Currents Magazine Fall 2013


FALL 2013





to do


pg. 8



featuring lead singer

Jo Straubel

pg. 45



from soldier to

volleyball legend

pg. 14

from the



Admit it — you’ve done it. We’ve all done it.

We’ve gone through our daily routines, going from

class to class — consumed in thought, pressured by

deadlines, distracted by technology — and in the process,

we’ve passed along the way fascinating people we’ve never

taken the time to meet, hidden treasures on campus we’ve

never discovered and incredible opportunities we’ve never

explored. Yet, these are the things that can add color

to our everyday student life, bring better understanding

of the campus community we call home and inspire us

to greater things in the years ahead. All of these things

are well within our grasp, and in many cases they’ve been

right under our noses all this time — we just didn’t know

it or take the time to find out. This is your chance to do

just that.

With this edition of Currents, our mission has been to

uncover these hidden treasures and bring them to you in

a way that brings excitement back to campus life.

My hope, and that of the entire Currents staff, is that

after reading this issue, you’ll be left with a much greater

appreciation for the amazing people on this campus and

the opportunities it provides — so much so that the next

time you stroll along campus from class to class, you’ll

actually take the time to stop, get to know the real stories

of the amazing people we pass by every day, indulge

in some of the hidden wonders on this campus and the

opportunities it has to offer.

And then you can really say, we did it!

To all of those who helped make this publication possible,

I am sincerely grateful for all of your hard work and

efforts. It was truly a blessing working with all of you, and

the magazine would not have been the same without a

strong, supportive and creative team behind me.

Special thank you to Elizabeth Smith and Courtenay

Stallings for guiding us through the entire process

and always being there to support our wild and crazy

ideas. Your involvement with Currents and our team has

allowed us to foster not just a friendship, but a family.

Thank you for always having faith in our abilities and

pushing us to push ourselves.




Danielle DiMeglio


Alexander Hayes


Brandon Scheirman


Kara Danner

Chelsea Gest

Jacklyn Maza

Ashley Rhame


Danielle Accovelli

Jill Amos

Alex Claud

Michelle Chung

Alex Free

Shelby Gotelli

Ben Holcomb

Melissa Hurtado

Taylor Maniscalchi

Janelle Merritt

Julia Naman

Mariella Rudi



Jill Amos

Monique Batac


Kelly O’Connor

Lauren Davilla

Shawn Jones

Sarah Malone

Marisa Padilla

Lindsey Sirera


Andrew Kasselmann

Elizabeth Smith

Courtenay Stallings

0Ken Waters

Adam Friedman

William Chang

We’ve all heard the stereotype that Southern California

is concerned with appearances. Look to the left and we see

picturesque beaches fit for a postcard. To the right, we have

the glow of the city. Everywhere in between, people wear

their best clothes, should they so happen to run into a fashion

blogger or wayward celebrity on the way to brunch.

Beyond the manicured exterior of Los Angeles, Malibu,

or even Pepperdine, however, we see people just like in any

other place: full of imperfections, idiosyncrasies, and most

importantly stories. Those stories are what make this region,

this city and this school fascinating.

Going beyond the surface has been a theme for me this

year as I end my college career. Over three years, I too have

consumed myself with appearances, both in myself and others.

Even my love for photography plays to the appearance

game — what would I be if I couldn’t make others look great

at first glance? Slowly, I’ve realized there’s more to my Los

Angeles experience than appearances.

This fall, Currents seeks to delve deeper into the heart

of the people, places, and things that are the essence of this

school, this city. Everything has an appearance; everything

also has a story. We want to discover the stories that yearn

to break free from within the shells that contain them. Appearances

of success in sport give way to stories of heroism

in war; appearances of religiosity morph to stories of diverse

opinions on theology; appearances of our “interesting” selves

break down to reveal stories of everyday life.

As you flip through this magazine, be reminded that the

spirit of Los Angeles lies not within the neon and palm trees;

it resides within its story. Your spirit lives within your story.

Set it free.

When I was younger, I remember building entire worlds with LEGOs. I

would stack them as high as my seemingly meager 150-piece set would allow.

I would spend hours at a time making countless little blocked houses and

skyscrapers. I always loved peering into the little city imagining the world

I had just created coming to life. I did the best with what I had and they all

looked awful, but my parents would never let me know it. “What can you

build next?” they’d always say.

When I was a kid, I did what I wanted to do — what I loved to do—which

is why I was happier. When I grew up, things got harder and LEGO architecture

therapy didn’t cut it anymore. I stopped doing the things that made me

happy because it stopped making sense. And even worse, I stopped trying to

find more of what I loved in the world. So I blindly wander.

It’s funny, really. People usually expect some type of heart-warming anecdote

when they ask me how I got my start in design. I don’t really know what

to tell them considering I stumbled into my love for design quite clumsily, but

it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. When I became Creative

Director for Currents I knew it’d be a challenge. Even more so, I had absolutely

no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have the skills, but I had the will. Now

where the hell was the way?

Some may call what I did completely irresponsible and irrational,

but designing this magazine made me happy, so I did

it. I learned a lot during the process, but one message

became abundantly clear: it’s so simple.

Understand it’s an injustice to deny yourself the

opportunity to do what you love — push yourself.

Become a person in love with who your

are, not who you could be, or who you wish

you were.

There’s so much beauty in this world, so

keep your eyes open.

Find something new to love, again.

Build your own skyscrapers.

& 14814 Dorm nights with a twist


Spiritual journey

from a broken past

Must dos before

you graduate

Marv Dunphy reveals

untold stories

of Vietnam War

18Kai Decker & Sarah

Attar sketch their story


Fall fashion


28 36


45 50



How to say no

Q&A: Religion

on campus

The facades of

social media

Food for thought

Band feature:


Post grad


Fall gift guide





Written by Julia Naman

Photos by Kelly O’Connor

Marisa Padilla

Let’s face it — one can only withstand so many nights playing volleyball on

the sand courts or watching movies on a laptop before wanting some change. The

beach is freezing, the HAWC is crowded, and as far as the Malibu community

goes, lights are out by 7 p.m. With four white walls and bright fluorescent lighting,

dorm suites don’t appear to be the most spectacular places to entertain guests.

That is, until you think outside the box. Here are some suggestions to take a night

in the dorms from drab to fab:

Currents | 1



C’mon, it’s every kid’s dream. Someone in the dorm

probably has a few left-over cardboard boxes from

moving. But if not, no worries! Push the couches in your

suite together, and drape comforters, sheets, blankets

— you name it — over and climb on in. Set the mood

with a lantern or flashlight. This is an ideal setting for

telling scary stories and making hand caricatures. Once

your fort is complete, have a childhood movie marathon.

Netflix offers childhood favorites such as “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang,”

“The Brave Little Toaster” and “Dumbo.”

Because let’s be real, we have to keep in touch with

our childhood side while it’s still socially acceptable.

Until graduation day, we can have as many fort nights as

we want.



Ever wonder how to make your dorm

the new hang out? The answer is obvious:

food. Host a potluck meal such as breakfast-for-dinner.

Put on your best pajamas and

have each guest bring a different breakfast

item from waffles to bacon. If you need to

satisfy your sweet tooth, have an ice cream

sundae party with an array of toppings. Have

a contest to see who can make the most interestingly

delicious dessert concoction. If grandma

hasn’t sent a care package full of cookies

in a while, don’t fret — Nature’s Edge and the

HAWC sell plenty of goodies to suffice. Or, if

you’re feeling bon vivant, smoothies are always

a creative (and classy) way to go. You can order

a Magic Bullet online (Bed, Bath & Beyond,

$49), but if that’s too costly, simply pick up

some Jamba Juice from the Sandbar. Put your

smoothies in different cups, and destroy all

evidence. Your guests will never know.

Bonus tip: A messy suite and lack of decor tell visitors, “Go away.” Consider

sprucing up the place by adding a few throw pillows or blankets to the provided

couches, and decorate with a couple of posters from the student store. Plug in a

Febreeze air freshener and hang a lantern from the wall for more relaxed lighting.

Remember, ambiance is everything.

2 | Currents





Nothing says “weekend” better than spontaneous

dance sessions. Download a strobelight

app on your phone, turn off the lights,

and turn up the volume to get rid of that postweek

stress. If you’re a disk jockey enthusiast

like “Dan the DJ Man” (Daniel Caso) from J.

Pengilly, consider investing in a sound system

board to make your own mashup tunes or blast

some throwback tunes. Your guests won’t be

able to resist dancing to a little Spice Girls or

vintage Britney Spears. It can’t hurt — unless

of course you are not mindful of quiet hours

and begin to receive strongly worded letters

from your neighboring dorms.



Bring out your competitive spirit and wit for a night

filled with board games, laughter and tasty treats. Gather

a group of friends and turn your dorm living room into

the ultimate game night. Grab some of your favorite

board games like Pictionary, Monopoly or Scattegories

and challenge your guests to some serious competition.

Push couches, chairs and pillows around a table with

your go-to Pandora station to keep the energy going.

If you want to get fancy, make some hot chocolate

and desserts to keep your fall cravings satisfied — and

those of your guests, of course. Impress them with some

pre-rehearsed card tricks, and after a few games, end

the night with a scary movie (loser provides the candy).

Take a stack of Monopoly money or a deck of cards,

and throw them around the room with your friends for

childish enjoyment. It never gets old.

Currents | 3





Written by Melissa Hurtado

Photo by Sarah Malone

4 | Currents

If all the injuries Ford Tikson

has sustained were to be played in a

30-second movie, the result would be

horrifying. The unsettling sound of

bones snapping, cracking and tearing

through flesh would make any audience

squeal. Vivid images of bloodied

skin attained through falls, slips

and face plants would flash on the

screen, along with the flickering sight

of Ford's body being crushed under

the weight of other players. The stain

of blood on freshly cut grass would

evoke flinches, lip bites and "ahhs."

However, it would be the 10-second

clips of Ford's tearful parents waiting

in hospital lobbies as their son undergone

countless surgeries that would

bring every person to their knees with


Why has Ford Tikson, a Pepperdine

senior from Dallas, been through

so much at such an early age?

The man has wrestled with God.

Six broken bones, six knee surgeries

and a disintegrated disc in his

spine all bear witness to the altercation.

He has the scars to prove it, the

surgery records to affirm it and the

memories to disclose it. His journey

has indeed taken him into the wilderness

and back.

All throughout his life, Ford has

felt the need to do. His longing to

play, to run, to pass, to throw, to hit

and to compete are functions practically

ingrained in his very nature.

In every possible moment, he would

spend time outdoors, engaging his

body and mind in games, sports and

competition. Whether that meant

pushing himself more on the field or

enduring the pain of injury for love of

the game, Ford’s body was subjected

to it.

In his own words, Tikson says he

looks back on his unwavering perseverance

and sees it as something

deeply rooted in his personality; stubbornness.

Even after breaking his radius and

ulna in his right arm during his time

playing football in middle school, he

forced himself to get through the

Ford Tiksons ' Injuries

both clavicles broken

broken radius & ulna

broken radius & ulna

stress fractures of

L4 & L5 vertebrae

broken right femur

torn ACL

Currents | 5




Play these songs and call us in the morn

ing. Ford Tikson’s peppy beats will cure

what ails you.

"Live Forever"

Drew Holcomb and the


"Farther Along"

Josh Garrels

"Old Pine"

Ben Howard

"Crash Into Me"

The Dave Matthews


6 | Currents

"After the Storm"

Mumford & Sons

injury and back on the field.

And, back on the field, his body trudged on

only for his collar bone to be snapped in a collision

during a soccer game. It would seem that

Ford would enjoy the time off, that he would

allow his body the ability to recuperate and

that he would slowly ease himself back into his

proactive routine. But, slowing down is something

Ford never really excelled at.

Instead, Ford admits that his injuries only

fueled his persistence, his desire and his will

to get out on the field faster. His utter inability

to give in to injury was fueled by every broken

bone or pulled muscle he sustained. No blow

was strong enough to bring him to his knees,

but after years of enduring this cycle he finally

recognizes why he would not allow injury to

get to him.

“I felt like I had found my friends, value,

worth, success in sports. So, as I saw those slipping

away, I felt like I was losing everything. I

tried to get out there [again] probably too fast.

Too fast for my body to handle.”

Just as his collar bone had healed, almost

like following a checklist, the next football

game resulted in a broken radius and ulna in

his left arm.

Different arm, same injury.

The cast came on, the cast came off, but Ford

could not resist lunging back into the competitive

sports world. God also kept up the fight.

Subsequently, Ford ended up in the emergency

room for his second broken collar bone, which

he sustained in another soccer game. Different

time in life, same injury, same tune.

"Through high school and early college, I

watched Ford become stronger in his brokenness.

His spirit never left. He's always been a

joyful guy, but with his injuries, a certain grit

was added to his persistence and willpower

that transformed him from 'energetic kid'

to 'full-on crazy' in every way possible," said

Ford's best friend, Ben Holtz.

Because of all the accumulated injuries, doctors

tested his marrow. Were his bones weaker?

Was he pushing himself too hard? They found

no answers. He was fine, and should be fine,

but the history of broken bones was indicating


The history of broken bones and injury, for

Ford, indicated that God was trying to get his

attention by all means possible.

He grabbed for the jersey, but God kept

pulling it back. It was a spiritual tug-of-war, a

sort of push and pull that he recognizes began

very young with his earliest injury in the first

grade when he needed a cast after extending

the Achilles tendon in his left leg.

“I do think that God was working to try to

get me to realize that my identity wasn't tied

to [sports]. I kind of always knew that he was

calling me. I was — or could — be like Jonah

running away, after my own will.”

Desperate for the thrill of “getting out

there” and running after his own will, Tikson

and God finally had to reach an end to the tugo-war.

They had to end the struggle. Someone

was going to give in, and God intended for it

to be Ford. He sustained his two greatest injuries

before finally coming to terms with what

God had in store.

Diagnosis: DDS, or Disintegrated Disc

Syndrome. The pressure that Ford had subjected

his body had to literally crushed the disc

between his fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae

in his spine. He still lives with the pain, and he

still endures back problems, which have inhibited

his ability to play and do as he did before.

Ford didn’t have surgery to fix the disc. Instead,

he simply tried to push through. But,

this time God pushed back harder.

During high school soccer game, an opponent

thrust his spiked cleat into the back of

his knee. Ford recalls the collision as purely a

dirty play since the soccer ball wasn't anywhere

near the two of them. One ruthless kick led to

a torn ACL, broken femur and shredded cartilage.

The injuries led to another two years of

therapy, rehab, restless nights and pain.

“Through those injuries were a lot of gnarly

depressed stages, but I still feel like God was

there the whole time. I just didn't look back

[at Him] because I was legitimately angry for

taking what I thought was my joy, my life, and

my identity.”

It took great pain, great injury and a great

journey to bring Ford Tikson to a place of understanding

with God.

Ford now has been renewed in spirit to be

and do whatever God calls him to.

Ford's father says, "Someone once said,

'God will only use a man greatly who has been

hurt deeply.' With Ford we saw this crushed

boy emerge into a powerful young man of God

ready to be used greatly."

Today, Ford maintains an active lifestyle and

pursues his passion for the outdoors, but he is

more aware of his body and knows when to

stop. As a sports medicine major, he is learning

more about the human body in terms of rehabilitation,

therapy, improving strength and diagnosis

— all of with which he has had years of

personal experience. On campus, he works for

Campus Recreation, which organizes exercise

classes and recreational sports for students. Off

campus, he trains others as a Crossfit instructor

and works on improving his own physical

strength — an incredible accomplishment after

all the injuries he has endured.

He may have suffered countless broken

bones, but his lively spirit and undying faith

are what keep him going.



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Written By Shelby Gottelli

Photos By Shawn Jones

Marisa Padilla


eople tend to say, “College

is the best four years

of your life.” For those

bogged down with homework

or stretched between extra-curricular

activities, it can be easy

to let the experience pass you

by. At the end of your four

years, will you be able to say

these were the best of your life?

Well, before donning your cap

and gown, here is a list of suggestions

to ensure your enjoyment

of the complete Pepperdine


Currents | 9


Nestled high above Pepperdine’s campus stands a white cross with a panoramic

view of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean. Unbeknownst to many in the

Pepperdine community, there is a hiking trail that will take you to this hidden

gem. The trail begins just above the faculty housing on Baxter Drive and follows

the mountain ridges that flank our campus, lasting about an hour and a half from

start to finish. Once at the cross, hikers will feel on top of the world when experiencing

unparalleled views of Malibu and the surrounding areas.


We pay a high price for living among the stars. And while the Caf pizza is

satisfying for an on-the-go bite, sometimes finding food off campus can provide

new flavors and venues. For those looking to spice up their lives, take a trip

past Villa Malibu to Lily’s Burritos in the Pavilions Shopping Center. At Lily’s,

you will find anything from the famed breakfast burrito to the savory chicken

or steak varieties. At around $8, these burritos are a quick and affordable option

for the hungry student. Since you’re already off campus, extend the adventure

and take your burrito down to Zuma beach. Enjoy your tortilla-wrapped goodness

in the comfort of your beach chair as you watch the waves.

10 | Currents


Yes, this is actually on the list. People often

joke that students are always at the beach instead

of studying, but what if venturing out into the

ocean was actually part of the curriculum? Introduction

to Surfing is a one-unit PE class offered

each year for students eager to learn the fundamentals

of surfing and ocean safety. Meeting once

a week, students congregate in the early morning

to catch the best waves and are provided with

equipment from the Malibu Makos Surf Club.

How many people can look back on their college

years and say they took a surfing class for course

credit? And if you haven’t learned how to surf,

this is the time to try it while we still live in



Start off your lazy Sunday morning with a stroll through the

Malibu Farmers Market. Taste a selection of locally grown ingredients

and explore the different vendor stations. With affordable prices

at great quality, why not enjoy savory dishes while also supporting

your local farmers? Embed yourself within the Malibu culture and

take part in this weekly tradition before you graduate. Because when

we live in such a small city, we need to embrace the traditions that

make it magical.

Currents | 11


Some of students’ most memorable experiences may not even take place in

Malibu. While the sophomore experience of spending several months in Buenos

Aires, Florence, London, Shanghai, Lausanne, Heidelberg or Washington,

D.C., is undoubtedly memorable, it is important to remember the summer

sessions as an additional option. For the summer, Fiji, Spain, Kenya, East Africa

and Scotland are added to the list of opportunities. Summer programs are

not just reserved for students who weren’t able to go abroad during the school

year. They provide opportunities for more specialized study in even more locations

or the chance to revisit the city you once called home. This summer,

the International Programs fee has even been waved. When will you ever have

the world at your fingertips like this again? Be sure to take advantage of the

opportunity as many times as possible.

High on the bluffs next to the Villa Graziadio Executive Conference

Center stands Heroes Garden. Created to honor the memory

of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, this memorial is out of the

way of many Pepperdine students but well worth the journey to the

top of campus. In the quiet shade, water ripples past stones inscribed

with poignant quotes from past leaders of our country. Take the time

to visit and reflect in such a peaceful setting, or see the American

flag outlined against the blue of the Pacific and simply remember the

fallen. Few can call a university with a memorial such as this home.


12 | Currents


The sparkly lights we see moving in the distance from the hills

of campus are the mesmerizing glows of the Santa Monica Ferris

wheel. Many of us have explored Santa Monica on our days off

and seen the Pacific Wheel from afar, but have we actually taken

a ride? We have incredible views of the coast on campus, but why

not take a look from a different perspective at 130 feet? Grab a

group of friends and head on down to the pier at sunset. After all,

it is an iconic landmark.

If you’re looking for a night out in the city, Santa Monica is

a short drive away from an assortment of bars, clubs and restaurants

that, I dare say, are much more fun than the same old house

party. For those under the age of 21, here’s a list of our favorite

restaurants that you MUST TRY: Umami Burger, The Misfit,

Border Grill, Tar & Roses and Stella Barra Pizzeria.

But for those over the age of 21 and eager to explore the

nightlife scene, check out these recommendations: 31Ten, Main

on Main, Bungalow at The Fairmont, Basement Tavern and

Ma’Kai. Cheers!


At Pepperdine, it’s easy to spend four years just moving through the system, taking

classes and even going on some off-campus adventures. During our journey, however,

many policy decisions affect everything from the classes we need to take to the recreation

opportunities we have to fill our free time. SGA provides a window into the world of

campus policy. In semesterly town halls, class representatives bring some of their policy

decisions up for discussion with the greater campus community. Before graduating, be

sure to stop by a town hall and hear what ideas SGA has or bring some of your own. If

helping change your campus for the better isn’t enough of an incentive, free food and class

sweatshirts can sweeten the deal.

Now is the time to send you on your way, perhaps with a little

more knowledge than before. If there’s anything to take away

from these suggestions, don’t let your collegiate years fly by at

Pepperdine! You have so many things to accomplish before you

graduate and only four years to make the most of. Good luck

and have fun!

Currents | 13

14 | Currents

Now & THen: To the right is the only known photo of marv dunphy, 20, in Vietnam.




written by Mariella Rudi

{Photos By Chelsea Gest

It’s 1969 and Specialist 5th Class Marv

Dunphy, 20, watches for enemy movement

on the perimeter of the Long Binh Army

base in Vietnam.

He waits at an M-60 machine gun pointed

out of a makeshift window of sandbags.

It’s dark, so the bad guys can’t see the machine

gun. But Dunphy can’t see them either.

He can’t see the 10 feet in front of him

that separates the base camp from the uncontrollable

area. He can’t see what or who

is through the concertina wire. The wire is

the perimeter.

Dunphy watches periodic flares dance

over the Long Binh base and illuminate

the rice paddies. Without sleep and at high

stress levels, he starts to see things that aren’t

really there.

He’d never used a gun before. He’d barely

left Topanga Canyon before flying into

the Bien Hoa Air Base.

It’s his first week in-country, and he’s

just learned that the Vietnam War, for him,

takes place at night.

All hell breaks loose. For two nights in

a row the enemy fires rockets aimed at

the Bien Hoa base. Dunphy takes cover in

a hooch (soldier’s living quarters). Rockets

woosh-bang and throw shrapnel everywhere.

Dunphy’s in-country training begins.

“Wow. Is it going to be like this my whole

time here?” Dunphy asks himself over and

over again. It won’t be. The rockets eventually


When it’s safe, Dunphy walks outside

and picks up a piece of the rocket’s metal

shrapnel. He puts it in his pocket.

A few days later, Dunphy tosses it. Suddenly,

he’s not into souvenirs. Dunphy

has adapted quickly. He picks up the acronym-laden

military-speak. One of the first

words he learns: FNG, or f***ing new guy.

He soon distinguishes the sound of a

dangerous “WOOSH” (incoming) from a

friendly “PHBOOM” (outgoing). Dunphy

doesn’t go on search-and-destroy missions,

Currents | 15

or hump the boonies or fly in the Huey helicopters.

He doesn’t have a combat role. He never

meets the bad guys.

But in a guerilla war, there is no definite enemy

or conventional warfare. In Vietnam, every

base camp perimeter is a front line.

Fortunately for Specialist Dunphy, he only

has perimeter guard duty a few nights out of the



“In Vietnam there was no line where the

good guys are here and the bad guys are here.

I found that out,” said Dunphy, who is today

the men’s volleyball head coach at Pepperdine.

“When I was there, I think it was still perceived

as, ‘this thing is winnable.’”

Dunphy served one tour of duty, one year, in

the Vietnam War in 1969. At the time, for Dunphy

at least, it was still good versus bad. Dunphy

doesn’t use Vietnam War-era jargon when

describing the war itself. To him, they were just

the bad guys. No Viet Cong. No Charlie.

All of this was another lifetime for Dunphy.

“There was no volleyball then.”

Dunphy retold his war stories back in his office

above Firestone Fieldhouse. First-time visitors

are quizzed on what historical figure of that

decade he’s posed with, the wall carpeted in

picture frames that document his coaching career

achievements. It’s a wall of a lifetime.

Now in his 31st season as the Waves’ head

coach, Dunphy is a near-celebrity on campus

and in the volleyball world. His record boasts

four NCAA championships in four different decades,

and 53 of his Pepperdine players have

gone on to become All-Americans. Off campus,

Dunphy was head coach of the USA National

Team that won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics

and has been on the coaching staff at five

other Olympics. In 1994 he was inducted into

the Volleyball Hall of Fame.

People rarely ask or know about Dunphy’s

military background.

What was he like back then? Before Vietnam?

“Boy, before Vietnam ... ” Dunphy said to


For Dunphy, there really wasn’t anything before

volleyball, not even a war.

Dunphy’s father, a Navy man from WWII,

owned bicycle shops in Venice and Santa Monica,

and the family raised pigs in the rural enclave

that remains Topanga Canyon, Malibu’s hippie


He graduated from Taft High School in

Woodland Hills and enrolled in the local junior

college, a “real medium in school, at best.” At 17

or 18, you could find him playing with pollywogs

and frogs in the creek.

In 1968, he volunteered for the draft in the

Vietnam War.

“I see kids that I recruit here, the 18 year olds.

They’re worldlier than I was. My world was kind

of small in Topanga Canyon, and I wasn’t very

sophisticated in how I viewed politics or the

Vietnam War,” Dunphy said.

Because sometimes when you’re thrown

into it, he said, you don’t see the big picture.

Nonetheless, he was honored to serve.

“My thinking at the time was that I’m part

of something that my country believes in and

therefore I was going along,” Dunphy said.

Do you remember that day you flew out to


“Like it was yesterday.”

Did you go willingly?

“Very willing.”


It’s another night on perimeter guard duty,

and the OD (officer of the day) is making his

rounds to each bunker. He quizzes the soldiers

on their equipment and completes a weapons


The OD notices that Specialist Dunphy’s uniforms

are starting to rot.

“Where’d you get those fatigues?” the OD


Dunphy gives a cheeky answer, fully aware

of the proverbial shot to his foot.

The officer gives him another chance and

asks, “How do you use your rangefinder?”

Dunphy doesn’t know.

“Soldier, I haven’t found anything right with

you yet.”

The OD zeroes in on Dunphy. Something in

the OD’s next words will resonate for the rest

of Dunphy’s life.

“Whether you know it or not, whether you

like it or not, the habits you’re developing right

now, are going to be with you for the rest of

your life.”

The next day Dunphy is asleep under the

pounding sun. It’s the middle of the day, warm

and sticky.

He didn’t get much sleep the night before on

guard duty. In between the two-hour shifts, he

still isn’t used to sleeping in the dugout part of

the bunker. He’s always on edge, and the rats

running over him don’t help either. Dinner last

night was out of a small can.

He wakes up under sweat-soaked fatigues

and prepares a refreshing glass of Carnation Instant

Breakfast to wash down “the big orange

pill” — weekly quinine to protect against malaria.

“This stuff is the best,” he says to himself.

He remembers earlier into his tour when he

saw soldiers lying out in the sun and thought,

“Man, how can you sleep when it’s so hot in the

middle of the day? How icky is that?”

Now he knows: If you can steal sleep, you

grab it. Sandbags become your bed, and shade

is an Egyptian cotton sheet.

He’s tired a lot. Everyone is. There’s no communication,

other than the occasional letter.

There’s no technology, other than the military’s.

Dunphy needs a new bar of soap, but there’s no

money either, so he uses military play money at

the Post Exchange.

After, Dunphy grabs an hour of sleep. He’s

back on the perimeter later that week.


Behind his desk, Dunphy took out his wallet

and fished for something.

“I don’t know why I have this,” he said and

took out a faded baby blue bill. It was a 10-cent

military payment certificate he found in a shoebox

a year ago.

16 | Currents

Originally this article was supposed to be

about what war taught Coach Marv Dunphy

about volleyball. That wasn’t the case. Instead,

it is about what volleyball taught Dunphy about


He never had to ask himself the question:

How do I go on? He wasn’t a victim of the war.

He wasn’t a hero, either.

His tour was comparatively calm.

“It was a significant emotional event, in anybody’s

life, mine included,” Dunphy said. “But

for me it wasn’t tragic.”

There was no readjustment problem.

“I keep thinking, I didn’t have it that rough,”

Dunphy said. “I’m not saying I’m any tougher

or any different than anybody … but it doesn’t

seem like I changed that much when I was


Dunphy doesn’t consider winning the gold

medal in 1988 the highlight of his life. Serving in

the Vietnam War wasn’t a watershed moment

for him, either. Once he was done, it was on to

the next phase in his life: discovering volleyball

at a park in Japan while on a cultural exchange.

Even if his trajectory wasn’t known at the

time, Dunphy didn’t let Vietnam decide.

All he can remember thinking is: “I’m in a situation

that I have to be in, and going forward

I think I wanted to have a little more choice in

what I did with life.”

For him, that’s the best thing about coaching

— being able to choose the people he goes

through life with.

Dunphy’s coaching methods, from a Pepperdine

team to an Olympic team, are consistent.

He’s big on discipline and role clarity and lauded

for his focus on personal, even compassionate,


A middle blocker rules the net. The blocker

is a warrior who can overload an opponent, surprise

them and create chaos.

“Tactically, that’s kind of what you’d want to

do in volleyball and in war in the same way. You

wouldn’t want them to know what’s coming,”

Dunphy said.

“But I never wanted to bring any negativity

into a team because when I go to teach you, it’s

kind of like an implied criticism. If I’m correcting

you and you change, and if you didn’t like the

source of it, the feedback, you might develop

a dislike or a hatred for that source. I think as

a teacher/coach, you have to be aware of that

and … I never wanted to create any doubt in my


“I know why the military did what they did,

the Army anyway. And some coaches coach

like that. But for me, one size doesn’t fit all. And

I think individuals never lose their desire to be

treated as individuals.”

For his doctorate of physical education at

Brigham Young University, Dunphy wrote his

dissertation on one of the most revered coaches

ever, John Wooden.

“I wrote this thing on him,” Dunphy said as he

plucked a dictionary-sized book from the shelf

behind his desk. “This was about his philosophies.

I asked him about discipline and he said,

‘I never wanted to bruise the dignity of the individual

being disciplined.’ How many coaches

can say that?”

Out of all of Dunphy’s degrees and course

work, a real education came from sitting down

with Wooden for five days with 150 of his most

curious questions.

“I like to see how great coaches coach and

how leaders would lead and what works and

what doesn’t work. And I’m fascinated by that.”


Dunphy is on his fifth tour of duty as coaching

staff at the Olympics in Beijing, China, in 2008.

He’s on the bench as one of his former Pepperdine

student-athletes, Sean Rooney, competes

on television. Later that night he checks his

email in the Olympic Village. There is a message

from an old friend who spotted him on TV.

“Hey, it’s Charlie van Leer. We were in Vietnam.

How are you doing?”


Dunphy served in USARV (U.S. Army Vietnam)

on the massive Long Binh Post, at one

point the largest U.S. Army base in the world.

The day the Long Binh base was handed over to

the South Vietnamese on Nov. 11, 1972, marked

the end of direct U.S. involvement in the war.

Do you remember the day your service ended?

“Ya. It felt like it was yesterday.”


The war isn’t over when Dunphy boards the

Freedom Bird out of the Tan Son Nhut Air Base,

back to The World (back home). Dunphy is happy

to head home, but it seems like he left some

friends behind. By the time he’s back, the war

protests are in full swing, and Vietnam War has

taken on an entirely new narrative.

“We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by the Animals

plays in his head the whole ride home.

For a year Dunphy had lived in a world devoid

of color. He steps into the Oakland Army

Terminal in December 1969 and his olive drab

world turns into Technicolor. He gets a physical,

some cash and trades his fatigues for a uniform.

He doesn’t take a chance on military standby

and buys his own flight ticket home. Out of

the plane and into Rocket Rent A Car, he drives

back to Topanga Canyon.


It’s 5 a.m. and Coach Dunphy walks into the

Firestone Fieldhouse just as he does every day

for work. On the way Jeff from DPS asks him,

as people often ask Coach Dunphy this time of

year, how men’s volleyball is going to be this


“We have no choice. We have to be good.”

Currents | 17





Written by Alex Free & Danielle Accovelli

Photos by Marisa Padilla

arah Attar is a 21-yearold

Pepperdine senior,

S graduating in Spring

of 2014 as an art major with

minors in art history and

multi-media design. She is

also a past Olympian and ran

the 800-meter race for Saudi-Arabia

in the summer 2012


Though she is internationally

recognized for being the first

female to represent Saudi-Arabia

in the Olympic games,

many people are not aware of

her passion for art and photography.

I’ve always liked

the experimentation

of art, the

exploration of

running. That’s

where they meet:


- Sarah Attar

18 | Currents

“As of right now, I’m mainly working with photos.

I began exploring how people do self-portraits in order

to represent personal identity and internal conflicts.”

Her current projects are taking shape from a Summer

Undergraduate Research Project (SURP) that

she worked on this past summer, though they are

more complex than a description of a particular installation

or artistic challenge. Her work is tied indivisibly

to her identity.

Attar has dual citizenship, and the paternal side

of her family lives in Saudi Arabia. When the search

for female Saudi Arabian competitors for the London

2012 summer Olympics began, her uncle put her

in touch with Arwa Mutabagani, one of the driving

forces behind female Saudi Arabian competitors in

the Olympics.

“It got to that point, and I asked myself, ‘How can I

not go through with this?’” Attar said.

Women largely don’t compete in sports in Saudi

Arabia. According to Attar’s SURP research on the

country’s gender politics and her experience in the

country, a large part of the restrictions placed on

Saudi women stem from a perceived threat to the

family structure. Participation in sports is seen as

detracting from the family unit and threatening to

traditions engrained in the culture.

However, this view is changing. There has been an

increase in athletic participation. Private gyms and

exercise facilities are open to Saudi women and, with

the recent involvement in the Olympics, they are

now entering world-class competitions.

“[The Olympics were] the initial spark. I’ve already

received emails from inspired Saudi women who

want to do something similar. There’s a generation

that’s going to grow up with the idea of women representing

them athletically; they have a tangible goal

to strive for now, and that is powerful.”

Coming home, Attar returned to Pepperdine and

struggled to come to terms with her experience.

“I felt at first that [my Olympic experience] was

detached. I was seeing myself in the news, on newspapers,

in magazines. It was surreal. It was like: ‘Oh,

that’s Sarah Attar,’ but then there’s me Sarah Attar.”

This disjoint of identity inspired her. In spring of

2013, her painting professor and advisor Gretchen

Batcheller encouraged her to explore her experience

in the Olympics in an artistic light.

Attar was accepted into Pepperdine’s SURP and began

her extensive research project on her experience

in the Olympics, Saudi Arabia’s history with gender

politics and art as self-expression.

During the summer, Attar revisited Saudi Arabia,

exploring her own story and experiencing and interpreting

the women’s situation first hand. This fed directly

into the research project.

“It was good to dive into the research side of art so

I could have a better understanding of what I did and

where the situation is heading.”

Attar’s art features expressive scenes and portrayals

of her experiences, exploring the public and private

aspects of her identity. Particularly expressive

is a self-portrait representative of a divided identity:

half of the portrait is how you might see Attar around

campus—hair down and uncovered—and the other

half is depicted in her Olympic gear.

“What’s cool about this project is that it combines

two of my passions, art and running,” Attar said.

Currents | 19

There wasn’t just one powerful artist

who was inspired from her abroad experience.

Pepperdine Senior Kai Decker’s

travels became a integral part of her artwork.

She explores the art of humanity in

her summer project, her. We are all living

beings, and no matter how different our

cultures, religions and customs may be,

we all have something in common in our

very existence. It is that sentiment — the

collectivity of humanity —that captivated


It was amid the art-steeped streets of

Florence, the quiet churches of Sicily and

the serenity of Ephesus that Kai first discovered

the beauty and perplexity of humanity.

One could find Kai sitting in the middle

of a piazza or on the steps of a church in

Italy just observing people as they interacted

with each other and sketching anything

she found fascinating.

“I just went around sketching people;

that was good for me. It was like I was

plopped in the center of humanity. You

get to see it staring you in the face, and I

was able to get in touch with that sketching

wise,” recalled Kai of her time in Florence.

While abroad, Kai also drew inspiration

from literature, in particular, Theodore

Zeldin’s work, “An Intimate History of

Humanity.” Zeldin’s work gave Kai a new

perspective on the collectivity of humanity

and allowed her to see that, although

we are stratified and different, we have so

much in common just as humans — an insight

that was particularly poignant for her

artwork as she traveled to different countries

observing the locals.

“I fell in love with humanity that year,

so it just carried into my artwork,” recalled

Kai of finding inspiration abroad.

Kai’s newfound love for humanity translated

perfectly into her summer art project

as she explored the themes of otherness,

faith and reason, and humanity and our

shared history as a race. She explored these

themes through a series of black-andwhite

sketches and digital art.

Kai describes her sketches saying,”It’s all

black-and-white. It puts things in better

perspective for me and focuses more on

value and composition without worrying

20 | Currents

about all the color schemes and other elements.”

Kai’s use of contrast between black-andwhite,

light-and-dark and negative space

gives her art a deep and meaningful appeal,

especially in light of the reflective statements

accompanying them.

The project also helped Kai look into her

future as an artist and rediscover her first

love — animation. Throughout the process,

Kai felt satisfied and fulfilled with her work,

but it was something she had always done

— representative, realistic work — and

she was ready to try something new. After

watching a series of cartoons, Kai wanted to

know what it would be like if she could take

a character from her mind, give it life and a

personality, and convey a sense of humanity

that way.

“I just discovered the life and sheer optimism

that could be put into a cartoon that

can just convey a message of optimism into

a young child’s mind — just show them that

creation is possible in all of us, that we can

go out and do something and make sense

of the world around us through our expression,

and that’s just such a beautiful thing.”

It is that sense of optimism, determination

and sheer love for human life that

comes through in every single one of Kai’s





I fell in love with

humanity that year, so it

just carried into my


- Kai Decker

Leave it to visual artists to discover

incredibly talented musical artists. Listen

to these playlists whenever you need

creative inspiration.

"The Lament of

Eustace Scrubb"

The Oh Hello’s




Josh Garrels

"To The Desert"



Farewell Milwaukee



"Many of Horror"

Biffy Clyro

"Days to Come"




"To Build a Home"

Cinematic Orchestra

"Teenage Mannequins"

Major Parkinson

"One Minute More"


Currents | 21







Currents | 23






24 | Currents

Every university has at least one

common misconception. Whether

it’s known for being the biggest

party school or being the school

where fun goes to die, universities

will always face a stigma. Often,

these false perceptions are generated

by rumors or assumptions. But

sometimes, they evolve from pockets

of truth.

For Pepperdine, rumor has it

that the university is strongly conservative

and imposes strict Christian

values upon it’s students.

As a Church of Christ university,

the presence of religion is explicitly

woven into the mission statement,

student handbook and course curriculum.

From the convocation

series to Campus Ministries, Pepperdine

maintains Christianity in

different aspects of campus life.

But how can we measure the

presence of religion beyond the

blatantly obvious? The large white

cross overlooking campus and the

University Chapel both tangible

and visibly establish religiousity, but

what about the levels of religiousness

amongst students?

Pepperdine’s Church of Christ

identity, and the Christian students

it attracts, earned the No.-15 spot

on the Princeton Review’s “Most

Religious Students” ranking in


Though Pepperdine is considerably

less religious than some other

private Christian institutions, a

stigma still exists that characterizes

Pepperdine as conservative and

fervently religious. Prospective students

often question the presence

of religion on campus and wonder

if their religiousness would fit the

perceived conservative mold.

With this stereotype in mind,

we went out and asked members of

the Pepperdine community if the

supposed strong and conservative

religious presence holds true on






Before attending Pepperdine,

I perceived that most people enrolled

there would — yes -be very

conservative and religious. I knew I

would encounter different levels of

faith, but my perception was that I

would find many people with very

restricted views of life and faith.



Growing up in Calabasas, I was

always familiar with Pepperdine

and its reputation as a Christian

school. But the perception that

Pepperdine is “conservative” or

“strongly religious,” in my opinion,

is due to the fact that, as a community,

we aren’t exactly cohesive

with what would be expected from

a college in liberal California.



I feel that Pepperdine is a

strongly religious campus, even

if the community itself is not as

religious as it’s perceived.


(Pepperdine alumnus and

administrative assistant at

Pepperdine University

Graziadio School)

Although people might consider

our campus to be a religiously

conservative school, I see Pepperdine

becoming more open to new

ideas, concepts, and theories that

do not necessarily root back to conservative

religious contexts. In my

four years studying in Pepperdine,

I have experienced that Pepperdine

has become less conservative

and traditional in their methods of

promoting Christianity.


(Professor of Religion)

This is problematic since what is considered

"conservative" in southern California

would be branded and demonized as raging

liberal in rural Arkansas. For example, they

think it is indicative of Pepperdine’s liberal

nature that the University only has chapel

once a week, requires only three courses in

religion, and permits or tolerates a variety

of immoral behavior, such as smoking on

campus. These are some of the concerns I’ve

heard when I had lived in Arkansas for eight



(Associate Dean of Student Affairs)

In my experience, I believe the University

does a great job emphasizing in everything

we do the centrality of our mission as

a Christian university, which strives toward

“the highest standards of academic excellence

and Christian values, where students

are strengthened for lives of purpose, service,

and leadership.” This bold vision speaks

to our unique institutional identity in the

broader landscape of global, national, regional

and local higher education.

Currents | 25




(sophomore) Pepperdine itself caters to the

religious crowd on campus; there

I think that [Pepperdine] is a is a strong and active community

very religious school, but it has a for those wishing to pursue the religious

options that Pepperdine of-

good balance between having a

good time and enjoying the religious


equally large presence on campus

fers. However, there seems to be an

with little or no religious affiliation.

Stereotypes or outside perceptions

of the university do not seem to focus

on this group as



After experiencing my freshman

year at Pepperdine, I found

my perception to be somewhat

incorrect. I did encounter people

who I consider to be extremely

religious and conservative, but I

also met quite a few people at the

complete opposite end of the spectrum.

Generally speaking, Pepperdine

does have a very conservative

and religious community, but I was

surprised to meet such a variety of



Being in my third year, I’ve

come to find that Pepperdine has

more of a religious undertone,

rather an outright identity, but

since we’re a smaller community, it

appears more polarized than it really

is. I think it’s also important to

point out that there is a fair share

of students in the community that

aren’t religious at all or put on a

façade that they are “good Christians,”

but then go out and smoke

and drink on Saturday nights before

church on Sunday morning.



I believe that although we

are indeed a religious community,

Pepperdine is not a conservatively

Christian university where

it enforces, rather than demonstrates,Christian

values onto its

students like some Christian universities

do today … In Pepperdine,

students are bestowed with

the right to freely choose how they

wish to worship God or practice

Christianity. Instead of restricting,

regulating or directing the students’

religious lives in set, conservative

and traditional methods, our

administration actually supports

the students’ freedom to worship

however they wish.


I taught in rural Arkansas for

4 years at a Church of Christ university

with a similar faith based

mission as Pepperdine. Pepperdine

is generally viewed as a non-conservative

institution with only

marginal ties to the Churches of

Christ. When one faculty member,

for example, found out that I

was moving to Pepperdine, his response

was that I should work on

converting some of the faculty. In

the context of Southern California,

Pepperdine appears to be conservative,

which is perceived differently

in somewhere like Arkansas.

What students complain about

being conservative here at Pepperdine,

(chapel once a week and three

semesters of courses in Religion) is

viewed as quite liberal in Arksansas

where the requirements include

daily chapel and eight semesters of

courses in Religion.


I believe it takes the whole

community of students, faculty,

alumni, boards, administrators,

staff and community partners to

enact and embody [the aforementioned]

vision. This is an organic

process that invites us a community

of learners to practice virtues

like humility, truth seeking, sacrificial

love, justice, sense of interdependency

and understanding. This

is a work in progress, to be sure, but

I’m confident that our faith serves

as a resource to us in cultivating

our communal life together.

26 | Currents





I believe there are a lot of untrue

stereotypes about Pepperdine;

people think all we do is pray to

God and study, which isn’t true,

but if that’s what you enjoy doing,

all the resources to do that are here.


The stereotype that circulates

Pepperdine is that every student is

a close-minded, bible-thumping,

goody good. However, this past year

I talked to atheists, agnostics, democrats,

republicans, independents,

heterosexuals, homosexuals and

bisexuals alike, and it was refreshing

to speak to very open-minded

people. Overall, it is obvious Pepperdine

has a strong community of

faith-centered individuals (including

myself ), but I was actually impressed

by the differences in beliefs

I encountered still.


Stereotypes about Pepperdine

due to its religiosity would get a

vague, “it’s not what you think”

response from me. Either people

have a view of Pepperdine that it

is a very strict school in regard to

rules, like Grove City College in

Pennsylvania or Harding, or they

think that it is a Christian-inname-only

school, like SMU in

Dallas. Pepperdine seems to exist

on a happy medium — it’s a good

blend of religion and collegiate life,

where students are encouraged to

be religious, yet not “punished” if

they are not.


Analyzing the validity of the

religious stereotypes cast about

Pepperdine (at least the ones I have

heard) is a difficult task because we

truly do not know how religious

our students are. Admittedly, it

has become quite simple and easy

to wear a Christian mask in public

while not practicing Christianity as

the Bible intended you to. In other

words, students who you might

think are not religious might actually

be religious, and students who

you might think are religious might

not actually be good Christians.


I think one untrue stereotype is

the perception of Pepperdine as a

liberal university that only pays lip

service to religion among conservative

churches — that seems to be

slowly changing, especially among

local congregations in Southern

California. One local Church of

Christ congregation told me that

they are now encouraging their

members to attend the annual

Pepperdine lectureship, something

they admitted was unthinkable not

even ten years ago.

Currents | 27

28 | Currents









Everyone’s life must be perfect in the Millennial

Generation. I am the exception to the rule.

I realized this sad truth as I sat at home

on a recent Friday night, accompanied by the

near-empty rattle of a Reese’s Pieces carton and

bottle of diet Dr. Pepper, watching “Shark Tank,”

alone. From the looks of social media, my friends

were out at raucous Hollywood clubs, dancing

their hearts out front row at a once-in-a-lifetime

concert. It was either this or simply sharing the

company of “the world’s greatest boyfriend.”

But me? I was in bed, watching a guy’s dreams

get dashed by a bald-headed billionaire.

Why am I the only one who seems to be

missing out on life? Is the glossy filter on my

existence titled “average and mundane?” I have to

be leaving out a key fact, right? I mean, America

is the most heavily medicated, eternally obese

and unhappy country in human history ... and

I’m just talking about the people who can afford

health care. So, how come everything is so impeccable


Social media have an uncanny ability to siphon

unpleasantries from one’s life. No one

seems to Instagram their breakups, incorrect orders

at drive-thrus or hours stuck in traffic.

Since we’re our own public relations consultants,

we’re only posting the perfect version

of our lives. Social media are plastic surgery for

the human condition — airbrushing blemishes,

Currents | 29

30 | Currents

Currents | 31

filtering cloudy skies, removing the redness

from our eyes. But we don’t just try to enhance

the picture; we filter out the average

aspects of our lives and sometimes enhance

the story. From the looks of Facebook and

Twitter, I’m friends with Stepford Wives

and residents of Pleasantville. Please, don’t

think I’m speaking from a soapbox here.

Check my twitter out. I’m the #Mayor of


There’s something instinctively shameful

about posting a tweet saying, “Another

quiet night watching TV in my room

#HaagenDazs,” isn’t there? What about

taking a picture of your eighth floor parking

spot in a massive Santa Monica garage

that just epitomizes the cold inevitability

of mortality? You are a loser if your

timeline doesn’t include sunsets, your arm

around a cute coed or three in every other

shot on Facebook, or if your rad pic with

Dick Van Dyke doesn’t get at least 5 RTs.

But it shouldn’t be this way. Why are

we as a society so possessed with ignoring

anything that’s less than flawless in our

daily lives? Isn’t it, after all, the redness in

our eyes that gives us color? In storytelling,

conflict and disruption of the norm are

imperative elements needed to drive the

story. Our lives are no different. When we

only choose to show the perfectly tailored

icing on the outside and choose to crop

out the molding cake underneath, the only

people we’re hurting are ourselves. It’s not

as if we all don’t know you struggle, go

through tough times or assume your fair

share of the junk life throws at us all.

Life isn’t perfect, and despite our online

presences, neither are we; Thoreau said

“most men lead lives of quiet desperation,

and go to their graves with the song still

in their heart.” Maybe our desperation is

quiet because we’re covering it up with the

cheery exultation of a deceptive exterior.

What if social media were different, and

we used the platforms at our disposal not

for trying to win cool points with concert

photos and #humblebrags, but for heightening

our levels of communication?

There’s no reason Facebook can’t act as

a support group for a struggling friend, no

reason Twitter can’t be a free SOS service

when someone’s tire pops on the 101, and

no reason Instagram can’t celebrate the

mundane in life.

We’ve all seen the sunsets … but have

any of us seen the far more interesting

and important aspects of our lives, hiding

behind the lenses of our cameras?


Media are



for the



32 | Currents

Currents | 33

34 | Currents

36 | Currents


Written & Photographed By

Jill Amos

It’s that enchanting time of year again.

Temperatures are getting nippy, we are refreshed

each morning by the crisp autumn air

and early-risers have officially switched from

daily iced coffees to pumpkin-spiced lattes.

The beach is no longer an immense tanning

bed, but instead, a perfect location for nighttime

stargazing while wrapped up in thick


For the fashion-conscious, fall means

some wardrobe modifications. Flip-flops are

replaced with leather boots and bathing suits

are replaced with oversized sweaters. Acquiring

a collection of printed scarves to complement

every outfit becomes many women’s

fashion priority.

Though winters in Southern California

don’t entail snow covered cars in Rho parking

lot, nothing’s stopping us from wearing

log-cabin attire. Why feel left out when East

Coasters and Midwesterners get to switch to

wool and cashmere? The best part about

Currents | 37

38 | Currents

autumn and winter fashion is that more layers

yield more fashion-related choices and more

ways to channel your unique, individual style.

You may choose to channel the changing

hues of autumn leaves through multicolored

tribal prints. These patterns are the perfect way

to incorporate the warm seasonal tones. The

loud, eye-popping designs are ideal for making

a statement on dreary days, yet the colors

somehow complement the natural beauty

of the canyons and vivid sunsets of Southern

California. The general term “tribal prints”

encompass a multitude of cultural designs,

including Dutch wax prints of West African

markets, Batik prints of the Middle East, and

more relatively, Native American prints.

The Southwestern patterns dreamed up

by Native American tribes are prevalent in

Southern California and are often incorporated

into fall/winter clothing. Ganado Patterns

of the Navajo Indians represent the rise of rug

weaving among tribes and incorporate crosses

and geometric shapes. Deep red and black

dyes, paired with other natural hues, make

these patterns distinct. The Chinle Pattern

of the Navajo Indians consists of alternating

stripes and tessellated shapes on heavy fabrics.

The ideal image of autumn, consisting of yellow,

red and orange leaves lying on the frosty

grass, is channeled by the repeating vibrant triangles

and textures within these tribal prints.

If you wish to present yourself as cultured and

art-appreciative, collect shawls, leggings and

jewelry featuring these bold patterns.

Alternatively, you might be one of the

many outdoorsy adventurers here at Pepperdine.

On chilly weekends in the late fall, you

enjoy camping out under the twinkling canyon

stars or toasting marshmallows over a blazing

beach bonfire. You have fallen in love with

nature. When the cool air has finally reached

SoCal, you are eager to spend as much time as

possible enjoying your beautiful surroundings.

If open-air activities sound ideal, then you

should hop on the flannel-adoring bandwagon

Currents | 39

that has been in style since flannel shirts were made from

carded wool.

This type of button-up has been a beloved trend since the

17th century, when farmers in Wales sported these shirts to

protect themselves in harsh winter weather. Flannel shirts

with the plaid print that we purchase today were originally

worn by lumberjacks and later transformed into a staple of

the 90s grunge look. Today, they are viewed as being stylish

effortlessly cool, and while emitting that “down-to-earth”

vibe. The best part is that while you are presenting yourself

as “chill,” yet ready for outdoor adventures, you are also in

one of the comfiest articles of clothing that has ever been

deemed “stylish” in America. Pair a trustworthy flannel button-up

with a denim jacket or vest, skinny-jeans, and some

combat boots. You will look and feel ready to embark on your

Topanga Canyon campout.

The next time you wake up on a chilly autumn morning

and are seconds away from pulling out your overly used

hoodie and distressed jeans, consider your options. Remember

that you are able to channel your individuality and

uniqueness through fashion, all while staying warm and cozy.

All of the pieces mentioned can be found at student-friendly

prices at stores like H&M, Tilly’s, and Forever 21. However,

when shopping for the pieces that will be essential to keep

yourself toasty, spending a few extra bucks in order to invest

in higher-quality fabrics can often be worth it. Urban

Outfitters and J. Crew in Malibu’s Country Mart are fantastic

options if you are looking to choose spot-on seasonal

pieces that will last a few winters. Soon enough, you will be

embracing the coast’s icy breeze, all while expressing your

personal style.

40 | Currents




An evolving wardrobe requires a seasonal

playlist from our fashion connoisseur.

"Sweet Disposition"

The Temper Trap

"We Are In Love"

Cider Sky


The Paper Kites

"Ignition Remix"

R. Kelly

"Charlie Brown"


"Anna Sun"

Walk The Moon

"Poison & Wine"

The Civil Wars

"So This Is Goodbye

(Pink Ganter Remix)"

William Fitzsimmons

"Back Down South"

Kings of Leon


Imagine Dragons

Currents | 41


Combine countless hours salivating over the Food Network with

three giant cups of poor and what do you get? One very disgruntled

college student. Though campus cafeterias satisfy our on-thego

cravings, we need something gourmet that will captivate the

taste buds without breaking the bank. Wipe the dust off your dorm

room kitchens and let’s get cooking! Many students often forget

that all of our cafeterias contain ingredients that can be used to

prepare quality meals. With a little help from your pantry, you can

use produce from the HAWC, Nature’s Edge and the main campus

cafeteria to create tantalizing treats.

42 | Currents



fall soup


done right



Currents | 43


fall granola

From campus:

1 1/2 cup mixed nuts

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup honey

From the pantry:

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup dried berries

1 tbsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice

1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 300° F. Finely chop the

mixed nuts and sunflower seeds. Add all ingredients

except for the fruit in a bowl and

mix. Place mixture on parchment paper in

a flat layer and bake for 25 minutes, stirring

occasionally. Let it cool before adding fruit,

and add dark chocolate bits if you would like!

2fall soup

From campus:

3 cups baby spinach leaves

1/2 cup carrots

1/2 cup celery

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

1 cup dried pasta

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 grilled chicken breast,


From your pantry:

3 tsps salt

3 ounce piece of Parmesan


1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup onion

Sautee onions, garlic, carrots and celery

in a medium pot with olive oil. Place on

high heat and add 2 tsps of salt. Stir and

let simmer until slightly brown. Add

garbanzo beans and keep stirring for 1

more minute. Pour water and can of tomatoes

into the pot with rosemary and

thyme. Let it come to a boil. Then add

pasta and chicken, lowering the flame

and letting it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

While soup is cooking, preheat the oven

to 450° F. Take baguette and cut in half

lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and

sprinkle with parmesan. Place in oven

for approximately 5 minutes. In the last

minute, place spinach in the soup until

wilted. Taste and add salt if needed. Pour

servings and garnish with fresh ground

pepper and shaved Parmesan cheese.


pasta & red


From campus:

1 box of Rigatoni pasta

1 jar Newman’s Own marinara sauce

2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil


From the pantry:

1/4 cup onion

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsps freshly chopped basil

1 tbsp lemon juice

Place medium sauce pan over medium

heat with olive oil. Add chopped

onions and garlic with a pinch of salt.

Stir until slightly brown. Pour in marinara

sauce and let it simmer for five

minutes. Add lemon juice, basil and

another pinch of salt. Let simmer for

15 to 20 minutes, while stirring occassionally.

Place another pot with water

over high heat until boiling. Add

pinch of salt and drizzle olive oil into

the water. Once the water is boiling,

add pasta. Stir and let cook for 8 to

10 minutes. Drain water into the sink

and place pasta in a serving bowl.

Pour sauce over the pasta, adding parmesan

cheese and 2 fresh basil leaves.


From campus:

1 tub of vanilla ice cream

1 cup hot espresso

1/2 cup of shredded dark chocolate

1 Snickers bar (or Milky Way)

3 tbsp milk

1 banana

sweet treat

44 | Currents

Boil water in a pot over high heat. Place metal

bowl on top of the water with the chopped

up Snickers bar and milk inside. Stir chocolate

bar around until melted. This process should

take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. In a separate

serving bowl, place one scoop of vanilla

ice cream inside. Pour hot espresso (as much

as you’d like) into the bowl. Slice banana and

place on top. Drizzle melted Snickers bar over

the ice cream and enjoy!


Love & Thanks



Taking Southern California by storm in an

orange vintage Volkswagen bus, the guys from

the up and coming band, Love & Thanks, share

what life is like being in an “indie rock band.”

Love & Thanks draws their inspiration from

a mix of different sounds from bands like Tallest

Man on Earth, Mumford and Sons, Fleet

Foxes, U2 and Bon Iver. The band skeptically

classifies their genre of music as a cross between

indie rock and alternative, or in lead singer Jordan

Straubel’s words, “hipster rock.”

The band has been quickly coming up on the

music scene since their inception in late 2012.

Band members, seniors Kevin Enstrom and

Currents | 45






Straubel, met through a mutual friend and discovered

that they both played guitar. One day they decided to

“jam” together and were both impressed with one another’s

talent. Both Enstrom and Straubel knew friends with

other musical talents and found themselves with the urge

to start a band.

Alumnus Dimitri Smith (‘13), a wicked pianist and

composer, was next in joining the newly formed band,

and alumnus Greg Wenhold’s (‘13) “metal like” drumming

skills earned him the spot as drummer. Straubel’s

childhood friend, senior Zac Fielder, was the last member

to join the band as bass guitarist.

Last January, the band was asked to play for a spot on a

Pepperdine TV Show, “The Gallery.” The night before the

show, the band came to the realization that they did not

have a name for the band yet.

With this, they decided to lock themselves in a room

in the basement of the music building and brainstorm a

name for their band on a whiteboard.

“We knew we had to pick a good one because we knew

it was going to stick,” Enstrom said.

After frantically writing ideas on the whiteboard, one

finally stuck, Love & Thanks. The band formulated their

name as a play off two common phrases musicians’ say

when wrapping up a show: “Love you all,” and “Thanks

for coming out tonight”.

The whole band is very appreciative of the good things

that have been coming their way.

“We are thankful for and love all those who love our

music,” Enstrom said.

The band agrees that the best part about being in a

band is that they get paid for doing what they love and do

it with their best friends.

The perks of being best friends in a band is being able

to spontaneously write a song on a whim, like in the parking

lot of an In-N-Out.

Collectively, the band enjoys folk and heartwarming

music, therefore, they write music that they would want

to listen to themselves.

The band writes their songs whenever they are all together

and are always thinking about their music when

they’re apart.

“It’s a 24-hours a day, seven days a week thought process,”

Enstrom said.

Each of the band members records clips of music,

which they then send to each others’ phones and often

times get inspired by or build off of it. They are also inspired

by one another and teach each other how to play

other instruments.

“I really appreciate all the good ideas everyone puts in,”

48 | Currents

Wenhold said.

The worst, Straubel says, is when everyone puts too

much into one song causing them to have a surplus of

ideas. They then have to write bridges or verses for other


Love & Thanks has released two tracks, “Summer’s

End” and “Feel My (Hands around you),” which can be

found on YouTube and other social media sites.

Currently, the band is in the process of recording their

EP, which is yet to be named. Straubel hints that most of

the songs have to do with the weather or the seasons.

The EP is expected to be available by early Spring 2014.

It will have five to six tracks on it, excluding one of the

two already released singles.

Love & Thanks’ most successful song is “Summer’s

“I know I’ll come to see you

before the summer’s end,

but I don’t, no I don’t

want to wait that long.”

End”. Straubel’s folky voice croons over the main chorus:

In Fielder’s words, the band made a cool “short film” to

go along with the song. It was filmed by one of the band

member’s old friends, Brecht Vanthof.

Straubel, Enstrom and Fielder are all still Pepperdine

students, but Smith and Wenhold both graduated from

Pepperdine last year.

Smith and Wenhold both now live in Santa Monica,

however, the band meets at least twice a week on Thursdays

and Sundays in Los Angeles for rehearsals in the


They have a great relationship with their producer who

is from a Christian-music-based background. He won a

Grammy for a soundtrack that he worked on several years


The band is excited for what the future holds for them.

Small time business and music executives have been interested

in picking up their music.

Future plans also consist of them touring Europe and

other foreign countries since they have small fan bases in

countries like Denmark and Japan.

You can hear Love & Thanks play live at Pepperdine’s

annual “Battle of the Bands” concert coming up this





We LOVE these songs and give THANKS

for their epic playlist.

"San Francisco"

The Mowgli’s


The Growlers


Tame Impala


Homesick Blues"

Bob Dylan


Fleet Foxes


Alt J

Currents | 49



2 No



Written By Chelsea Gest


This article almost didn’t exist. I

would have said no to writing this

piece, if not for the opportunity to

share the importance of no. So, I

said yes.

Junior year ended in a cataclysmic

collapse. Emotional and

physical exhaustion manifested itself

in the inability to do anything

besides watching marathons of

“The Golden Girls” and “Frasier;”

however, not even Betty White

could remedy my stretched and

torn psyche because months of

paralyzing busyness led to nothing

but a slightly more impressive

resume and a crushed spirit. There

is no need to go into detail about

my responsibilities and itineraries

from last year because most likely,

you’ve fallen into the same trap as I

did. The Pepperdine busyness phenomenon

is talked about so often

that it has become a cliche and a

topic of conversation as meaningless

and impersonal as small talk

about the weather. If you are unable

to talk about anything other

than your lack of sleep and abundance

of worries, if you are absolutely

dumbstruck as to what to do

with yourself during a freak hour of

free time, or if you’re too exhausted

for activities and relationships that

you cherish (all paraphrased and

manipulated descriptions of actual

drug abuse symptoms), you’re addicted

to busy. Fear not, Padawan.

50 | Currents





Chelsea’s song selections will carry you

away to a day at Zuma.

"Strictly Game"

Harlem Shakes

"Moth Wings"

Passion Pit

"Farther Along"

Josh Garrels

"The Wolves"

Ben Howard

"Where I Belong"


Listen to the sage wisdom from

your friendly, next-door senior because

I live a happier life now.

Ask yourself: Are you afraid

of saying no? I worried that if I

skipped out on an opportunity,

I would miss out on meaningful

connections. In reality, by taking

on excessive commitments,

I strained my previously-formed

relationships and simultaneously

jeopardized the new friendships

with my lackluster energy levels

and minimal interest in new involvements.

To combat this, I now

look forward to, and fiercely guard,

my Wednesday evenings. Nothing

is scheduled during that time

unless it is creative or social. Plan

blocks of time when you know

you can unwind and refocus so

that you’re actually present, effective

and coherent during all of the

times you actually need to be.

Planting deep and wide-stretching

roots into the Pepperdine

culture is essential to creating a

worthwhile and long-lasting legacy.

Equipping yourself with the

skills and experiences necessary for

securing an ideal career post-graduation

is also worthy of your time,

but not to the point when Betty

White is your only source of

amusement that doesn’t completely

drain and exhaust you. Instead,

commit yourself fully to the activities

that invigorate and revitalize

your energies instead of consume

and deplete them. Ultimately, saying

no isn’t about skipping out on

opportunities — it’s about saying

yes to what is most important.

"Desert Song"

Rend Collective


"Bleeding Out"

The Lone Below

"Generator 1st Floor"

Freelance Whales

"The Brightest Lights"

King Charles


Brett Dennen

Currents | 51


How to

Do your




52 | Currents

As my over-caffeinated hand

quivers and I take a sip of my third

cup of coffee this Monday morning,

I contemplate the question, “What

would current Me tell senior Me in

an event that time travel existed and

I could knock some sense into my

naïve undergrad self?” But really,

when I was asked to give advice to

the senior class, my initial thought

was to tell you to practice, “The faces

of looking busy when you actually

have nothing to do.” Then again,

I assume we all perfected those

during our freshman year in HUM

111. While reflecting on my roller

coaster of the past six months, I realized

that instead of giving specific

advice, I should explain the two

major trials I have encountered and

let you draw your own conclusions

on how you should prepare for

“The Great Beyond,” a.k.a. life after


First, getting ANY job right out

of college was not nearly as difficult

as I thought it would be, but getting

the RIGHT job for me is where I

struggled. I thought I was going

to be the next Lena Dunham and

move to New York, start a new life,

write hilarious things and become

an outstanding voice for my generation….

But then I realized, “Oh

wait, I’m poor and just spent hundreds

of thousands of dollars on my

education.” So, I did as any rational

person would do in the current state

of the economy and chose the job

that would pay the bills. That made

me happy for a bit. I was able to

pay rent, afford gas, buy cheese and

never have to ask my parents for

money. Sounds like the life, but the

challenge came from weighing the

happiness of independence against

the happiness of feeling fulfilled

when you get home every day. The

more I worked, the more I realized

that maybe struggling a bit financially,

but being truly happy with

the work I was doing, may have

been the better option. Of course I

could always do what I love on the

side, but seeing how I’m sitting at

work and ignoring my responsibilities

to write this article shows that

when you get home at the end of

an eight-plus-hour workday, it’s

not that easy to find motivation for

much more than overconsumption

of pizza and binge watching Netflix

every evening.

Next, making friends outside of

college is HARD. College friendships

become strained as people

move away or start their own careers.

Weekend hangouts become

less frequent, and unless you’re really

active in keeping people together,

things begin to fizzle. Being the

young guy at an established company

has the perks of having fresh

and innovative ideas, but it also

comes with the drawbacks of having

a hard time relating with those

around you. As I would prefer to

chat about the latest Buzzfeed article

of naked guys recreating the

“Wrecking Ball” video, my coworkers

like to talk about ... you know ...

work. I knew if I was going to keep

my sanity, I needed to have more

friends than my neighbor’s dog and

the employees at the local 7/11. So,

I took up playing dodgeball. What

says lifelong friends more than having

kickballs hurled at your face at

more than 45 miles per hour? Don’t

worry. The people who are most important

will still be around in the

end. I’m still best friends with the

same people from college, it just

takes quite a bit more effort to keep

those friendships alive and kicking.

Those friendships that persevere

will show you just who the most

important people in your life truly


In the end, it all comes down to

your own choices. This is the time

when you will make tons of mistakes

but also have so many triumphs.


key is learning and growing from

every experience. This is not your

parents’ life. This is not your friends’

life. This is not your employers’ life.

IT’S YOURS! So take control of it.

You are the one who has the most

power in shaping your own future.

Of course there are going to be

bumps along the way, but in the

words of my man Kevin G., “Don’t

let the haters stop you from doing

your THANG.”




Alex Claud compiles arguably the best

dodgeball playlist in history... So shake

your thang.



"99 Problems"


"Hold On"

Alabama Shakes

"One Night

(Vincetone Remix)"

Matthew Koma

"Punching As We


DJ Wuton

"Good Ol’ Fashion

Rump Shaker"

The Hood Internet

"The Kids Don’t Stand

A Chance"

Vampire Weekend

"Time To Pretend"



Childish Gambino

Currents | 53





Written By Michelle Cheung

Photos By Marisa Padilla

Currents | 55




The relationship between roommates varies for

everyone, but there are a few basic things that apply

to many. In general, having a roommate teaches

you how to share. If you are having a hard time

thinking of a gift for them, try to notice what they

always seem to be borrowing from you. That way,

you can buy them one of their own, and you can

take yours back — two birds with one stone. For

guys, air fresheners are always a good idea. Even if

your roommate happens to be super hygienic, the

suite probably wouldn’t mind. Toward the end of

each semester, some students tend to be deficient

on Caf points. Meal plans with 1500 points just

doesn’t cut it, and a good gift would be to share

your precious points as a symbol of gift-giving.

But if you’re really into the holiday spirit, there’s

always the option of making chore coupons for

your roommate. Just make sure your roommate

isn’t the kind of person who would make you do

extra laundry for the next six months.

special someone


special someone

For couples who are getting ready to face a long-distance relationship

during cuddle season, make your significant other an everlasting

care package to make the distance a little less daunting.

Connect with (or bribe) your significant other’s roommate or close

friend and have them put a gift together. If they are willing to help

the cause, they can even decorate the room for your special someone,

or help prepare a care package from you. Put together a box

of everyday things so that, in whatever they do, there will always

be a way to remember you. If you want to go for a classic romantic

gesture, buy a bouquet of nice flowers, such as roses or lilies. You

can also get matching onesies to prepare for the chilly weather, in

which you can be disgustingly adorable and make all the other couples

jealous. For couples who are dating on campus, that, in and of

itself, is enough of a gift to each other. You see each other in class,

have study dates in the library and make out at the DTR bench. We

get it, you’re madly in love. Cue the crowds booing.

56 | Currents




When it comes to brothers,

practicality is key. Some

much-needed fall items

to prepare for the weather

would be appreciated, like

backpacks, jackets or belts.

Brothers can also give brothers

recreational opportunities

that they can do together for

the first time, such as mountain

biking or a day of cliff

jumping. The cold temperature

of fall water is bound

to get some adrenaline going.

You could also buy your

brother tickets to events,

depending on if they’re interested

in sports, music or

computer games. A brother

could always use the gift of

a handmade duct tape wallet

or new phone case. But

for something more timeless,

the perfect gift for an older

or younger brother is a Swiss

Army Knife. And if anything,

there is always the option of

getting them addicted to

“Grand Theft Auto.” But

beware of angry letters from

Mom or the girlfriend.

Great gifts for your sister

include winter sweaters,

stylish scarves or pumpkin-spiced

candles. Buy her a

gift that you can bond over,

such as tickets to a concert

you would both enjoy, or an

occasion to dress up for, like

a tea party or dinner date.

For something more crafty,

buy the ingredients needed

to make macaroons or cake

pops and bake in the kitchen

together. If distance is a problem,

keep each other updated

by sending handwritten

letters to each other. If you

have a younger sister, send

her something that helped

you through high school or

junior high. It can be as simple

as a quote or a saying that

you wished you knew when

you were her age. Present

the quote with something

tangible, such as a bracelet

or picture frame. If all else

fails, there’s always matching

jewelry or matching clothing

articles to keep connected.

Remember, the best gifts are

ones that are found unintentionally

and simply reminded

you of her.




One of the biggest changes a college student faces is the

sudden absence of their parents. This transition is perfect for

a nice sentimental gift that really shows them how grateful

you are that they’ve provided everything for the past 18 years

of your life. Write them a letter in which you tell them how

appreciative you are and reassure them that you’ll always be

their child. Reverse the college care package trend and send

them a care package instead with your letter inside and Pepperdine

gear so they can show off the amazing school you go

to. Parents love that. You could also save some money to get

them a gift card to their favorite restaurant so they can have

a date night. Encourage them to see how having an “empty

nest” is a fresh start for them too. To keep your parents company

on those days they miss you more than usual, record

your journey at Pepperdine in snapshots and make a scrapbook

or picture frame for them to have.

Currents | 57

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