ANDY asked its writers about arts and entertainment that affected them most this semester. Here’s what they said.

Shane Madill

My state of mind is regularly conflicts with my thoughts of everyday life, and my desire to be grounded while also achieving success. I often think about the paradoxical idea of zoning out into “Mittyesque” fantasies. I feel bittersweet nostalgia for the past as I remember both good times and bad times. I look back with 20/20 hindsight, and consider how my experiences have molded me into the person I am today and how they have influenced my future.

Recently, I’ve find myself constantly going back to Converge’s discography. I discovered Converge at an especially dark point in my life, and I always go back to them in as a constant reminder of who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. Singer Jacob Bannon once stated, “People will identify with the darkness you’re feeling,” and sometimes we just need a reminder that we are all connected, even by the basic humanity of the darker emotions we struggle all must struggle through.

Alison Piercy

This past semester I read a countless number of books. All of them were for class. None of them felt very artistic. All of them were non-fiction and World War II related. Most of my time off has been spent looking at graduate school or continuing education programs. Whenever I go out with friends, or family, or colleagues, everyone wants to know what I plan to do next year. In retrospect, I probably should have expected this, given that I’m in my fourth and final year at McMaster. Sadly, the arts haven’t been able to affect me very much this semester because I’ve had no time for them. And life feels empty. And maybe that’s their affect. Here’s hoping for a new year filled with the arts. And less WWII.

Michael Gallagher

While this may be a bit cliché, music will always be one of the most important artworks in my life. I cannot imagine going through a semester without it. Almost everything I know would just feel so empty. How would I pump myself up at the gym if I didn’t have an awesome collection of songs to get me going? Would I even go to my classes if the long walk to school wasn’t made better by shuffling through my iPod? I can’t even try and imagine a semester without music that would me through it. And for me, it is most beneficial to listen to music while I’m studying.

Despite being a music lover, I always had trouble listening to music during a study session, because it was often too distracting. Thankfully, I soon realized that instrumental music – or music without lyrics – was the answer. Soon, some of the most played songs on my iPod were old Jazz albums, hip-hop producer beats, and artists like Ratatat, or BadBadNotGood. They helped get me in the zone I needed to boost my grades.

While I’m sure there are other reasons for the improvement in my grades over the years, I can’t help but decide that music helped me focus, and this was a huge part of it.

Lene Trunjer Petersen

I am a film nerd with a growing taste for controversial, independent films. The very different languages in many of these films is what amazes me. One film in particular that I saw this past term made my reconsider my knowledge of the environment – The East, starring Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård. Skarsgård portrays an eco-terrorist fighting for the world against big corporations. When I walked out from the warmth of the cinema, I stared up in the darkness questioning whether he was committing acts of terrorism or if he was actually saving our world. The film had a grave impact on my own way of thinking and made me strongly consider how I personally can work to save our planet hopefully before it is to late.

Nimra Khan

As my first term ever at McMaster comes to an end, it’s time to turn a little nostalgic and reminisce about all that’s happened. I’ve recently had the flashback of the craziness and flurry of activities during frosh week. It was during that time that I took part in Airbands! Yes, Airbands, an event that took hours of preparations for our team at Eddy’s. It involved long nights and sore arms and legs. I got to work with such fun people from Edwards Hall – and when you spend time dancing with and pretending to be superman while lying on the backs of four people who are practically strangers, you tend to get acquainted very quickly. Airbands made me love McMaster even more, along with Eddy’s; we might be one of the smallest and oldest residences, but that means we all got the chance to meet (and occasionally, dance) with everyone. So this past semester, an “artwork” that affected me was the little dance we put together for frosh week, and the friends and the good times it inspired.

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