Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

The Independent

Welcome Back to School

Christos Liardakis and Lluvia Carrisoza
January 24, 2012
Filed under Arts & Life

As students return to school, rushing to get books, completing last minute scheduling changes and looking for inexplicably missing room numbers, it is safe to say that the beginning of the spring semester is just as hectic as the end of the fall semester was with finals and reports. What made this semester much sweeter was the mellow jazz beat echoing through Village Square on Jan. 12. Curious to find the source of the scintillating sounds, I quickly came upon a group of students playing jazz in front of the Student Union's Descartes coffee shop at a small booth. The soothing presentation was brought to us by the "Ask Me Campaign," a program that serves to both welcome back students during the beginning of the Spring and Fall semesters as well as help answer any questions students may have. This is especially useful for new transfer students, first year students, and returning students who are simply encountering new changes and don't know what to make of them, such as the implementation of the U-Pass. Of course the small jazz ensemble that we were presented with was a nice little reminder that NEIU does have a music department, and a rather good one at that. The ensemble itself was directed and brought together by music professor Dr. Mago Tiana. Everyone who came by seemed to appreciate and enjoy the performance. NEIU student Kyle Schrowang said "jazz in the Village Square is a great way to bring in some culture." And I am sure a lot of people thought just that as they walked by and listened to the music. As the performance came to an end, Dr. Tiana introduced the students who were performing: Freshman Robert Iahzo on the trumpet, Alumni Matt Bordoschuk on reeds, Senior Stephen Kentala on drums and Senior Connor Hollingworth on strings. Although these performances seem rare at NEIU, that is not the case. All music majors are required to perform in recitals, and the Fine Arts catalogue has a wealth of information about days students can come and unwind to some nice music at a student's, or professor's recital. The music department even brings outside musicians to NEIU to perform and expose students to exciting new music in a series called the Jewel Box series. The jazz performance we were treated to was just a little reminder that our music department is very active in providing musical opportunities for students to participate in and enjoy outside of the department....

Letters of Leadership

January 24, 2012
Filed under Letters of Leadership

  My name is Jackie; I am currently a junior with a major in communications, media and theatre and a minor in music. I have been a member of Trio NEIU for about a year and a half now and I'm very proud to say I am. Originally I had heard about Trio as an incoming freshman from a friend who was apart of Trio's Upward Bound program at Robert Morris University. At the time NEIU did not have Trio on its campus, however my friend still encouraged me to join if they did. Trio became an organization on campus about 2 years ago and aside from their bright yellow advertisement that was posted almost every where on campus; I became interested in the services Trio offered. They offer a more personal one on one academic advising, tutor services; help with applying for scholarships and FAFSA, building leadership skills, job shadowing/ internships, help with building your resume, priority registration and a nation wide network of contacts. There are 3 divisions of Trio (Access, Achieve and Teacher Prep), and I am Trio Achieve member which helps students with just about any major. I have made an academic plan with my advisor, which helps me with selecting and registering for classes each semester. I have also started building/ editing my resume and I am currently applying for internships and looking into graduate schools. Trio has definitely given me the professional attention I needed as a student to help me succeed. I really love the personalized academic advisement and the fact the Trio is a nation wide organization, which will benefit my networking. However, I think what I love even more is that every one in Trio NEIU gives you this feeling that they can relate to you, care about your future, can help and want you to be successful. The feeling of being a Trio member is certainly gratifying in all sincerity and I can't imagine being any more proud and excited for my future. I highly recommend any student with the slightest curiosity to visit Trio on the 4th floor of the library (412 LIB) or to setup an appointment with a Trio staff member at (773) 442-4971. Jacklyn Nowotnik...

The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi

Emily Haddad, Associate Managing Editor & News Editor
January 24, 2012
Filed under Book Reviews

  When first picking up ‘The Alchemist' by Paolo Bacigalupi, I admittedly confused it with ‘The Alchemist' by Paolo Coehlo and even felt somewhat duped. A similarly named author putting out a novella with the exact same name as well-known, highly-acclaimed novel? Shenanigans, I say. But the hegemony-rich world Bacigalupi brings to life is nothing like the stark philosophical landscape of Coehlo's book. Bacigalupi's "The Alchemist" is set in the Middle Ages of an alternate reality in the city of Khaim where magic use used to be common- place, but is now punishable by death. With civilization set upon by a mysterious bramble plague, a link was found between magic use and the explosive growth of magic-loving brambles that engulf fields, choke off roads and poison anyone who touches the branches. The book opens with a heart-wrenching scene about a widowed alchemist named Jeoz who is desperately trying to pry his sobbing young daughter away from the last piece of valuable furniture the family has to sell, her own little bed. Once a rich and influential man, Jeoz lost everything except his daughter and one loyal servant as his city declined and his livelihood drained away. The alchemist had become obsessed with finding a way to use alchemy to defeat the brambles that are destroying his country. By using the brambles own affinity for magic as a polarizing agent, the Jeoz creates a device that has the potential to strike a real blow against the bramble plague. But the upper society in Khaim has grown used to life with the bramble and dark machinations threaten the lives of everyone in the city as a result. At 96 pages, ‘The Alchemist' is a quick read and an intriguing stand-alone story. It's currently available as a hardcover and as a very inexpensive Kindle edition. However, if the bramble-threatened world of Khaim interests you beyond ‘The Alchemist,' there is a second novella named ‘The Executioness' written by Tobias Buckell about the same world that both continues the story and functions as a stand-alone work. Paolo Bacigalupi is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author from Colorado that has written several other full-length books, including ‘The Windup Girl' and ‘Ship Breaker.'  ...

Review: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Jacklyn Nowotnik, Arts and Life Editor
January 24, 2012
Filed under Theatre Reviews

                                    Have you ever really liked someone and been crushed to find out that the person you like really likes someone else. To make matters worse, you are shipwrecked on an island and can't find your twin sibling, so you go to town in disguised as your sibling. Ok, well maybe not that last part, but you know the first part! Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is a story of two siblings, Viola and Sebastian, who become lost at sea and shipwrecked on Illyria. Both siblings assume the other is drowned because they end up on different parts of Illyria, so Viola becomes a page (named Cesario) to Duke Orsino. Duke Orsino wants to marry Olivia, so he sends Cesario to court her for him, but Olivia begins to fall in love with Cesario. Poor Cesario is stuck between a man she wants to be with and a woman that wants to be with her, but neither Orsino nor Olivia can see Viola is just disguised as a young man. On top of that you have the tricky mind of Olivia's uncle, Sir Toby Belch, who adds to the chaos by playing with the minds of Sir Andrew Aguecheek (a squire), Feste (the fool) and Malvolio (Olivia's steward). What will become of all these love triangles and chains? Even though Feste is the fool, will Sir Toby make fools out of everyone else? While this isn't my favorite Shakespeare play (it happens to be a Midsummer Night's Dream), this is definitely a really good one. With mistaken identity, witty humor, and love chains, where someone loves someone, but that someone loves some else; this is truly the work of Shakespeare. I absolutely loved the mischievous shenanigans Sir Toby Belch, Fabian and Sir Andrew Aguecheek played throughout the play, especially when they were drunk with song! They definitely got across the humor, even in Shakespearian language. With so many love chains going on, part of me wanted to just yell out the truth, but the secrecy in this play is what keeps the interest and the story moving. I also thought it was funny how cute and cuddly Orsino and Viola/Cesario got a couple of times, but realized they were men and quickly distance themselves. However, I really think this play would not have been as good as it was without Feste. Feste seems to make every little scheme a little more mischievous, while still making it seem that he is just a fool that knows nothing. I do think that any Shakespeare play is a little hard to follow just because of the Shakespearian language, but if you really pay attention and just try to enjoy the show, everything will make sense. I would give this show 5 stars out of 5 for its humor, love chains, mistaken identity, and its sneaky but comical mischief. I would also recommend this play to anyone that enjoys a good laugh, drunken singing, and a good Shakespearean play.  ...

Review: Jersey Shore

Jacklyn Nowotnik, Arts and Life Editor
January 24, 2012
Filed under Television Review

  I think it may be safe to say that I am a Jersey Shore-aholic. Ok…well maybe that is a bit extreme, but I do get excited for Jersdays (Jersey Shore and Thursday)! I started watching Jersey Shore when they were in their 2nd season in Miami. Like others, I swore I would never fall into the "shore craze"; however thanks to MTV's marathon of Jersey Shore a couple years ago, I am now a fan. I have quite a few friends who will refuse and to this day still question why I watch such a show and as bad as this sound, I'm going to say it anyway. I love to watch Jersey Shore because during the middle of the week when things are crazy busy and I feel like the weekend can't come fast enough; I can come home every Thursday night to find that my DVR just recently recorded my weekly fix of Guidettes and juice-head problems. It sounds really dumb I know, but I just feel a lot better knowing that there are some people out there that not even Wikipedia can help. At this point of the show, our pale cast of Jersey Shore roommates comes straight from Florence, Italy to Seaside Heights, New Jersey. After being in Seaside for while, the cast has enjoyed getting their haircuts/ nails done, tanning and going to the gym. Of course there's still some tension between Snooki and the Situation over a "hook up" that may or may not have happened earlier this year…a hook up that Snooki's boyfriend (Jionni) may not know about. Aside from that drama, the youngest guido in the house, Vinny, is suffering from anxiety. At this point he's not sure why he's in this funk, but the whole house can feel it and it throws everyone's mood off. Luckily Pauly D is here to save the day and their bromance by taking Vinny out for a manicure and pedicure. Vinny seems to feel better after, so the whole house goes to a night club called Karma. Every one brings home some one to take to bed except Vinny and Jwoww. Unfortunately the girl Pauly D brings home pulls a robbery (takes) on his gold chain and goes home with it. The next day is spent with Pauly looking for his chain (which the girl eventually brings back later), and Ronnie tries to talk to Vinny about how he's feeling. At this point it's pretty clear that the way Vinny's feeling isn't something that's just going to go away. Later that night, everyone decides they want to go out but it's best if Pauly stays with Vinny to talk some sense back into him. Little does Pauly know that Vinny is already ready to call a cab and go back home! The end of the show definitely leaves you with sadness because you can feel the closeness of Vinny and Pauly's friendship rip apart as Vinny walks out the door. Compared to other episodes, not much happened in this one. Outside of Vinny leaving and Pauly getting his chain temporarily stolen, the Shore house is at peace. I expect that with Vinny gone; the dynamic of the house will change, leaving more room for drama. I mean it can't possibly be the shore house if there's no drama. I don't except to see Ronnie and Sammi break up, however, I do see Snooki and Jionni getting into a couple arguments, as well as Jwoww and her boyfriend, Roger. I really hope Vinny comes back to the house, because what is Pauly without his bro? However, I guess I'll just have to wait to see what happens. Overall, slow start for the Shore, but hopefully things pick up. Fist Pump!...

Review: Little Triggers, Big reaction

Regina M. Torres, Staff Writer
January 24, 2012
Filed under Theatre Reviews

                                        On Jan 14, The Side Project Theatre packed a tiny area of tightly-placed folding chairs full of people, all anticipating the opening of Daniel Caffrey's play, "Little Triggers." Sitting at the top of a black-painted and elevated wooden platform, I noticed most eyes facing toward the bedroom-sized stage. The music grew quiet, the lights went dim, and my imagination ran wild wondering just how this play would incorporate both puppets and live characters in such a space. The main character, a young assistant office manager is working late on a wintry Christmas Eve in the city some- where. His name is Martin, (played by Kevin Lambert) and he is busy distracting himself with mundane office tasks such as shredding paper, paper basketball waste disposal and scary movies. Martin's boss Mr. Bahnson (played by Rob Grabowski) enters the picture briefly bringing Christmas gifts, champagne and an overbearing yet hospitable presence to the eerily empty atmosphere of the office space. We learn that the rather ominous looking (and acting!) copier machine is on the blitz and that a repair man is en route to hopefully remedy the situation. The wait leaves a hapless Martin once again to his lonesome and restless self. Perhaps more importantly and sweetly adding to the mounting tension, Martin is left to question where his life is headed; a stable yet predictable path concerning shredding paper, endless phone correspondence, and otherwise mundane office operations. "Little Triggers" carries notes of Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" in the way unexpected visitations transpire in order to affect positive change in a protagonist's life. In this case, our office grunt hero is introduced to reflecting a bit more on notions of personal perception of self and who he is at heart. So as not to give too much away, I would like to focus a bit on one of the motivating visitors to Martin's bubble of office safety. Our repair guy, "Man in Coveralls" (played by Neal Starbird,) who does a convincing job of portraying a drug-crazed, in-your-face, creepy machine mechanic. Here, a nice contrast exists between the mad-eyed intensity of Starbird's character and the more conservative stylings of Martin's character. The tension escalates as the evening progresses and Martin is forced to share an office space with a madman, who seems hell bent on seemingly destroying the copier machine and making Martin see something about himself that he has ignored for quite some time. Or rather, something which came from himself and is locked away in a desk drawer, out of sight and out of mind, until its rightful owner once again chooses to acknowledge it. Eventually, Martin is lead on a path to self recovery/discovery and all I can say is that not only are madcap characters involved and unleashed in this process, but also fantastical creatures and very imaginative puppetry. Special mention must go to the set, costume, sound and lighting design artists involved in this unique production, but also to the pup- pet team as all of them did a professional and creative job at making the story come alive in a fun way. I was delighted at the unexpected surprises that appeared at random in this production, and can honestly say that the director, Allison Shoemaker, must be proud of this small, yet powerful play. The Ruckus is an inexpensive Rogers Park theatre company put on by people who really love their work. Oh, and they sell popcorn and beverages for cheap too, which is nice. "Little Triggers" at the Ruckus runs until Feb. 12, 2012. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ruckustheater.org or call (773) 769-7257. The Side Project Theatre is located near the Jarvis red line stop at 1439 W. Jarvis Avenue in Chicago.  ...

Recipe

January 24, 2012
Filed under Arts & Life

Ingredients 2 pounds lean beef stew meat 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups water 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar Two and one-half teaspoons salt One-half teaspoon sugar One-half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper One-half teaspoon minced garlic 2 cinnamon sticks, each 2 inches long 8 whole cloves 2 pounds small white onions Instructions Trim off and discard excess fat from the meat, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Brown on all sides in the hot oil in a heavy saucepan. Combine the next 7 ingredients in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the meat. Add the cinnamon. Stick the cloves in one of the onions and add to the pot. Cover and simmer on medium-low until the meat is almost tender, about one and one-half hours. Peel the remaining onions and add. Continue cooking another 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and the clove- studded onion before serving. Makes 6 servings. http://www.emerils.com/recipe/1370/Greek- Beef-Stew  ...

Aspira Inc. of Illinois Initiation Ceremony: Areyto

Jacklyn Nowotnik, Arts & Life Editor
January 24, 2012
Filed under Arts & Life

Photo by Jacklyn Nowotnik On December 11, 2011 at Regency Inn in Chicago, Aspira Inc. of Illinois celebrated its annual Areyto (ah-ray-toe) ceremony. The Areyto ceremony traces its roots directly back to the indigenous people of Puerto Rico, the Tainos (Tah-ee- nos). For the Tainos, Areyto was a religious ceremony that was celebrated in the main plazas of their Taino communi- ties. This ceremony would bring communities together and festivities would include a fest and ritual songs and dances that would commemorate the good deeds of the Taino people. Today, it seems that the Areyto ceremony serves as an initiation ceremony for new Aspira club members, as well as a renewing of initiation for older members. With Aspira Inc. of Illinois serving more than a dozen schools, the banquet hall was packed with young excited faces waiting to become members of such an educated and proud group of people. Festivities started out with each Aspira club sitting at their own table and enjoying a meal provided by the banquet hall. After dinner, the ceremony was commenced with a beautiful harmonious rendition of Puerto Rico's national anthem, La Boriqueña. The anthem was sung by the Aspira Clubs Per- forming Arts Director, Ana Snachez, and other Aspira club students. After the anthem, the room darkened and seemed to come alive with pride for the Areyto ceremony and the Taino people as drums and rain sticks set the mood within the hall. There were several other student performances; which included students acting out Puerto Rican poems in Spanish and English, as well as a Puerto Rican folk dance called Plena. The final performance was plena with Puerto Rican clown like characters called vejigantes (v-he-gan-teh-s), live drums, and singing; by then every one was out of their chair and dancing in a line. Once the excitement had settled down, Aspira Club Federation members and Aspira board directors invited each Aspira club's president to come to the front and light their white candles with theirs, and bring the lit candle back to their club's table. Once back to their table, the president would light each club member's little blue and white candle, and every- one would read aloud the Aspira oath. The oath was read in both Spanish and English and the finals words asked if one accepted the oath. Once accepted; the Chief Youth Development Officer, Ivette Nieves, exclaimed "Once an Aspirante!" Then all of a sudden the whole hall echoed back "ALWAYS AN ASPIRANTE!" This call and response was echoed back a few times more, and everyone blew out their candles. Soon after, the night was filled with music from the DJ, dancing, smiles, laughs and hugs....

Music Playlist

January 24, 2012
Filed under Arts & Life, Staff Recomends

Lluvia Carrisoza, Visual Media Editor 1. Calle 13 - "Latinoamerica" 2. Flobots - "Handlbars" 3. Behold the Pale Horse - "Die for Me" 4. Art Brut - "Emily Kane" 5. Blondie - "Rapture"   Nicole Lela, Staff Writer 1. Kari Jobe - The More I Seek You 2. Casting Crowns - Blessed...

Red Tails: Fun, Action, and History Too

Lakeesha J. Harris, Senior Staff Writer
January 23, 2012
Filed under Arts & Life

Updated: Friday, January 27, 2012 00:01 On a balmy and snowy Chicago winter's day, there's only one thing can get me out of the house - and that's partaking in a good movie with my children. When producer George Lucas announced that Red Tails, a movie about the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen during WWII, would be coming to the silver screen, I was so excited. I've been on pins and needles ever since and swore I'd be the first to hop in line to support this film. I was not disappointed - and neither were my sons. "We fight, we fight, we fight" was the chant of the Tuskegee Airmen, and this certainly was the case for Producer Lucas as it took him 23 years to bring this gem to the big screen. Lucas has been quoted as saying that Red Tails, staring an all Black cast, was a hard sell in Hollywood and every single studio that he approached turned him down. However this didn't stop Lucas and Director Anthony Hemmingway from bringing something so historically relevant and cinematically rich to movie goers nationwide. After watching Lucas's stunning depiction of the Ninety-ninth Pursuit Squadron flying their first combat mission, I felt I was no longer in the movie theater, my son's and I were witnessing history. Red Tails takes us on a journey through time and we become a part of the breakdown of race barriers within the U.S. Armed forces. All in all, the cast does an amazing job depicting the men of the Ninety-ninth; Terrance Howard shows a bit more range in his acting style as Colonel A.J. Bullard, and Nate Parker once again brings it home as Marty ‘Easy' Julian – the squadron's leader. Though Red Tails isn't totally historically accurate, as some names seem to have been changed, it does hold true to time and locality of the Squadron's combat missions. Red Tails will remain on my top 10 movie list, not because it's the best movie Lucas has made, but because in a world where Black citizens of America are still battling to break down barriers of race, isn't it nice to know that there is a legacy already paved....

New Year’s in Times Square

Urszula Wudarczyk
January 23, 2012
Filed under Arts & Life

Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 My boyfriend and I began our winter break in Columbus, Ohio. After a few days in Columbus exploring the entire capital, learning about the state history and enjoying the regional architecture, we drove out to New York City. About noon on December 31, 2011 we w...

Out on a School Night:

Zac Schon, Opinions Editor
February 21, 2011
Filed under Neighborhood

When someone says the phrase "epic fail" in real life, I roll my eyes. It's trendy, not really that funny, and often, over-exaggerated. But as I sat in Dark Cloud: Urban Coffee Lab, located at 2122 N Halsted St. on a Friday afternoon, the phrase did come to mind. Before I bash, let's first focus on what...