A window inside life at Augustana College

GO Mind Racer!


I am a man with too much time on his hands. With that time I daydream. The mind races and thinks the same way a child speaks after a sugar fueled Christmas binge. Their little bodies downing sugar like a downtrodden Tony Montana downs daddy sugar. Sometimes thoughts shoot into a person’s brain and they seem utterly insignificant until the obvious question comes along, if it’s insignificant why is it on one’s mind? My two and five year old cousins, two ferocious rolling balls of destructive cuteness, think everything is amazing. Everything is amazing and should feel amazing to them because it’s brand new. They have yet to grow as cynical as their twenty-two year old cousin who cries every time he watches Forrest Gump. Little Forrest Gump Jr. tugs on my heart strings like they were made of Greek ethos and he is yo-yo ma. The point is I hate most everything, its how I enjoy life. I’m happiest when I’m miserable, I find the misery in everything. It’s a gift seeing the glass full of stuff I’m going to drink even though I was told not too. Everything is amazing and I say that thinking of an old videogame called Primal Rage. I didn’t know the name of it other than that “videogame where the apes and dinosaurs fought like Mortal Kombat during the early 90’s fight game craze”. After scouring the internet like a person with the world at his fingertips should, I found it.


The coolest thing I could ever see as a kid was a toy from a show I watched or a video game I played. I’m sure I gained some amount of charisma from attempting to charm my parents into buying whatever flavor of the minute toy I was into during my early walking years. Walking by Primal Rage toys came to my mind and it occurred to me how easy it is to market to children. That’s my realization for the day. One of those light bulb moments from a cartoon that takes a long time to light up, like understanding what a cliché means but not really understanding it because you have no life experience in that matter yet. Then one day something happens along those lines and you let out a big, “ooooooooooooh, I get it now, time on his hands! Clocks tell time and they have hands! ” while sipping an iced Frappuccino from Mcdonalds because we’re not going to Starbucks this week hombre.

"Come at me bro, I'll love it"

“Come at me bro, I’ll love it”



If that analogy doesn’t cut it for you, its like me pronouncing potpourri with the T until I was thirteen. I also pronounced Yosemite like vegemite until I was around eight. Took me a while. I won the school spelling bee in sixth grade on the word “missile toe”.


Also For the rest of this year I will be accepting and also handing out weekly challenges for myself from others. Triple dog dare me to do stuff and I’ll most likely do it.

For example, one of these weeks I will be living in my car off of an allotted amount of canned goods and bottled water. I will only be allowed to access Academic buildings and Carver. Swimming do-gooder and alumni Justin Reppy wanted me to do it last year for charity. I don’t know how that was going to work out but I’m still game. We spit in our hands and shook on it so I have to do it.




Party on Augie.

Augustana People: Ben “Candy Necklaces” Hodges

I met Ben before we even set foot in a classroom. Getting to know him through football and living as a 1J warrior in Westerlin has been a pleasure. Some of Ben’s accolades as an athlete at Augustana include lettering all four years, being named Team Captain, and he is the recipient of the Jerry Freck Award. The Jerry Freck award  is selected by the coaching staff to honor the player who has done the most to overcome obstacles and shown great perseverance.

I know the following about Ben: He is a great conversationalist, his mother packs him scented sprays that allegedly improve studying habits, he has a girlfriend, he can run surprisingly fast for a man with two legs made of balsa wood, his girlfriend enjoys his subpar cooking and his excellent diction. tumblr_inline_mkr887PrT91qz4rgp   Get to know Ben a little better.


GM: What brought you to Augustana?


BH: Athletics is originally what brought me to Augustana. I was recruited to play football and was also presented with the opportunity to run track. From day one my life has been immersed in athletic competition, so I couldn’t imagine giving it up. After spending my first night on campus for a recruiting visit I knew this is where I wanted to be. I was shown the time of my life at Forsetti House and met awesome people. On top of that, I really enjoyed the campus environment and the idea of being at a small school where the professors knew who you were. 1240391_10201730906410626_1917935982_n



What advice do you have for incoming Freshmen?

Advice to incoming freshmen: while you don’t need to decide what you want to do with your life immediately, don’t assume you’ll have all the time in the world. College is a great way to explore the world and the opportunities that come from it; explore life in college, but don’t drift through it. Search for what you may want to do after college while also thinking seriously about the options you have. Step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and decide what’s right for you. As long as you keep embracing new experiences and recognizing opportunity, you will continue making strides to discovering what your life might be. It’s true you don’t need to choose your life or career path the second you arrive at school. Hell, you might spend two full years in college and still not know. But don’t mistake four years for 10. The sooner you start to seriously think about what you want get from life or what you want to make a career out of the better off you’ll be.

Who is your favorite mountain man from the early frontier days of the United States? What many people don’t know, but should, is that the mountain men of the early American frontier are solely responsible for shaping the country we live in today. Everywhere we look, if examine closely, we can begin to peel back the shades of time and uncover the significant contributions made by these glorious gentlemen. Such a man went by the name of John Colter. Colter invented what modern day college aged Americans term the ‘Naked Mile’. Except in Colter’s case, he spent 11 naked days in the mountain west fleeing from the attack of the Blackfoot Indian tribe. Man-with-beard-approves








What is your greatest fear and why?


My greatest fear is of heights because I don’t have wings or any natural means for surviving a high altitude fall.


Duck, Duck, Goose?


Goose, you flying (he didn’t saying flying but I won’t tell on him) idiot.


What do you think the biggest difference is between you now and who you were when you first came to Augustana?


I feel much more cultured and knowledgeable about the world as a whole now compared to when I first came to Augustana.


Alice Cooper once said, “school’s out for summer, school’s out forever” do you think he should be running an elementary school in Texas? I don’t think he is but I definitely endorse it.



I think everyone deserves a fair chance to run an elementary school in Texas.

10307412_10152010760251541_8806734129797377167_n Who shot the deputy?

The sheriff, obviously.

Have you studied abroad and if not where would you want to go? I had the privilege and opportunity to spend a week in France with the Augustana College football team as we prepared to take on the French national team. While this may not have been a study abroad trip per se, I learned about many of the differences that exist between American and French culture. I was able to experience the unique ways of French dining and also got to meet many people born and raised in the country. It was amazing to hear how many people spoke English fluently, which made getting around the towns much easier.

















You have an evil cat (they’re all evil) threatening your life. How you Creatively kill it nine times?

A continuous network of 9 wood chippers in which the debris of one shoots into the chipper of the other.popcorn_the_it_crowd















Thanks for your insight Ben and thanks for reading.

2014-A Disorganized Photographic Journey (For Serious Folks)



This  past year Augustana presented me many opportunities to experience the country and do what I love at the same time. Here is a small collection of photos that highlighted a special journey. Thanks again.


Last day of Summer school at the Atlantic Theater.

Broncos Game-Thanks for taking us Augustana!

Broncos Game-Thanks for taking us Augustana!



Opening for Jonny Loquasto, really respect and admire him as a comedian and a person. Admittedly, I had a terrible set and felt sorry for myself. He picked me up and I learned a ton from that. Always learning in the classroom and outside of it. I hope he blows up this year, he’s a tremendously funny dude and again, great person.


Mile High Stadium, as it will always be known.

Optimus Prime and Seth Hardcastle who happened to be vacationing in New York while I was living there.

Optimus Prime and Seth Hardcastle who happened to be vacationing in New York while I was living there.

Studying "abroad" in my home city of Denver at Pro Star Sports

Studying “abroad” in my home city of Denver at Pro Star Sports


Learning in the Atlantic Theater


Toys R’ Us- NYC


Notre Dame Stadium




Boston, MA


Meeting the Sklar Brothers

Denver Zombie Walk

Denver Zombie Walk



Manhattan, NY


Brooklyn, NY




Atlantic Theater folks on the subway. Literally from all over the globe in one spot.


Raziah Jone$


Lexington, MA-spot where the battle took place in the Revolutionary war.


my brother Raziah Jone$ opening for SeshHollowater Boyz. Really proud of all that he’s doing.




Supporting  Raziah Jone$-Here’s one of his videos. (Minor language)


Freedom tower NYC


Bob Mazooka toys


Heywire in the spring of ’14-Performing with these hooligans is always a good time.


Brooklyn, NY


Bob (me) and Carla (Cait Cairo) for Black Squirrel Production of Bob Mazooka Fun Time Action Hour For Kids-Link Here at Funny or Die (Don’t click if a butt/mimes/romance makes you squeamish)




jonny craig

Meeting Jonny Craig in New York, I’ve been listening to him since middle school.


Notre Dame football game- This was a dream trip and one I’ll never forget. The campus and atmosphere was beautiful.

Set of Sons and Daughters of Thunder with Josh Malone '14

Set of Sons and Daughters of Thunder with Josh Malone ’14


The Narrators, a monthly storytelling show in Denver that I was fortunate enough to be a part of. There is a tremendous comedy scene in Denver. The Arts are wonderful here.


Actors Theatre in Louisville, KY-went here on a field trip with the theatre department to experience the 38th annual Humana festival.


Atlantic Theatre in New York City

Lousiville, Kentucky and the bourbon trail after a weekend of theatre.

Lousiville, Kentucky British Gary, American Gary, American Kayla

Touchdown Jesus-University of Notre Dame

Touchdown Jesus-University of Notre Dame


Concord, MA


New York City with Holly Fraser and Jason A. Drago from the Atlantic

Brooklyn, NY-About sums up my experience

Brooklyn, Ny

Goodbye Yik Yak

An email went out today from the Student Government here at Augustana at 12:50 p.m. saying that the IT department here at Augustana has finally banned the use of the social media app, known as Yik Yak, from use on the Augustana internet. All of this transpired because there were offensive/ racist posts put on Yik Yak that garnered the attention of the BSU (Black Student Union) and Student Government.

To me, this is an outrage that the actions of a few have ultimately decided the use of an app for all.

Yes, the racist posts on Yik Yak were awful, but as soon as they were posted, they were down-voted to nonexistence by the Yik Yak community, showing that the Augustana community doesn’t condone such posts. Also, we have no evidence to say that a student was behind the event. We can only assume that it was, but it could have been a local who also used the app.

So because of these comments, Augustana has banned the only use of discussion for race that I have seen so far on this campus. The app allowed users to have discussions about their thoughts about the protest on Monday, Dec. 15th. I saw rational ideas about race in America, race on campus, and race in general. While there were negative posts, I was encouraged that students were in on the discussion.

The anonymity of the app allowed people to display their points without being labelled as a racist and being marked in a negative way. Yik Yak deserves a place here on campus because it can show views that the Augustana community to can resolve, rather than ignore it by banning the app.

Something New

Hey everyone, I’ve been gone for a little bit of time. So much has transpired since the last time I posted. I’m with WAUG, SAGA literary magazine, and am a member on the Observer. I recommend to anyone not involved with WAUG to get involved because it’s a blast and you can be on the radio. I also recommend anyone to be on the Observer. Building people skills is a great asset that working for the Observer helps build. Anyway I’ll be trying more to blog more and be more active. Have a great week everyone!

We drew a _________ on a bathroom stall, swiftly called it art and Taylor won a Gazebo From IKEA


“I want to make sketch video”

“I have a really good story, but I don’t know what to do with it”

“I really want to try acting”

“I would love to write a book”

“I want to start making a film”

“I have an idea for this movie where an adventurer, maybe an astronaut, gets lost on the way to going on said adventure but in turn finds that the mundane existence of the day to day is an adventure. The adventurer no longer seeks to carve his name into the annals of history to find meaning, cozying up at home with a loved one is the greatest adventure of all. But there will be lots of boobs, rippling abdominal muscles, explosions and weasels. it will be cool, my dad said he’d help fund it. He owns a Nissan dealership”




If you have uttered anything close to the mentioned quotations I seem to hear frequently, then call me Ron Burgundy because I have splendid news for you. This institution we all know and love as, “Augustana” offers up some fine tools for the creative savant in waiting to participate in. A couple of these opportunities are SAGA art and literary magazine and Black Squirrel Productions. These clubs need members and submissions, don’t feel scared to get involved! Think of them as a finely sharpened axe stuck in a stump with it’s handle eyeing you to grab it and swing away at the forest of self-doubt in the hands of a non-gender specific lumberjack, with a great beard and sweet steel-toed boots. You’re lookin’ good and feelin good.

“Go on”

Why yes, of course! SAGA is the literary and art magazine here at “Augustana” and is accepting submissions in three separate fields for publishing: Art, Poetry, and Prose.

“What does this mean for me”

It means the existence of the magazine is dependent on YOU. SAGA wants to publish student work, whether it be poetry in all it’s beauty, prose in all its power, and art in all its courage.

“cowardly dog inside of us would like us to not submit things for fear of criticism”


Rest assured! all documents have their names removed and are critiqued in an objective fashion. Pieces that aren’t selected are even returned to the artist with their critiques, so as the artist can improve on a piece if they feel.


At ease my friend, email SAGAmagazine@gmail.com with the following.

Title(s) of piece(s) (each with a short description of the inspiration, subject matter, materials used, etc.)
Contributor’s note: What do you want those who read SAGA magazine to know about you as a contributor?

SAGA accepts up to 7 submissions in each category, with a preference for word document and jpeg for photos. Physical submissions for art will have their photo taken and will be accepted for submission.

“my body is a wonderland, is that art?”

If you take a picture I guess?

“thanks! I’m not even an artist is that ok”

Yes, everyone has something to offer, everybody has a story to tell.

You exist, you mean something, share it.


“What about Black Squirrel Productions?”


Get in on this fun train on its way out of boredomville! Oh yes!

Well, Black Squirrel Productions is a brand new club on campus specializing in film production, whether it be sketch, short, documentary, music videos, or anything you can think of they aim to do it. They meet on odd Thursdays in Olin generally at 4:30. Check your emails for updates and email BSPAugustana@gmail.com to get involved. The end of the year will culminate with a student film fest premiering student made work. The exciting news is BSP received a budget this year, look out for things to improve as last year over two hours of film was produced on a shoe string budget paid out of pocket by students.

“I’m sold”


You’re welcome, be thankful you’re not dealing with the devil.








Senior Year: Winter Term

This is my last term at Augustana. In just 13.5 weeks, or 96 days, I will be officially graduated from Augustana College.

I can’t believe how fast time has flown by; sometimes it seems like just yesterday that I was trekking back to the third floor of Erickson after a long day of classes and swim practice. Now I’m trudging up the stairs of my off campus house after a long day of class and two off campus jobs.

So let’s talk a little about what I have going on this term. In order to graduate you need 123 credits, I currently have 109 credits. This means order to graduate at the end of this term I am taking 14 credits. Now my mother doesn’t seem to think this will be any difficulty because she thinks the class I’m taking are easy. However, it doesn’t matter what classes you take, 14 credits is still a lot; especially because a normal credit load is between 8 and 12. So here’s what I’m taking this term:

  • Hand Ceramics – 3 credits
  • American Race and Ethnic Relations – 3 credits
  • Screening Sex: Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Popular Culture – 3 credits
  • Political Science Senior Inquiry – 3 credits
  • Sign Language – 1 credit
  • Piano Lessons – 1 credit

In case you want to know what my schedule looks like, here’s a screenshot of my Google Calendar. Notice there are time’s where things overlap. There are also things that aren’t on this calendar yet because I don’t know when they will be.

  • Orange = class
  • Purple = work
  • Blue or teal = personal meetings
  • Green = social functions
  • Pink(ish) = Sorority events
Winter term schedule for week 1

Winter term schedule for week 1

Outside of going to class and work, I am also in the process of looking for jobs in Minnesota, doing homework, and trying to have a semblance of a social life.

Fall term 2014 Recap: Now with HD photo accompaniment

Fall term had dealt me a hand of four courses, three lab periods and rehearsals Monday through Thursday evenings. Needless to say, it was crazy.



That was me after a lab that I had struggled with for like three hours: my group did well in the end though!

I last left off with homecoming around the corner and heres the recap of the week:


Zeta Phi Kappa participated in yell and it was fun being able to see all the greek groups put their best stop forward and show some greek pride!

The next event on the agenda was SING!



(photo courtesy of  Hannah Buto)

We had placed in third and it too was an awesome way to get to bond with my sisters better and show off some Augie pride!



(Photo courtesy of Shylee Garrett)

SAI (my music sorority) held our annual Alumnae tea which was a ton of fun and I had a great time meeting some of our alumni and hearing the stories of Augie’s past

After the tea, my friends and I had decided to take a break and visit an apple orchard to go apple picking, needless to say it may be our new annual fall tradition!




(Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Kupar)

After homecoming week I celebrated my 20th birthday and got to appreciate some of Augies AMAZING fall scenery


SAI also hosted a pumpkin carving contest with PMA



(Photo courtesy of Shylee Garrett)

(we may have given up in the end)

That same weekend Zeta Phi Kappa held our annual semiformal to celebrate our birthday so we got all dolled up and spent the night dancing and celebrating our values and our sisterhood


and finally following the weekend of semiformal was Halloween where I made a costume as a (tree?)/ fall!


Finals had gone better than anticipated and I had made the deans list for fall term which was the great way to end my first term of the year. I then worked the ILMEA music festival before spending a much needed week of rest with my family.


(mommy and me on our sushi date!)

Winter term is way more relaxed with only three courses and a seminar. Im now working on preparing tour literature for Augustana Symphonic Band’s gulf coast tour at the end of the term and I’m looking forward to seeing how my classes end up. So far, there seem to be a ton of cool projects that we’re doing to help the community while learning important aspects to land use and planning which is why I decided to be a Geography and Environmental Studies major. Good luck to all on winter term and stay warm!

-Barrie Chileen

Keep Calm and Vote Neil

Over 10,000 doors, 1,000 yard signs, 14 weeks, one candidate. When I first interviewed for my internship on Neil Anderson’s Illinois Senate campaign back in July, our campaign manager, Jim, said to me, “The thing about campaigns is you either love it or you hate it, but once you get the bug, you never go back.” To say I’ve caught the bug might be putting it mildly. I’ve had a good handful of jobs since I started working when I was 15, even jobs that I loved, but never have I had something as special as this. They say it’s not even work when you love what you do, let me tell you, whoever they are, they’re right.
neil parade
This opportunity has given me experiences that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Not only have I learned invaluable information about people and communication skills that will help me professionally, but I have also made memories and friends that I will never forget. I work in a place where I know the people will always support me, even praise me. There will always be excited and unexpected conversation, and I know that, without a doubt, there will never be a dull day.
moonlight parade With less than 24 hours until it’s all over, I’ve been reflecting, maybe a little too much, about how amazing this experience has been. Just the fact that I’m ecstatic to go to work at 3am tomorrow says everything about how much I love this job. I could rave about how great it all is forever, but the reason it’s all so great, what makes it so easy is the candidate himself.
When you have a candidate as amazing as Neil, it makes the job so easy. I support Neil, not because I work for him, not because he’s a Republican, I support Neil because he is one of the best people I’ve ever met. He cares more about his family than anyone I know, and he is truly passionate about what he does. I know that Neil will put the constituents first at all costs, and that is something I can support.
As I think about tomorrow, I’m conflicted. I’m so excited and nervous for the results, and I’m saddened that it will all be coming to an end. But more than anything I’m grateful, so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the amazing people I’ve met and have under my belt one of the most unique experiences I’ve had yet.
intern collage
So get out and vote tomorrow folks and remember, Keep Calm and Vote Neil Anderson.

Wrapping Up Fall Term


Wait, it’s over already? I know, that’s how I feel too.

The reason that I’ve been so absent not just from this blog, but my personal blog too, is because I’ve been too busy doing interviews. I’m kidding. Well, kind of. My last blog post got picked up by the Rock Island Argus, and then Augie’s Observer joined in, so I’ve been enjoying my five seconds of fame. But the real reason is that I haven’t had a functioning computer for the past several weeks. ITS doesn’t know what’s wrong with it and took so long to tell me that that I just decided to wait until I go home before I see about getting it fixed.

As a result, I have developed a very intimate relationship with the Tredway library.

Yeah, it’s really not a good idea for your laptop to slow down unbearably when you have no finals, just papers.

But I survived, I’m nearly done, and I get to go home this weekend. So, here are some of the fun (and slightly less fun) things I’ve done this term:

1) 25-page French paper

I received a Freistat Grant this summer to research French theatre in performance. I spent six weeks in Paris and most of it was paid for. The thing is, Freistats are usually tied to a Senior Inquiry project, and I’m a French minor. So I had to do a 25-page paper in French anyway… It was fun, because I love theatre, but it was still a lot of work.

2) 25-ish page Honors Capstone

Yeah, I’m still in that Honors program, and this term, I decided to do my Capstone. That project has been equally fun, because I got to pick my topic (how minority memoir writers incorporate languages other than English into their works) and my reading list, but I’m still working on it and it’s a long paper too.

3) Alpha Psi Omega’s Running Scared

Where do you get a haunted house and a scavenger hunt in one? Alpha Psi Omega’s Running Scared of course! This year, the theme was Running Scared: Circus, so we had everything from crazy clowns to creepy dolls, a burned fire-eater and a bearded lady. I worked security, so I didn’t get to scare people, but we scared whole lot of people and raised some money for GiGi’s Playhouse, our chosen charity this year.

4) Special Collections Halloween Open House

Yesterday, in honor of Halloween, our new Special Collections librarian had the idea of displaying the spookiest items from our collections. We included everything from Augustana’s ghost stories (who’s haunting House on the Hill, for example) to books made entirely of animals, ghastly recipes like veal head cheese, Phil McKinley’s Dracula picture and stone hide scrapers. To make things even more fun, those of us who worked the event dressed as ghostly characters from our collections. We had a human representation of Old Main’s graffiti room, Emmy Evald’s vision of the ideal woman and me–John Henry Hauberg.

5) Electric Theater Unplugged

And today (and tomorrow, actually), I’m in a show! Electric Theater Unplugged is a group that writes, directs and acts in 30-ish plays in 60-ish minutes with the audience choosing the order. As a writer who loves performing and theater, it’s been the perfect outlet for me over the last two years. The shows, in case you’re interested are at 8:42 pm tonight (leaving you plenty of time to go out and celebrate Halloween afterwards) and at 9:27 pm tomorrow in the Blackbox in Bergendoff. Best of all, they’re free!

So that’s been my term, and it’s gone by in such a rush of reading, writing, class, work, clubs and everything else that I can’t believe I’m a third done with my final year at Augustana.