Thank You to DelVal


By: Johanna Marano April 30, 2017

In thirteen days, I will walk across the stage and receive my diploma from Delaware Valley University. In thirteen days, I will no longer be an undergrad student. In thirteen days, I will be a graduate and an alumni. Where did four years go? It seems like just yesterday I got my first tour and fell in love with the campus. Then I moved on campus for my freshman year and the adventure began. And now here we are at senior year. I have so much to be thankful for during my time here at DelVal. The list below just begins to touch on the things I am thankful for.

Delaware Valley University – my home away from home for the past 4 years.
  1. Thank you for being my home away from home the past four years.
  2. Thank you for allowing me to go off on my own, grow up, and become independent.
  3. Thank you for introducing me to a diverse group of people, so different from back home.
  4. Thank you for letting me find some of my very best friends. Ones that I have learned and grown from; ones that I can see remaining a part of my life in the future.
  5. Thank you even for the people who came in and out of my life; they taught me so much about life and myself.
  6. Thank you for the professors who pushed and inspired me to do and be my very best to reach my goals. Especially the ones who reminded me of why I was here and where I was going.
  7. Thank you for all the opportunities you have given me, including working as a tutor, a supplemental instructor, and a resident assistant. From these positions, I gave back to the community, helped others, developed my leadership, and grew as an individual.
  8. Thank you for allowing me to pursue my passion in Small Animal Science.
  9. Thank you for allowing me to discover and explore my passion in English.
  10. And lastly, thank you for putting me on the road to follow my dreams of becoming a veterinarian.

Well DelVal, here is to our last two weeks together. I have to say, it has been one heck of a ride over the past four years. However, without you, I would never have the opportunity to go on my next adventure. I will miss you DelVal, but I am looking forward to what the future holds at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on St. Kitts Island.

Business Management, and Fashion Shows: My Follow-Up Interview with Tyler Wombough

A few weeks ago I interviewed my friend Tyler Wombough about his college football career. Since then my classmates have given me some other questions to ask him in a follow-up interview. This past Monday I had the privilege to do this follow-up interview with him about both his major at DelVal and the fashion show I mentioned in the post about my last interview. He laughed when I told him what the interview was going to be about.

Rachel Lyle: What year are you?

He seemed hesitant to answer this question and seemed unsure what to say.

Tyler Wombough: I am a transfer junior

RL: Why did you choose delval?

TW: Football was big reason and the school is only 40 minutes away from my house.

RL: What is your major?

TW: My major is Business management

RL: What are some of the things you do as a business management major?

He had a confused yet thoughtful look on his face when I asked this one but finally answered with this.

TW: Well, I take a lot of management courses, a lot of marketing courses, a lot accounting courses, and a lot of small business management courses. Those are some of the courses I’ve taken after I came here.

RL: What is your favorite part about being a major? Why?

He didn’t take very long to answer this one he just went right into enthusiastically and excitedly.

TW: It’s a field I want to be in cause I want to own my business. It helps me a lot with being in tune with how I manage things, how I do my own accounting, and how I run things.

RL: What was your favorite class so far? Why?

TW: Public Speaking was my favorite class because my teacher Curtis-Beaman made it fun and I don’t mind talking in front of people.

After he said Public Speaking I said that I hated that class and then he smiled and laughed and told me why.

RL: You are on the football team and you participate as a model in the fashion show. How do you your teammates react to this? Do you ever get teased or made fun of?

He laughed a little bit when I asked this question and

TW: No, there isn’t any teasing. Mostly we just laugh it off and don’t really bring it up at all. We all kind of do our own thing when we go out on stage. (He’s not the only athlete or football player who is a model in the show.)

RL: How many years have you been a model in the fashion show?

TW: I have been in it for 2 years.

RL: Which one was your favorite so far? Why?

TW: Last year was my favorite because it was my  first year participating and all the scenes were cool and fun especially the Devils scene. (For those of you who don’t know the Devils scene was an all males scene where all of the males who participated picked a girl prior to the show who they know would be in the audience and escort her to a chair waiting for her on the stage. They would then basically seductively and sexually dance for them or on them, such a lap dance or something similar. All of the males who participated were did this at the same time and they wore no shirt or wore something that made them look sexy. We got in trouble for it one of the males took it a little too far, so we won’t be doing something like that again anytime soon.)

RL: What has been your favorite scene so far? Why?

TW: My favorite scene so far was the Devils scene last year because we each got to show off on stage and go crazy and do our own thing.

RL: Are you planning on being a model in the show again next year?

TW: I will possibly participate again next year but it depends on who is going to be doing it.

Here’s when I went in a whole new direction with the interview.

RL: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

He rested his chin in his hand with a quizzical look on his face for this one while he contemplated his answer.

TW: I would be a Firework crayon. Every stroke a would be a different color because I’m different and I don’t mind standing out.

RL: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

He contemplated this on for a little bit but not as long as the one about the crayon. The answer seemed to come to him a little easier for this question

TW: I would be a dog because I would have a very simple life. I would be loved by everybody, get walked a lot, wouldn’t have to clean up after myself and would get to sleep basically all day.

So that was my follow-up interview with Tyler. I discovered with this one that we have very similar answers to the last two questions. The differences being I would choose Sky Blue for the Crayon because I’m not afraid to be different but I don’t want to be in your face about it and I would be a cat because I would get to be fat and lazy and wouldn’t have to exercise and no one would care or judge me for it. I would also be allowed to sleep for like 18 hours a day and not be judged for it.

Psychology, and Penguins: An Interview With Alison Teter

I am a brother in DelVal’s chapter of the co-ed fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. In this chapter of the fraternity we have all different kinds of majors. I am an English Literature major; we have someone who is switching his major to Chemistry; we some Zoo Science majors; we have Small Animal Science majors; we have Zoology majors; we even have a couple Counseling Psychology majors. Because of this connection of being in a co-ed fraternity and being friends with people of other majors, this past Monday I had he wonderful privilege to have an interview with Alison Teter, a counseling psychology major at Delaware Valley University. I got to interview her about being a Psychology major.

Rachel Lyle: What year are you?

Alison Teter: I am a junior.

RL: Why did you choose DelVal?

She was very enthusiastic when she answered this one.

AT: My favorite teacher in high school, my animal science teacher, was a big influence on me. She is alumni from DelVal. I went a tech school and she brought our class here for a tour because the animal science aspect is a big thing here at DelVal. I looked at other schools for the interdisciplinary aspect between Small Animal Science and Counseling Psychology but I only really found it here at DelVal.

RL: What is your major?

AT: I was originally a dual major in Counseling Psychology and Small Animal Science, but that was way too much; so now I’m a Counseling Psychology major with a minor in Small Animal Science.

RL: Why did you decide to become a counseling psych and a major?

AT: Well, um, in high school I figured out I wanted to go into Psychology. I thought was going to be a vet. According to my family my first word was dog but I don’t know if that’s actually true. When I went to tech school I shadowed a lot of Vets but I decided after that I did want to be a vet. I also have many friends with mental health issues who were hospitalized because of attempts of suicide. I was horrible to watch them and to feel so helpless. I decided that never again would I let that happen. I was original a dual major but I was not fulfilling the credit requirement for Small Animal Science. I realized that animals help me to be happy when I’m having a bad day and when I was in high school my teachers noticed and would often do things like let me hang out in the kitten room and do my homework and other similar things. Because of this I changed to Small Animal Science to a minor and I want to go into Animal Assistant Therapy.

RL: What are some of the things you do as a Psych major?

She seemed like she didn’t really know how to answer this oneat first but then she dove right in and answered with a smile on her face.

AT: I go to class. I’m doing student research as a follow up of one of the projects I did. I do a lot of learning and practicing. Psych labs are more often practicing skills of psychology rather than just doing experiments. It’s pretty fun but often it’s terrifying because of the fact that these things can be a defining moment to my career. I do a lot of learning of theories, and a lot of research. I also do introspection; one of my teacher taught me a saying, counselor known they self, it sounds silly but it’s true because if you don’t know your own weakness and strengths your not gonna do a good job of helping others with theirs.

RL:What do you enjoy the most about your major? Why?

AT: The thing I enjoy the most are the professors. They’re just really great people to put it in plain language. They’re open, and so kind.It’s unbelievable that they can be so patient, understanding, and encouraging. I have one professor, who I don’t know how he puts up with me, he is so patient. They also clearly know what their doing.

RL: What has been your favorite class so far? Why?

AT: I don’t know how to answer this because half of my classes have been my favorite class so far. Women’s Lit was great because I love Professor McCal and I loved the material. I just loved the material and the professors in like all of my classes. I love Small Animal Management because I love the material and I love the teacher. I saw her earlier today with some of my friends and she was making fun of music choices because of our pop music and how she can show us what good music is. I loved Multicultural Issues with Dr. Irving because I loved her and I loved how she taught us to think about hard topics. I loved Abnormal Psych because I love Dr. Muchler and learning about Disorders in the DSM and detail oriented it is and how to deal with them.

Here is where I took the interview in a completely different direction.

RL: If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why?

She was hesitant on answering this one, and she answered it thoughtfully.

AT:If I were to get rid of one state in the U.S. I think it would be Rhode island because it’s the smallest state and the country would least effected by taking such a small amount of land out of it. Whereas if go rid of a stare like Wyoming here would be a space in the middle of the U.S., a big gaping hole in the middle of the country that would disorienting. I also don’t think people realize that Rhode Island exists.

RL: A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

She laughed as she answered this one.

AT: He doesn’t say anything because he is a penguin and he is not capable of speech, and because Charline stole him from the zoo for that party she was planning and lost him. (For those of you who don’t know Charline is another brother in the fraternity who is basically obsessed with penguins.)

So that was my interview with Alison Teter. We had a lot of and we laughed quite a bit.

Interview with Editor of The Gleaner

By Taylor Blasko

I got to sit down with the editor of DelVal’s literary journal. If you all didn’t know, recently there was a gala for The Gleaner hosted on April 12th over in the Life Science Building. It did a great job of showcasing and having this year’s issue  make a debut to the public. I think the issue turned out really awesome and I wanted to sit down with the editor and find out more what went into making this year such a success. The editor for this year’s issue was Katelyn Lucas, a graduating senior this year.


Taylor: Can you tell me a little bit about what The Gleaner is?

Katelyn: The Gleaner is Delaware Valley University’s literary journal. We accept poetry, prose, photography, and artwork from undergraduate students at DelVal and other universities. We also host a film competition at our gala each year, which we accept both high school and undergraduate submissions for. We pick a winner and they get announced at the gala and get a cash prize. We also do a high school writing competition where the winners are the ones that get showcased in the issue. The goal of The Gleaner is to showcase undergraduate publications and expand writing among the college student community.

Taylor: What was the theme of this year’s Gleaner?

Katelyn: The theme of this year’s Gleaner was “What Keeps You Up At Night?” In the past we have gone with one word themes that have been pretty broad, but this year was unique in that we asked a pointed question.

Taylor: What kind of material was submitted for this broad/interpretable theme?

Katelyn: Like I was saying, because of the fact that we asked a question this year we got a lot of poetry and prose directly asking that question, some pieces even incorporated the exact words, “What Keeps You Up At Night?” into their pieces. A lot of the photography and artwork that was submitted was on the darker/shadowy side but overall I was pleasantly surprised with the array of ideas for photography/artwork. My two personal favorite photos that were submitted this year were titled “Paper Top, Rock Bottom” and “Nope. Thank you :).” Go check them out.

Taylor: Talk to me about the layout and design process of this year’s issue.

Katelyn: This issues concept was based off of the Rorschach test. We were going for a psychological type approach to the layout with this in mind which is why we did ink blots and the black and white theme throughout the issue.

Taylor: What was the hardest part about this issue?

Katelyn: We are always on a time crunch to put all the works in so editing always seems rushed. Once everything is put into InDesign there is a short period of time that we have to make sure that there are no typos in everyone’s pieces. One specific challenge of this year was making sure that InDesign wasn’t cutting off the text at the bottom of pages and eating up full chunks of people’s stories/poems.

Taylor: What is your favorite part about this issue?

Katelyn: Can I say my favorite part was that it all turned out well? Like basically this issue was my favorite issue design and layout wise and I think it turned out really well.

Taylor: What, if anything, would you have done differently?

Katelyn: Maybe we should have advertised the film competition better because we didn’t get that many submissions for the film competition.

Taylor: How did the gala go?

Katelyn: I think it went well. The rooms that we set up turned out really well I think and I’m really glad that people engaged in the Rorschach test room where we had a scavenger hunt type game set up where people had to look through the issue and find certain sentences in works or parts of pictures in the photography/artwork section.

Taylor: Have you decided on a theme for next year’s issue (2017/18)?

Katelyn: Yea, we have. The next issues theme will be “Where are you going? Where have you been?” Sticking with the idea of asking a question for a theme was the consensus.


Overall, it was really obvious that Katelyn was super pleased with how this issue turned out. I think the whole time she was talking about it I could tell she was happy to end her college career, and her career being a part of The Gleaner, with this issue that she is so proud of and put the most work into out of anyone else involved. So for those of you that write out there. Where are you going? Where have you been? Tell The Gleaner, they want to know. Submit for next year’s issue everyone!!

School Event: Track Meet 4/22

by: Alyssa Ruffolo

I am a member of the track and field team here at Delval. I love running, as you may have picked up on if you have read any of my previous blogs. I have run distance/cross country since high school, and as a transfer this is my first semester running for Delval’s team. So far I have really enjoyed my experience. I have made many friends on the team and everyone has been so welcoming and kind to me. Coach Moreno is a fantastic coach; he is encouraging, helpful, and extremely knowledgeable .

This Saturday, April 22, we had a meet at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania. This was a smaller meet with only a handful of teams present. I woke up to my alarm going off at 5:45am Saturday morning. I was pretty tired because I had worked the previous night at my serving job. I rolled out of bed, ate breakfast, packed up my bag and headed over to Delval (I’m a commuter). The bus was scheduled to leave at 7am, and I made it just in time. I sat next to my friend Rachel and read a book while she slept for the two-hour bus ride. Once we arrived, the weather was pretty miserable. It was cold and rainy as we trudged our equipment and tent up to the bleachers to set up. Once the tent was up, we huddled under it to stay out of the rain and cheered on our first runner as he defeated the 10k race. About an hour or two passed before Rachel and I had to start warming up for our first event, the 1500. A mile is 1600, so the 1500 is basically just a little less than a mile race. I thoroughly enjoy this race because this is considered a shorter distance for someone like me who usually runs the 5k (3.1 miles). The 1500 is a challenge because it is just under four laps, which doesn’t give you much time to catch up if you fall behind. I started to get nervous as we did our warm-ups, laced up our spikes, and did a few practice striders by the start line. Before I knew it, Rachel and I were at the start and the gun was going off. Breaking out of the crowd and finding lane 1 is always a challenge; you do not want to get spiked by another runner’s shoes. Once I found lane 1 I began to settle into a pace. One thing I personally dislike about track is that everyone is watching you… the whole time. In cross country, much of the races are run int he woods and so the runner has a chance to relax and really focus inside her/his head. On a track, however, the entire time all I hear is people yelling and cheering and this tends to make me stressed/nervous. I finished the race at a slower time than I would have liked. I have to admit I was pretty disappointed in my performance. I was having some trouble breathing, so I used my inhaler a few times and cooled down/stretched as to prepare for my next race, the 5k. The 5k is much more of a challenge for me because it is longer, 12 laps around the track to be more precise. I always get the most nervous for this race because much more strategy is involved than the 1500. Rachel was not running this race, so it was all me. Long story short, I also did not perform my best for this race. I suspect I may have been a bit dehydrated, because I was extremely light-headed coming off the track once I was finished. This was a disappointing meet for me personally, but as a team we did well. While many Delval students were enjoying the festivities of A-Day, we were dedicated and came out for this meet and that makes me proud of our team. We left around 5-5:30pm, and after unloading the bus back at Delval and driving home, I arrived back at my house around 8pm. It was a long day, but I have to say looking at my GPS watch and seeing that I completed a total of 12 miles yesterday felt pretty amazing/accompished.

If you have ever considered joining a team or club here at Delval but are hesitant, I highly recommend you give it a shot. I was very nervous joining the team late in the season and without knowing a single person. I am pretty outgoing myself, but it is hard to join a team when everyone already knows each other and has been practicing together months, possibly years. I am so happy that I sucked it up and starting going to practices because I have made some pretty great friends already. Naturally we as humans like to feel part of a group. It is so refreshing to spend even an hour or two a day with a group of people who enjoy exactly the same hobbies as you (i.e sports, clubs, activities, etc.). I am so thankful that Coach Moreno was so welcoming and easy to communicate with in the process of getting signed up for the team. If you ever want to check out a track meet, (we don’t always compete as far as Misericordia) our schedule is available online at – as well as the other sports teams – feel free to come out and support!!

Something to Think About: the Word “Asian”

by: Alyssa Ruffolo

There are many words which we have now eliminated or at least deemed unacceptable in our ever-changing vocabulary here in the United States. Words such as retarded, queer, and gay all once meant something different than they do now. There are also offensive words for probably every ethnicity and race that exists in the United States, which we are encouraged by society not to use for pretty obvious reasons. The next word that needs to go is the word “Asian.”

Lets take a moment to define this word. When we use this word, many Americans think immediately of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and maybe Korean people. Most likely our minds jump right to these nations in particular because the United States has close relations with or has immediately been affected by them in some way. In reality, the word “Asian” encompasses the citizens of Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen ( That’s quite a few nations! Areas considered Asian occupy a total of 30 percent of the Earth’s land, and the people make up a whopping 60 percent of the world’s population! Doesn’t it seem a bit stereotypical when we group all of these people together as one race, “Asian”? Or maybe it’s just ignorant.

Either way, this word Asian is such an umbrella term that it basically has no meaning. The cultures and traditions of these nations vary greatly. We need to respect these people and start referring to them by the nation they come from. This requires us to become more educated about other nations and countries besides the ones belonging to the continent of Europe. We are very knowledgeable about Germany, France, and Great Britain, but what do we know about India? What do we know about the Mongolian Conquest and other extremely influential events that have occurred anywhere else in the world besides the United States or a war the U.S. was involved in? Our grade school education is too narrow and that is why we have ignorance. Perhaps next time you find yourself in a situation where you want to use the word “Asian,” maybe take an extra minute to discover where that person is truly from — just something to think about. Let’s move away from ignorance and start truly respecting other nations/cultures.

My Party Pooper Rant on A-Day (sorry not sorry)

By Taylor Blasko

I’m not even on campus this year and I’ve never been more irritated with A-Day. Yea, you heard me — A-Day, the fair thing that occurs every April on DelVal’s campus. It’s supposed to be fun or something, but as I get older I get increasingly more irritated with the whole thing.

I remember my first year at DelVal. I thought A-Day was going to be a really exciting happening. I had attended A-Day before, as a senior in high school. I remember being amazed that an actual fair could take place on my future campus. Until I realized that there was really nothing to do. No rides. And everything costs an arm and a leg. Regardless, my first year of A-Day I was the “involved” type. I was vice-president of my class and I worked the stand that all freshmen historically got roped into working. And roped in I became. We had a Google doc signup sheet for all of the freshmen to volunteer some hours to work.  And I learned very quickly that if you leave things to a volunteer status, it means nobody is showing up. That meant that me and my best friend worked all damn weekend. On the bright side I was a professional at making funnel cakes and frying French fries to the perfect crisp (because I was bitched at one too many times by unhappy parents that their French fries weren’t the crispy type that they liked…sorry mom, I have on fryer, I am not a chef, these are the only type of fries I have on me, get over yourself).

But I digress…as everyone that lives on campus knows, preparations for A-Day begin about 500 months in advance…oh sorry that was a little over exaggerated, but seriously, every year I’ve been here it feels like they start setting things up earlier and earlier. And every time I see more power lines and box office booths plaguing my campus earlier in April, even in March this year, I get that gag-reflex of a response in my head where I yell, “Get off my lawn” and wave my fist in anger. Yes, I am an old lady at heart, clearly.

And so, the week of A-Day (the Monday-Thursday before it begins) is obviously when the most shit gets put on campus, when the most stuff is going on, and when the most buffoons come out to play. If you’ll recall in one of my previous blogs, you’ll know that I go for frequent walks at night around campus as well as off campus. Well let me tell you, the campus is usually deserted. But oh no, not during A-Day week. During A-Day week the campus is crawling with people, night and day. During the day the place looks like a real campus, people out on beach towels sunbathing in their bathing suites and listening to loud music…actually, it looks like a beach, not a college campus if you ask me. Like, we are in the middle of PA with no beaches in sight. Why are you wearing a swimsuit? Whatever, to each her own. Anyway….the nights are crawling with people as well. Whether it’s the screams and loud music you hear coming from the open dorm windows or the yells and questionable smells from the woods, there are people everywhereeee, is my  point.

Speaking of questionable smells, this year 4/20 fell on the Thursday before A-Day began. Oh god help us all. Wednesday night around midnight (therefore technically 4/20) as I was trying to enjoy a usual de-stressing walk around campus I noticed people’s voices coming from the woods. And to be more specific coming from the railroad tracks. This idiots were literally sitting on the train tracks lighting up. Train tracks. Wasted college students. Great combination I think, wouldn’t you say? At least the trains had stopped for the night, I guess, though I’m sure they weren’t thinking about that. But seriously, when I’m going on a nice leisurely walk and all of a sudden I hear loud, slurring speech it makes me want to yell, “Get off my lawn!!!!”

And as I said in the beginning, I write this blog in the comfort of my own home, an hour away from DelVal. Because yes, I’m an old grandma party pooper that felt the need to vacate campus so I didn’t have to deal with the rambunctiousness of A-Day this year. So I didn’t have to worry about being able to drive to the store and back and expect to find a parking space. So I didn’t have to worry about  my car getting towed or my tires getting slashed for being such a downer. And with that being said, I hope you’re all having fun. But I’ve grossly outgrown everything that is A-Day, and honestly everything that is DelVal…did I mention I’m graduating in three weeks? Get off my lawn, freshmen.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

by: Alyssa Ruffolo

While many people enjoy Curb Your Enthusiasm, starring the creator of Seinfeld, Larry David, I starkly disagree. I haven’t watched much of the show because I mostly used to tune it out when my boyfriend watched it every single day a few summers ago. He insists that I haven’t given it enough of a chance, but I just don’t believe the show is any good. Every episode I have seen consists of Larry David and his unrealistically young and attractive wife arguing over some dick move he has made that she disapproves of. He, of course, sees no wrong in the deed and she has to explain to him why he is being a selfish asshole.

Many fans enjoy the full circle, thought-out/ planned humor, where the beginning of each episode starts off with an illusion to the joke that will close the episode at the end. I for one think that this makes the show cheesy and predictable. Perhaps my sense of humor is just not compatible with Larry David’s and the rest of the fans, but I don’t get a laugh out of a joke that I feel is forced. It seems that Larry David tries too hard to plan out the jokes. I enjoy humor that comes more naturally, such as accidents that happen to be ironic, jokes that speak for themselves rather than requiring background knowledge/references. I want to be able to turn my TV on in the middle of an episode and still laugh the rest of the way through.

I also just feel that Larry David’s choice to star in his own show reflects the conceited attitude his character possesses in the show and also probably his real-life personality. In the show, he lacks compassion and is constantly getting angry at people and screwing them over without a care. For example, when his friends tell him not to worry about giving them a gift, despite his being an extremely wealthy individual, he takes this opportunity to get them no gift. While there is supposed to be humor in this because it is a polite gesture to deny a gift even though you always truly want one, I don’t find it funny. This is the oldest joke in the book, and it wasn’t funny the first time.

In other episode, he gets pissed off because the lady in front of him in line is sampling the ice cream flavors. I just don’t find humor in his inconsiderate and cynical attitude towards everything. One episode he and his wife want to renew their vowels and they get in an argument because he does not want to vow to love her after death. He says he wants to be free from her in the afterlife. Some may find this sense of humor funny, but to me he is just a dick husband and person overall.  In another example, he becomes obsessive over people using coasters on the coffee table, and freaks out if someone places their drink directly on the table. In one last example, Larry and his wife go on a double date with another couple. The husband in the other couple picks up the bill, and Larry makes sure to thank only the husband because he is the breadwinner and so his wife should not be thanked. Larry’s own wife is offended by this because he makes more than her but she still assumes that they share the wealth and do not follow the notion “what’s mine is mine”.

Overall, while the show is clearly just a comedy about a grumpy old man and his everyday endeavors, I feel that it encourages selfish, rude behavior. While my boyfriend finds the show hilarious, I am glad he does not act like Larry David because he would not still have a girlfriend. Watching as David disrespects his wife and everyone around him makes me angry and eventually causes me to tune the show out. If you love Curb Your Enthusiasm and I have offended you and/or your sense of humor in any way, I do apologize, although if I were emulating Larry David’s attitude, I wouldn’t need to. 🙂

Packing Anxiety

by: Alyssa Ruffolo

I don’t know about anyone else, but I do not like being accused of being “the typical girl” — one because that statement overgeneralizes and being a feminist I don’t like being categorized (stereotyped) by my gender, but two because usually that phrase has a negative connotation which I do not enjoy. Nonetheless, many would consider it a “typical girl” thing to always over-pack on trips, which I am extremely guilty of unfortunately. For people (often guys) complaining about other people (many times their girlfriends) over-packing, let me explain to you why this happens so that maybe you will understand and take a chill pill. I am sure many girls and guys reading this will be able to relate.

So, whenever my boyfriend and I go on long trips, I tend to over-pack. Even on weekend trips, I am guilty of this. While I strive to be a minimalist and envy that lifestyle in many ways, going on long trips requires some serious planning. Lets take the example of a trip to Florida. If I am traveling to Florida and will be staying for five days, especially if it is cold in the area I am flying out of (i.e. Philadelphia in the wintertime), I am going to need to pack a very diverse collection of apparel. First of all, I will most likely need to wear a scarf, boots, a coat, and a sweater when leaving Philadelphia. Then, for the arrival, I will need shorts, flip flops, T-shirts, tank tops, and 2-3 bathing suits. I will also need a raincoat, as it rains often in Florida. I might want to bring one warm outfit in case it is chilly at night or just one of the days we are there, as Florida’s weather tends to change very frequently and unpredictably. I also need running sneakers, socks, clothes, and sports bras. While I do not wear makeup every day, I wear it about 4 days a week and always if I am going out somewhere on a date/for dinner (this varies person-person, girl-girl). So, I will need to pack my makeup bag, and having extremely unmanageable hair, I will also need a few hair products and a straightener/wand. Then I need a razor, soap, lotion, perfume, deodorant, a hairbrush, and shower stuff (shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, face-wash). I also need a toothbrush,  phone charger, sunscreen, money, a towel, and other random but necessary items. If I want to bring any books or a blanket, those will also need to be packed. There are probably still things I am forgetting that I would bring on this trip. Regardless, the point is that while it may seem like I am over-packing, everything I have just named was something I would definitely need on this trip or end up having to buy in Florida.

I have yet to learn how to pack light, but in my defense I am usually the person everyone comes to when they realize they forgot to pack a certain item. For me, the security of knowing that I have everything I might need keeps my anxiety in check and allows me to travel at ease (beside the throbbing in my arm as I drag my luggage around the airport). If I did not wear makeup or style my hair, this would lighten the load significantly. Also, it seems to me that it is much less acceptable in society for a female to repeat an outfit than a male. My boyfriend could easily pack one or two outfits for the whole week, rewash them a few times during the trip, and be fine. I am not sure exactly the reason, but he somehow managed to pack just one suitcase when he moved out to New Mexico for a semester for school. I am still trying to become a minimalist, but I am sure others reading this can relate to the struggles of packing anxiety. Any tips and tricks that help you to pack light?

Interview: Rosaria Angela & Her Experiences as an Italian Immigrant in the 1930’s

By: Alyssa Ruffolo

Over Easter weekend, I spent some time with my family and had a chance to interview my grandmother who is first generation from Italy (full name Rosaria Angela). I have always taken interest to other cultures, especially Italian culture because it is in my family and is part of who I am/ my identity. Upon speaking with my grandmother, who I call Nanny, I was able to learn more about the details of her first-hand experiences as an Italian immigrant in the 1930s. Some of her experiences are unimaginable to me as someone who grew up in a different time period and with a different economic status; maybe you will find some of them as fascinating as I do. (I tried to reflect her thick Italian accent by choosing not to correct her grammar, so if you can imagine her speaking in a little old Italian voice, that may help)

Me: So Nanny, how old were you when you came over to America and how did you get here?

Nanny: I was six, and we came on a big boat me and my mom.

Me: Okay and why exactly was it that you came here again?

Nanny: Well, for years we were very poor when we lived in Italy. It was me, my sisters Mary and Francis, and my brother John and my mom. My dad was working over in United States, and for a while he didn’t send no money so we had nothing to eat. Then later my mom heard he was cheating on her in America, then she wanted to come over here and go with him so she took me because I was too young to sign the papers myself.

Me: When you were a little girl in Italy and you were poor without any food, what was that like for you?

Nanny: Oh it was awful! I was so skinny, I remember my knees the bone was popping out of my legs. I could barely walk. Then I got tuberculosis and I almost died at six years old. My mom took my sister to the doctor – Francis, my sister Francis – because that time she was not eating because she was sad about a boy she like. She loved this boy and my mom wouldn’t let her date him, so she stop eating! [laughs] I don’t know why she didn’t worry about me.. I was so sick that time I was dying. I remember the doctor said she’s not eating because she is lovesick. Then he saw me sitting in the corner and he said, ‘Virginia, who’s that little girl over there?’ and my mom said, ‘that’s my other daughter’ and he said, ‘that little girl is dying Virginia.’ And I was, I was dying. My mom couldn’t afford [the treatment], so the doctor said I’m going to take care of her for free. And he save my life. Sometimes I think about what would happen if my mom never took Francis to go see the doctor. I would have died.

Me: Wow… that’s crazy. What did you guys used to do about food?

Nanny: I remember one time for dinner, my sister went outside and picked grass from the ground and we boiled it. [laughs] That was dinner!

Me: Oh my god. I can’t imagine!

Nanny: That was the best part when we went on the boat over to America, I remember they had so much food! I was in heaven! I never ate that good in my life.

Me: [laughing] and so when you came over here, where did you live first? What was it like when you first got here? Culture shock, I’m sure.

Nanny: Yes, I was so scared at first. I remember one time when I first got there, someone knocked on the door and it was a salesman for the vacuum cleaner. And my mom yelled at me to get the door [laughs] I said, ‘Ma, I don’t know English either!’ [laughing] Then we had to go get the neighbor, she was an Italian lady she live here for a while so she told him, ‘No, they don’t want no vacuum cleaner!’ [laughs]. That time people were different though. The whole block the whole neighborhood was all Italian that time. People would come up to you and say how you doing today? You need any help? Now people [are] not like that.

Me: So how did you learn English? How long did it take you?

Nanny: I taught English myself you know that. I remember my friend Lina I used to ask her ‘what that word means?’ on the TV and she would say ‘you know Sarah you’re never going learn that way!’ I said ‘alright okay just tell me what it means don’t worry about it!’ and I did, I learn English all by myself from the TV. I used to practice the words again again like this until I know it.

Me: Did your mom know any English?

I knew my great-grandmom (Nunna) never learned English (although she lived to be 99 years old and lived a good portion of her life in America), but I wondered if there were any words or phrases she knew/used.

Nanny: No. I remember sometime I would ask her ‘Ma, can’t I teach you?’ she would say, ‘I’ll never learn it!’ [laughing]

Me: So you and your dad didn’t get along obviously –

Nanny: OH NO, he was so mean. Oh my god he was so mean. He had eyes so dark like the devil I swear. He was evil what he did to me. He didn’t send me to school. I’m sorry God but I will never forgive my parents for what they did to me. Didn’t send me to school, I would have been so smart.

Me: I know (showing sympathy), it really is a shame.

This is Nanny’s biggest regret, what she talks about most. She always wanted to go to school and being illiterate has caused many obstacles and issues in her life. Some of these obstacles include requiring her to be completely dependent on other people her whole life, never being able to get a good job, and never learning to drive.

Me: So how did the arranged marriage happen? Can you explain a little bit about that?

Nanny: Well, I remember that time I was in the kitchen and I saw this man come over my house and he was talking to my dad, and I said ‘Ma, who is that old man?’ [laughs] Because I didn’t know, and I thought I heard them say something about marriage –in Italian [of course], they only spoke Italian that time – and then she told me I was going to marry him. I start crying, I kneel down to her I said, ‘Please, please don’t do this. Sign the papers and I’ll go back to Italy. I don’t want to be here no more. Please!’ I beg and beg her to sign the papers and send me back. My uncle said ‘Virginia, don’t take that little girl over to that country. She is too young. Look at her, she won’t be happy over there. Let her stay here, I’ll sign the papers and I’ll take her. She can go to school, get a good education, get a nice job.’ I would have been rich! I mean really. What they did to me was awful. He sold me to that old man. I didn’t even know him. I was fifteen and a half he was thirty two. I was crying.

Me: And you got married and ended up living together in New York for a while, right?

Nanny: Yes. He used to make me take the subway. I had to work piecework. That’s very hard you know. We used to sew all day. I have scars from the stitches going into my fingers. I took the subway by myself, and I would come home and he would take all my money. He only gave me bus tokens that was it. It was awful. All the older ladies used to say ‘you look like a movie star, why you workin’ here?’ I didn’t say nothing. They felt bad. He was awful.

Me: It must have been so scary in the city by yourself! I can’t imagine. Did you miss Italy?

Nanny: Oh yes. Oh yes. I call my sisters they said ‘why mom had to take you over there? You should stay here.’ My sisters they had beautiful lives. They travel all over. Francis married a big shot – he was a director from the bank. They used to go to Paris every weekend. Mary too, she had a beautiful life. They married for love. Si I woulda stayed in Italy, I would have too. Get married around 27, 28, go to school, get a good job. My parents they ruin me, I mean really. I should have never came in this country.

Me: What was your favorite memory from Italy?

Nanny: Well, I was just a little girl that time but you know I have a really good memory. I always had a strong mind God gave to me. [smiles as she recalls the memory] I remember one time me and Francis was walkin, and we pass by a little boy (I was a lot younger than her, you know) and I saw them start lookin’ at each other like this, and I said ,’Francis what you doing?’ in Italian. And he run to go buy roses and he came back and he gave them to her and he said, “I’m gonna marry you. What is your name?’ They were very romantic that time. Not now [laughs] boys are not like that now. Francis was so happy. I was just a little girl, I thought they were crazy [laughing] I said ‘Francis, why are you looking at that boy?’

I have talked to my Nanny many times about Italy and her past, and some themes always emerge. She has major regrets about not going to school and not “marrying for love” as she would phrase it. Her parents forced her into an arranged marriage, and he was much older than her. Eventually they had three kids together, including my dad. But in the end they got divorced – they never got along very well, and from what my dad tells me there was lots of screaming in Italian in his house as a kid. Times were much different then. It is mind-blowing to me to hear details about boiling grass and eating it for dinner – that’s truly how poor they were. I thoroughly enjoy listening to my grandmother’s first-hand accounts of Italy in the 1930’s and I hope you got some entertainment out of it as well.