The Synopsis

Reviewing Bookstores Around St. Louis

Books have long been society’s most reliable way to spread new thoughts and ideas, as well as tell a riveting story. Sadly, however, physical books are quickly slipping away from the public consciousness and into antiquity, much like the walkman, the typewriter and polio. Thankfully, there are still dedicated booksellers in the STL area. Continue reading

The Scoop

Reviewing Ice Cream Around At. Louis

With options like lava fudge cake, crème brûlée and artisan chocolate truffles, sometimes dessert is treated like a fine art (which I don’t condemn as long as I can consume it.) However, the simplicity of ice cream can get lost in the mix.

Many culinary practices are bringing new handmade twists to the classic dessert that will make you say “Man, I never should have doubted you, ice cream.” These three places are some of the top spots to get amazing ice cream — the cream of the crop, if you will.

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An NPR Series For Any Mood

Whether the thought of hearing another Bieber tune makes you want to hurl or you just need some auditory company in the cubicle, podcasts are the way to go. These sensational series cater to nearly any preference imaginable. Whether you subscribe, download or listen live, podcasts offer enriching entertainment that can’t be beat.

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Third Culture Kid

I’m from here, I’m from there, I’m from here and there. Sometimes describing where I’m from ends up sounding like a Dr. Seuss poem. I was born in the United States but raised in a Palestinian household. I embrace both of my cultures and I am eternally grateful for the broadened horizons I was inherently born with.

But I am a “third-culture kid,” which left me with an identity crisis at an early age. A third-culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her life outside their parents’ culture. The rhetoric of “go back to where you came from” doesn’t work for us because when we do go back to our parents’ homelands, we stick out in more ways than one.

Our accents are always a little bit off, and that’s considering we know our parent’s native tongue in the first place. We get taunted with the term “Amercani” (American) by our cousins when we dress different or blast the latest hip-hop jam on car rides. It isn’t meant as a derogatory term, but it still reinforces the notion that we are outsiders to our family’s culture.

Being a minority in the United States, I would long for the days where I could hop on a plane and go to a place where I was surrounded by people that looked like me, thought like me and spoke like me. But when I started visiting Palestine, I found myself missing my familiar life in the United States. I’ve always wanted to be attached to just one country and have one set of loyalties.

But there are pros and cons to every situation. Being from both the West and the Middle East, I have a multicultural worldview, which has benefitted my adaptability skills. I can speak two languages fluently, which can help me in my career. My taste buds are prepared to devour a hamburger with root beer one day and a shawarma sandwich with yogurt drink the next.  I am prepared for a line dance at any given moment, from the Electric Slide to a Palestinian dabkeh. I’m now learning to accept that I will never be a part of one culture and that it’s okay to carry that with me throughout my life.

Story by Lara Hamdan

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How To Craft An Online Persona

With a double tap on an iPhone screen, the whole world can be your fan. Students can brand themselves in ways they couldn’t just ten years ago by carefully crafting an online persona. Whether you’re a seasoned media professional or an occasional user, everyone can up their game with these tips on the biggest platforms in social media.

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My Culture is Not Your Trend

It’s something many minorities notice early in their lives, even if they don’t know the exact word to describe it. It’s seeing your culture’s native print on someone else’s phone case. Or seeing white celebrities like Kylie Jenner become famous for full, pouting lips while black women get ostracized for it. This phenomenon is tied to systematic racism. It’s called cultural appropriation. Continue reading

Athletic Apathy

A giant blur of fans wearing the school’s colors are packed together on a Friday night, sitting on the cold, metal bleachers in a roaring crowd. The smell of buttery popcorn at the concession stand drifts by. There is an overwhelming sense of community, anticipation and excitement as everyone is consumed by the common goal: to win. That’s what San Antonio, Texas, native JD Scott experienced at her high school’s football games. When she came to Webster, it was a different scene.

Scott says high school games were a huge deal. Students loved going to the games — being loud and crazy were part of the excitement. It was a significant part of her high school experience.

Scott, a cheerleader for the varsity men’s and women’s basketball teams, says she doesn’t feel much support at Webster because the student body isn’t showing up to games.

“Everyone wears Webster gear, we all see the entire school painted with t-shirts that say Webster Gorloks,” Scott says. “But we get maybe 20 to 30 people for women’s games and probably 40 to 70 for men’s. Coming into college, I expected it to be more.”

Junior Tehvynn Crenshaw traveled almost 700 miles from Mobile, Alabama, to play varsity basketball at Webster. Crenshaw thought the college game day experience would be bigger than it was in high school. He imagined a packed crowd, electrified cheers and excitement on and off the court. But it’s different at Webster.

“It was a shock, seeing how the first game turned out. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I expected it to be,” Crenshaw says. “I wish it could be more but I understand that we’re at a small school.”

Webster is a Division III school in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). One aspect of being a Division III university is that student-athletes are not given athletic scholarships.

Additionally, since Webster doesn’t compete in the higher divisions, there’s less national attention on our athletics program. When combined with Webster’s liberal arts atmosphere, it’s no surprise there’s not much support in the stands from non-relatives.

Crenshaw has been to home games for volleyball, soccer and other sports and thinks that games at Webster don’t feel like home games. He believes it’s important for students to go to games because it shows school spirit. If more of the student body came to the games, he says, it would make a big difference in the vibe felt throughout the gym. Crenshaw feels that having fans at the games to support the team really motivates them to be successful.

“People coming to support us are included in the team because we are all working towards a win,” Crenshaw says.

Despite the apathy from the general student body, Crenshaw says he feels a sense of camaraderie from the rest of the athletics department. Ashley Yacks, a freshman soccer player from Whittier, California, says that most of the crowd at games are other athletes.

“Knowing that your team is not the only one that supports you [makes it feel like] it’s more of the whole school supporting you,” Yacks says.

Scott says that she quickly learned Webster is more of an arts school and sports don’t play a huge role in on-campus activities. Athletic achievements are easily overlooked, like the fact that the baseball team is ranked 5th in all Division III teams and both male and female track athletes set Webster records this season.

“I don’t think people really understand that all of our athletic [programs are] really stellar,” Scott says. “They know the conservatory, they know the arts part of it, but our athletics are very good.”

Scott says basketball games here at Webster get awkward sometimes. As a cheerleader, her job is to pump up the crowd and support the team, but when the crowd is a small, unresponsive group, her job is difficult.

After seeing the difference between her high school’s games and Webster’s, Scott knew she wanted to teach her fellow students through her cheering that having school pride doesn’t have to end at high school. Scott says her cheerleading coach, Justin Barton, tells the team their goal is to teach students how to be fans with a new, higher spirit level.

“People are going to show up to the games and yell and chant and do crazy stuff, because that’s what you do when you get really into college athletics,” Scott says.

Yacks says that she understands it’s hard to balance schoolwork and campus activities, but even sending athletes a quick message on Facebook wishing them good luck before a game means a lot.

If more students came to the games, Yacks thinks the team would feel like they’re doing something good for the whole school. She says the soccer team tends to play better when more people are there.

“My team and the coaching staff make me feel like it was worth coming all this way,” Yacks says. “But having a crowd and tons of support would definitely be the topping on the cake.”

Story by Chelsie Hollis

Photos by Macy Salama

DIY: Recycled Denim Coasters

As the temperature warms up and summer looms on the horizon, it’s time to put away those thicker fabrics. Before you pack away your jeans, consider creating something new from your worn-out denim. You can use two hems from an old pair of jeans to create stylish coasters for any decor. This Pinterest-inspired craft is easy and affordable for anyone wanting to do it themselves.

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