Wuthering Heights

Where to even begin with Wuthering Heights?

As most people know, this book is considered one of the classics, which is why I decided to read it. I honestly can’t tell if I’m glad I read it, but I’m happy to say I was able to get through it. I would be lying if I didn’t say that was one of the hardest books I’ve read. Maybe it wasn’t the best choice for my first read on my reading list. Yes, the prose and form of writing was hard to read at times, but that’s not what made this book difficult. It was the characters and the story line.

As I said in my first post under my Classics category, I tend to adopt the moods of the characters, and the tone of the book. Needless to say, the entire time I read this book I was surly, ill-tempered, and pretty much just wanted to find a way to fight with someone, or be vengeful and mess up someones life for no reason. I pretty much wanted to ruin other lovers lives because I felt like the love of my life chose to marry someone else even though deep down, I know they love me, right?

I’ll give you a little detail as to what the book is about:

It is a novel written by Emily Bronte and was published in 1874. As Wikipedia describes it, the title of the novel comes from the Yorkshire manor on the moors of the story. The narrative centers on the all-encompassing, passionate, but doomed love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and many around them.

To make a long, grueling, complicated story short, Catherine and Heathcliff don’t marry each other. They reproduce with their spouse’s whom neither of them really love. Right before Catherine dies, her and Heathcliff proclaim their undying love for each other.

That’s just the first part of the novel though. The second part conveys the lives of the children of Heathcliff and Catherine (Cathy, and Linton). Eventually, another tangled love story unfolds, and Heathcliff is there the entire time taking out his revenge on these children. Still trying after all of these years to get retribution against Edgor Linton for marrying his love Catherine.

Overall, to put it simply, I felt that the characters in this story were selfish monsters. They only cared about themselves. I found it very hard to sympathize with any and all of the characters because it was difficult to pinpoint their redeeming qualities that made them worth sympathizing with. This mostly applies to Heathcliff and Catherine. I can sometimes stand Cathy and Linton at times, but eventually, they annoy me just as much as their parents.

I’ll have to say that I agree (to an extent) with Edward Cullen and Bella Swan in regards to their conversation about Heathcliff and Catherine in Twilight. Edward says the same thing as myself, he believes that they are monstrous people with no redeeming qualities. Bella disagrees by saying, “I think that’s it though. Their love (for each other) IS their only redeeming quality.”

But I’m a sap, and even their love couldn’t convince me to sympathize. My good friend Chris described how I felt perfectly. He said that he didn’t want his love story to feel like exercise. Meaning, it literally felt like work to get through this story and to find the happiness in the love there.

But, the book is considered a classic novel for a reason. It is considered to be a drama ahead of its time. Despite my griping, Bronte didn’t intend for this novel to be a sappy love story. There is a cynical plot and an unashamedly dark story line. Books of that era were often written to instruct readers, and primarily young ladies, in what was expected of them. Instead of frightening readers to follow the straight and narrow path, Wuthering Heights seduces its readers with its dark passion and misguided characters.

I would say that even though it’s clear that the characters of the story are flawed, their flaws are intriguing just as much as they are repelling. Even though I couldn’t stand them, I kept wondering in my head why they were the way they were, and I was compelled to keep reading to see if any redeeming qualities would come through.

In the end, if any lesson is to be learned from Wuthering Heights, it is the folly of denying your heart’s greatest passion, and this is something I will try and take with me after reading this novel.

Please feel free to comment and offer me different insight and perspective to this story! I love seeing and understanding different points of view.



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Raniero’s Pizzeria

To enter Raniero’s Pizzeria is to walk into a swirl of smells associated with a classic Italian kitchen. Family pictures adorn the walls, giving a sense of welcoming to this local establishment, and that’s how the owners strive to make you feel- welcome, and like family.

Raniero’s offers a stone-baked, New York-style pizza that can be bought by the pie or by the slice. It’s the recipe that appeals to Ali Hedges, a junior elementary education major at Northern Kentucky University.

“Raniero’s has some of the best local pizza compared to their competitors,” Hedges said.

Raniero’s appeals to a college student’s budget by offering $1 slices from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays. The shop owners also offer a “Crunch Time Special” every day from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The special includes a beverage, one slice of pizza, and a side salad for $7.25, which is comparable to prices in the Student Union.

Also on the menu is the 24-inch pizza pie challenge.

“My brother is a huge fan of the show Man v. Food, so when he decided to open the restaurant he wanted to incorporate some type of eating challenge,” said business manager Natalie Howard Ramirez. “It’s a 24-inch pie that a team of two has to eat in ten minutes or less. Around 20 to 30 teams have attempted it, and only eight have succeeded in completing it. The record is seven minutes and 23 seconds.”

The eatery’s rise in popularity since it opened in December 2009 has promoted the decision to expand its current location into the empty space next door that once housed Blockbuster Video.

“We’ve had a booming business and we are very fortunate to get the space to expand,” Ramirez said. “WE weren’t sure if any spot would ever open up in this complex, so we’re lucky it did. We will be able to seat over 100 patrons.”

Ramirez said they plan to stay true to the family atmosphere, but with the expansion they also want to cater more to college students.

“We’re going to be a full-service restaurant and bar, so we’re most likely going to implement a college night one night of the week. It will be 18 years of age and up, and we will offer $1 beer and $1 slices of pizza. We’re also considering things like a karaoke night and live music,” Ramirez said. “There’s not much to do right by campus, so we definitely want to appeal to the college students as well as families.”

The goal is to open the doors of their new establishment by December 1, or by the beginning of January at the latest.



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A Vegan Friendly ‘Eclectic’ Deli

For almost six years, Melt Eclectic Deli of Northside, Cincinnati has been pursuing its mission to serve vegan-friendly, whole unprocessed foods to its steady stream of customers.

This deli is fashioned after its name- with eccentric table settings and artwork. . On colorfully embellished chalkboards, the menu lists more than 20 sandwiches, half a dozen salads, daily soups and a few meal-sized appetizers, made daily from scratch.

“I opened Melt to provide a healthy local eatery for my friends, family and neighborhood,” said owner Lisa Kagen. “While I am pleased that many people enjoy the atmosphere and service as much as the food, my top priority is always the quality and sourcing of the food. “

At Melt, meats are free of drugs and hormones and breads are free of preservatives. The dishes are made in-house without corn syrup, trans fats or processed foods. The owners buy from local markets and vendors, and the boxes they use for carry-out orders are biodegradable or recyclable.

One NKU graduate student calls Melt one of her favorite small businesses, and plans on visiting them for dinner on Small Business Saturday, which is October 11. “When it comes to small businesses, Melt is my favorite,” graduate student, Lauren Stieritz said. “I take friends there all the time, and I’ve never come across anyone who didn’t appreciate the locally grown products, the original menu, and the eccentric décor.”

While you wait for your cooked-to-order meal, you can observe the collection of current art, or converse with the word magnets in the front dining room. In sunny weather, the back patio provides a relaxing atmosphere compared to the eccentric inside dining.

Though you’ll see classic vegan items such as seitan, rinotta, tofu, plus many other vegetables, Melt also appeals to those who eat a meat friendly diet. The menu includes meats like chicken, roast beef, and turkey on their sandwiches.

Melt may be out of the way for a lot of NKU students, but if you’re a fan of fresh, homemade, unique eats, it is a worthwhile trip over to the Northside to experience this eclectic deli.

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Humanity, I Love You

After almost a year of planning, traveling, volunteering, video shooting, editing and producing, seniors Stephanie Mathena and Kelsey Robinson get to share their senior Capstone project and documentary Humanity, I Love You to the people of Northern Kentucky Univeristy.


In this documentary, viewers will witness the journey of eight volunteers as they travel to New Orleans to do volunteer work on a house destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.  The final cut depicts the struggles and achievements of the volunteers, as well as testimonies from families directly affected by this hurricane.


“I hope viewers get a real sense of the amount of devastation left by Katrina and how six years later, many are still without a home,” Robinson said. “I hope it also inspires viewers to find the courage to volunteer themselves, not only in their own community but in a different region, because many people are in need of help all over the globe.”


Mathena said that she wants people to feel motivated to make a difference.


“The goal of this film is not to guilt people into donating all of their money to Katrina relief funds,” Mathena said, “but to encourage people to reflect and ask themselves how they want to be remembered and what difference are they making in the world?”


Planning for the documentary began in January. For two semesters, Robinson and Mathena galvanized volunteers, raised funds, and arranged for transportation to New Orleans.


“Honestly, people don’t really think about what goes in to making a film,” Mathena said. “Beforehand there is the pre-production work of contacting organizations to partner with, outlining how the story structure should work, budgeting for the film, raising funding and obtaining volunteers to go on the trip.”


Their work and dedication will come to fruition when they share their documentary with the NKU community.


“It is a relief to finally have the finished product of Stephanie and I’s hard work to be able to show to the public,” Robinson said.


“I can’t even put in to words how it will feel to have the documentary shown in front of my peers, faculty, and most importantly those who were on the trip,” Mathena said. “I hope I have done justice to their stories and make them proud.”

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Antony and Cleopatra Review

Northern Kentucky University’s Department of Theater and Dance premiered their rendition of the Shakespearean play “Antony and Cleopatra” on Thursday, December 1st in the Fine Arts Center’s Stauss Theater.


“Antony and Cleopatra” captured my attention and interest from the start with its suspenseful, tragic, and even comedic display of betrayal, love and power.


Shakespearean language can sometimes be hard to follow, but the play’s stars, seniors Simon Powell, who portrayed Antony, and Robyn Novak, who portrayed Cleopatra, as well as the rest of the cast, succeeded in embodying all that Shakespeare wanted “Antony and Cleopatra” to be.


Senior BFA- Acting major Bradley Jennings Evans, who played Octavius Caesar, said that this cast has one of the best work ethics of any other cast he has worked with. “We have all put a lot of work in to understanding the script and creating strong characters for the audience and hopefully that shows in the performance,” said Evans.


Though I sometimes got lost in the language, the 29 actors succeeded in portraying strong characters that kept me, as well as the rest of the audience, absorbed throughout the entire play.


Though the lead roles were clearly standout actors, the supporting roles also played their part in added more depth and dimension to the story.


“Honestly, my favorite characters were the supporting roles, and the comic relief from Lepidus,” said senior electronic media and broadcasting major Rachel Mannning. “I had several friends in the cast, and their appearance and mannerisms were completely transformed for the roles, and I barely recognized them.”


Reading a summary of the play would be beneficial to anyone who wants to view the performance, because it is easy to get lost in translation between the battle scenes.


Manning agreed that it sometimes gets confusing who is battling whom and who was on whose side. “Luckily, this wasn’t a huge problem because the story was obviously supposed to be focused on the titular couple,” said Manning.


Around 80 people were in attendance at the show on Friday, December 3 and all seemed just as captivated by the performance as I was. The crowd laughed, gasped, held our breath and watched in anticipation to see what the how the story would unfold.


Being in Stauss Theater, which is sometimes referred to as a black box theater, was the perfect performance space for this play. This theater is in a smaller room with the stage in the middle, surrounded by the audience, and black curtains drape each wall. This created a more intimate setting which allowed the audience to become completely engrossed in the performance.


When it comes to the set, lighting and design, the entire ambience was impressive. Manning said she loved it as well. “The suspended screens with the projected light patterns and the double-raked stage with contrasting floors brought a whole new level to the central clash between Rome and Egypt,” said Manning. “It juxtaposed the powers and set them physically higher, but it still brought the action down to the viewer’s level.”


With the stage in the middle being surrounded by the audience, there is really no bad seat in which to view the performance.


Evans also agrees that the technical elements of the show turned out beautifully, particularly the set, lights and costumes. “It helps add so much depth and finesse to the show, and it also helps paint the story for the audience as well,” said Evans.


Though I was disappointed that the show started a half hour late, I respected the decision to wait for family members of those in the cast to get there before beginning. The start time of the production was postponed due to traffic from an event at the Bank of Kentucky Center.


If you enjoy comedy, tragedy, suspense, betrayal, passion, and heartbreak, and most importantly, Shakespeare, then I recommend going to see director Mike King’s interpretation of “Antony and Cleopatra”.


The show will continue to run through December 11 in the Fine Art Center’s  Stauss Theater. Show times are Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for students and can be purchased at the NKU box office.

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My Journey Through Classic Literature

As a new years resolution, I decided that I wanted to read as many classic novels as possible. I claim to be a reader and a book nerd, but I feel that’s not accurate. What kind of book nerd can’t hold a conversation about novels that have stood the test of time?

I also decided I wanted to start writing and utilizing my blog again, other than for school work. So, if you’re interested, I’ll be writing out my journey through reading these novels. There will more than likely be spoiler alerts, so if you plan on reading the books, you might want to hold out on reading how I feel about them.

I’m doing this because I not only want to read the novels, but I want to understand them. I want to know why they are classics, why the characters are the way they are, and what the author was intending to convey through these stories.

Here’s a list of the books I’ll be reading, in no particular order:

Wuthering Heights

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Oliver Twist

Great Expectations

The Odyssey

Jane Eyre

The Secret Garden

Treasure Island

Little Women

The Scarlett Letter

A Tale of Two Cities

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

Pride and Prejudice

The Great Gatsby


The Catcher in the Rye

Grapes of Wrath

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

For those who don’t know me very well, I become absorbed into the books I read. I often take on the moods and tone of the character and book. I feel that I personally know the characters. I laugh with them, grieve with them, get angry with them, fall in love with them. So it’s safe to say that I’m excited to partake in this adventure of per suing these classic novels.


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A Little Bit About Photojournalism

In my Ethics and Media class this week, we had a 30 year veteran of photojournalism come in and discuss ethics of his profession. His talk opened my eyes to how truly amazing images can be in relation to the news. It made me want to look a little bit deeper into not only the ethics that photojournalists adhere to, but also the importance of photography in the media in general.

Photojournalism is a type of journalism that depends on images to tell a story. It is an important aspect of the news media because the photographs, a lot of the time, summarize a story that has been written. For people who don’t necessarily like to read, the pictures can be what conveys the news. Images can allow people to relate real life scenes, and what it must feel like to be in that actual place at that actual time, to the stories that they are reading.

Dillon Westbrook talks about A Brief History of Photojournalism explaining that photojournalism distinguishes itself from other forms of professional photography  by its adherence to the principles of journalism: timeliness, accuracy, fair representation of the context of events and facts reported, and accountability to the public. A photojournalist cannot be held to the demands of the photographic subject, but rather they must be concerned with producing accurate news for the public.

Our speaker claimed he’d never let the subject of one of his photos see the picture after he took it. With digital photography, people want to see the pictures you took of them. This is a big ethical no-no for him because it is giving them the opportunity to say they don’t like the picture and want him to take a new one. It’s up to him and his editors what photos are appropriate and should run, not the person in the image.

The speaker in our class also claimed that he would never set up the image just to have a photo. For example, if he were covering a marathon runner, he’d ask the runner to run their usual route and he’d follow ahead in his car and get the photos as the person was running, rather than just having the runner run up and down the street by their house. He also told of a time when he was covering workers in the middle of summer and he stood around at the construction site for an hour waiting for a photo, which turned out to be a man taking a drink of water, rather than just asking the worker to take a drink of the water for his picture.

Also when talking about Ethics, the issue of altering photos arose. In the article Photojournalism Ethics: “The Problem Seems To Be A Lot Deeper” Donald R. Winslow covered how altering images is a huge ethical problem that many photographers and editors are violating. “We need to examine the ethical issues involved in ‘photo opportunities,’ in picture editing and design, and in graphics,” Dr. Julianne Newton, visual journalism professor at the University of Oregon, said. Journalism is based on accuracy which includes the accuracy of images. “If you can’t use the picture as it is, don’t use it,” John Long, NPPA’s chairman of the Ethics and Standards committee, said.

With all the talk of ethics and the importance of photojournalism, I was interested in seeing some of the best photos that photojournalists have captured. After all, what is a blog about photojournalism without any pictures in it?

World Press Photo of the Year: 1994 James Nachtwey, USA, Magnum Photos for Time. Rwanda, June 1994. Hutu man mutilated by the Hutu ‘Interahamwe’ militia, who suspected him of sympathizing with the Tutsi rebels. About the image Nachtwey says his specialty is dealing with ground level realities with a human dimension. He feels that people need photography to help them understand what’s going on in the world, and believes that pictures can have a great influence on shaping public opinion and mobilizing protest.

Malawian boy running after 4×4
“I took the photo while on my one-month stint in Malawi Africa where I mainly worked in orphan day-care centres, also visiting Mulanji Hospital. The photo was taken from the Mulanji Hospital four-wheel-drive ambulance, travelling on the extremely rough roads from village to village, visiting the sick who were unable to reach the hospital.” Photo taken by Cameron Herweynen.

Bhopal Disaster
This photograph from December 4, 1984 shows victims who lost their sight in the Bhopal poison gas tragedy as they sit outside the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India.
(No citation of photographer given)

Hhaing The Yu
Hhaing The Yu, 29, holds his face in his hand as rain falls on the decimated remains of his home in the Swhe Pyi Tha township, near Myanmar’s capital of Yangon (Rangoon), on Sunday, May 11th, 2008. Cyclone Nargis struck southern Myanmar a week ago leaving millions homeless and has claimed up to 100,000 lives.
(No citation of photographer given)

Aftermath of Earthquake in Balakot, Pakistan. 2005
This image was taken about one month after the earthquake in Pakistan. People were still coming down from the mountains trying to find shelter and were suffering from trauma. Winter was on the way and the need for shelter was urgent. This father with his child had been collecting food. I spent ten days in Balakot documenting the situation after the quake. People were still digging for their family members.
(No citation of photographer given)

Sichuan Earthquake
A man is crying while he flips through a family album he found in the rubbles of his old house.
(No citation of photographer given)

How do you all feel about these photos? Do you believe they portray a story? Do you think any of them could be considered controversial? What do you think makes a really excellent photojournalism picture?

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