Staff Picks: November 2017

Kara Walker’s Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)

Picture1With family in town this past month, I was able to actually make it out to some of the current exhibits on display at area museums. Amongst the various exhibitions I saw, the most powerful was Kara Walker’s Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated). In these prints, Walker presents illustrations of the Civil War, originally published by Harper’s Magazine in 1866, overlain with stencil-cut silhouettes depicting racist stereotypes associated with African Americans during the period. By combining these two misrepresentations, Walker forces the viewer to acknowledge the blatant inaccuracies embedded in historical records and to confront depths of racism in our culture. This exhibit can be seen at Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery until March 11, 2018.

– Rebecca Tantillo, Editor-in-Chief 

The Clan of the Cave Bear

Calling all book lovers, The Clan of the Cave Bear takes you into the prehistoric Ice Age where humans and Neanderthals roam the earth. The book begins with human child (& later badass powerful healer-warrior), clan of the clay bearAyla, orphaned by an earthquake and found by The Clan, a Neanderthal tribe, who heal and raise her despite her being an “Other.” We learn the ways of the Clan and thus begins the epic tale of Ayla and her fight for survival.

Author, Jean Auel, is a master writer. Her extensive research is evident as she paints such vivid imagery explaining the everyday lives of early humans. This is only the first of six books in the Earth’s Children series, so if you’re looking to escape this world, take a journey through The Clan of the Cave Bear and get lost in early earth, a place so different from the one we know today.

– Alexa DeJesus, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Lady Birdlady bird

Watching Lady Bird made me feel like Greta Gerwig had somehow got her hands on my diary from high school, or had been listening in on every conversation I ever had with my parents. It feels at once both universal and incredibly specific in its funny, heartbreaking, and never saccharine depiction of Ladybird’s (Saoirse Ronan) coming of age. I unequivocally loved this movie, and no matter who you are, I think you will, too (and when was the last time any of us could say that?).

– Ellen Kaufman, Managing Editor

Because This is My First Life

korean drama

This Korean Drama, currently available on Viki for streaminging, has been a delightful distraction from academic stress. The story is so simple as to be cliche, two people enter into a contract marriage for practical reasons only to fall in love. However, all the little details of characterization as well as the thoughtful commentary on the challenges of being a woman in a patriarchal society, create a compelling story that will keep you away from real responsibilities for hours. Also the cat is adorable.

– Katie Hartzell, Assistant Managing Editor

Morning Walks

Alright, so I know in grad school anything happening before 10am is rude and uncalled for. However, about a month ago I started waking up at wait for it…. 6:30am! Well I wake up at 6:30, but I usually don’t start moving until 7am. Once I am up and moving, I throw on some comfy pants, a sweatshirt (or any outdoor garments required for the weather), and take a nice 45-60 minute walk. You can do whatever you want during this time! (as long as it requires walking). Personally, I will walk to one of my local coffee shops, get a beverage and explore the neighborhood. Since I have started taking walks in the morning I am finding that I am more productive throughout the day and becoming less of a stressful tired grad student. I am not saying you need to do this everyday, but make it a habit to go at least two-three times a week. Benefits of morning walks can include things from getting to know your neighborhood, relieving stress, and weight loss! Set your alarm and get strolling!  


– Carson Collier, Director of Blog & Web Services

Fleece Lined Crocs

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I am Eastern European (shout out to my fellow Polish girls!) and in Eastern European culture there is the  practice that once you enter the house, you immediately take off your outdoor shoes and put on your indoor shoes– typically a pair of slippers. Well, my life has literally been transformed by these Croc slippers. Not only are they super comfortable, they also are really easy to clean in the case that I accidentally wear them outside and get them dirty.

Please note: This is not a joke. I have a dream that one day, we will live in a world where I can wear Crocs out in public without shame, instead of hiding behind closed doors.

– Katherine Grygo, Assistant Director of Web & Blog Services


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