May 12, 2013 Leave a comment
A salad enjoyed on the Greek Island of Kea
my portfolio of journalism and photojournalism
May 12, 2013 Leave a comment
Food’s great power is that it brings people together. Think about it, every important moment of life involves food in some way. Food has the power to spark good conversations, ideas and relationships. And that has been true for my life at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Some of my greatest memories in Point are food memories. Here are just a few.
1. Belt’s-What’s a better way to spend a sunny afternoon or warm night than taking a walk to Belt’s? You totally burn off all those calories in a ten-minute walk, right?
2. Zest-I have had some of the best conversations about hopes and dreams over lattes and turnovers at this coffee shop.
3. Stevens Point Farmer’s Market-I’m not a huge fan of vegetables, but waking up on Saturday mornings in the fall to buy them from local farmers almost makes me want to like them.
4. Downtown Square-Okay, so maybe more beverages were consumed here than food, but it still always proved to be a good time.
5. Kitchen Parties-If you are ever bored, I would highly suggest inviting some friends over and trying to make something crazy only using food that is already in your pantry. To me, nothing is more fun than experimenting with food. Some of the best flavors and creations happen there.
6. Greece-There is nothing better than traveling to Greece, eating food, drinking wine, writing about it and getting college credit for it. This was easily the greatest food experience (and just general experience) of my life.
In short, never underestimate the power of food. Food can bring anyone together, and isn’t that the whole point of life? If you are ever in doubt of what to do or how to make your life a little more exciting, add food into the mix, and it will soon become an exciting and unforgettable experience.
April 14, 2013 Leave a comment
An ecstatic audience packed The Encore Tuesday night to see the internationally renowned poet Andrea Gibson perform. Her performance was a part of Pride Week at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Gibson is a renowned activist poet for queer issues.
“And she’s for more than just the queer community, she’s all for human acceptance,” said junior drama major Lindsay Paquette.
Gibson opened her set with the poem “I Sign the Body Electric, Especially When My Power’s Out” and from that poem on set a precedent for the mix of anger, and beauty that create her fearless poetry. Through her poems, Gibson hopes to spread a message of hope.
“The hope will come with what people do with it…the poem never ends,” Gibson said.
Throughout her performance, Gibson encouraged the audience to ask any questions they might have about her work. When asked what her process is like for writing a poem, Gibson said that she needed to be alone because she will “frantically pace and run around the room and yell at the wall.”
She will often speak her thoughts and focus on the way the words sound, and then piece them together like a puzzle “so it all matches up perfectly and emotionally, and then I will read it in my head for about ten days twenty days over and over and then I will read it on stage three or four times revising it.”
Each year the Gender and Sexuality Alliance hosts Pride Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments, culture, and pride of those who identify themselves at LGBTQ or allies of those who do. Gibson’s poetry did just that.
“It’s important to her messages,” Paquette said. “because it’s one step closer to getting us all to love one another.”
April 12, 2013 Leave a comment
It has come to my attention that most students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point think that all there is to college cooking is Easy Mac. If they want to go out to eat, their only options are Toppers and Taco Bell. I want to change that. There is so much more to cooking than microwaving powder. Since coming to Stevens Point, I have had the pleasure of discovering a small town filled with endless local and flavorful restaurants and culinary experiences. Good food is here! Don’t settle for anything less.
Such a culinary experience occurred last week Friday at the Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics’ First Annual Bite- Sized Cook-off in the CPS Café.
The event was a competition in which four teams of dietetics students served three courses of themed meals. The teams each had a theme: Greek, Root Vegetables, Korean, and Rice-based dishes. Those that attended the event voted on what team’s food they liked the most.
All of these students deserve recognition for creativity in their dishes and the ability to make a large amount of the same mini-bites. I mean, it was impossible not to “Aww” at the adorableness of a mini-burger made out of the spices of a traditional Korean barbeque. The presentation of each dish was beautiful in a way that almost made you not want to eat it because it was a form of art.
The true art form was in the flavors. Many of them were fearless, to say the least. Take the parsnip spice cake with ginger cream cheese frosting, for example. Who would ever think to put a parsnip in a cake? Whoever did was onto something. The combination of the root vegetables, spices and cream cheese frosting was outstanding. But can you really ever go wrong when there’s cream cheese frosting involved?
The greatness of this event was the fact that it showed that great and fresh food can be found in Stevens Point and great chefs can be found among the students of UWSP. Maybe you’re not ready to go make some baba ghanoush, but you too can be a good chef. Step away from the ramen and challenge yourself to make something a little more delicious tonight.
March 5, 2013 Leave a comment
People hate and judge what they don’t understand. Most people don’t try to understand those with mental illnesses, automatically placing them in a category of “crazy” and “retarded.” In reality, they are people too; people with feelings, hopes and dreams. They just have an extra barrier that separates them from what we all take for granted: a potential road to success.
Starting in education, those with a mental illness are sometimes told from the beginning that their lives will never amount to something that a “normal” individual might have. And that’s a tragedy.
In reality, those with mental illnesses deserve every resource and help from others in order to achieve their dreams. Their dreams are just as important as everyone’s and they need to be realized.
The biggest obstacle in life isn’t their illness; it’s other people’s prejudices. It’s not only that people bring them down; it’s that people don’t raise them up.
In order to this, we need a complete makeover on our mindset. For example, the word “retarded” is used daily as an insult to others. It should never be used as an insult, because it’s not a bad thing to be retarded. It just means that someone’s brain is unique. Someone’s uniqueness should never be squandered, only celebrated.
It is our mission to erase “retarded” from people’s common insults. It is our mission to erase the prejudice against the mentally ill.
Maybe this is a scary thought. This prejudice exists because people are afraid of those who are different. They don’t know how to act around the mentally ill. In reality, it’s not different than talking to any other person around you, except that most of the time, their hearts are bigger.
For those with mental illness, having friends is a rarity. Imagine going through life with only your parents and siblings as your best friends. Even just a smile or kind words can make their day. A friendship goes further.
Everyone in the world deserves to be treated with respect and understanding. Unfortunately, those with mental illnesses aren’t. We need to change that. At the end of the day, each person still wants the same thing: to love and be loved.
February 20, 2013 2 Comments
(Written with Emma St. Aubin)
What are you doing after you graduate?”
What a seemingly deadly question.
Is it just me, or do very few of us know exactly where we want to be five years from now? For the confused and the frightened, the future is a gnarly place.
Who am I? What am I doing with my life? Should I switch my major to something totally different? Is everyone else actually happier than me, or are they just better at pretending? What would make me happy? Chances are these reoccurring questions never find an answer.
As the average college student nears the end of his or her academic career, he or she appears to have it all together, with a major and a nice group of friends. Truth is, you have no idea whatsoever what you want to do with your life. You have to apply for jobs soon, and you have no inkling what you actually want to do. You’re freaking out.
But it’s okay. That’s normal. You’re going through something almost everyone in their twenties is going through.
This phenomenon, more commonly known as a “quarter-life crisis,” is a period in which a person begins to doubt his or her life, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult and entering the “real world.” Overwhelming choices regarding careers, finances, homes, new responsibilities and new options all lead to the stress, anxiety and feelings of helplessness of many twentysomethings.
How does one find a blissful career, a reasonably priced home, good friends and become a happy, well-adjusted, functioning member of society? Euphoria, emotional breakdowns, procrastination and overthinking at 3 a.m. are all part of the journey. Although it may be hell, it is also pure bliss. As my mother once told me, you’ll never forget your twenties because that’s when you become who you are.
Even if there is a small list stashed away somewhere in your bedroom filled with all of your hopes and dreams, getting to those dreams seems impossible without a step-by-step manual.
It’s a little strange to think about, but life will soon be completely different. You will be living in a new place with new people. The friends that you have now may be scattered around the world. These are the last moments that you will all be together, quite possibly for the rest of your lives. And that’s (made-up word alert) bittersweetly scary.
As graduation nears, the doors to the real world are slowly opening while we near them with overwhelming anxiety. However, over time, those doors will close. Possibly because of things you did, or maybe because of things you didn’t do. That may be the driving factor behind each unique, anxiety-filled quarter-life crisis.
As twentysomethings, we spend our days buried within textbooks, traveling abroad “while we still can” and working forty-hour weeks at minimum wage. We are moved by dreams of adult happiness but take those dreams with a grain of salt, since we view those dreams as impossible.
Whether your idea of adulthood formed from college experiences, during a summer job or from an unforgettable and inspiring trip, wherever you start out won’t determine where you end up, but it will determine how you get there.
Our future is entirely uncertain and entirely up to us. There’s no more hiding behind grades and others’ expectations. Up until now, we knew what we had to do all of our lives. We had to get good grades to get to college, and once we were in college we had to graduate.
But now what? There are no expectations for us anymore. We have to create our own expectations. That’s a lot of pressure.
It’s time to set our expectations high. This is the moment of our lives that we actually get to follow our dreams and do what we love. This isn’t a crisis but an opportunity for excitement. So do it. Go forward and do what you’ve been waiting to do your whole life.
Printed in The Pointer Newspaper