The Comenian The student news site of Moravian College Fri, 28 Feb 2020 14:02:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 Great Movies with a Black Lead Fri, 28 Feb 2020 01:59:25 +0000

In honor of Black History Month, I compiled a list of 10 great movies (in no particular order) showcasing a black lead:

“Precious” (2009)

Gabourey Sidibe (you may know her as one of the witches from the third season of “American Horror Story”) plays Precious, a 16-year-old girl living in Harlem with her abusive mother. Precious faces tremendous struggles, such as being raped by her father and birthing two of his children. With the help of her teacher and a social worker (Mariah Carey), Precious learns to read and write, strive for her GED, and create a new life for herself and her children. It is certainly a tearjerker, but it is an amazing movie with an even better cast. 

“Girls Trip” (2017)

Featuring big names like Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip” follows four middle-aged friends who travel to New Orleans for the Essence Festival. Their trip is wild, unpredictable, and hilarious. It is a great movie to watch with a group of friends, especially if you are in the mood for a good laugh.

“Hidden Figures” (2016)

Based on true events, “Hidden Figures” features the story of the black female mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Space Race. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe play the three mathematicians. Although they are all excellent at their jobs, they face segregation and other racist setbacks throughout their work, such as having to walk a half-mile to another building to use the black bathroom and having their names removed from reports. It is especially timely to watch now — one of the real-life women that the movie was based on, Katherine Johnson, passed away this week at 101.

“Dear White People” (2014)

The movie follows escalating racial tensions at a fictitious Ivy League school from the perspective of black students. It was such a hit that it inspired a Netflix series in 2017 under the same name. 

“Roots” (1977)

While it is technically a limited series, it is too good not to include. “Roots” follows several generations of one family, beginning with Kunta Kinte as he is abducted from his home in Africa, sold as a slave in America, and forced to abandon his culture and answer to a new name. “Roots” holds the record for the second-most watched series finale in U.S. history, so believe me when I say you do not want to pass up on watching this. 

“Black Panther” (2018)

“Black Panther” is the first Marvel movie with a predominantly black cast. It follows T’Challa as he returns to his native country of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. Faced with a great and powerful enemy, T’Challa must rally his allies and use his power as a Black Panther to save his people.

“Get Out” (2017)

“Get Out” is director Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, although you would never guess based on how great this movie is. The movie follows Chris Washington as he anxiously prepares to meet the family of his white girlfriend. Her parents make a few racist comments here and there, but Chris soon realizes their words are the least of his worries. 

“Us” (2019)

“Us” is another of Jordan Peele’s masterpieces. It features Lupita Nyong’o as a mother vacationing with her husband and two kids. Nyong’o’s character had a traumatic experience as a child at the same location her family is now vacationing in, although you will not learn until the end of the movie exactly what happened to her. 

“Moonlight” (2016)

“Moonlight” follows Chiron in three stages of his life. The film explores his struggles with his sexuality and identity, as well as the physical and emotional abuse he endures while growing up. It is the first film with an all-black cast, and it is now commonly cited as one of the best films of the 21st century.

“The Color Purple” (1985) 

Based on Alice Walker’s novel of the same name, “The Color Purple” follows Celie throughout much of her life. Celie constantly writes letters to God to cope with traumatic experiences in her life, such as being raped by her father, being separated from her sister at a young age, and being forcefully married to an abusive man. It is a beautiful yet heartbreaking tale of discovering one’s sexuality and identity, as well as overcoming tragedy.

]]> 0
Best Beats: A Comenian Playlist Fri, 28 Feb 2020 01:54:33 +0000 A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke (1964)

The song “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke has become one of the most important and meaningful songs in the civil rights movement. With a gospel background, it was natural for Cook to blend his people’s history with his music, but it was also a very risky task. 

Though it is not his only song to discuss the history and hardships that African Americans had to face at the time and still today, “A Change is Gonna Come” is definitely the heaviest. Most of Cooke’s songs are upbeat and fun, so writing such an emotional song was a surprise even to him. Many of his songs have a sound that people can easily dance to; “A Change is Gonna Come” doesn’t. Instead, the audience just listens and feels his pain. But even through this pain, Cooke is still hopeful. 

According to Cooke, the lyrics for “A Change is Gonna Come” came so naturally to him that it almost scared him. No other song was that easy for him to write. Even though it comes from a first-person perspective, reflecting on his own story, it also applies to the African American population as a whole. 

When Cooke first played the song for his protégé Bobby Womack, he asked what it sounded like, to which Womack responded, “It sounds like death,” and Cooke agreed. The horrible irony to this is that just before the song was released as a single, Cooke was shot dead in a Los Angeles motel. 

Multiple times in the song, Cooke says that he is scared for his life, but he is still hopeful. More than hopeful, he is certain that change will come. It is just a matter of when.

-Shayla Borger

]]> 0
Top 10 Taylor Swift Breakup Songs Fri, 28 Feb 2020 01:54:17 +0000  What do you think of when you think of Taylor Swift? Do you think of her range of music, or do you think of her countless break ups over the course of her music career? I personally think of both, but I like to focus on what songs she can produce after the downfalls of each of her relationships. Valentine’s Day may be over, but sad songs about break ups and troubled love lives live on. 

All Too Well” (2012) 

This is one of my favorite songs on her “Red” album. This song is about her brief relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. This raw ballad explains the intimate details of their  being together and the memories she will always have from that relationship. I like how the song was not necessarily written out of malice but delicately paints a picture of how the break up left her questioning what went wrong. 

My rating: 9/10 because I LOVE a good ballad. 

Getaway Car” (2017)

For a short period, Swift dated Tom Hiddleson, the actor who plays the infamous Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was the first boyfriend she had after she had just gotten out of a lengthy relationship with Calvin Harris. She compares the whole relationship with Hiddleson to being a quick way out of her relationship with Harris. She basically says that their relationship was doomed from the beginning and they lived a lie until the end. 

My rating: 8/10 because even though it is a bop, Hiddleson didn’t deserve to be used as a pawn in her life. 

Tim McGraw” (2003) 

What a throwback to when Swift was predominantly country. If you think about it, this song is one of her sweetest songs. She was a freshman in high school when she wrote it about her boyfriend, and she is writing about how she hopes when he thinks of certain things that were important to him or them, he would remember her and their relationship. 

My rating: 8/10 for sweetness and the idea of high school love. 

The Story of Us” (2010)

Who here knows John Mayer? I personally think he is one of the most irrelevant boyfriends Taylor has had in her life, but their relationship caused her to write two pretty good songs. This song is referencing the aftermath of her relationship with Mayer, and how nerve-wracking it was to act cool and collected if they bumped into one another at an award show. 

My rating: 7/10. The song becomes a little repetitive, but the beat is pretty cool and energetic. 

Should’ve Said No” (2006)

You can just feel Swift transforming into the singer/songwriter we all know her to be today with this song. It is one of her first of many that is dedicated to all of the cheaters in the world, making them responsible for their own actions. In the chorus, she pinpoints the exact things her ex should have done instead of choosing to break her trust and cheat on her. 

My rating: 4/10. It’s not my favorite song, but it’s still important because she calls out her ex and I think that takes some courage, especially being a newer singer/songwriter. 

White Horse” (2008) 

The “Fearless” album is one of Taylor’s best albums she has ever released in her career. This song is for all of the hopeless romantic girls who believed, or still do, in fairytales. If you listen to the lyrics, you can hear the downfall of the couple’s relationship through her choice of words. She comes to the realization of how her significant other is not who she thought he was, essentially her Prince Charming. 

My rating: 6/10 because it’s a good throwback. It’s sad but everyone who has ever had a crush can relate to thinking this one specific person is for you and then realizing they’re not at all who you thought they were.

Back to December” (2010)

TAYLOR SWIFT? APOLOGIZING IN A SONG? Of course this song is going to be on the list. Many fans believe the muse for this country ballad was the “Twilight” star himself, Taylor Lautner. Although they had only dated for a brief time, it was intense. It is a song of reminiscing and how her love interest gave her so much when they were together, when she did not give him enough in return. 

My rating: 6/10. It’s not her best song, BUT it makes me want to sit in my bed, in the dark, pretending I’m in a dramatic music video. 

We Are Never Getting Back Together” (2012)

Another song from her “everything needs to be red” phase, I remember the year this came out because it was the only thing that played on every pop station on the radio. Throughout the song, she pinpoints how she and the “love of her life” keep rekindling their relationship countless times after their many break ups until she calls it quits for the final time. 

My rating: 5/10 because the music video is really weird, and it is one of her more annoying and repetitive break up songs. Nevertheless, it obviously made this list because it’s still upbeat and catchy.

Picture to Burn” (2008)

“He let her drive the truck? He NEVER let me drive the truck.” Ah, this song. Seven or eight-year-old Vickie was THRIVING while listening to this edgy piece. The song is about a boy who she wasted her time on while he was more concerned about himself, and how the boy treated her differently than other girls. This is around the time when she started breaking away from her small town, country persona. 

My rating: 6/10 because the music video gives me Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats” vibes, and we love a good angsty country rock/pop song.

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (2016) 

Okay, okay. I know this song is from the controversial “Fifty Shades” film franchise, but this song showed a side to Taylor that her fans hadn’t really seen before. She paired up with the former “One Direction” member, Zayn Malik, for this piece. Swift and Malik take turns expressing their sides of their relationship, or lack thereof. On his side, he has been waiting for his significant other and just wants her to come home to him. On her side of the story, she doesn’t know whether not being his is a blessing or a curse and if they’ll end up regretting what happened. Through the rest of the song, they go back and forth trying to figure out what went wrong between them. 

My rating: 9/10 because it is definitely a large step away from her country/pop background, plus who doesn’t love a good collaboration with a former “One Direction” member?

]]> 0
The Comenian Guide to Alternative Spring Breaks Fri, 28 Feb 2020 01:54:10 +0000 Spring break is rolling around once again and many students are looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the week-long break. 

Some students will be spending time with their friends and families, while others will embark on traveling adventures. 

For students who are not interested in experiencing the “typical” college spring break, however,  The Center for Career and Civic Engagement offers an alternative program that is targeted towards students who are still interested in travelling but also want to participate in meaningful, hands-on service projects. 

Alternative Spring Break is an opportunity for students to engage in direct service at a location that is not at Moravian. Each trip is targeted towards a specific social issue that is explored throughout the week. This year a total of four trips are being run, including trips to Amarillo, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and a mystery trip. 

The trips this year are coordinated by Gillian Sharkey, the director of civic engagement, and Alternative Spring Break fellow, senior Gabby Sheriff. 

Sharkey and Scherff work together to plan all of the behind-the-scenes logistics, travel arrangements, lodging, budgets, food, and student recruitment, while communicating with the affiliate partners. The team also makes sure that both the students and their parents feel comfortable about where they are going and their itinerary for the week.  

This year, Moravian is sending students to Puerto Rico for the first time. 

Students traveling to the island will be working in San Juan and focusing on areas such as neighborhood revitalization, environmental sustainability, and animal and coastal conservation. Sharkey is thrilled about this year’s trip, and is excited to not only be organizing it but to be serving alongside the students as well. 

Sharkey has been working to bring students to Puerto Rico for two years. However, due to the hurricanes and earthquakes that occurred, she was unable to arrange a trip — until now. “Puerto Rico is my way of fulfilling a promise to the College when the hurricane happened two years ago,” she said. “I am especially passionate about serving the community [there].”

As with the Puerto Rico trip, students who attend the Texas, North Carolina, and mystery trips will be serving alongside a specific community. 

Students going to Texas will be working on the interior of a house which a mother will be moving into. The house is the final one in a neighborhood of 25 homes. The students in North Carolina will be working on three houses that are a part of a Habitat for Humanity community. The houses will be renovated for new families to eventually move into. 

A mystery trip is also being run by Habitat for Humanity this spring. 

The first mystery trip ran in 2017 and was such a success that the trip is continuing to be an alternative break option. After students sign up for it, they receive a packing list along with some general information regarding the trip; the location, however, remains a secret. 

In 2018, the mystery trip was to Monroe, North Carolina, and last year’s trip was to Stuart, Florida. Students either find out their destination while in the van to the airport or on the airplane. “I thought it would be cool to run a trip where students did not know where they were going or what they were doing,” Sharkey explains. “I had heard of it before and was curious to implement it into our program at Moravian.” 

Students are encouraged to participate in some type of service trip throughout their time at Moravian.

Staycation is another option for students who want to participate in service but may not feel comfortable traveling. During Staycation, service projects pertain to a specific social justice issue such as homelessness or to issues related to childhood youth, animal welfare, and food insecurity. 

Students serve around or outside the Lehigh Valley area with a variety of organizations. 

Last year, students volunteered in both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. “Staycation is a great way for students to experience service while staying on campus if they have never done it before,” said special education major, junior TahLea Wright. “It opens up more opportunities, and can also prepare you for future traveling trips.” 

Sharkey underscores the value of alternative spring break trips. “It is one of the most important areas of my job,” she said. “I genuinely love it and the impact it can have on students. I feel very privileged to be able to experience service in a way that is so transformational and immersive.”

]]> 0
MoCo Senior Looks Back on Accepted Students Day Fri, 28 Feb 2020 01:54:03 +0000 Moravian recently held an Accepted Students Day on Saturday, Feb. 15. I volunteered to help with an English major information session, as well as an information table for Gamma Sigma Sigma during lunch. 

Being a senior in my last semester, I naturally began to think about how I was in these students’ shoes only four years ago. Many of them seemed excited, just as I was. Many of them also appeared anxious over such a big change coming their way, just as I was. 

Four years ago, I was likely more anxious about starting college than the average person. More specifically, I was anxious about whether or not I would even be able to begin college. 

My senior year of high school started great; I loved my classes (even statistics!), I had a great group of friends, and I was filling out college applications like most everyone else. 

Then I got sick. Not just a little sick, either. I did not have the flu or a stomach bug or strep. I have always had a slew of digestive issues, but they got significantly worse the second half of my senior year. I could barely eat because anything and everything I ingested resulted in extreme pain, so I lost a ton of weight. My insides were so irritated, raw, and discolored that my doctor told me it looked like someone lit them on fire. 

As a result, I had to spend the last three months of my high school experience in my bed, a doctor’s office, or the hospital. I did a lot of reading, played a lot of video games, and watched a lot of Netflix.

My school sent one of my teachers to my house once a week to tutor me so I could actually graduate, but that was the extent of my social interaction at the time. I could not see my friends, attend my classes, go to prom, or have a last day of school (at least one that I knew was my last). 

Of course I became depressed. But my biggest fear was not being able to start college that fall. I had just chosen Moravian as my home for the next four years, but now all of that was no longer definite. 

Thankfully, my health improved significantly over the next few months and I was able to start on time. Looking back now, I realize that the world would not have ended if I had to start a semester or even a year late. Lots of people take a year off, start working first, enter the military for a few years, etc., and start school later. Everyone has their own timetable, and I was just afraid of not meeting the one that I felt obligated to. 

When I finally did start at Moravian that fall, I was super excited. I have always loved school and had been counting down the days until move-in. Orientation was great; I liked my roommate, befriended a few people, and had a lot of fun. 

Then I started classes, and I hated them. It is totally normal to have a rough first semester. A lot of people struggle adjusting to college classes because, let’s face it, they tend to be harder. So, if that is you now or what you experience in the future, you are definitely not alone. 

The classes I was enrolled in my first semester here were not necessarily difficult; I was just so bored. They were all gen-ed courses that I essentially got stuck with, so I resented going to class every day. I did not have anything to look forward to in terms of my education that semester, which is not a good position to be in. 

I distinctly remember going home one weekend and my mom and I went out to Applebees’ for lunch before she took me back to my dorm. I picked at my food the entire time, not wanting to go back to my dreadful schedule. I had also just gone through a killer breakup, so I was not having a great time in general.

But, long story short, I clearly survived.  I am a senior, I am in good standing, I am involved in a lot, have a great group of friends, love Moravian and my college experience more than anything, and I am graduating in May. 

The moral of the story? You can do it! Whether you have setbacks in the beginning, middle, or the end, you are going to reach an ending that is right for you. You are going to have great college experiences, terrible ones, and everything in between. You are going to question your intelligence, your major, your worth, your future, your present — everything. 

So, for all of the freshies out there, and the potential students coming here in the fall, take a deep breath. If I can do it, you can too. Sometimes all you can do is wait for things to get better, because they always do.

]]> 0
History: Something to “Dye” For Fri, 28 Feb 2020 01:53:55 +0000

When thinking about learning history, people tend to picture two different scenarios: they’re either sitting in a boring old classroom learning basic facts about America over and over again or watching the History Channel showcase aliens and American Pickers every other show. 

Students and faculty in the history department at Moravian, myself included, however, believe history can be interactive and informative and educational — and fun.

To that end, Moravian has begun offering a course called Experimental Archaeology, which is taught by Dr. Sandy Bardsley and Dr. Jamie Paxton. 

In this class, students and faculty alike experiment with many things, including natural dyes. 

Bardsley chooses to do a lot of natural dyeing herself because she believes it recreates and brings awareness to the process our ancestors went through just to get a specific color for their garments. 

As part of the course, for the second time Bardsley and Paxton offered a History Dye-Out last week, a campus-wide demonstration of the traditional natural dyeing process and got the Moravian community involved in doing it.  

Bardsley explained that one of the main dyes used by our ancestors is a blue dye called woad, which is interesting because it looks green in the buckets. Its pale color does not need to be activated by heat, she said, but requires more manual labor to cause a chemical reaction that gets the preferred color. When initially submerged, the garment looks green until it oxidizes to blue. 

Weld is a simple dye; it is a leaf that produces another ancient color —  yellow — when boiled in water. 

Bardsley went on to explain madder and cochineal. 

One of the most popular of ancient dyes, madder is made out of crushed madder roots, which run red but can turn orange-brown if heated too quickly. 

Cochineal may have been one of the prettiest colors at the event. This crimson red dye is made from the red dust that results when dried bugs are crushed. Bardsley said that one of the main questions that the class has to answer is why this beautiful crimson red color is highly valued compared to madder, and why is it so popular compared to the rest. 

I attended the Dye-Out for the first time this year and was surprised by how much I learned in just an hour. I dyed a pair of crew socks and a tiny little flower, and both things turned out beautifully. As a history major, I not only appreciate how the event gives everyone a little insight to the department but also how history can be fun for anyone of any age. 

The main goal of the Dye-Out is to have students outside of the history department understand the importance of how even the simplest things like dyes have developed over time, and how our lives have drastically changed since then.

]]> 0
Loving the Film “Hair Love” Fri, 28 Feb 2020 01:53:46 +0000 The cover of the short film "Hair Love"; Photo Courtesy of:

The cover of the short film “Hair Love”; Photo Courtesy of:

Hair Love” is the touching, Oscar-winning animated film by Matthew A. Cherry about an African American father struggling to do his young daughter’s natural hair for the first time. 

The daughter’s mom, who is sick, had always done her hair, and so the young girl tries to take on the task herself. She begins to watch her mother’s old YouTube hair tutorials, but to no avail. Her father then stumbles in and witnesses the challenge at hand. 

At first, he grabs a hat to put on her head, but it is clear to him that this does not please his daughter. Seeing how distraught she is, he decides to give it a go.

The dad brings up his wife’s video; grabs a comb, some leave-in conditioner, a couple other tools; and dives in. He follows each step of the tutorial: moisturizing the hair strands, parting and sectioning the hair, and before you know it, he accomplishes the look his daughter was yearning for. 

The hug his daughter gives him and the look on her face when she looks at herself in the mirror is priceless. She is absolutely elated by her new hairstyle — and so is he. Following the completion of her new hairstyle, they both finish getting dressed and make their way to visit her mother.

Her mom, who is in the hospital, seems to be suffering from cancer, which causes her to lose her hair. The mother notices just how beautiful her daughter’s hair looks, and the family comes together in a warm hug. 

This film is a clear depiction of how hair really is love. 

“Hair Love” shows how hair is not just ordinary strands that come from the top of one’s head, but it defines who we are. 

For men, a simple haircut at the barbershop can boost their morale for the rest of the week. For women, a perfectly-defined twist out will have them feeling bright and luminous. 

Ultimately, hair is something that brings people together. The barbershop and the hair salon are not only places where hair is done but also safe places for everyone to go. The barbershop and the hair salon can be counseling centers, social hubs, and outreach centers, all in one. 

Seeing the father have that kind of connection with his daughter does nothing but put a smile on my face. Their connection is the kind of connection I hope to have someday with my future daughter. Hair to a woman, especially to a black woman, is her crown, and for me to be able to enhance my daughter’s crown would mean a lot to me. 

This is the major reason I decided to become president of FroNation at Moravian College. Not only did I want to become more involved on campus and step outside of my comfort zone, but, like the dad in “Hair Love,” I wanted to be able to make a positive impact on the lives of others. 

If you have not already, please watch Hair Love.” I promise you will not be disappointed, and you will end the film with a smile on your face.

]]> 0
Moravian Dining Photos Fri, 14 Feb 2020 04:51:29 +0000 0 Best Beats: Love Song Edition Fri, 14 Feb 2020 04:38:45 +0000 This Night” by Billy Joel (1983)

Love songs aren’t my favorite, but I can’t pass up a song that is as sickeningly sweet as eating an entire box of Valentine’s chocolates in one sitting. Billy Joel’s doo-wop album track “This Night” from his 1983 album “An Innocent Man” is about as sweet as it gets. 

If you listen to this song and close your eyes, you will feel like you are being transported back into the 1950s. The doo-wop beat starts off with some a capella background harmonizing but slowly builds with jazz instruments like a saxophone, piano, and continued background vocals. While the beginning of the song is rather slow and peaceful, the music reaches a crescendo towards the end, piquing with Joel’s emotions during the serenade. 

Interestingly, the song actually pulls inspiration from the melody of one of Ludwig van Beethovan’s piano sonatas, specifically one commonly known as “Sonata Pathétique.” With the doo-wop instruments and harmonies, it’s almost unrecognizable. 

However, while the music is emotional and romantic on its own, the lyrics are the part of the song that really make it my favorite love song. The song opens with the introduction of two acquaintances, both emotionally burned from old flames. They seek comfort in each other, but they agree early on that they would only remain friends. However, a fateful slow dance between the two has them “breaking [their] promises right there and then.” 

They stay together for the rest of the night, fighting off all rational thought of how they really shouldn’t be together. He “needs time to forget her,” and she’s “running from someone who’s not over” her. However, despite all that they think should keep them apart, it is really only bringing these two together because they have so much in common. 

The two keep dancing and ensuring themselves that their connection will only last the night and that “tomorrow is a long time away.” However, I think we all know that they will probably stay together longer than just this night.

-Elizabeth Horn

Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton  (1977)

The song “Wonderful Tonight” was written by Eric Clapton in 1976. The song was featured on Clapton’s album “Slowhand,” which was released in 1977. The song is one of Clapton’s most well-known songs, featuring female vocals performed by Marcella Detroit and Yvonne Elliman. The song captures Clapton’s feelings towards a woman while she is getting ready for a night out. 

The song was written about Clapton’s girlfriend at the time, Pattie Boyd. Before the two began dating, Pattie was married to Beatles’s member, George Harrison. The two were married when Clapton first expressed his love towards her in his classic rock ballad, “Layla.” Even in the chaos of this love triangle, Harrison and Clapton still remained good friends. 

The song follows Pattie as the two are getting ready to go to a Buddy Holly tribute concert that was put together by Paul and Linda McCartney. The song reflects Clapton’s emotions as he watches Pattie get ready. As she begins trying on dresses, Clapton begins strumming his guitar. In the moments that Clapton spends observing her and casually strumming his guitar, some of his most iconic song lyrics come to life. 

The two eventually got married. The day after their wedding, Clapton brought Pattie out on stage and sang the song to her at his show in Tucson, Arizona. The song has been featured in several movies and even well-known TV shows all around the world. The song was featured in the episode of “Friends” when Chandler proposes to Monica on “The One With The Proposal.” 

The song reflects the importance of appreciating the little moments in life, the moments that we often take for granted every day. Clapton expresses his feelings towards Pattie through a simple song in which he conveys his feelings towards her. “Wonderful Tonight” is a song packed with beautiful lyrics, powerful vocals, and some of Clapton’s best guitar riffs all wrapped up in one. 

-Liz Schwartz 

Can’t Help” by Parachute (2013)

Parachute is one of those bands that people have heard their songs but don’t know who they are. I often hear some of their songs in grocery stores and restaurants, and I get ridiculously excited every time. They do not have a single song that I don’t enjoy. 

Their song “Can’t Help” on the album “Overnight” is a fairly high-energy song. The lead singer, Will Anderson, desperately tries to avoid his feelings for someone but finally gives in. His song is his way of saying that he gives up trying to avoid it because he has not been successful anyway.

Initially, Anderson “tries to fake it” and “tries to break it” but was unable to, comparing it to a spell cast on him. Now doing a complete 180, he decides to be with the person of interest. He writes this song as a message, hoping that his crush hears it and knows that he has accepted his feelings. 

Throughout the song, Anderson sings about how unexpected it was for him to fall for this person. He has no control over his feelings and cannot avoid them as he wishes he could. I am sure that many of us can relate to this. Regardless of better thinking, we develop feelings for others, even if we wish we didn’t. Even if we try to run from love, it still finds us. 

Anderson goes on to say, “I tried to let it fade but I can’t get away.” Despite our desperate attempts, we cannot just stop having feelings for someone. Even if it does eventually fade, it may take a long time. 

Better than avoiding such feelings is to allow yourself to feel them and see where it takes you. Will Anderson tells us that no matter how hard we try, our hearts overpower. But what is wrong with such emotions anyway? What is so wrong with love and happiness? Even if that is not the final outcome, you will learn more about yourself and the world. So, if you can’t help yourself from falling in love, why try to fight it?

-Shayla Borger

]]> 0
Staff Picks: Best Romantic Comedies and Romances Fri, 14 Feb 2020 04:38:36 +0000

About Time” (2013)

This movie is my personal favorite. It follows the story of Tim, a young man who finds out that the men in his family are time travelers. Tim soon uses his newfound ability to woo a girl (Rachel McAdams) because, being the quirky guy he is, he wants their first meeting to be perfect. Filled with equally funny and touching moments, “About Time” is a rom-com you definitely want to watch. 

Love Actually” (2003)

Comprised of an all-star cast including big names like Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightly, and Alan Rickman, “Love Actually” follows the lives of several couples in various stages of their relationships. Marriage, unrequited love, puppy love, language barriers, workplace romance, and an emotional affair are all part of this movie. By the close of the film, it is apparent that all of these couples’ lives intersect in some way. It’s definitely a cheesy movie, but it’s sweet and entertaining nonetheless. 

A Walk to Remember” (2002)

Nicholas Sparks did not fail to make me sob with this tale. “A Walk to Remember” is a movie based on Sparks’s novel of the same name. It follows teenage Landon who gets into a bit of trouble and is forced to join the school play as a punishment. There, he meets Jaime (Mandy Moore), the pastor’s daughter who is a bit of an outcast. Jaime makes Landon promise her one thing: he won’t fall in love with her. And the story goes from there. It’s equally heartbreaking and heartwarming. 

Mamma Mia” (2008)

While “Mamma Mia” is a total cheesefest, who wouldn’t want to listen to ABBA music for nearly two hours? The movie follows Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) as she is preparing for her wedding. Sophie wants to invite her dad, but the problem is that she doesn’t know who he is. After finding her mother’s (Meryl Streep) diary, she realizes that three men are potentially her father. She then does the obvious thing: she invites all three of them. 

The Fault in Our Stars” (2014)

Based on John Green’s novel of the same name, “The Fault in Our Stars” follows Hazel Grace as she falls for Augustus ‘Gus.’ Hazel Grace has cancer, and she meets Gus, a cancer survivor, in a church support group. She warns Gus that she’s a ticking time bomb, but the two fall in love anyway. I can’t say much more without giving things away, but “The Fault in Our Stars” is a bittersweet story I’d watch one thousand times over. 

-Christine Wieder

Love, Simon” (2018)

This wholesome movie is what society and the romantic comedy genre needed. The film follows the life of a young high school student who chooses to keep his sexual identity a secret from everyone in his life because he is afraid of being bullied. One day, someone anonymously posts to their school website that they are gay. Simon, the main character, then starts corresponding with this anonymous boy who goes by the pseudonym “Blue” throughout the entire film. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but this movie showcases how people in the LGBTQ+ community can feel when it comes to opening up about their identity, especially when dealing with the hardships of high school.

Shakespeare in Love” (1998)

If you love a good fictional romance-drama about literary authors, this one is fantastic. This movie follows the story of a young William Shakespeare and a girl who becomes his love interest and assists him throughout his writer’s block. Throughout the movie, you get a taste of gender inequality, class divide, and Shakespeare’s famous works. 

Set it Up” (2018)

This Netflix original is hands down one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time. I’ve seen it so many times that I can probably quote it by heart. The two main overworked characters meddle in their bosses’ lives in hopes that they will fall in love. Throughout the movie we see the scheming come to an all time high from these two workers, and in the end the watcher wants to root for more than the bosses’ relationship to bloom. 

50 First Dates” (2004)

In this film, Henry, who is played by Adam Sandler, tries to win the heart of a woman named Lucy, played by Drew Barrymore. After wooing her the first time they meet, he tries to go further with their relationship. Henry finds out that she has short-term memory loss and relives the exact same day over and over again with the help from her father and brother. Sandler’s character must prove to her family that he’s in love with her and would do anything for her. Who wouldn’t love this movie? Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are one of the greatest duos in the history of friendship and acting.

Me Before You” (2016)

If you want a movie that makes you feel equally goopy and sad inside, this film should be your go-to. Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) finds herself hired as a caretaker to a man, Will Traynor, who was left paralyzed after a vehicular accident. Throughout the movie, you see his cold attitude towards her and life in general begins to lighten as her optimistic outlook on life makes him want to feel alive again. 10/10 for choice of actors, 10/10 for story plot, and a 10/10 to everyone who helped make this movie because it has made me squeal multiple times.

-Victoria Ritter

]]> 0