Adjusting to UW-Parkside

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

TYLER STEINSDORFER

stein078@rangers.uwp.edu

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

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

TYLER STEINSDORFER

stein078@rangers.uwp.edu

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

ROSEMARY SCHWEITZER

schwe035@rangers.uwp.edu

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.

“#Sadtrap”: an emotional masterpiece

Local rapper releases tense, conceptual project

TYLER STRAKA

strak006@rangers.uwp.edu

Ever since the rise in popularity of hip-hop music, its mass appeal and influence have reached mainstream and local music scenes alike, and the Racine/Kenosha area is no exception. From the Cactus Club and the Hatrix Bar in Kenosha to Greg’s Catering in Racine, the various venues give room for plenty of artists to perform, and a big example of a local musician is Shaggy No Scoob. Shaggy’s been busy performing his newest records since 2017, and his latest album, “#SadTrap”, is one of the most emotional and impactful releases South-Eastern Wisconsin has witnessed in recent years.

Carefully Detailed Layout

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“#Sadtrap” album cover     COURTESY OF SPOTIFY

 

Drawing from various musical influences and personal experiences, Shaggy crafts a solid pallet that’s both dark and reflective, using melancholy and trap-styled beats to go with the more depressing themes of the project. The intro, sung by DoMo BankZ, is an excellent title track, beginning the introspective tone that the other songs continue. This track leads into the first single, “Losing Control”, featuring Ethan Anomaly and Miggy Bars. Gliding through with swelling synths and perfectly concocted drums, the tales they weave of mental tension and devastating events define themselves on the verses and chorus alike.

From this point onward, the record begins a transformation, bringing out different scenarios with which he explains his thoughts. The primary example here is “Red Light Interlude”, where our protagonist describes his thoughts of running the red light, but just as a means of personal reflection. Other main cuts in this style include “Love Games” and “A Million Years”, the latter featuring Spencer Charnas of Ice Nine Kills. Swirling backdrops and rattling high hats paint the backdrops for these withdrawn and icy songs, and the sung hooks contrast beautifully from the dark, sharp verses.

The Necessities of the Record

When discussing major moments on the record, the outro is a staple, titled “X” after XXXTentacion. Shaggy closes out the record by dedicating his creation to the murdered artist, explains what XXX did for this album’s sound and content, and using the last words to wish him and those closest to him peace and well wishes.

Overall, I was personally really impressed by what Shaggy No Scoob brought to the table here, combining elements of trap rap, emo hip-hop and even slight jazz-rap tendencies for an intoxicating and relatable listen. The personal narratives, the diverse but dense flows and the pretty but enveloping production present a unique adventure to be cherished, both as a studio album and a live experience.

“Kingdom Hearts 3”: I didn’t hate it

Latest installment of beloved game offers more new questions than it answers (Spoiler warning)

HOLLACE VILLARREAL

Villa068@rangers.uwp.edu

The game

“Kingdom Hearts 3” is the ninth game in the Kingdom Hearts series, though it is the first real made-for-console game released since “Kingdom Hearts 2”. The game follows Sora, the protagonist of the series, as he looks for the Power of Waking throughout different Disney themed worlds.

In this game, Sora and his friends are trying to find the seven guardians of light. Ultimately, Sora’s goal is to defeat his enemy, Xehanort, and Xehanort’s “Organization XIII”.

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Sora, Donald, and Goofy face off against Organization XIII     COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS

The overall plotline

The Kingdom Hearts series has a notoriously complex plotline, so complex that “Kingdom Hearts 3” comes with over a half hour of recap videos available on the title screen before the game even starts. The backstory that stretched out over the last nine games is repeated many times over the course of the game’s cutscenes. I found this annoyingly repetitive. As someone familiar with the franchise, nothing in the first half of the game was new information.

The worlds

As Kingdom Hearts is a blend of Final Fantasy and Disney, there was a fair amount of Disney worlds. Personally, I was a fan. I felt like each of the worlds were fleshed out, had interesting storylines, and had fun new game mechanics to work with. While the musical cutscenes in Arendelle (the world based on the movie “Frozen”) were frankly awkward, and the plot and length of San Fransokyo (based on the movie “Big Hero 6”) left much to be desired, the worlds were overall pretty good.

I was disappointed that no Final Fantasy characters made an appearance in the entire game. Though they have not made big appearances since “Kingdom Hearts 2” and “Birth by Sleep”, the characters added a lot to the games. By removing them, the game seemed to be missing something.

Kairi: Princess of heart, guardian of light

In the original “Kingdom Hearts” game Kairi was a main character. She went missing early in the game and Sora and Riku were both separately trying to find her. In the game, she was shown to be a “Princess of Heart”, a vague term that referred to characters with exceptional “light”. Because of her status as a “Princess of Heart”, Kairi was able to return Sora’s heart to him, when he gave up his life to save her.

In “Kingdom Hearts 2” Kairi also played a key role, showing how the outside world had forgotten the events of the original game. Though she did not have a whole lot of personality in this sequel, she still had self-sufficient qualities and even fought off a kidnapper and escaped a cell.

In “Kingdom Hearts 3”, Kairi has been training to become a keyblade wielder. Her aptitude for the keyblade was hinted at in “Birth by Sleep” where Aqua bequeathed her a keyblade. The game also mentions how there are new “Princesses of Heart”, but that Kairi is still one of them, along with a guardian of light.

It’s unforgivable that, in her first fight–after all this training–she is immediately defeated. She’s kidnapped by the villain and he shatters her in front of Sora.

Before this fight, Kairi only talked to Sora twice, and both times were stilted and awkward. The writing was strange, and her previously lively character was flat and uninteresting. She offered Sora a paopu fruit–a symbol of intertwining their destinies–without any lead up, creating an awkward atmosphere. This romance subplot fell flat.

After she was shattered, Sora vowed to get her back, even if it destroyed him. The game ends with everyone back and safe on Destiny Islands, except Sora–who seemingly gave up his life for her.

The game wasn’t awful

Overall the game was a fun time, I enjoyed playing it. After so long, I expected a better plotline that actually made all of the aspects of the overly complex storyline fall together. I was disappointed with how the game handled previously strong female characters. They appeared watered down and less powerful than they were in their original games. Again, it was fun–but it could have been so much better.