College Board’s report on trends in student aid, shows that 60% of students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2007 were leaving school in debt. This is a number that is prone to increase, especially when we factor in the U.S. current economic status. The Education sector is affected by many of the same economic woes the whole country is experiencing, and many colleges are having to raise their tuition in order to meet their obligations. These tuition prices could end up causing more and more students to take out private loans. Private student loans contribute greatly to overall student debt, because, in many cases, the terms of private loans are greater than those of federally subsidized loans. No matter what type of loan, publicly subsidized or private, that student (and cosigners) are responsible for paying back both the principal amount of the loan and interest, which is accrued under the terms of the agreement.

Another problem students may be facing is a toughening job market. Whether you’re looking for a job in your field, or just a part-time job, the competition seems to be stiffening. Many businesses aren’t faring too well. An August 27, 2008 news release from states that between June 2007 and June 2008 there was a 41.6% increase in businessrelated bankruptcy filings. This massive increase is testament to the hardships that many U.S. companies are going through right now. For a second indicator of this, we can look to the current unemployment rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the unemployment rate is sitting at 6.1%— the worst in five years. Now, you know how hard the economy is hitting students, but don’t fret. Being a college student while the economy is hitting everyone else’s 401K is probably one of the better places to be. American economic history has shown that when the economy is down, the government eventually invests in student’s education as a part of a stimulus plan. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something like that in the next year. Also, watch the industry you are specializing in by reading the magazines relevant to your industry and paying attention to the news. This will help you understand what is happening in the world (which affects the market) and what the market needs. Not all job sectors are failing, only certain sectors, and other industries are going to be on the up and coming as certain industries die off. From this you can learn what skills you need to market yourself and prepare for the right industry. Getting a job at a car factory, which pays well, might not be the right strategy, considering how bad off the current American car industry has been doing for quite a few years now. But getting a job advertising for green fuels and a new green car industry would be. If you’re looking to succeed in this tighter market, a good way to do so is to set yourself apart from your competition.

Prepare yourself so that you are able to show these employers why they want to hire you, and why you would be an asset to their company – and a good investment despite any financial hardships they may be experiencing. It’s important to get in the habit of keeping track of your loans and your quarterly budget. Always know where your money is coming from, and where it’s going. Money is like time, if you don’t manage it, you lose it and you find yourself wishing you had managed it better. Part of the reason that our economy is in the state it’s in is because we have stopped saving our money, and started living beyond our budget. Some of that debt that banks are selling is consumer debt. To cushion yourself against the nasty side affects of a bad national economy, watch your pennies, and always ask yourself, “Do I really NEED this?” If you stop and imagine life without it and see that you can still eat, live, be happy, have warm running water and a few goodies, then you’re doing quite well and you don’t need “it.” Visit your financial aid officer at least once a quarter. Make sure you are getting the grants you need. Find out if you are able to pay some of the interest on your loans right now. Know how much money go to page 27

Getty Images


M e r Asplund “Seattle Created


n e (Will)

By Spring



Foot” /



Seattle by Foot is a Seattle coffee tour company that recently opened, providing customers with a short walk and more than enough caffeine at many famous Seattle coffee shops. I was fortunate enough to design and build this web site from the ground up. We decided to use a custom Wordpress theme so it was easier to update. I used graphite to create the buildings on the base of the site, Javascript and PHP to add features to the Wordpress. The background is reflective of the current time of day and weather. PHP 5 allows us to find out exactly what time sunset and sunrise is on each day only by providing latitude and longitude. I used this information and some simple logic to figure out if the sun was up or down. The national weather service provides an RSS feed of each area in the US. My code gets the correct XML from the national weather service when a user signs on, and uses the information to decide what background group it should select. The examples you see are each from a different group. Once a group is selected, it randomly selects one of the images in the group. This means that even if the weather doesn’t change, the background still will. To add to this feature, I made a current weather tab that slides in providing the weather description (like snow, rain, or fog), temperature, and wind speed and direction.


photo by Corey Deguia

Fashion Forward Club

photo by Sarah Knapp

announcement by KelliRae Sebwe

Fashion & Retail Management announces the 2009 Fashion Forward Club Officers. Students in the Fashion & Retail Management program were invited to run for office in the Fashion Forward club. Elections were held on Nov 3 & 4, 2008. The winners were announced at a reception on November 6, 2008. Four students were elected by their peers for the following positions and are quoted as follows. Kathryn (Kat) Grace Wilson, President, “I am an extremely dedicated, determined and driven student, who is excited to help develop the new Fashion Forward Club in the most enjoyable, beneficial and chic way possible!” Maren Pfister, Vice President Communications, “I have been a FRM student since the program started at The Art Institutes International Minnesota and know a lot of students that I can get involved in the club. I am also very organized and love to motivate and inform other students about the different things that the club will be doing whether it’s educational or fun experiences we can all have together.” Jill Rosinsky, Vice President of Events and Membership,

“I have previous experience in planning events and managing others. I am a hard worked, a bit of a perfectionist, and I communicate well with my peers.” Katie Leier, Vice President of Finance, “I want to be involved in the fashion club as a leader. The position I hold now at work is very involved with numbers and dealing with behind the scenes of what it takes to create and run a successful retail business. I feel I have great leadership qualities; I’m very organized and feel that I have a respected voice throughout the F.R.M. program. I have been with the program since it’s started and only have one more year left. This last year in being VP of finance would only better my understanding of what it takes to work hard and be successful as a team. I will gain great relationships with people throughout the field. I feel I will be able to get the word of our program out there, and create a long lasting, reputable fashion program to come for future F.R.M students!” Fashion Forward Club membership is open to all Fashion & Retail Management students.  Please contact KelliRae Sebwe, Faculty Club Advisor, via email at ksebwe@aii. edu with your inquires or contact any of the student officers listed above.

Five Years After by Katie Wahlquist Rudd ( In December of 2002, I graduated from The Art Institutes International Minnesota (Ai Minnesota) with a BS in Multimedia & Web Design. I was a college graduate, newly engaged, and ready to hit the road running. I did, and fell right on my face. I wouldn’t say it is a tragic story; rather, it’s an adventurous one. I searched for a job, but all I got was, “try Kinko’s.” I was determined to find something better. I wanted more. So I worked odd jobs, temp jobs, and dangerous jobs. I did some design on the side for different people, companies, but nothing really paid the bills. I got back into printing—a career path I experienced even before

attending Ai Minnesota. I made balloons. Mylar Balloons, I think it nearly killed me, mentally and physically. I worked hard, night after night, breathing fumes, torturing my body, and killing my mind. I applied for other positions in that company, but was always “second best,” or, “You’d be great! But…” I knew what I had to do…. I quit! Two years out of school, I teamed up with my father and started a Design/ Graphics division within his lighting company: Aerial Maintenance of Minnesota, Inc [Amomi]. I took the things I learned in school, the years of printing I had behind me, bought a digital printer, and set off. The journey has at times been slow, but rewarding. I’ve been able to grow in many ways. I miss those days in school, and I hope someday I will be able to give

back somehow, pass on what I have learned. I would like to teach one day. I’m currently looking at Master’s programs. Who knows how many turns the journey will have? I can only hope that when it ends I will be able to say I followed my dreams.


from page 18, People Get Ready SG: Something that has been coming up a lot lately when we’re critiquing student work is intent.  What are you trying to do with this piece?  What does it say about you?  Ask a few people whose opinions you trust, and who you know won’t sugar coat their responses.  Kid gloves in school doesn’t do you any good; you’re going to get the truth once you’re applying for jobs -- so it’s best to get honest feedback now and respond to it before you graduate.  I’ve also heard several industry people say it’s important to have a working knowledge of all aspects of production, but recognize your strengths and play to them when choosing your portfolio projects.  In other words, be a bit of a generalist but show off in one area.  And recognize that in this industry you will never stop learning -- new software and new techniques are emerging all the time and you have to stay efficient to meet deadlines. M_F: What advice would you give to a student about to graduate?  Something based on your own experience maybe? SG: Don’t have a narrow view of what kinds of jobs you’re willing to take when you’re first out of school. Most industry people will tell you that you can’t be afraid to lower your standards and take jobs related to your field, in order to get a foot in the door and work your way toward your dream job. Be willing to get coffee for the animators so that you can have the opportunity to learn from them. This industry is cliquey and you need to break in somehow. The path to that dream job can take a few years beyond graduation, but every step adds up.

from page 21, Saw V movie review and effects are always a welcome relief in an age where computer graphics are used heavily. All in all, Saw V is a passable entry into the franchise, albeit a weak one. Had the subplot and its characters been reworked

a bit, this could’ve been a much better film. However, if the filmmakers focus more attention on Hoffman’s character in Saw VI (we all know it’s coming) then the franchise could turn itself around and get back on track. So, despite its flaws, I give Saw V 3 frames out of 5.

from page 06, Green Fire

We continued to punish ourselves by eating more. By now, the sweat was beading on our foreheads. I attempted to hide the fact that I was peeling the remaining slices of jalapeno pepper off the piece I was eating, but that didn’t help. The fiery heat from the peppers had cooked right into the pizza itself. If my tongue had eyes, they would have been crying. The pain wasn’t just in my mouth either. My hearing seemed to be affected. The noises around me sounded muted somehow, and there was a highpitched ringing in my ears. My taste buds totally shut down. Even my beloved beer now tasted insipid, so I called it quits and stopped eating. We agreed that the peppers were too hot for us, but laughed about it after the pain subsided. I paid the bill, and we went our separate ways. Aside from spending the better portion of an entire paycheck, I do not recall the events that transpired afterward, but I know I’ll never forget that meal. I would advise anyone curious about jalapeno peppers to take it slow and not bite off more than they can chew. For me, it started off as a bet but ended up as a date with green fire. I got burned.

from page 14, Siggraph 2008

more and more recruiters prefer a URL to your video-equipped web site. While we’re on that subject, they don’t really want to look at your work on YouTube because the quality just isn’t good enough. Get it on your own site in QuickTime format. Don’t have a web site? What’s wrong with you? Get on it! Let’s say a great reel gets you an interview. A California-based house like R&H recognizes that artists come from all over the world, and sometimes this initial interview is done over the phone. But the industry is still reliant

on “face time” with the artists, so be prepared to pack up the car and move to Beverly (Hills, that is. Movie stars, swimming pools...). If the content of your reel speaks all about you as an artist, then the interview is about you as a person. During the interview, the studio determines if you pay attention to detail, if you are willing to learn new things, if you have a good attitude and the ability to work within a team, and if you possess good communication skills. Crucial stuff, you can’t spend enough time honing those skills. There it is, folks. Be advised. Hollywood Mike, signing off.

page 17, Beloved

in stiff upright chair, surrounded by two doctors, two nurses, and a counselor. I listened as they described what would take place in the event she went into cardiac arrest. My mom had a heart condition; it would complicate resuscitation procedures. They would need to cut straight down her chest, saw into her breastbone, and use internal paddles to shock the heart. There was no guarantee they would be able to revive her. If they were able to bring her back, she would be in a vegetative state. The cancer had begun to enter her blood stream, moving throughout her body and into her brain. The evening of July 27, 2004 was the last in a month-long stay at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. We had finished watching her favorite TV show, “Cops.” After switching off the TV set and moving to the cot, I heard a hitch in her breathing, followed by a raspy gasp. Something inside me knew that she was about to leave me. Her breaths kept coming harsher and faster. Reaching out to hold her, I watched as a grimace passed over her face. Her jaw clenched, then released, a small portion of her tongue poked out of the corner of her mouth. White foam appeared at the corners of her lips. With a small growling sound and a final exhale, she died. Frozen by her bedside, I do not recall pressing the nurse call button. I kept staring at her face, willing her to come back, begging God to give us more time. “She is gone dear,” said the nurse, the same one that admitted us a month previously.

“No, they had to leave because it was getting late.” I replied. I began the task of packing up our personal belongings. I made the necessary calls informing everyone of her passing. After all was completed, I sat beside the bed and waited for my uncle Tom and my friend Jenny. I could only stare at my mother, lying so still in the hospital bed, beginning to turn an ashy shade of grey. It was surreal. The vivacious woman—so full of life—my mother, was no more. In a little cemetery by the side of a small, blacktop road there is a burgundycolored, granite headstone engraved with the name Mary P. Knox. Below, are the dates, March 4, 1958 and July 27, 2004. Further down, in smaller letters, the words, Beloved Mother-Sister-Friend. She rests where, on a clear day, from sunrise to sunset, the sun casts its light upon her.

from page 7, Breakfast of Champions Key’s at the Foshay Bar & Grill, left me very happy with the great food, cheap prices and fast service. I was able to sit down, order my food and eat all within 15-20 minutes. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone that is interested in a quick, fairly inexpensive, great tasting place to eat. Especially if you like to leave a restaurant feeling like you need bypass surgery. For menu visit keys_foshay_menu.pdf 114 S. 9th St. Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-339-6399

Jamba Juice

By Sarah Knapp Chocolate Moo’d $3.95 Acai Super Antioxidant $3.95 Boosts: Free Liquid fruit for breakfast, you say? I say yes! Especially since you have 8 am class and heavy eyelids. Running late? Quick! Grab a Jamba Juice located on Nicollet and 7th, either on the first floor next to OfficeDepot, or on the second floor in the City Center. For

less than four bucks, you can get some protein in your blood, with natural sugars from the fruit to make you alert without giving you a caffeine crash. And trust me, you’d think 16 ounces of fruit and liquid isn’t much of a meal compared to pancakes and hashbrowns, but it is. It’s amazing how you can get full without feeling comatose. Besides, shouldn’t you leave the grease for a Saturday morning hangover brunch? (Yes, you should.) Try the 3G Energy boost, with berries, lemonade, sherbert and energy supplements for a kickstart, or grab a Coldbuster with antioxidant and immunity boosts if you’ve got the sniffles (or everyone else around you has the sniffles, preventative care!). My favorite is the Peanut Butter Moo’d: Creamy goodness with chocolate, banana, peanut butter, extra calcium for my girlie bones and tons of protein for sustenance. It’s like a meal, but better, faster, and tastier. Plus, I can add any boost (boost: powdered supplements, fiber, energy (with or without caffeine), immunity, protein, weight loss, and other interesting stuff ), which makes me feel better about consuming all that chocolate. Which, by the way, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I recently tried the Acai (pronounced, uh-sigh-ee, it’s powdered form is fairly nutritional stuff, and good for the heart and arteries) Super Antioxidant. What’s an antioxidant, you ask? It’s kind of complicated, so you should look it up on your own time, but basically it’s something that reduces free radicals. Studies have shown that free radicals are a part of a chain reaction that causes cell damage, and while this isn’t always a bad thing, it’s important for all plant and animal life to maintain a complex set of antioxidants to prevent cells being damaged or killed, which can lead to disease. There are lots of other sources of antioxidants, like strawberries, mangos, and grapes. Which is good a thing, because frankly, my Acai Super Antioxidant tasted like vomit after about half-way down the cup. Keep it cold or drink it fast people. Then again, the battle against disease can’t always taste great. I’ll leave it to you to decide. P.S. you web design students, I’d suggest you take a look at Jamba Juice’s website. It’s great to understand what flash shouldn’t be (slow, slow, unusable, and more slow).

from page 22, Bearing Down money is coming in next quarter. Also, learn about the market in general, and the credit industry. Order your credit report, and consider investing in an overall credit watch program; I use Credit Keeper. It will teach you about credit, and show you what to look out for. I’ve learned that most of us don’t

know anything about how credit works, even the savvy among us.

Take for example loan consolidation. In some instances, depending on your credit, it isn’t a good choice. Having one very large lump sum debt on your credit report can hurt your score. Pay bills in full, pay past due debts in full, or arrange any kind of payment you can. Even if it’s just $20, it puts you in good standing. Don’t have a lot of credit cards, but have at least one. Don’t carry a large balance, but use some available credit. I put one bill on my credit card and pay it off every month to show activity. The industry likes that. Also, if you don’t

use your credit, you may find your available credit decrease.

Students with disabilities have access to rehabilitative services through the state of Minnesota, which helps with college tuition and supplies, as well as job placement once you graduate. The waiting list is about six months, but it’s worth it. (See web address below.) Live closer to school and catch the bus. With a couple of roommates in a nice sized place I paid $275.00 a month for rent. That allowed me to spend more time on my studies and switch to a parttime job. Always think ahead, and always research your options before you make a decision. You will be surprised at how many affordable deals are out there if you just stop and look for them. You can learn to be resourceful by investing the time to research, and asking questions of those around you.

Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships! They aren’t some elusive, elite resource for a few go to page 30


“Is there someone here with you?” She asked.


photo by Mitch Stier

from page 27, Bearing Down

a scholarship is not that hard. So many people think they can’t get one, so the select super intelligent students. competition is not as bad as one would I’ve even heard people complain that think. I’ve applied to four scholarships they can’t get a scholarship because of in my life, and I have received each their race/gender/GPA etc. It’s simply one. Just about every corporation not true. There is a scholarship for every and medium sized company offers kind of person and talent for merit and a scholarship; go to the company grades. There are scholarships for adult webpage and do a keyword search for learners. The list is unbelievable. Getting “scholarships.”

Scholarship databases, like Fastweb (see web address below), that help you create a personal profile are the best to use. Take the time out to search, and if you have a personalized profile, you don’t even have to search for one that you qualify for, you just have to pick which ones you want to apply to. The federal student aid website (see web address below) is probably the best resource for


Photo by Mitch Stier

learning about managing your loans, finding loans, grants and scholarships. It’s so rich with resources that it can be a bit intimidating to navigate through, but stick with it. Their scholarship search engine, which you create a personalized profile for (it takes about a half hour) is the most comprehensive scholarship engine I’ve seen so far. It’s your choice, use your time to make money, or use

your money to save time. The ways the economy stands now, I suggest using your time to make money. Students with disabilities: main_vr.htm Federal Aid Resources (grants, loans, scholarship search engine): scholarship/scholarship_search_select.

asp?13817/ Scholarship search engines: If you have concerns regarding your financial plan or would like to learn more about financial aid opportunities, please contact the Student Financial Aid office located on the second floor.

ai minnesota student magazine

fall 2008

Main_frame Fall 2008