Monday, February 29, 2016

Greetings 2.29.16

Hi Readers!

I'm just going to be straightforward with you all: there's a lot of stuff you should know about this week, so I'm just going to lay it out now for you.

Once again, we are taking submissions for The Junction! Submit your ART and WRITING (short stories and poems) to by March 20th. Stop by our office, 3416Boylan to look at previous editions of The Junction and submit to us directly, if you like!

Our WRITER'S CIRCLE meets every TUESDAY from 12:30PM-1:30PM in 2307B.

The English Department's OPEN MIC will be taking place on March 24th from 12:30PM-2:00PM at the Woody Tanger Auditorium in the library. Any sort of visual or auditory performance is welcome; sign up sheet will be posted around March 10th on the door of 3416B. 

NOW, here are some job, internship, and study abroad opportunities for y'all:

The Internship Blurb:

-One Story Program: Good for grads and undergrads. At One Story, interns are introduced to the administrative and editorial responsibilities that contribute to running a successful literary magazine. Daily tasks include fielding customer service emails, assisting with major mailings, and conducting research for organizational projects. The central responsibility, however, is culling promising stories from unsolicited manuscripts and participating in weekly editorial meetings alongside senior staff. This in-depth look at the editorial process has led many interns into the publishing industry, as editors for presses both small and large, and as published writers themselves. 
Summer internships start at the end of May and go through the end of August. Internships are unpaid and require interns to be able to work at our office in Brooklyn for a minimum of 20 hours each week. Please send inquiries along with resumes to

The Job Blurb:

-The Institute of Reading Development: Teach reading to students of all ages this summer. You can earn more than $6,000 during the summer. Teachers typically earn between $550 and $700 per week while teaching. You will gain over 500 hours of teacher-training and teaching experience with a variety of age groups. You will also help students of all ages develop  their reading skills and ability to become imaginatively absorbed in books. The Institute of Reading Development is seeking candidates for summer 2016 teaching positions. 
We seek applicants with an undergraduate degree or higher from any discipline. We provide a paid training program and comprehensive on-going support. We hire people who have strong reading skills and read for pleasure, are responsible, hardworking, and have good communication and organizational skills, and will be patient and supportive with students. The Institute teaches developmental reading programs in partnership with the continuing education departments of more than 100 colleges and universities across the United States. Our classes for students of all ages improve their reading skills and teach them to experience absorption in literature.
We invite you to submit an online application and learn more about teaching for the Institute at:

The Study Abroad Blurbs:

-CUNY-BC Study Abroad in China
Application Deadline: Monday, March 21, 2016
June 1, 2016-June 21, 2016
Estimated program cost: $3,796; plus CUNY tuition & fees (3-7 credits)

-Summer Seminar in Ghana
Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
July 6, 2016-August 8, 2016
Estimated program cost: $4,247; plus CUNY tuition & fees (3 or 6 credits)

-India: Global Health
Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
July 6, 2016-July 27, 2016
Estimated program cost: $4,113; plus CUNY tuition & fees (4 credits)

-The Jadar Project: Archaeological Dig and Field School in Western Serbia
Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
June 13, 2016-July 3, 2016
Estimated program cost: $3,585; plus CUNY tuition & fees (6 credits)

-Media Production and Cultural Studies in South Korea
Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
July 7, 2016-July 27, 2016
Estimated program cost: $3,915; plus CUNY tuition & fees (3 credits)

-Exploring Istanbul: Past and Present (A History of Modern Turkey)
Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 15, 2016
July 6, 2016-July 24, 2016

Estimated program cost: $3,718; plus CUNY tuition & fees (3 credits)

Here's your reward for sitting through all that:


News Briefs 2.29.16

So Cute I Could Eat it--But Really, Though

Global warming, the proven ecological and meteorological phenomenon, melts arctic sea ice.

Polar bears hunt seals using arctic ice platforms.

Arctic ice platforms disappearing means...polar bear cannibalism.

Male polar bears, without access to their usual hunting methods, are eating (sometimes their own) cubs. 

The video is posted on the National Geographic link embedded in this post, not for the faint-hearted.

Walk more, reuse those plastic bags stuffed altogether into one Papa bag, consume responsibly.

Because these animals are only reproducing to produce food. Not to get heavy...


#Shackville Is Trending at UCT

UCT (University of Cape Town) has been dealing with student activism for quite some time now. 

First the students had to deal with race issues on campus but now they are also bringing attention to a housing issue that affects students as UCT as well as their families. Many of the Black students at UCT are struggling with the financial responsibility of their educations and their households at institutions that continue to ignore their plight by consistently imposing fee increases on the students.

They have created replicas of the shacks that 
poor students live in and put them up as a form 
of protest art all over the campus.

Unfortunately in South Africa if you are Black, then most likely you are 
poor and education has become to expensive for many Black students 

Inequality still exists today it haunts South Africa through the legacy of both Cecil Rhodes and apartheid.

One Love,

Lisa Del Sol

Shazam for Plants

For those who do not have and have not used the app Shazam, a quick description: it is an app that allows you to find the names of songs and their artists through sound recognition software, and gets to be very useful when you hear a great song but have no way of knowing or asking about it. 

A few of us have wondered, including myself, whether it would be possible to Shazam other things. And so have the people behind the creation of this new app:

They call it... IdentiPlante.

I was very excited to see this because it seems like a merging of the organic and technological.

This app was developed in France, but is also currently being developed for world wide use. 
At first, it seemed almost too good to be true-- but, its very much real!

How cool would it be if apps were developed far enough that we would be able to vote from our smartphones through fingerprint recognition software? Perhaps it would encourage more people to vote. Our generation has a fascination with all things technological-- and perhaps if this fascination is harnessed, it can be used to improve social conditions, along with our knowledge of botany.

- Anna

Poem of the Week 2.29.16


*Blogger's note: Balancing work, 18 credits, my ministry, my girlfriend, my family, and my two internships has me very confused as of recent. Simply put, I don't know what I want to do with my future, and though I do not graduate until December, societal expectations and my own unrelenting standards have me on the verge of some heavy emotions. Over the years, whenever I have felt this way, I have returned to Dr. Seuss' classic poem. I never received the book myself, but had heard of it so often that I sought it out. I used the regularly joke around in high school that Dr. Seuss is my favorite poet. This poem/story is the reason why. Sometimes I have agreed with it, sometimes not. I am sure I will continue to change my opinion as I live more and more life, but since it's been on my heart and mind so much lately I thought I would share. I mindlessly wrote the added stanzas the other day on the train and for fun I thought would include them. 

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Today is your day, 

You're off to Great Places! 
You're off and away! 

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, 'I don't choose to go there.'
With your head full of brains, and your shoes full of feet, 
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course, 
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do 
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, 
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up! 
You'll be seeing great sites! 
You'll join the high fliers! 
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to says so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lunch
wuth an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then, 
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump, 
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself 
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're dark.
A place that could sprain both elbow and chin! 
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? 
How much can you lose? How much can you win? 

And IF you should go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quaters? Or maybe not quite? 
Or go around and back and sneak from behind? 
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find, 
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused 
that you'll start in to race
down long and wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, 
headed, I fear, toward a most usless place

The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you! 

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where boom bands are playing.

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! 
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be, 
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone! 
Whether you like it or not.
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, theres a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon, 
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the whether be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek, 
though you arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike.
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up of course, 
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many stray birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with you left.

And will you succeed? 
Yes! You will indeed! 
(98 and 3/4 percent garanteed!) 


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Alenn O'Shea
you're off to Great Places! 
Today is your day! 
Your mountain is waiting.
So... get on your way!" 

Oh The Places I've gone,
In these last few years
Bouncing and bouncing 
Through frolic and fears

Lurching and waiting and hoping and praying
And thinking and singing and loving and hating 
What will I be when I grow up? 
Too late, here I am, is it time to give up? 

Is it time to back down or rework the path? 
The calendar pages
Make me cry, make me laugh

Oh the places I've gone in these last few months
The stuff ain't enough, it's frilly with fluff
To think that the end is only beginning
To think there is more than just losing or winning 
I've travelled to valleys, goosebumps on my face
It was hot and then cold and then wet and then...


Oh the places I've gone, in the last few words
The train tracks are bumping to the tune of the herds
The noise and the clapping and the shouting and stills 
The limelight, the night life, the  chills and the thrills 
The sense that it makes when things aren't a mess
The hurt that I've felt when the stars were intense

Oh the places I'll go,
If only I'll try 
I want to go back 
to be willing to fly
So I go back to what's there
And what's there is great
I go back to a past 
That has created this state
To hang ups and bang ups and comics and sweats
To Dr. Seuss books 
Grasshoppers and ants 

And when I go back to the start of what's been
I'll smile with pride and then I'll begin 
But in the meantime, to the places that come
It is better to go than it is to run.

Currently Reading 2.29.16

Where I Read “Unbearable Lightness of Being”
By A.M.

Over the Winter break my family went to Portugal for a little bit, then Morocco for another little bit. Me and my girlfriend like talking ideas, and we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a while. We chose books to read so we could disagree about them and keep a healthy argument going from afar. She had us start with Milan Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being. I loved reading it on the plane, and I loved reading it from the kitchenette of the Airbnb we stayed in while in Portugal. From said kitchenette I had a view that went across the street. The facades of these buildings wore their age with dignity, sporting faded edges dancing around the yellow pastels like a frame, graffiti scribbled with a delicate respect like a patch sewn into a sweater. That’s what I looked up at in between pages from the kitchenette window. I could see into the window directly across from my own. Coming out from said window was a laundry line that an old  woman would string her clothes on every morning. She reminded me of my grandmother. She reminded me of a metronome. I’ve been reading a good bit about modernism in class, and a key aspect of modernism is the treatment of the city. A concern with the city is it’s rhythm. I read Kundera’s book, set in Prague, to the rhythm of Portugal. This was an important realization for me, and I think that reading with this phenomena in mind could add a level of appreciation to the experience that perhaps went unconsidered. I don’t notice the rhythm of New York, I’ve been here for some time and I feel I’ve fallen into it’s dance. I watched for a little while, caught on, and became lost in it. A great achievement in many regards, but what I lost in said transition was an awareness of it’s effect on my experience. I’m sure I read in the rhythm of New York by default. In Portugal I got a chance to watch a city move for the first time, and I read Kundera’s book in beat. I suppose this isn’t a post about the book at all, although there is a lot to talk about within the book. I thought a lot about what strength entails when reading the book. As far as ideas within the novel,the question of strength may not be essential, but it’s what stuck with me. I've been consistently reevaluating what inside of these characters was a factor of their strength and what was a factor of their weakness. The obfuscation of the two colors my meditations on the novel. Maybe Portugal felt more like Kundera’s Prague to me. Perhaps the novel was the metronome, and my experience of the city was informed by its cadence as opposed to the other way around. I don’t think this is the case, but it’s a possibility. My father and I met an artist that lived in an apartment a few blocks from ours. We were invited to his studio and watched him work with salvaged furniture, splintering it and reforming it into a dress around a makeshift mannequin. His mannerisms reminded me of Tomas from Unbearable Lightness of Being, the comfort with which his voice carried authority. He was a Dutch man, and he moved to Lisbon 25 years ago (I forgot exactly how many years ago) chasing love. He is no longer in a relationship with the woman that lured him home, but he assured us they maintain a healthy affair.  

Currently Watching 2.29.16

I was Addicted to a Show About Addiction

I just spent a grueling two weeks watching seven seasons of "Nurse Jackie". Yes, the show ate all my free time. Yes, I stopped seeing sunlight. Yes, I wept at the finale which I stayed up til 5am to watch. And yet, I urge you all to go watch it immediately. Drop what you are doing and go. Are you done? Good. 

Edie Falco as Nurse Jackie

One could say I was addicted to the show, which ironically is what the show is about. It follows the life of Jackie Peyton, an ER nurse who has taken to abusing opioid painkillers and uses an increasingly complicated web of lies and sociopathic behavior to keep her addiction under wraps. It would be easy to draw parallels from this show to real life, what with the painkiller and heroin epidemic  ravaging the country, but I think we'll keep it light for today and focus instead on what quality television like "Nurse Jackie" can teach us about what we need from entertainment. 

It is so often said that we are in the "Golden Era" of television. There are more critically lauded shows than ever and the line between movie star and t.v. star is slowly being blurred, with famous actors like Kevin Spacey joining "House of Cards" and lesser known actors like Jason Momoa jumping from "Stargate Atlantis" and "Game of Thrones" to the new "Aquaman" franchise. With all this "golden" this and "famous" that, one would think our entertainment would be enjoyable to watch, that it might be life affirming or perhaps even fun. It is not. 

Batfleck will be the end of us all

The "Golden Era" has corresponded with the rise of the gritty, realistic everything. Superheroes are no longer allowed to smile on the big screen or the small one. People who are making power plays or having affairs on television aren't being replaced by their evil, mustachioed twins, but they are hiding their wrong doing with the panache of a highly trained spy. Characters' every action or reaction is heightened to the breaking point and everything leads to dire circumstances. Some may argue this is the way entertainment works, to take us out of our day-to-day grind we need to be stimulated by drama and emotional overload. I disagree, and this brings me back to "Nurse Jackie".

Jackie Peyton is certainly no saint (though she does work at All Saints Hospital), but she is no sinner either. What drew me to the show so strongly is that I came to see her as a real person and was invested in her life. Part of what the show does so well is that it allows the audience to understand that Jackie's addiction is a disease. Her actions are measured in order to feed her addiction while she balances being an excellent nurse, wife, and mother. Jackie's actions do have consequences, but they are realistic ones that necessarily follow the logic of her addiction.

The logic of my addiction

 While Jackie's light and dark fight it out inside of her, the ensemble cast with her in the ER is equally perfect. We are introduced to the effervescent nurse-in-training Zoe Barkow (who is my favorite character on any show I have ever seen), the stern but kindly administrator Gloria Akalitus, and the huge yet gentle nurse Thor, to name a few. These characters become fully rounded throughout the series' seven season run, and their own stories become important in finding the balance between light and dark in the story's overarching project, dealing with Jackie's disease. 

"Nurse Jackie" feels like it could breathe. There are moments of levity and tragedy perfectly counterposed in each episode, and though the writing and directing chairs change hands throughout the seasons, there is a consistent level of excellence to be found throughout. "Nurse Jackie" could have been either handwringing and moralistic or gritty and overwrought, but it dodges both easy outs to provide something that I had never thought to find on screen, the real, beating heart of a human being and all the pain, love, and joy that it can hold. 


Currently Eating 2.29.16

When I think weird, unique Filipino dishes I think dinuguan. Now I mean, I can talk about chicken adobo instead because that’s the staple in any Filipino household, but I don’t want to. I’m sorry. Not Sorry.

Dinuguan is a stew typically with pork or other pork related items, simmered in pig blood. I know what you’re thinking. “That’s not kosher!” Well it’s also not vegan. Oh, wait. You said it sounds gross? Well it really isn’t, but maybe that’s just me growing up filling my plate with that delicious stew over rice. In fact, my sister compares it to mac and cheese in flavor (Personally I don’t get that comparison but if it makes dinuguan sound more appetizing just imagine you’re eating a bowl of dark brown mac and cheese).

If you can believe me, dinuguan is a really nice dish and one of my favorites. Here’s recipe!
  • 2 lbs. pork shoulder, cubed
  • 1 lb. pork large intestine, cleaned thoroughly (optional)
  • 1 to 1½ cups pig blood
  • 2 to 3 pieces banana pepper
  • 2 thumbs ginger, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup cane or white vinegar
  • 1 piece pork cube (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a cooking pot.
  2. Saute the garlic, onion, and ginger.
  3. Add the intestine. Saute for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the pork. Cook until light brown.
  5. Pour the water in and add the pork cube. Let it boil. Simmer until the pork becomes tender.
  6. Pour the vinegar in the cooking pot. Let it re-boil.
  7. Add the banana peppers. Cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Stir-in the pig blood and make sure to continuously stir during the first minute to avoid the blood from forming. Cook in low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve with puto. Share and enjoy!
That last step says, “serve with puto.” It’s not what you’re thinking. Puto is a steamed rice cake. Welcome to my confusion as a young child. "Did you just call him a rice cake?" Most of the time, no. No they didn't.

Currently Listening 2.29.16

My roommate Courtney recently pointed out to me that the question of "What music do you like?" is truly terrible for small talk because people always answer so vaguely: "Oh, ya know, a little of this a little of that" or "I listen to everything...except, like, Country." I think she's most definitely right, and I think it's because people get very protective over their music taste (especially highschool and college-age individuals). I definitely fall into that category. I, like most people, have a pretty wide taste range from vareity of spectrums, and I often worry that if I share the wrong chunk of my taste in the wrong crowd I'll be judged or thought of as Other: what's too mainstream for one crowd is too weird and alternative for another. It's a silly anxiety, I know, but at the crux there's definitely an exposing quality about revealing one's favorite music.

With that, I bring you one of my favorite musicians, Emperor X.
Did you guys know that people are bringing cassette tapes back? Why?
Emperor X is the stage name of Chad Matheny. He's pretty far towards the weird side in a lot of ways--Wikipedia describes his music as Noise Pop-Folk--but he's also very good at writing very catchy songs. Matheny began releasing music as Emperor X in 1998 and has since released seven albums, a handful of EPs and singles, and several live recordings. Recently, a live version of Emperor X's "Wasted on the Senate Floor" appeared on Rock 4 Bernie, a fundrasing compilation album for Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

My favorite of his releases is Western Teleport. It's more digestible (i.e. less electronic/ noise-rock-y) than some of his newer releases, and it's fantastic for train rides or long drives.

The first track, Erica Western Teleport, is the most popular among fans, which is interesting because it's mostly nonsense lyrics. It's very pretty though, and it evokes a sort of universal nostalgia.

Emperor X's recorded music is wonderful, but I think he truly shines at live performances. That's definitely a cliche, but Matheny is truly a performer. His shows are innovative, interactive and unpredicatable. He's a one-man act, utilizing a tiny hand held keyboard, a twelve-string guitair, and a varitey of borrowed equipment and backing talent. 
Taken 2/19/16 by Carly Hoskins

I've seen Emperor X twice now and in both instances, Matheny jumped into the audience, even sitting in the center of the floor and creating a kumbaya circle at one event. At a Brooklyn show last Friday, he had Twitter-buddy Kyle act as human teleprompter.  Apparently the song "Schoepenhauer in Berlin" had been completed forty five minutes prior to the event and Mantheny did not yet know the lyrics.

"We tweet about Wittgenstein."

Interestingly, Matheny attended Brooklyn College's grad program in music composition. While he did not graduate, he did record a good amount of music on campus (including a song that appeared on the Veronica Mars movie soundtrack). Matheny currently lives in Germany and tours internationally. The little interaction I have had with Matheny at shows has included discussions of Slavoj Žižek and his experiences of touring on public transit. He's a strange man of diverse interests, and I think that comes across in the music he makes. 

Finally, I leave you with a video of Emperor X performing Canada Day on an electric twelve-string guitar on the side of a highway. Enjoy!