The Annual Mark Twain Lecture Series: Sarah Vowell, Author and Voice Actress, Talks Humor and History

On Friday, April 11, St. Mary’s College of Maryland held the seventh annual Mark Twain Lecture Series on Humor and Culture. The evening’s guest was author and journalist Sarah Vowell, who is best known for her historical non-fiction books, which are often written with a darkly humorous tone. Her most recent books include The Wordy Shipmates (2005), a history of Puritans in Massachusetts, and Unfamiliar Fishes (2011), a history of American imperialism in Hawaii. She is also known to wider audiences as the woman who voices the character of invisi-teen Violet Parr in the 2004 Disney Pixar film, The Incredibles.

Vowell kicked off the lecture portion of the evening with an excerpt from her book of essays, Take the Cannoli (2000) about her experience at Disney World with late author and 2012’s Twain lecturer David Rakoff. The title of this piece, Species-on-Species Abuse, is taken from Rakoff’s description of a group of tourists that feed parts of the turkey legs they are eating to pigeons. Occasional asides by the author and a pause to shake a spider off her book punctuated Vowell’s natural humor. Despite the sometimes surreal, awkward experience she describes Rakoff and herself as having, Vowell seems to take away surprise at the earnestness she discovers from the depressing experience, which appropriately enough included a visit to the Magic Kingdom’s “Tom Sawyer Island.”

Her second excerpt, taken from Unfamiliar Fishes, describes a part of her experience as a tourist in Hawaii with her nephew. “Hawaii 78,” a song by  Israel ‘Iz’ Kamakawiwo’ole about the threat that urban development poses towards Hawaii’s ecological and cultural environment, comes on at a restaurant. It’s message appears to starkly contrast the “Over the Rainbow” cover for which Iz was famous, and which no tourist to Hawaii can go five minutes without  hearing. “What’s it about?” Owen asks Sarah, to which she replies “It’s about how people like us wrecked this place.” It’s immediately after this line that she cheerily concluded her lecture portion of the evening.

Vowell then sat down for a question and answer session with Dr. Ben Click, Department Chair and Professor of English here at the College as well as the organizer of the Twain Lectures, and Dr. Charles Holden, a Professor of History. The session started with a question about why one should study history, to which Vowell replied that she found herself fascinated by the stories that make up history–but she also added that she found it easier “to pry into someone’s life if they were already dead.” When asked who from history she might want to hang out with, she considered briefly rekindling her love affair with fellow trumpet player Louis Armstrong before deciding “Maybe Jesus? He was a weird guy.” She explained that she has always preferred the company of weird people to offset her own weirdness.

The evening concluded with a Q&A session with students. Also at the lecture also presented the winners of the Twain Caption Contest and the Assault of Laughter Writing Contest. In the writing contest, junior Chris Joyce, last year’s second place winner, took first place, senior Thor Peterson took second, and ’09 alumnus Greg Croisetiere took third. In the caption contest, sophomore Meagan Blizzard came in first, followed by sophomore Ari Pluznik in second, and senior Nick Brown in third. This concluded another successful chapter in the Twain Lecture Series, building high hopes for next year’s speaker and events.

4th Annual Bottom County Festival Draws Crowds for Music and Fun in the Sun

By Yna Davis, Contributing Writer

St. Mary’s students were brought together on Sat, April 12 for the Bottom County Festival, a beautiful day of off-campus fun at nearby nature park Chancellor’s Point. An annual event since 2011, when it was brought back by the suggestion of alumnus Mike Benjamin (’09), the Bottom County Festival is named for the SMCM-sponsored music festivals of the 1970s. This year, it was organized by Chancellor’s Point Club members, juniors Anna Groman, Jillian Hurst, Elmo Garcia, Eva Shpak, and sophomore Sarah Holter.

The main draw of this year’s event–besides the gorgeous waterfront views and a perfect sunny day for lazing on the beach – was the music. This year, the festival featured nine bands and performers, including campus staples Manhole, Apple Thesis, and The Stowaway, in a line-up that kept music coming all afternoon.
“I thought that the live performances were amazing and entertaining, and the tables that had activities or were selling stuff were interesting and fun as well,” said first-year Jessica Wung. “I loved getting my face painted and listening to people perform.”

The festival’s set-up was great for attendees who wanted to try a bit of everything. Students sat in the grass surrounding the stage to watch the acts or wandered the tables surrounding them to peruse the tables of activities and items for sale. As in past years, the festival’s organizers offered tabling opportunities to students and community members, and this year featured more crafts for sale than ever. Student artists offered garlands, jewelry, paper cranes, and more, while other tables sold items including an assortment of plants and colorful clothing items. For those without money, other tables offered free tie-dying, music demos, and drinks. Some of the biggest hits were on-campus groups: the Sustainability Office offered stickers and seed balls to attendees who tried their recycling game, and those who arrived early got to build a fence with Habitat for Humanity.

Of course, as always, when attendees had seen all they wanted to see, Chancellor’s Point itself was open for exploration. Many festival-goers had opted to walk or bike to the Festival, but the paths, beach, and tire swing were swarmed with relaxing students. This year’s senior class may be the first which has had an opportunity to come to the Festival every year since its beginning, and many wanted to make the most of it this year.

“I really enjoyed the fact that it’s a student-run festival because it really exemplifies the carefree ‘St. Mary’s way,’” said senior Rachel Braunstein. “I hope it’s something that future classes continue because it’s reminiscent of a past St. Mary’s that we are known for.”

Cultural Dance Club's 'Festival of Flags' a Success

The Cultural Dance Club held its second-ever performance, Festival of Flags with the Cultural Dance Club,  on the weekend of April 4 through 6 in St. Mary’s Hall.  Each dance number introduced the audience to music and choreography that originated from around the world.  The dancers enthusiastically joined the choreographers for an introduction dance at the opening of the show to David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s “Dancing in the Street.” Emcee Dylan Hadfield, a junior, introduced the eight unique dances by reading a brief overview of the origin of each dance.  Irish Step Dance, the first dance presented, was choreographed by Jenny Jones.  The energetic dance was a wonderful opening to the show.  First-year Caitlin Andrews, who participated in a few of the other dances as well as the Irish Step Dance, thought that the club was a great way to meet new people.  “There is a great support group within the club, and everyone was so enthusiastic to be a part of it,” Andrews recalled.  Even though she had no prior dance experience, she though that “it was a great experience because we had great instruction [from the choreographers].  If it weren’t for the choreographers, the show would not have been as successful as it was.  I would definitely do it again.”

The following performances, the Bengali Dance, the Afro-Peruvian Dance, and the Israeli Circle Dance, choreographed by first-year Unzila Chowdhury, Rocio Baldarrago (teaching assistant for Spanish for the Department of International Languages and Cultures), and first-year Rachel Solomon respectively, told a beautiful story through graceful movement and intricate steps.  First-year Unzila Chowdhury enjoyed the experience both as a choreographer and as a dancer. “As a choreographer, I had an amazing time getting to know all the wonderful people involved.  The show came together perfectly, and everyone did a great job.  We became like a family and helped each other represent our pride in our diverse cultures.”

There was an unmistakable close bond between the dancers, as shown through their excitement on stage. Even though most of the dancers were strangers to each other before they met through the club, a tight bond was developed between all the dancers throughout the rehearsals and practices during the semester.  First-year Sarah Didden thinks “the Cultural Dance Club has such welcoming members who made learning all the dances fun.”  Another first-year student, Julia Andreas, participated in several of the dances, hoping to learn more about the various cultures that were represented throughout the club’s show.  Andreas also enjoyed getting to know all the other dancers.  “It was great to get to know them because you have a chance to meet new people and make new friends with people you might not have met otherwise.  If you don’t take [the club] seriously, it all falls apart.  That’s why the slogan on the tickets was true – ‘those who sweat together, stick together,’” she explained.

As a part of intermission, a special dance was reserved for the senior students of the club, including Jessica Chen, the president of the club.  Each senior choose a song that was either their current favorite song or one that was meaningful during their childhood, and performed a few moves to a portion of their chosen song.  Even though Andreas will miss the seniors, “it was great to meet them while they were still here.  Meeting them certainly brightened my SMCM experience.”  The senior spotlight dance was a beautiful way to highlight each senior individually during their last performance with the Cultural Dance Show.

The second half of the show included the Palestinian Belly Dance, the American Swing Dance, the Chinese Umbrella Dance, and the Bollywood Dance, choreographed by junior Haley Rizkallah, sophomore Amanda Felkamp, senior Jessica Chen, and sophomore Anjana Venkatesan respectively, equally excited the crowd as a compilation of unique steps and props captured the audience’s attention.  All of the dancers were joined onstage with the choreographers for the Finale, which consisted of everyone dancing to a Pop-Culture Mash-Up.  This included a chance for all of the dances to share the spotlight with each other one last time before the show came a close.

The mix of modern and traditional music familiarized the audience to parts of cultures from around the world that they might not have been exposed to previously.  The show in its entirety created an unforgettable experience to anyone who attended.  Between the colorful costumes, music compilations, crew members, dancers, and the choreographers, the Cultural Dance show was surely a success.

Los Primos: Your Fresher (and Yummier) Alternative to Taco Bell

I had heard legends – whispers, if you will – of an authentic Mexican taquería hidden in the Millison Plaza in Lexington Park, just past Sake Japanese Restaurant and your friendly neighborhood Rita’s. I was curious to sample its flavors, as I couldn’t believe that such a place could exist in little ol’ LexPark. The name of the place, I had been told, was Los Primos Mexican Grocery. Since the name means “The Cousins,” I assumed it was a family-owned business, and I’m always down for supporting those mom-and-pop places.

Feeding my yearning for tacos recently was the fact that this August I will be moving to Los Angeles, a city rumored to have the best tacos this side of the border. The reviews on Yelp looked promising, so I decided I would get a leg up on my taco knowledge by going to Los Primos, the closest thing Southern Maryland has to California (no, not the town with Target and Walmart).

At first glance, the interior of Los Primos resembles an unfinished space.  I’ve seen emergency rooms with a warmer ambiance. The walls are completely bare, and the actual grocery section, which sells such items as tamale wrappers, a wide array of hot sauces, and Mexican soda brands like Jarritos and Squirt, is blocked off from the restaurant by a little wall.

A few friends had beaten me to Los Primos, and they were already snacking on warm tortilla chips and spicy red salsa when I walked in. The menu featured a wide range of taco choices, which included taco staples such as carnitas, chicken, steak,  and pork, as well as some unexpected carne choices like tripa and lengua: tripe and tongue! One of my meal-mates tried the tongue tacos, and said that they were quite tasty despite the odd choice of meat.

Other items on the menu included enchiladas, quesadillas, gorditas, and sopes. This last one had me confused, since my friend and I thought it might have been another word for sopas (soups), when in fact they were kind of like mini Mexican pizzas – small rounds of fried corn tostadas topped with all manner of meat, beans, vegetables, cheese, and salsa.

The tacos al pastor stuck out to me on the menu, as they were billed as a mixture of pork and pineapple in a savory sauce, and they were just a delicious as the description promised they would be. The tortillas were warm and fresh; the pork was incredibly tender with the pineapple adding a pop of flavor, and it was all sprinkled with cilantro leaves. I enjoyed them immensely. We were also given a choice of three salsas to put on our tacos. The bright green one was incredibly spicy, while the red was just less so, but the dark green salsa had just the right amount of kick for those wary of spice.

One friend ordered a chicken taco and a steak taco, and she said afterwards that she enjoyed the steak much more than the chicken, which was a bit too moist and made the tortilla fall apart. Another one of my less adventurous chums gave a thumbs up to his cheese quesadilla with a side of rice and beans – but not so much the beans, which were a little runny for his taste. My friend who ordered the enchiladas verdes to-go, as she had to help out at the Twain Lecture, said that it was a bit too mushy. So the verdict seems to be: stick to the tacos, but not the chicken ones.

I should also mention that the service at Los Primos was excellent, possibly because we were the only customers eating in the restaurant at the time. Our waitress brought everything out very quickly, especially our one to-go order. As for the price range, everything on the menu was under 13 dollars, which isn’t a bad deal when considering the freshness of the food and the fact that it’s a small business. I got three mini-tacos al pastor and a bottle of Jarritos for eight dollars, and there was even a deal offered in which you could get three mini-tacos, a side of rice and beans, and a soda for $9.75.

Overall, I would recommend Los Primos to the college student who gets the feeling they should go back to the hallowed roots of the taco and leave those 2am Taco Bell runs behind. Eat tacos the the way they are supposed to be eaten: with love and fresh ingredients.

Addendum: The establishment formerly known as Los Primos is now run as El Taco Feliz, but the restaurant is still located at 21703 Great Mills Road, Lexington Park, MD. 

M.E.G.A. Showcase Celebrates Diversity

On Saturday, April 5, the second annual Multicultural Expressions Generating Awareness, otherwise known as the M.E.G.A. Showcase, was held in the Athletic and Recreation Center. The Showcase is the brainchild of juniors Demara Austin and Derrick Fyfield, developed as a means of combining both the Black Student Union (BSU) and Drum Corps annual shows.

“Since BSU and Drum Corps shared exec board members, we combined the idea and generated interest from other clubs to create one big show celebrating different cultures, defined in so many different ways,” said Austin.

“This showcase serves as an opportunity for students to express themselves freely in any artistic form, whether it be music, singing, prose, dancing, or improv,” Fyfield said. “The showcase focuses on the diversity in talent of our students.”

The event consisted of music, poetry, and dancing, including performances from the Spring Ridge Middle School Rhythm Club and the St. Mary’s Drum Corps. In addition to their performances was a song performed by three St. Mary’s students, juniors Sachiya Sloely, Jewel Williams and Martha Afework.

Among the attendees in the bleachers was BSU Vice President and junior Fatima Dainkeh.  “You could tell by the look on everyone’s face that it was a success and I think that’s what it’s all about: entertaining the audience and making us happy,” Adalia explained. 

The show had a fair turnout of both students and families in the community, an indication of shared interests in cultural diversity. “The show was a well rounded experience with culture, expression and connection. I really enjoyed the show from what it represents and can’t wait until the next one,” said junior Amber Brown, attendee of the showcase.

The students in the showcase exhibited a great deal of talent and dedication to their form of expression. Because of this event, students and members of the St. Mary’s County community alike were brought together under a single roof, where they were able to both witness and take part in various means of cultural celebration.

'The Monuments Men' Lacks Historical Accuracy

While war movies often have trouble with authenticity and being accurate to a million different details while still being watchable, few have achieved this balance and those that have are brilliant movies (Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers come to mind). Monuments Men is more than a war movie, however, it is a vignette of one of the biggest art preservation campaigns yet accomplished and was the very first time such an undertaking had been attempted.

The film is based on the book of the same name, a historical recount of the Monuments Men division of the armed forces from 1941-1946, where men and women with backgrounds in art conservation, sculpting, art history and even museum curators/directors and others formed a large unit whose task was to go throughout Europe to preserve thousands of years of history and culture in the midst of a war zone.

This may sound an impossible thing to do, but the Monuments Men were able to save priceless national treasures as well as the hundreds of thousands of daily objects confiscated from mainly Jewish families. The book is almost 500 pages and while it has a strong narrative, translating this into a film is problematic and the flaws in the movie are many. With that, I must say that I enjoyed the film (I say this begrudgingly since it was directed by George Clooney) and it was able to capture some of the major events of the book gracefully.

One of the big problems I have with the film is that they have changed all of the names of the people involved. Throughout the film, every time Matt Damon called Cate Blanchett “Claire Simone” I wanted to scream at the screen that the name of the French museum volunteer and invaluable asset to the French underground as well as the Monuments Men (a woman who worked alongside Nazis at the Jeu de Palmes, a Louvre museum in Paris and kept meticulous notes on every piece of art they stole and brought there) was actually Rose Valland. I am sure there was a privacy debate or something with the copyright to make it necessary to change the names, but after reading the book I found myself frustrated at puzzling out who was supposed to be who when all the names were changed.

The strong narrative present in the book is very much present in the film; it begins with the theft of the Bruges Madonna and actually ends with the discovery of it. The Madonna was one of the most important finds the Monuments Men had and I thought it was rightfully at the center of the story along with the Ghent Alterpiece from Belgium. Besides Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray and John Goodman were among the many veteran actors in the film who really brought the characters alive and truly seemed to understand the atmosphere of the time.

I was especially impressed by the landscapes and how real they seemed, the “movie magic” was poured all over the backdrop from Paris to Inner Germany. While it bothered me how they changed a few key details, such as how Ronald Balfour, British art historian, met his end. In the book, he is walking with a guide in a town in Belgium that is under attack from Germany and when he rounds a corner a bomb goes off. In the film, they paint Balfour as a struggling drunk who is redeemed by his heroic death in attempting to stop the Nazis from stealing the Bruges Madonna.

This is not what happened; the film over-romanticized the death of Balfour while also taking artistic license to tell his story. Overall, I would give the film a 5.6 out of 10, it was entertaining but not overly accurate with facts or true to the actual events that happened in 1941-1945.

Student Government Requests Student Bill of Rights for Next Year

On Tuesday, April 1, the St. Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) requested the Student’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to be circulated throughout the campus community. This effort was coordinated through Class of 2016 President and Senate Leader Andrew Wilhelm, who is the sponsor of this legislation. This Bill of Rights is intended to give students the ability to easily and cohesively access their rights and responsibilities as students on campus.

President Wilhelm argued that the dispersal of students rights, responsibilities, and expectations being dispersed among various college documents has led to the confusion for many students. “Last year a friend of mine, who was an RA, and I were talking and he told me a story of how someone he found drinking tried to get him to take a sip of the beer he was drinking. Apparently the person he found was under the impression that it was school policy that if the RA takes a sip of your drink you can’t be written up. This was funny, but it got me thinking about how many students might have this kind of misinformation,” stated Wilhelm.

This led to need for a comprehensive, single document which would provide students with easy access to their rights and responsibilities on campus. Wilhelm elaborated, “This event led me to trying to read about all of the rights I have as a student, and I realized these rights were scattered over several different documents. I was in the SGA Senate at the time so I thought, ‘Hey we should do something about this.’“
Wilhelm believes the goal of this bill is “to help provide a ‘cheat sheet’ for the rights and responsibilities students can expect to have on campus. Also to encourage people to read the policies published in the student handbook as well as to cut down on the misinformation that might be out there.”

Conduct Board Chair and Student Trustee Michael Killius believes that this bill may improve relations on campus. “In my experience, a lot of unnecessary friction between students and PS [Public Safety] or Res Life [the Office of Residence Life] comes from encounters that just get out of hand or are unnecessarily adversarial. I hope this bill soothes out the process of navigating an incident at the time it’s happening because everyone knows what to expect from each other,” explained Killius.

This bill began its life a little over a year ago, as it was first proposed as a resolution to the 2012-2013 Student Government. It called for the Policy Review Committee to compose a document that would pick the most important rights and responsibilities from several published college documents. The work had begun but was cut short when the school year ended.

The bill is composed of various on campus documents such as To The Point, the Clery Act, The Office of Residence Life Student Manual, The Department of Public Safety, and the Student Conduct Board Manual. Besides outlining the rights and responsibilities of a student, it also gives the expectations of the Office of Public Safety, Student Conduct Board Members, Resident Assistants, and Residence Hall Coordinators. Wilhelm also states, when asked about assistance given, “I worked with Michael Killius, the Public Safety Advisory Committee, Dean Goldwater, and both the current and former director of public safety, all of whom were very interested in making the project a reality. Input was also given by the Student Conduct office and the Dean Advisory Council.”

Interim President Ian Newbould and Dean of Students Roberto Ifill gave support to this bill; “Both Dean Ifill and President Newbold formally recognized that the bill was not creating new policy, but rather compiling what already existed and both endorsed the project as a good way to spread information,” explained Wilhelm.

For its future success, Killius commented on the bill saying, “I think the real work of any policy is to help the community be healthy and happy, so if this Bill of Rights keeps us all on the same page […], then it will be a tremendous success.”

To be able to get your own copy of the Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, the Student Government Association has allocated $250 for the printing and distribution to the student body. It will be available next year during check in through the Office of Residence Life and orientation thorough the Student Affairs Office.

'The Laramie Project' Staged at The White Room

*Trigger Warning: Violent themes and homophobia*
On Wednesday, April 2 and Thursday, April 3, student theater group The White Room performed their production of The Laramie Project. Directed by senior Erica Burns, the cast consisted of eight St. Mary’s students ranging from theater veterans to first-years; senior Elizabeth Porter, sophomore Jordan Slattery, first-year Virginia Huber, first-year Dionna Bucci, senior Kreea Greaves, junior Julia Amick, first-year Henry Kramer, and first-year James Graham-Hayes all were assigned multiple characters and used a variety of props and costumes to indicate the different parts.

The play was performed as a staged reading, which meant that the actors performed while holding black binders with the scripts inside them. The actors all started out wearing a uniform of plaid shirts and jeans that reflected the rural area about which the play was written.

The Laramie Project was written following the 1998 murder of Laramie, Wyoming resident Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten and left for dead tied to a fence. The media sensationalized the murder and turned it into a symbol for hate crimes, which absolutely rocked the town of Laramie, a place known for its laid-back, casual attitude. While Laramie was a highly religious place (with emphasis from the Mormon church as well as Baptist and Catholic influences), the residents generally did not have any strong feelings towards the queer community, provided everyone kept to themselves.

The New York-based Tectonic Theater Project created the play through interviews with Laramie residents and turned the interviews into a script. The characters in the play all have the names and words of their real-life counterparts, which range from religious leaders to average residents to the girlfriends of the murderers to the doctor who treated Matthew Shepard. The script, which is primarily made up of monologues and acknowledges the interviewers’ presences (in fact, several characters are members of the Tectonic Theater Project), includes opinions on homosexuality, the murders, Laramie itself, the media reaction, Matthew Shepard, and so on.

At once funny, witty, poignant, touching, and disturbing, the play was performed both in Denver, Colorado (the closest major theater to Laramie) and in New York City. The play was also performed at St. Mary’s through the Theater, Film, and Media Studies Department (and directed by Professor Joanne Klein) in 2001. HBO also made a film adaption of the play in 2002, and it is available for streaming on hbogo.com.
Congratulations to the director, cast, and crew of this production for putting on such a challenging and emotionally engaging play.

Darya's Pop Culture Talk: Who Will Die in Season 5 of The Walking Dead?

Warning: This opinion contains spoilers for those who are not caught up with The Walking Dead!

A couple of weeks ago (Sunday, March 30), The Walking Dead Season 4 finale aired on AMC. Before – and since – the season finale, there have been rumors and theories floating around regarding who will be the next to die on the show, and whose deaths will follow as Season 5 progresses. Let’s look at the candidates (according to most people who have posted to moviepilot.com). There’s Carol, the motherly character who lost her daughter to the zombies (a.k.a. “walkers”) in Season 2. Then there’s Glenn, the Asian guy who’s now engaged/maybe married to Maggie, Hershel’s daughter. There’s Tyrese, a large Black man with an excellent beard who has been traveling with Carol and a few kids, including Rick’s baby daughter, Judith (yes, she is still alive, even after the prison was raided by both people who wanted to live there and walkers, for those who were wondering). The fourth person in the possible lineup is Bob, the not-so-recovering alcoholic who is always carrying a backpack. Finally, there’s Beth, Maggie’s sister and Daryl’s traveling companion until something unknown happened to her and she disappeared in a random car. Daryl was also put in line for the chopping block by some fans, but let’s be honest: no one will watch the show if he’s dead. He is one of the only good characters on the show anymore, and the fan base will decrease by A LOT if they kill him off.

Personally, the only person on this list I think has a really good chance of dying in Season 5 is Beth, but only because she is probably already dead. No one knows what happened to her after she disappeared a few episodes ago, and she can’t really take care of herself. While she and the others lived at the prison, she took care of the kids, and never really had to do any heavy lifting. I’m pretty sure if it were just her and a bunch of walkers, she would die within seconds.

Why none of the others on this list will die: Carol will do literally anything to survive. When Lizzie (a girl who’s probably about 12 years old) killed her sister, Mika (maybe 8 or 9 years old), to prove to Carol and Tyrese that walkers are not dangerous – she would be “proving” it when her sister turned – Carol shot Lizzie in the head because she and Tyrese realized that it would be a bad thing to have this girl around baby Judith (who she also wanted to turn into a walker). She might have been kind of messed up and delusional, but she was still just a kid and Carol killed her, showing that she will do anything. In Season 3, she killed two people who were sick in order to attempt to prevent others from getting sick and dying and turning into walkers (a plan which ultimately failed). Glenn won’t die because of the stereotypical “love conquers all” belief that so many TV shows and movies seem to adhere to. Glenn is unofficially married to a woman, Maggie, that he met at a farm while traveling with Rick and others in Season 2. Since then, the two have relied on each other to stay alive, and so far it has worked. Glenn is also not bad at taking care of himself. Tyrese, as said before, is large and powerful, and really good with his weapon of choice, a hammer. He has kept others alive, as well as himself. He has been surrounded by walkers on numerous occasions, and taken them out all on his own. If he can do this, I doubt he will die any time soon. Plus he saved a baby from walkers, so he’s too good of a person to die (then again, so was Hershel, and he was beheaded by the Governor). Finally, Bob probably won’t die because, even though he’s loud and useless and an unreliable alcoholic, if he has not died yet, he probably won’t any time soon. Everyone else has been very good about taking care of him, and I don’t think they will stop now – unless he falls too far behind one day, then maybe they’ll finally just leave him there to fend for himself.

Who I think will die: I think Rick has a good chance of dying. For the longest time, he has been all talk and no action. There was one point in Season 4 when he was sick or injured, and Carl (his son) had to take care of him. Carl had to look for food and water, barricade the house they were in, kill walkers when he went out. There was one point where Carl was attacked by a couple of walkers while he was alone, and almost dead. Rick was basically useless. Since Rick and his company were driven out of the prison they had made a home, Rick never stepped up, forcing Carl to take care of him and become tougher than he was. It’s true that Rick lost his wife when Judith was born, but Carl was the one who had to shoot his mother before she became a walker. Rick also believed that he lost his baby girl, but the loss was not only his, it was Carl’s as well. The first time he stepped up since the prison raid was in the Season 4 finale, when he literally killed a guy by biting him in the throat because he threatened to hurt Carl and Michonne. At the very end of the episode, Rick was reunited with a bunch of his old companions in a large storage container, and he said (about the people who put them there) that they had no idea who they were dealing with. But is it true that he can step up and escape alive with the rest of them? At this point, I’m not convinced he will see the end of Season 5.  As a side note, I also think Eugene will die. Eugene is a doctor who claims he not only knows what caused the zombie outbreak, but that he can cure it. All they have to do is get him to Washington, D.C. But having a guy who can cure the walkers would be too easy – I’m pretty sure he’s going to get cornered by walkers and then turn into a walker himself. Besides, there isn’t much point in curing the walkers anymore, both because there are currently significantly more walkers than living humans (how is he planning on getting the cure to all of them?) and most of them are so mangled that curing them and turning them into living humans will kill them (people cannot live looking the way most walkers do, if you get my meaning). This possible plot hole suggests that we don’t really need Eugene.

The Walking Dead comes back in October 2014 (according to IMDB), so stay tuned!

"Bringin' it Back" Festival: An SMP Event

On Sunday, April 6, the St. Mary’s Bringin’ It Back Festival was held in Historic St. Mary’s City as a day of fun with many outdoor activities in the warm weather. The event was created as senior Jenny Jones’ St. Mary’s Project, inspired by advice of Professor of Economics Don Stabile.

“When I had my first SMP meeting with him, he first thing he asked me was ‘What do you want to do after college?’ I responded that I want to be an event planner, so he told me that I could plan a new event on campus! I was very grateful that he allowed me to do something so beneficial and specific to my life after college,” said Jones.

Jones spent an entire semester planning the event, coordinating with various individuals in Historic St. Mary’s, as well as students on campus. She was inspired by the many student requests for a music festival and booked several bands to play throughout the evening. However, the greater meaning behind Jones’ event was the kinship between the Historic city and the campus.

“I wanted to help increase the relationship between the college students and Historic St. Mary’s City. I wanted to give students a reason to go over to Historic and see all of the sites over there,” said Jones.  “I wanted them to not only think of the site as an interactive educational history lesson, but as a fun and beautiful place that is rich in the history of our college’s location.”

The festival had a day-long turnout of both students and faculty coming and going throughout the afternoon and into the evening, with the musical performances. Junior Jeremy Piper attended the performance of Pat and the Savages, a student band performing against the backdrop of the river at sunset.

“The music festival was a great showcase of student talent and community appreciation here,” said Piper.

With all of this excitement, Jones was not alone in running the show. She had a great deal of help with 40 volunteers there to set up and run the events, along with the assistance of Kelly Schroder, Dean of  Students, and Muffin Padukiewicz, the Historic City Event Coordinator.

“The event would not have been successful without them. I cannot thank them enough for their thoughtfulness,” said Jones.

Thanks to the success of her project, Jones hopes to make this event an annual tradition here at St. Mary’s.  For any takers, have no fear; Jones will even provide a manual for event success, the finishing piece of her SMP.