Alice Vol. 2 No. 2


Published by UA Student Media in Spring 2017.



Flourish this spring season in fantastic styles that

will make you the life of the tea party



Six students weigh in on

the relationship phenomenon




Defining the modern feminist

$3.99 Vol. 2, No. 2



A day in the life of a

great college gymnast

The University of Alabama | Spring 2017


The clock is ticking on the final days of

winter, and what better way to celebrate

the start of a new season than a trip to

Tuscaloosa’s legendary (and some say

haunted) Drish House? Join Alice in this

issue’s adventures, each one more curious

than the last. Cheers!

Letter from the Editor

On the web:

Twitter: @alicethemag

Instagram: @alicethemag

Alice on Pinterest:

Editorial and Advertising offices for Alice Magazine are located at

414 Campus Drive East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

The mailing address is P.O. Box 870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

Phone: (205) 348-7257.

Alice is published by the Office of Student Media

at The University of Alabama.

All content and design are produced by students

in consultation with professional staff advisers.

All material contained herein, except advertising or where

indicated otherwise, is copyrighted © 2017 by Alice Magazine.

Material herein may not be reprinted without the

expressed, written permission of Alice Magazine.

In the months leading up to the release of this issue, the staff

and I have been working hard to make our best and most edgy

issue yet. As always, we want to put our absolute greatest product

out there for you. We have loved every second of creating this

season’s magazine. From staying deliriously late at the Office of

Student Media to trying to get Wi-Fi in Chengdu, China to make

sure that I haven’t missed any messages about Alice, it has been

one heck of a job so far.

For this issue of Alice, one of my favorite books came to

life. Through fashion and photography, we were able to create

our version of Alice in Wonderland at a charming and inviting

antebellum home, the Drish House. As we adventure into her

world, I came to find our Alice is much like Lewis Carroll’s

Alice. She is loving, headstrong, carefree, curious, intelligent

and imaginative. I hope you are able to see that young, witty girl

through the stories in our magazine.

We have better fashion, bigger articles and beautiful photos. If

you want to know the best cruelty-free makeup products to use,

go to page 7. For fashion trends and a magical carnival scene,

turn to page 14. Thumb through the magazine to land on our

story about being stuck in the friend zone (page 24). To learn

more about the modern feminist or the LGBTQ community on

campus, flip to page 54 and 58. If you are still hanging on to

those New Year’s resolutions (unfortunately, I am not) go to page

67 to read about kickboxing. Our Q&A with Dillon Hodges a.k.a.

firekid is definitely one not to miss (page 88).

I think everyone knows how proud I am of Alice. It’s not just a

bunch of pages to me. It’s the frantic calls to me (sick and asleep)

as my editors pull together an entire fashion shoot at the last

minute. It’s the running up and down the stairs of the Drish

House, which after a few times felt very similar to the steps

of The Great Wall of China. It’s all the experiences and funny

memories from creating Alice.

With this spring season, the rain will pour, the flowers will

grow and I can hardly wait for everyone to have this issue of

Alice in their hands. My team and I wish you the loveliest time

reading these 92 carefully crafted pages. This issue will probably

pair nicely with a hot cup of tea. As I wrap this letter up, I would

just like to ask, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Because I

haven’t the slightest idea.

Paige Burleson


Editor in Chief PAIGE BURLESON

Creative Director MARIA OSWALT

Director of Photography EMILY HEATH

Managing Editor CLAIRE TURNER




Lifestyle Editor ALLISON COHEN

Assisstant Lifestyle Editor RACHEL WILBURN


Food and Health Editor MADISON SULLIVAN

Entertainment Editor ELLEN JOHNSON

Social Media Coordinator DONICA BURTON















Advertising Manager RUFUS ALDRIDGE (

Advertising Creative Director GRANT SNOW (

Sales Representatives (205) 348-7845




Published by UA Office of Student Media


[2] Alice Spring 2017

Table of










ABOUT THE COVER: Down the rabbit hole we fell, as the

historic Drish House in Tuscaloosa, Alabama transformed

into our personal Wonderland. Lose your head over all

the antique teacups, dreamy surroundings and our reminiscent

styling. Join Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of

Hearts and the Cheshire Cat for a very important date.

Don’t be late.

Photographer: EMILY HEATH

See story: PAGE 28






Alice Spring 2017 [3]











& Food















Alice would like to thank

the following stores for

providing outfits and

accessories for photo shoots:









[4] Alice Spring 2017


Learning from

the French

By Anna Klement

It’s no secret the French are enviable

when it comes to many things. They

are natural leaders of style, dating back

to the French Revolution in the time of

powdered wigs and outlandish beauty

treatments — trés chic.

I don’t think anyone actually knows

what makes the French so good at

everything when it comes to beauty,

fashion and their

general je ne sais

quoi. Maybe it’s

their low-maintenance

regimens or their ability to

make a crisp white t-shirt and jeans

look glamorous. Or maybe it’s their

innocence when bombarded with questions

about their skin care regimen,

when the answers are quite simple.

In the world of

beauty, you could

find an array of articles,

digital and

print, of American

women trying

to pinpoint what it

is that makes the

French so damn

effortless and cool.

From the extensive

research done

by a beauty junkie,

like myself, I have

found the French take a holistic, medical

approach to skin care. The saying

“less is better” is certainly true.

Rarely will you see a French woman

with a full face of makeup (unless it’s

Marie Antoinette) and I believe this is

Alice Spring 2017 [5]

something the French admire about

American women — we can pull off a

face of makeup and look put-together.

However, we Americans tend to have

the “if there’s a flaw, fix it” attitude on

our face and body. If we have wrinkles,

we get Botox. If we get a pimple, we do

a Google search and buy the best-selling

“blemish diminish” product Sephora

offers. It’s amazing that it’s considered

hygienic to go to the dentist twice

a year to clean our teeth, but facials

are considered a luxury instead of a

necessary deep cleaning. This is all

overwhelming to the French, who take

to simple, medical or natural remedies

– which doesn’t mean their products

can’t be luxurious.

It’s amazing that it’s considered hygienic to

go to the dentist twice a year to clean our

teeth, but facials are considered a luxury

instead of a necessary deep cleaning.

They rock their freckles or tooth gaps.

As far as makeup goes, they are crazy

unique. No one does a signature

smoky eye with nude lips, messy hair

and bushy eyebrows like Françoise

Hardy or Jane Birkin. And there’s

nothing more feminine than minimal

makeup with pale skin and a

bold red lip.

When it comes to products, you

can find a mirage of beauty products

with French heritages. NARS makeup

makes one of the best blush tones

that makeup artists use on all types

of women. Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir

is a life-changing product I’ve been

using for a few years that refreshes,

tones and cools my skin mid-afternoon.

La Roche Posay

makes wonderful

sunscreens, which is

a priority to French

women. Sun care

is essential to preserve longevity and

protect your skin. Loccitane Sweet

Almond Oil is a hydrating, nourishing

formula, which is naturally great

for your skin. Of course, Chanel and

Lancôme are beauty giant brands that

will always be timeless in the world

of beauty — but isn’t that what the

French are so great at?

In an interview with Elle, actress

Clémence Poésy gives us the secret to

French style: “Uhh… being born in

France?” she said innocently. Perhaps

one of the greatest things about this

romance with French beauty is that

they are completely oblivious to what

makes them so beautiful. *

But don’t mistake low-maintenance

for negligence. The French definitely

invest in their skin creams and

formulas. French pharmacies are a

beauty lover’s dream. They are filled

with aisles of skin care and topical

medicines. French women are not gym

junkies. In fact, they rarely work out.

Instead, they believe in nature

walks or taking the stairs.

The only thing they’re lazy

at is their makeup routine.

They eat cleaner, not necessarily

vegan or healthy,

but definitely minimize the

processed food. This is huge

in skin care, and any dermatologist

will recommend you

change your diet before you

walk into the office freaking

out about that weird and rare

phenomenon on your chin called

“acne.” French women embrace

their weight and impurities and

tend to enjoy au natural lifestyles.

[6] Alice Spring 2017




By Lawson Mohl

With an increasing awareness about what goes

into the products we know and love, it’s no surprise

that we’re caring more about how ethical the

things we put on our skin really are. As much

as we love our glittering eyeshadows and matte

lipsticks, if our pets had to wear them, would we

consider buying?

“Cruelty-free” is a label popping up everywhere,

sometimes proudly displayed on both indie and

name brands alike and sometimes discovered

through an online search. Regardless, if you’re

looking for brands that are both quality and treat

our furry friends well, Alice has got your guide.


You may be asking yourself, what even defines

a makeup brand as cruelty-free? According

to (a fantastic source for all

your ethical makeup needs), cruelty-free products

have no form of animal testing at any stage of

the product development. Cruelty-free makeup

doesn’t automatically mean a product is vegan:

In order to claim that label, companies can’t use

any ingredient that comes from animals in their


The Edgy Friend: Urban Decay

The adoration of Urban Decay

eyeshadows is no secret to makeup

artists and lovers everywhere. While

also being cruelty-free, Urban Decay’s

Naked palettes have been wildly successful

throughout all of their iterations.

They’ve collaborated with Gwen

Stefani and featured Ruby Rose in

their Vice lipstick campaign (if you’re

looking for a bold lip, check the collection

out). And don’t forget about their

Primer Potion eye primer, which is

well-loved as one of the greats.

Alice Spring 2017 [7]

The Sleeper Hit: ColourPop

Boasting low prices and a range of

product, ColourPop has made waves

in the beauty scene over the past few

years as being both affordable and

good quality. Along with being cruelty-free,

the brand has a variety of lip

products spanning an assortment of

colors, textures and finishes. Their

pigmented shadows and creamy eyeliners

(they don’t budge in the waterline

– seriously) are nothing to laugh

at either.

The Colorful Confectioner: Sugarpill

Sugarpill has gained recognition for

their Pro Palette, a way for makeup

addicts to customize exactly what pans

of Sugarpill shadow go into their purchase.

While also being cruelty-free,

they have a selection of vegan products

from lipsticks to lashes that they make

a special note of on their website. The

pigment of Sugarpill’s eyeshadows

is raved about: Many attribute their

Love+ pressed eyeshadow as being

the best true red on the market, and

they carry a diverse spread of other

bright colors. *

The Ultimate Glow:

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Alice has already covered Anastasia’s

Glow Kits, but it bears repeating:

They’re the perfect highlighters for

achieving your dream celestial glow,

and they have a range of kits for every

skin tone. On top of being cruelty-free,

Anastasia Beverly Hills released their

Modern Renaissance palette a while

back, the ultimate collection of every

warm-tone shadow we could ever

dream of. Their brow products are also

perfect for sculpting your way to an effortless


So whether you’re an eyeliner

person, a foundation person or just

love it all, there’s a brand out there

that’s perfect for you and your furry

friend. Next time you’re exploring

your local Sephora, be sure to support

the companies that support the

environment, too.

[8] Alice Spring 2017


By Nicole Jeffery

If you are a woman who enjoys applying a fresh face of

makeup to look and feel your best, then you know that the most

unenjoyable part is applying your mascara while making that

scary Grudge face, trying not to gouge your eyeballs out for

about five minutes every day. And if you are really trying to

step up your game, then you know that tampering with false

lashes isn’t such a quick task either. But to what lengths,

and to what costs, are you willing to achieve that whispy,

butterfly effect?

As the eyelash extension trend grows, we hear more and

more mixed reviews about the tolerance and money that goes

into maintaining them. We also hear horror stories of permanent

eyelash loss due to extensions, and we couldn’t help but

dig deeper into finding out the backstory of these tragedies.

If you’re worried about ruining your real lashes, fear not.

Just like every other hair follicle on your body, eyelashes

fall out and regrow as a part of a natural cycle, which is a

full six to eight weeks. However, if done incorrectly, eyelash

extensions can cause minor temporary damage. As long as

they are applied with quality and skill, the outcome is truly

envious yet effortless lashes.

Lash extension applications can take as long as two hours.

Because everyone’s lash growth varies, eyelash technicians

suggest a refill every three to four weeks to maintain the full

look. That being said, if you are someone who gets anxious

being confined in a nail salon for long periods of time, then

it is likely that repeating the lash extension process once a

month is not ideal. However, if you dread the facial cramps

that come from everyday mascara application like I do, then

laying down on a salon bed every once in a while to replace the

mascara routine would not be something to complain about.

One thing everyone should know about lash extensions

is that they are a second job. After your first fill, you will

usually receive a list of rules explaining the habits you must

form in order to keep them looking full and neatly feathered.

If you are interested in getting lash extensions then

you have to be okay with daily combing, sleeping on your

back and applying baby oil daily to keep them from drying

out. Despite all of these requirements, lash extensions can

completely enhance your entire look and you will find yourself

drowning in compliments.

So the remaining question is: are lash extensions really

worth the money? The answer is yes – and no. Everyone is

different and is entitled to their own preferences. The saying

“there is no right way to apply makeup” relates to the

fact that not all women are going to experience the same

reaction to certain makeup products and techniques. So the

answer is no, because it is possible that you pay up to $180

for a thick set of lashes and come to find out that they just

aren’t for you. In contrast, many lash extension businesses

have been very successful and have converted countless

women from the hassle of using mascara and false lashes.

Just like as you would with a hair stylist, research your

local lash extension technicians, read reviews and find before-and-after

pictures to guarantee quality service. So

ditch your mascara or don’t, but either way embrace your

unique beauty through every makeup trend! *

Crisis Pregnancy?

We want to help you.

Free Counseling,

Adoption, and


Support Services



Alice Spring 2017 [9]


We all know perfume is the last step to complete your

daily routine. We know the drill: You spray some Victoria’s

Secret body spray in the air and shimmy through it before

leaving for class. However, two hours into your day, that

fragrance is gone and you find yourself smelling like sweat

rather than “pure seduction.”

If you’ve tried everything from Dove to Juicy Couture

and still feel defeated, try out these three steps and find the

key to solving all your perfume problems.



This means the longer the scent will linger on your

clothes or skin. So remember, consider the concentration before

splurging. Perfume (parfum) is composed of 20 to 40

percent pure perfume essence. This is the most concentrated

and most expensive of all fragrances. That being said, a

single application can last up to 24 hours.

This is followed by Eau de Parfum (EDP), a more common

concentrate, which contains 15 to 20 percent pure perfume

essence and lasts five to eight hours.

After Eau de Parfum, is Eau de Toilette (EDT). This

lighter spray is composed of 7 to 15 percent concentration

and lasts usually three hours.

Eau de Cologne is next, a masculine scent which is composed

of three to seven percent perfume oils in alcohol and

water, making the scent prominent for only two hours.

Lastly, the most diluted of all is Eau Fraiche with only

one to three percent perfume oil. With the smallest amount

of concentration, it usually lasts for less than one hour.




[10] Alice Spring 2017

guide to

fab fragrances

By Kelsey Zaroff



Your natural body heat releases the perfume ingredients.

For males, this includes the jaw, neck and shoulders. If

that is not strong enough, go for the chest and wrist, as they

have the next highest temperatures.

For females, try spraying perfume behind your ears, and

on your neck and chest. If you want to ensure the perfume

lasts, follow by applying to your shoulders, wrist and behind

your knees. These three areas create the next highest

temperatures on the body.

However, remember that less is more. Start with one

spray and apply directly to dry skin after showering. As fun

as it is to spray a cloud of perfume, the scent lasts longer

when applied directly to the skin, not to your clothes.



Our typical “night out” fragrance might not

be something we want to wear to class everyday.

There is something exciting about saving that

special perfume for a night out on the town. Opt

for lighter fragrances during the day and more

powerful concentrates in the evening.

Just like changing your lipstick depending

on the seasons, you can do the same with perfume.

In winter, remember that the air is dry

and cold, so try wearing a stronger and more

powerful fragrance. In the summer, go for those

citrus and floral notes that energize and capture

the warmth of the season.


Bobbi Brown Beach

Chloe: Roses de Chloe

Gucci Guilty

Chanel Coco


Eau de Parfum

Elizabeth and James

Find Your Nirvana

Rollerball Set





What you smell immediately

after applying the perfume. Top

notes create your initial impression

of the perfume. Common top

notes include citrus and ginger.


Middle notes can also be called

heart notes. The scents from this note

usually appear anywhere from two minutes

to one hour after applying the perfume.

They create the main body between

the initial smells and the base smells. Common

middle notes include lavender and rose.


These notes are usually richer, bringing

the depth to the perfume. These scents are

not noticed until hours after application.

A strong base note, like musk, can still

be detectable 24 hours after applying

the fragrance.

Alice Spring 2017 [11]


Photos by Ramsey Griffin

Jacket: Twice As Nice

White dress: Free People

Green jacket: Francesca’s

White top: Pants Store

Brown shorts: Az Well

Black hat: Lulu’s

Solid black shirt: Pants Store

Leather & Lace

Embroidered elements can reinvigorate your spring wardobe with fresh femininity

[12] Alice Spring 2017

Alice Spring 2017 [13]



Step right up to see this spring’s magnificent metallics and striking slip dresses. Cotton candy not included.

[14] Alice Spring 2017

Photos by Emily Heath


Dress: Lavish


Dress: Lulu’s

Jacket: Lulu’s

Alice Spring 2017 [15]


Dress: Lulu’s

Shirt: Brandy Melville


Grey bodysuit: Lulu’s

Leather skirt: Az Well

Gold skirt: Francesca’s

Purple top: Lavish

Striped top: Az Well

Wrap-around skirt: Az Well

[16] Alice Spring 2017

Alice Spring 2017 [17]

Don’t miss our next issue!

Award-winning Alice returns

for a big Summer Preview

issue in May. Only $3.99

for a single copy, or $9.99

for a three-issue subscription



Let’s Talk About Sex

By Jill Holloway

Editor’s note: Last names have been

changed for privacy.

Growing up in the Bible Belt, sex

was rarely talked about. My sex education

class was held in a church and

the only thing I remember learning

was “Abstinence. Is. Key.” Our teacher

was a 60-year-old, white-haired, model

churchgoer and her lesson was simple:

Two people only engage in sex once

they are married. Eleven years later,

I still hold that lesson close to me.

Talking to other college students, I realized

my view on sex was not a common

view today, as it has become much

more casual.

There is no longer a set time that

a couple should wait to take their romance

to the next level. In fact, many

believe there is no need to be in a

relationship at all.

“I think girls and guys are allowed

to have one night stands,” said Rebecca

Cannon, 20. “I think if they both want

that then perfect, but a guy always

needs to be respectful of a woman.”

Nick Carringer, 22, said he thinks

the proper amount of time to wait before

having sex is just one week, depending

on what those two people are

trying to do.

“If a girl puts out too quick it says

a lot about her, but sometimes you just

want a random drunk hookup,” Carringer


Cannon said she does not think

there is a specific marker, but instead

two people should engage in sex

whenever they are ready.

“For me personally it’s when the

Alice Spring 2017 [19]

time is right in the moment,” Cannon

said. “I just think it is a feeling.”

Casey James, 20, agreed. She said

she thinks it is important to be emotionally

ready and self-assured, but

communication is key and both people

need to be in the right mindset. Sex is

not just another physical aspect of a

relationship, although it

can create an emotional

connection between

two people that was not

previously present.

“It can be both physical

and emotional,”

Nick Carringer said.

“It depends on the person

and situation. Good

sex is an emotional


While “good” sex differs

for everyone, the

physical aspect remains

the same. Cannon points

out that whether you

want to or not, “you look

at that person differently

after you have been physical with

them.” She said she does think it creates

an emotional connection because

it’s extremely intimate.

James agreed with Cannon’s remark,

mentioning, “I think it creates

an emotional connection because

it’s you exposed; it’s the rawest form

of yourself.”

[20] Alice Spring 2017

With a flood of emotions running

through your head and trying to make

sure the hookup goes perfectly, sexually

transmitted diseases and testing

often go unmentioned. Cannon said

she probably would not ask them to

be tested or say, “You have to go get

one,” but she may ask if they have ever

“I think it creates

an emotional connection


it’s you exposed;

it’s the rawest

form of yourself.”

previously had an STD. James agreed

she wouldn’t ask if it was a hookup,

but made an exception when it comes

to her boyfriend.

“I would ask how many girls he

has slept with; try to make it casual,”

she said.

Although girls and guys often view

sex differently, they did agree on exclusivity.

If two people are consistently

hooking up exclusively, but have yet to

put a label on what they have, it often

leaves room for confusion. It goes

back to James’ earlier statement —

“communication is key.”

“I would expect to be dating in the

near future, or at least commitment,”

she said. “If you’re hooking

up without feelings,

you would be hooking up

with other people.”

Cannon held those

same thoughts. “I’m

probably thinking it will

turn into an actual relationship,

if we are both

just hooking up with

each other there’s obviously

a reason for that.”

Carringer was not

sure where he thought it

may go after that, but he

does believe, “you can’t

be mad if you haven’t

talked about it yet.”

Whether if it is in the

moment, or a special night that was

planned out by two people engaging in

sex for the first time, there is no right

or wrong way to go about it. Just make

your intentions clear about what you

expect and do not feel pressured to feel

a certain way. Every person sees sex

for something different and values it in

their own way. *



hours in


By Allison Cohen

If you’re looking for a travel destination with comfort food,

plenty of room for adventure and sweet tea that flows like water, all

wrapped up in an urban, big-city environment, the Southern charm

of Atlanta is sure to win you over.

Day 1

9 a.m. Start your day one pancake at

a time with Buttermilk Kitchen. From

breakfast to brunch, you won’t be

disappointed with this classic, Southern-styled

hot spot. Don’t hesitate to

ask the background behind each dish

because their ingredients come from

local vendors all across the state of

Georgia. You’ll want to pace yourself

through your meal because this crowd

favorite gives generous portion sizes.

10 a.m. Catch some fresh air, cool

finds and good food at Ponce City Market.

Established in a newly renovated

warehouse, the market is not only

a great location to check out trendy

shops, but also doubles as a rooftop

attraction dubbed Skyline Park. Here

you’ll find carnival games, mini golf

and sweet treats with a killer view of

the city. Feel free to grab a bite for

lunch at Skyline or at one of the many

restaurants below the park.

1 p.m. Directly connected to Ponce

Alice Spring 2017 [21]

City Market is the BeltLine, a 22-mile

continuous trail that circles the perimeter

of downtown Atlanta. There are

also 11 more miles to discover that

branch off to local parks, restaurants

and neighborhoods. Take the Eastside

Trail from the market and venture to

one of the largest green spaces in the

city, Piedmont Park. Be sure to snap

pictures of local artwork and murals

along the way!

3 p.m. If walking around worked up

your appetite for a quick snack, stop by

Henri’s Bakery and Café for internationally

recognized baked goods. Henri’s

has been an Atlanta staple since

1929 after French immigrant Henri

Fiscus traveled to the States as a

pastry chef, and the location has been

in the family ever since. The cheese

straws and shortbread cookies are a


6 p.m. In the heart of Buckhead there

is Café Agora, a Mediterranean restaurant

that’s as authentic as they come.

The restaurant is tucked away and not

very flashy; however, it’s a diamond in

the rough. Café Agora’s combination of

Turkish and Greek cuisines will give

you a taste and experience that’s incredibly

unique. Pro tip – make sure to

leave room for the homemade baklava.

10:30 p.m. Get your first taste of

Atlanta nightlife at the Ivy. This upscale,

laid back lounge has four bars

scattered throughout its venue. If the

weather is nice, hang out by the gazebo

on the outdoor patio or relax upstairs

on the rooftop. Inside on the main floor,

a wraparound bar takes center stage

and a fourth, secluded bar is not far

beyond the dance floor. As far as attire

goes, plan to dress snappy casual.

Photos by Erin Cohen

[22] Alice Spring 2017

Day 2

10 a.m. Recover from last night’s

shenanigans by sleeping in and waking

up with the Westside’s Taqueria

del Sol. Unlike your typical Mexican

restaurant, Taqueria’s food is far from

greasy and will leave you feeling the

right level of satisfied. This is a popular

go-to spot for Atlanta locals, so

make sure to get there early. When

you’re done, swing by Jeni’s Splendid

Ice Creams right next door and choose

from 28 funky flavors.

2 p.m. If you’re feeling artsy, check

out The High Museum of Art (pictured

left). Get a heads up on what to expect

by going online to preview the current

exhibits. You’ll also have the option to

view upcoming exhibits online if you’d

like to plan your trip in advance. // Tickets: $14.50

4 p.m. Don’t leave Atlanta empty

handed! Walk around Virginia Highlands

in Midtown and pop in and out

of the local boutiques that line the

area. There are lots of great restaurants

in this area too, so take the

opportunity to scout for potential

dinner contenders.

6 p.m. If your dinner plans are still

up in the air, Ormsby’s is a must-try.

The two-floor tavern offers not only

fantastic pub fare, but also an entertaining

atmosphere for large groups.

Down below you’ll find games such

as indoor bocce ball, darts, pool and

more. Ormsby’s is open to the general

public all day; however, entry becomes

21+ after 6 p.m.

11 p.m. Every city has a prime bar

location and Atlanta’s would be the

Buckhead bar district off of Roswell

Road. Post up at Lost Dog for live

music on the back porch or dance your

heart out at Big Sky down the road.

The area holds over 10 bars that are

directly next to each other, making

this an ideal location to bar hop on

a budget. *

Alice Spring 2017 [23]


Stuck in the

By Rachel Wilburn

We’ve all been there: you meet someone

new. They’re cute, sweet, funny

— the real deal. A few group hangouts

later, you guys are really hitting

it off. And then it happens: they ask if

your ~adorable~ best friend is single.

You’re getting friend zoned. It happens

to the best of us, and it can be


But thanks to a few great guys, we

have compiled The Ultimate Guide to

Avoiding the Friend Zone 101. Let’s

get down to the nitty gritty. What even

is the “friend zone,” how can you tell

when you’re being friend zoned, and

better yet, what can you do about it?

So, let’s start with the basics. For

those who don’t know, the “friend zone”

happens when one friend develops romantic

feelings for another and wants

to be “more than friends.” Often, the

friend’s feelings are unknown to their

counterpart or they are quite happy

with a friendship-only basis – and voila,

you’ve entered the friend zone.

Next thing you know, you’re standing

there looking him in the eyes, trying

to figure out the best answer to his

question. Do you give him her number?

Do you confess your feelings? But honestly,

how did you end up there in the

first place?

Sometimes, it’s something as simple

as physical attraction. Studies show

that most people can tell if they’re at-

[24] Alice Spring 2017

tracted to someone within the first 90

seconds of meeting.

“As shallow as it is, I would say part of

it is appearance. If you’re not attracted

to someone, you may just never think

of her as more than a friend. But sometimes

when you get to know them and

their personality is amazing then the

way you see them can change and

you have no idea why you didn’t see

it before.”

–Johnny, 21

Other times, it’s a little deeper. Typically,

the friend zone grows out of an established

friendship. When you’re that

close with someone, there’s a chance

that they A.) know a lot about you and

B.) care deeply about you. They probably

have seen the good and the bad,

and more than likely, have heard you

talk about other guys from the past.

This can be ground for insecurity or

fear of hurting you again. All of these

things can become potential contributing


“One thing is being too open about

their sex life. I don’t think someone’s

number should ever be discussed. If

she’s dated friends, that’s definitely a

cause for a friend zone.”

– Zach, 20

“Usually it’s because I value her

and have some apprehension about

losing the friendship if things don’t

work out. I’d say that’s probably the

big one.”

– Clayton, 26

But don’t forget that guys are also

just that – guys. He might just think of

you as one of the bros or he might have

eyes for someone else. If he spends a lot

of time talking about Jess from biology,

it’s likely that he’s so wrapped up in

finding out if she likes him back that

he doesn’t even see that you’re falling

head over heels.

“I friend zone girls when I have eyes

for someone else and am blind to the

prospect of someone being inter-

Attraction is unpredictable, but it

doesn’t come out of nowhere ... you

want a guy to want you for you.

–Colton, 22

Friend Zone

ested in me like that. The thought is

some variation of ‘if the girl I’m interested

in doesn’t see me that way, then

how can anyone else?’ Obviously, it’s

a stupid thought process, but guys

seem to be wired one of two ways:

pursue everything that has a pulse

or pursue only one girl and be completely

oblivious to anyone else.”

– Tyler, 19

The friend zone can be complicated,

annoying, and, honestly, a little

heart-wrenching. But don’t give up!

Because according to our friend zone

experts, it’s not chocolate-in-bed-andchick-flick

worthy quite yet. There are

plenty of things to do (and not do) to

make him take a second glance.

First off, flirting actually works.

In fact, according to news website

The Week, it may be more effective

than just being physically attractive

for getting his attention. Start

with something as simple as a light

touch on the arm, leaning in closer

when he’s talking or even just smiling

when you catch each other’s eyes.

Show him that you value him and his

time by being present and engaged in

your conversations.

“Personally my strongest love languages

are physical touch and spending

quality time together. Getting flirty

with touch and spending one-on-one

time with me is the best way to make

me question how I feel about someone.

When someone starts throwing

touches into conversation, I start trying

to figure out if they’re being flirty

or not.”

– Caleb, 23

“One of the biggest things for me is

a girl constantly being on their phone.

It’s a huge turn off. Also, I think texting

someone 24/7 is bad because you

never get a break. It’s like the conversation

just never ends. I think some

space is healthy.”

– Johnny, 21

Second, let’s talk about the fact

that it is 2017, and you don’t have to

wait for him to make the first move.

Rejection and embarrassment can be

overwhelming. However, a woman who

approaches a man stands out. Your

bold, no-holds-barred approach says

you are confident, spontaneous, brave,

outgoing and direct. Don’t hinder your

chances and opportunities by thinking

you are not good enough (or too good)

to approach him first.

“I wish girls were more up front

about their feelings. Make that first

move! Guys can be pretty oblivious

to subtle hints, so straightforward is

definitely the way to go.”

– Tyler, 19

Finally, and most importantly, own

who you are. He’s your friend for a reason;

likely, he thinks you’re cool, funny,

sweet — all the things that make

you, you! The worst thing you can do is

try to be someone you’re not to impress

him. Celebrate the fact that you love

tacos or drink pink wine, cry in way

too many movies or claim your fuzzy

socks as your most prized possession.

“Be okay with you. If you’ve been

friend zoned by a guy you like, you’re

not out of luck. Attraction is unpredictable,

but it doesn’t come out of

nowhere. Think about the qualities

you embody. Just like you probably

have certain qualities you’re looking

for in a guy, so do your masculine

counterparts. You want a guy to want

you for you. So as long as you’re being

the best version of yourself you can

be, you’re in the right place.”

– Colton, 22

“Odds are if he friend zoned you, it’s

a good bet he did it for a reason. Don’t

waste your time with that guy anymore.

Stay friends. Hang out. Do your

thing, but don’t pine over him. If he’s

not giving you his full attention, he’s

not worth it. Also, if some guy is friend

zoning you and you find yourself complaining

to another guy about it, you

might be the one friend zoning someone


– Clayton, 26

Alice Spring 2017 [25]





By Katie Bell

Have you ever sat at a red light and

thought, “I wonder what that person

has in the back of their trunk?” Just

like life and a box of chocolates,

you never know what you might

get when you pop open the back

of someone’s car. Alice took a peek

at some of the junk in the trunk of

five strangers.



“Basically, I am ready anytime, any

day to go camping. I have a tent, foldout

chairs, a mini grill, fishing equipment,

sleeping bags and blankets all

ready to go camping whenever I want.

This weather has been great for camping

– why waste time packing?”

– Andrew, 22


“I work as a nurse in Birmingham

and Tuscaloosa, so I always have

scrubs, a stethoscope, gauze, Band-

Aids and a bunch of random first aid

items in my trunk. It works out well

because I am always that person that

has hydrogen peroxide or aspirin when

someone needs it.”

– Ashlyn, 23

[26] Alice Spring 2017

“I have no room for storage in my

apartment, but I buy everything in

bulk from Sam’s. I have toilet paper,

breakfast bars, paper plates, dryer

sheets, soda... you name it, I probably

have it. It really comes in handy when

you’re at a party and someone runs out

of paper towels or garbage bags.”

– Alex, 25

“This is going to sound bad, but

I have a cooler with a 12 pack ready

when I need it. I work until 6 every

weekday, and I hate wasting time going

to buy beer or mixers before going

out. It’s really about convenience, and

it’s there when I need it.”


– Sarah, 21


“I basically carry the tailgate around

with me all week. I have pom-poms, a

cooler, a table, lawn chairs and cornhole

all in my trunk. You would never

guess that could all fit in there, but

it can. Every Saturday and Sunday

we break out the goods for the weekend

and have a blast. I just don’t have

enough room in my apartment to take

it inside.”

– Lauren, 21










Victim Turned Victorious

Lots of Fur and a Little Faith

Celebrating Color

Ghost Stories

Girls Just Wanna Have

Fundamental Rights

Beyond the Barrier

Photo by Emily Heath

[28] Alice Spring 2017


“Do you suppose

she’s a wildflower?”

from Lewis Carroll’s

Alice in Wonderland

Alice Spring 2017 [29]

Photo by Prestley Bramlett

“Yes, that’s it!”

said the Hatter with a sigh.

“It’s always tea time.”

Photo by Emily Heath Photo by Emily Heath

Photo by Prestley Bramlett

[30] Alice Spring 2017

Mad Hatter outfit: Urban Outfitters

Cheshire Cat two-piece: Az Well

Queen of Hearts dress: Lavish

Alice dresses: Twice as Nice

Location: Historic Drish House

Photo by Prestley Bramlett

Alice Spring 2017 [31]


and curiouser...”

Photo by Emily Heath

[32] Alice Spring 2017

Black choker: Lulu’s

Photo by Emily Heath Photo by Sarah Westmoreland

Alice Spring 2017 [33]

Photo by Prestley Bramlett

[34] Alice Spring 2017

“Have I gone mad?”

“I’m afraid so.

You’re entirely bonkers.

But I’ll tell you a secret:

All the best people are.”

Photo by Prestley Bramlett

Alice Spring 2017 [35]

Photo by Sarah Westmoreland

Photo by Emily Heath

[36] Alice Spring 2017

Spotted dress: Twice as Nice

Black and gold dress: Az Well

Long blue dress: Twice as Nice

Alice Spring 2017 [37]

Photo by Sarah Westmoreland

“Imagination is the only weapon

in the war against reality.”

Photo by Emily Heath

[38] Alice Spring 2017

Photo by Emily Heath

Alice Spring 2017 [39]

Photo by Prestley Bramlett




One woman’s story of sex trafficking

and the redemption that followed

[40] Alice Spring 2017

By Claire Turner

Swaying trees in the springtime,

sun flickered past the window

as 19-year-old Kathy Jackson

sat in the back seat of her friends’ car,

on her way to the 1981 Chicago Jazz

Festival. Her friends sat in the front,

asking her questions like they always

did: What are your goals in life? What

is your family like? What’s your pet

peeve? Would you ever like to travel the

world? What are you good at?

Of course, she always answered happily,

just wanting to fit in for her second

year of school at Tufts University

in Medford, Massachusetts, where she

had a full scholarship for an undecided

major. Though she was a good student,

she still loved to have fun with

her friends, and the music festival was

a perfect opportunity.

When they arrived at the hotel,

Kathy put her bag in a bedroom and

started to unpack her schoolwork. She

had a paper with a due date that was

rapidly approaching, and was intending

to work on it a bit until her friend

walked in and invited her to lunch at a

buddy’s house nearby.

“I think I’ll work on my report instead,”

Kathy told him. “The festival

starts tomorrow. I probably won’t

get much done then and it’s due

next week.”

“It’ll only be a couple of hours,” he

said. “It’ll be fun.”

Trusting, she went. Within five minutes

of walking through the front door,

she was beaten, berated and her clothes

were ripped from her body. She was

taken to a back room where she was

tied down and then repeatedly raped.

That was the beginning of Kathy’s

32 years as a victim of sex trafficking.

According to the International Labour

Organization, Kathy is one of

over 20 million women worldwide who

are sold into sex slavery. There are

only five U.S. states she has never had

an extended stay in, and only two continents

she has never been on.

Kathy believes she was held captive

in a room in Chicago for three weeks,

but there was no way for her to be sure.

While she was there, she was forcibly

given drugs and was left to deal with

a subsequent heroin addiction and a

dependence on her ever-changing and

temperamental handlers. Some managers

were better than others, but none

of them would let her go.

“You’re always on edge,” Kathy said.

“Even if you get to a ‘good’ house,

where they’re not beating you every

day, they’re not yelling at you or putting

you with a John [client] who can

do pretty much anything to you with

some serious damage.”

Men and women alike would pay high

prices for the smallest of sexual tasks.

According to Kathy, a typical workday

would bring in around $10,000, with

up to $23,000 on holidays, sometimes

from just one person.

To achieve this exceeding level of income,

Kathy was pretty well-treated,

as far as sex trafficking victims go.

She was smart, up-to-date with the

goings-on of the world and a beautiful

young woman with youthful dark

skin and sleek black hair. Each morning,

she had a team of people styling

her clothes, hair and makeup from the

bedroom of whichever luxury hotel she

was forced into.

For her handlers, money was their

only focus and the well-being of the

girls was nowhere on their mind. At

first, Kathy tried to bond with the other

victims around her, but they were

never there long. She learned that she

couldn’t trust anyone, which is partially

why victims of human trafficking

never ask for help.

Over time, Kathy realized those who

controlled her were controlled, too.

“The bad part of it, looking back, is

these people that pay for this are sicker

than the handlers,” she said. “Because

they go back to their lives, and they act

like it never happened. But then, they

want it again, and again, and they’re

never persecuted. So when you see on

the news they’re showing the mugshots,

they think they’ve caught them

For her


money was

their only

focus and the

well-being of

the girls was

nowhere on

their mind.

Alice Spring 2017 [41]

… they’re not the bad guys, they’re the

victims. I want to see more of the people

that are actually paying for this,

because if they’re prosecuted, I bet you

the people that have wives and children

– and most of them do – would

second-guess about this.”

Kathy’s road to freedom began amid

the astronomical domes and golden

sculptures of Caesar’s Palace in Las

Vegas, Nevada, following sudden heart

failure. Soon she was in the hospital,

and her doctor noticed something

unusual about her interactions with

her handler. After he left, the doctor

asked Kathy a few questions and

next thing she knew she was telling

him everything.

That doctor’s care changed Kathy’s

whole life. He erased her identity from

the hospital and transferred her to Orlando,

Florida, where she met a chaplain

and told her story. The Well House

in Birmingham, Ala., was found, a safe

place for women who are victims of sex

trafficking and prostitution.

When Kathy arrived by bus

to the Well House she had nothing:

no possessions, no identification,

no idea of what she was

walking into. However, after a

warm welcome from a mentor

and an anxious night in a bunk

bed above a stranger, Kathy began

to feel safe and appreciated

by the people surrounding her

at the Well House.

Now, Kathy is 54, living independently,

going back to

school for communications and

working as a lead designer in

a flower shop. The Well House

supported her in all financial

needs, any necessary therapy

and the word of God. The Well

[42] Alice Spring 2017

House is always accepting volunteers

as well as taking monetary and material

donations, from soap to over-thecounter

medication and bed sheets to

light bulbs, to help women like Kathy

get back on their feet.

Kathy isn’t afraid of anyone from her

past finding her, because she knows

they are intelligent but incredibly lazy.

Instead, she wants to be the one who

goes back and looks for them, wanting

to try and save the other victims from

their handlers and their clients.

“Human trafficking is the one

drug that never gives out until you

die,” she said. “I’ve seen it time and

time again … It never surprises me,

what people will go to for their own

selfish gain.”

Though Kathy is more familiar with

the characteristics of sex trafficking

victims, there are warning signs that

everyone can spot. According to the

Nita Belles, author of human trafficking

book In Our Backyard, victims

have a nomadic attitude where they

cannot identify their current location

or travel plans, owns little to no personal

belongings, shows physical or behavioral

signs of abuse or malnourishment,

or quickly responds to the call

of another.

Handlers typically target vulnerable

or suffering people, enticing them with

promises of love or success. The Well

House website states traffickers “understand

the economic motivations and

psychological exploitation that will entice

a person to leave her family.”

Safe homes like the Well House offer

rescue and shelter programs for

victims of human trafficking, like

Kathy. Throughout her 32 years of

abuse, Kathy closed her eyes and

saw only her past. Now, she said that

with the grace of God and through

the Well House graduation program,

she sees only peace, safety and people

around her that she can continuously

count on. *





A [tail] of animals helping people

and people helping animals

By Maddy Ard

Alice Spring 2017 [43]

People need animals, plain

and simple. Anyone who has

ever had a family pet knows

this. Cat, dog or canary,

pets are a source of comfort

and comic relief when the world gets a

bit too big and bad.

A 2011 study conducted by psychologists

at The University of Miami and

St. Louis University found the benefits

of having a non-human companion go

beyond a laugh or a cuddle here and

there. This study, which was backed by

the American Psychological Association,

concluded that spending regular

time with a fuzzy counterpart or two

boosts self-esteem, encourages physical

fitness, reduces feelings of loneliness

and even increases focus.

But maybe you, like me, simply can’t

own a cat or dog right now. As much as

I would love to welcome a kitten into

my home this very afternoon, my home,

like many student residences, happens

to have a very, very strict no-pet policy.

Past that, many college students are

not financially able to take on a pet.

Pet food and vet trips get pretty expensive

pretty fast. Couple this with the

instability that comes with constantly

shifting class and social schedules,

and you could have what we see far

more often than any of us like: posts on

the Alabama Student Ticket Exchange

Facebook page begging anyone to take

a pet adopted on a whim.

Now, that’s not to say no college student

should own a pet. For some all the

stars align, and they find themselves

in the perfect situation to provide an

animal with all the love and care it

requires. But for those, like me, who

cannot, there is a solution.

Just like people need animals, animal

shelters need people. Unfortunately,

there is no shortage of stray cats

and dogs being found and dropped off

at shelters across the country. According

to the ASPCA, 7.6 million companion

animals – mostly cats and dogs

– enter American animal shelters each

year. Only about 2.7 million of these

animals are adopted each year. You see

the issue.

With more animals coming in than

being adopted from shelters each year,

shelters like the Humane Society of

[44] Alice Spring 2017

Photos by Ramsey Griffin

West Alabama here in Tuscaloosa are

in dire need of volunteers to ensure

their growing populations receive optimal


The Humane Society of West Alabama,

founded in 1971, is the longest

standing animal rescue in Tuscaloosa.

This no-kill, all-volunteer

organization is focused on providing

shelter to homeless animals in the

Tuscaloosa-area and helping them find

forever homes.

The organization’s president, Anita

Smelley, runs the organization’s Cat

House in Northport, Alabama. You

read right, Cat House. It’s exactly what

it sounds like: a literal house owned by

the Humane Society that currently

houses 32 cats of all ages. Smelley said

on average five or six of these cats are

adopted each month, but numbers are

never down for long.

Each room of the house is designated

to a different feline age group: the

kitten room, the young adult room and

the quiet room for older, more reserved

residents. The young adult cats, ranging

in age from 6 months to 5 years

old, are known as the Wal-Mart Greeters,

as they occupy the front room of

the house and are generally more social.

The house also features a screened

in porch so the kitties can enjoy some

fresh air.

Smelley said she needs volunteers at

the Cat House for two reasons: to clean

the house and love the cats.

Smelley said many volunteers call

the shelter their

“happy place,” a

place where they

can get their mind

off of the world.

One volunteer, an

elderly man fighting

prostate cancer,

volunteers at

the Cat House the

day after his chemotherapy


each week.

Not only are

the volunteers helping, they’re getting

a lot of feel-good out of it, too,” Smelley

said. “If I’m ever missing a volunteer,

I can usually find them sitting on the

floor somewhere with kittens all over

them, just smiling.”

Smelley said volunteering is immensely

beneficial to the cats at the

shelter. Through the efforts of volunteers,

the cats are groomed and kept in

a safe, clean environment. Having different

people around all the time helps

socialize the cats, which Smelley said

helps them get adopted quickly.

“A cat that goes and hides when a

stranger comes to pet them is not likely

to get adopted,” Smelley said. “But it’s

so rewarding to watch a shy cat come

out of his shell with the volunteers.”

The best things in life are free, and

the happiness that comes from giving

little fuzzies some TLC is no exception.

Smelley joked that volunteering is kind

of like owning a ton of pets and never

having to pay for them. Students who

can’t adopt right now, we’re looking

at you.

Catie Lee Bruni, a junior majoring

in biology and art at The University of

Alabama, said she began volunteering

at the Cat House because she loves cats

and could not have one of her own at

the time. Bruni said she still looks forward

every week to her time at the Cat

House one year after starting there.

“On a typical day, I get there and

am immediately surrounded by meows,”

Bruni said. “So I have to give

The best things in life

are free, and the

happiness that

comes from giving

little fuzzies some

TLC is no exception.

Alice Spring 2017 [45]

them their oh-hello-yes-pet-me time

right away.”

Bruni said her duties include cleaning

the different rooms of the shelter.

This entails sweeping, mopping, scoop-

[46] Alice Spring 2017

ing litter boxes, de-furring climbing

toys and beds, washing and refilling

dishes and cleaning surfaces. However,

Bruni said the kitties never leave

her side, and a while she cleans she is

still constantly showing these cats love.

“It doesn’t actually feel like work,”

Bruni said. “It’s a win-win situation

because it’s relaxing for me when life

gets crazy, and the cats get a clean

room and some love.”

I know we aren’t all cat people. Fear

not, dog-lovers everywhere. You have

options, too. The Humane Society,

as well as many other rescue organizations

in the area, is brimming with

dogs of all strides of life needing some

love and care.

One such organization is the Tuscaloosa

Metro Animal Shelter. Made

popular among college students for its

“Happy Hour” weekly volunteering

opportunities, anyone who has been

to this shelter knows that they need

as many hands as possible to ensure

the health and happiness of their large

canine population.

Mary Calhoun is volunteer coordinator

for the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal

Shelter. She, like Smelley, said volunteers

are vital to amping up the dogs’


“People look at these animals, and

they think one of two things,” Calhoun

said. “They think, ‘Oh, how cute’ or

they think, ‘Oh, how sad.’ ”

She said the point of her volunteers

is to make sure no one looks at these

animals as creatures to be pitied. By

making sure potential adopters see a

happy, healthy, friendly pup, volunteers

are saving these animals’ lives.

Calhoun said volunteering isn’t always

pretty. It isn’t always holding

wiggly puppies or a literal walk in the

dog park. Most of the time it’s scrubbing

and washing and scrubbing

again, but it’s that elbow grease that

ensures the animals are shown in their

best light and adopted.

“When we keep those dogs and their

cages clean, people don’t walk by and

see a dirty thing,” Calhoun said. “They

see the animal. It’s an enormously big


Calhoun said volunteering once in a

while is nice, but what these organi-

People look at

these animals, and

they think one

of two things:

“Oh, how cute” or

“Oh, how sad.”

zations need are committed, regular

partners who are willing to take time

out of each week to lend a hand. Taking

one dog out on one walk one time

helps that dog that day, but neither you

nor that dog feel the lasting benefits

that stem from a sustained relationship

with an animal shelter.

Being near these animals, canine or

feline, and forming trusted relationships

with them is good for you just

like it’s good for them. In a report

published by Frontiers in Psychology,

psychologists concluded that spending

regular time in contact with a cat

or dog increased trustworthiness, reduced

aggression, promoted positive

mood and reduced stress, along with

blood pressure and heart rate.

Not to mention, volunteering at animal

shelter by default puts you in contact

with a group of people who share

at least one common interest – animals.

So while you’re in this stress-relieving,

positivity-inducing atmosphere, you’re

also making connection with others

who care about the same things you

do. And the animals get used to people

and potentially find forever homes.

That’s a win-win if I’ve ever seen one.

Animal shelters need people. People

need animals. Plain and simple. *

Alice Spring 2017 [47]

[48] Alice Spring 2017





Recognizing the importance and

embracement of Black History Month

By Jada Culver

Alice Spring 2017 [49]

Black History Month, or

National African-American

History Month, annually

celebrates the excellence and

achievements by black Americans

in U.S. history. The celebration’s

inception began in 1969 when leaders

of the Black United Students at

Kent State University proposed the

celebration of black history transcend

from Negro History Week into a full

month’s celebration. After President

Gerald Ford advocated that the

American people “seize the opportunity

to honor the too-often neglected

accomplishments of black Americans,”

Black History Month became an

officially recognized celebration in

1976. Today, in 2017, I join the nation

in proudly celebrating the 41st Black

[50] Alice Spring 2017

History Month, welcomed with great

respect and gratitude for every endeavor

and grand accomplishment achieved

by an African-American.

Now, it would be unfair to mention

the cheerful enjoyment of Black History

Month and completely ignore the

recent frustrations myself and many

African-Americans feel due to numerous

tragic and unjust occurrences

upsetting the black community. When

I turn on the television and scroll

through Facebook, I see the present

neglect and worry people of color feel

in today’s society. Yet, by talking with

an African-American friend or even

wisely immersing one’s self into the

black community today, you would find

that, despite the discouragement projected

through media, there exists a

wave of hope and peace; remembrance

and celebration; courage and resilience;

love and unity. Black History

Month is a special time to reflect and

remember those in our country who’ve

overcome adversity and remained

steadfast to achieve what was once

withheld from them and often challenged

today: freedom to be who

they were created to be. Hear these

voices from people alike in humanity

but diverse in skin color as they

reflect on their thoughts about Black

History Month.



“I think to celebrate black history is

to acknowledge, especially in America,

the inequality and how so many people

have done so many great things to

overcome that inequality,” said Garrison

Pugh, 21. “Even though today

[racial equality] is not where it needs

to be, there’s still great people who are

working to overcome that.”

“Celebrating black history is something

that I do every day. It is not

something that I only recognize in the

month of February,” said Imani Manley,

21. “I think it is important to cel-

ebrate my history and my culture in a

world that does not always value it. It

is something that has been instilled in

me since birth, something that I believe

will always be worth fighting for. If we

don’t celebrate ourselves, who will?”

Terrence Curry, 22, said, “[To me

it] means celebrating my heritage, celebrating

growth as an African American,

remembering those that have

paved a way for me to be where I am.”

As a woman of mixed race, both

Caucasian and African-American, it’s

important for me to remember

where a part of me

comes from. To me, black

history is a beautiful story

of courage, integrity, faith

and triumph. There is so

much that is unwritten,

and I can’t wait to see what

is further accomplished in

my lifetime.



Black History Month is a time to reflect

on those who have bravely challenged

the wrongful perspective and

unfair treatment of African-Americans

in the U.S. For each individual

there’s a notable African-American

figure: Martin Luther King, Barack

and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey,

Harriet Tubman. Each broke

barriers, created opportunities and

ultimately inspired millions of people

from how they’ve made a difference for


From basketball stars to fashion

designers, there is a figure who

inspires everyone.

“For me, it’s currently LeBron

James,” said Patrick Stanford, 21.

“Mostly because of what his message

is. He’s a kid that grew up in the projects

and he understands the system

and how the system doesn’t promote

success for those kids. Yet, he broke

that mold. He sets a precedent and a

standard that other African-American

males can look up to.”

“Overall I would definitely have to

say Michelle Obama,” Manley said.

“Growing up, and playing with all my

dolls I never would have thought that

my First Lady would look like me. She

has so much wisdom, education and

class. She is a woman that will always

be respected in my book.

“Professionally, Tracy Reese is an

African-American figure that I admire.

I plan to enter the fashion industry

one day, and it warms my heart to

know that there is a designer out there

To me, black history

is a beautiful story

of courage, integrity,

faith and triumph.

with the same motive that I have: to

make women feel beautiful. The fashion

industry can be so white- washed

and it’s nice to know that a woman like

that has opened so many doors for me.”

Curry said Martin Luther King inspired

him, “because of his ability to

assist a major involvement in the Civil

Rights movement. This is a major piece

of history that connects to many events

that allows for me to attend the University,

to be able to sit in classes with a

diverse set of folks, for everyone to have

equal opportunities and to learn at the

same capacity.”



“I don’t want people to over-analyze

having a black friend and having conversation

about topics concerning the

black community,” said Kennedy Studdard,

22. “And I don’t want people to

always assume I’m bitter and angry.

Not everyone is comfortable with having

those raw conversations, but you

need to be comfortable with meeting

[and talking with] other people who

look like you and don’t look like you.”

“As an African-American woman,

I would love for people to realize how

unappreciated and driven we are,” said

Manley. “It is hard to be a black person,

but it can be argued that it is even

harder to be a black woman.”

In the history of black women within

the U.S., we’ve seen this issue occur

quite often — especially in areas of

politics, entertainment and positions

of authority.

“We are constantly cast aside and

prejudged by everyone, including

black men from

time to time,” Manley

continued. “From our

great-grandmothers to

us, we constantly have the

weight of the world on our

backs, alongside this natural

drive to succeed. We

do all we can as students,

daughters, mothers and

professionals, and sometimes it seems

that only a few of us are recognized.

With all that is going on in this country,

it is important for our voices to be

heard as well.”

“As an African-American man, I

want everyone to know that people of

color are more than just their skin tone

— they are human, they are educated

and are well deserving of opportunities,”

said Curry. “We just want to

grow and develop like the next person.

Impressions of African-Americans

that are portrayed in the media and

public eye are simply not true on the

entire race.”

This Black History Month, take the

time to research the powerful and inspiring

movement that has compelled

our nation to set a full month aside to

celebrate. Hear the voices of the proud

and spirited, remember our past and

the triumphs that have occurred for

the African-American community, and

strive to continue and advance the celebration

of our likeness and difference

as Americans of the United States. *

Alice Spring 2017 [51]



By Sam West

You’ve swiped right and a

match has been made. But

something is … off. Perhaps

he’s too forward. Perhaps he’s too

shy. Perhaps he’s an unironic fan of

Smashmouth with an abiding love for

erotic puppetry. Whatever the reason,

though you might have been virtually

connected, there’s no spark. So what

do you do?

In most cases, the answer seems to

be: ignore him. It used to be that to

end a potential romantic link, you’d

have to have a meaningful conversation

with someone, or at least say you

weren’t interested in dating. But in

the age of Tinder, Bumble and other

dating apps, it’s much more expedient

to just disappear. Hence, “ghosting,” a

neologism for abandoning a potential

partner and ignoring their texts, calls

and notifications.

This might seem cruel, or crazy, or

deeply symbolic of the shallowness of

the millennial generation. (Cue the

thinkpieces.) However, in the world of

online and app-based dating—which

is incredibly young—no one is really

sure about what’s right and wrong. It’s

like Wild West out there.

“Since it’s so new, there’s not a lot of

rules of kind of what people expect,”

said Mo Quinn, a senior majoring in

marketing at The University of Alabama.

“The rules of engagement aren’t

super defined ... one person might

think it’s totally appropriate to send

you this message on Tinder, and you

might find that really creepy and forward.

I think there’s some hurdles

that people are still getting past with

online dating.”

[52] Alice Spring 2017


the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by

suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Regular, face-to-face dating has

all sorts of little, informal guidelines

that have developed over many years.

Not everyone follows them, but they’ve

probably heard them. Three dates

is the threshold for sex. When you’re

getting over a guy (or girl), you can

be miserable one day for every month

you’ve been together. These social cues

don’t exist for dating apps — at least

not until now.

I talked to a few women about their

experiences with apps, with the goal

in mind of creating an official rule of

when it was and was not okay to jettison

a potential romantic partner.

But first, I had to figure out what it

was like to be on the receiving end of a

swift breakup.


I’ve used Tinder before, and the main

thing I remember is that it’s basically

a numbers game: you throw out a lot

of “hey” messages, you hear back from

a few of people, and you have a decent

conversation with a very small group.

Once you start going on dates, things

can get dicey.

Here’s a story that’s similar to what

probably thousands of Millennial men

and women have experienced. Susanna

Kaletski met a guy on an app, they

decided to go out on a date, and it was

… meh. Not bad, not great. He later

didn’t return her texts or calls. And

apparently, she didn’t mind.

“I guess if I had really liked him, it

probably would have made me feel really

bad, but because I wasn’t super into

him, I was fine,” said Kaletski, a UA

senior majoring in English.

Getting to know someone on a good

date is one of the most enjoyable experiences

there is; a disastrous date is

at least a fun story to tell. But no one

wants a mediocre experience. So for

Kalteski, ghosting is an expected part

of using Tinder, and a “no harm, no

foul” experience.

“I think for the most part, it’s becoming

a normal thing,” she said. “I

feel like more often than not it’s not

completely mutual, but people understand

why it happens.”

Going into the writing process of this

article, I couldn’t recall whether I had

ever been ghosted. But then I remembered

a few times in my Tinder experience

when women abruptly ceased

communication with me for whatever

reason. It didn’t feel good, but apparently

it wasn’t scarring enough for me

to recall months later. It’s just part of

the game.


Maybe getting ghosted isn’t so bad,

but what’s the benefit of it? Why just

ditch someone when you could have a

conversation with them?

Quinn said she often ghosted guys

she just wasn’t into, but she recounted

one case in which she broke off contact

with a particularly aggressive pursuer.

When talking to people for this arti-

cle, I heard a few stories that made me

suspect that ghosting can actually be

a useful tool for women when they use

apps like Tinder.

Avery Birch, senior, had a story that

turned me, a ghosting victim, into a

ghosting apologist. While interning at

a courthouse, she went on a date with a

guy who attended her rival high school.

It went okay, but the next day at her job,

she found his name in the worst possible

place: on that day’s court docket,

accused of a litany of misdeeds.

“I looked at all of his charges and I

was just like ‘oh, my God,’” she said.

“I had no idea that guy was like that

at all. Totally different front that he

put on.”

Luckily, her possibly-felonious date

didn’t show up. But she took a picture

of that day’s court agenda, and sent it

to him with the caption “nice.” Then

she ghosted.

Clearly this was the right thing to do.

As a guy, I never got harassed using

Tinder. But it’s a common experience

for women, as is meeting less-than-reputable

men. Because of this, I suspect

that sometimes it’s not only necessary

but good for girls to ditch dudes who

are being rude or pushy.

Birch said she got a few more texts

from her possibly-criminal acquaintance.

She thinks refusing to talk to

him was the right thing to do, however.

“Associating with him would not

benefit me ... it would be more of a negative

approach than a positive one,”

she said. “I think that’s a good reason

to ghost someone.” long as people can connect

with the touch of an app, ditching

weirdos will be a necessary evil.


We’ve established that ghosting can

be good in certain cases. But at what

point does it become wrong? How serious

does the relationship have to be

before it’s no longer okay to just stop

talking to someone? The women I

spoke to were mixed.

“I feel like if you guys have met up,

or maybe if you’ve gone on a couple of

dates or something, and then you realize

it’s not really working, you should

actually let that person know. ‘Okay,

I just don’t see this going anywhere.’

Something like that,” Quinn said.

“But if you’ve really just been texting

or messaging on Tinder, I don’t think

it’s like—if you haven’t met face to

face I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

On the other hand, Kaletski said

she felt that a formal breakup was

only necessary in situations of a close

friendship or a committed relationship.

“I think in those kinds of situations,

you do need to have a conversation

with the person,” she said. “Which can

be hard, because those are I guess the

hardest kinds of conversations to have,

but I think they’re also the most necessary

to have so the other person will

understand why you’re doing this.”

So here’s my conclusion: after hearing

the stories of women who experienced

some of the worst of modern

dating, I can say without a doubt an

official ethical limit on ghosting: it’s

wrong to ghost someone after two solo

dates. If you have one bad face-toface

experience, it’s okay to just drop

the other person, but beyond that, you

probably owe them at least an explanation,

unless they’re really particularly

nasty. And if you’ve been dating

a while, a formal breakup is due. This

is the new rule: you might call it “The

Iron Law of Ghosting.”


This policy might seem shallow. A

dating world in which people are allowed

to drop each other like they

never interacted could appear cruel to

some. And perhaps the conveniences of

modern dating do have setbacks.

“I think it’s a real shame,” Birch

said. “I want to live in our parent’s

generation, when there wasn’t Instagram

DMs or Facebook Direct Message,

asking for your number and

kind of just texting. It was more of a

personal, you get to know them, they

ask you to go out to dinner and you

get to know them through dinner and

being with them, not texting them asking

them what they’re doing during

the day.”

Nostalgia is fun, but like it or not,

the Internet is here to stay. And as long

as people can connect with the touch

of an app, ditching weirdos will be a

necessary evil. Though the old might

shake their fist at the hedonist practices

of the young, I actually don’t think

ghosting is a new invention. After all,

what is a “Dear John” letter but the

most depressing form of interpersonal

abandonment? And if Friends is any

indication of historical fact, women in

the 1990s spent a good bit of their time

waiting by the phone for guys to return

their call.

If Millennial women are going to

dive into the meat market that is virtual

dating, they need the defense of

ghosting. And after all, that guy with

a bass fish in his profile picture probably

wasn’t your soulmate, anyway. *

Alice Spring 2017 [53]







Defining the modern feminist

By Alexis Faire

[54] Alice Spring 2017

Growing up, I always admired

Oprah Winfrey. In fact, I wanted

to be just like her. My friends in high

school would call me “Oprah” as a

nickname — not because I wanted to

be a billionaire, not because I wanted

to be famous and definitely not because

I wanted to shout, “You get a car! You

get a car! Everybody gets a car!” In my

eyes, Oprah Winfrey was an example

of the courageous and hard-working

woman that I strived to become.

She spent the first few years of

her life in rural Mississippi with her

grandmother while her single mother

searched for work, according to The

Academy of Achievement. After her

mother found work, she soon moved

out-of-state and because of this, her

mother was absent most of the time.

Due to her mother’s absence, Oprah

was often left home alone and faced

abuse from her male relatives from age

nine to 13. She eventually left home

and lived with her father in Tennessee.

Although she faced living in poverty

and mistreatment in the early years

of her life, she continued to work hard,

launched her career in journalism and

eventually became the first and only

multi-million-dollar black woman.

“Women can do just as much, if

not more, than men can – as proven

throughout history with strong women,”

said EJ Harrell, a junior majoring

in interdisciplinary studies at The

University of Alabama. “I mean, we

see people like Michelle Obama today.

We see Hillary Clinton. We see people

that have progressed so far, and people

still feel as though they are lesser. And

that’s weird to me. I know my mom is

a strong woman, so when I look at her

like, ‘She does everything.’ How are

you going to say that she can’t?”

Oprah Winfrey has been one of

many to fight for women’s rights and

has maintained a strong persona as a

woman in power. The idea of a strong

woman who empowers other women

and girls to fight for equal opportunities

has always been a major factor

in history. From women, such as Harriet

Tubman, Gloria Steinem and the

fictional character Rosie the Riveter,

to today’s Michelle Obama, Malala

Yousafzai and the fictional character

Olivia Pope from Scandal, gender

equality has been a hot-button topic

within society.

The Other F-word

“Some people think negatively of

feminists since they think of feminism

as being anti-man, mean, ugly and so

on, or they don’t think feminism is

relevant anymore because women are

already ‘equal,’” said Elise Wander, a

law student at Yale University interested

in public law. “Those people are

misinformed, or they don’t reason how

deeply invested they are in societal values

and stereotypes.”

When people hear the word “feminism,”

they tend to either groan with

frustration or attempt to avoid the conversation

completely. Or maybe they’ll

say something along the lines of, “I

believe that women deserve equal opportunities,

but I don’t identify as a

feminist.” And that’s where the miscommunication


According to Merriam-Webster, feminism

is defined as the theory of the

political, economic and social equality

of the sexes. The main idea of feminism

is that everyone deserves equal

opportunities despite a person’s gender.

“That’s what feminism is,” said Nora

Niedzielski-Eichner, a second-year law

student at Yale University. “I don’t

know what people think feminism is,

like it’s some big secret cult or you

know, ‘I haven’t made the secret handshake,

so I’m not a feminist.’ If you

think that women should get to be

equal, if you think that we should have

the same opportunities, regardless of

what gender you’re born, then you’re

a feminist.”

Many seem to believe that the feminist

movement strives to help women

overpower men and to make it seem as

though women deserve more than their

Alice Spring 2017 [55]

male counterparts. A common myth,

according to a study done by Villanova

University, is that feminism only liberates

women at the expense of men.

This statement couldn’t be further

from the truth, yet it is still something

people choose to believe.

“It [feminism] wasn’t built on the

backbone of breaking down another

gender or saying that someone is lesser

than,” Harrell said. “Because that’s

what they’re fighting against. That

defeats the purpose, which is usually

their argument.”

“Waiting on the

world to change…”

Campaigns like the UN Women’s

HeForShe encourages people of all

identities to support gender equality

and to unify the sexes. According to

the HeForShe website, over 1.2 million

people in the U.S. have committed to

taking action to create a gender-equal

world, and the U.S. is currently ranked

second in HeForShe activity. The

campaign gained popularity when actress

and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador,

Emma Watson, presented

a speech about her journey into feminism

and becoming an advocate for

women’s rights.

“I decided I was a feminist and this

seemed uncomplicated to me,” Watson

said in her 2014 speech. “But my recent

research has shown me that feminism

has become an unpopular word.

Apparently, I am among the ranks of

women whose expressions are seen as

too strong, too aggressive, isolating,

anti-men and unattractive. Why is the

word such an uncomfortable one?”

The HeForShe campaign is currently

present with two institutions in the

U.S. – Georgetown University and

Stony Brook University – and has either

a chancellor or president whom

are participants for the initiative.

Kendyl Clausen, a recent graduate

from Georgetown University and a law

student at Yale University, is a supporter

of the movement.

[56] Alice Spring 2017

“From what I understand, the movement

is committed to encouraging men

to support feminist causes as well,” she

said. “One of the downfalls of feminist

movements has been the ‘other-ing’ of

men. The framing of the movement has

often banded women together against

men. This has led to things like the

#notallmen movement in response to

advocacy against sexual assault, etc.”

She said the HeForShe movement

seems like a good way to counter the

negativity and to help the movement

move forward.

“All the women,

who are independent…”

The idea of a powerful woman

comes with a long list of stereotypes.

In Forbes’ The 10 Worst Stereotypes

About Powerful Women, the number

one cliché is possibly the most common:

Ice Queen. Think along the lines of

Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada,

as the article mentioned, or maybe

Sandra Bullock in The Proposal.

Powerful women that are stereotyped

as an ice queen are depicted as unapproachable,

mean and show no emotion

in the workplace.

“Women in power in entertainment

are often portrayed as cold and unemotional,”

said Lisa McKinney, professor

of accounting at The University

of Alabama. “There is a partial truth

in this portrayal in that women must

be less emotional and must be more

aggressive to succeed in the workplace.

The workplace is a competitive

environment; women have to be able to

compete with the men. The workplace

requires a clear head, an attention

to facts, and an ability to steer away

from drama.”

Lindsay Macher, a UA senior majoring

in chemical engineering and

president of the Feminist Caucus, said

she believes commenting on a woman’s

emotions is a way to try to bring down

a woman in power.

“As far as emotions, I think that’s

just an easy way to dismiss women,”

she said. “… I think as a woman, if

you’re in a position of power, you do

kind of have to take an approach of

either ‘I’m gonna be kind of cold and

hard, so that I’m taken kinda seriously

from the get go,’ or ‘I’m gonna try and

be nice and be really pleasant.’”

Despite the entertainment industry

representing feminist ideals, the idea

of strong and powerful women is often

characterized in a negative light.

The topic of powerful women can’t

be discussed without bringing up the

b-word. Over time, the connotation has

changed, and depending on how it’s

used, can either be a compliment or

an insult.

According to Merriam-Webster, the

first definition of the word “bitch”

means “the female of the dog or some

other carnivorous mammals.” The second

definition of the word comes with

two parts and is listed as, “a lewd or

immoral woman” followed by “a malicious,

spiteful or overbearing woman –

sometimes used as a generalized term

of abuse.”

When a powerful woman knows what

she wants, works hard to get it and

doesn’t need help from a man, that’s

when people want to categorize her as

a bitch. In a 2008 Saturday Night Live

skit, Tina Fey discussed Hillary Clinton’s

first campaign run for president.

Tina stated that it bothered her when

people called Hillary a bitch, which

led Tina to coin the phrase, “Bitches

get stuff done.” To be honest, this is

a phrase I live by every day. Women

have embraced phrases like this and

the word as a compliment to show that

they’re making a positive impact.

While the word may be making a

transformation as time continues, it

still tends to carry a negative connotation

when depicting women in the entertainment

industry — both fictional

and real.

“… I also have an issue [on how they

tend] to make the bitchiness more appealing,”

Macher said. “… They’ll kinda

label them as sexy, and they’ll just

sexualize them. I don’t think that you

have to be beautiful, smart, skinny,

etc. to be a strong woman in power.”

Women in entertainment, despite

their accomplishments or their journey,

are always centered around appearance.

Whether it’s about her

outfit, her sex life (or lack thereof) or

even how she landed the position she

currently has, a woman’s looks always

seem to be the topic of conversation.

“It bothers me that women in power

necessarily need to be super attractive

and fit a certain body image mold –

often that’s thin, white, very dressed

up,” said Marissa Medine, a thirdyear

law student at Yale University

interested in family law. “One of the

more ridiculous [examples] I think of

is the high-powered surgeon, doctor

who’s worked an 18-hour shift and still

has impeccable makeup and is wearing

stiletto pumps in the middle of

the hospital.”

“Work, work, work,

work, work, work…”

According to the American Association

of University Women (AAUW),

working women in 2015 received 80

percent of what working men earned,

which means there’s a gap of 20 percent.

That’s not even including race,

ethnicity and age. AAUW stated that

although pay for women has drastically

increased since 1960, women are

expected to reach pay equity with men

by 2059.

“One aspect of the wage gap that I

think doesn’t get enough attention is

that historically female-dominated

fields are paid way less, and are considered

way less prestigious, than their

male counterparts,” Wander said.

“Public school teachers are paid less

than professors, nurses are paid less

than doctors, etc.”

Despite the current challenges, Clausen

said there are more ways to help

women succeed today than there have

been before.

“Women still face significant challenges,

especially in male-dominated

fields, but America is way more aware

of these challenges than ever before,”

she said. “There are women’s groups

dedicated to pairing women up to help

them network and succeed. There are

books about how women can help each

other succeed. There are men who are

actively helping women get ahead.”

The year 2016 brought another presidential

election. Hillary Clinton ran

a campaign yet again and earned the

presidential nominee for the Democratic

Party. She ran on a platform

that supported ideas such as gender

equality, climate change, racial justice,

LGBT rights, etc. For months,

polls slated her to be the first female

president of the United States. Ultimately,

she lost to her opponent, now

President-elect Donald Trump.

“I was very saddened by the fact

that we would not have a first female

president,” Medine said. “I still remember

the day of the election. I was

home, looking at this book [from] when

I was little called First Ladies: Women

Who Called the White House Home,

and I loved it since I was little. And

I remember thinking that morning,

‘Wow, we could really have a woman to

call the White House home and who’s

not a First Lady.’ And how incredible

that would be to talk to my children

about that and see this historical moment

and see this book as a historical

artifact and realize the progress we

have made.”

Although Hillary Clinton did not win

the 2016 election and with the progress

the country has made so far, Niedzielski-Eichner

said she believes the U.S.

will have a female president one day.

“Absolutely, without a question,” she

said. “I can’t believe it’s taken us as

long as it has, but we absolutely will.

We’ll get there.” *

Alice Spring 2017 [57]

[58] Alice Spring 2017




Pushing against heteronormativity:

living in the LGBTQ community

By Elizabeth Elkin

Editor’s note: Finn is a pseudonym

for a University of Alabama student

who requested anonymity.

Finn has been transgender forever.

He didn’t have a word for it until the

beginning of middle school. In sixth

or seventh grade, he thought to himself,

“Oh, that might be it. I might

be trans.”

Freshman year of high school, he became

more certain.

“There was kind of a progressive level

of ‘I know, that might be a thing,’

and then, ‘Oh, there’s a word that actually

describes me,’ ” he said.

Sometime around his junior year of

high school, Finn spoke with his mother

about it. At the time, his friends and

family knew him as a female. He did

not come out to the rest of his family

until sophomore year of college.

Finn grew up in Alabama. In high

school, everyone chose to attend the

state university, who gave him scholarship

money. Going there just felt like

the thing to do. If he could remake that

decision, Finn would be somewhere

else right now.

“It doesn’t feel safe,” he said. “I’m

always on edge. Always. Even if I feel

comfortable, I’m always like, ‘Okay,

but make sure you’re watching out

for yourself.’ Especially because all it

takes is one drunk frat daddy and his

friends to not like me. A lot of us feel

like they could kill you and not have

that much of a fuss.”

The transgender community is often

the recipient of violence, and after

this election season, people like Finn

worry about their personal safety.

Finn goes through college in fear, trying

not to stand out, trying to avoid

being outed in front of people who may

hurt him for becoming the person he

feels he was meant to be.

Alice Spring 2017 [59]

Finn’s freshman year, he lived in the

girls’ dorms. He wasn’t out yet, so he

had no choice. It was okay, though, because

he always ended up by himself.

His roommates were never there. His

biggest problem was that he lived really

close to fraternity houses, and some

of the guys who lived there seemed to

have a serious problem with him.

One day, he was trying to park his

car while several men were trying to

park a boat. One of them saw him.

“What is it?” he said, staring at Finn.

“Get out of the car and come talk to

us,” another said.

They continued to harass him,

frightening him. Finn spoke to some

people in Safe Zone, an ally network at

The University of Alabama which aims

to educate people on LGBT topics, according

to its website. He filed a police

report and spoke to Housing and Residential


Finn said the people in Housing were

very accommodating, and they ended

up moving him. He told them he didn’t

feel comfortable living with either gender,

and they moved him to a single.

Mostly, Finn said, some people just

give him mean looks, or act awkwardly

around him. It’s awful, but better than

harassment or violence.

Finn has had his name picked out

since high school. He spent hours

Googling baby name sites. His first

name was always in his head, knowing

that Finn was what he would be called.

He did not pick out his middle name,

however, until the day he went to officially

change his name.

Calling him by his chosen name is

a matter of courtesy, Finn said. Even

some of his friends still call him “she,”

which becomes awkward and scary in

situations where he is around people

who don’t know he’s transgender.

“It really feels like you don’t respect

me if you do that,” he said. “They’re

like, ‘oh, when I met you I thought you

were a girl, so.’ I’ve met people who

have transitioned, and I don’t mess

that up.”

Kirk Walter, assistant director of

student involvement at Safe Zone, and

Lizzie Emerson, Safe Zone graduate

assistant, said that while it depends

on your health care provider, generally

speaking, procedures or treatments

are not covered for gender dysphoria.

“We kind of exist in a medical desert

in Tuscaloosa, in that we do not have

medical practitioners in town that will

really work or work well with the trans

community,” Walter said. “So for example,

if an individual wants to begin

the hormone treatment, there are no

doctors in Tuscaloosa or in the immediately

surrounding area that will

work with anybody to do that.”

There are two doctors Safe Zone refer

to students for treatment. Both are

in Birmingham, but Walter said the

wait time to see those doctors can be

six to nine months.

Both doctors turned Finn down,

and he had to go to a doctor in Georgia.

In addition, many doctors, including

Finn’s, want patients to go

through a year of therapy before

beginning treatment.

“It took me three years of actively

trying to get on hormones,” he said.

Finn’s health care pays for some of

his hormonal treatments, but only because

his doctor has it listed as something

else. He says health care should

pay for hormonal treatments for the

transgender community because it’s

absolutely necessary in many cases,

including his.

“I felt least safe when I was trying

my best not to be masculine, but it

didn’t work,” he said. “You still have

all these female features. Not only do

you have to wait an extra year, it took

me another year, year and a half to get

someone that would actually help me.

It was torture.”

Eventually, Finn thinks he may want

a hysterectomy, an expensive surgery

to remove the uterus that almost no

health care provider will cover for the

transgender community.

“You have to go to all kinds of crazy

places [to get it done],” he said. “It’s

a lot of debating on, ‘Do I want to try

to spend all of my time saving up this

money, or do I want to just deal with

the days where I feel like shit.’ ”

For individuals in the process of

transitioning, Emerson said, health

insurance and access to preventative

medicine can be a huge issue.

“A person may need gynecological

preventative care but not have access

to that because their birth certificate

doesn’t say the right thing anymore,”

she said.

There are four bathrooms on campus

Finn feels comfortable using. Up

until he began using hormones, he has

always felt awkward trying to figure

out whether to use the male or female

bathroom. His decision usually came

down to how he was dressed.

“A lot of the times I would make a

point not to talk,” he said. “If I went

into the male bathroom and I looked

male, if I talked, it would give it away.

I’ve basically got a running list of all

the gender-neutral bathrooms on campus.

There’s definitely not enough.”

[60] Alice Spring 2017

Depending on where a

transgender person is in

transitioning, choosing

which bathroom to use

can be a matter of

personal safety.

Finn said depending on where a

transgender person is in transitioning,

choosing which bathroom to use can

be a matter of personal safety. Gender-neutral

bathrooms, often labeled

as family bathrooms, can alleviate the

stress and safety concerns of choosing

which bathroom to use. However,

the state of Alabama currently has no

positive gender-neutral bathroom laws,

among other ways the state suppresses

the transgender community.

Finn said he honestly couldn’t think

of anything the state does to protect

the transgender community, wishing

officials would make it easier to change

gender registration.

According to the National Center for

Transgender Equality, to change your

name in Alabama, you have to submit

a petition to the probate court for a

name change order. To update your

name and gender on state identification,

you have to change your name

with the Social Security Administration

and then submit a court order for

a name change and documentation

signed by a surgeon verifying that

you’ve had gender reassignment surgery.

To update your birth certificate,

you need proof that you’ve had gender

reassignment surgery as well.

Since surgery is so expensive, many

transgender people will never change

their gender on their birth certificate

or Alabama identification, he said.

In addition, according to The University

of Alabama Registrar, in order

to change your gender with the university,

you also need a letter from a

doctor certifying that they performed

sexual reassignment surgery on you.

This can pose problems for students in

situations where their genders appear

in the University system.

Chris Bryant, interim director of

Media Relations at the university, said

on a class roster a pronoun and a preferred

first and last name is listed.

“So, on the class roster a student can

indicate their pronoun and the name

by which they wish to be identified,”

Bryant said.

Bryant also said a student’s photo

is available in the student information

system, for instructors and advisers to

look at.

However, Finn said he had a different

experience with photo and name

changes. Because he was not out his

freshman year of college, his original

university identification photo showed

him as a female and the system had

his birth name. It eventually became a

problem when school offices would not

accept his identification.

“They didn’t believe it,” he said. “I

had to show like five different cards

from my wallet, and each one had both

names. I was like, ‘I promise I’m me.’ ”

Lizzie Emerson of Safe Zone said one

of the major things universities can do

is to allow students to self identify on

all forms, giving the example of how

the student health center’s basic forms

are not gender inclusive.

“The first step is to know who they

are,” she said, adding that the university

can project an institutional show

of solidarity to make students feel

safer on campus.

“I think that’s been missing so far,”

she said.

At Safe Zone, they talk about allyship

as a verb instead of a noun. This

requires people to go beyond just

“Facebook activism” and help people

in their day-to-day lives.

“You act as an ally,” Walter said.

“You act in solidarity with. If you are

not a member of the community, it requires

deliberate action.”

Walter said if all the different advocacy

organizations came together and

recognized the intersectionality of all

these communities, that would make a

huge difference.

“If I’m an advocate for the LGBTQ

community, because there are LGBTQ

members of color, I also need to be an

advocate for Black Lives Matter,” he

said. “And because there are those who

identify as women within the LGBTQ

community, I also need to be a feminist.

Because there are LGBTQ folks

who use mobility devices, I also need

to be an advocate for Americans with

disabilities. If everyone recognized

that intersection, that you cannot have

social justice of whatever group you’re

interested in supporting without also

having social justice for those folks

who have the intersection of the identity

that you care about, if everyone

would recognize that, we’d win.” *

Alice Spring 2017 [61]




By Caroline Wells

Comfortably sitting on my couch one Friday night,

sipping tea and catching up on the latest episode

of The Bachelor, I had an overwhelming sense of

needing to be healthier. All the contestants on The Bachelor

seemed to lounge around and sip wine while staying in

perfect shape. “How do they do that? They must take a pill

or something,” I wondered. I unlocked my phone, pulled up

Instagram and went to my favorite health nut feed looking

for a quick solution to what seemed like a never-ending

problem of mine – wanting to be “healthy.”

One Instagram account claimed taking Vitamin B12 pills

would provide more energy for better workouts so I could

burn more fat. Another account claimed taking a pre-workout

and biotin was the secret to a lean, toned body. With

these claims in mind, I headed to the local Target to find

my magic vitamin elixir. As I was walking down the vitamin

supplement aisle, I felt like I was standing at the

foot of a tsunami wave. How do I know which vitamins to

take? And which brand is the best deal? Should I get the

ones in the cute, colorful bottle or stick to the tried and

true Flintstones vitamins?

Supplement marketing can mislead consumers into thinking

that taking a supplement is as good as intake of nutrients

through food. Currently, a popular trend is to take

large doses of Vitamin C to prevent or cure a cold. Food

chemist and Registered Dietitian Dr. Kristi Crowe-White,

RD stated, “Megadoses of Vitamin C aren’t beneficial, as

the body can only absorb so much Vitamin C at once. The

excess amount is excreted, not stored for later. However,

the amount of Vitamin C in fruits and vegetables is present

in a dosage within our body’s ability to absorb it fully.”

Dr. Crowe-White added Vitamin C is an extremely useful

antioxidant in the body, but it is not necessary to gulp down

large vitamin C supplementation daily.

So if taking every vitamin off the shelf won’t help, what

will? I’m so glad you asked! A healthy, balanced diet.

[62] Alice Spring 2017

“Healthy,” meaning a diet full of vegetables, fruits and

whole grains. Vegetables are incredible because they supply

tremendous amounts of vitamins and minerals. Spinach

and other dark, leafy greens are a source of almost every

vitamin and mineral. Whole Grains contain B vitamins (energy),

plus they are a great source of fiber to control hunger.

Dr. Crowe-White said, “Your first step before supplementing

should be looking at your diet. Write down what you eat

(she recommends 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days) so you’ll

have a better idea of what nutrients are missing and what

you are getting from your diet.”

One of the main supplements everyone should be taking

is probiotics. Probiotics supply the intestines and gut

with beneficial microorganisms, which impact our immune

system and ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Dr.

Crowe-White stated, “In order for the vitamins and minerals

we get from our diet to be better absorbed and utilized

… we need to do everything we can for our gut bacteria.

Probiotics can only enhance our health.”

Taking probiotics can only be helpful in our quest to be

healthier, so if you only buy one thing from Target, let

it be a probiotic. If our gut is not ready to absorb nutrients,

then taking more and more vitamins will never solve

the problem.

Resisting the urge to eat badly and take vitamins later

is difficult in this quick-fix culture. Vitamin brands would

like you to think that taking a “fat-blocker” or “carb inhibitor”

is the answer to losing weight while still eating a high

sugar and low nutrient dense diet. When asked about how

proficient these fat-blocking supplements really were, Crow-

White replied, “Show me the science. I think that there

are a lot of claims out there that are unfounded. Unfortunately,

supplements are unregulated by any government

agency and it’s on the manufacturer to be truthful. These

supplements can bear claims without being approved by the

FDA.” To sell products, manufacturers can print any claim

they would like and paste it to the outside of a bottle. As

a general rule of thumb, if the claim sounds magical, it is

probably false.

After scouring the internet, research sites, and reflecting

on my own personal testing over the past year, I have compiled

a list of vitamins I think are worth the money and are

supplementing holes in my college diet. These are the supplements

that have helped me, however; each person’s need

for supplementation varies based on their diet. *


Brand: Nutrition Now

Name: PB 8

Where to Buy: Amazon, $13

Why should I take it? Probiotics are the food for the bacteria

in the gut. The bacteria in the gut are needed to help

the intestines absorb nutrients from the diet and help the

body excrete waste. My college diet unfortunately contains

a lot of sugars, which kill off the good bacteria in the

gut. This probiotic is an affordable way to get those good

bacteria back!


Brand: Nature’s Bounty

Name: Fish Oil

Where to buy: Amazon, $10

Why should I take it? Fish oils, specifically EPA/DHA,

support healthy levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the

body, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and help fatsoluble

vitamins absorb. On a college budget, I cannot afford

to include fish in my weekly diet, so these fill in where

my diet lacks.


Brand: Navan Skin Care

Name: True Clear Skin Clarifying Supplement

Where to Buy:, $35

Why should I take it? I have had acne and skin care problems

since puberty and have found that my diet lacks the

recommended amount of Vitamin A, which supports healthy

skin. Since taking these vitamins regularly, my skin has

been consistently clear. The secret to these pills is taking

them with adequate healthy fat in the diet, because Vitamin

A will not absorb without fat.


Brand: Blue Bonnet

Name: Calcium Citrate, Magnesium, Vitamin D3

Where to buy: Amazon, $20

Why should I take it? Regular headaches and sleepless

nights plagued me when I first got to college. Add tons of

stress and anxiety and you’ve got a recipe for a magnesium

deficiency. Once I started taking magnesium, the stress levels

in my body significantly decreased, and I had an easier

time falling asleep and staying asleep.

Remember, supplements are great, but only in the correct

context. To figure out what supplements are best for you,

try recording your diet and then seeing a Registered Dietitian

for advice.






Alice Spring 2017 [63]


Photos by Teah Shaw

[64] Alice Spring 2017

Backflips for Bama

By Claire Turner

Kiana Winston straightens her

crimson and houndstooth bow in the

locker room mirror, laughing with

her teammates as she adjusts her

bedazzled leotard one last time. She

lines up to walk through the hallway,

the roar of thousands of people in the

crowd growing louder and louder with

each step. Sparklers shoot out golden

fireworks through four illuminated,

larger than life letters: B-A-M-A.

Winston runs out with the rest of

The University of Alabama gymnastics

team, taking in the coliseum with

15,000 seats, four center-hung Jumbo

Trons, two scoreboards and the

feeling of experiencing it all with her

best friends beside her. She feels her

heart swell with pride as she steps

onto the crimson script A on the court,

knowing she’s achieving all her goals

at the college she always dreamed

of attending.

Winston is not thinking about

her homework in her classes for her

psychology major, nor that project she

has due for her human development

minor. Though it is her junior year,

she’s nine hours from her home in Fort

Worth, Texas, and she’s had three

surgeries due to gymnastics injuries,

Winston was focusing on landing

her killer double layout in her floor

routine and nailing her release on the

uneven bars.

“What I love most about competing

is the butterflies that you get,”

Winston said. “And just being one

with yourself, having an audience and

performing for yourself so it’s like, ‘let

me show you what I can do.’ God gave

me these gifts, so I’m definitely going

to use them.”

Winston’s favorite part of being

a gymnast is her ability to do what

others can’t.

“I love setting a goal and pushing

myself to make it. I love that

determination factor of it.”

Her determination paid off at

the 2016 Southeastern Conference

Championships in Little Rock,

Arkansas, when she scored a 9.95

out of a perfect 10 on her bar routine,

achieving an exhilarating tie with

Alice Spring 2017 [65]

teammate and roommate Katie Bailey.

Despite being part of team that has

won nine SEC Championships and

six NCAA National Championships,

Winston stays pretty levelheaded

in school, saying she doesn’t feel a

difference between being a student

athlete and a normal student.

“I don’t really know that many

people, so I’m not really treated very

differently,” she said. “I would say

that the perks here with the academic

center and of course [the gymnastics]

training facility really help me reach

my goals.”

Winston maintains a healthy gradepoint

average in Alabama’s Center

for Athletic Student Services, where

student athletes are required to attend

study hall sessions every night their

first year on campus. Her body is

kept in shape in the extraordinarily

efficient and safe gymnastics practice

center that features five balance

beams, two foam pits, six pairs of

uneven bars, several vaults and a large,

springy practice floor for perfecting

floor routines.

In addition to this, Winston and

the gymnastics team have a private

training room and personal trainers

who assist with conditioning and

treatments, like icing or heating the

body or a deep-tissue massage, as

well as helping the girls maintain a

healthy diet.

“I like pizza a lot, but I don’t eat it

all the time,” she said, adding a love

for ice cream. “I don’t necessarily have

to watch what I eat, but I am aware of

what I eat.”

Though practicing and competing

take up a lot of time, Winston and her

teammates are accustomed to busy

schedules. When heading to a meet

at a different school, they set aside a

specific time for studying.

“I have class Monday through

Friday,” Winston said. “If we’re

traveling then we have excused

absences, but we still have to get all of

our work done. So it’s a little bit busier

with travel meets, but we know how to

manage our time.”

Though Winston has done

gymnastics since she was a child, she

doesn’t plan on furthering her career

in the sport past college, choosing

instead to focus her future on children.

“I’m not necessarily done with the

sport,” she said. “Of course I’m going

to come back for all the alumni meets,

and I’m going to visit. But I want to see

what’s out there besides gymnastics.

It’s all I’ve known my whole life.”

Winston wants to get her Master’s

degree in psychology and give back to

children, whether that’s counseling,

owning a day care or even coaching a

children’s gymnastics team. But there

are definitely things she’s going to

miss when she leaves the Crimson Tide

gymnastics team.

“What I’m going to miss about

competing at UA is the crowd and, of

course, my teammates and the bond

that we have,” she said.

Winston and the rest of her team

look forward to more sparkly costumes,

locker room fun and excellent scores at

competitions in the upcoming season. *

[66] Alice Spring 2017


By Lauren Lane

Once Gigi Hadid let the world know

the secret to getting her svelte figure

required kickboxing and a weekly

cheeseburger, the exercise became a

huge phenomenon for women. However,

kickboxing has proven itself to be more

than a fad. It is an incredible way to

relieve stress, learn self-defense and

get a high calorie burn in just one

session. All it takes is a few minutes in

the ring to make you feel like the girl

boss you truly are.

I took my first-ever kickboxing class

at my university’s student recreation

center. I figured since I was not taking

it at a real kickboxing facility, it

would not be intense, so I ran a mile

beforehand for a warm-up. Boy, was I


Caleigh Everingham, my instructor,

got down to business in the first minute

of class. We spent the entire 50-minute

period doing cardio and worked every

big muscle group. No one had on

boxing gloves, but Caleigh kept up the

intensity and worked us out through

repetitions of kickboxing moves,

squats, kicks and intense cardio.

“I incorporate different classes

and my own lifting workouts into my

own exercise routine, but kickboxing

is my favorite right now since I can

incorporate high-intensity cardio

bursts with agility exercises and

strength and conditioning work,”

Everingham said. “Some people first

come to my class thinking it’s going

to be just punching and kicking for 50

minutes, but my goal is to give a fullbody

workout in a much more varied

and intense way than that.”

I left class that evening feeling

accomplished and proud of myself for

pushing through. I loved the challenge

of keeping up my heart rate and

making every move just as intense

and sharp as if I was in a real boxing

match. I could feel the soreness hitting

me as soon as class was over, and I

made sure to stretch that night, even

though I was painfully sore for the

next three days.

Alice Spring 2017 [67]

Not only is kickboxing

a physical workout,

but it also has a mental

aspect to it that

is just as important.

Many members who

suffer with anxiety and

depression see drastic

improvements, which

I think is something

really overlooked.”

I went in to 9Round, a local facility,

for a free nine rounds of kickboxing

and circuit training that made full use

of my 30 minutes. Each round lasted

for three minutes and consisted of a

variety of boxing, strength and cardio

moves. There were short circuits in

between each round, making it exciting

to see what the next challenge was even

when I was exhausted.

“In our 30 minute kickboxing

workout, you’ll burn massive amounts

of calories, continue to burn calories for

hours after your workout is complete,

release toxins, strengthen and tighten

every muscle, boost your stamina,

relieve stress, strengthen your heart,

release endorphins and improve your

sleep,” said Halle Wallace, coach and

owner of 9Round, Tuscaloosa. “Not

only is kickboxing a physical workout,

but it also has a mental aspect to it that

is just as important. Many members

who suffer with anxiety and depression

see drastic improvements, which I

think is something really overlooked.”

Both coaches mentioned kickboxing

helping themselves and their clients

battle depression and anxiety, along

with building confidence in who they

are. More than 90 percent of 9Round

clients are women. Wallace finds

satisfaction seeing females finding

their strength and becoming more

comfortable in their own skin.

I felt empowered after leaving both

workouts, and each one became so much

more than just burning calories and

rather helped me focus on becoming a

better version of myself.

“The world tries to tell women

what they should look like and who

they should be, but I believe that

kickboxing is an avenue for women to

mold themselves into who they want to

be,” Everingham said. “I want women

to have kickboxing as an outlet to take

the good and bad things life throws at

us and channel them into becoming

stronger, healthier, and happier. My

hope is that the women who come to my

classes leave feeling better than when

they walked in and empowered to turn

their goals into plans.” *


> TRENDS 2016





online on facebook +

1701 McFarland Blvd East

Open Daily 10am-9pm, Sunday 1pm-5:30pm



[68] Alice Spring 2017




By Analiese Gerald

Hectic schedules and long days of classes make it easy to fall into

the trap of eating fast food meals and snacks. While that Starbucks

brownie tastes great in the moment, the result of this habit is a

shrinking wallet and an unhealthy diet. Instead, try filling your

backpack with these easy snacks to stay healthy on and off campus.

Roasted Chickpeas

If you’re looking for a nutritious snack that

will keep you full, roasted chickpeas are a perfect

fit. Chickpeas are a great source of protein and

fiber and with this recipe they can make a tasty

snack too.


1 can chickpeas

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Drain chickpeas and blot with a paper towel to

dry them

3. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet and cover

with the spices

4. Bake for 20 minutes, turning chickpeas over with

a spatula halfway through


Nut Clusters

Satisfy your sweet tooth and growling stomach

with this yummy combination of sweet and savory.

The nuts provide protein and the chocolate, a

monounsaturated fat, will keep you full until your

next meal.


6 oz dark chocolate

½ cup almonds

½ cup shelled pistachios

½ cup cashews


1. Melt chocolate in saucepan at medium low heat

and mix in nuts

2. Place spoonfuls of mixture ½ inch apart on

parchment paper

3. Refrigerate clusters until firm; store in the fridge

Cinnamon and Sugar

Pumpkin Seeds

Another mix of sweet and salty, cinnamon and

sugar pumpkin seeds are a classic holiday treat

that you can easily make at home all year around.

Pumpkin seeds are nutritious and filling, while the

cinnamon and sugar add a tasty twist.


1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp sugar


1. Heat coconut oil in saucepan on medium heat

2. Cook pumpkin seeds, stirring in cinnamon and

sugar, until seeds start browning

Oatmeal Balls

This power snack is a delicious treat that is also

packed with nutrients, protein and fiber. It’s perfect

for an on-the-go breakfast or snack between classes.


1 cup oats

½ cup peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup goji berries

½ cup toasted shredded coconut

1 tbsp chia seeds


1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl

2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place on parchment


3. Refrigerate until firm; store in fridge

Alice Spring 2017 [69]


[70] Alice Spring 2017


If your afternoon protein bar has

gotten boring, we have the solution...

make a fruit pizza instead! Fruit

pizzas are delicious, filling and healthy

pick-me-ups that will brighten up

your snacking.



Bagel Half, Rice Cake, English Muffin Half, Waffle


Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, Nutella, Vanilla Yogurt, Jam


Strawberries, Blueberries, Kiwi, Banana, Apple, Raspberries


Nuts, Dried Fruit, Coconut, Chocolate Chips

Alice Spring 2017 [71]


Ride the

Moon Taxi

By Ellen Johnson and Katie Huff

In the basement green rooms

of the Alabama Theatre in

Birmingham, members of the band

Moon Taxi are busy making music

for their next record. They’re on

the road, enjoying down time here

and there, but still – in a basement

surrounded by boxes of pizza and

a bustling crew, just hours before

their Nov. 25 show – they’re

making music. The stage is being

set, sound check is in an hour and

eager fans with VIP meet-and-greet

passes will soon arrive.

In the midst of it all, lead singer

Trevor Terndrup offered us a slice of

pizza and sat down to tell the band’s

story, and the story behind Moon

Taxi’s name. Don’t think too hard

about it – there is no mystique behind

this group’s handle.

“What really happened was the bass

player mooned a taxi,” Terndrup said.

No complicated formula or

philosophical musings in this band

name – just the story of a guy

unsuccessfully trying to hail a cab.

Though the origin of Moon Taxi’s

name is fully exposed, the story of

their music needed some uncovering.

The Alabama Theatre concert was

a homecoming of sorts for the band.

Three of its members – Terndrup,

bassist Tommy Putnam, and drummer

Tyler Ritter – hail from Vestavia

Hills, Ala. Joined by guitarist Spencer

Thomson and keyboardist Wes Bailey,

they all came together in Nashville and

have been making music ever since.

Following their successful first album

Melodica in 2007, Moon Taxi released

three more records, and (as seen in

their nomadic recording methods)

they’re definitely not stopping there.

When we met the band at the

Alabama Theatre, the sounds of Bailey

and Thomson cranking out new tunes

could be heard echoing from the room

next door.

“You walked in on it,” Terndrup

said to us of the new music. “You’re

part of history.”

Moon Taxi has played all over

the country in every kind of venue

imaginable. From fraternity houses

and hole-in-the-wall bars to festivals

and amphitheaters, they have done

it all. They sell out theaters and

they’re regulars at the Hangout Fest,

Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, but you

[72] Alice Spring 2017

can also catch them at venues like

Druid City Music Hall, or even a

fraternity house at Mississippi State

University. With each stop, it seems

like more and more fans are hopping

on board.

At the show we attended, the

audience was a hodge-podge of old and

young. High school students and adults

alike filled the seats of the Alabama

Theatre, and many friends and family

members of the band were also there

to excitedly welcome Moon Taxi home.

“I think it’s definitely necessary to

go through those steps to play those

small dive bars, because you really

appreciate it when you get to play in a

beautiful room like the theater we’re in

right now,” Terndrup said. “I’ve loved

every step of the journey.”

Their most recent album,

Daybreaker, released in

2015, has been some of their

most popular music yet, but

they still have stuck to their

original style. They have

mastered the art of creating

new and fresh music that

is still undeniably true to

their own sound.

“It’s been a long

journey,” Terndrup said.

“We’ve grown as people and

gotten closer as friends and

as a band. It’s a group of

brothers at this point and

I think that’s reflected in the lyrical

content. But I think the songwriting

itself has gotten better too.”

One of the hit songs from

Daybreaker is “All Day All Night,”

which was featured in a McDonald’s

all-day breakfast commercial.

Fans new and old were pleased to

hear the jam accompany the fast

food advertisement.

“I think a lot of people heard it

which was also good,” Terndrup said

of the song. “Our fans, if they really

like us, they’re like, ‘Alright, that’s

cool.’ If they kind of like us, they’re

like, ‘I don’t know, I like McDonalds.’”

“All Day All Night” is fun and

upbeat and the perfect background

noise for eating a McMuffin, but it’s

not the only song sticking around

in the minds of Moon Taxi’s fans.

Songwriting is a collaborative effort

for the band, and their system works.

With songs referencing nature, love,

adventure and even death, their

music covers all the bases and gives

listeners the power to derive their

own meanings.

“People can read into them if they

want but they’re still about concrete

ideas,” Terndrup said. “That’s the cool

thing. Sometimes you want to write

lyrics that are a little more abstract

so people can read their own meaning

into them, but also sometimes a song

is just about something specific like a

“I think it’s definitely

necessary to go through

those steps to play those

small dive bars, because

you really appreciate it

when you get to play in a

beautiful room...”

cup of tea or something like that.”

One clear string in much of Moon

Taxi’s music is a reference to nature

and experiences. So, what’s up with all

the talk of rivers, oceans, beaches and

sunsets? Terndrup had a theory.

“We look out the window a lot on the

tour bus,” Terndrup said. “It’s nicer

outside than inside.”

One of Terndrup’s favorites is

“Juniper” off of the 2013 record

Mountains Beaches Cities. While

listeners may derive their own

meanings, this one is special to him for

his own reasons.

“It’s about the sun dying, the light

source going,” Terndrup said. “It was

also about my grandmother passing.

And it was the last song on the record,

so it has this finale at the end.”

In addition to their own songs, Moon

Taxi can rock out a cover. They’ve

covered “Everybody Wants to Rule

the World,“ “Stressed Out,” and Bob

Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”

with flying colors (They were even

invited to Dylan Fest, a tribute event

complete with superstars like Kings of

Leon and Ke$ha).

“Covers are always fun just to

break up the set,” Terndrup said. “We

pride ourselves on doing good versions

of covers.”

Moon Taxi isn’t afraid to cater to

their audience, and their strategically

designed setlists pay off.

“Tonight is a theatre

so we might cater the set

a little different for the

environment,” Terndrup

said. “Sometimes we like to

play new songs in the live

environment and see how

people react to them, and

that informs the writing


As Moon Taxi performs

around the country and

releases new music, the

band leaves a trail of happy

audiences and loyal fans.

Their newly-recorded music is aimed

to be released sometime early this year.

Their concert was two hours of pure

fun. From treating the audience to

acoustic versions of songs like “River

Water” and “The New Black” to

getting everyone on their feet for the

crowd-favorite “Morocco,” these guys

just know how to entertain. Their

strong songwriting yields an everchanging

combination of escapist

jams, and Terndrup sees their music

just as such.

“We’re kind of escapism,” Terndrup

said. “We like to escape and have fun.” *

Alice Spring 2017 [73]





By Kyarra Harris

The only thing missing from your spring break

beach bag is a good read. We know how it goes:

You want something fresh and new, but also

entertaining. We’ve compiled a list of the best

new books to read this spring that are sure to

keep you from snoozing on your flight or dozing off in the

sand (and getting sunburnt). So apply that sunscreen and

grab one of these novels before you take off on your spring

break adventures.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

“Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember

that it’s all a game...”

Two sisters escape their abusive father who has set up an

arranged marriage for his daughter Scarlett, and upsets her

dream of seeing the “legendary once-a-year” performance,

Caraval. But when sister Tella enlists the help of a sailor to get

them to the show and is kidnapped by the show’s ringleader,

Scarlett must learn the rules of the mysterious game, and

find her sister before the five nights of the game are over and

her sister is lost forever.

Caraval is Garber’s Young Adult (YA) debut. She’s a

professor for a private college in Northern California, and

though this book is her first YA novel, she has already

received praise from other best-selling YA authors such as

Sabaa Tahir and Kiersten White.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

When 17-year-old Nadia Turner entered her senior year

of high school, she was still grief-stricken by her mother’s

suicide. She began a light relationship with the local pastor’s

son, Luke. But the teen pregnancy that results, and its coverup,

will haunt the individuals for years to come. The years

pass as Nadia hides her secret, even from her best friend

Aubrey. Soon Nadia, Luke and Aubrey are looking back on

the decisions they all made that summer, and wonder what life

would be like if they had done things differently.

Bennett was born and raised in Southern California,

and she uses her experience living in a contemporary black

community in California to give excellent details to her book.

The Mothers is Bennett’s first novel.

[74] Alice Spring 2017

The Best Kind of People

by Zoe Whittall

“What if someone you trusted was accused of

the unthinkable?”

George Woodbury, a teacher working for a prestigious prep

school, is arrested for sexual impropriety. The Best Kind of

People follows his wife, Joan, who’s angry and in denial, his

daughter Sadie, who goes from a popular high school senior

to an outcast, and his son Andrew, who assists in his father’s

defense, but remembers the unhappiness of his teenage years.

The family must relearn how to live their lives while

questioning George’s guilt.

sister of a brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people, uses her

power to exploit and torture his enemies. Akos, coming from

a peaceful nation called Thuyhe, and his brother are captured

by the Shotet. He will stop at nothing to get him out alive.

Both Cyra and Akos must decide to help each other, or follow

their in family’s footsteps and destroy one another.

Why We Came to the City

Kristopher Jansma

Jansma tells a story about young friends who are

just five years out of college starting their lives in New

York. The characters are finding their way through the

big city: editor Sara Sherman; her boyfriend astronomer

George Murphy, who’s dealing with addiction;

“loudmouth poet” Jacob Blaumann, who is no longer the

poet he used to be; William Cho, an investment banker;

and Irene Richmond, an “enchanting artist.” When one

friend falls incredibly ill, the characters are forced to step

back and look at their lives and relationships as well as the

one they have with the city they all chose.

In Why We Came To The City, Jansma is living up to the

high expectations set by his first book The Unchangeable

Spots of Leopards as he describes his hometown through the

eyes of young adults.

Carve the Mark

by Veronica Roth

Roth, who is known for writing thrilling scenes that keep

readers invested throughout all of her work, is the best-selling

author of the Divergent series. Carve the Mark is a sci-fi novel

that tells the story of Cyra and Akos, who have developed

a unique power called currentgifts. Both characters’ gifts

have made them vulnerable to the control of others. Cyra, the

Alice Spring 2017 [75]



Helping Hands

By Emilee Benos

We know our favorite celebrities

from the movies they star in, from the

albums they release and the runways

they walk on, but they’re not always

confined to their Hollywood bubble.

Many use their fame as a platform to

bring attention to important issues

they are passionate about.

While these celebs may have more

money than we’ll ever see in our

lifetimes, a lot of them put it to good

use. Alice took a look at some of the

most charitable celebrities and the

causes they support.

Emma Watson: HeForShe

Watson serves as a U.N. Women’s

Goodwill ambassador and has been

actively involved in HeForShe, a U.N.

women’s solidarity movement for

gender equality, since the organization

was formed in 2014. She hosted the

HeForShe campaign launch event at

the U.N. Headquarters in New York,

where her speech on gender equality

went viral. The campaign’s aim is

to encourage men “to take action

against inequalities faced by women,”

according to the HeForShe website.

HeForShe is based on the idea that

“gender equality is a issue that affects

all people.”

[76] Alice Spring 2017

Ian Somerhaulder:

Ian Somerhaulder Foundation

Another U.N. Goodwill ambassador,

Somerhalder is vocal about his passion

and dedication to environmental

problems plaguing the world today.

Known for his work in The Vampire

Diaries and Lost, Somerhalder is

also an avid environmentalist and

humanitarian. Inspired by the oil

spill in the Gulf Coast, he founded

the Ian Somerhalder Foundation —

an organization to advance science,

promote conservation and provide relief

to the distressed and underprivileged.

According to the ISF website, the goal

is to support and empower youths to

action through programs that promote

education and innovation, and build

leadership and empathy skills.

Miley Cyrus: Happy Hippie

Cyrus’s organization garnered a lot

of attention when she famously brought

a homeless man to the 2014 VMAs

as her date. In her own words, the

Happy Hippie foundation’s mission is

to “make sure those who question the

value of themselves and their lives feel

protected and loved.” The organization

is dedicated to helping homeless youth,

LGBT youth and other vulnerable

populations by encouraging young

people to fight injustices.

Leonardo DiCaprio:

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Ian Somerhalder isn’t the only

leading man passionate about the

environment. Leo founded the

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in

1998 at age 24. The LDF works to put

an end to various environmental and

humanitarian issues through grantmaking,

initiating media projects and

campaigning, according to the website.

The LDF focuses on protecting the

last of the world’s “wild places” and

creating a balance between humans

and nature.

Jennifer Hudson:

Julian D. King Gift Foundation

Hudson founded the Julian D. King

Gift Foundation in October 2008 in

honor of her nephew Julian, who was

killed by her sister’s ex-husband —

the same man who killed Hudson’s

mother and brother. According to

the website, the Foundation offers

“support and stability to children of

all backgrounds.” Their goal is to help

these children become “happy, healthy

and confident adults.” Some of the

foundation’s efforts include collecting

and distributing Christmas presents

and school supplies.




By Sarah Beth Bolin

So you caved and finally subscribed to the studentdiscounted

Spotify premium, the crowning glory of music

streaming services. But you still don’t know how to do

anything other than stream music from your computer.

What’s the point of paying an extra $5 a month if you’re

just going to use Spotify like any other streaming service?

If you’re only using your Spotify account to listen to albums

and user-generated playlists, you’re missing out on a ton of

other features. Here’s a few tips and tricks to maximize your

Spotify usage.

Discover Weekly

Discover Weekly is a weekly playlist engineered by Spotify

to fit your tastes. Every Monday, Spotify analyzes what

you’ve been listening to over the past week and selects new

songs for you to try based on your playlists. Discover Weekly

is one of the best ways to find new music, especially if you

don’t know where to look or if the radio is a bore.

Create Similar Playlists

Have you ever really enjoyed a playlist but then grew tired

of hearing the same songs over and over again? Spotify can

help you out! Click the circle with the three dots in the header

of your playlist, and select “Create Similar Playlist.” From

there, Spotify will generate an inspired playlist very similar

to your previous one and with the same number of songs.


Sometimes when driving, it’s nice to listen to something

other than music. Audiobooks can be the perfect background

noise for a long road trip. From Pride and Prejudice to The

Hobbit, Spotify offers books from every genre. The playlist

Alice Spring 2017 [77]

“Audiobooks” and artist “DBS Audiobooks” carry hundreds

of hours worth of classic novels and new releases, so you’ll

always have something new to listen to.

Offline Listening

It can be frustrating when your jam session is interrupted

by a poor Wi-Fi signal. With Spotify premium, however,

you can save certain songs so they are downloaded on your

device and will play while you’re offline. This feature can be

very useful if you have bad service in certain areas, or if you

run out of data for the month.

Import Songs from iTunes

Tired of having to switch back and forth between iTunes

and Spotify? Make Spotify your primary venue for musiclistening

by importing your songs from iTunes into Spotify.

You can even import songs that aren’t available on Spotify,

like Beyoncé’s Lemonade or all of Taylor Swift’s music.

Select preferences on the desktop app, and scroll down to

Local Files. There, you should be able to import any music

that is saved on your computer’s hard drive.

Mood Playlists

Even Spotify knows that sometimes you need a playlist to

compliment your mood. And in the pattern of Spotify’s everincreasing

benefits, the service has accommodated those of

us who like to dance it out whenever we have any sort of

feelings. From “Confidence Boost” and “Happy Hits” to

“Brain Food” and “Life Sucks,” there’s bound to be some

sort of playlist that makes you think, “Wait, that’s exactly

how I feel right now.”

Artists Playlists

Have you ever wondered what your favorite artists are

listening to? Many artists who use Spotify as one of their

main streaming services will let you know on their artist

page. You can see their inspirations, all time favorites, or

even their current go-to music. Now you finally have the

chance to hear the music that inspires those who inspire you.

Go to Song Radio

Sometimes there’s that one song that dominates your mind

and you can’t stop listening to over and over. When you

finally get tired of it, you can visit a Spotify radio for that

song, which includes similar music and other songs by the

same artist. Click the three dots next to the song title and

then “Go to Song Radio.” You’ll find yourself using all your

old favorite songs to discover new favorites. *

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[78] Alice Spring 2017


The ladies changing the face of comedy

Alice Spring 2017 [79]

By Mia Blackman

While a stereotype may exist that

men dominate comedy, there are many

hilarious heroines out there who are

squashing it once and for all. These

ladies are killing the comedy game and

making it known to all that women are

just as funny as men. Here’s Alice’s

list for the best female comedians to

watch right now.


Born in San Francisco, Cali.,

this UCLA graduate didn’t actually

start doing stand-up until she was

23. From there, Wong moved to New

York to pursue her comedy dreams,

and she began performing up to nine

times a night. Wong has appeared

on The Tonight Show, John Oliver’s

New York Stand-Up Show and Dave

Atell’s Comedy Underground Show.

She has also appeared on Chelsea

Lately numerous times and performed

opposite Salma Hayek and Benicio

[80] Alice Spring 2017

Del Toro in the 2012 crime thriller

Savages. Wong provocatively jokes

about how racism can actually make a

marriage stronger and how she thinks

housewives have it better than working

wives. Her current comedy special,

Baby Cobra, is available on Netflix.


One of seven children in an Irish-

Catholic family, Madigan attended the

University of Missouri-St. Louis (and

accumulated $7,000 in parking tickets)

before later graduating from Southern

Illinois University Edwardsville with a

degree in journalism. She worked for

the St. Louis-area Suburban Journals

newspaper while also performing

stand-up in local comedy clubs. Her

father gave her the courage to follow

her comedic calling, and she later left

her life in Missouri to fully enter the

comedy world. Madigan has appeared

on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,

Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and

Late Show with David Letterman.

Madigan’s relatable comedy acts

include rhetorics on the common

struggle of going to the gym and what

it was like growing up with her large

family. She currently has two specials

available on Netflix.


This Massachusetts native has

quite the impressive résumé when

it comes to comedy and performing.

Kirkman majored in acting at

Emerson College in Boston and then

went on to perform at several comedy

clubs, including Hollywood Improv,

The Laugh Factory, Largo and The

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. She

is a regular panelist on Chelsea Lately

but has also appeared on Conan,

released three comedy albums and

written two episodes for the Disney

Channel animated show Phineas and

Ferb. Kirkman’s observational comedy

takes us through the highs and lows

of her love life, giving the audience

insight into why she apologizes for

her honeymoon to single people and

how after her divorce she refused to

date anyone younger than her. Her

newest special, I’m Gonna Die Alone

(And I Feel Fine), is currently available

on Netflix.


From winning a comedic

competition to writing and starring in

her own reality show, this Ohio mother

and wife has done it all. Pescatelli’s

career promptly took off in 2004

when she became a finalist on Last

Comic Standing. Since then, she is

constantly bringing smiles to people’s

faces – appearing on numerous shows

like The View, on several comedy radio

stations on Sirius XM Radio and in

The New York Post four times last year

for funniest jokes. Pescatelli brings

laughter as she tackles topics like body

image and reminds everyone how we

all have that one crazy friend. Her

current special, Finding the Funny, is

now available on Netflix.


Best known for her hit MADtv

character Bon Qui Qui, this former

NFL cheerleader has been acting

since she was a senior in high school.

Johnson was fascinated with imitating

different accents, and she studied

speech communications at De Anza

College. After a friend recommended

she join a comedic writing class,

Johnson moved to Los Angeles to take

improv classes and pursue a career

in comedy. She began to headline her

own shows and was soon asked to join

the cast of the sketch comedy show

MADtv. Johnson has also appeared in

a variety of movies like Marmaduke,

Enough Said, and The Book of Life.

Johnson keeps it down to earth by

never forgetting her roots, and also by

sharing her many hilarious encounters

with strangers, most famously at

the nail salon. She has currently has

two specials available for streaming

on Netflix.


This Australian comedian gives

credit to her first production, Alice in

Wonderland, for inciting her comedy

cravings. Flanagan played a rabbit

in the classic tale and the audience

loved her performance so much that

she knew comedy was her calling.

She is a self proclaimed “attention

seeker” and as a child would always

put on shows with her two younger

siblings. Flanagan is known as one of

Australia’s funniest women, having

appeared on Full Frontal, The Project,

The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, and

Utopia. Including her observations on

Australian politics and her peculiar

confusion with burlesque shows,

Flanagan uses a broad spectrum of

topics to reach her audience. One of

her specials, Hello Kitty Flanagan, is

currently streaming on Netflix. *

Alice Spring 2017 [81]


Tale as Old

Your Comprehensive Guide to the New Beauty and

the Beast, and its Auxiliary Pop Culture Magic

By Mia Blackman

A mind map is a visual illustration of information that includes

a central idea surrounded by connected branches of connected

topics. Disney’s live-action version of the classic Beauty and the

Beast will be released this March, and there is a lot of pop culture

goodness out there to get you #HYPE. Whether it be the actors

who bring the characters to life, or related books, movies and

musicals, we are sure you’ll find something in this list to get you

immersed in “a tale as old as time.”

[82] Alice Spring 2017

as Time:

The Cast

Emma Watson

Widely known for her portrayal as

Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter

series, Watson takes on the role of the

brave Belle in the live-action rendition

of Beauty and the Beast. After ending

the Harry Potter series, she went on to

act in several movies such as The Perks

of being a Wallflower and The Bling

Ring. Watson is also a big activist for

women’s education and even completed

her own, graduating from Brown with

a degree in English literature. Along

with Beauty and the Beast, Watson has

another movie, which is a science-fiction

drama called The Circle, set to release

in April of this year.

Dan Stevens

A huge shift from his role as Matthew

Crawley in the British drama

television series Downton Abbey, Stevens

has the distinct honor of bringing

the Beast to life on the big screen. He

began his career in theater with the

role of Orlando in the Shakespearean

play As You Like It, and has since performed

in various plays, movies, and

television series. Stevens has appeared

in movies like Night at the Museum: Secret

of the Tomb and A Walk Among the

Tombstones plus has two more movies,

Permission and Marshall, also set to be

released in 2017.

Luke Evans

The Welsh actor and singer, who got

his breakthrough role playing Apollo in

Clash of the Titans, is bringing to life

the character we all love to hate – the

arrogant and athletic Gaston. Evans

essentially began his career on stage

and has appeared in many different

productions including London’s West

End shows Taboo, Rent, and Avenue Q.

After starring in Clash of the Titans,

he has been featured in a number of

films including Dracula Untold, Furious

7, and The Girl on the Train. He

is currently filming Professor Marston

& The Wonder Women, set to premiere

later this year.

Above: Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in Beauty and the Beast / photo courtesy of Disney

Alice Spring 2017 [83]

Romance Fantasy Books

Poison Study

A woman who is about to be executed

for murder is given a choice: she

can stay in lavish rooms and eat expensive

food, but only if she becomes a

food tester – a food tester for the commander

of her country who happens to

be wanted dead by several people. In a

world where death is the consequence

of a failed job, this novel written by

Maria V. Snyder lets it be known that

making choices may not always have

such a clear outcome.

The Curse of Chalion

A damaged man has returned to the

house he once served only to be named

as the secretary-tutor to the sister of

the boy who is next in line to rule the

throne. Not only does he have to protect

his student from enemies outside

of the kingdom, but also face a dreaded

curse that hangs over the heads of

the royal family. The man must prove

himself once again and enlist the help

of the dark arts to prove his worth in

this novel by Lois McMaster Bujold.


The Lion King

It’s the story of a brother betrayed.

It’s the story of a king realizing his

destiny. It’s a story that has been on

Broadway for 14 years. The Lion King

is a world-renowned Disney classic.

The film first came to the stage in

1997 and since then has had over 5,900

performances and sold over 10 million

tickets. Whether it be on the stage, on

the screen or in a book the story that

makes people sing their hearts out,

this story will forever remain a classic.


A story of two unlikely friends, the

book-turned-musical is an alternate

telling of The Wizard of Oz. It follows

Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the

West, and Galinda, the Good Witch,

before and after Dorothy’s arrival to

Oz. Through the musical, we see the

characters struggle with their conflicting

personalities and clash over a

shared love interest. Wicked has shown

over 5,120 shows, making it the 10th

longest-running Broadway show.

The Phantom of the Opera

This is a tragic tale of love stunted

by a man’s outward appearance.

It is not Beauty and the Beast, but in

fact a completely different tale. The

Phantom of the Opera was first published

in 1909 as a novel and has

since been on both the screen and the

stage. With its 7,486th show making

the show the longest running show on

Broadway, The Phantom continues to

captivate audiences.

[84] Alice Spring 2017

Emma Watson and Kevin Kline in Beauty and the Beast / photo courtesy of Disney

Alice Spring 2017 [85]

More Disney



Originally released in 1950 and

based on the Brothers Grimm fairy

tale, this romantic tale about a fashion

mishap was taken to the big screen

in 2015. Lily James plays Cinderella

while Richard Madden plays Prince

Charming in the beautifully crafted

live-action film. The classic tale is

brought into the 21st century while

still keeping its romantic story and

magical whim.


Based on the vindictive villain from

Sleeping Beauty, the live-action film

starring Angelina Jolie gives a very

different twist on the classic tale. It’s

a story of romance, betrayal and vengeance

all wrapped in a visually stunning

feature. It turns out the original

story of Sleeping Beauty may not have

been that simple all along.

[86] Alice Spring 2017

By Serena Bailey

Hearing your favorite artist or band

through your headphones is nice and

blasting the music through your car

speakers is great. But jamming in

your bedroom could never compare

to listening to your favorite musician

live surrounded by hundreds of others

who are just as hyped as you are. Here

are our picks for the best upcoming

concerts that are sure to excite your

musical passions all over again.

Bon Jovi at

BJCC Legacy Arena

Feb. 16: Iconic rock band Bon Jovi

will be rocking the BJCC Legacy

Arena at 8 p.m. on Feb. 16. This

1983 American rock band is known

for classics like “You Give Love a Bad

Name” and “It’s My Life,” and this

concert is sure to be a hit. Don’t be

“Livin’ On a Prayer” for these tickets

– the price begins at $35.25 and can be

bought at

Eric Church at

BJCC Legacy Arena

Feb. 17: After more than a decade

of creating country hits, Eric Church

is known for hits like “Record

Year,” “Drink in My Hand” and

“Springsteen.” In February, Church

will perform at 8 p.m. in the BJCC’s

Legacy Arena, with tickets starting at

$16 available at

Twenty One Pilots at

BJCC Legacy Arena

Feb. 24: The American musical

duo Twenty One Pilots will be at the

Legacy Area at the BJCC at 7 p.m.

Founded in 2009, the group gained

large success in 2015 with their track

“Blurryface” and their appearance on

the Suicide Squad movie soundtrack

with the hit song “Heathens.” Don’t

get too “stressed out” looking for

tickets, because they are available on

The Lumineers at

Infinite Energy Center

March 8: After releasing their

self-titled debut album in 2012, the

Lumineers found large success that

year with one of their best-known

songs, “Ho Hey.” Now boasting hits

like “Ophelia,” they perform this

spring in Duluth, Georgia, at the

Infinite Energy Center at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the show start at $39.50

and can be bought at

Alice Spring 2017 [87]




By Ellen Johnson

Combining urban sounds with

traditional bluegrass music is no easy

feat, but one Alabama native is out

there doing it, and doing it well.

Dillon Hodges—or firekid as he is

known in the music world—originally

hails from Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Hodges’ firekid achieves the marriage of

contemporary and bluegrass, synth and

urban, pop and acoustic. Hodges first

discovered music as a young boy as he

competed in guitar competitions around

the country. Now, he and his guitar are

all grown up and making music for

the masses. He’s played Bonnaroo, the

Hangout Fest and toured with Passion

Pit, and along the way firekid is picking

up speed and winning over audiences.

We chatted with Hodges about life,

music, guitar and, of course, Alabama.

Alice: When did you first become

interested in music and how did

you first begin making music?

Hodges: My first real experience with

music was listening to my parents’

southern gospel music in church and

whatnot. I fell in love with guitar, and

my next door neighbor offered to teach

me. He was a bluegrass musician. I

didn’t know anything about bluegrass

music but it was my only option to learn

[88] Alice Spring 2017

guitar. I would go over to his house

once a week and stay for four or five

hours and sort of obsess over guitar.

He started taking me to bluegrass

festivals around the state of Alabama. I

also felt like I was kind of nobody at my

elementary school and I felt like playing

guitar made me cooler, and I think it

did in some ways.

What genre would you describe

yourself as?

Hodges: We’ve gotten play on Alt Nation,

so that’s alt rock. I don’t know if I really

easily, cleanly fall into one category or

genre. I grew up making rural music,

but the production of the firekid music

is a lot more modern and urban … I feel

like it’s an evolving thing. I don’t think

I’ve cracked the code on the sounds yet.

I think really more than anything, it’s

my life goal to break the gap between

urban and rural music.

Where did “firekid” come from?

Hodges: I was going to these things

[bluegrass festivals] at 11 and 12 years

old. I was by far the youngest person

hanging out with these old codgers.

They all called me “kid.” That was

my nickname. Firekid was kind of a

nickname that I carried around for a

while. When I went out to [Los Angeles]

to start working on what became the

firekid project my producer called me

“kid” and it just sort of stuck as a

nickname. It didn’t feel necessarily

right to just say Dillon Hodges, but

firekid felt right.

Who are your biggest musical


Hodges: The thing I’m shooting for

hasn’t been done convincingly too many

times. But I listen to a lot of the bluegrass

traditional music. Ralph Stanley, Doc

Watson, Tony Rice – those are kind of

my favorite bluegrass musicians. Then

on the other end of the spectrum I love

like Broken Bells and Gorillaz and some

of these sorts of bands who mix acoustic

and electronic elements. So I try to pull

from both sides, from the urban side

of things and the more traditional side

of things.

Who inspired you growing up to

pursue your dreams in music?

Hodges: It’s kind of amazing. When I

was going to these festivals some of them

happened to be instrumental contests.

So you compete on guitar against other

guitarists of all ages. My parents really

took to it to take me all over the country

to these things. My parents were the

ones that really enabled me to take it as

far as it would go. I had mentors who

helped me as well, but my parents were

the ones who gave me the ability and all

the tools I needed to take it all the way.

How has being from the South,

specifically Alabama, influenced

your music?

Hodges: I saw a lot of the state growing

up, not just Florence, Alabama, and

Muscle Shoals where I grew up. When

I was a sophomore in high school I just

looked up for the first time and realized,

“Hey, I live in Florence, where there is an

amazing history of recorded music and

artists.” I started listening and diving

into the Muscle Shoals music catalogue.

That’s when I really learned to love

to sing.

Where do you draw inspiration

for songwriting?

Hodges: My songs mostly come from

conversations that I have with friends.

It’s almost like a sickness that comes

over me when I’m writing. When I’m

in writing mode, I’ll just be having

a conversation with someone and I’ll

turn and write it down. Then I visit it

later and turn it into a song. A lot of

it comes from real life experiences and

just casual conversations with friends.

What is one of your favorite songs

to perform and why?

Hodges: Obviously people love when we

do “Magic Mountain” or “Lay by Me.”

I get a rise when I play “Americana

Dream.” It’s a nice moment to have a

conversation with a crowd. I always

change the lyrics a little bit to fit the

room I’m in, to fit the mood of the

crowd. And it’s always fun because I

never know what’s going to happen or

how people will react.

As a whole, how do you think

bluegrass influences American

music today?

Hodges: I couldn’t believe it when I

heard Mumford and Sons on the radio

for the first time. I had this moment

of thinking “Wait, bluegrass music

could be cool?” I was going to school

and trying to impress people with my

playing bluegrass music. It felt like

overnight, bands were successful. People

were buying banjos. I certainly saw it

firsthand. People are more acceptive to

music like this now. It’s been made more

approachable to them.

What do you hope your fans get out

of your music?

Hodges: I hope it takes them to a

place. I don’t want to dictate what

their experience is, but I just hope it

takes and removes them from whatever

they’re living in. I hope it’s an escape

for them. Really all I want is to create

an atmosphere, an experience, with my

music. I want to transport people, make

them live in my world for a minute.


Throughout the winter of 2016,

Hodges has been taking a break from

touring and instead preparing to work

on his second album. In the meantime,

his self-titled album firekid is available

on iTunes and to stream on Spotify.


Fun Fact

As a native of northwest Alabama, Hodges has performed

at many local restaurants, festivals and more in the Shoals

area. The sketch on the left was drawn by an audience member

during Hodge’s 2012 lunchtime performance at the Trojan

House, a sandwich shop located in Muscle Shoals. That

audience member’s name is Maria Oswalt — who now serves

as the creative director for Alice. Oswalt fondly remembers

attending many of Hodge’s performances growing up in the

Shoals. It’s a small world!

Alice Spring 2017 [89]

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