This Sheâ€™ll Defend
Married with Flowers
Wisconsin: A Love Story
Helping Others — Now and Forever Buck Parker came home from Vietnam and created a paradise on an old farm in central Wisconsin. He hosts fellow veterans who find peace fishing in his ponds. When melanoma spread through his body and his UW Carbone Cancer Center doctor suggested a clinical trial, Buck said yes. He wanted to help others even if it was too late for him. It wasn’t. The experimental drug melted his tumors. He’s more than five years cancer free. And that new immunotherapy drug is now FDA approved and saving others’ lives. Hear Buck’s story and learn more about clinical trials at uwhealth.org/cancertrials
From self-love through yoga to fourlegged friendship to community activism, Wisconsin’s love story spans more than 64 pages. We invite you to watch, listen and read the rest of our narrative at
curb online curbonline.com
this Thing Called Love
the right wright man
The Farmer in La valle
5 ways to show your dog some love Jenna Wirkus
this she’ll defend
Beer Barrel Brotherhood
4 Things to Love About Madison
Melissa Behling Kate Jungers
Maggie Doleschy Maggie Baruffi
ReFraming Mental Illness
Stressed out? stretch out.
a house divided
Design Katie Hicks Art Director Elizabeth Koskiewicz Production Editor Jenna Wirkus Production Associate Lizzie Ryan Production Associate Sadie Dorf Photographer
Editorial Bailey Nachreiner-Mackesey Editor-in-Chief Allison Garcia Managing Editor Kate Jungers Lead Writer Mia Sato Lead Writer Madeline Makoul Lead Writer Lisa Speckhard Copy Editor Brenna Koeneke Copy Editor
Married with Flowers
Business Maggie Doleschy Marketing Director Tyne Oberlander Marketing Associate Kara Rheingans Marketing Associate Maggie Baruffi Public Relations Manager
Love Locked Out
homework you can wine about Bailey Nachreiner-Mackesey
the International Dateline
push to the finish Jacy Zollar
Most Romantic Places in Wisconsin Madeline Makoul
All photos, including cover, taken by photographer sadie dorf unless otherwise noted.
letter from the editor
Online Sam Marchewka Online Editor Gabrielle DiBenedetto Online Associate Jacy Zollar Online Associate Maija Inveiss Online Associate Melissa Behling Videographer
Curb Magazine is published through generous alumni donations administered by the UW Foundation and in partnership with Royle Printing, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (c) Copyright 2016 Curb Magazine
Dear Curb Readers, Stories are a powerful phenomenon. A well-told story can move us to tears or action. It can illustrate personal experience and illuminate human connection. Other people’s stories help us comprehend our own place in the world and preserve otherwise fleeting, but nonetheless impactful, instances. At their roots, stories string together seemingly random and inexplicable events and reduce our much-feared isolation. Sharing stories and learning from them strengthens communities and it strengthens us. At the beginning of September, our team spent a full week deliberating on the topic of this magazine. Frustrations ran high, debates were heated and we could not come to a consensus. On the last day of discussion, we tackled a completely new idea — what if we talk about love? Not the boy meets girl, head-over-heels, Ryan Gosling rom-com love, but the authentic, funny, heartbreaking and inspiring ways love shapes the lives of real people here in Wisconsin. Suddenly, we were all in unanimous agreement. It was clear to us that love, in all its complex forms, is something that unites us. Every single day, Wisconsinites show that love extends far beyond romantic borders. We have deep connections to the land, passions strong enough to ignite change and cherished traditions that span generations. As we traveled to every corner of the state, we were welcomed into homes and hearts, consistently humbled and motivated by the stories we heard. The Curb staff is built by bright, passionate writers, creators and designers ready to charge the world and change it. We love the work we do. We love the stories we get to tell. As most of us finish out our time here at UW-Madison, I like to think of the 15th edition of Curb as our love letter — to our school, to our state and to the people in it. Thus, we give you our own labor of love — Wisconsin: A Love Story. We can’t wait to share it with you, and we hope you enjoy. Sincerely yours,
allory Wallace’s mom meant well.
Her mom was trying to help her work through a rough breakup and wanted her to eat anything she could stomach. Two years later, the pain of the breakup is still raw for Mallory — and it’s connected to the one food her mom continually made for her.
This THing Called Love
Experiencing heartbreak can seem isolating and chaotic, but science suggests it actually follows an identifiable pattern By Brenna Koeneke
“I can’t eat cinnamon raisin toast anymore,” Mallory says. When your heart breaks, whether it is caused by a significant other, a tragic death or something in between, it feels like you’re drowning in pain. Your chest physically hurts, and it seems like the tears will never cease to flow from your eyes. But while it may not seem like it at first, the pain will stop and your heart will heal. Heartbreak is an inevitable part of life; it’s how we recover from this experience that defines who we are.
Falling in Love This is the easy part. It seemed like fate when Mallory and her preschool classmate Will took their lifelong friendship to the next level after graduating from high school. Despite going to different colleges for much of their relationship, Mallory and Will remained best friends and deeply in love. Ilene Kastel, a licensed clinical professional counselor based out of Chicago, pointed to Dr. Helen Fisher’s research on brain imaging and MRIs. “Love is registered in the same area of the brain that addiction is. Falling in and out of love functions just like an addiction,” Kastel says. It’s no wonder falling in love can feel allconsuming. Dick Goldberg, a Wisconsin-based radio broadcaster and veteran relationship therapist, says relationships evolve through three major stages. The first stage is the head-over-heels, giddy, can’t-sleep-because-you’re-so-obsessed phase. He describes this process as each person wearing a mask, putting their best foot forward to be the most compatible version of themselves for their partner. The UW-Madison Couples Lab, based in the School of Human Ecology, puts couples of all ages under the microscope to learn more about relationship dynamics. Lauren Papp, associate professor and director of the lab, says some common threads in healthy relationships include communication, being able to work through differences and, Papp says, a lack of jealousy.
Staying in Love During the second stage of a relationship, Goldberg says, couples can face conflict for the first time. How do you and your partner react to your first disagreement? For Mallory and Will, it seemed like they had this phase of their relationship mastered. Longdistance dating is no easy feat, especially during college when the opportunities to feel insecure are seemingly endless. Despite the odds stacked against them, Mallory and Will found themselves able to successfully communicate and, in return, build a loving and stable relationship. Goldberg explains the third and final stage of a relationship as companionate love. During this phase, you see your partner’s imperfections, and you fight on occasion, yet you love each other anyway. This type of love is softer and more enduring. It is this unconditional love that gets couples to their fifth, 15th, — even 50th — anniversaries and beyond. Despite the passionate and all-consuming love you may feel while in a relationship, the importance of maintaining your own identity cannot be overstated. As Papp suggests, this is the ultimate goal: for people of all ages to be able to grow as individuals while simultaneously nurturing the relationship. “People have lots of opportunities to re-evaluate and make plans to stick with it or end the relationship as other things in their life change,” Papp says. Mallory wanted to stick with it. Will didn’t.
The Heartbreak It feels like the walls are caving in, like someone punched you in the gut with an iron fist. If it hurts badly enough, you can literally feel your heart break right down the middle. According to the American Heart Association, broken heart syndrome, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, occurs when part of your heart enlarges temporarily, causing it to pump less sufficiently. Symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath. “Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt empty and hollow and aching,” says Gabriel García Márquez in his book “Collected Stories.” Mallory felt the heartbreak, and she felt it hard. She cried for days, weeks.
It turns out that dwelling on your breakup might be a good thing as long as you don’t dwell too long. According to a study by graduate student Grace Larson at Northwestern University, initially rehashing breakup details can help with your recovery, helping you better process and understand what went wrong. Anyone who knows heartbreak understands that it transcends emotional boundaries and affects you physically as well. Mallory’s appetite immediately plummeted, causing her to lose 10 pounds in a matter of weeks. Enter Mallory’s mom, constantly making her cinnamon raisin toast to try to get some energy and calories into her system. Despite what it may initially feel like, not everything about a breakup is bad, and the pain doesn’t last forever. The semester Mallory and Will broke up, she shifted her focus to the one thing she could control: her schoolwork. She ended up getting a 4.0 GPA and had the most academically successful semester of her college career. Six months after she and Will ended their relationship, Mallory finally felt like herself again.
Now What? Not everyone reacts to heartbreak the same way Mallory did; everyone grieves in different ways. The term “grieve” may seem dramatic, but it isn’t. Goldberg says that breakups can sometimes feel more painful than mourning a death. “The end of a relationship is in some ways worse than death, because if you were left, there’s a feeling of inadequacy that can come up … It can really affect your sense of self and self-esteem,” Goldberg says. It’s during these difficult transitions in life that it’s easy to fall victim to unhealthy habits, so it’s important to make a conscious effort to take care of yourself, Papp says. If you want to cry and feel miserable, then do it. Just don’t unpack and settle there. Papp suggests turning to healthy behaviors such as eating right, working out and spending time with friends and family to help give you the strength to get through this rough period. Get back into a routine one day at a time and realize the fact that you lost someone doesn’t make you any less whole. Experts agree on a common post-breakup theme: cutting off contact completely is crucial to healing your wound. If you remain in contact, it’s easier to hold out hope that the relationship could pick back up again, Goldberg says. Even if you’re trying to maintain a friendship, there is often one partner more romantically attached than the other. This could lead to months, even years, of frustration and depression. Kastel also brings up a similar point about secondary breakups.
“When partners stay in touch, there is a secondary breakup that happens later, which is just as painful, when one sees their ex reaching out less frequently or with less empathy or warmth,” Kastel says. Heartbreak is a part of life. It’s like getting your wisdom teeth removed or paying taxes. No one wants to deal with it, but it happens whether you want it to or not. And guess what? You come out of heartbreak a better version of yourself. Along the way, you learn, you grow and you find love again. Enjoy and trust the process. “There is, after all, a kind of happiness in unhappiness, if it’s the right unhappiness,” Jonathan Franzen writes in his book “Freedom.” You are heartbroken, but you are not broken. The moment it happens, your world seems to fall apart. You breathe. In, out. In, out. People say it gets better, but you don’t believe them. But then, somehow one minute of being OK turns into one day, and one day turns into one month. Kastel says the first month without contact is the hardest, but it gets easier from there. According to a 2008 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, people bounce back from breakups about twice as fast as they originally expected. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. As for Mallory, now there’s a new toast in her life: banana and peanut butter on rye.
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American Family Mutual Insurance Company, American Family Insurance Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 ©2016 011756– 10/16
The right wRight Man
t’s 1954, and Tony Puttnam walks into a room that positively pulsates yellow: the cushions resting on the row of Marshall Field’s chairs, the limestone fireplace, the limestone walls. His teenage eyes are flooded by the light pouring in from the dozens of windows. His eyes scan the grand piano, the Japanese print running along a wall, vases of various colors particularly placed, the stone statue of Kuan Yim — the Buddhist goddess of mercy — watching the room from her perch on a half wall. He can hardly take it all in. But this space is animated, he can feel it. “This is my place,” he thinks. It’s the living room of Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin residence, and the whole thing — structures, sculptures, furniture, flowers — had been purposely arranged and rearranged to perfection by Wright himself. At 19, Puttnam was an adult when he walked into that room, but it was a youthful impulse that kept him there. “It was kind of running into a magic show and saying, ‘I want to stay,’” Puttnam says. He wasn’t the only one instantly drawn in by the drama, struck by the structure of the space. Over the years, he’s heard many people say that walking into that room was like hearing music for the first time. He’s seen architects come in and burst into tears, one declaring, “I’ve never felt such solace.”
“It is always surprising to me to watch people when they first come here — their eyes open, their mouths open,” says Aaron Betsky, dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin. “There’s certainly something about this place and the way that Frank Lloyd Wright transformed it.” That something has kept Puttnam around for six decades since he arrived. He transformed from student, to teacher, to the architect who would complete the Monona Terrace, Wright’s 1938 design for a “dream civic center” in Madison. Many people are attracted to the magic of Taliesin, just as Puttnam was. They come in droves every year to snap pictures and sigh in awe. Puttnam instantly fell for the room in a case of love at first site, but it could have been a fling, a fun tourist weekend. Instead, Puttnam’s compatibility and long-term commitment make him a perfect match for Taliesin and the right Wright man to carry on its legacies. Eighty-two years old now, Puttnam’s foundation is sinking a bit — he’s getting older. If eyes are the windows to the soul, his are just as wonderful as the ones in the living room of Taliesin. They’re not big and showy like those; they’re small and unassuming below a slight salt and peppering of eyebrows. They beam kindness instead of light. His voice has the universal gruffness that all old men get, and it’s as reassuring as the hum of the dishwasher. It rumbles along as he deliberately, thoughtfully tells me stories from his vast collection as we sit in the Taliesin visitor’s center.
“You’d be a little daunted in the White House asking for an interview with the president, but you can get away with a lot at 19.” His road to Wright started when he met Wright’s daughter Iovanna in Chicago at an event for Armenian mystic George Gurdjieff (Olgivanna, Wright’s third wife, was a big fan of Gurdjieff’s philosophies). Iovanna invited Puttnam to see Taliesin. It may have been a casual, flippant invitation — Oh, you should drop by Taliesin sometime — but Puttnam, maybe because he was young, or because he was, in his words, “totally at sea” and not sure what he wanted to do with his life, took her up on it. When he showed up, he instantly knew he wanted to stick around close to the magic room. And he said so. He was told to wait and take it up with Wright. “You’d be a little daunted in the White House asking for an interview with the president, but you can get away with a lot at 19,” Puttnam says. Puttnam waited; Wright returned. They went to Wright’s office and sat down. Then, Wright ran down Puttnam’s deficits, he remembers. “Can you do carpentry or masonry?”
how Frank Lloyd Wright’s 19-yearold apprentice fell in love at first site By Lisa Speckhard
“Have you worked on a building?” “No.” “You know, young man, I have to be very careful who I admit here,” Wright told him. “If you put all the mouths in the fellowship together,” he went on, joining his fingertips to form a large O, “You could drive a dump truck through it every day.” Wright was bluffing all the way, Puttnam says, smiling as he remembers, and having a good time with it, too. Wright wasn’t a hard man; but he also wasn’t above making the newcomers sweat a little. By the end of the interview, Wright simply said, “Well, you’re going to have to duck around here.” The ceilings in Taliesin are low, and Puttnam was over six feet tall. “And I took that as admission, and got out,” Puttnam says. About a month later, Puttnam got into an accident driving an ancient truck on the property and had his head wrapped up with a bandage. He ran into Wright, who deadpanned, “Well, I told you to duck.” Puttnam has deep respect for Wright, but he knows not everybody does. Wright left his first wife and six children for another woman. He was not one for false humility, once declaring, “Not only do I fully intend to be the greatest architect who has yet lived, but the greatest who will ever live.” Brendan Gill, a biographer and friend of Wright, made casual reference to Wright’s “wildness,
photo courtesy of creative commons/richard hurd
his lying, his ruthlessness, his ransacking people.” Puttnam’s had interviewers bluntly ask him, “Why was Frank Lloyd Wright the world’s meanest man?”
But Puttnam’s Wright is quirky and likable — a man who sort of sailed through life with his talent and a lot of confidence. He’s a Wright who didn’t start drawing until he could walk through the building in his head. A Wright who loved movies, even bad ones, and would insist the architects keep watching terrible films and the free reels of propaganda sent by Russian filmmakers. Wright would tell them to wait: the movie might get better. A Wright who drove to a site for a future civic center in California, stepped out of the car for a few minutes, looked at the landscape, and said, “Okay, we can go back now; I know what to do.” Puttnam sums it up: “Life with Mr. Wright was always unexpected and festive.” Puttnam certainly has plenty of festive memories of Wright. He tells me another story about a Wright who decided to appear on the Mike Wallace Interview talk show — against the better judgment of everyone, because Wallace’s show was known for his hard-hitting questions. (Wallace would famously reduce Barbra Streisand to tears in an interview years later.) Wallace jumped in by asking Wright’s opinion of organized Christianity, progressed to how Wright felt about being called a “pompous windbag,” and wanted to know how Wright’s attitude toward sex had changed over the last 60 years of his life. Wright waltzed through each question, ending the interview with his musings on immortality. When the cameras stopped rolling, Puttnam says, Wallace quipped, “My name is Mike Wallace; I’m the announcer on the Frank Lloyd Wright Show.” Wright was unflappable, and so is Puttnam. It’s why Puttnam was the perfect choice to carry out the mission of the Monona Terrace and ultimately fulfill Wright’s architectural prophecy.
Wright’s first proposed a plan for the Madison civic center on the shore of Lake Monona in 1938. But county board votes, World War II, building legislation, over-budget construction bids and referendum after referendum dragged out the project until after Wright died in 1959. When yet another opportunity came up for it to be finished in the 1990s, Puttnam agreed to be the lead architect, despite the controversy that came with it. He was to redesign the interiors, which many committees over the years had muddied with ever-evolving plans, at one point including a roller skating rink. He explains his willingness partially as an act of gratitude. When Puttnam first arrived at Taliesin, he received a small inheritance from two aunts. He gave half of the money to Wright as tuition. Wright never asked for more.
“It’s kind of embarrassingly emotional, with the most recent chance of getting Monona Terrace done, I figured I owed it to him. He wanted to see it built.”
“I hate Frank Lloyd Wright buildings!” a man declared at one such press conference a few weeks before construction was set to begin. Puttnam played psychologist: “Why do you think that is?” Maybe the man was startled. He probably wasn’t expecting a follow-up question, so he answered truthfully.
“He came back from a very late meeting in Madison, and he was kind of grumpy and he said, ‘Well, they’re not going to build it now,’ and he put his coat and cane down, and as he left the room he said, ’But someday they will.’”
The crowd laughed.
“The Taliesin community had an attitude,” says Peter Rott, co-owner of Isthmus Architecture in Madison, a graduate of the Taliesin School of Architecture and friend of Puttnam. “You would do anything, you’d do what needed to be done, because they all were helping the master’s philosophy continue.” Rott was a student of Puttnam when he began at the Taliesin School in 1978. “(As a teacher) oh, he’s — ” Rott laughs. “He has endless patience. He worked with the very new arrivals, the foreign students. Some of the other architects didn’t seem to have time for them, but Tony sometimes did.”
Puttnam defused situations and refused to be riled up. The Monona plan had failed many times before when architects had let their egos get in the way, Rott says, and Puttnam wasn’t going to be the lightning rod they were. Puttnam tells me his goal at press conferences was to be boring and unquotable.
“Not because I was scholarship material, but he was kind of like that,” Puttnam says. “And so, well, it’s kind of embarrassingly emotional, with the most recent chance of getting Monona Terrace done, I figured I owed it to him. He wanted to see it built.”
They did, and it wasn’t any easier for Puttnam than it had been for Wright. But Puttnam was determined to see it through.
community of Madison, which was convinced the terrace would spoil their path along Lake Monona. Rott recalls how they would “accidentally” shove their bikes into Puttnam and Rott on the way into public meetings.
“Well, I can’t afford them.”
Rott and Puttnam survived, and the most cursory of glances at the impressive building on the western shores of Lake Monona, with its soft white curves and striking sea of windows, is evidence of their success. Puttnam still works on the occasional project, and while the terrace may be his most well-known — and the project for which he will receive the most Wright jewels in his crown — Puttnam didn’t come to Taliesin on a mission to complete the terrace. He came to the terrace because of Taliesin. It only took one moment, one look at a living room, to place him on the path that ended with him holding the final keys to a long-foretold Madison convention center. Back at Taliesin, as we get ready to make our way to the room that started it all, Puttnam gets nervous that when I see it, I’ll miss the magic. “I’m always afraid of saying too much about the room and people saying, ‘Huh?’” Putnam says.
Endless patience turned out to be the number-one qualifying factor for getting the Monona Terrace built.
He’s not the only one who instantly felt the draw of the room, I point out. There must be something about it.
A particularly feisty group of opponents, Rott remembers, was the biking
“It’s an interesting — ” He pauses and considers. “You’ll see.” curbonline.com
he aroma of homemade soup warms the bright kitchen as Erin Schneider and her husband, Rob McClure, scurry about the room preparing the table for the perfect fall meal.
The Farmer in La valle Through Community Supported Agriculture, farmers share their love of the land By Kara Rheingans
“Sit down, make yourself at home,” Schneider calls from the counter as she slices a loaf of bread. I find my chair and am served a bowl filled with broth, a variety of colorful vegetables and slices of chicken. Schneider brings a plate of bread and cheese, and the three of us sit down for lunch. “I hope you like the soup,” McClure chimes in as I eagerly take my first bite. “It’s all vegetables from the garden and a fresh chicken from next door.” I nearly drop my second spoonful and look across the wooden table at the couple, bewildered. “From next door?” I ask. “Yeah, they raise broiler chickens just down the road,” he says casually as he takes another bite. Although this catches me off guard for a moment (my chicken usually comes from my freezer, not my neighbor), I finish every last drop of the delicious soup. This, I realize, is the essence of Wisconsin family farming and community supported agriculture: a meal made from the fruits of your own labor and shared with others, even a total stranger. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines community supported agriculture — often called CSA — as “a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.” Community members purchase a share in the farm at the beginning of the growing season, usually in mid-May. In return, members receive
boxes of the season’s harvest each week throughout the summer and early fall. The CSA trend has been steadily growing in the Midwest and particularly in Wisconsin. According to Fair Share CSA Coalition, in 1996 more than 4,000 Madison-area residents participated in a CSA. Today, that number has increased to more than 25,000 CSA members in and around the Madison area, the main CSA hub in Wisconsin. Located in the village of La Valle in southwestern Wisconsin, Hilltop Community Farm — Schneider and McClure’s farm — is hidden behind a vast expanse of trees. Like the name suggests, it rests atop a grassy hill overlooking its orchard and various gardens. Hilltop Community Farm’s success is rooted in Schneider and McClure’s deep love and understanding of the land, their farm and each other. Schneider in particular has a unique relationship with the land itself, specifically a love affair with soil. “I’ve always liked being in the dirt,” she says. “Here’s this thing that we walk on every day that we pay no heed to, and without this Earth’s skin, we really wouldn’t be here in a lot of ways … I kind of have this love of things unseen.” Schneider’s fondness for digging in the dirt and exploring the soil harks back to her childhood in Boscobel, Wisconsin. “We used to make these mud soups,” she recalls with a hearty laugh. “We would get together with the neighbors, and you know the stone soup story where you throw everything in the pot? We would do that out in the garden and put in the soil and stones and what we thought were good vegetables — but they were really the ones that were still rotting — and we would mix it up and pretend to eat it.”
After making her fair share of mud soup, in college Schneider traveled to Alaska to do soil survey work and map different soils. The colorful blues and greens of the soils, the excitement of finding permafrost in the frozen Alaskan tundra and the sight of the edge of a glacier only strengthened her literal love of the land. However, her Wisconsin roots brought her back to Midwestern soil. “I’m a rural girl at heart. I don’t mind dancing in between different spaces,” Schneider says. “My heart is in the countryside, and I need connection to the ‘home-sphere’ as well as humans, too. I was at a place where I moved back here for family and community.”
“I fell in love with a farmer, and the rest is history.” It was upon her return to Wisconsin and her work with what is now Fair Share CSA Coalition that she met McClure. During her year-long tenure as executive director of the Madison Area CSA Coalition, Schneider made it her mission to visit all of the organization’s members and ask what the coalition could do for them. Enter McClure, a long-time member of the coalition and passionate farmer. They first met in late August — pear season — and their supposed-to-be-quick meeting turned into a several-hours-long discussion about the philosophical meaning of currency. “I thought, ‘Wow no one else will let me go on and on about this for two hours and actually contribute to the conversation,’” McClure remembers while Schneider laughs at the bizarre reality of their first meeting. “We’re both sort of tuned to the same things, and I think that helped kick off our relationship pretty well.” However, their love story did not exactly start
there. In a twist of fate, the pair happened to live only three blocks from each other in Madison, which led to a mutually anticipated reunion. “I brought you a pear dessert that my mom makes,” Schneider reminds McClure. She turns to me, smiling, “I was just sharing that as a gratitude, and also as an excuse to see him again. I felt like, ‘I have to bring him something, it can’t just be me!’” The pear dessert proved to be a hit when McClure later agreed to meet up for dinner despite a snag in what was intended to be a unique invitation. After designing an elaborate scavenger hunt through Tenney Park, one of her favorite spots in Madison, Schneider was saddened to discover that her plan was foiled by one tiny detail. “Rob couldn’t read my handwriting ... It was a little bit embarrassing.” The pair laugh as they share these memories from years past, and it is refreshing to witness a couple so at ease with each other’s imperfections and each one’s obvious love for the other. “I fell in love with a farmer, and the rest is history,” Schneider says. “It just really works; it’s nice, I feel really lucky.” Through her relationship with McClure, Schneider also fell in love with the farm that she now calls home. After working in various public- and privatesector jobs, Schneider says that she found herself and her true passions for farming and hands-on work with McClure. “It’s all tied, you know? ... Farming is very demanding … it takes a lot of love and effort,” Schneider says. “I just love this place, I love who I’m with, and I can’t imagine not doing it — at least until my back tells me otherwise.” curbonline.com
5 1 2 3 4 5
Ways to Show Your Dog Some Love By Jenna Wirkus
Hike the Ice Age Trail
As the trail stretches throughout the state, it would be fun to take your pup on an adventure walk. After packing your backpack for two, visit www.iceagetrail.org to find where you can hop on course.
snap a Portrait
Grab a camera, treats and a decent backdrop to snap some photos of your best friend. Take a treat and have him or her pose — frame it and put it somewhere special.
stop by a Dog Bakery
If your dog likes homemade snacks, check out one of these local dog bakeries: Stove Dog Bakery — Sturgeon Bay Petlicious Dog Biscuit Bakery — Pewaukee Natertot Pet Bakery — Suring
Make some waves at some of Wisconsin’s local dog pools or beaches: Point Beach State Forest — Two Rivers Mauthe Lake — Campbellsport Pool at Think Pawsitive — New Berlin SwimDog Wellness Center — Appleton
climb aboard a Boat Tour
Many boat tour lines in Wisconsin allow leashed pets aboard during the summer months. Options include Milwaukee Boat Line Cruises, Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours and Dells Boat Tours in Wisconsin Dells
WHEN ENTOMOLOGY AND AGRICULTURE WORK TOGETHER, WE ARE BOUNDLESS. 14
as was taking a break from studying for her exam in feminist theory. She turned on her television guilty pleasure, “Shameless,” a show about a dysfunctional family that she only watches alone.
“Don’t you need to do your homework?” a voice chimed in from the next room. Jas sighed as the figure administering the nagging approached her on the couch. She peered down at her 4-year-old son, who playfully reminded her of her educational responsibilities in hopes of taking over the remote control. Jasmia Hamilton, 22, wouldn’t miss class because she overslept or couldn’t recover from a late night of binge drinking. Her excuse would be quite different from the typical college student and would likely involve caring for one of her sick children.
It was Friday night, and Javell wasn’t feeling well. After taking the boys home from martial arts practice the next day, Hamilton noticed a skin rash on both Javell and Rayvell Jr. She rushed them to the emergency room, where the doctor explained the illness was highly contagious. Unfortunately, the boys would not attend their classmate’s birthday party later that afternoon.
Hamilton gave birth to her two sons when she was in high school. She told herself she would not become a single mother confined to her home to take care of her children. Instead she would pursue a bachelor’s followed by a master’s degree at UW-Madison while working as a teaching assistant and raising her two boys.
On Sunday the boys slept and relaxed while Hamilton emailed and called the day care and school to notify teachers that the boys would be staying home the next day. Once those items were checked off Hamilton’s to-do list, she put her feet up and took advantage of what she calls her “academic recess day.” This is time where she “simply holds [herself] accountable for sanity and repair.”
Because she’s crazy. At least, that’s how she introduces herself.
Break times like this are necessary for student parents who have a reputation for being hard-working, passionate people with awe-inspiring planning and organizational skills. But a footnote to their success is that they became pregnant at a young age.
“When people see me, they say ‘Jasmia, you have two kids and a partner, and you’re in school. … How do you make things work?’” she says. “And I say, ‘It’s because I’m crazy — like how else would I make it work?’” She also credits her support system, her partner Rayvell Gillard, as one of the main reasons she was able to complete her bachelor’s degree in gender and women’s studies in just three years. Now pursuing her master’s degree in gender and women’s studies, she is able to stay unusually calm in comparison to most college students who are overloaded with responsibilities.
Jen Templin, parent resource specialist at UW-Madison’s Office of Child Care and Family Resources, says she can’t imagine how student parents get through the day when it’s difficult enough as a college student just to take care of yourself. “I’ve been a mom and I’ve been a student, and I can’t imagine combining those two things,” Templin says. Candice Wagener, communications manager for the Office of Child Care and Family Resources, says they’re trying to provide the best life for their kids and also be their role models.
“I’ve been a mom and I’ve been a student, and I can’t imagine combining those two things.”
the dual responsibility of being a full-time mother and student By Melissa Behling
Riding off into the sunset
Although Hamilton isn’t what comes to mind as a traditional student, there is a large population of student parents who have stories similar to hers. Of the 4.8 million college-age student parents in the United States, many don’t have access to needed child care. As a result, only one-third are able to attain a degree or certificate within six years of enrollment, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
“They’re not giving up, they’re pushing through against so many obstacles,” Wagener says. “I think that’s really a true commitment and a true way to show your kids that if you work your hardest, it will pay off in the end.”
“A lot of the literature about teenage pregnancy is that outcomes are bad,” Hamilton says. She explains society tends to share this negative perception just because young people are having sex, when really the unfortunate outcomes are related to young parents being impoverished. Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have fallen to a historic low in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, possibly due to increases in birth control use or delays and reductions in sexual activity. According to the CDC’s National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, teen mothers have fewer economic opportunities and earnings after having a child, in comparison to their peers. Although over 60 percent of teen mothers receive some form of public benefits within the first year their child is born, two-thirds of teen mothers who move out of their family household live below the poverty level. These economic disparities are problematic, but Hamilton believes the traditional ways of thinking about sex in education and what society defines as “normal” life trajectories are equally important issues. “For most people the understanding is that to be a student parent is also a burden,” she says. “But I think if we go beyond that stereotype that a life course needs to go in the pattern of: you finish college, you get married, then you have children and you ride off into the sunset.” Then, she adds, we can think of many ways in which student parents are being positively affected. For instance, Hamilton explains the dual responsibility of being a mother and a student has allowed her to develop better time management skills.
photos by melissa behling curb
After their allotted one episode per night, Hamilton assigned the boys to go read a book together while she finished making dinner. She says she often jokes that you only have to “get it right once,” meaning that siblings close in age can and often will teach each other. Although Rayvell Jr. and Javell can often occupy themselves, Hamilton and other student parents need child-care services so they can attend classes and have time alone to study. But when these services nearly double the amount they are already paying for college tuition, it seems almost unfathomable. “Care is expensive — particularly if you are wanting to treat your employees as well as [you] can in this underpaid field,” says Amy Welk, director of Bernie’s Place, where Hamilton’s children attend day care. Children can begin attending day care at 6 weeks old, with full-time care rates ranging from an annual cost of about $21,000 for infants and nearly $15,000 for preschoolers. Many parents have to find a way to pay this daunting amount of money when they don’t have a job, because their schoolwork fully occupies their time — and their children command any time left over. Bernie’s receives financial support from its affiliation with the university, but this isn’t enough to offset the cost of care and ensure its affordability for student parents.
Wagener says understanding that this trajectory wasn’t right for everyone is one of the most important lessons she has learned working at the Office of Child Care and Family Resources, where she encounters students in all stages of life. As a teen mother, Hamilton’s decision to pursue a college degree following high school graduation is a rarity. The CDC reports that only 38 percent of teen girls who have a child before age 18 earn their high school diploma by age 22. Furthermore, nearly one-third of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite pregnancy or parenthood as a reason. “For me, I had to acknowledge that there was something else that I could do in my life to serve as a role model for my boys,” Hamilton says. “But also [I wanted to be a role model for] the scores of teen parents who are automatically shut out of opportunity, even if they are labeled ‘bright and intelligent.’ They have been cast away because of their sexual activity.”
Put it on the back burner When the boys returned to school on Tuesday, Rayvell Jr. was upset because some of his friends believed he lied about being sick and missed the birthday party on purpose. Hamilton calmed him down and told him to stick up for himself. After Rayvell Jr. was sufficiently comforted, she let the boys watch television. She brought them a snack to disrupt their trance-like staring at the screen, amazed at the Power Rangers’ acrobatic abilities.
The Office of Child Care and Family Resources can help offset costs, serving 200 to 250 students per semester through the Child Care Tuition Assistance Program. The main goals of the program are to encourage students to choose consistent, high-quality child care and enable them to focus on academics rather than the financial burden of care. The office can cover 40 to 50 percent of child care costs for students through the tuition assistance program. “[Having financial support] allowed me to focus on school and be on top of things and not have that on the forefront of my mind,” Hamilton says. “I could put it on the back burner.”
We shouldn’t cast it in a negative light On Wednesday when the boys were finally feeling better, Hamilton walked up the stairs of Chamberlin Hall to teach her three consecutive discussion sections. Today marked the midpoint of the semester, and her students had just taken the midterm exam. She prepared to administer the “don’t be nervous about your grade — there is hope in the class and in the world” speech. That tends to be Hamilton’s outlook for life in general. Despite the obstacles she has faced being a full-time student and raising two boys, she emphasizes how positive this experience has been. “I don’t want to sugarcoat that there are hardships that student parents face, including myself,” she says. “But I think that we shouldn’t cast it necessarily in a negative light. Because people do benefit from the experience of…being engaged in the education process as their children are.”
efore she goes to bed every night, Lea Koch puts her 2-month-old baby to sleep next to one of her husband’s heavily worn T-shirts. Sealed tightly in a Ziploc bag earlier that day, the shirt smells intensely of her husband who neither she, nor her baby, will see for another eight months.
time never even happened.”
It’s a familiar technique for military families with newborn babies and deployed parents. Lea does this hoping that her baby will feel a sense of familiarity with his father when he returns home from his 10-month deployment in Kuwait. Because her son, Joe, was born only a few weeks before his father left, he must rely on the scent of his T-shirts and his dad’s voice over FaceTime and Skype to familiarize himself with one of the most important people in his life.
He notes that families like Lea’s who are in the National Guard or Army Reserve may face unique challenges. Unlike military families on bases, where members live with, go to school with and spend most of their time with people in their circumstances, those in the Guard and Reserve do
Professor John Bechtol, assistant dean of students, veterans affairs at UW-Madison and veteran with 22 years of active duty in the U.S. Army, has spent years working with military families.
For every deployed soldier there’s a family at home base By Kate Jungers 20
Like Bechtol advocates, Lea and Tony try to keep lines of communication open by attempting to text and FaceTime every day. While Tony is in Kuwait, Lea admitted that it may be more difficult to stay in contact, but that they would come up with a weekly schedule to talk despite time differences.
Despite his “brave face,” Tony admits that he struggles with the notion of leaving his wife and newborn son at home while he is in Kuwait. When Tony returns at the end of July, their son will almost be a year old. “[The hardest part] is leaving my family,” Tony says. “It’s harder with the baby and stuff knowing that she’s going to have to be alone with him … that makes it a lot worse.”
According to the Department of Defense, as of August 2015, there were approximately 1.4 million people in the U.S. Armed Forces who chose to dedicate their lives to service. Behind each of these 1.4 million men and women, there is a spouse, a child, a parent or a friend who displays a special type of love, sacrifice and support that makes their service possible.
Lea and Joseph Koch Photos by Jenna Wirkus
“They were already gone when she had her baby,” Lea says. “And she has another son, so she has two kids right now, she’s by herself — she is Wonder Woman.”
“Right now I think [Tony] is putting on his brave face. But I think over time it’s going to become more and more difficult,” Lea says. “Just in the past month he’s been gone, Joey has tripled in size. I think missing things like this is really going to wear on him.”
Almost one year ago, Lea and her husband, Tony Koch, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, received some of the greatest news of their lives — Lea was pregnant with their first child. One week later, Tony found out that he would be deployed later that year. In late August, Lea gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and three weeks later, Tony was deployed to Texas, and soon after to Kuwait.
had a baby as well, but while her husband was already deployed.
Recently, Lea returned to work for the first time since giving birth to Joe and has been struggling with leaving her son at day care while she is at work. “There are things that I’m going through emotionally, like leaving my son with a day care provider and being away from him … I want to be able to talk to Tony about [that], but it makes him upset because he’s not here,” Lea says. “I’m complaining about being an hour away from my son, and [Tony’s] a zillion miles away.”
Before deployment, Lea and Tony understood the circumstances of their situation — Lea would have to raise their newborn baby as a single mother for almost a year until Tony would return home. When Lea made the decision to marry Tony, she understood the sacrifices that she would have to make as a military spouse, but it was not until Tony was deployed that she fully understood the burden she would undertake.
Through years of experience, Bechtol has seen the struggles of deployed military members, but admits that he would have a far harder time being the military spouse back in the States.
“He is sacrificing his time,” she says. “But I am also sacrificing something as well. I am sacrificing not having my husband here … it’s hard to not have my best friend here,” Lea says.
not have such a close community of support.
Before deployment, Lea and Tony took part in a family readiness program, the Yellow Ribbon, which was specific to families with young children. The course included classes and meetings where Tony and Lea could learn about ways to keep their relationship strong and raise their child with a parent overseas.
“There’s no one on your street that has any military affiliation … so every day you’re talking to people and [say] ‘Don’t you realize we have people overseas?’ ‘No, not really,’ because it doesn’t matter to them. They don’t see it. They may read something in the news, but to them it’s unreal,” Bechtol says.
“When you talk to an Army spouse about what you’re going through, they’re like, ‘Yeah, it’s going to suck, you’re going to cry, you’re going to hate him for awhile, but you’ll get over it,’” she says. “Once he’s back, it’ll seem like the whole
Although Lea may not have the type of support that other military families may see on bases, the families in Tony’s duty station in Wausau make an effort to support each other while their spouses are overseas. One of her closest friends from Mauston recently
“Don’t assume that you’re the only one paying the price … Even though your spouse back in the states has a roof over her head, and dry feet and heat in the winter time — stuff you may not have, don’t assume that it still isn’t hard,” Bechtol says. After several weeks of Tony’s absence, Lea says that she is finally starting to become accustomed to her temporary life as a single mother and is using all of her strength to make it through the next nine months. “I give myself something to look forward to every month. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s,” she says. “And when those events pass, I just remind myself that I’m a few days closer to having Tony home again.” curbonline.com
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lex Evans’ conversation with his childhood best friend, Zak Koga, was taking a familiar turn.
“Dude, we aren’t doing that,” Alex recalls Zak saying over the phone as he drove toward his hometown of Appleton. Alex was spitballing yet another business plan. That is not to say Zak was the voice of reason — throwing a scheme of his own right back. The duo knew they would become business partners. Despite writing business plans together since high school, they lacked a foundational trade to build their passion on. Little did they know, the X-factor they were always missing was closer than they expected. Brewmaster Ryan Koga was the final piece to the puzzle. The entry of Ryan, Zak’s older brother, turned what started as boyish, whimsical fun into the hardand-fast reality of craft brewing. The product of this fraternal bond, Karben4 Brewing, opened its doors in 2012. “We always had a missing link,” Alex says. “We didn’t necessarily have a craft or talent, we just knew that our talent and our passion was the business and creating business models … And Ryan, here he was, this talented brewer, brewing in Billings, Montana.” Their reverie has finally come full circle. These against-the-grain business owners no longer startled their parents into saying, “Wow, these crazy kids.” Four years later, with thriving sales and distribution, the three partners demonstrate day in and day out that trust, passion and family are able to prioritize empowerment and overcome the fear of failure. Located on the east side of Madison, Karben4 Brewing has infiltrated the
Madison, Milwaukee and Fox Cities craft-brewing markets over the past four years. Independently owned and fully operated by Zak, Ryan and Alex, Karben4 Brewing blends the malt-centric heritage of Midwestern brewing with West Coast influence, presenting a variety of brews they describe as “Englishstyle malt bombs and perfectly balanced hop grenades.” Without even sipping an ounce of beer, you can tell that this trio isn’t afraid of pushing the boundaries. Eccentric paintings coat the walls of the taproom and fantasy-like scenes envelop the beer packaging.
Striving for Fulfillment To see where it all began, you must look back on Alex and Zak’s senior year at Xavier High School in Appleton, as a teacher assigns each student a position in entrepreneurial class. It’s no surprise that Alex and Zak are nominated as the two co-presidents. Establishing this natural leadership ability early on set high curbonline.com
photo by katie hicks
share it with people. That’s kind of that homebrewing ethos.” Doubling down on theory and research, Ryan found his passion at the crossroads of art and science — brewing beer.
Familiarity: A Blessing or a Curse? Going into business with family or close friends can be a gamble, and often times trusted relationships are bruised. All three of Karben4 Brewing’s owners willingly concede that they have butted heads multiple times and agree that their relationships could be easier if they were still just tinkering around. Yet, simultaneously, Ryan resolves that his biggest fear going in was not about their relationships as friends and brothers — and not even the fear of a feeble business — but rather making a mistake that could lead to the brewery’s demise. “I also have to stop myself and say, ‘Is my ego more important than making sure the brewery is successful, so that my family is taken care of, so that Zak’s family is taken care of, so that Alex’s family is taken care of?’” Ryan says.
Karben4 Embodiment of Wisconsin Craft Brewing Culture On a micro scale, Karben4’s Zak, Ryan and Alex embody the craft-brewing culture of Wisconsin today.
“Doubling down on theory and research, Ryan found his passion at the crossroads of art and science — brewing beer.”
Craft brewing, seemingly a glamorous profession, is often unlucrative. Restaurants and pubs only have so much room on their tap lines, and retailers lack endless shelf space, according to Garthwaite.
expectations for both Alex and Zak’s futures. And so their journey as business partners began.
The aggregation of aligning aspirations and their complemented strengths and bonds as brothers and friends, spawned the three-way business alliance.
“We always knew that we didn’t want a normal life, we wanted to do something different and be different,” Alex says.
“[Ryan] leaned on us to kind of backfill that business acumen, and we leaned on him to backfill the talent,” Alex says. “And we all came together from there and created Karben4.”
Post-graduation, as Zak pored over project plans in his office at J.H. Findorff & Son, and Alex labored through a career in commercial banking, it seemed as if their entrepreneurial partnership was only a fanciful musing. Meanwhile, toiling behind the bottling line at Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. in Billings, Montana, Ryan was hoping to make next month’s rent as he worked his way through graduate school at Montana State University Billings. As he pursued a career in sports medicine, Ryan remained at the brewery and rigorously worked his way up to production manager.
Wisconsin has always been a hotbed for brewing activity, according to Mark Garthwaite, executive director of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild. Charting back as far as 1879, with an ideal agricultural climate for growing cereal crops such as barley and hops, Wisconsin had as many as 226 breweries, as compared to the 120-some that exist today.
“That’s not to say that I backchanneled to brewing, and it was my consolation prize,” Ryan says. “I loved what I was doing, I loved what I was seeing. And once I really started applying myself there, you know I would go home and read, and I would see it in action and application the next day.”
After the number of breweries plummeted during Prohibition, Wisconsin was eager to reinvigorate the brewing culture and soon became one of the largest beer-brewing states in the country. Yet, as the 1950s crept in, so did the massive consolidation of breweries, and once again the number of breweries in the United States dipped under 100. The industrialization of breweries, mass production and distribution parented a beer palette that was largely the same across breweries such as Pabst, Miller and Blatz.
As Ryan’s creativity flourished and his passion for brewing intensified, his brewing ambitions began to extend beyond the craft, flirting with the idea of hatching his talents into a brewing company. “I was trying to find somewhere that I could actually grow my own career,” he says. “And it was like, ‘Well, if it’s going to be brewing, we need to open our own place.’ That’s the only way we can write the destiny, the future that we want for ourselves in particular.”
The Homebrewing Ethos
The legalization of homebrewing in the late 1970s spurred a new wave of brewers who were ready to scale up not only the taste of beer, but the art of brewing as well, leading to the invasion of craft brewing in Wisconsin’s culture. “The people that tend to start up small breweries are people that are very passionate about what they’re making,” Garthwaite says. “And they’re eager to
Since the days Alex and Zak tossed around business ideas five years ago, Karben4 Brewing’s bottled brews now line the shelves of thousands of Wisconsin retailers with dozens of sales personnel and serve the majority of the state’s population. Garthwaite explained the zeal for art, craftsmanship and imagination drives small breweries. You would think that bitter competition would accompany such earnest passion, yet Garthwaite points out that Wisconsin’s craft brewing culture is more a community of collaborators working collectively to share ideas and encouragement. “A lot of these [brewers] are learning as they go, and they really enjoy opportunities to learn together,” says Garthwaite. “They enjoy each other’s beer, too, and are inspired by what they all do.” This is something Karben4 Brewing’s three owners can easily agree on: Their product has not only given them the opportunity to deliver their community craft beer and launch their creative passions, but most importantly, it has empowered each of them to find meaning in their lives and deepen their relationships as brothers and best friends. Reflecting back on Karben4 Brewing’s beginnings, Zak’s voice accelerates in pace, and he explains that this was what he cherished the most out of this journey of opening Karben4 Brewing — developing a product that would accurately merge Ryan, Alex and himself. “We really had to just sit there and figure out who we were so that we could create this authentic product or experience,” Zak says. “So all that time just disagreeing, fighting, loving it, laughing, it was just every emotion imaginable.” curbonline.com
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capital city of a state that values forward thinking, Madison, Wisconsin fosters innovation in everything from food and drink to festivals and 5Ks. Yet among this unique sense of progression, you can also feel the strong roots of the city. Madison serves as an idyllic balance between tradition and innovation, which is perhaps why it is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States. Madison’s transformation to a big-city downtown culture brings more people to live downtown year after year, prompting the city to nearly quadruple its spending on downtown development from 2014 to 2015. As a political and cultural hub of Wisconsin, Madison is constantly growing and pushing the envelope to give its citizens and guests new things to love about this great city.
Here are just a few: The Great Outdoors
All You Can Eat (And Drink)
Take, for example, paddleboarding. Although the sport is typically associated with coastal states, Madison was ranked by USA Today as one of the 10 best places to learn to stand-up paddleboard. Summer Jarosky, the manager of Madison’s Wingra Boats, says this is due to Madison’s wide variety of lakes to paddle on, from calm, shallow water to choppy waves. If you are looking to take the sport one step further, you can find your Zen on the lakes with paddleboard yoga or try a brand new mix of paddleboarding and lacrosse, stand-up paddleboard polo.
One of Madison’s newest restaurants, Lucille, is a family friendly, pizza and beer restaurant on the square. Locally owned and sourced restaurants such as Lucille are a new trend happening downtown. While you’re out for dinner, why not stop and try a locally crafted beer? The Madison area is home to 56 craft brewers, which is the largest number in any city in Wisconsin. Brewers and distilleries such as Death’s Door Spirits, Ale Asylum and Yahara Bay Distillers have gained national recognition from sources including GQ and Esquire. There are also tons of new brew pubs popping up around Madison such as The Thirsty Goat, Rockhound Brewing Company and Lucky’s 1313 Brew Pub — which is definitely where you want to be on Badger game days.
Big Ideas Whether it’s due to UW-Madison or the bustling night life, nearly nine out of 10 people living in downtown Madison are between the ages of 15 and 34. Curt Lenz from the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau believes this injection of youth leads the community in fresh, open thinking and reminds people in Madison that it is good to take chances. This culture that encourages innovation and forward thinking has led to startup businesses all over the city. In Madison, new ideas are not only heard, they are welcomed and celebrated, which is why 81 percent of businesses in downtown Madison are locally owned. Lenz says the value placed on progress makes for a community of acceptance and an exciting environment that is always innovating. “I like to see Madison as an incubator, it really brings out the best in forward thinking,” Lenz says.“That’s really our state motto in so many ways.”
Parties and Places One popular location for festivals in Madison is Central Park, a large urban park that opened in 2014 after decades of planning. In addition to a weekly Eastside Farmers’ Market, the park hosts Central Park Sessions — a series of live concerts throughout the summer — and La Fête de Marquette — a neighborhood festival with French flair, food, music and drinks. It is easy to celebrate when the weather is nice, but Madison’s Winter Festival will get you out during your annual hibernation, too. Each year for the festival, the Capitol Square is covered in snow and visitors take part in activities such as snowshoeing, ice sculpting and skijoring, which is like walking a dog while wearing skis — an awesome, and hilarious, combination.
Married With Flowers By Tyne Oberlander
ina Cady never thought she would be buying her wedding shoes at Target the night before getting married. She never thought she would have strangers attending her ceremony and handing her flowers. She never thought her reception would take place at Starbucks. And she never thought she would be signing her certificate as the groom.
neither Tina nor Cody was sure they would ever see. And while same-sex marriage has now been legal in the U.S. for more than a year, it was a hardfought battle to get there, and a long road still lies ahead for LGBT equality.
She never thought she would be getting married at all.
While Cody’s family was unable to attend the wedding on short notice, Tina’s parents served as the witnesses. Judges, lawyers and other licensed officiates stood outside the courthouse and volunteered their time to marry the many couples who came to celebrate their love and the victory of marriage equality that they had been waiting for for so long.
The day before they said “I do,” Tina and Cody Cady’s marriage would have been illegal in Wisconsin and in much of the country, but on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decreed bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, resulting in a prominent civil rights victory that changed the lives of more than 8 million LGBT people in the U.S. The pair had been planning to get married, but when they heard the news on the radio that Friday night, they announced that they would be getting hitched the next morning. “We called it our flash mob wedding because we didn’t know,” Tina says. “We ran around that night at Target at 11 p.m. We had nothing.” Their wedding day was filled with love, joy and support from the community, but it was a day
Photo courtesy of andy manis photo
“I honestly didn’t know if I would ever see gay marriage, ever, growing up,” Tina says.
Many of Tina and Cody’s guests were strangers who were there to be part of the celebration, and the newlyweds were surrounded by people expressing their quick congratulations as the bustle of the Farmers’ Market surrounded them. A 5-yearold girl picked flowers from her mother’s garden to hand out; the sentiment seemed to be that on this day, June 27, 2015, no one should get married without flowers. “We didn’t have any fuss,” Tina says. “We just brushed our hair and put on mascara and got married.”
When Tina came out to her friends and family in 1996, Ellen DeGeneres was on TV, about to come out as a lesbian, and Hawaii was in the midst of one of the first same-sex marriage legal battles. In that same year, then-President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law. “For a minute it felt really hopeful, and then it felt really unhopeful,” Tina says. That act set the stage for the legal battles waged in each state for the next 20 years, and Wisconsin has a back-and-forth history in its attempts to both ban and legalize same-sex marriage. The 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that spurred the Cadys’ marriage prevented states from being able to deny rights to couples legally married in their home state and abolished any remaining state bans. But given the difficulties the LGBT community has faced in Wisconsin, regardless of the Supreme Court decision, Tina and Cody saw their marriage as more than just their own celebration. Because so many state legalizations of same-sex marriage were quickly overturned or put on hold, Tina and Cody thought their window to get married would be short, and they wanted to use that time as an opportunity. “When we got married, it was partially a little bit of activism on our part,” Tina says. “We definitely
knew that the more people that were in that limbo, the more pressure it puts on the system to figure it out.” Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies must offer the same coverage opportunities to same-sex married couples as heterosexual couples, but for Tina and Cody, issues like these took time to work out. True equality was not instantaneous. Tina and Cody would like to start a family eventually, and they have had many concerns about being able to protect their child and their rights as parents under current laws. “Both being able to be on the birth certificate is really important because that’s not just about us,” Cody says. “That’s about our kid and what happens to them; that’s not their decision.” Although some couples are still fighting custody battles, in September 2016, the federal U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that in Wisconsin, both parents in a same-sex marriage must be listed on a birth certificate in cases of artificial insemination, granting couples like Tina and Cody the peace of mind that their child will be protected by the custody of both parents.
Their marriage is legal in the eyes of the law, but the ancient institution has been slow to accommodate what has for so long been defined as an institution belonging to “one man and one woman.” While the technicalities continue to be worked out, it is still considered a victory by Tina, Cody and others in the community.
“When that law was enacted, it was for gays and lesbians, and it did not include transgender people,” Starkey says. “So a transgender person can be fired for being transgender. They can be kicked out of their housing for being transgender. They can be refused public accommodations like hotels or any kind of public services.”
“LGBT people have been second-class citizens for a long time,” says Steve Starkey, executive director of South Central Wisconsin’s OutReach LGBT Community Center. “A lot of people think of marriage as a religious institution, but really it’s a legal and financial institution, and it provides over a thousand different rights to people who are married. … It was a big deal for the community.”
Starkey says that although Madison and other large, liberal cities are more accommodating and provide a greater number of resources for the LGBT community, that is not the case in many areas of the country and rural parts of the state.
“I honestly didn’t know if I would ever see gay marriage. Ever, growing up.” In 1982, Wisconsin became the first state to pass laws preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations, but these laws do not protect the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“I think that’s another issue for us is being able to have the same type of rights and culture and community anywhere in the country instead of only having pockets of areas where we are safe or where we have the services that we need,” Starkey says. When it comes to some of these barriers and the history of discrimination that LGBT people have faced, for Tina and Cody Cady, it comes down to a uniquely simple yet incredibly complex question they raise. “We just want to be happy like anyone else and have a family like anyone else, and why is that such a big deal?” Cody asks. “It’s really important for people to be like ‘Well, you’re not that scary. You’re not that different from me. I was wrong.’” curbonline.com
Reframing mental illness When traditional therapy doesn’t suffice for some with mental illness, pencils and paint help heal By Maija Inveiss
Wensel started creating art in high school and wanted to go to Colorado State University for art, but ended up struggling with her mental health. In her family of eight siblings, five, including Yanny, were diagnosed with mental illnesses. She says during her latest suicide attempt, she almost died. Now, however, she hopes to never attempt suicide again, wanting to avoid being moved to a halfway house, a place for those with mental illness upon release from a primary care institution. “That’s what’s keeping me going, my art. It’s why I want to live again,” Wensel says. “I want to do masterpieces.” Wensel loves to draw and paint women and flowers. She used to draw angry pictures, but now she tries to stay away from creating those kinds of pieces and instead draws like Chagall.
Wensel created a watercolor, “Girl in Pink, Blue, and Gems,” which focuses on a blonde girl in the center of the image with a pink backdrop and pastel flowers encircling the girl from all sides.
When she saw her artwork as part of the slideshow at the gallery opening, her face lit up, and she immediately became teary-eyed. She says seeing her artwork makes her feel a lot better, which is partially why she got into creating art again after her husband passed away.
anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Artists and non-artists alike learn to love expressing through art therapy Madison Art Therapy is a private practice specializing in individual-based art therapy sessions with two therapists, Kelly Toltzien and Mary Williams, who met while attending school at Edgewood College and then enrolled in the same art therapy program at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee.
Throughout his life, Yanny says he felt like a girl even though he knew he was a boy. He says he had schizophrenia because he was scared about being a girl trapped in a boy’s body — something which still makes him feel mixed emotions. He tried to be a girl in different ways, but specifically thought creating art was something a girl would do, so it became something he did while growing up.
Toltzien says art therapy is something personally fulfilling and a unique alternative that touches on aspects that traditional therapy might not address. “I think for a lot of people, traditional talk therapy really falls short,” Toltzien says. “There’s just things that art therapy can provide and access within people that words just can’t.”
Yanny attended UW-Parkside for five years, earning a degree in fine arts. While in school, he saw a psychologist on campus.
“That’s what’s keeping me going, my art. It’s why I want to live again. I want to do masterpieces.”
wo paintings hang side by side on a peach-colored wall in a small room, which temporarily acts as a small art gallery in Madison.
Mental illness comes in varying forms, which means each person has a different system of healing.
From far away, they both look like paintings by Marc Chagall, blurred with unidentifiable shapes of varying sizes, bright colors and unique patterns that use an expressionist style. However, stepping in for a closer look, you notice the two paintings were created by different artists.
For the past 10 years, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Wisconsin chapter has hosted the Healing Art Show as a way to showcase artwork created by those with mental illnesses. According to the organization, 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year.
Although the two paintings have their differences, it’s what they have in common that is striking. They were created by Therese Wensel and her brother Jimmy Yanny, who both started making art at a young age. The two are also united by their mental illnesses, which they manage through art.
The gallery features a wide range of artists. The artist Melissa Meade uses coloring book pages and bright markers, whereas Naomi S. expresses herself through colorful watercolors. David Feingold created a darker digital piece with a yellow-and-red-patterned bald head in the center and what looks like an atomic bomb coming out of the head.
Toltzien says sometimes people have already discussed a topic or their issue previously, but art therapy provides a new avenue of expression. She says she wished people felt more empowered to interview therapists when trying to choose treatment.
Jamie Gurgul, the public relations and events coordinator for the organization, says the show creates an environment to showcase the artists’ strengths while raising awareness about mental illness.
“When I think of art therapy, it really requires people to be an active participant in their treatment, in their recovery, in their growth, in their healing,” Toltzien says. “Not that traditional therapy doesn’t provide [active participation], I feel like [art therapy] provides it in a more tangible way.”
Yanny says his autism makes it difficult for him to show emotions, but that art allows him to try to understand other experiences and feelings.
Yanny started creating art at a young age, even before being diagnosed with mental illness at age 12. Yanny says he has been diagnosed with autism,
“I don’t get angry. I don’t get mad. I don’t get sad. I don’t get happy. I’m emotionless. I’m like an empty shell,” Yanny says. “I just express myself through color, form and light. I just express myself through what I see and feel.”
The focal point of the whole gallery hangs above the brother and sister’s paintings: a sign reading “Healing Art Show: An exhibit of works created by individuals with mental illness,” bringing all the art pieces together. This group of artists uses their love and appreciation of art as a way to help cope with the day-to-day challenges associated with mental health, connect with others in art support groups and express themselves in ways differing from traditional therapy.
Wensel has had four suicide attempts — though some were accidental — and one within the past couple of months. She says she has severe depression that stems from the loss of her husband, who took his own life. She blames herself for his death.
“All of our artists, they use it as a way to get in touch with their feelings and their emotions,” Gurgul says. “A lot of them have learned ways to use it towards their recovery.”
Creating art is a primal and innate need for people, Williams says. The therapy sessions combine creative ways of expressing feelings through art, including traditional painting, sculpture, poetry writing and dollmaking — and even adding music or movement.
Yanny says it’s difficult for him to sign his name on his paintings. He was molested by a man on his paper route who told him that his name — with its double Ms and Ns — looked like art. Even though he doesn’t like signing his full name, in his art gallery piece, he did. “Dancing Girls” is a painting that uses pastels over a dried watercolor, capturing two girls who are salsa dancing. As they dance across the canvas in their decorative red dresses, you can barely tell where one dress stops and the other begins.
t a e b t r ea
The power of spoken word sends waves of change through the community By Sam Marchewka
ell does not recruit with pitchforks and tightrope. Does not congregate in mobs at your front steps. It sits in your classroom, tells you to turn to unrepresentative textbooks, passes out invites to its parties and always makes sure to forget the back of the bus. College.” The stage darkens and Tiffany Ike stands at the center, a single microphone, a single voice. “To whom it may concern,” she begins. Her tone rises, she sings, she twists her words, bends her phrases and performs linguistic gymnastics with the syllables. It’s a time where punctuation does not matter. Diction taught in high school can be thrown out the window. It’s just stream of consciousness and a moving rhythm. “I don’t think God would go to college. He is too major to settle in minor places,” she blasts, her tongue rolling over double entendres, only tripping when getting slightly too passionate. “They don’t teach this in classrooms, don’t show how Black people are hemmed into a system. When our pants sag, you tuck us in tight before we can belt what we are speaking, mouths opened like zippered teeth. It is a matter of time that you realize that time did not heal all who matter. The Black ones especially, time did not have our back. Time did not keep history from turning us into stars, shooting fireworks like it was a dream where you can only be red, or white or ‘I can’t breathe’ blue.” After nearly five minutes of nonstop poetry and ardent remarks, Ike concludes. “Signed, The Concerned.” The room explodes with applause as Ike issues a stifled “thank you” and walks off stage right. This is spoken word. You may not hear it on your radio or booming through the speakers of a neighboring car at a red light. It may not be mainstream, and it’s certainly not breaking records on the Billboard Hot 100, but it’s here to stay and inspire communities across the state. It’s an emboldened voice of the youth, a community in Wisconsin that uses an art form to express desire, to press for social change and to spread love.
When Tiffany Ike, a devout track and field athlete, became injured in eighth grade, she started looking for another competition-based activity. That’s when she found spoken word, an oral art that brings poetry off the page. A good writer, she was motivated to enter her first poetry slam. After years of practice, athletics again became her focus, and during junior year of high school, Ike entered her last — or what she thought to be her last — poetry slam. Surprisingly, that performance placed Ike on a team of the best poets in Houston and landed her a ride to an international poetry showcase called Brave New Voices. Described as an organization that “aims to deconstruct dominant narratives in hopes of achieving a more inclusive and active culture,” Brave New Voices helps to give young people the tools for self-expression and self-love. At the showcase, Ike heard someone go to the mic and casually mention something called First Wave, the platform that would ultimately send Ike to the dairy state. First Wave, a scholarship program through UW-Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives, invites 15 students a year to join an artistic and like-minded community of spoken word and hip-hop artists. While earning degrees, the First Wave class — called a cohort — combines multicultural arts and activism to engage
At Madison’s Overture Center in late October, students from the ninth cohort of First Wave performed pieces about their struggles in the American education system. Their words echoed a familiar truth — that in this country, students of color are often left behind to fend, and learn, for themselves. Ricardo Cortez de la Cruz II, a student of First Wave’s ninth cohort, vehemently performed a piece about the importance of Black classrooms in retaliation.
“Why are black pens conditioned for a white page?” he spits, his words almost punching the audience in the face with every word. “Why do I dream of a fourcorner space where knowledge is not behind a lock and a Francis Scott Key?” In explanation of his poem, Cruz says that he was full of anger, or in his citation of Shelley, “indulging in the other” and becoming Frankenstein’s monster. According to Cruz, his performance, like many spoken word pieces, acts as a combination of love and hate. While his piece may seem spiteful and combative, that’s only because he knows where “[the classroom] can get to.”
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”
That idea — of a classroom that teaches Shakespeare while equally honoring the works of Black poet Gwendolyn Brooks — is his vision of the future and a better place for students of color. “That’s where my love stems from,” he says. For Cruz, love and hip-hop connect with call and response with the community. Since hip-hop artists speak about their struggles, they can act as the voice of others who identify with those struggles and have the power to organize and uplift. Growing up in Bloomington, Illinois, a city segregated across the east and west sides, Cruz used poetry and hip-hop to speak out on things he saw as wrong, including discrimination and racism. Even at UW-
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
with the campus, a primarily White environment. Ike, now on the track and field team at the university, performed her piece “To Whom it May Concern” at the Buckinghams, a student-athlete showcase, last spring. According to Ike, the poem, a snippet from her one-woman show DROPS (Discrimination, Race, Oppression, Prejudice, Stereotyping), aims to initiate a dialogue about race relations and communications. When she moved to Wisconsin from Houston to attend UW-Madison, Ike didn’t know what to expect. “I had never heard of First Wave, did not care for Wisconsin, did not even know what a Wisconsin looked like,” Ike jokes. “All I saw was grass.” Differing from their counterparts in Houston, where Ike says “you know who’s the racist and who’s not,” Wisconsin residents are more subdued and less diverse. Ike believes that many members of the campus community are uncomfortable simply because they haven’t spent much time around people of color. Spoken word as an art form gives her, as well as the rest of the First Wave community, a platform to educate and transform the university to become a more culturally responsive and accessible space.
First Wave allows this love to blossom into a full-grown community. Even as Cruz finishes his speech, his classmates snap and applaud louder than anyone in the room — among the cheers are “That’s my cohort” and “Fine nine! Fine nine! Ninth Co! Ninth Co!” Acting as a reflection of Ike’s sentiments, the joyous chorus of approval shows that a First Wave cohort is like a family. Supportive and welcoming, love runs through its veins like a beating heart. It’s a community that preaches the combination of intellect and emotion, and pushes for a classroom as a space where James Baldwin and Langston Hughes are held in the same breath as Kanye West and Tupac Shakur. For students such as Tiffany Ike and Ricardo Cruz, the pen is the sword, and the voice is the shield. There’s no need for physical violence because their fists are already held high in peaceful protest. Hip-hop is a vehicle for their thoughts, a chorus for their community and a message of love. And if you listen, actually listen, you may hear how to learn and how to love, too.
Ney, the executive director of the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives, which is the home of First Wave, finds hip-hop at the intersection of art, literature and education. While rap music isn’t generally linked with systems of learning, Ney sees Broadway’s “Hamilton” as a turning point for the introduction of integrated spoken word and hip-hop music into mainstream performance art. The production, which mixes contemporary hip-hop and rap music with American history, took home 11 Tony awards in 2016. “There is no doubt that it has brought attention to hip-hop like nothing else in the mainstream for those that would be scared of it,” Ney says. “We’ve been doing ‘Hamilton’-esque art since the founding of First Wave … You can use it as a vehicle for deep education and outreach and make audiences talk about history and all these intersections that can take place.” As Ney explains, breaking down the barriers of ugly, misogynistic and hate-filled stigmas that cloud hip-hop music reveals beauty and love. Citing Beyoncé, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper, Ney points out the growing popularity of artists with socially conscious, political messages that are honest and empowering.
Hip-hop, an art movement defined by graffiti, breakdancing, rapping, deejaying and knowledge, grew out of Black and Latino communities in the Bronx during the early 1970s as a vehicle for self-expression. Since then, the
According to Ney, First Wave uses the art of hip-hop to educate the campus on important issues. From hip-hop theater pieces performed at UWMadison’s Student Orientation and Registration sessions to a variety of other performances across campus, the program uses spoken word and music to teach others about diversity and inclusion.
“As [the rapper] Nas would say, you have to ‘let the music diffuse all the tension,’ and from that, that births love,” Cruz explains. “Even songs that express anger create love, because listeners release their stress through the art.”
musical aspects of the art form have exploded in popularity to become the most listened-to genre in the world, according to recent Spotify data. While they aren’t on the radio, the spoken word poets of First Wave weave the traditional elements of hip-hop into their work, seamlessly honoring the culture of the past while empowering others, according to UW-Madison’s Willie Ney.
“So the cool thing about spoken word is it’s very literature-based … Generally, people are interested in cool ways of speaking, but also, generally, it’s entertainment and people like to be entertained,” Ike says. “So if I’m going to entertain you, I might as well also give you a lesson.”
Madison, when met with wrongs in the residence halls or in the classroom, Cruz continues to channel his anger through his art.
Proudly supporting the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication and all aspiring students who produced Curb Magazine.
illustrations by elizabeth koskiewicz
By Lizzie Ryan
re you in a midday slump? Let yoga help. A 2016 study in the International Journal of Yoga shows that practicing a classic yoga move, the Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, for a few minutes a day can help you reap all of the benefits that yoga has to offer, such as increased energy, lower depression, lower stress and anxiety levels, and better sleep. By connecting breath with movement in somewhat of a moving meditation, destressing has never felt so good.
Begin standing tall and straight with feet hip-width apart, arms straight and palms facing forward. Inhale as you reach your arms out to the side and overhead while gently arching your back and gazing up.
2. Forward Fold
Exhale as you fold forward from the hips, bending the knees to release stress in the low back. Rest hands beside feet and bring nose to knees.
Inhale and walk fingertips up to the shins to lift the spine halfway up. Back is straight and crown of the head reaches forward.
Exhale and walk feet back to find a high plank position and lower to a low plank. Shoulders draw back and away from ears as elbows squeeze the side body.
Inhale to draw the chest forward, straighten the arms, press shoulders back and gaze up. Tops of feet press into the mat to lift kneecaps up so that only the hands and feet are pressing into the mat.
Exhale to lift the hips and curl the toes under so the soles of feet press firmly into the mat. Press the mat firmly away with palms, fingerpads and ball mounds of feet. Knees bend as much as needed so that the hips are lifted high and back is straight. Remain here for five breaths.
After the last exhale in downward-facing dog, walk feet up the mat to find the half-lift on an inhale.
Exhale forward fold. Let the neck relax and head hang heavy as toes and heels press firmly into the mat.
Inhale to lift torso to rise up and return to mountain pose. Sweep the hands up above the head. Exhale to return them back to center with palms touching at the chest.
Repeat this flow as many times as is needed to energize and de-stress the body. A good and worry-free mood is only a sun salutation away. curbonline.com
THE EFFECT OF POLITICAL POLARIZATION ON MODERN-DAY RELATIONSHIPS By Katie Hicks
photos courtesy of creative commons/lawrence jackson and anne heathens, illustrations by elizabeth koskiewicz
a house divided
omeo (R.) loves the Second Amendment, low taxes and Ronald Reagan. Thinks we need a stronger military and to get America back on top again. Is probably pictured holding a fish. Go Packers!
Juliet (D.) loves renewable energy, progressive tax structures and making decisions about her body. Thinks college should be free and is “literally obsessed” with Michelle Obama. Is probably pictured at a Carly Rae Jepsen concert. Would Romeo swipe right on Juliet? Would Juliet even want him to? In 2016, the answer is probably no. Today’s star-crossed lovers are aisle-crossed lovers, as fewer and fewer Americans are choosing to date people of the opposite political party. Though not forbidden per se, bipartisan couples are becoming an endangered species in their own right. That’s true even here in Wisconsin. As the divide between political parties has grown, our expectations of romantic partners have narrowed. According to the Pew Research Center, in 1994, 16 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of Republicans found the other side to be “highly unfavorable.” As of 2014, that number jumped to 38 percent for Democrats and 43 percent for Republicans. The fact is we don’t like each other, so we’re not dating each other. The effect is more pronounced among people who are more partisan. According to the same study, 15 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of Republicans say they’d be disappointed if a member of the opposite party married into their immediate family, but among consistent Democrats and Republicans, 23 percent of liberals and 30 percent of conservatives said they’d be unhappy about it. And it’s not just who we date. A study conducted by Yale professor Gregory Huber and Stanford professor Neil Malhotra found that “contemporary period political orientations directly affect the social relationships people seek to form.” Translation: if you like what I like, we’ll get along just fine. The effect, they say, is an amplification of “polarization through the creation of homogenous social networks and households.”
This phenomenon is known as homophily. “Despite what many people think,” says Catalina Toma, UW-Madison associate professor of communication science, “opposites do not attract.” A more accurate phrase is “birds of a feather flock together,” she says. Toma cites the mate assortative model, which shows that in most cases, couples are pretty well matched when it comes to physical attractiveness, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and political affiliation. She also says that physical location plays well into homophily, because the people in our hometown, at school or at work tend to be a self-selected group that’s similar to us. Liberal college campuses and conservative church groups are examples of this. This sorting and self-selection process makes it easier to find others who are like-minded. Basically we like ourselves so much, we’re on a quest to find the person who best embodies us. But as Jessica Williams pointed out in a segment from “The Daily Show” last year, “In the end, there’s only one way to make sure you agree with your partner on every political point.” Cut to a shot of her having dinner with a mirror, talking to herself about the Keystone pipeline. It may be true that we’ll never agree on everything with our romantic partners, but are there couples that don’t agree on anything? How does this play out in real life? A familiar example is James Carville and Mary Matalin. He was an adviser for Bill Clinton in the 1990s at the same time she worked with George H. W. Bush. Somehow, 23 years later, they are happily married. In many respects, they’re what we aspire to be. Sure, we think, I can be open-minded and put aside differences for love. But, let’s be honest, can we really? August McGinnity-Wake, junior and chair of UW-Madison College Democrats, says he wouldn’t be opposed to dating a Republican, but there are lines to be drawn. “You know, if you’re at a bar and you’re talking to someone and they say to me, ‘I’m so excited to build that wall!’ I’m not going to really want to continue that conversation,” McGinnity-Wake says.
As someone who was raised on politics, McGinnity-Wake says being a Democrat is just a natural part of who he is. He remembers going to a Madison rally for then-presidential candidate John Kerry when he was 8 years old and protesting a power plant at CamRock park when he was 4 — one of his earliest memories. “My parents told me the one thing you can’t do if you want to stay in the will is become a Republican,” he says. However, he says he thinks of them as openminded people who wouldn’t be opposed to him bringing home a conservative. Dallas Andersen, a senior at Texas Christian University, was also raised in a political family, but in New Glarus, Wisconsin. Andersen says he thinks it’s harder to date the other side now because the parties “have started to approach issues with a different value system, so people no longer are even considering issues at the same starting point.” Even so, he says he’s open to dating a Democrat, despite identifying as a Republican-Libertarian. What’s more important, he says, is if they have the same moral values. He says his parents, both conservative, wouldn’t mind if he dated a Democrat so long as this applied. Eliana Locke, sophomore at UW-Madison and press secretary for College Democrats, actually has experience dating the other side. She says their differing opinions were part of the fun. “I just loved arguing with him because he would win sometimes, and it would really piss me off, but I had so much respect for him that he had a completely different opinion from me, but could still
articulate it well,” Locke says. She says the relationship was short and happened over the summer while they were abroad, so it was a different dynamic than dating at school and thinking about the long term. Even so, she says it opened her eyes to a different perspective.
“Love is a verb. It’s an action word. It’s not a feeling. If it was a feeling, everyone would be divorced.”
“The way that I see Democrats and Republicans traditionally is that they’re not actually that far apart on the spectrum. You want the same goals, you just have differing opinions on how to get there,” she says. The biggest turn off, she says, is being uninformed. “I honestly think that I get way more annoyed with someone who’s very liberal but doesn’t know what they’re talking about than someone who’s conservative but actually reads and has informed opinions,” Locke says. For Locke, McGinnity-Wake and Andersen, who feel passionate about politics and consider it to be part of their identity, it’s probably going to be harder to get along with someone who also feels passionate about politics on the other side.
“Someone who can accommodate my crazy is really important,” Locke says. “I [need someone to] just understand why I’m so passionate, and why I miss going to fun football games to go tell people to vote.”
“If it’s a central aspect of your life, and yet you cannot share this with your partner and cannot engage with them around this … I think creating that no-go zone is not necessarily a good idea,” Toma says. “It creates tensions if you’re basically cutting off an important part of your life from your partner.”
“If it’s just a marginal interest, then avoiding it is probably a good idea because you’re sparing yourself unnecessary conflict,” Toma says. “I say unnecessary because it doesn’t matter that much. It’s just conflict for conflict’s sake.” That’s what Dick and Kathy Wagenknecht from Hudson do.
photo courtesy of kathy and dick wagenknecht
“The way that I see Democrats and Republicans traditionally is that they’re not actually that far apart on the spectrum. You want the same goals, you just have differing opinions on how to get there.”
For people who are less passionate about politics, Toma says keeping things on the down-low isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Married for 56 years with three kids, Dick is a Republican and Kathy is a Democrat (though she wasn’t always, she says). According to Dick, they don’t talk politics at all. “We try not to watch any news, either. At least I don’t,” he says. “I’d rather watch HGTV.” “We respect each other, so we don’t put something on that we know would really bother the other person,” Kathy says. “We’re more respectful of each other that way, so it’s not in-your-face.” Back when they started dating, they say religion was a bigger deal breaker than political ties. At the time, they both identified as Republican, but it wasn’t something that they thought about. Today, they say, with the rise of polarization in politics and 24/7 news, things have come much more to the forefront. So much so, HGTV has become their nonpartisan oasis. Social media and the rise of the internet are other factors often cited as reasons for increasing polarization among the public. “Theoretically, the internet could be this place where you’re exposed to a variety of ideas and different perspectives, but in reality, people tend to segment themselves into fairly homogenous groups,” Toma says. “You surround yourself with people just like you, creating what my colleagues who study these kinds of things would call an echo chamber … where your network just echoes what you’re saying and kind of amplifies that message.” Even though they agreed not to talk about it, Kathy admits she sometimes posts political statuses on Facebook. Dick says he doesn’t look at those either. “He might have unfriended me, I’m not sure! … We post pictures and stuff, but I don’t know if he’s unfriended me or not. Did you?” Kathy asks. “No, I haven’t unfriended ya,” Dick says. We increase the polarization of our social networks by filtering out views we don’t like. Locke pointed this out when she said she was watching a Jimmy Kimmel segment on Donald Trump voters. “They interview people and ask
them where they got their sources. They’re like, ‘Oh yeah, people are posting on Facebook!’ and I was like, ‘Wow, I never see stuff like that on Facebook.’” Erika Fehrenbach Prell and Adam Prell of Altoona have been married for 11 years. Though they went to the same high school, they started dating after their five-year reunion and now have two boys, Ethan, who is 8, and Liam, 5. She’s liberal; he’s conservative. She’s fairly interested in politics; he’s very interested. This, Adam says, helps when it comes to election times in terms of avoiding arguments, but he says ultimately they make it work because it’s just one of the many facets of their marriage — same with money, religion and other big issues. “Love is a verb. It’s an action word. It’s not a feeling. If it was a feeling, everyone would be divorced,” Adam says. “There’s a saying that the only way you can sharpen steel is by rubbing against other steel. … If you can rub on someone and stick with it over time, it makes you both stronger.” Being open-minded about it, both he and Erika say, is the key. Plus, it makes life interesting. “If you’re dating yourself, that does get kind of boring,” Erika says. “You already know that side. … So while you might have something in common, it definitely does make it a lot more interesting if you can be openminded and talk to the other side on whatever it is,” she says. And really, isn’t that a lesson we can apply to politics in general? “The cornerstone of democracy is for multiple views to coexist and for people to engage with one another in a constructive way,” Toma says. “I think that’s a really important skill and one that we need to cultivate.” Adam says the key is finding common ground and not disregarding one another over disagreements. “It goes back to something I think Ronald Reagan said, that if you and I agree on 80 percent of things, you’re not my 20 percent enemy, you’re my friend,” Adam says. According to Kathy Wagenknecht, there are three keys to making things work in the face of disagreement: “Respect. Listening to each other. Not saying one’s right and one’s wrong.” That’s not to say there can’t be some competition, though. When the doorbell rang during our interview, Kathy answered and came back to tell me that a college student was out canvassing, “but he wasn’t from my party.” “I hope you gave him my vote,” Dick says. “No,” she laughs. “I didn’t tell him about you.” curbonline.com
ikoroke. Estelle Greendeer first heard the Ho-Chunk language spoken by her hikoroke, her grandmother. Whether she was crouched in the kitchen cooking or leading the prayer before dinner, her grandmother taught her the Ho-Chunk language through action, eventually hoping Estelle would catch on. She admits the phrases she was most familiar with growing up were commands, but it didn’t make hearing the foreign words any less special. And now, after taking evening classes in Wisconsin Dells, Greendeer, 33, is able to speak in broken Ho-Chunk phrases over the phone to her hikoroke.
e s i w rds o w
Although she laughed about the fact she had to repeat the sentence a couple times so her grandmother could understand, it was something new for her, and to be able to share it made her realize the reason she was making this commitment.
e v i t na ive “The language is so beautiful when it’s g l detto n a i spoken fluently … everything flows together,” p she says. kee guage DiBene e n la abriell These classes are a part of the Ho-Chunk Academy’s efforts to By
integrate language into their community after seeing a substantial decline in native speakers as elders grow older.
The Ho-Chunk nation is not unique in this effort; it’s a part of a greater movement among Native Americans across the country, needed because of historical discrimination. In 1879, Richard Henry Pratt founded the first Native American boarding school, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
His philosophy was that students would assimilate to English culture through total immersion. Students were given uniforms and new English names, and they could no longer speak their own language, even to each other.
Within a few generations, most had forgotten their native tongues.
While there are an estimated 155 indigenous languages still spoken in the United States, 135 of these, 87 percent, are classified as dying. At today’s rates of language transition, 105 are expected to be extinct by 2025, and with all 135 expected to be gone by 2050. The 20 remaining may soon be fighting to survive. Increasingly, young Native Americans grow up only speaking English and learning, at best, a few words from their ancestors. Ho-Chunk classes are offered after school as part of the nation’s youth services and are taught in high schools three locations: Black River Falls, Tomah and Wisconsin Dells. But after that, students are on their own. This leads to a knowledge gap, which Kayree Funmaker, 24, a student in the day course, credits to many students not seeking out resources and continuing their studies independently. However, Wisconsin’s sovereign nations are showing that these so-called “dying” languages can be brought back to life. There’s a budding interest in a different generation: adults and parents. Greendeer wanted to carry on her traditional heritage with Jackson, her 8-year-old son. Now, when Greendeer attends ceremonies, she’s able to pick apart words she learned in class, which is reassuring, and comforts her to feel closer to the meaning of the celebrations, although she’s still not
able to understand phrases fully. “When I go to our ceremonies, to hear the men and women speaking together [in Ho-Chunk] gives me a reference to what our culture stands for,” another student Roberta Funmaker says. “Respect, family, care.” Just hearing the language spoken is priceless and meaningful to remembering past memories of her childhood, Funmaker says. When she learned a phrase in class, she’d recall hearing her father first say it or teach her during a football game or in the park when she was growing up. “Whenever I hear Ho-Chunks from the generation above me speaking fluently, I always sit and listen,” Funmaker says. “It’s like a warm bowl of oatmeal.” Angelica Greendeer, one of the teachers of the course and Estelle’s sister-inlaw, hopes that, with more people taking action and being a part of saving the language, the Ho-Chunk nation won’t need a language division anymore. “I really feel that with all of us, our generation with our kids and with the support from our elders,” Angelica Greendeer says, “we can make this a surviving language.” Kayree Funmaker has already started incorporating phrases she’s learned into conversation with her two sons. Whatever she learned from class, she’d bring back home.
“I don’t want the little prayer that we do to be the only Ho-Chunk my son knows.”
“As I was learning, he was picking up some of the words with me,” Estelle Greendeer says of her son, Jackson. It wasn’t always easy. Jackson, a third-grader, had a lukewarm relationship with learning in classes, so he wasn’t as easygoing as some younger learners, Estelle says. But she did notice that he would ask questions and they’d help each other out, both curious about the pronunciation and vocabulary of the language. She even brought him to afternoon class a couple of times. It wasn’t just a distinct experience for adults who haven’t been in a classroom for years — it was challenging for instructors, as well. “It’s different when I’m put in a situation when I have people that are older than me, veterans, in the classroom,” Angelica Greendeer says. “The best part is to just be respectful, try to understand where they’re coming from.” Hearing students share different stories about their families and their past, and getting everyone in the community connected has made the effort to teach Ho-Chunk worth it. “We’re all bonding in the class and all learning,” Roberta Funmaker says. “I just hope that more people take to it instead of looking at it like it’s school … when I go to class, it’s like music to my ears,” she says with a big smile and a laugh. “I don’t care if I can follow along now, I just listen anyway.” It’s been a compelling transition, as Roberta Funmaker remembers when she was young. Her parents would turn to her and her siblings to help them with English, asking her to read newspaper headlines and explain television shows. Now it’s more about taking responsibility for you and your children, Angelica Greendeer says.
Kayree Funmaker, Angelica Greendeer, Estelle Greendeer and family
In one class spent discussing family, if students knew their parents and grandparents’ Ho-Chunk names, they were able to introduce them by that, Kayree Funmaker explains. “The knowledge that these people have about their families … to me, it’s awesome to hear.” At the end of the course, instructors pushed responsibility back to students, saying if preserving the language is something they want and believe in, they need to speak up and set a good example for their children.
“When the kids understand it, I think it makes other [parents] really want that experience for themselves and their kid,” she says.
For Estelle Greendeer, this initiative means picking up the phone and calling her grandmother or driving to the House of Wellness, a community center in Wisconsin Dells where the class takes place, and talking with the speakers, those fluent and others learning.
With Ho-Chunk parents and grandparents being brought together for class with all different backgrounds and upbringings, it made for an interesting, cross-generational learning experience outside of the syllabus.
“I know how important the language is,” she says, taking a deep breath. “I don’t want the little prayer that we do to be the only Ho-Chunk my son knows.” curbonline.com
Love Locked Out
With a parent in prison, families must adjust to a relationship on probation By Mia Sato
Last year, 22,544 inmates were incarcerated in one of the 23 state institutions in Wisconsin. Smoody, Damien’s dad, was one of them, and he will remain there until 2026 unless he is granted parole. In terms of overall incarceration, Wisconsin falls somewhere in the middle compared to the rest of the country — the state incarcerates about 371 people per 100,000. According to Tristan Cook, communications director at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the state provides services such as extended visiting in some cases and family day events for minimum-security inmates. For most families, prison seems distant and removed from ordinary life, a place where offenders are contained far away from lawabiding citizens. But reality is more complex: the burden of incarceration is being shouldered disproportionately by Black Wisconsinites, where prison isn’t a nightmare unheard of in their community, but something that spills into the lives, minds and hearts of many living outside the boundaries of the armed guard towers. It takes a bird’s-eye view to see that Wisconsin incarcerates Black men at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country, one in eight of them. Although just 6.6 percent of Wisconsin is Black, 40.1 percent of the prison population is African American. This is the mass incarceration of Black men that we hear of occasionally in studies or news articles: figures and data without names and faces, but an important measure of disparities nonetheless. But zoom in closer — to a parent, a friend, a child of the incarcerated — and a different picture emerges. A person’s imprisonment works both ways — inmates are locked in, and loved ones are locked out. Especially vulnerable are children of the incarcerated, who become entangled in the complex criminal justice system on top of growing up without one or both parents at home. They feel this reality in Wisconsin not by numbers and reports but in waiting for letters to be returned, for the phone to ring and to hear the recording telling them an inmate is trying to reach them — they count incarceration by the birthdays, bike falls and first dates that will be missed by someone they love.
hen Damien was three months old, he, his mommy and his daddy lived in a little house on the east side of Madison. At the time, his mother, Nina, 22, worked as a certified nursing assistant, and his father, Smoody (Damien Smith), 23, had just been released from prison. Damien is now 4 years old, and he doesn’t remember living with his parents in the cute house the size of an apartment. But in that little house, Damien was surrounded by those who loved him.
13 years in prison … it felt like a death. It felt like a death of a really small child,” Dillon says. Dillon’s daughter, Nina, and Smoody are parents to Dillon’s grandson, Damien. In 2013, Smoody was sentenced to 13 years for distribution of crack cocaine and heroin, adding to his criminal record and prior convictions that landed him in prison. Many of Smoody’s crimes began with what are referred to as crimes of poverty. Children being forced to steal food to survive is not uncommon; as a young boy, Smoody stole new school clothes that he needed. Despite being exposed to violence, substance abuse and crime at a young age, Dillon describes Smoody as intelligent and motivated — in high school, he earned straight A’s. After he was expelled as a senior for allegedly having a gun — which was never found. He returned to complete his education through a special program. To Dillon, Smoody’s sentence meant a bright, beautiful life snuffed out. Although Dillon knows the reality of Black incarceration, she does not absolve Smoody from his crimes for which he is now serving time. Smoody was the first person in Nina’s close circle of relationships who was entrenched in the criminal justice system. When Nina moved in with Smoody, who had become a drug dealer, relationships with Dillon’s extended family were pushed to the brink. Dillon, who is White, struggled to find support from friends and family who had never experienced the reality of mass incarceration, especially in Black communities. “I was beside myself with grief even though this is a young man who really put a lot of strain on my life,” Dillon recalls. “I always felt like he had kidnapped my daughter. He did a lot of bad stuff.” “[My family and friends didn’t] want to hear
about it because it’s something they can’t relate to. It didn’t affect their life, it doesn’t affect their children ... When [Smoody was incarcerated], I talked about it, and I really kind of got ostracized,” she says. Dillon and her daughter both seek to bring awareness to mass incarceration rather than pushing it further into the corners of discussion and shame. “I’m not embarrassed to tell people my son’s dad is in prison,” Nina says. “The issue needs attention — it’s important to bring awareness.” Since Smoody has been incarcerated, Dillon has taken on much of the responsibility of raising his young son with her daughter. Dillon estimates that she cares for Damien at least half of the time in addition to keeping in close contact with his dad — she talks to Smoody on the phone about twice a week, and between Nina and Dillon, Damien goes to visit his dad at the prison in New Lisbon, in central Wisconsin, at least once a month. Dillon and Damien drive an hour-and-a-half to the New Lisbon Correctional Institution to visit Smoody. They bring $20 — the maximum amount of money visitors are allowed to carry in — to buy Smoody microwave food from the vending machines. Damien cannot bring in toys or books, and Dillon cannot bring in a purse or a cell phone. They sit at cafeteria-style tables, waiting with other friends and family for their loved ones. The visitation room is bleak, not a place to nurture a relationship already divided by distance, fences, guards and bars. When Smoody is brought into the visitation room, Damien forgets the rule of no running on Department of Corrections property and flies into his father’s arms. Dillon describes it like watching Smoody walk through the front door after work,
The act of loving someone despite their crimes is an act of hope. Those on the outside will continue to write, continue to travel, continue to call despite the shame associated with being incarcerated. They see something many of us can’t.
Pat Dillon, a Madison-based writer, artist, teacher and advocate, recalls the day she got the news that would change her life — and herself — completely. “When I found out Smoody was sentenced to
greeted by his little boy waiting for him. Damien sits on Smoody’s lap throughout the entire visit, soaking up every minute spent with his dad. Later he will ask Dillon how old he’ll be when his father is out of prison — maybe 13 — but at least right now, there is no embarrassment, no stigma. To Damien, his dad has always been a good father. “I don’t place judgement on people as much now,” Nina says. “People in prison are still people. Smoody is still Damien’s dad — he has people who love him.” Since Smoody has been incarcerated, Dillon says their relationship with Smoody went from one of strain and secrecy to one that blossomed with trust — something the common narrative of incarceration doesn’t often contain. Their relationship is loving and trusting, and Dillon has worked tirelessly to guarantee that when Smoody gets out, he has the support that will make or break his successful reentry into society. “He opened his heart to me,” Dillon says. “I’ve always had my heart open to him, but now he’s opened his heart. My actions have proven to him that all I want is for him to have an opportunity… and [I’ve shown him] that when he gets out, he doesn’t have to be afraid of the world.”
“One of the main false hopes is that you’ve done your time,” says Anthony Cooper. He has been out of prison for more than 15 years but still remembers struggling to find employment, housing and other essentials after he was released. He recalls the pain of seeing his sons cry when
visitation was over, begging to stay with him in prison, and he vowed to never let them see their father in that situation again. But with a felony on his record that followed him everywhere he went, employment options were slim, and Cooper was turned away from countless jobs despite being qualified — it wasn’t until then that he finally understood the bigger picture of mass incarceration. Few understand the struggle of reentry better than Aaron Hicks. Hicks, now 43, has been “on paper” — on probation or parole — since he was 12. His record follows him like an invisible shadow, and his ankle monitor, which he will likely wear for the rest of his life, serves as a tangible reminder of how he continues to serve time despite being released from his cell. “It’s never really over,” Hicks says. “You’ve never really paid your dues to society.” Cooper, who is now the director of re-entry services at the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, and Hicks, assistant to reentry services, organize and lead Man Up, a support group for those recently released, preparing to be released or struggling to get their footing in society after being away. Both emphasize the powerful effects mass incarceration has on Black communities. Hicks says Black Americans feel the weight of the criminal justice system more heavily than other groups. “The truth is, specifically for a Black man, you can get pulled over and that could be the last time we take another breath,” Hicks says. “You see it initially, prior to mass incarceration in slavery — how Black people have had to fight for everything.”
Cooper and Hicks say providing support following an inmate’s release is essential for a successful transition, but they find themselves frustrated by the lack of resources provided by the criminal justice system for reentry. “[The government spends] the least money on people re-entering into the community — that in itself should speak volumes,” Hicks says. “The truth is, 85 to 90 percent of people who go into prison will get back out. If that’s the case, then why wouldn’t we spend more money on services that would help individuals enter back into the community and be productive?” He answers his own question. “This is a business. This is by design,” Hicks says. “Never think for any reason that [mass incarceration] is one big mistake. This was strategic — everything about this system.”
Smoody and Damien are four years into a 13-year sentence. Damien came to the understanding that his father is in prison on his own and recognizes that a visit to New Lisbon is the only opportunity to see him. Once, when he found out his mom had visited Smoody without him, he couldn’t believe it — “What? She didn’t take me?” he asked, shocked and upset. A while ago, Nina drove Damien past the little house on the east side. She told him about the little house, how they all had lived there together: Nina, baby Damien and even his dad. Damien can’t seem to let that fact go: I used to live in a little house with my mom and dad. He repeats it often, constantly reminding Dillon of this small — yet somehow very important — fact, as though he might forget it if he doesn’t. “He talks about that,” Dillon says breathily, barely above a pained whisper. “He’s hanging onto that like you can’t even imagine.” It’s hard to say how time and age will change Damien’s understanding of his father’s incarceration, but, for now, the simple hopes for the future seem to be enough for him: seeing his dad once a month, being held by him, sitting on his lap. And Damien just cannot let go of the little house on the east side. “When my dad gets out, will we live in a little house? Will we live together? Will I live with him?” Dillon tries her best to answer the questions, posed by a child in an unfathomable situation for most of us, with a heart bigger than many of us. Dillon cries as she tries to put into words the unexplainable.
“It’s not just about loving someone in prison,” Dillon says. “It’s the journey of loving someone who is deemed unlovable.”
“I was beside myself with grief even though this is a young man who really put a lot of strain on my life.” curbonline.com
homework you can wine about By Bailey Nachreiner-Mackesey
rchaeologists discovered the earliest-known winemaking facility in the world tucked away in the southeastern mountains of Armenia in 2011. It is estimated to be 6,000 years old.
Along with remains of ancient grape-stomping systems, the discovery team found the remains of vines, pressed grapes and seeds from the Vitis vinifera vinifera variety, a type of grape still used in wine production today, six millennia later. Winemaking in and of itself is nothing new. From the harvesting and destemming of the fruit to the fermentation and aging of the wine, elements of winemaking have certainly advanced, but much of the underlying process remains the same. Throughout history, it has been a process and product with deeply ingrained social, cultural, religious and ceremonial value. It is an ever-evolving practice spanning civilizations, rooted in a unique mixture of passion, craft and tradition. Recognizing the limitations of resting solely on this tradition, winemakers are instead investing in knowledge and techniques to carry their treasured practice far into the future. For the past few years, UW-Madison’s Fermentation Sciences Program has partnered with the wine industry here in Wisconsin to fill what they identified as a gap in this process — the industry-advancing potential of academic research. Teaming up with Wollersheim Winery of Prairie du Sac, students in this newly developed lab course help to produce their own distinct brand of wine for sale and execute experiments that develop clarity in understanding of the winemaking process. Combining the deep history and resources of Wisconsin wine with the curiosity of UW-Madison students, the goal of the partnership is to bring awareness to the quality and diversity of the wine produced in the state. These wines, to be sold at Wollersheim and the Wisconsin Union, are emblems of a labor of love rooted in a long family tradition of winemaking combined with the enthusiasm of UW-Madison students and researchers, working together to advance their craft.
Last year, students led by professor Jim Steele and newly hired oenologist (the official name for a wine scientist) Nick Smith took part in the first formative stage of this wine production prior to it becoming a formal course. Working directly with Wollersheim’s winemaker Philippe Coquard, students were able to assist in portions of the harvesting process as well as various other parts of production. Once the wine was barrelled, the handful of food science and horticulture students put their heads and hands together to focus on marketing the wine and designing of the bottle label. And inside that bottle was Red Fusion — a dry red wine made from Wisconsin grapes and the passion and dedication of some of Wisconsin’s most respected winemakers, the proceeds of which would go toward supporting the Fermentation Sciences Program in the future. This year, the course has taken on a more traditional structure, in which students complete a semester-long lecture course in fermentation sciences and an accompanying wine lab. Students are invited out to Wollersheim during various parts of the process to learn and understand how the procedures and techniques they learn about in a classroom setting play out in large-scale production. While in the lab, they conduct a wide range of experiments exploring different technical elements of the process, from fermentation temperature’s influence on flavor to sugar content’s impact on final alcohol content. Along the way, they gain an appreciation for the highly complicated craft rooted in principles of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and beyond. “A big part of both these classes is how do we provide an opportunity for students to take all these random bits of science that they’ve learned and put them into one coherent process,” Smith says. “[Students] have a lot of the basic building blocks to do the analysis and production of these things, but they haven’t integrated it like we have in this particular product.”
stroll 16 acres of outdoor gardens & the indoor tropical bolz conservatory
The goal, Smith says, is to provide students the necessary understanding of both the analytical and the production side of winemaking, and to make them constructive contributors to the industry in the future. “It’s about getting students to stop, pause, think and be active and generate a true passion and understanding for the process,” Smith says.
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THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE
Lauren Blume and Richard Saunders
Katsuya and Sheri Sato
Couples stay close despite a long distance and borders between them By Allison Garcia Eva Bernstein and jacob faber
ost college couples worry about what time they can meet each other after class and whether or not to have a sleepover on a school night. Eva Bernstein and Jacob Faber instead are preoccupied with planning weekend trips between Madison and Vancouver, which involve 12 hours of travel time for each 36-hour visit. They started dating when they were volunteering during a gap year in Israel between high school and college. Just nine months after they started dating, however, they parted ways to go to college. He went to the University of British Columbia, where he studies electrical engineering 2,000 miles away from her at UW-Madison, where she is pre-med. International relationships like this one are not entirely uncommon in America. About 7 percent of married couples include a foreign-born spouse, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. What’s more, in the past four decades there has also been an increase in multicultural marriages — in regards
to race, ethnicity and religion. For couples who cross borders, there are higher stakes. Often this means at least one person leaving their family and friends, applying for visas and citizenship, and booking expensive tickets for commuting back and forth. Many couples endure long distance for a long time before they can legally be together, and time differences make communication messy. But for those who make these cross-cultural relationships work, their love is able to transcend the borders that countries create. “People love to be like, ‘Long-distance is impossible, it will always end and stuff.’ But I really don’t believe that,” Eva says. “You make it work if you love that person and you want to be with them.”
Lauren Blume cried in front of the check-in agent at a New Zealand airport. Her bags were too heavy and she was being hassled to repack, but that wasn’t the reason for her tears. She was leaving the country early and had just said a painful goodbye to her then-boyfriend of three years and nowhusband, Richard Saunders, who she thought she might never see again. “I was extremely upset, I was bawling,” Lauren says describing the day like a scene from a movie. “It’s kind of funny now, but it was not funny at the time.” Lauren was supposed to have a few months in New Zealand after finishing veterinary school at Massey University before starting an internship at a clinic in Chicago. Then her grandfather passed away, giving her one week to get home for the funeral. There was hardly time to pack and get a ticket, let alone think about what would happen to her relationship once she left. Rana Roman and Dylan Gordon
all photos courtesy of sources, except for those of saunders and blume
“We talked about it; we knew there was uncertainty,” Richard says. “We knew that things might not work out, but I was fairly optimistic that if we wanted to stay together, we’d stay together.” Because of Lauren’s difficult work schedule — the first year of training is the hardest for a veterinarian — she was unable to make a trip back to New Zealand. So Richard came to her. In the year that they were apart, he spent about $5,000 on plane tickets. “It’s hard to imagine that someone would fly around the world to come see you,” Lauren says, explaining how amazed she was. “It’s a long ways, and it’s a lot of money.” Richard’s plan was to join Lauren in the U.S. once she found a long-term job. So when Lauren was accepted for a four-year residency at a UWMadison clinic, he followed her there. Then on the first day of 2016, Richard and Lauren walked to Picnic Point, where he would get down on one snowy knee, and she would say yes. With Lauren’s family sprinkled in states across the country and Richard’s family in both New Zealand and Australia, they knew planning a wedding including everyone would be both a headache to coordinate and a fortune to put together. Instead, they decided to keep the wedding intimate. Only the officiant, elopement coordinator and photographer attended Richard and Lauren’s ceremony on a sandy beach in Hawaii last May, and for them, that was perfect.
“People love to be like, ‘Long-distance is impossible, it will always end and stuff.’ But I really don’t believe that. You make it work if you love that person and you want to be with them.” Rána Roman and Dylan Gordon were supposed to honeymoon for 10 days on the Greek island of Santorini, but they ended up in Las Vegas instead. They didn’t realize until 10 days before the wedding that Dylan’s South African passport would not be accepted for valid entry to Greece. It was too late to start the paperwork, so instead they chose a new destination: viva Las Vegas. After the honeymoon, they went back to long distance. Rána stayed in a downtown Milwaukee apartment to be near family, and Dylan served out his final contract as a store manager on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. They met four years before on a similar ship when Rána was a singer in the nightly shows. This would be their fifth year of short visits every three months, emails and scheduled phone calls.
a small farm town in Japan, while Sheri stays in Appleton, where the two met nearly 30 years ago.
When Dylan finished his year on board, the company flew him back to Cape Town, where he would say goodbye to his friends, family and home. Dylan has not been back to South Africa in over 10 years — Wisconsin is his home now.
“It was very formal, very abrupt; it wasn’t a comforting feeling. We didn’t leave feeling like yes, we had proven to this lady how much we love each other,” Dylan says. “We left thinking, ‘Well, this is up to her now.’”
“When I got to the U.S. for the final time, I had two full-size suitcases of everything I owned that was important to me at the time,” Dylan says.
They spent the following day reassuring each other that everything would be okay, despite the uncertainty after the in-person evaluations.
In order for Wisconsin to be his home, however, Dylan had to apply for his permanent residency visa — often referred to as a green card. The process started when he was in South Africa, where the U.S. consulate evaluated if he was a flight risk for overstaying his visa. Then, from Milwaukee, Dylan filled out the paperwork. This included personal history, fingerprints and even proof of Rána and Dylan’s relationship — a preliminary measure to check if they were really in love or if this was a marriage for citizenship.
“At that point Rána looked at me and she said, ‘Baby, if they deny you I will go home with you,’” Dylan says, remembering how tense they felt after the interviews. Rána and Dylan’s story has a happy ending: the next night he received an email welcoming him to America. But each year about 6 million people apply for permanent residency and only about 1 million are accepted, according to the American Immigration Center.
“I’m very happy. And I have totally no regret. I have probably the best person in the world for myself.”
“That was a lot of money, a lot of hoops, a lot of interviews, a lot of crying from Rána,” Dylan says about the application, “And there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be approved.”
“We were unbelievably fortunate with the circumstances under which we started this process,” Rána says. “Just going abroad and meeting somebody and falling in love and wanting to make a life together ... it’s not that easy. And partly because it’s expensive.”
“You can’t think too hard about it, because there are rules in every culture, but just because it’s a rule in your culture doesn’t mean it’s a rule in your personal life,” Sheri says, “If we lived by rules in my husband’s culture, we would totally be done and over.”
After dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, Dylan sent in the forms along with multiple bank-guaranteed checks for a total of about $1,400. Next, they scheduled an appointment for the interviews. “I cannot shake your hand, that means I have created a bond with you, I will not shake your hand,” Dylan recalls the interviewer saying.
Despite being married for 22 years, Sheri and Katsuya Sato are not citizens in each other’s home countries. In fact, most times they don’t even live on the same continent, though they do visit each other every two to three months. Katsuya lives in
Sheri tried living in Japan. She moved to be with him not knowing any Japanese. But it was extremely rare for a Japanese man to bring home an American woman, and for a long time they weren’t accepted as a couple, even in their own home. They had to beg for permission from Katsuya’s mother and father, even going door to door, getting on their knees to ask for approval from the neighbors.
Sheri taught English in Tokyo for one year before moving to the city of Morioka to be closer to Katsuya. After they were married in Appleton in 1994, they immediately moved in with Katsuya’s parents in Ninohe, Japan. But over time, the cultural differences became too much for Sheri.
Since Katsuya is the only son in his family, it was customary for him to take over the family business, which in the Sato case is a pig-farming company. And since Sheri is his wife, it was her duty to manage the household responsibilities, including cooking, cleaning, laundry and other chores. This wasn’t just for her immediate family of six, but for Katsuya’s parents, siblings and their children. At one point, there were nine kids in the house. “It’s hard, I’m not Japanese. I love Japan, I love it to death, but that’s not me,” Sheri says. Though all four of the children were born in Japan, Sheri and Katsuya ended up raising their children from both countries. Sheri and the kids would alternate every six months living in the two countries, while Katsuya stayed in Japan to run the business. As a result, the kids speak fluent Japanese and English and also have dual citizenship. “I know that the kids in my family are very loved, by both my husband and myself,” she says. It makes her happy to see how well they have taken to both cultures. While at times when they talk the distance seems unbearable, to Sheri the back-and-forth lifestyle also keeps her life and relationship exciting. She looks forward to visiting Japan and to times when Katsuya makes his way to Appleton. “I’m very happy. And I have totally no regret,” Sheri says. “I have probably the best person in the world for myself.” curbonline.com
Connecting South Central Wisconsin to the World! Easy access from anywhere in south central Wisconsin and convenient flight schedules to more than 12 non-stop destinations, make it simple for business travelers to get to where they need
By Jacy Zollar
to be, anywhere in the world. In addition, Dane County Regional Airport administers a 650-acre Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), providing important economic opportunities and benefits for international business and trade. To learn more about how Dane County Regional Airport can make your business travel easier, go to:
It’s all about the journey.
When the race is fueled by love, both teammates win
e’s racing in the Ironman Wisconsin, breathlessly biking up a hill. His body is at peak physical exhaustion; he’s combatting the mental games his mind is playing against his capability to keep pushing. Then, from behind, he hears, “Christian, are you doing all right?”
He’s racing in the Ironman Wisconsin, breathlessly biking up a hill. His body is at peak physical exhaustion; he’s combatting the mental games his mind is playing against his capability to keep pushing. Then, from behind, he hears, “Christian, are you doing all right?”
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The question comes from Mary Cox, the woman he’s pulling in a racing chair attached to his bike. This is why Christian Jensen is racing. “Yes, I can do this,” he thinks to himself with renewed energy. “I’m doing it for Mary.” Cox has muscular dystrophy, and she’s unable to move. But that doesn’t stop her from crossing the finish line among the other athletes. Jensen made it his mission to ensure that she, and others with disabilities, would have that opportunity by creating the Wisconsin chapter of myTEAM TRIUMPH. Through his journey, Jensen realized the passion he felt in serving others and was fueled by the love he felt from the community and those given the opportunity to participate in the organization. Jensen didn’t foresee his future panning out like it has. His vision when he started working at Bellin Health in Green Bay as a personal trainer was to
eventually train track and field athletes. But his path shifted when he met Cox, his first client, in 2008. Little did he know that his first appointment with Cox would evolve into a much bigger commitment. “[Mary] came in riding her husband’s back,” for their first consult, Jensen remembers, adding that he had never worked — or even had personal interactions — with people with disabilities. Cox initially hoped Jensen would help her walk again, but the most movement she was eventually capable of was brief walking with assistance. About a month into their training, Jensen realized there would be no way to reverse the effects of muscular dystrophy for Cox. “I got to a point in her training where I was like, ‘Gosh, what can I do with Mary?’ I really felt like I was at a dead end of helping her physically,” Jensen says. But like any good story, that dead-end feeling was precisely when his “Aha!” moment came. Jensen was attending church with his wife, Tricia, when they were shown a video of a father pushing his son, who has cerebral palsy, in a racing wheelchair curbonline.com
cheering fans. Cox would wake up at the crack of dawn to slowly walk the entire course, finishing in time to watch her sons run in the official event. Her instability in walking and her fear of getting in the way of others propelled her to avoid the real event, so when Jensen offered to push her, she was all in. Their journey began with training for the Bellin Run, with Jensen pushing Cox in a child’s running stroller borrowed from a friend. Even with Cox’s leaner figure, one can imagine it wasn’t the most comfortable, but it was a start. The pair didn’t have professional equipment or even much knowledge about it, but they had the motivation, so they ran with it. “I took Mary for a test run, and she loved it. She loved it. She was outside, the wind was in her hair,” Jensen recollects with a smile.
through endurance events over the past 30 years. That’s when Jensen realized it wasn’t about fixing Cox or trying to take away her disability. It was about giving her a sense of inclusion and celebrating who she was. “His disability, yes, while it limited him physically, it actually opened up doors for him in ways that would have not been opened if he did not have a disability. It helped him and his father to inspire people in ways that they would have never been able to do,” Jensen says. With this newfound inspiration, Jensen went back to Cox with the proposal of running a 10K — the Bellin Run — together. Little did Jensen know when he asked Cox that she had already participated in the Bellin Run in her own way years ago when she could still walk. But her way didn’t include being surrounded by runners and
The insignificant things that most take for granted — being able to dress and feed oneself, being able to take a shower or get out of bed every morning — these are things Cox is unable to do by herself. Instead, these moments are structured in the hands of a caregiver.
“Once you do one race with myTEAM TRIUMPH, you’re sucked in,” says Autumn Siudzinski, who has worked her way up to running a half marathon with her team. “You want to just do it forever. And especially for people like myself who run all the time, I’m running anyway, so why not share in it with someone else?” Jensen described how captains talk to the angels during the race and keep them motivated. And if captains are unable to speak, their expressions speak for them.
“I feel so free,” Cox says.
“You see the smile on their face, you see they’re giggling, their arms are up in the air, and that’s providing me the purpose,” Jensen explains.
Getting the opportunity to race in the actual event alongside other runners and hearing the cheers by spectators was a special moment for Cox. “I was just crying at the end, it was so exciting,” she grins. Jensen didn’t anticipate the impact that the run would have on Cox or the community. “She felt like she was inspiring others, and the crowds were cheering like crazy for her,” Jensen says. “We had no idea how powerful that experience would be.”
Jensen’s answer is simple. “People always say to me, ‘I don’t know how you do it,’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know how you don’t do it with someone.’ I mean, it’s a partnership. It’s inspirational,” he says. After their first race, Jensen and Cox decided to take it a step further and tackle a marathon. They participated in the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in 2009 and received local TV coverage of their story, which drew in a flood of support and interest from the community.
Jensen started the first chapter of the organization in Wisconsin in 2010. Since then, more than 1,000 people with disabilities, called “captains,” have crossed finish lines. These captains have been pushed by more than 5,000 so-called “angel” athletes.
So being in the stroller, outside in the fresh air, feeling the rush of the wind and not having to worry about routine or limitations — there’s a special serenity that comes with that.
Pushing Cox also provided Jensen with the motivation to run. A natural question springs from the idea of pushing someone long distances while running: “How on earth is someone capable of doing that?”
At that point, Jensen knew he wanted to branch out and find a way to include others who may want the same opportunity. That’s when he came across myTEAM TRIUMPH, a national nonprofit started in Michigan dedicated to providing those with disabilities the opportunity to participate in endurance athletics.
The partnerships between the angels and captains are mutually beneficial, but in different ways. The angels provide more tangible aspects, being the arms, legs and lungs for the captain. The captains’ contributions, however, are beneath the surface.
“You see the smile on their face, you see they’re giggling, their arms are up in the air, and that’s providing me the purpose.”
“It helps those of us who are able-bodied to understand that, you know, we all have a disability in some way,” Jensen says. “It might not be visible. It might be a mental thing; it might be something from our past; it might be something that’s happened to us, an addiction, anything. Really, a disability is anything that limits us from really exploring what we’re meant to be.” Because of the deeper effect the angel-captain relationship provides, myTEAM TRIUMPH doesn’t consider itself an athletic organization. Instead, it prides itself on being a human services organization that uses running, biking and triathlons to enrich the lives of people with diverse abilities. “That’s all we do,” Jensen says. “It’s just about bringing people together who have a common goal and have varying abilities and challenges. And we know that when you have a start and finish and come together, something really magical can happen.” curbonline.com
The Most Romantic Places in Wisconsin By Madeline Makoul
The Apostle Islands are made up of 21 islands and are a beautiful spot to take your partner. You can do almost anything here, from sailing to hiking to scuba diving. There are also caves off the mainland that turn to ice in the winter and make the cave look like a winter wonderland, with icicles covering the inside in beautiful white and blue crystals.
Want to journey through the jungle with your partner while remaining close to the city? Then stop by The Domes at the Mitchell Park Conservatory. These domes have an abundance of different plants and they also light up with different colors in the evening, illuminating the night sky.
This state park is another great outdoor spot for a date with your significant other. Here you can hike and explore the grounds, set up a tent and camp out for the weekend, kayaking when it’s warm. Devil’s Lake is particularly beautiful in the fall when the leaves start turning red and orange.
Milwaukee live music
Head to Jazz in the Park and set up a picnic with your significant other while listening to great music. These concerts are free and a great activity for a date while the weather’s still nice. You can even stop by the Milwaukee Public Market before and grab some food to go.
2 4 Milwaukee art museum
If you and your sweetheart are into art, head to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The structure itself is amazing, with large white moving wings. The art is equally breathtaking and will keep you and your partner captivated for the day.
photos courtesy of Creative Commons/the cut/mark baylor/anjanettew/doribot/guillaume capron
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