Adjusting to UW-Parkside

Tips for transfer students getting used to their new life as a Parkside Ranger


Transferring schools is difficult: you need to make friends all over, you need to get acquainted with all your professors, and-especially if you are in a smaller major-you get that feeling of being the stranger intruding upon tight knit social grips that have already been established. As someone who has transferred universities themselves – I completely understand that feeling. And that is why, in order to ease some of those feelings of anxiety, I came up with a list of tips to help as you adjust to your new school environment.

Joining an organization

I get it; you probably think that joining a student org is dumb and childish, or you just do not have any time to do so on top of school work. Which is completely fair, and I felt the same way when I was a Freshman and a Sophomore. But through joining an organization at UW-Parkside, I was able to meet some of my closest friends and lost some of the feelings of being an outsider.

Get to know your professors

Contrary to popular belief, your instructors are actually people and have lives outside of their classrooms. Actually go to their office hours (if you can) and talk with them. Not only will they be able to help you with your coursework, but they are also all interesting people to get to know. If you get along well with one of your professors, they may let you do independent research with them, which would both look really good on a resume for getting a job after college or if you want to go on to master’s school.

Talk to your classmates

Your college experience is what you make it. If you just want your college experience to just be going to class, going home, and hanging out with the same friends you had from high school, then by all means go for it. However, if you want it to be a time where you meet new people and form or join new social groups, then you need to take some initiative on your part. Your classmates will not bite, and if anything, are probably as shy as you to start a conversation so they likely will not judge you at all.

Transferring schools can be scary, no matter what level of schooling you are in. Hopefully with my tips though, the transition to being a UW-Parkside student will be a little easier for you, and maybe you will get more enjoyment out of your college experience.


From clavichord to piano

Pianist demonstrates a variety of keyboard music on different historical pianos

Fumi Nishikori-Nakayama performs on various pianos     COURTESY OF UW-PARKSIDE


On Friday, Feb. 8 at 12:00 p.m., the UW-Parkside Music Department and the College of Arts and Humanities collaborated to put on the first Noon Concert Series of the semester entitled: “Clavichord to Piano: Keyboard Music through the Ages”. The event was led by Fumi Nishikori-Nakayama, an adjunct faculty member of both the Carthage Music Department and the UW-Parkside Music Department. The event was designed to both show different examples of keyboard music ranging from the 17th century to the 19th century and showing the differences in sound between the original instruments they were written for and a modern-day piano.

Instruments and pieces

Nakayama started the event with showing a piece written for clavichord by William Byrd entitled “All in a Garden Grine”. The clavichord is a striking instrument, making it the “grandfather of the modern piano,” as Nakayama described. The clavichord and the next instrument she showed, the Harpsichord, are both instruments used during the Middle Ages. One major difference between the two instruments, however, is that harpsichord is a plucking instrument instead of a striking instrument. Additionally, the clavichord is not designed for projecting its sound for an entire concert hall like the harpsichord.

The other two keyboards that were shown were the fortepiano and the piano. The fortepiano came into usage in the early 18th century and was used until the 19th century. Compositions by Beethoven and Schubert that were originally made for the fortepiano were played on it to give an insight into how it would have closer sounded for the time period. When discussing the sound of the fortepiano, one member in the audience, Patricia Fish, a piano performance major at UW-Parkside, described that “the fortepiano sounds like you’re listening to a piano in a sewer.” What Patricia was specifically referring to when she said this the tone of the reverb of the fortepiano compared to the piano.

This particular entry in the Noon Concert Series allowed for people to be introduced to pieces of music that they may not normally listen to as a way to possibly expand their taste in music. In addition, playing these pieces on their original instruments let the audience get an idea of what the compositions would have sounded like when there originally written.

Come to the Noon Concert series to support artists, to preserve these musical pieces in the modern moment, and to embrace a musical culture that doesn’t usually get the spotlight.

“Bad Genius”: High risk, high reward

Foreign Film Series hits of spring semester with thrill and high action…about good grades


Listen up bitches courtesy of imdb
Lynn explains her final plan to Pat and Grace     COURTESY OF IMDB

Cheating. Most students have either thought of, or actually have cheated on some test at some point in their lives. Those slick enough to get away with it can live freely in anonymity, silently gloating at their success. However, those who are caught are not so lucky. Every few years some college board is under fire for recycling test answers, or having too lax of security measures in their testing rooms. Students who get caught up in these scandals have their test results nullified, are punished by their schools and branded with the moniker of “cheater”. Surprising as it may be, organized cheating rings in Asian countries taking advantage of recycled test forms is a constant issue. “Bad Genius” tackles the strange world of Asian cheating rings in an intense, two hour long, heist-style film.

The heist

Teen genius, Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying), aids her best friend Grace (Eisaya Hosuwan) in cheating on a test so her grades will be high enough to audition for the school play. Simple enough, and done with good intentions. A one time thing, right? Unfortunately, things get complicated when Grace brings in her boyfriend, who brings in five friends, who all bring in their friends. Suddenly, Lynn is not only one of the two smartest students in school, but she is revered as something of a crime boss, with dozens of students hanging onto her every word and handsomely paying her for her “tutoring” lessons. But what happens when Lynn takes on more “students”? What happens when the tests get harder, the security stricter, the stakes higher?

Not your typical action flick

Unlike many popular heist-style movies, Lynn is the singular mastermind behind the various plots in the film, making her seem unrealistically intelligent, but she is not the only one. Every single one of the people involved in the cheating ring eventually go to pretty extreme lengths to keep from getting caught, though that can partially be explained by how much is on the line for these students.

Also unlike other heist movies, the various characters of “Bad Genius” do not have the familial relationships that many American viewers are used to seeing in films like “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Mission Impossible” or “Fast and Furious 5”. Their relationship is less akin to friendship and is actually closer to a cut and dry business transaction. They remain loyal to each other under threat of getting caught and, not because they genuinely care for one another.

While many of the characters possess more adult attributes, they are still, at their core, relatable teenagers. The teens of “Bad Genius” are rash, self-centered, self-serving, and manipulative in ways that no teen would ever want to admit they are, and yet it is not hard to see oneself in them. There are students all over the world that would go to extreme lengths to get good grades, be accepted to a good school and prove to the adult world that they are no longer just a “kid”. However unlikely as the specific events of this movie may be, it speaks to something that lies deep within most every young adult: the bad genius we all want to be.

Pat and Grace celebrate passing their test courtesy of imdb
Pat and Grace celebrate passing the STIC      COURTESY OF IMDB

Critical acclaim

The film received much critical acclaim, winning seventeen of its twenty-seven award nominations at various national film festivals, and it is not hard to see why.  The film was largely awarded for the stellar acting of the main cast, as well as the direction and editing of the film. Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (playing Lynn), is a fashion model making her debut to the big screen in “Bad Genius”, and by her performance it is difficult to believe that she is not a well seasoned actress. Likewise, the rest of the cast is relatively new to the feature film seen, but they all present such riveting performances that one wouldn’t notice at first glance.

“Bad Genius” is an adrenaline packed ride of bad decisions and over-complicated schemes from start to finish and a must-see for any lover of thrilling heists or despiser of standardized tests.

The Art Department Celebrates 50 years with the Reunion Gallery

Art is Alive on Campus

Krystal Dodge

To commemorate Parkside’s 50 Year Celebration, “Reunion” is an exhibition featuring artwork from Art Department alumni, faculty and retired faculty. This is an unforgettable showcase of generations of the UW-Parkside Art Department family. The gallery opened on Feb. 4 and will be open until Mar. 22, and there will be a reception on Mar. 21.

“Self Portrait – Hand” by Kristina Murphy     COURTESY OF NATALIA HANSEN

The gallery is an eclectic look at five decades of the Art departments history. There are many styles of art and various mediums used. They have paintings, ceramics, wood working, photography, digital art, screenprint, embroidery and mixed media. It is part of Parkside’s history to showcase alumni’s art. The school takes great pride in the Art department and their contribution to the creative community. Art is very much a big part of culture on campus.

Focal Point

The piece that was used to advertise this exhibit was oil on linen self portrait by Kristina Murphy.  This painting was a portrait of a hand that was in homage to Sofonisla Anguissola, an Italian renaissance painter. Anaguissola worked with Michelangelo and many other prestigious people of her time.  Her most well-known works were self-portraits. The portrait show cased a hand in the forefront over a blue dress. There was great detail on the jewelry, that adorned her beautifully painted hand. The painting captured beauty in something most people would not ordinarily classify as such.

“Whatever Happened to Sattler’s Sea Cow” by Lisa Bigalke     COURTESY OF NATALIA HANSEN

Eye Catching

There was such a variety of creative and remarkable pieces. However, there was one piece in particular that grabbed my attention. “Whatever Happened to Sattler’s Sea Cow?” by Lisa Bigalke. I caught myself spending the most time looking at this piece. It was a combination of screenprint and embroidery.  At the center of the picture was an adult and baby sea cow and they are surrounded by a ring of crimson red. There are rings of fishing boats, oil rigs and fishing lures cascading out from the sea cows. The sea cows looked so sad and it really triggered raw emotion, especially with all the concerns we are facing with animal extinction and environmental issues.

This sea cow is actually extinct, but they had inhabited Commander Isles in the Bering Sea. These were massive creatures that could easily reach 8 to 10 tons as adults. It is just hard to understand how something so enormous and magnificent could be eliminated completely.

This exhibit is diverse. The rich culture of the arts is very alive on campus. The exhibit will be up until Mar. 22. In the words of the late Albert Einstein, “creativity is contagious, pass it on”.

“Chunks”: The essence of experience by Herman Aguirre

Emerging Chicago artist is featured in UW-Parkside Fountain Gallery  


This fall, the UW–Parkside Foundation Gallery has been hosting the work of Herman Aguirre, an emerging artist from Chicago. The opening reception for the exhibit, “Chunks”,’ was Sept. 12 and will be on view until Oct 16.

Emerging artist

“Chunks” is a collection of oil paintings, half of which Aguirre describes as autobiographical and half of which he describes as a commentary on contemporary events and culture. The subject matter spans from personal, daily life in Chicago to disturbing, historical incidents in various cities in Mexico. Aguirre’s aim is clearly communicated in his public artist statement and executed in mission: “Through the various techniques and applications, I try and capture the essence of experience.”

Crafting chaos

The exhibit pieces are intensely textured, characterized by copious layers of oil paint gouged out and spread bluntly to shape somewhat tenebrous portraits and depictions of severely traumatic events. Both the application of the media and the content of the pieces point to the raw, tactile chaos of each situation or subject. The gritty mounds of material bring the brutality of emotional pain to surface, as if to name the intangible by a malleable flesh of color and consistency.

Considering the omitted

After viewing the collection, Andre Perez, a Senior at UW–Parkside said,  “I could feel a sense of being trapped, stuck in a certain lifestyle or situation. It was grimy and held evidence of a lot of unfortunate crime. If I could describe the exhibit in three words, they would be gray, struggle and rush.” Another student, Alyssa Goroski, a UW–Parkside English major, responded to the work saying, “It was interesting because in some instances it was less about what stood out of the painting and more about what failed to stand out in the painting. It drew attention to what was missing. What comes to my mind, overall, is a sad nostalgia—looking at the events and people portrayed, lots of things were dead or dying…but there was a certain amount of reverence for whatever those things were.”

Drug consumption and cartel

Although not stated explicitly, several of the non-autobiographical works depict the effects of drugs on communities, not only from the standpoint of negative consequences for the American locale, but also for the third world countries the United States drug consumers buy from, perpetuating a violent cycle. “I hear about innocent children getting killed and about people who are not even affiliated with the drug trade being shot. It worries me because nothing is really changing, and the violence is growing,” Aguirre stated. One piece in particular portrays a scene of soldiers gathering around a line of bodies in the aftermath of a bloody exchange between Mexican soldiers and cartel members.

Visit the gallery

Other works in the exhibit explore identity, culture and mourning. In explaining his process, Aguirre said, “I’ve always been interested in ways I could make something real and horrific and honest, but at the same time, more accessible to people and beautiful in a way; beautiful and grotesque. That’s the way I stand in the way I approach a painting.” Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to view this work on campus until Oct 16. More work is available at