Activities to do in Athens other than party at Fests

Weekends in Athens are comparable to other college towns, the students spend most of their free time going to parties. The spring in Athens is full of parties outside houses and are what everyone talks about as the better weather encourages students to party outside instead of in small houses. Are you a student, prospective student or parent and want to know what other than partying you can do at OU? Here is a list of a number of other activities that you can do other than partying and the reasoning why you should do these.

Hiking

The Ash cave at Hocking Hills. (Photo Credit: Always Shooting)

College is about learning to be efficient with your time and combining working out with being outside through hiking is a prime example. Athens is surrounded by parks and hiking trails that offer different experiences. All these parks have great views and are easy to hike around. Hocking Hills is the one most people go to but there are many others that are awesome to go to including Stroud’s Run State Park and Sells Park.

The Ridges

The Ridges (Photo Credit: http://www.forgottenoh.com/Ridges/ridges.html )

The most haunted place on campus is The Ridges where there are many types of activities to partake in. The main building there used to be the mental health hospital Southeastern Ohio and is on a hill just across the Hocking River from the main part of OU. It is usually really busy right around Halloween so the best time to go is in the spring. There is an old cemetery there that is nice to look around and the whole area is a great place to explore. You might find something new every time you go!!!

Kennedy Museum of Art

The inside of the Kennedy Museum of Art (Photo Credit: www.ohio.org)

The Kennedy Museum of Art is part of The Ridges but deserves its own point as it is very different than the rest of the area. From the outside, you would not know that a museum is inside the old hospital as the outside is nondescript. The museum is very modern and houses exhibitions from students in the area that vary depending on the time of the year. Going once to see the exhibits is not enough as they are constantly changing.

Biking

The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is a great way to explore other areas without needing a car as it is a 21-mile long bike path between Athens and Nelsonville. You can also walk parts of the bike path if you want to. If you begin in Athens and go the full distance you end up in the Historic Square Arts District in Nelsonville that is a great place along with the whole town to check out.

The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway in the spring (Photo Credit: www.getoutzine.com

Organization Events

With so many university organizations there is always an event to go to that have such have such variety in what they are about. That means there is something for everyone to go to and most of these events are on weekends or when students are free as the leaders of the organizations are all students. One of the main events of the year is the International Week, which culminates in the International Street Fair put on by the International Student Union.

 

Shopping

Most students do not have much money to spare while at college but if they are not spending the little money they have on partying they can use it for other activities. That money can be used to go shopping at local clothing stores that have very interesting clothes and not that expensive. These stores are a perfect example of what Athens is and are a great place to meet like-minded people while looking through clothes.

Movies

The Athena Cinema at night. (Photo Credit: Katherine Egli)

There are a few movie theaters in Athens and they are a good place to go in the evenings or if you want to take your mind off whatever for a few hours. The Athena Cinema is the most known as it hosts many events and has movies and documentary shown for a couple of days. Sometimes the filmmaker comes also and has a talk about the movie.

Sports

Most sporting events cost money but being a student you get in for free. Well, you pay for it in your tuition and student fees but you aren’t losing any money out of your pocket when you go to the events. Baseball and softball are the two teams around in the spring that are often playing in Athens on the weekend. Saturdays are usually the days these teams play most of their games so you can be watching sports for most of the day instead of partying. Always good to support teams that bring glory to OU.

Chilling

The activity that costs no money at all is hanging out with friends and just relaxing on weekends. During the week, everyone is very busy with schoolwork so there is very little time to hang out. There are so many possibilities to do when with a group of friends that don’t include going out and partying. Some of those include playing board games and video games along with just sitting around talking to get to know everyone better. There are also activities that you can do by yourself like watching movies and sports on TV.

As you can see there are other activities to do other than partying and you are not the only one that does not party. The town and university are known for their big parties but some of the other activities are more fun and you can learn from them. Go out and explore all that Athens offers you!!!!

 

 

Culture on Court Street: a visit to the Athena Cinema

The Athena Cinema, which first opened in 1915, is one of the oldest movie theaters in the country. Located at 20 S. Court St., the Athena shows a variety of movies genres on their three screens, from acclaimed independent films to movies produced by Ohio University students. The Athena will host its 44th annual International Film and Video Festival from April 3 to April 9.

This video delves into the history and current uses of the Athena, and tells of two students’ experiences with the theater:

Here’s the entertainment you might have missed this past weekend

If all the moms and dads at Ohio University for Parents Weekend wasn’t enough entertainment, various musicians and other artists came to Athens this past weekend to entertain students, their families and Athens residents alike.

On Thursday night, Daya, a 17-year-old Pittsburgh native who is already succeeding in the pop music scene, sang some covers and a few of her hits in Ohio’s Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. Although her set was shorter than some expected, she didn’t let the crowd down.

Another talent graced the Memorial Auditorium stage the next night, but he was very much a different type of entertainer. Magician Adam Trent dazzled the audience by levitating a table, cracking various jokes and sharing the secrets behind one of his tricks with the audience. He likely unwillingly frazzled himself by offering to meet fans of his act after the show, prompting a large group of audience members to flock to him after the performance.

The Athena Cinema offered students and parents an opportunity to laugh together on Friday and Saturday with screenings of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The cult classic drew quite an audience to its quote-along film.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Spanning the days and nights of both Friday and Saturday, this year’s Country Night Lights concert featured country artists such as Jake Owen, Brett Eldredge, Frankie Ballard and Brothers Osborne, among others. In its second year, the festival brought some big names and drew a large crowd.

On Saturday night, Parents Weekend veterans The Second City stopped by Memorial Auditorium to perform “Hits Home.” The comedy troupe, which features alumni such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Saturday Night Live cast member Cecily Strong, often performs sketches that take jabs at current events and pop culture. The group’s Saturday show did both, garnering laughs from both young and old in the audience.

The Athena is more than just a place of work for some employees

Here’s one place that’ll reel you away from OU’s party atmosphere

If all of Athens’ entertainment venues were at a party, The Athena would be a wallflower; it might not have the party atmosphere that the college town is famous for, but it’s still an interesting — and underappreciated — aspect of Athens culture.

Athena Booth
The Athena is known in the Athens area for its unique Art Deco style

Located on Court Street, the Athena opened in 1915, making it one of the oldest movie theaters in the country. Ohio University purchased the theater in 2001, restoring it with an Art Deco-style interior.

The Athena’s distinction from many other theaters in the area is its unique movie selection. The theatre hosts many independent films, and has hosted the premises for many major movies such as Aaron Sorkin’s Jobs and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. Many film classes here at Ohio University take place in the Athena, and its three theaters can even be rented out for private events.

During weekdays, movie goers can access many deals. On Tuesdays, all tickets cost only 4 dollars. On Wednesdays, one small popcorn is free with the purchase of a ticket. Additionally, any show before 6 P.M. is only 5 dollars.

The Athena is a great resource for Athenians to experience great film. It provides students a great way to spend their weekend, and is a suitable alternative to the college party atmosphere.

At the Athena: ‘Experimenter’ review

Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min. | Rated PG-13 | $6.50 at Athena Cinema

How and why can good people be influenced to do bad things? How does the average German citizen allow something like the Holocaust to happen?  In the 1960s, American social psychologist, Stanley Milgram, conducted experiments that proved how easy it is for authority figures to force ordinary people to harm others.

Experimenter (starring Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder) is a biopic of Stanley Milgram’s later life and focuses on his controversial “Milgram experiments.” In over 1,000 separate trials, he found that people would usually administer fatal shocks to a stranger if an authority figure told them to. The person thought to have been in pain was a confederate, an actor in on the experiment.  They would scream, demand to leave and would bang on the walls. Eventually Milgram did a variation of the experiment where test subjects would forcibly hold down the confederate’s hand on a shock panel. Still the subjects overwhelmingly obeyed the authority figure –  just an actor pretending to be a psychologist.

experimenter
A variation to the original experiment – asiandrama.me

The movie depicts these experiments masterfully with convincing performances and great pacing. During each trial, Milgram narrates to the audience the most important thing that he notices and each is philosophical and interesting. Every different outcome is presented and each variation to the experiment is showed which furthers our understanding of it.

While the focus of the film is on these experiments and what came of them in the succeeding decades, there is time dedicated his family life and other similar experiments that he did and did not conduct.

These similar experiments were interesting in themselves but their purpose in the movie is uncertain, other than Milgram further philosophizing directly to the audience that people are conformists and obey authority. Perhaps they are only there to drive home what the Milgram experiment already told us.

Another curious thing about the film is its sporadic use of green screen to make it look like a play. Still images, black and white footage and paintings made to look like a set will sometimes command the background. Then the next scene will be on location at an airport or a nice looking set. Also, an Elephant will sometimes follow Milgram as he monologizes down a hallway (referencing the idiom “Elephant in the room” maybe?).

Experimenter
One of many green-screen shots – thisislandrod.blogspot.com

These quirky parts of the film are stylistic choices, but ultimately they’re unnecessary. Everything else is played so natural and convincing that intentionally bad looking backgrounds and other abstract visuals are jarring.

Experimenter is full of great performances and has interesting subject matter. But, once the Milgram experiments end the remaining movie is jumbled and unfocused. A better screenplay and more realistic look could have really made the theme and Milgram’s life much more entertaining to watch.

Experimenter is currently at the Athena Cinema and plays daily at 5:10, 7:40 and 9:40 with Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3:10. It is also available on demand.

At the Athena: Goodnight Mommy review

Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min. | Rated R | $6.50 at Athena Cinema

As the summer draws to a close, two twin boys finally get to live with their mother again.  She’s been away for awhile, recovering from extensive surgery to her face.  She arrives bandaged up — she acts differently. She doesn’t seem like the old mom.  Is it someone else? Is it even human? Or are the boys’ imaginations running wild.

Goodnight Mommy is a foreign horror film out of Austria that received critical acclaim when it released last year. It has been in the states since Sept. 11 and is currently being shown at the Athena Cinema.

It’s hard to argue with the critics on this one.

This film is mysterious — tasking the viewer to put the creepy puzzle pieces together. It’s suspenseful and dread-inducing. As the boys get more suspicious of their mother(?), they do more sneaking around. The heightened suspense comes from the fact that you don’t know for sure what that thing that came home is. She could reveal her true form at anytime and things could get ugly in a split second.

It is a horror film by definition, one that pairs disgusting images with a feeling of unease. It is also, at times, hard to watch but not in a way you’d expect. It’s understated. It’s believable. It feels real.

Thirty minutes before the film ends, you may be confused. You’ll be forced to watch some disturbing things and you’ll want it to be over as badly as you want to know what happens next. Then, the twist ending arrives and it all makes sense. The movie’s ending pays off in a big way and instantly made me want to see it through again.

The film felt like an extended, modern episode of the ’60s television series “The Twilight Zone” — lauded for its pacing, minimalism and its proficiency at inducing dread. One of Rod Serling’s iconic monologues would fit perfectly following the twist ending of Goodnight Mommy. I suppose it would have to be in German though.

goodnight mommy
Like this…only way darker – image provided by theredlist.com

Some people may not like to read subtitles but that’s not something that has ever bothered me. Its European setting — with its beauty and inherent creepiness — elevates the movie.  It wouldn’t be the same without it and having subtitles is so much better than any alternative.

Goodnight Mommy is a unique horror film that has superb pacing, performances and cinematography. The worst parts of  horror films are jump scares — they’re cheap and unsatisfying.  This film has largely avoided this practice. There are loud noises at times but the film is scary and suspenseful because of its disturbing images and a turn you won’t see coming.

See it at the Athena (plays daily at 9:50 p.m. with 7:30 p.m. shows on Tuesday & Thursday) while its still there or find a way to watch it on a streaming service —  if it ever gets there. Maybe play it safe and see it at the Athena.

 

A Bobcat’s guide to student discounts

Like any college student, Bobcats know what it’s like to have an empty wallet (or an empty bank account, for that matter). With all of the spending on tuition, loans, utilities, rent, appliances, books, clothes and food (the list could go on) college students are often forced so scrape and scavenge for funds to get by.

Luckily, a lot of businesses out there are aware of this and want to give students a break. By students doing something as simple as giving out their school email or showing their student ID, they can receive discounts. Those small 5 and 10 percent discounts will eventually add up to saving students a bunch of money in the long run.

Students should never immediately expect to get a discount. A lot of stores and restaurants in places such as uptown Athens won’t offer student discounts because they depend on students spending money in order to maintain their businesses, however oftentimes they’ll offer various specials and sales throughout the year.

Businesses may offer discounts depending on location, even some fast food franchises and other chain stores. It never hurts to ask the age-old question: “Do you offer a student discount?”

(And remember, be respectful if they say no.)

It’s always good to know where a student can get deals on prices. Provided below is a list of businesses that offer student discounts and other specials, specifically tailored to fit a Bobcat’s needs.

Athena Cinema
The historical Athena Cinema in uptown Athens has a punch card for eager movie viewers.

“The punch card card is offered to students so that every time they come see a movie they can get it punched,” said Bill McAtee, a sophomore theater student at Ohio University and an employee at the Athena. “It has to be punched six times and the seventh movie is free.”

There’s also free popcorn on Wednesdays.

Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
For students who need to purchase materials for school-related projects and otherwise can hit up Jo-Ann Fabrics on East State Street in Athens. By joining Jo-Ann’s Student Discount Program, students can get 10 percent off every purchase and are eligible to receive two coupons as well.

Amazon Student
Students order a lot of stuff online, right? Amazon Student is perfect for getting things to students quickly and cheaply. By signing up for Amazon Student, Bobcats will receive a six-month free trial of Amazon Prime service, which includes streaming videos and unlimited two-day shipping. After six months, the service is 50 percent off its regular price.

FedEx
Another way to get cheap shipping is through FedEx. Students can get 20 to 30 percent off for shipping packages when they show their school ID.

Microsoft
Microsoft offers quite a few deals for both students and teachers. One option is Office 365 Education, which is free and includes 1TB of online storage and online versions of Office. Bobcats can also buy and install the full Office 365 for their computer for $79.99. At this price, students have Office 365 for four years and is included for two PCs, Macs or tablets (the original price for Office 365 is $100 for a single device).

Penske
This is perfect for students moving off-campus. Students get 10 percent off truck rentals and an additional 10 percent if they book a one-way rental online.

Greyhound
Need another way home besides the GoBus? Afraid of airplanes? With the Student Advantage Discount Card, students get 20 percent on unrestricted walk-up fare or online tickets. Students also save 40 percent on package shipments through Greyhound Package Xpress.

The card is $20 plus shipping and handling, so it might only be worth it to students who frequently travel with Greyhound.

Spotify
Music is an absolute must-have for the majority of college students (and people in general) worldwide. Spotify feels for student music appreciators, so they’ve provided a 50 percent discount on their Spotify Premium service for $4.99 a month.

Spotify is also free to download, but with Spotify Premium students aren’t plagued by ads and can choose which song they want to listen to on their mobile devices, which isn’t an option with the free version.

Apple Store for Education
Apple offers a lot discounts on various on products, so it’s always good for students to compare prices. Apple also offers Student Financing, which is an opportunity to build credit. Students can get a loan and spread payments over a period of 48 months, making it easier to pay for products. Students can also apply for a loan with a co-applicant (usually the ‘rents), which will ensure that the loan gets paid.

Lenovo
Not an Apple fan? Lenovo offers the Academic Purchase Program that requires a customer to be either a student, parent of a student or school faculty member and varies depending on the school. Customers using this program can save up to 47 percent on products such as laptops, 46 percent on desktops and 32 percent on tablets.

Phone Plans
Depending on their service provider, Bobcats can also get student discounts on phones and phone plans. Carriers that include student discounts are Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Straight Talk might not offer discounts to students, but it’s a cheap alternative to regular service providers. There’s no contract, which means costumers can upgrade their phone anytime, and it operates on Verizon’s network.

Car Insurance
A lot of auto insurance companies offer discounts to student drivers. According to DMV.org, most companies require to be under 25, enrolled full-time, at least a B average (or 3.0 GPA), must be on the honor roll or dean’s list and proof of being a good student (like a report card, for example).

Auto insurance companies that offer discounts to students include State Farm, Nationwide, Travelers, Esurance, Farmers, GEICO, 21st Century and Allstate.

 

 

 

 

 

Why OU students need to see ‘The Hunting Ground’ ASAP

The lights dimmed on the jam-packed Athena Cinema on Court Street. As the chatter from Ohio University students came to complete silence, students were exposed to a video PSA from OU administration members. Administration gave a stern and serious warning that sexual assault on Ohio University campus is taken “very seriously” and will not be tolerated — a message that will soon be mocked in the documentary that follows it.

The mood quickly changed from serious to lighthearted as the documentary began by showing YouTube reactions of individuals across the country finding out they have been accepted to their dream school. Laughter ensued as the students likely reflected on the moment they found out they had been accepted to Ohio University. However, the laughter quickly died down. For the next hour and 45 minutes, the documentary, “The Hunting Ground,” directed by Kirby Dick, shows the dark side to college campus nightlife through tear-jerking testimonials from survivors of sexual assault and morbid statistics of this epidemic that is plaguing college campuses all over the country.

Some of the startling statistics are shown in the film’s trailer below:

The film tells the haunting tales of what is happening to college men and women at a diverse range of campuses in EVERY state. After leaving the film, there is absolutely no denying that sexual assault is happening everywhere. It’s not limited to a specific race, gender or geography.

While some question the validity of the statistics in this documentary, the film brings to light an extremely important issue. “The Hunting Ground” might just be the most important film you and your fellow college acquaintances see all year. It has thrown fuel into a fiery debate going on in our country and has ignited the conversation among students on campuses across the nation. To insure this debate continues on after viewers leave the theater, individuals are urged to keep the discussion going and speak out via social media using the hashtags #TheHuntingGround and #ItsOnUs.

A beautiful ballad used in the film, sung by Lady Gaga and created for the documentary has also taken social media by storm. The music video could be disturbing to some viewers, as it artistically depicts scenes of sexual assault.

The video now almost has almost 10 million views on YouTube, and has been used as platform for viewers to comment about their unique stories to continue the conversation and to make strides toward change in how college campuses educate students and deal with sexual assault cases. Not only is this film important, but this film has caused bonds through social media to remind survivors of sexual assault that they are not alone.

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The Hunting Ground will continue to play at the Athena Cinema through Thursday, September 24, 2015 at Ohio University. Admission is free and showtimes can be found here. The documentary will premiere in theaters in March, but the national conversation should not stop there, and the conversation at Ohio University should not stop Thursday. There is no doubt this film portrays a very real issue happening to America’s youth, and the only way it can be stopped is to continue the conversation, because it is indeed on us.

 

Athena Cinema celebrates 100th year

The Athena Cinema is one of the oldest movie theaters in the nation. It opened its doors in 1915 and was restored by Ohio University in 2001. It is an integral part of Athens from a historic and entertainment standpoint.

Their mission statement reads, “Our goal as a community- based, mission-driven theater is to bring the finest premiere art house cinema to Southeastern Ohio. Today, we are a nonprofit cultural institution, dedicated
 to our mission and committed to creating a wide array of film-going experiences.”

The Athena has been celebrating its 100th year with monthly screenings of classic movies starting back in January. The screenings show how the art of movie making has evolved over the last 100 years.

All shows start at 3:00 PM and there are four more showings within the 100th Anniversary Film Series that you can’t miss!

9/26: Annie Hall (Drama/Romance 1977)

10/24: Do the Right Thing (Drama 1989)

11/21: Brokeback Mountain (Drama/Romance 2005)

12/26: The Artist (Drama/Comedy 2011)

You can check out more about the 100th Anniversary and other events or show times on their website. The Athena Cinema is an integral part of Athens and OU culture. Go out and celebrate 100 years of history with some popcorn and a good movie!