PRISM SPRING 2021
Table of Contents
3: Editors’ Welcome 4: What’s New with Honors 6: Honors Residence Hall 8: Honors & Aprons 10: PRISM’s Picks 12: Puffs: Interview with Producers 14: 4th Avenue Food Park 16: The Freshman Experience
18: Gainesville Coffee Shops 20: Being Social & Safe 22: “Sola Flair” 23: “Wish Upon a Star” 24: “Home” 25: “The Beast” 26: “Coming Home” 27: “COVID Morning”
EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Hannah Calderazzo Erin McLoughlin CREATIVE EDITORS Nazli Islam Noah Towbin ART AND PHOTO EDITOR Grace Dooley LEAD COPY EDITORS Sofia Anrecio Joyce Jiang DESIGN EDITOR Soumya Kona SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Miranda Ingram WEB COORDINATOR Catherine Pereira STAFF COPY EDITORS Stephanie Cobb Gina Crespo Zoe Golomb
Tomas de la Huerta Nazli Islam Ananya Jain Jillian Malinsky Yashaswini Meduri Nikita Patel Noah Towbin Julia Zhu STAFF WRITERS Marguerite Andrich Brenden Berrios Emma Bissell Karina Bravo Alexandra del Canal Courtney Chalmers Alexandra Chertok Anand Chundi Stephanie Cobb Daniella Conde Gina Crespo Kayla Ehrlich Alexandra Feldman Julia Garcia Zoe Golomb Morgan Gunter Alan Halaly Marisa Hart Tomas de la Huerta
Ananya Jain Ronak Kanodia Tara Kari Campbell Lackey Jin A Lee Jason Li Tiffany Liu Jillian Malinsky Yashaswini Meduri Sarah Mellinger Anne Michel Emily Miller Kiran Mital Kosidinma Oguejiofor Priyanka Pandya Nikita Patel Brian Paulsen Derek Pena Nicole Petit Hannah Powell Anisha Saripalli Veronika Schmalfuss Amanda Smith Holly Smith Jacob Stein Andrew Wengrovitz Julia Zhu
Dear readers, Welcome to our spring 2021 magazine! This semester, we wanted to focus on the feelings of coming home. As the vaccine rollout begins and students return to Gainesville once again, it feels as though we are coming home and returning somewhat to a sense of normalcy. From a review of 4th Ave Food Park to a list of COVID-safe activities to partake in around Gainesville, we wanted to offer some of our readers a taste of what the city has to offer.
This This year has been a challenge as PRISM’s staff has adapted to a virtual format, s e and I want to thank every member of our staff for the hard work they have mester, put in for both our magazine and our online content. Specifically, I’d like coming to thank Soumya Kona for the amazing work she’s done to bring PRISM back to Gainesville together stylistically. This is by far one of our most cohesive and was a very difbeautiful magazines thanks to the work Soumya has done to create a ferent experience consistent brand and design sense. for many of us. Some of us were fully online, and some had a few I joined PRISM three years ago not expecting to do anything in-person classes, but even more than contribute to design but being Editor-in-Chief those came with restrictions. has been such a rewarding role that I am happy I got to Yet even with everything going on in the world, coming home to experience. Even though communication is limited Gainesville is a special experience, over Zoom, I am so grateful I was able to interact especially as we take the first steps towith new and old staff members in a greater ward returning back to normal classes capacity than I was able to previously. While and procedures. While we still have a ways to go, hope is ahead, and it is something we a pandemic did throw a wrench in many of wanted to highlight in this edition of PRISM. our conventions, I am proud of everyone’s This homecoming was especially meaningful to adaptability as we faced the many me, as this semester marked my last one living in challenges. Gainesville and attending the University of Florida. Being a graduating senior meant that every experience in Gainesville during these past few months was one I treaThank you to everyone that sured, and I hope this magazine conveys all the exciting asreads this magazine, and thank pects of returning to Gainesville, the university, and our Honors Program. you, PRISM, for being such
rewarding experience of my
Also, as I depart from UF and from being co-Editor-in-Chief of undergraduate career. PRISM, I want to extend my final thanks to all those involved with this publication. Thank you, reader, for choosing to explore our magazine. Thank you to every member of the PRISM staff. You have all been so brilliant Sincerely, and dedicated during this strange academic year, and the magazine would not be the same without any of you. Thank you to all the members of our e-board: Soumya, Joyce, Sofia, Nazli, Noah, Grace, Miranda, and Catherine. You have all been a pleasure to work with, a joy to know, and your assistance and hard work have created an incredible magazine. PRISM is only as well-written and aesthetically beautiful as it is thanks to all of your efforts. A special shout-out to Soumya and Joyce as they lead PRISM into this next year—I know it will be amazing! Thank you to my Co-Editor-in-Chief, and fellow senior, Erin McLoughlin. Thank you Erin for being such a wonderful person, and for being an incredible co-EIC. Managing the magazine is no small task, and collaborating with you has made it a genuine pleasure. Thank you again, and good luck at law school! Thank you also to the Honors Office, and to Dr. Law and Dr. Johnson for your unwavering support of PRISM over the years. Finally, thank you to PRISM. When I was a freshman beginning as a staff writer, I could never have imagined that I would have the blessing and privilege of serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief of PRISM for two years. Thank you PRISM for being such a meaningful part of my undergraduate experience—for giving me a community, and making me a better writer, editor, and leader. Go PRISM, and go Gators!
WHAT’S NEW WITH HONO MATT BAROCAS: UF’S SECOND SCHWARZMAN SCHOLAR UF Honors has yet another reason to be proud: Matt Barocas, a senior in the Honors Program, is the second ever Schwarzman Scholar from the University of Florida. The Schwarzman Scholarship is a prestigious program that pays for students to earn their master’s degree at the Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Barocas is a political science and history major from Pinecrest, Florida. After he gets his masters through the Schwarzman Program, he hopes to go to law school or graduate school. He plans to have a career in diplomacy or public service, which his experience in Beijing will certainly prepare him. Barocas was attracted to the Schwarzman Program’s “call for future global leaders” featured on their website. The program offers renowned academic and leadership development as well as cultural enrichment from living in China for ten months, which made the opportunity too enticing to pass up. Barocas previously had little knowledge on the country, and he wanted to change that. “The US-China relationship is going to be really important,” he said. “No matter what I do, it’s going to factor into my career, so not having a background in it was a deficiency that I was looking to fill.” Applying to the program was quite the undertaking. With the help of Kelly Medley from the Honors Office, Barocas wrote multiple essays, gathered letters of recommendation and put together a video to demonstrate to interviewers why he was the best candidate for the scholarship. The interviewers were particularly impressed with his video, which involved him baking bread. “It was kind of cheesy. It was a metaphor for cultural understanding: baking bread and coming together.” When asked about why he chose to focus on bread, Barocas laughed and clarified that he liked baking bread before quarantine made it trendy. The interview itself was 20
nerve-wracking minutes of questions, but he felt prepared thanks to his mock interviews with Medley. By immersing himself in a cultural and political environment that is distinct from America, Barocas hopes to engage with new ideas he never had the opportunity to before. He encourages other UF students to apply for the scholarship as well. “I don’t know how many people from UF have ever applied. Maybe that’s why there’s only two,” he said. UF is fortunate to be represented by someone as committed as Barocas, and hopefully other Gators will follow in his footsteps. Story by Holly Smith PROGRAM WELCOMES HONORS CLASS OF 2025 On Feb. 26, the UF Honors Program welcomed 1,549 applicants to join its class of 2025. Receiving just over 11,300 applications, the Honors Program saw an acceptance rate of about 13.7% this year--a slight increase from 2020’s acceptance rate of 13.3%. The accepted class had an average GPA of 4.67, SAT of 1497 and ACT of 34. The program also welcomed eight Lombardi Scholars and three Stamps Scholars who were hand-selected from a pool of over 200 nominees by distinguished Honors faculty. Through general admission, UF accepted 15,220 students out of a record applicant pool of 52,513 for an acceptance rate of 28.9%. Accepted students had an average GPA of 4.51, SAT of 1392 and ACT of 31. The university expects 6,400 students to enroll. This year was especially competitive for the University of Florida and the Honors Program. Prospective students completed their applications under the added stress of the pandemic, which has made for an unconventional college admissions season. Claudia Johnson from St. Petersburg, Fla. was one accepted
W ORS Honors student. Currently attending school remotely, she said getting accepted to UF was the highlight of her week. “I was so excited to see the confetti that I stopped reading the letter and didn’t know I was accepted to the Honors Program until 30 minutes later,” Johnson said. As an IB student, Claudia enjoyed the benefits of the program within her large school and hopes to gain the same intimate learning and social experience in the Honors Program. Claudia will join the Gator Nation this fall and is excited to pursue involvement opportunities and live on campus at Hume Hall. She hopes to major in economics on the pre-law track. As the class of 2025 continues to take shape, Honors students look forward to welcoming the next generation of uncommon scholars to our community. Story by Karina Bravo MONICA BEYROUTI: THE NEW FACE AT UF HONORS The Honors Office has a new administrative support assistant: Monica Beyrouti. With more and more people working in the Honors Office, sometimes it can be tricky to know who to go to when you need help. That’s where Beyrouti, the “frontliner” of the Honors Office, comes in to help. Beyrouti takes the phone calls and walk-ins at the office, schedules advising appointments, helps other staffers with their work and handles maintenance orders for the building. Essentially, she’s the central hub to connect students and staffers with what they need. “I know where to point you,” Beyrouti said. “If a student has any questions, I can tell them, ‘This is the person you need to speak with.’” Beyrouti is originally from Miami, but she got her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from UCF in Orlando. She previously worked in UF’s Office of Admissions, but when there was an
opening in the Honors Office, she was eager to work with a smaller number of students who were more academically ambitious. She is currently earning her master’s in management from UF as a parttime student on top of working full-time at the Honors Office. Even with all of that work on her plate, Beyrouti still finds time for fun around campus; she loves attending gymnastic meets and watching the bats emerge from their houses at sunset. “You have to go!” she said. “It’s so beautiful, the way they come out in a spiral formation.” If any readers go to observe this phenomenon, maybe they’ll be lucky enough to encounter a friendly face among the spectators! In her work as an administrative support assistant, Beyrouti strives to help everyone adjust to the expanding Honors Office. “I don’t want everyone to focus on the tedious tasks; my goal is to help them be better in their jobs. If they’re doing a good job, then the students get better service,” said Beyrouti. She herself rather enjoys being the go-to at the office, because she is never bored with all the different tasks she is given. From sending numerous emails to cleaning up reports for Dr. Law to ordering supplies, she is always engaged in her work. “It’s challenging, and I enjoy that,” Beyrouti said. Beyrouti wants Honors students to know that they are fortunate to have such committed advisers in the Honors Office to support them. “We’re here to help Honors students succeed academically by giving them the resources and guidance they need.” With staffers as eager as Beyrouti, there’s no doubt students will have an easier time finding their way. Story by Holly Smith Photos courtesy of Honors Office Design by Erin McLoughlin
Honors Residence Hall Approval of New
As part of the University of Florida’s goal to become a top-five public university, administrators plan to improve the campus over the next decade. These improvements include changes to student facilities, academic buildings and residence halls. The first significant housing development coming to campus is the construction of a new Honors Residence Hall. In February 2021, I spoke with Dr. Mark E. Law, the Director of the Honors Program, and Michele Westrick from VMDO Architects, the architecture firm that designed the new Honors residence hall as a part of the UF Housing Master Plan. VMDO Architects has been working on the Housing Master Plan since September of 2019. The first step in the creation of the Housing Master Plan was to look at the housing across campus and determine how best to elevate the quality of the student experience and facilities. Some existing residence halls, including Rawlings Hall, are scheduled for demolition, which will reduce the beds available on campus. The Honors residence hall would allow for some swing space by creating a large number of beds on campus. The new residence hall will be made up of four buildings containing 1,400 beds for students and resident assistants. Of the 1,400 beds, 300 will be in single units. This is a significant increase from the current Honors residence hall, Hume Hall, which only has 36 single units. The decision to include more single units was made in hopes of encouraging more students to return to campus after freshman year. The student involvement in this project was significant. The design of the hall was guided by listening sessions of students. Honors student leaders were polled within focus groups. Student surveys were issued to the broader community, including those living off-campus. VMDO Architects also consulted the National Career Development Association and the broad network of client universities with whom they have built other Honors colleges. From these perspectives, the design team identified a few essential factors to consider. Students preferred east campus as this was closer to classes and social areas, enjoyed having the common room with the integrated kitchen found in Hume Hall and had mixed feelings about the double suite bathroom. To address the desire to reside closer to the east campus, the team chose to build the new Honors residence hall in a prominent location on Museum Road, replacing the current Broward Outdoor Recreational Complex. The architects designed a two-story lounge on the ends of each building to continue to provide the social aspect of the kitchen and lounge. This allows for students from both floors to meet, interact and cook together, extending Story by Catherine Pereira Photos courtesy of VMDO Architects, PC Design by Emily Miller
a student’s neighborhood to another floor. The lounge will include casual seating, a television, and an expanded kitchen with additional stoves, allowing for multiple people to prepare and serve meals at once and creating a lively opportunity for gathering. On one hand, students enjoyed not needing to share the bathroom with all of the other students on their floor, but on the other hand, being locked out was very frustrating. In response to this love-hate relationship with the double suite bathrooms, the design team decided to implement a wet core style bathroom in the new Honors residence hall. This style is characterized by multiple private bathrooms located in the center of the floor which includes a sink, toilet and shower. A focus group of students from other universities that VMDO Architects have worked with identified a desire for more common spaces, gathering spaces and studying spaces. The first floors of all four buildings in the new Honors residence hall will consist solely of these shared spaces. The classroom spaces and study spaces are lacking in Hume Hall. To address this need, the team developed a schedule to determine how many classrooms would be needed in the new hall to support the Honors program. The designers included multiple individual study spaces, group study spaces and flexible spaces that can be used for mixed purposes, such as large group lectures and events. A great hall in the student commons could be used as a 200 to 250 student lecture hall during the day and a social lounge in the evening. Additionally, there are plans to include a library in one of the buildings as well as mindfulness spaces, maker spaces, and an ensemble room to provide interdisciplinary experiences and encourage creativity and interaction between residents. Three of the four buildings of the new Honors residence hall will partially enclose a courtyard. The courtyard could be used for events such as outdoor movie nights and the Student Honors Organization’s annual Honors Barbecue. Additional green space behind the new residence hall will feature a hammock garden. The Yulee Pit will be completely preserved and easily accessible to students from the new residence hall. There are also plans for a small cafe and terrace in the student commons that can be accessed by the new streetscape surrounding the hall. The design of the new Honors residence hall is influenced by its surrounding architecture. The proposed location is thought to be in a transitional zone. To the south, there are mid-century designs, such as Beaty Towers, while historical buildings lie to the north. The design of this building will create a smoother transition between these regions of campus. The architects hope to preserve the character of the campus at the pedestrian level with UF’s standard brickwork. The first floors of the four buildings will be encased in brick, while the upper levels will have reflective panels and glass, similar to the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. For visitors, this impressive building will serve as a wonderful first experience and impression of UF’s campus. The University of Florida recognizes that while great care has been taken to maintain the buildings on campus, there was not a significant capital investment in redesigning buildings to accommodate what students need today. To become a top-five public university, they also recognize that they need to be able to compete with other public universities in terms of their housing facilities. Through the Housing Master Plan, jumpstarted by the construction of this new Honors residence hall, UF hopes to better support students in what they need academically and socially to succeed.
HONORS & APRONS Spending much of the past year in quarantine, people around the world have been finding or fostering their love for cooking. Two of these people were Honors students Delaney Phelps, a junior majoring in psychology and family, youth and community science, and Miette Ogg, a junior majoring in food science and anthropology, who decided to expand on their passion and create Honors and Aprons, a new student organization for adept and novice chefs alike. Despite student organizations being unable to meet in person, the creativity of the club’s board has already bloomed into an engaging experience for the members. Hear from the co-presidents below on what it was like to start the club. How did the idea for Honors & Aprons come about, and how are your own passions about cooking tied into it? Miette: Baking is a hobby of mine. I use it to relieve stress during exam weeks, express gratitude towards my friends and family, and I overall enjoy the science behind the process. I had wanted to start an organization for people with a love of baking to get together, but that did not turn out as planned. Delaney knew about my baking club aspirations and was asked about creating a cooking organization later on. We half-jokingly decided to combine the two, but the more we talked about it the more excited we got. Delaney is a wonderful chef, whereas I burn most of what I cook, so it was great to have her as a co-president who can reach out to students who share her love of cooking. I was ecstatic to bring baking into the organization. It worked out perfectly. What was the process like to create a new student organization in the Honors Program? Delaney: The process is more flexible than for overall UF organizations. Miette and I ran the idea by Dr. Law, who we had previously talked to about it. He then connected us with Dr. Kristy Spear, who helped talk through our ideas and get us started on the application process. The application really helped us to develop a good structure for the org, and after it was submitted it was reviewed by an Honors committee for approval. Huge shoutout to Dr. Law, Kristy and Mr. O’Malley for all of their help and support throughout! In terms of the recruitment aspect, we started by reaching out to our peers from the (Un)common Arts class about pie baking and musicals as well as our friends from the dorm to get an idea of interest. We also utilized group chats, Facebook groups and Honors on Wednesday once we had started. What inspired you when creating the organization? Did you use other cooking clubs as models, or was it mostly from scratch?
The Newest Honors Student Organization
Miette: I was personally inspired by the cooking community on YouTube. I loved the idea of a group of people who taste what you cook or bake and give their feedback. It would be a learning environment that grew with its members. Delaney and I sort of modeled the club after cooking channels that relied on test kitchens that were suddenly forced online back in March, so they had to adapt and hold cooking shows over Zoom. I thought it worked out amazingly from a viewer’s perspective, and that made me feel like we had a chance to start out online and be able to flourish. What were the effects of being forced to start online in a club that should revolve around demos, tutorials and social interactions between members, and how did you consider this before recruiting members? Miette: Being online definitely made things a little more difficult. We knew we wanted to make it as safe as possible, so virtual meetings and cook alongs were a must. This meant that we would have to find a way to get ingredients to the club members ahead of time. From this we created a system where one week we discussed the science or culture behind different foods, and then the week after we would cook something related to the prior meeting over Zoom. I am lucky enough to be a roommate of Delaney, so we can package all the food for drop off together in our own apartment. I handle the off-campus order, while Delaney handles on-campus. This system, while complicated, is safe and seems to be working. This was a rubric created before we brought members, or an officer board in. In our meetings we really try to get our members to participate as much as possible. Interruptions by members wanting to share an unpopular food opinion, or ask a question are common, and I want to keep it that way. What has the club accomplished so far, and what are you hoping to accomplish in the future? Delaney: I think we actually have done better than we expected in terms of virtual interactive activities. Last semester we did a cookie exchange for those in Gainesville that went pretty well, and this semester we’ve done cook-alongs that went pretty smoothly. We’re really excited to have in-person events when that is safe; we’re excited to have cook-alongs, local restaurant tours and service events around UF and Gainesville. We’re also looking forward to the prospect of having guest presenters from around campus to discuss scientific, cultural, and all aspects of food and cooking. We also hope to make connections outside of UF within the Gainesville community though local restaurants, businesses and organizations.
FICTIONAL FOODS YOU WOULD 100% EAT Matthew: The cake the fairies made in “Sleeping Beauty.” Jennifer: A bowl of noodles from the noodle shop in “Kung Fu Panda.” Malea: Alice’s unbirthday cake from the 1950s “Alice in Wonderland.” Miette: Tiana’s beignets from “The Princess and the Frog.” BEST COMFORT FOODS
Featuring Vice President Matthew Alicock, Secretary Malea Joyce, Treasurer Jennifer Kyu and Social Media & Communications Director Savannah Buccellato. FAVORITE FOODS Matthew: Guyanese food. Jennifer: A nice bowl of noodles. Malea: Chili or chocolate. Miette: Chocolate chip pancakes. Delaney: Medium-rare steak (also mushrooms and cheese). LEAST FAVORITE FOODS Matthew: Anything with bananas. Jennifer: Olives or whipped cream. Savannah: Cantaloupe. Malea: Snickers candy bars. Miette: Beets. Delaney: Avocado (& guacamole) or tofu. FAVORITE FOODS TO COOK Matthew: Roti. Jennifer: Fried rice, all types of curry. Savannah: Homemade pastas, especially with additions to the dough like herbs or beet juice. Malea: Cakes with fun flavors. Miette: Cinnamon rolls. Delaney: Pasta with miscellaneous vegetables. BEST COOKING SHOW Matthew: “Pioneer Woman.” Jennifer: “Junskitchen” on YouTube. Savannah: “Chopped” or “Binging with Babish” on YouTube. Malea: “Gordon Ramsey’s Home Cooking.” Miette: “Good Eats.” Delaney: Any of the Food Network competition shows.
Matthew: Sautéed seasoned pumpkin with roti. Jennifer: Burmese mohinga. Savannah: Mac and cheese. Malea: Enchiladas with red chile and Spanish rice. Miette: Any sort of soup with thick noodles. Delaney: Ice cream, cured meats or cheese. BEST NEW PANDEMIC RECIPES Matthew: Crusty bread made in my Dutch oven. Jennifer: Chinese coconut cocktail buns. Savannah: Squash soups. Malea: Cream cheese zucchini bread. Miette: Coconut-based curries. Delaney: Dumplings! BEST EASY RECIPES Matthew: Ramen or quesadillas. Jennifer: Spicy ramen with an egg cracked on top or frozen dumplings. Savannah: Instant ramen with egg and steamed veggies. Malea: Quesadilla with cream cheese, cheddar, jalapeños and chip pieces. Miette: Microwave steamed broccoli with tofu and sriracha sauce. Delaney: Rice with butter, parmesan cheese and soy sauce (yes, I know it has zero nutritional value). UNDERRATED RECIPES Matthew: Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Jennifer: Lasagna or kimbap. Savannah: Homemade burrito bowls. Malea: Jams! Miette: Browned butter chocolate chip cookies do not get the love they deserve. Delaney: Grilled cheese with different cheeses and sauteed vegetables. Story by Kiran Mital Photos courtesy of Honors & Aprons Design by Courtney Chalmers & Soumya Kona
FOOD OPINIONS with Honors & Aprons Spring 2021
PRISM’S PICKS a selection of our staff’s pop culture recommendations
Daniella’s pop choices of 2021 2021 has been delivering in terms of new music! I have to admit it – very few things get me more hyped than music release Fridays. Here are my top five new song releases of 2021: 1. “drivers license” - Olivia Rodrigo If you say you haven’t heard this song, I don’t believe you. Miss Olivia Rodrigo has taken the world by storm with the first debut single to spend its first six weeks on the Hot 100 at #1, and it is entirely well-deserved! This song fully embodies the feelings associated with heartbreak, and it made me sad over a breakup that I didn’t even have. Not to mention, her voice is absolutely spectacular...and she’s only 17! She served with this one! 2. “right where you left me” - Taylor Swift How could Taylor not be included in this list? The woman does not rest. We got two outstanding albums last year (she saved 2020...there, I said it), and she released two bonus tracks from “evermore” on Jan. 7, 2021! This particular song is my favorite of the two; her vocals really shine, and it feels nostalgic because of the country twang that she incorporates in both her tone and the music. After all, she did start off her career as a country singer; it comes naturally to her. This song is about a girl who has her heart broken, and she stays frozen in time, not wanting to move on. It’s heart-wrenching in the best way. 3. “Beginning Middle End” - Leah Nobel In honor of the release of “To All the Boys: Always & Forever”, I had to include Peter and Lara Jean’s official song! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this song is from a Netflix film franchise that premiered its final film in midFebruary; the main couple in the movie picked this song as “their song” and danced to it. It was the cutest thing ever. Nobel is a relatively new artist, and she blends the folk, pop and alternative genres seamlessly while providing really meaningful lyrics. Give this song a listen if you haven’t yet! 4. “Like 1999” - Valley The story behind this song’s release would not have made sense a couple of years ago; Valley posted a TikTok of themselves recording this song, and it went viral. It got a million views and thousands of comments from both fans and people who had just discovered them. They ended up releasing it a few days later. I want to get in the car with my friends and drive to the beach while blasting this song. It feels like summer! 5. “main thing” - Ariana Grande Ariana has blessed us with the deluxe version of “positions”, and this is one of the four bonus tracks. As a long-time fan, I am overjoyed that she is releasing songs about how happy and in love she is now! Her smooth, controlled voice and the R&B vibes come together to make a really soulful love song. She also wrote the lyrics, did the background vocals and served as the vocal producer. She’s an absolute boss. Story by Daniella Conde
Bryan’s hyperpop pick One of my favorite albums is ““OIL” OF EVERY PEARL’S UNINSIDES” by SOPHIE, a Scottish musician and producer. “OIL” belongs to a genre called hyperpop: a music style derived from the pop genre. Hyperpop has exploded in popularity within the last year, transforming from an obscure style of music to an established movement in modern music. Hyperpop has found itself an audience, particularly among teenagers and college students, and I want to call attention to what is, in my opinion, one of its best pieces of music so far. “OIL” is what first exposed me to hyperpop. I found the album through YouTube and quickly became entranced. The album was like nothing I had ever heard before, a maelstrom of rattling bass and futuristic synth notes intercut with quiet moments of pitchshifted poignancy. SOPHIE’s vocals are layered on and between these instrumentals, pitched into something just this side of otherworldly. If the album is a maelstrom, a swirling storm of noise, then you are a sailor, and SOPHIE is the siren luring you ever deeper. There is a good amount of variety to the tracks which keeps the album from feeling monotonous. The high-energy party tracks like “Ponyboy” find a balance with more subdued and emotional songs, such as “Immaterial” and “Infatuation.”
Similar to other hyperpop artists, SOPHIE’s work is peppered with commentary on the digital age and Internet culture, and “OIL” is no exception. For example, the track “Faceshopping” (my personal favorite from the album) is a critique on the calculated, artificial nature of social media. The track “Immaterial” explores the often disjoint relationship between a person’s identity, their physical form and the expectations of their society. SOPHIE is considered a trailblazer in many respects. As a musician, SOPHIE was one of the prime contributors to hyperpop and its development, and the genre owes much to her influence. As a trans woman, SOPHIE became an icon for the LGBTQ+ community and broke new ground for trans representation in the music industry. SOPHIE tragically passed away in January, less than two years after the release of “OIL”, her debut album. Since then, listening to “OIL” has, for me, become more than just enjoying SOPHIE’s music; it is also about remembering the icon and creative force that she was. Story by Brian Paulsen
Joyce’s look at “Soul” Watching Pixar’s “Soul” is like being in sensory overload. The film is packed with stirring jazz music, stunning animation and comic dialogue, all while exploring the age-old question: what is the purpose of life? The story follows Joe Gardner, a middle-aged middle school music teacher who desperately wants to be a professional jazz musician. But just when Joe finally gets a chance to realize his dream by performing with the famous Dorothea Williams, Joe falls down a manhole and dies. When Joe finds himself facing the light in The Great Beyond, Joe panics, runs away and accidentally winds up in The Great Before, where souls that have not been born yet get their personalities and find their spark (under the tutelage of mentors who had led extraordinary lives) before being born on Earth. Joe is mistaken for a famous psychologist and is assigned as a mentor to a soul called 22, who is determined not to live life on Earth. The movie follows the bizarre journey of Joe and 22 as they try to find 22’s spark and help Joe return to his life. Ultimately, “Soul” was a beautiful and entertaining 100 minutes that had a sweet message to remind us all to enjoy life while we have it. Story by Joyce Jiang
Julia’s throwback to “The Handmaid’s Tale” If, like me, you watched “The Handmaid’s Tale” before reading it, you will find that the show did an incredible job of faithfully adapting the novel, often including exact quotes from impactful scenes. I personally chose the audiobook version and, while I typically do not listen to audiobooks, I highly recommend it for this novel; it is narrated by Elizabeth Moss, the actress who plays the main character Offred in Hulu’s television adaptation. Moss’s narration, combined with Atwood’s beautiful writing, fully immerses you in the world of Gilead and the horrors faced by the Handmaids who are forced to bear children for the Commanders and their infertile wives. I truly have never read a book with such incredible imagery and metaphors; Atwood’s skill with words is undeniable. If you enjoy drama, dystopia and extraordinary writing, you absolutely should read Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Story by Julia Garcia Illustration by Nikita Patel Design by Erin McLoughlin Spring 2021
puffs an interview with the producers
“Puffs” is an offBroadway play written by Matthew Cox that serves as a parody of the “Harry Potter” series. It is a comedic yet heartfelt look at an often forgotten side of “Harry Potter:” the Puffs. “Puffs” relegates Harry Potter and the main crew as background characters, going so far as to turning Ron and Hermione into quiet, unassuming mops, and focuses on a group of misfits who are not “brave” or “smart” or “always look like they’re about to throw a glass of white wine in your face.” The play tells us that “we are all the heroes of our own story,” a lesson that Dr. Mark Law, the director of the UF Honors Program, particularly admires. Dr. Law became involved with “Puffs” at the encouragement of UF Honors alumnus and twotime Tony-winning producer John Pinckard. Like the main hero of “Puffs,” Dr. Law played a crucial but often overlooked role in the success of the play. He served as an associate producer who focused on the business investor side. Some of his duties involved devising ways to increase ticket sales, general marketing and budgeting to provide the behind the scenes magic that brought our heroes to the main stage. Although Dr. Law has always been interested in theatre and participated in productions since middle school, “Puffs” led him to become far more invested in i t . Even though the play is no longer running, Dr. Law is still involved in theatre. One of his new projects, also spearheaded by a former “Puffs” producer, involves a “choose your own adventure” performance where audience members make choices on their phones to control the actors. These live shows have been particularly successful over Zoom.
John Pinckard, on the other hand, started his career at UF as a physics major. He took a couple theatre electives and participated in a Florida Players production. Pinckard ended up becoming so enamored with the process of creating plays that he switched his major to theatre. It was a risky decision, but it ended up working out for him, considering that he is now a two-time Tony Award winner
(although he often uses one of the Tonys as a doorstop, just to keep it real). Mr. Pinckard had his hands in a little bit of everything as the executive producer, although he was particularly focused on creative development. He primarily worked on the script and production design, constantly putting out fires and tweaking the show to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible. Mr. Pinckard specialized in lightning design at UF, which is evident in “Puffs,” especially in its more dramatic scenes. Although he was careful in making sure not to impose his own vision on his creative team, he encouraged them to go bigger during more iconic moments, which led to thrilling results, especially when the dementors attacked. Mr. Pinckard advises students and anyone who has an interest in theatre, “if you want to get involved in theatre, do it. There is a misunderstanding in this culture that the only legitimate way to be involved in the theatre is to make a living at it, but I don’t believe that. Anyone can get involved in theatre.” UF itself has many theatre organizations, including the Florida Players, Shakespeare in the Park and Theatre Strike Force, which are open to all students regardless of skill level or experience. Mr. Pinckard is currently working on a “queer, musical spin” on “Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde which he will be Story by Ananya Jain Design by Emily Miller
4th Ave Food Park Eat local. Photos by Amanda Smith Design by Erin McLoughlin
Fehrenbacher’s Artisan Sausage Despite its name, Fehrenbacher’s Artisan Sausage sells more than just sausages. This humble shop in the 4th Ave Food Park sells everything from ginger and sage breakfast sausage to Berkshire pork chops (which come from a special breed of hogs) to brown sugar bacon. They make their assortment of cured meats in house every other day. It took me three trips to find a time when they were open, but the result was worth the effort. As soon as you walk through the door, you are welcomed with the rustic visage of a chalkboard detailing their rotating menu, a glass case showcasing cured meat and a cheerful employee to welcome you. I had “The Intimidator,” a sandwich with the sausage of the day, hot pepper relish, dijon aioli, lettuce, tomato and hot sauce. It was so spicy that I was chugging milk as I ate, but it was also absolutely delicious. Living with a vegetarian roommate, meat is a treat for me. Since I eat less meat, I try to make my meals with meat special, which Fehrenbacher’s Artisan Sausage more than delivered. Story by Joyce Jiang
Humble Wood Fire
Humble Wood Fire in 4th Ave Food Park is a delicious and convenient experience that offers an exciting assortment of breakfast items at a COVID-friendly location. Their menu consists of specialty bagels, such as freshly baked Asaigo, Jalapeño Cheddar, and House Nut Butter and Jelly bagels. They also offer brunch items including a savory biscuits and gravy dish. However, my personal favorite is the Shiitake “Bacon”, Egg, and Cheddar topped bagel, which is a vegan-friendly dish that appears to be exclusive to this restaurant in Gainesville. Be wary of the hours, though, as they are very specific; the restaurant is open Tuesday-Sunday from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 pm. While the prices are relatively high, they can be justified through the nice atmosphere and diverse menu that is offered. If you prefer the taste of specialty pizza over bagels and eggs, check out the sister location in the middle of Depot Park, which is usually open during evening hours when the 4th Ave location is closed!
Story by Drew Wengrovitz
If you go to 4th Ave Food Park and you’re a coffee drinker, you cannot pass up a stop by the Opus Airstream. Whoever came up with the idea of serving coffee out of a travel trailer deserves an award. Just looking at the Airstream makes me happy. The Airstream offers a somewhat consolidated version of Opus’ regular menu, but their offerings at this location are still very diverse. Whether you’re in the mood for a fancy latte, a tea, or a homemade baked good, the Airstream has got you covered! I am partial to the Ozarks at Dark, a triple espresso with milk and organic raspberry syrup—it’s delicious! If you’re more of a classic-drink kind of person, they have americanos, cappuccinos, espresso and more. There are few instances that produce better vibes than grabbing a drink from the Airstream, sitting at a picnic table and enjoying the outdoors while sipping away. Story by Daniella Conde
Located within the 4th Ave Food Park, Sublime Tacos is a local establishment serving Mexican cuisine. While the restaurant is, of course, known for their tacos, their menu excels across the board. As my go-to choice for Mexican food since the fall of 2019, I’ve been able to sample the range of options and can strongly endorse every option. My usual choice for an entrée is the three chicken tacos, and with all of the toppings, they are definitely Instagram story worthy. When you enter Sublime Tacos, you are immediately faced with the counter to place your order. The restaurant is filled with greenery on tables and hanging from the ceiling, eliciting a casual but modern atmosphere. Patrons also have the option of dining in the food park as well. Overall, Sublime Tacos offers great food, good service, and a welcoming atmosphere. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for fresh Mexican food at a decent price. Sublime Tacos distinguishes itself from other local taco places in the area with its copious amounts of outdoor seating and friendly staff. Story by Erin McLoughlin
While Satchel’s Pizza may be renowned across campus as a Gainesville staple, its offshoot restaurant, Satch Squared, deserves just as much recognition. Known for its Detroit-style square pizzas and specialty waffles, fun retro vibe and convenient location at the 4th Ave Food Park, Satch Squared is the perfect spot to grab a slice on a night out. Satch Squared’s menu is fairly straightforward—customers are given the option between ordering pizza or waffles, with gluten-free and vegan options available for each. Similarly to Satchel’s, the menu does not disappoint: with a wide array of unique toppings ranging from anchovies to hot honey, Satch Squared truly offers something for everyone. After ordering, customers can enjoy the outdoor ambience of 4th Ave Food Park before retrieving their pizza fresh from a side window. Between the thick, crispy, chewy crust and the sweet and spicy flavor of the hot honey, Satch Squared has quickly become one of my top pizza spots in Gainesville. Story by Zoe Golomb
THROUGH THE PERSPECTIVE OF COVIDCOLORED LENSES 16
all that it seems.
As an incoming freshman but junior by credits, I thought I had it all planned out in 2017. I was going to stringently follow the four-year plan that my adviser and preview staffer had graciously provided for me, become the most popular individual in Hume Hall (and therefore of all campus), and gain as much muscle mass as my rather short stature could support by the end of the year. Needless to say, none of those things came true. The “four-year plan” quickly became a “four-year disarrangement.” I ended up switching my major twice over the course of a few months. I realized my fantasy of becoming popular had evaporated when my own Hume Hall suitemate asked for a form of identification when I locked myself out of my room and needed to go through his connecting bathroom to get back in. And while I had envisioned looking as fit as Zac Efron in “Baywatch” by the end of the year, I ended up looking more like a dehydrated string bean. Just as Gator Dining was to Preview students, college would not be
It could be argued that perhaps these unplanned occurrences were a consequence of chronic introversion and laziness. Perhaps I would have gotten to know more people if I had made the effort to talk to Hume Hall peers after our (un)common reads classes. Maybe if I had put a bit more effort forward in studying for that first general chemistry test, it wouldn’t have influenced my four-year plan as drastically. It wasn’t until an enormous tree collapsed on top of the soccer net that I had been playing with nearly every day behind Hume when I realized that maybe some things really aren’t in my control. It was time to start taking advantage of exciting opportunities because clearly, you never know what life is going to throw at you. I loaded up on taking more (un)common reads classes, including a comedy class with Dr. Law that discussed “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” this time with the intention of talking to other people after class and making new friends. I took aerial yoga classes once a week throughout the Spring semester with honors advisers, proudly displaying to them how incredibly inflexible I am. I even secured a job at the O’Connell Center in which I was a security guard for Gator Growl and was within touching distance of Snoop Dogg. That day, I felt like Snoop Lion. Retroactively looking back on these memories as a senior graduating this spring, I am thankful that I partook in them and am regretful that I didn’t do more. There are numerous activities on my UF bucket list that I simply did not get around to because of the pandemic. Just like the tree that fell on my soccer net, Coronavirus, quarantine, and most other things in life are unpredictable and completely out of everyone’s control. Despite not succeeding in my original major, I’m glad I unmasked the correct one for me. Despite not reaching Tim Tebow popularity, I’m thankful I have friends to socially distance from as opposed to being socially distant from making friends. And despite not reaching my fitness goals, I know things are going to work out.
Story by Andrew Wengrovitz Design by Courtney Chalmers
SHOPS Feeling at home is our favorite part of the coffeeshop experience. Whether you are looking for a place to study, a first date spot, or somewhere to fulfill your daily morning (or afternoon...we get it) coffee needs, this list will point you in the right direction. We might have different favorite coffeeshops, but they coincide in an essential way — each one has a warm, welcoming atmosphere and, best of all, delicious coffee. Daniella’s Picks:
DOXA I have to admit that I am somewhat cheating by including this in “Favorite Gainesville Coffeeshops,’’ because Doxa is technically in Alachua, but I’m still going to count it because it is just that good. Also, Alachua is only a short drive away from Gainesville (it takes me about 25 minutes to get there from University Ave). If you’re looking to escape Gainesville’s hub for a while, Doxa is the ultimate spot to go. I like to make trips to Doxa an entire day’s adventure. I use the drive to clear my head, then I arrive at the coffee shop, order a pourover and camp out at a table for a number of productive hours. If
you’re not a fan of pourover, I recommend their lattes — both espresso and matcha! And if you’re hungry, their ricotta toast is out of this world. Ever since I tried it for the first time, I haven’t been able to get off my mind; I genuinely start to randomly crave it sometimes. Doxa is a hidden gem, and it’s also my favorite coffee shop in Gainesville and its surrounding areas. If you’re looking to try any of my recommendations, I highly suggest this one!
OPUS Locally roasted coffee, espresso beverages, creative tea drinks and pastries made from scratch? Yes, please! Opus has multiple locations, so you have no excuses to not go. I’m kidding (sort of). But really — Opus has one of the most diverse drink menus I have ever seen in my entire coffee shop-hunting career...and I have been to more coffee shops than I am inclined to publicly admit. My favorite location is the airstream at 4th Ave Food Park. Very few things give me more joy than ordering an iced Ozarks at Dark (triple espresso with oat milk and organic raspberry syrup) and drinking it at a picnic table on a sunny day. If you’re looking for a more bare-bones coffee drink, their iced latte is also delicious. If you decide to try Opus, be prepared for some highquality coffee and high-quality vibes.
Pascal’s is a cozy hideaway from hectic campus life. The coffeehouse’s proximity to UF makes it an ideal place for grabbing a quick coffee in between classes. If you are looking for a place to hang around and study, Pascal’s has a variety of indoor and outdoor seating; the overall atmosphere is chill and low-stress, which is perfect for hunkering down and really focusing. Their menu offers espresso drinks, tea and snacks. I am guilty of spending hours at Pascal’s and placing multiple orders throughout my time there. Sometimes you just need a sweet pick-me-up while studying (and I am incapable of saying no to pastries from Uppercrust...which Pascal’s has on their menu). I am also partial to their iced Cuban espresso; it is the perfect level of sweetness & creaminess while still maintaining a distinct coffee taste. If you haven’t been to Pascal’s yet, consider this a sign — you have to go.
Story by Daniella Conde & Marguerite Andrich Photos byVeronica Schmalfuss Design by Courtney Chalmers
a gator’s guide to being
social & safe Like many of you, I’ve been cooped up inside my apartment for the past year. I’ve been forced to learn that there are only so many ways to occupy yourself indoors before you start to go stircrazy. Luckily, there are still quite a few ways to entertain yourself in Gainesville while staying safe. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite activities below! Hiking: Since the start of the pandemic, my favorite way to take a break from everything has been hiking. Gainesville has quite a few different trails to choose from. Loblolly Woods Nature Park is the trail that I hike most often. It’s a relatively easy trail with a boardwalk that winds along a creek, and it offers many offshoot paths. Clear Lake Nature Park is another one of my go-tos. It’s only accessible to pedestrians through nearby neighborhoods, so there are rarely many people on it which makes it a great spot to visit if you’re seeking some solitude. This park borders the wetlands of the Sugarfoot Prairie Conservation Area, a park that contains another set of beautiful hiking trails, including a walkable levee. All of these trails are also prime locations for birdwatching, biking and discovering Gainesville’s plentiful wildlife. Florida Natural History Museum: Another great reason to get out of the house is a trip to the Florida Natural History Museum. This museum is located near the
edge of UF’s campus and is free to students with a UF Gator ID. Security strictly enforces masks, social distancing and one way paths, so it’s still a safe place to visit. Additionally, the museum rotates through limited special exhibits that have included animals like live baby alligators and sloths! My personal favorite exhibit is the Butterfly Rainforest. This is a permanent outdoor exhibit that includes hundreds of exotic butterflies, tropical plants, birds and waterfalls. If you wear bright colors and are lucky, you may even have butterflies land on you! Lake Wauburg: Lake Wauburg’s North Shore Park is currently open and free to UF students with Gator IDs. This park has a beach area, an observation dock, picnic tables, grills, volleyball courts and even boat rentals. I’ve been kayaking on Lake Wauburg and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just don’t make the same mistake I did; make sure to bring bug spray for the mosquitoes! All these activities can be enjoyed either alone or with your quarantine pod! Although it looks as though we may have some time left before the pandemic ends, Gainesville’s beautiful outdoors still offer us many ways to entertain ourselves safely. Story by Ananya Jain Photo by Veronika Schmalfuss Design by Soumya Kona
SOLA FLAIR! There I stood, on an unfamiliar road that was yet another reminder of my failure. Frigid air brushed past my knees, chilling the skin exposed by the myriad of tears in my jeans. The air’s tendrils curled up and around my legs, giving rise to a wave of goosebumps that reached the narrow points of my shoulder. I shrugged off the cold and waited patiently for her return. I had no right to complain. At the sound of the door behind me opening, I turned to face a lady slightly shorter than I was. The red accents of her boa gave her a radiance that was unmistakable, even on a starless night like this. Her shine seemed to envelop my body in an insurmountable darkness. On her waist sat a belt with the words “Sola Flair!” inscribed on the buckle. She carried my bag of graffiti supplies and comic books depicting various superheroes over her shoulder. I looked down towards the ground, unable to bring myself to face her. She hurried toward me and rambled, “Goodness, is it cold! What are you doing out here? Get your butt in the car, baby sis!” She stepped quickly toward a blood red luxury car and tapped on its window. The chauffeur inside nodded and began to fiddle with the radio. She opened the door to the backseat and waved me over. I sank into the rich mahogany cushions, and my ears perked up as they caught the melody of one of my favorite songs. My toe poked out of a hole in my shoe and rubbed across the delightfully soft rug. With a light chuckle, my frozen lips melted into a grin. As I was getting settled into the warmth of the car, a black heel plopped onto my lap. Before I could turn to look where it came from, another bounced off my head as my sister began to explode with laughter. “Onta, love, you’ve always had such a lovely sense of humor!” my sister howled. “Jeez, Cora. You’re gonna wake the whole block!” I said, hiding my face. “Oh? I’m gonna wake the whole block?” she said with a devious smile. “I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit!” Cora leapt towards me, her tiny fingers curled into attack position. She went straight for my stomach and began tickling me relentlessly. She peppered her fingers across all of my weak spots, leaving me helpless to her assault.
“Cora! Stop, please! Mercy, mercy! You win!” I pleaded, jabbing her sides lightly. She sat up triumphantly, and I could have sworn I heard a trumpet blare out from the radio. “That’s for never calling home!” Cora jested. I caught my breath and shifted in my seat. “I’ve just been busy is all.” She raised an eyebrow at me. “Is that so?” “Thanks again for getting me out of the slammer, but I can handle myself,” I replied, trying to change the subject. “Dad always said ‘Us Solas stick together!’ remember?” “How is he, by the way?” My voice cracked a bit. “He misses you. You know there’s always a spot for you back at my company, right? Didn’t you used to love dressing up? Maybe you could be our top model with them long legs!” “I know, I just…” “I get it.” Cora said with a warm smile. Her eyes glanced to my bag. “Just be careful trying to change the world, my little hero.” I gazed out the window and noticed a lonely star appear before me in the night sky. “Hey, how long til we reach Dad’s place?” Story by Derek Pena Design by Soumya Kona
The gaze of a sea of stars formed shadows within Fier village, a settlement situated just south of the Himalayan mountains. Fireflies fluttered around like fairies and, to complete the picture of tranquility, the wind drifted past, forming ripples on the cerulean lake that bordered the village. Then a figure bolted past, an odd entity in the otherwise picturesque scene. As he finally stopped at the edge of the village, his ethereal green eyes pierced his surroundings with a gaze that conveyed immeasurable depth and compassion. “Time to get to work,” he thought while smiling to himself. He leisurely darted across the village in the blink of a second before he came across a house constructed of wood and sun-dried brick, and other than how it seemed to be on the brink of collapse, it seemed to hold no significance over all the other houses. The man’s eyes began to shine for a second and then, with a nod, he walked through the walls of the structure. Inside, he saw a frail woman sleeping next to two young children. One was a girl who seemed to be thirteen years of age while the other was a boy who couldn’t have been more than seven. Seeing their youth brought a flash of imagery to the man as he suddenly remembered where it all started. ~~~ A young boy with bright green eyes that stood in contrast to his dull and tattered clothes sat across from a man whose cobalt-blue eyes seemed to peer into the mysteries of the world. Between them was a table laid with a lavish meal and, every now and then, the boy would stuff his mouth full of food as if he hadn’t eaten in days. “So… Mister Star was it?” the boy asked curiously in between a mouthful. The man nodded in confirmation before the boy went on. “…why’d you help me? Buy me food I mean.” Mister Star’s eyes creased in a smile as he emanated a pleasant warmth. “Do I have to have a reason?” The boy shrugged before moving another portion of food to his plate. “No one ever does anything without a reason, especially for someone like me — a street orphan. So, what do you want in return?” Mister Star leaned forward, seemingly ignoring his question. “Have you ever wished for something?” “Of course I have! Everyone wishes for something.” The man nodded before continuing. “Exactly. And that is why I helped you. Because you had a wish, something pure. How could I not help?” The boy tilted his head in confusion. “But… how did you even know what my wish was?” Mister Star smiled in his uncanny way and seemed to dodge the question once again. “Do you know the power of a wish?” The boy nodded confidently. “Yeah! A wish has no power. If it did, I’d be rich!” The man shook his head. “That’s not your wish, that’s your desire. A wish is something borne from your very essence. While you can shape your desires, a wish is what shapes you.” At this, he paused for a moment before continuing. “Do you want me to tell you what your wish is?” The boy nodded nonchalantly, although his eyes betrayed his curiosity. “Sure.” “It’s to grant wishes.”
The street orphan erupted in laughter. “Even if that is true, that would be a ridiculous wish, right? How can I help others when I can’t even help myself? And how would I even know their wishes?” Mister Star’s cobalt gaze once again seemed to glow as he scanned the boy before nodding in approval. “Well… what about now?” As he spoke, he reached over and tapped the boy on the forehead. The boy was about to ask what that did when all of a sudden he heard a weak voice. ‘I wish to save my son.’ “Did you hear that?” The boy asked, looking around for who had spoken. Mister Star just stared at him, as if searching for something. ‘I wish I had food.’ ‘I wish I could share my art.” ‘I wish…’ A cascade of statements suddenly came out of nowhere, and the boy stared at the man across from him in panic. “What’s happening?” “Countless people wish upon a star for their deepest wish to be fulfilled, but how can something so far away grant wishes? I — no, we grant these wishes. We become that star they wish upon. And what you are hearing right now…? Those are wishes.” The man looked at him intensely. “Do you want to learn how to grant them?” The boy’s green eyes seemed to spark in wonder and delight as he nodded excitedly. Mister Star once again smiled. “Perfect.” Another tap and the boy suddenly felt something awaken — he could only describe it as a well of power. “Now you can grant them too. Try focusing on one wish and putting that new feeling into it.” The boy nodded before focusing on the first wish he heard. He suddenly felt the rest of the wishes growing quieter before all he could hear was ‘I wish to save my son’ — a wish of maternal affection. His eyes began to glow as he diverted his energy into the single wish, and soon he felt a feeling of contentment as the wish seemed to dissipate. “Is it done?” he asked the man eagerly. “Did I grant a wish?” Mister Star nodded before suddenly breaking into the widest grin he had seen all day. “I present a hearty welcome to the newest initiate of the Nebula.” “The Nebula?” the boy asked, confused. “I’m not the only wish granter, and neither are you. But, together, we — the people who fulfill dreams — refer to ourselves as the Nebula — the place where stars are forged and wishes are born. By taking on the mantle of a star you gain its power, something you have barely grazed.” Mister Star’s eyes suddenly twinkled before he pointed outside of the restaurant they were in. “Look.” As the boy turned around, he saw a woman that was holding a frail baby — her son — start weeping in joy. This was due to an obvious reason — a healthy pallor had been restored to the baby, who began to gurgle happily. The green-eyed boy let loose a brilliant smile at that moment. “Amazing,” he said breathlessly. He turned around excitedly, hoping to ask Mister Star a myriad of questions. Strangely, however, the seat across from him was empty as if Mister Star had never even existed. ~~~ The man shook himself out of his fond reverie before he glanced at the girl once more. She had long black hair and an aura that seemed to draw the trust of those around her. This was the girl that had the same wish as him. “A wish to be able to grant wishes.” The man chuckled once more at the beauty of that statement before utilizing the star’s power as he tapped the girl on her arm. With a single green glimmer of light, he and the girl were suddenly standing in the center of the lake as ripples converged at their location. The girl slowly opened her eyes, revealing a pair of warm, honey-brown spheres. Upon noticing that she was standing on top of the lake as the bright fireflies drifted about, she let loose a radiant smile. “What an incredible dream…” She then noticed the green-eyed man next to her, and upon sensing his warmth, she tilted her head curiously. “And… who are you?” The green-eyed man smiled as the stars shimmered in response. “My name? I am Mister Star.” Story by Ronak Kanodia Illustration by Alexandra Feldman Design by Soumya Kona
WISH UPON A STAR Spring 2021
Poem by Julia Garcia Illustration by Julia Zhu Design by Julia Garcia
Apprehension, Anxiety, Worry, Fear bombard you like freezing rain. They soak you to your core, penetrating layer after layer as they chill you to your bones. They surround you from all sides and escape seems impossible. Until. You stand at the edge of a cliff, a precipice, a crossroads. A doorway.
There is no lock. There is no key. All may enter if they desire. And so, you open the door.
You set down your bags, removing the weight of the world from your shoulders, and are suddenly embraced.
A thin beam of light grows wider and longer, spreading across the hardwood floor and climbing up the walls like paint on a canvas, coating every surface in color.
Comfort, Peace, Love, Security. They wrap themselves around you, enveloping you in their warmth.
The reds of Joy and the blues of Tranquility.
They are the permanent Guardians of the Hearth, waiting patiently for your return, no matter the length of your absence.
The greens of Strength and the purples of Wisdom.
Whether minutes or days, months or a lifetime.
Like dust reflecting a ray of sunlight, Hope and Optimism float in the air, illuminated by Possibility and New Beginnings.
They are always there. For you, for anyone, for everyone.
Because even though they are not everywhere, you can find them anywhere. Anywhere that can be called by this simple name:
Home. No matter the intensity of the storm, the darkness of the sky, the bitterness of the cold, the magnitude of the challenges you face, one thing is always certain: 24
Home will be waiting for you with open arms, wherever you may be.
The Beast A Beast silently prowls the halls of my house in desperate search of something. With every step, its clawed pads and meandering tail faintly scuff against the floor. In the darkness, it easily blends into the shadows. Shrouded by a shaggy umber coat, the Beast continues to hunt something. Carefully peering around every corner, it moves to the bedroom. As it creeps up to the slightly ajar door, the Beast’s nose begins to twitch menacingly. Something is close. Something smells good. Quietly, the Beast pushed through the door and entered the den of its prey. Although the Beast was now confused. Something or Someone? It was of no concern to the monster that now slunk onto the carpeted floor of the room and into the shadows. It could hear the Someone. Someone was breathing the rhythmic, relaxed breaths of sleep. She would never be expecting the attack. With great care so as not to disturb the unconscious Someone, the Beast began to climb the bed frame. Its razor claws gently scratched the sturdy wooden furniture, but the Beast was eventually able to complete its ascent without making too much noise. It could see the Someone now. She looked peaceful as the Beast surreptitiously moved over piles of blankets and pillows to be standing directly above the prone woman. Gazing at the pale flesh of the human’s neck brought saliva into the Beast’s maw and hunger into her terrifying eyes. As her pupils dilated with craving, the Beast noticed a single drop of drool escaping from her toothy grin. She helplessly watched as it splashed onto the face of her prey, disturbing the person out of their deep sleep. Fearfully, the woman looked up and beheld the terrifying Beast. Without hesitation, Murphy the Goldendoodle finally licked her mom’s face. Poem by Noah Towbin Design by Julia Garcia
Coming Home Returning one last time I draw near to the end A final chapter looms close With so much left unsaid Treasuring the memories Of the years I’ve carried here Times of heartbreak, times of joy Grief, giving, laughter, noise Finding friends for life, to endure the years Whether they are far or near Meeting many so wise and so kind Sparking brilliance of language and mind Riding buses, bright green lawns Hearing Turlington plaza’s hums The canopies of hanging oak Buildings brick and ivy cloaked Tower high with bold bells ringing Karaoke night with singing Late night essays, Starbucks runs Cheering crowds, readings begun Libraries filled with ancient books Lakes of gators, study nooks Bats fly against the setting sun So much to do, but already done Now here I stand in robe and cap The future sprawled out—a blank map It twists and turns, goes here and there But as I go forward, I don’t despair For no matter where I roam, Across the stars or overseas Part of my heart will always be With this place, my second home Poem by Hannah Calderazzo Design by Erin McLoughlin
COVID morning Covid creates empty spaces.
Every morning you can hear the wind’s sorrowful tune.
Even from the Century Tower...
And places off campus.
At least there is peace and quiet here. And yet...
The Turlington Potato misses us. Comic by Hannah Powell Design by Ananya Jain
Cover by Grace Dooley