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ISSUE 001 â—? JULY 2016

Kaleo Journal

this is how it starts first times, maturity and enlightenment





Hello, I’m Kaleo Journal Kaleo Journal is a collaborative magazine of many talented young people who are looking to make their impact on the world in a positive and expressive way, using their talents to create something amazing. And they have. Brought together by a team of young people passionate about bringing social issues to light, Kaleo believes in the power of the youth. Dedicated to giving emerging creative people a platform, our interviews and profiles delve deeper into their talented minds to inspire and excite you. Released on the first of every other month, each edition is centred around a theme that encapsulates issues that deserve discussion such as equality, wellbeing and identity, in entertaining and engaging ways. With a range of articles, reviews, quick reads and our signature regular columns, we aim to express the diverse issues that matter to young people in a refreshingly clear way.



Terrific Tunes



From Me To You

Hi there sunshine, I am beyond excited to share the very first issue of Kaleo Journal with you! Kaleo Journal is an independent online and print magazine publication for young people about social issues and creative expression. The meaning of “Kaleo” is “to be called” in the Greek language. I believe everyone has a calling in life, whether it may be taking care of 8 cats or finding the cure to a terminal illness. Whatever it may be, I pray that you feel encouraged to grab a hold of it. In this first issue of Kaleo Journal, you will find stories, advice, poetry pieces and everything else in between about first time experiences in life. Share how we grow and experience through exploring. Feel our emotions and let us share with you our messages. The contributors of this magazine are all young souls who have shared their specific calling through their writing, art or music. As this is the start of a wonderful journey, please enjoy and connect with the beauty that comes with all new beginnings. There is a first time for everything, let’s embrace it. All the love,

Kamryn Kobal



What's Inside


008 Team Kaleo of Issue One

012 The Red String

015 Quotable: Mountains

016 Switching The Lens

022 Poet Tree: S.D

023 Connection

027 The Reading Room

031 Quotable: Reaction

032 In The Spotlight: Sophie Obst

038 Four Letter Words: Dawn

042 A World Inside My Own

043 A World Outside My Own

044 So, You Lost

048 Summertime Bucket List

050 Let’s Talk: Mayrse Bombito


060 Poet Tree: The Girl Who Loves The View

Of Issue One

061 Serendipity

062 Wintertime Bucket List

064 My Lips

067 Quotable Start Again

068 Sweet by Clay Moss

072 Poet Tree: Dear Night

073 The Psychology of Movement - Moeity

076 Cover It

088 Lost In The Music

090 Noteworthy: Sam Slot

“We haven’t even touched the surface of weird and I just shared my internal monologue” 078 Globetrotter: Dubai

086 The Letter In Which I Become Panic

099 Think Before You Shoot

100 Call And Answer



Team Kaleo


Kamryn Kobal Founder and Editor-in-Chief Aspiring Merch Girl

Chloe Katopodis Creative Director Full Time Stress Machine

I first got the idea of creating Kaleo Journal while biting into a hot panini that burnt my tongue, however I was so excited over the magazine thought that I never fully felt the pain of the blister until minutes later. Now, one year later Kaleo Journal is celebrating its first issue and I still haven’t eaten a spinach panini since. I hope you enjoy Kaleo Journal and the creativity, passion and excitement that has been poured into the pieces here. I tend to get really great ideas and I start to plan them out but then the realization of all of the responsibility that will come with it hits, making me put my head down until I fall into a deep sleep (this magazine is an exception). I also like to incorporate song lyrics into my everyday speech, whether I am aware of it or not. I enjoy hand holding and writing dramatic stories on typewriters, but not all at once. Lots of this took place while creating this magazine so please, enjoy! ●

Kamryn found me in the deep dark online world, giving us an origin story that books are made of (read all about it in this mag). Halfway across the world from the rest of the team in Australia, I am 17 and three quarter human years or 84 dog years, feeling closer to this age in spirit. My mind is like your neighbor that never turns his outside light off, constantly think think thinking of the most ridiculous scenarios of stealing people and living a life dedicated to art. Taking charge of the creative design of this magazine but equally interested in writing, I manage this in between uni work and sleeping. Actively against ‘live, laugh, love’ signs. Actively for a national siesta. Currently Always obsessed with muscly men and time travel to the 80’s. Always vocal about issues that concern me. I will talk about what I’m passionate about until you stop me, but more than often it will venture into conspiracy theories and shit talking. ●


Of Issue One

Alex Colberg Writer and Photographer Space Doctor

Margot Oyuela Writer Sunset Enthusiast

Hello friends! My name is Alex Colberg, and I am a 17 year old equality seeking, aspiring writer, photographer, traveler, and world changer with big plans and a desire to spread my love for all people. While I work towards accomplishing this rather large goal, you will probably find me viewing the world through the lens of my camera, which greatly fascinates my intellectual understanding that ultimately, the world can be broken down into simple geometric or organic shapes, all of which compile to construct the beautiful world that we live in. I’m a hard headed believer that while certain aspects of life are inevitable, you can always find a reason to smile, whether it be free spiritedly climbing the Rocky Mountains or a daily trip to your local grocery store for a gallon of milk. So join me, on my personal path of discovery as I adventure through this life with a pen and camera in hand. ●

Someone once told me I’m a very “eccentric” person and I didn’t know what that meant so I took it as a compliment. Both my parents are artists so my childhood was less Pooh Bear and more Andy Warhol. As if that didn’t make me “eccentric” enough (see, I know what that means now), I started traveling straight out of the womb. I’m not kidding; I took my first trip to Europe as a 2 week old infant and walked my first steps in a museum. I basically popped out of my mother with a suitcase in my hand. I’m an extreme concert fanatic and I tend to rant about American politics for excruciatingly long periods of time. I also spend an unnecessary amount of money on makeup and have a talent for making jokes at inappropriate times (I’ll even attempt to at a funeral). I never think before I speak and I enjoy making closeminded people feel very uncomfortable. BTW, never hesitate to send me cute pictures of your dogs. Seriously. Please ●



Team Kaleo


Hannah Lozano Writer Concert Ballerina

Alex Markey Music Columnist Lover of The Light

Hi, I’m Hannah. I’m 18 years old and probably the biggest psychology nerd you’ll ever meet. As writing is one of my favorite past times (right under unleashing my inner ballerina at concerts, right above attending pug adoptions), I aspire to share all I can through Kaleo. I fill journals with the adventures I set off on everyday, making every moment spectacular enough to be written about. I try to live the greatest story ever told for someone else to read when the pages are filled, just like all the incredible books that fill my shelves. My youth is in the process of being decorated with beautiful days and beautiful people - phenomenal concert experiences, impulsive travels across the country, and the greatest music in the world. I get pretty wrapped up in my head, which might explain why conversation is so pivotal to my health. So let’s make this a conversation; let’s speak to one another. ●

The epitome of a teenage girl living in the live music capital of the world, but all I really want is for my parents to take the volume limit off my car stereo. I’m not sure my mother realizes how difficult it is to drown out other cars’ music while stuck in mile long traffic when my volume stops at 13. As a lover of every music genre imaginable, parks filled with dogs, and lightning storms, I found my place in Kaleo Journal as the youngest writer who just really wants to be in a girl band. After attending 70 concerts within the past couple years, it’s safe to say I’ve made crowded venues my home. Pressed against sweaty bodies who have spent all evening anticipating their favorite artists who are soon to take the stage, I have made life long friendships. (Most of who are writers for this magazine). So as you can see, music is the biggest joy in my life and I am forever indebted to the friends and memories it has given me. ●


Of Issue One Our Incredible Contributors Clay Moss // Photographer Instagram: claymossphoto Website: Payton Hartsell // Photographer Instagram: htxpayton Brianna Hernandez // Writer Instagram: prettysureitsbri YouTube Channel: Brianna Hernandez Lourdes Ballesteros// Writer Instagram: lourdestagram

Bella Lopes Music Columnist Flower Child I am a curly haired animal lover who thrives on finding new joys in life to grasp on. I see beauty in small things and have to hold myself back from picking flowers. I enjoy putting too much honey on my yoghurt and blasting music every chance possible, even if it annoys everyone in my house. My love for music has grown through the years and I believe it has a power to change our senses and lives. I miss my dog after not seeing him for 10 minutes yet am annoyed when he jumps on me, and I will definitely cry if I see any homeless animal. I am a firm believer in a quality life filled with passion and that relaxed ambience you only read about in romantic novels. I tend to get too cheesy and overemotional about really EVERYTHING! If you are up for learning some new words in Portuguese, findings new songs to listen to, and seeing how many metaphors we can create, keep up with my articles in Kaleo Journal. â—?

Maryse Bombito // Activist Instagram: mxryse.b Samantha Slot // Photographer Instagram: samaaanthak Sophie Obst // Artist Instagram: sophieobst_ Tumblr: Mclane Stringer // Photographer Instagram: m.clane Youtube Channel: Mclane Stringer Hannah Ofczarzak // Playlist Instagram: ofczarzakhannah S.D // Poetry Tumblr: none-for-gretchen

Chilli Mascot / Ball of Fluff I enjoy disrupting work by playing all around the laptop and then finally sleeping on it. â—?




There is a Chinese tale that tells of a red string that connects people in the world, like destiny. This illustrious red string touches you and those you can connect deepest with, those people who you just look at and it all feels right. Best friends. Siblings. Lovers. Soul mates - people who you have moments with that make you seriously contemplate if your spirits are intertwined. I met one of these people, in the most outstanding ways in the most trying of times. I had just entered this new year, 2016, right off the bat off two of the most dismal years of my life, with the last being especially gruelling. There were times where I was sure that I couldn’t go on, and that if I did, I would be a shell of myself. And truthfully, many times for a long time I was just a shadow. Dealt with particularly unsavoury



circumstances that I had no control over, as well as others that I did but fluttered and fumbled with until I reached that status, I was left with a very hollow feeling. Emptiness. I was kind of floating along, alive but battered. The worst of it was over. The most hectic year of my secondary schooling – my last year – was over. A year that was supposed to be filled with some of the best moments of my life. Defining ones that concluded my school experience and made it all seem bittersweet to leave such a place of good times. But it wasn’t some fairy-tale, or teenage movie more like it. There was no indie soundtrack, but instead lots of empty space and still camera angles. Brief moments of happiness were shrouded by bad lighting and worse cinematography. I still would snap the DVD of

last year in half in a heartbeat and blowtorch it into oblivion. With high school over, it was only a matter of months before I began uni. A fresh start. A completely new beginning. I am actually the first one in my family direct to graduate high school and go to university. The better life that my grandparents sought when they migrated from Greece all those years ago are happening; through building their own life with their children (my parents) who overcame hardships and built a steady life locally, and now through to their grandchildren who have so many opportunities and now international aspirations. I am part of their future. The Australian experience. Going into graphic design, I was making the first steps to paving my own path in life, to becoming an individual.

It is these years between sixteen and twenty five that we go on a haphazard ride, living through arguably the most intense periods of our lives. We are finishing school, coming to terms with an interest we want to purse for the rest of our lives, struggling with the apex of emotions, as well as feeling all the pressures of maturity and adulthood. Wasn’t it yesterday that I was twelve years old and lost in the corridors on my way to class with new friends at a new school? I’m still a child! I’m not ready yet! But I have to be. I don’t have a choice. If I’ve learnt one thing from the past year, it is that time doesn’t stop and you can’t dwell on the past because we keep chugging forward. It’s a matter of going with it. Being a creative being from a young age, I have always pursed arts during school, with Design being one of my subjects in Year 12. Given the freedom to choose our own project, I embarked on making a magazine inspired by my favourite publications, with the aim to create everything in there – from the writing to the designing to the making. The aim was to be a representation of who I was, dually acting as a portfolio. I wanted to push myself and try and figure out some direction in my life. Liking art and design just didn’t seem to be clear enough – what was my exact place? After almost half a year of dedicating myself to this project, which I let turn me into a recluse, it was done. I published it online to Issuu

to show my work to those I’d neglected and potential employers. Maybe I would receive some feedback or a hello. Ambitious thoughts, I know, but there was no harm in putting my email address out there. Against all odds, one fateful day in January, I received an email from a girl in Texas who was looking to start her own magazine and was wondering about printing methods. Now I don’t often check my emails because nothing important ever comes through, but nervous with preparations for a quickly upcoming uni orientation week, I was scrolling through while my parents were staying back finishing some paperwork. I mean, I wasn’t really even supposed to be there, it was a last minute thing, and that was one of the few opportunities I had for internet connection. Curious much? Reading the email, I could feel my soul rising up to a different dimension and making a fist pump. I imploded. In the most silent way to not disturb them, or my moody sister. So naturally I texted my best friend in an electric flurry of caps lock and exclamation marks. Taking a moment to pinch myself that this was really happening, I took a deep breath before replying. As they say, the rest was history. That girl was Kamryn. Email after email, more similarities became apparent, with shared interests and visions and backgrounds. Two seemingly disconnected girls on either

sides of the world, coming together in what can only have been written out in the stars by some kind of angel fan fiction scribes. With each letter becoming longer, and I mean in the thousands, we started to form an idea for a magazine cantered around social issues. Each of our passions came together – arts, music, writing, equality – into one plan. Literally taking days to write, there are books smaller than some of our final emails. So we decided to finally Skype on a Friday afternoon. I was deadly nervous but so excited. This was actually happening. To me. After a drought of happiness and positivity, things were all coming together by God’s grace. It was surreal. And the excitement lasted up from the moment I woke up until about 2:45pm, nearly three hours after we were supposed to Skype. Then it manifested into panic. Is everything okay? This girl who is like my soul sister must have been killed horrifically in a car crash / explosion / violent bird attack / actual aliens. And this panic went on until I realised that I am the very definition of idiot and time differences exist. So I regrouped and arrived the next day, ready with Skype all set up and about four bottles of water because all the nerves had dehydrated me. Finally, I was going to see this girl who had consumed my life for the past few months and we were going to actually have a real meeting to plan a real magazine and I am going to see her real face and she will



The Red String see my real face and oh my gosh, I think I must be dead. But if I was, I was brought back to life when I answered a call from three squealing girls. This was happening! Spending time discussing the differences between America and Australia, we finally started putting all of our ideas to work. Then scheduling another session. Then another. And another. And all of a sudden it has been months and we are less than two weeks away from actually holding a printed copy of a magazine that we created together – as a team of connected people now. We have said hello to each other’s parents, said the same thing at the same time, and even had near death experiences (okay well maybe not but I was stuck in a room with a rather large huntsmen while preparing to talk which was not enjoyable at all). The magazine has far exceeded any of our expectations, in terms of content and design and so many other factors, but it was something else that has impacted me more from this entire, seemingly arbitrary experience. Not only have I found an entire network of people that I can now connect with, but I have opened myself up for new opportunities. I have awakened. I am more motivated, more confident, more positive. A long time ago, I read a line in a poem



that said ‘people are people because of other people’, and this thought still strikes me as it did that day. We exist with each other. We build each other up. Our purpose is to work together, as a community, as one body. As much as we joke about hating group projects (no joke though, it is astounding how every single person has been involved in one dismal group project yet everybody claims that they pull the team together), in reality we all work in groups. Our friends, our family, our communities – we all share and bond together. I’m noticing more the importance of being selfless, and finding the desire to want to support others. Of course I want to succeed, but I really want to see other people do too. I want to motivate my friends to work better, to be better, and I want to celebrate with them when we see results. I want to work with others, because it makes work seem less like an actual strain and effort. Through this magazine, I have found the importance of community, or have at least opened myself up to the long journey it will take, because even though making decisions in this scenario have been relatively smooth, I know, I just know, that this won’t always be the case. But looking back on the journey, and the way it started specifically, with another person motivating me, I can’t help but thinking: where would I be without it?

Kaleo has become a significant part of my life. I schedule in three hour Skype talks with Kamryn. I stay up until 2 to talk with her at a convenient time. And she does with me (have to love that sixteen and a half hour time difference). I work on it like a personal project, heading up to my room after dinner to do page designs or research artists. Or duller stuff like working out how the website can be recognized on search engines. I now can say that ‘I have a friend in America who [insert American thing]’. I am now experiencing all the early day jitters and excitement of new friends, where things are cheery and everything is an exclamation. I am forever indebted to the red string that drew Kamryn to the laptop, to not only find my magazine, but to reach out and contact me. I’m the type of person that needs a pusher in my life, an extrovert, an excitable force to encourage me. Together, we balance each other out, and motivate each other in our own individual ways. This experience has opened my life, helping me on my journey of enlightenment and exploration. Heightening my senses to the red strings that connect us in everyday and extraordinary situations, I am counting myself blessed to say the least. It all has a funny way of working out. ●


If one tries to think about history, it seems to me it's like looking at a range of mountains. And the first time you see them, they look one way. But then time changes, the pattern of light shifts. Maybe you've moved slightly, your perspective has changed. The mountains are the same, but they look very different.



Switching The Lens The first time I saw art through a new lens HANNAH LOZANO

Many times over the years I have found myself debating over the concept of photography as an artistic practice. To me, it was nothing but opening a shutter. I mean, it’s just a picture right? I am now in my first year of college, where I have taken a photography class to satisfy my “understanding and appreciating arts” credit. It was through this course that I realized that the photographic practice is much more than angles, lighting, and focus. It goes beyond these technicalities. It becomes 016


an emotional investment. It becomes real. Our weekly visual journal assignments encouraged me to apply what I’ve learned in class to the world around me. With these assignments, I could see the world in the way of photography, thinking critically about lighting, color temperatures, and framing in the world I live in every day. The corresponding written journals helped me think critically about my work and reflect on my practice, selfexamining the meaning of my photographs. They inspired

me to analyze every aspect in my images, to critique them, to take pride in my rights and in my wrongs. This practice helped me see my work as art rather than homework. By incorporating a theme, I was able to view my photographic practice through a scope. While this helped build my sense of framing, it really allowed me to construct my analytical skills which is how I digest the world around me. After all, how can we come to terms with the issues that confront us without thinking about them? How can we grow and develop?

By observing the real world through this lens of artistry, I have seen actions in a new light. Literally. My theme this semester was “doing.” This was a bit of a strain at first, to incorporate this theme into the scenes I wanted to be photographed. But I realized that the effect inanimate objects can have on humans can be passively expressing themselves. Some of my endeavors were a bit of a stretch, but I was able to expand my mind into a new form of understanding the world around me. I was able to truly see. Last June, after I graduated high school, I was given a Nikon DSLR as a gift. I was very thankful for this, as it was something that I had wanted for a very long time. I travel as much as my babysitting salary can allow me to and attend concerts on a weekly basis. So, while my iPhone can be a great companion for photography, I wanted to capture every little detail of these amazing memories. Now, with my flashy new camera, I can make that happen. However, when I first received my gift, it took a while to get the hang of it, and even then my skills were not very good. It just struck me, ‘Hey, this isn’t actually that simple’. From the beginning of the class I took this past

semester, I was learning new compositional skills as well as basic techniques for photography. I can now take images that I am proud of, and that communicate much more than the setting I’m in they tell stories, elicit emotions, and are aesthetically pleasing. This is the beauty of photography, as well as any art form. I really feel like this course has expanded my creativity in many ways. Not only am I better at handling the technical aspects, but I am much more efficient in creating art of all kinds. My confidence has skyrocketed. I now feel more literate in art in general, not just in still visual art, but in every form possible, such as music, film, dance, literature, and other art practices. I can now see art from the creator’s perspective, and I recognize the purpose behind the decisions made in different pieces. With the new experience I have of creating visual art, I can not only read art more formally and technically, but I can read all types of design, such as advertising or interior design. From abstract pieces created by the likes of Man Ray to the documentary pieces of Eugene

Atget, I have found the beauty and the communication in many new forms of art. This new outlook has given me a better appreciation for what is created and what I am given the opportunity to create. I definitely feel like I have made a more functional use of my camera. My photographs are now interesting, concise, and beautiful. They evoke emotions. They tell stories. They speak. Now that the semester is over, I have continued using my camera to capture the world around me almost everyday. From the glimmer of light that hit the leaves on trees in the fall to the smiling faces of my best friends from laughing until they’re sore, I have been creating art of what I can see everyday, as memories and postcards. I learned an effective way to communicate a concept through just a few images - cohesion, simplicity, and efficiency. I now see my life as a collage of stunning, smiling, shimmering images, like a comic strip of causes and effects. And with the dramatic changes I’ve endured since leaving high school, this new lens has not only helped me see myself and my world in a different way, but it has prepared me for all the light that has yet to flood in. ● ____________________________ More photos on the next pages FIRST TIMES


Switching The Lens

Like a broken record - always coming back to the beginning.

Stepping into the shade - lighter somehow.



Photo Essay

Sorry, I can’t talk now, it seems I’ve lost my mind. Have you seen it anywhere?

Even alone, gazes coated me like window light.



Switching The Lens The clamor of adoration.

` Delusion is peace. Peace be with you.

A battle for the books. 020


Photo Essay The sound is muted - amplification is optional.

The ceremonial process of gathering an idea.

Change: A breath in the family.



Poet Tree

When I looked into his eyes for the first time, I knew we would destroy each other. You see, fire and rain can’t exist for too long. Maybe they can survive in the same vicinity for a while, but they will eventually put each other out. Yes, they will eventually put each other out, but it will be the most beautifully tragic thing you’ve ever seen. That two things of such ferocity can’t be together. It would bring you to tears. S.D. And he was a forest fire, and I was a hurricane


Connection Understanding that you can make a difference in the world WORDS: ALEX COLBERG

Closure. A common word primarily thought of in the context of an end. To reach the end, leave a relationship, forgive one whom by we’ve been hurt; these are all examples of the eight letter word’s common usage. However, truthfully closure is more than a shutting door, for it’s a concept that each of us unrecognizably search for. Whether or not it seems apparent, our inner-being longs for completion, a palpability of obtainable success to take pride in as our own. At a young age I found myself overwhelmed by the desire for closure that I could not quite grasp the concept of. My longing expanded beyond the typical conception of “success”. Don’t get me wrong, being successful is an important aspect of self-confidence, yet as a society, what we typically describe as success seemed to place a materialistic skew on the inner tugging of my heart. While acing a test and earning money are indeed aspects that would make me happy, once I’ve accomplished this, the desire towards more always persists. So the typical teachings that tried to mold me into an established adult felt like preparation for an inadequate final destination. It has to be more than this. FIRST TIMES



It wasn’t until several years later when I was 13 years old that I began to piece together the complex puzzle of what it means to live in impact. Up on my first trip to Africa an emotional and staggering realization towards the importance of human life encased me in a box of mental change. While the overall experience of my trip paid me in a multitude of humbling experiences, a specific moment captivates my mind and stands out upon the rest. I cannot remember the specific date or even what my daily activities were, but the memory that burns bright in the temples of my mind is one full of vivacity, where light and color became one in a matter of minutes.

The outstretched beauty that flourishes within Africa, it is comparable to a thousand oil based colors simultaneously brushed across a spinning canvas. My ingenuous eyes widened and tried to both grasp and memorize every unfamiliar sight that I still recall vividly to this day.

I remember a hot day. An extremely hot day. A day that was designated specifically for my group of people to explore Africa as it was, raw and real. I proceeded forth across the dirt street into the equator’s salted air. Hot dust swirled beneath my feet, twirling around the lower half of my legs and occasionally finding way to my dry tongue, triggering thirst for a cool sip of water to quench the brittleness my body became. With each step the vermillion grains stung the skin of my exposed ankles like tiny shards of a broken bottle and my 13-year-old-self thanked my conscience for reminding me to put on my comfortable walking sneakers earlier that morning, even though I secretly felt embarrassed by their outdated design and bulky fit. To those who have not experienced the outstretched beauty that flourishes within Africa, it is comparable to a thousand oil based colors simultaneously brushed across a spinning canvas, producing a masterpiece unable to be paralleled. At every angle and at every moment, conspicuous activity overwhelms the eye. Still fresh and green, my young eyes widened and tried to both grasp and memorize every unfamiliar sight that I still recall vividly to this day. Throughout my walk I accumulated many pronounced sights such as groups of lepers begging for change, herds of donkeys coated in elaborate quilts, and the scurry of frail children singing proclamation of their joy through laughter. As I continued to walk I was stopped by a traffic jam of pedestrians that prohibited me from further advancement. Patiently I waited, and at this time I discovered that the source of the coagulation stemmed from a warm batch of peanuts



Connection that was made readily available to the public. While stopped, I peered across the street where I couldn’t help but notice a local boy, not much older than I, staring directly at me. Separated by nothing but a few meters of flat ground infested with an overload of cartage fuss, our eyes met in a locked gaze. I began to lose focus on the commotion around me, the distinct sound of people talking over each other fading into the background as the ocean’s waves kiss the shore and then drift back. Neither he nor I looked away, and to this day I’m not exactly sure why, but the boy crossed the street to reach me. His approach was not threatening, for he walked with long legs of skeletal lank and a kind yet scarcely spread grin plastered across the wide of his mouth symbolizing the carriage of a young fawn. Standing no more than 12 inches apart, we stared at one another, not of attraction or amusement, but of complete awe. It was as if the closer we stood the easier it was for our brains to scout the perfect middle, analyzing the connection we had already established purely through a non-judgmental evaluation. Within this moment that we shared, no words were exchanged or physical touch initiated, for time itself blessed me with a greater reward, the realization of absolute mutual similarity disguised within polar difference. Staring into the eyes of the stranger, who by all aspects could be considered my opposite, I saw myself. In his protruding ribcage and shrunken skin I saw my own physical nourishment, yet my own starvation for emotional security. In his deep almond eyes I saw the reflection of my own brown gaze. And in his lean stature, I saw the similar outline of a girl, also growing older, and facing the world through her own perspective.

Truly, what greater purpose could we even have as humans than to aid our fellow brothers and sisters through the course of life, in which we all face together?

Perhaps this part was a shared moment, a deeper connection between two beings who shared the same similar core which established an unexplainable linkage. But most likely it was not. Most likely our interaction was a moment of vast curiosity represented by two merely significant individuals. Yet at the same time I cannot help but to ponder the idea that two ‘merely significant individuals’ can come together despite all odds of this world filled with billions of others to share a moment in time. It allowed me to constitute the idea that two extremely different 13 year olds from opposite ends of the planet are in fact very much the same, and in as little as a thoughtful stare, we became one. Nevertheless, the boy looked down at my feet and in return, I looked down at his. They were undressed, bleeding, and cracked in a yellow maze of hardened skin. His bare feet symbolized the specific concern in which I theoretically faced no less than an hour ago. In an instant, my heart became a landslide, hitting me with an array of emotions. How could it be that that very morning I sulked due to my own dissatisfaction by the pattern FIRST TIMES


Connection of my shoes which sturdily protected my feet from the outside world, while the boy in front of me walks on the blistered and calloused soles of his own naked skin? It was in this moment that my spirit changed. I no longer viewed the world through a tunneled lens, for the realization of the blessings in which my life had been bestowed stirred within my inner being, and cultivated a consuming passion to in return, bless others. Away fell my materialism, my shallow obsessions and my selfish desires into a turbulent ocean, making their decent down to the sea bed with my other sunken ships. My mind became the cool water, hydrating my desert body; in him, I found the path to fulfillment and to the closure I so sought. Within a split second, my name was called in demand for my return to the group and the boy was scared away, darting into the crowd like a startled sparrow. In the moment he shifted in departure, I slid my hand into his own, releasing the remaining crumpled bills that I had into his palm. Ever so slightly, my acquaintance turned back to face me, his face radiating into a smile. I have never experienced gratitude like that which pooled in his wide eyes. Perhaps the boy bought a pair of shoes, at least I would like to believe so, as such is a thought that makes me smile. Reflecting back on this experience, I am awaked in cognizance as an individual to discover that there is no closure that compares to the feeling of positively changing someone else’s life. Truly, what greater purpose could we even have as humans than to aid our fellow brothers and sisters through the course of life, in which we all face together? I urge you not to focus on the minute act of handing a few dollars to someone in need, despite it being a wonderful, because it is comparable to the same idea of achieving a ‘good’ grade. The longing for more will always persist, that is, unless you live through your heart. My experience in Africa subsequently changed my perspective and since, I have lived an active passion of gratitude towards others, a change which has indeed immensely brightened my life and expanded my dreams. I sit here today, scrambling to find the best words to share my experience with you in hopes that someone will listen to my words when I say that you as an individual can change this world. You, whoever you are, have the full ability to make choices that will exponentially impact lives around you, and your own. Work to change your thinking, to broaden your perspectives, to be an encouragement to others. And one day, whether it be on a Saturday morning while sitting on your unmade bed or 94 years into life on your deathbed, you will find closure that your life was fulfilled with powerful purpose. ● 026


The Reading Room

First A collection of illustrated short poems and stories about ďŹ rst experiences. Presented by CHLOE KATOPODIS



The Reading Room Silk My Science teacher was also my Technical Studies teacher. He was a large man with spiky sandy hair, kind and encouraging to us baby Year Sevens who he seemed to impose over. On Fridays we escaped the clinical outdated biology lab where we executed simple experiments and scurried down to rustic outdated tech workshop. One of our final woodwork projects was to create a little tool box; a very basic task for our very basic skill sets. Not very basic for my very handy father who practically beamed at the opportunity to work on something together and use his more than advanced artillery of tools that usually turned cars into dream machines. Bringing it to the shop to finish with some putty for my chipped edges due to some ‘light overworking’ with the nails (i.e. sixteen instead of four), it just needed a final sand to look presentable. And that’s exactly what I did: made it presentable. That is, if it was being presented for a prestigious award and not a grade out of 20. Buffering it with several grades of fine sandpaper, this measly box was practically glowing. Baby’s bums have nothing on this. Lavish underwear doesn’t know the half of it. So maybe we went a little overboard (read as: did go very overboard) but I wasn’t expecting the most monumental reaction of my Science class to be from something so quaint. Unsuspecting and subtle, I made a detour to the front of the class to show my teacher before taking my seat with all the girls at the back rows (the universally cooler side of the classroom). ‘Oh, uh this is the box for Tech, I just covered up the (abundance of) nails and sanded it down with a bit of 120 then 240. My parents are crash repairers so they had some finer paper than the 50 we use at school.’ But I could have finished the small spiel discussing the relevance of the colour purple to birds because he stopped listening and became entranced by this spectacle of craftmanship. Holding it in his hands and stroking it like a new kitten, I have literally seen bee’s buzz less than he did over it. And not just him, the row of boys in the front couldn’t resist it’s sweet melody and in this moment, I rose up and became all powerful for this glorious creation was belonged to me. A girl. Obviously not caring that much about it, as a sane person, I stood back and watched this entertainment in slow motion. ‘Uh, you know what, I’ll just leave it here for the lesson’ I said as I headed away from this circus. To quote my father, the real talent behind it all: ‘simple things amuse simple minds’. I made. I impressed. I conquered. The A plus was nice but the respect was even sweeter. 028


The Reading Room

You look I pretended not to hear when he said those words. If I said thank you it would acknowledge he was talking to me. That what he said was true. Real. Beautiful. I didn’t make eye contact. I knew he was talking to me. It was soft, like he didn’t want attention from others or it to be directed at anyone else. But I didn’t want to admit he was talking to me. We were in a group. The bustle of the beginning of an early lunch on causal day. A fleeting moment. A stoke of cobalt on a Monet. Time twirled into a crystal in his pure expression. I didn’t even know him that well. Eye contact. He spoke again - to me this time, directly, crystal clear. But the three words weren’t the same. Toned down. Eggshell blue in the haystacks. Nice. Thanks. I guess. The crystal dissolved into the vibrations of the reverberating soundwaves of teenagers talking over each other. I’d never been told that before. Or ever again.

The sticks and stones spell out ‘shut up stupid’ Break my bones. That is, if you can get through all this fat that apparently clouds me. You think I didn’t hear you? When you practically yelled it out for the class to hear. Chuffed like you said something hilarious. How idiotic can you be? How idiotic could I be to find offence from someone so stupid? How can you be so daft to spray your cologne eighteen times around a crouched locker on the floor? I can’t even tell you that garbage has a sweeter fragrance than you because my nose has died. It’s dead. You killed it. You saunter around like you own it all, like your opinions are the truth, like your defamatory comments and ignorance are heavenly and you are the justice of your own shallow world. Like a sickly cherry blossom tree, your comments make a slow descent down but poison the earth, landing like bombs onto frail hearts and suffocate the air with your stench of death. The words hurt me, momentarily, passing like the seasons do. But I won’t let it break me. You’re not worth it because I know my own worth. FIRST TIMES


The Reading Room


Calm During Year Six, my family took the entirety of Term Three off - a full nine weeks - to go on a world trip. Young and bright, we saw many sights that were impacting, from Swiss zoos to American theme parks, but there was one moment that struck me and has stayed with me every since. We spent the longest time in Greece - six weeks to spend time with the family my grandparents left all those years ago to make a better life for their children and grandchildren in Australia. Spending nearly a month on an island, the majority of our days were spent exploring but a few were just lazy, where we really had a chance to just exist like a local. Nights were late, with slow dinners out in restaurants with postcard views, conversing with relatives I never even realized we had, so as an introvert, I cherished the serenity of our lazy days. I reminisce now over how carefree we were on the island, and how much freedom we had in the villages, roaming around so gently and relaxed. Sure, part of it was having no school, but there was another part: the European lifestyle as a whole. Despite all their worries or stresses, they still had an aura of calm around them. It is what it is. It will happen when it happens. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Just go with it. I was introduced to a way of thinking I’d never seriously contemplated. I became soft, like water. Not immediately, but gradually. Over the years, when faced with troubles, I have learnt to just take a breath. To just clear my head and stop. It’s not easy, it’s not always, but thinking back to my 11 year old mindset, and how calm she was. 030


Rich red beetroot chunks caught my eye, threatening to overthrow their tin can home. Never acting on the call by the sickly sweet siren of the lauded vegetable, my body overtook my brain in an epic brawl and one splendorous second later, my mouth was filled with a large cube. The taste tainted my taste buds in an instant but the arranged choir of angels with harps were playing death metal and my face twisted into a tornado as I exiled it from my mouth in an aggressive spit. Ugh!

Free The first time I drove alone was a shaky, frail attempt, at two kilometers an hour, more comparable to a hobbling snail than a new P plater. A thirty second trip stretched out to a full three minutes, with panic echoing in the silence. The first time I drove alone and felt the freedom that came with it was the next. Windows down, cool chill blowing through the car, uplifting me. Good music playing softly on the radio. The hazy dusk filling the sky. Free. ●


Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.





In The Spotlight: Sophie Obst

A young Australian artist with the world in her hands INTERVIEW: CHLOE KATOPODIS ART: SOPHIE OBST



In The Spotlight What were you like as a child? Was art something you were always drawn to or did you find it later in life? As a child I was incredibly quiet, and that was something that didn’t go unnoticed. When I was young, art was still something I was drawn to, but of course I didn’t take it as seriously as I do now. Being a quiet person, drawing and painting was something I found soothing and entertaining as it was a simple activity that allowed me to keep to myself but still get something out of it. When did it first sink in that you wanted to pursue art for life? Was there a eureka moment when you just found yourself obsessing over something and knew that you wanted to do it forever or is it more of a constant thing? When I was in year 7 in 2012, my class was given an art task to choose a photo from a pile of portraits, cut it up however we wanted then draw the rest with the aim of not being able to tell the difference between the photo and what was drawn. My photo was of Ariana Grande, and after seeing how impressed my friends were with my work I felt proud of what I had created. After this I knew I wanted to continue with drawing portraits, but at that point I had no idea how far I could go. How did you feel when you started to gain a bigger following online and start to



Sophie Obst be noticed more? I have a few friends in the US with a large social media following and they’ve been a massive support when I chose to continue with my passion for art. They’ve shared my pieces online and after watching my art become noticed by a large amount of people, I felt overwhelmed and encouraged to continue creating. It’s been incredibly surreal. Who are some of your favourite artists? Not only are Picasso’s paintings classic and timeless, but his line drawings are sweet and simplistic. I recently discovered Clare Elsaesser’s paintings and fell in love with the use of colours and what her pieces mean to me personally. She rarely shows faces in her paintings and there is a hidden quality to her paintings which makes me feel like I can relate them to myself.

depending on the artist. Most of the time I start by laying out the proportions by drawing up rough shapes. From there I can begin to see the development of form and add detail. What else are your inspirations? A lot of the time I find inspiration in my friends, those around me and the people I love. I use art as an outlet to show my love for my friends, those who mean a lot to me, and the things I love. This doesn’t mean I draw every single one of my friends, but occasionally I’ll feel like putting them on paper and represent

What is the process behind starting a piece? Most of my pieces are drawn from a photo and occasionally from life, so when I choose to start a new piece it’s after seeing a photo or subject that intrigues me and puts me in the mood to draw. Over time I’ve learnt the best processes for starting a drawing that I feel most comfortable with. Of course there are techniques you can take with you from piece to piece, but finding the best way to start can vary



In The Spotlight them how I see their character, particularly those who live overseas and I want to feel closer to. Who do you admire and why? When thinking of the people I admire, of course the first people that come to mind are those in my family. My Mother and Sister have both had a history of drawing and painting, so they understand

my passion. I have a small group of very close friends and as I have grown to know them better, I have quickly discovered they have very admirable qualities and I admire their ambition and sensitivity. What picks you up when you fall into an artist block or creative stump? Lately with the stress of school and my studies I have found myself feeling very uninspired and in a bit of an artist block. At the end of the day when I arrive home it is extremely rare for me to want to get out all my materials and put effort into something creative. If I’m having a good day and feel the need to be creative, it helps me get out of artist block by simply looking at other peoples’ work. Most of the time this works wonderfully for me as it sparks an idea or makes me want to create something inspired by what I’ve seen. What medium do you tend to gravitate more to? Graphite pencils are my go-to, although ever since I discovered water-soluble pencils I have been in love with them. They have a water colour appearance and provide a more relaxed approach to creating a piece of work. All you need to do is put the pencils to paper and brush over with water. Whilst this medium is something anyone can work with, I would suggest it also to those just making



Sophie Obst their artistic outbreak. What mediums, techniques or styles would you like to explore more? One medium I am greatly intrigued by is scratchboard. Scratchboard is a black panel with an underlying layer of white clay, so you use a sharp scratching tool to scrape away and work with highlights instead of dark tones. This forces you to think in a completely different way and seeing the end result is very rewarding. What would be your dream project? For a dream project I imagine myself working on a much larger scale project, like a detailed portrait from life to cover an entire wall. The idea of working with something of that scale makes me feel motivated to create the resources for that kind of project. I have plans to enter some of my pieces to the Royal Adelaide Show this year and this is something I have planned for the near future, but later on I hope to eventually be involved with the Archibald Prize. Where do you see yourself going in the future? You never know for sure what’s going to happen in the future, but I have big hopes for mine. Ultimately I hope to get my name out there and get my work known better. I’d love to keep art in my life forever, but I’ve recently found I also have

an interest in film and video editing, so if art stays as just a hobby for me, this is also a possibility for my future. What is a piece of advice you could give to young creatives who want to start putting their art out there? Social media gave me a great start after I decided I wanted to take art more seriously. For

young creatives who want to put their art out there I would suggest turning to social media to reach out to people with a lot of experience or a large following who can assist in getting your work seen. If you have a passion for your work, don’t give it up. Even if it stays as just a hobby, pursue it if it makes you happy. ●



Four Letter Words COLUMN BY KAMRYN KOBAL Typically, the phrase “Four Letter Words” refers to short slang words that have negative connotation. Whether the word is vulgar or dull, four letter words never really carry a good reputation. However, I’m here to speak on those rare, lovely four letter words. The ones that symbolize new beginnings in life. In Kaleo Journal’s first issue, I will share how using a four letter word can change one’s outlook on their day. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLAY MOSS



Dawn I admit it. Four letters words can often fill my mind on Monday mornings when I wake up with my hair still wet from the shower from the previous night or as I am driving halfway down the street only to find an accidental toothpaste stain on my lightly wrinkled shirt. Obviously I am not the biggest morning person. And by that, I mean that my mother must come into my room multiple times throughout the morning, each time turning on a light while updating me on the time that has passed since I last threw my blanket over my head in an incredibly over dramatic gesture like every angst ridden teen does in the movies. So while the beginning of my days are typically chaotic and rushed, I have recently tried to take advantage of the serenity, outside of my bedroom of course that accompanies the start of a brand new day. So instead of letting negative four letter words clutter the house in my mind, I’ve invited a new four letter word in: dawn. Defined as the very first appearance of daylight, dawn is the very moment when the sun awakes and peeks through the trees, shining its light on the newly dampened grass, serving as a reminder of the possibilities that come with each day. Life is busy and constantly changing, but I find peace in the fact that no matter what struggles or obstacles I endure that day, the sun will eventually return to its place behind the clouds and for a few short hours, I have time to push those problems away. That next morning however, a soft light will wiggle its way back through my bedroom curtains, slowly creeping its way onto my skin to shake me from my deep sleep. Over these past few weeks, I have learned that instead of ignoring that wake up call, I should welcome the delight of the warmth glow that kisses my skin. Rising with the sun has taught me balance, both physically and mentally. Instead of endlessly scrolling through Instagram, re-liking posts of those who are most likely fast asleep, I have decided to press my “Do Not Disturb” button a few minutes early before bedtime so that in the morning, I can blissfully anticipate the first start of the day. Now when that 5am alarm goes off, I still allow a few groans to escape my lips. But those innocent murmurs are much more delightful than the four letter words that I otherwise would have barked out as I bounced around the kitchen with one shoe on, one shoe goodness knows where, as I attempted to make my morning cup of coffee.



Four Letter Words The 2009 study from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology discovered that those who rise and shine tend to agree more with statements that indicate action and confidence. Statements such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen”. A quote that resonates with me from the great Dalai Lama encourages a positive outlook, stemming from the very moment you wake:

“Every day, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’” Therefore, waking up in the wee hours of the morning will only better allow for these positive and uplifting thoughts to fill your mind. And while it may take some time of getting used to, the results of feeling wholesome are more than worth it. Each day, an entire world of possibilities awaits for someone to grab them and run, never looking back. There are books to be written, lips to be kissed and lives to be saved. All it takes it for one person to take the responsibility of upholding those dreams. Do not let dawn slip from your fingers. She is only there to encourage you, to remind you that you can change the world. Welcome dawn with open hands, for she is the first start of each new day.

“So teach us to number our days that we gain a heart of wisdom. Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness, that we may rejoice in be glad all our days.” A verse to uplift you - Psalms 90:12-14 ● 040




A World Inside My Own I become CHLOE KATOPODIS It changed me. I entered a new phase in my life. How can a song be so powerful? I remember seeing the audio file on one of the first blogs that followed me back on Tumblr; an aesthetic blog of pastels, nature shots and abstract art. ‘Song for Ariel’ by Panda Bear. Have you read more beautiful words? I close my eyes and feel the waves drifting lightly on the shore, with sea foam the colour of glass in the sunshine stretching out onto the silky chocolate milk sand. With water like an Impressionist painting, I feel the flickers of movement in the ocean, with the wind whispering sweet nothings to the surface of the sea. I close my eyes and feel the warm glow of the autumn sun pass over my face, washing over the honey floorboards. I can smell the fresh rain on the long grass and peer out of the fragile curtains. As I sit in the wide clay window frames, I breathe in and connect with the earth in my exhale. I close my eyes and revel in the sensation that I am no longer alone; there is another person who understands me, who feels like I do. I bask in the comfort of the fire burning inside of me. I’m alive. ‘I just want to do what my body needs to.’ These words cover my being and I can feel a cosmic shift; in the moment I exist on a different plane in time and space. The music fills my bones as I find the light switch for inner peace only to find a chandelier in a glass house. I am pure light. ● 042


A World Outside My Own I transport LOURDES BALLESTEROS After the first time I listened to the band, The 1975, I found myself rendering a feeling of nostalgia for a period of time that I myself do not believe I have ever lived through. There is only one word that comes close to describing this feeling and that is the German noun “Sehnsuct”, which has no direct English translation. However, in German language the word “sehnscut” exemplifies a type of longing, yearning--the sense that all in the world is imperfect without the object of your feeling. When I listen to The 1975, I can close my eyes and feel the heat of a Los Angeles summer night, being able to sense the sort of shallowness of everyone bustling around and feeling comforted by being utterly misplaced. I can see the neon lights of a blurred “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, being able to make out what it is due to its unique shape but also not being able to clearly decipher what it says because I am still located a mile down the strip. I can smell the dirty yet familiar puddles at the end of a typical London torrential downpour. These all serve as paradigms of what the band means to me. Being something both domestic and foreign, something mundane and something exceptionally cosmic, their music finds a way to comfort me and challenge me to exceed the expectations of everyone around me. The 1975 has encouraged a sort of irrevocable confidence within me that allows me to live a life in color. In essence, this sensational talented group has allowed me to metaphorically become well-traveled, as I myself have never actually visited any of these picturesque iconic destinations. However through their music, I feel as if I am a native and the entire world is my motherland. ● FIRST TIMES


So, you lost It’s completely normal WORDS: BRIANNA J. HERNANDEZ

There is an astounding feeling of emptiness that consumes the air when a person loses something they publicly worked for so hard for. You can see it manifest in the eyes of all of your friends when they hear your name go unannounced; friends who saw how many hours you poured in. You can hear it evaporate as the noise around you dims into a numb buzz. The emptiness fills you like a balloon, swelling your insides as you try to fight the emotional tango your spirit dances tries to escape in a burst of emotion. It sucks. The International Thespians Festival is kind-of a big thing to all young theatre students in the sense that oxygen is kind-of a big thing to human beings. Taking place in each state during the winter, passionate students compete in different categories with the winners advancing to the national competition held in Nebraska in the summer. In my school it is seen as a rite of passage. You go with your event, you win, and then celebrate in Nebraska with your entire troupe. And you’ll never not go to Nebraska because our school does not lose. Prestigiously known for its advancements and superior placing in almost every competition we enter, to fail to any sort of competition is almost unheard of it. Almost. 044


I auditioned to be placed in the musical theatre group - the one group that is sure to advance to the state finals. But that wasn’t the group I was placed in, oh no, the directors placed me into the film category. Okay, sure, I wasn’t exactly surprised - I wasn’t the strongest vocally – so I was crowned the leader in a group of one to advance our school to grace. No pressure. My monumental task was to make a five minute short to send off to the daunting state final judges with only my name on the label. I had to do everything by myself. Write. Direct. Edit. Not to mention the pressures of juggling a school musical and AP classes amongst all the other dramas of life. While everyone else in the other events had the support of a group, I only had myself. I was alone. And not only was I alone but my friends all had at least an extra month of preparation compared to my early deadline. I was alone in all essence of the word. But I did it! With all odds against me to complete the second film I had ever made with limited time and resources by myself, in the middle of a musical and in between copious amounts of work. Every time I wasn’t on stage, I was rushing back into the green room to try and make progress




So, You Lost on this never ending task. Listen to music and sound. Film. Organize clips. Does this flow? Re-record. Replace clips. Edit script. Film more. Rinse. Repeat. Sending the completed film in with a full six minutes to spare (talk about cutting it fine) after the entire film deleted itself. Three different times. I struggled. I triumphed. But it was done!

blindly into the men’s room. Could things get worse?

I then spent the better end of the month in a state of stress. Tears. Sweat. Sleepless Nights. All over a film that was shorter than the time it takes to order a pizza. It was emotionally stunting. Considering how new our school was, let alone our film department, the pressure that was on me to end the losing streak that plagued our past submissions. The directors enlisted me to change that – me! It was me who was supposed to save my school’s name. Me who was supposed to go to Nationals with all of my friends. Me who had the duty to make my parents - who forked out $450 for me to even enter – proud. Supposed to.

Nights spend lying awake in fear and panic attacks over the situation that I was convinced were just nerves actually finally found their reason. The deep seated fear I held onto finally came true. I was a failure. I was a bitter fool to believe I could make it to the national finals with all of my friends. I was the epitome of pitiful and I believed the world knew it too. I spent days after crying at the drop of a hat, my friends and family didn’t know what to do with me. I was a mess. I gave my all into a project that I didn’t even want to do, with little to no background information or resources and in the end, all I found was a crippling selfesteem and the never ending void of “I can’t do this”. Where was my inspiration and achievements?

Obviously you can tell by the title of this article what the outcome was. I lost. I’d prayed to God. All my friends prayed to God. Everyone who knew me in the room and in the state prayed to God. And all those who supported me watched in horror and sadness when I didn’t win. They all hugged me and walked with me as I tried to hide my pathetic crying face and take in what had just happened. I had let down every single person in my entire life. My crush saw me at my ugliest, my friends saw me at my meanest, and my directors saw me at my most pathetic. They offered no condolences and thus, I was left to my friends who watched helplessly as I cried. And to top it all off, I ran into 046


The deep seated fear I held onto finally came true. I was the epitome of pitiful and believed the world knew it too.

But life moves on. As do people. I know this because we returned to school pretty soon and I went straight back to work. I decided that I had to redeem myself for the people around me. So I opened my notebooks and started writing again. I wrote a script each day and though they weren’t good, I was writing and that’s all that mattered. One of those films had to be a winner, right? And the very next week I got my chance to find out. You guessed it. Another film competition. The UIL film competition was just around the corner and my director

So, You Lost was short one narrative piece. I pulled out every script I had written and desperately tried to find a winner. I had to prove it to my friends, my family, my directors, and most importantly myself that I was a good director. I searched vigorously and found nothing. My ideas were shit and the scripts were even shittier. I was falling into the endless void of selfloathing I had once succumbed to before I had an idea. My first film was about monsters. Why not do it again? I grabbed my best friend and we stayed up until the hours of the late night and wrote and edited and laughed our way through what was most definitely the best idea I had in months. A zombie rom-com. Definitely not normal. It was the furthest thing from normal. And we loved every line. In less than two weeks we had auditioned the cast, shot the movie, edited the whole thing together, and sent it off to compete in the UIL competition. We knew it wasn’t a sure fire winner but we all still felt pretty damn proud! It was a group effort and we all poured our hearts into it. Cast and crew, we were all so pleased with the final product! We didn’t care if it didn’t win. It was finished and we loved it! In the end our film, accurately titled “This Isn’t Normal”, won two rounds before it was eliminated. At first I felt pretty bad - I mean it’s always disheartening to lose anything, especially after taking a heavy loss just a month before. But I got over it. So what if some high school yucks didn’t like the film? Big deal! My class loved it and my cast loved it and two rounds of judges loved it so screw anyone else! And this attitude didn’t go away anytime soon- since my directors LOVED my film so much

they showcased it anytime they could. Theatre galas and fine arts festivals alike saw my film. Theatres with full audiences saw my film. They laughed. They cried. Then laughed some more! And I got to see it all. There is nothing more life changing than being in a room with people who are enjoying something you created it. It’s an amazing sensation. It fills you. But not with an emptiness of loss, but with the overwhelming burst of love, admiration and community. This time, it was a group effort.

Sometimes you have to lose in order for you to win later. Not everyone has this kind of exposure and I know this. Not everyone can showcase their art and not everyone can compete in every competition. But everyone can keep going. Everyone can keep working and everyone can keep grinding. The only thing that is stopping you is you. It may sound cheesy and lame, but if you have the right attitude, you can direct your own life. Sometimes you have to lose in order for you to later win. I think that’s what God wanted me to learn and I although it took time, I have. I know now that those losses, though deep and scarring, are what keep me going. I still want to prove to myself that I am a good director and I want to keep proving it to myself even when I start truly believing that. So this summer when all my friends leave and go to Nebraska to sing and dance and have fun I know I’m going to be okay. I am going to keep working and writing and creating until I’m in Nebraska too. I’ve got this. ● FIRST TIMES


WORDS BY KAMRYN KOBAL Sweet, sweet summer! The time where all of life’s worries seem to melt away like the popsicles that fill the freezer from top to bottom. Summer vacation is something each student looks forward to after each school year. There is just so much to do. You can go to the pool and hang out with friends. And you can hang out with friends and go to the pool. And you can even go swimming with your friends at the pool. But summer vacation is an entire three months, so what else is there to do? If you find yourself looking for adventure these summer months, then I have the perfect guide for you. A summer bucket list!

1. MEDIATE IN THE MORNINGS I know that summer break means sleeping in each day until the early afternoon because it’s summertime and no one has real responsibilities when it’s over 100 degrees outside and there is a perfectly nice swimming pool located only a few feet away. But, I promise you that waking up earlier in the morning can change these dog days for you. Besides, it is always cooler in the mornings. Don’t waste every single free morning you have by sleeping past it until the afternoon heat wakes you up. Try and choose at least 3 days out of the week where you wake up earlier, taking more time to enjoy and bask in the serenity of brisk, summer mornings. 2. MAKE A PLAYLIST WITH YOUR FRIENDS Log onto Spotify and create a collaborative playlist with your friends so you can roll the windows down, stick your head out the window, and sing at the top of your lungs while the lyrics and the gusts of wind fight to fill the car. Bands like ‘Bad Suns’ or ‘The Strokes’ give the perfect beach-y feel, no matter where you are traveling. So find the songs that make you belt out each note, find the friends that will pick up the background vocals, and prepare to have the greatest soundtrack to your summer. 3. BUILD A TIME CAPSULE Being at the peak of your teenage years, things are getting ready to gradually change. Soon you will be heading off to college in an entirely new city where you won’t know every single 048


face that rushes past you on the sidewalk. While that can be a scary thought, I think it can serve as a reminder of the history that exists in each teenager’s childhood home. Building a time capsule allows you to hold onto those memories, so even when every aspect of life has changed, you can return home years later and still find that the memories haven’t been altered. 4. BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY Most cities have at least a few attractions that draw in foreigners. Go visit them! Grab a group of friends and travel where the buildings tower over each other and the streets have plenty of stories to tell. Eat at the places that have been around forever and order the dish they are known for- then you’ll be a true veteran of your hometown. It could make for a fun, adventurous day where you and your friends can learn more about your city. 5. DO THE “100 DAYS OF HAPPY” CHALLENGE 100 days of happy is the social media challenge where users on sites such as Instagram post one picture each day that focuses on a positive event that happened that day. While social media can sometimes be a negative distractor, the “100 days of happy” forces people to stop and find the simple joys in life, making each summer day a memorable one. Try writing down one thing that made you smile on a paper right before you go to bed, then pop it in a jar and when summer ends, crack it open and reflect back on the times you felt good. ●






Let’s Talk Kamryn Kobal chats to Maryse Bombito about coming to terms with her African heritage and the push for racial equality.


Organizations such as National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and African Student Association (ASA) are groups that have strived towards achieving racial equality since as early as 1909. While these activist groups have witnessed great progress throughout the decades, still in 2016, changes regarding racial equality are still waiting to be made. Maryse Bombito is a sophomore at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Within her first year at the university, Bombito shared how she found her place as a young African American student who grew increasingly passionate about

spreading acceptance among all cultures.

“The first moment I realized that this was for me was at my first NAAPC meeting at Baylor,” Bombito said. “It just felt right. Everything I was saying and everything I was learning felt like this was what I was supposed to be doing. Everything just came back to me from my past. They say you see your future in the little things that you do every day and I remember my favorite movies were always civil rights movies. I always thought ‘I wish I was there. I would do something.’ So being in a place where I felt comfortable to speak on these issues, that is when I knew that this is what I want to do with my life.” Throughout her freshman year, Bombito worked FIRST TIMES


Let’s Talk diligently with clubs such as NAACP where she earned her position as a chairmen for the school’s organization. As chairmen of NAACP, Bombito says that she hopes to see more cultural diversity among the future students at Baylor.

“In a classroom, the only person that looks like me, is me,” Bombito says. “So it would be nice to see other people that looked like me. And [my vision for Baylor University is to] increase knowledge, to make people more aware of things that they were not aware of before. I think the campus would be better if people were more knowledgeable of what was going on around them.” One step that Bombito has taken towards solving racial issues at Baylor is helping contribute to the “BU Remember When” hashtag that circled around social media sites such as Twitter earlier this year. “With the hashtag ‘#BURememberWhen’, we wanted to highlight the issues that people on campus don’t really like to discuss,” Bombito said. “The conversation of race isn’t really something people want to talk about, so we focused on bringing light to those types of conversations. By doing this, it not only makes people aware of what is going on but it makes people more conscious of themselves and pushes people to think outside of their own views to show what they could do to possibly fix [racial issues on campus].” With over half of the racial demographic at Baylor resulting in those of white ethnicity, students like Bombito focus on creating a sense of unity among all cultures. Being involved in NAACP and ASA has given Bomibto a place to accept and celebrate her own culture. “At Baylor I really learned to embrace myself and who I am,” Bombito said. “I am Congolese and in the fourth grade someone made fun 052


of me for it and from that moment I decided not to speak on it. I didn’t tell people I was African, I only said that I was Canadian because that’s what people thought was cool. But over the summer before going into Baylor, I decided to embrace it. Then going to Baylor, there was a club just for Africans and I met people who were just like me, whose parents are from Africa. So from that experience I really learned to accept myself for who I am and to embrace my own identity. I’m no longer ashamed of what I once was,

Maryse Bombito “What I’ve taken away mostly from Baylor [is to] just embrace who I am and allow others to embrace themselves too,” Bombito said. “We always tell each other to ‘be yourself’, but the reason we tell each other that is because we don’t feel comfortable, and the reason we don’t feel comfortable is because we don’t allow others to be themselves.” While studying political science at Baylor University, Bombito continues to participate in events that encourage cultural acceptance among all races, highlighting the beauty that is accompanied by each individual’s cultural background.

so embracing yourself and accepting yourself is such a great feeling. This wasn’t even something I needed to be ashamed of, but I was. I don’t even remember exactly what that girl said to me but it affected me for almost twelve years just to say “‘Yeah, I’m African’”. But being African is so special to me now.” Returning back to her hometown for her summer break, Bombito has a sense of a newfound pride in who she is and where she comes from.

“I like to embrace other people’s beauty,” Bombito said. “I just really enjoy people being themselves, it is such a special thing. We were all made differently for a reason so I think it is really important for being to truly identify with who they are and just embrace that and be themselves. Especially culturally, I didn’t realize how special it is to be African. My friend who isn’t African was talking about how lucky it is for me to be African because she doesn’t know where she came from. Her whole family went through slavery and mine didn’t, so I can find something in myself that she can’t find. She feels lost here when I could easily go back to my own home and learn about my culture, whereas African Americans have created their own culture over here.” Speaking on her own cultural history, Bombito says she feels an empowering type of knowledge as she grew to know more about where her family originated from.

“Knowledge is really important. Bombito said. “[I have learned that] learning about your own culture and your own history empowers you.” ● FIRST TIMES














Poet Tree

This is the beginning of the end for me. I am no longer affected by you, which is such a liberating feeling. I no longer subconsciously feel my shoulders tense as I drive past the spot where it began and ended all at once. I can easily listen on shuffle without worrying whether the song you loved so much will intrude into my safe haven as I drive into the night. The memories of our hands intertwined against my thigh are no longer the drug that prohibits me from closing my eyes once the sun returns to its place behind the clouds. While I was stuck in this valley for so long, I know that you always kept hiking. However, now I am beside you. Given, we are on two completely different journeys. In fact, I think we always were traveling on two different paths, but none of us ever wanted to admit it. I supposed we drank from the same canteen at one point. But you chose to part ways when the avalanche unit, which sent me tumbling down. But I gained my strength. There were plenty of fellow campers who dusted my shirt off and bandaged my skinned knees and now, I am at the peak of the mountain and I have never seen something so mesmerizing. It’s a shame you chose to go left when I went right. The Girl Who Loves The View




Her essence is the rarest of all; she begins small, unsure and alone, ready to take on the world and its challenges. At first, a seed becomes a seedling, which then evolves into a mature plant and eventually grows into the Orchid. She is sensitive, yet strong. She is loved, yet independent. The day begins with the first ray of sunlight, she rises knowing the threats she will face but she still has motivation to thrive. The days pass and she becomes fearless, almost defiant, until she reaches her peak. It is the moment when all dread passes and she is full grown, and everything is good. She is the type to grasp the attention of everyone that passes. A little girl will stop and admire the yellow Orchid without even realizing the kind of work that was made to create such unique beauty. A dog will sniff around it, consumed by such a delicate, soothing aroma. She grows knowing she must be tough, knowing she has to make it on her own. Just when she thinks all is well, the seasons change and the storm hits. Her attitude changes, she no longer believes she is quintessence of the nature world. The winds pass with such brutality and force, she shivers as her petals fall off. The clouds roll over and fall into an unbroken, consistent state of grief. The incessant pounding of water illustrates the defeat that comes with the exceeded amount of rainfall. The Orchid is engulfed by the storm. She awaits the spring, waiting for the excitement and sense of euphoria to reappear. Time passes, the rain clouds dry up and her doubt dies out. The storm helped build her, even though at the time it seemed like the end was unattainable. She became stronger, refined, thoughtful, and full of exotic beauty that would not have been seen without the agony and ache she suffered. She received more water than she had ever before, waiting for the time to come where she would have opportunity and hope.



WORDS BY CHLOE KATOPODIS Wondrous, wondrous winter! The time of the year when the evil sun scrams outta here and thoughts of sunburn and dying in the heat wave seem to melt away, unlike the ice that is finally keeping its shape in your glass during these chillier days. A time where closet Eskimos flourish, the days are shorter and it becomes time to just relax - sleeping, blankets, food, wearing coats and jumpers! But winter can appear to be a time of solitude and hibernation, so what else is there to do? If you find yourself looking for adventure these winter months, then I have the perfect guide for you. A winter bucket list!

1. DITCH THE HEATER AND LAYER UP Take a leaf out of Joey Tribianni’s book and give your heater the metaphorical finger by essentially transforming into an onion with just how many clothes you can stack on. You’re probably thinking, ‘wow, do you have serious issues or are you just lacking a heater and want everyone else to suffer’. Well firstly, rude, second of all, maybe a thought of ‘gee, that actually would be way more entertaining than it sounds, and golly does it sound entertaining’ should enter your mind and hit the mickey out of that other negative thought. You have the opportunity to now become one of the elusive ‘human burritos’ that obsess the internet! Literally, imagine curling up on the couch wrapped in jumpers, socks and blanket upon blanket - HOW CUTE AND CUDDLY AND COMFORTABLE WILL YOU BE?! Oh and I guess there is the added bonus of you know, saving the planet, that old thing. 2. GO ON A TEA SPREE You know when you go to buy tea and in the aisle stares back dozens of enticing teas with their brightly coloured packaging and illustrious names like ‘Orange, Rose and Hazelwood Fusion with Dark Chocolate Delight’ and you look at it with wide eyes as you grab the Chamomile like you always do and mosey on with your life? Of course you do because such a ridiculous name is not to be forgotten. This winter you go for those teas and spice up your tea life. Each week, vow to try at least one new flavour and even if you find that it’s less delight and more ‘oh hell no’, 060 062


here’s to betting that at least one tickles your fancy. ‘Winter Berry Illusion’? Mother may I. 3. MOVIE NIGHT There are thousands upon thousands of films that your eyes haven’t seen. Classic movies, Indie movies, Horror Movies, Animated Movies, Foreign Movies, Bad Movies, Worse Movies, Funny Movies. Gather a group of friends and allocate a movie night at each persons house and discover a new movie each week. Not only does this give you a chance to dive into a new world, broaden your perspective and all the other wonders that come with watching film, but you spend time with people which is something that can be neglected in winter. 4. SPEND ALL DAY COOKING Pies, roasts, slow cooked casseroles - they all take so much time! But how about other treats that aren’t so arduous and are quick to whip up? Well that calls for packet mixes. Think brownies, think cakes, think ‘all I need is butter, milk and 10 spare minutes to mix it all together’. In 30 to 40 minutes time you will have a selection of rich, decadent, gooey treats with minimal effort. 5. CRAFT DAY It’s time to get creative! Put on some tunes and collect your craft gear - papers, balloons, glue, glitter, glitter glue, hole punchers, anything! Relive your childhood and let go of all your boundaries - just make! Make silly faces and have fun with your friends in the comfort of your own home.





Life as a child is seemingly easy. It’s known as a rather simple breeze of time that gently and sweetly blows a plethora of carefully learned lessons and sun kissed memories through a channel of irreplaceable years. In fact, childhood is arguably the simplest part of life that one will endure, providing the rolling training wheels necessary to one day maintain balance on one’s own. While many individuals’ beginning years are looked back upon with heartwarming vibrations that tingle the pink of our souls, there is also an important factor of childhood to be given proper notice. And that is the memories that are not so joyful. What about the days as a young child, we felt lost in a spiral of new experiences, new people, new sights, new realizations. A specific moment in time, when I was in the third grade plays back repeatedly through the alleys of my mind from time to time. Although the memory is small, it has stuck with me, quietly haunting a thin personal part of my subconscious for 064


my continuing years. In my small hometown of Longview, Washington, I attended the local Christian elementary school. While to me, school was no more than a daily requirement, I relished in the time that it provided me to play with my friends, whether that be flying as magically fairy princesses across the playgrounds bark chip carpet or trading pre-packaged desserts during lunch. Each class of students was assigned a daily lunch time to line up single file and walk to the joint cafeteria for a half an hour of film-covered hot lunches and circular tables ordered with giggling boys and girls. My excitement towards lunch was not the least bit out of the ordinary, after all, lunch time is the highlight of every 9-yearold’s day. I mean, who wouldn’t want to embrace the liberty of secretly eating your brownie before your actual meal? Or discretely tossing a carrot at the boy two tables down with pretty hair? The truth is, lunch is fun and games, and it always has been despite the teacher’s best efforts to maintain its stability. However, not every part of childhood is

compiled as merriment and a solemn fact lingers in the idea that difficult moments do shape your mental capacity. Personally, the very first recollection that I have of judgement was in the 30 minutes that I gleefully anticipated every morning. It was in the cafeteria. Just like any other day I opened up my colorfully decorated lunch box and unpacked my pink plaid thermos and matching plastic fork. The next sequential moments were almost perfectly written from day to day. Each of the other girls at my table would proceed to unpack their own lunches and read aloud the sweet napkin written notes from their mothers. As a group, we would then engage in foolish conversation and childish remarks concerning the previous night’s latest Disney Channel airing. All was well and my spirits soared across a yellow cotton beam of innocent serenity, enjoying the accompaniment of my dearest friends. That is, until the small girl with bright green eyes and two perfectly gelled braids put down her French toast

sticks, breaking the cliquey chatter and exclaimed, “Alex! Your lips are so ugly!” The table unanimously grew silent, accentuating the remark, which replaced my rose flushed cheeks with a ripening green. My small heart sank and my chest immediately began to swell with the kind of throbbing embarrassment that quickly pulses up your chest and into your throat, welting a blockade that prevents you from swallowing without gasping first. As I ravaged my brain for any sort of practical response in hopes to quickly hasten through the moment, the silence was broken. “Hey you’re right, her lips are ugly! They’re so big... and red!” jeered another girl. “Yeah they actually look pretty gross on you, Alex!” one more snickered. My body felt like a single stone propelled into the depths of the darkest part of the ocean. Slowly the mortification sank me. First from my legs, chained to the words that had never before accompanied the shadows of my mind. Then from my stomach, which dropped at the recognition of the girls believed truth that was sorely adjacent to my own self. My chest churned as if a sandy crater of me had been removed, leaving nothing but a hollow pit of unsettled vacancy. And as they conversed about the imperfection of my own mouth, my neck slowly hung, an act of disguise weighed down by the uncovered waters seabed floor, which would always hold captive the imperfection and disgust of my face, a sunken ship. An hour

seemed to have past as those crowded around the circular lunch table ornamented on the uninviting incarnadine cherry color that flushed my lips with a beastly repulse. They laughed as their attention was drawn to my puffy lower lip which appeared bloated, overbearing my upper. The innocent curl of my eyelashes dared not to look up at their faces, covered in a million eyeballs all gazing directly at me in mockery. My left foot curled around my right as my legs gently shook in discomfort. An overwhelming and indescribable feeling bathed me in a pungent acid, which would soon become one of the most familiar tastes to forever linger about my daily life; a sour taste, that of judgement. This particular encounter swung open the fateful door that every adult tries to lock away in closure, both hidden and sealed from the sight of a young child. However, inevitably each person will indeed find the path to its opening in even the earliest stages of life. Nevertheless, the fateful path had struck me as society’s merciless and degrading judgement had been exposed to my cloudy blinded eyes for the first time. Its unloving cast shone upon me in a light whose rays taunted my thoughts and scarred my soul in a burning tar that is nearly impossible to fully scrub away, always leaving a trace of shame in the form of a muddy black smear. While to some, including my parents, this day, this moment, was one that I should merely brush off my shoulders in agreement

to forgive and forget. Anyhow, to me it was a juncture that I could never leave and not again return to. Despite my greatest efforts, for the following years of my life I would look into the mirror and point out the bulky chapped tomato lips that closed across my face. This single act of negativity accompanied by the exposure of further negative remarks by those around me directed my conscious to turn towards self-hate. I hated the mole on my neck and the freckle plastered to the right side of the bridge of my nose. I hated the way my curly hair poofed higher in the air than the girls around me who had sleek and shiny locks. Even more so, I hated the way that even despite my efforts to straighten my hair every morning of the entire span of elementary school, it would never lay board flat. I hated my long spider like fingers and the purple tinted veins that peered through my translucent wrists like a drop of dye, poisoning a pure dish of milk. I hated the never ending distance between the bridge of my nose and my square set hairline. The way more forehead shined like an open space sucking in the eyes of those who spoke to me. I hated my body. As the years past and I began to grow, it started to change, and I hated myself for every awkward phase that I had to endure. My insecurities even grew so bad that I hated the nail polish color which I would ever so carefully choose to decorate my nail beds with, as a small salutation to my own self preference. Looking at FIRST TIMES


My Lips the red of another girl’s nails and the blue of mine twisted my brain into believing that I must have chosen the wrong color, convincing myself that people would judge me for my opinion. I’d hide my fingers when others were around. As a young girl, I fell subjective to society’s deceptions and ironically deceived myself of what lay as the very foundation, structure, and build of myself. A girl, imperfect yet beautiful and wonderfully made. I was me. I am me. And I will never be anything but me. The freckle on my nose is mine. My thick curly strands that fall to low of my back are mine. The body I live in is mine and the red full lips smiling against my cheekbones are mine. And you know what? Those lips are beautiful, for they were made by a God who blessed me with a lovely chance to speak words of kindness, words of forgiveness, and words of hope. My lips express the most colorful and complex ideas that stir within my soul. They project words of bravery to stand up for myself and what I believe in, even when my knees may wobble. My lips are me and I love them for that precise reason. And you know what else? Although it’s taken years upon years to realize; my lips are stunning and look beautiful as hell when I use them for good. Of course throughout my seventeen years of life I have had far more hurtful encounters than that, but because it was the 066


first time that I found out something that others did not like about me, it has always sat boldly in my mind. What was once an insecurity, by my own shift of perspective, has become a token of pride. Not only have I learned to love myself, but reflecting back on this experience has taught me that loving yourself is a choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with insecurities such as my weight, skin, and overall demeanor, but I have found that a little self-love will go a long way. What I am really trying to say to you, in a jumble of clichés is this: I know that I am not the only one with this story and I know how hard it can be struggling to see yourself the way your heart wants to. But believe me, perfection is unattainable. Don’t fret, because perfection is far too overrated. No one will ever be everyone’s first choice and guess what? That is okay! What really counts is your own recognition of who you are, because your inner thoughts will not only hold your heart captive or set it free, but they will reflect outwards as well. So please, cut yourself some slack because the round of your calves and the point of your nose were carefully crafted specifically for you as a unique individual. And who else is best to love you but your own self? For so long I was trapped by the constant fear that others would look down upon me and each negative remark spat my way

chipped the hole I was stuck in deeper and deeper. The day that I realized that this was no way to live, was the day that I allowed myself to break free from the bounds of the rest of the world. I was my own, I am my own, and I deserve to feel beautiful without a knocking reminder that others may not agree. I chose to love not only myself, but others too, and each morning I choose to practice this once again. Through living with eyes of love, suddenly the tired looking mother with three day old hair hidden beneath a cap and sweatshirt appeared to me as a remarkable piece of art. And I couldn’t help but notice the magnificent brown pools of the old man’s eyes sitting beside me in the theatre. Appreciating the beauty around me forced me to appreciate the beauty that I have to share with the world, as well. Quite honestly, there will never be another person like the one that you are, and as people, if we are defined by our choices, why wouldn’t we choose to first love ourselves so that in return we can love other people too? Yes, here I write yet another cliché, and I’m sure that you have heard a speech like this before, but I ask that you take what I have to say seriously. For if you believe in the complete aspect of who you are, no one will be able to stop you, not the girls who you thought were your friends, not the third graders at the lunch table, and most importantly, not even yourself. ●


For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of, and if you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over again.












Poet Tree Dear night, You are the darkest time, but I’ve found so much in you. It is through this darkness that I notice the glow of the skyline and realize that there is light. Here, I notice even the smallest shine and I find that every glow is carried by the darkness that surrounds it. Without dark, I would not have light. Without night I would not have morning, and without an ending there would never be a beginning. We build ourselves up and then break ourselves down, so every chance we get to start over we take because we are not strong enough to carry what we take from each day. Night, we hand you our worries, our checklists, every favor and smile, the small things, the lows and highs. Every detail of our day we give to you, then we carry on with ourselves as the baton is passing to morning. Tonight I’m keeping those words, the kindness, and the clouds. I will not keep my hopes in my dreams this time. I will carry this day with me into tomorrow, the next day, and so on, taking every minute with me. Here, I sit with the murmur of crickets, the hum of people of driving home, and the colors that rest from their usual brightness. The city is rushed and the stairs are vacant. They sit above the empty road reminding me of the light yet to come. The soft glow of the refrigerator gleams off the tile floor. A sink drips quietly every few minutes. Alarms are set and ready to play messenger for the sun. The grandfather clock downtown plays his tune. No one responds. The light are off, our minds are reeling. You hold us gently until we can see again. With love, Hannah Lozano



Moiety The Psychology of Movement WORDS: HANNAH LOZANO

Let’s Talk Gestalt. So in the images across, the simplest way to interpret it is a white triangle over a circle and three black dots. Generally, we are not seeing three Pac Man shapes with a few semicircles. We see the whole image as greater than the sum of it’s parts, like the human body.

If you were given a film still of a movie you have never seen before, you would likely have trouble gathering the message that the film is trying to convey. If you were to view the movie in its entirety, the message would be significantly more clearly. One single image can say a lot, no matter which image from the film you have been given to view, but when linked to thousands of images to accompany it, the story can be greater and much more concise. It would be undoubtedly difficult to explain the human condition in just a single photograph, but between a greater amounts of similar shots, the thesis may be profusely more apparent. Gestalt psychology states that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That, without the context of millions of electrical connections and chemicals transporting through the brain, it would only be a mass of water and fat. The same goes for these chemicals themselvesalone they don’t do much, but together they create human life. All throughout the body, only semi-useful pieces of machinery come together to create a fully-functioning machine. These pieces link together tightly enough that without just one piece, the entire system would need to adapt to work completely different, or not at all. This is the foundation of Gestalt psychology. FIRST TIMES


Moiety For centuries, psychologists have battered over the formulation of the body and the mind. Do two pieces create one or just a single element? And which carries the other? Is the brain all we are, or is it just another body part? In infancy, we all worked hard to assemble our brains with our bodies. With our lack of both fine and gross motor skills, our little bodies were limited to taking on the world as our curious minds had wanted. But we adapted. Infants’ eyes linger on objects they are more interested in. They make sounds, cheering for praise and wailing in distaste. While we couldn’t carry ourselves, we helped navigate our caretakers on where to carry us. As we grew, our gross motor skills developed and we could crawl, walk, lift, and point. These gestures are seemingly small as we stand as fullyfunctioning human beings, but when we were so small that we were close to immobile, being able to get from point A to point B without the help of our caregivers was miraculous. A triumphant journey in the bold eyes of the toddler. In early childhood we reached Jean Piaget’s sensorimotor stage of development, which describes our first interactions with the physical world. We reacted to our mothers’ smiles by our own. Later, we realized that kicking a ball will cause it to move. The fascination we felt by getting responses from the world around us motivated us to engage further. Eventually, we realized that knocking over a stack of blocks will send them tumbling down. Children are not merely troublemakers, but possibly little geniuses conducting surges of power on their playrooms. Once we developed fine motor skills, we became able to grasp, write, and create. This is where the convergence of our bodies and minds really begins, and never ends. In early childhood, we pick up on issues that we continue solving throughout adulthood. We realize at this young age that every action has a reaction and we continue moving to elicit these reactions from the physical, as well as the metaphysical world. Our brains are cajoled 074


The Psychology of Movement to move by ideas, visions, and words. Our bodies, however, seem to betray us in certain situations. Adrenaline pumps through and can send an innocent fist flying to somebody else in anger. Joy can befall us and send our bodies dancing in excitement. Nerves tend to make our bodies shake, and shift our feet, pacing around the room. Whether it be a lack of monoamine oxidase, an excess of epinephrine, or high levels of dopamine, when our bodies seem make decisions for themselves, our brains are always the controllers. These chemicals just mentioned are the reasons we react to the world the way we do-our brains extract chemicals that are meant to either inhibit or release reactions throughout our bodies. When presented with certain stimuli, our sympathetic nervous systems decide our movements for us. So, whether a situation orders for you to fight back, to run away, to smile, or to cry, your emotions tend to take over. Less physically-demanding situations don’t use the load of chemicals from the brain and that’s when we get to decide for ourselves. But breaking news or a terrifying scene elicits movements that our bodies are wired to react to quickly, thanks to the “fight or flight” mechanisms of our sympathetic nervous systems. So as we grow, we adapt to the physical world around us by moving with it; sometimes, against it. We figure body language, we dance, we build, we intertwine. We shake each other’s hands, we learn to play music, and we follow crowds. From infancy, our minds are prepared to focus on action and reaction. Into adulthood, our instincts are ready to save us, and our brains are set to control us. Our brains and our bodies bind to help us adapt to the physical world, two parts creating a whole. But a third factor suggests itself- who we are. What restrains or releases, which makes us different from instinctive animals? Personality, culture, prosocial behavior? Something sets humans apart - we move differently with an infinite amount of steps to be taken to create who we are. ● FIRST TIMES


Cover It



Feeling Free



Globetrotter A COLUMN BY MARGOT OYUELA Globetrotter is a regular column in Kaleo Journal that sheds light on travel destinations around the world. In each issue, I discuss a new place with tips and tricks on how to make travelling there exciting and educating. From exploring different cultures to trying new food, I’m here to show you the ropes on how to make every trip a memorable experience. Follow me as I mark my territory around the globe!




Dubai From the moment you first step off the plane, Dubai sends chills down your spine. The rapid growth of this futuristic city makes each trip more and more exciting. Your first time in Dubai will set the bar extremely high for every other place you visit. Taking memories from the past 6 times I have travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), I have come up with the ultimate guide to exploring Dubai and its surrounding areas.

Lifestyle FOOD Dubai has an insane variety of food from different cultures. From American fast food chains to authentic, local cuisine, the price of food is surprisingly low for how good it is. Like any other city, Dubai has its expensive, upscale restaurants. However, if you are on a budget there are tons of great, cheap options. The UAE is also known for having dozens of different fresh fruit juices that are sold at almost every restaurant. From Lemon-Mint to Watermelon, I cannot even compare the quality of their fruit to that of the U.S and the prices are less than half of what I would pay in America. TRANSPORTATION Not only has Dubai drastically innovated their public transportation system, but the general cost of transportation is fairly cheap. Renting a car is always an option when buzzing through the city, but it is not always the cheapest or most effective. There are tons of places to rent a bike if you are looking for a cheap way to get around and get some exercise while you explore. Taxis are

also extremely affordable unlike some Western cities like New York. If you are looking to travel to outside Emirates, like Abu Dhabi, tours are always available with transportation to certain touristic destinations. CULTURE Though Dubai is very ethnically diverse, the UAE is a predominantly Muslim country. Therefore, there are some boundaries to set out of respect for the cultural values of the people around you. Westerners have a particularly tough time understanding that Dubai is fairly liberal compared to the other Emirates, however it is still part of a more conservative union. Tourists are usually excused for their mistakes due to ignorance, but it is always a good idea to learn about the culture of a country before you offend anyone. In Dubai, it’s not very appropriate to wear clothes that show a ton of skin. Though I am a huge believer in wearing whatever makes you feel confident, I dress more reserved than I would at home, out of respect when traveling in Dubai. There are also many small, innocent gestures that can be found offensive,

including crossing your legs and eating with your left hand. Of course, no one will arrest you for being a leftie, but it is a good idea to try to keep in mind the cultural offenses of the country you are visiting. Taking pictures of people without their permission is also a big no-no, especially with women dressed in burkas.

Top Five Things To See 1. SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE - ABU DHABI From my experience of travelling all over the world, this is one of the most mindblowing places I have ever visited. From the architecture to the intricate designs on the walls to the marble floors and pillars, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most stunning historical landmarks in the world. There are daily tours from Dubai to Abu Dhabi just to visit the mosque for those of you who do not have their own transportation. There is also a strictly enforced appropriate dress code to enter the mosque. Men have it easy, (what a surprise) and just have to wear long pants. Women however, must be covering their head and hair, must be wearing long FIRST TIMES


Globetrotter sleeves and long pants, skirt or dresses that reach below the ankle. For those of you who worry about appropriating Islamic culture, do not worry. The mosque requires you to wear a hijab out of respect and they see it as appreciation of the culture as opposed to appropriation. 2. DUBAI MALL AND MALL OF THE EMIRATES Before you say, “I didn’t fly across the world to go to a mall!” you might want to reconsider. Dubai Mall is the largest in the world and has just about every store you could ever think of. Not to mention, it has an aquarium and access to the Burj Khalifa, if you’re interested in going to the top of the tallest building in the world. Mall of the Emirates is also



worth visiting because it has an indoor ski park with a full mountain of snow for those who want to get out of the grueling heat of Dubai. 3. DESERT SAFARI Almost every hotel has a direct tour you can book to experience the adventure of the desert safari. If you like thrills, a drive through the orange sand dunes will give you the adrenaline you’re looking for. Not to mention you can ride camels and watch live performances by traditional dancers. 4. JUMEIRAH BEACH This area of Dubai is filled with things to do and see. If you love the beach as much as I do, Dubai is the perfect place to see crystal clear water and white sand. You can also find the Burj Al Arab, the only

7-star hotel in the world, on Jumeirah Beach. Though you cannot go inside the hotel, you can visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah for shopping and perfect views of the Burj Al Arab. 5. GOLD AND SPICE SOUK If you are wondering where you can buy anything and everything, the souks will be your favorite place. Apart from the huge gold market and the different spices and herbs sold, you can find souvenirs from Dubai. The best part of shopping at souks as opposed to a mall is that you can bargain with the vendors and get things for half the original price. From tacky t-shirts and clunky keychains to embroidered pillow cases and Persian rugs, the Souk area of Dubai is one of the most eccentric. ●











A Letter In Which I Become Panic Please excuse me, I am literally ON FIRE CHLOE KATOPODIS Dear Danielle, I am nervous. I don’t know why I’m nervous because there is nothing to be nervous about but my hands are shaking and I feel like running, and Danielle, you know me, I am not a Running Person. Let me set the scene: it is my second day of uni. Well technically it’s my fourth but today is the second actual day of actually attending uni. Monday was a little mess but I am here, alive and slightly flustered, but when am I not? Tuesday I had an hour long lecture in the middle of the day but scurried out of going in person, realising I could watch it online – not even two days in and I’m missing class. You read all the messages I sent you this morning while I was listening to it – a haphazard combination of things that were actually fun and shareable and interesting combined with my Nervous Adrenaline Fuelled Texting that happens when I cross the line of sanity. My hands are shaking. I feel like I could punch through a brick wall. Right now, the way my thinking is, I think I will. Note to self: do your Old Man Thing and walk with your hands behind your back to stop this from happening. Because right now Chloe, one half of your head is telling you that you can not rationally survive punching a wall and that you need your hands for EVERYTHING, not to mention how stupid you would look punching a wall, on top of the fact that how would you even go about punching an actual wall. Which wall should become your victim? Do you stop mid-walk to punch it or stop to position yourself or how would it even work? Yet the other half of your brain is talking to you. Like actually speaking to you. ‘Hey Chloe – that’s right, I’m using your name – just punch the wall. You are literally buzzing with energy and the only human way to get rid of it is to 086


punch a wall. A brick wall, specifically, not this gyprock business. It’s the only way. Or you could scream like a wild cricket desperate for cricket stuff or a wild bird, desperate for bird stuff, or your wild neighbour, desperate for God-knows-what. Attention? Self-expression? Whatever it is, if he doesn’t shut the mother-f up in the mornings you will explode. Literally explode. How embarrassing. Cause of death: explosion. Why? Rage fuelled body couldn’t handle any more from the neighbour so it exploded. See – stupid. You’re distracting yourself now. Punch. The. Wall.’ Your hands are shaking like you’ve done crystal meth for the first time to clean the house really quickly but all you’ve ended up doing is clean a single spot on the kettle for the past four hours. The rest of the house is a mess Chloe. ‘But the kettle looks good’. No. It doesn’t. I am nervous Danielle because I have to make friends. I have to make a best friend. I have to make many friends that I can tell this stuff to and other weird stuff that happens in my life because it’s going to get weird soon Danielle. Weirder than it already is. I know, we haven’t even touched the surface of weird and I just shared my internal monologue. Danielle I am nervous because what if I don’t know anything. What if Cool Groovy Jim Moss asks me a question and in my Nervous Adrenaline Fuelled Confusion I just scream because DANIELLE I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER! DANIELLE I DON’T KNOW HOW ANDY WARHOL’S STUPID DAMN CAMPBELL CUP COLLECTION RELATES TO VISUAL CULTURE, IT’S JUST A STUPID DAMN PAINTING OF A STUPID DARN TIN CAN AND I AM YELLING DANIELLE I AM YELLING. That didn’t feel as good as I thought it would because I am not actually yelling in person, I

am yelling on Microsoft Word, which, by the way, for your information, in the future if you need to know, is not the same as yelling irl. I know, shocker. Danielle, I am nervous because I have a break after Jim Moss’ Super Funky History Class for a few hours until I begin my decent to Hell, also known as a four hour drawing class. Maybe I will punch that wall. Danielle, I need to eat. Like, right now, yes, I am hungry, and so I will eat. But when I arrive to uni, what will I eat? Will I go out to buy food? Public interaction? Let me throw up into a bin now. What if I go to order a sandwich and, lo and behold, I open my mouth to say ‘can I please have one sandwich please’ (because how typical of me is it to Double Please someone) and instead all that comes out is violent bird mating calls and then Danielle, all of a sudden birds will flock to me and Danielle, I’ll die. Cause of death: attack by birds. Why? Tried to order a sandwich, failed, made a primal bird mating call instead and was pecked to death by millions of horny magpies. How embarrassing. Danielle, I know there is nothing to worry about (except for everything I have just detailed above, and more) so why am I SHAKING? This time I will speak up about being in the wrong class and as always, I will just do the best I can, but Danielle, I am so jittery and frightened and a little excited and a lot nervous. Danielle, it is only the second/fourth day of university. Danielle, join me in prayer that you won’t see me on the news tonight. Danielle, have a good day at your university. Danielle, I will write back soon, with good or bad news, or maybe even some average news (yeah right).

Hey, so what’s going on? I wrote this piece before going to uni in my very early days (I have now just finished my first semester alive thank goodness). Literally shaking with nerves in the fifteen minutes before I left, I knew I had to somehow expel these shakes or I would explode and I was sure as hell not exploding because I was wearing a nice jacket. So I sat down and wrote. Wrote whatever I was saying in my head. Wrote to my best friend, as some kind of comfort because she is the only person this would seem valid to. But I can’t leave it on such a tense note (and what a tense note it is) so Dear Past Chloe, You are no longer nervous. In fact, you haven’t been in a long time. That day actually went incredibly. You actually started making friends! You! Friends! (I know I am only burning myself saying this but you know you okay, and this is a big deal you reclusive hermit man.) No one asked about Warhol. In fact, nobody even thought of Warhol. Everyone was surely nervous and the air of mutual ‘did you understand what they were talking about in the lecture because I didn’t’ reigned high. Your hands are intact after punching zero, that is ZERO walls (Congratulations you weirdo for even thinking something that arbitrary) and you’re well and alive, being involved in none of your own funerals from Embarrassing Deaths. You survived. You did better than survived. You LIVED! For hours after class you sat down (yes!) and talked to two girls (YES!) about life and told stories and made jokes (BIGGEST YES!). Not only that, but your four hour drawing class flew and you had an incredible friend to work next to, and about six weeks later, you had more incredible friends in the class. And hey, you did pretty good work too.

All the love my frail heart can handle,

All the best in the future that your frail heart can handle and will handle,


Present Chloe ● FIRST TIMES



The warm Texas sun crept slowly onto my cheeks as I opened my eyes and squinted into the spring air. The city buzzed around me while I stretched my sore back from my night spent in a stiff lawn chair outside of Austin’s most popular concert venue. Dozens of teenage girls lined up behind me, each one showing their dedication to everyone’s favorite band, The 1975. After weeks of convincing my mother that sleeping on the city streets of Austin was absolutely necessary to ensure that my friends and I would score a spot in the front row at the The 1975 show the following night, I began to realize that the adventure of this experience seemed to have physical consequences. My stomach began to rumble with hunger, my arms throbbed of pain, and my legs begged to be unfolded from the uncomfortable position they molded into from sleeping in my lawn chair for a few hours. Nevertheless, the pain was well worth it because I knew that night I would be seeing my favorite band with a front row view. A year prior to this show, I saw The 1975 as an opener for one of my favorite bands in a tiny venue, before they meant anything to anyone. At this time, I was only in seventh grade



so I was in the the early stage of my concert-going phase. However, from the moment they stepped on the stage, I knew this was where I was supposed to be. This band of four British boys dressed in black from head to toe (as referenced in their biggest hit yet) created a sense of unity among each person in that tiny venue. I strictly remember that once the speakers erupted with a distinctive tune, everyone stopped talking over the loud music and stared in pure awe while an unknown band from England played music like they had been doing it their whole lives. The second they walked off the stage, I was left in a state of ethereal excitement of what was to come. Returning back to the U.S. after the release of their debut album, I knew I had to see them again so I immediately bought tickets when they announced their tour. As The 1975 slowly began to grow in popularity, I anticipated their arrival, knowing it would be even better than the first time I saw them only a year before. Then, the time finally arrived. On May 30th, 2014, I camped out overnight with a couple of girls I had met through concerts to see the small band from Manchester that was beginning to gain quite the fan-base in Texas. Only being in eighth grade, I found myself surrounded by my older, cooler, and far hotter concert acquaintances who I didn’t know too well yet. Simultaneously I felt out of so place and so at home. The night we slept outside waiting for the concert, a random girl from Twitter tweeted me at midnight asking about the line outside the venue. I surprisingly updated her that

there were about 10 fans already camping out behind me. Confused that The 1975 already had such dedicated fans, I laughed when the random Twitter user promised me she was leaving her house in Houston, 3 hours away, and that she would meet me at the venue. Sure enough, in the middle of the night I was woken from a restless sleep to find a brown haired girl about the same age as me, grinning from ear to ear. Outside of this concert at 3 o’clock in the morning, the girl and I struck up a lifelong friendship. Now, we have traveled to 3 different states together to see some of our favorite musicians perform and she has become my best friend all thanks to The 1975. And that girl is Kamryn, the editor of Kaleo Journal and the reason I’m writing this article today. Their show was the first concert I attended that made me realize that music is worth it all. The absolute bliss I experienced at that concert was worth the whole night spent in and out of sleep in the heart of a buzzing city, the sweaty people pressed together in a crowd, bruises from being pushed against the barricade so hard you can barely breathe, the growling stomach you get from not eating anything all day because you’re so anxious for the night to come. It is all worth it. The 1975 introduced me to the most important aspect of my life. Through this band, I have met some of my best friends that are going to last a lifetime. Together, we have made the greatest memories that I will carry with me forever. Through The 1975, I have learned that these moments are not beside me, but within me. ●






When did you first really become passionate about photography? Growing up, my grandmother introduced me to film and she had a dark room where she taught me all about it. Seeing the beauty that she captured and saved as a memory inspired me to create my own. Do you have a special area of work that you find most interesting when photographing? Oh absolutely concerts, hands down. I’ve been going to concerts for the past 14 years, being able to capture the memories of what makes my heart whole is something I’ll always treasure. I know you are a huge music fan and it’s pretty cool that you get to enjoy your favorite bands and photograph them - tell me more about that and how you are able to even get some of those opportunities.

It’s actually something I’ve never thought I’d be doing. I’ve always gone to concerts waiting in line hours before with friends, hoping to get barricade. A lot of my film I’ve taken from that POV. Branching out from going to a show as a pure fan, to now professionally photographing some of my favorite artists, is incredible. I’ve only been doing this for a little over a year, and I’ve already gained so much life experience from it. Have you had any special moments in your photography career? The most special and likely most memorable thing to happen as of yet would have to be the LANY Fan Film I created with my two friends, Baker Smith and Carly Clayton. We’ve been major fans of the band, LANY for a few years now and we wanted to create something special not only for the band, but for the fans. The






Sam Slot







Noteworthy reaction to it so far has been so incredible from everyone all over the world. Have you worked on any special projects recently? This definitely ties back to the previous question with the LANY Fan Film. We spent a couple months planning out with their label and management all the details of the film, and when we finally put our ideas into place and started filming with the fans, hearing their stories, it made me really understand how music can bring people together, like one big family. Do you have any plans in the future regarding a career in photography? I really want to keep my photography as much of a hobby as possible. I’m currently in school for Nursing and for now, that will be my full time career. I work 2 jobs now, and photography is my getaway. I look forward to escaping to a show to shoot, and I always want that to be my place. Through your photography, what has been one thing that you have learned from seeing the world through a lens? Absolutely stepping out of my comfort zone. Going from strictly film, to DSLR style is a complete curveball in itself for me, then hopping immediately into concert photography was something I struggled with at first. It’s like a whole new world, a different element for



Sam Slot me if you will. But seeing the shots captured from doing it makes it all feel like home. What has been your most memorable experience? Recently, I filmed two of LANY’s Texas shows on their first headline tour. For a relatively small band, they have a HUGE fanbase, some of the most incredible people I have met. Talking with them reminded me of why we all gravitate towards live music. The feeling of being in a room listening to your favorite songs surrounded by people who understand, they get it. Man, that feeling is something I couldn’t even put into words if I wanted to. During the middle of their set right before the start of a new song, the crowd started chanting, “LANY…LANY…LANY” over and over again, louder each time. Completely unexpected, everyone was left speechless, including the members of LANY. Lastly, any words of wisdom for aspiring photographers? For anyone that has an interest in concert photography or photography in general, go for it. As typical as it sounds, follow your dreams. You never know where it will take you, even if it’s just the beautiful experience. I’ve gained many life-long friendships from doing this a short year, and so main more to come. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back from showing the world your art. ●





Think Before You Shoot A plea in the wake of the Orlando shooting MARGOT OYUELA 406,496. That’s the number of people that have died due to firearms in the United States from 2001-2013 and the number keeps getting higher. Guns have become a trending topic in the last couple of years. From tragedies in schools to horrifying stories of police brutality, gun laws have constantly been failing our country. The U.S. is still facing extreme discrimination towards minorities and the LGBT community and our current laws are a joke. The debate over gun laws has become a repetitive routine that we have become numb to. Innocent people get murdered and justice is never properly served. How many people have to die for us to finally put an end to this? June 12th was a devastating moment for the LGBT community. The largest mass shooting in American history took place at a gay nightclub named Pulse. This hit too close to home for me. My dear friends were scheduled to perform there 2 days after the attack. If the shooter would have waited 2 days, my friends wouldn’t be alive. This shooting was an extreme blow towards the gay community and it hurts to see people go through this, especially in the month of Pride. It is difficult for gay people to find a place where they feel safe and Pulse was an environment of love and acceptance for the community. All of a sudden, it became the exact opposite. It became a crime scene due to hatred and

bigotry. Gun violence isn’t the only issue being faced. The root of this problem is the discrimination that people in the U.S. are still facing. It’s ridiculous that acts of racism, homophobia, islamophobia, and sexism are still being carried out in this day and age. It’s 2016. WAKE UP. People need to start accepting others for who they are, no matter their sexual orientation, gender, religion or race. America is supposed to be the land of the free, but are we really? We are not free until ALL of us are free. Transphobic people are worried about sharing a bathroom while the LGBT community has to worry about getting murdered for being who they are. We need change. We need to establish gun laws that actually work and that can save people’s lives. We don’t need another Sandy Hook. We don’t need another Pulse. We need someone in our government who actually cares about the people of this country and wants to limit, if not ban, gun use. When it comes to things like birth control, abortion, and gay marriage, people are quick to say “BAN IT!” But when it comes to guns, they say “Look, banning things never works. People will still find ways to get them.” It’s time for people to stop being hypocritical and realize the huge problem we have with gun violence. ● FIRST TIMES


Call And Answer KAMRYN KOBAL

Kaleo Journal started out as a small idea in my head that seemed like it would never make it outside of the walls of my chaotic mind. I knew I wanted to start a project where I could show off my friends and all of their super cool talents, while spreading love and positivity but I truly had no idea on where to start. I bounced back and forth between ideas from creating a blog to just giving up completely. I sat at my computer for hours doing research and brainstorming ideas before I decided to start a magazine for young adults. It was when I was seated in my local coffee shop, watching all of the younger customers flip



from their laptops to their phones to their papers that I had the lightbulb moment that became Kaleo Journal. In fact, the idea popped into my head as I was biting into my steaming hot spinach panini which burnt my tongue pretty badly. I scrambled for a drink of my water while grabbing my pen to begin jotting down my precious thought. Once I had the idea that I was going to create my very own magazine, I was left with no direction or place to start. Could I create this entire magazine on Microsoft Word, considering that was the only software I truly knew how to use. Could I find a template somewhere online that allowed for me to easily

fill in my own content to the designed spaces? I looked through every possibility and couldn't help but feel a sense of helplessness as I scrolled through pages of text that consisted of words that I had no idea of their technical meaning. However after I logged onto ISSUU, an online blogging website, I found the light at the end of the tunnel, although I didn't know just how much. In the very beginning of 2016, I scrolled across the user, Chloe Katopodis, on the site. In her bio, I read that she was a teenager who created a magazine to showcase her very own art. I immediately searched for her email where I

could send a pathetic message begging for any advice this random user could give me on starting a magazine. To my surprise, Chloe answered right away with loads of information on where to print and how to design. We began emailing and I shared all of my ideas with a her and as time went on, so did our friendship. Learning that she lived in South Australia with a sixteen and a half hour time difference to Texas, we compared life styles as seventeen year old girls living in opposite sides of the world. Eventually, we agreed that it was fate that I scrolled across her account all those months ago. She began sending me templates she created that I could use, putting all of my unattainable thoughts into real, visual works. It was so surreal. Through 9 page emails and hour long Skype calls, Chloe became my co-worker and friend. We've learned how to deal with the time difference, although I admit that I had the most trouble understanding the concept that while it is July here and in Australia, the seasons are complete opposite. Nevertheless, Chloe has always stayed patient with me between my constant questions and frequent emotional breakdowns. For

that, I am forever grateful for finding a friend, all the way across the world, who agreed to work on a crazy project with a complete stranger. I truly never thought I would be able to hold my very own magazine in my hands, yet here it is. Without the help of Chloe, the amazing contributors featured in this issue, my family and my awesome God, this project would have never happened. Recently, I attended a convention for young adults called 'The Hope and Life Conference'. The event consisted of 3 full days of worship and serving with churches from all across the nation. The main theme that the speakers spoke on was the youth of this generation. As a member of The Millennials, I understand firsthand how much of a distraction technology and our constant shifting society can be, but these speakers pointed out that this generation can easily be the young adults that change the world. While we have gained the reputation of being lazy, self absorbed teens - we have something to prove and the means to make that change happen. A pastor names Jentzen Franklin spoke at this conference, highlighting the importance of dreaming while

we are young. It's normal for teenagers to have wild dreams, often those who are older than us believe that we are naive or unrealistic. But walking away from this conference, I was reminded that I serve the God of miracles who can truly make anything happen. I know that this world is full of violence and hate and a lot of the time, it seems that is all that exists. But during weekends like the one I recently encountered, when I am surrounded by hundreds of people who have serving hearts and hopeful minds, I no longer focus on the negative that encapsulates this world. I truly believe that every single person has a calling in life. Whether that calling is a simple goal or it seems impossible, I want to remind you that what better time to follow that dream than when you are young and courageous. As time goes on and we get older, we gain more responsibility and fear for our future. But I hope that through Kaleo Journal, you are inspired to be fearless when choosing to follow that calling of yours, whatever it may be. Thank you again to each of the readers, contributors and everyone else who encouraged me while Kaleo Journal was being made into what it is today. â—?

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.�- Joshua 1:9



Submissions Do you know a friend or a person who would really suit our style? Either let them know of Kaleo so they can go forth themselves OR send us their profile of work (Tumblr, website, Soundcloud, Instagram, etc) and their email address (no phone numbers please) so we can contact them ourselves if we think we’d make a merry match. ‘Vent’ is a project we manage through Tumblr. The blog is a place where people can anonymously send in any thoughts playing through their mind or stressing them out. It is based on the idea that just telling your thoughts or feelings to someone, anyone, can make you feel better because it’s not pent up inside. Our goal is to create a safe space and promote mental wellbeing through communication and expression.

Or how about you! Do you have something that you would love to express in Kaleo? Well then let us know! We would absolutely love to include you in our publication! Follow the guidelines above and head to our website for all the details.

The submissions can be anything, serious or minor, ranging from: ‘I accidentally closed the door on my cat’s tail’ to ‘I recently came to terms with my asexuality and don’t know how to feel about it’.

Help Me Out

We look to make it a column in the magazine, so people can connect to their plights and we can raise awareness of the importance of mental health. We are also looking to compile a list for mental health resources around the world, so if you know of an organization or want to partner with us, please send us a message to help expand this list.



Have any interesting questions for us that you want to see answered? We’re starting a column, ‘Help Me Out’, and would love to, well, help you out. It can be anything, ranging from how to do a makeup style or make a friend feel better or how to deal with school life when it all starts to crumble. We’ll do our best to answer them, in an issue or online, or at least help point you in the right direction.

Let's Connect In the vast abyss of our planet Earth, we can sometimes slip apart. Let’s never let this happen. Let’s Connect. PHOTO: PAYTON HARTSELL Find all things related to our magazine, including extended interviews and extra content at

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Kaleo Journal Issue 001  

Kaleo Journal is an independent online and print magazine publication for young people about social issues and creative expression. This fir...

Kaleo Journal Issue 001  

Kaleo Journal is an independent online and print magazine publication for young people about social issues and creative expression. This fir...