Get your hands dirty at Pottery Boot Camp

By KYLEE BAGLEY

For anyone who is interested in honing in on their crafting skills, it’s not too late to sign up for spring classes at CCC’s Clay College! Located on High Street in Millville, the Clay College offers noncredit classes to anyone interested, student or not. Annual pottery classes of multiple levels are offered in the spring including: Intro to Pottery, Advanced Pottery for Adults, and Intro to Pottery Wheel. Pottery Boot Camp will be available for the first time this spring. Whatever your skill level is, you will be able to find your niche at the Clay College.

Intro to Pottery classes run from May 23 to June 27 on Monday evenings, 6-9 PM. It costs $135 to register with no previous experience needed. According to flyers advertising the courses, “[Intro to Pottery] explores hand-building techniques such as pinch, coil and slab, and throwing on the pottery wheel. Glaze, firings, and studio access are including in this six-week class.” This class is best for people that want to begin learning the craft or are just looking for a creative activity to try.

Advanced Pottery for Adults begins on May 18 and winds down on June 29. Classes are from 6-9 PM on Wednesdays and costs $190 total. “It is a seven-week course is for the more advanced student who already has some knowledge of creating pottery. Ceramic processes and techniques will be covered while developing student’s individual work.” Clay College will provide some of the necessary materials, but TBD materials will be up to the students to obtain themselves.

Intro to Pottery Wheel is another beginner’s class, but this one focuses solely on pottery made on a wheel rather than hand crafted items. This class runs from May 31 to June 28 on Tuesday’s from 6-9 PM. Classes cost $135. As advertised, “students will learn through weekly demonstrations and hands-on instruction how to make basic forms on the wheel.”

Pottery Boot Camp is the Clay College’s newest class. It is a four-week intensive class that teaches beginning hand-building techniques and a quick lesson on the wheel. This class is ideal for people who don’t have the time to commit to a regular class. However, it is limited to 10 available spots for prospective students. This class takes place on Saturday’s from 1-4 PM between April 30 and May 21. It is the least expensive of the classes, costing only $125.

As an added bonus, participants will receive two months of studio time during the months of July and August for absolutely free, along with their purchase of any of the classes provided. To gain more information or sign up for a class, visit http://www.claycollege.com.

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4 Woman writers to check out this summer

By KYLEE BAGLEY

Here are four award-winning ladies who are challenging the literary world with their courageous stories, denouncing the stereotypical view of female authors. Alysia Harris, Nicole Krauss, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Andrea Gibson are four authors you do not want to miss.

Alysia Harris is a renowned spoken-word poet and former member of the performance collective, The Strivers Row. Alysiaharris.com tells readers she has performed in seven countries and as part of the winning teams in the 2007 CUPSI and Brave New Voices competitions. Her lines evoke emotional response; “Hoes, boppers, and skanks. What’s in a name, but a whole lot of rape culture?” Harris meshes elegance, honesty, grit, and current culture to bring her poems to life. Her newly published chapbook, How Much We Must Have Looked like Stars to Stars, is already award-winning and highly coveted by fans.

Nicole Krauss has been named by The New York Times as “one of America’s most important novelists.” Her internationally best-selling books have been translated into 35 languages and her novels Great House, The History of Love, and Man Walks into a Room, have all won or been finalists for numerous awards. In 2010, Krauss was chosen by The New Yorker for their “20 under 40” list. She proves herself worthy of her laudable title with her intricately woven and always surprising stories. Krauss’ books share common themes such as memory, how people recover from great losses, and exploration of the inner self.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author and winner of multiple awards, including the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. She has written three novels, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah, and myriad short stories. Her compelling novels tackle issues dealt with by her own people such as political instability and the Nigerian Civil War, as well as love and personal unrest. She is a celebrated TED speaker and feminist; a woman who, according to an interview with The Guardian, “doesn’t seek to upset critics, but does so willingly if that’s what it takes.”

Andrea Gibson is a spoken-word poet and activist for gender and LGBTQ issues who prefers to use they/their pronouns rather than she/he. They have six published works including The Madness Vase and their latest book, Pansy. Andreagibson.org shares Gibson was the first winner of the Women’s World Poetry Slam. In an interview with dailycal.org, Gibson tells that they prefer to write and perform collaboratively with musicians. Gibson is raw and truthful in both their poetry and activism. They write about weighted issues such as rape, gender norms, war, and bullying as a way to start a dialogue that so many people try to avoid.

With their honest depictions of life from the woman’s point of view, these authors and poets are not afraid to speak for themselves and countless others who seek to change female writing into a truthful discussion instead of the usual frills.

Paint night with a side of wine

By Amy Vurganov

Canvas painting has been on an accelerated ride towards being one of the most popular night-in social events. Companies have been sprouting up across the nation to host wine and paint nights in local studios, banquet halls, and even private homes. Paint nights have been used for birthdays, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, charity events or just a simple night of fun with friends.
There are a plethora of companies available, such as Wine and Canvas, Cocktails and Canvas, and Bottle & Bottega. The events feature local artists who teach participants how to create their own artistic masterpieces through step by step instruction with the added delight of socializing with friends. Participants enjoy sipping on a glass of wine or a cocktail and the opportunity to allow their inner artist take the lead.
As if wine and friends weren’t enough of an appeal, these canvas nights have an additional special trait: creative education. These sessions are an inexpensive way to learn how to use a paintbrush or sharpen artistic ability already in practice.  Canvas nights are also much cheaper than art school or private lessons without strict structure or drawn out lectures.  There are no lengthy commitment requirements. One night could be just enough for an intermediate artist to hone in on their signature style or for a curious newbie to find fresh passion.
Canvas parties are fun and a chance to try something new in a relaxed and encouraging environment. The only lesson to be learned here is that every person has an inner artist just itching to stretch their wings! Anyone can do this.
Wine and canvas events run approximately two and half to three hours, allowing for instruction time and a small break for drying. All participants receive a gallery wrapped canvas, easels, brushes, paints, aprons and paper products. The costs are generally set by venue, but usually average around $30-$35 per person. Some companies allow the host to choose the image to be painted, while others come with art work pre-selected, especially if the class has a theme to it. Refreshments are usually agreed upon between host and instructor, but each party is different and unique.
Canvas parties have become incredibly popular over the last five years and will most likely continue to do so. These parties are a great way to raise money for a fundraiser, celebrate a birthday or special occasion, or to simply shake up weekend activities. So if you’re looking to try something new and tap into your inner creativity, canvas parties may be just what you need!

2016 woke up on the wrong side of the bed

By Amy Vurganov

Actors and musicians have long been idolized for their talents, charitable contributions, style choices, and appearances. Many celebrities have left their mark on the hearts and minds of fans around the globe. When these famous beings pass on they not only leave their legacy behind, they leave an ache in the heart of those who worshipped them.
2016 barely begqn and we have already experienced the loss of many famous individuals. In a world of conformity and standards, these daring individuals stood out among the flocks. Great music, great acting and lasting imprints.
David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust, passed away on January 10. Bowie began rocking the world in the late 1960s. His flamboyant style and adventurous endeavors kept him at the forefront of innovation and paved the way for future creativity in the music world. Bowie’s eclectic musical stylings earned him an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1996. Bowie was also known for his acting in the films The Man Who Fell to Earth and Labyrinth, as well as his Broadway performance in The Elephant Man. Bowie has been described as a true original, shamelessly creative, and an extraordinary artist.
Alan Rickman, best known for his role of Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, passed on January 14. Rickman’s languid voice was his calling card and made him a perfect fit for the villainous roles listed above, as well as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Rickman received a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his lead role in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.  Rickman also spent time on Broadway and London stages in pursuit of his love for theater. In an outpouring of tributes after his passing, Rickman was described as a magnificent, hypnotic actor, gifted director, and a rare, unique human being.
The Eagles front man and founder, Glenn Frey, passed away on January 18. Famous for classic hits like “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California,” the Eagles had been present on the rock and roll scene since the early 1970s. The band earned an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998; an enormous honor for any musician. Frey has been referred to as a brilliant songwriter and one of the greatest voices, musicians, contributors and collaborators to rock and roll music. The Eagles debut album, Eagles, is still listed on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Abe Vigoda, most famous for his role as Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather films, was also among the greats the world lost this year. Vigoda was also known for his stage role in The Man in the Glass Booth, as well as a television role of Detective Phil Fish on the comedy Barney Miller, which later spun off into Fish starring the late actor. Vigoda also made small appearances in several other films including Cannonball Run II and Look Who’s Talking. During the aftermath of his passing, tributes from family and friends depicted Vigoda as being full of grace and humor and talented with a capital “T.” Vigoda passed away on January 26 at the age of 94.
To die hard fans, losing an icon is devastating. There are mourning periods and tributes to greatness lost. These celebrities will live on through their work, just as Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, and so many others do. Fans will hurt for a little while, but will still have a lifetime of memories.

Are you anti-college?

By KYLEE BAGLEY

Staff Writer

The notion that traditional college is not for everyone is rapidly becoming part of mainstream society, but what about the idea of an anti-college? Anti-college is the opposite of traditional schooling, yet still higher education nonetheless. There are many people who believe this type of schooling is more beneficial for prospective students, but due to the short amount of time anti-schooling has been in effect, it is hard to know whether or not it truly is a better way to handle education.

In 2012, the Make School was founded on the idea of allowing students to learn and create without the pressure of grades and tuition fees. The only one of its kind, Make School has become a prototype of experiential learning with eyes heavily watching to see whether it will succeed or flounder.

Advocates for Make School and budding replications include the founders of PayPal, Virgin Airlines, and EBay. These are all people who didn’t go to college, or they themselves have dropped out. CCC’s Professor Kevin McGarvey thinks that these founders and geniuses like them are more readily available to support nontraditional ventures like Make School seeing as they flourished in this type of environment and felt that they didn’t need college.

Make School was co-founded by Jeremy Rossman and Ashu Desai. According to HuffingtonPost.com, Rossman and Desai were high school friends who, after each spending a year at MIT and UCLA, respectively, decided to take a semester off and explore the process of creating mobile apps. Rossman describes Make School as “a college replacement for founders and developers.”

MakeSchool.com reports they only have 50 spots to offer to prospective students each two-year program. There is only a 10 percent acceptance rate, but Make School is not for every major. The school specifically teaches classes in software engineering and computer sciences. According to McGarvey, “Make School is for people who are already at the top of their game. There are thousands of students who need the guidance a professor provides to point them in the right direction. Most people don’t just “know” these things; they have to be learned.”

What prospective students find so alluring is that Make School requires no upfront tuition. In a year where student loan debt is at 1.2 trillion in America (marketwatch.com) and the cost of tuition is at an all-time high, people are desperate to keep themselves out of monstrous debt. It is not until after graduating from Make School and acquiring a “career” that you are required to begin paying for your schooling. No official tuition rate has been released, but as stated on MakeSchool.com, students will pay 25% of their salary each year until the cost is covered.

Make School gives no grades. There are no tests or homework. Rather, they focus on project-based learning. Depending on the rapid advances in the technological world, students learn based on what is happening right now. In an interview with Seeker Stories, a YouTube channel that produces short documentaries, Rossman described their core philosophy: “…if you teach the same thing two years in a row, it has got to be wrong because computer science as a field and software engineering as a discipline are moving so fast.”

This new twist on education has raised the bar for effective learning, but McGarvey thinks colleges have nothing to fear. “Don’t count colleges out yet. Students learn to think critically; they discover ideas and concepts that hadn’t occurred to them before. They become individuals who can make rational decisions and think for themselves. For so many, college is a rite of passage into adulthood.”

There is no one right way for a person to learn, similar to the question students ask themselves, “Am I a visual learner? Auditory? Kinesthetic?” McGarvey stated, “The best and brightest rise to the top regardless. But that’s a small number of gifted people. Most of the rest need a push, a nudge in the right direction, some moral support when things become overwhelming. Those are some of the things a college like Cumberland does best.” And it’s true. The best type of schooling for an individual is based solely on said individual’s personality.

Make School offers students another alternative to traditional school. With diverse types of schooling popping up like this, it is clear to see that people are taking school seriously; something that can only cause our country to progress more rapidly.

Riker’s Island: Gaining freedom through self-expression

By KYLEE BAGLEY

Staff Writer

Riker’s Island is most known for being New York’s main jail complex and one of the world’s largest correctional institutions. Motherjones.com, a nonprofit news outlet, reports it as being one of America’s top ten worst prisons, but now, Riker’s Island is getting attention set in a whole new light. According to an interview with The New York Times, Miles Hodges, a spoken word poet and ambassador for the New York Public Library, has been developing a spoken word program at Riker’s over the past few months.

Hodges is currently working on two programs. The first being a spoken-word writing workshop for young women in their late teens and early twenties located in the Rose M. Singer Center, one of Riker’s nine functioning jails. The latter being performing his own hard hitting poems to inmates of the Eric M. Taylor Center, a male only jail.

You might be wondering what Hodges was thinking when implicating these workshops into the Riker’s Island culture, and it’s safe to say the inmates were too. After the initial indifference and lack of desire to attend, the male inmates were left with a new appreciation for the artistic medium.

Before beginning Hodges told inmates, “I’m a firm believer in the power of storytelling. I believe in its ability to change people’s minds. And I believe in being honest and speaking from a true and honest place.” Hodges’ goal in partnering with the New York Public Library is to create programs that entice the millennial generation to find and cultivate their voice in the form of creative outlet.

In an interview afterwards with The New York Times, Anthony Hernandez, an inmate serving several months for drug possession, said he had been reluctant to attend the program; he had expected it to be boring and stodgy. But he concluded, ‘It hit more like where you are from, a more different poetry.’”

At this specific visit that Hernandez attended, Hodges performed “Harlem,” arguably his best and most well known poem. In this poem, he describes the streets of Harlem as having, “Roached blunts and roached joints…scattered around the purple, pink, and black chalked R.I.P. signs as if whispering from the Concrete Jungle, ‘I’m resting in peace and high.’” These words resonate immensely with the inmates, most of whom spent their lives in the projects of New York before being incarcerated, and are used to the poverty, gang violence, and self-reliance that line the streets of so many urban cities across America.

Where some people make the mistake of dismissing poetry as being frilly and not relatable, Hodges reveals to inmates that poetry, specifically slam poetry, can be very raw and very real. In his collaborative poem, “Strive,” that he co-wrote and performs with Carvens Lissaint, Hodges makes his message to the Riker’s Island inmates clear: “Strive- Like you know prisons are man-made but minds are God-made.”

America: Cutting back on culture

By KYLEE BAGLEY

Staff Writer

Gentrification is rapidly spreading throughout all major cities in the U.S. by erasing the cultures that once made these cities so vibrant. Gentrification is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as, “the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.” While the general ideas of renewal and rebuilding are a solid foundation, the phenomena that gentrification has become in recent years shows the increasing lack of compassion for things that do not directly affect us.

In cities such as Philadelphia and Brooklyn, gentrification stands out in stark contrast to the urban spaces that have yet to be enshrouded by hipster coffee shops, microbreweries, and luxury apartments. At first thought, gentrification comes off as a good theory. Most definitions lack the latter part, actively ignoring the thousands of people who are evicted or forced to leave their homes by rent increases designed to push out individuals and families that don’t fit the new white-washed neighborhoods. If utilized correctly, the basis of renewal and rebuilding could make neighborhoods such as those surrounding Temple University in Philadelphia, flourish in ways that celebrate the diverse cultures that make these communities home to so many people.

Instead of displacing those who cannot afford the increased price of living, couldn’t the city government assist the current residents and business owners in gaining a post-secondary education, evolving their businesses, and growing their own community? Of course, this wouldn’t make as much profit for the city government, and in a country as profit-focused as America, that’s a no go.

According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, about 15 percent of Philadelphia neighborhoods are being gentrified. Comparably, research by governing.com shows that 29.8 percent of Brooklyn neighborhoods have been gentrifying since 2000. The merger of the affluent and the low-income residents usually results in tension and misunderstanding. This leaves the minorities who were born and raised in the neighborhood feeling like outsiders, where they once felt most comfortable.

Jenae McDonald, a friend of mine who lives in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, is currently facing the harsh realities of gentrification, every time she walks out her front door. When asked what’s changed and why it matters, McDonald had this to say: “The culture behind the neighborhood is what’s changing more than anything. Kids don’t even play outside anymore. Block parties aren’t even thriving like they use to. Gentrification not only drives away people but the souls of the people. There used to be a comfort walking down the block and I don’t physically feel that anymore. Caribbean restaurants have even watered down themselves to accommodate the new wave of people. The fact that culture is blatantly being stripped separates us more than anything. Instead of unifying us in the community, gentrification only leaves disdain.”

We all enjoy overpriced coffee shops and perusing quirky clothing stores, but there are plenty of them in the more affluent parts of the city that make displacing hoards of people from their homes seem excessive at the very least. Gentrification takes culture and tradition and assimilates it into a bland “melting pot”, where the diverse cultures that created America as the powerful immigrant country it once was, are only showcased as Halloween costumes and in off-color humor.