‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ offers look into Mister Rogers’ genuine care for children

‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ offers look into Mister Rogers’ genuine care for children

There’s nothing easy about being a child. Within only half-a-decade from birth, you’re expected to walk, talk, socialize, behave and conform to the “adult” way of your culture. Nowadays, a conversation about emotion and the nuances of life are rarely shared with children outright; instead, children are expected to just grow and guess how the adults have it figured out (we don’t).  This wasn’t always the case though. Several decades ago, a piano composer named Fred Rogers became upset with the way that early television treated its child audience. He was appalled with the silly and slapstick nature of  TV shows aimed at younger audiences. So he put aside his goal of being an ordained Presbyterian minister and set out to create a show that would speak to children at their level, with dignity and sincerity, while also displaying authority and wisdom. And he did exactly that. Every day, Fred Rogers would be “Mister Rogers” to the children of the Pittsburgh area, and then to the rest of the United States. Won’t You be my Neighbor is a very special kind of documentary. It isn’t a biopic on the inner workings of the man Fred Rogers, and it isn’t some history piece detailing Mister Roger’s Neighborhood and the way it came to be renowned in the United States. It’s a barely even a documentary. Really, it’s something far more wholesome. Won’t You be my Neighbor is a celebration of a time long past. It’s a presentation of ideas and ideologies of one genuinely kind man. The film does not go deep into Fred Roger’s personal life, nor does it...
Guatemala missions: a daily journal

Guatemala missions: a daily journal

  Serving with Lipscomb Missions in Guatemala was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my college career. I always expected service and missions work to be physically challenging or difficult, but I was unaware of the incredible experiences that happen working far outside your comfort zone with an incredible team of individuals. The images below were shot on film during our spring break missions trip in Guatemala.     Saturday, March 10, 2018. We were already on a bus by 2:31 a.m. this morning. Each member of our team took a pre-packed bag of medical supplies to check and took what we needed for our week abroad in our carry-ons. The first image of our group leaders was taken during our first layover in the airport at about 10 a.m. We didn’t end up in Guatemala until after 3 p.m. that day. 3:19 pm. Our group split into two groups, one of nursing students who went to Clinica Ezell, and one group who went to the mountains in Chichicastenango to work in mobile clinics in rural Guatemala. I was in the Chichicastenango group, so we had an additional multiple-hour bus ride up the mountains. Upon arrival, we enjoyed our first group devotional with the local mission team, and then we went to sleep. Sunday, March 11, 2018. We rode to church in the backs of pickup trucks today, where we got to worship and spend time with the locals. We played ninja with the children at church and got to eat pizza and socialize with our brothers and sisters in Christ. That evening, we returned to our hotel...
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ packs powerful punch, but is it real? (no spoilers!)

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ packs powerful punch, but is it real? (no spoilers!)

Avengers: Infinity War had a lot of hype to live up to. Ten years in the making gathers a lot of buildup, not only in the story it’s forced to tell, but in the sheer magnitude of characters that must star in such a massive undertaking. With 20+ big-name celebrities such as Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr. and more, the film has a lot of powerful characters to include. One would think this much power all at one time would create a sort of screen-time tug-of-war. While it can seem like a lot at one time, Infinity War triumphantly succeeds in what it had set out to do. Perhaps it’s because the real star isn’t one of these 20+ headliners, but the leading villain, Josh Brolin’s Thanos. One of the biggest qualms about Marvel films has been its lack of dynamic villain characters. Marvel Studios has not yet had a villain as iconic as DC’s The Joker, as Marvel often fails at developing its villains as well as its heroes. DC even had a film dedicated entirely to villains in Suicide Squad, while Marvel’s villains in film still can’t compare to The Joker’s celebrity. While Thanos still doesn’t reach that level, his super-villain character, nonetheless, is developed far beyond the typical Marvel villain. To Thanos, his ideas are noble. Thanos is intent on completing his mission of “killing people to prevent overpopulation,” letting nothing stop him, not even if it means hurting himself in the process. Yet Thanos is far from the brilliant criminal mastermind, with his “success” coming from his sheer power rather than...
Olivia’s Way: ‘feminist fashion’ trends

Olivia’s Way: ‘feminist fashion’ trends

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. And clothing can be too. And what’s better than clothing that makes a statement? Let me introduce everyone to a fashion movement close to my heart: The Feminist Fashion. There are two ends of the reaction spectrum to this growing and ever-important trend: those who are wary, and those who are spiritually and emotionally awakened to the beauty of a period power T-shirt. At this point, maybe you’re wondering what I’m even talking about, and that’s cool. I’m here to show you the wonderful world of empowering clothing. When I say, “feminist fashion,” I mean outfits ranging from the classic “The Future is Female” shirt all the way to the remarkably witty pins, hats and other articles of clothing. But why is this so important? It’s because these articles of clothing are pushing the boundaries of what everyone believes “feminism” to be (I promise it’s not a scary word). Instead of making picket signs and spending hours of our precious time marching, screaming and arguing, we now have a platform to shout louder than we ever could: fashion. And through this universal platform, feminists (and everyone who believes in equality) are finally able to proudly wear and show what they believe, without having to say a word. Don’t get me wrong, I am the first one to march and argue and make “punny” equality signs, but it’s also nice to use my body as a walking equality sign! Like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says, “Culture does not make people. People make culture.” And we are the ones making the...
Olivia’s Way: ‘one size fits all’

Olivia’s Way: ‘one size fits all’

“One Size Fits All” — a phrase that makes me, along with most women, shudder. Maybe it’s because I usually don’t shop (and when I do it’s at Goodwill), but I really thought this “One Size” tag had gone away. Sadly, I was wrong. At my new job in retail I have discovered multiple articles of clothing claiming to fit everyone and every body type. So I decided to give it a shot with a pair of dark green leggings. I could barely make it past my knees. At first, I felt embarrassed, chubby and angry, but then I realized that I’m not 12 years old anymore, and I actually have curves now. As women, our weight fluctuates all the time. This is normal, ladies. Whether we’re going through stress or a hard time, or even a really good/exciting phase of life, our bodies react differently to each season. Many thin women can feel threatened by the fact that the majority of people attack stores like Brandy Melville for catering to smaller sizes. But that’s not why these stores are attacked. They are attacked for the limited sizing, scarce variety in model types and even “cookie-cutter” retail associates who work in the front of the store. Even during the interview process for stores like Brandy, a lot of applicants report that the store managers will take multiple pictures of them and what they’re wearing, not saying what the images are for. Ruby Seid, a sales associate for Brandy Melville, said she has noticed this bias as well. “I think, to be honest, the real reason why they hired me is...
Living as a black man in America: thoughts on the wrongful shooting of Stephon Clark

Living as a black man in America: thoughts on the wrongful shooting of Stephon Clark

As a young kid, my mom played “Changes” by Tupac Shakur every time we drove around in my hometown of Tullahoma, Tennessee. “That’s just the way it is, Things will never be the same” — lyrics I think about every time I see a shooting of an unarmed black man. Recently, Stephon Clark, 22, was shot and killed in the backyard of his grandmother’s Sacramento home, after police suspected he had a gun. Later, the police discovered it was only a cell phone. In weeks since the shooting, protests were held in Sacramento that shut down a Sacramento Kings game. This week, Clark’s funeral was held in a South Sacramento church, where family and friends said their goodbyes to Clark. He left behind a wife and two daughters. Watching the body camera of the Clark shooting, you can see the policeman chasing him into the backyard, then stopping and taking cover at the side of the house. The two officers then shoot him eight times, mostly in the back. Once Clark is on the ground, you can hear police officers tell him to get up. You then hear one of the officers say “Hey mute?” and then the audio is cut off. The pressure and risk that the police go through in their jobs goes without question. Not all police are bad. But there are other ways to deal with a suspect then to fatally shoot them, and Stephon Clark’s shooting shows a lack compassion from the police. In the video, Clark is shown running away from them and stopped at a considerable distance away from the officers. At...