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VOL.8, ISSUE 3 / FREE
6 Book Review: “Y” 7 Practice, Practice, Practice 10 A Round for Oregon 14 Chasing the Wild 20 The Rosie Project 22 Before the Rajeeshpuram 24 RideAble 28Awoken by Fear
34 Ethos World 36 Faces of a Crisis 42 Weaving Two Worlds 46 My Mother, My Ally 50 Serras 1919 53 For the Love of Skiing 58 SOJC Centennial 60 Alumni Essays s PHOTO by Hayla Beck
ETHOS MAGAZINE /
hat a shame it would be to go a whole college career without ascending Spencer Butte. The famous hill is one of our city’s treasures. And anyone who’s summited it knows you’re afforded a panoramic vantage point up there. Depending on the day, you could get anything from a clear view of Eugene and the Willamette Valley to the sight of ominous fog blanketing the surrounding area. Either way, it is just gorgeous – and I find it’s good to go up there when you need a new perspective. With Ethos this quarter, we’ve done our darndest to give you the best vantage point possible on domestic and international issues. Read Aliya Hall’s dispatch from Germany about refugees f leeing persecution. A new contributor to Ethos, Dahlia Bazzaz, writes on her discovery of a new alliance with her mother in the Middle East. Haley Stupasky reports on the family in Franco’s Spain that trafficked quite an unusual good. Then, it’s back to the United States. You’ll notice the magazine in your hands is a tad shinier than others we’ve produced this year. One of the joys of such a glossy finish is that it accentuates the artwork of our photojournalists. Take Ben McBee, who seems to nurture a love of nature through the lens of his camera. Each story is a step toward better understanding the world around us, and offers a moment to ref lect on that world. We hope you enjoy this viewpoint.
art CREATIVE DIRECTOR Brittney Reinholtz
EDITOR IN CHIEF Jonathan Bach
MANAGING EDITOR Rachel LaChapelle
COPY CHIEF Haley Stupasky WRITERS Patrick Dunham, Melissa Epifano, Hannah Bonnie, Russell Wilson, Erin Coates
photography PHOTO EDITOR Kyra Bailey PHOTOGRAPHERS
Kaylee Domzalski, Ben McBee, Hannah Giardina, Hayla Beck, Sierra Pedroz, Patrick Bryant, Angelina Hess, Mackenzie Moran Elinor Manoogian-O’Dell
Ethos is printed on 70 percent post-consumer recycled paper Ethos thanks Campus Progress for helping support this student-run publication. Campus Progress, the youth division of the Center for American Progress, is a national progressive organization working to empower young people to make their voices heard. Published with support from Generation Progress. Ethos is a multicultural student publication based at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. Ethos receives support from the ASUO. All content is legal property of Ethos, except when noted. Permission is required to copy, reprint, or use any content in Ethos. All views and opinions expressed are strictly those of the respective author or interviewee. Ethos is a publication of the Emerald Media Group.
PR DIRECTOR Lydia Salvey PR REPS Lina Allen, Kimberly White, Lindsey Whitehouse
web WEB MASTER Haley Stupasky WEB EDITOR Negina Pirzad
special thanks ASUO
Dahlia Bazzaz, Aliya Hall, Negina Pirzad, Haley Stupasky s ON THE COVER Photo courtesy of the Dunham family. Robert Dunham. (See: Before the Rajneeshpuram pp. 22.)
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ASSOCIATE EDITORS Negina Pirzad, Jordyn Brown, Lindsay McWilliams, Forrest Welk, Junnelle Hogen
JONATHAN BACH EDITOR IN CHIEF
DESIGNER Tessa Jackson
Congratulations to the Ethos staff, both past and present, for its award-winning work. For its previous issues, Ethos received multiple awards from the Associated Collegiate Press and Columbia Scholastic Press Association, including a 2013 ACP Pacemaker Award for a Feature Magazine, its first Digital Magazine Silver Crown and two Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards. Generation Progress named Ethos Best Overall Publication in 2012-2013.
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That perfect letter. The wishbone, a fork in the road, an empty wineglass. The question we ask over and over. Why? Me with my arms outstretched, feet in first position. The chromosome half of us don’t have. Second to last letter in the alphabet. Almost there. Coupled with an L, let’s make an adverb. A modest X, legs closed. Y or N? Yes, of course. Upside down peace sign. Little bird tracks in the sand. Y, a Greek letter, joined the Latin alphabet after the Romans conquered Greece in the first century—a double agent: consonant and vowel. No one used adverbs before then, and no one was happy.” B e a u t i f u l l y written and utterly heartbreaking, “Y” is Marjorie Celona’s debut book, published in 2013. It won the Waterstones 11 literary prize, and was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s FlahertyDunnan First Novel Prize, the Amazon. ca First Novel Award. Celona has just begun teaching at the University of Oregon in the Creative Writing department, after receiving her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. It is told from the perspective of Shannon, a troubled, partially blind girl who was abandoned by her mother outside of the Y when she was a baby. From a young age, Shannon was bounced around from foster home to foster home, never feeling like WORDS HANNAH BONNIE she belonged. Even when she was adopted by her foster mother, Miranda, Shannon never felt like she was a part of Miranda and her daughter’s, Lydia Rose, family. Shannon is a fictional representation of the struggle that many foster children face every day — feeling abandoned and unwanted. Shannon longed to find her real mother for the entirety of the novel, and eventually did at the end. However, many foster children do not typically get this privilege.
Shannon’s story reveals the horrors that often pervade the foster system. When Shannon was a baby, she was put in the care of Moira and Julian. She was afraid of Julian because he held her too tightly and left bruises on her body. Eventually, Julian either accidentally or on purpose broke Shannon’s arm, it is unclear due to the unreliability of Shannon as a narrator. Shannon was taken out of his care, but this incident represents the brutal reality that many foster children face abuse at the hands of their parents. The letter Y is a literal representation of the way the story is told. Shannon tells her story, in addition to her mother’s, until they come together in the end. Having the title of the story represent the structure is very unique. It is also unique that Shannon is the narrator even when telling her mom’s story. She even describes her birth by saying, “I am an easy birth.” What was enjoyable in this novel was the way Celona captured the voice of a 16-year-old girl and made the reader relate to Shannon. Celona accomplishes this with her realistic dialogue. Shannon acts and sounds like a teenager. For instance, Shannon and her LydiaRose dress up like men for fun, and Shannon says, “You’re hideous. I’m sorry but you’re a really ugly man.” Shannon’s dialogue is vulgar at times, and representative of her age group. Also, Shannon is a lovable narrator because of her humor. For example, when Shannon attempts knitting she grows frustrated, and says, “If I were an archeologist, I’d photograph the knitting kit, describe it in considerable detail, then liken it to something in modern times.” Shannon’s humor keeps the novel from being too melodramatic and serious. “Y” will make you cry, and it will make you laugh. It will make you love a character who at times, fails to love herself. Shannon’s voice brings the story to life, and Celona brings beauty into the at times ugly world of foster care.
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Practice, Practice, Practice One man’s path to ballet WORDS LINDSAY MCWILLIAMS | PHOTOS SIERRA PEDRO
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let Company. Before this point in time, he had quickly learned of his natural talent, but hadn’t yet developed the fervent passion that would take him to the professional world. At the Summer Dance Lab in Walla Walla, Washington, that changed. “I did every sport growing up, basketball, track, everything. I realized that when I did ballet, there was nothing harder than that,” Griffin says. “It’s a beautiful, humbling sport. We’re always trying to be perfect even though we never will make it. But we will always strive for it.” His second year at the camp, Jennifer asked him to come to the company as a Trainee, a step below Aspirant. “I came home and had six days at my house in Klamath, where I packed my car and came here to live in my car until I found somewhere to stay. Within the first few days, I found a couch to stay on for a month. From there, found a room. I just did whatever I needed to do. I wanted to make it.” Today, Griffin’s ability to live in Eugene is afforded through sponsors. The ballet company pays him a small stipend and Rachel’s School of Dance pays his rent. For everything else, there’s “food stamps and selling plasma.” The notion that beauty equates with wealth does not apply to the average ballet dancer. After a recent show, an audience member asked him if he wanted to go to dinner at the Oregon Electric Station, a high-end restaurant in downtown Eugene. Griffin laughed at the expectation that he could afford it. Like many dedicated artists, Griffin has chosen to fixate all of his time, resources and hope on something that may never happen. And within the next month, he’ll find out if he’s invited back
he music of Carmina Burana thrashes through the air to the percussion of feet thumping in unison. Three principal dancers gallop across the wooden sprung floor, each with one hand on his hip and the other arm held in front, parallel to the floor, meant to symbolize the riding of horses. Each young man wears soft ballet slippers, a pair of spandex shorts and a loose-fitting t-shirt. Their disproportionately muscular calves protrude as they hop and skip off the balls of their feet. Facing a mirrored wall, they examine their own forms, noting whether their hops are as high or their skips as swift as the men who dance next to them. Standing before the mirrors, the choreographer counts aloud: “One-two-three, two-two-three, three-two-three, four-two-three...” Through the back windows of the rehearsal studio is a hallway, which reveals the modesty of the space: the smell of a tired building, painted concrete walls with portable barres pushed against them, a sunken couch flung with a pair of old ballet slippers, and several benches covered in duffel bags and water bottles. This hallway is familiar to Jesse Griffin. It’s part of a 15-lap course that he runs each morning at 7:30 a.m. to fulfill his goal of sweating by the time he enters the studio. This hallway is where he now waits, watching the principals, anticipating the choreographer’s cue to step in. Griffin, now 20, is what they call an “Aspirant” of the Eugene Ballet Company. With this title, he has worked well over 40 hours a week for the past two years, unpaid, in hopes of joining the company in fall of 2016. For Griffin, ballet rapidly brought him out of a bad home life and into a seemingly glamorous profession. On stage, his movements appear effortless. Off stage, there is nothing effortless about this ballet dancer’s life. ETHOS SPRING 2016
A slight young man, Griffin’s long and svelte arms never hesitate to put on a performance, even in casual conversation. He wears a silver metal hoop through his left nostril—only when he’s not on stage, of course—and slicks his hair back with gel. On his days off, this dark brunette hair lies flat across his forehead, intensifying the honey-colored eyes that roll downward as he talks about his childhood in Klamath Falls, Oregon. “I call it ‘Meth Falls’, and for good reason. My stepdad would come in and the white in his eyes would yellow and he’d get super hyper like he had a Redbull or something. I started to figure out that he was on meth.” After enduring years of physical and emotional abuse by his stepfather, Griffin got his first job at Dutch Bros. Coffee and realized that he could afford to rent an apartment. At 16 years old, he moved out of his parents’ home and into a two-bedroom apartment with a buddy. By that time, he’d already been dancing for a year. The scrawny teenager, 5’9” and 115 pounds, approached a local ballet studio to ask if he could use the facilities to practice parkour, a sport that involves gymnastics and jumping over obstacles. Rachel, the headmistress of the studio, said he’d have to become a ballet student. That’s for women. I’m a man. I don’t do that, he thought. But a year later, against his own perceived standards of masculinity, Griffin changed his mind. He began classes at Rachel’s School of Dance under a scholarship, because he was the only male who would join. He went from being the worst dancer in the studio to the best in only a month. Griffin went to summer intensive camps, on scholarship, where he met the dancers who still inspire him today. One of them was Jennifer Martin, the Ballet Mistress of the Eugene Bal-
to the company for fall as a professional cast member. “I’ve never stressed about getting a job at the company,” Griffin says. “Whatever God wants is going to happen. This could technically be my last year of dance. Who knows? I’m not the writer of my story, I guess. I’m just taking part in it.” Sitting in the hallway, Griffin places one ankle over the other knee and uses his hand to guide the foot in a circular motion. His feet—covered in soft ballet slippers, leg warmers hugging the heels—must be articulated. “Moving on!” the ballet mistress shouts. “I think that’s me.”
WE’RE ALWAYS TRYING TO BE PERFECT EVEN THOUGH WE NEVER WILL MAKE IT.
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A Round for
Oregon Local brewers offer new twists on old favorites
“It was really compelling. I was totally shocked because it sounded so weird, but it was really good. I had to look it up. Did I just invent something here?” She hadn’t, but the rediscovery of a long-forgotten taste convinced Rogers that she was onto something. Bringing samples to parties led to demand and customers. When berries came into season, she made shrub with strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, and elderberry. “People were crazy for them,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business. It’s been a dream of mine as long as I can remember. And so I just thought, ‘I’ll give this a try. What do I have to lose?’” Rogers left her position at the University of Oregon in 2013 to focus on perfecting her craft and building her business full time. In two years, Lola’s Fruit Shrubs has grown from party samples to a vendor booth at Saturday Market to the verge of appearing on grocery store shelves. The final hurdle, FDA approval, was cleared recently, opening the door to commercial distribution. Rogers is ready to hit the road and make another dream job a reality. Only this time it will be one of her own imagining; one that will pay homage to her beloved great-grandmother with every bottle of shrub she sells. Especially the peach flavor, just like Rogers had over ice cream on those hot summer days as a girl. “My whole career I’ve taken something from just a little concept or an idea all the way through to mass production,” she says with a smile. “It’s something that I’m good at. And I am so ready to get out there.”
WORDS RUSSELL WILSON PHOTOS HANNAH GIARDINA
PART I – MOLLY ROGERS - LOLA’S FRUIT SHRUBS
olly Rogers has designed missile defense systems for fighter jets, the first snowboards for women, and accessible buildings for persons with disabilities. The soft-spoken but exuberant southern native creates stuff. She always has. It’s what she’s good at. Now, the 43-year-old engineer-turned-entrepreneur’s fledgling business – Lola’s Fruit Shrubs – is poised to take flight in the craft beverage market. Not to be confused with a small tree, a “shrub” in the beverage world is a sweet, tangy and sometimes tart drink that originated in the days before electric refrigeration. In order to preserve fruit through the winters in warmer climes, it was packed into barrels of vinegar. After all the peaches, pears, apples, or lemons were removed, people discovered that the leftover vinegar was naturally sweetened and made a nice addition to a bowl of ice cream. Or a highball of bourbon. Once forgotten, the drink’s popularity has been revived by the craft brewing boom. With demand high for flavorful alcohol and ready access to a variety of locally grown fruit and ingredients, Rogers may be in the right place at the right time. Born in Houston, Rogers moved to New Orleans as a preteen and lived there through high school. The free-wheeling, eclectic, live-and-let-live Big Easy left its imprint on her spirit, but so did a less likely place – the dusty west Texas town of Sweetwater. She and her family traveled there in the summers to visit her greatETHOS SPRING 2016
grandmother Lola. “She was quiet, but a really fun person,” Rogers says of her. “She was married to Baptist minister. Every time he would go out on a mission or something like that, [the women] would draw the blinds and drink and dance and gamble and play cards. They found ways to have a good time.” Lola made shrub with vinegar and peaches. When not taking it with bourbon in secret, she would pour it over homemade ice cream. Rogers remembers how the sweet and sour worked together to make a one-of-a-kind taste. It is just one of many fond memories of her great-grandmother. After earning a mechanical engineering degree from Texas A&M, Rogers embarked on a career arc that took her from designing countermeasure systems for fighter jets to the semiconductor industry to designing snowboards for K2. After that, she earned a graduate degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and stayed to teach and be an accessibility advocate for persons with disabilities (Rogers is a paraplegic). All along, she had a hard time finding a good margarita in the Pacific Northwest. Like any good engineer faced with a problem, she started experimenting with her own mixes. Years passed with little success. And then, sometime in 2012, she mixed lime with vinegar and gave it a try. In an instant, the unique flavor transported her back to those childhood journeys to west Texas.
*Flavors: raspberry lemon, blueberry ginger, strawberry balsamic, blackberry basil, straight lime, classic orange Price: $15/1 liter bottle Available at: 100 Mile Bakery in Springfield and lolasfruitshrubs.com ETHOS SPRING 2016 11
PART 2 – MICHAEL ZARKESH CIRCADIAN COMPANY
ow d’you not like Soda?! It’s bubbly, it’s refreshing!” – George Costanza, Seinfeld, 1996. Michael Zarkesh has a lot in common with the drinks he makes – bubbly like his sodas, and full of energy like his cold brew coffee. Mix in his friend and business partner Randy Adams, and you get the Circadian Company, one of Eugene’s newest craft beverage makers. And, according to them, they are having more fun at creating drinks than anyone else. Need proof ? Look no further than the “about us” page on the website. “Our web designer said we had to have a picture. She said can be anything, even a stick figure, as long as there’s something. So,” he says with a shrug and a wry grin, “me and Randy grabbed a piece of paper drew ourselves as stick figures giving each other a high-five.” Zarkesh, 30, was born in Toledo, Ohio, grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, and came to Eugene in 2003 to attend the University of Oregon. His interest in political activism and nonprofit work led him to a degree in political science with minors in public policy and philosophy – just in time for the economic collapse of 2007-08. Luckily, however, he also (unofficially) minored in beer, educating himself by brewing at home and earning his credentials as a certified beer judge. “I have a crazy fascination with sensory evaluation,” he says. “When you discover something like flavor, you learn anything and everything you can about that pursuit.” A job at a local homebrew shop further pulled Zarkesh into the beer world, and he made a goal for himself to start a brewery in five years. Right on schedule, he became a cofounder of Falling Sky brewery in 2012. After two years, he left, unsure of what he was going to do next. Then he rediscovered coffee. “I didn’t drink coffee for five or six years. It was too acidic, and I didn’t like the caffeine crash,” he says. “But I discovered that I really liked the cold brew. I became fascinated with it and started looking for ways to infuse it with beer. And I thought, wow, there’s
really a lot you can do with this, and I kind of just went down the rabbit hole.” But there was another rabbit hole yet do go down. While at Falling Sky, Zarkesh helped develop the soda program, and always managed to have some at home to drink by itself or as a cocktail mixer. He also noticed that not everyone who goes to a bar drinks alcohol. Many patrons tag along in order to hang out with friends, but, left with a choice between iced tea or commercial sodas chock full of corn syrup, they get discouraged and go home. So he started experimenting with sodas as well, using his brewing expertise to mix the best combinations of local, all-natural ingredients with CO2 to create sparkling perfection. Friends who came over for drinks tried it, loved it, and asked him why he wasn’t selling it. In early 2015, Zarkesh and Adams formed Circadian Company, and their coffees and sodas are on tap in a handful of bars and growler fill stations. (Packed with 30% fruit juice, the soda is too volatile to be bottled, and is limited to take-home containers.) While the duo hopes to expand their business and find a more permanent production space, they are not in it to get rich. “Values are what matters. Money is not the object for us,” Zarkesh says. “If at any point the friendship is compromised, the business will fold first. Just let everything move forward at its own pace like it has.” “We just want to make a living enjoying what we do. It’s not a business, it’s a lifestyle. We’re just happy to be able to share our energy and creativity with folks. Let’s have some fun. It’s all we’ve got.” Just like their motto says: simple and delicious.
* Flavors: coffee (custom roasted from Equiano Coffee) – cold brew, concentrated cold brew, flavored seasonal brew; soda -- Sparkleberry (Berry Lemonade), Squint (Grapefruit), Orange Dream (Orange Vanilla), Pink Flamingos (Hibiscus Punch), Cheery Sunday, Apple Sunday Price: varies by location ($2-$5) Available at: Beer Garden, The Beer Stein, Tap & Growler, Whirled Pies, Hop Valley Tasting Room, Cornucopia 17th & Lincoln Website: circadiancompany.com
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PART 3 – DAVID DONALD RUBY D TONICS
hen David Donald says his foray into the craft beverage business came to him in a dream, he means it. And it all began with a Soda Stream. Not because it made good tonic. In fact, the syrup was terrible, in his opinion. “Sickeningly sweet.” For someone who loves a good gin and tonic, it wouldn’t do. The clear tonics that came off the supermarket shelves were not much better. For the main ingredient in the cocktail – two-thirds, according to his preference – you may as well have a good tonic, he reasoned. A recently-retired systems analyst and programmer for the City of Eugene, Donald had time to tinker. He did some research online and tried some do-it-yourself recipes. And then, one night, he had a dream. “It was a really vivid dream. And there was this tonic, a ruby red tonic, in this beautiful clear glass bottle.” He told his wife, Kim, about it, and more or less forgot. But she didn’t. For his next birthday, she surprised him with a kit to make the real, red stuff. A couple of years later, he can hardly keep up with the demand coming from all corners of the country. In the process, he has become more than just a fan, but a historian of the quinine-based drink. The main ingredient is derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, which is native to high-elevation tropical Andean forests of western South America. It is named after the Second Countess of Cinchon, wife of a viceroy of Peru, who was reportedly cured of an illness in 1742 by drinking a bitter native tea remedy made from its powdered bark. Not long after, it was discovered to be a cure for malaria. In the early 1800s, when the disease was rampant in India, British soldiers were given daily rations of quinine that they mixed with sugar to mitigate the biting bitterness. The officers, however, were privileged to get a ration of gin. Throw in the limes they had to eat
to protect from scurvy, and the gin and tonic was born. “Thank God for the British and the mosquito.” Donald started making batches at home, making notes as he and his wife tasted and adjusted variables. Too citrusy; too bitter; too weak; not enough of this or that. After six or seven batches he “got down to some pretty good tasting stuff.” He started having friends try it. They approved. Next came the big test: having strangers try it. To his joy, and relief, they loved it. But he had one more hoop to jump through. More like the eye of a needle. Because quinine is in the gray area between food and drug, the Food and Drug Administration has stringent standards for purity and content. Finding a lab to test his tonic took time and money, but he got approved, and started production right away, renting kitchen space from Sprout in Springfield by the hour. Though his recipe is a secret, he is happy to divulge the fact that he uses agave instead of cane sugar. Except for the cinchona bark he has to order (only because it doesn’t grow here), every ingredient is organic and locally grown via Glory Been and Mountain Rose Herbs. Despite no other marketing but samples and word of mouth, Donald has made many fans already. He says orders grew ten-fold in his second year, 2015, and could grow even three times more this year. Even so, he and his wife still number every bottle by hand, and he includes a personal note in every box he ships out. “It’s kind of cool at certain age to do something like this,” he says. “I don’t want to play golf. I want to make something. If I make money at it, fine. And if not, it’s been a good adventure.” * Flavors: original, spiced, citrus, extra bitter Price: $11/8 oz. bottle, $17/16 oz. bottle online, varies by location Available at: South Eugene Liquor, Long’s Market deli, Marche Provisions Website: rubydtonics.com ETHOS SPRING 2016 13
WORDS AND PHOTO BEN MCBEE
here’s a photo of me as a chubby toddler in blue pajamas sitting cross-legged on the floor, gazing through a sliding glass door. On the other side, a chipmunk deftly nibbles on a peanut. That little boy was captivated with every subtle movement the small rodent made; how it rotated the shell with its paws and flicked its tri-colored tail erratically. In that scene, a puzzle piece of my identity falls into place — one that is still part of who I am today. I don’t know the exact moment my fascination for animals developed, but I do know it was early in life. That photo all but proves it. As a photojournalist, I appreciate wildlife from behind the lens of my camera. I’m always looking up in the sky and down low under the leaves -- but most importantly, what I try to do is get close with my pictures. Distance and detachment are two of the greatest challenges that threaten our relationship with the natural world as members of its intricate network. My mission is to bridge that gap; to make people not only see the animals that share this planet with us, but also to feel their situation and forge a lasting connection. These portraits of animals in my own back yard and extended home represent this effort.
WILD Chasing the
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WORDS MELISSA EPIFANO
The Rosie Project Making feminine products available for all
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The blue dasher dragonfly, one of the most common species in North America, has a range that extends all the way from Canada to the tropical climate of Belize and Southern Mexico. The diet of the queen butterfly, often confused with its cousin the monarch butterfly, consists primarily of milkweed.
Until 2004, the cackling goose was considered a subspecies of the larger Canada goose
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The American bullfrog, native to the east coast of North America, is considered an invasive species in the ponds and slow moving streams of western states.
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Honey bees play a crucial role in agriculture around the world; fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, and even coffee are products that are dependent on the pollination of honey bees and other insects.
The golden eagle is a formidable hunter and can exert 750 psi of pressure with its talons, over ten times the amount needed to break a human’s arm. Pileated woodpeckers create distinctive rectangular holes in trees as they search for carpenter ants in the wood, which they grab with a sticky, barbed tongue. A herd of deer grazes in a front yard at the base of Smith Rock, Oregon. The “rut”, or mating season begins in the fall, when males will aggressively lock horns.
ampons, pads, and pantyliners aren’t usually things women look forward to buying - at least I certainly don’t. Periods are kind of a pain in the ass, in more ways than one. Between pantyliners, pads, night time pads, and tampons, menstruation drains roughly $200 or more out of our wallets in a year. The average woman will have 456 periods in her life. So, after the necessities listed above, new underwear, birth control for many, ibuprofen/Midol, and heating pads (maybe some chocolate too), we are spending around $18,171 in a lifetime to treat something we didn’t choose to have. Not to mention, 40 out of the 45 states with sales tax label these items as taxable “luxury products.” The struggle is real for us women. But aside from our discomfort and financial burden, there are women who are forced to face the unimaginable when their periods come. According to WomenseNews.org, some rural villages in Nepal have women stay in sheds or separate rooms while they menstruate. Women can’t be sushi chefs because they menstruate, according to the well known sushi chef, Yoshikazu Ono. And in 2013, it was found by UNICEF that 48 percent of girls in Iran believed menstruation was a disease. The lack of education and growing taboo surrounding this natural process has caused issues from females missing class or work, to violence against women. But that doesn’t even begin to touch on the problems menstruation causes for women who are dealing with homelessness or poverty. 564,708 people on a given night in America in January 2015 were homeless. That’s nearly 3.5 times the size of Eugene’s population. Women make up 214,589 of that portion. Not only do they have to face icy temperatures, rainy nights, and dangerous sleeping areas, but the scarcity of food and water make it challenging to predict when they can eat their next meals. On top of that is the inaccessibility to personal hygiene items. Everyday things that so many people take for granted - like showers, toilets, and sinks - are a rare blessing for those on the street. But for homeless women, items like sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and other forms of feminine hygiene products are nearly impossible to come by. A combination of every issue relating to periods makes this time of the month miserable for women all across the world. Lowering the cost and increasing the accessibility of these items can be difficult, but luckily, there are groups like Rosie. Manju Bangalore, a double major in physics and math at the University of Oregon, was shopping with a friend at Target when this issue hit her. They were curious about how women dealing with homelessness handle their periods. “It said on Google that if they have access to a homeless shelter they can get a few pads a month, but that’s pretty much it,” Bangalore says. She went back and discussed her findings with two guys on her residence hall floor who were instantly interested in helping her take action. Hours of research, hard work, and little sleep led to two branches in Lane County and Benton County, a branch in India in the works, and a 501(c)(3) non-profit
called Rosie. First Place Family Center, a part of St. Vincent de Paul, donated their upstairs to hold collected menstrual supplies and their address to collect donations for a year. With a few grants, fundraisers, and community member donations, Rosie has been able to collect pads and tampons to donate to local shelters. They prefer monetary donations in order to supply women with the safest, healthiest options. “We have specific pads and tampons we buy to make sure that the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome is lower, for example if someone gave us scented ones, they might not be as healthy,” Bangalore says. Rosie has also formed a partnership with DivaCup, a brand that supplies a more reusable, longer-lasting type of menstrual product. Few homeless shelters have been open to this type of donation due to the fact that many homeless people don’t have access to clean water, which would be used for washing the cups. “There are a lot of plusses but I definitely understand the reasons why people are being hesitant in taking them from us. But I think we are starting to find some shelters that are open to the idea,” Bangalore says. On top of providing shelters with these products, the other half of Rosie’s mission is educating people about menstruation and removing the stigma that surrounds periods. Members of Rosie post weekly blog posts and are starting to make videos that help inform readers and viewers on topics like having sex on your period, and other questions people are too embarrassed to ask. This education and donation process has given Bangalore much inspiration for how she wants Rosie to grow. “I want us to be able to expand to as many places as possible, and definitely places like Uganda,” say Bangalore. “Many girls can’t graduate from high school because of the lack of menstrual products, because what ends up happening is they have to free bleed and they can’t go to school.” Bangalore also has the idea to help local economies and women by providing the supplies to make pads, so they can not only have the products, but they can make a living off of it as well. Rosie also aspires to work with groups of people that are often marginalized, such as women who are in prison or patients struggling with mental illnesses in hospitals. Another goal is to make sure that all public bathrooms — both men’s and women’s — in Eugene and Springfield have feminine products. “There are trans guys and agendered people who don’t identify that way, but still menstruate,” Bangalore says. “So if you’re a trans guy, you don’t have to choose between the restroom you don’t want to use to get a pad and into the restroom you want to use but you can’t because there are no pads.” Bangalore is amazed by the people who work for Rosie and the amount of dedication they put into the group, despite most of their having part-time jobs, classes, and other extracurricular activities. A combination of all of their ambitions and the donations they receive have began a movement toward feminine items being available for every person who needs them. The stigma around periods needs to dissipate, the price for pads and tampons needs to drop, and the accessibility to education and products needs to become easier. Living in a world where women can use $18,000 toward education, a car, or you know, anything other than Midol and tampons, is one worth working toward. I’d like to add a disclaimer that although I use the term woman and/or girl throughout this piece, we understand that women aren’t the only people who menstruate. But for clear and concise wording, I chose to use the words woman/women/girls. ETHOS SPRING 2016 21
BYAGWAN SHREE RAJNEESH
Rajneeshpuram WORDS PATRICK DUNHAM | PHOTOS COURTESY OF DUNHAM FAMILY ETHOS SPRING 2016
n 1978, my uncle Paul Dunham stepped off a plane in Bombay, India with a paper bag lunch and a backpack. Next stop: Poona, India, to meditate and live under the guidance of the spiritual leader known as Rajneesh. Fast-forward to 1984, when Rajneesh’s top brass committed the first ever act of bioterrorism against the citizens of The Dalles, poisoning a grand total of 751 Oregonians with salmonella via local restaurant salad bars. Back in 1978 however, there was no way for my grandfather and two uncles to predict that such atrocities would be committed. Paul, 20 years old when he arrived in India, was immediately greeted by culture shock; the hundreds of rickshaws, range and levels of noise and smell, and the amount of people shook him to the core. Alone in a new country, Paul had to find my grandfather Robert (now Nijinanda) and my uncle Thomas. Later in the year, another uncle of mine would come to join them, rendering my father David as the only one in the family not there, as he was putting himself through college at the time. This interesting familial decision spurred after the sudden death of my grandmother, which rattled the whole family and altered the course of everything. When he finally made it to the commune, he spent six months meditating and travelling over India with his future-wife, a German named Nana. He perceived Rajneesh “not as a Godhead, nor as a prophet, but rather a teacher.” Rajneesh was a charismatic, controversial leader, who was among the first prominent figures to “take Ancient-Eastern ideologies and fuse them with Western psychology.” According to Paul, the spiritual chieftain was of the belief that “religions are only alive while prophets are alive,” which is ironic considering that he was still worshipped by his devotees after his death in 1990. The commune was full of “the most amazing, intelligent people around,” and through this unique amalgamation, Paul met people from every stretch of the globe. Rajneesh is now infamous for the extended commune that was located in Antelope, Oregon, which caused an uproar not only in the United States, but all over the world. Rajneeshpuram was entirely self-contained, with its own medical facilities, autoshop, farms, and even an airport, all located on the 64,000-acre ranch. This new site was intended to be an expansion of the commune already in Poona, now in a rural town of north-central Oregon in Wasco County. Prior to moving the commune to Oregon in 1981, Rajneesh had taken a public vow of silence. By doing this, he enabled his officers to become radicalized, going to desperate, violent measures to disable the citizen’s suffrage. Prior to the stint in Oregon however, the “sannyasins,” or followers, under Rajneesh’s leadership were not in the least violent or hostile. The large mistake was migrating the commune to America. Many people within the commune were only able to get visas by forming sham marriages to ensure citizenship. When I discussed the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack with Paul, he felt like the kindling of the fire “came out of his reduction of outward presence”. Rajneesh “handed over a lot of power,” to which the officers became saturated in “paranoia and megalomania.” This rocky start influenced the top crust to develop intricate schema in order to ensure that their voices were heard. Despite
resistance from Wasco County, the Rajneeshees wanted to expand their city and elect the commune’s chief of staff as a county commissioner in order to do so. The motive for this act of terrorism was to incapacitate the voters, as the inhabitants at the commune were ineligible to vote. Forty-five were hospitalized, and luckily there were no fatalities, but the commune disintegrated and some of Rajneesh’s officers were incarcerated. Somewhere along the way, the officers administrating over the settlement took a nefarious turn and, in documents synthesized by The Oregonian their assassination plots, land/ immigration law-skirting-tactics, wiretapping activities, amongst other criminalities, became exposed. In much of the hullaballoo concerning Rajneeshpuram, the evil of the commune as a whole is discussed, but this standpoint lacks the consideration that only a handful of the administration had committed these crimes. The thousands of others who lived in the commune were unaware of the deep transgressions being committed, but this fact is easily ignored after the harrowing conclusion of the commune. My grandfather and two uncles remained in Poona until around 1981, when they went back to America to start their lives anew. My grandfather Robert bought land outside of Flagstaff, Arizona to start an organic farm, and Thomas got a job as a taxi driver in Houston, Texas. In the family, my grandfather still liked to be called by his sannyasin name, Nijinanda, and until he died this is what he was called. He was always one with the land; as a geologist he created a classification for carbonate sedimentary rocks, which remains known as the Dunham classification. Although I never got to meet Nij, he will always remain as the single most fascinating person I’ll never have the chance to meet. ETHOS SPRING 2016 23
WORDS JORDYN BROWN PHOTOS KJERSTEN HELLIS
arly morning light streams through the window of the barn as 18-year-old Skylar Maryott brushes out the mane of a horse named Chica. The horse stands still and content, and the rider brushes her light brown fur, head to tail, with care and precision. His other hand grips the side of his wheelchair, holding him steady. Maryott has been riding horses for a little over a year now, but he has just recently worked up to being able to tack and groom his own horse at each of his sessions on Fridays. As with all of the students at Eugene’s RideAble, Maryott has found a place where his disability doesn’t hinder his abilities or opportunities to work with horses, and he is able to do something many people would think unusual or even impossible for somebody in a wheelchair. He boasts of obstacle courses he and Chica do, from riding around the barn to leaping over small hurdles. He wheels around the tall animal as light glints off his dark brown hair, peeking from underneath his riding helmet, before he finally saddles up for the barn. Maryott is one of many over the years who have turned to RideAble as a refuge, a place to challenge themselves in strengthening their riding skills. It’s somewhere that anybody with any sort of special need – whether it be a physical need like Skylar, or more of an emotional need like somebody on the autism spectrum – can come and work through with the help of an animal connection. Students learn to focus on proper riding technique, strengthening their bodies as a sort of physical therapy and the satisfaction of their achievements, which grants them some emotional healing. However, after 22 years of service to those in the Eugene and Springfield area, RideAble faces an unforeseen and devastating reality: the costs of running a facility as large and demanding as this are astronomical, and unless they are able to make up enough money by the end of the month, they could be shut down for good. “To see this place close would be heartbreaking,” says Enga Myrand, an employee and volunteer at RideAble for four years now. “You make relationships with the students and the horses and the parents. I love being out on my feet and being with the students, because it makes their day just to be with the horse.” This would leave members in the community who have turned to RideAble not only without their place of learning, but also it would leave employees without jobs and students without a place to grow physically and emotionally through animal therapy.
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“We’ve always struggled financially because people have a hard time understanding this,” says Monica Liles, the owner of RideAble, while gesturing to Skylar riding, slowly leading Chica around barrels in the spacious, hay covered barn. “People think, ‘Oh, isn’t it nice to put people on horses and do pony rides.’ We’re not doing pony rides… For him, he’s got the most freedom in his life that he’s ever had. People don’t get that.” Without RideAble as an option, the lives of other riding students like Julie Mills would severely shift. Despite being born with a unique birth defect that makes it so all of her joints are frozen, she makes her living by painting and creating art, using the strength of her mouth to guide the tools and paintbrushes. Mills even says she used to pick her son up with her mouth when he was young until he weighed about 60 pounds. However, she faced more challenges after being the victim of two major acETHOS SPRING 2016
cidents where she was badly injured, keeping her in a wheelchair for some time now. The injuries make it impossible for her to even move her neck to paint and draw like she used to. But the impact riding has made on her life is clear. “Because of my lower back injury, my core became weak, so in 2011, so I started up again,” Mills says. “I went from not being able to walk in my house, to being able to walk again. I just started walking up my ramp every so often. I haven’t been able to walk up my ramp since 2011.” Tears brim heavily in her eyes, even as she smiles. “It’s just a really exciting thing.” The experiences she has had with the horses have served her in more ways than just physically. In spending so much time with them, she has built relationships with each new horse, and they have come to know her as well. “The hardest one was Whinney. She’s a prima donna,” Mills says. “At one point I was just really depressed because of
my back, my marriage was falling apart because of his addictions and Whinney was giving me a hard time. And I just looked at her and said, ‘I can’t have you being a prima donna right now. I’m really hurting…’ and she put her head against my chest, and let me put my head on her. It was just an incredible thing. She was just holding me. The animals know.” With a clientele ranging from three to 72 years old, RideAble aims to accommodate people by only charging $35 for hour-long sessions. While this eases the financial strain on potential students and their families, this poses a problem for the business side of RideAble, especially when confronting unanticipated expenses. “We had a situation where the horses were all poisoned through cobalt so they all became really toxic,” Liles says. “We’re a year into detoxing everyone, and so they’re finally back to being healthy. But that was over $15,000 that cost us. That really put a strain on our finances.”
A GoFundMe set up for the expenses picked up steam, successfully meeting their $15,000 goal that would keep them in business within 10 days, made up of mostly small donations. But according to employee Myrand, it takes about $10,000 a month just to keep the business running what with caring for the horses, paying for the land, employee wages, and more. While it seems RideAble has come out on top of their dilemma this time, it is bound to face similar situations in the future: they have been struggling financially for some time despite holding fundraisers and applying for grants. But RideAble’s mission has never been about the money. It’s always been about the people, which is why their real long-term need is for more volunteers like Harold Thompson. “My daughter Hailey, it’s a good outlet for her,” says Thompson, 63. “She doesn’t have a lot of outlets, and it’s a good place for her to be challenged. My daughter is very autistic so to find any place she succeeds at all is great.” Thompson began volunteering here over a year ago, content to do anything from sweeping the stables to assisting riders in walking their horses around the barn. “It’s a place for lots of individuals to come together where there aren’t a lot of places for them to go,” Thompson says. “I hear about it and see it, how they benefit physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s the idea of helping a program I believe in, and my own personal connection to it because of my daughter.” Those at RideAble insist the horses are the real instructors. Each horse has a different attitude, strengths, and needs that help to change the way their students develop. From the Kiger Mustangs to the Appaloosas, the horses seem to make a difference. The folks at RideAble see the progress and power that comes from new sessions, each one changing the lives of a population of people who are often forgotten in the spectrum of their needs. “This is the one place they come in and they are a person,” Monica Liles says. “They’re not a special needs person or treated like they have special needs. They’re talked to like a real person. And they can’t go anywhere else and ride. Nowhere else is going to do that for them.” If you would like to help RideAble meet their goal check out their GoFundMe Page at: GoFundMe.com/gv2bz8bn
‘I can’t have you being a prima donna right now. I’m really hurting…’ and she put her head against my chest, and let me put my head on her. It was just an incredible thing. She was just holding me. The animals know.
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Awoken by Fear:
An Exploration of Sleep Paralysis
WORDS FORREST WELK ILLUSTRATIONS MIRÓ MERRILL
ETHOS SPRING 2016
The only light in the room came from the red digits glaring off a clock. If there was a figure, I couldn’t see it. But I thought someone was in my bedroom. Despite my blindness to the presence, I could hear its disturbing menace loom over me. The whispers of unintelligible language and the echoing sounds rang in my ears as I lost all sense of time and reality. I tried to get up, but my body failed to react. Was I dreaming? I never told my parents. The nightmares kept coming back, though it was difficult to distinguish between the dream state and reality. Bedtime was a chore, and not something that I looked forward to as an opportunity for rest. Keep in mind: I was only 8 years old at the height of my episodes. They were horrifying. Often I would wake up unable to move or speak. It felt like something was in the room with me, though I never saw anything. The noise was deafening. It can only be described as a loud, echoing pitch ringing in and out of my ears – like something heard deep in a cave. Though I would later learn that this was an auditory hallucination, my childhood implication was that the presence was very real. The inability to cry for help troubled me most. The film E.T. resonates with me in a lot of ways, but it is especially relevant in this case. I think back to the scene when Elliot sees E.T. for the first time. The young boy wakes up on his porch paralyzed in fear and can only whisper pleas for help. That moment is a taste of what sleep paralysis is like. Ironically, sleep paralysis is medically harmless. A common form of it occurs when the victim becomes aware while the muscles are turned off in an REM cycle. Some report strange noises like my experiences. Others describe vivid, shadowy images that appear at the foot of their beds. A few report no hallucinations at all, or some sort of combination. Aside from being terrifying, the effects lead to
an inconvenient sleep schedule. However, sleep paralysis is absent of serious health risks. Some experts describe the phenomenon as a symptom of narcolepsy, a rare brain disorder that causes the affected to fall asleep at an inconvenient time. But sleep paralysis extends far beyond those dealing with narcolepsy. Studies vary wildly in determining how many people suffer from it. One of the more comprehensive studies, Dr. Brian Sharpless’ 2011 paper Prevalence of Sleep Paralysis, concluded that just under 8 percent of the general population experiences it. One of these people is Cameron McPherson, a 21-year-old at the University of Oregon. The Boston native lives a typical college life. He majors in psychology with a minor in computer science. His frame is fairly athletic, his height average. You can typically see McPherson roaming around campus wearing one of his baseball caps. He is well-spoken, kind, and enjoys a happy relationship with his girlfriend, Ali. But nighttime can be far less typical. He first experienced sleep paralysis as a sophomore in 2013. Under the stress of studying for fall term finals, McPherson had his first conscious nightmare. “The most intense part was when I started to see what looked like a person coming into my room, and I tried to move and I just couldn’t at all,” says the University of Oregon senior. “It started coming closer to me, and that’s when I really started to freak out.” The nightmare finally ended and he moved again. McPherson, frightened and confused, searched for answers the next morning. After some Googling, he discovered what so many before him had realized: he just had sleep paralysis. Though he told his family that he didn’t want to see a doctor, he admits he was scared. “The next night, I was almost too scared to go to sleep because I thought it was going to happen again,” says
McPherson. “I stayed up until three in the morning, worried that I would hallucinate again.” Though he was not paralyzed that night, McPherson’s encounters with the nightmare world were far from over. He says he experiences sleep paralysis about once every three months. Linking the high stress and exhaustion of college to his recurring episodes, he tries to go to sleep earlier. Many (including McPherson) don’t sleep on their backs in an attempt to avoid the problem altogether. It can occur in any sleeping position, but many find relief when they try to sleep on their sides or stomachs. A study at the University of Waterloo concluded that 60 percent of sleep paralysis experiences occur when the patient sleeps on the back. McPherson’s sleep paralysis is unique in that it sometimes occurs while he is falling asleep. This is called hypnagogic sleep paralysis. Humans typically lose consciousness as their muscles begin to shut down as they fall asleep. If McPherson remains consciously aware, he will realize that he cannot move his muscles. The nightmare begins. “I start to fall asleep, but then I have these weird thoughts in my head. It doesn’t feel right,” explains McPherson. “That’s when it happens.” McPherson developed sleep paralysis before he met his girlfriend Ali Brown in 2014. Brown had never heard of it before. “I thought it sounded really weird and scary,” says the 22-year-old University of Oregon journalism student. “It’s kind of weird to hear that someone is going through that when you’re right next to them.” When the couple is in the same bed, McPherson says there probably isn’t anything that she can do. Brown has always been sleeping during his infrequent sleep paralysis episodes. One of his scariest memories occurred when she was in bed with him. He describes three shadowed ETHOS SPRING 2016 29
figures looming over the bed, drawing closer to them. “I was trying so hard to talk or say something. I wanted to will her to wake up so that she would push me, so that I could snap out of it,” says McPherson, who could only look with desperation as he failed to move. “After I finally woke myself up, I rolled over and woke her up. I was so freaked out.” Despite such intense sessions, things are improving for McPherson. He still has not seen a doctor despite protests from his family. He trains himself to focus on moving his fingers first, while also telling himself that the hallucinations are not real. He has only suffered from sleep paralysis for a couple of years. Others have dealt with it much longer. Cultures have recognized sleep paralysis for centuries. It had been attributed to diet or even the paranormal depending on the culture. A common theory links the phenomenon to alien abduction. When Rachel Murray first had sleep paralysis when she was 13, she considered this possibility and other paranormal explanations. “It’s really hard to explain to yourself that it’s just a dream,” says the 29-yearold Australian. “It was a bit confronting because I’m not a religious person.” Her older brother Brendan had taken an interest in the paranormal. To the young teenager, Murray describes him as her “encyclopedia of knowledge” and someone she immediately went to for advice. Upon questioning, Brendan immediately assured her that her encounter was nothing paranormal, but rather a physiological phenomenon that so many have experienced. Despite a firm understanding of the disorder, the episodes remained terrifying. Unlike McPherson, Murray can have sleep paralysis in any position. A particularly frightening recurrence happens when she sleeps on her side. This typical episode begins with the sound of a rustling paper. She looks and sees a person with a newspaper sitting at her bedside, flipping through the pages. The figure is human, but indistinguishable. “They become aware that I am looking at them,” says Murray, “Then they turn around and get right into my face, and that’s usually when I scrunch my eyes really tight and try and break the paralysis.” ETHOS SPRING 2016
Her hallucinations are something out of a horror movie. Director Rodney Ascher was inspired by the terrifying experiences of those with sleep paralysis. He directed horror documentary The Nightmare, released in January 2015. The film relies on testimonies of those with sleep paralysis and attempts to reenact them. Before filming, Ascher put out a callout for people to share their stories relating to sleep paralysis. Murray considered sharing her struggles. “I wasn’t really sure if that was something I wanted to do then,” says Murray, who ultimately chose not to share, nor has she seen the film. “I’m interested, but I’m also scared that it might trigger sleep paralysis that night.” The title Nightmare is connected to the spiritual connotations that intrigued Murray at age 13. A common name for the phenomenon in 18th century England was Old Hag Syndrome. The idea was that the figures seen during sleep paralysis were demons or night hags, and that the struggle was linked to possession. The creatures were sometimes referred to as mares, hence the term nightmare. It was much later that nightmares were associated with general bad dreams. For Murray, the nightmares show little sign of slowing down. She says that while she would like the problem to go away, it does not cripple her life. Doctors have told her that it could be a neurological disorder due to the frequency of her sleep paralysis. Though she has dealt with the issue for some time, others have shown that they can break the cycle even after years of sleep paralysis. Some report that relief of stress often coincides with decreased instances of sleep paralysis. That may have been a contributing factor for Elizabeth PresslerHenderson, a health coach from Oklahoma City. She attributes the origins of her struggles to stress as a 23-year-old graduate student. The first episode occurred on her couch when she was disturbed by sleep paralysis multiple times during a nap. Similar to Murray, she initially thought it might have something to do with the spiritual realm. “At the time, I thought that there was an evil force in the room,” says the 36-year-old. “I thought it was through spiritual will that prevented me from getting up off the couch, causing me to fall back into nightmares.”
Pressler-Henderson describes herself as a spiritual agnostic at that point in her life. Even while being open to those kinds of ideas, she did not believe that something paranormal happened to her upon fully waking up. She attributed the evil force as a part of a dream unlike which she had ever experienced. Her hallucinations were not like others. In fact, they barely existed. The force she describes was not a visible being, nor something that she could hear. But she could tell that something was in the room with her. “I was positive that there was an unseeable force,” says Pressler-Henderson, “I could just feel a malevolent force.” Despite the initial confusion and fear of an insidious being, she was able to begin to think reasonably and logically during her episodes. Sleep paralysis was a consistent part of her life for 11 years. As the stress went down, her sleep paralysis decreased in frequency. At the same time, Pressler-Henderson was dealing with depression and anxiety. “The better controlled those are, especially the anxiety, I feel like the less sleep paralysis has happened.” Eventually, the problem diminished altogether two years ago. That was the last time she experienced sleep paralysis. She considers it a past part of her life, but does not rule out the possibility that it could haunt her once again. “I don’t think that someone could 100 percent say that they’re over it because it’s one of those things that can happen anytime to anyone,” explains PresslerHenderson. I tell people that I’m over sleep paralysis, but I do not doubt that it could come back. A strange part of me wants to feel that sensation once again. I often crave things from my childhood, and this is oddly no exception. I certainly would not want to experience it every day, but the fear won’t stop me from sleeping on my back on occasion. Why did I never tell my parents? Though the noises were haunting, I simply thought that it was a normal part of sleeping. There was no Google for the young me to turn to — so, I would close my eyes every night, wondering if the next thing I saw would be a brand new day, or something more sinister.
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FACES OF A CRISIS “It’s hard because everyone knew what was going on and no one did anything. Just like in the Middle East now. We know what’s going on, but it’s the whole ‘not in my backyard’ policy, and these people are going through exactly what my family went through, ” says Eldina Salkanović, the daughter of a former Bosnian refugee, whose family sought asylum in the United States during the Bosnian War. Although people from war stricken countries seeking asylum isn’t new, the conversation regarding refugees has become more prominent throughout this past year, as the threat of IS has grown and with the war in Syria continuing. Germany has now become the leading country of accepting these displaced persons. Last year alone, Germany has accepted over 1.5 million refugees into their country, according to the UNHCR, where they had been given full refugee status, which includes the right to stay in Germany for at least three years, bring family members, and receive welfare benefits. However, since November, the German Interior Ministry announced that they have stopped granting full refugee status, which only allows the incoming refugees to stay for a year, without family members, and receive a “subsidiary protection.” Although Germany is still accepting refugees, lawmakers are attempting to put daily quotas in place, as other countries have already done. These quotas, along with countries closing their borders, creates a bottleneck situation— especially with new refugees arriving each day. With the number of refugees in Europe well over the one million mark, it can be hard to place a face to each number, but each number is in fact a person with a story, and these are just a few of the many stories that these people have.
Doris Okojie is a Nigerian Refugee who has been living in Germany for almost two years. She says she knew since the day she was born that she wanted to leave Africa. She never liked it, and after watching movies about “the white people and the way they lived” Okojie realized she wanted more. “That is how life is supposed to be. Not like this,” she says. She says that Nigeria is always in a crisis, but it’s never talked about in the media. There is no government control and a lack of food and water. Those with money have a well in order to get fresh water, but the rest have to buy it. Most of the food comes from Northern Africa, and if relations between the Muslims and Christians are bad, it can be hard to get food. “That is just Africa,” Okojie explains. When Okojie decided to leave, she says that she took the more dangerous route— through the Libyan desert. “It took me a lot of time--almost took my life. It was very hard. A lot of sand, no trees, nothing. The weather was so hot. No water. I was suffering. We had to drink our urine because there was no water. When you pee, you had to drink it to survive,” she says. After the fourth day in the desert, they were discovered, and because of the religious divide, Okojie and her group were moved from prison to prison. There, she said some were being beaten and dying. “That’s why I say I’m lucky,” Okojie says.
Okojie stayed in the desert for three months, where she described herself as “living like an ancient person” until she was able to take a boat to Malta, where she lived for seven years, and had her two children, Donia and Bradley. When she began to experience domestic violence, she chose to flee to Germany. “I need the best for my kids like I need the best for myself. So, I come to Germany. We have future here. I don’t care for my future because I’m no longer a kid, but I care for my children’s future,” says Okojie. From Malta, Okojie and her children stayed with a friend in Italy before taking the train to Germany. She had all of her documents, therefore it wasn’t a problem to get into the country. She has since been living at a refugee center outside of Stuttgart, where she spends most of her time taking care of Bradley, who needs special care. She’s hoping to find a job as soon as Donia is in kindergarten, and to continue learning the German language. She prays that the government grants her request to continue living in Germany. “I believe if I go back, you just want to punish me and the kids. They don’t have a future back there. The country doesn’t care. Here you feel like you’re in heaven, and from heaven they take you back to hell. That is how it is,” Okojie says.
I don’t care for my future because I’m no longer a kid, but I care for my children’s future.
WORDS ALIYA HALL | PHOTOS QUEERSTOFF
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“It made me ten times more thankful to be alive because I could have just as easily been killed in the war.” As a daughter of a refugee from the Bosnian war of 1992, Salkanović was too young to remember the journey that she made with her mother, grandfather, and brother from Bosnia through Croatia and Germany, to end up in the United States. However, she always had some idea that her family was different than others because they spoke another language and had no pictures around the house because she didn’t have a father. As Salkanović grew up, her mother would explain to her parts of their story, but only if they were appropriate. It wasn’t until last year that Salkanović and her brother sat down with their mother and asked for the whole story. “It was more eye opening, I think. A lot of the things she had told me before, and it was kind of a repeat, but with the questions we had, it cleared up all the missing gaps. Now, I can finally grasp what actually happened and what my mom had to go through,” she says. The Bosnian war started after the breakup of Yugoslavia, when Serbia tried to extend territory into Bosnia. What started as a war over territory quickly disintegrated into an ethnic cleansing of Bosnia’s Muslim population. The war started in May 1992, five months before Salkanović was born. The Serbians came in and began to separate the men from their families. After the separation, stories began to surface about women being raped, men who would be forced to run across parks to be shot down by Serbian soldiers, and a grandfather who was forced to eat the liver of his grandson. “My grandfather on my dad’s side, they captured and tied him up, along with my dad and uncle, and forced them to watch as the Serbians beat him to death. They beat him for three days and then he died,” Salkanović explains. “The stories are endless.” In July 1992, Salkanović’s father went missing. He— like many Bosnian men— volunteered for a job that was offered by the Serbians, but in reality,
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it would lead to him being killed. Eight years after Salkanović’s family moved to the United States, they received a call that her father had been identified as one of the bodies in a mass grave. “My brother wanted to see the skeleton, and he said that on the skull of my father he saw the bullet hole.” This was the only time that Salkanović began to cry during her story. After a small break, she went on to explain that she made a trip with her mother to Bosnia in order to see the city firsthand after hearing the whole story. She says that her mother became more apprehensive during their stay, and Salkanović now understands why. “That was the really big thing that hit me. I come to this town and everything seems so normal. That street was where the genocide officer walked down to where these innocent men were held hostage. I got goosebumps,” she says. During her trip Salkanović was able to see the blown up remains of her grandfather’s house, her mother’s old work, and the house of the gypsy woman who took in her family before they escaped the country. “When you finally see these things after being told it all your life, it sheds light on ‘these things can actually happen.’ That that big an atrocity could happen to you. It made me ten times more thankful to be alive because I could have just as easily been killed in the war. It made me so much more thankful for where I am today,” she says. As of March 24th, 2016 Salkanović and her family heard the news about the conviction of Radovan Karadžić, one of the Serbian generals responsible for the war, and learned that a friend of her father, who had been testifying against the general with his own testimony, had a major role in the conviction of Karadžić. Although Salkanović finds the sentencing of 40 years to be a light charge, she is thankful that the media is now giving more attention to the Bosnian War.
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“My hope is to have peace in Syria and in Germany. We [Syrians] hope that. But it’s not coming.” HOSAM HELWAH AND MOHAMMED:
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Hosam Helwah and Mohammed Saleh are two Syrian refugees who arrived in Germany this past year. Their country has been in war for five years, after a revolution that was inspired to bring freedom. “[It’s] terrible. We see in the media on the TV, they kill everyone. They fight each other. We don’t have one group, we have 100 groups fighting each other. A lot of people die everyday, for not having food, from bombs, and airplanes,” says Helwah. After Helwah graduated in 2011 he was forced to join the army, while Saleh chose to take part in the revolution, which made him a target for house visits from the police until he escaped to Sudan in 2012. The two men had different experiences traveling to Germany. For Helwah it was easy to fly out of Libya, but the decision to leave his family was the hardest part of the journey. “Maybe when I run away, I don’t know if I can see them again or not. Maybe if I stay there, someone will kill me,” he says. “This is a big step for me to run away and keep my mother and family in Syria—that is not easy.” Saleh had to pay off the police who wanted him, and when he came to Europe had to move between Italy and France before eventually having the chance to come to Germany. His mother and sister are both still in Sudan, and he has not had any contact with his father in over a year, and doesn’t know whether he is alive or not. Despite all the hardships, Saleh is happy he can have this new life in Germany. “I feel that people in Germany feel what the war makes in life. I feel good when I come to person who feel how I feel about war, about everything,” Saleh says. For Helwah, the choice to come to Germany was an economic one. A friend of his told him that there were job opportunities available for him there. “[That is] one of most important things for me. I want to work, I don’t want to stay at home,” he says. Both Helwah and Saleh were sent to Karlsruhe when they arrived in Germany, to be later transferred to a small village on the outskirts of Reutlingen, where they are now both living. Although they say most of their experiences with Germans have been good, there has been some cause for concern over how situations regarding refugees have been handled, especially in light of
the New Years’ attacks in both Köln and Stuttgart. “What happened in Köln, it wasn’t people from Syria. The police says it was people from Egypt and Morocco. They come here and say they are from Syria. I saw an African man say he was from Damascus,” Saleh explains. Although Helwah hasn’t encountered any negativity firsthand, he told a story of his brother who during a fight with another refugee was pushed into glass that broke into his back. When the police came to the scene and realized it was a fight between refugees they didn’t do anything about it. “The refugees here aren’t just one nationality or culture. If someone makes a problem it’s hard to catch them and put them in jail or transfer [them back] into their home country. We know it’s not easy. The police won’t do anything about it, it’s not good for Germany or for us,” he says. Saleh admits that there are certain refugees who make problems for beyond that reason. When a refugee won’t be granted a long stay in Germany, they feel they can do whatever they want, and that makes life harder for refugees like him and Helwah who are granted permission to stay. Helwah and Saleh say this gives them a chance to have a new life, and unlike most of the other Syrian refugees, they don’t miss anything back in Syria. Helwah says that most of them want to go back and start rebuilding, but he thinks it will need more time, at minimum, ten years. “My hope is to have peace in Syria and in Germany,” he says, “We [Syrians] hope that. But it’s not coming.” Since the beginning of 2016, there have been 82,636 more people traveling to Europe from sea, according to the UNHCR, and the number is only getting higher. These four refugees have or were given a chance by Germany to restart their lives, and they are thankful for that opportunity, but they aren’t going to forget who they are or where they have come from. “We come here to escape from war and have good life,” Saleh says. “It’s a good step for us, but we should not forget our country. I respect you because you respect me because I am refugee. You can’t judge about me before you meet me, and see what’s in my mind.”
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Two Worlds Having returned to the site of her gap year before college, Negina Pirzad sees the country of Morocco through her memories of the past, along with a new, present-day lens. One thing that has remained a constant for Pirzad is her seeing the North African country as a reference point for understanding her familyâ€™s homeland of Afghanistan. WORDS AND PHOTOS NEGINA PIRZAD
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ur faded yellow taxi cab came to a playful stop in the congested roundabout as it gave its identical twin in front a kiss, as two siblings would. Our car’s rear was on the receiving end of another bumper-to-bumper greeting - one taxi piling in after the other at the stop site for Marrakesh’s busiest attraction: Jemaa al Fnaa. Unlike the tourists who were falling out of their cabs looking traumatized from the ride, I was paying attention to the taximeter and calculating how much it used to cost for a ride from my host family’s house in the Shaar al Hamrah neighborhood to the popular outdoor market where we had just arrived. The verifying in my head was happening out of habit, since I knew from experience how prone to meter-manipulation Marrakshi taxi drivers could be with foreign customers. Rides would usually end in one of two ways: sourly, with a money debacle, or more lovingly, with a marriage proposal from the driver. This time around, no one asked for my hand, but the ride price did seem higher than I remembered. With a slight feeling of defeat, I handed over a crisp 20-dirham bill, including a generous tip for the man who had brought me to the place I had dreamt of for the last threeand-a-half years. I didn’t feel defeated because I thought the Moroccan had overcharged us–it was more of a feeling of disappointment that came over me. The Marrakesh I once knew wasn’t completely the same as I’d left it. The few-dirham increase made me emotional and nostalgic for the past. I daydreamt of the days I walked this city, from my language school in the Gueliz neighborhood, to the Menara pool close to the airport, heading east towards the Koutoubia mosque, hitting the medina, or old city souks we were at now, and then going back towards the stretch of public schools that signified I was close to home. All the sounds I heard on these treks through town were coming back to me— from calming prayer calls of the Adhan, to whispers from the many panhandlers lining the streets, to the occasional calls from boys that I quickly learned to not take too seriously. I let my mind wander through the
memories, pretending I needed a shake to wake up and return to reality. Paulina, my travel companion, nudged me back to the present. Our taxi driver was yelling at me for overstaying my welcome, but I wanted to continue romanticizing the moment, as if I were in the sequel to my very own coming-of-age movie. Marrakesh was my home base for the 2011-12 school year while I was on a governmental scholarship to study the ever-critical language of Arabic. I left Eugene, Oregon, having just graduated from high school, and I was sitting on the cusp of my 18th birthday when I got on the plane that took me from Portland, to Washington D.C., to Madrid, and finally into Casablanca. Almost three-and-a-half years had passed since this life-changing experience, and there I was in Marrakesh again – back to give endless kisses, from one on the left cheek to as many as seen fit on the right, to my Moroccan family and to the Red City that once hosted me. Transitioning into the exotic Moroccan life that I heard so much about - that I was cautioned and warned so much about - was a cultural shock for me at first back in 2011, but the overall immersion into this new, North African way of living wasn’t all that difficult for me. I quickly realized that Marrakesh was the first place that ever made me feel closest to where my parents migrated from in the late-‘70s: Kabul, Afghanistan. I lived almost my entire life as a minority, coming from an unknown cultural background, in this Caucasian-majority community in Oregon which has always made it difficult to not feel “othered.” In the States, my family tries to uphold our authentic Afghan traditions through the foods we eat, the holidays we celebrate, the music and movies we consume, but I know it never feels exactly the same for my parents and relatives as it did back home, before the Soviet Invasion took the Afghanistan they once knew. And what Morocco gave me was more than my first international experience – from the moment I stepped off the plane at 17 years old, to when I stood at the mouth of the Jemaa al Fnaa souks at 21 years old this past summer – it made me feel so strongly the presence of my Muslim religion and my Eastern heritage that I don’t completely get back in Eugene. My Moroccan family even saw this
comfort I felt in their country, to the point in which they would say, “You are not an American student we are hosting. You are an Afghan student visiting us who is almost Moroccan.” Where most American students would be taken aback by the eclectic Moroccan culture, I was at home. Some aspects of life were different, but never strange to me. When our program warned us about things like people eating with their hands and sitting at circular tables, I went into the experience already knowing that justice isn’t given to the most delicious of foods unless you eat communally and sans utensils. My American roommate and I would see foreign ingredients enter our host family’s kitchen, but the smells that wafted from Mama Khadija’s works would instantly remind me of those from my parents’ Afghan cooking back home. And then, there was modesty. For many Westerners, covering your arms, legs, and chest in a place with desert climate is unfathomable, where societal guidelines for the way one dresses and the way people act apply to both men and women, and where sometimes, a girl would feel more comfortable covering her hair as well as her body. But again, I grew up with this notion of conservativeness already engrained in me, along with the fact that there is a specific time and place for everything, including certain types of self-expression. But at 17, it is important to note that Moroccan culture was still new to me and not everything felt familiar or relatable. The heavier aspects of life in a developing nation, like poverty, were difficult for me to comprehend at times when I was younger. Morocco isn’t as poor as most other third-world countries with its active tourism, agriculture, and other booming industries, but it does suffer from a number of maladies that were foreign to me. Take: The type of poverty found in Morocco. It was so different than anything I’d ever seen back in the U.S. Women sit with sleeping children in their laps, men with gruesome, open wounds exposed, panhandling popular Marrakech spots. The way begging worked and was viewed were things I couldn’t quite connect to my parents’ experiences in Afghanistan because these weren’t the types of stories they would reminisce on with my sisters and me growing up.
But this time around, another sign that the Al Maghreb country felt different to me was how I responded to the transparent poverty in public. I wasn’t shocked and confused by it; I was instead put into another one of my trances, drawing connections from the poor populations in Morocco to what present-day Afghanistan must look like. Where my family’s country is at now is foreign to both them and me, making me want to understand and visualize life for the Afghan people today for myself. And again, I was able to use Morocco as a reference point for my South Asian country, but in a different way now. Returning to my city this past summer, and playing tour-guide for my best friend, the place my ancestors come from felt within grasp once again. And even though Marrakesh changed in ways, the memories and connections I made years ago still filled me up like a bowl of harira soup on a cold winter day.
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My Mother, My Ally:
How our relationship was revived in the Middle East WORDS AND PHOTO DAHLIA BAZZAZ
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late May 2014. Living with my father and brother in our suburban Portland home, she ignored my calls and texts for days. My brother told me that my mother looked like she was mourning a death. After a week, she showed up at my apartment in Eugene looking for answers. “You broke my heart,” she told me between heaving sobs as she sat on the edge of my bed. She buried her pale face, framed by a navy headscarf, in a worn tissue. Everything else she wore was black. Her purse and jacket stayed on her shoulders for the entire two hours she spent at my apartment. I watched her writhe and bend with her cries from across the room. Much of my mother’s pain healed with time. But to say I’ve been hijab-free for the last two years would be a lie. It comes back into my life every so often: sometimes in trips to the Shia mosque in Portland, Oregon, during Ramadan, sometimes when old family friends come over for dinner. During those few covered hours, my mom might look at me with a weak smile resting on her high cheekbones. “You look beautiful. Inshallah (God willing), one day…” she trails off. Watching her try to reconcile who I’d become with her seemingly rigid boundaries of morality grew exhausting. Friends pitied me. I pitied me. Whenever I described the relationship between my conservative, immigrant mother and me,
I’d get the song “Reflection” from Mulan stuck in my head. Look at me / I would never pass for a perfect bride / or a perfect daughter… So it seems / that if I were truly to be myself / I would break my family’s heart. My perceptions of my mother carried rigid boundaries of their own, too. I carried the weight of our conflicts to every interaction we had. I’d bail for family dinners, fearing the hijab talk after them. Our phone calls dwindled to under three minutes a piece. But those boundaries began to flex last winter, when I took a three-week trip to Iran and the United Arab Emirates with her to visit family. I initially resisted the idea—to keep up appearances, I’d need to wear a headscarf the entire time—but in the face of my apparent reluctance, my mom had resorted to sending me slideshows of my aging grandparents in Iran, set to melancholic music. For most of my life, I’ve been my mother’s travel companion. Whether it was a 15-minute trip to Costco or a fiveweek trip to Hajj, we’d clocked thousands of hours in transportation together. Sometimes, in an effort to sweeten the trip, she’d go out of her way to make things easier: Once, she even lined the shopping cart with towels from the home department so I could nap while she shopped. Another time, she revealed three coloring books and a 64-pack of Crayola
I traded in my headscarf for a hair straightener.
became a woman in the arrivals section of London Heathrow Airport. Not long after my mother and I departed our plane, she reached deep into the front pocket of her overstuffed carry-on. When her hand emerged, it held a square, cerulean hijab. She connected the corners into a triangle, knelt down in front of me, and placed it over my head. As she fastened a pink, butterfly-shaped clip under my chin to connect the two halfs of the scarf together, I watched her eyes dart in every direction except mine. It was a last-minute effort to make me decent before my Persian-Iraqi mother’s conservative Muslim family members arrived to pick us up from the airport. At nine years and two months, I was already past my Islamic deadline for modesty. The hijab and I remained together for nearly a decade after our first, abrupt introduction in the summer of 2003. To my mother and her extended family, the hijab represented a piece in the jigsaw puzzle of femininity--a puzzle that couldn’t be solved. So on the first day of my sophomore year at the University of Oregon, I traded in my headscarf for a hair straightener. I straddled two different versions of myself for the next eight months, until my mom found a photo of me on Google images. It was a week after my twentieth birthday, in
crayons half-way into a transatlantic flight. But as I soon found out, this trip would be a little different. During the 14-hour flight from Seattle to Dubai, my mom pulled out a baggie filled with Valium from her purse. “Mom, what the hell?” I said. “If I don’t take these, I’ll never fall asleep,” she replied. “I know you’re a light sleeper too. Yella, take one of these.” My mother — a woman who has spent the last 56 years of her life staying away from alcohol and virtually all other substances — was peddling me prescription drugs left over from oral surgery. One seatback version of “The Notebook” and three cases of sleep paralysis later, I awoke to landing turbulence. While I reached into my backpack to grab my headscarf and a cardigan, my mother retrieved a black abaya from her
purse. We were both keeping up appearances for our relatives. When we walked into 85-degree weather outside of Dubai International Airport, I complained of the heat and tugged at my hijab. My mom ignored me. I look over and see flushed face scanning for my aunt between the cabs. When she finally spotted her, my mom grinned like a child and rushed over to her. The two sisters embraced, and I realized that even with yearly visits, two continents have separated my mother from her immediate family since 1978 — when my mom left Baghdad at 18 years old so my father could study at the University of Oregon. When we arrived at my grandparents’ house in Tehran 10 days later, my grandfather held my hand and slapped it lightly, chastising me for being immodest by staining it with a henna design. “If you think that’s strict, you should have seen how I grew up,” my mother said to me, chuckling. In those days, she and her sisters weren’t allowed to attend college, and some married before their 18th birthdays. I was starting to see how easy I had it in Oregon. We traveled alone to the city of Shiraz, and I watched her mouth off in broken Farsi when a taxi driver tried to rip us off.
I discovered her enthusiasm for ancient ruins during a tour of Persepolis, where she stopped every few feet to take photos and berate our guide with questions. Before, back at home, I feared my mother’s judgement because of her background. But on that three-week expedition, she was my closest confidant and the only person who knew English. We shared the day’s drama as we lay over bright Persian rugs in our shared room, hearing the call to prayer trickle in slowly from the window. Little by little, I watched the image of my mother change from dogmatic to daring, from my biggest adversary to my biggest ally. During that trip, I saw beautiful sights: the largest mosque in the world; the intricate turquoise tile lining the tomb of Hafez, my favorite Persian poet; the sun setting deep in the Dubai desert. But none were as beautiful as the emerging image of my mother—complicated, conflicted, and so much more than the one who knelt before me at Heathrow Airport. Dahlia Bazzaz is the Editor in Chief of the Emerald.
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serras1919 How one family smuggled jeans into Franco’s Spain.
arreling north through Catalonia toward the Spanish-French border, a pickup truck races to the meetup point. Behind the wheel is Mercè, and sitting beside her is her young son Florencio Serras Rigalt. They are driving to pick up their next shipment of Levi-Strauss jeans for the family retail store, Serras 1919. But they have to tread lightly and watch out for La Guardia Civil, because in an economically isolated, Francoist Spain, selling foreign goods is a black market business. But the Serras family doesn’t care. If Levi’s are what their customers want, Levi’s are what they’ll get. “There was something about American or European jeans. Young people of the 60s and 70s wanted to dress different and have the freedom to choose,” says Florencio. “Levi jeans were very much appreciated, and very difficult to obtain. Perhaps they were a kind of icon, a symbol, for certain sectors of the youth.” Multiple times a year, Mercé would travel to fashion capitals like Milan, Paris, and London to attend fashion events and go to factories to buy clothing to bring back to the store. She would cross the border back to Spain and claim the merchandise as personal property. When she would drive, sometimes Florencio would sit in the bed of the truck with the goods. “The tags were removed and attached again when back home. Thus, it was organized as if they were for personal use. It was amazing,” Florencio recalls. “She would make me sit on top of them, sometimes, just at the moment of crossing the border. La Guardia Civil were not interested in a mother and a son.” It was the 1960s, and by this time, Francisco Franco had a strong grip on Spain and an even tighter hold on the Basque Country and the region of Catalonia, where the Serras family has lived since the store founder, Enric Serras Pascual, Florencio’s grandfather, moved to the Barcelona area to learn to be a tailor. After some time in Barcelona, Enric moved to Oviedo, then Geneva, and finally back to Spain in 1919, where he founded a tailor shop in the emerging industrial city of Mataró, a city just north of Barcelona. There Enric had four sons and a daughter--the eldest being Florencio’s father. “He started studying medicine at the University of Barcelona in 1936, but the Spanish civil war broke out,” says Teresa Robert Font, Florencio’s wife and a current co-manager of Serras 1919. “He was called to go the front line to join the medical brigade at the Ebro River battlefront, where Hitler’s Nazi Luftwaffe and Mussolini’s Italian army helped Franco to win the war. He was 18 years old. That’s a shame, they were kids.” WORDS AND PHOTOS HALEY STUPASKY
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customers were loyal to the Serras name, and they remain devoted today. “Today, there is a lot of competition. Many international fashion stores are settled in Mataró, but the Serras store is still well known in the area,” says Teresa. “The people working in Serras know the client. There is very friendly and familiar treatment. The clients like that personal relation, and they come back.” As Serras 1919 approaches its 100th anniversary, Teresa and her co-manager Andreu, Florencio’s cousin, look to celebrate Serras 1919 and its place in the Mataró community. To understand this fashion hub in the heart of Mataró, it is important to look at the success of the store and its history, as it has existed before, during, and after the Franco era. It is a testament to the resilience of the Spanish people and the Serras family itself. Florencio remembers the uncertainty that came with Franco’s death. The day he died, Florencio enjoyed clandestine parties with free flowing champagne. That day, Spain looked forward into the unknown and even today, the legacy of the regime is prominent. Despite thousands of deaths and disappearances at the hands of the Franco’s regime, some responsible are still alive and free. Even though Spain enjoys democracy today, the importance of remembering its history is imperative to validating the struggles of groups, such as Catalonians, under the Franco regime. It is important to recognize the resistance presented by the people, even in small forms of protest, like wearing a pair of illegal Levi jeans. “If governments that misbehave are not seriously penalized by the international community, then there will never be an end to the nightmare of many citizens without freedom,” explains Florencio. “Impunity favors the proliferation of obscure governments or politicians to take power with terror. We are seeing some examples of this around the world, right? History cannot be forgotten.”
Levi jeans were very much appreciated, and very difficult to obtain.
After the war, Florencio’s father was forced into a prison camp, putting his tailoring business on hold. Years later, he was released. His young age may have saved his life. “Most of the people recruited in Catalonia were on the republican side--they lost the war against fascism,” says Teresa. “Most of the young were released. many prisoners, though, involved in politics or in parties related to democratic or of the republic were killed.” Since Franco seized control after Nationalist forces won the Spanish Civil War (La Guerra) in 1939, he made it his mission to bring cultural, political, and economic homogeneity to Spain. As a result of this, Franco suppressed cultural traditions and languages in the Catalonian and Basque regions of Spain, affecting the business and everyday lives of the members of the Serras family. “The cultural suppression was damaging a lot of the life in Catalonia, as well as in most of Spain. All autonomic institutions were suppressed or controlled,” Florencio says. “Moreover, there were a lot of difficulties to establish industrial or commercial links with the rest of the world, unless you had some links with the regime.” Catalan, the dialect of Catalonia, was forbidden in any formal setting and many cultural songs and dances were censored by the regime. Even books were hard to come by. Much like the Levi jeans and other clothes smuggled in by the Serras family, books in Catalan or other books forbidden by Franco had to be bought across the border from France or Andorra. Franco ruled Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. The social and economic consequences of his rule would scar Spain for decades to follow. Despite this, Serras 1919 found a way to thrive. Florencio’s father became a renowned tailor in the area and eventually was successful enough to buy the buildings next to his shop in the 1960s and convert the space into a department store. At this point in time, there were not many competitors in Mataró, so
for the love of Oregon Adaptive Sports helps people with physical disabilities pursue the sports they love.
WORDS AND PHOTOS HAYLA BECK
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teve VanDevender, 49 years old, wakes up at 6 a.m. every Friday morning during the ski season. He excitedly finds himself boarding the Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) bus by 7 a.m. on these winter mornings to head out to Hoodoo Ski Resort. Oregon Adaptive Sports, started in 1996, provides outdoor recreation experiences to individuals with disabilities. OAS’ goal is for participants to gain confidence, build self-esteem and strive for independence leading to an enhanced quality of life. The service provides volunteers to those who need assistance on the mountain and in other outdoor recreational hobbies. VanDevender has been riding with OAS since 2010. He says, “OAS is doing the most to promote adaptive skiing (and recently other adaptive outdoor recreation activities). As someone who’s been involved in adaptive skiing for a long time, I’m glad there’s such an active, effective organization doing this”. VanDevender, living with the condition osteogenesis imperfecta -- also known as bone brittle disease -- does not let his disability keep him from doing what he loves. He is an avid mono-skier. He appreciates OAS because, “to me, personally, OAS has made adaptive skiing more accessible to me with their ‘ski buddy’ program where I can sign up to ski with trained volunteers.” In addition to trained volunteers, OAS also provides a ride to and from the mountain, alternating between Hoodoo Ski Resort and Mt. Bachelor on Fridays and Sundays. —Sydney Zuelke contributed reporting.
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WORDS ERIN COATES ETHOS SPRING 2016
ne hundred years ago, in 1916, there were only four students in the first graduating class and two full-time faculty members at the School of Journalism and Communication. Today, there are 1,871 students enrolled in the SOJC, with the majority pursuing careers in advertising and public relations, two majors that were not offered when the school opened. Fast forward to the year 1984, where the clicketyclack of typewriters filled the room. Brent Walth, a senior at the time, was in the middle of a deadline exercise for a reporting class. The heavy machines were bolted to narrow, rickety tables that shook as the students pounded away at the keys to get their stories done. The ding of the character return key sounded and was quickly followed by a loud crash of the entire table falling over, typewriter and all. The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication did not install computers until 1986, but it wasn’t even called the School of Journalism and Communication until seven years later. However, Walth came to the University of Oregon for the journalism school. “It just felt natural to be doing this work,” Walth said. When Walth applied for admission into the journalism school, each student had to pass a typing test by typing at least 20 words a minute. Misspelled words were subtracted from the total, and students only had three attempts to pass the test. Walth barely passed the test, with 21 words on his third attempt. Walth is one of a handful of wordsmith wanderers who earned their degrees from the University of Oregon and were drawn back to the college years later. Kelli Matthews, now a PR instructor, was on the undecided major track when she came to the SOJC in the fall of 1998. “I thought I was interested in advertising at first because it’s visible, it’s what we know,” Matthews said. Steven Asbury graduated in 1997 with a news editorial major, the equivalent of what is now called the Super J Major. “I thought I was going to be a newspaper designer; that was kind of my track,” Asbury said. While he was an undergraduate, Asbury worked as both a designer and editor and chief of the Emerald, as well as the art director of Flux. He says he never considered coming back to teach; his plan blow the world away through newspaper design. Tom McDonnell came to the University of Oregon to run track. He was a middle distance runner, but wasn’t the best student. In fact, he left after his junior year and ended up working for four years as an electrochemical researcher at Tektronix in Beaverton. “During my time there I found out they had
an advertising program here, and I came back,” McDonnell said. When he returned, McDonnell focused on the advertising courses because he had all of the other credits out of the way. He says the toughest class he took was media planning. For the final project, McDonnell and his classmates were typing their final projects on the typewriters in the library that use to be in Allen Hall the night before it was due. He remembers an MBA student in his class who gave up on her project at 3 a.m. and made a scene leaving the library.
I learned to be a good writer, thinker and planner. But I had to teach myself all the other stuff.
“She just closed her books, threw them in her backpack, and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’” McDonnell said. “She didn’t show up the next day to turn in her project.” When the SOJC first opened in 1916, advertising and public relations majors were not offered. Wallace Eakin, one of the members of the class of 1916, went on to work as the city editor of the Democrat-Herald for 50 years, but began his journalism career as an apprentice for the Eugene Guard. The other three in that first graduating class were not as successful as Eakin in the journalism world. The first journalism class, the Collegiate Course in Law and Journalism, was taught at the University of Oregon in 1902. The first advertising professor, W.F.G. Thatcher, was hired in 1917 and PR was not added until 1964. When the journalism building was built in 1923, it also held the chemistry department. “We had one computer lab back in the day,” Asbury said. “And the computers were a lot slower.” To produce a magazine like Flux, Asbury and his team would have to take turns on the six computers in the building and then load the production onto a hard drive to take to a printing company. There they would be able to reassemble it and hope that all the fonts translated correctly without any of the content missing. Many things have changed in the past 100 years, both within the school as well as in the professional world. For Matthews and the PR department, there
has been a tremendous growth in terms of class size and number McDonnell considered teaching as a possible second career of faculty needed to teach. In fact, there are 343 public relations when he decided to leave the advertising world in New York. He students in the SOJC. and his wife were both from Oregon originally and wanted to “I learned to be a good writer, thinker and planner,” come back. Matthews said. “But I had to teach myself all the other stuff.” “I had never thought about teaching, but because I was able Luckily, Matthews had clients who were willing to let her to work with and manage young art directors and copywriters practice with social media, using the emerging technology as a relatively well, people thought I could,” he said. marketing tool. She pulls from her professional work and brings Asbury, on the other end of the spectrum, never thought he what she finds valuable to the classroom so her students can learn would be back to teach. But after teaching a newspaper design from her real world experience. class, he kept being asked back to teach more and the next thing When McDonnell was an undergrad, the advertising program he knew he was a full time adjunct and then an instructor. He was missing many creative components that are now vital to the is also an advisor for Flux magazine, after being the art director program. Instead, it focused on account management and media. when he was an undergrad. The advertising program has also experienced tremendous “And it’s funny because I remember thinking when I was growth with more than 412 students taking courses here, and they were in its department. awesome courses, but ‘wow, if I were “The most valuable thing from the professor, I would do this course the Oregon program is they give you differently.’ Well, here I am now.” a really well rounded understanding Asbury said. of how the business works,” Matthews did not plan on McDonnell said. teaching as well. However, during He used this understanding to her thesis review for her masters at diffuse a situation by working as the SOJC, she was asked to become an interpreter to help a planning an instructor. director and a client better “They said, ‘Hey congratulations, understand each other. you passed! Can you start teaching “Very few creative people I’ve in January?’” Matthews explained. worked with in my career would She went on to be a full time adjunct have been able to do that,” he said. for six years before being hired as a Matthews relies on her ability regular instructor. to think strategically and behave With the constantly changing ethically in her career, both of which technological world, professors like were refined during her time as an Asbury, Matthews, McDonnell, and DESIGN BY STEVEN ASBURY undergraduate. Walth are preparing their students “They teach you how to think in their own way to take on their through challenges, and give you the toolkit of how to think futures. through those problems,” she said. In the PR department, all of the students do a Matthews started her professional career doing freelance work, professional portfolio review before they graduate so but stopped working with a client due to unethical expectations they get feedback from professionals and the instructors of her. She leaned on her strong foundation of ethical behavior can stay on the cutting edge of the changing profession. ingrained in her through the various classes and faculty at the “I think that being in PR means that you have to SOJC to help her figure out when she needed to stop and why she be insatiably curious and non stop asking questions didn’t feel good about many of the things the client was asking and figuring out what’s next,” Matthews said. her to do. McDonnell enjoys the constantly changing world of Walth learned the importance of getting the facts right during advertising, and he likes not doing the same thing two days in a row. his reporting classes where a single error would receive an F on a “But the bottom line is that it’s all about ideas and technology paper, no matter what. is just changing the delivery mechanism. It’s always about great “The severe penalty for errors truly mirrored real life out there ideas and it’s always going to be about great ideas,” he said. in the business,” he said. “And that was really important to the Walth hopes to teach his students the importance of writing, even point that I still am very anxious about getting the facts right.” though technology has created many different ways to tell stories. Walth taught a reporting two class as an adjunct, but he still “To me, it comes back to fundamentally knowing how to had a lot of work left that he wanted to do before he wanted organize, structure, and tell a story to writing,” he said. “If you to come back and teach. He went and got a master’s degree, can do that, you can do any number of these other formats.” knowing that he might teach. His love of teaching, handed down Asbury takes a real world approach and brings in a by his parents, as well as the opportunity for him to do a different perspective from the business world to teach principles that type of writing brought him back to the SOJC. are going to last without focusing too much on technology. “I really like the experience of being in a classroom, seeing “The principles of what makes a good story students transform and grow, and watching their work transform never change, the technology does,” Asbury said. and grow,” Walth said. ETHOS SPRING 2016 59
Former Managing Editor
s PHOTO Elli Manoogian-O’Dell
And Now, a Word from Our Alumni For the School of Journalism and Communication’s 100th birthday, Ethos reached out to a few of its former staffers
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We would reminisce about the days we had creative ownership over something. Ethos was the
most fun and gratifying semiprofessional job we’d ever had.
started at Ethos shortly after it traded out its original title, Korean Ducks. It was midway through my freshman year and I walked uninvited into a meeting and begged for a role, which I got, as a copy editor. That summer I pitched a feature about toilets around the world. It was killed, but I was hooked. After that, my friends complained that I never hung out with them because there was nothing I wanted to do more than stay late in Allen Hall with the senior editors and piece together our weird, scrappy magazine. There was at least one night during my stint as managing editor when we were still closing the latest issue when students arrived the next morning to go to class. We’d stay up debating what sort of edgy content could go in without angering the school—Should we photograph real drugs for a feature on raves? What about a collage of bare-chested women holding chains for a piece on the topless movement?—and there was rarely a quiet opinion in the house. We had no budget, so to raise money, the ad team knocked on local businesses’ doors and threw house parties with bands and kegs. I moved to New York during junior year and drifted through a series of internships, none of which provided me with an epiphany of what I wanted to pursue, nor a clear cut path toward finding it. I worked at a nonprofit (interesting but no room for independence) and a fashion magazine (never again) until getting a gig in breaking news at what was then the joint outlet of Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Many nights, after a long day at the bottom of the rung, I’d return to a tiny New York apartment I shared with my roommate— who had been Ethos’ art director—and we would reminisce about the days we had creative ownership over something. Ethos was the most fun and gratifying semi-professional job we’d ever had. Writing news more was the pace I wanted, and at The Daily Beast I focused on international affairs, from human rights to politics. Editing Ethos provided an impressive resume line, but also friendships, professional connections and inspiration for writing. When looking for stories at work, I often found myself going back to topics I pitched at Ethos and exploring them further. I wrote about gorilla conservation during wartime in the Congo; the scars of genocide in Rwanda; and the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan. I ate dinner with Castro’s former chef in Cuba and talked politics in Burma. I got a break at National Geographic with a story that originally appeared in Ethos about a journey to discover my family’s prewar roots in Poland. And last year, I moved to Washington, D.C., to write for the magazine full time. The thing is, sometimes I look at what’s published between its yellow borders and realize that it contains the same vein of cultured, off-beat, ambitious content we would have tackled at Ethos.
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FRIEDMAN Former Editor-in-Chief
Yet I think it’s the blunders I suffered while at Ethos’ helm that taught me the most, about being an editor and a journalist, coworker and colleague, and especially about being a friend.
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hen a new issue of Ethos would arrive from the printers, I’d fill my car with boxes of magazines and deliver them to campus, one of my responsibilities as Editor in Chief. I drove with the windows down to avoid the overwhelming smell of ink. Once on campus, I’d use a knife to slash open a box of magazines, eager to peer in and see the final product. Putting together an issue of Ethos often required working through the night on story copy, fretting over design elements and making sure there was money in the bank to pay for the magazine. Equally as often, I’d lose my sense of humor beneath the feeling that I was herding cats, only to find my stubborn seriousness comical in private moments of clarity, simultaneously realizing that I love this work. I’ve seldom felt a satisfaction like stocking magazine racks with fresh copies of Ethos. Yet I think it’s the blunders I suffered while at Ethos’ helm that taught me the most, about being an editor and a journalist, coworker and colleague, and especially about being a friend. What could go wrong with stories usually did, and in the months since I’ve graduated, reflecting on how I handled those situations (i.e., poorly) has, I believe, made me a more compassionate journalist and a humbler human being. It’s the lessons I learned from the situations when my demeanor was insufferable while Ethos’ editor, to looking back on those who suffered with me, and subsequently suffering through my own shame over how I handled it that helped me grow and plunge headfirst into a real-world, daily newspaper job. Journalism school can teach you to report, but a willingness to understand yourself and others may be the best preparation for learning to write well, make daily deadlines and survive newsroom politics. Since leaving Ethos, I found a job covering state government for the Statesman Journal, the newspaper in Oregon’s capital city, Salem. In my short while there, I’ve covered a gamut of issues: daily reporting on the Oregon Legislature, state agency scandals, cutthroat politics, an indebted public pension system, failing infrastructure, cannabis laws, crime, natural disasters, and more. I’ve also been lucky enough to report for USA Today on the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by armed anti-government protestors; the Statesman Journal’s parent company, Gannett, also owns USA Today, which tapped me to be a temporary correspondent for the story. I spent more than a week in Burns reporting the story. The empathy and creative problem solving I learned while at Ethos certainly informed my coverage. Another thing I learned while working at Ethos is that earning the praise of your peers and being crowned with laurels, however well deserved, is not necessarily the mark of a good journalist. The truth is that I am no better than the reporting and writing I’ve done today. Speaking of which, another deadline is always around the corner, and time is wasting.
Former Managing Editor
y short but dense journalism career actually started with Ethos, so I’ll always be grateful to the mag and its 2009-2010 senior staff. In the fall of 2009, I had just separated from the Marine Corps and enrolled at the University of Oregon. I had no clips whatsoever. However, folks like Kevin Bronk, Raychael Mitchell and Suji Paek gave my slim resume a chance and took me on. Everything I’ve done since owes something to the articles I was able to knock out that winter. My 2010 Ethos story, “The Nazis Next Door,” about an attempted white supremacist takeover in eastern Oregon, remains in my portfolio. It also got me a Hearst nomination. Ethos was a great way for me to socialize and meet people at a new school. Don’t know if it rings true today, but the magazine threw some great parties back in the day (cf. former editor Nina Strochlic’s memory in this issue). I would go on to work at other student publications. I also moved up the ranks at Ethos, serving as its managing editor in 2011. I completed a Snowden internship at The Mail Tribune in Medford, another internship at The Register-Guard and participated in the Media in Ghana program before I graduated from the School of Journalism and Communication in 2012. From there, I set a return course to the Middle East. I had already done two Iraq deployments while in the Marines, and started watching with fascination the so-called Arab Spring unfold in 2011. I found out via Dan Morrison, a photojournalism professor in the school, that some past alumni ran a magazine called JO out of Jordan. I contacted them to see if I could come aboard. With JO I got the opportunity to cover the growth of Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. What started as anti-government protests in 2011 turned into a civil war by 2012. Then the war fused with unresolved elements of the U.S.-Iraq war that had begun in 2003. Surviving Al-Qaeda members in Iraq founded what would become the so-called Islamic State. I eventually traveled back to Iraq in 2015. However, after a year in Jordan, I set my eyes on Egypt. There I covered the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and the ascension of military strongman Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. My work in Egypt and Jordan from 2012-2015 was featured in The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera and VICE. Post Egypt, I traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan. It was there that I got my first clips with The Daily Beast covering Kurdish war efforts against ISIS. After a year in Kurdistan and nearly four years abroad, I decided it was time to come home. I moved to Atlanta and joined CNN International as a writer in February. Live broadcast is a new format for me, but as I type this I just got my first script on air, so I’m excited about what’s to come.
Again, my last four years wouldn’t have been possible without Ethos or the J-school. So, happy 100th to the School of Journalism and Communication, and I hope Ethos continues pumping out the best magazine on campus! ETHOS SPRING 2016 63
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