Wake Forest to Implement a New Makerspace

A drill press, a 3D printer, a laser cutter and sewing machines: these are just a few of the tools that will be available to students as soon as next semester, following the creation of a “WakerSpace,” a makerspace that will be centrally located in the old Student Health trailers in the Q parking lot.

The last of the 15 ACC schools to establish a makerspace, Wake Forest’s “WakerSpace” will follow a hub-and-spoke model, allowing students to not only build physical projects, but also to learn life lessons such as cooking, doing taxes and reading contracts, through workshop partnerships with Aramark, Facilities and other departments across campus.

“As an engineering student, the addition of the makerspace will allow me to pursue personal projects related to engineering, but I can also see the space being used for class projects and even research,” said freshman John Hobson, who advocated for the space at an open forum last month, citing that he wanted the chance to build a trebuchet with friends.

The need for a makerspace on campus was identified in the fall of 2015 by the Technology Innovation Program (TIP), a group of students whose goal is to identify the potential for technology-based innovation on campus, such as establishing better wifi on the quad. After identifying the need for a makerspace, TIP students presented their ideas to various administration members on campus, which eventually led to the creation of a Steering Committee comprised of faculty and staff members dedicated to the idea.

“I think students will benefit from the Makerspace in so many ways,” said junior Sarah Kate Thomas, who will act as president of an informal Makerspace club in the fall. “You don’t have to be a STEM major to use the Makerspace. If there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to build or learn how to make, the Makerspace will be the perfect place for that.”

The steering committee is comprised of Dean of the College Michelle Gillespie, Associate VP for Strategy and Operations Emily Neese and Associate Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services John Shenette, among others. It hosted an open forum earlier this semester, led by Provost Rogan Kersh, to hear ideas and concerns from the community regarding the WakerSpace idea. The forum was attended by faculty and staff members, as well as students, from departments ranging from humanities to STEM fields.

“I decided to attend the makerspace forum because I knew that my perspective might be valuable as a student who’s interested in tackling more complex engineering problems that might require more technical/construction skills,” Hobson said. “I am personally pretty handy with tools, but specific training and access to these tools, as well as spaces to work in, would be extremely valuable.”

Earlier this month, a trial workshop was hosted in which students made wooden tic-tac-toe boards with a drill press and CNC tool. Future projects could include printing 3D bones through the anthropology department or establishing a “Bakerspace” for students to gain experience in the kitchen. This week, a second trial workshop will allow students to build night lights and gain experience with Arduino, an open-source electronics platform.

Just last week, a two-year lease was officially signed to allow the trailers in Lot Q to be used for the WakerSpace, sharing with a few temporary offices. Depending on the availability of construction workers over the summer, the space may be ready for students to use as soon as the fall semester.

“I think the student body would really benefit from a space that is so incredibly hands on. Taking something out a textbook, and replicating what that thing is can be so beneficial to the learning process,” junior Elizabeth Hall said. “Eventually, I hope that this is a space that people feel comfortable trying new things and seeing their own ideas become a reality.”

Code of Conduct Changes Seek Final Review

On Tuesday, April 17, Associate Dean of Students for Student Conduct Matthew Clifford provided a much-anticipated overview of the Student Code of Conduct revision process.

Clifford’s talk addressed the ins and outs of the revision process for the Student Code of Conduct, including how the Code of Conduct Review Committee has considered student feedback when proposing revisions and what steps must be taken before the revised Code of Conduct is finally approved. For Clifford, ensuring that the Code of Conduct revision process is transparent and includes student input is key.

“Last year, it was really evident to me that students wanted to be involved in this process, so we made sure they were represented in the Code of Conduct Review Committee,” Clifford said.

The Code of Conduct Review Committee is made up of students, faculty and  staff, with Clifford and Dean of Students Adam Goldstein serving as ex-officio members.

“It was critical to get a variety of perspectives on the Committee and we wanted pushback because it leads to greater understanding of the policies,” Clifford said.

The Committee’s most recent round of proposed revisions — which include updates to policies on harassment, disruption, and disorderly conduct — follow a semester-long period of public feedback. Clifford held forums and recieved much student feedback in the fall semester.

During this public comment period, the Code of Conduct Review Committee received 42 comments on policies addressing topics from off-campus parties to harassment. However, 35 of these comments concerned disruption, harassment or disorderly conduct. Because students had the most to say about these policies, Clifford focused on the proposed revisions for these policies in his talk.

The revisions made to the disorderly conduct policy last summer were met with concern from some students. During the public comment period last fall, some students expressed their concern with the language of the revised policy, specifically use of the terms “lewdness” and “breach of peace.” Some also claimed the the revised policy was vague and overbroad.

The revisions made to the disorderly conduct policy this semester define disorderly conduct as  “behavior that unreasonably interferes with the ability of others to sleep, study, or participate in the activities of the university.”

Some students also took issue with last summer’s proposed revisions to the disruption policy. They feared that this revised policy would suppress protests on campus, unfairly target protest methods used by marginalized communities and be inconsistently enforced.

The revisions made to the disruption policy this semester define disruption as those  who fail to “maintain on the campus an atmosphere conducive to scholarly pursuits” and fail to “respect the rights of all individuals.”

Feedback for the harassment policy included the worry that “hate speech” would be considered a policy violation and that the proposed revisions to the harassment policy gives too much power to alleged victims of harassment. In the most recent revision of the harassment policy, the Code of Conduct Review Committee added immigration status, political affiliation and socioeconomic status as identifiers that can serve as the basis for harassment.

In addition to revising the language of various existing policies, the Code of Conduct Review Committee has also made additions to strengthen current policies. Such additions include making hearing panels a requirement for hearings on harassment or disruption and creating a process document that serves as a guideline for student organizations who are planning protests.

All of these proposed revisions and additions to policies in the Student Code of Conduct are made to ensure the revised Code has clarity, consistency and supports the safety of students and the mission of the university.

“Ultimately, we are working to clearly define the minimum expectations of student behavior in the revised Student Code of Conduct because the current Code has inconsistent language,” Clifford said.

For Clifford, conducting a comprehensive review of the Student Code of Conduct was overdue. The revision process began in the fall of 2016 and marks the first comprehensive review since the 1990s. Small changes are made to the Code in annual reviews that are conducted each summer.

Before the revised Student Code of Conduct gets final approval, it must pass through a legal review and receive approval from the Judicial Counsel and Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue. The Office of the Dean of Students hopes the new Code of Conduct will receive final approval and be implemented before the end of the spring 2018 semester.

Dining Services Moves Towards Local Ingredients

After swiping into the Fresh Food Company, affectionately known to students as the Pit, one first encounters a colorful and varied display of grains and vegetables at the salad station.

“My favorite meal to have in the Pit is a salad topped with lots of fresh ingredients,” said sophomore Sophia Franchi. “I start with a base of kale or spinach and add plenty of raw vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, purple cabbage or red onions.”

Franchi’s salad is not only fresh, it is also comprised of predominantly local ingredients.

Wake Forest Dining Services works with the Office of Sustainability to provide students with locally sourced and sustainable food options as often as possible, and their green-eating initiative has gained momentum in the last few years. 

The changes to food on campus come at a time of increasing global environmental concern. As climate change takes a toll on weather patterns and the outlook of long-term environmental health, environmentalists and some politicians are taking steps toward creating better, more efficient policies to increase the longevity and health of the earth and its inhabitants. While these policy changes are slow in coming, people at home and in their communities are deciding to take the initiative to go green on their own.

Part of this initiative is a desire to know the source of the food people eat and to support local farms with sustainable farming methods.

According to a post from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, sourcing locally keeps family farms up and running, resulting in the circulation of local money and the strengthening of community relations. These small farms are also more receptive to sustainable farming practices than large industrial farms.

“There’s a real drive right now to purchase locally,” said Tim Vandermeersh, resident district manager of Aramark, the food providing company on campus.

He says that in the past two years, Dining Services has been able to build an eating environment on campus constituted by nearly 30 percent of locally sourced food products. The initial goal was a minimum of 20 percent.

“I buy a Village Juice pressed juice at least once week,” said sophomore Anissa Berger. “It’s a great healthy option to grab and take on the go.”

Village Juice Co. is a local health food restaurant here in Winston-Salem that gets its natural ingredients from local farms. Other locally sourced products offered on campus include Krankies Coffee, Camino Bakery and UpDog Kombucha.

“Included in our dining program is an initiative focused on plant-forward dining,” says John Wise, associate vice president of Hospitality and Auxiliary Services on campus. “These types of programs help reduce the attention on animal proteins which are a major challenge from an environmental perspective.”

Yet, beef, chicken and cold cuts are still dominant choices among students. However, the good news is that all three options have been replaced with Humane Certified, antibiotic-free and hormone-free animal proteins. The beef served on campus is sourced locally from Brasstown Beef, a farm in western North Carolina.

“The burgers at the grill look better than they used to and have a better flavor,” said sophomore Sarah Jane Miles.

“I’ve noticed that the grilled chicken served at the grill on campus is now antibiotic-free and there have been plenty of new local additions to the salad bar which has been great,” Franchi said.

Despite many positive responses to Dining Services’ local food introductions, many students are still apathetic about the changes. “I haven’t noticed any difference or improvement in the quality of the beef in the burgers I eat occasionally,” said sophomore Bennet Coe.

“Honestly, I have no idea which meals are locally grown,” said sophomore Grant Abrahamson. “I just eat what looks good.”

“It’d be nice if they simply incorporated sustainable foods into the meals,” he said. “I don’t want the Pit to market their sustainability to me.”

Even those students excited about the sustainable options offered in campus dining facilities think that the school’s efforts are not enough. 

“I think Wake Forest could do a better job spreading awareness about the importance of sustainable foods because I think a lot of students are out of touch with where their food comes from and how it is produced,” Franchi said. “Greater awareness could correlate into more positive health choices.”

Dining Services recognizes the varying attitudes surrounding sustainable eating and is constantly coming up with new ways to keep students informed and provide them with local, environmentally friendly dining choices.

Their next big move is to install interactive screens throughout the Pit that will show the local farmer responsible for growing or raising the food product when a student orders that product.

“Everyday, students will be able to see the farmer we are supporting and the product and where it’s coming from,” Vandermeersh said.

Paul Ryan Faces the Chance to Change his Legacy

Ahead of midterm elections that are already looking treacherous for Republicans, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) is abandoning ship. His announcement that he will not seek re-election in November will likely further sap the morale of Republicans, who are already bearing the Sisyphean weight of President Donald Trump’s unpopularity and risking losing their majority in the House of Representatives. 

Although I never agreed with him on much, if anything at all, I formerly bought into the image of him as an earnest policy wonk who read budget documents for fun. I respected him for what I thought was love of country when he left the House Ways and Means Committee to take up the Speaker’s gavel following the resignation of Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) in 2015. It was a job he had not sought nor even wanted.

It’s unfortunate, then, that Ryan played almost every card wrong. Over years he cultivated a reputation as someone deeply concerned with fiscal discipline, but to him that meant destroying the safety net, disemboweling Medicaid, privatizing Social Security and Medicare and generally making life more difficult and unpleasant for the most vulnerable among us. Ironically, he will leave after setting the deficit on a path to exceeding $1 trillion annually by 2020. Even as he announced his departure, he made no mention of Trump’s scapegoating of immigrants, abhorrent attacks on the press, escalation of rhetoric against the special counsel, strange affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin or countless other sins against the Constitution, rule of law, stewardship of the presidential office and basic decency. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) went to the Senate floor to suggest that “with his newfound political freedom, I hope the speaker uses his remaining time in Congress to break free from the hard-right factions of his caucus that have kept Congress from getting real things done. If he’s willing to reach across the aisle, he’ll find Democrats willing and eager to work with him.”

Maybe Ryan should take Schumer’s suggestion seriously. Taking up certain legislation for votes could both defend his reputation as more than just a Trump lackey or sycophant and be smart, pragmatic politics for Republicans.  If they are smart, Democrats will not move the goalposts further left, but will instead seize the rare opportunity for true bipartisan legislation toward common goals.

For example, Ryan could prevent a constitutional crisis and bring to the House floor a bipartisan compromise bill designed to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. On April 11, 2018, a bipartisan group of four senators — Chris Coons (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — introduced the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act. Among other provisions, it codifies existing Department of Justice regulations specifying that a special counsel may only be fired for “good cause” by a senior Department of Justice official. Although Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) agreed to take it up with his committee, one can expect his Republican colleagues to delay it in committee and in its path to the floor. Ryan could take up the bill in the House and make good on his reputation as a constitutional conservative. Protecting Mueller from being fired could help the Republican caucus in the midterm elections, who would be able to tell voters that they took their fidelity to the Constitution seriously.

As a career-long free-trader, he could protect the economy from a trade war by rolling back part of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which delegated to the president the power to unilaterally enact tariffs in the name of “national security.” Trump relied on this exception to levy recent tariffs on steel and aluminum, which could have severe adverse effects on industries such as agriculture, aerospace and manufacturing.

Finally, he could put a clean fix to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the floor for a vote. A bill to fully reinstate DACA in exchange for some strengthened border security would likely have support from enough Democrats to pass and could help the Republican caucus in California, Texas and Florida. Ryan has repeatedly said he wanted a resolution for Dreamers. Now is his chance.

There is no reason why the pro-immigration and pro-free trade “constitutional conservative” that Ryan claims he is should not take up these issues in his last nine months. If he does so, he could be remembered for something other than exploding the federal deficit and excusing a president who has set new lows for fidelity to the Constitution.

Ryan spent the past two years furrowing his brow at Trump’s disgraceful words and actions before going right back to supporting the president. He made a Faustian bargain on the false assumption that Trump would be compliant, take direction from House Republicans and show enough discipline to allow Ryan to cut taxes for billionaires and eviscerate the Affordable Care Act. Here’s hoping, though, that in his presumed-to-be last moments as an elected official, Ryan will be able to separate partisan loyalty from patriotic obligation. But with any luck, his successor will be a Democrat.

Alcohol Fuels More Provocative Authorship

Igrew up in a pretty “sane” strata of society. I live in a cocoon of upper-middle class comfort, with upper-middle class concerns: internships, grade fretting and wondering if I, as an isolate and an American (perhaps two very similar notions), will be able to assimilate into my abroad environment without too much embarrassment.

Of course, the satirization of the “sane,” upper classes is another subject entirely. But my point is that because of my upper-class life, I have become attracted to the literature of the “mad.” The Kerouacs and Burroughs, the John Cheevers and Denis Johnsons. Basically, the alcoholic writers.

I just read a book entitled The Recovery, by Leslie Jamison. It is about her recovery from alcoholism, but she doesn’t beat the already tread path. She knows, when it comes to writing a book about addiction, everyone seems to say “I’ve already read that book.” And it’s true. The patterns and progressions of alcoholism seem to be tired tropes. But The Recovery is praised, and rightly so, for its blend of “memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and reportage.” It is a new, intelligent bricolage of illuminations.

Jamison’s book becomes especially prickly for me when it dives into the mythology of the drunk writer. Someone once told me “if you can ever learn to let go of your love of the Beats, [i.e. by extension, your cloister of drunk writers], you may actually become an independent reader one day.”

While I know the statement was a bit hyperbolic, it captures my literary penchant for drinkers. These writers have an “air of complicatedness, a sweet boozy whiff of tangle and rupture.” They have, in short, genius, but genius only revealed through the mental de-fogging that drink provides. They are “volatile and authentic … more complex psychologically.” The world’s patina, its social morays and creative governors, are burnt off as the drunk writer consumes, revealing an in-the-air truth he or she can take down like clothes off a line. The drunk writer is “broken by the fallen world,” as Jamison says. Such a world, to such a sensitive soul, imbues the person with a complex emotional matrix, comprised of cosmic tragedy and pain. As Jean Rhys, a French novelist, says, “I wish I could get it clearer this pain that has gone through all my life. Whenever I’ve tried to escape it has reached out brought me back. Now I don’t try any longer.”

The solution, the numbing, is booze. It ripped these writers apart. For some, like John Berryman, his need made him so ragged he looked like he spent his “whole … life out in the weather without any protection.” But Berryman, able, supposedly, to salvage from the wreckage more than a pittance of genius, says, in writing about his lifelong protagonist, Henry, “Hunger was constitutional with him/ wine, cigarettes, liquor, need need need/ Until he went to pieces/ The pieces sat up and wrote.”

The notion of great writing concomitant with a broken self, especially a broken male self, has characterized the writings of many. All were enveloped by the darkness of drinking, and the mythology produced is one out a void. To me, and to many, “addiction seemed generative … very much like interior décor, an accessory that spoke to inner depths.”

Why is this attractive, not just to me, but to many? I have often felt, when trying to write fiction, that my life is not worth writing about. I am not interesting, my life does not contain extractable material meant for compelling fiction.

My life is boring because it is comfortable. These writers I look up to seemed to have keyed into a certain aspect of living, of life, that I can’t come close to. As Jamison says, of her similarly comfortable life, “I have always lived in the world as I was supposed to live in it.” There is nothing radical about me, nothing compellingly original or generative. At least that’s how I feel. These writers, in their complex, transitory relationships with the world, provide a precious vicariousness that I crave. I want to feel my opposite, because I think it is properly genius. Although, as Jamison says, sometimes “I [sense] there is an animal in me — beneath all that obedient living,” but I find it hard to ever step off the treadmill of my regularity. It angers me, it frustrates my will and wish to live like an authentic human being.

Why do I find drunken writers attractive? For the reasons I just expounded, their seemingly-earthen connection, their ur-humanness, the ability to dredge up the pulp of the soul. Maybe these reasons are wrong, incoherent, un-relatable. But to me, burning with anguish at the prospect of cushioned existence, they are the only thing that get me closer to actually living.

The Sixth Circle Hits on Campus Insecurities

The viral blog post and email chain from the Sixth Circle blog on Sunday, April 8, shocked campus, and will likely remain relevant for a week or two. Yet, one cannot help but think just like any Greek organization getting sanctioned or even this year the murder of a young man on campus, (and of course, these things are not analogous in gravity in any way), the dialectic for the average Wake Forester will likely regress to the status quo in only a few weeks — prosaic talk about Greek life, academic obligations and summer plans.

While this radical group still has our attention, it is important that the substance of their argument is not lost on the reader in the face of their provocative tactics. Without a doubt, using the header “you are not safe here…”, calling for the abolishment of social Greek life on campus, and criticizing both OGB and WFR, our campus’ chief publications, will not win one many sympathetic ears on campus. Nor will their use of antiquated and idiosyncratic terms such as “beseech” or referencing Dante’s Inferno. In fact, their use of vaguely threatening language, while legally protected, in some sense undermines the call to discourse that this fringe campus group is trying to make. Yet, what worked for this group is that for the first time in my Wake Forest experience, people are talking about issues with campus life that we often like to forget about.

As an editor at the Wake Forest Review, and a member of a social fraternity on campus, I can say without a doubt that the level of vitriol and outrage in discussing this manifesto was nearly unparalleled to any other event on campus I can recollect — and that goes for both of these two groups. The reality is that people do not want to have their ideas or identities challenged. However, the five criticisms that these writers lay out are at times exaggeratory, but mostly reasonable and even urgent in terms of their potency and potential for making meaningful reform on campus.

Both the Wake Forest Review and the Old Gold and Black struggle at times to have constructive dialogue or meaningful journalism outside of their own political leanings (I myself have been guilty of this on many an occasion), and find themselves ensconced within a framework where they simply want to argue with other politicos on campus. If you need evidence, look no further than the at times polemic and misguided sparring over gun control in recent OGB columns. There is minimal effort to include a larger group of students into political debate, and of course this largely stems from Wake Forest students being widely apolitical. Yet, this goes hand-in-hand with curriculum reform. Wake Forest students need to do a better job of learning for the sake of learning; they need to be truly intellectually curious. What matters more than taking an ‘easy A’ divisional is learning perspectives that one is generally not exposed to. This campus is full of brilliant minds. The Sixth Circle is on to something — Wake Foresters need to stop limiting themselves.

Next, the criticism of maltreatment of Aramark staff is also extremely important. Working a support staff position at Wake Forest is not an easy proposition. Hours are long, wages are low and students often lack proper manners and therefore ignore basic dignity of many members of the support staff. While Student Government has applied pressure to increase wages for support staff starting next year, this is insufficient. As a campus, we need to become more involved in events such as the School of Divinity’s effort to give out gifts to staff workers during the holiday season. When students come back in a stupor from parties over the weekend, they ought to clean up after themselves to make upkeep at least an iota more tolerable for support staff. When we have daily interactions with staff, we need to be courteous and polite, with no exception. These are not difficult fixes, and they go a long way.

While I disagree with the proposal of ending social Greek life altogether, one does not have to be on campus for more than a few days to know that serious reform needs to occur for Greek life. While long-lasting friendships are made and many Greek organizations throw social events in a responsible fashion, there are serious outliers that impact the well-being of students on campus and often can deter individualism and pursuing activities beyond one’s chapter. Sometimes it is hard to tell if these negative aspects are an outlier, or simply a cost of being involved in Greek life. By no means does Greek life need to be abolished, but higher standards of character and achievement need to be set and enforced by the university for Greek men and women.

Of course, it is easy for a few nameless writers, ever-so-emboldened by their anonymity, to construct an indictment of Wake Forest, especially when they advocate for nothing in return. But to write off the points made by this group is to ignore some of the blatantly problematic things that are inextricable to Wake Forest as we stand today.

Conceptualizing the Power of Buddhism

The summer before college, I attended a Buddhist conference per the recommendation of some friends. Before sitting down for our daily meals, we sang a short song that consisted of words like “mercy to all sentient beings” and “aspire to do all good,” addressing the origins and the processing of the food in front of us and the energy that it will bring. After chanting, I sat down, looked around and felt the energy of the youths around the room evolving itself into an ageless wisdom  — gratitude, and the importance of being intentional.

The power behind gratitude from those meals and the people that ate them carried with me to college, where it experienced the ebbs and flows of life. Therefore, there were moments that I could not help but elevate my sense of self and abandon gratitude for conditioned thoughts such as my ego, my social status, my academic performance or even things such as how the color of my skin will manifest into people’s acceptance of me. I think of those meals from time to time at my lowest moments and I can not help but question: why is the power behind gratitude becoming so feeble when I am surrounded by conditioned things, conditioned people and conditioned events?

I began clearing my mind by first addressing the conditioned nature of everything that is going on around me. I began taking initiative on focusing on my own well-being and counting blessings in my life, instead of intentionally waiting for others to do so for me. Soon enough, the ageless wisdom of gratitude I felt around the room is carried by every person I meet, manifesting itself in different ways. I see it in the lady who cleans the third floor Luter bathroom, with the intricately made hairband, as she recounts her stories to our suite about physical health and her family situations. I see it in one of my best friends who plays the newest Drake song on speaker and treating the song as if it was the pinnacle of human progress, and his love toward hip-hop. I see it in my mother as she splits her time between the places she travels to and the people she meets, and how she treats each opportunity as if it was her last. I see it as I open my eyes in the morning to a full schedule and instead of feeling anxious about it, I feel anticipatory in the most hopeful way because today is another day where the world will challenge me, and I will challenge back with my strength and endurance.

The Buddhist conference stressed that Buddhism is a hybrid of religion and philosophy, and to categorize it as one or the other would not do it justice. Even the label Buddhism sometimes does not do the belief system justice, because small and large forms of enlightenment happen in every moment of our lives, not just in the teaching of the Buddha. When religious beliefs come up in conversation, I usually respond: “I don’t know, I have sort of tried everything and liked everything, but I don’t feel like attaching myself to an organized religion.” But, from now on, I want to say that I believe in the power of gratitude, of accepting everything as it is, and doing good things as much as I can for, well, no reason at all, other than to do them. Having mercy to all beings really goes a long way, because to me, it is my favorite form of seeking joy.

Predicting the First 10 NFL Draft Picks

This year’s NFL Draft is possibly the most dynamic in recent years with a plethora of trades in the first round already.

1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB USC

Expect the Browns to take their favorite quarterback first overall. All indications point to that being Darnold, who has shown an understanding of the position incredibly advanced for his age, such as his ability to throw receivers open in coverage and work through his receiver progressions. Fun Fact: since 1999, the Browns have had 26 different starting quarterbacks, which is the most in the league.

2. New York Giants – Josh Rosen, QB UCLA

Rosen has been touted as the most pro-ready and polished quarterback in the class. Scouts take issue with his uninspiring demeanor and question his commitment to the game. That should not stop the Giant’s new regime from looking for their next franchise quarterback.

3. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB Oklahoma

After trading up it is clear the Jets want a Quarterback. Mayfield lacks elite height and hand size which are two big no-no’s for a quarterback prospect. Still, his college production is off the charts and he apparently aced the interviews and the white board room at the combine.

4. Cleveland Browns – Saquon Barkley, RB Penn State

Barkley can do everything expected of a three-down running back very well, and his combine numbers are elite: 6’0” 233lbs with a 4.40 40-yard dash, 41 in vertical leap, and 29 reps on the bench. He is being heralded as the greatest running back prospect of his generation, the best since LT. This being said, expect Cleveland to trade down as someone (Bills) will likely move up to draft a QB before Denver is on the clock.

5. Denver Broncos Josh Allen, QB Wyoming

Allen is like Frankenstein’s monster in that he is an elite physical specimen that does not know how to play quarterback. There are several obvious red flags on his resume — notably terrible college production, poor accuracy and raw footwork. However, his is also tall, has a rocket arm and looks good in shorts. Don’t be shocked if a team falls in love with his potential and takes him in the top five. Stats are for losers.

6. Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, EDGE NC State

Brother of former Wake Forest linebacker Brandon Chubb, Bradley is by far the best defensive line prospect in his class. He has a prototypical build — 6’5” 270lbs — and ran a 4.65 40 yard dash, which for his size makes him a freak of nature. Recently Von Miller described Chubb as “Khalil Mack and myself combined.”

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS Alabama

The next in a long line of elite Crimson Tide safeties, Fitzpatrick is versatile enough to play any defensive back position and has been heralded by Nick Saban for his high motor in practice and described as the “perfect locker room player.”

8. Chicago Bears – Quenton Nelson, G Notre Dame

Guards do not usually get drafted in the top ten, but Nelson is probably the best prospect at the position in the last five years. He is a physical mauler at left guard that punishes defensive linemen until he “takes their will.” Google his block against Georgia last season if you want to see a blitzing safety get nearly bisected.

9. San Francisco 49ers –  Denzel Ward, CB Ohio State

Ward is far and away the best man cover corner in the draft and ran a 4.32 40-yard dash. This alone is enough to solidify him as a top draft pick. The 49ers did just sign Richard Sherman, but his contract is mainly incentive based and you can never have too many corners.

10. Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, LB Georgia

Smith is more refined and accomplished than Edmunds. He’s not as elite of an athlete, but he takes far better tackling angles and excels in pass coverage. He played out of his mind in the Rose Bowl, showcasing his strength at the point of contact. Coach Gruden will love to plug this grinder into his front seven.

Elite Competition Plays on Clay in Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo is a place of glittering wealth and passion, a tiny quarter within the tiny principality of Monaco that attracts bursting bank accounts from all over Europe. It’s a vacation spot for the mega-wealthy, and is home to the Monte Carlo Casino — an establishment littered with various Bond-like critters in tuxes, scoured by strict floor men whose necks are so stiff they may well be made of china.

But Monte Carlo is also host and home to one of tennis’ premier events, the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 tournament, where the best players from around the world compete in the coveted locale. It is fitting that such athletic largesse takes place in a spot of concentrated wealth. Every year I hope for the noblisse oblige to extend beyond the tennis court into the laymen of Monte Carlo, a town where most workers ferry in due to stratospheric real estate, but all that is guaranteed right now is a superb level of sport.

The Monte Carlo Masters marks the first big clay-court event of the year, a transition from the hardcourt warfare of Australia and Indian Wells.

High bounces and atom-splitting strokes soften into gentle, slower tactics as the Martian clay absorbs pace and plays it back with spin.

John Isner and other pace-predominate players prepare to struggle with the unforgiving surface and its indifferent absorption, while the Rafael Nadal’s and Feliciano Lopez’s of the world relish the shift from brutality to brush.

Nadal’s speed, paired with a slower pace of play, makes his gnat-ish tendencies all the more infuriating, yet all the more pleasureable to watch. Lopez’s slice-only backhand cuts through the court with the low-altitude clench of a puck on ice, perturbing the spectator as much as it wrong-foots his opponents.

Clay has perhaps the most personality of all the surfaces. It has the unique ability to take a shot you hit and pervert it into either something devastatingly unintended or woefully ineffectual. Players who are able to adjust to, or even relish, the opportunity for error are able to perform best. David Foster Wallace seems like he would have liked clay, since he was “a pretty untalented tennis player,” at “his very best in bad conditions.” Foster Wallace claims this is because of a “weird proclivity for intuitive math,” not any consummate athletic ability.

Clay is not an inherently “bad condition,” but it isn’t straightforward, either. Foster Wallace was talking about his brain-powered game in the context of the wind-whipped Midwest, not the skittish clay of Monte Carlo, but the same brainy mode of play applies.

The smartest players usually prevail, although it must be noted that the most exceptional case is Rafael Nadal, who does not so much outsmart his opponents on clay as much as he outraces them. In the case of Nadal, unconscionable speed, endurance and ungodly topspin propelled him to become the king of clay. He is the perfect player for the surface that slows, and he is in full bloom as the number-one seed in Monte Carlo.

The tournament should be exciting, since Marin Cilic, the 6’6 Croatian, is seeded second. His game is opposite Nadal’s, and runs on pure power. Cilic’s recent success rocketed him to a number-three world ranking (Federer, at number-two, is not competing in Monte Carlo), but his game rolling into the clay-court season is naturally at a disadvantage, since his monstrous serve will lose some of its power on clay.

It will be interesting to see who comes out onto the red-hot surface firing.

If it seems to be Nadal again, he will surely run away with Monte Carlo and possibly the French Open, which he has won ten times. But age is now a factor for the speedy Spaniard, and at 31, he has nearly run his body into disrepair.

That said, as one of the greatest players ever, I expect Nadal to perform with the passion and fearlessness of a player in his youth. Clay has been his best friend his entire career. It may be hard to pry the two apart.

Young Quarterbacks in NFL Draft Will be Stars

There is always some position that is absolutely loaded and debated in a draft, and there is no question that this year it’s the quarterback position. Two highly-debated Heisman winners, two PAC 12 stars and a Wyoming cowboy make up the lot of this debate.

A main reason why this debate is on the foreground this year is that there are not only high quality QBs, but  also teams in need of a franchise-worthy leader. From the Cleveland Browns to the New York Giants, the Jets to the Broncos, teams will go head to head to grab their favorite quarterback before their time ticks away. This year, at least a quarter of teams are in need of a quarterback for the future, some even for the present. From their Wonderlic scores to their 40 times, each quarterback brings a unique set of traits to the table that has to mesh with their potential franchise. So, what makes each quarterback unique? Why should they become the new stars of these teams?

Baker Mayfield

I watched an episode of Sportscenter the other day in which Baker Mayfield was debated for upwards of 10 minutes — that’s what we are dealing with here.

The summary of this debate was that two NFL general managers, both in need of a franchise QB, had two directly opposing views of him. One GM said he was the best quarterback in the whole draft, the other said they were staying far away due to character.

In short, that is the heart of the debate. He is evidently good, winning the Heisman as one of the most efficient and accurate passers ever to play at the college level. At six feet tall with a bit of an attitude problem, Mayfield will most likely slide down the ranks a little before finding his new home.

Lamar Jackson

Jackson is another Heisman winner and another debate at that. Given his style of play, there has been ample talk in this draft about Jackson playing at the next level in a position other than QB. He has always been known as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks to play in college, so it wasn’t that much of a step to look towards his skills on the ground.

The main quality that separates him from the pack in terms of draftability is his boom-or-bust propensity. Jackson does magical things on the ground and outside of the pocket, but we saw how that ended for RGIII, so does a team want to take that chance on the future of their team?

Someone will take him, and take him early, as the raw talent and athleticism is there and his passing accuracy will continue to improve, it sure will be interesting to see how it all pans out in the end.

Sam Darnold

At 6’4 and 225 lbs, Darnold stands tall and with authority in a way that Jackson and Mayfield don’t. His best trait is his ability to make throws under pressure. He is able to read the receivers downfield even with a collapsing pocket which is a good trait to have going into the League.

A main concern with Darnold, however, is his decision making. He had a horrendous turnover ranking as a junior, something that would continue to progress against elite competition. In comparison to some of the other quarterbacks in this draft, Darnold would need a little time to focus on the basics, so he will need a team who has a bit of time to get the best out of him. In a few years he could be an elaborate playmaker on Sundays.

Josh Allen

Natural ability. That’s what is shouted at you when you look at the name Josh Allen. Physically, he is your dream NFL quarterback — 6’5”, 240 lbs with a strong arm. However, no one ever thought about Wyoming as a star football program, so how was this perfect specimen of QB been so quiet throughout his college career?

He had flashes of brilliance in his senior year bowl game and in the senior bowl as well, but overall his college career was flanked by missed opportunities. His perfect build is diluted by poor pocket management, questionable decision making, and an overall lack of polished play.

With the right training and a lot of skill work, he could come together as a great quarterback in the future, but it will take a team who is willing to take a gamble and who believes he can fit in with their scheme a few years down the line.

Josh Rosen

The main concern here is injury risk. A history of concussions and a shoulder surgery in 2016 has inhibited solid stretches of playing in the past, and one can only fear this would continue into the league. Regardless, Rosen is the epitome of a pocket-passer, he simply stands tall in the pocket and places the ball well.

His spin on the ball is one of the best in the recent past, making his overall lack of elite arm strength a distant memory due to his skill in placing the ball into really any window. He is used to having the pocket collapse on him, making quick decisions and throwing well under pressure, all things that will serve him well in the League.

If he can manage to stay healthy, he is an elite quarterback for years to come.

Words of Wisdom from a Seasoned Barista

Throughout my years of working as a barista, I have seen too many people look down into their cup and then back up at me with a look of utter confusion and disappointment. These situations usually arise from an old-fashioned case of miscommunication. When folks order lattes when they mean cappuccinos, or macchiatos when they mean caramel macchiatos (yes, there is a difference), they put the barista in a tough spot. When you order one of those drinks, an experienced barista will wonder, “Do they mean the drink they think they mean or the drink that they said?” This guide aims to ease some of that vocabulary confusion so that both baristas and coffee drinkers walk away happy.

Lattes vs. Cappuccinos

Although some may use these terms interchangeably, they stand for two very different things. Lattes and cappuccinos are made of the same stuff, espresso and steamed milk, but a latte will have a greater volume of milk than a cappuccino. This is due to the cappuccino’s longer aeration time during milk steaming, a process that incorporates air bubbles into the milk. Because milk bubbles take up more volume than liquid milk, the volume of milk in the cappuccino is less than that of a latte. Also, the kind of bubbles in a cappuccino are quite different than the ones found in lattes. In a latte, the barista creates tiny bubbles called “microfoam” which are hardly visible to the eye but lend a smooth, velvety texture to the taste. Those same bubbles, however, adhere to one another quite well, allowing the barista to make different shapes on the top of the latte called “latte art.” Shapes and figures are not usually present on the top of cappuccinos because the bubbles are too big, and the volume of bubbles too great, to make any distinguishable shapes. So, if you see a flower on the top of your cappuccino, it is probably just your imagination.

Pro tip: Order your lattes with whole milk and your cappuccinos with skim milk. The lower protein-to-fat ratio in whole milk makes for smaller bubbles and better texture, while the higher protein-to-fat ratio in skim milk makes for fluffier milk foam. Non-dairy? Always get almond milk, if your diet allows, because it creates the foam nearest in consistency to microfoam. Soy milk and coconut milk will not make foam.

Macchiato vs. Caramel Macchiato

European coffee drinkers who order coffee in the U.S. have to be very careful when ordering a “macchiato,” as that term means two very different things. We know from several finals week Starbucks runs that Americans serve up their macchiatos with a dose of caramel sauce at the bottom. But to the European, a macchiato is merely a shot of espresso with a dollop of milk foam on top, usually served in a small cup. Think of it as a mini-cappuccino. I once served a customer from Italy what I thought was a “macchiato.” I bet she watched in disgust as I poured pump after pump of caramel sauce into a paper cup, which I then covered in espresso and steamed milk. When I handed the beverage over the counter, she kindly said “this is a little heavy,” and I learned my lesson about the true preparation of the macchiato, a staple of the Italian coffee shop.

Pro tip: For future reference, what you really are ordering when you order a “caramel macchiato” is a caramel latte. Though, most baristas will know what you mean either way.

Lake Lure Offers up New Adventure

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Lure is by far my favorite place in North Carolina; it has been part of my life far longer than I have been a Wake Forest student. Although it has been beloved by my extended family for the last 25 years, my family finally returned last year after a ten-year hiatus. 

The 720-acre lake is somewhat unusual in that it is man-made; indeed, it was created when its waters were impounded in the Hickory Nut Gorge by a Carolina Mountain Power Company dam in 1925. However, although the beloved lake was not created by nature per se, it is the perfect destination for nature and adventure lovers. The “nature” aspect I can emphasize from personal experience — on one trip to Lake Lure when I was a child, I walked into the bathroom to find a five-foot black snake stretched out for a snooze on the rim of the bathtub. 

Because Lake Lure is clean, calm and warm, it is the ideal spot for kayaking, sailing, canoeing and swimming. However, for me, its most appealing draw is water skiing. If you have never tried it before, it is immensely thrilling to skim across the wake of a boat at top-speed on a slalom ski, especially after the effort and core strength it requires to be yanked up to a standing position. If your parent is a government drone like mine and is immensely unqualified to drive a boat, there are multiple adventuring companies on the lake, such as the Lake Lure Adventure Company, that can take you out for a day of skiing.

If you are not as oriented towards water activities, the lush hills and sheer granite cliffs surrounding the lake are ideal for gentle and scenic hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking, especially in Chimney Rock State Park. The top of Chimney Rock, a 315-foot granite monolith, offers majestic views of Hickory Nut Gorge, the lake and the surrounding countryside. In addition, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, which is run by a Democratic representative in the North Carolina General Assembly, also offers horseback rides and is arguably the best destination for a grilled cheese sandwich south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Although the town of Lake Lure feels small and tucked away from the rest of the universe, it is also less than 30 miles from the city of Asheville, which is a must-visit destination for its vibrant arts scene, historic architecture and top-notch breweries and restaurants. It would be a terrible mistake to attend college in North Carolina for four years and miss out on this delightful gem of a lake.

“Texas Dust” Vocalizes Human Experience

With a melodic blend of bluegrass and folk, Nathan Evans Fox’s new album Texas Dust explores everything from religion and love to family and wandering. An alumnus of Wake Forest (‘11), Fox provides 49 minutes of raw, rhythmic reflection with his second original album.

To begin with a disclaimer, I am not a fan of most of the music that falls anywhere along the spectrum of country. I never found the twangs of the guitar and small town troubles of the genre engaging, causing me to plainly decide that it just wasn’t “my thing.” Texas Dust, however, was able to key into those kinds of indescribably relatable feelings that come along with good music. Although I in no way have experienced the life that Fox has, his almost autobiographical songs can be identified through their universal description of being away from home. During our interview, Fox discussed the inspiration behind this collection of songs.

“This past year I worked in Houston as a hospital chaplain, and on top of being very far from what feels like home, chaplaincy can be really sad work. Meanwhile, back in [North Carolina], my Mom had petitioned the government for my grandfather’s military records and … I discovered this whole family story about loss and grief,” Fox said. “From that newly uncovered information, I began to piece together the ways this whole event that happened decades ago has impacted my family and my own sense of self. So the album is this huge mix of personal experiences and family stories and frustrations with my own religion and how all these different threads got knotted up together in this one year in Houston.”

The album is truly an homage to his family and life. For instance, the album artwork includes an old polaroid photo of his grandfather, giving off a poignant feeling of nostalgia. Continuously, lines like “when we dug that grave in Shreveport, we lost it all,” alude to both his own personal experiences and his grandfather’s life.

Texas Dust is also much more in-touch with the down-to-earth roots of folk music than I would have expected. Reminiscent of a slower version of The Lumineers, songs like “Quicksand” dive into the feelings of falling in love and “Texas Dust” delves into the experience of American soldiers returning from foreign wars. With the pleasant presence of violins, guitars and even mandolins, the songs pointedly elicit the feelings of being at home, however one defines it, in contrast to being a wanderer — something that Fox himself was feeling in Houston.

“I think I’m most grateful that music has provided a way for me to make sense of so much chaos, whether it’s sorting out traumatic family stories or confused feelings and negative religious experiences, or how to better love my partner,” Fox said.

Since this is only Fox’s sophomore album, his career as a musician is just beginning to take off. With a modest follower base on social media and Spotify, he can also be found performing his music in multiple different cities, mostly spanning the Southern region of the United States.

“I’m still a bit of a rookie, so the first album was my fledgling attempt at a first, wobbly step,” Fox said.  “The learning curve since then has been steep, so this new record, I hope, reflects some of the things I’ve learned since then. Even more than the the technical competency I’ve gained, I think I’ve started to find my lane and identity as a songwriter and musician. It feels like a kind of ‘coming into my own.’”

Much of Texas Dust, and his previous album Home, revolve around Fox’s identity as a North Carolinian, which was strengthened during his time at Wake Forest. He said that coming into that persona allowed him to embrace his love for folk, as well as his ability to communicate through it. Furthered by friendships surrounding music, Fox’s college years served as a stepping stone into the professional community of music making.

Ultimately, Texas Dust is a beautiful, simple compilation of stories that vocalize a single, yet common, human experience.

“I hope people enjoy what they hear, and find in it whatever meaning they might find helpful. These are mostly sad songs, so I also hope folks counter it with something fun every once and awhile,” Fox said.

“A Quiet Place” Utilizes the Power of Silence

The endless deluge of slasher-garbage and prurient genre fodder makes the climate difficult for someone pitching an audacious, concept-based horror film. Audiences have come to expect next to nothing from horror. Minus a small group of genre-junkies, who look for and root out meritorious films, even the nuanced horror film resonates with mass audiences only on a superficial plane. In some ways, horror movies of the popular kind have begun to mimic culture at large — narrow-minded, routinized slogs that relish the cheap thrill and willfully ignore the preciousness of the medium (film, life).

But A Quiet Place, the new horror film starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, is no churned-out, pea-brained slasher meant to attract flippant, Friday-night spenders. It is a unique and serious concept-film, powered not by nudity and nastiness, but by originality and execution. The film is nearly a silent one, an idea that might as well be a box-office death-wish when pitched to modern audiences, but it shows its virtuosity from the start.

Krasinski and Blunt head the Abbott family, a unit under siege, in a post-apocalyptic world where even the slightest sound initiates a horde of blind, alien creatures, whose acute sense of hearing allows them to pinpoint their prey in a matter of seconds. Through sign language and gestures, the Abbotts navigate the world of howling winds, running waters and soundless humans. The film opens with shots of an eerie, tumbleweed city, reminiscent of the first few minutes of 28 Days Later. But A Quiet Place doubles-down on the emptiness of the post-apocalyptic world, showing that in a fallen world, survival directives, what in other films seem from the vantage of this one to be verbal insignificances, can be communicated soundlessly.

There are a few close calls in the beginning of the film, and eventually we are shown just how devastatingly quick the alien creatures jump at any dribble of sound, when the youngest Abbott child turns on a toy air plane and gets his guts ripped out in seconds. After this jarring episode, the alien’s mostly invisible presence for the first half of the film soaks the audience in terror. (I felt, watching the film, that if I were to make a sound, I too would be besieged and dragged out the emergency exit in tatters). Blunt’s character is (somewhat implausibly) pregnant, and the Abbott family “settles” in a house amidst an expanse of cornfields. Sound, though, seems a moribund inevitability. Blunt’s pregnancy cleverly looms like a death-sentence over the entire film, as if the characters and the audience know it is impossible to go through childbirth without a peep, and to rear an infant without them wailing at the air every two seconds.

Because the plot is so easily summarized and understood, the artistic merits of the film leave themselves open to be critiqued and witnessed. Luckily, there is much to be lauded. Krasinski co-wrote and directed this feature, as well as acted beside his real-life wife, Blunt, and I must say I would watch Krasinski dice cheese. In this film especially, about a family reduced to simple, earthen existence, Kransinski exudes the ur-humanness we have grown to love about him. He has a hoi-paloi-ishness that is so endearing you feel bad critiquing his acting, because it is less like artistic difference than personal shaming. Any critique levied against Kransinki the actor seems a critique against Krasinski the man; his profession and the way he professes are ineradicably human, like a Greta Gerwig or a Kristen Stewart or a Casey Affleck, so much so that he feels emotionally one of us. Of course, this is Krasinski’s tremendous acting ability, not his actual averageness, and I hasten to make the point that his quotidian displays are far from attainable for any average man. I do not wish him to be literally related to the layman, I just wish to lionize his ability to make it seem so.

Blunt is also excellent, although she brings more of a natural look of star-power to the screen, perfect and inequivalent to Krasinski, which makes the two all the more at-risk and worth preserving. Blunt is committed to survival, and she allows the audience a window into her tidal of suppressed utterances (she steps on a nail and doesn’t utter a sound, and eventually gives birth in near-silence). The pain she endures becomes supra-human, and it is Blunt herself that we end up admiring for her acute fragility and minutely kinetic portrayal of emotion.

Although Krasinski the actor is enough to draw me to the theater, Krasinski the director executed a wonderfully frightening tightrope walk with A Quiet Place. The camera moves slowly and with purpose, just as the family themselves does, and it is through the dread of a grim pan, or the deliberate monkishness of barefoot trundlings that we feel immersed in this world of silence. Krasinski’s camera is as unique a beast as the aliens themselves, and its eyes move with the consummate knowing of a director using every artistic register. The color red also plays a crucial role, almost in a role of its own, and is staged as a sort of neo-noir-ish threat. It imbues and illuminates moments with shades of lurid blood and incites feelings of danger and ticking time. The mise-en-scenes created by Krasinski look like he has been directing arthouse horror films for years; some of the Giallo directors would be proud. The scenes are subtle and portentous, glistening yet blunted by their efficient message.

The score, by Marco Beltrami, is adequately suspenseful. Tasked with the impossibility of trying to make up for a lack of sound, the music in A Quiet Place tastefully undershoots and relaxes back into a sort of expected sound that actually serves the flim’s maverick concept better than trying to overcompensate for it.

A Quiet Place, although mostly “soundless,” is a full-bodied experience. Watching Krasinski and Blunt navigate their family through a ravaged time reverberates into the real. It seems like something Krasinski himself would do, all hirsute and forlorn in the face of death. And though A Quiet Place is ultimately a portrait of family (Krasinski said in an interview on the Graham Norton show, “it’s a love letter to my kids. [It is about] what extremes you would go to to protect your kids.”), don’t let Krasinski’s sentimentality trick you. A Quiet Place is a fully-sensate, visceral experience. It has moments of vivid terror, with breath-holding and face-scrunching anticipation, and it has moments of vast emotional energy. The genre needs more directors like Krasinski to bring their out-of-the-genre acumen to bear on a somewhat predictable niche of cinema. In A Quiet Place, not only are we shown the horror of horrific things, we are shown the flickers of internalities in the face of what it means to be human. And that is a new and noble thing.

Ketogenic Diet Delivers Unhealthy Side Effects

There is recent scientific consensus that diets generally do not work as effective weight loss strategies. Yes, you will likely lose weight at the beginning of a diet, but statistics show that over 95 percent of dieters will regain at least all of the weight that they lose in one to five years.

Fortunately, I am not a scientist, and I think it’s funny to buy into junk science. Therefore, I decided to challenge myself to a diet that is gaining a lot of attention right now — the ketogenic diet. 

The ketogenic diet has actually existed for many years.  Initially popularized in 1916 by Dr. Hough Conklin, it has been used for over a century to combat epilepsy and diabetes, with some very positive results. Further, the Inuit people have survived off of a naturally ketogenic diet for as long as they have existed, just based on the resources that are locally available to them. Recently, the diet has been adopted and popularized by pop culture icons like Kim Kardashian and Halle Berry as an effective weight loss tactic.

What is the ketogenic diet? Essentially, it is an extreme version of popular low carb diets like the Adkins Diet or the South Beach Diet. The ultimate goal of a person attempting the ketogenic diet is to shift their body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is the state a person’s body enters when it has depleted its glucose (sugar) stores and must start burning fat for energy.  The most effective way to induce ketosis is to fast for about 24 to 48 hours. However, fasting is extremely uncomfortable. Another more reasonable way a person can shift his body into ketosis is to eat a high fat, low carb diet (low carb meaning 20 carbs or less per day).  If a person chooses this strategy, it will take two days a week in order to induce ketosis, depending on the depth of his glucose stores. 

The concept of a high fat, low carb diet sounds ludicrous. How is it possible that a dieter could consume bacon-wrapped steaks and pork rinds, but be forced to avoid black beans and corn? The thinking behind this is that when your body shifts into ketosis, it begins burning your fat. In fact, some proponents of ketosis argue that if you are doing it right, you can naturally burn 600 calories a day. I guess I was doing it wrong.

I started my foray into ketosis on a Sunday morning.  After two days of eating nothing but eggs, grilled chicken and spinach salads, my head started to throb, but I did, in fact, successfully deplete my glucose stores. Immediately after my body entered ketosis, I started losing a lot of water weight. By the end of the week, I had lost roughly 10 pounds of water weight, but I didn’t feel any healthier, and I was eating a disgusting amount of beef jerky. There is no way ketosis possibly could have been doing good things for my heart. I ended up quitting the ketogenic diet after a week.  A major factor for my decision to quit was the keto flu, which was hitting me very hard. This is a common symptom for recent adopters of the diet. Victims’ stomachs start to churn and they get horrible, seemingly incurable headaches. The keto flu made my diet unlivable.

I am glad that I quit my ketogenic diet, because in retrospect, it was an absurd endeavor. I could produce healthier results by simply going to the gym more and eating smaller quantities. That being said, I still think junk science is hilarious, and I am all for testing more questionable diets in the name of the Old Gold & Black.  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me.  If your message piques my interest, expect to see a write-up a few weeks later. 

Best Brunches in Winston-Salem

Many students like to sleep in on the weekends, so often times they sleep through breakfast. Here are four places in Winston-Salem to get a weekend brunch with friends.

River Birch Lodge

River Birch Lodge is known for its natural decor and its rustic atmosphere. However, on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the woodsy restraunt transforms into a popular brunch spot.

For those over 21, the full bar serves mimosas and other cocktails along with Lodge Breakfast Favorites like the Blackened Salmon Benedict ($13.50) or the more classic Smoked Gouda and Bacon Omelette ($12.25). The Blackened Salmon Benedict consists of a hickory cajun seasoned grilled salmon filet served on an English muffin with poached eggs and hollandaise. The omelette contains smoked gouda cheese and applewood smoked bacon, creating a blend of savory flavors. For those who are in the mood for lunch, River Birch also serves an array of salads, sandwiches and burgers including their famous Grilled Shrimp Arugula Salad ($13.75) and their Bison Burger ($16.95). The burger is hickory grilled and topped with traditional toppings; however, customers are able to add Wild Mushroom Gravy.

The restaurant is located off of Robinhood Road. While the food can be pricy, the quality of the meal makes the trip worth it. They have two patios located on either side of the restaurant. Inside there are canoes hanging from the walls and a fireplace on one end of the building which provides a roaring fire during the cooler months of the year. The mountainous decor provides a semi-casual dining experience.

Mama Zoe Michael’s 

Mama Zoe Michael’s is located on Reynolda Road just down the street from campus. The homey atmosphere brings customers of all ages to try the large assortment of food. On a normal afternoon the restaurant serves a range of food, from a traditional Greek cuisine to a simple club sandwich. However, in the mornings they serve an ample amount of homestyle meals.

The All American ($6.25) and the Racers Choice ($6.95) are two menu favorites. The All American is comprised of two pancakes, two eggs and a choice of bacon, ham or sausage, while the Racers Choice is French toast served with two eggs, two slices of bacon and two sausage links.

Village Tavern 

Village Tavern is a popular dinner spot for Wake Forest students; however, every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. they serve brunch. They serve an array of Benedict’s, waffles and omelettes. Various menu favorites include the tavern brunch special Cruz Bay Breakfast ($8.50) and the more classic Belgian Waffle ($5.95). The Cruz Bay Breakfast is spicy black beans served over a toasted English muffin with two poached eggs, grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, green onions and sour cream.

Midtown Cafe & Dessertery 

For those of us who dislike waking up before noon on the weekends, Midtown Cafe and Dessertery serves breakfast all day every day. The restaurant made its name in Winston-Salem 30 years ago with its assortment of desserts; however, it has developed into one of the city’s best brunch locations.

They offer a comfortable and casual atmosphere while still serving high-quality, made-from-scratch food. When customers walk in they are covered by the scents of homestyle meals. Desserts are displayed near the entrance of the building and are avaliable for take out.

Midtown serves 12 Pancake Specials and six specialty dishes. A customer favorite is the Swiss Chocolate Chip Pancakes ($6.90) which is dusted with powdered sugar. However, for those with a more adventurous taste, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Chip Pancakes ($7.85) or the Peach Delight Pancakes ($10.15) are great options.

Breakfast is not the only thing this restaurant sells. Their wraps and chicken pies are also avaliable to order. They offer an array of southern-style meals that leave costumers satisfied and it is always a good idea to leave room for their made-from-scratch cakes, pies, cheesecakes and brownies.

Now that spring is here and the weather is warming up, students should make use of the restaurant’s patio. The tables circle a stone fountain which displays dolphins jumping into the air.

 

Wake Forest Honors Arnold Palmer

This past week, the Wake Forest community participated in annual celebrations of distinguished alumnus, Arnold Palmer. The celebrations included Arnold Palmer Day and a lecture by James Dodson, author of Arnold Palmer’s autobiography A Golfer’s Life as part of the ZSR’s Library Lecture Series.

April 5, known on campus as Arnold Palmer Day, is a way for Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff to celebrate Palmer’s legacy and impact on the Wake Forest community. This year marked the 7th-annual Arnold Palmer Day organized by the Traditions Council. On Arnold Palmer Day, students could watch a live streaming of one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments, The Masters, hang out with the Arnold Palmer cardboard cutout, and of course, enjoy free Arnold Palmer drinks donated to Wake Forest by Arizona. There was also cake to commemorate the occasion and Arnold Palmer Day shirts were for sale.

“Today is a day where we can remember Arnold’s legacy. He is one of Wake Forest’s most beloved alumnus and Arnold Palmer Day is one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year by the Wake Forest community,” Chelsea Klein said, a member of the Traditions Counsel, told the Old Gold & Black about the importance of Arnold Palmer Day.

Freshman Sam Bott was spotted at Arnold Palmer day enjoying his free drink.  “It’s a beautiful day to celebrate Arnold Palmer.” Bott said “Everyone’s out here in the sunshine sipping on Arnold Palmers and celebrating a true legend.”

While the tent on Machester Plaza marked the primary event space, the celebration continued in the Pit. Freshmen Annie Cohen and Anabel Cordano enjoyed the many treats and activities the Pit offered.

“The Pit made sweet tea cupcakes and provided free Arnold Palmer drinks.” Cohen said. “There were also games such as a mini putting green and the winners of the  games were given prizes like more food dollars.”

Additionally, on Wendesday, April 4, Wake Forest students, faculty, staff and community members attended the lecture held by Dodson and had the opportunity to buy copies of his book as well as to get them personally signed by him.

Dodson grew up in Greensboro, NC as an avid player and fan of golf and a follower of Palmer. He began his career as a journalist and worked for many different newspapers, writing mostly gothic stories centering on local murders, racial inequalities in the American South and occasionally presidential election pieces.

Later in his career, he interviewed for a position at The Washington Post, but realized that he no longer wanted to pursue journalism, but his real passion of golf. He turned down the offer from the Post to work instead at Yankee Magazine to pursue golf writing. He then proceeded to work at Golf Magazine and became Departure Magazine’s Golf Editor. However, when Dodson’s father developed a serious illness, Dodson wanted to spend more time with him. The two golf lovers embarked on a trip to Europe to play the renowned golf courses of the British Open. Their experiences playing the courses and down-to-Earth discussions in local pubs prior to his father’s death later became the content of Dodson’s first book Final Rounds, which put him on the map as a golf writer.

The book landed a spot on the extended New York Times Best Sellers List and lead to a multi-city book tour. It was ultimately the publication of Final Rounds that led Dodson to the Palmers after Winnie Palmer (Palmer’s wife) called Dodson and asked if he would write Arnold’s autobiography. Dodson was initially hesitant to accept the project because Palmer was his greatest hero, and he had been told not to get too close to your heroes as they may disappoint you. Dodson accepted the offer on the condition that Palmer tell him the true, raw version of his life story. Dodson felt strongly about publishing an autobiography that highlighted Palmer’s greatest moments as well as his worst ones, so readers could better understand the positive and negative life events that shaped him as a person. Though Dodson experienced pushback from IMG to publish some of Arnold’s life struggles, he stood his ground.

Dodson developed an extremely close connection with Palmer through the writing of the autobiography, and the two remained great friends even years after the book was published. Palmer even called Dodson “Shakespeare” as a testament to his writing skills. The two men spent three years together as Dodson tracked Arnold’s golf and personal life events. Dodson expressed that Palmer was very comfortable in his own skin and genuinely loved people. He loved people so much, in fact, that he would walk down the fairway during tournaments while shaking hands with audience members in an effort to get to know them better.

The publication of the book was a huge hit and was voted Best Golf Book of the Year, in addition to remaining on the New York Times Best Sellers List for many weeks. The public seemed to love the autobiography and appreciated the authentic nature of it. Some even noted that Dodson achieved replicating Palmer’s voice in the writing of the book. The success Dodson achieved from A Golfer’s Life led to future endeavours. He received calls from Ben Hogan and Sam Snead asking him to write their autobiographies as well. He ultimately wrote four Golf Books of the Year and became known as one of the most prestigious golf writers in the field.

Dodson was with Palmer up until the day he passed away. Golf was Palmer’s true love, and when he was no longer able to play, he didn’t last much longer. Palmer left a note to Dodson that read, “I could not have had a better friend. Always, Arnold.” At the lecture series, Dodson told the audience of their many personal encounters and of Palmer’s fondness for life. He stated, “Arnold loved life, had a great sense of humor, and especially loved Wake Forest.” Palmer enjoyed frequent visits to Greensboro and was followed by millions of locals when he would play in the Greensboro Open during the peak of his career. He is one of the world’s best and most well-known golfers, which is why the students of Wake Forest celebrate his legacy every year.

Between the ZSR lecture given by James Dodson and the school-wide celebration on the quad and in the Pit, Wake Forest students were eager to celebrate the legend that was Arnold Palmer.

Deacon Profile: Ben Weekley

Senior Ben Weekley has made quite a name for himself on campus in his four years here. He is known for much more than his chemistry major, with a concentration in biochemistry and minor in biology. Around Wake Forest, Weekley is recognized for his great Demon Deacon pride and his involvement with organizations such as Wake ‘N Shake, Traditions Council and Screamin’ Deacons.

Before he graduates, the Old Gold & Black was able to talk with Weekley as he reflects on his love for Wake Forest, his collegiate experience and what his future holds. 

What made you want to come to Wake Forest?

My grandfather, Bill Starling, graduated from Wake Forest in 1957 and worked here as Director of Admissions from 1961-2001. I grew up around Wake Forest because of the obvious family ties and loved cheering for their sports teams. As I toured a number of schools, I fell in love with this university over every other option. Given the small class sizes, research opportunities, beautiful campus, atmosphere and of course the Division I sports, it was a no brainer in the end. I’m proud to say I’ve bled black and gold since birth.

How are you involved on campus? How do you work to make Wake Forest the best version of itself?

My three main involvements have been as Co-Chair of Wake ‘N Shake, The Traditions Council and Screamin’ Demons. In addition to those, I was a Deacon Camp leader for three years, part of Hydrating Humanitate sophomore year and part of the Technology Innovation Program the last two years to help bring a makerspace to Wake Forest. I just joined Student Government in March after a lot of seniors dropped out.

In my time at Wake Forest, I’ve strived to improve my favorite events to be the best they can be with the hope that others will also enjoy these awesome traditions (both old and new) and be encouraged to start their own or help in the planning and implementation of long-running events.

What is your favorite Wake Forest tradition? Do you have any personal traditions of your own here?

My favorite tradition has to be rolling the quad. There is no tradition that makes me feel more a part of this campus and community than rushing back to my dorm after a huge win, grabbing six or seven rolls of toilet paper and sprinting to the quad to meet up with the entire student body to celebrate. It’s a tradition anyone can participate in, and one that I can continue to do by rolling a tree or two wherever I may be when Wake Forest wins big.

One cool personal tradition I have is sitting on the upper quad on Friday afternoons and relaxing. Typically I have lab meetings until 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m., then go up there, call my parents and reflect on a long week. I’ve sat out there for anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours, reading the newest OGB, checking out the Wake Forest Magazine, planning for the next weeks, talking to friends and just enjoying the peace and serenity. Getting to hear the bells playing is an added bonus. Oh, and sending hype emails before big sporting events. I’m going to miss that.

How do you think students can best exhibit school spirit?

I think the best way to exhibit school spirit is by supporting and exhibiting pride of various events and accomplishments here at Wake Forest. This can be by going to sporting events and cheering loud and proud. This can be by attending various events around campus throughout the school year. This can be done by getting involved in the Winston-Salem community and showing people what it means to be a Wake Forest student. We should all be proud to attend Wake Forest and be proud of what awesome things our peers accomplish. By supporting them, you can show all kinds of school spirit.

What advice do you have for future Demon Deacons?

My advice would be to create your own path. Don’t follow the exact same path as those who you look up to or your close friends, but create a unique experience for yourself during your time at Wake Forest. Major in what you love to learn about, take classes you’re interested in, join some groups you enjoy being a part of. Start your own group or event, meet as many people as possible and don’t waste your time. You only have four years, so make the most of it and bask in every moment.

What do you hope for the future of Wake Forest?

I have high hopes for Wake Forest. I think Wake Forest is one of the best universities in the world, but still has room to improve. My hope is that this campus will become even more of a diverse and inclusive community. There is somewhat of a divide between liberals and conservatives, Greeks and non-Greeks, athletes and non-athletes. I hope that the gaps between these groups continue to shrink and that Wake Forest students can have respect and admiration for each other, and work together to change the world. I hope that the university continues to grow academically, continues to be one of the best places to get an education, partake in groundbreaking research and learn and grow as a scholar. Also, I have to say I hope we win a ton of ACC and national championships in the coming years in all sports.

Can you describe your favorite memory/experience from your college career?

There are so many amazing experiences and days and little moments that will forever stick in my mind as what made my college career as amazing as it has been. I will never forget things like Arnold Palmer Day, the back-and-forth “Wake”—”Forest” chants at football games, wall jumps at Spry, learning fascinating subjects from world-class professors, meeting some of my best friends, snow days and just living in the moments.

I would have to say my absolute favorite experience has been being one of the Co-Chairs for Wake ‘N Shake. The day of was such a surreal experience and being part of such a hardworking and dedicated group that helped create a special event for 1,400-plus students and making the impact we did with fundraising is something that will always live in my mind as the best memory.

Other than being known for your involvement and school pride, how would you like your legacy to be remembered?

I have always loved the saying, “There is time to be an Indian and time to be a chief.” I think that as a senior at Wake Forest I have certainly grown into many leadership or “chief” positions, but I really want to be remembered as the loyal and hardworking “Indian.” I hope that I am remembered as the type of person that wasn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves or take on more menial tasks. It has been my great pleasure to lead, just as it has been a blessing to work under and alongside the many great leaders of this university.

Any last things you’d like to do in your final weeks before graduation?

I have a short bucket list which includes: posties, some of the senior week activities (including getting Kyle to let me up on top of the bar at LR), successfully defending my honors thesis in chemistry, getting on the roof of ZSR, hanging out in the bell tower, going to Foothills trivia with the chemistry faculty (apparently that’s a tradition) and hanging out with as many friends as possible. I want to enjoy every moment and soak it all in.

What are your plans for after graduation? Will you continue to spread Demon Deacon pride?

I will be moving to Los Angeles at the end of July to start graduate school at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in the PIBBS program. It’s a five-year program which will result in a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences. I will definitely be bringing the Demon Deacon spirit to Southern California and hope to get involved with the alumni network out there. I’ll be cheering just as loud for the Deacs even from 3,000 miles away. I hope to represent Wake Forest to the best of my ability and those around me will realize what a great university it is.

Dean Gillespie Defends Liberal Arts Education

“Finance, football and fraternities, not philosophy and physics,” have become the pillars of the modern American university, according to a 2017 Hedgehog Review article cited by junior Drew Finley as he introduced Dean of the College Michele Gillespie for her public talk entitled “What is a Liberal Arts Education, and What is its Value?” on Tuesday, April 10.

In the lecture, which was co-hosted by the Wake Forest Euzelian Society and the Braswell Philosophy Society, Gillespie sought to answer these two questions, which she said were perhaps the most important issues that she faces on a daily basis as dean.

Gillespie, who has been dean of the college since 2015 and is also the presidential endowed professor of southern history, is “one of the most articulate defenders of the liberal arts,” according to University Scholar in Residence Michael Lamb.

She began her lecture by noting that modern-day liberal arts education faces wide skepticism and threats. For example, more than a dozen humanities majors were recently eliminated at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point due to financial hardship. The school justified the decision by arguing that they would rather offer majors that would increase students’ chances of finding a job after graduation. Throughout the lecture, Gillespie directly challenged this belief that a liberal arts education is no longer practically useful. 

She also addressed what she said was the country’s growing disillusionment with higher education, pointing to a recent Gallup poll that identified a 20-point divide between Democrats and Republicans in their confidence in colleges.

“Democrats decry the rising cost of tuition and the growth in student debt,” Gillespie said. “Republicans think colleges are two ideological, leaning too far left and creating social havoc. Regardless of their political persuasion, both sides tend to agree that colleges no longer prepare graduates for the kinds of jobs that will withstand the tumultuous economic and technological disruptions we anticipate over the next several decades.”

However, she repeatedly emphasized that a significant part of her job as dean of the college, especially as she works with a group of faculty and students on core curriculum reform, is to defend the inherent value of a liberal arts education, which she said is dependent on how Wake Forest defines the liberal arts.

“We searched everywhere, but none of us could find a definition, even though the phrase ‘liberal arts’ appears in our mission statement, in our Course Bulletin, and in all our admissions materials,” Gillespie said.

As a result, she and her colleagues on the Core Curriculum Review Committee developed a working definition of a liberal arts education to help them identify “specifically and concretely” what a liberal arts education at Wake Forest should look like.

“A liberal arts education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity and change,” the review reads. “It is broad and diverse, fostering a dedication to the open pursuit of knowledge, while providing learners with an example of the world they will be called upon to lead … Ultimately, [it] facilitates how students see the world … from a multi-dimensional standpoint while also acknowledging wider contexts, experiments and perspectives.”

Gillespie said that this definition, along with input from students and faculty, will continue to inform potential changes made to the core curriculum.

Junior Francisco Martinez said that he concurred with Gillespie’s definition of the liberal arts and the importance of having a well-rounded education. “We are getting more and more into a globalized world,” he said. “The jobs around now weren’t around 15 or 20 years ago.” Education, he said, should change with the changing world and job market.

A question-and-answer session followed Gillespie’s lecture, in which students expressed the value that they placed on a liberal arts education when they decided to come to Wake Forest as well as expressing worry for how the liberal arts are popularly viewed.

Concerns voiced by the students included the notions that Wake Forest is not preparing students to be advocates of their own liberal arts degrees, and that students view fulfilling divisional requirements as checking boxes, especially those with a predetermined idea of what they wish to study.

In response, Gillespie emphasized the importance of choice in a liberal arts education and posited that a chosen major or minor is not the “bottom line” of a college education. She emphasized that as dean, she is proud of the liberal arts education offered at Wake Forest.

“The discussion after the lecture was fantastic, a real joy to see,” said Finley. “How wonderful it is to have students, faculty and the dean engaging … I had several people come up to me afterwards and say … because of the talk, they thought about an aspect of the liberal arts that they had not previously considered. That was amazing for me to hear.”

Garden Party Honors Maya Angelou’s Legacy

Wake Forest and the greater community of Winston-Salem joined together for the first annual Maya Angelou Garden Party on April 8. It was an afternoon of spoken word poetry, music, games and fellowship to celebrate what would have been the late poet, actress, author and longtime professor’s 90th birthday.

The event was student-led by the Wake Downtown Student Ambassadors and was the product of an idea first born in the Innovation Quarter last spring when Provost Rogan Kersh’s class, Universities and Communities, joined with Winston-Salem State students to discuss university and community interactions.

Angelou, who was a professor of American studies at Wake Forest for more than 30 years, inspired many in the Winston-Salem community and across the world.  When the class was asked to think of ways to bridge what is often considered to be a gap between the university and the community, no one could think of a better link than Angelou.

When the idea was given to the Wake Downtown Student Ambassadors, the group was quick to carry out the idea of honoring Angelou as a means for connecting Wake Forest with members of the community who may not normally engage with those on the Reynolda Campus on a regular basis.

“It was important to honor Dr. Angelou because she is an inextricable part of Wake Forest University and this community,” said Alana James, associate director of community engagement at Wake Downtown.

“It was fitting that a garden party was held in her honor because it is well-known how much she enjoyed them.”

The party, which was held in the Innovation Quarter’s Bailey Park, included the sharing of cupcakes and lemonade, the playing of games and child-led chalk artwork, in addition to 20 speakers who either performed original spoken word poems or recited some of their favorites, some written by Angelou herself.

“The attendees, readers and artists represented a diversity of background, interest, age and profession, so it truly was an event for all,” James said.

One of the performers, Alan Brown, a professor at Wake Forest, shared a part of one of his favorite poems, “Amazement Awaits,” recalling conversations he had with Angelou about this piece and its relevance to his work with sports and child literacy.

Another speaker was Jerdei Neequaye-Pinkston, an actress and writer, who performed, “Mother Maya,” an original piece written as a tribute to Angelou and all mothers.

“Maya has inspired so many and I wanted to share a bit of her light,” Neequaye-Pinkston said.

Among the 200 people who came out to Bailey Park on Sunday afternoon was Rosa Johnson.

Johnson, Angelou’s niece, said it was wonderful to see people at the garden party.

“What I’m so happy about is that my aunt continues to inspire people, poets and life,” Johnson said. “To have this honoring her is very appropriate and very nice.”

Overall, it was an inspiring afternoon that honored the life and legacy of Angelou, a true treasure to Winston-Salem and the rest of the world.

Bike Sharing Provides Alternative Transportation

Everyone has those days when they just don’t feel like walking to class on the other side of campus. Some students drive their cars and park closer, but what effect might this have on the environment?

These were some of the thoughts of Alyshah Aziz, a Wake Forest alum.

“I kind of found [driving] to be a little absurd,” Aziz said, who graduated in 2016. “Just driving three minutes for convenience when it would probably be quicker to walk anyway.”

So she decided to take action.

As a freshman, Aziz came up with the idea of a bike share program and took it to Dedee Johnston, the chief sustainability officer.

“She said at least two people per month come to her and pitch the idea of a bike share,” Aziz said. “Nothing ever comes out of it.” But that didn’t stop her.

Aziz was a part of CHARGE!, a leadership organization on campus. With her group, she began working on creating this program.

Bike share programs have become popular in some cities, including Winston-Salem. Zagster is a bike share program with bike stations located in three areas of the city that people can check out at an hourly rate.

In a world where the climate is being affected negatively by carbon emissions, switching from a car to a bike would be a better solution in the long run. A 2015 study by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy showed that if 14 percent of travel in the world’s cities was done by bicycle by 2050, carbon emissions would be 11 percent lower.

After months of hard work, including biweekly office visits with Johnston and a campus-wide research survey to assess demand, Re-Cycle came into fruition. Aziz was a junior by then.

Re-Cycle is now headed by the Office of Sustainability and Outdoor Pursuits. The program is open to the entire Wake Forest community where students, faculty and staff can rent out a bike for the semester.

The Office of Sustainability posts a Google Form at the beginning of the semester for bike rentals, which are available on a first come, first serve basis. A small fee covers maintenance, repairs and storage. A new bike is $10 for the semester and a refurbished bike is $5.

Instead, it turns out, students using the program aren’t as focused on the environment as much as other reasons.

“I cannot get anywhere without my bike now,” said senior Emily Claire Mackey, a Re-Cycle bike intern. “I just don’t know how to allocate time at this point because I’m so used to it.”

Students often rent bikes for the convenience and the ease of travel around campus.

“I can easily just hop on my bike and go wherever I need to on campus,” said Kayla Heilig, a junior who takes part in the program. “I joined the program not necessarily for sustainability reasons, but I felt like I was being active.”

The Office of Sustainability doesn’t have a way of tracking a difference of carbon emissions on campus since the program started, but it’s apparent that the bike share has gained a lot of traction from the high demand of bikes.

“One thing I know the program struggles with is being able to provide enough bikes,” Heilig said. “I wish more students could get them.”

This is partly due to funding and space for the bikes.

“Our biggest goal has just been getting our fleet size, in terms of number of bikes, to meet the demand,” Mackey said. “We have never marketed our program before and just through word of mouth we have so many people who want to use it.”

The success of this program can be seen through the demand of bikes.

“I think it’s important to have this long-term and short-term rental option,” Aziz said. “It’s especially helpful for international students because they don’t have cars.”

Whatever the reason may be for using Re-Cycle, students seem to be finding some benefit.

“I really like the program’s commitment to getting student’s the bikes they need,” Heilig said.

Communication Conference Brings Student Scholars

This year marked 35 years of the biennial Wake Forest Universtiy Argumentation Conference, which elicits scholars, students and other individuals that have a genuine interest in the progress of communication and scholarship in argumentation. On Friday, April 6, scholars in the field of communication traveled to the Wake Forest campus from around the world to present their research while engaging their audiences.

Not only was the three-day event filled with panels of academics, it also included workshops led by world-renowned argumentation scholars such as Thomas Goodnight, David Hingstman and Franz van Eemeren.

In addition, there were various opportunities for all attendees to engage in social interaction with people of similar intellectual interest. The conference also included a banquet and several receptions to foster community and conversation.

Students in the “Great Teachers” course taught by Dr. Alessandra Von Burg played a large role in planning and organizing the conference, along with hosting the three “Great Teachers.”

Over the course of this semester, the students studied the works of Dr. Takeshi Suzuki, Dr. Sara Rubinelli and Dr. Gordon Mitchell and later hosted the three keynote speakers for the event.

The keynote speakers all spoke on research in their areas of expertise. Suzuki offered his research on “Arguments as Potential” and Rubinelli discussed “Argumentation in Online Healthcare Communication.”

After presenting on “The Hippocratic Turn in Digital Design,” Mitchell, a Wake Forest alum, expressed enthusiasm about being back at his alma mater for the event. Additionally, he was adamant in stressing the importance of the Argumentation Conference.

“I think this is a very important conference,” Mitchell said. “Partly because we have to figure out ways to actively involve undergraduate students in the research enterprise. Initiatives like this link together undergraduates with scholars in a way that introduces the students to the process of research, which is very important.”

Mitchell is a personal witness of the great amount of growth in Wake Forest Debate, communication and in the conference.

“This is reminding people that argumentation has a scholarly interface,” Mitchell said. “It has relevance and sophisticated rigorous analysis of argumentative artifacts.”

Many Wake Forest students, faculty and alumni participated as panelists and presenters. Communication faculty members Dr. Jarrod Atchison and Dr. Michael Hazen spoke on panels to represent Wake Forest. Undergraduates Varun Reddy (’19), Char Van Schenck (‘19) and Kate Shapiro (’19) along with graduate students Pablo Gannon (’19) and Chloe Pearson (’19), all served on panels among distinguished scholars in communication.

Dr. Mitchell provided advice for students pursuing higher education in communication and otherwise. “Networking is possible and really rewarding,” Mitchell said. “You’re able to reach out to scholars in other parts of the world, make contact and suggest collaboration, and share your interests that can really yield a kind of connection that can make academic study more sustainable, more enriching and more valuable.”

U.S. Census Must Not Ask About Citizenship

In two years, far too many Americans may not be counted. News broke last week that the U.S Census Bureau, which is overseen by the Department of Commerce, has been directed to include a question asking respondents whether or not they are citizens when it conducts its next head count in 2020. While the Trump administration contends that the question will help the Department of Justice prevent voting rights violations by identifying eligible voters —  and, by implication, those not eligible to vote — the reality is that many undocumented immigrants and even green-card holders may fear that completing the census form could put them at-risk of deportation. As a result, they may choose to not be counted at all.   

The decennial count of U.S. residents is the Constitution’s first official job for the government — it’s mandated just five sentences into our founding charter to conduct an “actual enumeration” of both citizens and noncitizens living in the country. It is used to apportion the 435 seats in the House of Representatives among the states, is referenced when state legislatures redraw political boundaries and is also used to allocate billions of dollars in federal grants. If the citizenship question has a chilling effect on participation, the consequences of a severe population undercount would be wide-ranging and long-lasting. Government agencies and other groups who rely on the census — many of which provide services to immigrant and minority populations — would have faulty data. The undercount would also lead to inaccurate congressional apportionment that would likely advantage Republicans, as several blue states such as California have dense immigrant populations.

Worse, the path to this decision was appalling and characteristically ham-handed. Because tiny modifications to census questions can have giant effects with 10 years of lingering impact, most new questions are rigorously tested for years in advance. Except for this one. It was simply announced by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, some nine months after the Census Bureau was supposed to have finalized the list of questions.

In addition, the pretext of the decision just doesn’t add up. The Department of Justice has been enforcing the Voting Rights Act without access to such data on citizenship for decades; the last time a citizenship question was asked was in 1950, 15 years before the Act became law. And precedent squares with immigrants’ fears of information being turned over to other government agencies. During World War I, the Census Bureau shared with the military information about young men who were of draft age. During World War II, it shared the names and addresses of Japanese-Americans living on the west coast to help the military relocate them to internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor — one of the worst violations of Constitutional rights in U.S. history.   

Fortunately, though, the Commerce Department announcement was met with a swift legal retaliation. Led by Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, a largely -Democratic coalition of 17 state attorneys general and seven cities filed a lawsuit on April 3, 2018 to prevent the Trump administration from including the citizenship question. In the lawsuit — filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York — the coalition argued that adding the question would depress the response to the census by noncitizens and their relatives, thwarting the Constitution’s requirement of an “actual enumeration” of the nation’s residents.

At best, the addition of this question indicates extreme recklessness and disregard for proper statistical accuracy. At worst, it is a weaponization of statistics for political ends and a violation of a basic Constitutional command. Executing the census — and executing it accurately and well — is not just an academic exercise. To be counted is to be seen and heard; it is to secure a place in the American story. In our present moment, when many of those who share this country live daily under the sting of marginalization and fear of deportation, there is safety in numbers. What better way for the Trump administration to undermine that strength by undermining a count in the first place?

Coping With the Impossible Pain of Dreams

The emotional residue of a dream can be a devastating start to the day. Often, the vague shards of dreamy memory pierce you with powerful feelings, ones of an unconscious reality shattered by the onerous weight of the real. Usually, it is a sense of loss, a sense of saddening awe at the reality that you aren’t “dating this girl, crushing that class, etc.” It is a very prickly sense of waking up in bed emotionally motionless, and subsequently emotionally beaten, by the sur-realities of a dream.

Dreams can be positive (you did indeed date the girl, were freely expressing passion, and so forth), or they can be negative (in the dream you mourned in a deeper, less-regulated way the sadness of your reality). They weave a world of created metaphor for the unspoken feelings of your life.

Either way, both positive and negative dreams usually result in a waking moment filled with that exact dreamlike reality, and perhaps provide for a joyful interlude (in the case of the positive experience). You well with the prospect of the day, but soon such happy falsehoods ebb away into sadness. The realization that your dreamy happiness is not an objective truth is crushing, a bait-and-switch so incensing, your eyes can tear up in indignant anger.

But the most devastating are the negative dreams. You go from the thoughtless seconds of awakening, climbing from unconsciousness to consciousness, to vague remembrances besotted not with pure content, but with an overwhelming, leaden grief transported from the dream world into your real one. The metaphor I think of is driving through torrential rain. You awake, and for a second are suspended in a thoughtless void, much like the seconds driving under an overpass in a storm. Then, the deluge comes, and you are soaked with feelings of intense pain and sadness. It is, I think, one of the most profoundly sad moments of human existence, because you are wrenched from horror only to be awoken and thrown into the horror of actual existence, paralyzed by blankets, forced to confront the massive discomforts of your actual life.

There may be something redeeming about this act of confrontation, but in the moment there is nothing but sadness, and even in retrospect I see nothing to cheer. Certain feelings race, like a spider scurrying to weave its web, all the way out to your fingertips. But the sad feelings, they tend to cause your body to shrink from the world and from the feeling itself, like cells clustering around a tiny ball. They extend to an even more profound place, one of essentialized reality and reductive thought.

From dreams, you remember only snapshots of hyperbole, but the streaks of emotion are of the disturbing type. They seem to be able to extend sentiments right to the edge of possible feeling, forming tragedy from their plausibility. In dreams, tears slowly chug down your face like raindrops on a window. Acts of simple import, a person leaving a room, conjecture about where they may have gone, spurs incredible emotion. It is hard to describe, because the nature of dreams is ephemeral. Their content fades. But their indelible impressions, their emotional imprints, can throw reality into a maudlin heap, color it in a depressive pall.

This may sound like a depressed teenager’s journal entry, but the idea is to attune us to the nuances of our feelings, and by extension the nuances of life. Most people do not reflect on their dreams. They have their moments of emotional pin-prickery, and then sublimate everything as they go about their lives. To read this, to reflect on it, as Thomas Pynchon says, is a “progressive knotting into,” an investment in life and its human dimensions. I exhort you to live a like a “mad one,” at least for a moment, and think about yourself. Tear up, cry, smile, think.

I have had pleasant dreams, but the ones that linger to this day are of lost love. I wake up, let out a breath, and sink into my bed, tearing up at the notion of my impossible happiness. But still, it’s an impossibility worth thinking about.