Volume 1: The Forum | 1
Content The Forum Advisor Dr. Jonathan Gates
Content Designer Benjamin Tse Contributing Designer Hannah Peace
3 Editorial from The Forum Advisor 4
Staff Writers Susannah Devenney Sarah Dunlap Rhoda Maendel Hannah Peace Casey Reyes Richard Smiles Caitlyn Thomas Benjamin Tse Photo-Credits Dr. Amy Davis Susannah Devenney Joseph Girard Hannah Peace Casey Reyes Benjamin Tse Pablo by Buffer.com
Feeling inspired to write a piece . . . to share your creativity through the arts & photography, contact (email@example.com om) to get more information and to get involved.
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Despite Small Size, New Track Team Challenges Its Odds for Success
Humans of Nyack: Prof. Bradley McDuffie
9 Lent: Beauty Instead of Ashes 11 A Call to Women Humans of Nyack: Danaya Pyatt
Entrepreneurial Business Venture Competition
16 Health and Wholeness at Nyack College 18
Announcement: Upcoming Book Talk
A Case of Red
Interview with Dr. Kevin Pinkham
â€”Nyackâ€™s Spring Production: The Importance of Being Earnest
Editorial from The Forum Advisor
f the earliest harbingers of spring—including returning robins, sap running in the maples, and more evening sun—the crocuses, their delicate light purple blooms, capture my attention first and foremost. It may be because even when a late winter snowfall buries them, they persevere; at times they even bloom as if rooted in the snow. This sight reminds me of the nature of the Lenten season, for the joy of Easter morn required Christ’s obedience, suffering, and sacrifice in his ministry and death. Growth requires change and change often demands putting aside our own interests and plans. In this month’s Forum our staff writers investigate some of the opportunities into which Nyack students are committing themselves to grow and encourage the growth of fellow students. Our track team, though in its early stages of formation, calls runners to excel and build a team from the ground up. The upcoming Student Scholarship Day on April 4th presses students in numerous disciplines to research and present path-
ways to health and wholeness. And the increasingly popular “Woman” discipleship experience engages college senior women to flourish through mentorships with women of character. As the staff prepared this issue of The Forum, we struggled to find a single word to capture the heartbeat of these and the other articles. Among others, we considered “bloom,” “grow,” “transformation,” and “development;” finally, we selected “unfolding,” in part, I think, because it suggests taking action. Each person plays a part in his/ her own growth and other’s growth, even while we acknowledge that God acts to enable us to grow. And when we step back, say at the end of the semester or after having completed a difficult task or grown in a relationship, we find ourselves appreciating a portion of God’s unfolding plan.
Dr. Jonathan Gates Jonathan Gates, Ph.D Language, Literature, and Writing Department Chair Director of Nyack Honors Program
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March Madness BY RICHARD SMILES ‘17
lright ladies and gentlemen it's that time of year again: time for March Madness. In case you’re unaware, March Madness is simply one of the great national collegiate sporting events: fans anticipate high intensity basketball games throughout the second week of March until the first week of April. Starting with thirty NCAA Division 1 basketball teams— there’s a men’s and a women’s tournament, teams play single elimination games until the final game when the two best teams face off to determine the National Champion. Here’s How it Works Each member of the Division I men's basketball committee evaluates a vast amount of information during selection process. Their opinions--developed through observations, discussions with coaches, directors of athletics, and commissioners, and review and comparison of data--ultimately determine selections, seeding and bracketing. 4 | Volume 1: The Forum
The committee creates a “seed list” (i.e. rank of the teams in “true seeds” 1 through 68) which reflects the relative qualitative assessment of the field in descending order, and is used to assess competitive balance of the top teams across the four regions of the championship. The seed list reflects the sequential order that teams will be placed in the bracket. Once the “seed list” is finalized, it remains unchanged while the bracket is assembled. Sixteen levels are established (i.e., the seeds, 1 through 16) in the bracket that cross the four regions, permitting evaluation of four teams simultaneously on the same level. Teams on each seed line (No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, etc.) should be as equal as possible. Each of the first four teams selected from a conference shall be placed in different regions if they are seeded on the first four lines.
Teams from the same conference shall not meet prior to the regional final if they played each other three or more times during the regular season and conference tournament. Teams from the same conference shall not meet prior to the regional semifinals if they played each other twice during the regular season and conference tournament. Teams from the same conference may play each other as early as the second round if they played no more than once during the regular season and conference tournament. Any principle can be relaxed if two or more teams from the same conference are among the last four at-large seeded teams participating in the First Four. The Fab Five In 1991, head coach for the University of Michigan recruited Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Jimmy King, Juwan Howard, and Ray Jackson. This dynamic group known as the â€œFab Fiveâ€? started together as freshman and advanced their way to two NCAA championship games. These young men were admired for the way they carried themselves both on and off of the court.On their road to the national championship game in both seasons the Fab Five played in Ann Arbor, losing to both North Carolina and Duke who had Grant Hill as a part of their starting five. The Fab Five had a significant impact on the game of basketball, being the first group to wear low black socks with baggy shorts. The Fab Five were known for play-
ing with swagger and great poise. These young men changed the way that people saw basketball infusing the game with the current hip-hop culture. The Fab Five's impact on both the collegiate and NBA game is undeniable. 2016 Champions Last year the Villanova Wildcats won their second national championship after beating the North Carolina Tar Heels. Senior, Kris Jenkins hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer making for one of the wildest finishes in the history of the NCAA tournament.
Here are some final four predictions from some of our very own Nyack College Warriors. Freshman Grant Goode initially predicted that West Virginia, Duke, Kansas, and UNC would make it to the Final Four. Freshman Junior Graham initially predicted that UNC, Villanova, Arizona, and Michigan State would make it to the Final Four. Sophomore Calvin Willis initially predicted that South Carolina, Seton Hall, Arizona and Virginia would make it to the Final Four. Senior Robert Tyler initially predicted that Villanova, Arizona, Kansas, and UNC would be making it to the Final Four. So as the Final Four and Championship game draw near, keep your eyes on the ball and enjoy this annual festival of skill and hard work on the basketball court.
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Despite Small Size, New Track Team Challenges Its Odds for Success
BY SARAH DUNLAP ‘19
ormed for the spring 2016 season, Nyack’s track team may be small and inexperienced, but their work ethic increases their chances for success. While Coach Joubert Derival finds his biggest challenge in building a foundation for the team to grow, he looks forward to the new events this year and the next.
Freshman Social Work Major Megan Childs, competing in distance, is new to the track team and has never run track before this semester’s season. “I run by myself a lot, but I haven’t had training before. It’s a challenge and a really big commitment. I’m really lucky though because I knew a lot of people going into it, and that definitely made it easier,” says Childs.
Although Childs was “Our Track apprehensive about & Field Program running track without is relatively new; prior training, she we are only in our finds that whatever second year, so I experience she has would describe had running has this year as a helped and prepared building stage. her. However, this semester has been “My coach has been a major year for Courtesy of Joseph Girard very encouraging and growth as we’ve Men’s Track Winning Their 4 x 800m Relay at St. Joseph’s—from the left: supportive, and he Danson Kirwa, Zachary Trador, Joseph Girard, Benjamin Tse added Javelin to says I can only get our Throwing better from here “I prefer a small [team] that works events, which based on where I’m provides anothhard over a big team that lacks at. As a team, eveer opportunity ryone gets along character“—Coach Derival for our team to really well and score at compe[has] been very titions. It opens the door for prospective welcoming to me and the other newer athletes who may want to participate in girls. . . . We can only get better,” says Javelin. We are also looking to add PoleChilds. Vault and Hammer next semester,” says Sophomore Business Major BenCoach Derival. jamin Tse, captain of the sprinters,
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shows leadership as he helps the new runners and strives for excellence . “I make every effort to perform to the best of my ability during practices and meets. I lead by example, show the new runners how to use the blocks, and make it to every training session. I would go the extra mile: rather than finishing the workout with ten stairs to climb, I would go for fifteen to push myself and demonstrate my dedication,” says Tse.
points. It’s better to have a bigger [team] to increase our likelihood to achieve more points.” Sophomore Business Major Finn Reese, runs track as a sprinter to stay fit and have fun during soccer’s off season, but he finds the team’s biggest challenge is their inexperience.
“In a nutshell: It’s not really a feeling of pioneering because, in the first place, I’m a soccer player and will always see myself as such. . . . It’s definitely difficult though because we don’t really have coaches Courtesy of Joseph Girard Courtesy of Joseph Girard with a lot of experiTse receiving the baton from Kirwa Head Coach Joubert Derival ence and neither do Nonetheless, as a new team our athletes,” says Reese. from a small school, the runners find the Reese continues, “I still want to competition challenging. win, definitely, because if I’m not trainTse says, “Even though expectaing to win, I’m not improving.” tions aren’t as high because we are a Training sets the team personal new team, the challenge posed to us is and collective goals to achieve, and ultithat we are a small school; therefore, it is mately, a greater will to win. While the difficult for us to form a sizable track team is inexperienced and small, as it team. . .On the joking side, we get to set grows and trains, it will continue …. new track records.” Tse continues, “The winner of the conference in May accumulates the most
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Humans of Nyack Featuring . . . Professor Bradley McDuffie “I think that the gradual pursuit and unfolding of literature in my own life is what made me aware of the things of this world that are often categorized as lost or irredeemable to some Christians, yet these are the places where I often see the Gospel the clearest. Which is why this theme has been often seen in the literature and movies that I choose and am attracted to. In my perspective, it is the strongest evidence of Christ's presence in the world.
Students would come up to me and ask, ‘Why are we reading this book at a Christian school?’ And my response is, ‘This is exactly the type of literature we should be reading in a Christian school. You’re not going into a world that has a halo around it and it is my job to prepare you for that.’”
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Lent: Beauty Instead of Ashes BY RHODA MAENDEL ‘20
o many Nyack students, particularly those from a Protestant background, lighting candles and marking the forehead with ashes is unfamiliar and seems odd. Titus, for instance, only learned about Lent in his Freshman year at Nyack. Now, as a sophomore, he still wrestles with some aspects of this season: “For me, still today, it is hard to fully understand the meaning of Ash Wednesday. That does not mean that I am against those who practice it. I am still in the process of finding a better grasp, but I struggle to accept the validity of this practice each time I find something related to it. Fasting is good and helps you draw close to God and overcome the worldly things, but I have a tough time accepting the practice of drawing ash on the forehead. That is not something that scripture asks us to do.”
Why then do millions of devoted Christian brothers and sisters celebrate Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent as they do? Wiktor, a sophomore business major from Poland, shares his perspective: “I grew up in Catholic family. Therefore, Lent for me is something very natural that each year all of my family and friends experience. It is a part of church tradition that prepares us to fully rejoice in the Resurrection of the Lord and win over death and Satan.” Historically, Lent dates back to the early Christians, who observed the weeks before Easter as a time of fasting and preparation. At that time, the church’s traditions varied depending on location, but most people fasted for several days to think of Christ’s suffering and the time he spent in the desert
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(Saunders—pastor and author of Straight Answers). Wiktor offers an interesting analogy: “I love the comparison of Lent to the pre-season. Athletes before every season have time to work hard physically and prepare for the most important time of the year for them: season. In the same way, during this time Christians are ‘practicing’ constraining their bodies by fasting in order to work on their spirit and to strengthen their will . By 313 A.D., Lent became a more standardized practice due to the legalization of Christianity. By the end of the fourth century, the church decided to institute a forty day fast. Despite arguments within the church as to how exactly to arrange the number of fast days, they eventually decided on six days for six weeks in addition to Ash Wednesday (Saunders). Wiktor explains the symbolism behind this count; “Lent has a lot of symbols that refers to the Bible. Forty days of Lent refers to Jesus who spent forty days in the desert and was refusing Satan's temptation. Often this image of Jesus being in the desert 10 | Volume 1: The Forum
Is described in the church during Lent. Also, 40 forty days indicates forty years of Jewish pilgrimage to the promised Land.” By 313 A.D. , Lent became a more standardized practice due to the legalization of Christianity. By the end of the fourth century, the church decided to institute a forty day fast. Despite arguments within the church as to how exactly to arrange the number of fast days, they eventually decided on six days for six weeks in addition to Ash Wednesday (Saunders). Wiktor explains the symbolism behind this count; “Lent has a lot of symbols that refers to the Bible. Forty days of Lent refers to Jesus who spent forty days in the desert and was refusing Satan's temptation. Often this image of Jesus being in the desert is described in the church during Lent. Also, 40 forty days ...
—Continued on page 19
A Call to Women (Part 1) BY CAITLYN THOMAS ‘17
here is always argument on when a girl turns into a woman. Some people believe it is when she gets married, others believe it is when she gives birth to her first child. Here at Nyack, there is a program that calls girls into womanhood simply because they’re already women, even without the husband or the offspring. The program, Woman, is run by Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah every year at Nyack. It began 6 years ago, and began when Amy discovered one of her passions was to encourage young women to embrace their natural identities as strong independent women of God. Apart from all the duties women feel obligated to accomplish within their lifetime, Woman is designed for female students to enter during their senior year of college and teaches them how to embrace their individual womanhood as they head to the great big world after graduation.
Courtesy of Dr. Amy Davis
I was skeptical, I had never been involved with anything like this program, and I didn’t want to join some exclusive group that I thought would only encourage me to get married and have kids. But against my reservations, I went to the information meeting that was being held in Boon. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the program wasn’t anything at all like I had imagined it to be. The meeting talked about many different areas like self-worth, male and female friendships, taking care of and understanding the way our bodies work, and so much more that we would cover in the program. I was shocked to realize that most of the program was learning about the women we already were, rather than trying to attain the ideal Proverbs 31 persona.
Woman is all about identifying who God has already made you to be with a confidence and learning to embrace her well. It is an individual process but you have the community of the other participating members around you As a current member of the Woman program, I remember when I was first think- throughout the program. After deciding to ening about joining back during the Spring se- ter Woman, I was told to find a mentor that mester of my Junior year. Many of my up- would meet with me throughout the course of the program. The program also has all the perclassmen friends had been talking to me about it and pushing me to join. At first Volume 1: The Forum | 11
members meet once a month with Amy and the other Woman leaders to discuss specific topics and complete activities as a group. Joining Woman is more than just agreeing to meet with a mentor and attend monthly meetings, it’s about accepting to explore the person that you are and journeying into post-grad life as a secure woman. It is about learning to really be comfortable and happy with the person you currently are, while learning how to best show love to yourself and just enjoy being where you are in life without the pressure of adding to it. Woman is a program that focuses on a young woman’s individual journey with God, community, self, and God’s creation (both in a literal and figurative sense). Joining is a matter of attending the information meeting and signing up for an interview. The interview is not something that you pass or fail, but it is a benchmark to set goals for what each
woman wants to accomplish through the program. After the interview, you seek to find a mentor who will help guide you along the way through Woman. Mentors are meant to do more than only sit and talk with you every other week. A mentor will challenge you to dig deeper into yourself, pose questions, and walk with you as you explore who you are. Mentors will encourage and pray for you, as well as provide you with someone to lean on for wisdom as you find your own way. Once you have found a mentor and taken care of the other responsibilities, the initiation ceremony officially welcomes you into the program. This ceremony invites the Woman members to gather together pray with their mentors, as well as get to know each other a little better. It is a first glimpse of what meetings and the community will be like over the course of the program. This begins your journey into Womanhood.
Courtesy of Dr. Amy Davis
Check out these links for more information: http://amyfdavisabdallah.com/category/woman-rite-of-passage/ https://www.facebook.com/AmyFDavisAbdallah https://twitter.com/amyfdavisa
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Also. . . Dr. Amy F. Davis Abdallah has written a book on Christian womanhood. You are welcomed to check it out at http://amyfdavisabdallah.com/ the-book-of-womanhood/
Humans of Nyack Featuring . . . Danaya Pyatt “Early in the morning I pray to the Lord to take the grief and the pain off of my shoulders so that He can be in control of everything that goes on during the day. No matter what comes my way such as difficult people or circumstance I just brush it off and let the Lord handle it and not try to handle it on my own. When I tried to handle things on my own I would go into a deep depression and consuming because I’m such as sensitive person so the situations I would be facing would make me even more so. Now, I know that the best decision for me is to leave it in the hands of the Lord and not try to rely on my own strength.”
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...(Continued from “ Despite Small Size…” page 7) to improve and increase its chances for success. “Being a part of NCAA Division II Sports is an amazing opportunity that very few people get. . . . As we continue to grow as a program, we hope to soon become a top contender in our conference, our region, and hopefully in the nation,” says Coach Derival.
While larger teams are preferable in competition, Coach Derival finds that his team works hard and possesses great character despite its size. “I prefer a small [team] that works hard over a big team that lacks character,” says Coach Derival, but he also looks forward to the team gaining momentum and expanding in the future.
Coach Derival continues, “I am really excited for the future of this program as we look to bring a handful of athletes next year to build on the foundation that we currently have. . . . I am really excited for some of the prospects I've been in contact with, and I’m excited to see our program expand!” Nyack College’s track signing period begins April 13, and new athletes will be posted on the Athletic website. Their first meet is Saturday, March 25 at St. Joseph’s Spring Opener.
Courtesy of Benjamin Tse
Upcoming Meets: http://athletics.nyack.edu/sports/mtrack/2016-17/schedule
Ramapo TnF Invitational
CACC Outdoor Championships
Entrepreneurial Business Venture Competition
BY BENJAMIN TSE ‘19
hat does it take to succeed? Dream big. Think creatively. Expand your perspective. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Chase opportunities--not aimlessly but with sound judgement. Take risks. Initiate. Dig deeper. Learn who you are. Love what you do. Find a problem. Solve the problem. Innovate. Live your passions. Be a trailblazer. Rise above your pack. Create an impact. Pursue your goals. Focus. Sacrifice. Invest. Be patient. Act on your ideas. Take heart. These capture the spirit of an entrepreneur! Many aspire to become successful entrepreneurs, but only a handful enjoy the fruits of their labor and continue to do so. Starting a business is no easy task; it involves risk, so most choose to remain as employees and settle with minimum leverage to their monthly paycheck. We need both attitudes toward work in today’s world. Nevertheless, a new trend is growing and developing in the business world.
Managers and head-hunters seek candidates who have demonstrated skillsets fitting for an entrepreneur and have been involved in a startup company. Innovation, creativity, and tenacity, indeed, are prized qualities to cultivate.
The Center for Transformative Work, partnering with the Nyack School of Business and Leadership, offers college students and local entrepreneurs an opportunity to share their worthwhile ideas and to compete in an event that resembles the reality TV series Shark Tank—called The Entrepreneurial Business Venture Competition. This will take place on Friday, March 31 in President’s Hall at Nyack College from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.. Prospective participants were informed about submitting their proposal by March 9 and only six teams were chosen to pitch their idea at the competition. These teams would be competing for a grand prize of $10,000 along with professional business coaching. The runner-up will receive $7,500 and 2nd runner-up wins $5,000.
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Health and Wholeness at Nyack College
BY HANNAH PEACE ‘17
ach year Nyack College’s Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement hosts two campus-wide events on the Rockland and Manhattan campuses. The fall semester features the annual Scholars Symposium, an all day event that focuses on professor– student collaboratively written papers that concentrate on a variety of topics and issues. This event brings students and faculty together and encourages thoughtful, insightful conversation. As the fall semester has come and gone, the spring semester brings with it the next big event: The Sixth Annual Nyack College Student Research Conference, hosted by the Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement (CSGE), in collaboration with the School of Nursing and the College of Arts and Sciences. This is an event that intentionally and effectively encourages students to research a topic of their own choosing and create a poster to display at the conference in order to translate their ideas and research to the community. This year’s spring 2017 theme is “Walking in Health and Wholeness”, and students’ research will focus on all different
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types of health and wholeness, ranging from physical, emotional, psychological, as well as spiritual wellbeing. Students have been working all semester, researching and gathering information that they will display and discuss on the day of the conference. This event will take place in Bowman Gym on the Rockland campus on April 4th from 9am to 4pm, and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Fayne Frey, MD, a local dermatologist in West Nyack, NY. Whether you are just beginning your college career, looking forward to years of education and growth, or you’re a senior, looking to graduation and venturing into the next season of life, one thing can be
said for us all: our health and wholeness matters, but we may not be fully educated on how to best approach our health management. This conference is a tremendous opportunity for students to take ownership over their own health, find a topic they are curious about, and educate themselves on every aspect. Additionally, there is so much to learn from Dr. Frey, and students are encouraged to ask questions, stay engaged, and listen to learn.
The day will begin at 9:00am with the first poster exhibition session. Students participating will have their research posters displayed in Bowman gym, and students and faculty will have the chance to see each poster, hear the topics explained by the students, and ask questions. At 10:45, the plenary sessions with Dr. Fayne Frey will take place in which she will discuss health and wholeness from a medical professionalâ€™s perspective. During the day, there will be two student plenary sessions, in which two students chosen from those participating will have the chance to speak to students and faculty in a formal setting, go in depth into their research topic and discuss all of the aspects. The day will end with a closing award ceremony in which students will be recognized for their hard work and comprehensive research.
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Announcement: Upcoming Book Talk The Nyack English Department welcomes Dr. Steven Florczyk, Lecturer in English at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. At the evening presentation, Florczyk will introduce his recently published and critically acclaimed book Hemingway,
The Red Cross and The Great War. The book explores how Hemingwayâ€™s enlistment in the American Red Cross during World War I profoundly impacted his life and literature. Providing examples from Hemingway's short stories, journalism, and novels, Florczyk will discuss previously unexamined documents that express falsehoods promoted in World War I propaganda.
Students and faculty are invited to attend this public presentation on April 19th at 8:00 pm in Presidentâ€™s Hall. 18 | Volume 1: The Forum
...(Continued from “Lent: …” pg10)
indicates forty years of Jewish pilgrimage to the promised Land.” Initially, churches varied in how they fasted. Some abstained from all meat and dairy, and most allowed for only one meal in the evening. This practice changed, until the church not only permitted eating fish and eventually meat, but they also granted the consumption of dairy products to those who performed good works. Today, some Christians abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and the other Fridays; others are encouraged to abstain from a favorite food, candy, or activity (Saunders). Yet perhaps Lent should be focussed on the spiritual rather than physical matter. In Wiktor’s words, “Personally I believe Lent is very important for selfexamination, a time of solitude, fasting, clearing your heart and most importantly acknowledging the fact that you are a sinner and that you are sorry (penance). That is why, people receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, to say “I am sorry (Like the story of Jonah and Nineveh), and to realized that without Jesus we are only the ashes.”
He varies the way he observes Lent each year; “One year I have not eaten meat, another sweets, etc. It can be anything that you (your body) is connected to. Additionally, I am avoiding parties or big celebrations during Lent. Also, I am having time of prayer and examination of my conscious.” Benjamin, a student from Malaysia sees Lent as “a time set apart and intentionally dedicated to God for Himself, to be reminded of His perfect will, and to grow deeper in my relationship with Christ. I am genuinely committing this season as a space to reflect and rest. I will partake in the ceremonies associated with Ash Wednesday and find a 40-day devotional study. This year I am reading a Lent devotional created by the church I attend, The River Christian Missionary Alliance.” As Christians, perhaps we should take the time of Lent more seriously. Afterall, Wiktor makes a good point when he states that “without the Cross there would not be the Resurrection. Without the Cross we would not had been saved. Therefore Jesus' words: ‘Take up your cross and follow me’ (Matthew 16:24) are even closer to me during Lent.” Saunders, Rev. William. “History of Lent”. Arlington Catholic Herald.
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A Case of Red BY SUSANNAH DEVENNEY ‘18
hough Pantone has labeled “Greenery,” a lovely yellow-green mix, as its Color of the Year for 2017, there is one vibrant color which has been in style since 10,000 B.C. and still graces the lips of nearly every woman at least once in her lifetime: red. No matter the current mood of fashion, this color remains a staple in the everimportant lipstick department. It seems as though every woman has a favorite shade of red, with a specific undertone and story to follow. My first red lipstick was a fire-engine red, used to contrast the washout caused by stage lighting in my ballet years. As a freshly double-digited girl, the first time I wore it, it made me glow. It helped that I was wearing a costume meant to evoke a ray of sunshine, of course. But it was such an essential part of the costume, a finishing detail on an entire look.
The author's first experience with red lipstick, as a ray of sunshine. Courtesy of Susannah Devenney
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The original idea for red lipstick comes, so the legend says, from the natural blush of a woman’s cheeks. As far as we know, the ancient Sumerians were the first to wear lipstick, made from crushed precious stones, a sign of beauty and wealth. Cleopatra’s famous brightly colored lips were produced by the natural pigment of crushed insects, and men and women alike wore it to display social status. Queen Elizabeth I had a remarkably distinct beauty look, with a blanche face and ruby red lips to match her flaming rouge hair. In numerous ancient civilizations, it was seen as a symbol of power and money. This power took a turn in the 19th century, when lipstick was so well known for its allure that it became synonymous with prostitution and the life of the stage. But the end of the highly conservative Victorian era saw a resurgence of red: it became an accessory to freedom and empowerment, for a woman who does what she wants in the age of freewheeling jazz and fringy flapper dresses. By the 1950s, it became an essential daily part of a modern lady’s dress. My grandmother, born in 1942, was so ingrained with this message that she refused to go out without it. She used nothing but red lipstick, scraping out the very bottom of the tube with a bobby pin when money was tight. After the height of the color in the 1950s, it has remained a powerful punch of color and declaration of womanly independence. It is this generation’s exclamation point of the face, a nod to the long, strong history of powerful women with red lips.
I took this to heart, but couldn’t bear to try it myself for a few more years. My first day of college finals coincided with my eighteenth birthday. I had survived an entire semester away from home, building friendships and expanding my worldview. I knew that today was the day for red. I wanted to show that strong, willful attitude which has followed the color for centuries. It was a symbol of my newfound adulthood, my ode to the willful women of the past and the willful woman I felt myself to be.
No matter the time period, red lipstick has always shocked the eyes, drawn attention, and even made a glance last longer.—Devenney ‘18 A lipstick ad from the 1950s, courtesy of The Berry
No matter the time period, red lipstick has always shocked the eyes, drawn attention, and even made a glance last longer. In a study done by the University of Manchester, the eyes stayed on red lips for 7.3 seconds, as opposed to 2.2 seconds on those with no additional lip color. Red lips are a surefire way to draw attention towards a perfect pout. Of course, red lipstick should not be worn for the gaze of others, but for the expression of oneself. When I stopped dancing, I put the lipstick away for a few years. It was so strong that I didn’t feel my outfit warranted it. In my senior year of high school, a friend of mine did a social experiment with the shade. Every day for a month, she wore a bright, ruby red, no matter the outfit. Whether she wore sweatpants or a sundress, she received the same compliment all of the time: “You look so nice! So put together!” It was as if the lipstick enchanted the entire outfit, a Swan Lake level of deception.
It has been a couple of years since then, and I now own more than a few different shades of this marvelous accessory. It graces my lips on days when I need an extra boost of confidence, and days when simply nothing else will do. Other colors may come and go, but I’ve got a case of red forever.
Courtesy of Susannah Devenney
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Interview with Dr. Kevin Pinkham BY DR. JONATHAN GATES Recently, I sat down with Dr. Kevin Pinkham, Director of The Importance of Being Earnest to discuss the spring play, which opens this Friday night, March 31st at 7:00 pm in Hilltop Auditorium.
experience, sometimes the students who sang the loudest at worship in chapel had the wildest weekends. I’d like to think that authenticity is one of our callings as Christians.
JG: Of all the plays to select, you chose Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Could you tell us some of your main reasons for your decision?
JG: Some might wonder whether a late 19th century play such as TIBE would have any relevance to students living in the early 21st century. What are your thoughts?
KP: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how many of us tend to cultivate at least two different identities: one online and one in real life. I have friends or students who post things on Facebook, for instance, that make them look shallow, or extremist, or just plain crazy. Face-to-face, they’re not that person. One of Wilde’s preoccupations in The Importance of Being Earnest seems to be with people who lead a double life, one that is respectable in the country but decadent in the city, or vice versa. I think Wilde’s play has a lot to say to us in the 21st century about authenticity, hypocrisy, and how much we often fool ourselves into thinking our playing around with identity has no real consequences. The play also gives Christian college students some ideas to wrestle with. Being an alumnus of Nyack, I remember what it was like as a student to watch the games people could play with their spiritual identities. In my
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KP: In one version of the play I found online, important facts about the play were listed, including when it was published, and when Oscar Wilde lived. It also included as the “big ideas” of the play, “The Quest for Truth and Beauty.” I think those have long been themes associated with Wilde’s work, but they seem insufficient for The Importance of Being Earnest. The play pokes fun at people who live double lives, who not only fool others but also themselves. Wilde lampoons Victorian mores by stripping away the veneer of politeness to reveal the deception and selfishness that lies underneath. As I said earlier, I think we in the 21st century, not just students, could benefit from taking the time to meditate on authenticity and honesty and the impact our choices have on other people. Just as polite society offered a wall to hide behind in Victorian
England, I think social media presents us with similar opportunities to hide our authentic selves. That’s not always a bad thing; acting is also a way to adopt a different identity for a while. But social media tends to blur the lines between who we are and who we pretend to be in a way that acting does not, and, as a result, too many people aren’t really sure what’s real and what’s fake anymore. JG: What have been some of the challenges that you have faced in your selection and direction of this play? KP: A lot of the challenges relate to your question about how the play can be relevant today. It is tricky to try to help 21st century students find a way to connect to a 19th century play, to breathe life into it. So we had to have a number of talks about what certain
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lines meant, what some of the implications below the surface were. It was at least a little easier than Merchant of Venice was, in that Wilde’s language is a little more familiar than Shakespeare’s. However, Victorians often had a way of indirectly discussing issues, so we had to figure out how to convey the real issues going on beneath the words. When Elements Theatre company came a few years ago, they talked about giving flesh to the words, so we’ve been working on how to make the characters seem like real people, not like students on a stage reading lines. It’s also weird how much better Wilde’s words sound with a British accent, even our mangled British accents (apologies and gratitude in advance to anyone from Great Britain who endures our attempts!), so we had to play around with cultivating accents. JG: In developing a production from the ground up, the unexpected is bound to occur. What surprises have you, the crew, and the actors encountered? KP: One of the things I look forward to the most is happy accidents. Sometimes when a student begins working on a character, they take that character into places I didn’t anticipate, and often their vision is frankly better than mine. In our first play six years ago, one of those accidents happened in the second performance, when an actor accidentally hit another actor and knocked him over during a fight scene. The audience loved it, so the actors wanted to recreate that accident in every performance from then on. In The Importance of Being Earnest, we’ve had a lot of positive experiences where a great scene grew kind of organically out of a number of different attempts. Sometimes, we have the actors play differ-
ent parts, and when the person playing Jack, for instance, sees someone else play Jack and do something different, that different detail often becomes the standard for what Jack will do in performance. Not every surprise is positive; just this past weekend, a moment of slapstick humor we’d been working on ultimately failed. I had to admit that the scene just would not work, so we’ll be reblocking that scene this week, right before our opening.
JG: No doubt, you’re proud of the students in the play, what have been some of the highlights working with the drama team? KP: One of my goals has been to cultivate that idea of a team and to encourage everyone to believe they have creative input. Sure, as the director, I have a vision, but I have found we produce a much better play if I don’t hold too tightly to that vision. Creativity blossoms when everyone is given permission to be creative, and that’s what I love to see. I’m always astounded at the passion that grows in the students over the course of a semester. There’s usually some kind of resistance to the play at first, but eventually I win the students over and we have a blast collaborating on how to make the show a success. It’s an honor to be surrounded by such creativity, and I wish more students would take advantage of being a part of the production!
Courtesy of Benjamin Tse 24 | Volume 1: The Forum
JG: You have been directing plays at Nyack for the last six years, how have you as a director changed since your directorial debut with The Knight of the Burning Pestle? With The Knight of the Burning Pestle, all I had to work with was my own experience as an actor when I was an undergraduate at Nyack and the experiences of those first students who were part of that play. Up to the first performance, I would have nightmares that something would go wrong, the play would be a huge failure, I’d be fired, students would be expelled… The silly fears I surrendered to were pretty awful. Since then, I’ve become much more comfortable with directing and producing, although I still sometimes worry something will go tragically wrong, but not as much as I once did. I think I’ve also become more comfortable with collaborating. In the earlier plays, I did most of the directing and my student directors pretty much just backed up what I said. As the plays progressed, I let the student directors do more and more directing, to the point where I sometimes think I’ve backed off too much. I think sometimes I’m terrible at delegating some responsibilities and too good at delegating others. Each play is a new adventure as we try to figure out the proper balance. Ultimately, I do have final say on what I want to see on stage, but I’d like to think I don’t use my veto power too often. I’d also say I’ve become a little more intentional in my choice of plays, trying to pick plays that I think have something to say to a Nyack audience or that I know students will really enjoy.
Courtesy of Benjamin Tse
Courtesy of Benjamin Tse
JG: Thank you for your time and insights. We wish you and the team great success with The Importance of Being Earnest. Courtesy of Benjamin Tse Volume 1: The Forum | 25
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