Does HBO’s new hit series live up to the original?
Image C/O @fez_bot06
By Andrew Martinez Cabrera
For years, video game adaptations garnered the same fate as a thespian muttering “Macbeth” during a theatre production. The issue with adapting games to a new format is that a video game’s appeal relies on the medium’s most notable characteristic: gameplay. Restricting the viewer to a bystander position when they are used to controlling the character’s actions results in a feeling similar to watching your older sibling play on the Xbox while you impatiently wait for your turn.
Possibly the greatest reason for the success of HBO’s “The Last of Us” is that the original 2013 game, developed by Naughty Dog, already possessed a cinematic approach to its narrative. Brought to the small screen by Neil Druckmann, the original writer and creative director, and his new collaborating partner Craig Mazin, the adaptation of “The Last of Us” strives to deliver the same story for audiences new and old, naturally with deviations that are usually credited under Mazin.
Both versions of “The Last of Us” follow Joel, a hardened smuggler tasked with escorting a 14-year-old girl named Ellie across a post-apocalyptic America, swarmed by ‘infected’ fungal people and dangerous raiders. Although sounding cliche, what separates “The Last of Us” from the rest of those similarly spun apocalyptic tales is that the setting and situation are secondary. The true purpose of the game resides within the characters. For the original game, Druckmann constructs the story through the philosophy of “simple story, complex characters.” For the video game, it is the emotional resonance, the interactive agency when controlling Joel, and the blossoming connection that Joel and Ellie share which makes “The Last of Us” such a unique artistic experience. This is especially true when players get to spend time with the duo for 15 hours. The HBO series is granted a similar luxury of nine hours of watch time.
However, Mazin decides that those nine hours would be utilized elsewhere, giving more screen time to secondary characters from the original game rather than fleshing out Joel and Ellie's characters to new audiences. Side characters who only reveal themselves through cutscenes are given new life, and for the most part, these deviations are enjoyable. A notable example is in Ep. 3, which transforms a dull section of the game into a beautiful love story central to the core theme of “The Last of Us.”
As a result, Joel and Ellie are truncated to episode bookends. Mazin’s solution to not spending too much time with them is to tie it back to Joel. The emotional tether of “The Last of Us” is realizing that Joel, a father who lost his daughter in a tragic event, is slowly becoming a surrogate father to Ellie. Both are hurting people who struggle to open up after experiencing too much loss in the world. It is through each other that they reinvigorate each other’s humanity and capacities for love.
The issue in the HBO adaption is that Joel and Ellie, played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, do not get to stretch those emotional muscles all that much, as those scenes are treated as transitions to other stories. In trying to differentiate itself from the game, Mazin decides to focus on more than just the iconic duo and relies on established story beats to further evolve the relationship without doing any of the work.
In losing that valuable time to form that bond, Mazin has side characters become soapboxes that explain the themes of love to viewers rather than having it shown through action and motive. The loss of subtly is not just true of the secondary characters, but it is also true for Joel and Ellie. An example occurs in the first episode, where Joel has to defend Ellie from an armed soldier, much like the one who killed his daughter. Using that evocative visual adds some great subtext to Joel, carrying this belief that violence is a justifiable action in defending loved ones. Mazin, however, not believing in the audience, flashbacks to an earlier scene of Joel’s daughter dying to hone in on the already obvious point.
Furthermore, this is the only moment where Joel displays his imperfections. Pascal’s adaption of Joel ultimately is a cliché of a “tough dad who turns soft” rather than a three-dimensional human being with highs and lows. What’s worrying is that Joel’s brutal actions, which should be condemned, are not. Mazin doesn’t equate the violent reactions as a fault on Joel’s part, proving that Mazin fails to see why Joel is a selfish character in the long run. Lost in the HBO series is the probing of love's motives posed by Druckmann's video game, where his original Joel is clouded by subjective and selfish thoughts, serving as the game’s moral conundrum. Mazin offers Joel’s subjectivity as the show’s objective truth.
By stripping away TV Joel's brutalist outlook on life, reflected in his physical actions via gameplay - which is a subjective experience in itself - that important theme is lost in translation. I fear that Joel’s behavior at the very end of the season would be seen as impulsive rather than deliberate.
To quote one of the in-show groups, the Fireflies: “When you are lost in the darkness, look for the light.” Although not a terrible show, “The Last of Us” struggles to find its proper footing through its odd pacing which prevents characters from shining to their fullest potential. Mazin establishes his weak interpretations as the show’s mission statement, reducing Druckmann’s original characters, who were once complex and fully-realized characters, to exposition dumpers. HBO’s “The Last of Us” is trapped in the shadows of the original, struggling to find the light.
Image C/O Atlantic Records
By: Molly Baziuk
Paramore’s most recent album This is Why is the band’s big comeback after a 6 year hiatus and two solo albums from the band's lead singer, Hayley Williams. So the question is: did the new album make the cut?
This is Why seems to be exactly what today's youth needs if they're looking for an angsty way to kickstart 2023. It's true, punk is back and Paramore has delivered. While the album isn't perfect by any means, you can be sure there is plenty of that classic Paramore punk sound sprinkled with the typical daring vocals of Hayley Williams.
This is Why is clearly different from other Paramore albums, but has taken inspiration from their previous works reminiscent of their 2007 album Riot! and self titled 2013 album, Paramore. The one thing that seems to set it apart from the other albums is the maturity felt from the band who started when Williams was just 16 years old. With a now 34 year old lead singer, things are going to sound different. In general, the album is a bit more grounded in its sound. This can be construed as both a positive and negative aspect of the album as one of Paramore’s notable qualities is Williams’ manic vocal technique. The grounding of the album sees Williams’ voice on the backburner with more focus on the music’s complicated and creative instrumentation. The change has caused a degree of backlash towards the band with reviewers stating Williams had “monotone” of “boring” vocals in several songs. What it really comes down to is the fact that the band has matured and is digging into more serious and grounded topics causing less need for the flippant vocals that once defined their sound.
With topics ranging from current world crises to existentialism and presence, the band has delved deeper lyrically than ever before. This is not to say there aren’t lyrical mistakes. In the second track “The News,” Williams is almost too direct with lyrics talking about war and technology topics that have been echoed far too much by other artists especially since 2020. It becomes a bit unoriginal, but not to Williams’ fault, the world is clearly in crisis and it should be sung about, just maybe with a bit more tact. On the other hand, their fourth track “C'est Comme Ça” seems to sprinkle in more original ideas with lyrics depicting social angst and aging. At one point in the song, Williams describes her social life as a “chiropractic appointment.” This felt fresh, and the spoken verses gave off an almost Talking Heads-esque feel to the song. On their penultimate track, “Crave,” lyrics depict an existential angst that is all too relatable to listeners. It speaks authentically about what it means to desire true presence and the pain of being stuck in the past. The complicated ideas of the track really make it feel very original and emotional.
Instrument-wise, there are some serious show stoppers on the album with guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farrow really showing creative direction. When it comes to most creative instrumentally and vocally, the three star tracks on the album have to be the titular track, “This is Why,” and their sixth and seventh tracks “You First” and “Figure 8.” “This is Why” is the band’s first single and is conveniently placed as the first track on the album. It sets the scenery for what the rest of the album will express, the fear of leaving one’s comfort zone and trying to manage life in a world full of fear and noise. The lyrics coupled with a surprising alt-rock chorus definitely make the track worth a listen. “You First” and “Figure 8” go very well together as well with Zac Farro really shining in both tracks. The complicated instrumentation of both songs give the whole album a more creative backdrop with “You First” probably being the catchiest most classic Hayley Williams chorus on the album and “Figure 8” giving a familiar sound reminiscent of Paramore’s Fifth album, After Laughter. The track is the most instrumentally creative on the album and actually gives the listener a feeling of spinning in a figure 8.
This is Why is fresh. It has everything listeners need to feel validated about world crisis and angst with catchy riffs and a classic Paramore feel. If you are looking for a more alternative punk vibe with creative direction, this album is for you. It is not perfect and there is nothing insanely profound about it, but Paramore succeeded in originality and will surely create an even greater influx of punk buzz in 2023.
Oscars 2023: A Year in Review
A quick summary of some of this year’s Best Picture Nominations in preparation for Hollywood’s biggest night
By Andrew Martinez Cabrera
Visiting Culture Writer
From The Batman to The Northman, whether you’re a casual filmgoer or a die-hard cinephile, 2022 had something to offer to both. For the most part, the Best Picture nominees reflect this, so join me in looking at some of 2022’s best films.
Top Gun: Maverick
Both Top Gun movies are propaganda pieces but for two different things. Whereas the original Tony Scott film is a 110-minute military recruitment video, Maverick is set on selling the audience, and in turn the entire Hollywood system, on Tom Cruise. Personified by the character of Maverick, both Maverick and Cruise deal with the notion of drifting into obscurity in an industry that prioritizes automation under the guise of advancements. But as long as both are still kicking, that worrisome future won’t become a reality. Unlike the average legacy sequel, Cruise does not step down to let the new kids take the lead, proving he still has a few tricks up his sleeves.
The Banshees of Inisherin
Writer/director Martin McDonagh returns to a European setting with the re-pairing of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in Banshees of Inisherin. The film chronicles the sudden bromance breakup of Padraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson) after the latter decides to use his time wisely and pursue an artistic endeavor, deeming his former drinking partner as dull. McDonagh combines comedic and melancholic elements to compose a story where you can both laugh at the dry wit or cry at the comic tragedy unfolding on this island stage, as McDonagh wrestles with what to prioritize in life: artistry or close friendships.
Steven Spielberg tackles a semi-autobiographical story with The Fabelmans. Sammy, a stand-in for a young Spielberg, becomes enamored with the power of cinema not simply as a creative tool, but also as something he has full control over, which he can use to filter and rehearse his anxieties in a controlled setting. In short, film is his therapy. Spielberg lays himself bare, showing how a sentiment echoed by a distant uncle – “Art will give you crowns in heaven and laurels on earth, but it’ll tear your heart out and leave you lonely” – haunted the filmmaker, who hid the trauma of his parents divorce behind a technicolor veil. Through the film Spielberg shows how he is indebted to cinema as a medium for which he can express himself while also finding himself enmeshed in its trap. The Fabelmans’ mechanics and ideas function similarly to Spielberg’s previous films, but it is upfront about what he has been subconsciously communicating to audiences for decades.
Continuing with films about tortured artists comes TÁR, a film about a classical composer whose torture stems from abusing and manipulating others. The opening scene finds the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik moderating a panel where his introduction builds up Tár as a contemporary worth paying attention to, with distinctions including being an EGOT recipient, an author, and the first woman to lead the Berlin Philharmonic. What follows is director Todd Field’s slow-burning fall from grace as the viewer slowly uncovers the information that Tár has omitted from everyone around her. TÁR is a balancing act between the realistic, lived-in texture of the film and the surrealist qualities that follow the character Tár into the depths of infamy.
Avatar: The Way of Water
Once upon a time, James Cameron made a promise. He will not make just one, nor two, but FIVE Avatar sequels. The internet being the internet, began insisting that Avatar had no cultural value and that The Way of Water would be a surefire flop. $2.2 billion later, it’s safe to say don’t underestimate James Cameron. The Way of Water surpasses the original film in both technical and storytelling departments, deciding to write yet another anti-imperialist/pro-environment film. It is a film that proudly wears its science-fiction camp aesthetic, culminating in a one-of-a-kind theatre experience that begs to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The surprise indie smash hit is my prediction for the Best Picture winner. I’m in the minority where I don’t consider this the masterpiece that everyone hailed it to be given that the Daniels aren’t subtle filmmakers. However, I am ultimately not made of stone. With so many films tackling the idea of the multiverse, a trope that’s being exhausted, Everything Everywhere’s appeal to pathos and its simple rhetoric of treating everyone with kindness (a Pixar-level message inside an R-rated picture) ultimately lands. The Daniels’ draw you in with a wildly-differing immigrant family, whose age and cultural divisions cause them to seek comfort in other universes. Given how popular this film is, the least Oscar-Baity movie might take the award home.
The Great Egg Dilemma
Why are eggs so expensive?
(Photo C/O CookForYourLife.org)
By Lillian La Salle
While researching this article I had almost ten tabs open all about eggs, their substitutes, and what caused this period of inflation in the Bay Area supermarkets. Numerous people gave me questioning looks as I enthusiastically explained all about the glorious egg and the amazing ways we could replace it in our meals on a daily basis. I found numerous recipes and lots of egg substitute products that may help students avoid the outrageously priced eggs that leave customers going, “You must be yolking!”. Forgive the egg pun, but that will frequently be happening in this quick read.
You may be wondering why egg prices have almost doubled at your local Bay Area grocery store this past month, and the answer may surprise you. The CBS News article, “Egg prices have soared 60% in a year. Here's why,” explains the key reason for the egg shortage. The avian bird flu claimed almost 58 million birds as of January 6, and the lag time of egg laying flocks to get enough resources into the egg supply chain has greatly affected prices in the Bay Area as well as across the nation. According to the same CBS News article, January egg prices saw a 60% increase, and the KRON 4 news article “Are more people turning to plant-based eggs amidst egg price surge?” reports some stores in the Bay Area saw egg prices rise as high as $8.99.
But the egg inflation continues, and it will not be over easy - I mean easily. People all across the nation and the Bay Area are scrambling to find a savory substitute for the well-loved egg.
After researching egg substitutes for baking, I found Well+Good had a great list of options for all your egg needs. Some of the best baking substitutes were 2 tbsp chia seeds (you can find this in the dining hall in the mornings), ¼ cup of tofu, ¼ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup applesauce, ¼ cup bananas, and a special product called Bob’s Egg Replacer.
Sold at Safeway, Bob’s Egg Replacer is perfect for baking and cooking, with 34 eggs for $7.50 as opposed to the current perishable choice at Safeway coming up on $4.99 a dozen. This breaks down to the egg replacement costing 22 cents an “egg” and the perishable eggs at 41 cents. Using perishable eggs during this period of egg-flation is not all it's cracked up to be if they are double the price of the powdered replacement eggs.
For scrambled egg replacements: tofu is a strong front runner, with its ability to cook similarly to regular scrambled eggs. Of course, lots of seasoning is required to make it have the delicious flavor of the typical egg. Personally, I will cook 4-6 ounces of tofu until it's golden brown and add in one regular egg and mix it all together with a few tasteful pinches of salt. That way, I use only one egg to give the tofu an eggy flavor, and the scramble replicates a meal of 4 eggs.
Now if eggs are not available to you at all, fear not. The vegan food experimentalists at Plant Based on a Budget have discovered for the rest of us that a special Indian spice, Kala Namak, tastes similar to hard boiled eggs due to its sulfuric components. Mixing this with paprika, onion powder, red pepper, and salt can give your tofu scramble an eggcellent kick.
Another option for the goodness of an egg scramble without the actual eggs is a powder egg substitute. Judee’s Scrambled Egg Mix, sold for $23 on Amazon, gives you the ease of having 44 eggs in your fridge without using up all the space 44 eggs would need. This is a bit more expensive than the normal eggs but is a great substitute if you are on a vegan diet. Priced at 52 cents per serving of “egg”, the Judee’s Egg Mix is 11 cents more than a regular egg, but you wouldn't have to worry about space in your fridge or having the powder spoil.
New Year, New You!
A Culture Writer Shares Her Insights on New Years Goal Setting
By Remy Zerber
Happy 2023! It’s a new year and that means it's time for new goals, new habits, and a new you. Many people set new goals that they want to achieve when the new year starts as a way of having a fresh start. Even though setting goals for the new year is important for many people to improve themselves, they still may need help to achieve them.
Although you may have started the new year with all sorts of energy and motivation, chances are by this time of year you’re starting to feel the January slump. If you’re like me you might struggle to keep yourself motivated throughout the year and eventually end up not following through with your goals. People joke that all resolutions die on February first and people stop using their new gym memberships that they got at the beginning of the year, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be true. Paying for a gym membership can actually be a good way to force yourself to go to the gym and work out every day because you might feel guilty if you spent money on a gym membership and didn’t use it.
Some of my tips for setting goals are being realistic and making a plan for achieving your goals. You don’t have to make dramatic changes in your life in order to have a successful resolution. Another tip is to make a vision board and keep it where you can see it to remind yourself of your goals. Creating new habits takes time so you need to be consistent and keep yourself accountable. For example, if your goal is to work out more you can be workout buddies with a friend and you guys can keep each other motivated.
One of my new year's resolutions this year is to do more exercise. I have found it hard to be consistent with this goal because I always lose motivation. My plan to achieve this goal is to find a place where I can work out. I made a vision board this year and made it my home screen on my iPad, so hopefully, that helps me achieve my goals.
Goals are important for self improvement, but they are really tough to follow through with. Maintaining motivation is something that everyone, even I struggle with. There are certain tips and techniques that can help with achieving goals like making a vision board and being consistent. You have to be consistent to create new habits. It is always inspiring when people want to quit bad habits to improve their lives. Good luck guys!
One SMC Senior Shares her tips for fulfilling graduation requirements ahead of schedule.
By Brooke Haggarty
Visiting Culture Writer
I have known since I enrolled in SMC back in 2019 that I wanted to graduate early. As someone who has jumped through hoops and now knows the in’s and out’s of graduating early, I can tell you for certain that it can be pretty easy, but there are plenty of steps and obstacles along the way depending on your personal circumstances.
First things first, you need to pick your major, and luckily, for you, so many courses overlap in terms of core requisites that you have leeway to explore and become inspired before picking it. Though I must say, it is best to work with your FYAC (First-Year Advising Consorts) if you are still deciding, and then once you decide, you should talk to a professor of your choice, an assistant assigned to your major, or the head chair of your major about advising you.
Next you should look at your academic evaluation found on GaelXpress where you can check what credits that you have before and during your time at SMC. If you previously took AP classes or community college courses, those credits may have transferred and translated into credits applied to your SMC requirements. It may even be possible to apply those towards major or minor requirements or prerequisites for upper-division courses.
Another thing that you can do to graduate earlier is take summer courses. Though they might not always be an option as you may not be financially able to afford the hefty cost of those 4 to 8 week courses. SMC offers many courses like Jan Terms, cross-listed courses that apply to your major or minor, and core requisites classes. Many local community colleges also offer classes that can be transferred to SMC, though many require prior approval by SMC professors and administrators.
My final piece of advice is to be constantly communicating with your advisor, reviewing your academic evaluation, and keeping up with any possible changes to your major’s requirements that should be posted on GaelXpress and the SMC website.
With all that said, graduating at SMC can either be easy or a nightmare. Take it from me as someone who knows both versions as I once was on a 3-year track to graduate. I ended up taking up two semesters off, and one was involuntary as I was stuck waiting until this spring, to write my thesis in class. It can be frustrating that some courses are not offered when you want to take them, so make sure you keep up-to-date about course offerings.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to graduate early, best of luck to you!
Stuck In A Free Time Funk?
A few suggestions for a fun Jan Term.
By Lillian LaSalle
It is officially Jan Term at SMC. Upperclassmen have headed out on early flights across the globe and underclassmen alike are met with fascinating classes chockfull of exciting information. Whether or not you've got the course you wanted, SMC students now realize something about this much-awaited Jan Term.
There are so many hours in the day! Most of our classes last under three hours, and when a professor lets a class out early this extra time only grows. The homework load is light (hopefully) in some students' cases. This all leads us to consider: What are we to do with all this extra time?
This question is at the forefront of many students' minds, but fear not, there are many goings-on you can partake in individually or in a group for this wondrous month of unlimited time.
Venture out into San Francisco:
The large city of SF has so much to offer, and this goes beyond the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and the many shopping districts within this vibrant city. Although many of us have probably done some exploring in the Bay Area, the numerous street corners, neighborhoods, and community centers scattered through each have their own flavor of life. If your struggling to find something to do on your days off, just enlarge a map of SF, close your eyes, and point. Wherever your finger lands go and tour that part of town. Walk around and see the local shops and the friendly faces as you enjoy the different parts of city life. If you are without a car the BART system and public transit always comes in handy and will immerse you in the surrounding of the beautiful city of San Francisco. Happy exploring!
Become a Gym Kid:
Of course, there are on-campus opportunities that many of us read about in the SMC Communications newsletter each week, but the Campus Rec center is also a great way to spend your extra time. Whether you work out or not, you can spend some of your extra time bettering your body and mind in this state-of-the-art facility and lift weights, swim, or just walk on the treadmill. It's a surefire to keep your resolutions if that is something you are interested in.
Pursue your interests:
Join an organization: Saint Mary’s has dozens of clubs for all your academic, athletic, or social needs! Whether you need a bit of creativity added to your week with our art clubs or some friendly competition with club sports, SMC has something for everyone this Jan term. If you don't know where to start, head over to the Student Involvement office to learn more about the clubs SMC has to offer or give Presence a quick look to stay updated on the latest club activities. You can even spend some of your free time focused on hobbies you’ve missed since coming to campus. Grab a good book from the library, doodle on your notebooks, or even finish writing those short stories you started during the summer. Whatever your interest may be, there are plenty of pursuits for you to explore on campus or within your dorm.
Try something new on Campus:
Have you already hiked to the cross? Then try going at sunrise or sunset to see the gorgeous colors of Moraga. If you haven’t attended a musical performance yet, the performing art students pour their heart and soul into their shows and leave you stunned. I recommend finding out what you haven't experienced on campus yet, and just get going! You might discover your love for hiking, the theater, an intense soccer match, or just different little alcoves all around SMC!
As always, stay safe in your explorations and enjoy your wonderful Jan Term!
Here Comes The Pumpkin Spice Tsunami
Six reasons why pumpkin spice is not overhyped.
By Lillian La Salle
Are you exhausted by the autumn alliterations adorning every bottle of lotion and body wash in the nearest store? Do the underlying hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in seemingly every cookie, coffee, cake, and meal you have this fall season repulse you? Are you tired of the flavor and smell of a spice getting all this recognition?
Well, my most unenthused pumpkin spice adversaries, I agree with you to some extent, but even I get wrapped up in the splendor of the spice when it comes around for the fall. Although I agree the spice is overhyped, it does fulfill some of its high praises:
1. The smell: The exciting pumpkin-spice scent will never fail to bring me the “fall feelings” that so many of us associate with the season. We know that the minute we smell the cinnamon, that fall is upon us. It's time to bust out the crimson and gold color schemes, fuzzy blankets, hot coffee, and ride the pumpkin spice wave all the way to the Christmas season.
2. The aesthetic: You can’t miss the pumpkin spice people wrapped up in their chunky knit cardigans of warm autumn hues with a strategically placed beanie to complete their fall fashion choice. These people help signal to everyone that pumpkin spice season has begun, and guide the way to the pumpkin spice treats and things.
3. The coffee: As soon as August 30th hits, you will know it's pumpkin spice season from the Starbucks line that stretches around the corner to block your entry to the grocery store parking lot. People can’t get enough of this flavoring and will walk into every meeting, class, or social gathering with the holiday coffee cup in hand, ready to roll now that they've gotten the pumpkin spice pickup. This new cinnamon kick and pumpkin flavoring will bring joy to veteran and newbie coffee drinkers alike who grow tired of the monotonous taste of jitter juice.
4. The food: For a select few, the introduction of pumpkin pastries and nutmeg spices will churn their stomachs. But for the most part, pumpkin spice does hold up well in the food department. Of course, it depends on what and where you get your fall treat. I personally think Target does a wonderful job at giving you classic goodies like yogurt coated pretzels, cookies, and candies that all have the delicious balanced undertones of the pumpkin spice you are craving.
5. The jokes: The humor that follows the introduction of the pumpkin-spice flavor is unmatched. From the pumpkin-spice obsessed coffee drinkers to those who make the flavor the essence of their personality, I highly recommend searching up some of these witty jokes about pumpkin spice lovers. Christian girl autumn memes anyone?
6. The feeling: The fall feeling of a warm fire and an ultra-plush blanket quickly follow any inhale or taste of that glorious pumpkin spice. Commonly associated with the nip of autumn air that reminds us that not only Thanksgiving break is soon approaching, but it will soon be socially acceptable to talk about Christmas! Christmas lovers can finally blast Mariah Carey outside and sing along without getting blank stares from strangers as long as Pumpkin spice leads the charge.
So there you have it SMC, the many offerings of the world of Pumpkin Spice! Of course, you can still hold your grudge against the all-encompassing fall flavor, but I encourage you all to enjoy some sort of pumpkin product before this wonderful season is over.
A snapshot of fashion trends from our first year back on campus.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
We did it, Gaels! A full year of in person classes and events! This year we got to ditch Zoom and the sweats we have been living in during 2020. We finally had the chance to rock all of our quarantine purchases and actually put on a complete outfit every single day. What better way to express ourselves and our styles than through our clothes? Here are some of the fashion trends that got us through this school year.
The overwhelming trend of white Nike Air Force 1s in 2019 has held strong throughout the school year and will probably still be relevant this summer. The simple silhouette and basic staple of an all white shoe pulled different types of outfits together. They pair perfectly with thoughtful outfits like a good pair of denim and light outerwear jacket. But they also hold down the fort for lazy outfits like sweats and a hoodie. Whether they are a new, crisp pair straight out of the box or a beater pair that survived another night of running through the city, white Nike Air Force 1s have been a go to for many.
In an effort to adjust back to regular life and things like commuting or actually leaving the dorms to go to class, athleisure was a common outfit on campus. Staying true to Bay Area fashion and the Silicon Valley formula, leggings and sweats paired with a comfy jacket were spotted in almost every class this year. Whether it was a Lululemon Scuba jacket with black leggings or an SMC hoodie with sweats, comfy was the name of the game when it came to making it on time to an early morning class.
(Images Courtesy sassydaily.in and Writer)
Cultural Nights In Review
By Remy Zerber
There are so many interesting cultures in the world, it is important that everyone explores them so they can experience the beauty of diverse cultures. Learning about the various cultures makes for a more well-educated person as it also helps defeat stereotypes and racism. Put on by the Intercultural Center and different clubs, cultural nights at SMC celebrate different cultures. The cultural nights at SMC help shine a light on the represented cultures and the issues they have.
One of the cultural nights at SMC is the BASH. It is a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture. Students who identify as queer put on a show to entertain and educate people about the LGBTQ community. Students did different sets throughout the show. For example, some students showed a video, some talked about their coming out stories, and others did dances or sang songs. This year’s theme was “Over The Rainbow''.
Expressions of Blackness
“Expressions of Blackness” is a cultural night that celebrates Black students and culture. This year’s theme was “Homecoming”. I attended this year’s show and it turned out to be a beautiful event. There were students who sang songs, shared about their home countries, and performed dances. Specifically, one person who played the drums and another played the piano.
Latino Cultural Night
Latino cultural night celebrates Latinos and Latino culture. The theme this year was “The Mountains Around Us”. There was music, dancing, and even speeches. For example, there were Ballet Folklórico dancers and someone dressed like a mariachi. All the participants showed their culture through their sets.
Asian Cultural Night
The theme of Asian Cultural Night was “Discovering The World Through Our Lens”. It celebrated all Asian cultures. There were people who sang songs and did skits from their cultures. There was a cultural fashion show, showcasing traditional clothes from different Asian cultures including: Indian culture, Malaysian culture, Filipino culture and many others. Some students dressed up in a Karate Gi from Japan. There was also a Kabuki skit from Japan where a student wore a Kabuki mask.
Middle Eastern And North African (MENA) Cultural Night
MENA’s theme was “Hidden Gems”. This night had a lot of participants. There were musicians, dancers, singers, and storytellers. One student played the guitar, and a few students wore their native culture’s clothes. One of the students also read from a storybook.
All the cultural nights were a huge success. It was interesting to see everyone’s native cultures and how diverse they are. Each cultural night taught the audience something new about another culture and they got to widen their perspective of the world. Overall, it is important to learn about different cultures so we can be respectful of them.
Ryan Ford '23,