6 10 14 16 18
Spirituality Seekers Next Gen Dairy A Ghost Named Fred Risky Business Take That Leap
28 29 32 36
52 Merely Human
Caution: School Zone
56 Tear It Up 58 Eight Ways to
The Buzz on Bees For the Love of Nature
I Scream, You Scream
51 10 Ways to Get an Adrenaline Rush
Front Line to Front Door
Big Game Changer
48 Into Her Own Hands
Missed Opportunities Highlight Reel to Highlight Real Land of the Free?
Recover After an Anxiety Attack
Home is Where the Road Is
Curb Staff Editor in Chief Olivia Jones
all it irrational, but as a senior in college I still fear thunderstorms. It’s the booming that wakes me up abruptly in the middle of the night, to the flashes that turn the sky into a light show. As a child I would hunker between my parents and cover my head with pillows to muffle the noise and hide from the storm. Today thunderstorms still give me sleepless nights, though more and more I find myself yearning to confront my fear and chase down the storm. In our 17th edition of Curb, we wanted to focus on something so radically different that explores risk, the unknown and courage. We wanted to test ourselves and push boundaries to see what overcoming challenges could bring. In other words, we set out to turn fear into this year’s magazine: “FEARLESS.” Wisconsin faces its own unique set of obstacles, as any state does. Those who call the Dairy State home have feared for their farms, future and their families. We take on the stresses of starting a business or living up to societal standards. However, it’s our ability to push through every day, confronting fears, big or small, that make us fearless. This year we’ve faced what scares us, leaving no rock uncovered. We hope to explore tenacity and heart in unexpected places and experience perils and possibility with unexpected outcomes. In this issue, we’re plunging into the unknown. We at Curb have worked fearlessly this semester, tackling opportunities we didn’t think were tangible before. We wrote stories we didn’t think could be written, we tried things we didn’t think could be done. In our future as communicators, there lies much uncertainty. Putting together Curb, we found that while we can’t predict what will happen next, we can be fearless in pursuing whatever it may be. In finding what made others fearless, we found out about ourselves as well. Like other fears, thunderstorms have limited me to enclosed spaces. Through “FEARLESS,” Curb is setting out to break down these walls and dance in the rain. We hope you will, too. Fearlessly,
Managing Editors Mckenzie Halling Megan Otto Lead Writers Sofia Biros Cathleen Draper Logan Rude Copy Editors Erin Green Teodor Teofilov Business Director Sabrina Abuzahra Public Relations Director Jenna Podgorski Engagement Director Ashley Mackens Marketing Representatives Morgan Baker Annie McGrail Online Editor Nina Bertelsen Online Associates Fatoumata Ceesay Andrew Pearce Mitchell Rose Art Director Maggie Roethle Production Director Berklee Klauck Production Associates Logan Godfrey Bailey Schneider Photographer Emilie Enke
Curb is published through generous alumni donations administered by the UW Foundation and in partnership with Royle Printing, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. © Copyright 2018 Curb Magazine
Videographer Cal Larsen Publisher Stacy Forster Unless otherwise noted, all photos are attributed to Emilie Enke.
curbonline.com FEARLESS doesnâ€™t stop at the end of the magazine. Continue the Curb experience in an online edition with extended versions of all stories. Take a trip through a twisty maze, jump off the high dive and hear from a film score composer about the qualities of haunting music.
By Mckenzie Halling
n the middle of the night, David Giffey woke, grabbing for his rifle next to him in bed — but it’s not there. Just like it wasn’t there the last time he had this dream or the time before that or the time before that. After serving two years in Vietnam, Giffey was finally able to return home. While he left immediate danger on the other side of the world, his fears followed him back to Wisconsin. Giffey grew up in Fond Du Lac County on a small dairy farm. At 20, Giffey considered himself well-informed for his young age. What wasn’t on Giffey’s radar was the Vietnam War draft — at least not until 1963. He was drafted and, one year later, found himself on a ship to Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division. As a combat photojournalist for the war, Giffey was not only a soldier for the U.S. Army, but documented the war through photographs and stories, too. Because of guerrilla war tactics, everybody felt endangered at all times, according to Giffey. “I was terrified in Vietnam,” Giffey says. “It was the most frightening experience … That’s what I remembered — the fear.” After the war, Giffey explored ways to heal emotionally and
David Giffey has spent an estimated 8,000-10,000 hours painting icons at the church, equating to between 333 and 416 days.
mentally from his experiences in Vietnam. He began to explore activism, artistry and, finally, religious communities as well. Now, at 76 years old and a member of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Madison, he views his life as a journey that has helped him come to terms with what he experienced when he was young. The idea of relying on faith to lead one’s way through fearful circumstances is as old as time. Our world today is more polarized, and the differences between us are starker than ever. When it comes to why we use our faith to find courage, the differences between denominations and religious identity are small. When talking with people of different faiths, regardless of religious identity, common words emerge to describe how their faith helps them face fear — powerless, safety, discovery, journey. Between a Lutheran faculty associate at UW-Madison, a Muslim student, a Methodist pastor, an Eastern Orthodox Christian and a nondenominational leader, whose words are built from different
Giffey stands in front of his work. He credits his spirituality and art, as well as a strong support system from his family, for helping him reconcile with his memories from the Vietnam War.
doctrines, scriptures, practices and rituals, all agree on the most important thing: In times of the worst fear, relying on faith is what pushes them forward. These same sentiments are echoed throughout Wisconsin. According to the 2014 Pew Research Center survey, the population of Wisconsin is 71 percent Christian. However, the second biggest group is religious “nones,” or unaffiliated, agnostics, atheists, and “nothing in particulars.” Because Wisconsin lacks diversity in terms of world religions, many Wisconsinites don’t have the opportunity to interact
with people of different faiths in their daily lives. This can lead to many misunderstandings and stereotypes of minority religions in the state. It is easy to focus on differences when we don’t comprehend the similarities. Afra Alam, a 22-year-old Muslim student at UW-Madison, grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha. Alam was the only person in her middle and high school to wear a hijab, a headscarf traditionally worn by Muslim women. Alam says her hijab supports her beliefs in dressing modestly and that people see her for who she really is, as opposed to her outward appearance. In middle school, when Alam made the personal choice to begin to wear her scarf every day, she says it ostracized her from her peers. Students at school began to bully Alam. Comments ranged from questioning her wardrobe choices to calling her a terrorist. Alam says she didn’t like the extra attention that was on her because of her choice to “wear her faith.” Alam felt she had no one to talk to during this time. However, Alam says her faith has been her backbone for any hardship in her life, including
“When you’re at your lowest point, you feel you have no one you can turn to ... then you have your faith” these middle school years. She could feel support from her faith even when she couldn’t from the physical people in her life. “When you’re at your lowest point, you feel like you have no one you can go to ... then you have your faith,” Alam says. Ulrich Rosenhagen, the director of the Center for Religion and Global Citizenry at UW-Madison, says the fear of becoming stereotyped and facing animosity or hatred based on one’s religion is very common for minority students. Since minority religions don’t have a sizeable platform in our news outlets and Hollywood movies, they don’t have the voice to portray their faiths in more accurate
ways to the broader U.S. population. “There’s open animosity, if not hatred, and then their [people of religious minorities] voices aren’t heard,” Rosenhagen says. “As a society, it’s the rule of those who go out and yell the loudest and spew hatred.” During his time in the war, Giffey began to develop a similar understanding of the hatred and intolerance humans can possess. Giffey believes the war he fought served no purpose other than to kill people. These realizations, which slowly began to dawn on him while in combat, led Giffey to feel the need to seek spirituality. Giffey’s journey to spirituality wasn’t a sudden moment of epiphany. He describes it as “a path.” One of his first steps was realigning himself to work for peace, as opposed to war, Giffey says. Almost immediately after his service, Giffey got involved with peace activists. For three years after his service ended in 1966, Giffey worked as a journalist with the Migrant Farm Workers’ Labor Union, publishing a bilingual newspaper in Wautoma, a city about an hour west of Oshkosh. Giffey worked in southern Texas from 1969 to 1972 as a journalist for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. However, Giffey says fighting for justice for the migrant workers felt like he left one war just to come home and fight another, and he burned out quickly. So, Giffey continued seeking. He felt compelled to begin painting. During this time of searching, Giffey attended a Syrian Orthodox Church in Austin, Texas. While he couldn’t understand the language, Giffey found himself connecting deeply with the art that filled the church. “Art is harmless … there is no way that it can hurt someone. And I love that about it,” Giffey says. The Eastern Orthodox Church uses icons (painted images of saints or Christ) to act as visual aids to help understand the stories and scriptures, Giffey says. The paintings are often slightly abstract to remind the church that they are not meant to be taken as literal representations. Giffey says that for the Eastern Orthodox Church, the icons are as elemental to
worship as music, candles, vestments or anything else. Now, Giffey spends hours and hours painting icons at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Madison, where he is a member. Giffey says exploring journalism, peace activism and art at the same time was utterly important to his spiritual journey. Without it, the other aspects of what makes him, him wouldn’t exist. “Fear is just a horrible, wasteful emotion,” Giffey says. “My fears ultimately directed me to pick up a spiritual path, because I couldn’t live with them.”
“My fears ultimately directed me to pick up a spiritual path, because I couldn’t live without them” To Giffey, his faith is “a path” because he knows his spirituality doesn’t give him all the answers. He says every day he deals with doubts, and every day he has to start all over again. Adam Clausen, the senior leader of the nondenominational church Life Center in Madison,
echoed these notions that faith is a journey rather than a destination. Clausen credits our desire to seek spirituality to the innate pioneering spirit in each of us. He says it’s because we, as a society, don’t like to be limited or unfulfilled that we search for deeper meaning and understanding to our own existences. Just as we push to discover more about space and science, we also seek to explore further into the spiritual world, Clausen says. “I have more questions than I have answers,” Clausen says. “I don’t want to be old and have everything figured out. I think that’s the beauty of life — it’s lived. It’s explored.” Pastor Doris Simpson of the Concordia United Methodist Church in Prairie du Sac, approximately 30 minutes north of Madison, has dealt with times of fluctuating fear and faith. Yet, she remains a believer to her core. Through abuse, addictions, health scares and cancer, Simpson credits God for the grace he’s given her to overcome these challenges. “Any thought that we have power is an illusion ... that doesn’t mean that we shrink up and go into a closet. But it means that I have to trust that there’s something that’s stronger and
bigger than I am that will carry me,” Simpson says. “And for me, that’s the spirit of God.” For Alam, her faith outweighs the fears of being rejected for her religious identity. For Clausen, his fears open new doors to continue to be mystified by the discoveries there are to be made through and about his faith. For Simpson, she feels her faith has saved her from her greatest fears. For Giffey, he feels his faith taught him how to live again, despite the fear. For all, the courage of their convictions gave them the strength to grow, heal, recover, rebuild, forgive and continue to explore their endless journey of spirituality.
Giffey created the 20-foot mural of Jesus Christ that adorns the ceiling at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Madison.
Enthusiastic youth give hope to disappearing dairyland
The cows have plenty of room to roam on the Angotti farm in Freedom.
By Nina Bertelsen
e need support, says 19-year-old Joe Powalisz, an aspiring dairy farmer from northeastern Wisconsin and second-year student in UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course. “Right?” he asks, turning to the other side of his dorm room where three of his short-course classmates lean against his desk and nod in agreement. “Agriculture is what the state is known for. It’s America’s Dairyland. It’s on our [license] plates, and there’s people that try to change things like that, and you’re trying to change history,” adds Jansen McClelland, 19, his classmate. It’s the little guys, small family farms, like ones he’s worked on, he says, that are hurting in today’s market. Small profit margins are putting
pressure on the dairy industry, and those who still choose to become dairy farmers are entering the field at a turning point. Costs are high to even start a farm, let alone sustain it. And unlike their predecessors, the next generation of Wisconsin dairy farmers will need to master new business management techniques and learn to market themselves to a public increasingly skeptical of agricultural practices. Since 2004, Wisconsin has lost nearly half of its dairy herds. And this past year, Wisconsin saw increased rates of dairy farms exiting the industry — a 6 percent loss compared with the average 4 percent in preceding years. That’s partly because milk prices are so low, and have been for the past four years, explains Mark Stephenson, a dairy markets and policy expert at
UW-Madison. In fact, prices are so low that it’s hard for some farmers to break even. In May 2018, farmers received $16.70 for every 100 pounds of milk sold, only $2.84 more than 1990. If milk prices had kept up with inflation, farmers would be paid $26.99 per hundredweight. Many established farms can weather a year of bad prices by living off their savings, but these low prices have lingered for four years and contributed to farmers exiting the industry at higher rates. By June 2018, concern had grown so much that Gov. Scott Walker revived the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force — which Stephenson chairs — charged with crafting a strategy to ensure the industry’s future success. None of this paints a very appealing picture to a young person considering a career in dairy production.
Financial Hurdles The reality is that starting a farm — buying cows, land and milking technology — requires a lot of money up front. Access to affordable land is the steepest hurdle young farmers face, according to a 2017 survey from the National Young Farmers’ Coalition; lack of it is the number one reason they are prevented from or quit farming. In 1951, a farm could pay for itself in 14 years, at 2007 prices it would take 33 years; and that rate gets worse when market prices are low, says Trisha Wagner, a UW Extension agriculture educator who works with farmers in Jackson County in western Wisconsin. Waylon Baum, 20, from the northwestern town of Freedom, a second-year student in the Short Course program, which offers college certificates, has a theory. If you don’t grow up on a farm, Baum says, looking to his fellow short-course members Jansen McClelland and Ethan Hass leaning on the desk behind him — or marry into one, he says — looking to Powalisz and eliciting chuckles from the others — then you won’t have your own farm. It costs too much, and you’ll make too little. It’s really hard to make such a big commitment and buy a dairy farm outright, Stephenson says, but working alongside established farmers or going to school and slowly building up your own equity are both good ways to start. Powalisz’s path to farming certainly wasn’t traditional, and he definitely wasn’t a farm kid. his dad manages a power plant, and his mom works in an office. It wasn’t until a high school apprenticeship that he found his passion. He now works part-time with his girlfriend’s family on their dairy farm
in his hometown of Manitowoc, in northeastern Wisconsin. This winter, he’s going to raise five or six beef steers of his own — the first step to building up his farm equity. The biggest thing is experience, which he has plenty of, then education, which he’s getting at UW-Madison. Even young farmers from established operations, such as McClelland, whose father milks 100 cows in Viroqua, a town in the southwest region of Wisconsin, and Hass, whose family milks 200 cows in northeastern Manawa, face significant hurdles before they can take over the family business. Farm kids rarely inherit a farm outright, says Joy Kirkpatrick, a farm succession planning expert at the University of Wisconsin’s Center For Dairy Profitability. The older generation can’t afford to give away their business because that’s where their personal equity and retirement funds are tied up. It’s usually a “part gift, part sale” exchange, Kirkpatrick explains; children inherit part of the business upon their parent’s death and purchase some beforehand — typically at a hefty discount. “The way the farm industry is now, there’s no way that me and my brother could buy out my parents,” says Hass, 19, who plans to take over the farm with his eldest brother.
“The way the farm industry is now, there’s no way me and my brother could buy out my parents”
The Jack-of-All-Trades If you can clear financial hurdles, running a farm is still really hard work. Like generations before them, the next crop of farmers will need to know basics of veterinary science and animal care, environmental concerns and crop production. But with increasingly tight profit margins and fast-paced advancements, the next generation will need a variety of skills to make their businesses as efficient as possible.
Dani Angotti and her photogenic show cow, Nova. Angotti trains Nova and enters her in competitions. 2018
Understanding technology, the short-course students stressed, is really important. You definitely can’t milk cows by hand anymore, Hass says. “If your farm doesn’t stay up with the new type, like keep improving ... you’re not going to be able to survive doing it the old style way,” he says. Powalisz has already put what he’s learned at the short course to good use. Last year, he suggested that his girlfriend’s father switch how they prepare crop fields for planting. One day Powalisz showed up to work, he explains, and the new equipment was waiting. On the business side, farms have started marketing themselves to stand-out in the marketplace and capitalize on consumer trends.
“Back in the old days maybe they didn’t have Facebook or social media or anything to share about their farms,” says Dani Angotti, 21, a student at UW-River Falls studying agriculture education and Baum’s girlfriend. “I know my grandpa [who was a dairy farmer] didn’t have to market his farm when he was back in his prime. He just had to milk his cows, and the milk producers would come pick up his milk, and that would be that.” By marketing himself directly to local consumers, Baum says he could actually make his hobby farm more profitable. Despite precarious times for the industry, Powalisz says that 50 years from now, as long as he’s not dead, he’ll be farming. Getting up at 3:45 a.m. to milk cows before work, and coming home to milk on the farm again is a “little slice of heaven.” And Wisconsin’s robust dairy industry, Stephenson assures, isn’t going anywhere.
“You go to any other state and they’re selling Wisconsin cheese,” Angotti says. “I went to the Mall of America, and they have a Wisconsin cheese stand ... How can we not be America’s Dairyland if other states are having Wisconsin cheese?” Trisha Wagner, UW Extension agriculture educator who works with farmers in Jackson County in western Wisconsin, echoed Angotti’s enthusiasm, touting the accomplishment of the young farmers she has worked with. The next generation, she says, actually offers a lot of new talent, education and skills that could improve the industry. “I’ve seen the oncoming generation ... whether they’re from the family farm or new, being able to handle [new challenges] so well,” she says. “If an owner of an older generation can recognize that and work with the younger generation, whether it’s a family member or not, that’s gonna be huge for the future of that business.”
There are pigs and plenty of kittens on the farm.
Photos by Erin Green
RISKY BUSINESS By Erin Green
s a young girl, Sara Santaga often fantasized about owning an ice cream shop. She and her father laughed as they dreamed up “ice cream Saturdays,” playing off the name of the traditional “ice cream sundae.” For Lucy Hodkiewicz, art was a family affair. Taking after her mother, who loved to paint, Hodkiewicz developed a passion for the arts at a very young age — art class was always her favorite at school. Back then, both girls had no idea that their passions would eventually become their professions. Today, Santaga, 22, is the owner and chef behind Sara’s Artisan Gelato, a wholesale gelato business in Green Bay. Currently a one-woman operation, Santaga spends her days churning out dozens of batches of the chilled dessert. About an hour-and-a-half drive north of Green Bay, Hodkiewicz, 24, owns, operates and handcrafts unique merchandise for The Lightbox, a screen-printing studio and shop in Ephraim, Door County. But making the gelato and designing new prints are the fun parts. Santaga and Hodkiewicz, like many other small-business owners in Wisconsin, are taking incredible risks to live out their passions. Out of the 25 “larger states” in the U.S., Wisconsin ranks last in startup business activity. Fewer than 7 percent of adults in Wisconsin own their own business as a primary job, and it is easy to see why. Starting a business often requires substantial investments of time and money. On top of that, only about 50 percent of startup businesses in Wisconsin
Top: Lucy Hodkiewicz, 24, owns The Lightbox, a screen-printing studio and gift shop in Ephraim, Door County. Bottom: Hodkiewicz was inspired by the quote “Live in rooms full of light” when designing her shop’s interior.
survive beyond the first five years. According to Dan Olszewski, director of the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship at UW-Madison, Wisconsin’s “risk-averse” culture could also affect the state’s low startup activity. Many aspiring business owners in Wisconsin may be looking for the most “low-risk opportunity,” or waiting until “everything is lined up perfectly,” before they consider entrepreneurship, Olszewski explains. But for some Wisconsinites, like Santaga and Hodkiewicz, the reward is worth all of the risks. Belonging to a family with strong Italian roots, Santaga visited Italy growing up, and she loved the gelato there. Now, Santaga just had to learn how to make it. After a bit of Googling, Santaga discovered Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna — “the world’s first university dedicated to ice cream,” according to the school’s website. “If you want to become a successful gelato entrepreneur, then Carpigiani Gelato University is the school for you!” the website promises. Exactly one year later, she was off to Bologna, Italy, for a three-week course on gelato-making. By August, Santaga had already obtained her LLC, which established her business as an independent tax entity. Though Santaga had never taken a business course herself, she worked to build her company on the basic principles her father taught her — good product, great customer service and fair price. After purchasing a used gelato machine on eBay — an $8,000 investment — Santaga set up a workspace in her parents’ basement, “which is so cliché,” she says with a laugh. Near the end of 2017, she found a more practical home for her more-than500-pound gelato machine within the space she rents from Rebecca’s Sweets Boutique in Green Bay. As Santaga’s dream business became more and more of a reality, a fear of judgment and failure set in. “[The gelato] has my name on it, first of all. This is a small town — I’m really
Sara Santaga adds toasted coconut to a mixture of ingredients before putting it all into her gelato maker.
putting myself out there,” she says of her initial fears. By February 2018, Sara’s Artisan Gelato was licensed and officially running. “I kind of just jumped [in] and didn’t look back,” Santaga says. Hodkiewicz, like Santaga, is an outlier in our “risk-averse” state. After graduating from UW-Madison with a fine arts degree in December 2016, she began “totally jokingly” looking at properties in Door County. Inspired by a local potter’s dual studio and shop space, she decided to create a screen-printing studio and gift shop, featuring her own work and work by some of her female artist friends. Every space she has lived in has been designed around the phrase, “Live in rooms full of light.” Her name, Lucy, means “light.” This attraction and connection to light, along with the art processes she uses, inspired her shop’s interior design and name, The Lightbox.
“I kind of just jumped [in] and didn’t look back”
Entrepreneurship, along with significant investments of time and resources, requires an attitude of fearlessness, especially in riskaverse Wisconsin. But Santaga and Hodkiewicz prove that sometimes taking the leap is worth it. Though startup activity is rare in our state, businesses that survive their first five years tend to continue surviving long after. According to the Kauffman Index, Wisconsin ranks second nationally in established small-business activity. Now both a few months into entrepreneurship, Santaga and Hodkiewicz are watching their businesses grow and focusing on the rewards that come with crafting your own profession. For Hodkiewicz, the joy of entrepreneurship isn’t even related to success — it’s about the reward of committing to your own passions. “It’s fun to put every bit of effort toward your own goals,” Hodkiewicz says. “Even if your goals fail, it’s more fun that way.”
TAKE THAT LEAP By Cal Larsen
lec Paxton was 20 years old, in the midst of another year of college. For Paxton, waking up, going to class, then spending hours in the library didn’t seem to be what he was searching for. There was something bigger. So, he quit. Coming from Stevens Point, in central Wisconsin, and now living in Madison, Paxton decided to chase his dream and dedicate his time to his passion: clothing. Paxton left school his junior year to pursue “iame,” an apparel company he created. Not worrying about what others thought, being concerned where it may take him or letting any fears hinder the quest toward his dream, Paxton took the leap, hoping he could change people’s lives through his brand’s message. Centered around self-love and self-confidence, iame stands for “I am me” and is meant to give the wearer a feeling of confidence and positivity. “Who you are is enough. Plain and simple. You are who you are, you’re an amazing human,” says Paxton, now 21. The path Paxton took to arrive at where he is today, out of college with no degree, owner of his own company, is different. It’s a path most people would be scared to navigate, including Paxton, if not for one life-altering experience. At age 15, Paxton began modeling in Chicago. When Paxton enrolled at UW-La Crosse following
Alec Paxton smiles while wearing a black iame T-shirt. iame stands for “I am me” and promotes self-love and confidence.
high school, he was modeling in Minneapolis. Paxton did well there and eventually ended up in New York City to model full-time. He put his education on hold to live and work on his own. New York was a different beast than Chicago and Minneapolis, though. “I felt like I shouldn’t be there, for some reason,” Paxton says. “I felt like I wasn’t good enough or I wasn’t going to make it.” Paxton turned 19 while in New York and decided it was time to return to Wisconsin. A combination of missing his family, impatience and insecurity brought Paxton back home.
Back in Wisconsin, Paxton returned to school at UW-La Crosse, which meant returning to the typical grind college students go through, full of classes, homework, studying and repetition. Then one night in 2017 an idea came to Paxton, and iame was on its way to fruition at around 2 a.m. on Paxton’s couch. “I knew I was going to start a business, and that’s when I thought of the idea … I was like, ‘Who am I? I am me.’” Without even knowing it, Paxton would be out of college within the year and moving to Madison to build iame.
Paxton started the apparel company in 2017 and now focuses on it full-time.
“I just felt like I didn’t have to be in school to succeed in life and spread my message.” Colin Jamison, a current UW student and Paxton’s longtime friend from Stevens Point, has been with Paxton throughout his entire journey from when Paxton struggled with confidence in New York to when he was preparing to move to Madison. “It didn’t surprise me because he told me right from the start that he was going to [drop out],” Jamison
says. “He wasn’t happy in school, and [iame] was something he was so passionate about.” Paxton doesn’t mind the chip-on-my-shoulder image. Doing what he wants and not caring what others have to say. “You just have to get over the hump of judgment from other people because once you get over the hump of judgment, then it’s only upside,” Paxton says. “If you fail, who cares?” Paxton designs, holds all the inventory and ships all the products
“I just felt like I didn’t have to be in school to succeed in life and spread my message”
himself. Paxton’s target market is high school and college students because he’s at that age himself. He knows the struggles kids face and can relate to them. “This isn’t about me, it’s about you, in first person,” Paxton says. “It’s about you, who you are, what you stand for, how amazing you are.” The iame brand is more than a year old, and Paxton is still working on it. He goes door to door to sell, speaks at schools in the Madison area and posts messages of self-love on his various social media accounts for iame. Paxton is constantly thinking about how iame can improve and what can be done to spread his brand and message even further. Just because things are moving along and people are aware of the brand doesn’t mean Paxton’s mind is free of worries. When asked if Paxton has ever considered giving up, a no-hesitation “No” comes out of his mouth. “It’s not even a question,” Paxton says. “It doesn’t even cross my mind to work on it or not. I just want to be the best possible human I can be, and I see a lot of good things going through iame.” Paxton’s grandmother, Dolly Mancheski, has seen his transition from high school to college to New York back to college to Madison. “He was so enthused, and he was bound to make it work so I was going along with him,” Mancheski says. “If he keeps pushing it, he’ll have a good thing going.” Paxton threw all his cards on the table. He put college on hold to live in New York City as an 18-year-old, returned and then left again to pursue his dream of owning a clothing line. “You just have to take the risk,” he says. “You have one life, I hope you want to do something crazy with it, make something big, be the most successful person you can be, so why not take that leap?”
First responders primed when trouble strikes
By Annie McGrail First responders are those who run to help when the first instinct of others may be to run away. They are vital to the communities they serve, answering the other end of a 911 call and stepping in during some of the hardest times that people face. They contribute to their communities every day, sometimes in life-altering ways, without letting fear hold them back. Here’s a look at how four first responders contribute to their communities. Ted Pankau Director Geneva Lake Water Safety Patrol The water safety patrol in Fontana, a southeastern Wisconsin lake community, is a nonprofit organization funded primarily by donations from community members, and it is unique to Lake Geneva, according to Ted Pankau, the patrol’s director. The organization is dedicated to creating a safe environment on the lake and provides lifeguard and boat patrol services as well as educational programs. Growing up, Pankau looked up to the Water Safety Patrol, and he started working for them as a lifeguard while in school. “I wanted to put that skill to use and be able to enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the lake, but also be in a position where I could make a difference and maybe help someone in need someday, in a possible lifesaving situation,” he says. Pankau, 58, has been the director of the organization since 1990 and regards it as vital to the community. “Every year we look for more ways to better ourselves, improve our methods, improve our techniques, improve our equipment,” he says.
Photo by Annie McGrail
Tony Schmitz Police Academy Instructor Milwaukee Police Department Although many people in law enforcement knew from a young age that they wanted to be a police officer, that’s not always the case. Tony Schmitz, a Milwaukee police officer, started in public relations and marketing, but changed his career path in search of a way to make a difference in his community. “I was familiar with what the police did from my dad, and I did a ride along back in the day in [the city of] Rockford,” Schmitz says. “I just wanted at the end of the day to feel like I made a difference.” After graduating from the police academy in Milwaukee in 2001, Schmitz, 45, was as prepared as he could be to be an officer. “Everybody is kind of anxious, especially when you’re new, because it isn’t like anything that you’ve done before,” he says. Working as a police officer, especially in a larger city like Milwaukee, brings a sense of uncertainty and maybe even fear regarding what a day on the job will entail. “I guess if you’re not fearful, that’s bad,” he says. “You should have some amount of fear, but you should also have a way to deal with it.”
Tony Schmitz Kevin McDonald Firefighter Madison Fire Department Growing up, firefighter Kevin McDonald watched fire trucks drive by, knowing that one day he would be inside. Realizing early that it was the path for him, he graduated from high school and went straight into firefighter training. He was hired at age 20, and now at age 34, stationed on Williamson Street on the city’s east side, he’s been with the department for 13 years. “It’s definitely a job where we don’t want people to need us, necessarily, but we like being the ones that can help them,” McDonald says. His station receives between 10 to 20 calls per day. When McDonald experiences more intense calls, such as a bad fire or a fatality, he is able to treat it like any other call and just does his job. “A lot of times, there just isn’t time to really think about it that much,” he says. “We always trained to take a deep breath. You take it all in, and then you do your job.”
Hayden Latsch Photo by Annie McGrail
Hayden Latsch Advanced EMT Waunakee Area EMS It has been less than a year since 19-year-old Hayden Latsch joined the emergency medical services as a volunteer in Waunakee, a suburb outside of Madison. Since joining the Waunakee staff, Latsch himself has run more than 200 calls, from minor car accidents to a water rescue, as well as gunshot wounds and a car crash that killed two people. His training has given him the skills necessary to handle those calls. For Latsch, being an emergency medical technician is a logical step toward his future in emergency medicine. He didn’t always know what he wanted to do, but after talking to a family member who is a paramedic, he knew emergency medicine was for him. Currently Latsch volunteers around 20 hours a week, while also working at both UW Hospital and Clinics and Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital. There, he works in the emergency rooms, gaining more experience with emergency medicine.
The four hosts patiently await the arrival of the guests and make final preparations for the evening. Guests got sneak peeks of the courses since the prep space was just feet from the table. Photos by Mitch Fagan
FAST FRIENDS Strangers break bread, find common ground By Teodor Teofilov
our people stood in an apartment in Madison, nervously looking at their phones, checking the time every minute. Mitch Fagan, 22, the chef for the evening, was running around in the kitchen preparing the food. Everything was set — the only thing missing were the guests. It was now 15 minutes past the supposed beginning of the event, and the people in the room were starting to wonder, “What if no one comes?” Wynn Culver, 23, and Jacob Moore, 22, couldn’t help but worry if Fagan’s all-day efforts would go to waste, and neither could I.
“What if no one comes?” What we were attempting to accomplish that night was to invite eight complete strangers to our apartment and feed them an eight-course meal — and we weren’t at all sure we could pull it off. Getting out of your comfort zone isn’t easy, but it is important to push the boundaries of what you are used to and not limit yourself to the basics of your daily routine. Science explains why it’s hard to break your routine and why you should do it. Fear of the
unknown shouldn’t stop you from We perform best when we are having new experiences. But hufaced with “optimal anxiety,” which mans tend to get comfortable and falies just outside of our comfort zone. miliar with our routines, and although This idea isn’t new, and everyone who something new thrown in there can has tried to accomplish something, no be frightening at first, psychology matter how small, knows that when says that it can be healthy, and often you challenge yourself, there can be the benefits outweigh the risks. great results. A lot of studies supFagan, Culver and I were inspired port this, but biting off more than after watching a video by a YouTube you can chew can actually have a channel called Yes Theory, where negative result. they opened a restaurant for a night and invited strangers to dine for free. Fagan, who has a passion for cooking, was to be the chef, while Culver and I would be the waiters and recruit people. The comfort zone is a psychological space where you feel at ease and in control of your environment because it involves a familiar routine. It provides humans with a state of mental security, where we experience low anxiety and stress, and we can have a steady level Multicolored beans, homemade goat cheese — made by Mitch Fagan of performance that — and beet microgreens soaked in balsamic vinegar made up the first keeps us happy. course. A radish, meant to stimulate the appetite, garnished the dish.
Fagan preparing the ravioli just hours before the guests arrive.
One thing you should avoid is overstressing, says Robert McGrath, distinguished psychologist emeritus at University Health Services at UW-Madison. “You want to reduce unnecessary stress, self-imposed stress, but you want to have stress in your life,” says McGrath. We need it for performance, but it can also help our immune system work at a higher level. Small amounts of stress are good, but when the levels are high for a long time, the effects it has on our minds and bodies is crippling. Culver and I went to the Memorial Union Terrace to find adventurous people who would agree to be treated to Fagan’s meal later that night. Talking to complete strangers — and asking them a very peculiar question — was scary, stressful and anxietyinducing, but the more rejections we got the more confident I became in approaching and talking to strangers. The first time I asked someone I felt like my voice was quivering, and I was uncomfortable. By the eighth time it was much easier. Shawn Green, an associate professor of psychology at UW-Madison, and McGrath agree that the stress from getting out of your comfort zone needs to be conquered in a way that slowly builds up your resistance — a process called systematic desensitization. For example, a person who has a fear of public speaking would overcome it slowly by building tolerance. “A therapist would never just jam them in front of an audience,” Green says. “You would take these small steps … it’s like, ‘OK, let’s go and talk in front of three people that I know. Then once I’m comfortable talking in front of three people I know, maybe I’ll talk in front of eight people that I know, and then maybe I’ll add in some strangers.’” After spending four hours recruiting people, Culver and I made our way back to the apartment. We had had some success, but it wasn’t a sure thing. Later, as I entered our restaurant the air seemed to not move. The tension and nervousness when the
“At the very end of the night it was like these people had known each other a lot longer than just a couple hours” clock struck 7 p.m. was obvious. Time moved slowly, and every time I looked at my phone, my thoughts wandered to the possibility of this whole thing being a bust. We waited. At 7:20 p.m. there came a knock at the door. We opened it to see some people, nervous about what they had gotten themselves into. In the next 15 minutes, all the chairs were filled with people who were strangers. The silence had been taken over by conversations as people were getting to know each other. “At the very end of the night it was like these people had known each other a lot longer than just a couple hours, and even the waiters and the chef had joined in on the bonding,” Culver says. “I like to think that it helped create a whole new network for everyone involved as well as a memory that everyone would be able to look back at and think of as a truly special night.” The living room was transformed into a restaurant while Fagan prepared the dinner.
Illustrated & Written By Maggie Roethle
ear is often learned: Many fears stem from personal experience. You learn to react with fear when anticipating a negative outcome. Maybe youâ€™re afraid of the possibility of falling from a great height or the potential bite of a spider. But what happens when the same situation that instills paralyzing panic in you seems completely un-scary to the general population? In fact, what if your worst fear simply doesnâ€™t seem logical to most people?
Photo of Rachel Baldwin by Emilie Enke
Phobias surpass normal levels of fear altogether and instead involve excessive fear of a specific object, activity or situation that is not considered harmful or dangerous. According to the American Psychiatric Association, an estimated 7 to 9 percent of Americans experience phobias, which are a specific type of anxiety disorder. Rachel Baldwin, a 23-year-old graduate of UW-Madison, vividly remembers unsuccessful attempts at convincing teachers of the extent of her phobia of taxidermy on a class field trip to a nature center. Baldwin remembers insisting she couldn’t go in. Her teachers assumed she was exaggerating, as many first graders tend to do, and decided to bring her into the museum anyway. “I remember a teacher being like, ‘Well we can’t leave you outside, you’re 5. This is so stupid. You have to come inside,’” Baldwin says. “That’s the first time I remember having a panic attack.” To most, a nature center would probably not elicit any feelings of extreme fear, but Baldwin’s phobia gives her an arguably unique perspective. Baldwin has been uncomfortable with and afraid of what she terms “stuffed, imposing flesh” for as long as she can remember. She experiences feelings of panic and anxiety when encountering all preserved animals. “I would say I have a pretty severe reaction, usually crying, running out of the room, leaving,” Baldwin says. Fear That Escapes the Bounds of Logic? The human mind uses fear as a way to protect itself from danger. Usually, fear is a necessary, healthy response that
corresponds to the level of danger in a situation. With phobias, the outcome of significant physical or mental damage doesn’t actually match up with the object or situation, creating a perceived prediction of harm when there isn’t an actual threat of danger. This means that at some point in the many learned experiences of a person’s life, their brain has decided to assign a disproportionately large amount of fear to a specific, nonharmful stimulus. When Does Fear Become Phobia? Phobias cause such extreme feelings of anxiety and distress that people with phobias change their behavior to avoid encountering what they fear. Anxieties and fears cross the threshold into phobia once the specific fear is something that stops you from living your life. “You avoid the fear. And that reinforces the fear, and reinforces the avoidance, and they kind of feed into each other,” says Josh Cisler, assistant professor in the UW-Madison Department of Psychiatry. In general, people with phobias know that their level of fear isn’t rational, but they can’t use that logic to overcome or calm their anxiety. For Betsy Smith (whose name was changed to protect her privacy), an undiagnosed phobia of portable toilets affects how she chooses to live by limiting her ability to be in places with no access to indoor plumbing. Although portable toilets aren’t the most desirable bathroom facilities to use, most people wouldn’t find using a portable toilet terrifying. “I’ve worried that there’s rats and snakes and that they live down in the pit part,” Smith says. Can Phobia Treatments Help? For someone looking for ways to address a phobia, exposure therapy is
the main and most reliably effective means of treatment. Exposure therapy is based on confronting the feared situation and breaking the cycle of avoidance, so the person can see for themselves that the situation isn’t as dangerous as they have built up in their mind. “For example, I was working with a client who had a fear of flying,” says Polly Sackett, a licensed professional counselor-in-training, who works with Connections Counseling and also has her own practice in Madison. “Throughout that process, would be us ... sort of doing a rehearsal within the confines of the office about how it could go.” This particular therapy session lasted about eight weeks leading up to the client’s flight, and the sessions ended with the client feeling confident about her ability to comfortably travel by plane. For Baldwin, two years of exposure therapy helped her feel more comfortable in certain settings, but ultimately did not completely erase her phobia of taxidermy. “I become desensitized to certain animals,” Baldwin says. For example, Baldwin has grown accustomed to the taxidermy in the Buck and Badger restaurant in Madison, where she frequently does trivia. Baldwin may be desensitized to the one taxidermied buck in her friend’s basement, but that doesn’t universally apply to all taxidermied animals. She’s back to square one with each new setting and taxidermied animal she sees. For Smith, therapy for her phobia isn’t something she’s interested in. She’s content with continuing to avoid portable toilets. “I mean I’ve gone 40 years with being uncomfortable, and I’ll just keep doing it,” Smith says.
Photo courtesy of Helyn Stowe
Veteran Helyn Stowe and her service dog, Astro.
Veterans readjust to life after deployment By Morgan Baker
acked tight in an Air Force passenger plane, my sister and her Wisconsin-based Army unit were bracing themselves for what was to come. Fully dressed in combat gear, they were harnessed into seats throughout the belly of the aircraft. The group transferred flights in Kyrgyzstan and again in Germany. On the final leg of their trip, everyone was surprisingly quiet. There was tension and anxiety in the air as they wondered what life would be like once the plane touched the ground. The reality of the situation was finally beginning to set in. Once they landed, they slowly unclicked their seatbelts and gathered their belongings. One by one they exited the plane, boots on ground. They breathed in the once-familiar air of the USA. Many people believe that a service member’s battle is over when they arrive back home in the United States — that their main fear is being overseas to begin with. But for many veterans, the battle often comes when they return home, and they worry about assimilating back into their lives, being reunited with family and friends, and resuming their jobs or educations.
FRONT LINE TO FRONT DOOR According to the National Academy of Medicine, “The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been the longest sustained U.S. military operations since the Vietnam era, sending more than 2.2 million troops into battle and resulting in ... more than 48,000 injuries.” The state of Wisconsin is home to more than 400,000 veterans. Reports show that many soldiers return home from Afghanistan and Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder (known as PTSD), depression and substance abuse problems. “Although the majority of returning troops have readjusted well to post-deployment life, 44 percent have reported difficulties after they returned,” the National Academy of Medicine said in a 2013 report. Helyn Stowe’s military career began in 1988, when she signed up for the Army right out of high school. Stowe, now 50, eventually served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and Korea. Her very first deployment found her keeping the peace in Berlin right as the Berlin Wall came down. Then shortly after, she ended up in the middle of Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War, not knowing what to expect. Operation Desert Storm was the first deployment that she truly had to face some fearful situations. However, her following deployment to Iraq was the most nerveracking of all, according to Stowe. “It wasn’t just grown men fighting, you were fighting kids. There were these young kids with weapons and explosives,” Stowe says.
Stowe says she turned into a very bitter, angry person. "I would not want to be friends with me at that time,” she says. Although Iraq put her into a darker place, she found a glimmer of hope in her next tour in Afghanistan. She was placed on a female engagement team, a group of women whose mission is to create relationships with Afghani women with hopes of gaining intelligence. Her mission in Afghanistan got cut short, however, when she was medically evacuated in 2012. Her injury left her in the hospital for six months, learning to speak and walk again. K9s for Warriors, a nonprofit organization that trains dogs to assist returning military veterans, paired Stowe with her own service dog, Astro. The chocolate lab was trained as a mobility dog to assist her with moving about. Because of her gratitude and passion behind K9s for Warriors, she speaks at fundraisers and events for the organization, hoping to spread awareness about veteran suicide. Through her role with K9s for Warriors, Stowe has worked with Wisconsin veterans to spread awareness of the organization and the resources available for those in need. Stowe personally overcame thoughts of suicide upon returning home from Afghanistan. “I retired out of the military, and that transition wasn’t so easy,” Stowe says. She found herself dealing with an abusive relationship, and turning to medication and alcohol to cope. “One day, I sat down, and I had had enough. He left for work, and I loaded my weapon. I was ready to check out, I was done,” Stowe says. It was in this moment that Astro saved her life, giving her the hope she needed to stay. That same day, she fearlessly packed up all belongings and left to start a new life for herself. “Astro has given me ... a newly found life. He’s my dude, he’s my buddy. He’s my best friend,” Stowe says. For many soldiers, the idea of coming home creates excitement. But for Stowe, she felt a lot of guilt — guilt that she came home while others didn’t. Looking back at her many years of service, she is proud and lives with a sense of honor. “It’s been challenging, rewarding — I don’t regret any of it. I met a lot of wonderful people in the military. Now I have to say I have this great battle buddy,” Stowe says, referring to Astro.
“Astro has given me ... a newly found life. He’s my dude, he’s my buddy. He’s my best friend.”
N I S N O C ON WIS COURAGEOUS WISCONSINITES WHO BROKE BARRIERS By Mitchell Rose
Carson & Beatrice Gulley become Wisconsin’s first black TV personalities, as well as the first black husband-and-wife TV hosts in the U.S.
William Smith Noland
UW Digital Archives
becomes the first black UW student to graduate with a bachelor’s degree
Gwen Moore becomes Wisconsin’s first African American elected to Congress
UW Digital Archives
becomes Wisconsin’s first female senator, as well as the first openly gay senator in the U.S.
raised in La Crosse, becomes the first African American to win a medal in the Olympics
Raphael Baez becomes the first recorded Latino to settle in Milwaukee, and later becomes Marquette University’s first Latino professor
Office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Kathryn Morrison becomes the first woman elected into the Wisconsin State Senate
Mandela Barnes becomes Wisconsin’s first African American lieutenant governor
Vel Phillips Florence Bascom,
US Geological Survey
becomes the first woman and first black American a UW alumna, to be elected becomes the U.S. to a Wisconsin Geological Survey’s statewide office, first female geologist the Secretary of State
Wikimedia/Voces de la Frontera
With uptick in violence, parents fear for children’s safety
Joshua Jacobson, a student at East High School in Madison. Joshua’s mother fears for his safety while he is at school.
By Fatoumata Ceesay A parent’s worst fear is losing a child. That fear escalates as more reports of school shootings surface. When those reports fill a news cycle and something that would have once been unthinkable happens more frequently, parents start to wonder if the next time it will happen at their children’s schools. With the constant consumption of news media regarding school shootings or police brutality, it’s easy for parents to worry for their children. According to the Child Mind Institute, parents worry more about shootings than children do; however, children are good at picking up on their parent’s fears. On top of that, parents of color have added layers of fear because of instances of racism and discrimination, particularly in the form of police brutality and immigration deportation. People of color are far more likely to be stopped by police due to racial stereotyping. In 2015, 26 percent of people killed by police were black, despite black people making up only 13 percent of the population. The cases of families being torn apart, and people dying by the hands of police, especially young black men, are now being reported more than they’ve ever been. Some parents worry about never seeing their kids again after they leave home. Others struggle with the stress of being a multicultural family and coming to terms with the reality of what that means in America today. All just want their children to be safe.
For Luann Williams, worry hasn’t turned to fear quite yet. Williams, 45, has three sons, and her youngest, Marcus, 16, goes to Madison East High School. While she is not entirely fearful, she does prepare her son, who is half black, for stressful situations that may occur. “There’s a little stress each day,” Williams says. “We’ve talked about contingency plans of things that might happen or could happen or have happened at schools. He knows where all the exits are. He knows which way to go in the school depending on where or if situations arise.” For her, the worry first came when Marcus hit middle school. It was the first time he would travel to school using the city bus, and the worry heightened as he continued to high school because school shootings were on the rise. That is different from when Williams was young herself. “I’ve known situations that have happened since I was really young. It never evolved into school settings when I was younger or as I was growing up, but I would say the last 15 years, it’s been that consistent venue,” she says. And even with all of her worries about public school, Williams would still rather send Marcus there than an alternative school. She believes taking a deeper look into the trauma children may experience in their lives and developing more avenues of support can help the systematic problem with school shootings. “I work with [infants] to 5-aged kids, and the trauma that I see almost every day, there needs to be more
Julie Jacobson sits with her two children, Joshua and Jalie. Julie frequently tells her kids how much she loves them because she is afraid of one day losing them both.
support,” Williams says. “That trauma carries into the school system K-12, where there’s not a lot of support and understanding of what that trauma looks like, what that trauma means. So a systemic approach would be starting from day one.” In September, La Follette High School, also in Madison, was placed on lockdown after two shootings near the school. As a parent, Williams felt sad and challenged by the incidents because she felt the systems were not working properly. “I don’t want schools to have to put in metal detectors. I don’t want them to lock the doors,” she says. Ultimately, Williams just wants her son to experience life, but remain safe. She wants to be an example and good reflection to him. “You want them to be kids, you want them to experience things,” Williams says. “You can’t hold onto them forever. But I think there’s a difference in having fun and being good.” Julie Jacobson, 54, often feels nervous dropping off her children at school. As a mother of four, with two currently attending Madison East High School, she doesn’t know if she’ll ever see them again. She regularly prays with her daughter Jalie, 15, and son Joshua, 16. Although public school seems dangerous due to school shootings currently, what makes her feel more unsafe is the lack of appropriate response from the government, she says. She believes the government is ignoring a larger problem within American society. “When I watched the news and I see things on TV where the government could make choices to make safer gun laws and they don’t, that makes me feel even more unsafe,” Jacobson says. “It’s the combination of the shootings and
Marcus with his mother, Luann Williams. Luann often worries about Marcus’ safety during the school day.
the decisions that our government makes to like completely ignore what’s happening ... that makes it really scary.” Williams may fear for her children’s safety, but such events are uncommon. So while the possibility of the threat is real, the chance of it happening is slim. The Madison Metropolitan School District has positions, including a safety and security coordinator, in place to keep schools safe. Joseph Balles, the current coordinator, works with the Madison Police Department and the school district to mitigate potential threats to the school. Schools also are creating new programs and updating existing ones. Some new features in Madison schools include formalizing student voices more, via safety intervention teams, to get them engaged with school safety. Teams made up of students from a range of backgrounds — including those who have been suspended before — focus on ways to keep schools safe. Statewide, districts are adding these intervention teams. “Ultimately, even though kids may face consequences through some type of behavior that they’ve exhibited at school, it’s Day Two,” Balles says, meaning that those kids deserve a second chance to be included. “We can’t exclude them and discount them because they, too, have human emotional needs to feel safe at school.”
ON BEES By Sofia Biros Eugene Woller places a navy blue baseball cap on his head, wraps a work belt around his waist and treks up the dirt road, muddy from the week’s relentless thunderstorms. As Woller approaches the white boxes, he secures a thin, mesh veil over his hat, covering his face and neck. Using a paint scraper pulled from his belt, Woller pries open the top of one of the white, wooden boxes. Inside are rows of wooden frames, each dancing with movement. With bare hands, he pulls out a frame, exposing hundreds of buzzing honeybees. The bees crawl over his fingers, but Woller doesn’t seem to mind. As he continues to examine them, he pays no attention to the haze of thousands of bees buzzing around him. Woller picks up a single bee in his bare hands, weathered from more than 50 years of beekeeping. “Let’s see if we can get this one to sting my hand,” Woller says. He spends the next few moments attempting to get the bee to sting the back of his hand so he can demonstrate how to properly remove a stinger. “If they’re a young bee, they really don’t want to — you have to really push them.” Moments later, Woller says, “There! She just stung me.” Young bees are hesitant to sting without a strong reason to — after they sting, they die. Woller’s willingness to take a bee sting stems from his passion for teaching about beekeeping.
For many of us, the prospect of a bee sting is harrowing and frightening. But to beekeepers, a sting represents the symbiotic relationship they have with the hive. A bee sting is nothing to be afraid of, Woller shows, but rather is synonymous with perseverance and dedication. That passion for honeybees is based on the essential role they play cultivating our food supply by pollinating crops. More than 90 percent of crops in the U.S. depend on bees to pollinate them. But the bees are facing more challenges than ever, from a lack of food to invasive insects and heavy chemicals in agriculture. Although beekeepers may have differing opinions on maintaining and caring for their hives, the beekeeping community of Wisconsin agrees on one major thing: the importance of bees. ***** Woller, 72, has been beekeeping for almost three-quarters of his life, since Lyndon B. Johnson was president and before man walked on the moon. The man knows honeybees so well he willingly inflicted two bee stings upon himself during an interview. With 53 years of experience under his belt, Woller knows the ins and outs of the honey business. Woller owns Gentle Breeze Honey, based just outside Madison in Mount Horeb. The farm produced more than 47,000 pounds of honey this year from approximately 600 hives. The large, sheet-metal barn on Woller’s farm is filled with boxes
A rack with small amounts of honey in the honeycomb sits atop the hive. 2018
and barrels of honey. Some boxes are filled with 8-ounce honey bears, others are packed with jugs for distribution to local businesses. Each package is dutifully labeled in black permanent marker. “We just want a quality product,” he says. “So far, it’s been good. We’ve been at it 50-some years … and it’s been good. The bees have been good to us.” ***** As is the case for any profession or hobby, not everyone beekeeps the same way. “If you ask 10 beekeepers the same question, you’ll probably get 11 different opinions,” says Hannah Sjostrom, the 2018 Wisconsin Honey Queen, an ambassador and spokeswoman for the industry on behalf of the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association. She promotes the industry and educates people throughout Wisconsin on beekeeping. The association also hosts a booth at the Wisconsin State Fair, spring meetings across the state and its annual statewide convention in the fall. Sjostrom is a third-generation beekeeper, following in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents. But at age 20, Sjostrom is much younger than many practicing beekeepers in Wisconsin. Steadfast beliefs bring resistance to change. “A lot of beekeepers don’t always like change,” Sjostrom says. “But it’s kind of part of the business.” Kent Pegorsch, president of the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association, guides the group in creating a bond between commercial beekeepers and hobbyists in Wisconsin through a variety of engagement projects. He has also been a beekeeper for 42 years, since he was 16. Pegorsch notes that not all beekeepers in Wisconsin operate the same way. They make different decisions regarding their bees, which may lead to more or less involvement in the statewide organization. Speaking on behalf of the association, he says its membership views bees as domesticated animals. The Dane County organization, he says, has a more natural approach. One area of disagreement is management of the Varroa mite, an insect that emerged in the U.S. in the 1980s. The mites weaken bees by making them more susceptible to viruses. “We feel strongly that you must maintain the bees a certain way. You must manage them for the Varroa mite,” says Pegorsch. “Some organizations around the state take a more ‘live and let die’ kind of approach.” It doesn’t take long to
find someone with a “live and let die” approach in the Madison area. Heather Swan, a lecturer teaching environmental literature and writing at UW-Madison, is an avid beekeeper. In 2017, she published “Where Honeybees Thrive,” a creative nonfiction book narrating the search for the sources and solutions to modern-day bee problems. “I’m not a person that’s doing much to my hives,” Swan says. “If we let the bees do what they normally do, what they would naturally do ... we don’t need to treat bees.” Swan acknowledges that her opinion may be contentious. “I don’t want to criticize anybody that’s doing what they’re doing, because that’s the way we’ve always done it,” Swan says. “But I’m really excited about the new possibilities.” Though Pegorsch takes a more hands-on approach and manages his colonies more than Swan, he says beekeepers today are more in tune with their colonies than the previous generation. “When I first started, you got the colonies, you put the boxes on, you harvest the honey, and that was pretty much it,” Pegorsch says. ***** Given a lack of forage, or food for the bees, the Varroa mite and chemical use, the odds are stacked against the honeybees. “Those are ... the three things that are really a trifecta now, that are kind of crescendoing now over the last decade or two. And that’s what’s causing a lot of our challenges in beekeeping,” Pegorsch says. As crop fields expand, the fence rows bordering them, where wildflowers and
Approximately 50,000 bees live in each hive. These bees produced 47,000 pounds of honey last year.
Eugene Woller pries a rack from the hive, exposing bees and honeycombs.
native grasses once grew, are disappearing. Now, honeybees and other native pollinators, such as butterflies, are struggling to find food. “One of the biggest issues is that they don’t have enough to eat — and this is native bees, also,” Swan says. The Varroa mite is another challenge, living and feeding off the bees, creating a way for viruses to attack the bees and shortening their lifespan. The Varroa mite comes up almost every time beekeepers talk about their struggles. At a recent meeting of the Dane County Beekeepers Association, members discussed how difficult it’s been this season to fight the mites. Going around in a circle, each beekeeper tells a story, their peers nodding as they discuss Varroa mites or detail the heartbreak of an unsuccessful honey harvest. And then there are the heavy chemicals from agriculture that have put an increased strain on the bees. “We’re dealing with insecticides and pesticides that we’ve never dealt with before,” Woller says. Many modern pesticides no longer outright kill bees when sprayed over fields, like their predecessors did. Instead, these chemicals produce a “sublethal effect” — the dose of pesticides the bees are exposed to is not enough to kill them immediately, but has delayed effects. The pesticides
impair bees cognitively, making it difficult for them to gather nutrients and navigate a successful return to their hive. A honeybee queen used to have a lifespan of three to five years. Now, the longest a beekeeper can expect a queen to survive in a hive is two years. Often, the queen is replaced every year because the chemical burden on the hive is shortening the lifespan of the queen and affecting how fertile she is. “If you drank a little bit of poison each day, it may not kill you. But if you keep on drinking poison every day, a little bit of it, sooner or later it’s going to shorten your life,” Pegorsch says. “That’s kind of what we’re facing with the bee colonies out there.” ***** Wisconsin beekeepers are diligently working to educate their communities on the critical importance and necessity of honeybees. “Bees are creatures that a lot of people don’t understand,” Swan says. Perhaps the biggest misconception about honeybees? They’re extremely passive creatures. Sjostrom’s position allows her to travel around the state to spread awareness and information about beekeeping. She knows that many people don’t understand the
importance of bees — they only view them as threatening. “People don’t really realize that honeybees are super docile, and that actually, when you get stung outside, it most likely is not from a honeybee,” Sjostrom says. “Honeybees can only sting once and then they die, and so they really don’t like to sting unless you’re provoking their hive.” Despite the tough conditions beekeepers face right now, they have high hopes for the future, in part because of meticulous measures they’re taking to improve the health of their bees. To do it, they’re building close relationships with their hives. “I try really hard to listen to what the bees need,” Swan says.
By Logan Godfrey
ome people celebrate finishing high school with a graduation party or by basking in their newfound free time. Others, like Pete Nielsen, choose to spend 37 nights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska “just backpacking around.” Nielsen, a cartography major at UW-Madison and outdoor enthusiast, represents the many who consider nature an integral part of their lives and want to share it with others. However, in a changing climate, many of today’s outdoor luxuries may become a thing of the past. Without drastic action, Wisconsin, with its abundance of lakes, is among the states that may suffer the most. Not Going to Mars The human population over the past few hundred years has grown
exponentially; we now share a home with nearly 8 billion other humans. Combined with, and largely due to industrialization, the global increase in population means we’re now putting more stress on the Earth than ever before. In the case of this home, we can’t sell it and buy another. “We’re not going to Mars. We’ve got to make this planet work for all 8 billion of us and we need to maintain life on Earth, because we depend on [it],” says Steve Carpenter, professor of integrative biology and former director of the Center of Limnology at UW-Madison. While a warmer climate may sound nice in theory (especially for
those of us settling in for winter in Wisconsin), the effects of climate change on both the global and local scale are severe and will continue to escalate. Wisconsin relies heavily on its water systems for both recreation and the economy, with more than $2 billion dollars in fishing-related economic activity annually. Largescale droughts and heat waves will continue to intensify throughout Above: The Milky Way illuminates a frozen Lake Hilbert in northern Wisconsin.
parts of the country and continue to put stress on the importance of fresh water, while the Great Lakes region experiences increased precipitation, and in turn, pollution in the area that holds most of the country’s fresh water. “We really need to ... treat Wisconsin as if we’d like to be here for a thousand years. Right now we’re treating Wisconsin like we would like to be here a couple decades,” Carpenter says. What Can We Do? Experts say protecting our land and water is vital moving forward, as not only does nature provide all the resources needed to go about our daily lives, it also provides health benefits for those who choose to take advantage of it. “There is increasing evidence that mental well-being, psychological well-being is associated with experiences in nature,” Carpenter says. Nielsen has seen the benefits firsthand both in himself and
the dozens of others he’s led on multi-week backpacking excursions. Nielsen described how much the kids he leads learn and how he sees it as rewarding. “They get really reflective on what their outside life is,” Nielsen says. “There’s a system of rewards that’s super immediate, which I think is a really positive thing for them.” While the imposing threat of a changing climate may make some people afraid, experts say it’s important that fear not lead to inaction. Put bluntly, scientists warn things are bad and going to get worse. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists brought together by the United Nations, said in October that without rapid and farreaching changes, climate change could pose extreme threats to global human health by the end of the century. As opposed to projecting fear to promote climate action, many outdoor enthusiasts and experts instead focus on the benefits and beauty of nature, pushing others to
find inspiration through experience. Assuring that nature is accessible to all, both now and for years to come, is a large step in shaping societal perceptions on the environment and how it’s treated. “The outdoors is such an important aspect of what it means to be human ... we’ve always been so connected with [it], and it’s only been the last 200 years that we’ve started to really get away [from a connection to nature],” says David O’Keeffe, president of Hoofers at UW-Madison, a club focused on outdoor recreation. Realizing the importance of nature for both the survival and enjoyment of mankind is crucial, as is making sure that those in the future can experience this key human element. “Going camping isn’t going to save the world … [but] it’s our responsibility to increase access to the outdoors, which will foster appreciation for the outdoors, which will help us save the world,” O’Keeffe says.
Cutting Down on Carbon Use less (hot) water Washing clothes in cold water instead of hot removes almost
1,000 pounds of carbon emissions yearly
Eat less (red) meat By halving your beef consumption,
1,000 pounds of carbon emissions are cut yearly
Support green companies Choosing not to drive eliminates nearly
pounds of carbon
for every gallon of unused gasoline
are 100 companies responsible for
71% of all carbon emissions since
BIG GAME CHANGER
Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
By Andrew Pearce A rise in human settlement in the 1800s, and the overhunting and habitat loss that came with it, wiped out elk in Wisconsin. An attempt was made at reintroducing them in the 1930s, but it was unsuccessful due to poaching, and elk here died off by 1948. After elk disappeared from Wisconsin twice, the state’s Department of Natural Resources arranged to bring 25 elk to the Clam Lake area in 1995. They were at the genesis of a journey to rebuild a species once native to the state. After 23 years, the elk population has grown slowly but steadily, reaching stability and allowing for the state’s first-ever regulated elk hunt in 2018. However, the DNR is still far from reaching its population goal of 1,400 elk. While elk in Wisconsin will never be as common as deer, their population is on the rise. A final release of additional elk in Clam Lake is planned for 2019. With that, experts believe the many years of population uncertainty are in the past, and elk are here to stay. “Being able to see those animals in our state — who are a native species to [Wisconsin] — is important,” says Nicole Schaefer, a volunteer for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which has supported the reintroduction of elk. “The conservation of land that goes along with that just ensures that my children and my grandchildren will be able to have places that they can go that are public access, free of charge, and be able to enjoy the four seasons of Wisconsin and all of the natural beauty that we have here.”
Read more on curbonline.com
A bull elk near Clam Lake.
Elk in Wisconsin Elk are native to Wisconsin, but disappeared in the late 1800s due to overhunting and habitat loss. The Wisconsin DNR has overseen reintroduction efforts for more than 20 years, and 2018 marked the first elk hunt.
Clam Lake Herd 1995 - 25 elk transported from Michigan 2017 - 5 elk released from Kentucky 2018 - Elk population reaches 200
Black River Herd 2015-16 - 73 elk released from Kentucky 2018 - Current population at 63
I Scream, You Scream Why we love being scared By Ashley Mackens
egend has it, in the early years of Wisconsin logging, a monster lurked in the dark woods. His thick legs thudded on the forest floor, and his spiked tail rustled in the fallen leaves. Today, we know this creature as the harmless Hodag, but even the brave men who risked their lives lumbering were terrified of this mysterious beast. We thrill in scary stories, whether they’re told around a campfire or in the pages of a book, whether we experience them on screen or cowering through a haunted house. It’s like the old adage says: What brings us pain also brings us pleasure. That backward logic has a purpose, says Joanne Cantor, a UW-Madison professor of communication arts and expert on the psychological impact of the media relating to fear and violence. We’re willing to subject ourselves to fear due to our
Illustrations by Mike Bass, Zip-Dang
innate interest in death and dying, otherwise known as morbid curiosity. “We might get sick to our stomach or something, but that compels people to want to watch,” Cantor says. Karyn Riddle, UW–Madison assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, and expert on the effects of exposure to media violence, says a reason we like being scared is that it fulfills a meta-emotion. Meta-emotions are how we react to feeling a certain way. “It’s another level of emotion. I’m really scared right now, and on a meta level I like that. For some people, they like that. Like ‘I’m enjoying the fact that I’m scared,’” Riddle says. Satisfying morbid curiosities and meta-emotions helps explain our attraction to fear. But being scared is almost always a shared experience, one we use to bond with one another. Ruth Olson, associate director of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, uses the example of legend tripping. Legend tripping is typically a venture for adolescent kids to go on a quest to a cemetery or haunted house in hopes of witnessing paranormal activity, Olson says. “It’s definitely a social thing because think about it, do people like to be scared in solitary? No. Nobody wants that,” Olson says. We put ourselves through being scared as a bonding experience with other humans. We even do it to spark romantic bonds. There have been studies on viewing horror films that suggest people of the opposite sex, assuming they are heterosexual, like being scared together, Riddle says.
Bray Road Beast
Rattlesnake of Governor's Island
“Men in particular like horror films, and they really like it when they’re watching with a girl. If they’re straight, they like watching it with a girl who’s frightened and that allows them to feel strong and protective,” Riddle says. Sharing our scary experiences also allows for a time of reflection. One subcategory in the folklore genre are memorates or “stories of experiences that people have had that they cannot explain,” Olson says. Olson sees in her class when students share frightening things that happen to them, and their peers respond in ways that make them think deeper about what happened and the meaning behind it. “There’s always somebody who offers explanations [after a story] who says, ‘here’s what I think happened,’” Olson says. “It becomes a time for reflection and analysis that kind of helps us judge how we think about things.” 2018
The folklore genre also contains folktales and other more traditional stories. Many times, these stories have an underlying theme or lesson in them that teaches us something or gives insight into a culture. Tomislav Longinović, UWMadison Slavic and comparative literature professor and East European folklore expert, says folklore stories were told orally before people could read or write, and they came from the imagination of the common people. When we study how stories originate, we see that the scary monsters or creatures are personifications of common human fears like hunger, war and famine, Longinović says. Folklore is important because, “it keeps us seeing the connection to the roots of a particular culture … so that we can have a sort of continuity in terms of a collective identity,” Longinović says. But there are also negative effects that come from subjecting ourselves to fear. When we are scared, a small, almond-shaped part of the brain called the amygdala becomes stimulated as it processes the images we see. The scarier the image, the more the amygdala is stimulated, sending a greater fear response throughout the
body, Cantor says. The amygdala also stores memories. Terrifying experiences are stored in the brain and can be triggered at any time, causing nightmares, sleeplessness and heightened anxiety that can be detrimental to our overall health. There is a fine line between how much fear is good for our existence and how much is harmful. The trick is finding the perfect balance. There are ways of taking fear into our own hands that are constructive and enjoyable. Mike Bass, artist and owner of Madison’s art and gift shop ZipDang, has created a collection of illustrations in an ongoing series he calls Wisco-Mythos. Designed as a combination of history and people’s imagination, the illustrations seek to explain things we don’t understand. “You hear a bump in the night, you see something floating in the
lake that’s bigger than your average fish. Things move that you don’t expect to move. You have to explain that in a way,” Bass says. As a Wisconsin native and someone who believes there were spirits in the house where he grew up, Bass has always had an interest in folklore. “Wisconsin is such a folklore-rich state because we had huge forests,” Bass says. “If you think about when the state was first being explored, the forest must have been just immense and deep and dark. I think that just instilled a lot of fears and creative stories for explaining things in our history here in Wisconsin.” It’s good to make your heart pound once in a while. We can make fear fun and get our adrenaline pumping without damaging our psyche – it just takes balance. Too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing, but the right amount can add a bit of excitement to our lives.
Missed Opportunities Fear of losing Native culture persists despite law intended to preserve it By Sabrina Abuzahra It’s the year 1989. The voices of thousands of Native Americans across the state of Wisconsin are finally being heard and signed into law in this year’s biennial budget by Gov. Tommy Thompson at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. This is a hope for the end of systemic racism for Native Americans. This is a dream for a better education for all. This is Act 31: a law that requires
Wisconsin public schools to instruct on the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of Wisconsin’s federally recognized tribes. The promise of Act 31 is that this would be woven into every Wisconsin student’s education, but the reality almost 30 years later is that, with no real enforcement or direction about how districts are supposed to incorporate it, the goal of the law hasn’t come to fruition. And the fear about losing Native American culture is still there. How Did We Get Here? Since the founding of our country, a multitude of treaties have been disbanded and disregarded by the United States government to attain more land and profit at the expense of Native Americans. As years
Lori Faber, a language apprentice, instructs an Oneida language class.
progressed, relations between Native Americans and the government continued to weaken. The removal period began in the 19th century, which resulted in the displacement of Native Americans from their homes. Native children were later forced by the federal government to attend boarding schools that ignored Native American language, culture and appearance. The adoption era had a similar goal of assimilating Native American children into white culture through the Indian Adoption Project. Authorities claimed that the adoption into white families would allow these children to live better lives. This discrimination was echoed in everyday life in Wisconsin. One of the most high-profile events and catalysts for Act 31 is known as the “Walleye Wars.” In the 1980s, white
Americans in northern Wisconsin protested Native Americans who were spearfishing on and off Ojibwe tribal water and land where they had rights to fish. Laura Hiebing, associate professor of American Indian studies at UW-Madison, says the disagreement reinforced the idea that Wisconsin citizens were not educated on tribal law and the sovereignty of tribes. Looking to the Public Under the state law, public schools are required to include instruction on Native history, culture, and tribal sovereignty at least twice in elementary school and once in high school. Ali Hilsabeck, a non-tribal, fourth grade teacher at Schenk Elementary School, says the only enforcement mechanism she knows of is indicating on each student’s report card that they have learned these Native American topics. However, she doesn’t believe there is a larger enforcement mechanism from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The department chose not to respond to requests for comment. Although the Department of Public Instruction doesn’t appear to be doing much to hold local teachers accountable, Hilsabeck says she understands and values the importance of keeping the culture alive in her classroom. The official textbook provided for her social studies class does not even mention Native American topics, so she often references a book by former UW-Madison professor Patty Loew, “Indian Nations of Wisconsin.” Where Are We Excelling? What the law was supposed to do is happening at the Indian Community School, a private school in Franklin, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. It’s 8:30 a.m., and the first thing the 23
Top: The Indian Community School birchbark canoe was made by Wayne Valliere of the Ojibwe tribe and ICS students as part of a year-long project. Middle: Dr. Renee Pfaller stands before the colorful landscaping of the Indian Community School. Bottom: Sun shines through the window at the Place of Nations.
students hear in Dr. Renee Pfaller’s Oneida language classroom is the whimsical tones of the Oneida language with long, drifting vowels. “Shékoli,” Pfaller says, greeting the students with a hello. “Nyaweh,” she adds, thanking the students for being there with her. In Pfaller’s classroom, her students try to remember their October Oneida vocabulary words. Some students are wriggling in their seats with their hands stretched toward the sun, eagerly waiting to be called on. Other students can’t wait and shout to the sky with the words they remember. The school is one of a few schools in the state of Wisconsin that passionately pursues keeping Native American languages alive. Michael Zimmerman, an Ojibwe language teacher at the school, says Native American language is nearly nonexistent in other schools, so he believes it is his goal and duty to “perpetuate the language” and keep it alive in his career as a language teacher. Pfaller was inspired by the words of an Elder who told her she can’t keep the language if she doesn’t give it away. She must continue to teach for the children of our children who aren’t born yet. The school teaches three Wisconsin Native American languages: Oneida, Ojibwe and Menominee. Every person in the building, from students to staff, is required to learn a language to help preserve it, Zimmerman says. Not every school in Wisconsin has the knowledge and resources to keep the Native American culture alive within its unique school culture. “I think Act 31 itself, as a law, is a really needed law, and it’s a really positive thing, and there’s a lot of people doing really great work to promote the law both to educators and to children in schools, but ... the [phrase] ‘missed opportunities’ keeps coming to mind,” Hiebing says.
Photo collages by Jenna Podgorski
Social media spurs a new culture of comparisons By Jenna Podgorski
arents of today’s teens remember a time when social media meant passing notes on folded pieces of notebook paper, late-night whispered phone calls and school problems that stayed at school. That was then. Now, teens are exposed to never-ending streams of content. Social media have become an outlet that teens heavily rely on, and they’ve completely transformed the way we communicate. But when does the influence of social media become too overbearing? Social media like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter influence users’ self-esteem, body image and confidence. The persistent, looming pressure to please everyone holds us to high, essentially unattainable, societal standards. Learning how to come to terms with the fear of not being perfect and staying true to ourselves while living an authentic lifestyle will help us become more courageous over time. “Everybody tends to post these ‘glamorized glimpses’ into their own lives. They don’t post everything. They just post the good stuff,” says
Catalina Toma, associate professor of communication arts at UW-Madison. Research studies have highlighted the influential power of “glamorized glimpses” on how we view ourselves, especially in terms of body image and self-esteem, Toma says. When carefully crafting an online presence, we try to adhere to the standards and norms of society, often fearing we are not good enough. Imperfection and perfection coexist. Toma says we never have enough insight and knowledge to understand the posting intentions of others — we only know our own habits. Shiela Reaves, professor of life science communication at UWMadison, says when we compare ourselves to others, we usually feel worse about ourselves. People will compare themselves to others because of what they see on social media. The pressure to be perfect instills this mindset in which we cannot be anything but perfect. Skylar Witte, former Miss Wisconsin 2017, is passionate about advocating and speaking out on the themes of social media, body image, authenticity and confidence. With
more than 13,000 Instagram followers and a well-known title, Witte thinks social media strongly affect how we see ourselves. “They always say that Instagram is your highlight reel, and I would say that is definitely true,” Witte says. “It just comes together to really be the creation of what society views as normal and society views as standards.” Even though social media and societal standards can sometimes be negative influences, they can also bring positive results. “Social media is kind of creating this standard, but I also think that it has the potential to be a really positive influence just because so many people use it and so many people use it often,” Witte says. According to Witte, social media can create an environment that promotes realness and inclusivity. Witte suggests taking our highlight reels and reworking them into highlight reals. If people stay true to who they are, she says, they can redefine the idea of perfection.
LAND OF THE FREE
Rigorous rules complicate life after prison By Logan Rude
riving down South Park Street in Madison, Anthony Cooper Sr., 41, hoped for a red light so he could pull up an old photo of him and his sons. The photo showed a young Cooper sitting on a chair in an orange jumpsuit issued to him when he was incarcerated. His two sons sat on each of his knees. For Cooper, the most important thing after he was released was to show his two boys how to live a better life. “If I got back out here selling drugs and, eventually at some point, if I end up going back to prison, that just would have been too normal for them, and that wasn’t the environment I wanted my kids to be a part of,” Cooper says. Cooper is a warm and inviting man with a calm but strong voice. He speaks with a sincerity that lets you
know he believes every word that he says, especially when he’s talking about his work. Cooper is the vice president of re-entry and strategic partnerships for the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, a Madison-based organization working to uplift community members who need extra support, especially after being released from prison or jail. In 1999, when Cooper was in his early 20s, he was charged with six felonies and two misdemeanors. He later pled guilty to fleeing from a police officer, felony manufacture and delivery, and possession of heroin. He was sentenced to four years in prison with 10 years of parole. “I was either going to allow that to defeat me, or I was going to allow that to build me,” Cooper says. “I decided to allow that to build me and not stop me.”
Upon his release from prison two years into his four-year sentence, he was faced with a choice: continue back down that path or find a new option. He chose to change his life for the better and to become the father he wanted to be. Like many people who have been incarcerated, Cooper faced a number of challenges upon his release — difficulty finding a job, troubles with housing and countless opportunities to be sent back to prison. Anything from serious offenses, including assault, to smaller incidents, such as an argument in a public space — or even an unsupported allegation — can send someone back to prison. For Cooper, it was his drive to make a better life that kept him out. ***** Since 2000, there has been a split between people eligible to
Anthony Cooper Sr. stands near the altar of the Fountain of Life Church in Madison.
receive parole versus those who will receive extended supervision. Parole happens when a person is convicted of a crime, is sentenced for a period of time to be spent in prison, then is released back into their community with supervision and a set of rules and conditions they must follow until the length of the sentence comes to a close. Starting on Jan. 1, 2000, Wisconsin enacted Truth-inSentencing laws, which put an end to parole for cases closed after that date. These laws state that people who are convicted of a felony and sentenced to at least one year in prison must serve the entirety of their sentence in addition to a period of extended supervision that, by law, must be at least a quarter the length of their prison sentence. Both of these definitions fit under the umbrella term of community supervision. Some of the rules associated with community supervision are as straightforward as not breaking the law. Others are more complex, nuanced or vague. Not only are there a lot of rules to keep track of, but their enforcement is entirely up to the supervision agent handling the case. Sometimes infractions are ignored, and other times they can lead to detainment, and in more severe cases, reimprisonment. On one hand, the system is ideally set up to help those who have been released from prison to transition into a community-based life. Cecelia Klingele, an associate professor in the University of Wisconsin Law School and expert on criminal justice policy, says rules and conditions such as living in a halfway house, mandatory therapies or limits on travel may seem like inconsequential, fair rules on their own, but when looked at cumulatively, “those restrictions are difficult for people to navigate while also forming strong community bonds, which will generally predict future success.” ***** While Cooper was highly motivated to create a better life for his sons after being released from prison, it wasn’t as simple as finding
a well-paying 9-5 job that allowed him to spend time with them in his time off. “I was working as many hours as I can, but … the time that I was away from my sons, I wasn’t able to make that up,” Cooper says. His first job post-release paid him $4.75 per hour. Despite his best efforts to stay on the straight and narrow, Cooper remembers an incident that, due to no fault of his own, could have led to his parole being revoked. Police officers confused Cooper for a man they were searching for for an unrelated offense. Cooper recalls the officers having their guns drawn until an officer who was familiar with the intended perpetrator said Cooper wasn’t who they were looking for. The incident angered Cooper, and it eventually began an argument that could have led to Cooper’s arrest under different circumstances. With perseverance, Cooper continued through the struggles he faced without any major derailments along the way. After making a deliberate effort to put himself on a narrow path toward successful re-entry, his original 10 years of parole were cut to three. ***** Supervision agents are on the front lines of a person’s reintegration into their community, and often they can have a tremendous amount of power when it comes to the success someone may have with re-entry. “Sometimes probation officers can be a really needed link for people who don’t have a lot of guidance and haven’t had positive support, and [supervision officers] can provide that kind of mentorship and encouragement that helps people get their lives on track,” Klingele says. According to Tristan Cook, communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the responsibilities of supervision agents are twofold: help supervisees find resources to ease the transition and hold offenders accountable for any violations of their terms. While helping supervisees find
Standard Rules & Regulations of Community Supervision
Plainly, don’t break any laws, statutes or ordinances of any kind. Report any police contact or arrests within 72 hours of their occurance. Cooperate with your supervision agent to the fullest extent possible. Let your agent know where you’re going and what you’re doing when they ask. Submit information as the Division of Community corrections asks. Get approval before operating, selling, buying or trading a vehicle. Get approval beore buying anything on credit. Get approval before changing jobs or residency.
Get approval before leaving Wisconsin.
Be available for blood samples, DNA tests, urinalysis and breathalyzers. Source: Wisconsin Department of Corrections Standard Rules of Supervision 2018
resources is fairly straightforward — reaching out to organizations including Nehemiah, Madison-area Urban Ministry and other groups geared toward helping with the transition — holding offenders accountable can be a more nuanced process. According to an email from Cook, the process of a review begins with an investigation, and if a violation is suspected, that individual may have a hold placed on their supervision as the investigation continues. If the allegation is substantiated, a plan is made to determine what the best course of action is for both the public and the offender. The process of revoking an offender’s supervision relies on either determining that confinement is necessary for the protection of the public or that the offender’s rehabilitation would be most successful in confinement, Cook wrote in an email. Cook explained new criminal convictions were the most common reason for revocation of supervision in 2017, making up 23 percent of all new prison admissions, which begs the question: How successful are supervision agents and the programs built to aid with re-entry? There is no single solution to staying out of prison after being released. Many times, the odds are stacked heavily against those on supervision. Local organizations in Madison, including Nehemiah and Madisonarea Urban Ministry, exist to help
Sanetta Ponton, Harry Hawkins, Karen Reece, Anthony Cooper Sr. and Sue Cotten smile for a photo outside the Nehemiah Center.
people facing these issues while under community supervision so they can have a greater chance at success. Many of these organizations provide programs to assist with finding housing and job placement, and even offer weekly support group meetings to support an open dialogue about the problems at hand. According to a 2016 annual report from Urban Ministry, a United Way agency that aims to tear down the barriers to successful re-entry, its Journey Home program had a recidivism rate of 6.8 to 14 percent, compared with the statewide average of 60 to 70 percent. ***** Before his drive down South Park Street on that early October afternoon, Cooper walked the grounds of the Fountain of Life Church on Madison’s south side. He had just returned from a week-long trip to New
Orleans with his wife. It was his first time visiting the city, and he seemed invigorated. He talked about trying to take a break from work, but somehow it kept creeping back into the trip. It’s hard to escape work when there is always more to be done, and there are more people to help. Cooper has been working with Nehemiah for nearly six years now, and he’s been a member of Fountain of Life Church for 14. His life is dedicated to helping people who are experiencing the same kinds of struggles he faced years ago. Their efforts give people an opportunity to try again and build themselves anew. Cooper got his chance, and now he’s helping others get theirs. “There’s not a perfect person on this Earth. Some people have been caught for it. Some people have not,” Cooper says. “Most people that’re incarcerated just want a second chance.”
Into Her Own
Hands Karen Bate pauses from her canvassing and holds a stack of notes and a roll of tape.
By Cathleen Draper It started with a tremor in her left hand. Karen Bate thought she had essential tremor, a nervous system disorder causing shaking, until her physician recommended she see a neurologist. “And then, boom,” Bate says. She had Parkinson’s disease. Bate was shocked. “I felt like my life was over,” she says. “My first thought was, ‘I can’t do this.’” She was 63 and single at the time. She had just retired from her job as a teacher. “I had all these plans,” Bate says. “I wanted to volunteer and do things, just helping other people, and pretty soon I’m the one that needs to be helped.” It’s not the first time Bate overcame adversity. After having three daughters, she went through a devastating divorce. She was a stay-at-home mom then, but got a job teaching in Madison. She won awards for her work and successfully
raised her girls into adulthood. Then, in November 1999, her youngest daughter was killed in a car accident. The pain of divorce was nothing compared to that of losing a child, Bate says. The loss threw her back into a period of grief, but she relied on her spirituality as a source of strength. “I never dreamed I would have to go through something else this difficult,” Bate says. “We’re all gonna get something. You think it’s going to be a heart attack or something that’s going to go quick. You don’t think of something being dragged out.” Eight years have passed since her diagnosis. The medication she takes stops the tremor, but it causes dyskinesia, marked by involuntary muscle movements. “I’m getting used to the fact that I look like I’m shaking all over, but I just forget about it — because otherwise, I’d just be marooned in my
house all day long, and that’s not good either,” Bate says. Bate struggles to write and cook. Her tremor is more significant. She has nearly constant pain in her legs. She also has a plan. “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger,” Bate says. “I felt like I’ve probably almost been killed, but then I go through a period of a bit of grief, and then I get into the acceptance phase, and then I move forward. That’s basically all you can do if you want to still be in this world.” ***** By the time symptoms typically start to show, an individual has had Parkinson’s for between 10 and 20 years. The neurodegenerative disorder, which has no known cause or cure, is common among older adults — the average age of diagnosis is 65, or at the midstage of the disease. A tremor like Bate’s occurs around the midstage of the disease, Right: Bate crosses her street in search of an area she has yet to canvass.
“The best thing is just to learn how to go with it. You just pull yourself up and start again, and just keep hoping. Hope is a big thing.” and it’s one of the “cardinal” symptoms of Parkinson’s, along with slow movement and rigidity. “There’s this real opportunity to try to identify early, but we’re not really sure what the specific diagnostic criteria should be, necessarily,” says Michelle Ciucci, an associate professor in the Division of OtolaryngologyHead & Neck Surgery at UW-Madison. Parkinson’s progresses slowly. It manifests itself in limited mobility, balance problems, muscle rigidity, speech difficulties and trouble swallowing. Eventually, fine motor control decreases, people struggle to dress themselves and experience cognitive deficits, posture becomes stooped, and depression or a form of dementia particular to Parkinson’s can develop. “The good news is there’s things that you can do like exercise and take
care of yourself, and that really helps stave it off,” Ciucci says. “Now that our understanding of the disease is expanded, our repertoire of treatment is also expanded.” Bate does anything she can to stay active — from Zumba and rowing classes to boxing at a studio dedicated to those with Parkinson’s. People ask her why she takes so many classes. “I said, ‘You know what motivates me to do it? Fear,’” Bate says. “We have to learn to cope with each new stage of degeneration, and so you have to keep yourself strong.” ***** Bate was once afraid of researching Parkinson’s online. Now, she’s digging in. When she finds good information, she passes it along to as many people as she can in the
Parkinson’s community. She conducts a “little ministry” for newly diagnosed individuals, who get her name and number from a psychologist, the Wisconsin Parkinson Association, or another resource and call her for advice. “I just try to be real upbeat and tell them all about what’s going on here and really encourage them, because it’s a pretty devastating diagnosis,” Bate says. Bate turns to her family, too. She has a supportive husband, who she married two years ago, and she gets together with her siblings who live in the Midwest. Her one daughter, a physical therapist in California, says individuals with Parkinson’s are her favorite people to work with. Bate’s other daughter, who lives in Wisconsin, encourages her through the highs and lows.
“I think you absolutely need people,” Bate says. “I know I couldn’t do it by myself because I probably would get kind of bitter and say, ‘Oh, why me again?’” Bate’s other endeavor started on a rainy day when she stopped at a garage sale a block from her home in the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood of Madison where she’s lived for 45 years. The homeowner asked Bate if she had Parkinson’s, then informed her that a man up the street also had it. At her Parkinson’s Zumba class, Bate saw a woman who had once lived on the same street as the man but moved away several years ago. Bate then learned that her former neighbor, who died about 15 years ago, had Parkinson’s. This meant that four people on her block, including her, had the disease. Bate typed up a note to post on homes throughout the neighborhood in an effort to find more individuals with Parkinson’s and try to find a possible cause. She primarily focuses on the environment — environmental toxins like pesticides and water contamination are a possible, but still inconclusive, cause of Parkinson’s. Bate started to receive emails from residents who had Parkinson’s or knew of someone who did. She discovered 15 people with Parkinson’s living less than a mile from one another. “These people are kind of jumping into my space, and so I just felt [that] I’ve gotta do something about this, and follow through and see if there’s anything I can do,” Bate says. “I’ve got Parkinson’s, but I’m just concerned about all the other people in the neighborhood.” Bate and her husband have distributed more than 600 notes throughout their neighborhood. She created a survey that she’d like to distribute next, and she hopes to meet with others living with Parkinson’s in her neighborhood. She’s at the beginning stages of her journey, but her project has given her hope for the future and motivation to gather any information she can. “When you don’t know what causes something in your life, it’s so
good to find out what the cause is, and then you have answers, and you stop wondering,” Bate says. “The best thing is just to learn how to go with it. You just pull yourself up and start again, and just keep hoping. Hope is a big thing.” The responses she’s received thus far encourage her. Several neighbors have come forward with their diagnosis, and other residents have simply sent her kind words of encouragement or expressed their concerns, too. “That’s what motivates me, really,” Bate says. “I’m not gonna get Parkinson’s. I’ve already got it. And if I can play a small part in figuring out some answers, that would be a real blessing for me. To just help.”
She reflects on her favorite boxing class and a poster that hangs on the wall of the studio. It shows a person holding their arms up as if flexing their muscles while sporting a T-shirt that reads “Fighting back.” “It is kind of like a fight to just keep going and keep motivated,” Bate says. “It’s either crawl in a hole, or get out and fight as hard as you can.”
Bate tapes a note to a neighborhood door. Thus far, she’s distributed over 600 notes throughout her neighborhood.
WAYS TO GET AN ADRENALINE RUSH By Cal Larsen Design by Berklee Klauck
Adventure North Snowmobile Rentals Minocqua If you are looking for the rush of traveling as fast as a car, instead hop on the back of a snowmobile and try to keep your eyes open as you glide across snow and ice through the woods.
Shoot down a mountain and experience the rush of not knowing how fast you may go or which bump you might hit.
Staudemeyer’s Motorcycle Tours Cable Get over the fear of going fast and being unprotected by hopping on the back of a hog.
Granite Peak Ski Area
Whether you prefer the slow bunny hill or the fast and tall monster, lock into some skis, and feel the wind and snow whip against your face.
Sweat, cry and scream throughout the scariest, most realistic haunted house in the Fox Valley, the Burial Chamber. There’s even a house called “Adrenaline!”
Kalahari Indoor Waterpark
Get past those fears of going too fast without knowing when the next turn comes.
Run across an open field, stealthily navigate barriers and blockades — all while trying not to get hit by a ball that feels like 50 wasp stings. The fear of pain and not knowing who’s behind each corner is exactly the adrenaline rush you’ll find.
Seven Hill Skydivers
Jump out of a plane solo at 4,000 feet or tandem at 10,000 feet.
Strip down into your swimsuit, and jump into freezing water for a good cause.
Find heights and the thrill of being unprotected or unharnessed — all while trying to find the perfect-sized crevice for your foot or hand before falling to the mat.
By Olivia Jones
nderneath the mask of the person holding your heartbeat in their hands is one with a heartbeat all his or her own. Not God, and surely mortal, this person accepts a tremendous responsibility after entering through workplace doors, not always knowing what will arise on the other side. Every day, surgeons deal with the fears of others — and their own, too. Stressors and a high burnout rate raise questions about why they would continue in their profession. Their job includes an immense amount of risk, yet for surgeons, it’s the reward that keeps them going. About 450 surgeons are employed in the state of Wisconsin, according to the United States Department of Labor. And there’s a reason there are so few of them: The process of becoming a surgeon is lengthy, spanning 13 years or more. It starts with a bachelor’s degree, followed by four years in medical school, and then years of practice under supervision, or what’s known as residency. Residents who pursue a fellowship may even have another one to three years of training after that. To better understand the process, says Dylan Jacobus, a thirdyear resident, think about “Grey’s Anatomy” and the progression of the doctors like Meredith Grey from her first season as a resident to her current status as head of general surgery. For 30-year-old Jacobus, a resident at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, taking the plunge into an education that lasts nearly a decade and a half was all because of who he is at his core. “I wanted to help people, ultimately, and I felt that the way my behaviors are — or the way my attitude is — and kind of the personality that
Doctor Peter Nichol and a resident at UW Hospital and Clinics perform pediatric surgery.
I have and my interests, fit most with being a doctor,” Jacobus says. But for other doctors, going into medicine wasn’t an easy choice, or a choice at all. Peter Nichol, a native Madisonian and surgeon, faced the prospect of going into medicine at an early age, and frankly, tried to run from it. Watching his pediatrician mother take calls in the middle of the night from patients was something he never wanted; today he’s a pediatric surgeon. He didn’t know he was the type of person “who liked to go running toward fires, at least initially,” Nichol says. While abstract to the average eye, many surgeons see the surgeries they perform as concrete practices. They become good at what they do, yet still find instant gratification after completing an operation they do every day. It’s a foreign concept to those of us going under the knife for a life-changing surgery. For surgeons, it’s just another day at the office. “Today I saw four patients whose lives were tremendously improved by stuff that took me a half an hour,” says Dan Resnick, professor and vice chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Being able to spend an hour in the [operating room] and have someone who’s in a wheelchair walk; I mean talk about an ego trip.” Operation Complications Still, complications, stressors and unwanted outcomes remain a part of the job. Appendicitis may be a quick fix, but not all cases are that straightforward. Some operations involve a great deal of risk, and some don’t always have the best outcomes. Sharon Weber, a surgical oncologist at UW Hospital and Clinics, has
Nichol talks with a colleague during surgery.
had her share of experiences with unfortunate endings. She deals in data, backing things up with fact and an understanding of biology. But as she treats her patients, she forms friendships, which makes it difficult to rationalize their sometimes incurable cases. It’s common for surgeons to lose sleep over their patients in various ways. They spend hours in the operating room, but also lay awake at night thinking of them. The question that lingers in many minds is, “Did I do the best I could?” Jacobus talks about having imposter syndrome, which is a feeling of self-doubt, even after proven success, according to the Harvard Business Review. He’s still green in his field and finds himself questioning if he’s good enough. Even after the surgery is complete, Jacobus thinks about the patients and their recovery. If the process doesn’t go as planned, Jacobus can’t help wondering if it’s something he did. Jim Maloney, a thoracic surgeon from UW Hospitals and Clinics, finds
himself telling his residents, “You have to have a willful lack of insight, because if you’re focused all the time on the things that could go wrong, [then] you’re not going to be able to accomplish the mission at hand.” For people who fix so much, it can be incredibly challenging to walk away from something that won’t mend. Nichol reflects on an incident in which one of his children’s classmates died; he admits that he struggled to stop working on the case. “You at some point have to make peace with your limitations, or what you can and cannot fix, and you have to be willing to accept that, and that’s hard sometimes,” Nichol says. When another child came in with a similar injury, Nichol recalls being “terrified,” remembering the last four children with that kind of injury that had died. Yet, as Nichol worked through the fear and the surgery, the boy kept breathing and came out of it alive. Nichol says that to be fearless is to be ignorant. This surgery involved incredible risk, but what happened in that room — with the help of 32 other
medical professionals — took courage for an immense reward: a heartbeat. Treating the Burn(out) Dealing with the hardships that come with this profession isn’t something that’s always been addressed. Publications such as “Surgeon Burnout: A Systematic Review” reflect alarmingly high rates of burnout not only among physicians, but especially among surgeons: The burnout rate in surgical specialties reaches from 37-53 percent. General surgeons are among the leaders in burnout rate, with half falling victim. This high burnout rate has raised eyebrows in the medical field and caused people to act. Medical schools, the health care system and even the curriculum taught within the schools are adjusting to accommodate more wellness practices. Gwenevere McIntosh, a general pediatrician and associate dean for students at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health,
Left: Nichol walks down the hall toward the operating room. Right: Doctor Sharon Weber smiles while talking with a colleague.
provides support to the students, from academics to counseling. Currently, the school offers classes that integrate physician wellness into the curriculum. During the first four weeks of medical school, students plan designated time in their schedules for exercise, sleep and cooking. Within the school, there’s a “no studying” zone, where they can relieve stress through meditation or yoga. Introducing these skills early on is crucial for physicians so they can provide the best possible care. McIntosh says in order to properly care for their patients, physicians first have to take care of themselves. Encouraging wellness for physicians in medical schools is a fairly new practice within the last five or 10 years, according to McIntosh. Admittedly, Nichol says he doesn’t cope well with the stresses of being a surgeon. He says he finds other outlets to relieve stress, such as establishing his own foundation, “Cars Curing Kids,” which is a group
“The burnout rate in surgical specialties reaches from 37-53 percent” of car enthusiasts who support research and programs for childhood diseases at the American Family Children’s Hospital. The stresses from being a surgeon take a toll on their bodies, too, notes Nichol, who practices yoga at home under the guidance of his physical therapist. After knowing everything they’re up against — sleepless nights, heartbreak, burnout and risk — why surgeons keep moving forward becomes an even larger question. When asked why he continues, Maloney puts it simply: “What else would I do?” The mastery of his craft pays him in immediate gratification. For many surgeons, that’s enough.
TEAR IT UP ACL injuries plague female soccer players By Megan Otto It was just another normal game day for 16-year-old defender Sammy Kleedtke. She pulled on her soccer jersey, laced up her cleats and slid in her shin guards before taking the field to play the game she loved. As a junior in high school, Kleedtke was a staple of her team’s defense and during her sophomore year had committed to play at UW-Madison. At one point in the game, Kleedtke was defending against a player who was dribbling the ball down the sideline toward the goal. Suddenly, her opponent cut inside to go to the goal, and Kleedtke turned with her, as any good defender should. As she turned inside, Kleedtke felt her knee crack, and she landed strangely on the ground. It was still cold out, as it was only April in Michigan, and Kleedtke later realized the crack was really a pop —
a telltale sign of a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, better known as the ACL. ***** Kleedtke’s story is like those of many other young female soccer players. Compared with their male counterparts, female athletes are 2 to 9 times more likely to tear their ACLs, according to a study published in the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine in 2013. Not only that, but involvement in high-risk activities, especially volleyball, basketball and soccer, increase the chances for a woman to tear her ACL. At the time Kleedtke tore her ACL, she was the first person on her team to do so. Now, she plays Division I soccer at UW-Madison, where a number of her current
From Left: Sammy Kleedtke, Natalie Jacobson and Claire Shea. All three athletes have recovered from ACL tears.
teammates have also torn their ACLs and gone through the same process as she has. The ACL is one of four ligaments located in the knee, and it’s responsible for stopping the shin bone, or the tibia, from sliding out from beneath the thigh bone, or the femur. For athletes, the ACL is crucial to movements such as stopping, pivoting, jumping and landing — all critical to the sport of soccer. When looking at ACL tears in sports, soccer is a standout. Because of the increase of ACL tears in soccer, female players are attuned to the signs and symptoms, namely a pop felt in the knee, followed by immediate pain and weakness in the knee. In the spring of 2015, Claire Shea, now a junior midfielder on the UW-Madison women’s soccer team, tore her ACL in a high school game. She vividly remembers the injury. “I knew, but everyone else kept saying, ‘You don’t know, wait until you get the MRI,’” Shea says. “And I was just like, ‘I know, I know. I know my body. I know the sport. I know what it is.’” Don Arnold, the varsity high school coach for men and women’s soccer at Grafton High School, located 30 minutes north of Milwaukee, says it’s never good to see a player go down, but what happens next is critical from a coach’s perspective. “If this is something that you want to get back to ... it’s going to take hard work. It’s nothing that you can just throw some ice on and be fine in two weeks,” Arnold says. For many players like Kleedtke and Shea, the process involves surgery and rehab. “A lot of times in orthopedics, we do what is called implant matching ... We’re designing custom surgeries based on the person’s lifestyle needs, their health and a whole other list of facts,” says Joseph Puccinelli, an orthopedic surgeon who works at Beaver Dam Community Hospital in Southeast Wisconsin. Kleedtke and Shea recall how physically and mentally tough the rehab process was. Loneliness and isolation are common feelings during this time, as rehab is often done one on one with a physical therapist or athletic trainer.
Lindsey Brinza, a UW-Madison athletic trainer, treats Shea’s knee.
“I’m not a person to show my emotions very much, and during those first couple months, I cried so much,” Kleedtke says. “It’s probably the saddest I’ve ever been.” Arnold suggests that one of the best ways to stay motivated is to continue coming to practice and doing exercises while the team plays, but sitting on the sidelines is never fun. “It’s hard for the athletes to always say how mentally taxing it is on them,” says Lindsey Brinza, an athletic trainer for women’s soccer at UW-Madison. “You’re not playing but still have to put in an hour to two hours a day of rehab, strength training and functional work.” ***** The passion for the sport and the desire to play again are the primary motivations for many players. Shea notes that while the team and coaches can be sources of encouragement, the dominant motivators are a personal love of the game and craving to play again. Shea believes you have to want it for yourself. From a coach’s perspective, Arnold says he always sees some hesitancy in that first game back. He adds that this fear usually continues until the player gets knocked down for the first time. Once they get back up and realize they’re OK, those feelings disappear. Female soccer players continue to play the game they love, regardless of the threat of injury. “You really can’t control whether or not it happens, so trying not to worry about it is honestly the best chance you have of not being nervous,” Shea says. “There’s a lot you can do for preventative work, but at some point, you just have to play the game.”
Shea defending against a Nebraska player during a home game in October 2018.
EIGHT WAYS TO RECOVER AFTER AN ANXIETY/PANIC ATTACK By Fatoumata Ceesay Illustrated by Maggie Roethle
Anxiety/panic attacks often come on in times of stress and emotional or physical pressures. Although the attacks themselves can be difficult to manage, it can be just as hard to find ways to feel better after an attack. Here are some tips for recovering — or just reducing your stress.
Anxiety/panic attacks affect your breathing, and you may feel lightheaded or have some chest pains. Once you feel your symptoms slowing down, start breathing deeply and purposefully. Breathe in and hold, and then breathe out slowly. It’ll help your body relax.
Changing your scenery can clear your headspace. If you’re inside, go outside for a new scene as well as a breath of fresh air. It may help you feel better.
Anxiety/panic attacks can make you worry or feel afraid. They may even bring on negative thoughts and self-blame. To combat that, engage in healthy thinking and positive mantras to enhance your mood.
You will probably feel drained, so make sure to get a short 30-minute nap to feel rested enough to continue your day.
You don’t have to tell your loved one what you went through, but they can provide moral support. Talking to someone you trust can make you feel better after your attack.
Relieve tension and stress in your body through activities like exercise, meditation or even getting a massage — all of these can help get you moving and engage your mind.
Mulling over your attack is not always the best idea for recovery. Try thinking of something that makes you excited — maybe a plan you may have for the future.
Having too much or not enough to do during the day can make you anxious, so having a full schedule can provide relief in an hour that may otherwise remain unfilled.
HOME IS WHERE THE ROAD IS By Berklee Klauck It has two seats in the front, four wheels and a view of the road ahead. For Benny Goldstein and Ari Beausoleil, their 2018 Ram ProMaster cargo van isn’t just a mode of transportation, it’s actually a 4,500-pound house on wheels, and there’s room for a kitchen, a bed and an adorable pup named Copper. Although dwindling down your possessions to the equivalent of a small suitcase, hitting the road for a nationwide adventure and leaving your comfort zone in the rear-view mirror is a terrifying feat, this duo is facing the unknown head on. The pair met in Appleton when Goldstein was touring as the drummer for a band at a music festival Beausoleil was attending. The two hit it off, and after Goldstein settled in Nashville, Beausoleil made the move down south to work in social media marketing, but soon realized that she wanted something more. “I just had a realization that there really wasn’t anything tying us down to Nashville other than our own minds, and I discovered van life just from Instagram,” Beausoleil says. “Instantly when I saw that, I was like, that’s what I’ve been looking for.” Beausoleil was immediately sold on the idea of this nontraditional style of living small and traveling. Goldstein was a little harder to convince. After touring with his band for almost three years and hopping from city to city, motel room to motel room, he was ready to leave his van days behind him, but Beausoleil saw the potential that this idea had. “A big part of it was seeing Ari need to do something different with her life, and I support her, and I know that feeling because it’s the feeling I had when I decided to join a band and start touring, like needing something different, not wanting to go stagnant,” Goldstein says. “I saw her feeling that and I was like well, if you’re feeling that then we’ve got to do something about it.” So, they got to work. ***** It’s a chilly, 45-degree October afternoon in Appleton as Goldstein, 30, and Beausoleil, 22, are working tirelessly to convert the Ari Beausoleil and Benny Goldstein in their new home on wheels.
van to hit the road before the cold Wisconsin weather arrives. But this isn’t their first rodeo with the van life. The van that they are currently working on is actually the second one they’ve converted. The first go ended at the junkyard after a head-on collision with another vehicle. This is one of many lows that occurred during the up-and-down roller coaster ride that was van No. 1. When Goldstein and Beausoleil picked up that first troublesome van, it actually broke down on the way home. The van needed a whole host of mechanical repairs — and this was all before the conversion had even started. “I took it in for an inspection, and I felt like we’re probably good, and they gave me back a sheet of things that the van needed, and it was over $2,000 worth of repairs,” Beausoleil says. “So, she bought a $2,000 van, then she put a $2,500 transmission in it, and then she got this quote saying you need to put $2,000 more into this van ... It was devastating, like her dreams got crushed for an afternoon,” Goldstein adds. That’s when Goldstein made the decision to be more involved. He transformed from musician to mechanic to help get the van ready. Goldstein would spend hours under the van, his hands covered in grease as he watched YouTube videos to learn how he could restore this van to its glory. “He wanted to help me achieve this dream,” Beausoleil says. After months of work, the duo and their pup were finally ready to take their van and hit the road. Beausoleil recalls a memory from their earliest days of van life. They needed a place to sleep for the night, and the only place that they knew of nearby was Walmart. “We’re in this s****y Walmart parking lot, and that kind of gave us a taste of the van life, because we were like, if we like this, imagine how we’re going to feel about being in the middle of the desert or something beautiful,” Beausoleil says. ***** Although there can be a lot of downs in the van life, Goldstein and Beausoleil look back on their troublesome time in the first van as a learning experience and a time for which they are grateful. The pair shared that one of the most special things that they gained from their first van was the relationships they reflected there. In every corner of the van was something that a friend helped them build, and they could sense the love in the thing that they created, even if it felt like an unsteady journey to get there. “I decided to put the mattress in, so I could see what everything would look like, and Copper jumped up on the
mattress, and he looked out the window like he had been doing it for years, and I just started sobbing,” Beausoleil says. “I just thought it was so amazing that we got to that place, it felt like we were never going to get there at some points.” Beausoleil and Goldstein are now just taking their van life experience day by day. The pair have established reliable means of income; Beausoleil works remotely in social media marketing, and Goldstein got a job writing quotes for Beausoleil’s dad’s small business. They spent months working the first time around to create the perfect home to live in on this adventure, and when they look to the future, they let the universe take control. There’s no one-, fiveor 10-year plan for the pair. Instead, they’re just enjoying the ride. With the first van, their initial plan was to live in it for a year and see how they liked the van life, then the accident derailed their plan. The pair ended up where they are now,
Beausoleil and Goldstein relax inside their van with their dog Copper.
living at Beausoleil’s parents house to build their new van, but they see the light at the end of the tunnel. “Even though some really traumatic, scary events brought us here, we’ve talked about how we just feel like we’re better off now. This is better than our plan,” Beausoleil says. “Honestly, these days I’m trying to be much more aware of where I am right now, not where I was five minutes ago or where I think I’m going to be five minutes from now,” Goldstein adds. As society is moving toward a trend of being minimalistic, Beausoleil attributes a point of her happiness to the ability to worry about only a few possessions. “I really liked how it felt to finally get my wardrobe down to something that fits into a backpack. I don’t have to waste my morning thinking about what I’m going to wear. I felt like I was just making such better use of my time,” Beausoleil says.
“I think of it sort of in the same way I think about veganism actually, which is that a lot of people from the outside see it as something that’s highly restrictive, and from my experience those restrictions actually afford you such a wide range of experiences that you never, ever would have had without imposing those restrictions,” Goldstein adds. As Goldstein and Beausoleil gear up to create their lines on the map, they are showing that taking risks is not something to be fearful of, and the van life is not all that you’d expect. “I feel like there’s this perception of van life, and people really want to know where do you go to the bathroom and how do you shower, and it’s all about life inside the van,” Goldstein says. “And really, van life is about life outside the van.”
5115 Vilas Hall 821 University Ave. Madison, Wisconsin 53706 Curb is produced and published every fall by a class of UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication students, and complimentary copies are distributed to thousands of alumni.
Every year the students in Curb magazine start the semester with nothing but a creative idea and end it with this magazine in your mailbox. Along the way, they get hands-on experience, which for art director Maggie Roethle and photographer Emilie Enke meant staging a photo shoot. By this time next year, the Curb staff will be working at top media companies around the world, drawing on what they learned at UW-Madison and the work ethic they developed here. Your donation to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication supports these kinds of cutting-edge, activelearning experiences, making the Wisconsin Idea possible in Curb and throughout the school. Make a gift today at supportuw.org/giveto/sjmc
The 17th edition of Curb explores how uncertainty throughout the state of Wisconsin can push us to take risks and have courage. As reporters...
Published on Dec 5, 2018
The 17th edition of Curb explores how uncertainty throughout the state of Wisconsin can push us to take risks and have courage. As reporters...