We are America.

Anyone that goes to this school knows the line “We are Virginia Tech.” A famous line written by Nikki Giovanni after the events that transpired on April 16, 2007. A broken people brought together under a common banner of unity. Division eats at the heart of who we are as a nation. Division has torn this country, quite literally, in half and many other times it divides it up with invisible borders. An “Us versus them” mentality wins out as people try to unite under what they feel is safe or comfortable – something that they can cling to and then they naturally fear the alternative. It’s sad to see this country’s fabric tested over something that should be honorable. It’s a depressing notion t

Cringefest: The Beauty of Bad Writing

Every month, an open mic night is hosted on the first floor of Newman Library. Poems and short stories are presented from writers all across Virginia Tech’s highly talented campus. They share their work for the enjoyment of an attentive audience, an hour and a half of art that reminds the listener of all the styles, genres, and emotions that the written word can encapsulate. However, once a semester, open mic night is dedicated to hilariously reminding us that not all first drafts are perfect and all aspiring writers begin their creative journey from humble origins. This is Cringefest and it is beautiful. Last night, the audience was delighted with old journal entries about the certifiably w

Dave Coulier is as Colorful as Joey Gladstone

Virginia Tech Union brought comedian Dave Coulier, known best as Uncle Joey from the television show Full House, to Virginia Tech on Wednesday, November 9th. Several students and community members enjoyed his comedic antics in the Squires Haymarket Theatre at 8 pm. He spent a few moments promoting the second season of his new show, Fuller House, featuring all of the Full House characters several years after the original show ended after eight seasons. Following his introduction, he spent the next hour cracking the room up with the jokes, impressions, and stories that come so naturally to him. Coulier opened his show with jokes about his cast members and the crowd loved hearing him tease John

CDE: Dance That Defies Definition

As part of the Virginia Tech creative community, sometimes we isolate ourselves from the rest of the university. We also tend to forget that there are other forms of expression besides creative writing, music, or art. Dance is one such medium that can be overlooked and difficult to characterize: is it a sport, an individual or group activity, or an art form? Whatever you think of dance, there’s no question that it is a beautiful form of expression, artistry, talent, and athleticism. All of these qualities were on display during Contemporary Dance Ensemble’s fall show on Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th in the Squires Student Center. Contemporary Dance Ensemble (CDE), an all-fe

As the Weather Gets Colder, Don't Get Burned

This is about the time of year that the crushing weight of school comes crashing down hardest on many of us. Exam week is bad but the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are consecutive weeks with a single day of respite since school started up in August. The everyday grind of homework mixed in with big projects and tests has left many of us drained. Even Finals Week comes on the curtails of a long break, a time to recharge and set one’s priorities straight after a week without classes and some good food. Anecdotally, the number of students I know that are counting down the days till Thanksgiving is roughly 100%. These upcoming couple weeks is commonly a convergence of a number of factors that

English Career Connections

On Friday, November 4th, the 9th annual English Career Connections fair was held in Hillcrest and Shanks Halls. It provided an opportunity for current VT English majors to meet with former VT English majors, who are members of the Distinguished Alumni Board (DAB). Over 50 students and 20 DAB members attended. Distinguished alumni members held a variety of professions, including attorney, marketing director, technical writer, judge, teacher, and many others. The event kicked off with a luncheon in the Hillcrest Hall dining room at 12:30 p.m. The dress code was business casual, and students had a chance to practice their dining etiquette in a formal setting. Students were seated at assigned ta

A Radiant Poetry Reading

Matt Hart, the Associate Professor in Creative Writing and Chair of Liberal Arts at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, read poetry from his two new books on Thursday, November 3. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the poetry journal Forklift. The pieces he read from RADIANT COMPANION and RADIANT ACTION included moments of serious thought, comedy, and heartfelt appreciation for family. Over 100 students, professors, and community members attended his reading, and for much of his performance, the audience remained astutely quiet. Hart alternated from whispers to shouting and singing to screaming; the crowd rode the waves with him as he wove an atmospheric spell with his words. Those words – poignan

Artist Spotlight: Bryanna Dering

The publication of The Silhouette’s Fall 2016 is fast approaching and I had the opportunity to exchange emails with this semester’s cover artist, Bryanna Dering. Bryanna is currently spending a semester abroad but, fortunately, that didn’t stop her from sharing her beautiful work with us back here in the States. She had a gifted eye for capturing dizzyingly beautiful shots and reading her words about her artistic process was equally as captivating: What is your favorite medium? I would say my favorite medium is photography. There's just so much freedom in it, so many possibilities to explore. What subjects do you find yourself capturing? I find that I tend to capture architecture and landsca

Behind the Podium: Thoughts While Presenting

It is generally agreed that presenting your work is a Very Good Thing. Notice the capitalization, it emphasizes the general consensus of goodness. ‘Good’ as in it allows work to reach a wider audience, for aspiring artists to receive love, feedback. After all, if the act of creating isn’t being witnessed, is anything being created at all? Yet, presenting work isn’t necessarily a good feeling in the moment. After reading, when you’re returning to your seat to the courteous applause of the audience, there’s a sense of relief bordering on euphoria. While speaking into the reverberating microphone to a silent room, ears audibly straining to hear your work, it is entirely different, occupying the

"Jump, Jump, Jump!"

Maroon and orange was a welcome sight in the midst of navy blue, white, and grey on Thursday night at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Virginia Tech beat Pitt 39-36 in a nerve-racking back and forth game, and the Hokie fans who were present received the satisfaction of waving out the Pitt fans who had heckled us mercilessly. My fellow Hokie, Sean Pruden, and I skipped Thursday and Friday classes to attend this game in our home state and for me, home city. With many friends from high school attending Pitt, Sean and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to watch the game close up with them. On the drive up, since we were dressed in maroon and orange, we were approached by a few West Virginia

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