Review Category : Opinion

(Re)Fashioning Gender: Signed, Feminist Killjoy

Over the past 10 weeks, it seems like I’ve worn everything from floral dresses to men’s button-ups. It makes me kind of nostalgic (and, let’s be real, also kind of mortified) to think about all the looks I’ve gone through in my life. While my fashion sense has changed tremendously over the years – and even just over this past quarter – what’s always remained the same is my inability to stick to a look that’s strictly feminine or masculine. While I’ve always had the privilege of being comfortable with and identifying as the gender I was assigned at birth, I often feel a need to venture outside the realm of femininity. As a result of writing this column and taking the time each week to think about the intersection of fashion and gender, what I’ve become infinitely more aware of this past quarter is exactly how I have come to define and represent my gender identity through my appearance. That’s not to say I’ve got a blueprint of my... ...

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Tunespoon: Me against the music

I appreciate my time writing these little columns, and I’m happy to say that Tunespoon is finished. I just have some things left to address. You like what you like. No one can change that. Be proud of it. Own it. Music is meant to be yours to love. Sing it in the shower, hum it on the bus. Tap the rhythm on your lap like it is meant for all of us. Learn what you can about music, maybe even study it night and day as if it were a science. But never forget that music is made to be listened to and loved. If you don’t love it, you’re doing it wrong. Respect the music. If there’s something that you do not like, then change it to something else. Don’t be fallacious, either. It’s obvious that Nicki Minaj isn’t Bach, or that One Direction isn’t The Beach Boys; those are facts. But to place value for one over another is absurd. The social contexts are different, the genres... ...

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Edumacation with Calvin and Hobbes: My Final

Over the last 10 weeks, it has been my pleasure to add to the continuing discussion on education we have been having in this country. Using Calvin and Hobbes has made this experience all the better for me, and I hope that you have also found the comic to be as instructive as it is entertaining. I endear you to read more of Bill Watterson’s work; he will change your life. This column has served, in part, to illustrate the problems facing public education in the United States. There is no one correct remedy, but I hope it is abundantly clear that without some sort of change, our country will pay the price. There are some issues that can be changed through either university or government policy: lack of funding, the length school terms and the availability of academic resources like advising. But there are also cultural problems that need to be changed through a shift in educational thinking by students, administrators and teachers. For example, technology is here to... ...

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Planning for the Arrival of Finals Week

As Aggies all around begin to descend upon the caffeine-fueled, hyper-stressful and terrifying experience that is finals week, they best be prepared. If you need to get off campus, the city of Davis has an abundance of cafes providing Wi-Fi, tables, couches and coffee. Lots of coffee. To start a good study day off right, head to the Cloud Forest Cafe for a breakfast panini and some fresh squeezed juice. Your brain will benefit from a hot egg sandwich with onions, roasted peppers, pesto and melted pepper jack cheese washed down with the Davis Sunshine — a blend of orange and carrot juice. This solid breakfast should keep you fueled for a few hours and allow you to take advantage of Cloud Forest’s Wi-Fi at one of the cafe’s many tables. As the lunch hour grows near and your focus begins to wane, a change of scenery may be in order. If the sun is out, scoot on over to Delta of Venus and pick a table on their patio.... ...

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#icantbreathe

On July 17, Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, was killed by white New York City Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo, in yet another case of excessive police brutality against a black American citizen. The attack on Garner by Pantaleo was recorded on a three-minute cell phone video by a bystander. The video clearly captures the officer placing Garner, a 350-pound, asthmatic, father of six in a chokehold — a tactic prohibited by the NYPD since 1993 — until he collapses. Garner can be heard yelling, “I can’t breathe!” 11 times during the arrest and eventually died from “the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police,” according to the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office, who later ruled the death a homicide. Somehow, though, on Dec. 3, it was announced that a New York grand jury had decided not to indict Pantaleo for his actions. There’s not a lot left to say about this incident that does not already speak volumes for itself. Although some... ...

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Crafting Gemeinschaft: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Going home for Thanksgiving was a sweet, short taste of what home is all about. It was a brief reminder of how much I have changed since last being home (it probably also was for freshmen who feel they have reinvented themselves in college) and how some things will always stay the same (like how your friend group likes to pass time). For my last column, I would like to write a love letter to my home, the Bay Area, to show that the community we care most about can be the one we come from. One thing I love about the Bay is the diversity in food. It’s not everywhere you can find the best burrito place, the best pho place and the best Indian place, all within walking distance. In Davis there is some diversity in terms of food, but it seems forced and not authentic. Riding the BART, as annoying as it can be sometimes (particularly when there is a sports game going on or when it’s... ...

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Science is Serendipitous: Condom conundrum

I decided to be nice that night, throwing out our apartments collective trash. It feels good to do that sometimes – you know, doing a solid for your roomies. But what I saw in one of the trash cans can never be unseen – a used condom. My first instinct was to immediately charge inside and ask questions about whose it was. I then realized that besides the “fun” that resulted from that incident, the condom being there was actually indicative of something that is helpful for society.It indicated whoever used it was guarding themseleves and their partner from sexually transmitted diseases (STD). STDs are a problem globally, with a lot of people not being educated or finding out what they are or how they transmit. At the college level it’s especially important for us to realize that even though we want to have care-free fun sometimes, safety of our health should always be the top priority. Whatever you want to call it – penis hat, raincoat, naughty bags, bulletproof... ...

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Guest Opinion: Tuition Hikes Protesters Bring Fight to Regents’ Businesses

On November 24, UC Davis students and workers, joined by supportive Walmart workers fighting for better pay, benefits, and respect at work, rallied to oppose the recent tuition increase and fight for public education. We marched through downtown and ultimately occupied Olson Hall to raise visibility of our fight. Many students are aware of the Olson occupation, but not as many know about what transpired on our march through downtown Davis. We marched to Bank of America, the corporate bank with a board member sitting on the University of California’s Board of Regents. UC Regent Monica Lozano gets paid over $250,000/year as the External Director for BofA, and yet she is somehow allowed to sit on the Board of Regents and, in direct conflict of interest, vote to raise our tuition. Why is this allowed? Maybe because Monica is not an exception to the rule. Many of the UC Regents come from the financial sector as bankers or hedge fund managers. Regent Richard Blum, for example, owns Blum Capital and... ...

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The Aggie Editorial Board weighs in on its favorite Davis study spots

It’s that time of the quarter. As finals loom, many of us are still struggling to find that perfect study space. In keeping with our mission of “serving” the campus, we have compiled our favorite spots to study on and off campus. You’re welcome. __ Alissa — Managing Editor: My favorite place to study is in the Student Community Center (SCC). Located just hop, skip and jump away from the eternally busy Silo and overly quiet Shields Library, I feel like the SCC is the perfect, balanced place to delve into my studies. If I can snag one of those armchairs with the desk on the main floor, I’m in my happy place. This spot also has the South CoHo attached, so my caffeine fix is within reach. The SCC is also in between the Silo and the MU so food is easily accessible. There is a TV – usually on silent – so you can take a breather and watch some Food Network or Supernatural. Because it’s not a... ...

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(Re)Fashioning gender: The art of androgyny

In the past few years, there has been an influx of clothing that caters to folks who wish to defy the gender binary.  More than ever, runways are being overtaken by collections inspired by androgynous and gender-bending apparel. At the same time, there have been loads of start-ups, both online and off, which feature similar fashions. It’s impossible to say exactly why androgyny has become so prevalent – have people become more aware and accepting of the idea that gender does not strictly exist inside of a binary? Have those who are frustrated with the mainstream perception of gender become more active in the fashion industry? Or, is it simply an increase in both areas?  Whatever the reason, genderless fashion is making big waves, which is an inevitable step towards broadening common ideas about gender identity. It’s easy to see that androgyny has become extremely popular in recent high-fashion.  Designer Vivienne Westwood, for example, created a collection for Autumn/Winter ‘14 that was largely inspired by Androgyny Queen (patent pending) Tilda... ...

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Tunespoon: So this is Xmas

Jingle bells, silver bells, it’s beginning to look a lot like a one-horse open sleigh ride together with you my heart, but the very next day, you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he is come, let Earth receive her presents underneath the Christmas tree, O Christmas we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Your broken bones from Black Friday are slowly healing, meaning that the holiday season is nigh. That also means that you’ve heard one of the above lyrics by now, crooned by the creamy-smooth voice of a ’50s legend or pop-ified by a fledgling starlet. The reach of Christmas-themed music is inevitable and basically omnipresent, and whether you revel in its cozy hot cocoa warmth or deflect it with bitter bah-humbug cynicism, there is no denying that ‘tis the season to make some sweet Christmas bank. No occasion, no matter how sacred (perhaps literally so, in this case) is safe from the talon-sharp clutches of industry. The Christmas season is a magical... ...

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Edumacation with Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin’s Tuition

About two weeks ago, the UC Board of Regents decided in a 7-2 vote to increase tuition across the University of California (UC) system. This vote marked a showdown between the UC and state legislature. The tuition raise is a threat to the legislature: increase state funding of UCs or we will put the burden on our students. It’s a “live through recess” way of treating the student. The issue of funding is central to any discussion concerning higher education. Money may as well be synonymous with practicality. Many of the ideas which I have proposed in past columns could only hope to be achieved through a greater investment in education. But today, we find ourselves in a situation where money is being used to simply keep our current, ailing system afloat, rather than make substantial improvements. If unremedied, this tuition raise will prevent many potential students from enrolling in the UC system. It will propagate a contemporary trend of increasing inequality that has defined the United States. Still, the... ...

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Exploring Shields

With finals week right around the corner, the weary students of UC Davis have been seen flocking to Shields Library to get their study on. Amidst stacks of literary anthologies, piles of highlighter-soaked biochemistry notes and iPhones filled with photos of lectures slides that no one bothered to handwrite, some students will drown in the library’s sea of last-minute crammers. Others will emerge from the Shields’ automatic doors having fully embraced this study space. After extensive observation, we have come to the conclusion that there are five types of Shields Library patrons. Some are rarer than others, but all can be spotted gathering amid this literary habitat during these “testing” times. Here are the types of patrons we have noted:   The Curve-Setters: Clad with full coffee mugs, fully-charged laptops and occasionally, a change of clothes, these study-savvy patrons can be seen claiming full tables on the Lower Level and glued to desks littered with flashcards in the Main Reading Room. Curve-Setters are notorious for spending hours on end in the... ...

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Crafting Gemeinschaft: There’s beauty in the breakdown

Protesting as a means of expressing discontent is a recurring theme recently, as it has been the response to both the proposals for UC tuition increases and the ruling in the Ferguson case. Then there are the people protesting about workers having to work at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. On top of protests on Black Friday about unfair treatment of minimum wage employees, there were the protesters calling out the shoppers who prioritized discounts on vacuums over recent racial injustices, using the terms #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackoutBlackFriday in relationship to the ruling on the Ferguson case. I am curious to see how much surface area of the world would be covered if you highlighted all of the places where people were protesting. Some of the pictures of the protesting look pretty apocalyptic too, like a scene out of War of the Worlds. We aren’t even under alien attack, unless you count a flawed judicial system, militant police officers and economic inequality as extraterrestrial. In all of this chaos it’s common for... ...

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Science is Serendipitous: What would you research?

Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday break? I know I did, which is why this column will be shorter than my previous ones. My main point throughout my writing has been to show you, the reader, how science can make a positive impact in society. Scientists spend their lives researching things ranging from stem cell cancer research to making a Mountain Dew drink that taste like Doritos (it’s actually real and called Dewritos). No matter how small or big, or how expensive or costless — someone always wants to conduct research. My question to the readers is this: What would you research? We are part of what some might call the “ivory tower” schools. The university is in fact a public research institution, whose purpose is to produce the next generation of thinkers who solve our state’s, nation’s and ultimately the world’s questions. As students, we may not have the privilege of being in our own research lab 24 hours a day, but we are encouraged to answer the burning... ...

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