X-Ray Exhibit Open in Tatem Arts Center

By Laura Spencer, Editor-in-Chief

Hood College’s Hodson Gallery will feature work of an award-winning Chicago artist through Oct. 5th in the Tatem Arts Center.

Artist Michael Hop-kins’ “The X-Ray Series” features white ink drawings and paintings on slate. Hopkins’ art is on display in the Art Institute of Chicago in addition to a number of museum collections.

Corporate art collections such as the Progressive Insurance Collection and the Wellcome Trust Collection in London also feature Hopkins’ art.

Hopkins works with different media including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. Hopkins writes for Neoteric Art, and on-line art magazine.

More information about the work of Hopkins can be found by visiting michaelhopkinsdrawings.com.

The Tatem Arts Center exhibit is open daily between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. For more information about the gallery exhibit, con-tact Jenna Gianni at gianni@hood.edu.

New Health Facility Opens to Hood Students

This gallery contains 1 photo.

By Laura Spencer, Editor-in-Chief  Frederick Region-al Health Systems to provide health services to better meet students’ needs through partnership with Hood College. A recently opened FMH facility located on 7th Street will provide students with services including primary care, urgent care, health and well-ness, mental health, and sports physicals. Monocacy Health Partners (Frederick Regional Health Sys-tem’s […]

Hood Students Give Thanks

By Elena Rowe

Thanksgiving is one of the many favorite American holidays, next to Christmas is loved by many people across the United States. During the fourth Thursday of November, families gather together to give thanks for everything that they have in their lives, along with having a variety of amazing food. I had the opportunity to talk to many Hood students about some of their Thanksgiving traditions. Freshman Tenley Reeder, usually has a huge family dinner and watches football games with her family. Her mother cooks most of the food and her grandmother brings dessert. One of her favorite dishes is Sauerkraut and Deviled Eggs. She does not go out of town, but when she was younger she used to visit her grandparents in Florida.

Junior Dorothy San, who usually stays home in Rockville also keeps traditions very close to her family. Her favorite food items is sticky rice with meat or pork. She also usually watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which I enjoy watching as well. Sophomore Tykera Pratt enjoys turkey, macaroni and cheese and stuffing but, one of her favorites is pig feet. During the holiday, she usually participates in serving food to the homeless. Freshman Katelyn Klukosky enjoys a different Thanksgiving experience ; she eats at the Cracker Barrel every year. “My mom does not feel like cooking every year so my family and I gather at the Cracker Barrel.”

Freshman Jenna Frick, who came to Hood from Florida, enjoys the big family dinner, but enjoys putting up Christmas decorations on Black Friday.

These Thanksgiving traditions make each family unique. Although, we all have different family traditions during the holidays, every family has something to be thankful for!

Flying Dog Brewery’s “Raging Speech

 by Shania Heerd

Local Frederick brewing facility Flying Dog Brewery is known for its unique and comical alcohol names that accompany every flavor. Frederick takes pride in its local businesses, and so the beer has become somewhat of a hometown favorite and is currently the largest brewery in Maryland. Recently, however, the brewery has faced a battle with public speech for the name of one of its’ drinks: Raging Bitch.

Flying Dog has been facing a censorship battle for quite some time, beginning in Colorado, where the distillery was born. The fight for censorship went to the United States Court of Appeals when the Michigan Liquor Control Commision banned the beer’s selling in the state. In retaliation, Flying Dog sued the state of Michigan and it was ruled that the banning violated their first amendment right.

Although the battles with the law have been won, the company has been under fire by journalists and locals. Some believe that the name is inappropriate to the public or find it sexist, creating a debate among many: alcohol fans, Frederick residents, and fighters of free speech. According to Flying Dog’s CEO Jim Caruso, free speech is very important to his company and his personal beliefs.

In fact, the brewery has recently terminated its Brewer’s Association membership, a community for breweries across the nation. Some have criticized this as an unwise move that will ruin the distillery’s reputation and send them into economic despair. Others see it as the right move for justice and a call to action in the fight for free speech. Caruso agrees with this, and he gives public speeches for this purpose. On October 18th, Caruso gave a speech at Hood College named “Free Speech for Me, But Not for Thee?”

Caruso was introduced by Hood College President Andrea E. Chapdelaine and awarded the President’s Medal for Democracy. The Medal for Democracy represents Hood’s values and one of the four pillars on Alumni Hall. President Chapdelaine states that Caruso received the medal for “his commitment to the democratic principles of our nation by educating the public on critical First Amendment issues.”

Caruso has also won the Lanny Friedlander Prize. According to the Reason’s site, the award “honors an individual who is reshaping the media landscape,” and was awarded to Caruso for his “passionate advocacy of the First Amendment.”

During the presentation at Hood College, CEO Caruso discussed a variety of topics relating to free speech. Beginning with what the first amendment is, Caruso went on to discuss the history of free speech both nationally and globally. He further described the consequences of not having free speech, and why censorship is such a slippery slope.

Caruso said that he has attended many colleges and has found that a lot of schools are not very open to free speech. Murmurs of last year’s debate for free speech surrounding the Hood Republican club were brought up, though Caruso himself praised Hood for their free speech even as a private college that has freedom to restrict. Caruso ties education in with free speech throughout his presentation, asserting that the two go hand in hand, something the crowd agreed upon.

The people attending agreed on many topics, but the problem seemed to rise in Caruso and Flying Dog’s intentions. Caruso announced that while he is political himself and belongs to the Democratic party, he does not believe that his business should be politically affiliated. Many were confused, seeing the fight for free speech as politically inclined.

As Caruso puts it, free speech is not related to either political party. He said “I’ve had a few complaints that people can’t wear their political shirts here at the flying dog. So what?” He states that issue is of “Rights versus values.” Caruso argued that public relations are related to the government and are therefore rights. On the other hand, matters in private owned companies and institutions, such as Hood College or Flying Dog Brewery, are at the discretion of the owner.

A highlight of the presentation was when Caruso said that “Diversity is hard to manage,” to which he referenced America’s past, Hood College’s past and difficulties in its switch to being a co-educational school, and to Flying Dog Brewery’s relationship with the public. He draws that it is hard to run a successful business not catering to everyone without offending anyone. To this, the presentation came to a close, albeit for a Q & A in which those attending discussed their questions and concerns relating to free speech in Frederick and at Hood. A businesswoman attending stated that “It [free speech] is a raging battle soon to hit every private place at one point or another” to which fellow entrepreneurs agreed.

Hood College has established that it too will fight for free speech on campus and aims to be a place where residents can discuss freely and kindly and work together to create an inclusive and civil community.

CARE Offers Increased Sexual Assault Prevention

By Christie Wisniewski and Maya Douglas

According to the Hood College 2017 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, instances of rape and dating violence on campus increased in 2016. The report defines a forcible sexual offense as “any sexual act directed against another person…against that person’s will; or not forcibly…where the victim is incapable of giving consent.”

The recent report was released to students by email on September 29, and is required by federal law to be published and viewable by all students. Not only does the report track the number of criminal offenses reported on campus, it also tracks the number of fires, liquor and drug law violations, and illegal weapon possession on campus.

There were four forcible sexual assaults reported on campus and one involving Hood students on public property in 2016, the report states. The report also shows that there were four instances of dating violence on campus the same year. In 2015, the report states that there were three forcible sexual assault offenses and one on public property, and two instances of dating violence on campus.

This September, Hood was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice Office of Violence against Women on Campus. The college plans to use the funds to supplement ongoing efforts to prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking on campus.

“We looked at what the needs are on campus in terms of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking and how we could improve,” said Jaime Cacciola, director of Grants and Gift Planning.

Cacciola worked in conjunction with Dean of Students Olivia White to write the grant- a three-month long process.

The grant will be dispersed over three years and will undergo evaluation to gauge success, the first phase of the project being to hire on a Campus Awareness Response Education (CARE) director. This person will work closely with the Dean and under the Student Life division to advise students on sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking related situations, coordinate contact with Hood’s Community Coordinated Response (CCR) team to provide resources for students, as well as train staff and students to deal with these situations.

The CARE director is expected to be hired by January.

The CCR team consists of Frederick City Police, The Frederick Center, a nonprofit specializing in LGBT support; Heartly House, and the Maryland Coalition for Sexual Assault. These organizations will serve as community partners of Hood’s CARE initiative.

This grant will serve as supplementary to ongoing sexual assault and domestic violence prevention training including the required One Love seminar for incoming freshman and monitoring students in the “red zone,” a student’s first year of college. Students are also urged

to report instances to Campus Safety and take advantage of the services offered in the Wellness Center.

“If a situation like this [sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking] will happen, most time it’ll happen in that red zone where students are still adjusting to a new place,” said Cacciola.

“We’re really thrilled to have to have opportunity to address these needs, I think Hood College absolutely wants make sure they’re doing their due diligence to make sure that domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking doesn’t happen on campus,” she said.

In 2016, there was one report of a student on campus intimidating another based on their race, according to the statistics. In the previous two years, the report had no instances of crime based on a person’s race, gender, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, or disability.

There were 65 liquor law violations and 25 drug law violations on campus in 2016, according to the report’s “2016 Arrests and Judicial Referrals” category.

The report offers multiple general safety precautions for students in order to lessen campus crime. These precautions include:

· “Never admit strangers into your room or hall.”

· Never remain alone in isolated or unoccupied areas, including classrooms, libraries, or other buildings. When such use is required, special arrangements must be made with the Department of Campus Safety.”

· “When walking at night, have a friend(s) along and carry a cell phone.”

Students are encouraged to keep the numbers of emergency personnel at hand:

· Frederick County Mental Health Resources: 211

· Heartly House 24-hour hotline: 301-662-8800

· City of Frederick Police: 301-600-2100/ non-emergency direct line: 301-600-2102

· Frederick County Sheriff’s Office: 301-600-1046

· Frederick Memorial Hospital General Info: 240-566-3300

Sports Highlights

By Mason Cavalier


October 5

The Blazers attained their best overall team finish in the Stevenson Fall Invitational at Piney Branch Golf Club in Upperco, Md, where they shot a combined 332, good for fifth place in the competition.

The Blazers also saw their best finish of the season at the Stevenson Fall Invitational, with Andy Baker finishing in sixth place, shooting 77.

Joe Hutchins and Andrew Heon both placed twenty-first in the tournament with scores of 86.

Jon Knehans rounded out the team in thirty-first, finishing his round at 91 strokes.

October 16

The Blazers took on Bent Creek Country Club in Lititz, Pa. during the F&M Invitational last week, finishing ninth with an overall team score of 327.

Andy Baker again finished at the top of the team, but wasn’t alone, as he and Jon Knehans tied with scores of 79, placing them nineteenth in the tournament. It was Knehans’ best result of the fall.

Brendon Mahoney placed third within the team and fifty-eighth in the tournament with an 89, followed by Andrew Heon, who shot a 91, finishing sixtieth.

Best Individual finishes this season

Andy Baker – 76

Jon Knehans – 79

Michael Bushman – 80

Andrew Heon – 82

Brendan Manhoney – 85

Future Matches

The Blazers Men’s Golf Team will continue playing again in the fall of 2018.

Joe Hutchens inspects his shot in the Stevenson Fall Invitational. Photo courtesy Hood Athletics.


Hood College Mens Lacrosse’s “Fall Ball” pre-season came to an end October 8 after their annual play-day, which featured two scrimmages against Division II Alderson Broaddus out of West Virginia and junior college Potomac State.

Hood was victorious in both of their games, defeating Alderson Broaddus 17 – 6, and Potomac State 12 – 6. Hood’s starting lineup played in the first game of the day against Alderson Broaddus, while the reserves took on Potomac State in the second.

Hood scrimmaged Alderson Broaddus during their play-day last year as well, with that game finishing in a 9 – 9 tie, showing that the Blazers’ starting squad has improved since then.

Coach Brad Barber was happy with his team’s undefeated pre-season performance, saying that, “We came out smooth, we came out hungry… We had a lot of good contributions across the board, so it’s hard for me to pick three or four [players] because I’m so pleased with how we played.”

In addition to their play-day scrimmages, Hood also hosted an Alumni game, which featured former players and graduates. The Alumni game, which was previously an annual staple of the Blazers’ pre-season, had not been played in two years. The return of the game was met with excitement and enthusiasm from fans and players alike.


Season Outlook

Heartbreak has been on the menu for the Blazers Mens’ Soccer program this season, as they have seen six of their 15 games go into extra time, and have been on the losing side of three of those games. They have also won two and drawn in another, making their record in overtime 1-3-1 on the season.

Despite this, there have still been many positives to take from the Blazers season so far, these being the career-best performances from senior forward Kenton Onspaugh, who leads the team in goals as well as assists, and the consistently solid play from sophomore goalkeeper Danny Castillo. Last year, Castillo picked up an All MAC Honorable Mention and has not missed a step between the posts this year, continuing his development under coach Kenny Putnam.

Sophomore forward Clay Smith has missed seven of the Blazers’ 15 games this year, and they have sorely missed the 2016 MAC Rookie of the year. Now returning to the starting lineup, he has already made an immediate impact, scoring twice against Lebanon Valley, one of the goals being a penalty kick. With Smith’s return, the Blazers’ offense looks to sharpen its teeth.

Team Statistics

· Record: 7-7-1

o Home: 4-3

o Away: 3-3-1

o Neutral: 0-1

o Conference: 1-3-1

· Clean Sheets: 3

· Goals Per Game: 1.53

Individual Statistical Leaders

Points: Kenton Onspaugh, 12

Goals: Kenton Onspaugh, 5

Assists: Robert Ellerson, 3

Saves: Danny Castillo, 57

Save Percentage: Danny Castillo, .704

Future Games

Oct. 21 @ Albright

Oct. 25 Vs. Messiah

Oct. 28 @ Lycoming

Kenton Onspaugh speeds past two Alveria defenders. Photo courtesy Hood Athletics.


The Blazers’ enjoyed a red-hot start to their season, with their record after 10 games being 8-1-1, which included a five game winning streak. Since then however, they have dropped their past six games of which five were against MAC Conference opponents. Despite this, they look to finish the season strong with matchups against Albright, Messiah, and Lycoming.

Senior forward Alyssa Nubgaard has been a firecracker in attack for the Blazers this season, leading the team in points and assists, while tying fellow teammate Emily Onheiser for most goals with 5.

With a total of 14 freshmen listed on the roster, the Blazers have relied heavily on their first-year students. With this in mind, the future of the team looks bright under head coach Conor Prachar.

Team Statistics

· Record: 8-7-1

o Home: 6-3-1

o Away: 2-4

o Conference: 0-5

· Clean Sheets: 4

· Goals Per Game: 2.00

Individual Statistical Leaders

Points: Alyssa Nubgaard, 17

Goals: Alyssa Nubgaard, Emily Onheiser, 5

Assists: Alyssa Nubgaard, 7

Saves: Rachel Knoebel, 60

Save Percentage: ReidAnn Sever, 7.50

Future Games

Oct. 21 @ Albright

Oct. 24 Vs. Messiah

Oct. 28 @ Lycoming

Nubgaard approaches a corner kick in the Blazers’ game against Alvernia. Photo courtesy Hood Athletics.


Team Statistics

· Record: 10-15

o Home: 7-4

o Away: 2-4

o Neutral: 1-7

o Conference: 2-5

· Kills per set: 9.49

· Hitting percentage: .118

· Blocks per set: 1.16

· Digs per set: 14.90

Individual Statistical Leaders

Total Attacks: Kari Betson, 799

Assists: Peyton Belella, 681

Digs: Renee Reus, 301

Points: Elena Zinaich, 318

Kills: Elena Zinaich, 254

Future Games

Oct. 21 Vs. Elizabethtown

Oct. 21 @ Washington College

Oct. 24 @ Widener

Oct. 26 Vs. Trinity

Elena Zinaich rises up against Penn St.-Harrisburg. Photo courtesy Hood Athletics.


Team Statistics

· Record: 2-13

o Home: 2-5

o Away: 0-7

o Neutral: 0-1

o Conference: 0-5

· Goals per game: 0.8

· Shots per game: 5.8

· Goals: 12

· Assists: 3

Individual Statistical Leaders

Goals: Rylie Benoit-Nobis, Naomi Garcia, Lili Wysiekierski, 2

Assists: Naomi Garcia, 2

Saves: Hailey Poisal, 63

Save percentage: Hailey Poisal, .752

Future Games

Oct. 21 Vs. Albright

Oct. 26 Vs. Stevenson

Oct. 27 Vs. Sweet Briar

Naomi Garcia brings the ball towards goal against Sweet Briar. Photo courtesy Hood Athletics.

Urban Outlet in Full Swing: A Look at Their First Anniversary Showcase

By Maya Douglas

Hood College talent collective Urban Outlet is gearing up for their third showcase on Nov. 11.

Since its creation last semester, president of the club Christiana Morris, senior, has dedicated her time and energy to fostering a club that “embraces a wide variety of talents.”

The showcase has featured rappers, singers, poetry and audience engaged freestyle competitions. Attendees can look forward to comedy and a new competition called “Minute to Win It,” where participants compete in timed challenges, to be added to the line-up of this semester’s show.

“We’re really all about having fun, not just having talent,” said Morris. “We want to increase crowd participation to show we’re really appreciative of them.”

Another major addition to the Urban Outlet Is the Underground Dance Team, led by Kayla Coleman. According to Morris, a step team is also likely to be added to the collective.

“The audience can expect a lot of truth in this next show,” said Morris. Their show theme is “Alienation” and will feature pieces related to self-discovery and acceptance.

With the Urban Outlet, Morris hopes to spread a theme of community on campus. The club threw a “kickback” in Whitaker Commons called Freestyle Friday earlier this semester and attributed their success to the laid-back approach in its event marketing.

One of the most rewarding parts of the Urban Outlet is “watching people come out of their shell and step up to the plate” said Morris. “I’ve seen a lot of people change for positively since the start [of the club].”

This year’s show marks the anniversary of the first show, which also occurred on November 11 of last year.

Offensive Halloween Costumes: Is Your Costume Safe This Year?

By Kashif Masood

Halloween has arrived. For some college students, this means dressing up in their best costume and going to a costume party. Unfortunately, a few ruin the fun by wearing costumes that reinforce negative stereotypes. On October 29 of last year, the Sigma Tau Gamma national headquarters suspended its University of Central Arkansas chapter and expelled a student after he wore blackface to the fraternity’s Halloween party. Policy 55 prohibits creating “a hostile or offensive environment” in order to curb such behavior. However, in doing so, it also strips students of their free speech.

Think about it: How do you decide what’s offensive? Some of my classmates would point to last year’s Hood College Republican display. To students who want to censor hate speech: Where do you draw the line? Policy 55’s Bullying and Harassment clauses prohibits conduct that creates “a hostile or offensive environment” without using an objective, “reasonable person” standard.

In 2007, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, a student was accused of racial harassment after reading a historical book involving the KKK. The picture of the Klansmen and burning crosses on the book’s cover offended some of his coworkers. This shows that an otherwise innocent behavior could be punishable if someone finds an obscure aspect of it offensive.

It’s not only innocent behavior that suffers from politically correct campus speech codes. Civil discourse can also take a blow. In 2015 at Wesleyan University, outraged students began “recycling” their student newspaper. In addition, they wanted it to lose its funding until the demands were met. The newspaper’s crime? Allowing an Army veteran student to publish an opinion article criticizing Black Lives Matter’s approach to activism. Instead of a civil discourse approach, some Wesleyan students censored opinions they didn’t like by destroying newspapers.

The mission of Hood is to provide “an education that empowers students to use their hearts, minds and hands to meet personal, professional and global challenges and to lead purposeful lives of responsibility, leadership, service and civic engagement.” This cannot happen if students constantly fear punishment for expressing an otherwise mainstream view. If students aren’t willing to engage with speech they don’t like, how do you expect them to use their minds to meet challenges?

As a private institution, Hood College is not legally bound by the First Amendment. However, Policy 55 states that “Hood College is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression.” Hood is morally and contractually obligated to protect free speech.

Diving Down Under

By Nailah Russell

G’Day Hood College

Wow! Six weeks has already gone by and just like that, I’m halfway through my time in Australia. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my Hood family dearly, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t having an absolutely amazing time.

My internship just keeps getting better and more challenging. Although I come back in the door huffing from a long day, nothing is more rewarding than knowing I was able to get someone the help they need in a dire situation.

Just the other week, I was faced with a pretty daunting test. A woman calling our line for the first time who only spoke Arabic called with an interpreter. Everything was fine until the line dropped our interpreter. In a panic the woman began to say the small amount of words she knew in English and was clearly distressed.

I knew exactly how to fix her problem, which is why my supervisor told me to do my best communicating in English before the company would need to spend money on an interpreter.

After grasping at what I thought would be my last hope by asking if any of the interns spoke Arabic (as we have quite a few who do) and getting no response, I struggled in English until I had to do what I was most afraid of: I was going to have to speak to her in Arabic. The last thing I wanted was for her to think I knew more than I did.

I bit the bullet, told her I only spoke a little bit of Arabic, and much to my surprise was able to communicate my message. I even answered a few more of her questions until the answers she needed became too complicated for my limited Arabic and her limited English. That’s when I forfeited and called the interpreter.

All was well, but I knew that I’d be telling that story to my Arabic-speaking friends when they returned the next week. (I also hope my Arabic-speaking friends at Hood and Dr. Wright are reading this and proud of me!)

After another week at RACS, I packed up and headed to Melbourne for my Spring Break. I gotta tell you guys, this city is off the hook! At first it seems quiet and underwhelming, especially for a lot of us Americans who are used to louder and busier cities. Sydney’s quite busy itself, but the volume is nowhere near that of D.C. or New York, and the city goes to bed eventually.

Wondering around at 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday for food and seeing no one around almost made my friends and I question if we would enjoy our time as much as students that ventured off to Fiji, New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef for their break.

The next day, we just realized that Melbourne still has all of the dynamic atmosphere and convenience of any other city, it’s just missing that dizzying rush everyone is always in in a city like Sydney or New York.

Before booking my trip, I had always heard Australians say Melbourne was the country’s fantastic little city with a European flare. Even though I’ve never been to Europe (hopefully someday though), I can see why.

After visiting the Shrine of Remembrance, a breathtaking World War I/II memorial, my three friends and I wandered the city. We passed the contemporary art museum and the immigrant museum which sits in a part of the city splashed with a row of Spanish flags billowing above the tram stops.

We ate delicious Malaysian food, shopped at a vintage thrift store, and got tidbits on how to reach Melbourne’s secret pubs and venues. We passed through Hosier and Rutledge Lane covered in graffiti and street art, found alleyway cafes and tucked away book stores, and shopping centers that opened into whole new worlds like we had just casually traversed Diagon Alley.

At night, we melted into more graffitied walls on AC/DC Lane to find a little pub with live soul music. Then, we headed over to Brunswick Street where we found heaven in a dimly lit snake path with little coves and live music to dance and sing to.

All of that happened the night before (technically the morning of) Friday the 13th, otherwise known as the day I became a meteor. That’s right folks. Ya girl made the decision to skydive over the Great Ocean Road, a scenic destination with beautiful pillars of rocks jutting out from the water like an audience to my daring and audacious stunt.

I was excited, but not truly nervous. Even as I sat in the lobby with two of my other crazy friends watching tutorials on how to land so as not to “remove” your ankle, I had yet to feel the tremble in my knees or the shake to my insides.

I got in my gear, hopped onto the plane, and with the three of us strapped to our instructors like newborn marsupials, we prepared to jump out over the earth at 12,000 feet. While my friends sang “Breaking Free” from High School Musical, I still felt calm, even as I looked out the window during our ascent.

In a split second, the door was snatched open, my friend Sam shut her eyes and turned away in fear, and she her instructor were gone in an instant.

Then, it happened.

My instructor inched me toward the edge and when I could only see lines of water and the bottom coast of the country, my stomach dropped into my shoes and almost took them directly off my feet.

Before I knew it, I was screaming as I was plummeting towards the earth, trying desperately to remember “legs up and hips forward.” I felt a tap on my shoulder and out went my hands. I was in full free fall, taking in the beautiful sight and hollering as my fight or flight senses tried to tell me I was going to die.

All the while, a go-pro camera lay straight on my face. As I carefully took in gulps of air, I gave some meme-worthy faces to the film. With a snap of the fingers, I was snatched back up for a moment and gazed around in suspension.

My instructor guided my over the stunning scenery and let me steer the parachute for a little until we landed. As Sam put it, I felt like “a million bucks.”

It was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had and 1000% recommend it.

Well folks, that’s all I’ve got for this update. Stay tuned for more and good luck with the second half of your semester.


First-Year Read Author Speaks with Blue and Grey on Homegoing

By Laura Spencer

“Confidence is necessary,” shared newly published author and recipient of the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” award during her First-Year Read visit at Hood.

Yaa Gyasi published her debut novel Homegoing in June 2016 and the First-Year Read committee selected it as this year’s book in the annual program.

First-Year Read allows incoming freshmen to share a connection through reading one book the summer before they begin their semester. The book is discussed from orientation up until the author visits the campus.

Homegoing is the story of two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, who are from different villages in Ghana. The story follows seven generations of their descendants, and their emotional experiences of slavery.

Following through the generations in this novel allows readers to gain multiple perspectives on slavery, rather than focusing on a single period in history. “The structure allowed me to talk about the many ways in which we continue to be affected by the legacy of slavery,” Gyasi said.

In addition to the story capturing multiple generations of slavery, the story also contrasts the differences between slavery in transatlantic slave trade and slavery taking place in Ghana. Gyasi said it is important to “tell a full story” about slavery.

A 2009 trip to Ghana where she stood in dungeons in the Cape Coast Castle inspired her to write this novel, Gyasi said. There were extreme differences between the dungeons where slaves would have been kept in this castle and the upper levels of the castle.

“Read as much as possible,” Gyasi said. She encourages beginning writers to read “beyond what you can do.”

Since Gyasi’s debut novel has been published, she is unsure if there have been any changes in her writing. “I suppose each thing you write requires something new of you,” said Gyasi. “I can’t imagine any two books being the same stylistically.”