"This Whitworth Life" gives Whitworthians a place to share

STU_9797 “Community” is a huge buzz word at Whitworth. However, sometimes parts of the Whitworth community go unnoticed. There are the students, the professors, trustees, the cafeteria workers, custodians and many other staff members who all make up the community. Everyone shares the experience of being at Whitworth, but everyone has different stories that define them.

Sharing these stories is what the third annual “This Whitworth Life: Whitworth’s Untold Stories” strove to do on Wed., Dec 5.

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A project of English professor Nicole Sheets’ Creative Nonfiction class, “This Whitworth Life” was inspired by NPR’s journalistic non-fiction show “This American Life.” In a similar fashion, the goal of the event is to bring together diverse Whitworthians and build community through the sharing of stories.

“We use that word ‘community’ a lot, but this project [is] a way to really contribute and develop that, so we [do] not just know the faces and names, but about people who [are] in our community,” Sheets said.

The event in the MPR drew in a large audience of Whitworthians and community members, including President Beck Taylor. Eight pre-selected students, staff and faculty members shared their stories, often reflecting on past memories full of bittersweetness, vulnerability and grief.

Senior Molly Daniels reflected on childhood summers spent at her grandparents’ cabin, specifically one where her parents planned a pirate-themed trip, complete with wooden raft and their own treasure chests to paint, Daniels said. The memories were nostalgic for her, as the family cabin was sold and she cannot return to relive her memories.

“[My story] touches on how painful it is to remember things that you can’t ever revisit,” Daniels said. “I feel that people don’t talk enough about how painful it is to have those memories and know that you’re never going to have any kind of contact with them again.”

Sheets got the idea for the event after attending a similar one put on by Gonzaga University featuring individuals involved with all different aspects of the school, and wanted to emulate the experience back to Whitworth in order to bring empathy and compassion to our own campus, Sheets said.

“One of the goals too is to have people from a cross section of the university,” Sheets said. “I’ve had a trustee, I’ve had a custodian, there are so many people that work here and are a part of this community that I just don’t know. I benefit from what they do, but I don’t know them and I don’t know anything about them.”

The event is made unique as the stories shared are from Whitworth voices. Everyone has their own unique experiences, but there is the shared experience that comes from all being at Whitworth in one way or another, Daniels said.

“You learn so much about people,” Daniels said. “You learn about the horrible, tragic experiences that they’ve had, or their moments of struggle or the things that have made them as strong as they are today, the things that have affected them.”

Sheets sees the event as an opportunity to look past the assumptions we make about people, and wants those who have heard the stories shared will see that people are far more complex and that there are a lot of details that we do not know about them, Sheets said.

“The idea that what you may think of someone without getting to know them isn’t the correct idea,” Daniels said. “You don’t know what they’ve gone through, you don’t know what’s built them up over the years, and it’s important to hear those stories.”

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Poetry and Pie: Students gathered for a night of pie and self-expression

The coffee shop opened to students and faculty ready to share stanzas and dessert on Nov. 13 . Students shared their work, with topics ranging from grandfathers to Italian plums to small moments that would be otherwise forgotten.

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On Friday evening students gathered in the Mind and Hearth to share their thoughts and ideas through poetry. Along with poetry, the event hosted by English department club Westminster Round featured blueberry, apple and pumpkin pie.

Senior Hannah Cobb has attended Poetry and Pie three times prior to this year, and has always enjoyed hearing what peers and faculty read, she said.

This year, she read her poetry aloud for the rst time at the event.

“[Reading] was terrifying," Cobb said. I had never done this before...this is me kind of forcing myself out of my comfort zone a little bit to share it.”

Cobb draws inspiration for her poems through moments she notices, she said. Poetry and Pie is a time for her not just to express her thoughts, but to hear everyone else’s, she said.

“I just love hearing what everyone else is thinking,” Cobb said. “I think poems are such an honest re ection of yourself and who you are and what’s going on in your brain.”

Some of the poets touched on serious subjects, but other works brought laughter to the coffee shop. One such poem by English professor Fred Johnson expressed a list of 10 situations a possum might find itself in, which had students chuckling all the way through.

The event also featured poet Cathy Bobb, wife of English professor Vic Bobb, who shared a handful of poems reflecting on tragedies in her life and on her family’s struggles with mental illness.

Freshman Ainsley Detwiler attended the event, and liked Cathy Bobb’s work for the background and depth that she put into her poetry, along with the eerie feeling Detwiler got after hearing some of the poems, Detwiler said. Cathy Bobb’s work also features a favorite, titled “The Politics of Pie,” where Cathy Bobb makes a pie for her family, but continuously eats it, making up excuses for each new helping.

Detwiler was also impressed by the unintimidating atmosphere the audience created.

“It was really relaxed...the people surrounding were very nonjudgmental, if anything they were really encouraging,” Detwiler said. “It was all around very welcoming and cozy and supportive.”

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Magazine industry: Senior editor of WIRED speaks on the evolution of magazines

Peter Rubin, a senior editor at WIRED magazine, has worked in the magazine industry for 15 years and came to Whitworth on Tuesday, Nov. 3, to present on the progression of magazines and their conversion to digital format within the past decade.

Rubin’s presentation about his journey in the magazine business attracted students interested in media. Freshman Michaela Mulligan was drawn due to her interest in entering the magazine industry.

“I think [the shift to digital media] is important because we do have smartphones, and it’s a lot easier and quicker to get information and you can do a lot of cool stuff with digital media, like video, and writing, and photography," Mulligan said. "It makes it all look really cool."

After starting out as a fact checker at GQ Magazine, Rubin gained experience while surrounded by well-known writers such as Michael Hainey, author of the memoir “After Visiting Friends,” and even worked with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love” on occasion.

Rubin became an editorial assistant for GQ Magazine, and decided he was established enough to become a freelance writer. He wrote for magazines including Elle, XXL, Vibe, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and the TV Guide. After freelancing for a while, Rubin wanted to find a job in an office setting with more people, he said.

Unfortunately, starting in 2007, many magazines began to go out of business. By 2009, a total of 1,684 magazines had ceased publication, due to the financial crisis making print publication difficult, Rubin said. However, the downfall led to the “birth of content,” Rubin said. Media began its shift to the digital age, and the reader’s perception of media and news began to change as well.

His company adopted the tag line “more than a magazine,” to adapt to the transition toward digital content. The change to a new platform began the long process of finding the niche of the magazine industry, for the consumers no longer read the content the same way, Rubin said.

“I’d say that magazines aren’t dead, that there’s new ways to make them appealing like [Rubin] said... how they transferred a lot of stuff online, and redesigned their website so it works well with the magazine,” Mulligan said.

During this transition, Rubin accepted his current position as a senior editor at WIRED, and now covers pop culture and entertainment. That includes topics such as movies and television, music, video games, comic books and “anything else that is absolutely integral to the survival of our species,” according to Rubin’s profile.

Rubin’s work at WIRED includes extensive coverage on virtual reality, as he wrote the magazine’s cover story for the June 2014 issue focusing on the Oculus VR, and the development of the Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display for immersive virtual reality.

Rubin was able to change the method of news writing with what he refers to as the “inverted process.” Instead of months of coverage, he wrote stories as the development continued, becoming the first and the last word on the subject. He became an expert on the new technology, and WIRED was able to get exclusive content on the topic.

Making a magazine is a combination of art, writing, rhythm, wit, but most of all chemistry. Without that spark, the content will fall at, Rubin said. The digital platform has altered how media are displayed and consumed by the readers, but those changes have allowed creativity to blossom. WIRED recently published a story that did not make it into the issue on their Instagram account, breaking up the story into 10 different posts each with a nature shot as the image, Rubin said.

“I think it’s relevant because it shows how what he’s doing reflects trends in other areas of future careers,” Mulligan said. “It’s definitely more geared toward people in journalism or mass communication, but it shows that any eld you go into you have to be ready to do digital things...it’s helpful because everything now includes something digital.”

The media industry is changing, with technology constantly improving and developing, and as platforms and formats change, one thing remains the same: the art of storytelling.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Monster Mash and Mac Haunted House

McMillan Hall was transformed into a haunted house of horrors complete with the undead, strobe lights and clowns. On Saturday, Oct. 24 the all-men’s dorm opened its doors at 8 p.m., ushering in groups of students ready to scream.

There was no waiting in the cold weather. Warren’s Monster Mash was held in Graves Gym, and students were able to hang out and dance until their group number was called. The gym was full of students in various costumes, ranging from butter ies to bananas to broke college students in Gonzaga University T-shirts.

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A costume contest had students post pictures of the costumes to social media, and whoever got the most likes won a gift card to Dutch Bros Coffee. Freshman Natalie Benner and sophomore Alyssa La Fleur both attended the event in costume. Benner went as a motorcycle “biker girl” and La Fleur went as uranium, complete with glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark face paint.

Besides dancing, the Monster Mash offered various drinks and snacks, as well as water pong for those who struggle with breaking a move on the dance oor or for whoever simply wanted a break from dancing their socks o .

Once a group’s number was called, they were ushered out into the gym’s lobby, and taken over in the small groups to the back of Mac. Inside, the walls were lined with black trash bags and cobwebs, the flashing strobe lights ahead making the experience creepier as a high pitch voice screeched. The groups were led through a room of mirrors, various dark hallways and even a creepy guy inviting you to dinner, which was unsurprisingly full of dead bodies and blood.

“I thought it was very well put together,” Benner said. “You could tell that they put a lot of effort into it, so I thought that was really cool.”

There were some not-so-spooky things that came out of the haunted evening as well. The dual events were fundraising for the Jamaican Service Trip, which is put on by the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement. The program hosts a variety of annual spring break service trips, and includes locations such as Seattle, New York City and the Dominican Republic.

They focus on expanding the education of students and aim to bring a sense of cultural awareness through community-service projects, according to the Dornsife Center webpage.

Whether you are scared of zombies, clowns or that one guys that screams, "Here's Johnny!" you were bound to have at least one terrifying moment int he Mac Haunted House. Crawling through small tunnels made of the residents' mattresses, stepping around a guy being eaten by one of the undead and avoiding eye contact with the muttering individuals in the corners completed the horrific experience.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Artist Spotlight: Eva Arochena Garcia paints in light of adversity

Senior Eva Arochena Garcia has loved art since she was young. Growing up as an only child, she found entertainment in painting and coloring — especially watercolor. As she grew up, she stopped painting, but rediscovered the passion at age 14, before her move to the United States from Spain.

“I came to the U.S. when I was sixteen and had an art teacher that was super encouraging,” Garcia said. “And she made me realize that I could do this and I had something to show.”

Since coming to Whitworth, Garcia has dedicated herself to her passion, and is currently working on building her portfolio. Influenced by artists like Canadian photographer Petra Collins, Garcia often uses images as inspiration.

She also enjoys the material style of painters Lucian Freud or Francis Bacon, and how they leave the brush stroke visible, the large use of paint and expressiveness of their work. This leaves the images not “super perfect,” which is very fresh to her, Garcia said.

“I guess I’m interested in the darker side of life. I’m interested in private moments that are not supposed to be seen, and showing that intimacy and at the same time try to make the viewer a bit uncomfortable,” Garcia said. “I approach it from a photographic perspective. I’m a photographer too, so I always base all my paintings in photographs.”

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Garcia has not always been encouraged to pursue art, however. Initially, her parents wanted her to study English before she switched her major, and she had some bad experiences with art teachers. Past teachers spoke negatively of her work, focusing on technique and not relating to her style.

After specializing in art in high school, Garcia came to Whitworth, and found herself with more freedom in her art.

As a senior, she has flexibility with her schedule, and can focus on classes to build her skill set while choosing her own subjects for her pieces.

One of her art professors, Gordon Wilson, enjoys her style, and encourages her to portray her visions, especially those that have centered her in life, Garcia said.

“A lot of people influence me — everything that I see influences me,” Garcia said

Currently, Garcia is working on five full paintings that she hopes to finish by the end of the semester. In the spring, she plans to compose another five to complete a ten-painting series.

Garcia is unsure if she wants to pursue an Masters in Fine Art program, but she wants to continue painting. Garcia hopes to build enough work to show at a local coffee shop back home, or to show work in a community center or even at Whitworth.

“I just want to develop a body of work that I can show,” Garcia said. “ at’s where I’m at right now.”

While she is still young and does not have much work for a gallery showing yet, she aims to simply have her art shown, Garcia said.

Whether it be in Spokane or back home in Michigan, Garcia wants build a collection that she can move around to feature in different places and start building a name for herself.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Whitworth's Richard III steps away from tradition

Whitworth Theatre opened its doors for parent’s weekend to present a contemporary take on William Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” The Shakespearian tragedy is reimagined from its historical roots to take place in corporate America, stepping away from kings and queens to rooms full of executives and business partners, but still full of the play’s original corruption, power and betrayal. Directed by theatre professor Diana Trotter, the play opened in Cowles Auditorium on on Friday, Oct. 16, and was filled with students and their families to see the performance. The stage was set by dual screens in the back, which reflected the different modern settings for each scene, ranging from corporate headquarters, The Tower hotel bar and even a coffee shop.

The 7:30 p.m. performance drew many laughs and gasps as Richard navigates through political deals and shifting alliances. Senior Nathaniel Strain’s performance of Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, was captivating and energetic, freshman Megan Fox said.

“I thought that the acting was really good, and that the premise of the play set in the modern times was a really interesting take on it,” Fox said.

The story takes place in the midst of corporate culture, with a long standing dispute between the elite families of York and Lancaster. Despite the peace under the current CEO Edward IV of the York family, his younger brother, Richard, seeks to undermine Edward’s power. Driven by animosity from the happiness of those around him, power-hungry Richard strives to become the leader at any cost, including killing anyone it takes to become the head of the corporation.

The other performances will take place on Oct. 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. The general admission is $10, while it costs $8 for students and seniors. Whitworth students are granted admission for free with a valid student I.D. at the door. Tickets can be bought online or before the performance.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at 

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Painted pumpkins embody Fall spirit

Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes filled the tables in the HUB Multipurpose Room. Ranging from short and squat to long and oblong, some full of warts and others that fit neatly into the palm of a hand.

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All of the pumpkins were grown in the Kipos garden near Whitworth off Lola Lane.

On Friday, Oct. 9, the Kipos Garden hosted a pumpkin painting gathering at 6 p.m., which was quickly filled with students painting pumpkins with various characters, Halloween motifs or simply creative designs.

The garden, which is run by student volunteers, produces beans, pumpkins, squash, various tomatoes and tomatillos, apples, asparagus, kale, Swiss chard, sunflowers, and many different kinds of herbs such as fennel, dill, mint, parsley and taro.

Sophomore Shelby Beedle painted her pumpkin as Frankenstein due to a small scar on the surface.

Beedle was excited to paint, but was also enthusiastic about the cause.

“It’s really exciting to see the Kipos garden getting involved in campus and being on campus, where we can come and support them, and the money stays here so that’s really nice,” Beedle said.

Senior Kiersten Signalness organized the event, and has been involved with Kipos and is the ASWU Sustainability Coordinator.

“I really want people to realize that the Kipos garden exists, and that we actually have a lot of produce. So why not make it available to the public?” Signalness said.

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Students were free to bring their own pumpkins to the event, but the ones from the garden were sold at the event for people to paint. The money will go toward the garden and the Kipos club, Signalness said.

“Yeah, I told our garden manager that since [the pumpkins] came from the garden, I would love to raise money for the garden,” Signalness said. “Maybe we

can brainstorm towards putting it toward Kipos, because Kipos is becoming a club this year.”

The group began as a club and, despite not being one last year, they are currently going through the process to become a club once more.

The Kipos garden reaches out through little events such as this, but also does other things to get involved in the community.

When there is surplus produce, like apples, Kipos takes them to Sodexo so that it can be used in some of the food, Signalness said.

Kipos is also working with organizations such as Second Harvest, a hunger-relief organization, and The Campus Kitchens Project, which is a program that provides meals for low- income families. They donate extra produce to these organizations.

Anyone who comes to help on a garden workday can leave with produce, as there is so much produce that they do not want to go to waste, Signalness said.

Junior Brittany Boring commented on how the event was a good way to bring awareness to the Kipos program.

“I think that the more that students see the things from the garden on campus...the more awareness can grow about the garden,” Boring said.

For students who are interested in learning more about Kipos, they meet Saturdays from 9:30-11 a.m., and can receive updates on the Kipos Facebook page.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Influential poet B.H. Fairchild inspires students

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The audience listened with rapt attention as poetry filled the hall. The poet had each member hanging on for the next phrase, filling the space with the flow of his stanzas, spinning imagery and narrative.

B.H. Fairchild is an accomplished poet, and has won many awards such as the Beatrice Hawley Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, according to his Poetry Foundation profile.

Fairchild’s poetry reading was held on Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Weyerhaeuser Hall. The performance drew in faculty, students and other members of the Spokane community. Some students were required to attend for various classes, and many were excited to hear the writer’s work.

“I had read a few B.H. Fairchild poems in high school and I really liked it,” freshman Jordan Seiersen said. “It was interesting hearing his poems out loud rather than reading them.”

The reading reinforced the importance of reading poems out loud. That was especially true for Fairchild’s poems because they are from personal experience, which gives his stories a deeper meaning and makes them applicable to the population. They are quite beautiful, Seiersen said.

English professor Thomas Caraway introduced Fairchild to the audience. A long-time fan of the poet’s work, Caraway loves how Fairchild brings in sound, metaphor, figurative language, as well as interesting narratives and characters, which makes him such a powerful writer, Caraway said.

“He’s able to combine all of the elements that make poetry so important,” Caraway said. “All these things kind of come together like at the end of a symphony where you’ve had all of these individual strings. You know, the choir part is good over here, and the strings are good over here, and the brass, every- thing, and with the end, the crescendo it all comes together. And that’s what his poetry does for me.”

Fairchild read the poems “Language, Nonsense, Desire,” “The Limits of my Language: English 85B,” “The Deposition,” “Cigarettes,” “What He Said, What She Said” and other pieces from his book “The Blue Buick.”

Fairchild provided commentary on each poem before he read them to provide insight into his personal experiences. He explained the inspirations for each piece, ranging from a high school Spanish video to his days working as a young adult in his hometown.

Fairchild spoke of his days before poetry, and his revelation that days of “work, eat, sleep” were aimless. He wanted a purpose, which he found in literature, because there is always a point and a promise. Poetry fulfilled that purpose, and the influences of growing up in a blue-collar American society is evident, Fairchild said.

His work explores the area where he was born and the empty landscapes that accompany it, along with the lives of the working residents. Many times his poems include his own family and friends, according to his Poetry Foundation profile.

The audience didn’t stay silent throughout the performance. Many times the silence was broken by laughter, usually caused by Fairchild’s humorous anecdotes. Students often take too many literary classes, and could not accept a poem for what it was an enjoy it, Fairchild said.

The friendly atmosphere brought many poetry lovers and new enthusiasts together.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

"Sex Signals" encourages discussion on taboo topics

Sex is an awkward topic. To avoid it, individuals come up with all sorts of filler words. Frick frack. The deed. Netflix and chill. When a topic becomes taboo, people become unwilling to speak about it and address the issues. That’s what “Sex Signals,” a sexual assault prevention program, seeks to break. Founded in 2000, the Chicago-based program uses semi-improvisational tactics and laughter to open up the audience. The skits lead the students to ask questions about hard topics including gender stereotypes, coercion, consent and rape.

Anthony DiNicola, one of the two speakers, has worked with the program for five years. He and his partner, Hilary Williams, spoke highly of their company’s tagline “fight fire with funny.”

“[Our group] has an edge because we do use humor, and we don’t shy away from using comedy, not to laugh at an issue, but to laugh sometimes at the absurdity of certain stereotypes; the absurdity of maybe even the media’s coverage of certain issues, but the completely skirting of some of the real issues,” DiNicola said.

Last Thursday, Sept. 25, the performance drew in a large audience in the HUB Multipurpose room, with overflow crowding around the back and into Lied square. The event was not short of laughter either, whether by DiNicola and Williams or the suggestions and questions of students.

Skits throughout the night ranged from a ‘douche bag’ guy hitting on a nerdy girl, various scenes about being pressured by another individual or others involving audience engagement. Students were kept laughing while breaking down ingrained ideas about sex, intimacy and identity established through cultural norms.

With many pop culture references interwoven throughout the evening, the event felt more like an informal discussion rather than a serious lecture. Williams explained that they change parts of their script as the culture changes. This adds relevance to their material and keeps people engaged and interested.

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“It’s funny, [the performance] is based in comedy so that we can get people to talk about difficult issues,” Williams said.

The discussion wasn’t limited to learning about sex signals. Williams and DiNicola spoke on gender stereotypes that are prominent in our culture, redefining rape and the significance of knowing someone’s preferred pronouns. They also spoke to the importance of defining terms like “cis-gender,” which means one identifies as the gender you one is assigned at birth.

It’s the small things that add up into being a problem, and one easy way to eliminate this problem is to kindly ask specific questions, DiNicola said during the performance.

“These are all the things that make us up as a person, it’s not just simply that I identify as a man, that I have a penis, that doesn’t define who I am, right?” DiNicola said. “I am defined just as much as my skin color, just as much as how I cut my hair, how I like to be funny, the Star Wars tattoo that I have on my arm, right?”

Ignorance is solved by taking the step to knowing more about the individual. It was also addressed that aspects such as appearance and sexuality do not define a person as a whole, DiNicola said.

“I am a collection of many, many, many different things, and sometimes using humor to sort of break down these barriers...is OK,” DiNicola said.

Many students appreciated the discussion, such as juniors Emily Thorpe and Kaley Alness.

“It just something that doesn’t get talked about here,” Thorpe said. “I just think that it was really good for facilitating this type of discussion and for making people feel comfortable, and they were probably saying things that a lot of people were thinking but they really didn’t know how to vocalize it.”

The topics addressed in “Sex Signals” are often not seen as large or relevant issues on Christian campuses, but Alness agrees that topics such as sexual harassment, rape, gender and identity need to be addressed.

“[Sexual harassment] is not talked about, and it’s overlooked so much, and there’s so much victim blaming,” Alness said.

Both women expressed the hope that those who attended the event would have a better understanding of the issues and stigmas surrounding rape and sexual harassment.

“Stop making assumptions.” Williams said. “Start asking questions and start behaving like people.”

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu