Margo Price Worth the Price at the Lyric

Country singer Margo Price was the latest artist to visit downtown Blacksburg as part of the Live at the Lyric concert series. The Lyric, which has recently hosted artists such as Aimee Mann, Suzanne Vega, Justin Townes Earle, and Sara Watkins of the band Nickel Creek, provides a convenient and affordable live music experience for Virginia Tech students and members of the Blacksburg community alike. When I spotted a poster for the Margo Price concert in a store window while walking downtown, I was surprised. I was unaware that the Lyric even had concerts (I thought it just showed movies), but I was immensely mistaken. I found out that the Lyric indeed hosts a wide variety of talented musicia

Buy, Eat, Live Local in Blacksburg

Somehow, in my almost two years living in Blacksburg, I only just made it to the Farmer’s Market for the first time. Although it’s known as a staple to the Blacksburg community, I never bothered to roll out of bed early enough on a Saturday morning to check out what the market had to offer. This was until a school project for my Visual Media class brought me out of bed and into the world before 2 in the afternoon. Armed with my well-loved Nikon and absolutely no cash, I made my way downtown to see what I’d been wanting to check out for the past year and a half. After visiting the Farmer’s Market and seeing the local vendors come out, I decided to look further into the market, its history, an

VR Challenge: Part Two

On Friday, February 24th, I met up with one of the groups participating in the VR Challenge to see the progress on their app. This particular team is made up of five females who bring different skill sets to the project. The three seniors are Diva Anaya, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Amy Judd, majoring in Computer Science (CS), and Angie Zhang, majoring in Business Information Technology (BIT). Lekha Chowdhuri is a sophomore majoring in BIT, and Heather Robinson is a freshman studying CS, but she was unable to meet with me Friday. Lekha and Heather have joined the team since I first met with them at the VR Challenge Kickoff on February 3rd. Friday afternoon “Jam Sessions” at Studio 2.0

Keep Telling Stories

Alex R. Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in Moonlight (image credit: Rotten Tomatoes) I’m a huge sucker for movies. There are so many that make me weepy. Some are more understandably emotional— big sweeping epics like Lord of the Rings or heartstring-tuggers like The Help. Then there are slightly more embarrassing ones, like the first Harry Potter movie or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (strong female friendships plus a MAGICAL PAIR OF JEANS? Pass me the tissues). Every so often, though, I come across a movie that leaves me not in tears, but stunned into silence, wanting to sit still in my theater seat for as long as it takes me to process the masterpiece that just played out across the scr

The 5 Best Performances from the 2017 Grammys

For the artists, the Grammys may be about the awards, but for the viewers, it’s all about the performances. In a show filled to the brim with star-studded performances, many were forgettable, others were memorable for the wrong reasons, while some proved exactly why the nominated artists deserve to be on the Grammys stage. Here are my picks for the 5 best performances at the 59th annual Grammy awards (along with a few honorable mentions). 5. Katy Perry feat. Skip Marley “Chained to the Rhythm” Although she’s been out of the spotlight for a little while, Katy Perry showed she’s back and better than ever with a fresh blonde bob and a powerful political statement. She opened up her performance

Hip Hop Culture

Digging in the crates with Virginia Tech librarian, Craig Arthur, and undergrad student, Dylan Holliday, led me to the discovery of hip hop culture, which includes much more than just music. Hip-hop, in my eyes, has always been the combination of looped beats and poetic lyrics – nothing more. After a short interview with these two DJs, not only was my view expanded, but also, their passion provoked a pull in my chest like a magnetic force drawing my heart towards an unseen chunk of iron. Hip-hop is a way of life, a means of expression, a foundation on which to portray one’s self and understand others. Dylan’s first experience with hip-hop was in the eighth grade when he was exposed to graffi

What I've Learned Working With Kids

For the past four summers, I’ve spent my time working with preschoolers at a summer camp. Between pony rides, pool time, and field trips, each day is stressful, exhausting, but most of all, rewarding. Through working with kids, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever expected, and I wouldn’t exchange those experiences for anything. Kids teach you to find the fun in everything. There’s something so unique about the way a a five-year-old views the world, and it serves as a reminder that it’s okay to look at the world that way too sometimes. It’s okay to have fun in everyday activities, and that just because you don’t want to do something doesn’t mean that you can’t make the best out of it.

First Drafts

Anne Lamott is one of my new favorite authors (she’s been writing for a while— I’m a little late to the game), and this quote of hers is also one of my new favorites: “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something— anything— down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head.” When people ask what I like to do, I say, “writing,” almost without hesitation. When they ask what I’m good at, though, I say something like cooking. It’s true; I am pretty good at cooking. I make really good scrambled eggs, I can throw together a stir-fry out of whatever’s in my f

The Unsung Value of the Moss Arts Center

The Moss Arts Center is a vibrant part of not just Virginia Tech’s creative community, but also Blacksburg’s community as a whole. Yet it remains underrated. Although most students have at least heard of the Moss Arts Center, many have never been there or don’t know where it’s located. To be honest, even though I have been living on campus for almost two years now, I have only seen one performance there. And I am starting to realize how much I’ve been missing out. As students, we should realize how lucky we are to have a place like the Moss Arts Center, a home for creativity, located conveniently on campus. The tickets are cheap and are even cheaper with a student discount. Additionally, you

Cobblestones

What is the true definition of creativity? How do you put words to a multifaceted process that differs from one person’s mind to the next? What does creativity look like to you? The beauty lays in the diversity- the broad spectrum of expressionism. There is no string of words that could appropriately describe ‘creative.’ It’s just something you do, something that can’t necessarily be explained, something that surpasses words and connects humans to each other. Recently, my eyes have been drawn to masterpieces, whether that is a beautifully put together documentary or a dense poem. My ears have been picking up the quietest of melodies from the birds singing outside of my window to The Monkees

Revisiting Old Friends

Photo: Jayne Ross I have this yellow cardigan that I bought a few months ago from Target, and it’s by far my favorite article of clothing that I own. In recent weeks, friends have started to point out just how I often I wear this cardigan. One of them jokingly calls it “the Jayne Sweater.” I suppose I could be embarrassed by this, but hey, if the sweater fits, might as well wear it. And I do— with just about anything. It’s perfectly warm and cozy, it’s roomy and comfortable, and it has pockets. Pockets! I have a pair of pair of shoes much like this sweater: my Rainbow-brand flip flops, gifted to me for my most recent birthday. Not even a full year old, these leather sandals have darkened a

VR Challenge: Part One

I used to think of a ratty old box storing my old notebooks and random household items when I heard the word “cardboard.” After the VR Challenge Kick-Off on Friday, February 3rd, however, “cardboard” has a cleaner, more attractive meaning for me. Sponsored by Google and hosted by E-Club and Hackers at VT, the kick-off event began a 6-week virtual reality challenge for 94 students composing 24 teams. These teams have the opportunity to use Google Cardboard to make the best possible Virtual Reality app by the end of the challenge, though the ultimate goal of the VR Challenge is to familiarize students with VR development and instill confidence in their personal abilities. The timeline for the

"Let's Go! LD!"

The crowd packed into Burruss Hall deviated from the usual VT favorite, “Let’s Go! Hokies!” on Friday, February 10th. Instead, the 3003 individuals who attended the sold-out concert chanted the initials of Lil Dicky, the comedic rapper headlining the event. David Andrew Burd, or Lil Dickey, is a songwriter and rapper who had an interesting beginning to his career. Working in San Francisco at an advertising agency, he delivered his three-page monthly progress report in the form of a rap video. He was then moved to the agency’s creative department, and found a fan base for his rap on Twitter and YouTube. In an interview with HipHopDX in 2014, Burd explained that he “started rapping simply to g

Communities Conquer Walls

This world may be home to a diverse group of individuals, but there is certainly one thing that we all have in common: the struggle. We hit a wall at some point in our lives; everyone has in one way or another. My wall probably looks different than yours, but it is still a common ground that we can connect on. Personally, my walls have seemed infinite in the past six months. Right as I shimmy my way over one, another is there waiting for me, laughing in my face, and doubting my strength. I will begin the usual climb that I’ve grown so accustomed to, but at the same time each ascend brings a new battle that hits me right in the belly of my insecurities. This past week I was feeling confident

Artist Spotlight: Sara Rose Joy-Hogg

Resident Insta-baddie, HerCampus writer, makeup artist and Journalism student Sara Rose Joy-Hogg is a unique member of the Virginia Tech creative community. Posting new makeup looks almost daily on Instagram, Sara continues to innovate and inspire as an up-and-coming beauty influencer. After following her social media for quite some time, I had the privilege of exchanging emails with Sara this past week. How did you first get interested in makeup? I think my initial interest stemmed from my parents forbidding me to wear makeup. It made me want to do it more so I started sneaking concealer and mascara in high school. When I got to college, people noticed that I was "pretty good" at eye shadow

You Go, Meryl...and Emma, and Ingrid, and...

Photo courtesy of Paul Dinkwater (NBC) About a month ago, actress Meryl Streep made headlines for the scathing speech she gave in response to receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes ceremony. Well, some would call it scathing. To others, it was genius. Whatever the range of reactions it invoked, its message was clear: in a country governed by Donald Trump and his administration, the power of the arts and a free press are more important than ever. I say, go Meryl. It’s hard to hate on Meryl Streep. And she’s right— good filmmaking and a free press should be celebrated. But beyond the content of her speech specifically, I’m all for celebrities using their platforms to champio

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