An A&E Adventure: Too Many Zooz

Alec Ematrudo –A&E Editor

Around a month ago, my assistant Jonathan Weaver brought to my attention that a band called Too Many Zooz was coming to perform at the Fete Music Hall in Providence. I had no clue who they were, but he assured me that they were awesome and that I had definitely seen their viral video that made them a global sensation. I was hooked and we immediately fell down a very enjoyable YouTube hole of their music videos.

Weirdly enough, three days later I received an email from someone involved with the band or the venue, asking if the paper wanted to do a preview piece for the show and get some press passes. Long story short, we agreed and were able to interview one of the members of Too Many Zooz, Leo Pellegrino. The phone interview was a lot of fun and you can find that in our April 8 issue.

Finally, this past Thursday, after listening to their music, we were able to see Too Many Zooz in person, as well as a similar band called Moonhooch. I haven’t been to many concerts, but I have been fortunate enough to see bands such as Green Day and U2 live.

I have a bold statement to make: the nearly four hour set performed by both Too Many Zooz and Moon Hooch was one of if not the best performances I’ve seen in person. Weaver and I were fortunate enough to be as close as we could possibly get to the stage and the guys from both bands really left everything out on the stage. The bass that emitted from the speakers on the stage and around the room, was the kind that you really feel throughout your body. That, coupled with an extremely well done lightshow, amazing performances, and a really good energy in the crowd, added up to be an amazing time.

Moonhooch opened up the night with an hour and twenty five minute set that was high energy the whole time and really set the mood for the rest of the night. Then after a short break,  Too Many Zooz came out and played for another hour and a half with some amazing solos from each member. The night ended with both bands playing together in what can only be described as a symphony of awesome.

I highly recommend that if you haven’t listened to the music from either band, you definitely should. It’s such a unique sound and energy that there really isn’t anything else like it.

Music from Too Many Zooz and Moonhooch is available now on iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp.

Game of Thrones is back!

Alec Ematrudo – A&E Editor

Graphic courtesy of HBO

Last Sunday, “Game of Thrones” returned for its eighth and final season. It had nearly been a two year wait for this final season and for some fans such as myself, it did not fly by. The show had enjoyed ten episode seasons up until its seventh season, which ended with seven episodes and now this final season only has six episodes. By the time this review is published, there will only be four short weeks left until we are all left happy and broken or maybe just broken, by the series finale.

The season premiere of season eight was, in my opinion, a solid episode. It didn’t blow me away by any means, but was satisfying to watch. This episode was largely a catchup episode, but not for viewers; for the characters. We got to watch several long awaited reunions between characters and got several very important conversations between characters.

That might all sound a bit boring, but I do think it was rather smart to get most of these interactions done immediately, so that when things hit the fan in an episode or two, things won’t need to slow down again.

Without spoiling anything, I will say that the episode does have a certain feeling of dread lurking in the background. As a result, each character interaction is given more depth because as viewers, we know most of these characters will die in the coming weeks. We don’t know if any of these conversations will be their last.

All in all, I did really enjoy “Throne’s” latest offering and I am very excited for the weeks to come and to finally learn who will win the Game of Thrones.

I’m glad I chose RIC

Catherine Enos –Opinions editor

Three years ago, I transferred to RIC from CCRI. In high school and in my first two years of college, I was never an involved student and I didn’t know what I wanted to pursue. This changed the semester I came to RIC.

Coming here, I didn’t know anyone and didn’t know what to expect. I’ll admit, the first semester was miserable and I was in a field of study that I wasn’t enjoying. RIC presented me with so many opportunities to change this.

The first thing I did was change my major to political science. Before I changed to political science, it was always something I had been interested in but I didn’t think it was suitable for me– this couldn’t be further from the truth. In my three years in the department, I’ve met some of my favorite people and have been interested in everything the department had to offer.

RIC has afforded me a lot of other opportunities, too. I’ve been able to work with The Anchor as the opinions editor for the past two years. For almost the same amount of time, I’ve been a member of Student Community Government, Inc. In both of these organizations, I’ve learned a lot of useful information, even if it’s unrelated to the career I want to pursue later in life.

I know that RIC isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s far from it. But RIC has an illustrious history (which I’ve been able to study more deeply with the help of Professor Lopes in the special collections of the library). It’s the oldest of all the public schools and it’s been through a rapid transformation, from being a teaching school to becoming a school that offers so much more.

RIC is unlike any other school in Rhode Island. Every day, there are people that I meet that I’m in awe of. I’d argue that most people I’ve met here are the hardest working individuals I’ve ever met. When I graduate on May 11, I’ll be proud to say that I graduated from Rhode Island College.

I know that I made the right choice in choosing RIC.

The Finals Marathon

Alison Macbeth –Assistant Opinions Editor

It’s that time of the year – anxiety, breakouts and stress-eating to get through the end of the semester pileup. No matter how much coffee you drink, it feels like you will never have enough time to finish every project, paper and assignment. Surviving finals is like running a marathon. It takes persistence, determination and pluck. But that grit doesn’t start the last week of the semester.

Succeeding in finals is very similar to finishing a marathon. Runners must train, practice and prepare. However, many students treat finals like a sprint. They don’t prepare for the 26 mile grueling run, but rather for a hundred meter dash. This looks like long nights of cramming for the next exam and crossing fingers when submitting the paper.

However, if more students saw finals season as finishing a marathon they would have a vision throughout the semester. What I mean by vision is as nerdy as this: start studying for your finals at the beginning of the semester. Now, what I don’t mean is literally start studying for your finals after your first class, but rather listen in class, take notes and of course – be there! This is the training part of the marathon process.

The next thing marathoners do is practice. Professors often give readings, quizzes and study guides that culminate in a final exam. Completing homework as a way of preparing for the final will relieve the burden of learning material while you’re trying to cram for an exam.

Lastly, marathoners finish the marathon. They eat well the day of the race, sleep and continue healthy habits so that they are in tip top shape for the race. Students need to do the same by taking walking breaks and filling up on good snacks. Stay strong, dear student.

Now if you have not practiced these techniques this semester, don’t fret! You can still excel! Simply don’t wait until the last minute to start your project or paper. No matter how much you prepare, finals will always be challenging.

Remember there are a lot of people on the sidelines cheering for you.

Mistakes can catch up with you

Jake Elmslie –Sports Editor

April is not the time to panic in Major League Baseball and yet the Boston Red Sox after a less than auspicious start to their season have opted to put emotion over reason.

On Tuesday, the Red Sox designated long time enigma Blake Swihart for assignment to the minor leagues, a decision that opens the door to and almost ensures that a different team will claim Swihart for their own roster at the cost of absolutely nothing. The team has made this move in order to bring Sandy Leon a former mainstay of the major league back onto the big league team after opting to have him open the season with the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox.

The notion of choosing to carry Leon over Swihart is in itself a walk back from a decision the team made barely a month ago at the conclusion of spring training. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dumbroski made it clear from the onset of spring training that the team was only planning on carrying two catchers as opposed to the three they had carried during the 2018-2019 world series season. The team of course wound up airing on the side of the versatility and upside at the plate offered by Swihart over the defensive acumen of Leon.

Graphics courtesy of New York Post

The issue with the move to walk away from Swihart has very little to do with either him or Leon as players but rather the optics of the decision. Firstly it is very easy to look at a Red Sox team that has clearly not had the start to the season they envisioned and characterize any early mulligans on preseason roster moves as a byproduct of panic. Secondly one has to wonder if this move is almost exclusively being made in an attempt to placate the pitching staff.

It is no secret to anyone who understands numbers that the Red Sox starting rotation has fallen biblically short of expectations. The team that intended to build itself around its starting pitching currently boasts four starters with an earned run average over six and two exceeding even that mark with ERA’s well over eight. It is also no secret that the pitchers on this teams staff love having Leon behind the plate, with many of them having sung his praise in the past. One can easily extrapolate from this information that Dumbrowski made the decision to bring up Leon in an attempt to make the pitching staff more comfortable. In the process of this pursuit though he has lost the team an asset in the 27 year old Swihart. It is not absurd to suggest that a team that has invested over 100 million dollars in their starting pitching for this season alone should not need to hemorrhage assets to effectively add five grown men’s blankey to the roster or if this reality is unavoidable it is not unfair to question if that money could have been spent better in the first place.

Blake Swihart was not destined to be some essential member of the Red Sox core however his career in the Boston system stands as a clinic in mismanaging an asset. From development to designation the Red Sox failed with this player and now can only hope to learn from their mistakes.

Sometimes lightning doesn’t even strike once


Joseph A. Griswold –Assistant Sports Editor

This year the Tampa Bay Lightning had as many post-season wins as the Atlanta Thrashers. The only problem is, the Atlanta Thrashers have not been in the NHL since 2011.

Graphics courtesy of 1st Ohio Battery

After a historic regular season, which saw the Lightning tie the 1995-1996 Detroit Red Wings for all time wins in the regular season (62); The Lightning fell flat on their face getting swept out of the playoffs by the eighth-seed Columbus Blue Jackets. So, what happened and what is next.

Simply put, the Lightning got outplayed, outcoached and outworked across the board. Game one serves as the perfect exemplar as the Lightning held a 3-0 lead in the first period, but failed to close the game out and ended up losing game one 4-3.

Throughout the series there seemed to be a complete lack of urgency, especially from the top players of the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson, who accounted for 156 goals in the regular season, only accounted for a combined two goals in the four game sweep.

Another major issue for the Lightning was their special teams play. Despite leading the league in power play goals in the regular season the Lightning were just 1-for-6 while the Blue Jackets went 5-for-10 with the man advantage.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the series was the lack-luster play of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, and the dominant play of Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Coming into the series, Vasilevskiy was clearly seen as the goaltender with the edge as Bobrovsky has been known to struggle during the post-season. However, when the series ended it was Bobrovsky who led his team to a series with an impressive .932 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against-average. Vasilevskiy, on the other hand struggled mightily with a .856 save percentage and a 3.82 goals-against-average.

The last major advantage came in coaching. Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella, with his fiery, energetic coaching style pushed his team and made on-the-fly adjustments that smothered Tampa Bay’s top ranked offense. Tortorella, and the Blue Jackets clearly learned form the previous year where they took a 2-0 series lead against the Washington Capitals only to lose four straight to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions. On the other side, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper never seemed to realize his team was down in the series and made almost no adjustments throughout the series. Cooper is often known for his cool-demeanor, but this time it seems to have led to lackadaisical play for his team.

For the Lightning this season will forever be looked back upon as what could have been; however, for the Blue Jackets the road may just be beginning.

Graduate Spotlight: Tracy Soe

Alison Macbeth –Asst. Opinions Editor

Determined, resilient and empowering. These are three words that describe Tracy Soe, a member of Rhode Island College’s 2019 graduating class, because not many graduates can say they founded a school.

Tracy was born in Liberia, but fled with her parents as a three year old to Côte d’Ivoire due to the civil war that erupted in 1990. Tracy lived in Côte d’Ivoire, where her mother was from, until 2005. Then, at the age of eighteen, Tracy moved to the U.S. and graduated from CCRI in 2016 before transferring to RIC.

Photos provided by Tracy Soe

Tracy is graduating from RIC with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. In addition to her undergraduate degree, Tracy will also have certificates in Non-profit Organization studies and International Nongovernmental Organization studies.

Despite her persistence, Tracy admits that her education journey has been hard at times. “It has been a little challenging at RIC because I work two jobs and am a single mother of two,” she said. “It hasn’t been easy. But I’m grateful that I will be completing this coming May.”

In the midst of her full life, Tracy founded a school called Ghenyonnon Memorial Foundation in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. The school was founded a few months after her mother’s death in 2013. “It was a dream I had because one of her greatest regrets was education. She wasn’t educated and most people took advantage of her, so she struggled throughout her life to educate her kids. I built the school in remembrance of her.” Currently, the school has 101 children in attendance and fifteen hard working teachers.

It took Tracy five years to complete the elementary school. She is currently working to add on junior and senior high school. But Tracy’s dream doesn’t stop there. “I’m also planning on building another’s school by next year, if God permits me.”

“We didn’t have much of a choice” Interim Provost of Academic Affairs explains reason for shortened semester

Aaron Isaac –Anchor Staff

Did you know classes this semester were cut short by a week? If you didn’t know you may be asking yourself if you missed an announcement or an email. You can look, but no such email exists.

The reason for the shortened semester is due to the failure of the calendar committee to schedule the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for commencement in time. Interim Provost of Academic Affairs Sue Pearlmutter explained that the venue the administration wanted was not available when they needed it to be, on May 18. Director of the Records Office Tameka Hardmon said she learned about the issue months after the calendar was published and reported it to Pearlmutter. Starting in August, Pearlmutter said she and the committee spent months trying to decide what to do. In the end they decided to schedule commencement for May 11 and cut the semester by a week.

How much faculty knew while the decisions were being made is uncertain. Hardmon said Pearlmutter was responsible for informing faculty, and according to Pearlmutter there were two emails sent. One was to inform faculty about the scheduling problem, a second email was a note about what the calendar committee decided to do. Pearlmutter was not sure of the clarity of those emails saying “I don’t think they realized that what I said was we’re going to start the week that we had planned, we’re going to end classes on April 30th.” As a result, faculty lost days to complete their grading.

She acknowledged this new schedule may be inconveniencing professors, “the last thing we wanted was to inconvenience anyone, but we didn’t have much choice.” She added that faculty will soon get a notice saying those professors not holding final exams can use that day as an additional class day.

Administrators knew, faculty would know later, so why didn’t students know? “If you want to know the truth I consider myself really student centered, but I didn’t think about writing a note to students,” Pearlmutter said. “I’ll take responsibility for that,” she continued.

She regretted her not informing students after reading a student opinion piece in the Anchor, “it didn’t occur to me that student’s decision making in this was a consequential part and reading it in the article made me think that I took something for granted.”

Moving forward, she mentioned implementing a five year plan for the calendar was already put in place to make sure such a scheduling conflict did not happen again. Pearlmutter emphasized the various ways the administration could reach out to students including blackboard, group projects and reaching out to the Anchor, but she did not mention sending out emails.

The best way to encourage communication, she said, was to get students to participate on the calendar committee. She acknowledged this may be difficult considering students don’t necessarily know there is a calendar committee. “It took me a couple of months to find out who they report to and who actually appointed them so if we don’t know it, I’m sure that students don’t know it.”

What’s in your head? Implicit bias training at RIC

Tim Caplan – News Editor

Implicit Bias has been a controversial subject in the social science community for over 20 years, especially with the 1998 invention of the Implicit Association Test (IAT). Project Implicit, who created the test, is a non-profit research foundation focused on studying implicit social cognition and was founded by three scientists from Harvard, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington.

Dr. Jordan Axt, Photos by Thomas Crudale

On Wednesday, March 20, Jordan Axt, a postdoctoral research associate from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Center for Advanced Hindsight, was invited to speak at Rhode Island College by the Dialogue on Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Axt is a member of Project Implicit. The event took place in the Gaige Hall Auditorium.

Dr. Axt began his presentation by speaking about the differences between the conscious and unconscious mind: “Your mind is an island, part of it is above water, the conscious mind, (and part is) below water, unconscious mind.”

Dr. Axt then displayed a series of photos which demonstrated how the mind often plays tricks on the senses of sight and sound. These pictures featured monsters in a tunnel that seemed to be different sizes but when the tunnel was taken away, it was revealed that they were the same size. Another picture by Edward H. Adelson, displayed a checkerboard with a shadow over it, which made 2 different squares labeled “A” and “B” seem as though they were different colors, but in reality were the same. These were meant to emphasize the fact that the human mind often works in ways that people are unaware of as it happens.

The presentation then continued with a large scale administration of the IAT to the audience, in which it judged that the audience correlated the faces of white people with pleasant words at a higher rate than the faces of Black people with pleasant words. Dr. Axt said that this was normal, however, and showed his own original test results, which were very similar to that of the audience.

There are many social psychologists who dispute the validity of the IAT, the most vocal of which is University of Connecticut Professor Hart Blanton, who claims “The IAT provides little insight into who will discriminate against whom, and provides no more insight than explicit measures of bias.”

Dr. Axt’s response to these criticisms were that on an individual level, the IAT scores are not as adequate as what some social scientists believe about the measurement of overall feelings in a society.

The presentation was concluded with Dr. Axt’s 3 major suggestions about how he felt an individual could counteract their own implicit bias, which were to use objective criteria when decision making, think slowly, and be vigilant about implicit bias.

One of the photos presented by Dr. Jordan Axt, Graphic courtesy of naniomo.com

RICovery Hosts Narcan Training

Sean Richer –Anchor Staff

As America suffers from the debilitating opioid crisis, more and more people are learning what to do in the instance of an overdose in their vicinity. RICovery, a student organization here at RIC, has been taking steps to spread such knowledge. The substance abuse support group hosted a training seminar in the Student Union Ballroom on administering the drug Naloxone on Wednesday, March 20.

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a drug that is used to reverse an opioid overdose. It is commonly given through injection or nasal spray. It is an opioid antagonist and can reverse an overdose in minutes. This over-the-counter antidote has gained a lot of steam and has become a staple in the fight against opiate addiction in recent years.

The use of Naloxone is not free of controversy, however. Many critics have stepped forward saying that it facilitates addiction and the use of drugs by eliminating some of the risks of doing them. When asked about this hypothesis, RICovery President Roxanne Newman said, “I understand the reasoning behind it, but the way I see it, in order for someone to quit, they need to be alive first.” She went on to say that Naloxone is simply a “tool” and that wider access to it would mitigate the damage that opiates can inflict on our communities, including Rhode Island College.

This damage has been observed for years all over the country. Opiate overdoses have surpassed car crashes in terms of deaths per year. According to a study by the CDC, over 72,000 people died of an overdose last year. The RIC administration has since resolved to increase access to Naloxone on campus. Kits are currently available at the Browne Health Center and it is planned to become available at every residence hall on every floor. Despite its critics, it seems that Naloxone has found a long lasting place in the war against opiates, and at Rhode Island College.