All posts by D

Bob’s Burgers asserts its place as king of cartoons

Michael Hatchett

A&E Editor

Good news, fans of the Belcher family! The season five premiere of Bob’s Burgers is as delightfully quirky and funny as other seasons of the show. For those who aren’t devotees of the show, Bob’s Burgers centers around restaurant owner Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin), his wife Linda (John Roberts), and their three children, Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal). The show, created by Loren Bouchard (known for cult animated show Home Movies) premiered in 2011 and began its fifth season on Oct. 4 2014.

Before delving into the latest episode, it’s important to note the odd place that Bob’s Burgers occupies in broadcast television. When I first discovered the show, I expected to hate it. I thought it was going to be just another FOX animated show about a fat guy and his family. The Simpsons has settled into predictable mediocrity, Family Guy’s offensive middle-school humor has grown tiresome, and American Dad is Family Guy’s stranger, weaker cousin. These aren’t necessarily the worst shows on television, but there’s nothing exciting or original about them anymore. Bob’s Burgers rises above its neighbors because of its bizarre humor and honest sincerity.

Simply put, it’s more human and believable than its cartoon companions. While it contains the same absurd plot lines of an animated show, such as robotic toilets, bizarre hostage situations and mythical creatures, it tackles them with a warm humanity. The truly wonderful thing about the show is the genuinely positive feelings that the characters have for one another. They argue and clash with each other like any other family, but the bickering is not the primary focus of the show.

The show’s standout character is Bob’s teenage daughter, Tina, who, despite the fact that she is voiced by a 33 year-old man, is one of the most accurate representations of a teenage girl that I’ve ever seen in an animated television show. She’s sweet, smart, vulnerable, romantic, confident and ultimately, human. She gets some of the show’s most memorable quotes (“My heart just pooped its pants” and “Your ass is grass, and I’m gonna mow it” are personal favorites), and her erotic fantasies are one of the show’s best running jokes. She might be the show’s weirdest character, but the fact that she is proud of her awkward nature and pubescent sexuality is what allows her to be seen as a three-dimensional character rather than just a punch line for the other characters to mock (looking at you, Family Guy).

The newest episode contains a plot only Bob’s Burgers could pull off: a competition between two rival middle school musicals, both themed around hit movies from the 1980s. When Gene becomes frustrated that his musical adaptation of Die Hard is rejected in favor of his ex-girlfriend Courtney’s musical adaptation of Working Girl, he decides to stage it in the school’s hidden boiler room. While the episode is rooted in pop culture references, it is still enjoyable even if you aren’t familiar with the two films being adapted. The episode’s best joke goes to Louise, who responds to her father’s statement “Working Girl’s the film that inspired me to be anything I wanted to be!” by quipping “And so you’re this?” Overall, the episode moves at a comfortable pace, and while it’s not the funniest episode, it’s a solid premiere that reaffirms Bob’s Burgers status as the best animated show on television.

To those who haven’t seen the show, the first three seasons are on Netflix Instant View. Also worth noting is that in the next episode of the fifth season, Tina falls in love with a ghost. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

Students experience life in the big city with City Trek: Cleveland

oct17 City trek story

Sanjana Kumbhani
Features Editor

For a lot of college students, one of our biggest fears is the question, “So what happens after graduation?” It’s important for us to start thinking about what we plan to do with our lives, especially our career and graduate school opportunities. Another vital component of this plan is location — where we want to settle or at least spend a few years working. For this reason, APEX launched a fall break program this year, called City Trek Cleveland, with two primary aims: one, to provide students with a professional development experience, and two, to expose students to what it may be like to live and work in Cleveland and introduce them to what the city has to offer in terms of job opportunities, entertainment and beauty.

This two-and-a-half day program started off with a short preparatory session advising students on the itinerary of the program and what to expect. The next day, the group drove to Cleveland and visited the offices of many large companies such as Progressive Insurance, Quicken Loans, Thunder::tech and some small ones too, like Ohio City Farm and the Market Garden Brewery. Most of the visits were possible because of alumni who work at or have previously worked with these companies. The students had the chance to personally interact with the employees and witness the activities of the companies. For example, at the brewery they were shown how the beer was made. The following day, each student had the chance to shadow at one of the 10 different companies. They even had the opportunity to attend a reception with Judge Solomon Oliver ’68, a federal court judge. The group stayed in Ohio City at the Cleveland Hostel.

“The success of the program was overwhelmingly fantastic. The students were great and went with the flow, and our hosts were brilliant,” said Ryan Ozar, program facilitator.

Part of the experience included a scavenger hunt in downtown Cleveland, a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a drive through the affluent and poor parts of the city to give students a feel for disparities within Cleveland.

“My favorite part was really getting to see parts of Cleveland I had never seen before. Until this trip, my interaction with Cleveland was basically the airport and a Thai restaurant, but City Trek really showed me Cleveland as a booming city with a lot to offer, especially to recent grads looking for jobs and a place that isn’t exorbitant. I loved the Ohio City neighborhood — reminds me a lot of Soho,” said Kanika Issar ’15.

Leadership essentials: talks, visits and case studies about leadership

Drew Maakestad
Contributing Writer

Drew Maakestad participated in the Leadership Essentials Workshop and is writing from her perspective.

What do a center for the arts, a hospital, a technology manufacturing company and the City Hall of Wooster, Ohio all have in common? One key thing, which makes a world of difference: leadership. But then, what is leadership and what makes someone a leader? Last week, over the course of three days, ten students came together as members of the Leadership Essentials Fall Break Workshop, put on by Peter Abramo, director of the Department for Entrepreneurship, to further understand the concept of leadership. After the three-day workshop was over, everyone walked away with a firm grasp on what leadership is and what it truly means to be a good leader.

The Leadership Essentials Workshop consisted of five visits to affluent companies and organizations throughout Wooster, a visit with Mayor Brenneman, a luncheon with members of the Young Professionals program and a closing dinner with Wooster alumni Steve and Sandy Nichols. The perspective that we received from visiting such a diverse array of companies and organizations, from the Wayne Center for the Arts to RBB Manufacturing, Inc., made one thing apparent to us: leadership is constant.

Regardless of the major you choose in college, the skill set you have, or the job you end up in, the concept of leadership is applicable everywhere. We also learned that it is not simply a desire to lead that makes someone a strong leader. The heart and mind of a person must be fully invested in the process of becoming someone who can successfully lead others.

Over the course of the three day workshop, we met with several leaders and asked the same questions of each: what is leadership? What makes someone a strong leader? We found that a leader sees the big picture; the whole forest, rather than focusing on one tree. A leader develops a culture in an organization and grows trust among the people they lead. A leader must listen and engage.

Dee Vaidya, the CEO of Nobel Tech and a ground-breaking entrepreneur, provided an opinion that stuck with many of us. He said, “No matter what you say, people look at what you do.” Leadership is a process. Some people are born skilled leaders, while others develop the skills over time. Regardless of the path one takes to becoming a leader, it is something everyone can benefit from knowing, and the Leadership Essentials Workshop is just the place to do it. I would give the program five stars and I think my fellow members would say the same.

Investment manager to visit Wooster

Sanjana Kumbhani
Features Editor

As college students who often struggle handling even a couple hundred dollars of flex, it is close to impossible to imagine someone who has been successful in handling more than nine billion dollars. This year, Managing Member of Gardner, Russo and Gardner Thomas Russo will present a lecture on “Global Value Equity Investing” as part of the Economics department’s James R. Wilson lecture series. This is the first time an investment manager will speak at the College as part of the series.

A graduate of Dartmouth College (B.A. 1977) and Stanford Business and Law School (J.D./M.B.A. 1984), Russo joined Gardner, Russo and Gardner LLC as a partner in 1989 and became Managing Member in 2014. He has also been one of the most successful endowment managers of the College’s investments since August 2005, and the part of the College’s endowment fund that he manages beat the market average calculated by S&P 500 by 2.5 percent and almost doubled the MSCI World’s Index.

His lecture will focus on his investment strategies, highlighting what he believes makes a company a good candidate for a potential investment. Forbes Magazine referred to Russo as a renowned value investor who “loves high quality companies with family-oriented management.” Russo has also previously expressed that he “likes companies that have the capacity to suffer.”

Associate Professor of Economics Charalambos (Harry) Michael said, “The lecture will give students, especially those part of the Jenny Investment Club, a chance to compare and contrast investing strategies.”

James R. Wilson Professor of Business Economics John Sell emphasized that one of the most important aims of this particular lecture is to present a remarkable example of a liberal arts education and to show Wooster students how the knowledge they acquire through their major is applicable in the real world. Another objective of the lecture is for Wooster students to learn the importance of an endowment fund. A higher endowment fund reduces the burden of tuition and other fees, so the success of a college’s endowment directly benefits its students. Furthermore, everyone will have to manage their finances someday, which is why this lecture is targeted toward everyone, not just economics and business economics majors.

“In previous years, we have brought in CEOs of various companies like Intel Corporation, Southwest Airlines, The Timken Company, BB&T Corporation and even a retired Federal Reserve vice chair. It is unique in the sense that it brings speakers from the business field who are actually doing things in the world today and are not just analysts.”

The series in general also gives students the unique opportunity to interact with the speaker personally during a reception that is held immediately after the lecture.

The lecture will be held in the Wilson Governance room in the lower level of the Scot Center on Wed. Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Coffee: Make it better!

Lily Iserson
A&E Editor

Coffee and espresso, the impetus of the modern undergrad. And why not? Apart from its obvious benefits for the sleep-deprived, studies show that coffee can improve even the most harried I.S. student’s focus and creativity. More impressive yet, a Harvard study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine argued that coffee could even diminish symptoms of depression.

Sadly, so many C-Store/Old Main frequenters restrict the creativity of their coffee options by pure habit. A plain mocha here, an uninspired iced coffee there — it’s downright sad. Don’t even get me started on the notorious chai latte: absent of any espresso whatsoever, the drink’s little more than hot cinnamon milk.

I argue that there’s more to life.

As such, I present a few of my favorite C-Store/Old Main “recipes” and little-known Starbucks menu items — perhaps some of you may find a new favorite among my own. (And don’t forget to thank your barista!)

  1. My mornings are usually stressful, full of speedy readings, work shifts and hastily eaten muffins. When I’m looking for a pleasant-tasting energy boost, I order a Vanilla Café Au Lait, a little-known and underrated coffee classic. The beverage combines one part coffee and one part steamed milk — I simply ask for a vanilla flavor shot on top of it. Properly made, the coffee’s bold flavor prevents the drink from becoming overwhelmingly sweet, yet it’s a far cry from black coffee’s unrelenting bitterness.
  2. I’m always a fan of the classic mocha, a latte with a chocolate base and whipped cream. But why stop there? While I always recommend adding caramel, hazelnut or toffee, I’d like to mention some less acknowledged syrups. Peppermint or Raspberry mochas are perfect, not-too-indulgent drinks that wonderfully complement a break in the Pit. In a similar vein, try ordering a Pumpkin Spice Latte with a few pumps of chocolate — although these flavors appear contradictory, the result is nothing short of mind-opening.
  3. Fancy yourself a chocolate addict? Ask your barista for a Hot Chocolate Latte coupled with any of the flavors I’ve mentioned above. Its unique embrace with sweet, syrupy goodness makes it worth saving your flex for a cold day in December — believe me, you’ll thank yourself.
  4. Order a plain latte, extra hot, and ask your barista if they’re willing to add a bag of Earl Grey tea for a flowery London Fog. (Note that you can always add the tea bag yourself if your barista’s busy; always mind your barista!) I personally enjoy London Fogs with a little honey stirred in when settling into my afternoon Netflix routine.
  5. PS, honey is a wonderful addition to your standard Dirty Chai Latte, which I also prefer with a touch of hazelnut.
  6. And now for a particularly decadent beverage, which one C-Store employee described as “sick” (with love): the Salted Caramel Mocha. This monstrosity’s a volatile combination of caramel and toffee with a chocolate base, whipped cream, caramel topping, and sea-salt. Perfect for any occasion and, as Donna and Tom say on Parks and Recreation, the best way to “treat yo’self,” I can only describe the taste as delightfully saccharine.

Staff Editorial:

The Wooster Voice staff shares our view on the Party Monitor Policy’s effect on drinking

A recurring topic of this semester has been the attempted introduction of party-space-limiting rules and the continued enforcement of vague and unclear party monitor policies. The reason for these policies is reportedly to put a stop to, or at least limit, irresponsible drinking behaviors. While most of the criticism of these policies has been focused on their ambiguity and the consequent difficulty with respect to enforcement, less has addressed the systemic ways in which the policy fails to encourage responsible drinking. Both through the behaviors it actually encourages and the ways it goes about encouraging them, the Party Monitor Policy is unsuccessful when it comes to encouraging responsible, intelligent drinking.

The first concern is what behaviors the policy actually encourages. Some attention has been given to this in conversation surrounding the party monitor policies. It is the concern of some that binge drinking in rooms (and the consequent risk of sexual assault) has increased because of the limitations on where parties can occur and increased stringency with respect to who is allowed inside. There is some anecdotal evidence behind this statement; various Greek leaders have reported an uptick in younger students (particularly first years) showing up to parties already incredibly drunk. If this is true, and if it resulted from the Party Monitor Policy, then it would undoubtedly be the case that the policy was having an inimical effect on student life.

This claim has been hotly contested, though. Some, including members of the administration, have argued that drinking always occurred in rooms. Implicit in this claim is the idea that the practice of doing so has not increased substantially since the implementation of the policy. This is often joined by the claim that the number of alcohol-related incidents has decreased since the policy was put into place. (It is questionable, though, whether there is an actual causal relationship between the implementation of the policy and the decrease in drinking incidents. Some of the decrease could be related to confusion about where individuals are able to host parties and other similar ambiguities in the policies.) If true, this would seem to be a mark in favor of the Party Monitor Policy. It is a powerful response to the claim that the policy encourages bad behaviors.

However, this is not the only concern with the way that the policy does or does not encourage responsible drinking. For responsibility to be the byproduct of a policy like the Party Monitor Policy, there must be agency given in both a broader and more limited sense than the current policy allows. For example, the current policy requires that alcohol be served by a third party and that it come only in the form of beer. While the first makes sense — it is a policy that makes sure students know what they are drinking, which has not always been the case — the second is unnecessarily restrictive. If the aim is to encourage responsible drinking, why not allow students a choice in what to drink? It is far from the case that the only responsible drinking comes in the form of beer drinking. Instead of limiting the permissible drinks to “certified” beer, why not allow the introduction of other drinks, including possibly supervised drink mixing. If the concern is that mixed drinks can have dangerous ingredients, then the restrictions should be designed to solve that problem alone. They currently and unnecessarily do far more.

Finally, there is no focus in the current policy on how much the students have actually had to drink or what their levels of inebriation are. Any policy actually concerned with responsible drinking will be more concerned with monitoring the actual students and not the process of providing them with drinks. In its current form, the Party Monitor Policy only does the second. True development of responsibility with respect to drinking requires the first. This is the type of individual development that the ethos of Wooster requires.

The administration and Campus Council are implementing policies that they claim encourage responsible drinking. The term “responsible” is both a deeper and narrower term than the definition they are using. They use it as synonymous with “not unsafe,” but responsibility is so much more than that, and if Wooster wants to encourage us students to be responsible, their policies need to change. Anything else falls short of the liberal arts promise by failing to develop engaged, critical, thoughtful and principled students. Continue reading Staff Editorial: