Red Hawk Review Issue #001
This is the debut issue of Gateway Technical College's first literary magazine, The Red Hawk Review.
The Red Hawk Spring 2014 Spring 2014 Review Issue 001 Issue 001 “Cherry Blossom” - Todd Faulk - Third Place Contest Winner Letter From The Editors Dear Readers, We are pleased to present the first edition of Gatewayâ€™s Literary Magazine, The Red Hawk Review. This was a really great adventure for all of the editors. We were amazed by the number and the quality of submissions that were sent in. Gatewayâ€™s Got Talent! We hope you enjoy this very diverse collection of writing. Thank you to everyone who made this magazine possible, and for all of the support we were given in getting this off the ground. There are simply too many people to thank. But, know that each one of you has contributed to something really wonderful. Remember that submissions for Issue 02 of The Red Hawk Review will open in summer of 2014. Send us your best! We would also like to thank the Gateway Foundation, Marketing and everyone else for their support of our project. Without the great help and contributions from our supporters, this would not have been possible. Respectfully, The Red Hawk Review Editing Staff (Jessica Gleason, Dr. Colleen Connolly, Karen Solliday, Anna Stotts, Dr. Katy Vopal and Amy Hankins) *Art Editor, Lisa Packard 2 Table of Contents Letter From The Editor ………………………………..………………...……………….. 2 Poetry True Loyalty – Josephine Ziemann ………………………...………………………………….…………………….. 5 Flowers to Trees – Josephine Ziemann ……………………………………………….………….…..……………… 5 Shall I hide behind what’s hard to find – Darnell Mason …………………….……………………...…...… 6 Drowning Kiss – Christian Calderon, Second Place …………………………...………………………… 7 Sundays – Chad Hensiak …………………………………………………………………..….……………………. 8 Distant Peace – Brian Wilson ………………….……………………………………..……………………………….. 9 Depression – Serena Jones ………………………………………………………………...….………………………… 10 99% - Christian Calderon ………………………………………….…………………………………….………………… 11 This Girl – Heather Haskins ………………………………………………..………………………………...………….. 15 Only Time – Cory Christian ………………………………………….……………………………………….………… 17 Seasons – Debi VanDenBoom ……………………………………………..……...……………………………. 18 Chicago Snow – Elena Heffner …………………………………........................………………………………… 19 Prose White Walls – Jessica Tolnai …………………………………………………………………..….…………………… 21 A Few Hours Inside – Christian Calderon …………………………………….…………...……………….. 24 Shaken – Gena Checki …………………………………………………………..………………………………..……. 33 A Snapshot to Remember – Evan Humes…….………………………….…………………..………………… 45 Fear Not: The Evolution of a Speaker in Speech Class – Kathryn Singer, First Place…………... 48 Artwork Dreamings II – Krystal Rose Bartholomew ……………………………………………………………………….. Footprint – Anna Woods …………………………………………………………...……………………………………. Untitled – Louis Pozos ………………………………..………………….……………………………………………….. Untitled – Tallulah McKimmey ……………………………………………………………………..…………………. 52 53 54 55 3 4 Josephine Ziemann True Loyalty - Haiku Your true loyalty The choice between love and love Who could you betray? Flowers to Trees - Tanka Josephine Ziemann Flowers on a tree Petals drifting and falling Will soon grow ripe fruit Rotting fruit falls, planting seeds The futureâ€™s flowering trees 5 Shall I hide behind what's hard to find Darnell Mason In hopes that you can see Or shall I be so kind And guide the blind And unveil the mystery I'm thinking you wouldn't mind That piece of history But I'm guarded So many close to me dearly departed My losses have been magnified My pain is never gratified And the grave is never satisfied Because every time I turn around There's a funeral going down Another body in the ground Stress equals the loss of pounds Even the sun can't kill those clouds I'm afraid if not allowed-to be free I could obliterate a people-who look just like me Searching for peace-Living in Pain I spent a better part of my years playing this game Maybe if I had tattooed tears you could see ‘em Cause I don’t shed ‘em Interior suicide but I count my blessings 6 Drowning Kiss Christian Calderonâ€”SECOND PLACE CONTEST WINNER I have been feeling this for quite some time, even in unkindest days. With breakfast and without breakfast certainly, it has happened again. Many nights before, I observed my mouth in the mirror, searched for phrases with a flashlight. I pulled each vowel and consonant with a small tea spoon: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I mostly share this with you quietly, but loudly, too. So, I hold this melody tight in my hand before it tries to escape. Cleverly, I cloistered myself inside a music -box. I must concede without guilt and remorse-erasing ambiguities -that in nocturnal solitudes when the people of Racine maneuver hot air balloons, jamming the dark firmament circulation to chase their ephemeral dreams I, with perfidy and premeditation I have opened the music-box. There is the liquid blended syntax. Should I enter with the wind or against the wind? In any case, undoubtedly enter in. Should I fly her absents? Should I let gravity break bones between the clouds? Should I row against the waterfall of proper demeanors? Should I urinate on their minds and let one and all know that you are mine? I kidnapped my own beauty in this music -box. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Surveillanceâ€™s drones are about my head Don't repeat this to anybody. Never tell anybody that sometimes I dive in to waterboard myself and gargle out my drowning kiss for you. 7 Chad Hensiak Sundays Sundays are perfect for cleaning As the water removes the build up from an overused bath Like sweeping the dirt from a floor that has seen too much traffic Like wiping off dust that has settled on ignored surfaces Like sorting the dishes to their appropriate places Like re-arranging items to promote better flow Sundays are perfect for cleaning As the music removes the build up from an overused mind Like sweeping the ache from muscles that have seen too much work Like wiping the dust from ignored hobbies Like sorting thoughts and memories to their appropriate places Like re-arranging a life to promote a better flow This is why Sundays are perfect for cleaning 8 Distant Peace Brian Wilson Give ear to my words Give heed to my soul Hearken to the sound of my cry Its living, itâ€™s breathing Mother Earth is receding One day we all must die My eyes behold a child of the sun I shall not move I shall meet adversity From the breath I consume I will meet my doom And at last be at my peace. 9 Depression Serena Jones She spreads her wings to fly, but cant take flight, too much in side weighing her down a tear she cries to let the world know sheâ€™s not the real girl they think she is She turns her back to the words of others and walks on; they know her name, not her story; inside is a heart broken and missing pieces. She glues it together the best she can; it may be broken, but it still feels the pain; she pulls a sharp blade out and slices her tender skin and watches the red blood drip; she cries many tears over things that shouldnâ€™t hurt her; the scars are her whole past story; some how she will always end up slicing her forearms once again. 10 99% Christian Calderon Do you bystander the windshield-Calle those blue-red-noises reflecting all around, an ironic July 4th thru-Saturdays at midnight? Lighting juvenile faces, (at 16 St) Submerging Brownie-bones, down-deep, light-speed deep in a concrete ocean? At the Southside sounds, panic-stricken-expressions rising from smokestacks gathering in the fog swallowing the lake Swallowing your thoughts Rapâ€™s shades muttering on the ears of helpless mothers lyrics fallen from the trees dispersing, dancing on the air when a fast police car, passes by. WI, I infer little by little your benevolences. The sacrament outlines THE MAIN!-Flower perfume 11 in so, so many; Moses Peter preaching the sidewalk days: London-odors smashing minds. WI, I just want to keep your cheese smiles and get endlessly lost in those cowsâ€™ eyes that quietly unflappably gaze at my soul Joe, I know you are better than two clowns winning an election in 2000 or 110,000 Mesopotamian collateral miscalculations. Turn to page 2012 of hundreds waiting for lethal injections behind Panoptic walls, and no one cares. I know your heroes on placid fragile nights. They shocked me. I hear the elemental, insightful phrase that journeys the ether-times, landing in fetus-brains. 12 “I have a dream; I have a dream.” On distracted moments swimming in my pool of wine I saw Edgar Allan Poe and his Lenore aging in slow motion against a garbage can. If heaven and his doormen don’t answer how will sorrow know what it is missing. America you should be forever the solid-rock man who went to Spain to photograph Franco`s bloody hands and persuaded the aquatic-land of Cuba “Hemmingway stay” and he stayed. And he wrote, and the old man made love to the sea. I am imprudently dragged by the long, peaceful beard of big -hat grandpa who tried to change the course of war with a book. Alongside buried with snowflakes Whitman! Smell the rabbit that is camouflaged in the wild 13 and the elemental unanimous mass heroes. Rebel ants crawl phallic towers picking crumbs from boardroom tables trooping from ire to NY pickpocket district Sitting, signing, yelling applauding crying freezing tears on the rain kidnapping avenues, parks, kidnapping CEOs prefrontal-cortex those swelling- vive red-faces spinning on the twister-chaos of gas, tazers, bullets. They canâ€™t be the 99% because we are here, sitting watching the news on flat screen TVs and God may bless the 1% well known greedy game. 14 Heather Haskins Everyday this girl gets up She smiles But the smile is faked It holds back the tears The tears hold her secrets The secrets hold her pain Pain is all she’s ever known No one understands how hard she works To try to graduate on time To look pretty in a shallow world To ignore the rumors To lose the weight And to deal with the people she cares about This girl is always being told Do your homework You look fine You’re above them they aren’t even true And of course he doesn’t care just move on They know her past Know the present But not the future Everyday this girl goes through a lot She has to see Friends who betrayed her The boy she loves ignore her at all costs People don’t know What she thinks about Her reasons for doing things Or how much she’s been hurt This Girl 15 Everyday this girl Goes to school Has her fake smile Wants to know where she went wrong Wishes she wasn’t fat Tries to look pretty Tries to move on But they don’t know she Cries every night Over thinks everything Holds secrets no one knows Wonders what could be Questions living Can’t get over the guy she loves Wants to be normal Who is this girl? This girl is me…… 16 Cory Christian Time has passed the moments carry on like waves Some lift me high and free I swear I could kiss the sun Yet others take me down deep to a place where darkness seeps into my soul far and wide Sometimes when I’m still and the world is at the edge of my consciousness I feel you there eternal should I go forward to where you are? There are places I know where I can feel the clouds as I slip through them hurdling forward But I don’t belong there so I hold back You are there I can feel you Waiting Patient I feel your love here in this place where the sun brightens my eyes in the morning safely in the place I belong I awake- the whispers of of where I’ve been fade Our souls will merge once again Bound by love Separated only by time Only Time 17 Seasons Debi VanDenBoom Winter here is crisp and clear. Icicles hang from roof and tree. Snow makes white all things. Cold wind blows, numbing toes. Open flower buds bloom bright. Nature is life dispersing dread. Spring plants are green and lush. Inside days when pouring rain. Nights have cricket song to hear. Summerâ€™s a golden sight to see. Each bird a different song sings. All creation quietly flows. Suddenly, fall, behold the sight. On trees leaves are brown and red. Noisy steps break the hush. Soon the cycle starts again. 18 Elena Heffner Chicago Snow Falling from the night sky Spinning between the buildings Dancing for a moment like elusive fairies Before landing on my tongue Chilly wet nose Breathing in fresh winter Mexican and Italian food aromas Making my mouth water Melting flakes Freckle my face Diamonds attach to my eyelashes Glistening in the street lights The city is my kaleidoscope Laughing, arms outstretched Spinning like a child In the Chicago snow 19 20 White Walls Jessica Tolnai I sat there wondering what would happen next. I could hear her as I sat on the hard, small bed. There was nothing on the walls of my tiny room, and it was hard to see out of the window because of the wire mesh. She was screaming; she decided to throw chairs and hit the staff because she wanted to go home. There was someone on the intercom trying to get help; they couldn’t control her with the number of staff and patients on the unit. They were trying to get her into the “quiet room,” a white walled space with nothing inside, where they made you sit calmly in the middle for two hours before they would consider letting you out. Shrieks emerged in the hall every time they tried to touch her and screams of pain erupted from the staff as she attacked them. Terror ran through my body, and I could feel my pulse in my throat. They had locked the other patients in the day rooms so that she couldn’t hurt anyone else. I just sat there wondering what they would do to me; cutting had been my way of coping for quite some time. My arm was bleeding, but I didn’t care, I just didn’t want them to find out about it. My life was a mess. I had arrived here a few days before, forced from the darkness of the van in handcuffs and shackles. The policemen ushered me blindly through the locked doors to the children’s long term care facility, called Sherman Hall. A woman met us at the door with my custody release papers. Through a Plexiglas window, I could see couches and chairs in a large room that I assumed was a common area. She walked me down a long, dimmed hallway past the room with couches, which I later would learn is called a dayroom. Payphones sat on my right and a single window stared at me from the end of the hall way. Doors filled the corridor and paranoia filled my body as the other patients began to stare at me. My attendant led me to a bathroom and told me that I had to remove my clothes for a strip search. I was being searched for contraband; they didn’t find any. Afterwards, I was led back out to wait for 21 the doctor. He was a tall, bald man probably in his forties. He explained to me that the staff would be monitoring my every move until he felt I could truthfully contract for safety. I thought, “I will never be safe from myself, just let me die.” I listened to him as he described the unit and the therapy groups I would be expected to attend. When he finally finished, he called the nurse to administer my medication and give me a test. I took the medicine, though the drugs made me yearn for death all the more. Some drug. The bitter flavor of the dissolving pill was revolting. A large needle was mounted in the nurse’s hand as she walked towards me. Panicked, I jumped up, not knowing what I did to warrant a sedative. Calmly she explained that they just wanted to test me for TB. I sat stoically during the injection. When the doctor and nurses were finished, I was assigned a staff member to sit with me and talk to me if I felt unsafe; but that was all I ever felt. The worker was introduced to me as Adam. He had dark brown hair, which was flat against his scalp. He had a medium build and was probably in his midthirties. He seemed funny and tried to make jokes with me, but I felt hollow inside. There was no sense of pleasure in my body; I didn’t eat or speak to anyone. He showed me my room, down the same hallway as before. There were two beds, a night stand for each, and two small dressers. The blanket on the bed was paper thin. They had put the few belongings I had on my dresser, a stuffed animal, my journal, a few outfits and my toiletries. I tried to close the door but because I was on suicide prevention, Adam had to watch me even in there. I laid down and cried myself to sleep. I had hidden a broken piece of plastic in the clothes I was wearing. I was relieved that they hadn’t found it. It was my only contraband, and I knew there would be repercussions if it was found. It was my only hope for a sense of existence. There was no essence of faith in my body; I was utterly despondent. The sensation of the sharp plastic created feelings that I thought I needed to remind me why I was alive. I couldn’t use it on my skin unless I was in the bathroom, the only alone time I was allowed. Adam had been attempting to talk 22 to me from his chair in the hallway where he had been all day. A girl named Juliette started yelling. I think she had been here for quite some time. Her arms were scarred like mine, and she was bleeding. People kept telling her to calm down, but she kept screaming. I could hear over the intercom the call for help “Building alert Sherman Hall, building alert Sherman hall.” Adam ran to try and help. I was finally alone. I took out the plastic piece and ripped it across my wrist, with each slash pushing deeper and deeper. I felt the blood trickle down my hand. Emotion came flooding back, and I knew for sure that I was alive. The hospital went quiet, and the staff started to disperse. Juliette had been contained in the quiet room; her sobs were deafening. As she was sedated, her cries turned to whimpers. I quickly hid my weapon and placed my sleeve over my wrist. I could hear all the workers in the hall talking. My heart was beating a million miles a minute. I sat panicked on the bed, convinced I was next. My blood started to stick to my sleeve. Adam returned. Curling into a ball I lay down on the bed and cried. The sterile room was closing in. Adam came over to check on me; I could hear his footsteps getting closer. He got down on my level and asked me what I did. I replied nothing. He asked if I was ok; I wasn’t. I was trapped, and there was nothing I could do but let the tears fall. 23 A Few Hours Inside Christian Calderon I remember everything as if it happened yesterday. My older friends and I were fanatics of the professional soccer team Universitario de Deportes, well-known to the entire nation as “U.” We never missed a single game. They played every Sunday. We gathered four hours before the game at a bar close to the old national stadium, José Díaz. I can’t deny feeling nostalgic when I think about it. I still hear the overfilled and effervescent glasses of beer clashing each other and my friends punching on the old natural-colored tables. The beating sound simulated a drum as they loudly sang rhythmically, “Y Dale U . . . Y Dale U.” The unanimous, hoarsening voices shook the walls and made the glasses hanging in the bar’s showcases fall on the floor and crash. As the bar seemed to fall apart, the overweight, old bartender and owner of La Barca shouted insults to his customers, “Stop motherfuckers.” Morresy, who even drunk reasoned well, always tried to calm down the owner with statements such as, “Hey! With all the money we spend on holy water, you can buy another bar if you want.” “Fuck you, Morresy,” the bartender replied immediately. We all laughed until our faces turned red but not precisely for Morresy’s replies. Instead, we laughed from the alcohol, which at that point was in our blood streams. Suddenly, someone said to the bartender, “We love you Mario.” Mario, a lonely Italian whose parents brought him to the district of Jesus Maria, Lima, when he was seven years old, stared at the drunken turmoil and replied back, “Bunch of misfits, I love you too.” “That means free beer?” “Nice try,” the bartender answered as he served his own glass of beer. Thirteen minutes before the game, we left La Barca with its heavily smoked cigar atmosphere. As we marched a few blocks towards the stadium in our noisy compact group, curious heads popped up from the buildings’ windows flapping our team’s yellow flags and singing with us, “Y dale U…Y dale U!” Right after that unfortunate game (our team lost the game by one goal), 24 Morresy and I decided to meet at the exit door. He commented to me about the first Copa Libertadores game, the interclub competition between the champions of each country in South America. Morresy looked at me with his resolute green eyes and explained that our team will play in Santiago, Chile, against the Colo Colo team. A few of the faithful followers will follow the “U” all the way to Santiago to encourage the players with our presence to do their best. He told me that because of the obvious budget limitation, the plan so far was to travel by bus. He also told me that he and a few others would take a plane a day before the game, but the idea was to bring as many people as he, the organizer, could. It made sense. Colo Colo played at home with five thousand enthusiastic Chileans who would do whatever they could to make the Peruvian team feel uncomfortable. The more people, the better. Morresy understood that most of the members and followers were only college students, with no income. The trip would take three days and the only international buses that travel south were the Ormeño Company. “There is not much time to think about it,” he said to me as we passed by the wide open avenue of 28 de Julio, inhaling the pollution that the Lima metropolitan public transportation delivered to our noses. The discolored towers seemed so close to the dark silver sky in winter time. The dense crowd of yellow-red’s t-shirts, caps, and flags still congested the avenues and streets as Morresy, from the taxi that he just boarded, asked me to meet him at his work the following afternoon. The next morning, Julissa, my girlfriend, and I left; our lips were numb after a few hours of eating each other’s mouths. She always reproached me that I would leave her for another woman, but I would never change my team. “Men are such stupid assholes,” she often said with resignation. I took a public bus to downtown Lima. Lima in the late eighties had already been transformed as years went by in the mixture of the different regions of Peru. From the Andes, jungle, and others parts of the coast, immigrants brought their architecture, colors, and customs, breaking the uniformity of the city. As my eyes absorbed these colored views, vivid vertigoes, the bus finally approached Quilka Street, a few blocks away from Morresy’s work. The streets leading to the main square in the old colonial town of Lima are thin and curving. The municipal building and few financial entities owned the colonial 25 buildings around the square. When I saw Morresy popping up behind the Municipal building in his suit and tie, I imagined a Neanderthal wearing a business man Halloween costume. The wild and ungovernable Morresy had transformed into an innocent and decent man. I laughed at him so hard and called him hypocrite. “Whatever,” he replied, adding, “Before anything, I need you to please change these Soles to dollars. It is the equivalent of one thousand dollars.” He was in a hurry, having only one hour for his lunch. To save some time he would walk to the KFC located less than two blocks away and get the orders ready. The idea was to get together out there in about twenty minutes. I never could imagine that what was about to happen would look like one of the surrealist movies from the Spanish cineaste, Luis Buñuel. As I walked right in the middle of the downtown Lima, I never thought about the fact that I had a fortune inside my blue jean’s pocket. It was a fortune if anyone considers the hundreds of homeless right in the center of the capital of Peru: There where adults and children living under the bridges, sleeping inside little houses made out of cardboard, their lean bodies wrapped in urine-soaked rags. Morresy instructed me not to choose any of the foreign exchange businesses; “The dollar would be more costly,” he carefully stated. Intead find one of the “Campistas,” individuals who walked the streets with kangaroo bags filled with dollars and calculators in their hands shouting, “You can get a few extra dollars.” In the late eighties, it was a screaming secret that those “campistas” standing all day in the main squares and avenues of Lima were the money-laundering machinery for the drug cartels. Looking for the best price, I was asked by a few “campistas” until I stopped and asked an old man sitting on his portable camping chair. His heavy white eyebrows intensified the color of his black eyes. He was modestly dressed with brown corduroy pants and blue jacket. I was interrupting his reading. As he folded his newspaper, he asked if I really had money to exchange, or if I was just wasting his and my time. I felt offended, so I pulled the cash out of my pocket and said, “Sure, I do… You see it now?” 26 “Well, how much do you want?” “I need a thousand gringos…” The old man pulled out his little calculator and effusively tapped the buttons on it. “Two thousand, six hundred and twenty Soles,” he said. “What?” Surprisingly, in an exclamatory way, I responded to him. “That is a little too much,” and added, “Everybody fluctuates between 2.48 and 2.50, which is 2500 soles, the equivalent of one thousand dollars, just the highest.” The old “campista” looked at me ironically and said, “Listen boy if you don’t like my numbers, it is OK. Keep looking” I did not move three steps away from the campista before he ran toward me. He pointed his fingers at me. He shoved at me. As he screamed, his eye balls almost popped up out of his face. I was incapable of comprehending any single word. I thought it was a joke. He couldn’t be serious. I was surprised. I was overwhelmed and confused. All I saw in my narrow vision were the gesticulations of his face, his pestilential breath was all over my face. Spittle from between his yellow teeth sprayed my eyes. His hands were as claws when grabbing my jacket. Suddenly, as rising from under the ground, a green 4x4 Nissan police truck appeared. A civil guard’s big, shiny black boots kicked my right leg, and I fell to my knees. Another green civil guard took my arms from the back. They handcuffed me. I was pushed forward towards the truck. I saw the old man board in the back seat. They obliged me to lie on the bed of the truck. I felt like a worthless load. Then, the car advanced. Meanwhile, my head was bouncing against the fuselage like cargo. My heart was emulating a marathon. I felt a mix of fears and a sensation of time loss. At the police station, they brought me down from the truck as if I were a huge sack of potatoes. They made me sit on the right side of a brown desk, where another police officer was typing on an old typewriter. He was wearing a green uniform too, but his looked more like a suit. His fingers were flying and stated in printed black ink the accusations that the furious campista claimed against me. “As I said before, we brought this pickpocket here. He stole 2500 Soles that were in my pocket.” The old man looked at me and added, “He came to me and said that he would like to buy 500 dollars. We were standing, discussing the best deal for the transaction.” He paused, “I can’t tell when, but you know these robbers. They 27 harm to people without anyone noticing.” Suddenly, the writer violently turned his head to the left, searching with inquisitive eyes the tall brown man and the short, chubby, Andean-looking guy who were the guards who had brought us to the station. The two men, who had intervened at the incident, accentuated the campista’s account by nodding their heads. The secretary proceeded with the report. It happened in a fraction of seconds, but it was enough for me to understand that the two civil guards and the campista were conspiring. Then, they locked me up in jail. My cell was composed of three walls and the ceiling. The main “wall” was just bars with a small door in the center. The three actual walls and the ceiling were covered with some sort of black-green matter, which emanated sewer odors. In the corner, old and dry deposits converted that place into a living hell. From various points of the celling, brown water dripped heavily. I was there, experiencing an inhuman treatment, but, I was not alone. A little homeless boy stood by the bars too, farther away from me. He was crying, imploring the guards for his freedom. They passed by several times, but he was simply ignored. When I attempted to start a conversation, his eyes dried instantly, and his face depicted the most hateful expression I ever saw. He shouted at me, “What that fuck you want?” Stunned, I watched the dirty little face, the head shave, and shoeless feet. I kept my silence until I noticed his delicate facial shape. I couldn’t hold my curiosity and asked, “You are a girl, right?” As she tensed her body, she replied, “You piece of shit, get close to me, and I cut your fucking neck.” As she unnecessarily warned me, she placed her hand under her old, ragged sweater. Only then I remembered that I still had 2500 soles in my pocket. I wondered what Morresy would think about my disappearance, his money in my pocket, and the trip to Santiago. I knew what the civil guards wanted from me. They wanted the money. They wanted me to buy my freedom, so I saw myself in some kind of ethical dilemma. Call my mother and let her boyfriend’s big friends get me out or surrender the money. However, I knew too that I couldn’t pay back that amount right away. I was only sixteen years old. I had just finished high school, and I was without income. As I deliberated with my own self, a new civil guard stopped right in front 28 of my cell and exclaimed, “What are you doing here? What did you do?” He attentively examined me from the front of my shoes up to my head and said, “You have to be kidding me.” I explained to him what was happening to me: the campista, the money, and the arrest. It was not too hard to figure things out; I was a teen wearing expensive brands with 2500 Soles in my pocket. Even if the civil guard knew from the arrest testimony that it was not really my money, it was easy for him to infer what kind of friends I had and my social strata. For a sub official civil guard, 2500 Soles meant five months of salary. To the new civil guard, who was a high officer and apparently had just started his shift, it was clear that someone had taken the risk to earn easy extra cash. He asked me if someone allowed me to make one telephone call. I answered that in all this time no one even insinuated that option, which I later learned was a right for any detained. He looked at me with an expression on his face that I interpreted as an atypical sentiment of sorrow and said, “Of course not. You have what they want. Now, just make your call, and let your parents take you home.” As he opened the cell and walked through the hallway, we passed by the dormitories with open doors. I looked into the civil guards’ berths. Hanging in the center of the ceiling was a giant national Peruvian flag that matched badly the dark-green of the concrete walls. Shined empty boots rested beside the berths. These were the sub-official officer’s dormitories. They mandatorily have to stay. Interestingly, once again in the office, the campista, the two civil guards, and the report making man were all gone. A missile violated my ears when I told my mother where I was. Then, even as I started to explain everything, she just crushed all my arguments like a piece of cracker inside her fist. It was like her voice came out of the speaker phone and bit my dorsal spine. I was trying to dissimulate and control my body language, but the civil guard official knew that something really wrong was about to happen. Suddenly, it seemed like her boyfriend took the phone out of her hands. Richard’s voice instructed me to sit tight, not say a word, and not sign any paper. Then he abruptly demanded, “Flaco, pass the phone to the officer.” After a few minutes with a contorted expression on his face, the officer hung up the phone, walked in my direction, took off the handcuffed from my wrist and ordered me to sit on his desk. Then I asked, “What is going on?” “Nothing boy, nothing, just wait” 29 I was hypnotizing myself by staring at a little ornament clock on the table for an hour, when a lawyer, a colonel civil guard, Richard, and my mother arrived at the commissary. The colonel demanded the presence of the official in charge, who was the lieutenant. The official, who had me in custody at his desk stood up and, with a martial gesture, ceremoniously saluted, “Yes sir, Felipe Arturo de la Puente. I am ready to follow instructions” “Lieutenant, I wonder if you are mentally handicapped, answer!” the colonel fiercely shouted at him as the rest of the civil guards standing by quietly listened. “Negative sir,” replied the lieutenant firmly. “You and all your command are aware that a minor can’t be jailed. Lieutenant, are you and your command a bunch of incompetents? Answer!” After a few second of silence the lieutenant answered in his defense, “It was an unfortunate misunderstanding, sir!” “Unfortunate? Certainly it is lieutenant; you will remain on duty for three weeks, and you will fix this incident, immediately!” The lieutenant withheld his indignation and calmly replied, “Sir, this incident occurred without my supervision” “Shame on you! You should be informed 24/7of the happenings in your commissary. Now, you have three weeks to hold accountable whoever was involved. Do you understand?” “Yes, sir!” The lawyer, Ramon Chipoco, and Richard, my mother’s boyfriend, heard this almost-soliloquy with close attention as my mother’s evil eyes were assassinating the entire troop. At the exit door, Ramon encouraged Richard to press charges of defamation and perjury against the two civil guards and the Campista. However, the colonel agitatedly promised, “There will be hard consequences for those who committed these wrongdoings.” Then, he turned to face Richard, shook his hand, and resolutely repeated his promise, “Mr. Caipo, you can trust me; I will take care this matter.” Chipoco, not very convinced, mimed a skeptical gesture, stared at Richard and asked, “Well?” “Is Ramon ok? Let’s wait three weeks.” Richard Caipo paused and shook the colonel’s hand again and added, “Right colonel?” “Absolutely, sir.” 30 My mother ordered me to get to my grandpa’s house. I remembered being exhausted, so instead of taking the Metropolitan bus, I took a taxi. I fell asleep on the way, missing the chaotic colorful distortions of Lima, whose neon lights seemed to be a diurnal dreamed experience to whoever witnessed them. As always, no one was in home. I took an already-open bottle of wine from the refrigerator, poured some in a glass, and took it to my room. Lying on my bed, with my eyes closed, I thought that all could have been avoided if I had chosen a formal path. I should have gone to the bank and exchanged the money right there. Even if Morresy had wanted other ways, who cares! The bank would have been safer. Informality brings risks with it. Any kind of informality has risks, even informal relationships. I knew it was a risk to trade with Campistas, but I did it anyways and all of the above happened. Shit! I called Morresy the next morning. After explaining to him my whereabouts for the last 20 hours and that his money was safe, he mentioned to me that the plans to go on the trip had changed. Concordantly with other followers, they decided to travel earlier than what was planned. They were leaving in two hours. He and a few others had asked for vacation days, but I couldn’t ask my teacher for vacation days, so we decided to get together in two weeks for the following Sunday’s game. I was late for that game, so I saw him inside the national stadium, on the upper level of the oriental section, the “U” fanatic spot. I handed him an envelope that he instantly pocketed. As always, the tribute was deafening. The crowd was singing, screaming, and jumping as down in the field below our team competed. The club, Universitario de Deportes, was about to perform a free keep very close to the short area. Fidel Suarez, a middle position player number 10, positioned the ball where the infraction would take place, close to the penalty area. Team players from the Alianza Lima complained vehemently to the referee. As he brought his hand to his pocket where his yellow/red penalty cards were, the Alianza players restrained their anger and let the play continue. The stadium was full, and 25 minutes were remaining in the game. The Alianza’s goalie built his barrier waiting for the referee’s order. Suarez’ right foot was close to the ball. He heard the referee’s whistle as he reclined his body to the right side and shots… goal!!! An earthquake seemed to bring down the oriental tribune fan area. Fanatics’ thick veins popped up from red throats. Red faces 31 in tears looked at the sky and thanked God for this miracle score. There were collective sighs of ecstasy. As the fanatics’ neurotransmitters helped their neurons decode the goal, I abandoned the Jose Diaz stadium. Once outside, I observed the Vial Express Highway through the metallic fence. Lima rapidly moved her small urgencies along the Vial Express as in my head the little girl from the jail was eaten up by the quicksand of the brown green-black drainage matter in her cell. The deadly disease suffocated her nose and consumed her lungs. I couldn’t scream when Suarez scored; I couldn’t. The little girl had transformed herself into a chameleon boy to prevent what obviously had already happened. The streets of Lima had deceived her. How many times? Meanwhile, we were told that everything was fine. We took soccer pills to blind and to suppress our solidarity. It has been twenty-two years since that day, and I don’t know anything about Morresy and many others. Since then, I have chosen to avoid stupidities, but it is so hard because stupidity is everywhere. It is omnipresent. 32 Shaken Gena Checki For as long as I can remember, my mother had always had a fascination with angels. In every room of our house, there were angel figurines, angel wall hangings, and even a beautiful red and gold angel for the top of our Christmas tree. My mother also wore gold angel pins and even played an angel in a school play when she was a little girl. To those people who knew my mother well, this would not be surprising to them because my mother was a devoutly religious woman. Several years ago shortly before Christmas, my mother, niece, and I were putting gold cupid ornaments on our Christmas tree when my mother complained of stiffness in her upper thighs. “I don’t know what I did to make my legs so stiff,” she said. I asked her if she had been doing anything out of the ordinary, but she didn’t think so. Days passed and I didn’t hear any more complaints from her about the stiffness in her legs, so I assumed it had passed. A week or two later, my mother once again was complaining about stiffness in her upper thighs. Since it didn’t sound like anything too serious, I ignored it as did the rest of my family. My mother would frequently complain about a sore wrist or her sore back. We all thought it was just another age-related malady. More time passed and my mother started to develop a shaky left hand as well. A few months later, we were at my brother’s house for a birthday celebration and the conversation turned to health problems. My mother held up her left hand for all to see. It did indeed shake and she appeared to have no control over it. “Look at that, isn’t that something?” she asked. I was starting to worry. I encouraged my mother to make an appointment to see her family physician as soon as possible. She didn’t seem terribly concerned and decided to wait until a 33 couple of months later when she had her regularly scheduled visit. Secretly, I was dreading my mother’s visit to the doctor. I was concerned the news would be bad. In early autumn 2003, I came home from work and asked my mother what her doctor told her. She said he asked her if she had been under stress lately, but she told him no. He also suggested she make an appointment to see a neurologist. I asked her why her doctor thought she needed to see a neurologist, but she said she didn’t know. The neurologist appointment was just a week away. I came home later than usual on the day of my mother’s appointment. My mother was standing in the kitchen and everything seemed deceptively normal. I asked my mother what the neurologist said to her. She told me he said she had Parkinson’s disease. Interestingly, there is no test for Parkinson’s disease as far as laboratory tests go. Her neurologist merely observed her gait and questioned her about her symptoms before arriving at a diagnosis. My father and I were shocked. My mother had never been seriously ill in her life. In the past, her doctors would always praise her test results saying things like they wished all of their patients had her cholesterol level or something. This is also not a disease that runs in my family. In fact, there are no neurological diseases on either my mother or father’s side of the family. Where did this disease come from? At first, I read as much as possible about Parkinson’s disease. However, the more I read about it, the more nervous and worried I became. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain, which is a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The death of dopamine-generating cells in the brain is what’s responsible for movement-related symptoms in Parkinson’s disease such as shaking, muscle rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty walking. 34 There is no known cure. There are medications for it, but those medications need to be adjusted over time since Parkinson’s disease gets progressively worse. The medications also have some serious side effects. My mother’s neurologist prescribed a dopamine agonist called Ropinirole. This drug, along with other Parkinson’s disease medications, is most effective when used in the early stages of the disease. They aid in improving movement and help decrease shakiness and stiffness. I also read that Parkinson’s disease is typically not inherited and it is not fatal, although it can make life very difficult for those who suffer from it. A friend mentioned to me that she knew someone with Parkinson’s disease, but her symptoms never got that bad. I prayed my mother would be one of those people. Over the years, I have had a front row seat to observing how Parkinson’s disease progresses. To me, it goes like this: cane, walker, wheelchair, nursing home, grave. For the first few years, I didn’t notice much of a change in my mother. She used a cane to steady her balance, but it didn’t look like her disease had progressed all that much. Her personality was certainly intact, and she was still able to do all the things she had always done such as attend church, go to restaurants, and play card games with friends. Occasionally, my father would mention to me that he noticed the Parkinson’s disease was getting worse for my mother. For the first few years, my mother was able to dress herself. Now she needed his assistance. She also purchased shoes that had Velcro enclosures on them because it was getting harder for her to tie her own shoelaces. Although arthritis in her wrist would sometimes bother her, she still managed to keep on sewing and cooking. For the most part, life seemed normal. In 2006, my mother needed hip replacement surgery. Hospital staff recommended she go into a nursing home for rehabilitation since she was having 35 difficulty walking at the hospital. She remained in the nursing home for six weeks and had both physical and occupational therapy daily. Her walking improved considerably, and she was able to return home. However, before she could be released, her physical and occupational therapists needed to visit her home environment. This task is routinely done on patients who have completed all of their therapy sessions at a nursing home to ensure their home environment is properly equipped to accommodate their needs. Aside from some minor changes such as removing the rugs in the main bathroom so her walker would not get tangled up in them, everything else seemed acceptable to the therapists. My mother was home at last and life continued. My mother still used a cane when she walked and occasionally used a walker if she felt she needed more stability. My father and I had even devised a way of getting her into the car without causing her too much discomfort. Usually I sat her down first and then lifted her legs up and spun her around so she was facing forward. My father would then grab her legs from his side to move her into a better position. She would put the seat belt on herself. One day, my mother received a notice in the mail that she had to renew her driverâ€™s license. When her number was called at the DMV, my mother managed to get up with my fatherâ€™s help. However, when the DMV employee saw that she almost couldnâ€™t walk unaided and noticed that her handwriting was shaky, he refused to renew her license and recommended she get a Wisconsin identification card instead. Driving a car was something my mother would never do again. This was something I would miss greatly as I have wonderful memories of going on different car trips with my mother. She also used to pick me up from school and sometimes my friends, too, many times when we were young. Time went on and I noticed an increase in the number of times my mother would lose her balance and fall. Usually she fell on carpeting or something soft. Due to 36 Parkinson’s disease and the stiffness and muscle rigidity it can cause, my mother would be unable to get up on her own. One time, I was outside helping my father in the yard. When I walked into the house, I saw my mother lying on one side on the family room floor. I tried to help her up on my own, but she was too heavy. I called my father inside and together we were able to lift her into a chair. Her hands were shaking considerably, most likely because of the fall. Once she calmed down, her tremors disappeared. As my mother’s gait became increasingly unsteady, she started to prefer using the walker and no longer used her cane. My father and I tried to think of ways to make life easier for her. My father had grab bars installed in the main bathroom and garage for her to hold on to whenever she was in those areas. We also purchased a ramp that was quite difficult for my father to install without assistance. My father even had to saw away four inches of the door frame on the bottom in order for it to fit properly. It gradually got to be more of a nuisance to set up and I decided to search on the Internet for a different wheelchair ramp. I did find a better ramp eventually and purchased it. It suited our needs perfectly and required no complicated installation. Late one evening, my father was helping my mother stand up so she could use her walker to walk to her bedroom. My father went on ahead as he did many times to get things ready for bed. Suddenly, I heard a loud clatter in the hallway and ran to see what it was. My mother had fallen face down on her walker. She had scraped the knuckles on her hand and they were starting to bleed. She also had scratch marks and bruises on her face. I screamed for my father and he came running. At first, we didn’t know if we should call an ambulance or not. I asked my mother why she fell. “Well, I didn’t really fall,” she said. I told her she did, but she didn’t seem to be aware of it. I ran and got her wheelchair. Together, my father and I turned her over and lifted her into the wheelchair. Once we cleaned and bandaged her scraped knuckles and face, I helped my 37 father put her in bed. I awoke a few hours later to the sound of my father shouting my name. I got up to see what he wanted only to find my mother standing frozen in position at the entrance to the bathroom. She was using her walker, but she could not walk because her leg would not bend. Once again, my father and I helped my mother sit down gently on her wheelchair. From that moment on, my mother was in the wheelchair stage of her disease. My mother had numerous scrapes on her hand and face from her fall and also a badly bruised eye. There was also some swelling underneath her bruised eye that blurred her vision and made it difficult for her to read. Gradually she healed from her injuries, but she no longer enjoyed reading. She slept most of the time. One of the side effects to Ropinirole is drowsiness. My mother was now completely dependent upon both my father and me for assistance. We tried to work our schedules in such a way so that at least one of us would always be home with her. Our system seemed to work well. Four months later, my mother started exhibiting strange symptoms. She liked wearing these gray sweatpants that had drawstrings on them. She would hold the drawstrings in her hands and say to me: â€œHere, take these.â€? I explained to her that those are drawstrings attached to her clothes and that I could take them. She then started complaining of a sore throat and refused to eat anything that might irritate it further. She ate less and less food every day. Soon, even water irritated her throat, and it was getting difficult to persuade her to swallow her pills. Every time I thought she had swallowed her medication, she would open her mouth, and I would see partially dissolved pills stuck to her tongue. Sometimes her pills would just tumble out of her mouth. Her eyes were almost always closed, and it seemed as if it took a tremendous effort on her part just to open them for a few seconds. 38 Terry, my mother’s friend and hairstylist, would drop by the house every two weeks to do my mother’s hair. When she dropped by with my mother in this condition, she noticed my mother’s hair was falling out as she combed it. “I’ve never seen her like this before. She’s really out of it,” Terry said. My mother didn’t even seem to be aware that anyone was combing her hair. She slept through the entire thing. Perhaps the most unusual thing I began noticing was a pinkish bump slightly smaller than a golf ball on my mother’s backside just above her tailbone. Whenever my father and I would help her to the bathroom, I would see it. Every day, its appearance looked slightly different than the day before. I also noticed what appeared to be streaks of blood on her bed sheets by her feet. The next day, I asked my father what that bump was above my mother’s tailbone. At first, he didn’t notice anything. When I pointed at it, he said he never saw anything like it before. The sore looked like it had burst open and turned itself inside out. It now looked like a giant scab about the size of the palm of my hand. I purchased some medical gauze, bandages, and Neosporin from the store, and we started dressing the wound. I asked my father if that giant scab was a bedsore. He said he wasn’t sure. Over the next several days, more discoveries were made. When I was putting my mother’s socks on after we got her out of bed one morning, I discovered another sore about the size of a quarter on the back of her heel. I also looked at the back of her other heel, and there was a smaller sore there. At least this would explain the blood streaks on her bed sheets around by her feet. She had developed three sores. I told my father we needed to get her medical attention as soon as possible. We made a doctor’s appointment for my mother the next day. A few days later, 39 my father and I took my mother to her family physician. He diagnosed her as being dehydrated and malnourished. Those three sores were indeed bedsores or pressure ulcers, as they are sometimes called. He told us he had no choice but to hospitalize her. A short time later, two Emergency Medical Technicians arrived with a stretcher. She was placed in the intensive care unit for three days where she received intravenous fluids and nourishment. Soon her symptoms improved and even her memory improved. When she was still dehydrated and malnourished, she had difficulty recalling my first name and would call me Alice or any name that happened to pop into her mind. Now she knew who I was and was even able to answer other questions correctly. I was starting to feel slightly more optimistic about her recovery. She remained hospitalized for ten days and was eventually able to eat and drink on her own. Arrangements were being made for her to go into a nursing home for physical therapy and rehabilitation upon her release from the hospital. Her old personality was back and she started nagging me about getting a haircut. Following her hospitalization, she was settled in her room at the nursing home. She had a bed nearest the window and a friendly roommate named Dorothy to keep her company. My mother had physical therapy daily for six weeks. By the end of those six weeks, her physical therapist didn’t notice any improvement in her ability to stand or walk. He told us she probably would never walk again and suggested she become a permanent resident there. The days stretched on endlessly with no real improvement in my mother’s condition. While the two bedsores on the backs of each of her feet had almost completely healed, her other larger bedsore was not healing as well. It didn’t help matters any that my mother wouldn’t always eat her food to give her body the nourishment it needed, although she always drank a health shake that was 40 fortified with vitamins and minerals at each meal. It was perhaps a bit too optimistic of me to hope that my mother would be back home in time to celebrate Christmas with us, but Christmas was celebrated with my mother and father in the nursing home. By this time, my mother had been in the nursing home for two months and my father visited her every day for eight to ten hours at a time. In mid-January, my mother received some bad news. Her brother, who was also in a nursing home, had passed away. She went to his funeral in a wheelchair specially designed for her condition. As bad as she was then, I couldnâ€™t believe she was able to attend her brotherâ€™s funeral even if it was only for a few minutes. Like many nursing home residents with limited mobility, my mother developed constipation. It may have been her constipation that caused an intestinal operation she had done several decades ago shortly after my brother was born to re-rupture. The nursing assistants were the first to notice that my mother was leaking feces into her vagina. In order to repair the hole in her intestines, she would have to undergo major abdominal surgery. Another possibility was to have a colostomy bag attached, but that would also require major abdominal surgery. In her condition, neither of these options was possible. Her doctor said she would never survive the surgery. He also mentioned that she might develop a bladder infection eventually. Approximately six weeks later, a registered nurse visited my mother to give her medication. She also took her temperature and noticed she was running a fever. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a bladder infection. She was given broad spectrum antibiotics and soon the bladder infection cleared up. I was beginning to think these infections would keep occurring. 41 Fortunately, some wound care specialists came to clean and dress my mother’s bedsore. It always made me feel better when she had specialists treating her wounds. They mentioned to us that she was starting to develop another bedsore on her right hip. Because of the placement of the new bedsore, a catheter was inserted in my mother to prevent urine from getting on the bedsore. This was not welcome news because my mother was already fighting a host of other ailments. In early March 2013, a nurse practitioner at the nursing home told my father that my mother was near death. When I heard this news, I gasped. The nurse practitioner recommended we get hospice care for my mother as soon as possible and a meeting was arranged for us to meet with them the next week. The meeting with hospice care workers took place in my mother’s room. When my mother heard they were hospice care workers, she started to cry. I asked her if she thought they could help her, and she said no. Since the hospital was the only place where my mother’s condition improved, we wanted her to continue going there whenever she developed an infection or some other medical condition. The hospice care workers pointed out that they don’t cure anything and that it’s all about keeping the patient as comfortable as possible. If my mother were to develop an infection, we were told to contact the hospice care workers and not the hospital. I didn’t like that idea at all. Neither did my mother. I told my father not to sign the forms and the hospice care workers left her room. Perhaps I was in denial about the seriousness of my mother’s condition, but I still believe I made the right decision. At the end of May 2013, my mother developed another infection. Once again, an ambulance was called to the nursing home, and she was taken to the hospital. This time, she had four infections. She was given more antibiotics intravenously and was put in a locked facility inside the hospital. I looked at some of the 42 patients in the other rooms, and they all looked like they were in serious condition. Every time my mother was admitted to the hospital, she was admitted in serious condition. Miraculously enough, she survived. By this time, the bedsore on her right hip had gotten considerably worse. In fact, it was huge. She returned to the nursing home only to discover she had a new roommate. Her other roommate moved into a larger room that would accommodate her oxygen tank and belongings better. Her new roommate was named Ramona. Three weeks after Ramona arrived at the nursing home, she passed away. My mother was in her own bed in the same room when it happened with only a curtain separating the two for privacy. My mother slept through most of it, possibly unaware that anything had happened. My father and I decided not to mention Ramonaâ€™s death to my mother. By now, it was almost summertime. A few weeks later would be the Fourth of July, my favorite holiday. My mother was having daily therapy sessions on her legs and also another therapist came in the mornings to help my mother with her swallowing. She had developed aspiration pneumonia the last time she was in the hospital, which is caused by improper swallowing. This is a common medical condition in the elderly. As the days passed, my mother would continue to pick at her skin or her clothes. I later learned people who are dying frequently pick at their bed sheets or other things just out of agitation. The social worker at the nursing home tried to persuade me to get hospice care for my mother. I agreed, but first I wanted to meet with all of her therapists and nurses beforehand. The meeting was held in the morning of July 5th. Later that same day, my mother was taken to the hospital for the last time with aspiration pneumonia in both lungs. Two days later, we 43 signed the forms for hospice care. My mother passed away on July 14, 2013. Never did I think her condition would deteriorate so rapidly. Two days before she died, she opened her eyes one last time. Her unblinking bright blue eyes stared up at the ceiling briefly before the hospice nurse closed them again. Before she died, she asked me to give her a nice funeral. I hope she was pleased. Whenever a loved one dies, they always leave something behind. In my motherâ€™s case, she left behind her husband of 52 years, two children, two grandchildren, many wonderful relatives and friends, an old Singer sewing machine, and a bunch of recipes. Throughout her illness, she demonstrated courage and perseverance. She also filled our house with angels and is now an angel herself. 44 A Snapshot to Remember Evan Humes From the age of ten until I was about sixteen years old, my family used to take a vacation every August. My family was not the type of family that enjoyed camping or long road trips, so we usually stuck to hotel rooms in tourist hot-spots in Wisconsin or Illinois. Our destination for the majority of these vacations was the Wisconsin Dells. Although many of these vacations were mostly enjoyable, there was one that stands out. And I have the photo to remember it. The day this particular photo was taken was our last day in the Dells before heading home, so my family was worn from the water parks, go-karts, mini-golf and other active attractions. As we left the air-conditioned hotel lobby, we were welcomed by the beckoning blaze of the summer sun and its radiant, golden light glistening in the blue, cloudless sky. The temperature was rather hot, but thanks to Lake Delton, the cool lake breeze provided a splendid safeguard from the otherwise torrid conditions. Besides the cool breeze, the prospect of escaping the smell of chlorine-filled pool water from the outdoor water-park was a welcome change. When we left our hotel, we piled into our van and drove out to Paul Bunyan’s, an all-you-can-eat breakfast restaurant. Despite serving all sorts of great breakfast foods, the restaurant smelled entirely like warm, iced cinnamon buns. The décor of Paul Bunyan’s is in a very neat Northwood theme. It almost looks like something out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. Log walls and pewter cups are the standard, with mounted deer and moose heads along with fox and wolf pelts adorning the walls, a breakfast shanty lumberjacks would feel at home in. After breakfast, we headed to our main attraction for the day, the Wisconsin Ducks. When we arrived at the dock for the Wisconsin Ducks, we were greeting by a middle-aged man who was both the operator and the tour guide for the Wisconsin Ducks. After we paid for our tickets and went aboard the Ducks, we were informed about the Ducks great history. The Wisconsin Ducks 45 are famous because of their World War II history. Of course these days, the Wisconsin Ducks are used to give incredible guided tours, but back then the Ducks were used to transport cargo across the Atlantic Ocean without being detected by German scouts. When the tour began, the Ducks began by rolling through the lush woodlands bordering the Wisconsin River and Lake Delton. The giant oak, pine, and birch trees towered over us as we passed, the deep green tree-line blotting out the sky above, allowing only trickles of the warm summer sunlight through the beautiful canopy. After about thirty minutes of admiring these wonderful, untouched woodlands, the tour guide informed us that we were going to be splashing down into the Wisconsin River. At first we were confused about the phrasing, but as we literally rolled down a sandbar and flopped into the Wisconsin River like a giant Mackerel, our confusion replaced with amusement. Looking out from the Ducks, I was amazed by the beauty of the crystal blue water flowing and crashing against the wonderful, cragged, naturecarved rock formations, and as we traveled down the cliff-lined Wisconsin River, I really got a sense of the history of the location. These rock formations have been slowly carved by the tide of the river for hundreds, if not thousands of years, slowly being pushed up from the ground by the ever shifting tectonic plates below. As we neared the end of the Wisconsin River, the Ducks climbed a huge sand bar, forded Dell Creek, and splashed right into beautiful Lake Delton, one of the few lakes in and around Wisconsin that has really been cared for. The deep aquamarine sheen of the surface and the smell of the fresh lake breeze were overwhelming to me. As a city-slicking teenager, I had never experienced nature like this before, and it was incredible. As the tour came to an end, I was still dazzled by the lush scenery and the excellent information and entertainment the tour guide provided. As we got off the Ducks, my mother informed us that she was so moved by the experience, she wanted to take a family portrait so weâ€™d always have something to 46 remember the experience. I remember thinking to myself how an experience like that was unforgettable on its own. Nonetheless, I complied. We formed what could only be described as a hug-chain, with each member of my family wrapping their arm around the others’ shoulder as we stood there and smiled. My father was standing on the far left side. Despite his anger issues and terrible attitude, he sported a big goofy grin on his rugged middle-aged face. I stood next to him, my arms wrapped around his and my mother’s shoulders. I was grinning widely as well, showing off my sparkling white teeth and chubby, rosecolored cheeks. My mother to the right of me was also wearing a genuine, if not slightly hammy, smile. Her middle-aged face was wrinkled with stress, her teeth stained yellow by coffee, but smiling big all the same. On the end of our chain was my older brother, Anthony. He is the only one in the picture who did not have a giant smile on his face. But secreted away in the guarded visage he worked so hard to maintain, one can see a small, happy grin. The photo taken that day is more important to me than any other. It captured was the one and only time my entire family seemed truly happy together. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced my family to be truly happy with one another, but for this one day and in this one particular photo I felt as if we were. 47 Fear Not: The Evolution of a Speaker in a Speech Class Kathryn Singer—FIRST PLACE CONTEST WINNER I thought long and hard about who I wanted to commemorate today. What person, place, or thing could I truly pay tribute to? And then it hit me. Actually, it spoke to me last Tuesday, sitting in my usual seat at the end of the second row. As I listened to Sean speak to us about the 82nd Air Bourne Division, I realized the best thing to commemorate was our speech class. So, today, I am going to celebrate our torturous struggle from petrified pupils to a little bit less petrified public speakers. As our instructor said in the beginning of this stressful semester, “Public speaking is one of the top fears the majority of people have, and I’m going to show everyone how to make leaps and bounds to overcome that fear.” As you all probably recall, the first day of class we all shuffled in here, finding seats we’d either become married to or seats we’d later forsake as friendships flourished. As we sat and settled ourselves on that first day, apprehension weaved its way into our minds. Anxiety rising as we peered down at the syllabus, seeing all the speeches to come throughout the semester: demonstration, impromptu, informative, persuasive, and commemorative— each staring up at us in emboldened letters. Our heads swam. “Over my dead body will I speak that much,” I’m sure a lot of us were thinking. But we didn’t die. We stood in solidarity with each other as we prepared for that first speech, that first and what only now seems incredibly short speech. But, back then, it seemed like forever, if not incredibly painful, painful to stand in front of the class. Not just standing but speaking, and not just speaking but teaching, demonstrating how to do something: How to write with your toes, how to make Kool-aid, how to dance, how to serve in tennis. All were wonderful topics, but think back, can you remember the fear? Panic strangling your body, skin on fire, mouth drier than the Sahara desert, and a voice that seemed equally fearful of the situation, as it cracked and quivered and 48 stuttered. Words fled from your mouth like debris from an explosion—none of them wanting to get sucked in the rubble. And breathing, when did it become so hard to breath? Your lungs even wanted to distance themselves from you and flee to the back of the classroom where no one would be judging their ability. Yet, through all this, we all did it. We showed our bodies that even though they wanted to run, they stayed and fought and won. But that was just the first battle, and that realization was paralyzing. Three more long speeches and two impromptu speeches before we could claim victory. When did that door start looking so good? But none of us left, did we? We stayed. Through those leg-trembling impromptu speeches that turned us from focused adults to blabbering babies: “Uh, I also like pie and my favorite car is a Ferrari, and uh, well look at the time, I’m done here. Thank you.” Those were our most vulnerable moments in this class. Unrehearsed, unprepared, forced to talk about aliens and pizzerias after taking a quiz that I’m not sure any of us seriously studied for. But it was in those movements, I think, that we started becoming comrades in this class. We saw all of vulnerability and that bonded us together, and we began to cheer each other on: “You’ll do great.” “No, I can’t do this.” “You did a really good job.” “I thought I was horrible.” “Nah, you were good.” Smiles, thumbs up, and sincere clapping brought all of us up. And up we went. Informative speeches arrived quicker than any of us thought possible. But now, now, we knew each other; we even knew some of each others’ names. We weren’t strangers anymore, and our bodies started to realize this. Our trembling became softer, our lungs allowed more air in, our voices gained confidence, and more words stayed than fled. Notecards aided us, so when a thought or a word decided it had better things to do than come to 49 us, we could look down and effortlessly continue on with a great speech. We were becoming public speakers, and no one could deny that. So when the third speech came knocking, we let it in. We were veterans by now. Now, we could stand in front of not just a class full of people, but in front of a class full of our comrades, our friends. We could stand and persuade each other that distracted driving is bad, that shopping at Walmart is bad, and that drunk driving is bad. We knew what we were saying by now, and while the panic still claimed our bodies before the speeches like a giant’s hand closing in around us, we knew how to fight it. We knew to breathe deep; we knew to relax, because we were all friends. One by one, we earned our persuasive badges, and one by one we relaxed as the golden light of only one more speech to ever give loomed on the horizon. We were nearly free, and we could all feel it, together. And now here we are, our last day of class, our last speeches that some of us may ever have to give. Look at us; we made it. And I can say with unbound certainty that I am proud of all of you. I have watched how we have all grown, and it has been amazing. To end, I leave us with a quote I think we can relate to. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, once said, “I find giving speeches nerve wracking.” So do we, but we gave them. We gave them all, and won this battle with fear. So, congratulations to all of us, the fearless. 50 51 “Dreamings II”—Krystal Rose Bartholomew 52 “Footprint” - Anna Woods 53 “Untitled” - Luis Pozos 54 “Untitled” - Tallulah McKimmey 55 © This work is property of the individual authors within. Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator. Gateway Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in employment, admissions or its programs or activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Director – Human Resources; 3520 30th Avenue, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53144; 262-564-3220.