Students left devastated by mission trip cancelations due to Coronavirus

Students left devastated by mission trip cancelations due to Coronavirus

“Disappointed is not a strong enough word. I was devastated. All this time and energy our team has invested into this trip and these kids over there, for it to be gone just like that,” says junior Savannah Rolston. She was looking forward to returning to Ecuador on her second year with Lipscomb missions to serve a local children’s home, Hacienda of Hope. Now, like many other Lipscomb students, she is met with the fact that her mission work will be halted indefinitely. “At first, I was in shock. There’s no way they can just cancel our trip like this,” says Rolston. “But then borders were closing, countries were being locked down, big events were being canceled and I realized it was for the best that they just called it off.” In early March, Lipscomb’s missions and the Office of the President canceled all school-sponsored and non-essential travel due to the spread of the coronavirus. These restrictions ended over eight international mission trips that were scheduled for spring break including travel to Japan, Honduras, and El Salvador. The university noted that its decision to cancel was based on guidelines provided by the CDC. Out of an abundance of caution, the university asked that anyone arriving from countries on the CDC’s Level 2 and 3 health warning lists or a country that currently restricts travel, must self-quarantine. “On campus, we are working on a continuous basis to proactively anticipate whatever might develop and be particularly focused on protecting members of the Lipscomb community and continuing the education of our students,” says President Randolph L. Lowry in an email to all...
Henna Night leaves a mark on students experiencing new cultures

Henna Night leaves a mark on students experiencing new cultures

As a part of the annual WOW (Welcome to Our World) Week, students organized Henna Night to bring the unique ceremonies and cuisines of Arab, Indian and Middle Eastern cultures to campus. “I want people to know that it’s [henna is] so much more than just decoration,” said Kiana Rafiei, a student organizer for Lipscomb’s Office of Intercultural Development. “Yes, it’s beautiful, but there’s a meaning behind why my culture does this.” During the event, students hired a local henna artist to give interested students the chance to experience the tradition. Henna is a natural flowering plant that is ground into a thick paste and then piped directly on the skin. The wet paste is left on for 15 to 20 minutes until it dries and can be removed, leaving behind a light red or brown tattoo. This temporary body art can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks depending on how dark the stain is. In recent years, henna has evolved into Western fair entertainment and the design, called mehndi, is often mimicked in permanent tattoos. But, as Rafiei noted, the application of henna itself is a deeply rooted art form across many cultures. “I’m Persian, but we do henna as decoration during Eid, the Islamic New Year, as well,” Rafiei said. “It means good luck and prosperity so it’s really important that we apply it with our family. It’s also applied as a pre-wedding tradition in some countries. Usually, the night before a wedding, the bride is given really detailed henna as a symbol of her devotion.” The swirls and swoops of a henna design...
The Best and Worst of 2020 Super Bowl Commercials

The Best and Worst of 2020 Super Bowl Commercials

The Kansas City Chiefs stormed back in the last seven minutes to beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20  during Super Bowl LIV Sunday, but those two teams weren’t the only ones battling for a spot on top. Because of the game’s massive annual viewership, the commercials aired before, during, and after the game can earn brands millions or set them millions behind. According to Fox Sports, some advertisers paid a record-breaking $5.6 million for their spots. But did any of that cash pay off by making connections … or selling products… to viewers? This year, companies used obscure humor and all-star celebrity cameos to make their products pop. In this list, we counted down the best and the worst of 2020’s Super Bowl Commercials. Best of the Best Google: “Remember”  Google has an affinity year after year to pull at our heartstrings with age-old themes like love and sacrifice. This year’s ad is no different. Loretta tells the story of an elderly man, who calls on the app’s “Hey Google” feature to recall the moments and memories of his late wife that he never wants to forget. It’s original, creative, and heartfelt with just enough whimsy to make you smile through your tears. In short, it’s a truly well-done love story told with beautiful imagery that will leave you sobbing. Amazon: “Before Alexa” It’s a simple truth that everyone loves Ellen. So when the talk show mogul and her wife, Portia De Rossi, question what life was like before Amazon’s Alexa, hilarity is sure to ensue. The commercial gives us some memorable, historical iterations of Alexa from a medieval...
Frozen 2 delivers backstory but doesn’t stack up against the first Disney classic

Frozen 2 delivers backstory but doesn’t stack up against the first Disney classic

Disney has re-entered the world of ice, castles, and comedy with its long-awaited sequel, Frozen 2. In the past, Disney has admittingly had trouble with remakes and sequels. However, the animation giant seems to be regaining its quintessential magic with its newest release. The last two Disney sequel releases, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4, shattered box office records to become the top two highest-grossing animated features of all time and the Frozen sequel is already right on their heels. Currently, the film is taking the third grossing spot and outpacing these two films in presale tickets alone. Despite a nearly six-year gap since the first Frozen release, Frozen 2 seems to recognize that the fan base itself has grown while leaving room for younger kids to also enjoy the film. Both Elsa and Anna lose their signature braids and dresses in favor of sleek ponytails and pants, seemingly to mark the transition from innocent young girls to courageous adult women. Their quest: to find the origin of Elsa’s ice powers and reunite the kingdom of Arendelle with its mysterious enchanted forest counterpart. Over the course of their adventure, Princess Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell)  worries that her sister’s ice powers aren’t enough to protect her from the world beyond their safe home. Queen Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) battles the elements to learn that she’s valued and deserving of a greater purpose than just being queen. Olaf, the living snowman, is given youthful humor that peaks at naivety while Kristoff and Sven, the former iceman/reindeer duo, figure out how to pop the question to an unsuspecting Anna. And...
Students travel to Memphis for a look back in time at the National Civil Rights Museum

Students travel to Memphis for a look back in time at the National Civil Rights Museum

American musician Shawn Amos once said, “Memphis is the place where rock was born and Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed. It’s full of contradictions, abject poverty, and riches that only music can provide.”  Lipscomb’s Office of Intercultural Development and Law, Justice, and Society program invited students to Memphis over fall break to witness this city’s unique dichotomy. Students first visited Beale Street, named by CNN Travel as one of the most iconic streets in America. These three blocks in the heart of downtown Memphis gave students a glimpse into the place where blues, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll were founded. “As a music lover, I felt like I could feel my roots on Beale Street. It was heavily influenced by the past and that’s where most of today’s music comes from. Memphis is soul and you could feel it when you walked those streets,” senior Noah Kimbrough said. But, the ultimate purpose of the trip was to give students tangible insight into the struggles, sacrifices, and successes of the Civil Rights era and the people who gave the movement life. The National Civil Rights museum stands in conjunction to the Lorraine Motel, the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed. Each exhibit within shows a different aspect of African American history, from transatlantic slavery of the early 1600s to the beginning of the Obama Administration in 2012. With a recent 200 million dollar update, the museum uses modern technology, live exhibits, artifacts, and film to give students an immersive look at Civil Rights. Lipscomb junior Eden Melles said that “the trip gave her a...