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See the world, study abroad

By Apple Parry

Students who are interested in seeing the world, meeting new people, and trying new foods should check out the study abroad program at Whatcom Community College.

“It’s definitely worth it. I can almost guarantee it’s something you won’t forget for the rest of your life,” said Ulli Schraml, the associate director of international programs at Whatcom.

Over the next year, Whatcom students can attend study abroad trips around the world, in countries such as France, India, Morocco, and Spain.

Whatcom is not alone in this educational endeavor — it is working with 16 other colleges through the Whatcom Community College Consortium for Study Abroad.

Schraml said that working with the Consortium helps to recruit students, making the overall cost cheaper.

Included in the cost of the trip is housing, insurance, a public transportation pass, and group excursions, such as hiking trips or museum tours.

But students must foot the bill for airfare, a passport, and tuition, along with other less-obvious expenses.

“It definitely is a big challenge,” Schraml said, “plan ahead.”

The change of being abroad can help some struggling students, Schraml said, “Generally students who are not doing that well here are doing better abroad. It’s a new environment. It’s hands-on learning. Basically anyone can go.”

Lyon, France:

Lyon is a hot-spot for student tourism.

Upon arrival, there will be a tour of the ancient city and its 2,000-year-old historic center, plush with Roman architecture.

Students can look forward to cheese tasting, cooking classes, and a day trip to Beaune, a city revered among wine aficionados — also included are visits to the Roman amphitheater and, equally exciting, a chocolate shop.

Study abroad classes are tailored to fit the location by faculty. Professors teach classes that they have taught before in America and infuse them with a new angle appropriate to the country the class is visiting.

The class students who visit Lyon will be taking is “American Literature: Visions of France,” which is a five credit course.

This trip is planned for spring quarter. The application deadline is December 14, 2018.

Himachal Pradesh, India:

There is not much information about the trip to Himachal Pradesh, except that it will be in summer quarter and will be combined with an environmental literature class — the rest is TBD.

The application deadline is Jan 4, 2019.

Rabat, Morocco:

The trip to Rabat offers a new twist on the traditional study abroad experience: students will be staying with a host family.

Students can hope to experience Rabat’s rich and colorful culture by making bread, taking dance lessons, and going on a three-day excursion to the history-soaked city of Marrakesh.

Classes are varied and include subjects such as history, literature, and colloquial Moroccan Arabic lessons, which are taught by a local instructor.

This is the second study abroad opportunity of the summer. The application deadline for Morocco is May 15, 2019.

Barcelona, Spain:

Visiting Barcelona, touted as the most modern city in Spain, is an option for study abroad in the fall.

Students will enjoy weekly cultural activities; an overnight stay in Zaragoza, a city with impressive architecture; and a three-day trip to different Spanish highlights.

This trip is paired with a creative writing class, which involves writing a travel journal, or an English literature class.

The application deadline is June 24, 2019.

Studying abroad is a mix of work and pleasure, and Schraml said it’s important to strike a balance.

“There is always free time, but it’s definitely a commitment,” Schraml said.


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Unwrapping the gift of Christmas cinema

By Apple Parry

This holiday season is upon us, folks. So grab your cocoa, sit back, and get critical. I picked five different movies that don’t have anything in common except for the time of year they were set in, and I rated them.

‘Elf’

elf

Will Ferrell gave his most wholesome performance as Buddy the Elf in “Elf.” As far as Christmas movies go, this is the perfect balance between comedic and extravagant.

Without going totally over the top, this movie still hits all the marks of a feel-good show.

Early on, Buddy discovers he is adopted, and this is quite a shock to Buddy because he is delusional. So he heads out to find his dad.

While Buddy is navigating his way through New York, he gets hit by a car, demonstrates the proper way to go up an escalator, how to really make spaghetti, and teaches the youth how to win a snowball fight.

Rated G, this movie is perfect for watching with your entire family, especially if someone is adopted, and you need to find a way to tell them. — just send them to a worldwide crime hot-spot, alone, wearing an elf costume, and I think they’ll get the message.

I give this movie 10 out of 10 candy canes.

‘Love Actually’

love actually

If you haven’t seen “Love Actually,” you’ll be just fine.

With nine different story lines, this movie shows us how to actually love.

It stars Professor Snape, Nanny McPhee, the guy from “Taken,” and a bunch of other British people.

Take away a few scenes and the Christmas theme, and this movie could have been set at any time of the year.

Kirsten Parry, my mom, said, “The entire movie caters to the male ego” and “It’s annoying.” But if you like unnecessarily complicated and inappropriate movies, give this rom-com a watch.

I give this movie 9 out of 10 trash cans

‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’

grinch

The Christmas movie that basically raised me was Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

We all know the story of how a bitter, former Who tried to ruin Christmas for the hopeful town folk, and how in the end, his heart grew three sizes.

But with the help of relatable teens, a new side of the Grinch was uncovered. When the Grinch ate glass and struggled to find something to wear, we all felt that.

Jim Carrey made a hashtag-relatable character. The only bad thing about this movie is how creepy the makeup and hair make the actors look.

If you’ve ever wanted to be inside a snowflake for an hour and 50 minutes, just head on down to Whoville. But don’t stay too long, the whole town revolves around Christmas, and that’s why the Grinch left in the first place.

I give this movie 38 out of 37 Who puddings.

‘The Princess Switch’

princess switch

Netflix debuted their newest original this holiday season, “The Princess Switch,” and it is bad.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a Christmas version of “The Parent Trap,” just log onto Netflix and search this title.

Vanessa Hudgens, who plays both main roles, does not make a classy comeback.

Every plot point is overdone and, in 2018, is redundant. Hudgens’ British accent alone is reason enough to not watch this movie.

93 percent of Google users liked this movie, which means 93 percent of Google users are idiots.

There are reasons humans have the ability to imagine and create, and this isn’t one of them.

I give this movie a “multiply by zero” rating, because it will never be good.

 ‘Die Hard’

die hard poster

Bruce Willis stars as John McClane, “a hard man to kill,” in “Die Hard.”

When McClane flies to L.A. to visit family on Christmas Eve, everything goes terribly wrong. Alan Rickman, who plays the villain in this movie as well, takes McClane’s wife as a hostage.

McClane sneaks his way around the building unseen, like a badass, and breaks a lot of things. The film includes terrorists, elevator shafts, walkie talkies, and iconic one liners. There will always be controversy when it comes to whether this is a Christmas movie or not, but I think we can all agree It’s a nice break from literally any Hallmark movie.

I give this movie 1 out of 1 “yippee ki yays.”

Happy holidays to all, and to all a good quarter.


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Sustainability Club hosts a fall festival

By Apple Parry

In order to recruit new members, the Sustainability Club set up “Fall Fest,” a Halloween themed event in front of Heiner Center on Oct 30.

Fall Fest included games like pumpkin bowling and tic-tac-toe with potatoes.

pumpkin bowling

Sustainability Club members go “pumpkin bowling” in front of Baker Hall

“Through this community we can work together in a fun and creative way to inform others to do better for the environment,” Nano DeOliveira said, a Sustainability Club member.

The Sustainability Club focuses on making Whatcom Community College more environmentally conscious.

Brian Cope, a co-advisor for the club, said, “We always have a project that we’re working on, such as Fall Fest.”

Stephanie Hombroek, another member of the Sustainability Club, said their goal is to “move towards a sustainable future.” Hombroek said they participate community service, go on hikes to pick up litter, and have guest speakers who inform members about the environment.

Mariia Nepuliaera joined the club because of her concerns about the future. She said, “We only have 12-15 years until climate change is inevitable, and you can’t do anything to change it.”

DeOliveira added that the club is, “about creating a community of people that are like-minded in seeing the importance in preserving the natural ecosystem.”

Their goals for the end of the school year, Hombroek says, are to “raise awareness, to be as informed as we can, and take this [experience] with us in the future,” so that they can continue leading more sustainable lives.

They recently contributed to the community by handing out flyers with tips describing how you can recycle your carved pumpkins from Halloween.

The club meets on Wednesday s in Kulshan 224 at 4:00 p.m.

Cope said, “Every year we do something a little bit different.” adding that the president of the club, Justin Claus, “would like to have a conference by the end of the year.”


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“The Kissing Booth”: Creepy and condescending

By Apple Parry

“The Kissing Booth” is truly the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Without analyzing the entire script, the side plot inconsistencies, or the incredibly overdone romantic plot, let’s talk about how sexist the film is.

The opening scene shows Elle’s childhood and longtime friendship with Lee Flynn. It also shows that Elle has always had a crush on Lee’s off limits older brother, Noah.

Based on just that montage, it’s obvious this movie is going to focus on yet another forbidden, bad-boy teen romance— unfortunately, it’s so much worse than that.

The next scene starts with Elle’s only pair of school regulation pants ripping. So, what is a girl to do other than wear a “ninth-grade skirt on an eleventh-grade body”?

All the important or authoritative men in Elle’s life comment on her skirt, starting with her dad. But her dad’s concerns are genuine and caring. He offers to pick up her “back-ups” and bring them to her at school.

On the way to school, Lee sarcastically tells Elle that with that skirt on she is seen as a “distraction.” Even as a joke, these remarks are harmful to both women and men. It encourages the objectification of women in a lighthearted manner.

Lee also has a tendency throughout the movie to think that, just because he’s her best friend, he can control her, or, at least, whom she dates.

Once they arrive at school, a football player with a man bun decides to slap her ass, and the Flynn brothers step up to defend her. Noah, the knight in shining leather, comes to the rescue, and they all get called into the principal’s office.

While waiting to be called in to the principal’s office, Noah claims, “Wearing a skirt like that is asking for it.” When Elle gets defensive, he dismisses it by saying the feminist rant wasn’t worth it. Clearly, this movie could have used Elle’s rebuttal.

Once called into the principal’s office, Elle must explain to the fourth man in a matter of minutes why she is wearing this stupidly small skirt. This event was just an excuse to include sexist comments, actions, and consequences. When discussing what happened Elle says, “dude touched my lady bump” making her sexual assault into a joke.

After a very weird detention, Elle agrees to go on a date with good ol’ grab ass, but she gets ditched.

The football player later tells Elle, “no boobs are worth a broken nose.” It’s almost poetic really, but it also implies that he only wanted Elle for her looks and body, and that she’s not even worth it.

Somehow, Elle blindly stumbles into the boy’s locker room, covered in paint with her shirt off. Read that sentence again and guess how the director finessed that scene into the movie.

Instead of running out of there like a sane 16-year-old girl, she struts past about 40 guys, picks up her shirt and walks out. This would be an empowering move, if it wasn’t just to piss off a guy and remind everyone she grew boobs over the summer.

Since they live in California, I would expect nothing less than a beach party at some point in this movie. It delivered. At this party, some douche continuously tries to force Elle to go to a hot tub with him, obviously with only one purpose in mind. But Noah shows up to defend her- once again.

A major flaw is that the director never lets Elle handle things by herself, showing young girls they should have a “big, strong man” to defend them at all times, rather than showing how they could deal with it alone, which is what happens much more often in the real world.

After Noah punches the guy, he yells at Elle to get in the car multiple times and hits the car. Life tip: if someone with a violent past starts yelling at you and hitting things, don’t get in his car!

Maybe it was for comedic purposes, but Elle has to jump on a trampoline, while in a skirt, exposing her underwear multiple times. I know this is small
— but that’s exactly the point. Seeing small things like this makes it seem okay because it was only for a short amount of time.

When Lee finds out that Noah and Elle are together, he tells Elle, “The only thing I had that he didn’t was you… and now he has that too.” That was Elle’s best friend not only calling her a “thing,” but saying she was Noah’s “thing”.

Speaking of Noah, the typecast bad boy is starting to get super old. Casting the same type of rebel, is extremely cliché. It encourages the ‘I can fix him’ phenomenon, where girls take a typically bad boy and try to change him for the better, which usually doesn’t work.

While concluding the movie, Elle claims that “there was a part of [her] that was always going to belong to Noah Flynn.”

I’ve heard this saying multiple times, and realized I’ve only ever heard it from women.

This kind of sexist content is obliterating all the progress we’ve made. It ignores what’s wrong or right and just focuses on what will get the movie the most exposure. Every male in Elle’s life has either been demeaning or subtly sexist, and that can only result in a damaged person, especially because when it really counts, Elle doesn’t stand up for herself.

Even for a movie based on an amateur young adult novel, this was astonishingly horrible. If you watched The Kissing Booth, congratulations! You and I both wasted an hour and forty-five minutes of our lives, that we can never, ever get back.

 


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Whatcom pulls for higher voter turnout

By Apple Parry

The ASWCC is pushing for more students to vote in the November midterm elections.

They started the #aswccROCKthevote campaign, which involves students finding painted rocks around campus and posting pictures of the rocks on social media with the hashtag “#aswccROCKthevote.”

Whatcom voter registration is a key issue for ASWCC President Mason Green.

Another part of the ASWCC voting push is a partnership with the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization that “encourages active and informed participation in government,” according to their website.

Cam Kerst, a volunteer with the League of Women Voters, has been outside by the ballot box near Heiner Center, handing out stickers and pins, helping students to register to vote.

voting box

Ballot box by Heiner Center

“Young peoples’ voices are important,” Kerst said. “We need everybody to vote.”

Another volunteer, Paula Rotondi, was standing in the rain and talking to students about voting. “It’s the most important and powerful thing I can do,” Rotondi said about voting. “It’s the happiest thing I do all year.”

In 2014 during the midterm elections, the League of Women’s Voters gave out around 14,900 ballots to 18-24 year olds, but only around 4,450 people turned in their ballots.

Senior citizens, on the other hand, have a much higher voter turnout.

One of the reasons for low, youth voter turnout is that nobody knows where the ballot boxes are, Rotondi said.

Ballot boxes close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, which is on Nov. 6.


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