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R E T N E C OFF MAGAZINE

IN THIS ISSUE:

Thanksgiving At The In-Laws’ My Time In The Mililtary The SECOND Time I Almost Got Mugged On A School Trip Registration Madness


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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jen Glifort

CCSU

ASSISTANT EDITORS Larry Clark Michael McClellan

3. Letter From the Editor 4. Overheard In New Britain 5. CCSU Says: Winter Sports

LAYOUT/PRE-PRESS Kasey Gordon

6. Parking On Campus 7. Registration

COVER PHOTO Kasey Gordon

Have a different opinion? Want to contribute? Write to Off-Center Magazine at offcentermagazine@yahoo.com or find us on facebook

EXECUTIVE BOARD PRESIDENT Jen Glifort VICE PRESIDENT Michael McClellan TREASURER Alex Prague SECRETARY Jessica Dean Views expressed are not necessarily the views supported by Off-Center Magazine or CCSU.

But there is a bright side! It’s a brand new issue of Off-Center Magazine! If that won’t keep you warm on a cold night, I don’t know what will. As you may or may not have noticed (probably not, but don’t worry about it, my feelings aren’t too hurt), this issue has no theme. What do you think? Do you like the themed issues better? Do you have a favorite theme? Ideas, suggestions, comments, complaints? Are you just hungry? Itchy? Really want me to stop asking questions in my letters? We want to hear about it! Please write to offcentermagazine@yahoo.com and let us know! The entire staff is always excited to hear from readers and we take your thoughts to heart. Your voice counts, And it’s time for everyone to hear it.

General Interest 8. The Libertarian’s Corner 9. The Second TIme I Almost Got Mugged On A School Trip 10. Thanksgiving At The In-Laws’ 13. Free-Flowing Hostility: The Worth Of A College Degree 14. Frank Warren: The Man Of A Million Secrets 15. My Time In The Military 16. Attack Of The Killer Stomach 17. Squirrel Stories 18. World Politics 19. Indie Film Reviews

Speaking of which, we have some great articles for you. Some are from writers you know and, um, know, And others are fresh voices. This issue features The Libertarian’s Corner, An opinion piece by a writer new to the OCM team. We also have coverage on a Postsecret event, tales of a near-mugging, A Squirrel Story from yours truly (I’m telling you, everybody has one!), tips on parking on this over-crowded campus, rants about registration, And more. If you’ve been a reader of Off-Center for a while (in which case, please contact me to retrieve your free candy, balloons, And infinite hugs), you’ll enjoy this issue’s Games Page, where you try to match up members of the staff to their favorite books. I was bullied into choosing a favorite, believe me. Don’t exile me, fellow English majors! It was worse than “Sophie’s Choice.”

Entertainment 20. The Greatest Show On Television 21. Texts From Last Night 22. Games Page 23. Coming Soon! CONTRIBUTING WRITERS IN THIS ISSUE: Larry Clark, Jess Dean, Jen Glifort, Vanessa Johnson, Aiden Kay, Michael McClellan, Alexander Prague, Alan E. Zoll

If you’ve gotten this far into my letter you’re either an editor proofreading or extremely bored and trying to kill time between classes. In any case, thanks for reading, enjoy the magazine, And there’s no better cure for boredom than finding funny cat videos on the internet! PHOTO: Bryce McKinzie

OFF-CENTER STAFF

CONTENTS

Well, folks, we’re back! By the time this goes to print, the Spring 2012 semester should be in full swing. If you’re anything like me, you’re ready to hibernate through winter until it’s May already, hence the picture (also, I didn’t have time to have my camera-literate sister take a real picture). Winter break was shorter than usual, the weather is bleak, And it feels like we’ve been in school for a blizzardy eternity. As you look out the windows in your too-long evening class and watch the sun fall below the roof of DiLoreto, it’s hard to remember why we stick it out. When your car (complete with bald tires and broken heating system) skids out on black ice, you have to fight not to just turn the old lemon around and skip class. Cocoa, Netflix, the internet—all of these staples of winter survival are forsaken for education. Psh.

- Jen


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OVERHEARD IN NEW BRITAIN:

CCSU SAYS:

Strange Things Our Instructors Say...

We asked, “What’s your favorite winter sport?” or, for the sports-challenged (ahem), “What is your favorite winter activity?”. These are your answers:

compiled by Jen Glifort I heard Steve Jobs dropped outta college, backpacked through Europe, And did hallucinogenic drugs for a couple years. No wonder he was so smart. Not that I’m endorsing hallucinogenic drugs or anything. So basically, if you want to turn our sun into a black hole, you’d need to collapse it down to less than 3 km across...don’t try this at home, boys and girls!

“Plethora,” okay, great, you know a big word. Now shut the fuck up. compiled by Larry Clark and Jen Glifort

This isn’t like writing a novel, guys, where you’re slowly unfolding the plot and everybody’s like ooooh, oh, Aaaaaah. Journalism’s like a truncheon—you’ve gotta wail somebody over the head with it or they won’t read it.

Sledding

New York’s only an hour and a half away. That’s like a three-beer ride.

Everybody’s crazy. Find me the whacknuts. Tell me why they’re weird, everyone you know is weird, but I meant that in a good way. I mean, everybody’s crazy, look at me!

Building a sex-igloo

(In regards to Kingston, Jamaica) No “One love” bullshit there; it’s fucking guns, man!

So basically the character is saying “It’s not time yet; I’ll uselessly prolong my meaningless existence.” I know this isn’t happy hour.

Snowman-rolling (making a snowman)

No one actually climbs a staircase and at the end gets a medal that says “You’re a Terrorist.”

I’ve been going in and out of hypothermia for six days. And you thought I was strange BEFORE.

How can somebody tax a family at poverty level? After rent, they have like $250 a week. I spend $250 a week on beer!

Assholes are adorable. That’s why they get into relationships and people bitch about them.

Professor: More men than women masturbate, And men masturbate more often than women. Student: How do you know this? Professor: I sneak into your rooms at night.

Mr. T, oh, that sounds like the guy on that stupid show. Doo do doo do, A-Team! I’m sorry, I think I got an electric jolt of something. Oh well. What’s class without a little entertainment?

Am I bothering you guys? I hope so. This is how a newsroom is. It’s a boys club out there. If you can talk about golf, scratch your nuts and be one of the guys you don’t have to do anything!

Most people who start to have sex don’t stop. It’s hard enough to put down the potato chips! Journalism requires outrage. I’m not talking Liberal or Conservative or whatever, just outrage against everybody else’s bullshit!

Snuggling Ice skating Staying inside (because winter is evil) Hockey

Your quizzes aren’t graded, I’m sorry. I hate myself. There are reasons though! I forgot my wife’s birthday. Um. And then. Well. I don’t know where that story was going. Pay no attention to Grandpa Simpson, kids. I’ll probably just start sleeping now. Welcome to the CCSU Retirement Castle!...Seriously though, someone say something. I feel crazy. I’m just surprised I shared that information. I must have been drinking more that morning… Well, that’ll get around. Look, we’re all unstable. That’s doesn’t count as an excuse anymore. If you get 500,000 people together there’s just bound to be three old dudes about to croak and three women about to give birth.

PHOTOS: Chalkboard: Piotr Lewandowski

If you’re getting paid $3.5 million a year not to fuck up the storm, don’t fuck up the storm!

Drinking hot cocoa by the fire

PHOTOS: Blue Devil: Kasey Gordon; Curler: Peter Roffey, Pucky: http://bristolkids.wordpress.com

Do you think Joe Sixpack or Mrs. Sixpack cares who sponsored this debate? No one cares!

Cheesecake-eating

Skiing Snowboarding (when I don’t fall on my ass) The luge during the Olympics Extreme windshield ice-scraping The “Sweep! Sweep!” game in the Olympics (curling) Cocoa-drinking (in an athletic fashion) Chasing my cats away from the fire place (for their safety and the safety of others—no one needs a flaming hairball)


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REGISTRATION

MADNESS

PARKING SUCKS… NOT! by Larry Clark

by Larry Clark

I happen to live in the student center. All my friends hang there, the club offices are there, And being involved just sucks all your time into that relatively small building. Anyways, being in the lovely building that it is, I know a lot of commuters and tend to hear their moans and gripes. “I had to spend 40 minutes just to find a parking space,” or, “I had to park all the way on top of Copernicus today,” or lastly, “There’s not enough parking.” It gets annoying to say the least.

Every semester, A wonderful time rolls around. People start pulling their hairs out, type and click feverishly on their computers, tears pour from eyes, And the calls to departments increase. Oh yes, it’s registration time yet again. For some reason, the best thing to do just a month or so before the hell that is known as finals: is to throw students into the maddening state of stress that is registration. Because college students aren’t stressed as it is.

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First, we all know parking isn’t the most magnificent situation on campus, so plan ahead. If you’re late to class because you couldn’t find a parking spot, maybe you need to get on campus earlier so you can find one. If you find a spot quickly you won’t have to worry about being late because you can chill, get a coffee, or even study before class.

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Second, don’t be lazy. Just because you couldn’t get the closest spot in the student center lot, or garage, or even Welte doesn’t mean that there’s no parking. It means that there’s no parking that you would like to walk from, And let me tell you something: there’s a difference.

PHOTOS, ARTWORK: Kasey Gordon

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Lastly, park in Copernicus; it’s an underutilized parking space area and if you don’t like parking there because it’s too confusing and far away from your classes remember tip number two. Now go off, be free, And park with joy.

PHOTOS: Girl: John DeBoer; Computer: uncyclopedia.com

However unlike my usual article I am not here to complain. I have the solution! And it comes in three easy steps.

Every semester, registration seems to get worse and worse. The crazy schemes created by this campus for registration are ridiculous. First of all, college students are stressed beyond belief! Then, who thought, “Oh, I know what we should do! Let’s make kids talk to professors who may or may not know shit about the proper course for their students and call them ‘advisors’.” The worst part is the waiting! You wait for your time slot to register like a kid for Christmas, except the truth is, it’s more like those Black Friday mobs. Everyone waits for that golden time when they can register, And then they all rush for whatever few classes are left until the university thinks you’ve put enough blood, sweat and tears into their establishment, so that you can get the privilege to register first. OH! but it’s not like that matters, because by then you’re ready to get out of this “educational establishment.” And that’s just if you’ve figured out what classes you want to take already; if you’re still confused and undecided on what you should take, you typically end up wandering around aimlessly looking up classes on the course catalogues (which are a bitch to find; whoever runs the website really should put those in a more convenient place) hoping that the class which seems most

interesting and useful isn’t taken. That’s not even mentioning the science classes and University Hour. God forbid those actually work together! First of all, who EVER thought, “Let’s take an hour (that’s really an hour and a half) and make sure that NO ONE has classes.” It’s just dumb; have you tried to get lunch at that time? It’s like waiting for a new Harry Potter book (hope you brought your Snuggie). If they really wanted there to be this University Hour the science labs and math classes wouldn’t interfere with it. I’m sick of all my friends getting out of class promptly at 3:05 while I have to wait here another 15 minutes for my teacher to ramble on about calculus when all I want to do is get a sandwich from Devil’s Den and chill. Furthermore, why can’t the science and math classes mesh with anything? Trying to fit a gen-ed in with pure math and science classes is like trying to fit the square block into the circular hole, you’ve just got to hope you can make it happen. Of course, none of this even mentions the endless overrides people need, And the fact that the computer system crashed during freshmen registration this past semester. It feels as if registration is just another way for The University to force students here to take that extra year or year and a half we all know we’ll end up staying here for.


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THE

SECOND

TIME

I ALMOST GOT MUGGED ON A SCHOOL TRIP

THE LIBERTARIAN’S CORNER

by Jess Dean

by Aiden Kay Note from the author: I’m a Libertarian. My views will become apparent in a few minutes. Before you decide to disregard everything I say as racist/bigoted/confused/uneducated/closed-minded without actually researching my views or using a higher order of thinking, please turn that view onto yourself.

I suppose the moral is to stop making yourself the victim. Stop feeling bad for yourself. You’re human, And they’re humans and everyone is wrong and everyone is right. The system is not out to get you. That’s called paranoia. Sometimes you have to fight harder and your genitals are not that important in the whole process.

This is what an Individualist looks like.

THAT’S what someone who believes in human rights and equality of opportunity for everyone looks like.

I seem to have bad luck with field trips. This morning I went on a field trip to The New Britain Library for a walking tour of the surrounding town. It was pouring rain and there was construction work, making me a few minutes late. When I got to the library I didn’t see anyone so I decided I would walk around the outside of the library to try and spot my class. As I came around the front of the building two men approached me, wearing all black with the hoods of their huge sweatshirts pulled down over most of their faces. As I got closer to them on the sidewalk I moved to the side so they could pass. One of them moved with me as if he wanted to pass on either side of me and the other started to reach out his hand. All I had on me was my purse and keys. Just before I met them on the sidewalk I veered left and ran to a side door of the library. I looked over my shoulder and they were staring at me but they turned when I looked. I looked back again and they were still there, even on the third glance. I went through the door and there was my class. I have learned my lesson; I will never walk alone in New Britain again. I can’t help but think that some of my other field trip experiences were nothing but bad luck.

Ahhh, feminism. Shall we discuss a little bit? Okay. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

What frustrates me MORE than injustice is when people scream “injustice” when they really mean “I’m too quiet/weak/scared/ don’t-want-to-work-harder to call out this shit for myself in real life so I’m going to scream ‘injustice’ and make it look like discrimination.” No. Sometimes, it’s not discrimination. We’ve all heard the whole “Women get paid $0.75 to a man’s dollar” schpeel. How about the “Oh, what’s that? Maternity leave? Not asking?” response. Where’s that? Why is that less important? Because it is an explanation to a threat that shouldn’t even exist? Men are more likely to ask for a raise. Here, I’m citing every goddamn search engine response for “Men are more likely to ask for a raise.” Also NPR. What happened to equality of opportunity? What happened to working harder than the other guy in order to get what you want? What happened to competition?

Creationists often argue that we’re not looking at things correctly, or the government is not doing it right, or there’s a conspiracy going on, or scream of injustice. Y’know. You’ve seen it.

It was the chorus Broadway field trip and all of the students were excited. Most of us had never been to Broadway before and we were standing just outside the doors to a famous theater waiting for them to open. I was standing on the edge of the group of students talking to my best friend when a guy

Now let’s talk about Occupy Wall Street. We can argue about what the movement was, but with signs like “DESTROY CAPITALISM,” the answer is fairly simple – socialism or communism. Marx believed that socialism was only a movement prior to the completion of communism. So instead of using the softer word for what OWS wants to complete, we’re going to use the truer word. In the hands of communism lies blood of millions, famine, And oppression the likes of which none of the smartphonecarrying, have-read-the-first-line-of-The-Communist-Manifestoand-think-they-understand-the-world humans have ever even imagined. If they picked up a history book or two, they’d see it (Gulag Archipelago to easily name one), but would they really get it, understand the fundamental flaws, understand how everything ever has given them evidence to the contrary and yet they still believe in something that has no basis in reality? And yet there they are condemning all those who believe in Creationism for being stupid.

In eighth grade every student was excited for our trip to Washington D.C.. On the first night of the trip all the students were looking forward to going to the Hard Rock Café. To get there though we had to walk from the monument we had been learning about. At one of the corners we had to pass there were two men laying on the edge of the street on a manhole cover. The teachers had us walk single file against the building, putting themselves between the men and us. No sooner had my group gotten to the corner than one of the guys sat up and pulled a gun on the other, who happened to be directly in front of us. The guy began screaming “Don’t you move, don’t you F’ing move!” The teacher who was with our group threw her arms out and pushed all of us into the wall. The man without the gun said “Okay” and the other one laid back down with a “That’s what I thought.” The rest of our group ran past the men. The week seemed to go by pretty smoothly after that. Only one student had to go to the hospital and another got sent home… so when my watch went missing from my room I didn’t really think it was worth complaining about. After we had gone home the grade was brought together to talk about our traumatizing experiences only to find out that all of the watches on our floor had mysteriously gone missing. I don’t know why I continue going on field trips.

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PHOTO,: Rabi Samuel

I am NOT saying that sexism doesn’t exist. That’d be fucking stupid. What I AM saying is that before claiming you’ve been discriminated against it’s important and necessary to think about whether you’re ACTUALLY being discriminated against, or if your own biases hinder your view on a negative situation. It’s important to think before acting because if you find that something is a mistake, or the fault is on your end, you’ve probably caused more problems than you meant to.

What do you think about Creationism? I bet like the majority of the rational humans you feel that it is not only “out there” but has thousands upon thousands of evidence supporting evolution. It can be something complicated – like evidence of everything in space accelerating outward – or something totally simple. Like dinosaurs.

PHOTO,: dailyslope.com

There are very few things that frustrate me more than injustice. As kids, we would scream “That’s not fair,” but as grown-ups we found this fancy word worked much more to our liking. Chant “injustice” and you might get some supporters. Scream “That’s not fair!” and all you’ll get is a condescending glance and a “The world’s not fair.” Fuck that.

walked up, grabbed my hand, And tried to take off my ring. Lucky for me my rings fit tightly so he couldn’t take them and even luckier there was a vigilant science teacher standing nearby. The science teacher was holding a newspaper and when he saw what was going on he whacked the would-be ring thief on the back of the head. The guy was so startled he ran away. My field trip experiences only got worse from there.

offcentermagazine@yahoo.com!


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at the In-Laws’

by Alan E. Zoll The first thing you smell when you walk into my in-laws’ house at Thanksgiving is dog urine. Not the traditional seasonal smells of turkey roasting in the oven or pine logs crackling in a hearth, but the tangy, pungent sourness of aged dog relief. The next thing that hits you is the heat – a breath-sucking metallic blast of forced air bellowing from an archaic asbestos-sheathed furnace like some colossal version of a restroom hand-dryer. My in-laws keep their thermostat at a balmy eighty degrees on holidays such as this, fearing that despite the dozens of closely packed bodies and the kitchen oven going full bore, the constant opening and closing of the front door will let all the heat escape into the chilly November air. This house is a wonder to me, And not just for how it is run. It’s the house my wife grew up in, the house where her grandparents died – literally. It’s the house we announced our engagement in, the house in which her parents did the same. But there are times when I just feel like someone should put it out of its misery.

Ahead of me the more senior (and decidedly more distant) relations are starting to herd further in, caught in that human greeting staple of simply stopping at the first person you meet, oblivious to the queue growing behind you. I take one step, make an attempt at a half-step more, And now the screen door is squeakily inching to a close on my back. That’s okay, I’ll just stand here and relish the moldings, the ones my father-in-law cleans with Windex. When my wife and I first married I was always in the background at family gatherings such as these. I was “the other half,” as in “the guy who came with Leslie.” Now that we’ve been married for ten years and have produced two children, I’m just “the guy who drove us here.” Amazingly this house still maintains what would be referred to, in days gone by, As a parlor – a receiving room of sorts. This room, Adorned with a mismatch collection of family photos, volumes of unused encyclopedias, A child’s plastic grand piano, And various bowling trophies, is a contrast of generations. The floor heaves and creaks beneath the timestained, sun-bleached, salmon-colored carpeting, both victims of a compounded regardless traffic that three generations of family have doled out. The matching floral-print loveseats, more recent purchases in an attempt to update and enliven the décor, look at once both unused and uninviting.

PHOTO: shutterstock.com

Twelve Hall Street was built in the 1920s and, As it was the only dwelling in the area, the street it resides on actually took on the family name. How it became 12 and not 1 is as confounding as its architectural, shall we say…nuances? The story goes that my wife’s grandfather was in the process of building the house with a guy who actually knew what he was doing, but a disagreement arose, An argument ensued, And ways were parted, the house half built. Her grandfather, the late “Homer” Hall, took it upon himself to finish the house alone which, As my mother-in-law is fond of pointing out, is why there is a window in the closet. The house looks fine from the outside, the aluminum siding added in the 1980s still holding up against the usual wear and tear of New England seasons, but as with anything it’s what you find on the inside that reveals the true story.

On this particular Thanksgiving, I have yet to make it fully inside. I unwisely stood back to allow more senior members of the extended family to navigate the treacherously rain-sodden porch steps ahead of me, A weakly offered hand extended as if to say, “Here, let me help you,” while really thinking, “Please don’t fall on me.” So I stand stuck in the front door jamb, the unnatural heat and all-too natural odors ahead of me, the by-comparison refreshing freedom of impending winter behind. The screen door is one of those tell-tale signature traits of my beloved septuagenarian father-in-law, Russell Alan Hall, “Russ” to his friends, of whom few sadly remain. A former Stanley Works machinist turned security guard, now a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none, he always feels the need to lock this paper-thin screen door against imagined would-be intruders. As a result of this incessant locking, And the ensuing yanking and tugging by frustrated relatives, the latch catches at every turn and the encasement is starting to literally rip from its frame.

PHOTO: shutterstock.com

THANKSGIVING

Here a confluence of relatives has me in a holding pattern and questioning my options. Do I stay the course and await the inevitable momentary half-hugs and dry powdery cheek-kissing, stooping to take a proffered hand as if receiving a venerable audience with secular nobility? Or do I flee? Can I flee? My wife and children, much more at home and at ease than I, have already joined the thronging mass. There’s a door to my right. Through it I can circumnavigate the entire lineup-cum-mashup that this family gathering is rapidly deteriorating into. But what if my sudden disappearance gets noticed? What if the door’s ancient oil-thirsty hinges give me away? Who am I kidding, no one misses “the guy who drives the car” until it’s time to leave. I turn the tremulous dented metal knob, its accompanying skeleton key probably long since disappeared down a vacuous heating vent, And step into relative silence, A muted tranquility – the “rec room.” I guess that’s what people call a room they “rec” over the course of decades, hording massive quantities of knickknacks, tag-sale throwaways, And outright crap. This room has an odd past though, having served as everything from my wife’s childhood bedroom to a makeshift infirmary where her grandmother spent her last agonizing cancer-stricken days. I take in my surroundings, visually bombarded with stacks of obscure hobbyist magazines, rows of assorted and as-oflate-unused fishing poles, A treadmill employed as a clothes hanger, A ridiculously outdated computer whose monitor is bigger than a microwave, two unlabelled gallon sized jugs of water (no idea), decks of cards no doubt missing a Jack of spades here, A three of diamonds there, And then…there it was. The odiferous source of my first impression upon entering this humble abode. There, unoccupied, but just as flea-ridden and urine-soaked, was a dog cage. Rocky. My in-laws’ ever-increasingly annoying yippy little black cockapoo.

My in-laws must have taken doggie training tactics from the Keebler Elves because every time Rocky is in the throes of his incessant yip-yip-yipping they quiet him with “a treat;” a reward, if looked at another way. This treat was usually whatever was handy at the time, And with my in-laws both tipping the scales well over the two-hundred-pound mark, that was usually something sweet. Rocky was no dummy; like a rat to cheese he had quickly learned “Barking = Snack.” But where was old Rocks? His yipping would be all-pervading and its absence hit me perversely as the only thing missing from this deleterious mess. I could hear the din from the receiving room now spilling into the living room, becoming an amorphous cacophony. I decide I’ll head through the kitchen, A quick bolt past the cooks (my martyr of a sister-in-law and my woe-is-me mother-in-law), And continue on to the relative reclusion of the back porch. I take the second door the “rec” room has to offer, feeling much like Alice in her rabbit hole, not knowing what it might hold but knowing it was not safe to simply stay here, And find myself at the bathroom. The door to the bathroom was closed, but I knew it would never again lock. My nephew, At the age of three, had used the domicile’s one remaining skeleton key to lock himself in said bathroom, setting in motion a panic-stricken-if-retrospectively-hilarious chain of events that had my father-in-law passing a hand-drawn diagram under the door on how to unlock the retrograde apparatus and the child’s mother on a step stool at the window trying to figure how to remove the screen from the outside. The result was a broken latch and a door that offered only as much privacy as the occupant’s fully extended leg and subsequently braced foot could secure. With nature not calling at this particular moment, I take a door that brings me smack into the calamitous frenzy that is a holiday kitchen only to be immediately greeted by none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, the Jeffrey Hunter version anyway – resplendent in red and white robes,


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his thorny crown no longer adorning His blonde (?) locks, but encircling His exposed heart, which is bleeding for me – for all of us – His hand raised as if granting salvation or just saying “Hey,” a radiant glow of heavenly light seemingly rising from some unseen origin behind the very divinity of His being, engulfing the top of the commemorative plate on which He hangs against my in-laws’ kitchen cabinet. Hey JC. Thanksgiving. You know the deal. Just heading for the porch. We’ll be sure to give You thanks later before we eat. For some reason, perhaps my father having been in the seminary at one time or the ten years of Catholic school, but I am always asked to say grace at holiday feasts. Maybe it was my in-law’s way of including me, but I think it was simply because I was the only one who remembered the words. Here the smells of the feast’s preparation were able to snuff out the less pleasant smells of the household. I take a cautious step further into the kitchen. The nefarious Rocky had a habit of leaving little puddles of surprise on the warped and worn linoleum. Nothing like stretching the old hamstrings by sliding an entire yard in a pool of dog pee before sitting down to a holiday meal. There was no newspaper to be seen, that was a plus, but one still had to be careful. And where was old Rocks anyway? I grabbed the enormous handle to the backdoor, forcing the ancient key bolt open with a twist of my thumb and wrenching the old wooden port from its steamstuck framework with a paint-on-paint scrape that made every head turn and every shoulder flinch. Sorry, just getting some air, you know…Thanksgiving.

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free-flowing Y T I L I T S O H

entirely. I was sure that later my mother-in-law would not-sodelicately remind him never to do that again. I pulled up one of the dirt-streaked plastic lawn chairs, its legs screeching on the chipped paint and near rotted boards of the back porch, And sat down next to Rocky, tugging him closer to my leg, Away from the light gusts of rain, his leash a cold hard restraint of rubber encased wire affixed haphazardly to a side rail. “I guess it’s just you and me, Rocks,” I say, rubbing his matted wet mane, “We’re just going to have to make do.” I look out over the clover and crab-grass covered back yard, yellowing and patchy now as winter approaches. I look down at Rocky, huddled and trembling against my pant leg and wonder which of us will be missed first.

THE WORTH OF A COLLEGE DEGREE So you’re in college. You want an education—or rather a degree—so you can get a job—or rather a salary that will get you a better house, faster car, And longer vacation. You take out some loans, you buy some books, And you spend four or six or ten years with “student” as your occupation on Facebook.

I step out onto the back porch, sucking the cold air inside me, leaning out just enough to let the autumnal drizzle dampen my hair, the back of my neck, the tops of my ears. I’m free, is all I have time to think before I hear: “Yip!”

PHOTO: easternjourneys.com

“Did they forget about you, Rocks?” I mutter. He dipped his nose in answer, As if trying to make peace with the one person in this house who was always telling him to just shut it for Chrissake. My father-in-law must have put him out here when people began to arrive then forgotten about him

PHOTO: Charlie Balch

You have got to be kidding me. There amongst the puddles on the porch was Rocky, that pain-in-the-ass cockapoo, shivering in the November rain. Now I had a dog growing up – Snoopy, seventeen years, never one to break a companionable silence. I took one look in those little dog eyes and all my animosity, All my resentment, melted away.

Then you graduate. You’re a grownup! Thing is—you quickly realize—you have no fucking clue how to operate in the real world. You have a degree, but don’t know how to write the resume or cover letter you’re supposed to mention it in; you want to get a house, but you don’t even know how to read a lease critically, let alone what it means to take out a mortgage. You have to start paying loans, but you don’t know what accruing interest means; you want to get married, but you’ve never considered the social, political, or economic implications of such a union. Besides all that, you don’t know how to pay taxes together or where the money goes or what rights you give away or get by being a married person. Who comes up with these damn laws anyway? Why is Walmart the only place you can afford to shop? What’s a budget and how can you make one work? What’s a 401(k) and why does your potential employer hope you don’t mind having one? What’s a credit score and why does yours stand between you and the apartment you wanted? Why should you bother voting when you’re one in a zillion ballots? Why do you need car insurance to drive, And how are you supposed to GET health insurance, And what happens if you don’t have either?

The thing is—you realize as you start applying to retail jobs instead of career jobs and begin packing up to move back with your parents— YOU DON’T KNOW. You don’t know a damn thing about the damn world, And you’re not so sure you even belong in it anymore. You’re clueless. Where did you go wrong??? COLLEGE. Isn’t it weird that you’re required to learn a foreign language that you will never use, but not required to take a single class explaining the economy that determines the value of the dollars this degree supposedly earns you? Isn’t it odd that you’re encouraged to work in groups of slackers in class to research social problems, but are not once encouraged to consider what changes to policies or laws might actually benefit homeless or elderly or plain old poor people? Isn’t it frustrating that the first two thirds of your college career are dedicated to taking courses that you already went through at least once in high school—BUT YOU NEVER LEARN ANY OF THE SKILLS YOU ACTUALLY NEED TO SUCCEED IN THE WORLD??? You don’t need to know what a metamorphic rock is to exist in the real world, but you damn well better know how the legal system works and why the stock market matters if you want to be taken seriously. How did you manage to get through four or six or ten years of college without ever learning the crap that matters??? The college wants your money; it doesn’t give a crap what you take out of the relationship. Here’s the fucked up part: NEITHER DO YOU. You pay your tuition and you pass your classes and you check courses off your degree evaluation and you NEVER THINK ABOUT WHAT IT’S NOT GETTING YOU because nobody’s telling you to think. Well here it is, kids: FUCKING THINK FOR YOURSELVES ALREADY. You’re working for this degree—MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU. Take a couple classes that will at least enable you to read a newspaper properly. Having a degree doesn’t make you stand out anymore, And the one you’ll earn through your checklist isn’t going to do a damn thing for you. Your DEGREE isn’t worth shit—your EDUCATION is, And only YOU can make it a well-rounded one worth anything, because the college DOES NOT CARE.

What ticks YOU off? Let us know!

HOSTILITY to us at: offcentermagazine@yahoo.com! Submit your free-flowing


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15

Frank Warren:

The Man of a Million Secrets

by Jackie Hennessey Ever since I was in middle school I could tell you the zip code to Germantown, Maryland. I keep telling myself that one day this useless knowledge will come in handy, though it has yet to prove itself so. 20874. No, I never lived there, nor did I have relatives or friends that did. In fact, even today, I only know of one person who lives in Maryland. His name is Frank Warren— and he knows all my secrets. Frank Warren started what some people may recognize as the “PostSecret Project” seven years ago. He sent out invitations to people, urging them to anonymously write a message on a four by six postcard and send it to him, hoping to bring a sense of relief to those burdened by their secrets. Frank had no clue as to what he had created at the time of the project’s conception. After seven years, five books, And over half a million postcards from around the world, Frank Warren has become somewhat of an expert on the subject of secrets. In addition to posting his “Sunday Secrets” each week, he has been touring the United States to speak of the famous PostSecret Project and providing an outlet for those keeping secrets. This November, he presented at Western Connecticut State University. While his supportive wife’s only complaint is that they may never move from their Germantown home, Frank’s mother has a different perspective on the PostSecret Project. She calls the idea of it “diabolical,” which Frank seemed surprisingly understanding about. “Secrets can be complicated,” he said. He pulled out his cell phone and went into his voicemail. Holding his phone to the microphone clipped to his shirt, he played a message from his mother, refusing his offer of free copies of the new book for “personal reasons.” Frank spoke of his mother in an apathetic manner as he displayed photos he has received of broken bedroom doors and messages of secret abuse. “Growing up,” Frank admit, “I had one of these doors.”

My Time in the

Military

Next, A daughter rose to confess a secret to her mother in the audience: that she had been harming herself and wanted help. Each secret was powerful in deliverance, And clearly impacted the hushed auditorium. When the speakers were done, Frank thanked everyone for coming and supporting his mission, stating, “Your voice is the power of PostSecret.”

by Alexander Prague

In the past few weeks, I’ve been called many names: hateful ones, from baby killer to murderer, And others like trainee and soldier. Recently I enlisted into the military; specifically, the Army National Guard. The first question most of my friends and family asked me was, “What made you join the military?” There is a simple yet complicated answer. The complicated answer is: I’ve wanted to since I was 16 and I was dating someone who would talk me out of it when I brought it up, And there were some points where she would get upset and cry about it until I reconsidered. I obviously put it off and gave up on it, then we broke up about a year ago and I was talking to a friend of mine who was enlisting in the National Guard herself. It gave me a kind of resurgence of desire to join again. When I got back to school, I went and talked to people in the Veterans Affairs (VA) office on campus and was put in contact with a recruiter for the National Guard and thus my military career was started.

After the presentation, the majority of the theatre lined up in the lobby to meet Frank. My close friend and I stood behind at least two hundred people, but made the most of our time by chatting with other weekly PostSecret-readers. Across the hall from where I stood in line, A young girl I recognized as one of the speakers at the microphone was crying on her cell phone. “I did it,” I overheard her say; “I’ve never been so relieved in my life.” Our books signed, photos taken, And addressed blank postcards received, my friend and I left the theatre with a lot to think about. The drive back to Central was unusually quiet, And I got lost in the idea of the power that expressing one’s secret can provide. We stopped for a late dinner and discussed the event over quesadillas and seasoned fries as I contemplated telling my friend something not even Frank knows. I decided against it, not wanting to bring down the mood of the good night spent together, but realized the truth in something Frank had said during the event: “Sometimes when we think we’re keeping a secret, that secret is actually keeping us.” As we got up to leave the restaurant, I tucked the postcard Frank gave me in between the seat cushions, no longer blank.

PHOTO: Jackie Hennessey

PostSecret works in collaboration with Hopeline, A suicide hotline, As well as other suicide-prevention organizations. Frank stresses the importance of these organizations, but also the life events that bring us to them. If given the choice, Frank said he would always choose to relive the painful life experiences he has gone through, because these events make you who you truly are. “But by sharing our secrets,” Frank said, “we can save lives.”

After his presentation, Frank instructed two ushers to bring out microphone stands. With one in the left aisle and one in the right, people began to line up, silently. The secrets shared over the microphone that night were as diverse and unique as their speakers. A brown-haired girl in a sundress stepped up first, “I got my nipples pierced and no one knows.” The audience laughed and Frank commented that not all secrets are dark or heartbreaking. “In fact,” he said, “the most commonly received secret is ‘I pee in the shower.’” Another girl rose and said, “My sister doesn’t know that she has saved my life.” When she returned to her seat, her crying sister kissed her cheek and embraced her.

My experiences so far have been very little, but what do you expect from having been in for like two months? First off, After I was put in contact with a recruiter I met with him and a few other people from the National Guard base when they came to the campus for weapons demonstrations. I talked to him for a while and set up a time in the next week to come to his office to sign some paperwork and take the ASVAB, which stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The following Tuesday I got a call from my recruiter asking me to finish my

application for the military and other such stuff. After finishing the application I called him and he told me that I was going up to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station); which, As the name implies, is a center where they see if you qualify for military service. The people who work there have one job and that’s to find some sort of fault so you can’t join the military. I was actually advised by my recruiter to just say no to every question they asked. At MEPS I was woken up at 4:45 am, And then they put us all on a bus, And brought us to the dining hall to get breakfast. At about 6:30 am they took us to the actual facility, And they had us check in. They did a full medical physical, A drug test, And vision test in the medical wing. After I passed all these tests, I was put in a room with the rest of the people who were up at the facility that day, And made to sit around. After about two hours of sitting around I was called into the liaison office for the National Guard, where they went over what my contract was going to say and then had me sign more paperwork than is probably necessary. The entire process up at MEPS usually takes till about 5pm, but luckily we were only there till 2:30 pm because even though our group was 15-20 people, this was considered a relatively small group for the day. This is all for now. I plan to make this a multipart story as I experience more of what being a service member of the United States Army National Guard is like.


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17

SQUIRREL STORIES! Let’s face it, everyone has one...

by Jen Glifort by Michael McClellan

Starting middle school was a scary ordeal for me. My elementary school was just behind my backyard. I could roll out of bed five minutes before class, scramble up the hill, through the gate, And I was there—talk about an ideal commute. Plus, I knew everyone there—I was on a first-name basis with the cafeteria ladies and a daily-high-five-basis with the crossing guard (did I mention my supreme level of childhood awesomeness?). Getting to the middle school meant being torn from the comfort of my 90-second commute and dragging myself to the bus stop at six in the freezing Connecticut morning, then waiting for the bus alone until the other kids showed up (I lived in perpetual fear of missing the bus, And got there half an hour early every day).

Imagine yourself in a doctor’s office. Weird things have been happening to your body of late, And you’ve finally given up on home remedies and have decided to let a licensed professional figure it out. What’s the worst that it could be? Cancer? AIDS? Leprosy? Something new your doctor will be able to name after you (or himself)? You get somewhat nervous, especially when he has to shove an optical fiber down your nose to peer at your voicebox. Does this chronic cough mean I have throat cancer? Throat AIDS? Throat leprosy? Just tell me already!

“Pfft, you’re only coughing. It’s not like you’re dying of no immune system or body parts falling off or growing without restriction.” At least, that’s what I imagine people saying. It almost seems made up. When I tell people I can’t eat something because of acid reflux, to me it feels like all those vegans and vegetarians going on about how they don’t eat meat, And I’m reminded of how I just want to shove their faces into a freshly seared steak. But I have a medical reason… almost. It just feels so stupid saying, “I have acid reflux.” Well, whoop-dee-shit. But the cough is really obnoxious…

Maybe I shouldn’t say I waited “alone.” I did have one semi-neurotic companion—the neighborhood albino squirrel. What, you didn’t have one? Just that sex offender around the corner and the guy who sat on his stoop to yell at pigeons? In that case, I’m sorry for you, because an albino squirrel really brings the look of a cul-de-sac together, like throw pillows or potpourri. At the bus stop, he would sit on the branches above my head and jabber at me in the special click-language known only to squirrels. I suspect he was after my bowl of oatmeal, which I routinely forgot to put down in the kitchen before staggering

At any rate, pills and managing my diet have started to suppress the cough, which is a good sign. Hopefully I can get this under control and maybe even make it go away. That way I can once again indulge in the spicy or acidic or fatty or chocolate foods that Sodexo seems to be so fond of. And though it may not be cancer or AIDS or leprosy, it’s certainly an annoyance, And it needs to pack up its bags and move out, like the anthropomorphic phlegm in the Mucinex commercials. Until that time, I get to look forward to bland, bland, And more bland. Yay!

Eventually, my genetically unique friend started meeting me there. I left the house knowing I wouldn’t be all by my ten-year-old self when I got to the bus stop. I’d talk to him to pass the time. I told my mom about him (again, supreme cool levels that were very advanced for my age). He watched me with his tiny red eyes as I stomped around to try and get warm, then when he judged it safe to come within smushing range, he’d gallop and prance around in circles. To this day, I still swear I heard him tittering in the bushes that one time I threw chunks of my Fruit Loops milkand-cereal bar at the local bully’s head because he made fun of my sister. Our interspecies buddy story went on for years. And then one day he was gone. I waited for days, looking around for any signs of bushy tail and listening for machine-gun chatter coming from the tree branch. I even walked the nearby streets checking for any signs of white, fuzzy roadkill-pancakes. Nothing. I like to think that he met an albino girl-squirrel and started a happily mutated family, or joined a chic, Euro-circus to show off his sleek coat (he was very proud of being different, I could tell). Either way, I’m grateful for the time he spent clicking at me on those chilly, lonely mornings and I hope that wherever he is, he’s happy.

Got a squirrel story you want to share? Send it to

OFFCENTERMAGAZINE@YAHOO.COM!

ARTWORK: Kasey Gordon

But people have so far been understanding, being empathetic and sympathetic and graciously working around it. Except for the fuckers at Sodexo (you were expecting this, weren’t you, dear reader?). I love a good tomato sauce as much as anybody, but seeing as I can’t eat tomatoes now (they’re acidic – VERY acidic), maybe you could, say, NOT serve only pasta with red sauce for lunch? As much as I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, there are only so many meals in a row where I want to eat one. And do you have to put red peppers in every single vegetable?

Carrots don’t need red peppers! Broccoli doesn’t need red peppers! Corn doesn’t need red peppers (and while we’re at it, you need to get some better corn, because the shit you serve is the blandest corn I have ever eaten)! I used to just complain about this because it was stupid, but now I actually have a medical reason not to want tiny spicy things littered all over my food, making themselves difficult to remove. I realize your main thing is prisons, Sodexo, but maybe, just maybe, you could consider not treating CCSU like a prison and actually serving real food for once. Nachos are not food. A baked potato bar is not food. Just give me some options here!

ARTWORK: Kasey Gordon

Acid reflux. Well, it’s not cancer, it’s not AIDS, And it’s certainly not leprosy. I mean, it’s just acid reflux. It’s almost a wimpy condition. “I’ve got something dreadfully wrong with me.” “Oh my! Is it cancer? AIDS? Leprosy?” “Nope, Acid reflux.” “Oh. What a pussy.” But this pussy condition means that I can’t eat anything acidic, spicy, very fatty, chocolate, or caffeinated. Otherwise I get this really obnoxious cough. I know, isn’t that such a pussy symptom?

sleepily out of the house. Whatever his reasons were for hanging around the corner of South and Mohawk, I was glad to have the company.

Next month, we’ll be printing the collected stories of CCSU students!


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19

INDIE

WORLD POLITICS BEAT

MOVIE REVIEWS

by Michael McClellan

by Michael McClellan

Ding dong, Kim Jong-il’s dead. And good riddance – what a nut job. With him out of the way, his son, Kim Jong-un, will be taking over as Supreme Leader of North Korea. There are really two possibilities from here: either this has knocked some sense into North Korea and we may see a Korean reunification in the near future, or Kim Jong-un is going to go batshit crazy and start throwing missiles all over the place. If the former occurs, All to the good; if the latter, hopefully North Korea can be restrained, but we had nonetheless best be on our guard. North Korea is going to be unstable for a while, And we need to keep a close eye on it. Our other end of the year death is Christopher Hitchens, A noted atheist and writer. He was a figure of personal inspiration to myself, but he also stirred up an enormous amount of controversy with his unorthodox views, such as his dislike of Gandhi and Mother Theresa, And his support of the war in Iraq. The world only sees people like Mr. Hitchens very rarely; he shall be missed.

tlers. While I can see that both Mr. Erdogan and the French parliament have a point, I think that, given the current state of the European Union, Turkey and France need to settle their differences. During all this time that North America and Europe have been suffering through a recession, Turkey has been doing fine. In fact, Turkey’s economy has been growing. In addition, Turkey’s stable, secular government has not suffered from any Arab Spring uprisings so prevalent in its southern neighbors. If Turkey were to accede to the European Union, Europe might be saved. Turkey’s economic might would help to relieve the burden of rescuing the euro from Germany’s shoulders. Turkey’s economy would perhaps be slowed by this, but Europe as a whole would be able to move past the crisis. So France, please let Turkey join the European Union – it would be an immense boon. And who knows, maybe once Turkey has acceded, you can make it declare whatever you want about the Armenian genocide – it’s a winwin!

Melancholia

Perhaps the most anticipated independent film this year, it has the dubious honor of being the worst. Sometimes it boggles me how critics can laud terrible movies, like this one. I think it may be a social disorder that I’ll “lovingly” call 2001: A Space Odyssey syndrome: when a critic doesn’t understand a movie that’s supposed to be “artsy,” they compulsively call it a masterpiece. It was the same deal with Tree of Life earlier this year (sorry, Jessica Chastain, but two hours of jittery hand-held cameras makes me nauseous), And The Social Network last year, And Slumdog Millionaire back in 2008. All of these were movies ranging from crappy to decent, And none of them deserved the heaps of praise, well, heaped on them. Melancholia was cut from the same cloth. From hearing the opening strains of Tristan und Isolde way too many times, to wondering why the hell Kirsten Dunst is getting divorced on her wedding night, the movie just flat out doesn’t make very much sense. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some fine acting and some beautiful imagery here, but the whole idea that the planet Melancholia (which is supposed to have somehow appeared from behind the Sun and will soon be crashing into the Earth) is supposed to represent depression is a rather forced message, And the movie as a whole doesn’t quite work. I give it two out of five stars.

TAKE SHELTER

PHOTO: nasa.gov

In other news, France still hates Turkey. A long-standing opponent of Turkish accession to the European Union, France is now trying to pass legislation to make it a crime to deny that the massacre of Armenians by the Ottomans during World War I was a genocide. This has the Turks rather upset; they have refused to acknowledge the massacre as a genocide since their inception at the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. In response, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan is accusing France itself of genocide; during its colonial occupation of the current northern African country, the indigenous Algerian population was drastically reduced by French set-

One of my favorite things to do is go to the movies. I’m not sure why; I no longer buy popcorn or snacks, And I always smuggle in a bottle of water, so it can’t be the theater food, And nor is it likely the “low, low” price of cinema-going nowadays. Something about sitting in the cavernous darkened room in front of the enormous screen with a couple friends and a host of strangers, sharing a movie for the very first time is just somehow wondrous to me. But for all the wonder it may create, movie-going is frustrating. Ignoring, for now, the outrageous ticket pricing, there is the simple fact that mainstream Hollywood is producing fewer and fewer movies that actually interest me; most of the films I want to see are independently made, And the additional price I pay for that is waiting weeks after the initial “release date” for the film to open in a cinema in Connecticut, if it ever even does. It just boggles my mind that while Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is playing in every theater in the country, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy isn’t even playing in my state. Who the hell would rather pay money to see poorly animated rodents squeaking inanely than what seems to be a brilliantly acted rendition of what is considered one of the best spy novels ever written? What is wrong with people? Anyway, enough of my ranting. On to the reviews.

movies this year, doing wonderfully in each. I hope to see more of her in the future. In all, I’d give this five out of five stars – find this on Netflix or something, And watch it! Now!

This film (which flew in and out of theaters in the blink of an eye), is one of the best films of the year, hands down. If it doesn’t get nominated for some Oscars, someone should be arrested. It’s about a man in the Midwest with wife and child who suddenly starts having nightmares and visions of an unprecedented freak storm. The film follows how this affects the man, his family, his friends, And the relationship between them. As the nightmares become more and more pressing and freakish, the man starts to break down, And everyone starts to think he’s crazy. Curtis Shannon is riveting as the man, convincing you that he really is starting to go insane. Jeff Nichols (the director) ratchets up the suspense, keeping you on the edge of your soda-stained seat and makes you think that you’re starting to lose it as well. The film swells to a powerful, satisfying conclusion, which of course I’ll keep secret; you’ll have to find out for yourself! Jessica Chastain brings in a great supporting role as the wife - one might as well call 2011 the Year of Chastain; she’s been in at least five other

My Week with Marilyn

This is one I was rather excited for, And my expectations were mostly met. Michelle William’s portrayal of Ms. Monroe was spot on, And absolutely deserves an Oscar. My funny bone was tickled to see Emma Watson graduating from Harry Potter into a big girl role, And doing a pretty good job at it, no less. Overall the acting in the movie is fabulous. The set design and costumes are luscious, And the story is just riveting. You’re taken along with this young man and his brief affair with Marilyn Monroe, And it is delightful. I recommend this to everyone, particularly to fans of Ms. Monroe, or old movies in general. I give it five out of five stars.


21

20

OF THE

BEST

SHOWS ON TELEVISION by Vanessa Johnson It can be hard to find good television these days, especially with so many competing shows that are fighting for your attention. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find the real gems. Me, I hate most reality TV, but I love a good comedy or drama. Recently, I came across a show called Parenthood. I know some people watch it or have heard of it, but I’m disappointed that more people don’t know about it. This is truly an excellent hour-long drama that is enjoyable every week. It comes on Tuesday nights at 10pm on NBC…in case you get bored. Please watch. This show is new and if it gets cancelled, I will cry. For days.

texts from last night:

This show also really makes me think because it deals with many issues that may be difficult or unethical. I won’t get into detail in case people actually choose to watch the show (I hate spoilers), but some examples include: when do you tell your son that he has Asperger’s and is different from other children? Is it okay to date your teenage daughter’s English teacher? Should you let your daughter, who is in high school, date someone who is 3 years older than her? Is it okay to sleep with your cousin’s ex if you have real feelings for him or her? Should you stay with a man who is an alcoholic just so your kids can have a father? And the list goes on. Another thing I really like about Parenthood is that it gives me an interesting perspective on how parents deal with their kids. It’s easy for me to watch the show and side with the teenagers just because I was one once. But at the same time, I get the parents’ point of view. I get to see how much they struggle with the decisions they make for their kids. So while I may think, “I’d be so upset if my parents did that to me,” it’s good to see why they are making that decision. This show might help teenagers to understand their parents better. Of course the show is all scripted and some parents might not care about making their kids’ lives a living hell. However, most of the time parents do make certain decisions because they care about us, even if it means we can’t date that boy or go to that party.

CCSU edition compiled by Jen Glifort

(203): This hippie store in New Haven has a crazy cat lady action figure! (860): I HAVE ONE OF THOSE. (203): What. WHAT. And WHAAAAAAAT?! Why haven’t I played with it?! I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS. (860): OH GOD DID I RUIN CHRISTMAS?!?! (860): I’m at new job training and I’m reading a book and texting like a cool kid instead of socializing with the other coworkers. (203): That’s okay, I do the same thing! Awkward work friends are awkward. (860): Exactly! And based on what I’m hearing from other people’s conversations, I would want to stab them in the eye pretty quick if I had to listen to them talk at me. (203): Lol, yeah, we need to lessen the chance of stabbings. (860): That’s how I live my life! Lessening the chance of stabbings!

Also, this is one of the most charming shows I’ve ever watched. I’ve laughed and cried and just had a dopey grin on my face after watching it. It has so many touching moments and so much humorous dialogue that I never want to stop watching! I instantly fell in love with the characters and always wanted to see more when the episodes ended. Not to mention the acting is excellent. It is such a great show and although it deals with some common issues, there are original ones as well. I want to give the writer of this show a hug. So, of course it’s your choice whether or not you want to give this show a try. But, I promise that if you do watch it then you will at least have a laugh or make a connection with a character. And since it’s new, it will be easy to catch up! So go ahead, live and love Parenthood like I do! Another show I recommend that only had 2 seasons (because sadly, it got cancelled) is What About Brian (another review to come? Possibly!). You can watch all of the episodes on Hulu and it is just as fabulous as Parenthood! So…put down the schoolbooks and get TV watching!

(203): I’ll cheer you up! I’ll retweet Oscar Wilde! (860):You’ve got connections! (203): Damn right! Oscar and I go way back. Dorian Gray? My idea.

PHOTO: NBC

Parenthood is about, well, parenthood. It is about the Braverman family and their everyday lives. There are two parents, Zeke and Camille, And four kids, All of whom have their own families because they are the parents going through “Parenthood.” Adam is the oldest, then there’s Sarah, Crosby and Julia. All of the characters are interesting in some way, but not in a forced, cliché way. Adam is a successful businessman who works at a sneaker company. He has a wife, A 15-year-old daughter Haddie and a young son named Max who has Asperger’s. We see how each family member deals with Max’s Asperger’s, which is a pretty unique situation for a television drama. Sarah is a divorced mother with two kids, Amber and Drew. Sarah is the sibling who makes a lot of mistakes and in the beginning of season 1 she moves back home with her parents. Crosby lives the life of a bachelor on a docked boat, until a girl he had a fling with 5 years ago comes back and tells him that they have a 5-year-old son named Jabbar. Julia, the baby of the family, is a lawyer and a worka-holic. Her husband Joel stays at home to take care of their daughter. Although these characters all have their own scripted role in the show, they seem so realistic. They are very close siblings, but of course they have some issues with each other as well as within the families they created for themselves. Crosby usually goes to Adam for advice because he is the older, more independent brother. Sarah also seeks advice from Adam pretty

often because Julia makes her feel like a failure sometimes. They all love each other but they may rely on one family member more than another, which is normal for any family in real life.

PHOTO: digitaltrends.com

ONE

(203): Remember when that puppy bit me? It left a little scar! (1-203): Lol, Awwww, but da puggleface! (203): But the slightly painful scar! (1-203): Psh. You’ll live.

(203): I am fucking stoned (1-203):You lucky bitch. Take some home, take some home! (203): I AM HOME. This is my dad’s, lol (203): Helloooo? Where are you? (1-203): Whoops, just woke up. Sorry dude. PS there’s a parrot whistling the Grinch song somewhere in this house… (860): I miss youuuuuu. I saw your hair from afar but it was not meant to beeeeeeee. (203): I. Just. CAME. DURING SEX! You tried to tell me and I didn’t believe you. So my cooter and I would like to thank you for believing we could achieve this glorious accomplishment. (203): What was that dubstep song you guys were boppin to on Thanksgiving? I can’t find it. It went like bwah bwuj bwuh bwuh bwuhhhhh, Skrillex. (1-203): Uh, “Reptile’s Theme.” Or maybe “Call 911.” (203): Lol, how did you do that? (1-203): Know your bwuhbs. (860): He feels the death of every pen in the universe! That’s why he’s so solemn all the time. (203); That is so sad. And beautiful. And sad. Let’s write a poem about it. (860): CAN WE? Let’s start now! (203): We’ll spread the word of the boy

whose blood runs with ink! (860): Ew. Doesn’t that story exist somewhere? (203): Probably. Might live in Tim Burton’s brain. (860): Sounds about right! (203): I can’t clip my new earring and now I wanna kill everyone. Normal. Birth control. Hormones. Healthy. (860): He’s playing video games while I make breakfast because he’s too Jewish to cook bacon. I love everything, lol (203): That may be the best excuse not to cook ever. (860): Well we’re making French toast or something next time. I’m too redneck to cook that. (203): I think these pills are getting to me. I’m texting everyone. I normally hate the human race. (1-203): Lol, you’re high. Go to bed. (203): I can’t, I keep coming up with the greatest ideas! (1-203): Uhh… (203): I should write a book about the uses of toenails. In case the world ever runs out of resources. What if hair melted like ice cream? And blood was watermelon sherbert. I wish my toes looked like panda cookies. (1-203): Oh my god, sleep. Please. (203): These cookies are so good. I love you. You’re my favorite sister. You were fat and understood my soul.


22

S E M A G ! E G A P

COMING NEXT...

Look for the next Issue just before Spring Break! Here’s what we’ve got in store.

TOP TEN ANNOYING STUDENTS YOU’RE GUARANTEED TO MEET You’ve been reading our rants and ramblings for YEARS! It’s time to put that to the test by figuring out the favorite books of these OCM staff members.

THE GREAT PICKLE DEBATE! (SWEET VS. SOUR) FAREWELL, CENTRAL! AND...

Michael

OVERHEARD IN NEW BRITAIN The craziest things our teachers say!

Jess

CLUB PROFILE: THE “COUCH CRITTERS” CCSU’s Largest Unofficial Student Group

Kasey

Bryce

Larry

Alex

Jackie

All book images are property of their respective publishers.

Jen

ANSWERS: Michael: A Song of Fire and Ice Series, George R.R. Martin; Jess: The Door Into Summer, Robert A. Heinlein; Jen: The Picture of Dorian Gray: Oscar Wilde; Larry: Wicked, Gregory Maguire; Kasey: The Cheese Monkeys, Chip Kidd; Alex: A Dirty Job, Christopher Moore; Bryce: Bone Crossed, Patricia Briggs; Jackie: Impulse, Ellen Hopkins

The 2010-2011 OCM Club and Staff, taken by Matt Mckinzie

Do you want your 15 minutes of fame? Do you love writing, drawing or taking photographs? We’d LOVE for you to submit your stuff to Off-Center Magazine! Speak your mind — because YOUR VOICE COUNTS. Submit your work to offcentermagazine@yahoo.com! Would you rather work behind the scenes? Come to our meetings! Off-Center meets on Tuesdays at 7PM in the 1849 Room in the Student Center. Do you just want to read the magazine? That’s great too! Thanks for your support!



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