Cooking healthy in the dorm


College students are not well-known for being health-conscious chefs, often choosing french fries over carrot sticks, and fast food over home-cooked meals. However, some students do not fit this paradigm, transcending the difficulties of cooking in cramped dorm kitchens.

Lana Ferris, the president of the cooking club, is one of those students.

“My mom had us in the kitchen since we were toddlers. She’d have us make pies and we’d take pieces of dough and roll them out into miniature pies, or she’d have us crack eggs into cookie dough or help with stirring,” Ferris said.

Cooking has been important to Ferris since she was young. She did not let college impede on that portion of her life.

“I [wanted] to be part of a cooking club and there wasn’t one, so I started one,” Ferris said.

She started the club last spring. Originally, the club had five members who regularly attended, Ferris said.

“Cooking has become a big part of my social life,” Ferris said.

She regularly cooks for and with other people, and has taco nights with her roommate.

Students in the dorms will always love to eat home made food. However, dorm cooking also provides challenges. Cramped spaces, limited supplies, old appliances and low budgets can make cooking an inconvenience. Ferris found that with a bit of ingenuity and planning, dorm-cooked meals are a tasty possibility.

“I did a lot of garage sale-ing before I came, so I was pretty well-stocked [with utensils],” Ferris said. “I brought my own crockpot, so that’s helped a lot.”

In addition to bringing her own cooking equipment, Ferris has found ways to eat home-cooked meals every day without much hassle or time spent.

“On Sunday, I cook two huge dishes and alternate between leftovers every night, so that helps time-wise,” Ferris said.

For students who are too busy to cook every night but would like to spend some meals away from Sodexo, Ferris has some tips.

For those in dorms with a more limited kitchen there are some ways to easily cook favorite meals with very little equipment needed.

Many common kitchen items can be used for alternate purposes, and students can get creative to utilize them to their full potential.

“I’ve done the good old using a glass for a rolling pin,” Ferris said.

If time is an issue, many easy meals can be prepared quickly and easily at a low cost. Google “easy meals for college students” for inspiration.

Ferris recommends making miniature pizzas if you don’t have much time. English muffins work well for crust.

This year, the cooking club is gaining momentum and plans to host several events throughout the year.

“We’ve been interested in doing cooking classes, and maybe partnering with Sodexo,” Ferris said.

The club is planning a potluck in the spring where participants can share their recipes with others. Ferris said they will possibly have a cook-off or bake-off. They hope to educate students on cooking and hopefully promote interest in the activity.

The cooking club meets from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday afternoons in the East kitchen.

Courtney Murphy 

Staff Writer

Artist Spotlight: Tayler Wood speaks in image

Janik Emmendorfer, Photographer

Name: Tayler Wood

Grade: Senior

Major: Fine Arts

Minor: English Writing

Tayler Wood discovered art at a very young age.

“I started drawing as soon as I was able to hold a pencil and actually make markings. I’ve always drawn something, whether it was something I saw or something I thought of. I think the first real thing that I drew was my cat at the time. He was a polydactyl and he had seven toes so I named him Mittens,” Wood said.

Today, Wood’s work has evolved from the abnormal toes of a cat to a discussion of social issues through an outlet she calls “flower language.”

“By flower language, I mean the symbols and metaphors associated with those flowers,” Wood said.

For example, Wood created a piece featuring an exposed woman surrounded by vibrant flowers and the remains of a dismembered raven. The flowers that surrounded the depicted woman-lupine, buttercups and forget-me-nots-hold a symbolic meaning, as “flower language” suggests.

“Lupine is a milkweed that is toxic to animals, but there’s a symbolism behind it meaning imagination,” Wood said. Buttercups are a symbol for childhood and forget-me-nots kind of speak for themselves. Ravens mean creativity, but also trickery in animism. The idea is that she was robbing something from the raven and is being exposed for that.

Wood is currently working on another piece that will showcase a young girl wearing sheepskin.

“The message is going to be about how we have shortened childhood, Wood said. Everything is so accessible….sex, drugs, technology. The magic of childhood and that innocence is being lessened. I think that can be a social issue, so I’m addressing that by having this young, delicate girl wearing a sheepskin and she’s going to be fading into this wallpaper that’s going to be the flowers.

When composing a new piece, Wood draws inspiration through several channels.

“I take a lot of inspiration from the concepts found in literature. Sometimes I take from my own personal experiences. Sometimes I’ll draw my inspiration from dreams I have and I’ll try to fit those dreams into a real-world situation. But I think the biggest well of inspiration for me is the fantasy of metaphor and symbolism.”

“For the most part, I want to challenge my audience and make them think about what I’m putting down,” Wood said.

Wood doesn’t just challenge her audience through artwork, but also herself.

“My greatest challenge is probably doubting myself. I doubt myself constantly and it’s because of a social programming that I underwent with my family. I always ask myself, ‘Is this going to look OK? Are people going to like it?’ But I know it doesn’t matter if other people like it. It’s about if I like it. At the same time, art is so much more complicated than ‘I like this’. It’s more about why you like it, what stimulated this, how does this relate?” Wood said.

Despite that challenge, Wood is determined to make her way in the art world.

“My family has not always appreciated my talent. It’s more like, ‘Do you really want to do this as your occupation?’ But the way I see it, I saw so many times growing up that my mom was upset about her job and I was a little kid soaking all this up. So, I decided I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be that. I want to do something that I love even if it means that I’m not necessarily going to make bank.”

To explore some of Wood’s artwork, visit her art blog at

Kyla Parkins 

Staff Writer

Review: New album from This Will Destroy You

To describe the music of the band This Will Destroy You as atmospheric would be an understatement. The atmosphere is built around the music that this four-piece band from Texas creates.

This Will Destroy You is part of a sub-genre of music called post-rock. Typical post-rock songs are long, instrumental songs with guitars providing texture to the music rather than the more traditional rhythmic and chordal role of a guitar in rock music.

This Will Destroy You is one of the more prominent bands that has come out of the post-rock movement. However, they have not stopped evolving since their first album, “Young Mountain.” That first album has been one of the most characteristic albums of post-rock music. It features guitar riffs with heavy delay and reverb, crescendos and brutal distortion when the songs kick into high gear.

As the years have gone on, the band has continued to change and evolve. While some bands stagnate over time, This Will Destroy You has pushed themselves into deeper corners with each new release. Their latest album, “Another Language,” is no different.

There are a total of nine tracks on the album, and each one drips with noise. There is a startling amount of reverb on the album, which also features many samples, loops, electronic drum tracks and synthesizer reminiscent of an 1980’s pop band. These add to the already impressive chemistry the band has for making loud, guitar-laden, nasty music when they want to.

Parts of this album will make listeners feel like they are drifting through the cosmos with only the stars as their company. The beginning of “War Prayer” has this feeling laden within it. The open guitar picking with the quiet ambient swells and minimalistic drums create a mood that lets the listener be carried away.

However, just when the listener gets comfortable with the direction of the song, This Will Destroy You will take them in a whole new direction. “War Prayer” ends with a big crescendo featuring screeching guitars and a sample-a superimposed sound-clip of incoherent speech-leaving the listener straining to understand. It comes out of left field and adds to the texture of the song. Suddenly instead of drifting through space you are caught in a wormhole that is pulling you underneath.

This idea of doing the unexpected is the main thing to take away from this album as well as the whole discography of This Will Destroy You. Don’t get me wrong- they still make guitar-heavy instrumental music. They are not going to come out with an R&B album next (I think), but they are finding ways to add new textures to the base of post-rock that already exists for them.

A lot other bands never found a way to push themselves out of their comfort zone, but with each new release, This Will Destroy You does that very thing. And, as a listener, you will be pushed as well.

The album is truly jaw-dropping. It is occasionally reminiscent of the “shoegaze” movement, which came out of the U.K. in the late 1980s and gave birth to groups such as My Bloody Valentine and The Pixies. Each track builds on a reverb home, but adds a new swell or a different drum sound or a different sample. Each level builds off of the others.

It really is an amazing album and will be on repeat on my computer for at least the next year. I would definitely recommend listening to this album in one shot.

Jacob Millay

Staff Writer

Cultural Event Review: Fiesta Spokane presents 'Monseñor: The Last Journey of Óscar Romero'

Hannah Walker, Graphic Artist  “My mission is for the oppressed,” said Óscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador in the film “Monseñor: The Last Journey of Óscar Romero.” During the 1970s, Romero declared his religious and humanitarian mission, the main focus of the movie, shown Thursday, Sept. 18 in Robinson Teaching Theatre.

Rafaela Acevedo-Field, assistant professor in the history department who also oversees the Latin American studies minor, introduced the film to about 40 attendees.

“It’s important that you understand some background history,” Acevedo-Field said before the film began, launching into an informational timeline of Salvadoran history to improve the audience’s understanding of the film’s cultural context.

Romero preached to raise the spirits of the poverty-stricken souls of El Salvador and form a union strong enough to overcome the dictating oligarchy in control. During the 1970s, El Salvador was considered a republic, but was instead ruled by a wealthy family-generated oligarchy that terrorized the poor and everyday people of El Salvador. The military and church also played a major role in the oppression of society. Government officials oppressed the people in almost every way possible: burning public buses, kidnapping and killing children, physical abuse, threats and even assassination of church officials, including Romero himself. “Romero is one of my heroes representing faith and discipline, and you’ll see why,” Acevedo-Field said. The film demonstrated her statement. Romero kept his faith regardless of the obstacles he and his followers faced. He and his growing flock of sheep gathered in worship despite the government’s oppression. Disregarding government reprimandation, Romero’s faithful followers supported his vision for peace until the end. “What do we do? Form together and together we’ll organize,” Romero said in the film, as he worked to instill the value of togetherness and faith in the hearts of the fearful citizens. He introduced a new concept known as liberation theology, which consisted of the idea that Christ is part of our everyday lives and circumstances out of our control. “The Kingdom of God is not in heaven, but here on Earth,” said one of Romero’s parish members in the film. The idea that God is present on Earth and within common people, motivated and carried the Salvadoran peasants forward to protest and fight for their rights as human beings. Romero led the people through his preaching and God’s word, building their faith and strength in order to march, congregate during mass, and eventually go to war. After recapping some important concepts of the cultural differences, Acevedo-Field held a Q-and-A session. “Why would the government allow these protests to go on as long as they did?” one student asked. Acevedo-Field responded, “The Catholic Church was very powerful and simply untouchable.” Other students contributed to the discussion, bringing up the idea that history repeats itself on a global level and regardless of race or religion, humanity is all one in the same. In life, everyone is bound to face common struggles; it’s who leads the way through the conflict who makes the difference. The film was shown as part of a community-wide program called Fiesta Spokane, designed to celebrate Hispanic culture. Fiesta Spokane will be sponsoring events throughout the month of September.   Alyssa Saari Staff Writer