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Vibrato June 2012


Table of Contents 3 Events Page: local charlotte, nc events for the upcoming month of june.

5 Home: A Definition personal profile on owners of “our place,” a local boutique.

9 Sister Act: personal profile on set designers anna and rachel tabor.

13 Urbanized: Review of gary hustwit’s documentary film on urban planning, “urbanized.”

16 Orphic Grove:

a collaboration of mystical photography and tales

41 Mentorship Through Social Media: mentorship seems to have been lost in our modern culture. A history of mentorship through the ages and how social media can help us to regain it.

45 QR Code Steers Users Wrong: QR codes are being misused. how can we correct this?

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Innovation. Arts. Fashion. Character. Think of these as examples of what vibrato wishes to specifically address. Vibrato, as a magazine, was crafted to represent life presenting culture as a whole in the best of light. Each article has been crafted to show truth, beauty, and goodness in its content. If you feel that these three things are not being presented

or, more importantly, that they are

being specifically gone against

feel free to

complain. Suggestions are welcome.

-hannah moyerscontact:[ twilafey@gmail.com ] [ facebook: /lifeisavibrato ]

Editor-in-chief: Hannah moyers Artistic consultant: Bekah Chaney

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Charlotte Events June 1 Noda Gallery Crawl – 6-10pm. http://www.noda.org/arts.cfm

Dante and the Delta – 6-9pm Doma Gallery

Entire Month of June Fairytales, Fantasy, and Fear Exhibition Mint Museum of Art Uptown Ends July 7th http://www.mintmuseum.org/news/153/85/ Fairytales-Fantasy-Fear-will-open-March3/d,MintNewsDetail.html

http://www.domaart.com/home.htm

Jazz at the Bechtler – 6-8pm. Bechtler Museum of Art http://www.bechtler.org/Learn/Jazz-at-the-bechtler

June 5 Avicii – 8pm Fillmore Charlotte http://fillmorecharlottenc.com/event/0E00489A9CD4606B

June 7 Blind Pilot – 8pm The Neighborhood Theatre http://neighborhoodtheatre.inticketing.com/events/197218

June 8-10 Taste of Charlotte - 11am-11pm (fri-sat) 11am-6pm (sun) From MLK Jr Blv to 6th St. http://www.tasteofcharlotte.com/

June 23 Charlotte Bayou Festival – 12-8pm Independence Park http://www.charlottebayoufestival.com/

June 26 Beauty and the Beast NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Final Show: July 1 http://www.blumenthalarts.org/default.asp?blumenthal=59&objId=2486

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Events in the Month of July Coldplay - July 3 Time Warner Cable Arena http://www.timewarnercablearena.com/page .aspx?section=events&pagetype=events&id=5 511

Kaskade – July 11 Fillmore Charlotte http://fillmorecharlottenc.com/event/0E0048 6CD1B09DBD

Passion Pit - July 19 Fillmore Charlotte http://fillmorecharlottenc.com/event/0E0048 A8EE86ADE2


Zine {zeen} -noun Non-profit organization selling magazine wrapped bead jewelry for support of mission work.

Bracelets: $8.00 Necklaces: $20.00 www.etsy.com/shop/ZineJewelry


Home: A definition

H

ome, what meaning does the word possess? Its meaning is very subjective. In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary alone there are six definitions. Perhaps the best definition for our purposes would be “a familiar or usual setting: [a] congenial environment.” Whether that familiar setting or congenial environment is created by a certain place or a specific set of people, the idea remains true. For some, home is where the heart is. For others, home is with their friends or in a specific environment, like a coffeehouse. However, the fact remains: the best homes are often created by the people who inhabit them.

Ginny is the founder of the local clothing boutique, Our Place. Yet, she is so much more. She is the kind of person who makes a home everywhere she goes. Her story with Our Place ended in its current Phillips Place location, but began in a renovated petshop within Providence Square Shopping Center, both located here in Charlotte, NC. I anticipated a story of a mother, Ginny, passing the family business onto her daughter, Michelle Melissaris. But, I discovered a legacy of community. A community which grew up around the lives of two women that went out to find their places in the world, only to make their own – Our Place – into a “congenial environment” which has, and does, serve as home to many who were and are searching.

So, when Ginny Summerell exclaimed, “We made friends. We gave people a home!” I believed her whole-heartedly.

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Starting a business is not an easy thing. It’s not just the planning and organizing, but the responsibility, which make it a rather unattractive prospect. Ginny never planned to chase after responsibility. Responsibility, however, chased after her. During the mid 1970s, Ginny was a diligent employee. So diligent, in fact, that many of her friends encouraged her to start her own business. She even recounted one of her friends saying “you worked very hard for so many other people, and should put that energy into your own business.” Eventually, Ginny acquiesced to her friends’ encouraging words. She moved to Charlotte, away from her residence in High Point, NC, and started Our Place with her now ex-husband. Interior of Our Place at Phillips Place; front entrance photo credit: www.our-place.us

Picture it: 1977, a new city, a new job, and no real home. Ginny was her own manager now, a stark contrast to anything she had known before this. She had a vision for Our Place, though. It was a plan to shape a store which was offbeat and nontraditional: selling clothing which is the opposite of the type of staid clothing which saturated the Charlotte market at the time. Thankfully, this vision fit their resources, allowing them to start Our Place on a shoe-string budget. They opened the store with, as Ginny said, “not much.” Not the best location, but, as Ginny said: “I remember thinking, ‘If I can make it here, I’m fine.’” The little store had other hindrances, though, like the recession which Charlotte was going through at the time. If any upstart entrepreneur made it, it would be a miracle.

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Miracle it was, the home emerged. Located in an up-and-coming shopping center within a transitioning southern city, the timing worked to their advantage. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, many northerners were coming to Charlotte in search of work. Yet, a soul does not thrive on work alone; it needs a home to nourish growth. Many of these people were seeking acceptance, a place to lay down their worries. So, when people stumbled upon Ginny’s little store after their weekly grocery trip, conversation would ensue. At the time, the store wasn’t really about clothes.

They came to support her like they come to support Michelle today. Granted, the location has upgraded and so has the clothing, but it’s still the people that make the home. Ginny came to Charlotte, misplaced and with no real home, but she made a home out of Our Place. In the same way, Michelle was often misplaced in life. Like all children, she went through a time where she was not accepted. Michelle has beautifully rich olive-toned skin, and this worked to her detriment. By living in a city which, during her formative years did not have an ethnically varied population, Michelle was in the midst of a world of rejection.

As Ginny said, “We developed relationships. Relationships were the key.” Her daughter, Michelle, reinforced this statement by saying: “They had found a home away from home with my mom.” Which is all well and good, but was it a true home, as defined earlier in this piece? Or, perhaps, was it something else? A home, as defined earlier, is merely a congenial environment. Yet, it’s more than that. It is a locus of activity, activity performed by a community of people who support one another in their various endeavors. So, did Ginny create an environment where she supports people and they, in turn, support her out of love? Her later assertion certainly seems to back up this claim. As Ginny put it, “People came into our store when it didn’t look good, when the merchandise wasn’t that great, but they still bought it.” Once again, her daughter, Michelle, clarified: “They came to support her.”

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Even at the age of seven, she lived in a world where she didn’t belong: at school and in her community. Yet, the store, the business itself, helped her to craft the home she has now made Our Place into herself. So, when Ginny took her to New York City to visit the showroom with her – Michelle found her home. She was captivated not just by the clothes on display, but the people milling around. The people were all different, from all walks of life, and yet, all got along. At just seven, Michelle looked up at her mother and said, “They’re like me!” Indeed, they were.


Continuing on her path to find “home,” Michelle worked in the store in her early years, but ultimately left to find retail experience elsewhere. She worked at various boutiques, while expanding her clientele. The years changed and Michelle grew, interacting with all walks of life. In 2006 she returned to the family business, bringing her expertise with her. Today, Michelle has taken over the store and adapted the job, expanded it, to encompass a familiarity with people which goes beyond networking. She reaches out to a large range of people, always attempting to please them. She will stop at nothing to make a person happy. Which, for some, might seem like a disadvantage, but for Michelle it is her greatest gift. Like her mother, she too has made a home out of Our Place. Once again, this makes us ask, what is the practical outworking of a home? People do things for family and friends; they do things for people who mean something to them. That is exactly what Ginny became, someone her customers cared for. She wasn’t just an arbitrary salesclerk or manager anymore; she was their friend. In the same way, Michelle has developed a solid customer base of varying ages through her own relationship-building.

As I look at these two women, I see a love in their eyes. Not love for just me, but a love for people as a whole. I have seen them interact with the people around them in the little café where we met. Both knew a few of the customers and stopped to say “hello.” They weren’t close friends, necessarily, but they were worth the few minutes it took to say “hello” and ask about family. A typical, polite gesture, perhaps, but one executed by both women with the deepest sincerity. This attitude of caring for anyone and everyone is what sets these two women apart. Third generation family members are still coming back, some that started coming Our Place in the very beginning. They come back for the clothes and the community with Ginny. It sets her apart as a community-builder. Michelle, too, has made a home for all clients; she embraces the old and the new as another community-builder. Love: it is a gift that, once given, produces relationships, community, and most of all, a home.

Our Place; Exterior


Sister Act

P

erseverance, patience, and adaptability, these are all noble qualities for a person to obtain. Yet, they do not come easily. Sometimes, working diligently to overcome life’s obstacles can help to build these three character traits. Such obstacles can come in the most unlikely of forms. Take teapots, for example… they can provide colossal difficulties at times. Difficulties, so surprising, that they led two local high school students, Anna and Rachel Tabor, to the brink.

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Teapots? How could teapots possibly cause such a kerfuffle? Well, friends, Romans, countrymen, these are no ordinary teapots. Try crafting teapots out of paper-mache and you will find yourself learning patience, perseverance and adaptability too. Throw in a small-scale Chrysler building replica along with a fake fireplace, both constructed out of foam board, paint, and various other embellishment materials, and you’ll see not only a kerfuffle, but a frenzy! But, such is the life of a set designer. When Anna and Rachel signed on to be a major part of the set design this year for the Carolina Youth Chorale’s Players, a high-school musical theater troupe here in Charlotte, they knew they had their work cut out for them. What they didn’t know is that they would learn enduring lessons in the realms of perseverance, patience, and adaptability along the way.


Teapots: Small, delicate, and troublesome. The head directors told Anna and Rachel that they wanted tea sets for the scene, “Tea for Two,” but offered no handy solution to the problem of not being able to use real tea sets. Fragile porcelain and rushed stage hands simply don’t mix. What was to be done? A few people suggested plastic tea sets, the kind children use. The idea seemed abominable to them because it violated the last of three stage design guidelines, which provoke the questions:

They needed to make seven teapots and fourteen teacups, with nothing beyond the idea of paper-mache to save the day. Rachel began to experiment, like all good evil scientists in their basement or garage laboratories. What she finally settled on were balloons. Air-filled balloons for the round portion of the teapot and balloons stuffed with cotton balls to form the spout and handle. The teacups were formed with air-filled balloons as well. A rather ingenious answer which required, also, as Anna said, “tape and tape and tape.”

 Is it lightweight and portable?  Is it compact, or will stage hands have to disassemble it before storage?  Does it look authentic? “Does it look authentic?” was answered with a resounding “No!” at the suggestion of plastic tea sets. So, the girls began to think. “My brain took me back,” Rachel recounted, “back to years of Grecian urns in history class and piñatas: papermache.” When one thinks paper-mache, one thinks upside-down bowls covered in a goopy mess. How could the girls possibly turn that into beautiful tea sets?

Indeed, as I viewed the pieces up close, every inch seemed to be wrapped in clear packaging tape. But, from the audience’s perspective, it gave each piece a nice sheen, like that of glazed pottery. Rachel had succeeded, with Anna at her side, in creating lightweight, portable, durable, authentic-looking, but compact tea sets. No assembly required, at least, not for the stage hands.


Ironically, the tiny tea-sets took the longest time to create, helping to build up the Tabor girls’ patience and perseverance. The largest piece, the Chrysler building replica, required not just time, but a substantial amount of teamwork. As a result, the Chrysler building helped to develop the girls’ capacity for cooperation, a form of adaptability. The girls’ father, Mr. Tabor, helped them with the planning of the building. He suggested the girls make an exact, but small-scale, twelve-foot replica out of pink foam board. Working in construction as part of his career, Mr. Tabor was able to give helpful advice regarding making the piece lightweight and portable. However, the girls had to give up on making the piece an exact replica and adapt his plans. It was a grand idea, but a bit too grand for the time allotted. In this, the girls learned how to take their father’s advice and adapt it, but still cooperating without anyone getting their feelings hurt.

CHRYSLER BUILDING REPLICA PINK FOAM BOARD – PAINT – BLACK TAPE – SILVER CELLOPHANE

12 FT. TALL


CHRYSLER BUILDING REPLICA TOP PIECE. Photo by Hannah Moyers

Speaking of budget, what do people do when they are working on one? Well, most people find a way to use items for multiple things. For the Tabor girls, this meant turning the Chrysler building replica into a double-sided piece - like dresses which can be turned inside-out to reveal a different, interior pattern. Slide the Chrysler building around and, “Voila!” you have a fireplace. Each individual painted brick filled in to perfection, complete with fake fire and wood… lightweight, durable and, above all, convincingly-real. Originally, the girls had planned to insert a colored flashlight amidst the fake fire so that it would literally glow onstage, but complications arose concerning the stage-lights and the idea had to be quickly forgotten.

Work in all shapes and sizes can affect your life permanently, if you just allow it. In other words, every bit of adversity in our lives leaves us with a choice. We can suit up, carefully fastening each piece of armor, and face it head on. Or, we can dig holes like moles and peek out as adversity mows us down. Acting as set designer is a big job. But, Anna and Rachel Tabor took up the challenge each developing their own helmet of creativity, breastplate of patience, shield of perseverance, and sword of adaptability. They conquered. In the meantime, they will hold onto their armor to help protect against all adversity in the future. If people as a whole learn to face adversity like this then work, of all shapes and sizes, will become less of a dragon and more of a lizard. So what if it’s boring? So what if it seems impossible? Did the boss give you a deadline that can’t be faced or a problem that is simply unsolvable? Think again. Nothing is impossible, just build up the armor and find out for yourself.

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Urbanized. A documentary film by Gary Hustwit.

Urbanized. Rialto Theater

Is the distance between a building and the road designed or does it just happen? What about the number of tall buildings allowed within a certain district or the space between security checkpoints in a city? Hustwit shows us, with real-life examples, just how much of the practical, urban world around us is planned and designed. By doing so, he is able to create a vacuum that we are sucked into, a gaping hole that Hustwit fills with new knowledge for the audience to think on, question, and explore.

Rialto Theater The Rialto Theater in Raleigh, NC, encases its willing viewers like a womb. Meanwhile, the curving horizontal lines along the walls create a calming effect as the audience bubbles up with expectation. As time progresses, the lights begin to dim and a hush falls upon the crowd. Gary Hustwit, director of the documentary film, Urbanized, walks to the front of the room and accepts the microphone from the man awaiting him. He introduces himself and then the film, Urbanized. Hustwit mixes a few pleasantries and mild jokes with his statement before handing the microphone back to the man at the front, signaling the start of the show. The room falls silent directly before a soft hum fills the room, a cityscape lit upon the grand screen. And so it begins.

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Modern World: City Planning

As Hustwit showcased different scenarios, taking us through Mumbai, Beijing, Brighton, Stuttgart, Detroit, etc, he used each to display a different urban difficulty. My favorite of these was one of the solutions to growing crime rates. In Khayelitsha, South Africa, they were experiencing a large amount of destructive crime that crippled the community. Gang activity was especially prevalent in large, open areas where no one could seek help.elp.


Growing crime is often addressed by stiff military or police action. This is the natural response, but it is often ineffective. However, in Khayelitsha the community rose up and petitioned to have ‘safehouses’ built to protect their own. These ‘safehouses’ were not manned by military or police, but by men and women of the community. They act like security checkpoints that are present every fivehundred meters, just close enough together that people are ALWAYS in sight of a checkpoint as they walk the roads night and day. As a result, the murder rate in Khayelitsha has been reduced by 40%. What does this show us? This shows us that a community pulling together to protect and care for its own works in reality. It is not just a principle which America’s founding fathers talked about, but a principle which is relevant even today. Large governmental attempts to fix crime rates by force often are ineffective, but a community gathering together to protect its own through accountability is effective. The rest of the film dealt with issues ranging from transportation to grassroots economic growth. It addressed real-world situations which occur in cities throughout the world. The most fascinating thing is that in each situation where people were taking personal responsibility and acting as cohesive community, there was healing and growth.

Khayelitsha

I encourage you to watch it once it is released, even if you aren’t interested in city design, because by the end of it you might change your mind. Ideas will be roused within you after viewing the practical application of these basic principles. And yes, the design of how close a building is to the road DOES have an effect on an entire street, just like the rehabilitation of an old elevated rail-line can nurture an entire community. Hustwit paints an excellent picture of how seemingly small changes can affect a larger whole – an ordinary man [or men], living an ordinary life [or lives], can make an extraordinary difference.

Gary Hustwit

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Alexandra Rose Photography

Portrait ----------------Couples ---------------Fashion CONTACT: [foreverdork14@bellsouth.net] [704-936-8918] [fb: /alex.dworek]


Orphic Grove A collection of mystical photographs and tales. photography: hannah moyers writing: bekah chaney

models:

hannah chaney emma buckingham bekah chaney lily baker


left: hannah chaney

right: bekah chaney


Statuesque

Tall, contrapposto, bent at the knee. I focus on standing, but tremble. “Be still,” she told me. I listened, and failed. Classical, portrait, Clothed in blue silk. I am a statue, A relic of old. Grown up out of virtue And steeped in good manners, like each proper young woman. But somehow, I tremble. Nothing to stand on, “Be still,” she told me. I listened, and failed.


left: hannah chaney

right: emma buckingham


Storybook Dreams Bekah Chaney

Fast falling evening brings dim dreams; Softly broken bird calls echo overhead.

Drowsy fingertips circle the ring of a belt savoring aftertastes of red wine, foretastes of wine-red sunset.

An open mouth breathes flavors of lichen-shrouded bark and musty meadow-grass mingling with the warm scent of chocolate.

Wood sprites tousle dark locks: spur on Storybook imaginings;

A mischievous call to myth and magic sounds over the still afternoon.


model: lily baker


Swiss Chateau

First the fork, Then the knife, And don’t forget the wine.

A dash of curry, A snip of parsley, A table set for two.

I light the candles, Grab the platter, And head out to the sound.

The sounds of shuffling, Feet go by. I call out, “Darling!”

He walks my way, I blush. “What’s this,” he says, “a dinner set for two?”


model: lily baker


Secret Garden Bekah Chaney There is, in each young maid, a hidden window Reaching to caress another world And when the cloaking curtain plummets downward Each will find the dancing Fairy girl.

A tousled beauty flows down round her shoulders; Sunlight passes gold all through her hair. Her feet tap unknown, yet familiar, patterns Deep into the spying maiden-fair.

Unknowingly observed, she dances ever To the soul-cry sounding far and wide: To be seen truly, loved when we stand gaping, Finding we need never flinch or hide.

To watch such rich abandon, pure, yet untamed Wakens all the grace and fiery zeal That lies within a budding woman’s nature; Stirs the heart to face what’s been revealed.

And so, it is the Fairy child that capers Clear-eyed all across her garden ground That kindles, sparks the glow in each young woman Opens doorways to what may be found.


left: emma buckingham

right: bekah chaney


Night Visitor

Waiting in the darkness, Waiting for a name, “Think he’ll ever come, miss? Or was it all a game?”

I looked off in the distance, Searching for his gait. He’d promised us each tickets, If we would but wait.

But wait all night, For circus fair? Without a light, Within the air?

“Stella, look, is that him there?” With limp and cane, But with not a care, He came alon, right down the lane.


model: hannah chaney


Ruby Bekah Chaney

Emerging from rough bark a bas relief stepping from its frame, becoming whole. Dapples. Eruptions; sunbursts of light, fireworks exploding. Pockets of shadow fight to hold their ground.

Rust-tinted Queen –

Keening. Voiceless.


model: bekah chaney


Reaching for Dewdrops

Up and around, just one more step. Twist and extend, reaching above, Not for an apple, nor for a peach Just for a faerie-girl, Perched right out of reach.

Smiling, she whistles, Flapping her wings. She zips away quickly. I follow, Swift in pursuit.

Kicking off heels, Ripping my skirt, I’m all out of breath. At last she stops, And beckons.

I step forward, Peering at her. She flies up, close, And drops but a dewdrop, right in my hand.


model: emma buckingham


Wildfire Bekah Chaney The indefinable spark Effects visible to the human eye, yet the formula of owning it slips away like water through a clenched fist. Latent or active, its mystery taunts and tantalizes

each time it strikes.

Where is the secret well to draw from? Where, the one movement a spark blooms from? In the curve of a lip? The dart of an eye? The arch of a brow, tuck of the knee, Or duck of innocent modesty,

Peering from behind a strand of hair? Not one, but many. But without one, all is lost. Layer upon layer of tiny movement melts into one resplendent manifestation of inscrutable humanity.


model: emma buckingham


Awakening Bekah Chaney A delicate fingers-weight of pressure and iron bends.

Preening against dusky skies, faded feathers ruffled by chilly breezes.

Commanding magnificence juxtaposes the simple beauty of unconscious grace Spreading wings embrace new growth.


model: emma buckingham


Penumbra

Walking with the darkness, And fading into grey, Dropping bits of starlight All along my path.

Sunlight dapples through the trees, Searching out an audience. But every step that I shall take, Shadow will extend.

For night, I draw, Like a curtain, Over rock and rose, O’er all living things.

I am penumbra, Shadow before the darkest, Twilight before night. Dropping bits of starlight, All along my path.


model: lily baker


Skip to M’Lou

Drop, Skip, Hop, Trip, Down she tumbles along the dale. “Hello Grass! Hello Trees! Hello Sun!” she cries.

Miss Jenny Lou, The birds are a-twitter, All for you.


left: hannah chaney

right: lily baker


Dulcet

Syrup-sweet sunlight, Bathing each visitor in a heavenly glow. Each ray providing a glimpse, Just a glimpse, of home.

Watching a myriad of earthy creatures, Delia and Mary prolong their visit. A housewife, each, dreading return, Return to reality, to house, not home.

To cleaning and prepping, To dressing and primping, To each daily duty, This is the menace they fear.

But honeyed hair, nut-brown tresses, For now, are safe in their home. At home in the forest, this Orphic Grove. Yet, return they must, Delia and Mary.

Return to the daily drone.


MENTORSHIP THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

S

ocial media has become very important in our culture. Most emerging technologies are important as tools for society, and social media on the whole is no exception to this rule. However, like all tools, it can be used for good or evil. Its potential for good is quite substantial, especially since it can act as a conduit for regenerating the use of mentorship in our society. But, first, let us define what mentorship is and establish how it was largely lost in the first place.

Mentoring, as defined in “Toward a Useful Theory of Mentoring: a Conceptual Analysis and Critique,” is: “a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé).”

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Essentially, mentorship is a series of exchanges during which emotional support, intellectual stimulation, and wisdom are imparted.

But, there is another integral element which helps to drive mentorship. This is the portion of mentorship which has not only been partially lost, but entirely. Mimesis, the practice of mimicry as an act of memory, has been lost. Mimicry seems like an odd thing to pair with mentorship, but it is quite necessary for growth. When one is being discipled, the protégé learns from the mentor by mimicking much of what he/she does. In this way, the protégé can pick up many of the mentor’s good habits. This practice stems out of a human trait, it’s our natural response. Children copy, or model, their parents from the very beginning, mimicking them. It is this same trait which philosophers and great leaders have been taking advantage of since the age of antiquity as a teaching tool, much like the Socratic method. However, the Socratic method lasted for much longer than the practice of mimesis – mimesis was lost somewhere between the 13th and 14th century with the invention of the Gutenberg press. But, during antiquity, many schools of philosophy relied on the practice of mimesis to teach their students.


Oratorical patterns developed in order to make it easier for protégés to copy their mentors, the philosophical masters. They were expected to memorize large portions of oratory and historical records like students today are expected to be well-read. It was the only way these men could grow to be knowledgeable thinkers in the classical sense. It was the way in which men like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc., passed their knowledge and wisdom onto the younger generation, their protégés. As reading became more popular and oratory diminished, books were still read aloud so that the illiterates might also be educated. In this way, mentoring exchanges and mimesis on a whole were still encouraged. By the 4th century A.D., however, this was lost. St. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, like most monks, could read. But, unlike most monks, Ambrose read silently. His protégés were fascinated and perhaps even a bit alarmed by this practice. Being educated in the practice of mimesis, however, they mimicked their mentor. After that, many people started to read quietly and, as a result, oratorical mimesis of the written word began to slowly drift away. By the time the Gutenberg Press rolled around in 1440, the practice of reading aloud, except in certain set contexts, had been almost entirely forgotten.

Gutenberg Press; invented c.1440 by Johannes Gutenberg

With the creation of the Gutenberg Press illiteracy decreased. Rapid publication and distribution of books and pamphlets led to quick spread of knowledge and ideas. This literacy created the independent man by eliminating the need of community to share knowledge. A man no longer needed to ask someone else for information. Instead, he might just pick up a written record of it. This rid the world of plenty of miscommunication, but it also separated knowledge from wisdom. The two need not go hand-in-hand any longer. Previously, when knowledge was passed down, it was often communicated within a casing of wisdom. However, as stated above, ideas spread like wildfire. First, The Gutenberg Press brought the Renaissance, a flowering of thought and idea returning to the Classical age: a rebirth. Second, it helped to further the Enlightenment movement, which came biting on the heels of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was an exploration of ideas while the Enlightenment was ideas put into action.

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“Cogito ergo sum.” I think, therefore, I am. ~Descartes Descartes, an Enlightenment philosopher, made this statement and it has not yet left the focus of our culture. Thought is what makes a man: personal, independent thought. Books encouraged this by spreading ideas rapidly, but not forcing mentoring exchanges between people in order to spread these ideas. In other words, knowledge could then be exchanged without wisdom being passed down too. Mimesis has been lost because no one need mimic others in order to remember facts and stories. One just picks up a book where the information is recorded or, more likely in our modern world, Googles it. Knowledge without wisdom, how does that work? Surely books communicate wisdom? It is true, books can communicate wisdom to a certain extent. But wisdom, at its heart, is a result of intense, long-term observation. It is a way of looking at the world which cannot be directly communicated by a few short sentences, but must rather evolve through many years of observing the world. It is very unlike scientific facts and mathematical formulas, which can be memorized and applied in short order. Mimicry, too, encourages observation. Mimicry, in the classical sense, is very much like our modern word, “modeling.” Mimesis, or mimicry, can be defined as the observation of another in order to obtain knowledge and imitate their actions. In psychology today, the term modeling is defined as: “a form of learning where individuals ascertain how to act or perform by observing another individual.”

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Mimesis was more involved than merely a passing of knowledge, it was a passing on of wisdom. And today, it has become less and less practiced due to the rise of literacy and independent thought. How, then, can social media, a seemingly disruptive technology, bring observational mimesis back?

Well, what is social media? Social media is defined as: “web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.” Essentially, it encourages web-based “stalking,” stalking being the practice of obsessive observation. Again, people should remember that technology can be used for good or evil!

URBAN DICTIONARY Facebook Stalking Definition: When an individual scours another individual's profile, frequently checks their status updates, or reads their wall posts to and from other people. Usually done because the individual wants to know as much as possible about the individual whose profile they are reading.


Mentorship: requiring both mimesis and conversation. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Flickr allow “following,” and, consequently, “stalking.” They not only allow it, but encourage it. Following people on different social media sites is commonly used to keep up with the activity of friends and family. However, it can be used as a form of mimesis, as well. There are people in everyone’s lives who are admired for their ideas, knowledge, mannerisms, fashion taste, etc. Social media gives one the chance to observe others online and learn from them. Although a person’s online profile can be drastically different from who they are offline, this is not typically the case. So, the practice of mimesis (i.e., observation and mimicry) can be used in the online world. For instance, reading an article posted by an author and then reading his/her analysis of the article – like on a blog or Facebook – is not very different from studying under a master at a school of philosophy in the ancient world. When Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle would teach their students, they would discuss an ancient story or idea and then give their opinion, or discerning wisdom, regarding said knowledge. The students would observe and, ultimately, mimic in accordance with the pattern of mimesis. In other words, following the “great masters” of the modern world on their social media profiles can be just as fruitful as traveling many miles to attend a renowned school of philosophy or academy of art in the ancient world.

Regarding art, using visual platforms like Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, or Tumblr as a place to discuss or analyze art and other images could be akin to following a master artist around during the Renaissance and listening to his critiques of the art around him. Blogs, too, can serve in both these areas: written and visual art. Today, the people you follow in social media don’t have to be famous, either. This can provide an even more intimate and personal mentorship than following someone outside of your close social circle. The person need only be someone which you look up and want to learn from. By seeking mentorship within your own community, discussion online, and offline, can be one-on-one and relate to specific issues within your life. Mentorship, a practice which requires both mimesis and conversation, can be rekindled. It can be rekindled, first, by observing and mimicking those worthy of admiration and, second, by conversing with such people. Social media promotes following and conversing. Many sites have platforms encouraging both. The best of these are Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. The others are either more geared towards following or conversation – one or the other.

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QR Code Steers Users Wrong AUTHOR: HANNAH MOYERS

“It’s just a square, but it takes me to websites, photos, messages, and even contact cards – it’s like a genie in a bottle for advertising!” exclaimed my friend, Sarah, as she sat in awe of the webpage loading on her iPhone. She had just finished her first encounter with the joys of Quick Recognition (QR) code software. A quick scan of a computer-generated, twodimensional square code and then, “Voila!” new content displays on one’s mobile device! By implementing these small squares in ad campaigns, companies can communicate practically unlimited amounts of information. Even the common man, not just techies of the cyber world, can create and use QR codes to expand the information conveyed through their business cards. Why, then is such a simple tool taking time to catch on with the general public?

It is easiest to forget about the tech war when adding a QR code to business cards, which never have enough space to share information. Two of my business associates, Charis and Peter, use QR codes on their business cards to take care of that “neverenough-space” problem. Charis is a tech-savvy graphic designer who has her QR code linked to a mobile-friendly site that displays her portfolio. Peter, however, is an independent artist who has linked his QR code to a website that is not mobile-friendly and requires Flash. The Flash requirement alone leaves all iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch users unable to access Peter’s work. Ironically, Peter, an iPhone user, cannot access his own work. This issue plagues not only the common man, but also big businesses. I was waiting in line at a chain restaurant recently and scanned a QR code which was printed on one of their hanging banners. However, the QR code led

One word: misuse. QR codes offer major flexibility, but such freedom encourages people to forget the logical rules of using mobile-devices. Smartphones and tablets simply don’t play nice with “non-mobile-friendly” websites. But, people who generate QR codes often forget about this little war between web and mobile technology. Whether slightly computer literate or a computer-code expert, people handling advertisements are often guilty of this multi-media

me to content that was not mobile-friendly – the restaurant’s YouTube channel.

Did I have time to view a five-minute video while waiting in line for my food? No, and neither does anyone else. This kind of situation shows that even big business developers do not always carefully consider the context, which in this case was a busy restaurant with time constraints connected to viewing experiences. The technological issue, not linking to a mobile-friendly site, is simple to fix. This is


The death comes when developers and independent businessmen alike, fail to consider context – like we see with the restaurant chain. A more useful approach for the chain might have been to direct QR users to a “Deal of the Day” site or to a simple, informational page regarding advertised bakery items. However, the developer’s attempt to milk the QR code for all it is worth violated the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. Meanwhile, the average Joe might use a QR code on his business card to repeat the same information on his business card or redirect you to his LinkedIn page, which is not mobile-friendly. Always be sure to consider the context. Use the QR code to communicate information with sleek presentation (i.e., a mobile-friendly site) that users might not find on their own. The best of these often redirect viewers, not only to a simple one-page site, but to a website which showcases one’s work and then links the viewer to other sites which also further one’s cause.

The simple fix for effective QR codes asks four questions:  Will the viewer be interested in the information provided?  Will the viewer have time and be in the proper environment to appreciate this information?  Is it direct and to the point? (Remember KISS)  Is everything linked to the QR code properly formatted to be mobile-friendly? Hopefully, this new “genie in a bottle for advertising” will catch on as people learn the rules which govern it. Of course, part of the reason has less to do with learning the rules and more to do with the fact that not everyone has smart-phones and other mobile devices which can access QR codes. But, as new technology makes outdated hardware obsolete, QR codes might possibly become the new standard for communication.

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