Thanksgiving: Then and Now

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Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, The Day of Familial Discord. Whatever you call it, if you’re American you probably sit down on the fourth thursday of November to eat an obscene amount of food and to inadvertently perpetuate the notion that the Pilgrims and Native Americans got along well enough to share a meal.
A lot has changed in the time between the first Thanksgiving of 1621 and the Thanksgiving of 2014. Instead of embracing friends and family like the Pilgrims, we pretend to check Twitter to avoid an awkward, tedious conversation about Adobe Photoshop with our weird cousin that we haven’t seen since last Easter (just me?).
We should really be thankful for the changes that have been made since the first Thanksgiving dinner. We have iPhones, the Pilgrims did not. We have a vaccine for Polio, the Pilgrims did not. We have canned cranberry sauce, the Pilgrims did not.
However some changes may come as a surprise to many Americans. The Americans of 1621 at one turkey, today we eat over fifty-billion (granted there were 102 of them and there are 390 million of us). The first Thanksgiving cost a total of zero dollars because the Pilgrims just ate whatever was growing in the ground. The Thanksgiving of today costs Americans over two trillion dollars because we eat whatever is at Whole Foods. However most astounding of all is the number of places named Plymouth today. Back in 1621 there was only one place named Plymouth in America. Now there are 37 places named Plymouth just to complicate everything. There’s a Plymouth in California. Amazing.
Despite the many changes Thanksgiving has endured, we still share to the most important value established by the Pilgrims: be thankful. Be thankful for your health, your home, your family and your friends, and most of all, Black Friday.

New Editors for the Nexus Yearbook

Co-editors, Taylla Smith (left) and Dianne Fallucca, strike a pose in the Nexus Yearbook room.
Co-editors, Taylla Smith (left) and Dianne Fallucca, strike a pose in the Nexus Yearbook room.

Hofstra University is bustling with activity all year long. From sports and performing arts to academics and clubs, all the memorable occurrences and changes from the academic year end up in Hofstra’s Nexus Yearbook. However, this year, the yearbook is experiencing some changes of its own. Meet sophomores, Taylla Smith and Dianne Fallucca, the Nexus Yearbook’s new co-editors in chief.

The Nexus Yearbook is always looking for new staff members!
The Nexus Yearbook is always looking for new staff members!

Shortly after applying to be editors during their first semesters as freshmen, they were promoted to be section editors; Taylla worked as the club section editor while Dianne was editor of the faculty section. Evidently, they both put in some hard work because this year they oversee the entirety of the yearbook.

The Nexus Yearbook is a team effort. Above is a pyramid of who's in charge and who tells whom what needs to get done.
The Nexus Yearbook is a team effort. Above is a pyramid of who’s in charge and who tells whom what needs to get done.
Dianne shares her input with Taylla.
Dianne shares her input with Taylla.
Taylla and Dianne catch up on some work.
Taylla and Dianne catch up on some work.

Together, Taylla and Dianne supervise the yearbook’s section editors, sign off on page layouts, and take direction from the yearbook’s publisher, Balfour. Though there “isn’t a lot of play room”, as Dianne puts it, the co-editing duo have plans to improve the operation of the yearbook. “We stay on top of things”, says Dianne to which she adds “We have a great staff!”.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.17.10 AMDespite the hard work they’ve already put in and the endeavors that lay ahead, Taylla and Dianne are both equally optimistic for the outcome of the their first yearbook as co-editors.

Some of the finished products from years past.
Some of the finished products from years past.

“Granted it’s a lot of work”, says Taylla, “but no matter what there’s a final product that we get to give to people and that’s nice, it’s really nice.”

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The Nexus Yearbook shares a room with The Hofstra Chronicle on the second floor of the Student Center.
The Nexus Yearbook shares a room with The Hofstra Chronicle on the second floor of the Student Center.

The Nexus Yearbook details the events over the course of the academic year.
The Nexus Yearbook details the events over the course of the academic year.
Dianne and Taylla can't wait to see their names on this page!
Dianne and Taylla can’t wait to see their names on this page!
A cover of a previous yearbook that is a favorite among yearbook staff.
A cover of a previous yearbook that is a favorite among yearbook staff.
Stacks of old yearbooks serve as reference to the new co-editors.
Stacks of old yearbooks serve as reference to the new co-editors.

Lee Bush: The Road to a Career in Journalism

A career in journalism was an occurrence of happenstance for Lee Bush. “I’ve kinda had a round about way into journalism”, she jokes. After majoring in philosophy in college, Bush found herself working in Washington D.C. for Red Cross’s legal department as a coordinator and investigator. Bush quickly realized that her job did not provide an outlet for her lifelong desire to travel. With the possession of strong writing skills and what she describes as an “exploratory disposition”, Bush pursued a career in freelance writing.
Her first attempt resulted in a WordPress blog called “I’m Saying No”- what it lacked in revenue it made up for in teaching Bush the integral skill of blog-building. Bush’s first big pay day came in the form of a 2,000 dollar check for writing a newsletter which gave her a foot in the door at a local newspaper. With little guidance from her editor, Bush found herself learning how to be a journalist through her own teaching. Her perseverance eventually paid off and she was awarded the privilege of interviewing Billy Joel, who she describes as “really short and kinda bow-legged”.
Unfortunately, Bush had to find work as a journalist elsewhere when her editor could no longer pay her what she needed. Eventually she found herself freelancing for an online newspaper, Patch, in Syosset, New York. During her time at Patch, Bush found herself as her own teacher again, this time learning the ropes of digital journalism. Bush proved to be a quick learner as she was soon invited to be a guest editor at the Syosset branch of Patch.
Today, Bush is working as a freelance journalist on Long Island. She has had her fair share of ups and downs during her career but she has proved each one to be a learning experience telling aspiring journalists, “Never stop learning and always challenge yourself!”

Adina Genn: Working as a Local Journalist

Adina Genn always wanted to write. However, after college her career in book publishing had her writing less and editing more. After realizing her job seriously lacked an outlet for her to write her own material, she began to freelance. “It seemed impossible to get into”, Genn says of her early attempts at freelance journalism- that she was doing mostly for free. After covering many “boring, horrendous” meetings on the development of the small town of Port Washington, New York- her current residence- she had built relationships with many local politicians and PR representatives thus finally getting her foot in the door of local journalism. Currently, Genn is writing for the AOL owned news website, Patch, that covers news on Long Island in Port Washington, Huntington, and North Port. Upon landing her job at Patch, Genn was given a laptop, a cell phone, and a police scanner which she had to figure out how to use without any help. “You can never say you don’t know anything!”, says Genn when addressing a question about how she deals with the ever-changing platform of journalism. Unfortunately, Patch has had a major reduction in staff from forty members to just four making it much harder to cover news in depth. Genn admits that because of Patch’s downsizing much of her reporting is based on aggregation and that fieldwork is a rarity. In fact, Genn is able to do much of her reporting from home which, as it turns out, is both a blessing and a curse. “I want to go on Facebook to relax and laugh but then I see something and I’m like ‘Oh God! I have to work!’”. Despite the adversities and technological changes Genn faces as a local journalist, she gives the impression of a content and accomplished woman. When asked about the things she’s learned as a journalist she replies,”I think that the skills you learn as a journalist are amazing and they’re transferrable!”