Category Archives: Underground

Pacing the Cage

A Portrait of the Pit: Some super swole dudes in a woman’s world

by Sam Brasch, editor

“Excuse me, would you mind if we got ripped in here?”

The poor female near the entrance of the Tiger Pit, looking up from her power squats, had to hesitate before she responded. I couldn’t blame her. Here were two guys, one wearing short-shorts and knee-high socks, another clad in denim and a soiled sleeveless flannel, asking if they could gain access to a work out room full of sweaty women stuffed into spandex. In the words of the immortal Big Bird, “some of these things are not like the others.” “Yeah, sure, go right ahead, I guess,” she said, recovering from the initial shock. “You know, you guys aren’t the first boys ever to come in here.” Continue reading

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The people we love are not what they seem

by Jitu Varansi, guest writer

The Illuminati lurk. Look hard enough and you can see the signs of the nefarious group everywhere. The All-Seeing Eye embedded in a pyramid—long a symbol of Illuminati conspiracy—is printed on every American one-dollar bill. Everyone from George Bush to Barack Obama has proclaimed to be part of a “New World Order,” three words that have long underwritten the goals of this conspiring organization. They hide their presence in mathematical puzzles that can always be reduced to the same horrifying digits: 6—6—6! The Illuminati hide behind every major political and historic event, pulling the strings from behind a curtain of secrecy. They are the shrouded puppet masters of the world, and we their unknowing puppets, operating under an illusion of freedom. Continue reading


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Burdened with A Brand

The stigma of mental illness

words and illustrations by Andrea Tudhope, editor

“Everyone has a diagnosis,” local marriage and family therapist Laura Smith said as she pulled out a thick book, her hand dropping a bit as the weight shifted from the shelf to her arm. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association. The fifth and most recent 943-page volume, published in 2000, contains 365 identified diagnoses.

Has a friend ever told you that you are really moody when you are drunk? Diagnosis No. 291.89: Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorder. Has there ever been a day in which you really just didn’t want to see anyone? Diagnosis No. 301.7: Antisocial Personality Disorder. Have you ever been unable to sleep because of all that espresso you had while studying? Diagnosis No. 292.85: Caffeine-Induced Sleep Disorder. Have you ever fought with your sibling because he or she was being obnoxious? Diagnosis No. V61.8: Sibling Relational Problem. Do you ever feel sad or nostalgic about being away from your parents? Diagnosis No. 309.21: Separation Anxiety Disorder. If you answered yes to any of these questions, the DSM tells us you have a mental disorder. Continue reading

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Heating Up

One man’s foray into the inferno of hot sauce

by Bridger Langfur, guest writer

I am a guy who has had many love affairs. Most of them could be described as passionate and heated. Some might earn the title of scorching, blazing, or even caliente. But I met my greatest, spiciest, love when I was eight years old at the home of my friend Kaushik. It was a romance I would never forget—a romance I could literally taste years afterward. Continue reading

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The Freshmore Experience

Coping with CC’s cold shoulder

by Sam Faktorow, guest writer; illustration by Eleanor Anderson, editor

It was about this time two years ago when I first set foot onto the Colorado College campus. A senior in high school, I knew I was somewhere between eight and nine months away from starting my freshman year at Somethingorother University, the College of Whatsitcalled, or perhaps Godknowswhat College. By the end of the tour, my uncertainty regarding the school at which I would like to spend four of the best years of my life evaporated into the cool, Colorado Springs air. “Colorado College is the one,” I thought to myself. By that time, I had already applied and checked the little box that said Early Action. “I’ll get in no sweat,” I told myself confidently. A month later, in January, I was deferred. Senioritis was beginning to set in. Fast forward two more months. Wait listed! (Maybe I shouldn’t have let senioritis kick in so hard so early on . . . ) Two months more pass, it’s early May. I received this note through e-mail (yes, through e-mail):

Dear Sam,

Congratulations! I am honored to invite you to be a member of the Winter Start Program in the Colorado College Class of 2013. You are one of the few selected from our waiting list to participate in this program. This program will allow you and as many as fifty of your classmates to enroll at Colorado College at the start of our second semester in January 2010.

Wait, what? So, I’ve been accepted. But I can’t come until January. Is that what you’re telling me, CC Admissions? After finishing my application and interviewing in October, prospie-ing in December, being deferred in January, getting wait listed in March, I’ve finally been in accepted in May, only to be told I can’t come until second semester? After a brief existensial crisis in which I reconsidered my desire to attend CC, I confirmed my acceptance, signed the papers, made my deposit, and began my journey as one of the least understood minorities at CC: a Winter Start. Continue reading

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Break It Down, Now

Turning composting dreams into realities

by Zoë Isabella, guest writer; illustrations by Becca Levi, staff artist

There are two man-made structures that can be seen from space: one is the Great Wall of China, and the other is the Fresh Kills Landfill of New York, USA. Americans generate 251 million tons of trash annually. 32.5 percent of that is recycled or composted and therefore diverted from the landfill. That leaves 196.2 million tons of trash added to our landfills every year—much of which could be diverted. But how? Recycling and composting—the act of intercepting waste materials destined for a landfill, changing their course, and adding to their lifespan by turning them into useful resources for our society—are our most important methods of waste diversion. Continue reading

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The Future of Film

The ultimate anticlimax

by Meredith Mantik, guest writer

Students are worried about the future of film at Colorado College. They should be.

They see student films on the CC website and at the CC Film Fest, hear about the new filmmaking facilities and equipment, and even meet successful CC alums like director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), Academy-Award-nominated Tim Sexton (Children of Men), documentary filmmaker Doug Pray (Art & Copy), writer/producer Aaron Shure (The Office), and writer/producer Neal Baer (Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit, ER). Still, filmmaking on campus remains veiled in obscurity. Not only that, but the program that CC was already struggling to solidify now faces complete dissolution. Continue reading

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Confidential Critters

Ferrets and hedgehogs and rats—oh my!

by Kate Wihtol, editor; illustration by Teal Francis, staff artist

“It was the spring of 2007 and Emma Juniper* was becoming more and more excited about coming to Colorado College in the fall. On top of picking out her meal plan and bedspread color scheme, Emma had also made plans for the ultimate college companion: a pet of her own to ease the isolation and melancholy that come with a new and unfamiliar home. “People need something soft and warm and loving,” Juniper said. “It relaxes them, allows them to have a better college experience.”

Little did Emma know that her new rat, Valentine, would draw her into to one of the college’s most clandestine communities: the society of secret pets. In bringing a pet into her Loomis dorm room freshman year, Emma managed to dodge the college’s newly restrictive pet policy. “When I asked the college for permission, they still allowed pets,” said Juniper. “So [Valentine] kind of got grandfathered in.” While the rest of her hall mates yearned for a playmate of their own, Emma relished in the delight of her distinctive privilege. “Freshman and sophomore years I was the most visible person with an animal, so I got to know every other illegal animal in the building.” As it turns out, our little campus is thriving with all sorts of confidential critters. Continue reading

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A Rant on Muffins, Existentialism and Kilimanjaro

by Johanna Holbrook, staff writer; illustration by Sarah Wool, editor

This wheely chair is quite comfortable. I have found, in my experience, that the majority of wheely chairs are. I am perched on this one, hunched over my notebook in intense concentration as my friend completes her archeology homework at the table across from me. She is going abroad next semester, expanding her life’s boundaries to include the African continent. I can almost see the last grains of sand cascading to the bottom half of her hourglass and . . . Continue reading

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Ghosts on the Subterraneo

Brushing shoulders with the phantoms of Buenos Aires

by Claire McKeever, guest writer

There’s a phantom station on my subway line.

As if there weren’t already enough to contend with each time I trudge down into the veins of Buenos Aires. In a city of thirteen million, it’s always rush hour. I get swept along by a tide of businessmen, students, and grandmothers. Salesmen hawk their wares: “Ladies and gentlemen! The best [socks, pens, chocolate, umbrella], yours for only a few tiny pesitos!” The omnipresent kioscos and newspaper stands mirror their surface counterparts, their slipshod shelves vending everything from pastries to used books. Ragged children tug my sleeve to offer slips of paper, begging for God’s mercy and my monedas.

And now there are ghosts, too. Continue reading

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