Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

The Naked Roommate (Book Review)

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Tyler Zach

The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College

The Naked Roommate is a compilation of expert and student advice on roommates, relationships, classes, friends, finances, dorm life, sex, alcohol, Greek life, laundry, and more.

When I first received it in the mail I was taken back by the thickness of it. I didn’t realize that I was getting a handbook (about 428 pages) more so than a book. I didn’t look at the cover too closely. Personally, I’d rather read something a little more feasible.

What I like about the book is that it seems to cover almost every topic imaginable that a student would deal with throughout their college life. It is funny in some spots, easy to read, and well organized. I also like how the author has included a lot of student stories throughout the book.

I spent most of my time checking out the Greek Life section since that is my area of interest. This section is divided up into: getting in, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I sensed a slight sarcastic overtone in a few areas – the kind of sarcasm you can usually sense from those outside the Greek system.

However, there are a lot of good tips in this section that I think every incoming freshman should know about Greek life. From my honest perspective, the student stories are pretty accurate and balanced. I didn’t like the multiple uses of “frat” though. Near the end of the section, there are some helpful Greek definitions, links, and resources that are useful.

Bottom line:

You will probably WANT to buy the book if: you are a Greek advisor, you are looking to buy a gift for an incoming freshman, you like fun handbooks on your book shelf, or you want a resource that you can use to educate your fraternity or sorority about college life.

You will probably NOT WANT to buy the book if:
you’d rather have a book more so than a handbook, you are an upperclassmen, or you are looking for deep insight on the college life.

For me: I’d check it out in the library and glean some good tips and stories from it, but I probably wouldn’t purchase a copy myself. However, if I was a young zealous high school senior again, perhaps I’d think differently.

Check it out on Amazon!

Happy Feet (PG) Movie Review

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Kaitrin Shirazi

This is a heartwarming, coming of age tale about a penguin, Mumble, who just doesn’t fit in.

No matter how hard he tried, he stuck out with each action, word, and step. Mumble knew he was different as a hatchling, his happy feet and inability to sing “just wasn’t penguin”, so he spent most of his time away from the flock where he and his happy feet could be themselves. While away one morning, Mumble narrowly escaped becoming breakfast for a small flock of Skua gulls by using his wit and personality.

He kept the leader of the gulls busy by asking about the tracking ring around his foot, the “aliens” the skua swore put it there, slipped into a crack in the ice and waited until the coast was clear. Ever since that event, Mumble thought about the “aliens” the gull spoke of and wondered if there really was something else out there beyond his home.

The elders of Mumble’s flock of Emperor penguins, already worried and agitated with the bazaar shortage of their fish supply, singled Mumble out and sent him away when he questioned authority with a theory as to why the fish are gone. Along the way, Mumble finds friends that accept him for who he truly is and help him out on his quest. After narrowly escaping becoming breakfast again, this time for a sea lion, Mumble becomes friends with a group of Adélie penguins.

Happy Feet MovieMumble and the Adélie penguins travel across the frozen tundra, through the valley of intimidating elephant seals to reach the forbidden shore. All the while finding clues that aliens do exist and escaping becoming breakfast for other animals.

Upon reaching the forbidden shore, Mumble separates from his friends to bravely follow a fleet of fishing ships. He followed the ships until his body could no longer move and was washed ashore in a strange land.

Upon awakening, Mumble found he was in a land where the fish was in vast supply but was restricted by barriers both clear and painted to seem like his home. Unable to return to his friends and family, Mumble fell into despair and started to lose his mind and memory.

One day an alien child tapped on the glass surrounding Mumble’s new home and reminded him of the tapping his feet made on the ice at home when he was happy. He uses his strange talent to return home and in the end, win the affection of his heart’s desire and save his loved ones from starvation.

This film has a cast of talented stars, lending their voices to bring depth and personality to each of the characters. Some such stars include: Elijah Wood (Mumble), Brittany Murphy (Gloria, Mumble’s love interest), Hugh Jackman (Memphis, Mumble’s father) Nicole Kidman (Norma Jean, Mumble’s mother), Hugo Weaving (Noah the Elder), Robin Williams (both Ramón and Lovelace) and Fat Joe (Seymour, school mate of Mumble’s and pursuer of Gloria).

This seemingly childish movie had me in stitches for the majority of the film, is great for all ages and has a lesson we all can learn from. It is now a personal favorite and I strongly recommend it.