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Michael Williams: Helix Musica

Estuaries Editorial Board Managing Editor Sylvie Lynn Green Christina Weisner

Literature Olivia Buzzacco Sylvie Lynn Green

Visual Art Fay Edwards Gabrielle Graber Nora Hartlaub Kathryn Osgood Christina Weisner

Student Editor Michael Williams Design & Layout Patrick Detwiler

This magazine is the sixth annual edition of Estuaries. It features creative contributions from students, faculty and staff. It was produced digitally and printed at College of The Albemarle, Elizabeth City, NC, in 2020.


Olivia Gravenese: Untitled Shara Maupin: Untitled


Contents POETRY



4 11 21 22 35

7 12 15 19 24 29 30

Jessica Neer: A Haiku: Luna’s Ascent Brendan Schilling: For My True Name Is Uncertainty Natalie Ogden: At Night Zacari Thomas: Haiku: Sandy Seas Aaron Bass: Final Passage

Cory Scherer: Travel: A Lesson in Stress Management and Enjoying Life Victoria Rossman: Little Odd Things Cindy Hayes: The Angel Tori Hampton: Memories Michael Lewis: Academic Integrity: Beyond the Life of a Plagiarizer Noah Carroll: The Core of Planet K Kanika Bryant: “Heavy”: Navigating Race, Class and Globalization in the Community College Composition Classroom

Cover Olivia Gravenese: Untitled Inside Shara Maupin: Untitled 1 Michael Williams: Helix Musica 2 Kathryn Ferguson: Sweet Temptation 3 Holley Universe: Constructed Perception 4 Allison Williams: Robot & Cosmic Cat 5 Lisa Kimball: Details 6 Rebecca Lewis: Untitled 7 Kitty Dough: Gold Bug 9 Olivia Gravenese: Untitled 10 Derrick Harvey: Untitled 12 Lauren Evans: Central Perk 13 Seth Madre: Scissors Can Cut Even The Darkest Fabric 14 Gabrielle Rady: A Conversation 17 Rosa Garcia: Untitled 18 Johnny Ogden: Untitled 19 Emily Holmes: Modern Shaman 20 Jasmine Lanzo: Arachnophobia 21 Deloris Samuelson: Cosmic Bowl 22 Derrick Harvey: A Nightmare in the Mist 23 Rosa Garcia: Coral 24 Amy Wood: Au Natural 25 Eliza Daniels: The Pandora 27 Lauren Evans: Polka Dots 28 Lisandra Leon: Color Wheel 31 David Hill: I Had A Dream 32 Lisa LeMair: All The Feels & Tumult 33 Emily Holmes: Effervescent Concrete 34 Michael Williams: Solum 35 Deloris Samuelson: Early Spring in the City

Holley Universe: Constructed Perception

Kathryn Ferguson: Sweet Temptation


A Haiku: Luna’s Ascent Jesica Neer

Alison Williams: Robot

I A spell is cast down A rush of colors melting Stumbling to earth

II A blink, the light fades The burning star has fallen A void, no orb reigns

III A full moon ascends Reflecting on calm waters Night’s enchanting guide

Alison Williams: Cosmic Cat


Lisa Kimball: Details

Malcom Gethers: This One


Rebecca Lewis: Untitled


Travel: A Lesson in Stress Management and Enjoying Life Cory Scherer

My trip to Colorado started like any other great journey, with a declined credit card at an airport Burger King. There I was, 16, in the middle of my summer vacation, standing in a surprisingly empty and sterile airport lobby, waiting nervously for an order of chicken fries to be called from the front counter.

hours or so? Being the band of optimists we are, we tried our hands at idle conversation with our fellow passengers as we all awaited the arrival of our airborne carriage, most of which went entirely nowhere. After a while of that riveting socialization, there we were, awkwardly strapping ourselves into a far from cozy aircraft.

My mom had excused herself from the BK and was pacing back and forth just outside, trying her damnedest to mask her frustration while on the phone with her credit union. I never did find out exactly why the card had been declined. It seemed to be a sore spot of embarrassment for my mom, so I decided to just let it go, as both of us seemed more than content to simply live in the moment. That’s what vacations are for after all, right?

While it had only been my second time flying, I was thoroughly convinced that it would be my last. Let’s set the scene: As I quietly settled myself in for a nice long flight, plugging in my various devices, going through the regular checklist of making it clear that I had no intention of making small talk with anyone, even putting on my comfy pair of headphones, I immediately noticed the first bad omen.

Looking back, that seemed to be an incredibly consistent theme throughout our trip: living in the moment. Everything seems so much more significant that way, and hell, it also makes for a much better story. After a few uneventful hours in that dreadfully quiet lobby, we shuffled our way through TSA, a process that could instill a strange feeling of deep unwarranted guilt in even the most self-assured of us. This was quite distressing for me as you might guess. Self-assured I am certainly not. So with my blood pressure akin to that of someone three times my age, we came out the other side of that infernal examination, both of us half convinced that while we had not carried any contraband, we might have slipped up this morning and just so happened to have packed a machete in our carry on. So, with knowledge of how truly taxing TSA was for my little adventuring party, it came as a small relief when we had to sit in our terminal for a good, oh, I don’t know, four

Kitty Dough: Gold Bug


Travel A middle-aged woman, shrill as I could possibly describe, arguing with our saintly patient flight attendant. By her tone, you would have thought she had caught him with her husband, but no. She was very adamant that she should be able to move her bags up to the front, to where she was sitting. While this might have seemed a reasonable request, one must realize this flight was packed, with a capital P. Standard procedure was that overhead luggage spots are first come first serve, a righteous unspoken rule that seemed to have brought our incredulous traveling companion to such distress that she was audibly nearing tears, as she insisted she should be the one exception as her husband was “a very important man”. Wonderful, truly. Ultimately, this little confrontation didn’t result in much. The lady quieted down after our flight attendant put on his most cordial customer service voice to explain the aircraft’s rules, and we began our ascent into the skies above Norfolk International. Our first few hours of flight were very uneventful, excluding our less than adequate mid-flight snack of Original Pringles and a mini bottle of Sprite. Towards our crossing of the Colorado state line was when things began to pick up, as this was when our flight hit some, let’s say, less than pleasant turbulence. And it was in those midnight Colorado skies I thought I just might die; it seemed our aircraft was doomed to crash in one of the huge crop fields scattered among the foothills. However, I wasn’t really terrified. Even the prospect of dying in this airplane didn’t really bother me. I was cool with it. Our trip had already given me so many things to remember, so many things to tell stories about during family get togethers, that I was perfectly at peace with my situation. I was content to live in the moment.


In all honesty, my memory of our 2:00 a.m. experience in the Denver Airport is akin to that of a fever dream, muddied, strange, and oddly existential. We began our last leg of our journey, shambling our sleep deprived bodies through the working art exhibit that is Denver International. Now it might have been my own lack of sleep, but our walk through this airport was more analogous to an intense psychedelic experience than anything I had experienced before. Everything seemed half real, as if I could have woken up at any point, still comfortable in my bed back in NC. It was as if I wasn’t actively doing anything, as if my eyes were showing me a movie I had no part in, as if I were entirely a spectator to the events of this packed urban airport. I am not lying when I say that I remember very little as to what transpired in that airport, as the next thing I remember was stepping out of an airport shuttle, into the cold parking lot of a car rental agency. There we were, packed into a small black RAV4, warming our hands in a ghostly quiet Enterprise Rent-A-Car, wanting nothing more than for the traveling to be over. And over it soon would be. As we made our way into our opulent hotel room after a quick drive from the Enterprise, we had already begun to retell the stories of our great journey. From the less than friendly passengers of our flight, to the odd performance art of the Denver Airport. Both my mom and I had been totally enthralled by it all. All because we had lived in the moment.

Olivia Gravenese: Untitled


Derrick Harvey: Untitled


For My True Name Is Uncertainty Brendan Schilling

Questions so wearisome, unpleasant answers, The death of all beauty, a stumbling dancer, Mirror is battered, reflection is shattered, Beginning to wonder if anything mattered, Shadows crumbling in the hills, Lepers lying in the daffodils! I can endure terror, I can endure pain, I cannot endure endless envy and shame, The death of myself and all I want to be, Perhaps I am normal I just cannot see, Shrieking choir trying to justify, The fogs of confusion always asking why! Trying to cleanse my soul, explain it all away, Brain addled by plaque, freshly scarring everyday, Deep within, a pitiful creature in the mud, Rotting decadence, deep within my blood, Saying, “You are nothing without me! You can’t run, you can’t hear, you cannot see! The true soul is one living hell! Your body just an empty shell!” Is sympathy weakness, I don’t wish to know... ... and my passions all wrong, can it be so? Endless guilt, perpetual shame, No one but myself to blame, Wandering blind through the smog of confusion, Pandora’s last curse brings endless delusion, A rotten mass inside the brain, A secret source to cause the pain, Unspeakable trauma in the youth, A moth-filled lie to eat the truth, I shall face myself with courage, Free to be who I truly am. All life is tragedy, all life shall end, The law of death shall never bend, Tired, afraid, endlessly weary, Able to see one’s bane too clearly, Like gazing too long at the sun, Is to know the hour one’s days are done, To see my true self, I can’t endure, Worst fate to know a thing for sure, The creature from the mud saying: “You are nothing without me, For my true name is Uncertainty!”


Little Odd Things Victoria Rossman

It was a humid night. The bedroom window was open a crack, allowing an infrequent draft to sweep through. The racket of city traffic and the dull humming of the electric fan was enough to deprive any light sleeper of a restful slumber. He had lain awake for hours, gazing at the ceiling. It was not the summer heat or the combination of every-day sounds that prevented him from drifting off. He glanced at the alarm clock. It was an old-fashioned, crummy flip clock that ticked obnoxiously whenever the minute changed. It was 4:29 a.m. They would start soon. He listened intently for the alarm clock’s tick. They never lasted beyond five minutes; they started and ended at the same times every morning. This morning was no different. He began to perspire, clutching his bed sheets in his fists. He was motionless, his blood rapidly gushing through his eardrums as the torment commenced. “I can scare you …” “I want to eat your flesh.” Voices as soft as the gentle wind whispered from within the walls at 4:30 a.m. exactly. He had, perhaps foolishly, entertained the notion that the light from several lamps placed throughout his cramped bedroom would stave off the wraith-like presence. That was not so. The voices neither advanced nor receded; they were always faint, as if they originated from the room next door. The last spoken word had a longer life than those preceding it. The voices seemed to tease him. “I want to eat your flesh, flesh.”

Lauren Evans: Central Perk


They never deviated from their pattern; they’d repeat the same phrases each time, until 4:35 a.m. Until that time, he quivered like a jostled tree branch, hiding under the sheets like a frightened child. He wondered what he would see if he were to open his eyes just a tad.

Seth Madre: Scissors Can Cut Even The Darkest Fabric


Gabrielle Rady: A Conversation


The Angel Cindy Hayes

Penny heard Charlie call, “Penny, I’m leaving!” She threw her arms around his neck and gave him a playful smack on the lips. “Come here, you,” he said. She felt her body respond to his warm, lingering kiss. When Charlie opened the front door, a gloomy, flannelgray sky hung over them. “Oh,” Penny said, feeling her neck begin to tighten. “Yep,” Charlie said. “Thunderstorms this afternoon. Be sure to bring your…” “... raincoat and umbrella,” they said together and laughed.

She had helped him paint the shutters on their house a smooth, even semi-gloss. Her memories of him invoked all five senses. She could conjure up the smell of Old Spice and feel his Boa Constrictor squeezes. Penny loved those hugs. When she was eleven, her dad had to take a job out of town, and he didn’t get to come home very often. She would sit on the front porch twisting her hair around her index finger, kicking the bricks and waiting until her loneliness became anger, and her anger became resentment. She ached to see him, but when he returned she pushed him away and screamed at both her mom and dad. Remembering the shocked look on her dad’s face caused her own face, even now as she looked in the mirror, to blush with shame. How could I have treated him like that? She thought. “I miss you so much,” she said out loud.

“Thank you, Mr. Weatherman,” Penny said as she kissed him again. She closed the door and turned back toward the living room. Her eyes were drawn to her father’s picture on the mantle. She felt his eyes bore into her. “I’m so sorry, Daddy,” Penny whispered, as she wiped away tears with the back of her hand. Penny thought about her dad as she got ready for work. She had always loved her mom, but when she was little, she couldn’t wait for her dad to come home. She followed him all around the house, the yard. She knew he didn’t mind her being there because he told her stories and taught her things, like how to hammer a nail when he built shelves in the garage. He had said, “Penny Po, don’t hit your finger!” He also taught her how to paint. “Apply plenty, then smooth it out,” he used to say.

Penny felt a heavy weight on her shoulders as she drove to the elementary school where she taught. Throughout the day, her mind was as cloudy as the sky, and when school ended Penny drove home in the pouring rain. The thunder roared like a stampede of wild horses galloping through a canyon. The hair on the back of her neck stood up every time the lightning lit up the sky. The little second graders in her class had been extra challenging. Two little boys fought over a ball. A blonde girl cut her own hair with the safety scissors. At recess it began to drizzle, so the class had to stay inside instead of going out to play. At a green light, her car swerved a little when she pressed down on the accelerator. Her neck was a stretched rubber band. Her head began to throb. Is this what happened to you, Dad? Penny thought. She arrived home completely worn out. She went into the kitchen and made herself a cup of tea. The teacup shook almost violently as she tried to take a drink.


The Angel When she calmed down enough to cut up some vegetables, she added them to the pot on the stove for beef stew. Then she changed her clothes and headed back into the living room to flip through television channels before Charlie got home. Penny arrived home from work around 4:00 everyday, which gave her just enough time to start dinner and relax a little bit before Charlie got home at 5:30. But at 6:00, she began to wonder where he was. At 7:30, Penny was starting to worry, so she called Charlie’s boss who told her that Charlie had left work a couple of hours early to go on an errand. He laughed and said, “I think he was going to get you a present.” She giggled in response, but Charlie’s cell phone, with its message, I’m sorry...The person you are trying to reach is out of your calling area ... gave her a sick feeling in her stomach. “Missing,” she thought. “Just like Dad.” Penny picked up her book and tried to read. She must have fallen asleep because the next thing she heard was a clap of thunder, which woke her with a start. She looked at the clock on the wall; it was already 9:30. It took her a minute to realize that Charlie had not come home yet. Penny took a sip of her tea, but it was cold. She shifted in her chair. She was only thirteen when her dad disappeared. Even now, though, she can see him standing at the front door saying, “Bye, honey.” She had barely looked up when she said, “Bye, Daddy.” She was too caught up in her teenage ways to get up and hug him. The police found his body two days later in some brush; he had skidded off the road and, since he hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt, the crash sent his body through the windshield. Her mom’s heart shattered that day. It took her a long time to recover. Penny walked over to the mantle and picked up her dad’s picture. She almost dropped it when another clap of thunder echoed through the house. She returned


the picture to its place, turned to look out the window, traced the drops of rain flowing down the pane with her fingertips, and prayed. *** The next morning, Penny called the police to file a missing person’s report on Charlie. She called all the hospitals in the surrounding towns asking if they had admitted a man named Charlie Thompson. She phoned all their friends to ask whether they had heard from him. He had just disappeared! Penny felt like an empty shell. She went to work, but she was afraid to go home and, when she finally did — after an unnecessary trip to the grocery store and to the gas station to fill the top half of her tank — she was afraid of the phone ringing. As she lay in bed that night, Penny’s thoughts drifted to the day she met Charlie in art class on the first day of seventh grade. She was looking for a place to sit down, and she noticed a strawberry blonde boy behind her covering his mouth with his hand to keep from laughing. “Hi, I’m Charlie,” he said. “Hi, I’m Penny.” “Do you like dill pickles?” “Pickles? Why?” “The cafeteria is serving hamburgers today, and my brother says their pickles are great.” “I love pickle — and hamburgers.” “I hope I see you at lunch,” Charlie whispered as the art teacher entered the classroom. *** A few days later, Penny was walking into church when she heard someone behind her calling her name. “Penny, is that you?” Mary Jo asked as she rushed forward to greet her friend with a big hug. “I haven’t seen you since graduation!” “It’s been a long time! How do you like being a nurse?” Penny asked.

“Every day is something new. How do you like teaching?” “I have a class of second graders. They are so cute.” “Didn’t you get married? Where is that hunk of yours?” Penny felt a lump form in her throat. She stared off into the distance. “What’s wrong?” asked Mary Jo. “Charlie’s missing. He left work early to get me a present, and he never came home.” “Oh my gosh, Penny, I am so sorry. I didn’t know. When did he disappear?” “Last week...” “What does he look like?” “Why?” “Well, I don’t want to get your hopes up, but a patient was brought into the hospital unconscious. He woke up, but he has amnesia, and he could be your Charlie. He had a puppy with him.” “A puppy?” “Yes.” “Will you please take me to see him?” *** Penny looked into the white, sterile room, which smelled of disinfectant. The only patient lay on his side facing away from the door. Penny’s knees felt like noodles as she walked toward the bed. The man slowly rolled over, and Penny looked into the eyes of Charlie. Rosa Garcia: Untitled “Charlie! Oh my gosh! What happened to you?” Charlie just stared at her blankly. Penny remembered Mary Jo’s warning that he might not remember her right away. She wanted to hug him so badly, but how could she if he did not even know her?


The Angel

“Charlie, I am your wife, Penny. You’ve been in an accident, so you might not remember me.” She waited for a response. There was none. ***

That night, Charlie had a dream: As he drove home, the wind and rain whipped violently at the car. He had to hold on tightly to the steering wheel just to keep the car on the road. The rain poured horizontally, and bolts of lightning struck all around him. He could barely see the lights of the cars up ahead. Crossing the bridge, a pickup truck tried to pass him and then began spinning in slow motion. Charlie slammed on his breaks to avoid the pick-up, and so did other cars around him. An impatient driver in an SUV cut between Charlie’s car and the spinning truck and collided with the truck. Charlie heard a loud crash and the sound of breaking glass. Thick, black smoke filled the air and mixed with the rain. The truck spun back around and hit Charlie’s car. Charlie’s

Johnny Odgen: Untitled


car broke through the guardrail and fell off the bridge. It hit the water hard. Blood ran down Charlie’s face and into his eyes. He rolled down the window, and water poured in, quickly filling up the car. The puppy whined. Charlie was afraid they were both going to drown. He didn’t want to die. That’s when he heard his voice: “Get out, Charlie. Penny needs you.” He could hear his heart beating so loudly it hurt his ears. His hands shook as he removed the puppy from the carrier in the backseat. The car was almost underwater. Charlie held his breath as they struggled to get through the window. It took so long to get to the surface. With the foul taste of the lake water in his mouth, he coughed and sputtered as his head bobbed out of the water. He heard the voice say: “Swim, Charlie. Swim.” He swam with the puppy on his back until the lake became shallow, and he could walk. Then he woke up.

Memories Tori Hampton

I was leaning over the railing of our family boat, which we call Holy Moly since seven of my family members have a place to sleep on it, just staring at my reflection in the water when something large caught my eye. It had a big head with sharp, shiny teeth and a tail longer than the boat! I jumped up as fast as I could in my puffy life jacket that was strapped tightly to my seven-year-old body and screamed for everyone to come and look. “An alligator!” I joyously shouted as everyone’s head turned toward me. It was the biggest I had ever seen, the only I had ever seen besides in the Aquarium of the Americas in Louisiana. My family stood in awe, but the boat was heading for the beach we were camping at, so I had to wave goodbye to the alligator. Another memory I hold dear is the yearly catching of the boogie man. My grandpa would always take the journey alone, as it was too dangerous for my cousins and me. Once he returned in the afternoon, the anticipation was over. We knew we were safe as we stood over the claw foot bathtub where smoke covered the loud banging and scary screams. We always stood at a safe distance since the boogie man was always capable of escaping. Once when my grandpa left the room, I dared to reach my hand in. I was shaking with adrenaline. My three younger cousins and my older sister were standing behind me rising little by little on their tippy toes to get a better look. As my hand got closer, I could feel the coldness of the smoke. Time froze, and the bathtub felt like it was getting bigger. The rumbling of the boogie man going from one side of the tub to the other got louder. I closed my eyes and looked away, not knowing what this monster was capable of. And then...my cousins screamed! A light flickered through the smoke! We all piled on top of each other trying to get out of the bathroom, trying to get away from the boogie man. Those feelings of excitement and curiosity impacted the foundation of my childhood. I was very fortunate. My grandparents created fun and adventure. We spent most of our time outside getting dirty. That day I saw the alligator made spotting new things more exciting because who knew what I would see next? My grandpa’s capturing the boogie man gave me a sense of security knowing I was safe throughout the night. My parents or grandparents could have easily told me that the alligator I saw was simply a log with debris caught on it, and the boogie man was just a toy placed in the tub with dry ice. Emily Holmes: Modern Shaman

I thank my mom and dad and grandpa and grandma for giving me a childhood full of adventure and imagination.


Jasmine Lanzo: Arachnophobia


At Night Natalie Ogden

When the sun grows dim, and the stars settle in and the moon shines over the fields. When the cars slow down, and lights glitter through town and every flower, blade of grass, and clover yields. When the air grows cold the children do what they’re told, and the mothers tuck them into their beds. The mothers tell stories of wonders and glories and leave them with a kiss on their heads. Each dream and each wish ascends with a mighty swish, and heaven receives prayers up above. Then the darkness rushes by, and the morning doves fly, and the sunrise tickles each eyelid with Love. When the sun turns his back, and the sky turns black, and the shadows creep up on the walls. When the air feels dense, and my lungs feel tense as the oak floors creak in the halls. And as hard as you try, to close just one eye the darkness feels darker than before. The space around you has grown wider, and suddenly you’re the outsider, and the silence is loud as a roar. When the world is unknown, and more than ever you are alone, and each minute is centuries long. And sleep is for fools, who don’t know the rules that dreams always turn dreadfully wrong. We lie still all night, ‘til the earth turns on the light, and gradually, our savior will rise. And though terror break, and our bones no longer shake, the morning daylight burns our tired eyes.

Deloris Samuelson: Cosmic Bowl


Haiku: Sandy Seas

Zacari Thomas

A Desert Ocean Sand is flowing like the waves Of the forgotten

Derrick Harvey: A Nightmare in the Mist


Rosa Garcia: Coral


Academic Integrity:

Beyond the Life of a Plagiarizer Michael Lewis Copy! Paste! Go! While attending high school, I used whatever information I needed to complete written assignments from the internet, books and newspapers without giving credit to the content creator. Little did I know I was involved in what is classified as an act of fraud. I was never penalized; neither was I warned about my actions. I felt confident transitioning into university knowing that completing assignments would be as simple as finding, copying, pasting and submitting for grading. I was wrong! The University of the West Indies (UWI), like many other universities, has a strict policy that forbids plagiarism; any UWI student found guilty of presenting another person’s material as his or her own would be punished. I was puzzled. How could something that seemed so right in secondary school be frowned upon at the tertiary level? Undoubtedly, my drive to plagiarize in high school hindered me from using my own ideas when writing. As a result, I was unable to function in the first year of university without the temptation to disobey the tenets of academic integrity. Accordingly, plagiarizing my first university assignment led to disciplinary actions that allowed me to understand the art and appreciate the value of critical thinking; besides, the experience has helped me to find and express my voice as a writer.

Amy Wood: Au Natural


English for Academic Purposes – Course Code FOUN1012 – is a mandatory freshman English course offered at the UWI, and it is ranked as one of the most feared classes on the campus. The failure rate for this course is extremely high because not much attention is placed on proper use of English language mechanics and academic writing at the high school level. According to Erica Virtue, “Some students have been carrying this first-year course all the way through their university life reaching final year without passing...even after several resists” (10). This articulates FOUN1012’s level of difficulty and the focus and dedication that some UWI students lack, hence resulting in repeated failure. Notably, no student can graduate from the university unless he or she has satisfactorily passed English for Academic Purposes with a grade of 50 percent or more. I thought I had nothing to fear because throughout high

school I had above-average English grades, and for all my essays and projects I had received nothing less than an A minus (A-). I vividly recall being among over one hundred and fifty students in the New Arts Block (NAB) lecture theatre for the first FOUN1012 class. The room was congested. I was sweating. I could barely feel the cool wind that was escaping the two air conditioning units present in the room. My nostrils detected the odor of every sweet-smelling delight that diffused and circulated among the room’s concrete structure. This environment was not conducive to learning I thought to myself for a moment, and then I left the room to catch my breath and purchase a corn dog. When I returned to the NAB lecture theatre, eyes from all angles were staring at me, so I raised my right index finger, tightly held the corn dog in my left hand, and tiptoed to my seat. It was clear from the PowerPoint presentation the lecturer, Dr. Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, had already covered the no-tolerance policy of plagiarism. She was now explaining the very first assignment, which was due the following week. “This assignment is five percent of your final grade!” she exclaimed. My first university assignment was to write an essay on my perception of English, based on the experience I had in secondary school, and I plagiarized. Sitting on the bed in my dorm room with my back against the cold wall, and my Dell laptop on my lap, I typed keywords into Google and clicked search multiple times. I skimmed through several essays on high school English, and I copied bits and pieces of what I thought would form a great essay from a few. Full stop! Enter! My essay was completed in less than three hours. After careful revision, I felt confident enough that I had compiled a well-organized essay, so I uploaded it onto the university’s virtual learning environment for grading. Since I was absent from a part of the first FOUN1012 lecture, I was unaware that my lecturer had access to an online plagiarism detector known as Turnitin. As a result, I was caught red-handed in an act of academic dishonesty. A week later, Dr. Niaah called me aside after our next lecture and said, “Your essay was very colorful!” I smiled thinking it was meant to

Eliza Daniels: The Pandora


Academic Integrity be a commendable remark. She then presented me a hard copy of my essay and the colorfulness she was referring to became apparent. My smile quickly turned into a frown. “The highlights you see in different colors is proof that you have stolen the majority of what you have presented in this essay from the internet,” Dr. Niaah expressed. I hung my head in shame. I did not know whether an apology would be accepted so I kept silent. There was an extended moment of silence before I hear Dr. Niaah utter under her breath, “This does not look good for a first attempt.” Luckily, I was not expelled from the class. However, I was warned and informed that I had to face disciplinary actions, ordered by the faculty dean, that were aimed at correcting my behavior. It was mandatory that I write an essay of no less that 1,200 words on how plagiarism hampers creative writing, and I had to visit the university’s writing center to meet with an assigned tutor, Dr. Carmeneta Jones, twice a week for an entire semester. It was guidance from Dr. Jones that helped me to overcome my undeniable desire to plagiarize subsequent essays. Dr. Jones taught me that writing academic essays at the tertiary level was a step-by-step process. It involves rigorous research, detailed analysis and proper citation. These steps were not a walk in the park, and Dr. Jones believed that I would someday be able to execute them on my own. Accordingly, I was dedicated to learning as much as I could from my tutor so that I might conquer the urge to plagiarize and reach a level where I felt confident writing original essays. This drive to become a better writer motivated me to show up at every session with Dr. Jones in the writing center which was one of the more modernized buildings on the UWI campus. It had glass windows and doors, air conditioning units, laptops and tablets that could be rented, among other up-to-date gadgets. The center had a comfortable ambiance and the arrangement of the building was


perfect for public and private sessions. I opted for all private sessions and made it a priority to book a room in advance because I was too ashamed to be seen sitting with a tutor learning ‘English’ through the glass door of the writing center. Some students would see me enter and exit the writing center, but they had no idea I had plagiarized an assignment. This was my biggest secret.   My sessions with Dr. Jones were always interactive. We rented a laptop to read articles about how to conduct scholarly research and to engage in a series of mock researches to find appropriate sources for various topics. This activity taught me the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly articles so that I could cease using popular websites and blogs. Moreover, being able to distinguish and categorize articles as scholarly and non-scholarly made compiling annotated bibliographies easier. Interestingly, the American Psychological Association (APA) manual - seventh edition - became my wife. Looking directly into my eyes, Dr. Jones said to me during one of our sessions, “You ought to get married to the seventh edition of the APA manual for it is what will prevent you from falling prey to the temptations of the plagiarism gods.” “Understood!” I responded quickly. As soon as I was dismissed from the session, I walked briskly to the other end of the campus in the hot sun, rushed into the university’s bookstore and purchased the APA manual. As weeks flew by, I never needed to consult it to properly reference sources; I was a professional at citing sources in APA format. Some days we watched YouTube videos that explained the method of analyzing sources, and I attempted to analyze the sources I had accumulated from the mock researches. “That’s pretty good. You are getting the hang of this,” my tutor said as feedback to my first attempt at source analysis. Accordingly, I believe the confidence to express myself using words was boosted by all the lessons I had with Dr. Jones.

Lauren Evans: Polka Dots

Beyond the great feeling of passing the course lies the appreciation I have developed for critical thinking. It is an extremely complex skill that is required whenever an individual composes any material that is intended to communicate a message. Prior to attending university, I took for granted the level of critical thinking authors put into their work before publication. Now, I can proudly say that I value the art of critical thinking because it helps me to formulate questions that are able to effectively interrogate a topic before conducting extensive research. Moreover, I think critically to structure my essays properly so that they flow and are easy to read. Critical thinking is a totally objective skill that has certainly made me a more independent writer, and for this I am extremely thankful. Without this skill, I would not have been able to successfully attain my Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Entertainment and Cultural Enterprise Management and complete my Master of Arts (MA) in Cultural Studies. Overall, this experience molded me into the writer I never was; I started to use my own voice in academic essays and properly reference other persons’ claims.

To recapitulate, I plagiarized my first assignment at the UWI and had to face disciplinary actions that made me an improved writer, one who now values and appreciates critical thinking. In high school, I was a heavy plagiarizer, and not knowing that what I did was wrong made me assume I would have been able to apply the same attitude at university. My first university assignment required me to express myself by sharing my opinion on an experience I had, but instead, I used the opinions of other writers. My criminal action was detected using Turnitin and I was summoned to write an essay and join the university’s writing center in my first semester. My assigned writing tutor, Dr. Jones, helped me to overcome plagiarism by teaching me researching, analyzing and referencing skills. In the past, I was a plagiarizer. Today, I write essays that are properly structured and free of plagiarism.

Work Cited Virtue, Erica. “Bloody English.” The Jamaica Gleaner. http:// jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130127/lead/lead71.html. Accessed 30 January 2019.


The Core of Planet K Noah Carroll Scene 1

know more — Static. Fills your heart with a sort of peace and contentment —

A seemingly normal Sunday afternoon. The sun is low in the sky. A cool breeze blows through the late-summer trees.

The message turns ominous.

Our hero sits listening to the radio. Comedy Hour is abruptly interrupted by a distant and strange broadcast.

New message: A white hot flame to burn you alive — Squawk. A belt of radioactive meteors — Static. Your time is out — no hope — no help — Give up and let it end — Fizz. FEAR, FEAR THE CORE OF … PLANET K! Silence.

Distant voice on the radio: MAYDAY! MAYDAY! We need all the assistance we can get! White noise. It all started five days ago the — Fuzz. — large riot, countless casualties — Static. Commander Richards and assault group eleven managed to — Screech. They never came back, and since then we’ve been feeling these weird tremors, we’re not really — Radio static. A new transmission suddenly interrupts the old one, and a new, more menacing voice is sent swiftly over the airwaves. New transmission: FEAR, FEAR THE CORE OF … PLANET K! As unexpectedly as the transmission came on, it ends, and the show resumes. Our hero looks towards the slowly darkening sky as stars begin to appear.

In a low, and hopeless tone one final message is heard: The wind blows cold on Planet K … These messages play on a loop for the whole journey, giving our hero some hope and yet, in the next instance, tearing it down like a stone to a room of glass. After six days of space travel, our hero finally makes it to the infamous planet and, after a quick look around, can’t seem to find anyone left living. A speaker system set up throughout the planet’s capital city chimes in every ten minutes, spouting out the same message heard on the radio: “FEAR, FEAR THE CORE OF … PLANET K!” Without all the radio static and distortions caused by miles and miles of travel, the voice sounds very familiar to our hero. Our hero finds the entrance to a network of tunnels deep beneath the planet’s surface. It seems the battle was fought over these tunnels. The question is: Why?

Scene 2 Into the night, citizens panic, unsure what the broadcast was all about, but mostly because of the strange message at the end “FEAR, FEAR THE CORE OF … PLANET K!” It sends chills down the spine of the nation, the continent, the world. Meanwhile our hero sets off on the long journey to Planet K. Our hero gears up with what they will need for the six days of space travel. New and mysterious transmissions are picked up along with news reports from Earth.

After hours of stepping over bloodied and mutilated corpses, sharp jagged rocks and weird razor rats, our hero starts to see a strange but welcoming glow; it is red with a pinkish tint. A sweet aroma fills the air, and a strange noise is all around. As our hero enters the chamber, they realize that this is the planet’s core and, unlike most planets, this core is alive and beats like a heart. Shocked and in awe, our hero places a hand on their chest and is even more surprised to feel a lack of a heartbeat. Hero: Planet K has stolen my heart!

Mysterious transmission: Screech. Planet K beckons you … Static. Eyes that glisten with the sun — Screech. A smile to melt a heart of ice — Fuzz. Keeps you wanting to

Lisandra Leon: Color Wheel




Navigating Race, Class and Globalization in the Community College Composition Classroom Kanika Bryant My fall semester concluded with the slam of the tailgate of a Nissan Titan. I had solicited a couple of my students to venture to the Elizabeth City Campus to drop off a hefty box filled with non-perishable items to be donated to COA Cares. The mission of COA Cares is to provide support and resources to help ensure student success while enrolled at the institution. To accomplish this, in partnership with the greater COA community, an on-site food pantry, school supplies and various other resources are offered to students (“Student Resources”). Thus, for the month of November, I had been pestering students for weeks to bring in any school supplies or goods at their disposal to add to our trove. After a slow start, with items mostly donated by myself, the box was now overflowing with contributions. I was humbled by my students’ dutiful efforts, and even more filled by the prospect of aiding students in need. As the truck’s wheels rolled away, however, I thought little of this day afterward. I entered the spring semester with a new task. Many of my courses had to be “globally intensive.” This meant a percentage of course assignments must contain content that will render students able to “investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, frame significant problems and conduct well-crafted and age-appropriate research, recognize perspectives, others’ and their own, articulate and explain such perspectives thoughtfully and respectfully” to name a few (“N.C. Scholar”). I immediately began infusing my courses with lessons concerning tolerance; surely my students could not fathom the struggles global populations faced until their purview was clarified by first grappling with social issues locally — in their own lives and nation. To do this, I would render weekly journal assignments and open discussion


regarding identity, diversity and justice. In these journals, students would respond to probing questions on how they are directly and indirectly affected by specific social differences such as race, income, class, religion, culture, etc. As a black instructor, teaching predominantly white early college students, I knew the race discussion would be — interesting. When the first day of classes approached, I became weary. As the sole black body in the room, I feared being the representative for my race. I feared the stereotypes my students may have already been privy to that I did not fit. I was not a first-generation college graduate. I was afforded access to higher education. I had never been on the receiving end of a flawed judicial system. I had not faced generational poverty. Although I had experienced my fair share of microaggressions, I had also never experienced overt discrimination or racism. I subsequently feared I would inadvertently plunder and belittle the experiences of many voices of my race as I became the unofficial spokesperson for it, a role I had stepped into many times in academia.  I began thinking of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece, Between the World and Me, wherein he pens a letter to his son describing the many factors, such as schools, police and “the streets” that threaten black bodies, and have created an ever-present fear in African-Americans. Coates concludes his novel-length letter with a conversation with Mabel Jones, the mother of his late college classmate, whose identity was ‘mistaken’ and who was subsequently killed by a police officer. Through this dialogue, readers discern that despite Dr. Jones’s rise to affluence as a revered medical doctor who afforded her children private schooling and vacations abroad — she could not protect her son’s black body.

David Hill: I Had A Dream


Lisa LeMair: All The Feels

Lisa LeMair: Tumult


This text underlines the fear of the disembodiment of black bodies that transcends even class distinctions. Therefore, despite my experience, I was always on guard of my black body. On this day though, I did not fear the dismantling of my body but the inability to convey this fear. I decided to open the conversation with my students through the theme of fear. I would begin with examples of collective fears for Americans: the looming fear of terrorist attacks, school shootings and potential war. I would then move to group/cultural and individualized fears. As I entered the classroom, prepared to unload the feelings of hopelessness and obscurity regarding race relations in America, I decided to switch gears. Instead of assigning the prescribed topic of racism, I wrote numerous inequalities on the board (e.g. income, educational access, race, gender), and I asked the students what they most feared. To my subconscious delight and presumption, they did not choose race. Instead, the majority chose income. This would be our starting point. I began rattling off rhetoric regarding


class structures, class immobility and the poverty line. I then allowed the students to write. After 15 minutes, I opened discussion. Students so candidly described the details of their families’ fragile finances, household insecurity and insufficient healthcare. Some mentioned the privilege of family vacations. Some rejoiced in the privilege of functioning utilities. Others discussed their parents’ divorce, which landed them in poverty one weekend and plush middle-class luxury the next as they shuttled between two homes. As the period came to a close, and students prepared to depart — some stayed after to continue discourse. One student described the discussion as “heavy”. Heavy was the experience carried by their voices. Heavy was the worldly knowledge these students had that was well beyond their years. Since week one, students have relished in discovering the next week’s discussion topic — including racism. This small platform in a room of 8-17 peers, and an understanding facilitator served to provide agency for the barely pubescent voices that had already been muffled and disillusioned by their experiences.

As the weeks marched on, I questioned my assignment. What did I want them to do next? Feel guilty for their perceived privileges? Ashamed of their differences? I had read countless articles on “reverse discrimination” philosophies to negate institutionalized racism and other inequities. I had also read about the cyclical effect of ‘understanding’ one’s own privilege that could lead to overcompensation, guilt or resentment. I supposed fulfilling the globalized objectives and fostering tolerance through awareness was my hope and end goal. This hope reached fruition as we explored our first global text — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk on “The Dangers of a Single Story.” Students sat spellbound as they shamefully recounted instances wherein they had prescribed a single story or stereotype to specific people or groups. They referenced previous journal discussions, and made new connections to their own lives, ethnic disparities and global consciousness. It was euphoric. Class adjourned and I remained at my podium. I began to reflect on that last day of classes in the fall and the care package sent to the Elizabeth City campus. I thought of my K-12 colleagues who often bore the weight of their student’s personal struggles. They saw their students daily for a year, and often became their confidants. Although I pride myself on having a great rapport with my students, I saw them twice a week for four months; I did not have the same experience. I thought of Coates’ philosophy. I thought of the bleak, salient discussions of my students’ home environments. I thought of the single-story I had narrated for many of my students’ lives. I thought of when I had asked the very students who were in need of assistance to offer donations. It was all — heavy. As I sat, in that space, in front of my classroom, my blackness was my least sensed source of fear; what I feared most was my apparent gross ignorance of the varied spectrum of my students’ individual fears. 

Emily Holmes: Effervescent Concrete

Works Cited “N.C. Scholar of Global Distinction Program”. UNC Worldview, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2020, www.worldview.unc.edu/professionsl/community-collegeprograms/nc-global-distinction-program, Accessed 20 January 2020. “Student Resources”. College of the Albemarle, www.albemarle.edu/student-resources, Accessed 20 January 2020.



There’s almost nothing left Of you when I get there. Just a few puffs of air And a hand that almost Grasps back when I hold it. There’s no last hugs No more conversations. All of that’s been packed Already.

Final Passage Aaron Bass

I hold tight to your hand And whisper my goodbyes. Your mouth hangs slack Showing me the black ruins Of your teeth. A few years back You and I spend a night and a day camping out To have your tooth pulled At a free clinic. Aunt Judy comes in And sings Beaulahland I’m coming home And it’s too much My head swells with tears I feel grief-drunk More family piles in And the room presses Tight against me. I find myself letting go Of your hand to get air For a moment For an hour For the rest of your life But when I come back They tell me You’ve already

When my sister shows up I catch her in a hug When she rushes in. Someone’s singing outside Amazing grace Oh Lord Oh Lord We find a patient in a Wheelchair eulogizing. His voice holds sorrow The way a well holds water Deep within. He prays Lord bless everyone In this medical facility We need your Grace oh Father... Before I leave work, My boss tells me Something I’ll need to hear: “Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not meant For you to be there.” We stand outside with him As well wishers on the Edge of a shore, And let his voice carry You through the night Like a creaking ship Sailing on unknown waters Away from an old life To a land that’s promised Yet still far away.


Deloris Samuelson: Early Spring in the City

Michael Williams: Solum

My voice is flat When I ask how it happened. Your death certificate will say Complications from Pneumonia Caused by stage four breast cancer. The room empties And I unravel. Many years ago You sing lullabies In the dark to a Negro child.


Biographies Aaron Bass Aaron Bass is a writer and artist in his spare time. He works for College of The Albemarle as a coordinator for the Writing Center and enjoys helping students find their own creative voices for writing.

Tori Hampton Tori Hampton grew up in the Golden State of California. She is currently working toward an Associate in Science. When she is not studying, she is outside in the garden or cooking a new dish.

Kanika Bryant Kanika Bryant is an Assistant Professor of English at COA — Currituck. She is a proud Elizabeth City native, ECSU alumna, and holds a Master’s Degree in English and African-American Literature from North Carolina A&T State University.

Derrick Harvey Derrick D. Harvey is an artist in Elizabeth City. He creates strange and unusual works of beauty, inspired by his imagination. He is a student attending College of The Albemarle.

Noah Carroll Noah is a student at College of The Albemarle. He is pursuing an Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts degree in hopes of pursuing a bachelor’s in graphic arts. Eliza Daniels Eliza Daniels is an artist in Elizabeth City. Her works are often related to story elements and show details of the original stories from which they are derived. She currently is a student in College of The Albemarle’s Visual Arts Program as well as being a student at Elizabeth City State University. Kitty Dough Kitty Dough attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and earned a certificate in Botanical Illustration from The North Carolina Botanical Gardens. She is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the Color Pencil Society of America. She is a student in the COA Professional Crafts: Jewelry program and an artist for the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Lauren Evans Lauren Evans started taking the pottery class at COA in 2015, right after she was diagnosed with epilepsy. “I wanted to take on a new hobby that would help relax my mind. Pottery has been a wonderful outlet, it’s my favorite new hours of every week!” Lauren owns a small international import company, Wana World Market. You can find a few of her pottery pieces at the shows she does around town. Kathryn Ferguson Kathryn Ferguson is an aspiring artist from South Mills. She is practicing in the Fine Arts program as a non-degree seeking student and will transfer to the Interactive Graphics degree program at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. While experimenting with different mediums, she discovered a passion for creating pieces using digital media. Rosa Garcia Rosa Garcia is an artist and a former student of the College of the Albemarle. Her work is inspired by natural forms, geometry and architecture. Olivia Gravenese Olivia Gravenese’s artwork ranges from pencil drawings to paintings to sculptures. Her artwork derives from the people she meets, both in her personal and her professional life. Her work focuses on subjects related to femininity and beauty with a splash of provocateur.


Cindy Hayes Cindy Hayes is an artist and poet who was born in San Antonio, TX, but has lived in NC for the past 19 years. After living in several large cities, she loves the laid-back, country life of northeast NC. She loves traveling, painting, writing and spending time with family. David Hill David Hill Jr. is from Joliet, IL but has lived in Elizabeth City for 17 years. Hill is husband to Ashley Hill and father to Noah Hill (6) and Jonah Hill (3). Hill is a USN Veteran (Corpsman) and is currently a Police Officer in Elizabeth City. Emily Holmes Emily Holmes is a student in the Professional Crafts: Jewelry program. She studied visual arts at Duke University and has worked in exhibit design, digital design, stained glass and metal smithing. Lisa Kimball Lisa Kimball is a part-time clinical instructor with the ADN and PN Nursing programs at COA. She is an RN and holds an MSN in Nursing Education. She is also a novice student in the Painting and Drawing Studio continuing education class at COA — Dare. Details is the first painting she completed. Lisa M. LeMair Lisa M. LeMair is an artist in Southern Shores, NC. She creates integrated collections of wearable art and jewelry inspired by the elements, natural forms and the tension found at the edge. She is a student in the college’s Professional Crafts: Jewelry program. Lisandra M. Leon Lisandra M. Leon is an artist in Elizabeth City. She is experimenting in her art with various mediums and styles. She is currently attending College of The Albemarle pursing two degrees in the arts. Michael Lewis Michael Lewis is pursuing an Associate in Fine Arts in Theatre. He has a BA in Entertainment and Cultural Enterprise Management and an MA in Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, where he worked as a Writing in the Disciplines student tutor.

Rebecca Lewis Rebecca Lewis is a 26 year old student at the College of the Albemarle studying General Education. She has spent most of her life living in New Jersey and moved to the east coast of NC eight years ago. She loves spending time with her family, drawing as a hobby and has a new interest in ceramics thanks to COA. Rebecca took only two drawing classes in college and enjoyed using charcoal and graphite. Jasmine Lonzo Jasmine Marie Lanzo is an artist in South Mills. She uses different mediums, but her favorite is graphite pencils and watercolor paint. There are two words to describe her artwork: uncanny and macabre. She is also in COA’s fine arts program and plans to pursue her career in graphic design. Seth Madre Seth Madre is a student at the Elizabeth City campus of College of the Albemarle, and is currently in his second semester. This piece is from an assignment as part of his Drawing I class known as the Jim Dine assignment. The goal was to create a dynamic and engaging drawing of a common household object. Seth chose scissors because he thinks sharp objects present a lot of opportunity artistically in terms of value and dynamic mark making. Shara Maupin Shara Maupin is an artist is Tyner. She creates pencil art and uses everyday things such as, nature, people and items around her as inspiration. She is pursuing an Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts at COA. Jessica Neer Jessica lives in Edenton and is a senior in high school. She has written stories and poetry since the moment she learned how. When she is not writing, she is normally entranced by a Shakespeare play or binging World War II documentaries. Johnny Ogden Johnny Ogden is an artist in Moyock. He creates in a variety of artistic styles in different forms inspired by anything and everything. He is a student in the Art Appreciation class at College of The Albemarle. Natalie Ogden Natalie is a new student to College of The Albemarle. She recently transitioned to the South after living in Upstate New York for more than twenty years. She is actively pursuing education toward a career in architecture. She hopes one day to move back up North because she doesn’t know how we deal with the summer.

Victoria Rossman Victoria Rossman graduated from College of The Albemarle with a degree in General Education. Her interests are writing, pen and ink sketching, Asian culture, and languages. Victoria is currently furthering her studies in Mortuary Science. Deloris Samuelson Deloris Samuelson is a student in the Professional Crafts: Jewelry program and is the sole owner of the business Jewelry By Deloris. She enjoys working with her husband, who is a skilled lapidary artist. Together they work from their respective studios in Poplar Branch, NC. Cory Scherer Cory Scherer is an Early College student living in Currituck County who hopes to major in Political Science. Brendan Schilling Brendan Schilling is a College of The Albemarle student with a part-time job. He works on writing projects and YouTube videos to gain a sense of fulfillment and sort through confusing emotions. He also tries to read interesting books to understand his life better. Zacari Thomas Zacari Thomas is a Student at College of The Albemarle. Holley Carmen Universe Holley Universe strongly believe in the idea that something doesn’t have to be one or the other; it can be both, or all things at once. She says she wouldn’t know what she’d be, if not a trans artist, and her art comes from a need to give positive representation to LGBTQ matters. Alison Williams Alison Williams is an enamellist and metalsmith. She enrolled in the COA Professional Crafts: Jewelry program after pursuing a career in graphic design. Michael Williams Michael Williams Jr. is a visual arts student at College of the Albemarle Elizabeth City Campus. He likes for his work to convey a message or story within itself. Other than his teachers, the major influences in his artwork are JeanMichel Basquiat, Kehinde Wiley and Kara Walker. Amy Wood Based in Manteo, NC, Amy Wood has been involved in jewelry making since the 1990’s. She recently began working with metals (sterling silver and copper) to set natural, unpolished materials such as sea glass, raw gemstones and driftwood. She is a current student in the Professional Crafts: Jewelry program at COA — Dare.

Gabrielle Rady Gabrielle Rady is a graduate of COA. She has been accepted to Ringling School of Art and Design for illustration. Her focus is to create illustrations that divulge emotion and storytelling.


COA – Dare 132 Russell Twiford Road 205 S Business Highway 64/264 Manteo, NC 27954 252-473-2264 COA – Edenton-Chowan 118 Blades Street Edenton, NC 27932 252-482-7900 COA – Elizabeth City 1208 North Road Street Elizabeth City, NC 27909 252-335-0821 COA – Currituck 107 College Way Barco, NC 27917 252-453-3035


Profile for College of The Albemarle

Estuaries 2019 - 2020  

Estuaries 2019 - 2020  


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