Is television corrupting American youth?

Television was introduced to the public in the 1930s. Since it debuted, the TV has been a permanent fixture in homes throughout America. Although the need for TV has not changed, standards for the shows that air have. When television first came on the scene, there were strict regulations about what was appropriate. Those restrictions have changed over the years and today there is a major concern that the shows deemed appropriate are encouraging negative behavior among teens.

There was a time when shows were not allowed to show a married couple sleeping in the same bed. For example, “I Love Lucy,” which debuted in 1951, had two double beds in Lucy and Ricky’s bedroom; and when Lucille Ball became pregnant, CBS did not allow the show to use the word “pregnant.” Instead, they had to say she was “expecting” or “with child.” Continue reading

Lauren Conrad’s designs take Boston by storm

It’s not easy being only 22 years old, having a hit TV show, a fashion line, and millions of girls screaming your name–just ask Lauren Conrad.

BOSTON–The screams echo throughout the luxurious high-ceilinged foyer. Girls populate every visible corner, dancing and moving to the rhythm, together forming a blur of tiny black dresses and silk tops, lost in the music. It is Saturday night, Nov. 15, at The Estate, an elite and upper class club.laurenfashiontourminneapolis-3.jpgI can feel the excitement and anxiety in the air as hundreds of girls anxiously watch the stage waiting for the show to begin. Lauren Conrad’s newest line of clothing was to premiere at 9 p.m.

But perhaps the audience is not just hoping for the show to start, but also to catch a glimpse of Conrad, the biggest “it” girl in entertainment today. Continue reading

Fall in love with the new season of handbags

purse.jpg BOSTON–With the arrival of fall, it’s now time to seize the handbag trend defining the season. From luxury, metallic colors, totes, magenta, and chain handles – fall in love with the luxurious designs. If you’re really into fashion you know an outfit isn’t complete without the perfect handbag. It is not all about the logo standbys, but really fun, fresh handbags that will complete your wardrobe. This season we are seeing a major change in handbag trends in higher end and mainstream stores.

The “haute couture” stores such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Vera Wang are displaying their purses in colors and shapes they have not shown in the past. For the Fall-Winter season, designers have been in the handbag lab creating the “must-have” bags. The 2008 Gucci collection portrays sophistication at its best with fresh styles that keep it in the forefront of handbag styles. Continue reading

Men’s fall fashion 2008

BOSTON–The transition from bathing suits and board shorts to wool pants and fall jackets has come with a bang. This fall season is where men’s fashion surprises us all. The ever-changing industry established men’s fall fashion to be up-to-the-minute with women’s fashion. It’s no longer just about the ladies. Men and women share the same approach when it comes to what they wear. Everyone wants to look good!

Fall “must haves” for men this season include pin-striped pants, striped shirts, and blazer’s/sport jackets with jeans.

There are numerous fabrics associated with these fall “must haves.” The most dominant ones are tweed, wool, and cashmere. Continue reading

“Salamander” editor speaks

BOSTON — Jennifer Barber sits at her computer in the cramped Salamander office, located in Suffolk University’s Fenton building. Her computer monitor shows some open windows, most of which seem to be emails – proof that she’s always working hard. As the literary journal’s founder and editor-in-chief, she has to be.Jenny BarberSalamander publishes fiction, poetry, and memoirs for a national and international audience. It celebrated its 15th anniversary last year. Before coming to Suffolk University a few years ago, Barber ran it out of her home. She began thinking about founding a literary journal while she was in graduate school, but it took her about 10 years after completion of her graduate studies to make her dream a reality. Continue reading

International students part of Suffolk community

BOSTON — There are many international students at universities across the United States who have left behind families and friends in order to make a better life for themselves through resources offered in U.S. schools. Building a new life in the U.S. proves to be difficult for many of them, but most hope to earn degrees and be first generation graduates from college.

Paco De Aubeyzon, a sophomore at Suffolk University from Peru, says he is very thankful his parents were able to give him the opportunity to come and study in the U.S. Therefore, he hopes to do the best he can while studying here. “I hope that when I get my degree from the business school here that I’m able to find a well paying job that I can be proud of.” Continue reading

Questioning the customs of Valentine’s Day

BOSTON — Every year on February 14th, millions of Americans exchange sugary candy, colorful flowers, and squishy stuffed animals in order to show loved ones just how much they care. College students are skeptical about the importance of Valentine’s Day, yet many still participate in the traditional customs that come with this classic day of love. Sometimes referred to as the most romantic day of the year, and other times as “singles awareness day,” there is no question that this holiday is certainly controversial.

“Valentine’s Day is overrated,” said Dennis Gabriel, a single sophomore at Suffolk University. “I never actually did anything for Valentine’s Day, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I guess if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend you’ll go along with it, but, I don’t know, it’s just another reason to do things, just another excuse to celebrate.” Continue reading

Hair actor Bryan Daley is no stranger to performance

BOSTON — “I was always being annoying and singing Disney songs.” And so began 19-year-old Bryan Daley’s theatrical journey.

Daley, a sophomore at Suffolk University, is currently performing in the Suffolk Theater Department’s production of Hair: the American Tribal Rock-Love Musical. Hair depicts the era of the Vietnam War, and the youthful hippies who fought so hard for their bohemian lifestyle and against the war. Daley’s role, Berger, is a challenging role, one that is both dynamic and extremely demanding.

“Berger is a big cynic, but very sincere at the same time,” said Daley. Continue reading

The Gibson Girl: Re-drawing identity

BOSTON — “You belong simply because you are,” said Valerie, the character of an African American teenager in the play, The Gibson Girl. Valerie struggles with her self-image and sense of belonging. Only after studying the works of famous writers, such as Nikki Giovanni and Langston Hughes, did she become empowered and self-assured about her place in the world.

The theme of belonging is central in The Gibson Girl, written by Kirsten Greenidge and directed by Victoria Marsh. The play premiered at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St., Boston, on March 14-April 5, 2008. The audience was packed with people from all sexes, ages, races, and socio-economic levels, waiting to experience the captivating message of the play. Continue reading

Fashion designer Christina Defalco puts Boston in her designs

BOSTON — Local fashion designer Christina Defalco is known for taking her love of Boston and including it in her unique clothing designs. Many people associate the name Christina Defalco with the cute hand- studded Swarovski crystal T-shirts clad with pictures of Fenway stadium and other Boston trademarks, seen on many women after they have purchased an original Christina Defalco design.

Christina Defalco won The Improper Bostonian’s Boston’s Best Award for Fashion: Urban Chic Boutique for 2005, along with many other fashion awards and mentions. The Christina Defalco boutique, located on 343 Hanover Street in Boston’s North End, had been the longest standing boutique in the North End until the boutique’s recent closing. Defalco felt her designs would flourish more online and possibly on Newbury Street in Boston. Continue reading

HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical

BOSTON — The year was 1968. The Vietnam War was in full swing, along with an emerging American culture built on the principles of love, peace, and political protest. This culture was defined by a radical group known as hippies; their hair was long, their clothes were tie-dyed iridescent shades of the rainbow, and their symbol was the peace sign.

The movement spread world-wide, but was most active in large cities such as New York. Within this innovative society in New York City’s East Greenwich Village, the story of HAIR: the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical unfolded. Continue reading

A performing art lover’s dream

BROCKTON, Mass. — Have you ever heard of a person becoming an institution in what they help create? Carol Thomas, 67, has become an institution of the theater arts variety. She has become a legend. In Brockton, Mass., the city many call the City of Champions, Thomas’ tenure lasted 35 years. With her help, Brockton’s Drama program flourished.

Carol Thomas is a life-long resident of Brockton. She attended elementary and junior high school there and later graduated from Brockton High School in 1959. As a child, she was always interested in the arts, and that interest followed her in her formative years.

After graduating college, Thomas came back to her beloved Brockton and began to teach at West Junior High School. In 1971, everything began to happen in succession for her. She, along with Thomas Richards, produced the musical Brigadoon, which then led to a decades-long foundation for theater arts in Brockton. That same year, she established the Brockton High School Drama Club. Continue reading

Best Buddies Togetherness Dinner hopes to open eyes

BOSTON — On April 1, 2008 from 6-9 p.m., Donahue’s 4th floor was alive with laughter and the smell of great food, as Best Buddies held the Togetherness Dinner in combination with Unity Week 2008 at Suffolk University on Tuesday. Including a free family-style dinner for all that attended, along with dancing, arts & crafts, games, and most importantly stories from the buddies, the event was eye opening for many who attended, and proved to be another great memory for best buddies members and buddies alike.

Best Buddies is a non-profit organization on the Suffolk University campus that enhances the lives of those with mental disabilities. Run by volunteers, the dedicated members of Best Buddies host many events, like the Togetherness Dinner, where students and buddies can build friendships and become important parts of each other’s lives. Continue reading

Rams go unmatched

BOSTON — Suffolk University’s premier a capella group, The Ramifications, finished up the year with a fantastic festival of song this past Friday evening, along with three other a capella groups from neighboring universities.

The Rams held their annual A Capella Festival in the C. Walsh Theater, along with Northeastern University’s Distilled Harmony, and Boston University’s In Achord and Allegrettos.

The popular groove, Ready to Go, by Republica, was the first song of the night, featuring the lovely and edgy voice of Kaitlyn Flynn as soloist. The Ramifications started off the evening with an enthusiastic tone, as well as with a touch of class; all were dressed to the nines in an array of dazzling black outfits. Continue reading

PAO brings condemned to life

BOSTON — Suffolk University’s Performing Arts Office recently presented its Pioneer Performance Series, The Exonerated, which brought to life the tragedy of innocent inmates on death row.

As the play began, lights came up upon the entire cast sitting in chairs upon a multitude of levels on stage. The play went on to follow the story of six people–Kerry Max Cook, Gary Gauger, Sonia “Sunny” Jacobs, David Keaton, Delbert Tibbs and Robert Earl Hayes—all who were wrongly convicted of capital murderer charges and sentenced to death row.

In 2000, the authors of the play, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, attended an anti-death penalty conference at Columbia University. It was this experience that led them to write The Exonerated. They interviewed sixty people from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, locations, and religions. But all had spent time on death row, and all were innocent. Continue reading

I’m blue, and if I was green I would die

BOSTON — It is crazy, comedic and blue all over. It comes in three’s, and it can even perform tricks. What could it be? The Blue Man Group of course.Blue Men GroupMarch 22, on a Saturday night at the Charles Playhouse on 74 Warrenton Street in Boston, Mass., three men in all blue paint gave their performance to an excited crowd of fans of all ages.

“They are phenomenal,” said Kerry Mooney of the North End. “The show was so different than anything else I had ever seen.”

That is the sentiment of many after leaving the Blue Man Group. During a typical show, the Blue Man Group throws toilet paper at the crowd, grabs volunteers from the audience and involves them in the show, and gets everyone pumped with the steady beat of their three giant drum heads. Strobe lights flashing at different intervals give an unearthly view and feel to the theater. Continue reading

Students gain valuable experience from studying abroad

BOSTON — Students at universities all over the United States are choosing to study in other countries across the globe. Most students who have studied abroad view it as a unique learning opportunity that they benefited from greatly.

“It is a constant learning experience,” said Suffolk University sophomore Ashley Parisa Sadrnoori, about her current studies in Madrid, Spain. Sadrnoori says she is having a more “hands on experience” learning in Madrid verses learning in Boston. “We have traveled to so many different places around Spain for different classes and it has been so exciting.” Continue reading

Mining your obsessions

BOSTON — “Write what you know,” the old adage goes. Finding connections between what you’re writing and what you care about can sometimes be a challenge for writers, no matter what format or genre you write in.

This was one of the many topics covered at Boskone, a regional science fiction and fantasy convention held at Boston’s Westin Waterfront Hotel every February. Genre writers from all over the country fly in to lead panels and discussions about all aspects of the genre and writing within it. Every writer, whether he or she is an author or a poet or a reporter, should learn to use his or her obsessions to craft well-thought out and interesting stories. One of the most interesting panels of the convention was on that very subject. Continue reading

Marilyn Plotkins: Actor, director, aficionada

BOSTON — “Do you want me to sing for you?” said young Marilyn Plotkins with a giddy smile and wide eyes.

This question was posed to every guest that walked through the front door of her large, middle-class family’s home. At a young age Plotkins knew that she loved to sing. Her challenge was to find the right outlet to express her joyful noise. After attending her first play, Gypsy with Ethel Merman, she knew theatre was her destiny.

Marilyn Plotkins is the Chair and Director for Suffolk University’s Theatre Department, founding Director of Boston Music Theatre Project, and author of The A.R.T. Reference Book: The Brustein Years about the American Repertory Theatre. Plotkins is involved with theatre on nearly every level as an actor, director, professor, and aficionada. Continue reading

The world is at your fingertips — study abroad!

BOSTON — The world is at your fingertips and it’s time to reach out and grab it. Studying abroad will tighten your grip on today’s world; educationally, culturally, and socially.

Suffolk University’s Center for International Education offers roughly 25 study abroad programs in over 55 countries around the world. Students have the option of studying in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Regardless of the season or country selected, an expansive educational and rich cultural experience is guaranteed. Continue reading