Categories
Non-Music News

Peaceful, Playful and Pitiful Parks of Raleigh

This is about to be the start of my fourth school year in Raleigh, NC and it has been a hectic adventure with the pandemic and all the unsightly and sometimes frightening chaos that feels normal at this point. I often need time to clear my head from the dark looming clouds on the horizon, but music isn’t always enough to make the sun shine. 

While I find Raleigh’s “skyline” ugly and sparse, the city offers some great local parks to sit and enjoy local, urban “nature”. The animals, birds and plants are nowhere as good as a real forest or the wilderness, but they still bring some peace and quiet to the city. 

A lot of these parks are a short walk from NC State’s central campus. They are great places to study with friends or even stress free date spots. 

Peaceful Parks

I often venture forth on a quick 5 minute walk to the Raleigh Rose Garden to enjoy the well kept rose bushes of varying flavor and color. The small park has many great benches and tables to enjoy a picnic, snack or even a nice book in the shade. This miniscule attraction is like a pocket dimension where nothing matters as long as you don’t mind mosquitoes munching at your ankles. 

Another great place for shade and relaxation is Nash Square in downtown Raleigh. Another small park, but it is covered in trees and shade, which is a requirement in our syrupy, southern heat waves. The center monument of this wonderful box park, celebrates the firefighters who have lost their lives protecting the citizens of North Carolina. 

Nash Square does have many squirrely inhabitants. The squirrels in this park are an issue. I stopped for a break to drink water and snack for about 5 minutes and too many of the furry tree-rats stared me down with their soulless, beady, black eyes. 

Playful Parks

In Pullen Park, there are many child oriented options to imbibe in. A slow train ride that skirts the premises, an indoor carousel and paddle boats to explore the murky algae infested waters are all exciting options to choose from here. This park is right next to NC State’s campus, which offers a really easy option for first-year students to enjoy the parks and recreation of Raleigh.

I spent many hours in Pullen Park my first year at NC State because it was a calming walk on the greenway from Sullivan Hall to the park. I could easily pick a nice spot by the water and enjoy the weather, sounds and people watching all without the need of a car.

Dorthea Dix Park is a bit too long of a walk, but a nice short drive away from NC State. The wide open fields and more dynamic view of the Raleigh skyline offer good spots for photos or frisbee. Dix Park is also very close to the state farmers market, so grab a picnic blanket, basket and fresh fruits to enjoy on the rolling hills. 

Pitiful Park

While exploring Raleigh, I have found one park I never want to return to. The North Carolina State Capitol building is unsightly. The grotesque and worn down columns that support an eyesore of a building don’t work well together. 

The space outside the building is even worse. There are relics like cannons from wars that celebrate death and destruction, while a monument lamenting the horrors from the deaths of millions sit right next to it.There are a smattering of other monuments in the spaces outside the capitol building that serve as an insight into the history of Raleigh and North Carolina. 

Also, this space has limited shade and unique attractive qualities that brings me back to previously mentioned parks like the Rose Garden. 

Finding time to be alone and outside helps me think and keep myself moving forward. I can focus on my mental well-being while taking in the sights and sounds of the surrounding cityscape. Raleigh’s parks help me, and I hope that anyone unaware of their existence can now enjoy the beauty of them.

Categories
Miscellaneous Non-Music News

Movies, Music and the Deaf Community

In the past few years, the deaf community has been given more representation on the big screen in American cinema.

Whether it was with the sci-fi movie “A Quiet Place”, 2021’s Best Picture winner “CODA,” or 2020’s nominee “Sound of Metal”: deaf stories are being highlighted on the silver screen.

The latter two films, “CODA” and “Sound of Metal” gave the audience two unique perspectives about the deaf community and how music can play a significant role.

Ever since I watched the two movies, I knew I wanted to write about them. Not only were they a huge step forward in representation in the movie industry, but the movies themselves were phenomenal. 

I didn’t necessarily want to do a movie review, but instead, just start a conversation about these films, specifically regarding how they impacted me and what I learned from them.

CODA” –

The title of the movie itself can be taken two different ways. CODA stands for Child of Deaf Adults as well as a music theory term that refers to the end piece of music.

This movie was interesting to me because it focused on a hearing girl, Ruby, whose mom, dad and brother are deaf. It showed aspects of her life that made her family reliant on her: such as acting as a translator for the family, helping keep their family fishing business running, and daily tasks like conveying their personal medical concerns to doctors. On the other hand, she wanted to pursue her interest in music and be involved in her school choir, and eventually go to Berklee Music school. 

It’s a simple coming-of-age story at heart.

A movie about Ruby trying to find her identity and essentially finding out what she wants to do with her life outside of her family. As she begins focusing on her passions and getting more involved with singing, she realizes that her choir rehearsals start coinciding with the duties she has for her family. It’s to the point where she really has to choose which path to prioritizing – her passion for singing or her love for her family.

What I loved about this more specifically is the charisma of all the characters. Her parents and brother were all amazing and were played by deaf actors. When “CODA” won Best Picture at the 2021 Academy Awards, it was a huge win for deaf representation. 

“CODA” is an adaptation of the French film titled “La Famille Bélier.”

It made me emotional watching it, and I recommend giving both movies a watch.  There are so many aspects of being deaf or hard of hearing that I was opened up to.

 “Sound of Metal” –

“Sound of Metal” is the story about a drummer for a heavy metal band, Ruben, who starts losing his hearing on tour and how he decides to deal with it.

The film does an amazing job of putting the audience in Ruben’s shoes by at times modifying the audio of the movie to make it sound like Ruben’s hearing ability. This stylistic choice allows us to really experience the progression of his hearing loss up close, first gradually and then all at once. 

Conversations are heard as muffled or muted as Ruben hears them, however the silences in the movie never feel empty and add to the piece as a whole.

Throughout the movie, we were able to experience Ruben’s character development firsthand. Initially, he doesn’t want to accept that he is losing his hearing at all. He plays show after show, not being able to follow along with the music of the band, till one show he can’t hear a thing. After a meeting with a doctor, he finds out he has already lost a majority of his hearing and that the only solution in his eyes is a cochlear implant. 

His journey of finding money to afford the cochlear implant is a majority of this film.

His girlfriend introduces him to a community for addicts that teaches them how to live with their deafness. It’s during this time that we really understand the importance of music no matter if you are a hearing person or hard of hearing. He eventually begins teaching the kids in this community to drum and use percussion instruments. 

What’s beautiful about this specifically is that the vibrations in the drumming and in music are how people in the deaf community can interact with music. It’s how Ruben learns to interact with music given his new condition.

The last scene of the movie is the most impactful to me.

After Ruben gets his cochlear implant, he realizes that it’s not at all what he expected. Instead of getting his hearing back, everything he hears is distorted and staticky. His girlfriend thinks he is healed now and their band can start touring again, but Ruben realizes his music career is over.

“Sound of Metal” comes to a close as we see Ruben aimlessly walking down the streets of Paris trying to adjust his implant.

Then he removes the device and we are left in silence. We experience Ruben accepting his deafness.


Although these are wins for the deaf community, in terms of representation there is always room for improvement. I really think these two films are worth a watch for their entirety. 

They are both big teaching moments as well. Moments that force people to understand that deafness is not something that needs a quick fix but it’s something to accept and take time to grasp and accommodate to.

The charisma of the casts, the acting talent, the writing, and the musical performances – it’s all impactful.

If you haven’t already be sure to check out “Sound of Metal” and “CODA.”

Categories
Non-Music News

“Verity” by Colleen Hoover Book Review

Summary

What do you get when you cross a somewhat-newly-single struggling writer with the husband of a famous thriller novelist? Colleen Hoover’s Verity. I struggled for a while with finding a book that captured my attention, dealing with the relatable struggle of being in an I-want-to-read-but-just-can’t-sit-down-and-do-it sort of rut. Verity book reviews had appeared on my TikTok, so I decided to get it on a whim because I had heard good things about the book and Colleen Hoover. I read it in a day, neglecting all other obligations because I could not manage to put it down. 

Main character Lowen Ashleigh is in her early thirties and is living in New York City. After witnessing a man getting hit by a car in close proximity, she happens to run into Jeremy Crawford. Unbeknownst to her, Jeremy is the husband of Verity Crawford, a renowned novelist. Lowen and Jeremy share a moment in which he takes care of her in a nearby coffee shop, tending to her after such a shocking experience. The two connect emotionally, but then go their separate ways. After her encounter with Jeremy, Lowen has to catch a meeting with her agent (and ex-boyfriend) Corey. Lowen was toeing the line of financial ruin due to caring for her sick mother when she was offered the deal of a lifetime. Who walks in to offer her this deal? Jeremy Crawford. 

Mysteriously injured, Verity Crawford’s status of health is unknown to the public. She needs someone to finish her book series as per her contract. Verity’s publishers ask Lowen to take on this task, which involves her going to the Crawford’s house in Vermont to look through Verity’s files. Lowen, initially resistant, has a moment alone with Jeremy, who convinces her to take this deal. What Lowen finds at the house would change the course of the lives of everyone involved forever.  If you are into quite steamy romantic thrillers, Verity is definitely for you. 

About the Author

Colleen Hoover is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty two novels. She mainly writes New Adult and Young Adult contemporary romance, along with psychological thrillers. Colleen’s foundation, The Bookworm Box, has donated over $1,000,000 to help those in need. This program provides readers with signed novels each month and profits are then donated to various charities. 

Rumors say that a movie adaptation of Verity is in the works, and I am excited to see this story come to life. Colleen Hoover’s other books have definitely made it on my to-read list, including It Ends With Us and Ugly Love. I hope you give this book a try if you’re finding yourself unmotivated to read.

Till next time, 

dj mozzie

Categories
Blog Miscellaneous Non-Music News Playlists

It Feels New To Me: A Playlist

Something feels new. Yes – fall just started, my roommate got a new laptop, and I dyed my hair bluish. I still think it’s something else. There’s something going on that has me thinking things could simply start anew. A new attitude, new approach, new anything. To reflect all this newness, I made a playlist of songs I like that are new to me:

  • “Watch” by Arca, Shygirl
  • “You Go to My Head – Take 1” by Billie Holiday
  • “Asmr” by Only Fire
  • “Bring” by Randomer
  • “No More Shubz” by Klein
  • “HAD TO DID IT ON EM” by Human Part
  • “The Man” by N.E.R.D
  • “Call For Help” by Pearly Drops
  • “Frenchcore Loca – Original Mix” by Randy, Radium
  • “It’s Possible” by Piero Piccioni, Catherine Howe
  • “Kamala” by D.R. Hooker

There’s no true rhyme or reason to this playlist other than that it suits this newness that I know exists but that I cannot explain. I hope this makes sense to someone.

Here’s to feeling new and acting accordingly,

Silya Bennai

Categories
Miscellaneous Non-Music News

WKNC to Host Book Drive in March to Support Prison Books Collective

In continuing their efforts to support the Triangle community and at-risk individuals at-large, WKNC is partnering with Prison Books Collective to host a book drive. 

Prison Books Collective is a Carrboro-based nonprofit that distributes paperback books and zines to incarcerated people across North Carolina and Alabama. Prison Books Collective believes that “the prison system in the United States is fundamentally unjust and perpetuates systems of economic, racial, gender, psychological, and social oppression.” The work done by Prison Books Collective upholds the fact that “incarcerated people deserve support and resources and that the many injustices of prison must be resisted.” WKNC supports this mission and looks to contribute to their work with the following donation drive. 

Donations will be collected outside WKNC from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the weeks of March 15-19 and March 22-26. The station is located within the Witherspoon Student Center on NC State’s main campus, in suite 343. Please be aware that the building is closed to the public on weekends and outside normal business hours. If you are unable to donate in-person, Prison Books Collective also has a Flyleaf wish list of titles that have been specifically requested by inmates.

“The past year has been extremely difficult for incarcerated people, with increased restrictions and no access to the small amount of literature available in libraries only a few prisons might have,” says Prison Books Collective’s Outreach Coordinator Ivy Shelton. “COVID-19 has limited the operations but, Prison Books Collective (PBC) has been working hard the past year to fulfill book requests. PBC has continued to send 35-45 packages of books on average a week to individuals based on letters of request. The book drive WKNC 88.1 is hosting makes PBC’s continued work possible. Paperback donations from the WKNC 88.1 book drive will make a difference in someone’s life.”

More information on Prison Books Collective can be found on their website, while graphics and event specific information can be found on WKNC’s social media. On-air promos are in rotation to outline requests and necessary resources for this donation drive. WKNC and Prison Books Collective would like to thank the audience for their support.

WKNC 88.1 FM is 25,000-watt student-run non-commercial radio from North Carolina State University featuring indie rock, electronic, metal and underground hip-hop. WKNC is on social media @WKNC881.

Categories
Non-Music News

Student Positions Open on Student Media Board of Directors

Student Media is seeking candidates for three at-large student positions on its Board of Directors for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The Student Media Board of Directors, which also includes appointed students, professional and academic representatives, and the top student leader of each Student Media outlet, meets monthly during the academic year to help shape the vision and direction of the Student Media, including hiring top editors/managers and overseeing the budget.

Interested students must file an intent to run form with Student Government and follow all rules set forth by Student Government to be included on the spring ballot. The one-year term runs from May 1 to April 30. Books are open Feb. 12-21 with the election scheduled for March 15-16.

Positions are open to all students not currently involved with Student Media who meet eligibility requirements set forth for student leaders in University Regulation 11.55.6. Those requirements include being a full-time NC State student, having a 2.5 cumulative GPA at the time of election and having no active disciplinary sanctions.

The Student Media Board of Directors meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. and will meet virtually until further notice.

NC State Student Media includes Agromeck yearbook, a business and marketing office, Nubian Message biweekly Black newspaper, Roundabout quarterly magazine, Technician weekly newspaper, Windhover literary and visual arts magazine, and radio station WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2.

Categories
Non-Music News

National Blood Donor Month

Written By Miranda

January has been observed as National Blood Donor Month since the 1970s in an effort to increase winter blood donations. The winter months, specifically following the holidays, are one of the most difficult times for blood donation centers to recieve needed blood donations. Inclement weather and seasonal illness often prevent donors from their donations, and thus winter is one of the most difficult times of the year to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients. 

Donating blood is extremely important and can save lives. Blood donations from a single person can save multiple lives. Donations are essential for trauma patients, transplants, chronic illnesses, and more. Less than 10% of eligible donors actually donate in the United States. Typically eligibility requirements include being above 18 years old and above 118lbs and free of any major diseases.  Personal benefits of blood donation include not only the satisfaction of providing blood to patients who need it and saving lives, but also finding out your blood type and receiving free blood tests and having reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. The blood donation process is regulated by the FDA. You can trust blood donation centers to maintain a safe environment for donations.

NC State students can call 1-800-RED CROSS to make an appointment at the North Raleigh Red Cross Donation Center to donate blood, platelets, and plasma. Remember to ask about COVID-19 precautions being taken to ensure your and others’ safety. Be sure to also bring  a driver’s license or passport with you. The center is about a 20 minute drive from campus. Be sure to also look out for blood donation drives on campus in the coming year, if restrictions allow. 

Sources: I, II 

Categories
Non-Music News

A Letter to the Audience

To WKNC’s audience,

Beginning Jan. 18, WKNC will begin airing our Underground format for a full 24 hours each Monday. This will be in addition to the Saturday and Sunday night Underground blocks beginning at 6 p.m. and our one-hour segment of Local Rap Lunch on Monday at noon. The adjustment to our schedule comes as a response to a sit-in protest that was held in WKNC’s studio in November 1992. The protest called upon WKNC’s staff to devote prime-time hours to Magic 88 (hip-hop, R&B and rap) which at the time only played from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. As reported by Technician (see attached article), 65 students filled WKNC’s studio and lobby to demand these changes. Although the segment was renamed “Underground” and eventually moved up to 9 p.m., along with a new gospel block on Sundays, the request for daytime hours was left unfulfilled. Thus, when WKNC’s current staff learned of this protest we decided that action must be taken to answer this call. The legacy of this 95-minute sit-in will continue through every subsequent Monday, indefinitely, to finally give Underground the prime hours it deserves. 

Dawn Gordon, an organizer of the sit-in of 1992, stated in Technician’s article, “[WKNC] is funded by student fees, and it’s the purpose of all radio stations to serve the public, not just those who like rock.” Gordon was right in 1992 and is still correct today. Though WKNC prides itself in broadcasting a variety of genre formats we must recognize the disproportionate focus on indie and alternative music on our channels. It is our hope that this schedule adjustment will be a strong step towards accountability and a recognition of past mistakes. Within the music industry, Black artistry has historically and continuously been discarded, overlooked and appropriated, yet Black musicians have founded many of the genres we play on-air. We recognize that Black creators exist within all genres and corners of the industry. Expanding Underground is just one way we can respond to the call of protesters from almost three decades ago. 

We would like to thank Underground Music Directors Makayla Mack and Assistant Music Director Kyle Vosberg for their efforts to increase our Underground libraries while preparing for this expansion. Without their curation we could not broadcast, as we say, music that matters. Now more than ever, their work is actively making WKNC a station of which we can be proud. Further thanks also go to Technician for publishing this article, our audience for their continued listenership and to the 65 protesters for challenging us to represent the interests of all students. 

Sincerely,

The Staff of WKNC

Categories
Non-Music News

Student Media Hosting Sidewalk Café

NC State Student Media will host a Sidewalk Café on Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Harris Field.

Interested students can drop by this outdoor open house for free coffee and cocoa (while supplies last) and learn about entry-level paid and volunteer positions within Student Media. More than 300 students are involved with Student Media each year in writing, design, photography, videography, DJing, sales, social media and marketing roles.

Other Winter Welcome Week activities include:

  • Nubian Message Virtual Interest Meeting on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. over Zoom
  • WKNC DJ Interest Meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. over Zoom
  • WKNC DJ Internet Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. over Zoom
  • Technician Virtual Open House on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. over Zoom
  • Technician Virtual Open House on Friday, Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. over Zoom
  • WKNC Dance Stream on Friday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. on WKNC’s YouTube channel
Categories
Non-Music News

WKNC provides winter clothing to Raleigh non-profits

In support of its local community, WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2 held a winter clothing drive on Jan. 3, from noon to 4 p.m. Donations were dropped off at the Women’s Center, located at 400 S. West Street in downtown Raleigh.

All items collected in this drive were distributed between Healing Transitions and the Wake County Women’s Center on Jan. 4. Healing Transitions is a center aimed at assisting homeless, uninsured and underserved individuals struggling with alcoholism and drug addictions on the road to recovery. The Women’s Center has helped women for over 40 years by providing resources and assistance in breaking the cycles of abuse and homelessness. 

Thanks to WKNC’s audience, the drive was able to collect four XL boxes of women’s apparel, three XL boxes of men’s clothing, another box of children’s supplies, seven containers of blankets, four sleeping bags, and an excess of hats, gloves, socks, shoes, bras, scarves and bags/backpacks. More information on how these nonprofits serve their client populations, with the aid of community donations, can be found at WCWC.org and Healing-Transitions.org

“The success of this event comes largely from the generosity of our audience members,” says WKNC General Manager Laura Mooney. “We are also grateful to the staff of Healing Transitions and the Women’s Center for their assistance with event coordination and the use of the warehouse at the Women’s Center.”