Saying Goodbye: The Waltonian highlights the class of 2021 and their hard work.

Kay O’Keeffe

Editor-in Chief
Major: Political Science

Kay joined the Waltonian in 2019 as Opinions Editor before transitioning to her role as Editor in Chief in 2020. After graduation, Kay hopes to find work in public policy and eventually get her masters.

 

 

 

 

Lillie Allen

Managing Editor
Major: Communication Studies

Lillie spent two years with the Waltonian, serving as Sports editor during the 2019-2020 school year and moving up to Managing Editor in the fall of 2020. After graduating, Lillie plans to continue creative and journalistic writing on a freelance basis. She hopes to one day get her masters in filmmaking or journalism.

 

 

 

Jaron Lee

News Editor
Major: Political Science

Jaron joined the Waltonian in 2020 with his role as news editor. After graduation, Jaron aspires to work in public policy in the city of Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

Erin Zak

Features Editor
Major: English Literature and writing

Erin has been on Waltonian staff since 2019. She also served as Inklings Literary Magazine’s Editor in Chief. After graduation, she will be attending Lehigh University for their MS in Instructional Technology and will be working full time at Eastern as a Learning Experience Designer.

 

 

 

Gabby Pardocchi

Arts & Entertainment Editor
Major: English

Gabby became a part of the Waltonian staff in 2020. After graduation, Gabby will be getting her certification in personal training and starting her own online training service.

 

 

 

 

 

Sofia Na

Opinions Editor
Major: Philosophy

Sofia joined the Waltonian staff in 2021 after being an auxiliary writer in 2020. After graduation, Sofia is set to begin a six week service trip on the border of Mexico and Arizona. She hopes to eventually pursue a graduate degree.

This One Wild and Precious Life

I will be the first to admit that what originally drew me to this book was the aesthetic cover. Little did I know that this book was exactly what I was searching for. In a world where there is so much despair, polarization and injustice, I feel lost. I feel called to make a difference, but where do I start? How do I help reduce plastic and food waste, resist political polarization, withstand products that result from child labor, fight for racial and social justice and expose the continuous corruption in our world?

Australian journalist and author, Sarah Wilson, works to define the itch for change that lies deep within us all in her book, “This One Wild and Precious Life: The Path Back to Connection in a Fractured World.” Wilson takes readers through her journey of reconciliation with the world we inhabit.

Through her experiences and connections with both nature and humanity, she brings to life the importance of growth and joy. Wilson finds that this type of joy and growth comes through being physically, socially, and mentally active. She encourages readers to expand their limits, spend more time in nature and dig into the depths of spirituality and the arts.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the never-ending weight of our fractured world, I encourage you to take the time to embrace the knowledge and support Wilson has to offer.

This book was just what I needed in order to find clarity and direction in my life, and I hope it can be the same for you. Our world may be broken, but we have the power to embrace the wild and precious nature of our lives.

The Poppy War

The Poppy War series has generated a lot of chatter in a lot of different book communities, and for good reason: it’s a fantastically well-written and well-researched historical fantasy based on twentieth century Chinese military history. The series is a trilogy, with the first book, The Poppy War published in 2018, followed by The Dragon Republic (2019) and The Burning God (2020).

The series follows the main character, Fang Runin, a dark-skinned Southerner who aces the entrance exam to the country’s most elite military academy in the North. However, war with the Mugenese empire breaks out, and Rin must use her shamanic powers to save her country.

There’s a lot to love about this series. The first thing that I found amazing was the sheer verisimilitude; the author has done so much research, and it’s obvious that Kuang has thought in depth about the material that she’s conveying. Rin isn’t a perfect character, and neither are any of the others. All the characters are deeply traumatized by the atrocities they had committed against them and those that they themselves have committed, and their trauma is messy. The characters are deeply flawed, but they’re still worth fighting for, and that’s immensely refreshing when many books fail to portray their characters as truly flawed individuals.

I also really loved the relationships between characters. While there are some flutterings of vague romantic attraction, the strongest relationship that Rin has in the books is a platonic best friend. Our culture and our media often portrays romantic relationships as the best and most fulfilling relationships, and I appreciated being able to read something without a significant romantic subplot.

I would definitely recommend The Poppy Wars to anyone with an interest in high fantasy or history, though I’d also encourage potential readers to do some research regarding the content, since there are some very dark moments given that the series focuses on war and its aftermath. Kuang writes with such clarity, precision, and elegance that the story shines and illuminates a history that’s been ignored for far too long.

The Big Goodbye: China and the Last Years of Hollywood.

The book I’ve been chipping away at this semester is “The Big Goodbye: China and the Last Years of Hollywood”. It’s a historical look back at the 1974 noir film, Chinatown. It was one of the last films in the golden age of Hollywood, and the final line “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown” remains one of the most iconic lines in all of cinema. It’s also a film that launched the career of Jack Nicholson into stardom. The book details the process of casting Nicholson, a tough choice as “Jack had had his share of big roles in small movies and small roles in big movies, but he never played a big part” says author Sam Wasson. The studio took a chance on Nicholson similarly to the way Paramount took a chance on Al Pacino in “The Godfather” just a couple of years before “Chinatown” released. Suffice to say, the risk paid off.

Another thing the book covers is the story of Roman Polanski. The legendary director had a rough stretch after his 1968 hit, “Rosemary’s Baby”. His wife, Sharon Tate, was unfortunately killed which cast quite a shadow on the filmmaker. His resilience to continue making the film that became “Chinatown” is all the more impressive after reading this in-depth look at that period of Polanski’s life.

What makes ‘The Big Goodbye” different from other film books is that it gives you a full history on the important people who had a role in the making of Chinatown. Sam Wasson is able to capture a moment in a time of the world of film that we are so far away from with the rise of franchises. I highly recommend ‘The Big Goodbye” to anyone interested in the history of films.

Give Poetry a Try

Poetry overall tends to have a reputation as being overwhelming, dense, hard to understand, and highly intellectual, and much of that stems from how many people’s only experiences with poetry are in educational settings where the poems are written with antiquated language, and the reading experience is one solely based on analysis. Since April is National Poetry Month, and all across the US, there are events and readings held to celebrate poets and lovers of poetry, I wanted to talk about how reading poetry can be enjoyable outside of academia.

For starters, poetry as an art form is incredibly diverse. Because poetry is a much older storytelling device than fiction that can be found in almost every culture around the world, it’s a way to learn about history and folklore from all parts of the globe! Even in America today, poets of color, poets of different sexualities and gender identities, and poets with disabilities or mental illnesses are gaining more and more recognition, as poetry is something that allows them to tell their stories the same way people all over the world have for thousands of years with as many restrictions or creative liberties as they would like.

For those who may not know where to start when reading poetry, spoken word or slam poetry is probably the most accessible since the language tends to be more colloquial and you can listen to the poet read their work with the intended tone and inflections, making it easier to understand. Button Poetry is a great resource for finding spoken word poets to listen to, and many poets have been able to publish physical collections of their poems through them as well.

Contemporary poets also tend to write in more familiar language, describing the good and the bad of the world around us through the minute details comprising human experience. I find poets like Mary Oliver or Ada Limón to be easily digestible due to their conversational tone and the vivid imagery they create with their words, however there are many other poets whose style you may enjoy more.

Part of the beauty of poetry is its subjectivity. If you don’t like the work of one poet, don’t give up on poetry completely. Poetry.org is a great free resource to browse the work of a multitude of amazing poets, some you may have learned about in the past and many you may have never heard of. With so much poetry at your fingertips, I encourage you to give reading poetry a second chance!

An Extended Family Easter: Opinions editor Sofia Na describes her family’s Eastern tradition.

For the second year in a row, Easter will look a lot different than it usually does. Despite the changes COVID-19 has brought on, I hold on to hope that next year my family will be able to carry out all the traditions we usually do.

My family has always made a big deal out of Easter. For us, celebrating Easter is just as big as celebrating Christmas. There are a few traditions we have just in our immediate family, and we also have extended family traditions that have been around since before I was born.

Every year on Easter Sunday, my family goes to church for a celebratory breakfast and an early morning service. When we get back, we have an easter egg hunt with hard boiled eggs that we decorate ourselves. After that, we open our Easter baskets, eat more chocolate than we probably should, and spend the rest of the day just hanging out together.

The extended family Easter traditions have been around since my before my parents were even born. My grandfather, his sister, and both of their spouses began celebrating Easter together when they first got married. What started as just a four-person dinner has now evolved into an almost 40-person family gathering. I am one of thirteen grandchildren, and I have thirteen second cousins and almost 20 aunts and uncles combined. Every year, both families gather together for one big Easter dinner. It’s a huge group, but there’s always so much love and food to go around. It’s one of my favorite days of the year.

Of course Easter will look a little different this year, but my family is excited to celebrate Christ’s resurrection nonetheless. We can’t wait to bring back all the traditions next year!

Schrom Family Easter: Waltonian staff photographer Courtney Schrom describes her holidays in a big family.

Since I come from a big family, holidays are always a big festivity and each has their own traditions and special place in my heart. For example, on Christmas day we have family brunch with my mom’s famous breakfast casserole, we read the Christmas story, open our stockings, and then normally open presents in the afternoon or evening instead of the morning. On Thanksgiving we have the typical thanksgiving dinner, watch football and then set up our Christmas tree the day after. On St. Patrick’s Day, my mom makes us pancakes or french toast which she always dyes some shade of green with food coloring. Easter however, is my favorite holiday because we don’t really have one set tradition. But is it still a day where all my family, including my aunts, uncles and cousins, gather together with my grandparents to celebrate.

Growing up, my family would do the traditional things to celebrate Easter, including going to an Easter Sunday service and then having an easter egg hunt with hidden gifts baskets and eggs. The gift baskets weren’t really elaborate and would mainly just have our favorite candy and a small toy in it. We tried many different easter traditions like painting easter eggs, wearing special easter dresses, and even egg-spoon racing, but nothing really stuck with my family. Except the tradition of gathering together as a family.

As my family gets older and grows, Easter can look a little different; we have changed locations to my aunt’s house from my grandparents and have also added the tradition of Easter brunch to our list instead of an huge Easter egg hunt, as a result of most of us being too old for an egg hunt. However, there is still one thing that remains constant: family. No matter how far away we live, we still make a conscious effort to keep the Easter tradition of family alive and will still travel far to come together and celebrate Jesus and his resurrection.

The Easter Egg Hunt: Copy editor Jennie Brouse describes her favorite Easter tradition.

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays to spend with my family. Our traditions used to begin on Good Friday when we would color eggs at my church with my dad’s side of the family, followed by a church Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning. My church is rather small, so most of the attendees are my dad’s siblings and my cousins. Then on Sunday morning, we attend our regular church service. Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays to spend with my family. Our traditions used to begin on Good Friday when we would color eggs at my church with my dad’s side of the family, followed by a church Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning. My church is rather small, so most of the attendees are my dad’s siblings and my cousins. Then on Sunday morning, we attend our regular church service.

After Church, we spend the rest of the day at my maternal grandmother’s house, who always hosts a huge Easter celebration for my mom’s side of the family. My favorite part of our yearly Easter party is the Easter egg hunt that my cousins and I have. I have 8 cousins on this side of my family, and our ages range from 12-30, so we split the groups in half, with the younger cousins hiding eggs for the older cousins, and the older cousins hiding eggs for the younger cousins.

To keep things fair and to keep track of all of the eggs, we assign an equal number of eggs to each cousin, and the eggs are marked with our names. When hiding the eggs we are each assigned one cousin to hide eggs for, and can give specific hints when our assigned cousin needs help. The Easter egg hunt is a family wide event, where all of the aunts, uncles, and my nana pitch in to help the egg seekers on the hunt.

While I am sad we won’t be able to have our annual Easter egg hunt and Easter party this year. I am hopeful that by next year we are able to gather together again and continue with my favorite tradition once again.

Two Easters: Copy editor Meghan Mahoney describes the ways she celebrates Western and Eastern holiday traditions.

Easter is the most important holiday of the Church calendar for Christians. It’s a feast day in the Church, and my family certainly celebrates that. We have the assigned candy baskets, of course, one for each of my many siblings, and we often take the fake plastic grass from the bottoms of the baskets and take turns piling it on top of each other and chasing each other around. We’ve done that since there were just three of us siblings, and now there are eight of us, so it’s been going on for a long time! But besides the candy, the food is something that brings us all together. We try to have lamb on Easter, if we can, and we always make a big brunch with deviled eggs, fruit, homemade hummus and pita, and lots of other goodies. Making food together and eating together is one of the main ways that my family celebrates, and I’m so glad I’ll be able to participate in that at home this Easter. Easter is the most important holiday of the Church calendar for Christians. It’s a feast day in the Church, and my family certainly celebrates that. We have the assigned candy baskets, of course, one for each of my many siblings, and we often take the fake plastic grass from the bottoms of the baskets and take turns piling it on top of each other and chasing each other around. We’ve done that since there were just three of us siblings, and now there are eight of us, so it’s been going on for a long time! But besides the candy, the food is something that brings us all together. We try to have lamb on Easter, if we can, and we always make a big brunch with deviled eggs, fruit, homemade hummus and pita, and lots of other goodies. Making food together and eating together is one of the main ways that my family celebrates, and I’m so glad I’ll be able to participate in that at home this Easter.

However, in addition to celebrating the Western Church’s Easter, I also hope to celebrate Easter (also known as Pascha) with the Eastern Orthodox, which takes place on May 2nd. I was planning on taking part in Holy Week and Paschal Liturgies last year, but then the pandemic hit and I wasn’t able to experience my first Pascha. However, I’m hoping to be able to celebrate that this year! I hope to be able to have both my old traditions with my family and some new ones with my friends this year, and I can’t wait.

The Godmother of Rock N’ Roll: A look into Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s accomplishments and careers.

When you think of Rock and Roll, where does your mind go? Sister Rosetta Tharpe is likely the last person you’ll think of. Her pop gospel jazz music was a precursor for the modern age of Rock and Roll we all know and love today.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe is known nowadays as the “Godmother of Rock N’ Roll” but did not receive her due credit until years after her death. Tharpe began playing guitar at the age of 4, and began performing with her mom at the age of 6. She would later be one of the first big musicians to popularize the electric guitar.

Tharpe’s career took off in 1938 in New York City, alongside her mother, when she was only 23 years old. She recorded her first album that year, and was an immediate success. The album featured her hit single “Rock Me” which was a fusion between gospel and rock music.

Later in Tharpe’s career, she eventually got to tour with her partner, Marie Knight, and together they toured as two queer black women in a relationship across the country. Tharpe broke boundaries, and challenged institutional racism and homophobia throughout her career. Tharpe is accredited for being an inspiration to many of the names that may come to mind when you think of Rock and Roll. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many more acknowledge Tharpes influence on their musical careers.

Toward the end of her music career, she quickly began being overshadowed by the white men in the rock and roll industry, and lived out the end of her days quietly in the suburbs of Philadelphia, before dying in 1973.

Despite Tharpes strong influence on modern day Rock and Roll, her accomplishments and trailblazing spirit was not fully acknowledged until 2018, almost 45 years after she died, when she was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While she was celebrated by many in her time, she finally has been able to live on in our modern times by millions of people.

Sources:NPR, RockHall.com