December 2021

Page 1

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Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

WINTER 2021-22







READ THE VINDI * ON YOUR IPAD Here’s How: Download the ISSUU app at the App Store and search for The Vindicator. Visit for more information.






WINTER 2021-2022

what’s in this issue? 3

Check Us Out Online




Letter from the Editor


Meet Our Contributors


Arts 7

ABBA Voyage Review by ERIC SEITZ


Shows to Binge-Watch Over Winter Break by CIMIRA CREWS


Squid Game: The Rise of Foreign Media by ANDREA BRAZIS

Culture 13


Navigating Natural Hair: Texturism and the Face of the Movement by CIMIRA CREWS






The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax by HALLE ELDER

Fashion + Wellness 31

An Ode To The Ugly Christmas Sweater by CARA ROBBINS

33 Winter Break Reset (Or, How to Get Your

Sh!t Together Over Break) by LAUREN KOLESZAR


29 25

Social 35

NFTs are Bad. No, You Will Not Change My Mind. by KRISTINA MARKULIN


A Muckraker’s Guide to Steelyard Walmart by CAMERON MAYS


For 50 Million Dollars... by CAMERON MAYS


The CSU of Instagram by COURTNEY BYRNES


Making the Most of the Holiday Season by SAMRA KARAMUSTAFIC







“In what was deemed “Striketober,” workers in various industries have been withholding or threatening to withhold their labor as they protest for better working conditions. One such industry is the U.S. film and television industry.” — RYAN ROLIFF



A Muckraker’s Guide to Steelyard Walmart. video

For $50 Million Dollars, I’ll change my name to Jack, Joseph, & Morton Mandel. “As far as I can tell, nothing has changed at Severance Music Center except $50 million dollars and a name.” — CAMERON MAYS

“Unfortunately, the trend of young people coming out to Steelyard Walmart has become so ingrained that it functions as an affluent-suburban rite of passage.”— CAMERON MAYS

#VindiAsks: What is the best winter comfort item?





@vindi_csu stay stay up-to-date up-to-date with with all all things things Vindi Vindi on on Instagram Instagram



GOOD FILM Follow us on social media to participate in our next poll! @VINDI_CSU

WINTER 2021-2022

w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

WINTER 12/1–Igloos

Georgetown & Vosh Arctic Igloos You and your friends will enjoy our famous signature cocktails, shareable appetizers or plated dinners in one of our heated igloos.

12/11 Paint Night

Paint Night at CeramWorks Studio Don’t worry if you have never painted before! All you need to do is bring an open mind and the desire to create and have a good time. CeramWorks Studio will provide all of the instruction and tools you will need.

12/22 Wine Pairing


1/22 Saturday Adventure

Winter Wonderland Ice Cream & Wine Pairing. Join us Wednesday December 22nd for some delicious ice cream with delectable wines expertly paired by our in-house certified Wine Somm! Perfect for those cozy nights by the fire. Seriously could it get any better? $25 PER PERSON 5:00 & 6:00 PM

1/29 Samia

Saturday Adventure: Winter Wildlife Trek Time to get outside! Stretch your legs and mind through experiencing something new in your park. Go on a winter trek looking for signs of life in the winter wonderland. Explore how animals and humans adapt to the winter. Programs will include a ranger led hike and activity. Location provided upon registration.

SAMIA w/ Annie Dirusso Samia’s 2020 debut album, The Baby, was a testament to her impressive vocal might, irresistible tunefulness and vulnerable lyricism, both clever and illuminating in equal measure.

PENINSULA, OHIO 44264 10:00-11:30 AM 9PM SHOWTIME $16-18 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 5


The Cleveland State Vindicator was founded as a Black student newspaper in January 1970.



he end of the year warrants reflection — reflection on what we lived through, what we did, who we were and where we are now. As 2021 wraps up, the year’s themes are beginning to become clear.

As the (mostly unexpected) second year of the pandemic,

2021 was perhaps not the healing year many hoped it would be. It was, however, a year to reclaim what was once ours. In the most basic way, the general populace reclaimed their sense of normalcy in 2021. Many returned to in-person working, in-person shopping and in-person socializing. Then, some reclaimed their sense of normalcy through adjusting to a new way of life — permanently working from home, moving out of the city or changing careers. Even popular culture saw celebrities reclaiming what was once theirs. Taylor Swift released re-recorded versions of two of her albums to give herself full ownership of the songs after her former recording label refused to sell her the originals, and Britney Spears ended her father’s unrelenting conservatorship over her career and life. The Cleveland State community reclaimed the halls of campus this year, as most classes returned to an in-person format. We at The Vindicator even reclaimed our own office from the eccentric mouse that had taken up residence in the ceiling tiles. In this issue, new contributor Meher Akshay Bundellu chronicles the experiences of international students at CSU in “A Cultural Change” on page 15. Another new contributor Andrea Brazis highlights growing interest in foreign entertainment in “Squid Game: The Rise of Foreign Media.” In one of our features “All-Gender Inclusion” on page 19, copy editor Lynn Nichols dives into the relevance of Cleveland State’s first gender-inclusive multi-stall restroom. As we head into 2022, we thank 2021 for all that came out of it — both the victories and the challenges. Notably, 2021 brought The Vindicator our arts editor Courtney Byrnes, who is graduating this semester. Courtney, you’ve served as a stellar addition to our team for the past year, and we wish you the best as you head out into the real world. Read her final article “The CSU of Instagram” on page 43.



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Jillian VanDyke Art Director

Megan Mullaly Managing Editor

Lauren Koleszar Features Editor

Courtney Byrnes Arts Editor

Kristina Markulin Culture Editor

Lynn Nichols Copy Editor

Cara Robbins Social Editor

Samra Karamustafic Fashion and Wellness Editor

Abigail Preiszig Online Content Editor

WRITERS Samra Karamustafic Megan Mullaly Cara Robbins Ryan Roliff Eric Seitz Andrew Brazis

JUNIOR DESIGNERS Lauren Koleszar Abigail Preiszig Kristina Markulin Meher Akshay Bundellu Cameron Mays Cimira Crews

Emma Splete Shannon Driscoll

Courtney Byrnes


Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart Disclaimer The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent the members of the Vindicator staff or our advisors unless otherwise stated. The editor reserves the right to comment on any issue that affects the student body in general as well as the multicultural community at large. Letters to the editors and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the authors name, address, major if applicable, and telephone number. All submissions become property of the Vindicator and the Vindicator reserves the right to edit submissions as deemed necessary. Magazine and newspaper theft is a crime; limit one per person. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216–687–2118 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 7





Eric Seitz

Emma Splete

A review of the ten songs in the Swedish pop group’s first offering in four decades

I Still Have Faith in You • 8/10 Directly acknowledging their four-decade-long hiatus (and nodding to their post-divorce relationships with one another), the lead track spells out for listeners

Spurred by regained pop culture relevance, 70s pop

the band’s headspace in 2021. “I Still Have Faith in

powerhouse ABBA has dusted off their go-go boots

You” is a sweeping anthem that traverses the gamut

and jived back onto the music scene for a ninth stu-

of emotions felt by both ABBA themselves as well as

dio album — their first in nearly 40 years. ABBA’s

their fans young and old.

album “Voyage” is an album with the most uni-

“We stand on the summit, humble and grateful to have

fied vision of the group’s entire discography — it


portrays a message of resolve. Perhaps the resolve comes from the band reflecting on their career both together and apart. ABBA initially met a rocky end in the early 80s when the two married couples (Björn & Agnetha and Benny & Frida) broke up. This album takes listeners on a journey — a Voyage, if you will — through the broad range of emotions that comes with a history as storied as ABBA’s. 8 | VINDICATOR

When You Danced with Me • 8/10 Employing a distinctly ABBA-fied Scottish sound through its instrumentation, “When You Danced with Me” carries a triumphant and reminiscent tone. Despite having some of the shallowest lyrics of the album, the song finds ABBA experimenting with their signature head-bopping sound in a fresh way. “There’s a darkness deep in your blue eyes”

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Little Things • 6/10

Bumblebee • 8/10

As ABBA’s only Christmas song, “Little Things” falls

This song bears an innocent way about it, but that

into quite a few of the lyrical clichés that plague many

innocence masks its message — an urge to consider

Christmas pop songs. They do, however, nail the unique

how climate change could spell the demise of bum-

music box sound through melodic progression and

blebees. The instrumentation swells as the singer

instrumentation. Additionally, the song feels dra-

gets deeper in thought about the effects of climate

matically more intimate than any other ABBA song.

change. The steadiness of the song‘s melodic pro-

“It’s amazing, darling, that so little can achieve so much.”

gression, however, gives little room for interesting vocal experimentation.

It’s like a dream within a dream that’s been

Don’t Shut Me Down • 10/10

“Oh how I do enjoy the sight of his rather clumsy, erratic

Infinitely replayable, this song is ABBA at their peak.



the same emotional state as the singer before hur-

No Doubt About It • 7/10

-Don’t Shut Me

tling them both into soaring heights with its groovy

“No Doubt About It” is unique in that the song’s

first verse and even groovier chorus. With lyrics so

narrator has low emotional intelligence, unlike

visceral, the song almost sounds like it was written

most pop songs, which see their singers expressing

for a musical — a testament to the band’s ability to

themselves adequately. Instead, the singer’s partner

transport listeners into new worlds.

acts as the song’s emotional heart, and the singer’s

“I’m like a dream within a dream that’s been decoded.”

ignorance is what makes her endearing. While the

struggles to hit this song’s higher notes.

spells out the love-at-first-sight unspoken connection

“Hissing like a wildcat when I should be purring.”

often written about in pop songs. Punchy and unafraid, it harkens back to ABBA’s more rock-ish origins.

Ode to Freedom • 8/10

Paralleling the flirtatious interaction illustrated in

“Ode to Freedom” is a poem put to song. The fact

the song, the vocals answer and interact with the

that such a high-concept anthem is in a pop album

piano part for an immensely satisfying connection

is almost laughable, but it firmly belongs in “Voy-

between the lyrics and the music.

age,” especially as its final track. Perhaps the best

“We’ll be dancing through the night, knowing everything

part about “Ode to Freedom” is that it is not ABBA’s

from there on must be right.”

ode to freedom, but the antithesis of it. Majestic and introspective, this song swells in sound as it swells

I Can Be That Woman • 4/10

in conviction.

“I Can Be That Woman” wants so badly to be the

“If I ever wrote my ode to freedom, it would be in prose

album’s emotionally moving power ballad like “Fer-

that chimes with me.”

nando” and “Chiquitita,” but it’s weighed down by overly complex lyrics and a tonal imbalance. The lyrical

VOYAGE • 8/10

throughline is a dog that the couple shares, but its

Thematically, “Voyage” is ABBA at their peak. De-

presence feels out of place for a song about mending

spite the 40-year gap, the album sounds like a direct

a relationship. The melody and instrumentation are

follow-up to 1981’s “The Visitors.” With some of the

some of the best in “Voyage,” but harsh-sounding

strongest lyrics the band has ever put out and melodies

lyrics clash with its sweeping sound.

that are almost just as danceable as “Mamma Mia,”

“I feel sick, and my hands are shaking — this is how all

ABBA is as much ABBA in 2021 as they were in 1975.

our fights have begun.” Keep an Eye on Dan • 9/10 ABBA’s later career is highlighted by their penchant for discussing heavy topics put to dance-worthy music (see “Super Trouper” and “If It Wasn’t for the Nights”), and “Keep an Eye on Dan” is the most recent example. Synth tracks mount tension and terror as the song paints a picture of a mother leaving her son with her ex-husband. Co-written by Björn and sung by his ex-wife Agnetha, with whom he shares two children, “Keep an Eye on Dan” clearly comes from a place of personal experience, making its message all the more powerful.

We stand on the summit, humble and grateful to have survived - I Still Have Faith In You 8/10

We’ll be dancing through the night, knowing everything from thereon must be right

that the women’s voices have aged, Frida noticeably

Recorded in 1978 but never released, “Just a Notion”

rest of the album’s songs deal well with the fact Just a Notion • 9/10

Down 10/10

The slower, subdued opening orients the listener into

- Just A Notion 9/10

“I know that this shouldn’t be a traumatic event, but it is.” THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 9




Korean cast. However, different dubs and subtitles

Andrea Brazis

allow viewers to understand the show in whichever language they know best.

Highlighting a new Netflix show and its effect on the increase of foreign media


It’s no surprise that “Squid Game” has become a popular topic of conversation, for more reasons than one. Aside from the content of the show itself, “Squid Game” is also one of the first foreign shows to take

recent Netflix show has taken the world by

off this rapidly and maintain popularity. Since its

storm. “Squid Game” has become a $900 million

release, there’s been a significant increase of people

dollar show in a matter of months and even claimed

interested in learning the Korean language.

the number one streaming spot for 24 consecutive

Duolingo, among other language-teaching websites,

days, falling in the top 10 right behind “Ginny and

has seen a sharp increase in users. According to an

Georgia.” Currently, it’s on pace to become the most

article from Learning English, 40% more people in

popular show watched on Netflix, with over 100 million

the U.S. signed up to learn Korean only two weeks

global viewers within the first few weeks of release.

after the show’s release. An article by Salon said, in

“Squid Game” is a South Korean survival drama

regards to Duolingo, “approximately 32% of these

created by screenwriter and film director, Hwang

learners are now adding Korean lessons to their

Dong-hyuk. The beginning of the show follows

class itinerary.”

financially struggling individuals, as their lives

Prior to “Squid Game,” multiple other Korean media

slowly take a downhill slope. A series of events lands

became extremely popular in a short time, including

them in a survival challenge featuring a variety of

“Train to Busan,” “The Handmaiden” and the 2019

childrens’ games, with the promise of prize money

Best Picture Oscar winner “Parasite.” As time’s gone

that could ultimately save their failing lives and

on, foreign films have gained more respect, therefore

financial statuses. “Squid Game” was originally

generating more public interest.

filmed in Korean and it includes a predominantly 10 10| |VINDICATOR VINDICATOR

Many think that this increase of Korean language

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many references that reveal information and pieces

popularity of both K-dramas and K-pop. Korean-based

of South Korea’s rich history and beautiful culture.

media has become somewhat of a “fad” many times

So where does this leave foreign media today?

throughout history, and has continued to maintain

Well, many articles have recently emerged on this


topic, specifically one by Hello Student titled, “Why

Typically, people prefer to watch movies and media that are originally in their native language — media

foreign cinema can be better than Hollywood.” The article discusses three primary reasons.

that doesn’t require a dub or translated subtitles. It’s

The first explains the importance of exploring

convenient and therefore more appealing. “Squid

different cultures and different perspectives. We’re all

Game” reopened this topic of conversation as its

human and therefore share many similar experiences;

Korean base has created global interest for people

foreign media allows viewers to experience universal

around the world.

touchstones, such as financial crisis, marriage and

When “Squid Game” first came out, pop culture

puberty, to name a few.

saw much discussion about the topic “dubs vs. subs”;

Second, it says that seeing someone else’s norm

an article by sportskeeda explores this age-old de-

can be beneficial as well as intriguing. Hello Student

bate. Both dubs and subtitles have their own pros

says, “... in foreign cinema, [the minute details of a

and cons. While dubbed versions may be convenient

show’s props, costumes, and language] mean so much

for the translation, it can be very frustrating and

more. They are a portal into the lives of people who

distracting visually when the dub doesn’t match the

live hundreds of miles away from us!”

actors’ lips. However, subtitles are not much better:

Last, it stresses the importance of learning dif-

many people find them distracting to follow, and

ferent stories. Contrary to Hollywood, foreign media

sometimes inaccurate.

is generally crafted with purpose, using meaningful

Many people are very skeptical about the concept of dubbing. Creating a good dub often takes weeks or

themes, sharing multiple perspectives, and creating unique plot twists.

even months, in order to get the correct stress, tone

Another article by Sarah Fischer, from Axios, says,

and speech rhythm to convey the messages of the

“Amercians are consuming more foreign content than

storyline. Dubs are typically a good choice if you are

ever.” In 2020, the top international markets were

more focused on the content of the storyline rather

the U.K. (8.3%), Japan (5.7%), Canada (3.2%), Korea

than the actors’ individual performances physically

(1.9%) and India (1.5%).

and emotionally. Also, dubs serve as an excellent

Netflix has been a catalyst for the increase of in-

option if you are fully paying attention to the show

terest, as it continually provides a plethora of foreign

and/or multitasking (doing homework, checking your

media options. Many producers admire the concepts

phone, eating, etc.).

and storylines created by foreign filmmakers; so

Although dubs have shown popularity, subtitles have proven to be the superior choice for watching

foreign media allows you to open a door of opportunity to indulge in cultures outside your own.

an Americanized version as well. COVID also provided a large window of oppor-

vs Subbed - Which Version Should You Watch?” in

tunity for foreign media. While media production

Collider said, “if you are the type of person that values

was limited and halted in some cases, audiences

art in its most unaltered forms, then you should go

became somewhat impatient. U.S. viewers looked

for the subbed version.”

to foreign media productions for entertainment to fill the visual void.

subbed version allows viewers to fully experience

Across the board, other foreign content is becoming

the actors’ individual performances physically along

popular as well, including but not limited to: music,

with their language including the emotion and tone.

social media, television and news. The article says,

In a Good Morning America interview, “Squid Game”

“if content succeeded here in the U.S., it had a better

director Hwang Dong-hyuk said, “please watch the

chance of succeeding internationally.” Hello Student

subtitled one. If you don’t see the acting, the per-

concludes that “expanding your horizons by dipping

formance from the real actor, then you’re not seeing

in and out of foreign films can expose you to so much

anything. You are missing most of the ‘Squid Game’

more than the Hollywood machine and who knows,

fun.” Whatever language the TV show is originally

you might even learn a thing or two along the way.”

in, is what the creator intended; and therefore will

Ultimately, foreign media allows you to open a door of

include actors and audio in their purest form, without

opportunity to indulge in cultures outside your own.

additives or adjustments.


much so, that they will often replicate the media in

foreign films. An article titled “Squid Game Dubbed

The article continues to explain that watching the

interest may have also stemmed from the worldwide

We as a whole strive to stay connected to those

Watching subbed versions of foreign films is also a

around us; we have a hunger for learning and explor-

significant cultural experience for individuals that are

ing things that are unfamiliar to us. It’s likely that

unfamiliar with native speakers’ linguistic tendencies

foreign media will continually grow as worldwide

and interactions. Specifically, “Squid Game” makes

demand increases.




Cimira Crews

NBC Peacock. Grey’s Anatomy “Grey’s Anatomy” is an all-time favorite; it is a

There is nothing better than catching up or rewatching shows in your free time. What better time to do it than winter break?


medical drama focused on the personal and professional lives of surgeons at Seattle Grace Hospital. You’ll experience romance, grief and drama while watching this show. It can be streamed on Netflix and Hulu. Criminal Minds

xams are over, school is out and you have almost two months’ worth of freedom. For me the semester felt like I was constantly drowning in work, so I barely got to turn on my TV. With the weather turning from

cold to freezing, what’s better than catching up on

The show focuses on the F.B.I. Behavioral Analysis Unit while they profile serial killers and try to prevent heinous crimes from continuing and repeating. “Criminal Minds” can be streamed on Netflix. If you like drama Scandal

the shows you missed during the semester — or

Olivia Pope, a former White House communica-

revisiting some oldies? From Netflix to Hulu, the

tions director, starts her own crisis management

options are endless on shows to watch. In no order,

firm. She deals with her clients’ numerous secrets

here are some shows to binge watch during your

while attempting to juggle her own. “Scandal” can

winter break, depending on what you like.

be streamed on Hulu. The Good Doctor

If you like the cult classics The Office This show is a mockumentary of office workers of a paper company and their workday, but the day consists of unprofessional behavior and the humorous and bizarre moments between the employees. “The Office” can be streamed on Amazon Prime, Hulu or


This show follows Shaun Murphy, a surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, and his experience navigating through his career as a doctor and the challenges he’s faced within his personal life, all while managing his disability. The series can be watched on ABC or streamed on Hulu.

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If you like sci-fi / fantasy

professional lives as doctors, as well as their personal

Locke & Key

lives. Each episode covers a general topic, connecting

the move back to his hometown to gain more insight on who he was. As they investigate, the kids begin to find reality bending keys around the house that

followed by the college friend’s monthly band session. This show can be found on Netflix. Voice This show is suspenseful, telling the story of a

unravel family secrets. The show is available to

detective whose wife was killed by a serial murderer

stream on Netflix. Black Mirror

her father’s murder. Together they team up to stop

An episodic series about the future when technology

and a gifted voice profiler dealing with the grief of other crimes and to avenge their loved ones’ deaths.

turns against mankind in different ways. Sometimes

“Voice” can be streamed on Netflix.

it feels too accurate to what is happening in real

If you like the Black throwbacks

life, but that’s the fun of it. This show is great if you

A Different World

like a jaw dropper for literally every episode. “Black

This show covers the life of a group of students

Mirror” can be streamed on Netflix.

attending a historically Black college and their daily

If you like Black dramas

struggles through school and life in general. “A Dif-

Queen Sugar

ferent World” can be streamed on HBO Max. Girlfriends

“Queen Sugar” follows the Bordelon family: Nova,an activist and journalist; Charlie,a former NBA agent and businesswoman; and Ralph-Angel,the baby brother who was formerly incarcerated. After a sudden tragedy, the siblings are forced to all put their differences

This show takes a look at the lives of four different women (who also happen to be friend) and their struggles with love, friendship and life. “Girlfriends” is considered a comedy but it also does get serious

aside and take care of their family sugar-cane farm

sometimes. This can be streamed on Netflix.

while also combating the issues in their personal

If you like reality TV

lives. The show airs on OWN but is also streamed on

The Real Housewives Franchise

Hulu after the entire season is aired. Snowfall “Snowfall” is set in Los Angeles in the 80s, at PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES

their personal and professional lives together and is

the very beginning of the War on Drugs. It follows Franklin, a young Black man looking for fast money and power; Teddy, a CIA agent placed in Los Angeles to push the government operations and fund the war; and Lucia and Gustavo, daughter of a drug lord and former wrestler, respectively, also looking for a better life. The series airs on FX but you can also

The Real Housewives franchise covers cities in the United States and internationally, including Atlanta, New York City, Orange County, Salt Lake City, New Jersey and Cheshire. It covers the lives of successful businesswomen, celebrities or city elites and their drama with each other or in their individual storylines. This show is great if you like a lot of melodrama. This series can be streamed on Hulu and Bravo Now. Keeping Up with the Kardashians T he icon ic ser ies fol low s t he p opu la r K a r-

stream on Hulu.

dashian-Jenner family through their fights, con-

If you like age-relatable shows

troversies, marriages and their rise to stardom, all


while keeping the sense of family alive. The series

A spinoff of the hit ABC show, “Black-ish,” “Grown-

went on for 20 seasons before ending this year and

ish” covers the complicated college experience of Zoey

can be streamed on Hulu and Bravo Now.

Johnson and her friend group. The show manages to

If you like Documentaries

cover serious and relatable issues from every char-

Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

acter’s perspective, while still bringing the drama

This docu-series covers the investigation of a Face-

and the comedy. This show can be streamed on Hulu. Insecure

book group looking to track down a guy who posted

This series unpacks the stories from the Black

the power of social media, even in it’s beginning

female experience from the perspective of women in their late 20s. They navigate social and racial issues while adding a realistic perspective of how Black women also deal with the struggle of maintaining friendships, relationships and jobs throughout their constant internal struggles. This show can be streamed on HBO Max.

a disturbing video involving kittens. This showcases

For me the semester felt like I was constantly drowning in work, so I barely got to turn on my TV.

stages, and how the story of Luka Magnotta quickly turned sour. This series can be streamed on Netflix. Murder Among the Mormons This three-episode documentary series covers historical documents that threaten to end the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the mysterious deaths of the ones who held that information.

If you like Korean dramas

The series uses archived footage and present-day

Hospital Playlist

interviews to convey the story. “Murder Among the

This show follows a group of college friends in their

After the tragic murder of Rendell Locke, his wife Nina, and their kids Tyler, Kinsey and Bode make

Mormons” can be streamed on Netflix. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 13


navigating natural hair

texturism and the face of the movement WRITTEN BY


Cimira Crews

Jillian VanDyke

Natural hair resides on a spectrum of type and

Another layer to the natural hair movement, this time focusing on texturism and how the face of the movement has completely changed.


Breaking Down Hair Type & Texture texture. Hair types typically found in Black people are type 3 and 4; Type 3 is Curly-Kinky, and Type 4 is Kinky-Coily. Within these types, there are texture breakdowns from A, B and C to differentiate the tightness of the curls. Each texture not only looks different, but also needs different products to cor-

our hair is so nappy!” “What are you going to do with that head?” “When are you going to get your hair done?” All things I’ve heard from friends, family and even strangers

during my time finally embracing my natural hair. I don’t have the type of hair that is always defined and bouncy, and due to texturism, the perception is that it always had to be. Texturism is the idea that certain hair types on the

natural hair pattern spectrum are more desirable or beautiful. I call it the sister of colorism; they typically go hand-in-hand. Whether it be family classifying your hair as “nappy” or “hard to tame,” or a random class member taunting you for your kinkier hairstyle, most Black women with a tighter curl than what the media shows have an unfortunate tale to tell. Texturism is an issue within the Black community and the natural hair movement is not exempt from perpetuating these ideals. Women who have heavily supported and pushed for change in legislation and even in everyday life are pushed out of their deserved spotlight, while women who benefit from texturism and colorism are praised and crowned.

rectly nourish the hair. Placing your hair in a category makes it easier to handle your hair and choose products that work for you. So, hair typing has benefits in terms of hair health, but it has also pinpointed the hair texture that was continuously left out of the conversation and ostracized: 4c hair. Texturism goes back to slavery, but only now do we have a name for it. Historically, This Isn’t New: ‘Good Hair’ vs ‘Bad Hair’ Remember when I said that texturism is the sister to colorism? Well, they are both the beloved daughters of racism. Keep in mind that all these ideals stem from white supremacy and that, as a community, Black people were not concerned about the difference in our hair textures until white people caused division. We’ve been pitted against each other since slavery when it comes to skin color, hair texture and other physical features; so, while this issue is within the Black community, the root of it did not begin with us. Black women have a complicated history with our hair. Seeing that our hair is not naturally straight — but straight hair always seemed to correlate with beauty, success and an overall better life — already caused an insecurity. Numerous methods tried to achieve this ideal: heating up knives or forks to rake through kinks, using thread to pull down our curls and even more ridiculous things. During slavery, the straighter your hair, the higher the chance you had to work within the house instead of the field. Straighter hair did not ultimately save you, but it gave you more of a chance to survive. This relationship be-


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for me to realize that it was ingrained in me growing

throughout American history even today.


Media Representation: Kinky, Curly, Light & Dark

From the Inside of the Party

When I think about all the famous Black wom-

It’s not all love on the inside of the party. Textur-

en in mainstream media, the first thing I notice is

ism is still an issue because it is so deeply rooted in

hair. When you see these celebrities reaching a cer-

our culture that we unfortunately can’t stop it in a

tain status, you begin to see more straight hair, wigs,

day. Growing up, comments about my hair would

and weaves; everything but their natural kink and

differ depending on how it was styled. I never wore

curls, and the ones that do embrace natural hair get

my natural hair until I reached around the seventh

criticized. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, a dark-

grade; so prior to that, I always got compliments on

skinned woman, is the first person that comes to my

my hair because it was straight. “Are you mixed with

mind. Even thinking back to when I was little, watch-

anything?” “Do you have Indian in you?” “Your hair

ing her get scrutinized made me look at my hair dif-

is so long and silky, mine is so nappy!” “Your hair is

ferently. When Douglas was competing in 2012, jour-

beautiful.” “Your kids are going to have some pret-

nalists — and even fellow Black women and men on

ty hair.” It was never-ending, from friends, family,

the internet — commented on how her hair was tied

teachers and even strangers. At some points, I only

up, or on how the kinks would form around the edges

saw myself as beautiful when my hair was straight

of her hair and the nape of her neck. Her texture of

and done, because that was the only time I would get

hair? 4c. They focused so much on that instead of her

compliments. When I finally did go natural, the back-

talent that when I look at her Instagram or any cam-

handed compliments and bad experiences I’ve had

paigns she’s in now — all I see is straight hair.

because of my 4b-4c hair became too many to count.

Celebrities praised for wearing their natural hair

It’s sad to say, but it often comes from women who

tend to be lighter, bringing back the house slave, field

are supposed to be my allies. I’ve had to stop going to

slave mentality. Celebrities like Yara Shahidi, Tracee

hair salons because I can’t seem to find someone to

Ellis-Ross, Alicia Keys and Zendaya have all received

handle my texture anymore, which has led to bad sa-

praise for embracing their natural hair and the beauty

lon experiences that left me traumatized, and a hair

of their texture, all while being lighter-skinned and

job that I ended up hating anyways.

having 3a or 3b hair types. Companies like SheaMoisture, Carol’s Daughter and others have been crit-

Where do we go from here?

icized for only praising women with light skin and

Unfortunately, even within Black spaces, we still

loose curls, while excluding women with darker skin

must constantly fight to be included. Representa-

and kinkier textures. Do we all have the same hair? Of

tion, education about Black hair, self-reflection and

course not, but women with darker skin tones typi-

correction are the first steps to flip the ongoing nar-

cally have type 4 hair, and they make up too much of

rative. Women like Issa Rae, Gabrielle Union, Lupi-

the natural hair movement and hair care industry to

ta Nyong’o and Taraji P. Henson are dark-skinned,

go unrepresented in everyday media and advertise-

Black women in mainstream media who push back,


wear their natural hair and embrace the beauty in

Even when I look back on my life, I’ve always

their tighter textures, despite what the media might

straightened my hair in those big life moments like

say. We need more of it, but for that to happen, the

graduations, picture days or interviews where the

spaces must exist where there can be more than five

managers might have not been Black. It took me

famous darker skinned women with tighter curls.

years to even notice that I kept trying to conform to

Sometimes, taking a look at what ideals have been

this ideal of having “good hair,” but it also took time

passed down to you during your childhood will give

Hair types typically found in Black people are type 3 and 4; Type 3 is Curly-

tween straighter hair, success and mobility echoes

Kinky, and Type 4 is


you insight on why you might feel a certain way about your hair, and where to start changing your mindset.





cant to our culture and the predominant way of life. I

Meher Akshay Bundellu

was taken aback by the degree of independent living that people practice in America. Coming from a place where we eat our meals together and recite prayers

Understanding the emotional well-being of international students while they cope with a new culture


together on a daily basis, I found myself lost and disconnected. I clearly remember visiting a popular retail store the day after my arrival and coming home with a heavy heart. The reason? I had never seen 80+ year olds do their own grocery shopping in my life.

ll things are difficult before they are

Back in my home country, just by opening the win-

easy.” This quote by Thomas Fuller has

dow, one can see the hustle and bustle of the city.

been my guiding light since the time I

Here, I found it strange to see almost no one on the

came to the US.

streets. It was as if there were hardly any people to

Oftentimes, international students

talk to. Doing your own laundry, cleaning the house

eye universities in the U.S. for quality education, re-

regularly, making your own meals three times a day

search opportunities, better paying jobs and, most

and then cleaning up after you eat can keep you very

importantly, a better lifestyle. I am no different. Since

busy. To add to that, managing studies and work si-

the time I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree in my

multaneously can only add to one’s emotional tur-

home country, I was preparing for a higher education

moil. In many ways this was a cultural shock to me.

in the U.S. Although I had taken into consideration

Indeed, I am basking in the blessings of the Al-

many aspects of my decision to move to the U.S., I

mighty of having an opportunity to study in America

was surprised to see that there were many other fac-

and working hard towards my career goals. Howev-

tors that I did not pay attention to, or that I should

er, I also understand that this cultural change comes

have paid more attention to. Don’t get me wrong, I

with the territory of studying in the U.S.

am happy and grateful to be studying in one of the

Now when I look back, I feel that this change not

most technologically advanced countries in the world

only taught me to be independent in every way pos-

— one with a rich background in research — shap-

sible, but also to be more organized. To wake up

ing my career in the best way possible. What I am

every morning and hit the ground running with ev-

referring to is the cultural change that I experienced

eryday tasks has taught me how to set priorities for

and that many other international students experi-

my health, my emotional well-being and, most im-

ence. What surprised me the most was that none of

portantly, my studies and career. With time, I have

my friends and family that are already staying here,

understood that this cultural change is not so much

ever told me about the other side of the coin of mov-

about leaving my parent’s nest, but more about de-

ing to the U.S.

veloping myself into a responsible person to build

I come from India, a place where being together

a nest of my own. Truly, this cultural change has

and staying together as a tight-knit family is signifi-

taught me one of the most fundamental life lessons


WINTER 2021-2022

Just like me, there are hundreds of international


students, and most of them face this cultural shift at

when he has to interact with people, since he faces an incredible challenge understanding the American accent.

some point of time or the other. The aspect of cultural

Carla Ashford, an American by birth, found my

change should be given more emphasis to make oth-

conversation with an international student on the

ers aware of it and to make their transitions easier.

topic of cultural change to be interesting and couldn’t

So for that reason, I decided to embark on a journey

help but jump in and share her perspective. Carla was

to connect with international students from various

an international student a few years ago for a brief

parts of the world and understand their perspective

period and said that the university needs to have

on this elephant in the room – the cultural change.

more events for international students to make them

Sabeel Khan, a graduate student who came to the

feel at home. Having events based on their cultures

U.S. this August, lived in Dubai for more than 17 years.

can drive more participation. Carla says that her In-

Because of his father’s job, his family moved across

dian friends often sing Indian songs; having a sing-

the Middle East all through his middle school. Sabeel,

ing contest of Indian classical songs or Indian songs

interestingly, did not find any major difference in the

in general can be a good way to bring these students

culture in which he was born and brought up inup

together. Forming more clubs that cater to interna-

to the culture in the U.S. He learned how to prepare

tional students can play a key role in making them

meals for himself from a young age as both of his

feel welcomed. Carla also said that having cultur-

parents are working parents. Therefore, he found no

al diversity in dining options can be very helpful to

trouble in preparing meals for himself, cleaning up

those students. She laughed when she said that one

thereafter, managing studies and doing other chores

Papa John’s on campus cannot fulfill the needs of all

simultaneously. However, what he found challeng-

the students.

ing was not being able to see his parents after a long

Aayush Chaurasia, a 24-year-old graduate student

and tiring day. Back home in Dubai, he would return

who comes from a small town in India, says that one

home from work to his parents who made him feel

thing he cannot find here is the constant ringing of

loved and belonged and that took away his emotion-

the bells of the temples. Coming from a culture where

al stress for the day. But over here, he felt that his

visiting the temples and offering prayers is a part of

emotional stress kept on piling up. Sabeel said that

daily life, he was shocked to see that this is not the

making good friends who are true to him helped him

case here. He finds solace in the home temple he and

de-stress and feel at home. After all, friends are often

his roommates have built for themselves, which was

the only family that we have here. Sabeel said that it

well-decorated and lit when I visited. Aayush says

was not easy for him to make friends in the U.S. He

that it can take a while to get used to the independent

did feel that people live independent lives, and he had

life here. He overcomes the cultural shock by looking

to make the effort to approach people and network

at the bright side. He says that the pace of life here

with them. This helped him build a group of friends

in the U.S. is comparatively slower and the govern-

that he can rely on. Today, he is happier and loving

ment has lots of benefits for the people here. He feels

every moment of being around his newfound family.

motivated and inspired to see 18- to 19-year-olds

Leo Dou, an undergraduate student, came to the

take responsibility of their finances, an opportunity

U.S. five years ago from China and completed his

which he feels he didn’t get at that age. Aayush de-

high school in Columbus. Leo lived with a host fam-

scribes the quintessential law of give and take: you

ily while he was in high school, who took good care

give up on family, relatives and friends and take on

of him in every respect. Leo says that what shocked

the opportunity to learn, grow and establish yourself.

him was that the schools and colleges in the U.S. are

He concluded by saying that while you do get all the

not as crowded and the people here are not as busy

good things that life has to offer, in return, you pay

compared to the institutes and the people in China.

a price. The price, in this case, is to adapt yourself to

Leo shared that in his middle school in China, they

a new culture.

had 10,000 students in one grade. He was taken aback

Speaking to these fellow students, I feel a sense

by the limited number of people here. Leo tries to

of contentment. This cultural shift is impossible to

keep himself busy throughout the day so that he does

avoid. The best we can do to make it easier for the

not feel any different from his roots. Although Leo

up-and-coming international students is to ac-

feels that it is tough to go through a cultural change,

knowledge their struggles, be more open about our

there are ways to make the process easier. He is part

experiences, and not underestimate the emotion-

of various clubs that meet once a day or once every

al impact it can have on us. This will help others to

two days. Interacting with students and working on

overcome this cultural shift with love and care. It is

projects in the clubs makes him feel occupied and

only when we come together and support one anoth-

at home. Leo ended on a lighter note when he said

er that we can make this inevitable change, the cul-

that the only time he has to be slow and not busy is

tural change, easier.

The aspect of cultural change should be given more emphasis to make others aware of it and to make their transitions easier.

of being independent.




How many words represent “snow” in the Inuit-Yupik-Unangan language family? WRITTEN BY


Halle Elder

Shannon Driscoll

A closer look into the progression and technicality of the “words for ‘snow”’ debate that has lasted a century



ver 100 years worth of debate has fol-

vocabulary and stated that the “Eskimos” had four

lowed this question: How many words

roots of snow. Over time, this concept expanded far

for snow are present in the “Eskimo”

past the original idea. Two textbooks from the 1950s,

language? The answer to this is just

“The Silent Language” and “Words and Things,”

about as complicated as the debate that

cemented the idea that there were several words for

has followed it since 1911.

snow in Inuit-Yupik-Unangan language family. These

One, four, 15, over 400? Opinions abound on the

textbooks led to a widespread fascination within the

true number of words that this group has in their

academic community at the time and the idea of the

vocabulary for snow. The premise of this debate is

many terms for snow became a phenomenon in many

that within the Inuit-Yupik-Unangan language family

different fields. As this idea became popularized, the

— often referred to as “Eskimo” language, which is

general public also took notice. In the 1980s, news

a broad, outdated, and often derogatory term for a

reports including an editorial in The New York Times

large culture group of the Arctic — there are a far

took a stance on this debate, telling readers there were

greater number of words to express the idea of what

“one hundred types of snow,” and a local television

english speakers would call “snow.” This debate has

channel out of Cleveland, WEWS, cited “two hundred

circulated not only in the linguistic/anthropological

words” when referring to Inuit terms for snow.

academic sphere, but in the public sphere as well.

Just a little while after these public outlets picked

While linguists and anthropologists have published

up this idea, Laura Martin started the debate against

essays and speeches about this for years, news pub-

this belief that there was a large vocabulary for snow

lications like The Washington Post have also claimed

words in Inuit-Yupik-Unangan language family. Martin

that there are in fact 50 words for snow.

was a professor of anthropology at Cleveland State

The debate began in 1911 with Franz Boas, often

University who published a report in 1986 within

referred to as “The Father of American Anthropology.”

American Anthropologist titled “Eskimo Words for

His work titled “Handbook of American Indian Lan-

Snow: a Case Study in the Genesis and Decay of an

guages” was the trigger for the debate on the snow

Anthropological Example.” In this report, Martin

WINTER WINTER 2021-2022 2021-2022

worked to show the misrepresentation of linguistic

smallest meaningful unit of sound. A close look at

evidence that led to these exaggerated claims listed

specifics of a language like affixes is the sub-field

earlier. She also pointed out the ease at which these

of morphology.

ideas spread due to the lack of both knowledge and

Within morphology, languages are divided into

desire to understand a culture different from our

subcategories. The Inuit-Yupik-Unangan language


family is an example of a group of languages with

In 1991, linguist Geoffrey Pullum wrote a comical

polysynthetic morphology. Dr Andrej A. Kibrik, PhD,

essay in response to Martin where he called out

of The Moscow Institute of Linguistics explains that

all those in the academic field for their misuse of

polysynthetic morphology “refers to the phenom-

information and lack of response to a belief that he

enon of high average number of morphemes per

deemed harmful to the credibility of linguists and

word.” This means that one word, a root, can have

anthropologists alike. His essay, entitled “The Great

many morphemes attached, creating a more complex

Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax and other Irreverent Essays

meaning for the word.

on the Study of Language” was the first academic

Martin, in her report mentioned earlier, wrote that

work that sought out the advice of an expert on the

“[t]he structure of [E]skimo grammar means that the

Inuit-Yupik-Unangan languages. Pullum was very

number of ‘words’ for snow is literally incalculable,

clear on his view of this debate, but the question

a conclusion that is inescapable for any other root as

remains: is this really a hoax?

well.” This is how the debate on the number of words

Because of Pullum’s ardent response to this debate,

for snow came to fruition. Some argue that each of

the name “The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax” stuck

these morphologically changed words, although they

Comparing these languages

in both the academic and

share the same root word, each are their own word,

public spheres for a long

which would mean there were an indefinite, and

to each other is complex

time. However, in today’s

incalculable, number of words for snow within these

more empathetic approach,

morphological rules. This is where the numbers seem

because, like snowflakes,

academics and a growing

to become extreme — borderline hyperbolic — as

segment of the population

high as 100, or even 400.

no two languages are alike.

refer to this group as the In-

However, those like Martin and Pullum view this

uit-Yupik-Unangan culture

debate through the idea that the true number of words

group, or “language family”

lies in the number of bound roots (those that cannot

when referring to languages. The peoples represented

separate into smaller parts) and are the only words

in these groups often prefer to be called by their own

that should count. In this case, a large majority of

specific names and, for the most part, dislike the use

the languages represented here would have a number

of the term “Eskimo.” The fact that this collective

of words for snow represented in the single digits,

group has, in the past, been called “Eskimos” also

depending on the specific language and dialect.

adds to the complexity of the debate. This is due to the

Despite the length of time this debate has been

diversity amongst the many languages and dialects

going on, there really isn’t a definite answer to the

associated with these cultures groups. It is hard to

question. There will likely always be a debate about

take inventory on a specific number of words when

what constitutes a word. Comparing these languages

you are not looking at one particular language.

to each other is complex because, like snowflakes, no

For the purpose of this debate, however, the focus

two languages are alike. They each have features that

of the conversation is the entire Inuit-Yupik-Unangan

separate them for one another. This means that the

language family. To truly understand the backbone

metrics used to evaluate them have to be different as

of this debate, it is important to be aware that within

well. Perspective is an important aspect when studying

the linguistic community, a “word” is not easily

people and their culture because sometimes, being

defined. There is constant back and forth as to what

on the outside really limits the ability to understand.

truly constitutes a word. Are “walk” and “walked”

In the future, we must hope that people from within

two separate words? Or are they two forms of the

these groups will step forward and give us closure

same word? The “-ed” that follows “walk” in this

on this debate. Until then, how many words exist for

example is an affix (a separate piece that is added to

snow remains a mystery.

a root word and changes the meaning). That means that both “walk” and ‘’-ed” are morphemes, the THEVINDI.COM THEVINDI.COM ­­­­ || 19 19



INCLUSION Student Services Office Operations Manager and se-

Lynn Nichols

nior at Cleveland State, writes in an article for The Buckeye Flame, BH 451 is “the first of its kind at [CSU] and one of the first at an Ohio public univer-

Trans students on the impact of CSU’s first inclusive multi-stall restroom, new in BH 451

sity.” For Kevin Robert, a junior majoring in music and English, the space represents newfound recognition in the campus community. “I came from a very homophobic/transphobic environment, so seeing


something as simple as that bathroom is almost

n the first week of the fall semester, I gave at

magical,” he said. “It’s like a little utopia for trans/

least two dozen people directions to the re-

queer kids.”

stroom in Berkman Hall. Sometimes, this meant

Beyond its all-gender purpose, students are drawn

leading students past classrooms down the halls

to the new bathroom because they actually enjoy its

on the fourth floor, but usually, it looked like me

physical setup and design. Lee Barden, a third-year

calling across the LGBTQ+ Student Services Center to

creative writing student who uses they/them pro-

ask if a friend had seen the new gender-neutral bath-

nouns, appreciates that BH 451 is “so bright and usu-

room yet. By September, it seemed like everyone had,

ally clean” compared to other options on-campus.

and they still shared my enthusiasm. In that time, I

“IT IS THE IDEAL BATHROOM,” they said in a text

had at least ten eager, half-shouted and completely

interview. “Like, ceiling to floor doors? THANK YOU.”

genuine conversations about BH 451: how nice it was, and how surprised we all were that it even existed.

The restroom serves as a powerful means to affirm the identities of nonbinary and genderqueer stu-

Cleveland State announced the opening of the new

dents, who would otherwise be forced into the binary

restroom in a September press release. The project

space of men’s or women’s multi-stall facilities. For

was planned and executed with input from the uni-

many students, access to an inclusive restroom is a

versity’s Inclusive Student Engagement Division and

question of safety. “On days that I’m presenting a

LGBTQ+ Student Services. In addition to “fourteen

lot more ambiguously, it’s good to have a bathroom

private stalls for gender-neutral use,” BH 451 also

where I won’t have any worries on my mind,” Barden

contains a wheelchair-accessible bathroom and a


“private lactation room for nursing mothers.”

Even trans students whose genders are recognized

Even as more colleges across the United States

by binary standards may feel safer in an all-gender

move towards inclusive policies for transgender and

bathroom like BH 451. In most of my afternoons at

gender nonconforming students, multi-stall bath-

the LGBTQ+ Center, I hear more than one person

room options are rare. As Connor Mahon, LGBTQ+

consulting with peers about which men’s or women’s


I came from a very homophobic/ transphobic environment, so seeing something as simple as that bathroom is almost magical.


WINTER 2021-2022

restrooms have the least traffic. Someone might leave

eral days in October, many students lost access to a

for the bathroom, then return in less than a minute

resource they had begun to rely on. In addition, while

with the disappointed announcement that “there was

the university press release describes the restroom as

a cis man” in the men’s restroom. Conversely, anoth-

“centrally located,” all students interviewed for this

er student could be gone for ten or twenty minutes,

article agreed that BH 451 is out of the way.

because they heard a group walk into the women’s

“Unless you frequent the fourth floor of Berkman

restroom and then felt trapped in the stall. Especially

. . . you might not even know it exists,” a nonbinary

for transgender women, who have been demonized

sophomore (who requested to remain anonymous)

as threats in hate campaigns and so-called “bath-

said. During our conversation, they also identified the

room bills,” all-gender restrooms are a necessary

limited availability of mental health counseling, the

safety resource.

slow-to-nonexistent administrative response to the

Prior to the opening of BH 451, the university al-

anti-LGBTQ+ evangelists, and other gaps in support

ready offered single-occupant all-gender restrooms

for trans students. “While Cleveland State has tak-

in several buildings on campus, including the Student

en many moves in the right direction, it’s not nearly

Center, Rhodes Tower and the Rec Center. However,


as LGBTQ+ Student Services Coordinator Kara Tel-

When I speak to trans students, for this article and

laisha pointed out in the original CSU press release,

on a daily basis, nearly all say that they would like

directing trans students to these individual bath-

to see more multi-stall facilities like BH 451 in oth-

rooms “can reinforce the ‘othering’ of trans* folks

er locations on campus. Berkman Hall is a building

when it’s the only safe option for them.” Trans and

common to most majors, making it an understand-

cis students alike can appreciate the privacy that a

able first choice, but even single-stall all-gender

single-stall bathroom offers, but if there are no other

restrooms are scarce in places like Julka Hall, the

gender-affirming choices available, trans students

Middough Building and the Science & Research Cen-

may feel that they are deliberately isolated from the

ter. Beyond the obvious need for more bathrooms to

rest of the community.

support more people, consistent and ongoing effort

Furthermore, the obvious capacity limitations of single-occupant restrooms leave many students

to listen to trans students will create a campus community founded on equity and inclusion.

without access to resources. Third-year urban studies major Autumn Hyde told me that she only knows where to find three other all-gender restrooms, located in the Student Center and Berkman Hall. Because the second floor of the Student Center is one of PHOTO CREDIT CSU OHIO

the highest-traffic areas on campus, Hyde said, the restroom there “always seems to be occupied every time I want to use it. One time I waited for almost 10 minutes before giving up.” A gender-inclusive bathroom with 14 stalls can support more students as well as allow access to students who wouldn’t have used similar facilities before. Trans and gender nonconforming students who are aware of the crowded circumstances which Hyde described may feel that, if they could use the men’s or women’s restroom without facing harassment, then they shouldn’t use the few single-stall options available. Of course, acting even temporarily within a gendered space that isn’t true to them is still stressful and invalidating for trans students. Lee Barden said that consciousness of limited resources has stopped them from choosing gender-affirming bathrooms in the past: “I’m worried someone else might ‘need it more,’ yknow?” Even as a valuable addition for the LGBTQ+ community on campus, the support which the restroom can offer is limited because of its status as the first and only of its kind at CSU. In the past semester, BH 451 has been closed multiple times for maintenance. During one extended closure, which lasted for sev-




Ryan Roliff

Film and television workers are demanding living wages and longer rest periods


nemployment insurance during the pandemic allowed workers in several industries to experience life free from overwork. Now that

businesses are starting to gear back up, workers are standing up for themselves. In what was deemed “Striketober,” workers in various industries have been withholding or threatening to withhold their labor as they protest for better working conditions. One such industry is the U.S. film and television industry. In early October, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), a labor union representing over 60,000 workers in the film and television industry, voted nearly unanimously in favor of giving President Matthew Loeb the authorization to call for a strike if he felt negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), a group representing corporations such as Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Apple, were ineffective. The workers are calling for living wages and adequate rest periods between shifts. In mid-November, the IATSE membership voted on a contract agreement. The contract narrowly lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote, allowing it to be ratified. The new contract institutes a 3% annual wage increase as well as a minimum 10-hour turnaround time between shifts. It also created penalties for producers who make crew members work through their lunch break.

Now that businesses are

starting to gear back up, workers are standing up for themselves.



WINTER WINTER2021-2022 2021-2022



The Vindicator Staff When I think of December, I picture a time to relax and recharge. While most December playlists may be full of holiday music, I wanted to curate a playlist that would be perfect for winding down between semesters. If you need to relax, put on this playlist and take some time for yourself this winter break!







Abigail Preiszig

Jillian VanDyke

Meet the man behind Cleveland’s development in the 21st century


hen he was a child, Albert Ratner’s mom taught him and his sister this poem. “It’s always been about enlarging the circle,” said Ratner. “There must

be a community circle in which all these people get together, and if they all agree initially you have the wrong people.” The Ratner family has been a driving force behind the development of Cleveland since 1912 when Charlie Ratner immigrated from Russia and began a lumber business that grew into a realty development company. Albert Ratner is a Cleveland businessman who has made it a priority to keep his “circle” of Cleveland great, saying, “if your town isn’t great it’s because you didn’t make it great.” He has accomplished much and held many titles in his lifetime, most notably former CEO of Forest City Realty Trust, Inc. “I don’t think in terms of everything I have to do,” said Ratner. “I just think in terms of what else is there that I can do.” He has three priorities in life: family, community, then business. His mother taught him that these are most important because “if you have a great family and a great community, you’ll have a great business.” His family and Jewish heritage impacted the way he views the world and the way he conducts business. His focus on community is evident in his many philanthropic contributions, (although Ratner does not consider himself a philanthropist). “My mom taught me one of my most valuable lessons, which is, there is no limit to what you can do if you don’t care who gets credit,” he said. “All of these things to me have never been about me because I always felt that the only thing that could satisfy me is if things were better, and the only time you can make things better is if you can work in a community.” Many regard Ratner’s transformation of Terminal Tower into Tower City as the catalyst for the rebirth of downtown Cleveland. “When we lit the tower, people started to lift their eyes,” he remarked. This change brought retail and people back to downtown Cleveland and became the blueprint for Forest City Realty’s community development across the country. Despite revitalizing the city, it was not a great financial success for his business. “Part of it was timing,” said Ratner. “I thought the timing was right, but it was maybe 10 years too early.” Another venture that turned out differently than intended is Global Cleveland, an organization that

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Albert Ratner on Family, Community, Business and Longevity You can pass all the bills you want to pass, but look

newcomers to economic, social and educational

at how much of that money gets down at the level

opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.”

that it’s needed. We’ve had our most successes going

They offer language access, professional connection

into communities and working with those people in

and community navigation programs for immigrants.

the communities because they are the only people

In 2011, he theorized that the only way Cleveland

that can solve the problems.”

could grow is if it increased the population through

Ratner draws inspiration from Theodore Roosevelt’s

immigration. As he traveled the country he noticed

speech about the man in the arena, explaining that

cities that were growing were the cities that wel-

people in the arena fail and get up again — better

comed immigrants.

to be in the arena and know defeat than sit through

“Much like Tower City, I was totally wrong,” re-

life and be a critic.

called Ratner. “What you see now is that we are at

“The key to it is to just be in the arena. That is

a lower population, but we are doing much better.”

where the hope is. That is where the action is. That

Over time, he found that the solution to advancing

is where the opportunity is,” said Ratner.

Cleveland came from a combination of increasing the

The Great Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for

population of people that bring in higher incomes

a Younger Tomorrow will be published, along with a

than the average and ensuring that the people in

show and an app, by National Geographic this sum-

your community continually do better.

mer. Dr. Michael Roizen, Peter Linneman and Albert

Despite being wrong in his initial theory, the suc-

Ratner work together to discuss “the next great dis-

cess of Global Cleveland is greater than Ratner ever

ruptor,” longevity. In the book they predict that “90

dreamed. He believes immigrants are a great asset

will be the new 40” and explain promising medical

to the community and that they spur the public to

breakthroughs that could prolong life, exploring how

progress further: “They are much like my father was

this could change our economy.

when he came, and his family. They are hungrier. They’ve come from countries who have had much worse conditions — where they didn’t have freedom; and they have a higher idea of the potential than when you live in a country and take everything for granted.” Education is also an important factor in helping the community do better. When co-writing his new book, The Great Reboot:

Cleveland would not be what and who we are today without the Ratner and Miller families and Forest City.

“attracts, welcomes and connects international

Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow, Ratner found that education is a subset of longevity. When people have access to education, they in turn have higher incomes, which affords them healthier food and better living conditions — thus, lengthening their lives. “Everyone talks about education,” said Ratner. “When you look at people, it’s only one person at a time.” Rather than trying to educate thousands of people at once, Ratner believes each person should find one other person and educate them — leading to a more educated community. “I am a very bottom-up rather than top-down guy. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 25 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 25




Abigail Preiszig

Emma Splete

An interview with Susie Stewart, author of My Christmas Story ‘Story,’ an amusing novel taking you behind the scenes of a Christmas movie classic that hits close to home.








of her brother, Jim Moralevitz, who worked as a production assistant to director Bob Clark. Stewart tells her Christmas Story story through never-before-seen photos and stories from the set of “A Christmas Story.” Stewart began writing the book about 18 years ago. It originally consisted of personal stories she wrote here and there about the neighborhood before, during

Christmas classic. The comedic film

and after the film.

follows a young boy, Ralphie Parker

“It’s very different,” she said. The neighborhood

(Peter Billingsley), and the trouble he

used to be “very quiet and quaint,” with barely any

gets into leading up to Christmas day.

traffic. Now, it is visited by thousands of tourists year

If you are from Cleveland, you have probably seen the


film, and even the Cleveland house where many ex-

Five years ago, her brother, Jim Moralevitz, passed

terior scenes were filmed.

away. Two days before his death, she made a “deathbed

Sue Stewart is a Cleveland native who grew up in

promise” to finish the book and include photos he

the “shadows” of “the house.” She played there as

took on set alongside hers. This is when she began

a child and partied there as a teenager. In her book,

to take the project seriously saying, “I made that

“My Christmas Story ‘Story,’” she recounts the life of

promise to Jim five years ago, I figured I owed it to

the house, the set of the movie and the experiences

him, and now I’m fulfilling that promise.”

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Jim Moralevitz had been connected to the film since the beginning. Director Bob Clark had seen the Depression-style homes of Tremont in a different movie and sent location scouts to the area. Jim introduced the scouts to the owners of what would later be known as “A Christmas Story” House. The house was chosen due to the lack of neighbors behind it and the view of the steelyard. What really sold the director on the Cleveland location was Higbee’s, in downtown Cleveland, which allowed him to film the Santa scene in their department store. Once filming began, Jim offered to help wherever he could. That January, the snow would not stick, so Jim used his connections at a ski club to rent three snow machines for the film. He then assisted in going door-to-door, asking neighbors if they could blow snow onto their houses and yards. He became an on-set chaperone for the young actors and even helped carry in the leg lamp. Jim became so close with the director, cast and crew that they made him a production assistant. Ten years later, director Bob Clark asked Jim to help with his film, “My Summer Jim loved his Christmas story stories, and worked

dead ends, but she never felt discouraged due to her

for many years at A Christmas Story Museum, where

trust in God and manifestation.

he told them.

“I believe in manifestation. I’ve manifested it, I’ve

“Jim would come over here for Thanksgiving and

dreamt it, I thought it into reality for so many years,

Christmas and just talk. He’d talk about his stories

I prayed about it. I believe that God put that dream

over and over, I have them memorized and I thought,

in my heart to make this book many, many years ago

‘these stories need to be told!’” said Stewart.

and I truly believe God doesn’t give you a dream in

The book “My Christmas Story ‘Story’” contains a

your heart unless you have the capacity to fulfill it.”

story about complications during the leg lamp scene,

Stewart’s faith came to fruition during a chance

a never-before-heard story about a little white kitten

conversation with her doctor. She was telling her

on set, an emergency bath taken by Peter Billingsley

doctor about her need for an editor, and discovered

(Ralphie) at a neighbor’s home, Stewart’s time as a

that the doctor’s daughter is an editor. A few months

stage mom and much more.

later, she messaged an author on Facebook, asking

“It’s a feel-good kind of book,” said Stewart.

who her publisher was. The author responded ex-

The book begins with Stewart’s account of the open-

citedly by sending her all the information for a local

ing day of “A Christmas Story” House & Museum in

publisher, Sunny Day Publishing in Rocky River.

November 2006.

Some time passed and Stewart hadn’t heard from

“The air was unusually warm and sunny for the

her editor or the publishers. On Sunday night, her

time of year,” she recalls.

editor emailed her the fully-edited manuscript;

She had planned to park in her brother’s driveway

Monday morning, Stewart finished editing it; and

at her childhood home, but there were so many people

Tuesday morning, the publisher called, asking for a

there that the street was blocked off. The neighbors

finished manuscript.

were on their porches, selling pop and beer to the

“Boom! Boom! Boom! That’s totally God, I knew

hundreds of people waiting to get inside. Sue Stewart

it was meant to be.”

could not believe it. “I’m standing in line with a ticket

“My Christmas Story ‘Story’” by Sue Stewart is set

to see a house that I played in as a child and partied

to release in 2022. If you would like to find out more,

in as a teen.” To her it felt like a dream.

you can follow the book on Instagram @mychristmas-

“During production, we just thought it was another

story83 and on Facebook @My Christmas Story ‘Story.’

Stewart tells her Christmas Story story through never-beforeseen photos

Story,” a movie that also featured the Parker family.

and stories.

children’s Christmas movie, no biggie! We never thought it would be such a huge movie and we’d be talking about it in 2021, or that I’d even write a book about it. That never entered our minds,” said Stewart. When it came to finding an editor and publishing the book Stewart faced many rejection letters and THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 27 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 6




Cara Robbins Robbins

ShannonDriscoll Driscoll Shannon

Ahumble humbleorigin originasasa aniche niche but classy A but classy fashion fashion trend. of A legacy of and bad gaudy puns and trend. A legacy bad puns graphics. gaudy graphics.


h, the ugly Christmas sweater. Evh, the ugly Christmas sweater. Every rolls around around inin ery year year November November rolls America, the ugly sweater effortlessAmerica, the ugly sweater effortlessly over holiday holiday ly proves proves its its dominance dominance over pop despite its its chokehold chokehold popculture. culture. Yet, Yet, despite

period that a renaissance of American holiday period that ledled to to a renaissance of American holiday culture. Many beloved Christmas songs, books culture. Many beloved Christmas songs, books and and films arose as as a direct result of this era,era, including films arose a direct result of this including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty Snowman,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and Snowman,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and

a Wonderful Life.” And to top it all a new “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And to top it off, all off, a new over holidayparty, party,these these “It’s overevery everydepartment department store store and holiday trend sprouted around something known as as fashion trend sprouted around something known strange out of ofnowhere. nowhere. fashion strangesweaters sweatersseemingly seemingly popped popped out Bell Sweaters.” Whyare arethey they so so important important to the “Jingle Bell Sweaters.” Why the holiday holiday season? season? “Jingle These sweaters, notably, were notnot designed withwith Wheredid didthey theycome comefrom? from? What is These sweaters, notably, were designed Where is their theirfascinating fascinating the intention of being ugly. Often, they were two or history? the intention of being ugly. Often, they were two or history? three-toned sweaters depicting an artistic winter HumbleRoots Roots Humble three-toned sweaters depicting an artistic winter scene or a festive pattern — and, in a shocking and Ugly UglyChristmas Christmas sweaters sweaters have have their their roots rootsin inthe the scene or a festive pattern — and, in a shocking and egregious display of false advertising, rarely incorcultureofofpost-World post-WorldWar War II II America. America. After culture Aftersurfacing surfacing egregious display of false advertising, rarely incorporated actual jingle bells. Though they did have a fromthe thewar warrelatively relatively unscathed unscathed and from and with withaasurplus surplus porated actual jingle bells. Though they did have a of money, America dove into an era of modernization noticeable presence in pop culture and media, they of money, America dove into an era of modernization noticeable presence in pop culture and media, they and mass consumerism — and this attitude applied never became a largely recognized or celebrated and mass consumerism — and this attitude applied never became a largely recognized or celebrated doubly to the Christmas season. In fact, it’s this time staple of the holiday season — probably due to the doubly to the Christmas season. In fact, it’s this time staple of the holiday season — probably due to the


WINTER WINTER2021-2022 2021-2022

and present, let’s revel in that wonder and reflect

sheer paradox of their existence.

on some theinmost memorable genres of ugly It wasn’t until the 1980s that these sweaters sheer paradox of their existence. and present, let’s of revel that wonder and reflect Christmas sweaters. degraded (orthe perhaps into their uglyonyet It wasn’t until 1980s evolved) that these sweaters some of the most memorable genres of ugly 1. Light-up Christmas Sweaters massively popular form that wetheir know andyet love them degraded (or perhaps evolved) into ugly Christmas sweaters. because these sweaters have to be ugly doesn’t for today. Asform surprising it may it was1.acLight-upJust Christmas Sweaters massively popular that weas know and seem, love them mean these they sweaters can’t be have dazzling. There’s something to be ugly doesn’t for today. Asthe surprising aspatterned it may seem, it was depicted ac- Just tually bizarrely sweaters in because mean they can’t be dazzling. There’swho something truly admirable about anyone is so dedicated to tually“The the bizarrely patterned sweaters depicted in Cosby Show” that popularized ugly Christmas about anyone who is so dedicated “The sweaters Cosby Show” that popularized ugly honestly Christmas the Christmas spirit that they’re willingtoto pack AA in the media … a fact that agedtruly like admirable the Christmas spirit that they’re willing to pack sweaters in the media … a the fact trend that honestly batteries with them to any party theyAA attend. You, milk. Thankfully, of the aged ugly like Christmas batteries with them to any party they attend. You, milk.sweater Thankfully, the trend of the ugly Christmas brave citizens, are the true heroes of Christmas, and does not rest solely on the back of someone sweater rest solely on the back of someone likedoes Billnot Cosby.

brave citizens, are the true heroes of us Christmas, and your sweaters bring joy to all.

your sweaters bring joy to us all. like BillUp Cosby. until the debut of the 2001 movie “Bridget 2. Weird Christmas Animals Doing Weird Christmas Christmas Animals Doing Weird Christmas Up until the debut of the 2001 movie “Bridget 2. WeirdThings Jones’s Diary,” ugly Christmas sweaters were often Things Jones’s Diary,” ugly Christmas sweaters were often

America goes wild for cute animals. And cute aniseen on sitcoms during the Christmas season but America goes wild for cute animals. And cute aniwere rarely worn by the general public. As a matter mals are always cuter when they’re doing Christmas-y were rarely worn by the general public. As a matter mals are always cuter when they’re doing Christmas-y things. But there’s something about the culture of fact, the trend nearly died out in the 1990s — that things. But there’s something about the culture of fact, the trend nearly died out in the 1990s — that around ugly Christmas sweaters that just invites a is, until Mark Darcy, the romantic interest of “Bridget around ugly Christmas sweaters that just invites a is, until Mark Darcy, the romantic interest of “Bridget whole other wonderfully weird element to the cute Jones’s Diary,” wore an astoundingly ugly sweater whole other wonderfully weird element to the cute Jones’s Diary,” wore an astoundingly ugly sweater Christmas. Sure, you can always find cats, dogs, depicting a cartoonishly ridiculous reindeer face. Christmas. Sure, you can always find cats, dogs, depicting a cartoonishly ridiculous reindeer face. reindeer, penguins, and all sorts of classic animals In a true display of the core of human nature, pop reindeer, penguins, and all sorts of classic animals In a true display of the core of human nature, pop ugly Christmas — as there should went absolutely wild uglyon Christmas sweaterssweaters — as there should cultureculture went absolutely wild on The classics arephenomenal. always phenomenal. with roasting the outfit. be. The be. classics are always But how But how with roasting the outfit. can we ever forget about ugly Christmas sweaters And thus, the era of the can we ever forget about ugly Christmas sweaters And thus, the era of the that depict some off-beat creatures: llamas, crabs, that depict some off-beat creatures: llamas, crabs, Ugly Christmas Sweater Ugly Christmas Sweater unicorns, dinosaurs and more. And they’re always dinosaurs and more. And they’re always the People The for thefor People began. began. The unicorns, delightfully dressed in their Christmas best. delightfully dressed in their Christmas best. 2000s ushered in a beautiful 2000s ushered in a beautiful 3. Raunchy Christmas SweatersSweaters 3. Raunchy Christmas decadedecade of uglyofChristmas ugly Christmas These sweaters are controversial. But, to beBut, fair, to be fair, These sweaters are controversial. sweater parties,parties, ugly Christsweater ugly Christugly Christmas sweaters are meant to challenge the ugly Christmas sweaters are meant to challenge the mas sweater contests, and mas sweater contests, and norm — and their entire point is to make people department storesstores filled with rows ofrows ugly of ugly norm — and their entire point is to make people department filledrows withand rows and uncomfortable. Some people take this take challenge to Christmas sweaters, each one more audacious and uncomfortable. Some people this challenge to Christmas sweaters, each one more audacious and the next level. Whether depicting a Christmas-y obnoxious than the last. The holiday season, after the next level. Whether depicting a Christmas-y obnoxious than the last. The holiday season, after sexual innuendo or displaying some edgy humor, all, is about the connection all people have with sexual innuendo or displaying some edgy humor, all, is about the connection all people have with your sweater, probably) have balls. each other. And nothing connects people more than you (andyou (and your sweater, probably) have balls. each other. And nothing connects people more than Christmas Sweaters humiliating a fictional character for their poor sense 4. Fandom 4. Fandom Christmas Sweaters humiliating a fictional character for their poor sense Star Wars. Marvel. Harry Potter. Game of Thrones. of fashion. Star Wars. Marvel. Harry Potter. Game of Thrones. of fashion. something about ugly Christmas sweaters Since then, the power that ugly Christmas sweaters There’s There’s something about ugly Christmas sweaters Since then, the power that ugly Christmas sweaters hold over American society has only grown stronger. that just make them the perfect medium for geeking that just make them the perfect medium for geeking hold over American society has only grown stronger. out. Who doesn’t love seeing their favorite character Today, their designs grow bolder with each passing out. Who doesn’t love seeing their favorite character Today, their designs grow bolder with each passing year. You can find an ugly sweater for just about any decorating a Christmas tree? Ugly Christmas sweaters decorating a Christmas tree? Ugly Christmas sweaters year. You can find an uglyItsweater aboutmake any Christmas all the more special when they have movie, TV show or music artist. is truly for the just golden makevalue. Christmas all the more special when they have TVChristmas show or music artist. is truly sentimental age ofmovie, the ugly sweater, andItfor that, the we golden sentimental age of the ugly Christmas sweater, and for that, we Whether you have avalue. closet full of ugly Christmas should rejoice. Whether youone have closet fullhopefully of ugly Christmas sweaters or not a single to ayour name, should rejoice. Favorites A Salute to America’s sweaters or not a single one to your name, your hopefully A Saluteabout to America’s Favorites If learning the history of the ugly Christmas this brief homage to their history has changed briefbizarre homage to their history has your respect this for these holiday vestments for changed the learning the history of the ugly Christmas sweaterIf has left youabout feeling awe-inspired and struck seen on sitcoms during the Christmas season but

Nothing connects people Nothing connects people more than humiliating more than humiliating a a

fictional character their fictional character for for their poor sense of fashion. poor sense of fashion.

respect these bizarre vestments for the better. And whenfor you sit down thisholiday Christmas with sweater has left you and struck with wonder, don’t fear —feeling you areawe-inspired not alone. It can your favorite, most ugliest Christmas sweater, make better. And when you sit down this Christmas with be shocking to learndon’t of thefear secret history with wonder, — yet yourobust are not alone. It can sure to take moment to reflect in silent amazement youra favorite, most ugliest Christmas sweater, make of these humble yet Christmas wonders. be shocking tobombastic learn of the secret yet robust history at how far this unconventional tradition has come. sure to take a moment to reflect in silent amazement So, toofwrap uphumble this journey into Christmases past these yet bombastic Christmas wonders.

So, to wrap up this journey into Christmases past

at how far this unconventional tradition has come.





indoor plants is another great way to liven up a space

Lauren Koleszar

Jillian VanDyke

and decrease feelings of depression. Redecorate


eyed and scrambling for a return to normalcy after a year and a half adjustment to working from home.

Thrown back into the swing of things with little room for recovery, we’re rapidly relearning basic habits and routines that feel familiar but out of reach. Returning to our old lifestyle has given us all whiplash, and it’s indescribably isolating. It isn’t until being in the midst of normal life where we have to think about deadlines, drive times, and daily tasks that we’ve realized perhaps too late that we weren’t ready for. Rather than regret not adjusting faster or not being more on top of things, we need to recover from this semester and remind ourselves that we’ve pushed ourselves through a challenging time. Winter break is a good time to reflect and reset, working on our physical, emotional and mental health. Defeat Seasonal Depression We often find ourselves alone or inside more than we’re used to in the winter, and this can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and seasonal depression. Seasonal depression is a real thing that frequently undiagnosed.






something you usually struggle with, less light and colder temperatures can negatively affect everyone. During winter break, try remedying the lack of light with vitamin D supplements, a light therapy lamp, or new decorative lights for your space. Adopting new


where you actually want to be in — whatever this means for you. Put up pictures of things that inspire you, throw out old papers and tack up a calendar for next semester. Write out major goals, deadlines and

e went into the semester wide-


Declutter your workspace and transform it into a space

plans so that you can see them all in front of you. This keeps important dates on your radar and helps you to visualize things that are important to you. The change in your external world will quickly influence your internal one, and you’ll notice that when you clear the chaos of your physical surroundings, it’ll be easier to do the same within you. Stay Warm When it’s cold outside, all we want to do is curl up in a blanket, oftentimes staying in bed longer than is good for us. While sleeping in and relaxing are important things to let yourself enjoy during break, try finding ways to mix in healthy habits with fun ways of staying warm and feeling cozy. Establishing a sleep routine is one of the best ways to do this. If you give your mind and body things to associate with sleeping, your sleeping habits will fall into place and

Declutter your workspace and transform it into a space

you’ll start feeling more energized.

where you

Love Your Body


For some, eating more during the holidays and having less time for physical activity leads to insecurity about appearances, body dysmorphia and clothes starting to feel a little too tight. Finding ways to get more activity in during the winter months is a common new year’s resolution, but we need to be very careful to not hyperfixate on “getting fit” or dropping a size just because our bodies are naturally adjusting to the change in season. Make it a priority

want to be in...

One sentence description about the article. Ask for one from the writer/editor in the Google Docs if not already written.

WINTER 2021-2022 2021-2022 WINTER

to adopt a loving attitude toward your body by taking care of your skin and wearing clothes in which you feel confident. Make it a habit to moisturize and find ways to make your skin care routine feel more like self care. When you’re decluttering your space, pick a day or week to go through your winter clothes and let go of anything that makes you feel unsure of yourself. Winter break is a perfect time to thrift or online shop for cozy sweaters, leggings and sweatpants that give your body some more space and free up your mind from thinking about sizes and fitness goals. Get on Top of Your Shit Okay, so you’ve taken time to rest and reorganize. Now, it’s time to utilize your new workspace, mindset, and lifestyle and get things in order for next semester, or whatever lies ahead. Start with the essentials: set financial goals and a budget for winter break; review your classes and schedule for next semester; and write out timelines for goals on your calendar. When you’re setting financial goals, take some time to organize papers you’ll need for taxes, update your resume and identify areas of spending where you need to do better at budgeting. For next semester, seriously consider whether your course schedule fits your needs. Were you overworked this semester? Maybe there’s a class you can hold off on taking or that you can drop if it’ll help you focus on your other classes. Remember: saying no to something means you’re saying yes to something else. When you’re filling out your calendar, look at it on a large scale — try looking at the next few months instead of just the current one. Identify your major obligations, be careful not to overwhelm yourself, and find pockets of time or a weekend where you can plan something fun with your friends ahead of time so you can have something to look forward to. Practicing these mindset exercises, reconnecting with yourself and your goals, and decluttering your physical and mental space allows you to reset your environment over winter break. Then, we can all get the rest and organization we need to start the next semester healthier and happier.




ogy, meaning more complex equipment, and more

Kristina Markulin

electricity consumption. For example, Business Insider released an article on Sept. 6, 2021 stating that “bitcoin mining consumes 0.5% of all electricity used


n Monday, Nov. 6, the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed the senate. In it is a clause stating that all digital asset transactions over $10,000 will need to be re-

ported to the IRS. This sent a shockwave through Twitter, with a swath of people (mainly artists) rejoicing in the decision, and another group (mainly crypto advocates) concerned for their future. Why is that? What’s an NFT? NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” In the simplest of terms, it is the crypto world’s digital equivalent of an object. Something that is fungible retains some value once it is broken into smaller pieces. For example, if I exchange one dollar for four quarters, those four quarters retain a fourth of the value of a dollar. However, I can’t cut a $5,000 painting in two pieces with each half worth $2,500. The painting would become worthless since it has effectively been destroyed; ergo, that painting is non-fungible. Okay So, Just Why Is This Bad? Regardless of your perspective, the cons of NFTs almost always overwhelm any positives they

globally and 7 times Google’s total usage.” NFTs take even more energy to mint than Bitcoin. NFTs are mostly powered by Ethereum, a blockchain similar to the one that Bitcoin is bought and sold on. Etherium, according to Statista, takes 178.89 kilowatt-hours for one transaction. Compare that to 100,000 VISA transactions, which takes 148.63 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That is a staggering amount of energy for a single transaction, and with hundreds or even thousands of transactions per day, the carbon footprint of an NFT purchase is one of the largest of

simplest of

all that energy, right? Part 2: The Art (or lack thereof)

terms, it is

NFTs have manifested as a digital art marketplace. The art comes about in a few ways: 1.

An established artist with a large following

on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and DeviantArt begins to mint their preexisting work as individual pieces. 2.

An artist (or a conglomerate such as Bored

Ape) creates a collection of NFTs to sell as part of a collector’s set. 3.

Large companies make NFTs of their prop-

erties Most often, NFTs are created in the second meth-

could have. To fully explore this matter, let’s break it down.. Part 1: Ecological Issues

through Twitter and seen similar-looking lion pro-

activity. Cryptocurrencies are generated (referred to as “mining”) by computers solving complex equations. The more tokens mined, the more complex the equations. This process, however, is unstable. The rise of crypto has applied stress to mining technol32 | VINDICATOR

In the

any purchase in the world. Something must be worth

od: collections of various prices and rarities that are

Crypto mining is a technologically taxing

marketed as a branded set. If you’ve ever scrolled file pictures that look like some sort of demented Picrew, that is what’s being described here. These collections, most notably Bored Ape, Lazy Lion, and Cryptopunks, have a very similar design. Incredibly similar. Almost … too similar. Most of these pieces are derived from a template.

the crypto world’s digital

Remember, none of this is financial advice.


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These NFT collections, to keep aesthetic cohesion,

or knowledge, that an entire call-out Twitter page

are built on the same base. There are images online

needed to be made. Artists who are against NFTs are

where people have taken multiple, sometimes even

having their art stolen and minted — against their

hundreds of NFTs from the same collection and su-

copyright and explicit values. In fact, art theft in the

perimposed them onto each other. When you do that,

NFT space is so rampant, that they stole and mint-

the base image these NFTs are built on are obvious-

ed the work of popular DeviantArt artist @qinniart,

visible. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t

even after she tragically died from cancer.

be that big of an issue. However these works go for

With the energy consumed in their produc-

exorbitant prices, sometimes even reaching millions

tion, the rampant art theft, and no rights transferring

of dollars. But what do you really get with that pur-

in the purchase, NFTs are more trouble than they’re

chase? Part 3: “I own this image!”

worth. Then what’s the point? Part 5: Money Laundering and Money Woes

No, you actually don’t. When an NFT is minted, the image is not the token, or what is being bought in the transaction. If

There is one, most notorious use for NFTs: money laundering.

The Nov. 6 passing of the bipartisan infra-

the blockchain (the digital ledger cryptocurrencies

structure bill was so devastating to NFT advocates

are tracked on) is to remain readable, it must be kept

because if someone in the United States spends over

simple, so the image itself is not tokenized due to the

$10,000 in digital assets (Bitcoin, Etherium, Doge,

complexity of image files. The token that you own is

etc.), they must report that income to the IRS.Failing

actually a note in the blockchain that says you own

to do so is a felony. The main draw to crypto wallets

the image, but that image is held on a server separate

is that they’re anonymous. There is no information

from the blockchain. So if, for instance, you buy an

in a crypto wallet where the owner can be traced and

NFT from a marketplace like OpenSea and the web-

found in the real world. One person can anonymously

site goes under, the token effectively becomes use-

operate two wallets, use one to buy illicit material,

less because the image is no longer available on its

then use the other to sell an NFT to the first — clean-

host website.

ing the money in the process.

If the characteristically ephemeral nature

With the high prices NFTs sell for, this is a prob-

of NFTs isn’t enough to turn you away, consider

able outcome for many NFT buyers, even if they ar-

this: NFT purchases do not guarantee you any actual

en’t necessarily doing anything illegal. However,

rights to the image.

most people who jump in now aren’t going to make

Say you were to commission an artist di-

much; the market is constantly at risk of bottoming

rectly. Within that commission agreement, import-

out, crashing the worth of the NFTs they own. NFTs

ant legal information such as redistribution rights,

being built on a flimsy financial foundation will lead

commercial vs. non-commercial use, etc. can all be

to a crash in the market. High-profile adopters like

dealt with directly. But when buying an NFT, these

Elijah Wood and Jimmy Fallon can take that financial

discussions don’t take place, meaning usage rights

risk. Can you? Part 7: Where Do We Go From Here?

are unclear to the buyer. It places the situation in limbo; with no clear boundaries set with use and

NFTs are the hot new fad. The Beanie Babies for

ownership, the owner of the NFT can’t really use the

the technological age, a virtual collectible for a vir-

image outside of regular Fair Use, something that

tual world. And like Beanie Babies, their value is held

could be alleviated by directly buying from an artist.

together by ferver, sustained by FOMO and cloaked in

NFTs are ripe with legal ambiguity — which, to be

delusion. The NFT market (and crypto in general) is

clear, is by design. Part 4: “No one wants a stolen NFT.”

incredibly volatile, controlled by influencers and ce-

On Oct. 30, Twitter user Calvin Becerra (@

calvinbecerra)’s crypto wallet was hacked over Discord through a phishing scheme. This led to the theft of three Bored Ape NFTs directly from his wallet (the

lebrities one tweet at a time. But one thing is clear: nothing that is supposedly a public good should be worth this much energy. At this point, you’re better off buying Beanie Babies.

digital equivalent of three Mark Rothkos, if Mark Rothko didn’t understand color theory). To combat this theft, Becerra petitioned the three major NFT marketplaces (OpenSea, Rarible and NftTrader) to ban the sale of the stolen tokens. Becerra then proceeded to state that no one wants to buy stolen art, but there’s a problem with that.

So many artists’ works have been stolen and

minted as NFTs without their permission, blessing




Cameron Mays The suburban teen’s fascination with Steelyard Walmart might be a cash cow the story lives with their parents in a Petros Homes’

called Brecksville, somewhat younger Cam-

McMansion. The second is that the ails of Steelyard

eron was always enthralled by exotic stories

Walmart are not unique to Steelyard Walmart. The

of adventure and excitement. Not exotic stories in

stories of hour-long lines and crazy patrons are really

the vein of a Baghdadi sailor going on supernatural

a staple of any Walmart in the United States. The only

oceanic voyages, but of suburban teens taking their

difference is that Steelyard Walmart is significantly

parent’s cars to supercenter Steelyard Walmart after

closer to a steel mill; so in other words, there are no

10pm. Their mighty yarns of watching people with


less money eat unbought fruit and steal Stanley flasks

Unfortunately, the trend of young people coming

captured the imagination of my younger self. Had I

out to Steelyard Walmart has become so ingrained

been more cool, I would have dressed up as these

that it functions as an affluent-suburban rite of pas-

brave urban explorers for Halloween or themed my

sage. As my letters and petitions to the Department

eighth birthday after Steelyard Walmart. All I wanted

of Suburban Cultural Affairs demanding an end to

to be was a hard-knock voyeur, risking it all to catch

this shameful ritual have gone unanswered, the only

a glimpse of someone going through a really bad day.

solution is to work with the grain. I might not be able

Now that the depth of my worldview has expanded

to stop young people-watchers going to Steelyard

from a droplet to a puddle, I’ve made two important

Walmart, but I might be able to profit off of them.

realizations. The first is that the tellers of these tales, white dudes 17–22 years of age, are not ideal interpreters. I suppose it is a little hard to enjoy a story about “the other half” when the half telling


Find out how and more on the video made on!

Included in the price of the ticket is a full tour of Steelyard


rapped in the bubble of innocence or ignorance


WINTER 2021-2022

FOR 50 MILLION DOLLARS, I’ll change my name to Jack, Joseph, & Morton Mandel. WRITTEN BY

Cameron Mays Transactional philanthropy is happening around town and until now, humans have not been a part of the fun. “Courtesy of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation.” For $300K, I will buy and renovate a home in Glennville and post a sign stating, “the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation Single-Person Dwelling.” For $50 million, I will change my name to “Jack, Joseph, & Morton Mandel, Cameron P. Mays Biological Unit.” As far as I can tell, nothing has changed at Severance Music Center except $50 million dollars and a name. Rest assured that in the same way, nothing will change with me except $50 million dollars and a name. Should this work, I would encourage everyone to go about raising money this way. Although we would all have the same name, we would also all have $50 million dollars without any functional differences, which seems like a pretty fair trade off. This idea of getting money and not doing anything with it would likely appeal to local governments, who have all but mastered the practice. To help spur the imaginations of local politicians, I present these possible transactions between the City of Cleveland and the Mandel Foundation: For $100 million, the city will rename Carnegie Avenue “Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Way, courtesy of Carnegie Avenue.” For $250 million, the city will add a small plaque on the Free Stamp reading “Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel’s Claes Oldenburg’s and Coosje van Bruggen’s Free Stamp.” For $500 million, City Hall will be renamed “Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Civic Operations and Legislation, Cleveland City Hall Complex.”

The Good Samaritan model no longer works in these


onsisting of different genders, races, and religions. Proclivity for children to ruin things. Looking good in black clothes. The standard person has more in common with the standard orchestra than they realize. We stem off, however, when it comes to money. The standard orchestra is generally the recipient of massive grants and donations while the standard person has been excluded from this regular funding. I previously assumed I could never get this sort of money because I add very little to the community, and because I am a human, not a nonprofit. As I now suspect, neither of these are the reasons foundations don’t give me money — it is because I don’t offer anything in return. The Good Samaritan model no longer works in these modern times. The new model, which I dub the All Right American, follows the simple rule: the greater the deed, the greater the recognition. Holding the door for someone? A nod and a smile. Donating money to the homeless? One million views on YouTube. Giving $50 million to the Cleveland Orchestra? Naming rights to their concert hall. With that, Severance Hall has been rechristened Mandel Hall and the Severance Music Center thanks to a donation from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation. Whether or not this transaction was agreed upon, I cannot comment. I am here to learn, not to judge. When borrowing money from relatives or friends, my line of credit is generally restricted to a sawbuck. Not bad for lunch, not good for financial freedom. Perhaps something as arbitrary as naming rights is keeping me from making some orchestra-level donations... Therefore, I present the following transactions I am willing to make: For $80K, I will add to the bottom of my diploma,

modern times.





Courtney Byrnes



itting in Cafe Ah-Roma across from Cleveland State’s campus, a group of students sits around a table conversing, when one wonders aloud to the group, “I wonder who

runs the @csubathroom Instagram account.” If you have been on Instagram at all recently, you

may have noticed a few accounts popping up touting a version of the CSU name or logo. These accounts include affirmation posts with purposely over-thetop edits, Harry Styles photoshopped around campus, anonymously submitted diary entries and — of course — ratings of the bathrooms on campus. With campus life returning, students are embracing the sense of community and finding ways to connect with one another once again. For some students, this is joining clubs, playing sports or attending events on campus. For others, this is through entertaining, CSU-related posts that have allowed them to amass a social media following.

Have you ever used the bathrooms in the Music Building at CSU and thought life couldn’t get any worse? Surprisingly, this abomination of a facility received a 3.3 rating by @csubathroom, which is not the worst, but it’s also not the best, so there is hope. “Letting people know where the best place to commit such a human action and letting them know the best place to do so privately, to do so comfortably,” the mastermind behind the bathroom reviews said, “that has been the best part.” Inspired by boredom, this student minoring in chemistry has made it their mission to serve the campus community so we all can “keep calm and sh*t on.” “[The account] will simply just be there for anyone who attends Cleveland State to see and have knowledge of where the best place to use the bathroom is,” they said. Interested in supporting the mission? @csubathroom also sells hoodies and accepts contributions from followers — who sometimes learn the true

“College can be really tough; if my posts give people some serotonin,

identity of the creator.

I’ve done


my job.”

Cleveland State’s first and most active affirmations

While these students wish to continue staying

account has four students providing the campus

anonymous, they did share what their experience has

community with relevant affirmations and memes.

been like to be the campus “Radio Rebel” — as the

The idea is to have simple phrases that you can speak

creators of @clevelandstateaffirmations and @har-

into existence and have come true, like one post that

riesofCSU put it.

reads: “Magnus does not scare me,” with a backdrop


As students returned to in-person classes this semester, some parts of campus stayed virtual in the form of fun CSU-related Instagram meme accounts.

WINTER WINTER2021-2022 2021-2022

of the Viking surrounded by hearts.

share your story, shoot your shot and hope they fol-

“We’re all sophomores at CSU. We’re a mixed bag

low the account to see it. But honestly, if they don’t,

of majors, including nursing, early childhood educa-

then that’s probably a red flag — how can you not

tion, urban studies and film,” they said of their iden-

follow CSU’s anonymous diary account?


“In this day and age, we’re all a little bit antisocial,

After being inspired by other college pages and

sort of, we’re a little bit shy, so I feel like it’s a cool

finding CSU lacking such an essential service, one

way to get to know people,” the freshman middle

student stepped up to the plate.

childhood education major behind the account said.

“My friend from Kent sent me a post from a KSU

You can share your submission by either using the

affirmations page and I immediately looked for a CSU

Google form in the account’s bio or by sending a DM

affirmations page to follow. At the time there weren’t

— just avoid vague descriptions that could be about

any so I thought, ‘Fine, I’ll do it myself’— kind of

anyone. We’re all nosy and want ALL the details!

had a Thanos moment,” the original account creator said. While they joked about passing the account off to some underclassmen after they graduate, the ac-

Then your story will be posted on a solid color background in typewriter font as we all wonder “OMG is this about me?” — despite having never taken a calculus course at CSU.

count will probably be short-lived and eventually die off, but it has been a fun experience while it lasts.


“It’s been a laugh, really,” they said. “It’s fun to

While the affirmations pages occasionally throw in

not only make a meme out of our own experiences

a Harry Styles-inspired post, like @cletings’ “I will

but also get suggestions from followers. It’s enter-

casually run into Harry Styles walking around Cleve-

taining to interact with peers and hear about their

land” post, Harries of CSU don’t have to look far to

stories while on campus.”

find where they belong. The aptly named @harriesofcsu account was cre-

@CLETINGS Another affirmations page, @cletings, is run by a freshman marketing major who makes aesthetic, colorful posts in the top text/bottom text meme format, sprinkled with sparkles to add to the look.

ated by a psychology major and answers the question we are all asking: What would it be like if Harry was a CSU student? “All I hope to achieve is to help make a community of CSU Harries (someone talked about making a

“It’s basically just fun, harmless posts that are

group chat and I think that would be so cool) and to

specific to CSU for the relativity factor, but broad

make people laugh,” they said. “College can be really

enough so that all different types of students can un-

tough; if my posts give people some serotonin, I’ve

derstand,” they said.

done my job.”

Just like @clevelandstateaffirmations, they were

Inspired after a friend showed them the “Harries

inspired to start the page after seeing friends sharing

of BGSU” account, they thought a CSU version would

posts from their own college’s affirmations page. For

be fun and began to edit and post images of Harry

them, it was seeing posts from @ohiouaffirmations.

Styles around campus and downtown, even giving

While some of the accounts take submissions from followers, the magic you see on @cletings is all from the mind of one person. “I usually get inspired at random times,” they said. “Today, I was walking to Starbucks and it smelled

the pop star a job at Subway. Recently, the account has been sprinkling in posts submitted by Cleveland State students who attended the Harry Styles Love on Tour concert at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in October.

horrendous outside — like it typically does — so I added that to my notes as inspiration.”

Looking for more CSU-related entertainment on Instagram? There is something for everyone, like


another affirmations page @clestateaffirmations,

Have you ever found yourself in class not being

friend of the art school @themiddoughroach, and

able to focus on your studies because you ran into the

more reviewers such as @csubadparking, @cleve-

love of your life earlier and regret not saying any-

land.state.elevators and @csu_campusreveiw.

thing to them? @csu.missed.connections has you covered! Just





Samra Karamustafic

Shannon Driscoll

Make the holidays merry and mindful this year with these simple ideas.


he holiday season is officially upon us:

tunes or play your favorite holiday movie in the

— a season of spending quality time

background and make an evening of decorating your

with friends and loved ones, donning our

home, apartment, even just your bedroom. The best

favorite ugly Christmas sweaters, and

part? Decorating your space doesn’t have to break

chugging way too many holiday drinks

the bank! Stores like TJMaxx, Homegoods, AtHome

from Starbucks.

and even Target have adorable decorations that will

But, do you ever feel as though the holiday season

fit any college student’s budget. (seriously, the $5

comes and goes in the blink of an eye? You might find

section at Target during the holidays is a godsend).

yourself still mentally in the month of October, only

But, it gets even better: Turns out, decorating for

to realize that Thanksgiving is just a few days away!

the holidays is actually beneficial for your mental

Luckily, you’re not alone. Many of us can relate to

health! In an article from November 2020, HuffPost

the adage of time going by faster and faster as we get

spoke with several psychologists who explained a

older, and the holidays are no exception. Between work,

few of the mental health benefits of putting up your

school, and our personal lives, it’s easy to get caught

holiday decorations. For instance, decorating your

up in assignments and to-do-lists, then suddenly

home for the holiday season and deciding where

realize that it’s already time to go gift-shopping!

everything goes can help you feel more in control.

Although we may juggle far more responsibilities

Decorating is also an excellent mood booster because

than we did in childhood, it certainly doesn’t mean

it gives you something to look forward to, which is

that we’re no longer able to enjoy the holidays as

perfect for a season where the days are shorter and

much as we did when we were younger. There are

we’re indoors for a longer period of time. Plus, dec-

plenty of easy ways to make the most of this festive

orating can even serve as a healthy distraction from

and merry time of year, no matter how packed your

some of the more not-so-fun things in life, even if

schedule may be. DECORATE

it’s just for a few hours.

There’s just something about decorating your

transform your living space into a winter wonderland;

home for the holidays that instantly gets you in the

science says it’s good for you!

holiday spirit. Shuffle a few of your favorite holiday


So, don’t feel guilty for taking an entire day to

WINTER 2021-2022

By setting the intention of taking a small break from social media when you’re WATCH YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY MOVIES

from your phone during the

Is it really a holiday bucket list if there isn’t a mere


mention of a Christmas movie marathon?

This isn’t to say that you

In all seriousness, this is an easy and surefire way

shouldn’t post online what-

to get into the Christmas spirit. Whether you’re an

soever or even think about

avid fan of the Hallmark channel’s “Countdown to

picking up your phone. One

Christmas” or you like to stick to the classics like “A

way to look at it is to apply

Christmas Story,” either way, you can’t go wrong.

the phrase “everything in

Invite a couple of friends, bake some yummy holi-

moderation” to social media during the holidays. Take

day treats, and take a few hours to watch a couple

pictures of yourself and your family in your adorable

of your favorite holiday movies. Or, if you’re really

matching PJ sets on Christmas morning, then set the

strapped for time, have a holiday movie playing in

phone aside once the opening of presents begins. By

the background as you’re doing whatever needs to

setting the intention of taking a small break from

get done — just make sure not to get too distracted!

social media when you’re with family, you’re taking

Like with decorating your living space, watching

a step towards being a bit more mindful this holiday

your favorite holiday movies can improve your mood, decrease your stress levels, and even strengthen

season. GIVE BACK

relationships! If you’re watching these movies with

Somet imes we get so caught up in t he hus-

loved ones, the nostalgia that comes from these films

tle-and-bustle of our own lives that we often don’t

can “bring people together due to the focus on family

pay as much attention to — or have the time for —

values and close bond,” as DoYouRemember? reports. GET OUTSIDE

giving back. Luckily, the holiday season can serve

Listen, I get it: Sometimes, going outside is the last

cheer — and what better way to spread some holiday

thing you want to do during Ohio winters. It’s much

cheer than by performing random acts of kindness?

easier to bundle up in a plethora of warm and fuzzy

There are a number of simple yet meaningful ways

blankets instead of snow pants and winter coats. But,

in which you can lend a helping hand to others this

have a little fun and make an event out of it! Get a

holiday season. You can drop some change in the red

few friends together and go sledding, skiing, or out

kettle each time you pass by a Salvation Army bell

on a nature walk. Not only will you get to embrace

ringer, donate clothes to an organization or shelter,

the winter season in all its chilly and blustery glory,

volunteer at a food bank and so much more. Giving

but you’ll also get a chance to spend quality time with

back is the gift that keeps on giving; not only are

those you care about most.

you helping those in need, but you’re also reaping

Plus, you’ll be doing your mind and body a favor by

numerous mental and physical health benefits, too.

getting outside, too. According to Psychology Today,

According to the Cleveland Clinic, taking the time

getting outside in the colder months can boost your

and effort to volunteer can lower your stress levels,

mood, give your body some much-needed vitamin

make you feel happy and even increase self-esteem.

D, and relieve any stress or tension. It’s a win-win! GO ON A MINI SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX

This holiday season, make a point of giving back

The holidays are a time of celebrating, relaxing,

food drive or volunteering at your local YMCA’s

and creating memories with our loved ones. It’s also

Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas movie marathons

the perfect time to cultivate a little mindfulness amid

and Starbucks’ seasonal holiday drinks may help get

the festivities. While it’s tempting to get a snapshot or

us in the holiday spirit, but so can giving back.

with family, you’re taking a step towards being a bit more mindful this holiday season.

as a great reminder to us all to give back and spread

— whether that’s by donating canned goods to a

a video of all of the joyous moments — the opening of presents, the get-togethers, the cherished holiday traditions — to share on Instagram or Facebook, perhaps think about setting aside some time away



WINTER 2021-2022

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