The Phoenix 2009-2010
Pfeiffer University Misenheimer, North Carolina
Letter from the Editors Cover Photograph by Christopher Rain, Production Editor As we celebrate Pfeiffer’s 125th anniversary, let us remember Emily Prudden, who starting in 1885 opened at least 15 schools in North and South Carolina. One of these went on to become Pfeiffer University.
The Phoenix now has 51 years of chronicling the talent of Pfeiffer students and staff members alike. We are dedicated to preserving in print the history Pfeiffer has to offer. Last year was the 50th anniversary of The Phoenix, and the staff aimed to rise from the ashes in new vitality, like the Phoenix in legend. However, we will try to one-up the mythical bird and instead of rising every thousand years, we will try to renew this enthusiasm every year. We believe that this University could use a jump-start in artistic vigor, so we aim to harness this enthusiasm, not just to preserve art but also to encourage it. We are here not only to promote but to try to capture the best art and literature Pfeiffer has to offer for the next generation. As students and friends we evaluate literature and art through a very difficult and tedious process. Every single one of us assesses each piece of art, and then we come together and weigh our opinions. Through this completely democratic process of friendly debate, we determine what is included in The Phoenix and who wins the prizes that we offer. As time has passed, the staff members have grown together, and we would like to thank them for their hard work. The words “thank you” simply cannot convey the gratitude we have for our advisor, Dr. Oliphant. Through her hard work we were able to continue The Phoenix legacy, and we shall continue to uphold our very own legend of the Phoenix within our works.
The Phoenix © 2010
C.D. Wilson and Maximo Morel 2009-2010 Co-Editors
Reproduction of any material within this publication is prohibited without consent of the artist or author of that particular work. 2 | Pfeiffer Phoenix
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2010 Phoenix Staff
Ashley Thompson Shelby, NC Psychology/History I love accumulating knowledge and reading. Playing the violin and video games are also fun pasttimes. “I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.” -Donnie Darko Audrey Remkus, Design Editor Concord, NC Special Education I enjoy church, the outdoors, sports, taking pictures, working with special needs children, and of course, bacon! “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change: Courage to change the things I can: and Wisdom to know the difference.” -Reinhold Niebuhr Charity Morrison Statesville, NC Computer Information Systems I have learned to accept all that comes with life, making the best of what I have to get the best of what I want, and I am determined to rise! “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” -Rosa Parks
“Only the curious have something to find.” -Nickel Creek Song Lyrics Hannah Shepherd Bassett, VA Psychology I am a free thinker and a believer in all things. “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” -Audrey Hepburn Jasmine Kerr Salisbury, NC Elementary Education I like to learn new things, and I am growing in Christ. “There is never a chance at perfection, but always a chance at happiness.” -Hannah Shepherd
Christopher Rain, Production Editor Tampa, FL Computer Information Systems/Business Administration I enjoy spending time in the outdoors by hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and taking pictures.
Kate Hilchey Bennington, VT Business Administration I love to play outside with my two Great Danes, Max and Hailee.
“I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.” -Daniel Boone
“It is the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” -Marlene Dietrich
Dalton Wilson, Co-Editor Murphy, NC Creative Writing/History I am crazy, and I want to write books.
“A man is free the moment he wishes to be.” -Voltaire
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Dr. Ashley Oliphant, Faculty Advisor Lincolnton, NC I enjoy gardening, cooking, collecting shark teeth, and lobbying for animal welfare causes.
Lauren Souther Albemarle, NC Criminal Justice I enjoy country music, rodeos, summer nights, and quality time with my friends and family. My greatest joy is international and local mission work. “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” -C. S. Lewis
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Maximo Morel, Co-Editor Freeport, NY Pre-Med I am just a freshman in college living in a small world with big dreams. “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” -Mario Andretti Michael Benson Davidson, NC Business Administration I enjoy new people, baseball, and slow nights.
“Trust, but verify”-President John F.Kennedy Misty Radford Concord, NC Psychology I am a sweet, caring girl who loves the Lord, her future husband and cats. “Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear” -John Lennon Molly Brown Salisbury, NC Music/Environmental Science I enjoy listening for the music in life.
“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.” -Maya Angelou
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Table of Contents Hot Times in the City Water Plug
Lilly and the Were-Panther
Grandfather’s Dog and Wolf Parable
Old Timey Religion and New Ideas
In the Shadows
We Form Peace
Her True Self
Green Bleeding Yellow
Dr. Laura Stivers
Love is Real
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And They Shall Find Their Way
I See You...
Faces of Congo
Clouds at Crater Lake
Dr. Juanita Kruse
In the Land of the Living
There’s More Under the Top Hat
I Want a Herd of Fainting Goats
Heather Ross Miller
Sawubona for Hluhluwe
Heather Ross Miller
Poker Face: What We Can All Learn From Lady Gaga
Considering a Fainting Rooster It is Then I Love You
Dr. Don Poe
Ode to Gummy Bears
What Abner Doubleday Did When He Wasn’t Inventing Baseball
An Eye Witness to History
One Solid Motion
Letter from the Faculty Advisor
The Perfect Gift
Truth Through the Trees
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Hot Times in the City Water Plug Back in the day when swimming pools were nonexistent and lakes unavailable, my friends and I would cool off in the neighborhood water plug, also known as the fire hydrant. There were days when our mothers would only allow us to get our feet wet – then there were better days when we were allowed to get everything wet. We would run to our rooms, put on our water plug clothes (old T-shirt and shorts), grab the bucket from the kitchen, and dart out the door, slowed only by a stony, steamy ground so hot that we would rest our feet on green grass blades, which peeked through our toes. The sight of crystal clear water creating a peacock effect over Eddie’s head as he sat on the spouting water plug gave us courage to run across the steaming hot ground and into the COLD water. The feeling was similar to the sound of bacon hitting a hot skillet, szzzsszz. Slowly we would turn around, allowing the super-sized droplets to collapse on our faces, backs, and arms. But you had to keep an eye on Eddie; he was known to get off the water plug without warning, causing the water’s force to knock you and your bucket clear across I- 76 Service Road’s gate. You could hear his laugh only if you were standing close; otherwise, you could only see his little white teeth. It’s true the only thing separating us from the expressway was a very stable gate. As such, we had a sophisticated security system preventing cars from hitting us. When a car began to approach the water plug, one or several of us would holler: “A car is coming!” Of course, for those kids having too much fun or those who were plain hard of hearing, there was a reinforcement signal implemented: “A car is coming! Can’t you see?! You trying to get hit?!” This method was followed with staring the offender(s) down like a parent would a disobedient child. The offender(s) appeared to innately recognize the look, bowed their heads and walked sheepishly away, as we had all experienced embarrassing warnings.
It was easy to get caught up in throwing buckets of water on each other. Part of the security system was to ensure that no one wet the kids that could only get their feet wet. Their sandals and shoes were neatly lined on the curb, and they would subconsciously wander away from their shoes. The water plug’s influence somehow lulled them into its direction, and inevitably you would hear: “Don’t wet them! Their mother said that they can only get their feet wet.” The only-can-get-your-feet-wet kids hung their heads and walked back towards their shoes. We had all been there. Eventually, the person who stood up for the unfortunate kids would have a bucket of water thrown on him or her and the chase to wet each other resumed. The greatest joy was throwing buckets of water on passing cars. Some drivers would intentionally slow down and let us drench their dirty vehicles. Sometimes the drivers would smile or wave, and we would return the friendly gesture. Other times the drivers would give us mean looks and speed past, but Eddie was able to catch them by sitting behind the water plug with his arms extended at the 3:00 and 9:00 positions over the water plug’s mouth, creating a force that hit cars like a cannon. We would jeer, laugh, and raise our buckets in victory every time Eddie exploded the great water cannon. One day a lady stopped her car about ten yards from the water plug and exited with her hand on one hip and the other hand pointed towards us. She said: “Y’all better not wet my car. I just got my car washed, and y’all better not wet it.” Being the polite children that we were, we replied: “Ain’t nobody gonna wet your car. We ain’t gonna wet your car.” She put her arm down, turned around and got back into her car. I don’t know when kids on both sides of Eddie dipped the mouths of their buckets below the curb’s lip, catching gulps of smooth clear water.
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I don’t know when Eddie sat behind the water plug with his long bony arms ex-
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tended at the 3:00 and 9:00 positions over the water plug’s mouth. All I know is when that lady drove her shiny, dry, clean car West on I-76 Service Road, buckets of water hit the rear of her car and buckets of water hit the front of her car. Eddie’s water cannon hit that car as if it were an enemy crossing a radar screen, brrphssshhsshh. Instantly, the lady stopped her car and swung around the opened door; everyone dropped their buckets and took off running. The only thing you could see were little black legs running this way, little brown legs running that way, skinny light-skinned legs running this way, short chubby legs running that way. Even the kids that could only get their feet wet left their shoes and began running, running, running. Less than 15 minutes later, a policeman arrived carrying a red peeling rusty wrench. He plopped the wrench on the head of the water plug with a familiar thud and began turning the knob, grimacing under the pressure; slowly the cool water swallowed back into the plug’s mouth. Being the sweet little kids that we were, we asked, “Why are you turning the water plug off?” He smiled and said, “Well you have to go down to City Hall to get a sprinkler.” “A sprinkler,” we said-- as if he had two heads. “That don’t let out no water.”
“Well what if there was a fire and you needed to put it out?”
One of the kids diluted our argument by stating, ”Yeah Brian, what if it was a fire?” The police officer removed the wrench and walked coolly back to his cruiser. We picked up our buckets, and the kids that could only get their feet wet picked up their shoes and sandals. We headed home to wash off and prepare for our kickball game. We knew that this would not be our last trip to the water plug, and the police officer knew it, too.
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-Irene Nelson Pfeiffer Student Second-Place Winner for Short Stories
Lilly and the Were-Panther Lying on a soft mattress in a gorgeous log cabin resting on the peak of a North Carolina mountain, I had to release a satisfied sigh. This vacation was absolutely blissful so far. Earlier in the day, I had gone horseback riding with my parents and younger brother, and we had just enjoyed a supper of thick, juicy cheeseburgers. Now, the parents and brother were on a mission to fetch more food from the town down the mountain, and I was left alone in the cabin to do whatever I pleased. I pleased to read, so I reached for the thick novel lying on the bedside table and picked up where I had left off, tossing aside the tasseled bookmark. I quickly became engrossed in the story, which was about a young man searching for the truth about his family’s past. The protagonist was just about to discover who his real father was, when a crash resounded from downstairs. I jumped, nearly tumbling from the mattress, the novel flopping to the floor.
“Is anyone there?” a resonant, unfamiliar voice called from below.
Quite frankly, I was terrified. I scrambled to my feet and dropped to my knees, reaching under the bed for the rifle my parents always insisted on bringing when we went on vacation. Sometimes it pays to be born in North Carolina.
“Who’s there?” I called, glancing toward the edge of the loft.
“Ma’am, I’m here to help,” the man replied.
Help? What the heck is this guy talking about? Slowly, I straightened, clutching the rifle to my chest in a death-grip. “I’m coming downstairs,” I announced, wincing when my voice emerged shaky and high-pitched. “And I have--I have a gun!” “Good,” the man called back. He sounded inordinately pleased. “You know how to use it?”
I glanced down at the weapon in my hands. “Kind of…” My knees were shaking.
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I was beginning to worry that I wouldn’t make it down the stairs. I was something of a crack-shot with a rifle, but I had no confidence in my skills at loading and cocking and doing all that other gun stuff. “Well you might need to use it,” the man told me. I made my way down the steps and into the dark living-dining area below. “Where are you?” I called into the darkness. “I’m gonna turn on the light, ma’am,” my guest replied. “Hang on just a second.” Booted feet scuffed across the linoleum of the kitchen floor, and I immediately aimed the rifle in that direction. The lights clicked on, and I blinked, then quickly turned my gaze on the man standing in the kitchen. My resolve to shoot him instantly weakened. He looked like Robert Redford--only Robert Redford as he looked when he was around my age, in his early twenties. I felt my grip on the gun go slack, then quickly shook myself. Lilly, even hot guys can be bad guys.
“Shoot me?” An inexplicable--and ridiculously charming--grin tilted his lips. “When your gun’s not even cocked and maybe not even loaded?” I closed my eyes, cursing my lack of training with firearms. Then I opened my eyes, because, quite absurdly, they were hungry for more young-Robert-Redford-felon. I decided to give him a chance. Something that pretty couldn’t be that bad. “Explain yourself,” I ordered. “And if you don’t, I’ll brain you with this thing.” “Okay, okay.” He lowered his arms, and the maddeningly appealing smile slowly faded from his face. “Please believe me when I tell you that I’m here to help you. You don’t know it yet, but you’re in danger.”
“In danger?” The barrel of the rifle lowered somewhat. “From what?”
“Heh. Yeah. From what…” He ran a hand through his short, thick blond hair. “That’s the gonna-sound-crazy part.”
“Hey! I’m on your side, lady!” The hot guy held up his hands, wearing a look of innocence, but I instantly noticed the pistol on his belt.
“What are you doing in our cabin?” I demanded, adrenaline and other weird things rushing through my veins. I motioned to the busted-down kitchen door with the barrel of the gun. “You broke down the door!”
To my surprise, he burst out laughing, throwing his head back and giving me another tantalizing glimpse at those incredible pearly-whites. “English major, huh?” His gorgeous blue-green eyes gave me a once-over. “I guess you read a lot, then.”
The handsome intruder winced. “Yeah. I know. I’m sorry about that. I just--I wasn’t sure if anyone was here.”
“You could have knocked!” I told him indignantly.
He shrugged and nodded. “You’re right. I could have--I could have done that.” He chewed on his lower lip for a moment, seeming to mull something over in his mind. “Look, lady, this is gonna sound crazy--” He took a step forward. Panicking, I turned the rifle on him. “Hey! Did I say you could move? Take one more step, and I’ll--”
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“Look, Robert Redford, I’m an English major. I can deal with crazy,” I assured
“Well, duh.” The rifle barrel lowered another few inches.
“Ever read any fantasy? Sci-fi? Horror?” attractive-young-Robert-Redford asked, taking a cautious step toward me. “Well… Yes…” I wondered where he was going with this. A slight chill shivered its way up my spine as I thought about the implications of such a question. Obviously encouraged by not being brained, the infuriatingly attractive intruder took another step toward me, his eyes intense. “We’ve wasted enough time already, so I’m gonna have to tell it like it is.” He grimaced, spreading his hands in an almost apolo-
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getic gesture, then took a deep breath. “Here goes: I’m on the trail of a were-panther.” The barrel of the rifle dropped to aim at the ground as I stared incredulously at my new acquaintance. I was suddenly struck with a feeling of bittersweet sorrow. This man was obviously mad… quite, quite mad. He was like a hero from a tragic novel-beautiful and heroic and heart-breakingly insane. Quietly, gently, with all the assurance of the well-read, I informed him, “Robert Redford, there are no were-panthers.” That seemed to annoy him. He worked his perfectly sculpted jaw, balling his hands into fists. “Lady, my name is Luke Pierce. And I’m not crazy.” He took another step toward me, and this time, I stepped back. “If you don’t wanna believe me, fine. I’ll carry you bodily down the mountain if I have to.” The elation of being in a conversation with such an attractive specimen of manliness suddenly morphed into a panicky fear that the manliness might be used against me. I felt at a distinct disadvantage. “Rob--uh, Luke, you don’t want to take another step further.”
“Lilly,” I corrected automatically… then instantly regretted it. Now the madman knew my name. “Lilly,” he growled, “the creature is probably very close by now. You need to trust me.” “So you’re an experienced were-panther hunter, are you, Agent Mulder?” I shot back, unable to contain my English major sarcasm. “As a matter of fact, I am.” He lifted his chin, seeming quite pleased with himself. “Now put down the gun, and--” An earsplitting screech suddenly shattered all my doubts as to my attractive intruder’s sanity--and instilled some doubts as to my own. I wheeled to face the door, aiming the rifle toward it. “What the heck was that!?” I squeaked out, although I already
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knew the answer.
“Were-panther,” Luke answered flatly, a smug smile briefly curving his lips.
“Ah. I see.” I swallowed, chagrined--and also somewhat terrified. “Maybe we should… Uhm… The door,” I managed to stutter out.
“Yeah. I shoulda thought about that.” Luke winced and moved toward the door.
Another fearsome screech ran its claws down my nerves, sounding much closer than the first. Luke quickly picked up the door, and with a grunt shoved it back between the posts. “Lilly, you should probably get upstairs.” In keeping with my generally ridiculous nature and tendency to mimic characters from novels, I shook my head. What great hero from literature would scurry up the stairs at the first sign of trouble? “I can help you,” I informed my intruder-turnedprotector. My voice still sounded shaky, but I managed to keep it from squeaking. “With this gun,” I added, then rolled my eyes at my statement of the obvious. Luke just stared at me for a moment. But before he could say anything, there was another screech, then a crash. I turned just in time to see a huge black panther land gracefully on the floor of the den area. The window behind it was shattered completely. My eyes went wide. “Sweet son of a biscuit eater,” I murmured in shock, taking a step backward and bumping into the firm, masculine chest of Luke Pierce. “Get behind me.” Luke was suddenly moving in front of me, his voice low and dangerous, his pistol drawn. This was no time to be arguing political correctness. I got behind the man. Peering around his lean, toned body, I could see the panther stalking toward us. Then I watched in amazement as it morphed before my eyes, slowly shifting its features until it was no longer a giant cat crawling on all fours, but a tall, beautiful woman with long dark
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hair and a slinky black dress.
“Hello, Luke,” she purred, brushing her hair back from her shoulders.
“Fanny Lou,” Luke replied in a growl.
Fanny Lou. I had to grin at that. The creature’s name sounded more “Little House on the Prairie” than “Twilight Zone. “ “I thought I might find you here,” Fanny Lou the were-panther continued, pacing sinuously from side to side. “In your beloved mountains.” “Well you were right,” Luke told her hoarsely. “And you were stupid.” He cocked the pistol with a conspicuous click and aimed it right at her. “Your killing spree is at an end.”
Then everything happened in an instant. The were-panther hunter squeezed the trigger, and the gun went off with a bang. At the same time, the woman in black transformed into a panther, ducking low, then launching herself at Luke. Before I could even react to what was going on, Luke shoved me backward. I slid across the kitchen floor, bounced off a chair, and came to a halt in front of the oven, somehow managing to keep a hold on my rifle. Stars danced in front of my eyes. And here I had thought that was just a metaphor… Blinking rapidly, I climbed to my feet--my jaw dropping as horror set in from what I was seeing. Luke was on the ground, pinned down by Fanny Lou in panther form. She had somehow knocked the pistol from his hand, and he was reaching desperately for it with one hand, the other pushing her snarling face back from his throat. And there was blood-blood on his shirt and jacket. He looked up and saw me.
“Hmm. I don’t think so.” She shook her head, smiling. When she finally noticed me standing behind her enemy, her smile turned scary. She looked… hungry. “Why, Luke, who’s the redhead?” “She’s not your supper, if that’s what you mean,” Luke retorted, taking a step toward the were-panther. “You like her,” Fanny Lou replied, her grin broadening. She had big, shiny white teeth, and I instantly hated her. Not only had she apparently killed lots of people, but she was also far hotter than I would ever be. …It’s a girl thing. “I can smell it,” the werepanther continued. “You like her.” Her expression changed into a look of mock pity. “Oh, what a shame. You won’t have much time to get to know each other while I’m chewing on your flesh.” I shuddered. Okay, so I more than hated this woman. I loathed her. She was unfairly beautiful, supernaturally murderous, and just plain gross.
“Not today,” Luke countered.
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“Lilly, get outta here!” he shouted hoarsely.
I shook my head dumbly and lifted my gun. “I’m not leaving you!” I replied with what I hoped was a fair amount of heroism. Then I realized that even if I managed to shoot Fanny Lou, I would probably hit Luke as well. “Lilly, go!” Luke ordered again. His face was pale, but his jaw was clenched with determination. I slowly shook my head, shifting my grip on the rifle. “This isn’t a tragedy,” I told myself quietly, firmly. And then I ran across the cabin, lifted the rifle over my head, and swung it right at the skull of the were-panther. The impact was jarring. I shouted, “Ow!” in unison with the were-panther’s shriek of pain and shock. Then the creature spun on me, leaping off of Luke’s prone form. Her eyes were red with rage--literally glowing red. That was creepy enough. Then when she started speaking, I nearly expected pipe organ music to begin playing. “Stupid girl,” she hissed, her voice a mixture of humanness and cat-like yowl. I took a step backward. “Luke is r-right,” I stammered, raising the rifle. “Your k-k-killing
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spree ends n-now.”
“You fool,” Fanny Lou snarled. “You don’t even know how to defeat me.”
“But I do.” It was Luke’s voice. BANG!
The panther’s body jerked, the burning eyes widening, then glazing over. The creature collapsed to the ground in a heap of silky black. I looked up from the body to see Luke standing there, still aiming his pistol, his chin lifted, jaw clenched. Wow. He looked… good. And then he collapsed to his knees. “Luke!” I cried, hopping over the panther’s body and dropping to my knees at my rescuer’s side. I set the rifle down beside me and reached to touch his arm. “Are you alright?” He nodded stiffly, not meeting my eyes, still gripping his gun. “Yeah. I’m fine.” His voice sounded pinched. “Oh my gosh! She scratched you!” I pointed out a bit stupidly. My eyes fixed with dismay on the ragged gash in his side. “Luke, you’re hurt!” “Yeah…” He finally met my eyes. His were wide and a bit wild. He nodded toward the were-panther. “Watch this. This is the cool part.” Raising an eyebrow, I turned to look at the body--just in time to see it disintegrate to a fine, gray powder. “Wow.” I turned back to Luke with a half-smile. “Convenient.”
from his fingers. He grinned at me again, somehow managing to look dashing, goofy, and proud all at the same time. “Were-panthers’re much more sophisticated ‘n werewolves,” he slurred. Then he frowned, pressing a hand to his side and swearing. “That hurts.” He suddenly lurched sideways, and I reached out and caught him. “Robert Redford, you need to go to the hospital or something,” I told him sternly, trying not to sound as panicked as I felt. My heart was beating painfully hard for this guy. “Can’t.” He shifted against my shoulder, maybe trying to sit up straighter. “Have to sweep that cat up.” That was one of the craziest things I had ever heard anyone say. I chuckled a bit. “Uhm… No. You don’t. I’ll do that. First we have to take a look at your injuries, you dunce.” I managed to get him to the couch, swatting my brother’s things to the floor. Then I rushed to the downstairs bedroom to retrieve the first-aid kit my family always brings on vacation. Next, I commenced to performing first-aid on my attractive rescuer, somehow managing not to be distracted by his incredibly fit torso as I bandaged the gash running along his ribs on his right side. It wasn’t as bad as I had first thought it to be, and Luke insisted on not going to the hospital. “You’re a good enough nurse,” he murmured with a weary smile, patting my hand as I slid his shirt and jacket back into place. “First you save my life by attacking a were-panther, and then you fix me up like a pro. We make a good team, Lilly. You’re pretty freakin’ talented.” “Well so are you,” I replied, blushing. I hate it that I can’t control the blush. “You saved my life, too.”
“Yeah…” He smiled, too, boyishly, swaying on his knees.
“Are you okay?” I asked, then winced. “Let’s just go with the fact that you’re not okay.” I reached out and took hold of the hand that was gripping the pistol. “You can let this go now.” I gave it a tug… then another tug. “What’s in there, anyway? Silver bullets.” “Nah. Platinum.” He shook his head, blinking rapidly as I managed to rip the gun
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“I guess I did.” He appeared thoroughly pleased with himself. Taking a deep breath, he sat up on his elbows, looking intensely into my eyes. “And I’m glad I did.” He reached up and touched my face, then slid his hand behind my head, intertwining his fingers in my hair. “The were-panther was right,” he whispered. “I do like you.” And then he drew me closer to him and kissed me on the lips.
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It was a lovely kiss. His lips moved against mine with a gentle strength, and I found kissing him back to be one of the easiest and most enjoyable experiences of my life. When I finally drew back from him, smiling and blushing like an over-romantic English major, I told him, “Luke Pierce, I think I like you, too. You taste like a hero. He grinned at me, winked--then promptly fell asleep on the couch. I sat back with a sigh--then jumped to my feet with a startled scream as my family burst in the damaged cabin door--which caused it to fall to the ground with a crash. It took a good deal of explaining to get my parents and brother to believe that I had just assisted a dashing intruder in the slaying of a were-panther. After pointing out the blood and black cat hair stuck on the glass of the broken window and showing them the shiny gray dust on the floor and the handsome wounded guy sleeping on the couch, I managed to have them somewhat convinced. For a moment, we all stood staring at Luke, then my brother asked, “Well where do I sleep?” As he and my dad discussed the best possible location for his sleeping bag, my mom sidled up to me with the hints of a smile on her face. “Lilly,” she whispered, standing close to me and taking my arm. “Yes, Mom?” She led me closer to the couch where Luke was sleeping. “Look at him.” “I have, Mom,” I told her with a blush. Darn those blushes! “I’m a woman, aren’t I? I’ve looked at him a lot…” I almost added hysterically, “And kissed him some, too,” but managed to stop myself. Mom studied the sleeping hero quietly for a few seconds, then looked back at me with a smile of wonder. “Lilly… He looks like Robert Redford.” I had to laugh.
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-Marina Richardson Pfeiffer Student First-Place Winner for Short Stories
Grandfather’s Dog and Wolf Parable Two creatures stood in the night shadows at the edge of the camp. They shivered each time a cold breeze whispered among the rocks. Although they feared fire, they knew the dying embers in the campfire offered warmth. They were hungry. They smelled the aromas of heated food. For many generations their ancestors had scavenged the scraps that human beings left behind. From experience the creatures knew that if they waited until morning then maybe all the human beings--the men, the women and their children--would leave the camp, and maybe there would be warmth in the dirt and stones that ringed the fire pit, and certainly there would be scraps of bone and fat and hopefully morsels of meat. Just like their ancestors they would patiently lurk in the shadows, watching and waiting for the human beings to depart. Avoiding direct contact with the human beings was natural. Human beings, like the creatures, were predators, and therefore were competitors. As is normal among competitors, sometimes there were conflicts, but most of the time there was mutual avoidance. Their territories overlapped. During times of plenty there was no reason to interfere with the other. During lean times the competition and conflicts could be dangerous to both the creatures and to the human beings. This was to be a different encounter. One of the creatures cautiously stepped out of the gloom and walked slowly and openly to the camp while the other creature remained in the shadows. There was no attempt by the approaching creature to conceal its advance. Human beings knew that the creatures often skirted their camps if there were no easier ways of passage, and the creatures never moved directly through an occupied encampment. The human beings had learned to read the postures and manners of the creatures and could discern if a creature intended to be aggressive or to passively pass by. The human beings warily watched the meek-mannered creature as it moved to them little by little with a halting walk and acting as if it wanted to enter the camp. Some human beings retreated. Others moved slowly, grouping together while keeping a distance between them and the creature. Instructions were given by one of the human beings to the group to leave an escape lane so that the creature could back away. As it drew near the group, the creature fell to the ground, rolled to its back and exposed its throat. It was a sign of full submission to the group of human beings. The creature was fed and allowed to sit by the fire. In time it would be given places in the shelters of the human beings. It would be taught to tend the herds and guard the children of the human beings. It would become a faithful servant and trusted
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companion of human beings. Also, it would be dependant on the human beings. It was given the name dog. On that first night of the arrival of the dog among human beings, the other creature, known as the wolf, had stayed in the shadows. The wolf had waited until the human beings and the dog left the camp before it scavenged for food scraps and sat by the smoking fire embers for warmth, and later it returned to its pack and continued in the ways of wolves. The dog is faithfully obedient to our will. We depend on the dog and it depends on us. The dog has become an important part of the ways of human beings. We love the dog. We created the dog. We have always had a sense of trepidation of the wolf. The wolf is dangerous. It is not always predictable. It is not obedient to our will and at times appears to defy us. For the same reasons--being dangerous, being unpredictable, and being independent--we admire the wolf. To our imagination of what is important (and maybe for emotions seated deeper within ourselves), we need the wolf to be a wolf, to be a creature that does not yield to our demands and habits, to be a living symbol of noble dignity, to be a creature that has its own natural wisdom. What would be the consequences if we no longer had the dog – if we no longer had the wolf? One of the fun things of my youth was being with my cousins listening to the parables, homilies, fables, allegories, fairy tales and other lessons of life told by my grandfathers, parents, uncles and aunts. Each story would follow with questions to the assembled youth about the meanings of the story. After a telling of the dog and wolf story and a round of discussing consequences, our grandfather would ask, “Of the people we know, who are the dogs? Who are the wolves? Which ones do you love? Which ones do you fear? Why?” We were allowed to express different views, which always lead to vigorous discussions, some of which went on for years with no closure. -Ralph Brown Department of Business
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Old Timey Religion and New Ideas I am a man who shouts to God, “God, how could you?” but doesn’t get an answer. All I hear is the confusing static of radio interference, and nothing sounds like what I want, what I need. Nothing sounds like the comforting whisper of the Carpenter dressed in white when He puts his soft lips to my ear and whispers love, letting his locks of brown hair fall across my face. Now, all I hear is impersonal, indecipherable static. And I feel like a lone speck of life in a black hole. Though the conflict must have been an ignition of theological inconsistencies laid throughout my life like fuses and, shoved out of sight, ignited into an explosion, I tell people the defining moment was Governor’s School when I was first introduced to my professor, an actual lesbian, who smiled and welcomed me to the Alternative Narrative class. It is ironic that I can’t remember her last name now when I recall the minute details of the time my professor, Tanya, stood in front of the college campus classroom that was surprisingly small and reminiscent of high school on the first day and said something like, “You have all been selected to attend Governor’s School not only for your ability to write essays or your grades but mostly for the potential we saw in your writing to think outside the box and develop new ideas. You are all the cream of the crop, and here at GSE (Governor’s School East), you will be introduced to a whole new world.” Sitting there with clammy palms and a cold sweat from nervousness building up on my brow, I had no idea how literal the phrase “whole new world’ would turn out to be. The world I knew at the time was of a Southern Baptist from the mountains of North Carolina, where lean men wearing brown blazers and black ties would speak about Jesus with such extremity and enthusiasm that they would take sharp breaths after every few words, which would transform phrases like, “We have come to speak the words of Jesus” that were normally spoken calmly into “We have(uh) come to speak(uh) the words of Jesus(ah),” exclaimed with a Southern accent and flailed arms. Whenever the tall, wiry man got worked up like this, people spewed forth the Holy Spirit from the pews like soda that had been shaken up and then opened, and there were shouts of “Amen” and “Hallelujah” from all over tiny wooden church houses, and people had tears streaming down their faces. In this place, religion was real. But here was a woman, my professor, who did not fit into the perfect universe created by my fellow Missionary Baptists, so, instead of listening, I measured her movement meticulously, memorizing her persona as if I was watching some abstract piece
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of art in motion and was trying to figure out what it meant. She was a woman in her thirties or forties, with short, spiky grey hair, a wide girth, and a round face that could have been either male or female. She was masculine and threatening to me, repulsive to a point, but fascinating nonetheless, and I leaned forward in my seat eager to explore and experience this new thing. After the meeting with the teachers in the classroom, there was a social gathering where everyone who had been chosen to attend Governor’s School grouped around in the quad between the four dorm houses (each similar orange brick buildings) to meet each other and interact. There were about four hundred mismatched people from all the corners of North Carolina present representing all social classes and cliques, and now they all mingled, sometimes shamelessly diving into conversation or giggling at each other with awkward smiles. A whole new world, like the professor said, I thought as I walked across the soft, lush grass and sat under a large oak tree in the corner of the quad and looked on toward the center of the quad, where most of the people were gathered around the fountain. I listened absent-mindedly to the buzzing of tumultuous chatter while I slid a green marbled notebook from my shoulder bag and started to hover my Bic mechanical pencil over the paper absentmindedly, doodling on the corners or writing, then erasing a word here and there. “Watcha writing?” a female asked. I looked up into the face of two people with smiles that seemed bigger than their faces. The one who had spoken was a girl with light-colored blonde hair and blue eyes that were almost grey and sparkled where the light reflected off of them. The other person was a young man who had smooth dark skin and spongy hair and eyes that held a warm brown that would two years later be compared to the color of my eyes by new friends in college. “Oh, nothing. Just thinking about writing a poem, that’s all,” I said to them in a white lie because I never really wrote anything anymore but really just doodled and thought about it. I told them my name and then asked, “What’s your name by the way?” “Alex,” said the young man. “Kayla,” said the girl, “You write poetry?” “Yeah, nerdy, I know, but I write other stuff too. Like stories and things like that.” “Let me guess, you’re here for English,” Alex said, “And no, that is super cool
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that you write and stuff. I wish I could do that.” And conversation continued for a while until it felt like the three of us had known each other for ages. I found out a lot about them. Kayla was attending for music, one of the few sophomores attending Governor’s School (most of the rest of us were juniors) and lived her life to a different beat than others. Alex was the same way. He was attending for art and didn’t care about football or the deer he had just killed like the guys back home. No, he and Kayla both seemed to be refreshingly different. They read obscure novels, listened to indie music, and wanted to believe in fairy tales. Just like me. And they became my best friends. This set the tone for the next couple weeks I would spend at Governor’s School. Mornings and afternoons, I would spend in the small cramped classrooms where I would listen to Philosophy or Sociology, and then I would go to my English class, where Tanya, the perplexing woman that held my attention, would have us read strange novels or watch obscure documentaries and explain how they were different. Evenings, I would spend with Alex and Kayla talking and laughing and growing closer every moment, and at night I would read the Bible, write a little to try out the methods I learnt from Tanya, and pray to God, thanking him, and then I would lie in my tiny dorm bed and wait for the holy embrace and the feeling to fill me up. Students attending Governor’s School were offered chances to go to optional seminars and courses. One Saturday, Alex, Kayla and I decided to attend one about human sexuality and gender roles, so we made our way on stone walkways between brick buildings over to the far left side of campus to this modern building with a metallic look (that stood out among all the orange brick) to the room that was marked by a sign near the door Room # 113. The room was spacious with grey carpet and black chairs with deep seats that sat on swivels. The room was slanted downward with a black board and a podium sitting at the bottom of the room where the presenter, Tammy, was going to speak. Since we were free of supervision, we horse-played and pushed each other while we made our way to a nice spot on the bottom left of the room, where we plopped down into the seats and started chatting. “Hey Kayla, any news about that guy you like?” Alex asked Kayla. “Well, I think he likes me, but I dunno…” “What do you mean?” Alex asked. “Well, it’s just that he’s a Baptist and I am a Wiccan.”
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“What’s a Wiccan?” I asked, having grown up where those who weren’t Baptist were Methodist or Presbyterian, but before she could answer we heard the door shut and we saw Tanya walking toward us, her face unreadable. “Hey guys, this seminar’s been canceled. Sorry, you must have missed the memo. Guess I won’t be teaching you this after all,” Tanya said, sighing, visually annoyed. Alex and Kayla got up to leave, but I said, “Hey guys, I’ll catch up to you later,” and after they left, I walked up to Tanya and asked what had happened. “A couple parents sued Governor’s School last year for turning their kid gay, so they are kind of ornery about stuff like this. I think you guys are mature enough, and I’m starting a petition, but I can’t promise anything.” “Well, at least I get to attend your class, Tanya (students called professors by their first name at Governor’s School) and I really enjoy it,” I told her, trying to make things better, and then I turned to leave. “Hey, before you go, I want you to know you have what it takes to be a writer. You should pursue it,” she told me, “I enjoy having you as a student.” I could barely mumble a thank you before she said goodbye and left, leaving me wondering why a parent would sue a school for a reason like that and then wondering why I didn’t agree with the parents when all the preachers in brown blazers and black ties would. All the preachers I had watched, tears streaming down my face. Why don’t I agree with the men I admired for so long? Four weeks passed. In this time, I would stay after class with Tanya, and she would teach me enthusiastically, and I, after a lifetime of trying to write, started to write as an individual writer -- a writer who was given his voice by someone the man in brown blazers would have outlawed. Also during this time, Alex, Kayla, and I became closer and closer to each other, spending evenings laying on our backs on the soft grass of the quad, looking up at the stars and revealing tidbits of ourselves to each other. Of course, we never talked about religion. She only knew that I was a Baptist like the guy that she liked. A couple nights before the end of Governor’s School, Alex came up to me and told me that Tanya and all of the other teachers who had signed the petition to teach the sexuality/gender study had been fired. We were standing near the tree where he had first approached me with Kayla just a few weeks ago. How it had seemed much longer!
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“Are you sure?” I asked him. Anger hung from my words and made them heavy in the twilight. He didn’t say anything and just nodded. “Well, I have to go, just thought I would tell you,” he said and then left. I started to walk in the other direction. I walked, not really with a destination in mind, trying to cope with the information that he gave me. How could the best teacher I have ever known suddenly get fired? A hand grabbed my shoulder, and I turned around to see Kayla staring into my eyes. “Am I going to burn in Hell? The guy I liked just told me I was going to burn in Hell for believing the way I do,” she pleaded with me to make everything okay, to tell her that it really wasn’t that way and that guy was mistaken. I opened my mouth to answer her and closed it. How could I tell her? How could I take it upon myself to condemn this young woman? I eventually said something, but I don’t remember what it was. It wasn’t anything that helped her, I am sure of that. I just know that I looked into her eyes and she understood what I was thinking. I will never forget the look in her eyes that day. It was the same look that Tanya had when she told us she had to cancel the seminar. It was the same look that Alex gave me when he came clean to me and told me he liked me two years later. I didn’t read my Bible that night. I said only one thing when I prayed, “God, how could you?” and, of course, I didn’t get an answer. -C.D. Wilson Phoenix Staff Member
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In the Shadows
-Maximo Morel Phoenix Staff Member
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-Lauren Souther Phoenix Staff Member
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We Form Peace
-Iryna Freshchak Community Member Second-Place Winner for Photography/Art
-Erin Johnson Pfeiffer Student
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Her True Self
-Crystal Dabbs Pfeiffer Student
-Debbie Wood Pfeiffer Office of Assessment
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-Melinda Earnhardt Pfeiffer Student
-Petra Ljubicic Pfeiffer Graduate First-Place Winner for Photography/Art
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Green Bleeding Yellow
-Christopher Rain Phoenix Staff Member
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-Dr. Laura Stivers Department of Religion
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Love is Real
-Liz Carlton Pfeiffer Student
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-Crystal Dabbs Pfeiffer Student
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-Audra Dingle Pfeiffer Student
-Petra Ljubicic Pfeiffer Graduate
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I See You...
Faces of Congo
-Christopher Rain Phoenix Staff Member
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-Lauren Souther Phoenix Staff Member
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Clouds at Crater Lake
-Dr. Juanita Kruse Department of History
-Kirsten Bragg Pfeiffer Student Third-Place Winner for Photography/Art
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I Want a Herd of Fainting Goats
Big Rhode Island Red, prettiest bird in the yard, and the proudest, flying into a hotspur rage at every reluctant hen. And the first to faint upside down, his foot caught in a fence, where he dangles, easy to gut and pluck for the pot. Then he pops back free, and fusses at his hens.
Smallish and easily startled, they nose the pasture, white coats and big black eyes, a few with raggedy black patches on their backs. The schoolbus brakes, kids laugh and cheer - and lo! the whole herd falls over, little white legs stiff as death. Then theyâ€™re up and nosing again, hardly losing breath. I read these goats came from Canada by way of Tennessee, good for nothing but to faint and make me love them.
Considering A Fainting Rooster
So full of sass and strut, he denied Jesus three times, still he faints upside down and hangs from one foot.
-Heather Ross Miller Department of English
How easily the lion, the bear, the wolf, and the bee, will enter Heaven. Without a roar or a howl, a growl or a swarming sting. And this fainting rooster, when he brings himelf to Jesus, I pray heâ€™s kissed, then given a thousand ready hens. -Heather Ross Miller Department of English
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It is Then I Love You
Ode to Gummy Bears
We stand here in my room each alone but touching and I wondered what to say if anything at all and how cheesy I would sound describing how much I missed you while I was on vacation Bare feet on green carpet and legs and bodies twisted together (how did we ever manage to stay standing that way?) covered all existence until finally I speak in whispers about something completely unromantic like how the beer cans and seashells in the cool sand cut my feet while I looked out at the great big ocean. Anyway, I said that I thought about you the whole time but what I meant to say was that I was something small staring at something big and, noticing God, was lonely and It is then I loved you. Were we both seeing the same thing while I spoke? Were we both staring across the bed, past the blue Chips Ahoy comforter covered in stars and galaxies and a purple ink stain (from your pen) through the window and out into the old allencompassing mountains? Did we both see magic hidden in the weak light under the shade of trees? Either way, we saw God and, for once, everything fit perfectly together especially me and you and It is then I loved you. Sometimes we are apart and alone and mountains and oceans make us feel small.
Yummy, gummy, soft and sweet, From sugar nose to sticky feet. You smell like fruit and Jello mix, Personified by your playful grin. Oh ooey, gooey, gummy treat. Your final fate is sad, I know. We’ll gobble you from head to toe. ‘Cause something about your giant belly tastes soft and squishy, like grape jelly. Good thing they make you by the dozen, With millions and millions of candy cousins So there will always be another to spare. My yummy, nummy, gummy bear. -Liz Carlton Pfeiffer Student First-Place Winner in Poetry
And sometimes we are together and alone and the world melts into nothing but us laying hugged up together in my room just to lay there and be with each other and nothing else except God who acts as duct tape to join things together but we don’t think about that. We think about nothing. We are nothing except loose electrical emotion conjoined with God Glue. It is then I love you. 50 | Pfeiffer Phoenix
-C.D. Wilson Phoenix Staff Member
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One Solid Motion
(Is magic real mommy?) The answer is falling w e e Happy Lullabies -ing -ing swing rock gracefully delivering
sleep. s li d i ng into
warm covers and love-fluffed pillows a cloud by feel the vessel of dream-goers
I cry at the mercy of the night Pleading to bring back the light. A solid motion Toward these feet. This You may see. Lift me gently. Carry me swiftly. One solid motion Here we meet.
-Kirsten Bartsch Pfeiffer Student
But first, an angel kiss And, before I turn out the lights Magic is real child, but usually only at night -C.D. Wilson Phoenix Staff Member
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The Perfect Gift Love spread its wings and carried two lovers to a beautiful palace, a loving home.
Conifers huddle together, rustling, whispering, and I feel my questions drifting in the unfamiliar chill. Clay dyes my sand-scoured feet to match the red brick buildings, and eyes trained by sea and sunlight struggle to adjust in the brown-grey of shadows cast by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The wind in the valley drops words into waterfalls, and I wonder; if I could read the leaves, would I understand? -Melissa Sullebarger Community Member Second-Place Winner in Poetry
A maiden, who was so very gorgeous and wonderful, lived in the tallest tower ~ The beautiful fair maiden was to be rescued from the palace by her knight in shining armor, for the maiden needed the sweetness of true love’s first kiss to set her free ~ an extremely noble knight rode to her rescue one starry night, and he could sense true love in the air and followed a sweet aroma all the way to the fair maiden’s palace door ~ Her knight lightly tapped on the enchanted lock, to find his lovely and perfect fair maiden in all her beauty ~ ~Staring into each other’s eyes was the perfect gift, the gift of true love that will be forever friendship ~ -Aaron Duncan Pfeiffer Student
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I rowed away from a life with no anchor and stolen sails, and the horizon filled me with adrenaline. Do you question my veracity for the capacity of love I feel for you? Dreaming of you is so comfortable, the touch of your lips is unabridged. Nothing is missing from your being from what Iâ€™m seeing. Impeccable integrity and a loving crescent smile that send my heart into a desired frenzy. I know I love you because I donâ€™t want anyone else. You make me think of someone other than myself. I love you.
-Amnazo Muhirwa Pfeiffer Student
I can almost believe I wanted the mutiny, almost believe it was my choice to go. For how can I feel this thrill for the future if I leave significance behind? Days are too full for reminiscing, and nights are packed with others; blurry faces, warm arms, voices filled with my own thoughts. Does basic emotion demand that I miss what was? I feel nothing. I cut through weeks and waves in defiant glory, screaming my name into the wind of a new world. -Melissa Sullebarger Community Member
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Truth Through theThe truth Trees is
The truth is a song I cannot sing.
you’re not going to make it… The truth is I’ve lost the truth in my fear.
The truth is I am tired of being burned down.
My selfishness guards nothing but my fear.
The truth is you’re not going to make it. The truth is I’m a tornado.
I’ve lost myself in my loneliness The truth is... The truth is...
The truth is I set the fires that burn me down.
The truth is a fossil to me. The truth is an intangible dream freedom The truth is baby
I set the fires that burn me down... -Hanna Wilhelm Pfeiffer Student Third-Place Winner in Poetry
The truth doesn’t always make life softer. Or warm you like a winter coat. The truth A stinging pain that seems it will never stop. Like your flesh is being ripped off. This is why people avoid the truest of truths. The truth is I want to touch the truth. The truth is I want to see it. The truth is my head above water, The truth is my head above water. 58 | Pfeiffer Phoenix
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Silent Heart Deviant blood creeps truthfully Flowing gracefully through my veins Envious heart beats scarcely Silent cries start leaking Quiet! Listen closely Through the window in your eye And the sorrows of your ear Let your emotions run wild Wild enough to feel it With my hurt steadily growing And my pain distantly showing For words of hope I hope And wishes of faith I wish My search for answers becomes unknowing Knowledge, a powerful solvent Misunderstanding begins to break me Fearful veins painfully leaking Quiet, now can you see it Please look deeper within me The voice is quietly speaking Through muscles of anxiety And chambers of incompletion Please touch me with some sympathy My heart is starting to whisper But the flow of no words is present And not much life for future reference
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Time heals all wounds But now itâ€™s of the essence The clock is steadily ticking And my power now is weakening Asking for help My mouth is not moving But my heart is silently screaming -Charity Morrison Phoenix Staff Member
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And They Shall Find Their Way
How soft a kiss doth flow from mouth to mouth. To feel a gentle breath would cease the day, And send young Cupid’s bow to launch about Two arrows – yet they cannot find their way. Creator of your smile I will become, And in return you keep away the night. Embrace me soon my dear, my love, my one Don’t fear, for you will surely give us light.
The only compass we have in life that will always point due north is our heart. When we decide to follow it, we are believing in the impossible but not viewing it as such. Once the heart believes in something, what the world sees as impossible we view as the only thing probable.
Forever – love – with fingers intertwined Will we remain until all shadows pass. For now – my dear, your light doth shine – be mine! Beneath the frozen muck, among the grass.
-Melinda Earnhardt Pfeiffer Student
Together each shall give what one has not For what is needed, this, cannot be bought. -James Shepherd Pfeiffer Student
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In the Land of the Living Last Wednesday in Pfeiffer Chapel, we spent a large amount of time reflecting on what has happened in Haiti and focusing on what we as a University can do about it. Ever since the first quake hit, all we’ve heard about is how the American people are reaching out. What can we do to help? How can we make things better for the Haitian people? It’s all over the news. Outreach teams, missionaries, monetary donations, the adoption of children...there are so many things that this country is doing to help. Have we done enough? As I was sitting there, listening, watching, and observing my fellow classmates nod and whisper faint “Amens” under their breath, I realized something extremely important. Haiti is, and has been for many, many years, one of the poorest countries in the entire world. Before the quakes, before the disaster. Thousands of people living with next to nothing, when here we are complaining about the cost of a drive-thru meal and other selfish things. Orphans roaming the streets. Malnutrition in ways we cannot fathom. People dying of diseases we can’t comprehend. I wonder now, why have we been sitting here for years doing nothing? These people have needed us all along. As one of the wealthiest nations it would only make sense to help the unfortunate. Along with the wealth comes a great deal of selfishness. We covet what others own and disregard what we already have. We have become overwhelmed with pride and arrogance, with conceit and self-service. It comes down to this...the prosperity gospel. We, well, some of us, are under the impression that good works will somehow please the almighty one and secure us a spot in His kingdom. This is true--good deeds are satisfying, with right intentions. We say, maybe if we help these hurting people, the Lord will bless us with good health and wealth. We say, if we reach out now in the turmoil, the Lord will love us more and look on us with favor. This country, this place that I live in, I cannot express how thankful I am for being so fortunate. At the same time, I can’t express how much heartache I feel, not just for the people around me, but for myself. We have all been sitting here, just watching, going on with our near-perfect lives compared to that of others. We have become complacent, only volunteering our time and money when it will satisfy the realm of media and self-worth. We have lost what it means to truly serve, to sacrifice our whole selves for the sake of the gospel.
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It is my prayer that the people of this country will humble themselves. That we will lift up our hearts toward You. That we will seek Your goodness in the land of the living. That we may realize the grace and mercy You have bestowed on us. That we may reach out not only in times of need, but in everything. That we will do all these things not because of self-gratification, but because of Your deep and perfect love for us. For the people of Haiti, God, I pray that in this time of disaster that they might come to know You. That they might seek Your face now more than ever. That they will give their troubles up to You and fully rely on You and Your sovereignty. I pray that they would come to fully understand Your sufficiency. I pray for all of us, everyone in the world, that we might realize how much You love us. Your love is so overwhelming, I can’t even fathom its depths. Your love knows no bounds. Help us to seek after You in all things. Lead us to Your cross. Lead us to realize the riches of Your love. Your love is deep, it is wide, it is extravagant, it is all powerful, it is perfect. Let us learn to appreciate Your loving kindness. In Your Holy, and perfect name... -Madison Aycoth Pfeiffer Student First-Place Winner for Essays
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There’s More Under the Top Hat I believe in the Monopoly guy. Some may say he can be pretty blunt in what he commands. Some may say he’s kind of rude. I say the Monopoly guy has some qualities that I, and possibly some others, could improve upon, qualities that would improve myself as an individual and qualities that would help the world become a more understanding place. First off, I have a problem. It’s an irritation that’s been bothering me ever since I can remember it bothering me. It’s an itch the Monopoly man doesn’t ever have to scratch. I think too much. I ponder things that don’t have the worth of being pondered. The Monopoly man, on the other hand, doesn’t even think twice about his decisions! He even sends wagons to jail! But, little Merritt over here thinks it’s worth the time to ponder whether the shirt he just bought was too showy and wear another shirt, or the shirt was just fine. It’s hard for Merritt to understand that nobody cares. What difference does it make? Why would it matter? The only thing that runs through his head when one of those instances comes up is fear of being judged. It’s best to be like the Monopoly guy and disregard any fear and act upon what he believes; after all, anybody who feels he or she could judge what somebody wears isn’t anybody worth the effort to even think about or impress. The Monopoly guy is a true man of confidence. He sends people to jail, he takes your money, he prevents you from gaining the money you know you deserve, and he’s aware that everybody knows he’s a jerk. Yet, he’s comfortable with it! That’s the kind of idol that I can respect. I acknowledge that I’m a pretty friendly guy and I try not to make others feel weird, yet I worry whenever I have a disagreement with a friend; like I’m going to be discrowned as his/her friend. I need to be more like the Monopoly guy and be confident with my own beliefs and not feel as if the entire house is going to fall down just because I kicked the door open instead of opening it as I normally would. The Monopoly guy has the confidence to trust in his friends well enough to know that they’re not going to think less of him whenever he simply gives them a new idea. He has the confidence I need. It is the Monopoly guy’s character that makes him such an inspiration. He may be a little brutal and harsh, but he certainly has the aspects of an excellent icon. I can only be happier if others shared the same respect as I do for him. So, in conclusion, my hat is off for the Monopoly guy.
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-Merritt Sherman Pfeiffer Student Second-Place Winner for Essays
Sawubona from Hluhluwe (A letter from South Africa)
Thursday, June 25, 2009 Hey all! It is Thursday night, around 10:03 p.m. here in South Africa. So, that makes it around 4 in the afternoon back at home in the United States. I wanted to update you on all of the work that we are doing here in this wonderful place! I know I haven’t gotten to call (sorry Momma) but there are no working phones in the area. However, we did finally make it into Hluhluwe after a long journey from the Untied States. It was a long flight, but we arrived in Jo-Burg airport late Tuesday night. God truly picked out such a precious group to come on this journey. Every single person adds a special gift to the work we are doing here. We have a nurse, a teacher, a preacher, a clinical engineer, and many others to help the ministry here in Zulu land. On Wednesday morning we were welcomed at Pastor Jabulani’s church, and we were able to meet and interact with the people of the church. Wow! These people are so on fire for the Lord! The church has a “kresh,” which allows young church children to come and learn. We visited a school and were blessed by beautiful singing and dancing. They were honored to have us, but what they did not know was that they were blessing my life in return. The school children sang a beautiful song that was harmonized perfectly…the lyrics were “Bring peace to our land.” Of course, there was dancing involved in the celebration, and they kicked their feet, beat their drums, and sang a native Zulu song. They picked me to dance with them, and needless to say, I have no rhythm and cannot kick my leg nearly as high as they can. Ha! So today, Thursday, we woke up early to paint the church and the school that we had visited on Wednesday. The work we had planned was supposed to take two days, but with God’s grace we finished everything in a single day! The people of the church and the children of the school graciously lended their hand to help us in this project, and it turned out to be wonderful. These kind souls volunteered their time to help us, and we were able to witness and bond with them. One of the highlights of the day was when three girls took Erin, Kim, and myself on a walk through the grassy hills of Zulu land. We visited their homes, which consisted of mud, rock, and grass. The floors were of dirt, and they slept on grass mats. These ladies were so happy to welcome us into their home, and we exchanged questions with one another through a young interpreter, Bridgette (who was a Durban native). After we finished talking, we took a walk to another local family’s house and watched a young
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boy shimmy up a tree to pick us fresh oranges. Boy, would my orange-loving Grandpa be proud! They gave us two oranges each, which is a huge sacrifice, because these oranges would have been something they could have sold in the market. They were wonderful spirits, and the visits were such a huge blessing. As I returned back to the group, I looked back and thought about the experience. Even though I could not speak their language and I was in a land of which I know nothing, I had fully trusted these girls to lead me down the right path and protect me. Is this not what our relationship with God is supposed to be like? We can fully rely on God to lead our life and protect and watch over us. He never leads us astray and is willing to help us when we are lost. This evening a lady from the church, Ana Kletta, invited us into her home to feed us supper and fellowship with her for a meal. Ana Kletta had worked hard in her garden and wanted to give us the only thing she had. Unselfish she was as she placed on our plates a sweet potato-like vegetable. What a humble heart! Ana Kletta allows people to come to her home to read the Bible and worship there when they cannot make the long journey across the mountain to get to church. During our supper, a group of boys from the only school in the area surprised us and began to sing and dance for us to raise money for school uniforms. However, God had bigger plans besides the uniforms. As these young men sang, we were able to fellowship with them and share God’s love with them. A boy from the school answered the call of God and accepted Christ right there on the dirt roads of Africa! The stars were never as bright and the love of God could be felt in all the souls there. How amazing! However, under that moon and smoke of the campfire, 8 other boys answered the call of Christ. Praise God! We sang and danced and truly celebrated their salvation. This makes you wonder why we all don’t jump up out of our pews at church and show our joy when a member of our own church accepts Christ. We should be excited and joyful when a lost soul finds salvation! Needless to say, eight lost sheep were lead home tonight. The glory is to God, as we sing here...”THE KING OF KINGS TO ALL.” The cows cross the road in front of us and the goats wander about, but the people of Christ are found throughout the villages of this land, and their hearts are so pure. They long for the word of God, the passion of a Christian life, and the acceptance to be loved. We truly are united as one...Africa, America, and every other country in this world. We are his children, and his love has no boundaries. It is our duty as Christians to share God’s amazing love with the people of the world-- “The Great Commission.” We
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should always be willing to follow God wherever He leads us. As I visit this amazing place, my mind often wanders back to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The smiles, faces, passion, and love remind me so much of the city God lead me to last summer. As I experience this new journey God leads me on, he often reminds me of those he has put in my past. It hurts to love...it hurts to be compassionate...but when I pray, God reminds me not to be selfish and to give all the love I have to the “hungry souls” of this world. So when I cry, I cry tears of joy for South Africa, for the Congolese people, and for the lives that need the love of Christ. My calling is to Africa and to my brothers and sisters that live in this land. I will return home on July 2nd and plan to share many stories, photos, and videos. Thanks for your love, support, and prayers. Love you all!
Love in Christ, -Lauren Souther Phoenix Staff Member
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Poker Face: What We Can All Learn From Lady Gaga “The biggest misconception about me is that I’m artificial and attention seeking, when the truth is every bit of me is devoted to love and art. I aspire to be a teacher to my young fans who feel just like I felt when I was younger…I want to liberate them. I want to free them of their fears and make them feel that they can create their own space in the world.” -- Lady Gaga Lady Gaga has sold over 10 million albums, has 2 Grammys, and is the first artist ever to have four number-one hits on the debut album. One of the biggest names in the music business, she is associated with bizarre outfits, strange performances, and borderline insanity in general. When it comes to her unique style, people either love it or hate it. Regardless, we can all agree that it’s absolutely fascinating. America can’t get enough of Lady Gaga. She’s everywhere. Being so controversial, people can’t stop talking about her. Her fans rave about her, her haters can find plenty of negative rumors about her, her music and shock-art performances give everyone something to talk about, and who could ignore those costumes? But deep down inside, underneath all the wigs, the outfits, and the makeup, who is Lady Gaga? What is the story behind the music? Everyone sees her artistic side, but few see the passionate, inspirational young woman who is determined to live her dream and bring to light things America may not want to see. It may sound crazy, but Lady Gaga is truly a great role model. One of her biggest missions is to show America the power and influence of the media. Her albums “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster,” are both centered on America’s obsession with fame. As she said in an interview, “All the things that I do, in terms of “The Fame” and “The Fame Monster”, are meant to make it a bit easier to swallow this horrific media world that we live in. Some of her songs, like “The Fame” and “Paparazzi,” speak very directly about the media. The lyrics to “The Fame” are one example: “Fame, doing it for the fame, because we want to live the life of the rich and famous. Fame, the fame, we live for the fame. Isn’t it a shame? We live for the fame.” America really does live for the fame. We live in a materialistic world where we want to see people who are “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” (another song off the album that
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did well) and want to know everything they do, whether it be for the positive or the negative. And isn’t it really a shame? Not only do we need to get our priorities in order in this materialistic world, but the American media doesn’t want to see celebrities doing well and behaving with morals. America wants sex icons, drug addicts, and alcoholics. Fame changes people. Lady Gaga’s VMA performance to “Paparazzi” was designed to be a commentary on Princess Diana and her being a martyr to fame, which Gaga says was an inspiration to her own life. Gaga wanted fame desperately. Telling the story of how she went from Stephani Germanotta to Lady Gaga, she says that “I had a dream, and I really wanted to be a star, and I was almost a monster in the way that I was fearless with my ambition.” She strived for fame and promised herself if she ever made it big she would use her celebrity to inspire others and to wake up America to the society we are turning into. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she expresses the most important message she wants people to remember: “I want them to free themselves. I want them to be proud of who they are, and I want them to celebrate all the things they don’t like about themselves the way that I did, and be so truly happy from inside. I say this so genuinely to you all…because I know how you feel. Never give up on your dreams and never give up on yourself.” It can be surprising to hear such beautiful words coming from a young woman in a space-man outfit with spikes coming out of her head, but Lady Gaga is a very passionate person on the inside. She uses her outfits, wigs, and performances to express a part of her that she feels needs to be expressed. She says, “Being provocative is not just about getting people’s attention; it’s about saying something that affects people in a real way, in a positive way.” She also says her inspiration comes naturally, but she puts a lot of time and effort into everything she does to the point that she does nothing else. She admits to being bossy in that she spends hours and hours with her team to put together the show of her dreams. She wants everything to be perfect because, as she says, “this is my only opportunity to live my dream.” She wants to make the most of her life while she can. So many of us settle for mediocrity, living our lives as normal as we can, and if there’s something that makes us different, we often hide it and do our best to be like everyone else. However, Lady Gaga refuses to conform to anyone. Instead of trying to be normal, she strives to be as far away from normal as she possibly can. She has
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amazing confidence and doesn’t hide her flaws; she embraces them. She is determined to be herself and do whatever she wants, even if others may not like it (which some don’t). Being somewhat of an outcast, she doesn’t really have many friends, so she dedicates a lot of her time to her team and her fans by building positive relationships with them and letting them know she appreciates them. She also has a great relationship with her parents. However, her strongest relationship is with her music. She isn’t looking for a serious relationship on an emotional level with anyone because her music is her life and the only love she wants right now. She is openly bisexual but doesn’t want to love anyone (which she makes clear through her music). I think this is her way of dealing with the emotional pain in her life, and she knows she’s not perfect and she doesn’t hide it. “Poker Face” reminds me of how we all try to hide who we are at times. When we don’t feel comfortable in our own skin, we put on a mask to hide what we don’t like about ourselves. Pressure to conform suppresses our individuality, and we try to be something we are not because we don’t want to be seen as different. We all need to throw off our masks and let the world see us for who we are. -Molly Brown Phoenix Staff Member
What Abner Doubleday Did When He Wasn’t Inventing Baseball Looking back on it all, I have come to realize that I have an idealized image of my youth. While Pierre, South Dakota, in the early 1950s was not exactly a hotbed of media activity, it was a great place to grow up. Like most boys I managed to find my way to baseball and played many a pick-up game in the evening on the huge lawn of the state capitol building. And Pierre had its very own minor league team, the Pierre Cowboys. They played in the old Basin League against other nearby towns, teams from far-away places like Yankton, Sturgis, Sioux Falls, and Aberdeen. I especially liked it when the Valentine (Nebraska) Hearts came to town, and I remember very vividly the fact that games were announced by someone riding around in a car with a loudspeaker on top. When young boys get together and talk baseball, you can get very heated discussions based on an almost total lack of actual knowledge. (You have to remember that this was not only before the advent of the internet, it was even the very early days of television.) But despite our lack of historical and statistical sophistication with respect to the national pastime, some things we were absolutely certain about, and these things were simply never questioned. One of these was the fact that Abner Doubleday was the “father of baseball,” and given this, we all assumed that he somehow invented the game. As I got older I eventually found out that this claim was false and that Doubleday didn’t invent baseball at all, but then some source said that he “codified the rules” of the game. “Aha,” I thought, “now my knowledge is becoming more grown-up and I’m undergoing that familiar pattern of putting aside childish beliefs.” I guess I thought that somehow believing Doubleday invented baseball was similar to believing in the Easter Bunny. However, later on I discovered that he had not even codified the rules, so at this point I was firmly in the belief that he must have been some sort of charlatan who wanted to take credit for something that he didn’t do, but as we are learning all too often, the truth is just a tad more interesting than that. In fact, Doubleday never claimed to have had anything to do with baseball’s inception. The entire story seems to
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have been based on some highly questionable testimony given to a commission investigating the game’s origins some 12 years after Doubleday’s death, and so the baseball connection was attributed to Doubleday, not claimed by him. And even at that, the individual involved may well have been referring to a different Abner Doubleday. So the “Doubleday invents baseball” story is nothing more than folklore, but the things he did accomplish in his life should at least put him on your mental shelf as worth knowing. Doubleday fought on the Union side during the Civil War. In fact, he was a graduate of West Point and as was true of so many Civil War officers on both sides of the conflict, had served in the war with Mexico prior to that. Before the outbreak of the Civil War, Doubleday had been stationed at Fort Moultrie at Charleston, South Carolina. At this time secessionist talk was the news of the day, and everyone knew that a fight was coming. South Carolina was the first of the southern states to withdraw from the Union, and they demanded the surrender of the Yankee forces in their midst. Since Moultrie was basically indefensible, the small garrison moved to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Once the shelling of Sumter began from the Confederate side, the Union forces returned fire. Doubleday was the officer in charge of artillery, and so as an interesting sidebar to history, he fired the first Union shot of the Civil War.
and obtained a charter for the first cable car company in that city. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. So, while he did not do what most of us young baseball fans thought he was famous for, he did manage to accomplish a great many things, any one of which make him worth remembering. So the next time you are on a cable car in San Francisco making your way to a Giants game, you might strike up a conversation with someone on the car with you and try to win a beer at the ball game with your newfound knowledge. -Dr. Don Poe Department of Psychology and Human Services
Now as interesting as that is, it is not the end of the story.
If you have seen the movie “Gettysburg”, you will undoubtedly remember the scene during the first day of the battle where General Reynolds, commander of the Union forces, is shot from his horse and falls mortally wounded. At this early point in the fighting, the outcome was very much in doubt, but the movie does not give an indication of who took Reynolds’ place in command, but it was Doubleday. It’s true that he was not the most decisive of officers and tended to be cautious and unimaginative, but it is also true that for a time he was the commanding Union general on the scene at Gettysburg. After the war Doubleday and his wife moved to San Francisco, where he showed that he also had something of a pretty good business sense because he sought
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An Eye Witness to History With the election and inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama, it is a good time for an old eye witness to history to remind others from where we have come. History books teach the young about the changes in the last century, but they rarely view it from personal observations. These are one man’s personal remembrances. I was born in Stanly County and grew up on a farm located on Long Creek in the northern part of the county. My first association with a black person came before I can remember. James Scott, a young black man, worked on the farm for my father starting in 1930. He was a part of the Adam Scott family, which was our closest neighbor. They were poor. They lived across the creek in a house that had no more than 400 square feet, and the floor of the house was the ground. Three generations lived in that one room together. James Scott usually went home for lunch, but in the summers when there was a lot of farm work to be done, my mother sometimes fixed his lunch so he could eat as quickly as my father. He ate with us in our kitchen at the same time as my family but always at a separate table. Blacks and whites did not eat together. In 1940, I started to school in the first grade at Richfield School. There were no kindergartens in North Carolina at that time. The school bus came down the road to pick me up, and I could wait in my living room and watch for the bus. On cold days I would stay in the warm room until I saw the bus coming. While watching for my bus, I often saw three of the Scott family children from across the creek walking by my house on their way to school near New London, four miles away. There was no bus for black children, and their family had no car. As a child I remember thinking how unfair that was. Their school was a two-room elementary school. If they wanted to attend high school, they would have had to walk eight miles each way to a black school in Albemarle. After the end of World War II in 1945, a bus was provided for the black kids. For the first time a bus was available to take them to either the elementary school in New London or the high school in Albemarle. In 1952, I enrolled in N.C. State College in Raleigh. All students and faculty were white. In the college cafeteria all food servers were white. Except for some janitors and maids, all employees at the college were white. In the summer of 1953, I was in the Naval Reserve and was sent to boot camp
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at Bainbridge, Maryland, for two weeks. I was put in a company with a group from New Hampshire, which included one black sailor. At the end of the first week, we had 12-hours liberty in Baltimore. I went with several others in my company, including the one black sailor. We were all in uniform. In Baltimore the five of us decided to eat lunch in a café. We went in and sat down to order. The manager came to our table and told us that our black member would have to go to a back room to eat. We all got up and left. Lunch that day was a hot dog sold by a street vendor. In the spring of 1954, I was enrolled in a history class at N.C. State. During one class, the professor discussed the upcoming decision by the U.S. Supreme Court about school segregation. He thought the Supreme Court would not declare that “separate but equal” schools were unconstitutional. A few weeks later we learned that my professor’s prediction was wrong. Soon after the Supreme Court decision, several of my fraternity brothers and I were discussing the situation in a “bull session.” One of my friends said the South would fight another war before it integrated the schools. Some but not all of the guys agreed. In the fall of 1955, with no demonstrations or threats, N.C. State admitted its first black student – a young man who was enrolled in the Master of Science in Engineering program. I never saw him, but I knew he was there. Also, in the fall of 1955, most of the congressmen and senators from the south signed the “Southern Manifesto” as it was called. It said that they would do everything in their power to keep the schools from being integrated. One of the few congressmen who did not sign it was Congressman Harold Coley from Nashville, N.C. As a result of him not joining the segregation group, the “manifesto” was the only big issue in his primary campaign for re-election in May of 1956. He won by a very close margin. Late in the 1950s a law was repealed, after a lot of angry debate in the legislature, which had been passed sometime following the Civil War. Under the law that still existed when I was a college student, it was not legally possible for a white man to father a child with a black woman. That meant any child of mixed race with a white father had no financial help from the father and could not legally claim him as the father. In 1956, I entered a graduate program at Michigan State University. I ate most
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Letter from the Faculty Advisor of my meals in the university cafeteria, and for the first time in my life, I saw blacks and whites sitting at the same tables and enjoying a meal together. By 1959, I returned to Stanly County and joined the family farm business. It was then that Pfeiffer College admitted its first black student, the wife of a black medical doctor from Abemarle, Mrs. Aline Noel. Over the next month or two, I heard a number of local men, whom I knew, say they would never contribute to Pfeiffer again because the college had accepted a black student. In 1962, at the ripe old age of 28, I ran for the Board of Education in Stanly County and won. The schools were segregated. The pressure for integration was causing trouble and demonstrations in many parts of the South. Our Board of Education wanted to avoid that situation. So, in early 1964 we held a secret (and therefore illegal under state law) meeting and decided to invite the leaders in the black community to get one or two black students to apply for admission to North Stanly High School. One of those leaders was a black preacher, Dwight Rose, who worked at my farm. They responded to our invitation, and in the spring of 1964 we voted in a regular school board meeting to admit two black female students to North Stanly High School at the beginning of the next school year. It was accomplished without problems. The next school year, black students were admitted to several previously allwhite schools in the county, and later the black schools were closed. In about 25 years, I had gone from watching black children walk four miles to school to helping close the black schools. We had gone from separate and very unequal schools to one school system. From the 1960s on, most people know the history of public education. What happened before the 1960s is not so well known. One last footnote: Several years after integration, while I was still on the Board of Education, the board sold the two-room elementary school near New London. By law it had to be sold at auction. For $50 a local community group bought the building and turned it into a community center. It can be seen there today on U.S. Hwy 52 between Richfield and New London. I am glad I have lived long enough to see a black American ascend to the U.S. Presidency. Our country is not a perfect one, but there has been considerable progress, and it has risen to new heights.
As the Faculty Advisor for The Phoenix, I would like to thank the current staff members for their hard work and dedication this year. I would especially like to acknowledge Dalton Wilson and Max Morel, the Co-Editors of this edition, and Audrey Remkus, our Design Editor. Special thanks are also due to Christopher Rain, who spent countless hours building the pages of this book as the Production Editor. Pfeiffer University is a good place to be, and the times I have spent with The Phoenix staff members have made it even more special.
-Dr. Ashley Oliphant
-Eugene Pickler Department of Business
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