Issue 4: Doodle Issue

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KNOTHOLE Literary Magazine


A Second Glance Isabella Kaplan

“Back in the early 1970s The College of Forestry at Syracuse celebrated Earth Week very differently from how we do now.” PAGE 12

Use Your Noodle, Go Ahead & Doodle

Grace Anderson “Doodling is the absent mind’s way of expressing creativity and imagination, transforming a blank margin into a cute, beautiful or derange scene while focused on something other than the pencil in hand.”



Letter From The Editor

About a year and a half ago, when I started working for The Knothole, we as a team decided that the editors letter would be cut. It wasn’t needed, and there wasn’t much to say. Perhaps at the time this was appropriate and true, but today it comes back. First off, allow to me give huge props, hugs, high-fives and a thank you to the staff we have contributing to each issue, coming to meetings, and sharing ideas in our open and friendly environment that you all created. Because of you all, our Knothole, previously somewhat lost in the tree that is ESF, will continue growing larger and stronger. As some of you may have realized after our last issue, The Knothole is not just a journal of light hearted jokes and personal essays. The Knothole is not just a pamphlet to sit unopened on the table. The Knothole is to be passed amongst students, faculty and administration. As some of you may have seen after our last issue, this happened, and I can assure you, it will happen again. The Knothole is not afraid to ensure that this happens again, no matter how controversial or alarming the piece may be. With that I would like to state that I will never limit what the Knot-People write. I will never censor their words and deject their truth or confine their words. The Knothole, a unique ring on the tree of ESF may not always appeal to all in its uncensored frame, but it will always allow its people to produce and have their perspectives, expression and their art published. We are a focused campus. And not always willing to accept a difference of opinion, word and expression. But the variety this campus holds within its branches can come out here, and its thoughts are safe in our grasp, at the Knothole. With that, we take a turn to the light side as we publish our 2nd Annual Doodle Issue. Enjoy your classmate’s expressions as they veer way from the contemplations of their studies and stir up the creative sides of their minds. Grace Belisle Editor

Our Knot-People Team

Editor: Grace Belisle Co-Managing Editor: Isabella Kaplan Layout Editor: Scott Przybyla Chief Financial Officer: Mark Tepper

Editing Team: Grace Anderson, Carly Benson, Isabella Kaplan & Grace Belisle Layout Team: Scott Przybyla & Mark Tepper Cover Art: Carly Benson ______________________________________________________________________________ Contact Information: Comments or Questions about The Knothole? The Knothole meets (just about every) Tuesday at 5:15 in Baker 141 - new Knot People are always welcome! Or email us at ______________________________________________________________________________


The Knothole loves YOUR art! Send your photography, drawings & paintings anytime to ______________________________________________________________________________

Table O’ Contents Small Twigs: personal essays

Rebel Without a Cause … Until Now..................................................................................................5 Sunday..................................................................................................................................................10

Getting to the Root: campus & environmental news

The Flint Crisis: It Didn’t Have to Happen ........................................................................................6

Branch Out: miscellaneous

Use Your Noodle, Go Ahead & Doodle...............................................................................................4 A Second Glance.................................................................................................................................12 Simplicity Over Toxicity: Coffee Scrub...............................................................................................13 Weird Creature Spotlight....................................................................................................................15

Budding Minds: poetry

Cloud Watching...................................................................................................................................10 Painting Self Portraits with Vincent Van Gogh...................................................................................11

Silly Sap: satire & laughs

Ask a Nut.............................................................................................................................................14

A huge thank you to all of the following for contributing their Doodles: Kimberely Goodwin, Ben Taylor, Megan Gorss, Sarah Ganter, Mandi Cordiale, Jack Kenney, Dan Perez, Olivia Pinner, Rachel Peters, Grace Anderson, Kyler Schaner, Tristen Santiago, Adam Scicchitano, Carly Benson, Isabella Kaplan, Heather Carl, Joyce Lai, Meleimoana Ta’alolo Suesue, Brendan Covert, Kristina Macro & Megan Herbst


Use Your Noodle, Go Ahead & Doodle Grace Anderson

Doodling is the absent mind’s way of expressing creativity and imagination, transforming a blank margin into a cute, beautiful, or deranged scene while focused on something other than the pencil in your hand. When sitting in a lecture or meeting, it can be hard not to doodle. It’s a side-effect of academia, always present but without an apparent purpose. I myself have lost dozens of points on graded assignments for irrelevant drawings populating my work, and drawn criticism from my teachers and peers for having such “sloppy” looking class notes - often with only a few words scribbled amidst crowds of diverse characters after an 80-minute class. While professors and TAs may beg to differ, recently the tide seems to be turning in favor of the doodler. Grab a pencil and settle in; see where your mind wanders while you read this article, and experience the oft-magnificent effects of doodling for yourself. A huge number of famous creators doodled prolifically. Some of my favorites include Steve Martin’s crayoned clowns, Ellen Degeneres’ crowds of emotive caricatures, and Franz Kafka’s depictions of men and bugs squirming in odd circumstances. The subject of one’s doodles seems to say a lot about what’s on their mind. John Lennon doodled rather imaginative and romantic scenes of festivals and zoos, presumably while working on some of his great lyrical works. Kurt Vonnegut famously doodled self-portraits -- it’s not surprising the author would be so introspective. I personally tend to doodle a lot of mermaids and ghosts, but that’s just a product of my inability to accurately draw a person’s legs. Some people draw boxes and sharp lines, some prefer intricate curving patterns. The more detailed your drawings get, the more focused and obsessive you probably are in that situation. Bigger doodles usually mean you’re confident and imaginative, while smaller or sketchier ones may just mean you weren’t paying close attention. What do your doodles say about you?


Several studies from 2009 to present seem to agree that doodling does indeed help nearly everybody retain auditory information. Many doodlers recount experiences where they look back at their scribbles and drawings from a meeting or lecture and can recall what was going on at that time just by reliving it through their doodles. But still, it doesn’t come as a surprise that doodling consis-

tently distracts from visual information. So if you’re professor is showing a video or demonstration, put the pencil down and pay attention. Alright, time’s up. Where did your mind go while reading this article? Did you draw anything creative or new, or stick to the basics? Most people probably didn’t take me seriously and drew nothing at all, but that’s ok. Next time you catch yourself doodling in class, take a closer look at what you unintentionally produced -- you might learn something about yourself, or even figure out what the hell your professor’s talking about in a unique new way.

Rebel Without A Cause...Until Now Justin Coleman

I recently saw the remake of the 90’s classic Point Break in theaters. I loved the theme of the movie and thought it brought together two of my favorite passions and endeavors: extreme sports and people trying to roll back the human caused ecological damage that was done to the earth. It is often observed in society that the voice that is the loudest is the one that gets heard by our leaders. You might often find yourselves thinking about getting a job that you will allow you to live comfortably while simultaneously saving the world from wildlife poachers, dirty energy czars, and leaders that are woefully unresponsive to the very real environmental issues that will only intensify in the future. Like you, today’s conservationists and other environmental professionals work hard, driven by their passion to protect the environment. Unfortunately, despite the dedication of the conservationists, it is difficult to get a conservation job that provides a sufficient paycheck, especially in a competitive job market. It is hard to find a balance between tackling the vast

number of complicated environmental issues and finding your ecological niche in the working world. In Point Break everything was taken to the extreme: ranging from the swell of the waves, the size of the mountain they climbed, and jumping off the mountain with only a wing suit. Even their methods of giving back what they took from the earth were extreme and everything was pushed to the limit. While many ideas that pertain to conservation and sustainable movements are important beliefs to many people outside the environmental field, the vast majority of people meet these extreme environmental actions with disdain. Often these actions are pushed aside, as many believe these crazy folk create radical environmental ideas, just trying to make things harder for normal people. One of the reasons why I am a conservation biologist is that I have always been a rebel, a rebel without a cause that is. Conservationists and other environmentalists are a small group of professionals dedicated to lessening our ecological footprint. Unfortunately, to many people in society conservationists are perceived as crazy college students that have unrealistic ideals. They fear we are going to ruin the economy because we think the sky is falling. When I decided that I wanted to work in the conservation world, I became a rebel with a cause. Part of a group of unsung heroes that are doing their best to right the wrongs of many generations, we plan and take action to create a world that can support biodiversity, functioning ecosystems, and account for the ever increasing human population. It is easy to get a warped sense of what it means to be an environmentalist, like Bodhi, the antagonist of the movie. Ultimately, like his penchant for all extreme sports, his quest for radical environmental justice is pushed too far. While we often face what seems like an insurmountably steep uphill battle, it is important for us to recognize that we need to stay true to ourselves and work as hard as we can to overcome the many environmental issues that we all face. All that we can really do is to be happy and leave the earth a better place than when we found it.


The Flint Crisis: It Didn’t Have to Happen Rebecca Rolnick

On January 16, 2016, President Obama declared a State of Emergency in Flint, Michigan. The city’s water supply has become contaminated with lead, causing a major public health crisis. Over the past several weeks, Flint has been getting a lot of attention in the media. But how did this problem really begin? Let’s back up to March 2013. For the past fifty years, Flint had been getting its water from Detroit. But Flint was almost bankrupt, and the city council voted to join the Karegnondi Water Authority Pipeline Project. This would allow them to get fresh water from Lake Huron once the pipeline was complete in a few years. The switch was projected to save the city $19 million over the next eight years. But in the meantime, Flint would need another water source. So Edward Kurtz, an emergency manager appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, decided to supply Flint with the water from the Flint River. Soon after, complaints began pouring in from the city’s residents. The water smelled and looked weird. The water hardness had increased, and in the summer of 2014, coliform bacteria were detected in the water. The city responded by issuing boil-water advisories and increasing the amount of chlorine in the water. Chlorine is corrosive, but they did not add a corrosion control treatment. In October 2014, General Motors stopped using water from the Flint River because it was too corrosive for their cars. But city officials insisted that the water was safe to drink. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a Flint pediatrician, began finding increased levels of lead in children after the city began getting its water from the Flint River. Flint’s infrastructure is very old: many of the lead pipes haven’t been replaced in over seventy years, and the corrosive water had begun leaching lead from the pipes into the water supply. By fall 2015, the number of children with above-average lead levels had doubled.


Doctors agree that there is NO safe level of lead exposure. Lead, a neurotoxin, is a serious problem because it can cause developmental and behavioral problems, a drop in IQ, and other longterm health issues. Lead poisoning is especially dangerous for children and can have lifelong effects. Since lead also affects DNA, the impacts can even

be passed on to their children and grandchildren. Dr. Mona and a team of doctors issued a report sounding the alarm to state officials, but the officials did not listen. They ignored the data and downplayed the problems, continuing to insist that the water was safe. Later it was shown that the city did their water testing in a way that made the quality seem better than it really was. When it comes to lead, 5 parts per billion is a serious cause for concern. In September 2015, Researchers from Virginia Tech sampled water from 271 Flint homes, and the 90th percentile had 27 parts per billion. Dr. Mona’s findings were finally validated. On October 16, Flint reconnected to Detroit’s water source, but the damage was done.

The pipes have been corroded, and the water is still contaminated. In December, Flint declared an emergency. Much finger-pointing has been going on over who caused the water crisis in Flint. And it is clear that issues in leadership played a big role. But the problem runs even deeper than that. The city of Flint is the second poorest city in the United States; about 40% of its people are living in poverty. The city has been struggling from the decline of the auto industry in the area and the financial crisis of the past decade. Flint’s people, especially the youth, are already disadvantaged in many ways. Throwing water contamination and lead poisoning into the mix will only make their future success that much more challenging. This situation was not a natural disaster or catastrophe; it didn’t have to happen. The people of Flint know this, and have lost trust in their government and officials. Flint has received the most attention in the media lately, but it is not the only city with lead and other toxins in the water. There are plenty of less famous areas with old infrastructure, and social and racial inequality, whose problems are brushed aside. We cannot continue to ignore the impoverished communities in our country, depriving them of such a basic necessity of life that most of us take for granted. The State of Emergency will give Flint $5 million in federal funds to provide bottled water, water filters, and test kits for the next ninety days. But it will take much more time and money than that to really solve this crisis.






Miranda Cordiale Everyone thinks that Saturdays are the best days of the week. Saturdays are for fun for partying, for playing, and for adventures. Saturdays were made for “get togethers” with friends, for dates with lovers, and for getaways. Saturdays are clearly the best, right? Saturdays are loud, lively and full of excitement. I used to think that Saturdays were the best. That was before I really saw Sunday. Sundays are quiet. Sundays are for relaxation and recovery. Sundays are the days you lay in bed and wake up slow. For banana pancakes, for late brunch, for a book on a cozy couch, for sipping on coffee and tea. For a football game and comfort food. Sundays are for families, for cuddling, for hand holding. One day, Sunday will reveal itself for all that it is. Saturdays can be a little stressful. Saturday demands excitement and plans. Saturday boasts of all the joy it brings. People feel bad for not having any plans on a Saturday. Saturday wants you to consume alcohol, Saturday wants you to be happy even when you’re having a bad day. Sometimes Saturdays are not what you needed, or even what you wanted. Sometimes the expectation of Saturday lets you down. Sometimes Saturday does not turn out to be as wonderful as you imagined it to be. Saturday is exciting, but Sunday is what you need. Sunday is the day that supports you. It’s the day that does not expect too much from you. Sundays ask for small walks, naps and maybe some work to be done. Sunday does not pressure you, though. Sunday gives you all the time in the world to catch up on the things that are necessary. Sunday only wants you to be who you are. Sunday makes beautiful sunrises and gorgeous sunsets. Sunday prepares you for Monday and then holds you again when you are worn out from the rest of the week. Sunday brings joy, as well as excitement. Sunday brings lovers close, or laughter over lunch with a close friend, or close hugs from a family member. Sunday fills you with love. Sunday always knows what is best for you. Sunday lets you grow throughout the week and gives you a safe place to return.


Saturdays used to be my favorite day, until I learned how special Sunday could be. I’ve grown out of Saturday’s expectations and found that I live for a cozy Sunday, surrounded by the people who mean the most to me. Sundays will always be my favorite day.

Cloud Watching Rebecca Rolnick

wispy thoughts drift across the dome of the sky as I lay here supported on the warm earth in the stillness of the wind the vapor shifts as forms come in and out of being; dancer iridescent whirl, invisible, amid the red flowers map-maker drawing a cartography for the colony’s exploration astronaut winging the stars of the ocean depths that our song rings translator deciphering the code that stands between worlds all these lives glimpsed out of the corner of my mind It’s all the things I will never be that make me who I am

Painting Self Portraits with Vincent Van Gogh Carly Benson

VincentThere is something uncanny In the nostalgic hang Of each brush stroke. How harsh and gloomy Each defined line Wreaks with sublime horror That somehow, still manifests in animated beauty. I can see you painting ItHow sad you render yourself I know why you choose blue And why you make your face so numb As you dip the brush in ice To stop the explosion. But I can still feel the heat You try to stuff back into your pipe, And the smoke rings you paint harshly Still fill my room with sweet tobacco. Suspicious- How you still paint your background With a combusting fire.

I like to think it’s so I can feel your heat among the somber blue Like a Secret -I am happy you still coat your brush with red -My ice is melting.


A Second Glance Isabella Kaplan

Hello Stumpies! Last issue I promised I would find out what ESF did during Earth Week and why ESF changed its name. With great happiness I am able to tell you that I have stayed true to this promise. With the help of Kevin Reynolds, Jane Verostek, and Laura Crandall, we were able to find what the original Earth Day was like by digging through the old Knotholes and yearbooks. Also by reading the document titled SUNY-ESF: 100 Years and Still Going Strong, I was able to find why ESF changed its name.


Back in the early 1970s The College of Forestry at Syracuse celebrated Earth Week very differently from how we do now. The focus of Earth Week, according to the April 29, 1971 Knothole, was to remind the campus “that it’s not too late to fix our world up! A few people, diligently working together, can accomplish a lot.” The students of the ‘70s showed that they were committed to making a difference by doing a twelve-mile Walk a Thon to “save the county”. The participants of the Walk a Thon were local middle or high school students, sponsored by a community member. Prior to the hike, ESF worked with local environmentalists, such as the Audubon Society, to identify areas in Onondaga County that could be turned into sanctuaries, outdoor education centers and other outdoor spaces, using the money they raised. Furthermore, Stumpies would educate the younger students on the ecology of Onondaga County during the walk, as well as organize and coordinate environmental improvement projects with high school students (Knothole April 10, 1972). The rest of the week would be filled with Campus Clean Ups and lectures like The Future of Ecological Action and The Future of Ecology in the Courtrooms. Although Earth Week today is fun, I think ESF

should include events that represent our school’s values. We, like the original Earth Week participants, should engage the community and do some good environmental work. I am on the Earth Week Committee and I will do my best to incorporate our original values (feel free to join the meetings on Wednesday, 5:00 148 Baker). Did this amazing campus wide environmental celebration inspire ESF to change its name? To my surprise, the name change had nothing to do with Earth Week, and in fact, the transition started a lot earlier. During World War II, the country wanted foresters to be land managers. On top of that, the GI bill brought more students to ESF, who began demanding other curricular options. By 1961 majors such as general forestry, pulp and paper technology, wood products engineering, wood chemistry, landscape, biological sciences, resources management, and physical sciences, were added to the college, each with its own specific degree program. By 1970, students started to lean more towards the sciences and forestry was no longer the core of the college. Simultaneously, many schools were developing environmental studies programs and our school felt it was not being recognized for its environmental work. That is why, in 1972, ESF changed its name. Although students’ opinions were split on the name change, Environmental Science became a permanent part of the name, and therefore, our identity. As Barbara Steves eloquently wrote in the October 25, 1971 Knothole, “undoubtedly we will lose something intangible in the change, but perhaps there is more to be gained.” Seeing how far our school has come, even with its flaws, I think Ms. Barbara’s predication held true.

Simplicity Over Toxicity: Coffee Scrub

Miranda Cordiale The short, snowy, wintry days can cause fatigue and dry skin. With this scrub, not only will you be able to hydrate and exfoliate your skin, the caffeine inside of it will give you an extra kick! When used in a facial scrub, coffee grounds will wake you up, exfoliate, and tighten your skin, leaving you smelling like a café all day. The brown sugar gently exfoliates while the olive oils help to dissolve other oils while also hydrating your skin. Not only are these ingredients simple and chemical free, but they also avoid pouring microbeads into our water. Microbeads are beginning to be banned because of their negative effect on water quality. These tiny beads can pass directly through the filters at wastewater treatment plants. Help keep our water healthy by using this all-natural facial scrub. What you’ll need: ½ Cup of Coffee Grounds ¼ Cup of Olive Oil ½ Cup of Brown Sugar Instructions: Combine the ingredients into a bowl and mix until you reach a mask like consistency. Store in a jar. How to Use: Since this mixture can be pretty messy, apply the mask to your face and leave on for 2-6 minutes. Gently scrub off after the desired time has passed. This mask can be used daily. This also makes a wonderful DIY gift for any occasion. Enjoy your clean, soft skin!


Ask A Nut Dear Nut, With spring break coming up soon, my friends and I are looking to make some big plans and find lots of ways to have fun. Unfortunately, none of us can really afford to go on an awesome trip to somewhere exciting and tropical. What are some ways to have fun, even if we’re not going anywhere the whole time? Sincerely, Break On a Budget Dear Break On a Budget, There are tons of cool things to do over spring break without breaking the bank! In my personal opinion, nothing beats sitting at home and watching mind numbing amounts of television in a darkened room. Just think of all the mediocre talk shows, Seinfeld reruns, and infomercials waiting there for you to enjoy. If you get bored of that, why not go to the gym, like you’ve been telling yourself that you were going to start doing for the past year and a half. You’ll get into a good routine, and you’ll totally be able to keep going three times a week once classes start up again and you have a lab report due every other day. If you’re staying on campus, walking to the gym will allow you to get out and enjoy the lovely Syracuse weather. And, since our spring break technically takes place during the winter (because that makes sense), you might even be lucky enough to run into a blizzard! Finally, you can have a blast doing all of the homework that probably got assigned to you by professors that don’t understand the concept of “break”. In the end, going on a big trip over spring break is fun, but you can still enjoy yourself if you’re not. And just remember, there’s one thing the kids going on spring break trips can’t do that you can: get their parents to buy them a crap load of groceries while they’re home. Nut


Weird Creature Spotlight Stephen Scaduto

Welcome back to another exciting installment of Weird Creature Spotlight. You may be asking yourself why, on Weird CREATURE Spotlight, are we being shown a bunch of strange rocks that resemble brains. Are they going to turn out to be yet another bizarre invertebrate? In fact, these are not rocks, nor are they animals, but plants! They are lithops, a genus of succulents hailing from southern Africa that have evolved to become masters of disguise. Where other plants have developed thorns, spines and toxins in order to deter animals from grazing on them, the lithops have opted to avoid being eaten in the first place by hiding in plain sight. Lithops are often known colloquially as “living stones”, and they certainly do a good job of living up to their name. The pebble like appearance is provided by the 2 main leaves, which are fused together and usually take on a grey or brown color. The meristem is located inside the small slit between these main leaves, where it grows the replacement leaves and flowers when it is time for the lithops to reproduce. By having a highly reduced stem, burying most of their leaves in the ground, and fusing their 2 main leaves into a stony exterior, these little plants seamlessly blend in with the rocky soil around them. What animal would think that the pebble right beneath their feet is actually a tasty treat? (sorry about the rhyme, but I couldn’t resist) Now you may be thinking, “camouflage is great and all, but how do lithops photosynthesize if most of their leaves are buried, and the ones above ground aren’t even green?” Actually, the leaves are only MOSTLY buried, having a translucent top surface, or “leaf window”, that allows them to access the sun while remaining hidden. Lithops aren’t only adapted to avoid hungry herbivores; they also have several traits that help them to survive the arid conditions of southern Africa. These include a long taproot for finding deeply buried moisture, and even the ability to bury themselves in the soil in order to avoid water loss during droughts. Any way you look at them, or fail to realize that you’re looking at them, lithops rock! (see what I did there??)


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