Fall 2016

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Making the World a Better Place

Davis United World College Scholars at UF


Student Life New in the Swamp Beyond Gator Community Honors out in the World Spotlight on Honors H-Course Highlighted Travel and Action Culture in Gainesville Column Main Story Book Review Food Music Entertainment Sport Fashion The Art of Writing Graphing it Prism Backstage

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Editorial information

The Honors Prism Magazine is a bi-yearly publication of the Honors Program at the University of Florida. Our Honors Program superviser is Melissa Johnson. The views expressed are solely those of the Prism staff. Readers who wish to respond to an article in this publication or discuss another issue may email us at ufhonorsprismmag@gmail.com. Prism prints 200 copies per issue for distribution. Our printer is Raintree Graphics Printing and Mailing Services. Please visit our paper online at ufprism.com.

Editorial board Editor-in-Chief Vedrana Damjanovic Managing Editor Ziqi Wang

Design Editor Meryl Kornfield

Copy Editors Caroline Nickerson Samantha Bodupalli Andi Cromwell

Creative Section Editor Aaron Sager

Photography Editor Rachel Gordon

Web Coordinator Alessandra Rosales

PR Coordinator Laurel Swiderski

Letters from the editors

Vedrana Damjanovic Editor-in-Chief Senior Public Relations

Dear reader, It is with incredible excitement and tremendous gratitude that I write to you on behalf of the entire staff of Prism -- speaking for over 50 individuals is a task I don’t take for granted. Beyond the multitude of new members, we are still counting new stories, followers and new readers. Thanks to you, our loyal reader, we keep expanding in every possible way: new rubrics, more online content and greater social media visibility. Our identity is clear. Enrichment. Honors. Insight. Enrichment: We envisioned the magazine as a platform for both the students and the readers -- for all kinds of stories, creativity and general knowledge. We strive to provoke critical thinking through writing, photography, design, public relations and community service. Honors: Our magazine is made BY and produced FOR students in the Honors Program. The stories we craft convey, among other areas, a close-up view of the Honors Program. Insight: We are proudly comprised of students from various majors, interests and backgrounds, and thus those diverse insights and perspectives allow us to enhance the stories and speak more deeply to you, our audience. This magazine would not exist without the generous support from the Honors Program, a fact for which we all are truly thankful. Furthermore, I would like to express my gratitude to all the Staff members and the Editorial board who have worked diligently to produce this piece of reading pleasure. My name might put you at a loss at how to pronounce it. That is because my home is across the ocean, where my entire family lives in a tiny south-eastern European country – Bosnia and Herzegovina. You might know its bad press as post-war country. It is my burning desire to tell you that among other qualities, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina have the greatest hearts, food, humor and talent, whether at home or abroad. So here I am, almost graduating from the University of Florida and enjoying every single building block of letters, effort and more that we all put together to build this magazine for you. Before you dive into our stories, I will leave you with my life motto: Don’t just do what you enjoy. Do it the best you can. Sincerely,

Vedrana Damjanovic

Ziqi Wang Managing Editor Sophomore Biochemistry

Dear reader, I joined Prism in the fall of my first year here at the University of Florida because I was looking for a creative outlet for my writing and illustrations. What I found, in addition to that, was a community of engaged, thoughtful, vibrant and diverse Honors students. I am truly lucky to count them as among my closest friends and confidantes. I believe that the most special thing about Prism is the people who make it happen. I admire their humor, their insight, their wit, their creativity, and their never-ending quest to innovate and to get the details just right, not because they are reaping external rewards, but because they love it. A big hats off is in order for the hard work contributed by every member of our staff to this issue. Now that I am a sophomore, I’m excited to be helping our magazine grow as an organization and as a community of Honors students by serving on the editorial staff. I hope that our passion and camaraderie is evident on every page. Last but not least, I greatly thank the Honors Program for supporting us every step of the way, from the drawing desk to the printing press. I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed creating it. Sincerely,

Ziqi Wang



Life hacks, put to the test Written by Samantha Boddupalli

Let’s face it, life is hard enough as it is. It is well-known that being broke is a characteristic of a typical college student. Life hacks (essentially tricks to make life easier) are an excellent way to make ends meet and make things last. Here are three life hacks that have been put to the test.

Fix broken makeup

All it takes is a single brush of a hand to knock a makeup palette to the ground and render it useless. However, this hack makes this problem a thing of the past. Take the cracked palette and crush the product into a powder. Even though this destroys the palette further, think about it -- it’s broken anyway, so why not? After the product is crushed into a powder in the container it came in, add a few drops of rubbing alcohol until it takes on a paste-like consistency.




Use what you used to crush the product in step one to flatten the makeup into the container. Use a tissue to blot off excess rubbing alcohol. If too much rubbing alcohol is added, just wait until it evaporates. Leave the makeup product to dry, and it should be good as new in no time. This life hack definitely works and it is a major money saver. To get creative, try mixing two eyeshadows together and make a new color (approach with caution!).

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Open a blister pack

This life hack will hopefully save loads of time, and more importantly, the pain of numb fingers. Everyone knows that blister packs can be a real problem. Something that should take two minutes actually takes 15 minutes because the plastic is so hard to open. Get excited, because those days are officially over! It turns out that a can opener is a great way to get rid of that pesky packaging. Treat the edge of the package like the lip of a can and lock the can opener in place. Once the can opener is secured on the edge of the blister pack, turn the knob. The opener should move around the packaging like it does around a can, cutting away the edges of the plastic. So, when the seventh pair of rush-ordered headphones arrives in the mail, be sure to try this hack.

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Lemon phone charger

Now, the third life hack sounds a little riskier. Basically, it claims a phone can be charged using just a lemon. Sounds sketchy, right? Buy a lemon and cut it in half. The only materials you will need are a lemon and your phone charger. Plug the USB end of your phone charger into the lemon. Plug the other end of the charger into the phone. As expected, this hack did not work. In fact, the result is just a USB covered in lemon juice, which is very difficult to clean off. Further Google searches confirmed it is possible to use a lemon to charge a phone, but it is understandably more complicated than plugging a phone into a lemon. So if determination strikes, it might be a cool science experiment. But it is probably easier to just find an outlet.

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Photos by Kelsey Bona Designed by Kathy Xie


Welcoming Gainesville

What is in a name? With regards to the title Welcoming City, there is a whole more to a name than just a couple words strung together. Gainesville commissioners recently approved Gainesville’s adoption of the title Welcoming City, in an effort to make the city more immigrant friendly. While the seemingly small act of giving a city a new title might initially appear to have little impact, there is much more to this honor than simply a nicesounding name. The Welcoming City is actually a part of a much larger movement across the U.S., under the umbrella of the program Welcoming America, which was designed to be a resource for incoming immigrants. Welcoming Gainesville, the non-profit behind Gainesville’s adoption of the title, has begun to implement programs, ranging from services helping families find schools for their children to coordinating assistance with tax filing to facilitating English classes. “We want to make the community more inclusive for everyone, and we’re working to find ways to integrate new citizens, refugees and undocumented individuals into our city,” said Paula Roetscher, co-founder of the non-profit and a recent graduate of UF. “We’re working with the government, the community, businesses, the media and churches to send messages of welcome and to help develop aid programs.” Roetscher has coordinated Welcoming Gainesville’s immigration awareness events, often presenting at churches, community events and the University of Florida. “We’ve had interfaith donation drives, a traveling exhibit covering worldwide migration of refugees and immigrants and established partnership with 12 organizations already around Gainesville, including churches, synagogues, Quakers and Baha'is,” Roetscher expanded. “We also attend biweekly naturalization ceremonies downtown to help welcome new citizens, and table to give them information, in addition to helping them get connected.” Welcoming Gainesville has created a directory of services that new citizens might need, such as a list of lawyers who have volunteered to do pro-bono work, which is extremely helpful for those who can not afford such services, and also for those who don't know how to file taxes or work on their immigration status. This is a matter very close to Roetscher’s heart; as a


German immigrant, she had a smooth transition into the United States largely due to the UF international center. However, she saw many families who did not have this support system, as they did not attend a university with transitional programs in place. “It wasn't a common experience to so smoothly transition into a new country, when people don't have the support of international center,” Roetscher reminisced. “I myself have a friend who had to find schools for kids, and a car for getting around town, which was almost impossible and the experience became very isolating. I wanted to make it better for people.” Interest in the organization has already been very high. Faith communities have reached out with requests for presentations to raise awareness of how to become involved, the English learning project has had a large number of volunteers, and subsequently, many people have been trained to teach English. A plethora of free services, such as photography, tax advice and marketing, provide people with a way to help new immigrants. “I hope to see Welcoming Gainesville become a neutral umbrella organization that brings together the individual groups that already work separately,” Roetscher elaborated. “We also want to bring immigrants out of shadows, cast out fear and create a safe space so they can know what they need. We want xenophobia and islamophobia to no longer exist.” Upcoming events include a Museum Night at the Harn Museum Dec. 8, which will cover migration, diversity, the displacement of many refugees and emphasize the underlying unity of the human race. A film festival is also being featured by the UF Center for European studies in February at Hippodrome. Students can also always volunteer in Welcoming Gainesville’s Teaching English program, where volunteers can teach for 1-10 hours a week. “We envision people celebrating and accepting diversity,” Roetscher concluded. “Gainesville is so diverse; we have such an opportunity to learn about different cultures.” Written by Emily Crowell Photo courtesy of Welcoming Gainesville Designed by Joshua Evangelista




A peaceful preserve known as the “Alachua Savannah” is a mecca for 20 biological communities, with hundreds of species of flora and fauna, including gators: both animal and student alike. The story of Paynes Prairie is a classic tale, from its conception as Florida’s first state preserve in 1971 to the hiking, biking and relaxation it offers within its 21,000 acres. It all seems a bit too idyllic to be true. However, behind the jolly hikers and frolicking children brews a fight that challenges the very existence of Paynes Prairie as we know it. In 2015, a series of quiet changes were instigated to the state park system; along with budget decreases, a plan to privatize management of the land was considered. Additionally, Governor Rick Scott and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Chief, Jon Steverson began to use the phrase ‘multiple use management’ that would entail grazing, hunting and logging in state parks (Palm Beach Post). According to proponents, the plan would bring more revenue to the state system, but Steverson himself claimed “it’s not about the money.” He also doesn’t see any reason not to “help the State Park Trust Fund.” Steverson cited that a few out of Florida’s 174 state parks already allow activities like cattle grazing and timbering (Palm Beach Post). Upon closer examination, the four parks where cattle are permitted to graze are either historically significant or have deals with previous sellers—the primary purpose is not profit. Further, according to The Gainesville Sun, Florida’s state parks already generate 75 to 80 percent of their operating costs and

in 2014, generated $2.9 billion for the economy. Despite these numbers, funding has been cut. Environmentalists argue that privatizing the land would contradict the very idea of a state park system, which, according to former parks planning chief Albert Gregory, land is set aside for public use and preservation of natural resources. Hunting could diminish the diversity of wildlife, and the impact of cattle grazing is particularly harmful. So, where does this issue stand now? A volunteer ranger at the Prairie, Jan Powell, confirmed that she had not recently heard of any plans to introduce private cattle or hunting to the preserve. However, activist and community leader Shirley Lasseter said that the matter was at the “waiting stage.” There has been no movement in either direction from the DEP, and the secrecy is frustrating for local residents. According to Lasseter, the government’s engagement with citizens on the issue is revealing of a larger problem in the Florida government system. The DEP is supposed to give citizens one month’s notice before a public meeting, but such announcements in the past have been given as little as six days prior to an assembly. Further, there is no reliable way to be notified when the updated Draft Management Plan will be released. The most recent document, from 2013, outlines the activities permitted in the prairie and expresses resistance to cattle grazing. The new plan would reveal the next steps for the Prairie, but there is no way for citizens to be properly informed on the

proceedings. Advocacy groups are still present-- as of now, there is a Facebook page, website and MoveOn petition. However, without any news from the DEP, Lasseter says it is difficult to mobilize people quickly. There hasn’t been any recent news or activities surrounding the issue, as the proposal is still in legislative limbo and the process is not being discussed by the DEP. The allowance of private activities, be it cattle grazing, hunting, or timber, would set a dangerous precedent for all of Florida’s state parks. As activist Patricia Harden put it, the parks are meant to “protect and restore natural resources.” Corporate activities for profit inherently contradict this mission of the state park system. Even beyond parks and Florida, the problems of state governments have been highlighted throughout this whole conflict. For now, interested parties could research the issue and keep updated. Keeping that goal is key to preserving the mission of state parks and maintaining these areas as some of Florida’s best assets. On a wider scale, the vigilance and activism of citizens is necessary to hold the government accountable. Whatever side of the issue one supports, transparency and public communication is the only way to sustain an honest political system and a democratic decision-making process.

Written by Sophia Semensky Photo by Sophia Semensky Designed by Meryl Kornfield

& QA


with Joey Wilson

Growing up in Altamonte Springs, right outside of Orlando with his mother and grandmother, Joey Wilson had always had a good eye for computers, numbers, research and natural sciences. After finishing high school with an engineering track, Wilson made it to the University of Florida and graduated from electrical engineering with a minor in physics in 2007.

Could you tell us about your involvements within the Honors Program and UF?

“I approached my time at UF by trying to answer the question, ‘How do I use my engineering skills for good?’ I was a member of UF’s Honors Program and Student Honors Organization, became president of Honors Ambassadors and a Co-Director of the Writing on the Wall Project. The UF Honors Program helped make my experience incredibly positive.”

What happened after UF? What are you currently doing?

“I wanted to continue that philosophy of ‘using my engineering for good’ and I became a high school science teacher in the Phoenix area through Teach For America. The experience with TFA and my students pushed me to refine my philosophy even further – through STEM education. While teaching, I received my Master’s in secondary science education from Arizona State University. After teaching incredible students in Buckeye, Arizona, I ultimately decided to return to engineering and received my PhD in bioengineering in the UC Berkeley. After working on staff at Teach For America for the past three and a half years, I just recently moved over to be the STEM Program Manager for Tata Consultancy Services, one of the world’s largest IT consulting firms. In this role, I am responsible for managing Tata’s STEM and computer science educational outreach programs in more than 100 cities across North America.”

What was role of the Honors Program and University of Florida in your life goals and future in general? “The Honors Program showed me that my degree


Joey with head of NASA Charles Bolden, the first African American head of the agency, after he opened up the Teach For America 25th Anniversary STEM track in Washington DC.

didn’t have to dictate my career. I still feel connected to UF and the Honors Program as an alumnus, and to this day I consider myself a ‘Gator.’ UF has helped me come into my own skin and accept myself. The Honors Program gave me a community and family that were accepting, which was especially important as I was coming out of the closet as a gay man around that time. As an engineer, I rarely talked about this aspect of my life with others because the focus was always on the work in my classes. However, I realize now that I must use my position and power to ensure that others – especially those who identify as LGBTQ – feel comfortable being themselves. The Honors Program taught me about the power of visibility.

How do you spend your free time?

“I live with my husband in San Francisco, California. In my free time, which I’m still trying to figure out where it is, I love to catch up with friends, support local non-profits by sitting on their boards, make some mean handcrafted cocktails and pretend that I am a foodie. My husband and I got married in May of 2015, where we have the most fabulous wedding in the Berkeley Hills at the Lawrence Hall of Science with the theme: #gaysciencewedding. Beyond that, I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of work-life balance and am open to thoughts and suggestions about how to make that better.”

If you could offer one piece of advice to students in the Honors Program, what would it be?

“Focus on impact and figuring out what drives you. This can only happen if you show up and take chances to figure out what you like and what you don’t like (and ultimately realize it’s ok for those things to change over time). Test things out and push yourself to experience as much as you can at the University of Florida, on campus and off campus. Your schooling, career, and life will never be a straight line, so strive to make the biggest impact you can.”

Written by Sabrina Rubis Photograph by Kelsey Bona Designed by Madison Hindo


The Honors Program is one of the University of Florida’s most unique features, and the people who make up the group that serves to represent this program are just that: unique individuals from different backgrounds, majors, and interests that all come together to promote something they are deeply passionate about, the Honors Program. The Honors Ambassadors serve as the official representatives of the Honors Program. This involves showcasing the program to prospective students and families through weekly Afternoons with Honors Tours, the Honors Involvement Conference in the fall and the Honors Visitation Day Event in the spring. On tours, HAs meet prospective students and their families for lunch at Gator Dining to talk about all aspects of college life, followed by a tour of Hume Residence Hall and a Q&A session with Honors administrators and advisors. Additionally, the events that take place in the fall and spring are entirely planned, staffed and executed by the Honors Ambassadors HAs are also responsible for assisting at honors events throughout the school year for current students, helping the Honors office and attending other Honors organizations’ events. HAs get the unique opportunity and privilege to develop strong relationships with Honors administrators and to work closely with advisors to ensure seamless coordination between the administrative offices and the organization. HA places a strong focus on internal involvement and the friendships members develop with intramural sports teams, social events like pumpkin carving, holiday potluck dinners, retreats, lunch dates, volunteer events like project makeover and other opportunities for members to spend time together outside of meetings and official events. HA also offers a variety of leadership roles to members that range from chair positions to executive board positions. Senior Isabelle Puppa has been involved with Honors Ambassadors since the spring of her freshman year and today serves as president of the organization. “Being President of Honors Ambassadors is an incredible


honor. To be able to affect the organization that I love so deeply is the highest privilege,” said Puppa. “The members are ambitious and have high standards within HA—I just have the easy job of sitting back and looking good,” she joked. Puppa said she has since cultivated the depth of her involvement and relationships within the organization having previously served as a communications chair of the Honors Visitation Day. “Being a part of the Honors Ambassadors is my college experience. They are the organization that led me to UF and that has meant a lot to me,” she explained. HA is composed of honors students from all different backgrounds, ages, majors, and involvements. That is what makes the organization so special. “We emphasize ‘fHAmily’ in this organization. Because we come from a variety of majors and interests on campus, I am continually introduced to new experiences and bonded to others by more than just a similar academic course,” Puppa said. Third-year international studies student Taylor Gilmore explained that through HA, she met people who she otherwise wouldn’t have, but she is so thankful she did. “Sometimes at our meetings, I look around the room and am in awe of the people sitting to the left and right of me,” Gilmore explained. “I am so lucky to have cultivated relationships with people who are as driven and dedicated as me, even if we are studying different topics or are involved in different organizations.” Membership in HA is open to all prospective Honors students. On December 2 2016, HA will host an Informal Meet n’ Greet and on January 4, 2017, a Formal Meet n’ Greet. Officially, students can apply the first week of January, followed by an interview and selection process. The application can be found online on the Honors website. http://www.honors.ufl.edu/ “After that, there is no reapplication process; as long as members remain in good standing, you are an HA for life!” Puppa exclaimed.


H-Course Highlighted

Once a week, a classroom in Anderson Hall is transformed into a makeshift lab. Desks are pushed together to make lab tables, miscellaneous supplies are strewn across them and students hunch over their respective stations, at work. This semester, the UF Honors Program debuted an exciting course for those with an interest in engineering and a passion for history. Engineering the Renaissance (IDH 2931) is a three-credit course taught by Mary Watt and Mark Law. It blends the humanities and sciences in order to give students an understanding of the technological innovations that occurred throughout the European Renaissance and the history behind what motivated engineers of the time. Law cited the book Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages by Joseph Gies and Frances Gies as the inspiration for creating the course and he uses the class as a chance to explore the “impact of technology on society and vice versa.” Law and Watt are a dynamic duo as they teach the class, creating an environment that is interactive and exciting. Watt’s background is in the humanities,

while Law is an engineer. Listening to their lectures, it is clear that the pair is passionate about the subject matter. The professors really care about getting their students interested as well. During one class meeting a week, Law and Watt give lectures, while the other class meeting gives students the opportunity to explore the concepts that they have learned by doing group projects. They work together to carry out experiments, and they seem to have a great time while doing it. The course is energetic, interactive and informative. The class tends to attract both students who plan on majoring in engineering and students who want to pursue the humanities. Honors freshman Saher Kidwai decided to take the class because despite being an aerospace and mechanical engineering major, she considers herself to be a history buff. She hasn’t regretted her decision to take the class one bit. She loves learning about the progression of technology that took place during the Renaissance. “If you love history and engineering, this is the best class for you,” Kidwai advises.

Honors freshman Julia Silliman, a biology major with a passion for Renaissance art, is also currently enrolled in the class. She said the class is best for diverse students. “Prior to taking this class I had less of an understanding of how technological advancement and art go hand in hand,” she admits. “I now realize that without one the other wouldn’t exist.” No prior knowledge of the subjects discussed is necessary to take Engineering the Renaissance and it is open to any student, regardless of his or her major. “[It is] an introduction to both disciplines, so it gives the students a chance to get a taste of how things work,” Law explains. Law and Watt have found a middle ground between engineering and history, creating a course that has something to offer anyone, regardless of where his or her interests lie. For those interested, the course will be available again next fall. Written by Madison Hindo Photo by Brandan Birsic Designed by Amanda Lindeman

Engineering the Renaissance students collaborate on experiments in class in order to fully understand the course material.

Journey to Chengdu



Written by Livia Ledbetter

Brooke Henderson sits in a study room at Marston Science Library, but her mind is 8,249 miles away in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. Henderson, a 19-year-old international studies and journalism sophomore from Coral Springs, studied abroad this past summer with the “UF in Chengdu” program. “I think [study abroad] is good for personal growth,” Henderson asserted. “I’m not someone who likes to go places alone. I’ve just never been alone; someone’s always been there.” Her interest in the trip comes from her family. She is black, but has some Chinese heritage from her mother’s side; her family believes they are of the Hakka ethnicity, one of at least 56 Chinese ethnic groups. The UF-sponsored program is open to all students with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Henderson was in the six-week program, where she lived in a dorm in a university.

The language

Henderson had taken a year of Chinese prior to applying, but while abroad, her acquisition of the language underwent a transformation. “You really build up your vocabulary and you learn to work with what limited vocabulary you do have,” Henderson said. Students in the program took a conversational Chinese course. Their teacher, Dung Laoshi, never uttered a single word of English in the classroom. “Our class was centered on functionality and sounding as native as possible,” Henderson said. They were taught standard Mandarin; however, Dung Laoshi taught the Sichuanese Mandarin accent in lessons as well. Sichuan province has a distinct accent that Henderson describes as

being difficult for even native Chinese speakers to understand. This is due to tonal differences: the Sichuanese accent adds an extra tone and pronounces many of standard Mandarin’s tones differently. Their class also did presentations once a week, where they would conversationally speak in Chinese. Henderson was worried about not having enough chances to speak Chinese. However, as the trip progressed, she and her classmates became more secure with the language. “I feel like I’m a lot more fluent and comfortable in speaking, and if I don’t know the words, I’m comfortable getting around it,” Henderson affirms. “I have a solid foundation now.”

The culture

Students had three to four hours of language class in the morning, usually starting at 8 a.m., then a culture class at around 3 p.m. This course focused on writing traditional characters in ink, the history of the region and cooking. Also, Chinese college students studying how to teach Chinese would come in and talk to the UF students. The scariest aspect of the trip was getting used to the “normal little adult things,” which posed the biggest challenges to her, such as the ATM eating her card or having to travel alone. Henderson found the contrast between Chinese and American culture interesting. Some of the differences include free expression of bodily functions, an intense shopping atmosphere and shock over foreigners. “We would see kids squatting on the sidewalk and that would be normal,” Henderson stated. Henderson said she saw Kai dang ku, or open-crotch pants, throughout China. Infants and toddlers, as old as 3, wear pants with a missing crotch, freely

urinating or defecating whenever the urge came. “That’s very shocking to us in American culture,” she remarked. “They say it’s better for the environment—that’s my point, they’re more environmentally conscious than us. I don’t know if the point of the pants is to be environmentally aware, but it is something that has that benefit.” Henderson stressed caution when shopping in China. She visited Chunxi Road, a highly developed and large shopping center with over 700 shops. Merchants would often chase tourists down and pull them inside. China has a big bargaining culture as well. Dung Laoshi told her students to always try to bargain prices down to a third or even fourth of the going amount. Taxi drivers would also try to hustle tourists by taking the longer routes to destinations. Regardless, the Chinese were very receptive to tourists. One coffee shop Henderson and her group frequently visited had their menu duplicated in English for tourists. However, their kindness did not stop them from staring. “They were very confused by me, especially because my hair is curly,” Henderson divulged. “Little kids would look at me and gasp because they were just confused. Then I would tell them that my grandmother is from Hong Kong, and they would be even more confused.” Chinese natives would often take photos of tourists – it is socially acceptable there. It was funny to Henderson at first, but it soon became frustrating. “People put their camera right into your face, don’t say anything and then walk away,” she frustratingly revealed. “Sometimes whole crowds would follow me.”



Hangin’ around

silk museums in Chengdu and had the chance to see silk handwoven. “They weave all day, and still only have a little because it is such an intricate process,” Henderson recounts. “Handwoven silk can be sold for thousands.”

Life after abroad

Left: Henderson smiles with pandas at a Chengdu research base. Top right: The Leshan Giant Buddha sits in Sichuan Province. It is the largest stone Buddha in the world. Bottom right: A temple on the journey to Emei. Many small temples wind around this mountain. (Photos courtesy Brooke Henderson)

The food

“We ate so much food,” Henderson laughed. “[Sichuan] is known for a hotpot, which is like ‘kill you’ spicy. My family is Jamaican but I die [when I eat it].” They often ate with the food in the middle of the table. Guests received fresh vegetables and cooked their food in their own bowls of broth. Kung Pao Chicken originates from Sichuan province, but not like what Americans know. The bones are still in the chicken and Henderson found it to be much hotter, with more texture and flavor than the chicken in America. The name escapes her, but one of Henderson’s favorite meals was something she referred to as a “triangle bun.” Sprinkled with sugar, these buns were Henderson’s breakfast most mornings. The majority of desserts were red bean. “I would get tricked into thinking something was chocolate, but it was actually red bean,” Henderson joked.

The sights

Chengdu is the capital of China’s Sichuan province, and a place Henderson describes as “comfortable” due to its suburbia. While there, Henderson’s class went on a variety of excursions, seeing new things every day. Sites included the Leshan Giant Buddha. This sculpture was built during the Tang Dynasty. At 233 feet tall and carved directly into the mountain, it is the largest stone Buddha in the world. Sichuan province is also known for bian lian, or face-changing, a type of theatrical performance art where performers dance while wearing layers of face masks, which they instantaneously change from one face to another. It originated in Sichuan, but has spread through many other areas in China. Henderson saw the Dujiangyan irrigation system in Chengdu. Built around 256 B.C., it has been supplying water to the region for thousands of years. She and her classmates also visited the

From the awe of the Leshan Giant Buddha, the frantic hubbub of Chunxi Road and the mystical art of the face-changing theatre, Henderson found her arrival back home to be slower -- and stifling. “After you study abroad the first time, you get used to having new things every day and just learning a lot,” Henderson claimed. “Then when you get home you’re just like ‘what is this?’ I kept thinking, ‘what else can I do?’” Henderson encourages other students to study abroad. For those planning on doing a similar experience, Henderson advises students to be open-minded and to prepare for things to possibly go offcourse. She also stresses the importance of comfortable shoes, being prepared for rain (the weather is like Gainesville’s – humid) and to “get over food issues.” “People were complaining about eating rice all the time, and it’s like, you knew that was going to happen!” Henderson explains. There were some regrets along the way. “Studying abroad is hard and it’s a privilege,” Henderson said. She wished she could have afforded the additional trip to Beijing, but “the stuff you can do makes it worth it. If you have to stay within your means, that’s not a bad thing.” For Henderson, the journey is not over. She is looking into scholarships to continue studying abroad in China. “Chengdu was a good beginning,” she concluded. But for now, Henderson stays focused on balancing studying and extra-curriculars. While she dreams of continuing her study abroad adventures, she is content with life as a Gator, here in the Swamp. Designed by Kathy Xie




Before saying “peace out” to Gainesville, consider Projects for Peace Written by Brooke Henderson

Students who want to contribute to the Gator Good have to look no further than Projects for Peace. This initiative is aimed at undergraduates with a plan to create their own grassroots service projects that address community issues. Brown Center for Leadership and Service director Josh Funderburke and graduate assistant Alex Tepperman are there to help students in their mission for peace. UF students can kick off their community service idea with $10,000.

Help more, stay local

Tepperman thinks service opportunities in the community offer more than projects abroad. “We have been pushing people to Gainesville, or even the southeastern U.S. because travel eats up [resources],” Tepperman said. “It’s terrific to want to go to Niger, but what if you could help twice as many people by staying in Gainesville?” Despite its international reputation, Projects for Peace has no requirement stating projects must help people abroad. But in past years, few students have stayed domestic.

It may be beneficial to turn focus back to the local community. College students spend four years in Alachua County developing their skills before moving away to make an impact. However, what is the lasting contribution for the county that tolerated students on wild game days? It is something to think about. This issue is something that can stop a project from being as perfect as possible. “International do-goodery is very, very tricky,” Tepperman said. “That’s the main reason why when people go overseas, their projects are rarely perfectly executed.” “Generally [the problem is] not having a strong local partner where they’re going. Not having any sort of assessment for their project, so other than going and spending $10,000, what have you done?” Funderburke explained. They don’t say these things to deter students from applying. Rather, they want students to think critically of what it takes to accomplish their goals and maximize success. “Some applications are too ambitious,” Tepperman interjected. “We

all want to do world-changing things, but sometimes you have to temper your expectations. People sometimes understandably have trouble with that.”

The application process

In the spring, submissions are sent to a faculty committee. Five to six finalists are selected and make a presentation detailing their proposal, but with an additional Q&A session. This reveals which applicants have logistics down and which aren’t quite there yet. Finally, the committee selects one winner who receives $10,000 for his/her idea. Depending on funding availability, there is a chance to put forward a second place project. “We’ve been doing this since 2007. We’ve gotten two projects funded for six out of nine years that we’ve done it, and we hope to continue that,” Funderburke said with a smile. Projects are expected to be completed the summer after selection, but the Brown Center for Leadership and Service is available all year.

Spotlight: Inspire Cuba Inspire Cuba members pose for a photo while on their service trip. Inspire Cuba was the 2016 Projects for Peace award winner. (Photo courtesy Andy Garcia)

Designed by Kathy Xie




All American Rejects encourage UF students to vote Lead singer Tyson Ritter sings on a platform to get a better view of the crowd. On the last Friday before Election Day, the iconic 10-note riff of “Dirty Little Secret” echoed across Flavet Field. Hannah Burrichter, a UF psychology junior, expressed her feelings about the performance and added that she had voted early via a mail-in ballot. “It brought so, so many memories from middle school,” Burrichter commented. As the opening act, Magic Man performed various songs from their latest album, such as “Texas” and wellknown single “Paris.” They also covered Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” as the audience excitedly sang along. “The band has had a series of top hits and has music we feel students can both relate to and enjoy – we believe the band would bring out a significant crowd and the show would be wellFlavet Field filled with nostalgia as students sang along to their favorite childhood songs.

attended,” said Dillon Knox, chairman of Student Government Productions over email, regarding the choice of the All-American Rejects. The American rock band performed a variety of songs from its past albums, including “Move Along.” When the audience was more familiar with a song, audience exhilaration increased. Prior to performing one of the band’s former famous singles, Tyson Ritter, the band’s lead singer asked, “You guys want to jump into a time machine and go back to 2004?” He also referenced the election several times, especially encouraging students to choose what they want—no matter what it is. One of the songs the All-American Rejects performed “DGAF,” expanded upon this notion of doing whatever one wants. Ritter did not express explicit

support for either presidential candidate, although he criticized the toxic political rhetoric of the 2016 election, likening it to “human wrestling.” He also reminded the audience to vote. Kelly Borgerding, a UF biology sophomore, explained that she had chosen to vote early. “I voted to have my voice heard,” Borgerding clarified. The concert atmosphere prompted nostalgic feelings from the attendees, coupled with the impending Election Day nerves and anticipation. At the end of the concert, in response to audiencewide chants for an anchor, the AllAmerican Rejects returned on stage for one last song, “Give You Hell.”

Photos by Sofia Atzrodt Designed by Caridad Dominguez



Don’t tweet - vote Written by Tara Bagherlee Graphics and design by Kathy Xie

It is 2016 and American political culture has culminated in presidential candidates engaging in Twitter fights, constructing memes and catalyzing their campaign strategies via Snapchat filters. There is no doubt that this election has been baptized in Internet culture. Obviously, campaigning is necessary when trying to be elected “Leader of the Free World,” but it is easy to wonder why it is being done on the online residence of millennials.

Millennials’ political influence

to think people are so blindly apathetic to politics that they are not even willing to peruse a candidate’s website or switch the channel to CNN and leave it on in the background. Partisan media is also partially at fault for this increase in political indifference. Media is meant to be unbiased -- if people actually turn towards the media to educate themselves, there should be sources that are not so heavily colored in the reporter’s political judgement.

According to the Pew Research Center, millennials make up approximately 31 percent of the electorate. And yet, in the 2012 presidential election, Fulfill your civic duty only 46 percent of millennials voted. Compare this There is also the classic case of “I’m one person, to a voter turnout of 72 percent among people 71 does my vote really matter?” Imagine 54 percent and older. of the millennial electorate repeating that same In other words, Clinton and Trump recognize phrase at the same time during the 2012 presidential the power at millennials’ fingertips and they are election. It is easy to one speak for oneself, but when willing to learn how to speak everyone is thinking of hiself or Millennial in order to garner herself, one’s “minor” decision Would you still feel votes. not voting ends up impacting this way if you lived of Although this election the future of the entire nation. has been nothing short of somewhere where voting Apply this to our current is not an option? entertaining, this urgency to political climate: according to the galvanize young people to United States Election Project, vote speaks to an issue of substantial magnitude. almost half of eligible voters (46.9 percent) did Young people are notorious for being lazy, and not vote in the 2016 presidential election. This is a their consistently low voter turnout does not sickening truth, one that stings the most for people deconstruct this image. Millennials are quick to live- who were not eligible to vote in the election but had tweet presidential debates and share their opinions a voice to raise in the conversation of American on Facebook, but when it comes to going to the politics. polls, millennials can make up every excuse to avoid In a country where this privilege is granted, I expressing their opinions in an arena in which it ask those who never bothered registering to vote really matters. or going to the polls: would you still feel this way if you lived somewhere where voting is not an option? Intolerable apathy If you wish to stimulate change and if you wish Many young people exhibit disinterest in voting to see your values represented in government by because they dislike both candidates or don’t officials who would mobilize to bring such change, know about their platforms. These are both valid I highly urge you to register to vote. We are citizens concerns; as bipartisanship becomes antiquated of one of the most open liberal democracies on this and polarization shapes our political future, this planet, a privilege not available to many. One of the indecisiveness phenomenon grows, ultimately merits of this citizenship is our ability to participate deterring millennials from the polls. in political discourse, and one of the premier ways In a society where any information is accessible to be heard is with our ballots. within seconds, why is the excuse of information We were given voices to use them. Don’t be scarcity still used so frequently? It is embarrassing silent.






INDIGNATION: HUMANIZING THE DEAD Written by Ivette de Aguiar Yes, the narrator is dead. But what value does a dead story-teller have for a reader? Philip Roth, one of the most decorated novelists of his generation, uses his 29th novel, Indignation, to explore the indignation of life’s most unexpected. Sometimes things happen to even the “best” people or the people who are trying to do everything right. What it means to be human - raw urges, feelings, thoughts - are laid out by each character, giving the reader a feeling of verisimilitude when reading this masterpiece. Marcus, a 19-year-old Jewish college student with impeccable smarts and a child-like naivety, shows how random fate can be. Everyone knew everyone in his small New Jersey community, and Marcus was identified as “the Butcher’s

son.” Good enough professors at his community college, baseball in his free time, sweat and blood and hard work at the butcher shop plus nice parents - what’s not to love? Perhaps it was that his father, a usually stable man, had begun to slowly deteriorate as his obsessive need to know what Marcus was doing every second of the day grew. It’s no wonder that after once again being confronted his father’s loud accusations about his whereabouts, Marcus finally went over the edge. Escaping his small community in New Jersey, Marcus ventures to a small Catholic college in Winesburg, Ohio, where love, the pressures of school, and ultimately the indignation he feels towards others manifest and lead to his downfall. Philip Roth makes the reader feel like he or she is right there through all of Marcus’ revelations, and although

his thought process can frustrate. It’s all because he is portrayed as human, and humans have flaws. This novel explores the “butterfly effect” concept. Essentially, this concept rests on the idea that if one trivial action changes, an entire fate can be altered. The novel’s final twist can make a person reevaluate his or her entire life - in a good way. Yes, the narrator is dead. But foresight is 20/20 and there is a lot to learn from someone who’s been able to look at his or her life over and over again: all the good and bad decisions, things that could have been handled better. If there is one thing this novel made me realize, it is that people should try to live in the moment more, because a person never knows what he or she might miss. I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for an entertaining, mind-blowing read.


Founding Fathers and College Freshmen-- at first glance, there is seemingly no correlation between the two. The former is a set of dead white men who were crazy about writing political pamphlets. The latter is a set of diverse young people who still do not really know how to do laundry. So what do the two have in common? Like college students departing from the familiar, the Founding Fathers had to strike out on their own in 1776. One founder in particular experienced the inception of America while doing the work of a college student. Alexander Hamilton was this Founder, a college student-turned-revolutionary, who boldly left his mark wherever he went. Ron Chernow’s Hamilton biography, Alexander Hamilton, details the many facets of Hamilton’s life. What is particularly unique about Chernow’s treatment of Hamilton is the attention paid to Hamilton’s college years. Chernow dusts off the romantic, adventurous, whirlwind years between Hamilton’s 17th and 22nd birthIllustration by Ziqi Wang days, both getting into the young Hamilton’s Designed by Sofia Atzrodt head and bringing the dead Founding Father

vibrantly back to life. Though Chernow succeeds in sketching out the colorful character of Hamilton, his depiction of Hamilton’s peers lacks strength. Chernow elaborates on and defends Hamilton’s policies, but he does no such thing with the policies of Hamilton’s contemporaries, such as Thomas Jefferson. This bias towards Hamilton is understandable in a biography about him, but it would have been informative to have opposing policies acknowledged instead of dismissed. So what do founding fathers and college students have in common? Answer: the shared experience of entering into something totally unfamiliar. By describing Hamilton’s complex early adulthood, Chernow reveals -- both tacitly and explicitly -- the parallels between the Founding Fathers’ struggle and young Hamilton’s comingof-age. Through this, he demonstrates us that Hamilton was once like us: a college student, uncertain of his path and worried about failing his classes. Though unsure of his future at times, he took every opportunity to change the world in irrevocable ways. And we can, too.




Making the World a Better Place Davis United World College Scholars at UF

They dream big. They achieve bigger. They leave their homes and comfort zones, mostly at the age of 16, to pursue a better education and develop their skills. Known for the inexhaustible sources of passion and drive, they strive for lifechanging goals. Five words: Davis United World College Scholars. A proud and growing international portion of the Honors Program at the University of Florida is a group of young, global citizens from different United World Colleges (UWCs), funded by a full scholarship by Davis family philanthropy. Their presence and hard work provide needed diversity and enrichment, international perspectives and world-changing ideas. In return, the Davis UWC Scholars receive a great amount of resources, knowledge and practical skills. The history of the UWC program goes far past UF. The program dates back to the Cold War, when German educator Kurt Hahn envisioned a solution for the global conflict caused by all kinds of racial, religious and cultural bigotry. His idea was to bring together 16 to 18-year-olds from all around the world to live and study together in order to overcome the misunderstanding and tension. In 1962, the first UWC opened in South Wales. This cross-continental educational environment brings more than 40,000 students from 180 countries to UWC. Today, there are 15 colleges around the world, including one in the United States – Montezuma, New Mexico. So how did these students end up at the University of Florida? A big transition came in 2000, when Shelby M.C. Davis and Philip O. Geier launched a pilot project with five partner colleges and universities to bring UWC graduates to the U.S. “When I was president of UWC-USA, I had the privilege

of introducing Mr. Davis to the UWC and he quickly became a believer and a major supporter,” wrote Geier, co- founder and executive director of the Davis United World College Scholars Program in an email interview. “Together we were brainstorming about the advent of the new 21st century and asking ourselves what we could do – both for UWC graduates, as well as for American colleges and universities that we felt needed to become more globally diverse to the advantage of all.” The small seed of an idea soon grew into a vast project. Davis family philanthropy contributes tens of millions of dollars every year through need-based scholarship to UWC graduates who gain admission to selected U.S. colleges or universities. More than 2,700 scholars at 94 partner colleges and universities are currently supported by the Davis Foundation. “We are so proud of our scholars and remain believers that each of them will go on to reach their greatest potential as individuals and as lifelong members of the UWC movement,” Geier concluded. “We certainly need an ever-growing cohort of young people around the world to engage with the problems and strive to find solutions. It all starts with getting to know and appreciate one another.” Despite UWC’s size and growth, not many American students have heard about this program. Dr. Sheila K. Dickison was the Honors Program Director at UF at the time the first generation of UWCers came in 2003 with five students admitted. Over the years of her close work with these students, Dickison noticed that the quality of the students and the participation in the Honors program has remained the same. Only the numbers have grown. “They [UWC students] have that zeal. I guess it’s just like a

fire burning to do something about social issues,” emphasized Dickison in an interview, eyes glowing. “We see a lot of students here who don’t have a lot of passion, and I am always impressed when I see a student who really, really wants to make a difference.” Dickison repeatedly underlined her admiration for not only UWC as a program, but also for its ideals. “I really admire the UWC philosophy of empowering students to become leaders and change makers at all levels. UWC participants are truly global citizens and that’s what the world very much needs now more than ever.” The reason for world cultures’ misunderstanding and conflicts, elaborates Dickison, is due to the fear of the “other.” “Every time I got to know somebody from a different place or a different culture, I was personally really surprised to see how their problems were like my problems and vice versa,” clarifies Dickison. “Their concerns were usually bigger than some issue that I had.” Coming from different cultural settings, these students are almost unexceptionally confronted with cultural shock at their first arrival in the United States. “When I got here and saw people from different backgrounds, I felt back at my UWC in a way, but then I realized it wasn’t like that,” said Jimmy Hernandez Rojas, tourism, event and recreation management senior, who attended Red Cross Nordic UWC in Norway. “Coming from Costa Rica, a collectivistic society, I found it really hard and difficult to accept the norms of an individualistic society.” Despite the initial difficulties, Hernandez Rojas found himself immersed in American society through interaction with 50 Americans in the Freshman Leadership Council (FLC). “I felt that I was learning all the time. When I look back, the person I was in my freshmen year does not exist anymore,” Hernandez Rojas added. “UF gave me the life experience to go out and create what I want to do in life.” Hernandez Rojas hopes to promote tourism in an ecofriendly way. He aims to increase multicultural understanding, while simultaneously conveying a peaceful mindset. Evaluating the Davis UWC Scholars Program at UF as a whole, one observation is clear: there needs to be more interaction and common projects between the American students and UWCers. According to Dickison, even though UF is an enormous community of 50,000 students, UWC needs to be more visible and integrated into mainstream UF culture. “I just hope that this program continues to flourish and prosper, because I think it’s an exceedingly important program for the University of Florida and for the students who participate in the program,” concluded Dickison. “It’s one of our little jewels.” Written by Vedrana Damjanovic Designed by Meryl Kornfield

David Urnes Johnson, 29, from Norway, a former Red Cross Nordic UWC student, UF ’11 Alumnus and a current PhD student in mechanical engineering at Stanford University, reflects on his experiences as a Davis UWC Scholar at UF. “I think the best part of being a Davis UWC scholar at UF is that you’re moving into a new environment and new culture, but being a part of the UWC group, you instantly have a family and a group of people that you can connect with. I think that’s a great support network, and it makes the transition from wherever you are in the world to UF very easy. I wouldn’t be what I am today if I didn’t go to UWC. It was an amazing experience, both culturally and academically. Compared to a regular high school in Norway, it was a lot more academically stimulating. UF is a great place to explore all your passions. I was a part of Engineers without Borders. We worked on a project in Macedonia. You learn a lot from just emerging yourself in all kinds of activities. Currently, I am doing a research on fuel cells at Stanford. The significance of the research is to provide an efficient conversion of solid fuels into electricity or hydrogen. We’re technically removing the CO2 from the atmosphere. Having that capability is really important. Other people have said that with our current trajectory, we are going to need technologies in the future that can do that, because we’re already in a pretty bad path when it comes to the CO2 amounts that we’ve released in the atmosphere. There’s a lot of startups around Stanford, and the easiest thing you can do is develop an app and make some money out of it. But in the end, that does not make a big change. So I think I’ve kept these UWC values, where I want to do something that will have a positive impact on the world around me. I chose energy, and I want to work with renewable energies and try to have a greener and sustainable production of electricity and hydrogen worldwide. For all the students at UF, I would strongly advise to pursue your passion. Actively pursue your passion. Don’t wait for the opportunities to come to you, but actively go out there and seek the opportunities and make your dreams come true, whatever they are. I think that’s possible at UF. There’s nothing that you can’t do at UF that you can do at other university. Go Gators!”




Health food frenzy Written by Emily Podolosky

Above: These are just some examples of the “picture-perfect” healthy meals recently popularized by social media. (Photos by Emily Podolsky and Pristina Kuo)

When I wake up in the taking the perfect picture. morning, I roll over, turn off However, not everyone is a my alarm, grab my phone fan of the trends accompanying and open Instagram. Unlike this healthy eating fad. my parents, who prefer the According to the New York newspaper with their morning Times, some restaurants cup of joe, I scroll through ban photography of their Instagram and glance through meals. These restaurants are the posts from the night before. against the distracting flash These posts not only include photography and claim the food my friends’ latest endeavors but shots disrupt the restaurant’s recently feature health food. mood. It seems almost impossible On the other hand, many to look around without seeing people are in favor of the social something pertaining to the media attention that healthy new health food trend. eating creates. Restaurants such Health food is undoubtedly as Raw Juce Bar have gained becoming the center of popularity due to the acai bowls attention. Food they create. Instagrams, Sophomore People are even Snapchats, blogs ordering health food Gabby Marton and health food agrees. “Raw for the express restaurants have Juce allows been popping up purpose of taking the me to enjoy all over not only healthy acai perfect picture. in major cities, bowls, which are but also in small towns such as very vibrant and colorful,” she Gainesville. explains. “It is really close to my Celebrities, talk show hosts house so it’s easy for me to stop and more embrace this craze. on my way home from the gym, Smoothies are becoming or when I’m heading out for the smoothie bowls, and people day.” are including chia seeds in their Restaurants like Raw Juce are next meals. popping up in almost every city. The main reason health food Similar joints like 3 Natives and has become so predominant Grill Fresh promote themselves is because of its beauty. as having healthier options than Bright vegetables create other restaurants. With healthy the perfect rainbow salad. options being created every day, Food is becoming the focus this food trend is just beginning. of the social media world. Instagram food accounts (or “foodstagrams”) proliferate. Some even order health food for the express purpose of Designed by Kathy Xie



N E S R O HON LIGHT T O P S Strolling past Hume Commons on a Wednesday evening, a passerby might be surprised to hear the sound of a flute or a piano wafting through the corridor. Intrigued, he or she might stick around to hear more musical voices join in. Who are these mystery musicians? They are the Honors Ensemble. The Honors Ensemble began last fall as an initiative to encourage Honors students to take a break from their Calculus homework, grab their guitar and make some music together. They continue to meet every week, rehearsing from one to three pieces with an array of instruments, from flutes to French horns to violins. The musicians playing varied instruments are just as diverse. Honors students from all years, fields of study and experience come together each week to express themselves through music and fellowship. Alexandra Bechtle, second year Honors student and President of



Written by Colleen May Photos by Sofia Atzrodt Designed by Sofia Atzrodt

Honors Ensemble, said, “I made so many good friends in the Honors Ensemble just from playing together. It’s a great relaxing thing to put energy into.” Bechtle also commented that joining Honors Ensemble gave her many unique opportunities to play music, enriching her overall Honors experience. Music, according to Bechtle, is a great way to achieve the Honors goal of “developing well-rounded students,” and the Honors Ensemble is a way to “provide an outlet for a different type of thinking” than students would have taking typical Engineering and Business classes. The Honors Ensemble meets on Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m., and all students of all musical backgrounds are welcome to join. If you love to play music and want a chance to spend time with a talented and supportive community, consider checking them out.

Above, Alexandra Bechtle watches conductor Camillo Leal for cues while rehearsing a piece arranged by one of her fellow musicians.

The Honors Ensemble provides an environment for students of all skill levels and backgrounds to collaborate and explore different styles of music.



Think Before You Ink:


The Dangers of Careless Body Modification

Written by Leia Wojciechowski

Within the last 10 years, modern day body modifications have been on the rise. According to Fox News, one in five adults have tattoos. Other body modifications have seen an increase in popularity. Body modifications enable personal expression, but interested individuals should accept the health risks involved. The safest way to get a tattoo is through a licensed professional. A tattoo artist inserts ink through a tattoo gun into the dermis to create a design. The dermis is the second layer of skin under the epidermis, the most outer layer. If inserted beneath the dermis, one runs the risk of spreading ink into the bloodstream. The ink can then spread into undesired areas, altering the design. A do-it-yourself (DIY) method for tattooing like “stick ‘n’ pokes” uses a needle to insert the ink into the dermis. This cheap alternative to professional tattooing may come with risks like blood born diseases as a result of tattooing inexperience. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that poor sanitation of tattooing needles can spread HIV and other blood born diseases making DIY methods riskier. For those seeking a boho or tribal aesthetic, ear modifications like gauging may be an option. Gauging stretches the ears using plugs. These plugs fill the stretched ear using glass, wood, bone or porcelain. Gauging can lead to stretched sagging ears, scarring, tearing or a blow out of the lobe. The piercing can shrink after the jewelery is removed with time, but there is no guarantee it will return to normal. These adverse effects are reversible, but often only with

surgery. A more common and widely accepted type of ear and body modification is piercings. Statistics Brain estimates that 14 out of 100 people have body piercings ranging from cartilage piercings to dermal piercings. As they are inserted under the skin, the body can potentially reject the piercing, leaving scar tissue behind. Tissue can build above the piercing, forming a raised bump called hypertrophic scarring. These bumps can be tender and sometimes painful. An extreme form of body alteration called “scarification,” originated with African cultures. Similar to tattooing, scarification creates designs, but rather than using ink, scarification involves cutting the pattern into the skin. If the equipment and environment are not sterile, the wounds can become infected. Hypertrophic scarring can occur during healing causing a 3D effect to some area of the scar as it raises the skin. Some customers are dissatisfied when the scarring heals with unintended colorations. As Johnny Depp once said “My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.” Tattooing, gauging, piercing, scarification etc. are all forms of expression that allow people to convey their personalities, faith and beliefs publicly and eternally. While body modifications come with their unique risks, they allow an individual to become a canvas for art. With proper care and prior caution the risks associated with body modifications decrease. Make sure to feel comfortable with the piercer/tattoo artist before making the commitment.

Illustration by Leah Palmer Designed by Madison Hindo





The flag football team’s final game. Many of the players stated they had a fun season and now consider each other family. Captain Krishnah Sivakumaran exclaimed, “My team is so good we don’t really need a mascot!”

From the smell of orange peels on the fields to the songs sung in unison on the hot, sweaty bus on the way to rival games, the memories shared from being a part of a team is an aspect of life that is given up when students approach this novice endeavor: college. College students are under the impression that in order to play a sport in college, one has to be a Division One athlete and be willing to commit long hours, forgetting homework and having minimal hours to study. However, contrary to popular belief, there are ways for students to become involved in anything from flag football to ultimate Frisbee. Being a student in the Honors Program with various requirements and a heavy course load, might cause students to shy away from getting physically involved. However, physical activity is essential to proper mental health. According to the American Heart Association, at least 30 minutes per day, five times a week, should be spent doing physical activity. Many Honors students who are currently involved in an intramural sport have claimed to feel a lot healthier and organized on account of participating in a sport. Additionally, participating in an intramural sport demonstrates involvement with fellow peers and passion for the school. A balanced individual is advocated by universities and beneficial upon entering the workforce. Krishnah Sivakumaran, captain of an intramural, co-ed flag football team and Honors student states, “I use flag football as a stress reliever and it gives me the opportunity to hang out with my friends, but also have fun. I noticed that I am more organized and balanced after committing to a team.”

Julia Silliman, the other intramural flag football team captain, “I played soccer in high school and wanted to continue to play a sport in college to meet new people and stay active.” Honors students, who wish to be active again, can sign up for an intramural team. 1. Find a sport that is interesting and coincides with one’s schedule and Honors events. 2. Set up an IMLeagues account. 3. If an Honors student would like to start a team, set up a league as a captain. If one would like to join a pre-existing team, search leagues and ask to join. The captain of that team will have to accept the student, so keep checking the website. 4. Once the student is accepted, the student can view the other players and the official schedule for one’s team. 5. Be prepared to practice at a field on campus. Teams can practice their skills on the Hume Field. 6. Most importantly, have fun with the team! Once enough practice is achieved and one is ready to take the newly acquired talents to the next level, feel free to join a club team. There are many Honors students who are also involved in club sports. As Honors student Sean Doherty says, “The running club is the way I stay involved on campus, and being an Honors student helps me stay on top of my game.”

Written by Selena Govan Photo by Diego Rodriguez Design by Amanda Lindeman




You have finally gotten your classes memorized, your social life (somewhat) figured out and your Flex Bucks budget schedule down pat. What is up next? Slaying on-campus, fashion. When the H&M and Forever 21 at the Oaks Mall just are not cutting it for you, visit any of these Prism-approved Gainesville stores for your everyday shopping needs. A word of warning: these stores are not to be frequented by the faint of wallet.

Written by Anna Burbano

Photos by Anna Burbano

Designed by Meryl Kornfield

Shop here if you like… fun, on-campus shopping.

Henri Girl

Less than five minutes away from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Henri Girl’s campus-adjacent location is a godsend to students who have very little downtime and a whole lot of love for boho vibe attire. Browse this boutique’s extensive selection of collegiate attire in-between your classes and share in owner/store visionary Cassandra Cordon’s mission to “feel confident” through an expression of personal style. (Look good to feel good.)

Website: www.henrigirl.com | Price: $$ | Distance: 6 min. Address: 1800 W University Ave 120 | Hours of Operation: Mon—Sat (12-7)

Shop here if you like… fashion-forward game day looks.

Ilene’s for Fashion Gator Store

We advise hitting up Ilene’s for school spirit looks. After all, everything in Ilene’s for Fashion Gator Store bleeds orange and blue. Besides a fantastic collection of women’s apparel and accessories, Ilene’s for Fashion offers clothes for men and children as well. Worker Shannon Maccioli adds, “We have anything you can wear, from the President’s box to tailgating in the parking lot or out in the fields.”

Website: www.ilenesgatorstore.com | Price: $$-$$$ | Distance: 29 min. (RTS 43 to Millhopper Square from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium) Address: 2441 NW 43rd St. | Hours of Operation: Wed—Sat (11-6)

Shop here if you like… trendy, cool-girl picks.


Located relatively near campus, Wolfgang is for young collegiates who love up-to-date clothing trends. “Everyone who shops here is a Wolfgang girl,” worker Jodie Karsono notes. She also said the boutique’s popularity with the UF crowd is entirely due to its “unique” selections.

Website: www.shopwolfgang.com | Price: $$ | Distance: 18 min. Address: 1127 W University Ave | Hours of Operation: Mon—Thu (12-7), Fri—Sat (12-8), Sun (12-5)

Shop here if you like… high-end contemporary clothes.

etc boutique

If you are looking for something a little more polished and top of the line, look no more — it is all here at etc boutique. Though the price tag may be somewhat inaccessible to the average college student’s budget, it is well worth your fashion splurge needs. After all, this boutique promises its customers a worthy shopping experience, complete with enviable luxury brands and upscale clothes.

Website: goo.gl/5tLqv1 | Price: $$$-$$$$ | Distance: 27 min. (RTS 43 to Millhopper Square from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium) Address: 4138 NW 16th Blvd | Hours of Operation: Mon—Fri (10-6), Sat (10-4)

Shop here if you like… high-end contemporary clothes.

Sandy’s Saavy Chic Resale Boutique

No list featuring Gainesville boutiques would be complete without the addition of Sandy’s, a premier resale establishment. If you don’t own a car yourself, call on a friend (or two) to have one of the best fashion day trips of your life. It is simply impossible to spend less than three hours wading through the sea of cheap, cute clothing at Sandy’s. Because it operates on a Plato’s Closet-type resale system, bring in your own gently-used clothes to sell while you’re shopping away.

Website: www.sandysresale.com | Price Range: $ | Distance: 14 minutes Address: 4148 Northwest 13th St. | Hours of Operation: Mon—Sat (10-7), Sun (12-6)



STRONG TIDES There is no other sound but the foamy sighs of the waves and the rowdy laughter of the men aboard The Grim Triton. The night is thick with stars and anticipation, like the whole ocean is standing in wait with bated breath. There is not even a whisper of a breeze. Margaux floats next to me. Her head bobs silently with the waves as we watch the shadows of the crew dance in the dim candlelight. They’re drunk on cheap rum and merry camaraderie, gambling away their month’s wages on the slim chance of walking away a few coins richer. The lantern’s weak flame blinds them to the menace that swarms in the depths beneath. I tilt my head curiously. I have never seen this many humans together before. They’re…different from what I expected. More alive. Although I know what’s to come and I’m aware of its necessity, I can’t help but feel guilt. I turn to Margaux for some comfort, but I am taken aback by her expression. Her normally friendly and cheerful disposition isn’t to be found; her eyes are narrowed and there is a mad grin on her face. She furiously combs her fingers through her hair. Margaux is nervous, but she is excited. Am I the only


one who feels this way? “Harper!” Margaux whispers furiously to me. I turn my attention back to The Grim Triton as I hear exclamations of surprise from the crew. So it has begun. Leader has drifted next to the ship, floating at the edge of the light’s reach and the men have noticed. They point and crowd, calling to one another and calling to Leader, coaxing her to come closer. Leader pretends to be afraid - she is a very good actress - and shies away from the crew’s grasping hands, pretending to struggle to stay afloat. Someone yells for a rope as men begin running back and forth across the deck in a frenzy. It’s because Leader is beautiful. Her face is indescribably perfect. It shows each man his vision of the ideal woman. It makes them desperate to be her savior. Her golden hair tumbles down her shoulders, covering her bare chest and drifting around her in a halo, catching the light. I watch with Margaux in fascination as Leader pretends to drift further out to sea, beyond the reach of a rope. She whimpers for help, her meek cries barely carrying over the panicked calls of the crew. Someone yells for the ship to turn, but they’re not fast enough. A brave and foolish soul decides to be a hero and dives into the black water. Leader is hysterical, splashing around as she drifts further. The man swims toward her with powerful strokes, but he’s not fast enough. Right when he’s about to reach her, Leader’s struggles cease and she slips under the water. The man doesn’t hesitate. He takes a deep breath and plunges down after her. My eyes are wide and I glance up briefly at the crew. Some


are trying to place a rowboat into the water while others are yelling to the man (Lucien, they call him) words of encouragement. Margaux and I look at each other once before we slip under the surface to watch the action going on down below. Lucien isn’t Lucien; he’s prey. The taste of blood is sharp and metallic under the water. Despite my previous reservations, I can’t help but swim closer to the entwined figures far below me. The moonlight and stars above are enough for me to make out the growing crimson cloud below, but nothing more. Around me, the others gather in wait. After a few minutes, Leader drifts up lazily from the cloudy water. I see a shadow slowly sinking into the dark beneath us before I look back to Leader as she nears. It is a long-held tradition for the leader to get the first catch before the others can begin. It is more of a superstition or a formality really, but Leader always abides by the rules. No one knows where the rules originated from or why they exist, but it is taboo to break them - to break a rule is to be Condemned.



Leader grins at us and I see that there is still flesh caught in her fangs. Go, she mouths, bubbles spilling from her lips, and that is all the signal we need. I feel my fangs emerge and poke into my lower lip, drawing blood. I flick my tail in a strong downward stroke and swim with the others toward the Grim Triton. It is a bloodbath. It is a feeding frenzy. By the time we are satisfied, there is almost nothing left. I watch as the remains of the ship begin their slow descent into the dark below. Its silhouette looks like the broken skeleton of some great sea beast. I turn my back on the eerie image and face the others sirens. It will not be long before the ruins of the Grim Triton will disappear, carried away by strong tides.

Stand Up Written by Caridad Dominguez

I hold no regrets, no resentments. Every mistake has been a lesson. Every memory, a blessing. And often we do stumble; We fall short, trip, and tumble. We measure our lives in minutes, hours, days, and years, Counting down; holding onto our fears. Every experience has a message within, yet we are easily deflated with the tip of a pin. Failures are simply natural, but our idols’ perfection seems actual. Yet what purity have we encountered? We are all human and we have all floundered. But we rise against the tides that shake us. It is our missteps that help make us. So take on each day with valor splattered on your face And know that, at one point, we’ve all lost our grace.

Illustration by Olivia Stein Designed by Caridad Dominguez

Loneliness Written by Olivia Stein

is a quiet murmur that sneaks up inside of me like the tide on a new moon, filling my lungs with grasping tentacles that slither their way through my veins covering my brain with the squishy, slimy algae that disguises the sharp rocks on the shoreline. Voices surround me - whispering, laughing, crying, pleading but they sound soft and distorted like I’m six feet under the waves and they’re on the shoreline.


I Am A Jew

The following is an excerpt from a poem I wrote about a recent trip to Poland I am a Jew, And I stand at the Radegast train station With no fear. As a Jew, I walk through a tunnel Darkened by the ever present shadow of death That once stood over the Jewish people. Around me I see names Of other Jews Who could not make it to the tunnel’s end. I arrive at the train station And remember those who left but Did not return. A real train races past the memorial, And chills engulf my body. The message hit me like a train itself. The realness of where I was inspired me To stand for my people because I am a Jew, and I was able to Stand where many once stood Face to face with death. I am a Jew, And I dare to return to Where our ancestors desperately tried to escape. I stand in Auschwitz. I mourn over the atrocities of The concentration camp, Consoled only by the Israeli flag wrapped Around me. Piles upon piles fill rooms with Hair, dishes, suitcases, baby clothes‌ And the shoes, Each shoe reminiscent of each last step. I, as a Jew, mourn for each of these Jews. I step inside of a gas chamber, A choice I made that they once Could not choose. I walked inside, and I left The scratch marks of victims behind me. I am a Jew, and I walked out of Auschwitz alive. Written by: Rachel Levy Designed by: Joshua Evangelista






CONTEST: Prism held a contest asking for all Honors students at UF to send in their costumes/decor/Halloween designs/etc. showcasing their spooky spirit (through photos, graphic design, drawings, paintings, etc.). These are the top three submissions.

First place: Jason Wilkotz Second place: Jillian Leverett Third place: Gabriela Gonzalez


To learn more about the Prism staff, visit ufprism.com or email ufhonorsprismmag@gmail.com