Celeste Ng Visits Lynchburg

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

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Celeste Ng, photo by Kevin Day Photography

On Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 Celeste Ng will be visiting the University of Lynchburg for a question and answer session, a reading and book signing.

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More Track & Field in the Record Books

Caitlin Dorsch ~ Copy Desk Chief

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On Friday, March 15, 2019 and Saturday, March 16, 2019, the men’s and women’s track and field programs competed in the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  In total, the programs set nine new records within the top 10 all-time leaderboard as well as a few top marks, according to the current marks in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).  

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First Year Vibes: Inevitable Things in College

Anna-Catherine Kueng ~ Assistant Editor

When I visited U of L as a high school senior, my tour guide told me that I would get sick at least once during first semester. I did not want to believe her, but by September her prediction had come true for me. People will tell you a lot of things that will happen to you in college, and I am about to be one of those people. Believe it or not, the following things have likely happened to you or will happen to you before you graduate.

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Mystic Magic: What Goes Bump in the Night

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

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There seems to be a rise in popularity with the macabre and mysterious. Certain topics that never would have been touched on or were pushed into the shadows in the past are now on Netflix and in the Box Office.

The horror genre of TV shows and movies has been around since television was invented, it seems. The precursor to technology were creepy books filled with monsters and gore. There is an abundance of horror video games on the market.

What is our fascination with what scares us? Why do haunted mazes, jumpscare-filled games, and spooky soundtracks draw in millions of people?

For me, it is the thrill that sends chills down my spine and elicits screams that hurt my throat. I want to be scared silly. I think, for a lot of people, that is why they watch what they know will scare them.

A large group of my friends went to the theater to watch It when it first came out. We took up nearly an entire row in the back of the theater. I came late, so I was forced to sit on the end, which only made me more anxious because no one took the seats beside me. Instead, there was a dark, shadowy corner of the theater.

It itself is pretty scary. The unexpected appearance of the killer clown, the loud noises, and the creepy visuals all lend to making you jump out of your skin. It did not help that the guy I was sitting next to kept poking me or whispering a sudden “boo!” into my ear during tense scenes.

Sure, I was a little upset that he kept distracting me, but ultimately I was glad I sat beside him. He helped remind me that what I was watching was not actually real, and that helped me sleep that night. And then there was the alternative to that particular viewing, which was the guy on the other end predicting (and ruining) all of the scares.

With the growth of the horror genre comes some truly terrifying things, like Hereditary, The Haunting of Hill House, and Outlast, which will surely keep you up at night. There are also movies like Cabin in the Woods that make fun of the genre, bringing light to what should scare you. The terrible, low-budget horror movies you can watch with friends and laugh at are just as important to the genre’s popularity as the good movies.

While the thrill brings a lot of people to like the genre, I also think that community helps perpetuate the popularity too. Getting together in a big group to watch the new horror movie brings people together, because it is better with friends. Being in a group reminds you, too, that you are not alone in the dark.

The moral of this long-winded piece is: there is something in the horror genre for everyone, whether it is a terrible movie with bad graphics, or something that will petrify you. In the end, that is why horror is so popular. It brings people together against the monsters in the dark, and what is greater than that?

Nerd Factor: The Prophecy

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

I’m not sure if technically it was a curse or a prophecy, but it went something like this:

“One day, you’ll see Doctor Doom come back from the dead one too many times and that’ll be it.”

The source of this ominous portent was a curious one.  This was not some grizzled old fan complaining about the good ole days.  Bumper was the co-owner of The Twilight Zone, my beloved first comic book shop in downtown Annapolis.  If memory serves, Bumper’s real name was Roger. He had a kind of young Bill Murray vibe about him. Along with the other co-owner Scott, Bumper had shepherded my early fandom since my friends and I discovered the shop in my high school days.  To me, Bumper and Scott were like the cool, older brothers of comics.

This would have been about three decades ago.  I was interviewing Bumper for a project I was doing about comic book fans for an undergrad class.  At the time, I was freshly thrilled with the idea that I could study the things that I loved in college (heck, I am still thrilled).  And so when the opportunity to explore audience experiences with comics arose, I began talking with a number of fans. I had gone to Bumper in order to learn about how the shop owner saw this phenomenon.

So when I asked Bumper about his fandom, I got the surprising response that he did not read many comics himself.  Like a lot of fans, I had assumed that one of the main perks of working in a comic book shop was that one would get to sit around all day reading comic books.   But Bumper explained that he had seen it all too many times. Nothing was fresh anymore.

To me, that was a sobering thought.  At the time, I was terrified that there was somehow an end to fandom.  

On the specific level, I loved seeing Doctor Doom come back from the dead.  Along with his wonderful arrogance and tragic origin, tenacity is one of Doom’s defining traits.  That guy just does not quit. Any defeat of this greatest of Marvel villains is just the prelude to his next scheme that will, of course, also fail.  After all, superheroes are measured by the quality of their supervillains.

In all honesty, I am still a little worried about this prophecy.  While I never did get tired of seeing Doom come back, I have reached similar moments in which I understood what Bumper meant.  My Superman fandom was so strong that when I bailed on the series back in the early 2000s, I actually got a message of sympathy from my mentor and professor of the class I conducted this interview for.  

Right now, I am really down on the latest twist in the X-Men saga.  With virtually the whole team apparently dead (do not worry they are just in another dimension or something) after a titanic struggle between Nate Grey and Legion, I was not sure that I wanted to go through yet another particularly brutal spin on the X-Men being hated and feared by the world they have sworn to protect.  

But then Cyclops and Wolverine rescued a bunch of New Mutant characters I liked, so I might just stick around there and see what happens. Curiously, those characters are from the days when I did that study.  Characters—so far, that is how they have kept me.

UL in History: The Enriching Life of Dr. Potter

Dr Clifton W. Potter Jr. ~ UL History Professor

One word in the latest edition of The Critograph—nostalgiasent me tumbling back through the decades to my freshman year at Lynchburg College.   High school was, for me, five years of drudgery. Arriving on our campus on September 3, 1958 was like leaving a dark tunnel and coming into the sunlight of a summer morning.  Later, after studying classical philosophy as a junior, I probably compared it to Plato’s analogy of the cave. Time has softened all those memories, but that does not negate the fact that my freshman year was the turning point in my life.

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College Life: Plan through the semester

Katherine Daniel~ Editor-in-Chief

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Spring Break is such a teaser for the summer (even though I am taking summer classes for some of the semester). I mean really, as I sit here and write this story, Spring Break has been so nice and long and it has been a break, and now we are back to reality, working our butts off in classes and pushing through the end of March to get to May for exams. Even though I did not go to Myrtle Beach or Florida over the break, I did go to Washington, D.C., for a day trip. I have not been since I was a little girl. I got to experience the D.C. traffic, how busy it is with all of the people, and went sightseeing. D.C. is definitely much, much bigger than Richmond, and traffic is much worse. But, the stress to come for this week in classes is always a pain. During Spring Break, you either catch up with work and feel like you got a lot accomplished or you had a lot of fun and still have a lot of work to do for your classes. You felt like, “Ahhh, Spring Break is so relaxing,” but once the first week after Spring Break hits you in the face, it is like *BOOM, all of the school work*, *BOOM, all of the school events*, *BOOM, all of the midterm exams*. You are freaking out, wondering, “When will I ever get a break again from all of the work?” That is a never until May. The work does calm down and is not so demanding, but you still have to work your butt off. Spring Break cuts the semester in half, which can put quite the stress on a person since they have to get so much done in such a short time frame. Here, I am going to give you 6 ways that are helpful for you to feel like you are not drowning in a pile of work.

  1. Put deadlines on yourself in your personal life and school life. You have deadlines for most all of your assignments that are set by your teachers. Now, put deadlines on yourself and your work. Do not procrastinate and have your assignments ready days or a day before it is due. On the day the assignment is due, you will have it completed and not having to worry about getting it done in the nick of time, and you can easily review it before you turn it in. Plan out times of cleaning and “you” time in between the school work so you can get some things done in your personal life.
  2. Plan out the assignments. Do everything that is due first. If you have more than one assignment due on the same day, accomplish which one is due first or go hardest to easiest. Make a list of all the assignments you have for each class and cross them off one at a time as you go down the list. It will make you feel much better as a person once you see how much you have accomplished. Crossing them off the list one at time might give you the push to cross off everything on that list in a day.
  3. Plan homework parties or study sessions. When you get together with a classmate or friend, sometimes it can help push you to get things done. Some of your classmates might be in the same situation as you are about a question or thing in the class. Once you have these homework parties and study sessions, it helps you answer any question you have on an assignment. Others can help you, and maybe you can help them with any work they have.
  4. Allow time for sleep. Even though you might have a lot of assignments to complete, sleeping will allow your brain to function more properly. The brain slows down when you are sleep deprived and you will be left thinking about wanting to write rather than just writing. When taking a nap, remember that a 30-minute nap is more refreshing than a six-hour nap (even though Adam disagrees with me on this).
  5. Figure out your priorities. You have friends who are going to want to hang out, but remember that you want to make sure your assignments are done and be able to function. Do some of your assignments and then take a study break. It does not hurt to take a break when you have worked for a couple hours, but do not procrastinate (the worst thing to do). I think that you will have more fun hanging out with friends without the guilt of due dates hanging over your head.
  6. Most importantly, have fun the rest of the semester. Being there are only a few months left of the semester, have fun with all of the events and enjoy the university. Go out on the dell and enjoy a warm day or watch a baseball game. Go get ice cream with friends or go hiking. Some of you will miss this place over the summer and some of you will be graduating once May gets here. Either way, have fun the rest of the semester and enjoy it while you can.

Becoming an Alum

Peter Lynch ~ Guest Writer

I was at my brother’s wedding and while I should have been celebrating, I was reminiscing about Lynchburg with one of the guests.  My sister-in-law would take trips as a young girl to Lynchburg College to visit her aunt. While my brother’s wife didn’t remember much, her aunt certainly poured forth with fond memories of Lynchburg, and we were in our own Hornet world for a time.

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