Tiger PAWS Fall 2012
Tiger PAWS (Personal Academic Writing Space) is St. Philip's College's student literary and art publication.
Tiger P.A.W.S. Personal Academic Writing Space Fall 20 12 St. Philipâ€™s College Volume 1, Issue 2 2 Tiger P.A.W.S. Personal Academic Writing Space St. Philips College Volume 1, Issue 2 Fall 2012 Cover Art: Sick Twisted Demons by Jose Nino Mixed Media Cover Design by Jonathan Reyes 3 Acknowledgments The Tiger P.A.W.S. staff wishes to thank the following people: Sean Nighbert—Chair, Communication & Learning Kevin Schantz—Coordinator, TnT Center San Juan San Miguel—Director, Writing Center Nereida Reyes– Senior Tutor, Writing Center Mitchell Miranda—Art Judge Thomas Reprographics Editorial Staff Student Staff: Faculty Staff: Azure Gabriel C. Allison Baez Candace Kenton Lee Ann Epstein Janra Lewis Stephanie Gresham Jonathan Reyes Priscilla Lopez Jennifer Short Jamie Miranda 4 Table of Contents Sick Twisted Demons—Jose Nino …………………………………..... Cover The Tiger—Dorothy Helen Henderson……………………………... 7 No Work, no Money, And Emotional Fear, What Should I Do? —Linda Hirt…………………………………………………………….... 8 Yell—Mike Quigley………………………………………………………………... 9 Break Away—Michael A. Mendez……….……………………………... 10 As I Sat At The Deathbed of an Atheist—Jonathan Reyes. 11 Rhythm—Tashika Kyles………………………..……………………………... 12 Leave Sleeping Bears Where They Lie—Melody Halsrud. 12 Night Vision Tower 2—Mike Quigley ……………………..…...…… 13 Bright Shiny Lights—Melinda Marie Alaniz..……………………. 14 Life—Jazmine Gray ………………………………………………….…...……….. 16 Wings of a Butterfly—Veronica Talamantes …………………….. 17 ...A Daughter—Susie Watford……..…………………………….…………. 18 Renew—Melody Halsrud…………………….………………………….……… 18 Pearl Brewery Night—Mike Quigley…………………………….……… 19 January 1949—Ja’Lise T. King-Vance…………………………………... 20 Simple Beauty—Veronica Talamantes……………………………….… 22 Colorful Flower—Marlena Reus…………………………………………... 22 Hope—Michael Gray……………………………………..……………………….. 23 Robot—Kayla Hester…………………………..………………………………….. 23 Connecting Minds 2—Jennifer Short …………………………………. 24 He and She—Roxana Ramirez……...……………………………………... 25 My View of Success—Maricela Alaniz………………………………… 26 Cowboy Boots and Hat—Vincent Yates……………………………... 30 Outspoken Silence—Candace Kenton……………………………….… 31 The DNA of the Nation—Roxana Ramirez………………………… 32 The Hit List—Jonathan Reyes………………………………………………. 34 Guilty Pleasure—Inocencia Landez………………………...………….. 35 You Must Hate Me—Gregory Thomas……………………………….. 36 One Hot Sun—Melody Halsrud……………………………………………. 38 5 Table of Contents That Was Good Dinner—Melody Halsrud…………….…………… 39 My Life Changer—Evelyn Jimenez……………………………………….. 40 Kevin—Mike Quigley………………………………………………………….…… 44 My Father Never Took the Time to Understand— Melinda Marie Alaniz…………………………………………………………. 45 Mi Raza Mexicana—Génesis López…………………………………….. 46 My Mexican Race [translation]—Génesis López……………… 47 ENOUGH!!!!!—Tashika Kyles………………………………………………... 48 Everything Eventually Will End—Jonathan Reyes…………… 49 Eiffel Tower—Adrian Ramos…..…………………………………………….. 52 Trials—Justin Rodriguez……………………………………………………….. 53 Play Pool—Jessica Allstott…………………………...……………………….. 54 Fond Memories—Maricela Alaniz……………………………………….. 55 6 The Tiger By Dorothy Helen Henderson The tiger is fierce in its approach to life circumstances Pouncing along the rough rigid mountains to devour its prey to undertake With a thunderous roar, it shakes and breaks the foundations under its grounds of meaning Seizing all of its foes to reconcilement, while still beaming and gleaming A tiger goes through the trenches of this world, to conquer all of its own desired glory, As a trailblazer through any kind of weather, while digging and seeping its claws into the soil in which it stands, and with every breath it takes; it takes to take in demand The mighty tiger is a creature that I, too, can see in thy own eye’s sight To roam the world with great ambition, while also yielding to plight The eye of the tiger is thy own eye that I seek, and while I strive to accomplish my life’s goals I know that I can achieve, The tiger is I and that Tiger is we. Dedicated to St. Philip’s Tigers 7 “No Work, No Money, and Emotional Fear, What Should I Do?” by Linda Hirt Have no work; No money for my family; Emotional fear sets in; What should I do? Construction Administration and Bookkeeping is my field of work; Applying for positions in this field is not so easy; Many resumes and applications have been sent; No good replies have been responded in return; This demoralizes me to become so irate; What should I do? Looking for a way to change my situation; I keep applying for work positions and still have no money; Or make a decision of returning to school; This means borrowing money for survival and school; This puts me in a dilemma either way I go; What should I do? An optimistic person that I am; I will solve my dilemma by going back to school; I know now what I should do? Majoring in Criminal Justice is my career goal change; St. Philip’s College here I am! 8 Yell By Mike Quigley Photograph 9 Break Away By Michael Anthony Mendez Mixed Media 10 As I Sat at the Deathbed of an Atheist By Jonathan Reyes As I sat at the deathbed of an atheist, all he kept mumbling is how much he hates this, clutching onto his chest, and whimpering these words under his dying breath, I went all my life without believing, and now you show your face as I’m leaving? Went all my life convinced in being insignificant like just another grain of sand, and now here you are in all your glory just to squeeze the life out of my heart with your hand. I just can’t understand what it was all for, and this… this… what is this for? Did you come down with something to prove? Cause if so, FUCK YOU. Just take me now and don’t drag it out, or is inflicting your vengeance something you want to brag about? All my life I’ve never feared death, but now I’m petrified as I leave here knowing I’m not going home to rest. He then turns to me and say’s, “I've seen the other side and it’s worse than anything you have ever visualized.” The atheist can’t help but cry as he slowly dies. For a brief moment we locked eyes; it was then I was struck with terror as I came to realize… I know the man and I know this bed, and he was never talking to me, but it was the thoughts running through my head. I look to the TV and see Walk the Line… Johnny and June. I look down to my chest and see the bullet wound. I look to my left and see my hand trembling with a gun. I look to my right and see God and his son. Feeling shameful and remorseful I ask him what have I done? How do I stop what I’ve begun? With tears in my eyes and blood on my chest the room begins to fade; I’m literally lying in the bed I’ve made. At the deathbed of an atheist, I found out that God does exist. 11 Rhythm By Tashika Kyles Do you like the swagger in my walk? Do you like the slang in my talk? Well baby make your move, And we’ll see how we groove. Do you like the caramel of my skin? I think you do ‘cause like a latte you want to Swallow me in. It’s a beautiful thing this groove we’re in but You have to let me know if it’s more than just a friend. Leave Sleeping Bears Where They Lie By Melody Halsrud Marker 12 Night Vision Tower 2 By Mike Quigley Photograph 13 Bright Shiny Lights By Melinda Marie Alaniz Bright shining lights fill the room. It seems as if they are everywhere, shining down…up…over and if I recall, under. My eyes ache. I reach in my purse for my sunglasses. I feel an immediate stinging pain. I see bright red blood as soon as I pull my hand out from the black bag. I wipe the blood on my pants. It is so much blood that is coming out of my hand. I feel the pain in my arm all the way down to my hand. I try to think of what I would have in my purse that could poke me to the point of blood. As soon as I get in to a deep thought the lights all shut off. Darkness surrounds me. I think to myself, “the lights were better than this darkness.” I bravely take a few steps. One, two and three steps. “Ploop!” A noise echoes throughout the room that I am in. I smell a strong smell that I cannot point out. I stand with my eyes shut and take a deep breath. The smell reminds me of my childhood. Suddenly, I feel something that I have never felt before. Stinging pain on my arms. I hear buzzing noises that sound as if they were coming straight from my own brain. I get distracted once again. A dull lonely bulb fades on slowly. One light in the darkness appears. I walk over quickly to try and see my wounds before the light shuts off again. I stop. I rub my eyes to see if I am seeing things clearly. I see a baby, a newborn baby in a basket. I look quickly to see if anyone is around. Not a soul in sight. I frantically pick up the tiny basket and continue on my way. I try to see through the shadows of the light. I make my way, hopping over things lying all over the room. I see myself tripping over the bulky items that are blocking my path, yet I don’t trip. I have the baby in the basket curled under my arm leaning on my breast. The baby is sleeping so softly despite my running and jumping. I think to myself how it is possible for that one dull light bulb to shine all the way to where I am. I stop abruptly. I get a feeling of sadness. I cry. I stop in my tracks and sob, uncontrollably. I cover my mouth to keep from waking up the baby. I want to curl up in a ball and continue to cry. But I know I have to get over this sadness, but I don’t know how. 14 I look up to stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks. I see a doorknob. It has a wire attached to the smallest part of it. I hesitate. While I look back, I see something flying towards my new baby and me. I turn the doorknob quickly clenching my teeth together. I enter through the doorway and slam the old wooden door. “Bam!” The door way shakes slowly and falls. I don’t even have time to think about what had just happened. I am more frightened that I have ever been in my life. To my surprise, a tall and rather husky man enters the room from a different door; he softly gives me a kiss and takes away my baby. He looks disappointed in me. At this point, I am in tears because that was MY baby! I wait in that room, hesitant to go in the next doorway. He comes back in the room, comforts me and says everything is going to be okay. I sit down on a pink rocking chair. The man leaves the room. I rock myself in the rocking chair thinking about the baby that he took away from me. “Honey…. wake up…” I hear a deep man’s voice. His voice is so familiar. The room is dark and cold. I feel myself. I touch my legs and back. I feel wet and aching. He lifts my arms to guide me out of bed. We walk to the restroom. My restroom. I have blood on my legs. I told him it was from the bees that stung me. I must have scratched them while I was sleeping. He looks at me with a confused stare. He sits me on the toilet. I feel immediate pain all over my body. I feel like I am losing control of my body. I sit and pee. My eyes feel heavy. “What the hell are you doing?” I shout as I try to kick him away from me. “Who are you?” He restrains me right away, due to his size compared to mine. I quit fighting back because I was weak. I felt like I had lost a lot more blood than I thought. I feel dizzy and nauseous. I woke up inside of a cold room. Bright shining lights. I reach for my arm. I feel something poke my hand and immediately I start bleeding. Blood covers my sheets to the bed that I am lying in. I scream. A young nurse comes in and tells me to calm down. She starts cleaning up the blood on my sheets and my skin. She says how sorry she is for my loss. I look over at the flower bouquet by my bed. She tells me her mother lost three children as well. The tall, husky man comes in dressed as a doctor. He is my doctor. He comes around and gives me a kiss on my forehead. “That will be enough, Katie. I will take care of my wife now.” 15 Life By Jazmine Gray Pencil 16 Wings of a Butterfly By Veronica Talamantes Photograph 17 . . . . A Daughter By Susie Watford I am the laughter that the Northern winds carry on the others who have prayed for some sunshine in their lives. I am the apple of wisdom that glows from your cheeks when you smile because I've also existed to all as the apple of your eye. I am the sweet scent of love that lingers in the air and in your mind, long after I've left the room. I am Susie, a daughter of my Heavenly Father, and I exist in this world or ours to leave it a much better place than it was given to me. Renew By Melody Halsrud Marker 18 Pearl Brewery Night By MikeQuigley Photograph 19 January 1949 True events written by Ja’Lise T. King-Vance It was in January 1949 in Wilmot, Arkansas when Addie Thomas awoke from a startling dream of “plucking” her children from a river. The oddest thing about that part of her dream was that there was not a body of water near the William Deyampert Plantation. So what did it all mean? Mother Thomas carried on with her normal routine of attending to her six out of ten children that were living at home before she left to visit her sister in Bastrop, Louisiana, 30 plus miles away. During her visit she shared the disturbing dream with her sister and brother-in-law; however, she was mocked and teased. They taunted, “Everyone beware the Dreamer has had another dream.” Mother Thomas did not let that bother her or deter her from her feeling that she must return home without delay. She gave her farewells and left on the last bus back to Wilmot leaving Bonita around 3 o’clock. Once she arrived in Wilmot, there were approximately 3 ½ more country blocks before she would arrive home to her children playing on the plantation, which put her mind somewhat at ease. Nevertheless, Mother Thomas felt compelled to inform her mother-in-law of the dream from the night before. Her mother-in law said nothing either way. She gave her farewells to Mother Thomas and her grandchildren and continued on home. As the day grew into early evening, Mother Thomas began her nightly routine of gathering children for dinner and preparing for bed. However, Mother Thomas had not been aware that the weather had begun to shift from a pleasant southern winter day to a dark and dismal appearance. The winds began to grow violent and the rain went from a simple shower to sheets. There was no time to panic, only time to act. No siren to warn of posing danger or anything of that nature for this small town. Mother Thomas instructed the eldest girl child to get the baby, and the remaining four were to follow her outside to hide behind the mule barn until Mother Thomas came for them. Mother 20 Thomas scurried about the house trying to secure their belongings; however, she was abruptly interrupted by the roof ripping from the structure of the house. A tornado had arrived! Mother Thomas left the house as quickly as possible in search of her husband. To her surprise, the air was too thick with rain and debris to clearly make her way around. Then out of the darkness came a large piece of wood knocking Mother Thomas on the side of her head. The blow gave her a stumble but not defeat. She continued to search for her husband and found him but could not assist him. A white man from a neighboring plantation came to assist the Negro family to safety. Mother Thomas advised him that her husband was stuck under a barbershop chair. The man released Mr. Thomas from the holds of the chair and returned him to Mother Thomas at which time he inquired about the children. The white man found the children scared, crying, and praying feverishly behind the mule barn. He advised the children how to link their arms by the elbows just as fence is linked. The white man used himself as an anchor to guide the children back to their parents; all the while the eldest child continued to pray for her familyâ€™s safety. When the tornado lifted and moved on, as far as the eye could see were shreds of wood and shards of glass sticking out the ground. The Thomas house was merely a foundation. The familyâ€™s belongings were scattered all over the plantation and beds hung from trees. The children were unscathed. Mother Thomas sat in her blue chenille robe with her glasses, one house shoe and a gash that only required a few stitches. Mr. Thomas miraculously only lost two fingertips during his time pinned under the barbershop chair. In conclusion, if Mrs. Addie Thomas had not listened to her intuition, the eldest girl child, at home during this time, would not have had my mother, and I would not be here to write this story to tell everyone to listen to your intuitions whatever way they come to you. 21 Simple Beauty By Veronica Talamantes Photograph Colorful Flower By Marlena Reus Mixed Media 22 Hope By Michael Gray Pencil Pencil Robot By Kayla Hester You took away my power so I cannot move Then ripped out my eyes so I cannot see You removed my ears so I could not hear Then you took away my voice so I could not speak You removed my heart now there is no beat I thought I was nothing but a hollow tin can But you did forget something that cannot be removed by man My soul I will be reborn again! 23 Connecting Minds 2 By Jennifer Short Mixed Media 24 He and She By Roxana Ramirez She loved him...craziness She trusted him...limitless She believed he was different. And so she lived for him for many years. But the evil could not resist her happiness, And day after day, silently and tip toeing Went inside her soul. She opened her eyes to find herself thinking... Can this man be trusted? The evil wanted to destroy her joy And so it broke her heart and poisoned her soul. Now, she knows that he is not different But she loved him! She knows that he is not perfect, but he is â€œher manâ€? A man of great heart. A man with virtues and defects... A human being...just like her 25 My View of Success By Maricela Alaniz There is a saying that goes like this: “You might forgive, but you won’t forget.” I remember this event like it was yesterday, and it is still clear like water. This happened January 1981, on a Friday evening around six o’clock to be precise. At the time, I had just arrived in San Antonio, Texas, and I was desperate to find a job. Since I didn’t know where to go, I offered my help to a couple who needed a housekeeper, and after a short interview, the couple agreed to employ me. At that time, they had a three-month-old baby girl who needed a sitter. The couple asked me if I could babysit for that night, and without a second thought I accepted. It was a Friday evening when I arrived at the couple’s home because they had to attend a party later that evening, and the lady had to instruct me how to feed and take care of her baby. I have always been a considerate, attentive, and responsible person, but I felt that the couple had just laid a tremendous responsibility on me, their baby. Since I didn’t want to disappoint them, I spent the entire night sitting next to the baby watching her. Because the baby was an infant, she slept through the entire night until two o’clock in the morning when she started to cry because she was cold. I then took her in my arms, and few minutes later she went back to sleep. The couple returned home around three o’clock in the morning, but arguing about something that happened at their party. Consequently, I could not sleep all night long due to the screaming and berating. One of the instructions that they had given me the day before was a request to make some coffee for them if possible before seven o’clock in the morning, so as you can imagine, I didn’t sleep that night. Alone in a new city with no career expectations, I felt insecure about my future. This experience allowed me to realize that success is not granted; however, it is necessary to take risks, stay motivated, and persistent in whatever I do. So, I have to work hard and not give up in what I do. My daily life is full of many small projects at home, school, and in between. Therefore, every single project’s completion is a small success for me. My ultimate view of success is my education, a career, a healthy lifestyle, realizing my religion, and the support of my family. Continuing my education will contribute to my success. I believe that my education is tantamount to my success because it has been proven that without a good education I will have a difficult time succeeding in life. For example, when I was young, I observed my parents struggling because of 26 the lack of an education. Living on a farm, my parents had to wake up very early in the morning to work all day for little or no pay. This is why I believe that having an education will lead me to success and also increase my self-confidence. Having an education is a necessary step to achieve success and attain a degree that will place me in a good job. As a result of not having an education, I am struggling to obtain a good paying job. Education gives me the background and tools necessary to accomplish a successful career and financial stability and ultimately health, wellness, and good family relations. Although I deviated thirty years from my path to success because I was taking care of my husband, I am now well on my way to achieving success. If education was lacking in my career, I would not be able to obtain a well-paid job. To illustrate, my sister who works, as a housekeeper has to work long hours with little pay because of her lack of education. However, I believe it is never too late to begin your education. As an end result of my education, I would like to obtain a career. Having a career is necessary in becoming successful. I define career as a skill that will allow me to grow as an individual and as a professional. To exemplify, I currently do not have a job primarily because I feel I don’t have the skills necessary to compete with people who have obtained a career. The struggles I have endured in my life have pushed me to desire a better future for my family and myself. As a child, I remember our home in Mexico City bursting into flames. We lost all of our belongings, at which point my parents had to start from scratch. However, with perseverance and hard work my parents recovered, and they were back on their feet. A successful career will allow me to enrich my life by attaining financial independence and have the ability to help my family and friends. An example for me is my daughter, because with perseverance, she completed her career in science. Education, health, religion, and family encompass my happiness. I believe that a career will help me lead a high quality life. They say, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness,” but then again, the ability to provide for yourself and your loved ones is a very satisfying feeling. Without a career, achieving even the most basic success comes at a much higher degree of difficulty. Minimum wage jobs and lack of a solid career path make the journey a very unpleasant one. For example, my brother-in-law has been working as a waiter for over 20 years without ever being promoted. Therefore, I deem it imperative to have a career to feel fulfilled and become successful. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a vital part of my plan for success. Health to me is to be physically and mentally fit. Because of my propensity to allergies, I have to constantly monitor my health daily. Health is im27 portant for me to become successful because without it, I would not be able to complete my education or hold a job. In fact, I saw my father struggle with his health to the point he had to leave work. Being healthy will allow me to achieve success by keeping myself both mentally and physically able to handle any of lifeâ€™s challenges. For instance, my typical day includes a thirty-minute cardio workout. The training routine that I keep is to condition for the 2012 San Antonio Rock & Roll Half Marathon. Having good health will provide physical and psychological strength to continue to achieve my goals. As a result of when I become ill, I am not able to perform at my full capacity. Without good health, I will not be able to maintain a positive outlook on life and finish my goals. Having good health will allow me to graduate from school and start a career, all while allowing me to take care of my family and myself. If my health were lacking, I would not be able to participate in the other parts of my life that would make me successful. Undoubtedly, God has led the way for me, and my belief in my religion brings me peace in my life. Religion keeps my mind focused and gives me the courage to continue the path to a successful life and also my encounter with God. If ever I choose not to attend my weekly mass, I become overwhelmed with guilt. Religion is important because it is the foundation for my beliefs, which are to be an honest, considerate, and overall good person while maintaining high moral values. In this case, my Bible study group provides me the support and the courage to continue with my commitment in life. My belief system stemming from my religion allows me to gain the ethics and morals to have a successful life without compromising. I believe that being a humanitarian will lead me to be a better person. Religion is a moral compass for my daily life and long-term goals. Feeling connected with my religion and God uplifts my spirit and allows me to focus on other important aspects of my life. To me religion is a combination of education, career, health, and family, and it is the core of my success. If I did not have religion in my life, I would have no direction or hope of success. My belief is that faith is connected with the stars; it provides me with the strength I need to reach my goals and to continue to be fair and kind to others. Of all of the qualities that make up my success, the most important is family, which is the summit of my life. In this example, I like to describe the unity that exists in my family since we reunite almost every weekend. These reunions give me such satisfaction, making them priceless. My family is the reason to reach my success. To show my deep love for my daughter, I express the joy I feel when I spend time with her. My family offers 28 the support and guidance that I need to have a balanced life and overall happiness. My daughter has always encouraged me to continue with my education to better myself by giving me words of encouragement when I need them the most. Just recently when I was struggling with my homework, my daughter mentioned to me, “Just keep at it one step at a time; you will get through it!” Also, she leads by example since she has achieved success in her life by obtaining a high level education and a challenging career. Having the support of my family has compelled me to continue my goals of becoming successful. Maintaining a good relationship with my family is important to me because they provide me with the encouragement that I need to continue my career. Not only does my family push me to succeed, they are also the recipients of my success. Since I am the one they turn to when they need help, it is with my success that they succeed as well. As one can see, my family brings everything full circle. Seeing my family rejoice in happiness allows me to continue to take care of all of the elements that make-up my success. Indisputably, family is my priority. Without them, my life would be incomplete, and any other success I would achieve would be meaningless. When difficulties become obstacles in our path, we come in unity to resolve each problem. Understanding what success is to me is imperative to fulfilling my life’s work. Now that I am able to work on my success, I realize events in my life that have prevented me from reaching success can only be considered an obstacle if I allow them to be. When I worked in the couple’s home, they demanded long and hard work from me. Therefore, babysitting and cleaning the house was my duty, but we never discussed the pay. I spent all day cleaning the house, to be exact, until five o’clock in the afternoon. In short, I was exhausted and hungry, and at this moment, I just wanted to go home and rest. When I finished my work, she drove me to the bus stop where I would catch my ride home. It was there where she paid me for my hard work, an extraordinary twenty-dollars. I thought that since I provided a good service for 24 hours that I deserved a lot more. Of course, I was disappointed, but I said nothing to them; after all, pity is what I felt for them, as all they did was take advantage of my situation. I cried the entire way home, and I promised myself that I would never allow anyone to take advantage of me again. The twenty-dollar bill I never spent. Each time I feel insecure about my goals I reach into my pocket and hold my twenty-dollar bill in my hand to remind me of the hard work it took to earn it. 29 Cowboy Boots and Hat By Vincent Yates Mixed Media 30 Outspoken Silence By Candace Kenton Quietly treading through life I am appearing, imperceptible to perfect vision, inaudible to keen hearing, precarious not to stir the unsuspecting current of life, the outspoken voice within me cries to loose the shackles of imprisonment confined in this forsaken, unforeseen, luminous soul cradled in my being. Speak now and let that spark flicker into a ray, caressed by the brilliant Sun, kissed by the night, bathed in the day, infect all those near and abroad, not for just my knowledge, but for all whose heads may shake or nod. I will ascend from my restrained, tranquil state, and succumb to my outspoken vocal utterance and not hesitate. And now I stand before you free as a bird visually repaired, audibly heard; what started off miniscule and blanch, a snowball of verbal hearings, perfect in spherical form superseding into a roaring avalanche. No longer the undependable voice timid, meek, and unheard, no longer the outspoken silence, I’ve freed me and that’s it, that’s all, it was all by choice. 31 The DNA of the Nation By Roxana Ramirez Once I was asked, “What does the U.S. Constitution means to you?” I could not think of anything, but what I was taught the U.S. Constitution is the Law of the Land. However, I went home thinking about this, and now I can say that the U.S. Constitution to me is the DNA of the nation, a unique chain of values, rights, and responsibilities implicitly or explicitly recognized to any individual in the United States. The constitution defines and shapes who we are and how we behave as individuals and as a nation among other nations. The U.S. Constitution to me is the framework of our nation. It establishes the basis for respect, opportunity, equality, and freedom for me, and for all U.S. citizens. The Bill of Rights promises and ensures me protection and freedom, not only physical but in all its forms. The language used in the U.S. Constitution is broad because the founding fathers wanted to make sure that the government and other residents respect all my rights. Freedom of Speech is one major and well-known right that we all have. The U.S. Constitution guarantees me protection and freedom to express myself in all possible ways, such as drawing, writing, singing, acting, and why not striking. Voting is a particular form of expression. The U.S. Constitution establishes a Democratic form of government, which means “rule by the people, for the people.” The U.S. Constitution assures me the privilege “to choose” my government, implying that I, we, all of us, have the power to change, modify, and create our own future. At the same time, the U.S. Constitution protects me from a central and unre32 strained government by the division in branches. These are the Executive, Legislative, and the Judicial Branch. At the same time, these three branches are controlled by a system called checks and balances, so none of them could gain total power over the others. The U.S. Constitution not only distinguishes my rights but also my responsibilities. There are constitutional duties of persons, such as “obey the law,” “tell the truth,” and “comply with a legal contract” and constitutional duties of citizens like “preserve, defend, and protect the Constitution,” “serve on juries,” and “defend the U.S. individually and/or by serving in the Militia.” An important implicit duty is “to educate myself to act responsibly.” What our country and our Constitution need to be exercised in favor of the people and for the people is educated citizens. At home, parents have the right and the duty of teaching their children social values and the basis for responsibility. Later on, the school system will set the curricular milestones for future knowledgeable active citizens. In conclusion, the U.S. Constitution is a well-written document, which establishes my rights and duties as a person and citizen. It guarantees me a Democratic form of government with division of powers controlled by a system of checks and balances. The U.S. Constitution establishes our social characteristics and our behavior among other individuals and other nations. In essence, the U.S. Constitution is the DNA of the nation. 33 The Hit List By Jonathan Reyes It’s “4 a.m.,” and no one will ever love you “Like Me” that is certain, although I will never be your “Beast of Burden” We went to “Houstalantavegas” on “November 18th,” I asked you to “Let Me Down Easy” you said that just isn’t me I wish “Love Was Easy,” ‘cause I can hear your heart “Crying Out For Me” You got me so “High For This” and I threw it back to “Oh, Shelia” while I gave you a “Kiss” Didn’t care about “In The Morning” and played “Wicked Games.” It was that OVO that XO type of thing “I Don’t Want This Night To End,” pink was the color of “All Of The Lights” as I got lost in your “Skin” I know you have “Trust Issues” and you worry “Your Pretty Little Heart,” But it takes “Practice” and “Cameras” to see that I had it from the start I never wonder “How Come You Don’t Call Me,” I just wonder why don’t you “Breakdown” and “Give in to Me” I’ll be here for “The Party and the After Party,” just want you to “Be My Girl” and be part of me Yeah, I know a “Woman’s Worth” and I could spoil you till your heart bursts But you’re no “Material Girl,” you just make sure to “Remember Me” like I remember you… We are our world. 34 Guilty Pleasure By Inocencia Landez Mixed Media 35 You Must Hate Me By Gregory Thomas 3 days before X-Mas, The birth of a child Which for most Would be a blessing But in your eyes it couldn’t be, I guess deep down in your heart You must have hated me… Cursed by birth, That is what I was taught to believe And also that I was a child, That was unwantedly conceived Demons similar to bees Swarm the inner chambers of you mind Causing you to blame and curse me You must really hate me… Was I your last child? Is that your reason? No, that couldn’t be the reason Because another one, started breathing I know you truly have hate in your heart But am I honestly the cause for it? You must hate me… To be honest, I hated you 36 I did not know, What was going on? I was a child That was tossed in the real world Doing whatever it was I had to do To survive and hold on Learning to love no one but me Yes, you must have hated me… I still remember the last words that you spoke to me “I hate y’all I wish you were never born I hate y’all got my last name.” Caught by surprise? Not by a long shot And hearing the confirmation Spewing forth from her lips Only confirmed to the ears What was already known in the heart Tell me something I don’t know (dial tone) That was the only way I could reply I can only sit and imagine How you must hate me… I made you proud in the beginning, huh? With all of my failures I wasn’t happy with self But Islam helped me to become better I can still feel your hate for me… 37 Itâ€™s been just over a year now More close to two I just finished my first year of college And my GPA is 3.12 The man I never knew And who I hated just as much you Helped me to forgive you Ironically, heâ€™s the father of your last two Feelings for you there will always be Just one question from your son, Mom Why do you hate me?... One Hot Sun By Melody Halsrud Marker and Pencil 38 That Was Good Dinner By Melody Halsrud Marker and Pencil 39 My Life Changer By Evelyn Jimenez I’m standing in the corner of a white room; my baby’s father was hugging me. I’m crying. Everything was blurry because of my tears; my baby boy was lying lifeless on the table. Nurses were running in and out of the room, I know they were yelling because I saw their lips moving. I heard nothing. My eyes stayed focused on my son, and all I wanted to do was run to the table and wake him up, if only he were sleeping. My focus was broken when I heard the doctor yell, “Time of death…” I felt myself fall. I tried to run, and that’s when his dad pulled me closer, trying to restrain me. The doctors apologized to me, and the nurses hugged me with tears in their eyes. The priest prayed for us. Then they allowed my family to walk in; to see all their faces crying over me while I held my son for the last time was almost too much to bear. We stayed at the hospital for as long as we could. I didn’t want to let him go; how could I go home without my son? Losing my son was by far the hardest thing I’ve gone through in life. From the time he was in my stomach, he’s affected my life and made the biggest impact in my life. Before my son was born, I was living life completely for myself. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted. I was a high school dropout, working on Lackland Airforce 40 Base as a food service specialist in one of the dining facilities. My sonâ€™s father and I were living in an efficiency, which is a small apartment with one room, a restroom, and a single closet. I was barely speaking to my family, and my life was just going downhill fast. I remember feeling as if I had no place to go, no one to turn to. I didnâ€™t care about a thing in this world. All I knew was that it was my life, and I lived it however I pleased. The day I found out I was pregnant with my son, I had mixed emotions. I had no idea what lay ahead. I knew I was going to keep him; I had to be responsible for my actions. I started to talk to my family more. I was trying to get my life together. I thought that as a mother, I had to look, act, and speak as a mother. My pregnancy went by so fast. I remember all the organization I had to do just to prepare to bring another life into this world. I was trying my hardest; my love for my son grew so deeply. When he was born, I knew just seeing his face was my wake up call. I knew it was time to start acting like an adult, time to get my life together. I enrolled myself in high school; I was doing so well. For once, my life was full of happiness. I could actually picture my future, and I knew it was going to be bright. My son seemed to motivate me in ways never done before. I believed I was prepared for anything life threw at me. Then, everything went downhill. I have no idea why; it just did. One morning I walked into the kitchen, and then I went 41 to check on my baby boy. He wasn’t breathing. I felt my life crumble in less than a second. The whole day at the hospital they were trying to revive him. I cried, and I begged for his life to be spared. I didn’t know what to do; I was completely helpless. How could a baby be at risk of losing his life, being only two months and sixteen days old? He saved my life, and there was no way that I could do the same for him. For what seemed like years, I sat waiting, hoping he would come back to me. Towards the end of the night, he was pronounced deceased. My life was lying in my arms; he was so still, so cold. I lost it. I cried and screamed, asking the Lord, “Why would you take my innocent baby? What did he do, and what did I do to deserve this?” I kept yelling over and over, “It isn’t fair.” All my family and nurses kept saying is, “Everything happens for a reason.” I remember not even being able to see people for days. I didn’t believe it was possible that he wouldn’t live a long happy life. I always thought parents weren’t supposed to outlive their children. Everything was backwards, upside down, jumbled, just ruined. I blamed everyone and everything. I stopped going to school for the second time. I was back to making the wrong decisions again. I didn’t care about anything. How was I supposed to? My baby was no longer around. Months later, I was by myself. I began to think, just because he isn’t here with me physically, doesn’t mean he isn’t 42 watching over me. It was then when I realized he wouldn’t want me to just give up on life. He was in a better place; I needed to be happy that he didn’t have to live a life full of disappointments in this place we call home. I knew I’d see him again someday. I wanted him to be proud of me. I got back into school again. Some mornings it took forever for me to bring myself to get out of bed. The only thing that got me up was his memory. Graduation was one of the most emotional days of my life. I cried tears of joy and pain. I wished he could have been here so I could hug him the minute I walked off the stage. Although, he wasn’t here physically, I felt his presence, and I knew he was proud of his mother. He is my inspiration, my motivation in everything I do in life. I will graduate from college, and I will become something in life. I know this is what he would’ve wanted. Some people would say I should try and let him go, but to be honest, I would be nowhere without him. He was, is, and always will be my guardian angel. With my baby boy by my side, I know there is no dream out of reach. Just his memory is enough for me to push through all the struggles and hardships of life. If I could go through the unthinkable with my precious baby boy, I know I can handle anything. 43 Kevin By Mike Quigley Photograph 44 My Father Never Took the Time â€™s ge to Understand Jud ice o By Melinda Marie Alaniz Ch My father never took the time to understand. He was always a selfish but giving man. Ironic it may sound, but it is true. He provided for his family just as he should. Bare minimum. Food, shelter, and electricity. No fun or laughter on a daily basis like my other friendsâ€™ fathers. Cold and unresponsive is how he lived his day-to-day life with his family. I always sat and stared at him, sitting in his white, old lounge chair with his feet up, wearing dirty socks worn from working middle class his whole life, watching baseball like always. He was so involved with the television he did not even notice that I was staring and hoping for his attention. I wondered what was going on inside of his head. He wore a baseball hat every day that I can remember. His beard always neatly trimmed, dark with grey hair peppered through it. I would look at his soft brown eyes, tired and saddened with some sort of secret. He was always mysterious, like he was hiding something in those droopy eyes. If he only would open up to me, then maybe I could understand how he liked his eggs cooked or what kind of music was his favorite to listen to while driving his maroon 4 X 4 Chevy truck. I would ask him if he had a good day at work. He would respond back to me that he had a busy day and that he enjoyed his lunchtime that he had with his co-workers at their favorite Mexican place down the street from their job. That is what I would picture our conversation looking like. If my father took the time to understand. 45 Mi Raza Mexicana By Genesis Lopez Las rosas son rojas; Los mexicanos cafes. Esa es mi raza; Así que no temas con ella. Mi sangre Mexicana Circula caliente y ardiente. En mi raza Mexicana; Somos bien calientes. Mi orgullo mexicano; No lo esconderé. Mis amigos Mexicanos; No los olvidare. Entre lo grueso y denso; Hasta el día que moriré. Nuestra bandera Mexicana; Siempre alta la tendre. Porque sabemos que, Ser Mexicano es un honor. El honor Mexicano Siempre lo tendre. Mi sangre Mexicana; Es mi tipo. Así que haste a un lado; Y déjame pasar. porque es todo sobre Los Mexicanos. La vida apesta porque después Mueres, pero si eres Mexicano te mueres con ORGULLO Y DIGNIDAD. 46 My Mexican Race [translation] By Genesis Lopez Roses are red. Mexicans are brown. That’s my race; So don’t put it down. My Mexican blood; Flows hot and true. My Mexican race; I will not disgrace. My Mexican pride I will not hide. My Mexican peeps; I will not forget. Thru thick and thin; I will always fight. Till the day I will die I will not cry. Our Mexican flag; Always stands high. I yell this poem; Louder than all the rest. ‘Cause everyone knows; Mexicans are the best!!! Mexican pride is in my mind; Mexican blood is my kind. So step aside and let me through; ‘Cause it’s all about the Mexican crew. Life sucks because then you die; but if you are Mexican You die with dignity and pride. 47 ENOUGH!!!!! By Tashika Kyles When is enough, enough? When they push and shove? When they slap you and say it’s love? When is enough, enough? When you think he’s a friend but he takes your purity, And says sshhhh! You better never tell again. When is enough, enough? When you grow tired of all the wrong they have done? So much that you fight back but still don’t feel you’ve won. THAT’S ENOUGH!!!! 48 Everything Eventually Will End By Jonathan Reyes Religion. God. Jesus. These are things that people don't talk about too freely now days. But why? Because people label you as a Jesus freak, as holier than thou, religion is very personal; the list goes on and on. I want to tell you my story and about a phrase that I live by; that phrase is, “Everything, eventually will end.” This is a phrase that means so much to me; the tattoos on my arms and chest symbolize the phrase. I was and still am very obsessed with the phrase. My life was without meaning. I was just waiting for an end, living day by day, and then I prayed. It was the most meaningful prayer in my life and really gave meaning to all I did again. It all started about two years ago, the stealing, the lies, and the isolation. It was a very selfish lifestyle that I started to live. And a selfish lifestyle does not blend in with a wife and two baby girls. But like I said, I was selfish. I kept justifying all the things I did by saying, “I mean well,” and “I'm not intentionally hurting anyone.” Focusing on all that "I" did. Wanting what "I" felt "I" deserved. I was getting drunk on myself and how good I became at doing wrong things. But everything, eventually will end. All the things that I was doing were starting to catch up to me. First came the federal indictment, then came the affair, then came the breakdown. And even when I did break down, I still chose to run. My wife, who was very religious and attending church regularly, talked to her pastor, and both and offered help through God's grace. But "I" was fine with my religious views, and "I" knew what I was doing. So then that led to the separation with my family. I decided to run and run recklessly. Run as fast as possible without any regard to anything around me. I ended up moving out into my own place in mid-December of 2011 and tore my family apart. Not just my wife and children, but also my nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters-in-law, my mother and father-in-law, family friends, and not to mention myself. I was riddled with all kinds of emotions: hurt, anger, fear, excitement, terror, but most of all guilt. But I continued to believe what "I'm" doing is right. And God's word and work kept continuing to show up, by loved ones around me suggesting prayer and church. There were certain situations that I should have gotten into some really bad trouble, but somehow I miraculously escaped with no harm done. And yet I continued to reject Him. I was fine the way I was living and kept idolizing everything "I" did. In under a month, all the material things I walked out on in my home, I was able to replace in my new apartment; new TV, new furniture, etc. I felt like a made man by perfecting my wrong doings. But deep down it was killing me. I was rotting from 49 within. The one I was idolizing wasn't able to give me anything back. He was hollow and meaningless. His strength had ended; therefore, mine did too. So I crumbled to the ground, and as I lay on the ground I realized I was alone... Until I remembered what I was running from, guilt. And like a scene from the Halloween movies, guilt was like Michael Myers, and it slowly stalked me. And I had no strength left to fight or run and just like Michael Myers... Guilt caught up to me and gutted me good. Everything, eventually will end. The federal indictment turned me into a federal convict. The separation and lies turned me and my wife into strangers that hated each other. The isolation turned me into the really funny guy that is cool to hang out with but has no emotional bonds or attachments. So this brings us to June 6th, 2012. A Wednesday evening, just another regular night for me with nothing out of the ordinary. The pickup basketball game followed by the late night run. The quick drive from the park to my apartment with the nonstop ringing of my car because I never buckled up for the short ride. The dreaded three flights of stairs to my 3rd floor apartment, then the quick shakedown of my keys, phone, shirt, etc. as soon as I got in the door and hopped into the shower. And I would end the night with a bowl of Fruit Loops with Marshmallow cereal while watching my favorite TV show of all time, The Office. All the while I'm having various meaningless conversations via text message with friends. And around 2 or 3 in the morning is when I normally started to finally try and go to sleep. I would just lie there in the dark on top of my mattress that was just tossed in the corner on the floor of my small efficiency, with the only light illuminating was the light from my multicolored digital alarm clock; I would listen to the rumblings of the central a/c and the trees as they would brush against the rain gutter outside on my balcony. And it was then, the guilt started to stab away at me, and I would cry myself to sleep. But this time something was different. On this early Thursday morning as I lay there a broken man, with nothing left to give, nowhere left to go, totally out of ideas of what to do... I prayed. After months of rejecting and hating God... I prayed. I got on my knees and faced the wall and prayed. I didn't go to Him and tell Him to get me out of this situation or ask Him, why? Why me? I went to Him like a son would go to his father. I talked to Him; I cried to Him; I offered my life to Him. I asked for strength to get up and dig myself out of this grave I made, so that one day when I do get out of this grave, I can give the glory to Him. I can give the glory to a humbling prayer. And then I felt a feeling I hadn't felt since I was a kid, that tingling on my back. It was like a shoulder hug a father would give his son, saying without words, “I'm here for you son.” And just like that, a weight was lifted. My eyes were open. That hour long prayer is probably one of the most defining moments in my life. It gave new meaning to everything in my life. Including the phrase, "Everything, eventually will end.” 50 So the morning after the prayer I woke up with a new found energy, with a thirst for something more in life. There was something different. The sunlight pouring into my small apartment from the kitchen window didn’t annoy me; the birds chirping outside the balcony sounded so delightful. I woke up cringing for my children. So I prayed again, nowhere near as long or with as much passion but still with tremendous meaning. I asked for His strength to help me change the wrongs in me so I can be strong enough to change all the wrongs around me, especially the ones I created. So I continued to pray and pray and pray. I started doing a hard 180 in my life. I started to seek God and stop running from my guilt. I had no idea what else to do because I didn’t have a church I attended as a child, and the one my ex-wife was attending I had ruled out, simply because everybody knew all my wrongs and I was ashamed to show my face there. So yeah, I did have my doubts and questions about if it was just a phase or fluke, but then I swallowed my pride and went to The Exchange church with my ex-wife and found what I was looking for. My pastor, Herbert Halbeisen, didn’t hesitate to take me in; he embraced me with love as I came in with my broken pride and shameful label. He really took my hand and helped me up and showed me a great scripture, Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It was then I started to learn there is a huge difference from intending to do good and actually doing good. I learned there is no time like now. I learned a life lived for others is a life worth living. But most importantly, I learned, “Let go, let God, but go now,” meaning let go of your problems. Let God handle your burdens, but go now and live His word. And since that prayer, I have gained a new outlook on life. I have given up a lot of wrong, hate, and selfishness in my life. I'm currently working on being a good man for my family. I stopped wanting and just DID get into school, and God has just gotten started on the next chapter in my life. So everything, eventually will end. But God isn't everything, He is the only thing. So next time you suggest a great beer or drink or say, hey, you really need to go check out that movie, try also suggesting God or a prayer. A prayer changed my life, so I suggest you try one if you’re ever feeling lost or lonely... Or just to give thanks for all you have. Talk to God like a parent, like a true loved one. He is listening. God is good, Christ is graceful, and prayer is practical. 51 s geâ€™ Jud ice o Ch Eiffel Tower By Adrian Ramos Photograph 52 s geâ€™ Jud ice o Ch Trials By Justin Rodriguez As I wake and the earth shakes, I look to my lover To another and another I sink back to sleep Rest my head and wonder what I am. I keep a hand on the wheel Drive to a job I hate, And learn to appreciate I fix my tie and wait to die. I open the door and wish I saw more I walk and walk 'til I hit a wall I swear I'll break them all I came. I saw. I want more... The phone rings, I roll my eyes wishing I never answered Say my goodbyes and wonder why I shed a tear and sigh in disbelief. I get dressed up to get messed up They pound and pound As I shutter from the sound Surely they must be hell-bound. As I wake and the earth shakes, I sleep and sleep As my life flashes before me Tears fall and bend As I wait for this earthquake to end. 53 s geâ€™ Jud ice o Ch Play Pool By Jessica Allstott Mixed Media 54 Fond Memories By Maricela Alaniz Many years ago, when I had just arrived from Mexico, I was living a few blocks away from St. Philip’s College (SPC), to be precise on Arthur St. I used to jog in the SPC area, and my daily jogging route was around the campus on Gevers St., Martin Luther King Dr., Walters St., and back home. I did this for many years; however, what I found fascinating was to observe how the students enjoyed their time while at the college. Well, at least that’s what I thought. Maybe for them it was different; that I cannot say. Also, back then I had the impression that only privileged students attended this college; however, I’m glad to know that anyone can attend college. Although back then, the college was smaller, but for me it was a supreme institution. When my family and I could afford to move to a new location, we did. Although I had moved away from the college, I always kept the good memories about SPC. As time passed, my children grew up, and they graduated from high school. The first one to graduate was my son, Edward, in 1990, and in fall of the same year, he applied to the University of Texas at San Antonio. Unfortunately, he was declined, and of course he was despondent. Therefore, Edward missed that school semester, but the following spring semester I told him to join SPC instead. But he enrolled in San Antonio College (SAC) where he, for different circumstances, was doing poorly in his classes. He said that one of the reasons why he was performing so badly was because the classes were too large, that he could not pay attention to his professors. Again, sadly he had to drop all his classes, and he lost another semester. Finally, I convinced him to register at SPC, and he started his classes at SPC in the fall of 1991 with perfect attendance and with outstanding grades. He took classes with honors, and one of his dear professors was Dr. William Conan Davis, Scientist- Inventor at St. Philip’s College, of whom Edward has very good memories. I am pleased to say that Edward transferred to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) in 1993 where he acquired a bachelor’s degree as a registered nurse in spring 1995. Since then, he has been working at Santa Rosa Christus Hospital in the Critical Care Unit, and he has been successful in his life and career ever since. Out of all the Alamo Colleges, my loyalty remains with St. Philip’s College because of its accessibility, educational 55 support, promotion of student life, tutoring services, and prestige. Accessibility to the college is one reason why I enrolled in SPC. First, I have to mention that the location of SPC is one of the reasons why I chose this campus because from where I live, it takes me only twenty minutes to get to the college. One example is that I am able to save time, gas, and money because the campus is relatively closed to my home. With all the economic problems we are facing nationwide, the more I save, the better off I am. Before enrolling in SPC, I visited the other Alamo College campuses, and I feel I made the right choice by electing SPC. Another factor persuading my decision to join SPC is its large student diversity, such as conventional and unconventional students. I feel comfortable here because I am an unconventional student, and being at SPC allows me to feel as a part of a community. I, like many other students at SPC, want to continue my education now that my family has been taken care of. Additionally, SPC offers financial aid to everybody interested in continuing a higherlevel education, which is a very appealing reason to attend SPC. The great news is that most of these monies are offered as grants and scholarships, and the best thing is that if I pass my classes satisfactorily and finish my career, I do not have to pay back the awarded money. Certainly, compared to other institutions, such as University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Texas A&M in San Antonio, not to mention the private universities, its low tuition makes SPC affordable. Another reason I joined SPC is because it has all kinds of educational support available anytime to students who might need it and ask for it. The availability of SPC academic advisors to aid and organize my academic schedule is an important factor. For example, they give me recommendations for my curriculum if necessary. Most of the time, appointments are not needed to speak to an advisor; they are available and have a convenient schedule, making them accessible to me. A different motive for why I joined SPC is because it offers flexible classes that I take any time I want. The school offers various schedules that I can choose from. For instance, at SPC there are day, evening, and weekend classes, not to mention the online classes, so I donâ€™t have an excuse to not continue my education. Also, an important factor is that SPC provides counseling services to all the students who might confront emotional or psychological difficulties due to stress or peer pressure, which is a great incentive to be a part of SPC. There, the counselors are professionals who try their best to assist you. I have not talked to one of them yet, but I know that if a situation should arise, they will be there for me. Additionally, SPC provides The Student 56 Health Center where I can find support in any contingency related to my health, and for me this is an important feature. For example, there is a licensed nurse on staff with a reasonable schedule to help me in any nonemergency situation, such as headache or other minor issues where my health might be at risk; furthermore, this service is free of charge to all the SPC students. A significant aspect of SPC is that the college makes available the department of students, which promotes a variety of activities to benefit the students. As an example, at the beginning of the fall semester in the orientation session, I learned that there are a lot of extra core curriculum activities; this confirms to me that I made the right decision to enroll at SPC. The school encourages the students to assist the community in several ways through a variety of non-profit organizations, for example, Meals on Wheels, which provides meals for the needed directly to their home. I have already signed up to serve my community for a few hours of my time. So, I can deliver a warm meal to those who might need it, and I am looking forward to participating in another program if time permits. The college also provides live events, such as music concerts and art performances, most of the time free of charge to the Alamo College students, and of course I am taking advantage of these events because I enjoy and appreciate the art and music community. Another reason I am happy to have joined SPC is because it extends invitations to various important people to give seminars. The San Antonio Mayor, Julian Castro, for example, was at the Watson Fine Art Center last week to promote participation in the civil rights. Another reason I attend SPC is because there are numerous extra programs that count toward my degree. One of these programs is an international course, which gives me the opportunity to participate in studies abroad. For instance, there are several courses offered this coming 2013 summer to study for two weeks exploring China, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain, but most importantly, if I qualify, financial aid will pay for my classes and some of the expenses such as room and board. This is fantastic, and I am looking forward to it. An essential reason why I joined SPC is because it has been nationally recognized for its tutoring service, such as World Math, Reading Lab, and English Lab just to name some. I would like to mention that according to the coordinator, Mr. Robert Walling, Math World is recognized nationally because it is a program of excellence and is unique here to San Antonio, and this is a reason why I joined at SPC. Without doubt, Mr. Robert Walling is very proud of this program that he designed himself not to mention 57 that there is someone available to assist me anytime with any question I have regarding math. To demonstrate how important this program is to me, I currently attend at least three times a week for tutoring besides my Math Zone homework, and I have highly improved my knowledge in math. Also, another reason to enroll in SPC is the Reading Lab that enabled me to acquire practice and mastery of my reading and critical thinking, which is the main purpose of the development of the Reading Lab. Again, I am pleased to see how SPC is interested in the development of each student. I feel fortunate to have Mrs. Alicia Dominguez as an instructor because to me, she is one of the best instructors on campus and an excellent person. For instance, Mrs. Dominguez, who is the manager in charge of the Reading Lab, is always attentive to each studentâ€™s needs. Another important reason I study at SPC is because of the English Lab. This essential program has been helping me with the foundation of the proper grammar that enables me to express my thoughts in writing, and I really appreciate it. An example can be made of Mrs. Jamie Miranda; she is a very attentive instructor because whenever I need assistance to improve my writing skills, she is there for me without hesitation. Finally, the most important reason why I joined SPC is because it is a prestigious institution to me. SPC has a prestigious status since its establishment in 1898 and provides excellent programs to anybody who is interested in pursuing a higher education. One of the reasons I chose SPC is because at SPC I can find many programs that transfer to a four-year university nationwide, and this is exactly what I want to do. For instance, if everything goes as planned, when I finish the requirements needed at SPC, I want to apply and transfer to the University of Texas Health Sciences Center here at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where I will continue studying to become a registered nurse. Another reason SPC has prestige is because it offers a variety of community services, and it is an excellent training center accessible to everybody who is interested in improving their skills or to learn something new, such as English as a Second Language (ESL), GED, guitar classes for kids and adults, and jewelry making just to mention some. Next semester I want to take some guitar lessons because I think it will help me to release school-related stress. Finally, SPC has an excellent reputation regarding education, and again this is a very important reason to me. As exemplified before, my son Edward and my daughter Sandra attended SPC many years ago and transferred to a fouryear university with outstanding grades, and their efforts were greatly 58 recognized by their professors. Because the faculty at SPC is highly prepared, I believe I have more chances to excel in my classes, which is something that I greatly value. A few years later, my daughter Sandra graduated from William H. Taft High School in 2000, and she enrolled in SAC in fall that same year. However, when Sandra started her classes, she was disappointed to see that there was a high volume of students, sometimes more than 200 students in a class. She said that she could not focus in her classes for this reason. Therefore, this was reflected in some of her grades. Here again, I suggested to her to transfer to SPC because the classes were smaller, so I thought she would be more comfortable. She agreed, and I was glad she did. Sandra began her studies at SPC in spring 2001; as a result, her grades improved greatly. This was the beginning of her success. Dr. Davis was also Sandraâ€™s professor, and she too has fond memories of him and her time at SPC. I am proud to say that Sandra became a member of the Phi Theta Kappa society since she initiated her studies at SPC. While she was at SPC, she was in the 2 + 2 program, and two years later Sandra transferred to Texas State University at San Marcos, Texas where she graduated with a Master of Science specializing in Biochemistry in 2007. She now holds a great position at the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) in the Institute of Surgical Research unit doing an outstanding job. Although many years have passed, I still remain loyal to SPC, my college now, and I hope to succeed the same way as Edward and Sandra did. Also, I want them to feel proud of me because I am putting my best effort to excel in all of my classes. I have to confess that I am having a difficult time adjusting to the academic environment because I am not used to the fast pace; however, I am very excited to be here. Although I live ten minutes away from Northwest Vista College (NWV) and I could attend that campus, I chose not to because of the high regard in which I place SPC. Edward and Sandra have their own story to tell about the time they spent at SPC as individuals, and I am ready to start mine. I am sure that there is something great waiting for me somewhere ahead, and with Godâ€™s help, I will take advantage of every single opportunity to reach my goals step by step. 59 Our Judges Prose: San Juan San Miguel is the Coordinator of the Rose R. Thomas Writing Center at St. Philip’s College. He is also an Adjunct Instructor in the Communications and Learning Department. He has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from UTSA and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from St. Mary’s University. He enjoys traveling, cooking (and eating,) cycling, reading and writing but most of all basketball! He is currently in pursuit of his lifelong ambition to be an NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Coach. Poetry: Nereida Reyes has been a staff member of the Rose R. Thomas Writing Center for twelve years. She is a St. Philip’s graduate who received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. As a great grandmother, she still enjoys swimming, cooking, writing poetry, reading, and dismantling the myths embedded in America’s so-called generation gap. Art: Mitchell Miranda is an award-winning artist, photographer, and graduate of St. Philip’s College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a minor in Great Texts of the Western Tradition and a Bachelor of Science in Cultural Anthropology with a focus on World Religion from Baylor University in May 2012. His studies have taken him to Europe and Guatemala. Recently, his artwork was on exhibit at Baylor’s Martin Museum of Art and the Hill Country Arts Foundation. He was awarded a Texas Emerging Artist scholarship from James Avery and the Texas Art and Craft Fair. Mitch is currently attending graduate school at the University of London’s University College Institute of Archaeology majoring in Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology. 60 From â€œTHE TYGERâ€? By William Blake Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art. Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? 1794 61 62