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WINTER 2015 /

VOL.8, ISSUE 2

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contents ETHOS MAGAZINE /

WINTER 2015

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Editor’s Note

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Film Review: Sicario

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Rolling Out Eugene’s Sushi Scene 39 Ferrets and Counting Buildings in Brushstrokes

Saving Ichishkíin

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Hollywood Analyzed: Is Emily Blunt the New Arnie?

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Coming to Grips with Homelessness

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The Art of the Reveal

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A New Greek Life

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Invisible Dangers

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Ethos World

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Operation: Protect the Nest

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Tiny Trees, Enormous Passion

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Coffee, Café, Kaffee

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Turbulence

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Grassroots Football in Ghana

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On Broken Ground

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Sleeping with Shakespeare

Icelandic Adventure s PHOTO by Patrick Brower – Thamserku illuminated by moonlight.

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.


EDITOR’S NOTE

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t’s no secret that we don’t often get as much snow in the Willamette Valley as our neighbors in, say, central Oregon this time of year. But in Eugene you might encounter other hallmarks of the season -- scarves, staying in to read, hot cocoa, and vanilla-scented candles -- come sun or slush. Here in the winter issue, our new Ethos World section makes its return. Photographers and writers bring stories from around the globe right to your hands. Their dispatches range from the glaciers of Iceland to the earthquake-stricken regions of Nepal. But adventure doesn’t only exist in foreign lands. Take our story on a local burlesque troupe, where Ethos editor Lindsay McWilliams explores the idea of empowerment through the risqué performances. Then there is writer Jen Jackson’s piece on the rehabilitation of an endangered American Indian language. And don’t forget to read through humorist Colin Cossi’s essay at the close of this book, a memoir titled “Turbulence.” An Ethos freelancer, Cossi has a quick wit and a penchant for making friends at high altitude. So, grab a hot cocoa and your new copy of Ethos Magazine. We hope you like it.

EDITOR IN CHIEF Jonathan Bach

editorial MANAGING EDITORS Rachel LaChapelle Sydney Zuelke ASSOCIATE EDITORS Negina Pirzad, Jordyn Brown, Lindsay McWilliams COPY CHIEF Haley Stupasky WRITERS Patrick Dunham, Forrest Welk, Melissa Epifano, Jen Jackson, Hannah Bonnie, Brett Kane

Krista Young, Miró Merrill

public relations PR DIRECTOR Lydia Salvey

web

Shirley Chan, Erin Coates, Patrick Bryant, Angelina Hess, Mackenzie Moran

Published with support from Generation Progress.

ILLUSTRATORS

PHOTO EDITOR Kyra Bailey

ethos world

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.

DESIGNERS Gina Mills, Hannah Lewman, Meghan McEldowney, Tessa Jackson

photography

Kaylee Domzalski, Ben McBee, Hannah Giardina, Hayla Beck, Delaney Engle, Elinor Manoogian-O’Dell

Ethos is printed on 70 percent post-consumer recycled paper

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Brittney Reinholtz

PR REPS Ashley Carter, Lina Allen, Tyler Horst, Blake Jones, Sierra Gamelgaard

PHOTOGRAPHERS

JONATHAN BACH EDITOR IN CHIEF

art

WEB MASTER Haley Stupasky WEB EDITOR Negina Pirzad

contact

ethosmag@gmail.com

special thanks ASUO

s ON THE COVER Photographer Patrick Brower captures a shopkeeper in Bhaktapur, the historic district about a half hour away from central Kathmandu. ETHOS

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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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REVIEW

REVIEW

The Film Review

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Eugene’s Sushi Scene

ILLUSTRATION KRISTA YOUNG

rowing up in Te x a s , I had always heard about Juárez. Nestled on the border of Mexico, the city was rumored to have daily murders due to the cartel. It was terrifying that despite the fact that everyone was aware of the atrocities happening there, nothing could be done. That is the lasting message of Sicario: you can switch out jefes and eliminate whole cartels, but there will always be a successor to take the reigns. The film utilizes a star-studded cast comprised of Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Jon Bernthal, among many other familiar faces. Director Denis Villeneuve imbues an intense vision into his latest feature, advancing from the urban and psychological scope of his last film, Enemy, into blockbuster sensibilities while retaining brilliant depth in every aspect of the film. There are explosions and many gunfights, and even an epic convoy sequence which is, in essence, the first mission of the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, set in the cutthroat streets of Juárez. Later in the film, cinematographer Roger Deakins brilliantly uses night vision and the negative imagery goggles of the soldiers heading into the cartel tunnel to launch us into combat and instill a further tension into the ambiguous mission. Interestingly enough, in all of the firefights, the Mexican militia never actually appears to be fighting back; it is always the elite American soldiers shown unleashing barrages of gunfire before they get a chance to react. In not showing the Mexican side of the warfare but instead just the drug aspect, Villeneuve conveys that it is not a matter of force or might that is adhering the cartel problem: it

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Rolling Out

by Patrick Dunham

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is widespread corruption and facilitation by the Mexican government which enables the network to thrive wherever it spreads. The least developed character arc of Juárez cop, Silvio (Maximiliano Hernandez), was the most impactful for its understatement. Silvio never said much, but his alcoholism and distance from his wife was communicated effectively without words. He knowingly went against his morals, occupational loyalty, and above all, his community’s welfare to assist the cartel. For this he suffers. His background or motives for this are never explained, but by the end of the film (in which his child’s soccer match is interrupted by gunfire only to be resumed again with the blow of a whistle), it is clear that people just have to adapt to their environments in whatever ways they can. He was simply a product

of his environment and nothing more. Villeneuve brings to question whether lying for the greater good is really worth it, especially when considered on an institutional basis. There is a bleak reality in Sicario: an optimal scenario on the cartel wars (as established in the film) would be to have an American-controlled cartel in power, as it is impossible to eliminate the market of illegal drugs -- people will find a way to obtain them no matter the impact. Commando leader Matt Graver (Brolin) deceives Kate throughout the film to retain this truth in their mission objective, executed by the utterly brutal yet tender mercenary, Alejandro (Del Toro). The corruption of all these key characters, besides Kate, serves to establish that the United States government is indeed as corrupt as the cartels are. Perhaps in a more morally acceptable way than the cartel, but corrupted nonetheless.

WORDS HANNAH BONNIE PHOTOS DELANEY ENGLE

SUSHI ISLAND

SUSHI PURE

Small plates with colorful sashimi and sushi rolls cut into bite-size pieces glide along a revolving belt. Diners at Sushi Island sit around this conveyor belt, occasionally taking one of the small plates of sushi that catch their eyes. The restaurant is relatively cramped, but it is conveniently located for students at E. 13th Street and Patterson.

Lit by twinkling white strands of lights, the dim lighting makes Sushi PURE have a peaceful atmosphere. With a fish tank and sushi bar at the counter, the rest of the restaurant is filled with large black tables. Located in the 5th Street Public Market, PURE is fancier than many other sushi places in town, and the one you would definitely want to take a date to.

Sushi: Who knows how long the fish has been revolving around the restaurant?

Price: Different colored plates signal different prices, ranging from $1.50 to $4.50. During the restaurant’s Happy Hour, which is every night from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., most plates are $1.50. In total, I spent $6 without including the tip.

Variety: The menu is relatively simple, filled with your basic sushi restaurant items.

What Makes it Original: Again, it has a train of sushi

that encompasses the entire restaurant. Something I found interesting is that when you ask the waiters for a specific roll off the menu, they bring it out to you exactly as pictured on the menu.

Sushi: The entire meal was fantastic - I didn’t want to stop eating. Sushi PURE is one of the better places to get fresh and tasty fish. Price: PURE is on the more expensive-end. My entire meal was around $32, so more pricier than Sushi Island. Variety: The menu at this restaurant screams variety with its sections of specialty rolls, rolls for spicy tuna lovers, rolls for snow crab lovers, fried rolls, etc. What Makes it Original: Instead of the typical white rice, Sushi PURE makes its rolls with a mixture of white and black rice. This gives each roll a purple tinge, and the addition of black rice makes the sushi healthier with lower cholesterol.

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SUBO

MAMÉ

In the Whiteaker neighborhood at 3rd Street and Van Buren in Eugene is a food truck that serves something called a Sushi Burrito. The food cart, Subo, originated from a small restaurant in Springfield: Unami. Both serve this wondrous creation of a giant burrito-sized sushi roll, wrapped in either seaweed or rice paper.

Also in the Whiteaker area at 541 Blair Boulevard, the word “Mamé” is painted neatly on a green door of a small building. If you drive by too quickly, you might miss this sushi restaurant. Inside are only a couple tables, nine at most, and a sushi bar.

Sushi: This is probably some of the best sushi I’ve had in Eugene. Every bite is so flavorful and because the roll is so large, every bite is a different delicious combination of fish and veggies. Price: All the burritos come in half-size, as well as full-size. The full-size ranges from $8 to $17. It can be a tad pricey but in my opinion, it is totally worth it. Variety: There are so many different rolls and it is hard to decide on one. All of them are so different and creative. What Makes it Original: The location and the truck itself has a great vibe. Plus, it serves sushi nachos, sushi rolls the size of burritos, and the #Bacon that is a giant sushi roll with, well, bacon - what isn’t original about this place?

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Sushi: I recommend asking the waitress for recommendations or just letting the sushi chef work his magic, which is what I did here. This place has some of the best tasting fish in Eugene that is both fresh and flavorful. The rolls themselves were so big - I had to eat them in two bites. Price: Mamé is on the more expensive-end, but you are getting what you pay for. In a Tasting Meal that is about $50, you get seven courses of mostly sushi and small plates. The three rolls I ordered totaled up to around $40. Variety: Not much variety on the physical menu, since sushi rolls aren’t listed. Instead, they are written out on a chalkboard in the restaurant, and this list changes every day. What Makes it Original: Mamé is a delicious hole-in-the-wall sort of joint. You must get a reservation to be guaranteed a table, since there is little seating. It has an intimate and quirky vibe, and I recommend it for people who are looking for something new.

39 Ferrets

PROFILE

and Counting

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WORDS FORREST WELK | PHOTOS BEN MCBEE

he eyes of Melanee Ellis and a ferret meet. over the animals Although entirely different species, the two seem like when she is always family. Ellis reaches for her friend, itching for the around them. She opportunity to greet her fluffy roommate. After all, says she would not they live together. have been able to “This one loves her mama,” exclaims Ellis, holding the slender care for a recently ferret with care and kissing him with glee. Ellis’ face is filled with deceased ferret had childlike fascination. Her gray shirt features a cartoon ferret she not been home. resembling her real companions. The ferret, Momo, Dozens of similar critters surround them, making Ellis’ was suffering from s PHOTO - “If you’re their person, they’re average-sized home feel tight and crowded. Each ferret resides seizures. in stacked cages in a short hallway that leads to the living room. “I did not notice going to rub and scent mark you,” says Ellis. Some are sleeping, others touch as they share a drink of water, the seizure until and most wait to be adopted. 11 at night. I heard something scratching that was not normal,” It is easy to forget that a human calls Lane County Ferret explains Ellis. “If this was in a different building, I would not have Shelter and Rescue her home. The smell indicates that ferrets seen that.” run the show, absent of the air freshening fragrance typical of an None of this is new for her. Ferrets are her life. After 20 years, American home. But as the shelter’s owner, Ellis doesn’t mind. the passion has coined her the name, “Ferret Lady”. “I don’t smell the ferrets,” says Ellis, who took over the shelter Her relationship with ferrets began in 1994, a year after she in 2003. “I smell the poop sometimes, but I don’t smell the ferret. moved from Alaska to Eugene, Oregon. She was depressed and It’s the same with any animal, including humans. We all have seeking refuge from the stress of life. Just looking at the animals scents, and you get used to it.” brought her joy. Call it love at first sight that is still true to this day. The shelter currently houses 39 ferrets (at the time of writing), “Just look at their faces,” Ellis cheerfully exclaims as she playfully and Ellis works tirelessly to maintain the health of each one, while rubs a ferret’s cheek. “How could you not love a face like that?” also managing the finances of the adoption business itself. Ferrets are high maintenance. Ellis says she has only had one ferret who lived and died without getting sick. Ferrets typically come from farms, where they are neutered and spayed at a young age, typically around threeweeks-old, according to Ellis. This can lead to various cancers and tumors that she treats. “Ferrets get sick when they want to get sick,” Ellis says, with a hint of frustration at the reality of disease. Sickness is a large reason that she cares for ferrets at home. Although Ellis has considered s PHOTO - Though he recently had his spleen removed, renting out a building Crash’s curiosity is still strong. “Ferrets tolerate surgery really well,” says Ellis. for her adoption facility, it is easier to keep watch ETHOS WINTER 2015

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t PHOTO - Norma Driscoll paints buildings around the University of Oregon campus.

PROFILE

Buildings in

Brushstrokes WORDS HANNAH BONNIE PHOTOS JORDYN BROWN & JONATHAN BACH

As a means of reconnecting with her college years, Norma Driscoll is often seen on campus painting all of the architecture, melding the two areas of study from her earlier years.

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erched on a stool in the grass behind Fenton Hall at the University of Oregon, Norma Driscoll poises her paintbrush above her easel. Next to her is a box stuffed to the brim with art supplies and a table that holds the various colors of paint she will use. Her palette is filled with muted tan, sunshine yellow and cobalt blue. She is in the process of painting the colorful fallen leaves that surround the trees outside of Deady Hall. On her canvas is a quick sketch of Deady done in pencil that she will later paint in browns and tans, with a large yellow, orange, and brown painted tree in front of it. This is not the only place around the University of Oregon that you can find Driscoll. If the weather is nice, you can find her around campus, wearing sunglasses to prevent the sunshine from bothering her wizened eyes, quietly painting various buildings, in particular the Knight Library. She wears long pants and long sleeves though the sun shines blindingly through the trees. Her weathered hands are steady as she perfects each stroke of the brush. Born in 1927, Driscoll has spent 60 years of her life painting. It was never a job for her, but it was more than a hobby. She paints landscapes, and still-lifes in an abstract cubism style. She married another artist, her late husband Robert Gilmore. Together, they had six children. ETHOS

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“Well the Bible does say ‘be fruitful and multiply,’” Driscoll says laughing with a mischievous grin. Driscoll received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Oregon, which is why she chooses the campus as inspiration for her art. “I call myself a double duck,” she says jokingly. When she began college, Driscoll thought she wanted to be a journalism major. Quickly, she thought different and switched into the art school. Within a term, she knew she was in the right place. While she was in the art school, she was inspired by the late Jack Wilkinson, a well-known professor in the department. Driscoll cites Wilkinson as one of her main influences while she was in school. In addition to her professor, she was influenced by the great Greek thinkers, such as Plato and Socrates. “There was much more of an alliance between architecture and art.” Driscoll said of her days in the art school. She believes that now art has become more of a personal thing. This is why Driscoll mostly paints the buildings around campus. She is intersecting art with architecture as she was once taught. She only paints during the beginning of fall term and during spring term, never painting in the rain or cold weather. During your walk to class, see if you can find Driscoll sitting on her stool, painting away the beautiful University of Oregon campus. ETHOS WINTER 2015

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FEATURE

Saving Ichishkíin WORDS JEN JACKSON ILLUSTRATIONS MIRÓ MERRILL

Aspects of Native American culture have experienced endangerment for centuries now, and loss of language is one of the most significant today. For University of Oregon student and Yakima Native Anna Hoffer, Ichishkíin is the tongue she aspires to reawaken.

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nna Hoffer’s language was stolen from her. She should have been raised singing songs in Ichishkíin, and learning colors and stories in Sahaptin. English should have been her second or third language. Instead, like so many young Native Americans, it was her only language. Hoffer is not losing time on what should have been: she is working to get her language back. The University of Oregon is one of the only universities to offer a native language as a fulfillment of foreign language requirements — Ichishkíin. Ichishkíin is a dialect of Sahaptin spoken by the Yakima people in the Columbia River Gorge region. It is only one of thousands of native and indigenous languages in danger of going extinct both globally and locally. According to the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages at Swarthmore College, the Pacific Northwest is considered to be the third largest hotspot for language loss worldwide. Languages of the Pacific Northwest are particularly endangered due to the rapid decline in fluent speakers of the 54 American Indian languages in the region. A junior majoring in Ethnic Studies, Hoffer came to the University of Oregon to reconnect with Ichishkíin. Her grandfather, Nathan Hoffer, was a Yakima man who grew up speaking Ichishkíin and a trade language called Chinuk Wawa. That is, until his preteen years when he was sent away to St. Martin’s Boarding school and was prohibited from speaking his “Indian” languages — one practice among many in a long history of forced assimilation in America. By old age, he had lost his native tongue and could only remember bits and pieces of it before he died. Hoffer’s mother, Ardyth Hoffer, understood Ichishkíin as a child on the Yakima reservation, but she too lost all but fragments of the language in her adulthood. “It kind of hurts my heart,” says Anna Hoffer, “Because I was not able to grow up with the knowledge of my ancestors in the way that other people in this country have.” Hoffer is not the only Native student in Eugene to feel the loss of her language. Jaeci Hall is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oregon who is working

to bring Tututni, the language of her ancestors, back from the dead. When Hall began learning Tututni at age 19, no fluent speakers remained and the language was pronounced extinct. She now spends her free time teaching herself and her 6-yearold daughter. Most of her knowledge of Tututni comes from her own textual and linguistic analysis. Hall wants her daughter to have a relationship with her ancestral language and for Tututni to have value in her life. “My hope is that native languages maintain their role for a community of identity and [as a] connection to culture,” says Hall. “This is important because it helps a member of a culture relate on a deeper level to their heritage. It can help be an anchor of identity and can help a person know themselves even deeper by understanding how their community and culture got to where they are now.” Native language instruction at the University of Oregon began in 1997, with the founding of the Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI). NILI works with tribes in and beyond the Pacific Northwest to document and preserve languages. The institute provides support for language instruction not only on campus, but also in communities throughout the region. Robert Elliott is the Associate Director of Educational Technology with NILI. Instructional technologies allow Native community members to learn languages, self-document, and even author eBooks from afar — all important advances in the battle against language loss. “We are literally seeing languages disappear from existence right before our eyes,” Elliot says. “Most people are oblivious to this tragedy, but the loss of a language is like seeing an entire library of knowledge burned. I think future generations will look back and be appalled by what is happening.”

The preservation of native languages is about more than historical documentation. Our languages shapes who we are as people, and the way in which we use language is a reflection of our values and priorities. It connects us both to our past and to our fellow speakers — some things simply cannot be translated. “Language is culture, and culture is language,” Elliott says. For those who work with languages, their importance to people’s identities is clear, and an identity is not always easy to come by. Hoffer spent much of her childhood in Maltby, Washington, but moved to the Grand Ronde reservation when she was 14 years old. “Back on my reservation, being lightskinned is very frowned upon,” Hoffer says. “It gives you identity problems internally and externally in the community. Coming [to the University of Oregon], I feel like this is the first time I’ve been connected with Natives who didn’t focus Nativeness on race or on skin color. I actually feel more

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Hollywood Analyzed:

OPINION

Is Emily Blunt the New Arnie? WORDS BRETT KANE ILLUSTRATIONS KRISTA YOUNG

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connected.” Due to her skin tone, she says people — Native and otherwise — call into question her legitimacy as a Native person, presuming to know more than Hoffer about her own heritage. Back home, she can be made to feel like an outsider by the cutting jokes of her Native friends and the funny looks from strangers. So, where do you stand when society tells you you’re too Native to be white, and your community tells you you’re too white to be Native? Ichishkíin offers Hoffer a connection to who she is, not what others define her as. Though it helps her embrace her identity, Hoffer is still the only Native ETHOS

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student in her Ichishkíin class, which poses a problem. She is glad that non-Native students are showing an interest and are learning and preserving the language, but she feels that isn’t enough. “They’re not necessarily bringing that language back to that community,” Hoffer says. “I feel that other tribal members of the Yakima reservation would [bring it back], and I think it’s more important to keep it in the community.” Hoffer plans to do just that. She is going to get her Master's in Education so she can help bring the language back to the Yakima people. She believes language is not something that can be possessed, only passed down

through generations. As such, Ichishkíin belongs to every Yakima person. Hoffer can feel the connection that Ichishkíin has to family, culture, and tradition. “You can have a whole world of knowledge in just the language that you use,” she says. Learning Ichishkíin is an emotional rollercoaster for her — from excitement to frustration at times, and “[even] shame in a way, because this should have been my first language,” Hoffer says. Taking back a language with an uncertain future is one way to confront the past. And Hoffer isn’t just taking back the language that was rightfully hers — she’s taking back a piece of her heart.

s the War Rig barrels its way across the desert wasteland, the words of their teacher and mentor, Miss Giddy, rung ever-loud and clear: “We are not things.” Played by Charlize Theron sporting a gritty buzz cut, Imperator Furiosa uses these four words as a mantra and a call to arms as she makes her escape from Immortal Joe, a tyrannical patriarch who enslaved her for years. In reciting that phrase with the other women of Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa not only has something to prove to herself and the rest of Joe’s wives, but to Hollywood, too. How many times have you seen an action movie in which the lead is man in his mid-thirties, musclebound, and sporting a stylish five o’clock shadow? You’ve got your James Bonds, your Jason Bournes, and your John McClanes. Even Fury Road fills this quota with Tom Hardy’s character, Max Rockatansky. But what the Mad Max reboot does that most others don’t is give equal representation to women. Here on Fury Road, the women drive the story. Breaking free of the clutches of their oppressive male captor to find lives of their own, these ladies symbolically deconstruct and dismantle the stereotypes about female characters that have plagued Hollywood for years. Linda Burden-Williams, an actress and coach in the Eugene-based In Focus Camera Acting & Production, has been waiting for this moment in Hollywood for a long time.

“I

A working actress for nearly three decades, earning roles in shows such as E.R., and The West Wing, Williams has seen the inequalities that many actresses face. “There are so many character descriptions for female parts that say that the actress must be ‘tall, sexy, blonde,’ or what have you,” she says. “However, for most men, particularly in these action roles, all they have to be is a bodybuilder. That’s it.” Williams has noticed that if women do not fit into that laundry list of physical features, they simply will not get the part. This objectification of women is not something she wants to see ingrained into the minds of not only children, but men, as well. “I don’t know what man doesn’t want to see a powerful woman up on the big screen kicking ass,” she says. “It’s sexy.” Over the course of her time in the industry, however, Williams has noted that there are steps being taken towards equality between actors and actresses. And one name seems to be at the forefront of this new era: Emily Blunt. Since 2012, Blunt has starred in some of the most well-received action and thriller films. Take Looper (2012), or

dont want it to be seen as such a rarity that a film with women makes money.”

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Edge of Tomorrow (2014), or even her most recent film, Sicario (2015) as examples. See the British actress play a single mother who has to protect her young son; a skilled soldier in a raging war against an invading alien race; and an FBI agent who becomes part of an undercover Central Intelligence Agency team to take down a notorious Mexican drug lord. What makes Blunt’s characters stand out among most female characters in action films is that they are written as though they are people, not objects. They are multifaceted, layered, complex characters with their own goals and motivations. (Psst... She’s even been rumored to play the titular character in the upcoming superhero film, Captain Marvel.) Blunt seems more than happy to bring this new trend to mainstream attention, as she sees it as something that is long overdue in the film industry. “The Hollywood business has become so invested in making money,” she told Empire Magazine. “They sort of crunch numbers on films that have previously worked with a guy at the helm of it. We have gone through this big wave of a lot of male-heavy films, and recently there’s been a bit of a change.” Blunt believes that action films with women at the forefront can just as easily make the same kind of money as any given male-lead piece. “I don’t want it to be seen as such a rarity that a film with women makes money,” she said. By the looks of things, Blunt should be pleased with the recent box office results of female-lead blockbusters. Not only are there more action films driven by women, but they seem to have no trouble making money. The Hunger Games franchise, starring Jennifer Lawrence, has grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide -- and that’s before the release of its concluding chapter, Mockingjay Part 2. The Scarlett Johansson Sci-Fi flick, Lucy, raked in a sizable $463.4 million, more than eleven times its budget. Blunt’s own Tomorrow managed to earn $369.2 million, and there are even talks of a sequel. Clearly, action heroines films are hitting home for more than just a niche audience. “In the last 5-7 years, women have been stepping up. They’re becoming bigger ETHOS

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box office draws,” Williams says. “They’re making more money now.” Williams has recently observed that this new trend in Hollywood is helping young girls to see the world through a new perspective. With more and more actresses leading these action movies, it teaches them that it’s not just the men who can be superheroes, but women, too. In Tomorrow, Blunt’s Rita Vrataski mows down her extraterrestrial enemies with as much strength and skill as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Alan Dutch in Predator, or Will Smith’s Steven Hiller in Independence Day. When was the last time you saw any one girl in Michael Bay’s Transformers

PERSONAL

franchise do that? While they’re screaming and running away from giant robots, it’s Mark Wahlberg who’s getting his hands dirty. Films like Tomorrow and Mad Max: Fury Road are vital because they give women the roles that we’re so used to seeing men play. “It’s the greatest thing not to be a damsel in distress in an action movie,” Blunt said during her acceptance of 2015 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in an Action Movie. “I will forever be so grateful for the title of ‘Full Metal Bitch.’” It’s safe to say that characters like Rita and Furiosa are a far cry from the damsels in distress of the past. “It’s the evolution of the human species,” Williams says. “It’s where we are evolving in terms of equal rights. It’s a battle that women have always had, and it takes time. Evolution doesn’t happen overnight.” For this reporter, Fury Road marked the beginning of what many critics and audiences are citing as a new era in the movie business, with action films kicked into high gear by heroines, not heroes. And who knows? One day soon, Blunt’s key line from Tomorrow -“Come find me when you wake up” -- might just replace “Come with me if you want to live.”

Coming to Grips with Homelessness

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y the side of the rainy road, a discarded sign lies wilting in a puddle. The ink has bled from the cardboard like the meaning has bled from words I have seen too many times: Spare Change Please, Anything Helps, God Bless. I never stopped when I saw the signs. I didn’t even see who was holding them. On street corners, I avoid eye contact or cross the road. At red lights, I roll up the window or fiddle with the radio. This is what I tell myself: I am young and female and vulnerable, and when I am out alone, I must protect myself. Because these people are hungry — and not just in the empty stomach sense of the word. I am well-practiced in the art of

WORDS RACHEL LACHAPELLE ILLUSTRATIONS MIRÓ MERRILL

evasion now, but that wasn’t always the case. Three years ago at age 18, I left for college a little red riding hood from the suburbs; Berkeley, California, was to be my deep, dark woods. Along the path to school, an inescapable acridity spilled from the gutters and filled the fog. They called me baby girl, then heartless bitch, reached out to stroke my shins, and recited monologues inches from my face when I rode the bus. There was the bitterest pity, and probably much worse, in the pit of my stomach. I learned to hide my wideeyed gaze behind glasses and harden my replies. Panhandling is prevalent here too, in my second college town. Signs are flown on sidewalks and common curbs are

contested across town. The city of Eugene has a homeless population of around 3,000 people — though that is not to say that all homeless people panhandle, or that all panhandlers are homeless. While panhandling here in Eugene is permissible by law and tolerated by the public, the legality of such activities elsewhere in Oregon has been challenged. In 2014, Portland’s six-month-long ban on loitering and panhandling was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, who found the law to be a restriction on free speech. Coos Bay and Roseburg have ordinances prohibiting the transfer of money to a pedestrian from a vehicle on the street. In the case of a violation, both drivers and panhandlers can be penalized ETHOS WINTER 2015

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with a fine. The intent is to prevent traffic problems rather than panhandling itself, which is why the ordinance has been successful while others like Portland’s have not. People are free to ask for money and people are free to give, as long as they legally park their car before doing so. I wanted to research my questions about panhandling, but I couldn’t find the answers I was looking for. Some studies have tried to determine who panhandles, how much money they get, and what they buy with the money. But since the data is often collected from self-reported surveys, it is difficult to obtain reliable statistics. The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing estimates incomes range from $2 to $300 per day, depending upon the location as well as the skill and demographics of the panhandler; for example, women with children, veterans, and the disabled tend to receive more money. Most panhandlers respond that they usually spend their money on food, others save spare change to book a hotel bed or a bus ticket, and some admit to using donations to buy drugs or alcohol. Panhandling can be passive or aggressive, ignorable or intimidating. No matter the manner in which the request is made, being asked for money is uncomfortable for me. It reminds me that I have when others do not, and it instills in me a feeling of guilt that I don’t always think is fair. So I doubt. I shake my head. I say “I’m sorry” — to those who ask me for money, to myself, to some higher power or karmic enforcer — but I’m not. During the few months I’ve volunteered at a local meal site, I’ve interacted with a cross-section of the hungry, unemployed, and unhoused. I’ve met good people, rude people, sick people, and unlucky people. I have seen a diversity of stories and experiences, yet here I am, still stuck in my stereotypes and biases. How many times have I thought: Why do you deserve a handout? Why don’t you just get a job? How many times have I judged, dividing the hungry into those who don’t deserve their situation and those who, just a little bit, do? I decided to find out why — and see if I could change my ways. The first time I find a panhandler to talk to is the result of a deliberate attempt. I walk the grid of downtown methodically, scouting my options. When I see the young

man sitting with his sign, I turn around suddenly, and I have to walk around the block again before I’ve summoned the courage to go up to him. I crouch down awkwardly to his eye level. I’m nervous, and too many words escape me, too many details slide past. I know he does not yell or send me away, and he speaks much softer than I expect him to. His warmest coat is wrapped around the sleepy four-month-old cradled in his lap. The puppy, Preigo — “How do you spell your dog’s name?” “You’d know if you were a Star Wars fan” — can barely lift his eyelids, and Andy, the man, looks as tired as his dog. Andy recites the litany of the pup’s precise lineage: Border Collie, Chocolate Lab, Blue Heeler, Rhodesian Ridgeback. I sit with the two of them on

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Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” plays in the bar across the street. Recognizing the song earns me stroke-ofluck street cred. Isaiah peels back grungy layers of clothing to reveal a faded Floyd T-shirt. He’s in a band, playing piano and a little drums. Their band is called Ceiling, their future following will be known as “Ceiling” fans. He laughs at his joke, and I do too. I tell him about the story I’m working on. “Can I write about you?” “Sure,” he shrugs, but he doesn’t know why I’d want to. Isaiah tells me that he is going to apply to the university while he’s in town. He wants to study art. Isaiah paints — or he has, and he would, if he had any supplies and the time to travel into the Pacific Northwest wilderness or Egypt’s deserts. He asks me if I’m that type of student who never has any fun because I’m too busy with school. I hesitate to admit it, but when I do, Isaiah nods in understanding. He’d be the same way, he says, if he were in college. “I wouldn’t even have time to smoke a cigarette.” “How did you get accepted into the University of Oregon?” he asks. I sidestep the question and tell him I filled out the application online. “You could use the computers at the public library,” I offer. Then I remember the 15 minute time limit on Internet access without a library card, which requires a Lane County address. It’s a simple but significant obstacle, the first of many Isaiah would encounter if he was serious about getting into college. Tuition for out-of-state students is upwards of $30,000 a year. Though it’s afternoon, Isaiah hasn’t eaten anything today — he hasn’t collected enough change yet. When I give him five dollars to get something to eat, he’s awkwardly grateful, trying not to grin too big. I make him promise to spend the money on food or brushes and paints. A third guy joins our little cohort, saying something about finding nuggets on the street for everyone to share. Isaiah doesn’t know his name but he seems to be a good friend of Andy’s. I can’t think of anything more tragic than eating old, cold chicken nuggets off a sidewalk. It is a tragic metaphor for the American panhandling life, I think, it is fast food poetry. I won’t find out until later, but it is actually slang for marijuana. Isaiah’s friends are getting ready to

o, you’ve come to see how the other half lives,” he says, more of a statement than a question.

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top of a cold sidewalk grate, suspended above the cigarette-strewn city underbelly. “We’re hoping for leftovers,” Andy says, gesturing at the nearby burger joint. They don’t get any while I’m there, just a few spare coins. Preigo’s fur, caramel to the eye and corduroy to the touch, looks healthy. I wonder which of them eats first. A friend of Andy’s approaches, and for the first time, I’m looking up instead of down at a panhandler on the street. I try not to hesitate when he offers me a handshake. His name is Isaiah, he’s 19 years old, and he’s been here in Eugene two days by way of Bend. Before that was Georgetown, Texas, where he grew up one of seven siblings and graduated early from high school. His hood remains suspiciously up until we’ve been talking over the water fountain for a while. I confess I don’t often stop to talk to strangers on the street. “So, you’ve come to see how the other half lives,” he says, more of a statement than a question. Perhaps it’s the Oregon Ducks logo on my sweatshirt that signals privilege. “It’s good that you’re taking time to redeem yourself, to be human,” Isaiah says. His words, if not his intentions, are harsh. He adds that he needs to redeem himself, too. From what, I do not know. I soften regardless.

leave and hurrying him along. “Wait a minute, I’m talking to this gal,” he tells them. He asks me for my phone number. I hesitate at first, before realizing I’m not being hit on, but hit up, maybe for money or food or just a sympathetic ear. His cell phone is cracked and dead, so I scribble my number on a piece of paper. “I hope I’m not bothering you,” I say. “You’re keeping me from doing things I shouldn’t,” is his reply. As they’re walking away, Isaiah turns back to wave goodbye. I don’t see or hear from him again. I think I see him the next few times I’m out, but on second glance, it’s someone else with the same overcast eyes and scarecrow clothes, someone else with dirt settled deep under his nails and into the loops and whorls of his fingerprints, someone else looking 16 and 60 all at once. Did he buy chicken or nuggets, paints, or a pipe? Did he walk down the university’s tree-lined streets and linger on the lawn outside the library? Perhaps I’ll never know. Isaiah is living his life on the road and on the edge. He is traveling wherever he likes — or rather, wherever he can hitchhike, wherever February thaws the streets — without a care in his pocket or a penny in the world. The lie he tells himself is that he holds onto every possibility instead of none. He spends more time begging than being bohemian. He doesn’t own a toothbrush, let alone a paint brush. He is learning a lesson that is 12,000-years-old: people didn’t start making art until they had time when they weren’t looking for food. I don’t feel sorry for Isaiah, and I wish I could tell him that, because I think he would smile. I’m on my way to the post office on a Tuesday when an older woman asks me for $1.50. Surprised at the specificity of the appeal and annoyed that she chose me to ask from among all the other people walking by, I hurry past her, throwing an apology over my shoulder. I’m on the next block before I realize the irony. I need to finish my errands, I didn’t prepare for this, I probably forgot my notebook and pen: the excuses run through my head, soothing me. Though I plan to take an alternate route home, 20 minutes later, I’m handing over the requested amount of change and asking to share the wireframe table she is sitting at outside a downtown café.

Her wheeled walker is piled four feet high with grocery and garbage bags full of belongings. One bag holds at least a dozen disposable cups like the one she has in her hand now, lipstick prints left along their paper rims. Her coffee is the greyish-brown of too little room or skim milk substituted for cream. Since the last time I saw her, someone has stopped to buy her a bagel topped with tuna salad from the shop next door. Her name is Karen. She talks fast and chews slowly, compressing years of her life story between bites. Between a burgundy knit beret and oversized sunglasses, her eyebrows are shapely and arched and her face has the Technicolor elegance of a 1950s magazine cover, illustrated rather than airbrushed. With the change she collects on the streets, she sometimes goes to the Dollar Tree and buys tweezers, nail clippers, or a new lipstick. Karen owns many little lipsticks, but they run out quickly, as I must know. She admits to me, woman to woman, that she can’t resist trying a new color now and then. It is little things like attending to her appearance that can still cheer Karen up since she divorced her exhusband years ago. That ex-husband has made her life a living hell, she tells me, and as a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious motorcycle club that some would call a gang, he’s quite good at it. All of her ex-in-laws have ties with the Sicilian Mafia, she says, which is how Karen came to be a victim of identity theft, ruined credit, and food stamp fraud. She suspects her ex-husband was also involved in the unexpected loss of her long term job at a Hot Pocket factory. A few years ago, Karen says, her apartment was burned down by the managers so they could collect the insurance money, and she has since been living on the streets of Oregon, California, Utah, Texas, and Florida. Recently, she has been struggling with a bad back and

physical disabilities because someone has been performing voodoo and witchcraft on her from afar. On her wrist is a paper bracelet, though not the kind issued from a hospital. Karen says she keeps getting kicked out of the homeless shelters in town because they claim that she has a communicable disease, which she tells me emphatically she does not. She has been kicked out of a lot of places, coffee shops and clinics and social service offices. This state, just like the last, has been unwelcoming. She is always left tired, hungry, alone. I tell her about a free meal site she can go to only a couple of blocks away. She doesn’t want to go until I offer to show her the way. We walk slowly, stopping after ETHOS WINTER 2015

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FEATURE

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his is what I tell myself now: I am a person. And this person on the street corner is also a person. They have a past, present, and future, a life I will never know, a story that can’t be summed up on a sign.

every few steps to readjust the belongings balanced on her walker. Even at this pace, we’re less than five minutes away. Karen stops suddenly and her physical frustration turns to emotional upset. She says she’s not going to make it and shoves her walker away. “You’re just like the rest of them!” she screams at me. Like her ex-husband, her landlord, her boss, her doctor, her social worker. Like the people who kick her when she lies on the street and tries to sleep. I don’t know what to do. “I’m upsetting you, so I’m going to go now,” I say, slipping away quickly down an alleyway. Back at my apartment, I call CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets), the local mobile crisis intervention service. They tell me they will dispatch a van to Karen’s location as soon as possible. Many people have failed Karen, though perhaps not in the way that she thinks. It seems wrong to me that a sick and defenseless woman should be left alone, but what could anyone do? Lock her up against her will? Commit her to a system she fears? Medicate her for a condition she does not seem to realize she has? I keep wondering how she got into this situation. While researching mental illness and homelessness, I read that at the end of 2013, Lane County Health and Human Services made significant cuts to its mental health department’s budget and staff, which typically provides care to lowincome and uninsured individuals in the community. The remaining staff members were left with 100 or more individual caseloads each, and it’s not implausible that someone like Karen could slip through the cracks. One month later, I’m inside a restaurant, looking out on the now empty square of sidewalk where I met Isaiah, ETHOS

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when I see Karen across the street. She has since acquired another piece of luggage to lug and an extra 15 degrees to the bend of her back. In a slick, black poncho, she blends into the backdrop of asphalt and rain. I feel some combination of sadness and guilt; I am either helpless or hopeless. I wish I could feel my stereotypes shatter, or even crack. I wish I could present my softened heart in my hands, beating with proof of some great transformation. I wish I could say that society’s most spat upon have an inextinguishable innocence. I wish I could have opened my eyes to some hidden beauty of humankind. Instead, I saw truth. Blame it on my idealism and naiveté, but I find it to be an ugly truth. You can’t help people who don’t want to be helped. You can’t save the world with spare change or time. You might drop quarters into cups or press dollars into open palms, and the only thing you’ll buy is coffees and lipsticks, pot and paints. Perhaps that’s too harsh. I don’t resent Karen or Isaiah or Andy, not at all. I heard their stories, and for an hour, I connected with them. Maybe I didn’t like everything I heard. Maybe I wanted that hour to matter more than it did. This is what I tell myself now: I am a person. And this person on the street corner is also a person. They have a past, present, and future, a life I will never know, a story that can’t be summed up on a sign. So I make eye contact and I give a spare smile. I may not stop, but I do slow down.

The Art of

the Reveal Burlesque performers of Eugene’s Broadway Revue discuss the history and complexity of this tantalizing performance art. WORDS LINDSAY MCWILLIAMS PHOTOS KASSI GAFFNEY I

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as more than a striptease as a variety show of sorts that can include dancer— she is an artist and striptease. The definition is very openexhibitionist who makes her ended and interpreted by performers and audience think. troupes in different ways. The Broadway Revue has Burlesque dancers continued to be run every Sunday night at a part of variety shows, but with the Luckey’s Club for the past 12 rise of the higher-end Vaudeville in the years, making it the longest- 1920s, burlesque became the poor man’s running burlesque show in entertainment. Legendary performers and Eugene, Oregon. It certainly burlesque queens came from this era, like has elements of what many Gypsy Rose Lee and Zorita to a name would recognize as “classic couple. It drew audiences and sustained burlesque”: the feather boas, revenue by showcasing women who the tightly wound corsets, and wore less clothing than their Vaudevillian rhinestoned nipple pasties. But competitors. it also features the comical, “It was the girls who weren’t the right the dark, and the thought- body type, who weren’t pretty enough,” provoking. Each woman in the Taylor Maiden says, a performer in the show has a completely different Broadway Revue. “They said, ‘We want approach to burlesque, but to dance, too. And if we have to take our they all take pride in the fact clothes off to do it, we’ll do it.’” that they carry on a legacy, one Thus, burlesque became associated that began in the 1800s. with stripping. Because of burlesque’s Beautiful women have been scandalous nature, New York Mayor pushing societal boundaries Fiorello H. La Guardia spearheaded the by teasing their audiences for movement to rid his city of it. In 1939, he entertainment since the early denied the renewal of licenses to burlesque s PHOTO - Taylor Maiden maneuvers her fans. 19th century. Liz Goldwyn’s theaters, including the famous Minsky book Pretty Things, and a Brothers theaters, beginning the demise To the waltz of “I Feel Pretty” from handful of other burlesque of the classic striptease art. From then on, West Side Story, Dahlia Murder leaps and bibles, credit the birth of American anything involving stripping moved to the bounds across the stage wearing an orange burlesque to The British Blondes, an seedier, liquor-serving nightclubs, where 1960s dress. She is an image of feminine English troupe that came to New York in dancers faced more pressure to show total beauty, her locks of hair nudity. That is, until “neobouncing as she moves. burlesque” emerged in the After undressing herself, 1990s, which is what you she reveals the prop in her will see when attending hands: an electric razor. a burlesque performance SOMETIMES IT’S REALLY NOT She raises it to her head today. ABOUT HAVING A SEXUAL TONE. and the audience roars In The Burlesque as dark tufts of hair fall Handbook, neo-burlesque SOMETIMES IT’S ABOUT STRIPPING slowly onto the stage floor. dancer Jo Weldon explains AWAY SECRETS, BEING REVEALING, “It was something I’d that neo-burlesque been daydreaming about stemmed from the need BEING OPEN, BEING GENUINE. for a long time and had to for an alternative to build up the confidence to strip joints, a form of do,” says Murder. “It was entertainment and adult a surprise to the audience. humor that could be I try to shake people up a performed at extravagant bit.” 1868. They were, “credited with shifting parties. Though it drew from traditions of This is the same woman who, at seven the emphasis of burlesque performance the old burlesque, it was also influenced by months pregnant, performed with a picture from comic sketches to displays of overt current subcultures of drag and fetish. of Earth painted on her stomach, as if she female sexuality.” At the time, these acts of “I never really knew what burlesque were “a goddess to the universe.” “overt sexuality” included wearing tights (a was other than stripping,” says Maiden, “It really makes my heart feel soft and new and scandalous invention at the time), recalling her thoughts before learning exposed when a woman will come up to me but didn’t involve the removal of clothing. about burlesque in a theater history class at after a show and say, ‘That made me feel Burlesque is traditionally described as a the University of Oregon. “I thought, Oh, beautiful, too.’” parody, an absurd or exaggerated imitation, you’re a stripper, but in fancier clothes.” As a performer in the Broadway Revue often in the context of theater or literature. Maiden’s expressive speech and elegant Burlesque Show, Murder sees herself More recently, burlesque has been defined gestures reveal the itch to perform that

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runs through her at all times. As a girl who dreamed of being a Rockette and graduated with a degree in theatre arts, she was attracted to the theatrics of burlesque. “Growing up in theatre, I also fell in love with the tech-side of things: the costuming, the lighting, the sound, the stage-painting,” Maiden says. “And with burlesque, you get to do all of that.” She remarks that she can rarely hear a song on the radio without having a set planned for it by the time it is over. On any given night at the Broadway Revue, each dancer performs three sets of her choosing. Within each set, she picks a song, creates choreography, and crafts her costume and props, all on her own. The girls refer to being in the show as a full-time job, even though it only runs once a week. Along with the responsibility comes great freedom. Sunday Mourning, a performer who has been with Broadway Revue for five years, likes the spontaneity

of coming up with her own ideas. She often won’t decide on what to perform until the day of, simply based on hearing a song that she thinks will be fun to dance to do. “I’ve performed with other people who have requested that I do a certain act and it makes me not want to do their show at all,” says Mourning, a quiet and thoughtful woman in her twenties. “These are the things that make our show unique.” The diversity of acts seen at Broadway Revue is unmatched in the Northwest, Maiden says. All in the same night, the audience could see a sultry jazz performance, a hip-hop routine complete with twerking in lingerie, and a more abstract statement piece in which Mourning dances to an unsettling song with a television on her head. No act is ever turned down. Attending a burlesque show, it can be easy to forget about what audiences may have come to see in the first place: the stripping. Surely the removal of clothing happens in nearly every set, but it can be treated rather differently than in, say, a strip club. It may or may not be the focus of a burlesque performance, and may or may not be sexual at all. “Sometimes it’s really not about having a sexual tone. Sometimes it’s about stripping away secrets, being revealing, being open, being genuine,” Mourning acknowledges. “It’s really common to see a classic burlesque act be suggestive, but it doesn’t have to be that way.” Mourning even has an act where she is dressed as a mime, pretending to do a classic burlesque dance without taking any of her clothes off. She sees it as a comical way s PHOTO - In addition to performing, Bayou Bettie also frequently hosts burlesque shows. to make fun of the

expectation that burlesque dancers have to be sexual. For dancers, it is a rather empowering act to strip in front of an audience, especially in an area like burlesque, where self-confidence is encouraged regardless of your body type. Shows like the Broadway Revue display a diversity of figures on stage. “Honestly, I think it makes people more uncomfortable than the fact that there’s nudity — women saying, ‘I am who I am. You can love me or not. I don’t care,’” Maiden says. She argues that the new wave of feminism and body-acceptance accounts for the resurgence of burlesque in society today. Maiden, who has at times struggled with her body image on stage, says she would like to see more diversity in mainstream burlesque. A black-haired, tattooed and classically curvaceous woman, Maiden admits to having felt bigger than other girls she has seen performing burlesque. Sure, Dita Von Teese is beautiful, and so are the women in the 2010 movie Burlesque, but much of the burlesque world does not adhere to those standards of perfection. Maiden cites a woman in the Broadway Revue who has a prosthetic foot and often works the removal of the appendage into her acts as a gimmick. The new burlesque is also open to genders of all kinds, with “boylesque” becoming increasingly popular and shows being created for the LGBQTIA community as well. A “queer burlesque” show is also underway locally, at The Wayward Lamb in downtown Eugene. However, because stripping in front of an audience isn’t 100 percent socially acceptable just yet, the reality is that some performers have to keep their burlesque lives hidden. Bayou Bettie, another Broadway Revue dancer, used to be a teacher at an elementary school in Portland, Oregon, along with doing burlesque in the evenings. She tried to keep her two lives as separate as possible. But one night, while getting ready to perform, Bettie looked out into the audience and noticed one of her coworkers. She debated over whether to ignore it and shy away from it, or just go way over-the-top. “I ended up jumping offstage, sitting on her lap and twirling tassels in her face,” Bettie laughs. “I just decided to go for it, and now there’s no secret at all.” Most women in the Broadway Revue ETHOS WINTER 2015

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limiting concept,” she says. “Women and men can express themselves through nudity ultimately in a very vulnerable way. It’s our own closed mind that allows us to think that when people are displaying themselves physically, that it’s always superficially — that they want to be seen.” Another component of neo-burlesque, different from that of the 1920s, is the sense of community that has been created among performers. Giant burlesque festivals are popping up in major cities all over the world, including the Oregon Burlesque Festival in Portland. With the use of social media, burlesque dancers can travel to guest-star in neighboring shows and meet other performers within the burlesque niche. Today’s burlesque performers aren’t necessarily breaking deeply entrenched societal boundaries like they once did, but they continue to draw crowds for their retro appeal — a peak into the risqué entertainment of the 19th century. Nostalgia is found in their red lips, embellished garters, and pin-up hairdos. The subculture shares an intimacy with its history, paying homage to burlesque queens gone by, inspired by the outcasts of a different era. Bayou Bettie finds comfort in these ties to her burlesque ancestors. “There are moments when, even if I’m nervous about money or getting onstage, or how the show’s going to look or how anything is going to be,” she says. “I kind of have this special place deep down in my heart where I remember: I belong to a very unique group of people who have been dealing with this for over 100 years.”

FEATURE

WORDS JULIA COMNES PHOTOS KAYLEE DOMZALSKI

A New

Greek Life This is only one of four Theta Pi Sigma chapters nationwide, as it is a new concept of having a completely gender-inclusive sector of Greek life.

s PHOTO - From left to right: Bayou Bettie, Taylor Maiden, Sunday Mourning.

have other jobs, “Muggle jobs” as they call them, as burlesque cannot be counted on to pay the bills. Many are mothers as well. There are some, however, who make their living doing burlesque. In any case, it is a starving artist’s passion, and most burlesque dancers don’t expect to make big money doing it, says Maiden. Like all artists, burlesque dancers receive criticism for their work. On one end, there’s Sunday Mourning, who often performs ETHOS

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strange, disturbing, or thought-provoking sets. She has been criticized for not being what the audience expects, resisting the sexy showgirl model of classic burlesque. On the other end, burlesque performers are often criticized for being comparable to strippers, demeaning themselves for attention or money. But Dahlia Murder knows what to say to this. “To think that a woman would take her clothes off just to be judged sexually is a ETHOS WINTER 2015

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A

Theta Pi Sigma chapter are even aware of Theta Pi Sigma. “I like how personal it is, with how small meeting is hardly a scene Corbin Couraud, Theta Pi Sigma’s it is,” says Dylan Williams, a student who that conjures up the terms Finance Coordinator, says he’s been asked joined Theta Pi Sigma in fall of 2015. “I “fraternity” or “sorority.” It multiple times, “Who’s Theta Pi Sigma? Is think close spaces are really important and involves about 10 people of various genders, that a made-up one? Did you make that are really beneficial, like, emotionally and sitting in a circle of desks in a fluorescent-lit up?” mentally to have.” classroom of McKenzie Hall. Theta Pi Sigma’s motto is “Death Before “If there were more people who felt like On a campus flanked with over 20 Conformity,” and it applies this when faced this then it would be cool if they joined too. mansion-like houses bearing Greek letters with many of the expectations other Greek But in a way, it doesn’t matter to me,” says on their faces, this gathering is not what organizations have. Jason Kirkendall, another new member. most people imagine when thinking of For one, Theta Pi Sigma is significantly McBennett says he wishes the Greek life at the University of Oregon. less expensive than other Greek organization were bigger. But being different is exactly what organizations. “I think we do a fairly good job of Theta Pi Sigma prefers. “Our dues per term are $45 and zero getting the word out within the queer and Theta Pi Sigma is a Greek organization, cents,” says McBennett, saying that the trans communities,” he says. “But I really but neither a fraternity nor a sorority. It is dues of other Greek organizations are wish we were more of an option to people University of Oregon’s first and only “exponentially higher.” A 2014 USA who are interested in Greek life but would gender-inclusive Greek organization, and Today article estimated that the average enjoy a gender-inclusive option.” its mission is in creating a welcoming space new fraternity member will pay $605 per “I think having more allies joining it in Greek life for queer, trans and gender- semester and the average new sorority would be a good thing as long as long as it non-binary students. still remained a space that Louis McBennett, queer and trans people felt the president of the safe in,” McBennett says. organization, says that “I just want it to be more Theta Pi Sigma aims to publicly known about by subvert the way Greek other communities.” I THINK CLOSE SPACES ARE life normally operates. Theta Pi Sigma “‘Fraternity’ and ‘sorority’ identifies itself as an activist REALLY IMPORTANT AND ARE are so specifically gender organization. McBennett REALLY BENEFICIAL, LIKE, segregated,” he says. says that because it’s a “Theta Pi Sigma is Greek organization, the EMOTIONALLY AND MENTALLY TO not just meant to exist school doesn’t fund Theta HAVE. and be outside of that but Pi Sigma, and “we don’t also to make a safe Greek have to go through school organization for trans and administration as much.” gender-non-conforming He says this allows it to be students. Generally, trans more radical than some of students can’t join Greek life otherwise,” member will pay $1,280 per semester. the school-funded student unions. McBennett says. “Sometimes we see the flocks of sorority Couraud and McBennett say that The first Theta Pi Sigma chapter was girls where they all have matching dresses, bathroom takeovers are Theta Pi Sigma’s founded at University of California, Santa and they look on-point as hell,” McBennett most consistent radical activity. Cruz in 2005 and is advertised on its says. “But they all had to go out and “A bathroom takeover is when there’s an website as the “world’s first queer gender purchase those. And so, there’s a certain event, some sort of student event happening neutral frarority.” There are other Theta economic status expected of you to be able that is aimed at LGBTQ students, and Pi Sigma chapters at the Northeastern to be part of those organizations.” taking over the bathroom means putting University of Illinois and the University of “We don’t have any sort of dress code signs up to make the bathrooms gender Maryland, and the University of Oregon’s or expectations of the members that cost inclusive to make the space safer for chapter is one of only four in the country. additional money,” McBennett says. transgender students,” says McBennett. He Despite having a smaller national McBennett says that a lot of Greek says it can be radical because the school community than most Greek Life, organizations’ dress codes are about doesn’t always give them permission to do McBennett says that University of Oregon’s conformity. “I get the appeal of that, having a bathroom takeover. Theta Pi Sigma doesn’t really communicate that look of being a family,” he says. “But But among its members, the main with the other schools’ chapters or other for us, we’re all about individuality and not benefit of Theta Pi Sigma is the community Greek organizations in general. making people conform at all, and even it creates. “We’re not very involved with the rest pushing people to express themselves.” Each weekly chapter meeting starts of Greek life. We don’t interact much Another thing that sets Theta Pi Sigma in the same way. “We have a system at with the fraternities and sororities,” says apart is its size: currently, it has only 10 the beginning of every meeting, where McBennett. He says that he doubts most consistent members. everyone introduces themselves, even University of Oregon Greek organizations though we all know each other” says

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McBennett. Every single time we say our name and our pronouns.” Then each member says something exciting that happened to them that week,

something “not-so-exciting” that happened to them that week, and something that they’re excited about in the future. “We make an effort to check in with everybody,” says McBennett. The meetings include new member orientation, since six of WE’RE ALL ABOUT the current members INDIVIDUALITY AND joined Theta Pi Sigma last term. Next, there’s NOT MAKING PEOPLE time for announcements. CONFORM AT ALL, AND Typically, there’s a discussion topic of EVEN PUSHING PEOPLE TO the meeting. Around Halloween, the members EXPRESS THEMSELVES talked about Halloween costumes, addressing how Halloween costumes

can culturally appropriate or offend trans people. “It varies by week but we like to, as an activist group, get into an engaging discussions about the world,” McBennett says. Tricia Knope, another new member of the organization, says that being in the organization has been very educational. “I haven’t known very many trans people before this and I think it’s just shown me more faces to the idea,” she says. “It takes people where they’re at and nobody has to dress like anyone else, dress a certain way, be a certain way, be a certain gender, be a certain sexuality or anything,” says Knope. “It accepts everyone where they’re at.”

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WORDS FORREST WELK PHOTOS ANGELINA HESS

Invisible

DANGERS

s PHOTO - After recognizing that his own personal interaction with electronics resulted in detrimental bodily effects, 22-year old Ryan Edwards found a new life path as an associate for his mother’s [Neil Hunter] company, EMF Power Pro.

A story about the concerns of some Eugene residents about the possible negative influences of microwaves from cell towers and wireless devices on citizens' health.

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n March 1978, Eugene, Oregon faced a small crisis concerning the fears of what cannot be seen. People were inexplicably getting sick. Many in the Lane County area reported nausea, headaches, and insomnia in the same month. The source? Some local physicists attributed the confusion to a microwave signal 3,000 feet above the city surface. The power level was unusually high – about 500,000 watts. The incident was explored for months in the local media. “It was one of the most complicated, weird stories I have ever covered,” says University of Oregon Professor Mike Thoele, who wrote for The Register Guard. The origins of the signal were never found. Later that year, the story was forgotten and residents went on with their lives. In the nearly four decades since the event, a lot has changed in Eugene. For one, radio frequency waves are everywhere — a spectrum of signals typically used for wireless communication. It seems that everyone has a cell phone now. Eight cell phone towers registered to the Federal Communications Commission reside in the proximity of Lane County. This is just one example of the modern technology boom and these technologies often rely on these transmissions. For some, this is a problem.

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“I keep my phone off most of the time,” says Neil Hunter, a self-described educator about the health risks of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Hunter is an affiliate at EMF Power Pro, a company that specializes in testing EMF levels in homes. EMFs include anything emitting from televisions to computers. She believes that it all amounts to a health hazard and recommends ways to reduce exposure of what many do not give a second thought to. “What worries me is that more and more people are unaware of the health risk, and that they’re going to get sick,” she says. Hunter, like others concerned about wireless technology, limits her exposure to wireless devices in hopes that she will be less vulnerable to future health problems. Her computer is hardwired, devoid of WiFi. None of her devices are on when she sleeps. The fear is that waves emitted from EMFs pass through the body and potentially cause an abundance of symptoms. Much like those possibly affected by the mysterious Eugene signals in 1978, many concerned claim that exposure to these waves can cause headaches and a lack of sleep. Hunter caters to those who frequently report symptoms around these devices. Some are more at risk than others– a condition known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity. In a sense, those affected

claim to be “allergic” to these signals. Hunter’s son, Ryan Edwards, says that he experiences these symptoms when he is around a large number of electronics. He appears like a typical college-aged kid — full of life with an upbeat personality. He has a thin frame and short, blonde hair. Among many, he is what many would call an average person, but there is more to Edwards underneath the surface. The 22-year-old was born in Colorado and moved to Eugene after his parents divorced when he was 12. “That was huge,” recalls Edwards. “I was going into adolescence full force without a strong father-figure to help guide me.” When his mother became interested in starting a company to fight electromagnetic radiation, Edwards was initially skeptical. “I was less than enthused about it,” says Edwards, who was studying exercise and movement science at Lane Community College. “I just saw it as another side project that took away from my studies.” As time went on, Edwards embraced the endeavour. He says that his own experience in dealing with electromagnetic hypersensitivity makes him want to help others. “The more research I did, the more I realized that this was something real,” says Edwards. “It corroborated with my real-life struggle with cell phones, computers, and

video games.” Today, he acts as an associate for EMF Power Pro after dropping out of community college in 2012. Edwards says that his newfound knowledge allows him to experience fewer headaches and a clear mind. This is his life now. But the concerns of those who believe this to be the cause get more serious than an occasional migraine. One physician who has taken a special interest in EMFs is Dr. Paul Dart, an osteopathy practitioner in Eugene. When explaining the health effects of these signals, Dart categorizes the risks. He says that acute effects amount to fairly minor harm such as ear-ringing and headaches, while chronic effects are far more damaging. “Chronic symptoms are going to come from damage to tissues due to increased levels of oxidant activity in the body,” explains Dart. “The main documented chronic problems are increased levels of cancer and effects on fertility.” Dart stresses that these long-term effects are not like gamma rays in that they directly break DNA. Rather, the damage comes from changes to biochemical functions. Rather than crafting thousands of pages of research, he condenses his studies into simple papers easily read by the FCC and the general public. The doctor is concerned for public safety and the skepticism that he has encountered. “People that are skeptical about this ought to look at what the research is actually showing,” stresses Dart. “They can draw their own conclusions after looking at what the science really says.”

FEATURE

s PHOTO - Before Ryan Edwards and Neil Hunter leave their house-call for the day, Krantz uses “Vortex Cards” on their cellphones. By merely placing the cards over each phone for one to two minutes while closing her eyes quietly, Krantz claims to rid any radiation and negate possible subsequent health effects from using a cellphone.

The reality behind the concerns is highly debated in the scientific community. University of Oregon biology professor Alan Kelly teaches a course dealing with the causes of cancer. When asked if cell phones are a potential cancer culprit, his response is like many: inconclusive. “The issue has been controversial from the start,” explains Kelly. “The number of studies looking at possible associations with cell phone usage and cancer is likely increasing.” He points to a 2011 study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer regarding the issue. The oncologists concluded that there may be slight increased risk of brain tumors from the long-

s PHOTO - An advocate for limiting exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, Eugene local Neil Hunter tests the radiation levels of friend and colleague Kathleen Krantz’s home. According to Hunter, the levels are extremely low.

term use of a cell phone. Conversely, a 2010 case-control study by the Interphone Study Group found no link to cell phones as a carcinogen. Kelly stresses that more robust studies will be conducted as cell phones continue to become more widespread. For now, the issue is up in the air. Like cancer, the more minor effects of EMFs are equally debatable. Sample surveys in the United Kingdom and Switzerland report that four to five percent of people claim to suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity. However, the World Health Organization, a member of the United Nations Development Group, said in a 2004 study that although “the symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity,” there is no known medical cause for electromagnetic hypersensitivity. The study goes on to say, “These symptoms may be due to stress reactions as a result of worrying about believed EMF health effects, rather than the EMF exposure itself.” Though the science is often muddy, and the experts do not always agree, Edwards is all-in on his efforts to help raise awareness for the cause against EMFs. In a culture that continues to embrace wireless technology with open arms, he is an outlier–cautiously skeptical of the cordless trends. Since leaving college, Edwards hasn’t looked back. “It was a life changing decision, but to this day, I don’t regret it.” ETHOS WINTER 2015

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welcome back to

ETHOS WORLD We tapped into students’ stories from around the globe to bring you this edition of Ethos World. Enjoy the trip.

s PHOTO by MACKENZIE MORAN - On a day off from work, a friend and I road-tripped across the island, where we came across Agia Galini, a small harbor town on the southern coast of Crete. ETHOS

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ETHOS WORLD

O P E R AT IO N :

Protect the Nest PHOTOS AND WORDS MACKENZIE MORAN

While living on the Greek island of Crete, Mackenzie Moran enjoyed a summer working for a conservation group aimed at monitoring and protecting Loggerhead sea turtle nests.

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s the sun rose over the Aegean Sea, I knew it was time to look for Loggerhead sea turtle nests. Soon, the endangered hatchlings would struggle their way to the water’s edge — and it was my job to protect them. During the summer of 2015, I spent two months as a volunteer for Archelon: the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, a small non-governmental organization that monitors and protects the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle and its nesting beaches. The project was located in the tourist-heavy city of Rethymno on the island of Crete. Before my trip, Greek was just a jumble of symbols I had been taught in my physics class. After walking up and down a main road for hours, I finally found the Archelon base camp. I wandered into a makeshift kitchen hidden under a collection of tarps and bamboo trees, sat down and released all of my pentup nervous energy. Everything about the camp’s “Whoville”like aesthetic and misshapen kitchen felt comfortable. Despite my inability to speak anything but English and my overall lack of awareness about Greek culture, I slid into the dirty, environmentalist lifestyle with ease. The odds are stacked against the offspring of the already endangered Loggerhead species, which is what made the work we did so important. Volunteers did everything as a team, despite our different cultural backgrounds. Physically protecting every single nest on our beach was a key component of our operation.

Working with sea turtles taught me more about the fragility of life. Out of the 200 nests we found from May to August, each had anywhere from 80 to 100 eggs, sometimes more. After eight weeks of incubation in the sand, if the nest saw no disturbances, about 70 percent of those eggs would successfully hatch. The hatchlings would then crawl their way to sea, where only one in a thousand of the babies that survived the struggle would make it to adulthood.

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orking with sea turtles taught me more about the fragility of l ife.

s PHOTO - Agia Galini, a small harbor town off the southern coast of Crete, offers a peaceful escape from hectic atmosphere of Rethmyno, a nice place to travel to on days off from turtle patrol.

s PHOTO - Ariadne, a female Loggerhead sea turtle, was found one night on the beach entangled in seven pounds of fishing net with three hooks embedded in her chest. After her rescue and rehabilitation, a cool towel is placed over her head to keep her skin moist as volunteers prepare to return her to the sea.

s PHOTO - Occasionally female Loggerhead sea turtles lay their nests in less than ideal spots. Here, Maxence Duhaupas of France carefully removes each individual egg from a nest as we try to move it before it becomes inundated with water.

s PHOTO - A Greek Orthodox Church on the island of Santorini poses as a signature symbol of Greek culture. ETHOS WINTER 2015

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Coffee, Café, Kaffee WORDS ERIN COATES ILLUSTRATION MIRÓ MERRILL

A comparison of the coffee and café cultures of Eugene, Oregon; Vienna, Austria; and Segovia, Spain. The European habit of lingering over your beverage is contrasted with the American preference for a grab-and-go cup.

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he ringing of the alarm clock jolts Kaitlyn Sledge awake. The time flashes 5:15 and she quickly rolls out of bed. The tall barista pulls her long brown hair up into a bun, slips earrings into each ear, and hurries out the door to make it on time for work. Sledge usually arrives at Vector’s Espresso in North Eugene around six o’clock in the morning. She begins her day by making sure everything in the shop is clean

andready. Moving around the shop, she places the tables and chairs in their proper positionsbefore retreating behind the counter. She listens to the espresso machine roar to life as she prepares cups of ice water for her customers who will begin to arrive around 6:30 starting with the Morning Crew. Dave is part of the Morning Crew, a group of five who come in six days a week. Sledge happily chats with them as the sun rises over the little café. She asks about their families, and they check up on her schoolwork. If she is running late, Dave will grab the newspaper from out front. When Sledge began working at Vector’s, the regular customers, like Dave, intimidated her. “All of my other coworkers knew them and knew their drink orders and knew their names, and knew usually when they come in,” Sledge says. “But within a few months of working there, I knew most of the regulars.” The busy cafés of Vienna, Austria are filled with regular customers as well. In the Café Konditorei Brendendick, people can be seen sipping coffee out of white ceramic cups and talking with a larger man who never seems to lose his smile. George Ges, the grinning waiter with a long blue apron around his waist, has owned the small Viennese café on the corner since 1990. Most of his customers are greeted by name because of their frequent visits and conversations with Ges. According to the jolly man, Viennese people search for the perfect coffee shop and then remain loyal to the business and owner. Ges says it’s his “nice personality” that keeps his customers coming back. “This is just a local café, so I have 90% regular customers,” he says. A coffee lover myself, I found myself frequently sitting in this café and talking with Ges. As I enjoy a cup of Wiener

Melange, one of the regulars walks out of the quieter room in the back. As he moves toward the door, he exchanges friendly banter in German with Ges before smiling at me and leaving. “I like to speak to the people and to make them happy. If they find what they like and they want to talk with me, they tell me their problems. I’m a psychiatrist,” he says. Like Ges, Sledge enjoys the different conversations she has with her customers. “Interactions range from joking and fun to pretty personal and emotional,” Sledge says. “You get to be a part of their lives.” Eric is one of the customers who Sledge banters with in the morning. With a Dr. John drink -- similar to a Spanish café con leche in his hand, they tease each other and chat about the latest video games and movies. Getting close to regular customers can be extremely emotional. “A customer was diagnosed with cancer recently, and he’s going through chemo right now,” Sledge says. “My mom went through that a number of years ago, so I relate to him. There are times if he’s in the café during the afternoon and it’s slow, I’ll sit down and talk with him about it.” Francisco Olmos, a patient man with a bushy mustache across his face, has owned the Pastelería Salón de Té Divas in Segovia, Spain for 31 years. Like Sledge and Ges, Olmos has many regular customers who come by for his coffee, conversation, and sweets. “I’ve developed lots of good relationships of different kinds,” Olmos says. His café isn’t just popular among the Segovians. He has also made friends with “Americans and other people who come from all over the world.” Back around the world in Eugene, Vector’s is similar to the cafés Sledge has experienced in both Vienna and Segovia. The endless amount of seating in each café encourages people to stay, relax, and

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INTERACTIONS RANGE FROM JOKING AND FUN TO PRETTY PERSONAL AND EMOTIONAL.

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enjoy a cup of coffee and ETHOS the culture surrounding WORLD them. The grab-and-go coffee places, like Starbucks, are extremely popular in the United States, where people seem to always be in a rush. More sit down cafés are popping up in places like Eugene and Portland for the people who want to slow down and enjoy the traditional coffee experience that is prevalent in Europe. To Sledge, the coffee experience is displayed in how the employees of Vector’s treat their customers. Customer service is important and the baristas make sure to greet each person who walks through the door either by name or with a friendly hello. The coffee is delivered to each table on a little platter with a spoon. “From the worker’s perspective, if someone is sticking around, we come in and check on them with a ‘Do you want a glass of water or do you want another drink? How’s it going can I get you anything?’ Sledge says. “What we want them to have is a nice place to sit and relax.” Although Sledge enjoyed her experience in Ges’ Viennese café, she was surprised by the lack of customer service in most of the coffee shops in Europe. “I felt like the conversation wasn’t there. The common attitude was that of ‘Yeah I’m going to give you your drink, but I don’t really care.’ But then there were definitely places that once they recognized that you were going to keep coming back, then it was more conversational and the coffee came with a smile instead of being thrown at you,” Sledge says. The “coffee with a smile” attitude that is so typical in the United States has to be earned in Europe, especially by tourists. People come and go all the time through cities like Segovia and Vienna. Shop owners never know if they will ever see the tourists again, so why would they want to waste the energy that could be put into an interaction with a regular customer who they know will come back? “I almost like it better here when I know that the smile isn’t guaranteed,” Sledge says. “When I get a reaction from someone, I know that it’s because of our interaction and because they are responding to it. It’s kind of cool.” Brightly colored menus with chalk writing lining the walls of cafés in the United States cause the everyday coffee drinker to stand in front of the endless choices for five minutes even though they ETHOS WINTER 2015

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already know what they are going to order. This distracted ordering is not present in Segovia. There are two choices: coffee con leche or coffee sin leche. “There are not options on sizes and there are not options on flavors,” Sledge says. “You can get a black coffee or you can get a coffee with milk.” There were not many options in Vienna either, but Ges walked Sledge through the different cup sizes and showed her what kind of drink would be in what size cup. One of the popular drinks is the Wiener Melange, a Viennese coffee similar to a cappuccino. “It’s a small coffee with a lot more water and half and half,” Ges says, “You have to make a cream with the half and half to add to the top.” After spending time in Europe, Sledge also noticed the different positions of the espresso machines compared to the usual placement in the United States. The espresso machines in cafés in the U.S. are usually facing away from the wall so the customer is unable to see the espresso shot being pulled. In Europe, the machine is facing the other direction and people, like Sledge, are able to predict how good of a cup of coffee it’s going to be. “I kind of like that honesty with the customer. They’re very open and they’re showing you the quality of the coffee they are giving you,” she says. There is a lot of pride that comes with the coffee culture in both Vienna and Segovia. Edmund Mayr manages the Kaffeemuseum Wien, a coffee museum in Vienna. The walls are lined with historical espresso machines, old coffee grinders, and even the first coffee pots in Vienna. Visitors to the museum can take classes to learn how to grind their own coffee. “This is my personal collection,” Mayr says. He smiled widely at my surprised face. It was hard to believe one man owned so much of the Viennese coffee history. Although he didn’t speak much English, he took great pride in showing me around his building. There are signs hanging on the walls, in German, that tell the tale of the first coffee houses as well as commentary from historians. On one of these signs is displayed the words of Johann Pezzl, a historian from 1786. “The determination of these houses has expanded infinitely more since its first origination. Man drinking coffee not only in the fact you take tea, chocolate, and punch. You study, you play, you chat, sleep, haggle, ETHOS

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advertise designs, intrigue conspiracies, like games, reading newspapers and journals, etc.,” it reads. “For me, it was neat because they were things he collected because he was interested without an alternative motive. It was also really cool to see various methods of roasting and grinding and brewing,” Sledge says. “In my marketing perspective, it was interesting to see the introduction of brand names, like, ‘Oh there’s the Keurig.’” Although the Keurig has become popular today for making quick coffee, Ges’ café in Vienna has been passed down for many generations, brewing each cup with care. The pastries and food behind the glass counter are made according to the old family recipes, passing along tradition to each customer. Jars of different types of jam as well as boxes of round chocolates are displayed, the handiwork of Ges himself. The handmade jams are made fresh from fruit grown by Ges’ friends. “You have to clean the fruits, then cut them, then add sugar, and cook it and then fill the jars up and boil it,” are the almost too simple instructions for the fruit explosion coming from the jar. The chocolates, however, are a little bit harder. “You have to make different flavors to make the different fillings,” Ges explains, “You have to taste it every time to make it perfect.” Olmos had always dreamed of owning a café. He worked for many years in a different café outside of Segovia and decided to open his own to combine his love of coffee and his baking skills. All of the pastries sold inside are handmade by Olmos himself. “My café was the first one in Segovia that was a café and pastry store,” he says. The ponche cake, made only in Segovia, is his most popular pastry. This is a vanilla cake filled with cream and topped with almond marzipan. While the streets of Vienna were lined with cafés like Ges’, Segovia has a few scattered here and there like Olmos’, some paired with bakeries, and others with bars. Many places in Oregon are catering to customer interest by serving alcoholic caffeinated drinks as

well, but Sledge isn’t quite sure how she feels about it. “To me, they’re similar in the sense that they can both be made with a lot of pride and they can both be specified to the hops that go into the beer or the beans that go into the coffee,” she says. “But I feel like trying to have two specialties is weird. You kind of get suspicious, like how can you do both of those well?” If Vector’s started making their own beer, it would seem to Sledge that they were trying to do too many things and not focusing on doing one thing well. After spending six weeks in Europe and experiencing the coffee culture in two different countries, Sledge has determined that if she were to open a café in the future, it would have aspects of the cafés in each. But she would put an emphasis on customer service like in the United States. “I would run it similarly to how it’s run at the shop I work at now. But I would offer a café con leche and Melange because they are awesome and European and I love them. And I would really encourage the smaller drinks,” Sledge says. She explained that the same amount of espresso goes into each cup of coffee. The smaller drinks have fewer calories, but still have the right amount of caffeine. There is not as high of a chance of the coffee going cold before the customer has a chance to drink it all from the ceramic or paper cup, depending on if he stays or goes. “I want people to have the option to leave, but definitely cups to stay,” Sledge says. “I want lots of couches and pillows and comfy chairs, places where people would want to come and hang out. I picture a very warm, welcoming atmosphere both with how it’s presented and how people are interacting. I want them to get really comfortable.”

@ethosmag

t PHOTO by Negina Pirzad

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ETHOS WORLD

Grassroots

Football in Ghana WORDS AND PHOTOS SHIRLEY CHAN

s PHOTO - Ghanaians come together as grassroots teams to play football in an open, dirt field outside an East Legon primary school. ETHOS

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Football attracts both the young and old at a local, makeshift pitch in Ghana.

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s PHOTO -Ghanaians foster spontaneity and creativity with playing and watching the game growing up in a culture unified by the sport. Football is the national sport of the country.

uited up in running shorts, we University of Oregon students on exchange in Ghana expected a pickup soccer or football game with children from the primary school. Our professor told us of the soccer match happening around 3 p.m. We arrived to a dirt field and hundreds of people united by opposing goal nets. There were schoolchildren, but they weren’t playing. We found ourselves watching a grassroots football match – a movement that exists within communities all over the African country. Every week or so, word spreads of a pickup football match. Those passionate about the sport come together to play, with ages ranging from the teenagers who play for fun, to former professionals from the national teams. They gather to play in front of the community. Now, financial disadvantages do hold back many Ghanaians from pursuing the career, but they don’t stop them from playing the sport. I guess the love for the sport is driven by poverty and the dream to make it big. With the gathering of the community, players get to experience the support and audience they might never get to otherwise. The sense of community reminded me of an American high school football game – a town brought together and supported by football.

t PHOTO - Children and adults lounge in and on an abandoned excavator as they watch a community soccer game.

s PHOTO - Children transition from school to watching the local football match. ETHOS

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Icelandic Photographer Patrick Bryant took in the beauty of Iceland through the lens of his camera. Here are a few snapshots of his travels.

ETHOS WORLD

adventure

s PHOTO - Icebergs from glacier runoff floating through Iceland’s rivers are a common sight as they flow towards the surrounding ocean.

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t PHOTO - Goðafoss, which stands for “waterfall of the gods” in Icelandic, is in the district of North-Central Iceland at a height of 40 feet.

t PHOTO - The view from the spire of Hallgrímskirkja a Lutheran church, located in the city center of Reykjavík, Iceland.

t PHOTO - Harvest moonrise over Faxaflói, the main bay in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavík.

Svartifoss stands for Black Falls and is one of Iceland’s main tourist attractions because of the unique basalt columns that surround the waterfall.

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ETHOS WORLD

t PHOTO - The group on its way out of the Khumbu Valley, on the way to Lukla..

On BrokenGround

WORDS ANGELINA HESS | PHOTOS PATRICK BROWER

Not many get to witness the majesty of the Himalayas up close and in person. An even smaller fraction of those are in the region when a massive earthquake strikes.

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he multi-colored prayer flags, worn and faded from years of sub-zero wind, storms and ice, criss-crossing throughout the Himalayan mountain range are akin to the American flags on the moon. They each symbolize human ability to reach an elusive destination through treacherous conditions and compromising physical means all in the name of exploration, whether personal or for the sake of a nation. As is the case for all expeditions, something is bound to go wrong in the face of such extreme environments. When University of Oregon students and close friends Katie Nock and Megan Sherritt were confronted with a series of earthquakes that hit before and during their scheduled ascent through the forebodingly beautiful Himalayas in Nepal. There was nothing they could do but follow the mantra: “Stop and Look up.” Wearing shorts and sunglasses, Nock and Sherritt, along with other participants of the Wildland Studies Himalayan Ecosystems Project and their trip leader Chris Carpenter, landed in Nepal in midApril 2015. The group traveled to study the geology, botany, religion, zoology, and culture of the country. But this was no ordinary study abroad experience. A majority of the program included a hands-on, 28-day backpacking excursion through the countryside and up into the Himalayan mountains. They spent each day “in class” along the route. Though many of the students were experienced travelers and backpackers, this was the first time any of them had been involved in an endeavor like this. Nock and Sherritt were two of the four University of Oregon students accepted into the program nearly a year before. Echoing each other’s sentiments, the two young women attest to an internal call to the mountains that prompted this pursuit. They expected gorgeous landscapes, rich culture, and days spent with monstrous bags on their backs. What they didn’t expect was an earthquake. Only one week after the group arrived, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake shuddered

from the outer region of Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu, killing more than 8,000 and injuring upwards of 17,000 locals, tourists, and travelers, making it the worst earthquake to hit the region in 81 years, according to published reports. “After the first earthquake, I almost threw up,” Sherritt reflects. “We were on a terrace on the edge of a huge hill and we could see trees moving in all directions. There were buildings falling down over here, people screaming over there.” Though the earthquake’s epicenter was far from them, approximately 77 km northwest of Kathmandu, they had already hiked nearly four days out towards the small rural village, Sete, the quake had brought nearby barns and homes to their knees. Miraculously, in the hills above the towns, the students were left unscathed yet rocked to the core. They knew little of what occurred in the aftermath of the earthquake. What they had seen from their bird’s-eye-view was not an accurate representation of the the wreckage, carnage, and panic that ensued around the areas of Nepal that housed

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made us leave the country.” With access to local WiFi, the entire group discovered that they had each been individually contacted by the United States embassy via email. After the initial earthquake, most of the outlying villages in the Everest region were evacuated. Citizens fled to Kathmandu to garner supplies, food, water, medical aid, and housing in its wake. The emails urged the students to leave the country, as did their universities and parents. But nothing stalled their plans. “Right when they started evacuating the Everest region, our professor [Chris Carpenter] said they had changed the course of our trip and we were going to the Everest region,” says Nock. A geologist and instructor for Wildlands Studies programs, Chris Carpenter was the head of operations and fearless leader of the students as they navigated the backcountry and ingested the layers of Nepalese culture bit by bit. Described as a man of steadfast intelligence, Carpenter didn’t waiver at the realization that he was responsible for 15 young adults in a country that was in a state of panic. Patrick Brower, a fellow University of Oregon student on the program, says, “Chris was always very calm. Looking back, I think he was very worried but he knew he had to stay calm for us. Everything was always okay.” Whispers began to fill the towns and villages they navigated through saying that there was a 50 percent chance of a second earthquake occurring. Carpenter alleviated these fears, however, and the group continued on. As a result, the group was placated and unconcerned, even as a new route was charted through the frosty footpaths in order to exchange the planned remote trail for the more trafficked path towards the Kala Patthar peak. If anything were to go wrong, and the possibilities seemed slim, they would be found more easily. Though the students were prepared to carry out the program, several of their parents had expressed concern over phone calls and urged them to consider traveling back home. Some students, Nock says, seemed embarrassed at their parents’ pleas. No one

wanted to leave. “We all figured that there wasn’t going to be another earthquake. Our professor was so confident.” Carpenter showed no trepidation and the students followed suit. Intrigue trumped fear in the event of a voyage into the mountains even while aftershocks rattled the land each passing day. Nock and Sherritt attest to having felt waves of seismic activity on many occasions. Some nights they jotted down thoughts from the day into personal journals and visibly witnessed their penmanship jut up and down. Despite the many signs to flee, Nock and Sherritt didn’t consider turning back. Nock said she felt like she could “confidently say we were among the last 100 people on the trail.” Fifteen of the last mountaineers in the Himals were just “kids”. At 4:30 a.m. on May 12th, these “kids”,

some lacking in snow gear and alpine experience at this level, arose from their camp to summit the remaining 18,514 foot elevation of the Kala Patthar peak. The day ahead was the grand finale of Nepalese travels. After hours of taxing elevation gain, the pack of friends reached the summit sweaty, laughing at their aching bodies, and basking in the sheer high of exertion as they took posed photos in front of the Everest majesty and ate Snickers bars. Once the novelty became numbing, Nock, Sherritt, Brower and other friends — self-deemed the faster hiking group — deliriously descended back towards their camp. Their steaming cups of hot orange juice shook when they felt the ground beneath them quake and they heard what they could only describe as “breathtakingly loud sounds of crumbling rock”. A second 7.3 magnitude earthquake cracked through the snowy landscape. As

Sherritt says, “It was like the gates of hell opening.” Glacier shifts and small peak avalanches are not uncommon occurrences in the Himalayas. However, this was anything but the norm. In the glacier valley behind them, a landslide cascaded forth bearing a veritable storm of snow and ice. It plummeted where the four had left their group to venture ahead. Forgetting that a lack of oxygen comes hand in hand with elevation gain, they immediately ran up the hill in a panic of gasps. Collapsing to the ground they dared to imagine the worst — that thirteen of their newest friends, their professor and several daring porters, might be dead. It was only a few weeks before that multiple avalanches barrelled forth into the Everest Base Camp, colliding with tents, gear and bodies. Sixteen experienced mountaineers, including Sherpas,

t PHOTO - Prayer flags at the summit of Khala Pattar.

THERE WERE BUILDINGS FALLING DOWN OVER HERE, PEOPLE SCREAMING OVER THERE.

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greater populations. In Kathmandu, the death count was rising dramatically by the hour. For Nock and Sherritt, the degree of devastation was not understood until, after a grueling day of hiking on a donkeytrekked trail through torrential rain, they rested in a small Internet cafe. It was there where the group found their first tangible connection to the historical city they had left only a few days before. “We saw the news for the first time and places we had just been to, temples that were destroyed,” says Sherrit. “They said the death count was up to 8,200 people, and we were all sitting there, shivering, and dead quiet, wondering why no one had

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t PHOTO - Ian Woodruff stands on a glacial ridge. t PHOTO - Taken just outside the town of Jiri, the last town connected to the rest of the country by road.

photographers and hikers, were killed by frozen landslides and icefall during the first earthquake, while 37 were injured. These were individuals who had prepped, trained, and planned to take on the elusive task of summiting Mount Everest and were stopped before they had even started. Amidst the power of Himalayan catastrophe, the Wildland Studies students and their guides should not have survived. But by the sheer breadth of a miracle, 15 university students exposed to the same natural disaster that devastated the lives of brave Everest mountaineers sidestepped a frozen fate. Not a single student walked away with a scratch. “We were sitting there speechless. I thought this might be the moment my life changed forever, but all of a sudden there they were, completely fine,” says Nock. The group emerged among fallen boulders of age-old rock that surrounded them in all directions, unharmed, but shaken. After what they had seen, it was time to return back to Kathmandu. Taking a leisurely four days to return to the nearest village of Namche, Nepal, the team found the once bustling village deserted and damaged. Those who remained in the village were fearful and on edge. Many villages they passed through on the days back to Kathmandu reflected ETHOS

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this devastating landscape. The second earthquake had hit during country-wide relief efforts and killed an additional 150 people while survivors fled toward the capital city. Though rebuilding efforts had already been underway for nearly a month following the initial earthquake, arrival in Kathmandu revealed that chaos had ensued and yet, there was palpable resiliency in the air. Locals camped in tents outside of their fallen homes, surviving on helicoptered rations and salvaging broken wood from the wreckage to rebuild their livelihoods. The entire city was a refugee camp and, while some foreigners were leaving as quickly as they could, others wanted to stay to help. The students were among the latter. However, they were not only a liability to their universities and the United States, but their aid would do more harm than good, they were told. Resources would be exhausted in order to feed them, time and energy would be needed to explain and orient how to aid. It was evident that it was time to leave. As a result, they left Nepal four days before their program was scheduled to end. Nock flew to Paris, France; Sherritt to Jaipur, India. “I was so heartbroken to leave but

at the same time I was so scared,” says Nock. During her travels, Nock had kept a journal. She later published some of her writing to a personal blog titled “Words Are My Friends”. In one entry she wrote: “While the Himal is the most incredible place I have been, I have never felt more confident that it is time to go. For one of the first times in my life I actually feel scared. I keep feeling, or imagining, tiny tremors and it stops my heart every time.” After returning back to the United States, Nock and Sherritt settled back into their routine at the University of Oregon. While adjusting back into life in Eugene hasn’t been a difficult task, they say they feel what may be moments of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Though they haven’t been clinically diagnosed, they both jump at the sound of loud phone vibrations, feel their hearts drop at a wall shake, and panic in a space of concentrated people. Despite this, neither would be stopped from returning. “You can’t not do something because of an irrational fear. That’s one thing that I’ve really gotten from this,” Nock says. “Like with Cascadia, there’s really no preparation for it It’s going to happen if it’s going to happen. But you can’t not go to the mountains because an earthquake could happen.” ETHOS WINTER 2015

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t PHOTO - A young boy wades through the Dudh Kosi River.

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tel leaves journals in the rooms for guests to write hellos, reviews, poetry, and prose. While living the solitary life may be a trope of great American authors, Ford and Cable hope to create a sense of community. Both dinner and breakfast are served at the hotel’s restaurant, Tables of Content. Breakfast is included in the price of the room while dinner is $28, including appetizers and dessert. Both are served at communal tables unless you request otherwise. Talking and playing games with your new tablemates is encouraged, and hot spiced wine is served after dinner in the library. The two-level library is the heart of the hotel. Designed to comfort bookworms and inspire budding authors, its grand windows face the shoreline. You can almost see Mark Twain roaming the stacks or Toni Morrison watching the waves batter the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. The hotel’s most refreshing amenity, and what truly makes Sylvia Beach a retreat from our everyday lives, is inner peace — at least until you leave. There are no televisions, computers, radios, telephones or even WiFi in any of the rooms, and there is a moratorium on any cell phone use in the library. Sylvia Beach is a vacation not just from our hometowns but our daily habits. If scrolling through Facebook is your favorite way to relax, then this may not be the getaway for you. But if reading, writing, or pressing the “reset” button on your psyche is what you seek, bliss is only a twohour drive away.

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inter weather in Newport, Oregon is not the sort suited for beach combing, but it is the perfect time to stay inside, cozy up by a fire, and sink into a good book. An unassuming five story house, perched on a bluff overlooking Nye Beach, Sylvia Beach Hotel is the coziest place to stay warm. Billing itself as a hideaway for book lovers, each room in the hotel is decorated to reflect the work of a great author, from Agatha Christie to Oscar Wilde. Originally built circa 1912, Sylvia Beach was reopened and rechristened 28 years ago by childhood friends Sally Ford and Goody Cable. The pair of bibliophiles WORDS JEN JACKSON| PHOTOS HANNAH GIARDINA named the hotel for Sylvia Beach, famous expatriate and proprietor of the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. Rooms and prices, fall into three categories: classics, bestsellers, and novels. Classics, like the Mark Twain room, are the largest and most expensive rooms with oceanfront views. Best-sellers are medium, mid-priced rooms while novels, like the Tolkien room, are more modest and the least expensive. Bright, exciting rooms like those for Dr. Seuss and J.K. Rowling bring childhood fantasies to life while the Jane Austen and Jules Verne rooms inspire more sophisticated daydreams. The middle of the week is the perfect (and cheapest) time to stay for exploring the range of eclectic rooms. Ford and Cable leave unoccupied rooms open for other guests to view. No matter the room, the works of the author line the shelves and offer full immersion into the world of your favorite book. Rather than a guest book at the front desk, the Sylvia Beach Ho-

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Tiny Trees, ENORMOUS PASSION

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man with a warm smile stands at the head of the room. A white ponytail hangs behind him and silver, wire-framed glasses rest on his face. The crowd, no more than 30 people, sits listening in folding chairs. While it gives the vibe of a city hall meeting, one detail makes this gathering different. Lining the walls on tables behind them are small trees, twisting and curving but never reaching more than a couple of feet. Some have bright orange leaves, mirroring their larger deciduous counterparts that stand in the cold outside. Others have thin needles that fan out like a peacock’s feathers. Despite their small stature, many trees in this room are over 20 years old. These trees are living examples of the art of bonsai — the passion that brings these people together. The man at the head of the room is Bill Kohler, president of the Eugene Bonsai Society. The group started in 1981, when its founding members created a place where those with a passion for bonsai can come together. One example is Dean Burkhart, a softspoken man who has spent most of his life interested in the art form. Growing up in a small town in Iowa, he learned about horticulture and plants by living on a farm. His first encounter with bonsai was at the Iowa State Fair where he came across a man selling and displaying them. After

purchasing one, the rest was history for Burkhart, who now owns over 98 bonsai trees. He and his wife, Karen, spend much of their time tending to trees and preparing for shows. Residing in Oregon for 12 years now, their backyard has rows upon rows of the intricate plants, resembling a tiny orchard. On the table near the glass sliding door sits an azalea that Burkhart says will bloom with flowers. Past a short stepping stone path is a small greenhouse, holding “companion plants” — extra-tiny plants that serve as a complementary accessory at shows. “We chose this one,” he says, pointing at a small rounded shrub, “because each of the previous trunks on that tree outside match the shape of this plant.” Several other tiny plants stand in line next to the shrub. Though small, they boast ages anywhere from 20 to 30 years old. Burkhart finds bonsai to be relaxing. “You work with the tree and learn how to style it,” he says. “It’s not something that you have to do in a hurry or stress about getting done.” Soothing as it can be, tending to a bonsai is a dedicated labor of love. “It’s a living art form that’s constantly in development. They’re like children, every tree is an individual and their soil takes water differently,” says President Kohler. “You learn to feel what they need and what they want.”

Kohler also finds that LOCAL the art of bonsai keeps his parents with him. His first experience with bonsai was in the seventh grade, when he stumbled upon the local bonsai club in Corvallis, displaying trees at the library. He expressed his interest in the tiny trees and, not long after, Kohler’s father gave him his very first wild pear tree. Kohler’s parents also became involved in bonsai, an interest they could all share. “I still have one tree of theirs left,” he says, “It got sick this summer and a lot of foliage died off — it’s going to be a different tree if it survives. But I want to keep it alive because that’s the only live thing I have left that’s directly from my folks. And they’ve been gone for several years so that’s their life. It’s kind of a connection for me,” says Kohler. It’s stories as sentimental as Kohler’s and passions as deep as Burkart’s that bring members to the Eugene Bonsai Society. The enormous amount of dedication and love bonsai artists put into their work reflect the beauty of their small, intricate pieces of art. Some find relaxation; some find sanctuary and escape in the art. Others look at it as a bonding experience, or even just a fun project. Eugene has a variety of groups and clubs, but the Eugene Bonsai Society offers a beautiful form of art that can be found right in your backyard. If you’d like to get involved with the Eugene Bonsai Society, they can be reached at eugenebonsai. org. Or come to their meetings on the first Thursday of every month (except January, August, and December).

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I. CARTE BLANCHE long aisle. A quiet crowd. Sleepy and compact, the passengers take empty notice as I make my way to the back of the plane. On AA 418, row 33 is the final stop. Two women smile a silent invitation to take my aisle seat. “Wow, this far back? We must be the coolest kids on this plane.” They chuckle. “If this is anything like the back of the bus in middle school, we’re the designated troublemakers. Who’s got the first round of shots? Seriously it’s our responsibility to take shots at this point.” They laugh, say hi, and make room. I never have a chance to speak to passenger 33A, but 33B keeps me company for a long while. Her name is something like Hannah. I can’t remember now. Something like Hannah and I make small talk for a while. Her blonde hair honors the simple white glow of the reading light. Her face is high and lovely. Her bright pink workout pullover ensures in-flight comfort. She might be a Lululemon model. It’s still up for debate. Although we never strictly veto shots, a 10pm red eye from Portland to Phila-

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delphia is no time to start drinking. Unless you’re with your college buddies; most of society’s rules don’t apply when you’re with your college buddies. Truly, society just excuses acting like barbarians on account of hanging out with your college buddies. Remember this universal truth at your next reunion. As the plane jerks forward the in-flight video is shouting. “Buckle your seatbelts! Refrain from smoking! And in the event of a devastating, life-ruining crash-landing in the middle of Lake Michigan, remember that your seat cushion is actually a pool floaty. Complimentary margaritas will be served while you float, but we’ve run out of those little umbrella straws. Our apologies.” Hannah and I try to talk over the handsome actor-pilot and his unreasonably diverse crew, but the shouting match isn’t worth it. So we wait. Hannah is from Tennessee, but currently lives in DC, when she’s not traveling. A medical tech company pays her to fly all over America and sell incredible, life-saving miracle-machines to hospitals, or something like that. She says the pay is worthwhile, but at 26, she still shares an apartment with a friend in Georgetown. It sounds less like a home, and more like

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a hallway with appendages. Her boyfriend runs a restaurant but thinks about graduate school. Everyone thinks about graduate school. The economy class ticket comes bundled with a particular honesty. It’s hidden in the Terms and Conditions. Row 33 encourages this honesty with a lack of company and the engine’s muffled roar. Hannah is five years my senior and well spoken, both willing to admit defeat and offer advice. I trust her. We agree that high school graduates idealize the future. As dewy-eyed freshmen we dream of college graduation and immediate employment. We confuse a diploma with a supernatural certificate to instant adulthood with “I HAVE MY SHIT TOGETHER” printed boldly at the top, the dean’s signature penned elegantly underneath. Hannah claims that no one has their shit together. Not at 22. Not at 26. And probably not by 30. Her twenties are cramped apartments. Her twenties are Chinese takeout on the floor. Her twenties are working a demanding job most of the time and reuniting with old friends at dive bars when she’s home. She’s changed boyfriends, cities, and careers plenty of times. As she creeps closer to 30, life trades its spontaneity for respon-

sibilities and a salary raise once in awhile. This complete lack of form is not some nightmarish void. Rather, it’s a sort of carte blanche. Uncertainty is the prerequisite to failure. And failure, lots of failure, is the prerequisite to success. No matter your major, there’s no guarantee that the path you’ve prepared for will even exist upon graduation. Your entire field of study could dry up, disappear, and turn into a Starbucks. All your old, nasty professors are now just bitter baristas. With some lowered standards of living, a decent attitude, and a bullish work ethic, the most rewarding path is the one you discover, the path no one mentioned in school. Armed with courage and a college degree, you won’t be in that Starbucks crying into an iced-caramel macchiato. You’ll navigate the turbulence as it comes, reinvent yourself a few times, read a lot, fail often, and keep going in spite of it all. With tired eyes and easy smiles, Hannah casually shares more stories and advice as we coast above the Midwest. She tells me that Atlanta is less affordable than it used to be, DC is much worse, Tennessee is beautiful, Charleston is tiny, and everyone’s first apartment is microscopic. After two hours we each fall asleep in the least comfortable positions imaginable, and wake up in Philadelphia feeling less rested than before. She asks when my next flight leaves for New York, and I realize that it departs in thirty minutes from the opposite terminal. She wishes me luck as we exit the plane, and I sprint towards my gate. My advice includes: don’t ever wear flip-flops to the airport. Ever. They slap and sound against the airport’s faux granite floor as you run. With luggage strapped to your back, your running form becomes sub-human, devolving to that of a wild turkey.

mermaid.” Her voice is low and charming as she reaches out to shake my hand. “I’m Colin… like the Farrell.” She thinks it’s funny. Ariel pulls a little black box from her big black purse and says that she’s just bought a new Mophie (a phone case that’s also an external battery). If I can assemble it she’ll buy shots after takeoff. I’m in good company. I read the instructions, set the charger up in about 30 seconds, and she orders us each two shots; two tiny bottles of Jack Daniels for me, two tiny bottles of vodka for her, and two tiny plastic cups filled with ginger ale. I tell her of my week in New York. She tells me of her week in Kentucky. My stories of hipster bars and Lower East Side pop-up shops are no match for her tales of horseback riding, distillery tours, and alcohol-induced adventures through uncharted southern evenings. Her charm bubbles constantly on the surface of our conversation, while her wit and intuition drive everything she says and the intensity with which she listens. Throughout the conversation a truth reveals itself: Ariel knows how to read an instruction booklet, but she cares enough to make a moment of it. Ariel tells me that grew up on an island off the coast of Washington, graduated

from high school at 17, and MEMOIR attended Arizona State on scholarship. Having almost completed four different degrees, she chose to leave school at 22 to bartend in Las Vegas. Divorce has scattered her family between Washington, Oregon, Kentucky, and Bavaria. This needs deconstructing. At 17 she took a ferry to school. At 18 she walked between palm trees and pools to get to class. And at 22 she navigates the Vegas strip daily. Her family lives in three states and two continents. Her education spans business, psychology, human physiology, and now, mixology. She is the perfect millennial, the one you always read about in the New York Times: intelligent, intuitive, and completely, unabashedly restless. She’s everything your parents ever warned you about, and everything you love about Broad City. “But in my heart, I’m an entrepreneur.” She says it like a weekend plan you tell a friend in a lecture hall: hushed and excited. “What’s your latest venture?” My question is genuine but the rhetoric feels wrong. I feel there should be a verb form of entrepreneur. Like, what are you entrepreneuring? Or preneuring? Or what’s your latest entrepreun? I’m sure Ariel’s already invented one, but that’s a secret too. “You’re done with your drinks,” she says, dodging. I offer to buy another round,

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II. BON VIVANT fter an adventurous week in New York City and a two hour delay in Dallas, I walk through the aisle of my last airplane, finally back to Portland. I’m in the third boarding group, which is surprising; my tickets are so cheap they often create a sixth boarding class that’s just me and the snack cart. The snack cart is usually wheeled on first. Upon sitting in my middle seat, passenger 27C says, “Hi, my name’s Ariel, like the ETHOS WINTER 2015

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W III. C’EST LA VIE

ADULTHOOD SEEMS MORE LIKE A CROSSCOUNTRY ROAD TRIP: CONSTANTLY STOPPING, SEEING AND LEARNING NEW THINGS, GETTING LOST AND FINDING NEW, UNFAMILIAR, BUT EXCITING ROADS.

but she refuses. She says it wouldn’t be fair for me to buy the drinks just because she bought the first ones. Maybe Arizona State teaches fairness differently than everywhere else in America. Maybe it’s custom that the lady buys drinks on the islands of Washington. Either way, we decide to play rock paper scissors for the next round. I lose almost immediately. In retrospect, no one should play rock twice in a row. The stewardess delivers a third round of tiny bottles complete with ginger ale and ice. Within 15 minutes we’re sky-drunk. Sky-drunk is land-tipsy, and boat-sober. So we’re just tipsy, sitting in United Airlines economy class: sky-drunk. “Can I tell you my next business venture?” she asks un-prompted. She’s smiling with pride, still bubbly with charm. “Of course,” I say. “I’m moving outside of L.A. to sell luxury dog clothing,” she says with a smile. I can’t help but smile back. That’s one hell of an entrepreun. She asks if I want to see her inspiration. Yes, I want to see her inspiration. She reaches under the seat in front of her. She lifts the big black purse onto her lap, and out comes a little black nose. And a little brown head. And little, pointy ears. There’s a Chihuahua in her carry on. She explains she’s moving to Redondo Beach, an affluent beach town outside of Los Angeles, to start her line. She and the Chihuahua, whose name is Norman, will love Redondo Beach. Norman stays perfectly quiet for the rest of the trip, and eventually Ariel falls asleep. Ariel, like the mermaid, certainly hasn’t told me her whole life story. She could write books. But from what she has told me, it’s clear she’s carved her path out of chaos. Ariel reinvents herself constantly, works tirelessly, and by our traditional standards of success, is already acquainted with failure in the form of dropping out. But she ETHOS

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won’t quit, and I can’t imagine anyone telling her to. Ariel, Norman, and I deplane and agree to have one last drink as we wait for our respective rides. Norman abstains. Ariel is waiting for her much-preferred stepdad to drive her to her less-preferred dad’s house. Apparently dad thinks working in Vegas is “for sluts.” Hopefully Redondo Beach has a market for luxury dog clothes so dad can stop calling his daughter’s work “for sluts.” She asks if I’ve ever had a green tea. Somehow I know she’s not asking about the calming, hydrating, hot drink. According to Ariel, a green tea is one part Jameson, one part peach schnapps, and one part bitters. “It’s how I get girls to drink whiskey,” she says with a smile. As if I hadn’t just drank three whiskey gingers from the United Airlines snack cart. She orders one for me, for her, and for Dave. Dave is the suit sitting next to us at the bar, and he hasn’t taken shots since college. According to Dave, his life is traditional. A wife, kids, and a salary with benefits all put him on the American pedestal. He’s a man of accomplishments, a man to be revered. King of the suburbs. But Ariel accepts no excuses, not even from suits, and especially not from Dave. She doesn’t feel intimidated by his status. She wouldn’t even think to be. From where I’m sitting, Ariel’s right next to him on that pedestal, boldly editing the fine print of the American dream while ordering airport cocktails. After the sweetest shot I’ve ever thrown back, Ariel and I exchange numbers, find each other on Facebook, and catch our rides.

e’re all on a continuum of adulthood, Hannah, Ariel, and I. The millennial experience is to know rapid change and pervasive communication as life’s only constants. As we age we learn that the journey through adulthood is not as linear as a flight. You don’t print your ticket at PDX, transfer in Philadelphia, and deplane at La Guardia. Adulthood seems more like a crosscountry road trip: constantly stopping, seeing and learning new things, getting lost and finding new, unfamiliar, but exciting roads. It’s much more complex than a degree, an education, or a job. It’s a journey. Hannah is Ariel four years from now. She’s broadly educated, well traveled, and eager to face the world. She’s failed plenty, and picked up the pieces every time. Carving a path out of chaos. Navigating the turbulence as it comes. Reacting to change with resilience. With time and experience we all start to look like adults, although we might never be willing to admit it.

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