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Archive for March, 2016

By: Joshua Kellem
Montgazette Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Feb. 9,
New Orleans rapper Jared
Pellerin, better known as
Pell, came to The Barbary
in Philadelphia for his The
Only In Your Dreams Tour
to promote his new album,
Limbo. Though not his first
time in the city of brotherly
love, this was his first time
headlining Philadelphia.
The Barbary played
host to an intimate crowd
of less than a hundred
people. Moments before
performing, Pell casually
walked around amongst his
fans and while performing,
he encouraged the
audience to get as close to
him as possible.
The Fader, a music and
lifestyle magazine, dubbed
Pell as the creator of a new
“dream rap” genre. This
accolade came from Pell’s
2014 debut album, Floating
While Dreaming.
Pell sings with a
southern drawl he picked
up from New Orleans
though he was forced to
move from his hometown
to Starksville, Mississippi in
the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina in 2005. Some call
his style of “dream rap” the
future sound of New Orleans
though Pell’s unique sound
is nothing like traditional
New Orleans rappers such
as Lil Wayne or Master P.
After his performance, I
got a chance to talk with Pell.
Q. How was your first
time headlining in Philly?
A. It was pretty
interesting, you know what
I mean? It was a small
turnout, but everybody
that was here seemed
really involved and we
had a great show. We had
a great lineup, we had a
bunch of people that are
really passionate about
music come out and enjoy
music together, and that’s,
really, something that
you look for when you’re
coming to do a show.
Q. You mentioned
the small crowd, is that
something that motivates
you?
A. [A] lot of artists
think that…it’s got to be
completely sold out for
you to have a good time. I
tend to think…depending
on what the situation is, if
people are ready to have
a good time, I’m going to
have a good time with them.
And, I’m going to give them
as much energy as I can
[because] it’s a blessing to
be able to do this, you know
what I mean? I feel like this
is a situation where I was in
a great position to be able
to…gain new fans, and that’s
what I hope I did tonight.
Q. Okay, so, you’re
doing the tour for your
new album, Limbo. When
can your fans expect the
newest project?
A. I haven’t really decided
yet. Everything’s a work
in process. I’ve been
producing a lot more and
working on my sound. So,
nothing in the immediate
future, but I’m definitely
working on a lot of things.
For sure.
Q. What do you have
to say to all the kids out
there?
A. I just want to tell the kids
to follow their dreams and
reach for the stars. Reach
for the moon. Believe in
yourself, because nobody
will unless you do first.
Follow your heart.

Rapper Pell pic 1

photo courtesy of Pell After the interview Pell took a moment to pose with The Montgazette Writer Joshua Kellem. Pell was very approachable and even walked through the audience prior to the performance.

pell pic 2

Photo by Joshua Kellem. New Orleans rapper Pell perform at The Barbary in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Feb. 9. In front of a small crowd he performed, among others, his song Eleven: 11.

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By: Kelly Maguire
Montgazette Staff Writer

Since the introduction of
television entertainment in the
late 1940’s, very few shows have
had a culturally diverse cast that
most people could relate to.
In the year of 2015 another
series was added to that growing
list of shows worth giving a
watch due to their reaching out
to as many people as possible.
The title “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
gives a certain connotation that
men everywhere would love to
watch and laugh together over
their own similar experiences
with their crazy ex-girlfriends.
The show, however,
couldn’t be farther from the
idea attached to the title given
to many innocent women of the
world. The show in fact makes
fun of that title and gives a look
into the life of a woman who
very easily should be given
the term based on her actions,
but comes from a place that is
understandable and shouldn’t
be shoved into a corner that
men made up for women they
didn’t understand.
Rachel Bloom, the leading
actress and co-creator of the
show, said in an interview with
Time, “Maybe people who take
the title literally will watch the
show and be duped into a new
kind of understanding.” To
which she responded craftily,
“Exactly. Like, ‘Oh, when I
called my ex a ‘crazy bitch,’ I
wasn’t considering that she
was actually mentally unstable,
and also I was a pretty bad
boyfriend who led her to this
place.’ Enlightening people is
lofty, but definitely a goal.”
With the step up in helping
explain the women’s side of
things, they also bring in a
diverse cast that wouldn’t have
been even thought of back
when television shows were
first making their appearance.
“Crazy Ex Girlfriend” is
breaking ground by shattering
the stereotypes that we are used
to seeing in television. Although
half of the cast is still white,
the leading actress as well as
her character are Jewish and
are not your average stick thin
model-types we’ve grown used
to seeing on any type of screen
these days. In fact, none of the
actors are your stereotypical
‘gorgeous’ characters, but
instead look more like the
people you would see on the
street in your day-to-day life.
The main love interest
is an Asian male, who also
happens to be in an inter-racial
relationship that doesn’t include
a white person as the other half.
Musical numbers are thrown in
as well, though the songs that
they sing aren’t the average
Broadway production. Women
work together and love and
support each other in ways
that otherwise would get down
played due to people preferring
cat fights and vicious women
tearing each other down.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is not
the answer to our continuing
problems of lack of diversity on
the airwaves, but it’s definitely
one of the shows helping us get
closer to the goal.

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By: Quinlyn Campbell
Montgazette Staff Writer

Let’s get straight to the point and
admit that watching television shows
and movies is enjoyable. We imbibe our
doses of favorite shows and flicks. There
is no way we would miss a season of our
favorite television show or the sequel to
that blockbuster film.
With the emerging technology of digital
distribution, through network providers
like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon, the days
of rushing home to record on blank VHS
tapes are gone. The on-demand nature of
this technology has enhanced our chances
of catching up on our favorite shows and
movies any time and almost anywhere.
In a recent Nielsen report, at least 41
percent of American households have an
average of one subscription-based video ondemand
service provider. This is great for
the entertainment industry because more
viewers tuned in to their favorite shows
means more advertising revenue can be
generated these newer on-demand networks.
Neil Goldstein, a communication
lecturer at Montgomery County Community
College, says he enjoys being able to watch
any TV show or movie at any time with the
access to Netflix and Hulu. Though he finds
it amazing, he also finds it to be a “pain in
the [expletive]!”
Steve Brachmann, a journalist for I.P.
Watchdog, sums up the feelings of people
like Goldstein with the view of the TV and
movie industries. “Services such as Netflix
and Hulu may have started out by trying
to find their niche in entertainment, but
months later, they have won big influence
in the entertainment industry.”

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By: Rashira Johnson
Montgazette Staff Writer

The film industry is filled with
many talented and passionate people,
like Shonda Rhimes, who constantly
strives for greatness. Rhimes, a
successful television screenwriter,
has a new book that inspires people
all over the globe, including some
students at Montgomery County
Community College.
Her book, “The Year of Yes,” is
about her journey of saying yes to
the things with which she was most
uncomfortable because she says she
is painfully shy. Rhimes says that
sometimes it’s hard to step out of your
comfort zone, but when you do, it can
be very rewarding.
Rhimes has three primetime
television shows on ABC, “How To Get
Away With Murder,” “Scandal” and
“Greys Anatomy.” Her work continues
to open doors for many students with
dreams of creating television show and
inspires them to turn those dreams
into reality.
Among those she’s touched,
Rhimes inspired local actor Mark
Johnson. Johnson stated, “Shonda
truly inspired me because I
committed myself to a Year of Yes. A
Yes to commit to writing a full script.
A Yes to acting to my fullest potential
despite how many No’s are trying to
knock me down.”
As a writer and director myself,
Rhimes has helped me push for
greatness as I work on my “Deep
Undercover” web series. I’ve come
out of my comfort zone while here
at Montco by doing interviews. I’m
normally a behind-the-scenes type of
person, but I love to deliver the story
just as much. So I too have learned to
say Yes to my own challenges.

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By: Josh Stafford
Montgazette Staff Writer

In the last few years, many
citizens concerns have increased
over crisis actors being used for the
wrong reasons. Crisis actors are
generally used in training exercises
for emergency services personnel.
Dr. Eowyn of FellowshipoftheMinds.
com writes, “Crisis actors…are a new
group of actors, available nationwide
for… full-scale exercises. They
are trained in criminal and victim
behavior, and bring intense realism
to simulated mass casualty incidents
in public places.”
Crisis actors have access to the
same make-up and special effects as
available in movie making. These
training exercises are performed
with a real-time feel. Screams,
realistic injuries, simulated panic,
and smoke machines are tools
used by crisis actors to achieve a
look of authenticity.
These kinds of actors are
necessary to prepare first
responders for mass tragedy.
The training exercises teach first
responders casualty identification,
crowd control techniques and
response times. Some news outlets,
however, have produced their
version of certain news scenes to
add drama to circumstances that are
already tragic. To some viewers, it
is hard to identify staged exercises
from coverage of actual events.
Natural News reporter Mike
Adams wrote, “Almost everything
CNN broadcasts is faked. It’s all
theater and the network uses
both crisis actors and scripted
fake location shots to create news’
theater.” When there is a mass
tragedy, according to Adams, actors
are thrust onto the scene to become
part of the story.
Lymari Morales reported
in a 2012 Gallup.com article,
“Americans’ distrust [of] the
media hit a new high this year,
with sixty percent saying they have
little or no trust in the mass media
to report the news fully, accurately
and fairly.”
Other accounts of using crisis
actors in real news stories are
known, yet the practice continues
with little investigation.

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By: Skyeler O’Brien
Montgazette Staff Writer

High school dual
enrollment students are a
major part of the student
scene here at Montgomery
County Community College,
and their population is
increasing every semester.
These students,
by participating in dual
enrollment and putting
education first in their life,
are taking advantage of a
time when their peers often
are doing the opposite and
have not begun thinking
about college.
The iconic transition
between high school and
college is being made
on a daily basis by these
dual enrollment students.
Instead of waiting for their
college time to come, they
are starting ahead of time,
focusing their educational
interest and gaining
college credit.
Maddie Sultzer, 17, is a
student at Boyertown Area
Senior High School and a
student at Montco’s West
Campus. A typical high
school senior, she takes
general education classes at
Boyertown every morning,
then eats a quick lunch and
heads over to Pottstown
in time to make her early
afternoon psychology class.
A transition some would
suspect to be difficult,
Sultzer describes as simple.
“I love the experience
of getting a college level
education while still being
able to live out my senior
year. It is going to help
with the real transition so
much after graduation,”
she says. “It is a whole
different feel. College is
much more independent,
while high school you feel
like everyone is always
watching and that you need
permission to do anything.”
Although high school
and college have their social
differences, Sultzer’s main
reason for participating is that
she can spend time studying
topics she is interested in at a
college level.
“I did not want to take
a bunch of high school
electives that I didn’t need.”
Her dual enrollment will
help decrease her course load
in college as well. The credits
she gets here at Montco will
count toward her freshman
year of college, speeding
up the process towards
her degree and providing
experience in the atmosphere
of a college classroom.
Sultzer is not alone,
students from high schools
all over Montgomery County
and the country are taking
part in this revolutionary
outlook on secondary
education. No longer do
students need to wait out the
lagging senior year of high
school. College and high
school are one entity.
Becoming a Dual
Enrollment student has
become easier with the
introduction of Dual
Enrollment courses offered
at many high school
campuses. Students can now
be a Montco student without
once stepping foot on campus
and without completing a
high school education.
The success of the Dual
Enrollment student program
has caused growth of the
program nationally. Dual
Enrollment students now are
a part of the population of
students at both the central
and west campuses here at
Montco and show no signs
of slowing down. The college
life is starting earlier and
Montco is on the forefront.

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By: Kevin Houck
Montgazette Staff Writer

Montgomery County Community College’s
new Sustainability and Innovation Hub to bring
together students, faculty and community
members with common interests in learning
about “green” and innovative programs.
The hub will have an open innovation
space, an Aquaponics Teaching Laboratory
and a maker space. The Hub is designed to
support Science Technology Engineering and
Mathematics, or STEM, programs that enhance
economic health, environmental sustainability
and community well-being.
“We hope participants will see, learn or
do something in the Hub that will allow them
to pursue a degree, or expand an invention, or
develop a community,” Dr. David Dimattio, dean
of STEM said.
MCCC will be collaborating with Pottstown
Foundation, various schools and industry
partners to benefit the community. The
Sustainability and Innovation Hub is another
initiative brought about by faculty and students
who aim for a cleaner and inventive environment.
“Innovation is the seed of science,” Dr.
Dimattio said.
The Hub will give us a look into a
sustainable environment with its Aquaponics
and Hydroponics Teaching Laboratory on the
first floor. It will be an experimental lab for
students and community members interested in
areas of study such as hydroponics, horticulture
and food production.
An Engineering Design Center will be on the
second floor. Also known as a “Maker Space,” it
will house new 3-D printers and is hoped to have
access to Arduino technology, soldering and
other basic engineering principles. The third
floor is also for innovation and collaboration of
the other floors.
The Hub is currently being renovated
across from the South Hall on West Campus.
It is located near the Schuylkill River Park on
College Drive and is expected to be completed
by late spring of 2016.
MCCC will offer credit and non-credit
programs involving the Hub that is accessible
and affordable, giving students and
community members with similar interests,
hands-on experience.

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