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October 2018

A Bohemian Rhapsody Character

The Real Life and the Fantasy: A Bohemian Rhapsody Review

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Queen’s frontman, Freddie Mercury, has been forever immortalized by Bohemian Rhapsody, a new biopic following his life and Queen’s career. From Mercury’s beginnings as a young man working at an airport to his creative inputs and impact on Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody details all corners of his life while capturing his zest, his unconditional love, his love for music, and his undeniable idiosyncrasy.

When I first heard that Mercury’s life was going to be made into a biopic, I was afraid of how Hollywood was going to portray his AIDS diagnosis. Thankfully, Bohemian Rhapsody tackled the heavy themes of his sexuality and provocative lifestyle in a tasteful manner that informed the audience about Mercury’s life without condemning him or romanticizing him. Mercury was more than his diagnosis. He was an eccentric and passionate character; a true iconoclast of the seventies and eighties and fortunately, the film showcased that fact.

Rami Malek portrays Mercury brilliantly. Malek learned Mercury’s mannerisms and stage moves. Uncanny is the only word that comes to mind. I found myself watching Bohemian Rhapsody’s rendition of Queen’s Live AID performance, forgetting that I wasn’t being fascinated by Mercury; I was being fascinated by Malek and his portrayal. This praise goes out to the rest of the Queen members, too. Malek also managed to brilliantly flaunt that famous toothy Mercury smile without it interfering with his acting. It’s been said he has kept the fake teeth as a memory. As a huge biopic fan, I can usually tell when an actor immerses into their role. Malek didn’t have me questioning his authenticity and his understanding of Freddie Mercury whatsoever. Aside from the acting, Bohemian Rhapsody does a fantastic job in showing the process behind some of Queen’s most beloved songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You”. Showing the behind the scenes helped the film capture the essence Queen as not only a band, but also as four men who were each other’s family.

Though the film has its melodramatic moments and like all biopics, some inaccuracy, it’s still an outstanding film for Queen fans and movie fans. The movie stands as a reminder for both old and new generations of how legendary this band was and how missed their darling frontman is. Bohemian Rhapsody hits theaters hits theaters November 2nd, 2018 and it will surely rock you.

Apartment Building in England

An American in England: Dealing With The Differences

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I remember writing pessimistically at eighteen about the things I had yet to accomplish and how I never saw myself reaching the day I would. I was overwhelmed by my decision of attending college in the fall. I felt that college was a pause and not a stepping stone to a brilliant future. I thought about all of the people I read biographies and memoirs on and compared my life at eighteen to theirs. I wasn’t a struggling artist or someone’s muse. I wasn’t moving across the country in the name of rebellion or forming a band. I was just doing what was expected after graduating high school. I had other ideas, though. I dreamt of traveling the world; I wanted to meet the rats of New York, have a drink in an English pub, run down the streets of Spain, and lead an extraordinary life full of creativity and travel. I wanted to live a life worth writing about. Though at the time I felt that college was getting in the way, it was actually granting me opportunities. Thanks to college, I’m studying abroad today. Writing to you from London, England. My home for the school year.

I decided to study abroad the spring of my freshman year. I sat in my dorm with my friends one night and I mentioned that I wanted to go on holiday and do something different with my life for awhile, but I couldn’t because school postponed my plans until graduation. My friends suggested I look into study abroad. I grabbed my laptop and started scrolling through the programs USAC offered to students. I saw that England was one of the options. It was then I decided that studying abroad was going to happen. I told them it was meant to be. I chose England because I had always been fascinated by our common language, but vast difference in culture. Also, The Beatles (my favorite band) were from England. There were four options in England, but I chose London. I figured it I was going to do this thing, I had to do right and go to the city where things happen. I couldn’t wait to join the London groove.

This “London groove” has been harder to join than I expected. I underestimated the differences and thought I was going to have the confidence I have in the states, in England. The United States and England share the same language, but share nothing else. Coming here for school, I was aware of the grading differences, but I figured the rest was nothing to be thrown off by. Since freshman year, I have studied in Reno and have gotten to understand how UNR runs its campus. Studying abroad is like being a college freshman again. You have to learn a whole new routine, understand a new campus, meet different people, and ask basic questions all over again. Below are the differences and similarities I’ve noted between London Metropolitan University and the University of Nevada, Reno.

  1. The Look: Reno has given UNR its own area in the city and because of the strip of buildings and dorms, UNR is a community and Reno has become a college town. London Met is just a few buildings tucked between the streets of London. Barely squeezing it. I can’t blame them, though. This can be seen in other major cities in the world like New York and San Francisco. Universities become buildings that blend with the rest of the city’s landscape.
  2. Class Locations: At London Met, we don’t really have college specific buildings. We have one main building where all classes take place. It’s a large and confusing building, but everything can be found! I’ve been enrolled for a month now, but I still have trouble finding my English class in the mornings.
  3. Class Times: Your class is only once a week and three hours long. I have one class a day, but for three hours that consists of lecture, break, and exercises or more discussion. Though it sounds terrible compared to our fifty minute lectures, it’s not too bad if you have a passionate instructor/professor who engages the class.
  4. The Professors: After some misleading research online, I thought my professors and instructors were going to be dismissive and unwilling to help. Fortunately, my professors/instructors are kind and willing to help. Like UNR, they encourage you to visit them during their office hours. I’ve only spotted two major differences: they’re much quieter and a bit more reserved.
  5. Workload and Expectations: Weekly quizzes and assignments aren’t really a thing at London Metropolitan. If we do have an assignment, it’s mostly just for practice and we have a week to do it. It sounds easy and peaceful, but it’s actually more arduous than it seems. Reading is critical and required. You must read a great amount of texts per week and per class. Though you’re not being tested on them at the moment, your final projects (where your final grade really comes from) will reflect how much you studied throughout the semester. Like UNR, accountability is key if you want good grades. Both universities have high expectations for their students.
  6. School Spirit: I think massive school pride is an American thing. We don’t have mascots, fall football games, and or students running around in London Met gear. I kinda miss the wolf pack pride.
  7. Resources: People walk or take the tube, so there aren’t things like the silver or blue line. If you need to go to the London Met Moorgate campus and you live the north campus, you have to take the tube. London Met does have a library, counseling, a student union, and advice centers.
  8. The Food: Since UNR is its own little community, we have places to grab food on campus. At London Met, I’m only aware of two or three different areas that serve food. It’s mostly cold food like sandwiches, warm pastries, tea and coffee, and crisps (chips), though. Because the campus is located on a busy road, there are many restaurants you could easily access by stepping outside.
Tournament of Hope

The Fight Against Children’s Cancer

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Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation is a local charity organization that helps diagnosed children and their families with finances, support, and hope. They host events all over the city to raise awareness and money. Some of the important events are the yearly NNCCF Benefit Horse Show at Meadowview Equestrian Center and the Tournament of Hope.

They take not only financial donations, but blankets, hats, and stuffed animals as well. These items help the kids that go through relentless hours of chemotherapy to feel more comfortable and less nervous at long appointments. Throughout the process, the team at NNCCF is there to provide aid and advice to the family. They help negotiate prices such as travel, medical, and hotel expenses. When a child successfully completes their chemotherapy, there is a special event where they ring a silver bell, signaling the end of their battle.

The Tournament of Hope, one of the biggest events they host, took place in September. They have raised $1.4 million, and this year the tournament held 144 golfers. The event has strengthened their resources and expanded their support within Nevada. They also host St. Baldrick’s, where anyone can register to shave their head in support of the children losing their hair during chemotherapy.

NNCCF has raised over $1.6 million in funds for the head shaving event. Their benefit horse show has also grown in the past six years from $10,000 to $60,000 raised, and from 100 volunteers to 400. It is now a three-day event that hosts live auctions, large corporate sponsors, and a speaker who has undergone the harsh treatment. The continuous expansion of NNCCF just goes to show what we can do when we put our minds to it.

As a local organization for such an important cause, it is vital that NNCCF gains awareness and attention so that they can continue to help these children. Their future goal is to fund treatment specifically for children that does not have the same effects as the adult treatment. Although 80% of children with cancer survive through the process, two-thirds of children suffer long lasting effects from the harsh treatment.

Shirley Folkins-Roberts, the co-founder of NNCCF says they hope to better the treatment so that the adult treatment does not ravage their bodies.

Roberts is passionate about the families that come to them for help and the stories that they tell. For 14 years, they have continually expanded and reached out to more families than ever before. They have raised $3.9 million for 483 families and grown 100 times bigger in revenue.

From one staff member, they have expanded to eight with the help from full time volunteers. With many family activities, as well as the Inspire Scholarship for survivors, they have changed so many lives. Now NNCCF even goes on a yearly trip to Washington D.C. and takes families to advocate on a national level with representatives for children’s cancer research.

Roberts is a co-founder along with her husband and her best friend, Debby. It has allowed me to see the best side of the community and the generosity of Nevada, said Roberts.

I have had the privilege of knowing and supporting some of the bravest people I will ever meet, including the children and young adults for which the diagnosis changes them, she continued emotionally.

Roberts is proud to say that NNCCF has become a sanctuary for the children affected by this diagnosis. The journeys of these angels are represented by the Wall of Courage which shows the battles they have undergone and the courage they have gained.

There are many ways to actively be involved in the fight against children’s cancer, and NNCCF always has an open position for anyone interested. Anybody wishing to be involved can call them at (775) 825-0888 or visit their website

From the Holiday Adopt-A-Family which provides gifts to the family, or volunteering to make baskets at the Tournament of Hope, there is no shortage of things to help out with. Even students at UNR can visit their tailgates to assist them. NNCCF has grown tremendously and gained a massive group of support, and they can aid more children with Nevada’s generosity and kindness.

Shopaholics banner

Shopaholics Not So Anonymous

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Even with a closet full of clothes, I can never find something to wear. I find myself sitting in class envisioning outfits and collaborations of what I own with an imaginary item and going out to find it to add to my collection of fashion. I am addicted to the ideas in my head about what I want and where I can actualize these ideas to bring them to life.

Cotton is an addiction of mine, and swiping my card to acquire it is second nature to me as part of a fashion hungry generation. I am well aware that I should be saving my money for a rainy day, or as my parents would much rather prefer, for a successful future. But I am sadly an addict, a victim, if you will, to the high that is accompanied by feeling and looking my best in the things that I purchase and wear.

This feeling is common amongst other versions of shopaholics. But what is a shopaholic? Can a shopping addiction be measured by the amount of clothes you have in your closet? The numbers in your bank account? Maybe it is the amount of technology that you own or the number of books you have lining your wall. This is the mystery behind shopaholics, it isn’t just fashion or clothes, it seems to be an addiction of anything you can spend your money on.

A shopaholic is defined as “a compulsive shopper” by Google Dictionary. What is compulsive though? Kat Sanchez, 19, a sophomore at the university tells me that she shops repetitively every two weeks for clothing, but if she sees something in between the time period of her shopping sprees she’ll pick it up without question. Sanchez classifies herself as a shopaholic, and for a college student I suppose her self-classification is correct through her eyes as well as many others who are struggling to look good, yet are trying to afford to keep up with the rest of the college atmosphere.

Many female college students here at the university are the most interested in items that feed into self-love, self-appreciation, and fanciful food to assuage their need to shop along with their want to feel new and remarkable through their purchases. This is what I have learned through what I purchase and why I purchase things as well.

Hasha Daswani, 20, a senior at the university also classifies herself as a shopaholic in terms of buying clothing and makeup. “During the summer I would shop weekly, usually thrifting, but now that school is in session I am not doing it as much, but I like to buy things that make me feel pretty,” she said.

College shoppers are a different breed. While we still may have the impulses to buy items that a woman with a sugar daddy does, we have to be economical and minimalistic in our shopping endeavors even though this is not always the priority.

While collegiate women shoppers are more interested in items like clothing and beauty materials, it is clear that collegiate men are shoppers, too, but in a completely different capacity.

Tyler Duke, 21, a senior at the university tells me that he spends the majority of his money on eating out, and a similar answer arose when I spoke to Corey Sondgroth, 24, a nursing student at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Sondgroth explained, “It is hard to save money because I eat out so much.”

Could a compulsive eating out habit be a form of shopaholism? Is a foodie just another version of a shopaholic? It seems as though it may be another form of coercion we impose on ourselves and seems to be uncontrollable in the light of all the things that money can buy to satisfy our watering mouths.

There is also another form of shopaholism, where you are addicted to going out just to see things and feel the items that could potentially be yours day-to-day, but not spending until you see the exact thing that you want.

“I go shopping everyday, but I don’t spend money everyday. I wait until I find what I need and what I want in an item, piece of clothing, or whatever else may be on my mind for purchase at the time.” Says Chelsey Gray, 25, a hairstylist in the Reno area.

What makes people want to shop so much? Is it fitting in? Being happy with material items? Maybe it is using these material items to make us feel better.

Shopping feeds my soul, it gives me the opportunity to create outfits, find myself, and be something brand new with every purchase. There is a strong feeling connected with getting something new, I feel new. I am recreated from a retail haven upon each purchase, and that is why I will never stop shopping despite the college student struggle to maintain three digits in my checking account.

Text messages that read "Ghost" and "Mode"

Ghost Mode

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“Have you ever ghosted anyone?” I asked a male, 19-year-old, business finance major at the university.

“Yes,” he replied with suspicion in his voice.

“Why?” I replied with more interest now because the truth of his ghosting experience was about to be unveiled.

“You start talking to someone, and you think they’re attractive yet you have nothing in common, so you’re like ‘fuck that’,” he said.

His empathy was obviously off the charts.

Millennial dating culture claims a surplus of hookups and a regress in ‘humanity’ according to those who have a moral compass from the 1980’s.

There is little to no value in the type of connection that is being pursued on the surface level, and the impatience of this generation is proven through our serial dating habits.

These habits have shown again and again how young people in the university setting have come to terms with the relationships that they value and the relationships that they see as failing their standards for continuing interaction and the patience it takes to open up to someone.

A male, 21-year-old community health science major at the university explains his reasoning behind ghosting.

“I’ll ghost a girl sometimes if I feel like she doesn’t really deserve an answer from me, but if I feel someone is special or I’m into her enough I’ll be straight up,” he said.

Sometimes you don’t have to have done anything for someone to ghost you. It is simply because they are disinterested in what is being offered and were simply exploring you as an option on their quest for someone that they really connect with.

This is what everyone has done since the beginning of dating and courtship, but college students through their serial ghosting makes this truth so much more harsh and damaging.

And isn’t this what most people are doing in the dating world? Searching for an undiscovered feeling of joy or someone to connect with, and to involve themselves with on an alternate plane than all other relationships?

“I ghosted a guy that I dated for four months because his stress became my stress, and I thought that it was too much for me to deal with. I couldn’t handle the way that he relied on me so heavily in an emotional capacity after meeting not so long ago,” admitted a 21-year-old female senior at the university.

There doesn’t always have to be an emotional edge to the reason why people ghost, there are also people who ghost for sport and see a potential hook-up in everyone sexually appealing and able to handle a conversation long enough to create interest.

“You build something up, you make it your own, and once you’re finished with it you’re like, ‘yeah I’m done’,” said the first source (19-year-old male) about his venture in the realm of ghosting.

“If I have too much other shit to deal with then I’ll be like ‘OK bye,’ but like without saying bye,” said Ashley, a 21-year-old accounting and finance major at the university.

There is also the victim’s side of ghosting. The side that the ghost never gets to see unless they have experienced being the victim before.

If you have experienced both sides, then you know that ghosting takes a toll on both individuals, and it affects the way that they view their successes with relationships of all kinds.

A 21-year-old female living in California shares her story of being ghosted, “I dated a guy for three months who stopped talking to me. He lived a floor below me in the dorms, and the day he stopped talking to me he posted a picture of him kissing his ex girlfriend.”

“How did you feel after he did this?” I asked trying to understand how a victim of ghosting feels immediately and for a time thereafter.

“I felt confused, abandoned in a way. I also felt like I didn’t mean anything to anyone. It made me a little cold for a while, but I kept looking for someone who would actually give me the time of day and treat me how I deserve,” she continued to explain.

Can ghosting be the answer to self-actualization? Being ghosted sure can make someone reflect on the choices they make, the people they interact with, and the way they view themselves.

Although being ghosted isn’t requested it can lead to the happiness that is accompanied with a better understanding of yourself.

Of course, this happens only after suffering from the traumatic experience of feeling connected to someone only for you to understand that they dropped you like a freaking mic.

Ghosting has been happening to people since before cellphones were created. Remember the 2000’s rom-coms where the antagonist never shows up and leaves the beautiful girl weeping? Well, that scenario has already happened to so many people in real life.

We college students and fellow millennials are living in such a connected and communication driven realm where it is too easy to dehumanize the person on the other side of the screen.

There isn’t an hour of the day when I look around my present environment and don’t see someone on their phone. I wonder who are they talking to? How did they meet them? Where is the reliability in the relationship or if it will even exist tomorrow.