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northwestern NORTH BY



Sleep deprivation takes its toll Mourning as a college student Mayfest by the numbers When Netflix becomes homework


How Northwestern’s comedians make it big


Making sense of loss at a young age How a father’s death has shaped one student’s identity


in this issue

on the cover: Laughing with you

No sleep til sunrise Bedtime is in your best interest.


Northwestern’s comedic success is based in solidarity.


12 7



I’D TAP THAT Find your mate via mobile device.



Food co-ops take grocery shopping to the local level.

20 KEEPING TIME WITH HATTIE BUELL An alum celebrates her love of music and Evanston.


FROM DRACULA TO DON DRAPER Pop culture enters the classroom.


A drink to the face

EXTRA INNINGS The perfect game day involves much more than baseball.



Develop an appreciation for film.

Suffrage and temperance: The Frances Willard House

23 Dillo Day Nookie


D’Weston Haywood is The Polished Professor


Who knew comfort food could be so uncomfortable?



CONGRATS, GRAD You got the degree— now treat yo’self.


2013 northwestern NORTH BY

Managing Editor | Lydia Belanger Creative Director | Priya Krishnakumar Photo Director | Brennan Anderson Senior Editors | Kimberly Alters & Megan Suckut Associate Editors | Amanda Glickman & Christophe Haubursin Assistant Editor | Kate Nettenstrom Senior Design Editor | Chrissy Lee Designers | Margaret Kadifa, Sunny Lee, Alex Lordahl & Jonathon McBride Photo Assistants | Sunny Kang & David Zhang Photographers | Emily Jan, Natalie Krebs, Priscilla Liu, Denise Lu & Alex Zhu Illustrators | Geneve Ong & Steph Shapiro

North by Northwestern, NFP Board of Directors President | Gabe Bergado Executive Vice President | Megan Thielking Vice President | Lydia Belanger Treasurer | Saron Strait Secretary | Sylvan Lane Editor-in-Chief | Gabe Bergado Executive Editor | Megan Thielking Managing Editors | Denise Lu & Alex Nitkin Assistant Managing Editors | Eric Brown, Anna Frank & Jenny Starrs News Editors | Dawnthea Price & Connor Sears Assistant News Editors | Mitchell Caminer & Lauren Lindstrom Opinion Editor | Susie Neilson Assistant Opinion Editor | Ben Oreskes Features Editor | Stanley Kay Assistant Features Editors | Anne Li & Yunita Ong Life & Style Editor | John Hardberger Assistant Life & Style Editors | Lauren Kravec & Emily Wickwire Entertainment Editor | Christian Holub Assistant Entertainment Editors | Peter Adams & Inhye Lee Sports Editor | Steven Goldstein Assistant Sports Editors | Aric DiLalla & Luke Srodulski Politics Editor | Sylvan Lane Assitant Politics Editors | Ryan Milowicki & Preetisha Sen Writing Editor | Susan Carner Assitant Writing Editor | Amanda Glickman Photo Editor | Liz Steelman Assistant Photo Editor | Hillary Thomas Video Editor | Christophe Haubursin Assistant Video Editor | Aimee Hechler Interactive Editors | Sam Hart & Nicole Zhu Webmaster | Tyler Fisher CORPORATE Director of Marketing | Alejandro Valdivieso Director of Operations | Saron Strait Director of Talent | Susan Carner

Y O U R G U I D E T O L I V I N G S M A R T. Y O U R G U I D E T O L I V I N G S M A R T.




Power up your plate. Photograph by SUNNY KANG



Bang For Your Bite Add superfoods to your diet without breaking the bank. B Y T E O M UN G A RAY

chasing dry items like fruits, nuts and seeds from Amazon is a viable option, and it costs much less than Whole Foods. When buying dried fruit, make sure you don’t get anything that has sugar added, is crystalized or is preserved; with nuts, try not to get anything flavored, salted or seasoned. Buy-

ing flash-frozen foods is a better option, because they’re cheap, picked at optimum freshness and have their nutrients locked in. Once you’ve stocked up, enhance your diet with some of these accessible recipes.




These little morsels are great for sustained energy throughout the day, either as snacks or as healthier midnight munchies. This recipe is a guide—you can customize the flavor to your personal taste.

Greens are a great way to get lots of fiber, iron and vitamins; beet greens are often forgotten or thrown away, but they contain a ton of flavors and nutrients. Substitute Swiss chard if you can’t find beets, and serve with a cheese panini (rather than a fatty grilled cheese) or some fluffy wheat bread.

1 cup chopped dried fruit (apricots, figs, dried cranberries, raisins, dates) 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds (almond, macadamia, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, peanut, pecan, sunflower, pumpkin) 1 cup syrup (honey, dark maple, agave) 2 tablespoons chia or flax seeds 3 tablespoons quinoa flakes, oats or shredded coconut 1 tablespoon healthy oil (extra-virgin olive, grapeseed, flax, avocado, safflower) 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional) Blend all ingredients together and roll them into one-inch balls. You can also leave out the chocolate chips, melt them and drizzle them on top. This recipe makes about 18 to 20 bites.

6 | SPRING 2013

1 cup frozen kale 1 cup frozen spinach 1 bunch beet greens, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 handful arugula 1 K cups vegetable stock N cup flour 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature 1 cup whole milk (or K cup skim plus K cup heavy cream) Salt and pepper to taste Heat water to almost boiling to thaw kale and spinach. Drain and set aside. Boil arugula and beet greens until tender, then drain and let set with kale and spinach. In a saucepan, combine butter, flour and a half cup of stock and bring to a boil. Add remaining stock and bring to a simmer. Add greens and milk and continue simmering. Season to taste.

This smoothie is the perfect breakfast choice if you have time to make it. Full of tasty fruits and protein sources like soy and yogurt, it’s the ultimate meal on the go.

1K cups frozen fruit (mango, banana, strawberry, peach, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry) 2 tablespoons honey (or agave) N cup silken tofu K cup Greek yogurt K cup milk (soy, almond, rice, coconut, dairy) 1 tablespoon ground flax Process all ingredients together in a blender. You may find that more liquid is necessary to blend. Add 100 percent fruit juice to cut back on some of the milk, but if you’re using dairy, don’t use an acidic juice or you’ll need to add a teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize the acid.

photo: sunny kang


uperfoods have merged into a new class of cuisine that is filling up food blogs, but filling your stomach with these uncommon options is not always feasible on a college budget. So how can you afford this emerging category of essentials? Sometimes it depends on where you shop. Pur-

Grub Clubs

Food co-ops take grocery shopping to the local level. B Y PREETI SHA SEN


asy Mac and ramen can only satisfy a hungry college kid’s needs for so long. For students looking to actively pursue better nutrition, food cooperatives allow personal involvement in the process. Rather than settle for what’s on the local supermarket shelves, a food co-op’s members—who are also its owners—have a say in what items their co-op has to offer. From grocery store models to live-in houses, each one works a little differently depending on its mission.

Chicago Food Co-Op 1741 N Western Ave., Chicago What it’s all about: This co-op is a buying club where people can order groceries and then pick them up at a common location. Unlike a grocery store, where people buy what they need as they need it, this coop orders exactly what members want weeks in advance. Because all 30 members are essentially business owners, they have more control over what food comes in and benefit from the group discount, as there are few overhead costs. The co-op has monthly meetings, and because all members help run the organization, there is a strong sense of community—they even have a listserv, where members share recipes and stories. Member requirement: Anyone older than 18 is welcome to join the co-op, but he or she must work at the co-op in addition to paying an annual fee. The work includes placing food orders and helping with deliveries. Insider opinion: “I can personally attest to making lifelong friends,” says Kevin Monahan, the interim president of Chicago Food CoOp. “It’s just a matter of talking to people, maybe after meetings, and getting to know that we had some common interests.”

MOSAIC (Members of Society Acting in Cooperation) 2000 Sherman Ave., Evanston What it’s all about: MOSAIC is a live-in co-op that brings its 18 members together under one roof. They share the work evenly and interact on a regular basis to build an inclusive community. Although many MOSAIC members are current Northwestern students, recent graduates and graduate students who have completed the application and interview process may also live there. The house does not have a hierarchy, and all members share equal responsibility for living sustainably and doing chores. Member requirement: Members must do four hours worth of chores per week, including shopping, cooking and accounting. Chores are assigned at the beginning of the quarter and change every 10 weeks, but there is no definitive formal structure.

photos: denise lu

Insider opinion: Medill junior Rebecca Oken, who lives and works at the co-op, says MOSAIC has a feeling of “simplicity and sustainability” that helps build an open, interesting atmosphere. “I love living there, living intentionally and consciously, where everyone puts in the same effort,” Oken says. “It makes me feel very purposeful.” Full disclosure: Oken is a past North by Northwestern contributor.

Dill Pickle Food Co-Op 3039 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago What it’s all about: Unlike Chicago Food Co-Op, Dill Pickle is similar to a grocery store—you don’t have to be a member to shop there. Its focus is on food that is organic, local and natural. The company supports a wide variety of local producers and caters to a group of about 1,300 household members. Member requirement: In order to become a member of Dill Pickle, individuals must invest $250 over five years. Although this is a large investment, members gain exclusive company rights and privileges, including specific discounts and volunteer opportunities inside the store. Insider opinion: “It’s a more palatable, easier model than Chicago Food Co-Op because it is open and stocked all the time,” says Monahan, who is involved with both co-ops.



Pulling Your Own Take a shot at homemade espresso. B Y B R E N N A N AN DERSON


rewing your own espresso and making espresso-based drinks at home can be as easy as going into any cafe and ordering a beverage. Plus, the DIY method is an inexpensive and fun way to give yourself a quick jolt of energy. If you have a few minutes and a simple machine, you’re well on your way to brewing a fantastic shot. It’s wise to invest in a moka pot or an espresso machine. While these gadgets produce the finesttasting espresso shots, drip coffee machines and even French presses will also do the trick. Depending on which brand you buy, you’ll discover that different blends are recommended for different machines.   Local grocery stores in Evanston such as Jewel-Osco and Whole Foods have plenty of espresso brands to explore. Once you begin to branch out and try new blends, you’ll broaden your horizons and reward your taste buds.  

down easily. If money isn’t an issue, give this blend a try.


Lavazza blends can be found at Whole Foods and sell for $12. For optimal results, use Lavazza blends with either an espresso machine or a moka pot. Lavazza Caffè Espresso Ground Coffee is a 100 percent Italian Arabica blend with a caramel-colored crema (the flavorful and aromatic froth that forms when bubbles of air combine with espresso’s oils). It has a mellow taste with a hint of chocolate. This extremely smooth blend’s aroma is pleasant, and it serves as a

8 | SPRING 2013

fine alternative to the overly roasted drinks at Starbucks. Lavazza Qualità Oro Ground Coffee has a more floral aroma than Caffè Espresso. This is largely due to the fact that this blend’s beans are from Central America and Africa, not from South America. Furthermore, compared to Caffè Espresso, this blend is rougher and bolder.  Many consider Qualità Oro less smooth, but it all comes down to personal preference.   


illy Caffè also can be found at Whole Foods and costs $13. illy recommends using a moka pot or an espresso machine with this blend. illy Caffè is a medium roast that’s smoother and more drinkable than both of the aforementioned Lavazza blends. Like both Lavazza espressos, illy Caffè is made of 100 percent Arabica beans. This pre-ground, clean-tasting medium blend has a noticeable caffeine kick and goes

Purchase this brand at JewelOsco for $8. Drip coffee makers and French presses will suffice if you don’t have a moka pot or an espresso machine. Italian Espresso is PapaNicholas’ darkest roast. This blend has a full body and a relatively bittersweet taste. The beans of this blend are from Central America, Africa and South America. While this brand’s aroma and taste are pleasant, the experienced espresso drinker will almost certainly be more pleased with either Lavazza or illy espresso. This is mostly because PapaNicholas’ Italian Espresso tastes quite similar to many of the overly roasted brands of the United States. Still, if you’re on a tight budget, this blend could be one of your best options. o

photo: sunny kang photo: brennan anderson


What’s In Your Barsenal? Revenge is best served wet. BY ST E P H SHAP I R O

inks is unclear, but it owing dr of thr t film The Wages of Sin does tra n i g n . Coun ce i e l r i s o 4 1 t The the 19 owed, inspiring actresses, sports f less ig k to e foll e to make the extravagant ures an bac es hav everywher gestu d e r o s c o s m , r e a n h b s i g re. e r h h e -fives sc ty sta you hit t w h t e i k c r i i g t p h i o t h e t p l otable w rea ext tim Here’s ho befor these e yo N ricks. u t id il qu aim. e tak

to ’s rink here d k ic :T a qu ree t ar as uld ag abou ss. e l c s a o c ew insults ring sts w manti ur gla o thusia ” the face. Film en less and r m of yo slap e k just something tim the botto l “drin oing g a m fending off sleaze fro occasion or bar- lock f r ar e h t e d r e e d h i s You might con erv but S s Jaf rd res an occupational haza Stinson, isney’ . e y D e womanizers like Barn and even ic trop t i a n a i b m b i r Holmes, Joey T ine this c have all fallen prey to


photo: sunny kang; illustrations: alex lordahl


Bloody Mary


Blue Blazer

You’re not one for frilly straws or fruity flavors. The martini slap is a testament to your class and poise, as well as your refined wit and James Bond-esque badassery. But make no mistake: This choice exemplifies style, but you can botch it easily with either a bad stemware grip or an amateur trajectory. The splash is reserved for unwelcome (or poorly dressed) suitors and high-profile business deals turned sour.

Ah, Mary. She’s the perfect retribution for brunch etiquette gone wrong. This salty cocktail is part of a select menu designated for boozing in the a.m.—and let’s face it, morning is not the time to be taking any crap. If aimed at the eyes, the deadly combo of Tabasco and lemon juice says you are not to be messed with today (or ever). Leave your target reeling and soaked with tomato juice for the rest of the day.

Is a drunken idiot dissing your team? Need a drawn-out move that everyone at the bar will notice? Just feeling kinda irritable today? Beer is your weapon of choice. Either a can or bottle can ensure the pain sticks. Just make sure to keep aiming at your target’s head once you pull the trigger (and then get ready to make a quick exit). Bonus effects include sticky residue and a lingering beer smell—all the better for your target to remember you by.

This concoction is the perfect mix of “What the fuck happened last night?” and “You’ll probably need a restraining order.” Sure, that low-life scumbag at the other end of the bar might deserve a second chance, but you’re a merciless cesspool of burning rage, dammit. Feel free to substitute the Blue Blazer for any flaming beverage, but this 19th-century classic is the original. You can probably pull this off only once without looking like a psychopath, so save it for someone special.

2 K ounces gin K ounce vermouth 1 Olive Style: •••• Sting: ••

1 ounce vodka 3 ounces tomato juice K teaspoon Tabasco sauce K teaspoon Worcestershire 1 teaspoon lemon juice Pinch of salt 1 celery stalk Style: •• Sting: ••••

Beer of choice (the cheaper the better) Style: ••• Sting: •

4 ounces scotch 2 ounces raw sugar Lemon peel Lighter Style: ••• Sting: •••••



Grasshopper-on-the-(Sham)rocks Shake

One of the best parts of summer is staying out late with friends. Making a midnight run to 7-Eleven for slushies is about the only thing that makes the humidity bearable. Now that summer internships (or, God forbid, the real world) have replaced summer vacations, here’s a slushie that’s just as grown up as you are. 1 K shots absinthe 1 scoop lime sorbet N cup grapefruit juice 1 cup ice 1 Pineapple ring and 1 cherry for garnish

DRUNKSHAKES These boozy blends will have your head spinning. BY TAYLOR T HOMAS

Caramel Appletini Shake Certain foods bring to mind certain times of the year. Just like shakes are part of summer, crisp, fresh apples are reminiscent of fall and the start of a new school year. In case you want to drink your NU sorrows away, here’s a shake that’s appropriately academic. 2 scoops caramel ice cream 2 shots caramel vodka Apple juice, frozen into ice cube trays Apple slices for garnish

10 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

The Grasshopper is a great dessert drink, and so are Shamrock Shakes. Why not marry the two? Quietly lament that you can’t buy this off the Dollar Menu. 2 scoops vanilla ice cream 1 shot crème de menthe Chocolate syrup to taste 2 to 3 crumbled Oreos

Summertime, and the drinking is easy. (That’s how the lyrics go, right?) While you can get by sipping margaritas and mojitos, we’ve got you covered if your sweet tooth has a drinking problem. Try these dessert drinks that take on classic libations.

Daiquiri Shake Daiquiris are wonderful. Like martinis, you can make them your own, based on whatever you prefer your alcohol to taste like, from banana and strawberry daiquiris to Hemingway daiquiris. While the original daiquiri only comprises rum, lime juice and sugar, many variations exist. 2 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt K banana K cup frozen strawberries 1 shot white rum Maraschino cherry or fresh strawberry for garnish

photos: sunny kang

Lush Slushie

Want more mariachi? Head to for a serenade.

MAKING MUSIC Daniel Flores (Comm ‘14), AJ Vielma (Medill ‘16), Alejandro Serrano (Weinberg ‘16), Wilson Smith (Bienen ‘16), Jonathan Ceru (Weinberg ‘15), pictured left to right.

Mariachi Takeover It’s music to your h eartstri ngs. B Y KAT I E N O D J I M BAD EM

W photo: denise lu

hile mariachi music’s traditional folk style has its roots in Mexican history, the genre has made its way across the continent. The music officialIy arrived at Northwestern with the help of a team of student musicians that established Mariachi Northwestern. The group brought mariachi’s distinctive mix of bright brass, sharp strings and sweet Spanish melodies to NU in 2012. Between performing shows and shooting videos of their own version of the primal scream in the library, Mariachi Northwestern can also be

found surprising fellow students with romantic ballads. Weinberg junior Belinda Niu received a very special Valentine’s Day gift this past winter. She recalls looking up at the bleachers during tennis practice when mariachi music began blasting through SPAC, not realizing the serenade was directed at her. “I was really surprised and a little embarrassed, but I also thought it was a really nice gesture, probably one of the most unique Valentine’s gifts I’ve ever gotten,” Niu says. Daniel Flores, a Communication

junior and president of Mariachi Northwestern, says all the serenades have been fun, and there’s never been a negative reaction. “Belinda’s coach thought it was hilarious,” he says. But the group doesn’t joke around when it comes to style. Its loyalty to the traditions of mariachi performance is part of what makes a surprise serenade so special. “I definitely think what Daniel has done in starting Mariachi Northwestern is really cool,” Niu says. “He took the initiative to bring a unique type of music to campus and also a unique group. I know there are a lot of a cappella groups, but I don’t think there are many groups on campus that just go around playing music.” Flores says the Spanish language

is one of the driving factors in the romanticism of the music. “Ella,” one of his favorites, is actually a sad tale of lost love, but when sung in Spanish with the accompaniment of the vihuela, a string instrument, it automatically becomes swoon-worthy. The musicians have expanded their reach past serenades for undergrads. They’re now booked for several other gigs and even a couple of weddings. “I think it’s something very different,” Flores says. “Our uniforms are very professional, so it’s not just some random guys in skinny jeans and flannel shirts singing on the guitar. It’s the complete package. It’s something you’re not used to, something people aren’t expecting. It’s innovative, unconventional.” o



I’d Tap That Find a mate via mobile device. B Y M E G A N S U C KU T


Bang With Friends

Grindr and Brenda

Crazy Blind Date





After signing into this iOS application, users scroll through photos and either hit a green heart to “like” a person or an “X” to move along. Sure, it’s satisfying to judge users by photos and ages, but it’s even more fun to get matched, because that means someone you like also thinks you’re cute. Throw personality matching out the window— for Tinder users, getting in touch is all about the face.

If you’re down for the friends with benefits thing and have lots of attractive Facebook friends, there’s an app for that. Bang With Friends allows users to get to know their Facebook friends in a much more intimate way. By selecting your bangable buddies and being selected as bangable yourself, you’ll get confirmation so you can get on with planning your totally non-awkward night in.

Grindr connects men with interested men, and Brenda connects women with interested women, each allowing users to forego awkward initial questions regarding sexuality. Both apps use proximity to suggest casual interactions. And there’s no shortage of potential partners with these apps: Grindr has amassed more than 6 million users worldwide. With Grindr and Brenda, the chance to meet other singles is literally at your fingertips.

Those who care less about Mr. or Ms. Right and more about having a fun date will enjoy using Crazy Blind Date to meet new people. This app asks users where they want to meet up and when, then connects them with others interested in the same dates. The kicker is that users’ identities are hidden until they meet for the first time, maintaining ultimate privacy for anyone shy about using a dating service. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab a nice dinner or see a show with someone new—provided both parties are brave enough to show up for the blind date.


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illustration: geneve ong

t can be difficult to find new hookups, or even new relationships, when school isn’t in session. All the bars at home are filled with your high school classmates, and let’s face it: Your summer internship doesn’t leave you with enough time or energy for socializing with romance in mind. Some people are too busy or too shy to find dates in their free time—but now they can use their smartphones to do just that. Mobile dating is the new online dating. Several apps have been released in the past year that connect users, keeping privacy and mutual selection in mind. The advantage of mobile dating apps is that users aren’t stuck at their computers all day browsing profiles and pondering analytics. Instead, they’re able to plan dates on the go. With the surge in popularity of mobile dating, there is a wide variety of apps that accommodate different types of users and promise to help them find that special someone. This summer, love might be just a download away.

DeSTIgmatized Stay sane while staying safe. B Y S A R A H D A O U D


photo: sunny kang

ave you ever been told by a high school health teacher or dramatic CTA station ad that STIs will personally hunt you down? And that you have to choose between spending the rest of your sexually active life either a) evading the whole population’s potentially-infected genitals or b) dying a slow, painful and blistered death? Friends, that’s simply not the case. There’s a middle ground here. We’re bombarded by scary statistics, like how the majority of people who have sex will get HPV at least once in their lifetime, or how according to research conducted at American University, about one in five college students in the U.S. has genital herpes. However we’re usually not informed on how to calm down and get our shit together. People don’t spend their time spreading happy information, like how the American Sexual Health Association reports that HPV often clears out of the body naturally. Or that chlamydia and gonorrhea, two of the most common infections, are easily treated with a round of antibiotics. Or that having an STI makes you statistically normal, not disgusting. It’s time to integrate knowledge that makes our lives better—and our sex sexier—instead of feeling afraid, guilty or gross. First and foremost, if you’re having sexual contact with someone, whether it’s vaginal, oral, anal or manual (using hands), you should think about getting tested. IT’S TIME TO Finding out you are STIpositive is intimidating, INTEGRATE but don’t let that stop KNOWLEDGE THAT you from getting your MAKES OUR LIVES junk checked. Chances BETTER—AND OUR are that if you do have an infection, it’s some- SEX SEXIER—INSTEAD thing curable. And if it’s FEELING AFRAID, not, then it’s something GUILTY OR GROSS. that has many treatment plans available, like HIV or herpes. People live long, healthy lives with all kinds of incurable STIs, and being proactive can only benefit your health in the long run. Your body is too important not to care for, and that includes your P’s and V’s. Your body is also too important to leave vulnerable. Wrap up your junk like it’s a gift, because it is, and it’s damn precious. If you think you can get away with foregoing protection during oral or anal sex, sorry to bum you out­—the Center for Disease Control states that almost all STIs can be passed along from any mucus membrane. So, anytime you whip it out, consider whipping out the dental dams and condoms, too. Not sure where to find a dental dam? You can make one by cutting a condom lengthwise to the tip, or use non-microwaveable plastic wrap to protect those delicate flowers. Most sexual health professionals also suggest wearing a latex glove when there is hand-genital contact, but getting an STI from manual sex is pretty uncommon, so it’s not a crime if you skip it. Just make sure to wash up before and after you touch someone else’s bits. Keeping yourself happy and satisfied is not that hard. Talk to people you trust when you’re confused, be honest with your partners about your STI status and banish all the bullshit that keeps people from getting tested or has them feeling like ass after they test positive. An infection is an infection—whether you got it from getting it in or from borrowing someone’s nasty mascara. It doesn’t make a difference. o NORTHBYNORTHWESTERN.COM | 13


PLAY IT OFF Northwestern students designed JiveHealth to combat childhood obesity. BY JO RD YN W OLKING

14 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

“I definitely feel like I have a responsibility to try to do something for kids who are going through the same thing I went through,” he says. Last summer, Ai and Weinberg sophomore Victor Quan researched childhood obesity and the frequency with which children play video games. The two decided to create JiveHealth, a game designed to prevent obesity by encouraging healthier eating habits. The task was to create a game that appeals to children while benefitting their health. Set for a June 15 release on the iOS app store, JiveHealth plays like a backwards Temple Run with an Angry Birds-style slingshot maneuver, says McCormick sophomore Christian Yenko, the team’s software engineer. In each level, players must collect recipe ingredients that they can then use to upgrade their characters. Some ingredients are purposely unavailable in the game so that players must find them in real life, encourag-

ing them to seek out healthy food. They must upload photos of the items, which are then digitized for the game. The app identifies an object in a picture and makes it virtual, using an algorithm that analyzes the image. As of now, it can discriminate between an apple and a banana, but Yenko would eventually like the app to be able to tell the difference between an apple and a photo of one, so that players won’t be able to cheat by snapping a picture from a Google search. Yenko is working on the algorithm with McCormick professor Oliver Cossairt in an independent study, while Ai and other members of JiveHealth’s five-person team work on other aspects of the game. Cossairt says the object-recognition algorithm is a valuable component of the game, because object recognition remains a problem in computer vision. It is difficult for a computer to identify where one object ends and another begins. JiveHealth is trying to ease the problem by controlling the way pictures are taken, so that only one object is in the camera’s field of view at a time. The pair is currently focusing on 2-D im-

ages but has not yet discussed how to avoid the types of cheating Yenko described. Quan and Ai used ideas from discussions with potential consumers and professors to develop JiveHealth. They also created a research study that was approved by the Institutional Review Board, but they did not carry it out due to a lack of time and money. Although Quan is no longer involved in the project due to time constraints, he says the study would have lent the app more credibility. “People wouldn’t be as convinced that the game would be able to help kids be healthier without scientific proof,” he says. But Quan is optimistic about JiveHealth’s success. “They’re actually making something that would possibly make a difference in the world.” o illustration: steph shapiro


ears after fighting weight issues in elementary school, McCormick senior Dennis Ai developed a video game app that won him $10,000 presented by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a hug from Michelle Obama and exposure to hundreds of stakeholders and consultants during a summit in Washington, D.C. As an overweight child, Ai often felt singled out. But in sixth grade, he began to focus on eating healthier and exercising.

Bloom Your Room You don’t need a green thumb to nurture these lowmaintenance plants. BY KRI STI N MATH U N Y


n a cluttered, dimly-lit room a few sizes too small, it’s easy for your dorm or apartment to start feeling stuffy. As an alternative to Febreze, plants are a great way to breathe some new life into compact living spaces. But who has time to keep a plant alive amid classes and extracurriculars, or while balancing a full-time internship and lengthy commute over the summer? Lucky for you, these plants require minimal attention. Figure out how much time you’re willing to devote to improving your space, then check out this array of college-proof vegetation.

Jade Plant

Commonly known as the “friendship tree” or “money plant,” this tree requires care, so place it in a pot with drainage. It also needs more sunlight than an orchid or the lucky bamboo, so keep it by the window and rotate it every time you water to prevent it from leaning toward the sunlight. A jade plant only needs to drink every 10 to 20 days in the summer and once a month in the winter. Add water until the pot drains, and let the soil dry between waterings.

African Violet

This beautiful flower requires so little attention that watering it too frequently can kill it. You only need to water an orchid once every five to 12 days, and you can either give it a full dose of fertilizer once a month or a little bit each week. An orchid would thrive in bright dorms like Allison or Elder, or any apartment with lots of light.

These adorable purple flowers double as an accessory to your NU pride. If you take good care of them, they will continually produce flowers. These violets need to stay well-lit, but don’t worry if you don’t have a spot with direct sunlight. Be sure to keep your room around 65 degrees at night and 80 degrees during the day. Place the pot in a watertight saucer or bowl and water it lightly every few days.

Lucky Bamboo Plant

Cactus Plant


If your room doesn’t have much natural light (i.e., you’re stuck in the Bobb basement) this woody grass is a great option—and it’s also associated with good luck. Bamboo grows in thick forests, so too much light will kill it. Fill the plant’s container halfway with either bottled or tap water, and change the water weekly.

Cacti are ideal for busy people. They only need to be watered regularly from spring through fall and don’t require much care outside of that. The most popular house cactus is the spherical golden barrel cactus, which sprouts yellow flowers in the summer with two to three hours of full sun per day. o

photo: denise lu NORTHBYNORTHWESTERN.COM | 15


Self-Taught Summer

Lend A Hand


hether you’re trekking back home or sticking it out in E-Town, summer is near. While it’s a great time to relax and enjoy the sunshine, it can also be an opportunity for self-improvement. Yes, the frenzied pace of the quarter system leaves little room for sleep, fun or friends, much less time to learn a new language or recipe. However, an increasing number of free online tutorials make learning a new skill easy and accessible. Here are a few talents just waiting to be mastered in your newfound free time.

CODING Learning to code or program is quickly becoming a desirable skill in the eyes of future employers. Careers from journalism to engineering can benefit from the knowledge of one or more of the web “languages” in use today. Codecademy is an interactive website with step-by-step tutorials on multiple coding languages, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. As a bonus to interactive and engaging courses, all of the tutorials on the site are free.

LANGUAGES ¿Habla Usted español? Sprechen Sie Deutsch? If you’re considering traveling this summer, Livemocha can help you brush up on your high school Spanish or take a crash course in a completely new language. The online tutorials are taught by native speakers and combine writing, speaking and vocabulary-building activities in 38 available languages to build proficiency. All basic content is free, with paid Livemocha tutors available for more advanced one-on-one lessons.

FITNESS Finals week comfort food catching up with you? If your summer workout plans lie beyond walking distance to SPAC, there are plenty of online fitness regimens, including CrossFit. It offers workout routines, training demos and nutrition guides. While some of Crossfit’s courses require a registration fee, most content is free. As an added motivator, there is a message board for encouragement, tips from the CrossFit community and games to elevate competition to a new level.

PHOTO EDITING Whether you’re looking to pad your résumé or just edit beach pictures of your friends, learning Adobe Photoshop comes in handy. Adobe Labs offers many online video tutorials for Photoshop and other Adobe products. Using the website’s tutorial builder, users can download step-by-step guides from other users or upload their own.

COOKING For students who are inept in the kitchen but want to expand their repertoires, Hilah Cooking offers step-by-step YouTube videos for everything from margaritas to corn dogs. An Austin-based actor, comedian and singer, peppy host Hilah Johnson has 60,000 subscribers to the videos, which aim to teach inexperienced chefs and include recipes with simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions. With new videos uploaded twice a week, viewers won’t quickly run out of new dishes to try.

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Summer is also a great time to get involved in the community, no matter where you are. The key is to find volunteer opportunities that fit both your interests and talents to ensure you are engaged and the work is mutually beneficial. TRY THE LOCAL LIBRARY: The public library is a gold mine of volunteer options. Most libraries offer free courses in literacy, money management or career building. Put your academic interests to good use and see if these courses need volunteers or tutors. GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS: Stop by your old elementary or high school, or find one in the city you’ll be living in this summer to check for tutoring or mentoring opportunities. Call your favorite teacher and see if he or she is teaching summer school or knows students who need some extra help. Schools might also offer opportunities to work with kids through sports, music or theater, so it’s possible to find a niche for all interests. PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS: Love science? Call the local hospital. Want to be outdoors? Contact the park district for openings. Picking something that fits your interests and future plans benefits both you and your employer. GO TO THE SOURCE: Call your hometown’s city hall and ask for a list of volunteer opportunities for the summer. Many cities, including Evanston, have such information posted on their official website. City websites can also direct you to nonprofits and businesses in the area that need summer help.

illustrations: geneve ong

Close the Netflix window and open your mind. B Y LAURE N LINDST ROM




Weinberg sophomore Will Oliver wants the Boy Scouts to stop discriminating. Photograph by DAVID ZHANG



Out In The Scouts Eagle Scout Will Oliver is pushing for acceptance in the Boy Scouts. B Y S AM N I I RO


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got more than 120,000 signatures, Oliver urged the media outlet to publicly distance itself from the BSA’s discriminatory policy. Company policy kept National Geographic from airing any disclaimer or making a statement, but the campaign brought national attention to the BSA’s policies. Oliver says his troop has been very supportive of his campaign. Unlike many disappointed Scouts who renounced the BSA, Oliver wants to push for reform. “If we’re going to change this policy, we have to reaffirm the core values of Boy Scouts,” he says. “We’re still members. We just want to see a small change in who’s included in the big tent of Scouting.” Oliver hopes the BSA will move toward tolerance. His Eagle rank is more than just a line on his resume: It is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. “Boy Scouts really defined many of the experiences I had in my childhood,” he says. “It’s not something that I want to walk away from with a bad taste in my mouth.” Whether or not Oliver will walk

away from the BSA comes down to whether the national headquarters will adopt a new membership policy that would not bar gay youth from participating. Oliver is cautiously optimistic. Though he knows nothing is certain, especially with con-

servative religious groups lobbying the Scouts, he thinks the national organization will make changes. If they fail to, he says he thinks Scouting—and experience he cherishes— may not have much of a future. “I love Scouting as an organization,” he says. “I hope it lasts the decade.” o

photo: david zhang


ill Oliver has never really stopped thinking of himself as a Boy Scout. He even has his old uniform with him at Northwestern. Last year, the Boy Scouts of America tested Oliver’s lifelong commitment when it reaffirmed a policy that bars gay youth and adults from membership. Oliver, an Eagle Scout who, in his words, “also happens to be gay,” found the policy out of line with the principles of Scouting. Rather than leave the organization, the Weinberg sophomore chose to try to change it from the inside. Oliver says his own experience with the ban in Scouting was “nonexistent.” He has been aware of his sexuality since fourth grade, and he never felt that Boy Scouts was more likely than any other part of his life to attack or ostracize him. But last September, he started a petition that aimed to convince the BSA to change what he says was effectively public shaming. The Scouts had just partnered with National Geographic to produce a show called Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?. With a petition that

ON-AIR Don’t be fooled by the smile—Chuck Mertz isn’t afraid to get real.

Radio Inferno

Chuck Mertz raises hell on the WNUR airwaves. B Y INH Y E LE E


photo: david zhang

very Saturday morning, Chuck Mertz can be found in the WNUR studios of Louis Hall, providing news coverage of the hellish existence we lead. His weekly radio segment, “This Is Hell!,” serves as a sobering reminder that this world is far from ideal. In Mertz’s words, “This is a bad place, and things need to be fixed.” Mertz’s interest in radio began in high school. He’d always wanted to be a journalist, but he realized he would need to be able to drive. Being legally blind, he knew that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. So instead he turned to the airwaves, finding himself in the thick of the “really exciting Detroit radio culture.” When Detroit’s radio scene began dying out in the late ‘80s,

Mertz made his big move, this time to Chicago. It was “on a total goof” that he decided to call the WNUR offices one day. He’d been working for the Chicago Tribune and Fox News, but knew he wanted to return to radio. “I didn’t want to be going to a murder scene and sticking a microphone into someone’s face,” he says. WNUR informed him that they were looking for public affairs broadcasting, which Mertz had experience with, so he accepted the position. Sitting in on one of his live shows, which start at 9 a.m. Saturdays, there’s a definite sense of duty that emanates from him. After all, he willingly gets out of bed on the weekends to inform the world of the stories that major news corpora-

tions are either reporting incorrectly (or are just plain ignoring). “I had this kind of moment where all of a sudden I realized, ‘Is there a heaven? Is there a hell?’ Well, what if this is hell? What if this is as bad as it gets?” he says. “Too often people have this like, really optimistic idea that the world is a good place, and it really isn’t. There are lots of horrible things going on.” It takes a certain kind of dedication to remind everyone on a weekly basis of how truly awful the world is, but maybe there’s hope for humanity yet. After all, “This Is Hell!” is the most popular show on WNUR, indicative of the dissatisfaction of the world populace. “I hate feel-good news coverage,” Mertz says. “It makes people ignore the reality of what’s going on in the world.” Mertz says people usually buy into the narrative of the major news broadcasters because they don’t want to question the state of the

world—they just want to know without having to think critically about what they’re being told. Yet considering his large following, both in the Chicagoland area and internationally, it almost seems as if Mertz is disproving what he set out to prove in the first place. There’s still a long way to go, though. Mertz’s show doesn’t fit into the conventional narrative of radio news broadcasting—or any type of news broadcasting really, except for perhaps The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Even then there’s a marked difference between those shows and “This Is Hell!”. Mertz says the difficulty lies in the fact that “Nobody wants that whatsoever because it’s the opposite of what everyone else is doing in radio.” The truths Mertz forces his listeners to confront may be why he and his show are so commercially unattractive to news outlets. Still, we can count on him to tell the truth, even when it’s hell. o



Keeping Time With Hattie Buell An alum celebrates her love of music and Evanston. B Y LU C Y WA N G


Purple Runs Deep

Growing up, Buell wanted to do two things: become a music teacher and attend Northwestern. “Two of my aunties were teachers and I wanted to pursue that,” she says. “I wanted to teach music.” She came to Northwestern by way of Chicago State University, then known as Chicago Teachers College, a premiere institution for Chicago Public School teachers in the 1940s. As Buell puts it, “You couldn’t teach in Chicago unless you graduated from that college.” While she pursued a Bachelor of Education degree there, her piano professor encouraged her to study music at Northwestern. “She told me, ‘I want you to go to Northwestern’s School of Music because it’s the finest,’” Buell says. “She was kind of my surrogate mommy. You meet people that really help you, and it was the best thing that happened to me.” 20 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

RESIDENT MUSICIAN Hattie Buell (School of Music ‘61) has called Evanston home for decades—and she’s here to stay.

Buell spent the next 11 years studying piano, voice, choral direction, organ and music education at Northwestern, volunteering at Evanston Township High School and teaching in Chicago. She only took breaks during one-year sabbaticals which occurred every seven years. Because she only minored in music at Chicago Teachers College, she had to complete undergraduate requirements for a Bachelor of Music before pursuing her Master of Music at Northwestern. “[Northwestern’s Associate Dean of the School of Music] Dr. George McClay told me that I could go to DePaul [University] and get a degree and graduate in one year after Chicago Teachers College. I said, ‘No, I want my degree from Northwestern,’” Buell says. “That’s why it took me 11 years, from ‘50 to ‘61.” By the time she graduated in 1961, Buell already considered Evanston her home and Northwestern her school. After all, her sister, uncle and husband had all attended (but did not graduate from) Northwestern, and her son was enrolled in its piano preparatory department from ages 9 to 12.

She and her first husband, James Glass, moved to a house on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Lee Street shortly after their wedding and lived there for the next 10 years. She pursued her degree, he worked in advertising and their son was enrolled at ETHS. Buell has resided at the NorthShore Retirement Hotel at the corner of Chicago and Davis for what will be six years this July. Even when she moved away and settled in Sun City, Ariz., from 1997 to 2007, Evanston was still on her mind. “Arizona wasn’t intellectually stimulating the way this place is,” she says, explaining that Evanston is her home—a place she won’t leave again. “Just think about what we have here: the university, the libraries, the wonderful restaurants, the wonderful people. Aren’t they lovely? It’s a beautiful city. I just love it. I love everything about Evanston.”

A Tale of Two Cities

Buell considers herself both a Chicago native and a true Evanstonian, but she is quick to admit how much the two cities have changed— Northwestern along with them.

Northwestern’s Chicago campus now focuses on professional programs in the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Kellogg School of Management and the School of Law, only offering a limited number of undergraduate courses through the School of Continuing Studies. In contrast, its 25-acre space was where Buell completed her undergraduate coursework and where Kellogg, which in the late 1950s was named the School of Business, offered undergraduate programs in Wieboldt Hall until 1971. Abbott Hall, the Chicago campus dorm that Buell lived in from 1950 to 1952 while completing her undergraduate requirements, has since transitioned to graduate student housing. When its construction finished in 1940, it was the world’s tallest dorm, with 20 floors and an approximate capacity of 800 students. Despite its daunting size, Buell found Abbott Hall an enjoyable place to socialize. “We had a wonderful second floor reception hall where you could sit. There was a huge piano and I’d go play there, and so did the boys,” she says. “I got to meet a lot of them in

photos: sunny kang

arriet “Hattie” Buell lives steps away from the Evanston campus. The 84-yearold frequents Cahn Auditorium and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall for shows, and she even keeps her Mu Phi Epsilon music sorority initiation card and graduation tassel tucked into her university diploma. As far as she’s concerned, she’s just another proud Northwestern alum, even if she graduated more than half a century ago. Talk about the Music Administration Building and the corners of her eyes will crinkle into a smile as she recalls the various music classes she took in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Mention Alice Millar Chapel and she’ll nod earnestly as she assures you that she saw it being built. Bring up the slogan “Meet me at Norris” and she’ll tell you Norris University Center was a product of the ‘70s—well after her graduation. Buell perks up at the mention of all things Northwestern. She’s a Wildcat, through and through.

Abbott Hall. I had a different date every night down there.” Rigid curfews and 1950s values meant that the Abbott Hall social scene focused less on the physical and more on companionship, says Buell. Alcohol, however, was just as much of a college norm back then as it is today. “They’d say, ‘Would you like to have a beer with me tonight?’ But it was never a ‘I want to take you to bed’ kind of thing,” she says. “They wanted company, not sex. We’d go to the pub right down the street or to the pizza joint, have a beer and a pizza and just chat.” Social gatherings such as these were where she met Glass, who was in the School of Business. The two remained inseparable. “He wined and dined me beautifully and I said, ‘Rrrrr, whoopee!’” Buell says with a playful purr. Like Chicago, the Evanston from Buell’s Northwestern days was also different. Instead of frat parties, she and her friends headed to Dempster Street or to the Club Silhouette on Howard to listen to legends like Billie Holiday and Gene Krupa, whom she calls “the drum fella.” Instead of the Internet, she relied on encyclopedias and paper books from Deering Library (which used to be the school’s main library). By the time of her graduation in 1961, the Lakefill had yet to exist. Rules for painting the Rock had yet to be established. Elder Hall had yet

to turn freshmen only. But even if the buildings are now taller and more numerous, Buell insists that Evanston has still retained its charm. “I remember this time right after I moved back,” she says. “It was wintertime and the snow was high. I came from the swim club and was crossing the street to go to CVS. This gentleman saw me, crossed the street, came over the high snow bank, helped me find a spot where the snow wasn’t that tall and put me on the sidewalk. Polite and beautiful, he saw an old lady and helped her. And I said, ‘Wow, it hasn’t changed.’”

The Sound of Music

Buell lights up at the piano, as her fingers dance around its black and white keys, and you’ll realize that oldschool chivalry isn’t the only thing that hasn’t changed. She learned to play piano by ear at age three, and if the pride with which she recalls her musical education is any indication, Northwestern has only amplified her love for the instrument. “We had a marvelous chorus at Northwestern,” Buell says. “We even performed at [the Chicago music festival] Ravinia. [Renowned conductor] Bruno Walter even came out for Brahms’ Requiem to give us some pointers.” Although she has since retired, Buell still accompanies weekly singalongs on the piano in the dining room of the North Shore Retirement Hotel, close to the Music Admin-

istration Building where she once practiced her assignments “for hours at a time, because they were hard work.” Today, the singalong crowd poses a different type of demand. As soon as Buell strolls into the dining room, heads turn her way and let out collective murmurs of “Hattie’s here.” Buell’s friends at the hotel gather

around the piano, singing, dancing to the beat and requesting song after song, including oldies like “On the Sunny Side of the Street” and “Blueberry Hill.” “Last song, guys!” Buell calls, but the requests keep pouring in. Only after three rounds of last songs does she step away from the piano. But the music’s still ringing.



Meet Rifka: Video at

Friday Night Rites Note: Photo was taken prior to Shabbat.


tepping into Northwestern Spanish professor Rifka Cook’s apartment is a true departure from campus. Cook’s unique heritage —a blend of Sephardic Judaism and a native Venezuelan upbringing—is reflected by the artifacts that decorate the rooms. “I grew up in a very Orthodox family,” Cook says. A Star of David, sombrero, hamsa hand and raffia calendar hang along the walls of the apartment, where she lives with her husband, Bill. Dozens of other trinkets greet visitors at the couple’s home. Almost every Friday evening, the Cooks welcome Jewish students of Northwestern to their home for a traditional Shabbat dinner. In true Orthodox fashion, all electronics, work and displays of affection are suspended for about 25 hours, until the first three stars of Saturday night appear. The student guests generally stay for the first three hours of Shabbat, where they’re treated to a home-cooked meal and conversation with the Cooks late into the night.

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“It’s something that I normally don’t get to experience, as a notreally-practicing Jew,” says Jordan Butchen, a Weinberg freshman. He attended his first Shabbat with Cook in early April after Cook, who taught Butchen’s Spanish class, personally invited him to the meal. “I think that each student is my kid,” says Cook, who has no children of her own. “That’s the reason I like to spoil them.” When she started teaching at Northwestern in 2001, she immediately began inviting students over for Shabbat meals. After word of her good cooking spread, Cook also began offering Sunday brunches and dinners for students who don’t observe Shabbat. “She’s such a nice woman, and I feel like she has such an interesting story,” says Erika Elliott, a Weinberg freshman who attended Shabbat with Cook in early April and returned for a Sunday night dinner two weeks later. “She loves to hear from the students and be a part of their lives, so I think it’s nice that I’m able to share that with her. For her to

be able to share her culture and just talk about where she’s from, that’s meaningful to me.” Cook serves each Shabbat on spotless white linen in a room lined with potted plants of every size. As

“I think that each student is my kid. That’s the reason I like to spoil them.” a thank-you gift, Elliott brought a bouquet of white hydrangeas, placing them among the pink lilies and peach carnations that already decorated the two dining tables. Despite its Midwestern location, the Cooks’ apartment is brimming with memories of a life near the Equator. Cook left Venezuela in 1998 to marry Bill, with whom she fell in love through an online

dating website. Their union was prompted by a request from her aging mother. “She said she wanted to see me married before she died,” Cook says. “My mom told me, ‘Marry him. He’s a good person.’” That was not the only time Cook’s mother intervened on behalf of her daughter. When Cook was a child, her mother decided to move from their tiny hometown in Venezuela, where they had no Jewish neighbors, to the capital city, Caracas, so Cook could grow up in a Jewish community. This meant, however, that Cook’s father had to stay behind in the suburbs to work and support his family. “The only day I used to see my father was Shabbat,” Cook says. As a result, she says, Saturday became her favorite day of the week. Cook’s current life is a stark contrast to what it had been in Venezuela. Despite all the changes though, Shabbat has been a constant. “Shabbat for me is very, very special,” she says. “It means family. It means happiness.”

photo: emily jan

Professor Rifka Cook’s Shabbat dinners are all about family. BY MALLORY BUSCH

Inside The Frances Willard House The women’s temperance movement lives on in Evanston. BY MAT T HE W Z E LLNE R


photo: alex zhu

ong before Rotary International called Evanston home, the famous suffragist and temperance reformer Frances Willard made the city the informal headquarters of another international organization: the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Today, the operations of the Union have almost disappeared from the small, green house on Chicago Avenue and the brick building hiding behind it, but a team of volunteers is dedicated to making the resources left there available to the world. The Willard House on Chicago Avenue—the Willard family’s second home in Evanston—was completed in 1865, six years before Frances Willard became dean of women at the Woman’s College of Northwestern University, and only 14 years before she was elected national president of the WCTU. Six years into Willard’s term as WCTU president, the organization still didn’t have an official central office. The WCTU national headquarters moved around for the first few years, says Mary McWilliams, who served as a board member of the Frances Willard Historical Association from 1996 to 2012. McWilliams is currently the coordinator of tours and programs. “They hadn’t really settled on a home for themselves, but Frances said, ‘I’m president, we might as well move it where I am,’” McWilliams says. The organization accepted Willard’s proposal to move to Chicago, a central location with rail connections to nearly everywhere in the country. Willard and the WCTU recruited one of the most popular architectural partnerships of the day, fellow Evanstonian Daniel Burnham and Chicagoan John Root, to build an expensive women’s temple in downtown Chicago. “Frances was a staunch supporter of the building,” McWilliams says, “And at her last national convention in 1897 she pledged [her home] as collateral.” However, her home was not enough to cover the nearly $150,000 (more than $4 million today) needed to keep the building when the Union failed to sell enough office space in the skyscraper. In 1900, the headquarters of the WCTU moved to the Willard House. The WCTU evicted the house’s residents and set up offices in the home’s northern portion. When the organization started the Frances Willard House in the southern half, it became the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to the life of a woman. WCTU’s time spent cramped in the Willard home’s tiny space didn’t last long. With the temperance movement gaining traction and talk of a prohi-

bition amendment building, the WCTU decided to expand its office space. “At that time, you could build an office building in your backyard,” McWilliams says. “There were no zoning ordinances.” The Union did exactly that. It hired local architect Charles Ayars (who designed Chapin Hall) to build a small office building, called the Literature Building, in the backyard of the Willard House. The building expanded slowly for the next few decades, finally reaching its current size in 1940, when the Frances E. Willard Memorial Library for Alcohol Research was added to celebrate the centennial of Willard’s birth. Because the majority of the Union’s operations moved away from Evanston in 1996, the library has become one of the most important features of Evanston’s oldest National Historic Landmark. Today, the library contains a plethora of important artifacts, including Frances Willard’s papers, records of branches of the WCTU from around the world, liquor licenses dating back to the 17th century and even an original copy of the first scientific analysis of the effects of alcohol by famous physician Benjamin Rush. When Janet Olson, the assistant university archivist at Northwestern, first took over as volunteer archivist in 2007, the library had suffered from years of neglect. Many of the treasures were hidden in plain sight, lost under mountains of papers stacked on desks, filling up closets and covering the floors. “I’m still engaged in triage,” Olson says. “What do we have, what does it go with, we’re still so far from processing.” Many years from now, Olson hopes the library can expand its services and operate similarly to the University Archives. Her work has already attracted researchers from around the world to use the collections. “One lady was just here from Switzerland for two weeks, looking at the stuff we had on India,” Olson says. Whether Olson’s dream can come true will depend in part upon the cooperation of the modern WCTU, which despite owning a wealth of archival resources, continues to devote a lot of attention to educating young people about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. The Frances Willard Historical Association oversees the Willard House and WCTU property. “We’re beginning to succeed in impressing the WCTU, which is sadly not all that large anymore,” McWilliams says. “This property and the contents, particularly the archives, are their legacy. The WCTU made a very significant contribution to American history, and they ought to preserve it.”



From Dracula To Don Draper Pop culture enters the classroom. BY KEVI N KRYAH


“Nostalgia seems so straightforward, and it often seems so trivial … but on the other hand, the things that are called nostalgia are actually very complicated,” White says. “How [the shows] are using nostalgia complicates things and adds layers, and there are theories [of nostalgia] that explain this.” Theory isn’t the only method of pop culture-centered analysis; other classes examine commercial aspects. According to White, we influence pop culture as much as it influences us. Brett Neveu, another RTVF professor, teaches “Fantasy/Horror/Supernatural.” While White’s course focuses on academia, Neveu gives an economic reason for why his class is relevant. “There’s money in [these genres],” Neveu says. “They’re coming out of the closet.”

In order to understand the commercial appeal of certain subjects, Neveu’s class looks at how the narrative and artistic approaches to the fantasy, supernatural and horror genres have changed up to now. Neveu notes that these genres have crossed over from cult appeal to the mainstream—even still images from the original Dracula film persist to this day. He explains that this is indicative not only of the longevity of the genres, but also of the fanbase that surrounds them. “This is a fanbase that is a persistent group that keeps desiring better stories and better characters and better filmmaking. Just look what’s on TV,” Neveu says. “This is what’s in the mainstream, and we have to train folks to understand what the medium is.” What takes the class a step further is the level of engagement

students show as they learn how to shape genres. RTVF sophomore Carlie Dobkin takes “Vampires in TV and Film.” “Each week is assigned a topic, from the classic vampire to vampires that push boundaries of race, gender and sexuality, and to modern vampires with feelings, morality and sex appeal,” she says. “I can’t believe I can actually say that watching The Vampire Diaries is my homework.” Dobkin says she enjoys the more studious aspects of the class. While there is a certain appeal in watching Ian Somerhalder smolder or Jon Hamm smoke cigarettes, Neveu explains that analysis is the draw to pop culture-based courses. “We analyze how we can use images, story, sound and characters that draw an emotional reaction from an audience and take them to another place,” Neveu says.

photo: brennan anderson

f you think talking about Game of Thrones or Mad Men seems more like something to do with your friends than an assignment for class, think again. The Radio, Television + Film department offers courses dedicated to tackling subjects related to popular culture. Mimi White is an RTVF professor who teaches “Nostalgia and Pop Culture.” The class looks mainly at films and TV to analyze the concept of nostalgia, showing and discussing works like American Graffiti, Pleasantville and Mad Men in class. “The way we understand nostalgia is in part a product of the work of popular culture,” White says. “I think pop culture is precisely the way to understand it.” White describes her class as a theory course to some degree. Her lessons show that pop culture reveals the complexities of her topic.

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Developing skills takes patience, practice and some treasured objects. Photograph by SUNNY KANG



Students showcase the possessions that define their passions. BY PETER ADAMS, SUNNY KANG & DANIELE MARX THADDEUS TUKES Medill and Bienen freshman vibraphonist

What got you interested in the vibraphone? In third grade, I was accepted into a percussion scholarship group that included vibraphone instruction and free private lessons. My instructors were members of the Chicago Symphony and Civic orchestras, so the program was super intense and classically oriented, but it really honed my technical percussive skills. Later, when my band teacher in high school started a jazz ensemble, I joined as a drummer. Eventually I picked up the vibes in high school. Tell me about the groups you play with. My close friends and I have a group. We’re mainly a jazz quartet, but sometimes we like to mix things up and experiment. I play with professionals, too. I did a concert with the director of Northwestern’s Jazz Studies, Victor Goines, which was awesome because I got to immediately be involved with Northwestern’s music culture. What gets you into your element? Healthy competition. I play with people who know exactly what they’re doing, and I have to bring my all if I want to keep up. Also, when I’m experiencing something heavy emotionally, I see music as an outlet and a diary. What’s been your most memorable performance? A show at The Green Mill jazz club. The power went out when I was on stage, and I had to continue playing by candlelight. I couldn’t see anything—it was just me and the music. It was surreal. Where do you see yourself in the future in regards to music? I’m double-majoring—journalism and jazz piano—so I’d love to find a career mix between writing and music. I just need the right medium. That’s why I’m at college: to figure out how to best realize my potential. We’ve become too complacent as a culture, and that can lead to some of the havoc you see today. I want my talents to be able to alleviate that. Regardless, I know I’ll be playing vibes for the rest of my life. Anything to say to the vibraphone haters out there? (Laughs) Vibraphone haters? Talk to me when you learn how to play. 26 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

VASILIKI VALKANAS Communication sophomore all-around artist

When and how did you first get interested in art? I come from an art family. I started taking art classes in the second grade in a very low-key environment. As I got older I began to get more involved—I took three AP art classes in high school. Tell me about the groups or clubs you’re in. I’m the managing editor of Helicon. I’ve designed covers and advertisements in the magazine. I just finished a mural downstairs in PARC. Other than that, I participated in lots of art and design competitions. Also, T-shirt designs. What gets you into your element? There are always a few ideas sitting in the back of my head. Art isn’t something where you sit down and say, “I’m going to create something today.” It’s more like an epiphany. I can be inspired by just about anything. What is your relationship with these tools? They’re like my children! My friends know to get me art supplies for birthdays. You really have to treasure these tools, because without them you can’t create. They’re vital. What’s been your most memorable piece of work? Usually in a series of work, my first pieces are my standout pieces. In high school, I did a piece with a series of tree people. There are a lot of optical illusions, and I’m very proud of that piece. Another piece I’m particularly proud of is this Close-inspired self portrait I did in seventh grade. It’s really not that good, but it took about three months for me to complete. I was so devoted to the piece. I would work on it all the time like during lunch and recess. I was so excited about it! Where do you see yourself in the future with regards to art? Art is always going to be a part of my life. I’m looking to go into marketing or advertising right now, but I’d like to keep that creative energy flowing. I’m the kind of person who can’t hold her hands still—I never stop making art, so I’m sure it’s here to stay.

DYLAN WAICKMAN SESP freshman juggler

When did you first learn to juggle? I have a lot of the sibling rivalry complex, which is part of the reason I started juggling. My older brother, Zach, first started when he was a freshman in high school. When I was in third grade, he spent some time teaching me how to juggle, and I picked it up and learned how to do that and then didn’t really do anything with it for a long time. But when I got to high school, I joined the juggling club. Do you juggle at all on campus? I go over to the gym and practice a lot, but normally by myself. There is a group called Cirque du NU on campus and we get together sometimes. If you want a good juggling lesson, contact me. What is one of your biggest juggling accomplishments? Every summer for the past three years I’ve gone to the International Jugglers Association Festival and part of that is the World Joggling Championships. Joggling means juggling while running, so we went to a local track and there was a full track meet with a range of events. I won the gold medal for the 2012 World Championships of the 1600-meter for Joggling. What is your relationship with your props? It starts with the fact that I’ve spent a long time building up this supply. My bag of juggling balls and clubs is the most accessible thing in my room. I pull it out all the time. Everything that is in there I got at a different time, and I’ve very slowly built up that repertoire. Where do you see yourself taking this hobby? I plan to keep juggling and improving myself for the rest of my life, because it is always a stress reliever for me. I’m also a secondary education major in SESP, and ideally I’d like to be teaching at the high school level and start a club similar to the one that I had when I was in high school. I’d love to give some people the awesome opportunity I had. o

photos: sunny kang

Tools Of The Trade

Talents are tricky things. They’re part body and part mind, crafted through abilities both natural and trained. But there would have been no Van Gogh without a paintbrush, no Ansel Adams without a camera—and for these three Northwestern students, objects helped them get their start in what they do best. Whether it’s in art, sports or music, here are the contents of their craft.

Dressin’ With D’Weston C A well-crafted style is all in the details. BY B R I A N N A K EEFE

hanneling his inner James Bond, D’Weston Haywood is travelling through Soviet Russia killing bad guys, launching grenades and shooting down drones, all with an impeccable outfit and dreads down his back. But Haywood is more than just the reigning champ of the Norris Game Room’s GoldenEye 007 Nintendo 64 tournament (where he lost just one life through four rounds of secret agent operations). Originally from Raleigh, N.C., the 30-year-old has been living in Chicago for eight years and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in 20th-century American history at Northwestern. He will finish his dissertation, “‘Let Us Make Men’: Black Newspapers and a Gendered Vision of Racial Advancement, 1915-1960,” this June. When he’s not schooling gamers, Haywood also teaches at Marquette University, paints, writes poetry and maintains a sartorial taste unrivaled by most graduate students.

photos: alex zhu

How do you define style? Style is a way of reorienting your reality to make space for an identity and politic that you communicate to the world without any need to say a word. The look should speak for you. How would you describe your personal style? I like to think it’s simply classic, though in truth, it’s a happy hybrid of conservative and edgy, able to go easily from the lecture hall to the social scene. I call it “The Polished Professor.” Does your style correspond to your personality? It does. I like to think of myself as a serious, detail-oriented and calculated person. How do you think Chicago or Evanston’s fashion compares to your hometown’s? In general, I think people dress based on the stores they have ac-

cess to. The city that I grew up in is smaller than Chicago. Back home, there is no “Mag Mile.” Chicago’s fashion seems both cosmopolitanlike and very neighborhood based. Michigan Avenue, Milwaukee Avenue and Cottage Grove offer very different looks all in the same city. Evanston is very much a suburban college town of families and college students, and the city’s fashion reflects this. I think many Northwestern students don’t really become fashion oriented until they are a little older, in their junior and senior years, have joined a few professionally oriented organizations and are on the cusp of joining the work world where fashion—especially the professional look—counts. What are your favorite clothing brands? Ralph Lauren, Benjamin Bixby, Cole Haan, Levi’s, Thomas Pink. What are your favorite pieces? My favorite pieces out of my entire wardrobe are a collection of small details that really make the look: pocket squares, neckties, patterned socks, scarves, custom elbow patches and buttons, eye glasses, novelty cuff links, shoelaces, weekender bags and precise tailoring. What do you wear on a typical day? It really depends on where I’m going and who I might be seeing. But on a typical day, I’m teaching, and so I’m in a blazer, necktie, dress shirt, dark jeans and a pair of wing tips or twotone saddle Oxfords. What are your favorite trends right now? For women, I really like jeweled collars, stripes and mismatched patterns. For men, I just love that more guys are dressing up now and taking their self-presentation seriously. What trend needs to stop? Big, unfitted clothes and boot cut jeans for both men and women. Is there a celebrity whose style you try to emulate or that you admire? I admire the styles of André 3000, Ryan Gosling, Raphael Saadiq, Ozwald Boateng, Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Idris Elba. But I really try to emulate the style of my grandfather, the best-dressed man I know. What style advice do you have for readers? I suggest what my grandfather told me a long time ago: “Dress your best every day, because you never know who you’re going to meet.” o NORTHBYNORTHWESTERN.COM | 27


Antiques For Cheap A local shop appeals to the customer on a college budget. BY ASHLE Y W U


Eckert started working at the Dempster Street shop 15 years ago. The store’s motto is “Secret Treasures: Where the real secret is the price.” For the many college students who live close by, this secret is the big selling point. “It’s on the lower end of the spectrum; it’s not a real high-end store,” Eckert says. “We get a lot of people who are furnishing apartments for the first time. It’s very affordable stuff that people can have fun with.” Okamoto left the corporate world 19 years ago to open her shop. She displays its inventory—ranging from costume jewelry to porcelain figures—with pride. “There’s just a lighthearted spirit in our store,” Okamoto says. “I think that reflects in our staff, and it re-

flects in our customers. The whole point of that is for people to come in and always find something they can have fun with and not worry about if it breaks.” According to Eckert, items don’t last very long in the store. The turnover of the merchandise is so quick that there’s something new every day—and customers know this. “They just don’t want to miss anything,” Eckert says. “They know that if they see something they want, they almost have to buy it right then and there.” Okamoto greets a customer named Brian as he enters the store. “He’s our special friend,” Okamoto says. Brian is one of the store’s regulars. He bought all of the chocolate-covered strawberries made by the staff last Valentine’s Day.

The staff members invest time in getting to know their customers and making sure they’re taken care of—the same way they treat their merchandise. Okamoto, Eckert and the rest of the staff go to area flea markets and estate sales to find unique things for the shop. Okamoto has contacts that are constantly calling her to sell things. Okamoto says the items she buys for the shop are things the staff has knowledge about. They want to be able to explain the background of each and every piece. “In some ways, every piece is our favorite piece,” Okamoto says. “We try to share that with the customers because it makes the piece more interesting and gives it more character.” o

photo: emily jan

s a cool breeze floats into Secret Treasures Antiques & Collectibles, customers walk around the store, shuffling through the linens, kitchenware and postcards. Store founder and owner Dawn Okamoto greets each customer who comes in. They’ll chat briefly before she invites them to browse, making sure to give each person her time and attention. She calmly maneuvers between the spaces of the small store, helping her staff unpack new merchandise as pop music plays softly overhead. Employee Donna Eckert leans on an old wooden cabinet after helping one of the store’s regular customers choose between two framed paintings. Among all the store’s vintage items, she can’t pick a favorite. There are too many to choose from.

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Flashback Photography Develop an appreciation for film. BY DEN I SE LU


photos: sunny kang & denise lu

ow could you be nostalgic for something that you never had in the first place?” Pamela Bannos asks her photography class. The Northwestern professor has been teaching photography in the darkroom since 1993. In recent years, however, she’s been seeing more students who have never done film photography before. When Bannos polls her class on who buys and develops color film, two-thirds of her students raise their hands. “I was very surprised to hear that students completely in the Digital Age are still shooting color film,” she says. Bannos distinguishes color film from black-and-white film. Whereas the latter’s aesthetic has remained the same over the years, digital photography has challenged color film. Yet college-aged kids are getting increasingly caught up in the vintage, notso-perfect look of color film photography. Similar to the recent resurgence of vinyl in the music industry, film photography has been gaining more attention from young consumers as the industry embraces a Digital Age and leaves analog behind. “For a brief period, students became really into the digital, but then people got bored with it,” Bannos says. Surrounded by 140-character tweets and 30-second TV commercials, taking the time to capture and develop a single picture could be a relieving long breath in a treadmill lifestyle. “[With] film, you slow down the speed, you add more light and you do all these things just to get the kind of photo you want.” says Weinberg senior Vanessa Gonzalez-Block, who started developing film in eighth grade in a basement mini-darkroom with her father. “I think it’s very much more a product of how I take care of the film as opposed to a product of what’s in front of me,” Gonzalez-Block says. Unlike vinyl, which has been economically on the rise in terms of sheer production and consumption, film photography is becoming an endangered species. Polaroid announced that it would stop producing instant film in 2008, and Kodak announced its discontinuation of slide film due to low demand this past March. Closer to home, the CVS on Sherman Avenue recently closed its photo lab. “What I’ve been impressing upon my students is that you might all be the last people to be using this kind of medium,” Bannos says. “When you think about it that way, it makes it more important because you’re all part of this history.” Maybe that’s the nostalgia 20-somethings foster for things we never had in the first place. We’re fascinated by things from

the past because they’re foreign concepts, and so we try to recreate them. Take Instagram. The app is the perfect intersection of everything 21st-century: social media, mobile platforms and high-resolution phone cameras. The catch, of course, is that it’s mimicking the look of vintage cameras from the ‘60s and ‘70s. “Most of it has to do with how fast things change and how fast the students have gone through from one medium to the next to the next,” Bannos says. “Three mediums later, you forget about what the original one was anymore. And then that comes back again. It’s like Instagram is doubling back to the look.” Disposable cameras, which are also becoming more popular, are one step closer to the real thing. Initiatives like The Impossible Project, which started manufacturing instant film in 2008 after Polaroid’s discontinued production, have gained popularity among a niche market. “You’re actually getting the film and the object that Instagram is trying to emulate,” Bannos says. “It is genuine, actually, because it’s analog and you’re doing it that way.” When she asks her students why they do this, Bannos is surprised that there are practical reasons: No one wants to bring a huge DSLR to a party, and losing a cheap disposable camera is much less expensive than losing a smartphone.

Gonzalez-Block cites the aesthetic of disposables as another reason. “I really like disposable cameras because I like the graininess of it,” she says. “You only have so many shots, and so each shot kind of helps tell a story. They’re for occasions, and so they’re very much about storytelling as opposed to a beautiful photo.” In her photography classes, Bannos points her students to the endangered state of film photography. “If they like the analog, they’ve got to start saying it louder,” she says. Because the industry as a whole has moved on to digital, producers are eliminating the film sector—but if a demand for film increases, there will again be a market for the medium. “Film is just so expensive, it’s so not practical,” Bannos says. “But it is kind of awesome.” o



Into The Wild Escape campus and head to the great outdoors. BY KAT HE RINE DE MP SE Y

In-state sites: Starved Rock State Park This park near Utica, Ill., was voted the state’s top attraction in a social media campaign organized by the Illinois Office of Tourism. It features hiking trails, fishing in the Illinois River, kayaking, camping (permit required) and more, but you’ll need a car to make the trip of a little more than 100 miles from campus. “If you’re not into hardcore hiking, it’s not that intense,” says Weinberg sophomore Jess Cordingley, a member of the Outing Club. Skokie Lagoons Want to test your skills on the water? Skokie Lagoons offers canoe and kayak rentals, so you don’t even need your own boat. Located east of the Edens Expressway in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, the lagoons are open from sunrise to sunset. If you’re not the boating type, try fishing or bring lunch along for a picnic. Plus, it’s just a Metra ride and a walk away.

BORN TO BE WILD Project Wildcat counselor Storm Heidinger hits the books and the trails.

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Cook County Forest Preserves The forest preserves are full of recreational options, whether you want to explore trails, bike, go fishing or picnic. Weinberg sophomore and PWild counselor Storm Heidinger has visited the Ned Brown Preserve, more commonly called Busse

Woods. “It’s a really large wooded area and there’s a beautiful path along a lake,” Heidinger says. Busse Woods is about 20 miles from NU, and you can rent a canoe or rowboat during the summer to explore its 457-acre reservoir. Vertical Endeavors While it’s not technically outdoors, this 18,000-square-foot rock climbing gym in Warrenville, Ill., is about a 40-mile drive from NU. It’s also accessible via Metra and bus, and there is a discounted student pass available on Wednesdays. Communication senior Amanda Lapid, this year’s Outing Club president, says the site is perfect for new climbers. “When I went, I had only ever done a few climbing walls before at the YMCA. For a beginner it’s really cool to do for your first time. It’s easy enough but also challenging.”

Out-of-state sites: Superior Hiking Trail (Minnesota) There are plenty of opportunities to marvel at the largest of the Great Lakes while hiking this 296-mile path. It allows for both backpacking and shorter trips, and you don’t need a reservation or a permit to camp. An annual PWild location, the Superior Hiking Trail is one of counselor Julie Lunde’s favorite sites. “It’s a really great place for backpacking for any level, even if you’re not super into the outdoors,” she says. Indiana Dunes (Indiana) This area features sizable sand dunes on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. The 15,000-acre Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore surrounds the 2,182-acre Indiana Dunes State Park. Both sites offer trails and camping—but that’s not all. “You can definitely go sandboarding down this massive sand dune,” says John Le, this year’s Outing Club treasurer. To get there, just hop on a South Shore Line train, run by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which leaves from Chicago’s Millennium Station. o

photo: emily jan


vanston may be tacked onto a major metropolis, but a wealth of wilderness lies just beyond the high-rise buildings and concrete grids. While some of us spend weekends in the city taking selfies in a beanshaped mirror, groups like NU’s Outing Club and Project Wildcat organize trips to various nature spots. Even if you’re not an avid outdoorsperson, consider checking out one of the recreational destinations below. Your new favorite getaway could be just around the bend.

Extra Innings

The perfect game day involves much more than baseball. BY ST E VE N GOLDST E I N


hether they’re die-hard baseball fans or overzealous freshmen looking to emulate Ferris Bueller, many Northwestern students make the trip down to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game. And for good reasons, too: It’s hard to beat warm weather, a ballpark frank and the quirks of the Friendly Confines. But a day at Wrigley doesn’t just begin with the first pitch, and it certainly doesn’t end with the final out. The Cubbies struggle out on the field, but winning your day at Wrigley can be a sure thing with a little

Warm Up

Play Ball After gorging yourself on food and drinks, it’s time to head over to Wrigley Field. The game itself will depend on those “lovable losers,” but buying the right tickets will make all the difference. If you’re willing to splurge, $60 to 80 will get you firstlevel infield seats, while rooftop seats in right field come with a triple-digit price tag but include a pregame party and plenty of concessions.

Terrace outfield seats might be the best grab, as they don’t go for much and you can soak up some sun. You won’t be able to see the mound quite as easily, but home run balls will come right your way and there’s always the opportunity to move around. Though ushers guard the infield boxes, you could secretly upgrade your $10 upper-deck seat all the way to the second level, where seats are often still available after the game starts.

Post Game

photos: brennan anderson

Many Cubs games start around noon or 1 p.m. For your first stop, hop on the Purple Line, transfer to the Red Line at Howard and get off at Addison. Coming to Wrigleyville early in the day gets you access to some of the best food in the city. The cream of the crop? Dimo’s Pizza on Clark Street, which is just a five-minute walk from the Addison stop. With specialty pizzas topped with mac and cheese, sliced potatoes and even marshmallows, you can’t lose here. After a quick slice or two, it’s off to the bars for some pregame fun. Goose Island’s Wrigleyville brewpub sits right on Clark, while Sluggers offers a rowdy bar atmosphere with an upstairs batting cage, trampoline and skeeball machine. But the best option, The Cubby Bear, sits right across from the park. With 75 plasma TVs and just about every beer imaginable on tap, the bar is packed to the gills with season ticket holders and vocal fans.

Cubs won? Let’s celebrate! Cubs lost? Time for a distraction. Regardless of the outcome, leaving the city right after the game ends is a major mistake. The iO Theater (formerly the ImprovOlympic Theater) offers top-notch Chicago comedy, perfect for a laugh after a heartbreaking loss. Also, The Metro, where the Smashing Pumpkins got their big start back in the ‘90s, showcases genres from hip-hop to ska. It’s ideal for a celebratory dance—and maybe even a mosh pit. Take the Red Line to other parts of Chicago for the night, or stick around Wrigleyville and explore the club and bar scene. Eventually, cut your way back to Evanston, but know that no Wrigley experience is complete without waiting forever for a Purple Line transfer train at Howard. Then it’s one, two, three strikes and you’re outta there!



Graduate Golfers


very other Wednesday, members of the Kellogg Golf Club grab their irons and hit the green for golf lessons, practicing both their swings and their networking skills. It may seem stereotypical for a bunch of business students to gather for a few rounds of golf on a spring afternoon, but according to members of the Kellogg Golf Club, there is logic behind the pairing of golf and business. “One nice facet of golf is the ability to play with clients or play with coworkers, superiors—it’s a really social sport,” says first-year Kellogg student and Kellogg Golf Club CoPresident Kevin Kellert, 28. “There are many fields where professionals who are entertaining clients will take them out for a round of golf and get to know them better that way. You can build a lot of genuine camaraderie and relationships through that.” The Kellogg Golf Club is a free organization open to all Kellogg students interested in golf, whether it’s for recreational or future busi-

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ness purposes. According to CoPresident David Fischer, 30, there are between 300 and 400 students currently signed up as members and approximately 150 who actively participate in the events. “A lot of people get involved because they know that at some point they’re going to have to go on a golf outing for their company,” Fischer says. “People just want to have a base of competency so that they can go out on an outing and do well enough to not embarrass themselves.” The club hosts four large events each year, including a retreat to Kohler, Wis. and a golf scramble. One of the annual highlights is a spring tournament against students from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “We have a competition with Booth called the Kellogg/Booth Ryder Cup, and we field a team of about 16 of our best golfers,” Fischer says. “Last year Kellogg won, and we’re hoping to retain the title this year.”

The club also organizes biweekly golf clinics at GolfTEC in Des Plaines, Ill., which allow students to practice and receive professional coaching at an extremely discounted price. “I’d say that right now while you’re at Kellogg is the perfect time to try golf and to spend time with friends in a recreational activity. It’s a chance to get away from campus for a bit and to go and have fun,” Kellert says. Kellert explains that the club is a resource that members can count on for regular, planned activities, and the fact that all they need to do is show up is what makes participation compelling. But golf, as he sees it, is about more than socialization—it’s about a lifetime of sport.  “At this point as graduate students, we’ve kind of gone past the peak in terms of when you can really be competitive in many of the other sports,” Kellert says. “Golf is truly a game of a lifetime and you are able to play it well into your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, beyond.” o 

illustration: steph shapiro & alex lordahl

Kellogg students take networking to the green. BY CARLE Y LINT Z


How Mayfest Spends Its Money

s one of the most anticipated events on campus, Dillo Day faces high expectations every year. The group tasked with planning it all, Mayfest, comprises 68 student members who help host crowds of close to 10,000 people for a full day of concerts at Lakeside Field. As an “A-Status” group, Mayfest receives one of the highest allotments of Student Activities Fee funding from ASG. In recent years, that amount has increased by four to five percent annually due to consistent success and increasing funds from the Student Activities Funding

Financing Dillo is about more than the music. BY Z ACH SILVA Committee, say Mayfest Co-Chairs Jeremy Shpizner and Wil Heintz, both seniors. However, 15 percent of Mayfest’s total funding comes from other sources, including co-sponsorships with student organizations—like the partnership with the Resident Hall Association for Big Boi last year—and other donations. So, we know where all the money comes from—but where does it go? Here’s a breakdown of how Mayfest allocates its funds, according to Shpizner and Heintz*: 


Dillo Day Artists


13% Staging, Sound and Lights:

Lakefill Activities and Fireworks:

Throughout the day, fun activities like face painting, henna and hookah tents are available. If you make it to the end of the night, you’ll experience Dillo Day’s annual fireworks celebration.

Night Headliner

Day Headliner






The beer garden, backstage credentials, permit fees, free giveaways and much more round out the total funding.

Remaining Acts

Compared to the midday acts, which tend to be indie artists, more popular—and expensive—names close out the event. Previous night headliners include B.o.B., Big Boi and Steve Aoki.

illustration: alex lordahl


Event Tents and Fencing:

Six percent of funding goes toward fencing to establish the perimeter of the event and to secure the Lakefill up to Lakeside Field. This money also goes toward tents, tables and chairs for Dillo Day activities.

* Please note that these percentages reflect what Mayfest spends as an organization, and certain Dillo Day related costs are assumed by other parties by mutual agreement and are not reflected herein.

Event Security and Police:

“We primarily work with one vendor who supplies Dillo Day’s staging, sound systems and stage lighting,” Heintz says. Mayfest members then help with setup at the beginning, stage management throughout the day and breakdown at the end of the event.


Transportation, Artist Trailers and Hospitality:

All artists get the star treatment on Dillo Day—trailers, food and transportation are all provided on Mayfest’s tab to make their experience as enjoyable as the students’.


Northwestern and local Evanston students alike get a bit rowdy on Dillo Day, so Mayfest allocates one tenth of its Dillo Day funding toward a health and safety presence. Medical emergency response providers are on call, and NUPD and additional security personnel are brought in to make sure students stay safe while having fun.






n o i t c e n n


From sketch to sitcom, budding Northwestern comedians have gone on to funny futures. But making it takes more than a quick wit—sometimes you need a little help from your friends.


ach Braff stands grinning in the Mussetter-Struble Theater, the place where he learned about Shakespeare and worked with mentors during his college days. Today, Braff (Speech ’97) is back to workshop his first play, All New People, with nine budding comedic actors. “Let it be known that I was the first alumnus to bring cocaine and a dildo back to school,” Braff proudly announces to the audience after interrupting a scene to critique the actors. The Scrubs star frequently laughs and applauds during the hour-long session, giving positive feedback and notes for improvement. He praises all the students for being “ballsy” as they act out his R34 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

rated play for 100 people. Communication senior Dan Selinger is one of three students who gets a shot at playing the protagonist. “I love comedic acting, getting to flex those muscles and have an acting workout with someone who I personally see as a hero,” Selinger says. He says Braff’s style of teaching is right in line with how Northwestern acting professors coach students. Selinger talks about how great Braff is, and how he, too, started at Northwestern. And Braff seems as impressed with the current students as they are with him. Braff sits on the literal edge of his seat with his legs crossed, blue and orange sneakers on display, while students perform his scenes.

“Northwestern has a great reputation out in the real world, so it’s great to see you guys upholding that,” he tells the group. It’s easy to see what Braff means when he refers to the talented pool of alums—names like Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ana Gasteyer and David Schwimmer are some of the school’s most beloved. The representation Northwestern has in TV and film is evident. What’s less clear is what steps students take to get there. How does a young comedian end up hosting “Weekend Update”? It all goes back to the network students create with one another while on campus. They consider the path from an on-campus group like Mee-Ow, an improv and sketch

comedy troupe, to Saturday Night Live or a sitcom a feasible achievement for a select number of talented comedians, but it can be easy for students to miss the magic of that process. Jumping from Shanley to stardom is no easy task.


For these comedians, talking about the industry is rarely funny. They treat it like business, often veering drastically from their stage and screen personalities. Current students and graduates alike look fondly on connections they made while in Evanston. Student theatre boards, improv groups like The Titanic Players, Mee-Ow and No Fun Mud Piranhas and different stand-up comedy options,

Tim White

Alec Khan

Weinberg ‘13 -No Fun Mud Piranhas -Titanic Players

Communication ‘13 -Comedy Forum -No Fun Mud Piranhas

story by

Julie Kliegman Dan Selinger Communication ‘13 -Comedy Forum

photos by

Brennan Anderson

Chloe Cole Weinberg ‘13 -Comedy Forum -No Fun Mud Piranhas


Sam Fishell

Emily Olcott

Matthew Hays

Communication ‘13 -Mee-Ow -Titanic Players

Communication ‘13 -Mee-Ow -No Fun Mud Piranhas

Medill ‘13 -Mee-Ow -No Fun Mud Piranhas -Titanic Players

students have no shortage of opportunities to practice their skills and build relationships. “Creatively, I think I bloomed at Northwestern in a way that not every campus can provide for students,” Aaron Eisenberg (Comm ’11) says. While at Northwestern, Eisenberg directed Mee-Ow, performed with The Titanic Players, which specializes in long-form improv, and took part in other theatre shows. Maulik Pancholy (Speech ’95), who played Jack Donaghy’s loyal secretary on 30 Rock, echoes Eisenberg’s sentiments. It’s important to note, though, that while Pancholy was in college, he thought of himself more as an actor than a comedian. He says working on comedies has ended up being a large part of his career trajectory—he also played a role on the show Weeds. “My training at Northwestern gave me the tools I needed as an actor,” he says. “The theatre program was so creative. There was so much imagination work and freeing up that emotional toll and just opening yourself up creatively. I really hold onto that.” And without that background, 30 Rock viewers may not have been treated to Jonathan’s earsplitting shrieks in response to Jack, or his insistence that the duo should be referred to as “Jackonathan.” One of the writers on Weeds had been a graduate playwrighting student at Yale, where Pancholy

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earned his graduate degree. He told Pancholy they had written a part he was right for and encouraged him to send in an audition tape. “That was a direct way that that networking thing happened for me,” he says. He also credits his Northwestern peers with supporting him as they all tried to make it in the industry around the same time. Now, even as Pancholy is more established in the acting world, he says he stays in touch with and is grateful for them. Eisenberg says he still feels connected to Northwestern and his classmates as he writes, directs and acts. One of his first major projects was a web series calledYour Dad’s Friends (available at, which he created and starred in. Eisenberg invited Richard Kind (Speech ’78) to make a cameo in one of the episodes. Eisenberg’s father, a former classmate of Kind’s, introduced them. Trying to make it isn’t as daunting now as it once was; Eisenberg is planning a move to Los Angeles and has several projects in the works, including a web series for Nickelodeon. Before he heads west in a couple of months, Eisenberg is writing for People magazine, as well as reporting and showing tourists around celebrity hot spots for TMZ. Just after graduation, when Eisenberg had no such projects in the works after a job offer with MTV fell through, leaning on his friends was

crucial. “To have each other’s backs is so, so important,” he says. “We have the diplomas. We’re capable, but it’s going to be hard. We’d better latch onto each other.”

Learning community

Student comedians go through years of successes and failures while practicing comedy at Northwestern. Honing any craft comes with its fair share of trying new things and making mistakes along the way. There’s no better way to take chances than in groups on campus. Shielded from the larger Chicago comedy landscape, students have opportunities to test the waters in improv, stand-up, acting, writing and more. That’s a large part of the reason why Weinberg senior Tim White, a member of The Titanic Players, co-founded No Fun Mud Piranhas during Fall Quarter. The improv group takes its name from the group Colbert was a part of in his days as a Wildcat. Although both are wellknown groups for student improvisers, White says spots are limited. Originally, the founders planned for No Fun Mud Piranhas to be a space where students could practice their skills, but they decided this wouldn’t be the best way to give upand-coming artists the individualized pointers they need to improve. “What’s hard about an open gym

or a jam group is you sort of get limited feedback. You can say, ‘great job,’ or ‘maybe you should work on this,’ but you don’t really get specific attention, which is really important,” White says. He smiles frequently while he talks, making it easy to see why he’d make an approachable teacher. “We thought organizing it into teams with coaches would let people learn and maybe become more comfortable with it and audition the next year for a group.” A stated goal of the group is to diversify the improv network at Northwestern beyond just students in the School of Communication. White says it can be hard to get any outside interest for improv, even just to recruit audience members. He laughs. “The most you can say is, it’s sort of like Whose Line is it Anyway? And then they’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to pay three bucks to see that.’” Medill sophomore Tessa D’Agosta is a rare non-Communication No Fun Mud Piranhas recruit. She performs with White’s team, Dr. Swallow and the Spirit Animals. She says she struggled to find her place at Northwestern her freshman year and didn’t participate in comedy. “I remember over the summer I was like, ‘Holy shit, I lost my funny,’” she says. When she didn’t make the cut for The Titanic Players this year, No Fun Mud Piranhas helped her bounce back and revitalize her involvement in comedy. She’s practic-

ing with the hope that she’ll make it to The Second City’s mainstage and then eventually to SNL. Nothing seems to get her more excited than when she talks about a popular series of sketches mocking The Lawrence Welk Show, where her idol Kristen Wiig plays a character with comically small, baby-sized arms. “It just sucks that I can’t major in SNL,” she says. Katie Rich (WCAS ’05), a mainstage Second City actor, was a transfer student who commuted and never really took part in the Northwestern theatre scene. She started at iO Chicago Theater (formerly “ImprovOlympic”) years after she first became a “loser super fan” of the theater. While practicing on campus can be beneficial, Rich cautions that campus experience can give students a big ego when they get to places like iO and Second City. “They come to iO and they come to Second City and they think they know everything,” she says. “’I did short-form games in college and I was a rockstar.’ Woah, buddy. No.” While White tries to gently introduce people to improv—people who hopefully won’t go on to be the pseudo-rock stars Rich describes— Communication senior Dan Selinger does the same for stand-up. During his sophomore year, he co-founded Comedy Forum with his friend Chloe Cole, a Weinberg senior. It’s a group in which aspiring stand-up comics write and practice jokes. It’s learning through Northwestern groups that makes confronting creative challenges in the real world easier, Pancholy says. “It was a place to get super creative, make mistakes and have fun with people,” Pancholy says about how studying here prepared him for a career in television. “Then you get into the real world and you’re more willing to do that with strangers.” Selinger, who carefully shares both his humorous and serious thoughts in measured sentences, laughs as he recounts stories about his past failures. He once stress-ate a giant slice of pizza to recover from a poorly received stand-up gig in Chicago, but that doesn’t even compare to when he fell down during a set change during rehearsal in front of family and friends for the School of Communication New York Showcase this winter. After reflecting on his recovery from the fall that put the audience at ease (no industry representatives were present), he says, “It’s just my comedy instincts coming through for me, I guess.”

“It just sucks that I can’t major in SNL.” -Tessa D’Agosta, Medill Sophomore

Breaking away

Mia McCullough would consider Selinger’s failures reasons to celebrate. McCullough (Speech ’92) has taught playwriting and screenwriting in the Creative Writing for the Media program in addition to the Radio, Television + Film and theatre departments. Having been a student as well as a teacher, McCullough is in tune with the apprehension and ambition surrounding the job search. “There’s a certain kind of Type A personality at Northwestern, and generally those students haven’t seen a lot of failure or dealt with a lot of rejection,” she says. “Being able to take risks, fail and try again is essential to being an artist and essential to comedy. You have to be able to bomb, analyze what went wrong and learn from it.” Kind is quick to point out that Northwestern students are inexperienced because they’re young, but considering they are inexperienced and immersed in a high-pressure academic culture, they also show a great deal of promise. “Being Northwestern grads, they have an education,” Kind says brazenly. “They’re not idiots.” McCullough concedes that she personally did not get the most out of what her fellow Northwestern grads had to offer since she intentionally wasn’t close friends with many theatre majors. She also chose not to move to either Los Angeles or New York after graduating, even though that’s where most of her fellow theatre alums are now. She says she never wanted to become completely immersed in the industry at the expense of her personal life. Beyond teaching, McCullough herself is a playwright and a screen-

writer who also dabbles in stand-up comedy. Her most recent credit was for her play Impenetrable, which premiered at Stage Left Theatre in the fall and was named a finalist for the Steinberg Award, a national prize awarded annually by the American Theatre Critics Association. Like most, McCullough’s success didn’t come quickly. Regarding her written work getting produced, she says, “One out of every 20 things actually pans out, it seems like.” She voices this in the same calm, matter-of-fact way in which she voices all of her concerns, not in a manner that indicates any frustration with the industry. “For my own mental health, I don’t count them.” Kind also emphasizes the need for young comedians to have patience and keep open minds, just as he needed to do with years spent making moves from New York, back to Chicago and then to Los Angeles. “For the first 10 years, do anything and everything,” the Waa-Mu Show veteran says. “Money will come if you are good. The journey can be as much fun, if not more so, than the success. And you won’t realize it while you’re on the journey.”


Kind’s advice about the journey isn’t so clear cut. There are a few different paths to take. Communication sophomore Aimee Hechler, a Comedy Forum member and an associate producer for NSTV, a sketch television group, knows it’s possible to lose sight of comedic goals while trying to enter the workforce. She’s only a sophomore, but it’s obvious even from her opening set for Josh Radnor in Ryan Auditorium that her career is on her mind. She jokes about the state of the industry, describing it as very diverse. “There’s the 30-year-old white guy who hates women and loves yelling.” She pauses. “Then there’s the 40-year-old white guy who hates women and loves yelling.” When she’s not performing, Hechler makes an extra effort to inject her study of the profession into other areas of her life. In a gender studies class Hechler took last spring, she wrote her final paper about Sarah Silverman, one of her idols. She tried to tease apart what makes some jokes offensive and not others. Hechler wants to continue pursuing her passion for comedy at every chance she gets. “I’m kind of afraid that I’ll have a corporate job and say that I’ll do stand-up on the side, but then never

make time for it,” she says. “So it’s really important for me, regardless of what career path I end up choosing, that I always continue to do stand-up.” At the same time, McCullough asserts that full immersion in the entertainment industry isn’t necessarily the way to go, either. “If you choose to enter the industry vacuum,” she says, “you will very quickly run out of meaningful things to say.” She explains that comedy is about storytelling, and storytelling is about having diverse experiences to share with an audience. While not practicing comedy at all isn’t the answer, it could be just as harmful to focus too much on comedy and not enough on other interests. “Most 21-year-old college grads have not lived enough or faced enough conflict to produce meaningful work,” she says. “You can be clever and smart and snarky, but have you really been through some shit that’s going to move people?” Like Hechler, Selinger worries about what life after college will look like. When asked if there’s anything he’s afraid of in the real world, he immediately spouts off a laundry list. “Are you kidding me? I’ll tell you a lot of things I’m afraid of. I’m afraid I’ll drop my smartphone in the New York City subway system and try and get it instead of just letting it go and get hit by a train. Even if I survive that ordeal, I’ll still be the guy who went for his phone on the train tracks and I’ll never live that down. I’m afraid I’ll bump into Jimmy Fallon on the street and say something terrible or insult him in some way. He probably won’t know who I am, but I’ll live with that forever.” He rattles off more concerns, though it’s possible he’s the only member of the Class of 2013 who fears that spending too much money on crab rangoon, one of his favorite dishes, will render him homeless. “I think if we were to talk real fear, I’m afraid of losing sight of the thing I have in sight right now, which is knowing my strengths and my weaknesses,” Selinger says, adding that he doesn’t want the pressure of earning a living to change the way he sees performing. Even if that means he must choose between crab and shelter for a few years.

Full disclosure: Hechler became North by Northwestern’s assistant video editor after the time of her interview for this story.




It’s harder to grasp who you are if you’ve lost part of where you came from.

story by gabe bergado 38 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3 photography by natalie krebs & priscilla liu

I sat in front of a luminaria, with my face buried in my hands and the skin of my legs stuck to the floor of SPAC’s tennis courts. An a cappella group was singing nearby, but I had lost all sense of space. The candlelit white bag read “In memory of Jun Bergado. Never will forget you dad” in my chicken scratch. April 2011 wasn’t the first time I broke down during a Relay for Life Luminaria Ceremony. I was used to it. It happened every year of junior high and high school, an annual tradition where I’d find myself anxiously waiting for the event to begin, knowing I’d eventually end up in a pool of tears. But it was the first time people from college saw me in this catatonic state. As most people continued to walk around the trail of luminarias that lined the tennis courts, I was frozen in place, sitting crosslegged in front of my dad’s tiny memorial. I could hear footsteps behind me. Hands would grab my shoulder, give me a squeeze, then disappear. Sometimes arms would wrap around me, attempting to provide some sort of comfort. I had no clue whose hands and arms were the ones coming to support me. They stayed faceless. Their touches felt both distant and close. With each grab and hug, I couldn’t tell if I was becoming more annoyed or comforted. They felt both invasive and solid. Then the frustration hit. What had I done, becoming some sort of public pity party? I forgot about my irritation with everyone else and instead became frustrated with myself. I had let myself become a petting zoo, where people could come and comfort the poor puppy who was caught in a web of snot and tears. I finally forced myself to get up. Avoiding eye contact, I walked off the tennis courts and into the men’s tennis locker room. The lights were off and I didn’t bother looking for a switch. Darkness. It felt nice.

The pangs hit me at the most random times. I’ll be sitting in class, trying to pay attention, and the professor will say the word “parents.” Suddenly my chest feels like it has been struck by lightning. Sometimes I’ll be standing against a basement wall with a red Solo cup in my hand, and a whirlwind of

“Sometimes that silent battle becomes the loudest thing around you.”

memories will distract me while I’m talking to friends. In bed, I’ll be tossing and turning when his voice drifts into my head. The flood of tears begins almost instantly, and I try to hide them from my roommate who, thankfully, sleeps like a rock. My dad died of lung cancer when I was 12. He was never a smoker. He was my chauffeur, and he loved driving out to the desert. He was my tutor and taught me how to add fractions when I wanted to get ahead in Mrs. Steinart’s math class. He was a lot of things. He was there to let me pick my own mixmatch of clashing clothing when my mom wasn’t home. He was there to teach me how to ride a bike, which really meant he let me fall until I couldn’t fall anymore. He was there when I graduated from elementary school and entered the confusing realm of junior high. But he stopped being there after my mom, aunt, two sisters and I watched Riverside National Cemetery workers lower him six feet into the ground on a sunny California day in May 2005. He wasn’t there to give me a firm handshake when I graduated from high school. He wasn’t there to congratulate me when I got my Northwestern acceptance letter. He won’t be there when I get my first real job, when my younger sister walks down the aisle at her wedding or when my first kid is born. “It’s a silent battle,” says Medill sophomore Laken Howard, whose dad passed away a few weeks after she graduated from high school. “Nobody knows it about you.” Even with the six-year difference between our fathers’ deaths, it feels like we have the same battle scars, from a war most of our friends aren’t aware of. “When something good happens to me, there’s a list of people I call,” Howard says. “My mom, my best friends. I wish I could add him to the list.”

Three months ago,

I was doing some schoolwork at Unicorn Cafe when a man and two children entered. They took a seat at a larger table adjacent to mine. As I tried to concentrate on a pile of readings, the trio took out a stack of coloring books. The brother and sister began fighting over the colors, deciding who was going to get the red crayon first. Their dad was up at the front counter when the young boy looked up and caught me staring. He was probably about 7, and he smiled at me. He waved as their dad came back with two hot chocolates topped with whipped cream. The dad nodded towards me. I spent the next 20 minutes in the bathroom blowing my nose and wiping my eyes. I wasn’t stepping back into the cafe to collect my belongings until I had collected myself. Sometimes that silent battle becomes the loudest thing around you. There are reminders that you can’t shake off, reminders that trigger the most visceral reaction within you.

Loss isn’t rare among college students. A survey conducted by David E. Balk, a former Kansas State University professor who studies bereavement, found that 81.8 percent of respondents indicated a family member had died within an average of 4.5 years prior to the survey. However only a few reported the death of an immediate member of the family such as a mother, father or sibling. Most of the family members who died were grandparents or great-grandparents, at 67 percent. Balk’s study shows that there are more people like me than it may appear. It’s hard to tell when there are no physical markers. Loss cuts into you like a knife to the stomach, slowly churning and letting your blood run out. But there are no scars, no bloodstained clothing. Just that silent battle: a sick cycle, where the muteness keeps you silent to others, unsure of who else might have the same wounds. Sometimes all you want to do is scream about it, to blame it for why you’re having a shitty day or why you can’t get out of bed. But that fear—the fear that you’ll become a pity party again, that people will see you differently—is enough to keep you quiet. Karrie Snyder, a lecturer in the sociology department at Northwestern, says that when a parent dies, a child receives a label similar to the one a child with divorced parents takes on. “No matter how many times the other parent remarries, or the status of the parent when the parent dies, I think young people have a label put on them,” Snyder says. “A sympathetic label.” And seeing that label placed on you is a whole different struggle. When people find out my dad’s dead, I see their eyes go dull, their lips quiver. They want to say something and feel like they should comfort me in some way, but instead there’s just a new lens through which they view me. “Why can I not just be like, ‘My dad is dead?’” Howard says. “It makes me feel awkward. Even close friends will freak out.”


“I try to re mind myself tha t I’m not a certa in way because o f one thing.”

It’s difficult straddling the line between wanting to talk about your loss and not wanting people to see you differently. According to Snyder, there is a level of “othering” when it comes to people’s assumptions about parents. Many people come to college and perceive others based on assumptions until they find out the truth. “You’re admitting to something that makes you different from the norm,” says Medill junior Lauryn Chamberlain, who lost her father Fall Quarter of her freshman year. “People don’t know how to react to it.”

So, when’s the time to open up? When’s the time to vocalize that I miss him? Northwestern CAPS offers a variety of services to help students—crisis intervention, group therapy, eating concerns assessment and stress management are just a few—but nothing explicitly for dealing with parent death. Nothing for those days when the man at Unicorn Cafe orders hot chocolates for his kids. I hate flying home on breaks and not seeing him waiting in the car at LAX alongside my mom and younger sister. I hate that next year at graduation, when I’m wearing that purple gown and supposed to be excited for the next step in my life, there will be a knot in my chest, something holding me back. “He won’t be there at certain key events that you’d imagine,” Chamberlain says. “Think about your parents being there when you get married, meeting your kids.” We’re different. We’re the kids who had to say goodbye too early, the college students who had to bury our parents before we had to pay off a credit card. Do I let that define me? I hope not. It’s not the be-all, end-all. I try to remind myself that I’m not a certain way because of one thing.

40 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

It was one of those days when I wanted to remember, at the beginning of my final semester of high school. I knew the memories ached, that they stung, but it was better than the feelings of numbness and forgetting that were slowly suffocating me. I snuck out of the apartment, grabbing the keys to the ‘86 BMW convertible that my mom never sold after we moved. I put the key into the ignition and turned, waiting to hear the car roar. As the engine warmed up, so did old memories of driving to get Thrifty’s ice cream on hot summer days with the top down. I was sitting in the same seat he used to take. The apartment we moved into between seventh and eighth grade wasn’t far from the house where I spent the first 12 years of my life. A right turn onto Valley View, a right onto La Palma and a left into the residential area where he taught me how to ride a bike. I parked in front of the lawn where I spent afternoons pretending I was a Power Ranger and where my sister got bit by the neighbor’s dog. My childhood home was simultaneously foreign and familiar. Once painted powder blue, it was now dark brown. In the driveway, a maroon suburban SUV took the BMW’s old spot. From the driver’s seat I gazed at the house, envisioning the kitchen where I celebrated birthdays and the backyard pool where he taught me how to swim. I was debating knocking on the front door when a man from the house across the street came out. I instantly recognized him as Paul, the man who would let me gaze out his telescopes and grab my handball from his backyard whenever I’d bounce it too high. I got out of the car and walked towards him. His expression as I got closer was one that you’d make when a stranger walks towards you. I was a stranger, no longer the wide-eyed, chubby five-foot-two boy who had moved away five years prior. The person approaching him was a teary, lanky six-foot-one adolescent still trying to comprehend what he had lost.

At my dad’s funeral, I told some short anecdote about him letting my sister eat cookies. I found the Word document recently, and half-laughed, half-cried as I read how I conceptualized his death almost 10 years ago. Today I try to put together all the different ways my dad’s death has affected me. There are some days where I feel like it’s done nothing but fuck me up, but there are other times I tell myself everything happens for a reason and I’m a stronger person now. What I can’t ignore is the fact that the loss had a big part in making me the man I am today. But there’s still no easy answer for how different today might have been if I hadn’t had to say goodbye. Would he be proud to see the person I’ve become? Proud of my successes, my faults, my doubts? I think he would. I try to tell myself that he is. But that looming insecurity—the simple truth that I will never hear him say it, or weirdly communicate it through some gifting of an odd pen that sitcom fathers tend to do—is something I don’t think will ever go away. I look in the mirror and see limbs I’ve grown into, pubescent acne that’s faded away, facial hair I thought I’d never grow. I’ll flash back to a fading memory of my mom speaking at his funeral. She stood at the podium, tears in her eyes, talking about all the parts of him she saw in my sisters and me: my older sister with his compassion and level-headedness, my younger sister with his laugh and love for animals. As for me, I had his brains and quick wit. Now I’m 20, and I wonder which parts of me come from the man he was. A friend of Chamberlain’s who also lost a parent told her something valuable: “Don’t expect to be able to relate to people in the same way. The connection you make when you love people, it feels small compared to other things.” What worries me even more is the forgetting, the numbness that pushed me to drive to my childhood home. His voice has slowly faded into the depths of my memory, and now I can hardly hear the words “mijo” and “Gabriel” when I close my eyes. I still remember his one scoop coconut-pineapple, one scoop pistachio ice cream order at Thrifty’s. But I fear the day when I’ll forget. In those moments, when I see a dad bring his kids a round of hot chocolates, I want nothing more than to be 7 years old again. I want to go back to those late nights when I’d hear my dad’s truck pulling into our driveway and I’d hide under the kitchen counter. He’d come in, set his keys down, take off his musty work hat and start making himself a late dinner. He’d crouch down and look in the cupboard for the soy sauce—the perfect moment for his son to pop out and climb onto his back.

Living Night by Night As consecutive all-nighters turn into a source of pride, students ignore the long-term effects that come with a


culture of sleeplessness. Story by Susie Neilson | Photos by Alex Zhu

olin Egan gestures me through a pungent hall to his fraternity house single, pats the seat of a beige plaid couch and flops onto his bed. He looks a little like a tired, bearded Harry Potter, with tousled black hair and bespectacled eyes. “I call this part entropy,” he says, pointing to a particularly large pile of thermodynamics homework by his bed, “because it’s thermo homework, and, you know, disorder.” Entropy is a good descriptor for the chaotic room. A plastic skeleton hand claws at the coffee table and several M.C. Escher posters surround a shelf stuffed with philosophy and science fiction books, which Egan says he is too busy to read. He has better things to do.


“I’m anti-dogma and antischedule,” Egan says, leaning forward. “I do things because I think about them, not because society wants me to.” Last spring, Egan, a Weinberg sophomore majoring in chemistry, decided sleep was a waste of time. He began sleeping three to four hours a night with no naps during the day. These days, instead of preparing for 8 a.m. orgo with any semblance of a sleep ritual, Egan seeks out a group of friends who share his distaste for unconsciousness. They spend time watching movies, running his early morning radio show, doing homework or just chilling until 5 a.m. After that, it’s anybody’s guess. “There is no schedule. You sleep

42 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

when you’re tired, and when you have four hours to kill—no, four hours to spare,” he says. But Egan seems to relish the strangeness of it all, chuckling as he describes his in-class power naps and auditory hallucinations. “My professor would be like, ‘You add these two numbers together, and then the Queen of England goes off in her pumpkin carriage and lives in the pumpkin patch, and you divide by these numbers.’” He laughs. “You hear weird stuff, you see weird stuff, and you’re not sure what to believe.” When I ask Egan why he chooses to endure this groggy alternate reality, his answer is quick and comprehensive. It’s a philosophi-

cal choice, he says, based on an album by musician Warren Zevon: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

THE DEATH OF SLEEP The American hate affair with sleep began long before a group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology canonized it with the now-famous “college triangle,” a model more familiar to most undergraduates than any from their physics or economics classes. Pick any two—good grades, social life and sleep, the saying goes, with the tacit understanding that in this case, sleep is the first to go. This adage applies to Northwestern students just as it does their tech-oriented friends in Cambridge: We sleep an average of six

and a half hours per night. A survey of NU undergraduates conducted through the office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in 2011 showed that 40 percent wake up feeling sleep deprived at least five days out of the week. Only 10 percent say they have no problem with sleepiness during the day, and almost 77 percent fall asleep from sheer exhaustion at least one night a week. Why do college students get so little sleep? According to Kathryn Reid, a research associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, there are a lot of reasons —many associated with age. “Some call college the perfect storm of not sleeping,” Reid says,

laughing. “It’s easier to stay awake later when you’re young, because you’re programmed to do it.” Reid’s office has a mini sleep lab, a spartan small room with a fold-out bed and a polysomnography machine, which records various biophysical changes during sleep. Alongside primary researcher Phyllis Zee, Reid tests volunteers, some of them Northwestern students and staff, to better understand how aging affects the human circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle that regulates behavior and energy levels in response to varying levels of light. In teenagers, these rhythms beat in perfect time to a nightclub lifestyle. The sleep hormone melatonin doesn’t start pumping into the brains of young adults until around 11 p.m. and stays in their systems until later in the morning, an evolutionary advantage from our days as cavemen, when teens and adults kept watch for predators at different intervals throughout the night. Enter the college experience, which heaps a plateful of brand-new lifestyle changes on top of the biological rhythms. Coupled with the shift in hormones, students’ newfound liberation from rigorously scheduled school and family life, along with the dizzying ubiquity of friends and activities, is so overstimulating that they cannot relax when they lay their heads on the pillow. This leaves many of them lying awake counting sheep even as the stress hormone cortisol courses through their glands, making a good night’s sleep impossible. All of these factors feed into the “sleep when you’re dead” philosophy that Egan takes a little too literally. Call it the cult of YOLO—a catchy abbreviation for “You Only Live Once” that is fast becoming our generation’s “carpe diem.” Dr. Ralph Pascualy, senior medical director for sleep medicine at the Seattle-based Swedish Medical Center, doesn’t buy into this cult. He says Northwestern students will feed into a nationwide professional “culture of overenthusiasm,” pressuring them into peak performance across a staggering array of activities far beyond the age at which they can handle them. Moreover, this culture is actually counterproductive to working well. “The idea that living is like a giant well, and that you have to drink

for as long as possible, is the dumbest idea ever,” says Pascualy, whose 18-year-old teenage children have had a self-imposed 9 p.m. bedtime since grammar school. “If you spend a lot of time being driven, you’ll become a multitasker by the accumulation of excessive demands which result in a lack of time to focus, engage and complete what is at hand without interruptions. Pretty soon what happens is your brain, over time, kindles circuits, and at a certain point, your brain requires stimulation because you’ve programmed it to become stimulated. If you have any free time, you find yourself unable to do anything other than go find some stimulation. This leads to a chronic state of dissatisfaction.” Pascualy certainly hasn’t slept through life. He is a nationally recognized sleep specialist who has pioneered clinical care programs for patients with sleep disorders since 1984, with multiple lectures, research papers and a book on obstructive sleep apnea to his name. He’s also no robot—he loves traveling and boating. His sleep is hardwon and he guards it zealously, as did many famous sleepers such as Albert Einstein and Calvin Coolidge. So how does he do it? Has Dr. Pascualy captured all three corners of the elusive triangle? His answer: sort of. Pascualy loves his balanced lifestyle and says that it has brought him success and happiness. But to a college student with no concept of mortality, during a time when our horizons seem limitless, Pascualy’s philosophy is frankly depressing. “There exists by definition an infinite number of experiences,” he says. “We have to cope with limits, with the fact that we’re mortal.”

DROWSY AND DUMB For the most part, Taylor Billings sleeps at least seven to eight hours a night.

“It’s a lot harder to learn when you’re sleep deprived. Your mind turns against you, and there’s nothing scarier than that.” -David K. Randall, writer

“I just prioritize it,” says Billings, shrugging as she digs a spoon into a bowl of cereal. In the kitchen of the Alpha Phi sorority house around 10 a.m., bleary-eyed girls pass from time to time, clutching paper cups filled with coffee to pregame a long day of classes. “Honestly for me, staying up is just exponentially less productive than getting the sleep I need. I hate what happens when I stay up late. I get fever. I physically feel the effects.” Billings is a Weinberg sophomore in the pre-med track with about 20 hours of class per week. She’s heavily involved in Greek life, serves on executive boards for several extracurricular groups and goes out on the weekends. Yet she’s found time to master one of the trickiest concepts Northwestern could throw at her. Like Pascualy, Billings has learned her limits. “I could procrastinate and do two things for four hours and get nothing done, or I could just go to sleep,” Billings says, voicing the pragmatic solution to an issue that most of us face. In a cruel twist of fate, the sleep-deprived lifestyle most students lead is especially detrimental to the primary reason they are here. “It’s a lot harder to learn when you’re sleep deprived. Your mind turns against you, and there’s nothing scarier than that,” says David K. Randall, a senior reporter at Reuters who has written for the New York Times, among other publications. Randall’s having some trouble with limiting himself right now—he’s balancing the wild success of his 2012 book, Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, with an eleven-month-old son—but he still finds time to tweet. After a volley of direct Twitter messages and a subsequent exchange of phone numbers, he finally manages to find time to talk sleep—a conversation conducted piecemeal thanks to the ironic interruptions of his little son, Henry, who protests his naptime with wails so loud Randall has to hang up several times to comfort him. During our third call, I tell Randall about Egan’s “sleep when you’re dead” philosophy. He laughs. “He won’t have to wait too long then,” he says. Randall is referring to the numerous ways in which sleep deprivation makes for a shorter life span.

Along with being a chief contributor to roadside accidents and accidental military fatalities, prolonged sleep deprivation can contribute to the development of chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer. One study correlated sleep deprivation with increased rates of dementia and death in the elderly. Different issues affect college students in a campus setting, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less deleterious. Sleep deprivation diminishes our ability to retain information and triggers depression and anxiety for anyone who is predisposed. It makes us fatter: One 2012 Harvard study found that women who slept five hours or fewer a night were 15 percent more likely to be obese than women who slept seven or more hours, probably because they crave energy and their frontal lobes are too exhausted to step in and control the cravings. Sleeplessness even makes us uglier: A 2010 Swedish study had subjects assign an attractiveness rating to two pictures of the same person, one when he or she was sleep-deprived and one where she wasn’t. Almost universally, subjects rated the wellrested person as way hotter. For our beloved Nerdwestern, severe sleep deprivation can even resemble profound mental disability. Randall tells the story of a boy in Australia who was falling asleep constantly in class, leading his teachers to consider him mentally retarded. It turned out that he had a severe case of sleep apnea. He was one of the first patients treated with a CPAP mask and was able to rejoin his classroom. Then again, the cognitive effects of sleeplessness can feel immediate and alarming—a phenomenon of which Weinberg junior Tianlin “Linlin” Sun is all too aware. She’s a slight, dark-haired girl who punctuates her sentences with the word “dude.” She hardly looks or acts like an Uberman, although she tried the notorious sleep schedule named after the Nietzschean construct in the spring of her freshman year. It was part of an attempt to balance two lab classes with free time to read blogs and watch television. For ten weeks Sun slept four hours a night, with two 15-minute naps during the day. “It’s not a perfect solution—you still get tired, maybe exhausted at first. But you function,” she says of


the schedule, which claimed would let her maximize the short sleeping time by entering REM as soon as her head hit the pillow. “You never realize how much sleep impacts you,” she says, “but [on this schedule] the days go on forever. It just never stops. You’re sitting in the lounge watching people come and go, and it’s like you’re in a movie, where people fast-forward back and forth, back and forth.” Starved of the rest she needed, Sun’s thinking dulled; she lost the ability to write, read and even doodle. “You can’t use the creative paths on the sides anymore,” she says. “You think in a straight line.” Though her grades didn’t suffer as a result of her stint as an Uberman, Sun quit immediately after finals week, conceding that while the Uberman lifestyle might work for some people, it didn’t for her. “I just realized how awesome my bed was,” she says. As for why Sun conducted this extreme experiment on herself, she says she “thought it was a college thing.” She shrugs, gesturing at a coffee shop of students huddled in chairs, faces turned to laptops screens and away from the noonday sun. “I thought it was just something you did.” Another motive leaps out. “People with weird sleep schedules, they’re usually notable people 44 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

in history, like Leonardo Da Vinci, [Buckminster] Fuller, a lot of famous people in chemistry,” she says. “You try to emulate them, see what makes them tick.” Da Vinci and Fuller, the latter a noted inventor and the namesake of the “buckyball” carbon molecule, both engaged in intermittent sleep patterns stricter than hers. “Do students actually think that with a few hours more awake, they, too, will be luminaries?” Pascualy asks, adding that Sun’s thought process exemplifies the scientific no-no of false correlation—humans’ misguided tendency to conflate different phenomena simply because they exist together. “Well, I can tell you the answer is no. You’re probably not a 200-IQ super-person who could memorize a sonata by age five.” Randall agrees, noting that some famous non-sleepers were likely exaggerating or simply lying about their vampire-like schedules, and probably not functioning at their highest levels while awake. Thomas Edison admitted to no more than three to four hours of sleep per night, claiming that any more made a person “unhealthy and inefficient.” Yet Edison had a cot hidden away in his workshop onto which he would collapse at random throughout the day and night. The number of people who claim

they can healthily subsist on five hours a night is a lot more than the amount who actually can, which is around five percent of us, says Pascualy. Furthermore, you can’t gain admittance to the “functional sleeplessness club” simply by trying. “It’s just genetic, how much sleep you need,” he says. “It varies from person to person. But for the most part, over the long term, most people are going to need seven to eight hours a night.”

THE QUEST FOR YOLO The fact is, Randall says, college is a crazy time. Perhaps the machismo is a defense mechanism for laziness— Pascualy admits most students lack the maturity or diligence necessary to adhere to a rigorous schedule like his without a conscious approach to living well. Add in youthful energy levels that can compensate for relatively high levels of fatigue compared with older adults, and sleep falls by the wayside more often. And when it doesn’t or can’t anymore, students tend to sleep like they’ve forgotten how to do it properly. “I have friends who are insomniacs and friends who sleep for eighteen hours straight,” says Sun. “They’re all at opposite ends of the spectrum. People sleep in the weirdest places. The library, the couches at PARC, here,” she says, again gesturing out at Norbucks.

And that weirdness is okay, Randall says, as long as it translates into getting enough total hours of sleep. “Americans mistakenly believe you have to get eight hours of sleep in a row or it doesn’t count,” he says. “You can sleep for five hours in the middle of the night and four hours in the afternoon and function just as well. It’s about the twenty-four-hour time period.” Even Billings admits to days when her linear timeline derails. “I have nights where sleep doesn’t happen for me. I go out,” she says. “It’s not like I’m a crazy person.” Even the most pragmatic of students indulges in the YOLO idea from time to time. Indeed, the idea may be the only thing that Pascualy and Egan agree upon. The disagreement arises from what constitutes effective lifetime maximization. “I’m a doctor,” Pascualy says. “You’re gonna die, and that’s all you know for sure. When you work with people who don’t have a conception of mortality, who don’t realize they don’t have forever and it’s impossible to have it all, then they don’t understand that … what’s important is to be in the present. When you’re in the present, then you stop freaking out about tomorrow.” And when you’re freaking out about tomorrow, it’s impossible to fall asleep. Any insomniac can tell you that.

EXTRA plus:



We’ve got your summer reading syllabus. photo by

DAVID Power upZHANG your plate. Photograph by SUNNY KANG

photo: dummy name here



Brainy Beach Reads


ver the next three and a half months, many of us will resolve to finally read for pleasure—a novel concept (no pun intended) for people who drudge through course packets and Blackboard readings throughout the school year. So what’s first on the list? While it can be tempting to mindlessly reach for a celebrity magazine, re-read your favorite young-adult fantasy series or finally get your chick lit fix, it’s kind of hard to conceal a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey while you’re working on your tan at a packed public beach. Instead, satisfy your inner nerd and beef up your intellectual status by heading to the local library and checking out these professoracclaimed works. You can even get some of them on your e-reader if you’re fully intent on not taking your eyes off a screen.

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Phyllis Lassner, professor of instruction, Writing Program

Soundless Roar by Ava Kadishson Schieber

The story has enormous appeal, both because of its dramatic circumstances and the author’s pungent memories of various dangerous incidents in hiding. In fact, I teach the book in my course ‘Writing About Children in the Holocaust,’ and the students invariably love it. Even though the Holocaust experience is so far removed from their own, the feelings and responses of Ava Schieber resonate with them as she recounts them in such vivid detail. With students’ ability to relate to Ava, it very effectively teaches many lessons about honoring Holocaust victims and survivors.”

John Cutler, assistant professor of English

The Barbarian Nurseries by Héctor Tobar

It’s a really fun book—Tobar has a great sense of humor and a satricial eye for absurdities of contemporary American culture. In the book, an undocumented Mexican domestic worker is accused of kidnapping two children from the home she is working in. It dramatizes aspects of the illegal immigration debate that’s happening right now, and I think it’s a great book to be reading.” photo: alex lordahl

Kick back with some professor-approved literature. B Y LY D I A B E LA N GER

“I think summer is the perfect time to read one of those big, delicious, demanding works, such as The Ambassadors, Moby-Dick or “Swann’s Way.” Read now, when young, because they are books that survive and gain by re-reading. Each time you return you’ll discover that the book has changed as much as you have, but like Rome or London or Istanbul you’ll also feel fragments of your past informing and rearranging the present.” - Averill Curdy, professor of English Michal Ginsburg, professor of French and Italian

Goldie Goldbloom, visiting assistant professor of English

Reginald Gibbons, Director, Center for the Writing Arts

volume one of In Search of Lost Time

Being Dead

Where I Must Go

by Marcel Proust

by Jim Crace

by Angela Jackson

“Swann’s Way”

2013 is the one hundredth anniversary of this book. I think people know something and have a certain idea that it’s a difficult book, but it’s a profound book, a great masterpiece, and it takes a great time to read it. The  narrator talks about the person who he used to be in the past and it’s ironic—a gentle mockery, a light tone.  We have to take it seriously, but not too seriously, because the tone invites distance.  It takes a lot of patience to read Proust, and it takes the type of patience that most of us don’t have anymore. It’s not a page turner, and since you cannot change the book, the only thing you can change is your own attitude.”

I’ve read it with lots of my students, and many people who read it say it’s their favorite book—the kind of book that they’d take with them to a desert island. It’s the unwinding story of two scientists who were murdered in the fictional Baritone Bay, how they came to be there and what happens after that.  Crace is writing as a man who is an atheist, but despite every single word in it, it still gives a suggestion of reincarnation. It’s awful in that it talks about death in a very graphic way, but it’s also very beautiful and moving.”

The novel is set at a fictionalized school Jackson calls Eden University, but Northwestern students will certainly recognize it. Jackson herself was a student here. The narrator of the novel, Magdalena Grace, who is in her first year, is an observer and a ponderer who follows the unfolding of campus events and romantic relationships during the year. She narrates how the lives of the students are gathered or pulled or lifted into the larger life of America itself by the cataclysmic event of the spring of 1968: the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. The conclusion of the novel is surprising, remarkable and memorable.”




And Dirty:


t’s the greatest time of the year: Dillo season. The frat tanks have been ordered, the handles of tequila have been purchased and your Facebook is flooded with Mayfest’s event invites. With a day full of debaucherous activities ahead, ranging from shotgunning PBRs in some rando’s backyard to dirty grinding to Danny Brown, the only thing that might make the inevitable hangover tolerable is waking up in someone else’s bed. Whether your happy ending is in a freshman’s dorm room or an ex’s parked car, we’ve got the rundown on the dream hookups you might experience on Dillo.

early morning:

SHOWER BEER & BANG Everyone loves to kick off Dillo Day with a good shower beer. Why not make it more exciting by inviting more than Mr. Corona to shower with you? Turning your ordinary shower beer into a shower beer-&-bang could turn out to be the most efficient activity of your day. Nothing’s better than getting squeaky clean while doing the downright dirty. You’re simultaneously getting ready, getting drunk and getting off. Consider this hookup a triple threat in all the right ways.

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LUNCHTIME LOVIN’ After all the morning drinking, you’ll probably be hungry for more than just a sandwich. Whether you’re texting an old hookup buddy or meeting someone at one of the many pre-noon parties, you won’t regret some lovemaking right around lunchtime. Beware though: If you don’t want to spend the rest of your day with your hookup, make sure you have a plan of action to reconnect with your buddies. Set up a checkpoint location such as the Arch or Taco Bell to resume day drinking shenanigans with your besties.

early afternoon:

late afternoon:


Forget the free henna and photo booths that Mayfest offers on Dillo Day, and make your way to the Porta-Potties provided for everyone’s urinary needs. These blue coitus containers are great for taking a break from the Lakefill festivities for some quickie action. With the tight space, you and your hookup will surely be getting hot and heavy while the scent of your two bodies colliding combines with the smell of your comrades’ broken-seal pee. You’ll emerge from the porta-potty with an effervescent blue glow and perfectly tousled sex hair.


IT’S HALF PAST 3(SOME) LAKESIDE FIELD OTPHJ Dillo Day is a time vortex. After leaving your first pregame, it’ll probably feel like 10 a.m.—until suddenly the day’s half over. And sometimes you’ll suddenly find yourself in between the sheets and in between that annoying kid from your poli sci discussion and the hottie from Hinman Sunday brunch. With the whole day at your disposal, why not take some time to try out something a little more risque?

It’s the end of the night, and you’re having a blast at the nighttime headliner. You start grinding with the cutie you were eyeing from across the Lakefill earlier that day and end up in a tangle of limbs and skin. You get the sense that someone’s more than just a little excited after a protrusion forms under his waist. It’s a classic over-the-pants handjob opportunity. After a little friction and tease, you decide to head back to your room to put Dillo Day to rest and start some smanging.

illustration: steph shapiro

Pants down, hands up. Let’s rage. B Y G A B E B E R G AD O

Losin’ Gluten

Who knew comfort food could make you so uncomfortable? BY ALE XIS N. SANCHE Z


illustration: alex lordahl

’ve succumbed to a number of ailments over the years, most of them skin related. When I was in elementary school, I contracted a fungal infection that made the skin behind my ears peel off. A few years later, I stepped on a sliver of lead from one of my mechanical pencils and got a splinter so deep, my pediatrician had to dig it out of my sole with a scalpel. In high school, a pimple the size of a silver dollar appeared on my left shoulder. Pediatrician: That’s no pimple, sweetheart. It looks like you’ve got a case of MRSA. Dad: What’s that? Pediatrician: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Flesh-eating bacteria. Dad: [rubbing temples] Oh, God. Me: COOL. So when a spattering of hives began traversing the landscape between my shoulder blades last summer, I knew something particularly gnarly was happening to my epidermis. As I sat in front of a dermatologist, he explained to me that this was actually psoriasis. Oh, easy peasy. He’d give me some pills

and some cream and those itchy little buggers would disappear. Right? Nope. I called my mom. She is one of those people whose business card comes with its own alphabet of acronyms, one of which is RN: registered nurse. Mom: Don’t let him give you pills! (Insert intricate explanation of how they are bad for your liver.) Ask for the lotions. Dermatologist: Well if you’re that concerned, why don’t you just try taking a break from bread? Sometimes these things can be triggered by a gluten allergy. I’m pretty sure I laugh-snorted at this point. That day alone, I had eaten Cheerios for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and was planning on making pasta for dinner. I don’t think I had ever eaten a meal that didn’t include flour somehow. But I told my dermatologist I’d give it a shot, though I was sure that it wouldn’t be the solution. I’d come back in two months to find that the rash was still as fierce and itchy as ever. How hard could it be to give up wheat, rye and barley (three foods that contain gluten) for a couple of months?

Answer: hard. Rock, steel, quantum-mechanics-test hard. Late night quesadillas and whiskey? Bye-bye. Colgate Total toothpaste? “May contain traces of wheat.” Soy sauce? I hope you didn’t like Asian food. Aveeno lotion? Might as well be rubbing sulfuric acid on your skin. Pretty much any dessert except vanilla ice cream? Hasta la vista, baby. The worst part is that in a matter of weeks the psoriasis had—poof!— disappeared. And so began my foray into gluten freedom, or as I like to call it, gluten slavery. For clarification, I do not have Celiac disease, although perhaps it would be easier for me to give up bread if each encounter left me with a violent gastrointestinal reaction (read: voluminous diarrhea). What I have is a food allergy. In other words, if I not-so-accidentally eat a piece of bread or a cookie, I won’t have an immediate reaction. It takes a couple of days of eating pizza and Oreos for dinner before I look at my back and realize I’ve got a situation. This, in turn, means I cheat. I cheat a lot. I mean, I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to say no to unlim-

ited soup, salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden or to turn down a burrito when it’s free or if I’m starving. But I’m learning to cope. In fact, the hardest part for me is hearing my friends apologize for eating gluten, like it’s comparable to drinking in front of a recovering alcoholic. If only they understood how much I want them to enjoy a cookie just because I can’t. Of course, I could always make or buy gluten-free anything (cookies, pasta, bread), but I’m not one to cook, and baking is foreign to me. Before getting diagnosed, I ate the same thing every day: cereal, sandwich, pasta. Naturally, I still do the same now, just with a more glutenoppressed diet. My meals now include fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and tuna. This is why whenever I hear someone say they’re casting off gluten as part of a diet, I respond with something like, “I will cut you.” Because I would pull a Vanessa Carlton and walk a thousand miles if I could just eat macaroni and cheese tonight. o



Congrats, Grad You got the degree–now treat yo’self. BY RYA N ARRE NDE LL


Digital SLR camera It’s starting to feel like filtering pictures is becoming a little cliche. Ease off Instagramming and try capturing your post-grad memories with a real camera.

NU license plate frame and static cling Yup, that’s right—you’re a proud alum. Your Wildcat pride is ride or die! Now to save up for a car...

Apply for a credit card You’re in debt because of student loans, but a credit card could change the game. Or at least buy you some time before your grace period is over.

Personal checks Debit cards are practical, but they don’t work in all cases. You’ll spare yourself an online payment fee for future rent checks (that you hopefully won’t be paying to your parents).

50 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

Computer You know you’ve secretly wanted to ditch your Dell for a sleek MacBook for a while now. You deserve it, or at least you’ve conned yourself into thinking you do.

Haircut Who said looking for a job can’t be a stylish endeavor? A fancy new ‘do could be just the edge you need to kick your job search into high gear.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening may have been put on the back burner in high school after your parents realized how much college was going to cost. Add some shine to your post-grad days with a bleaching, because your smile should be as bright as your future.

Tablet Gone are the days of lugging around textbooks. Say hello to high tech with an iPad or Kindle. Read your leisure books on the go, or play your favorite games guilt-free now that you won’t be in class.

Pet Sadly, pet-friendly dorms never became a reality during your college career. Why not reward yourself with a small companion, like a dog, cat or Siberian weasel? They might not be as rowdy or smelly as the frat boys next door, but they’ll definitely keep you company.

Website domain Your sigh of relief doesn’t have to end when you confirm your name is spelled properly on your diploma. Take it a step further and make sure that sigh doesn’t turn into a gasp after a quick Google search reveals a website owned by a porn star who just so happens to have the same name as you. Purchasing your name’s website domain is easy and, if you do it right, cheap.

Mini vacay The Drake has always looked like an amazing place to stay—why not have your very own staycation in the city? Book a couple of nights in a Chicago hotel and spend your days exploring the neighborhoods and cute restaurants you’ve always wanted to dine at but never had the time.

Cruise It’s time to book a sea-bound getaway that will go down in history—not stranded, Carnival Cruise-style. Try booking through a drama-free cruise line (free of plumbing and power issues) with some of your best friends.

illustration: steph shapiro

he pomp and circumstance is all over: Your exams are finished, graduation cap tossed and diploma received. Now what? It isn’t your birthday but you sure do feel like you deserve some icing on the cake for four years of all-nighters, final projects and maybe even one too many trips to The Keg (may it rest in peace). So you graduated. What’s the best way to thank yourself?


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Spring 2013  

North by Northwestern's Spring 2013 Magazine Published with support from Campus Progress, a division of the Center for American Progress. O...

Spring 2013  

North by Northwestern's Spring 2013 Magazine Published with support from Campus Progress, a division of the Center for American Progress. O...