Thursday, April 18, 2013

Zorbing, Reading, "Green"-ing

Recently the Rolling Stonehill got the chance to catch up with Andrew Norkiewicz, who's currently studying at Oxford University in England.  Read all about his amazing experiences below- from country hopping, to "Fire Shots," to getting the chance to roll in a zorbing ball!

RS: How has your abroad experience been so far? What places across the world have you explored? 

AN: My abroad experience so far has been extremely diverse and I am very glad that it
Bodleian Library
has been. I have mixed a lot of academic work (I now know the inside of the Bodleian library better than MacPhaidin) with sport, volunteer work, and travel. Though I have not had much time during term to travel, I managed to make my way around England (Stonehenge, London, Bath) as well as Galway, Ireland in the fall semester. In the spring I was able to spend a week in Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich and I have been currently living in Wales on an organic farm for over a month now.

RS: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done abroad yet? 

AN: If my parents are reading: On Easter Sunday I ran on a high coastal path in Wales that took me onto cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I ran until the sun set over the ocean and Welsh headlands and was accompanied by four wild horses at one point. If my parents aren’t reading: in Vienna I went to a dive bar that offered a “Fire Shot” for only a euro or so. I thought it was just something that would burn on the way down. Rather, it was a shot of alcohol that was lit on fire while in my mouth. All I can say is that Brother Mike’s should invest in this.

RS: What are you excited most about to bring back to Stonehill?

Water zorbing
AN: Two things. Farming and water zorbing. Working on an organic farm in Wales for over a month has been one of the greatest aspects of being abroad. It has been a great break from bookwork and it has given me a variety of practical skills which have helped me to develop a much more comprehensive understanding of my academic studies. I am very much looking forward to returning to Stonehill with what I’ve learned abroad about sustainability, global perspective of environmental issues, and organic growing in order to help make Stonehill a greener college.
On a more important note: I would very much like to start an initiative that would see the ice-skating rink in front of the science center to be changed into a large pool during the warmer months and used as a water-zorbing station for students. During the Mansfield Ball at Oxford, such a station was created and I can honestly say: running around in a human-sized hamsterball on top of a pool of water was probably one of the greatest/claustrophobic/nauseating experiences of my life.

Carolyn Meklenburg '14
Image credit:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Away We Go

Stonehill's own Rex Macipinlac is at it again!  This Spring, Rex's newest work to hit the world's eardrums is called Celebrate Your Soul.  A bright "west coast rap inspired life anthem, dazzled with references to Super Mario, Ramen, and Armani suits," this song from his newest EP Full Bloom Universe speaks on all kinds pop culture frequently discussed today.  Commenting on everything from Barack Obama to ideas about the apocalypse, the track is both humorous and introspective, all while preaching the resounding message that each day should be "celebrated."  Check it out below, and keep an eye out for Full Bloom Universe!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lord of the Rings meets Desperate Housewives: Das Barbecü

A performance of  Das Barbecü
The Stonehill Theatre Company and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts present Das Barbecü, a musical comedy with music by Scott Warrender and book and lyrics by Jim Luigs.  Directed by guest artist Peter A. Carey, this re-telling of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas takes place in present day Texas and is filled with romance, rivalries, and line dancing.  Hilarious scenes spin around two sets of mismatched lovers who meet on the day of their shotgun double wedding and amidst three generations of outrageous characters from two feuding families.  Spells are cast and curses affect the lives of many characters resulting in orphaned children and adulterous affairs.  With 13 actors portraying 30 different characters, Das Barbecü is a fun, tongue-in-cheek look at how one magic ring created from stolen gold can cause controversy throughout all of Texas.  This “Lord of the Rings meets Desperate Housewives” country-western musical is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  Show dates are April 11th, 12th, and 13th at 8:00 PM in the Hemingway Theatre at Stonehill College.  This is a MERIT POINT EVENT.  Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, and $8 for general admission.  Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Stonehill Theatre Company Box Office at (508) 565-1458 or at the door.  They can also be purchased in the Commons during lunch and dinner starting April 2nd.

Rachel Wingert '16

Image credit: 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cultural Osmosis: Gaining Perspective and Acculturation Through Travel

Over Spring break, I travelled farther than Virginia for the first time in my life, going abroad to Germany with my fellow LC members. Leading up to our travel, I felt nothing but anxiety and fear: What if the plane we fly on crashed? What if I am stuck sitting next to someone with body odor? What if I get the window seat and have to force the person next to me to get up multiple times because I need to utilize the facilities? What if I lose my luggage? What if I can’t find anything to eat? And the list goes on. Everything that someone who has not travelled before worries about, came across my mind. After a lengthy flight, we touched down in Munich with no problem, easing my anxieties partially. We then left the airport and headed towards our bus, and as I looked around at the second largest city in all of Germany, I realized how life changing an experience I was going to have: gaining perspective and cultural diversity through my travels.
Travelling to Germany had its obvious advantages: the chance to see more historical German landmarks than most will ever see in their life in the course of 13 days, the opportunity to experience a vibrant and youthful German nightlife, the chance to sample a new cuisine, the chance to test the language skills I have been honing all year in my German class, and the ability to check something off my bucket list, leaving the United States and going abroad. These were all amazing advantages and experience gained from our time in the Vaterland, but upon arriving back here at Stonehill I found I have gained something even more valuable: perspective. I have lived on the South Shore my whole life, and have rarely left without the company of family. Going to Germany threw me into a new culture, and allowed me to see how others live beyond the Stonehill, and Southern Massachusetts bubble.
I observed many things about the Germans, but there are a particular few worth mentioning here. The first thing I noticed is their impeccable time management skills: whether it was a tour guide, member of the hotel staff, or a waiter, all the Germans I encountered were timely and conscious of the hour. The beauty of their precision in regards to their schedules was that they were not on time because they were constantly in a rush as we often are here in the states, rather they moved at a normal pace and yet were never late. Germans also place a large emphasis on utility, be it their vehicles, their showers, their souvenirs, you name it, they were all well-made and built to last. Germans also treat money different than we do, when one prepares to pay at a restaurant you pay right at the table, you don’t send your payment off and wait for the waiter or waitress to come back, it all happens right in front of you in a shockingly transparent process. It is also not a shock to a server if they receive no tip, for their wages are high enough as it is so they do not have to work strictly for gratuities, they make a respectable wage no matter what you tip them. Perhaps most shocking to Americans, nearly every German restrooms require a fee for entry. This may sound obnoxious, but these restrooms were kept impeccably clean and stocked with nearly every amenity one could imagine. Germany was just an entirely different world, and I liked it. It was amazing because even the most trivial of tasks such as paying a waiter or using the bathroom were the polar opposite of what I was used to, and therefore an experience worth having.
I do not mean to downplay the significance of my time abroad by highlighting such specificities, but I would like to use them as a springboard to explain the more broad societal themes of Germany. Through my day to day interactions, I realized the German people place an emphasis on utility, transparency, punctuality, a normal and deliberate pace, cleanliness, cordiality, and the ability to make a respectable living despite one’s profession. Not to beat a dead horse, but can any of us say that we have never commented on the lack of such characteristics in our own country? I know that as Americans we like to go it alone, but maybe we can learn more from the Europeans than we may think.

Brendan Monahan '15
Image credit: Brendan Monahan

Monday, March 11, 2013

On His Way

Recently the Rolling Stonehill got to catch up with Chris Borelli, a student artist who, among his other musical conquests, was recently featured on Vans' Warped Tour.  We wanted to hear more about his experiences with that amazing opportunity, and took this chance to get all the details on this once of a lifetime experience.

RS: Tell us how you got started.

CB: So it may come as a surprise to most people, but my passion for writing and producing hip hop music didn't come until I arrived at Stonehill my freshman year. I specifically remember writing a rap verse just to try it out and see how I felt - bearing no intention of taking in all. I decided to recite the verse to my close friends one night and was shocked at the response. It was nothing but love and genuine admiration towards the true potential I showed by writing that one verse. But it was the incredible Rex Mac who prompted me to hone that potential. His advice to me was to embrace this unexplored genre and to not stop writing. Given Rex's musical credentials and his seemingly untouchable knack for producing his own style of rap music, it was not hard for me to take his advice seriously. From that point, the rest was history.
Chris Borelli

RS: What are some of your proudest accomplishments?
CB: Since I've started out, I've learned that I truly love performing just as much as producing - if not more. So almost any type of performance opportunity means the world to me. Given that, I would say that some of my proudest accomplishments include featuring on Rex's opening set at Spring Weekend two years ago - having barely started rapping seriously, opening for Cobra Starship last year in my own set, performing my first paid college gig at Simmons College in Boston, and being featured on the Vans Warped Tour this past summer.

RS: What was it like being a featured artist on the Warped Tour?
CB: Being featured on Warped Tour was absolutely incredible to say the least. I was on a 6-day stint with the tour, which took me to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Mass, and Connecticut. More than anything else, it gave me a little taste of what the tour life is really like - which was the most significant takeaway. Every performance I had on tour was an incredible one. Performing in a different state almost every day, in front of people who have never heard your music before, is unlike anything else and only confirmed that this is exactly what I want to do for a living. It was perhaps one of the most exhausting experiences I've had, but by far one of the most memorable. I hope to be on it again this summer so we'll see how the cards fall with that one.
The artist Macklemore

RS: Who are your current favorite artists at the moment?
CB: I'm open to just about all types of music and am willing to explore aspects of almost any genre. But I particularly appreciate the works of Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco, Macklemore, Drake, and my musical sensei Mr. Rex Mac himself.

RS: What equipment do you rock with to make your beats? What helps your creative process to make those beats?
CB: I construct all of my instrumentals using a program called Reason. I then record all of my vocals on Garageband. My process for producing almost all of my instrumentals involves a great deal of inspiration. I've found that I often am inspired quite easily by other artists' songs, instrumentals, performances, or just anything musical in general. Thus, most of my beats and songs are inspirationally derived from other beats and songs by other artists. If I'm truly moved by a song or a beat, I'll internalize the musical concept, reconstruct my own concept based on specific sound components of that particular song, and then create my own portrayal of that inspired concept in the form of an original instrumental. It's the most fun I could ever possibly have when it all goes the way I want it to.

RS: Where can we find you online? 
CB: I'm currently in the process of reworking my personal website ( But other than that, I am on almost every mainstream media outlet there is. You can keep up with all of my musical endeavors on my Facebook music page by searching and 'liking' Chris Borelli 4LM. I have quite a few videos on YouTube as well. On top of that, I am also on Twitter @ChrisBorelli4LM, any and all follows are greatly appreciated.
RS: What are your future plans? Any shows or releases we should be aware of?

CB: My musical future is undefined, but I have hopes on making this music heard on the largest scale possible. Ultimately, my goal is to instill a new sound into the world of hip hop and help solidify the idea of substance being a norm in today's music industry. As of now, I have no major performance opportunities that you should be aware of..yet. But do expect a brand new wave of sound to hit the streams in the very near future. You could perhaps look forward to a brand new single hitting iTunes very soon, with the accompaniment of an official music video. You could also perhaps look forward to the release of my first original EP in the near future. And you could even think about looking forward to a jam-packed mixtape for the summer. All of these things will come to fruition in due time, but patience has been the key virtue since day 1. So please don't sleep on me! With quality work comes quality time. But stay excited, I'm on my way.

Rex Macipinlac '13
Image credit: and Chris Borelli