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FROM THE founder

Dear Readers, I know none of us expected April to be like this. At least The Teller’s staff did not. We are amid crazy, unprecedented times where many of us feel like our worlds have been flipped upside down. The constant 24/7 newscycle is delivering information about the COVID-19 outbreak from many different angles. The number of positive cases sadly keeps increasing while mandates from both our governor and president become stricter. By the time you are reading this, the situation may and probably will be vastly different than it is right now. As a fourth-year student at SUNY New Paltz, I would have never imagined the last three months of my academic career to end like this. In simplest terms, it is simply heartbreaking. There is some milestone or achievement or celebration that many individuals across the world have had to sacrifice during this time. Giving up these things that we looked forward to is sad. However, myself and I’m sure many others understand the bigger picture and that in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, it will be a collective effort. The outbreak has inched closer and closer to home and it has become more and more real overtime. The time is now to all come together as a community and realize our duty to help put an end to the outbreak. Last month, when we chose the word “underground” for our April theme, I had no idea the different meaning it would take on when the issue would come out. Yes, I am thinking of an underground bunker that people think about going to when the world feels like it is about to end. While the world might feel completely different right now, I hope that people aren’t fleeing underground (just buy one thing of toilet paper at a time, self-isolate and watch some Netflix people!). We chose the theme Underground so that our contributors could brainstorm original, unique ideas that might not be so mainstream: a place that many people don’t know about, new movies or music that aren’t well known, and so on. The Teller wants to continue to do what we do best, and that is to deliver content for our readers that might help them escape reality and take a break from social media or the news, and instead learn something new while supporting student work. We have plenty of awesome food recipes for someone who wants to try their hand at cooking, at-home adventure ideas, why to start a dream journal, websites to visit for redecorating the home, and so much more. We got you covered. Remember we’re in this together. Stay self-isolated and enjoy reading,

Cloey Callahan Founder / Editor in Chief



meet our team THE TELLER

Jessica Barr Fashion & Beauty Editor

Emily Trama Health & Wellness Editor

Gabriella Rivera Food Editor

Jeffrey Seitz Literary & Art Editor

Abigail Foster Adventure Editor

Nadine Cafaro Literary & Art Editor

Morgan Hughes Home Editor

Judy Capiral Social Media Coordinator


Julia Catalanello Lead Graphic Designer


Rebecca Angelou Assitant Graphic Designer

Diana Testa Head Copy Editor

Taylor Dinardo Managing Editor

Susanna Granieri Head Page Editor

Madelyn Crews Assitant Managing Editor

Annemarie Durkin Head Page Editor

Matthew Whitworth Business Manager


fe ature d co n tri buto rs THE TELLER

Name: Claire Hazard Year: Junior Major: Sociology Contribution: Horoscopes Email: Favorite Hideout spot: I honestly just love going to Main Course and sitting at one of the tables. While i’m there enjoying a salad, I feel like I’m away from everything else that is going on. The sitting area is very open which allows for the sun to shine all through the room. It is very bright and always full of people. People are usually having conversations or even doing work. It is a casual environment that I have come to really love.

Name: Julie Pumarejo Year: Senior Major: Business Analytics and Management Contribution: Adventure Email: Favorite Hideout spot: The gym because I feel so great after I leave. Given the current situation, I know that I can’t go right now, but I can always go for a run or do a home workout.


all Contributors

Fashion Jessica Barr, Nadine Cafaro, Ericka Francois, Cloey Callahan, Food Gabriella Rivera, Marissa Ammon, Emily Trama, Susanna Granieri, Taylor Dowd, Amanda Gordon, Adventure Abby Foster, Julie Pumarejo, Judy Anne Capiral, Health and Wellness Emily Trama, Megan Tomasic, Matt Whitworth, Morgan Hughes,

Name: Luke Barnell Year: Senior Major: Graphic Design Contribution: Design Team Email: Favorite Hideout spot: My desk in Old Library

Home Morgan Hughes, Marissa Ammon, Jessica Barr, Amanda Gordon, Ericka Francois, Poetry Judy Anne Capiral, Michelle Nedboy, David O’Keefe, Katherine Goldblatt, Short Stories Amanda Gordon, Photography/Art Jeffrey Seitz, Nadine Cafaro, Michelle Nedboy, Colin Battersby, AnneMarie Durkin, Reviews Jeffrey Seitz, Madelyn Crews, Playlists Sarah Cunningham, Susanna Granieri, Diana Testa, Miscellaneous Ananda Cash, Horoscopes Emma Gibbons, Claire Hazard,

Name: Kyla Jakubowski Year: Sophomore Major: Graphic Design Contribution: Design Team Email: Favorite Hideout spot: The pillow fortress that lives in the corner of my room.

Design Team Julia Catalanello, Olivia Heins, Christian Torgersen, Kirstin Phillips, Emma Misiaszek, Rebecca Angelou, Emily LaSita, Brianna Andrews, Kyla Jakubowski, Nishi Patel, Cori Caravella, Luke Barnell, McKenna Wood, Website Manager Caroline Rowley, Cover Colin Battersby,





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P.012 History of Fashion: Pockets and Tiny Purses

P. 022 A Week-Long, All-Potato Diet

P. 031 Trouble on the Train to Machu Picchu

P.014 Ethical Brands Based in the States

P. 024 Chicken Souvlaki: Street Food Recipe

P. 032 Senior Year (Mis)Adventures

P.016 Culture Seven: Creativity Meets Charitability

P. 026 A Review of Rough Draft Bar and Books

P. 033 Keeping Adventure Alive While Quarantined









P. 037 Woodstock Bring Your Own

P.040 Why You Should Start Dream Journaling P.041 Living Four Feet Under

P.044 Confronting Facetune Dysmorphia P.046 The Problem of Health Fads P.048 Navigating the History of Mental Health Stigma


Short Stories

Photography and Art Playlists Reviews Horoscopes







History of Fashion

The Tiny Purse… oh, and Pockets by Jessica Barr

Although introduced into women’s wear long before Jacquemus first introduced the ‘Le Chiquito’ bag during his Fall Ready-to-Wear collection, the two models adorned with the accessory sparked a tiny purse to become an overwhelming trend. Practically, the tiny purse doesn’t make much sense. With phones getting bigger, why sport an accessory made for convenience, if it doesn’t serve its purpose? Especially when that “lack-of-function” accessory comes with a hefty price tag. Despite the off-putting facts that the tiny purse has littleto-no functionality, typically high prices and is easy to misplace, the trend took off. By playing with shape and


design, higher-end brands created a sense of exclusivity in carrying such a small purse. Chanel even took the trend one step further in layering two mini bags and hanging them from gold-chained belts on their models. This is probably a result of the boundless notion, and maybe even proven fact that history repeats itself, or could it be just fashion’s way of telling us to stop carrying so much stuff and adapt to a minimalist lifestyle! Until the 18th century a tiny purse signified elegance and status, for its necessity was to carry just one thing: cash. The accessories were unisex in nature and had more in common with modern wallets than the handbags we’re used to. At the time, roomy pockets were actually con-


Paris, F/W 2019: Jacquemus ‘Le Chiquito’ bag

1800-1825 Reticule Bag - via Musée McCord Museum

ventional in women’s clothing, making a purse something meant for carrying things like gambling winnings. It wasn't until the late 1780’s that larger bags were used beyond carrying work-related items. During the French Revolution functional pockets were essentially eradicated in women’s clothing, expanding the duties of the handbag. This meant one thing; we were now meant to carry more in our purses and less in our pockets. As it always does, fashion accepted this new challenge. Smaller pockets became stylistic and deliberate in design. Purses became larger, more intricate in design and more useful for the average carrier. Bigger, but still small, decorated “reticules” became an essential accessory.


So, the history of the mini-purse coincides with the history of pockets. Ironically enough any woman can attest to the frustration of small, futile pockets, making it hard to understand why the modern reduction in purse size didn’t come along with an increase in pocket size.


Repurposing Forgotten Fashion and Giving it New Life by Ericka Francois

I threw away a lot of my old shoes that I no longer wore or found a purpose in keeping as a teenager. It wasn’t until I started thinking more deeply about how to partake in sustainable practices when it comes to fashion and how to hold onto things that didn’t necessarily need to be thrown away as I got older. I also knew that I was very indecisive, and if you’re like me this DIY project might interest you. One month I liked green and white sneakers and would wear them regularly. The next month, I was over those colors and could no longer return them. The average price I pay for shoes is $90 and beyond. So now that I didn’t like them, would I seriously consider giving them away or even donating them? It seemed like a waste of money, so I came up with a way to keep my shoes in my closet longer and actually wear them regularly; I began spray painting them.


I did this not only with sneakers but with anything I found in the house that I no longer liked the color of. Not only is spray painting inexpensive, it’s a fun activity. When spray painting is a bit too messy for your liking, try using fabric paint instead. I purchased my paint and paint brush from Michaels’ Arts and Craft Store, which is a good place to go for inexpensive arts and crafts materials. You can save even more money when you catch their sales also. I had a messy start (as you can see in the pictures) but you can clean up any excess paint with a q-tip and alcohol or go back and re-paint.



These “Nike Air Max Plus,� sneakers are $175 and are in the color Dark Stucco, essentially a light forest green, and the soles off white.




Made in The USA by Nadine Cafaro

After you carelessly rummage through your closet in frustration and hop in your car after claiming you have nothing to wear, you probably end up at your nearest shopping mall. The first store you see is Forever 21, a store with trendy clothing and cheap price tags. Maybe next you’ll go to H&M in search of a perfect internship outfit.

However, these stores participate in fast fashion— clothes made at the speed of lightning for a cheaper price. Having said that, the cheap dollar sign impacts our planet by contributing to greenhouse gases and polluting the ocean. The work that is required to produce clothing in this capacity also comes with unfair treatment of employees. They often get underpaid, overworked and become victims of gender-based violence. Mostly, these situations occur in third world countries.

As scary as it is, there is hope after digging through your closet; and no, it doesn’t have to be thrifting or borrowing something from your sibling’s dresser. There are Americanbased brands that are not involved in fast fashion and pay their workers fair wages. You can shift your loyalties to some of these brands and feel better while shopping.



American Apparel Though the brand declared bankruptcy in 2015, it was soon purchased by Canadian retailer Gildan Activewear in 2017. Typical styles have changed, but the store is still sweatshop-free and has kept the same ethical mentality as before. Instead of hiding how their clothes are made, American Apparel participated in the #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign by Fashion Revolution. They value their customers knowing who designed their clothes. Additionally, employees get fair wages, benefits, financial aid programs and transportation to and from work.

Reformation Though a lesser-known brand, Reformation practices sustainability, climate action and human rights activism. Based out of California, Reformation follows the trends while sharing annual sustainability reports and using repurposed vintage clothing for new styles. They are a bit pricier than Forever 21 or H&M, but offer Afterpay, an option for people to pay bi-weekly for the brands they love. So, you can shop sustainably while paying the price at your own pace.

American Giant Based in California, American Giant has a diverse assortment of clothing and prides themselves on the quality of their clothing. Their motto is “Durable. Not Disposable.” They opened because of their exhaustion toward fast-fashion and the unsustainable business practices of other companies. Local communities come together and work on the clothing in an effort to keep optimism and togetherness engraved in their core values.

There are many more sustainable brands than the three listed, but hopefully in the future, you gaze through one of these websites and keep the practices of the companies you're shopping in mind before skipping happily into your regular stores. *Please keep in mind that due to COVID-19, some stores may only be offering online shopping since most retail locations have closed. Check each store’s website to see how you can shop during this pandemic*



SITTING DOWN WITH CULTURE SEVEN’S JACK TYNDALL: How a Local Brand Meshes Art, Apparel and Creativity with Charities and Giving Back by Cloey Callahan

Photographs by Kevin Salguero



If you haven’t heard of Culture Seven yet, listen up; it might just be your new favorite local DIY brand. Culture Seven is based out of Brewster, New York and cofounded by Jack Tyndall, Kevin Salguero and Jason McNamara. What started out as a love for art and creating turned into something much bigger. Although the entire brand includes art, music (McNamara), photography and videography (Salguero), what has really jumped off the ground is the apparel. This part is Tyndall’s area of expertise, who I sat down with to learn more about Culture Seven the brand. What is Culture Seven? To me, Culture Seven is a brand and a movement made to connect people of all different backgrounds (cultures), spread love and use art and clothing to give back to the community. The mission really is to create a brand that is ultimately for everyone, made by everyone. Why did you go down the fashion and art route? This is all I’ve ever wanted really. I feel both art and fashion are channels to convey a message, and so naturally by combining the two you have the largest audience and can produce the loudest message. It has come quite naturally to me too; I used to spray paint and make custom shoes when I was around 8 years old and I made my first t-shirt in sixth grade.

How do you help charities and how do you pick which charity? The charity concept really revolves around the culture the line focuses on. We had a New York line, arguably one of the spots with the most diverse people, so there was plenty of art and inspiration. Then I look at where in New York I see someone or something that needs help. New York has one of the highest homeless populations in the world so I had a portion of the proceeds from the line donated to feeding the homeless. Other things are a lot simpler– our water bottles donate 30% [of profits] to clean water through We had a self-love line to convey a message and we decided to continue it but pair it with the Semicolon project. What else are you working on right now? We’re working on a ton of summer stuff: swimwear, tie-dye, some floral pieces, customs and even a few collaborations coming. Stay tuned on Culture Seven’s Instagram to vote for what you want to see next; follow them at @culturesevenco or go to to purchase hoodies, shirts, beanies and other apparel.

How do you choose what fashion lines to create? Everything is pretty fluid. I take certain charities and causes I’d like to help, or messages I’d like to convery and I’ll make a bunch of artwork surrounding that concept. If it feels right, I go through with it; It’s intuition I guess. Nothing is ever perfect in my book so when the stars align between the charity/message and the design work, I’ll run with it.


Art by Jack Tyndall






by Amanda M. Gordon





The Root of Not-Dogs by Gabriella Rivera

This issue is all about underground and the first thing that comes to mind for me is root vegetables (get it?). I have cooked with beets before for The Teller, so I am not a stranger to the earthy creatures, but for this issue I want to have some fun. I recently attended a bonfire where my best friend complained about not being able to find veggie hotdogs that he likes because most of them taste very processed. With this, I went to work combining the two ideas and creating my own version of vegetarian hotdogs made from carrots. These “not-dogs” are spicy, smokey and come packed with enough flavor to keep your vegetarian friends wondering how you made them.



A 1 pound bag of carrots

Fill a large pot with water and set it on the stove to bring it up to a boil. Start by peeling your carrots and start shaping them to fit the contours of your buns.

1/3 cup of Vegetable Broth 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil 3 tablespoons of pickled jalapeño juice 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke 1 tablespoon of garlic powder 1 tablespoon of onion powder 4 tablespoons of soy sauce 1 tablespoon of paprika 1/2 a tablespoon of dijon mustard Hot dog buns (If the person is pescatarian, you can add a tablespoon of Worchester Sauce) These “hotdogs” were created with my friends in mind. It’s a classic food that I think we all cherish as a childhood favorite, and to be able to create it with wholesome ingredients – that’s exactly why I love to cook.


Add all of the liquids and spices into a bowl and whisk until they are incorporated. When the water comes up to a boil, add your carrots and boil until they are barely fork tender, or soft enough to be cut with a fork. (About five or six minutes) Add the marinade to a tupperware and when your carrots are done, drain them and immediately gently toss them in the marinade. Cover and marinate for three hours to overnight. When the carrots are cool, put them into the refrigerator. If marinating overnight, flip them halfway through their bath. Preheat the oven to 400° and set the carrots in a deep, lightly oiled, baking tray. Spoon a little marinade over them before popping them into the oven. Bake the carrots for 20 minutes, flipping them about halfway and spooning a little more marinade over the top. Put them in a bun with whatever toppings you desire and watch your vegetarian friends fall in love.


Professor Cookie:

Going From Underground to Reaching Beyond New Paltz

by Marissa Ammon

If you’re a student at SUNY New Paltz, you’ve probably heard of Professor Cookie. However, if you haven’t, I can guarantee you will not only give this service a try, but also rave about it as much as I have since the day I got my hand on some of Professor Cookie’s treats! I can guarantee after reading this article, I can guarantee that you will want to try Professor Cookie. If you get the chance to go, you’ll probably rave about it as much as I have since the day I got my hands on them. Recently, I wanted to know how this cookie delivery service started and how they are expanding their brand by opening their own location this month! To learn about this amazing company, I interviewed its founder and owner, Ilya. Even though his business has only been around for less than two years, Professor Cookie went from being a budding business to a favorite cookie delivery service for New Paltz college students. How did you come up with the idea of selling cookies? Well – I grew disillusioned with the idea of continuing with accounting just a year into doing it. I had gotten laid off from the company I worked for and had free time to think about how I wanted my life to go. Cookies aren’t my go-to snack or anything, but I thought people would like being offered the option of warm, fresh cookies delivered to them, especially in a town without that option. So I went from there — piece by piece — learning how to start a business and bake without any proper knowledge of baking (besides cake mixes). This is hard! But yeah it just went from there - things started forming. Where and when did you start? New Paltz, August 2018.


Who created the recipes? They’re my recipes but usually the recipes start off from internet recipes [or] Youtube videos and then they get altered from there if needed. I mean, most chocolate chip cookie recipes, for example, are going to have the same core ingredients ... it’s just a matter of the fine details. How many people are on your staff? So far, just me and my delivery drivers. I was in the process of getting actual people to work with me but coronavirus hit and students are staying home until Fall which makes getting employees difficult. What are the staff’s favorite cookies from Professor Cookie? The favorite is the vegan chocolate chip. It’s super chocolatey and has a crispy outside, but an interesting, almost cake-like texture on the inside. Plus, it uses coconut oil/ applesauce which makes it a bit healthier. Why do you think your business has expanded over the last few years? I think people enjoy the uniqueness of the business to this area; Insomnia Cookies and others exist of course but nothing around here. I also try to be better than them. We don’t charge as much and I think have a much more personalized service for customers. What can we expect from Professor Cookie in the next few months? We will be in survival mode, but expect cookies to still be sold. We’re super clean [and] dedicated to quality and staying in business! Where can people check you out? Social media! Facebook and Instagram is @ProfCookie Phone number (that you can text us on) is 845-204-8797 There is no physical location for Professor Cookie since it’s only available for delivery.


by Taylor Dowd

Street food contributes to the urban food scene by offering authentic, international flavors for a laid back, less expensive dining option. Chicken Souvlaki is a classic Greek street food made by stuffing a pita with skewer-grilled chicken, then topping it with ingredients like tzatziki sauce, tomatoes and red onions. Freshly made souvlaki will transport you to the streets of Athens (or those Greek food trucks in New York City) from the comfort of your own kitchen.



*recipe adapted from AllRecipes Chef John

*recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

2 cloves garlic Half of an English cucumber, grated (about ½ cup) 1 teaspoon dried dill 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ½ tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

Stir all ingredients together until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Refrigerate until chilled.



Relax and Read in the Local Scene by Emily Trama full menu of beers, wines, ciders, coffee and light bites; including assorted pastries and appetizers. Most of their beers are brewed locally in New York, some of which come from around the corner in different parts of the Hudson Valley and Beacon. Rough Draft has poetry and spoken word nights, guest DJs and writers to perform or read for you, trivia nights, writer retreats, several book clubs and more. The best part: you can buy their books! If you fall in love with the one you are reading or see something eye-catching on the shelf, you can take it home. You can also go to their website and order a book online or request for Rough Draft to order a book for you. Buying books from places like Rough Draft is also a great way to support local and indie bookstores in your area. Go by yourself and enjoy a nice glass of wine or kick back with some friends at trivia night, either way I guarantee “Let’s grab a drink...” will most certainly turn into “Let’s go to Rough Draft.” My Sip and Snack Recommendation: try one of their gluten-free scones with a glass of your favorite red wine! *As of March 16, Rough Draft is closed for at least a week due to COVID-19. They are currently taking book requests, online orders, deliveries and gift card sales to keep their business striving! Visit their website for more information.

“Let’s grab a drink...” can feel like a huge sigh of relief after a busy week. It’s nice to unwind and relieve yourself of the stress school can overrun you with, but as a 21-and-over student, sometimes the last thing you want to do is stand in a loud, crowded bar listening to house music and not being able to hear a thing anyone is saying to you. Instead, a night of light music, fun conversation, local brews and a book might be exactly what you need. Rough Draft Bar and Books located in Kingston, NY is exactly what the name entails: a bar where you can also read! Rough Draft has a warm and welcoming ambiance that exudes relaxation and sophistication. The bar has a



by Susanna Granieri During this COVID-19 crisis that has defined our past few weeks, thousands have taken to social media to share their “quarantine routine.” Mostly, people have tried Instagram Live workout videos, cleaning and organizing their homes and most importantly, started to cook. Although this recipe is not a ‘new’ or ‘daring’ action, it is one to perfect during your time at home if you’re able to find pasta at your supermarket. Usually heavily stocked, shelves are empty right now due to panic shopping and hoarding in this pandemic age.

• • • • • • •

Fettuccine Pasta Noodles 1 Stick of Butter ¾ Pint of Heavy Cream 1 Dash of Garlic Salt ¾ Cup of Grated Romano Cheese ½ Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese Salt & Pepper

Use a large saucepan to melt the stick of butter into the cream. Use low heat in order to make sure it does not boil over. Add salt, pepper and garlic salt to the mix. Stir in both the romano and parmesan cheese, as this will make the sauce thicker.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, once your water has been brought to a rolling boil sprinkle your salt in. Pour in the pasta and allow to cook. Be sure to stir consistently so the noodles do not stick together. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the sauce, coating all of the noodles. Sprinkle some pepper over the pasta and serve immediately.

This recipe is simple and easy, but it does lead to a filling and sensational meal. If you’re bored during quarantine, grab some cream and cheese and make your family some fettuccine alfredo.







Storm King Art Center: Taking Abstract Art To The Next Level by Abby Foster

Imagine this: you’re trekking across acres of greenery: meadows, hayfields, grasslands, hills and ponds. You’ve been walking for almost an hour through what seems like a dozen different ecosystems and your legs are starting to hurt. As you break through a dense treeline and into an open field, you finally see it. It’s cherry red and as big as a house, maybe bigger. Its long, tubular limbs are sticking out into the open air in all different directions in what seems like haphazard placement, and on the right-hand side, three rusty orbs are hanging by thick cable wire. What is it? Who the hell knows. But it makes you ask questions, and that’s exactly what you can expect from the abstract installations at the Storm King Art Center. The outdoor art center in Cornwall is celebrating its 60th anniversary as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks in 2020. Originally founded in 1960 as a museum for Hudson River School painting, the Storm King Art Center is 500 acres of weird and wacky sculptures that attract over 200,000 visitors each year. The center also has an indoor collection for smaller sculptures, photographs and drawings. Some of the more notable abstract wonders on display at Storm King are “Mirror Fence” by Alyson Shotz, which is a white picket-style fence made entirely of mirrors; the “Three Legged Buddha” by Zhang Huan, featuring a 28-foot high copper and steel sculpture of three phantom legs, one of which is stepping on the head of Buddha; the “Storm King Wavefield” by Maya Lin, which consists of seven 400 foot long waves created out of gravel and grass, evoking a rough sea out of a grassy field and then there is “Catskill” by former SUNY New Paltz professor Manuel Bromberg, which is literally just a moss-covered rock. Storm King offers bike rentals on a first come, first serve basis for those who wish to add a little extra cardio to their excursion. Although the rentals are $10 an hour with a two hour minimum, putting your tour on wheels will allow you to see more of the 500 acres than you would on foot, and trust me, there is a lot to see. Tickets can be purchased online or on site. Admission is $18 for adults, and $8 for students with I.D. If you’re a morning person, tickets to the center are $3 cheaper between 9a.m. and 10a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. In compliance with the recommended safety precautions for stopping the spread of COVID-19, The Storm King Art Center will remain temporarily closed until further notice, all events and programs scheduled now until May 31 have been postponed.



The Time I [Almost] Saw Machu Picchu by Judy Anne Capiral Machu Picchu, deemed by the New York Times as one of the new seven wonders of the world, is certainly still a wonder to me. Growing up, I’ve heard stories from family about their trips to Machu Picchu, and I’ve always felt tied to it through my Peruvian heritage. In the summer of 2018, I almost got to see it for myself— if not for one of the scariest experiences of my life. My family and I went to Perú that summer to see our distant family and visit historical landmarks such as the Catedral de Lima, as well as many ancient ruins, one of them being Machu Picchu. The day after we landed in Cuzco, we got up early in the morning to make it to our train to Aguas Calientes, a town in the Urubamba River Valley where the trail to the ancient ruins begins. The train was packed with tourists from across the world; even that early in the morning you could feel the energy and excitement in each train car. But about an hour into the train ride, the train came to a mysterious halt that had us scratching our heads for almost an hour. Eventually, we got word that a protest was taking place on the tracks at one of the stations ahead. The protest was made up of tourists who wanted to use the station that is strictly reserved for Andean locals. This set us back close to two hours just waiting for the authorities to clear the protest. Then at last, we were finally moving… but only for about five minutes before the worst happened.

us) which caused the collision. Panic ensued everywhere, but my mom and uncle urged us to remain calm; we would just have to wait. We waited to be evacuated for almost seven hours. Our only food was what we had brought with us, crackers and water. My mom would tell us to eat, but none of us could in a situation like that. While we waited, people were climbing out of their cars to see the wreckage. Our train car was third from the last, and the last was almost completely totaled. From what we heard, the people in the last train car flew out of their seats when we were hit. People with injuries were the first to be evacuated, many minor but some severe. We were truly lucky to be in a far enough train car with no injuries, and for my whole family to be together through it all. After those seven hours we were finally evacuated. To say I’m disappointed that I did not get to see Machu Picchu is an understatement, but I’m more than ever thankful that my family and I were safe and had each other through that unforgettable experience.

The train stopped again, much to the begrudgement of everyone aboard and my family. Suddenly, the sound of metal grinding against metal filled our ears; it was quickly followed by the terrifying collision of another train into the back of ours, sending us nearly out of our seats. At first, none of us had any idea what was happening, apparent by the questions in different languages that rang throughout each train car. But then, train car attendants were outside the train running behind us, causing us to realize we must have been crashed into. Apparently the protest had caused a delay that wasn’t communicated to the next train (behind



My Senior Year Misadventure by Julie Pumarejo

My senior year started out pretty damn strong. I was getting chased by a couple of really great possible employers. I was happy to move into my first apartment off-campus. The girl I had been in love with for two years finally went out with me! You could say I was killing the game.


Isn’t Just For

Here’s How to Make the Bes by Abby Foster

That is, until I wasn't. After my final interview with my dream job, I was ghosted due to a company hiring freeze. My roommate and I grew resentful of each other for our different living routines. My dysfunctional family was pressuring me to move back home. Unsurprisingly, all this stress caused a strain on my relationship with my beautiful girlfriend. My mental health was rapidly deteriorating. I really needed some help, so I decided to try therapy. The psychological counseling center at SUNY New Paltz is amazing. I was set up with weekly sessions with a counselor who helped me find ways to help me cope with my anxiety, all for free through the school. I checked out self-help books from the school library and I set up a gym schedule with one of my best friends to get that serotonin going. Basically, I reached out for help and did healthy things that made me happy. All this effort made a massive difference too! I now communicate efficiently with my roommate and girlfriend. With a little determination and grit, I even got another job. Senior year was easily a mix of mayhem and achievement. If things don't go your way and you feel like you're getting knocked down, there are so many resources you can use to help get back up.


Things are weird. We’re all cooped up inside our homes for who knows how long, and I’m sure I’m not the only one getting restless. Although the expiration date on this global pandemic is currently unknown, self-isolation doesn’t have to be miserable. Here are some fun adventures that you can have from within the safety of your own home! Become an ordained minister online so that your quarantine buddies have to call you “father” or “your holiness.”

Give yourself a haircut or dye it a fun color. If it works out, great. If it doesn’t, you won’t be seeing anyone for weeks anyway.

Marie Kondo your house. Does the clutter on your desk give you joy? What about the faded Jonas Brothers T-shirt that you’ve had since the fifth grade? Do you find your messy housemate joyful? No? THROW. THEM. OUT.

Hold a seance. Maybe ask the 20th Century ghosts in your house how they survived the Spanish Flu epidemic. Or, more likely, why they didn’t. 032


r Outside:

st of Quarantining

Make a blanket fort out of all the toilet paper you’ve been hoarding.

Try learning a new language. Now, instead of asking your roommate to please wash her day-old dishes, you can yell it in German. WASCHE DEIN VERDAMMTES GESCHIRR, RACHEL!

Rediscover Omegle. Be careful though. According to a disclaimer on the site’s main page, predators have been known to use the anonymous video chat service. Shocking, I know.

Compete with your quarantine buddies in a timed obstacle course made out of your living room furniture. Whoever loses has to do Rachel’s dishes.







Affordable Websites for Home Decor that you Don’t Know About, yet by Marissa Ammon

You may think the word “underground” doesn’t go well with “home decor,” but that’s where you’re wrong. The best part of living in the digital media age is that we can find anything online and buy it ourselves without traveling from store to store. This saves us time, money and gives us way more options when choosing what to buy. Check out these lesser-known websites for home decor to spruce up your home. Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

Crafty Home by Missy Crafty Home, in my opinion, has more tasteful decor than Etsy. The beautiful and distinctive pieces are not only affordable but very cute. Missy, designer and founder of Crafty Home, has a Spring and Easter Collection as well as her own Home Decor Blog. Another creative collection she offers to consumers is a Decor box, filled with items of similar colors, themes and styles. Uncommon Goods Exactly what the title suggests; Uncommon Goods offers many unique furniture gems for organization including their Flip Rack and the Bedside Essentials Pocket. They also sell quintessential and personalized art to spice up your walls. Stardust Modern Stardust Modern sells both adorable pieces of decor and affordable furniture in any size. They sell bohemian style rugs, mini outdoor fire pits and atypical office supplies. If you love an artsy and modern decorated home, go check them out!


Country Willow This beautiful, classic home furniture shop is not just a website but a fairly local store, with a location in Bedford Hills, New York. It is one of my favorites because of their use of neutral colors throughout the items they sell. Some of their furniture is a little old-fashioned for those who like a more “country style” vibe to their home. They sell wooden TV and entertainment centers, upholstered beds and round breakfast tables, among others. Amara While Amara may be pricey for budgeting college students, their wide selection of comforters may be a good investment. They also have a huge selection of decorative pillows and fashionable dog carriers.


Revolutionizing Recycling: Woodstock Bring Your Own by Jessica Barr

Alexandra Bolotow, founder of Woodstock Bring Your Own (WBYO), has created a sustainable and affordable way to replace household products by providing “refillable cleaning and beauty products and other sustainable living items to help you on your low-waste journey.” The shop, situated on the bustling Tinker street in Woodstock, New York, has combined conscious living with convenience for its patrons. The store allows individuals to bring any container to be filled with a variety of household items including hand soap, dishwasher detergent, hand and body lotions, toothpaste, powder, etc. By bringing old containers to be filled, especially thicker plastics and rubbers, WBYO allows individuals to reduce their carbon footprint through repurposing.


Bolotow has gone above and beyond in creating a conscious living environment upon stepping through the doors. WBYO goes beyond refills by selling reusable straws, coffee cups, grocery bags and containers. You can also find essential oils and other materials to create your own beauty products. For all you yogis, you can even pop in and find mats made of cork! Recycle Across America discusses the nation’s confusion about recycling as a crisis, believing the issue to be a lack of knowledge about how to recycle correctly. As a result of this, U.S. recycling levels are at only 21.4%, but have the potential to reach 75%. If comprehensive recycling, which in turn leads to reduction and reuse of products, was correctly implemented, the environmental outcome could be

tremendous. It could be equivalent to removing 55 million cars worth of carbon dioxide emissions from the air. Stores like Woodstock Bring Your Own turn daunting recycling statistics into something that can be used to elicit change at an individual level. If every person with the capabilities of refilling their containers did so, the impacts would go beyond just landfills. A refill store is a chance to influence consumer behavior, which will influence demand and in turn, influence manufacturing. Living a conscious and sustainable lifestyle really is that simple, and thanks to WBYO it’s affordable too. *Woodstock Bring Your Own is currently closed in order to lessen the spread of COVID-19. You can find them on Instagram at @woodstockbringyourown to keep updated. In the meantime, keep maintaining your normal recycling habits!



Growing up with my West Indian grandmother, my room technically was not my room. It was always her room. I never had any privacy until I occasionally locked the door and even that was frowned upon in her household. I would often find missing clothes and items- things I knew were long gone. With lost polaroids and straps from my favorite high-top Nikes turning up out of nowhere, I was furious; my space wasn’t being respected at all. My room was not mine, so therefore it did not feel like my sanctuary. My bedroom’s design was not consulted with me either; from the furniture, to the color of the walls and the bedding- it was all what my grandma wanted. I felt like my creativity was being constrained. However, over the years I found ways to enjoy my room without breaking her rules because at the end of the day, it still is her house and I knew that I had to respect that and her.

by Ericka Francois



You should envision what you want your room to be; figure out what you like and dislike. Purging the items in your bedroom down to only the essentials can make it look and feel more relaxing. What kind of bedroom aesthetic do you envision? With a bigger picture in mind, think about nuances that make your bedroom feel like home. The quickest way to cozy up a bedroom is to choose a color to center the room around and stick to it. A unifying color helps to ground a bedroom and bring its look and vibe together. Google some room ideas that you’d like to emulate to follow a style and do not forget to create a budget for spending, especially if you’d like to invest in higher quality pieces. But remember, the DIY projects are endless, especially for bedrooms.

Begin by checking in with what’s going on in your sleep space and set a clear intention: do you want a room for winding down and sleeping? A space to read or exercise? Do you want a TV in the room? If you’ve kept your bedroom the same way for years, challenge yourself to try something new. I began to visualize my room with black decor and made it happen step by step. I did this by either buying black decor signs (from places like Amazon) or just painting pieces I already had black. I bought the necessities from Michael’s Arts and Craft Store and began painting everything I could. I painted a pink shadow box, an old mirror, furniture, a heart shaped glass bowl and even a jewelry box that was passed on from my grandma herself. If I didn’t use traditional painting methods with a brush, I spray painted some items. To solidify my theme of black, I spray painted synthetic white roses and purchased a black and white yin yang tapestry.

I purchased bedding from Amazon and Target to see what else I could do to change my bedroom into a true sanctuary. Even if everything could not be done cheaply, I was willing to splurge. I even found a star light installation to cover my ceiling since I couldn’t cover my walls with paint. The goal is to make sure that your room never makes you feel trapped, stressed or drained. Having a place of sanctuary is important for one’s mental well-being, especially for college students. No matter what happens in the outside world, there needs to always be a place for you to balance out and recharge; a place you come to for peace. When it comes to decorating your bedroom, embrace the colors and things that you love by building a space that makes you feel the most at home. Resetting the room sets a positive tone for the time you spend in it. Making sure your space is your own and somewhere you are comfortable in is especially important as we self-isolate for a few weeks. Try to recreate your space with things and tools you have around your house. Do not go out to recreate your room right now, and only order from online retailers if you have to. Give yourself the challenge of doing this with what you already have!

Pictured here is a heart shaped glass bowl I painted with a mini polaroid picture frame inside. The jewelry box and smile sign are the other two items I painted black.

the roses I spray painted black that were originally white with my shadow box



The Benefits of Dream Journaling by Morgan Hughes

Have you ever woken up from a dream that was so weird or crazy you had to immediately write it all down? Do you have any dreams you swear are recurring but you can’t be too sure? Do you struggle to remember your dreams? Are you just fascinated with the whole idea of dreaming in general? Then maybe it’s time to start dream journaling! Dream journaling is, well, exactly what it sounds like. It’s writing out all the details of your dream right after you wake from it, or even adding in entries of dreams you still remember from long ago into a journal. What’s the earliest dream you can think of? Have you ever dreamt about losing your teeth? Or about being chased? Have you found yourself dreaming you were pantless in a place you should have definitely been wearing pants? If these prompts help you remember any former dreams, then write them down— now you have the start of a dream journal.

But what are the actual benefits of having a dream journal? For starters, the theme of this issue is underground, and what fits that description more than uncovering the secret, subconscious thoughts looming in the dark corners at the back of your own mind? Or, less dramatically, keeping track of your dreams can help you get to know yourself better and notice certain patterns in your life. Try to find out what’s constantly bothering you and who keeps crossing your mind. Recording your dreams can also help you develop brand new, creative ideas. We’ve all had wacky dreams that take place in a world with different rules or dreams that play out like a cinematic masterpiece right behind our eyelids. Write those dreams down and later you could turn them into a story, a script, a poem or even a visual art piece. Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” was inspired by a dream so who knows, maybe the next time you go to sleep you’ll come up with the next big blockbuster. Now go to sleep and start dreaming!



Surviving Where the Sun Doesn’t Shine by Amanda Gordon

What lives underground, reluctantly sleeps until noon and has the complexion of a vampire? That would be me, or at least that’s been the case for essentially the last five years (save for the seven month period of being under the Kuwaiti sun). The last three living spaces I’ve inhabited have been rather void of natural sunlight, which provides some significant differences in, well, living.

Currently, the house that I’m renting a space in has me about four feet underground. I’m able to rest my chin comfortably upon the window sill as I gage the weather to determine what to wear. It’s not so terrible not having daylight. I’ve always been more of a night owl than an early bird, but I try to remind myself that human beings are overgrown, emotional, mobile house plants. That big ball of radiation we call the sun plays a pretty significant role in our mental health as anyone who has ever felt the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) can tell you. My dead houseplants paint this lack of sun picture pretty decently too. Peak hours of natural light breaking into my living space happen just as the sun is setting, which of course doesn’t help my productivity. Does my fatigue stem from not seeing the sun once it rises? Not entirely. There are healthier habits I could make in


my life to improve my energy such as better eating habits, drinking more water and maybe less wine as well as incorporating some physical activity into my day. Still, I have no doubt that this messes with my circadian rhythm. Since the dawn of humanity, people have made bunkers and homes within caves when the circumstances have called for it; but just like my own sleep patterns being out of sorts, people who are cut off from the sunlit outdoors have been found to sleep for longer periods of time (the longest stretch being 48 hours). I must admit, it would be easy for me to do that as well, which is why I set up a series of alarms that will hopefully keep me from entering a state of hibernation. Unlike those who are stuck in submarines or pursuing studies underwater for months at a time, I at least have a bit more of an opportunity to change my environment. There are about three months left on my current rent and I honestly don’t foresee myself landing a job that will get me anything above ground anytime soon. So what ways can I help brighten up my quaint little cave? For one, sun lamps exist! Though currently, I’ve only invested in a salt rock lamp, having read a rumor that they keep spiders at bay since arachnids love basement environments. I can confirm that my lovely pink lamp does nothing to keep these critters away, but as the simple video game enthusiast Brian David Gilbert would say, “If you have bugs in your house

and make the conscious decision to want those bugs in your house, they aren’t pests, they’re pets.” Simple decor can help as well; mirrors, colorful paintings and plants are the best way to provide more life to my living space. But… plants die; save for the monstrous aloe vera plant I adopted from the campus greenhouse, who I’ve named Henry. I also name the spiders in my apartment, but I try not to get too attached to them as I am always tempted to murder them. Candles aren’t options for every renter, but I’m able to use them and other scent producers. Granted, they don’t provide vitamin D, but they do fight off potential musty smells as underground spaces can get damp depending on the infrastructure- my last living space flooded a few times from a heavy rain season so incense and candles helped keep my mind off of potential mold. I would like to think that someday I’ll have a living space that is on ground level or maybe even a couple of stories up, but until then I’ll have to settle with what adjustments I can make as I continue to burrow underground.






facetune fever by Emily Trama

In an age of Instagram models, Snapchat filters and ‘Hot Girl Summers,’ Facetune has easily found its way into the hands of millions of smartphone users across the globe. This controversial app allows you to seamlessly alter your physical appearance with just a few swipes and taps. We’ve moved on from touching up blemishes and accentuating our eye colors to completely altering the shapes of our bodies and facial features. Unrealistic body and beauty standards have been around forever, but we have reached a new level of unattainability with apps like Facetune. The obsession with celebrity fitness routines and dieting tips has taken a turn for the worse as more and more celebrities are presenting the public with bodies they cannot even achieve themselves. At least without the extreme doctoring of photos, certain bodies were somewhat achievable through diet and exercise. Now these tips and tricks are no longer helpful and consistently create more frustration and insecurity in those striving for “Becky’s four tips for the perfect hourglass shape.” Even Becky cinches her waist in Facetune. Many social media stars like the Kardashians, Tana Mongeau and James Charles have found themselves under fire for significantly altering their photos and posting them online for people of all ages to click, view and envy. And


no, these public figures are not simply editing out stray hairs in their faces or whitening their teeth. These influencers are often creating entirely new faces and bodies. Kim Kardashian and Mario can show us as many makeup tutorials as they want, but their contouring tips and tricks are no longer helpful when they layer their faces with Facetune and filters. This isn’t meant to attack those who are insecure about their appearance – learning to love the way you look is a long and hard journey, but it’s not an impossible one. Comparing yourself to others may very well be the biggest roadblock along the way, especially if you do it based around the glorification of social media. If editing your pictures is something you believe is necessary to feel powerful on social media, that’s okay, many of us have been there – but it isn’t a long-term solution. The pain behind feeling insecure runs deep and everyone has felt it at some point in their lives. Smiling in the mirror everyday, searching for the parts of you that are unique and saying “I love you” to yourself, as corny as it all may seem, can bring you into a more comfortable headspace over time. Practicing good mental health exercises and physical wellness can be a good way to avoid contracting Facetune Fever.


Via: Getty Images and Instagram

Tana Mongeau before and after Facetune (Original photo to the left, Facetuned picture uploaded to Tana Mongeau’s official instagram to the right)

Via: Getty Images and Instagram

Kylie Jenner before and after Facetune (Original photo to the left, Facetuned picture uploaded to Kylie Jenner’s official instagram to the right)



Undiscussed: Fad-Dieting and Exercising by Megan Tomasic

Almost everyone can agree on the fact that we all strive to try and lead a healthy and well-balanced life. We are constantly encouraged to eat our fruits and vegetables, watch how many sweets we have and try to exercise as much as we can. Although we all have different connotations of what it means to be “healthy,� the main idea is maintaining a positive well-being and eating what makes us feel good. But when is this idea taken too far? Where do we draw the line between healthy eating and exercising versus obsessive dieting behaviors? There are layers upon layers of undiscussed issues of how people take the idea of exercising and eating right way too far. Many of these issues may stem from psychological disorders or false perceptions of what our bodies look like. Living in a constantly developing culture like our own, it is important to recognize the factors and behaviors of fad-dieting and exercising. It is common to want to find a quick-fix to reduce weight gain or put an end to unhealthy eating habits. Instead of participating in proper and gradual dieting techniques, people oftentimes want a fast, simple, one-size-fits-all solution. Fad diets such as the lemon detox diet replaces all meals and drinks with the supplement of a lemon drink which contains pepper and syrup. This diet ultimately forces you to fast for up to 14 days, leaving you with the likely possibility of rapid weight gain once the diet has ended. The increase in participation to diets like this one can only lead to more long-term health problems as well as the possible development of eating disorder behaviors. The practice of fad-exercising begins to increase when people take the idea of working out way more than is healthy. On some occasions, people will exercise in excessive amounts several times a day, sometimes even in the place of a meal. The pressures to look a certain way is often the main force of unhealthy dieting and exercising. Society creates an ideal body image and makes people think they have to meet certain standards to fit. As college students, it is important we are able to spot and avoid these fad diets and exercise trends in order to protect our own physical and mental health.



Exposing Brands:

Is Cruelty-Free Really Cruelty-Free? by Morgan Hughes

As cosmetic consumers, we not only care about how the products we use for ourselves can affect our overall health but also the dangers these products may have had on animals while in development. American law does not require animal testing to deem cosmetics as safe (though the law does not prohibit it either). However, many popular brands in the United States market their products in China where foreign, special use cosmetics (including hair dyes, deodorants, sunscreens and whitening products) are mandated by law to be tested on animals. Though on U.S. shelves, these products may be cruelty-free, you have the right to know which companies are not cruelty-free globally and to make the choice whether you’d still like to support them.

L’Oreal Paris

Church and Dwight

Proctor & Gamble

Although it’s a company “committed to a world without animal testing,” L’Oreal Paris specializes in hair dyes and sells its products in China. Since hair dyes fall under the label of “special use cosmetics,” L’Oreal Paris products sold in China must, by law, be tested on animals before being put onto the market. Their website makes a note of this, stating that “certain health authorities may nevertheless decide to conduct animal tests themselves for certain cosmetic products, as it is still the case in China.” The company is committed to working with Chinese authorities to have alternative testing methods in use.

Another company with a multitude of well-known brands including Nair, OxiClean and Arm & Hammer — Church and Dwight falls into the same loophole as L’Oreal Paris and Proctor & Gamble. Church and Dwight’s website states that it is their policy to not test on animals; however, the company also sells products in China, and like Proctor & Gamble, specializes in whitening toothpaste. Like its two predecessors on this list, the company specifies that their products are not tested on animals “unless required by law or regulation.”

This company owns the majority of leading brands across the nation, including Tide, Downy, Crest and Oral B. Like L’Oreal Paris, the company promotes against animal testing; however, they do sell whitening toothpastes in China. Since whitening products are mandated by law in China to be tested on animals, Proctor & Gamble are not 100% cruelty-free. The company also makes a note of this on their website stating “P&G no longer ‘animal tests’ any consumer product unless required by law.”



The History of Mental Health Stigma by Matt Whitworth

So many of us experience anxiety and depression, yet so few seek help. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “anxiety disorders are highly treatable, but only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.” Anxiety that rolls in when a big decision is looming, or a depressed malaise following a breakup, are the moments that make us human. So, why do so few people seek treatment during the doldrums of human experience? The answer may date back millions of years. Societies have been attempting to treat mentally-ill individuals since the Stone Age! Unfortunately, the methods of treatment at this time were pretty horrendous. Individuals who displayed abnormal behavior had holes drilled in their heads so the “possessing spirits” could escape. So, at the root of our culture, anyone who expressed that they were feeling off, or abnormal, might be pinned down to have their skull cut open. This is all because it was believed that there was a ‘demon’ in their heads. It’s no surprise that people didn’t want to speak up about their mental health when this was the procedure.


The Stone Age was the most brutal time period for those suffering from mental illness and things didn’t get much better over the next few million years. The Greeks and Romans took considerable steps forward, but the predominant view that evil spirits were responsible for abnormalities, remained. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, still believed evil spirits were responsible for mental illness. He did, however, improve the treatment methods by prescribing things like “vigorous exercise, and a mild diet,” as opposed to a hole in the head, but he didn’t do much to end the stigma. I think this is part of the reason we have seen rapid advancement in the treatment of mental illness but a continuity in stigma. Revolutionary healers like Hippocrates, did tremendous work to alleviate the symptoms of suffering individuals, but because the majority still believed evil spirits or demons were responsible for the diseases, many were reluctant to seek treatment. Unfortunately, we still see that problem today, as fewer than 40% of suffering individuals are speaking up.


There was a profound stigma surrounding Greek citizens who displayed abnormal behavior. However, the regression that took place during the middle-ages was pretty confounding. In Christian Europe, during the middle-ages, treatment methods pretty much reverted back to what we saw in the Stone Age, over three million years prior. Theological approaches prevailed and anyone who acted abnormally was viewed as immoral, or even worse, they were sometimes accused of being a witch. Exorcisms were the new go-to treatment, and if that failed, it wasn’t uncommon to drill a hole in the patient's head. During the Renaissance there were some advancements in the field of psychology and a lot of push-back to new developments came with them. The polarized view resulted in a polarized approach to mental illness; anywhere from whipping or chaining, to the more humane herbal medicines and diet alterations. The asylums created during this period were as varying as the treatment methods. In Geel, Belgium, suffering patients were housed, fed and treated humanely. Sadly, not all asylums were as kind in their approach. In London, patients were chained, whipped and placed in a gallery as an attraction for tourists. There’s no doubt that the Greek and Renaissance eras had a massive impact on Western thought, causing the stigma to carry over. Finally, in the 19th century, moral therapy was developed and patients became a part of a “supportive social environment,” but it’s implementation wasn’t ideal. Mentally-ill individuals were treated with dignity for the first time, but over 400,000 patients were institutionalized. The resources to help them were insufficient, so patients were “housed for long periods of time with little treatment.” Since so many patients couldn’t receive the long-term care they needed, treatment once again took one step forward and two steps back. Patients in state-run institutions who didn’t receive the therapy or medicines they needed were treated in shockingly inhumane ways. They were often given malaria to induce a fever to allegedly diminish abnormal behavior, injected with insulin to induce a seizure to curb the effects of schizophrenia or given intense and repeated electric shocks to kill their brain activity. The most gruesome treatment of all was the “lobotomy,” the severing of connections between the prefrontal lobe and the rest of the brain. All of this malpractice took place in the 20th century, less than 100 years ago. Given that less than two generations ago a suffering patient may have been treated so abhorrently it makes sense that the stigma endures. It’s easy to critique some of the great minds of history, given the gift of hindsight that we now have. It’s very unfortunate that the stigma still has such a profound effect today. On the brightside, revolutionary medicines like SSRI’s and SNRI’s were created in the late 20th century to fight depression and numerous proven therapeutic methods have been created. Although less than 40% of those with anxiety or depression are reaching out for help, that number is higher than ever before. Stigma surrounding mental health issues is weakening and because of that people are willing to seek the help they need. Whether you’re anxious over a certification exam or depressed because of a breakup, just know that it’s okay to reach out to a professional.







Maldivian Depths by David O’Keefe The Maldivian child Opens her eyes And plays in the gentle waves, But her eyes will be Forever closed When the waves return to stay. Will there be A burial at sea For the souls of five-hundred grand? Lest there be often For building of coffins, When there’s not an inch of dry land. Pray for those In soaking wet clothes Whose beautiful names nobody knows; And think of the ones Who think to say why, Whose beautiful hands reach up to the blue sky. The Maldivian child Opens his eyes To make memories in the sunshine, But his laughter will Forever end When his memories are lost to time. The silent winds Raise their voices And follow through and through, But if the Maldivian children Can open their eyes, Why can’t you?



Ice Ice Baby by Michelle Nedboy

Boogie by Michelle Nedboy



Hunker Down by Katherine Goldblatt Hunker down in the bunker as the world cracks and burns. Fiery Mother Nature always gets the last laugh, and she’s finally got her revenge. She’s a woman scorned, so run and hide - she’s coming for you. Hunker down in the bunker, packed in the house that’s spacious, but not quite enough space when everyone is there. Almost like sardines, but with a little more room that’s just not enough. Mother Nature will find you. Hunker down in the bunker, as the rain pitter-patters-pours on the Earth’s surface and you jump at the slightest creak or cough. You don’t want to succumb to Mother Nature’s fury, and anyone who stands in your way? Well, it’s called survival of the fittest for a reason. You can’t go down with them. So, hunker down in the bunker. It’s gonna be a long time before you see the sun, or Mother Nature’s peaceful side, again



by Colin Battersby



She Kills Monsters : A Review by Jeffrey Seitz

It’s hard to believe that “Dungeons and Dragons” has been around for nearly 40 years. What’s even more incredible is the people that play the game. A whole new reality awaits for those who play and that’s what Agnes Evans discovers as she tries to understand her dead sister. Recently, the Theater and Arts Department at Suny New Paltz adapted OBIE Award-winning playwright, Qui Nguyen’s play “She Kills Monsters” as the first production for the 2020 season. Within this interactive performance, Nguyen tells the story of Agnes Evans, a girl whose life takes a drastic turn when her parents and younger sister, Tilly, are killed in a car accident. Unfortunately, Agnes’s relationship with her sister was already fragile as Agnes was into more “practical things” while Tilly was a typical geek girl with a fondness for “Dungeons and Dragons”. As Agnes picks up the remaining fragments, she discovers a notebook with a module of a D&D map created by her deceased sister. In order to understand her dead sister, Agnes decides to play D&D, a choice that causes reality and fantasy to collide. Within this abnormal quest, Agnes discovers how disconnected she was with her sister. A majority of Qui Nguyen’s works are situated in popular culture and multimedia as exemplified by Krunk Fu Battle Battle, and the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys productions of Alice in Slasherland. SUNY New Paltz took the simplistic initiative by creating a plain white-checkered stage marked with map sketches. It wasn’t a matter that the Theater and Arts department was lacking in resources. Rather, using limited resources sparked creativity whether using stuffed dragons, or their very own Hugo mascot embodying the many monsters Agnes encounters.


Embedded within fantasy and storytelling, She Kills Monsters is a commentary on virtual reality and societal complications by elaborating and exaggerating social issues of misogyny and homophobia. So much attention was given to the characters that reflected adversity and solitude. The underlying theme of this production stressed the importance of relationships, which is expressed through Agnes’s lament as she comes to terms with her past mistakes. For me, the biggest lesson is that nothing is a guarantee. Relationships must be cherished.

“She Kills Monsters” Set Designer: Dana Weintraub Lighting Designer: Conor Thiele

D&D players are humans and not freaks, despite people’s misconceptions. I’m not sure how other adaptations presented She Kills Monsters, but SUNY New Paltz’s interpretation spoke volumes to me. Sometimes being simple works best.


Camp by Michelle Nedboy One of the trees was off limits because it grew out of Bloody Mary’s corpse some of the braver, stupider boys would climb and swing on its branches, and we would yell warnings at them one time a white cat peeked its head out the woods during soccer, and we went and chased it, the counselors helpless and confused The hot itchy sun shines in my eyes, cooking my face and water-slicked arms the sound of my shallowed breathing loud in my ears my hand reaching and searching for the wall I didn’t know what a period was just that mermaids were real and I liked my bathing suit I was eight when the nine-year-old boy asked for help with his video game I was teased by the counselors one day, as they made kissy faces and pronounced us husband and wife my face grew hot and red, my voice shrill I felt oddly ashamed for getting so upset Girls who were young enough ran and danced nakedly in the locker room, no sense of shame on their faces I watched, dressed, as a little blonde girl mimicked her older brother’s dirty gesture, and I was touched by her innocence the twelve-year-old who was already growing hair made me nervous and awed her casualness was unnerving, her acceptance of time so mature that all I could see her as was a woman



You exist in my words by Judy Anne Capiral You are not here You have no place within me Anymore But Everytime I talk about you I speak you into existence Everytime I write about you I write you into existence Everytime I think about you I think you into existence I have to learn how to stop talking Stop writing Stop thinking Your existence within me Ceases With me.



by Annemarie Durkin



To the End: Dead or Alive by Amanda M. Gordon

“What’s it like?” I ask her as I light my cigarette. The pale ghost eyes me with contempt from where she sits – on her very own headstone. Morgan Gates, who lived from September 18, 1983 to October 18, 2008, swears that she was killed just before midnight on the 17th because she caught a show of some local band I kept forgetting the name of. ‘I could have been married to that drummer had I just looked both ways – but that bartender made some mean whiskey sours,’ she’d say when the date rolled back around. “Those things will kill you, you know that don’t you?” She warns, which made me laugh. “Says the dead girl,” I reply, taking a drag with my eyes on the ground. I didn’t need to look at her to know that she was furrowing her brow at me. That’s the funny thing about people. Dead or alive, you could feael the heat of their anger before you see it. “You know K, if I didn’t know any better I would say you’re looking to join me down here for good.” She says leaning forward, enough to the point she was no longer sitting but floating in the cool night air. I focus on the nicotine and smoke that filled my system. I’d been visiting Morgan nearly every night for the past two months. Damn woman scared the hell out of me while I was going to go visit my dad’s grave. Half near killed myself running out of here, but I didn’t hit my head quite right on that headstone. When I came to, the day had broke and rather than letting sleeping dogs lie, curiosity got the best of me. I was always more of a cat person anyway. “I’m pretty sure I got all my affairs in order up here,” I say, putting out my cigarette on another headstone with a grin. “Besides, if I’m not around you might die again, but this time of boredom.” She punches my shoulder or at least, makes the motion for it. Her fist passes through me giving me chills, but nothing more than a shiver and a laugh along with it, which triggers a laugh from her as well. “Not funny, but you are right. I consider it a good night here when I don’t have to scare off teenagers or drug dealers. Never thought anyone would be dumb enough to come back for a second heart attack, but you do make eternity THE TELLER

seem a bit less – well less.” She says with a shrug, her feet nearly on the ground but not quite touching. “Gee Morgan, you sure know how to make a girl feel special,” I tease again. I swear that it seemed like her cheeks gained some color but she just shakes her head. “I mean it K. You asked what’s it like being stuck here – well it sucks. Again, before you wandered in here the highlight of my afterlife was keeping kids from hooking up on gravestones and the occasional cat letting me pet it.” She says, folding her arms with a bitter expression on her face. “I remember watching all those movies on shit like this growing up. Beetlejuice, Ghost, the Sixth Sense comes closest but only because of how mundane this is! The sunsets and I get to roam around up top here until daylight hits my grave – then it’s back into the box I go!” Ghosts can’t produce tears but she looks like she could break down and cry any moment. In my reminiscence, I realize I never bothered to ask her what color her eyes were and I kick myself to this day for inquiring more about the morbid things over who she was. Who she is. “I hate it down there. It’s dark, quiet and I can’t smell a damn thing but I know I’m not smelling like any daisies,” she says, breaking her arms free again to run a hand through her wispy hair. How many times had I thought about running my own fingers through her hair? I couldn’t say, but I had to try to shake that off. What good was it falling for a dead girl anyway? Her gaze fell on me once more and she gave a shake of her head. “You should get going. Don’t want you to have to try talking your way out of an arrest with the cops again,” Morgan mutters as she turns away. I reach out to grab her but stop short because there was truth to what she said. We all have an end, and one day I’ll meet mine. And when that day comes maybe I’ll be able to go with her, underground. But until that day comes, I’ll be content to keep visiting her. To the end.


Basketball At Night by Michelle Nedboy Fat hardened fingers from the cold, both hands growing, smoldering my little red ball hot salty spit Spidermanning past my lips, the dark settling in white backboard scratched gold trees gone black and still loud sweet smacks, my little brown red ball kisses and stomps the ground in dust wyupang I move clumsily, apelike, a toddler with a full diaper wyupang WYUPANG I move powerfully I wipe the liquid breath from my nose, the ball’s dirt coating my upper lip I smell the earth off my hands, the ball, the air, my pits I smell long hours spent on the playground, running ‘til my legs felt bursting with blood ‘til my lungs filled with needles and my hair wet itself I smell and feel a summer day under these six’ o clock stars, the air nipping at my wrists they flick, the ball hits, soft chainmail licking the curve of it



Fade to Blue by David O’Keefe All alone once again You did what you needed to do, And after your young sunset came Bright lights have faded to blue, Now I see you dreaming Of what you hope comes next, And even though you doubt yourself Please remember to rest; Even though you’ve set the Sun And ignited the coming night, Don’t forget who you are And those lights that were so bright; You’re thinking of people And places you think you deserve, Don’t test the limits of their patience A lesson I know you’ve learned, All alone once again But this time not for as long, The future is still a frightening path So don’t be defined by your wrongs; Even though you’ve set your Sun And ignited the coming night, Don’t forget who you were And those lights that were so bright, If this world tears you down And forces you to crawl, Remember where you came from For blue’s not that bad after all.



Thank You, Grandma by Ananda Cash

When I was little, my dad would take me to your house every other weekend to spend the night. You lived in Brooklyn and we lived in the Bronx, so our travel was nearly two hours each time. I remember when I was five I was in your

bedroom with you and suddenly felt the urge to dance. The room didn’t have much space for my creative moves, so I got on top of your bed and started jumping around. You asked me why I was dancing and I said, “I heard music in my head.” Another time visiting you, we went to the store because I wanted snacks. We were walking down the street and you ran into one of your friends. You were happy to see her, but even more happy to introduce me to her. You loved introducing me to people and having me spell my name out to them. This made introductions so nerve-racking for me. My hands would cramp up from trying so hard to not mess up the A’s and the N’s. I remember when I was either 10 or 11, I was at your house and you made me upset. I don’t remember what you told me, but I remember yelling at you. All you did was walk into your bedroom. I knew I could yell at you because you couldn’t hear me. That day will always be stuck in my mind.


The last memory of me going to your house was when the earthquake happened. I was watching TV in your living room and all of a sudden a subtle, but aggressive shake went through the building for a few minutes. You rushed into the room and asked me if I was okay. I told you “yes,” and we learned from the news that what we felt was the aftershock of an earthquake that hit California. That was my first experience with an earthquake and although it was really scary, I’m glad you were there to keep me calm. The last time I visited you, you were in a casket. A brain aneurysm got you in your sleep and brought you to Heaven. I remember the day I got the call. My mom called me during class and told me to come straight home after school; she sounded upset. When I came home, she told me you died in your sleep; my dad was the one who found you lying peacefully in your bed. All I could do in that moment was cry and yell on my mom's shoulder. Your death changed all of our lives forever. You died my senior year of high school, so you would never get an invitation to my graduation. You didn’t get to see me say my groundbreaking graduation speech that called out my school’s poor treatment of seniors. You didn’t get to see pictures of my prom dress or ask me how it was. You didn’t get to see me pack for my freshman year of college. You missed a few important stepping stones in my life, but I know you were in heaven watching over me. I just wish you were on earth so I could see you too. Now that you’re gone I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being the best grandmother you could be. Thank you for always being proud to show me off to your friends and having me spell out my name. Thank you for always making me food even when I could cook for myself. Thank you for always showing nothing but love and compassion for me every time you saw me. Thank you for being the best grandmother a granddaughter could ask for.


by Jeffrey Seitz



Devoted by Michelle Nedboy You let me cheat at “I spy” and put croutons and red lettuce on your plate you coached me through my first sleepover where all the girls played soccer and I didn’t, and they all asked each other, “Do you have lice?” when lending their brushes. I’d say “No” but remember the time I had had it, in the first grade the stuff you put in my hair smelled like salad dressing. An initiation into the gross things one cannot help, like a bee sting or throwing up At the end of your shower I’d see that funny vanilla swirl on your head, a towel. One day I started doing it too although the way I had it it sagged off my shoulders and pulled at my scalp; I’d fix and fiddle with it so much that my arms felt like weights, my hair already dry. The next day you’d take me ice skating and teach me how to fall, and I’d feel the rush of bravery as I did quick small laps around the tight center the white wall lost behind all the bright puffy jackets You’d buy me croissants at the airport and chocolate bars after school you didn’t tell anyone about the time I made the “Loser!” sign at those guys driving the truck, red hot guilt hitting my chest. You knew every bully and every mean teacher, and you still let me put croutons on your plate.



THE GENIUS BEHIND “PARASITE”: a Brief Review and Analysis by Madelyn Crews and Beth Rigby

Bong Joon-Ho’s “Parasite” can be considered one of the most remarkable films of 2019. All components of the production combine harmoniously to generate a visual representation of classism in South Korea. The cinematography alone highlights the perspectives of the lower classes on the rich, while the powerful score manipulates emotions with all the skill of a professional concertist. The writing wonderfully juxtaposes the lifestyles of the two groups, and the script comes to life through masterful performances given by actors such as Woo-sik Choi and So-dam Park. Together, these elements form an outstanding work of art. The success of this movie is unprecedented, earning over $235 million at the box office as well as several Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The depth and beauty encapsulated in this film can be difficult to articulate, but the one word that indisputably applies is “masterpiece.” Obligatory brief summary for those who have not yet seen “Parasite”: The Ki-woo family, who fill the position of our protagonists, live in poverty. The Ki-woo’s socio-economic status in South Korean society is reflected in their home: a small semi-basement of a stacked-sardine-tins building, with a view of drunkards relieving oral and urinary waste onto the street. Kim Ki-woo is the film’s main character and narrator. He’s a young adult (estimated 18-20 years old) who lives with his mother, father and sister. A friend offers him a tutoring position in the Park


household, a wealthy family, which Kim accepts. This job provides Kim an income, but also opportunities for his family to relieve their financial struggles. I will say no more concerning the plot for the same respect “Parasite’s” trailers provided: this story is one best experienced when as little information as possible is known.

image from Amazon


“Parasite’s” primary theme and critique is of classism in South Korea. The plot observes the interaction between one family struggling to survive and one family existing in blissful ignorance of their privilege. The juxtaposition between the two families and the groups, worlds and lives they represent, is prevalent in every aspect of the film. “Parasite” utilizes all aspects of its content to explore and explain the nuances of its characters, and by extension the types of people they represent. The grandest example of this is “Parasite’s” focal location: the Park house. This architectural spectacle leisurely lays above the majority of the surrounding geography, on an inclining private road, in a high-end neighbourhood. The elevation of their home is representative of the Park’s status and their isolation from the reality that is most people’s daily experiences. Scenes of the Ki-woo’s arduous travels from their home to the Park residence serve to effectively communicate distance: physical distance between two communities, but also the distance between classes on opposing sides of the economic spectrum. By taking the time to show the trek necessary to access the Park residence, Joon-Ho not only gifts his audience stunning visual storytelling, but communicates how removed and isolated wealthy communities are from the majority of populations. This is also indicative of how painful, exhausting and ultimately impossible the quest to obtain the Park’s lifestyle is. I strongly recommend The Take

YouTube essay “Parasite, Ending Explained - Stairway to Nowhere” for more on this point and for a more thorough analysis of this hauntingly beautiful film. The Park’s house is synched with a belt of windows. This endows the establishment with a sense of transparentness; the stylish, minimalistic decor on display entices any perusing eyes to admire. But like a belt, it holds in secret parts not intended to be seen, parts that the wearer wishes to conceal from acknowledgeable existence. This symbolizes how rich individuals often give the appearance of being financially honest (concerning their own spending and their knowledge of others’ situations) but their unawareness of the hidden basement shows their ignorance of the foundation on which supports their home, and by extension, their lives. The title itself interrogates the audience, teasing out their opinion of who they consider parasitic. Is it the poor Ki-Woo family, who remove members of their own socio-economic status from employed positions to acquire their financial and social resources themselves? Is it the Park family, who live in an ignorance built on the emotional, physical and financial suffering of those below them? Is it a society which enables and rewards a select few for amassing resources, while punishing those whose resources are robbed and, subsequently, nonexistent? Am I parasitic? Are you?

image from Youtube



Pictures That Mean Nothing to You, But Everything to Me by Nadine Cafaro



Bricks lie by Judy Anne Capiral You hand me another brick This one is heavier than the last But I don’t mind it I let the weight of it fall into my hands Ignoring the pain in my muscles telling me to stop Pain is temporary, like a bee sting, right? I lay another brick down On the wet cement you plopped there The spatteringThick and vile and loud and obvious Someone should have heard it Did anyone? We kept this going The wax of our candle The one we lit together It’s almost gone And the light that filled this wine cellar Will soon leave us. But you’ll stay. When we finish this wall, “Amontillado, You will stay with me, won’t you?” Of course you will, You have no reason not to. And this wall I’ve helped you build Won’t keep us apart Will it? Before you lay the last brick, Promise me our promise That we’ll always have this That no matter what I lost I still have you. You will promise, won’t you? The dim lightOur candlelight Illuminates your face And those eyes. “Fortunato, I would die for you.” Then, There. The last brick lies. All the bricks lie.






playlists THE TELLER




Songs to run to by Jessica Barr

Clarity - Zedd Dangerous (feat. Joywave) - Oliver Remix Save Tonight - Campsite Dream Frontlines - Zeds Dead, NGHTMRE, GG Magree Be My Lover - Toby Green Remix Chasing Shadows - Justin Mylo Supernatural (feat. Anjulie) - Boombox Cartel, QUIX, Anjulie Fault Line - Jack River Hold on to Me - Yellow Claw In My Mind (feat. Georgi Kay) - Axwell Radio Edit Higher Ground - Robin Schulz Ocho Cinco - DJ Snake, Yellow Claw Borderline - Vanic Remix Catch Me (feat. Naaz) - Flux Pavilion, Yellow Claw In the Name of Love - Martin Garrix



Underground by diana testa

Are You Bored Yet? by Wallows, Clairo Alaska by Maggie Rogers Habit by Still Woozy Want Me Back by BENEE Trust Nobody by King Princess Prune, You Talk Funny by Gus Dapperton Lost in Yesterday by Tame Impala Imagination by Foster The People Dissolve by Absofacto Wolfcat by Still Woozy Wishful Thinking by BENEE Texas Sun by Khruangbin, Leon Bridges Please by Chelsea Cutler, Jeremy Zucker Cooks by Still Woozy



Hidden gems by sarah cunningham

Sundown Syndrome by Tame Impala Biting Down by Lorde Remember My Name by Mitski CONFUSED! by Kid Cudi Lost in the World by Kanye West ft. Bon Iver Lens by Frank Ocean HiiiJack by SZA Catapult by Arctic Monkeys Deadcrush (Ben De Vrie Remix) by alt-J Worldstar Money by Joji Teeth by Cage The Elephant Summer Games by Drake



April Horoscopes Written by Claire Hazard & Emma Gibbons

Aries (Mar 20 - April 19) It’s Aries season! This past month may have been relaxing, but you are ready to get back into a healthy and inspiring routine. Take advantage of this motivation and drive to better yourself and accomplish the goals that you have been recently neglecting. With a fiery attitude, there isn’t much you can’t do at a time like now.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

You can expect a very positive change to enter your life this month. While accepting this new change you may notice some turbulence in some of your relationships, but this is the universe showing you that it is time to grow. Some people may be trying to hold you back from greatness, but this only means it is time for you to branch off and grow! Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back from greatness!

Take this time to evaluate the past few weeks of your life and then use this knowledge to plan out your future endeavors. You have free time on your hands to set up and organize the next few months of your life! Don’t let this overwhelm you. Take everything step by step and you will love the results that follow.

Your professional life is going to be at a standstill, but that means that you can finally take this much needed time to focus on yourself. Take the time to tune into yourself and what you need right now. Try going on a walk, doing a face mask or whatever it is that calms you down.



Leo (July 23 - Aug 22)

Virgo (Aug 23 - Sept 22)

Libra (Sept 23 - Oct 22)

You’re normally very social, but you might find yourself wanting some alone time this month. This is much needed and will allow your creativity to flow! Make sure you don’t totally disregard your close relationships. Instead, communicate your needs before this little isolation period so that those who matter most to you know you aren’t completely shutting them out.

This month you might have an urge to find your partner in crime. If you start feeling this way, make sure this person compliments and balances you out, instead of mirroring you. These characteristics will make this alliance thrive and grow. As you move out of the honeymoon phase, focus on why you fell for them in the first place!

This month will bring some brand new people into your life. All you need to do is keep your standards high and know your boundaries. This is the time for you to put you and your wellbeing first, so think about trying some new lifestyle choices or self care routines with a friend! Most importantly, keep on killing your projects and goals!

Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 22)

Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21)

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)

You may feel like your hands are tied right now. A lot of big changes have been occuring, but don’t fret. Take a moment to remember other times in your life that you have felt this way and remember that this too shall pass.

You will be exploring all sorts of new and exciting communication this month! You will not only find yourself rekindling old friendships, but also creating new ones. This month is full of new network opportunities and experiences! Embrace them with open arms.

This chapter of your life has definitely forced you to think outside of the box, and that will continue this month. With all of the extra stress and stimulation we get from social media, it might be to your benefit if you unplug for at least one hour a day. It’s likely that you’ll feel refreshed, calm and overall happier.

Aquarius (Jan 20 - Feb 18)

Pisces (Feb 19 - Mar 19)

You are in for a learning experience at this time. Close communication with those closest to you, such as siblings or other close relatives, will reveal new ideas that could change your outlook on life. Keep an open mind during all of this and you will be sure to like the outcome.

You might still be full of energy and positivity after it recently being your zodiac sign’s season. Use this positivity to your advantage! Don’t be surprised if new opportunities, both professional and personal, come to you. Stay open-minded, throw away your expectations and make the best of the situation.