Basketball Season is Here!

By Catherine Wasilko

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14 2021

The SMCM basketball season is starting up again. The men’s basketball team recently had a home game on Nov. 20 against John Hopkins, and an away game on Nov. 23 at Hampden-Sydney. The women’s basketball team also had an away game that same day at Catholic. When asked for his thoughts on the season starting, senior Seth Jones said, “I’m just excited to be back with the team since I stayed home last year and learned remotely,” Jones explains. “I still reflect back on our first official practice we had this season and I remember how ecstatic I was for the season to start.”

The men’s basketball team began their season on Tuesday Nov. 9 at Morgan State losing 55 to 118. Their home game on Nov. 13 was against both Catholic and Gallaudet. They were to play Hood that same day, but the game was postponed. On Nov. 14, they had another home game against Catholic. They pushed the needle far enough to take the lead, winning their first game 79 to 76. The most recent game was home against John Hopkins, losing 53 to 75. The men’s basketball season will continue after finals week, ending their season on Dec. 20. Jones explained his past experiences with the team, stating, “In the past we’ve always had very talented teams composed of high character athletes that came to practice everyday with a mentality to work hard and get better.”

The women’s basketball team began their season on Nov. 6 at Hood, losing 37 to 73. They had a home game on Nov. 12 against Catholic, losing again 30 to 64. Another home game was played on Nov. 13, with the team’s first win 67 to 54. On Nov. 17, they had an away game at Washington College, losing 75 to 43. The women’s basketball season will continue through the break before the spring semester, with their final game on Jan. 11 at St. Mary’s. When asked what she was looking forward to most this season, senior Cassidy Kupchinskas answered, “I’m looking forward to playing in this new conference and seeing new teams we’ve never played before.” She adds, “I’m also looking forward to playing in front of fans because it seems like we haven’t played in front of a crowd in such a long time.” Kupchinskas explained how the team played in an empty gym as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Both Jones and Kupchinskas came from humble beginnings to their basketball careers. When asked about their start in basketball, Kupchinskas answered, “When I was younger I lived in a neighborhood with a lot of kids my age and we all really enjoyed playing sports.” She added, “We would play in each other’s backyards and driveways but our favorite sport to play was basketball because we had a few different basketball hoops we could play on.” Jones answered the same question, saying, “I started playing basketball when I was five years old at the John Eager Howard Recreation Center located in West Baltimore.” He added, “Both of my older brothers were playing at the Rec Center before me and that’s how I ended up playing there as well.”

When asked about what they most look forward to this season, Kupchinskas summarized her response, saying, “Overall, I’m very excited for this upcoming season because of the new conference, finally playing in front of fans again, and being able to compete with my teammates for a conference championship.” Jones answered, “I’m looking forward to competing with my teammates.” He explained, “We have a young team this season and I’m excited to see how our team grows as the season progresses.” Jones is also a featured Seahawk on the school’s athletic website.

Campus-Wide Wi-Fi Outage Affects Students

By Catherine Wasilko

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2021

As many students and faculty know, the wifi has frequently been having issues throughout the fall semester. There have been wifi outages, bad connections and hard-to-reach spots where the internet works perfectly. The most recent outage was on Thursday Nov. 11. The outage was campus-wide and affected both students and The Daily Grind. It started around 2:45 p.m, and E. Jennell Sargent sent out an email at 2:59 p.m. that day to let everyone know the Wi-Fi was having issues. As a result, The Daily Grind was unable to make purchases using flex dollars, as the systems were down due to network issues. The Package Center was still able to allow students to receive packages.

Numerous students complained about the Wi-Fi outage. Since this occurred after most classes had ended, students most affected by the outage were attempting  to get homework done after class. However, some students were not as affected by the outage. It appears that the Offshore Sailing Club went out on the water, unaware of the reality of a student’s nightmare on campus. After a few hours, the Wi-Fi started working again around 5:00 p.m. Sargent sent out another email at 4:56 p.m. stating, “The OIT Network team has identified the issue and they are working diligently to resolve it.” The Daily Grind was able to make purchases again and things began to run smoothly as it shifted back to normal.

Sargent sent out an email at 6:04 p.m. giving a second update about the Wi-Fi outage that occurred. In her email, she stated:

“I hope all is well.  Network Service (Internet) and the WiFi is now working.  The Office of Information Technology Network team identified that one of the major core switch equipment (this controls the network) experienced a total malfunction and required replacement.  Fortunately, the Network team noted that a replacement switch device was in stock and they replaced it immediately.  Upon replacing the switch this required the Network team to configure the new device to support the campus network.”

This has been one of many Wi-Fi outages through the fall semester. There have also been critical updates once a month, and simultaneously outages during class times. Although outages have occurred frequently, there haven’t always been emails stating any updates. This has been an issue for students, leading many to complain about work that needs to be submitted online.

As the fall break comes to an end, students may hope for better connections in the spring semester. Sargent is always available to be contacted by email. In her second update about the Wi-Fi, she said, “If you are experiencing any additional network related issues (Internet or WiFi), please do not hesitate to contact me immediately.” While other students may be studying abroad, the ones who continue to live on campus will keep their fingers crossed that the Wi-Fi will be stronger and faster in the spring. Otherwise, students will be used to the same routine of having weaker connections.

“Red: Taylor’s Version” Review

By Catherine Wasilko

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2022

After months of Swiftie fandom speculation, Taylor Swift announced that the next album to be re-recorded would be “Red.” The original date for the release was Nov. 19, however, she announced on Twitter that the release would be moved up a week earlier, on Nov. 12. The album has a total of 30 songs, 24 of which were on previous “Red” albums, and “Babe” is included on the new “Red” album. “Babe” was originally sung by Sugarland with Swift as a featured artist. The song appeared on Sugarland’s album “Bigger.” The next five songs are ones Taylor is releasing “from the vault,” and “All Too Well” is extended into a 10 minute version, being more explicit than the original.

The 10 minute version of “All Too Well” was released as a short film on Nov. 12, starring Sadie Sink from “Stranger Things” and Dylan O’Brien from “Teen Wolf.” Fans speculated that the two resembled Swift and her then boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal, with O’Brien and Sink portraying the same ages as Swift and Gyllenhaal when they were dating in 2012. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on  Nov. 11, Swift said “It was the most unbelievable experience working with people who are that prepared, committed. Just the chemistry between them is really on another planet.”

Swift also released another music video on Monday Nov. 15. “I Bet You Think About Me” was directed by Blake Lively, a friend of Swift. It starred Miles Teller, with his actual wife, Keleigh Teller. The music video follows Swift’s ex, speculated to be Gyllenhaal, as he sees her at his wedding as a figment of his imagination. Swift gives the toast for the wedding, while also handing Teller’s wife a familiar object. Inside the red box handed to the bride, is a scarf that appears to be similar to the one shown in “All Too Well.” As Swift stated in her announcement, “The reddest video EVER is out now.”

The songs that were re-recorded have clearer diction and tone. It is easier to understand the lyrics and how they are sounded out. Swift’s voice is smooth, clear, and has deepened over the years. Parts of the song have changed from when they were originally recorded, but have resulted in a truer appreciation of her work. As her voice has aged from the original recordings of the songs, the fan’s appreciation remained consistent.

The songs “from the vault” are ones that Swift wrote during the time of Red, but remained unreleased until now. “Babe,” which was originally by Sugarland, was rerecorded by Swift using only her voice. The others are songs she wrote during the time of the original “Red” album, but never released to the public. This includes the 10 minute version of “All Too Well.” The “vault” songs are equal parts sad and happy, some with slow rhythms and others with faster tempos. These songs represent the heart of the “Red” album, being the unspoken feelings Swift was unable to express.

Swift’s re-recorded album came at the right moment as the fall season began. As the leaves change their colors, “Red: Taylor’s Version” sets the mood for the season. Overall, Swift’s album collects the same amount of nostalgia as when listeners first heard the songs back in 2012. Newer fans will appreciate how Swift owns her songs, as well as releasing even newer songs to the public. But the entire fanbase will love how Swift will have officially owned her “Red” album.