You happen upon a tiny frog who grants tiny wishes. The frog informs you that you cannot wish for big things, like money, love, or power, or wishes that will benefit a population. What do you wish for? -Freckles the Flyer Frog
Freckles the Flyer Frog
By Faith Rouillard and Malcolm Langner:
– A restful night sleep
– A pencil that never goes missing
– A shower that never gets cold
– A full fridge without going grocery shopping
– Flawless internet while on Zoom
– A clone to attend Zoom classes
– A phone that never dies
– A white and sunny Christmas
– White shoes that never get dirty
– A coffee table that won’t slide away from your feet
– Getting into shape without having to exercise
– No ads on games or TV
– Never getting toothpaste on your clothes again
By Portia Hardy:
– Jeans that fit perfectly
– An electronic charger that works on any device
– A never-ending jug of pure maple syrup
By Emma Pierce:
– A bedroom that cleans itself
– Paper mâché that dries quickly
– Glasses that don’t smudge
Darby Murnane, Editor-In-Chief
We close out the year with the spring’s final issue of the Farmington Flyer. As with the previous issue, we are still solely online with our contributing writers and reporters scattered across Maine and the U.S. Our stories in this issue continue to look outward from the UMF campus and cover a greater range of material from as many regions as our writers reside.
It is strange not to be holding the final issue in my hands, not to be writing these words on campus but rather from six states away. This is certainly not the proper ending to my time on Flyer that I had imagined, but so very few endings ever feel right and proper. So I will take what I have and make of it what I can.
Though this may be an ending for me, it is a beginning for the new staff who will be taking the reins on the paper for the year to come. I’d like to introduce Portia Hardy and Colin Harris as the new Editor in Chief and Assistant Editor. The current Assistant Editor and Secretary Emma Pierce will be guiding the new staff into their roles with her experience and expertise, as well her unending patience from dealing with me.
And to Portia and Colin, I offer you some advice that hopefully can be construed as wisdom and thoughts to keep with you as you take this paper and make it your own: This is the time to practice looking at the world with a more piercing gaze than you would’ve looked with before. There is always another layer to a story, another question to ask, another perspective to seek, another angle to consider. Pay attention to the story itself- this might sound silly, what else would you be paying attention to? But sometimes the story knows how it wants to be told, how it needs to be told, and if you don’t pay attention, you run the risk of telling it wrong as some stories require a specific form and voice. You will miss things- constantly. But don’t be afraid of that. Learn to ask yourself, “What am I missing? How do I find it?” Ask for help. This is not a job done alone, and should never be. I would never have survived without my fellow editors and relied daily on the support of their teamwork. And beyond even the staff, remember that this job is done with the help of those who agree to talk to you. Never forget your sources and the favor they have done you by donating their time and voices. Remember your empathy. If you don’t have an honest connection to your sources, if you don’t earn their trust, you have nothing. If a story of some sensitivity and weight lands on your desk, your every decision should be made with respect, dignity, and care. Not every detail, not every piece of a person, is meant for a larger audience.
Remember your grit, your resilience, your spine. It is your job in your reporting to maintain accountability and transparency. It’s your job to ensure nothing stays hidden or swept under the rug. But sometimes doing that job will start a fire. Even a small student paper like ours can, and has, sparked change. There will be days when it feels like everyone and their grandmother is coming after you. And it may induce the urge to throttle someone. Resist the urge, I beg you. And listen. Has there been a mistake? If so, how do you fix it? If you can swear up and down that you’ve done everything right, you may very well feel a wave of righteous anger, a sense of how dare you, and feel as though you should express all those feelings in the strongest possible terms. Don’t. If you can, wait 24 hours to collect yourself. If you can’t wait and an immediate response is required, never underestimate the power of asking “Can you tell me about your concerns?” It’s when you refuse to listen that a real problem will arise.
An editorial position is a lot to take on and I will not hide that from you. Just take it one story, one issue at a time and have mercy on yourself.
And to you, dear readers, be gentle. A student newspaper staff is perpetually in the learning curve as roles change hands every year. But still, hold us accountable as we hope to hold the community accountable. We will never continue to grow if our faults are hidden from us.
Thank you for your time, your voices, and your stories. Until we meet again.
Goodnight and Good News,
Darby Murnane, Editor-In-Chief 2019-2020
I write to you as a member and Co-Captain of the UMF Dance Team. The spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has greatly affected many on our team. Every year, the team works hard to perform at TD Garden on the court of the Boston Celtics. This year our team would have danced to the song “Confident” by Demi Lovato. Our dance was fast, sassy, fun and well-rehearsed. We finished learning the dance a month in advance of the performance, but unfortunately we were never able to show our dance in the proper venue. Our season was over. At our last practice we filmed the dance and posted it to our Instagram page.
As a member of the UMF Dance Team, and one who, like the rest of the members, was looking forward to the chance to perform on the 360 degree stage, I am truly sad to see my team’s hard work lead to nothing more than a video. However, in light of these hard times I can’t help but think what an amazing season our team had. We may not have been able to perform at TD Garden, but we were able to perform on our home court, which is nothing to sneeze at. We can all smile when “Confident” by Demi Lovato comes on the radio, showing our bond to our team. While it may seem that our season and academic year has ended with a bang, in the form of a pandemic no less, you know what they say: “the show must go on.”
As a team, we plan on hosting group dance sessions, so that even at home we all remain connected. We may even do group zoom yoga, which might help many to relax and destress in these very wonky times. Our team group chat is very much alive and healthy, filled with words of love and appreciation, not to mention all the lovely heart emojis. Even though the team is heartbroken over the cancellation of one of our most prized performances, we are all trying to remain positive, which is the most anyone can do right now.
Being able to remain positive and reminding yourself of all the love that your friends have and the love you hold for them is one way to help survive the new world that UMF has implemented. Trying to find ways to remain connected and in contact with others is a great idea when facing social isolation. Stay active, even if that means doing Zoom yoga. Hopefully we’ll laugh about this one day.
The UMF Dance Team, like many other teams and clubs on campus, have experienced cancellations due to COVID-19. Our team is trying to remain connected to each other. Staying positive will help us all to navigate these new and strange waters.
Co-Captain of the UMF Dance Team
Portia Hardy Contributing Writer
The beloved UMF “Rocky Horror Picture Show” shadowcast is in danger of disappearing due to a lack of Student Senate Spring Fling funding. Head director, senior Chloe Woodward, and her directing team are fighting to surpass financial obstacles for at least one more show this spring.
“Rocky Horror might not happen next year,” said Woodard. “We have always received funding through the Spring Fling senate funding. [But] there is no Spring fling, that is confirmed.”
Choreographer Alexis Ramee, a junior, is concerned for the show’s usual charitable donations and new monetary stress placed on the cast. “. . .everything we raised as a group went straight to SAPARS (Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services),” she said in an email interview. “Now that there is no Spring Fling any more, we, as a whole group, have to come together to raise money so we can get the costumes and props we need for the show.”
Woodward said cast members have had to dip into their own personal funds for supplies. “I’ve already spent over 200 dollars on getting to start the show. The cut of funding might mean that there is no more Rocky.”
Rocky Horror has been shown at UMF for about 10 years now as a shadowcast, where actors and dancers perform on stage with the movie playing on screen behind them. Shadowcast origins trace back to the film’s release in the 1970’s, as does its reputation as a cult-classic.
“Rocky Horror is a movie that was made in the 70’s that didn’t do good at all when first released so they then moved it to the midnight showings,” Ramee said in her email, disclosing a brief history of the show. “By doing that only a select few people could even watch it but it was those people that got stuck on it. That’s how the ‘cult’ part all started,” she said. “It influences today’s viewers because a lot of us go in knowing what the call lines are or even what the purpose of the movie as a whole was. Even people who haven’t seen it or haven’t immersed themselves within this culture come out of the woodworks to see the UMF production. The cast members are the audience members as well.”
Senior Darby Murnane has been involved with Rocky for three years now, playing lead roles like Janet and Frank-N-Furter. This year, on the directing team, her current title is “Helping Princess,” she said.
“[Rocky] is an erotizised paradody of ‘Frankenstein,’ in which our Dr. Frank-N-Furter, our Frankenstein copy, is building himself a lover instead of a monster, and the deep subplot is he’s going to build multiple lovers and sell them off for profit,” said Murnane.
The show is unique for the audience participation in call-lines, developed by early audiences who saw midnight showings on a regular basis. The audience often yells, “Asshole!” and “Slut!” at characters Brad and Janet, a newly engaged couple.
The plot follows Brad and Janet as they stumble across Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion one dark night looking for a telephone to use, “and then everything goes wrong,” Murnane explains.
The show’s rich history of traditions is the cast’s responsibility to uphold. “It carries a lot of weight, the call lines created a forced interaction and participation with the film,” Murnane said. “It’s not really a zone-out show, because there’s so much happening, you really have to be in on it. It’s primarily a cult of the LGBTQ community and the torch gets passed along from cast to cast to uphold the culture there.”
Ramee and Murnane hold out hope that someone will take over the show to keep it alive on campus next year. “I do hope a club will come and start doing Rocky. It will be very sad to see it end. But if this is the end, then you should be damn sure we are going out with a bang,” Ramee wrote.
The directors are prioritizing the survival of the family-oriented nature of the cast. “The Rocky cast really is a family for the people that are in it and I would like to see that continued for people who really need that in the way that I needed it and still do. I found Rocky when I was struggling and it saved my life in more ways than one,” Murnane said.
In Woodward’s time as assistant director and now leader, she’s seen what the Rocky family means. “There’s been so many people that come up to me after the show and say, ‘Wow, you guys really helped me through all these hard times,’” she said. “One of our biggest things is consent, it really helps people who have struggled with sexual assault.”
“It’s a day where people can just be themselves without fear of judgment or cruelty,” said Ramee.
Those interested in helping can donate to the cast or Woodward’s GoFundMe page.
Portia Hardy Contributing Writer
The UMF Clefnotes, one of the two acapella groups on campus, is in dire need of male voices. Currently the club is composed of a majority of women with nine female vocalists and three male vocalists.
Vanessa Brown, co-president of the Clefnotes, says that having male vocalists is necessary to the functioning of the group. “They add a much-needed balance and sound to our group that we need for our arrangements,” said Brown in an email interview. “Having male voices also allows for us to meet new people, diversify our sound.”
“Men tend to balance out the female voices with a deeper tone and a completely different sound,” said Teraesa Gioia, a second-year member of the group. “If there are too many female voices in a non-completely female group the sound will tend to sound very high and not quite complete, but with the tenor sound and the bass sound you can get a fully vocal experience.”
The a cappella group has been historically more female oriented. “In the four years I’ve been in the group, we’ve always had more girls than guys. This is the first year that it’s changed,” said Brown. “A cappella, as a musical genre, has been fluctuating in general in popularity at many college campuses, but it’s slowly been fading out of interest.”
Gioia echoed a similar sentiment as she said, “When I was a freshman there were four to five men, but there has never been more men than women, as far as I know.”
Brown, however, said that a potential cause for this decrease may be in the UMF campus demographic: UMF has more female than male students.
If the trend of more females joining the group continues, the Clefnotes may look to becoming an ensemble of female voices. “It wouldn’t be ideal, but we’re hoping that we can find more men to sing in our choir,” said Gioia.
Yet Brown feels that this version of the club’s future may not come true, noting that the club may adapt to a “different kind of music ensemble in general.” As a senior and co-leader in the club, Brown is focusing on “enjoying our last semester with these great individuals. It’s up to the group what their next step will be, and it’s my job and everyone else’s to help them get to that point.”
Brown has a message for male singers on campus: “To all the male vocalists who are considering auditioning, or are afraid to audition, or don’t think they’re ‘good enough’ to audition: all voices are welcome,” she said. “You don’t need to be a perfect singer, there’s no such thing, we hope to see you there. And if it’s scary, we appreciate taking that risk; we’ve all been in your position, and we get it!”
The auditions for the Clefnotes this year will take place on Wed., Feb. 12, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Nordica Auditorium, in Merrill Hall. Interested singers should prepare 30 seconds of a chosen song.