I teach classes that often focus on women’s studies and feminism. In the past I have been told that maybe I should teach fewer texts about women and that my classes would be better if I wasn’t a feminist. What should I do? How should I respond?
Wow, they sound pretty grumpy over your curriculum. If they smiled more they’d have a better outlook on life–and everyone else’s that they’re trying to manage. Has this time of the month been hard on them? Maybe their place just isn’t in the classroom. If they have any domestic skills, you should encourage this person to try them, you know, out of the goodness of your heart. Because you’re a nice professor.
As my students know, I’m a die-hard follower of the Cleveland Browns football team. Yet, my Brownies do nothing but lose and fill my life with immeasurable sadness. I’m not sure that my heart can withstand being broken every Sunday, and I’ve begun to doubt my loyalty. Should I remain faithful despite the constant sorrow, or is it finally time to become a New England Patriots fan?
-Steven B. Wenz, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Dear Professor Wenz,
Careful with your talk about loyalty. As soon as the locals hear your doubt, that’s when they get you. It starts with a casual, “Go Patriots,” muttered under the breath as you pass by. Before you know it, you’re waking up in a Brady jersey and you don’t remember how you got it. By the time the Super Bowl arrives you’ll know nothing but the glare of the sun on New England snow and a call towards red on navy blue. Ohio will mean nothing to you. Don’t bother trying to run. It’s The Way Life Should Be.
Dam Turkey Day
The time to stuff our faces with turkey, stuffing, and pies is nigh. Images of a heaping cornucopia of steaming food can cloud our vision and financial judgment. Cooking a traditionally large, exquisite Thanksgiving meal can be enough to break anyone’s budget.
Before you decide what you’re cooking, set aside a budgeted amount of money. Setting a limit will steer you away from splurging and losing track of your food spending until the final item has been rung up.
The meat of a Thanksgiving meal is generally the most expensive item on the table. This may be controversial, but maybe you don’t need a whole turkey. Turkey’s breasts, thighs, and drumsticks will be cheaper and cook faster than a whole turkey, saving you time and money.
When it comes to vegetables and pies don’t shy away from canned or frozen goods. After it’s been cooked, the only noticeable difference will be in your wallet.
After completing your Thanksgiving budget, break out your phone and use a coupon or savings app to see what deals you can find on the items you’ve chosen.
On top of saving all that dam money, don’t forget to be thankful for the loved ones around you- they’re priceless. DM FinLit on Instagram at Umf_Finlit or send me an email at email@example.com to set up an appointment.
Ripley Biggs Contributing Writer
As applications for new Community Assistants (CA) open up for the spring semester, students should know there is more to the job than meets the eye.
“I would say that [students] should know that being a CA is a 24/7 job, even when we are not in the office we are technically ‘on duty,’” said Sierra Tarbox, Scott Hall CA and junior liberal studies major.
Being “on duty” is the most visible part of being a CA. “Duty is when you sit in the office and take care of things like paperwork, hanging up posters, filling out things, and checking on residents,” said Tess Gioia, Stone Hall CA and sophomore with a currently undeclared major.
Other CA job responsibilities include making bulletin boards and door decs as well as going to meetings and ensuring a healthy, safe and thriving dorm environment. Additionally CA’s are the first ones to arrive in the fall and after breaks and the last ones to leave after checking everyone else out.
CA’s have to participate in training before each semester, both to refresh themselves and to meet and work with new staff. As they are also mandated reporters, CA’s engaged in more difficult training as well, preparing for instances, “like if a resident were to come to us saying that they’ve been sexually assaulted or how we would handle a mental health/suicidal ideation situation,” said Tarbox.
Cait Davidson and Sierra Tarbox (Photo courtesy of Sierra Tarbox)
Training also includes guest speakers, such as staff from the Health Center, Public Safety or Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services (SAPARS), according to Tarbox. “We also have presentations from our Area Coordinators and other residential life staff members and sometimes even other Community Assistants, we also do group activities,” she said. “They really try to change it up and keep us engaged with the stuff we’re doing, as everything we’re learning is incredibly pertinent to the job that we were hired to do.”
To help build a community in their residence halls, CA’s put on a variety of programs. The programs must fall under one of five categories: community building, diversity and support, health and well-being, personal development and all areas. “We use these programs to educate residents, bring fun into the hall, and build a sense of community,” said Tarbox.
People who want to be a CA go into the job for many different reasons. Tarbox said, “I am a Community Assistant because I am the kind of person who takes joy from helping other people, and to have a job that allows me to act as a support system for people who need it. It is something I really value.”
Being a CA comes with many challenges. “The biggest challenges of this job I would say are the time commitments,” Tarbox said, “and sometimes if you aren’t careful and practicing self-care you can burn out pretty easily.”
But the job also comes with many rewards. “Actually being able to help someone when they need support is the best possible reward. Helping residents be happy and successful is an incredible feeling,” said Tarbox.
“This job is important because we have to help maintain order and safety within the halls so that everyone can be their most successful and authentic selves during their time here,” Tarbox continued. “I would also mention that we are students and people too, we can get overwhelmed and tired just as easily as anyone else so please take it easy on us, we are just trying to keep you all safe, that’s our top priority.”
For people who are interested in applying to be a CA, Erica Crawley, graduate student and Area Coordinator for Scott Hall, recommends, “evaluat[ing] if being a CA is really what you want to do, make sure you have the time, talk to a CA.” Crawley also asks students, “Do you have the ability to relate to people? If you can strike up a conversation with people you don’t know, that is huge.”
“If you are thinking about applying, my advice is to just go for it! This job isn’t meant for one specific kind of person. For example, I’m super introverted but I’m still able to do this job. We thrive most when there are many different kinds of people on staff,” said Tarbox.
“My advice is to be yourself. If you act any differently, you aren’t being true to who you are, which is a big part of the job. Just be yourself and relax,” said Gioia.
According to the University of Maine at Farmington work-study job opportunities list, there are 37 CA positions on campus. Interested applicants must have a GPA of 2.5, but if someone who is interested has a lower GPA there can be a probationary period to allow the GPA to improve. The application process involved is somewhat different for spring versus fall semester. Both require a resume, cover letter, and recommendations from both current CA’s and staff or outside sources. Applicants will shadow a CA while on duty and write up a reflection on the experience. Lastly, there is an in-person interview.
If any interested student would like to apply to become a CA, student life has started the process of hiring for next semester. Applications are being accepted until Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. More information about the application process and the application form can be found at https://sites.google.com/maine.edu/community-assistant-app/
Kaitlynn Tarbox Contributing Writer
“Psycho Beach Party,” performed recently by members of the UMF Theater Program, showed audience members themes of mental health awareness, LGBTQ+ relationships, and camp in the 1960s.
Melissa Thompson, assistant professor of visual and performing arts, directed this semester’s production. Thompson describes camp as “explicitly grounded in subcultural queer ways of communcating and creating, humor and critiguing pop culture and politics through a little bit of coded lanquage because this was written in 1986 and set in the 1960s.”
Chicklet and Mrs. Forrest
(Photo courtesy of Stan Spilecki)
Thompson chose this production because “when you’re planning out a theatrical season in the educational theater, you want to make sure that you give the students that are here at UMF a variety of genres to try out.”
This show talked about not only mental health awareness but the LGBTQ+ community as well. It illustrated the evolution and coming out story of two characters and the main protagonist struggled to understand her Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). DID was previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder, which is classified as two or more personalities that are shown through actions and behaviors.
The cast and crew put in roughly 20 hours a week rehearsing and did so for a total of five weeks as well as one week of tech. The casting process was “gender free,” Thompson said.
The main character Chicklet was originally played by a male in drag, as well as the character of Marvel Ann. However the only character who was played by a cast member in drag was Mrs. Forrest, Chicklet’s mother, who was played by Joseph Campbell, sophomore secondary education major.
While learning his lines were time consuming, Campbell said, “The bulk of prep work every day was sitting down as the makeup people spent about an hour and a half doing my makeup, and then getting into costume, which took about another half hour generally speaking.”
People auditioned for a variety of reasons. Campbell said he auditioned because, “I love comedies, especially campy/weird ones like Psycho Beach Party. I knew that they had drag roles in the show and that seemed like a super exciting thing to try as well.”
Audrey Bradbury, sophomore theater major, played Marvel Ann. “I auditioned for the show primarily because acting is my favorite thing to do on Earth, but also because the play intrigued me,” she said.
Putting the show together took a great deal of hard work according to Thompson, Campbell and Bradbury. What Thompson did not expect was the cast quickly learning to help each other even though they had not known each other long. “My favorite part of directing the show was watching the way the cast worked together,” Thompson said. “There were lots of first-years, lots of transfer students, and they kind of gelled together really quickly. You got to see them bounce ideas off each other.”
Thompson said the main thing she wanted audience members to take away from the show was for “people to have this comedic experience that is not necessarily the kind of comedic experience you have everyday.”
Laughter filled the room during many scenes despite the vulgarity of the humor that it is typical of a camp theme. Some jokes in the script, due to their vulgarity, might not be seen as funny outside of the show, but camp is unique for the way the tone of the characters can change the delivery to get a laugh from the audience. In one scene, Mrs. Forest starts to hit Chicklet but the scene is turned to hilarity in the audience’s eyes as the weapon of choice is a jockstrap, highlighting the strange nature of the play.
Nathan McIvor Vice President
Later this month, just before Thanksgiving break, WUMF, UMF’s student-run radio station, will host a benefit concert they’re calling, “Show-offs,” to display student talent and raise money for the Colin Bradford Scholarship Fund, a student and WUMF Director of Rock Music who passed away this summer. The concert will feature live performances – including a dance number – and an appearance from the popular campus acapella group ClefNotes; various student-run bands bands and solo artists will also be performing.
The concert is “a way for WUMF to get our toes back in the water for doing events,” said WUMF President Kai Strine. “This is the first time we’ve done something like this and we’re building it basically from scratch, though we’d consider making it an annual event if it goes well,” he said.
Sly Schulze (left) and Kai Strine (right). (Photo courtesy of Kai Strine)
Wanting the event to have a “dressed down, have-fun, atmosphere,” WUMF elected to host the concert in Lincoln Auditorium so that there could be no volume restrictions on the music, according to Strine, who hopes the event will “get people together to have a good time before Thanksgiving.”
The Colin Bradford Scholarship Fund was established in 2019 by Bradford’s family after his passing over the summer. “Colin was a rising junior studying secondary education. He planned to return to his hometown to be a science teacher. He excelled academically and was also involved in several activities outside of the classroom. . . He was a talented musician, and was the winner of the Spring Fling Talent Show in 2019,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Christine M. Wilson in a July email mourning Bradford’s passing.
“He was part of our family, so we decided to give to the fund however we could. We’re very sentimental here. We consider the club close to family,” said Strine, who had served on the WUMF executive with Bradford during his time at UMF. A raffle will be held at the concert in order to benefit the fund.
“I wanted to get into radio before I even came here. I joined [WUMF’s] e-board as soon as I was able to and it just kind of snowballed from there in the best way possible,” said Strine, who was the Director of World Music before becoming the club’s president.
Originally from Holden, ME, he plans to “go into a school and be a language resource for people” after he graduates in the spring with a bachelor’s in K-12 French education. “[Though] if I end up in a radio career over the summer, or something like that, that’s going to be fantastic, too,” Strine said.
The Show-Off’s concert will be held in Lincoln Auditorium on Saturday, Nov. 23. Admission to the event will be free. Catch WUMF on air at 91.5.