Saturday, September 22, 2012

Antony and Cleopatra

                                                    Antony and Cleopatra Review

William Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra is a very unique yet tragic one. The story is based on a relationship between Cleopatra the pharaoh of ancient Egypt and Mark Antony the Roman politician and general. The story plays out with an alliance formed between Mark Antony and Octavius Caesar the emperor of Rome. Mark Antony had basically gone AWOL and ignored all of his duties that he was responsible for back in Rome because he was blinded by love. Everything pretty much went downhill after the death of third wife Fulvia. When observing the play it is difficult to tell whether or not Mark Antony showed any signs of grievance or mourning. In the letter that the messenger gave Antony about the death of Fulvia was also an order from Caesar to Antony telling him to return back to Rome. Caesar was about to go to war against Pompey and he needed Antony to lead his army with all his knowledge and experience. At this time Cleopatra is mad that he is leaving her and she begs him not to go but he eventually had fled.

 Mark Antony and Caesar weren’t automatically companions just because of their family history. In Frostburg State University reenactment of the play Mark Antony was an opportunist. He married Caesars younger sister Octavia to gain trust and friendship from Caesar. FSU’s production depicted Cleopatra as manipulative and arrogant, while Mark Antony as naïve but not one to under estimate. There was excellent improvising in this production with great choreography and the figurative idea of hair scarves as swords. Who would ever thought a fighting scene with the popping and whipping of scarves would be so entertaining. They also had good props on stage, for example the boxes that they used for seats was also used for hieroglyphic artifacts from ancient Egypt. Thank the professors of FSU for bringing the play to the campus because it was quite a treat.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The English Department does it Again!

By Jamie Freedman, ENGL 336.001
I step into the Baptist Student Ministry Center and at first, things are a little awkward. There’s only a couple people standing around, chatting in small groups, not even touching the food here. However, after a few minutes, when the theatre players from Cambridge step inside, the atmosphere changes from uncomfortable to personal. The cast walks in with such an air of comfortability, it’s hard not to be charmed. This is the English Department annual picnic, held by the professors of the English department for the cast and crew of Cambridge, England’s theatre group. I meet Nikki, the director of the whole shebang, first. I ask her if she would mind introducing me to some of her cast and crew and she jumps right into it. First I meet Luca Krsljanin, an actor in the group’s upcoming play, Antony and Cleopatra. 21 years of age, and already he seems so sure of himself. When asked what his favorite part of acting was, he replies, “What’s so fascinating about a Shakespeare play is getting comfortable with the language…understanding exactly what they mean.” He says it’s interesting to see Shakespeare develop a whole character in a single page. “It’s such an ensemble piece,” he tells me, “everyone plays an important part.” He looks at me and crosses one leg over the other, like a gentleman. He explains to me that what Nikki has set up here is a very fast paced production with a lot of movement and not a lot of standing around. I ask him about how easy it is to act in front of people, especially out of his element (the United States) and he says it doesn’t really faze him anymore because “so many of us have worked together for so long.” Luca is very passionate about theatre, and he says he has an “insatiable urge to do theatre. I don’t know how to function without it.” An admirable quality in a person.

                The theatre group tour extends all the way down the east coast, starting in Florida and working their way up to South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and eventually Maryland. I asked Luca how, if Cambridge doesn’t offer theatre majors, they paid for everything. He said they all contribute a little bit towards tickets and travel because they love it so much, and they make a little money off of their performances. The hardest thing about moving around so much is that they have to adapt to different stages and environments.

                Another piece of the cast is Tom England, a 22 year old who plays none other than the main character, Antony. He says his favorite part of acting is “trying to illuminate a part of life that is usually not accessed…emotions that they (people) don’t usually feel.” He explains to me, relaxed in his chair, that after university he would like to pursue theatre into the big leagues. Fiona Berreby is another important part of the theatre group, although in a different way. She is a costume and set designer. “I’ve never done costume design, only sets,” she tells me. It’s different because with costumes she gets to make whatever she wants to work, work. She says she loves it.

                I leave the picnic enlightened and happy that I have met three charming people involved in the fine arts. There are not enough people concerned with theatre, at least in my opinion, and these people are the first step to changing that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lickety Split

The Lickety Split Banjo Boys; A Family Affair.

By Alyssa McTaggart

from left, Uncle Junior, Frankie Revell, Fankie Revell, Chuck Sherry not pictured
It was a busy but fun filled weekend for the city of Frostburg, especially for the Universities campus as people gathered from all around to be a part of the festivities taking place. The campus was filled with different sound and sites, the smell of kettle corn and funnel cakes filled the air as Frostburg celebrated its heritage. One of the most popular things happening was all the music being showcased at this years seventh annual Appalachian Festival. A variety of different musical acts were in attendance ranging all the way from solo artists, to groups of four, to dancing ensembles like The Barnstorm and The RockCandy Cloggers, to Footwork Percussive Dance Ensemble, Incredible Feet. Many different genres were on display as sounds of bluegrass, blues, traditional American, and original folk rang out through the air at Frostburg State University campus on Saturday. One group in particular, The Lickety Split Banjo Boys have been playing bluegrass music together for quite some time, twenty-seven years to be exact. This entertaining and family friendly band is unique in that all members of the band are family members. All the guys started the band locally, hailing from Clear Spring Maryland. Founded in 1987, members include Chuck Sherry (base, guitar) who also plays base for the band Time Travelers, Frankie Revell (guitar, banjo, ukulele, vocals) Fred Revell (banjo, washboard) and Uncle Junior (guitar). Music is a big part of this family’s life and legacy. Recently Frankie had an uncle inducted in music hall of fame, “Uncle William Arnold Fleegle was inducted into the National Endowment for Folk-art Music Hall of Fame in West Virginia.” When asked about how their interest in music started he stated, “My dad heard Emory play banjo on the radio and that’s what got him started into music.” Like his father before him, Frankie also became heavily involved with music and in time learned to play multiple different stringed instruments. “The first instrument I learned to play was the banjo.” He said “My dad taught me string for string when I was seven years old and I’ve been playing music for twenty years now.” With each song played the band member’s musical skills and years of experience were evident as members like Frankie sang lead vocals for each song and switched around to three different instruments, first to the guitar, then the banjo, and finally ukulele. His father Fred also changed it up at times, going from playing banjo for one song to guitar in the next. This was an especially impressive feat considering what his father has recently gone through. “Dad was diagnosed with all-timers, but he continues to play banjo” Frankie said. This year is the third year that the band has played at the festival and they have enjoyed every moment of it. They originally came to play at a pancake supper but had to change plans when the supper got cut short. So instead, they continued to play their music and occasionally pausing to talk to bystanders passing by, which given their friendly nature, is just fine with them.   

Mark Langley

Getting to Know Mark Langley

By: Alyssa McTaggart, ENGL 336


Originally from Baltimore, Mark Langley, the youngest of three, is a laid back and easy to get along with kind of guy. Throughout the interview Mark displayed his friendly and easygoing personality, at times cracking jokes and laughing. He is in his first year of college here at Frostburg State and right now he isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do, which is not uncommon as he’s noticing, “There’s only a few people that I know that actually know what they want to major in” Mark says. When asked about his own potential career plans he said, “I’m interested in a job in radio or TV.” Two other areas he’s thinking about going to school for is something that has to do with Biology or Chemistry. However, for now he will continue working at Abecrombie&Fitch (here is a link to the online store, like he has since June. Before coming to Frostburg he graduated from Baltimore City College High School. While attending Baltimore City he played on the football team, his position was a wide out. Basketball is another sport he enjoys but never played for school, as it is just a recreational activity. “I just couldn’t find my range” Mark laughingly remarked. Other hobbies include playing video games, preferable the Call of Duty series, sports, music, working out and shopping, in particular shopping for brightly colored sneakers. Like his shoes, Mark is a bright guy who will have success in his future.

Student Kelly Bean

Kelly Renee Bean is a student at Frostburg State University. She is currently a junior and is double majoring in psychology and Mass Communication. When first meeting Kelly, one immediately notices her bubbly personality and welcoming attitude. She can easily hold a conversation and keep you interested in what she has to say. Kelly says she “immediately liked Frostburg State University” when she visited the campus.  
Kelly is very involved on campus and is a bottom line writer, student alumni ambassador, bobcat ambassador, general psychology lab assistant, S.I instructor, and a member on the student code of conduct panel. Kelly enjoys being involved and gives her fellow students the advice to “get involved because this will eventually lead you to knowing what you want to do in life”. Kelly’s dream job is to work with a high end magazine such as Glamour Magazine.

Kelly is indeed on the right track for graduation. When she is not working hard with school work she enjoys traveling. She has visited almost every state on the West Coast and plans to travel a lot more. Her dream vacation is somewhere out of the country. “Maybe Italy, Greece, or Turkey” she says. Kelly’s parents are very supportive of her career and life decisions.  You can tell by the way that Kelly opens up while speaking that she is a genuine good person.

Should Kelly Bean chase the dream? By Kevante’ Edmondson, ENGL 336

Should Kelly Bean chase the dream?
By Kevante’ Edmondson, ENGL 336
The protagonist in this interview is a sweet girl by the name of Kelly Renee Bean who has a talent that she is not sure what she should do with it. Kelly attends Frostburg State University and she is now in her third year of college and she is an extremely proud junior. Kelly grew up in Garrett County, Maryland along with her family and pets. Kelly has two cats and a golden retriever that she loves dearly. At FSU Kelly has two majors which are mass communication and psychology. Once she graduates, she plans to go into the journalism, or public relations field. She states “In ten years I want to be successful and making good money”, and emphasized that she just wants to live comfortably. Kelly is a adventurous girl, she is a veteran swimmer of nine years. She also loves to travel, in the past she has traveled to New Mexico on a Honors Program trip. She's also said she has been to almost every state on the west coast when she was younger. She also let slip that she's a big spender. She jokingly remarked “I love to spend”, this illustrates that most likely money doesn’t last that long in her pocket.
Kelly has a very jolly demeanor about her and is very friendly and embracing. She also dresses very athletic and comfortable. Now that you readers have a little knowledge and background information about Kelly Bean it’s time to find out who she really is. Kelly has an extreme passion for music. Since the second grade she has been playing all sought of different instruments. Instruments like the flute, piano, and her favorite of all is the violin. She mentioned that playing professionally has crossed her mind but musicians come a dime a dozen, and it’s a hard profession to become successful in. Kelly quotes “I love composing music but I’m not a fool, I won’t quit my day job”. She clearly knows and acknowledges the difference between the dream and the reality of the situation. A lot of people go to college and end up in a field that is totally opposite of what they desire and love to do; but it’s called life. It’s up to Kelly to decide what she wants to do with rest of her life but many people would say chase the dream!

The Voice: Tanisha Hamilton

by Shannon Brown 336.002

Who knew TV shows could influence real life? Uh, everyone! Plenty of people in the younger generations idealize personalities like Snookie, while others prefer writers akin to Tina Fey. Shows give people great ideas what to make for dinner or how not to treat your imaginary best friend- but there is one series that has been a consistent variable for a good portion of the younger generation’s lives: Law & Order. And who takes the incentive to apply what we all learn from this 20-season, spin-off inducing show? Tanisha Venita Hamilton: a dedicated 21-year old senior at Frostburg State University here to study Law & Society, Political Science & Human Communications. From Fort Washington, MD, Tanisha made the move all the way to Frostburg, Maryland. “I’m an avid viewer of Law & Order,” she says to explain her decision, “I realized the judicial system is somewhat corrupted, so I wanted to fight the system from the inside.” Her choice to be the voice for all those who cannot speak will, hopefully, result in her own law firm in the future. But first, school takes precedence- she plans on continuing her education at the University of St. Thomas’ exemplary law school program. While she doesn’t have much experience within the field, she’s on the track to becoming partner while balancing a family on top of the work! Despite being dedicated to her cause, Tanisha comes from a loving family and wishes for her own, eventually.

But judicial victims aren’t Tanisha’s only concern: she shares the same fears her personal hero, and our First Lady, Michelle Obama holds close to her heart. When asked about her opinion on the First Lady, Tanisha confirms, “I’ve never really had a hero until now, and I'd have to say my personal hero is Michelle Obama. She is a very profound speaker and stands by her husband through thick and thin. She is a very educated and classy woman who is not afraid to speak about hardships she endured in her past in order to get to where she is today. I feel that every woman to some degree should want this for herself.” A woman struggling in today’s world is not a light subject, and our stereotypically patriarchal system is becoming sensitive. She continues on to emphasize, “I constantly hear men stereotyping women, saying what we can and can’t do. I want to prove to men and women that jobs can be done by anyone,” she certifies, “there’s no specific job only for men or only for women.”

Ethically-aware and dedicated to her cause? There’s more! While Tanisha would rather be writing and performing music she has composed, she does buckle down and get what needs to be done accomplished, “Mrs. Obama motivates me to do my absolute best in school if I want to be successful in life. Therefore, I go to class everyday bringing nothing but my best.” Yet in her free time, music is her passion. “I love music, not only because I'm a writer and a singer, it's the aesthetics of music that I love. It allows the artist to express themselves through music and allows the listener to relate. A lot of people don’t know that I write music and sing, this is an actual hobby of mine- I do it every weekend or when I have spare time.”

This Is Ashley, Deal With It, Accept It, Love It.

Ashley Jackson is a 21 year old Senior at Frostburg State University. She is a Mass Communications Major with a audio concentration as well as a public relations minor. After graduation, Ashley hopes to become an artist representative, or a talent scout, someone who goes out in search of musical talent for record companies. Close to the end of one chapter of her life, Ashley can say that she is grateful for a few substantial things; she is established at 21, she has very close knit relationships(friends, boyfriend), and the fact that she is not a floater(thinks about life rather than just taking life day by day), “I am just grateful for the place that I am in my life right now.”

Unfortunately, life for Ashley growing up was harder than most. She grew up in Shadyside, 10-15 minutes outside of Annapolis with her Mom and Dad. She is her moms only child, but the middle child from her father where she has 2 older sisters and a younger brother. She never really got the chance to enjoy a good family relationship with her father, brother and sisters, yet she was forced to put on a daily facade that they were a perfect, happy family. Her imbalanced family dynamic caused Ashley stress, and one way she dealt with that stress was drinking mass amounts of cough syrup in middle school and sporadically through out high school. She said it was her way of coping, “A reality escape, everyone has them if they be TV, a book or whatever, that was just mine.” Aside from her strained relationship with her father, Ashley has a very good relationship with her mom, and admitted that her mom is her biggest influence.

Despite what people may think of her on first impression, Ashley is a very dedicated and driven student. She knows that some of her teacher may think that she is a slacker based on the way she carries herself, but her main motivation is to stray away from what people expect of her and to prove them wrong. Ashley likes to make an impression of people, if it be the way she dresses, the music she listens to(or even sometimes creates), her artwork, and even her 400+ stuffed animal collection, she just doesn’t want to be that normal, cookie cutter type girl that everyone forgets eventually. “I like being different, even if i'm that quarky person. I just want to be remembered.”

Kelly Ann Taylor - When In Rome

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in Italy? To walk through the center of Rome, passing the Colosseum, on your way to class?  This was an everyday occurrence for Kelly Ann Taylor during the summer of 2010.

Two years ago Kelly Ann, a senior at Frostburg State University who will be graduating at the years end, had the life changing opportunity to study abroad in Rome, Italy. “I’ve always wanted to go to Italy, and I was like why not,” Kelly Ann explained, “and so my parents were supportive of it.”  Through the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Kelly Ann was able to study Italian in the heart of the country.

While she had classes’ daily, rest assured her time spent there wasn’t all work and no play. When asked what a basic day was like, Kelly Ann responded “(I’d) wake up, go to class from like 1-3, and then we would either walk home or get something to eat, get ready and go out for the night. Then do it all over again.” It was encouraging to hear that while Italy may have a crazy nightlife, Kelly Ann was responsible in her extracurricular activities.

Of course, being in Italy means authentic Italian food. “Oh my god, I’ve never had pasta as good as it was over there since,” said Kelly Ann. Yet it wasn’t just the pasta that made Kelly Ann’s taste buds go berserk.  After describing in mouthwatering detail a salad made with prosciutto, apples, almonds and honey, Kelly Ann expressed her disappointment. “It’s something you would never get in the US. I’m like they need to bring those here!”

Kelly Ann’s time spent overseas wasn’t restricted to only Rome. “We also traveled too, like on the weekends,” Kelly Ann explained, “We went to Venice. Pompeii and Nepals, we did that. Mount Vesuvius. Florence.” But don’t worry about the hostels overseas; while they were described as sketchy, she assured me that they are nothing like the movie Hostel.

“Everything about the trip was amazing. I would suggest it to anybody,” said Kelly Ann. “When in Rome.”

For more information about programs through the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), please visit


Planning Ahead: The Alyssa McTaggart Story

By Mark Langley, ENGL 336.001

Who says that jobs are disappearing for graduates when students like Alyssa McTaggart, a sophomore at Frostburg State University, are already living their dreams? Alyssa, hoping for a future in journalism and airwaves, spends much of her time in both by covering local high school games. She is already well versed in writing news stories and broadcasting, but she's no stranger to hard work.
Alyssa began her career in journalism covering Frankfurt High School football games for the Keyser Newspaper and working the booth for WCBC, a local radio station. "When I wasn't working Friday night for the newspaper, I was out Saturday, or other Friday nights with that radio station, kind of job shadowing" she said as she described her busy schedule, "Keyser sends people out, so I'm getting paid to watch my favorite sport."

Though she may have her dream job now, it didn't all come from her own hard work. Alyssa can attest to the importance of having a few connections. Her father, a black belt at Kick Masters Karate right here in Frostburg, landed Alyssa her first radio internship doing commercials for the martial arts studio. "Through that, he met Joe Kaperelli and they got to talking, and he told Joe what I'm going to school for. He said if I wanted an internship to let him know." The rest, they say, is history.
Though she is already equipped with a healthy resume, Alyssa made it clear that her goals are still far off. When asked about her future plans, she shared her ideas and how they are meant to turn out. "Hopefully, if my plan goes right, I'll be here for 2 years and then graduate with a bachelors in mass comm and associates in journalism." Eventually, Alyssa plans to enjoy a long career in Bristol as an analyst on every sports fan's favorite channel, ESPN- a goal that spans from a love of both sports and
journalism. "I've always been into tech stuff, radio, how stuff works, and I've always been into sports", she remarked. Alyssa is off to a great start in her field, and is a paragon of excellence for any and all aspiring journalism and mass comm students.

For more ESPN go to
For more info on Kick Masters Karate go to

Aaron DeShawn Oliver: The Future of Sports Analysis

Aaron DeShawn Oliver: The Future of Sports Analysis
Alexandra Pieters 336.002

            You could say that Aaron Oliver is just your average college student, but you would be wrong. Coming from Baltimore, Maryland, Aaron ran the 200, 400, 4 x 1, 4 x 2, and 4 x 4 on the track team for Loyola Blakefield High School, plays intramural flag football for Frostburg, and is a diehard Indianapolis Colts fan. Regarding running track, Aaron admits, “It’s something I don’t do anymore. I kind of miss it though.” Even though Aaron is not involved in track anymore, he still plays football and watches professional football every weekend. Just talking to him, it was obvious that his passion for the sport is one-of-a-kind. As a junior, Aaron is majoring in Mass Communication and minoring in Journalism. Aaron had a comical answer concerning what he is planning on doing with his degree. “I want to be one of those people that don’t know what they’re talking about but they do anyway…I want to be a football analyst,” he said. Talking to Aaron was effortless. He has the potential to make others believe that his dream in being a sports analyst is not such a farfetched idea.  
            If Aaron had to choose who would be his favorite football player, there is no doubt that it would be Peyton Manning. Ever since he was eight years old, Aaron has been watching Peyton play and grow as a quarterback. From the time Manning was playing for the Tennessee Volunteers at the University of Tennessee to his current position as a veteran quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Aaron has been a fan. He says that he is “…Not a Broncos fan but I’m happy to see him doing well and I only wish the best for him. If he won the Super Bowl, I’d be happy to see him win.” Aaron went on to say, “I could talk about Peyton Manning all day.” Aaron Oliver possesses great enthusiasm for Manning, the sport of football overall, and his seemingly bright future in the field. For more information on Aaron’s idol, you can visit this website:

Chelsey: Remembering Grandfather Nolan and her Unusual Family Coincidences

by: Ashley Jackson 336.002

Chelsey Campbell Roberts is a 19 year old aspiring writer from Baltimore who is in her third year at Frostburg State University. She traces her heritage to Italian, German, and, "maybe some British". In her spare time, Chelsey admits to being a "bookie", having read over 200 books in the last three years. The books she chooses are science fiction and romance as a mix, not separately. She also likes to collect shot glasses and had around 30 at one point from various places she traveled including New Zealand and the Bahamas. The story of Chelsey really began when she spoke of her family and their coincidental occurrences over the years.

 Upon asking about most influential people in her life, Chelsey smiled and began the story of her Grandfather Nolan Henry Roberts who passed away five years ago on June 7th, 2007 at the age of 54. She credits her grandfather to being the main father figure in her life. Chelsey mentioned that a few weeks after the death of her grandfather, her cousin Brooke Nola was born on August 21st and given a middle name in remembrance of their grandfather Nolan. Chelsey reflected on her mom telling her when her grandfather held her at for the first time at birth, "she was the love of his life" and that's exactly how Chelsey feels about her cousin Brooke Nola.

Chelsey says she is a little superstitious when it comes to dates and her family occurrences such as birth and death. "My family gives before a new life is born. It's almost like we're sacrifice-rs," she said explaining that her great- grandfather passed a few months before her own birth just as her grandfather had with Brooke. Alongside dates, she explained that her grandfather Nolan's dad, grandparents on his mom's side, two uncles (one of which he was named after) and younger sister all had passed during the month of June over the years.

In addition to the coincidental dates and superstition, Chelsey notes, "I think my basement might be cursed too. My grandfather, his best-friend: our family dog Fred, and my chinchilla have all died down there. I think I might move my stuff back upstairs." When asked about her grandfather's cause of death, she replied, "My mom and I must have been watching too much C.S.I. at the time and the autopsy's freaked us out so we decided to not get one done on him. So we really never were sure what he died from. The Coroner did say there was signs of strain on his face though, so it was probably a heart attack". She included also that, strangely enough, "maybe her grandfather knew" since 6 months prior to his passing he had gotten life insurance, a new job, payed off his jet ski, purchased a new car, and knew of his granddaughter's coming.

Chelsey likes to remember the good times and strong personality her grandfather Nolan had. She reminiscences on being out in public with him and laughing as he commented on pretty- faced, toned, long- haired women like "Daaaammmnnnnnn...." She could surely appreciate a grandpa with a sense of humor. "He's the main reason why I do what I do: my education, everything" she said, smiling and looking at her Brooke Nola tattoo on her wrist that she got for her cousin and grandfather. Tattoos obviously represent a lot of meaning to Chelsey, "Over winter break, if I have enough money, I'm getting a memorial tat of marine bone- shaped dog tags for my grandpa since he was a marine and  for the passing of Fred, since they were close". For more information on the art of getting memorial tattoos please see memorial tattoos.
                            Chelsey's wrist tattoo to remind her of the bond she has with her Grandfather and Cousin.

This much is evident: that family holds a strong value in Chelsey's life. She continues to be motivated daily with the memories of her grandfather Nolan and the life of her cousin Brooke Nola. Despite all of the superstition in dates and unusual timing in family occurrences, Chelsey remains unshaken and works toward her bright future.

Joe Sauceda & the Life of an Ethnobotanist

By Kelly Taylor, ENGL 336.002

Joseph “Joe” Sauceda isn’t just your normal college student. Joe is the determined, and hard working type of college student. He has had a rough history when it comes to school, but ultimately he found his passion. What is Joe’s passion? His passion is his major, Ethnobotany.

When speaking with Joe, it was brought up that he is not originally from the East Coast. Joe is from good ol’ Kansas, Derby Kansas to be exact. When growing up in Kansas Joe wanted to be a couple different things. He wanted to go to school for culinary and anthropology. He ultimately combined the two in a way and chose ethnobotany as his major field of study.

After Joe chose ethnobotany as his major, he then had to make a decision as to which school he wanted to attend for this specific program. “It was either I go to Hawaii or here to Frostburg. They’re the only two schools in the country that have ethnobotany as a major and not as only a minor” said Joe.  When we started talking more about his major, I had to ask the one question that everybody always wonders; are most ethnobotany majors “Pot Heads.”  Joe’s answer was a great one, and it definitely answered my question, “um, I think uh a lot of people might be drawn to ethno botany because of that. We cover marijuana and other hallucinogenic plants and stuff like that in class and how people relate to them. I wouldn’t say everyone is but there are some who are in the major.”  I thought that it was interesting when we discussed this somewhat sensitive topic, that he was straightforward and honest.

Joe seemed very comfortable while being interviewed.  I guess its from meeting so many people in his life since he lived in Kansas, moved to Texas for a little while, then back to Kansas and now here, in Maryland.  I asked him what his favorite part of being in Frostburg was and Joe said, “the mountains around here.”  Ultimately Joe is glad that he chose to come to Frostburg for the amazing ethno botany major the school has.  He will be graduating from Frostburg State University in either May 2013, or December 2013. 

If anyone is interested in finding out about more about the ethnobotany program here at Frostburg State University, visit the website at

Folkways - A Tent Filled With Tradition

Folkways – A Tent Filled With Tradition
On a chilly Saturday afternoon in September, the grounds at Frostburg State University were chockfull with tradition as the Appalachian Festival was in full swing.  This year’s Appalachian Festival was a unique experience due to the events coinciding with the city of Frostburg’s bicentennial celebration.  There were tents filled with displays of traditional arts, ranging from wood carving to basket weaving.  Children sat memorized by puppetry, magic, and storytelling.  Vendors rushed to fill bags of kettle corn.  A community gathered to celebrate local history and tradition. Through the sounds of joyous laughter and discussion, the pleasant tunes of traditional folk music rang loud from one tent in particular.

The folkways tent, residing on the edge of the festival grounds, acted as a barrier between the atmosphere of traditional Appalachian ways and reality. Around 1:30 pm, Appalachian Festival veterans Sparky and Rhonda Rucker took the stage. Their show,“African-American Voices: From Spirituals to Freedom”, took the audience on a trip through African-American history via traditional folk music.  Jake Humm, a junior at Frostburg State University said, “I was bummed when I missed Sparky and Rhonda perform this summer at the Society of Economic Botany Conference here at FSU. I heard it was an amazing show. So when I found out they would be back for the Appalachian Festival, there was no way I was going to miss it.”

Around 2:30 pm Sparky and Rhonda Rucker wrapped up their show and exited the stage, making way for the Barnstormers and the RockCandy Cloggers.  An experienced dance group, the Barnstormers and the RockCandy Cloggers gave the audience a chance to get on their feet and learn traditional Appalachian flat footing.  The tent was filled with laughter as adults, students, and children followed along, many more successful than myself.   

An employee of Mountain City Tradition Arts, Andrew Shadel, was helping coordinate the events in the folkways tent on Saturday. “I know Kara (Rogers Thomas), really wants to show as many traditional artists as she can." Kara Rogers Thomas runs Mountain City Traditional Arts and every year helps to organize the Appalachian Festival. "That’s what the whole Appalachian Festival is about," Andrew continued, "remembering how rich our history is.” The day at the folkways tent continued with performances by Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble and The Mountain Dance Trail Project.

For more information about local traditional arts visit the Mountain City Traditional Arts Facebook page at



Frostburg's Bicentennial

Frostburg State University’s 2012 Appalachian Festival

By Andre Arthur

I attended the Appalachian Festival here at Frostburg State University this past weekend. I like many other students seemed to really enjoy the activities, performances, and the event in general. The event I enjoyed the most was put together by “Caspering Kids 4-H Goat Club”. The event caught my attention because it is rare to be able interact with an animal that is not considered a domesticated animal.

According to the Appalachian Festival’s program guide, “Caspering Kids 4-H Goat Club” is “one of the largest youth development programs in the United States. Its mission combines fun with education”. From what I observed everyone from toddlers to professors here seemed to enjoy the animals.

Children were able to paint goat-shaped silhouettes. Onlookers were also able to view goat milking demonstrations, an interesting process in its self. The only complaint that I and others seem to make was that we were unable to feed the goats. We were told we could not feed the goats. “Caspering Kids 4-H Goat Club” told us we could not feed the goats because they did not bring goat food with them.

A good friend of mine and senior at Frostburg State University Iven Bailey described the goat club’s activity as, “The best event at the festival. Animals always make people come together”. I strongly agree with him. We found ourselves conversing with several students there, many of whom we have never seen before and just met.

Another friend of mine Jocelynn Townes enjoyed the presence of the goats for the most part. This ended when she says her Frostburg I.D. was eaten by one of the goats. While asking her questions for the assignment she says, “I do not want to think about goats until I get a new I.D.” Caitlin Moore stated that, “I wanted to take one of them with me”.

All in all there were several wonderful activities that were worth taking the time and going to see. My favorite was this one. A company doing something to promote a good cause mixed with my love for animals made me not want to leave.

Who lives in a pineapple under the Sea? Alex Pieters might know!

     Alexandra Faye Pieters was born June 6, 1992. Known as Alex by her peers, she is from a small town located in southern Maryland called Lusby. She graduated from Patuxent High School in 2010 and came to Frostburg State with a scholarship to major in music. Coming into Frostburg, as a talented singer, Alex was involved in Choral, Chamber Workshop, and the Opera Workshop. She decided to change her major to Mass Communication with a minor in Public Relations due to personal reasons. With her major, she would like to get into Public Relations saying, “I just want to talk to people.” She is now in her junior year in college with a new focus and a new passion. She has also got herself involved in new groups. Alex is a proud member of Delta Zeta, and even lives with one of her sorority sisters off campus.

     But there is even more to Alex than meets the eye. Growing up in Calvert County, she was only five minutes from Solomons Island. To find more information about the scenic Solomons Island, visit  She has been a certified scuba diver for eight years and it is one of her favorite activities. When asked her about how she got into scuba diving, she said “The age for scuba diving classes is 13, but my dad convinced the instructor to let me do it a year early.” Alex went on to say, “My whole family is scuba diving certified.” The toughest thing about learning how to scuba dive at a young age is taking the respirator off and putting it back on underwater. Her love of traveling fits in well with scuba diving. Her family has been to Hawai’i, Japan, and Mexico. In fact, Alex and her family had lived in Japan for two years in a town called Misawa. “I loved it, but I threw a fit because I missed my friends.” Being in only the seventh or eighth grade, one can only image how Alex felt being in a different country for such a long time.

     Alex is a great young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Talking to her was an absolute delight, and she will make a great PR agent for anyone. If you ever run into Alex and want to make her smile, just yell “Go Vols!” You just might make her day. 

Getting to Know Mark Langley

By: Alyssa McTaggart, ENGL 336


 Originally from Baltimore, Mark Langley, the youngest of three, is a laid back and easy to get along with kind of guy. Throughout the interview Mark displayed his friendly and easygoing personality, at times cracking jokes and laughing. He is in his first year of college here at Frostburg State and right now he isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do, which is not uncommon as he’s noticing, “There’s only a few people that I know that actually know what they want to major in” Mark says. When asked about his own potential career plans he said, “I’m interested in a job in radio or TV.” Two other areas he’s thinking about going to school for is something that has to do with Biology or Chemistry. However, for now he will continue working at Abecrombie&Fitch (here is a link to the online store (, like he has since June. Before coming to Frostburg he graduated from Baltimore City College High School. While attending Baltimore City he played on the football team, his position was a wide out. Basketball is another sport he enjoys but never played for school, as it is just a recreational activity. “I just couldn’t find my range” Mark laughingly remarked. Other hobbies he has include playing video games, (preferably the Call of Duty series), sports, music, working out and shopping, in particular shopping for brightly colored sneakers. Like his shoes, Mark is a bright guy who will have success in his future.

Emily Rosser: A “Non Traditional Frostburg Student”

 By Dylan Scherpf, Engl 336.001

Emily Rosser is a college student who is uncertain about her major. That may seem completely unexceptional, and it is. However, unlike many students in her position, she is doing something about it by taking time off from college, to go to college. 

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambrige, Emily started her college career as an Engineering major. After two and a half years though, she began to have doubts about becoming an engineer because she is admittedly “not so good at math,” and decided to take some time off. 
Emily Rosser with her self-made Companion Cube,
back when her hair "wasn't boring."

Emily spent a year “hanging around Boston” with some friends before moving back to her parents’ house in Accident, Maryland. “Cash was one of the main reasons I came back to live with my parents,” Emily explains. As dismal as that may have felt at the time, it paid off not much later. Today, Emily makes the forty minute commute to Frostburg State University a few times a week along with her mother who works in Cumberland. Here, she is taking advantage of what she sees as the biggest difference between FSU and MIT; liberal arts courses. Although both schools are similar in size, MIT is heavily focused on the math and science majors. It offers very little writing and even less art. The existence of a Fine Arts building in Frostburg came as somewhat of a shock to her. 

Aside from taking courses here, Emily also has an internship as a mechanical engineer at Garrett Container Systems, Inc in Accident. Garrett designs, manufactures, and sells a variety of combat gear and military shipping containers as well as a few miscellaneous items like their Zombie Defense Kit. Her job there, as she puts it, is to “play with automatic sewing machines and tactical gear.  It's paradise for a geek with a utility belt.” And she does indeed have what she calls a “nerdy little utility belt,” equipped with pouches that she sewed herself, giving her the look of a true engineer who values function over ascetics. 

In the near future, Emily plans to return to MIT with new-found focus. She will pursue a joint mechanical engineering and technical writing major in hopes of getting into the niche of translating “Engineer into English.” As long as she has a little free time to sew and build though, she’ll be happy.

Edwina Rogers: The Mary Poppins of Our Time

By Jamie Freedman, ENGL 336.001
Edwina Rogers sits in the Lane Center, legs crossed and a smile on her face. She is 19 years old and is a junior here at Frostburg State University. She is Liberian, though born in Ghana and raised in the Ivory Coast before moving to Columbia, Maryland when she was seven. Her birthday is January tenth and she is a Capricorn. She is a firm believer in the zodiac and what it means for us as humans. In college, Edwina is a dual major in Political Science and Law and Society. Along with that, she has three minors: Communications, Journalism, and English. A huge workload doesn’t stop her though; she’s a junior and she’s on time to graduate. As the youngest of five children, Edwina works hard to help out her siblings by watching her nieces and nephews: Emily, 8 years old, Christel, 4 years old, Mason, 3 years old, Darius, 2 and a half years old, and Bryson, six weeks old. She says it is a taxing job watching over all five, but it’s worth it. “Those little boogers, they get me good.” I can tell by the love in her voice that even though the kids tire her out, it’s well worth it to see them grow up. Like the fabled Mary Poppins, Edwina is, no, not a witch, but a caretaker who gets things done on time. When asked if she is a girly girl or a tomboy, she replies, “I wear makeup and jewelry and get my nails done, but I laid down hardwood flooring in family's house and I like to build stuff.” Edwina’s not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes down to it. On Edwina, close friend Morgan Bell says that the Rogers family was strict, and as a result, Edwina and her sister often acted out in high school. Once, she recalls, the sisters did not come home from school at the allotted time, instead returning home at four the next morning, and her father was furious. On first meeting Edwina, Morgan says “When I first met her, I thought she was a little materialistic.” As the years went on, however, she said she began to realize that Edwina was a dedicated and caring friend. Since Edwina is so involved with horoscopes and the zodiac, here's a website to get more involved in what she's interested in:

Making the Past Into the Future: The Writings of Blake Moore

Making the Past Into the Future: The Writings of Blake Moore
By Erica McLewee

Blake Moore, a 19-year-old Frostburg State University sophomore originally from Grantsville, has always been interested in writing science fiction and fantasy. However, he began writing in high school, having a few guest appearances in his high school newspaper. Moore is all about writing by immersing himself in his creative writing major with a minor in journalism.

Moore draws inspiration from science fiction and fantasy authors such as Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Chris Wooding. Some notable works from these authors are I, Robot (Asimov), The Black Lung Captain (Wooding), and The Martian Chronicles (Bradbury).

“Everyone in my high school had to do a project,” stated Moore about a novel that has been in the works for some years, “I had it completed from the prologue to the sixth chapter.” He admitted that, at this point, the draft was 150 to 200 pages long.

Unlike some science fiction writers, Moore intends to add an extra dimension that goes overlooked by other authors. “My mother does a lot of genealogy and I started getting into it,” said Moore about the inspiration for his novel. For a futuristic plot, Moore adds a little bit of the past. Genealogy is the study of one’s family tree and history. “I’m going to have to go over my dates and events probably. Right now, there is this whole back story with Time.”

Blake Moore's ability to draw from the past is similar to a futuristic Victorian style called “steampunk.” The main concept of steampunk is characterized by the phrase: “what if we had the modern technology of today, 100 years ago?” The result is “steampunk.” Moore stated with enthusiasm, “I like the 1900s, everything that happened. Basically, in 100 years we had 500 years of technological advances.” Moore has a pocket watch which has clear parts so that the inner workings and gears can be seen. However, like all fascinating interests, involvement in the community surrounding it comes at a price. Preventing Moore from exploring steampunk is of course... “Money! Some of that stuff is really up there. I know websites that sell period clothing.” Gatherings of people who share interests like Blake Moore's meet at The Steampunk World's Fair.

Someday, in the future that is riddled with hints of the past, Blake Moore may join the ranks of many prestigious technological science fiction writers.