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An Anthology of Creative Works

Ohio State Newark

sun e h t lowed ice, l a w e. I’ve s ce or tw and stal on ter t i b s te i s a t the

Student and Alumni


e 7, 2


We are Taproot Welcome to the seventh edition of Taproot, the anthology of creative works and interdisciplinary journal of The Ohio State University at Newark. This year’s board of student editors is proud to present a new and exciting edition. The journal provides a forum recognizing and highlighting the creative energies of Ohio State Newark’s studentry. We are pleased to offer in this latest and redesigned print volume of Taproot student- and alumni-crafted essays ranging from fiction and creative non-fiction to class essays, poetry, art, photography and painting. The online version of the journal provides even more content not available in print, and it includes our expanding multimedia submissions. Go to and check it out! The evolution of the Taproot journal will begin anew when the next board of editors brings their unique vision of Taproot volume 8 to The Ohio State University at Newark. Would you like to know more? Contact Dr. Elizabeth Weiser at Make Taproot YOUR journal! Remember that as a student or alumnus of Ohio State Newark, you can submit your original creative work—any genre—to Taproot at any time by sending it to Submissions are reviewed by the editorial board once a year for possible inclusion in that year’s journal. Submission guidelines are online at

Acknowledgements The Taproot staff would like to acknowledge the numerous professionals who took time from their day to meet with or otherwise assist us, including Francesca Amigo and Suzanne Bressoud of the Newark Campus Public Relations office; Nicole Criner Newark Campus Webmaster, and Travis Patrick, Digital Media Technician; Bonnie Graham, Senior Editor at NCTE Press; Chuck Gherman, owner of Printing Arts Press, and Doug Moser, Taproot alumnus. We also thank the Ohio State Newark and its Department of English for funding the journal.


A Series by William Moran Worker


Clattering chains clink one on the other across the cold steel plates. Sparks fly off machinists’ torches, melting metal until weakened bars bond stronger than before. Drills spin rivets into steel plates; the long grind buzzing in the ears of workers long after the last drill has stopped, until the incessant sound is a constant ambiance, even in the silence of their dreams. And so the loudest of labor’s cries fall into whispers in the back of the mind, ignored like a small child constantly crying, “Daddy, daddy, daddy.” Ignored and forgotten, workers shamble sullenly to their posts, day in and day out, night in and night out, every minute of every day and every week until the twilight of their years sees dark shadows set across the furrows and wrinkles of their brows. One will dream, “Remember when,” and others will smile broken smiles for their forgotten, lost youth, their silent dreams pinned into the metal with every drill and every weld. Imprisoned with every day and every cold bar they build up around themselves. Blocked from a future by iron walls, steel, and hard black reality. Clattering chains clink across the hearts and souls of men trapped in a cold, cumbersome world. Welds long cold hold the boldest minds closed in a world stone cold in front of weary eyes. Eyes too tired to see beyond the surface of grease covered overalls and sooty boots.

Silent ships shift in harbor as waves splash and break across their bows. Moonlight washes across tangled ropes, furled sails, and dark weathered wooden decks. Below men rest on the gentle sea, dreaming of all the gratifications of a hard life. They reek of and can still taste the oblivion of liquor. Their cold skin longs for, their veins pulse for, a soft warm body. Their thoughts are haunted by the bitter salt water. Even now it pushes endlessly, seeping into their most sacred thoughts, saturating their sweetest desires. Silver ripples glisten momentarily against a sable void, rushing, crashing, and vanishing as quickly as they appear. Falling constantly through the empty black towards shore.

Faint Blooming

Mortality Fatigue brings an emptiness that cannot be filled. Insatiable hunger empties the body and mind of the very will to act, to live. Exhaustion is the bane of man. The desire to act can overcome any evil, any gravity, any mountain. Sleep pulls down the lids and the men, marooning us all in the darkness of inaction and defeat. No rest refreshes, no night can nourish, no hope is honored in the harsh eternity that harbors humanity. Bodies inevitably fall— take faith in the soul.

Megan Boeshart


Punch line or a neophyte, traditionalist, conformist/non-conformist, liberalist-conservative poem for the common man

by Leeland Waller I am: too traditional for the chic neophytes, lack too much stern ignorance for the traditionalists; far too conformist for the non-conformist, and too non-conformist for the conformist; much too edgy for the conservatives yet too conservative for the yuppies; concluding that, in a historical sense, Pound would condemn my lack of structure, Whitman my lack of anecdote, Cummings would praise my lack of punctuation And despise my intimate voice, While Ginsberg would wonder, What intimacy? Williams would laugh at my infantile subjects, Dickinson would ask, Where are the hyphens?— Eliot would scoff at the inclusion of emotion, While Plath would toast her brain looking for it; All the while, you—the modern masses—wonder Why I keep referring to myself as I all the time, And why the hell do I write poems that rhyme? That has not been acceptable for years! (Has it?)


Yes, it is true, I address myself as I‌. (amateur) I write poetry that rhymes (childish) Sometimes (so common and juvenile)! (see) I switch beats from line to line (unacceptable) Good luck finding a meter (impossible) —Categorize me as you will, Your private Ivy League education demands it. The bittersweet set of rules that bind your genius Ironically allows ignorance to set me free. I am not conforming to you, You are conforming to me. I wrote this poem at 3am (nude) Keep looking for a reason (missing) I am not: Interested in your (opinion)

Manipulated Testimony

Alexandria Joris


War by Jackie Duncan I sat in the center of my living room, jamming my sleeping bag into a compression sack. My floor was littered with sea bags. Some were packed, others lay open with gear hanging out of their mouths, as if they had vomited their contents onto the carpet. I jerked down on the straps of the compression sack until it had done its job and smashed a set of three sleeping bags down to the size of a basketball. Just one more thing to check off my list, which was getting shorter and shorter. Soon I would be done, and after that, gone. My son stirred in his basinet next to me. Looking at him brought a lump to my throat instantly. It wasn’t fair, but what is? Regardless, it was the mantra that ran through my head on a constant loop. Four months, that was it. The Marine Corps allowed a woman to be non-deployable for four months after the birth of her child. Then she was redeployable again. My time was up 24 hours ago. The last stick of the deployment was going out tomorrow, and I was headed out with them. We were headed for the big sandbox, Operation Enduring Freedom and all that. I didn’t know where or for how long I’d be gone. The Marine Corps wasn’t big on details, just blind obedience. The guilt was eating me for not wanting to leave my son. I was torn between my family and my fellow Marines. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t the only one leaving a family behind. The fact was, this was part of the deal. There may not have been a war going on in ’99 when I signed up, but now it was ’03 and things had changed. So had I, but that didn’t change the ink on my contract. The phone jarred me out of my ruminations. “Hello?” I answered. “Hey, Dicky.” It was my brother. I am the oldest of four—barely, that is. There is less than a five-year-difference between all of us. Being at the top of the food chain in my family doesn’t mean that I am spared the humiliation of a lame nickname. When my brothers were younger, it was just Dick. They would scream it down the hallways of school or in the mall. Now that they were older, and a tad more mature, they had softened it up a bit adding a “y.” It used to annoy the hell out of me, but I have long since gotten over it. I might have even considered it endearing, not that I would ever admit to that. Steve’s voice was gruff like he had just woken up.

He had joined the Army straight out of high school, and excelled in every facet of being a soldier. After he graduated infantry basic, he had been pulled for sniper training. “Steve, man I’m glad you called. I was starting to think I wouldn’t get to talk to you before you shipped out.” I hadn’t decided how I felt about us both being over there at the same time. I knew I wouldn’t be able to see him unless by some fluke of fate. He was a scout sniper in the Army, and I was a generator mechanic in the Corps. Our paths weren’t likely to cross. But knowing he was going to be out there somewhere, maybe just sharing the same air, made me feel better. “I got sidetracked, but I wouldn’t head out without saying goodbye. Dad says that you’re going too.” “Yeah . . . I just got word last night from my Gunny.” “What about Jeffery?” he said abruptly. He hadn’t even had the chance to meet his nephew yet and wouldn’t anytime soon. “Joe will be here with him. Hopefully I won‘t be deployed that long.” I tried to sound upbeat, because I didn’t want him to think I was weak. “Do you know where you’re going?” he asked hesitantly. “Nope. Do you?” “Not yet. But I’m pretty sure we are going to the front.” His words sobered me. “Keep your head down bro and don’t be a hero.” “C’mon, Dicky, I’m the best there is. Besides, we Brewers don’t go down that easy. It’ll all be good.” “I’m being serious, stay low.” “I will . . . you too, Dicky.” I never cry, it’s a sign of weakness. Or at least I never cry with an audience. But I couldn’t stop. I had tried several times. The tears would slow but never stop completely. Physically, I was fine, but emotionally, I was eviscerated— laying open and raw, enveloped in pain. The worst part was that I had no private place to bleed to death. I was a spectacle for the 200 other Marines on board the commercial jet to gawk at. But no one did. They let me


grieve in peace. Besides, what do you say to a woman who just had to leave baby? There were no words. So I sobbed pathetically for 19 hours, because I had no control over it. The Marines around me pretended it wasn’t happening. I would have, too. Brewer readjusted the stock of the M21 Sniper rifle into his shoulder and looked at his target through the scope again. It was a tiny, black ink blot on the horizon, but it was still there, and he had crosshairs on it. “How much do you bet me, Neack, that I can’t take this one out?” He heard Neack prop himself up behind him. He knew without looking at him that his boonie cover was askew on his shiny, bald dome. He had tried to convince him to let his hair grow out but Neack refused. Even enticing him to let it grow out so he could sport a matching mohawk like the rest of the platoon and had failed. The Mohawks were a tribute to the original rebels of 101st Airborne, the Filthy Thirteen (better known as the Dirty Dozen) during World War II. Leaving personal hygiene by the wayside, they would shave mohawks into their heads

Pickup after mission

and paint their faces like Indian warriors before airborne jumps. It was their response to a situation that they had no control over. Brewer’s platoon found kindred spirits in these men. Plus it allowed them to distinguish themselves from the rest of their unit. They would have never gotten away with wearing the mohawks if they would have been on base, any base for that matter. But they weren’t. They were stuck guarding a water purification plant. Granted clean water is a pretty high priority in the wasteland of Iraq, but it is as boring as hell. “How much Neack?” “2 bucks, Brewer.” “It’s not even worth a bullet then.” “I learned my lesson yesterday, jackass. Take it or leave it.” Brewer took a deep breath. The monotony was getting to him. He didn’t come here to guard water. He was here to do something, anything. He took another deep breath, exhaled and pulled the trigger. The shot echoed throughout the catwalks and metal silos of the plant. He looked back into the scope to confirm the kill. The inkblot was exactly where he had found it. “Give it up, Neack.”

photo courtesy of Steven Brewer


“I got to confirm it, Dickless.” Neack pulled out the spotter scope from the front pocket of the pack that was lying next to him. He took a knee next to Brewer and looked out into the dessert. “Damn. That has got to be well over a thousand yards.” Brewer looked up from his rifle and grinned at Neack, “What can I say? I‘m good at what I do.” “Whatever, Brewer, you can go on being good without my 2 bucks. A bet isn’t official without a handshake.” Brewer laughed. “You’re such a bitch.” “Just like your mom.” Neack returned to his previous position lying against his pack. Brewer looked down his rifle through the scope again. He was bored, and there were bound to be more wild dogs prowling around across the dunes he could use for target practice. I leaned against the giant tires of the 5 ton and waved to Lunsford, who was making her way towards me. My unit was being split between three different locations to perform support operations for the bases located there. Our tasks felt so menial to me, but providing electricity and clean water helps win wars, too. At least that is what I kept telling myself. “Did you pull Al Jabber, too?” I asked her. All the bases we were dispersing to were in Kuwait with varying distance from the border of Iraq. Al Jabber was a permanent training base for Kuwaiti military officers that the United States Air Force had taken up residence in during Desert Storm, and they still occupied it jointly. Lunsford and I were roommates before I was married. It was strange how close we had become, because we were so different. She was hard-nosed from the streets of New York City, and I was naïve beyond measure, from a nowhere town on the prairie. “Yeah girl, it’s just me and you again. At least we got that.” She pulled on her Kevlar over her short, cropped black hair and tried to smile. But her heart wasn’t in it, so it didn’t reach her brown eyes, and she quickly abandoned the endeavor. “Philly’s Finest didn’t get Al Jabber, did he?” I said. Philly’s Finest was the nickname her husband Tony had given himself, and it had just stuck. But that was probably because he used to saunter around the barracks with his posse hollering it whenever he entered a room. He and Lunsford had only been married a couple of months and didn’t even have a decent apartment yet. Guess they weren’t worrying about it anymore. She replied, “No. He got Camp Coyote.”

I could see why she was upset. It was the closest to the front any of our unit would get. I wanted to hug her and tell her it was going to be okay, but hugging isn’t my thing, and I knew it wasn’t hers either. Instead, I groped for something to say that would cheer her up. “If anybody needs to worry it’s them. Because Philly’s Finest is out there now,” I said. She smiled but only half-heartedly. “Damn right, girl. But if something does happen to him, they better know that I will hunt each one of them down and gut them while they are still breathing.” She was vicious, but I loved that about her. Her petite exterior, fine features, and rich dark complexion hid a ruthless side that had aided her more than once in our occupation. “Maybe you could put a note on the front of his flak jacket so they know. Just in case.” I smashed my Kevlar over the bun that was perched at the nape of my neck and wondered when the last time I put sunscreen on was. Freckled fair skin people were not an indigenous species out here, because they had tendency to blister to death under the desert sun. She really smiled then, and it lit up her entire face. “Now that is a good damn idea.” She pulled an envelope from her trouser pocket. “I just saw SSgt Plum, and he told me to give this to you.” I took the envelope, and when I saw the return address, I ripped it open without hesitation. I immediately was greeted with pictures of my son. I’d only been gone a week at most, but he already looked different. He was propped up on the cushions of our couch, staring blankly with his mouth open at the camera. He had more hair and a new tooth. I could feel the lump in my throat forming, and I tried to swallow it back down. “Damn, he is cute, Brewer,” Lunsford said from over my shoulder. I put the picture back in the torn envelope. The lump was still there, and I blinked back tears. “C’mon Brewer. If you ride in my truck, at least you’ll know you’ll get there in one piece,” she said, as I wiped my eyes. We left the base with its plethora of helicopters resting on round tarmacs. They reminded me of frogs on lily pads. We drove for hours through the sandy wasteland. Camels roamed the dunes, and metal shacks dotted the emptiness, showing signs of human life, however miserable it must be. As we entered the base, a massive white arch stretched over the entrance, standing sentry. “Brewer, do you see those bullet holes in that arch?” My Sergeant yelled to me over the roar of the engine of the 5 ton. I caught a glimpse as we passed under it. Holes dotted the expanse of the arch. They had been


painted over in white to look less conspicuous. I nodded to him. “Back in Desert Storm, Saddam took over this base. He hung all of the Kuwaiti officers from that arch, and his army used them as target practice.” The night was pitch black. Brewer could barely see his hand in front of his face. The desert stretched out before him and the rest of his fire team. They were on a mission doing recon that night, which he gladly accepted. He wasn’t twiddling his thumbs anymore at that damn water plant. He heard Neack’s snort on his right flank. “What’s wrong, man?” Brewer whispered into the darkness. “Nothing, I just tripped on a damn rock.” Neack rasped back. They couldn’t see shit out here. It was that dark. But that didn’t mean he was going to let it go. “Do you want me to hold your hand, princess?” He didn’t get a chance to hear Neack’s reply, because Brewer’s next step never made contact with the sand beneath him, and he pitched forward. Letting out a gasp, he groped for something to stop his descent, but there was nothing there. When he finally hit something solid, the butt of his M21 jammed hard up into his shoulder. He started to take a breath to order his team to halt, but he gagged instead on the putrid air that hung around him. His knees were wet, and he wondered if he had fallen into some kind of latrine. He put his hands out onto the ground to steady himself so he could stand. But as soon his hand hit the mass beneath him, it slipped away underneath his weight. He heard Neack‘s ragged whisper above him. “Brewer! Brewer, where the fuck are you?” He could barely pull enough breath to respond because of the putrid smell that engulfed him. “…down here…” he gasped. A beam of light appeared over his head and swooped down on him. “What the hell happened?! What is that sme—” Neack’s words died off as he stared down into the hole that Brewer had fallen into. The beam of light was concentrated on his chest, but it lit the hole up enough that he could see what he had fallen into. “Get me outta here now, Neack! Now!” His voice broke on the last “now.” Flashlights from the other two fire team members poured into the hole now, but no one said anything. They were as silent as the corpses Brewer had fallen onto. The mouths of the dead were agape, and their flesh was bloated and slipping from their bones as they

stared up at him. Fear and repulsion grappled for dominance in him. “Neack! Now!” A length of 550 cord hit him on the head. “Hurry up, Brewer. Johnson is puking his guts out up here.” He grabbed the cord and slowly stood, his boots pulling rotting flesh from the bones below him. When he got to the top Neack was looking back into the pit. “A freaking open, mass grave. They didn’t even have the decency to finish burying them.” The gravel crunched under my feet as I made my way to the massive red generator in the distance. The days were crawling along as we waited for something, anything, to happen. I was covered in grease and diesel fuel under the blazing sun everyday, which did nothing to improve my growing sense of impatience. The sooner the war broke out, the sooner it would be over and we could go home, or at least that is what I hoped for. I stopped in front of the giant red rectangle and stared at it for a moment. The damn thing kept cutting out, and I had no idea what was wrong with it. Of course it had to be the one by the medical tent that kept breaking down. Keeping the makeshift clinic up and running was a top priority. A bunch of Navy squids were smoking around it. I nodded to them, and they continued on with their nicotine fix. Opening the side doors, I inspected the engine. “Brewer.” I jumped when I heard my name, turning around to see SSgt. Plum behind me. “I just got back from mail call, and I thought you’d want this.” He handed me an envelope with the familiar handwriting of my husband on the front of it. “Thank you, Staff Sergeant.” I stuffed the envelope into my coveralls and turned back to the generator. “Aren’t you going to open it?” he asked curiously. I turned back around to face him. “I’d hate to get it all greasy, Staff Sergeant.” Truth was that I wasn’t going to open it. Instead I was just going to put it under my cot with the rest of the unopened envelopes. A month had passed; seeing the pictures and reading the letters made things too hard, and I was tired of the pain. He nodded. “Aguilera is headed this way in case you need some help.” “Aye, Aye, Staff Sergeant.” Good thing, he was a way better mechanic, anyway. Brewer’s grip wasn’t as steady as it was with the dogs. He had to readjust his rifle so the cross hairs would fall on his target. Neack was next to him getting orders off a radio


from their superiors. He was hoping they’d be told to pull out and come back to base. This wasn’t his first kill, but the others had been shooting back at him, and killing them was more of a reflex: A primal instinct to protect his own life. This felt too cold, too calculated. This guy wasn’t even aware that he had crosshairs on him. “They just gave us the green light, Brewer,” Neack whispered next to him. He didn’t want to pull the trigger this time, but it wasn’t like he had a choice in the matter. Taking another deep breath, he exhaled and pulled the trigger. The crack of the M21 echoed throughout the valley. Neack had his spotter scope out now and was looking down range. “He’s not moving. I think he’s down. We got to confirm it and check out that shack next to him.” They waited another fifteen minutes to see if anybody else was coming out of the wood-work and then

The base rang with the piercing wail of the siren that signaled we were under attack. Marines scrambled to don gas masks and MOPP suits while running to the bunkers. I jerked my mask out of the pouch that was slung across my hip and right leg as I sprinted for the bunkers. Auto injectors of valium and adrenaline fell from my pouch into the sand, but I didn’t care. Lunsford and I hit the bunker at the same time and jammed up against the other occupants, jerking on the equipment that would protect us if it was a biological weapon. The sirens kept wailing, and we huddled together in the 120 degree heat, wearing charcoal-infused suits and gas masks, waiting for an explosion. The war had finally begun.

The rhythmic thump of the helicopter blades almost drowned out the gunfire they were taking from the Tigris River below. A boat of heavily armed men had opened fire on them during a routine patrol. The helicopter banked around, and Brewer put one of those jack holes in-between his cross-hairs and fired. He didn’t look to confirm the shot, because he really didn’t want to know. Neack was next to him, firing as many rounds as he could get out down at the boat. The chopper leveled out, and Brewer tossed another magazine of ammo at Neack. “Easy there, turbo,” he said to him. “Man, I’m sick of dickless On patrol with Neack photo courtesy of Steven Brewer jerk-offs taking pot shots at me! If I get hit, I am going to be so pissed!” made their way down the dunes to the shack. The camels Neack shoved another magazine into his rifle and jerked that had surrounded the shack before were now off in the the bolt back. distance. They both drew pistols when they got within 300 His anger was justified. Everywhere they went they yards of the body. The man was lying on his stomach with had to be on guard, nowhere was safe. Last week, Brewer one arm under him, and the other bent awkwardly behind had felt the heat of an RPG as it narrowly missed the 5-ton his back. Neack drew down on the motionless figure as he was riding in on a convoy. He wanted to say something Brewer rolled him over. He froze in disbelief. The face of a to comfort Neack, but rage was better than being a pussy. boy stared back at him with empty eyes. He wasn’t even The chopper banked hard to the right, and Brewer had to old enough to shave yet. Brewer looked up at Neack. “I grab hold of a couple of hydraulic hoses near the door to didn’t know,” he choked out. Neack bent down and picked steady himself. up the AK 47 that lay next to the boy. “Holy shit, man. That was close,” he said to Neack. “It was a good kill, Brewer. He was armed.” The But there was no response. Neack wasn’t there anymore. words floated over him but meant nothing. Brewer swung his head out the chopper, trying to locate


Neack. Both he and his pack had fallen a good 45 feet to the ground below. He turned and grabbed the co-pilot by the collar and jerked him down to his level. “GO BACK! GO BACK! Neack just took a swan dive!” The copilot nodded, and the chopper banked harder than before, but he was ready for it this time. “We can’t get that close!” The copilot screamed over the thumping of the blades and gunfire below. “It’s too hot down there!” “Get as close as you can, and hold your position!” Brewer barked back at him. He grabbed a fresh clip and stuffed it into the LBV of his flak jacket and ditched his Kevlar. Neack was about a hundred yards from the shore of the river, and the boat was moving in on him with guns blazing. The helo hovered about ten feet from the ground, and Brewer jumped. He hit the ground hard and rolled into a crouching position. Neack was about seventy-five yards in front of him, just lying there, and for a moment, Brewer considered he might be dead. He took off on a dead sprint to him, taking fire and returning it with the M16 he grabbed. Neack was screaming in pain when he reached him, but it was a good sound, because that meant he was still alive. “I can’t stand, Brewer! I can‘t fucking stand!” Neack screamed in panic. Brewer pulled Neack up into a sitting position and then jerked him up onto his shoulder in a firemen’s carry, grabbing his pack, too. His steps were heavier, sinking into the sand as it was exploding up into the air around him. The copilot was providing cover fire from the hovering chopper as they approached. The pilot dropped the chopper to ground level, and Brewer threw Neack into it. When they were airborne again, he realized Neack had a death grip on his hand. He squeezed it back, because he didn’t know what to say. The bus creaked into the parking lot of my unit’s headquarters. There were family members stuffed onto the

front lawn cheering and crying. I pressed my face to the window of the bus, trying to find my husband and son in the crowd, but I didn’t see them anywhere. I waited impatiently for the other Marines to disembark, and I pushed my way through the crowd. People were hugging and crying all around me, and I almost ran over a little boy in a stroller. A hand grabbed me from behind, and I whirled around to see my husband’s smiling face. We embraced. “Where’s Jeffery?” I quickly asked. He looked confused for a moment and pointed to the stroller I had passed earlier. “You walked right past him, Jackie.” He stepped into the terminal of the airport and headed down a hallway to the baggage claim. His cammies were stiff from wearing them for the past 36 hours. The trip home was long, but he was glad to be there, even if it were only for 10 days. The thought of going back tied him in knots. But he wasn’t a coward, and he would go back, even if he knew he wasn’t going make it home again. Not having Neack around had been tough. But he was going to be okay, or at least he would be when both of his broken hips healed. Brewer rounded a corner and looked up when he heard the sound of clapping. At the end of the hallway, a group of strangers and his family were clapping. It took him a minute to realize they were clapping for him. It embarrassed him, because they were clapping for a hero, and that was not him. He didn’t know exactly what he was, but hero wasn’t it. Keeping his head down, he closed the distance between his family and himself. His eyes brimmed with unshed tears as he hugged each one of them. When he hugged me, his sister, I said, “You look so different, little brother.” “You too, Dicky.” “Yeah, I guess we are.”


Diamonds by Michael Lee Key of C Major Tempo 92 bpm Intro [E,E,G,A (x4)]

Breakdown [E, E,G,A (x2)]

Verse 1 (E) G Caught in a struggle to be free A E We play with guns n' such G (A) We'll mess each other up real good E What's a man without a fight? G A E (G)(A) What's a dog, a hungry dog, without its rights?

(A) E (G)(A) Bodies buried in the sand E (G)(A) They were fighting for the land

Chorus 1 (C) B C The cost to play the game could be somebody’s head B C I'd hate to be the one to tell his family he's dead B C And I'd hate to be the one with both hands stained in red D E But I also wouldn't wanna be one of them Verse 2 (E) G A E The brave young souls who gave it all G A Those precious diamonds, no longer in the rough (E) G (A) Tossed and thrown, a heart of stone E G (A) Just ain't enough, to last forever

Chorus 2 (C) B C The cost to play the game could be somebody’s head B C I'd hate to be the one to tell his family he's dead B C And I'd hate to be the one with both hands stained in red D C (D)(E) But I also wouldn't wanna be shot full of lead Ending (C) (D) E If we could play together nice, like good little kids Learn how to share, each other’s own space and time (C) (D) (E) And every once in a while, get on each other’s nerves C (D) But not retaliate, so let's become one constellation now Outro [A,G (4x)]


down to the girl, the parents started chattering at me. “Ms. Drake?! I’m talking to you! How bad is it? Can you help her? Answer me, please!” the father yelled. The mother was blubbering all over her husband’s shoulder. I didn’t have time for this. The priest had crossed his arms and was glaring at me. Apparently he wasn’t used to feeling superfluous. “I’m sorry. I really must get to work here.” I said politely, but there was a harsh edge of impatience in my voice. Once again, I had failed at playing nice. I started to turn around before I could make myself seem even more hostile, but the father grabbed my shoulder. I looked at his hand and then my eyes flickered to his face, beaded with sweat. “So you can help her?” He pleaded anxiously. I plucked his hand off of my shoulder lightly. It fell to his side, limp. “Yes, I can help her, but I need to start immediately, and I need absolute silence. No interruptions,” I said quietly. I knew if I started speaking in a normal tone I would end up yelling at these people. When normal distress becomes hysteria is about the time I turn impatient. I turned and knelt beside the girl. Her body immediately reacted to my presence. At first it just scooted away, but then it started convulsing and thrashing. I could feel the buzz in my hands. I glanced down. They were glowing with a brilliant white light. I remembered the first time I saw that light. I was just a girl, no older than the girl who was lying before me. I thought there was a monster in my closet. It was dark in my room, it was storming outside, and eerie shadows kept floating around my room and entering my closet. At the time, I didn’t know that my sister had placed her Ouija board in there so my parents wouldn’t find it and that the shadows were attracted to it. The shadows were angry spirits, or lesser demons, that my sister had conjured. At first, I tried huddling under my covers and trying to fall asleep, but my mind wouldn’t shut off, my body wouldn’t relax. I kept feeling a tingling in my hands, centered in my palms. I had my eyes squeezed tight shut, but that didn’t shut out the bright white light. When I first saw it through my eyelids, I thought someone had turned on a flashlight and was shining it right in my eyes. I opened up my eyes, and that’s when I realized my own hands were producing the blinding light. Initially, I was frightened, but then my instincts took over. After staring at my hands in wonder for a couple of seconds, I decided to throw off my blankets and thrust my hands toward my closet. The light filled the room, exposing black, velvety shadows. When the light hit them, they stopped moving and then they scattered. They were afraid of me. When all the shadows

were gone, my hands stopped glowing. I was so young. I thought that my hands were like a nightlight that scared the monsters away. Now that I’m older I know that they are shining the light of God, begifted to me for some unknown reason and for some undiscovered purpose. The priest leaned over the altar. His prying woke me from my flashback. “What do you think?” he asked nonchalantly, as if he had performed exorcisms everyday of his life since he had become a priest. “I think I need quiet,” I informed him with a forced smile. He huffed and stepped around the altar so he could see what I was doing more clearly. I tried my best to ignore him. The energy in my palms was dull. I was too unfocused. I had lost the light. I sighed, frustrated. The girl writhed when I shuffled closer on my knees. The energy pulsing from the girl’s body was frighteningly powerful, but it helped conjure the energy. The white light spread in wide beams from my palms as I lowered my hands to the girl’s temples. The light immediately entered her skin, sending white veins of energy spider webbing across her face. Her eyes shot open. I felt her body start to lift. “Oh God, give me strength. Enter this girl’s mind and clear it,” I whispered hoarsely. The body started to lift higher. Levitation is common when a powerful demon does not want to leave its host. I squeezed my hands tighter to the girl’s temples. I had to address it. Praying was not going to scare this one out. I had to summon the power of God Himself. I had to address the demon. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and squeezed even tighter on the girl’s temples. “Demon.” The word rumbled from my chest in a deep, resonating voice that was not my own. The sound of thunder echoed so loud that it seemed like the church itself had been struck by lightning. All the candles littering the altar went out. The only light left in the room was emanating from the palms of my hands. “I am not afraid of you,” I declared in a threateningly strong voice. “Leave this child’s body or face the wrath of God.” My own voice scared me. It was not my own. It seemed to echo forever through the rafters of the church. The deep undertones were unnervingly masculine and commanding. The girl’s body, now a foot in the air, fell back to the ground. Immediately, a cacophony of harsh whispers erupted into the air around me. A thousand voices rustled in the darkened corners of the room. An image remained in the air where the girl had been floating. To everyone else in the room who had never encountered him, they would just think that he was a black


shadow, a shapeless figure. I knew better. The image he left was faint, but still recognizable. It was that of a soldier riding a griffin. This demon’s name was Murmur. He was a Goetic demon whose name literally meant “sound” or “noise” in Latin. I should have recognized the hum of strange voices that emanated from the shadow immediately. I lifted my hands from the girl. I addressed the shadow floating in the air. “Demon.” Once again my voice was deep and powerful. I raised my glowing hands and thrust them into the black cloud. A screech erupted from the apparition as it shuddered into itself and broke apart. Pain split up my arms. The white light grew dull. “No,” I declared in the same potent voice. I shoved my hands deeper into the black mist. My determination built and built as precious seconds passed. And finally, my power answered my strength. The light leapt forth from my hands, soaking the entire room, bleaching in a light so bright that it made everything disappear in a sudden explosion of brilliant blindness. The shadow separated from itself with an earsplitting shriek. Pieces of the shadow scattered, some leaving the church completely through the stained-glass windows. As the bits of black were fleeing through the panes, it seemed like they were just melding with the thick black lines in the glassy images. I fell forward. My hands hit the girl’s stomach and she cried out, startled by the impact. She was weeping softly. I was suddenly aware of the chaos around me. The mother was screaming. The father was sobbing. The priest was muttering what sounded like curses. That was the only problem with my power. When I was focused, I blocked out everything else around me. I couldn’t hear anything from the human world. I couldn’t see anything but what the demon wanted me to see. I was lost to the supernatural focus I had developed. Too often after I was done with an exorcism I came back to reality hearing screams, sobs, and furious yells. All reactions were caused by the stress of seeing a loved one being delivered from evil. I reached for the girl’s hand and she took it eagerly. “Thank you,” she whispered. I pulled her to her feet. As soon as they saw their daughter stand, both of the parents gasped and rushed to embrace her. “Oh, Rebecca! You’re okay!” The mother squealed as she hugged her daughter, rather violently, in my opinion. The girl’s hand was torn from my grasp. Another happy ending. I distinctly remembered the candles in the church being put out, but as I mentally prepared myself to exit the

scene, I noticed that the church was once again lit up like it was on fire. I shuffled past the family’s embrace and made my way down the aisle. I reached my coat after a few long strides and pulled it on over my shoulders. My reputation got me a paycheck before I performed the exorcism, so I could make a quick getaway without interacting with the emotional family members. I started to button up my coat when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I sighed and turned toward the hand. The appendage belonged to the priest. His old, wrinkled face wore a horrified grimace. “Abomination,” he hissed angrily, but the shaking in his voice betrayed him. He was terrified. I shrugged off his hand and continued buttoning my coat. “What are you, Angela Drake? Are you a demon yourself?” His hoarse tone held a hint of accusation, but for the most part, he was pissing his pants. I turned on him. “I just saved that girl’s life. That’s a hell of a lot more than what you can take credit for. Now if you don’t mind, Father, I’ll be on my way so I can deliver more suffering children.” I flipped my scarf over my shoulder. It narrowly missed smacking the priest in the face. Too bad. I guess the whip of my scarf was the last straw. He flinched so violently that he fell to the floor, shivering uncontrollably. Without another word, I turned away from the priest and strutted down the main aisle. Upon reaching the red double doors, I grasped both black handles and shoved them open. A gust of wind caught the doors and blew them from my grasp. I left my umbrella where I had thrown it by the entrance and stalked out into the rain. I let the doors blow about in the wind. The chauffer sprang from the front seat of the Rolls and opened the back door for me. I sighed and slid into the car. The chauffer hurried into the driver’s seat and then turned the car back on. He let it sit and idle so the heater had time to warm up. “That was fast,” he commented, and I thought he was talking about the heater warming up, but then I realized that he was referring to the exorcism. “It always is,” I mumbled, and the chauffer glanced in the rearview mirror, a confused look on his face. He probably expected me to elaborate, but I just looked out the window. That’s when I saw the small figure running toward the car. “Oh great,” I muttered. “Roll down my window.” Behind it was the little girl, shivering in the rain, her sandy, curly hair dripping with rainwater. “I saw you,” she whispered. “I saw you in my head. And you were an angel. My head was filled with darkness and you were the only light. The light was coming from your hands and your wings.” She closed her eyes, remembering.


She looked so peaceful standing in the rain, raindrops streaming down her closed eyelids, her damp locks sagging. I looked away from her small face for a moment, forcing back tears. “Stay away from those books kid, okay?” I instructed softly.

The girl nodded, and I hit the back of the chauffeur’s seat, motioning him to roll up the window and drive away. The window seemed to roll up slower than it had rolled down. The little girl stepped away from the car as it drove away. I couldn’t resist looking out the back glass and seeing the girl standing there in her white night gown. She looked like an angel tonight, not me.

Night by Janice Mathews The moon is out, the lights are off, And I can only see the sparkle in your eye at two in the morning. Nighttime brings all emotions to the surface: Laughter, nervousness, and sadness for the dreaded farewell. Our fingers intertwine trying to feel the warmth of a sweater pocket. Trembling lips touch to feel the warm air; Long embraces occur frequently and heart beats are felt often. Words need not be said, because just knowing you are there is enough. Memories fill the mind, while love burns deeper into the heart. I can feel your eyes bury themselves onto my face, And the heated red lights my cheeks. I glance up, seeing that your eyes have not moved. You take a breath and out come the three words that are always welcomed. I stand there for a few seconds and notice that the corners of my mouth drift upwards. “I love you, too” finally escapes and we stand there staring into the world of dreams.


City Reflection— Snow Covered Sarah Rice

Bananas Matt Hartman


Untitled Victor Gosnell

Beautiful Disaster Michael Lee


‘They Returned As Millions’: Bolivian Indigenous Movements and Nation Building in the New Millennium by Meghan Hensley, Best History Paper Award winner Introduction At the core of the Southern Andean Mountains, Bolivia has been a nation accented with a particularly tumultuous past. Eighty four presidents from 1825 to the present day and even more military coups have punctuated its postIndependence political history. Amerindians in Bolivia have been involved in a constant struggle since the colonial period as political authorities and posterior systems have been notorious for indigenous persecution and exploitation. Through different modes of protest and empowerment, the indigenous peoples of Bolivia have endeavored to regain their hereditary rights such as communal lands, autonomy, and negotiated rule. In Bolivia today, indigenous peoples are finally beginning to grasp these rights they have sought for the last 500 years. This paper traces the roots of indigenous revolution by citing examples of indigenous resistance from the end of the colonial period to the present day. Continuities have resounded, illustrating the lasting memories and legacies of autonomy that indigenous leaders provoked. Rebellion is part of the indigenous identity in Bolivia. It is a source of pride and, in many ways, survival. In Bolivia today, indigenous peoples are using their ethnic identities to their advantage in order to gain power through equal access to government, new avenues in education, and new legislation that will, with anticipation, continue to work for them. The central beliefs behind these historic revolts have been anchored in the persistence of pre-Colombian perspectives of the world. Although forces have attempted to quash these ideals, they have evolved and remained. Since the 1780s, in the areas surrounding Cochabamba, La Paz, and El Alto, a pattern of protest has ensued. The people who rise up today do so because they are continually subjugated but they find power in the tradition of insurrections that their ancestors have bestowed upon them. The Quechua word pachakuti (upheaval, revolution), has been present in the Bolivian consciousness as a motivator which has supported and made sense of the impetus and expected outcomes of indigenous insurrections, as well as other world shaking events throughout Bolivian history. Aymara sociologist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui explains

this process of transformation through seemingly opposing words like “renovation” and “catastrophe”. Thus, Amerindians in what is now modern Bolivia have clung to this idea that turbulence, or destruction, is necessary to complement and bring about transformation and, in the end, balance. Indigenous peoples worked within and outside the system. Through cycle upon cycle of political promises and persecution as the predominant creole elites engaged in different approaches to nation building. The legacy and memories of the Tupac Katari rebellion and other movements of the late 19th century live on today in the consciousness of the indigenous groups that continue to fight for their rights. The roots of these late colonial memories can be traced backed to the same cities that have been hot beds of political action in our own time, such as La Paz. Since Independence, indigenous people were largely used and were the backbone of the new nation. As the majority of the population claimed indigenous heritage, they were the ones who were expected to support the new state through manual labor and tribute payments. Access to land was the main issue that caused tension between the indigenous communities and the multiple creole regimes. In colonial times, indigenous people had been, inarguably, suppressed but claims to communal lands remained more intact than they would after independence. Small peasant movements began to organize to recover their ancestral land through non-violent means, such as searching for proof of titles within the colonial archives. Intriguingly at this time, leaders like the Aymara Pablo Zárate Willka allied with the Liberal creoles. They led hostile, and sometimes unruly, oppression against peasants who wanted nothing more to be true “citizens”, with all the rights that word entails. These tensions between the ruling oligarchic governments, land owners, business, and peasant and indigenous communities continued throughout the 20th century. In the revolution of 1952 tin miners backed the middle-class based National Revolutionary Movement (MNR) overthrew the government, nationalizing the mines and passing a series of agrarian reforms. After the revolution and through the rest of the century, indigenous peoples continued to suffer at the hands of both violent dictatorships


and harsh economic policies. Such controlling forces only sparked a fire that led to organization across indigenous groups, leading to the uprisings that began in the year 2000. The ‘Water Wars’ and ‘Gas Wars’ were two major events that exemplified the rising political powers of the indigenous peasantry. In this paper, I will first examine the roots of indigenous uprisings in a historical context by looking at the key components of rebellions in the late 18th and 19th centuries and the Revolution of 1952. Then, I will discuss the growing social unrest at the end of the 20th century by focusing on the neo-liberal policies of the 1980s and the foreign intervention that they brought about. I will describe forms of grassroots organizations which helped usher Bolivia into a new stage of social and political change. I delve into the uprisings that sparked what Forrest Hylton and Sinclair Thomson, along with other scholars, would call “Bolivia’s third revolutionary moment” in which collective action was at the forefront. In the last sections I will discuss the coming to power of Evo Morales and the implementation of new rights as I examine the realities indigenous Bolivians face today. I discuss changes in displays of indigenous culture, the status of Flight of the Seagulls indigenous women, Flight of the Seagulls and continuing indigenous political organization. I conclude that Bolivia is still a changing nation and now, like never before in the history of this plurinational state, indigenous peoples in Bolivia have been able to claim tangible power and become the new face of their self defined nation in the 21st century. The Aymara and Quechua Tradition of Revolt In colonial times, the mita was a revolving system of obligatory labor in which indigenous men were required to work for the Crown, often on low or with even no wages. The mita was hard on both the ayllus (traditional community units) that hosted the men who came to do work and on the communities and families who lost men for months out of

the year. The mita was just one of the forces that sparked indigenous insurrections such as the one led by Tupac Katari in what was then Upper Peru in 1777 to 1780, where the Potosí mining district was located. Another major source of discontent was the abusive repartimiento de comercio or repartos legalized in 1756, that generally the forced distribution of merchandise among ayllu Indians. Tómas Katari took control of the area of Chayanta, partially under the orders of the Spanish, and attempted to maintain semi-autonomous control of the region, as they protested against being taken advantage of by local officials who they thought were inflating the population’s tribute assessments. As part of the protest in the region, Katari was dispatched by his people to march to Buenos Aires so that he may register their complaints against these corrupt officials and to ask the viceroy to investigate the wrongdoings going on in the region. After Katari was captured and murdered, allegedly by the Spanish, the forastero (forrester) Julián Apaza took over the native leadership, under the name Túpac Katari. Two allies and leaders from the south, Diego Cristóbal Miguel and Andrés Tupac Amaru, eventually surrendered to the Spanish and were granted a pardon Steven Foley which left Katari in the dust. He was Steven Foley closer to the disgruntled masses, so it was he who was made the example. The rebel leader was beheaded and his body parts were sent off to other areas of the viceroyalty in order to scare other aspiring rebels. But in the collective memory of Aymaras and Quechuas the phrase “I will return as millions,” apparently uttered by Katari before his execution, resonated. His legacy would live on, but not in the way the Spanish, who dismembered his body, had intended. For centuries to come, indigenous peoples clung to the ideals of autonomy which the rebels of the 1780s had failed to seize. In the early 19th century, battles for Independence were underway throughout Latin America. This period was


severely unstable throughout the region, and Bolivia was no exception. The ayllu in Bolivia has been a powerful unit throughout time and in the process of nation building in this period. Indigenous communities contributed greatly to the economic survival of the new nation through head-taxes and, in turn, were able to hold on to their land for the better part of the century. According to historian Brooke Larson, in the 1846 census about 51 percent of the population was both indigenous and living in an ayllu. By 1877, indigenous peoples were paying 75 percent of all taxes. Without the continuing tribute payments, the new republic probably would have not survived. In the 1860s, the economy began to turn around and creoles and foreign investors aimed at controlling land and natural resources, turned on the Amerindians who had supported the new republic. The land reform act of 1874, in short, gave indigenous peoples the “right” to own private property, abolished the autonomy of the ayllus, and stopped tribute but established a property tax which ended up costing the communities more. Indigenous groups protested the Conservatives in power in various ways. As they were now subject to new tax laws they worked within the system in attempts to reclaim their land through legal loopholes. There were also threats of violence, particularly in the mining center of Potosí. Larson posits that the end of the 19th century actually sparked grassroots movements by enacting liberal laws that encouraged now landless Aymara peasants to seek colonial land titles that would deem their communal lands “indivisible”. Liberals used this to their advantage in 1896 as they “allied” with indigenous leader Pablo Zárate Willka and the groups who followed him as they fought militarily against the Conservatives after they lost politically. This “alliance” during the civil war only deepened the divide between the creoles and indigenous peoples. By the turn of the 20th century the indigenous peoples of Bolivia were still far from integrated into the nation. In a sense, their lives were becoming gradually worse. As a result of various land reform laws put through in the last thirty years of the previous century, they had lost their communal land. Land would become the motivation behind the continual struggle and organization throughout the twentieth century. As communities were broken up, the autonomy that they ensued for centuries disappeared. The people went to work, they were not slaves but, in many cases, they may well have been. In places like Tiraque, a province in the Cochabama highlands, peasant farmers who owned small plots of land controlled by larger hacienda owner’s farmed coca that supplied those who toiled in the mines. People of indigenous descent became proletariats and organized themselves. They allied with groups in the upper echelons of society so that they might gain more

political, social, and economic rights. Out of these alliances came the revolution of 1952. The Bolivian Revolution of 1952, one of the great social uprisings of the 21st century, was a multiclass war fought over years of government controlled land and its resources. The People’s Revolutionary Movement (MNR) sought to gain power and was backed by indigenous peasantry, mainly miners, who had been continually oppressed by the rich tin barons they had worked for in the mines and the governments who had subsequently massacred union uprisings multiple times in the thirty years or so preceding the revolutionary overthrow. The miners aligned with the revolutionary movement not only because their quality of life was poor but because there had been major massacres in the decade before the revolution. In the massacre at the Catavi mine in 1942, the army fired upon workers who were on strike demanding wage increases. Indigenous peasants in the countryside also rebelled against wealthy hacienda owners. In the coming years, the MNR, led by middle-class men, aligned itself with two main organizations, the Trade Union Federation of Bolivian Mine Workers (FSTMB) and the Worker’s Revolutionary Party (POR). The POR was a Trotskyist organization that believed overall in worker’s rights, particularly the right to control their own workforce. According to Hylton and Thomson, the POR’s main program, the Thesis of Pulacayo, “proclaimed the tactical necessity of a united front in which proletarians would receive the backing of the peasantry, artisans, and petty bourgeoisie.” Through alliances with these organizations of the people, the MNR was able to overthrow the military junta. Once the party was in power a series of important reforms were put into place under the presidencies of Víctor Paz Estenssoro. The tin mines were nationalized, universal suffrage was passed, and significant land reform laws appeased the populace for a period of time. Peasant trade unions were established and everyone was supposed to have access to free education. The new Bolivian state was working hard to placate the peasants and proletariats that had helped bring them in to power. They were, surely, also interested in retaining the political support and cooperation with powerful unions run by miners and tradesmen in the rural areas. Although this relative calm under the guise of progress would not last, a foundation for social action had been put in place by the people’s involvement in the revolution and the sense of autonomy they gained as members of unions who were able to demonstrate collectively. They did see some positive results, even if though they would be squashed again by militaristic regimes who continued to violate human rights.


Even before the MNR was ousted by a military coup, the party stopped fulfilling the people’s needs. Domitila Barrios de Chungara, a female activist and wife of a tin miner living in Siglo XX writes in her testimony about how she feels the People’s Revolutionary Movement let her people down. She states: That government called itself “revolutionist” and we had put them into office, but…the nationalization of the mines was badly done, the company was terribly impoverished by the indemnification, and the people were deceived….But our MNR governments didn’t want to listen to us; instead, through the U.S. Embassy, they made plans and imposed their policies…In those days, we suffered quite a lot in Siglo XX because of their policies. As early as 1956, the Bolivian economy was already failing and the country adopted economic policies favorable to the U.S. and other foreign investment and accepted by international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Workers began to lose their newly achieved rights, wages were frozen, people were fired to in order to satisfy budget cuts, and unions and their leaders were heavily controlled and monitored. When Estenssoro was overthrown in 1964 by a coup led by his vice-president, General Rene Barrientos, a long period of about twenty years was defined by a succession of militaristic dictators. People were massacred and discontent grew. Opposition to outward violations of both human and worker’s rights gained momentum at this time. New organizations, such as the Housewives’ Committee that branched throughout multiple mines, formed and established unions that kept a foothold in popularity. Aymara campesino groups, like the Independent Confederation of Bolivian Rural Workers (CSUTCB), were founded by indigenous intellectuals and students who formed the Katarista movement. These multiple forms of opposition only ensured strong foundations for resistance in the future. The economic policies of the 1960s and 1970s did little to help the economy and, by 1985, when the MNR was again in power under Estenssoro the economy was in shambles. The debt crisis of the 1980s hit Bolivia especially hard because of the collapse of the price of tin along with the years of political corruption. Neo-liberal structural adjustment policies were introduced, which did away with the social and nationalistic achievements of the 1952 Revolution “in a single stroke.” Thus, poor peasants were put out of work both in agriculture and the mines. Hyper-inflation was controlled but at a great cost to the people. The tin mines were privatized and large numbers of displaced workers were located to urban centers such as La Paz. Or went to the Yungas region and the Chapare, the core areas of coca

farming, where the future Aymara president would begin his social leadership. Building the Post-Neoliberal Nation: Indigenous Mobilization and Leadership Evo Morales, the Aymara president of Bolivia since 2006, was born in 1959 to a peasant family who herded llamas on the altiplano in the department of Oruro. After a prolonged drought in the early 80s, like many other “colonizers,” he had to move to the Chapare (Cochabamba) to grow oranges, bananas, and coca, upon which he joined the cocalero (coca growers) union. After being elected both the general secretary of the Tropical Federation of coca growers and the larger Six Tropical Federations, Evo Morales was elected to Congress as a candidate for the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) party in 1997. Morales’s successful leadership was the expression of Neo-liberalism’s failure in Bolivia. The United States policies towards Bolivia, largely represented by the ‘War on Drugs’ campaigns and it’s ‘zero cocaine’ slogan, were in full effect after the former dictator Hugo Banzer was elected president in 1997, threatened the livelihood of cocaleros that supported Morales’s radical opposition to the eradication of coca. Formerly state-owned resource companies such as gas, oil, tin mines, railroads, and even water rights were being sold off to private and foreign companies. National resources were being shipped out of the country. Foreign investors raised the rates of basic commodities for Bolivians, taking up a large portion of people’s income. As a result, Quechua and Aymara indigenous groups all over the country, along with the poor populace in general, were in a state of rising discontent that culminated in a series of social movements towards revolution in the first five years of the new millennia. One of these rate increases sparked the first mass indigenous movement in the 21st century in the city of Cochabamba. The ‘Water Wars’ were brought about by the increase in rates by the private company Bechtel after they had bought the contract to privatize the city’s water system in 1999. After the people realized that they could not pay for an essential resource that was being controlled by a multimillion dollar international company, they began to protest. Historian Benjamin Dangl states, “Citizens were defiant. Instead of paying their increased water bills, they burned them in the plaza.” The city was blockaded, but the protestors were persistent from November of 1999 to April 2000 as the citizens of Cochabamba were linked by their solidarity. The issue went to the courts and the control of water was eventually handed back into national hands after Bechtel’s contract was cancelled when the issue went to parliament.


In 2003, another step in the road to revolution arose over the control of natural gas. It began in the revolutionary cities of La Paz and El Alto in the highlands surrounding the capital city but eventually spread all over the country. Beginning in July, blockades propagated across the country against the proposed plans to export Bolivia’s natural gas to Chile. By October, workers in El Alto went on general strike, as did the miners in Potosí. Throughout the country, people were being killed in the process of protecting their rights to use their natural resources at an affordable rate. People from all around the world participated in hunger strikes protesting the violations of human rights in Bolivia. Peasant and indigenous groups alike demanded that the president, “Goni” Sánchez Lozada, resign along with those closest to him in the government. They demanded a trial for those who killed civilian protestors, the reversal of the privatization of hydrocarbons, and a new constitutional assembly. President Sánchez Lozada resigned on October 17, 2003. His vice president, Carlos Mesa, took office but was continually pressured by the groups who had protested in both the water and gas war. By June of 2005 a new Hydrocarbons law had passed in congress that raised the revenues that the government earned from gas but did not nationalize it like much of the indigenous populous had called for in 2003. Again, cities like Cochabamba, La Paz, and especially El Alto, citizens gathered in protest because none of the demands that they had called for in 2003 had been met. Breaking under threats of occupation on the presidential palace, Carlos Mesa resigned. Roadways were blockaded and the country’s access to commerce was put at a standstill. Indigenous protestors blocked access to resources by taking over water, gas, hydroelectric, and petroleum facilities throughout the country. Finally, at the end of June, the decision was made that general elections for the presidency would be held at the end of the year. At the end of a five long years of almost constant mass mobilization, the people would have a chance to decide who would lead their country. The results of the December elections in 2006 were unprecedented in the history of democratic elections in Bolivia and in Latin America as a whole. With over eighty percent of voters showing up at the polls, Evo Morales became the first indigenous president with 53.74% of the popular vote. This was a momentous win. In previous elections candidates had gained the presidency with much lower majorities. Morales attempted to satisfy the indigenous masses by taking steps to fulfill his campaign promises. Loosening the grip of neo-liberal policies, the administration nationalized key energy resources like gas and oil. Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), a state owned oil and gas company, would now share profits

with private companies still operating in the country, increasing revenue from the state. The extension of new rights to indigenous groups in a new constitution became the single major accomplishment of the new administration. In January of 2009, after years of turmoil surrounding its passage through opposition in the “media luna” departments like Pando and Santa Cruz (where the strongest opposition to Morales is concentrated), the constitution was passed by the people in a general referendum. Bolivia’s 2009 constitution redefined the nation as a plurinational state which incorporates “all human collectives that share cultural identity, language, historical traditions, institutions, territoriality, and cosmovision, and whose existence is anterior to the Spanish colonial invasion.” Introducing the transition of the nation from a colonial and neoliberal past to a plurinational future, the pre-Columbian indigenous ideals of reciprocity and complementarity feature prominently. Foregrounding the major changes that indigenous peoples have begun to implement, which are discussed next. Social Change in the Bolivian Post-Neoliberal Era One of the most outward forms of change for indigenous people in Bolivia can be seen in the gender orientation of the political system. In January of 2010, Evo Morales was reelected and he also overhauled his cabinet, distributing posts equally between women and men. Three of the ten women who now comprise Morales’s cabinet are indigenous social activists. Women, who were once fighting for their rights through protest, are now in charge of government ministries of justice, rural development, and land. Optimistically, through these posts, the former leaders of the Bartolina Sisa Federation of peasant women will be able to evoke change for their fellow countrymen and women. Women are also increasing in numbers in other facets of the government. This is important since indigenous women were key supporters of MAS in the previous two presidential elections. In the constitutional assembly that was comprised of 1/3 women, an indigenous women, Silvia Lazarte, presided as president. Ana María Romero de Compero, a former human rights activist, was elected in the past election and now heads the senate, a position a woman has never held before. Now it is the task of these women to work within the government and with indigenous groups to usher in the implementation of the new rights set down in the constitution, such as sexual and reproductive freedom and education, so that poor indigenous women will be aware of their new possibilities. According to some non-governmental organization (NGO) studies, indigenous women have been making steps toward progress in the past couple of years. On the website for the group named MADRE, an international human rights


organization based in New York City, a group of indigenous women are presented in a photograph, marching down a road in traditional dress and holding a whipala (a flag whose checkered rainbow pattern signifies the vast array of indigenous identities in the Andes). The organization held workshops for indigenous women throughout the country within the past year advocating female leadership in politics, teaching them skills that would help them in both campaigning and in working within the legislative process, if they were elected. According to the organization, six indigenous women whom they helped to train were elected to parliament in the elections of December 2009. This example is not only relevant because indigenous women are gaining more power in government, but because they appeared self empowered culturally with visual displays of their own traditions and values. In the year that preceded the passage of the constitutional referendum, there were demonstrations throughout the country showing mass support. Journalist Alan Taylor of compiled photographs taken during this time where the masses were coming together again, demonstrating and urging the government to put the fate of the constitution in their hands by passing a law to put it up for referendum. The article includes photographs of indigenous Bolivians gathering outside the National Congress, in plazas around the nation, and marching to La Paz in October 2008--thousands of people, banners and whipalas in hand. The same people who pushed out the two previous presidents, and who protested in 2000 and in 2003, continue to represent themselves. Through these visual representations and mass participation, indigenous Bolivians are constructing the notions and symbols of indigeneity in the 21st century and it seems that they will continue to be the catalysts of change in the new Bolivia. Efforts have also been made to redirect national resources to further the higher educational and future career prospects for the young indigenous population with a pluricultural orientation. In August 2008, Morales signed Supreme Decree No. 29664, which set aside funds generated by the hydrocarbons to create three specifically indigenous universities which would offer courses in both ‘western’ based subjects as well as more ‘traditional’ forms of instruction. These universities went on to be founded in three regions throughout the country, each one specializing in one of the three indigenous languages, Aymara, Quechua, and Guarani. In Warista, the students taught in Aymara receive instruction in history and learn about the legacy of their university’s namesake, Túpac Katari. But they also get degrees in areas like food engineering to serve their communities with the degrees that they earn there.

The Challenges and the Hurdles There are certainly factions who continue to oppose Evo Morales and the MAS government in power. There is a jagged line drawn down the middle of the country that separates the eastern “media luna” departments who are home to many of the rich land owning elites and the western departments where most of the population has lived. Historically, it is where the poor peasantry as well as the urban poor have inhabited much of the space. In the past two years, Santa Cruz, the wealthy oil producer region, has attempted to secede from Bolivia. Its conservative representatives in the legislative system have voted systematically against the government. Despite governmental reforms in recent years, the nation is definitely not at peace. In September of 2008 in the department of Pando, 19 peasant protestors died and others were injured demonstrating against possible land seizures. A year later, those who attacked them were still not brought to justice. Violence committed by both sides of the regional divide continues to arise, between and among indigenous peoples. Conclusions In the aftermath of massive demonstrations in 2000 and 2003, Bolivia remains an ever changing nation. Starting at the turn of the 21st century and continuing to the present day, a new modality of nation building has been put into action. Using their newly found power in areas of government, electoral process, constitutional discussion, reform, mass mobilizations, and conscious participation in virtually all facets of the changing nation, Bolivians who have lacked the power of permanent change in the past are finally grasping it on their own. It will perhaps take years to know what the true implications of this “third revolution” will be for the Bolivia. There is evidence that change is underway through the continuing efforts of grassroots organizations and the cooperation of indigenous organizations and the state. The language of the new constitution seems to be ushering in gradual social change. Long-established Andean ideals such as pachakuti, give indigenous Bolivians the consciousness that there must be a period of sacrifice and chaos before they may reach a moment of peace and stability. It remains to be seen whether or not there will be permanent change, socially, economically, and politically, for the indigenous poor. There are so many factors that are still impeding progress. One thing is certain. Indigenous peoples are now in power like never before in a country where they have always been the majority and have been oppressed for over 500 years. They will never again accept the status quo and will continue to stand up for what is inherently theirs.


Reflections of . . .

Alexandria Joris

It. Something. Me. by Shane Lanning “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.” A phrase I hear all too often. “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.” A phrase that makes me roll my eyes. I guess that would make you wonder, why in the hell are you a priest? I wish I could answer that. I guess I needed to hide it. Cage it in. I was afraid that society would shun me for it. It. I guess I should say what it is. Since I was a kid, I was something else. I went to mass every Sunday with my parents. We ate lunch at my grandpappy's afterward. It was perfect. I was a good little Catholic boy. But I couldn't help but feel like I had to hide my secret. I remember that day my mom and I were walking, and she said, “If you were, I would have to disown you.” I was awfully confused. I didn't even know what it meant to be that.

We were outside of the elementary school in which my sister was having dance practice. It was a rather small, pinkish-brick building that sat about 50 yards from the main road. Because the student body was beginning to outgrow the building, they had two or three modulars outside to house a couple classes. The community pool sat to its right. My mother decided it would be a good idea to go for a walk while my sister finished up her practice. So, we were walking down the parking lot when I asked her about a news story that I overheard. The anchorman was talking about some sort of big controversy. That's when she said if I were “that way” then I wouldn't be her son anymore. I went clear through elementary school knowing I was different but refusing to acknowledge it. I didn't want to be “that way.” I played the normal card. I was just a shy prepubescent boy who didn't want to step on anyone's toes or have them get too involved in my life, or at least, I


wanted to portray that image. It's funny how you can project yourself any way you want. It wasn't until my second year of middle school that I decided I could try and accept this. Most of my peers supported me; however, I still have scars from the names that pierced my ears. I continued to live as myself until the day my mother discovered my sin. Those were the shittiest days of my life. “Blah blah hell blah blah Sodom and Gomorrah.” I grew tired of that shit fast. I found my way out at church camp. Ok, well I'll admit that I didn't view it as a way out but as divine intervention. I was praying, and I just felt something. To this day, I can't tell you how it feels, but if I had to compare it to anything, it was like flying down the starting hill of a roller coaster while kissing the one you love on your wedding day. Anything that gets your adrenaline rushing is comparable. So, I accepted Christ. It was so divine, no pun intended. Upon our return, I rushed to my mother's arms and told her the news. She was elated.It wasn't long before I felt the demonic plague return to my life. I would force

myself to hold back, and I turned to smoking and other such things to help deal with it. I decided that God had a plan for me. I needed to help spread his message. So, I went to university and eventually joined a seminary. I relapsed a couple of times. But, I made my pledge to be a worker of the Lord. So, here I sit in this cubicle waiting to hear about everyone else's fucking miserable life. “Forgive me Father for I have sinned.” Tell me about it. I remember hearing this one guy, boy was he a sinner. I just wanted to lock him in that confessional and…Oh, I'm getting carried away now. I hate myself for this. What do I do now? All I want is to jump on the next guy I see, but I have to remain chaste for the Lord. I can't leave my God, but I really don't know why he hasn't helped me. Haven't I done it all? I'm a fucking priest. Well, I guess this is where I'm supposed to tell you that it all works out; I accept that God accepts me for accepting who I am. Well, I can't. I've accepted who I am. So, I'll continue to stand by my Man. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.

Ca-9 by Steven Foley Thunder rumbles and lightning crashes. The powerful flickers of light piercing the darkness outside the window. A window covered with wetness, swimming down its glass. The creatures desperately seeking solitude. Shelter from the elements and noise above. A brief silence ensues before a guttural growling is heard. The trees and bushes sway to and fro as if deciding which way to go. The invisibility of cold isn't evident until the goose bumps and hair stand on end. Two ca-9 like cries are muted in the air. Near a puddle of murky mud and water a pile of torn and tattered clothing were strewn about. Agonizing pain, fear, and disorientation racket the body. Tremors mixed with unnaturally quickened movements. A lone naked foot steps into the puddle. The cries come again but appear to be closer than before.


At the edge of the grotesque wood my body begins moving forward, as if being pulled by an unseen magnet. The smell of tainted iron wafts its presence-a morbid fragrance. A recognition not of iron but of blood--still hot to the touch, as the fingers smear a wipe away from the nude, muscular chest. Again the cries ripped through the air. Only this time they appear to be surrounding. Intervals of brief flashing--heat lightning--gave quickened glances to a clearing up ahead. Two pairs of glistening yellow eyes stared in confusion at me as I came closer. Repetitions of snapping began, increasing more rapidly nearing the clearing. The ca-9 pair, with no sense of fear crouched on their haunches-ready to pounce and devour the intruder. The pull only gained in magnitude. The growls became ever growing in anger. Almost rabid in tone and pitch. Moonlight shone down in the small clearing. My body began to shift just as the ca-9s leapt at me. Yelping in pain, they were flung backwards. It was as if they encountered a shield of some sorts. The pain I felt before was nothing like what I felt now. Only as my human body morphed into a hairy four legged mess did it dawn on me what I was—what I had become!


Spring Showers by Leeland Waller I’ve learned so much about our love From a rain drop—things you could Never dream. How following where all the others Go can lead to your death, Or the sea. That inside the raindrop is its own Private world, but only in so far as that World remains; Break that world and everything scatters. Strength is only measured in what it Can retain.

Spirit Tracks

Finally, my dear, a raindrop only Remains until it meets a greater force which It cannot survive. The earth will break a falling drop every Time, and inevitably cause the drop To divide. -So as you sit and watch the early spring rains, Remember each drop is precious, Savor them for what they are, For what we were— Tiny, brief, and inconsequential to The rest of the shower; but everything To each other when there was nothing else.

April Sears


Calculations by Hope M. Rambo Dear Courtney, I am not sure if you are the person I'm meaning to write to, and let me preface this by telling you that if you're not, I apologize. Whether you are or not is of little importance in the end. Maybe it gets to Courtney and she's the right person, or maybe it ended up in your hands and you are. What has brought me here is that I walked out of art class one day and saw something colorful in the trash, and being the sensible person I am I removed the colorful thing only to discover it was a discarded art project. A book open with folded pages, like the ones I saw hanging in the building side-by-side just a few days before. This particular one had red cover, gold insides, and the part of the title that I could see read Friends of Freelance. On the outside, you (or someone, I suppose) wrote the name "Courtney Osterhage." After looking the name up on the university's online directory, I discovered that the only student with the last name "Osterhage" is a Justin Osterhage. So I am sending this in hopes that you two are brother and sister, or husband and wife, or mutual friends who just happened to have the same unusual last name. Or at the very least you are connected enough to Courtney that if you happen not to be her you can pass this along, and it will someday get where it needs to go. The reason I'm writing to her, and not to Justin or anyone else, is that on one page in her destroyed (improved?) book, she wrote the phrase "fuck this project." And that sort of attitude belongs to someone that I could tell certain things to that I couldn't to anyone else. The type of person that may be excited and curious to see a letter with their name on it with no return address. A person that would be interested enough to keep reading up to this point. I could trust that type of person. Now, I am not assuming I know you. It is a risk, sending this, something that contains things so important to them that could very well be ignored or passed over without examination or interest to anyone else. I will never know if it got into the right hands or not, but I can hope. Because I am not a creepy person, or a stalker. Although I hardly think that stalkers think that they are stalkers, but I guess that's not something you really want to hear right now.

I can't remember the last time I wrote a Word document that wasn't double-spaced, and this seriously pisses me off. Let me say that although the chances of your liking Michigan State are likely, as you live there, I must say that I hated it and am glad to not be returning. Although the whole existence of this letter may suggest otherwise. I do have friends, but could not make even one here. So if you, like every other goddamn freshman in the world it seems, have managed to do better than I did or find yourself otherwise happy, I salute you. We are living in a time and place where people don't get letters. When people get letters like this, chances are that they think it is a stalker or another type of crazy person. After all, why would someone write to a person they don't know and never have known and never will meet with no return address, no name, with nothing to say except their own boring and pointless problems and histories? There is something inexplicable about this type of person who understands why this would happen. It is me, and I'm beginning to think no one else. Now is when I tell you the other things about me that I have started to put in the category "notable." I once drove from our Great Lakes state to Florida and back, in my father's car without his knowledge. For no reason other than to see where someone I love grew up. Turns out, he was long gone. This was the kind of trip that involved sleeping alone in fast food parking lots and spending all of my bat mitzvah money on gasoline, bought and recorded with receipts I still have today. I mention the money, because I suppose it should give you something of a reference of the trip's importance to a person. I should also mention that I could have not spent that money any more wisely than I did. I'll move on from the trip now, but I hope I will get far enough in the story where I can tell you how the trip fit into my life, or is it how my life fit into it? I am the type of person that is attempting to become an accountant, and whatever assumption that comes to mind along with that sentence is fine. I am the type of person that, although I have been told that it's illegal, puts spare change into the meters that have run out of time and the car is still lingering. I tell myself


when angry jerks pass me doing eighty on the freeway, their wife could be having a baby right this second, and if they could apologize and gently explain the desperate circumstances they suddenly found themselves in, they would do so. Lastly, I'm the type of person that is currently alone, and I suppose that is the most defining and important thing about me. I am afraid I will never say one word to you. I fear too much, all at once, and then not at all at other times when I should. There is safety in writing. A safety that vanquishes the fear of saying something aloud. This way, you can never encourage, question, doubt, hate. This way I can't ever know if you eat up my words or ignore them. This is how I prefer it to be.

Outer Darkness by Darien Scott Rhoton I hate myself for thinking about you; Contemptible how I misuse my time. There are far better things that I should do; such slothfulness borders upon a crime. In fact I’m on the path that leads to hell, as lust is forbidden by God’s decree. If not by lust, envy secures my cell, for punishment a glutton I must be. Foolish pride steals hope of sweet asylum. It whispers loudly, caters to my greed, disheartening me until the mind is numb, ensnares the soul, fixating on my need. Yet even damned, I’ll submit to its call, Choose death in sin o'er not loving at all.

Out of the Darkness

Doug Moser


Winter Serenity

Jacklynn Price

Halo: Reach as Performance Folklore by Laurinda Johnson In the last twenty years or so, videogames have evolved from single player, pixely PC games like The Oregon Trail to massive multiplayer online first person shooters like the Halo series of games, ending with the latest edition Halo: Reach. This revolution of gaming has created a new reality online that is not only contending for a label of e-lore but as performance folklore. Halo: Reach, for example, has performance markers such as a shift in language that involves using words or phrases that would have no meaning outside of this gaming reality or this virtual world. Halo: Reach also supports a traditional reward-system—a.k.a. someone does a good job and then as a result, receives a

reward. This reward-system illustrates traditional values like “there are consequences for your actions” and “practice makes perfect.” Gamers take on the role of a Spartan in the virtual UNSC, or the future army of planet Earth. This is a role in a performance. And the performance is online gaming: impressing others with gaming skills. Halo: Reach is set on the planet Reach, an earth-like planet that is being invaded and colonized by an alien race known as the Covenant. Already, this sounds as if it is a sci-fi movie or a theatrical production. But instead of watching the plot unfold, the audience—or gamer—actively participates in its unraveling. During the game, the gamer is


guided through the life of a Spartan: a futuristic soldier with advanced armor capabilities, state of the art weaponry, and a powerful appearance that would have any teenage boy saying “Oh my god, I want to be that.” This particular Spartan is known only as Noble 6, or the sixth member of an elite team of Spartan soldiers with a mission to take back the planet Reach from Covenant control. This would be the campaign game mode of Halo: Reach that has more of a plot line. So this game type is demonstrating a different kind of performance, which is more personal in that this game mode is usually played by only one or two players who are friends and do not judge each other on skill but accept their fellow gamer and friend for who they are as a person. But when switching to the multiplayer matchmaking world of Halo: Reach, the only thing that matters is mindless killing and lots of it. Multiplayer matchmaking is a game mode that allows a gamer to interact with several different gamers from all over the world. A popular multiplayer game mode is Team Slayer, where a team of four Spartans team up to play four other Spartans in a battle to get as many kills as possible. Each Team Slayer game has the same objective: the first team to accumulate fifty kills wins. This puts a lot of pressure on every player to pull his/her own weight. Players can plug in microphones to their Xbox 360 controllers to interact with other gamers that have chosen to exploit this communication feature. This also forces other gamers to perform better or get more kills. Many people who plug in microphones usually demean the other team to create a sense of unity with their own teammates. This sort of braggart communication serves an esoteric function. By boasting and insulting the enemy team, players are brought together by a sense of superiority, creating a temporary folk performance group. Many players promise to beat the other team before the game starts—while all eight players are waiting in the lobby while the game loads—and this promise puts pressure on each team to overcome each other. The sense of competition is fierce in most cases, trash-talking is creating a definite mood of emotional tension that causes each team to try harder or perform better. Not only do other players put the pressure on teammates to perform more skillfully, but different systems of rewards cause players to try harder in every single game mode of Halo: Reach. The developers of Halo: Reach included a system of ranks based off of actual army ranks. When first beginning to play, a gamer is a mere Private in the UNSC Spartan army. To get a higher rank, players must get more kills faster, thus earning credits or virtual points that add up in a sort of loading bar that, once filled up with the appropriate amount of credits, advances the player to the next rank. Another system of rewards accompanying this

credit system is the armor-unlock system. For every rank, there are different pieces of armor that can be unlocked to make the player’s personal Spartan look “cooler” and more individual. Other players often judge the worth of their teammates based on the armor they have unlocked and purchased with their credits and also the rank they have achieved. A minor reward system would be the medalssystem. For every feat a player accomplishes in Halo: Reach there is a medal awarded that shows up in the post game statistics table. The medals one receives can often affect the credit-system in a positive way, causing them to increase with the accumulation of medals. Medals are awarded based on the quickness one uses to kill enemies, the amount of enemies killed without dying, and the technique used to kill enemies. There are quickness of kills medals such as Double Kills, which are the most common. Double Kills occur when a player kills one enemy and then another enemy within four seconds of the first kill. There is an entire sequence of these multi-kill medals starting with Double Kill, then Triple Kill, Overkill, Killtacular, Killtrocity, Killamanjaro, Killtastrophe, Killpocalypse, Killionaire, and Skullamanjaro. Every player is judged by the medals rewarded at the end of the game. I have just named a few, but there are 112 possible medals that can be awarded to any gamer in any game type. These medals display a very important textural quality of performance folklore, and that quality is language. There is a definite shift from normal language that is involved in playing Halo: Reach. For example, general gaming lingo—words that are used most often during any given game mode of Halo: Reach. Besides the creative name for all the medals there are also names for the armor, armor abilities, weapons, maps, game types, service tags, gamer tags, emblems, and strategies. Some words that are generally said and heard are “Sniped”, “Sworded”, “Loved”, “Stuck”, “Fancy Assassinated”, “Instant Killed”, and there are several more, all of which refer to a different way of being killed. A few words that are not so obviously techniques of being killed and are exclusive to Halo: Reach would be “Loved,” where a player is killed with an alien weapon called a Needler, and “Stuck,” when someone has been blown up by a plasma grenade. More language includes unacceptable customs like “He’s lagging,” which means the player does not have a good internet connection and is slowing the game down. And “they are camping” which means that a player or players are sitting in an enclosed area of the map with a powerful weapon like a shotgun or plasma sword. A custom associated with Halo: Reach is “T-bagging,” which involves crouching on an enemy multiple times after killing him. It is supposed to mean that the player who survived the fight is putting his genitalia on his enemy. Many players believe that


this act is offensive and get quite angry when people do it. But this action does provide an esoteric function. This establishes that the person T-bagging is male and he is performing a sort of alpha male action and displaying his dominance over the enemy he has just killed. This gaming reality is like any other society or culture in the world. One has to be a member of the group to understand the customs, cultural norms, and language. This group of Halo: Reach gamers is definitely a folk group that utilizes folklore performance as a way of showing individual skills and accomplishments to be respected as an experienced gamer. I can attest that this virtual reality is

extremely addicting in that there is a great sense of personal achievement when a player reaches a certain rank or purchases a certain piece of “cool” armor. This folk group very much relies on what the other members of the group think of each other and if they approve of a single player’s performance. I am currently a General in the UNSC, I have a Gungir helmet, a Parafoil chest with adjoining robotic arm, a Tactical/tacpad wrist, black visor tint, UA/NxRA utility, MJOLNIR variant Security shoulders, and I’ve beaten the campaign on Legendary. When I log on and play Halo: Reach, that is who I am. For that brief amount of time, I can escape from reality and be a Spartan, and I can struggle to perform well and feel extremely accomplished, when I do perform well and get noticed for it.

Beginning to End by Michael Lee Desire became, Driven by lust; Wait in the rain, In me you can trust.

DRAMA Transmission control, Target acquired; Aim for the hole, Weapons fired.

ACTION I love the pain, I love the pleasure; I love the flame, But I also love her.

PASSION Take a bath, Think things through; Do the math, She's waiting for you.

INSANITY Fighting for freedom, Populace mass; Peace can't be won, She lies dead in the grass.



Singularities and Some “E” Words by Matthew Hartman Singularities It is suggested that energy can not be created or destroyed. There are unexplainable anomalies called singularities. Not even the most educated physicists can define or understand the randomness of these events. This idea of a singularity is the main evidence supporting the Big Bang Theory. This topic makes me nervous, and the direction I’m heading is scary, but these are just thoughts and not an attempt to disprove God’s existence. Besides there are absolutely no facts to support that. I search for enlightenment in writing these pages. Simply to extract these thoughts from my mind in hopes to better understand and piece together this puzzle of life. I only agree to use the word theory because of the existence of certain facts I find to be compelling and undeniable. In scientific terms, the use of the word theory is a very serious implication. It is defined by “a rigorously tested hypothesis that every time results in positive data and is one step from absolute certainty.” It is the equivalent of Newton’s Law of Gravity, it is fact the apple always falls to the ground. A singularity though, what does this mean? It is the unexplained and unexplainable creation and destruction of energy, of matter, of possible life. It happens continuously and most always without repercussion. A singularity exists within a simple atom, which is a microscopic particle of unexplainable existence on an infinite list of unanswered questions. A singularity usually appears and disappears like a flash of lightening, so fast you’ll miss it if you blink. For some reason though, this one time out of millions of times, my singularity 14 billion years ago became unstable. BOOM, the creation of matter, of energy, of life, and now I am here, I exist. Billions of years spent tumbling in the unknown, fumbling about banging around like a pinball in a galactic nebula arcade game. Like particles finding and attracting to like particles in some high school clique fashion, separated by temperature and gravity instead of class or race. Like new lovers accreting and suturing bit by bit only to decide on some shaky existence twisting and turning about a burning star pretending to have some control over our orbit, our place in life, or our destiny.

The evidence of an explosion is clear still today. It is recorded in the stars as well as in life itself. Humans can recreate this explosion and we have many times. Humans use it for destruction instead of creation. We call it the hydrogen bomb, an unstable singularity. Like the evil that floats around mankind waiting for the perfect moment to attack society. Certain radiation that only exists after this particular type of explosion is found wandering about the solar system. I know what it can do to planets’ ecosystems and fauna. I have viewed the effects of Hiroshima. I’ve seen the pictures of the mutated babies and the devastated land. Without Earth’s special magnetic fields and Ozone layer it would be bombarded with this radiation from the Sun and life as we know it could not exist. That’s lucky I guess? I often fluctuate between these perfect circles of sense and chaotic patterns of ovals mimicking the Earth’s eccentricity around the Sun. Cycling between these ovals of almost losing grip to being pulled back to a perfect circle just in time by some centripetal force of morality guiding me ever around. Evolution It appears to me that every where I look I see things constantly changing. I can only describe evolution as amazing, incoherent, provable, and Godly magical. I have witnessed it with my own eyes, the change. Once living organisms turned to stone, pure stone and you can see the difference in life from then and now. I see images of it in the seasons. Spring comes, flowers bloom, and how about the butterfly leaving its cocoon. It’s all evolution. I do this mental experiment it doesn’t take long. I don’t even need to leave my own mind or my chair to reach a conclusion. I just ponder this hypothesis briefly and decide evolution could make sense to me: A tadpole at birth is a prisoner to water. The eggs of an amphibian if not laid in water will desiccate. In its short life, it undergoes major changes through time, escapes the watery prison, and actually needs to breathe air with lungs. To think at some point in time, life on this planet existed only as a single cell, less complex than bacteria. Time raced by and these simple lonely things assembled together, maybe by accident, who knows. I sometimes wonder if they, like us, were exploring the seas in hopes to


find new and better resources. Symbiosis is organisms Extinction joining or residing in some near vicinity for mutual benefit. I think about these things and consider my short existence This is the latest hypothesis or idea describing the origin of from birth to now and that leads me to more questions. complex multicellular organisms and what somehow later When will my life end? Will humans go extinct? Is extinction evolves to life. Is this possible? They have found the a real possibility? It appears undeniable. Again, we see the transitional fossils, the proof. I haven’t held them, but I have proof everywhere. We find ancient creatures that are seen pictures from books, they seem trustworthy. frozen in time, cast in stone and left like clues. Some of We find these carbonized fossil leaves from the these creatures seem to have been forced to extinction, Cooksonia plant, which is the first land plant ever. We find consumed to the point of no more and some by some them as a thin black film of carbon on sedimentary rocks celestial forces. I think as humans we may want to pay like smooth gray shale; it resembles the pencil rubbings of attention to history. The way we use up resources and leaves you made in grade school. The first simple land plant consume everything to its end may cause our extinction. It’s is about 400 million years old. The leaves were long, thick, happened before, you know, one organism over-consuming and waxy, which made them durable, but they were very another, eventually leading to its own demise. simple. Leaves have now evolved into something delicate, This seems as though it may be a good place to stop intricate, and very complex. Flowering plants for example, my quandaries about life. Maybe it’s just to be enjoyed and technically known as angiosperms—their flowers are just time not wasted with such questions. After all, our life is a special leaves. Fragile and manipulative, the rose has blink of an eye. All of these ideas are very large and hard to evolved to use bees, butterflies, and even humans to spread comprehend, it’s all most impossible to make sense out of its seed or pollen. The rose’s distant cousin in a biological something you can see but can’t explain completely. sense is Cooksonia. The transition clearly shows evolution at This sums up God and human existence for me, I work. guess. Incognito, a disguise I can almost see through, but These evolutionary impacts are called mutations. the purpose and the creator will always be a mystery. The The sound of that word is scary and it makes me think of Big Bang a singularity, is this the X-men, but nothing has Genesis, the beginning? ever developed laser beam To me it is obvious that life eyes, at least not yet. is manufactured by some higher Genetic mutations occurring existence. I see fragments of this in the cells of an organism’s all-knowing being, or at least what I DNA. It changes some feel are specs of the proof. I see it molecular code and alters in the science, the singularities, the organism in some evolution, and even in extinction. It physical, chemical, or opens the door to life, creation, reproductive way. Some destruction, progression, and the mutations are positive and change through time. some have a negative effect, I began writing this in but most are completely hopes to gain some insight as to my neutral. life, my purpose. Maybe to I just learned all understand my creator, or to chordates, or organisms become enlightened as to my with a spinal cord, share the situation on this planet. Some find same embryo plan. science to be evil, disproving of Honestly, a turkey, a God and their religion. But for me monkey, and even humans this is the very reciprocal. Science is look alike as embryos. We my religion, my guide, and my all have gill slits at some scripture to understanding this point in our lives. Mutations evolving singularity called life. in DNA, could this really be the deciding difference between me and a turkey? Mono Lake Tufa Tabatha S. Baughman



Michael Lee

Natural Selection by John Laughlin “Survival of the fittest” Is what he said. All the weak Will end up dead. This idea of evolution Charles Darwin presented. It became a belief That many resented. Evolution, By natural selection,

Is based on a conclusion From a fact collection. Without these It wouldn’t work, Said S.J. Gould, Some science Jerk. So, if it’s true, We must continue to adapt, Or, in extinction, We’ll be trapped.


Temporal Displacement Engineering by William Moran “What do you do for a living?” I’ve got possibly the coolest answer to that question ever. I was in a Manhattan club, looking good, better after some drinks, and thinking this chick had been eyeing me for a few minutes now. When she and her friends went out to the dance floor I downed my rum and Coke and headed over. She was on me in no time, but she wasn’t a freak about it. A little bumping and grinding, then she asked me to come have a drink with her. “I’m Samantha. I teach. What do you do for a living?” I guess that’s some cliché fetish, the school teacher thing. So judge me, you’re not taking her home tonight so what do I care? “I’m Rob,” and I get to tell her, “I transport stuff through time.” Sounds kinda nerdy typed up, but once I tell them that you’d think I was the last man on Earth. Or maybe it sounds like a lie. I know what you’re thinking. But it’s true. You probably saw it in the news a few years back. It was a pretty big deal. Then it just fell by the wayside. The team who engineered the thing was awarded a Nobel Prize. If you tell someone you transport things through time, unless they’re totally shit faced and just wanna screw, they inevitably follow up with something about how interesting that sounds, assume I’m richer than Steve Jobs and smarter than Albert Einstein. Turns out Samantha (call her Sam, her friends call her Sam, she told me) is a science teacher. She’s eating out of my hand, but it means I have to spoon feed her. I’ve gotta sell it. Yeah, it was revolutionary a few years ago—now lab rats could take care of the machine. The actual quantum mechanics or whatever the hell they want to call themselves are busy in the labs and can only be interrupted if something starts to beep at me. But of course I’m not telling that to this sweet thing. “Temporal Displacement Engineer is the technical term. I get to play with the time machine all day.” I smiled and took a sip of my drink. In reality I get paid slightly better than minimum wage to watch the damn thing work all day. I just sit there, pushing a button every few minutes and making sure none of the meters go crazy. “That’s incredible!” Her smile threatened to split her head in half. “That must be fascinating work.” The damn machine is five years old. Sometimes the little black button sticks. “It seems like I learn something new every day.” Like who the fuck’s been stealing my

yogurt. It’s Bob, I know it’s Bob. Takes his break every day about an hour before I do. I can’t say for sure, but I know it’s Bob. The fat ass has been losing weight. “So could you explain the science behind it? I read some articles, but I’d love to hear from someone with firsthand experience.” She wanted the technical stuff. Oh great. “Well the magazines covered it pretty well.” What the hell did they tell me at orientation? That was two years ago. “You know, they just send a single electron back.” “You send it back,” she interrupted, brushed her fingers against mine and glanced away. “Yeah, yeah I do. I send it back. Actually, we send it back about a million times a day.” Open your mouth, here comes the spoon. Too easy, but too boring. “The machine uses about as much power as a small town every time it fires. Two hundred and fifty billion kilowatts a day.” Bob was always caught up on that. How could we come up with all the power to transport a universe worth of electrons back in time? Supposedly they calculated it and it was impossible, even if we did it until the sun super novas. Of course, if we didn’t do it then we couldn’t even be here, so I guess we got past that somehow. “That’s so much power.” Was it just me or did she mean sexy when she said power? “It’s the same electron, right?” I had a shot of Jack waiting for me. I tilted it back then returned to the rum and Coke. “Ahh. Yeah, the same one. We send it back, it’s still there. We send it again, it’s still there. A million times a day, and that thing just won’t go away.” She giggled, I laughed. “Like there’s really just one electron that makes up the entire universe. Kind of like clones but not exactly. More like avatars of some god, I guess. All technically different but all the same God. Something to do with how space-time isn’t linear or even causal like we think it is.” “Oh yeah, like all those lunatics keep on about on the news.” “Huh?” I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t care, but I hadn’t watched the news in weeks. “They say since it’s been proven that things aren’t causal then our actions don’t matter. It drives some people to suicide. Some lawyer in Nebraska quit his job, supposedly because all those criminals he put away might not have


committed those crimes even if the evidence said so. Married for thirty years, he just ups and leaves his wife and three kids.” Samantha started adjusting her bra strap under her dress before she realized what she was doing. “Sorry,” she blushed. “No problem.” Dirty joke or deflect it? “What happened to that lawyer,” I deflect it. Damn I shoulda been flirtier. “Well supposedly he went to Vegas. Got high on cocaine, banged a hooker and had a heart attack. She was straddling him when he croaked.” She stared at her beer. “Beats dying in Nebraska,” I laugh. Fucking hilarious. She didn’t think so, dammit. She sat back and crossed her arms, not angrily, but she was . . . defensive. “It sounds sad to me. His poor family.” Yeah right, he probably worked all the time and had boockoo life insurance. They couldn’t be happier. I had to go back to work Monday. I didn’t want to talk about that crap. Needed to get back on track. “Let me get us some more drinks. Another Guinness?” She nodded. I needed a new game plan and that’s what I focused on while I walked to the bar and got our drinks. Need to lighten it up, get her laughing, comfortable again. The worst part was I wasn’t sure if that time travel shit was turning her on or if she was just genuinely interested in it. Figures I’d pick the one woman there who had any idea what I was talking about. Probably more than I do. “Here’s your beer.” She thanked me and I was about to hop in with a joke when she said, “It doesn’t make sense.” She took a pretty good sized drink. Is she still hung up on that damn Nebraskan lawyer? I got a Guinness too and took a sip. Come on, I’ve gotta get her away from that. “Some folks just can’t handle that stuff. You mess up their world view and they go nuts.” Great, she looked at me like I just jumped on the table and pulled out my penis. Maybe… “I mean, the electron thing. You’re sending them back in time to create the Big Bang, right?” “If that’s what you want to call tonight, but I just work so I can afford to buy a drink or two.” She smiles. “You’re horrible. But I’m serious,” so am I, babe, can’t we get off this topic and just get off. “All those electrons, the ones making up the atoms in us right now, they’re all the same electron that you have back in the lab. It kinda makes everything seem, I don’t know.” She took another sip. “You’re not feeling like those people from the news, are you?” I put a hand on her shoulder, she scooted a little closer. That’s good, as long as she doesn’t start the goddamn waterworks.

“No, not like that. It’s not the lack of causation. It’s almost the opposite. It seems horribly fated. Like we couldn’t change the course of all those electrons if we wanted to. They went back, they exploded, and then they all moved around until you trapped the exact one that got sent back. Everything else was just the inconsequential result of that.” She circled an arm around my waist and took a few more drinks while I digested that. “Tail wagging the dog or somethin’.” At this point I could feel the drinks, which isn’t good if things went to plan, but I’m also getting the idea around now that that isn’t going to happen. “So it’s an electron, so what?” The alcohol was starting to talk too. “Before it was a bunch of inconsequential ancestors, bumpin’ up on each other until you and I end up here, doin’ whatever it is we’re doin’. Now it’s a bunch of electrons doing the same thing with the same result. What’s changed?” I downed the drink in a few big gulps and hugged Sam a little with the arm I had on her shoulder. She squeezed me closer and took another gulp. “And just what is, whatever it is we’re doin’?” Looking back, she was saying take me home and screw me. What else could it have been? But I had veered down an existential off ramp and the beer was driving. “To hell if I know, Sam. I push a goddamn button all day long and supposedly that’s the only reason the universe exists in the first place.” I think she was more amused at this rambling than put off by it. “A fuckin’ button. And then the Big Bang happens.” She kissed me. Just out of the blue like that. I kissed back. “You’ll have to tell me more some time.” She got up and threw a couple bills on the table. “Hell, I could show you—“ But she cut me off. “Hang in there, tiger. It’s been fun, but I’ve got papers to grade.” Teachers. Go figure. I was turning back to my beer when Sam grabbed me by the collar and pulled me close; I barely caught myself from falling out of my chair. She pressed her lips to mine again and I could feel the warmth. There was a charge, like, well I don’t know. My stomach got light, jumped. I pulled her close, ran my fingers through her hair. People probably stared but what the hell did we care? We were drunk. And I coulda been sober, I wouldn’t have cared. A woman like that needs to be kissed. Then she just lets go and walks away. God does a woman like that need to be kissed. I was thinking I’d never see Sam again when I noticed there’s a napkin in my hand. I wasn’t holding it before but I don’t remember her putting it in my hand. She just grabbed me, kissed me, and walked away. I could feel myself swaying so I sat back down and unfolded the napkin. Let’s blame it on the alcohol.


The napkin had her number on it as well as “We can’t simply be electrons bumping together mindlessly because I’m positive I want to see you again.” I can deal

with pushing that damn button a little while longer. I need the money to buy her another drink.

Winter Sparkles

Theresa Laughlin

Photosynthesis by Theresa Laughlin The sun beams down upon the trees Bright light shining over its leaves. Chlorophyll absorbs the light to make ATP, The source of the trees’ energy. But don’t forget it makes NADPH! That is important for electrons to make A certain break down to occur. Light reactions-Water splits to make electrons And gives off oxygen to breathe.

ATP and NAPDH move to the stroma, A thick, flowing fluid inside the chloroplast. Here, the Calvin cycle begins Setting all things within To start creating sugar. The ATP allows the reaction to go While NADPH break apart CO2. This produces yummy sugar to eat, But the sugar is for the tree to feed.


Without a Straitjacket by Megan Boeshart Backwards, I’m upside down, Dizzy and twirling Into an abyss. I’m backwards without you; That’s right, backwards, Topsy-turvy; Dangling by the moment, I’m backwards without you. My spine tingles At the mere sound of your voice; I can be sane again, I’m backwards without you; A mess of burning brush; Every movement Makes me turn In hopes of seeing you. I’m backwards without you, A mental case Without a straitjacket.


Amber Dingess


Sisters by Caycee Boyce I. I'm soo bored.. codee and i are looking up new music lol but yeah. i wish you were still transferring.. home is so not the same without you :( i guess i'll live though.. i just really miss everything like it was... and i won't even see you for your birthday!!!! sooo sad. i'll ship you a cake lol or something cool love you and miss you!

Leaving for college is never easy, one way or another. For me, the hardest part was leaving my sisters, the two people who have been a part of my life for the past fourteen years. Since our parents separated, the amount of time the three of us spent together increased exponentially; we went to movies together, we went to football games together, we ran the dullest of errands together. Now, with me being a little over seven hours away from my family, any means of communication has been utilized. Facebook has consumed my life, and my text message inbox is filled to maximum capacity every day. I look at my calendar constantly, marking off the days until I can see my two life-long best friends again. II.

Eighty percent of individuals in Western countries have siblings. For many of that eighty percent, our relationship with our siblings will be the longest relationship we will ever have with another person. If that is the case, logic would have that eighty percent make an effort to take care of that bond, especially if it is going to be the longest in our lives. That relationship should be one of the most positive connections in our lives. I want my sisters to be there with me to always support me, to cry with me, to laugh with me. I want the longest relationship I will ever have in my life to be the one I can always count on. I have always known my sisters and they have always known me. We have seen each other at our best and, subsequently, we have seen each other at our worst. We have attended each other’s school events, even though we grumbled and complained through them, because we were forced to cancel plans with friends just to show up. Our

bonding will always be filled with potholes and traffic, but with a car filled with three girls, who inherently love each other, the hours spent on the road will never be looked back upon as wasted. Thumbing through the book Sisters by Carol Saline and Sharon J. Wohlmuth, I found by chance in the library, I found a story of a pair of sisters that was heartbreaking and, at the same time, inspiring. Becky Young’s twin sister, Nancy, was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer when they were 49-years-old. When Nancy chose to spend her last days “as she had spent her first,” Becky put her life and career on hold to move back in with their parents. Toward the end, the cancer got to Nan’s brain. She was full of morphine. Really out of it and not making much sense… Then, one night, I heard her breathing change over the intercom. Our parents had gone to bed and I slipped into her room alone. I’d made a pact with Nan that no matter what, she’d depart this world like she came into it, beside me, the way we’d been together in the womb. I crawled in bed with my body up against her, holding my sister in my arms, the closest person in my life. To die, knowing that my sisters were there, loving me as every last minute in my life passed is something that I want to experience. If I push my sisters away every time they irritate me or if they push me away every time I irritate them, every inch I push them back will multiply. The distance would grow so great that in my last hours, no jet in the world could cover the distance for them to be by my side, heart and soul. III.

Thirty-six percent of people say they have become closer to their siblings with age. “Daddy and I are getting divorced.” My sisters and I stared at Mom in confusion before we started sobbing and shaking our heads. I tucked myself into the corner of the couch, hugging a throw pillow as I cried, wedged between the armrest and my dad. He had his arm around me, trying to pull me into his arms, but I refused to move. He was just as deserving of my anger as my mother


was. I had friends whose parents were divorced, and I accepted that fact along with them. It was their family that was separated, no longer whole. I never thought that my family was going to be another statistic about marriage and divorce. The foundations of my life—my parents and the security that came with their marriage— were fatally shaken. But my life wasn’t the only life affected. My sisters were suffering the same pain I was that summer day in 2004. That was when it hit me how important my sisters were in my life. I asked my sister, Ceejay, to describe how the three of us got along: “We get along like we’re best friends… minus the grudges that best friends can have. We’re always there for each other… and can basically read each others’ minds. It’s like we’re one person who got split in three.” I hadn’t thought about it before, but her words carry truth in them. We really are a single person divided into three, each of us holding valued characteristics that the others don’t have. I am the one who tolerates change in our lives, no matter how big the changes are. When our parents separated, I resented it at first, but after awhile, I accepted it as something that I couldn’t fix. When Mom started dating her current boyfriend, I hated him as much as my sisters did, but in the end, I found peace knowing that he made my mom happy. At the same time, I worked to help my sisters adjust to the change, even though it wasn’t A Different View Kathryn Wilson easy. Being the oldest, I knew that I had to lead by example, especially during the raised me to behave. When I told Codee, her immediate drastic changes in our lives. Ceejay is the poster-child for response would have been bleeped out, save for her self-sacrifice. She is the first to put aside her personal needs demand to “kick her ass.” and wants to make sure the rest of the family is taken care Because of shared history and the strength of the of. I can’t remember how many times I burst into her room bonds between them, siblings can also provide one with a boy-problem or fashion-crisis, and instead of yelling at another with support, guidance, and me for interrupting her nap or homework, she let me in and companionship,” says Dr. Patricia Noller of the helped me out. Last, but in no way least, Codee is the fighter. University of Queensland, Australia. Her research on She’s the sister who is stubborn as hell and packs a sibling relationships during the teen years says that ridiculously solid punch for a fourteen-year-old girl. She is the nature of sibling relationships makes it very the first of us to stand up and defend the family if the possible that siblings will become “confidantes, situation calls for it. I remember when a girl at school, as a although others have shown that the warmth of the result of a large case of karma on my part, confronted me sibling relationship is the best predictor of both the about an issue only to end up insulting how my parents level of [sharing private thoughts and feelings] and


Set Free of emotional understanding perceived by the siblings. Siblings can either connect immediately in childhood, a connection that continues to grow through life, or they can develop a closeness later on in their growth, both physically and emotionally. An example of this is the relationship between Ann and Joan Petitt. These sisters grew up in a family with an alcoholic mother, and a father who ate compulsively, had a mistress, and was a workaholic. The only thing they figured they had in common with each other was the five brothers in their family. “I really wasn’t aware of [Joan]. It was like she grew up in another family. I never knew she wanted a sister, and I never knew I needed a sister,” Ann says. Consequently, Ann’s assumption of indifference was translated by her younger sister, Joan, as loathing: “I didn’t think she liked me at all, and if my own sister didn’t like me, I must be defective. That affected me all my life.” Eventually, Ann made an escape from the family, moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to find herself, driving an even bigger wedge between herself and Joan. It wasn’t until Joan and her brother made the effort to visit Ann that their relationship began to form. As Ann put it, “I realize there is a bond here connecting us that you can’t have with anyone else but a sister, and that’s real good for me. I feel like I’ve walked through a doorway into a new world.”

Alexandria Joris IV.

Fifty-eight percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. While parents may find it difficult to meet their children’s needs for empathy, support, and encouragement during the period of separation and divorce, it is possible that children with at least one sibling may find some of what they seek in their parents in the ongoing relationship they have with their sibling. As Ceejay says: I think we grew closer because we had to be there for each other since we were the only ones who knew what the other was really feeling... and we just always took care of each other... It's like they stayed together in order to make sure we were raised right, but then when they separated we had to grow up on our own 'cause we weren't really ready for it. The separation of our parents made the three of us dissect the role of a mother and take on a third of the responsibilities. Ceejay did most of the cooking, cleaning, and advising, especially stepping up after our father fractured his back and needed constant care. I acted as the chauffer, making sure everyone got to appointments and meetings on time, as well as running errands like going to the grocery or dropping bills off at the post office. Codee took on the role of the comedic relief, keeping our lives from


The Joust Laurinda Johnson

Orange Chucks Kristin Rocca

Le Jardin Caycee Boyce


Varrasso 2 Elizabeth Varrasso

Varrasso 3 Elizabeth Varrasso


What the “Afghan Girl” Stands For by Breanna Kelly, Promising Writer Award winner Over the years, one picture has gotten a substantial amount of attention from people around the world. The magazine National Geographic published an issue that featured an Afghan girl, then only twelve years old, and it has been talked about ever since (view image at The picture was taken in 1984 by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. Researching this photo over twenty years later, one can find that the girl, Sharbat Gula, was actually orphaned during the Soviet Union’s bombing of Afghanistan. In the early 1980s, her village was attacked by Soviet helicopter gunships. Left with only her grandmother and siblings, she hiked over the mountains to the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Pakistan. Gula was a student at an informal school at the refugee camp, and taking pictures of Afghan women wasn’t usually allowed. Since he was given the chance, though, McCurry took the opportunity to snap a picture while he could. The girl’s red scarf and contrasting green eyes became one of the most recognized pictures that National Geographic had ever published. This picture seems to capture what Afghan women feel. The look on the girl’s face is what catches the glance of most people, though. Her clothes are torn and her face is dirty, but behind her beautiful green eyes lies the true meaning of this photograph. The picture represents the struggles of Afghan women and the trials that they face. Women in Afghanistan face many obstacles. To this day, the literacy rate of girls in the country is very low. Haji Ali, the chief of the village of Korphe in neighboring Pakistan, believes that “To educate a girl is to educate a community” (Mortenson). He says this because, more often than boys, girls will go home and teach their mothers how to read. They will come back from the market with meat wrapped in newspaper and read the news to their mothers. Their mothers become informed of what is going on in the country and want to keep their sons from being trained to be soldiers. In spite of numerous attempts to build schools, they are constantly destroyed because of this. Women in the Kush Mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan have worked for years to gain and maintain their rights. Lonely Planet Afghanistan says, “In the aftermath of the Taliban, Afghan

women were hopeful and demonstrated their strength and determination by assuming professional roles, public positions and accessing opportunities” (Clammer 50). Although the women have now reached a much more respected status in the culture, they still work to keep the respect of many men. Today, Afghanistan offers many opportunities for women, but not many people take advantage of them. Violence against women, especially domestically, is on the rise. Women are resorting to cutting and self-destruction because they believe that there is no hope. Perhaps this picture solely represents women in refugee camps in the area, since they face the same kind of violence Gula does. The reason this picture stands out so much in general is the sight of the girl’s beautiful eyes. Whether having a different eye color than most people is envied or looked down upon, the girl without doubt stands out. Having to deal with that alone has probably made her incredibly brave. She’s so different from the people around her. Her eyes are bright and hopeful. She seems to be thinking about how her future can develop and how life can be better for her. Looking deeper though, a person begins to wonder. Is she actually scared of her future? Is she worried or confused? After all, with the social status of women as it is, she may have difficulty making her future as successful as she’d like. She might not be able to finish her education at the refugee camp, and therefore not be able to work to provide for her younger siblings. Do her eyes show that she is sad or upset? She certainly has reason to be sad after being orphaned and sent to a refugee camp. Being forced to live in a camp like that after your village has been massacred can’t be the most uplifting opportunity in the world. The girl’s clothes are worn out as if maybe they’re the only thing she has to wear. Perhaps living in a refugee camp after being orphaned has forced her into poverty, or made living conditions even more unbearable. Are refugees forced into a life of poverty? Does anyone really have enough money to sufficiently take care of their families there or does the camp provide for them? Does the dirt on her face symbolize the cleanliness of Afghan women or of people in the refugee camp? This girl could have been taking care of her younger siblings all day and not had time to clean up for this picture.


Or maybe she didn’t even know that the picture was being taken. Is she surprised by the picture? Maybe she turned around and the photographer was right in her face. We as Americans, especially females, are never satisfied with pictures of ourselves. Did she ever even see this picture? According to Steve McCurry, the photographer that found her 17 years later, “She had no idea her face had become an icon” (Braun). Gula was completely unaware of the influence her photograph would have on this generation’s view of Afghanistan. The pained look in her beautiful eyes has captured the hearts of many people across the world. This

picture shows the struggles of not only Afghan women, but specifically of Afghan women in refugee camps. Through the captivating stare of a woman oppressed by her culture and the senseless violence against her people, the world has seen the depths of disparity and the cruel nature of human beings. The intense stare also appealed to the world’s compassion and empathy for a people who were suffering and needed help. The desperate look on a girl simply seeking safety and a good life, has opened the eyes of the world to the suffering of those less fortunate who need the help of stronger nations to defend them and give them a firm place to stand in the world today.

Nomad in America by Ummi Mohamed The boys went to school by the big rock; Us girls, we couldn’t—that was the rule, we played and talked, But all of us followed the herd of cattle, Keeping spears close by in case of a lion or battle, And around midday we’d take a break With a jump, dive, splash into the lake. As a woman I wore cotton, ‘cause there’s no such thing as silk, And the only meal options being meat and milk. For dessert? Nothing beats natural honey. Picking berries barefoot as the days stay sunny. Sparking a conversation with a village woman On our way to fetch some water, Only to find that the river dried out, And the conversation turns to “How do I feed my daughter?” We walked back to the hut with an empty water jug, Continued our conversation while waiting for the rain to come, Everyone knows what this means— It’s the time of drought, And since the livestock can’t graze It’s time to move out.


Moving to a world where everywhere You turn there are bright lights, There’s a variety of food, But I still miss the hot days and cool nights. Which one is shampoo? Which one is conditioner? Struggling ‘cause I can’t read or write. From Gurar, Africa to New York, USA, This land introduces me to people who are so polite To a Nomad in America, Makes me feel like everything will be all right. I wrote this poem through the eyes of my Grandmother, who grew up as a nomad in a village known as Gurar, which is located at the border of Kenya and Ethiopia (3° 22' 0 N and 39° 34' 0 E). The poem starts from when she was a girl, then continues on to her experiences as a woman and then finally concludes to her coming to America as an older woman. I based the poem on the stories my grandmother told me about life in Badiya, which is basically the wilderness of Africa, and also by observing her cope with the changes here in America.

Mojave Desert

Tabatha S. Baughman


Of Rats and Hope by Jared Frick I often see myself lying in a bed of rats, Lute by my side; I play to entertain the fact. [In this room there is no such thing as time.] I've swallowed the sun once or twice, the taste is bitter and stale. But once you fight for what you know is right, you can't afford to fail. So, in time, I'll skin graph the earth all to see what would emerge, And feed it back into the vacant eyes of lust.


Bryan Wolfe


Blogging as Popular Culture by Tim Miller The invention of the internet, to say the least, is perhaps the undisputed heavy weight champion in regards to its link within modern day popular culture; and internet communication is the central nervous system. Blogging, of course, is only one facet that makes up the whole matrix of internet communication; nevertheless, it has defined itself as a key player within that matrix. The blogosphere (world of blogging) first surfaced in the late 90s; it was mainly understood as merely online postings of personal journals of one’s daily activities and/or thoughts typically viewed by a relatively small audience. However, as technology within the internet advanced and popularity among personal online journals increased, blogging sites soon were born, such as (one of the first known blog sites), to broaden the experience. The emergence of blogging sites provided the avid journal writer a large, more public, domain to be viewed. It didn’t take long for blog sites to grow, flourish, and ultimately lead into the grand influx of popularity in blogging as we know it today. In Dustin Kidd’s article, “Harry Potter and the Function of Popular Culture,” he defines five major functions that establish something as popular culture-social norms, social behaviors, rituals, innovation, and social change. Blogging, undoubtedly, brings out every facet. Blogging has developed several social norms that provide the groundwork to becoming a successful (large audience) blogger. But as with any norms, the failure to adhere to the norms will breed disappointment (small or no audience). The blog setting is an excellent opportunity for the person who enjoys sharing thoughts and ideas to an almost countless audience of readers, and does not mind expressing it through writing. However, there is a catch (isn’t there always a catch?). Indeed, there is a vast audience of readers out there, but the readers are not just sitting idly, ready to read something fresh, new, or entertaining (they have better things to do); there has to be something to draw them in. The simple remedy is to share the love, so to speak; go to the blog readers, read their material, leave a comment (never forget to comment), and soon, the readers will come--“If you *read it+ they will come.”

Another, and yet, equally important social norm within blogging, which I already briefly mentioned, is to leave a comment. Leaving a comment is crucial, even if the comment is, “Hey, nice read” or “Good post.” The blog author will appreciate the interest. If by chance, disagreement surfaces, leaving a comment of disagreement is absolutely acceptable when given in a respectful manner. And like the first norm, there is a catch. Disagreeing comments can lead into an often lengthy back and forth discussion (debate). So accept it, take it by the horns, and keep it cool. A healthy debate “strengthens the pen” (adds knowledge and confidence). If it happens to be a loss, no big deal; a calm presentation in a losing debate, or even a winning one, can help bolster the audience. There are always those silent, fly-on-the-wall, bloggers who have been taking notice, lurking without notice, testing other’s abilities. Kidd’s second function, social boundaries, is easily seen within blogging. Many blog websites encourage social boundaries by allowing the blogger to place his or her blog into a variety of categories or themes, such as religion, politics and romance. Even if the blog site does not offer categorizing, most, if not all, offer the blogger the option to tag his or her post within categories similar to the examples I gave above. By using these two methods of categorizing, the blogger is enticing other bloggers within specific social groups or communities that fit within their subject of interest. However, out of all the various social boundaries, there is perhaps one social boundary that is quite unique in the blog world: the focused manner with which the blogger uses the internet. The non-blogger can, at times, have a focused agenda when using the resources of the internet. But more often than not, the approach is random with no fixed goal; and the internet usually becomes merely a tool to check email, downloads songs, or browse aimlessly to kill time. The blogger, on the other hand, approaches the internet with a much more focused agenda--the blog. Instantly, at the moment of internet connection, the blogger wastes no time hitting their blog site to check the community’s activity, read new comments, reply to comments, or check out the latest and greatest blogs. The loyalty to the blog and blog community takes first priority


to the faithful blogger; “haste makes waste” is the mindset of the blogger. Needless to say, the functions of social boundaries in blogging lead right into Kidd’s third function: rituals. The foundation to the rituals within blogging is defined as associating with like-minded people and the comments are the essential catalyst of the interaction. In other words, if blogging is the church, the blog would be the sermon, and comments would be the “Amen!” No matter the group, no matter the theme, comments are the binders that connect solidarity from one blogger to another. Furthermore, this first blogging ritual weaves right into another, which I like to call, language identification. In every particular blog society, though not applied as an official rule, there exists a language that is expected. This language, of course, does not mean a particular foreign language, but rather, a writing style in which particular word usage is associated with the group. It is very crucial for a blogger to know and understand his or her group’s lingo; because without it acceptance within the group will be a struggle. As important as the norms, social boundaries, and ritual are to the blogging world, Kidd’s third and fourth functions--innovation and social change--truly bring out the overall picture that blogging contributes to the matrix of internet communication. Blogging has revolutionized the innovation of bringing writing back into a technical world which is vastly consumed with vocal and visual communication. More and more people--regular, everyday, people--that want to share their thoughts,

One Way

opinions, and ideas to the world around them see blogging as the perfect stage to make it known. Moreover, blogging has innovated the stage for businesses to advertise their products, political parties to promote their agendas, and religious organizations to educate others on their beliefs. The social changes that blogging has produced are almost endless. People who were once in the dark concerning contrasting views to their own beliefs have broadened their perspectives on particular subjects that otherwise would have remained narrow. In addition, blogging has helped to open the public’s eye on various global, political, and environmental issues that would never been presented on television or radio. Because of that, many issues have been exposed, changed, or gotten better as a result. The blogging phenomenon has developed much and has paved the way for many incredible functions within internet communication. “Visit my blog” has become a token phrase on television and radio today; the days of people scratching their head at the term “blog” are a thing of the past. There is so much that can be said about the various aspects blogging has brought to this world. By far, it has opened the door, bringing separate worlds together to share opinions and ideas. In all, is opening the horizon to erasing the many preconceived stereotypes we have about other people and cultures that the mainstream media has given.

Michael Lee


It’s Nothing ICE13URG by Kevin Straughter No one is livin life cus they like it. Writin is life because life isnt perfect, an neither is the life of the art. Artists must keep creatin not because their art fills a void, but its a mirror image which doesnt seem to have a reflection— the same way we keep livin life cus we’re not satisfied with wat it is rite now. livin a means to an end wen the means is simply the search of that end. more than anyone, an artist lives this search so honestly, But not even a genie can grant his own wish, so how the hell am i supposed to find this? After all, nothin is perfect, but I think it’s possible, Or maybe its jus ma belief in nihilism: the belief in somethin thats not really there.

Ma Thoughts As I Pick Ma Hair ICE13BURG by Kevin Straughter Bein around u I felt so elated, Dat ma knowledge of yo nature is oh so belated. Everyone said cut u out of ma life; Took me too long to see what was so trife. Gotta purge some things out of ma life, And I've arrived at the conclusion that I pick you. Eliminating the pointless is how the manes of wisdom grew…. Now don get me wrong, ur apart all of me: ma world an ma soul, But now I understand the hole, You’re sort of like a mole, The space I thought u filled will jus make a hole. It's no wonder I feel I need you to be whole. Ma head is da tree, you’re like a leaf in fall, all crimson an red, so wat I'm sayin is get the fuck out of ma head!


Moody Heavens

Jacklynn Price

Let It Die by Hope M. Rambo "[Fiction is] a lie, but a lie is sort of a myth, and a myth is sort of the truth." -- Daniel Handler, Watch Your Mouth I.

She remembers glimpses, and smells mostly, and the daily struggle of trying to find a way to stay late after school. To stay forever in school. Detention? Why, with pleasure. Soccer practice, count me in. Even though she swore her IQ decreased and her brain turned to liquidy mush (This is your brain on drugs) each moment she spent in detention, and the other girls on the team made fun of her short boyish haircut and clumsiness. Better than what was waiting at home. The monster, the phantom. Smelling of cigarette smoke and steam. He was an act, an icy breath, a step-dad who is responsible for both and who is taking his late wife's absence out on her daughter and who sees Cassie as her

mother's child—complete with her mother's lips, back, long legs. The haircut she had that he tries to recreate on Cassie once a month. The first of the month, he calls up the stairs to cut her hair before their daily routine, the criminal. First of the month. This goes on for years, and when he died in a freak ice accident in Fargo when she was sixteen, Cassie felt like the devil had died. At the funeral, face after solemn face lined up to say the same things. It's terrible, how could this happen, you'll get through this, I'm so sorry. Sorry, how could you be, she thought. This was a gift from God. Then she meets James, and loves him, and wishes so desperately that her stepdad's past cruelties were gone with his body. Which she had burned—turned him into ashes, then burned the ashes. Bradbury's hollow slogan. But the memories remained. And she cringed when James tried to hold her, cringed because the only hands that ever touched her had belonged to a different species, one that


took advantage of the innocence of children when their mothers weren't there to protect them. So, after their third date, James asks what is wrong as one does. She considers staying silent as one does. I will risk it all by telling you everything, why I am different and how this happened. Then maybe you will understand. II.

Katherine had tried to erase every tender feeling she had for her son after he died. She took his old clothes and passed the Salvation Army with a heavy heart, awarding the dumpster with them instead. No one would want his clothes if they knew who they belonged to. Could the evil spread through the fibers,"infecting" kids all over the country and causing them to shoot up their high schools? More ridiculous things were believed in that chaotic time. They relocated after the shooting, and Katherine imagined more and more scenarios in which her son had died differently, not taking twelve innocent people and his seventeen-year-old partner in crime along with him. Katherine gets an office job and goes home to a house inhabited only by a ghost, occasionally spotted in a picture or first grade homework assignment that had somehow escaped her gatherings. One picture of the ghost ends up on her desk, however. It acted nearly on its own accord, and before she knew it, it had framed itself and sat upright for all to see. It was one of the few that


the news did not get a hold of, and for this reason it stood nearly alone. This was her son, not the monster. The monster in its infancy, they'd say. It is because of that picture and not his infamy that this story exists. See, coworkers inquire about the pictures of children on their coworker's desk. This is how it goes. They exchange stories, talk about nothing, laugh. They are certainly not expecting to hear about a boy like this, long gone and dying guilty with bloodstained hands. With regret, maybe. Katherine hopes there was regret. So, after her third lunch at her new job, Random Nameless Coworker asks who is in that picture, as one does. Katherine considers staying silent, as one does. I will risk it all by telling you everything, why he is different and how this happened. Then maybe you will understand. I.

I will risk it, and because I know why I am disgusted by a man's touch even though I'd give anything not to, I will stand nearly alone from all the girls you have ever dated. Maybe this secret has owned me for long enough. II.

I will tell you, and because I know why mothers are usually proud of their sons even though their sons' stories aren't my own son's story, I will stand nearly alone from all the mothers' stories you've ever heard. Maybe if I tell you, this will at least have the potential to get better, and I can let it die.

Bryan Wolfe Bryan Wolfe


Breaking Out of the Box: The Hidden Meanings Behind Image in Mesoamerica by Meghan Hensley, Seaton Award winner Introduction In the eyes of many Western scholars, “writing” is, at its core, a primarily alphabetic endeavor. But, as I will describe in this essay, many cultures deemed “primitive” by scholars and other outsiders throughout the years have utilized other forms of visual representation that are at least equal to, and in some forms, as or more complicated than those associated with “words.” As the interpreters of these images in Mesoamerica have fallen by the wayside through time and assimilation, it is yet to be decided if some of the meanings of pre-Columbian and colonial sources will ever be fully discovered. In this paper, I will focus on three Mesoamerican pictorial sources and attempt to deduce meanings behind the images to the best of my knowledge. Each source gives the viewer a glimpse into the lives of the Mexica people, those they conquered, or their descendents. They were created for complex reasons, largely political and highly personal, and they tell much about the struggles that went on and continue to ensue in Latin America between the indigenous and the hegemonic forces that surround them. The first source, the Lienzo de Quauhquequechollan, is a huge pictographic painting created on Spanish cotton cloth. The cloth was stitched together to form a huge piece that measures about ten and a half by eight and a half feet. It was painted by tlacuiloque (those who were trained to paint the stories of their people and the physical and metaphorical boundaries they passed through) about ten years after the Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerica. The Quauhquecholteca were a people who were subservient to the Aztecs. Their territories held a strong strategic and political vantage point, smack in the middle of Aztec and Tlaxcalteca territories. They tell a story in this complicated lienzo of a region in the midst of powerful alliances, and its political role as a Spanish ally during the Conquest of the New World. It is a detailed cartographic history that shows much more than mere landmarks and boundaries. It demonstrates multifaceted political relationships, their passage through time and place, and the paths they took that determined the place they thought they deserved in the new society.

The second, Mapa de Tolcayuca, is thought to be a survey of sorts recorded in the late seventeenth to eighteenth century. The town San Juan Tolquauhyoca (or Tolcayuca), which is at the center of the map, was located in what is now the state of Hidalgo in Mexico. It was painted on paper indigenous in origin called amatl, produced from the bark of a fig tree. Its scope is rectangular, about two by three feet, and shows pictorial landmarks such as mountain pictographs that could be pyramids and water. It depicts the indigenous pueblo of Tolcayuca and the chunk of writing in Nahuatl tells of the establishment of boundaries of their altepetl (independent city state), “so that it would always be verified.” A mix of figures showing the hybrid nature of the town can be seen, from the various churches to the images of caciques (indigenous chiefs) and indigenous townspeople. According to scholars from the University Oregon, this mapa points to alternative renditions of a woman’s role in the indigenous community. The third source I will look at is the cover page of the Codex Mendoza, which was completed in 1541-42. At a glance, this image is the most simplistic of the three but it tells much about the values of the Mexica people who are portrayed inside. This codex was probably ordered by the first Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, as a supposed tool to be sent to Charles V. It would be used to decipher the “history” of the newly conquered Aztecs. This combines Mexica pictorial and glyphic images, painted by indigenous scribes who would have been alive before the Spanish conquered Tenochtitlan in 1521. The first two parts tell of the conquest of Aztec territories in the order of each ruler and the details of tribute paid to the empire. Many of the pictographs are thought to have been copied from preColumbian images which have hence been destroyed. The third part tells of the daily rituals and life of the people. There are also pages of Nahuatl and Spanish text, which clearly show the influence of the Spanish who commissioned the document. Nonetheless, this is a valuable source that offers a view inside a world that was all but destroyed by the castillos.

A Short History The people who the Spanish called Aztecs actually called themselves Mexica. Those who ruled the valley of Mexico from the amazing complex of Tenochtitlan were most likely descended from nomadic people who came from northern Mexico. Records are not clear as to how and when the Mexica gained full control over the Valley of Anáhuac because, of course, even pictorial histories favor the societies who create them. Their stronghold was created through alliances with enemies through marriage and conquest of peoples with less military prowess. They gained power through a strategic geographic location in the vicinity of Lake Texcoco, which they turned into a place of ingenuity as far as engineering was concerned with canals and aqueducts created with architectural expertise. Gaining power through membership in the Triple Alliance with neighboring altepetls Texcoco and Tlacopan, they ruled the valley for a good two hundred years pre-Conquest. This was a considerable blink of an eye in comparison with many other empires throughout history of the same stature. The Aztec empire had many tributaries as both the Codex Mendoza and the Lienzo de Quauhquequechollan demonstrate. This was the main feat for the Mexica, expansion of empire and collection of tribute. Tribute fueled the fire of empire and allowed it to expand. The Mexica believed in the cosmological forces that their gods possessed. Time was thought of as cyclical, civilizations rose and fell and the future may be told by the supposed appearance of prophecies. This belief could be tied to the downfall of the empire under the superstitions of Montezuma II. But it is too naïve to attribute the downfall of an empire to the superstitions of a king. The fact is that the Mexica saw the cosmos and the world in a completely different way than could possibly be understood to those who were not Mexica. Perhaps this is why they were led astray when the Spanish came and “conquered” them under the word of God and the King. After the fall of Tenochtitlan, the Spanish expanded their quest to the south. Sometimes they took along “allies” like the Quauhquecholteca. Often the Spanish betrayed their alliances and the end result was vast subjugation of indigenous peoples in the colonial times through the present day. The Spanish attempted to the favor of the indigenous nobility by giving them positions of power like caciques who constantly tried to forge power through Spanish outlets like legal documents, but also through pictorial images that lay claims to territory such as the Mapa de Tolcayuca. So, indigenous people were taken “under the wings” of the Spanish clergy, were encouraged to first draw their memories and histories, then taught to write in Nahuatl, and then converted to Spanish. But the indigenous people did


not completely lose their identities. They were fused into a new, hybrid, and complex one. On the outside, the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica may have lost their past, but they did not completely lose themselves or their beliefs and traditions. Lienzo de Quauhquequechollan image may be viewed at As stated above, this cartographic history shows the detailed travels of the Quauhquecholteca people in relation to their alliance with the Spaniards during and after the conquest of Tenochtitlan. It would be difficult to attempt to translate each detail of this work in the space provided here. So I will just comment on a few things that stick out in relation to my studies. This lienzo combines figures that are both European and indigenous in origin, with little writing. As many Mesoamerican documents before, this huge pictorial representation was meant to be orally and visually interpreted. The person who was interpreting the image would know where to accentuate meaning. The image that sticks out most is the left center, two men embracing. In the interpretive timeline on the website where I obtained this source the image is entitled, “Two Eagles Embrace.” One eagle represents the Spanish and the other their indigenous allies, one equipped with a wooden weapon and the other with steal. Malinche is seen behind Cortes, accepting the embrace and partnership with the leader of the Quauhquecholtecs. Cortes holds a red flag in his hand which is passed on to Alvarado and is seen throughout the lienzo. Below the white horse are pictographs that represent different towns. Although these are not to scale, they represent boundaries. The shield under the eagles is Quauhquequechollan and the towns surrounding it represent boundaries that are not as important as their territory. This side of the lienzo represents the conquests in Mexico, the water that borders the left and bottom sides is supposed to be the ocean. A band of Spanish and indigenous conquerors follow an artificial route paved with footprints and hoof prints that is led by Jorge de Alvarado to Guatemala on the right side. The right side of the lienzo depicts the seemingly chaotic and tumultuous struggles that the Quauhquecholtecs went through with the Spaniards. There are many battles along the road and through time. Most of them involving indigenous people and Spanish, side by side against the Kaqchikel and other indigenous forces in present-day Guatemala. It is remarkable that so many places and battles were depicted in one piece. This lienzo could have been used to tell the story of the brave ancestors who fought alongside the Spanish conquerors, perhaps, in their view, as equals. The numerous place glyphs along the way could be


interpreted to the public through words to show their military skill and power. These people fought alongside those who conquered their conquerors. Florine Asselbergs posits in her book Conquered Conquistadores that this piece was actually created by the warriors who took part in this conquest. If this is the case, this lienzo is largely a political tool, as cartographic representations have been throughout history. The indigenous conquistadores would have used this to gain status in their community and as a means to justify their alliance with the Spanish. Who eventually hung them out to dry as both Pedro and Jorge de Alvarado took credit for and reaped the benefits of the conquest of Guatemala. They then took control of the indigenous in the area. Who knows how many of those were actually resettled Quauhquecholtecs. Like Malinche, they were used as guides of sorts and then married off and sent in a metaphorical ship across the ocean. This lienzo represents not only passages through space and time of a historically conquered people, but their attempt to claim a piece of what they shed blood for.

represent pyramids or places that are sacred, indicated by the cross next to some of them. There are also hills that are drawn to border the piece on the both sides. These go against the view we are used to in western maps. They seem to be drawn sideways acting more as a protective border than a landmark. The figures in the center of the town are a padre and a cacique sitting around a table with a group of indigenous women gathered around them, seated on the ground. In her

Mapa de Tolcayuca image may be viewed at mapaid=tolca Jumping ahead a century or so we find the Mapa de Tolcayuca. This piece, although painted a long time after the Conquest, bears striking similarities to the Lienzo de Quauhquequechollan. The town depicted in this unconventional map was located in the state of Hidalgo, northeast of Mexico City. Although this was made well after conquest, it does appeal to methods that were used in mapas centuries before. The town whose territory is defined by footprints is at the center of the map. These footprints pass through neighboring towns that maybe did Mingo Waterfalls Cherokee NC Steven Foley not exist before this map was made and perhaps usurped their territory. This may not essay “Female Town Founders, Female Town Defenders: be its exact geographic location, but this puts emphasis on Women and Gender in the Kislak Techialoyans of Late its importance. Each town is represented by a church and Colonial Mexico,� Stephanie Wood theorizes that these box shaped buildings, but San Juan Tolcayuca is the only one women played a greater role in the indigenous community that has people in it. There are three glyph like images with than history has let on. As the role of the cacique blue in the center that are meant to represent water and undoubtedly is there to tie the indigenous lineage back to triangular shapes spread throughout the piece that may


Final Hour by April Sears You step outside, it's nearly night, As destiny bleeds through raven skies. Puce and black and scarlet mingle as from vein they seep and sigh. Your will then quakes, it's far too late, As twilight claims the fate of the human spades, Stutter now and then you fall beneath the wrath of cloaked shade. Fire then burns, its ashes churn, Searing into hearts its violent yearn. Only calmed by soothing Waters of the oceans it's learned to stir. Those rivers dance, in sweet romance, Sweeping by dire love's remaining chance. Mirroring that of the deep and all the secrets it’s entranced. The Air then shifts, upon the rift, Blowing towards the Earth its spearing gifts. Battling against the graveyards of the heroes left adrift. The ground speaks forth, appraising Lords, Of whom the legends have sung and roared. Arise from damaged dreams and watch time strike the final chord. Here they come, they're dawning now, Whipping through the clouds like eternal scowls. Soul is ripped from every bit and coats the land with crackling howls. Savior of hope, the guiding light, Stand and hear my ending battle cry: Let me sleep among the keep of the victors of this midnight.


Forts are Fun

Nick Moore

More Taproot! It doesn’t have to end here—look at what’s in Taproot Online, the web version of our journal! Click onto to see the same great content in three global formats: 

 website  animated PDF downloadable e-reader

In addition, on the website you will find:  full essays with citations & footnotes  expanded poetry and prose submissions  color photos and artwork—and more of it AND our exclusive Taproot Online multimedia content!

Online-Exclusive Table of Contents Prose James Kohlberg Poetry D.J. Ballinger Sarah Dean Aaron Hall Jason Harris Carrie Lough Janice Matthews Kevin Straughter Elyn Tibbs Jazemon Woodfolk Bryan Wolfe


Art Michael Lee Nick Moore

Forming Changes Enjoy, But Take Care! Wealth Isn’t Everything Memories in Stone DNA The Beginning of the End The Black Box I Happily Plead Insanity What I Wish My Heart Had Heard, What I Can Tell You Now Too Late Ballad of a Cancer Cell

Doug Moser Jacklynn Price Sarah Rice McKenzie Shaw Elizabeth Varrasso Katie Wilson

Rockets Red Glare Without Fear The Velociraptor Claw Butterfly in Hand Lefevre Hall 1 A Swell Sunset The Passage to Harmony Tunnel Vision New York 1 Varrasso 4 Alvin

Multimedia Brooke Anderson White Blood Cell Man vs. The Virus & Jacob Sanders Jared Frick Prima Facia & Vincent Hickman Greg Weaver Exit Wounds

ema Bio ils fo r MA write s!! KE TOB CO FF EE



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A publication of The Ohio State University at Newark


Taproot 2011  
Taproot 2011  

OSU Literary Journal