The Unnecessary Ambiguity

I remember when I was a kid the movies I would watch, things that are now known as “classic Disney.” These movies, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, ect…. were all pretty straight forward. There was a bad guy and there was a good guy; there was love and there was hate. True love conquering all was usually the moral of every story. Now-a-days, true love is still a major role in these current Disney films, but it is never as straight forward as it once was.

In today’s Disney, princes aren’t princes, princesses are not always princesses, and the line between villain and fairy godmother has been blurred by a world that believes men saving women is not a good lesson to teach our young girls. But have they taken the line too far? The idea of a woman saving herself, or even a woman saving another woman, has become a growing trend. Starting with 2010’s Tangled, moving onto 2012’s Brave, and especially into the past year it’s starting to seem as though this is taking over the children movies of today. With films like Frozen and Maleficent creating cult followings, is Disney skewing the idea of who, or what, is evil?

Taking a look at Frozen, which has actually been accused of promoting bestiality as well as homosexuality, we the viewers get two different forms of villainy: the fear of the unknown and uncontrollable, as well as the evil man. Where I am all for the idea of a strong woman being shown to the young women of the world, the way that Frozen goes about doing this seems to be the wrong way. Elsa, being strong through her powers, starts out as being portrayed as an evil villain to the people of her kingdom. She is forced into hiding in the wilderness so that she can be herself. She only becomes a ‘good guy’ after a man proves to be more evil than she is. My question is thus: does she really ever HAVE to be evil at all? True that she does have powers that accidentally injure her sister, but does she really need to be exiled then hunted down like a dog for being a strong woman? My argument is that this is actually not teaching our young girls to be strong and comfortable with who they are, because in its presentation she is only accepted after she is the lesser of two evils. So is the dualism between evil and good within her really needed? Not to mention the fact that Anna, the heroine, only becomes strong enough to save her sister after she is heartbroken by the man that she doesn’t actually even love, but that’s a whole different subject.

Months later Disney released its distorted mirror of who the villain from Sleeping Beauty was. Maleficent changes this classic villain into a misunderstood mother figure and thus making her a victim and a weak woman because of, wait for it, a man! With Maleficent’s evil stemming from a broken heart rather than simply being an evil sorceress, she turns from being a strong willed woman who knows her feelings and what she wants, to being a scorned woman licking her wounds until she learns the error of her ways by watching an infant grow up. I understand the fact that there are two sides to every story as much as the next woman, often times we do end up with our hearts broken by some “evil” man and plot revenge, but does this really need to be the morals that are taught to the world’s youth?

With the future of Disney showing women that they become villains based on having power and are made weak by evil men, it stands to show that the line between good and evil is no more. With the ambiguity of what is good and what is bad in recent Disney productions the whole idea of right and wrong has been blurred in the children’s movies of late. In reality, there are bad people in the world. Turn on the news and you’ll find that there are real-life villains out there. So why are we teaching our young women that there aren’t, that men are the source of evil (there are just as many bad women as there are men), and that bad people are simply misunderstood, hurt women based on these men? I believe that the world of film was better for the sheer sake of truth for children watching. Why try to sugarcoat it? It just causes confusion and chaos.

Article by Krista Skweres

Letter to the Editor: PIP101

I recently logged onto RateMyProfessor.com – something I have only done one other time in my three years of college, and that one other time was for the exact same reason I was logging on now. I don’t go there to see what students are saying about professors, as most of them are whining about having to use the textbook, or that there is too much homework, or that they expect you to be in class everyday – come on, get over it…THIS IS COLLEGE AND IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD. Don’t any of them realize that this is the easiest part of their lives? Don’t any of them understand that an employer is going to expect them to be there every day, fully equipped with all the necessary tools like pen and pencil, notepaper, maybe even a book or two? I digress.

No, I go onto RateMyProfessor.com to truly give feedback on a professor that should not be allowed to teach, mold, influence, enact or any other verb as it relates to the educating of our young minds of tomorrow. I have one such professor. Feedback? None. Return email correspondence? Slim to none. Help with projects? None. Clarity in explanation of assignments? Little to none. Grades Returned? You will be lucky if you see something once a month. Really? 4 weeks to return test grades? As we are nearing the end of the semester, I am not sure if I have a D or an A. I think I have an A, but who knows?

So, as I log on to rate this specific professor, I read the other comments posted by students for this same educator. OMG – seems like I am not the only one having the same problems!

Overall Quality: 2.0

Helpfulness: 1.0

Guess what? It’s been going on for years…you would think that the University would like to have this fixed. Is this not a direct reflection on them as an educational institution of higher learning? This professor is their choice as an educator. Hmmmmm….

And don’t even get me started on the professors that do the “cut and paste syllabi” which have the wrong semester due dates on them (Spring for Fall and vice versa) or the “form letter” emails that are supposed to be personal, but aren’t, and have grammar issues as well as content issues. Are professors above checking their work before submitting or hitting ‘send’?

As a former corporate executive, if this was run like a corporate business, they would ALL be fired for their lack of attention to detail bordering on incompetence. But, since this isn’t run as a business, it is academia – I rate these behaviors an “F”. You want to turn out undergraduate professionals? Then emulate the behavior with which you have expectations of.

Article by Robin Broughton

The Night Before Finals

‘Twas the night before finals, and in the library
Many students were crying, their faces quite scary

The books were all opened, highlighted with care
In hopes that the answers they needed were there

The students were crashing, stress all in their head
Trying to remember just what their profs said

The Parkside Health Center was busy you see
With kids claiming fevers of one hundred and three

When suddenly out on the roof it appeared
It wasn’t the geese, but a fat guy with reindeer

“To the window!” I cried, but not to the wall
I wanted to see Santa, I was tired of fall

The moon was as high as the price at Brickstone
With its light I could tell Santa wasn’t alone

I rubbed my eyes, because I must be tired
Our cops had denied him, ranger card required

“Do you know who I am?!” shouted Santa with fury
He had presents to give out, he was in quite a hurry

“There’s cheat sheets for Johnny and lab notes for Noel
And here, prayers for Jack, his GPA’s shot to hell”

With a swift kick Rudolph sent the cops off the roof
They landed in snow with a nice, gentle poof

No one else in the library noticed a thing
All their eyes were now puffy from all the crying

“But Santa’s outside!” I tried rousing a senior
“MY THESIS IS DUE” I heard 20 times meaner

Frustrated I left the library to see
Santa now in the hall, atop the zamboni

On top of his back was a duffle so big
It had all of the cheat sheets, from bio to trig

“To the library, Santa!” I called out with glee
He told me to be patient, to just wait and see

I smelled something strange then, not cookies or milk
Something was burning, was it Santa’s red silk?

The zamboni was not filled with water, but gas!
What was Santa doing?! Frantic I warned the class

“GUYS WE HAVE TO GET OUT SANTA’S TORCHING THE PLACE”
That was met with some death threats and slaps in the face

With a dash, I ran to where Santa was waiting
He held up a flier, like he was debating

“You have a school paper?” He asked with a smile
“I’m the editor” I said, my eyes on the tile

“So was I!” he replied, pocketing the lighter
If possible, I swore that his beard just got whiter

“Schools with newspapers are too special to burn
Study hard for finals, you have much to learn”

He tossed me the cheat bag and vanished like that
Leaving nothing behind but his classic red hat

Back in the library I must have been dreaming
Which would’ve been hard amidst all of the screaming

But I heard jingle bells and felt up on my head
There was santa’s hat, just as white and as red

I ran to the window and saw a reindeer hoof
Santa waved goodbye and launched the sleigh off the roof

And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight
“Man there’s nowhere to park unless you take class at night!”

by Maggie Lawler

Selling meth to pay for college, what Breaking Bad has taught us all

Like most college students, I weep when I see how much tuition costs. If it gets any higher, we won’t even be able to afford our ramen. So let’s think about the positive messages we’re learning from today’s media. How can you go from broke to rich in a matter of months? Well, Mr. White, after you put some pants on we can go over the fine arts degree you’ll need to pursue. What? No. I’m not talking about Studio Art. I’m thinking bigger than that. Bigger even than Picasso’s blue period. I’m talking about that blue crystal. Grab your lab coats and follow me down the wonderful rabbit hole known as meth cooking.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve seen Breaking Bad, and it didn’t end up okay for Walter!” And to that I would reply, “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?” Let’s take a look back at what happened. If you haven’t seen the end of Breaking Bad yet, stop reading. There are spoilers ahead. Walter didn’t die because of meth, you might have missed the part where he had terminal cancer. What any college student wouldn’t kill to be making all of that…what’s the word Pinkman? Cheddar? The entire TV show had me wishing I’d paid better attention in science class. High school is something I’ve tried to tune out for the most part, but all I can really remember from chemistry is my teacher threatening to take my cell phone away and not give it back. And that was back in a time where smart phones were just a dream.

I mean, yeah. There’s definitely some danger involved if you’re going to become a drug lord, but you don’t have to go as deep as Heisenberg (although a clever nickname is required). The key is to get out before you bury yourself in hundred dollar bills, although that’s very tempting. Settle for a swimming pool full of twenties. Fifties and hundreds just make you seem greedy.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that college is expensive, but we’ve only just scratched the surface. There’s an entire world out there full of dirty drug money, and it’s waiting for us to go out and find it.

by Maggie Lawler

The Non-GMO Project: Reaching the Tipping Point

Since the first distribution and commercialization of genetically engineered crops in the early nineties, countries around the world have been creating or have already created policies to enforce the regulation of these relatively new technologies. There are currently 64 countries all over the globe including China and Mexico that have laws mandating the labeling of genetically engineered foods.  The U.S. is not one of these 64 countries. We are one of the only developed countries in the world that does not require the labeling of these potentially harmful foods by law. Russia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greenland and all of Europe already have firm laws in place that mandate the labeling of nearly all genetically engineered foods with a threshold of .9-1% of GE content per ingredient of each food item. Serbia, Benin and Zambia have put in place an official ban on all genetically engineered food cultivation and imports. Do we not have a right to at least know what is in our food?

Continue reading The Non-GMO Project: Reaching the Tipping Point