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OHIO STATE’S MEGA N HOLSTEIN IS DESIGNING SOF T WA R E TH AT ’S Meet the College Champions of the FastestR EDEF I N I NG AU T ISM pg.46 Growing Sport in America—CRICKET pg.40



pg. 20

Pop Star and Stanford Student pg.34


pg. 16

Student Immigration



After being arrested and nearly unlawfully deported, Southwest School of Art student Josue Romero has become a symbol of community resistance. pg.28


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CRICKET: THE OTHER MARCH MADNESS PAGE 40 Three members of the Ryerson cricket team discuss being the face of the fastest-growing spor t in America


T HE TA B L E OF C ON T E N T S M AY 2 0 17 • S T U DY B R E A K S . C O M




In one Clemson



professor’s class, your

The biggest news from

Ever had a beer? How

ex tra credit assignment

colleges across the country

about pizza? If so, you

might end up tattooed on

By Mig uel Roble s

might have a Fermentation

his body

Science major to thank

By Va la r ie K iel

By K ayla K ibbe








The Michigan State Water

Under Trump’s newly

Ski Club sticks to the races

proposed budget, the

and the lakes that they’re

neediest students will suffer

used to

the most

By Gw y n n Lyon s

By Jonat ha n K i m

THE FACE OF S T UDENT IMMIGR ATION Photography by Vincent Gonzalez


EXTR A CREDIT PAGE 46 While other high schoolers


were getting their first

With these sexy, tasty,

jobs, Megan Holstein was

yogurt pops, you get

writing medical software

breakfast and a view

for autistic children

By Tyla h Si lva

By L i nd say Biondy



How could you ever hope to repay your mom for giving you the gift of life? Let’s start with a phone call By Liam Chan Hodges


BYU student and aspiring graphic designer Jade Carver talks channeling her inner Al Hirschfeld By Maddie Ngo

THE FACE OF STUDENT IMMIGR ATION PAGE 28 nearly unlawfully deported,


Southwest School of Art


student Josue Romero

The University of

has become a symbol of

Houston’s Winni Zhang

community resistance

refuses to name her

By K ayla K ibbe

favorite restaurant

After being arrested and


// MAY 2017





SHADES OF GREY PAGE 34 Nascent pop-star and Stanford student Taylor Grey talks fame and finals


MAY 2017 //



student writers Study Breaks is written exclusively by a team of student interns from across the country. These writers work with the editorial team to pitch and submit one piece a week for the website, in addition to writing for the monthly print magazine.






Stanford University

Texas State University

University of Pittsburgh



English Writing & Legal Studies

Group Work

Office Hours

Extra Credit









UC Denver

Emerson College

University of Florida

English & Journalism

Writing, Literature and Publishing

English & Economics

Around Campus

The Meal Plan

Student Exhibition








University of Texas at Dallas


Connecticut College

University of Central Florida


Franklin and Marshall College


Technical Communications

Student Issues


The Face of Student Immigration

Shades of Grey



& What’s Your Major?




Summer internships run from May 28th to September 28th, and applications close May 14th. If interested, email editorial@ with “Student Writing Internship” in the Subject. Introduce yourself in the body, making sure to include your name, school and major. Please attach at least two samples of your work. Ideal writers are intelligent, funny and talented, though no formal experience is necessary.


// MAY 2017




Middle Tennessee State University





Michigan State University

Cricket: The Other March Madness

Student Exhibition Photography

Computer Science



Group Work Photography PAGE 14








San Antonio College


Industrial Engineering


Human Biology

Office Hours Photography

The Face of Immigration

Shades of Grey Photography










Ryerson University

Ohio State

Houston Community College



Print Journalism

Cricket: The Other March Madness

Extra Credit Photography

Meet the President Photography





PRODUCTION: SHWEIKI MEDIA Study Breaks magazine is published twelve times per year by Shweiki Media, Inc. copyright 2012. All rights reserved. This magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented without written permission from the publisher. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents of this magazine or of the trademarks of Study Breaks Magazine, Inc., without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for care and return of unsolicited materials. Return postage must accompany material if it is to be returned. In no event shall such material subject this magazine to any claim for holding fees or similar charges. Study Breaks Magazine is an entertainment magazine for the students of San Antonio, San Marcos, Austin and Lubbock, published 12 times a year. CORPORATE OFFICE: STUDY BREAKS MAGAZINE INC., 4954 SPACE CENTER DR., SAN ANTONIO, TX 78218 • CONTACT STUDY BREAKS: EDITORIAL: MARK STENBERG, 210-705-3284 ED I TO R I A L@ S T U DY B R E A K S . COM • STUDY BREAKS MAGAZINE IS EXCITED TO HELP YOUR BRAND REACH OUR AUDIENCE THROUGH VIDEO AND WRITTEN CONTENT. SALES: RALPH CHAPLIN, 210-892-0951 /// CONTACT@ STUDYBREAKS.COM


MAY 2017 //



a year in reflection

year ago at this time, when the magazine was still coming into itself and we were all figuring out how to structure a student-written, national publication, we decided to treat the May issue like a yearbook. We devoted two features to chronicling some of the major events of the previous semesters, and we turned them into a “Senior Superlatives” feature and a “Most Memorable Moments” list. On the cover of the magazine was a vintage photo of Donald Trump that we faux-vandalized with thick-rimmed glasses and horns, back then never imagining that we were doodling on the visage of a future president. I was at a bar in San Antonio recently, Viva Tacoland if you are familiar with the area, and I noticed that one of the bartenders had taped up the cover of last year’s May issue onto the wall behind the bar. I looked at it, and, like one of those movie scenes where the protagonist is struck by a f lashback, I was drawn back a year, back to when we were planning that issue, back to when we were laughing at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency. Now, so much has changed since then that it’s nearly unimaginable. And while it’s tempting to go on another political diatribe, rambling about the current state of affairs and how despondent everything seems, there’s plenty of that already, and, more importantly, the photo actually made me more optimistic than anything else. First, seeing the cover meant that the bartenders at Tacoland were familiar with “Study Breaks,” which I hoped I might be able to parlay into free drinks (I wasn’t).



// MAY 2017

But second, the thought of just how much had changed in a year was frightening, but also oddly comforting. Last May, the thought of electing Donald Trump seemed unfathomable, but here we are. Imagine, then, where we could be a year from now. The idea is not necessarily that a brighter future awaits, but that it could. Even though it seems like all the momentum is going the wrong way, it can all change in a year. With enough effort from enough people, we could be in an entirely different place next May. So, as you head into the summer, enjoy your time off and rest up, because when you get back, there’s work to be done. As always, thanks for reading,



MAY 2017 //






According to Timothy DesJarlais, a Political Science major at the University of Arizona, the fact that local politicians work to discourage the college vote shows exactly why it is so important. If you think voting in the town where you go to college, especially if you’re only a temporary resident there, is unimportant, then you need to read this article.



American Profile

Why Local Elections Matter, Especially for College Students

ONLINE CLASSES This month on the website, learn how to: Pretend to be a talented public speaker // Fix the gender wage gap // Prove scientifically that you need a pet // Convince your professor that attendance policies are arcane // Give Alex Trebek the bird // Understand that white privilege isn’t an insult // Put the nail in the coffin of student radio // Not be Tim Allen


// MAY 2017

SPOTLIGHT My Spring Break in Cuba Jessie Yang, a Universit y of Hong Kong student studying abroad at UC Santa Barbara, has provided a fascinating international perspec tive with all her writing, but no ar ticle was more interesting than her reflec tions on spending a week in Cuba. Yang and her travel companions, several of whom are Chinese, discuss the complex relationship bet ween communist China and Cuba, t wo countries that share lit tle in common apar t from their politics.

ONE-LINERS “The reallocation of funds reflects the Trump

“If you call him a ‘playa,’ however, you’ll probably

administration’s philosophy that ‘innovation’ more

get one of those weird hand slap and half hug

aptly applies to finding ways to block out Mexicans

things that men do in greeting. (Seriously, just hug.

than to developing novel treatments for diseases.”

We know you’re not gay.)”

Jonathan Kim, UT Dallas

Tylah Silva, Emerson College

Donald Trump’s War on Science

What’s the Difference Between Slang and AAVE?

“Some players are simply an injury waiting to

“The sun is always shining, the water always

“To put it in baseball terms, we thought it was

happen (cough—Derrick Rose—cough).”

glistening, the booty always jiggling.”

more than third base, but less than a home run.”

Miguel Robles, UC Denver

Flavia Martinez, Amherst College

Lindsay Biondy, University of Pittsburgh

Preventative Resting Is Ruining the NBA

Are the Big Booty Models of Instagram Erotic

Why Abstinence-only Education Failed Me

or Empowering? STUDYBREAKS.COM

MAY 2017 //



JADE CARVER By Madeleine Ngo, Universit y of Florida Photography by Alora Gubler, BYU

JADE CARVER is a freshman at Brigham Young University currently on the Graphic Design track. ¶ Carver is especially interested in contemporary, abstract pieces ranging from vivid acrylic paintings to intricate ink drawings. Carver’s work was recently featured in the Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center at BYU for the Student Foundations Art Show. ¶ She hopes to pursue a future career as a freelance graphic designer, specializing in either designing poster and book covers or contributing to humanitarian work. MADELEINE NGO: What inspired you to take on ar t? JADE CARVER: I’ve always loved ar t, but I didn’t ever think I would pursue it. I probably never would have if it wasn’t for the passionate encouragement I received from the people in my life. I think from a young age I could see that I had some potential, but it never would’ve grown if I hadn’t been suppor ted in my ef for t s. My ar t teacher in elementar y school really pushed me to always create and not pay too much at tention to how per fec tly ever y thing turned out. My parent s always loved it when my siblings and I were creative, and I think growing up in a household that promoted creativit y really


// FEBRUARY 2017

helped. O ther than that, I jus t like ar t. There’s no other feeling like looking at a pleasing piece of ar t, whether it ’s a famous painting or the packaging of a granola box. MN: What is your ar t-making process like? JC: I like to have a set idea for a piece before I s tar t it. I rarely STUDYBREAKS.COM

ever jump into a projec t without planning out the composition or details. Typically I have an idea occur to me and I think, “ Yeah, this would look good,” and I s tar t with that pic ture in my mind. Normally it doesn’t turn out exac tly like what I envisioned, but that ’s a par t of the entire process. It ’s hard to find

time to make ar t for myself, but if I have an idea of something that I really want to create, I find the time. I can’t get an idea out of my head unless I ac tually make it happen. MN: What is your favorite medium? JC: It depends on what t ype of mood I’m in; if I want to work

with something I’m confident in, I like to use pencil, charcoal or pastels since those are the mediums I’m mos t experienced with. If I’m feeling experimental, I branch out and work with paint s and inks—mediums that are more permanent. Especially with ink, I jus t have to jus t go for it and not worr y too much MAY 2017 //


about ever y thing being exac tly how I pic tured it. MN: Where do you draw inspiration from? JC: I draw inspiration from a variet y of places. When I see success ful ar tis t s’ work, I’m inspired by their methods and I tr y to emulate them in my own work. My peers are also


// MAY 2017

a huge source of inspiration for me. When I see the incredible pieces my classmates make, it motivates me to be bet ter and tr y to see things from a new perspec tive. MN: What is your favorite subjec t to paint or draw? JC: I used to draw a lot of realis tic por trait s and s till lifes,

but recently my tas tes have changed, and now I like doing more abs trac t and non-objective ar t. I think it ’s because of the freedom it of fers. I feel liberated to express what I’m thinking of through color, tex ture and composition. MN: Do you have a favorite piece you’ve made

recently? JC: If I had to pick, I would probably choose my final projec t for a composition class I took las t semes ter. We made eight small pieces relating to any thing we wanted. I chose to make abs trac t “illus trations” of scenes from one of my favorite books, “ The Awakening” by

Kate Chopin. It was a really exciting projec t since I was able to por tray the emotions and moods I perceived from cer tain scenes of the novel. MN: Who are your favorite ar tis t s? JC: Al Hirschfeld of f the top of my head, but I also love some of the classic s like Van Gogh and Monet. Hirschfeld is an ar tis t my professor recently introduced me to —he was an illus trator that did mos tly caricatures of celebrities and people in his life. I love his work because it ’s dramatic, yet minimal. He used lines in a precise way that s till had a sense of f low and movement to it. His work is so beautiful, and looking at it is like a playground for the eyes. MN: What do you love about ar t? JC: I love the versatilit y of it. Ar t can mean something dif ferent to ever yone, and no single interpretation or creation is right. I’m always captivated by ar tis t s’ use of color; when I see a piece with a beautiful STUDYBREAKS.COM

color palet te that works well with all of the other element s, I’m in awe. MN: What ar t classes have you enjoyed mos t? JC: My composition class is probably the one I liked the most. All the work we did in it was non-objective and focused on color and composition. It allowed me to

test new methods and mediums that I had been wanting to try for a long time, but had been too scared to do before. MN: How has Brigham Young helped you pursue ar t? J C : BY U requires you to t ake mul t iple foun da t ion c las s es before appl y ing to a spec i f ic major. T hes e

c las s es span a wide var ie t y of ar t “genres,” f rom design and composi t ion, to s t ill li fe and f ig ure dr awing. By t ak ing t hes e di fferent c las s es, I ’ve been able to dis cover wha t I love bes t and wha t I could im prove on in t he f u t ure, as well as de t ails abou t t he di f ferent pa t hs I could t ake. MN: What are

your future plans? JC: I plan to apply for the Graphic Design program in the next month. I hope to take the skills I learn and eventually become a freelance graphic designer. As of right now, I’m most interested in print mediums like designing poster or book covers. Another field that interests me is hu-

manitarian design. It’s a really diverse field—it covers all aspects of humanitarian work, but allows artists to practice working with new skill sets, while basing their designs off of the basic principles of design. I think it would be an amazing opportunity to have the freedom to make ar t work I love and that hopefully resonates with others. MAY 2017 //



The Slippery Slopes For members of Michigan State’s Water Ski Club, the hardest part is picking a lake. By Gwynn Lyons, Stanford University Photography by Andrew Wayne Schafer, Michigan State University

Alex Clark Jessica Carr

T H E ST U DY BR E A K S DO S SI ER GROUP: Water Ski Club COLLEGE: Michigan State Universit y NUMBER OF MEMBERS: 22 FOUNDED IN: 1982 ADVISOR: Scot t Thomas PRESIDENT: Jessica Carr COMPETITION EVENTS: Slalom, Trick and Jump


// MAY 2017

or members of the Michigan State Water Ski Club, waterskiing is life. The club consists of skilled and novice waterskiers whose love for the sport propelled them to the top three in Midwest Regionals and earned them a spot at Nationals this year. The club competes in three events: slalom, trick and jump. In slalom, competitors ski on one ski around buoys for as long as they can, while the boat speed increases and rope length decreases. In trick, they perform stunts such as 180s. In jump, they try to cover as much distance as possible while airborne. Jump is the most dangerous out of the three events, says President of the Michigan State Water Ski Club Jessica Carr. Even though skiers wear helmets and padded suits, they can still get injured. Carr once split her face open during a failed jump, but loves the sport despite its risks. “I’ve fallen very hard for water skiing,” she says. Waterskiing is a common recreational activity for natives of Michigan, a state whose more than 11,000 lakes provide opportunities for them to do water sports practically in their own backyards. The men’s captain of the Water Ski Club, Alex Clark, first started waterskiing as a child. “My family has always had a passion for water skiing. Our summers were spent on the water, so it was really a way of life,” he says. “When I got to MSU, I joined the team on a whim since I had never competed. Since then, my passion for the sport has only grown.” One of the club’s greatest appeals is its camaraderie. “There is no greater feeling than skiing a


personal best and having your entire team sprint down the lake to be there when you get to shore,” Clark says. “It’s so rewarding to have all of your closest friends so genuinely excited when your hard work pays off.” Many members who come to the team with no experience learn from older members. Team members in the same major help each other with schoolwork when the team has to take time off school to travel. The Water Ski Club’s sportsmanship got it recognized in 2015 at Nationals, where it received the Spirit Award. “We were out there in green and white, yelling for each other,” Carr says. “The Spirit Award showed how much we love skiing and MSU.” In order to sustain its success, the Water Ski Club has had to face several challenges, including money issues. The group does not receive sufficient funding from the university and alumni to cover its costs, so members have to pay out of pocket. According to Carr, this year the team needed money for a new boat but was unable to afford it. Money “causes a lot of chaos,” Carr says, adding that she contributed $1,500 to the team last year. Another issue is the time commitment during competition in the fall. Carr says it is difficult to recruit freshmen, because they are often wary about spending most of their time with a group they just joined. Once they are recruited, they often experience great growth on the team. Next year, Clark hopes this growth will enable the Water Ski Club to capture first place at Midwest Regionals. “Above all else, we hope to keep the passion for water skiing on a high at Michigan State,” he says.



// MAY 2017

Extra Credit Ink At Clemson University, professor Dylan Dittrich-Reed gives extra credit for coursework-related tattoo designs. By Valarie Kiel, Texas State University Photography by Jaquanas Grant, Clemson University


s the semester comes to an end, and students scramble around preparing for finals, there are two words that every desperate undergrad is dying to hear—extra credit. ¶ A biology professor at Clemson University, Dylan Dittrich-Reed, takes a different spin on extra credit. In his classes, students can submit creative projects for an end-of-semester boost to their GPA, including everything from poetry and paintings, to a slightly crazier option—tattoo sketches. Even more unbelievable? If he really likes them, Dittrich-Reed turns the sketches into bona fide body art. What inspired you to create this extra credit? It seems to me that more and more undergraduates at research institutions are rewarded for specializing and narrowing their field of study early. The goal of many students is to choose courses that will help them get into graduate and professional schools, rather than those that expand academic horizons and develop breadth of knowledge. Science isn’t only about knowing all the right concepts and content; it also involves creativity. I wanted to encourage and reward creativity and artistic talent in students who might not otherwise choose courses that would. When I was an undergrad at UC Davis, I took an introductory anthropology class. My favorite part of that class was having the opportunity to work on a creativewriting assignment in which we used fiction to discuss topics that we had learned in the class. I want to give my students a similar positive experience blending art and science. You teach introductory biology courses. Does the extra credit option correlate with the material you teach to your students? The instructions for the creative art project are simple: Use art to express any concept that we discuss during the semester. I don’t allow models, diorama or labeled figures. It’s okay if their work for this project isn’t completely accurate. The goal is for them to take what they have learned, and show me what it means for them in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Are tattoos sketches the only form of extra credit you allow? Students do not have to only submit tattoo designs. They can submit more traditional visual arts, like paintings, drawings or sculpture. I also have accepted fiction, poetry, board games, video games and song lyrics. The categories have changed from semester to semester. I think a lot of people would be hesitant to get a tattoo from an extra credit project on their body. What made you do it? Tattoos can be simultaneously a very personal and public form of expression. Tattoos tell a story or store a memory that only the wearer knows. At the same time, they are interesting and beautiful and evoke emotions from others. They start conversations and initiate connections. How often do you give out the extra credit, and what are the qualifications? The introductory biology class that I teach is called Principles of Biology, and it is essentially a yearlong course broken up into two semester-long courses. I offer some kind of extra credit each semester, which sometimes is taking surveys or participating in research. I offer creative-project extra-credit opportunities at least once per year, either the fall or spring. I think the spring semester is better, because by then we’ve covered the full range of introductory biology topics. What has been your favorite tattoo and story behind it? At this point, I’ve only been able to offer the tattoo design category one

semester, so most of my tattoos are personal and not student designed. It took me over a year to actually get the winning tattoo from fall 2014. That tattoo is a jellyfish with DNA double helices for oral arms. The design shows that DNA is integral to all living things; it is the library of life, and we are all just expressions of the information coded in our DNA. The oral arms are structures that are necessary for the survival and sexual reproduction of many jellyfish, so it is fitting that these structures be visually represented by the molecular information used to make them, and that they help to propagate. Jellyfish are also naturally beautiful animals, so it is also a stunning image. How do you choose who will be the winner? The winning submission must be something I’m willing to put permanently on my body, so I have to find it attractive. I tell my students that the tattoo category is especially subjective. It also must be convertible to a quality tattoo, which typically means simpler shapes with cleaner lines. If a design doesn’t meet these specifications, then I will still consider it for a prize in the visual arts category. Additionally, the design must include an explanation of how it expresses a biological concept. I ask students to interpret their work for me. A compelling explanation is important, because it provides meaning for the image.

T H E C .V. NAME: Dylan Dit trich-Reed COLLEGE: Clemson Universit y CL ASSES TAUGHT: Introduc tor y Biology NUMBER OF TATTOOS: 6 FAVORITE TATTOO: Daughter’s drawing of a zombie


MAY 2017 //



Around Campus The biggest news from colleges across the country. By Miguel Robles, University of Colorado Denver

THE SPOTLIGHT: MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky Warns of Trump’s Climate Change Denial

n March 16, the Trump administration released its first proposed federal budget. To the worry of many, the plan called for widespread cuts across the board, as well as the hamstringing of the Environmental Protection Agency. Political activist and professor Noam Chomsky spoke at a Starr Forum series at MIT about the controversy, using harsh rhetoric to describe the administration’s reversal of climate change progress. He characterized the U.S. as celebrating destruction, forcing the rest of the world to deal with our existential crisis.



QUOTE OF THE MONTH The Sleeper Hold Liber t y Universit y wrestler Josh Ferenczy finished his prestigious career with a showdown in the National Championship of the NCWA Grand National Tournament. Not only did he secure the national title in his 175-pound division over a previously unbeaten opponent, he topped it of f with a proposal to his now-fiancée Riana Turner.


// MAY 2017

Building Bridges Mines Without Borders, a program at the Colorado School of Mines that par tners with international communities to implement sustainable engineering projec ts, built a bridge in Nicaragua. The struc ture, located in a communit y where technology is limited, provides a pragmatic tool for locals while of fering invaluable experience to the nex t generation of engineers.

“And meanwhile, the United States, virtually alone, is racing towards destruction with enthusiasm and dedication.” - Noam Chomsky

Image via Washington Post

Colorado Public Radio

THE BUZZ Too Lit About a third of the resident advisors at California State University, Chico were fired after attending an off-campus party where minors were drinking. Off the Hook Suspended University of North Carolina linebacker Allen Artis, who was accused of sexual assault in March 2016, has been cleared by UNC officials of all violations. Virtual Anatomy UCLA neurosurgeons are using virtual-reality goggles and remotes to act as surgical tools to practice brain surgery. The Bitter Truth University of Colorado Denver student Amal Kassir, a Syrian-American, addressed an audience at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C., where she described the gas attack and air raids that killed ten of her relatives.

2014 Branch San Antonio Express-News

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS IN MEMORIAM The Abilene Christian Universit y Students’ Association Congress funded memorial plaques for t wo students who died last semester. UNDER THE RUG A recent Universit y of Texas San Antonio study found that 75 percent of sexual misconduc t incidents amongst UTSA students were unrepor ted. TAKE A HIKE The Amarillo College board of regents have voted to raise tuition and fees, following an anticipated $1.5 million cut to funding. ICE, ICE, BABY A statewide hiring freeze announced by Texas Governor Greg Abbot back in Januar y has lef t over 35 vacant positions at the Universit y of Texas at Dallas. THE GOLDEN SNITCH Baylor Universit y is headed to the U.S. Quidditch Cup, a single-loss elimination tournament of the top 60 Quidditch programs across the U.S. BEST OF THE BEST Texas Tech has been named one of the 100 best public colleges in the countr y. T TU ranked 93rd out of a total 499 institutions in the “Business First ” list.


MAY 2017 //



Let Them Attend Community College Under Trump’s proposed budget, financial aid for the neediest students would be gouged, further widening the education gap by class. By Jonathan Kim, University of Texas at Dallas s college education a privilege or a right? With the widening gap between the rich and poor, and the failure of higher education to resist, or even properly address, the dynamic swelling in income inequality, the reality is that postsecondary education, especially as recently endorsed by Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, is increasingly becoming a privilege for the moneyed few, and not a right universal. In fact, some analysts call higher education an “engine of inequality,” and for clear reasons. In 2012, 81 percent of 18-24-year-olds from the top income quartile entered post-secondary education, while only 45 percent of those from the bottom quartile did. In 2013, high-income students were eight times more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree than those of low-income. The gap in these numbers shows no sign of closing anytime soon. And, considering that the aggregate student-loan debt in America tops at $1.2 trillion, a figure that is actually growing at a rate faster than almost all other goods and services, more students are working jobs and relying on outside funding, many of which are grants from the state and federal government. Such governmental aids make possible for most students, particularly those of low income, to attend college. In 2015, 52 percent, or more than half, of all students were eligible for the Pell grant, which has now, forty years later, become the most popular form of all federal funding. But Pell grant recipients, who are mostly of low income, haven’t a fairer chance to attend a pricier college; they are more likely, primarily for financial reasons, to attend community and for-profit colleges rather than a four-year private college. According to the “Postsecondary Education Opportunity,” in 1980, around 60 percent of Pell grant recipients enrolled in four-year colleges; in 2011, that number shrank to 40 percent. During the same time period, the number of Pell grant recipients in community colleges rose by 2.7 million. These are statistical facts, not half-truths or strategic



// MAY 2017

falsehoods or what Trump prefers to call “truthful hyperboles.” But these same facts also ref lect the reality of higher education as a realm whose access depends on affordability, and further cement the view in the minds of today’s youth that college education is not a right for all, but a privilege to those who can afford it. And, as a long-standing force against the inegalitarian view of education, the federal government, in most of its political shadings, has traditionally seen its duty as helping all students pursue a postsecondary education if they so choose. Unfortunately, with Trump and his crusading secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, in office, such a tradition may begin to wane. Trump’s 2018 budget plan, which was released in March 2017, proposes to gut funding for 62 federal agencies, including the Department of Education, whose discretionary budget could drop by 13 percent, or $9 billion. The plan, if Congress votes in October to unamend the proposed allowance for the department, will slash funding for over 20 programs in higher education, including the Federal Work-Study Program, whose budget would be reduced “significantly,” while outrightly eliminating other programs like the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, which provides up to $4,000 for college students in financial need. The budget doesn’t recognize that these two programs, though small, are the saving graces for many students who are the most financially needy. As for the Pell grant, the plan wouldn’t immediately affect its funding, but proposes a “cancellation of $3.9 billion from unobligated carryover funding.” To put this number into perspective, $3.9 billion is enough to fund Pell grants for every student from Texas to North Carolina for a year. Once the $3.9 billion is removed from Pell funding, how many more students, especially with the projected rise in college costs, will be deprived of a college education? The plan, by slashing programs that were designed specifically for low-income students, endorses the elitist view that college education is meant for a privileged few. It threatens the programs on which most, especially the poorest, of low-income students rely; because of governmental aid, like the Pell grant and smaller programs, many low-income students have, at least, the chance of attending college. But now, the ensuing Trump reign seems to endanger even that chance. Income disparity undoubtedly marks, or rather scars, the byzantine realm of higher education, and Trump’s budget proposal only promises to solidify that disparity. Fortunately, the proposal has hope for change before the new fiscal year begins. Both high school and college students can take action and urge their representative to reconsider Trump’s plan with the needs of low-income students in mind. Only through civil involvement, perhaps, can the youth of tomorrow’s America begin to hope that college education might one day be accessible to all students, regardless of the size of their family’s purse.

TRUMP’S 2018 BUDGET PLAN, which was released in March 2017, proposes to gut funding for 62 federal agencies, including the Department of Education, whose discretionary budget could drop by 13 percent, or $9 billion.

Darcy cartoon |


MAY 2017 //



This Month, We’re Studying:

Fermentation Sciences By Kayla Kibbe, Connecticut College ringing new meaning to “majoring in booze,” Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, offers an undergraduate major in Fermentation Sciences. Students pursuing the boozy B.S. degree prepare to enter into the burgeoning industry surrounding North Carolina’s wide array of wineries, breweries and distilleries through a multidisciplinary program that incorporates a foundation in chemistry and biology, with a concentration in business and entrepreneurial studies. Bottoms up.



Average Salary




MYTH: Fermentation majors are heavy drinkers. TRUTH: This one may be true. But it’s college, even the Theology majors are heavy drinkers.

BREWING AND WINE PRODUCTION Fermentation grads are prime candidates for employment in the nation’s growing number of breweries and wineries, graduating ready to turn water into wine. Or, you know, grapes into wine.

MYTH: Majoring in booze makes you the life of the party. TRUTH: Just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s not science. Technically, these students are STEM majors, and they’re science nerds at heart.

SOMMELIER Professional wine taster. A title many dedicated winos will claim, but few have a degree to prove.

DISTILLATION TECHNOLOGIES Major s who tire of the same old grapes and barley also graduate with the skills and experience neces sar y to hop on over to Jack Daniels, if they please.



MYTH: Okay, but it’s just a soft science. TRUTH: The science may be soft, but the liquor is always hard.

“Lol yeah man I’m majoring in booze too.” /// “Does going to the bar count as outside research?” /// “In your exper t opinion, which is the best flavor of Gatorade to mix with vodka?” /// “If my major were alcohol, I’d have a full-year internship right now.”

The indigenous peoples of Brazil made beer from maize, using a unique process in which the starting material was first chewed so enzymes in human saliva could aid in fermentation. Today, the drink is known as “cauim” and is still prepared in some communities, but probably won’t be on the syllabus.

MYTH: You could just take bartending courses instead. TRUTH: There’s a little more to it than mixing cocktails.


MYTH: Fermentation is all about booze. TRUTH: The same process that brought you wine and beer is also responsible for familyfriendly favorites like cheese, bread and pepperoni. Without fermentation, there is no pizza.

VITICULTURE Nope, not a new sexuality or ethnic group, just the cultivation of grapes for wine. Don’t worry, you’re still #woke. CICERONE Is to beer as sommeli-


// MAY 2017

er is to wine. Because beer too can f low in elite circles outside of frat parties and kegs. MOONSHINE What it’s called when you make alcohol before you have a degree in it.

HANGOVER Still not an acceptable excuse to skip class even when beer is your homework. PROHIBITION The biggest market threat to fermenta-

tion grads. CR AFT BEER Made the old-fashioned way by a small brewery, and, most importantly, is cooler than your roommate’s Bud Light. Fabrice Sommier 5

Let us take care of all your printing needs Maga zines C at alogs Pos tc ards C alendar s & Broc hures

4954 Space Center Dr., San Antonio, TX 210.804.0390


Make Your Breakfast Pop For hungr y students in a hurr y, freeze yogur t into go-gur t for a cute, quick breakfast. By Tylah Silva, Emerson College his time of year, all students are in one of two places. Either you’re pre-finals, crossing your fingers for smooth essays and simple multiple-choice questions, or you’re post-finals, staring down the the hazy abyss that is summer vacation. If the later scenario sounds better, be warned: The days of spending all break in your pajamas are numbered, as your parents will be breathing down your neck to go back to work. No matter where you are in May, everyone’s feeling that bittersweet stress. The success of the month is going to hinge on a positive attitude and an aptly fueled body. There isn’t much your meal can do for you about your sleep schedule, but feeling good about yourself and having the energy to keep forging ahead mostly have to do with what you eat—and when you eat it. Yeah, bud, we’re talking about breakfast. You’re probably used to skipping the most important meal of the day in exchange for a couple minutes of sleep. But, if you want to focus during that exam or job interview, you’re going to need to take an extra second to take care of your body. Luckily for you, with this meal plan, one extra second is all it’s going to take to plan ahead. With these breakfast yogurt popsicles, you can prepare yourself a week’s worth of on-the-go breakfast meals. The best part is, the actual prep time is only five minutes—minus the couple of hours those pops need to spend in the freezer. These bad boys are also hella versatile too. The recipe calls for chopped fruits and granola, but it’s possible to throw in cereal, sprinkles or mini marshmallows. Make it as sweet or nutritious as you want. For a boost of energy, try using power foods like kiwi or kale— or kiwi and kale for the adventurous type. Since Greek yogurt is bit of an acquired taste though, and not everyone’s palate has matured beyond the sugary sweet salad days of the nineties, feel free to go ahead and use regular yogurt if you want. Plus, with the different colored and f lavored regular yogurts out there, your pops are going to look super trendy. Because it only takes one hand to manage, feel free to consume your go-gurt while driving the car or gripping a hand-rail on the subway. And, for the lucky few who find themselves under the summer sun and not in a classroom, this frosty treat will hit the right spot and keep you cool. Aside from how tasty and handy these yogurt pops are—like, how freaking cute are they? Basic chicks are going to Instagram their expensive ombre Starbucks drinks, but you’re going to take a cute-ass selfie with your strawberry and Fruity Pebbles yogurt popsicle. Bask in the likes from your peers as you remember that you also saved four bucks on making your own weekly treat. Yeah, Becky, take that.



// MAY 2017

EASY BREAKFAST YOGURT POPSICLES YIELD: 6-8 popsicles PREP TIME: 5 minutes TOTAL TIME: 4 hours INGREDIENTS: 1 Cup Greek Yogurt 1/2 Cup Milk 2 tsp Honey 1/2 Cup Granola 1 Cup Berries/Chopped Fruits


DIRECTIONS: 1. Mix together the milk, yogurt and 1 tsp of the honey. 2. Divide the mixture between your popsicle molds. 3. Place a few berries into each mold. 4. Mix the last teaspoon of honey with the granola (heat the honey in the microwave for 10 seconds if you are struggling to mix it) and top the yogurt with a little granola mixture. 5. Place a wooden ice cream stick into each mold and place the popsicles into the freezer for at least 4 hours before consuming. 6. To remove the popsicles, run the mold under a little hot water until they come loose.

MAY 2017 //




#MothersDayHacks She created you, and all you have to do in return is thank her once a year. Try not to screw it up. BY LIAM CHAN HODGES, FR ANKLIN AND MARSHALL COLLEGE

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s finals season. You’re stressed, you’re panicking and you’re in all sorts of pain. I feel for you, I really do. But guess what else hurts? Motherfucking child birth. ¶ That’s right, nerds, toss your books and break your pencils, because I’m about to teach you how to honor the woman who brought you into this world. After all, why pass tests when you can ace Mother’s Day instead?



Whether you’re going to school in your own backyard or all the way across the country, your mother will still want to be a part of your life. Plus, thanks to modern technology, that whole telephone fad is the easiest it’s ever been, and a simple five-minute phone call will mean the world to your mom. So pick up the ol’ cell phone and give her a ring. After all, I bet she’s the one who paid for it.

V I SUA L RU LE: MOMS T HROUGHOU T HIS TORY FICTIONAL Octamom Khaleesi (Mother of Dragons) Maria Von Trapp Ma Joad The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe Michelle Obama REAL TERRIBLE


// MAY 2017



HOW TO MAKE YOUR MOTHER HAPPY Be Happy Nothing will make your mother smile more quickly than seeing you stoked on life. Send her some pictures of you and your friends enjoying college, and I promise you’ll make her day. Although the polaroid of you taking shots in the library should probably be kept to yourself. Don’t Be a Douche I know being an asshat can be really fun. However, you’ll always be your mother’s little angel, so I would suggest that you refrain from tarnishing such a perception. No one wants to be mama’s little asshole. Try Not to Die Taking unnecessary risks is thrilling, but so is having a long and successful life. Trust me when I tell you that your mother would prefer you pick the latter. So, before you drunkenly decide to pop a strange pill or jump off a roof, think about how much time and effort your mom invested in raising you.


Gifts Mother’s Day gifts are hard. How do you give a gift to someone who has already given you everything? As a kid you gave homemade gifts that were made from clay and popsicle sticks and colored in with crayons. But, now that you’re a college student, ugly yet heart-melting no longer cuts it. Here’s what you do: Buy your mother something that shows that you appreciate what she gave up to raise you. If she stopped playing the piano when you were born, buy her new sheet music. If she wasn’t able to workout because she was raising you, buy her new running shoes. If she stopped traveling, buy her a plane ticket. Give a gift that recognizes all she has done and all that she has given up.

Mother’s Day Quiz Take this short questionnaire to figure out if you should be grateful for your mother. Select all that apply. • If you answered


A-C, your mother loves you and you should get her something nice.

Given birth to you

Loved you unconditionally

• If you answered D, you are the Boy Who Lived and should get off your ass and get to Hogwarts.

Sacrificed her own comfort for you

Laid down her own life in order to protect you from the Dark Lord

• If you answered E, you’re Bambi. Keep an eye out for hunters and try not to end up as jerky. • If you answered

Been shot by hunters before your eyes

Left you at birth in the parking lot of an Ikea

F, chances are you don’t understand any of this since you were raised by raccoons.


MAY 2017 //


After being arrested and nearly illegally deported, student-artist Josue Romero has become a figurehead for community resistance. By Kayla Kibbe, Connecticut College Photography by Vincent Gonzalez, San Antonio College


28 28

// MAY 2017



MAY 2017 //


30 S

tudent and artist Josue Romero is putting the finishing touches on a new piece. “The assignment was to make a piece based on historic jewelry or costume,” the Southwest School of Art (SSA) sophomore explains of the almost-finished product, a metal mask reminiscent of a Corinthian warrior helmet. That’s not the only thing familiar about the mask, though. Looking at the piece, other recognizable shapes quickly begin to jump out. Europe trails down one side of the warrior’s face, while above it Africa and North America meet to protect his forehead and the tail of South America hangs down between his eyes. “I was considering taking the outlines of countries and putting them all together,” Romero says of his initial vision for the piece. “But at some point, I decided it was a better idea to take the outlines of the continents, because rather than accentuate these arbitrary boarders that we’ve placed upon the planet, or upon our maps anyway, it would make more sense to cut out the natural shapes that are just part of the world, that are there but don’t necessarily separate us.”

For Romero, art is not just a means of expression, but a process of understanding, a way to make sense of the world. “A lot of my work has to do with self-mapping and self-discovery,” he says. When the project was assigned, Romero had a lot to make sense of. “I wanted to do a piece in light of everything that’s happening. I decided I wanted to do it about unity and togetherness in terms of what happened. Usually I haven’t touched on political issues much, if at all, but now I feel like it’s kind of impossible not to.” The inspiration Romero refers to is his detainment and threatened deportation by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this year. The Honduras native and San Antonio resident, who has lived in the United States since he was four years old, is a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and made headlines back in February following his highly controversial arrest, ICE detainment and release. Initially arrested for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, Romero’s nightmare began the way many do—being in the wrong place at the wrong time, barely. The night of his arrest, Romero was leaving Guadalupe Martinez Park just before its 11 p.m. curfew, when he was stopped by police. “I figured it was because of curfew,” he recalls. “Looking at the time, it was around 11:01 at that point.” After police searched the car, Romero was taken into custody of the San Antonio Police Department before spending the night in jail. “I still was not too worried at that point,” Romero says. He placed a phone call to his dad, and the next morning signed a bail bond. All signs pointed to a quick release, until Romero was approached in jail by ICE officers. “They went around the detention cell and asked people their name and country of origin,” Romero says. “I knew they were looking for me specifically; they seemed to know. They asked me specifically if I was from Honduras.” Romero’s intuition regarding the ICE officers is not unfounded. “We do not know what specific mechanisms are in place with either the San Antonio Police Department or the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department to facilitate their collusion with ICE, but we do know that collusion is happening, and it is aggressive,” says Amy Fischer, policy director for RAICES, a non-profit organization providing support and legal services to refugees and immigrants. Says Romero, “I asked if, being that I had DACA, I would be alright. I was supposed to be protected from them, but they told me that I wasn’t, and that I wouldn’t get a chance to fight. That struck me as a little bit odd. But they told me I wouldn’t be get-


ting released to my dad; I would be taken into their custody.” The next morning, on a Thursday, Romero was taken to an ICE detention center. He describes the location as seemingly new, or just recently built. All the paint was pristine and clean, and there was no mess. While a clean facility may, under most circumstances, have been welcomed as a small source of comfort, for Romero, it was an ominous symbol of another recent change. “I did get it confirmed by my lawyer that it was recently built, probably along with the changing of administration,” he says, leaving the implications of that discovery to speak for themselves. Romero was one of the first to be processed, and recalls the moment as the one in which he was finally forced to accept his nightmare as reality. “Up until that point I had been really hopeful that I could fight my case. I was a student; I’ve been here my whole life; I hadn’t done anything wrong before. But they basically told me I wouldn’t get to fight my case, that I would just be on a plane to Honduras within the next week. At that point, my heart did kind of sink,” he says. “It kind of solidified. I would be losing all my friends, my family and my whole life. At that point it really seemed real, like it was going to happen and there was nothing I could do about it. And that’s basically what the ICE officer was assuring me.” Awaiting transportation to Pearsall Detention Center, from where he expected to then be deported to Honduras, Romero was permitted to make a few phone calls. Margaret Fitch, Romero’s mentor at the Southwest School of Art and a ceramics student in the school’s adult community program, recalls being the recipient of one of these calls. “I asked him if we would be allowed to visit him at Pearsall to bring him a suitcase of personal items to take to Honduras with him, because he had nothing with him except the clothes he was wearing at the time of his arrest. He asked for a few items of clothing, shoes and a sketchbook with pencils,” she says. Fitch has been working with Romero since spring 2015, when they met through the school’s mentor program. She recalls being immediately impressed by his maturity, deeply creative mind and his enthusiasm for working hard toward his goals. During this difficult and unforeseen phone conversation two years later, Fitch did everything she could to remain a mentor. “I tried to be positive and cheerful about the prospect of his deportation back to the country where he was born and lived as a baby, but actually knew nothing about. I suggested, as a worst case scenario, that he could perhaps enroll at either the University of Honduras or the University of Costa Rica and return in two years to San Antonio as an international graduate student,” she says.

MAY 2017 //



While laughing and crying at the same time, she assured Romero that those universities have excellent fine arts programs. “This may be an opportunity in disguise,” the mentor remembers saying through tears. Behind her positivity, however, Fitch was livid. “The blatant injustice of the whole situation was shocking,” she says. She lambasted the Trump administration for its flash-in-apan immigration policy, blaming situations like the one with Romero on politicians who are fixated on headlines rather than sustainable, intelligent litigation. “I blame the current political regime for causing this traumatic situation to a 19-year-old who had absolutely no power to choose his fate, either when he was brought to Texas when he was four years old, or at the present moment when he was dragged into a detention facility by a kangaroo court of a government agency attempting to crack down on ‘illegals.’” According to Fitch, the manner in which his detainment occurred was, indeed, the manner in which fascist governments behave. Fortunately, Fitch wasn’t the only one incensed by Romero’s situation. Due to the quick action and the intervention of the community, including RAICES and Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Romero was released back into the San Antonio community Thursday evening, two nights after his initial arrest. “We were on the way to Pearsall when the van turned around,” Romero recalls. “They seemed to get a call, and the van turned around on the highway and went back to the same detention center. When we got back, they called out my name and released me. They told me I was getting released on an order of supervision. They made me sign, and they asked me to call somebody to pick me up, and then they shoved me out the door.” By February 23rd, the order of supervision had been lifted. In a statement issued February 16th petitioning for Romero’s release, Congressman Doggett urged the community to unite on Romero’s behalf. “I hope other members of our community will join in voicing their strong support for Josue,” the statement concludes. The San Antonio community seems to have risen to that challenge. “Without the support of the community, Josue would surely have been detained and could be facing deportation still today. This is a victory for our community,” says Fischer. The support did not stop with Romero’s release. In the aftermath of the incident, Romero has continued to feel the warmth of support from friends and strangers alike. “It wasn’t just school, it wasn’t just my friends. It was people that I hadn’t even met before who were willing to support me. We all felt it together as a community,” he says. Romero remembers an encounter in a restaurant with one such community member. “My dad and I were just having lunch and somebody recognized us and they paid our bill. My dad and I sat there after they had left and were kind of bewildered but really grateful—not only for that, but just for the love people were willing to show,” he says. For Romero, community is the answer, and not just in his case. “This experience didn’t just affect me,” he says. “It’s affecting the whole community, and that’s the only way to fight back. The only way to really become stronger and fight these times is to stick together and show each other love and appreciation.” Romero also urges members of the community to remain vocal, regardless of their immigration status, crediting his father’s initial willingness to reach out to the local news station as hugely influen-


tial in his release. “It’s hard because it’s counterintuitive,” Romero admits. “But fear also builds with not wanting to speak. We never feel comfortable talking about it, and even less so when something terrible does happen. I’m really grateful that my dad was smart enough to reach out. That’s how the lawyer found out, and how other people found out. I would encourage other people to do that as well, to be vocal.” Due in no small part to the outpouring of community support, Romero sees his future in San Antonio. “Of course I want to travel,” he says. “A big part of being an artist would be exhibiting my work in different places and experiencing other cultures, but I do see my future as being part of the San Antonio community.” And by all accounts, that future is a bright one. Tommy Hopkins, a former program director at Say Sí, a non-profit program that provides tuition-free arts education for students starting in middle school, has known Romero since he was an eleven-year-old boy just starting out in the program. Even at this young age, Hopkins remembered Romero as inquisitive, enthusiastic and eager to push his own creative boundaries. As the young man continued to excel during the program, he became a mentor to younger students and later an ambassador for the program. Of the arrest and detainment, Hopkins maintains that Romero handled the situation as only the best of us can—poised and collected, respectful and thoughtful, and with sincerity and gratitude. Hopkins, too, extended his gratitude to the community for their efforts in Romero’s release. “Josue is a driven and motivated artist that will continue to contribute to the artistic community in San Antonio,” he says. While Romero has proven himself an indispensable member of the community, he insists that his achievements do not make his case special. “Most of the people that are being targeted through these policies aren’t criminals. They are not terrible people. In my case, I’m just a student trying to work really hard to appreciate opportunities that I wouldn’t have had in Honduras,” he says. “Even the people that don’t have DACA are still really active members of the community; they still have a positive impact.” Fischer espouses similar sentiments regarding DACA. While she maintains that, as a DACA recipient, Romero should never have been in ICE custody, she remains adamant that DACA does not make anyone more deserving of support than any other immigrant. “There are not good immigrants and bad immigrants. Immigrants—all immigrants—make our community stronger,” she says. “We have seen ICE aggressively target our community over the last few weeks. RAICES is ready to fight back.” And so is Romero. “That’s how I settled on the warrior mask,” Romero says of his latest piece. “It’s the idea that even if you’re considering unity and peace and wanting to bring everybody together, in light of all that’s happening, you can’t just sit back; you have to be willing to fight. “And maybe not in a violent way, but you have to be willing to fight on behalf of these things that you consider correct and right and just. I really wanted this piece to speak to that. And I feel like its successful.” While the piece may be almost finished, the fight is just beginning. “It will definitely go on past my lifetime and any of ours,” Romero says. “But, I’m very hopeful about it. I like to be optimistic anyway.”

MAY 2017 //



// MAY 2017

Nascent pop-star and Stanford student Taylor Grey talks fame and finals. By Uwana Ikaiddi University of Central Florida Photography by Kinjal Vasavada Stanford University THOUGH MOST COLLEGE STUDENTS only dream about becoming pop sensations, Stanford sophomore Taylor Grey is already well on her way. Grey has been songwriting since she was twelve years old, and performed her first original song as a senior in high school. It wasn’t long until she captured the attention of Jacob Whitesides and was invited to join his “Lovesick” tour as the opening act, marking her national debut. Soon after, Grey joined The Summer Set’s “Made for You” tour as a special guest. Now, Grey is poised to release her first studio album, “SPACE CASE,” later this spring, and the project promises to be an expert balance of lighthearted pop and introspection. As a musician, Grey has had the opportunity to work with producers Josh Abraham, known for working with P!nk and Shakira, and Nico Stadi, who has collaborated with Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo. As if that wasn’t enough, “Fallin,” the first track on the album, was a collaboration effort with Brad Simpson of The Vamps. Despite how star struck most students would be at the opportunities Grey has had, she remains mature and eager to learn. Seamlessly juggling the rapid pace of rising to stardom and excelling academically, Grey uses her songwriting as a way to contend with maturing physically and psychologically. By a stroke of luck, I was able to catch her between her academic break and her professional overtime.


MAY 2017 //


The performance tends to present itself as more authentic.


Is there usually a time frame that you have to work within when you’re writing a song?



Tell me about the first time you were exposed to singing/ songwriting.


My first memory of singing was in second grade. My mother signed me up to audition for the school


// MAY 2017

musical. She now tells me it was because I was a pretty shy kid, and that she wanted to help me increase my confidence. So she had me do that, and I remember loving it. Ever since, I’ve done almost every single school play and school musical. That’s my first memory of

singing. With songwriting, I started writing in middle school and it’s actually a pretty funny story. In seventh grade, my boyfriend broke up with me right before the big volleyball game, so I wrote a song called “All in a Volleyball Uniform.” It was a very literal title.


Nowadays, a lot of pop stars perform ghostwritten songs. How do you think it changes the meaning of your music that you compose the lyrics?


If you can find

It really varies. Usually, I’m pretty quick. I remember one song called “Miles Away” on the album, where I was set up to work with this amazing writer, but he only had two hours. So we picked a track of his, and I wrote and recorded the song. Within two hours, the finished product was on the album. So it can vary from taking an entire day, to being pretty quick like that. And sometimes, if it’s a really personal song, and I’m not sure how to find the right words, I’ll try to write it in a day and then pick it up on another day. meaning behind a song, then it comes from a place of truth. I just think it happens more readily if you’re the songwriter. When you’re writing from a place of honesty or experience, you can go back to that space you were in when you were writing it.


Of the songs that you’ve written thus far, which was the most challenging?


I would say there are two. The one that’s actually out there to be listened to is called “Mind of

Mine,” and that one was hard. I wrote it on Valentine’s Day, which I remember because it was a heartbreak song. I really struggled with what I wanted the meaning of the song to be. It’s kind STUDYBREAKS.COM

of about myself, but it’s also in the narrative of being about a boy. And, for the longest time, I couldn’t find the right words. So I wrote the first verse and came back to it a day

later and wrote the rest of the song. That’s a very personal song for me.


The way you describe that process sounds

like even though it was the most challenging one for you, it was also really rewarding.


Totally. I think

that the most challenging ones, because they end up being the most personal, are the most meaningful. I also have a song on the album, the [titular] song “Space Case.” Lyrically, it means a lot to me because I wrote it in the third person, which I’d never done before. It was really exciting, but it was also challenging to find the right words. Thematically, it’s so much bigger than my other songs. I write a lot of songs about heartbreak or falling in love, but this one is about a girl who is a space case, just kind of out there. She dreams big, and her vision might not be understood by other people. That song also took me a little longer lyrically, and I had to sit with it for awhile to try to craft the right words to fit the metaphor, and to fit what I wanted to say. It ended up being one of my favorite on the album, lyrically speaking.


Are there some song themes that you think about, but haven’t yet been able to share?


One of my goals is to write a song for myself. I don’t know what form that is going to take yet. I think that “Mind of Mine” tried to be like that, but it didn’t necessarily turn out that way. I’m really excited about what it turned into, but I’ve tried a lot of times to write a song for myself. That’s an extremely personal process, so it’s very hard to put down in words.


Writing a song for yourself is a really interesting goal. It’s like an exercise in understanding who you are and how you feel, then translating it into song form. How would you say songwriting has helped you understand yourself?


Songwriting is a really great form of closure for me. If I’m going through an experience, a falling out, or any sort of relationship that I don’t quite understand, transcribing it into words really helps me vocalize and put the pieces together. When I feel like I MAY 2017 //


have a final product, then, even if I didn’t get closure in real life, I feel like I did. I feel complete, and I have my feelings down in writing; I don’t need to keep them up in my head anymore. I have this


// MAY 2017

piece of work that I can always reflect back on later.


You are currently attending Stanford, which has quite a few notable alumni, such as

Elon Musk, Reese Witherspoon, and Emmy Rossum, who, like you, is a songwriter. What drew you to Stanford?



I was drawn to Stanford because I grew up in the area, and it always seemed like such a good dream school, full of innovation. It was always about creativit y for me,

and Stanford has a ver y open environment. I think that ’s probably what at trac t s a lot of creative people; you aren’t bound by a rigid sys tem. They ’re ver y welcoming and

want s tudent s to do what they want to do, to the bes t of their abilities.


What are you currently studying at Stanford?


I’m undeclared, but right now I’m thinking of studying Psychology, Neuroscience or Cognitive Science. So, something about the human brain.


That jives with the theme of wanting to understand yourself and working through that psychologically, which you do in your songwriting frequently. Is singing/songwriting something you plan to continue with after completing college?


Regardless of what happens, songwriting and singing are going to be hobbies, passions and loves for the rest of my life.


Would you say that attending college has changed what you write songs about?


Absolutely. The songs on this debut album are going to be the first time songs I’ve written since starting college have been released. And I cannot wait! I’m STUDYBREAKS.COM

so excited for that, because I’m showing off who I am now. In college, you’re more independent. You’re experiencing a lot more of different people and life and the world, because you’re on your own. So that’s definitely influenced what I write about, so I’m very excited for that album to actually be released.


Are there any aspects of performing that you felt prepared you for college, or even vice versa?


They improve each other in ways that I didn’t expec t. For example, per forming, being on stage and connec ting with complete strangers definitely helped me when meeting new people in college, because now I’m used to meeting strangers and talking to them right of f the bat. And that’s exac tly what you’re doing when you go to college right away. So that absolutely helped. And then, vice versa, I think school probably

helps me keep a ver y organized, focused and driven mindset. I was always ver y driven in school, and I think that absolutely transferred over to what I do in music. Thinking about things analy tically, as well as creatively, really balances things out and helps me.


What has surprised you the most about college life?


I think what surprised me the most is that I don’t feel old; I don’t feel like there’s been a big change. I’m 5’2”, and when I was younger, even as a senior in high school, I pic tured myself growing three inches as soon as I got to college; I would magically become more adult and mature. I just thought that, as soon as I got to college, ever y thing would change. And it really didn’t. I still feel ver y young. It ’s kind of scar y that in t wo years, I’m going to be out in the real world and done with school. So I guess college just wasn’t as crazy or as wild or sophisticated a place as I thought it would

be, but I love it.


Many performers opt not to go to college, or, if they’re in college already, drop out. Why did you choose to pursue a college education?


I opted to continue with school because I love learning, and I didn’t want to give it up. I spent my entire sophomore year of high school in the library. I know sophomore-year Taylor would absolutely hate me if I decided to drop out. I think continuing my education is a way that I can help encourage people to stay in school, and maybe help more people get access to school later in my career. Plus, continuing to learn is always going to help in life.


What would you say is the biggest misconception that people have about songwriting?


I think a misconception could be that if you’re not documenting 100 percent truth when you write a song, then you’re

lying. People tend to think about songwriting like journaling. For some songwriters, it definitely works that way. I kind of document experiences word for word, but I think that, at least for me, it ’s more than that. I frequently write in the abstrac t and create scenarios and experiences in my songs that may not have happened to me, but they’re relevant and true because of the emotion behind it. For example, like in my song “Never Woulda Letcha,” I mention “…that day in Aspen.” I’ve never been to Aspen. I took three dif ferent experiences in my life, with three dif ferent individuals, and wove together a narrative that would connec t them all, and create a stor y that’s relatable to people. And the misconception may be, “Oh, then she’s lying.” But I don’t believe that, because the song and the emotions are real.


There is also a misconception that performers have no depth to them, that everything is superficial, which might be encouraged by their eschewing

higher education. You are the clear antithesis of that.


I definitely can see how people think per formers are super ficial, because you’re on a stage, and you’re put ting on a show, and you’re enter taining. But true per formers are ar tists. If you’re an ar tist, you have that emotion and creative process behind your work. I feel like ar tists, even if they’re per forming on stage in makeup, still make legitimate work. The glamour doesn’t invalidate any of their work. It doesn’t make it any less impor tant. We don’t need a degree to feel emotions or be able to write them down. I personally love education, because I think it helped me with understanding myself and being able to ar ticulate myself bet ter. But there are so many successful people who didn’t choose to pursue school. There are also a lot of people who did choose to pursue school, and it didn’t work out for them. So it ’s kind of just about a whole lot of work and a lot of luck. MAY 2017 //


*Same name, different people

T hr ee member s o f R y er s on Uni v er si t y’s champion cr icke t t e am dis cus s being t he f a c e s o f t he c oun t r y’s f a s t e s t- gr o w ing spor t. B y De v in R o s s*, Middle Tenne s s e e S t a t e Uni v er s i t y P ho t o gr a ph y b y De v in R o s s*, R y er s on Uni v er s i t y


Richard Perkins

Obaid Ullah

Hassan Mirza




BASEBALL WAS INVENTED, Americans in New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. were enjoying the country’s original national pastime—cricket. Though the popularity of the sport waned in the mid-nineteenth century, a phenomenon most historians attribute to the rise in popularity of baseball caused by the Civil War, the original bat-and-ball sport of North America has seen a resurgence of popularity in the last several decades. Beginning with an influx of West Indian immigrants in the seventies, and then later redoubling as Asian workers came to America during the tech booms of the eighties and nineties, cricket has sprung up across the country. In fact, according to the “Washington Post,” the Commonwealth pastime is now the fastest-growing sport in the country, with an estimated fifteen million fans and two hundred thousand players. The sport, which trails only soccer in terms of worldwide fandom, can now be found in every state in the U.S., with heavy concentrations in metropolitan areas that host larger foreign populations. Unsurprisingly, the game has also blossomed on college campuses, as many universities attract international students, making the pairing of students and cricket a natural fit. American College Cricket (ACC), an authority unaffiliated with the NCAA but the de facto governing body for college cricket, was started in 2008 and hosts a championship not unlike the March Madness of college basketball. College cricket teams from across the country, including several from Texas, traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this March to compete in a tournament that saw nearly fifty games played over the span of five days. After the dust cleared, the pack had been whittled down to four teams: University of South Florida, Ryerson, Everest University and the University of Texas at Dallas. After first defeating USF, their perennial kryptonite, the Ryerson Rams, a Canadian college based in Toronto, defeated the squad from Everest to take home their first ACC championship. To find out more about the burgeoning popularity of cricket in North America, I asked three members of the team, Hassan Mirza, Obaid Ullah and Richard Perkins, about the sport’s culture. Mirza, who is a Ryerson alumnus—two of which are allowed on every club—is the team’s captain and accepted the ACC trophy from cricket legend Shiv Chanderpaul. Obaid Ullah is a fourth-year student and the club’s president, and Richard Perkins, who has two years left at Ryerson, is a veteran member on the squad. Ryerson has competed in the ACC since 2011, but this is the school’s first championship.

DEVIN ROSS: So, congratulations on the win— how does it feel? HASSAN MIRZA: It feels unbelievable. It was a really good tournament. It was knockout style, so if you lose one game, you’re out. Out of about seventy schools, twenty-eight made the tournament, and we beat pretty much all them to become number one. It feels really good. DEVIN ROSS: Have you been celebrating? HASSAN MIRZA: Oh yeah, trust me. Some of us had to come back [to Toronto] the next day, but we’re still celebrating. We’re having a gala next week, so the celebration is on. The school is really happy. DEVIN ROSS: You guys played Everest University in the finals. Did anything stand out? HASSAN MIRZA: I would say that the semi-finals were more important to us this year; they felt more like the finals, because we ended up losing to the University of South Florida last time we played in the playoffs. It’s always a tough game when Ryerson and USF face each other, as both are strong sides. We played them in the semis, and the matchup was the closest of the six games we played in the tournament. It got down to the last few balls, so I think that’s the game to talk about. RICHARD PERKINS: Hassan batted very well, especially throughout the semi-finals. He’s sort of the anchor when we have a tough moment, so we have to give him some credit. He had a bit of an injury pretty early on, but he came back and put the ball on the bat. DEVIN ROSS: I know weather delays caused unexpected problems for some of the teams. Did Ryerson deal with any unforeseen variables? RICHARD PERKINS: Well, we actually received a surprising amount of support from the crowd and a lot of the teams. Their enthusiasm gave us some unexpected momentum that really helped lead to our win. HASSAN MIRZA: Also, in the semi-final, our total was not so great. In a normal situation, ninety percent of the time we would’ve lost that game. We were losing for the first half, but the way we came back and pulled and got them out, happens like once in fifty games. We had more support than USF and handled the pressure better, and from there we picked up the momentum that took us to the finals. By the time we got to the finals, we knew it was ours.

DEVIN ROSS: The ACC website mentions that the championship and several other games were televised. Is that a new development? HASSAN MIRZA: The turnout was pretty good, and we’re definitely grateful to Sony and a few others for providing media coverage, but I think there’s still a lot of room for growth. When you see games like basketball and baseball, the level of publicity they receive at the university level is way, way more prominent. So I hope the media in the U.S. and Canada really get on it, giving the sport the coverage it deserves and paying some attention to it. DEVIN ROSS: Given that Hassan is an alumnus and pretty experienced, does a lot of the team dynamic revolve around his leadership, or is the team pretty student-led? RICHARD PERKINS: [Laughing] Hassan is the captain, and he definitely runs the show; we all believe in him. We basically just listen to what he has to say because he has all the experience. HASSAN MIRZA: It’s really more of a team effort. Obaid is the team president, and I’m the captain. I had the privilege to lead a talented team with a lot of collective experience, but we were also lucky to have some young, talented kids who gave it their all. Really, the chemistry was fantastic. When we travel, the whole team stays in a villa; we don’t rent separate rooms, which helps build the chemistry between the guys. That has been the key, because on and off the pitch there’s been a lot of support for one another, a lot of understanding, and that has made a huge difference.


44 44

// MAY 2017

DEVIN ROSS: How long have each of you been playing cricket? HASSAN MIRZA: I’ve been playing since I was really young. I probably started when I was four, back home in Pakistan, and when I moved here, I just continued and never looked back. RICHARD PERKINS: I probably started playing around the same age, maybe six years old, back home in Barbados. Then I just continued through secondary school and when I came here to Canada. DEVIN ROSS: How was the cricket program when you arrived at Ryerson, and did it inform your decision to go to school there? RICHARD PERKINS: When I was looking at universities, I looked at the Ryerson cricket page, contacted Obaid and then realized they had a good program. So it definitely swayed my decision to come here. OBAID ULLAH: For me, no. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the cricket facility. I got involved in my first year when I met Hassan. With his help we built the program, and I started playing cricket properly and have enjoyed every second. HASSAN MIRZA: Initially, when we first started the club about seven years ago, we had very little support, but, over time, as we started winning championships, we showed the school that there was a need for it, especially as more and more students became interested. We won several Canadian National Championships, and we won the regional championships as well. After that, we started to get a bit of support, the right people on board and a lot of players helping behind the scenes. We just kept going, and a lot of that was thanks to Obaid. He has taken the program to the next level, and now we are one of the strongest clubs and have the right structure in place. Through his work, the administration sees value in the program from a school perspective, as it attracts a lot of international and local students. Obviously, it’s a big influence when it comes to recruiting students who love the game. It’s a big draw. DEVIN ROSS: Do you see the popularity of cricket growing? HASSAN MIRZA: Absolutely, I’m also the president for Canadian College Cricket, and through that we have seen the growth of cricket in several schools. Obaid is instrumental in helping with this, as are other club presidents, such as Abdul Rehman of Laurier University and Hamza Mirza of Waterloo. Lloyd Jodah, the president of American College Cricket, has seen the value and opportunity in growing student-run cricket programs. He has also been a great mentor to me personally, and credit to him for helping with Canadian College Cricket. The main factor, though, is that schools have finally started to support these teams financially. Unfortunately, the infrastructure still needs to improve. A lot of schools have indoor facilities STUDYBREAKS.COM

because they have gyms, but the next step is building outdoor fields for the summer. OBAID ULLAH: Right now, at least in Canada, there is a lot of talent and interest, but not enough financial investment. We are an underfunded team run by alumni and students. All of our expenses essentially come out of pocket, so it can be difficult. In Canada, it’s a bit of a bigger sport and there’s a bit more support, but we’d still like to see more investment from local government and more funding for college cricket teams. DEVIN ROSS: How does the interest in cricket in Canada compare to other countries? OBAID ULLAH: It’s definitely not as strong, but we have enough talent here for it to be. If someone stepped in with funding, it would go a long way. We just need the financial backing to get to where cricket is in places like India and Australia. RICHARD PERKINS: Cricket is the main sport in many countries, like Pakistan, South Africa and India. With popularity comes money, but the difficulty is in building that support. HASSAN MIRZA: To make any sport popular, you need to establish it at a grassroots level. So, Canadian College Cricket is working with an organization called Cricket Canada to form a pathway for growth for elementary and high school students, and you’d be shocked to hear how many schools are participating. Like Obaid said, there’s so much talent here, just not enough funding yet. DEVIN ROSS: Is enthusiasm for cricket in Canada much different than it is in the U.S.? HASSAN MIRZA: There’s not much difference. Canada has better infrastructure at the moment, as it’s more divided in the States, which makes growth less streamlined. As a result, the sport is growing faster in Canada, which is why we will always beat the U.S. [laughs] OBAID ULLAH: From an economic perspective, in both countries, cricket is predominantly played in areas where there are more immigrants. Here in Toronto, there are more immigrants than there are in places like New Brunswick, a less-populated province. In the States, places that have a large population of Caribbean immigrants, like New York and Miami, also have a more prominent cricket scene, so I think it has a lot to do with how much of an immigrant population there is and where they came from. At least in North America, a lot of people play cricket through high school, but once they get to secondary school they give it up, because there are no careers in cricket. But, given the growth of college cricket in both countries, the sport and its industry are growing quickly. In fact, it’s already become quite large.

45 MAY 2017 //



Get ting to Know:

MEGANHOLSTEIN By Lindsay Biondy, University of Pittsburgh Photography by Dell Nie, Ohio State University Megan Holstein is the creator of Pufferfish Software, a series of apps that aim to give autistic people independence from their parents or caregivers. Discontented by the apps available for her severely autistic younger brother, Holstein, at age fifteen, decided that she could make a more effective and affordable app to help autistic people’s behavioral and social problems. After a surprising amount of success with her first app, she expanded her resources to increase the quality and quantity of her product. Now a junior at Ohio State University, Holstein has not only created a total of five apps, but has also self-published a book called “Idea to App,” which teaches people the business side of developing their own app company. With a passion for both writing and app development, Holstein continues to get out into the world and do what she loves.

“All my friends were getting jobs at Wendy’s and McDonald’s. But, at fifteen, I was really stubborn. I said, ‘I am not working at some fast food place.’ And my dad said, ‘You’re doing something, Megan, because you’re not just going to sit on the couch and rot.’ Then I said, ‘Fine, I’ll make an app.’” “I’m one of those people who always read fiction and fantasy books. I always secretly wanted to be a writer. I also want to be an app developer. There’s a lot of things I want to be. I’m twenty-one; I’m still figuring it out.” “My brother Jason is sixteen, and you’d think that being so mentally challenged would keep him from having a 16-yearold’s attitude; it does not. Because I know him, I can see how the 16-year-old teenage angst comes out. For a moment, you’d think he doesn’t have a developmental disability. My mom will be like, ‘Jason! Time to eat! I made carrots!’ Then Jason makes this noise as he walks to the table, like ‘Ugh. I don’t want carrots, mom.’” “I got a bit of a name in the Columbus start-up scene for having started a company so young. Because, you know, when a high schooler does something that only adults usually do, everyone is like, ‘Oh look, this high-schooler did this adult thing.’” “Once I released the first version of my first app, I got $150 in a paycheck the next month, and that’s a small paycheck. But I was fifteen, and I didn’t have money, so I was like, ‘Wow, free money. Dad look, free money.’ And he said, ‘Well you made the app.’ Then I said, ‘But that’s not real work. Free money. Free money.’” “People who are severely autistic get a reputation as stupid, when it’s not that they’re stupid, it’s that no messages are


// MAY 2017

getting in or out. You hear everything, even the tiniest background noises, and you see every single movement in your field of vision, and you can’t take your focus away from it, and it’s all distracting. It’s like being in the middle of a stadium full of people all moving and talking all the time from the second you’re born.” “I don’t really say I have autism, because I know that the things I struggle with are very mild. I’ve learned to overcome seeming very awkward, but my grades are terrible because I find it emotionally exhausting to go to class all the time, and I struggle with the coursework because I don’t always understand the lectures. That’s not the popular presentation of autism.” “I’ll admit this to anyone: I love writing fanfiction. I’ve got this dream to graduate from not writing fanfiction—to writing, ‘real fiction.’” “I got to college with the ability to talk professionally to people much older than me and not come off like an intern. If you look, talk and act like an adult who’s confident in themselves, people will respond to that. And the only way I know to do that is to get out there and go adulting.” “A lot of presentations of autism in the media are wildly inaccurate. Like, Sheldon from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is supposed to have autism, and he does, and some autistic people are like that, but not the majority.” “It’s really important that people get out there and do the thing they want to do. The younger, the better. Because the older you get without doing it, the more you suffer for it. I spent my whole life doing ‘the thing,’ and it’s been amazing. The best decision of my life.’”

T H E FAC T FILE NAME: Megan Holstein COLLEGE: Ohio State Universit y MAJOR: MIS YEAR: Senior HOMETOWN: Columbus, Ohio INVENTION: Puf fer fish Sof tware


MAY 2017 //


president Meet the

What is your major? Political Science and Liberal Studies

Photography by Ajani Stewart, University of Houston

Who are some of your favorite authors? Michael Crichton, Stephenie Meyer

What music are you into at the moment? I typically like pop, hip hop, some country, alternative pop.

What is your dream job? Lawyer or politics

What is important to you right now? Ensuring campaign promises are achieved What is your favorite Instagram account? @UHSGA

What academic focus most interests you? Political science

What is your most treasured possession? A necklace my grandmother gave me

What is your favorite meme? Not a fan of memes What will you never understand? There’s too much to list. There is a lot I don’t understand. From why pover ty still exists, to chemical engineering, there’s too much to cover.

What is your favorite alcoholic beverage? I’m not of age yet What is your typical outfit? Professional dresses What is your favorite place to eat? Ask any Houstonian and they will sweat. This question is too tough—depends on what food.

What qualities do you most admire in a person? Analytical and communication skills

What’s a secret talent of yours? I played piano and practiced dance for thirteen years. Not many people know that!

What is your most marked characteristic? My passion to make a positive difference What angers you? When people aren’t treated fairly for things they cannot control. What is currently on your mind? The food my parents are cooking for me right now!

What is your definition of failure? Complacency. When I reach a goal of mine, I always set higher goals. We should always be looking for ways to improve ourselves, and the minute we are complacent, we have failed.

What historical figure do you admire? Martin Luther King Jr.

If you were to have children, what would you name them? It depends on my other half!


Student Body President of the University of Houston What fictional character do you most identify with? Jessica Pearson from “Suits” If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? To remember to pause and be calm in situations


// MAY 2017

What is your biggest indulgence? Being a student government representative

Where do you want to go most in the world? Africa

What is your favorite place on the internet? Facebook

Where would you be if not in college? Most likely taking a gap year filled with vacations before college. What makes you nervous? Roller coaster rides that flip you upside down


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OHIO STATE’S MEGA N HOLSTEIN IS DESIGNING SOF T WA R E TH AT ’S Meet the College Champions of the FastestR EDEF I N I NG AU T ISM pg.46 Growing Sport in America—CRICKET pg.40



pg. 20

Pop Star and Stanford Student pg.34


pg. 16

Student Immigration



After being arrested and nearly unlawfully deported, Southwest School of Art student Josue Romero has become a symbol of community resistance. pg.28

Study Breaks Magazine Austin May Issue 2017  
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