The Columbia River Gorge is known for being a giant evergreen playground for hikers, and for scarcely being able to look any direction without seeing a majestic waterfall right in front of your face. It’s also known for being the birthplace of windsurfing which, if you happen to go out there without checking the weather first, will become apparent as soon as you step outside and start chasing your hat: the wind is pretty extraordinary! But what a lot of people don’t realize is that just past Cascade Locks, Middle Earth makes a small appearance. When heading east on I-84, take exit 44 into Cascade Locks and take a right towards downtown. After continuing on Frontage Rd. and taking a left on Wyeth Rd. you will soon come to a stop where the road ends at a gate. This place is called Government Cove. There are several paths that go up and around the short cliffs that make up the small peninsula. The rock formations are unlike anything else that can be seen in the area. The short, moss-like grass covering the tops of the cliffs and the small fields on the ground appear to be imported straight from New Zealand or Scotland. At times, it seems as if all that’s missing is Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli riding up to Rohan, or warg riders charging at men on horses. All of this lies right in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge, with dramatic mountains that be seen on either side, just so you don’t forget completely that you are still in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the cliffs there are to explore, there is a jetty that extends out from here, allowing you to get an amazing view of the cove with the mountains in the background. It also give you an opportunity to experience the Gorge from the middle of the river, without having to take a ride on a boat. A great way to cap off the day here is to build a fire in one of the many fire pits dispersed throughout the peninsula. This spot proves to be a great place to get a solid dose of exploration, without being tired after a hike or running into crowds taking selfies. Or running into orcs for that matter, most likely.
December 7, 2015Let’s face it: cooking in residence halls is almost impossible. And for me, cooking in general is pretty impossible. So when faced with the task of feeding myself in college, the prospects were pretty bleak. And I’m a student who doesn’t even like to cook. I feel bad for students who love to cook, but don’t have a place to do so successfully. Because let’s be honest, the community fridge is sort of a free for all (although I admit to nothing). Also, where are you supposed to store cooking utensils? Storage space is limited as it is. Perhaps you could leave your cooking supplies in the floor’s kitchen, but there are definite trust issues there. I wouldn’t necessarily want my pot to become the community pot; that would be plain unsanitary. I’m assuming. Or maybe I’m just selfish with my saucepans. With all of this in mind, I have scoured the internet, researched for hours and hours, just in order to bring to you the best recipes that would be easy to make in a dorm room, recipes I will be sharing and detailing my own possibly-disastrous experiences with. It’s going to be a lot of fun. So, first on the list (drum roll please…): Top Ramen! No, but actually. This recipe is what I will call ‘upscale’ ramen— special ramen made all within the comforts of your own residence hall. This recipe is ridiculously easy, not even I could mess it up this time around. Needed ingredients: Ramen (duh) One egg (or two if you like eggs) Spice of your choice (I chose a nice Creole seasoning, on sale at the local Fred Meyer) The first problem I encountered while making this meal was what to cook it in. At first I thought I was going to resort to the microwave, but luckily there was a clean pot in the kitchen unattended on the stove (see, this is why I would have trust issues). Once you have a pot, it should be relatively smooth sailing. Step one: boil water. How much water you may ask? Good question. I just eyeballed it, the package says two cups but nobody left any measuring cups in the kitchen for me to use. Step two: put the block of ramen into the pot. Or crush it up first, whatever works best for your ramen needs. Step three: beat your egg in a cup, and then remove ramen from stove top when done. Then, (this is the really fun part) pour the egg slowly into the ramen as you stir. This was my first time making ramen with egg in it, and watching the egg cook itself just about blew my mind. Step four: pour ramen into a bowl, then add spice to taste (I recommend Creole but that’s just me). Step five: enjoy! If I’m going to be honest here, I was not expecting this recipe to go well. I thought it was going to be kind of disgusting, but I was ready to try residence hall cooking and see how it worked out. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the end result. It was a solid 7.8/10, would make again, if only to use more of the large container of Creole seasoning I bought. The final product. Look at that steaming bowl of mediocrity. Needed ingredients: egg, ramen, and seasoning. Simple as that.
November 13, 2015Ah, the nostalgia of a letterman’s jacket. This classic wardrobe staple, a man’s jacket with elasticized sleeves, a boxy shape, and a snap closures, has been around since as early as the 19th century, when Harvard University brought them into vogue for their baseball team. The bright school colors, raised emblems and football numbers of this garment, sometimes also called a varsity jacket, bring to mind crisp fall afternoons spent at football rallies eating cracker jacks and caramel apples. In former days, a player would often lend his letterman’s jacket to his girlfriend, who would wear it proudly to show others that she was “taken.” Today, lovers of vintage fashion can enjoy experimenting with the letterman’s jacket. Below I list a few ideas to try; but don’t limit yourself to just one or two looks, because the possibilities are endless! Go classic Wear your letterman’s jacket like a gal in the forties would have: paired with a pleated skirt, a crisp blouse, and penny-loafers or brogues. To be even more authentic, try curling your hair and tying it back with a ribbon. Add red lipstick to turn up the forties effect! Go edgy Take a cue from artists and celebrities like Gabriel Aplin and Gigi Hadid, who combine the vintage kitchiness of the letterman jacket with modern edge. In her music video “Home,” Aplin wears ripped jeans, a graphic tee, sheer socks, and block-heel sandals. Her hair is cut in choppy bangs and is styled to look mussed and undone. Hadid pairs her distressed, dark-toned jacket with jeans and black ankle booties, along with a sweater slung casually around her hips. Her hair is sleekly parted down the middle and her makeup is modern and simplistic. For this look, the jacket is clearly the focal point to an otherwise streamlined outfit. Go fancy Nothing is so unexpectedly elegant as the pairing of a fancy dress with a menswear coat. So if you’re feeling especially daring this Friday night, add a little masculine to your feminine by throwing a varsity jacket over your going-out ensemble. For maximum effect, wear a bodycon-fit dress and keep your shoes and accessories simple; this will help to balance the bulkiness of the jacket. Every era leaves future generations with defining cultural expressions in the form of clothing. The letterman jacket is one of those classic garments that keeps us both warm and stylish more than one hundred years after its invention. Have fun experimenting with this iconic fashion staple!
November 13, 2015Sir Salman Rushdie is a prize-winning British-Indian writer best known for his novels “Midnight’s Children” and “The Satanic Verses,” the latter of which led to accusations of blasphemy against Islam in 1988, sending him into hiding for several years. Nonetheless, he never stopped writing; since his first book in 1975, Rushdie has written eleven novels, as well as children’s books, a collection of short stories, and four non-fiction books. His twelfth novel, “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights,” was published in September by Random House. In “Two Years,” the sky splits open and a war between the jinni and the humans breaks out, raging on for two years, eight months, and 28 nights – or, in other words, 1,001 nights. Stories unfold to reveal other stories and weave into and around one another, defying proper summarization. The book opens with Ibn Rushd, a Muslim philosopher from the twelfth century, for its outermost layer, and at the center of it all lies Dunia the jinni, the Lightning Princess, blending history and mythology together. Rushdie’s work of magical realism brings “One Thousand and One Nights” into the modern world, drawing on its narrative frame structure, the struggle of life and death, and folktale storytelling. The novel combines satirical wit with unflinching thoughtfulness to create a tone of intimacy with the reader, like a story told between close friends. The story invokes Arab, Persian, and Indian mythology and spans across millennia and cultures to reach out to as many audiences as will answer its enchanting call. Newcomers to Rushdie’s fiction may have a difficult time deciphering some of the messages and images he implants into his conflict between good and evil, faith and reason; Rushdie suggests that human imagination relies upon hate and violence – that the balance between humanity’s ability to create and ability to destroy is a crucial facet of the human experience, both individually and collectively. Many other such philosophical and spiritual ponderings are subtly imbedded deep into the prose. The disorganized story-within-story structure may also turn away those who prefer a straightforward plotline. “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights” is a captivating novel with layers of satire, philosophy, theology, and symbolism. Whether the reader is a devoted follower of Rushdie delving into his ideological depths or only wants to pick up a unique experience to pass the time, the novel is an entertaining and captivating read.
November 10, 2015Last Saturday night, George Fox University hosted a talent show where several people were allowed to put their talents in the limelight and bask in the applause. Among those talents (and carrying an impressive amount of praise) was Nathaniel Burmeister. Burmeister beat boxed to the tune his choir team sang and the audience was changed and impressed. He is a Cinema and Media Communications major with a minor in Computer Science and a member of the William Penn Honors Program. If that doesn’t sound like a plate full, he also juggles photography, singing, choir, and RA Life. “Ranked from third to first I would love an internship in Portland, Seattle,” said Burmeister, “and my first choice would be going with the CTO program over to Nashville and spending a summer over there working either in the studios or doing a partnership with Belmont University.” Several people will agree that Burmeister’s natural excitement and passion for life rubs off on the people around him. His drive and hard earned talent gives him energy unique only to him. “My mom and dad,” said Burmeister, “definitely put a lot of emphasis on, ‘You try a whole bunch of things,’ and did not put any emphasis on, ‘if you fail then it’s just not meant to be.’ Persistence is one of the biggest things they emphasized.” During the quiet hours Burmeister finds himself turning to his stress relievers. Burmeister calls himself an extraverted-introvert and turns to singing, reading, or watching TV to recharge. “My favorite book for a while has been The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis,” said Burmeister. “There have been very few books that I’ve read and have kept me up in the very early morning hours reading. That’s one of them.” Burmeister finds a way to inspire the people around him either with the talent he show’s in his music or the passion he puts into his studies.
November 10, 2015A young woman walks across her college campus wearing a short black dress with torn, knee-high black stockings and clunky Doc Martens. A few years ago, she might have been the recipient of some judgmental stares. But in 2015, ’90s grunge is a real thing, and her fashion sense is right on the money. What is ’90s grunge, anyway? Acid wash blue jeans and chokers come to mind, as do short, choppy haircuts and plaid shirts slung lazily around hips. Think back to movies like Clueless, and shows like My So Called Life; the decade of the ’90s had a distinct look that was both carelessly simple and purposefully frumpy. The 2015 take on ’90s grunge thrives on minimalism, so when you’re shopping online (or in your parents’ basement), look for shades of black and white. A white tee with rolled sleeves tucked into a pair of slightly baggy high-rise jeans is a perfect place to start. If I could choose a word to describe 90’s grunge, it would be “substantial.” Nothing about it is frilly or ethereal; the fabrics of grunge are hefty denim, wool, and stiff cotton. This look has to come across as carefree: you got up this morning, grabbed a mug of black coffee, and threw on your clothes before hurrying off to band practice. This style is not for the faint of heart, but it is blessedly easy, and the sturdy fabrics and full coverage silhouettes are perfect for the colder months. The look goes from frumpy to luxe when silhouettes like boxy turtleneck sweaters are recreated in quilted cotton, in various shades of soft pink, mustard, and baby blue. Even baggy overalls get a fresh interpretation with gold hardware and cuffed hems. If you’re needing inspiration for your own foray into ’90s grunge, check out sites like NastyGal, Asos, and Sabo Skirt. ’90s grunge might be a style none of us thought would come back. But back it is, with brushed-cotton vengeance; I’m sure Claire Danes would be proud.
November 7, 2015Austin Coates, president of the George Fox Film Society (GFFS), is a transfer student from San Jose State University. As a student of animation and illustration, he found the lines quickly blurred between class and extracurricular club in his experience there. Looking back, he sees the relationship between large clubs (nearly 600 students) and lackadaisical faculty as a dysfunctional, even harmful, product of club dynamics. He brings a sense of democracy and relational growth to the GFFS. The club meets every Tuesday at 8 p.m. in EHS 102. While some may easily dismiss , Coates sees it as somewhat more spectacular, more glass half-full. He insists that this is not just a CMCO club; accounting, theater, computer science majors, and more have all attended to share in cinematic art and life perspectives. Coates leads the group with Christ at the center of his heart. It is one of his three main pillars for the club. His other visions are increasing the value of visual literacy – the individual interpretation of art or images – among students pursuing art or any other skill, and to keep the discussion of cinema’s core going on: the thinking, the talking, and the experiencing of life. As a brand new club, getting established has been more of a tightrope walk than a cakewalk. The group, open to any and all, hopes for more students to engage in the meaningful conversations the club hosts. At the end of the day, Coates just wants people to know about his passions. He believes in the joy of discussion groups, and he wants to see the GFFS shine from here on out.
November 5, 2015George Fox University’s own Melanie Springer Mock co-wrote the book “If Eve Only Knew” with Kendra Weddle Irons. Published in July, “If Eve Only Knew” investigates evangelical Christianity’s conception of gender and the biblical basis (or, as the book contends, the lack of a biblical basis) for such perceptions. Mock is a professor of English at GFU and teaches creative nonfiction, journalism, and other writing courses. She has published three other books and her essays have appeared in numerous academic and popular presses. Irons is a professor of Religion and Humanities at Texas Wesleyan University, a contributor to the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus website, and author of “Preaching on the Plains” (2007). Together, Mock and Irons run the blog “Ain’t I a Woman?” to engage with popular culture from a feminist Christian perspective. Each chapter of “If Eve Only Knew” delves into a different myth of biblical womanhood, beginning by breaking down the first few chapters of Genesis and reinterpreting Eve’s role in what traditionally has been called “the Fall.” It goes on to tackle such iconic biblical figures as Ruth and Boaz, address the pitfalls and double standards inherent in the concept of sexual purity, challenge the Christian patriarchy, and more. In the end, the book redefines biblical womanhood within the new, broader parameters it has now explored. “If Eve Only Knew” makes a well-organized argument in witty, conversational prose that is accessible to readers unfamiliar with either evangelical or feminist terminology. It provides a fresh perspective on biblical interpretation, based almost exclusively in close readings of the Bible itself and supported with other scholarly works and the experiences of women in the church. The book has received largely positive reviews, and according to Gary Tandy, chair of GFU’s English and Theatre departments, the book allows for different ways of thinking about women and equality from a Christian perspective. While the ease of reading may make it more accessible to the average reader, “If Eve Only Knew” may be jeopardized by its own niche perspective. Secular feminists uninterested in theology – especially a theology that is so historically patriarchal – and evangelical Christians wary of feminism – which is often viewed as a threat to the sanctity of the nuclear Christian family – will both be prone to passing it by on the bookshelf. As the authors themselves write, being Christian feminists is to inhabit a space that “is not well worn.” The feminist slant presents an undeniable bias, but “we always bring our own lens to the Bible,” said Tandy, and more widely accepted interpretations are no different. “If Eve Only Knew” opens up a much-needed dialogue by challenging many of the ideologies and practices within the evangelical Christian church that have gone unchallenged for generations. Mock and Irons strive not to attack Christianity, but to empower and engage those who follow traditional practices and interpretations without examination. At its core, “If Eve Only Knew” is a hopeful book about expanding our understanding of Scripture in order to fulfill everything we – not as men or women but as humans – are meant to be.
November 5, 2015This Friday, the Board Game Club is hosting a Dominion tournament in the Foxhole. What better time, then, to revisit one of the modern classics of tabletop games? Dominion was released in 2008, triggering an explosion of interest in the “deck building” genre. In a deck building game, the central gameplay mechanic focuses on the creation of a deck of cards that, like a purring little engine, pulls the player through the game and, hopefully, across the finish line. A turn of Dominion follows a simple pattern of A, B, C: Action, Buy, Cleanup. On their turn, players can play a single action card out of their hand, then buy a single card from one of the stacks of cards on the table using the money in their hand, and then clean up, where the players discard their hand and then draw a new one from their deck. That’s it! In Dominion, there are, basically, three types of cards: Action Cards, which can be played to perform certain effects, such as giving the player extra money, the opportunity to play more actions or buy more cards on their turn, or the chance to draw more cards; Treasure Cards, which can be used to buy cards, thus adding them to your deck; and Victory cards, which are worth precious points at the end of the game but are useless during the game itself, thus taking up valuable space in your deck. To succeed, a player needs to strike a balance between these three types of cards. Each player starts the game with a small deck composed of a few of the least valuable Treasure and Victory Cards. From here, they slowly build their deck with more powerful and more interesting cards. The real fun of Dominion lies here, in the meticulous crafting of an increasingly inefficient engine. The players will constantly be pulled between wanting to put interesting cards into their deck (especially the Victory Cards, which are needed to win), but in doing so, they run the risk of clogging their deck with chaff (especially the Victory Cards, even though they are needed to win). This tension of efficiency versus variety, along with the feeling of being a kid in a candy store when confronted with the wide variety of cards available, is what makes Dominion so fun and a modern classic.
November 4, 2015She got out of her large, gray van. The cane was supporting her five-feet tall body. Today, she wore a blue shirt full of white flowers, blue pants and white sneakers. The light blue jewelry matches her outfit and her azure eyes, and she never forgets to wear pink lipstick. Florence Jensen is a 92- year-old woman who lives by herself at an independent living facility in Newberg, Ore. She lives a regular life like other elderly people: she exercises, goes to church, eats healthy food and spends time with friends and family. In the fall of 2011, Florence lost her husband after spending 68 years together. She suffered some ill health not too long before her husband passed away, but she knew she didn’t want to die before she could care for him. This feeling drove her to restore her health, she said. As she wished, she accompanied him to finish his very last journey. Her husband died peacefully, which made her so grateful. She misses him a lot, but she doesn’t grieve like others. She knows at her age she has to accept that death comes to everyone. “I was fortunate enough to be able to care for my husband before he died. I didn’t want to leave him alone,” she said. Some people may not be brave enough to face the fact of losing a loved one. But for her, it was much harder to leave him alone than being alone. Her natural instincts of caring are not only for her family; she also shares them with those around her. Florence adopted an international student as her granddaughter from George Fox University last year. They’ve built a very intimate relationship with each other. Almost every other weekend they spend time together. She drives her big van, comes and picks her up, then takes her to have lunch or dinner. After the meal, they spend a couple hours sharing stories and catching up. She feels joyful being with the student, though they are so different. Even at this age, she is still willing to learn the culture and different religion of her adopted granddaughter. “It’s a joy having her. I just feel bad for stealing her from her grandparents,” she said. “I am very lucky and fortunate.” Aging gracefully, having an infectious smile, and pouring out her love to her neighbors: this might be the secret to live a life like blooming flowers, and the reason her parents named her Florence.
October 10, 2015By Rory Phillips Austin Coburn was eleven and almost exclusively watching relatively kosher movies like “Left Behind,” in place of essentials like “The Godfather,” when he was given a film camera as a Christmas present. “Point and shoot” was about all the advice his parents gave him. Prior to this gift, Austin knew that he was over the moon about the movies. He had never shot a film, produced a script, or cut a scene. What he did have under his belt, or perhaps in his heart, was the sympathy of gathering stories. Finally, with the “click” of the power button and the cool breathing of the reeling frame rate, he was given the life-defining incentive to share stories. Since then, Austin has been shooting films for himself and others; and has been garnering awards and attention along the way. In 2012, he was charged with producing a Veterans Day short film, in which he looked through student and teacher interviews; then spliced (by hand) a warming tribute to the troops overseas. For this film, he was awarded the Oregon Optimist prize for the Salem-Keizer District. “[This] was probably the film that I learned most about,” Coburn said. “Like what goes into the producing of film, and looking at it from that side of planning and how you’re going to do different elements.” “Dear Veteran,” the name of this tribute piece, served a higher purpose than just local attention. He entered the film to the George Fox University Scholarship Competition in 2013 to apply for funding as a student of film. This movie, which he considers a personal favorite, earned him a safe place in the school as a cinema and media communications major. For the first time, he felt like a director. “It was the first time I remember people looking at me for direction. People would sit down in this chair I set in front of them and would say, ‘Okay, hey, what am I going to say?’ And I had to have the answer.” Austin has crafted a life in pictures. He gathered his intuition, on- and off-set, with his pictures. His high school vlog, “Vinny and Austin,” provided him the skills he needed to work cooperatively with others. From working on promotional bits for S.K.I.T. (Salem Keizer Inspirational Teens), he acquired the insight of working toward a higher goal, even when partnering with administrators and kids interested in the arts. In sharing and in loving film, Austin is taking stories, thoughts, and words and making something new and comprehensive out of them. He is the photographer, capturing little of moments of life just being life, without disturbing them.