Category Archives: Opinions

“A Local’s Guide”

Elizabeth Sims

Everywhere you go, you will find places that make you smile and other places that make you wonder how they are even still in business. Being in a college town is no different, with even more hole­in­the­walls and tourist traps to visit and experience. Here are some places and things you need to visit while at Wesleyan and places that are a complete waste of time and money.

Local Gems:
1. Lynnhaven Pub: This local pub is regionally famous for its vast selection of craft beers, averaging between 100 – 130 different beers every week. They also offer no cover charge at night, however, you only can enter if you are 21 years or older. Not of the legal age? No worries. This local favorite offers its delicious food starting at 11am.

2. Charlie’s Café: Don’t let the crazy and colorful exterior fool you, this is one of the most famous diners you can visit in Norfolk, thanks in part to Tom Hanks. That’s right. Tom Hanks the movie star. He visited the café in search of biscuits and gravy, leaving such a mark on the staff and restaurant that he has his own table and a biscuits and gravy platter named after him. They serve breakfast starting at 6 a.m. and stay open until 10 p.m., and even serve their own craft beer.

3. First Landing State Park: Want to connect more with nature? This state park is the place to do it. Encompassing over 3,000 acres of land untouched by development, you can camp, hike, and take guided tours of the pristine land that looks the same as it did when first discovered. 4. Brookdale Farm: Looking for food you can prepare yourself or some fresh produce that you can feel good about snacking on? Look no further than Brookdale Farm in Virginia Beach. Offering year around home grown produce, they also offer up creative recipes for the produce you purchase. Head out there during the summer for some of the best tasting berries you can get locally.

Tourist Traps:
1. MacArthur Mall: I say mall, and you hear fun times shopping with friends, but what you don’t know is how big of a rip­off this place is. Parking can be anywhere for $1 for an hour to $10, with no discounts for local or student IDs. And many of these stores are ones you can at closer malls such as Lynnhaven Mall or Military Circle Mall. Plus, it is always crowded with people looking for a good time, and not finding. On the flip side, they have the only Harry and David store for 50 miles, and everyone needs to try Moose Munch© at least once in their life.

2. The Virginia Aquarium: You’ll hear their obnoxious jingle on the radio, but have you actually seen how little their $22 ticket price gets you? 30 minutes of walking around and maybe a good educational IMAX feature. That’s it. The focus of this aquarium is the renewal and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay. You can see otters, wolves, and quite a large number of bugs, birds, and sea critters, but only if the exhibit is actually open. Most of the time, not all of them are open, leaving you feeling empty and ripped off.

3. Nauticus: Located in the Norfolk Harbor, you can pay $15 ­ $40 dollars to look at a boat. Granted, it’s the old and well­known Battleship Wisconsin, the last ever United States Battleship to be built. This overpriced boat tour is not worth the time spent listening to a three­hour lecture. You can do that in class here.

4. Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant: This place is the most clichéd, tacky, overpriced seafood restaurant in Tidewater. The only thing that separates this seafood buffet from a place like Golden Corral, is that Captain George’s has crab legs. Tough, overcooked crab legs. Plus, you’ll be paying triple the price for hideous décor and loud patrons.

Breaking the Stereotypes

Doug Hardman

You have emptied your lockers, you have packed up your room, and you are about to say goodbye to your parents and friends. You find yourself sitting on another campus surrounded by strangers and a sense of unfamiliarity. You are in college now.
One of the biggest things about college, especially Virginia Wesleyan, is feeling like you are part of something bigger. There is definitely a community and familial sense here and it is very welcoming. But what I have seen freshmen do is try too hard to fit into a community that is already offering its welcoming hand.
Freshmen, I think, come into college with their high­school mentality still intact: we need to be popular and get in with the “cool” kids. I hate to break it to you so early, but there is no such thing as “cool” in college. At least, it doesn’t mean the same thing that is meant in high school.
I’m not trying to be rude; I’m just trying to make a point. Incoming freshmen are just out of high school, so I can understand how they might think the same way when they begin their transition into college life. But, within the first month, maybe even the first week, it is obvious that no one cares what kind of car you drive or how many Twitter and Instagram followers you have. None of that matters anymore.
Instead of trying to be popular, why not just be yourself? The minute you continue your high­school routine of trying to be popular is the minute you become a stereotype.
I came into Virginia Wesleyan thinking I knew who I was and who I was going to be. I found a group of people with similar personalities and senses of humor and I clung to them. I have always had a small group of friends that I stuck with, and I never needed more. I knew I did not need to alter who I was to fit in because the only person I have to fit in with is myself.
I pride myself in breaking stereotypes and societal norms. People look at me and when I tell them about myself, they get surprised. The most common phrase I hear out of people’s mouths about me is, “Wow, I would have never guessed that about you!” When you actually show people your real self, they will always be surprised by you. When you show the fake, popularity­seeking side of yourself, it becomes expected of you to maintain that stereotype and you’re reduced to a label. Reality is, that’s just how it goes.
In no way am I trying to be discouraging. I want you to come into Wesleyan open­minded, ready to learn, ready to grow, and ready to live. But, you are not going to have a quality college experience if you stick to your stereotypes. You are going to have to learn to be more than just who you were in high school.
If you are a nice person, know how to take a joke, and know how to balance maturity with hilarity, then you will have no problem making friends here at Virginia Wesleyan. Life is not a popularity contest, and if it was, that ended with your high­school career. Just be yourself and know that you don’t have to fit into someone’s mold to feel at home. Being a stereotype only gets you so far. Once you start breaking the stereotypes, you are as free as the minute you walked through these doors.

What goes around comes around

ELIZABETH SIMS
Social Media Editor

I have noticed an issue that has branched out and affected more than just our cozy little Wesleyan family, touching visiting families and potential new students as well. I see it almost every time I go into Boyd, infecting my mood and frustrating me to no end. I am talking about the increasingly noticeable negative attitude coming from the Sodexo staff in Boyd. In asking the staff and the students what causes the stuffy, grumpy attitudes, I ended up with a triangle effect to the truth outcome. You know there are always three sides to a story.
When I talked to the staff, most said they really enjoyed working at the college. They like most of the students and have never really had problems. However, when asked what bothered them the most, the answer was almost universally the same: the rude treatment they receive from students. It seems that students have started taking advantage of hardworking staff, giving them attitude and even being outright mean. What’s up, students? Are we really being cruel? If so, let me be the first to say how disappointed I am. We are so much better than petty squabbles that act out because we do not agree with the portion size or the choice of cereal we have this week. Pull it together.
However, I have so much faith in the student body and I would like to assume that no one is in the dining hall having hissy fits and throwing plates of food, not that I have seen flying pasta anywhere. Though I admit, I would find that very entertaining. So, I posed the same question to the students: why do you think the Sodexo staff is always so grumpy? That got me quite a few varied responses. A large number of students say they have never seen any other students treat the staff with anything but respect. Now, that is an unabashed lie and if you believe it, you are excessively gullible. I have seen students demand more per portion from Mrs. Lena or get sassy at Russ when he asks what they want for breakfast. Stop. If you are the person that does that, you are being rude and it makes you look like a Neanderthal.
So, what it really comes down to, no matter which side of the story you believe, is common courtesy. It is a trait our generation seems to be lacking, and a quality we need to learn quickly. Otherwise, we will not get very far in life. I am not saying that it is all the fault of the student body. Trust me; I have seen a worker push a visiting family out of the way to wipe off the salad counter. However, if we, as students, grow up a bit and show that we can take the first steps toward being mature adults, then we show the workers that we are worthy of respect. And if we gain their respect, I guarantee we’ll stop seeing frowning faces and hearing rude remarks, but we’ve got to start the trend.

Putting the pest to rest

TAYLOR BOYD
Staff Writer

Spring is here! And with spring come the colorful flowers, the cleansing rain, the fresh green grass and all of the wonderful creatures that emerge from the ground, the skies and wherever else they come from.
I, for one, love the diverse wildlife that comes out during this time of year, and I am one of the first ones to stand up for their right to existence. But these sweet, furry critters and colorful crawlers can be a real annoyance on some occasions.
Here we have a diversity of wildlife, especially insects that seem to pop up where they do not belong. Sometimes it seems as if the ants and termites lose their way and wander the entrance halls of the dorms.
Their movement and numbers are enough to frighten and cause uneasiness to all those who glance at them. Still, I try my best not to step on them or cause them harm in any way, but that can be a real challenge.
Even the bees, which at least stay in their natural habitat of the great outdoors, wander from their hives and make homes of man-made objects.
Sometimes we can have close encounters with these striped insects at the trashcans, and when we throw away our trash we must do so quickly due to the fear of being stung. I am concerned for the people who have phobias of certain wildlife, as well as possible allergies.
I don’t like the word “pest” to describe animals, because I feel that it is disrespectful to nature.
However, it seems that some animals do need to go back to where they came from.
But the question is why? Why have they wandered from their natural habits? As I tried to figure out the answer to this question, I realized that we are on their turf and in their land. And by tearing down trees, and building our dorms and other buildings, WE have become the pests.
We have messed with a lot of animals’ habitats, and all they are trying to do is adapt to their changing world. So maybe we should do the same. Of course that is just a thought.
We could always just get rid of these “pests” using toxic chemicals that could rip the “flesh” off of these animals, kill them, and eliminate their species from the area for a certain period of time. But I don’t really like the idea of being a mass murderer either.
I know that sometimes insects could get in the way, and accidental eliminations can happen, but that is just life. To be honest, I feel that we should try to improve the environment of our school by creating a habitat where insects and people can live in peace.
Maybe we can just try different methods of preventing insects from sneaking into “our” territory, or try to create a new habitat for them with little to no human interaction in it. I know a lot of what happens between nature and humans is beyond our control, but I feel that maybe we could at least try.
The answer to the question on what to do is limitless, but surely it could be possible to come up with a reasonable and ethical solution to this dilemma.

The new age of news

VICTORIA LAUGHLIN
Staff Writer

Internet news media is undeniably growing at a rapid pace. For this reason, I’m not surprised that this year’s “State of the News Media” report, by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, told of the decline of the newspaper.
What I am surprised about is that newspaper websites like the Huffington Post aren’t our main source for news. Facebook has become the bulletin board of news stories, and getting information through status updates on Facebook has become the unfortunate norm.
I believe the move of news reporting to the Internet is to be expected eventually, just as the move of news reporting to television was expected. However, the system now in place blends news with the pool of fictions that the Internet has become.
The hard truth is we no longer look for news where news is supposed to be. I no longer see news stories in the objective environment that they used to be found in. Newspapers, like the Marlin Chronicle, have sections with expectations. Television networks have news shows with organized time slots and even all-news channels. But Internet news?
The Internet has web-like hyperlinks, which rely on the user to take the initiative of searching or clicking.
The “front page” doesn’t exist on the Internet since the front page is always Google or Facebook or Twitter. The age-old newspaper formula—prioritizing the front page, then the sections, then the articles—has changed into prioritizing the articles, then maybe the other articles that happen to be on the side labeled “Top News Stories,” then maybe the sections—if people even care, now, what section the story was written for.
In all honesty, I don’t think that this Internet formula is too bad of a thing. With the Internet, people who wouldn’t normally turn on the television or pick up a paper, now are able to view news stories effortlessly and sometimes even unwillingly with all the posts and links that pop up. However, there are large drawbacks to this formula, one of them being the attention game.
Why do silly viral videos seem to be so popular? They gain attention, and attention is prized within the world of the Internet, whether it is gained because of a strange photoshopped picture of a cat’s head on a human’s body, or a video parody on trailers or other entertainment. A satirical “news” website called The Onion is an example of how silly can get out of hand. The Onion is a website that parodies news stories, such as old magazines that told of alien landings and Britney Spears’s clone come to destroy us all. However, some misinformed people believe that these stories are real and post them on Facebook or other places in order to get reactions.
The goal of Facebook, of course, is allow people to socialize and discuss things in a forum with people they know—and to get reactions.
The Internet is a confusing environment where news can easily mix with fiction. People have to become active and critical in their thinking about things that they find on the Internet. However, that is too much to ask of everyone.
I don’t think being unconsciously informed by Facebook is very healthy in the long run, although the idea is marked with good intentions. People should stop relying on Facebook for news, just as people shouldn’t rely on Wikipedia for biographies.
It should be common sense not to idolize a single source anyway; people that only listen to what they want to hear become too sensitive to criticism of their own opinions. I believe that is the problem nowadays. News on the Internet is great for many people, but the Facebook “wall” does nothing but create a crutch for them to rely on.
Let’s hope that the news media can find a way to separate themselves from the entertainment media of the Internet.

He Said She Said

soulmate

Is it possible to find your soul-mate in college?

HE:
Do I want to find my soulmate and get married? Of course I do! Who would not want to get married? Ever since I was a little kid, I have dreamed of meeting that special someone, getting married, and starting a family. Do I want to get married today? Absolutely not!
I do not understand why so many college students are already settling down and making that big commitment. It is true that you can legally get married once you are 18, but just because you can get married does not mean that you should.
For multiple reasons, your college years are the worst time to get married. First of all, you are fresh out of high school and have just begun to distinguish the difference between actual love and a teenage crush.
Now that is not to say that you cannot meet your partner while you are in college. You might have already met that person in high school. You could meet your partner at any time in your life. You just need to make sure that you are at a mature and responsible age before you make it official.
Secondly, most college students are not fully independent. They are learning how to live on their own and many of them still depend on their parents for money. Do they really want to get married when they barely know how to take care of themselves? Why would they want to get married before they had a steady income?
Lastly, many college students, myself included, are in a long-distance relationship. My significant other is miles away. We only see each other during breaks and maybe an occasional visit. I would not feel as if I were actually married if I only saw my wife a few times a year. I would rather wait until we had both graduated from college before getting married. That way we could actually be together as a married couple.
So, then what is the youngest age at which someone should get married? It really depends on the individual, but I guess once you are done with college you are ready. It takes about a year to plan a wedding, which means you could get engaged as a senior if you wanted to.
I know a lot of college students are getting married today. I am not trying to criticize or put down any relationships. What you and your significant other decide to do is none of my business. But as for me, I am going to wait until after college to settle down.

-MICHAEL WILLSON

SHE:
I believe that finding your one true love is possible (not trying to sound like a Disney movie, but I believe it’s true). I also believe that you will experience the wave of emotions that
will come once you find your “other half”, and that you will experience a love that is romantic yet spontaneous, and unexpected, yet everlasting.
This concept I believe in is called having a soulmate. It is an ideal that has been transformed and shared over centuries among cultures. But to me, a soulmate is someone with whom you have a spiritual and unspoken connection, in which both parties understand that their meeting was never by chance but by fate.
This relationship with your other half will gradually manifest itself as becoming a physical and emotional one, in which the good feelings will outweigh the bad. I also feel that your soulmate will understand you better than anyone else, love the current “you” and also the “you” that you can become, and make your days brighter because you found each other.
For a long time, I have believed in the concept of soulmates. My view of this is that fate has allowed us to have the option of choosing whom to spend the rest of our lives with. I feel that it is up to us to choose to be in a long, committed relationship, a short one, a polygamous one, or even a life that just involves us singly. However, fate wants us to find our soulmates and
puts us in situations in which we can find each other, but the decision is ultimately ours.
I also believe that even though there are many people from whom we can choose to be our life partners, there is only one for each of us who is 99.9% (no one is perfect) our true match. And I, for one, hope to find that person.
My opinion on finding one’s soulmate at college is that anything is possible, but we must keep our eyes open so that we may be able to spot our potential soulmates.

-TAYLOR BOYD