"News is the first rough draft of history."

The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

Hey Cupcake! offers sweet treats

Staff Writer

Downtown Madison is home to many unique stores and restaurants, and Hey Cupcake! is no exception. Walking down Waverly Place, it is hard to miss the brown and pink lettering atop the quaint shop.
When owner Bridget Crowley picked up the telephone, she was in the middle of counting 64 cups of sugar, politely apologizing for any inconvenience. Her dedication to her store is apparent.
Crowley has been baking all her life and considered it mostly a hobby. At first, she would bake for her children or on the weekends, or simply for fun. However, over time, friends began asking for her cupcakes, which were so good that they offered to pay her for them. Hey Cupcake! was born.
Crowley is no stranger to the Madison business community. She previously owned The Rocking Horse, a children’s clothing store on Main Street, which she successfully ran for 17 years before selling it to become a stay-at-home mom. When she decided she wanted to go back to work, there was no question as to where she would go or what she would do. She would combine her two favorite passions: cupcakes and The Rose City.
So far, Crowley has nothing but great things to say about the people who have been so loyal to her business.
“Everyone is so supportive and wonderful,” she said.
On a daily basis, she finds herself being thanked by the community for her dedication, not only to the shop, but also to the town of Madison.
Originally, Crowley and her team of bakers only had six flavors and a few specialties, but customers began asking for flavors they did not have on that particular day. Hey Cupcake! now offers about 15 cupcake concoctions daily because Crowley “does not want to disappoint anyone.”
Out of those 15 flavors, the two town favorites seem to be the “Hostess” and “Red Velvet.”
The “Hostess” is a nod to those tasty cream-filled cakes from childhood, revisited. It consists of a double-chocolate chip cupcake stuffed with marshmallow filling and dipped in chocolate ganache.
The “Red Velvet” is a cupcake of a rich chocolate cake with red food coloring to give it a deep color, topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.
Credit for one of her popular cupcakes goes to Crowley’s 11-year-old daughter.
“She went to Poor Herbie’s next door to buy coffee and asked if she could have a Shirley Temple. I thought, that could make a great cupcake.”
Although it did not stay on the menu for very long, people still ask for it today.

Park Avenue's terrible toilets

Assistant Editor

The sound of water trickling is all too familiar to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Park Avenue residents. The Park Avenue apartments are notorious for their problematic toilets.

“They constantly overflow, flush randomly or for hours or days, and get clogged easily,” said Lauren Kelly, a senior communication studies major and former Park Avenue resident.

Kelly recalls several failed attempts to fix the problem.

“I called Facilities at least five times last year about our toilet and it never did get fixed,” she said.
Following Kelly’s move into Park Avenue in Fall 2009, the toilet was always a problem. The first issue she remembered encountering was a toilet that would not only flush on its own, but flush for hours - “sometimes all through the night,” she said.

Park Avenue Resident Assistant Ashley Eevardi has come up with a potential solution.

Eevardi is a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, an organization whose mission statement describes it as “a partner ship with God…with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities…”

The group is planning on hosting a do-it-yourself program that Eevardi hopes to bring to campus.
Eevardi said, “The program shows easy home repairs you can do yourself.”

Lucky for Park Avenue residents, one of them is how to fix a toilet.

The program, hosted by the Morris Habitat for Humanity, started Oct. 7 and will run through Nov. 18 in Mine Hill.

The series will take place over the course of six weeks. Each workshop costs $10 or $50 for all six, according to the Morris Habitat for Humanity’s website.

If this program is approved to be an RA event, which is what Eevardi hopes, students will have the opportunity to learn about fixing their own toilets, as well as other household items that could help them in the future.

“This will give you the tools to fix the toilets yourself so you don’t have to call Facilities,” said Eevardi.
Over the summer, areas of the University were updated and modified.

Whether or not the toilets are something to be considered for future updates is uncertain. However, students have experienced enough issues and have expressed a need for more efficient toilets on campus.

“Preferably one that makes less noise,” said Kelly.

FDU career center hosts workshop

Staff Writer

Every student’s goal after getting out of college is to find a job. What they may not realize, however, is that the most important step before getting a job is to get an internship.

On Oct. 8, the Career Development Center, with the help of the Office of Campus Life, held an informational workshop for those interested in learning the basics of getting an internship. The seminar, run by Rosalie Sabatino of the Career Development Center, was focused on leading students down the right path.

No matter what year of school a student is in, it’s always in his or her best interest to start looking into possible internships or part-time jobs. A great time to start looking for internships would preferably be in the second semester of the sophomore year. Students are encouraged to visit the Career Development Center and discuss internship options with an adviser.

The first step in order to get an internship would be to fit the following criteria: students should be in their second semester of their sophomore year, have at least 48 credits, have GPA of at least 2.5 and have taken courses in the given field of their internship. If students meet these requirements, they will then be eligible to set up an appointment with an adviser.

When it comes to looking for internships, students are strongly encouraged to pursue them based on their major. Internships are a great solution to securing knowledge and experience in any profession.
Lisa Infante, a current sophomore, believes that students should take full advantage of internships because of the experience.

“Getting an internship is going to help me in my career because it will put me ahead with the experience that I’ve gained along the way. That will help me in any field of work,” said Infante.
Businesses are more interested in students who have taken previous courses in their field of work.
“Experience is key to getting a job in the long-run,” said Sabatino.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of job fairs throughout the school year. This is a crucial time, where students will meet with potential employers and it’s a perfect time to start networking.
In addition, Rutgers University holds one of the biggest fairs in the state, and FDU students are encouraged to attend for even more opportunities.

When looking into part-time and full-time jobs and internships, networking is key. According to Sabatino, “Networking is based on relationship building, meeting employers, introducing yourself, and collecting business cards.”

The biggest problem facing future employees today is the rough economy. The solution to beating the economy is simple: experience counts and employers are thinking long term as to how interns will benefit them, so the more experience, the better the chance at securing at least a part-time job for the moment.

Students who are interested in receiving more help with part-time or full-time jobs in addition to internships are recommended to stop by the Career Development Center and utilize their services.
These services include an online interview process where students can simulate responding to interview questions.

There are also professionals who will help in resume building, so that students can start off on the right track. When it comes to resumes, keep it short, sweet and to the point. No business is going to take the time to read 12 pages. List the basics, which include: name, address, phone number, appropriate email, objective (specific to job), education, experience, relevant courses, work experience and activities.

Businesses like to see that students are involved in both their courses on campus and activities, which demonstrate leadership.

There is hope in securing a job in the future. The first step is to start looking now and then to consult with an adviser when requirements are met. A future doesn’t start tomorrow; it starts today.

Wawa to open northernmost location


For senior Maria Sciarrino, it’s the 20-ounce french vanilla coffee with vanilla creamer. For senior Candice Duckworth, it’s the travel containers of apple-caramel dippers and pepperoni with cheese. And for this reporter, the return of seasonal Kona coffee is the true sign that summer has arrived.

“I always stop at Wawa on my way home,” said Duckworth, who is from Virginia. “I don’t like to have an actual meal while I’m driving, so I get the little containers of something sweet and savory. The apples and pepperoni last me the whole way back!”

For those students who grew up without a Wawa Market in their area, the cult-like brand loyalty associated with the store may be a little confusing – perhaps due to the fact that, currently, the closest location to FDU is nearly a 40-minute drive. However, in early December, Wawa will open the doors to its northernmost location off of Route 80 in Parsippany, N.J.

General Manager Dan Holland is excited about the move.

“This store will have a lot of focus on it from day one,” said Holland. “If this location does well, there is a lot of potential to open other stores near the area. Wawa has always wanted to be a part of this community, and we hope that opening this location will help bridge the gap between south and north Jersey.”

Currently, store locations are limited to New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
Holland acknowledged that much of the store’s clientele will come from the surrounding colleges, such as FDU, Drew and Montclair State University.

“Most people who know us up here are students who bring the brand with them to school. They will be the ones who bring our name to Parsippany and the surrounding townships.”

Aside from the opportunity to grab a half-gallon of iced tea and a sandwich during those late-night study sessions, the opening of the store also creates flexible off-campus jobs for students.

“Since this is a brand new store, we basically will have all new hires in our staff, with a select few who worked at other stores,” said Holland. “Whether they’re customers or associates, we’ve always had a great relationship with the college community. I’m willing to be very flexible regarding students’ schedules, as long as they hold up their end of the bargain, of course.”

In addition to hiring a handful of new employees, Holland and Assistant General Manager Martin Baranoski have been forging relationships with the local YMCA and other community groups.

Wawa’s plans for the grand opening go beyond the typical ribbon-cutting ceremony. The store will offer promotions for 10 days after the grand opening. The promotions will include free coffee, $1.99 meatball shorties (the company’s name for a six-inch hoagie) and raffles. In addition, police and fire departments in the area will go head-to-head in a hoagie building contest, and the Coca-Cola Company will be offering samples of their Monster energy drink.

“We have managers from lots of different stores coming to help out with the opening,” Holland said.

Recycling changes at FDU


While walking around campus and passing garbage cans overflowing with recyclable materials, it may appear as though FDU is not committed to helping the environment.

Jaquelynne Radcliff, FDU student and representative of the Student Volunteer Association in the SGA, said, “I feel more people would recycle if it was more convenient.”

Though recycling cans are found in FDU’s academic buildings and residence halls, Radcliff said only trash cans are found along the walkways on campus, leaving many without an option to recycle.

According to Greenwaste Recovery Inc., Americans throw away 25 million plastic bottles per hour. More recycling options on campus would help FDU contribute less to that waste.

However, plans for improvements in the near future are going to change the school’s impact on the earth.

Campus Provost Kenneth Greene said that $20,000 worth of brand-new recycling cans were purchased in the fall of 2009, but when trash is put into these cans, they cannot be recycled.

A plan for a new system of recycling on campus involves single-source, or single-stream, recycling.
Greene said, “You put all recyclables in a single container - paper, plastic bottles - and it is sorted out at a transfer station.”

The new containers will make recycling as easy as throwing away garbage because separation of materials is unnecessary. Single-stream systems also allow for any garbage in the recycling can to be separated, unlike regular systems. The different recyclables are identified by a machine, which then separates them, according to Eco-Cycle, a non-profit recycling organization.

Facilities and the Student Government Association have been working with Greene on this issue and they hope to have single-source recycling all over campus within a year.

FDU’s commitment to a greener campus extends beyond recycling. Greene said that the Monninger Center, the upcoming addition to the library, will be a “green” building, relying mainly on natural light and energy efficiency. FDU’s Green Club is doing its part to encourage students to save energy by turning off their lights for an Earth Hour every other Wednesday and joining the club for outdoor activities. The dining hall is also making strides to be more environmentally friendly, as the food service gets food from local farmers and the campus’ new organic garden.

“(FDU) is making a lot of effort towards sustainability to reduce the campus’ carbon footprint, and we’re taking the steps to do it,” Greene said.

FDU Vancouver sees jump in enrollment

Assistant Editor

Three years after opening its doors, FDU-Vancouver, the university’s latest attempt to live up to its promise of a global education, has an enrollment of about 155 students.

That has Christopher Capuano, vice provost of international affairs, feeling optimistic.

“We are nearing the breaking point, which is around 200 students,” Capuano said. “Once we reach the breaking point, FDU-Vancouver should be generating enough revenue to cover its costs. We hoped to reach that point by the third year of operation. Right now we’re on year four and we hope to reach the breaking point by the end of this year.”

FDU-Vancouver was made possible using the collective funds of both New Jersey campuses. In Fall 2009, the Canadian campus had an enrollment of approximately 90, College at Florham Provost Kenneth Greene wrote in a December 2009 letter to The Metro.

Once FDU-Vancouver becomes self sustaining, the administration plans to add a few new degree options, including its first graduate degree program.

“The primary purpose of the campus is to expand the university’s global reach,” Capuano said. “The mission of the university is to produce worldly citizens by introducing the students to global issues.”
Since 2007, FDU-Vancouver’s focus has been to attract international students.

Scholars on student visas represent about 10 percent of the total enrollment on both of FDU’s New Jersey campuses, with the majority attending class in Teaneck. Capuano finds this statistic concerning.

“We have a global interest in providing an education for individuals around the world,” Capuano said. “We want students to gain an understanding of other cultures and value systems. The Vancouver campus will help contribute to this understanding not just through education, but also by bringing in international students.”

The city of Vancouver likely helps facilitate this process. It has a moderate climate and traveling there is far more affordable, compared to larger cities. The lower traveling expenses aid potential students who want to enjoy the benefits of studying in North America because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of the trip.

“When you expand your reach, a good strategy is to pick a location accessible to students who couldn’t get there otherwise,” Capuano said. “Vancouver is relatively cheaper to get to than many of the other countries outside of the U.S. who use English as their primary language.”

Another contributing factor to Vancouver’s appeal is the fact that Canada is planning on changing its immigration laws. In an effort to strengthen its economy, Canada is expected to pass legislation that would allow students to establish residency.

In contrast to countries like the United States, who, due to more stringent laws, often send many international students back home before they’ve had a chance to complete their degrees, Canada is trying to retain the skilled laborers that its schools are producing before they go somewhere else.

In the same way that Canada is conducive to international study, FDU-Vancouver is doing its best to be equally accommodating. Incoming students have the option to obtain degrees in one of two disciplines, either a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

Individuals looking to come to the continent to take advantage of the various career opportunities are able to obtain degrees in competitive fields.

A big priority for most international students is obtaining a degree that allows them to get their feet wet on the career path as early as possible. That’s why FDU-Vancouver offers classes on a trimester calendar, in addition to the standard calendar.

The trimester calendar grants students the opportunity to complete eight terms and get their degrees in less than four years of study.

From the editor's desk: Someone worth finding


Tuesday morning finds me at one of the long tables in the Orangerie, sitting caddy-corner with Jangchub Chophel, a monk from the Gaden Shartse Monastery. It is still relatively early (in campus time, anyway), so I was able to get a few good pictures of the scene before any big crowds arrived. I open my tiny notebook and cross one ankle over the other.
“So, what made you decide to become a monk?” I ask. Truthfully, I’m slightly nervous about this interview – I’ve never seen a monk in person, much less talked to one. He tucks his Blackberry into the folds of his robes and peers at me - no, through me - with twinkling blue eyes.
“It was a 26-year process,” he says. “Right before I became a monk, I taught history at a public high school in Pasadena, Calif. I advised the yearbook.”
Chophel details a past fraught with violence and tragedy, a story that contrasts sharply with his currently peaceful lifestyle. It seems contradictory that the calm, collected man seated before me was shot in not one, but two, drive-by shootings. However, the turning point that made him reassess his path, he said, was when he lost his young daughter.
“I remember someone asking me, ‘If you ever had a chance to have your daughter in your life again, wouldn’t you want to be someone worth finding?’” he says to me, hands folded in his lap. I feel my eyes well up quickly before my self-consciousness quickly wipes it away. Don’t cry, Hartz. You’re a professional.
While the loss of his daughter was the catalyst for his lifestyle change, the actual process of his transformation was a little more complicated. Attending a lesson by the Dalai Lama (“Fourth row!” he said), he remembered thinking to himself, you know, maybe I could do this. After making plans to teach high school history for three more years, Chophel was surprised to be offered a spot right away.
“He looked right into who I was and told me why I was ready to become a monk,” he said with a chuckle.
Chophel taught the next three years at the high school in full monastic robes - and no one ever said a word to him about it.
“If someone would have had an issue with it, I would have changed it. I wasn’t there to start any trouble.”
The rest of the interview goes along smoothly - Chophel shows me pictures of the monastery in Southern India, outlines the daily routines of a Tibetan monk, talks about the questions that Buddhism answers - honestly, it feels more like a heart-to-heart conversation than an interview (though I learned that the best interviews often do). All the while, Chophel’s words buzz in my head: be someone worth finding. Be someone worth finding. Be someone worth finding.
As I walk back to my apartment to grab something quick to eat, I think about the people in life that I love and care about: my great parents, my incredible boyfriend, my awesome friends. If, suddenly, they disappeared from my life, would they consider me someone worth finding - I mean, for reasons other than the fact that they’re my mom, or my boyfriend, or my brother? It would depend on when they lost me, I think to myself, only half-joking.
I like to believe that becoming someone worth finding is something of a process, a journey. Maybe not a 26-year one like Chophel’s, and not always ending in monasticism, but maybe our own version of his story.
In August 2007, I began my stay here at FDU - a slightly overweight, mostly negative, overwhelmingly unorganized 18-year-old girl.
Fairleigh Dickinson University and I didn’t get along so well at first, and as a result, I spent a lot of time moping when I should have been finding ways to make the best of it. I argued with my mom and moped - a lot - and I didn’t even have one drive-by to blame it on. I spent most of my time hidden away in my room, allowing life to pass me by, playing a lot of video games, and eating a lot of fried food from The Grill. All the while, it was always someone else’s fault - there was nothing to do, I didn’t like the people, the campus was too small. Never mind the fact that, never once, did I venture from the cement confines of my dorm room to find a way to get involved.
In the years that followed, my planner slowly began to fill up. I found my niche of people, and, well, just decided that things certainly weren’t going to fix themselves.
Three years later, I like to think that I am closer to being someone worth finding than ever. I find myself a more productive, more involved, more motivated person, which as a result, makes me more positive. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some fantastic people, and do some incredible things. Sure, I don’t always look on the bright side, and I probably complain a little (okay, a lot) more than I should, but how does that saying go? I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m sure as hell not back where I started. Like Chophel, the catalyst part was easy - it’s the rest of it that takes a little more time and work. But I’m not worried - I think I caught everything early enough, and I have the rest of my life to pursue the person I want to be.
During our talk, Chophel explained a great deal of Buddhist ideas to me, especially the concept of reincarnation - that if you don’t quite reach your goals of enlightenment in this life, then, well, there’s always next time. While I’m not usually one for spirituality, I like the idea of another chance, to reflect on who you were and start working on who you’re going to be. Maybe each day is our own little chance at real-life reincarnation.
I don’t know about you, but I plan on coming back as someone worth finding.

An unaccompanied adult II


Did I mention I was in a car accident? Well let me share a universal truth with you: some people are idiots, especially the jerk with the minivan that decided to cut me off as I was on my way to see Mona. God’s punishment for my dishonesty perhaps?
Anyways, I swerved to the right and hit a utility post. I was going speed limit and I was alive. One thing I learned about airbags is make sure your car has one. It sure gives you a beating though. It’s a funny thing actually. A lot of the things meant to save your life can also beat the heck outta you: seat belts, air bags, enemas…and a lot of other crap you wouldn’t think of.
The first thing I remembered was something like smoke rising out of my ruined car. I hurried my ass out of there. I later found out that it was actually baby powder in the airbag to alleviate possible burns.
Some people helped me sit down on the side of the street. They were real nice about it. I don’t know what happened to the asshole in the minivan. He drove away.
“You want some water, sir? You need something? Just sit there, sir. The ambulance is on its way. I’m a certified nurse.”
My luck. A certified nurse walking down the street. She handed me some water. I could barely breathe from the impact but I got the water down. It kinda makes you think about how many certified nurses walk down the street every day. I was beginning to feel lucky…
The EMTs showed up a few minutes later. They got me on the stretcher and one of them kept touching me all over the place.
“Does this hurt?” he kept saying. “Don’t be brave or I’ll knock you upside your head. Does this hurt? Don’t try to be a tough. You tell me, now.”
Where the hell do they get these people?
So they had me in the hospital for a couple of days. It was nice. They fed you. They had cable. It was like having room service. I didn’t hear from Sam. There wasn’t a visit. I wasn’t too sore about it. I didn’t feel like explaining where I was going or any of that. Not while she was so close to drugs and syringes, anyways. Somehow Mona found out about the accident and she came every afternoon.
“I love you, you fool. Are you okay? Look at you. You look terrible,” Mona would say.
“Thanks, baby. Now, baby. The doctor said I need my sleep. You understand that, baby?”
Mona nodded.
“I’ll be back tomorrow, you fool. I promise. And when you get out, I’ll take care of you.”
“Thanks, baby.”
The nurses would come in once in a while and give me some painkillers.
“That’s a good woman you got there. She come and visit you every day. She looks really worried. That woman loves you. You take care of her, now!” they’d tell me.
I’d shake my head.
“That’s my sister…”
Once in a while the doctor came in and even that was fine.
He walked in with this bright green clipboard and a smile on his face.
“Mr. Stone…”
“Yeah, that’s me.”
“You’ll be fine.”
“Well, that’s fortunate.”
“I do believe your car is totaled, though.”
“Who needs one?”
He wrote some stuff on his clipboard.
“You got a woman, Mr. Stone?”
“How come she never comes to see you? You’ve been here for three days.”
“She’s at her sister’s. No way of knowing, you know? I’m supposed to be at home watching the dog like a good boy.”
The doctor put down his clipboard on the side of the bed and sat down in a chair bedside me.
“Wanna know what women got over us, Mr. Stone?”
“What’s that, Doctor?”
“Call me Phil.”
“What’s that, Phil?”
“They can really get you going sometimes. They can really make you get up and take a trip to Rio or to the Grand Canyon or to Kenya. All sorts of places. They can make you get a job. They can make you become a doctor. They do it with their eyes. With their looks. It’s unbearable, you know? It’s unbearable to think about how inferior we are to them.”
“My woman is a good one.”
“Yeah….I’ve been divorced three times, you know.”
“I’m sorry, Phil. Need a doctor?
“All I’m saying is that women have the power to give and the power to take away. You ever get that feeling when no one comes to visit you? That lonely feeling?”
“Maybe…I don’t much care for people.”
“Well, women are the best at it. They’ll leave you. You know where she’ll be? With the strongest link. That’s how it works. Remember that. If she hasn’t come to see you yet, what makes you think she ever will?”
“I told you, she’s at her sister’s. She doesn’t know.”
The doctor stood and grabbed his clipboard. I was glad he was leaving. I was beginning to get sore about everything.
“You’ll be fine, Mr. Stone. You’ll be out of here in no time.”
“Thank you…”

Comedian discusses 'natural high'

Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Sept. 14, a modest-sized group of students gathered in FDU’s Lenfell Hall to hear comedian/motivational speaker Matt Bellace spread his message of anti-drug and alcohol use through comedy.
Bellace kept the audience interested and involved from the beginning; eight volunteers joined him on the stage within the first five minutes of his act to demonstrate teamwork. Each team of four students (boys versus girls) sat in a circle on folding chairs, laid back on each other’s laps, and had to stay standing using their combined strength and energy when Wellace pulled the chairs out from under them. The boys kept their stance up, but the girls were not so fortunate.
After trying to level with the audience - mostly by telling out of place “Jersey Shore” jokes and irrelevant stories about his mother, who was the vice principal at his school - Bellace finally started to explain his feelings regarding drugs, alcohol, and parties. Since his older brother drank all throughout high school, his mother sent him to a drug-free camp. Surprisingly, the lessons he learned there resonated with him, and he maintained his clean lifestyle all through high school and college.
Suddenly, the Montclair native transformed from comedian to motivational speaker, explaining how his college experience made headlines nationwide when he convinced Bucknell University to transform an empty building into a fraternity for non-drinkers. The new organization was called “Calvin & Hobbes.”
Bellace then branched out to explain the creation of the New Social Engine (NSE) club at FDU, which holds such as free bowling to give students alternatives to drug- and alcohol-related events. FDU is not the only school with this sort of organization on campus; Montclair State University, Drew University, and Seton Hall University also have similar substance-free groups.
In another interactive segment, Bellace asked four volunteers to leave the hall and think for a moment about their favorite hobbies that let them have fun without being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As a comedic twist, Bellace instructed the crowd to imagine that each of the volunteers was talking about kissing when they answered questions about their hobby. A volunteer who only needed a dark basement and his two hands to do his hobby had the audience bursting out laughing. Thankfully, he turned out to be a closet video game addict.
Bellace, who has been a comic for 15 years, then presented his final call to action statement to the audience: get high the natural way; and that does not mean from drugs derived from the earth. He has had the same spider plant since he was eight years old, and he gave one lucky volunteer a plant of his own for answering a movie trivia question. Bellace encouraged the audience to pursue their passions, be they spider plants, or otherwise. Another segment of Bellace’s presentation included an explanation of his love for comedy; images of a cocaine user’s brain and a brain in a laughing state shows that laughing literally gets you high - yes, the natural way.
“He was actually really funny,” a freshman in the audience said. Her friend, a non-FDU student, said Bellace’s performance hit home for her, due to a recent drug-related death.
Bellace provided several situations that get the brain to that “high” state without the assistance of drugs or alcohol. Among those activities were surfing (he once met a member of The Fray on a chance encounter at the beach), running, falling in love, or even “stalking your loved ones from low bushes.”
For those who wish to learn more about Bellace’s “natural high” philosophy and his comedy, Bellace is frequently featured on Sirius XM Radio, and his novel “A Better High” is on sale now.

2010's 'Easy A' receives an easy A

Entertainment Editor

“Let me start by saying that there are two sides to every story. Well, here’s my side…the right one,” or so narrates Olive Penderghast, the protagonist and heroine of Screen Gems’ latest, “Easy A.” On the surface, “Easy A” appears to be your average, run-of-the-mill teen comedy. Ensemble teen cast? Check. Dreamy love interest such as “Gossip Girl” star Penn Badgley? Check. Clichés and obligatory cheesiness? Of course. As I’ve learned, however, not all cheese is created equal, and neither are teen comedies. There is good cheese and there’s bad cheese, and in the spectrum of teen comedies, where “I Love You, Beth Cooper” is Kraft American, “Easy A” is Gouda.
Emma Stone (who you may recognize from 2007’s “Superbad” or last year’s “Zombieland”) plays Olive, a feisty and fiery-haired California high-schooler, who, despite her own self-assuredness, is virtually invisible to her peers and teachers, except to her friends Rhiannon (Aly Michalka) and Woodchuck Todd (Penn Badgley). Olive finds herself out of the periphery of high school gossip and instead, thrust into the Pantheon of it when she tells “a little white lie” about having lost her virginity to a college guy. Soon, the rumor spread by insufferable classmate Marianne (Amanda Bynes), renders Olive a “tramp” in the eyes of the student body.
In spite of this, clever Olive is able to benefit from her newly soiled reputation. She helps the gays, the nerds, and the socially invisible beings of the school achieve the status of “stud” by telling more “little white lies” about sleeping with them. Olive finds her life paralleling the events of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” and relishes in the new attention, embroidering a red ‘A’ on her new wardrobe (which mainly consists of lingerie). A sex scandal, a venereal disease, and several gift cards later, Olive realizes that the glamour and mystery of her new rep has worn off, and our sassy heroine is determined to reclaim her good name and set things right.
I have always loved Emma Stone; as Jules in “Superbad,” as one of the Zetas in “The House Bunny” and as brazen Wichita in “Zombieland.” I love her even more as Olive. She has transformed from charming supporting character into a captivating leading lady.
Penn Badgley as Woodchuck Todd perfectly walks the line between handsome love interest, and hilarious childhood pal. Aly Michalka and Amanda Bynes play great caricatures, the spray-tanned and bawdy “best friend,” and the overreaching “Jesus-freak,” respectively. Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci are the perfect “cool” parents and have a great on-screen chemistry with Emma Stone. Aside from pretty decent acting, the film has a bunch of other actors you’ll recognize from other teen comedy fare; I don’t know about you, but it’s always great to see a familiar face (especially Lalaine from “Lizzie McGuire”).
Sure, superficially it’s a teen comedy about a girl who was once invisible, but isn’t anymore. As Olive herself would sarcastically note, “Pretty cutting-edge stuff, right?” For it is true that one could walk down a street littered with films from over the last decade, trip, and land on one with similar subject matter. At the heart of it though, I believe that the film has something to say about our generation, a generation that Olive’s favorite teacher, Mr. Griffith (Thomas Haden Church) notes is “obsessed with documentation.” The millions of Facebook status updates, Tumblrs, and Tweets are proof of such; we have never been keener about letting the world know every intimate detail of our lives than we are today. In today’s world of exposure, there is something to be said for privacy, especially for such intimate matters as one’s virginity. As Olive reminds us all, that regardless of whether she loses her virginity today, or on her wedding night, to an anonymous college boy, or to Woodchuck Todd, the best part of it is that “it’s nobody’s damn business.”