A Meeting of the Minds: English Club's Social Hour

On Thursday, just after the majority of students migrated off-campus, when Turner crowds died down and the Burruss bells were heard, a group of writers gathered in Shanks 370/380. It was a modest gathering, large by English departmental standards, and had one goal: create a sense of community between artists at Virginia Tech. Artists, writers, and creators at Virginia Tech—a university dominated by hard science majors—often find themselves disconnected. If you, a poet, find a niche to inhabit with other like-minded artists, you are often disconnected from writers, photographers, and filmmakers. A sense is instilled that the creative community is limited to your friend group, that the communi

Mental Health & The Creative Mind

Vincent van Gogh's painting, "Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity's Gate)." There’s a stereotype that the people that find their home in the creative realms are subject to suffering, and that stereotype most likely stems from our predecessors and our current creative heroes. Sylvia Plath and Vincent van Gogh both committed suicide after suffering from depression. Stephen King has suffered from depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction. JK Rowling has described her depression as “a numbness, a coldness, and an inability to believe you will feel happy again. All the color drained out of life.” And no, that is not a quote from when Harry Potter deals with dementors in The Prisoner of Azkaban, but i

Glossolalia Open Mic

Glossolalia kicked off the new school year with an open mic night at She-Sha Café and Hookah Lounge on Thursday, September 22nd from 9-11 pm. Glossolalia officers Forrest Rike and Paul Veracka announced readers as both undergraduate students and graduate students shared their writing. Though Glossy (as the event is affectionately called) is a literary festival held in the spring, various open mic nights are held throughout the year to cultivate the appreciation of student writing here at Virginia Tech. Students read flash fiction, nonfiction, poetry, prose, and performed spoken word. Given 5-7 minutes to speak, many of the writers read more than one piece, giving the audience a better sample

Why VR Matters

Oculus and the HTC Vive have already released earlier this year and in a few weeks, the PlayStation VR will launch. Years from now, 2016 will be remembered as the year of Virtual Reality. It’s not farfetched to say – so why aren’t we giving it its due importance, today? Why would a cumbersome headset and a screen just millimeters away from my eyes matter in any capacity? Because it’s a new age, a new era. Time has come and gone and we continue to find new ways of expressing our cultures and ideas. First, it was oral tradition; trained stories committed to memory and passed down through generations. Then through transcription on parchment and paper, writing down sophisticated plots and charac

Ode to Fall

In the words of Robert Frost: “Retard the sun with gentle mist; / Enchant the land with amethyst.” Photo Credits: Kirsten Corbman There are so many things to love about summer, like the air conditioning that will save you from heat stroke and the daily debate of whether or not to conform to society’s standards and shave the cacti that are your legs. But all good things must come to an end, friends. The Earth tilts on its axis and then the trees start to shrug their shoulders, forcing the weight of their leaves off of their long, outstretched arms. And boom—fall arrives. Eventually you will be peer pressured into turning on the heat in your apartment as the temperature dips, and you will smir

The Visiting Writers Series: Why You Should Care

Throughout the semester, Silhouette will be covering a number of the readings and workshops given by various writers who will be sharing readings from poems, stories, and give insight into their writing process. While specific spotlights will be written up on the individual writers, the context as to why we care is important. So what is it? What exactly is the importance of hearing some man or woman read a few passages out of their poetry collection and answering some questions? Well, because it’s so much more than that. College is a place of continual education but beyond that – it’s a place of invention, a unique congregation who’ve found (or are in the process of discovering) their passi

Shakespeare's "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" in Blacksburg

The American Shakespeare Center, usually housed at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia, traveled to Blacksburg to perform “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” on September 15, 2016. The small cast of 10-12 actors played many roles at the iconic theater, The Lyric, to a crowd of students, professors, and community members. “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” is one of William Shakespeare’s earliest plays, and the audience remained captivated by the performance. The play began with entertainment by the members of the acting troupe. They played instruments and belted out lyrics to current songs, and the audience sang along as they found their seats and prepared for the show to begin. The two gen

Can't Spell "Vote" Without "Vo"

We’re plunging into Homecoming week tomorrow. Monday marks the first day of public space campaigning and this year marks the second year since shifting the focus away from traditional theme-based campaigns. Our Homecoming candidates all have passions for service and the Queen and King’s plastic crowns will earn them one thousand dollars each to help sponsor a charity event. This past Friday, I had the chance to sit down to hear from a candidate with heart. Newman Library on a late Friday morning is a sparsely populated spot; only the most desperate of students are hunched over textbooks, staring at computer screens. It’s almost sad. Yet, when Quang Vo rounds the corner with a wave and megawa

An Inspirational Ordinary: creating throughout the monotony of daily routine

I’m not alone in my almost superhuman ability to justify procrastination; if it was an Olympic sport, every collegiate in the world would be competitively qualified. Even outside of essays and readings, crunched into the final hour, I have a mentality of “I’ll do it later” for stories I want to tell, art I want to create. It’s a problem that student artists face; whether we’re writers, poets, painters, or photographers. There’s a sense of “laterness” for all our best ideas. Maybe we don’t feel like we’re sufficiently equipped to write our novel; maybe we justify there’s just no time for real devotion to our paintings. There’s class work to sift through, friends to see, family to communicate

Shut Up and Stop Telling Me You're Going to Write

(or Stop Telling Me You’re... if the above is too fiery/obnoxious/whatever) I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard “Oh, that’s wonderful, I’ve always wanted to...” or “I’m just planning on...” or any variation of these phrases. Stop telling me what you’re going to do. Do it. Don’t make any plans; don’t tell others about your aspirations: just go out there and make it happen. I know better than most what it’s like to be busy and struggle to find time to write. But just keep at it. Even if you have to write 250 words a day, in a year, you’ll have written a novel. Some days you’ll not want to even touch your writing, other days you’ll feel inspired to write more. It’s a test of time as

Screw Your Stereotypes: A Writer's Reply

Photo courtesy of Fredrik Rubensson. Us creative writers get a bad rap—the clichés and the stereotypes tell the masses we are tortured souls that drink lukewarm, black coffee and sit hunched in a barely lit room for hours, praying to a godless universe to let us finish this goddamn chapter. When you tell someone you’re a writer, they nod both bitchily and cordially and say, “Oh, you write?” Photo courtesy of K.B. Owen. Don’t get me wrong, I am a tortured soul because I’m not sure when the next season of Stranger Things will be released, and in all honesty, living can get quite torturous and there is no such thing as being immune to bad things because humans were meant to feel. In case you we

DCVT is What's for Me

Photo: Lauren Rakes. Audrey is pictured second from the left in the second row in this photo from the Spring 2016 Showcase. DCVT, or Dance Company at Virginia Tech, held their auditions last weekend for the 2016-2017 year. Old and new members are ready to get back into the studio within the upcoming weeks. After a full semester of classes, choreography, and performances, DCVT will put on a Fall Showcase on December 2nd & 3rd in Haymarket Theatre. To prepare for this showcase, the 23 returning dancers embrace 8 new members as DCVT begins their training. The student-run dance company allows for these members to choreograph and participate in one another’s dances, giving them the opportunity to

A Hokie's Road to Rio

Literature and art transcend any geopolitical boundaries. They’re an expression of humanity that’s purely honest. Once every four years this language is brought to the sporting world where the sculptors are the athletes, toiling away for hours at a time on the form of their jump, the angles of their marksmanship, and the build on their arms. The Olympics are a haven, a place where warring states can coexist for a brief period of time in the spirit of competition. Virginia Tech’s full of exceptional individuals and on the tail-end of the Olympics, I was fortunate enough to come into contact with a Hokie who found themselves with their nation’s (Haiti) name across his chest this past August.

Marrying Your Work: The Matrimony Between Creator and Craft

An adage has plagued the lifestyle of a writer: success comes from being married to the work. Perhaps there’s some truth to it; writers are notorious for unrequited or failed relationships. We can’t seem to balance writing and extracurricular romance without it ending in heartache. It seems that writing hates sharing (now I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger). But, if you really do want to put a ring on your work, are you ready for the commitment that goes along with it? (Maybe you need a wedding planner?) And everyone knows the rhyme: you need something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue as talismans for good luck in a marriage. And writing certainly requires luck. Yet, th

Silhouette Takes Gobblerfest!

Silhouette kicked off the year at Gobblerfest on Friday, September 2nd. Students meandering around the Drillfield located Silhouette booth surrounded by several other creative clubs and organizations. Previous issues of the magazine and excited staff members shared the goal of: Inspire the Virginia Tech community with the creativity of the students through their submitted poems, prose, short stories, photography, and artwork. This semi-annual, student run Literary and Art Magazine starts accepting submissions on September 8th, 2016, and though we are known to be a scientific, engineering community, we also know how creative the students at Virginia Tech are. gives students the opportunity to

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