December 2, 2010 | Issue #227
y o u r. i n d y @ g m a i l . c o m
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
editor-in-chief: Ri l ey Ken ny s mith
I love books, which is a pretty convenient situation for a lit major about to start her senior project. But seriously though, I really love books, in a way that’s possibly a little bizarre. In a way, I think of books as friends--that is, I have fond memories of books in the exact same way that I have fond memories of friends. (This is probably the result of my childhood, because in early elementary school I definitely had a lot more books than friends. Whatever. I’m mostly capable of being a normal person now.) The first book I ever read was Dr. Seuss’s Hop on Pop, and I remember how it seemed like forever to the end of each page. But damn, it was so awesome to finally be able to put all the letters together into words and all the words together into sentences. And when I closed the book after the final page, there was the most awesome moment of all: putting all the sentences together into a story. All by myself ! It’s like remembering the first time you met someone who is now a close friend. How could I not think of it in that way, when books show you how the world fits together?
layout editor: Ta r a C on n elly writers: H i l l a r y An d er s on A da m B reid b art Va n essa Cavan agh M a da me Q u er y Ki m Wh iteh ead copy editors: E r i c a B as co A l ex Pros cia print manager: Ro byn Wilk in s cover photo by: K ate McCor mick ar twork by:
Ri l ey Ken ny s mith Ta r a C on n elly web design by: D a n i elle Lemp p The Purchase Independent is a nonprofit news magazine, paid for by the Mandatory Student Activity fee. We welcome and encourage submissions from readers. The Indy is a forum for campus issues and events, to give students the voice they deserve. Letters, articles, comics, ads, event photography and event listings are welcomed. The deadline for submissions is every Friday before midnight, and accepted pieces will be published the following Thursday. Publication of submissions is not guaranteed, but subject to the discretion of the editors. No anonymous submissions will be considered, but we will accept use of pseudonyms on a case-by-case basis. Send all submissions and inquiries to email@example.com. Send questions to Madame Query at formspring.me/ madamequery. Back page quotes can be submitted to formspring.me/indybackpage or put in the Back Page Box that hangs on the office door. Our office is located on the first floor of Campus Center North, room 1011. Staff meetings are held in the office every Monday night at 9:30; anyone is welcome to join.
So I know how crazed I always seem in my letters, sleep-deprived and stressed, but that’s not the whole story. Because I’m a literature major, and every time I open a novel to do my homework, it’s like running into an old friend and having a great conversation. I love books. The books are what keep me sane.
your.indy@gm ai l.com
LITERARY MAGS AT CLMP BY HILLARY ANDERSON SUNY Purchase is no stranger to independent publishing. The Submission, Italics Mine and The Independent all serve the many writers on campus, a literary flux of the Purchase community’s voice. The offices of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses in the West Village show a grander scale of that literary community. According to Jamie Schwartz, the head of the CLMP, “it’s important as a writer to be aware of what’s going on in the community. ” Serving and assisting the needs of independent literary publishers is her job. Independent publishers have difficulty surviving in a world where the publishing business is dominated by a few ubiquitous (and rich) commercial houses; CLMP benefits smaller literary magazines and publishers trying to survive in an economic climate harsh for indies. “Very few literary magazines make a profit,” explains Schwartz. Many literary magazines function as “not-for-profit” style organizations, though not all classify themselves as such. Joel Whitney, co-founder and editor of the online literary magazine Guernica, says, “We cover politics. If we support a candidate, as a nonprofit—that’s lobbying. In a sense, if you want to be free, you can’t do it as a nonprofit.” Beth Harrison is the sole founder of literary magazine Spinning Jenny. She has worked as a development consultant for arts organizations and nonprofit presses, which she says are “always looking for some undiscovered
foundation or benefactor who’s going to ride in on a white horse and fund everything.” Roughly 85% of funding comes from individuals, 10% from foundations and 5% from corporations. She advises, “People who read, distribute, fund, and design these projects, those are the people you need to immerse yourself in. Someone who’s outside all of that isn’t going to get it. People who are open to it—bring those people closer to you.” The relationship between writing and editing entangles anyone trying to survive in the industry. “I find I feel a lot of personal and professional ownership over pieces I’ve edited. When one of them gets picked up, I sometimes think it’s my own piece,” admits Whitney. “You feel like it’s your own creative work, but it’s not.” Rozalia Jovanovic, founding editor of the literary magazine Gigantic, says that editing and writing nurture each other. “You can make a lot of connections as an editor while nurturing the community you’re working in. If I was a writer working on my own, I’d be isolated. Editing keeps you connected.” Jamie Schwartz, Beth Harrison, Joel Whitney and Rozalia Jovanovic sat down for a panel discussion with several Purchase students, including the staff of Italics Mine, in the CLMP offices on November 29th, 2010. CLMP: www.clmp.org Guernica: www.guernicamag.com Spinning Jenny: www.spinning-jenny.com Gigantic: www.thegiganticmag.com
Q&A WITH PSGA’S PREZ BY ADAM BREIDBART Adam Breidbart: What challenges have you experienced as the PSGA President?
Nico Marceca: We’re a very large organization, we have a lot of students to work with, and the first challenge was organizing everything and making sure everyone was comfortable in their positions, that everything was running smoothly. AB: What is Civic Actions?
NM: Civic Actions is a committee to turn campus and student initiatives into action. My idea is to give the students what they want, and completely open up the communication between students and the student government to bring their voices and their ideas into action. I want people to come to my Civic Actions meetings with suggestions, or even e-mail me their ideas. There’s no idea too big or small. AB: What initiatives have been put forth so far this semester?
NM: Everything happens on a timeline. The Civic Actions meetings started about a month ago and we brought a lot of the bigger issues to the student board. Next semester we’ll see a lot of new changes: more wireless and bandwidth from CTS, new Port Chester times for the buses, instituting public art and campus beautification. I think what students will appreciate the most is that I aim to put a couple computers in the student lounge of Starbucks, as well getting the hammocks back up around campus. Over the next semester a bunch of students’ ideas will start to pop up.
AB: Aside from Civic Actions, what else do you yourself directly deal with?
NM: Student representation is a big thing for me; I have constant meetings with President Schwarz and the administration. I try to make my face and voice known on different parts of campus and bring forward as many student ideas as possible. I am always talking to people and always asking for what they want, pushing that forward. In addition to that, one of my biggest pulls this year is to make sure that the PSGA will always be a constantly smooth-running entity. In the past there were controversies and tensions. I tried to avoid that in the beginning of the year by introducing myself to everybody and saying “anything you need, any problems, talk to me.” AB: What are you doing this year that differs from previous PSGA Presidents?
NM: In past years the organization was held back because there was little documentation or training in place for people. So I’ve gone forth and made training packets and we’ve started making executive timelines to let future executive boards know exactly what should be done when. AB: What are the biggest things you want to push for the rest of the year?
NM: The two biggest things I want to push are my communication with the campus and my ability to actually institute students’ ideas and push forward their desires for this campus.
(continued on page 11)
LOOKING FOR AN INTERNSHIP? THE INDY OFFERS THE FOLLOWING 2 CREDIT INTERNSHIPS FOR NEXT SEMESTER: WRITING INTERNS:
attend weekly Monday night staff meetings to discuss new stories and get assignments write at least one story per issue, due by 8 p.m. each Saturday night expand their portfolios by writing on diverse topics—we don’t assign beats, because we want you to know how to do anything and everything a future employer could ask for earn 2 credits for a full-semester internship suggested majors: journalism, creative writing, literature
• • • • •
GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERNS:
• • •
attend weekly Monday night staff meetings to discuss new stories design the Back Page each week (Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons) assist layout editor with other elements of the design process, such as (but not limited to): ads, vector illustrations and photo editing earn 2 credits for a full-semester internship suggested major: graphic design
• • •
attend weekly Monday night staff meetings to discuss new stories and get assignments take photos for stories and the cover earn 2 credits for a full-semester internship suggested majors: photography, journalism, new media
attend weekly Monday night staff meetings to discuss new stories and get assignments for the next issue provide an illustration for the back page each week, corner doodles and the occasional piece for feature stories earn 2 credits for a full-semester internship suggested majors: painting/drawing, printmaking, visual arts
PRINT MANAGING INTERNS:
attend weekly Monday night staff meetings to discuss new stories edit all stories, due monday night must have a basic knowledge of AP Style must hate the Oxford comma earn 2 credits for a full-semester internship suggested majors: journalism, creative writing, literature
must be able to commit to being the Print Manager for the 2011-2012 school year (a paid position) learn how to handle the technical side of printing The Indy each week must be available Wednesday evenings and willing/able to stay for the 5 to 6 hours it takes to print a full run of an issue
IF INTERESTED, EMAIL RESUME AND 3–5 SAMPLES OF RELEVANT WORK TO: y o u r. i n d y @ g m a i l . c o m
DANCE WITH BLACK SWAN BY VANESSA CAVANAGH Deep inside every great artist, dancer and student, there is a lesbian ballerina stalker who wants to drug your drink in a nightclub and take your job. Let me explain.
Some Purchase students, who had the patience and perseverance to wait in line at the PAC for tickets a few weeks ago, were rewarded for their stamina with a treat—a free prescreening of Darren Aronofsky’s newest film, Black Swan. The screening was a kind of thank you gift to the school, because many of the scenes were filmed at our very own Performing Arts Center. The film is an incredible look at the most dark and self-destructive corners of perfectionism and unchecked determination. The cast is fantastic—Natalie Portman stars as Nina, a young ballerina who is overwhelmed by her manic mother (Barbara Hersey). When the head of her dance company (Vincent Cassel) needs to replace his prima ballerina
(Winona Ryder) in his revamped production of Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. Nina, in her innocent and fragile state, is perfect at portraying the White Swan but can’t quite let loose enough to grasp the dark sensuality of the other side of the swan queen, the Black Swan. A new dancer enters the company, Lily (Mila Kunis), who develops a strange friendship with Nina and looms over her, threatening to steal the role away. Lily’s arrival sends Nina into a downward spiral of paranoia and self discovery that threatens to destroy her. Black Swan is not just a movie about ballet. It’s a psychological thriller, centered around the intensity of the dance world. It has been heralded by some critics as Aronofsky’s best work yet. His achievement with this film is a movie that stands out, a legitimate work of art in an industry filled with sexy supernatural romances, teen slashers, and half-hearted exploitation films. Every shot in Aronofsky’s film is a closeup, of either keeping things under control or letting that same control slip away. From Nina wrapping her toes to keep them from bleeding through her ballet shoes, to her seeing splintered visuals of herself in the mirror, to the scarf that’s always around her neck, she’s wrapped up very tight. Even the beautiful costume design, done by the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte fame, shows aspects of the characters’ personalities. Portman’s performance drives the film, and Aronofsky deserves a lot of credit for
REVIEWS extracting her best performance since The Professional. And she delivers, all 90 pounds of her. The actress revealed that she took part in extreme ballet, cross-training and swimming a year before filming and lost 20 pounds from the training.
“ If Natalie Portman doesn’t get an Oscar nomination this season, I’ll eat every scarf I own.” The dance scenes themselves are intense, both in terms of their choreography and in their filming, which is always intently trained on Nina’s face. She is clearly overworked and overextending herself, and the camera seems fixated on catching her break character—or worse. The tension we see coming from Nina is wickedly entertaining. We see her pushing herself beyond her comfort zone. The people who surround her scrutinize her every move—ballet is an art form where perfection is seemingly the only option. Falling short of these goals can be devastating, and there we have a front row ticket to the beautiful train-wreck that is Black Swan. There are a lot of elements to the movie, and one may guess how it will end, but the twists and turns to get there make the film well worth watching. Body terror. Lesbianism—Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman having sex, what more could you ask for in a movie? Bulimia. Cake. Ecstasy. I highly recommend sitting back and enjoying the ride.
KLEZMANUKKAH Come celebrate Chanukah with Hillel and the Purchase Klezmer & World Music Ensemble! Thursday, December 2
Orchestra room 0078 in the Music Building. 8pm:
Israeli dancing with Uri Aqua 9pm:
Dance and party with the 18 piece Purchase Klezmer and World Music Ensemble lead by Frank London (of the “Klezmatics”) Everyone is welcome! Candle lighting and good times.
50,000 WORDS,BY30 DAYS KIM WHITEHEAD You may think November at Purchase is all about “No Shavember” or “Novembeard,” but a new trend is on the rise. November is also NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Registering with nanowrimo.org is an online commitment to write 50,000 words by midnight November 30th, to write a novel in a single month. At heart though, the point of the venture is just to write and never stop. “Write first, ask questions later,” is the motto, which serves as motivation for unpublished writers who may not think they have the chops to go pro. Currently in its 11th year as an internet sensation, NaNo started with 21 writers in the San Francisco Bay Area in July 1999 as a friendly competition, a smack-talk, junk food, frantic writing extravaganza. The “noveling” became an actual thing in 2000, with a free website handed to creator Chris Baty and his friends, a slew of connections and an informal Yahoo club to unite the now 140 writers who had signed up for the project. Since then, the project has close to 200,000 participants this year, partners with over 1,200 schools, connections with international writing organizations such as “Room to Read,” and sponsors programs like “The Great NaNoWriMo book drive” and “April Script Frenzy.” Sophomore literature major Grace Tuck, in her third year as a WriMo (as NaNo writers are so affectionately called), was at a 28,000 word count on the 21st of the month, just about seven thousand words behind the
suggested 35,007 word goal. She says the major difference between her usual writing style and NaNo is the time crunch. “NaNoWriMo forces me to put fingers to keys every day and crank out page after page, even if I feel stumped. Normally, I could go weeks without writing, but NaNo really makes the story come to life faster than I could imagine.” In a local community setting, WriMos can join forums and attend Write-ins, where participants get together in a local bookstore or coffee shop. They can talk about plots and characters, sleepless nights and caffeinefilled days, writer’s block and procrastination techniques, motivation tactics and (possibly most importantly) silencing their inner editor. Often, sitting around with other writers who are going through the same stress and slumps helps the process along and keeps the writers going, because hey, if everyone else can do it, then hell, so can you. “The story most definitely changed as I was writing it,” Tuck says.
“ One day, I was writing a scene and all of a sudden two new characters popped up and just started running the show. I had no idea what was happening.”
HER CAMPUS The process is long and arduous, but the website is there to help WriMos every step of the way. Baty and the NaNo team provide weekly pep-talks from well-known authors, video blogs and silly inspirational messages to keep writers moving, like “suggest a theme song for a character,” or “incorporate a shovel into your next scene.” “I definitely lurk on the forums a lot, year-round, actually,” says junior Samantha Yellin, a creative writing major also in her third year of NaNo. She takes pleasure in the pep-talks, after a difficult day of writing when characters tend to fight the author more than their own nemeses. “There’s just something infinitely affirming when you wake up to an email from the writer who is solely responsible for your chosen career path, telling you, ‘It’s okay, I do it too.’” At the end of the month, after uploading the final word count, the prizes may seem small: a “Winner” web badge on your profile page, PDF winner’s certificate, a single free published copy of your manuscript (okay, that one is awesome). But just as the site suggests, the real prize is the sense of accomplishment, the taming of the mythical deadline beast... the pure smell of victory, which smells kind of like you’ve skipped a few showers because you’ve been so focused on your word count.
and nearly caught up to the site’s suggested daily 1,667 word count.
“ The hardest part is setting aside the time each day to reach your daily goal.” However, Villano finds that writing with other people makes it more of a social activity, and therefore easier to push herself along, just as the site’s help section suggests. Tuck agrees, and says that her worst enemy is the internet. “If I have an internet connection, all hope is lost,. So I find that it’s easier to seclude myself in someone else’s room, or in a hallway, or wherever I can find a place to put myself.” Setting personal goals, even if they do not match the website’s guidelines, is a method shared by Villano and Yellin. It helps them maintain that feeling of success and accomplishment at the end of each day. Will they finish their novels on time this year? “Heck yes!” Villano answered. All three writers plan to attempt the NaNoWriMo process again next year as well. Even if you haven’t even started yet, that does not make your writing any less important or fulfilling. So sign up, post on a forum, get a character and a plot and get moving! Guaranteed, you’ll come back next year, on time, coffee in hand, ready to write your heart out.
Sophomore creative writer Danielle Villano is a previous Winner of NaNoWriMo
HAS YOUR REMEDY
What is the most tactful way to ask an apartment-mate to move out at the end of the semester?
I bought a beta fish from the bookstore and sometimes I think it’s talking to me. Can I return it to the bookstore?
Considering the fact that the bookstore will only give you 2 cents back for a book that cost $65 in the beginning of that semester, I think your sale is final. You sound pretty insane, not because your beta fish is “talking” to you, but mostly because you actually bought a beta fish from the bookstore. When Madame is waiting in line at the bookstore, she often stares up, wondering about the life of a Purchase College bookstore beta fish. She imagines their lives, floating at the tops of their tiny plastic cups, to be narrated something like this: “Maybe if I just keep floating here, I’ll eventually dry out and then I can be free of Z100 and witnessing the death of Purchase students’ bank accounts.” When we think of it this way, I guess you are a good-hearted person for buying the little fish. Your little beta fish is probably so thankful you saved him from his bookstore life. Do not worry if your pet is talking to you, he is only thanking you immensely.
Ahh, Madame Query has dealt with many annoying roommates. Some messy, some loud, some with even more annoying friends or a horrible habit of watching the Notorious B.I.G. biopic at 3am. I am, of course, speaking of character traits found in two of my randomlyassigned housemates from the past. Did I want them to move out? Yes, of course. If I had to do it over again, I would’ve sought revenge, been louder, made messier messes. I would have taken over the television and watched 8 Mile all night long. But I didn’t retaliate that way, and that’s probably a good thing. My other roommates and I sat these people down countless times. But sometimes not even a gunshot can get through to some people. Unfortunately, talking is the only option for us as civil people. Fortunately, you only seem to have trouble with one apartment-mate, so this makes it easier than dealing with two. Sit this person down and discuss every reason why you’re having problems. Set a tone that is calm but not too good-natured—you don’t want to seem like you can be easily swayed back into whatever nonsense you’ve been subjected to. It’ll be hard. Your apartment-mate can either take this as constructive criticism or hate you so much afterward that you’ll suddenly have that empty room you wanted. No matter what, don’t feel guilty about the situation. You should only feel guilty if you’re weak and don’t go through with the confrontation.
I just want to find a nice straight guy, taller than 5’8’’, on the chubby side, but I can’t find one. Is that too much to ask?
Calling on all our straight male readers, who have more to love and have some good height on them, let’s show this lucky lady a good time! Madame has to admit, Seth Rogen proportions can be pretty cute and will keep you warm at night, but that doesn’t mean a scrawny guy can’t share his blanket. Don’t set yourself on a type, you never know who could surprise you.
A DV I C E My laundry keeps burning in the Crossroads laundry room. What am I doing wrong?!
Step 1: Put dirty clothes into washing machine. Step 2: Pour liquid laundry detergent into the designated opening on top. Step 3: After 38 minutes, place wet clothes into the dryer. Step 4: After 60 minutes your clothes should be dry, but they won’t be. Step 5: After 95 minutes your clothes should be dry, but at the very least they’ll now be damp. Step 6: After 2 hours your clothes are dry, but somehow on fire? But... Step 6 is not a legitimate step in the laundry process. I have never heard of clothes catching on fire. At least not when I lived in freshman housing. You should be so happy to have your clothes catching on fire—in my day, you’d open up a dryer and almost drown. I think by the end of my freshman year I saw more water than Michael Phelps. I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, unless you’re not washing your clothes before throwing them in the dryer. Okay, Madame will stop being an ass and give you some real advice: you’re not doing anything wrong, you just go to Purchase, so every laundry room or similar necessity is bound to go to shit. You can call maintenance, but hardly anything ever stays fixed for long. You’d be better off investing in a drying rack.
SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS
TO MADAME QUERY http://www.formspring.me/madamequery
(continued from page 4) AB: What is the best way for someone to pitch his or her initiative to you?
NM: E-mail me! I am always answering my e-mails and I encourage anyone to e-mail me anything formal or informal, questions or suggestions. I love talking to students about what we can do. We are a really powerful group on campus, we have a large budget and we are the direct student advocacy group, we control the programming on campus and influence a lot around here. If students have ideas, whether it’s personal projects or things they want to see here, I would love to put them in touch with the right people to do that or help them do it myself. AB: Is this year’s executive board working well together so far?
NM: I couldn’t ask for a better executive board. The students on it are incredibly motivated and are all very friendly, and they all have a lot of big goals that they’re pushing toward. It’s a pleasure working with them. AB: Do you think that this is the start of a better reputation for the PSGA?
NM: This is the first year that I have seen the PSGA reputation spike in a very positive way. As we continue to improve public relations and initiatives, I think it will get even better. AB: What are some things you look to improve about the PSGA?
NM: I see the PSGA as a completely new and evolving thing, and I want to take it from the ground level to somewhere big. I want people to realize that we are the student voice and that we are here to hear them. I hope that more students who see this will get in touch with me to get involved.
SUBMIT BACK PAGE QUOTES VIA THE BOX OUTSIDE CCN 1011 OR ON THE WEB AT: HTTP://FORMSPRING.ME/INDYBACKPAGE
*some quotes have been rewritten for legibility or to preserve the anonymity of the submitter