Fine arts education: Why it is so important?


Staff Writer

Almost everyone has taken a fine arts class especially in elementary or middle school. However, fine arts education is not just for children. The fine arts can be beneficial to everyone—even busy college students. The United States have made STEM (cited science, technology, engineering, and mathematic) education a priority but the fine arts does not receive as much attention.

The fine arts include visual arts (such as painting, sculpture, and architecture), music, theatre, dance, and literature, while some sources also include film as a fine art.

First, the fine arts provide an outlet for self-expression. In Eric Trules’s words, “We are all creative, and we all have the need to express ourselves.” Unlike many other disciplines, which require students to simply memorize information and repeat it back, the fine arts allow students to express their own ideas and emotions through an original piece of work, using their emotions in a constructive way. Furthermore, through creating artwork and sharing it with others, students gain a sense that their ideas are being heard, and often feel pride and satisfaction upon completing a work.

The fine arts can also be used to help students learn content in other subject areas. Dr. Brandy Terrill, an assistant professor of Creative Arts at Salisbury University Teacher Education Department, have her elementary education students make creative journals. In the journals, they each made visual representations of the topics they were learning, creating visual artwork.

For example, one student drew different shapes on the page, colored them in, and wrote each topic inside of one shape. Dr. Terrill’s students benefitted from this, for the creative journaling exercise helped them retain the information they learned. Students can also learn content in other subjects through creative activities such as song and dance (for instance, making up a song to help remember Linnaeus’s system of biological classification). For students who are not strictly visual or auditory learners, learning information through the fine arts can be especially helpful.

Finally, the fine arts provide the benefit of creativity. Dr. Terrill also emphasized the fact that the careers today’s college students will take on in the future will likely involve the integration of content from multiple subject areas, requiring students to be, in her words, “creative problem-solvers”.

This sentiment was echoed in the 2006 report Are They Really Ready to Work? issued by The Conference Board, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Corporate Voices for Working Families and the Society for Human Resource Management. This study found that 81% of employers rated creativity/innovation as “’very important” to job success for four-year college graduates.

Additionally, for future college graduates, 73.6% of respondents expected creativity/innovation to “increase in importance”. How can college students exercise their creativity? Participation in the fine arts! Unlike disciplines such as math or science, with the fine arts, there are no “right” and “wrong” answers, and no equations to be solved. In the process of making a sculpture or choreographing a dance routine, to name a few examples, students combine their original ideas to create a finished product. They must think “outside of the box” to create something new.

Although fine arts education is sometimes forgotten in the wake of STEM and Common Core, it definitely has its benefits, and should not be overlooked. The future of education should strive to integrate more fine art elements into school from curriculum to the educator’s teaching the curriculum.

Shania Twain is Back…Right “Now”

Charlie Fern

Staff Writer

Shenia Twin album cover

“Now” is Shania Twain’s first album since 2002 (photo from Hamada Mania Music Blog).

After much personal upheaval, Shania Twain has released her first album since 2002 and it further solidifies her as a pop-country legend. The songs on “Now” are not quite as in your face or upbeat as many of Twain’s biggest hits. There are still catchy choruses, but there are also a lot of more reflective mid-tempo songs and ballads.

Shania divorced her husband and longtime producer John Robert “Mutt” Lange in 2008. The end of the marriage also ended the artistic relationship. This and her vocals being effected by Lyme disease giving “Now” a different sound than Twain’s previous albums.

Those looking for earworms will be in luck with the first two singles, “Life’s About to Get Good” and “Swingin’ with My Eyes Closed.” Though the former explicitly deals with the breakdown of her marriage, both songs have a sense of triumph. This makes them fun to listen to.

The song “Home Now” gives off a similar esthetic. Shania sings about how she was lost, but she has found her way home. This track deserves to be a single. It has the potential to be a huge country hit.“We Got Something They Don’t” would also be a good single. It is catchy and accurately reflects Shania’s life and relationship.

Another standout is “You Can’t Buy Love.” This track has a soulful swing to it unlike any other Shania Twain song. This track has evoked comparisons to Motown and Amy Winehouse. These comparisons surprisingly make sense considering how strange they sound.

The ballads on the album are also noteworthy. They are not quite as exciting as songs like “You’re Still the One” and “From This Moment On,” but the subtlety works here.

The high point of the ballads is “Soldier.” In this song, Twain takes on the part of a woman married to a deployed man asking if anyone has seen her soldier “standing all alone” and “waiting to come home.” The song is heartbreaking and beautiful. It is easily the album’s most powerful.

Elsewhere, Twain takes on her divorce in solid tracks like “Poor Me” and Who’s Gonna Be Your Girl.” She also continues melding genres as she always has on tracks like the tropical “Let’s Kiss and Make Up.”

The album is not perfect however. “More Fun” is a weaker version of “C’est la Vie” from 2002’s “Up!” album, and “Light of My Life” falls flat despite its lovely sentiment.

However, these are nitpicks in the grand scheme of the album. The lyrics here pack a punch in a way they never did before. She is still the same woman, donning leopard print on the album cover just like she did in the video for “That Don’t Impress Me Much.”

“Now” is easily Shania Twain’s most autobiographical album and it really payed off. Despite the changes in sound, Twain is still as impressive as ever. Fans should be glad to welcome her back.

The Flyer gives “Now” an 8 out of 10.

The challenges of a student worker


Staff Writer  


Many students must make the choice between having a job and being paid, or focusing on their studies (Photo by Lily Bazis).

Salisbury University students search for the perfect balance between work and school. College alone is a huge task and a great deal of work for any person. Yet on top of the school work and extracurricular activities, many college students choose to get a job, adding to the already present stress of campus life. For some, balancing a job while trying to earn a degree is very possible, but for many, it is a difficult burden to bear, for finding that perfect balance is no easy task.

Being a working student is nothing new, however. A study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce informs us that more than 70 percent of college students over the past 25 years have worked while at the same time attending school. And Salisbury University is no stranger to this, with many students working on and off campus jobs while at the same time maintaining their studies.

One working student on campus is freshman Kelsey Pintzow, who juggles being a student in the honors college as well as a worker at Hungry Minds in the Academic Commons. Being an honors student, classes are especially difficult, with Pintzow admitting that “it is definitely a challenge balancing school and work”. She also finds that being involved in extracurricular activities is tricky, since she is not left with much free time in between classes and work.

On the more positive side of having a job while in college, Pintzow finds that her job at Hungry Minds is “teaching me a lot about time management, and the money is very helpful, even necessary for me”.

Another student, freshman Sam Douglass, is a Communication Arts major working for the Seagull Sports Network. She tells The Flyer that she thoroughly enjoys her job, and that “it is easy with my schedule, allows me to make money, and will look good on my resume since it deals with my major”.

Since Douglass’ job is mainly on the weekends, she explains that her work usually does not interfere with her classes, but if given an extra Wednesday shift, she finds herself “rushing from class to the field”.

Since paying college tuition is no easy task, the financial benefits of working a job while attending college is one of the most prominent reasons that many students choose to do it. This extra money could come in handy when paying for things like textbooks or room and board. However, according to The Atlantic, by “sacrificing time away from the classroom, many working students will still graduate with at least some student-loan debt.” This could potentially become a major issue for many students, affecting them well into their adult lives.

The list of pros and cons is endless when it comes to working as a college student. But the truth is that no one is the same, and while holding a job might not be the right choice for some people, it might just work out very well for someone else.

Advising for dummies


Staff Writer

Not all advice is good advice, which can be a huge concern amongst students when the advice is coming from a person who regulates their academic career.

Salisbury University has a few weeks in the school year when it is required for all students to meet with their academic advisors. For most students this is the period of time to figure out what classes they need to take for the next semester and when they can sign up for them.

Students cannot sign up for classes without seeing an academic advisor because they are the ones who open the option on GullNet, to start choosing classes and when official sign up for classes begins.

Directly from the Salisbury University website, the Academic Advising Center tab, academic advisors are “responsible for assisting the student with understanding degree requirements, planning course work, and developing their academia at the university level.”

Based on that definition they are not entitled to convince students to change their career choice, to take unnecessary classes or tell them whether or not they should or should not drop a class. They can offer pros and cons to a student’s decision, but should be objective in the matter unless asked otherwise.

Unfortunately, many students believe that they should always do what an academic advisor suggests. After all, they are professionals that have more experience especially with that specific degree and it is the academic advisor’s job is to advise students to reach their goals.

There are many horror stories of advisor-gone-wrong situations happening and the real concern is how to put an end to it. Of course mistakes in advising will happen especially when that said advisor is working with at least fifty students and programs are constantly changing. However students can avoid these mistakes to keep their academic career on track.

First, students need to be informed. There are many class requirement guides on the Salisbury University website, also referred to as academic checklists. Read those and enter the advisory meeting knowing what classes are needed.

Also on the website there is something called a current academic catalog, when clicking on the course link there are all the different descriptions of classes that are written on the academic checklists.

Second, students need to be determined. Being told that certain goals are unrealistic, that switching careers would be a better idea, or receiving what sounds like bad advice, would make anyone somewhat upset. If students stay determined they can overcome this slightly upsetting situation. Determination and having a good plan to reach goals is what will get the good grades and the diploma.

Third, students should use their best judgment.  They should receive a second opinion, maybe even a third opinion, and then ponder the pros and cons to what was suggested in the meeting. It is wise to call trusted adults like family members, trusted professors or maybe even older college students that were once in the same position.

Many advisors do their job well and build meaningful relationships with their students. However there will always be the few that are opinionated and believe they are telling the student what is best for them, even though it is not.

Students need to be aware of this and should never feel pressured to do something that does not seem in their best interests. It both the student’s and advisor’s role to ensure success when determining classes in the semesters to come.


Sammy the sea gull soars


Staff Writer


SU’s very own Sammy the Sea Gull.  Photo By: Allison Guy

Walking into Salisbury University’s school store, one is greeted almost immediately with the prevalent image of a white bird wearing a maroon sweater adorned with a gold “S” emblem. Although some people might view Sammy the sea gull as unfit for the university or downright silly, he perfectly captures the spirit and history of Salisbury University.


Everyone who attends Salisbury knows that our mascot is Sammy the Sea Gull. This bird is everywhere, from banners to sweatshirts to hats to decals. He even has stuffed animals made in his honor! He makes appearances outside of the school store, too—he can be seen cheering on SU’s athletic teams and posing for pictures with students at special events. Students should not forget the statue of him, which stands proudly across from Perdue Hall.


Many people do not know the history behind the mascot, which dates back to over fifty years. Salisbury University, which was initially called the “Maryland State Normal School,” opened its doors to students in 1925. However, according to the Salisbury University website, a mascot was not chosen until 1948, when the Student Government Association held a “name the mascot” contest. The winning entry? Interestingly enough, it was “Golden Gulls”–and “Sea Gulls” was only the runner-up.


In 1963, the university was renamed to “Salisbury State College”. At athletic events, the university’s teams became known as the “SSC Gulls” (Salisbury State College Gulls), and when people said this out loud, “C Gulls” sounded the same as “Sea Gulls”. And due to this minor mix-up, Salisbury’s official mascot became the Sea Gull.


However, it took some time for the Sea Gull to take a physical form. The first appearance of a Sea Gull mascot in Salisbury’s yearbook came two years later, in 1965. And in the 1970s, though the exact origins are unknown, the Sea Gull was finally given a name, and thus Sammy the Sea Gull was born, and he has been embraced by the university ever since.


As far as mascots go, Sammy is unique. There are only a handful of other colleges in the country that have a sea gull as their mascot, including Endicott College in Massachusetts and Rappahannock Community College in Virginia.


In addition to being rooted in history, Sammy the Sea Gull also reflects Salisbury’s location. Sea gulls can be found in abundance on the Eastern Shore, especially on Ocean City and Assateague Island beaches. Our mascot also pays a nod to some of the other well-known bird mascots in Maryland, such as the Baltimore Orioles, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks (a Major League Lacrosse team based in Annapolis).


Although Sammy the sea gull may not be the most fearsome or threatening mascot, he is one that brings the campus community together.


During open houses, university hosts encourage the people on the tour to take a picture with the Sammy the Sea Gull statue, and many do. Taking a picture with Sammy make many feel as though they were being introduced for the first time to the Salisbury community. During orientation week, group leaders told everyone in the group to touch the statue, because legend has it that will help any student get a 4.0 for the semester.


This, above all else, is the importance of a mascot—something that unifies a campus and makes students feel proud of their school. Sammy has most certainly accomplished this.

What Happened to Monday? – A Movie Review


Staff Writer

“What Happened to Monday” is a new science fiction film available on Netflix that brings to light the moral dilemma humans will eventually need to face with time, and that is how to deal with overpopulation.

It is a science fiction film full of action, crime, and suspense. There were some gruesome scenes so it is not for people with a weak stomach. The science fiction elements in the film were thankfully not distracting like many movies in the science fiction genre are. The director, Tommy Wirkola, did a good job at making this possible Earth realistic and gritty even with the advanced technology depicted.

In a dystopian future of Earth, overpopulation gets out of control.  Food and resources are extremely limited and the solution is to limit every family to just one child. This means a family with siblings is a crime.

There are strict checkpoints throughout the city regulated by the Child Allocation Bureau. If they discover that anyone is a sibling, that person is sent to the “cry-o-sleep.” This is a machine that puts the child to sleep, and when the population has decreased, they are woken up to continue to live. This system is controversial because that child may never wake up and of course it challenges the ideas of free-will.

The conflict in the film arises when a woman in the beginning of the film gives birth to septuplets. They are all given names based on the days of the week. They all live as one person, being able to get to leave their shelter on the day of the week that matches their name. They each replay their days so they all are experiencing the same person’s life.

Eventually their secret gets discovered and they are hunted down one-by-one. Who exposed them and what happens at the end are both really nice surprises that were unexpected. The script by Max Botkin and Kerry Williamson was well written. Kerry Williamson is well known for being one of the writers to the movie “Alex Cross.”

The film touches upon the real concerns of overpopulation facing our cities today and a lack of resources. This is not the first film to use this topic; Kingsman: The Secret Service, Wall-E, Idocracy and more also express the true concern, how do we save the Earth? Other films leave a trace of hope for mankind, but in “What Happened to Monday” there is less hope then audiences were expecting which will be thrilling for some but unsatisfying to others. It is an eye opener that is a great watch.

The Flyer gives “What Happened to Monday?” 8 out of 10 stars.

Country or Rock: Who Rocks The Stadium More?


Editorial Editor 

With the summer coming to an end, the music festivals and big summer tours from artists of all genres begin to hibernate, while audiences suffer from concert withdrawal.  Country music has mastered the art of drawing crowds and giving people memories, leaving its cousin rock music in the dust in terms of packing stadiums with both young and old audiences. 

 This shift in the concert world has been building for a while, and it started when Rock stopped being fun. Labels began to stop promoting Rock music in the same way they had for decades. At the same time country had charismatic artists in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, and both label’s and fans pushed it to the top of the charts.  

 Looking at just concerts alone, it is clear that modern country music can be successful, with artists like Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, and Florida Georgia Line selling out stadiums around the country.  


Luke Bryan is one of modern country’s biggest stars that sells out stadiums during every one of his tours. (Picture by Neilson Barnard of Getty Images). 

 In a 2016 article from Forbes Magazine titled “Country Music’s Popularity and Influence Continues to Rise” it claimed that were 4,002 monitored country stations in 2015, compared to 2,874 stations in 2008. This increase is just one of many factors at play here. 

 There are no modern rock bands that have broken the mainstream barrier in the past decade that can fill up a stadium like these country artists can. Foo Fighters, Green Day, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers all precede even this millennium. Artists like Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons, for most people, do not follow a standard rock formula both in instrumentation and performances for they lie more in the alternative spectrum.   

 With the Nielsen Information Company recently stating that hip hop and R&B are statistically more popular then rock, it is clear that rock really is dying unfortunately. With that said, country is still not as popular as rock in terms of this list. However, with country music’s constant need for a good time, safe lyrics (for the most part), and rock’n’roll style, it is filling a large space that rock music cannot anymore. 

 Many music listeners both casual and enthused naturally want “crunch” in their music even if they do not realize they want it. “Crunch” is the driving sounds of electric guitars, heavy drums and big vocals that made rock so popular for many people, and country has capitalized on. For the longest time  rock music satisfied most people’s desire for this. However due to exposure from radio and streaming services, many young people and even some middle aged people see country as their only option to satisfy this listening need.  

 This is why many adults like country music, even though they did not grow up listening to it. Bands like the ones listed earlier are still thriving, but part of that is because they have long-time fans that want to hear their old material.  

 Country music is arguably more polarizing than hip hop today, with both genres performing on the world stage despite still having their naysayers. Rock music just does not have the young talent, label backing or excitement to keep up. It might be sad for some, but other people will feel fine because they are dialing to the country station to listen to Dierks Bentley instead of the same classic rock station they have listened to for so long.  

“Everything We Keep” is everything a reader wants


Gull Life Editor

In “Everything We Keep,” author Kerry Lonsdale keeps the reader captivated page after page through a dense plot filled with unexpected events, romance and strong character development.

It is an adult fiction novel listed as a top Amazon bestseller of 2016 and a Wall Street Journal bestseller that breaks the reader’s heart just to build it back together again, only to tear it right back out by the next chapter.

Lonsdale sets the stage in the first chapter with heavy heartbreak, in which the protagonist, Aimee Tierney, is attending the funeral of her fiancé, James Donato, whom she had been dating since she was eight years old. Talk about a tear-jerker.

Later in time, Aimee discovers that James is indeed still alive and the reader follows her in uncovering the mystery of what happened to James at the hands of his dysfunctional family, as well as the journey Aimee takes through her loss and recovery from love.

The novel’s strengths lie in its unique plot twists that leave the reader both relieved and irritated as the story comes to a close. The journey to the end of the book pieces the characters together in an invisible web that makes sense once the conflicts are resolved, though some may argue that the ending is too much of a cliffhanger.

While the novel is impressive, it does have setbacks. The author provides too many obvious clues that can leave the reader guessing what is going to come next, but she does still leave the element of surprise in some instances.

The title itself, “Everything We Keep,” reflects the major theme of secrets that is present throughout the storyline, for most of the characters in the novel grapple with something or someone they have lost in the past.

The sequel, “Everything We Left Behind,” will be released in July 2017, and will continue the tale of what happens after the epilogue of “Everything We Keep.” The question readers are asking will hopefully be answered: will Aimee be tempted to fall back into the arms of James?

This book is ideal for mature readers, as some of the conflicts pertain to situations college-aged readers can grasp. Some of these concepts include career obstacles and medical diagnoses. The characters in the novel, especially Aimee, teach the reader lessons on how to overcome uncertainty, set and accomplish goals and continue forward after losing someone foundational.

The Flyer gives “Everything We Keep” a 9/10.

The backpack with the broken pocket



It is 6 p.m. on Friday evening and the text sound goes off; “I’m here.”

Going into rush mode, I drop what I am doing, save my work, pack up my stuff, throw my wallet in my broken backpack pocket and shrug because I still have not fixed the latch I just let my life—credit cards, cash, license, donor ID, Triple AAA card, insurance card—depend on. What else could go wrong? It’s totally cool, I gotta go.

The “I’m here” text later escalates into the verbal “Let’s get RedBox” idea and I venture to Walmart, fully confident I will be able to swipe my M&T Ravens debit card and make my transaction. What movies are out now, we wonder: Mike and Dave are still looking for wedding dates, the pets are still living their secret lives, and that girl is still on the train.

We pick our RedBox movie, we have a plan, we want pizza, but what is not in my backpack? No wallet. Panic mode. This is hands down a First-World problem, but the kicker is world-wide, so keep reading.

When you lose your whole life (or just your wallet), the worst feelings in the world all come in one whooping swing of awful. Your heart is racing, you want to get angry but you try not to freak out, you want to call everyone and their sister to replace your cards even though they are closed and ultimately, everyone you look at or talk to is the person who, later that night, you are going to blame.

Running through the building, calling SU Police, checking and double-checking the lost and found; I could not get a handle on myself. The thought that someone stole my wallet took over and I wanted to give up, call my bank and go to the MVA at 9 p.m.

Life on Earth today perpetuates with a stigma: people are inherently bad, inherently ill-intentioned and inherently selfish. Anyone on campus could be swiping left and right all over my credit cards or stealing my identity, and I failed to find a reason to think otherwise. Except I decided to, because what else did I have to lose—literally, my wallet was already gone so what else?

The first go-around of searching, nervousness and doubt blurred my ability to ask the people in the building if they saw a wallet that night. I asked the people standing behind a desk, monitoring a sad drawer with other sad lost items, none of which were wallet-shaped, small and previously belonged to me. The second and last round we checked, I found my faith—my faith in people and in the good, just for this moment. The idea of people, all people, being malicious would not be true tonight.

All it took was a few conversations before I asked an amazing member of the janitorial staff, Mr. Baron, if he had seen my wallet. Then a lovely Chick-fil-A worker, Ms. Gail, overheard my inquiry and said, “Girl, you are lucky if you just said you lost a wallet—someone just turned one in.”

All of my anxiety diminished, my heart rate slowed and my faith in my fellow humans rose back up to its normal level, and then some.

Thank you to the staff who heard me out, and especially to the kind citizen who respectfully turned my wallet in, as well as turned my mistake into a lesson and a new mindset of faith in others. What we put in to our perspective will come out full circle, and what we believe of our society will do the same. Positivity, hope and maybe a new backpack could go a long way. My backpack may be a little broken, but its pocket is only as strong as its support.

Celebrity stunts, lying press show why Trump won


Editor in Chief 


President Trump announced that he would not attend the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, causing a stir among the media. While this is unusual in and of itself, given the media’s constant attacks on President Trump, it makes perfect sense that he will not attend.

The president’s use of Twitter and other social media to reach voters directly echoed the campaign of the previous administration. Trump, however, perfected what his predecessor began. Catchphrases like “many such cases” and “Sad!” have become a staple among some Twitter users.

While this may seem silly, it shows that the president’s simple, direct messaging unfiltered by the mass media reached many disaffected Republicans, Democrats and new voters. The media at every turn, particularly CNN, MSNBC and so-called “conservative” outlets like the National Review, viciously attacked President Trump. They made sure to spin the narrative and twist the president’s words.

The media has been completely discredited by the election. While some of their gaffes are certainly mistakes or naiveté on the part of individual journalists, it is clear that many of them are motivated by partisan animus. The complete lack of investigation into Hillary Clinton’s crimes was but one example of the media refusing to hold a public figure accountable.

President Trump has shown that he does not need the lying press to promote his agenda. Corporate media is dying in favor of new Web-based platforms. While there are transparently partisan news sites online, the bigger deception is the false pretense of objectivity portrayed by outlets like CNN and The New York Times.

In the past, many American towns had a Republican or Democrat newspaper. The news had its bias, but all news is biased no matter how objective a writer attempts to be. Corporate media pretends to report the facts until those facts clash with their narrative.

Americans are not just fed up with the lying press, but Hollywood as well. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the latest awards show continued the downward ratings trend of the last several years. Clearly, Americans do not want actors lecturing them about political issues. While they toe the left wing establishment line, they have the wealth to insulate themselves from the consequences of their failed policies.

Jimmy Kimmel claimed that “the country is divided,” yet an electoral map shows that Americans voted overwhelmingly in favor of President Trump. Clinton voters were clustered in urban areas. Trump’s message spoke to many different groups, particularly the white working class long disenfranchised with the GOP’s slavish adherence to global finance capitalism.

Actors and other Hollywood camp followers have no standing to disparage the president. While President Trump has some public gaffes, his behavior is nothing compared to the myriad of scandals that emerge from the world of celebrity.

Social media platforms like Twitter have gone on to censor what they consider harassment. Like the definition of “terrorist,” it is a nebulous term that has lost all meaning. Independent media, individuals on social media and the Trump movement have put the establishment on notice.

The division in this country does not come from ordinary Americans, but from the crises manufactured by the lying press and ruling class.