GROW UP Born accidentally out of boredom, moments of confusion, unexpected inspiration, and unjustified– borderline delusional– confidence. It’s mustering up your best self before heading out, and standing outside your door at 3 a.m. haphazardly looking for your keys.
Remember to call mom, she worries sometimes. It’s messy, awkward, yet rewarding. Because there’s no one way to do it right. It’s not through certificates or trophies, but through drunk texts and disposables. Immortalizing what it’s like to no longer be a teenager but not yet an adult– not pretending to be anything but young, and instead of shying away from our incompleteness, we celebrate the fact that we really don’t have our shit together. ☺
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28 IN THIS ISSUE
*incidental photos ELIAS QUEZADA
CULINARILY OFFENSIVE I interviewed my best friend and
roommate Kate Middeleer. Both from Rhode Island, this is our first time living in our own apart-
ment. I chose Kate because she regularly breaks culinary rules and often produces borderline poisonous concoctions. When it
comes to taste, aroma, and appearance, she can’t be bothered.
Being raised in a house of foodsnobs, I’m fascinated with Kate’s
disregard for the fundamentals of cooking. She sees no issue with cooking chocolate chip cook-
ies and brussel sprouts on the same sheet. Kate’s a free spir-
it as far as flavor is concerned.
words IZZY ACKERMAN iphone photography IZZY ACKERMAN 7
How would you describe your culinary palette?
“Intrusive and forgiving”
I can see that, I would also add “both complicated while also simple”
After a long day of class and internships, what do you look forward most to in a meal? Taste, nutritional value, satifaction, etc.?
I want my first bite to feel like a bubble bath, warm just like my mother used to make it-
How your mom made the bath or made food?
Both. With melted cheese preferably, I also like it to be paired with a nice glass of wine preferably under $11.
And then, for dessert… my favorite flavor of Halo top with dairy free mini chocolate chips.
What’s your favorite flav-
Pancake and Waffles.
You mentioned Halo Top which is considered a healthy alternative, is that something you look for when buying groceries?
I always like to experiment with alternatives, I should add that to my culinary palate description “Alternative”, but I also know that a big glass of fermented tea - Kombucha will burn off the basket of Mozzarella sticks I consumed on Saturday.
You mentioned a wine under $11 dollars, how do you shop under a budget?
The wine isn’t me budgeting, I actually prefer wine that lowers my self esteem/worth.
That’s horrible. Do you have any cooking tips?
Make sure to give the lobsters Jack Daniels Whiskey before boiling them, so they don’t feel pain my aunt told me that.
When was the last time you made lobster?
I never did, but I used to race them around the kitchen floor after my aunt got them drunk. I hope PETA doesn’t read this article. I love animals I promise.
Do you find the process of cooking enjoyable or necessary?
Well, I enjoy cooking for myself but it feels like more of a chore for others... because my roommate always insults my cooking.
Why do you think that is?
I think my palate transcends what most people are capable of tasting, I’m really just on another level.
Ah, I see. Last question. You only get to bring 5 ingredients to a desert island which do you bring?
Oooh this is hard. Um… I’d say Trader Joe’s kale and spinach bites, I accidentally set off my Freshman Dorm fire alarm with them because you’re only supposed to put them in the oven not the microwave.
Wait are they made of metal or something?
I don’t know but I was so freaked out that I took off my shirt and started swirling it above the fire alarm.
Did that help?
I think it did, yeah.
4 more items.
Makes a good meringue
Are you doing to make a meringue on this island?
Won’t limes just grow on the island?
What does that have to, You know what nevermind, ok three more…
Raw brown sugar. Himalayan pink salt. Annddd.
I got it. A steak.
Haven’t you been a vegetarian since like fourth grade?
In case I decide not to be a vegetarian. I want to have the option.
Oh in case,
… on this dessert island you make that decision.
Ok, well this has been very informative. Thank you for answering my questions and offering up your unique perspective to food.
â€œSometimes I shoot for aesthetically pleasing but most of the time my food comes out looking like it belongs in the insinkeratorâ€?
FIND ME, I GUESS
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TOXIC COPING MECHANISM? Three more days till Thanksgiving with your parents, you:
*check ur result on the next page!
You’re a year overdue for a dentist appointment.
WE WERE TRYING OUR BEST ELIAS QUEZADA 15
We all know that annoying vegan friend who ruins dinner parties, eyeing down every poor party-goer who goes for the cheese plate. My transition to veganism was for the environmental, ethical, and moral implications... but Iâ€™m starting to reflect more and more. Does my decision to make sustainable choices in a cluttered world make a difference?
words KATE GLAVAN photography IZZY ACKERMAN 17
“Am I really saving the sea animals by
grab between classes
I walk into Trader Joe’s on 14th street and panic: the zucchini I was planning to buy is wrapped in plastic, a material which poses extreme environmental risks. I could drop this plastic-soiled, unsustainable food and run to Whole Foods which is just a couple of blocks away in Union Square where they have fresh produce I can put inside of my canvas tote. An organic zucchini at Whole Foods would be about $4, whereas the 3 plastic-wrapped zucchinis would only cost me $2.49. The zucchini may be a within my budget and dietary needs, but it is not packaged in a way which supports the underpinning choice of why I went vegan: helping the planet. I have about 20 minutes to decide or else I’ll be late to class. As a vegan, environmentally-conscious student living in New York City, it is difficult to practice conscious consumption. It got me thinking. Yes, I’ve chosen my lifestyle and diet, primarily because I believe individuals can impact our planet by not supporting animal products. You often hear the token vegan in your social circle go on and on with facts about how switching to a plant-based lifestyle can curb greenhouse emissions and stall rising CO2 levels. For example, Tara Thean describes in “How Meat and Dairy are Hiking Your Carbon Footprint” that investigators looked into practices at one dairy farm and discovered, “this one dairy gives off 3,575 pounds of ammonia, 33,092 pounds of methane, and 409 pounds of nitrous oxide per day. Now consider that there are 365 days in a year and tens of thousands of dairy farms in the U.S.” Thus, I feel deeply connected to the impact I can make by avoiding meat and dairy.
vidual choice matters in the grand scheme of things. It takes a lot of effort to practice sustainability, and often times, you can never find a way to live without having to make an absurd sacrifice in a world cluttered with harmful products. Why do I hold such persistent values that force me to engage with choices that cause extra time and energy to seek out an option just so I never have to use a plastic straw again? Am I really saving the sea animals by avoiding the iced coffee that I could grab between classes to stay awake? I want to be able to practice what I preach about environmentalism, but there I am, wasting another to-go container for dinner at the dining hall.Why would I put myself through an hour-long excursion, out-of-the-way from my own residence, to simply get food each day when my own building has a dining hall? It’s 20 degrees, my feet are slipping through snow at 8pm on a Tuesday, I have a paper to write, and I seek out the “vegan-friendly” dining hall just to grab food that supports environmentally-friendly diet and put vegetables in single use to-go container. Does that container I waste each day cancel out my efforts to not eat meat? It prompted me to think about about my personal impact of not eating animal products compared to if I only made a conscious effort to reduce plastic consumption, a topic which is not mutually exclusive in the vegan community. As my friend orders a grass-fed, turkey BLT sandwich and I order an acai bowl, we get into the highly contested vegan vs. non-vegan debate about if choosing a sustainable diet can
But I find myself living in the contradictions, wondering if indi18
avoiding the iced coffee that I could
to stay awake?
cusses how “Neoliberalism has Conned us into Fighting Climate Change as Individuals” in The Guardian , emphasizing how individual choice cannot combat systemic problems. He argues “while we busy ourselves greening our personal lives, fossil fuel corporations are rendering these efforts irrelevant. The breakdown of carbon emissions since 1988? A hundred companies alone are responsible for an astonishing 71%. You tinker with those pens or that panel; they go on torching the planet.”
substantially impact the environment. She rattles off a claim that her meal is cheaper than mine, and isn’t wrapped in plastic. Consumption is never perfect when the world we live in gives us so few viable options to purchase that don’t harm the planet, but I deeply agree with my personal rationale for going vegan, and feel like I’m contributing good even when casted as “That Annoying Vegan” who brings up buzzkill statistics at restaurants. However, I call bullshit to this dietary choice I’ve made. The practice of sustainable lifestyles can be quite contradictory and most consumers do not review their own lifestyle, instead shaming those who do not make the same “eco-friendly” choices that he or she can afford.
Class is another barrier to the ideal of sustainability, but many vegans and “health-conscious” individuals do not wrestle with how their purchases may be harming communities that now cannot afford sustainable options. It is not feasible to go on a juice cleanse at Pressed for $30 or not purchase plastic when grocery shopping. It is so contradictory to buy fresh juice in a plastic bottle, but many “eco-friendly” consumers do not wrestle with these discrepancies in their purchasing patterns. The cost of organic produce is not as affordable as junk foods which contain animal products and are not processed in an environmentally-friendly way, but sometimes, there isn’t a choice without cons.
How can I tell others to be a sustainable and ethical consumer on a budget in a city, with financial and practical constraints to the ease of never eating an animal product? There are plenty of choices I make that are vegan, but not entirely “plastic-free” or “waste-free”. Not a lot of vegans practice the same environmentalism they preach in totality: we forget to see how our own habits may be unsustainable once we are backed, and feel affirmed by a label like “vegan”. Saying that I’m “vegan” forgoes any guilt I reflect upon about my consumption. I feel conflicted about if the burden to change the environment is the responsibility of consumers... or maybe, climate change is far beyond our reach, aggravated by corporations and those in power? It is difficult to stay motivated to make conscious decisions when I know that for every time I don’t eat meat, this effort cannot combat how Scott Pruitt is dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency. It doesn’t seem like individuals have any control over climate change when large corporations have the power to dump oil into oceans. Martin Lukacs dis-
Instead of recognizing one’s own inconsistently justified, “moral” purchases, we push the blame to meat-eaters or iced coffee-drinkers without thinking about how economic inequality fuels consumer decisions that may not be the best for the planet. Lukacs proposes a new landscape of consumption that shifts the blame away from consumers “so that solar panels can go on everyone’s rooftop, not just on those who can afford it.... individual choices will most count when the economic system can provide viable, environmental options for everyone—not just an affluent or intrepid few.” 21
Consuming to align with your moral values still does not tackle the larger systemic issues which aggravate the environment, forcing privileged individuals to be paranoid about their small choices that many others do not have the time or money to wrestle with implementing. Corporation’s greed for profit exacerbates climate change which my overcalculated purchases cannot amend.
automobile or meat industry, and are unable to demystify what possibilities could be available in a future society. The solution cannot be resolved through money and consumption because it is unrealistic to mandate how others spend their paychecks, but rather there should be collective organization to demand a hopeful, progressive landscape that includes individuals from all economic classes.
It’s not the burden of individuals who are stuck with constraints to their personal choice, but a larger systemic problem occurs because of government. Untraining a neoliberal, consumption-based approach to solving climate change will relieve the burdensome nature that sustainability creates. If options, such as mass transit, are not affordable and widely-available, people will choose an option that pollutes the environment such as using cars. If options for organic produce are not affordable and accessible in areas such as “food deserts”, people will purchase animal products. We fail to investigate the industries that exploit our climate, such as the
For this reason, I will try to live without feeling guilty for each and every single-use item I use, but simply move the conversations that I have with others to discuss the systems that make consumers paranoid and competitive around their sustainable lifestyles. My time will be better spent lobbying Congress instead of beating myself up about the plastic stickers on my fruit.
Weaving uptempo beats with echoing, melancholic piano lines, Hannah Copperman’s single We’d Always End Up Here captures the chaos of ruminating on the past and the vulnerability of sharing one’s authentic self with another. Her voice exhibits a certain tenderness both while singing and speaking, but it’s clear she knows her stuff. In this interview, Hannah talks about her creative process, influences, and the way her experience as a trans woman informs her work.
words CARA TORTORIELLO photography ELIAS QUEZADA & HANNAH COPPERMAN 29
C: Would you say that you’re equally interested in writing about music and making your own music, or is there one that you tend to lean towards as a potential career? H: I definitely want a career in something music related, even if just tangentially. I’m very interested all aspects of it, and I don’t really have a set idea of what I want to do. C: Yeah, I think a lot of people in our generation just end up doing a bunch of different things--we’re “slashies”--and sometimes older people have a hard time coming to terms with the idea that you can do a bunch of different things and have a cohesive career. So when you write about music, is it mainly critique? You publish in Medium a lot, for instance, right?
niche with some of the references. If there was a reference to Anthony Fantano from The Needle Drop of something, it’s going to go over some people’s heads. My favorite flack that I got for it was someone saying, “talk to someone who has never read Pitchfork, for once in your life!” It was so perfect. C: Honestly, though, if you want to write about music, I feel like why not surround yourself with people who are nerdy about it and in the know? It only makes sense. So, who are your influences both in terms of making music and writing, and just in life?
H: It might be a long list. But also, I think that the angle from which I write about music is kind of unique. I don’t know if there’s ever been a semi-out trans girl writing about The Chainsmokers...or just writing about finding something vaguely queer. There’s one song called “DJ is Your Second Name”, that was this obH: Yeah, the Medium articles are self published, scure French song. I listened to it and was like, oh my but have gotten pretty successful in their own right, god, this is totally about a trans person! Or just about which is pretty cool. A lot of people that I respect also something queer, definitely. As far as influences, a lot self-publish on Medium, so I was inspired to do that. of blogs, even just Stereogum, and I guess Pitchfork a The interview I just did with Sidney Gish, I pitched it little bit, and the other people at The Single’s Jukebox, to a bunch of places and after getting a couple of re- because I love the way they blend serious criticism jections and not hearing back from others, I ultimately with politics, or something in the author’s personal life, decided to just post on Medium, and that actually and they can balance the personal with the techniworked out pretty well. I’m pretty happy about that. cal, which is something I like seeing and doing in my There was one piece I did called “What Your Favorite own writing. It’s almost funny to me that there’s this 2017 Album Says About You” and that got 27,000 expectation that I’m going to write so intimately about views, which was crazy. music, but then I’m also interested in the cold techniC: Wow! I feel like that’s a great idea to blend your cal aspects of it that aren’t necessarily as accessible interest in the personal meaning of music with a buzzy as like, “this song made me realize my true self!” format that people eat up. C: The identity stuff, I feel like people can read it and H: Yeah! I also find the way that people use music to be like, oh I’ve listened to Good Charlotte before and define themselves and connect with other people--be- felt liberated or some shit. But if you’re writing about cause I do that---I just find that fascinating. I actually the syncopation in a song, it might not be for everygot a bit of flack for that article for being almost too one but it doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.
H: If a song has a production that isn’t good or doesn’t fit, then nobody will actually have that emotional connection to it in the first place. If the mix is bad, it’s actually hugely important to getting the general emotion across. Oh wait! Influences, right. I guess my favorite band is The National, which you knew. They’re a perfect example of what I was just talking about. One of them went to Yale for classical music, and another is a producer, and then the drummer is influenced by 70s psychedelic rock, and the frontman’s lyrics are very emotional, so I like how they have all these different parts interlocking. That’s definitely something I try to do in my own composing. If I have a drum loop that’s kind of wild, or a weird piano line, I’ll have other things grounding it. C: So, when I wanted to interview you, I felt it was important for me to keep in mind that as a musician it is important to discuss identity and how your music informs it, and vice versa, but I also don’t want to reduce you to just a “Trans Artist”, like a buzzword. H: It will always show up in my songwriting. I mentioned how I am semi-out, so it’s challenging at times because I know what I want to say, but don’t want to just blatantly out myself, so it’s about making the lyrics really vague and cryptic, so if you get it, you get it. I can relate my own extremely specific “sophomore at University of Rochester trans girl making music” identity to more universal themes. It’s hard to talk about trans people in music and not bring up Against Me! at least once, so we can get that out of the way. There’s one song they have called Pretty Girls that literally is about not being able to be in a relationship because of your gender identity issues, but the last line is something like, you wouldn’t think that something like irresponsibility would complicate something like asking for some company. It’s a great line, but
when [Laura Jane Grace] sings it now, she replaces “irresponsibility” with “gender identity”. It’s the Against Me! Song that I relate to the most...just the difficulty of trying to open up to people when there’s this giant elephant in the room following you around. On the album before that, she had so many compromises with the label, but on the second album, she was like, fuck this, make whatever changes they want. She made this big budget rock record and get this legendary producer to mix it. So she just went for it, and it’s the least trans-y album. C: It must be really frustrating, having a personal narrative to tell through your music but then worrying about if it’s going to make you successful. Not that you need to use your gender identity to make you successful---if you have great music, it’s great music--but it just kind of seems remiss to have to compromise so much for the label. H: Exactly, it’s like, I’m trying to mold my feelings into something commercially viable, and it’s not working! C: So shifting gears a bit, you’ve released quite a few songs recently. H: Yeah! Hopefully I’ll have more coming out next month. I’m really excited about those. Mostly, it’s just my notes app and voice memo app. There’s pianos placed all over the Rochester campus. There’s one song that I just did in three takes on the piano and it’s on the album...if we can call six songs an album. C: Totally! That’s so exciting. Do you plan to sign with a label in the future? H: Probably not going to sign any time soon. But another thing about my process is that some songs
I just start on Logic, but sometimes I’ll just start on the laptop with my keyboard, building layer by layer, thinking of different arrangement ideas or things I want to include. That’s the blessing and curse of MIDI instruments---you can have any instrument you want, so if you want three drum kits going against each other you can do that. Sometimes I’ll do the Sia thing where I’ll have the music and then just start singing a melody until syllables or words come out. Then some songs are just one liners from my notes app. Ultimately I do want to have a chorus, verse, and all the conventional song things, so I usually don’t start with lyrics, because then it’s a bit more difficult to set to music after the fact. C: So at what age did you begin to think about music in any capacity? H: I don’t know...I guess as long as i can remember I’ve been playing piano. I took lessons for a few years, but I have perfect pitch so I could figure out a lot by ear as well. I was a hard student to teach because the teacher would play a simple song, and instead of reading sheet music like I was supposed to, I would just play it back by ear. Then there was one teacher who taught me basic production, like how to use GarageBand. That was in middle school, and that’s when it kind of started. I think my Bar Mitzvah project was a song! The chorus was like, “put your blindfolds away”, or something, and I always joke that it was an ode to being woke. Anyway, then in high school I started taking it a bit more seriously. I taught myself how to use Logic.
than us… C: Yeah, it was very much like a lean-in feminism vibe, where we were being told to own the space! Own the piano! But at the same time we could never do anything right and the boys were totally enabled. I mean this one kid we knew would just play one chord every time and nobody gave him any shit. H: Obviously they didn’t know I was a girl, but I definitely was not treated like one of the guys. It wasn’t even femininity that they were against, it was vulnerability that they had a problem with. Everyone was just masturbating on their instruments, and I’d be on the piano being kind of a goofball. I can’t speak for your experience, but if there was a word for misogyny but for vulnerability...I definitely was not the most masculine. The instructors would want to be inclusive but were actually really complicit. C: So how has your music informed your identity and vice versa? H: The whole questioning my gender thing came after a relationship I had. It was more platonic than anything. It was online. We’d occasionally talk about very intimate things and that was the first time I had done that and I started realizing things. It was a very difficult time and I had no idea what was up with me. I would write lyrics about wanting to change, wanting to start over. Then later after I had come to terms with being trans, I looked back at those lyrics and thought...oh my god. It was kind of like, I don’t know what I am but it’s not this.
C: Hannah and I were also in jazz band together in high school! It was a total boys’ club. H: Absolutely. Sometimes there would be special workshops where our instructor would separate boys and girls, but he’d also clearly enable the boys more
I lived in Tennessee for the first fourteen years of my life. Almost everybody around me was Christian, while I was raised Atheist. Iâ€™d only see the inside of the church on rare occasions or holidays. When I turned 18, I moved to New York City. I carry my bible as a constant reminder. Amidst all the noise, I hear His voice clearly. In the unlikeliest of places, I found God (while everyone else was trying to forget Him). I walked 110 blocks to take some pictures of the places that brought me home.
words CAROLYN FOGERTY concept and illustrations ANATASHIA SAMINJO
in collaboration with Anatashia Saminjo. content contributors: Izzy Ackerman, Cara Tortoriello, Carolyn Fogerty, & Kate Glavan.