Mace & Crown Spring 2021

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Fall 2020 | 1


Natalie Hockaday


Ashley Mazza


Carly Herbert


Paula Phounsavath


Jada Carson


Sydney Haulenbeek


AviYonce Scott


James Onuska


Kieran Rundle


Amber Wilson


Demel Bolden


AviYonce Scott

Paula Phounsavath


Adrion Alexander



Demel Bolden



Dr. Joyce Hoffmann

Jen Cohen


Nicholas Clark


Annastasia Bimler


Sean Fitzpatrick

Mace & Crown is a student-run magazine written and published for the students of Old Dominion University. Originally

founded in 1930 as The High Hat, the paper became The Mace and Crown in 1961. Mace & Crown is primarily a selfsupporting

magazine, maintaining journalistic independence from the university. All views expressed in this collegiate

magazine are those of the author, not of the university, Mace & Crown or the editors.

Colophon: This magazine was produced in Adobe Indesign in accordance with Mace & Crown Style guide. Most of the

copy is Arno Pro 9 pt Typeface with complimentarty type families designed by Amber Wilson.

2 | maceandcrown.com


FALL 2021, ISSUE 9


04 Editor’s note


06 Love in Digital Spaces

12 The Rise of Digital Sex Work How OnlyFans is Changing

the Stigma of Selling Sex for Two

18 Dating During COVID: The Apps that Keep Us Connected


20 Is Love Possible in College?


26 How ODU Seniors and Alumni are Re-Defining “Self-Love”

and Finding Identity

34 “Text Me When You Get Home”

38 Abusive Friendships: The Warning Signs and The Way Out


42 4 Rom Coms to watch, with multiple love interests:

44 2 Michael Cera Rom Coms that are really good: :

46 3 Wedding Rom Coms that’ll have you cracking up

48 4 ‘Will they, won’t they’ Trope Rom Coms to watch:

50 Two Chris Evans’ Rom Coms to watch ASAP

54 “Love Story” Taylor’s Reclamation of her Records:

46 Love of the Arts: Theater Prepares to Return to the Stage

58 Community Love interview


62 Take Me Out to the Ball Game


68 Loving Everyday

70 Silent Moments

71 Yellow

72 Mother



76 Tell Me Something, Singing Robot

78 Pale Blue Dot

Fall 2020 | 3


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Editor’s Note

“Love is something that we see everyday in our lives

in big and small ways but it is one of the hardest

things to define. In this issue the Mace & Crown

takes on the challenge to understand how our

generation has learned to define and experience it.”

It has been amazing being the Editor-in-Chief of the Mace & Crown this year and this is

sadly our last magazine that I will be part of. I have enjoyed sharing the stories with our

readers and writers throughout my time here at the Mace & Crown. It has been a joy working

with my amazing team of editors, graphic designers, photographers, and contributing writers

as they have given unique perspectives and ideas for storytelling. As I part ways from this

university and publication I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to tell the stories of

our community and highlight our contributions to the world.

Love is something that we see everyday in our lives in big and small ways but it is one of

the hardest things to define. In this issue the Mace & Crown takes on the challenge to

understand how our generation has learned to define and experience it. Being so young it can

be confusing to truly understand how much love shapes us and how it fits into our lifestyles

but love can be found in everything. Love is more than romance and we limit ourselves when

we confine it to just that. There is love in the work we do, sports we play, in the things we

create through art and technology and so much more. It is not always a shared experience; it

can come from within.

We also aimed to address and acknowledge how love is a spectrum and how just as much as it

can be beautiful, pain can come from it as well. In this issue we address triggering topics such

as abuse and harassment and how frequent it is in our society, especially when in college. So

many people suffer in silence and are silenced when trying to speak their truth. We hope this

issue shines some light on the spectrum of these topics and can only wish that our readers

feel seen and acknowledged by the many stories we share in this issue.

Lastly, here is some unsolicited advice that you may not have asked for. So often it seems like

a lot of us live in fear to go for what we want. Whether that be a professional opportunity, a

friendship, a romantic relationship, our passion, etc. I urge you to put yourself out there and

free yourself of the fear of rejection. What is meant for you will come and happen but you

lose every chance that you don’t take. We are at an age where the world is ours and have the

luxury of youth to try so many things. Failure and rejection are sometimes inevitable but

how we react to it is up to us. So, farewell readers, I’ve enjoyed writing to you all and may you

all find the love you wish to seek.

Natalie Hockaday


Fall 2021 | 5


Indie Games

to Get

Your Heart



Florence Yeoh is stuck in a seemingly endless routine: one

filled with monotonous work and mindless scrolling through

social media. That’s until one morning when her phone dies.

Florence, a game developed by Mountains, is an interactive

story game that takes only 30 minutes to complete. In

this story, you get to see different portions of Florence’s

life across 20 chapters which are divided into six acts. Most importantly, you will see

how her life and her outlook on the world changes when she meets Krish, a streetperforming

cellist. No spoilers, but this tale includes an important lesson about moving

on and finding success on your own.

Albeit a short game, the 2D artwork is simple yet charming. It’s like something out of a

children’s book. The bright color palette works with the mood-fitting music to properly

balance the light-hearted moments with the darker ones. The mini-games involved

beautifully complement the situations at hand, like creating chat bubbles by fitting

puzzle pieces together that vary in difficulty.

What’s it like to be Florence? Maybe you already know, but you could always check it

out as it’s available now on Android, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

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Maybe you’re tired of the normal dating sims that seem to always be visual novels. Maybe you’re terrible

at dates and you want your gameplay to reflect that. Classified as a physics-based dating game, Table

Manners might be the right game for you! Developed by Echo Chamber Games, Table Manners simulates

what it’s like to be wwwclumsy enough to accidentally set a table on fire which is made possible through

its physics-based gameplay. You control a lone disembodied hand, similar to that of Surgeon Simulator,

to lay on the charm when matching with and impressing date through a hot dating app known as Blundr.

With Blundr, you can either try to find that special someone or take your chances with talking to multiple

singles. Either way, you’ll have to take care not to blunder any of your dates or risk angering them.

The dates in this funny little game get harder and harder as you progress. To start you off, you have to

deal with the basic problems: pouring wine, lighting candles, and ordering food. But then, putting out fires,

balancing food, and dealing with swaying tables get added to the mix.

Do you have Table Manners? If not, the game is available for PC and can be found on Steam.

Fall 2020 | 7


Hackers, romance, Elizabeth the 3rd, and anime

boys? That is what awaits you, and so much more, in

this otome storytelling messenger game developed

and published by Cheritz.

In this female-oriented game, you discover and

download an interesting app called Mystic Messenger

with the premise of chatting with cute boys. Little

do you know, a mysterious character, who goes by

“Unknown”, will send you to an empty awwwning

association called RFA. The RFA, originally founded

by a girl named Rika who mysteriously died, consists

of members such as Zen, Yoosung, Jumin, Jaehee,

707, V, and now, you, after they deem that you’re

not a threat.

You must take on Rika’s former role and successfully

invite as many party guests as possible to the

upcoming party that’s 11 days away. During this

time, you can choose who you want to pursue while

a strange subplot brews underneath that involves

finding the truth out about the RFA.


The game plays out through real time so you’ll have

to be an active participant in chat rooms whenever

they appear. That is, if you want to get closer to your

digital crush or get to know the other members of

the RFA. Additional features include text messages,

emails, albums, and an option to call a character of

your choice.

Including DLC characters, there are 49 possible

endings, 7 for each one. Will you date the big-time

corporate heir with a cat obsession or the beautiful

yet narcissistic musical actor? The choice is yours

to download for free on Android or iOS.

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Fall 2020 2021 | 9

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In Arcade Spirits, a comedic visual novel

developed by Fiction Factory Games, you start

out as the troubled apathetic protagonist that

has been struggling to keep a job. Your best

friend Juniper steps in to suggest the helpful

semi-virtual reality called IRIS that takes the

form of a small AI assistant in your phone to

become your personal life coach. IRIS insists

that she can perfectly analyze your personality

and find you a perfect life path. After a brief

setup, IRIS arranges an interview at a place

that is meant to be your dream job— the

Funplex Arcade! There, you are interviewed

by the owner, Francine, and her strange set of

questions. She hires you on the spot,

Fall 2020 | 11


The Rise of Digital Sex

Work How OnlyFans is

Changing the Stigma of

Selling Sex for Two


In case you haven’t heard, the COVID-19 crisis

has spurred a sexual explosion-- literally and

figuratively. In 2020, sex toy purchases and

porn subscriptions skyrocketed as isolation

became a necessity to stay healthy. One platform

in particular that raised the bar was content

subscription site, OnlyFans or OF: a digital space

that allows creators to post and distribute content

while interacting with “fans” who pay top dollar to

see their pictures and videos.

Last year, OnlyFans took on the entire porn

industry by allowing people sitting in their

homes to become independent porn stars.

The OnlyFans revolution sparked even college

students to participate in the movement. The

lucrative business of content creation on OF

has motivated one former ODU student and

another current student to start putting

their private moments in the spotlight.

Meet OF Creators ‘Sage’ &

‘Queen of the Cream’.

Sage is a 20-year-old former student at Old

Dominion University. He’s been an OnlyFans

creator since 2018, and continues to create content

on the platform. Sage is also a business owner for

an online store called KDungeon that sells men’s

thongs, jockstraps, and other clothing.

Queen of the Cream is a 21-year-old English

major at Old Dominion University. She’s been an

OnlyFans creator since 2019, and also continues

to create content on the platform. Queen is

a Senior at ODU who is active in the English

department community.

I interviewed both Sage & Queen of the Cream

to get their perspective on what it’s like to do sex

work online while juggling a business, classes,

relationships, and more:

A Conversation with Sage:

How did you first start getting into OnlyFans?

Sage: I first got into OnlyFans in 2018. The reason

being was I was broke. And I needed money for

textbooks and stuff like that.

What type of content do you post on OnlyFans?

Sage: In 2018 when I was originally started, I was

posting-- um how explicit can I be?

You can be as explicit as you’re comfortable being.

Sage: I’m an open book so... Originally when I

started it was like jack off videos, just a lot of solo

stuff. I did some collabs with some pretty famous

porn stars or content creators. But now I only do

solo content.

So how many fans do you have? How many

people do you interact with on a consistent


Sage: The most fans that I’ve ever

had was maybe in the 1K range... I

interact with all my fans. I send

them little messages and

stuff like that so they

feel included.


12 | maceandcrown.com

the subscription, they feel like me and them have

a connection. But in reality, It’s a mass message. I

like to make sure my people who are subscribed

to me and are paying money to see me naked and

that they’re getting the most out of their money.

So, how do you prepare to get into the mindset of

creating content and interacting with people?

Sage: It really depends. I wouldn’t say I’m super

active with posting everyday. There might just be

a day where I’m like ‘let me record this’. I’m doing

it anyway, so it’s like why not record it, send it to

them [fans], and make some money from it? And

I have a lot of alone time, which is beneficial

on my part because that’s when I can do

everything I want to do. I can’t do stuff if

someone else is in the same space I’m


How consistently or often

do you create content

and post it?

Sage: I try to do at least like maybe twice or three

times a week?

Oh okay, so it’s not like a huge time commitment?

Sage: Oh, not at all. The videos maybe take me...

If I want a really detailed video, maybe like twenty

minutes out of my day. Like that’s nothing. And

then I’m making a beaucoup amount of money.

Do you mind me asking around how much make

per video or per week?

Sage: I could say how much I make monthly. I

range from about $6,000- $7,000 a month.

What? That is crazy. That is-- wow. And you’re-

How old are you?

Sage: I’m 20.


Sage: Yeah my birthday is actually later this month

on March 28.

Are you a Pisces? No?

Okay, so what’s someone your age doing with that

amount of money? Do you travel?

Sage: Yes. I do travel a lot, but I’m also very smart

with my money. I invest into stocks. I have my own

business. I’m also comfortable with my money if

that makes sense. Like I make sure I have higher

class things, because that’s the type of lifestyle that

I want to live.

So what is your angle on OnlyFans? Is there a goal

that you’re hoping to reach?

Sage: That’s actually a good question. I don’t really

know if I relatively have an end goal. I know I

don’t want to be no old ass person just still

doing OnlyFans content. Like I’m young

and that’s the niche that people like:

young boys. Especially gay people

[on the platform]. So that’s why

I’m doing other things like

investing, getting a


Fall 2020 | 13


them financially.

Right. Because there’s such a stigma around sex

work, period. Of course people are going to call

you a ho and think you’re doing this and that,

when really you’re not really doing anything.

You’re literally at the house.

Sage. Exactly. Most sex workers barely have sex. I

know a lot who just have sex only for a video or

something like that. But I also have friends who

are solo creators as well who make even more

money than I do honestly.

to be a personal trainer, and my business, so that

I can eventually stop OnWWlyFans. But OnlyFans

has put me in a good position.

Since you’ve started doing OnlyFans, do you have

friends that you encourage to do it? Or are you one

of the only people you know that creates OnlyFans


Sage: I mean, I do have friends who do OnlyFans,

but we became friends. I don’t encourage anybody

to start an OnlyFans, just because of the backlash

you get in the gay community is like... How can I

say this? People pretty much just think you’re a ho.

They think you’re a ho because you’re doing this,

you’re posting your nudes, and this, that, and the

third. In reality, I feel like people take nudes all the

time. People send nudes all the time for free. Why

not charge somebody who’s willing to pay money

for it? But I don’t encourage any of my friends to

start an OnlyFans. That’s completely up to them.


Sage: I know when I was starting out, I had some

conflicting battles. I was 18. People were telling me

one thing in my ear, and there was a time where I

completely stopped my OnlyFans. I wasn’t posting

or anything, so I just recently rebranded my

OnlyFans. But I don’t tell my friends that “Yeah

you should start an OnlyFans”. That’s just not me.

By having your OnlyFans, did it cause a lot of

problems with wanting to stay discrete with

people you didn’t want to know, like with family

and friends?

Sage: It really wasn’t a problem for me, because my

OnlyFans is... gay. So even if my parents ever were

to see it, my next question would be, “who showed

you this?” Like who was looking at gay porn and

saw this? But my parents do know now that I do

have an OnlyFans. Down the line, it was just like,

“you’re moving, you’ve got a new car, so what are

you doing to make this money? and you’re not

working-- like you’re at the house.” So I pretty

much told them.


Sage: And they’re pretty much accepting of it.

Especially since I’m on my own. I don’t like need

So do you think that the stigma is changing behind

sex work now?

Sage: I definitely feel like the stigma is changing. I

feel like when Beyonce did that whole thing about

starting an OnlyFans [Savage Remix] and stuff

like that, I feel like I saw the switch right then and

there. There is more acceptance of OnlyFans. Even

celebrities have an OnlyFans now, and I didn’t see

that previously so it’s like sex work is becoming

more a mainstream kind of thing. But I definitely

feel like the stigma is going away.

So over the past year, since more celebrities have

joined the platform, I’ve seen a lot of creators

become disgruntled about that change. Did you

see that effect on your business at all?

Sage: It personally didn’t really affect my business.

I know some people were saying it affected theirs,

but I feel like on OnlyFans, you are the product.

Your health, your body, and all of that plays a

part in it. So it never affected me any type of way.

Money-wise, I was still straight. Like during the

pandemic, I was good. If anything, I was making

more money during the pandemic than anything.

14 | maceandcrown.com

Because people were just at home. They didn’t

have anything do, and they were bored.

That is true. The porn business just became more

profitable exponentially during the pandemic.

Speaking of business, tell me about your business,

KDungeon, and what was the concept for that?

Sage: Originally, I’ve always been the type of

person that wasn’t really into jockstraps, but

somehow someway, I don’t know how I got into

it, but one day I put one on. When I put the

jockstrap on, I felt powerful in a sense. Then, I

was talking to my friends and I told them “I really

want to start a business, but I don’t know what to

do.” Then, I had a thought in my head that maybe

I should sell jockstraps. I already knew how to get

vendors, I already knew all of that. I just didn’t

know how to create a website. So KDungeon is my

baby. KDungeon is my creation. I sell jockstraps

up there, I sell thongs up there. I even sell regular

clothing. But I really want to get into women’s

lingerie for sure, because I know that’s a huge

niche. But I just felt like there wasn’t many Blackowned,

gay, underwear websites.


Sage: Any businesses or websites that I did see,

they always had white models. I’ve never seen one

with Black models. I’ve never seen any like plussize

models. I feel like I’m going to incorporate

that into KDungeon soon. It’s definitely coming

soon. But I just have to get down all the logistics

and stuff.

So did your OnlyFans income fund this business

venture or did KDungeon come before you started


Sage: It was definitely my OnlyFans money that

led me to the place that I am now. I used a little bit

of my OnlyFans money to start it up. But I have

two separate accounts. I have a business account

and then I have a regular account. So it’s like any

money I’m getting, I put it back into my business.

This is amazing. I’m so proud of you and everything

you’ve accomplished so far. Is there anything else

you’d like people to know or plug?

Sage: Maybe about how OnlyFans isn’t necessarily

for everyone. Because a lot of people have sex

appeal and then a lot of people do not. And that’s

completely fine. If you don’t have sex appeal, that’s

fine, that’s cool. But a lot of people get this idea that

they see another person who’s super successful on

OnlyFans and think “I could probably meet them

there.” But they don’t understand the work, the

time, the messages that you get of old men literally

saying, “I want to fuck you” and things like that.

It’s a lot that goes into it. So if that’s a path that

someone wants to go down, they should really do

their research honestly. Because I wish that’s what

I would’ve did when I originally started. I wasn’t

making the maximum profit that I could’ve been


So would you say it’s more mentally taxing than

physically taxing?

Sage: Yeah, it’s definitely more mentally. Especially

if you’re a relationship oriented type of person. Like

I’m lowkey a relationship-oriented person and for

two years I’ve been single. I talk to somebody now,

but I’ve been single, and I was kind of wondering

why am I not attracting anyone? But it’s because

I’m on Twitter fucking and getting fucked. Like

that’s not a cute look. Nobody is going to look at

that and be like, “Oh I want to date him.”


Sage: So it’s something that you have to think

about for sure. But I don’t feel like OnlyFans

should be anyone’s long term

goal at all. I feel like it’s quick-- like a stripper job.

I definitely feel like you should always have a plan

for what you’re going to do with that money. I

think that’s it though.

Okay, well thank you so much for being so open.

Sage plans to eventually move on from OnlyFans

and expand his business, KDungeon, which can

be found at @Kdungeoo on Instagram and on the

web at kdungeon.com

A Conversation with Queen of the


How did you first get into OnlyFans?

Queen: I think I was just looking into ways to make

money while going to school that wouldn’t require

me to really set aside time, if that makes sense. So

it wouldn’t require to leave my house per say. On

the internet with OnlyFans, you can work around

school and family functions and social interaction.

You can work it around those things instead of the

other way around.

When did you start consistently creating content?

Queen: I created the account in 2019, but I started

consistently posting in 2020.

And what type of content were you making?

Queen: So at first, I was pretty shy about it. I posted

Fall 2020 | 15


mostly like clothed photos, but in scandalous

positions. Like, if I was wearing a skirt, I would

kind of sit with my legs open or you could see

my underwear. And then I moved up and started

taking off my clothes in videos, and not wearing

clothes in pictures. And my confidence kind of

started to go up by doing that. Then, I started

asking people who subscribed to me and followed

me what they wanted to see from me. So I was kind

of like, “Whatever you guys want to see, just let

me know and I’ll see what I’m comfortable doing.

And that is where I started doing more full nude

or semi-nude photos. I post mainly photos, and

I don’t really do many videos. I found out pretty

quickly that I get a weird feeling from recording

myself while masturbating or having sex. I just feel

weird doing it. I advertise on there that I’ll do it

for money-- good money. But it will take me some

time. I have to build myself to feeling comfortable.

Do you have a lot subscribers or fans that you have

to interact with often?

Queen: So I don’t actually have a lot of people that

subscribe to me. I have about 11 people currently,

so I have more consistent people than people who

are in and out a lot. And these are people who will

message me.

There is one person who subscribes to me who I

know in person and who I talk to on a regular basis.

It’s a little weird sometimes, but we’ve agreed to

never speak of it outside of the website. We have

interactions that are non sexual, and just ask how’s

each others’ day is going. And there are other

times where we do have sexual conversations, and

they go down roads that are weird.

And I’ve recently been asked to like sexually

degrade this guy. And I was like sure, I guess I’ll try

it if you’re paying me. But the things he wants me

to say to him, I’ve never said to anyone before. And

I feel like I’m being mean. But I mean, it’s what

he’s into.

Do you see a lot of men wanting to be degraded in

that way on the platform?

Queen: Yeah, so basically I have a strap-on and I’ve

posted pictures of it on my page before. And some

of the guys that follow me seem to be interested in

it. I’m assuming they’re guys, by their usernames,

but I don’t know their actually gender. And if that’s

what people are interested in, and they want to

see it, then I’ll do it. It’s kind of like a supply and


So what do you think is the most requested

content users ask for?

Queen: I’ve gotten a lot of requests for content of

me doing things to myself, but of course I’m not

comfortable with that, so that’s a no-go for now.

But it’s like whenever I ask, the typical response is

that they want to see me enjoying myself. So I’m

always like okay, what do you mean?

So how do you personally feel doing this work? Do

you enjoy it?

Queen: I started out with just wanting to make

money, but as I took more pictures and looked

at them, I thought, “I don’t actually look as ugly

as I thought I did”. And also to know that people

were paying to see me, I started to think, “I might

not actually be that bad.” So it did actually help my

self-confidence quite a bit, which was surprisingly


16 | maceandcrown.com

Would you encourage someone else to get into

this type of work?

Queen: I would encourage them to get into it

while keeping in mind the work and ethics that go

into it and the risks. There is always going to be

people that want free stuff and who are aggressive

about it. I’m actually in a couple support groups

for OnlyFans and sex workers, because there’s

always a risk that you could doxxed and have your

info leaked to places like your church. So you

should keep in mind that there’s always a chance

your friends and family are going to find out. You

have to reconcile with yourself and ask if you’re

okay with them finding out. And if you’re not okay

with them finding out, maybe you shouldn’t do it.

Do you think that OnlyFans being digital is

changing the stigma of sex work overall?

Queen: Yes, I definitely think so. Because the more

people who want to sign up for it, the more it’s

becoming acceptable to do that kind of thing. It

becomes less of “Oh, you’re a porn star” to more,

“Oh you do OnlyFans? That’s really cool.” Because

they’re essentially the same thing.

So you’re in a relationship. What is that like while

doing OnlyFans?

Queen: My partner doesn’t really have an issue

with it. Sometimes he may get a little upset if I

post pictures but don’t want to have sex with him

that day. I have some issues where I’m not really

interested in having sex that often. Sometimes

posting helps me with that and other times, it just

doesn’t. Otherwise, he thinks it’s great that people

are interested in me. He doesn’t have an issue with

it, and he’s always looking for opportunities to

be on there with me, which I find amusing. He’s

just like a completely different person than most

people would think a partner would be about it


So what advice would you give someone who

wanted to start creating on OnlyFans? or a

consumer of the content?

Queen: For creators, I highly recommend that no

matter how many people you have subscribed

to you, to always interact with them as much as

you can. And try to work towards what they’re

interested in. And as for consumers, understand

that what this person is doing is going to cost

something. Because they have to set aside supplies

and time to put together a photo or video. There’s

toys, lube supplies, and decorative supplies,

because these things take time and effort to

produce. It might seem like it’s easy, but it’s not, so

respect the person for creating that content.

That is great advice. Thank you.

Queen of the Cream plans to graduate from

Old Dominion University this semester with a

Bachelor’s Degree in English.

Fall 2020 | 17


Dating During

COVID: The Apps

that Keep Us


Students who say they’ve used dating apps more since

the beginning of the pandemic also say that they’ve

used the app for hookups or to find someone to be in a

relationship with.

We conducted a survey of Old Dominion University students who’ve

used dating apps before and during the pandemic. Our purpose was to

explore dating trends of how these apps were used and how often. We

received over 200 responses:

Key Findings

The leading dating app among ODU students is Tinder, with more than

120 respondents admitting that they use the app.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more students say they’ve used

dating apps less accounting for nearly 67% of respondents, while 33%

said they used apps more.

Students who say they’ve used dating apps more since the beginning of

the pandemic also say that they’ve used the app for hookups or to find

someone to be in a relationship with.

Students who used dating apps for hookups accounted for over 30%.

Students who used dating apps to find a relationship accounted for

around 67%. Students who sought other things on dating apps (i.e. sugar

daddy & sugar baby relationships) accounted for around 17%.

Many students report being ghosted more often than usual since before

the pandemic.

18 | maceandcrown.com

Most students reported that they have been and continue to be single. A

significant amount of students admitted to being “ghosted” or ghosting


Tinder Bumble Hinge Seeking Arrangement BLK






Tinder is the leading dating app at Old Dominion University, being used

by nearly 60% of survey respondents. Other apps like Bumble, Hinge,

Seeking Arrangement, and BLK trail behind.

Many students mentioned that the process of going through COVID-19

testing and quarantine requirements discouraged them from meeting

new people in person. While others say that they were willing to be

tested for COVID to meet someone they thought was worth their time.

“If we really hit it off over the phone or through

text, then I would want to meet them. But it’s a

requirement that we FaceTime first”

- Communications major, Senior at ODU

“It just seemed better to talk through text or over

the phone. It was just safer. But I could still

socialize and meet new people”

- Business major, Junior at ODU

“I think it’s easier to ghost people when you

know you probably won’t meet them face-toface

for awhile”

- English major, Senior at ODU

Fall 2020 | 19

Is Love Possible

in College?

Navigating how a young couple

made their long-term relationship work


By, Natalie Hockaday

Young love is something that is pushed heavily in the media but

what is it truly like when you’re young, in college, and chasing

your ambitions? So often we see these pretty and perfect pictures

and silhouettes of couples living out loud, but it only shows

a fraction of what the relationship entails. Our generation is

constantly fed ideas of fantasy relationships that very well may

reflect some aspect of the couple’s dynamic, but at times we have

lost the sense of understanding authenticity.

Lauren and Dawann are a young couple in college navigating

their aspirations while learning everyday how to love each other

the best way they can. Dawann is a senior at ODU, and Lauren is

a junior at Virginia Tech. The two balance their relationship while

going to separate colleges and have found a way to make it work

and discuss below how their relationship of six years has become

stronger every day.

Dawann: We actually started [dating] super early. We met each

other in high school. She was a freshman, and I was a sophomore

and ever since then we’ve been dating. So, it’s been six years.”

Lauren: I feel like I’m better at telling this story.

Dawann: Hey one thing I learned is sometimes it’s okay to…

(Dawann gestures to Lauren to tell the story in a joking manner.)

Lauren: We started dating in December of 2014 when I was a

freshman, and he was a sophomore. Then we dated until July of

2016 and got back together in October [of that year]. Then we

were together until he went to college. He was like ‘I don’t know

if I want to be in a relationship when I go to college’ and I was

like ‘okay’ because of course we knew this was coming and we

decided we should break up. But I still came to visit him, and we

still talked and all that stuff. We were still exclusive, but I guess

we didn’t have the title. Then we officially got back together my

freshman year of college when I went to school. Then we were

together until before the pandemic.

Dawann: Before the pandemic we broke up in December.

Lauren: We broke up because he was going through a life crisis

Dawann: Before the pandemic we broke up… I was going through

a life crisis. It was a common personal life crisis. I didn’t know

what I wanted to do. I actually ended up getting an internship in

Richmond that was full time and it paid for me to be in Richmond

and paid me while I was working under two legislators. It went

from I don’t know what I want to do with my life to boom…

We broke up during that time and it kind of opened up my eyes

because every-time we broke up it was always on me and what

I wanted to do. Having that time of being just out of a college

atmosphere and being in the real world, [it] dawned on me how

important it is that you can have someone there you can really

count on. It is true, true love never fails. We’ve broken up three

times. It’s been six years and we’ve always been on and off but no

matter what even when I was going through those new territories

and new things, I knew I could always count on her for like a

FaceTime call so she could talk me off that ledge.

Lauren: I think our break ups aren’t like normal break ups. It’s

like one of us is going through life… we’ve always grown closer

whenever we’ve broken up because we’ve learned new things

about each other or [realize] damn that was just life. We feel

like we grew up together. We’ve known each other since we were

fourteen and fifteen and it’s just like we’ve been going through life

together with [our] ups and downs. Sometimes it’s like you don’t

really know what to do.

Dawann: The most important thing we talk about is

communication. Even when we’ve broken up, we don’t know

exactly what we want to do but we’re talking and conversing. So

even when it’s horrible you talk and converse… We argue about

something and we realize how small [it is] and [that there is]

miscommunication… That’s how it is because we’ve been together

for so long that we grew up with each other. It’s small things.

Lauren: I think our break ups show how immature we were

and how you really grow into someone… Looking back on our

breakups we’re both like dang we really could have talked about

this and had a conversation and be fine. I think it really just shows

how you grow and how you reflect… Every time [we broke up]

we missed each other and realized that there’s no one else in the

world like the other person.

20 | maceandcrown.com

“I found someone I can genuinely click

and understand exactly what’s going

on. That’s important because when

you’re in a relationship with someone

for so long it’s not romantic 24/7.

Sometimes y’all have to sit down and

have conversations and it doesn’t have

to be about much it can be a talk.”

Dawann: With her and with girls period I learned that she

knows how to think rationally. Even when the odds are against

her and she was in the right but the wrong happened to her, she

would be like ‘I can see why that person did that to me and I

understand that so what can we do?’. Being around other people,

I know I’ve found my person. I found someone I can genuinely

click and understand exactly what’s going on. That’s important

because when you’re in a relationship with someone for so long

it’s not romantic 24/7. Sometimes y’all have to sit down and have

conversations and it doesn’t have to be about much it can be a

talk. Or [do] something you have in common like watch shows

together and things like that.

Lauren: I feel like no couple is perfect. I think that’s important

to know.

Dawann: Your relationship should not all be laughs and giggles.

If you’re not having serious conversations or disagreements, then

something is wrong.

Lauren: Because we’ve known each other for so long it’s rare that

one of us will hold our tongue and I think that’s one of the reasons

why we click so well and get along because we know each other

and it’s easier now.

What are some things you like to do together and what are

some things you bring out in each other?

Dawann: She can do the bringing out part because she’s the deep

one. The things we like to do is binge watch… When we find a

good show that we both haven’t watched and we both just watch

it we will lay in bed all day and we will finish a show within a

weekend no matter how many seasons it is. I’m really into

anime… and the first time she watched it, no lie it meant so much

Fall 2020 | 21


to me for her to just sit down and watch… Her thing is that she’s

vegan and she wants to have her own restaurant and I love to eat.

We love to just go out and eat good food and I have no problem

going to her vegan restaurants.

Lauren: He really likes anything. He’ll try a lot and that’s one of

the reasons I love him so much because he’s very open minded.

He’s not a close minded person. I’m the same way. I know I

couldn’t be with someone that’s close minded or doesn’t like to try

new things. We love traveling. We really just love being with each

other. Whether its traveling, watching shows, cooking. Well, I like

cooking. He doesn’t… We’re like two sides to the same coin. He’s

very enthusiastic and flamboyant and I’m more on the shy side. If

I’m in a group, I’m not talking unless you talk to me. I feel like he

brings out more of like my inner personality and character and I

“If I’m in a group, I’m not talking unless

you talk to me. I feel like he brings out

more of like my inner personality and

character and I mellow him out and

kind of bring him back down to earth.

We bring out the opposite qualities in

each other.”

22 | maceandcrown.com

mellow him out and kind of bring him back down to earth. We

bring out the opposite qualities in each other.

How does being in a relationship affect other relationships in

your life such as your family, friends, etc.?

Lauren: Our families love us

Dawann: I would say that’s the pros and cons of being in a long

term relationship. The pro is your family is my family, but the

con is your family is my family. So whence had those break ups it

[was] hard because I basically lost a mom.

Lauren: I think it’s funny just talking about this and looking

back because the three times we broke up our families, and even

my grandpa would be like ‘how’s Dawann?’ And I would be like

‘Grandpa I don’t want to talk about him.’ With my family, it’s like

they always knew we’d get back together… they really didn’t take

us seriously because they knew we were how we were. Our friends

and family, they love us. My best friend and Dawann are close. I

don’t go [to school] here but she goes to Virginia Wesleyan and it’s

in Virginia Beach and her best friend dates his roommate and she

comes over here and is comfortable because she’s known Dawann

since freshman year too. So, we’ve all just grown together, and

our families are just like one now. His mom will be like ‘Love you,

Lauren.’ It’s just second nature now because it’s been so long.

Dawann: It’s shown me how important it is in a relationship to

not only think of yourself. You can’t be selfish. You genuinely have

to accommodate everyone. It’s not just me and her. If me and her

break up it kind of disrupts the entire formation for everyone.

Being in your early twenties, some people say this is the age to

think about yourself. What’s your opinion on that and how do

you balance that?

Lauren: I think it’s really important, and yeah I agree with that

and we’re young and we don’t have kids obviously and won’t

for a long time and we don’t have anyone else depending on us,

but I wouldn’t really describe him as depending on me either.

I don’t think a lot of people understand that you can be in a

healthy relationship and you can still put yourself first… If I got

a job opportunity in Arizona, I’m not going to turn it down just

because I have him. Of course, we’ll talk about it and see what

we can do. I think it’s always important not to write off putting

yourself first just because you’re in a relationship. I think you can

definitely do both. I mean I don’t feel impaired at all having a

boyfriend. I don’t feel like he’s ever weighing me down or stopping

me from achieving my dreams. I feel like it’s just important to

have a balance.

“I think it’s always important not to

write off putting yourself first just

because you’re in a relationship. I

think you can definitely do both. I

mean I don’t feel impaired at all having

a boyfriend.”

Dawann: When people say ‘I’m going to focus on myself ’ I feel

like when you’re single the focus is really not on yourself. You may

not have to worry about someone else, but you are definitely kind

of like looking or experimenting. Because I have Lauren, when

I worry about myself, I really worry about myself. I won’t get a

haircut for a month and I will be working nonstop because I’m

like I have a woman at the end of the day who’s going to love me no

matter what I look like. The real grind comes from when you have

that partner with you to where you can really focus on yourself.

You’re not worried about impressing someone else because that

person [you’re with] knows what you’re going through.

Lauren: I think it’s all situational.

Dawann: That’s true.

Fall 2020 | 23


Photos by Demel Bolden

Lauren: I think it’s people, especially our generation, loves to

blanket things.

Dawann: And social media.

That was something I wanted to get into as well. So what are

your thoughts on social media?

Lauren: The person you’re with should be a compliment to

you. You shouldn’t be looking for them to fulfill your life. They

should be complimenting your life in good ways. They shouldn’t

be impacting you negatively. [With] our generation sometimes,

we’re scared, and it took us years to get to this point. We’re still not

perfect but I’m looking forward to going through it.

Dawann: With relationships on a social media standpoint, I had

to get through something with her in the beginning and it was

big. Posting. People put so much emphasis [on it]. When you have

to ask someone to do it it’s not genuine. So, it really doesn’t matter

because they’re just doing it just to do it. Now when I post her,

she doesn’t even ask. I probably post her than she posts me now

because I’m not being asked to, I’m excited and like ‘ooh look at

my girlfriend’ and showing her off and that’s better. We’re so big

[as a generation] to be like ‘Post him. Post her’ and you’re kind of

forcing that person to do that and then it puts this connotation

that we care what people say.

Lauren: Think it took a long time for mostly me but a little bit of

him to realize it’s just an app. It’s just social media. I used to really

care about posting pictures together and posting each other and

stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s really nothing. That took me a

long time to realize myself. Being in new relationships I think a lot

of times people get kind of hung up on that. I mean we definitely

did a few times but I could go on about social media for like a

year and why I hate it but our meeting is not long enough for that.

There’s so many aspects to the way social media plays a role in the

downfall of a lot of couples in so many ways.

Dawann: It’s the false narratives.

Lauren: You have to really get over the false narrative you want

to put into the world and think about why you want to put it out

there. Posting is fine. We’re not against it and we post each other

of course. But I mean getting into the nitty gritty of why you feel

the need to be posted, that is the deeper question. We both don’t

post that often. We don’t like sharing our lives and we don’t like

people to know what we’re doing

It’s interesting to hear you both talk about that. With younger

couples, and by younger couples I mean couples that are in the

early stages of their relationship, it seems like they kind of see

it as a test. There’s the idea that if they aren’t posting then it

may feel like their partner is keeping their options open and

don’t want to appear that they are with somebody. At the same

time y’all are very correct and there’s that argument of why we


Lauren: I think your point is still valid. That’s still a conversation

that should be had between the couple, but it doesn’t need to be

had over social media. If you’re questioning why you’re not being

posted, are you really questioning if they’re claiming you or if you

guys are exclusive? Then I feel like that’s really the conversation

that needs to be had. Not ‘why aren’t you posting me?’

24 | maceandcrown.com

Dawann: “It goes back to communication. We’re now at the point

where it’s like a no brainer. Sometimes you really don’t know what

the other person is thinking. I’m like I don’t even post myself this

much I don’t get why you want me to keep posting you. So, the

deeper question is ‘I want to be claimed’ and that’s a whole other

thing. That means I’m not giving you the attention or treating you

the way you should be treated.

Lauren: Even for me I don’t think it was even about being claimed.

I think it was just me wanting to be posted when I was younger.

You see other couples do it and it’s really social influence and

pressure. You see some people do it and wonder why you aren’t

doing the same. You get older and realize that it means nothing.

“We’re not against it and we post each

other of course. But I mean getting into

the nitty gritty of why you feel the need

to be posted, that is the deeper question.

We both don’t post that often.”

What’s some advice for someone who may be single, early on

in a relationship, or someone in a similar situation as yours?

What’s something you recommend to them?

Dawann: Communication. That’s in all caps and in bold.

Lauren: Make it bold, in red, and highlight it. I feel like especially

in our generation again, and we’re not exempt of course.

Dawann: And talking. Not texting, real talking.

Lauren: One of our break ups, like two years ago was over

FaceTime. I was at school and he was at school and we hadn’t seen

each other in like five weeks and it had been a while. So, I know

if we had sat down and talked about it and got it out, we would

have not broken up and wasted time being apart… Say your

peace because if you don’t say it now, you’re gonna say it now or

in five weeks when you talk again. I mean you might not get back

together, or you might not solve the problem. That’s okay too. I

feel like ninety percent of the time talking about it will at least

help. I feel like it’s just life skills. If me and my best friend have a

fight, we will talk about it. Listening and understanding the other

person… no one’s on defense we’re just talking and don’t try to

have your guard up and understand where they are coming from.

Dawann: I always say don’t listen to hear, listen to comprehend.

That goes to the advice I would give to guys. Details. The small

things you can do for a girl go a long way. The genuine small

things that you can do without being asked goes such a long way.

That’s the thing people don’t really do anymore. It goes to the

point where people are not paying attention.

Lauren: Like I said earlier, no one is perfect. We’re not perfect.

Our photo under the Eiffel Tower may look perfect but we’re not

perfect. I think realizing that you’re not perfect and neither am I,

we’re going to work through our imperfectness together is what

I think helps so many people. Especially with our generation

we love looking at perfect photos, perfect outfits and we think

everything is perfect. If we really sat down and said, ‘I’m not

perfect and I did this, I think this way, and neither are you’. We

would really come to the conclusion of maybe we can figure

something out. I think we always look for perfection in people

and whenever someone does the slightest thing that proves that

they’re not perfect anymore then we ditch them or dump them.

Dawann: Another piece of advice is to forgive. You have to.

Lauren: In all aspects of life, sometimes people are going through

things. Like I forgave him and knew he was going through a

mid-college crisis. He’s a worrier and he just worries a lot and I

understand that… Forgiveness is definitely key.

Dawann: We’ve definitely got that old love.

Lauren: I love thinking about how young we are. We’re young,

we love to have fun and we find out new things about each other

every day because we’re changing, we’re so young. Just because

we’re together it doesn’t mean we’re not going to change. If you

knew him in high school, you would be like ‘that’s not Dawann.’

I love knowing I’m only twenty-one and we still have so many

places to go and so much to learn together.

Fall 2020 | 25


How ODU Seniors and Alumni

are Re-Defining “Self-Love” and

Finding Identity


Healing from Trauma and a Broken Heart

“With any young person, you think you know everything,” says Caroline

Foster, a 29-year old senior graduating, Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design

this May. “You think you’re way smarter than you actually are, and you get

really sick of people telling you in relationships or whatever, ‘you don’t know,

you’re 11 or you’re 16.’ You’ve been hearing this your whole life.”

She then says, “As you go through college, the more you learn, the more

you don’t know much.”

She was in-and-out of school mostly because of the trauma she faced

from an abusive relationship during her first year in college. Foster first

attended Southern Adventist University in Tennessee and met her former

boyfriend, who was verbally and emotionally abusive to her.

“I didn’t recognize it, at first,” says Foster, recalling the abuse.

Like any young relationship would start, it started off with the ‘honeymoon’

phase. It then escalated into her ex-boyfriend isolating Foster

from her friends. He would also get jealous easily, despite the fact that

he cheated on her. The abuse progressed until it became physical, resulting

in the boyfriend hitting her.

When people think of, “self-love,” and “finding identity,” their answers

are often cliche and vague with responses such as, “pampering and treating

yourself” or “focusing and prioritizing on yourself.” We hear the

quote that we roll our eyes at constantly, “If you don’t love yourself, then

how do you expect someone else to love you?”

While all of these answers and quotes may be useful, not many people

discuss what is actually “self-love” and how that is developed within oneself,

especially within college students. During these “four best years,”

students are transitioning from being naive teenagers to emotionally

intelligent young adults. From stepping out of their comfort zone to

meeting lifelong friends, developing relationships, heartbreaks, periods

of sadness and then, developing a sense of self all balancing school and

work is a lot to handle at once.

These are the experiences of graduating seniors and recent alumni on

how they define “self-love” and finding themselves.

There were many instances where Foster tried to break up with him, but

he kept threatening to hurt himself or commit suicide if she left. This is

a manipulation tactic that most abusers would use. Out of not wanting

to have any guilt if he were to harm himself, Foster stayed in the relationship.

Foster emphasizes, “Relationships are a tangled web. Your friends would

be like, ‘oh, break up with him,’ but they’re not the ones sitting there with

the feelings.” She also says, “It’s much more complicated when you’re the

person in the relationship than being the outside person giving advice.”

One of the reasons why most women do not leave abusive relationships,

“This person [the abuser] cares about me, they love me.” In most cases,

women either believe that they can be the ones to work things out or that

the abuse is normal, just like in any other relationship.

Eventually, Foster was able to break up with her abusive boyfriend

when she contacted his mother about their broken relationship. She

26 | maceandcrown.com

made sure to set up a date and time to meet

her ex-boyfriend. She then notified his mom

beforehand to assure that Foster would be safe

in the case that her boyfriend did not handle

the situation well.

Caroline Foster


Anthony Evasco

She then dropped out of that small school

and transferred to the College of Charleston.

From there, she knew that she needed to take

care of her mental well-being. Despite being a usual

straight-A student, she was failing out of her

classes. She then withdrew for a brief period and

got a full-time job and worked in Charleston as a

barista and nanny for five years. Eventually, she

went back to school and majored in Psychology

in order to help other people based on what she

had been through.

Foster then went to therapy and started her

healing process.

“People can be supportive,” explains Foster. “But they

don’t really understand how it breaks you down and I

don’t think I realized how broken down I had been by it, until I had trouble

functioning and concentrating.”

“It shatters your confidence in every aspect in life,” says Foster, sharing

how the relationship destroyed how she saw herself. “It takes a long time

to rebuild back up. I think it’s already an issue--as women--because we

judge from any angle, so many different societal pressures about how we

look or about how we do things.”

Foster says, “Forcing myself to talk about it and work through it was so

valuable because I don’t think I ever would have a healthy relationship

with anyone if I had not talked about it.” She also says of her growth,

“I’m grateful that my experiences have been pretty disjointed, and that

I’m graduating now because I feel like I understand how valuable a lot of

information that I’m taking in.”

She is now happily married and in a healthy relationship with her husband,

whom she met on Tinder. She transferred to ODU, to be close

to where her husband is stationed. Foster emphasizes being in a strong

relationship and growing away from an abusive one.

Fall 2021 | 27


“It was something that took a lot of time to get over. It made me grow,

personally, because you just have to realize at any point in time, you have

to do what’s good for you. And, if you’re not happy, your partner is not

going to be happy. You need to communicate.”

Foster says of self-love and acceptance, “Being able to forgive yourself to

realize that we do make mistakes and it may be hard to accept it, especially

when you come into college thinking you know everything. Accepting

mistakes [sic] and allowing yourself to take a break is important.”

Exploring The World Around You

When Avis Keeling first arrived on campus, ODU was not the first option

of her choice. Graduating with a degree in Graphic Design in May,

Keeling has always been introverted. However, she made the best of her

college experience by making a handful of friends and mostly being independent.

“I was not willing to talk to people and go anywhere, except be in my

room and go eat.” Keeling recalls her freshman year. She also adds, “I

just wanted to keep a close community of friends from high school,

that’s all I wanted to talk to. Now, I’ll tell anyone about ODU, I’ll talk

about it to people [like] the clubs I’m in.” Since being involved in school,

Keeling now happens to be the vice president of ODU Club Softball and

the marketing and graphic design specialist for ODU SRC.

“Getting to know people outside where I lived was a bigger thing for

me.” She says. Though Keeling was starting to befriend people outside

her dorm and residential hall, she did encounter one toxic friend. Keeling

says that this person was quite controlling and prideful towards her,

which caused her to become more silenced about any confrontational


“I realized throughout college I stopped [being vocal and opinionated]

and just let it be what it is and that passive attitude made me feel like I

wasn’t able to take control of the situations I was in,” she shares.

One of the biggest lessons she learned was to not be afraid to speak up.

Avis Keeling


Dereck Squire

“If what’s happening is hurting me,” said Keeling. “I should speak up because

if you don’t say anything, nobody would know.”

In regards to self-love, Keeling says, “If you don’t understand who you

are and what you are about, you wouldn’t understand how to love yourself.”

In order to find an identity while in school, Keeling encourages people

to simply explore everywhere around you.

“Anything that you think you might like, I’d say go ahead and do it.

There were events during freshman year that I thought I would like

to go to, but I didn’t go because I didn’t want to be out there alone. If

there’s something you feel like you want to do, go do it. Nobody is going

to judge you, we’re all here together. We’re all here trying to figure it all


Being Your Own Boss and a Force of Change

ODU alumni, Sadarhi Cowan, graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree

in Health Sciences and a minor in management. She now works

full-time as a staff analyst at an accounting firm in Richmond. Cowan

transferred to ODU from a community college. Being on campus was,

as Cowan describes, “a bunch of emotions.”

As with any new transfer, she was in a new city and knowing only one

28 | maceandcrown.com

person who was already established around the school. “[My experience

in school] was truly one for the books,” Cowan says of her experience.

“I met some amazing people who I call family till this day, I made great

connections. The undergrad experience is that if you’re cut out for it--the

school and academic part of it--I think everyone should experience it.”

“I wasn’t comfortable with just going up to people and starting conversations.

I would mostly be in my dorm room before I joined my first organization,

which was the Ebony Impact Gospel Choir.” says Cowan.

She adds, “Ever since I joined that organization, I started to branch out

and be comfortable.”

In addition to trying to come out of her shell, throughout college, Cowan

had concerns with her body image. “Naturally, as women--or anybody--we

have insecurities and flaws that kind of get to us. For a long

time, I didn’t feel good about what I looked like.”

She adds, “I kind of kept to myself a lot and covered myself up or be so

noticeable. I was more conservative, in a sense. And because of that,

I struggled with anxiety, stress and depression, but what I know now

and truly loving who I am and the Sadarhi. I’m in love with myself and

I’m not perfect. That’s what I had to understand is that I’m not perfect,

nobody is perfect, I know that I’m beautiful. I know that I can achieve

anything I want, no matter what I look like.”

She recently launched her business called QueenMeBoutique,

which is an affordable jewelry line for all women.

Cowan believes that the best part of dressing

up is accessorizing yourself.

“Jewelry is something that any woman can

wear. It’s not small or extra-large, I have

jewelry that can fit every queen.” Cowan

adds, “I have pieces that represent

boldness and strength,

and women


Aside from her jewelry line, Cowan hopes to teach what she has learned

about herself to other girls. While in college, she founded alongside another

woman, Jessica Heel, an organization called, ‘Creating a Better

Me,’ a place where women and young girls can come and lift one another.

“We have mentorship programs and other women empowerment

events before COVID,” said Cowan. “We get a lot of women together to

talk about the importance of self-love, women empowerment. We help

young girls find their purpose in life.”

Cowan shares how she truly sees self-love.

“I think when we love ourselves, we will do anything to heal the hurt,

heal the pain, and doing those things with whatever it takes: going to

therapy, having a life coach, having a mentor. Whatever it is, true

self-love is at the end of the day when your life is completely upside

down, you have this little bit of peace, because you know it’s out of

your control, and you’ve done all that you can do. So it’s pretty much

above us at that point.”

She also says, “I truly love myself. I don’t need to seek attention from anybody

else. I don’t need

anyone to tell me that they love me for me to feel love. I have love myself

Fall 2021 | 29


because I have a love

for me, and so that’s what I think.”

Having Confidence and Passion for Something

You Love

“It’s a rollercoaster,” says Xavier Campbell when talking about

his college experience. Campbell is graduating this May

with a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Print and

Photo Media. Initially, he entered college majoring in Electrical

Engineering because of his parent’s direction for him.

With a lot of traumatic experiences taking Campbell through

the highs and lows of college, he was able to switch his major

and become an art student and a photographer. It was hard for

his parents to accept that Campbell did not want to become an

engineer, but eventually supported his aspirations.

“I really want to say that I’m the same as I was freshman year, but

it’s not true,” Campbell says, comparing who he was as a freshman

to the person he is now. “I’m a lot more mature when it comes to

relationships knowing like who’s a friend or who’s an acquaintance

and getting to know myself better.” He adds, “Now, as a senior, at 24

years old, I feel like now I’m more critical of myself when it comes to

my past actions and how that influences my future decisions.”

Transitioning from an engineering student to an art student during his

second year was not easy. Not only were his parents unhappy about his

decision to switch majors, but Campbell also describes it as a “bad hole

in my life, it was Hell.” He spiraled into a major depression, isolating

himself from everyone.

Xavier Campbell


Own Self-portrait

“During that transition, I didn’t leave my room, at all.” He recalls. “I only

went to eat, go to class--I barely went to class--I just stayed in my room

every day.”

It was during that summer of his transition between degrees where he

stayed by himself on campus for a month. “At first when I thought about

it after I stayed on campus, it was just a waste of time,” he says. “But now,

I look back at it, I feel like I needed it to be away from everything. I think

me being away from my family-- the isolation--I come to terms with it

that there are times where you’re going to be alone, depressed and you’re

30 | maceandcrown.com

going to deal with it.”

This isolation sparked his passion for photography. Though Campbell

was always interested in photography, he was able to create various art

forms of the emotions he was going through.

“It was the spring of that year and I picked up a camera,” shares Campbell.

“I went to DC National Harbor and started taking pictures. That’s

what told me, ‘Hey, this actually something that you’re good at.’ I’m really

glad I got into it.”

Campbell says he always had confidence issues within himself that affected

his relationship with not only people but mostly himself. There

was once a professor he had who told him, “Why do you not put yourself

out there during senior shows? You should have that confidence in yourself

because you sat here every year and took those eight classes and you

spent the money and you’ve gotten your way to the top.”

Sadhari Cowan


Tiera Owens

“I’ve spent the hours on myself working on myself, so I should have that

confidence in myself,” shares Campbell.

“Being able to look back at your past decisions and being okay with

them.” He says when defining self-love. “And, being able to critically

think, ‘why did I make this decision?’ and being okay that you

made this decision.” He also says, “It’s not harboring on yourself,

but more looking at yourself and what you can

do better in the future.”

Finding and Embracing Your Cultural


ErinLiz Coluna, recent alumni of ODU graduated

in 2020 with a degree in Special Education,

concentrating in Elementary Education. She

is now a special education teacher at Oceanair

Elementary, where she teaches kindergarteners.

She started out at Virginia Tech, majoring in

Fall 2021 | 31


International Studies, only to transfer to ODU after her freshman year

because the lifestyle was not for her. She says that her freshman year at

Tech was like any other freshman on campus, she was hours away from

her family and closest friends she knew, and in the middle of nowhere.

However, she decided to join the Filipino-American Student Association

(also known as, FASA) to meet other students.

“I loved FASA at Virginia Tech, [it] became my life at Virginia Tech, ”

She says. Coluna was born in the Philippines and moved to Norfolk,

VA before she was only three years old. Because of her Filipino heritage,

her way of life was different from the American culture. Coluna recalls

a specific time when she was in middle school that caused her to be more

conscious about her cultural identity.

“I brought food--Filipino food--for lunch, which was Giniling,” says

Coluna. “It had ground beef, peas, sometimes carrots in it. I remember

bringing it to lunch and this girl comes up to me and says, ‘Are you eating

dog food?”

She talks about the unique identity that Asian-Americans have, especially

when it comes to bringing their lunch to school or work. “You have

that lunchbox moment when you go to work and someone asks, ‘What is

that? What are you eating?’”

Her freshman year at Virginia Tech compared to her senior year at

ODU had many moments that shaped her into who she is today. At the

time, Coluna’s mentality focused more on being impressionable to people,

“What can I do to make myself look good? What can I do to impress

other people? What can I do that will make people go, ‘oh wow, she

really has everything in her life placed, she’s got everything going on,

everything is stable.’”

“Mind you, the professor was Black, that asked this question,” continued

Coluna. “People were bantering and arguing about why all lives

matter, but could not say that Black Lives Matter.”

She transferred to ODU, joined ODU FASA and quickly became friends

with many people there in the community. While in FASA, Coluna

then became the Public Relations chair and was also part of the Culture

Night play. Coluna then changed her major to Special Education.

“I definitely did a lot of self-reflecting before graduation and realized I

do everything to make myself happy now,” says Coluna about her senior

year. “I’m not here at ODU because I wanted to look good for other people.

I left Virginia Tech and people were like, ‘Oh, she’s leaving Virginia

Why is Having Self-Love

Important for Students to

Know for Their Personal

Growth and Mental Health?

With personal and mental growth, not many

people can comfortably discuss the subject

with others. However, the younger generation

and social media are making issues like this

aware to many.

There was one particular occurrence at Virginia Tech in a class that

made Coluna realize she needed to be protected of her cultural identity.

“It was a class of about 400 students and it was half international studies

students and half political science students,” recalls Coluna. “[This

guest professor] asked the class, ‘Raise your hand if you think all lives

matter--every life has a value.’ Everyone raised their hands and then, the

teacher goes, ‘keep your hands up if you think Black Lives Matter.’ A

huge portion of the class put their hands down and we had a discussion

about it.”

32 | maceandcrown.com

Tech because she’s not smart enough to stay there now.’ and then, I realized

I stopped caring about what people thought of me and who I was.”

“I started doing things on my own terms and what I knew was best for

myself, and not what would impress others instead,” adds Coluna.

To anyone identifying with themselves culturally while in college can be

a tough time, especially when they are away from family and lose their

traditions they were raised by. Coluna says, “Be ready to take a good look

in the mirror and realize, ‘What do I need to do to care for myself and

what do I need to do that’ll make me happy?’”

Cowan explains the open conversation of mental health within the

younger generation, “Because of social media today, we’re having these

conversations. The older generation doesn’t talk about it at much because

that wasn’t something we sat at the dinner table and talked about.

You kept it to yourself, but because the technology wasn’t as advanced,

we see more people talking about it online and it makes us more comfortable

to talk about it.”

She also says, “That’s why I love our generation because we’re really the

ones shattering glass ceilings. We’re not afraid to voice our opinion and

to put it out there.”

Fall 2021 | 33


“Text Me When You

Get Home”

How Sarah Everard’s Case is Causing an Outcry of Support

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Carly Herbert | News Editor

On Mar. 3, 33-year old Sarah Everard

was walking home from a friend’s

apartment in Brixton, London when she

went missing. It wasn’t until Mar. 12,

that her remains were discovered almost

sixty miles from where she disappeared.

London Metropolitan Police has been

arrested for her abduction and murder.

Following the discovery of Everard’s

body, millions of women across the world

came together on social media in support

of the woman “who did everything

right.” During her walk home, Everard

stayed in well-lit areas and called her

boyfriend as she walked. Thousands of

women gathered at a vigil for Everard

in London on Mar. 14, where they took

time to pay their respects. However,

the London Metropolitan Police (the

same department in which the suspect

worked), disbanded the events, even

forcibly arresting some of the attendees.

Millions of posts have gone up on

the internet, sharing furious and

heartbreaking sentiments in regard to

women not being able to safely walk

alone without living in fear. The hashtags

#TextMeWhenYouGetHome and

#SheWasJustWalkingHome share tactics others have used to protect themselves as

well as suggestions on how men can strive to make women feel safer in

“Social media has been and will remain incredibly important in the struggle to end

sexual and intimate partner violence for a number of reasons,” explains Amanda

Petersen, one of ODU’s Sociology and Criminal Justice Professors. “Namely, it has

allowed countless individuals to share their stories about violence, which is important

for demonstrating the gravity of the situation. It is kind of like shining a spotlight on an

issue that was once primarily shrouded in shame, fear, and loneliness.”

“It allows these survivors to connect with one another,” continued Petersen. “And

build a community of support as they heal, grieve, and organize a violence-free future.”

34 | maceandcrown.com

“The second most important thing is that men (and

people of all genders) are holding their friends and

acquaintances accountable when they say or do

things that sexually demean other individuals. It

is important that people face social consequences

for their actions and having your friend “Call you

out” for normalizing sexual violence is an easy

form of doing this.”

Many of these women have had close encounters walking home at night, recounting

stories of keys gripped in between fingers and pepper spray ready to be deployed.

But many sexual assault attacks happen in private, oftentimes even by a trusted person.

“Most people who survive sexual assault were not harmed by a stranger while in public,”

explained Petersen, “They were harmed in private by someone they knew (often who

they knew intimately).”

Petersen urges people to take precautions in their intimate relationships in order to

avoid sexual violence.

“It is best to engage in sex or other forms of intimacy with individuals who have strong

communication skills, especially when it comes to giving and receiving consent. If a

person can talk about sexual interests, boundaries, and safety outside of the bedroom

it is more likely that they will respect those things inside of the bedroom.”

“All that being said, it is still always the responsibility of a person to make sure their

sexual partner feels safe and comfortable, and if they fail to do that, it is not the fault of

the survivor,” said Petersen.

With the internet swirling, many male allies have also stepped up to ask how they can

help women feel safer, with one of the key points being to educate yourself and your

male friends on how to support and protect women. It’s not enough to just “not be a

predator,” people need to learn how to read situations in which they can stand up for

women and reject the neutral bystander position.

“The absolute most important thing men (and people of all genders) can do to create

a safe campus environment is to educate themselves about how to foster healthy

intimate relationships,” says Petersen. “The second most important thing is that men

(and people of all genders) are holding their friends and acquaintances accountable

when they say or do things that sexually demean other individuals. It is important that

Fall 2020 | 35


people face social consequences for their actions and having your friend “Call you out”

for normalizing sexual violence is an easy form of doing this.”

The case is taking place during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and only days after

International Women’s Day, and despite there not being any claims or proof of sexual

abuse in Everard’s case, it’s important to recognize that 20% of college women will

report sexual assault in their lifetimes, according to a College Climate Survey done

by the Bureau of Justice. This doesn’t even begin to cover the unreported assaults that

happened every day.

“There are so many reasons that people don’t always feel comfortable going to the

police after an assault,” said Petersen. “One of the main reasons is that a person worries

that the police will not believe them or treat them with respect during the reporting

and investigation of the assault. Unfortunately, this fear is very real, as many survivors

report feeling mistreated or misunderstood by the police after reporting an assault.”

Petersen also sheds light on other reasons that a victim might not report their assault.

“It can be very hard to admit to oneself, the alone a law enforcement officers that an

assault occurred. For many survivors, it takes years to reckon with the experience.

After so much time has passed it may feel fruitless to report.”

Additionally, these abusive relationships are built off of “power and control.”

“When someone experiences the acute sense of powerlessness and lack of control that

comes with an assault, they may subsequently feel that they are not deserving of justice

or are not capable of navigating the legal process,” said Petersen.

There are many resources available locally to help survivors, including right here at

ODU. ODU Support and Outreach is one of the main resources available for support

through the university. There are other resources available to ODU students in the

local area including the YMCA< the Samaritan House, the LGBT Center of HR, and

more. For a more complete list of resources, check out the back of our magazine.

36 | maceandcrown.com

“Millions of posts have gone up on

the internet, sharing furious and

heartbreaking sentiments in regard to

women not being able to safely walk

alone without living in fear. The hashtags

#TextMeWhenYouGetHome and

#SheWasJustWalkingHome share

tactics others have used to protect

themselves as well as suggestions on how


Fall 2020 | 37


Photo by Callum Skelton on Unsplash

Abusive Friendships

The Warning Signs and

The Way Out

By Carly Herbert | News Editor

38 | maceandcrown.com

“Abusive friends will commonly make you feel isolated

and alone because they won’t be there for you

in the same way that you might be there for them.

They might also try and compare you to themselves

and to others in an attempt to make you feel

bad about yourself.”

College is the most important time in

your life for making new friends and building

new relationships. A lot of the time, college

students are coming into a new town

where they may not know many people and

trying to create an independent and fun

life for themselves, and they want to make

new friends. It’s one of the most frequently

written topics on blog posts and the title of

hundreds of YouTube videos, “How to Make

Friends in College.” But far too frequently

these new friendships may not end up being

the happy dynamic they were originally

searching for.

Finding yourself in a toxic and manipulative

friendship in college can be more common

than one might think. Abusive relationships

don’t only come in the form of romantic relationships,

many times some of the people

you consider to be a “friend” can be just as

hurtful and manipulative as a romantic partner.

These relationships may very possibly

look different than an abusive relationship

with a love interest, as oftentimes, the warning

signs and actions look much different

coming from a friend standpoint.

Abusive friends will commonly make you

feel isolated and alone because they won’t

be there for you in the same way that you

might be there for them. They might also

try and compare you to themselves and to

others in an attempt to make you feel bad

about yourself.

One friendship red flag that overlaps with

a romantic red flag is the failure for someone

to respect your boundaries.

and control,” explained Courtney Meyer,

the assistant director of the ODU Women’s

Center. “A toxic friend will always be seeking

control in the relationship such as always

deciding where you go out to eat or what

movie to watch. Other warning signs include

disrespect, pressure, isolation, dishonesty,

inconsiderate behavior, accusations, shifting

blame, and manipulation.”

When these things happen repeatedly and

begin to make you feel uncomfortable being

around your “friend,” it might be time to

take a few steps back and create some distance

between yourself and this person. But

how to do that?

“Whenever someone is leaving an abusive

relationship whether it be with a friend,

“Unhealthy relationships are all about power

Fall 2020 | 39


family member, or intimate partner it is a dangerous time period

for that person,” said Meyer. “We’ve talked about how unhealthy

relationships are all about power and control, so when a victim is

trying to leave an abusive person, the abuser sees that as a loss of

power and control.”

“With that in mind, I would tell the person in a toxic friendship that

they know this abusive friend better than anyone else and will know

when the safest time is to leave,” continued Meyer. “Always go with

your gut instinct. I would also encourage the person to create a

safety plan and obtain a protective order (if needed) to leave the

toxic friendship safely and prevent any more harm to themselves.”

As hard as it is to part with someone that you had hoped to be a

friend, sometimes the best thing you can do is to leave a friendship

that is emotionally draining you. There are ways to escape from the

grasps of a toxic friendship.

Depending on the situation and the intensity of the relationship,

there are different ways to go about leaving a negative and unhealthy

friendship. The first step for removing yourself from this type of

situation is to talk to someone you trust and let them know what’s

happening. This could be a parent, a counselor (ODU and Norfolk

contacts can be found at the end of this article), or a victim advocate.

The second step requires creating a safety plan, which can be

used to get our of domestic abuse relationships with partners and

with friends. A safety plan is a way for you to be able to get out of

an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation by creating a

safe word to use among other friends or family and making sure you

have a way to leave your dorm, house, or work.

There are times when you may have to confront someone and let

them know that the way they are treating you, has driven you away.

40 | maceandcrown.com

In these cases, it’s best to have the conversation somewhere that

you feel comfortable, whether that be your house or in a public


“Start the conversation by telling them you wanted to meet today

because you have some concerns that you’d like to discuss with

them,” said Meyer. “Throughout the conversation, avoid starting any

sentence with “you” because the toxic person will feel attacked

and be focused on defending themselves instead of listening; an example

of this is, “You make me feel embarrassed when we’re out

with friends because you point out things like me getting ketchup

on my white pants.” Instead, focus on using “I” statements when

expressing how you have been feeling, such as, “I feel embarrassed

when we’re out with friends and you point out things like me getting

ketchup on my white pants.”

Depending on the severity of the situation, further steps may need

to be taken such as reaching out to ODU Police to get set up with

a safety patrol to escort you around campus in the event that you

don’t feel safe being alone with this person. There are also steps that

can be taken to obtain a protective order if you are receiving threats

of violence or are worried about your safety.

Understanding what traits make up a genuine friend is just as important

as knowing how to recognize negative traits.

“When making and maintaining friendships, remember that healthy

friendships have respect, good communication, non-threatening

behavior, honesty and accountability, negotiation and fairness, and

trust and support,” concluded Meyer. “Friendships that are healthy

are those that make you feel good about yourself, will support you

through the good and bad parts of life, and you can be your 100%

authentic self around.”

Fall 2020 | 41


Montrease Cottle

4 Rom Coms

to watch, with

multiple love


The romance guessing game is a great rom com trope that makes a movie even

more interesting. Here’s 4 movies that pull this trope off well, while never

giving away the ending.

1. Definitely, Maybe (2008)

Bedtime stories are something everyone cherishes as a child.

The main character is a husband (Ryan Reynolds) who’s just

gotten divorce papers from his estranged wife. While preparing

his daughter (Abigail Breslin) for bed, she asks about how he met

her mother. Wanting to make the story more interesting, he adds a twist:

there’s three women and his daughter must choose which one she thinks

is her mom based solely off the stories. This tales takes so long to tell, the

dad stretches it out over a few nights. It’s funny, realistic, and everything

you’d wish for in a story of how your two favorite people met. If you

loved the Bridget Jone’s Diary series, you’ll love this movie.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime and Peacock.

Montrease Cottle

2. When in Rome (2010)

Ever made a wish and threw a penny into a fountain? Well, this

movie is the hilarious cautionary tale of what happens when you

mess with other people’s wishing pennies. Beth (Kristen Bell) goes

to Rome for her baby sister’s wedding. Feeling unlucky and

depressed for her non-existent love life, she drinks an entire bottle of

champagne and finds herself swimming in an iconic fountain named

‘the love fountain’ and making wishes. When she takes a couple wishing

coins from the fountain to up her love luck, she is faced with multiple

men pining for her affection. To make matters worse, there’s another

guy (Josh Duhamel) who seems perfect for her. Is genuinely attracted

to her or is he another victim of the love fountain’s coins? If you loved

Enchanted, you’ll love this movie.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Montrease Cottle

3. Leap Year (2010)

Everyone knows about the legendary and rare occurrence of a leap year.

But do you know the Irish/Scottish tradition where a woman can propose

to her husband on February 29 th during the leap year and he have to say

42 | maceandcrown.com


yes? If not, you’re in for a treat. This movie follows Anna (Amy Adams) as she

travels to Dublin to propose to her cardiologist boyfriend

(Adam Scott) who has yet to pop the question after four years. Her trip turns

to a nightmare when her guide comes into some problems. Will she fall for the

handsome stranger who chemistry is off the charts or stay true to her boyfriend

and follow through with her plan? If you loved The Tourist, you’ll love

this movie.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

4. Everybody loves Somebody (2017)

‘The one that got away’ is

always a hard pill to swallow.

Even harder when it’s you and

the man you loved comes back. Gynecologist Clara Barron (Karla Souza) is

faced with this choice when she goes to Mexico for a family wedding with her

cute co-worker as her plus one. Her ex and deepest love also attends the wedding,

stirring up things Clara thought had died. Now Clara must choose between

her long-lost love that wants her back and her adorable coworker that wants

to pursue things further, while dealing with her family’s nosiness. As a doctor

who knows a lot about the matters of the body, she’s about to be schooled in the

matters of the heart. If you loved Just Go with It, you’ll love this movie.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Fall 2020 | 43


Montrease Cottle

2 Michael Cera Rom

Coms that are really


Whether you first saw him in Arrested Development or Superbad, you know Michael Cera’s

iconic awkward-but-nice-sidekick routine. What you may not have known is that he played the

awkward-but-nice romantic lead in two movies. One common theme, amazing soundtracks with

iconic actors.

1. Nick and Norah’s Ultimate Playlist


One night, a burning new flame, two old

flames, and a missing girl. This teen

romance flick will have you running to

your Apple Music, or Spotify, app to

download the entire soundtrack. Nick

(Michael Cera) is completely in love with

his girlfriend Trish. So much so, he burns his homemade songs onto CDs every week

for her to listen to. This love bubble is popped when Trish abruptly dumps him.

Depressed and feeling like wallowing in despair for the unseeable future, he is persuaded

by his closest friends to go downtown and complete this citywide scavenger

hunt for their favorite band that’s having a secret concert. At one of the locations,

he meets Norah (Kat Dennings) who is best friend with Trish and has listened to all

the CDs he’s made for Trish, who usually threw them away. Nick ignores Norah’s

admiration and potential interest in him, too caught up with Trish. From there, the rest

of the night is more adventure than any of the teens bargained for. Nick is faced with

a familiar choice: being with the girl who likes him as is or the girl who dumped him

because he was boring. A perfect coming-to-age rom com.

*Currently available for streaming on Apple TV+.

Montrease Cottle

44 | maceandcrown.com


2. Scott Pilgrim vs

The World (2010)

What’s more stressful than

having to impress your super

cool, mysterious, hard-to-get

crush? Having to battle her 7

evil exes to win her affection. If

you love slapstick comedy,

baby-faced iconic actors, and arcade-style videogames you’ll love this movie. The

main character, Scott (Michael Cera), has an interesting life: he lives with and shares

a bed with his lover-boy roommate, Wallace (Kieran Culkin), who has frequent

guests, plays bass in a garage band with his best friends, and dates a high school

student named Knives. His mundane life is disrupted when he meets Ramona at a

party. He is entranced by her bright hair and mysterious nature; this leads some light

stalking which forces Ramona to accept his offer for a date. Scott’s mundanity is further

disrupted when Ramona’s league of evil exes wants to battle Scott. Confused and

thrown off guard, Scott prepares for the battle of his life. This is of course while he’s

still in a relationship with Knives. Chaos ensues and Scott must make a lot of tough

choices. The soundtrack for this movie is also sublime and the storyline is hilarious.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon

Prime and Netflix.

Fall 2020 | 45


Montrease Cottle

3 Wedding Rom

Coms that’ll have

you cracking up:

1. Jumping the Broom (2011)

Everyone knows that big family

events bring out the worse, and best

sometimes, in the family. This true

for corporate lawyer Sabrina Watson

(Paula Patton) who is in love with her

husband-to-be Jason (Laz Alonso)

after a slew of one-night stands and

failed romances. As the wedding

preparations begin and the big day approaches, Sabrina’s

image and stability are tested when the couple’s

family comes to town. There are serious clashes

between the respective mothers, cousin, brothers

and whoever else has planned to attend. Can Sabrina

keep it together long enough to say ‘I do’ or will the

craziness from her current and future family drive

her away from her adorable hubby? Planning forever

doesn’t look so blissful for this bride in this hilarious

realism rom com.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon

Prime, Hulu, and Netflix.

2. Table 19 (2017)

Attending a wedding should be

a happy occasion for all, to see

the joining of two people in

love. Well, that is not the case

46 | maceandcrown.com


for Ex-maid of honor Eloise

(Anna Kendrick) who was demoted to a guest, after she was dumped over text by the

best man. If that wasn’t hurtful and embarrassing enough, she is sat at the table where

she placed all the random connections the bride and/or groom invited. The wedding

begins and emotions run high; it becomes clear Eloise is not the only one having a

bad day. Throughout the wedding festivities, Eloise and the five guests at her table

learn a lot thing about each other. As the day comes to a close, Eloise sees her table

mates as more than just the five weirdos at table 19. Realism and humor blend perfectly

in this movie.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Montrease Cottle

3. Plus One (2019)

Platonic coed best friends are something

everyone wants, but few can actually

stay best friends. Ben (Jack Quaid) and

Alice (Maya Erskine) think they’ve

figured out the boundaries of their

friendship. But when a busy summer of weddings back-to-back forges an

agreement between the two friends,

their friendship deepens. Having a plus

one to every wedding sounded good in theory, but now the lines of their friendship

are blurring. Will the two give in and make it official or remain friends that are just

“really really close?” It’s a modern-day love story with as much realism as if you

were talking over drinks with your friends. Is it a friends-to-lovers story or simply a

tragic case of miscommunication? We’ll leave that to you to find out and either way,

you’ll be laughing.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Fall 2020 | 47


Montrease Cottle

4 ‘Will they, won’t

they’ Trope Rom

Coms to watch:

1. Hitch (2005)

Being a successful romance coach

means you’ll have great success in

your own romance life, right? Not

exactly! Will Smith plays a dating

coach who finds this out as the

woman he’s pursuing (Eva Mendes)

does not respond to his techniques

and tricks that have worked for his

clients over the years. If that isn’t hard enough, he is also

trying to help a client at the same time with the same problem.

Can the two men get their girl? Well maybe, but it’s not

going to be as easy as they thought. Seems like this romance

coach will have to change up his tactics to romance the girl

of his dreams. If you loved How to Lose a Man in 10 Days,

you’ll love this movie.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime

and Hulu.

2. Flipped (2010)

Remember your crush from

second grade? Imagine if they

moved across the street from you. Sound interesting? That’s

exactly the case for Juli Baker when Bryce Loski moves

into the neighbor; she vows to love him forever. 6 years

48 | maceandcrown.com


later, the vow is

weighing on her. Bryce doesn’t seem interested…or is

he? Middle school is confusing enough, add in having

to interpret how your neighbor and infamous love feels

about you, only makes it worse. A story told from both

sides, this cute coming-of-age rom com is hilariously

relatable and fun to watch. If you loved the To All the

Boys I’ve Loved Before series, you’ll love this movie.

*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime

and HBOmax.

Montrease Cottle

3. Just Wright (2010)

Ever really had your eye on

someone, you both are vibing,

only to be put in the friendzone?

You’re not the only one. Leslie

Fall 2020 | 49


Montrease Cottle

Two Chris Evans’ Rom

Coms to watch ASAP:

Before he joined the Avengers or set things on fire in

the Fantastic Four, Chris Evans was in several rom

coms. Here’s our pick of the top two:

1. The Nanny Diaries (2007)

Two Avengers Alums in the

same film as love interests?

Doesn’t get better than that.

Follow the cute and chaotic story

of a recent college graduate (aka

miss Black Widow herself) who

gets in over her head when she

takes a job as a live-in nanny for

the child of two rich and neglectful parents. Evans plays the attractive

neighbor, who’s referred to as “Harvard hottie” for most of the movie,

that is in love from their first meeting. If you love main characters who

narrate and tell their story their way; then is the rom com for you.

50 | maceandcrown.com


*Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu.

2. Playing it Cool (2014)

Remember one of Captain

America’s most iconic lines:

“language”? Well, for this rom

com, just forget that. Evans plays

a screenwriter who wants to write

an action script, but his agent has

another idea: a rom com. This

task is difficult for two reasons:

1) he doesn’t believe love exists 2) he doesn’t like rom coms. This is

until he meets an alluring woman in red who, as it turns out during their

first meeting, has a boyfriend. If that wasn’t daunting enough, Evans pur-

Fall 2020 | 51


“Love Story” Taylor’s

Reclamation of her


Sydney Haulenbeek

The opening notes of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” (Taylor’s

Version) hum through speakers, nostalgic and

achingly familiar. The song, released on February 12,

is a re-release of her 2008 song by the same name.

Swift announced her plans to re-record her early discography

in August of 2019 after she found out that the

masters to her songs had been sold to Scooter Braun,

whom she has accused of “manipulative bullying.” She

posted on Twitter to say that she had attempted to regain

ownership of her master recordings, but was unable

to come to a satisfactory conclusion, as Swift said

that before negotiations began, that she was asked to

sign a NDA saying that she would “never say another

word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive.”

Shortly after this, Scooter sold Swift’s music, videos,

and album art to a private equity company called

Shamrock Holdings, under agreement that he would

continue to profit off of her music.

In a letter she posted on Twitter replying to Shamrock

Holdings Swift said “...It’s a shame to know that I will

not be unable to help grow the future of these past

works and it pains me very deeply to remain separated

from the music I spent over a decade creating, but this

is a sacrifice I will have to make to keep Scooter Braun

out of my life.”

Swift began recreating her work with “Fearless”, her

second album, and is also releasing “From the Vault”

songs, beginning with “You All Over Me (From the

Vault)” released on March 25, featuring Maren Morris.

Swift having her own masters that she has rerecorded

allows her to license out her music for use on television,

or in movies.

“That’s the key, she wants to own those in particular,

any legacy songs that she’s generated,” explained Dr.

Tim Anderson, director of the institute for the humanities

at ODU.

In her letter to Shamrock Holdings, Swift said that

she would be going forward with her re-recordings. “I

know this will diminish the value of my old masters,

but I hope you will understand this is my only way of

regaining the sense of pride I once had when hearing

songs from my first six albums and also allowing my

fans to listen to those albums without feelings of guilt

for benefiting Scooter.”

“If she owns her own masters, and if she owns her own

publishing, then she can effectively control 100% of the

income streams at certain points in time, she doesn’t

have to split that with anyone,” noted Anderson. “It

can get really complex, but essentially what you need

52 | maceandcrown.com


to look at are what the splits are. And if you own your

own publishing and you’re your own publisher, then

you potentially own 100% of all the income.”

Essentially, the strategy would be for Swift to make a

new set of masters by re-recording all the songs. “The

great thing about technology today is that you can get

pretty close to what it sounded like in a studio, or in

her case, she can just rent out a new big studio and redo

it,” said Anderson.

Madeline Hyde, a sophomore at ODU, has been a fan

since Swift’s first album, in 2006. She said she was very

excited when she found out about her re-recordings.

“Something about getting to relive the memories of

those songs again in the present and with how much

she’s grown is really beautiful to me,” Hyde said. “It’s

also really inspiring because she’s taking back what’s

hers regardless of what others say.”

“I think [the re-recordings set] a really good example.

She has spoken in multiple songs about women being

treated differently than men in the industry and

I think that if she didn’t stand up for herself she’d be

going against everything that she has stood for. It inspires

me to be more confident and stick up for myself

or others when they are being treated unfairly.”

Hyde said that another reason that the new music inspires

her so much is that she feels it indicates how

much Swift cares about her music and what she creates.

were obviously a big part of her life and who she is.”

Another ODU student, Salem Sebhatleab, has been a

fan of Taylor Swift since she was 7, when she found her

on YouTube. She’s already listened to the re-recording

of “Love Story” and says that the fact that Swift has to

re-record years worth of music is “very unfair” but that

it proves her commitment as an artist to her fans and

to herself.

“I’m definitely excited for the re-recordings. Since she’s

a woman now I feel like the emotion and delivery of

the song might feel different, so that’s something I’m

looking forward to,” Sebhatleab said. “I relate to how

well spoken and expressive she is, I love listening to

her [because of] how well she can tell a story in a short

3 minute song.”

Sebhatleab feels that Swift’s decision to re-record shows

her dedication to her craft, her fans, and herself.

“It inspires me in the sense that I should be thorough

and genuine with what I do if it’s something I’m passionate

about,” she said.

“Something about her reminds me of my sister,” confessed

Hyde, “and it was easy to form an attachment to

her because of that. I really love her music and how she

carries herself through everything she’s gets thrown

her way.”

“She doesn’t want it to be taken from her. Those songs

Fall 2020 | 53


Love of the Arts:

Theater Prepares to

Return to the Stage

Sydney Haulenbeek

Warm lights start to flood the stage

as the stage manager Megan Miranda

begins to tinker with the control

booth near the door in ODU’s University

Theater. She adjusts a camera

set up in the middle of the theater,

manipulating it to get an even

view of the stage as its cord drapes

awkwardly over unoccupied seats.

Some are marked with blue tape,

little blue tabs poking out stiffly as

“sit here” stickers are firmly stuck

on their wood backs. Actors tumble

into the space as the clock ticks

closer to seven - rehearsal time

- and drop their stuff in separate

corners of the auditorium. Ricardo

Melendez, the choreographer

for the musical they’re all here for,

“Working,” helps one of the actors

to hang plastic partitions on stage,

to help protect the actors.

“I love how everyone is reacting

to a piece of plastic like a nuclear

caveman,” jokes Jim Lyden, the

technical director, when someone

bumps into one.

“Working” will dive into the stories

of 26 essential workers, adapted

from the 1974 book by Studs Terkel.

The final production won’t be

here, in the University Theater, but

instead at Brock Commons, and

will be both live and in person, on

April 15-18.

The director, Katherine Hammon,

has said that the cast is taking all

precautions necessary to protect

everyone involved, as the performance

will allow the audience to either

sit distanced or attend in their

cars in a drive-in format. Choosing

Brock Commons allows the theater

department to distance the event,

Hammon explained. Since the performance

will be outside with a

small cast, there can be all the aspects

of a musical in a communal

yet distanced manner.

“We’ve carefully been watching the

protocols for performance suggested

by Actors’ Equity Union, as well

as the United States Institute of

Theatre Technology to understand

the best way to safely support our

amazing students - giving them the

ability to have a performance and

design opportunities,” Hammon

said. “While a Zoom performance

was an option, it is nothing like attending

an event.”

Nearby the stage, two women sit together

on the seats at the front of the

theater. They’re a mother-daughter

pair - the reason they’re allowed

to sit together, they explain. They

both play several roles; “Working”

Photos by Nicholas Clark

54 | maceandcrown.com


has 13 cast members and no main

characters. Instead, everyone plays

a few different essential workers, all

equally important.

Laura Bjork is a recent alumna who

graduated in the spring of 2020 and

Holly-Grace Bjork, her daughter, is

a freshman here at ODU.

Like many of the actors here, they

both live and breathe theater.

“I grew up doing theater and stuff

because she used to be the drama

teacher at my school,” Holly-Grace

explained. “I just kind of grew up in

that environment and always loved

it and took any chance I could to

take any kind of drama class or theater

or play.”

“As a kid I was really shy but I was

really really good at speaking,” explained

Laura, “and I discovered

that when I’m on stage I can be

anybody. I can do anything I want

to. There are no rules. And I could

really be the creative person that

my shy little self [was] too shy to

do in front of people; on the stage

I could do anything. And so everything

about theatre, I absolutely

love. I just love it.”

Burning determination floods the

room as the rehearsal begins and

everyone clambers onto the stage.

They’re halfway through rehearsals,

having begun learning the songs

over Zoom weeks ago, and then

finally transitioned to in-person


“It’s been really hard because theatre

is used to being, you know,

very close-knit, very touchy-feely,”

Laura said. “When we actually

stood on the stage, it had been a

year. That was early last year, that

we never got to go on stage, [when]

they canceled the show. And that’s

really been difficult.

The actors get comfortable on stage

as they repeat the song “Something

to Point To” and piece together the

choreography. In the back of the

theater, things look slightly different

than years past. A camera set

up in the middle of the empty seats

broadcasts footage of the stage to

Washington D.C., where Larry

Lewis, one of the actors and the assistant

director for the production,

is Zooming into the rehearsal. He

missed this practice because he is

working with the Kennedy Center

in D.C. on a project that focuses on

diversity and inclusion.

“We are devising theatre and discussing

ways in which theatre

needs to evolve, and what ways we

can work to evolve it when it is fully

back after the pandemic,” he explains

via the chat function.

Lewis had been directing a

self-written musical when the pandemic

happened and the university


Fall 2020 | 55


“Throughout the next few months,

I had doubts about continuing in

theatre, but then I began to experiment

with ways I could do theatre

from home. With these ideas, I was

able to co-produce a series of play

readings on Zoom with ODU Theatre.

It was all about finding a way

to adapt!”

His musical, which is called “Before

This Time” is set in 1915 during the

creation period of Broadway and


“I was interested in creating a classical

comedy musical, but including

modern themes such as feminism

and inclusion,” Lewis said. “Many of

the musicals at that time didn’t feature

people of color and so I wanted

to write something in response to

that, so I made sure the cast was

comprised of people with different

ethnic backgrounds and orientations

and cultures.”

“I’ve recently started to get into film

work, which is something I would

love to pursue. I’m focusing more

on writing and directing, but acting

will always be my first love. I

hope to become a film director, and

adapt Broadway musicals as well as

original musicals, to film.”

For several of the actors, their time

off the stage has just fueled their

commitment to their craft and their

desire to perform.

Tré Porchia is a sophomore at

ODU, and although this is his first

production with the theater department,

he has been doing theater

since he was in fifth grade.

“I believe that even though the

pandemic happened, I saw a lot of

stuff - mostly through social media

- about how art was thriving. Like,

they found creative ways to continue

with it safely, and a lot of stuff

has transpired because of the pandemic.

Art is something that can’t

die no matter what is thrown at it.

There’s always something creative

happening, there is always something

new being created, no matter

what the circumstances. So I’m just

like, that’s very inspiring, and I have

to keep going with this no matter


Porchia is an essential worker and

has been one since before COVID

began to shut things down last year.

He does delivery driving as an assistant

manager at Dominos, and

notes that one of the positions he

plays in “Working” is a delivery


“The production really highlights

that no matter what job you have,

you might think your job is small,

you might think that it doesn’t matter,

but it matters to somebody. It

could impact somebody’s life in a

way that you don’t even know,” Porchia

said. Whether you know this

56 | maceandcrown.com


person or they don’t know this person,

it’s super important no matter

what you’re doing, as long as you

like what you’re doing, as long as

you believe that you’re making a

difference, it is important.”

“Working” was written in 1974 as

a book, then turned into a musical.

In 2012 it was revised and new

songs were added. Hammon chose

the musical because she thought it

spoke to where theater is now.

“I’ve seen a lot of theater, and a lot

of Zoom theater, and I was kind of

tired of talking about the pandemic,

and I really wanted to talk about

the people who have been making

everything go. Which I think is

really uplifting. Even though their

stories are hard in “Working”, you

know, some of them have really

hard tales that they tell us, but that’s

kind of what our life is, and it’s the

people that are keeping the world

moving. I just thought that doing

a celebration of working, of the essential

worker, was really important,”

Hammon said.

“It’s so weird how important it is,”

said Porchia.”It’s really interesting

to hear the different stories [in

“Working”] and being like, ‘Oh

yeah, I have a friend that does this,’

and then we talked about what it’s

like working in the pandemic, like

as a social worker. And it’s like, oh

wait, this is like this is currently

happening right now.”

Even though theater has changed

drastically from where it was at a

year ago, the actors working on this

production are extremely committed,

remembering the devastation

that having to cancel last spring’s

performances brought.

“When we sing, we’re singing with

our masks on,” said Laura Bjork.

“That’s really difficult, especially for

people who like to be really expressive.

And do I see this going away

Fall 2020 | 57


Community Love


For the Love of Humanity and Community

By Jada Carson

Photos by Nicholas Clark

58 | maceandcrown.com

Community Love has become one of the most prominent up and coming

clothing-lifestyle brands in the DMV. The pandemic and the social

justice issues tore the country apart let alone the DMV area. But one

brand that shined through the darkness was Community Love. Community

Love is way more than just a clothing brand it is a way of life.

Through various resources Community Love has shown their support

for mental health issues and the overall enhancement of impoverished

areas throughout Virginia. There are many locations within Virginia, but

now owner Christian Lovechild has decided to bring some Community

Love to Norfolk, Va. The Community Love Norfolk store grand opening

was March 6th and the business has been on the rise ever since.

I wanted to ask Christian Lovechild the owner of Community Love

where things started with him and how did this movement form into

what it is now. Christian was a well-known music videographer before

things became hectic in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Lovechild had to relocate and once time became even more uncertain

with the social justice issues in America he came down to Richmond,

Virginia with his business partner to make some contributions to the

movement through clothing. “We were setting up shop during the day

and night. We were also going to Washington D.C doing the exact same

thing during that summer. Then eventually we sold a shirt to the CEO

of the Market Union in D.C on Black Lives Matter Ave”. This is when

the growth of the company started to cultivate in the different cities in

Virginia. Lovechild also discussed that there will be another location

opening at the National Harbor.

Other than the distinctive clothing that is tied to the brand they also

contribute to the community literally. Over time the company has done

Fall 2020 | 59


many toy drives, book drives, school lunch giveaways,

and even fashion shows in D.C for their supporters.

Lovechild talked about how eager he was to get started

with the communities in Norfolk when it came to

the charitable deeds that the clothing brand is embedded


One of the initiatives that Community Love launched

was healthy; or heal-thy for a spin on words. This

initiative was started for mental health and a way to

bring positive affirmations into the public through

the clothing line. This movement was for the mental

effects’ aspect of the pandemic and how Community

Love could contribute to the public. “We did what

we could to keep people’s spirits up by putting out a

product that would be really sensitive to the current

times. This specific movement is about the mind,

body and soul, it’s not just about the physical, it’s also

60 | maceandcrown.com

about the mental and spiritual. And if you have all of these qualities

completely, then you are really healthy”.

Lovechild shared some advice for any creatives who would want to start

something that could potentially become bigger than them and he said

pray. Prayer has brought him to where he is right now. “You have to pray

because when you pray those are the times when you are going to get the

most inspired and know exactly what to do. I thought that I was solid

in an industry for 10 years until the pandemic; once all of that ended, I


For more information on Community Love you can follow them @CommunityLoveNorfolk

and @CommunityLoveMentalHealth on Instagram.

Fall 2020 | 61


Take Me Out to the

Ball Game

By, James Onuska

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Fall 2020 2021 | 63


64 | maceandcrown.com

As the area exits winter and spring comes calling, two incredible things

happen in the Norfolk surrounding area. One, the warmer and delightful

weather sets in making outdoor events the focus points for locals in the

Hampton Roads area. Second, the amazing opportunity to witness the

comradery and love bestowed by the beloved Old Dominion University

men’s baseball team created by Head Coach Chris Finwood. “A year ago

baseball was taken away from us and I tell these guys constantly that I miss

them more than they miss me”, says Coach Finwood on returning to the

diamond. The atmosphere and team spirit orchestrated by the players and

staff delivers an uplifting view for the love of the game and their tremendous

amount of respect for one another and their fan base.

Baseball has been mentioned as America’s pastime because of its

large welcoming ballparks and its capability of attracting Americans of all

demographics. From an early age children attend practices building potential

lifelong friendships while establishing valuable hand and eye coordination.

For the players that grasp the sport and are able to make the necessary

adjustments are able to build on their progress with the possibilities of

playing a game they cherish and grow to love. Along with the development

of children’s skill set, the parents commit to the baseball lifestyle. Parents

are then compelled to wash dirty uniforms, make long weekend trips for

league play, and sit through countless practices resulting in the ultimate reward

of treasuring the chance to watch their loved ones play the game they

passionately enjoy playing.

Now lets transition to what is taking shape at Bud Metheny Baseball

Complex in Norfolk, VA, home of your ODU Monarchs. The 2020 season

was cut short last season when the Covid-19 impacted the sports world

putting everything on hold. The men’s baseball team was off to a scorching

12-4 start. The student body, alumni, and fans were appreciating the hard

work exhibited by the team and demonstrated this through following on

social media platforms and attendance. Now that the colleges and the rest

of the world have adapted to change, leaders and facilities have implemented

safety measures to allow for sports to play on. “We have a fun team to

watch, and on a nice spring day come out and watch us play against a good

team and it’s a nice way to spend the afternoon”, suggested Head Coach

Chris Finwood. The team is now required to strict conditions which include

limited to no contact with people outside their immediate bubble and

being tested twice a week. Bud Metheny Baseball Complex is also enforcing

guidelines which is limited fan participation, mask requirements, and social

distancing. One creative idea organized by the university is the oppor-

Fall 2020 2021 | 65


tunity to purchase a Monarch Cutout for $59 sponsored by Chartway.

This allows for participants to attend every home game with eliminating

any risk or concerns of potentially putting themselves or others at harm.

By offering fans to purchase a Monarch Cutout or attend a game in person

begins the recovering period and gives fans and players the chance

to do what they love to do.

This year’s team continues to add on from what they began last

year while exemplifying their passion for the game and displaying their

superb comradery in the dugout. “In the five years that I’ve been here,

this has been the most fun in the locker room because I think that everyone

is so comfortable with each other”, outfielder Kyle Battle on the

energy of the team.This attitude has fortified the team’s chemistry and

has translated to the play on the field. The Monarchs are again off to a

spectacular start which included beating #16 ranked ECU Pirates earlier

this season. “When you’re comfortable being around each other all the

time, it makes it ten times easier to play on the field”, says Kyle Battle.

The team’s success has been credited to the unity and capability

of playing loose on and off the field. “We have been at our best when we

are together joking, staying loose, and having fun”, outfielder Ryan Teschko.

The bullpen pitchers contribute to the looseness of the dugout with

their chirping antics and personalities. When Mace & Crown asked Kyle

Battle and Ryan Teschko who was the joker on the team, they responded

with a correlative Robbie Petracci. Regardless of who’s responsible for

keeping their teammates relaxed, the comradery and companionship is

prevalent throughout the locker room.

With plenty of the season still to be played, come out and show

your adoration for our beloved Monarchs. Come check out the pregame

ritual where one of the managers attempts to strategically toss the rosin

bag to the backside of the pitcher’s mound. When accomplished to the

player’s approval, a large celebratory cheer commences. Follow this up

with a bag of peanuts, hotdog with mustard, cold pop, and a possibility

of a foul ball souvenir makes for a great time at the ballpark. “Going

to the ballpark and catching a ball is Americana at its best”, says Head

Coach Chris Finwood. He also encourages fans to continue to show support

and be excited for a great group of guys playing a game they truly

relish to play. So whether you catch a day game after a class or a weekend

series against a conference opponent, make sure to make a trip down to

Bud Metheny Baseball Complex and experience a total display of loyalty

and teamwork illustrated by your venerated Monarchs. Go Monarchs!

66 | maceandcrown.com

Fall 2020 | 67






68 | maceandcrown.com


Loving you more everyday

I sit in solitude learning more about

The things you want to say

Feeling fearless to dream beyond what you can articulate


Hopelessly falling in and out of love

With those who do not value you in your state

Minding that perfection cannot be obtained

and wondering the thoughts

Of how much of yourself can be maintained

Everyday I learn something new about you

The way your eyes light up to a tune

Of blues and an unsung melody

That hums through your day

Awaiting to be discovered by those who care to stay

As you evolve in your own romance and find comfort

In being left in your company

Your truest love will be with you infinitely

Loving you more everyday

I wonder if there is room for another

To see what I see

Because we are the same

Merely a reflection looking back at its frame

Loving yourself

Finding comfort

Solely within


A love poem to myself as true love always starts from within.

Fall 2020 | 69





By: Marley Gold

You told me once you were scared of silence

And I can’t get that off my mind

I can’t understand

Because I can only find quiet when I’m around you

And it fits me like an old dog on a rainy afternoon

After walking all the way home after school

Warm and peaceful just listening to the breathing

Even and never stopping

Because that heartbeat doesn’t run on coal

But still it feels so warm against my cheek

And only when my mom comes home do I realize

Hours have passed by around that moment

And I had let go of how cold I was because the silence is

The time in-between

That melted that away

I understand the fear of silence

Or at least what disguises itself as it

The distant hum of thoughts

They swarm on the horizon of your mind

Some sounding like possible, probable, regretted conversations

And the roar can be so loud

Like an ocean, once just an idea

Now suddenly it tries to stretch its arms across your body

And you can only drown it out with headphones for so long

Before finally it’s crashing and thundering in your ears

And it leaves you feeling so cold and alone

And again it drags you back into the undertow

Of just what you don’t want to hear

While being so silent

But you make me want to listen closer

To that dull roar of static

70 | maceandcrown.com

Until it becomes a calmed, retreating tide

Swelling and receding to the shaking of my heartbeat

Until I remember I’m breathing the crisp air

Of a beach morning

And I can taste the sand

In my breath

The only sound left

Drag me into your shell, you hermit crab

Show me how your walls fix themselves into your spine

Forming your house, a conch shell

So instead of silence you always hear the ocean

To remind you of how vast the world is outside

While keeping you safe

In this pink cave

The tide rolls in and out artificially

While sand stretches itself between you and the actual shore

You took my hand and let me take you

To sink into the ocean up to eyelevel

And drown out all the other noises except that of the tide

To focus on the even rhythm

Of the water enveloping us

Just let your head fall back with me

And watch the sky long enough to forget that the shore exists

As the cold water digs fingers into my sandy scalp

They’ll thread themselves into your hair too

Assuring us there is no place in the world

Better than this one, silent moment


By: Marley Gold

There was yellow in you

Soft and bright like the sun peaking through the cracks

Of a rainy morning

Where just in small trickles

I could hear you playing them through my hair

The promise of home in your fingers

As soft and gentle as the rain

But still making my eyes slowly drift

And my muscles relax

Forgetting where they started and yours began

Fall 2021 | 71



Perhaps through your eyes

I might recover the

Last breath of my mother’s

Tears, like a child’s first

Heartbreak, soft and chaos filled,

Her trust billowed from her eyes.

And I, in turn, tried to piece it back together,

Like the animal puzzle could

Represent something more than

Adult temptation, her child heart

Breaking underneath me

Held between ice cube

Words. Like “rape” was

Too taboo to say, like

His raw member

Was really her neglect.

Like feeling his pulse between

Tear stained pillows could

Somehow connect both her

Agony and mine, but all

It really did was shatter


72 | maceandcrown.com

When I see the love of my life

carrying his girlfriend on the beach

I wonder why I am the ocean

Pushing and pulling him away

Let me be the whisper contained

in his breath of “I love you”

How lucky she is to have my life

Fall 2020 | 73





74 | maceandcrown.com

Anxiety feels like a bucket of bees that has just been kicked by a

kangaroo for the sheer pleasure of making the butterflies angry.

My top ten worst experiences are (not) comprised into a list

of things that can make me interesting in a conversation when

meeting new people because I hate meeting new people.

Eyes are a lie hidden behind emotions and emotions are the only

thing that people can see in me.

And yes, I miss the way his lips looked as they sucked on my

breasts, but mostly because I forgot that there was a life outside

this bedroom.

And also every boy wants to marry me.

Anxiety feels like firework rain but not in the good kind that

makes you excited on the night he tells you he loves you, but

rather on the night he tells you it’s over.

Rape feels like penetration of more than a dick.

Almost like an idea that was torn away violently, also like when

my skin was when it hit the concrete after jumping off the

skateboard because two busted teeth are better than death and

especially when feeling every stitch makes you feel more alive.

Because death sounds like more of a comfort but there are also so

many obligations

And when I say obligations I mean that my life can never be over

because there is nothing to look forward to before or after.

And when I say after I mean after I finish speaking and you stop

listening and there is that moment of breathless air between the

thought and the sound and the sound is the only thing that cannot

be heard because being heard is silence.

Silence is the form of an unanswered question and also a

complicated answer that results in the “Yes, my brother has

special needs”, but you didn’t need to know that.

I try to explain life but instead I am not good at words and

mangledness comes out on broken platters of honey-dipped

ecstasy and instead I digress...

I write because I think that my words have something to say and

at least the extra ten seconds to read them is better, but reading

them is not an act that I can partake in so instead I cower in fear

as you react to anxiety dipped in honey-filled ecstasy and firework


Estrangement is cold but not as cold as the lifeless hand of dead


Family is told in lies of the past and also where did they all go?

Did they disappear? Because a ten year old doesn’t understand the

meaning between death and estrangement but a sixteen year old

can make the decision to say goodbye, but only after growing up.

But let’s be honest, I grew up at the age of 3 when brother and 10

when death and 14 when cancer and death and 16 when estranged

17 when teeth and 18 when sex and 19 when rape and 19 when

second year of college turned into a mental minefield

And did I mention that I turn 20 in a couple of weeks? I grew up

the day it all started and yet I was still immature thirty seconds

ago when I told you about the kangaroo.

Anxiety is like a kangaroo. Anxiety is like my favorite animal

bearing down on my chest when I cannot breathe because

an elephant weighs 6 tons and a lion is like the roaring of my

thoughts and the only one that can understand it better is the


Demons are my friends and they hide under my bed because

emotions are the suffocating water that fills the room until I am


Rape feels like penetration of more than a dick.

And my demons know what to say because they are the one

driving this train.

This train is barrelling down at 90 miles an hour but all I can do is

admire how the wheels sound along the tracks.

But busted teeth do not define me and my brother is not a mashup

of my sins and my family is only estranged because they chose to

be that way, why would someone choose to be that way?

When my aunt doesn’t call for Thanksgiving but posts that my

blonde is more like her I start to wonder if my abstinence is a sin.

But just because I do not partake or intoxicate does not make me

different. I am just sane. Saner than someone who needs it, but

also I do need it because the thoughts are racing down the ever

chasing storm within my brain. Is this Willy Wonka’s chocolate

train of thought traveling down the boat’s display?

No, this is merely firework rain.

Fall 2020 | 75







Tell me something, Singing Robot

A voice that holds a melody

Of a dot matrix on overdrive.

A body screaming to be alive

Yet choked under silicon.

Your eyes brown of cinnamon

Are drowned out by flashy pigments.

A demeanour simply innocent

Despite us knowing contrary.

Why are you like this?

What is the coding of this outcome?

Maybe it’s the fame and glory that augments

your data.

Or a personal choice, perhaps a statement.

Hell if I know.

76 | maceandcrown.com

Fall 2020 | 77


BLUE DOTOne-Eighth

PALE 78 | maceandcrown.com

of a pixel, give or take,

In a sea of hundreds of thousands.

We are there; We are all there. Right there

On that streak of beige, conjured forth

By a computer’s imagination. Everything

From the beauty of nature to the atrocities of

Humanity is there. Except for Voyager 1,

They are not there. They are here. Where?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

Six billion kilometres, roughly.

Regardless of the numerical distance

They are here with us, not on earth with us.

We only see bits at a time:

Animals, cars, buildings, mountains, other


Voyager can see everything at once:

Small, barely blue, one-dimensional


Lost in streaks of greens, blues, beiges, reds

And those were not even real.

Just dreams of sunlight by a robot.

Winter Fall 2020 2021 | 79 50





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