Pirates fans look forward to another great season

Fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates can expect another promising season, if the team’s spring training is any indication of what is to come.

The teams best players will be returning for the next season, including left-fielder Starling Marte, who recently signed on to a six-year contract extension with the Pirates. A native of the Dominican Republic, Marte completed his first full season in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Pirates last season.

Last season’s MVP, Andrew McCutchen, will also be returning for another season with the Pirates. Coming off of a great season, and an even greater on-air proposal (McCutchen proposed to his girlfriend of four years, Maria Hanslovan, on “Ellen”, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, on December 11, 2013), McCutchen is excited for what is to come in the upcoming season.

The Pirates’ 2013 season made history in the franchise as the team’s first winning season since 1992. They played in the Wild Card Game, which they won over the Cincinnati Reds. Their success was short-lived, however, as the team lost in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Division Series.

Their 2013 season record ended with a 94-68 winning season, landing them in second place in the National League Central division. They were the first team to record 50 wins throughout the MLB.

After decades of loss in the Pirates’ franchise, fans are rejoicing at the prospect of another winning season. The team will play their first regular season game on Monday, March 31 at 1 p.m. against the Chicago Cubs.

Grad student teaches self-defense CKM-style

On Tuesday, March 18, a small group of students gathered in the AFC Dance Studio to learn self-defense techniques. Since it was such a lovely day outside, the class moved to the soccer field.

The instructor. Patrick Conboy, in addition to teaching self-defense classes, is a graduate student at Chatham. “In November 2012, I was invited to a Veterans Appreciation dinner at Dean Waite’s house. I told [Dean Waite and Dr.Giles] I had been back home in an intensive four-day course to earn my Commando Krav Maga (CKM) Instructor Level Two License. When they heard that CKM is a form of reality-based defense, they mentioned the idea of teaching a class at Chatham. Over the past summer, I earned my Level Three and was asked by Dr. Giles to teach a class this past fall semester. They decided to hold the class again during this spring semester,” Conboy said when asked about what brought him to Chatham.

After getting suggestions from the students, Conboy decided that the hypothetical situation would be that the students were being sexually assaulted. The first thing that Conboy taught was how to properly fall and then how to get back up. One technique involved being in a headlock and how to get out of it. You would hit the attacker in the nose with the side of your hand and then kick them to put your weight on the attacker.

Another technique was to pretend that the attacker was choking you then you would pin down their wrists and flip them around so that they were face down on the ground; you would put some force on their head so they would stay on the ground. Then you would run. Conboy then pulled out fake knives and guns and had the students “attack” his private student assistant.

Conboy called this class in particular “Ground Survival” because most of the techniques learned would be best used when on the ground. “I don’t know that I liked teaching this class any more than any other week. Teaching ground survival is fun because it is a little bit more physically active than other topics, such as gun disarms. I like that students seem to have fun in class. I think that’s important. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re not going to want to continue learning, leaving you defenseless in a violent encounter. CKM is something that any person of any size or shape can learn. I enjoy seeing the look on students’ faces when they realize they can do it,” Conboy said when asked what he likes about teaching the class.

Before the class ended, Conboy reminded the students that there will be more sessions and to expect emails about the impending classes.

Tim Seibles impresses audiences with his unique poetry

On Wednesday, March 19, Chatham University hosted a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) poetry reading with author and National Endowment for the Arts fellow, Tim Seibles.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Seibles is currently a member of the English and MFA faculty at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia–a post that he took after years of teaching English in a high school in Dallas, Texas. Seibles’ latest book “Fast Animal” was one of five finalists in the poetry category of the 2012 National Book award.

As evening approached, audience members gradually began filing into the Mellon Living Room, where the event was being held, eventually filling the room to the brim. The excitement was tangible, and everyone eagerly awaited the reading.

At 5 p.m. Seibles took the floor to introduce himself, and give a bit of background for the excerpts he would be reading. His voice had a smoky quality, reminiscent to that of a Jazz singer, and it filled the room as he began reading selections of his rather unique brand of poetry. As he read, his speech lifted the words off of the page and gave them life, often echoing the erotic undertones and themes of the poems.

Seibles began with a poem entitled “Fearless” which was an exploration of spring, with references towards human nakedness and rebirth. From there the reading took a sharp turn with the piece “Ode to my Hands”, which was exactly that. Describing his hands in such ways as “five-legged pocket spiders”, “knuckled starfish”, and “five-headed hydras”, he joked that the poem was written in the style of Neruda, the Chilean poet-diplomat and politician.

From there he moved to a slightly more serious subject matter, reading his poem “In a Glance”, which told the story of a beautiful women whom he passed in a hallway, and the fleeting moment in which they caught each other’s eyes. The poem was a poignant telling, and included the line “the lovely shape of a mind unshaved by reason”, which essentially captured the essence of the piece.

Among the eclectic mix of deeply, emotionally moving pieces, and the slightly more light-hearted selections, Seibles explained that his favorite style of poem was the villanelle, because their structure was like Blues music in that they’re both repetitive, and they both have roots in labor. An example of one of his villanelles was the “Zombie Blues Villanelle”, which had everyone in the room laughing out loud. Likewise, his poem “The Dancing Villanelle”, which included the line, “I’d like to receive a nice blow job in France”, had the audience equally amused.

After the reading Seibles held a short question and answer session in order to answer questions about his works, and his writing process.

In answer to an inquiry about how to balance work and writing, Seibles explained that it is important to start by writing, and then once all of the fun stuff is out of the way, the work can begin. In response to a question about why he likes villanelles he explained that, despite the fact that he bends the rules a bit, villanelles make poetry sound like singing. As he said, in poetry, “syntax is like melody”.

Chatham takes back the night

On Thursday March, 20, a cold and windy night, a handful of Chatham students lit candles after seeing Piper Kerman in the Chapel, and made their way to the labyrinth to observe the internationally held Take Back the Night Rally. What were they taking back the night from? Violence. Rape. Abuse.

Held all over the world, the concept originated in 1975 after a woman named Susan Alexander Speeth was brutally stabbed to death walking home in Philadelphia. Now forty years later women and men all over the world gather to protest violence and sexual abuse and honor those living and dead who have been subjected to such things.

Chatham has been honoring Take Back the Night for years. “It’s important for us to have Take Back the Night as it provides an opportunity for the Chatham Community to share their stories and reflect on the idea of domestic violence in all forms.” Student Affairs’ Stephanie Reynolds said in response to the question of why Chatham has Take Back the Night. Reynolds also spoke about the importance of breaking the silence surrounding domestic violence and raising awareness.

One of those stories told at the rally was that of Amelia Williams, who told her own story of the years she spent being abused by her parents. Williams spoke not only of the pain she suffered as a result of them and their respective problems with alcohol, but also of her journey to forgiveness. A journey that eventually lead to founding the Ring of Hope Campaign in 2010, which provides support to survivors of domestic violence.

Although the turnout was modest, the rally was considered a success. When asked why she braved the cold for the rally, Eir Rivera said, “I went to Take Back the Night because I think that domestic violence is more prevalent than we think and an underlying symptom of an untreated problem.”

The rally was primarily planned by first year Allison Kline who, in spite of not knowing a lot about the movement originally, became very passionate about Take Back the Night saying, “The rally went exactly as I hoped and I was excited to see the turnout and to see that people enjoyed it. If I am involved next year I hope to get more people involved.”


Former Pittsburgh Cultural Trust President wins 2014 Hollander Award

On Tuesday, March 18, former President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Carol R. Brown addressed the Chatham community in Campbell Memorial Chapel, after having received the 2014 Hollander Award for Women in Leadership earlier this year.

After a welcome from Chatham President Esther Barazzone, Tom Hollander, husband of the late Barbara Stone Hollander, creator of the Hollander Award, introduced Ms. Brown.

“For me, this is an emotional evening, introducing Carol [Brown], who was so close to my wife and my family,” Hollander said.

Mrs. Hollander, Chatham College for Women Class of 1960, transferred from Pennsylvania State University in 1959.  At Chatham, she met Brown who was her professor.  The two became good friends and colleagues.

In 1993, Mrs. Hollander decided to create the Award for Women in Leadership to recognize one woman who “has made significant contributions to her community and who serves as an exemplary role model for other women” each year, according to the event’s program.  Since her death, her husband has continued the award in her memory.

Previous Hollander Award recipients include former Pennsylvania congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, current Pennsylvania congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, and co-founder of MoveOn.org Joan Blades, among others.

In her lecture, Brown spoke much about her professional life.  After receiving a Master of Arts at the University of Chicago, Brown came to Chatham to teach in 1959.  In 1975, Brown’s husband died, leaving her four young children to support.

To do so, she became a Deputy Controller for Allegheny County, which was an unusual position for a woman to obtain at that time, since “Pittsburgh was a white, Anglo-Saxon, male-managed city.”

She later became the head of the Allegheny County Parks Department.  According to Brown, Pittsburgh in the 1980s was a much different place than it is today.  The city experienced economic decline even earlier than other rust-belt cities.

“What we now call our thriving Cultural District was frightening, actually” said Brown.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust was created “to bring the city to life at night,” said Brown. “There was a very genuine community disbelief that it would work.” The Trust, however, has achieved success through community effort and has gained many supporters.

Brown supports her successor J. Kevin McMahon’s initiatives to make inexpensive programming accessible to Pittsburgh’s public.  In her opinion, the next important step for the Trust is to bring programming of the best quality to younger audiences and to those who do not usually have the opportunity to experience it.

Brown is a proponent of women in leadership positions.  She believes that while steps have been taken to increase gender equality, success has not yet been achieved.  “Increasing female leadership is a very big initiative in other countries, as well as our own, but other countries may be leading the way,” she said.

According to Brown, the United States strongly encourages other nations to involve females and minorities in leadership, yet only 20 percent of the US Senate and less than 20 percent of the House of Representatives are women.

“I think we should not be discouraged, though, by these challenges, but be encouraged to step forward and accept the challenges of leadership,” she said.

Brown advises women not to be shy if they are offered a leadership position.  “If you are invited, in your career path, through a door where women cannot usually go, by all means go through; then hold it open for other women to follow,” she said.

She also advises women to be altruistic, to pursue something about which they are passionate, and to continue internal growth throughout life.

According to Brown, the most successful people are not necessarily people who have had the most successful careers; they are people who have led the most meaningful lives, filled with selflessness, enthusiasm, and personal expansion.

Alumna Lee Ann Munger continues on a path of women empowerment after graduating from Chatham

Lee Ann Munger, a Chatham graduate of 1984, was sure to make her time at Chatham truly count. With a double major in philosophy and history, Munger set out to create a career path for herself after graduation. She found herself aiding in the development of a program called Powerlink about twenty years ago, specializing in the combination of Powerlink and another women’s rights driven organization referred to as E-Magnify.

Now, she is the Powerlink director of the E-Magnify group at Seton Hill University. Munger, now 52, referred to E-Magnify as her, “niche.” Powerlink is an amazing organization that provides support for beginning or growing businesses owned by women.

Photo Courtesy of Lee Ann Munger

Photo Courtesy of Lee Ann Munger

Munger described exactly what her position and the organization entails, “My focus is on putting together advisory boards for established women with businesses for a growth strategy.”  However, the construction of advisory boards is only one aspect to the immense resources Powerlink and E-Magnify offer.

There are a myriad of options from small seminars, to individual counseling as well. Munger admits her position requires her to work with current women-lead businesses, rather than aiding in the process of building the business like in other positions in the program.

While Munger dedicated her time to Seton Hill University, Chatham University still remained in her heart. The impact of attending Chatham will constantly follow Munger, given her work in the field is based around women’s issues and business. When beginning her freshman year at Chatham, Munger admitted that women’s issues were not where her interests stood.  Referring to the statistics presented to Chatham about the percent of women who do not want to attend an all-women school, Munger commented, “ I was one of the 98%. I was one [of them] until I received information about Chatham.  From that moment I received the material, I fell in love.”

Munger applied only to Chatham after receiving the material because she says she was, “convinced Chatham was the place for her.” Despite her intuition when applying, Munger, originally from Akron, Ohio, had never even seen the campus.

Munger claims Chatham taught her key skills that allow her to be successful in her field such as critical thinking and analyzing and assessing situations. Throughout her career at Chatham, Munger named various faculty members that influenced her, as well as her month-long stay in Paris, France during a January session.

She says there is a key aspect she takes away from her Chatham experience. “I truly believe I can do almost anything. I’m not going to be an architect or a surgeon, but I feel if chose a new career path, I could do anything. I don’t see limits!”

Despite the confidence Munger gained from her experience at Chatham, her on-campus participation has been limited given her busy schedule. However, she is currently working toward making time to commit to Chatham, given the new coeducation dilemma at hand. She explained, the school should reach out to alumni more, and draw them into campus.

Furthermore, she explained, the board has been discussing this issue for years; however, if it was discussed more publicly we may have been able to accomplish more. Given the timing, Munger feels there are, more than likely, so many missed opportunities for Chatham, and other options could have been brainstormed much earlier in this process. She commented that alumnae would be more than willing to be involved in alleviating the issue, while trying to create programs where the alumnae could have the chance to work with highly accomplished young women.  As Munger reflected on the possible coed situation, she stated, “I get worried about our one greatest differentiator-being a leading women’s university.  This could be difficult to rectify.”

While the situation does appear difficult to rectify, Munger, like many others, has confidence that there are still other options available. Ideas are flowing, and hope is still alive as of yet. Therefore, Munger gave some advice to the students currently attending Chatham: “Professionally, when you are starting out, you envision it like a ladder with a straight upward progression. But the truth is, it is more like navigating a spider-web, rather than climbing a ladder. Have some goals in mind, but be open to possibilities because you can’t always see where the path is going to lead.”

Waiting for Intermission: Review of “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Wes Anderson films have a way of turning audiences into Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”. Upon word that another film is going to be released, fans become excited. Doubt lingers in the back of their minds, but when the film is finally released, audiences discover that they end up with the Red Rider BB gun.

His latest success is “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, centered on the young Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) who goes to work as a lobby boy for the eccentric concierge M. Gustave (Ralph Finnes). During Zero’s stay, one of Gustave’s lovers (Tilda Swinton) is found mysteriously killed, leaving him the prime suspect. With a fantastic cast of actors including Adrien Brody, Saoirse Ronan, and Wilem Dafoe, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a poignant delight. The film tackles real themes within this zany plot, guaranteed to leave audiences in a bittersweet mood.

Anderson opens his film with a series of frames, starting with a young girl honoring the author who wrote the events behind “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. It then jumps inward to the author as an old man (Tom Wilkinson) explaining his book. After jumping into a flashback of the author as a young man (Jude Law), audiences enter the frame of an older Zero (F. Murray Abraham) as he recounts the events.

Despite the many levels of consciousness, Anderson demonstrates tight control over these frames. He leads audiences further into the labyrinth of this tale, allowing us to become enthralled with the lavish beauty of the hotel. Anderson’s frame also speaks to the construction of the narrative space, with memory affecting the shape of the tale.

Zero’s memories of the Grand Budapest showcase Anderson’s wonderful control of visual representation. Zero’s timeline shifts between memories as a way to neglect the sadness surrounding his love Agatha (Saoirse Ronan). Even without his explanations, the instability of his frames echoes the emotional pain permeating from his memories.

Leaving the frame, Anderson’s technical mastery helps him investigate realistic themes within a fantastical world. The setting in Eastern Europe, the tension of nationalist war, and quick impoverishment of the Grand Budapest makes clear references to WWII and the Soviet takeover. There is a sense of familiarity to this world, but not enough to retain the film’s mystical element. This fluid nature accomplishes two functions: one, it gives audiences the chance to witness the hotel’s enchanting power as Zero sees it. Two, it echoes the speech the author gave prior to the story where he remarks that fiction is composed of nonfictional elements.

“When you’re a famous writer,” he says, “the characters and stories come to you.” In a twist reminiscent of Anderson’s older films, he reminds audiences that, even though the story exists in a fictional universe, the themes discussed are very real. Anderson’s films are known for their unorthodox happy endings following incredible poignancy. He departs ever so slightly from this formula—and succeeds. He then draws audiences back through the frames, leaving us in delighted satisfaction.

In the realm of Wes Anderson films, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” does struggle in packing the same emotional punch. While the film provides a wonderful zany romp, the relationship between Gustave and Zero exist only through implication. The ‘powerful’ moment of the film where Zero confesses that his parents were killed as a result of war seems rushed and surrounded by the comedic situation of the film. However, Anderson’s witty writing and employing the hotel should not deter you from seeing this film. Preferably as many times as the wallet allows.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Lights, camera, Extraction: Artist Collective hosts a night of the arts

This past Thursday, March 27, the Welker Room was transformed into an art oasis as visual arts, spoken word, and music were showcased for the 2014 Extraction. This is the third year the Artist Collective has hosted the art festival. Extraction was a combined effort of Artist Collective members Meg Scanlon, Rosemary Davies and Denesha Moorefield. Together they reached out to painters, sketch artists, printmakers, sculptors, musicians, writers and overall art enthusiasts to come and celebrate all things artistic.

Extraction began at 8 p.m. and upon entering, guests were greeted with the “Caffé D’Amore” coffee station. Here, people could order handcrafted specialty beverages prepared with local and organic ingredients made fresh by Sarah Walsh, a trained Barista and owner of “Caffé D’Amore”.

The artwork displayed at extraction was very well received. First year Lynzy Groves’ cityscape was appreciated along with senior Shannon Ward’s floppy disk boxes.

Photo Courtesy of Alice Shy First Year Jilene Penhale admiring student artwork

Photo Courtesy of Alice Shy
First Year Jilene Penhale admiring student artwork

“I was inspired to make the boxes when I saw my mom throwing floppy disks [away],” Ward said. “I come from a recycling family so it is very rare for us to throw anything away. I pulled them out of the trash; I had to do something with these.”

Attendees were free to browse the artwork at their leisure, snacking on pita chips and artichoke dip. There were many stations where attendees could experience art first hand.

Denesha Moorfeld had a henna station where she tattooed participants. Kristen Shaeffer, a Film and Digital technology professor, is currently working on a collaborative animation project exploring how people are connected to one another in ways we cannot perceive. At extraction, Shaeffer passed out worksheets of silhouetted dancers. Those who were interested were asked to trace the silhouette of dancers and dedicate the their drawing to someone they have a strong connection with.

Later in the evening there was spoken word poetry. First year Maryann Fix opened with two heartfelt poems showing vulnerability and love. Other featured readers included Liz Sawyer, Chloe Bell and Kaitlyn Lacey.

Photo Courtesy of Alice Shy First Year Meg Scanlon helped plan the event

Photo Courtesy of Alice Shy
First Year Meg Scanlon helped plan the event

“I think it’s nights like these, that are centered around people’s passion, that make Chatham so beautiful” Fix said.

The evening concluded with live music. Sophomore Melissa Garrett performed some of her original ukulele songs and sang a duet with senior Esther Troetschel. Following Garrett was sophomore Natalie Beck, who sang some of her original songs accompanied by the ukulele as well. Senior Esther Troetschel then sang a solo in Yiddish.

“I’m very happy with the turnout” said Davies. “In Extraction we make the art we see in ourselves. Whether it’s in visual, spoken word, or music you can really [see] all of the art forms working together.”

Seasoned storyteller visits Chatham

On Sunday, March 23, students gathered in Laughlin living room for an intimate evening of storytelling and pizza hosted by the Laughlin Intercultural Living Learning Community.

Temujin Ekunfeo, a professional storyteller, instrument maker, historian, and anthropologist, began his career telling stories in 1968 at age 17.

Ekunfeo’s ancestry–with a paternal grandfather born into slavery and a maternal grandfather brought “in chains” to the United States–sparked his interest in preserving and passing down African culture.

At age 17, Ekunfeo began dressing in traditional African clothing native to the Yoruba people from whom he descends.  On Sunday evening, he wore Yoruba dress clothes, as well as many pounds of necklaces bearing hippopotamus teeth, warthog tusks, copal (a resin similar to amber), and beads.

“When I’m done, I take these off and I grow about six inches,” he said about the heavy jewelry.

As a teenager, Ekunfeo was a shy poet.  With time, reciting his poetry allowed him to break out of his shell and transition into the art of storytelling.

Despite his interest in his heritage and African culture, Ekunfeo tells stories from all over the world.  His only rule is that he will only tell a story if he likes it.

“If I like a story, I only need to hear it one time, and it’s up there forever,” he said, gesturing to his head.

Every story Ekunfeo tells is “a most favorite story.”  He avoids telling Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”, for example, because he thinks the main character is a “jerk” for taking so much from the Giving Tree without ever saying ‘thank you.’

Ekunfeo also avoids stories with blatant messages. “If you want to be preached at, go to church,” he said.

He is unable to tell a few stories because he loves them so much.  For example, a story about a blind princess who learns to “see with her hands” is so beautiful that it causes him to weep, and he cannot finish it.

In addition to being a storyteller, Ekunfeo also makes drums.  He brought a drum handcrafted from part of a hollow tapered wooden column he bought at Construction Junction.

He demonstrated the three sounds that a drum can make: bass (a lower resonating sound), tone (a higher resonating sound), and slap (a short sound).  According to Ekunfeo, drum music has to contain at least two of these sounds to be considered music.

“I could bang on that piano all day and not be invited to Carnegie Hall, but if I play this [drum] like I’m supposed to, I [could be and] have been invited to Carnegie Hall,” he said.

Upon a request from first-year Tahmina Tursonzadah for a scary story, Ekunfeo began his story telling with “The Monkey’s Paw,” a tale about a mother’s wishes gone terribly wrong.

Although the story was spooky, Ekunfeo said he does not tell ghost stories because “the premise around them is sad” since ghosts are trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead.

He then told a story that is originally from southern folklore. With his overemphasized local accent and the relocation of the setting to the bank of the Allegheny River, Ekunfeo gave the story (about a man being terrorized by the animal from which his dinner had come) a more local context.

The last story Ekunfeo told was the first one he ever heard.  He first heard it at age seven. In this story, a king orders his subjects to find him the most unique and valuable object the world can offer. After many disappointing gifts, a girl presents herself–a unique human being with much to offer–to the king, and from then on, she rules beside him.

Although he generally dislikes preaching in his stories, Ekunfeo thinks the message in this story is worth circulating–that each individual has worth.

“You stand on the brink of the future. I’ve managed to take something I never thought could be a career, and turn it into a career,” he said. “Learn everything you can, and don’t be afraid to take a chance.”

Students appreciated Ekunfeo’s loud and energetic storytelling style. “I thought at first it was going to be annoying with his exuberant personality, but it turned out to be very engaging,” first-year Abigail Beckwith said.

Tursonzadah agreed. “I’ve never heard a story the way he told it. It was very compelling,” she said.

Foodie on the Half Shell: Macarons can be easy

I was never much of a “tea-time” child. I never had Mr. Snuggy Buggy and Miss Oatmeal sitting around a make believe tea table with pretend cookies and pretend tea. I wanted the real cookies and the real (but not so boring) tea, but as a seven year old, I couldn’t just make crumpets whenever I wanted to. At 20, I still am not a tea-time girl, but I do love tiny cookies, such a macarons.

I’ve only heard baking nightmare stories when it comes to making your own macarons, so I have strayed away from the idea in the past. Today though…today I conquered those little French goodies. In my French class, I have the opportunity to make a French food and get points for it. I feared what my final French grade would look like without French food, so I went for it! Macarons are time consuming, but they are so worth it, and you feel like a chef master afterwards.

You can make any kind of macaron by adding any kind of flavor extract into the cookie batter, and you can fill them with literally anything. Today, I made plain cookies and I filled them with good old fashioned, peanut butter and jelly. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, but you will probably have a “mess up” batch the first time, so it is a lot of dough to help you through the process.

What you will need:

1 cup almond flour/almond meal (I made my own)

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups powdered sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

4 egg whites

Creamy peanut butter

Any kind of jelly (I used raspberry)

Start by adding the almond flour, powdered sugar and salt together. Sifting is preferred, but you could also just mix it together very well. Next, you will be making a meringue with the egg whites and the sugar. First, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they are foamy. Next, add the granulated sugar slowly and beat the heck out of it. It took me about seven minutes to get the thick meringue I wanted. Combine the meringue and the dry mix carefully. The meringue will break, but that’s okay! Just don’t over mix; you will be able to feel what’s right and what’s wrong. The dough should be thick and very sticky.

Now you will pipe circles of the dough onto a baking sheet with wax paper on it. For piping, I used a plastic gallon bag and cut the tip off. These cookies don’t grow much, so make sure to make them about the size you want them. Don’t make them too thin with dough, or they won’t have that “crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inside”, type of thing going for them. Let them sit at room temperature for an hour, or until they are dry to touch. Put them into the oven at about 315 degrees, for about 15 minutes. They should be a little soft when they come right out of the oven; but don’t worry, they will harden. After they are cool, fill with peanut butter and jelly (or whatever you’d like)! Enjoy these treats, and stay confident and patient!