Xavier Rewind for March 3
As word nerds, we here at Xavier Rewind love things like palindromes—those clever words or phrases that can be read the same forward and backward. Words like “mom” and “A man, a plan, a canal—Panama.” Or, to satisfy our theological bent, “Madam in Eden, I'm Adam.”
(Who thinks of these things?)
Anyway, that’s one of the things that attracted us to Xavier Players’ recent production, “Dog Sees God.” The play—subtitled “Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead”—imagines the cast of Peanuts as teenagers. Good ol’ Charlie Brown (known as CB to avoid copyright lawsuits) begins to question the existence of an afterlife when his dog (you know who) dies of rabies. The character formerly known as Linus becomes a pothead, Sally goes goth, Lucy goes crazy, you get the picture.
The play "careens toward an ending that's both haunting and hopeful." But, in true Xavier fashion, Xavier Players didn't stop at the famous final scene. As an encore, they donated $100 of the ticket proceeds to the Linus Foundation, whose mission is to provide lasting support for local children’s education and enrichment programs and organizations. Bravo! Bravo!
Round and round she goes...
A million years ago, back when we here at Xavier Rewind were young, a popular fad was the roller derby. Fans flocked to local roller rinks to watch the action when they weren’t attending other cultural phenomena such as, oh, say, professional wrestling matches or monster tractor pulls. A movie was made about it starring Raquel Welch—which we saw, of course, strictly for the sporting and film quality aspects. Singer Jim Croce even had a hit song about falling in love with a roller derby queen:
“She was five-foot-two, 215;
“A bleach-blonde mama with a streak of mean;
“She knew how to knuckle and she knew how to scuffle and fight.”
Beautiful. How the sport ever faded from glory is beyond us. But, like all things 1970s, it has made its return, and that proved quite advantageous to Xavier’s electronic media program. As part of a class project, students under the direction of assistant professor Blis DeVault and department chair Stan Hedeen made “The Roller Derby Queens,” a documentary about the women who skate for the Cincinnati Rollergirls. The film focused on their passion for the sport and their friendships, and it was so well received that it earned a 2012 Bronze Telly Award in the cultural category.
“Students learned the importance of story crafting and the research, skill and patience required to make a production of professional quality,” says DeVault. “The focus had to be on moving the story and entertaining the audience.”
Apparently it did. The contest had nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries. Congrats to them.
Wholly holy holi
In the name of interfaith community engagement, Xavier put on its Hindu hat on March 1 and celebrated Holi, the traditional Hindu festival marking the end of winter’s gloom and celebrating the start of spring’s bloom. The celebration began with a wildly popular water balloon fight, followed by the spreading of powdered paint, which coated everything in shades of reds and yellows and greens and blues and oranges.
“Think ‘food fight’ with powdered paint,” says Rabbi Abie Ingber, mastermind behind bringing the event to campus.
As you might have guessed, the students took to the celebration like someone was handing out answers to their Biology 101 final. Chaos ensued. It was great. Check out the photo gallery.
More than 250 students gave up their week of beach bumming and sun screening during Spring Break to participate in Alternative Breaks. The service-to-others club utilizes the classes-free week to travel around and help spruce up homes in rural Appalachia, clean up the beaches where sea turtles lay eggs or help refugees get settled in urban areas. This year the students went on 25 trips, two of which were outside of the United States. Hits you right in the AMDG.
Saluting an angel
To the people in the Psychological Services Center, Pattie Waldbillig is a saint. As the office’s administrative assistant, she is the unofficial keeper-of-the-office-sanity. To the members of the U.S. military, though, Pattie’s an angel. Word came down on Feb. 27 she was given the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her tireless work with Soldiers’ Angels, a nonprofit group that helps keep moral high. In the last year, she’s spent 275 hours writing more than 200 letters, sending care packages and camo quilts to American troops overseas. Pattie, we salute you.
Sure, there are plenty of rewards for those with great sports skills—the Stanley Cup, the Ryder Cup, the World Cup. But what if your skills fall in the world of, say, business? Apparently there’s something called the ACG Cup that’s awarded to teams with a lot of skill in making money through investments. And Xavier is a “playa.” (That’s cool talk for “player.”) A group of MBA students stood in front of six judges from local businesses and told them how they would handle a highly realistic private equity/investment banking case. And the team won, whooping up on Miami, UC and NKU. Let’s go X.