Tuesday Blues

By Makayla Munoz. 

I woke up today with clouds looming above my head. Technically, I was a bit cloudy; however, figuratively there was cloudy forecast too. I got ready and headed out the door trying to convince myself I will be happy today. As I drove to the train station, I played my current favorite playlist thinking that would fight my wave of sadness. I kept telling myself, “You are fine, don’t be a baby.”

storm-clouds_1122-2748I got to school and immediately absorbed myself in school work, so I did not have to spend time with my thoughts. My friend arrived and I told myself to give her a fake smile. As class started, I threw myself into the task at hand and tried to not get lost in my thoughts. Flash forward, it is 11:50 and I am exhausted. Mentally, I am reaching my limit for the day; however, I have one more class to get through. My professor notices I am off. I just say I do not feel well and agree when she asks if I feel a little under the weather. Little does she know that the weather I am under is this cloudy storm that is brewing inside me.

I am finally on my way home, exhausted and drained. As I get closer to home, I feel the emotions building up. I am a shaken up pop bottle ready to explode. I am at home alone with my intruding thoughts. I sit down to finish writing a blog post I promised to have by the end of today. Then, everything comes unraveled. Tears start streaming from my eyes, as if someone turned on a faucet full force and let it run. I keep trying to compose myself, but to no avail.

Then, I pick up the phone and message my best friend. I talk to her, tell her how I feel, raining-brain2_sq-732253c5c6b310351cf197098a3940b7ae85a6cc-s800-c85and let her know what is going on in my mind currently. She reassured me that everything will be okay and it is just a bad mental day. After our little chat, I feel a lot more relieved. I still do not feel completely myself, but the mental clouds are gone and I feel slightly more normal.

I sat down to write this little post to give myself a little bit of relief. Also, I wrote this to remind everyone that it is okay to have bad days. We are all humans after all and even the most “perfect” of people can have their bad days. I am here to remind you that you are not alone; there are people that are going through what you are too. Just remember, that there are people you could talk to, whether it is a school counselor, a professor, a friend, a family member, or even a stranger online. It is important to talk about your feelings, instead of bottling it up until you explode. This is a reminder to not let your blues get the best of you.

The First Annual Florence University of Arts Reception

By Dana Becker

On May 20th, Robert Morris University hosted their first annual reception, welcoming study abroad alumni from the Florence University of Arts (FUA). Invited were RMU logo-registrato-fuastudents that had studied abroad in Italy as well as students and staff from FUA. The event was held in the State Street Art Gallery, displaying “Images from Abroad”, a culmination of student artwork exhibiting their experiences throughout the academic year at FUA. Appetizers paired with wines were prepared by the Culinary Arts department and served throughout the event.

The Florence University of Arts is the school in Italy where study abroad students pasted image 0 (1)from RMU study and take courses from. This particular study abroad program appeals to Culinary Arts majors. At the FUA, RMU culinary students have the opportunity to learn about Italian cuisine and culture. Many of the guests at the reception were faculty from FUA, including the chefs that have been so influential to the students. Part of the time spent at FUA involves a rigorous internship, in a competition setting where students must work all hours creating a menu of intricate plates. The guidance and wisdom passed on from the chefs to the students during this experience is invaluable.

A menu of appetizers and hors d’oeuvres paired with wines was prepared by RMU and pasted image 0FUA alumni Ethan Zuk with the help of RMU student Dana Becker, RMU/FUA alumni Morgan Nash, and RMU Chef Rachel Murphy. Attendees started with a glass of Prosecco, then followed by white wine paired with three types of crostini appetizers and salmon vol events.

Each “course” was followed by an interlude where speakers would entertain with slideshows, trivia games, and a raffle. The second course was hot pasted image 0 (4)appetizers including pasted image 0 (3)tomato soup pappa al pomodoro, curry lamb vol events, and stuffed chicken wings. For desserts, hazelnut tiramisu and lime semifreddo prosecco floats were served.                                       

This was the first time Robert Morris hosted and served FUA pasted image 0 (6)guests. Attendees came  from across the country and across the globe. Thanks to the RMU Art Gallery director and director of International Studies, Shelley LaMantia, the partnership between RMU and FUA grows stronger every year as students continue to go abroad and excel in their studies. The reception is intended to be an annual event. It will undoubtedly further the relationship between RMU and FUA .

Interested in studying abroad? Learn more here at  https://robertmorris.edu/studentlife/studyabroad/

Crowning a New King of the East

By Gino Rouse

       The NBA Playoffs this year gives fans the opportunity to crown the new King of the East. However, it has not been an obvious coronation. Since the San Antonio and Toronto trade that swapped Kawhi Leonard and Demar DeRozan, we have all been reminded that Kawhi is a top 3 player in the league due to his defensive ability and insane clutchness. But in the Midwest, a star has arisen in ‘The Greek Freak’, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Since the beginning of the season, something has clicked for ‘The Freak’. He has been dominant all year long, showing that even a lack of a perimeter shot won’t stop him. Adding fifty some pounds of pure muscle to his frame didn’t hurt his game. You also have other Eastern Conference stars in Kyrie Irving and Victor Oladipo. Oladipo carried the Indiana Pacers to the fifth seed in the East, and so, he must be in the conversation. Unfortunately, his season fell off at the end because of injury. However, this impressive talent has been overshadowed by battle between Giannis and Kawhi.

So, who is the East’s new King?

       Both the Bucks and the Raptors have been built around their star small forwards. abae1bc2-9945-46b5-9261-61633c668638-GAN_20190119_GGW_MB4_153_76340998Weather it be, like in Toronto, from a blockbuster trade, or from the draft and minor trades, like Milwaukee, these teams have surrounded each star with pieces that help them shine even brighter. With his unparalleled athleticism and killer mindset, Giannis has shown that he can stay consistent throughout the season leading the Bucks to the best record in the entire league. This mindset was there from his earliest days in the league. The dedication that he has shown to the game of basketball is almost religious. Giannis and the Bucks successfully swept the Pistons in the first round this season, which everyone was expecting, and then beat down the stacked Boston Celtics, This showed that his dominance didn’t stop when the playoffs began. At only 24 years old, Giannis has shown this season that he wants this title more than anyone else. But now he is faced with the challenging task of taking down the Raptors and Kawhi Leonard.

     Many people had forgotten about Kawhi Leonard. Since his controversial injury caused by Zaza Pachulia in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against Golden Toronto-Raptors-Kawhi-Leonard-scores-36-despite-apparent-leg-injuryState on May 14, 2017, Kawhi’s career had been marked by rumors. Fans had been asking why he sat out the full 2018 season with the Spurs, even though he was cleared by one of the NBA’s best franchise team doctors. Some questioned if he was more focused  on his own personal brand than on the game. With all this talk, people had forgotten about the young Kawhi Leonard who locked down Lebron James and ended up winning finals MVP in 2014. This was the same year that he won Defensive Player of the year. That made him the first player since Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon to win both in the same year! That alone puts Kawhi into the conversation of an all time great defender. Since joining Toronto, Kawhi has been showcasing all his skills, averaging career highs in points and rebounds as well as averaging just under 2 steals a game. In the playoffs this year he is still averaging career highs in points and 3 pointers made, showing that his game is still evolving and that his shot is getting more and more deadly. Those numbers and his ability to make big shots against a young, athletic, and hungry 76ers team shows how great this guy really is.

      These two studs facing each other in such pivotal moments in both of their careers will mark this series in the history books. Kawhi is known for his lockdown defensive capabilities along with now confirming his ability to deliver in clutch moments;  Giannis has the ability to get to the basket against any defender because of his height, athleticism, and ball handling skills. It will be difficult to predict who will come out on top of this matchup. The new king of the East will only be determined after the end of this series. Until then, we all get to talk about how incredible it is to watch these once in a lifetime talents battle each other.

A New Type of Lottery

By Gino Rouse

Although the NBA Finals are approaching and nearly every fan is focused on who is going to make it there, there is other arguably bigger news in the NBA. The NBA Draft Lottery is held every year to determine which team will obtain the number one pick in hi-res-57bb20c56d92a664cefdd237ae3e18ff_crop_norththe upcoming draft. In years past this system of choosing the number one pick has been different. The team with the worst record in the NBA had the best chance at the number one pick, 25%. This team would be guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth. Then the team with the second worst record then would have a 19.9% chance at the number one pick. Then the third worst team would have a 15.6% chance at the first pick and so on. This would “guarantee” that each and every NBA team that had bad regular season records would get the opportunity to rebuild through the draft. If the system is set up for bad teams to gain great picks then why change it at all?

Unfortunately, with the old draft lottery system teams had the habit of ‘tanking.’ When an NBA team decides to tank they will intentionally lose games after realizing that they wouldn’t make it to the playoffs. This strategy would then give this team a much better chance of receiving the number one pick and the incredible young talent that comes with it.

WRP2Q2DWWAI6TJ57ZCSDXBHOGEWith the new system in place, the chance of the teams with the worst records getting the number one pick has been modified. Now, teams with the 3 worst regular season records will all only have a 14% chance of getting the number one pick with the next best odds being only 12.5%. This gives the chance of getting that highly anticipated number 1 pick to a team that didn’t have the worst season. That has now happened. On Tuesday, the New Orleans Pelicans unexpectedly won the number one pick . The Pelicans only had a 6% chance of getting that number one pick but because everyone else’s percent chance was changed they had a better chance this year than in the past. This leaves teams like the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns, who had terrible seasons,  stuck wondering ‘what if’.

This new system will drastically change the NBA as we know it. Regular season games, even towards the end of the season, will stay competitive because there will be no reason to try to lose intentionally. It will also give more teams the chance to draft quality prospects that they might not have have had the ability to pick through the old system. With talent in the NCAA growing exponentially, and more young stars coming from other countries this system, will successfully distribute talented players across the league.  The future of the NBA will be even more competitive, which in turn will make it more enjoyable to watch for any fan.

My Culinary Dream

By Melissa Alamilo

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to learn how to cook. At the age of 10, I’d started to gain some knowledge from my grandma. She taught me  how to cook our traditional Mexican dishes, and that’s where the passion began. I took classes in high school, and it gave me the drive to investigate schools that offer amazing culinary classes. That is how I discovered Robert Morris University.

culinaryOn the first day in the RMU kitchen I was nervous because we were learning knife cuts. Though the classes I took in high school did not give me that knowledge, it didn’t stop me. I took the time to come after school and work with my chef/teacher.  This helped give me confidence. By the third week I finally felt like I belonged in the kitchen. As I have learned more my passion only grew.

By the end of my first year at RMU I had the opportunity to take part in an International Taiwanese Competition with a couple of friends. At first when we saw who was also doing the competition we thought we didn’t have a chance. But together we had confidence.  We were there to have the experience of cooking with other people from a different country and see how they view the culinary world. It was all very exciting, especially doing the competition with friends. At the end of the competition, we won third place, which was amazing. It boosted our confidence. We now want to do it again and improve our next menu. Now, going into my second, and sadly last year at RMU, my confidence is amazing.  At this point, we don’t have to follow the recipe in class, and we can develop our own techniques and use our taste palate to our advantage. And this leads me to the best part of my story; my internship. I am interning at a fine dining Italian Restaurant. Though nervous starting out, I’ve learned how to manage my three line stations three stations by myself within a month. There is still more to improve, but my passion is only growing more.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to keep working at this restaurant. I landed my dream job where I can practice my passion.

St. Patricks Day Events

green river

Jayme Bailey

To many, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to wear green, and day drink without consequence. However, in Chicago it is much more than that. There are countless family activities to participate in, bars to drink at, even a whole river dyed green to celebrate the day. One of the most participated in activities is the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade that displays Irish and Chicago Heritage through performers, floats, and Irish dancers.             This year the parade had 122 different entries from schools, and other facilities that support the community, meaning there will be a little something for everyone to enjoy. WGN Chicago news announced that the fun begins on the intersection of Columbus Ave and Balbo Drive, and will end north at Monroe Drive. The parade will start about noon on Saturday March 16th and will last about two hours.
Another famous Chicago tradition is the infamous Green River. The dye will be spread out around 9 A.M. on Saturday March, 16th, but it is recommended to get to the river a hour early inorder to get a good viewing spot. The part of the Chicago River that will be dyed stretches from Wacker Drive to State St. The river will be visible from most bridges around that area, and down near the Riverwalk. If you do plan on viewing from a bridge please watch for traffic and bikers while being aware of your surroundings.
Anyone can stop at the Irish American Heritage Center for their St. Patrick Festival on Saturday, March 16th. The IAHC is located on N Knox Ave, and tickets will be available for purchase on the IAHC official website costing $15 for Adults and free for children 12 and under. The festival will go on from 1:30 pm until 9:30 pm. A full itinerary of the activities available will be located on the IAHC official website. (https://irish-american.org/at-the-center/st-patrick-festival/) Activities mostly involve Irish band performances, Irish dance lessons, and bagpipe performances. It is a great family friendly activity to enjoy for the day.
If you are more interested in food we got you covered. If you’re looking for a classic Irish pub, Wilde Bar and Restaurant located in Lakeview is a fan favorite for an authentic Irish feel and great food. Located in the historic Beverly neighborhood, another pub called Cork & Kerry is a great place to stop for some great food.
Overall, there are hundreds of activities to do in Chicago around St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy the day and explore new things. Just a friendly reminder public drinking is prohibited at all outdoor events in the Chicago area. Please keep it in a bar and have a safe enjoyable St. Patties Day weekend.

The Poison: Album Review

Jesus A. Lara

Bullet for My Valentine is a Welsh heavy metal band formed in 1998. The group is composed of 4 members since then and have had some former members as well. They started under the name of Jeff Killed John and started their music career by coverings songs from bands such as Metallica and Nirvana. While under the name of Jeff Killed John they recorded six songs that were never released. Fortunately, two of these songs were later worked on under the name of Bullet for My Valentine.

Bullet for My Valentine’s debut album The Poison, was released on October 3, 2005 in the United Kingdom and on February 14, 2006 in the United States. This album entered the U.S. billboard 200 at number 128 and considered certified gold for the Recording Industry Association of America. This band also toured with Rob Zombie at this albums release and opened for other bands such as Metallica and Guns N’ Roses in the summer of 2006, making them a big hit not only in the U.K. but here in the U.S.

Many songs in this album feature meanings that are important to the band and not only obstacles that they had to overcome, but advice they would love to give their loving fans to learn and grow from it. This album also features their hit song Tears Don’t Fall. During an interview regarding The Poison album, Matt (Lead Vocals and Rhythm guitarist) mentioned that he lost his voice near the end of the tour and talked about how heart breaking it was not being able to do his job. He took speech therapy and vocal coaching that got him back up from a hard downfall in his career. He described it as a psychological battle and inspired him to keep fighting and not giving up which was partly what the Poison’s album was about.

Personally I believe a band like this has gone through a lot but still stands strong and they keep fighting which tends to motivate the fans in their own personal lives to overcome obstacle that get in the way. They are definitely great artists that put their hard work in their albums and are a great inspiration to other similar artists within their genre.

Overall this particular album would be ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars considering they were at their peak of their career and won them a world tour. My personal favorite songs in this album are “Tears Don’t Fall”, “All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)” and “Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow (What Can I Do)”. If this is an interesting album review you seem to be interested in, I would check out other similar bands that revolve around their genre such as Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold, and Trivium.