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Shutterbabe Review

My first thoughts about the book Shutterbabe by Deborah Copaken Kogan were that this book is a great read for photographers and journalists. After further inspection though Shutterbabe is really an amazing tale of adventure, love, and self- growth.

Written over the course of the authors early 20s, Deborah Copaken Kogan writes about her adventures as a photojournalist. Throughout the book she recollects the adventures she experienced after graduating and moving to Paris to follow her strive for adventure. Each chapter tells of an adventure and of the man in her life at the time.

The stories range from shooting images of war in Afghanistan to capturing the revolution in Russia. In the beginning Deborah gets into a lot of horrible situations because of her ignorance but by the end she is a seasoned photojournalist that has become very successful through her experiences. Each story Deborah meets a new guy that impacts her in a certain way until she finally finds the guy that she falls in love with and eventually marries.

I would be lying if I said that I understood everything that was discussed in the book since a lot of the photography description left me skimming over numbers and words that I had no meaning to me. Also the chapter she spent in Russia was hard to read as well because a lot of the words were Russian words that also had no meaning to me. Having a knowledge of journalism and photography definitely would’ve advanced my understanding of the book.

Kogan’s descriptions also were pretty lengthy for my tastes. I understand that as a photojournalist, the author described her surroundings very well but I felt like a lot of the description took away from the actual story. Deborah also frustrated me early on in the book because of all of the stupid decisions she made but at least she learned from them.

I am used to reading books that have plot twists or unpredictable endings so it was a little hard getting to the end of the book but it was a very good read overall. Kogan’s experiences shocked me and her vivid writing helped me see what she saw and felt in her adventures. I still can hardly believe her visit to the orphanage in Romania.

After reading Shutterbabe, I have so much respect for Deborah Copaken Kogan and photojournalism as a whole. The book expertly depicts the self-growth that the author went through during those years. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone seeking adventure and romance.

 

Movie Review- Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls is a comedy that I would describe as a “feel good movie”. It’s the type of movie that makes you feel good afterwards and I found it very entertaining. Besides the fact that you see a couple different naked, old lady bodies throughout the movie, I really did like the message behind the movie. The movie encouraged women empowerment and even old age empowerment, if that’s even a thing. I feel like the movie itself is very inspiring especially since it is based on actual events.

The movie starts off at a Women’s Institute meeting where the main characters are bored as hell during one of their weekly meetings. The main character, Chris, played by actress Helen Mirran, comes up with the idea for a nude calendar after finding nude magazines in her son’s room and seeing a nude calendar at the mechanic’s shop where she’s getting her car fixed.

She ends up concluding that her and her group of friends could do the same thing to raise money. The money ends up going to their local hospital because her best friend’s husband died of leukemia there. A lot of the people in the women’s organization are appalled at the idea but a lot of them decide to do the calendar with Chris anyways.

The calendar ends up being a huge success despite their age and ends up helping them raise around $1 million. The movie goes through the different challenges the women face from  husband scandals to delinquent kids that act up because of the photoshoot.

All in all, the movie was very entertaining throughout. I thought that some of the storyline got a little repetitive since they showed Chris’s son walking into weird situations where his mom was basically nude like four times. Also I feel like the son’s role in the whole movie was very annoying and they dramatized the whole situation a little much for my tastes. I feel like they could’ve done more with a couple of the supporting roles since I found their situations a lot more entertaining than the main character’s.

Overall the movie was very uplifting and body positive. I liked the message that women are beautiful no matter what age they are. I can’t believe that it actually happened too. It’s funny to think that there were literally a group of old ladies posing for a nude calendar in the late 90s. In my opinion I would rate this movie a four out of five mostly because of the message behind the movie.

 

A Tradition of Neglect

In 2014, a British woman named Laura Cunliffe reportedly threw her kitten Mowgli in a microwave oven for a minute, cooking the cat’s organs from the inside. The lady was punishing the cat for eating her goldfish. After the cat was taken out of the microwave, the poor creature lived for another 90 minutes yowling in pain until it died. The woman was jailed for 14 weeks.

In 2008, two Australian men kidnapped a puppy named Peanut in the night from his owner and proceeded to torture the animal to death at a nearby park. The two men recorded the incident while they cut the puppies’ limbs, nose, and eventually it’s head off. The men laughed throughout the recording. The two men claimed that it was an act of revenge against the dog’s owner.

Even though these animal abuse cases are of an extreme nature, animal abuse happens every single day around the world. Animals are tested on, slaughtered for their meat, fur, or other organs, and forced to fight or race for people’s amusement. People forcefully inbreed animals to create the “perfect pets”, cage them for our observation, and much more.

To say that humans think that they can do whatever they please with these creatures and the Earth around them is an understatement. One of the main ways humans take advantage of their less intelligent counterparts is through breeding animals to eat. People eat animals because we have always eaten them. It has often been thought that humans can’t survive without the protein that meat supplies the body but scientists have proven that there are many ways humans can obtain protein.

What gives us the right to do these things? Peter Singer, an Australian moral philosopher, once said, “If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?” With that being said, there is no question that humans believe they are entitled to the Earth and all the creatures that inhabit it.

Dylan Root, a senior at Morningside College, is a vegetarian and an animal lover as he puts it. A vegetarian is a person that doesn’t eat meat and sometimes other animal products especially for moral, religious, or health reasons. Dylan decided to become a vegetarian two years ago because his sister was a vegetarian. He says that it doesn’t feel right eating other sentient beings, or beings with consciousness.

“I feel like animals are just as valuable as human beings maybe even more valuable. If you think about it, when human beings do violent, hurtful things it’s usually thought out but when animals do these things it’s based off of instinct”, says Dylan. When asked if human beings feel entitled over the earth, Dylan agreed wholeheartedly. He states that we might even be a little too intelligent if we can kill animals without any remorse or thought.

Dylan thinks that people feel like meat is needed for a healthy diet but he says that he gets by just fine with a mostly plant based diet with some seafood and protein. He says that he feels so much more healthier now and rarely gets bloated or sick.

“It’s hard to fall out of tradition and it’s easy to turn your eyes and not look at what really is going on in front of us. It’s hard to see the truth because it’s hard to take in,” says Yvette Jurado. Yvette has been a vegan for about a year and a half. A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. A personal choice she made after she was introduced to the cattle industry. She claims that the industry is inhumane; she believes killing animals should be looked at for what it is, murder.

Yvette thinks that humans have other options than eating animals; she feels that the land that we use up to mass breed animals for slaughter could be used as farming ground instead. She realizes that eating animals is very normalized now but she says that, “we should go beyond ourselves and do what’s best for the Earth and the animals around us”.

Yvette thinks that animals are treated very poorly around the world. “They have no voice so there’s no way for them to fight back. Why is our life greater than their lives?” she says. When asked if she thinks that things will ever change she believes it will but very slowly. “When people see animals being treated poorly, we don’t want to see it; one by one we can change the world” says Yvette.

Anecdote

At the end of the summer my patience at the bar was thinning. Working 25 plus hours every weekend all summer can wear a bartender down. I was working the night shift at Doxx that Saturday and had been there since 4 p.m. I had been dealing with rude bikers all day.

Bikers are my least favorite customers working at the bar. They always smell like B.O. and leather. They are almost always racist and angry drunks. Not all of them of course but it’s hard to ignore the ones that are since they seem to come in droves.

I had been dealing with sexist, misogynistic comments since 4 p.m. and it was getting close to 10 p.m. Only five more hours to go. It started with this old biker man with a long ghosty beard that easily reached his chest. The biker called out to me, “Hey girl! Come grab me a beer.” I tried to compose myself as I walked over to ask what he would like to drink.

He ordered a miller light pint. I poured the beer and walked it over to him and told him the price. “That’s a bit pricey don’t you think?” He proclaimed as he handed over the money, without tipping a single penny I might add. At this point I was annoyed to say the least.

I answered with, “Well it’s only $2.50, that’s a pretty good price.” The man answered with, “What do you know? You’re just a dumb, little girl.” So I replied, “Well you’re just a pervy, old man, what do you know?”

Right as the words flew out of my mouth, I knew that that was not a way that I should speak to my customers. The comment definitely had caught the man off guard. I waited for the anger to come but he just burst out laughing like I had just said the funniest thing he’d ever heard.

 

Kaycie Strobl

My name is Kaycie Yvonne Strobl. I’ve never met anyone with the same first name as me before, at least not spelled the same. I was supposedly named after a country song, which is pretty ironic since I can’t stand country music. I asked my mother one day why the hell she chose those letters to spell my name and she literally told me just so that it would be unique. I would appreciate it if people would stop making Casey’s General Store jokes at me, it’s not even spelled the same.  

I never willingly tell people my middle name just because I think it’s kind of weird and whenever I tell friends it becomes my new nickname, always. I don’t even put it on any of my credit cards just to avoid people asking, what kind of middle name starts with a “Y”? In high school my friends used to call me Yeven on the basketball court; apparently it’s a spin off from my middle name somehow.

My last name, Strobl, actually stands for “one with shaggy hair” in German. I would try to fight this meaning but in terms of my family, the meaning fits very well. All of my family has the classic bohemian mop on our heads that is hard to tame. Usually it’s spelled with an “e” before the “l” but I’m pretty sure it was accidentally changed going through Ellis Island.

_______________________________________________

“Hey Kaycie! Could I get some Casey’s pizza please?” I’ve actually had people make jokes like this to me. It’s usually from my older male family members with their terrible dad jokes or from my regulars at the bar so I actually have to fake laugh like they weren’t the thousanth person to make that joke to me.

I’ve recently noticed that every Kaycie spelled with a “K” that I’ve ever met is always small, white, and a brunette. I have no idea if that’s steroetypical of me to notice but please prove me wrong if you can.

My name is often spelled wrong. Last year in band class my director had spelled my name “Kayci Strobl”. He would always pass around a sheet of our names for us to check for spelling so he wouldn’t get our names wrong in the programs for our shows. I wrote a note by my name that said “add an ‘e’ to the end”. Then that saturday at the concert, to my dismay, my name was spelled “Kayci Stroble” in the program. 

 

Human Entitlement- First Draft

In 2014, a British woman named Laura Cunliffe reportedly threw her kitten Mowgli in a microwave oven for a minute cooking the cat’s organs from the inside. The lady was punishing the cat for eating her goldfish. After the cat was taken out of the microwave the poor creature lived for another 90 minutes yowling in pain until it died. The woman was jailed for 14 weeks.

In 2008, two Australian men kidnapped a puppy named Peanut in the night from his owner and proceeded to torture the animal to death at a nearby park. The two men recorded the incident while they cut the puppies’ limbs, nose, and eventually it’s head off. The men laughed throughout the recording. The two men claimed that it was an act of revenge against the dog’s owner.

Even though these animal abuse cases are of an extreme nature, animal abuse happens every single day around the world and not just against people’s pets. Animals are tested on, slaughtered for their meat, fur, or other organs, forced to fight or race for people’s amusement, forcefully inbred to create the perfect pets, held in cages for people to see, and much more. To say that humans think that they can do whatever they please with these creatures and the Earth around them is an understatement.

Humans have had domain over the Earth for about 6 million years. The Earth has been around for billions of years but in the course of a couple hundred years humans have destroyed the planet almost beyond repair. With things like overpopulation, pollution, global warming, genetic modifications, deforestation etc. mankind has managed to wipe out entire species of plants and animals.

What gives us the right to do these things? Yes, we are harming ourselves in this process but we are also harming the environment and countless other creatures. Peter Singer, an Australian moral philosopher, once said, “If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?” With that being said, there is no question that humans believe they are entitled to the earth and all the creatures that inhabit it.

Dylan Root, a senior music education major at Morningside College, is a vegetarian and an animal lover as he puts it. A vegetarian is a person that doesn’t eat meat and sometimes other animal products especially for moral, religious, or health reasons. Dylan decided to become a vegetarian two years ago because his sister was a vegetarian. He says that it doesn’t feel right eating other sentient beings, or beings with consciousness.

“I feel like animals are just as valuable as human beings maybe even more valuable. If you think about it, when human beings do violent, hurtful things it’s usually thought out but when animals do these things it’s based off of instinct”, says Dylan. When asked if human beings feel entitled over the earth, Dylan agreed wholeheartedly. He states that we might even be a little too intelligent if we can kill animals without any remorse or thought.  

Dylan thinks that people feel like meat is needed for a healthy diet but he says that he gets by just fine with a mostly plant based diet with some seafood and protein. He says that he feels so much more healthier now and rarely gets bloated or sick.

 

Maggie’s Night Out

Maggie hadn’t eaten much on Saturday. This wouldn’t have been much of a problem usually but she was going to have a night out with the girls! Around 8 p.m. Maggie joined her friends Jaclyn, Kaitlynn, Niccole, Rylee, and Jess at the Diving Elk in downtown Sioux City.

The Diving Elk has a lot nicer interior than the usual bars in Sioux City. In the dimmly lit establishment the group of girls sat at a table a few feet from the bar. The place was partially full of some younger groups of people, much like themselves. As they settled into their seats a middle-aged man wearing an Iowa shirt and trendy glasses came up to them to take their order.

After Maggie handed their waiter her ID, the man noticed with some excitement that she had just turned 21. This fact was very relevant when she went to order her drink because she had no idea what she wanted. With some thought she settled on ordering a martini as a few of her friends were sampling some of the beers that the Diving Elk had on tap.

When the waiter brought Maggie her martini and she took her first sip she knew she had made a grave mistake. Not knowing what a martini was to begin with, she quickly realized that it was not the drink for her, especially since she doesn’t handle alcohol well. She choked down a couple sips of the dry vodka and then proceeded to pass the glass around to for her friends to help her finish.

Maggie ended up asking to switch out her drink for a more suitable one; the waiter totally understood and realized that he probably should’ve explained the beverage better saying that martinis are a “rough day at the office type of drink”. She replaced her order with a lime dacori which tasted much better.

After everyone had finished their beverages, they made their way to the Marquee, another bar a couple blocks away from the Diving Elk. Once they got to the bar, they realized there was a cover charge of $5 for a band that was playing and decided it wasn’t worth it. After some discussion they all settled on going to the country bar Rocks and Rails.

Right upon entrance the group of friends were bombarded by the scene of intoxicated girls trying to consul their drunk crying friend and blaring country music. Maggie hoped that they wouldn’t stay long. While at Rocks and Rails she decided to take a shot with her friend Jaclynn. Just turning 21 she was unaware that a shot of vodka was pretty impressive to slam down as Jaclynn tossed back a shot of tequilla.

After spending as little time as possible at Rocks and Rails the group drove to Bodega around 10 p.m. This time Maggie was saved by her friend Jess as she ordered them a couple of gin and cranberries.

The group of friends quickly moved to the outside part of the bar where there was a band playing country music. The place wasn’t very packed so the dance floor was somewhat vacant. Maggie definitely feeling her previous alcholic drinks, ordered another gin and cranberry and joined her friends Jaclynn and Jess on the dance floor. Alas, trying to dance with three people seemed disastrous so they only danced for a couple songs.

The group then made their way to Bergie’s a couple buildings down from Bodega. There they witnessed old people making attempts at singing karaoke. Maggie quickly realized that most of the bars that they had gone to were dead and that they probably wouldn’t be picking up anytime soon. They decided to leave the bars around 11:30 p.m. since one of their friends had to work in the morning.

After a successful night of drinking with the girls, Maggie made her way to her roomate Kaitlynn’s car since she was the designated driver for her. Once they arrived at the Dimmitt Hill the alcohol caught up to her quick. She ended up puking off the side of the sidewalk into the grass, while Kaitlynn anxiously asked if she was alright.

After watering the grass, the girls made it into their room without a hitch. Kaitlynn, being the good friend that she is, gave Maggie some water and put a trash can next to her bed just in case. The two friends talked to eachother until they drifted off. Overall a good night out.

 

Human Entitlement Sketch

There is no question that human beings are the smartest creatures on the planet. At least that’s what we like to think, isn’t it? Humans have had domain over the earth for about 6 million years. The Earth has been around for billions of years but in the course of a couple hundred years humans have destroyed the planet almost beyond repair. With things like overpopulation, pollution, global warming, genetic modifications, deforestation etc. mankind has managed to wipe out entire species of plants and animals.

What gives us the right to do these things? Yes we are harming ourselves in this process but we are also harming the environment and countless other creatures. Peter Singer, an Australian moral philosopher, once said, “If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?” With that being said, there is no question that humans believe they are entitled to the earth and all the creatures that inhabit it.

 

Free Cookies Anyone?

One thing to remember when giving out free cookies to a bunch of freshman collegiate band students is that the approach makes a big difference in their reaction. I handed out the twelve packs of cookies before my band rehearsal Monday afternoon. You may be thinking, that’s cheating because I already know the band students since I am in band; well you are most definitely wrong. I am a senior in the percussion section so I rarely have contact with the rest of the band, especially the freshman which I tend to try and avoid.

When passing out the twelve bags of cookies to these unsuspecting students I tried a couple approaches to see the different reactions that I would get. My first victim I caught right before she was heading into the bathroom. I walked up to her and asked very simply, “Would you like a bag of cookies?” With a suspicious look on her face she replied, “Sure”, and cautiously took a bag of oreos.

Then I decided to get a little more aggressive to see what would happen. I walked up to a group of freshman standing outside the band room and said, “Hey! Take some cookies.” They all looked at me hesitant at first but once they glanced down at my box of cookies they all succumbed to their hunger. Each of them grabbed a bag of cookies as they hurried away and mumbled their thanks under their breath.

For a minute or two after the freshmen grabbed the cookies it was almost a free for all as the students realized that I was giving away free cookies and started coming up to me and taking some from my box. After two or three of them successfully grabbed a bag of cookies thanking me for my hospitality I ducked into the room trying to avoid the other band member’s eye contact.

Afterwards I made my way to the Eppley auditorium. There I walked up to two freshmen standing by the door. I went up to them and asked them if they wanted some cookies. The one replied, “Um, no I’m good.” The other girl followed suit as they both walked away from me like I had just offered them meth. That was definitely not the reaction I was looking for so that was a little disconcerting.

The last couple of people that I offered the free cookies to all took a bag hastily searching through the box avoiding the Nutter Butters. All thanking me for my hospitality and walking away. As one girl walked away I heard her say to her friend, “This makes me so happy!” As she dug into her bag of oreos.

After rehearsal I was walking to my car thinking to myself how nice it felt to perform random acts of kindness on people. It’s funny how a simple bag of cookies can brighten a person’s day. Even though I had to resist the urge to eat the cookies myself, it was nice making people smile. And then while I was walking I saw something blue in the distance. I walked a little further and realized that it was an empty oreo bag laying in the grass. Typical.

 

Rewriting the Lead (In Class)

Article Lead: Kris Evans knows Iowa City. She know the main streets and the alleys. She knows the highways and the hangouts. She knows what colors to mix to make her brown hair a lovely shade of magenta.

First Option Lead: Kris Evans isn’t worried about the dangers of being a female cab driver in the city. When the manager of her first employer, Yellow Cab, questioned her feelings on being a women driving alone at night, Kris simply answered, “Don’t you think I can handle it?” Being a “big woman” as she puts it in Iowa City, she doesn’t seem worried.

Second Option Lead:”Being a woman cab driver you get a lot of ‘Turn here, honey,’ and ‘Do you know where it’s at?” Kris Evans says. She states, “because I’m a woman they think they can hit on me. That’s fine. But hit on me in the street. I’m working here.”