Comfort Zones

Everyone has a comfort zone or two… or a ten. It’s not an inherently bad thing to have them; it’s perfectly human to be drawn towards familiar, comfortable things. It only becomes dangerous when we never leave those things. Lately I’ve more readily admitted my own comfort zones to myself, and I’ve also made more of a conscious effort to break out of them once or twice. Acceptance is the first step to recovery, after all. Take last weekend, for example. I went on a service immersion trip with my service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, to Hendersonville, North Carolina. Not only had I never previously been to Hendersonville, I also had practically zero experience with the environmental conservati

On Virginia Tech’s Creative Community

After Silhouette hosted our first Creative Collab this past week, seeing the a few of the arts-based organizations come out caused me to reflect on what it means to be a part of Virginia Tech’s creative community. From WUVT to Studio Collective to DCVT, Virginia Tech has a diverse number of organizations promoting art, literature, and performance. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of STEM and sports here, but these organizations manage to get their voices heard through different forms of media. For example, Studio Collective showcases and promotes the work of students in the Architecture and Design school here. Glossolalia, an annual literary festival, is an opportunity for the work of wr

7 Creative, Trailblazing Women You May Not Know

Murasaki Shikibu This week marks the end of Women’s History Month, a time to honor extraordinary women who changed the way we look at the world. However, some women have been unfairly overlooked by history, despite making large impacts. This post highlights a few pioneering women ¾ who you may not know or who you have forgotten about ¾ who have made significant contributions in creative fields. Murasaki Shikibu Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973-1014) was a Japanese writer and lady-in-waiting during the Heian period. She is considered to be the world’s first novelist for writing The Tale of Genji. The 1,100-page novel, which is believed to have taken over a decade to complete, is considered a masterpi

Beauty and the Beast; or Perfection and the Beast

As a self-respecting young woman with a beloved childhood memory of watching Disney VHS’s on repeat, today I saw the new live-action Beauty and the Beast film. I may be a few weeks late to the party, but what can I say? It was never my absolute favorite. When they make Pocahontas I’ll be there at midnight. Or Anastasia (yes, I know it’s not Disney, but whatever. It was still one of my most watched tapes). I’ve been looking forward to seeing the remake of 1991’s Beauty and the Beast ever since I heard that Emma Watson would play Belle. She’s strong and intelligent and even kind of looks like the animated Belle, so what could go wrong? Her portrayal of Belle was in fact spot on, but I’m pretty

Lessons from La La Land

La La Land’s Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) It is rare that a new movie comes along and earns a spot on my mental trophy case of all-time favorites. Most of my favorites are classics that came out years ago, like Mary Poppins or Lord of the Rings. But I just can’t get recent Oscar-winner La La Land out of my head. I saw it for the first time over winter break, wrote about it in my last Silhouette post, and saw it again last week. I’d watch it a third time in a heartbeat. Seeing it for a second time made the emotions I felt upon first seeing it hit me even harder. The movie centers around two dreamers in Los Angeles: one wants to be an actress, the other the owner of a successf

VR Challenge: Part Three

On Friday, March 17, 2017, eight teams comprised of 35 students demoed their virtual reality apps at Demo Day, the final part of the VR Challenge. This challenge, hosted by E-club and Hackers at VT and sponsored by Google, kicked off on Friday, February 3, 2017 and since that date, teams have worked hard researching and designing their own virtual reality worlds. The culmination of the past six weeks came on Demo Day when students showcased their new VR apps to the judges and community. At the VR Challenge Kick-off in February, 24 teams signed up to participate. Three weeks into the project, 14 teams were still working on their apps, dropping down to eight teams demoing on Friday. While it w

The Pros and Cons of Books and TV

I’m willing to bet that the only reading the majority of college students do is required for their classes, if they even do that. It seems that reading feels like a chore to a lot of people, maybe because it requires active participation. You can’t scroll through Instagram or text your friend back without taking your eyes off of a book. Or if you can, you must be either very talented or superhuman. Reading requires your full concentration. Sometimes you have to read a paragraph multiple times, only because your mind wandered the tiniest bit. TV, on the other hand, you can watch more passively. Of course, some people get very invested in TV shows and let what happens in their favorite shows b

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