Blazer’s seeking program’s first championship

Hood College’s Baseball team, the Blazers, looks to accomplish a feat previously insurmountable in its first two years of existence.

Just two weeks remain before the Blazers final game of their regular season. During this game, on April 30, will be pushing towards the team’s first ever post season berth. After 10 conference wins over the last two seasons the team is on the right track to accomplishing their goals.

With a record of 5-8 in MAC Commonwealth play, and eight conference matchups left on their schedule, the third-year team is just two games behind Lebanon Valley for fourth in the conference standings. The Blazers must finish fourth or higher to compete for the 2017 MAC Commonwealth Baseball Championship, held from May 4 to May 6 at the York Revolutions’ Peoples Bank Park.

The team must win just three of their final eight Commonwealth games to eclipse their 2016 conference total wins of seven games. However, the Blazers have a much larger goal in mind.

“Our expectation each year has been to make the playoffs and win a conference title,” said Drake Friend, the team’s starting right fielder. “It feels right, and is an opportunity that we’ve been waiting to take advantage of.”

During the team’s inaugural season in 2015, the Blazers dealt with their fair share of struggles. They finished 14-25 overall, and 3-18 within the conference.

In 2016, the young team saw improvement, concluding the season with an overall record of 16-24, and finishing 7-14 in conference play. The Blazers received numerous postseason honors, with Head Coach Cory Beddick winning the conference’s Coach of the Year award, and multiple players being named to the MAC all-conference teams.

Despite the improvement, the players and coaches agreed the team had still yet to reach its full potential. For two straight years, it failed to make it past the regular season.

“I think we were expecting to make improvements, and we were hoping to have a better record than the previous year,” said Travis Schweizer, a Junior pitcher for the Blazers.

Schweizer is the team’s most reliable arm over the last three seasons, and he currently boasts a 6-1 record, along with a 3.41 earned run average.

“We are a young program,” he said, “but baseball isn’t a game of winning, it’s a game of losing, and most games are lost, not won. I feel we can compete with any team in the conference, as long as we play up to our capabilities.”

Friend echoed that same sentiment. “There is no powerhouse,” he said, “and it’s been proven that anyone can beat anyone in this conference, so why not us?”

An outfielder and junior at Hood, Friend is currently tied for second on the team with 19 runs batted in, and shares the team-lead for walks with 12 free passes on the season.

His neighbor in the outfield, Cam Esposito, has been the team’s starting centerfielder in almost every game since transferring to Hood just prior to the start of the program’s inaugural season. Esposito’s successes on the field are a big reason why the team finds itself in contention for a postseason run.

The Blazers have also received a boost this season from some key new pieces, including Jordan Patterson, who was forced to redshirt in 2016, due to injury. After becoming the team’s starting shortstop during the fall, he is currently batting .379 and leads the team with 22 runs batted in.

Patterson’s fellow first-year teammates, Josh Greenberg and Brad Sawyer, have also played a key role in the team’s success to this point. Greenberg, batting .405 with 16 RBIs, has added to an already impressive middle of the lineup for the Blazers, while Sawyer currently holds the team’s best earned run average of 2.25.

These efforts, along with a lineup already including proven hitters such as Brooks Warrenfeltz, Dylan Johnson, and Josh Gall, have helped position the Blazers for a late season run at their ultimate goal: a conference championship. While the team still remains on the outside looking in, they’re well aware that anything can happen as they sit two games out of that final playoff spot.

“With eight games left, anything can happen, but the team seems to be progressing through the year, and some guys are really starting to find their rhythm to help contribute to the team near the end of the season,” Schweizer said.

The Blazers will be back in action at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium on Monday, April 17, when they look to complete the series sweep of conference-rival, the Messiah College Falcons.

“Logan” brings a trilogy to a satisfying, emotional conclusion

In the distant future, all traces of the old “X-Men” movies are gone, and Hugh Jackman is somehow still a huge, jacked man.

“Logan” is the third and final film in 20th Century Fox’s series of movies based on the comic book character Wolverine. Eschewing the quip-filled approach of generic superhero films, “Logan” instead focuses on interpersonal drama in a neo-western style.

Set in the year 2029, the movie follows an aged Logan “Wolverine” Howlett, played by Hugh Jackman, as he attempts to escape from hostile pursuers with two travelers in tow. Patrick Stewart returns as the now Alzheimer’s-ridden psychic Professor Xavier, and Dafne Keen makes her debut as Laura, a young mutant with powers similar to Wolverine’s.

From the get-go, “Logan” goes out of its way to show viewers that it will not pull any punches with its content. The language is harsher and more frequent than in any other “X-Men” movie, and the action scenes are unprecedented in their blood and brutality. Expect plenty of severed limbs and impaled villains before the movie comes to a close.

Unlike the bleakness of “Batman v Superman,” the uncompromising grittiness of “Logan” works well with its narrative and serves to draw the audience in further. The unflinching violence and gore compliment the mental state of Wolverine, who is in constant physical pain and left wandering without a purpose in life.

The lulls between action scenes provide excellent moments of character interaction and introspection. Though the movie may seem like a standard superhero romp on the surface, its main emphasis is on reflection and finding one’s way in an unfamiliar world. The themes of family and moving on from tragedies are explored through well-crafted dialogue.

The world-building in “Logan” is handled through subtle comments and details in the cinematography, creating a near-dystopia that feels natural without being forced. From the extinction of tigers to the implementation of self-driving trucks, viewers learn of unsettlingly-modern possibilities by reading between the lines of dialogue, rather than having it ham-handedly shoved in their faces.

Ultimately, “Logan” is not a superhero movie with city-destroying stakes and massive CGI effects. It is a story of what it means to be a family and what it means to be redeemed, albeit with super-powered individuals playing key roles in the plot. Rather than make its characters godlike beings, the movie portrays them as being tragically human with every flaw visible for the world to see.

Was “Logan” one of the best movies I have ever seen? I would hesitate to say something on that scale. I think the title of “best movie ever” sort of diminishes the accomplishments of films, as it weighs them against unrealistic standards.

However, I can easily give it a 10 out of 10, and I can safely say that it was one of my favorite Marvel movies to date. I would highly recommend it to all fans of cinema. Jackman and Stewart have ended their “X-Men” filmographies on high notes.

“Logan” is rated R for strong brutal violence and language throughout, as well as brief nudity. Its runtime is two hours and 21 minutes.

Elmer Dixon of Black Panther Party visits Hood

Dixon speaks to students. Photo by Maya Douglas

Dixon speaks to students.
Photo by Maya Douglas

Earlier this month, a Black Panther Party chapter founder came to Hood College.

On March 7, in an event coordinated by Dr. Terry Scott of the History Department, Elmer Dixon, a founder of the Seattle chapter of Black Panther Party visited Hood. During the event he presented his speech: The Truth About the Black Panther Party and Community Organizing.

Dixon began his lecture by questioning the audience’s thoughts about the Black Panther Party. “You probably have heard that the Black Panther Party was like the black KKK,” said Dixon.

He attributed such misconceptions to the media. Dixon addressed there was a “deliberate attempt to hide what [they] were truly about.”

According to Dixon, efforts have been made to keep the “legacy and history of the Black Panther Party […] distorted and hidden” in the media and there have educational efforts in the same aspect as well.

As Dr. Scott said in her introduction, there have been “narratives of menace and fear” spread about the Black Panther Party through distortion in the media and the withholding of accurate information in classrooms across the United States.

During his speech, Dixon thoroughly explained who comprised the Black Panther Party, their goals, and means of operation.

According to Dixon, contrary to popular conception, the Black Panther Party was comprised of people who were heavily engaged in the study of law and political theory. They familiarized themselves with the Constitution and acted on their rights to bear arms in a state where they faced violent suppression enacted through governmental institutions such as the police department.

The Police Alert Patrols was an initiative of the Black Panther Party. It was developed to protect citizens from police brutality in black communities. Arriving at the scenes of black citizen-law enforcement encounters, the Black Panther Party clearly stated in detail, their legal right to use militia for protection from violence expressed by any sectors of the government.

This emphasis on taking advantage of the second amendment is the fraction of the Black Panther Party narrative often misrepresented by the press and circles of political discourse.

The Black Panther Party operated to protect black communities physically, legally, politically and economically and outlined how they would go about demanding both their Constitutional and “God-given” rights. This outline of steps and demands is formally known to the party as the 10 Point Program.

The programs points ranged from securing basic needs such as food and adequate housing to institutional issues such as education, ending police brutality, and trial before members of the black community.

The Black Panther Party was also the first organization to start a free breakfast program for children in poor communities. The Children’s Free Breakfast Program, created by the Black Panther Party, operated for over 10 years. This program was only one amongst 30 free programs implemented by the Black Panther Party to take care of poor communities that were suffering from hunger, medical issues, restriction to education for children and prisoners, and more.

For their efforts to establish social, political, and economic independence for not only the black community, but other minority communities in America and in other countries, the U.S. government took numerous measures to thwart the party’s progress. This attempt to bring recognition and power to all racially oppressed groups was known as the Rainbow Coalition. Its purpose was to empower and encourage all people of color to engage in similar practices to establish independence.

According to Dixon, first FBI director J Edgar Hoover referred to the Black Panther Party as the “number one internal threat to the U.S.” To offset this, he developed COINTELPRO, or the counter intelligence program, to disband the party.

COINTELPRO agents forged documents to create distrust among members and went undercover as bodyguards for the Black Panther Party. Fred Hampton, a respected party leader was killed in his home due to intelligence gathered by undercover body guards working for the FBI.

The FBI was able to accomplish its goal of toppling the Black Panther Party with several other events that took place. For example, the trial of the “Chicago Seven.” During this trial, eight people were present, but one was silenced in the courtroom the FBI.

The Black Panther Party is not just a part of history, a current Black Panther Party exists today. However, they are not as prevalent as their forefathers, who were able to spread worldwide influence through the 1960s and 70s.

With hope that community organizing will continue, Dixon, now a facilitator of the Juvenile Justice Equity Steering Committee in King County, WA, stated that contemporary issues such as mass incarceration of youth of color have to be dealt with by “changing how we handle kids early on to give them an opportunity to succeed at life, and those were the foundations of the Black Panther Party.”

There is a need for, “decent education, decent housing…all of those things that give young people an opportunity to develop character and understand who they are and where they came from so they can be successful,” said Dixon.

“These young people don’t think that their lives matter,” Dixon stated, “That’s why the Black Lives Matter Movement is so important. It’s to help these young black kids and brown kids that come from these families and environments where they’ve been thrown away.”

He concluded his speech by stating that working with these children is the kind of activism new political activists and community organizers should be involved in.

 

Spring Break Woes

Spring break is here and for many seniors, this is our last spring break of our undergraduate career, and for many we don’t really have a break at all.

 

During this time, instead of vacationing and celebrating during Spring break, many seniors, like myself, go on interviews, look at potential graduate schools, and apply for post-graduation jobs.

 

My spring break started off to a fast start. Right after my night class on the Thursday before our week-long hiatus, I rushed home, packed and had to get ready for an 8 a.m. flight the next day. I traveled to Minneapolis, MN to tour the University of Minnesota School of Law. I was very excited and optimistic about Minneapolis. I arrived at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and was about to go through security when I realized that I forgot my driver’s license. Fortunately, I was finally able to board the plane, but I had to go through a longer vetting process.

 

“Welcome to Minneapolis, it is currently 8 degrees and we will be descending shortly,” the pilot announced. “Enjoy your weekend!” This weather was not ideal, certainly not like the warmth of Miami. However, like anyone who has ever traveled to a new place that could potentially be their new home, I got off the plane and was super excited to explore. I hurried to my hotel, put my luggage down, and went out to see the sights.

 

During my break, I also applied for jobs. I think finding a job after graduation is often portrayed as being easy. However, that is simply not the case. Searching for a job is overwhelming and it is nerve-wracking waiting for replies to the many cover letters and resumes sent out. I, like many other seniors, are stressing as I try to figure out my post-graduation plans and finish up my school work.

 

First-Year Housing: One Year Later

A year ago, Hood College was hit with a storm. It lasted for months and created chaos, with many of students getting pulled into the mayhem. This storm, was not a real storm, it was first year housing.

First-year residence halls are coming up on their first anniversary. The idea received a significant amount of pushback from students after it was announced. It has almost been in place for a year, and Hood College has been changed because of it. Whether or not this change is a good thing still seems to be up in the air.

For me personally, I never thought first-year housing was a good idea and still don’t. As a first-year I appreciated having upperclassmen friends in my building to learn from, and as an upperclassman it was always nice to have an easy opportunity to get to know the freshmen. When I talked to current upperclassmen about the first-year dorms, they seemed to agree.

Many students have expressed their opinions towards this matter throughout the past year.

“One of the things that initially drew me to Hood was the sense of community, and I think that [before] that expanded to all different classes,” said Sophie Smith, a junior. “I think that the freshman housing kind of made it more divisive in terms of cohesion among all Hood students.”

Many of the older students on campus acknowledged that there are some good things about the freshmen dorms, but overall do not like them.

“I think there is some positive things, like being able to bring tutors into the buildings two days a week, and I think now there is a better sense of community with the freshman,” said Afton Woodring, a junior and resident assistant in Smith Hall. “But I think the problem is that unless you’re a freshman athlete, or you are out-going, you don’t get to interact with upperclassmen.”

Kerry Murphy, a sophomore, living in the freshman dorms rooms with a first year, preferred when the dorms were integrated. She stated she doesn’t see a lot of the first-years, but does think they have all bonded. “I see a lot of freshman becoming friends with other freshman, which I guess is the whole point,” Murphy said.

“I think putting freshman in with upperclassmen is so much better,” Murphy said, “because the upperclassmen can help you find your way around and not be that freshman. And it makes friendships that you probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

For many upperclassmen, a negative impact of the first-year housing is the fact that the freshmen students do not live with more mature students, and so they get stuck in high school habits.

“It seems like first-year housing doesn’t allow for residents to mature when they are only surrounded by their peers, instead of by their mentors,” said Frances Morgan, a sophomore. “The resulting environment is just an extension of high school, instead of a more serious academic setting.”

The first-years about their opinions on the freshmen-only dorms, they mostly seemed to agree with Morgan’s point about the negative impact on not having older students around.

“Living with freshmen, there is no one there to keep them in check or to keep them from doing dumb stuff,” said Paul Downs Jr., a Memorial resident. “When you live with older people, you mature up, because older people are not afraid to come at you.”

Kaitlin Marutani, another first-year, agreed, “I think if there was more upperclassmen mixed into it then maybe some freshman could get advice from then that they couldn’t get from people who don’t have those experiences.”

Another problem first years cited was drama among the freshmen, exacerbated by the first-year residence halls.

“It’s not that I don’t like [first-year dorms], but we’re separated,” said Shawn Barnes, a first-year resident of Smith. “So when we’re separated, and it’s just a bunch of freshman, there is more drama.”

However, while many freshmen did cite things they do not like about freshmen dorms, not all of them think the dorms were a bad idea. Christopher Lafontant, a freshmen Memorial resident, said he thinks the first-year dorms are great.

Lafontant said: “I actually think it’s a very well thought out plan to put all the freshman together, because a lot of people when they first come to college are kind of a little nervous. When they’re around people their own age, they can basically be comfortable. When I first moved into Memorial, it was kind of easier to relate to people, because we were all talking about high school and prom and all this other stuff.”

“I think one of the pros about it is having all the freshman together,” Marutani agreed, “since it’s a new experience for everyone and you can experience it with people who are kind of going through the same things.”

Overall, it seems like freshmen have mixed feelings on the dorms. Many of the first-years thought there were good and bad parts about the decision. Most expressed preferring having dorms the way they used to be would probably be better.

“It kinda stinks because I have a lot of friends that are upperclassmen,” said Samy Brandt, a freshman who lives in Memorial, “but it’s also nice because we have just freshman activities. I can see the positive in it, but I just kinda wish that it was more integrated.”

Professors also stated they have not seen an impact on the students as a result of the first-year dorms.

Dr. Van Winter said, “I’ve been positively impressed with this year’s freshman class. I was also positively impressed with last year’s as well.”

“A part of me likes it, but most of me hates it,” Downs Jr. said. “A lot of freshmen don’t have upperclassmen friends, and that’s sad, cause you kinda need people to guide you. Hood is a small community, and if it wants to be in unison, it has to go back.”

In general, the verdict seems to be, everything is okay. However, while there are some positive aspects to the first-year dorms, it also seems to have caused a divide on campus. For instance, finding first-years to talk to for this article was not easy, simply because as a senior I barely know any freshmen. A year later, and I’m still not entirely sure why this had to happen. I don’t think I am alone.

“Kong: Skull Island” pays homage to the classics

Well, I guess it is time for the yearly take on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. This time, instead of war-torn Vietnam or sandstorm-blasted Dubai, we get an island full of giant monsters. Fair trade, if you ask me.

“Kong: Skull Island” is a reimagining/reboot of the original “King Kong,” with the 1930s traded for the closing days of the Vietnam War. It also serves as a semi-prequel to Legendary’s 2014 “Godzilla” reboot.

Starting off, it goes through the same notes as the original 1933 movie: a group of scientists and soldiers head to the uncharted Skull Island, get stranded there, and face wits with the local creatures along with the massive Kong himself. Even with the updated setting, everything feels predictable and safe. Then the real plot kicks in, and things get very interesting very quickly.

Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Colonel Packard, becomes obsessed with slaying Kong after his men suffer initial casualties at the beast’s hands. At the same time, the other survivors make uneasy alliances with one another and a stranded WW2 veteran, played by John C. Reilly, as they try to fight their way off the island. All the while, a breed of lizard-like creatures called “skullcrawlers” surface, battling both the humans and Kong as the latter two groups are forced to cooperate to survive.

The scenery for the movie is gorgeous, no doubt helped by the crew filming in lush portions of Vietnam and Hawaii. The imagery harkens back to the hazy, sun-drenched visions of the Vietnam War produced by ‘70s Hollywood. Even the soundtrack avoids the cliché of abusing popular songs like “Fortunate Son,” instead using a fitting selection of tracks from the era.

If there’s one thing the movie does not do well, it is subtly paying homage to its reference materials. A colonel who loses his mind to violence and war, a character called Conrad, and a trek into an exotic location that reveals the depths of human depravity? That checks off the obligatory Heart of Darkness references; how about “King Kong” references? The titular ape battling against monsters like dinosaurs, an introspective encounter with the female lead, and a fight with airborne vehicles? Yes, the movie is not exactly clever when it comes to references.

There are issues with the characters, while mostly enjoyable to watch, got mixed amounts of development. The names of most for the soldiers and scientists are easily forgotten, but can remember almost every line by John C. Reilly and Jackson clearly. There were some characters, like the biologist, that went underused when they could have better immersed the audience into the island’s strange ways.

“Kong: Skull Island” is a recommend watch for monster movie fans. The audience may not have been cheering like they did in “Godzilla,” but there were plenty of vocal reactions to the film. Laughter followed most jokes without fail, while quiet anticipation built up in the audience during the tense drama scenes.

The film has a post-credits scene that is relevant to the story, so make sure to stick around till the very end. “Kong: Skull Island” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and for brief strong language. Its runtime is two hours.

Rating: 7.5/10

Veterans share their experiences at Hood College panel

A panel of local veterans talked at Hood College about their experiences in and out of the U.S. Military, detailing the unique issues people face coming out of the armed forces.

Hosted by the Hood College Republicans, the panel was held on Mar. 21 from 7:30-9 p.m. A total of six representatives spoke, including a former Army paratrooper and the executive director for a military charity called Building Veterans. All donations to the charity at the event were matched by the Republicans.

Four main questions were broached by Hood College Republicans: “Is it different being treated as a veteran?” “Does the transition to civilian life raise any difficulties?” “Are portrayals of veterans in the media accurate?” and “What can we do to treat our veterans better?”

Post-traumatic stress disorder, and the stigma surrounding it, came up frequently during the second question’s discussion. At the panel, the veterans typically referred to PTS to ease away from the negativity of the “disorder” label.

Kyle Kauzlarich, a Marine veteran who graduated from Hood in 2016, said he has stopped telling people about his status as a veteran, noting that is “too awkward” to bring it up now. “People need to stop looking at vets with PTS as damaged goods, and start looking at them as people,” Kauzlarich said.

Terry Richardson, a veteran who served in both the Army and Marines, suggested the culture shock from exiting the military and re-entering civilian life can cause issues. The values between the two sides, especially on violence, conflict heavily with each other.

“All vets I know have a lot of pride,” Adam Wyatt, the executive director of Building Veterans, said. “They joined up because they wanted to serve the community. The bond and camaraderie between vets is incredible.”

However, Wyatt also noted this pride can hinder success in their post-military lives. Pride can hold veterans back from seeking help with employment or health issues, especially when coping with issues like post-traumatic stress.

Suicide among veterans was also a key issue brought up by the panel. Compared to the rest of the population, veterans commit suicide at an alarmingly disproportionate rate. Nearly 20 commit suicide per day, and while 8,000 lives were lost in the War on Terror, 124,000 veterans killed themselves in that same time frame.

When asked about how society could treat veterans better, answers from the panel varied from volunteering at nonprofits to enlisting in the military itself. Danny Farrar, a former Army paratrooper and .50 caliber gunner, offered a different solution: ending the hero worship of veterans.

“They were people with jobs,” Farrar said. “The reality is, if you went in looking for something for your service, you missed the point of service.”

The atmosphere of the panel remained supportive and understanding from start to finish. Grateful for their attendance and attentiveness, the representatives thanked students present for their interest in veteran-related issues. Kauzlarich thanked everyone who came out to the event. “I see you all, and I see mountains of potential,” he said.

Shrinking Consortium

Hood College may be seceding from the Maryland Interlibrary Consortium (MIC) after the Dec. 1 loss of the Loyola Notre Dame library and the potential spring loss of Washington Adventist Library from the consortium group.

The Loyola Notre Dame library (LNDL) joined the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions library consortium on July 1, 2016. As a result, LNDL is withdrawing from MIC.

According to Tobin Peterson, the Interim Director of Hood’s library, due to LNDL’s exit, Washington Adventist library may leave the consortium as well because they would rather move to a newer integrated library system (ILS). According to MIC’s bylaws, all members of the consortium must use the same ILS, which is a program from 2002, and Washington Adventist wishes to upgrade to a newer system.

“Washington Adventist will stay throughout the spring semester and then come July 1, 2017, it’s just going to be Hood and Stevenson,” Peterson said.

MIC’s annual costs for Hood total to approximately $210 thousand for services including a PT systems librarian, the courier service, mutual database acquisitions, integrated library system, and incidentals.

If Washington Adventist library remains in the consortium, Hood may attempt to reduce costs by limiting the courier system between libraries. Currently, the courier runs every day, Monday through Friday, but Hood may reduce the service to Monday, Wednesday,  and Friday, meaning that rather than receiving books within a day, there may be a two day wait.

“With the three remaining schools, we’re looking at a $20 per transaction cost to get a book from one of those libraries,” Peterson said. “We can get a book through interlibrary loan (ILL) for just the cost of postage.”

For the Hood community, LNDL leaving the consortium will have a huge impact. “It’s quite a blow to MIC because Loyola is the largest library in the group, so most of the borrowing is done by them and most of the lending is done by them,” Peterson said.

“It’s going to be a very significant problem because 90% of what I see students doing in the way of borrowing from the consortium comes from Loyola as they have the best collection, particularly in the humanities,” Mark Sandona, the chair of the English department, said.

In 2015, students, staff, and faculty requested 932 books from Loyola compared to the 1,665 books requested in 2012. Over a 5-year period Hood has requested approximately 57% fewer items from Loyola.

Logan Samuels, a senior a Hood who is working on a departmental honors thesis about the literary fall of Lucifer, is worried about how the changes in the library will affect her research. “I’ve been doing work since June with books from Loyola, which are due this week, on Dec 1, so I basically have to find a way to get those books again, hopefully from our consortium or through the interlibrary loan system,” Samuels said.

Candice Carrington, a junior at Hood, is a student worker at the Hood library’s circulation desk, and she has heard a lot of concerns from students checking out books from the consortium.

“A lot of students need the books to finish final papers,” Carrington said. “They need them until Dec. 5 but they have to return them by Dec. 1.”

According to Peterson, in addition to changing the due dates for all books borrowed from Loyola, any book from Loyola will be considered lost after 14 days if it is not returned. Any student who does not return a book before Dec. 15 will be charged for the book, as Hood will need to pay Loyola for the loss.

MIC was created July 16, 1997, and Hood was one of the founding members. “I can remember when we didn’t have the consortium, so we’ll go back to the time when we would have to plan a couple weeks in advance,” Sandona said.

“With the courier we get books within one day, whereas with ILL, the typical turnaround for a book is about eight days,” Peterson said. “The biggest impact on students will be that they need to plan more ahead.”

In regards to the ILL service, Samuels said: “It really depends on the individual book. I know I used ILL the other day for something from University of Maryland and I got it within two days, but I put in a request for another book two weeks ago and they’re still searching for it.”

Loyola books will still be accessible through the ILL system, and the books can be viewed through OCLC WorldCat, which is available through the Hood databases.

Samuels also expressed worry over the changes occurring within Hood’s library. The Hood library is going to be transitioning to a learning commons which may reduce the collection of books by almost 50%.

“Surveys still show that students prefer print books, but the numbers don’t show it,” Peterson said.

Keanu Reeves kills it in John Wick: Chapter 2

Say what you want about Keanu Reeves’ acting chops, but the man knows how to commit to a role and own it.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” is the sequel to Reeves’ 2014 sleeper hit, “John Wick.” The original movie, about a retired hitman going on a manhunt for the Russian gangster that killed his dog, became a surprise success for its impressive cinematography and fantastic fight scenes.

My hopes were high for the sequel, so I was prepared to be let down. To my shock, “Chapter 2” did not merely match the original – it succeeded it in multiple ways.

“John Wick: Chapter 2,” takes place directly after the first movie’s events, where the titular character has ended his feud and wishes to settle down again. Unfortunately for him, an unpaid blood oath with an Italian crime lord forces him back into action, leading him to battle against mercenaries and assassins in the heart of Rome and New York City.

The film takes a while to get the plot rolling, but when it does, the action is nail-biting and the plot is peppered with enough twists and turns to keep viewers in suspense. Summer action movie fans will love the intense moments of Reeves breaking necks and landing headshots, while hardcore fans will relish the attention to detail put into the fight scenes. Like in the first film, the character still reloads weapons frequently and gets slowed down by injuries.

The audio had a strong “punch” to it, adding more emphasis to the movie’s scenes. The soundtrack boomed to raise the excitement in the frequent one-versus-many gunfights, while the sound effects hammered home just how hard each strike and slash would hit.

Though “Chapter 2” might appear to be a brainless action movie, it does have some amount of self-awareness and clever world building. The Continental, the shadowy assassins’ guild that appeared in the first film, gets more screen time and development here. Audiences get a closer look at the inner workings of their code of honor, along with the consequences of violating it.

While the movie may sound perfect, it did have some problems with it. The buildup to the main plot felt excessively-delayed, and the stakes get somewhat absurd by the climax. Just how many would seriously be willing to take out John Wick, an assassin with a body count in the hundreds who is most known for killing three men with a pencil? A great deal of people, according to the film. “John Wick: Chapter 2” is rated R for strong violence, some language, and brief nudity. Its runtime is slightly over two hours.

Unless you’re squeamish about blood and violence, “John Wick: Chapter 2” is a must see. It is a rare action film that drops shaky cam and confusing camera angles in favor of fluid sequences and real-life fighting techniques.

Rating: 9/10

Indoor track and field season concludes at MACs

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Hood students who obtained a specific goal headed to Lehigh University to compete in the indoor track and field MAC Championship meet.
Students competed in a variety of events from weight throwing and shot put to 60 meter dashes and 5k runs. 14 of the 15 athletes qualified for the meet.
Attendee Colin Shields said, “The MAC Championship gave me a new appreciation for track and field. I was amazed by how far some events were like the 3200 meter run, which is 16 laps around the 200-meter track. I witnessed an event called the weight for the first time, which I had never seen or heard of before. It was basically like a heavy ball attached to a string that athletes would throw almost in the same motion they’d throw the discus. It was overall a lot of fun watching the best athletes from all MAC schools compete in the championship.”
Senior Jeremiah Ratliff finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.92 seconds and 10th in the triple jump with a mark of 12.72 meters.
Zack Corssey, a sophomore, finished ninth in the mile and 11th in the 800-meter dash.
The men’s 4×400 finished in 10th place by senior Rafel Zamora, junior R.J. Tucker, Corssey, and Ratliff. Overall, the men placed 12th at the meet.
The women competed a tight game. Junior Jackie Mangona tied for sixth in the pentathlon. Her highest score for the competition was in the 60-meter hurdles.
Freshman Danielle Pitts finished 10th in the shot put by throwing it 9.96 meters.
Junior Andrea Christmas and senior Jill Heymann both competed in the triple jump. Heymann got 18th place with a jump of 9.81 meters, and Christmas 22nd at 9.22 meters.
For senior Aleyna Fitz, her first and last season of indoor track and field concluded with a personal best in the weight.
“The MAC Championship Track and Field meet was a great experience. This was my first year participating in the meet and it was great to share the experience with my teammates and coaches. My favorite part of the meet was throwing a new personal record in the weight. It was a nice way to end the indoor season,” Fitz said.
This concluded the indoor season. The spring track and field season will continue on March 25 at Goucher University.