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L I N C O L N   L A N D

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review


L I N C O L N   L A N D

review A collection of visual and written work by students of Lincoln Land Community College.


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Lincoln Land Review is published once a year by:

Lincoln Land Press c/o Arts and Humanities Lincoln Land Community College P.O. Box 19256 5250 Shepherd Road Springfield, IL 62794-9256 lincolnlandreview@llcc.edu www.LincolnLandReview.org Printed in the United States by MultiAd Inc. Copyright 2010 by Lincoln Land Review. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without the consent of the publishers. Submission Information: We are looking for high quality writing, art, and photography submissions from students of Lincoln Land Community College for next year’s edition of Lincoln Land Review. We will accept work between March 15, 2010 and March 15, 2011. Instructors or students may submit artwork, fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction or academic non-fiction (properly formatted, cited, and scrupulously proof-read) via electronic attachment to lincolnlandreview@llcc.edu. For each work that is submitted, be sure to fill out an information and permission to publish form and send it along as well. Forms may be found at our website: http://www.lincolnlandreview.org. Editors reserve the right to make corrections or changes. Preference is given to essays, stories, research papers, etc. that are under 20 pages long. Please contact one of the editors at the review email address if you have questions. Student Cover Art: Maggie Michael, “Restricted” Lincoln Land Review (Print) ISSN 2152-4467 Lincoln Land Review (Online) ISSN 2152-4475


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Editors’ Note With this second publication of the Lincoln Land Review, readers will see a more balanced publication in terms of selected works in each category. We are featuring about the same number of works of art as we are written pieces, and that is exciting to us. Additionally, we present our six winners in the first annual Lincoln Land Review competition: Art/Graphic Design: Maggie Michael “Resistance” Photography: Justin Byerline “My Own Worst Enemy” Academic Nonfiction: Oliver Droefenu “Education: Training or Abuse?” Academic Nonfiction: Ricki Castellanos “Blackberry Patch” Fiction: Sarah Skorczewski “Sto Lat, Sto Lat” Poetry: Kate Hammock “Song of My Soul” Our winners were presented with certificates and $50 each during an April 2010 reception at the opening of the student art show. As we continue to develop our magazine and its policies, we are also making improvements to our magazine’s website. Please check out the many interviews and short video presentations featuring Illinois authors, musicians, poets, bookstore owners, professors, and others interested in keeping the arts and humanities a vital and present force here in central Illinois. Again, we want to thank those behind-the-scenes folks who offer us the support and production expertise we must have to publish and distribute the Lincoln Land Review. Special “Thank You’s” to the following: The LLCC Press; Eileen Tepatti, Vice President Academic Services; David Laubersheimer, Dean of Arts and Humanities; Lynn Whalen, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing; Ryan Roberts, Professor/Librarian and Co-founder of the LLCC Press; Greg Walbert, Graphic Design Coordinator; and to all faculty and support staff who guide our students in their continuing academic and creative experiences. LLR Editors: Deborah Brothers John Paul Jaramillo Alison Stachera Eric Stachera Thom Whalen


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Faculty Editors Academic Non-Fiction Editors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deborah Brothers Alison Stachera Poetry Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eric Stachera Creative Non-Fiction/Fiction Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Paul Jaramillo Graphic Design Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas Whalen

Table of Contents Steve Bee No Space Blues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Ricki Castellanos Blackberry Patch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Fayne Davis A Blessing In Disguise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Oliver Droefenu Education: Training or Abuse?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Esmeralda Garcia Bottom of the Food Chain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Nereida Glover Soy Puerto Rican . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Kathleen Hammock Yellowstone Wolves: The Return of the Exiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Song of My Soul. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Samantha “Sam” Barrow Outside the Norm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39


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Justin Byerline Teach Your Children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Nicole Denby Tarantula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Anne Eckstrom The Snack That Smiles Back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Kriston Feleccia Mr. Hoots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Jessica Gottstein Rasputin’s Heartburn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Who R U? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Eric Grinnard Untitled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Chase Grover Sophomore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Hallie Hedinger Hollow Gaze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Brooke Knebel-Renfro Body Image Barbie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Krista Ladage Navy Pier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Gina Mayes Sinderella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Tierra Reed Untitled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Jaqualien Rowald Trapped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53


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Martin Ruppert Fallout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Ryan Tinsley Self Portrait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Michael Vincent Nothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Austin Wells Gilbert Grapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Patrick Wheeler Crowley Pie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Heather Kyle Ribboned Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Susannah Oettle Banned Books = Missed Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Je’nice Pearce Acting and All About My Mother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Dan Schafer Political Activism of an “Inactive” Generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Sarah Skorczewski Choice Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Sto Lat, Sto Lat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Monica Speeks Edgar Allen Poe: The Tomb of Pride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Author and Artist Bios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87


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STEVE BEE

No Space Blues These past couple years have been extremely difficult for my family and me. After working at a large warehouse for thirteen years, I was laid off. They sold the business and everyone lost their jobs. They paid pretty well, so I knew right away it was going to be challenging to find another job that paid as well. While I was laid off, I was moving some furniture and hurt my back quite severely. I ended up having to go through back surgery and am unable to work. It was during this time that we were struggling financially. We had a large home that was no longer affordable, so it had to be sold. The house was on the market for a while with no prospective buyers. The bank then began to foreclose on our home. We ended up with an offer on our home that was not enough to pay the house off. The bank did accept the offer, which they considered to be a short sale. After living there for eight years, we walked away with nothing, not knowing where we would live. We were able to find a small mobile home that we were able to buy. It was nothing like our original home, but we figured it would be a roof over our heads until we got back on our feet. There are five of us in our family and moving to that mobile home was a very hard adjustment. The first main difference is storage space. Our house had large closets in every bedroom. In the master bedroom, the closet was ten feet by ten feet. We had a full, finished basement that had room for storage and an attic as well. We also had one garage that was attached to the house and another garage behind the house so we had plenty of room to store things such as mowers, kid’s toys, tools, camping equipment, clothing, and vehicles. In contrast, the mobile home that we moved into does not have any storage space at all. None of the bedrooms even has a closet, so we had to try to cram everything we could into dressers. We had to box up whatever was left. Some of it we got rid of. Some we had to store in family members’ garages. The mobile home does not have a shed so there is no space for anything we had in our garages. I have to go to my brothers’ houses or my Dad’s every time I need something. We have things stored in all three of their garages. It is very aggravating because we cannot always remember what we have in whose garage so we end up going to all three places and always find it in the last place we go. That causes my wife and me to argue because she tries to tell me it is in my Dad’s garage and I tell her, no, it is in one of my brothers’ garages. So, we end up going to my brothers’ houses first and then end up finding what we need at my Dad’s. As much as I hate to admit it, she is usually right, which aggravates me. Not having enough space to store everything is very aggravating, too. The second difference is our small new yard. Our house had a huge fencedin backyard on a double lot. Our lot was two hundred feet by one hundred and fifty feet. Our front yard was full of flowers. We could sit out on the patio and watch


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all the butterflies and hummingbirds. There was a beautiful red oak tree in the back that shaded half the yard. The kids could go outside and play in the yard. They had a swing set that had a clubhouse attached to it. We would have cookouts and invite friends and family over all the time. In addition, we had two dogs, one male and one female, both boxers. They were very much part of our family. We would all go out and play fetch with our dogs, and they were very protective over the kids. The yard at the mobile home is only about fifteen feet wide and seventy feet long. The mobile home is in a mobile home park, which has a lot of rules. We had to get rid of the swing set because we could not put it in our yard. No longer are we really able to invite anyone over. There is just not enough room and there is no place for anyone to park. We cannot let the kids go out to play without constantly having to check on them for the fear of my youngest running out into the street or because we do not really know much about what kind of people are running around the park. Our dogs had to go, which was really hard. There is nowhere for them to run, and there is a park rule that dogs cannot be over twenty pounds. Both our dogs were around one hundred pounds apiece, so we were forced to have to give them away. The worst thing between the two homes is the contrast in size. Our house was 2,400 square feet of living space. Our mobile home is not even 1,000 square feet. Our original house had a living room, family room, and a recreation room. The house also had four large bedrooms. The largest was the master bedroom, which was thirty six feet by sixteen feet. There were also two and one half bathrooms. In the recreation room, we had a pool table that we played with all the time. We had two sets of living room furniture. Before moving, we were forced to get rid of over half of our belongings. There was just not enough room. The mobile home only has three small bedrooms. We have to cram two kids into one small room. Now, all they do is fight and argue and we are about to choke them both. Our other kid’s room is so small I can literally stretch my arms out and touch both walls. The biggest bedroom in the mobile home is pretty small, too, especially in contrast to our master bedroom we had in our other house. There is only one bathroom, which makes it interesting. Everyone fights over who gets in and gets a shower first. The hot water heater is small, so if you do not get in first, you either have to wait or freeze. There is no more recreation room, which is sad because we all spent a lot of time in there playing games together. The hardest thing about the lack of space is having to get rid of so many of our belongings. Everyone was upset to see our dogs go. We were lucky enough to find someone who could take them both. It made it easier on all of us knowing that they would be able to stay together. In an odd way, living in the mobile home has brought us all a little closer together. The kids do not just disappear into their rooms or take off outside, although there are times I wish they would, so we are kind of forced to spend more time together, which is a good thing sometimes. Although the mobile home is nothing like our house had been, we are thankful that we have a place to live. We are constantly reminding ourselves that it is just temporary, until I can finish school.


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RICKI CASTELLANOS

Blackberry Patch I stumbled on it by accident. I went there for selfish reasons. I wanted a pie; that was all. A year after he was gone, I found a place, a physical location, where I felt connected with my Dad. It’s just a little ways to the blackberry patch out back in the pasture at Mom’s place. It’s only a five minute walk, out past the creek with the little tiny pebbles that feel so soft on your bare toes, around the massive rusty tinroofed barn that was abandoned long before we lived there--and, finally, down into the wild grapevine covered wash, to where the biggest berries are. It’s funny how it seemed to take a lot longer to get there when I was a kid. Youth has a way of expanding time and distance, or is it that age has a way of shrinking it? Usually, sometime around the Fourth of July, the berries start to ripen. It’s always during the hottest days of summer. I mostly go blackberry picking in the evening because that’s when Dad used to go. He’d come in after working different odd jobs around the farm, then eat an early supper and head out to the pasture where the berry patch is located. He was always a hard worker, but he was never as busy during the middle of summer as he was during the spring and fall. That worked out nicely because it gave him a little time for himself, time to do some of the things that he enjoyed. Dad enjoyed picking blackberries. Actually, I never got to ask him if it was worth the effort, if he truly enjoyed picking them or if he just loved the pies and the bowls of sweetened berries covered in cream. If you’ve ever been blackberry picking in Illinois you know what I mean by “worth the effort.” I’m not talking about picking the tame, thorn-less berries that people sometimes plant along their property lines. I am talking about the little black pearls that Mother Nature gave us, the wild berries. They are always in the hardest-to-reach places and their endless thorns are forever snagging onto your clothes. The very sweetest berries always seem to be located right in the middle of the deepest thicket. Dad had a way of getting to those berries and coming out unscathed. Armed with only a coffee can hung by baling wire from his belt and a pair of pliers, he would plan his attack. He didn’t wear chain mail or any kind of body armor at all. In fact, he usually went into battle bare-chested, in just blue jeans and a green John Deere hat. He used to ask me if I wanted to go with him, but he would go whether anyone went with him or not. I usually went, even as a teenager, when I preferred the company of my friends to hanging out with him. There was just something that seemed timeless about being out there picking the warm sweet berries with him, deep in the heart of the land that my dad had worked so hard to own. We didn’t talk much. We didn’t have to. You know how July evenings can be. Sometimes the wind stops blowing and all you can feel is the heat coming from the earth. The sweat would run down our backs, and the mosquitoes would circle around buzzing our ears like tiny dive-


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bombers looking for a way in, past the bug spray defense that we had laid out before leaving the house. My fingers would be stained purple and just a little sore from the thorns. My skin always had a few telltale scratches to show for it. Dad never complained though. Maybe he was immune. As we picked, I guess it didn’t hurt to keep in mind that delicious fresh baked pie with the scoop of ice cream on top. My dad passed away twelve years ago. During his lengthy illness from cancer, I would hold his hands, his skin rough and his fingers thick from a lifetime of hard labor. As we sat in silence, just enjoying our time together, I can remember asking myself, “What can I do to hold on to this feeling? How can I bring myself back to this time, to this connection that I have with my father? How can I remember his hands and what it feels like to hold them and what it feels like to spend time with him?” I didn’t know it at the time, but my answers were in the blackberry patch. I go there to this day; I always will. Sometimes my kids go with me. They usually only stay long enough to pick a few mouthfuls of berries with purple stained fingers and head back to grandma’s house. I stay on, picking the berries in the heat, sweating, swatting at the mosquitoes, armored in blue jeans and a John Deere hat. It just doesn’t seem as bad as it used to when I was a kid. To be honest, it feels like dad is just on the other side of the thicket, not saying much. And he doesn’t have to.


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FAYNE DAVIS

A Blessing In Disguise It was a beautiful spring day in April. A perfect day for my brother and me to make our annual trip to the Jim Edgar sites to hunt for morels. I packed a lunch, put on my hiking boots, put on a hat for protection from ticks, grabbed a couple of sodas, and located a potato bag to hold the mushroom find. My brother arrived at my apartment, and we departed on the scenic forty-five minute drive to our spot. What made the drive so great was we were able to view several types of wildlife. Deer, turkeys, quail, fox, and pheasant were scattered about for our enjoyment. We parked the truck and made the half-mile walk through the freshly sprouted corn field and into the dense and hilly woods. After three solid hours of exploring and searching, we emerged from the woods with about a half bag each. We were very pleased with our find, and our mood was great. We didn’t mind having to pick off the ticks that crawled on us or had burrowed in our skin. We labored back to the truck and started back home. As we pulled into my parking spot, I noticed a fire truck, the “Red Cross,” and my landlord sitting with his hands over his face by himself across the street. I then started into the open entrance. Since my apartment was on the third floor, I cautiously walked up the burnt steps to check on my belongings. I noticed more damage the closer I got to my apartment. Safely reaching my apartment, I was upset and very surprised to notice my apartment had suffered significant fire and smoke damage. I scrambled to check my possessions, especially my baseball card collection. My baseball card collection was at least salvageable. All of my other possessions were destroyed either by fire or by smoke. I was glad I wasn’t inside my apartment at the time of the fire. However, I was very concerned about where I was going to live and how I was going to find and pay for clothes to wear. I spoke with a compassionate Red Cross volunteer who was able to set me up in a motel for two days and offer me a debit card with a hundred dollars on it for food and clothing. After the shock of losing a considerable amount of my possessions and my apartment burning, I was now devastated to know in two days I would be homeless. I phoned the Salvation Army and was fortunate to reserve a bed to sleep on. Some people view the homeless with apathy, disdain, or ignorance, but there are many instances that could put a person in a homeless situation. Ultimately, being temporarily displaced myself taught me compassion towards others who were unfortunate enough to be homeless. I arrived at the shelter with the few clothes I owned and a couple of sports magazines and my Bible. I had to knock on the big metal doors. Someone let me in, and I went down two flights of concrete steps, past the bathrooms and into the shelter area. I first noticed the many people doing different things. It was around six-thirty in the evening. Some were watching television and others were eating a fried chicken dinner with green beans and mashed potatoes, which was served by


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a friendly group of ladies from a local church. Many were resting after the long day toiling about on the streets. There were thirty beds aligned in rows. I noticed two separate private rooms that housed women with children. Against the left wall, next to the kitchen, were two six- foot banquet tables that held coffee, water, doughnuts, rolls, and condiments. I checked in with a friendly staff worker; he assigned me a bed and then handed me a pillow and linens. I walked to my appointed bed and was happy to see I was located in the corner, by the kitchen, and away from the majority of the noise. I put away my belongings, made my bed, and walked over to get a much needed dinner from the sweet church ladies. I ate and had some water to drink, thanked the ladies for the meal, and l laid down in my appointed bed. It was difficult to sleep the first night. There was snoring, coughing, gas being passed, sleep talking, and staff going to the kitchen to get food for late arrivals, but I ended up staying at the shelter for six weeks and three days. It was quite a humbling experience for me. The staff member would start calling for everyone to get out of bed each morning at five-thirty. I then had to complete an assigned chore, get cleaned up, make my bed, and secure my belongings. My chore had to be done, and I had to be out by six o’clock or, I risked losing my bed. I was able to eat left-over doughnuts and rolls and was able to drink coffee and water before departing in the morning. If I had a harder chore or awoke late, I wouldn’t have time to eat. There wasn’t always cream and sugar for the coffee, but I was happy to have coffee to drink. I was now out of the building until the five o’clock check in time. I had to be back in time and be ready to take the breathalyzer test. If I were late or had an unacceptable blood and alcohol test, I would lose my bed. Since I worked nights, being out all day was sometimes very emotionally and physically draining. I couldn’t imagine pounding the streets every day. Being homeless was a significant moment in my life. It enabled me to take a closer look at myself, my life and other people. I no longer took for granted the fact I had a choice of what to eat or drink. I had my own bed and linens and could take a shower in my own personal space. I could make a phone call anytime I wanted or come and go as I chose. I could enjoy the feeling of having a full belly and could keep warm in the winter time. I have learned a great deal through my personal experiences and in my interactions with the homeless. I used to pass them by on the streets, and to me, they were just another person. I didn’t really notice their different personalities or the condition they were in. After the fire in my apartment, I had no other real options but to stay in the Salvation Army Shelter. Staying in the shelter gave me a more complete picture of how it felt to be homeless. I had a greater sense of relief knowing my homelessness was only going to be temporary, unlike many of the homeless who have lost their dignity and their hopes have faded away until they barely remember what they are anymore. Imagine what it would be like to sleep in the cold streets with no sleeping bag or coat to keep you warm. Imagine sleeping on a hard concrete surface with only cardboard to secure yourself with. Imagine having to worry about the small number


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of possessions you do own getting stolen. Could you get up on a cold winter morning and haul all of your possessions to the mission so you could eat doughnuts and drink coffee? Then hang out at the bread line until they opened to eat a warm meal? Do the same thing for dinner and then go to your sleeping spot each day not knowing how to get out of the displacement you are in? These are some of the realities the homeless face on a daily basis. Some have been displaced because of a fire, loss of a loved one, eviction or other reason. They have a heartbeat like the rest of us, and deserve an opportunity for an easier survival. Understanding the homeless and having an open mind towards them affords an opportunity for each of us to have love and show compassion towards them. I view the fire as a blessing now. Everything I went through in the fire was worth it to me, and I would go through it all over again for the understanding I developed.


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Lincoln Land Review

OLIVER DROEFENU

Education: Training or Abuse? “For lack of knowledge, my people perish” (Hosea 4:6). Lack of knowledge can be destructive, so all manner of people yearn for it – old, young, little, sick, disadvantaged. Education is the major source of knowledge, and although it could be acquired through other means, schools are the typical institutions that are charged with the responsibility of handing down formal education, training people, and helping them grasp the necessary tools to shape their lives and society as a whole. Sometimes, the educators who are given these responsibilities end up putting people’s lives on the line. Mike Rose, an English professor and a writer at UCLA writes in his essay, “I Just Wanna Be Average” about his personal experiences with education when he was a young man. He claims his future was nearly crashed by decisions of one or two educators through a mistake made during compilation of the results of the entrance examination. Because he was confused with another student, Rose was incorrectly placed in a vocational track program for two years. Thousands of people in the world have had all kinds of experiences with their education. Some had it cool and smooth. Others had their future completely shattered because of the irresponsibility of their educators. Yet still others have their futures saved by Divine intervention (which came in the shape of a mentor as was the case for Mike Rose). The children in Dzelukope trooped towards the four elementary schools in the town with excitement. Yes, it was after the long vacation of three months and some never had the opportunity to meet and play with their friends and classmates over this period, but some were apprehensive, as it would not be long before the troubles of schooling would start to show their ugly heads once again. You have to learn what they want and how they want it. Among the crowd were some parents, mostly mothers, sending their little ones who were first-timers. There were mixed feelings written across their faces. On one hand, they were happy because these little ones would not be at home turning every thing upside down, on the other they were worried as they were not sure their wards will go through the highly criticized admission process successfully. Dzelukope is a suburb of Keta, a peninsula located between the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) and the famous Keta Lagoon in the Volta Region of the Republic of Ghana in West Africa. Although formal education came to Keta over two hundred years ago, a good percentage of the elementary schools were still using an archaic method to determine school “readiness” for admission: children should be able to stretch their arms over their heads to touch the other ear to confirm that they were of age to start formal education. This was the method being used, since most parents were not sure of the age of their children because they were not literate enough to keep records; neither did they have the birth certificates for their children. Wherever the admission standard came from, it was a clear exhi-


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bition of lack of biological science knowledge. This is how children, who by their genetic composition were short--therefore having short arms--were denied admission, although they were of school- going age. The abuse started right from day one. I recall how Esusu Badu, a girl who was a year older than I, was sent home to come back after one year simply because she couldn’t touch her ear using her hand on the other side. Esusu lagged behind me by one year in education throughout our days in elementary school, although she was older. In Dzelukope Roman Catholic School where I had my elementary school education, caning of school children was a normal way of life. From a very tender age in class one to form four, when you would have completed elementary education, you could be subjected to caning at any time based on an offense usually defined by the teachers. The offenses may include the following: improper dressing, poor academic performance, absenteeism from school or from church on Sundays, getting to school late, not sweeping the portion of the school compound allocated to you, untidy classrooms, excessive talking in class, not attending revenue generating activities organized by the school, not attending extra curriculum activities, and so on and so on. As Mike Rose writes in his essay about one of his teachers, “He routinely had us grabbing our ankles to receive his stinging paddle across our butts,” (317), one gets a sense of the harshness, but we were really flogged in Dzelukope R. C. School. The first abusive encounter I had in Dzelukope R. C. School, which refuses to fade from my memory, was when I was in class five and ten years old. The encounter was with Mr. Philip Aborhor, a stout man of about 5 feet 10 inches in height. Aborhor was a post – middle trained teacher who was famous for his skills in caning. He was one of the teachers who championed the cause of caning pupils in the school. It was one hot afternoon when we were at singing practice in the local Roman Catholic Chapel and I had to use the washroom, which was located about thirty yards from the chapel. On my way back, I met Mr. Aborhor at the entrance of the chapel and he mistakenly took me to be one of the children shouting in the Rev. Father’s residence, which was attached to the chapel. All my explanation that I was not part of the children he was referring to fell on deaf ears as he would not listen to anything. He said I was to have six strong strokes from the cane to my buttocks. I looked at the size of the cane he was holding, his strong, muscular arms, and sized up my buttocks. I told him I could not take the strokes and I was sent home, and that was supposed to be the end of my education. I went home and my mum insisted that my brother Albert take me back to the school to enquire about what happened. When we got to the school, Mr. Aborhor would not listen to anything and stood by his decision to cane me. Giving a second thought to the fact that without the punishment this might be the end of my formal education, I finally decided to give in and asked him to cane me. The pains from the strokes were as painful as the sting of the scorpion. This wicked man would not let me go even after the fourth stroke. I tried and held back my tears as the strokes landed with the might of Samson in the Bible. The pain was


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Lincoln Land Review

so deep that I could not even cry during and after I took those hot strokes from this unforgiving man. After he accomplished his evil act, he then asked Albert about his mission. Fuming with anger and pain, I told Albert, “It makes no sense talking to Mr. Aborhor, as the caning was already accomplished.” Albert realizing that the main purpose of coming to the school was to enquire about what had happened and, if possible, intercede and plead for forgiveness of whatever offense I might have committed had been rubbished, agreed with me. Albert left without any further enquiry and I went into the chapel to join my colleagues. Hardly a day would pass without several incidents of caning in Dzelukope R. C. School. Should a day pass without any caning activity, then it must be a Saturday or a Sunday when schools were not in session. There were instances where these teachers wanted to cane us just after we exited church on Sunday, and we were supposed to line up for the role to be checked. These teachers were really cane – hungry. I remember vividly how Kwaku Nyavi, a classmate of mine, was seriously flogged by Mr. Aborhor and Mr. Kofi Nyavi, the father of Kwaku. This event took place when we were in class six and our teacher, Miss. Tettey, did not show up for school and Mr. Aborhor became the care–taker of our class. Kwaku came to school and left to go and pick mangoes from a mango farm about three hundred yards away from the school and was caught by his father, who happened to be an educationist himself. Mr. Nvavi brought Kwaku to school and insisted Mr. Aborhor join him to beat Kwaku. These two wicked men never forgave Kwaku even after it was apparent that he couldn’t take the pain anymore. Kwaku tried to hide himself in the corner where the storage was kept and Mr. Aborhor, together with Mr. Nyavi, continued beating him all over his body and in the process, Kwaku started bleeding. Kwaku’s blood oozed from his head and splashed on the gate of the storage in the classroom where our books were kept. Finally, a very strong stroke from Kwaku’s father (who was using a cane with a lot of knots) stopped the beating. It was then the men saw Kwaku’s hair and shirt soaked in blood and staining the storage before they sensed danger. Mr. Nyavi took Kwaku home, shaved around the cut on Kwaku’s head, dressed the wound, and brought Kwaku back to the school. Can one guess Mr. Aborhor’s comments to the class when Kwaku was taken home? “That is what would happen to any of you who misbehave in the school.” No sign of regret was exhibited. “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” (Proverb 8:24), the Bible says, but the way the rod was used in Dzelukope R. C. School indiscriminately was unacceptable. Ablavi Gayina was whipped by Mr. Seshie, another ‘cane–happy’ teacher until the beads around her waist got broken and hurt her and she started bleeding. What crime had Ablavi committed? She was accused of giggling at an old man passing by. She cried, went home and complained to the grandmother with whom she was staying. The poor old lady could not even come to the school to confront the teacher. Come to the school and enquire or confront them over these wicked acts and your ward becomes a target to them.


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Another victim of the abuse was Tetteh Dartey, a friend of mine in Dzelukope R. C. School. Tetteh had not been a very healthy child. I guess he had sickle cell traits. Many a time, Tetteh had been out of school because he was taken ill and sometimes ended up being admitted in the local hospital. It was one morning during our routine morning assembly that the school’s band boys were accused of being late to set up the band instruments for morning assembly. They were also accused of not playing any good music that morning so Mr. Dzumador, a teacher in the middle school, decided to cane them. Tetteh happened to be the last band boy flogged. Tetteh’s mum used to sell fried potatoes on our school compound and she was right under the shed watching her son being heavily caned that morning for virtually no offense. It was the last stroke from Mr. Dzumador that sent Tetteh to the ground. Within a second, Tetteh started foaming from his mouth. The mother watching the scene from a distance could not take it anymore. She rushed to the rescue of Tetteh. With the help of Mr. Dzumador himself and some other teachers, Tetteh was rushed to the local hospital where he was resuscitated. The parents had no recourse even with the authorities. Who are you to report to even the local police? The police officers would not even mind you. So, it was better you kept your troubles to yourself. I still sit back and reflect over those old days where the teachers in Dzelukope R. C. School thought that the only way to discipline or educate a child was to spank him so mercilessly over the slightest offense. I tried several times to solve this puzzle as to why, but I still could not get to the solution. I tried to find what benefit it was to those teachers to cane children of people they even knew. Is it because they wanted their supremacy over the school kids to be seen by all, or were there benefits hidden somewhere that we did not know of? What I know is that one burns energy caning another. That energy could have been used to do some useful work instead. Apart from this, I also know that when one canes another, the person who canes also feel pains in his arms. So why should those teachers show so much wickedness? Hell broke loose one morning in Dzelukope R. C. School when Korbla Adjetey, a “no nonsense” man in the town was passing by the school compound and saw his son being subjected to such a humiliating treatment at the school’s morning assembly in the open air. Mr. Adjetey could not stand it when he saw Hope being heavily flogged by Mr. Dzumador. Mr. Adjetey interrupted the assembly and wanted to exchange blows with Mr. Dzumador for caning his son so mercilessly. It took the intervention of some other men who were passing by to calm Mr. Adjetey down. None of the teachers was able to withstand his strength. The morning assembly was interrupted for not less than 30 minutes. Mr. Dzumador had to be escorted out of the school compound and he did not show up again until the following day. It was apparent that the incident of that morning sent a message down the spines of those teachers, but it wasn’t long before they returned to their old evil ways. Thousands and thousands of abuses went on in Dzelukope R. C. School but who are you to talk about it? You risk your child being thrown out of school or being made a scapegoat. The astonishing aspect of the whole dilemma is that most


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Lincoln Land Review

of these teachers worshipped at the same local Roman Catholic Church as our parents did. They met our parents at church on Sundays and exchanged pleasantries with them. Some of these teachers even served on the same committees in the church as some of our parents. Mr. Philip Aborhor was the local Cathecist, for example, and my mum was a member of the parish council. But when it came to caning, they let go of all those good relationships. This way of educating children did not start when I started going to school. My mother told me she ended her education when she was fourteen years old, two years after she lost her mother. As the eldest child, she assumed the responsibility of a mother to her two younger siblings. Although their father was there, she had to prepare food and make sure their clothes were clean. She virtually had to do all that a mother would do to her young children. Unfortunately, the two younger siblings were sickle-cell anemic. Any time they were sick, she had to abandon her schooling to stay at home and care for them. When they got better and she returned to school, these teachers would not forgive her. She was heavily flogged for absenteeism. This continued until the father got fed up and asked her to withdraw from the school and learn a trade. This was how my mother ended her education. As if the caning and molestations were not enough, teachers of Dzelukope R. C. School made us do all kinds of jobs at the expense of the number one reason that sent us to school. There were days the whole school, except the little ones in the lower primary, would be marched to the farm. Other days, selected classes were made to go and work on the farm. The upper primary had a farm for its own and middle section had one too. Some of these lands initially had all kinds of vegetation on them with reptiles using them as their habitat. The school children had to go and clear the vegetation to start with, using local implements such as cutlasses and hoes, exposing the pupils to attack from these reptiles. There were instances that the pupils sustained injuries from the tools also. Woe betides you, if you did not show up on a farming day. As for the proceeds from the farms, only God knows where they went. I remember that it was only on one occasion, when I was in class one that some of the cassava from the school farm were fried into “cassava balls” and shared to the school children on a vacation day, with the teachers taking majority home. In 1983, when I left Dzelukope R. C. School for high school after I had passed the common entrance examination, my classmates who were then in their final year in Dzelukope R. C. School had to be denied tuition for one month simply because they were accused of uprooting some of the cassava in the school farm to eat. It took the intervention of some parents before tuition was finally resumed and even this was after they were made to do all kinds of punishments. There was nothing like “child labor” in the dictionary of these teachers. There were no considerations for the health implications of some of these treatments meted out to the school children by the teachers. There were days that


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these teachers took contracts from people and the school children were made to go and fetch sand from the beach to locations in the town where people had earmarked for buildings. Cement blocks that were molded at the beach had to be carried by school children to their various destinations in the town. Some of the destinations were over two miles away from the location of the cement blocks and the pupils had to go several rounds in a day, many a time under the scorching sun. Moneys paid for these services rendered by the school children went into the private pockets of the teachers. There were days that the teachers made us go fishing at the beach or in the lagoon. Fishing at either site came with dangers. The lagoon water is located about one mile from the houses closest to the lagoon. Between these houses and the lagoon water is a vast stretch of land covered with savanna vegetation, which serves as habitat for snakes and all kinds of reptiles. There were footpaths through the grassland created by the feet of fisher folks leading to the lagoon water. These reptiles enjoy lying across these footpaths to warm up their blood from the heat of the morning sun. I recall running into a snake lying on one of the footpaths on my way to fishing in the lagoon one day. Luckily, the situation I encountered with this reptile was not very serious. It crawled into the grass as it saw me. These reptiles were not only found in the grasses at the lagoon, they were found in the lagoon water too. There were a few instances we saw snakes swimming in the lagoon water whilst we were fishing. I recall the day Patrick Lassey, a senior schoolmate, was searching for tilapia and thought he had a big catch. Instead, he ended up bringing out a big snake. Encounters with reptiles were not the only danger we were exposed to by fishing in the Keta Lagoon. One could suffer deep cuts from broken bottles left in the water by some fisher folks who use bottles in their fishing technique. There were some kinds of shellfish found in the Keta Lagoon with sharp – edged shells and the shells cut very deep into the soles of our feet anytime one stepped on them. These cuts were usually very deep because after being in the water for so long, the soles of our feet become soft so stepping on these objects could be disastrous. Fishing in the Atlantic Ocean also has its dangers. The fishing method used in Keta those days was off – shore fishing, which is largely manual. There were people who owned fishing nets and boats. The fishing method involved roaring the boat, which carried the net deep into the sea and casting the net. On the way to cast the net, at a reasonable distance from the shore, a member of the team in the boat is dropped to bring one end of the net out to the shore whilst the rest would continue to cast the net and come back with the other end of the net. The two ends of the net, which are usually a distance apart and forming an arc are then pulled manually to bring out the net from the sea and its catch. The drawing of the net is periodically halted to enable the fisher folks to rest for a while whilst the net is tied around certain tree stumps usually buried in the sand. Fixing of nets to these tree stumps can be dangerous, especially when the sea is rough.


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There were instances where the strong currents of the sea pulled a fixed net backwards into the sea, which ended up forcing out the buried tree stump. The tree stumps ended up hitting the people and some died instantly; others were rushed to the hospital. Apart from this danger, drowning is associated with fishing at the beach. These teachers simply did not care. They went ahead, rented these fishing nets from their owners and we had to go through all these ordeals. At the end of all these, we ended up going home with just a very little fraction of the catch. The greater part of the catch was sold, and the greater part of the money ended in the private pockets of the teachers with very little going into school coffers. The teachers were not concerned about our welfare. Their main interest was the catch and the money they would make out of it. Evil and greed were all over these teachers. Selfish interest took over their primary responsibility of educating us. The abuse was from all angles. In spite of all these, we had to study very hard, and pass the entrance examination before one could be admitted into any of the high schools in the country. The majority of the pupils were not able to make it. A reasonable percentage of the pupils abandoned ship, dropped out of school as the going got tough, and very few got into high school. Our lives were indeed put on the boundary by these teachers. Just as Mike Rose writes that his fellow student Ken Harvey gave up on their school experience, saying, “ I just wanna be average,” (320), this is what people begin to feel if they have lost their bearings, if they do not think there will be any light at the end of the tunnel. A good number of my colleagues curtailed their schooling not because they were not interested in knowledge acquisition through formal education or in getting trained, but because they felt they could not take the abuse anymore and that there was no side to turn for redress. Most of them failed their entrance examinations not because they were not smart enough. The system simply failed them. I could have ended my education that hot afternoon when Mr. Aborhor insisted I take those wicked and horrifying strokes but for the stand of my mother. When adult educators are given absolute authority, it affects what and how children learn and their future as well. WORK CITED Rose, Mike. “I Just Wanna Be Average.” 50 Essays. Ed. Samuel Cohen. NY: Bedford St. Martins, 2006. 225-240.


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ESMERALDA GARCIA

Bottom of the Food Chain Thank you for choosing Memorial! Five words. Five very annoying words, but repeated so often most people say it without hesitation. Automatic. Like a machine that has been well oiled, cleaned and run; operating without hesitation or problem. At least that is what everyone outside of the Memorial family is thinking. Memorial: a place where the injured and sick heal, the place where the mortally wounded are helped to their rest in peace, a place where there is ultimate understanding. Down on the lower level of the hospital are the kitchens; an enclosed area resembling a basement that was suddenly outfitted with assembly lines, refrigerators, freezers and a dish room. Every available space is a spot for carts, dish racks, food crates and an assortment of dinnerware. Bodies move in and out, some rushing back and forth calling out for chips, a Sierra Mist poured into eight ounce cups, half of an apple with Smucker’s Strawberry Jelly. The foreman struts around confidently, a man tall and lean. He has a long mustache and droopy pale blue eyes that take in everything and everyone. Tattooed on his right arm is a 30's style woman like the ones on the side of a fighter plane during WWII. "You there, what do you think you're doing?" His eyes hone in on me in the corner, observing but oh so obviously not doing anything. "Get back to work." He stomps off, all importance and authority. The problem with good foremen is the fact that they are good foremen. The kitchens. The wonderful and magical place where good food and nutritious meals are prepared for our sick and injured patients upstairs. A place where runners are constantly taking carts of trays up and down the elevators. Where the foreman is trying to figure out what to do with all the food that came from the now broken "new" freezer. The kitchens, the bottom of the food chain here at Memorial. There are two types of people in the kitchens: assembler and runner. Putting patient trays together in less than a minute, their hands blur; these are the assemblers. Tonight JJ is end of the assembly. In control and authoritative, he stands with his arms crossed. Short cropped hair hidden underneath the ugly blue caps we are required to wear, his beard is neatly cut. He oozes confidence. JJ is short. "What are you doing Ezzi?" The beeps of cart timers go off. I pull one down and reset it. Ten minutes and counting. "Observing and recording. Just keep doing what you normally do." He leans against the silver assembly line, a thoughtful look on his face. "I've been working here two years now and I've never found anything interesting to observe. The most exciting thing that happens is a change of order or the freezer breaking down again." A tray is sent rattling down the assembly line; it comes to a halt right next to JJ. He already has a cup of steaming hot coffee


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and an orange sherbet on the tray. "Runners start your engines." He hands me the tray and smiles. I sigh putting the tray next to six others on a cart. The elevator doors welcome me in. Runners do exactly what our title announces: we run. Silver carts loaded with six trays of food up the elevators and out onto the eight floors of the hospital. The cart is cold, completely contradicting the heat of the kitchens. Out of the kitchens and past the dish room where I can hear the foreman shouting orders and loading plates through "the machine." Outside, I pull the hideous blue cap off my head. The caps are blue and look like a bathing cap. They poof out around your head and frame your face in light blue. The distant ding of elevator doors opening and shutting can be heard a couple floors above. The elevator doors open up, inviting me in. Two floors later the running begins. Fact #1: Hospitals are deathtraps complete with a maze and monster. Once outside the relative safety of the kitchens prepare yourself for a world of confusion and contradiction. Hallways with unending twists and turns, rooms whose room numbers can start at twenty and end up at fifty out of nowhere. Beds rushing by, patients who wander aimlessly around amidst the chaos of equipment and, of course, the lovely presence of the hospital nurses. Keep your wits about you, it's going to be a bumpy run. Going down one hallway it is almost impossible to walk in a straight line without hitting a patient in bed, equipment or nurses. Think of it like the freshman hallway at a high school. Narrow and crowded with the ever present clusters of girls who pretend not to see you trying to get by. Yeah, a nightmare. I pull up to the first room on my list. The tray is heavy, two plates of covered food, three diet Pepsis, a bag of chips and some chocolate chip cookies. Heavy and unsteady, I balance it on my left arm, knock on the door three times and throw that "I'm so happy to see you!" smile on my face. The muscles used to make that smile sore and ache, they know it’s fake. "Room Service! I have your tray for you! How are you this day?" Inside sits a little old woman, the chair she sits in is so much bigger than her; she looks like a little kid. Her eyes are magnified through her glasses; they remind me of a bug. The patient gown she wears is more like a sheet thrown onto her with slits in the sides for her arms. She smacks her gums together; the nurse still hasn’t been in to put her teeth in for her. It's almost comical. "Oh good, you've brought dinner." The weight of the tray balanced on my arm sends signals of disbelief; this little old lady can eat all that?! She lifts her small arms out to me; they shake horribly and look like twigs. This tray would probably break them in two. "Here, let me set it down for you. You just sit back and let me do all the work." Wow, not even I would be able to finish all of this off. I check her wristband and make sure she can reach her food. “Have a nice day, and thank you for choosing Memorial.” The minute I leave the door my smile evaporates leaving no traces. On to the next patient. Two rules to remember when delivering food: 1) be super perky and make the patient feel like they are being catered by the world's finest 2) double check


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their wrist bands and make sure they aren't imposters. You would not believe how many of those we get. Back outside, a nurse with an IV rack is next to my cart. She taps her manicured nails on the edge of a tray. "Hi, I know how hard it is to deliver food all day, but some of us have real jobs to do, so could you please get your cart out of the way? Thanks." She almost spits the last word out at me. I apologize and quickly move the cart down the hall. I hide my name tag in case she decides to report my 'incompetence' to my boss. Prime Monster Number One: The Nurse. When most people hear the word 'nurse' they picture a smiling woman in a brightly colored smock helping those in need. If you look up nurse in the dictionary you will get your standard definition: a healthcare professional, responsible for the treatment, safety, and recovery of acutely or chronically ill or injured people. Nowhere in that definition is the word 'nice.' Maybe they were at one point in time, but most of us received the short hand and missed it. Here is a popular theory among us runners: They're just cranky because they didn't finish going to med school so they ended up nursing and helping the sick go to the bathroom. But like I said, theories. Room after room, hallway after hallway, as a runner you see a lot. Second floor, B216 a man lays on his side, the room is dark the shutters closed against the sun's light. He stares out the door, the white of his eyes bright making it look like his eyes are staring out at you. I take a breath. Knock three times, greet him and set the tray down. No need to check his wrist band, every runner knows who he is. The salt man. Wishing him a good day, I make for the door, the only means of escape. "Salt!" He grabs for my arm, quick and strong. The first time he did this, I about shouted for the nurses. I move out of his reach, letting his hand miss mine. "Sir, I'm sorry but I don't carry salt on my cart." His arm is left hanging where he missed grabbing mine. "Like hell you don't. Give me some salt!" He makes to get up off the bed but is restrained by the IV and wires attached to him. "You have a good day, sir." Out the door and across the hall to the cart, I lean against the wall. The salt man is on a strict no sodium diet, which has to make your food taste like crap. Fifth floor, 5A. Welcome to the psych ward: home of the crazies as the RN's have so lovingly named them. Want to come inside? Sure come right in. Walk in through the double doors; better hurry they shut on their own and lock themselves. Carrying the tray up to the desk, I tell them the room number and plan to leave. "Oh, you can go on through and take it in. Thanks." The nurse in charge smiles and waves me through another set of double doors, pressing the "unlock" button. I walk quickly to the next desk. A boy approaches me. He looks to be 18; he walks purposefully, straight and tall. "Thank you ma'am, I'll take that from you now." He eyes the tray greedily,


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frowning when he sees the plastic. That’s right, no metal silverware for you. I know better than to give him the tray. "That's okay, I can take it up to the desk." I step around him. He follows me, humming a little tune. A nurse comes and takes the boy by the arm, leading him away from me and down a dimly lit hallway. Highpitched laughter can be heard, just like in the movies. I keep my attention on the desk. Walking towards the double doors again on my way back to the moderately sane world, the doors lock. The blinking light at the top is red, and the nurse at the back desk has mysteriously disappeared. Not again. I push the exit button again, but no one comes to my rescue. Fact #2: nurses get bored and have to find some way of relieving that boredom. And how is that accomplished? By locking runners in the psych ward of course! Nurses: nice with a great sense of humor. Back down in the kitchens, the clock reads 7:30. JJ walks past carrying a canister of coffee that's almost as tall as he is. "Are we done yet?" The smell of hot coffee wafts over to me. Steam rises in delicate tendrils around him. I look down the assembly line; a tray sits there with nothing on it. One skim milk, one decaf coffee, two creamers, six packages of sugar substitute (pink), apple crisp serving, a plate of carrots diagonally chopped. "Anything interesting happen upstairs?" JJ leans against a refrigerator. Its hum is low and rasping like the voices of the old women who sing in the church choir. "Got locked up in 5A again." I push the tray down the line and lift the lid of the plate warmer. Mashed potatoes and gravy, fried chicken, and peas. The lid goes back on. The tray gets set onto the cart. "I remember when that happened to me." Kristen walks up, standing next to JJ. Everyone likes Kristen. She's sensible and down to earth but willing to crack a joke and share a laugh with you in passing. "They wouldn't let me out cuz this lady kept banging on the door with her crossword puzzle book. She wanted to see her son's baseball game, except she doesn't have a son." We all laughed. Poor woman. You can’t help but feel sorry for some of the patients up there, even if they are crazy. A crash and some creative swearing can be heard from the dish room. "Uhoh" The foreman comes striding out, his apron flying. We scatter, making ourselves look busy. "You. Get your ass back there." He points his finger at me and shoves me towards the dish room. JJ and Kristen give me sympathetic looks. Another timer goes off. They get back to work. A runner goes by. Loud and chaotic. Those are the only two words anyone can use to describe the dish room. I trade in my black apron and tie for a white t-shirt and disposable apron. Pull on those gloves and start lugging the dirty carts loaded with dirty trays over to the assembly. Open, dump, grab the silverware and plates, send it through to the assembly line, repeat. Over and over until a rhythm is established. My first time back here I was in such a rush to get everything done, I broke an entire tray’s worth of plates and cups. Now I get into my own rhythm and zone out. I think back to three months ago, my first day and the fact that I have hated this job since


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the moment I got it. Why did I get this job again? Oh yeah, money. College books don’t pay for themselves you know. I sigh. Jobs suck. Carts pile up. A long line of silver stretching out of the room. A crash on the other side of the room, some more swearing and shouting drifts over my way. Everyone stops to see what's going on, the rhythm is lost. The only sound is that of the giant dishwasher we simply call “the machine.” Plates and food lie everywhere on the floor. A newbie has tipped one of the carts by accident, the load on top of it too heavy for her to move on her own. The foreman comes stomping our way, we're all still hypnotized by the chaotic mess. "Oh I didn't know you were all on break, let me just shut the machines off. You,” he points at the newbie. I feel for her. Jason can get ugly when he’s mad. “Get a broom and clean this shit up. The rest of you get back to work." Slowly we do as we’re told, the clock says 8:50, we’re behind schedule, and the longer we stand there gawking, the later we’ll have to stay past our regular shifts. A couple of the guys go over to help the newbie pick the cart up. “Just another day at Memorial. Paving the way in excellence for the Great Patient Experience”


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Lincoln Land Review

NEREIDA GLOVER

Soy Puerto Rican Soy Puerto Rican Soy orgulloso Quiero volver a la isla, la isla de mi juventud. Quiero ir a la playa y gozar en el agua y el sol. Quiero ver a mi familia otra vez Y comer mis alimentos preferidos. Arroz con pollo y pastels y vegetables con bacalao. La endecha en un oscilaci贸n de la hamaca y escuchar el coquil canta su canci贸n. Quiero escuchar la salsa, el meregene y balia. Soy Puerto Rican Soy orgulloso

I am Puerto Rican I am Puerto Rican I am proud I want to go back to the island, the island of my youth. I want to go to the beach and enjoy the water and the sun I want to see my family, Eat my favorite foods Rice and chicken, pastels and Spanish vegetables with cod fish. Lay in a hammock, swing and Listen to the coquil sings its song. I want to listen to salsa, meregene and dance. I am Puerto Rican I am proud


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KATHLEEN HAMMOCK

Yellowstone Wolves: The Return of the Exiles Before the arrival of the Europeans, wolves roamed North America as vital predators that helped maintain the balance between predator and prey. Highly respected by the native tribes, the wolf existed side by side with indigenous peoples and the abundance of prey fed both. As Europeans arrived in America, the wolf was no longer tolerated. Jim and Jamie Dutcher point out in their book Living With Wolves that “the wolf was a symbol of darkness and evil” (146). When Europeans began to settle North America, they brought these well established misconceptions of wolves with them to the new and untamed land” (Dutcher 146). More true to the nature of the wolf is Wyoming sheep rancher Cat Urbigkit’s recorded story told by a trapper that took place near Pikes Peak, Colorado: George Ruxton, who traveled through the Rockies in the 1840's, described an incident that occurred while he was camping in a heavy snowstorm on the Platte River. “In the middle of the night I was awakened by the excessive cold, and turning towards the fire, which was burning brightly, was astonished to see a large gray wolf sitting quietly before it, his eyes closed, and his head nodding in sheer drowsiness […]! I looked at him for some moments without disturbing the beast, and closed my eyes and went to sleep, leaving him to the quiet enjoyment of the blaze. (15) The wolf would have no reason to fear joining the trapper and warming himself by the fire, as the only humans he most likely had previous contact with would have been Native Americans who understood the nature of the wolf, therefore did not needlessly harm it. Biologist David Mech, who is considered one of the top wolf experts in America, points out the wolf is a highly social animal. The wolf becomes distressed when away from familiar surroundings and pack members. When raised by human beings the wolf becomes attached to the humans (4). Mech also states that wolves form emotional attachments. He told of a wolf raised by humans that while witnessing a dog fight, became so upset, it finally tried to separate the dogs by pulling on the tail of the attacking dog (5). However Mech, in turn, states the wolf can become aggressive when protecting pups, defending territory from other wolf packs, or pursing prey (7). Perhaps Europeans had previous encounters with aggressive wolves under these circumstances, which led to the belief that the wolf was evil. In spite of evidence that the wolf is not the evil creature of myth, the Europeans did have conflicts with them when they eventually began to move west to the Greater Yellowstone Area. Jim and Jamie Dutcher, who lived with a pack of


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wolves to study them, stated that as Europeans proceeded west, they depleted large numbers of wild game and almost eliminated all of the bison. These animals were the prime food source of the gray wolf (146). As these settlers began to establish sheep and cattle ranches, the wolves turned to the livestock as prey, having little choice as their natural prey was severely diminished (Dutcher 146). Mech admits that wolves are adaptable and will approach human habitats if they become dependent on livestock for food (9). The following story described by Eva Hayes of Lander, Wyoming and reported by Cat Urbigkit, the author of Yellowstone Wolves, reveals this fact. “The wolves had come onto the ranch one night and killed the family's turkeys. The family had invested all of their life savings in these turkeys, and the wolves had effectively cleaned out the family's entire assets in one night” (Urbigkit 26). Although only the hardest of hearts would not sympathize with the Hayes family, that they did not understand wolves or wilderness areas is evident. Wolves would not understand they were not supposed to kill turkeys, and the Hayes did not understand how penning up turkeys in an area with not only wolves but grizzly bears, coyotes, and cougar in abundance would be a mistake. Indigenous tribes hunted the abundant prey and knew better than to attempt to raise livestock. Eventually western livestock ranchers went to war with the wolves. According to Renee Askins, author and founder of The Wolf Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, “The first wave of wolf killing took place in the 1870's. Historical records indicate a take of 100,000 wolves a year between 1870 and 1877 in the state of Montana alone” (30). In this time frame, in 1872, Ulysses S. Grant established Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, as America's first national park (Arrandale 827). This had no effect on westerners killing wolves and the annihilation continued. Ranchers killed wolves and pressured the states to declare bounties. The State of Wyoming authorized bounties on wolves and paid anywhere from a few dollars up to fifty dollars per dead wolf (Urbigkit 21). Urbigkit, who opposed the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone, quotes Stanley Young, a wolf Biologist who reveals, “and [the wolves] provoked continued warfare. Every known means such as guards, guns, traps, poisons, bounties, and wolf proof enclosures, were sooner or later employed to obtain relief from wolf depredations” (20). Urbigkit states that by 1896 wolves were estimated to have caused approximately a million dollars in livestock losses to ranchers in Wyoming. “Wyoming U. S. Senator Thomas B. Kendrick testified before a Congressional committee that wolves had sometimes destroyed as much as fifty percent of the year's calf crop” (21). Although Urbigkit claims that killing wolves was not a matter of revenge but of protection of stock men’s livelihoods (20), Askins counter argues: Our forefathers didn't just want to control wolves, they wanted to conquer them. They didn't just kill wolves, they tortured them. They lassoed animals and tore them apart by their limbs, they wired their


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jaws shut and left them to starve, they doused them with gasoline and ignited them. (31) An article in Bioscience reports, “The out of control killing of wolves led to their extermination in the majority of the West by 1926” (Ripple and Beschta 759). According to Carlos Carroll, who quotes Phillips, by the later 1950's the gray wolf population remaining in the United States was less than 1,000, and those few only occupied northern areas, such as Minnesota. The wolf now occupied less than 1% of its historic range (Carroll 26). Eventually, preservation of species with critically low populations drew the attention of Congress. By 1973, The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed into law and became the first legislation to protect a species in danger of extinction in either all or most of its historical range. Congress not only declared its intent that endangered species be saved, but that they be recovered to inhabit their original historic range (Carroll et al. 25). The implementation of the Endangered Species Act most likely led to the American public awareness of the necessity for environmental stewardship. Yellowstone National Park and Americans would have realized the mistake of exterminating Yellowstone's wolves. It is no wonder that in the early 1990's talk about returning Yellowstone's wolves dominated environmental issues in America, leading to the decision to return the wolves to Yellowstone. In the spring of 1995, the gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming for the first time in five decades (Wilson 1). The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone was an historical moment ending years of hard work and dedication. Mathew A. Wilson, of Society & Natural Resources, quotes Brandon of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as stating the effort involved over 120 public hearings, 160,000 comments, executive directives from six presidents, prompted attention of Congress, and cost over $12 million for scientific research (Wilson 2). Wilson declares many rural communities in the Yellowstone area exhibited intense opposition to the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone (1). Fen Montaige, news reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, quotes Rigler, a 51 year old cattle rancher and big game outfitter: “I think the government has got a lot more problems to solve in the United States today than reintroducing wolves in Yellowstone Park. It's going to put the cattleman out of business. People don't count anymore.” On the other hand, Askins, author of the book Shadow Mountain, written about the Yellowstone wolf reintroduction, suggests that ranchers find blaming the wolf for the hard times that have fallen on them the easiest route. Askins states that burdens such as drought, falling stock prices, rising taxes, and also predators, have made making a living hard for ranchers, and killing the wolf is under their control, but weather conditions, market prices, and government agencies, are not. Askins also states that westerners feel their value system is threatened because their views about land and wild animals are being overrun by a national public who is becoming more supportive of wilderness areas and wildlife (173). Although the wolf predation of livestock was part of the issue with ranch-


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ers, Wilson, (quoting Bourett of Wyoming's Farm Bureau) states that wise use activists (a group opposed to the reintroduction) are more concerned that the government wants to take control of their private land. He quotes one activist as saying, “THE WOLF IS ONLY A TOOL BEING USED BY THOSE WHO DON'T WANT YOU AROUND” (2). Wilson sees wolves as symbols of deeper issues of a battle that is really about social power, private property rights, and conflicting beliefs about nature. He states these issues must be recognized because it is from this perspective that future land controversies will arise. He also says it is much more than a debate about wolves but a social controversy between wise use groups and environmentalists, both struggling to push their own value of land usage in the West (1). Mary Cooper, author of the article “Endangered Species Act,” writes that property rights advocates have intensified their calls for revision to the EDA, announcing that the act gives too much power to government agencies to prevent private land owners from developing the land (505). Conservatives say buffer zones (areas temporarily off limits on private or public land when wolves have dens of pups) can include thousands of privately owned acreage and violate the Fifth Amendment right to land ownership (National Park Policy). In addition to private land fears, groups fear restrictions on public lands (lands owned by the government and American public, that cattlemen lease to graze livestock). A large group of Westerners have opposed the National Park Services intentions to preserve wilderness areas over allowing public access. Westerners oppose buffer zones or any decision that limits access to western lands and increases government land ownership in the West (National Park Policy). Westerners state public wilderness areas should be open to multiple uses such as recreation and limited development. Valarie Richardson of The Washington Times printed a statement that Westerners who live off the land believe that environmentalists are only using the wolf reintroduction to prevent natural resources industries from staying in business, quoting Larry Bourett, President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau: “The environmental community want to use wolves as the spotted owl of the Rockies. This is about land use, not about wolves” (Richardson 6). “Designation of the Northern spotted owl as a threatened species in the 1990's effectively halted logging in large portions of 11.6 million acres of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest, sparking bitter fighting between loggers and environmentalist” (Cooper 495). Cooper also recorded that “the spotted owl debate at times turned violent, with loggers clashing with activists and dead spotted owls turning up nailed to fence posts” (455). It is interesting to note the comparison between the spotted owl violence at the hands of loggers, and previous wolf tortures at the hands of our forefathers as Askins illustrates in disturbing detail. That endangered species bear the brunt of punishment by angry opposition to environmental groups is obvious. Anti-Environmentalist cannot stop the environmentalist, so they kill the animals to strike a blow to those they cannot control. Although methods used by those opposed to environmental movements


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were cruel to wildlife species, we can see that, perhaps, ranchers did have some warrant in fearing the loss of control of public lands. Environmentalists say if the parks are allowed to succumb to overuse and economic development there can be little hope of protecting the remaining wilderness areas for enjoyment of future generations (“National Parks Policy”). The federal government owns over half of the lands in the Yellowstone National Park and surrounding area (Wilson 3). According to biologist Carol Kasper of MacMurray College, the ranchers are running livestock on public government owned lands and so are not justified in opposing the return of the land if the government asks for it (Kasper). Originally, when the Yellowstone area was settled in the 1900's, Congress considered the land good for nothing but food for cattle and allowed the ranchers to lease the land to graze their sheep and cattle. The land was not sold to private owners as land was in the East (Wood 5). Robert Wood, a policy studies expert, claims that while anti grazing advocates at one time promoted an increase in grazing fees for ranchers using public lands, since 2000 they have dropped this approach and are now taking legal action to put a stop to grazing altogether, alleging that grazing is an inappropriate and unproductive use of public land (12). Environmentalist also worked to set aside remote areas of wilderness to be preserved from human encroachment. The 1964 Wilderness Act states that wilderness areas should be protected from humans who would overrun wild areas. Humans are only intended to be visitors in wilderness designated areas. The act forbids human development of any kind. In addition in 1999, Colorado Rep. Mark Undall introduced a bill that set aside 94% of the Rocky Mountain National Park as Wilderness (“National Parks Policy”). Pendley, author of War on the West, states the Park Service is using park areas to exert control over more and more land in the West, regardless of who owns the land. He states this could cut ranchers off from half of their environments needed to sustain their livelihoods (“National Park Policy”). Local Yellowstone ranchers see every decision made by the government that concerns the land as directly affecting their lives (Wilson 3). Tom Arrandale, author of “National Parks Under Pressure,” writes “ranchers, big game outfitters, and county commissioners complain the predators kill livestock and reduce the size of elk herds as they move outside the park” (826). A Bioscience article entitled “Wolves and the Ecology of Fear” by Ripple and Beschta (quoting Baltimore) argues that it is seasonal sport hunting, (which includes big game outfitters) just outside the park boundaries that may have caused elk to remain within the safety of park lands, instead of migrating down the valley as they have in former times (761). The complaints that predators reduce the size of elk herds are uneducated statements. According to Biologist Carol Kasper, “Wolves eliminate the weak and sick of a herd, thereby leaving the strong to reproduce, thus ensuring the survival of the herd.” Kasper says hunters kill the best and strongest of the herd, leaving the weak and sick to reproduce, which results in less chance for the survival of the


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herd, a claim backed by the Dutchers, who add wolves would rather kill a weak member of the herd, as it is less risky and less physically demanding. The risks of taking a strong herd member can be life threatening as hooves and antlers are powerful weapons and wolves can be injured or killed in an attack (82). Not only were elk herds not in danger of being reduced by restoration of wolves into the park, but on the contrary, in the 1920's the National Park Service (NPS) had to initiate measures to control the elk herd population because of overgrazing in Northern park ranges. They were forced to eliminate elk numbers from the 1920's up until the 1960's (Ripple and Beschta 760). Arrandale observes in 1963 the Park Service stopped killing off the elk and decided to allow nature to take its course (827). Livestock operations would also have had thousands of cattle grazing the area, contributing to overgrazed ranges. Wild species that graze conflicted with rancher interests of providing food for their cattle. With the wolf gone, overgrazing had become a problem. Herbivores such as elk, deer, and bison were a considerable threat to ranchers' lifestyles in the Yellowstone region. Although wolf numbers were small in the West following the 1995 reintroduction, ranchers demanded the government lethally control wolves that preyed on livestock. For wolves that kill livestock the Federal government takes measures to control the killing. According to “The Wyoming Wolf Recovery 2006 Annual Report,” non-lethal control of wolves has been considered but does not prove successful with some wolf packs that chronically kill livestock. Non-lethal removal of wolves is difficult because of the large territory wolves roam, with uncertain travel routes in leased public land where cattle graze (Jimenez et al. 196). The report states wolves that kill livestock, after attempts to stop them, must be lethally controlled. In 2006 almost 17% of the gray wolf population living in the Yellowstone area (44 wolves) were killed in actions to prevent livestock depredations. That would mean that the wolf population in the Yellowstone area was only within the range of 260 wolves in the whole of Yellowstone as of 2006. The wolf report also states that in 2002 the Green River pack denned in an area where several thousand cattle grazed, and after killing cattle continually, the pack was lethally removed in 2004 and again in 2005 when the pack reformed. In 2006 the pack re-colonized and produced pups. They killed 27 cattle, and the whole pack was destroyed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Jimenez et al. 200). Upon issue of “The Wyoming Wolf Recovery 2007 Annual Report,” the livestock depredations reduced from 162 confirmed livestock killings in 2006, to 71 in 2007 because 63 wolves were lethally controlled in 2007 (Jimenez et al. 24). Even though the West was home to the wolves generations before livestock industries existed, the ranchers now lease those lands for livestock grazing so the wolves are subject to extermination. Kasper states that not only are the wolves exterminated by government agencies if they kill livestock, but ranchers are paid compensation for livestock killed by wolves (Kasper). Cooper agrees and remarks that in order to placate ranchers who opposed the wolf reintroduction, Defenders of Wildlife, an envi-


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ronmental advocacy group, set up a “wolf compensation” fund to reimburse ranchers whose livestock were killed by wolves (504). Every effort was put forth to appease the ranchers to promote a successful reintroduction of wolves into their former home in Yellowstone. With compensation for the livestock depredation and lethal removal of wolves that preyed on livestock, the only issue left for ranchers to dispute would be control of land that did not belong to them in the first place. The government did not sell the land but preserved it as a wilderness area. Leasing for cattle or sheep grazing did not establish any rights to ownership. The U. S. Federal Government, National Park Service, and Defenders of Wildlife have put forth extensive effort to ensure the ranchers are protected and suffer no severe financial losses. To be fair to those raising livestock in the West, not all ranchers opposed the reintroduction. According to the The Philadelphia Inquirer, some, such as Charlotte Reid, a cattle rancher living over 100 miles from Yellowstone, was excited and said, “One of my dreams is to sit out on my porch with my grand kids at night and hear a wolf howl” (Montaige). Reid's words reveal that some ranchers put the appreciation of the wolf above fears of the loss to livelihood. This statement also suggests that the wolves are not always considered a threat to ranchers, as Reid does not express this concern. In an attempt to further validate evidence supporting why ranchers argued against wolf reintroduction, email contact was established with Jake Cummins, Executive Vice President of the Montana Farm Bureau. The Montana Farm Bureau is the headquarter office in the United States for all farm bureau agencies. Montana's bureau played a major role in opposing the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. The Bureau vehemently fought the 1995 Yellowstone wolf reintroduction. When asked to comment on the wolf reintroduction Mr. Cummins responded, “I frankly do not have time to answer superficial public questions or to educate those with such a simplistic knowledge of the Yellowstone wolf issue.” Mr. Cummins suggested reading Cat Urbigkit's Yellowstone Wolves but did not comment on it himself. Given an opportunity to promote his cause, he refused. Cat Urbigkit's book, while insightful as to ranchers’ views, does not carry the weight that a comment from the bureau headquarters would carry. Second and Third attempts to obtain wolf reintroduction comments from Illinois Farm Bureaus resulted in similar results, but instead of refusing to comment, the Illinois bureaus claimed ignorance of the subject. Jim Carleton, manager of the Jacksonville, Illinois Farm Bureau states he knew nothing about the wolf reintroduction and was, therefore, sorry he could not answer questions relating to the issue (phone interview). Another attempt to phone the Illinois Headquarters Farm Bureau again led to a dead end. Director Jim Fraley stated he was not trying to skirt the issue but had no knowledge of the Yellowstone wolf issue. It seems impossible to believe that his office would have had no contact with the national headquarter office in Montana during a time when the issue dominated newspaper headlines involved the Montana Farm Bureau in numerous court bat-


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tles. Both Illinois contacts, although most likely not experts on the wolf reintroduction, should have at least been aware that it happened. The Montana Farm Bureau’s refusal to answer questions and the Illinois Farm Bureau’s denial of any knowledge of the wolf reintroduction would lead one to ponder that perhaps they had something to hide. If they have ethical reasons for the opposition, why will they not speak out to support their cause? With sufficient data on the reasons of opposition to the wolf reintroduction, we can observe data supporting the benefits of large predator restoration in Yellowstone National Park. Carroll's research on statements made by Ripple and Beschta, confirms that predation of wild game by wolves has limited the number of elk available to overgraze on aspen trees, a preferred food source for elk. This aided in the recovery of the aspen and also other species that depended on it for survival (Carroll 27). Jim and Jamie Dutcher explain the reaction to the ecosystem with the return of the wolves. The recovered vegetation (willows and aspens) halted the erosion of the soil into the streams. Additional shade cooled the water temperature, resulting in more suitable habitat for trout. Migratory birds returned and found food and shelter in the recovered growth. The new vegetation provided building materials and food for beavers, with new dams resulting in wetlands and marshes that attracted duck and other birds. (158) The Dutchers also state that until the wolves were returned, the old and ailing elk were able to continue to produce offspring and limit the chances of passing on genes for healthy offspring. The wolves’ return led to health and vitality in the herd. Their observations revealed, “It is now clear that the wolf is a keystone species playing a critical role in keeping ecosystems healthy through natural checks and balances” (158). As well as controlling over population in elk, Kasper comments that wolves are in direct competition with other predators, such as the coyote, and when wolves are present, coyotes leave the area. Kasper states this benefits ranchers, as wolves fear humans and are more hesitant to approach livestock while humans are in the area, but coyotes have little fear of humans and, therefore, are more likely to be bold in livestock predations (Kasper). Jimenez quotes Cantis Lantrins as supporting this evidence, also stating that wolves reduce mesocarnivores (lesser predators) such as the coyote and also provide food for scavengers (Jimenez). Scavengers are important as they keep disease from spreading in carcasses that would otherwise openly decay and produce bacteria. This could put cattle and sheep grazing in the area at risk for disease, which in turn would severely hurt the livestock industry. Ripple and Beschta state that according to Crooks and Soule when large carnivores (such as wolves) disappear from an area, the lesser predators become over abundant and severely reduce birds and small vertebrates (Ripple and Beschta 758). “Although the topic remains contentious, a substantial body of evidence indicates that predation by top carnivores is pivotal in the maintenance of biodiversity” (Ripple and Beschta 755). It is evident from the information obtained from both the opposition and


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the support to the 1995 Yellowstone Wolf Reintroduction that long hours, in depth research, and broad scale media coverage went into the reintroduction efforts. Askins reveals, “After two recovery plans, an extensive, federally mandated wolf management committee process, thousands of pages of research on the potential effects of wolves in Yellowstone, the public involvement really began” (201). She states there had never been a more widespread effort to reach the public for comment in the history of wildlife issues. The public responded in an overwhelming voice to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone (201). Askins also writes that thousands of people attended the hearings, called in support, and wrote letters backing the restoration. “A record breaking 160,000 comments were received on the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) alone, the most on any EIS in history, and in the final count, the American public favored the return of wolves to Yellowstone by a two-to-one margin. Clearly Americans were ready to see wolves back in their oldest National Park” (202). With the public as the final deciding factor, the reintroduction went officially forward, and in the spring of 1995, the gray wolf pairs were released into Yellowstone for the first time in over 70 years. The success for the park was staggering as Arrandale observes, “Yellowstone's estimated 150 wolves draw visitors from around the world and often star in TV nature documentaries” (819). He states the park drew 2,835,651 visitors in 2005 and achieved a rank of fifth out of the ten most visited parks according to America's National Park Service records. Scores of visitors were able to see the Agate Creek pack as they denned in Antelope Creek beside the road. The adults and pups were visible from June through September almost every day […] “In all it is estimated that over 13,000 visitors were able to view wolves during the summer of 2006” (Jimenez et al 192). The Washington Post's Joel Achenbach reports that by 2007 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially delisted the wolves from the endangered species list, which resulted in state development of hunting seasons. “Anyone could shoot a wolf at anytime in most of the state of Wyoming” (8). He also writes that in July 2007 a group of coalition members took the issue to court, and Judge Donald W. Molloy ruled in their favor and put the wolves back on the endangered species list. Achenbach further says that in February, 2008 the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated it would pursue public comments for support, as it believed wolves were recovered sufficiently and the USFWS favored management of wolves to be turned over to the states. He says certain further litigations will arise from this and quotes Ed Bangs, USFWS wolf coordinator, “All wolf stuff will always be in court. Wolf stuff has nothing to do with reality, it's all about symbolism.” Bangs comments that wolves have always been both romanticized and demonized (3). The extermination and following reintroduction of the gray wolf back into its former territory brings to light a deeper thought-provoking possibility that Mary Cooper, author of “Endangered Species” Act looks into. Determining the economic value of preserving biodiversity is difficult.


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[…]. Allowing species to perish may do “irreparable damage to complex ecosystems composed of interdependent networks of plants, animals and microbes, and subsequently, to the economy. (499) Cooper also states that scientists voice concern that humanity is propelling the earth toward its sixth mass extinction and our future is tied to the fate of the natural world. They fear we may, in the end, compromise our own ability to survive (498). Restoring the wolf back into the ecosystem is humanity’s way of trying to make right a wrong that was not previously understood. We did not understand the wolf’s connection (nor our own) to the natural world. As Askins puts it, “How did we get so disconnected from the very things we are dependent upon for our survival?” (58). Perhaps we pushed the wolf to the brink of extinction because we saw in it a reflection of the predator in ourselves. The wolf was not and is not the problem. The problem is human misunderstanding of its own place in the natural world. Since the arrival of the Europeans in North America, continual destruction not only of wolves but of all natural resources has brought us to an environmental crisis we can no longer ignore. We must confront the shadows of misuse that follow us from the past to present. The wolf is not a threat to humans but is, instead, a necessary part of an interconnected ecosystem that must be preserved if humanity is to survive. The Native American tribes have sought to tell us from the beginning that all life has its place on the earth. It is crucial that we listen to the people who knew how to live in harmony with nature. Specific American Indian tribes have a deep respect for the wolf and view the wolf as a teacher instead of an enemy. As the Dutchers put it, “The people sought to emulate wolves: the alertness on a hunt, their courage as they rode to battle – strong as individuals, but fiercely loyal to the other members of the tribe” (148). The wolf's greatest strength is not in individual traits but in the “power of the pack.” Each individual plays a part of the whole. Native Americans tell of watching and copying, learning the strength of the group and adopting similar techniques to ensure the survival of the tribe. The wolves taught tribes decision-making and flexibility in roles (Dutcher 80). Not only does the wolf teach us group cooperation, which will be crucial in future environmental healing, but the wolf is a species that shares many attributes with humans. The wolf is a social animal and needs other members of the species. The wolf exhibits tremendous ability to persevere in the face of overwhelming odds; it raises its pups with loving community involvement; it gathers in groups to celebrate and howl at the stars. But most of all, the wolf exemplifies freedom, the wildness of an untamed heart, and breath taking beauty that enters the soul of those who see it. The loss to humanity if the wolf were to succumb to human provoked extinction would return to haunt us when we remembered its former days of glory and watched our own lives fade in extinction from not understanding the necessity of all life and the purpose of what the native people call the circle of life. As


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Chief Seattle of the Duwamish tribe said, “What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man, All things are connected” (Dutcher 156). WORKS CITED Achenbach, Joel. “Watching Yellowstone Wolves; Successful Reintroduction Inspires Devotion, Helps Fuel Battle Over Protection.” The Washington Post. 26 Oct. 2008. Lincoln Land Community College. Lib., Springfield, IL. 31 Jan. 2009 <http://lexisnexis.com> Arrandale, Tom. “National Parks Under Pressure.” C Q Researcher 16.35 2006: 817840. C Q Researcher Online. C Q Press. Lincoln Land Community College Lib., Springfield, IL. 31 Jan. 2009 <http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher 2006.com> Askins, Ren'ee. Shadow Mountain – A Memoir of Wolves, A Woman, and the Wild. New York: Anchor Books, 2004. Carleton, Jim. Personal interview 24 Feb. 2009. Carroll, Carlos et al. “Defining Recovery Goals and Strategies For Endangered Species: The Wolf as a Case Study.” Jan. 2006: 25-37. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Illinois College Lib., Jacksonville, IL. 25 Feb. 2009 <http://search.epnet.com> Cooper, Mary H. “Endangered Species Act.” C Q Researcher 13.21 2005: 493-516. C QResearcherOnline. C Q Press. Lincoln Land Community College Lib., Springfield, IL. 31 Jan. 2009 <http:// cqresearcher:cqpress.com> Cummins, Jake. Personal interview. 26 Feb. 2009. Dutcher, Jim and Jamie. Living with Wolves Ed. Kris Fulsaas. Great Britain: Cordee, 2008. Fraley, Jim. Personal interview. 5 Mar. 2009. Jimenez, M.D., D.W. Smith, D.S. Guernsey, and R.F. Krischke, 2007. “Wyoming Wolf Recovery 2006 Annual Report.” 174-201 in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2006 Annual Report. USFWS, Ecological Services, Montana. < http:// fws.gov/ mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/annualrpt 06/wyoming_2006> ---.“Wyoming Wolf Recovery 2007 Annual Report.” 2-33. in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2007 Annual Report. USFWS, Ecological Services, Montana. < http://fws.gov/ mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/annualrpt 07/wyoming_2007> Kasper, Carol. Personal interview. 26 Feb. 2009. Mech, David L. The Wolf. The Ecology And Behavior Of An Endangered Species. New York: The Natural History Press., 1970. Montaige, Fen. “Wolves Set Off Howling Debate. They're Being Returned to Yel-


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lowstone Park. Many Ranchers See It As The West Going Wrong.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. 10 Nov. 1994. Lincoln Land Community College Lib., Springfield, IL. <http:// lexisnexis.com> “National Parks Policy.” Issues and Controversies On File. 6 Aug. 2007. Facts on File News Services. Lincoln Land Community College Lib., Springfield, IL. 12 Mar. 2009 <http://2facts.com> Richardson, Valerie. “Groups Howl at Proposal to Return Wolves to Rockies.” The Washington Times. 27 Nov. 1994. Lincoln Land Community College Lib., Springfield, IL. 31 Jan. 2009 <http://lexisnexis.com> Ripple, William J., and Robert L. Beschta. “Wolves and the Ecology of Fear: Can Predation Risk Structure Ecosystems?” Bioscience. Aug. 2004: 755-766. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Illinois College Lib., Jacksonville, IL. 25 Feb. 2009 <http://search.epnet.com> Urbigkit, Cat. Yellowstone Wolves: A Chronicle of the Animal, the People, and the Politics. Blacksburg and Granville: McDonald and Woodward, 2008. Wilson, Mathew A. “The Wolf in Yellowstone: Science, Symbol or Politics? Deconstructing The Conflict Between Environmentalism and Wise Use.” Society and Natural Resources. 10.5. Sep.-Oct. 1997. 456-16 Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Illinois College Lib., Jacksonville, IL. <http://ebscohost.ehost.com> Wood, Robert S. “The Dynamics Of Incrementalism: Subsystems, Politics, and Public Lands.” Policy Studies Journal. 2006. 1-16. America: History and Life. EBSCOhost. Lincoln Land Community College Lib., Springfield, IL. 01 Feb. 2009. <http://search.ebscohost.com>


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Samantha “Sam” Barrow Outside the Norm


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Justin Byerline Teach Your Children


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Nicole Denby Tarantula


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Anne Eckstrom The Snack That Smiles Back


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Kriston Feleccia Mr. Hoots


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Jessica Gottstein Rasputinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Heartburn


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Jessica Gottstein Who R U?


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Eric Grinnard Untitled


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Chase Grover Sophomore


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Hallie Hedinger Hollow Gaze


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Brooke Knebel-Renfro Body Image Barbie


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Krista Ladage Navy Pier


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Gina Mayes Sinderella


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Tierra Reed Untitled


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Jaqualien Rowald Trapped


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Martin Ruppert Fallout


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Ryan Tinsley Self Portrait


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Michael Vincent Nothing


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Austin Wells Gilbert Grapes


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Patrick Wheeler Crowley Pie


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KATHLEEN HAMMOCK

Song of My Soul I walked through a forest of snow today; How it sparkled with hidden knowledge. From above a call shattered the silence. Squinting my eyes against the sun, I sited two eagles soaring in the heavens. I thought perhaps that is who I am, One who watches the eagles. I saw my life and the shadows of the dark places and the hills of higher ground, Thinking it a weary, lonesome road and wondered if I mattered at all. Did I have a destiny and was I born for a purpose, or was it just chance? I am older than my life. I have seen many suns and many moons, More than this planet holds, Yes, I am certain it was a plan that I should be here on Earth at this time; For you see I remember now, The eagles reminded me, I am one who was called to a destiny. That is who I am. I remember as a child, a wounded creature, a helpless puppet of divorce, Hearing my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cries when I was taken away; They echoed across the void that had once been my heart, But I found a young blue jay with a broken wing. I fed him with worms as I watched him recover; With raised hands, I released him to the wind and he was gone. As I stood by the pasture fence the next spring, a blue jay landed on a branch; I thought to myself that it would be odd if it were the same jay. Then he flew and landed on my shoulder as I stood quietly in wonder; Only for a moment he remained and then flew to the skies. I can remember, He must have been trying to tell me, Perhaps that is who I am, The one with a broken wing that will heal. When I was eleven, I watched a neighbor man beat his horse over the head with a whip Because it would not allow him to ride; The horse did not like cruel men. Apache was his name; he was an indomitable flame. I walked up to the man and asked to ride the stallion,


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I will never know why he said yes. I remember flying across the field that day bent against the curve of the horse's neck, The wind blowing Apache's mane and my hair into one wild, adventurous mass. We understood one another, that it was not good to allow anyone to break our spirit, For our spirits were one and in that moment we were free; A revelation: That I am one who was born to be free. I worked as a waitress when I was twenty-one; A young man came through the door, He was dusty from the road, but not dirty. He sat at the counter and looked up, Asking if he might do dishes for a meal. I will never forget his face, Weathered from the elements, Lined with regret, A man of sorrows and esteemed not. I wondered what had happened to him, And knew he was not on the road from fate, but from choice, Trying to escape a memory that hunted him without rest. I don't know why I knew it; I think his eyes told me. I recall he was told to leave immediately, And how I frantically searched and found the only three dollars in my pocket. I wrote a note that it was all I had and he could find a burger down the street. I walked by, dropping the note and money in front of him, I kept walking so as not to humiliate him with charity. I never understood why I felt so lost when he walked out the door. Maybe that is who I am, one who has been in the presence of angels, One who found she has compassion, through a visitor who received none. I was a guest in a strange land when I was forty, A Pagan land I was invited to; I saw a green-eyed cobra goddess; offerings of worship at her feet. I drank wine with the High Priest; They roasted lamb and told tales around the fire pit; I recounted my tale of illness, seeing Christ at the foot of my bed, Hand extended as dawn approached, asking if I was ready to go with him, And how I had asked him if I might remain to tell someone. So I thought I would tell them, The Pagans believed me; The Christians had not. They gave me such honor that my heart was joyful. Later I learned they purchased land to build a place for crippled children Where they might be taught to love the earth.


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It must be who I am, a messenger to those who will hear; Surely, a messenger is who I am, at least for one moment in time. A few years ago I left my home; pausing under the stars, I turned and looked inside to painted walls, Hues of the sunset and sunrise, Colors of the end and the beginning. I felt tears of fear slide down my cheeks, I worried my dog would not like the apartment we would live in. It mattered; she was all I had. But then I felt a tug and looked down to see her grab the leash from my hand and pull me sternly; It was as if she said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;come on, there is a new beginning ahead.â&#x20AC;? And she never looked back, and I never looked back. But today I can see she was right, The new era has begun. So, I have tasted fear, and did not like its fruit in the least, But I know it taught me to be strong. So most certainly it was food for the soul after all, Perhaps it made me who am. I am one who has fallen in battle and found the courage again to stand. Now I am a student of Ecology, A dream I had once buried for dead; To be a part of the sacredness of all life, To restore and make whole. This year I saw the rain forest, Thick mist descended upon the Mayan Mountains, and massive trees balanced on buttress roots, The ruins of former civilizations, abandoned temples of rock and moss. A dream long ago, sitting under a grass roof as gentle rain gave peace to my soul, Told me I would go one day, Written on the walls of time, that I should return to an ancient land, The land of the tribes of the ancestors. Most certainly I am one who is blessed. That must be who I am, Blessed daughter of the Earth. I think I understand, I think I am who I believe I am. I think then I will believe I have courage. I think I will believe I seek truth. I think I will fight for justice. And I think I will love and laugh.


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I will let my spirit soar and find my song in the land, For I am the song only I can sing. The notes of my footsteps I have heeded, And the music of my journey Is one of the great mysteries, For through it, I know who I am.

I am the soul one, I am the eagle. And my destiny Is to have lived.


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HEATHER KYLE

Ribboned Walls Recently, I have felt my life drastically changing. Along with being a high school senior, my cousin has come to live with us. While I love having another teen in the house, it is quite easy to get exasperated with him. We have had several arguments, and I have found myself wishing he weren’t here. One of those arguments sparked a memory in me. It was a memory of a day that taught me how important it is to accept all the little stressors life brings because tomorrow could always be worse. It had been a long day of traveling. My dad’s eyes had begun to resemble glazed doughnuts, and my mom’s head, heavy with fatigue, had fallen over onto her shoulder. My cousin and I were sitting in the back seat trying to occupy ourselves. “I’m not touching you!” Travis gleefully held his finger an inch from my nose. “MOM!” I shrieked, “Make him stop!” Wearily, Mom turned around. We had been through this routine before. Travis and I would argue about everything. If he said the sky was blue, I was sure to say it was sapphire. Before we had left, Mom had come up with the idea of stitching a green ribbon down the middle of the van’s backseat to define our boundaries. It seemed Travis and I often had a wall separating us, although most of the time it was invisible. Our green line served to make it more tangible. It was our battlefront – a war declared with the cavalry assembled. Our incessant squabbling broke the sound barrier for nearly an hour longer until, out of nowhere, we felt the van come to a creeping halt. “Here we go again,” sighed my mom, “more road construction.” For half an hour we inched through a never-ending line of cars, feeling more like ants marching away from a picnic than a family on a fun vacation. We tried to amuse ourselves, but to no avail – even arguing had lost its appeal. That’s when we saw it. Just as the boredom of our unending wait had created a vacant look in our eyes and turned us into human zombies, we realized our long wait wasn’t due to fixing potholes. A hush fell over the van. Startled, I looked out the window and saw the mangled remains of what had once been a minivan. Its metal exterior cruelly twisted to mockingly resemble a child’s bouncy ball. A sick realization came over me as I stared at the battered suitcases thrown along the ditch with clothes poured out of them. We hadn’t been waiting for road construction – we had been stopped because of an accident. “Look,” whispered Travis, “what is that all over the grass?” No one answered; we were all too afraid. “Daddy,” I said in a small voice, “what is it?” Silence. Somewhere in a distant land cicadas were chirping, but those mundane sounds of life couldn’t penetrate the bubble of sadness that surrounded us. Horror had ripped the words right from our throats.


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“Daddy!” I said again, my voice becoming slightly hysterical, “What is it?” I think I already knew what he would say, but I was afraid to accept it. “It’s blood, honey.” “No!” my mind silently screamed. A tear slipped down my cheek. I hadn’t wanted to know that. I didn’t really think he’d tell me. Time seemed to slow down. All motion stopped. The sun shining in the sky and the trees standing watch on the side of the road were deceptively telling me that everything was fine, but in my heart I knew better. I stared out that window for an eternity. I wanted to look away, but for some reason my body wouldn’t obey me. Horrified, I stared transfixed at the family that only a few hours ago had been arguing and laughing, just like us. Now they were lying broken and bloody – a spectacle for strangers to gawk at as they drove by. Their bodies were twisted into grotesque positions resembling morbid pretzels. As I watched the mangled bodies being loaded into the ambulances, something tugged at the back of my mind. “Mommy, why aren’t the ambulance lights on?” “Cause they’re dead,” rasped Travis. Any other time I would have yelled at him for being gross and trying to upset me, but not now. A faint hope lingered in my consciousness that if I could only look away, then none of this would have happened. If I could just force my eyes shut, then all the blood would disappear. The pungent smell of death seemed to penetrate the walls of the van. No longer did our van feel like the safe haven it had once been. Looking back, the thing I remember most about that day wasn’t the accident; it was the tears pooling in my mom’s eyes when she turned to my dad and said, “That could have been us.” Fear had been evident in every line on her face. I remember how her words seemed to hang in the air, suspended by time. The buzz of life faded into silence as the meaning of her words seeped into my numb brain. If we had been even a few minutes earlier--could that have been us, spread out along the side of the road? Memories of that day will forever be burned into my mind. I learned to appreciate what I have and not let the little aggravations of life blind me from what is truly important. I will never forget the first thing we did when we arrived home. Before we had even unloaded the van, my mom disappeared inside and brought out her seam ripper. Silently she held it out to Travis and me. Together we ripped out that green ribbon in the seat that had been separating us. We destroyed more than a line that day; we tore down a wall. Oh, we still fight – it’s inevitable. However, before it goes too far, we always remember what we saw that day and, once again, we tear down that green wall between us, remembering the love that binds us together.


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SUSANNAH OETTLE

Banned Books = Missed Opportunities A few years ago as I was waiting in line at Wal-Mart, I noticed two conservatively dressed women engaged in an intense conversation. “I don’t want my children learning witchcraft and Satan worship!” “That woman’s work isn’t fit to print!” After a few seconds, it became obvious they were discussing the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling. I listened with growing disgust as they planned to bring up the books with the school principal. They hoped he would help them ban the book from the junior high school library. Eventually, as I paid for my Meow Mix and paper towels, the women strode out of the building, still chattering away about “those awful books.” I wondered what could possibly be so offensive about a children’s book. My fiancé’s son loved the books, and I had never heard him mention the characters worshiping Satan. What I’d wished the ladies would understand is that reading Harry Potter will not corrupt children. Reading fantasy novels is a good hobby for our nation’s children. American children often fall behind the children of other countries when it comes to school performance. Children who learn to love reading do better in the classroom. Children who are avid readers have better vocabularies and find it easier to understand school assignments. My sister hated reading and never wanted to do her homework because she couldn’t comprehend much of it. She fell behind in school and continued to struggle until she dropped out in the 10th grade. When children find a book that inspires them, they will usually read other stories simply because they enjoy reading. School reading assignments will be much easier for children who read for fun on their own. Fantasy novels also encourage creativity. Children like to imagine wizards and magical creatures, not because they want to worship demons, but because it is fun. Many youth who like to read fantasy books also excel in art. My fiancé’s son used to spend hours drawing characters, castles and landscapes that he imagined. Other children may be inspired to write their own stories. Some parents have all sorts of misconceptions about Harry Potter. After all, many other works of fiction have magical elements and are not seen as a threat. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis are books with witches and magic yet parents love these stories. Perhaps it is because the books have hints of Christianity sprinkled throughout: Aslan the brave lion dies and is resurrected to help save Narnia. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien is another hugely popular series of fictional books and movies. I have never heard any parent say that Frodo is teaching devil worship to vulnerable young people. Children see questionable content every day on television and in movies. Maybe worried parents should be more concerned with superheroes using violence to get the bad guy. Most parents


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have no problem taking their children to see X-Men or Spiderman. Many young people are becoming desensitized to violence and bad language from seeing and hearing it so often. Video games are sometimes full of violent play. Many “family” television shows have adult content. Parents who want to ban harmless books are missing an opportunity to enrich the life of their child. Most parents who want to ban a book have never actually read the questioned literature. They hear rumors from friends and other parents and get swept up in hysteria. The ladies from Wal-Mart should read the books for themselves because it was obvious that they had never read them. Harry Potter is not a Satanist and doesn’t worship demons. He uses his magic to battle evil. If parents do find something in a book they are not comfortable with, they can use the opportunity to educate their child. Young people who know their parents to be open-minded are more likely to go to them with more serious problems later on. The books can lead to discussions about religion and other topics, which can confuse youngsters. They can talk to their son or daughter and find out what appeals to their child about the novels. Above all else, parents need to have faith in their children. Kids are not going to worship the devil or try to fly on a broom after reading Harry Potter. Their sons and daughters won’t carry magic wands and try to cast spells. Harry Potter can be an inspiration to children because he overcomes many difficulties and defeats evil entities. He found a place to fit in after experiencing a difficult childhood. The books emphasize the value of friendship. If mothers or fathers think their child can be brainwashed by reading one work of fiction, they must not have much faith in the way they parented. The ladies who wanted to remove the book from the library are trying to interfere with the rights of other parents to choose what they want their child exposed to. Also, they should realize that children are attracted to what they can’t have, especially if the adults in their lives make a point to talk about how bad something is. Life is full of controversy and hard truths. Right now there is an effort at Jacksonville High School to ban the book Jubilee. When will this madness stop? Children shouldn’t be forced to live in a bubble of bland safety.


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JE’NICE PEARCE

Acting and All About My Mother Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar dedicates his film All About My Mother "To all the women who have played actresses . . . who can act . . . to men who act and become women . . . to all the people who want to be mothers . . . to my mother” (Russell). In a post on the film’s website, Almodóvar relates that he grew up in a family where strong women “faked, lied, hid, and that way allowed life to flow and develop, without men finding out or obstructing it” (Walsh). Such role-playing, perhaps an inherent part of the maternal instinct, is born out of a woman’s desire to protect and nurture the lives of her children or anyone in her care. In his film, Almodóvar invites the viewer to appreciate the innate capacity of women to act in a way that enhances the quality of life, whether or not they are professional actresses. The plot of the film centers on actresses and role-playing. Manuela, a former actress, uses her acting skills as she raises her son by changing or leaving out portions of her life prior to his birth. This includes details about his father that she feels may hurt him. Yet Esteban desires to know more about his father, and he attempts to do this by finding out more about who his mother was before he was born. In an early scene, Esteban, while viewing the classic film, All About Eve, jots down the words, “All About My Mother” in his notebook. Michael Sofair, writing in the Film Quarterly review, suggests that Esteban comes to understand his mother not as an entity to be “unveiled” as in the movie, All About Eve, but as a “presence which lacks fixed definition and so can be all-embracing—a mother who is an actress, but an actress who becomes a mother as she enacts any and all parts required for her child.” Sofair’s insightful observation describes the role of motherhood from ancient times to the present. Mothers evolve into whatever roles are required at the birth of their children, and they continually struggle to maintain the multiple roles needed to help their children thrive. While some may question the authenticity of women who constantly adapt their roles in this manner, the film illustrates that it is precisely through this “acting“ that true authenticity is found and through which self-fulfillment is achieved. On Esteban’s seventeenth birthday, Manuela decides to tell him the truth about his father, but before she has the chance, he is struck by a car and killed. After coming to the realization that Esteban’s untimely death is causing her to fall apart emotionally, she travels to Barcelona on a healing quest to fulfill the last wish of her son—to find out about his father. Actually Manuela is returning to a life she fled years ago when she was pregnant with Esteban. She must face her son’s father who is now a transsexual named Lola and tell him about the son that he never knew he had. It is a part she is not anxious to play but feels compelled to perform. The journey takes Manuela to dark places and uncomfortable zones, but she follows her intuition—becoming whatever she needs to be to keep alive the memory of her son.


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During the course of her journey, Manuela sets into motion a series of events which occasion both her ability to act and her ability to mother. Manuela finds comfort in friendships with several women who are in need of nurturing, and through them she takes on several roles, including a reprised role as Stella from A Streetcar Named Desire. Almodóvars’s use of A Streetcar Named Desire (and the film All About Eve) within All About My Mother deepens the theatrical aura of the film. According to Elaine Canning in the New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film, by intertwining Streetcar with his own film, and by having women who act both on and off the stage, Almodóvar blurs “the boundaries between fiction and reality.” While playing her role as Stella onstage, offstage Manuela recreates her maternal role in order to help a young nun, Sister Rosa, who discovers she is pregnant. Sister Rosa has an uncomfortable relationship with her own mother who seems to be concerned only with appearances. Rosa’s mother disapproves of most of the choices her daughter has made from her work with the prostitutes to her planned mission trip to El Salvador (Acevedo-Munoz). But Rosa’s mother is an art forger, so there is irony in the fact that while Rosa’s mother is concerned with appearances, she herself is proof that appearances can be deceiving. All of her life, Sister Rosa has acted the part of the “good” girl and conformed to the expectations of others. Unable to face her mother with her pregnancy, she turns to Manuela as a “surrogate” mother who teaches her to accept her failures and move on. This self-acceptance prompts Sister Rosa to confront her own mother, and she realizes that, although her mother is consumed by fear, her mother does truly love her. Through these relationships, Almodóvar illustrates the ability of women to connect with other women and adapt their roles so that they can support one another. Another character, Huma, an accomplished actress, lives a life of public acclaim that belies a private life filled with neediness and self-doubt. Huma’s destructive relationship with drug-addicted Nina thrusts her into the role of a mother more often than a lover. But for Huma, who claims to be “hooked” on Nina just as Nina is “hooked” on drugs, it is a part she cannot refuse. Huma informs Manuela shortly after they meet that she “often relies on the kindness of strangers”—a line used by Blanche DuBois, the character she plays in A Streetcar Named Desire. That Huma often relies on scripted words in real-life conversations is another indicator of the blurring of real life and acting. Certainly, the complexity of the film is that its themes are not simple moralistic principles but require a deeper look in order to discover the multilayer of meaning. To illustrate, one evening when Nina is unable to go on stage, Huma asks Manuela if she can act and Manuela replies, “I can lie very well, and I’m used to improvising” (IMDB Quotes). This blunt admission made by Manuela affirms that acting is an integral part of the survival kit of womanhood. As Jonathan Romney writes, Almodóvar has produced a film that “concludes that identity is never as fixed as we imagine and that although the past can’t be undone, it can always be re-rehearsed, re-dramatize.” Almodóvar demonstrates the unique ability of women to reinvent themselves and their lives—to act intuitively and cunningly.


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Unquestionably, throughout history, the roles of women required cleverness and flexibility in order to survive in a male-dominated environment. In the past and even today in some cultures, women have been denied an education. They have been considered little more than property and propagators of the human race. Through it all, women have held their family together and built lives for themselves by being perceptive about people. They have been vulnerable when being vulnerable would further their cause and bold when doing so was to their benefit. As Almodóvar notes, women allow life to “flow,” but most importantly, they have prevented men from obstructing that flow. During one of the film’s most memorable scenes, Agrado, a transsexual prostitute, speaks before the audience telling them her life story. In his book, A Spanish Labyrinth: Films of Pedro Almodóvar, Mark Allinson writes that In this film, motherhood and even gender, are equated with performance. Transsexual Agrado’s impromptu performance on the Barcelona stage (which Almodóvar based on a real event), asserts that authenticity—in her case womanhood—is achieved as much through desire as actions. (212) Agrado speaks frankly about the choices she has made in altering her body and sexuality, and concludes with this bit of wisdom: “You are more authentic, the more you resemble what you dreamed of being” (IMDB), a sentiment that equates aspiration with truth. Elaine Canning has observed that in this film “life and performance are inseparable.” The women in Almodóvar’s film reveal a willingness to give, even when it is not easy. Most women, and especially mothers he suggests, possess an ability to visualize and create reality by acting as if that reality already exists. This viewpoint is echoed in the words of Blanche DuBois who says, “I don’t tell truths, but what ought to be truth” (IMDB). Perhaps, the ideal self—what we dream of being—is more worthy than the natural self. Indeed, the film conveys the outlook that such real-life acting is not the absence of sincerity, but the willingness to go to great lengths to achieve sincerity—to work at love and acceptance.

WORKS CITED Acevedo-Munoz, Ernesto "The Body and Spain: Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother." Quarterly Review of Film & Video 21.1 (2004): 25-38. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. Allinson, Mark. A Spanish Labyrinth: The Films of Pedro Almodóvar. London: I.B. Tauris, 2001. Almodóvar, Pedro, and Frédéric Strauss. Almodóvar on Almodóvar. London: Faber, 2006.


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Canning, Elaine "Destiny, theatricality and identity in contemporary European cinema." New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film 4.3 (2006): 159-171. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. Corliss, Richard, and Jeffrey Ressner "Loving Pedro." Time 154.20 (1999): 100.Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. Romney, Jonathan "Performance Art." New Statesman 128.4451 (1999): 31. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. Russell, Lawrence. “Fcourt” Film Court/Culture Court. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. http://www.culturecourt.com/F/Latin/MyMother.htm Sofair, Michael "All About My Mother." Film Quarterly 55.2 (2001): 40. AcademicSearch Premier. EBSCO. Web. 30 Nov. 2009. Walsh, David. “Still Pleased With Himself.” World Socialist Web Site. 21 Apr. 2000. 28 Nov. 2009. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/apr2000/motha21.shtml


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DAN SCHAFER

Political Activism of an “Inactive” Generation The hippies of the 60’s and 70’s used their music and culture to express their disagreements with the government and war. The message of political activism was passed on quickly, like a doobie through Woodstock, due to a very powerful and relative tool, music. The hippies flooded the streets and boycotted institutions because the music conveyed that message. Naomi Rockler-Gladen believes that Generation Y is “years into their own Vietnam, and they aren’t exactly flooding the streets with protesters.” Generation X and the Baby Boomers assume that Generation Y has no interest in politics and that it is irrelevant to their lives, but take a closer look at Generation Y and you can see that we are becoming active and aware of the issues going on, and that message is being conveyed through our own culture The hippies were young people who went out and publicly voiced their opinions on the controversial issues of that time period. They followed musicians all over the country, organized sit-ins, and protested at many institutions, such as Kent State. This was seen as an extremely radical movement. In 1969, 300,000 young people attended Woodstock, during the peak of military controversy, to hear musicians convey a message about the Vietnam War. It mobilized millions and united them in a single cause: to stop the war. And it was a great success. While it is true that Generation Y does not face a mandatory draft and, therefore, does not have the same sense of urgency as the hippies did to go out and protest because “your number may be next,” we do understand and care about the political issues of today and the way in which they affect our lives. Generation Y is not just young adults who do not care about anything in life and are content with sitting in a dark and dank basement playing computer games all day and having our moms cook us Bagel Bites. The pop-punk band “Green Day” is an immensely popular and widely known band. In the last four years, the band has produced seven songs that have made the top 100 lists for Billboard, and two of those songs made the top 10 lists (Billboard). They are also one the most “politically charged” bands of today, and they are not ambiguous about where they stand politically. The band’s lyrics include topics such as the decay of the virtues on which America was founded and the George W. Bush regime (Rolling Stone). The band’s CD American Idiot spreads the message of self-awareness to Generation Y by using terms like “propaganda” to refer to the news we are fed today through biased stations. It also makes a reference to George W. Bush as Hitler in the song “Holiday”: “Seig Heil to the President Gasman/Kill all the flags that don’t agree” (AZ-


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Lyrics.com). The CD was played all over the nation on radio and television, and the two most controversial songs, “American Idiot” and “Holiday” struck a note in the heart of every American teenager because we knew the problems with the War and the President and that it was affecting us whether we wanted it to or not (Greenday.com). Generation Y is known as the generation of technology; we were brought up with it our entire lives. It has become an intricate part of our lives. Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter are used daily as a way to communicate. Therefore, musicians have used these means of communication as a way to excite Generation Y’s interest in politics and to spread their message, and it has worked extremely well. Through programs like Rock the Vote, Bother Voting, and Join the Dot, there has been a spike in political activism among young adults. In 2008 alone, over 22 million, 18-29 year olds voted in the presidential elections, and the number of young registered voters has been steadily increasing over the years. This most recent election saw an increase of 2 million more young adult voters than in 2004 and 6.5 million more than the 2000 election (RocktheVote.com). Over 2.6 million people registered online through Rock the Vote. The young voters mobilized and physically followed the entire presidential election from the Iowa Caucuses all the way up to Election Day in November. I have a friend who traveled to the Iowa Caucus from Illinois, and he was as excited about going to see Obama as a little kid about to go see Mickey Mouse; it was all he talked about the entire summer. And it turned out that the youth vote was the swing vote to push President Barack Obama into the White House. 1.6 million people joined the e-mail list for Rock the Vote and 251,000 voters signed up for the mobile activist list (RocktheVote.com). This mobile activist list will send a text message whenever there is an important or controversial issue being discussed, and it will provide facts on the topic through its website. Rock the Vote will also contact members on Facebook or Myspace if they choose to receive notices there. This entire program was fueled and driven by the artists and celebrities of today’s culture: Sheryl Crow, the Beastie Boys, Tenacious D, Ben Stiller, Ben Harper, Bow Wow, Jack Johnson, and many more traveled through 16 states and made 100 stops to spread their message of political awareness to young adults. The youth turnout increased to 51 percent, the highest since 1972 (RocktheVote.com) If Generation Y’s political activity is looked at with the proper perspective, it is obvious that it is becoming increasingly politically active, and that is happening through their counter-culture. Even though it is not “flooding the streets with protesters,” Generation Y is very active in politics and very aware of the controversial issues of its time. We are a Generation that was raised with technology and we utilize that technology to unite ourselves for a cause. Even though Generation Y is not seen as radical or even as caring as the hippies of the 60’s and 70’s, we are a political force to be reckoned with now.


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WORKS CITED Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. “Green Day.” Billboard Magazine. Billboard Magazine. Web.October 28, 2009. Http://www.Billboard.com Http://www.Greenday.com. Green Day Band. November 2, 2007. Web. November 2, 2007 Rock the Vote. Http://Rockthevote.com. Convio: Move People. November 2, 2009. Web. November 2, 2009 Rocker-Gladen, Naomi. “Me Against the Media: From the Trenches of a Media Lit Class.” Adbusters Magazine. March 2, 2007. Sheffield, Rob. “Green Day: American Idiot.” Rolling Stone Magazine. Wenner, Jann S. September 30, 2004. Web. November 2, 2009


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SARAH SKORCZEWSKI

Choice Words Choice governs modern societal life in much the same manner that oxygen controls biological function. When both are plentiful, beings flourish. Blood pumps and breaths are sighed. Decisions are spoken. Choices are made. Choice equals freedom; it defines it. Freedom is an abstract concept while choice has a concrete, measurable effect, though sometimes it might only be noted in retrospect. And when the power to choose is withheld from an individual, just as with oxygen, that person suffocates, becomes an empty shell of unspoken possibilities. Some might say that it takes a maturation process to transition into a reasoning, self-responsible individual, though novels such as Little Women and Persuasion show that the inverse is true. It is only when Jo March and Anne Elliot start to understand that they alone can make decisions for their lives that either of them can mature into strong independent women. In the beginning of both novels, Jo and Anne depend on others when a troubling fork appears in their respective life paths. Anne, in her youth, looked to her neighbor and substitute parent Lady Russell with regards to her romantic relationship with Captain Frederick Wentworth. The outcome of surrendering her freedom to choose grieves her throughout the novel as well. Likewise, Jo March looks to her mother (called Marmie) when a decision is before her. In chapter eight of Little Women, Jo is seen crying, “Mother, what shall I do? What shall I do?” (Alcott 82). She is unable to be at peace with herself until Marmie comforts her, and as long as she isn’t required to make that decision, Jo remains immature. What both characters eventually learn, however, is that the power to choose is theirs, and they must take responsibility for whatever follows suit. They must let go of the notion that others must make a decision for them, that they must do what society or an elder tells them to do. Anne decides to abandon Lady Russell’s advice and even mentions that she takes responsibility for the turmoil she had felt. Jo, going against conventions of the times, informs her Mother without asking for permission that she is off to New York, using terms such as “I want to” and “I’d like to” (Alcott 320). By Anne shaking the belief that it isn’t proper to marry Wentworth and Jo understanding that she can defy convention by not marrying Theodore “Laurie” Lawrence, both grow into maturity and develop their own set of values specific to both individuals. Some argue that neither woman lets go of the conventions held by society and, because of this, does not develop her own belief system. What must be emphasized in these arguments is that it is not the outcome that causes the growth in both characters. It is not their ideas of marriage or society that changes their ideals. Rather, it is how each begins to understand that she can make her own personal, educated decisions about whatever choice is presented to her that makes each an independent, intelligent woman. They decide to choose for themselves. And this powerful growth is how both women obtain their freedom, married or not. WORK CITED Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004. Print.


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SARAH SKORCZEWSKI

Sto Lat, Sto Lat It took seventy-two hours of constant deliberation before a name was decided, and it took ten seconds after the papers were signed and an announcement was made before the boy’s Grandmother, Morta Korzybski, was cursing in her ancient Lithuanian tongue. Tomasz. A fine name, easily Americanized by future classmates and employers. A strong name, consonants at either end acting like pillars between which a sturdy life might be built. A Polish name, after the arrogant, simple-minded man she had to look at, cook for, and sleep next to for as many years as her kids lived at home before she escaped into the land of the single. As the bottle of vodka flowed more and more freely, her voice bellowed higher and shouted louder both complaints on the origin of Tomasz’s name and blessings for his birth. “Mykolas Korzybski,” Morta cried between shots. “A good Lithuanian name. Do you see? Do you see how it keeps your tongue moving as you say it? Do you know why that is?” They all knew but said nothing. All attention was on little Tomasz who was, at the moment, looking around at the commotion, wondering what he had gotten himself into. The old woman continued, taking the child into her leathery, drunken arms. “It is because Lithuanian children are not lazy like Polish children. They do their chores and honor their parents. And they have a name that keeps them disciplined as they are too busy learning how to spell it!” she said, tapping Tomasz on the nose. The room smiled as Morta’s mood swung back to jovial. Jane Korzybski, Morta’s American daughter-in-law with as much culture as a paper clip, sighed, reaching her arms out to take her first-born prize. Her face held unease, as if Morta was a drunk old lady holding her hours-old child loosely in her arms. Perhaps, many would say if seeing the situation for themselves, she had reason. Her reach went ignored. Instead, Morta continued to lay affections on the child. “Tomasz, Tomasz. My little Tomasz. It could be worse, I am sure. Even if it is Polish.” Her son Mekas, named after great Lithuanian filmmaker Jonas Mekas, prodded his Mother’s pride with a smirk. “Yes, we thought about naming him Dmitri,” he said. Morta’s eyebrows, recently drawn on that very morning, attempted to rise in distress. “And I suppose you’d add a “Y” at the end of Korzybski and be done with it! No, no Tomasz,” she said, channeling her energy back to her Grandson. “Even a Polish name is better than Russian. A Polish toast to my Polish Tomasz.”


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Shifting the baby to one arm, she poured herself another shot. “Be careful, Morta,” Jane warned, her eyes never leaving her son. “Oh shut-up. I raised three sons and had seven dogs in my life. Do you think I did that without vodka? Anyway, no baby can live a good life without a toast from his Babcia.” She raised the shot glass like a fine wine glass, allowing anybody running on empty to refill with the proper amount of alcohol. In a thick, wavy voice and without any sense of key or tune, Morta began: “Sto lat, sto lat, Niech zyje, zyje nam. Sto lat, sto lat, Niech zyje, zyje nam, Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech zyje, zyje nam, Niech zyje nam!” Downing the drinks, the family clapped happily. Morta was forgiven for her crazy antics, and, after relinquishing the child to his rightful owner, she soon began the walk to her home. This was the way Tomasz Korzybski entered the world. -----The walk from St. Stanislaw’s to his small brick home took only fifteen minutes at a stroll. The run, however, took only eight minutes and made for a much more abstract view of the scenery. The orange fall leaves melted into a fiery ball of molten lava swirling atop brown trunks, occasionally spitting out an obstacle course of flaming comets into the pools of lava already coating the sidewalk. Picket fences became the ash remnants of structures long forgotten, and cars were monsters swimming through the maze of grey lakes, taking passengers to wherever they might need. Crisp fall air makes for happy little boys, and at nine years old on one of October’s giddy Fridays, Tomasz raced through his tiny neighborhood to the quaint run-down movie theatre owned by his parents. Opening the door with the ease of monotonous recurrence, he ran up the stairs of the projection room, each step thundering under his feet as a warning to whoever lay behind the door that he was not to be kept any longer than an instant. The projection room had but two lights, one above the projectors which allowed for films to be threaded with the precision and accuracy that old machines needed and one taking up the slack, spreading through the rest of the room in the hopes that no one would fall over the boxes stacked five high full of reels of useless film as well as screws, bolts, and random tools organized in no particular way but always available if a person had enough patience. This light was partially obstructed by his tall Father whose hands held two loose strips of film above his head in an attempt to find a matching picture.


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“I’m going to Babcia’s,” Tomasz said as both a greeting and a goodbye, and before his Father had time to respond he was thundering back down the stairs, his only trace being the swoosh of the door as it closed slowly behind him. “Lucky her,” said Mekas before splicing the two strips together and winding them upon the reel for the night’s show. Upon entering his grandmother’s house, he was greeted by an Airedale named Lady who protected the house by running to find her owner whenever anyone broke into the house. Some things, Lady knew, were best kept to those with opposable thumbs. Morta named her dog Lady for one reason: it was English for Morta, and she and her dog were one in the same. Had her dog not been a damned coward so easily startled that her tail wagging sent her into a panic, she would have named her Morta as well. Tomasz followed Lady through the hallway and into the eggshell colored kitchen in which he had spent his childhood watching the old ladies of his family peeling potatoes for hours the night before any social get-together involving food. Such gatherings included weddings, births, reunions, birthdays, holidays, and, most of all, funerals. Though tomorrow held no special function for the family, a pot of potatoes boiled on the stove as the smell of already rotting peels permeated the air, its perfume a mixture of salt and earthy soil. “Babcia, Babcia,” Tomasz cried, shaking in excitement. He put his pile of books on the counter but did not let go of the black handled box he held in his other hand. “Hello Tomasz, did you bring school work to do?” Morta asked, scooping the potato peels into the trash as she had done so many times before. “Yes, Babcia. And we got our band assignments today. Ms. Lamsargas said I was really good. Look what she gave me,” he said. Each word acted as a propeller for the next until the sentences were so fast that Morta had to sit down just to listen. He opened the box and pulled a tarnished golden trumpet from inside the hidden depths. As he placed it on his lips, the loudest, most foul noise punctured the air. Morta drew back at the sound, her drawn-on eyebrows raising as only Tomasz could make them, and she hushed her grandson with a string of incomprehensible words. “What is this that you brought into my house? What is that ugly thing?” she asked, irritated. “It’s a trumpet. It is a musical instrument you play,” he explained, his voice still trying to hold the excitement that flourished in it a moment previously. “I know that, you silly little boy. But it is not an instrument that you play. Others might, but a Korzybski never plays such a brassy little noisemaker. No, no, no. Nonsense. Tomorrow we will go get you a proper instrument, and you can take that back to your teacher with a note from your Babcia, okay?” Completely deflated, Tomasz nodded. Morta muttered to herself as she


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stood to mash the boiled potatoes, and Lady stood valiantly by, waiting for any scraps that might fall. This was the moment his future was decided for him. ---The boredom in his voice as he told his story was met only by the fluid drone with which he told it. He felt as he did in high school when he used to record the answering machine’s message at his parent’s theatre - always the same information told in words changed a miniscule amount from week to week in an effort to stir excitement for that particular show. The shows he talked about now, however, were his own, and the information conveyed tilted more toward music and meaning rather than show times and plots. Some days he didn’t know which he preferred. The bar was the same as every other bar in any other town. Gruff barmen took orders from twenty-somethings in too-tight clothing while straggling thirtysomethings attempted to blend in. The décor attempted to file itself under ‘vintage’ with booths lining the walls, each getting its own pinned-up pin-up who gave a coy smile from beyond the framed glass protecting them. A waitress who was too smart to be dealing with the drunken idiots who tipped her after every round but too savvy to pass up the hundreds of dollars each night brought in placed a plain white napkin in front of him, topping it with a curved glass of vodka tonic. The bill was tabbed by the woman across from him, and he nodded out of grateful habit in her direction. A moment passed as the pair took a sip from their respective drinks, and he couldn’t help but wince as the taste of vodka was overpowered by the smell of whatever whiskey concoction she had ordered. She noticed his eyes narrow. “What is it?” she asked, her voice jumping pitches with the excitement that only a reporter discovering a possible angle to her story could manage. He thought of the possible ways to approach his answer. “My Babcia told me that a woman who drinks whiskey is never to be trusted.” She wrote the quote in her notepad, the writing so immaculate that he could read it upside-down by the small light coming from overhead. Tomasz studied the woman as she did so. She wore an over-pieced outfit that probably took her three hours to put together, and the notebook she wrote in was an expensive journal bought at some book store in anticipation for the meeting. He thought back to the beginning of the conversation, trying to remember what local paper she was writing for. Some blog, he recalled. ‘Good for instant promotion,’ his tour manager had said. He shook his head in silent disagreement with his manager and drank a few sips from his tonic. “Now,” the reported continued, “this is the Grandma you were talking about earlier, right?”


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“Of course. My other Grandma is American and far too politically correct to make such a comment.” “Politically correct? How do you mean?” Tomasz smirked, finally having fun. “Well, Babcia Morta would then go on to explain that a woman who drinks whiskey must be Scottish and probably just wants your money.” Opening her mouth in protest, the reporter returned to the usual path of questions, her voice forcibly professional. In all actuality, Tomasz knew the woman wanted to throw the said beverage at him, glass and all, and was disappointed at her for not falling into his attempt to stir up trouble. He yearned to tell Babcia Morta about the woman just to watch her rise to the occasion and spew out her opinion, entertaining him for a few minutes. The interview continued: “Are you enjoying your stay in Maine?” “Any specific songs we can look forward to you playing?” “Any new songs?” “How’s the tour with your fellow Monsters of the Accordion bands?” “Any animosity? Romances?” He checked each one off, falling back into his answering machine voice. “Tonight’s movie is… It starts at seven o’clock and ends at… Tickets are five dollars… Hope to see you soon…” Sometimes he wondered why reporters didn’t just read old interviews and paraphrase. The answers to the questions are always the same, and since the questions never changed, one could make an easy leap to what the article should say. He had dreamed of an interview of offbeat, thought-provoking questions that would start a conversation worth the cost of the tour. He had no idea a whiskeydrinker might deliver this to him. As Tomasz’s attention flat-lined, the question hung in mid-air, and it took a moment for him to even notice it. Unexpected. Unprompted. In a little bar in Maine during an interview with a local blogger, the question came: “Who do you play for?” After a moment of thought, Tomasz continued his story. ---She had been conscious when he arrived, but it was clear that she was holding on in the stubborn way she did everything. She did nothing without a fight, dying being no exception. Visiting hours had nearly passed, but the nurse had given him a quiet nod when he entered the hospital. His parents had left the room, giving him time to talk to her, but they warned him that the stroke made her go in and out of lucidity. Her first words were her own, and he smiled as they passed her lips. “Do you have any vodka?” He shook his head. “Sorry Babcia, it was all confiscated.” “They want me to die so they can have a good dinner this weekend. I already


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saw the receipt for the potatoes. Ten pounds…” she said, her voice hoarse. “I did bring my accordion, Babcia. I came straight from a show to visit. Can I play for you?” She nodded, and started to hum her preferred song as he sat down on the bed next to her so that he might play quietly and for her alone to enjoy. The song started, a blessing. “Sto lat, sto lat, Niech zyje, zyje nam. Sto lat, sto lat, Niech zyje, zyje nam, Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech zyje, zyje nam, Niech zyje nam…” He played it again for her and again, her lips mouthing the words softer and slower. As she listened, she swayed her head back and forth as the bellows of the accordion matched the rise and fall of her chest. Up and down. Up and down. Back and forth. Watching, the memories of playing in drunken frat bars and coffee shops full of stoned hippies fell away, the time spent worth it if only for the single moment. This was who he had been playing for his entire life, the answer to all questions. “Sto lat, sto lat, Niech zyje, zyje nam…” “A hundred years, a hundred years, May she live for us…” This was the way Morta Korzybski left this world.


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MONICA SPEEKS

Edgar Allen Poe: The Tomb of Pride Upon first reading Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” one might only see the story of a man gone mad. The main character, Montresor narrates in great detail the night that he lured his friend Fortunato to the depths of his family crypt. Once there, Montresor walls Fortunato into a niche and leaves him to his death. Beneath the surface of the fictional tale lies a much deeper true story of lies, betrayal and contempt. No matter which way the story is spun it remains a story of revenge. To understand the heart of the story, one must understand Poe and this tumultuous time in his life. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” is a direct response to articles written by his friend turned enemy, Thomas Dunn English. Edgar Allen Poe never lived a lucky life. Born in 1809 to actor parents, Poe was shortly abandoned to the world. First his father left the family, and then his mother died. His mother was the first of many people in Poe’s life to die of tuberculosis. While he intensely loved his supportive foster mother, Frances Allen, his relationship with his foster father, John Allen, was quite destructive. When Frances died in 1829 of tuberculosis, Poe was in the army. Unable to return home in time Poe was devastated. John seems to have disagreed with Poe’s personality and Poe reportedly hated the way John treated Frances. John may have made outward motions to help his son but they were barely substantial. It appears Frances was the only tie between Poe and John and the relationship between foster father and son eventually reached an ultimate conclusion. Shortly after the death of Frances, Poe moved to Baltimore joining his paternal Aunt’s house. He lived with five others, including his dear Aunt “Muddy” Clemm, and young Virginia Clemm. Living with them were a sickly old grandmother, Henry Clemm (who worked as a mason apprentice), and Poe’s older brother, William Leonard. It seems important to note that both Henry and William were heavy drinkers and William suffered and eventually died from tuberculosis. In May 1835, Muddy and Virginia followed Poe to Richmond after Poe fought to keep Virginia from moving to his second cousin’s house. Seven months later, Poe and Virginia were married. This began the happiest six years of Poe’s life. With Muddy and Virginia by his side, cheering him on, Poe’s writing career flourished. These three made a happy, cozy, joyful family unit. Then, once more tragedy struck Poe’s life. Virginia developed tuberculosis in 1842. Author Dawn B. Sova writes in her biography of Poe: …the five years from the first serious evidence of her illness . . . sent Poe into a deep depression. He lived in daily fear of her death . . . Many critics have seen the influence of Virginia’s five years of dying in Poe’s work during those years . . . The madness of which Poe speaks


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. . . becomes the madness of the narrators of “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Tell-tale Heart,” and “The Black Cat.” Poe worked as an editor and published poems, essays, and articles appearing in magazines and periodicals in both Philadelphia and New York, including Godey’s Magazine and Lady Book. In 1844 Poe’s poem “The Raven” was published and met with immediate success. Poe was welcomed into the New York literary society. During this time he became friendly with many of the writers he would later critique. Poe began a series of articles entitled “The New York Literati” in the May 1846 issue of Godey’s Magazine and Lady Book. These were often very personalized sketches of the fellow writers he had come to know, and “The profiles, in which Poe often commented upon the connection between the author’s work and his/her personality ranged from the complimentary to the brutally scathing in describing both the authors work and personal experience” (Sova “The Literati”). Although Poe claimed he intended the articles to be mere gossip, they were not received in a lighthearted manner. Thomas Dunn English took great offense to Poe’s articles. There had long been a mutual dislike between the two men who had started off as co-workers and close friends. English began featuring dunderhead characters meant to represent Poe in his writing beginning in 1843. After the July 1846 issue of Godey’s Magazine and Lady Book published Poe’s “The Literati of New York City” featuring Thomas Dunn English, English unleashed his fury on Poe. English used Henry Fuller’s newspaper, Evening Mirror to respond with his own article, beginning “The War of the Literati.” In his response, English returned Poe’s critique with scathing criticism of his own, leveling outlandish claims of Poe’s drunkenness, excessive begging of money, plagiarism and even domestic abuse. English continued to publish these accusations for months until Poe sued him for libel. Out of fear, English fled to Washington but continued to publish his lies about Poe under the thin veil of his recurring character Marmaduke Hammerhead who appears as a drunken fool in his novella series entitled 1844: or The Power of the S.F. Leonard B. Hurley, author for American Literature: A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, and Bibliography analyzes the similarities between English’s character Hammerhead and Poe, stating “Moreover, Hammerhead is presented as author of a well-known poem, ‘The Black Crow,’ and… We are told that he [Hammerhead] has written criticism on the Literati of the country and that he considers himself the ‘great Mogul of all the critics’” (381-382). In an excerpt published in the New York Mirror September 5, 1846 English introduces his Poe character as, “That is Marmaduke Hammerhead—a very well known writer for the six-penny periodicals, who aspired to be a critic, but never presumes himself a gentleman” (qtd. in Hurley 383). Francis B. Dedmond, writes of English’s series in Modern Language Quarterly, “The serial parts containing these satirical passages on Poe appeared in the New York Mirror at various times between September 5 and October 31, 1846” (143). The date of English’s series is misleading. The story, entitled “1844: or The Power of the S.F.” was written and published in 1846. However, Poe’s “The Raven” was published


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in 1844. English indicated Poe, author of the popular poem “The Raven,” when he parodied the author of “The Black Crow.” After months of furious writing back and forth among the New York writing community after the scandal and lawsuit, “The Cask of Amontillado” was published in Godey’s Magazine and Lady Book’s November 1846 issue. Poe begins his tale with Montresor’s statement: “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (699). For years critics have argued that the insult is never disclosed. However, when the facts of Poe’s history are recounted logically, and if indeed Poe is Montresor and English is Fortunato, one blaring insult stands out among the injuries to Poe’s reputation. All the men in Poe’s life had abandoned him, criticized and neglected him. The only loving relationships he had were with women who unconditionally loved and supported him. This caused him to become attached to them, and to feel protective of them. Poe abhorred his foster father’s extramarital affairs and mistreatment of Frances. Poe fought firmly against Virginia, the sweet young girl he had grown up with, moving to his second cousin’s house, away from his protection. Surely, the ultimate offense to such a man as Poe would be to accuse him of beating his beloved, dying, “darling little wifey” (qtd. in Sova, “Poe, Edgar Allan”). Returning to the story, Montresor continues, “At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk” (Poe 699). Poe is here referring to his pending lawsuit against English. The “point,” Poe’s decision to pursue legal revenge, was definitely settled, but the very conclusive and final way with which it was resolved (for what is more conclusive than a legal decision?) excluded the thought of danger, alluding to the allegation that English had reportedly taken his fists to Poe more than once. It seems English’s entire literary works revolved around destroying Poe. Poe acknowledges this when Montresor says, “A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong” (699). A literal translation, taken from Encarta Dictonary might read a wrong is not “compensated” when “punishment” overtakes it “compensator.” Poe states here, through Montresor, that English is not the righteous avenger he presumes himself to be by spreading his cruel lies. The action of the story begins when Montresor introduces Fortunato to the reader. Fortunato is a “man to be respected and even feared,” but has one weak spot – wine (Poe 700). Wine holds the greatest symbolic significance here; in this instance wine means truth. In his Dictionary of Literary Symbols, Michael Ferker evaluates the use of wine in literature: “The famous saying, In vino veritas, ‘In wine is truth,’ has two senses depending on whether one is drinking it or watching someone else do so… ‘Wine is the test to show the mind of man’” (qtd. in Ferker 238). When Montresor finds his friend wandering alone during the carnival season Fortunato is already drunk, yet Montresor supplies him with more wine as the story progresses. Poe dressed Fortunato in a fool’s costume, tight fitting pants


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and jingling bells upon his cap much like English made Hammerhead a bumbling fool in his story. After warmly greeting his friend, Montresor baits him, appealing to Fortunato’s proud knowledge of wine. He calls himself silly while proclaiming Fortunato’s greatness. Then he says, because Fortunato is busy, he will go to Luchesi, an obscure character except to be an apparent rival of Fortunato, claiming he has the knowledge Montresor needs. In this way Montresor manipulates Fortunato’s arrogance by making the foolish Fortunato demand to be taken to the crypt. Through the symbolic attire and the actions of his characters and with ironic text Poe parallels his verbal duel with English. In response to English’s assertion that Hammerhead “never presumes himself a gentleman,” (qtd. in Hurley 383) Poe sprinkles aristocratic hints throughout the story. Like Poe, Montresor dresses in black. Montresor wears a black silk mask and roquelaire, a short cape. Montresor also carries a rapier, a thin blade used by gentlemen in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Montresor’s home is a castle and his crypt (family) extends through history. Like Montresor, Poe was virtually alone but research into his family history reveals a rich and storied past; Poe’s grandfather was David Poe, Sr. “a prominent member of Richmond society, a distinguished veteran of the American Revolution, and the former deputy quartermaster of Baltimore, as well as a wealthy man” (Sova, “Poe, Edgar Allan”). Also in a very noble gentleman manner Montresor hints to Fortunato throughout the story of Fortunato’s impending death. Upon reaching the crypt, Montresor points out the nitre and damp air to Fortunato. Fortunato responds with a coughing fit and Montresor firmly says, “We will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter” (Poe 701). The memory of gloriously happy days still vivid in his mind, Poe must have felt this bitterly. His mother, and foster mother were dead and his wife was an invalid. His family and friends had largely abandoned him and this young writer, Thomas Dunn English, was making his life miserable. In the tale, Fortunato flippantly responds that the cold will not kill him, and Montresor too quickly agrees. He then provides Fortunato with wine, our ancient day truth serum. “Drink,” (Poe 701) Montresor demands. Fortunato accepts the bottle with a look that suggests cruel intention: “He paused and nodded to me familiarly, while his bells jingled. ‘I drink,’ he said, ‘to the buried that repose around us’” (Poe 701). It is the same as saying “I toast to your dead family” or to a miserable, lonely defeated man; “I honor that you are all alone.” It is interesting to note here, while Fortunato stands between life and death, that bells were traditionally rung at a funeral. “And I to your long life,” responds Montresor ironically (Poe 702). The pair continues through the crypt and Fortunato continues to insult Montresor. Again, Montresor warns Fortunato to go back but Fortunato only requests more wine. Montresor supplies him with De Grâve, which might be literally translated to mean “the grave.” Fortunato drinks the entire bottle at once and then uses the bottle to make a grotesque sign. He claims to be a member of the masons


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and reacts with shock when Montresor responds that he too is a mason. Montresor’s true meaning is lost on the drunken Fortunato when he shows him the trowel hidden under his cloak. This scene might parallel English’s 1844: or The Power of the S.F., “The initials ‘S.F.’ stand for ‘Startled Falcon,’ a secret organization somewhat akin to the Order of the Illuminati in plan, though on a lower scale” (Hurley 381) or a group similar to the freemasons. Another idea is the mason here may represent the New York Literati that had begun to shun Poe. Finally the pair reaches the end of their journey. In a small room lined on three sides with bones, there is a smaller niche. Montresor presses Fortunato forward, for therein is the wine they seek. Fortunato shortly is stopped by a wall, confused, but Montresor reacts quickly wrapping a chain around Fortunato’s waist and locking him to the wall. He sarcastically pleads with Fortunato to leave or risk illness. Then he begins to build a wall across the opening of the niche. After the seventh tier Montresor looks in on his victim who begins to violently scream. This throws Montresor back and he feels afraid. However, placing his hand on the solid stone wall Montresor feels braver. Montresor resumes his work, mimicking Fortunato’s screams, screaming with him, yelling even louder than Fortunato until he is silent. As Montresor places the final stone, Fortunato sadly pleads for mercy. Montresor mirrors his plea and waits for a response. He calls his friend’s name twice but receives no answer. He throws his torch in the hole and hears only the jingling of Fortunato’s bells. His heart grows sick at Fortunato’s demise, but he blames it on the air in the crypt and quickly finishes his crime. Just as neither Montresor nor Fortunato can be considered blameless in “The Cask of Amontillado,” Poe and English each hold responsibility for the “war of the literati.” Although English continued for years to obsess over the fight and to write nasty Poe-like characters into his stories, I believe “The Cask of Amontillado” is symbolic of Poe’s desire to silence his rival for good. Most discussions of Poe’s work eventually lead to the question of whether Montresor got away with his perfect revenge. In Poe’s case I believe he did for just as Fortunato remains walled up in Montresor’s crypt, Thomas Dunn English is forever entombed in the shadow of Poe’s literary genius. WORKS CITED Dedmond, Francis B. "The Cask of Amontillado" and The War of The Literati. Modern Language Quarterly 15.2 (June 1954): 137. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Lincoln Land Com. Col. Lib., Springfield, IL. 24 Apr. 2009 < http://search.ebscohost.com>. Ferker, Micheal. “Wine.” Dictionary of Literary Symbols. 2nd ed. 2007. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 699-704. Hurley, Leonard B. "A New Note in The War of The Literati." American Literature 7.4 (Jan. 1936): 376. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Lincoln Land Com. Col. Lib., Springfield, IL. 24 Apr. 2009 < http://search.ebscohost.com>.


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Poe, Edgar A. “The Cask of Amontillado.” The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charter. Massachusetts: Bedfor/St. Martin’s, 2007. 699-704. “Redress.” Microsoft Corporation Encarta World English Dictionary [North American Edition]. 1998-2007. “Retribution .” Microsoft Corporation Encarta World English Dictionary [North American Edition]. 1998-2007. Sova, Dawn B. "Poe, Edgar Allan." Critical Companion to Edgar Allan Poe: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2007. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. Lincoln Land Com. Col. Lib. Springfield, IL 24 Apr. 2009 <hhttp://www.fofweb.com>. Sova, Dawn B. "'The Literati of New York City'." Critical Companion to Edgar Allan Poe: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2007. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. Lincoln Land Com. Col. Lib. Springfield, IL 24 Apr. 2009 <http://www.fofweb.com>.


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Author and Artist Bios Samantha “Sam” Barrow Outside the Norm If not for the multiple tattoos and piercings of the subject, this sepia toned environmental portrait could easily have come from the 1960s or 1970s. Because the approach is both contemporary and historical, Sam’s photograph has an enduring, timeless quality. She created the work under the guidance of Instructor Emily Thompson in Intro to Photography. Sam will receive her degree in art from LLCC and plans to pursue a career in photography. Steve Bee No Space Blues Steve graduated from Lanphier High School in Springfield and went to work in a large warehouse. After thirteen years on the job, the warehouse closed, forcing all employees to seek other work. Steve returned to school, where he is pursuing an Associates Degree in Applied Science with a specialization in Networking/Programming. In addition to becoming a student again, Steve and his family had to adapt to a major move, and in “No Space Blues,” written in Professor Alison Stachera’s Com 099 course, Steve explains what it feels like for a family of five to go from a spacious home into a mobile home. Steve lives with his wife and three children in Springfield. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, fishing, and “anything outdoors.” Justin Byerline Teach Your Children The school desk, small chalkboards, and apple are so texturally interesting and richly colored that this digital photo looks like a meticulous painting. Justin created this digital photograph in Professor Al Schull’s course. Justin is pursuing a degree in journalism here at LLCC, but he plans to switch to art for his B.A. He is married with two children and enjoys reading, writing poetry, photography, art, and music. Another piece by Justin, titled, “My Own Worst Enemy,” won the photography award in the 1st Annual LLR Competition. Ricki Castellanos Blackberry Patch Ricki Catellanos won one of the two awards for Academic Non-Fiction in the first annual LLR contest with her tender essay about encountering her father once more in the blackberry patch. She graduated from Nokomis High School and attended LLCC for an Associate’s in Science for kinesiology and exercise physiology. In fact, Ricki likes anything fitness related including bicycling, strength training, fishing and boating. She is married with “four very supportive children.” Fayne Davis A Blessing in Disguise Fayne Davis explored the problems of homelessness in two essays for Professor Cara Swafford’s COM 111 course; one essay focused on the problems of the home-


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less and discusses community response. The other essay, “A Blessing in Disguise” is a narrative in which Fayne explores how being temporarily homeless left him with a new understanding of the term. Fayne’s long-term educational goals are to receive a Master’s degree in Physical Education with a specialization in nutrition. He enjoys sports of all kinds, coaching, and “guiding people in the right direction.” Nicole Denby Tarantula Before attending LLCC, Nicole was home schooled. She lives in Springfield and recently took her first painting class with Professor Thom Whalen. “Tarantula” is particularly interesting for its sense of motion and movement, its half-images and swirls of color. In addition to art and graphic design, Nicole enjoys literature, movies, and gourmet cooking. Oliver Droefenu Education: Training or Abuse? This piece, which shares the intensely bleak and unsympathetic school system of Anloga, Ghana, won one of the two awards for academic nonfiction in the first annual LLR contest. Oliver wrote the essay in Com 111 with Professor Deborah Brothers. Oliver plans to attend medical school after he receives his B.A. He is married and the father of one child. He enjoys soccer as a hobby. Anne Eckstrom The Snack That Smiles Back The foreground of Anne’s painting is all about surprise, from the look in her subject’s eyes to what is hanging from its mouth. Anne developed this canvas with its bold colors and contrasting textures in Professor Thom Whalen’s Painting III course. She graduated from Hillsboro High School and plans on a career in Graphic Design. Anne has been accepted at Illinois State University and will be transferring there in the fall of 2010. Kriston Feleccia Mr. Hoots Kriston is a graduate of Lanphier High School in Springfield. She is working on an art degree and completed “Mr. Hoots” in Professor Thom Whalen’s Drawing II course. Kriston will transfer to a four year school in order to complete her B.A. in art. Esmeralda Garcia Bottom of the Food Chain Esmeralda’s short story was written for Professor John Paul Jaramillo’s Lit 150 course. This work of creative non-fiction focuses on her employment as a “runner” at Memorial Hospital in Springfield, IL. Esmeralda is an honor student at LLCC as well as a member of the International Club. Nereida Glover Soy Puerto Rican Nereida’s poem was written in Professor George Vaughn’s Lit 113 course. Nereida is from Springfield and is currently pursuing her Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education and plans on transferring to Springfield College.


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Jessica Gottstein Rasputin’s Heartburn and Who R U? Jessica’s two works were completed in Professor Thom Whalen’s Intermediate Graphic Design course. Each is quite different stylistically, but, in both, Jessica plays with a metaphor of questions and puzzles while looking at two very different cultural icons. Lincoln Land art faculty awarded “Who R U?” the Purchase Award in the 2010 art show, which means Jessica’s work will become a permanent part of LLCC’s art collection. Jessica is from Springfield and graduated from Ursuline Academy. She plans a career in graphic design. Eric Grinnard Untitled In Digital Photography (Art 124) with Professor Al Schull, students learn the basics of camera technique and production. Part of the focus of aesthetic design is evident in this image by Eric Grinnard. Chase Grover Sophomore Is this artwork a commentary on damage to the ecosystem? Is it a reflection on the connection between humans and animals and what each can learn from the either? Perhaps it is both or neither, but because the judges found Chase Grover’s work so well-done and interesting, it won “Best in Show” for the 2010 LLCC Student Art Show. Chase completed the project in Professor Thom Whalen’s Drawing II. Chase graduated from Springfield High School and plans to attend SIU-Edwardsville, where he will pursue a degree in art education. Kathleen Hammock Yellowstone Wolves: The Return of the Exiles and Song of My Soul Kathleen claims that wolves are an essential part of a healthy ecosystem, and she analyzes multiple sources to outline her carefully crafted argument in this Com 112 essay, which she wrote in a course with Instructor Ellen Stahr. Kathleen is pursuing a degree in biology and ultimately plans to receive her Master’s in ecology. She enjoys hiking, plant identification, and camping. Kathleen’s poem, which was the poetry award winner for the first annual LLR competition, was written in Professor George Vaughn’s course, Lit 211, and it is clear that author and speaker share many of the same views on the importance of maintaining a connection to nature. Hallie Hedinger Hollow Gaze The bold shapes, strong shadows, and stark color palette recall visual puzzles that ask a viewer to determine whether an image is “two swans or a vase” in Hallie’s computer generated art design of a woman set against a low-key landscape. She created the work in Instructor Dave Kube’s Intro to Computer Art course. Hallie was formerly home-schooled and plans to obtain a degree in art. Her other interests include literature, Japanese linguistics, and historical architecture.


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Brooke Knebel-Renfro Body Image Barbie Brooke grew up in Vandalia, Illinois and wants to pursue a career in art education and graphic design. She chose Barbie as the icon for her graphic arts commentary on body image and young women, and she cleverly shows how confusing the mixed societal messages can be. She created the piece in Intermediate Graphic Design with Professor Thom Whalen. Heather Kyle Ribboned Walls Lincoln Land Community College offers high school students the opportunity to enroll in Com 111 and 112 before their high school graduation through dual credit courses. Mrs. Barbara Klinefelter, at Nokomis High School, encouraged Heather to submit her personal essay about a car ride that took Heather and her cousin on a reflective journey about their relationship. After high school, Heather wants to attend college for a degree in secondary education, so she can become a high school biology teacher. She enjoys reading, writing, and hanging out with her friends. Krista Ladage Navy Pier Krista worked with Professor Al Schull for her course in digital photography here at LLCC. The Ferris Wheel at Chicago’s Navy Pier could be the center of a whole new universe in Krista’s photograph that plays with dramatic color contrast and interesting angles. Gina Mayes Sinderella Gina Mayes attended Sacred Heart Griffin High School in Springfield before coming to Lincoln Land Community College. She will be transferring to Columbia in the fall of 2010, where she will pursue degrees in both illustration and Japanese. In this black and white print from Instructor Emily Thompson’s course on darkroom photography, Gina explores a familiar image—a woman in formal dress—in an unexpected way. Maggie Michael Restricted Maggie’s drawing, chosen as this year’s LLR cover, presents viewers with stunning color and ambiguous images, making it an obvious choice for the additional award of “Best of Art/Graphic Design” in the LLR’s first annual competition. Maggie produced the work in Professor Thom Whalen’s Drawing II course. She graduated from Nokomis High School and will attend Northern Illinois University to receive her B.A. in graphic design. Susannah Oettle Banned Books = Missed Opportunities An overheard conversation about the Harry Potter novels helped Susannah find a way in to her essay about how banning books is not the correct approach to controversial subject matter. Susannah wrote “Banned Books = Missed Opportunities” in Professor Mary Wheeler’s Com 111 course. Susannah is interested in organic


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gardening, reading, photography, and hiking. Susannah wants to major in anthropology and plans to attend graduate school. Je’nice Pearce Acting and All About My Mother Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar frequently creates films that center on enigmatic women, and All About My Mother is no exception. Je’nice addresses the theme of women dealing with multiple roles in her film analysis for Professor Bill McCall’s Film as Literature course. Je’nice, a mother and grandmother, is pursuing an Associate’s degree with an emphasis in elementary education. Tierra Reed Untitled Macro-lenses make images pop off the paper in minutely detailed 3-D. Tierra Reed explores both human and plant in this image, and the range of textures is fascinating. Tierra took digital photography with Professor Al Shull. Jaqualien Rowald Trapped Jaquelien took Drawing II with Professor Thom Whalen as part of her work towards an Associate’s Degree in fine arts. Layers of wall, clothing, and even skin are torn or peeled away as the young man in the work fights against a societal or self-imposed prison. Martin Ruppert Fallout Martin will be attending Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville beginning in fall 2010, where he will be majoring in art. While attending LLCC, Martin took Drawing II with Thom Whalen and created “Fallout,” an image that is so multilayered it almost hovers above the page. Dan Schafer Political Activism of an “Inactive” Generation Dan’s essay was written for Professor Marlene Emmons’ Com 111 course. Dan is from Springfield and attended Sacred Heart Griffin. He is pursuing his Associate’s Degree in engineering. He plans on graduating next year and attending a four-year institution. He also enjoys playing music and coaching football at Sacred Heart Griffin high school. Sarah Skorczewski Choice Words and Sto Lat, Sto Lat Sarah has two essays in this year’s publication and is also the winner of our “Best of” prize for fiction with her story, “Sto Lat, Sto Lat,” written for Professor John Paul Jaramillo’s Lit 150 course. Her shorter work, “Choice Words,” is a brief analysis of two novels from her Lit 147 course (Women in Modern Literature) with Professor Deborah Brothers. Sarah is from Nashville, Illinois where she attended Nashville High School. She enjoys reading, watching movies, drinking coffee, going on adventures, and running the projector at the State Theatre in Nashville.


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Monica Speeks Edgar Allen Poe: The Tomb of Pride In this essay written for Professor Marlene Emmons’ Composition 112 course, Monica opens the fictional “Cask of Amontillado” to reveal Poe’s real life feud with fellow writer Thomas Dunn English. Monica plans to transfer to UIS to obtain a teaching degree. She has been married 14 years and has “three awesome boys [and] wonderful in-laws!” Ryan Tinsley Self Portrait Ryan graduated from Rochester High School and recently took Drawing I with Professor Leslie Stalter. He plans to major in art and eventually obtain his B.A. The work we have included in the LLR shows a vision of “self” that is clearly not drawn from a standard home mirror and is arresting in the variety of its shadings and textures. Michael Vincent Nothing Professor Thom Whalen directed an independent study in graphic design with Michael, who is completing a degree in art here at LLCC and will transfer to Illinois State University in the fall of 2010. Reminiscent of both comic book and propaganda art, “Nothing” presents a complex concept within a simple design. Michael plans to pursue a career in graphic design. Austin Wells Gilbert Grapes Austin wants a career in Art Education and will be attending Northern Illinois University in fall, 2010. He painted this slightly off-beat still life (with its quirky movie referencing title) in Professor Thom Whalen’s Painting I. Austin graduated from Southeast High School. Patrick Wheeler Crowley Pie Produced for Intro to Graphic Design with Professor Thom Whalen, Patrick whets a viewer’s appetite with layers of humor and a pinch of the weird in this work. When not making art, Patrick pursues a degree in web design here at LLCC.


2010 Lincoln Land Review  

2010 Lincoln Land Review

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