Arts & Culture

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    'Jesus All the Way Through?': Anderson Campbell Speaks at Spring Retreat 2015

    This year’s Spring Retreat took place at Trout Creek Bible Camp and featured George Fox University Christian Studies professor, Anderson Campbell, as the weekend’s speaker. Campbell focused on Philippians 3:2-14 with the topic of “Jesus All the Way Through?” Campbell explained his topic choice, saying, “I picked this topic because it is tempting for us as Christians to merely have a veneer of Jesus … but be filled with all sorts of other stuff on the inside. I wanted to explore what …  stuff stands in our way, and what things we might be able to do in order to become Jesus all the way through.” Students pursued extrinsically and intrinsically spiritual activities such as Campus Pastor Rusty St. Cyr’s list: “relax[ing] a bit with blue skies, huge trees, great food, rock-walls, zip-lines, hiking trails, with friends (old and new) and in solitude with God.” These activities were all left intentionally optional to allow students to seek “retreat” in whichever way they saw best. According to Campbell that best way occurred at “the bonfire on Saturday night… The light and the heat from the fire was welcome. But more than that, the fire offered us an opportunity to make some offerings to God. Students wrote down things that they wanted to give over to God and then they burned those things as a tangible way of expressing their desire to turn and follow Jesus more fully.” Campbell’s sessions were well-received according to attendants. Student Andrew Upchurch said, “I saw people refreshed by the message that Anderson Campbell shared with us.” St. Cyr said, “Anderson Campbell did a brilliant job of inviting us to explore in-depth one simple but rich passage of scripture the entire weekend. I also personally saw and have heard from students who were quite hungry and excited to listen well, to learn deeply, and to apply truth from God’s Word.” All three men wanted to share their excitement over retreats to come as well as their gratefulness for the 2015 Spring Retreat. “Looking forward to Fall Escape back at the coast next Nov. 13-15th with our partner organization Twin Rocks Friends Camp!,” said St. Cyr. “The goal of the weekend was to create a space for rest, retreat, reflection, community, and worship.  From what I could see, I know that this goal was accomplished to a very significant extent,” said Upchurch.
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    Lexie Began: Craving for Animation

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    March 11, 2015
    “I was baking something and it caught on fire,” Lexie Began explained. She is in her junior year and a Cinema Media Communications (CMCO) major at George Fox University, but Film is not her only passion. “I love food,” she said. “I’m not very good at baking.” While broiling the salmon on a rather sensitive oven, she went to check on the pot and her food was alight. Lexie is one of those people who can cook without following the book. “I don’t like having to use a recipe if I don’t have to,” she said. “Like, you know if I get all the ingredients I can just fix them the way that I want. I love that kind of freedom.” Lexie explained that the flaming salmon was not a common occurrence. “I’ve never set anything on fire; this is a first for me,” she said. The freedom that Lexie has in the kitchen is the same freedom that allows for anything to happen in her career as well. As well as cooking, Lexie has a passion for animation. “I’m kind of like a jack of all trades when it comes to animation, but I really lean towards the digital and 3D animation more.” Which is fitting, considering that is her concentration as a CMCO student. Lexie got involved in film and animation at an early age. “Our fifth grade class had this project where we all made stop motion movies,” she said. “So they taught us how to do it and they all looked terrible, but you know, we each did them in our own classes and we had a little film festival in the end and it was really fun.” “I liked it so much, I helped other people with their projects, just helping with filming and editing and stuff,” she said. She continued with it and realized that her passion could become a reality and a career. “I kept on doing it through middle school, and then people were telling me ‘this is something you can actually do as a career.’” Animation has not always been her dream though, “I had originally wanted to be a vet, um, dissecting frogs kind of turns you off to that when you realize, I don’t really want to cut into animals,” she said. And now she has been led here to GFU. Lexie acknowledges that life can take you in many different directions and that she is willing to work  hard no matter where she ends up. “I found out that GFU has a small animation program but that they wanted to make it grow, and I mean I could probably go somewhere else and learn how to do animation much better,” Lexie said, “but I really wanted to help out and just expand our animation program and give recognition to our animation program. “We had to do an animation for our midterm and most people were like, it’s so hard, people hate it. Most film majors really dislike animation,” she admits, but she is not deterred by it. “It’s really hard but it’s really satisfying. I made this thing move from here to here and it looks really cool.” “You get to kind of figure things out and mess up and find fantastic things out by yourself. It’s really fun.” She learns something every day, whether it is about animation or the temperament of the stove. When talking with Lexie her passions are easily visible. Her maturity comes out in the fact that she knows that life comes with messes, challenges, and flaming fish and no recipe, but great things come creating something good and worth indulging in. “I just want to do animation,” she said. “I don’t have any place where I’d love to work… I don’t care if I am working on films or working on games, I just want to do animation.” Lexie does not seem to be too preoccupied in what happens as long as it involves what she loves. She is willing to see where life takes her, which hopefully will involve safe cooking and making animation for those around her to enjoy.

    Nate Ayers: A Passion for the Arts

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    March 10, 2015
    Nathanael “Nate” Ayers played John Brooke in George Fox University’s play Little Women this semester. It was his first show in two years. Last semester he worked as a lighting technician and sound technician on the set of Twelfth Night, the winter play at GFU. Prior to his theatre career at GFU, Nate was involved in his in high school theatre. “I was one of two guys to try out,” said Nate. He had never acted before and suddenly he was playing the lead. The next year he was the lead in his school’s production of Into the Woods. From there, Nate took classes that helped him discover what he wanted to do. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it,” he said. He was told to follow what he was good at, and acting and singing “are two things that I loved and was not terrible at.” Nate speaks passionately about theatre. “That whole process of creating and then keeping my eyes open made me fall in love with the art. It’s an easy art to fall in love with.” He feels that theatre as an art has a lot to say, especially about people and their relationships. He mentioned that one of his favorite things about acting is when an event occurs onstage and the audience’s mouths drop with the suspension of disbelief. He feels important when the audience can be so involved with the story that they have a natural place there and find truth in the story. “Artists have the power to bring attention to things.” Nate said. Such things can often cause people to think about their own lives in a different way because of what is shown in the story onstage. He especially appreciates the theatre program at GFU. He feels as if the program here “focuses on not only creating shows but ministering.” He finds importance in art that makes the viewer think, not just enjoy, but also examine themselves and their own lives. Nate does not take the power of theatre lightly. He wants “to make the art of the musical something that is more relevant to the world.” He has been influenced by musicals such as “Once” and “Sunday in the Park with George,” which are not as mainstream. But Nate feels it is not the mainstream musicals that have the most meaning; they are more for the show and lights. With the powerful effect theatre has, Nate feels like it can be used to show more important things than just singing cats or a theatre ghost. He wants to see change in the world of theatre in this way. If given the opportunity he would direct or write musicals. He admits the difficulty of this; “with theatre you cannot just show, you have to tell. A good writer does not waste words. “I plan to keep auditioning for everything that Fox does,” Nate said. After getting his undergraduate degree he plans on going to graduate school and getting his Master of Fine Arts. In the meantime, he spends the majority of his days in Ross and Bauman, as he takes singing and acting classes, and his evenings in the theatre as he works with the theatre department. Even when he does not get a part in a play, he is still willing to work on the production. It is what he is passionate about and with those who feel the same.

    A Balance of Marriage and College: Matt and Vivienne Inlow

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    February 26, 2015
    Matt and Vivienne Inlow are a married couple that attend George Fox University. They are both music majors in their senior year. Before attending GFU, they attended community college and participated in their church’s youth and music ministries. Because of this, they had several years together as a couple before attending GFU. Matt and Vivienne at 15-2003 Matt and Vivienne at graduation-2006 Matt and Vivienne in Rome-2007 Matt and Vivienne began dating when they were 15 and were engaged when they were 19. I asked them if they thought if people should be a certain age before getting married, or if they believed qualifying for marriage was more concerned with the maturity of the relationship. Vivienne said that she definitely thinks the maturity of the relationship is a larger factor. However, age can be a factor, because a person changes so much from 19 to 30, so you have to be willing to grow as a couple through that. College is a time of change in and of itself. I asked Matt and Vivienne if being married while attending college could be stressful. Matt and Vivienne said that, because they had been married for several years before starting college, it was a little different. Matt said, “[the] first year of marriage, you’re getting to know each other and learning how to live with each other.” Vivienne mentioned that if a couple got married while in college it could be more challenging because of that fact. She said that it would not be bad, but probably challenging. “If you’re really confident with that person,” she said, “…and know it’s the right thing to do, I think it’d be a really cool story and a really cool experience.” Marriage and college could be hard to balance; a common motif for college students is staying up late and getting little sleep. Matt and Vivienne said it is still a part of life as a married couple, if not more. Matt mentioned that when you live off campus you have to cook, clean, and pay bills much more than those who live on campus. Also, when you are married, you have another person’s schedule to worry about—“You have somebody to take care of and be mindful of.”  They used the following example: If they were alone, they might do homework while eating dinner, but because they are eating together they decide to watch Netflix or something similar instead. They both realize that marriage adds extra time in your schedule, but also adds extra experiences with a best friend. You have someone to do homework with, a shoulder to cry on, and a friend to walk with you through the stress of the college experience.      

    Life of a Non-Traditional Student

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    February 7, 2015
    Originally published in the print on Deb. 8, 2014. I meet Kenneth Hoover as he reaches the top of the stairs going to the first floor of the library. With a smile on his face, he asks, already knowing the answer, “We are going back down to the ARC for the interview, right?” I cannot help but chuckle and reply, “Yep.” Hoover often wears a baseball cap. The hat today is black, with the words “God’s Army” stitched on the front right side. As we sit down at one of the round tables inside the Academic Resource Center, Hoover, an Army vet and a junior majoring in Social Work, begins to tell me how he heard about George Fox University. “Before I got out of the military in 2011, I met a chaplain that worked with people with substance abuse issues,” Hoover said. “I told him that something has been tugging at me to work with people since I come from a family who experienced alcohol issues.” Hoover continues to reveal to me how the chaplain encouraged him to look at GFU, which had a reputation of supporting students. Their beliefs also matched his, and they had a program that would aid him in his call to serve those battling with addiction. Hoover started his journey to GFU by attending Olympic Community College in Washington, where he met certain prerequisites before transferring here. Hoover’s first week on campus, as a Bruin, was a good experience—mainly due to a meeting with Dr. Cliff Rosenbohm, who discussed what the big picture looked like with regard to the social work program. I ask Hoover what his first impression was as a nontraditional student. “I left a school where there were a lot of people starting back over again. When I walked on campus here, I did not see a lot of people like me,” Hoover said. “I did not see a lot of people looking like me, with gray hair and almost fifty years old. But I was pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere, the holding open of doors, the smiles, the hellos, and the maturity level of some of the students, especially in my classes.” As he continues to share his story with me, his servant’s heart guides each response and lightens up the room. As a nontraditional student, Hoover would like to see “some kind of gathering in which maybe we could start a support group for each other, whether it would be outside of campus or something where we can relax together and talk together.” Currently, GFU does not have anything specifically geared towards nontraditional students. David Weber, a graphic art design major and nontraditional student, is already seated in the Bruin Den waiting for me. Like Hoover, he also has an affinity for baseball caps. Weber served in the army for 16 years and was deployed in the first Gulf War, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. He hardly ever slouches and is very keen on keeping eye contact. When I ask him how he heard about GFU, he sits a little straighter and tells me his wife is an alumnus. He recalls his first week of school as “scary!” Thankfully, Weber was placed in contact with people such as Dr. Rick Muthiah who are at GFU to help students. He does not know other nontraditional students on campus very well. I ask him if he thinks nontraditional students are accepted on campus and he quickly answers, “No.” Weber shifts in the chair before continuing. “Sometimes it is the instructor. [For the younger students] it is the fact that I am as old as their parents. It gets weird for them to talk to me, so they don’t. Sometimes an instructor can treat me like a twenty-year-old.” As I probe further, I inquire if he can think of a way GFU might address the disconnect he sees with nontraditional students. Without missing a beat, Weber answers, “I think the instructors need to be aware [and] pay attention to the fact that [nontraditional students] have life experience…and adjust accordingly.” Dawn Killion, a junior in the nursing program and also an army veteran, believes that nontraditional students should not have to take LACI because most of them have “life experience,” just as Weber said. Killion sits down on the other side of a table and smiles; she almost said “no” to this interview. She first knew of GFU because she lives 20 minutes away. Killion recalls her first week as “completely overwhelming!” She continues, “First of all coming back to school, being 40, and then being around students who were 18 or 20—it was intimidating in a weird way.” Killion had several teachers who prayed in class, which affirmed for her that she was where God wanted her to be. There are several nontraditional students in the nursing program, but Killion is not connected with all of them. She is nervous about the upcoming Juniors Abroad trip to Ecuador this May because she knows no one in the class, not to mention anyone her age. Killion does not let age hold her back from creating relationships on campus. However, she does not think she would participate in a gathering of nontraditional students because any free time she has is dedicated to spending with her husband, son, and daughter. When I ask her if professors treat her differently because she is an older student, Killion replies, “Some of them are kind of weird, most of them have been good at talking to me on my level and just really treating me my age.” Killion pauses for a moment. “But I have other teachers who don’t quite know what to do with me, and that is frustrating. But overall, things have been pretty good.” Hoover, Weber, and Killion’s views on being a nontraditional student reveal that there is a major gap with similar students on campus. Most nontraditional students live off-campus—some with families. Balancing home and schoolwork does not always allow for an ‘80s Dance (of which all interviewees can say they attended in the actual ‘80s) or Glow-in-the-Dark Slip and Slide. Nontraditional students usually do not read The Crescent or attend ASC functions. However, they do feel nontraditional students have no collective voice.    

    A Review of Taylor Swift "Shaking It Off"

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    December 11, 2014
    Taylor Swift is “shaking off” her country image and making her way to the pop scene with her new album, “1989.” The album was released in October through Big Machine Records. The new album has thirteen tracks, uses heavy drum beats as well as synthesizers, and has more of a processed feel to it than Swift’s previous albums. The songs lyrics still have Swift’s trademark subject of complicated relationships, a trait that she has come under fire for in the past. This review will focus on Swift’s two singles that came from the album, “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off.” Taylor Swift has had her good and bad moments with media, especially when it comes to her numerous relationships with high profile men. She addresses this in her song “Blank Space.” The first time I heard this song on the radio, I had no idea that it was by Taylor Swift. “Blank Space” has a different feel to it than songs from her earlier albums. I really like the song’s beat and melody. Listening to the song, I felt myself having my own personal dance party. My feet began tapping and pretty soon I was head bobbing. This is a song that I wouldn’t mind hearing multiple times on the radio; it has enough of a variety in the lyrics to not get too repetitive. When listening to the song, I was at first confused about what a “Starbucks lover” was. Only later did I find out that the lyrics were “Got a long list of ex-lovers.” This was not only slightly embarrassing, but also provided me with quite the puzzle. What exactly would a Starbucks lover be? A person you met at Starbucks and fell in love with? A Starbucks worker? A lover who is obsessed with Starbucks? I will never know. After watching the music video for “Blank Space,” I’m convinced that this song is a giant troll on Swift’s part. The most telling line of the song is the one that I misheard: “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane.” Not only is Swift addressing her past, she is also telling people to think about how she got the reputation in the first place. How many ex-boyfriends paint former girlfriends  in the best light, and vice versa? In the music video she starts off in a relationship with a handsome man. Things seem to be going great; they ride bikes in the house, go horseback riding, walk their three doberman pinschers in formal evening attire (cause who doesn’t do that) and even carve their names in a tree. Things take a turn for the worse when Handsome McCharming Pants is caught in what we can assume is cheating behavior. This is never clearly shown. Swift seems to go off the deep end. Things like attacking his car with a golf club, taking an ax to their tree, and dropping his phone in a fountain are only the beginning of her behavior towards him. In the end a new guy, Handsome McCharming Pants II, shows up to start this cycle all over again. This music video clearly shows what most people would think of as an insanely jealous woman. That is the beauty of it: by pointing out this crazy extreme insanity, Swift shows that she is not actually the man-eating psycho some make her out to be. Really she has had several bad relationships with men who broke her heart. The only insane thing that she has done is write breakup songs referring to these ex’s. There is also an element of beware of breaking her heart in the future, because there is a blank space in her next hit single just waiting for her to write your name in if you mess up.  The other single in the album is “Shake it off.” “Shake It Off” has been playing on the radio since October. Though I love the message of this song, to not let the haters get to you, I am starting to get a little tired of hearing it over and over again. The fact that the song has very repetitive phrases doesn’t help this either. Another point of repetition is the ex-boyfriend theme. In one of the last verses Swift can’t help but again make mention of her former men: “My ex-man brought his new girlfriend, she’s like ‘Oh, my god!’ but I’m just gonna shake.” This song has a good message: players are going to play you, haters are going to hate on you, heart breakers will try and break you, and fakers are going to fake it, but you have to just “shake it off.” Due to the hate that Swift has been receiving in the media lately, this song seems to be the perfect response. No matter what people say or do, you can’t let it get to you. Instead dance to your own beat and know that everything will be okay. In her music video she plays several different dance roles, all in adorable awkward Taylor Swift fashion. She dances ballet, hip hop, jazz and is even a cheerleader. I personally thought that the Lady Gaga-ish dance/costume was particularly delightful. A point of controversy over the video was the fact that Taylor Swift tried her own version of twerking. The fact that Swift tried to dress like a black woman and uncomfortably twerk was not something that everyone one agreed with. Some said that this was racist, and that she was poking fun at the African American culture. I honestly don’t think that Swift’s intention was to be racist, but I find the image of her trying to twerk awkward. (And not in a good way!) Overall I really liked Swift’s new songs. As for her dancing, I don’t think that she should quit her day job, but that kind of proves her point: haters are just gonna have to hate. Just for fun here is a version of the song that has been cleverly synced with an old Aerobics Championship.

    The Weekly Dress with Melissa Harris: Happy Holiday Dresses!

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    December 11, 2014
        Looking forward to all of those Christmas and New Year’s parties… what to wear, what to wear. As the holidays approach in this crazy and busy season, let what you wear be the least of your worries. It is possible to look fantastic, make your friends envious, and still keep your budget intact.       There are of course great black and white possibilities, as well as the classic red. Sequence and flash are always in, especially when it comes to the shoe. Your outfit can be more muted as you dress it up with a powerful pair of shoes, or chunky necklaces and earrings. And remember that great clutch purses are always in and fun to carry. And if its comfort you’re looking for, making a statement piece with colored jeans and a blouse is always good too.       It’s also good to play with your hairstyle. Try pulling your hair back in a tight and slick bun or making it wavy and letting it fall down off your shoulders. There are also eye-catching hair accessories with feathers and rhinestone pieces that will add to your look.   This Week’s Top Tip: The holidays can be a stressful time. It’s okay to dress down, but treat yourself to at least one time where you get to dress it up. Grab some once-loved or seldom-used clothes and shoes from your closet. You can also play it up with your make-up being on the lighter and simpler side, paired with a drastic eye shadow or lipstick. Don’t forget that second hand is always recommended and be bold enough to live outside your box.  

    Holiday-Inspired Refreshments Review

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    December 2, 2014
    The winter holiday season is right around the corner! In a short time Christmas will be here, and the store aisles are already brimming with candy canes, stockings and Christmas decorations. So before Thanksgiving is over I decided to review some of the season’s food and drinks. Seriously before we know it the Christmas season will be upon us. Subway, home of the “five, five dollar footlong!” (Even though they aren’t currently running that special, I always sing that catchy jingle.) Right now, and for as long as supplies last, Subway is featuring a Thanksgiving inspired sandwich called the Northwest Turkey and Cranberry. It’s like a regular sandwich with a hint of Thanksgiving dinner. The tomatoes were a little odd paired with cream cheese and cranberry sauce. I’m also not sure how I felt about the cream cheese that went with the sandwich. Though it was probably the best choice of cheese to go with the cranberry sauce, I would definitely go with out the cheese spread next time. I liked the cranberry sauce, it was sweet and paired with the turkey and bread very well. The honey oat bread tasted like a dinner roll and reminded me of the times I’ve been finishing Thanksgiving dinner and sopped up the last of my turkey, cranberry and gravy from my plate with my roll. It was delicious, minus the tomatoes and cream cheese. The effect that Subway was going for was a Thanksgiving dinner, and while not fully achieving this, the elements were there. I would recommend this sandwich with two thumbs up, it’s the perfect meal to get one into the Thanksgiving spirit. Dutch Brothers is a favorite coffee place among George Fox University students, especially because they run lots of student specials. Right now they have a seasonal drink special called the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Breve. Here is a picture of the advertised drink, but be careful because looks can be deceiving. I was excited to try this beverage because when I think of brown sugar I think of delicious oatmeal covered in the melted brown sugar or sweet potato casserole covered in a layer of brown sugar, a dish that my family always enjoys for Thanksgiving. The Brown Sugar Cinnamon Breve was not at all what I was expecting. It is not a drink that I will ever be having again. One sip was enough to know that this is not a drink that my taste buds approved of. It took everything that I could to actually swallow the first small sip. This drink tasted empty, it was like melted butter with a hint of dry cinnamon. It reminded me of a Chai without any flavor. I was severely disappointed with this drink and would not recommend it to anyone. The Human Bean, a new addition to Newberg, has become a popular coffee place with GFU students as well. Its close proximity to the campus and reasonable prices make it a popular place to grab a caffeinated beverage. With Christmas right around the corner I decided to try their Peppermint Mocha. It was a definite win. I chose to have the drink blended and it was delicious. It had rich flavor and I was very satisfied. The drink was sweet and the chocolate, mint and coffee mixed very well together. It sort of reminded me of those little chocolate mints that you get at restaurants with the bill. I really enjoyed this drink and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes mint and chocolate. One doesn’t have to dance with a turkey on their head to get into the holiday spirit. Grab a Northwest Turkey and Cranberry Sub from your local Subway and then swing by the Human Bean for a delicious mint mocha. At all costs though, avoid the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Breve from Dutch Brothers.

    A Review of NBC's "The Mysteries of Laura"

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    December 1, 2014
    Fall has officially been here for a little while and so have the new fall television shows. When life gets busy, it’s easy to get behind on favorite shows or not have time to check out new ones. Back in September a new show called “The Mysteries of Laura” premiered on NBC as a new crime fighting comedy. The previews looked intriguing and funny, and so this show was put on my list of things to watch when I had the chance. I really wanted to like this show; I mean, it stars Debra freaking Messing, but after I viewed the 40 minute pilot, I felt very disappointed. This show had a lot of potential to be great, but the pilot did not sell me. Shows with strong female cop leads are nothing new to the television world, but “The Mysteries of Laura” tries to take a bit of a different angle. In the pilot episode, we meet recently divorced Detective Laura Diamond (Debra Messing) who works as a top police detective for the NYPD. She is asked by her boss to help with some investigation work for a man who has been receiving death threats. Laura and her boss go to the man’s residence and he is murdered before they are even able to leave the driveway to go home. Laura works with her partner Billy Soto (Laz Alonso) and her team at the precinct–Max Carnegie (Max Jenkins), a computer geek and Meredith Bose (Janina Gavankar), another detective–to solve the murder. All the while she must cope with the stress of being a mother to two rambunctious twin boys, Nicholas and Harrison Broderick (Charles and Vincent Reina) who are quite the holy terrors. At the same time she must balance dealing with her ex-husband Jake Broderick (Josh Lucas), a fellow police officer, who is more work than help. In the end, Laura is able to find the lead that cracks the case and through unforeseen events her ex  becomes her boss at the police station, further complicating their relationship. “The Mysteries of Laura” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC, and interestingly enough, the character of Detective Laura Diamond was adapted from a Spanish television series called “Los misterios de Laura.”   The pilot episode had some funny moments, but there were several aspects that I did not care for. To begin, I am not sure how I felt about Lara’s character. I liked her spunk, and though I felt that she was one of the strongest characters on the show, I also couldn’t help but feel that her character was a bit unbelievable. There were too many shifts back and forth between personality types. One minute she was in sweats and mom mentality, the next she was being the manly “bro” type at work and then in the next scene she was the sexy put-together woman who radiated femininity. In one scene, she would be painted as the overstressed, overworked, hanging-on-by-a-thread-for-her-sanity mom role. She would then walk into the police station like she owned the place, blow the case wide open with little to no clues and have nerves of steel when shooting at a suspect. All the while maintaining a stereotypical manly vibe of overconfidence, portraying and proving that she was a force to be reckoned with.   Let me be clear: I am not saying that I don’t think that moms can be good cops or successfully balance the two full time jobs of having a career and being a mom. I actually like the idea that this is trying to promote, but I felt that the constant shifts in her character made her feel unnatural. The writers of the show were counting on the fact that Debra Messing was so likable in the early 2000’s hit sitcom “Will and Grace” that she could hold together the show and frankly though Laura is a funny and capable woman, I don’t think that she is able to do this. Ex-husband Jake Broderick The cast of supporting characters just did not do anything for me, except irritate me. Laura’s ex-husband Jake is, for lack of a better word, a total jerk. He’s the stereotypical ex who comes in and tries to be the “cool dad,” bringing pizza and Nerf guns to reward his disobedient children, all the while manipulating Laura and trying to have a say in her life. He constantly cancels on watching the kids and spending time with them. He seems to think that it is okay to shirk all fatherly responsibilities, and leave Laura to fend for herself with the boys, even if she had plans or needs to work herself. This wouldn’t have bothered me as much if the writers would have allowed me to just think he was a sleaze and leave it at that. Instead they constantly try to make him charming; just because someone is handsome and flashes a smile does not mean that they are excused from their horrible behavior. The children, though they are cute, are devious brats. Though they say things like “Sawwy mommy!”, this does not excuse their horrible behavior, which seems to be left unpunished and even rewarded. The children are also allowed to run around the police station, terrorizing the place with, again, no consequences, which doesn’t seem likely to be allowed in a real police station. Another character I had a problem with was Meridith Bose, a fellow detective at the precinct. It seemed like her only purpose in the show was to be a sex symbol. Every scene I saw her in, she wore a tight tank top that left nothing to the imagination when it came to cleavage. When comparing her to Laura, who is coming to work in turtlenecks and trench coats (meaning it’s obviously cold outside) this becomes especially apparent. I get that shows like to make women dress provocatively, probably to ensure a male demographic, but they could at least make an attempt to make her look a bit more professional. She was also shot down every time she had anything to say, which might contribute to why she seemed like not a very nice person. Maybe she has a larger role in further episodes, but as for the pilot, I felt like the plot would have been fine without her. Detective Meridith Bose Still I couldn’t help but keep thinking that this show felt like a mashup of other crime series that I have already seen before. The show tries to take some fresh angles by making the single mom trying to raise kids a bigger part of the plot, but overall it felt like the show has already been done before. Even though there were a lot that I simply didn’t like about this show there were a few things that I did enjoy. I liked some of the comedy of Laura’s character. Laura had some funny lines and had some spot on physical comedy that had me giggling. Laura unashamedly “jamming out” to the radio. I also enjoyed some of the cuts and editing that the show played with. In one scene Laura and her partner Billy were examining evidence and the screen was cut into two shots. One view showed the two detectives, the other view showed what they were looking at in the box, almost as if the viewer was seeing through the eyes of the detectives. I felt that it was cut very strategically and I really liked being given those two views at the same time. I also enjoyed the fact that Laura’s character wasn’t the most clean or organized person in the world. Seeing her messy car, which looked like a small hurricane had blown through strewing behind toys, goldfish crackers and paint, made me feel a whole lot better about the soda that’s been sitting in my console for a week. Even though the pilot was not my favorite, I’d still be willing to give this show another try and maybe watch one more episode to see if it improves at all. The pilot had a few good moments, but I would not recommend watching this show. I really wanted to like “The Mysteries of Laura,” but I guess you can’t win them all. Below is the link to a trailer of the show: “The Mysteries of Laura” Trailer

    The Weekly Dress With Melissa Harris: Men’s Trends Welcome Back Letterman Jackets

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    November 26, 2014
        Fall fashion doesn’t discriminate against gender, so why should we? Let’s let the boys in on all the fun. Layering is always in for looking great in the cold weather with sweaters, scarves and jackets complimented with ties. But something we haven’t seen for a while is Letterman jackets. Yes, the jackets you wore in high school with your school’s logo on it. Back in style on a major level you say… yes, and they are hot. We can also see a trend in tandem with these jackets in the lower v-cut, three button “old man” sweater. This style looks great over a dress shirt and tie or even with a t-shirt.             These looks can be playful for a day on campus, a Friday night football game, or worn for a job interview. You can also go so far as to having the George Fox logo put on your jacket or sweater. There is a local shop in Hillsboro called LaHaie’s, which deals exclusively in putting logos on jackets, sweaters, and even socks. So let your college pride show and flaunt your great fashion sense. And bow ties seem to be making it through the seasons too, so compliment your look with a great solid or patterned print. Don’t be shy to buy second hand, especially if you are on a budget. These items can be found new or used. Bargain hunting isn’t just for the ladies.     This Week’s top Tip: Don’t be afraid to put a little thought into your daily duds. The ladies like a man who can dress for the occasion, beyond sport shorts and sneakers. Having some play in your wardrobe can be as simple as owning a few key pieces.    

    The Weekly Dress With Melissa Harris: Staying Warm and Stylish!

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    November 24, 2014
        Walking around campus feeling the chill of winter… we can be prepared and not sacrifice our unique style just to bundle up. There are so many great ways to layer, and also to cover the head, neck and hands while still looking fantastic! We can see the latest in matching headbands, gloves, scarves and hats that match and go great together. There are so many choices from knit and cotton scarves, fingerless gloves and mittens to breathable athletic material that we can wear for our outside workouts. The Blue Zone bookstore even has great fleece bands with our school logo on them.               The infinity scarf is a great cold weather accessory as it bundles around the neck and doesn’t slip or fall down like a regular scarf might. The scarf is a wonderful alternative to wearing a necklace because it’s simple, warm and can really play up an outfit. The big knit scarf is great as well, thrown over the shoulder or just hanging down. The newest headbands can be just a simple one color design, or show off large flowers and ribbons woven in and out of it. You can also wear a traditional thin hair band accessory around the larger knit band around to accent your long locks and add some flare.     Short hair is also fun to work with, as a great band or knit hat can have your shorter do curling out from underneath. The possibilities are endless, so express yourself and stay warm!   This Week’s Top Tip: Dress appropriately for the weather conditions, including covering your head, hands and feet. This can be your last line of defense for staying healthy. The other trick is controlling your cool downs from your work outs, especially when you exercise outside. This is a tough one, but it can be a major way to get sick if not done properly. Bundle up even though you will be sweating, take your Vitamin D and C, and stay hydrated.