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Buying Vintage Clothing Summer Romance Life as a College Intern The Lost Art of Letter Writing Plus: Sports, Dining, Arts, Movie & Music

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Table of Contents Features

the magazine Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Back-to-School 2012 Volume 3, Issue 1

Why to Buy: Vintage and Secondhand Clothing ......................... 6 Summer Romance: Good Idea or Bad Idea?.......................... 14 Life as a College Intern............................................................... 18 The Lost Art of Letter Writing.................................................... 24

Published by Moonstone Studio, LLC Design & Website Pamela K. Marsh Copy Editor Sarah Davis Writers Shannon Beamon Debra Anne Brenner Meghan DeMaria Emily Erdman Lamar Hill Sammi Mandani Qiara McCain Angelica Roman Melissa Nicole Vink Cartoonist Troy Skinner For information or to advertise contact Pam, 919-414-2760 U the Magazine is published by Moonstone Studio, LLC. All editorial contained within is the sole property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of Moonstone Studio, LLC. The publisher accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the writers or advertisers. The opinions of the writers are not necessarily the opinion of Moonstone Studio, LLC.

©2012 Moonstone Studio, LLC


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DEPARTMENTS Dining: Serving Up Delicious Fare................................................20 Arts: Seeing the Positive: The Durham Arts Council...................22 Music: Sell-Out or Stay True..........................................................23 Sports: Learning From Hard Knocks...........................................26 Movie: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.............................................28 Coupons.......................................................................................29


U the Magazine is also online: There you can find our blog, links to advertisers and printable coupons. In addition, you can read archive issues, as well as all the content in the current issue. Interested in writing or have an idea for an article? email:

FREE Back-to-School Issue

the magazine

Buying Vintage Clothing Summer Romance Life as a College Intern The Lost Art of Letter Writing Plus: Sports, Dining, Arts, Movie & Music

Our Back-to-School model, Maegan Hedgecock an NCSU student, poses at Pullen Park in Raleigh. She is wearing “secondhand clothing” from Uptown Cheapskate. Check out the “Why to Buy” article on page 6.
















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Photo by Ashley Taylor

Can you find 10 things different in these two photos? Answers below.

Answers: 1-Strap missing on guy with phone 2- Bike tire missing on sign 3-Brick planer moved 4-Subway words different color 5-Necklace missing on girl 6-Words moved down on blackboard 7-Cracks in sidewalk missing 8-Legs longer on blue sidewalk sign 9-green trash can removed 10-blue awning taller

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Wearing used clothing never looked so good! Our models are from Uptown Cheapskate, a clothing store that buys, sells, and trades name brand used clothing. Outfits shown here are secondhand with some new accessories added. Models from left to right: Lucy Flanagan, Alex Garcia, Roddy Dye (in tree) and Maegan Hedgecock.


U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

Why to Buy:

Vintage and Secondhand Clothing By Melissa Vink The days of secondhand clothing being restricted to those less fortunate are gone. This often less expensive source of fashion has risen in both esteem and popularity over the years since our parents’ generation. The concept of reusing clothing is “vintage” itself. Ask any survivors of the World Wars- a time when style moved to be more utilitarian and passing down clothing was your patriotic duty. Today, buying secondhand clothing and donating no longer worn clothing, rather than throwing it out, has ethical impetus as well. Keep reading to learn why you should shop the secondhand route for both ethical and stylistic reasons.

a “boho” dress, and it cost me around $29 plus tax. Prices at other stores for on trend items (neon, leopard, maxi dresses, you name it) hit around the same painful mark for one item. And we all know how long trends usually last- about a hot second. As a college student on a budget, I want to be fashionable but do not want to pay such a high toll to be on trend for so little time. Often, secondhand clothing fits current trends, and at a store such as Goodwill, that same style dress will only cost around $5 (and just to remind you, that money is going to charity). Continued on next page

Photo by Michael Thomas

Photo by Michael Thomas

Green is the “New Black”

I am sure it is no news that environmental conservation efforts are more popular than ever. Sure, you recycle your cans and glass from last week’s party, but what about your fashions from last year’s trends? Instead of going to a large chain store in the mall and buying the latest product produced in the sweat shops, why not go to a local secondhand or vintage store and, believe it or not, recycling? According the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), every year the U.S. generates 12.73 million tons of textile waste. The average American generates around 84 pounds of textile waste every year, the equivalent of 191 t-shirts. Only 10 pounds of that textile waste is recycled, equivalent to 23 of those 191 t-shirts. That is only approximately 12 percent-not exactly a shining star. Do your part for the environment and community by shopping secondhand. If that is not enough to get you down to your local secondhand store, the proceeds of your purchases and donations support charities in most cases. During high school, I spent many hours volunteering at a secondhand store that supported the Domestic Violence Shelter of North Carolina. Many other nonprofits also have thrift stores. Red Cross, Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, and local churches are just some of the options. You can even give some of your time to volunteer at one of the many non-profit organizations’ secondhand stores, with the added bonus of seeing the new inventory before anyone else.

Cost Efficient Style

My last trip to very popular store known for its (relatively) inexpensive trendy clothing was to buy U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012


Maybe you do not like to follow trends. Maybe you were jaded long ago by a popular fashion not made for you, or you reject all things from “mainstream culture”. Shopping vintage and secondhand clothing gives you access to a cornucopia of style, clothing from various bygone time periods and countless fashion seasons all in one location. Secondhand stores are the “Walmarts” of trend. Go experience the bounty of the harvest. You can be as mainstream or divergent as you like. And the chance that you will be wearing the same dress as another girl at an event, or ever, is very unlikely. Even if, by some chance, you wind up with the same item as another, find peace in the fact that she will have probably spent more on her purchase than you will on your entire outfit and hair and makeup.

Fashion That Fits You

Photos on this page by Mic

hael Thomas

When you shop vintage and secondhand clothing, you are removing the restrictions of mainstream and consumer culture fashion. What


U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

is currently fashionable may not be “your” style. It may not be flattering in silhouette, length, or cut for your body. If we are all shaped differently, why do we as consumers buy into the fashion industry’s idea that one popular style will fit all, and those who it does not should suffer? This is elitist in its own way, where only those whom the trend suits can prosper. Take hold of your own “fashion fate”. Shopping vintage and secondhand gives you the access to a variety of different fits, silhouettes, and styles from over history. Maybe a ‘20s flapper dress or ‘60s shift dress flatter you more than what is currently in stores (I am personally saying a big “NO” to crop tops). You also can find more modest clothing, a definite challenge in today’s world. I do not know how

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Photo by Michael Thomas

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many times I find that “perfect thing”, only to realize it is just a few inches too short or too form fitting. Lastly, if you spend less money on the garment, you can spend more to get it altered. Find things you like, knowing you can have a more customized shop. You will find you have a fashion forward and well fitted wardrobe. The right fit can make all the difference between looking sloppy or sharp. So when you do go secondhand shopping, keep an open mind. Try not to judge a piece for its current form. I have altered many “dated” pieces into much more flattering looks.

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Photo by Michael Thomas

“Shopping vintage and secondhand clothing gives you access to a cornucopia of style, clothing from various bygone time periods and countless fashion seasons all in one location.�

Good Taste Is Timeless Surely your mom or grandmother has told you that many of the fashions of today are from, well, yesterday. Media, such as AMC’s Mad Men, re-popularizes past fashion. Much of current fashion is inspired by that of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. A final virtue of secondhand and vintage fashions is that older clothing was not made to throw away. Garments were designed to pass down to younger siblings and cousins and eventually the neighbors. Families did not have as much disposable income as many in our society do today and could not afford to buy new clothes as often, so garments were made to last much longer. Today’s fashion business model is disposable fashion. Retailers want you to buy often and want to maximize profit. Thus, they use the cheapest materials and construction possible. Unless you want to spend much, much more on luxury clothing, it is unlikely the quality and sturdiness can compare to that of secondhand and vintage. Secondhand and vintage clothing will often endure better than newer clothing because so much of it was made by hand by seamstresses with quality fabric. When you shop secondhand, you are getting more for your money—more quantity and quality.

Photos this page by Michael Thomas

Where To Buy You are almost ready to start shopping. The last detail is what retailers sell vintage and secondhand clothing? Is it only Goodwill? The answer is no. Yes, many nonprofits do run secondhand stores. These include the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and yes, Goodwill Donation Stores. However, thrift stores and consignment shops are always a good bet also. If you want to stay local, flea markets often have at least some selection among other non-textile secondhand treasures. Uptown Cheapskate, located at Mission Valley Shopping Center, trades secondhand name brand clothing. And lastly, a modern way to shop old time fashion—the internet. The internet is rife with e-retailers selling secondhand and vintage clothing from all over the world! The site, Etsy, is a wonderful resource, as is Ebay, where you might be able to find items even less expensive or in bulk. So go wild and do not forget to have fun. Chase your favorite trends. Discover your own style. Take a chance on secondhand fashion. Your fashion options are now unlimited.

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Summer Romance: Good Idea or Bad Idea? By Meghan DeMaria Art by

I don’t know about you, but when I think of summer romance, the first thing that comes to mind is the song “Summer Nights” from the classic musical and 1978 film “Grease.”


U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

More than 30 years later, people of all ages are still drawn to “Grease,” and not just to see what John Travolta looked like when he was young. There’s something alluring, almost mystical, about the idea of a summertime relationship and whether or not it can last. To Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy, the relationship is destined to last a lifetime. Newton-John’s character possesses the standard, stereotypical attributes of a woman in a male-female relationship: doting, selfless and, above all, naïve. Travolta’s Danny is a stark opposite in terms of character; he exaggerates his sexual relationship with Sandy to impress his male friends, acting as if he doesn’t feel the same way that she does. Of course, the two leads are together in the end. But “Grease” is a movie, and one that was produced decades ago. What are summer relationships like today? Can they, too, stand the test of time? Is classifying relationships by this season even relevant in our society? In my middle school and early high school days, I subscribed to various women’s magazines whose target audiences were young, teenage girls. The June and July issues seemed to always include articles on “summer flings” – how to make one happen, what the general rules of summer relationships were, and whether they could be carried into the school year. By these magazines’ definitions, summer flings tended to occur between people whose paths crossed on a regular basis: the cute lifeguard at your local suburban pool, the neighbor you’ve never met who mows the lawn as you walk your dog. Unsurprisingly, the advice in these articles was usually encouraging girls to “make the first move” on the attractive males they encountered in their everyday routines. The other common thread in “summer fling” articles was encouragement for readers to consider whether or not their relationship should be continued after the summer was over, often by way of a quiz analyzing the dynamics of the relationships. The answer to this question was usually “no.” But we’re in college now, and our interpersonal relationships are more complex than a five-question quiz in a pink text box. For many college students, summer is a time to start over: moving to another city for an internship opportunity, studying in a foreign country, or just taking another stab

at your relationship with your parents. In theory, summer in a new environment is the perfect time and place for a low-key relationship like the ones these magazines describe. But is that really what we want, or even need, at this point in life? Taking on your first, second or even third internship can be more than a little overwhelming, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar city. The transition from attending 15-20 hours a week of class to working a demanding, full-time job is never an easy one, and if your internship requires course credit, you may have assigned reading to do or reflective essays to write in your spare time. Between remembering everyone’s name at your new workplace and staying on track of all your intern duties, finding love will probably be the last thing on your mind, at least for the first few weeks. If you’re in a new place, the feeling of being overwhelmed will likely be doubled. It’s like your freshman year of college all over again: You don’t know anyone around you, and you’ll probably get lost at least a few times. You’ll probably be looking to make a few friends in your new town before you try starting a new relationship. And yet, once you’re settled into your new apartment and are in the swing of things at your new job, the “Grease”-like feeling of mystery and wonder might creep back into your mind. How romantic would it be to meet someone on your lunch break in Central Park or pondering the art at a local museum on your day off? Questions like these lead to daydreams, and your ideal romantic scenario will become more and more elaborate as your ideas unfold. What outfit do you wear? What about the other person? How does your first conversation go? Even if none of your romantic ideas come to fruition, the thoughts alone are an interesting experience. And if you are looking for a relationship, summer’s fresh start might be just the push you need. You’ll likely meet a lot of other college students in your apartment building and at your internship (though if you do go that route, be sure to keep your relationship professional in the workplace!). If you’re exploring the city and all of its bars, coffee shops and concerts, there will be dozens of opportunities to meet people in these places, too. Since you’ll both essentially be tourists in a new city, there are tons of potential

dates and stories to find. If you have time in your schedule and want to start a summer romance, you’ll have a lot of things going for you – no schoolwork and extracurricular activities to worry about, less judgment from your friends since they’ll likely be far away. But the idea of fall still looms over summer relationships, making you question your involvement every once in a while. Should you stay in touch with someone if their college or home state is hundreds of miles away from yours? The romantic side of you (and me) says “yes.” You could meet your final mate anywhere, and if you really care for each other, why end your relationship because of logistics? With technology like smartphones and Skype, long-distance relationships seem easier than ever. Your practical side, though, might be more skeptical. You’ve only known this person for a couple of months, at the most – hardly enough time to know whether you want to spend your life together or even to maintain a relationship. Do you want to return to campus tied to a relationship and limit your options for the upcoming school year? Before you and your new beau bid your goodbyes, think about your compatibility – and give it more thought than those five-question teen magazine quizzes. The first thing to consider when you’re deciding whether or not to keep your relationship a summer one is how devoted you two really are to each other. When you don’t have your friends close by, it’s easy to spend time with each other. But when you’re back in the campus buzz, will you want to keep up those Skype dates and remember birthdays, anniversaries and holidays? If you’re excited to make your relationship work, great! If other things are a greater priority or you realize you two don’t actually have that much in common, it might be wise to leave a summer fling as just that. If you really make a connection with someone in the summer months, there’s no rule against turning flings into relationships. You might meet someone great and be willing to sacrifice some parts of your life to maintain a long-distance partnership! Before you make any plans, talk through the options—and potential obstacles—with your partner to ensure you’re on the same page, lest you end up like Sandy and Danny á la “Summer Nights.” U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012


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Experience is the Best Teacher: Life As A College Intern

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By Debra Anne Brenner

“Rising college senior Caitlin Cooper is hard at work at her radio internship in Chapel Hill. She also has a paying job in retail.” Many university students probably would like to think that the “real world” is light-years away. Most would probably rather focus on next weekend’s party than on next week’s big project at the office. The glory days of college might not last forever, but that doesn’t stop the typical student from sleeping late and spending time catching up on the latest gossip…or does it? With the recent economic downturn, more and more students are getting their first taste of their “real world” before they ever graduate college. And it’s not just money that’s the motivation. As the reces18

U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

sion continues, more seasoned workers are being laid off, and they’re having to settle for entry level positions; the same positions that recent college graduates would otherwise be taking. This makes work experience right out of school particularly important, even if its unpaid. While plenty of college students are paid for their work, just as many are taking unpaid internships. These teaching opportunities encompass a number of different career paths including teaching, laboratory research, healthcare, writing, and everything in between. No two internships are

exactly alike, but they all have one thing in common: they are designed to give an aspiring worker the experience he or she will need to thrive in his or her field of choice. Andrew Hamlet is a 2010 UNC –Chapel Hill graduate who began an unpaid internship as a mailroom and PR assistant at Chapel Hill’s Merge Records during his junior year of college. He says it wasn’t always easy to balance his internship responsibilities with schoolwork . “It sometimes felt difficult,” he says. “But understanding how the real world works is crucial to being a competitive job

candidate once you make the transition from college student to entry-level employee.” Like Andrew, I also began an unpaid internship in the media industry while still a student. In the summer of 2010, I began interning as a news reporter at the AM radio station 1360 WCHL in Chapel Hill. When I first started, I worked about 20 hours a week, and I was simultaneously taking summer school classes. It wasn’t always easy getting up early, heading to class for several hours, and then going straight to work. And since news writing operates on a strict deadline, my internship sometimes meant staying at the office until long after my schedule said it was time to call it a day. But I can honestly say I learned more about my chosen field in one week on the job than I could have learned over an entire semester in the classroom. And the hard work paid off; a few months later, the radio station offered me a paid position. Aside from the experiential benefits, I was doing what I loved with an amazing group of people. I looked forward every day to seeing my team of co-workers, and I always felt comfortable asking my superiors for help if I needed it. Looking back, I realize that was a big key to my success. No one at the beginning of a career can perform a job perfectly, and you’re only doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t willing to ask questions. Learning how to take constructive criticism is also a major part of a productive internship. If there’s a time and a place to mess up, an internship is it, and you’ll just develop bad habits if you let your mistakes slide for too long. Any college intern should become accustomed to learning from the embarrassing moments, and the best way to do that is to have a supportive team environment. Andrew says the team of people at Merge Records was also one of the most rewarding aspects of his internship experience. “It was great to meet passionate people who really believed in what they were doing,” he says. Flexibility is another major key to a successful internship. Sure, it can be frustrating to work at 6 a.m. on a Saturday or until 11 p.m. on a Friday, but it was during those odd hours when

I learned some of my most valuable lessons. And it was also during those times when I had the best bonding moments with my co-workers, whether it was finishing a project over late night pizza, or laughing about a ridiculous on-air blunder over early morning breakfast and coffee. It’s those priceless moments I’ll remember best, not the fact that I wasn’t able to sleep until noon for one weekend day. Along with flexibility also comes a willingness to perform less than desirable tasks. Oftentimes, this means taking the office’s “grunt work” and doing all of the work no one else wants to do. One common misconception is that someone at the beginning of his or her career only performs the easy duties and leaves the harder work for the more experienced veterans. This couldn’t be further from the truth. For instance, one of my first jobs at the radio station was to conduct “word on the street” interviews by walking up to unsuspecting strangers on sidewalk corners and ask them a whole myriad of different questions—oftentimes about controversial or unpleasant topics. Even now, as a reporter with several years of experience, I believe that this supposed “beginner’s” exercise is one of the most difficult tasks a journalist can perform. But it taught me all of the skills every accomplished reporter needs to know, including the art of conducting a good interview, being quick on one’s feet, and always attempting to go in for the kill. Developing those talents made all of my word-on-the-street interviews well worth the awkwardness, the discomfort, and yes, even the one gentleman who less than politely told me I was being a nuisance while he was trying to eat lunch. In the end, a successful internship boils down to following your biggest dreams. For me, radio news writing was a perfect avenue because it combined writing, which is one of my greatest passions, with performing and public interaction, which are two of my biggest strengths. And Andrew says his biggest advice for any aspiring college intern is also to start with that one thing that makes you tick. “Do everything you can to develop your interest,” he says. “But the first step is finding the area that drives you.”

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Serving up delicious fare

By Angelica Roman

Whether you’re meeting your friends for lunch, going out on a date or just looking for a great place to grab a drink and a bite to eat, there are several restaurants that can serve up some delicious fare, while allowing you to soak up the sun (or the star-lit sky).

RALEIGH Lynnwood Grill 4821 Grove Barton Road Raleigh NC 27613 919-785-0043

Located just off of Glennwood Avenue, Lynnwood Grill is the perfect restaurant to eat at, whether you are a group of students looking to catch the game or a family with children. The full bar offers plenty of prime game-watching seating, and with multiple televisions throughout, you won’t miss a single play. The multilevel building has plenty of seating inside, out on the patio, or the rooftop dining area. One of my favorite reasons to eat at Lynnwood Grill is to dine on the rooftop patio. Open in the evenings and weekend afternoons, it’s the perfect place to enjoy your meal under the summer sky. The menu offers something for everyone. The pizza, calzone and stromboli menu lists dozens of specialties, or you can create your own with tons of toppings to choose from. The


Greek Goddess is sensational, with artichoke hearts, spinach, pesto, and mozzarella and feta cheeses. All of their pizza dough, sauces and toppings are made fresh daily, and you can taste it in every bite! The sandwich menu has a wide variety of items, all served on fresh, toasted rolls. The Portobello Mushroom Sandwich is delicious and hearty, with a thick mushroom, diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, red onion and mozzarella cheese. The Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich is juicy, crispy, and rivals any fried chicken sandwich in the state. Be sure to get the buttermilk ranch to dip your sandwich and sides in. While their fries, pasta salad and other sides are tasty, nothing quite stands up to the fried pickle chips! You can get them as an appetizer or side (or both... they are that good!). Lynnwood Grill offers over 20 beers on tap, a full bar and wine list, along with great daily drink specials. On weekends they generally have live music, and even have open mic nights! They have also recently announced a shuttle service for the surrounding area on weekend evenings. You can check their Facebook page for daily updates on specials and events.

U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

DURHAM Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom 324 Blackwell Street Durham NC 27701 919-433-0345 With various “Best” awards, including “Best Outdoor Dining”, “Best Draft Beer Selection”, and “Best Burger”, it’s easy to see why Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom is a great place to eat. The taproom is located close to the Durham Bulls ballpark, and has its own “Speakeasy” room equipped with a pool table, so it’s also the place to go if you want to have a few beers with your friends, away from the typical bar scene. Tyler’s boasts over 60 craft and specialty import beers on tap. The menu consists of American comfort food with a twist. The Carolina Cuban sandwich - made with Eastern-NC style pulled pork, or the Tyler’s Tuna Melt, made with Albacore tuna salad with cranberries, Granny Smith apples and chopped celery, are a few of the Daily Lunch Special items you can find. They’re known for their burgers, made from 100% antibiotic and hormone-free fresh ground beef, such as the Old West Burger, topped with cheddar cheese, tangy BBQ, smoked bacon and crispy fried onion rings; the Breakfast burger, with cheddar cheese, bacon and a fried egg; and the 3 Little Pigs, with house-pulled pork, ham, bacon, Swiss cheese and bourbon BBQ sauce. They also serve several types of salads, sandwiches, appetizers and soups. Their new outdoor biergarten features a full bar, and six extra drafts, along with several HDTVs so you can keep up with any game. Be sure to stop by on Thursday pint nights, where you can buy the featured beer and keep the glass!


Town Hall Grill is nestled inside the Southern Village shopping center, just outside of the UNC campus. It has the feel of an upscale sports bar, where you would feel comfortable watching the game with friends, bringing a date, or meeting with coworkers. There is no lack of HDTV’s throughout the restaurant. The outdoor patio overlooks the central green area of Southern Village, where they have concerts and movies during the summertime. The bar offers over 20 beers on tap, along with the full bar and wine list. One of the most unique features of Town Hall Grill is their various “clubs” (which are open to everyone). The “Picnic Basket” club allows you to call in an order of beverages, and a fruit and cheese platter or wrap sandwich. The restaurant places your order in a picnic basket, along with a blanket and all the necessary utensils, so you can enjoy your meal on the grass area. They also offer a “Wine Club” so you can learn about various types of wines, and a “Parents Night”, where they provide child care while you dine. Their menu consists of typical bar food and appetizers, such as fried calamari and wings with various sauces, but also not-so-common fare, such as deviled eggs and zucchini frittes. For lunch they offer a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and tacos, as well as entrees, such as fish and chips, and seafood shish kabobs. The dinner menu includes handcut steaks, hearty salads, and various chicken and seafood entrees. They also have a delicious brunch menu that includes omelets, a breakfast burger and more.

Smoking Goods. LPs. Funny Tees. Disc Golf. Proudly serving Duke University and Durham with the finest selection of local-blown glass, American-made water pipes, vaporizers and smoking accessories. Also one of Durham’s best selection of used LPs. 718 9th Street Durham, NC 27705 919-286-1916 Find us on Facebook and Twitter: @hunkydorydurham

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U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012



Seeing The Positive: The Durham Arts Council

Photos on this page courtesy of The Durham Arts Council

By Debra Anne Brenner

Moneyray We’ve all heard the phrase “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Furthermore, most of us know that some of the best inventions and contraptions happen by chance, and most of us are familiar with the idea of accidental discovery. But, at the Durham Arts Council in the heart of downtown Durham, several artists take these concepts to a whole new level. These works encourage visitors to look at works from multiple different angles and perspectives. Take, for example, the work of Marty Edmunds. Several of her works, such as “Reclining Machine,” “Lincoln’s Mangled Dash” and “Remains,”all were inspired by images in junk yards, where damaged cars and metal waste are waiting to be recycled. These images, which most people would probably only consider garbage upon first glance, are exquisite when one takes a deeper look; and they have made me think twice when I’m cleaning out my own personal belongings. The works, collectively known as “The Salvage Series,” will be on display until mid-summer.


U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

At the Met

look multiple times at any situation in order to appreciate all aspects of its true beauty. In one way or another, all of the works at the Arts Council, including those of Edmunds and Halbrooks, communicate some variation of that same lesson. Since looking at their works, I have also taken a second look at the challenges and trials that my life is currently presenting me, and I am looking at new and different ways of perceiving them. In this economy, most young people are facing challenging circumstances, and we have, on the whole, two options: we can let the challenges wrap us up, or we can wrap ourselves around the challenges. The second option involves perceiving everything from different angles and finding the good in every negative, just as these artists have done. But it isn’t possible to truly understand this concept without seeing the exhibitions themselves. To find out more, visit the gallery on 120 Morris Street in Durham, or go online to

Also on display at the Arts Council for the next couple of months is an exhibition of works by Darryl Halbrooks known as “Transluclandia,”that are all made up of paint strips applied as skins. While working with these materials, Halbrooks encountered several accidents that turned out, in his mind, to be even more artistic than his original intention. The result—a collection of fascinating, brightly colored masterpieces with a watercolor-type feel. Another one of my favorite exhibitions is a photography collection by Peter Filene. His works force the consumer to look at details in photos that might otherwise be lost to the naked eye. For instance,one work known as “Twilight, Paris,” depicts a man and a woman on a bench. In the background, almost invisible, is the blurry figure of another man. “Twilight, Paris” is a Light Play on Salvage two-part masterpiece; the first work shows the general photograph, while the second one shows a close-up of a small portion that allows the consumer to see the figure of the second male in a more pronounced light. The lesson behind this work, and Filene’s other works, is simple; one must


“Sell-Out or Stay True?

By Qiara McCain There used to be a time in music where musical genres were very narrowly defined. Rap was rap, pop was pop, R&B was R&B, and etcetera. Nowadays if an artist wants to gain crossover success then they have to either collaborate with another well-known artist from a different genre, or use auto-tune on a complete techno-dance track. Now I’m in no way shape or form opposed to change or creative growth, but when an artist attempts to evolve their image and sound so much that they stray away from their core audience and supporters, then the main question is, “Who are you trying to be, and at what expense?” I feel like there are many mainstream artists currently out who have either lost their way and are now finding their way back to or have completely gone off the deep end so to speak. Such performers include, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and Chris Brown to name a few. I’m probably not the only one that completely lost Mr. West on 808’s and Heartbreak, but he started to remerge into my good graces with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and definitely the most recent release, Watch the Throne. I’ve been longing to have the old Kanye back circa College Dropout and Late Registration, and hopefully he can tap back into his former self, in terms of lyrics and overall production, with the highly anticipated, Cruel Summer, compilation album from the entire G.O.O.D. music roster. Usher and Chris Brown, are in my opinion losing their way because lately their new singles have been trying to sound like its predecessor. For example, Usher’s Scream is trying to replicate the sound and success of O.M.G. (couldn’t deny it’s catchiness) which was one or two summers ago, while Chris Brown’s Turn Up The Music, is a replica of Yeah 3x (pointless) and Beautiful People (absolutely loved). I’m all for trying new things in moderation, however if an artist is going to consistently step outside the box every single time, then each attempt should be better than before and not mediocre or repetitive; in other words I would love every now and then to have one major album release where both Usher and Chris Brown returned to their original Hip-Hop/R&B roots, while the auto-tune and techno take a nap. Last but certainly not least, I feel like after this year’s Grammy-performance debacle, Nicki Minaj has most certainly gone off

the deep end in my book, in terms of musical artistry because she can’t decide if she wants to be the black version of Lady Gaga or the talented Queens rapper, who would let her multiple personalities come through in her verses. I’m happy for her with all of her endorsement deals, like Pepsi and O.P.I, but I miss the raw Nicki from My Chick Bad and Five Star Chick, while absolutely despising the delusional pop-singer Nicki of Superbass and Star Ships. I feel like one can still be all about their money, and still remain true to themselves and their craft; Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, and even Jay-Z have all managed to successfully step outside the box in terms of songs, albums and collaborations, but at the end of the day they each still return to their core style, therefore they don’t completely lose their audience. Thus far it’s evident to me that Nicki Minaj is clearly chasing after the dollar sign, leaving the not so devout Barbies in the dust. If we can just focus on the specific genre

of Hip-Hop music, some of my favorite rappers and groups are Common, Talib Kweli, A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots. With the small exception of Common, all of the others for some reason have all had little to no success at the mainstream level. According to today’s music industry, I can pretty much repeat the same catchy hook over an infectious beat, with meaningless verses and I’ll be considered a rapper. Just look at the success of Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Soulja Boy, and new comers 2 Chains and Future. I’m not saying that all of Hip-Hop is completely dead, because there are artists like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar who, in my opinion, are among the next generation to help the genre evolve, but my dream roster represents the true essence of Hip Hop because they haven’t sold out to the corporate music executives when it comes to their craft, which involves a nice beat, a microphone, and most importantly speaks to and for the people.

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The lost art of letter By Sammi Mandani

When was the last time you wrote a letter? An old-fashioned handwritten letter that you stuffed in an envelope and sent on its merry way across county lines, state borders, or even international boundaries. Can you recall the last time you opened up your mailbox and retrieved an envelope with your name in a familiar scrawl? Do you even remember what letters are? In a society that focuses on e-mails, texting, and communicating with the convenience of the Internet, handwritten letters have fallen by the wayside. They have been deemed too much of a hassle, far too expensive and just absolutely too slow for a world that is going eleven million miles an hour. You’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to write a letter to someone when I can just text them, shoot them an e-mail, or write on their wall on Facebook? It’s faster and easier that way, isn’t it? It’s the same thing.” Well, sure, if we’re just talking about convenience, then we can be done with this conversation and you can put this magazine down. But that’s not what I’m getting at. It’s not just about the ease of getting in touch with the world around you, it’s the quality of the interaction you have with those very people. It’s about what and how you invest in these interactions and relationships. When I was in middle school, I exchanged handwritten letters with my best friend at the time over summer breaks. We lived about fifteen minutes from each other, but every week or so, I would find a letter in our mailbox with my name on it. A couple of times, she would send a postcard from Maryland when her family was vacationing. We were just a couple of kids that decided to write letters to each other, even though our lives didn’t seem that exciting. I looked forward to those let-


U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

ters because even though we could’ve probably arranged to hang out at the mall, and we did, there was something special about reading a letter about your best friend’s day and how they felt about it. We’ve drifted apart since then, but I have a box full of her letters in my apartment, tucked neatly next to the rest of the letters I’ve gotten from other people over the years. It’s undeniable that the technology of the last thirty decades has connected the world in a way that had never been done. Communication has changed drastically that not only can you get in contact with someone thousands of miles away, but those very same people can see everything you’re sharing from back home. The backlash of having speedy and quick communications and connections is the lack of attention that is paid to things that ought to be given a lot of attention. Everyone is trying to get on to the next big thing, always on the go, trying to keep up with everyone else. With the speed that everyone is working and trying to accomplish things, you’d assume that we’d have a lot of free time left, right? There’s always something else and there never seems to be enough time to do any of it. By writing a letter, you’re giving yourself the time you would otherwise never give yourself on just one thing. It’s a change of pace from the fast schedule you’re trying to keep up with. You get to sit down and breathe. It’s a time for you to think about what you actually want to say instead of just letting your fingers run over the keyboard and getting spell check to catch your errors. I bet you’re thinking that you wouldn’t really have anything to say, anyway, or that you’re a pretty bad writer? Or better yet, you have terrible handwriting. I can tell you that most of my letters are prefaced with an apology that I’ll be rambling in

an illegible scrawl. But those are just minor details because that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that you’ve taken the time to write someone a letter – time that you would have used to get on Facebook or tweet about something that happened in your day. Instead of doing a handful of meaningless things, you’ve put your efforts in doing one meaningful thing. As the world gets smaller and the frequency of the interactions with everyone increases, it’s harder to maintain any kind of privacy, regardless of what the privacy policy is. There are eyes in every corner of the Internet and there is always someone watching. People can always see what you’re saying even though you’ve put your privacy settings to the maximum limit. People can forward e-mails, texts and links for anything you post or write online. Just about everyone knows your business and can easily know about it if they already don’t. The letter you send maintains and upholds an unspoken sense of privacy between you and your reader. If they share what you write to someone is another matter, but what you write to them normally remains personal and is not broadcasted in someone’s newsfeed. There is a sense of trust that forms between the two of you because you’re able to open yourself up to more and express yourself in a way you wouldn’t when you know everyone can see what you’re writing. It also gives the two of you something to share that no one else has. I’m not trying to say that all of this technology is bad and we should go back to pen and paper. I think that the Internet is awesome. It’s given us more than just entertainment, but a way of life. Facebook, for example, has continued to be one of the most popular and influential social networking sites

writing... on the Internet. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing these websites to enhance the way we live. After all, it has been ingrained in us for as long as we can remember. We’re not trying to go back to a time when writing on someone’s wall was considered vandalism. The future of our society continues to travel down the path of technological advancements at light-year speed and no one can really fight the inevitability of that. But it’s a different matter altogether to consider specializing and making intimate the ways in which we get in touch with each other. It’s important to try out a different

outlet in connecting with other people— something that takes more thought than just a couple of clicks. These days, I have pen-pals that live in California, Massachusetts and Virginia. Sure, a set of twenty stamps set me back about ten bucks. But the sheer excitement I get when I open my mailbox and see a letter just for me feels like Christmas morning, every single time. It’s that pleasant surprise that makes you giddy. You don’t have to live thousands of miles away to write a letter. You can write a letter to your best friend, your parents, or your youth minister. You can even

write letters to me. We can be pen-pals, if you want. Just go out there and write a letter to someone, to anyone. Tell them how you are, what you’re doing, how you feel. Let them know because they’ll appreciate it more than any e-mail, text or wall post ever could. And if they’re like me, they’ll set aside a box to keep your letters, so they can read through them any time.


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U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012


SPORTS: Learning from Hard Knocks With sports, come injuries. You can’t jump high without the risk of falling hard, can’t guard the goal without the risk of getting knocked over, can’t drive to the basket without running into a few people. Dr. Kelly Waicus of UNC Sports Medicine, can tell you that first hand. “We see [athletes] for everything. Injury, sickness.” UNC Sports Medicine primarily sees varsity athletes, but also treats any sports related injuries on campus.

Photo by H. Darr Beiser, USA Today

And playing sports certainly takes its toll on the body. “We treat a lot of ankles, knees, back injury, that sort of thing,” says Waicus. However, she adds that one of the most common things she treats athletes for is general illness, sore throats and colds and the like. “College students are always busy, particularly student athletes,” Waicus says, “It leaves them more susceptible to illness.” However, this doesn’t mean that Waicus hasn’t seen her share of serious injuries as well. She knows several athletes that have been put on the sidelines due to torn ACLs,

A helmet with Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz’s accelerometers. The round buttons ringing the top of the helmet record data about the number and severity of impacts to the helmet.


and while she has never treated a neck or spinal injury herself, she says that such injuries are not unheard of in the sports world either. But Waicus says that Balance is an important part of assessing an athlete’s concussion. the most common, William Wardle uses the ImPACT system to assess and treat “serious” injuries she treats are concussions. his athletes. “It’s seasonal, but during Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center the winter season, I see about four a month at UNC Chapel Hill, as the top specialist in on average.” sports related concussions. For many years, the treatment and even “He has developed a seminal research diagnosis of concussions was a foggy subagenda over the past 15 years that has transject. With only scattered research going into formed the way we think about concussion sports related concussions, sports trainers at all levels of sport, from kids to professionand doctors didn’t know exactly what was al athletes,” said David Perrin, vice chancelhappening to concussed athletes, much less lor at UNC Chapel Hill, in a recent interview how to best treat them. with USA Today. “In the last ten years, [awareness From putting accelerometers in the about concussions] has increased dramatihelmets of football players to measure the cally. Particularly the cognitive aspect of it,” number and severity of hits to the head, says Waicus. to his more recent research on the effects A lot of this is due to the research of Dr. of previous concussions on retired football Kevin Guskiewicz. Originally a sports trainer players, Guskiewicz work has provided much for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Guskiewicz startneeded insight into the diagnosis and treated to take an interest in the diagnosis and ment of concussions. Indeed, Guskiewicz has treatment of concussions while watching been named a MacArthur Fellow and will football players on the field. Today he heads receive “no strings attached” support from up the Matthew A. Gfeller Sport-Related

U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

Picture from

By Shannon Beamon

the MacArthur Foundation for the next five years for further research. “There are a lot of things we look for now [in diagnosing concussions], that you wouldn’t think to look for…headache is the first symptom most people think of, but there’s also dizziness, nausea, light and sound sensitivity, mental fogginess, trouble with concentration and memory…and one that nobody ever thinks of: trouble sleeping.” The concussion lab at UNC Chapel Hill, which Waicus calls “the premier in the country” has a series of both cognitive and physical tests, which help assess these and other symptoms. “The tests measure reaction time and physical processing, ” explains Waicus. They also test the athlete’s balance and their ability to retain information. As Waicus says, “Concussions have a wide range of effects.” However, while concussions may have a wide range of effects, the treatment is largely the same for everyone: rest. “Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of proactive treatment for the acute phase [of a concussion],” says Waicus. Mostly athletes just have to take a break. “There’s always been an emphasis on physical rest, but now we’re also realizing the importance of cognitive rest.” Too much mental activity can put harmful strain on an injured brain. “It’s hard for [the athletes] to do that though,” says Waicus. In a world of computers and phones, learning and studying, it’s difficult for any student to take a mental break. Waicus says that professors have been very willing to try to help out those with concussions, by pushing back exams or assignment due dates, but even so student-athletes don’t always get the mental break they need to recover.

than it was,” says Waicus. Waicus’s advice about preventing concussions and other injuries? “There’s no magic trick to staying healthy,” she says, “No bullet points to check off…just get enough sleep, focus on nutrition and hydration… be smart and don’t stress yourself out…when people get tired, that’s when they’re more likely to get injured or sick.”

Photo by Shannon Beamon

Photo by Shannon Beamon

The Student Health Center where Dr. Kelley Waicus and many of the other sports medicine physicians see their patients.

“It’s really frustrating to tell an athlete that all they can do is rest. But it just takes time. And time can be critical for athletes. They can lose the whole season to a concussion.” One of the things that Waicus loves most about working with athletes is how active they are about their own health. “They’re motivated patients and active participants, they want to know what they can do…they want to be involved.” But when it comes to concussions, sometimes that need for action can work against their directive to rest. Waicus and her colleagues do everything they can to help athletes recover from a concussion so they can get back to both their sport and their pro-active lifestyle, but she says that it’s important that they don’t get back into their sport before they’re ready. “If you have symptoms, you’re concussed,” says Waicus and students shouldn’t be playing their sport if they still have those symptoms. “The only one you hurt by lying about your symptoms is yourself.” Reinjury is a dangerous possibility for concussed athletes. A second smaller hit to an already concussed brain can result in potentially deadly brain swelling known as Second Impact Syndrome. “As I tell my athletes, we don’t do brain transplants. Don’t risk it,” says Waicus. Over the last several years Waicus and the rest of her colleagues in the Sports Medicine Department have focused a lot of energy into educating coaches and athletes about concussions, so that reinjuries such as Second Impact Syndrome can be prevented. At the start of every year, a representative is sent to every varsity sports team to explain what to look out for when it comes to concussions. They are making similar efforts to educate the intermural sports community and the student population in general. “Concussion awareness is much better

Athlete’s balance and hand-eye coordination assessed by Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz at the Matthew Gfeller Sports Related TBI Center.

U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012


MOVIE: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo By Lamar Hill Have you ever found yourself so deeply engaged in, so deeply focused on a problem or mystery, that your intellect and senses were put on edge and heightened? Have you ever plodded toward an outcome the results of which would shatter the mind and change EVERYTHING? If not, then you have not seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It took me a while to get over to see this highly anticipated film, and I must say I have truly been missing out. I say highly anticipated because this story has a pre-movie history! What I saw is the second film adaptation of what is known as The Millennium Trilogy, Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s trio of globally popular novels: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. The books follow the controversial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the peculiar hacker/investigator prodigy Lisbeth Salander as they solve mysteries, reclaim their lives, and fight deeply entrenched governmental and bureaucratic conspiracies. The books are amazing, and so was the movie! Directed by David Fincher; produced by Scott Rudin, Ole Sondberg, and Sören Staermos; and written (screenplay) by Steve Zaillian, the film stars Rooney Mara (The Social Network, A Nightmare on Elm Street, etc) as Lisbeth Salander, Daniel Craig (Dream House, Cowboys & Aliens, Casino Royale, etc) as Mikael Blomkvist, Christopher Plummer (The Tempest, The Last Station, Up, etc) as Henrik Vanger, and several other amazing actors and actresses who I will not reveal for the sake of spoiling the fun. (When you watch, see if you can point out the legendary action-villain from the 80s!) Amidst a humiliating, disparaging conviction of libel for his latest piece,


U the Magazine | Back-to-School 2012

Mikael Blomkvist finds himself being recruited by powerful businessman Henrik Vanger for a secret venture. Vanger wants Blomkvist to unravel the events surrounding a Vanger family reunion forty years ago, during which his niece, Harriet Vanger, was murdered. Left with a confusing trail of dead ends, a slew of evidence that seemingly has no connection to the case, and a less than friendly work environment (the Vanger family is crazy, creepy, and hostile—not just the Nazis, either), Blomkvist’s keen investigative mind, though making progress, is soon in need of help. This help arrives in the form of the hellfire, aggressively sexual, readily violent super hacker Lisbeth Salander. Her methods are unconventional and her surly personality is hardly welcoming, but she has a knack for getting to the bottom of things, and as a credit to Rooney Mara, the incredible ability to raise the temperature in a theater a few hundred degrees. Together, she and Blomkvist declare war on the dirty little secrets the island has kept for more than 40 years, and as their clever minds keep digging, it quickly becomes apparent that this mystery involves far more death’s than Harriet’s, and that someone on the island is going to disturbing lengths to keep the duo from probing. Nothing will stop Salander and Blomkvist, however, and they continue to rattle the cages until the very end—the very shocking end. I will be honest—though complex, this is not the best mystery story I have come across, and the twist is not as immense as some others, but this film is truly entertaining. Craig is brilliant and hilarious as an intellec-

tual, and Mara is simply breath-taking as a bad-ass—she’s funny, sexy, and though deadly, still endearing. The villains (who shall not be named) were sufficiently appalling and insane, and the entire film had an ominous, gritty element that kept your eyes glued to the screen and your mind incessantly roaming as you struggled to keep up with Salander and Blomkvist. Don’t bring your kids or the faint of heart —this movie contains some brutal violence, harsh themes, and what looked like good sex. Do bring yourself or go get it, though—this movie is already at the $2 theater and will likely be on DVD by the time you read this. It’s well-worth your time (it’s a whopping 2.5+ hours) and mental energy (quite complicated plot-wise), and I for one cannot wait for the sequels.


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U the magazine, v3 issue1  
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U the Magazine is a college life-style magazine. Published three times a year, Back-to-School, Winter and Spring.