The opinions, belief viewpoints expressed the various authors interview participants not necessarily reflect
and by and do the
opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Burman University or its official policies or any affiliates. Each author sites his or her own words. jovan mckenzie 2nd year // general studies
cover design & photos by mark ebajo layout design by jacqui mccarty
THE MEN’S ISSUE 4
hey mama [b.a.]
cooking with kuya [j.f.]
i married a feminist [k.d.]
life after grad [e.b., l.b.]
be a man [d.i.]
interview with stacy hunter [a.l.]
thomas magnum: my male role model [j.r.]
women through a man’s eyes [a.o.]
fist bumps with jesus [j.s.]
interview with robert walters [r.w.]
manhood & masculinity [e.m.]
it’s a gay man’s world [m.n.]
interview with dr. john mcdowell [s.w.]
joseph explaining to his parents [r.m.]
men don’t cry [j.b.]
what is it like to be a black man? [k.w.]
the must haves in my wardrobe [c.l.]
top 5 movies [r.z.]
let’s get physical [j.u., c.b.]
I wanna scream so loud for you, cause I'm so proud of you / Let me tell you what I'm about to do, (Hey Mama) / I know I act a fool but, I promise you I'm goin’ back to school / I appreciate what you allowed for me / I just want you to be proud of me (Hey Mama) - Hey Mama, Kanye West I always loved this song because it speaks volumes to my life. I remember it like it was yesterday – Christmas Day in an intercity apartment in Ottawa. 5 years-old, 3 foot and 7 inches, young Ben sat at the dinner table with his older brother to the right of him, his mother to the left, and his father across the table. I received a Big Blocks ™ dump truck that year. Fast forward twelve months, 4 foot and 2 inches, young Ben sat the dinner table with his older brother to the right of him, his mother to the left, and across from him was an empty seat. I got Hot Wheels that year. He left the first time to bury his mother. The trip was longer than the usual trip to the motherland. He buried my grandmother with his nine brothers and sisters. I understood that but getting a new job I did not understand. I’ll see you soon turned into I’ll visit soon. The little apartment was no longer his home. My father changed his address. But that became my life. I went from seeing my father in the evening after he finished his nine to five shift to occasionally hearing his voice over the phone after my mom sent me to a corner store to buy a calling card to make the long distance call to Ghana. But when I zoomed out from my apartment in the “ghetto” areas of Ottawa, my situation was not that unique. Many of the kids on the block had fatherless homes, or if their father lived with them, they were so distant. It would not have made a difference whether he lived there or not. I guess it was normal to have a single mother, no matter what the reason was. Many years later, my mom moved our family of three to a place where single mothers were not as common, the suburbs. Grade six Ben, visiting his new friends and every house had both parents, both nurturing. Grade six Ben, new friends would come over and the common question was, “Where is your dad?” Crying in my pillow became a usual thing because my eyes had been open, not living with a nurturing father was not supposed to
be a normal thing. The suburbs were a culture shock. I made the basketball team that year – practice was hard for an overweight kid in grade six. Walking around the neighborhood, my teammates would be practicing on their outdoor basketball hoop with their fathers, I didn’t even have a basketball. First game of the season came up – we played against Rockcliffe Park Public School, the school where Ben Harper, Stephen Harper’s son, was the star player on the team. We arrived at the school, I looked in the bleachers and saw the parents of all my teammates, moms and dads. I was looking to see Stephen Harper, but all I could find was a stern looking security guard. Ben Harper and I almost had the same feeling. I say almost because I continued to look and my eyes met with beautiful brown and exhausted eyes, the eyes of my mother. The eyes of a woman who worked 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and was shortly going to go to work for the next 11 p.m. shift. The woman who carried me on her back when I broke my ankle because a bully tripped me on the playground. The woman who wrapped me up in her blanket before leaving to her shift. The woman who taught me to make rice and stew. The woman who I gave my first foot rub and first back massage to, who pulled bags of groceries in a small trolley on the public bus route. Thanks mom. You taught me to love, to respect, to be bold. Even though I did not have someone to show me how to build a deck, how to shoot a basketball, how to lift weights, I had you. You may not have shown me how to be a man, but you showed me how to be myself and that’s more important. Thanks mom. One day I’ll be taking care of you.
BE A MAN Growing up, there was nothing I wanted more than to make my father proud. I thought that he was flawless in every aspect. He was a man of God, and he was strong and used to fight a lot in his younger days. As out of place it may be to be a man of God and a fighter, these were the traits that I looked up to while growing up. In a lot of ways, I grew to resemble him. However, unlike him, I was sensitive. I was a crybaby. One day my father got tired of hearing me cry and questioned my manhood. “Be a man,” he said. I could only find one way to stop crying and that was to get angry. I’m not sure if he knows this, but it is for this reason that I started fighting so much in my childhood. Whenever I felt sad, I would turn that emotion into anger and fight someone. It got to the point where when I was 17 my parents told me I had to take anger management. Compared to a lot of my friends, however, I didn’t think I was that bad. I had friends that had stabbed people, robbed people, jumped people, etc… So I didn’t feel like getting into the occasional fight was a big deal. It was during this time that God allowed me to break out of this unhealthy lifestyle. One of my good friends at my high school had died. When I heard the news that she died, I immediately thought of her little brother. He disowned her for dating a guy that beat him up. It was during this time that he had not spoken to his sister for a few weeks that she fell asleep at the wheel on the 401. When my friends and I were sitting in the funeral of our 18-year-old friend, they were all crying but I wasn’t.
The last person to walk up to the open casket was her little brother. The congregation went silent because everyone knew he had just recently disowned her, and they had not communicated for a few weeks. He smelt like liquor and slowly dragged his feet to look one last time at his sister’s face. As he looked into the casket, the sorrow almost felt tangible in the room. His knees gave up strength, and he fell to the ground and cried out loudly. The entire room erupted in lamentation, and I sat there, staring at the grief, and asking myself, “What is wrong with me?” I wanted to cry so badly, but I couldn’t. I hadn’t cried in years. It felt like I forgot how. So I did the only thing I could think of, and I prayed. I asked God to set me free and to allow me to let out my emotions. I asked God to help me to cry. When I felt it come over me, I went outside the church, lay down on the grass, and cried vehemently. My friends all came around me, the same ones who had stabbed, robbed, and done all sorts of horrible things. They came around me and held me, and we all cried together. Those friends are now my brothm a r k eb a j o ers. 2nd year // psych God set me free that day. It helped me with my anger drastically. It solidified friendships that have now lasted over 10 years. It was as if I had finally let out all that sadness that I held for so long. I still do not cry very often. However, it is because God set me free in this way that whenever I feel the Holy Spirit move I allow myself to cry. I will not be ashamed of the very thing that God used to help me. I will cry for Him because I now believe this is what helped me to “be a man.” d a n i e l i n n o c e nt
F RO M YO U R E Y E S I n t e r v i e w w i t h R o b e r t Wa l t e r s
What is masculinity? Is it in our pants, pockets, bank accounts, fists, titles, sexual exploits or material possessions? I don’t think it’s any of those. Okay so what do you think it is? I think it’s confidence and, I mean we could add a lot of things. But it is confidence and the ability to care for, show love and care for the opposite sex. How do you show love and care for the opposite sex? Well, I mean, being- respectful and kind to them, empowering them every opportunity you get. What kinds of ideas of masculinity/manliness did you see modeled growing up? I saw a sense of masculinity wherein my father would demean and oppress my mother and any other woman around him including my sisters. My eldest brother seemed to have followed closely in his footsteps. While I could shift some of the responsibility off my father’s shoulder because he was not educated or exposed, my brother was both educated and exposed. Yet, he seemed to follow-in a lot of ways-in my father’s footsteps. Not absolutely but in a lot of ways. What aspects of your culture, faith, or education either helped or hindered your understanding of manhood as you grew? I guess the aspect of my culture that hindered my manhood was the notion that men can get any woman they wanted. Or as many as they wish to have – drop as many sperm as they wish to drop and father as many babies as they wish to father, while not parenting most of-or in some cases, any of-those babies. That from a culture view hindered me. From a religious point of view, I don’t see that I was hindered or empowered about my manhood …at all. From an educational point of view, I sought to educate myself on how to be a man- in fact- I learnt most of my manliness or my masculinity or however you want to put it from my father. In as much as I don’t think he emulated or set the best example of what a true father or leader of a family should be, he gave me a lot of examples of what I shouldn’t be. And I simply took that and did the opposite. Which helped me very much, basically I just did for my family the opposite of all the things I hated him doing as a father to us and as a husband to my mother.
How do you handle the pressure of the traditional role of the man to provide? Has feminism changed the role of a man, does that intimidate the role? Well I’ll flip the answer to that question. I think that understanding and embracing feminism has empowered me as a man and given me great clarity and vastly increased my understanding of how to be a father to a household of daughters. And has helped me to steer them in the direction of becoming strong, empowered young ladies. Some men are intimidated by feminism because they don’t take the time to understand it. Because when women succeed, we all succeed. How has fatherhood changed you or your thinking? Ooohh… oh boy. Wow, there’s so much… The first thing fatherhood has done is that it has centered me. It centered me more than any other experience I have had in life which includes my culture, religion, geography, marriage, influence of my parents, friends or even family. Fatherhood has first taught me to love unconditionally and selflessly. Fatherhood has also taught me that I can love more than one child at a time -the same amount at the same time; while sharing my love and empathy to other children that are not my own. Fatherhood has also given me the desire to never want to die. What were some fears you had about becoming a dad? My greatest fear about becoming a dad was to losing my child. Losing them to divorce, death, society, drugs, alcohol or any addictive substances. How can you lose your child to society? Pfft… Well, I mean there’s a saying (I dunno if it’s a saying or something in my head that goes like this)—I am of the notion that human beings would rather be accepted than loved. And if a child does not feel loved at home, they could wander our into society and society could devour them and turn them into a person they never intended to be or you never raised them to be. Or just simply destroy them. How do the pressures of physical appearance/health play out with men? *Chuckles* Well for me, I cannot really give much of an opinion on that because I am fairly healthy. I’ve never had much of any sicknesses. And I’m so damn handsome I can’t help myself.
As a father, what are the most important lessons you have taught or are teaching your son about being a guy? I try to emphasize to him to respect women and honor them, care for them, protect them. Because woman gave him life. I also instill in him that by virtue of our physical makeup, we are physically the stronger sex. And it is our responsibility to protect women and not hurt them. Is that emotionally or physically? Well, I don’t think at 10 years old he would grasp that. When do you plan to start? As soon as he starts to show interest or attraction to young ladies then I will have to start. Or maybe I should start tomorrow. If relevant, tell us something from your academic discipline or work that can give a more nuanced view of men’s experiences and the constructs people hold about manliness. If you present yourself as manly, sometimes people write you off as cocky, overconfident, egotistical, narcissistic jerk, a demagogue, or an oppressionist. Why do you think that is only attributed to manliness? Because it is typically men who exhibit those kinds of characteristics. Do you think that’s harmful to mostly attribute those characteristics to men? Yeah I think its harmful but I think that most men that are characterized like that have earned it. Boys are often taught to have a diminished need for comfort, protection and affection. How is vulnerability apart the masculine experience? For me, I was never taught to be vulnerable by the men in my life growing up. I was always taught to suck it up. However, I grew up having 9 sisters so while I wasn’t directly taught it, it was exhibited and practiced around me and I came to understand it. While I am not the best at portraying it, I do understand and am able more times than not to empathize. The relevance of vulnerability to being masculine is that, you are more attractive to the opposite sex when you can show vulnerability. It benefits a man because it shows you to be more human and it also gives you more of a sense of trustworthiness. People are more likely to trust you if you seem to be more vulnerable and sensitive.
For much of history, society has given women the dominant parental role, and while this gives men certain advantages, it also sometimes leads to the expectation that they will not be as involved with or devoted to their own children. Are there ways you would like to see engagement with fatherhood change? Yes. I would like to see fathers take more responsibility of their children at an early age. I have friends that have grown children and now grandchildren and they’ve never seen a child born and they’ve never changed a diaper. We should stop referring to men, when they’re with their children as babysitters. A man does not babysit his own child. He babysits someone else’s child, he fathers his own child. How could you influence young men in today’s society to become better fathers? Or prepare to be better fathers. Live by example. Also, make them aware of the fact that there is no greater joy in life than feeling the skin of your infant child against your bare chest. One of the most important things a man can do to show to their children and the world that they’re a good father is when they show love and affection to their partner. Encourage them to take the load off of the woman if and when they have a child by taking the “night shift” if she has to the “day shift” you take the night shift. • Give her time away from the child. Where she gets time to leave for an hour, day, or week and you take full responsibility of the children and she doesn’t have to do any planning. • While I fail miserably at this, I would tell them to give their children quantity time, not quality time. No child is interested in quality time; they don’t even understand the concept. It’s just more time. Children are interested in more time. Don’t spend more time planning your time than doing it. In closing, if you can say anything to young men, based on your experience with young men what would it be? The last thing I’m gonna say with regard to answering this question is the first thing that came to my thoughts. What I would say to them is: • Find a place to put your head before you find a place to put your penis. • Make God your CENTER, not religion • Focus on the prize, not the price • Don’t ever apply a permanent solution to a temporary problem • Keep your pants above your butt… Below looks gross • And it will all come together in the end.
M E N D O N ’ T C RY Do you remember the first time you saw your dad cry? Some people never do. I remember with a certain terror the first time I did. It was a sunny day. We were running through the woods, playing a game of tag, hopping over fallen logs and ducking under branches. My small legs pumped deftly back and forth to outrun my dad’s giant stride. As I cast a glace over my shoulder, I watched my dad in slow motion plummeting towards the earth, arms outstretched. His foot had caught on a root. With a painful crash, his bulky frame collided with a tree stump that gouged deep into his thigh. I halted in my tracks. As I studied my dad’s face, his look of shock quickly collapsed into a jaw-clenched grimace. His thick eyebrows furrowed, eyes watered. Then he let out a howl I will never forget. Why is it that men and tears seem to repel each other like the opposite poles of a magnet? Who is the one telling young boys to “man up”, or “take it like a man”, or “don’t cry like a baby”? After all what does it mean to be a man? From a young age, boys are taught that the traditional image of masculinity is stoic, self-reliant, emotionally disconnected, aggressive, and basically Batman or the main character from any action movie ever. But is that story working? As our society wrestles with rewriting a new understanding of the gender roles of women and the damage of negative stereotypes, it comes as no surprise that men are also human. Recent studies confirm that men have emotions. Wow. Yet we cannot ignore the looming “manly man” image of automotive grease, sexual exploits, and fast paced car chases. So to talk about mental health, we must stare into the face of toxic masculinity. And make him cry. Duke University is known for its engineering program, its dominance in college basketball, and recently, its safe place for men to talk about their feelings. Because men have feelings. This is ground breaking people! The Men’s Project aims to create an environment in which men can “critique and analyze their own masculinity and toxic masculinities to then create healthier ones.”1
Hold on a second! For the love of John Wayne and Transformer movies, before you conclude that man shouldn’t be synonymous with toxic, an important question must be asked: What is toxic masculinity? First, your biological sex does not make you a bad person. Second, simply because a culture thinks a certain way about a gender doesn’t mean it should be that way. Our society exploits sexuality in women, and I believe that men are also affected negatively by our society’s definition of a man. Toxic masculinity is masculinity robbed of its humanity which pressures men not to show emotions (except for aggression), normalizes abuse of power, stifles genuine connection, and makes a culture of poor mental health. One such example is the tale of a social worker who taught a group of men working in an oil rig how to cry. Now these are the lumberjack of the oil industry, working a in a high pressure, high danger environment. As told by NPR’s Invisibilia, in order to help manage the risk on what would be the largest, most dangerous ocean oil driller in history, the workers for Shell Oil were instructed on how to share their feelings. In a culture where being strong and capable was, and still is, the norm, the burly group would learn how to journal, how to ask for help, and literally, how to cry. Not only did the company’s risk reach an all-time low, but the overall productivity sky-rocketed. But most impressive is that the workers reported that their honesty to their emotions helped foster healthy communication not only at work, but it reached deeply into their personal lives. Not all of the workers participated. Some refused. Some blatantly patronized them for the “girly” behavior. And this is to be expected. Our patriarchal society responds the same way. But the questions are still being asked. So what are some toxic view of masculinity? Are there ideas of masculinity that no longer serve our culture? Is appearing strong worth giving up your emotional health? Because your definition of a man is only as true as how honest you are with yourself. _______________ 1 Ticoll-Ramirez, Celina. "'Deconstructing masculinity': Duke Men's Project aims to facilitate discussions of male privilege and patriarchy." The Chronicle. September 26, 2016. Accessed February 27, 2017. http:// www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/09/deconstructing-masculinity-duke-mens-project-aims-to-facilitate-discussions-of-male-privilege-and-patriarchy.
I would like it very much, for you to have hope. My journey being a gay man and being Adventist isn’t over, and it’s taken a while to adjust or accept. Recently in my life, I’ve had to opportunity to be hired by an Adventist Conference. I guess you could say that when I thought I would leave the Church because I was gay, or when I was fed up with the direction (or lack thereof) that the Church was going, God gave me an option to have hope one more time. I have been out for three years both to family, friends, coworkers and yes, God herself. And yes, I have had people come and go because of it. I’ve had many people tell me that at first glance or encounter, I don’t sound or look gay. Whatever that means, I’ll take it with a grain of salt, and walk a little gayer. I love who I am, and love that God has place me where I am. Though there’s always a storm, I never drop the paddle. When I was first offered the position, my immediate thought was “There’s no way.” No way that I could be in an environment that, for the majority, does not support who I am and who I love. Immediately, I sought counsel from my mentors, friends, parents, my doctor, my pet, or anything breathing object I could find. After giving it a few days to think over, I decided that this was the route I’ll take – for a year. I gave myself one year. After that, it was all up in the air again. Like most jobs, I started quiet and polite. Being sure to hold the door, say “good morning”, talk with coworkers by the water cooler about casseroles (because I personally love to cook but that’s beside the point). While I got settled in, questions and doubts began coming to mind. “Are you being honest?” “You’re going to get fired.” “You should probably start going to church again.” “What will people say?” “You should be loud and proud!” “Who else knows?” Doubting myself and getting nowhere with doing so, I focused my attention on my work. The pressures of judgment can only do so much, if you let them get to you after all right? Once again, I had to stretch my trust in God just a bit further than last time.
samuel sinnanainar 2nd year // religious studies
Pressure can drive a person insane. Pressure to fit in, and act straight has always been a problem for me as well. More so within the Adventist community because of the judgment I have received when approached about my sexuality. I should say that there have been times in a service, a few pews back, where I can hear the gossip and whispers about my personal life. And yet, here I am. I guess you could say that compared to the hurt from the judgment I’ve received within the Adventist community, the pressure to “fit in” comes easy to deal with. I should also say that I’ve been blessed, and touched by my work throughout the year that I have worked for the Adventist Conference. I will cherish those moments for my lifetime, and I do not regret trusting in God. What will my future in the Adventist Conference be? I’m not sure yet, but I’m sure it will require more stretching of trust with God. My friends, both who agree and disagree with me working for an Adventist Conference, usually ask me the same question. “Why do you do it?” My answer is not black or white, and in fact there are multiple answers - or multiple colors. Some of which haven’t been given to me yet. The one that sticks out in my mind is as follows. Gay men and women have been working in the Adventist world far longer than I have. Some out, and some not. But if my example can change my boss, my coworkers, my church, the Conference, graduates, students or professors for the greater good, then the good work is good in my book. I just do. I do the work, which I was hired specifically for, and I do it with God in mind. I have to remind myself daily that I’m on the same level as those who disagree with me. That we all stand on the same ground that held up Christ’s cross. I have to hope daily, that God has my back. I would like very much, for you to hope too.
j o n at h a n d e x i m o 2nd year // religious studies
I N T E RV I E W WITH S TAC Y HUNTER Stacy Hunter is Burman University’s Vice President for Student Services. Coincidentally, he chairs the discipline committee so in the event that you haven’t had the privilege of visiting his office, go now. What is masculinity? Is it in our pants, pockets, bank accounts, fists, titles, sexual exploits or material possessions? Obviously, the term is a traditional social construct. In the era that I grew up the thinking was that masculinity was equivalent to big hairy men who could pick up a bus. But I don’t believe that is the case. I think that masculinity [in fact I can clump this in with femininity too] can be more defined as being able to be comfortable in yourself.
quennel anderson 1st year // business
How were you able to formulate your idea of masculinity what were some of your influences? There is a combination of things, I am the second youngest (I have a little sister) but the youngest of four boys. [I have a twin so I am technically younger but you know we’re the same age.] There is no question that between the four of us there was competition. That whole boy thing you know— stronger, faster, smarter. My dad used to be a high school wrestler and he used to coach high school wrestling. He was that big tough guy but none of us ever dared messed with. It does not mean we would never try but we all knew we would be beat going in. In my opinion, he was the person who modeled masculinity in a remarkably different way. Seeing him [my dad] be the first to take off his shirt to help someone else, to change a diaper, to do the dishes, to help my mom in any way shape or form; the whole concept of roles was a lot more to do with what needed to be done. I think that model of masculinity was the model that I saw. Being a man means, you gotta do whatever job needed to get things done.
How did the pressures of physical appearance play out with your experience? If you could, what would you say to the short guys, or the super tall and lanky, or with acne, or can’t build muscle? Aaah, I totally get it! When I was college age, I was 6’3 and 155 pounds with 2.5% body fat. So I was tall and skinny. I would look at men around me who were much shorter. They had pecks because they weren’t all stretched out as I was; even though I was just as strong as they were. And I used to have this dialogue, “aaah man why can’t I look like that”. I think women do the same in terms of comparing themselves to each other. But in my case it was time that helped. Unfortunately, it is time that helps you and maturity to realize that God makes you who you are and there is no one superior perfect body type. Thankfully, when considering women who we want to one-day partner with we find that they are attracted to our character rather than an unrealistic body type. Do you find that there is a difference with how masculinity was understood when you were growing up versus what is understood as masculinity today with your sons; is there a difference? I think when I was growing up my dad helped a lot. And in my mind his influence removed many of the rigid gender role concepts of men and women in relationships. It was inspiring to see him basically destroy those concepts of gender roles. He did what he needed to do to be a part of our lives to help raise us, to support my mom, to be present and active in our lives. Boys are often taught to have a diminished need for comfort, protection and affection. How is vulnerability apart the masculine experience? To be vulnerable is to be willing to continue to grow. It is to take on the challenge of being better. I know that we[men] aren’t supposed to feel. In fact, I grew up with the concept of no pain. ‘I’m ok!’ I’m dragging my broken arm behind me but ‘I’m ok!’. I think that is not what masculinity is. It is being comfortable in yourself, to remove those concepts of unquestioning societal rigid gender roles. It takes two to tango to have kids. Why would you not desire to be a part of a partnership of making a family as special as it can be which includes vulnerability and allowing your family to see a man who is comfortable in themselves who shows affection and emotion.
For much of history, society has given women the dominant parental role, and while this gives men certain advantages, it also sometimes leads to the expectation that they will not be as involved with or devoted to their own children. Are there ways you would like to see engagement with fatherhood change? I’m going to talk directly to the men reading this article: Let me tell you this men. To be a part of your children’s lives is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. I have benefited from my dad’s involvement in my life. I think my sons would say the same. Most importantly they are only young once, so don’t waste it thinking your role is something different than being present and active. How has fatherhood changed you or your thinking? Or a better question would be what are the most important lessons you have taught or are teaching your four sons about being a guy? Oh my goodness, there’s lots of things to teach your kids. You just hope and pray that they can see the world and how they fit. Importantly how they need to be a contributor to the world around them in a good way… We hope. That’s what every parent prays for. For my sons, respect of others is a key lesson that I’ve tried to instill in them. Service to others hard work, determination and never to give up. And of course a major key is to respect women Those are all key pieces of helping them learn how to be young men in today’s society. You try hard, you work hard and do your best. Respect those around you and hopefully good things come from that. What were some fears you had about becoming a dad? I’m not sure if fear is the right word. Becoming a dad is awesome. You’ll laugh at this, but I remember when my oldest was born. We were still in the hospital while my wife rested; I took opportunity to stand next to him when he was under a warm light. I distinctly remember standing over him staring in awe. I spent time just feeling all his little bones… especially his knee caps. Wait… What?! WHY?! (insert belly laughs) I just wanted to know that he had knee caps! Is that because I was afraid of something, I dunno. But as a parent you more than anything, want your kids to be healthy and ultimately to have success in life. So if that’s what qualifies as fear. I just wanted to be assured that this little creature that I helped create had every opportunity to run and play and be happy. That’s what you want for your kids is to help them find their way and I guess the fears you may have exist around that. We want our kids to be successful and the best that they can be.
MANHOOD & MASCULINITY
emmanuel mugara 1 s t y e a r / / w e l l n e s s m a n a g e m e nt
What is true manhood? A lot of people ask and I’m not saying that I have the definite answer but I’m going to try and explain it in a way that we all could understand. A lot of reading and asking questions went into this and this is what is taken from these conversations and long pages. People say; that as long as you provide, that’s all it takes. But if we really take that small saying and analyze it, it really comes down to the fact that we are being called animals. All animals provide for their families, the lion hunts for its prey and brings it to its pride. Likewise, an eagle will bring its food to their convocation and they will be set for as long as the food lasts, then the cycle continues. Biblical manhood is understanding that God has designed the blueprint for manhood, which means that we are not operating in masculinity and manhood if we’re just doing what society and culture tells us to do. We aren’t operating in true masculinity unless we’re doing what God calls manhood or masculinity. And I think that Jesus is the is the perfect picture of authentic biblical masculinity, Jesus was selfless, willing to sacrifice himself, for other and the woman He loved, the church. Therefore, a man should be willing to sacrifice himself for his wife— his bride. I know, I know not all of us are in relationship. A large portion of what it means to be a man is said in relation to marriage, children and family, but it really doesn’t matter if you have any of these things. Your manhood is defined by you having a wife and a car full of kids yelling, “are we there yet!” No, manhood is the state or period of being a man rather than a child, it is his honor, his integrity and his word and the most obvious way he carries himself. Similar definition goes for masculinity— just what makes you, the handsome, cute, strong, and driven person you are. So, as you read on, don’t assume that you must get a wife and kids to fit in the shoes of someone who is called masculine and don’t let anyone say that you have no manhood. Jesus walked in authority, He lived to do the will of his father. He had a mission here on earth and He did not passively walk through life without purpose. He embraced and cherished this responsibility for the welfare of His people. This is in contrast to the first man— Adam, who was really quick to say, “uhh, God? The woman you gave me, well she did it, she ate the fruit.” Adam was quick to blame and be passive- by not taking the responsibility for what he had done in sinning. We kind of see it in our now-a-day society.
I personally don’t believe a man’s sole purpose is providing for the family then once home, watches television or goes out and “chill with the homies”. All the while leaving the spouse to bear and manage everything else— prepares the food, take care of the kids. There are more things than just providing for the family, it is sharing in the beauty of building a home and being present to influence and teach children through his example. Responsibility is key— major key. We must embrace that sense of responsibility just as Jesus did. Christ’s example of manhood and humility was present when he took it upon himself to carry all our sins. His love for us allowed him to be patient and long suffering willing to even abandon his heavenly throne for us! He comes and takes responsibility for all of us and carries all our sinful baloney and foolishness upon his back… That’s what real manhood is all about. This great biblical picture of masculinity and manhood of being selfless. We as men should always remember that as a major key.
I had just left my house and was heading back on campus to start my security shift. I had no idea that a simple drive to work would lead to one of the eye opening experiences in my life.
W H AT I T I S LIKE TO BE A B L AC K M A N ?
As I passed the roundabout and headed toward College Avenue, I noticed a police car behind me. It seemed as if he was following me because I made a few extra turns, but with each turn he was still there. As I passed Deer Street, he turned on his lights and pulled me over. There were a bunch of thoughts running through my head as I was waiting to be approached by the officer.
The officer finally approached me, and as I rolled down my window, I was anxious to see what I did wrong. I also wondered if I would be late for work. He asked me for my license and registration, and I provided both for him. The officer proceeded to ask me questions, and I told him that I worked security for Burman University and was heading to my job.
It was around 11:48 p.m. on November 24, 2016.
I asked myself multiple questions. "Was I speeding?" No, I know for a fact I was going the speed limit. "Were my lights off?" No, I remembered to turn them on and checked again to verify and make sure everything was good. "Was my registration expired?" No, I just bought my car a month ago, so I was good.
He returned my information to me and went on to say, “This is a really nice car. Is it yours?” I responded to him, "Thank you. Yes, it is mine.” He then asked, “Can I see a bill of sale?” At this point I was a bit confused because I was not sure if he pulled me over for a specific reason or if he was getting side tracked. I showed him the bill of sale, and he looked at it for a bit and asked me how I was able to buy this car if I was a student. I told him that I know how to save my money and have been working hard to buy this car. He returned my bill of sale and went on to say, “We’ve had a lot of robberies and break-ins this past month, so we do random checks sometimes. Have a good day.” I drove to work and sat in the office for 10 or so minutes puzzled by what had just taken place. I wasn’t speeding, I wasn’t driving reckless, and my lights were on. Yet, I was randomly stopped and asked to provide my bill of sale because the officer felt like doing a random check. A wide array of emotions circled through my body, and I felt like the only thing I could do was pray because I had never in all my years experienced anything like that when I was in Toronto.
benjamin amoah 3rd year // theolog y
So you may ask, “What is it like being a black man?” It means that I must continue to push to be the best I can be, despite the assumptions made about me based on my race. I have learnt there will be certain situations where the odds aren’t in my favor, but I will always find a way to come out on top. Being a black man doesn’t limit me to stereotypes, it doesn’t mean that I want to be a rapper, a basketball player, or a drug dealer but that I can be anything I want to be regardless of how society may try to label me. I can be successful and influential and a positive contributor to society and my family. Being a black man is something I’m proud of, and wouldn’t change for anything in this world.
kwadwo sar fo
COOKING WITH People ask me why I cook so well. Ok, maybe they just ask why I like to cook. The obvious answer is that I like to eat. Learning to cook was a skill set that was necessary in order to survive. I didn’t get married until I was in my 30’s so if I didn’t learn how to cook it would have been a long time living on just instant ramen and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And not that I would have expected my future wife to cook for me… and not that there is anything wrong with ramen and PB&J, that’s comfort food ingrained from nine years of dorm living. Learning to cook was more than just necessity. It is culture and heritage passed down from my mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles who made the kitchen the soul and nerve center of their homes. It is stories and laughter around the kitchen, and of family and friends coming together through food. I cook not only to eat, but also to share. So for those that might want to learn it is simple. Read. Pick up a recipe book and read. Look at the ingredients and imagine how it all comes together. Watch. YouTube is an amazing place to gather ideas and technique. Practice. Start cooking and sharing. Even if it’s bad at first it is still memories. Taste all the ingredients so you know what it is you are putting into your creations.
I love asking people this question, “If you could only have one more meal, what would it be?” Whatever the answer is, learn to cook that! For me it ranges from Filipino Adobo to spaghetti. For you it might be rice and beans (peas), perogies or Special K roast. Whatever it is, learn to cook it. You might have to wait till you get home to learn, but in the meantime let me share with you a pasta recipe to help you in your quest for culinary excellence. If you need a go to dish to impress that special someone, this is something you can whip up in the basement of Lakeview Hall with only 4 or 5 ingredients. Most households have these ingredients so if you ever want to show off at a friend’s house, have at it. This is for the times when you want pasta but might not have the 3 or 4 hours to simmer that perfect red sauce. From start to finish this is a dish you can make in 30 minutes. Pasta Aglio e Olio or pasta in garlic and oil is simple, yet complex in its depth of flavor. The key is cooking the garlic in the olive oil long enough to infuse the oil with flavor, but not burn the garlic. Add to that perfectly cooked al dente pasta and you have a dish with a simple and flavorful sauce. Good luck!
Pasta Aglio e Olio Ingredients • Kosher salt (or just any salt you have… packets from the caf…) • 1 packet (450g) dried spaghetti • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil • 6 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced • Red pepper flakes, to taste • Lemon zest
Instructions • In a pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti until al dente (about 30 seconds less than what the packet states). Reserve a ¼ cup of the cooking water. • In a large pan add the olive oil and the garlic. Cook on medium low heat for 6-7 minutes until the garlic is very lightly golden. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes halfway through. • Transfer the drained pasta along with a ¼ cup of the pasta water to the olive oil and garlic (please put the pasta in first, then water!). Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring rapidly and the sauce coats the spaghetti. • Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in some lemon zest to taste. Enjoy!
Jr ( S e r g i e ) F e r r e r i s t h e Vi c e - P r e s i d e n t M a r k e t i n g & E n r o l m e n t S e r v i c e s . He i s a p h o t o g r a p h e r and a coffee enthusiast who enjoys traveling w i t h h i s f a b u l o u s w i f e , Pa s t o r M a s s i e l . A n d o f c o u r s e , k u y a Jr i s a n a m a z i n g c h e f ! Follow his Instagram: w w w. i n s t a g r a m . c o m / f l i p c a n
T H O M A S M AG N U M :
M Y M A L E RO L E M O D E L I was nine years old sitting in the nosebleed section of an Eagles concert with my mom and brother Brenden. It was time for the Eagles to do their encore, I had been waiting all night for them to do their song from 1976 Life On the Fast Lane. At nine years old I was determined to be like the man described in the song, “He was a hard-headed man, he was brutally handsome.” This type of man sounded tough and rough and was living a good life. Think about it, if you know my life has not been easy for me all the time. For example, I have non-verbal disorder, which also in a learning disability. So I grew up with showing the poor psycho-motor coordination; clumsy; seems to be constantly “getting in the way.” Plus, I have a hard time recognizing non-verbal cues such as facial expression or body language. The man in the song sounded ideal to me. I was not going to be this young boy that was always awkward to be around. I wanted to be like the men on stage. They had long hair they had holes in their jeans. They were rock stars, I had no talent, I only thought people paid attention to me because I was different and needed special attention. When I was ten years old, I was sexually abused by a seventeen-year-old a guy from my elementary school. My dream of being a hard headed man and brutally handsome, also known as being a rock star was taken away from me. Maybe that’s why I hate Math I became statistic, “researchers have found that 1 in 6 men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before age 18.” Now I was confused what type of man was I going to be, if I could not be a man living on the “Fast Lane”. I wanted the nice car, and a house and the fame. I wanted that Net Worth of 65 Million dollars or more.
I was sitting in my psychologist’s office explaining to him I wanted a male role model. I didn’t want to be a statistic again, I had learned according to the Gentlemen Project that “young people who don’t have a positive role model in their life of the same gender are 67 percent more likely to be unemployed.” That day sitting in my psychologist’s office, I was reminded that when I was 17 I had picked a positive role model. So why was I worrying about being statistic I had already discovered that “1 in 4 kids lack a sense of identity.” I had my own identity issues. I was worrying that I would let down my role model who is a fictional character from the 1980 show Magnum P.I. My male role model was Thomas Magnum played by Tom Selleck. Thomas. Magnum had charisma, most importantly he believed in justice and helping others. Magnum is known to stand up for what is right, even though there might be consequences. At age 17/19 having overcome the sexual abuse I had faced when I was 10 years old, as well as acknowledging that I was okay with my learning disability and many other trials in my life; I am reminded that even though I am not like that man in “Life in The Fast Lane.” I have been fortunate enough to be inspired by a TV. Character, Thomas Magnum. Even though it’s fiction, I know what is true. It is true in my heart that I cannot let the bad things that happened to me define who I am. When I see unjust in this world, I will think of Thomas Magnum, Private Investigator standing up for the marginalized. This my journey living in a broken world, finding the perfect Male Role Model. I hope one day I can be like Thomas Magnum. Works Cited www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/eagles/lifeinthefastlane.html “Parents.” Learning Disabilities Association of America. “The Gentlemen Project.” The Gentlemen Project. Propertyofzack.com. “The 1 in 6 Statistic.” 1in6.
jaden rajah 4th year // religious studies
I T ’ S A G AY M A N ’ S WORLD
Gay men have it all.
Let me explain myself. I used to feel that, as a gay man, I never fully fit in. I tend to naturally gravitate towards women for socialization, and I rarely find myself hanging out with a bunch of guys. No matter how much time I spend with my favorite girlfriends, I often don’t feel like “one of the girls.” The same goes for guys—I can sit around with them and roll my eyes at all the sportsand car-related humor for hours, but I usually won’t ever feel like “one of the guys.” This used to leave me feeling alone and without a group to which I belonged, but over the last few years my perspective has changed considerably. As a kid, long before I was aware of my sexuality, I felt constrained by my expected gender performance. For the newbie, gender performance is a term used to express how people portray and fulfill their expected gender role. Typical masculine gender performance could involve thoroughly competent physical ability, mastering activities such as hunting or carpentry, or automotive know-how. Typical feminine gender performance would involve things such as emotional openness, colorful dress, cleanliness, or perhaps a fruity perfume. This is what we expect from different genders, and I felt constrained by it as a kid. I wanted to sew, but I knew that sewing wasn’t high on the list of boy activities. The same went for my other hobbies at the time, such as gymnastics, drawing, playing my cello, and theatre. These were things I enjoyed and was good at, but because I knew they were not what was expected from me, I felt nervous about pursuing them seriously. In my second year of high school I finally admitted to myself that I was gay.
This had nothing to do with my hobbies, but was simply a long and intense experience of allowing myself to be honest. Once I could be open about my sexuality, I found the previous stress over fulfilling my masculine requirements ease away. I no longer identified with your average guy, but instead saw myself as almost a new, third gender: the gay man. Because people no longer expected me to act like a “normal guy,” I didn’t care about my gender performance, but was liberated to pursue the topics and hobbies that I was passionate about. What resulted was me succeeding at what I was good at instead of scratching by at what I was expected to be good at. Being gay—or any sexual minority—can give you the freedom to pick and choose what hobbies and skills attract you most, not what is expected of your gender. This freedom, however, should not be restricted to the LGBTQ. It thrills me to see more straight men and women pursuing careers that are not stereotypically associated with their gender, and I hope more people are beginning to feel free to do what they are naturally good at. I appreciate and respect the role of gender in our society, but I can’t help and imagine what a world would be like in which people only pursued interests based off of what they’re adept at. I don’t think gender is necessarily confining, and I recognize that gender has done an effective job at helping humans organize society for years. However, the liberty that comes with defining your gender for yourself is exhilarating, and I hope everyone is able to feel that freedom when pursuing their interests. For now, however, it really is a gay man’s world.
mason neil walla walla universtiy
T H E M U S T H AV E S
I N M Y WA R D R O B E
As a young man in my mid 20’s, I can tell you that I have seen and gone through many fashion phases. Not every fashion choice I have made was great, but I can share with you what has worked and still remains relevant for me. The key thing I think about when adding to my wardrobe is versatility. Fashion can be expensive, and versatility is one of the best ways to get more bang for your buck. With that in mind, here are my must have items to have in my wardrobe.
A Grey Suit
A plaid shirt
Certain scenarios call for professional or fancy attire
A plaid shirt is generally seen as casual
and when that time comes, more often than not a grey
wear, but if done correctly it can real-
suit can be the solution. Dress it up to the same level as a
ly turn some heads. It’s a great item to
Tuxedo or dress it down by pairing it with some denim.
have for your suit (or collection of suits)
It's a safe move, but not boring.
and it’s a small way to add some flare.
the “everything” jean What do I mean by the “everything” jean? To be clear, I don’t consciously label my clothing with specific names, but in my mind I know there’s that one pair in my closet that I can utilize with the majority of my clothing. From fancy to casual, from a suit jacket to a bomber jacket, this item is a major must for me.
christian l i nt a n
I M A R R I E D FAE M I N I S T The moment I met her I knew she was different. She was confident, independent, sexy, and I was filled with fear. I did not know how to act. I never had approached anyone like her before, unfortunately I was the guy who prowled on the weak and ran from the strong. The funny thing is I was weak myself. I say that because rejection was a challenge to my masculinity. Weak-minded, I was never willing to lose the man I feigned to be. That was all about to change. As the best friend to my brother’s new girlfriend, I had the odd opportunity to be close and get to know her. Through constant contacts and conversations, it’s like the vision of the mean girl I first saw in her was transforming into a humorous, attentive and most importantly approachable gentle angel sent down from heaven. The looks and attitudes dimmed, and I began to see the real her. The confidence was in reality a shield to her brokenness. The independence was her protection and the sexiness was her affirmation of her power and self-worth. I read once that, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you” and God knew I needed a change. So a miracle turned into a kiss, that kiss into love, love into commitment and marriage. But she was still a feminist and I came to realize that it was because of men like me. Men who instead of protecting, aid to destroy. Men who choose to lust, then love. Men who takes a woman’s need and turns it into her curse, takes her affection, to turn it into oppression. Men who miss a woman’s purpose and value and uses her until she forgets. This men, is the condition most of us left most of them. She was bossy, controlling, stubborn, aloof, cold, unethical, inquisitive and analytical. Or was she? In time I had to face the truth, in reality my perspective was stained with the tinge of false expectations, spurious experiences and delusive entitlements from my culture, to my society, to my bros, to my movies, to my pornography, to my music, to my mom. The truth is we men bring baggage into relationships, and it is time we assume them so we can discard them. The word of God calls men to do two things in this world, and this especially applies to our women. Love and protect. “Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25 (AMP), the love that Christ had for the church was a love that superseded death. Christ was willing to die in order to protect the life of the church. Men, in the best case scenario women are looking and searching for this type of love, but the truth is a growing number gave up. This is tragic because not only have we, me failed to accomplish our purpose, but this hurts my heart because there is a generation of women who are not being able to experience and live the full fulfillment God has in store for them. Because men are not giving women any due support on their part, women are taking our roles and losing theirs. Everybody loses and nobody understands why.
I want to call all men to take a moment, and think about it would be like to live as a woman today. Would you feel safe? Where would or could you turn to? Would it prevent you from getting hurt, would it truly protect you? Men, let’s change the world today.
kevin duar te
WO M E N T H RO U G H A MAN’S EYES I think we’ve all seen both positive and negative interactions between both sexes throughout our lives. Being a guy, I witnessed all of them through the eyes of a guy. The first sight I saw was a woman. Chances are it was for you as well. As males, this experience foreshadows the strong connection we will have between our sight and women for the rest of our lives. I remember saying in fourth grade, “I’m so lucky to be a guy.”, when asked why, I said “because women are just so beautiful!” From my eyes, girls lost out because we weren’t that much to look at. As I got older I realized there’s more to life than what I can see through my eyes. In time more of the unseen interplay of the sexes would unravel before me. I’m talking about the abstract world of love, romance, gender roles, sexism, discrimination, and equality. I began to see more differences between me and the classmate sitting next to me besides our level of beauty. As I got even older, I understood these differences should be celebrated, and that by understanding these differences I could live life more aware. But there’s a good and a bad when we realize this. It can be good because if a female did something I didn’t relate to, but seemed to fit within her expected role though it did not mine, I had something to bridge my sympathy towards her—an understanding and acceptance of difference. Because there are many things concerning the opposite gender we don’t naturally understand, we develop shortcuts and rules to experience this “good” mentioned above. The “bad” is that there are too many exceptions to the rules we have for genders to follow these rules blindly—and we so often do. An example is that we generally accept that a woman who’s been working on her bench press for 5 years isn’t expected to press the same amount as a man who has been doing the same training. We then make a rule in our minds that men are stronger than women. But men can’t occupy the idealized position of strength when my mother is the strongest person I grew up knowing and know today. Life isn’t measured by a bench press, so our ideas for qualities like strength shouldn’t be confined to it. And there is yet another level of the unseen. I’ve mentioned what I can see physically, as well as what I can’t see physically—what I see abstractly in my mind. But there also exists what I can’t see abstractly. It’s not the seen nor unseen, but the unseen unseen. It’s what I don’t even know I don’t know.
r yan mcnulty 1st year // business
This idea has been trivialized and commonly portrayed before us throughout our lives: there’s the movie “What Women Want”, where a man has the super-power to actually know what women are thinking, and there is also the saying “men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” These portrayals are not unjust, because as a man I cannot know the true female perspective, just like a female cannot know the true male perspective. In the first paragraph I was talking about seeing in the womb. I didn’t really understand what I was seeing back then. I still don’t. Then as a kid I saw the beauty of women, physically then also intellectually. I still do. But there’s another beauty that I mentioned. It can’t be seen, nor should it be bound. It should be discovered and not ruled. The truth is, women cannot be limited by my sight, nor can they be limited by my mind. Far be it from me to place limitations in a realm I can’t see. Now I see a beauty in equality, in mystery. There exists between men and women a sacred bridge that keeps us separate, but it’s true purpose is to bring us together.
andrew or pana
To speak of â€œmanlinessâ€? seems to me to essentialize, and that has always
emmanuel mugara 1 s t y e a r / / w e l l n e s s m a n a g e m e nt
r e g a n z a p o t i c h ny 2nd year // business
I N T E RV I E W W I T H D R . J O H N M C D OW E L L What kinds of ideas of masculinity/manliness did you see modeled growing up? The discourse of masculinity or manliness was not part of my upbringing. Both my parents worked, albeit it in traditional roles: my father a pastor, my mother a nurse, yet we all did housework. I had my chores. There was the sense that each person was to do what they were best adept at doing. Yes, my mother did most of the cooking, and my father fixed, built, and made things from furniture to trailers, but it never dawned on me that the tasks were “gendered.” I do not recall my father or mother phrasing expectations using the vocabulary of manliness as justification for behaving a certain way.
As a father, what are the most important lessons you have taught or are teaching your son about being a guy? Since I am not sure “what it means to by a guy,” I doubt that I have taught him much of anything. We have discussed things like respect for others. What we do discuss is his specific situation as it pertains to specific individuals. I believe that he understands that there are multiple ways of “being male.” We talk about how he is to find his way of being in the world in a manner that works for him. He knows and I know that it is not easy. It includes, I trust, being aware of others and how others are to be treated regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Both my children know that while anatomy is given, “gender” is a social, societal, and historical construction.
What aspects of your culture, faith, or education either helped or hindered your understanding of manhood? I’ve never developed an understanding or “idea” of “manhood.” I was likely put off from doing so when as a teenager, my parents thinking that it might be a good idea although it was never discussed, gave me a copy of On Becoming a Man by Harold Shryrock. I do not recall much of the content (I doubt I read the whole thing) but as I recall it touched on a range of things about one’s changing body to posture, to financial prudence, to the dangers of reading fiction, and the dangers of forming too close friendships with others of one’s own sex (code for homosexuality). It may have also said something about keeping one’s self “pure.” I found it singularly unhelpful. Even at the time, I thought it was mostly nonsense. My parents never asked if I read it. My father actually discouraged me from reading Messages to Young People because he stated that as a compilation, material was taken out of context which he felt was an injustice to E.G. White. I was given Steps to Christ instead which was much more valuable. I was never told “not to cry” or to “take it like a man.” To speak of “manliness” seems to me to essentialize, and that has always bothered me. I never wanted to be Tarzan.
In several of your classes this semester we’ve been reading texts--from analytical treatises to poetry--that deal with how constructs, such as manhood and womanhood, affect lived-experience and relationships. In what ways can your academic discipline and the classes you teach (English and Scholars) create nuance in our thinking? All I hope for is engaging, constructive conversations.
How has fatherhood changed you or your thinking? I hope that fatherhood has helped to evolve my thinking. I am grateful that both my daughter and my son still talk to me: willing to share their challenges and joys. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned is to listen without censure or judgment and to listen, on balance, more than telling them what to do or think. Both are aware of, and freely discuss with each other (and with me), the challenges, privileges and inequities of patriarchy. Both have always read widely and will make recommendations of texts I should read.
For much of history, women have had the dominant parental role; while this gives men certain advantages, it also sometimes leads to the damaging expectation that they will not be as involved with or devoted to their own children. Are there ways you would like to see engagement with fatherhood or other male experiences change? I am no authority on parenting. I once tried to read a manual on “how to parent,” and gave up. Maybe I tried to read the wrong one. I don’t know. I just was not up to all the advice dished out in such cheerful, choking, spoonfuls. I read to both my children until well after they could read for themselves. We traveled a lot. I tried, (and still try) to listen. Other than feeding, clothing, giving a hug when needed, and telling them that I love them: that’s about all I have figured out. Oh, yes, I do have one piece of advice: take your child to museums: science, history, natural history, archeological, and (especially) art. They will learn how to see: themselves, others, all creatures great and small who have and who still do inhabit this wonderfully diverse world. And there is a chance they will live less fearful lives.
This isn’t a list of the Top 5 “Manliest Movies” and they are for sure not the Top 5 “Movies of All-Time”, if you want those lists, Google would be a great resource. This is a unique list of five movies that I feel men would benefit from seeing. It features a couple all-time greatest movies that I feel need to be seen, a quality movie featuring a strong female lead, a foreign film that pulls at the heart strings, and an unapologetically indie film about a few teenagers. I can’t promise you’ll like them all, but I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Starring the one and only Morgan Freeman, Shawshank Redemption is a classic must see movie that tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker who is sentenced to life in prison where he befriends fellow inmate, Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman). I remember when my parents decided that I was old enough to watch this movie, it is an important movie that they wanted me to see, but at the right time and age. The movie is emotional and inspiring and will no doubt change your perspective. I will warn you that this movie has a lot of cursing, but this is because it depicts the reality of life in prison.
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather is a movie that everyone knows about whether they’ve seen it or not. You may have seen it near the top of a few different all-time greatest movie lists, or seen it referenced in many modern movies, this is because it is one of the most influential movies of all-time. The reason I finally got around to watching The Godfather was because a friend of mine in film school put it on a movie list for me, so I thought if he suggested it I should watch it, and I loved it. The Godfather is the movie that almost all crime and gangster movies point back to, the story of the Corleone family that runs the crime scene of New York City. When it comes to manly movies, it doesn’t get better than The Godfather.
Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl (2015)
A coming-of-age story about an awkward high-school Senior who is forced by his parents to befriend a childhood friend who is diagnosed with leukemia. Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl will make you laugh, cringe, and potentially reveal feelings you didn’t know you had. I’m suggesting this movie because it’s something different, it tells a very personal story that hits you in a very real way. I know that many of you might not watch this if you passed it on Netflix (yes it’s on there), but I challenge you to try something new.
One reason I want to suggest this movie is because it features a strong female lead (Emily Blunt), an FBI agent who is enlisted by a government task force to bring down the leader of a powerful and brutal Mexican drug cartel. Sicario shows that men aren’t the only ones risking their lives for their country, kicking down doors not knowing what’s on the other side. This movie features some amazing cinematography combined with nail-biting suspense and top-notch action.
The Intouchables (2011)
This French film has inspired me in a way that few films have. It is the story of a wealthy man who hires a young man from the projects to be his live-in caregiver after becoming quadriplegic due to a paragliding accident. The reason I find myself coming back to this comedy-drama, and suggest it, is because of its depiction of a friendship between two men of very different backgrounds and walks of life as they navigate the hardships of being quadriplegic in humorous and difficult ways. The Intouchables is the highest-grossing movie in a language other than English.
LIFE AFTER 1. What’s your name and what you graduated with? Eric Boateng; Religious studies pre-professional track with a minor is biblical languages 2. What are your goals and dreams with your degree? My goal is to reach as many people as I possibly can with the gospel…. cliché? I know. What really is a Christians purpose in life? My dream is to open an outreach center where those struggling with narcotics, in need of clothes, jobs, facing abuse can come and get all the help they need. I believe in strengthen our community one neighbour at a time. 3. Who or what is your inspiration for your future career? If you’re already in it, what was your inspiration? I entered ministry because of the passion I have for those who do not yet know Christ. This has always been my inspiration and it will always continue to be. One of my favourite comedian once said; If you know your “what” from your “why,” your “what” will have more meaning. What am I doing? I’m sharing God’s love with those who do not yet know him. Why? Well I’ll leave that to up to you….my “what” is more meaningful because I know my “why.” 4. What have you done in your field? Although I’m not working in my field of study, I spend most of my time volunteering in it. I’ve travelled significantly within Canada sharing the gospel and most recently working with young adolescents at La Ronge Saskatchewan when they were experience suicidal crisis.
spencer page 2nd year // english
5. What are the top 3 things that made you successful in school and make you successful in your career? Be a good time manager. Time control without a doubt means life control. I’m in a managerial position at my work and a lot if required of me. Proper time management in school has help me to manage my time well. During my interview for this job one of my boss told me “if you’re late 3x in 3 months and miss 1 deadline to submit what’s required of you, this job is not for you. Harsh? I thought so too. The reality is that few employers will tolerate those who can’t manage their time. Spend your time with those who want to be successful and you will be as well. The truth is that not everyone at Burman wants to succeed. The way education matters to you will not matter the same way to everyone you know. If you want to be successful in life, spend time with like-minded people. Understand that actions affect learning. What do I mean by that? Well it’s simple really. While in class, if you behave as though you’re uninterested, you will become uninterested. If you want to be interested, you’ll be interested. Sit up straight, lean forward take notes ask questions and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll start to like the subjects you hate the most. 6. What’s your last word of advice for struggling students that see no hope? Think about it, there have been days when you felt mighty and untouchable. And feeling down or struggling just means you’re human. My only advice to you during this time is to be grateful. Everybody says it, yet not a lot of people take the time to do it. It’s easy to get lost in cluttered thoughts filled with crumbling hope and feel sorry for ourselves, and therefore we generally don’t make the effort to be grateful. But being grateful helps. It pulls you back into the present moment, allowing you to put your troubles on the back burner, even if it’s for just a short time. It doesn’t matter how you choose to be grateful. You can write out ten things right now you’re grateful for. You can sing to the heavens all the beautiful aspects of your life…and everyone has a beautiful aspect to their life. You must pause and reflect. 7. How did Burman help you to realize yourself and your goals? Canadian University College as I like to call it, showed me my potential. It made me realize that I can achieve anything that I wanted to do in life. And this was mostly thanks to the spiritual aspect of the university along with its uplifting student body.
Hi Burmanites! This article is to answer the age-old question that people have debated over for decades; is there life after grad? *insert creepy music here* It is to provide a snapshot of recent graduates, what they got into, how they got into it, and what advice they have for you.
1. What’s your name and what you graduated with? My name is Luke Bannis and I graduated with a major in Behavioural Science and three certificates; crisis intervention; substance abuse; and gerontology. 2. What are your goals and dreams with your degree? My goal is to become a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officer and or to explore careers in criminal or national intelligence services. 3. Who or what is your inspiration for your future career? If you’re already in it, what was your inspiration? I’ve always had a passion for service and protection. It’s also inspiring to find a career that incorporates leadership, proactivity, discipline and community outreach Law enforcement was the natural way to accomplish both in a career. I have family members on both sides who were/are pretty prominent in military, police and body guarding lines of work. I guess protection is in my blood. 4. What have you done in your field? Oh boy, that’s a loaded question. I’ve had a bunch of jobs. I have been a prison guard, private road patrol officer, led my own security team, built a self-defense company and have worked as a bouncer. I am currently serving as an armed cashin-transit agent and I represent the citizens on Lacombe’s Police Commission. 5. What are the top 3 things that made you successful in school and make you successful in your career? I would say my faith in God, but God’s faith in me is more accurate. By taking the time to know Him more, I discovered my skills, qualities and talents. I began to appreciate who I was and how I could glorify Him instead of just trying to do my own thing. Getting to know God deeper. Having a strong support group of friends and family. Taking the time to build connections with people who are ambitious, honest and caring is never a waste of time. I had some pretty rough situations that they helped me to navigate and retain my sanity. Well…most of it anyway. My addiction to self-development and learning about pretty much anything I can aided me a great deal. In school, if I got bored with a subject, I simply looked deeper into the topic and found something else that was interesting that kept me interested. In work, it makes me an asset because I can almost always do more than my job. 6. How did Burman help you to realize yourself and your goals? I had a fantastic advisor, (Dr. Obisike – wahoo!) who helped me to goal plan, encouraged me, and helped me to see the value in myself. Also, being around students of the same values was instrumental in my spiritual development, and I made some really good lifelong friends here. 7. What’s your last word of advice for struggling students that see no hope? Self awareness is key. Develop your courage! Don’t let fear hold you back, no matter what gender, career focus or mission may be. Don’t allow fear to keep you back from moving forward. Find something to hope in, something that inspires you and don’t let go. It takes courage and effort, but with God, all things are possible! (according to His will). Be familiar with yourself, how you feel at certain times, study habits and any impulsive behaviors. You need to appreciate your own qualities to carry out whatever mission you were placed here to do with confidence. As Napoleon Bonaparte once said: you cannot lead a battle, if you think you look silly on a horse.
kevin osei 2 n d y e a r / / w e l l n e s s m a n a g e m e nt
FIST BUMPS WITH JESUS Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord formed the man …” Men. Look at you, you God given creation. As complicated and confusing as you can be to the female race, God had a purpose for your existence from the beginning of time which is why He created you at the start of it all. Because this issue is geared specifically towards men, I interviewed my absolute most favorite man, (after my dad of course), Pastor José Sanchez, in order to get and give some insight on the Christian walk from a male perspective. What is it about Christ that has appealed to you more than living a life of submitting to the pleasures of the world? We all have a large void in our hearts that many will try to fill with things we can easily find like drinking, sex, partying, etc. Even though I have never been a part of the party scene nor have I ever been involved with substances like alcohol and drugs, I can’t say I haven’t struggled or that I have no struggles. I will admit that I have tried to fill that void with other things that tend to only fill me temporarily. These are things that may seem to fill you but at the end of the day you remain as empty as how you were before. To be honest, it wasn’t until I tried Jesus and really allowed Him to fully take my heart that this changed. Because of my pursuit of Jesus every day, I am able to say that He is the only thing that can fill my void and satisfy my needs. If you haven’t experienced Jesus, then you may not understand what I mean. It’s just that when it comes to Jesus, He’s not something I can simply talk about; He’s something you need to experience. The Bible says, “come, taste and see that the Lord is good” therefore, I encourage you to try, taste, and see who He is for yourself. In the 21st century it is common to be faced with various temptations. What is it you do to abstain from falling? I have come to realize that there are two ways of learning in life: through listening and accepting advice or by getting hurt. Personally life has shown me it’s best to learn from accepting advice and observing others experiences. I prefer to learn this way. When you pay attention and you focus on the lives of people who struggle with drugs, alcohol, sex, etc., sadly, even these people have told me that their lives are just filled of instant gratification but when it’s all over they continue empty, depressed and feeling worse than they did before. Logically, it just doesn’t seem smart to me to get into those things when you see the way those things affect your life. As a man, why is it important for you to maintain communication with God and how do you personally do it? One thing I have understood, whether you want to accept it or not, is that living a life in complete disobedience to God, you will never find satisfaction in your life. But when you chose to follow the way God asks you to live, you will find true purpose, meaning, and hope for your life. Communicating with Him helps me figure out what His purpose is for me. Communicating with God is something that doesn’t necessarily give you a “high” like common addictions will which is why communication and a relationship with Him is work. For this reason, inviting Him into your life every day is crucial.
Firstly, when I open my eyes in the morning, the first thought that comes to mind is a small thought of appreciation and of thanksgiving because God, the provider of life, allowed me to live another day. Secondly, I will admit that at times because I'm busy or in a rush I fail to spend time with God. Nevertheless, I never leave home without devoting my day to God. Even though it's not ideal to have a rushed moment with Him, I prefer leaving home knowing that I've asked for His care. Thirdly, in everything I do, I ask myself “if God was right beside me at this moment, would He be proud of me?” For example, making sure to be careful to not watch things that will contaminate my vision and mind, being careful with things I hear and the music I listen to, watching the kinds of conversations I am having, are all things I try to pay attention to. I'm not saying I'm perfect or that I don't fail but what I do know is that I always ask God to make me and transform me into a better person and a better man every day. What do you believe is the most important element in Christian character development? I think there are three things that are important to develop as Christian men. The first is to develop a will to obey the will of God. The second is to find a work to do according to your unique design. This means focusing on growing and on moving forward according to your interests. Working every day to improve the man you are and the person you are becoming. The third I like to call, “a woman to love”. This phrase means preparing yourself for marriage and not for temporal pleasures like flings or one-night stands. As a man, educate yourself to treat women with respect and honor. This is not something that can be obtained easily; it's something that needs to be learned. I once read, “when a man fails to honor ladies, its because his own honor must be dead.” What advice would you give to a young man who is struggling with their spiritual life? First of all I'd say that you're not alone. Don't feel like you're the only one who struggles with maintaining a relationship with God. We all go through this difficulty at some point, feeling like we're far away from God, like He doesn't hear us or that we are not worthy to come to Him. You are not alone. Second, be careful with distractions especially when it comes to social media. I'd say this is one of the things that has us most entertained, distracted and separated from God. Third, remember that our actions become habits and our habits form our character. Evaluate your habits and that'll tell you a lot about the kind of person you are. Be honest with yourself. In order to make changes in you first need to check your roots. Lastly, if you are truly happy and content with the way your life is going right now, then keep doing what you're doing. But from personal experience let me tell you that nothing compares to a life with Jesus.
J O S E P H E X P L A I N I N G M A RY TO H I S PA R E N T S
LET’S GET PHYSICAL! Men’s Health magazine recommends strength training 3x per week as a sure way of burning excess fat and reaching that summer bod you’ve always wanted. According to Alberty Matheny, C.S.C.S., R.D., and co-founder of SoHo Strength Lab, muscle mass increases the body’s metabolic rate therefore increasing caloric burn . Simply put, MUSCLE BURNS FAT . Exercises such bicep curls, tricep pulldowns, lunges, squats, bench presses etc can contribute to building muscle. I’m no expert on the topic so I asked Jonathan Udan to pick out some of his favourite exercises to keep fit and shredded. Here’s a 3 day strength training to get those GAINS boyssssss! This simple 3 day strength training exercise focuses on targeting all the main muscle groups. Since it's a 3 day plan, a rest day is recommended in-between days so it can be set as a M-W-F thing or whichever days are most convenient for you. There’s no excuse! Pump those tunes and let’s get shredded BU.
Before every workout, warm up by biking or running for 5 mins and then stretching. If you get to the 4th set and can still do plenty more reps after what is suggested, increase weight. Use google or YouTube to look up proper form and explanation of any unknown exercises. :)
Day 1 - Chest and Triceps 1) Bench Press - 4 Sets 8 Reps (fig. 1) 2) Dips - 4 Sets 10 Reps (fig. 2) 3) Incline Bench Press - 4 Sets 8 Reps 4) Skull Crushers - 4 Sets 10 Reps
5) Machine Flyes - 4 Sets 10 Reps 6) Cable Pushdown - 4 Sets 10 Reps (Last set to failure)
Day 2 - Back and Biceps 1) Deadlifts - 4 Sets 8 Reps (fig. 3) 2) Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curls - 4 Sets (3 Sets of 10 Reps, last to failure) (fig. 4) 3) Lat Pulldown (Wide Grip) - 4 Sets 10 Reps 4) Preacher Curls - 4 Sets 10 Reps 5) Bent-Over Barbell Row - 4 Sets 10 Reps
6) Hammer Curls - 4 Sets (3 Sets of 10 Reps, Last set to failure)
Day 3 - Legs and Shoulders 1) Squats - 4 Sets 8 Reps (fig. 5) Figure 5
2) Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 4 Sets 10 Reps Figure 6
(fig. 6) 3) Lunges - 4 Sets 10 Reps 4) Machine Reverse Flyes - 4 Sets 10 Reps 5) Calf Raises - 4 Sets 15 Reps (Last set to failure)
jonathan udan codrina baston