Students met with City Council Members on Discussing Community Issues

Last November, members of the Winston-Salem City Council and Wake Forest students and faculty convened in Farrell Hall. Over dinner, students connected with the members of their City Council and discussed critical issues currently facing the Winston-Salem community and the implications these issues have for Wake Forest. Continue reading “Students met with City Council Members on Discussing Community Issues”

Kristen Stewart is a Misunderstood Actress

Kristen Stewart has secured herself an unfortunate place in the popular imagination. As a young, nubile vampire-loving teenager, Stewart penciled herself into the role of the C-level actor, A-level celebrity, the same career-stifling niche Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Zac Efron had a place in. Continue reading “Kristen Stewart is a Misunderstood Actress”

Spielberg’s The Post is out of Character but Outstanding

Steven Spielberg’s The Post is no E.T., Schindler’s List or Jaws. When your career highs are so masterful and universally loved, anything that is not absolutely magnificent and revolutionary pales in comparison. That being said, The Post is still well-directed, deftly acted and highly relevant in today’s political climate. Continue reading “Spielberg’s The Post is out of Character but Outstanding”

Reflections on Four Months Studying in Florence

Studying abroad is undoubtedly one of the greatest opportunities for a college student to experience. Not only do you get to travel around with friends, learn about other cultures and experience incredible food, but it is also a time to completely escape out of your comfort zone and learn so much about yourself. Continue reading “Reflections on Four Months Studying in Florence”

Alabama Reigns Supreme Yet Again in National Championship

For the third consecutive year, the College Football Playoff delivered an absolutely epic championship game. Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide competed in their third- straight championship game against fellow SEC foe Georgia, a team making its first ever Playoff appearance. Continue reading “Alabama Reigns Supreme Yet Again in National Championship”

America Needs to Retain Public Service Employees

Last month, the Washington Post reported that the staffs of 12 of the 15 Cabinet departments shrank during the first year of the Trump administration. This net loss of 16,000 federal government workers during the first nine months of 2017 was largely driven by voluntary departures, perhaps because career government workers feel that the current administration’s priorities are out of sync with their public service ethos. Continue reading “America Needs to Retain Public Service Employees”

Global Politics Deserve Separate but Equal Headspace

If there was one thing that we got right in 2017, it was that many Americans, ordinarily apathetic to politics, opened a newspaper and generally began to pay more attention to current events. However, this growing awareness was mostly limited to domestic politics. It was heartening how many constituents picked up the phone for the first time and demanded that their Congressmen say no to a series of bills that would have harmed real lives, and it was heartening to watch those bills fall to defeat. Continue reading “Global Politics Deserve Separate but Equal Headspace”

Fido-Friendly Treats are Easy to Whip Up

Holidays wouldn’t feel right without homemade cookies in candy cane shapes, but don’t forget about your furry friends when baking this year. Store-bought dog treats often contain additives that are bad for their health, and nutritious treats tend to be quite expensive. To avoid either of these problems, and to have some fun in the process, consider making your own dog treats. This week, I traveled to the Dollar Tree on a mission for cookie cutters and peanut butter. I then raided my cabinet to find some oatmeal and created this holiday recipe with three ingredients. The final product was taste test approved by Hokie DeMarco, a Labrador Retriever. One of the best parts about baking for a dog is that the measurements don’t have to be exact, as they’re pretty easy judges. Work with what you have (as long as it’s digestible for pups), and get creative! Your dogs will be grateful for some homemade holiday cookies of their own with simple recipes. Brainstorming your own recipes can be fun, but here’s my simple one to get you started.

Ingredients (makes approximately 25 treats):

2 peeled bananas (can substitute with apple sauce or other soft fruits)

2 cups of gluten-free oatmeal

1 eight ounce jar of peanut butter

Holiday cookie cutters

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place uncooked oatmeal in Ziplock bag and seal. Stop on the bag until oatmeal is finely ground (you can also use a food processor, but this way is more fun). Remove from bag and place in a bowl. Flatten banana into a paste with your hands and combine with oatmeal. Add in peanut butter and mix well, then roll mixture into a ball. Optional: let dough harden in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to easier cut out shapes in the next step. Flatten mixture and use cookie cutters to make your holiday shapes. Dough is safe for your dog to eat on it’s own, but bake for 10 minutes to achieve “cookie” texture. Allow to cool and let your dog dig in!

Republican Tax Bill Helps the Rich and Hurts Everyone Else

In 1932, during the deepest abyss of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called for “bold, persistent experimentation” and said, “It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” Continue reading “Republican Tax Bill Helps the Rich and Hurts Everyone Else”

Life’s Actions Constitute a Play-like Phenomenon

Is there such a thing as unadulterated experience? Maybe, if you’re looking at stars in the middle of a field in Montana, but even then how is your experience impacted by the myriad societal alarms going off in your head? Is it possible to detach? Or is that even the right question? Continue reading “Life’s Actions Constitute a Play-like Phenomenon”

Deacon Profile: Wubetu Shimelash

Wubetu Shimelash was a young Ethiopian boy, oblivious of the developed world in which he lived, yet full of ambitious ideas that would change the course of his life and that of his native community, forever.

As a young shepherd in the Simien mountains at the age of six, Shimelash would construct grass shoes to trade in order to provide for his parents and eight siblings.

Little did he know that another entrepreneur interested in shoes, Tom’s Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, would see this potential in him and give him the opportunity to become the aspiring filmmaker and businessman he is today, as a sophomore at Wake Forest.

Today at the age of 22, you have already created multiple companies and short films, and you continue to pursue documenting the Ethiopian culture. What sparked your interest in photography and film?

When I arrived at the Scattergood Friends School in Iowa, there were only 12 kids in my class. This was perfect for me because they focused on practical experiences. We had required daily activities that were related to what I was used to doing in Ethiopia as a child.

Instead of studying biology in a classroom, I would interact with the animals on our campus in order to learn about animal behavior. I started taking pictures of the animals and that’s when I got into photography and film.

You created a touring company called Simien Eco Trek. Does your business partner in Ethiopia work with you on film as well?

Yes, when I went back to Ethiopia to film, Muller was my videographer for my film on coffee. I couldn’t afford to have a professional, so I trained him for the times when I had to be in front of the camera.

Before discussing your film The Power of Ethiopian Coffee, could you give me a bit more insight as to what the coffee ceremony represents for Ethiopians?

For Ethiopians, coffee is not just a drink, but a time where they come together to talk about the most important things: economy, politics and all aspects of their lives. Everybody has a role in the ceremony. The men work together to make farming tools, the women weave and make the coffee and the children are in charge of announcing the ceremony to the neighbors.

What was your role in the coffee ceremony growing up?

Before becoming a shepherd for my family, I would announce the coffee ceremony with my best friend Muller, who is now my business partner.

In the trailer for your film that you plan to release in April, you say that you don’t even drink coffee yourself, so where does your interest of sharing the coffee ceremony come from?

You look out there and you see so many people that drink coffee every day. But they don’t even take five minutes to enjoy other’s company when they are lined up at Starbucks. In Ethiopia they spend nine hours of the day preparing for the coffee ceremony.

There are so many more values that we can add into our daily lives. The point of the film is to educate others on the value of the community, the value of the coffee ceremony and the background of where coffee actually comes from.

What a great point. The first thing I do every morning is pop a K-Cup in the Keurig, but I can’t say I’ve taken the time to wonder about its roots. Where does coffee originate from?

It originally came from the Kaffa Province in Ethiopia, and that’s where the name coffee comes from.

When I went back to Ethiopia, I had the opportunity to travel to Kaffa to work on my film. Seeing the beauty there confirmed my interests in making my own business, the touring company.

How do you think your audience will react to seeing this film?

People are going to ask why I wanted to make this and what the key is. I will point out that while this film visually presents Ethiopia on a screen, they can also go and physically experience what they have just seen, by touring with my company.

The film is an advertisement for what you wish to achieve with your company?

Yes, it will be a great strategy for advertisement because I will be able to share information about my touring company as we travel to screen the film in April.

I will tell people that they could have the opportunity to go and experience this in real life. As a reward at the end of the trip, the tourists will go and experience the three-hour long coffee ceremony at my parents’ house.

That’s a very generous offer to open up your home to strangers; what effect do you think that will have for your company?

It will be culturally impressive for tourists and a great strategy, because they will take pictures and post them to social media. All we will have to do is come up with a hashtag for our company and it will get plenty of attention.

That being said, what development do you think the company will have on the community?

Just because I had to walk five hours to get to school every day, doesn’t mean the next generation will have to go that far looking for an education.

The goal of my company is to give some percentage of profits to the community and to expand classrooms beyond the city, so that children like my own brother can go to school and get an education.