Previous NY School Shooter Supports Gun Control

This article is a bit old now, I wasn’t able to write about this last week due to the storms so I apologize for my lack of timeliness.
We talked about gun reform during class and the different sides of it. I acknowledge it’s a hard subject it was a very painful conversation for some but I think it’s important to bring it up again.
The too long didn’t read for the article is that a now convicted shooter for a past attempted school shooting wrote a letter to Times Union Executive Editor Rex Smith in response to Chris Churchill’s Feb. 21 column. The original article was written because it featured an interview with retired Columbia principal John Sawchuk, who tackled Romano and disarmed him before anyone got hurt. Despite what both sides of the argument believe, I found this very interesting because it shows the side of someone who has attempted a mass shooting trying to promote change. Sure, I will admit, Romano’s words on how he wants to promote gun control once he leaves prison are a bit vague for my liking. However, it does show that the needs for change is even important to gun owners and even previous shooters alike. Whatever that change may be is very much debatable and I won’t influence this post with my own opinions, but my question to you all is do you think Romano is being genuine in his letter? Likewise, do you think all mass shooters, dead or alive, regret their actions in the same way that Romano did?


Pop Culture Happy Hour & Pop Life (NPR)

There were a couple of podcasts that I chose to listen to for the blog post, really just three. I’m always interested in anything that has to do with Pop Culture, so these ones stood out to me the most. And pop culture had a prominent influence on my decision when it came to declaring my major. I always hoped to land a career in the entertainment industry, specifically working behind-the-scenes on either movies, or television shows. Speaking of movies, the first podcast I chose actually has to do with a very popular one right now.

1. Pop Culture Happy Hour: “Black Panther and What’s Making Us Happy”

Stemming from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) comes the long-awaited movie Black Panther. As much as I want to go into detail about this podcast, it will be extremely difficult to elaborate on it without spoiling anything… which is frustrating because I always want to talk about this movie, but a lot of people I talk to haven’t seen it yet. But I will do my best to just scratch the surface, spoiler-free.

The podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour is a podcast that is described as “a fun and freewheeling chat about the latest movies, television, books, comics and music.” The hosts are Stephen Thompson and Linda Holmes. For this episode, they featured special guests Glen Weldon, an author of Superman and Batman books, and Jean Demby, from NPR’s Code Switch – another podcast that discusses issues involving race and identity. Essentially, the main focus of the podcast was a an overall review of the movie. A lot of the talking points involved various topics that the movie touched on, such as institutionalized racism, privilege, the significance of the women’s roles in the movie, the African Diaspora and how it’s represented in this movie, etc.

Another interesting thing the movie touches on is the concept of Colonization. The story takes places primarily in a fictional African country named Wakanda, which is technologically advanced all on its own, and was never colonized.

2. Pop Life: “Singing TV Shows & Stranger Things”

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So this podcast is a little different from the first one. Of course, it relates to Pop Culture, but with different hosts, and different topics. Hosts Joe Lee and Geoff Herbert discuss the slew of singing/talent shows. American Idol and The Voice, being the two most popular, America’s Got Talent, which allows contestants to perform, but doing different things aside from singing, and in addition, The Four: Battle for Stardom, which is the most recent singing competition show. Following that conversation is the hype surrounding the show Stranger Things.

Specifically with the singing shows, Joe and Geoff talk about how these shows have a specific structure to them. The structures are sort of similar: you audition, and then work to rise out of the whole group of people that were chosen at the time of auditions. One important thing that was pointed out was that regardless of how similar the shows were, millions of people would still tune in to watch the shows.

Upon talking about Stranger Things, the hosts discusses the second season, and gave their reviews and critiques of it. It seems that Stranger Things appeals to a lot of audiences. It seems to appeal to those in the older generation, maybe due to the retro atmosphere of the show, and also because the attitudes and activities that the kids portray seem to be relatable, and fun to watch.

3. Pop Culture Happy Hour: “The 2018 Grammys”

The hosts of Pop Culture Happy Hour, Stephen Thompson and Linda Holmes, take on the Grammys! They discuss the big night full of wins (some that they felt should have belonged to other artists), unforgettable performances, and get some insight from those Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden from NPR Music.

The Grammys is one of the most watched award shows on television. Usually anything that has to do with music, especially mainstream music, is going to get a lot of attention. This year, no doubt, a lot of people I know were tuned into the Grammys, sitting at the edge of their seats upon waiting on who would win the most notable awards, like Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. There seems to be an ongoing pattern where a lot of people feel that the Grammys awarded to certain artists aren’t done rightfully so. People often predict that a certain artist will win, and then it goes to someone else, who is almost always usually unconsidered by the audience.

One of the best examples of that was the Best New Artist category. There’s usually 5 artists that become relevant throughout the year, and are chosen to be nominated. This year, the nominees for Best New Artist were SZA, Khalid, Alessia Cara, Lil Uzi Vert, and Julia Michaels. A lot of people believed that SZA should have won Best New Artist. In 2017, she released a pretty groundbreaking project called Ctrl (Control). Guest host Sidney Madden makes a statement in the podcast, commenting on her belief that SZA had addressed various topics on the album, often unspoken of, as well as having the genre change up throughout, and setting a new standard for upcoming R&B artists, as well as establishing what it means to be a woman within the genre. But, the award was given to Alessia Cara. Not to mention, SZA was nominated for 5 different awards in different categories and lost every single one.

Another one was the award for Album of the Year. The nominees were Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.”, Lorde’s “Melodrama”, Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic”, Jay-Z’s “4:44”, and Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”. Stephen Thompson makes a comment on how Bruno Mars won this category. He states how displeased he was with the result, regarding the fact that it won over Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” Rodney Carmichael also made a statement on how the album didn’t really fit the climate of the country, even considering the fact that Bruno is an exceptional artist. Most people felt that “DAMN.” would have probably been a better, and more fitting candidate for the category, or Jay-Z’s “4:44.” Carmichael also made a comment on how Hip-Hop albums often do not win the award title for “Album of the Year”. Could it possibly be because of the fact that they often address serious issues in the country, like racism and injustices that involve it?

In addition to these wins, there were some attention grabbing performances. Ke$ha had a very memorable one, where she performed her single “Praying” that was released last year. She had a large group of women, with some singers like Camilla Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, and Andra Day, singing along with her. It was a musical representation of the #MeToo movement, which resonated with a lot of people, and proved to be a pretty powerful performance.

JT Leroy

In class Thursday we spoke a little bit about JT Leroy. JT Leroy is a persona that author Laura Albert created. Instead of just creating a fake name to publish on her books, Laura created a whole life for JT, one where JT is an HIV-positive boy who has had a tough life, experiencing drug abuse, sexual abuse and poverty. People were mad when it came out that JT is just a persona for Albert. If JT were just a name that Albert put on her books then it would not have been such a big deal when the truth came out. Though, because she created such a sad bio for JT, people felt sympathy towards a fictional character, and I agree with the people being mad. It is wrong to advantage of people’s sympathies, rather it is downright cruel. These people thought they were supporting a person who has experienced so many horrible things in his life on top of dying from an incurable illness. They were cheated and it is betrayal. Professor Proctor asked in class if we had a best friend who we’ve known for quite some time that turned out to be a Russian spy, would we feel betrayed? Well, definitely if they were a spy ha-ha. Though, just in general, if a friend turned out to be someone he/she is not and have been lying to you, then he or she betrayed your trust and friendship by lying. How can you go back to being friends with that person? People should just be honest with who they are because the truth will come out eventually no matter what.

-Andrew Dzwonczyk

Gary Vaynerchuk: The Man, The Myth, The Legend


Ever since becoming an entrepreneur I have noticed great in every aspect of my life both personal and professional. I have worked many jobs in my life, some I hated and some I loved, but with all the jobs I’ve had there was one feeling that was common among them; I was unsatisfied working for someone else. I realized I had dreams and aspirations that I wanted to pursue the satisfaction of running your own business is like nothing else. The entrepreneur’s grind to success is not a glorious one. It comes with its pitfalls and triumphs. It consumes you, sometimes in a good way, and sometimes in a bad way, but I love what I do so I don’t mind. As an entrepreneur, my business is on my mind all the time. Simply seeing progress as a result of hard work, keeps me driven to accomplish my next goal.
On my entrepreneurial journey, seeking advice from like-minded individuals who have “made it” helps to push me through the pitfalls of entrepreneurship. One entrepreneur that has helped me along the way via the content he produces is Gary Vaynerchuk.
Vaynerchuk is wine entrepreneur turned social media mogul and investor, he has amassed millions of followers across multiple social media platforms.

He is the host of many series, namely #AskGaryVee, The GaryVee Audio Experience, and DailyVee. Across all the series, he shares a lot of tactics about social media, business, and the entrepreneurial journey. Gary is a highly inspirational person, whether you’re watching his video series or listening to his podcast, the echoes of drilling concepts such as hard work, hustle, and legacy can be heard throughout all his content. What I like about Gary is that he is able to shed light on complex concepts about business and life and break them down in a way that is easy to understand. His content guides you to not make excuses for why you can’t accomplish the thing you want in life, in the words of the man himself “suffocate all the bullshit.”


My Favorite Podcast:

Daniel Parchment


Podcast’s for the unladylike Feminist -Taide Acevedo


Podcast Links:


Searching for a Podcast was the easy part, the easier part was choosing my focus Area. Being a second semester Senior here at Manhattanville College I have had the privilege to graduate with a Bachelors in Sociology and a double minor in Communication and Women Studies. If that doesn’t Scream Feminist Warning to you then what other combination of Majors will? I decided to focus on two Podcast and their overall message to many young ladies and men who keep up to date with them. These Podcast are here to challenge the norms and speak about risky topics many females are too embarrassed to speak about or ever mention. In society Women are expected to have a certain poise or charisma. Women are held up to standards and these Podcast are are here to put an end to the bar women are expected to reach.

What is a Feminist? A Feminist is too many things thats its hard to put it in just one simple sentence. The Merriamwebster dictionary defines it as

Definition of feminism

1the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests


meaning a group advocating for women’s rights and disadvantages they face from the opposing gender.  Being a feminist is being someone who is proud and ready to fight for womanhood and all the inequality they face. Its being able to feel beautiful without meeting medias beauty standards. Is being able to have an abortion without being called a monster. Feminism is about reclaiming the power of a Women and using it to establish our independence.


When many people hear the word Feminist they think about man hating women who are usually vegan, hairy, and gay. This is not true, anyone can be a feminist, even a male. The point of being a feminist is being able to be bold and fight for equality of any unjust situation between the two genders. Many misconceptions come with the big F(Feminist) word and the two Podcast: UnladyLike and Guardian are here to address topics that no one will dare talk about and try to normalize it.

Are you a Feminist *watch video to find out*


Unlady like is a Brand New Podcast that recently launched in January 2018 by two friends Caroline and Cristen. These two women are friends and long for controversial topics to discuss.  Each episode starts with a question about the expectations of how women should think and behave Cristen and Caroline make sure to let everyone hear their rage and express that its okay to be upset and feel a certain way even if its noth “ethical”. Caroline and Cristen are a brand new Podcast and already have over 500 subscribers. This podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Stitcher,Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

How to Pay for an Abortion Episode 1

I decided to Focus on a their 1st official Podcast and it was all about Abortion. The topic of abortion is very taboo for many. It is a topic that is ignored, and embarrassing for a female to ever admit to. It comes with the burden of knowing you took a life and receiving judgement after a choice you made that you felt was right.  It is a feeling that will never be understood but by those who have experienced it first hand. In this episode they interviewed three individuals who have had different experience. The first Lady was very proud and okay with her decision. She had a luxury treatment where she paid nothing for an abortion and was put to sleep. Another lady was having a hard time because it cost her $7,800 when it wasn’t’ her option due to a miscarriage. For her it was unfortunate and a very sad moment in life but it was the only option. Both these women’s felt trauma in a different way. One was happy because she knew she wasn’t ready and the other one felt selfish and felt defeated because not only has she lost a baby but was put in debt. This is an extremely risky topic and many people have opinions. Do you think abortion is the right way? Up to how long does a women have to be in order for her not to receive an abortion in your eyes?  A topic thats super risky and a podcast worth listening too.

The Second Podcast Worth Listening to is called the Guardian first Started two years ago by Jessica Valenti. Jessica brings you interviews, advice and real life stories from the front lines of feminism. She talks about everything from periods or lack there of, to cyberbullying, objectification, crafting an equal and egalitarian relationship, abortions and sex education. Jessica even receives calls where she can address any topic you would like to discuss. Jessica has a smaller fan base with around 300-500 subscribers. She is bold and doesn’t care about keeping a filter. She is uncensored and does not care to talk about topics that make even a women uncomfortable.

Mother Nature (Period) Episode 7

In this Episode Jessica talks about the most annoying thing a women has to experience; her PERIOD. It is a nagging sensation that has to come every month if not you have an anxiety attack, it is a thing that makes you hormonal and PMS, it makes you hungry, cranky, happy, sad and we didn’t ask for it, it was “gifted”. When we were born we didn’t ask to be women, we didn’t ask to have out period it just came with our gender. Believe it or not women have to pay for pads and tampons and even get taxed. We have to pay for something that we are born with and is considered a luxury to buy. No women wants to have blood dripping down her leg, we obviously need to buy them in order to be able to function. Jessica made a point to address this topic and talk about having sex with it, or it being irregular or having birth control that affects it. Jessica made sure to talk about topics that make people uncomfortable.

Overall These two podcast are intended for people who are not sensitive and have some sense of humor. These Women talk about serious topics that women live through and are willing to share topics that many turn their heads too.

Listen to some more Episodes and determine if you are a Feminist.


-Taide Acevedo



99% Invisible – Podcast

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 12.47.58 AM.png99% Invisible is a podcast series about everything you never think about. When I came across this podcast I was instantly intrigued by the concept. I am a person who is fascinated with “behind-the-scenes” and fun facts about things that I thought I knew but in fact didn’t!

My favorite episode in this series was “Hero Props: Graphic Design in Film & Television” The Host of the podcast invited Annie Atkins, a graphic designer in the film industry, to talk about her career. She explains the unknown world of graphics in movies. Everything visual in a film is designed and put there on purpose; everything from telegrams, vintage cigarette packaging, maps, love letters, books, poems, labeling, passports, and identification cards. For the past few years, I have had a passion from simple graphic design but never would think it could be applied to film. I use it everyday at my internship in advertising and even just as a hobby. I would never have imagined that in every movie I’ve watched each prop and even background posters and images were created and strategically placed throughout the film. The graphics in the films can state the time period, and even the feel of the scene. Every little detail is put in place to help the movie progress and tell the story. Annie Atkin explains that she reads each script and decides which scenes will need what props. After that, she begins researching the location during the time period.

The amount of work that goes into the smallest details in film is mind-blowing! It’s crazy to think that this is someones career. Annie Atkin gets to recreate objects from the past, predict what things will look like 20 years from now and then create an environment for an entire film.

Laura LiVolsi

Radio- Why it is Still a Force in Society (podcast presentation)


I’m a radio guy.  I love listening while i’m driving, or even if i’m in my room.  I’m a member of MVL Radio and that is something I value highly.  Being on the radio gives you a certain appreciation for the big names on the big name stations, and the work that they do.  Maybe I’m a nerd for radio, or maybe I just recognize the value that I believe it still holds in our society.

With the rise of music sharing apps such as Spotify, Sound Cloud, Pandora and Apple Music, the tendency for people to plug their phones into the aux and neglect FM radio is more common.  Thus, the radio has experienced a decline in viewing.  Although there is the convenience and freedom of these popular apps, (and I am a victim myself, being a big Spotify user) I believe that listening to the radio can still offer us some postive things, and that we should not cut the radio out of our lives entirely.

My favorite station is 107.1 The Peak, a Westchester based station.  Being an avid radio listener, I have never been exposed to a station like the Peak.  The station has insprired me to potentially puruse a career in radio broadcasting, as well as write this blog post.  The peak is a freeform station, playing varieties of tasteful music from the past and present, offering a wide range of music to multiple demographics.  My favorite DJ is Jimmy Fink, who hosts “The homestretch” which plays 3-6pm on weekdays allowing listeners to induldge in world class rock for their commute home from work.  He also hosts “The 10 at 10” which is 10 songs from one year in history at 10am on weekdays.  He discusses the social, political, and musical highlights of that particular year and explains how the 10 songs chosen are quintessential of that time period.  The Peak truly is a unique listening experience every time and I am impressed by the music selection and the presentation by the radio host’s.

Although some can say, why listen to the radio when I already have my favorite songs on my Spotify playlist? Fair point… Although for a music lover/listener like me, some times I enjoy stepping away from the constraints of a spotify playlist that I listen to over and over again.  At times I find pleasure in letting somebody else dicate my listening and allow me to discover new music and step out of my comfort zone.  Especially when listening to the Peak, you never know what you will hear.  Just the other day, I heard a classic from Neil Young, followed by a new hit from Foster the People.  By listening to the radio you have the opportunity to listen to new and different music that you may end up loving, instead of listening to that one same genre you might play all day long.

An overlook at radio as a whole, there are just certain things you can experience when listening to FM radio that spotify can not suffice.  The voice, the personality of the host, giving input and analysis of music that you may not be able to dissect yourself.  The sense of community built around radio; stations like The Peak love local artists and exposing them to the public eye.  This is not always something you can find on popular apps, and you just might miss something you’ll love.  You can learn things about the artists you listen you listen to, and the inspirations for their songwriting, which may just make you feel more connected to the music itself.  You can find out when that artist you just heard is playing live in the local area, and how the weather will be that afternoon.

For people like msyelf, I do not reguarly watch the news because I am not frequently watching the tv.  When I’m driving, the radio can offer me news updates and other important information that I may have not gotten the chance to discover on my own.

When listening to radio, it’s not always just about the music you hear, but about the voice that talks to you in between those songs.  Some may tune it out, and call it banter, but if you ever raise the volume just a bit to hear what they have to say, it could change your whole day.  That voice you hear over the speaker, for some, including myself, offers a sense of comfort when behind the wheel. It brings a feeling of normality to this crazy world, unlike the quiet, desolate void of a music sharing app that offers no voice, no feeling of companionship.

Music sharing apps, like Spotify, are GREAT, I won’t deny that.  However, I still truly believe there is a place for radio in this world, and that it’s time cannot be over yet.  The radio can offer the liveliness and personality that just our phones cannot, and I believe it is important to make time to include some FM radio stations in into our listening pattern.  Radio may have had a drought in past few years, yet I still have faith that radio can survive into the future, and grow stronger because of the voices who keep it alive.

Blake Hagerman

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