All posts by gurjitpalkaur2019

What I’ve Learned: Jorge Martinez on lessons from the Vietnam War

By Gurjit Kaur
Medill Reports

Vietnam War veteran Jorge Martinez, 72, recounts his experiences during and after the war.

When I was 20 years old, I got drafted — wound up in Vietnam. Uncle Sam sent me a letter of greeting: “You are hereby ordered for induction.”

There was a battle called Hamburger Hill. I had my squad. We had been on this mission for about a week. I was taking what they call point, the first man in the squad at the front of the company, being the guy negotiating the jungle. So everybody follows you. The deal was that we were supposed to alternate every day, one squad one day, another squad another day. Then we’re on the trail and Sergeant Clark, our platoon leader, tells us to stop for a mini break. I’m sitting down and this blond blue-eyed kid from New York sits next to me. A kid named Di Meola. He’s a leader for the other squad.

He says, “Well, how much time you got left.” I go, “30 days.”

I ask him, “How much time you got left?” He says, “I got 60.”

No sooner, Sergeant Clark says, “Martinez, moving out.” I turn around, I tell the sergeant, “Hey Sarge, we’ve been at point three days. We’re supposed to alternate every day.”

He tells my friend, “Di Meola, move it out.” So he gets his squad up. They walk past us. He took point. After five minutes of traveling down a bit of a canyon, he ran into an ambush and got blown away.

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Not only the youth: These unexpected voters also want Sanders’ America

By Gurjit Kaur
Medill Reports

In 2016, Paula and David Grapes voted for Donald Trump. But this year the married couple hope that Senator Bernie Sanders becomes the next leader of the United States. “He’s the last honest politician,” said Paula Grapes, 54. In March, she and an estimated 15,000 others gathered at a Chicago rally in Grant Park, wearing shirts and pins with Sanders’ name and image and holding blue and white “Bernie” signs.

The shift from a Republican to a Democrat, particularly from Trump to Sanders, may seem radical; however, Nick Kachiroubas, an election expert and professor at DePaul University’s School of Public Service, said it’s not as odd as it may appear because many Trump voters wanted (and continue to want) an atypical politician. “They still want somebody who’s an outsider, somebody who’s different, who doesn’t think like what they would consider to be the political mainstream,” Kachiroubas said. “And although Bernie’s policies are 100% different, he provides them another alternative that’s similar in style.”

The Grapes chose Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 in part because they dislike “old school” politicians, and they still do. Yet, substance matters just as much to them when it comes to Sanders. Continue reading

The man behind the murals: Jonas Never on painting sports murals, his process, and working in public

By Gurjit Kaur
Medill Reports

LOS ANGELES — While everyone else was watching Tiger Woods play, Jonas Never spent his week at the Genesis Invitational painting the legendary golfer. Never, a prominent Los Angeles muralist, grew up imagining he’d become a baseball player or run a bar — like Sam Malone from “Cheers.” However, after he tore his rotator cuff, labrum and bicep tendon, he turned to art, realizing it was more fun than any of the other subjects he was learning in college.

Never has built a large following and has become famous for his incorporation of pop culture, celebrities and athletes in his work. Besides Woods, he has painted well-known murals of other professional athletes, including LeBron James, Ronda Rousey and Kobe Bryant. As he worked on finishing his latest piece near the 2nd hole at the Riviera Country Club, Never reflected on his unique start, his typical workday and shared which player he’d like to paint next.

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Suns guard Jevon Carter on the emotional impact of trade rumors and staying positive

By Gurjit Kaur
Medill Reports

LOS ANGELES – Every year, the NBA trade deadline is anticipated by excited fans hoping their team will find a player or two to help improve the team’s chances of winning. Phoenix Suns guard Jevon Carter, however, admitted it was difficult being the subject of trade rumors.

Carter, 24, who played for the Memphis Grizzlies his rookie season, was traded to the Suns before the season began and once again has found his name in trade talks. Last week, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Suns were thinking of trading Carter, Elie Okobo and a first-round pick to the Detroit Pistons for Luke Kennard.

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A critical take: Film reviewer talks Oscars, underrepresentation of women and people of color

By Gurjit Kaur
Medill Reports

Allison Shoemaker will be live tweeting her Oscar reactions from her home this Sunday with two close friends. The 35-year-old film and television critic, who studied theater arts and English at Western Michigan University, writes for The A.V. Club, Consequence of Sound and RogerEbert.com. A lifelong fan of stories, Shoemaker first fell in love with books and then with movies like “Funny Girl,” “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Mary Poppins.”

“I was interested in boundary-pushing and escaping realism,” she says.

Recently, she shared her thoughts on the Oscars, the need for more diversity in films and the ingredients of a good review.

After the Oscar nomination announcement on Jan. 13, the Academy — which as of last December said 84% of its members were white and 68% were male — received criticism for the lack of diversity in the nominees. What needs to change?

They need to start thinking of themselves as recording great cinema for posterity. There are masterpieces that we don’t talk about because they weren’t in the Oscar conversation. There is no world in which “Us” shouldn’t be at the top when it comes to movies that we’re talking about in 2019. But because of the genre, because [of] a black writer, director, cast, it was just undervalued. Continue reading