Cover-to-Cover: “Becoming”

Review by Zamin Noorani

In her thrilling autobiography, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about how she found her voice to advocate for what she believes in, taking us through her journey from the small apartment on Euclid Avenue on the south side of Chicago, to the pristine halls of Princeton and Harvard, and all the way down to the White House.

This book was published in November 2018, but has been so popular that when I attempted to get it back then, there were over 100 holds! Already amassing over 300,000 reviews in less than a year on Goodreads with an average rating of 4.59/5.00, this memoir has created waves amongst its audience.

The first thing to know is this is not a political book whatsoever, but is rather Michelle recalling her own life experiences and inspiring us through them. Michelle writes about her time playing piano with her aunt Robbie on the South Side, to marching alongside Jesse Jackson on the streets of Chicago. She recounts her time in Ivy League schools and her life as a high paying lawyer in Chicago. Yet, through these experiences, she recalls trying to find her purpose in life and make a change. Michelle takes some sharp turns by quitting her cushy lawyer job that results in great financial losses, but allows her to make a change in her city and connect with local officials. She has the opportunity to make a difference.

Becoming was indeed very inspirational and fun to read. It’s interesting to see how things turned out well for Michelle and how she made best with her opportunities. It was great to see that despite the many odds against her, Michelle was able to come out on top and tell her story.

Cover-to-Cover: “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed”

Review by Zamin Noorani

We’ve all wondered what actually happens at therapy, at least I did. Do we really just pay someone to sit on a couch and talk to someone? Well that’s certainly not the case, as Lori Gottlieb takes us through her journey in the book: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed.

Published last April, this book had people raving, and has gotten over 25,000 Goodreads reviews with an average rating of 4.4/5. I luckily, was finally able to get my hands on it.

Lori takes us inside her life as a therapist in California and brings out the life of a number of her patients(whose names she changes of course for confidentiality). Throughout her book, we meet people like John, the producer of a very popular television show; Julie, a woman diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer; Rita, a 70 year old woman with severe depression and suicidal thoughts; Charlotte, a fresh college graduate with a drinking and dating problem; and Lori, a therapist and author who just got dumped by her boyfriend.

I LOVED this book! I’ve never been to therapy, but I was able to see that the people who have are regular, everyday people, and can be your colleagues, friends, or even a family member. Around 30 million Americans go to therapy any given year, yet we hear so little about it because most are too embarrassed to admit it.

Throughout the different stories and anecdotes that Lori tells, we can understand the different reasons why a person might go to therapy, and why that decision might be the best decision in their lives. We’re able to connect with each character individually, and it truly makes us ask, “Do we need therapy?”

At The Movies: Joker

Review by Tom Duong

I recently saw the new movie, Joker, and I’m not sure how to define it. Maybe a bit of dark aesthetic, maybe a depressive vibe. Regardless, it left an impression on me.

What stuck in my head the most is the laughter of Arthur Fleck, portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. The first thing I think of is his madness; he can’t control his laughter due to mental illness, and the laughs express the pain that he’s had to suffer. It’s also ironic, since as a comedian, his job is to make others laugh, and he can’t stop.

Arthur tried to live the best he could by staying with his mother in an apartment to help her and taking his medicine regularly. However, life seems to hold him down, especially when he gets bullied and beaten. As a viewer, I wanted to sympathize with Arthur’s challenges, but he goes off the deep end, and that becomes hard.

There are clear themes of mental illness, poverty, and how they shape people. Arthur’s transformation in the movie from a poor, mentally-ill comedian, to an insane criminal that inspires people to start a riot, was executed in a shocking way. I would suggest that you clear your head before you see Joker, since it’s very deep and full of intense emotion. But I would definitely recommend it for the great retro atmosphere and the artistic aspects.

After a Slow Start, the Bears Are Searching for Answers

by Jordan Bradley

The Bears are entering week seven of the NFL season and as fans, we’re definitely not where we expected. The Bears sit at 3-3, they’re twelfth in the power rankings, and 30th in the league when it comes to offensive yards per game. The offense is most certainly the biggest problem, and as awful as Mitch Trubisky has been, it goes beyond him.

While we’re talking about Mitch Trubisky, something needs to change with him, and fast. He currently has the third worst quarterback rating in the league at 34.2. He only has five touchdowns, and two of those were in garbage time against a prevent defense in the last game. He continues to be off-target to wide open receivers and has happy feet in the pocket.

There have been some trade talks circulating for a new quarterback, but the right idea may be to hold off on that. The market for quarterbacks nearing the trade deadline really isn’t great. There have been talks to get Phillip Rivers, who hasn’t been performing well, and is beginning to decline. Cam Newton is injury prone, and isn’t everyone’s favorite person, either. Then there’s Marcus Mariota, who would be an interesting choice, as he was recently benched and has a worse quarterback rating than Trubisky. But, a new offense designed for his skill could work better, and the Bears can provide that for Mariota.

Trubisky is just one layer of this onion of an offense. The play calling is also agonizing to witness. It’s predictable, and defenses adjust very quickly each game. Almost every series is the same: a run play that goes nowhere, a run play that goes nowhere, a short passing play for a few yards or negative yards, and a punt. Before you can even blink, the Bears are giving the ball back to the opposing team, and that’s wearing out their best weapon, the defense.

This lack of offensive production needs to change. It really is the Bears only hope for the season. You don’t win games if you don’t score points, and the defense can only help so much. Trubisky needs to be better or else his job will be gone by next year. Head Coach Matt Nagy needs to figure out what plays work and what plays don’t, and at least be slightly unpredictable.

The Bears are on a downtrend, but they still have a chance to turn it around, even with a tough schedule ahead that includes the Eagles, Rams, Cowboys, Packers, and Chiefs.

The Faim at Chop Shop in Chicago

On October 6th, I had the opportunity to see and photograph an up-and-coming band out of Perth, Australia, The Faim, at Chop Shop in Chicago. The band is currently touring their debut album, State of Mind. From the start of the show, it was evident that the band was going to have quite a stage presence. With their booming punk-alternative sound, the room was filled with music and the crowd was invested. It was the type of show where you could rock out even if you didn’t know a single word to any song.

With the amount of crowd surfers and people singing along, you could tell that every person in the crowd had been looking forward to that show, and rightfully so. The Faim had a way of bringing everyone in the crowd together for a truly unique experience that night. If you’d like to check out their sound for yourself, they released their debut album ‘State of Mind’ earlier this year, and if you ask me, it is worth the listen.

National Walk to School Day at Scott Elementary School

October 2nd was National Walk to School Day, and I was invited to Scott Elementary School in Naperville to help celebrate! I talked to students and their parents about the station, and handed out tons of WONC swag!

Does your school or non-profit community organization have an event coming up? We’d love to provide some entertainment! Reach out to us via email at publicaffairs@wonc.org!

Homecoming 2019

WONC participated in this year’s homecoming festivities at NCC, painting a banner for the parade!

For the parade, we brought some of our furry friends!

We also got to hang out with NCC’s colorful and exciting mascot, Chippy!


Local Chaos at Empire Open Mic Night

Meeting and listening to musicians from all over the Chicagoland area was an awesome way to flip around my long, tired Tuesday. I’m a regular at Empire Burger and Brew’s weekly open mic night, but I’ve never seen the place as crowded as it was this last time around. It was my first-time as the open mic’s host, and I had a wild time! There was a great mix of fresh faces who’ve never hit Empire’s stage before, and folks that are constantly coming back for another Tuesday night jam. There’s a great variety of people and music every Tuesday night, and it’s a positive and friendly environment, as well as a fantastic way to connect with local musicians.

I had the pleasure of watching rising pop-singer and songwriter Ava Morse, a Naperville native, who impressed the audience with her strong vocals. This was my second time seeing her perform at Empire, and I can see how much growth she’s had in the last couple of months. She belted her newest single, “I Should Be Leaving,” and left the crowd wanting more! Check her out on Instagram (@avamorseofficial) and Facebook to keep up with her upcoming releases!

Another artist that I was stoked to see back at Empire was Derek Vaden. Derek brought the house down with his explosive energy and incredible guitar riffs. The first time I saw him play live, my jaw dropped to the floor; this time around was no different. When he got on his knees and soloed in his tune, “Novel America,” he left the crowd shook. Derek’s stage presence is uber exciting and makes it very difficult for one to look away. Alongside Derek was Mike Dooley on the drums and Antony Picardi playing bass. Before their set, Derek announced that Mike came out all the way from Colorado to partake in the local music celebration. If you’re interested in keeping up with these guys, go give Derek Vaden a follow on Instagram (@thegroovefreak) and check out his videos on Youtube!

There were many more musicians that blew me away the other day at Empire. I had a lovely time with 89.1 FM music director, Tyler Mason. It’s always a great time to discover new music that can one day be played on our station! Live music is always great to witness but it is even better when you get to support your local music community! If you’re interested in getting to hear up-and-coming musicians from your backyard, get down to Empire every Tuesday night for their rockin’ open mic. It’s totally free to attend and participate, and sign-ups to perform are at 8:30 with performances starting at 9:00. Listen to Local Chaos every Sunday from 8 to 10pm to hear about more chances to get involved in and support the Chicago local music scene!