Picasso Himself- Joe Hill

October 9, 2015- Picasso at the Lapine Agile had a successful run featuring their cast comprised of NDNU undergraduate actors who were joined by NDNU alumnus Johnny Vilar and visiting Artist George Metroplus. Cynthia Delgado was the Production Stage Manager.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile is written by the iconic comedian/actor/screenwriter/banjo-aficionado Steve Martin. Set in a Parisian bar at the beginning of the 20th century (1904 to be more precise), the play imagines a comical encounter between Pablo Picasso (Joe Hill) and Albert Einstein (Jay Sharma), both of whom are in their early twenties and fully aware of their amazing potential. In addition to the two historical figures, the play is also populated with an amusing barfly, Gaston (George Metropolis), a gullible yet lovable bartender Freddy (Juan Pasqual), a wise waitress Germaine (Linsey Almassey), along with a few surprises that trounce in and out of the Lapin Agile.

The play takes place in one non-stop scene, lasting approximately 80 to 90 minutes. There isn’t much plot or conflict; however, there is a satisfying combination of whimsical nonsense and philosophic conversation. This reporter got an inside look on the play as well as the main character Picasso itself with its lead star: Joe Hill.

Reporter Jasmine Ben-Rached sat down with Joe Hill, not in a fancy dressing room- but the second place he spends the majority of his time in (due to his 21 unit academic workload), his dorm room. To ask a few questions that compares and contrasts the star to his character Picasso. How is Picasso like you and how is he different? “He’s [Picasso] a womanizer, he’s an egomaniac, an anarchist, at this point of his life, eventually he becomes a communist- not like me at all *chuckles* We are both artists, and we are both anti-social.”

Hill talked about the challenges that ensued in taking on the Picasso role, he addressed what he loved and hated about Picasso- “I love all of Picasso’s flaws, they make for such a good character.” As well as the biggest challenge in taking on this role- “Being the womanizer, having the suave confidence in everything that he does, because I’m always second guessing myself.”

The conversation went back to inciting tid bits about the play itself- Hill told this reporter without giving anything away, what his favorite line of Picasso was. “I am taking that small part of us that cannot be understood by God and letting it bleed from my wrist onto the canvas….”

If Hill was to play any other charter in the show “I would play Freddy, because in my opinion Freddy has the funniest lines in the show.” Then we concluded our interview with his opinion on why this play just works- “That’s a tough question, this play works because this is a great ensemble play- everybody is so great.”

Picasso at the Lapine Agile won the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Play. It is staged in the 100 seat NDNU Theatre Studio Theater that brings Steve Martin’s comedy in an “up close and personal” way. The play ended its successful run on Oct 18th.




Taize for Healing

During the months of September, October and November, the Notre Dame de Namur University Office of Spirituality will be collaborating with the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, located here in Belmont, to host community Taizé prayer services.

Taizé, pronounced tay-zay, is a form of prayer that originated in France in 1940. Although originally intended for young people, Taizé is practiced by people of all ages around the world. Over the years, Taizé transformed itself into an entire movement dedicated to peace and justice through prayer, meditation, and song.

Amy Jobin, the Director of Spirituality at NDNU, teamed up with the Reverend of Good Shepherd to put on the Taizé prayer services. She and the church welcome and encourage all to attend the services. Jobin stated that we live in a very fast world and while our schedules can be very hectic, it is important that we take the time to give ourselves a break. “That is one way they find healing and calm in a busy world,” said Jobin when discussing why people practice Taizé. “All day long, we are constantly building up and building up, as we are pushing and striving towards our goals. Meditation and contemplative prayer gives us the time to allow ourselves to deconstruct as we reflect on our lives,” said Jobin.

Along with a few other religion and philosophy classes, the Challenged by Christian Ethics class taught by Dr. Hamilton here on campus will be providing some of the art for the Taize services at Good Shepherd. Jobin contacted Dr. Hamilton to organize this art project. In order to educate the students on Taize and the beautiful artwork that goes with it, Jobin attended one of Dr. Hamilton’s class sessions.

Art is significant in the practice of Taize, as it gives followers a source of inspiration. Typical Taize art features a person who represents a positive archetype. The person can be anyone deemed inspirational, from a saint to a leader, such as Martin Luther King Jr., to one’s grandmother. The art presented in this article is of Sister Dorothy Stang of NDNU, who was killed in Brazil during her attempts to save the Amazon Rainforest.

The Taizé services at Good Shepherd reflect a community led prayer with no particular leader. Each service begins with singing, led by musicians, followed by the reading of Scripture. After, there is a ten to fifteen minute period of quiet meditation and lastly, the service ends with prayer. These services, held every third Wednesday of each month at Good Shepherd, start at 7:30 pm and last one hour. Good Shepherd is located at 1300 5th Avenue in Belmont. It is recommended that students who want to attend the services meet on campus and drive to the church together.

The Local Pub Awaits You

With 39 beers on tap and live entertainment, St. James Gate Pub & Restaurant in Belmont is the place you’ve been looking for to kick back when you feel like there’s nothing to do in town.

They are located on Old Country Road in Belmont, just one mile away from the NDNU campus.

St. James Gate has a laid back environment but is not a typical dive bar. They’re serving a wide variety of American pub food with starters like bacon wrapped tater tots. Traditional bar food such as burgers, salads and sandwiches can also all be found on their menu. With a large beer draft beer selection and a full bar, you can be sure St. James Gate bartenders can pour up your favorite alcoholic beverage.

Inside there is a full bar, small dance floor and a billiards room. There is also an outside patio with gas fire pits, a ping pong table and a second bar. TV’s surround the bars both inside and out, ideal for watching a game.


You can catch a live band playing on most weekend nights, cover charges can vary but is usually $5 after 8PM when there is live entertainment. Salsa Night is every Sunday from 4:30-9PM with a $12 cover, they’re even giving free lessons on how to dance salsa, merengue and bachata. If you’re into singing more than you are dancing, drop in for Karaoke Night every Wednesday from 9:30PM-1:30AM.

St. James Gate hours are Monday through Tuesday from 11AM-12AM and Wednesday through Sunday from 11AM-2AM.

Hiking Spots Near NDNU

If you are looking for new spots to adventure and see new sights, listed below will be some great hiking spots near campus. These spots are spread throughout the San Francisco Peninsula bay area.

1. San Bruno Mountain State and County Park

This hiking spot is located in San Bruno which is about a 15 to 20 minutes drive away from campus. It is 3.5 miles to the summit of the trail with lots of native vegetation along the way. When the summit is reached, the trail runs along the ridge where you will have an amazing view of the San Francisco skyline. This is a generally easy hike with inclines and descents on well graded but rocky terrain which makes this a great hike for Beginners.

2. Año Nuevo State Park, San Mateo County

This trail is a 4.1 mile loop to an elephant seal overlooking spot along the coastline. This trail is relatively an easy one except for some parts of trail which contain some sandy and loose sections of terrain. Once you reach the overlooking area of the trail, this trail will be one to prove itself to be revisited in the future.

3. Portola Redwoods State Park/Pescadero Creek County Park, San Mateo County

This trail is a 7.4 mile loop within the remote woodland area of San Mateo County off the Woodside Road/CA 84 exit. This hike is generally considered a moderate to difficult hike due to the multiple inclines and declines on a single track kind of trail.

Slate Creek Trail

These were some of many trails around the San Francisco Peninsula Bay Area that can be great weekend adventures for any student trying to get out and enjoy the outdoors!

Ways to Help with Procrastination

Procrastination is the mortal enemy of a college simpleton. Before you know it, it has a toehold on your life and your motivation is shot. Many know the recipe that straight-A students have mastered but unfortunately procrastination gets in the way of said recipe. So how does one tackle the P-word? Here are some ways you can kick your procrastination habit.

1. Recharge your battery: Sleep is very important and underrated. Many procrastinators have found that late night hours are a great time to dole out some work. Instead of cranking out that last minute essay, late nights should be dedicated to sleep.

2. Find a partner: Finding a friend to depend on you might be a challenge as a procrastinator. But once you have someone to give you that extra push, some find it easier to get work done when others are involved.

3. One bite at a time: Break tasks into separate pieces. It may seem like obvious or simple advise, but breaking apart a project into different pieces and completing them at different times, is sound advise and very effective.

4. Listen to music: Not just any music. Music works differently for certain people. Find the genre that will get you pumped to work! Classical music can motivate some to zone in and focus on certain subjects. 80’s tunes is fun and upbeat and can be used as great pick-me-ups for that can give you the energy needed for homework.

5. Delegate your work. If you have tasks that require fieldwork, research or other parts that you need to physically perform, ask a friend or your group to do some of the work. Getting others to do some of the work or others to help you take some things off your plate is a great way to relieve some of the stress and avoid procrastination.

6. Prioritize: Making a list is a great way to organize yourself and figure out what requires immediate attention. Many find themselves procrastinating because they find that certain tasks are not that important. This is a common trap that many fall into. Feeling that some tasks are not important can lead to either putting that assignment off or blowing it off all together. All tasks are important and prioritizing is crucial. Don’t let things hang over your head. 

“I used to procrastinate in high school, but once I got into college I found that my classes required me to organize myself. I do not leave anything to last minute anymore,” said NDNU student Linsey Almassey.

Knowing yourself and understanding what makes you function is very important. Although it may seem quite obvious, not procrastinating is very beneficial.

“It’s a personal thing. I refuse to procrastinate. I understand the consequences and I have been trained since high school to not procrastinate,” said NDNU student Teija Evans.

Most people mismanage their time and find that they are unable to handle a social, professional and academic lifestyle. But with proper organization and almost no procrastination, juggling all of the above is very possible.

Things to Consider this Lenten Season

As February comes to a close, students at Notre Dame de Namur University enter the Lenten season with high hopes and determination. Like many, students take this time of year to reflect and make sacrifices for the next 40 days. Though not everyone is religious, students of all ages and beliefs have taken this opportunity to inspire a time of change. If you have not already set an objective for this Lenten Season, here are a few goals that your fellow NDNU students have pledged:

Less Sugar- While the cafeteria has several healthy options, students often look over the fruit and go straight for the sugar cereal or array of daily donuts. Instead of eating so much sugar, just try substituting one sweet for a piece of fruit of a serving vegetables each day. The cafeteria has fresh fruit and vegetable sticks available daily, and everyone wants their body to look good for Spring Break anyways.

Drop the Fast Food- Even though most fast food places do have some healthy options, it is still very tempting to get “the usual” and ignore the salad or fruit substitutions. Plus, most fast food chains are a little bit of a drive from campus. Save yourself the parking spot and the gas money and just try the healthy options available on campus.

Physical TLC- Lent is not just about giving things up, but also about getting into better habits. Working out is always a great way to relieve stress and keep your body healthy. But maybe working out is not your cup of tea. Easy fix: go on walks on nearby trails like Waterdog Park, located just a few minutes from campus. Or even just get outside and do some physical activity like playing Frisbee or riding a scooter.

Social Media Cleanse- Everyone knows social media can be your best and worst enemy. Imagine a life without worrying who is posting what and stressing about what your #ThrowbackThursday post will be. Lent is the perfect time to put those phones and laptops down and make some real memories that do not require a filter or the perfect caption.

Think Before you Speak- It is 2015 and we are all in college. This is a very small school, as we have come to know very well, and it is about time everyone just grows up. Stop talking bad about people, it is as simple as that. It gets you nowhere and honestly just looks bad on yourself. This Lenten season several people have promised to try and speak words of respect instead of telling lies and spreading rumors. This might possibly be the best pledge people our age can make. Plus, Karma is not such a big fan of gossipers so just make an effort to do yourself a favor and keep it classy NDNU.

All in all, Lent is a time for positive change. You do not need to be religious to transform your way of life, and you surely do not need to limit yourself to just 40 days. Even though the saying has been over used, we really do only have one life. If you want to modify the way you run it, then do it. No one has to know and no one has the right to judge you. Take advantage of the time and youth you have and do not waste a single second.

The Trend RUNNING Through NDNU!

People are starting off the new year with a bang! From yoga pants to baseball caps, men and women alike are dressing to suit their new healthy and fit selves in 2015. More and more students of NDNU are not only being spotted in the gym but also showing off their new athletic-wear around campus .

Cindy Rodriguez, a sophomore majoring in business buys her clothes so she can stick with her new years resolution of staying fit and shows them off whether she’s doing a workout or walking to class.

“I set a goal this year that I would be work out more and so I purchased more clothing I can wear to the gym. This way I can do work in the gym AND look fashionable.”

Students are beginning to purchase and identify with a fit lifestyle while also basking in the comfortability that the clothing provides.

Freshman biology major Arielle Miraflores chooses to showcase her laid-back yet sporty style studying in the library or even catching a bite in the NDNU cafeteria.

“Yes, I wear yoga pants to work out sometimes, but I started buying them more and more after noticing how comfortable and convenient they are.”

US Magazine even highlights the athletic-wear trend when they spotted celebrity Sofia Vergara wearing bright workout pants on January 21, 2015. From college students to celebrity icons, an increasing number of people are rocking athletic wear. Looks like this is the new top style trend. Get Ready…Get Set…Shop!

Freshman, Arielle Miraflores, showing off her fit yoga pants and Nike Lunar shoes in the NDNU cafeteria on February 19,2015. Photo credit: Dominique Tarrant

Freshman Arielle Miraflores shows off her fit yoga pants and red Nike Lunar shoes in the NDNU cafeteria. Photo Credit: Dominique Tarrant

On February 19,2015 Colton is spotted in the NDNU quad sporting red Nike basketball shoes, basketball shorts, and a North Face sweatshirt saying “Never Stop Exercising”. Photo credit: Dominique Tarrant

Sophomore Colton Kelley is spotted in the NDNU quad sporting red Nike basketball shoes, blue basketball shorts, and a North Face sweatshirt that reads “Never Stop Exercising.” Photo Credit: Dominique Tarrant

On February 19, 2015 Cindy Rodriguez goes into the NDNU cafeteria for a bite to eat in her basic white T, fitted yoga pants, and stylish LA baseball cap. Photo credit: Dominique Tarrant

Sophomore Cindy Rodriguez goes to the NDNU cafeteria for a bite to eat in her basic white t-shirt, fitted yoga pants, and an LA baseball cap. Photo Credit: Dominique Tarrant