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FALL 10 No 15

Chelsea Flaming

Jonathan Van Orne Lucas Hess

Daniel Mowery Ruby Spalding “I want women--and men--to feel empowered by a deeper and more psychotic part of themselves. The part they’re always trying desperately to hide. I want that to become something that they cherish.” - Lady Gaga

Brian Govreau

Dillon Gotshall Mikki Suffin

Ansley Shewmaker Jennica Schmit Advertisers & PR Lacey Schuster Ansley Shewmaker Haley Pruitt Tanisha Bitsoi

“Haikus are awesome, but sometimes they don’t make sense, Refrigerator.” - Anonymous

Kaitie Martinez

Tanya Marchun

Content News Editor Gavin Wisdom

Clare O’Connorseville Creative Director “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” - Anonymous

Kaitie Martinez

Development Coordinator

Public Relations & Advertising Director

I am ready for the weather to start getting cooler...I want to bring out my sweaters!

Gavin Wisdom

Online Art Manager Brian Govreau Photography Manager Jordan Boudreaux Mike Moran Sydney Smith

Live like an immortal jellyfish!



If you like what you see in print, check out our website FLC

Online Johnathan Van Orne

.com for more photos, stories and resources.

Student Senate by: Ruby Spalding

Oktoberfest by: Brian Govreau

Old Fort Farm Stand by: Dillon Gotshall

Profile: Rebecca Austin by: Ruby Spalding

Athlete of the Week by: Mikki Suffin

Japan: Land of Circles by: Gavin Wisdom

Environmental Center by: Devon Dey

Fall is quickly creeping into the town of Durango. There’s no avoiding it now. But don’t despair yet; this colorful season has so many advantages over summer. I hope I’m not alone in enjoying the crunchy earthy feel of jumping in a giant pile of dead leaves. Or even just trudging through scattered leaves a foot deep. They’re just begging to be stepped on. Besides the obvious delights of dead leaves, though, we can also look forward to better temperatures, Halloween, and the return of hot coffee. I should probably also mention the indispensable fashion accessory known as the scarf. Summer is sticky and aimless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a big fan of summer, but four months of it is enough for me. A bit of organization and milder temperatures really can help get things back on track. Also, it’s the beginning of the season for pumpkins. There’re so many possibilities: you can make artworks, pies, roasted seeds, a helmet, a slip n’ slide, or just engage in some good ole’ pumpkin smashing. Ultimately, the end of summer means we’re that much closer to the glorious winter. The thing I’m looking forward to most of all will begin at the end of fall: the 2010-2011 ski season. So embrace the dead leaves and brisk winds. Th is is a dramatic and fleeting season in Colorado that will be gone before we know it. We still extend an open invitation to anyone interested in reporting, graphic design, website management, photography, advertising, or copy editing to team up with us here at the Independent. Kaitie Martinez can be reached at kmmartinez@, or I can be reached at if copy editing is more your cup of tea.

Cheers, Clare O’Connor-Seville Chief Copy Editor




With the new semester underway, Fort Lewis College also has a new Executive Branch. Fort Lewis’ student senators have been burning the midnight oil debating a full table of resolutions, including a possible hike in tuition. “Our last meeting ran until 2:30, almost 3:00 in the morning,” Alray Nelson, Student Body President, said. “Our basic duty is to uphold the accountability of student fees,” he said. During the next few weeks the student body will be voting on issues that effect students where it matters most—their pocketbooks. “The increases in tuition since I was a freshman have been frequent,” Alix Ferguson, a Fort Lewis College senior, said. “I’m defi nitely not stoked about it,” she said. Last semester, students saw a hefty raise in their in-state tuition and it seems that the student body may be facing further hikes this year.

“Tuition is being discussed right now by the administration,” Kody Roper, student senator, said. “We do not have a resolution on it yet. We will be focusing on it in the next couple of weeks and what our decision is going to be and how the student body representatives want to act,” he said. The Student Senate also works very hard to ensure that student fees are used to make a positive impact on student’s lives. Roper, who attended last week’s debate into the wee hours, sheds some light on what is currently being discussed. “We proposed and debated the need for a Gender Research Center, intended for all genders,” Roper said. Roper also relayed Vice President Laura Beth Waltz’s explanation of how everyone can benefit from such a center. “For instance, when freshmen guys fi rst arrive


“As a student you have a voice. If you are upset about something, or have a problem with something please come and speak to us. We are the people who represent you.” - Kody Roper, student senator

on campus, especially if they are from a different area, maybe they don’t know what the social norms are,” Laura Beth Waltz, Student Body Vice President, said. “It could be a resource center for that—sexual health— and just a safe center for people to go to and inform themselves,” she said. The decisions the Student Senate makes are not always easy. Roper stressed the importance of making one’s self heard. “As a student you have a voice. If you are upset about something, or have a problem with something please come and speak to us. We are the people who represent you,” Roper said. “We need the students to step up and let us know if the decisions

being made are in their best interests,” he said. Nelson also stressed that an increasing amount of students are taking the initiative in becoming involved, something that he feels is an integral part of the college experience. “If you want to become an advocate for students, join the AFLSC; become a senator, work your way up and become the president of our student body and advocate for our interests,” Nelson said. An effective way for students to make themselves heard on these issues is to attend Student Senate meetings, held every Wed. at 7p.m. in the Student Union Building, or they can simply stop by the Student Senate offices.







very Thursday at 2 p.m. since the summer semester, the Old Fort Farm Stand operates under the Fort Lewis clock tower, offering student-grown produce, pork and beef. The Fort Lewis Farm Stand was started last year by students and faculty, so that they could sell the produce grown at the Old Fort in Hesperus to the larger Fort Lewis community, President of the Westerners Club Alyssa Green said. The program has quickly expanded its clientele and sales locations to include local restaurants, a Friday night market at Wildcat Liquor, and the Bayfield farmers market, Green said.

Carolyn Blehm (L) and Alyssa Green (R) showing off some of the produce from the Old Fort Farm Stand.



Farm tech Carolyn Blehm said that in addition to the new sales locations, some new value-added products have been added for this year. The local restaurant Cocina Linda gives the farmers access to a commercial kitchen, as well as some helpful hints, so that they have been able to add salsa and soups to the Farm Stand menu, Blehm said. Next year, they hope to expand their meat offerings to include additional cuts of beef to complement the variety of pork cuts they already produce, Blehm said. “Hopefully something we could do next year would be to sell steaks and stuff like that. Stuff that people might appreciate more than ground beef,” Blehm said. But with or without steaks, those who have stopped by the Farm Stand seem to be pleased with the products, Green said. ”We have a very loyal client base here on campus, especially with the faculty,” Green said. Blehm believes that people like buying locally grown produce because it’s more flavorful than most store-bought produce. “In the store, I think they almost harvest them too early. We let them go just a little bit longer and they really have more flavor,” Blehm said. The Old Fort project allows students to see the process from start to finish, from putting a seed in the ground, to harvesting, to handing a finished product to a customer, Green said. “It gives students a great opportunity to learn about local food production, and how to grow your own food,” Green said.

“The students love growing vegetables, and working with them every day, and they take a lot of pride in it,” Beth LaShell, a professor of agriculture at Fort Lewis, said. One of the newest members of the farm team is senior Joanna Young, who said as part of her exercise science program, she is taking a nutrition class that works directly with the Old Fort farm program, and the process has been an eye-opener. Young said that in California, all the food she is used to is produced by major commercial operations and sold at large chain stores, so it is hard to tell where it is coming from. One of the goals of the program is to get students involved in local food production, so they can gain a better understanding of where their food comes from, Young said. “In doing that I’ve actually seen a difference in size and in taste,” Young said. “I’ve just had a tomato from there and it was really, really good.” Jaquelene Brisson-Stahl, senior, said that she stops by the Farm Stand regularly and likes that she can support the Old Fort by buying fresh meat and vegetables. “I like the purple potatoes, tomatillos, and ham hocks,” Brisson-Stahl said. “The tomatillos are really nice; if you roast them in your oven you can make green salsa.” Green said students at the Old Fort are also involved in a number of other projects including studies on different types of potatoes and a study on organic weed management techniques.





Indy: Why did you choose Fort Lewis for your undergraduate studies? Austin: “I was looking for a small school in the mountains. I didn’t like the city, or the suburbs. President Thomas talks about how this is a private school experience at a public school price. I came out here to Colorado for that reason. It was a small college in the mountains, and it wasn’t that expensive, even for out-of-state. And it was one of the few schools that had a separate anthropology department, for a small college.”

After teaching near the Everglades at the Florida Gulf Coast University for six years, Dr. Rebecca

Indy: Is there anything you would recommend to students, particularly those looking at graduate school, to get involved in? Austin: “I think internships are really useful no matter what your discipline. Even if you’re not getting credit for it, I would encourage students to actually try and get paid for some of the work they do. I would encourage them not to assume that they will not get paid! Getting that practical work experience—not necessarily on campus—visiting professors or with people they meet in the community. Most of us that have gone through graduate school, we willingly will share our experiences to try and help other students.”

Austin was ready to trade heat and hurricanes for her alma mater, Fort Lewis College. This time, her return to Fort Lewis was as a professor, teaching courses in both Anthropology and Environmental Studies. The Independent recently had the opportunity to learn more about Austin, who considers herself “an anthropologist first.”

Indy: What led you to choose the field of Anthropology? Austin: “I chose anthropology because when I was in high school, I went to an experimental high school. It was a public school, but it was experimental in terms of the way they did classes and the kinds of classes we had. I had my first anthropology class then, and a really great teacher who took us on a field trip to the Appalachian Mountains to study the effects of coal mining on the cultures in Appalachia. I was really interested, even at that point, in the environment.”

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Indy: What are you passionate about outside of anthropology? Austin: “Helping people to understand the connection between us and the environment, rather than just focusing on our impact. We’ve been on Earth a long time. We came from the environment. Not all modern humans have damaged their environments, and not all indigenous cultures lived harmoniously within it.”

Indy: Do you have a favorite book? Austin: “Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. Zora Neale Hurston was an African American anthropologist and creative writer. She really captures the time period of African Americans in the South. It’s written in dialect, the Black English vernacular of the South at that time. It’s interesting to read. For some reason I like reading the dialect. It really brings it to life and I am just impressed with the person Zora Neale Hurston as well.”


One of this week’s “Athletes of the Week” is the women’s soccer team captain Erika Shisler. Shisler earned her title with a 2-1 overtime game-winning assist against Nebraska-Kearney on Sept. 19, 2010. Shisler graduated from Durango High School with over a decade of playing soccer under her cleats, and her love of the sport and her teammates drive her to return to the field year after year, Shisler said. Off the field, Shisler enjoys music, fashion, travel, and art, and is majoring in Business Art, yet she always has time for the game she loves most, Shisler said. The Independent had a chance to ask Shisler a few questions about herself and her experience with Skyhawk women’s soccer. Indy: How have the teams been doing this year in comparison to last year? What changed? Erika: Every year is very different on a collegiate athletic team. You lose amazing athletes when they graduate but you also gain new talent once the recruits commit. This year our team has so much talent and we all have become very close considering we are always together. That aspect definitely helps with the chemistry on the field. Indy: The soccer team means a lot to this school. What are you planning for this year to be successful and happy with the season? Erika: As long as our team comes out every day and practices hard we have a great chance of being extremely successful this season. With success and hard work in training we will get results when we step out on the pitch for matches. The girls make it enjoyable to come out day after day and are working hard. We have such a talented and fun group of girls this year.




he dew on my sleeping bag dampens the scent of dirt and mold meshed into the nylon. My bag displays memories of alleyways and the pits beneath overpasses like old army tattoos torn across its greasy shell. It isn’t pretty, but it’s comfortable. Though the sun has not yet broken the skyline, there is a jogger whose heavy feet alert me to her presence. I lie still, pretending to be asleep until she passes. The Japanese don’t mind the homeless, and won’t mind me either—but I do mind the gawking when I awaken in daylight with passersby pointing and giggling. There aren’t a lot of white guys in northern Japan, especially the sort that sleep in parks. Sapporo is the fi fth largest city in Japan, located in Hokkaido, the country’s northernmost island. Last night, after a few of the city’s namesake lagers, I was talking with a tourist from Turkey who said the city was also the capital of the Yakuza, the Japanese mob. I roll out of my bag and crumple it into its sack. I look across the park to the river, calm and steady. The buildings stand straight-backed, shoulder to shoulder with their windows empty. A car scuttles out of an alley, across an intersection and into another alley, like a mouse, darting in and out of its hole. I hear a tram rattle in the distance. It has been four weeks and two days since my plane landed in Tokyo. So far, I’ve hitchhiked about 2,500 kilometers, riding shotgun in small Isuzu semis and little box-like cubicles. What began as an adventure has sadly become routine: I get in the vehicle, fumble with maps and my Japanese dictionary, and hope that the driver understands where I want to go. After I’ve said everything I know how to say, I listen, and pretend to understand. I pull photographs of my family out from my pack and show the driver a slice of suburban America. They’ve seen this before, subtitled on their television screens. After we’ve covered the basics—where I’m from, something about the weather, favorite Japanese baseball teams—the air grows thin with silence. I look out at the passing hillside and imagine desolation. Except desolation in Japan is different than the desolation we imagine in America. In a country where it’s traditional to build buildings so close a chopstick couldn’t squeeze between them, where it’s rare to fi nd a 100 kilometer stretch of highway that isn’t interrupted by a super-city, and where stacked capsule hotels rent for $40 per night, desolation takes on a new meaning. I cross the bridge over the river and begin to make my way out of the city. I’ll have to walk a few kilometers to get to a practical place to begin hitching, but I’ve got time. I’m

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Illustration by Tanya Marchun

trying to get to Mount Yotei, known as the Fuji of the north. Like Fuji, it’s an active volcano, but unlike Fuji, there isn’t a line of tourists marching up the trail. Unlike Fuji, there isn’t a post office or a concession stand at its summit. On a clear day, I’ve heard that on the top of Mount Yotei, one can look east to the Pacific Ocean and west to the Sea of Japan. Today’s sky is cloudless. Sometimes I imagine myself trekking across the Japanese countryside like the 17th century poet Matsuo Basho, who walked from Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to the deep north of Honshu, Japan’s main island. I imagine myself rugged and alone in the woods, surviving off of bamboo and kernels of rice. I imagine myself thin and meager, yet content. When I bought my ticket to Japan, I figured that the cost of airfare and a few hundred yen was the price of enlightenment. Now I realize that all of these were just the foolish musings of an American college boy. I arrive at Mount Yotei in the late afternoon. From the base, I can see halfway up the volcano’s earthy cone before it is shrouded in cloud. It has already begun to rain. I climb halfway up the muddied basalt before darkness comes and I’m forced to make camp. I fi nd sanctuary in a nook sheltered by small pines and bamboo grass just a few feet off the trail. I fi nger the surrounding tinder and search for old, dead branches that haven’t been touched by the day’s rain, but I have no luck. I string up my tarp, corner by corner, and once again roll out my sleeping bag, this time on a mattress of tattered leaf and spongy soil. On the menu for tonight, a potato and onion—raw, like sushi—with a dressing of miso paste. I eat my dinner while the lights of Niseko fl icker in and out of the pockets of a cloud four thousand feet below. The intervals of light fade in and out as I count their breath: six seconds, to fourteen, to twelve, and when the illumination below is fi nally smothered by the fog, a smooth drone of rain begins to murmur upon my tarp. The rhythm that patters on the leaves and the stones is much more soothing than the shutting of car doors at road-side service stations or the clomping of joggers’ feet in urban parks. In the day, I sang to fi ll the airy gap that was abandoned by another human voice, but I could sing the same songs only so many times before even my own voice washed out with the streams into the Oriental valleys. The rain had been inconsistent all day, but was enough to form the thick mud that had evened the tread of my boots and snuck into my pack. The rain begins to soak through my bag’s

nylon lining. Sleep comes restless and disturbed—consciousness fades in and out, and I can only remember tiny snippets of dreams, like the way I can vaguely remember the pattern on the wings of a butterfly landing on a rice stalk before floating away. I awake in the morning cold and wet, with a reservoir of water pooled at the center of my tarp. The rain has stopped, but the fog still looms about me like a bad memory. I crumple my sleeping bag into my backpack and eat a rice cake. I smoke a cigarette. I drink cold tea. I tie my boots to my pruned, peeling feet, carefully knotting one, then the other. I enjoy the feeling of the soggy laces threading through my hands, the mud leftover on my palms, and the way I can fi nger paint my pants with mud. I see the reflection of branches and patterns of light dash across a puddle as I fold up my tarp. The enormous silence of the volcano is crippled by my footsteps—one, two, one, two, left, right, crunch, crunch. My body has become a steady metronome, counting out the beats, bars and measures it takes until I reach the summit. These lines of music would be empty if they weren’t cut by an intermittent slip in the mud, crescendoed by a quarter-note grunt. Branches reach from shrubs and pluck at my knees. One, two, left, crunch, left, crunch, crunch. The vegetation begins to thin and I recall a geology lecture as I stumble over boulders of andecite and dacite snagging at my feet. I pause to rest on a small outcropping of rock and swallow a mouthful of green tea and eat another rice cake. My sweat evaporates into the fog and I can feel the blisters swell on my heels. I haven’t called home in weeks and nobody in the world knows where I am except for the few Japanese farmers who stopped to pick me up and aid me in escaping the city limits. Don’t worry, Mom, the Japanese are taking good care of your son. I try to tell her this without the help of a telephone. The fog is still thick and I wonder if it affects the reception of my message. I think of my little brother, lost in a video game, battling dragons and monsters and demons. I think of my father, playing Chess or going for a ride on his bicycle. I think of my friends, rafting down a river or climbing a mountain of their own back home in Colorado. I think about how when I fi nally reach the crater, I will turn around, and walk the same path from which I came. By the time I make it back to Tokyo, I’ll have created my own loop around Japan, imitating the circular black-inked brush stroke, the symbol that has come to represent Zen philosophy. I contemplate coming from a land of crosses into

a world of circles. Crosses and circles, I think. Xs and Os. Eastern philosophy talks about a concept called Samsara, the cyclical movement from life, to death, to rebirth, and all the suffering in between. Th at’s my understanding, anyway. For me, life is like the trail. Everyone who hikes chooses how they step, which leg to push forth fi rst, which branches to shove to the side and which ones to leap. We all walk it in different shoes, in different clothes, some of us take faster strides, others take slower. Some carry a lot of weight—pots, pans and twelve pairs of backup socks, and others carry nothing but the breath in their lungs. Like life, at the end of the trail, we all return to the place from which we came. The closer I get to the crater, the stronger the wind laps at my face. The current slaps at my sweat-soaked button-up, making quick, repetitive snaps like a banner on a fl agpole. Small thatches of flowers—flowers that grow nowhere else in the world—pop up in unexpected nooks, little bells of blue and happy explosions of yellow. When I can fi nally climb no higher, I expect to be above the fog, gazing over the crowns of clouds, the vacuous Sea of Japan, and eastward over the Pacific toward home. I drop my pack and take cover behind a barricade of rock. I’m still within the fog, and the world and I are invisible to each other. I unlace my boots and massage my pruned feet. I take my last sip of tea and compress the plastic bottle. I write a note on my folded map. I amble down the mountain and realize that I am now on my way home. In a few days, there will be no more squid-jerky, no more roadside shrines, no more gawking at temples, and no more children gawking at me. Only a few more days of my thumb drying out on the side of a road, and a few more nights of sleeping under concrete bridges, dreaming in the grass of still city parks, and nodding off while wedged into meter-wide alleys, awaking occasionally to slap at a mosquito.




{ but y ou shouldn’ t} By Devon Dey

Even though the greenness of summer’s grass, plants, and leaves has left us for the season, it doesn’t mean green should leave our lives completely. As a country we produce 195 million tons of garbage and waste a year. From not finishing our food to throwing out our electronics, we waste more than any other country in the world. If each and every one of us took small steps to keep the green in our lives, we could reduce our waste. Beginning with your morning cup of coffee you can start making a difference. Americans are expected to use 23 billion paper cups of coffee this year. Starting your morning right with a cup of coffee in a refillable mug will not only keep you going, but the environment can keep going too. More green can also be kept in our pockets by reducing energy in our households. Electronics such as TVs, printers, and cell phone chargers all use electricity when they aren’t even on but still plugged in. A simple fix that could also save you $200 a year on your electric bill is to connect everything that has a glowing light to a power strip cord and unplug it when it’s not in use. The fall colors of orange, yellow, and red make it easy to forget about the green in our beautiful environment; however, if we all take action in simple small ways, we as a college, country, and world can help put an end to our growing environmental crisis. These are just a few ways to reduce our footprint on the planet. Challenge yourself and the people around to explore more ways to green up your life.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are that of the authors and do not represent the views and opinions of the Independent. 14 FLC


Horoscopes Aries: March 21 - April 19 You’re willing and able to butt heads with rivals at work or school, but only a butthead would bring the competition home!

Taurus: April 20 - May 20 Be weary of who you push away, Taurus. You may see yourself as being stubborn and willful, but others may see you as uncompromising and arrogant.

Gemini: May 21 - June 20

Libra: September 23 - October 22 Don’t bother busying yourself with housekeeping; your greatest ambitions are nigh achievable! Time spent on the menial and meaningless is energy wasted.

Scorpio: October 23 - November 21 You’re going to have to do some tip-toeing around some big egos. Don’t depend on confronting problems head-on if you can placate others into doing the work for you.

Sagittarius: November 22 - December 21

Don’t be hesitant to express your opinions. Communication is your key strength, let others benefit from your personal views.

Although you have a tendency to rationalize your sundries, be cautious about your reasoning. What you may justify as reasonable can just as easily come across as stingy.

Cancer: June 21 - July 22

Capricorn: December 22 - January 19

You’re going to enjoy the limelight, Cancer. Now’s the time to show off your skills whether its cooking, writing, or skating, you’ll be the center of attention.

You’ll fi nd yourself gifted with extra vigilance, Capricorn. Now’s the time for you to come to the aid of others. Just remember: there’s a fi ne line between hero and watchdog.

Leo: July 23 - August 22

Aquarius: January 20 - February 18

You’re going to be receiving a lot of unwanted attention. Confronting the ego parasites will only tarnish your image, instead, use their attention as positive energy.

You’re going to feel the urge to take short-cuts with quick, decisive actions, Aquarius. Rely on the marathon thinking that you excel at. Slow and steady wins the race.

Virgo: August 23 - September 22

Pisces: February 19 - March 20

The odds are stacked against you, Virgo. Th ankfully, for a natural underdog such as yourself, a little pressure goes a long way.

Try to avoid the hot-headed drama of others right now. Mind the gap and divorce yourself from excess stress.

The Indy is currently looking for Reporters, Writers, Photographers, Copy Editors, Art Designers, Programmers, Public Relations, and Advertising Agents for the fall semester. As long as you’re a Fort Lewis student you are eligible to join and work in any position. Benefits include: college credit up to 6 credits (you pick the amount of credits between one and six), involvement in a RSO (club), internship credit, and opportunities for advancement and management positions. The Indy is a great resume and portfolio builder! No experience, no problem, the Indy can train for any position. If you are interested in joining our growing team next semester please register for English 250 Practicum-Newspaper. If you have any questions, please email the Indy at

Reporters Writers Photographers Copy Editors Graphic Designers Programmers Public Relations Advertising Agents FLC



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Independent Issue 15  

This is the Fort Lewis College Independent Magazine which I am the Art Director of.