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nmc Magazine presents!

Spring 220 vol


B dic y one int hoto def ot i wo my is nition opp a d , osi ivis te g ion rou ps.


cover design by Jake Mulcahy

s e r u t Fea S FINE ART

hand illustration by Alan Schug

4 Schug and Full n a l A y k ake b e Dar The W est in th die 7 ske 13 or Bo The F ts by Kat by Joe Duna ls 18 il as of Be e Escapism Schaefer-H by s ne nt Rever v by Caroli eside r P e r r o

f Laze oman W r e eler Wond erford 30 by Ke e m 32 e h S. Rut ne Th Ravellette i z a g a le NMC M and Michel rkness by e a Steel rom D F h t a 52 The P rton e Ho


On the L handW ine by Holly S ri afrono ff 15 Alyse C tten lette rs by arbone ll Dichot omy by 16 Alissia Prayer J.R. Lin by Max gaur 3 well P The LA 7 e terson ws of Stepha 3 D 9 i c h o tomy b nie y Stardo Estes 45 m by Ja ckie Bo Intent jarski i o n a l 65 C Susan Odgers ommunity b y 60 losing your w ay by K a


telyn C atino 7 0

onoff 12

blended middle painting by mary foster “I truly believe that even if two things are very different, there can always be a blended area in the middle.”

by Holly Safr Peace and War ad Character The Walking De hani Smith 26 PROFILE by Step Ruggles 35 Harvey by Alyssa Wolverine by The Evolution of 47 Mollie Gillespie

Flash by Enemies of the

54 timothy carlson o 57 Brittany DeFillip by ad De vs e Aliv TMAN by SUPERMAN VS BA 72 Desiree Morgan


NMC MAGAZINE Vol. 2 Issue 36 2014 Dichotomy

The Division between two opposing things, none so fierce as the division between the Lit Staff and the Design Staff, their skills evenly matched--neither showing signs of relent. The forces of men and mouse have begun to tear the campus apart... -keeler steele...literary editor

This spring’s magazine has been quite the process, and once again, quite the challenge. with dichotomy as our theme, we decided to create an interesting look based on pop culture with a graphic novel/comic book feel. the staff had their hands full from the get-go and everybody was ready for action with whatever came flying their way. those who have never stepped foot into the glorious comic world, had vast amounts of research to do, and what was once foreign, now became native to their eyes. (foreign...native...dichotomy.) There were a select few nerds who knew what they were doing, and the rest of us were lost, loathing comic strips from left to right. (left...right...dichotomy.) some didn’t even know what dichotomy was or even how to pronounce it correctly (die-ka-da-me). but, alas! now we are all experts-mwah, ha, ha! although literature and design are a true dichotomy, they can work hand in hand to create beautifully completed tales. For a successful student publication, literature and design must both exist, just as luke and darth vader are needed for a successful star wars story. lit staff started out strong with the brilliant and magnificent first-time literary advisor, alissia lingaur. she provided insight and knowledge for her action-packed crew. design staff had the one and only caroline schaffer-hills to hold their hands throughout the journey, and without these two, we would have no publication. They’re our heroes! we hope you enjoy all of our hard work and appreciate the amazing art created by all of our talented nmc students and staff who put thier minds to action. thanks to those who submitted and to those who offered guidance and wisdom along the way! -Kristin schroeder...editor-in-chief

periodic table of KRISTIN SCHROEDER

















Alissia Lingaur












Videogropher 3


In the wake of disaster, only the strong survive. “The Wake� comic cover style watercolor series by Alan Schug




This is from the movie and comic book series “Tron Legacy”. I wanted to create something that interested myself in the color contrast and how much I really enjoy the movie. I blended several colors of blues, purples, and greys to create some gradient in the pillars to give the look of shadows and game changing experiences. this painting was done in inspiration to an old English Sea Shanty, “Bully in the Alley”. Though the painting does not depict what the song is truly about, which is sailors putting their drunk pals into an alley to be out of the way, The characters in this piece depict innocence and deceitfulness. The character in the red cloak and the mask, really doesn’t have a name, but we will call him, “The Bully in the Alley”. This guy represents deceit, for he waits in the alleyways to pray on the weak and innocent who are unaware of his actual ways. The other character, girl in the trench cloak, is named Sally who represents the innocent. she is also at the moment in the painting being led a s tray by “The Bully in the alley”.


by Brandon Ruzniak

Bully in the Alley BY CHANCE JOHNSON

The Forest is Dark and Full of Beasts

“Innocence’’ can be a subjective term. Heroes and Villains tow the same line-But history favors the victors. 9

illustration by Kat Bodie


illustration by Heather Valliere


illustration by Heather Valliere



The Beginning of The End


It’s the apocolypse and i need to get out of the city. i try just walking through, but the roads are blocked off and many of the skyscrapers are falling down. the sewers seem to be homed by many people already. after a couple of hours, i fif ind my way out and look down upon the once great city. 13by

luke wichtoski


death in dichotomy by beth kalchik

Heaven and Hell, They battle The fight of eternity, the epic of creation. They tear me in half, They battle Until good becomes evil and evil looks good, The sky ripped from the ground. I battle daily on this earth where they meet in the middle. Which way is up? I battle the seduction of peace and of war within me. I choose my side, we battle. I see in you what I hate in myself. Now enemies, We battle. Never the wiser, we share the same fate. Separation of they, is of I and of we. There is death in dichotomy.

peace and war by holly safronoff


Reverse Escapism by joe dunaske 15


And then, out of nowhere, the dichotomy between the two came forth with full force! Northwestern Michigan College Comics

Dichotomy Light vs. Dark

lady liberty by molly longton

nmc dichotomy cover by luke wichtoski

fire & wind by molly longton 14

bridge/ pipeline by krystn madrinE

Pipelines burping, Metal gnashing, Crude flowing, Blackened water, Birds drowning, Fish floating, A familiar villain lurks in the Straits of Mackinac. 270 feet deeply resting, 60 years aging, People everyday trusting, Corroded lines, 20 million gallons transporting, Against the currents standing. Enbridge Energy owning With the line into the Kalamazoo River spilling The most oil on U.S. soil, still in need of deterging, Preventable, had someone done the maintaining. Clean and cheap wishing, Have it now and pay later dreaming,

Nothing is free living.

on the line by holly safronoff



Handwritten Letters by Alyse Carbonell

“Hey miss you xoxo”

“Miss you too!!! Hope all is well!”

End of conversation. It’s amazing how easily you can get your message across. Across the sea. Across time zones. Across three states. It takes 30 seconds to let someone know you thought of him or her today. Technology has given us the ability to connect with the click of a button. It’s not necessary to wait months for a letter from a loved one who is abroad. This has brought the world so much closer together. It makes missing someone a bit more bearable. Being able to connect so easily with those who we love, it just doesn’t seem necessary to give them a paragraph-long message to explain new details of your busy life they’re not there to see. Everyday life can be posted on Facebook or Instagram. Social media bases have made it very simple to see how and what anyone is doing. The girl from the bus in middle school is taking a year to travel the country. The French boy that a best friend hosted for a year is now studying in Spain to be an engineer. The hilarious waiter from the cruise during senior year spring break just landed a part in a new TV show. Without the Internet these people may have drifted away into a mere memory, but instead, there is the ever-available “chat” button that opens the ability to catch up quickly. What is the point of updating people on every new aspect of life when you can just send them a casual text to justify that you haven’t forgotten them? It is so easy to stay in contact now with all the social media and texting, right? Well, I’m not so sure. I don’t see how “Hey miss you” can truly get the point across. I’ve never truly felt as agonizingly missed as I have after receiving a handwritten letter. The sender’s words of love and urgency to reunite pour out through messy handwriting and smudges where their cramping hand has glided over wet ink. There is certainly connection through a letter. Knowing that this person has touched this letter and folded it gently to fit it into a small envelope brings a warm feeling as though he or she is sitting right beside you. Apart from the personal level of a letter, there is a skill that typing out messages takes away. Auto-correct allows a blank and preoccupied mind to wander whilst writing. I’m certainly guilty of leaving errors or typing a jumble of letters because I know my iPhone will be able to decipher it into English. Often when writing notes in class, I find myself waiting patiently for a red squiggle to highlight spelling errors. Oddly enough, a plain piece of paper is not as reliable to correct absentmindedness as my Mac. Writing technology-free demands all of the brain to be at attention, even the part that began to be sculpted in early elementary: proper use of the English language. One of the most delicate and appealing parts of writing is the personality that handwriting brings to written works. Handwriting does not have to be calligraphy to be beautiful. Sometimes beauty is scribbled and almost unreadable. Some of my favorite handwritten works are the notes that were passed between classes in middle school. Both writing and receiving these notes always brought 16

some entertainment into my 7-hour school day. I loved watching the bubbly letters of my best friend’s writing exude excitement as she explained her anticipation of weekend plans. Even now, I can nearly hear her girlishly giggle the words written on the page telling me about the cute boy in her 4th period class. Additionally, sorrow can be heard so much louder on paper than a standard text screen. Although the words have been written carelessly, the fierce indentation of the pen being pressed so hard into the paper out of frustration reveals the pain that the writer does not voice. The words are jumbled and obviously not well thought out. Often ink is washed away in spots where a tear has fallen, erasing and smearing words that are trying to fix the past. There are no drafts; there is no plan before beginning. There is only a page of desperation and emotion formed from flowing pen strokes dispatched by a shaking hand. It is so hard to feel emotion from computer-generated text, unless this person decides to throw in EXTRA EXCITED CAPS LOCK AND OVERUSED PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!!!! I suppose sometimes emojis can do the job in a text. It all feels artificial though.

“Hey dude. Sorry about the thing that happened. Feel pretty bad. We cool?”

Um. No. The sincerity is completely demolished from an apology sent by a text message. I can’t accept something that took such little effort or passion. Receiving a handwritten letter with visual proof of feeling and pages filled with words of explanation means so much more. Writing is so important. The first forms of writing have told us so much of the worlds before us. Think of the Declaration of Independence and Anne Frank’s diary. They were handwritten like so many other documents that influence our generation, so many generations before us, and those who will come after us. It’s hard to imagine not having artifacts with personal writing from the incredibly influential people of our lifetime for future generations to look back on, but I’m afraid it will be so. It may be impossible to go backwards with all of the incredible things technology has brought to humanity and all the good it does, but I believe that we must hold on to one of the most amazing creations of humanity. We must take the time. If we give our words value, perhaps the emptiness we feel without this person will be better understood. If we want our words to matter, time and energy must be sacrificed. The meaning of a handwritten letter can bring people a feeling they may have forgotten. Feeling worth the time, worth the extra work, and just plain loved. 19




*The following was found clutched in the hand of a frozen architect. The body was found at the bottom of a fissure of glacial ice in a region of New Antarctica - Longitude 100˚, Latitude 45˚. The ice caves that towered above the fissure measured over 49 feet.


She always carried a dog-eared copy of THE SOUND AND THE FURY. She thought it had the answer. Before Faulkner’s south, it was a first edition of THE LITTLE PRINCE. It was something about pages - something numerous and never alone between the covers that she wanted to live by.

People might say she was a little peculiar. Away, protecting that book, lending her smile to it. People might say she was getting lost. But those people might also be selling pipe-cleaners. Yes, pipe-cleaner-sellers. She would like that profession. She would approve of that. She would think about things like that while trying to sleep. If you thought about things like that long enough they became what you needed. People that thought about her, thought that.


She liked people with Asthma. She liked to be with those people. You could always hear them breathing. There were no questions – in the theatre, lying next to the baseboard radiator – you knew they weren’t pretending. She thought the same of people who laughed out loud. She would run with them, laughing. She liked people that smiled when they read, that smiled contemplation. You could say she was easy to please.

She once read about a crevasse in one of the cold poles. An impossible-to-cross rip in the landscape. But there were some who did make it to the other side. These people jumped blindly – without thought – and made it. She wished she could try, for that moment she would be away from thinking. She would like that.

It was about this time that she came to understand the game of Dominos. See, a domino is very wise. It can easily sum things up. Three to one. One to three. One to three as one is normally to only one. There was no dealing in Dominos – just much falling.

She had met him without trying, and he sometimes watched her while she slept. Normally, that would not be abnormal, but in this case, it was. He was not supposed to see her at all. He already had another person to see.

Things led to other things, watching turned into things much beyond, and the person supposed to be watched became the person despised. You could probably say it was her fault. People had. If it wasn’t for her, the game would have been won by the one to one domino. Instead it became one to two, and who knows how ever many after that. He always spoke of a place on an island that housed hundreds of butterflies, a place where they flew above and equal to you, and he wanted to be a part of it. This architecture was his book. It didn’t exist either. That must have been the reason it was so good between them.



They did what they wanted when they were together. It was the only time they could afford to do so. And he was always off again, running to make lies spend the time he was supposed to, with the person he was supposed to be busy seeing. He had Asthma without breathing. There was no doubt he was pretending. She was the one he did this with. She wrote the pages to keep the fiction from falling.

It went on like this. Somewhere along the way, perhaps in China, something broke. She cast him as every character, bent herself to yearn to save him, and he wasn’t ready. It was stupid really. She went to a freshwater ocean to collect pieces of storm glass sharp enough to slice the hurt, and he was gone when she came back. With the one he was supposed to see, he had vacated – vanished. It was just proof that he was always only a prophet she constructed of a, e, i, o and u’s in her mind. The problem was that she believed in him. Damn chopsticks.


Six months later she saw him, and it was the same. Take that to mean what you like. She is getting in a train, then on a missing plane that has landed near a house on old Route 36 that has wind chimes on the porch that sing Middle American plains state ballads. He will be there after he receives the eleven million that is in the mail from Publishers Clearinghouse, and after he signs a mortgage on a certain butterfly house.

LAZAREV by Caroline Schaefer-Hills LAZAREV -Caroline Schaefer-Hills



Dichotomy: A play on Wikipedia By Charlie Redburn

Example: If there is a concept A, and it is split into parts B and not-B, then the parts form a dichotomy: they are mutually exclusive, since no part of B is contained in not-B and vice-versa, and they are jointly exhaustive, since they cover all of A, and together again give A. What?


Usages: In economics, the Governmental dichotomy is the division between the real side of the economy and the Federal Reserve. According to the Governmental dichotomy, changes in monetary variables do not affect real values as output, employment, and the real interest rate. The Federal Reserve is therefore worthless in the sense that it cannot affect these real variables. In politics, a dichotomy is a division of candidates into two parties, typically based on a characteristic present in one party and absent in the other. Such dichotomies are used as part of the process of identifying candidates, as part of a dichotomous key, which asks a series of questions, each of which narrows down the set of candidates. A well-known dichotomy is the question “Does it have a backbone?� It is used to divide candidates into vertebrates and invertebrates. A Two Party System dichotomy is an informal fallacy consisting of a supposed dichotomy which fails one or both of the conditions: it is not jointly exhaustive and/or not mutually exclusive. In its most common form, two entities are presented as if they are exhaustive, when in fact other alternatives are possible (Third Party). In some cases, they may be presented as if they are mutually exclusive although there is a broad middle ground.

Background Based on Vincent Zubalik’s Typography Submission 25


STUFF! by Stephani Smith


I Give a Frack by kristina buntic

marvelous michigan microbrews by ashley Kocevar



“The Walking Dead-Character PROFILE” infographic by Stephani Smith 26



Sweet Michigan by molly Gillespie


new york magenta & Ski Slope by ashley novak

bay city by krystn madrine



wonder woman for


Super strength. Flight. Lasso of truth. Unbreakable silver bracelets. Razor sharp golden tiara. Invisible vehicles made at will.


illustration by S. ruthurford

Great hera!

“legs vs legs” infographic by mariah washburn 33


nmc magazine theme written by keeler steele illustrated by michelle ravellette


Progression ofLight Light Progression of BY ALYSSA RUGGLES By Alyssa Ruggles



the judgment By Anna Fischer “Not only can two personalities be so clearly different, but given the right set of circumstances, the roles switched and a valuable lesson learned. “ “Guilty as charged,” pronounces the Judge. “Do you have anything to say for yourself?” “No your honor, it wouldn’t do any good,” I mutter under my breath while shaking my head. “Very well then, I find your behavior and lack of remorse signs of incorrigible behavior. I hereby sentence you to six months at Hope House. Hopefully, they will be able to do something to change your attitude.” At the age of fourteen, I found myself sentenced to a four and one half hour ride to Alpena, Michigan, in the back seat of my parents’ car. Far worse punishment, I’m thinking, than the six months I’ll be spending in Hope House. What am I being punished for? I didn’t do anything wrong. Why didn’t the judge know mom got drunk and kicked me out of the house while dad was at work? Again. In six months I’ll get to go home and the nightmare will start all over again. God I hate her when she drinks. The ride ends up being silent…deathly silent. The anticipation of the lecture from dad is overwhelming. I start to gag. Great. “Dad, can you pull over? I’m going to puke.” Back in the car. “That’s just your guilty conscience. When are you going to grow up?” dad asks. Probably when I don’t have to deal with the bullshit at home any more, I think. More silence. Finally, we’re there. I trudge to the house, head hung down, properly chastised. I’m still being beaten. Will it never end? Inside we go. What new horrors await me? My parents get informed that there will be no visits. Saturdays I can call home. Hugs goodbye. Tears flowing. Intake begins. Serious faces. Why am I there? “I’m incorrigible,” I mutter. Shrug. Let the games begin. “You’re seeking attention in negative ways,” is drilled into my head on a maddening basis over the next six months. Doesn’t matter that I’m getting straight A’s and have joined the swim team, I can’t count on anyone. Graduation day from Hope House, dad shows up alone to pick me up. Terror. This ride home is really going to be a doozie. God, just let me die. Not a word is spoken. Not then, not ever. The Hope House secret. Fast forward. Years later and numerous other run-ins with the court. Everything is still my fault. Don’t they know the abuse I’ve suffered over the years? If not from mom, then the men I choose? It’s not my fault. Two years’ probation, counseling, and AA meetings.

continued on page 36...


Krystn Madrine

Harvey by alyssa ruggles 37


continued from page 34... “We need to work on your drinking,” they claim. “You won’t make these choices sober.” Six months later and I’m all better. I’m back in front of the judge again, two years’ probation, counseling, and AA meetings. Same old, same old. “We need to work on your issues. your drinking is the least of your problems,” they proclaim. Three months later, they state “PTSD.” Mystery solved??? Can I count on anyone? Not. It’s only the beginning. Fast forward. PTSD is in remission. Mom suffers a series of strokes. She needs help at home. “You’re the only one I can count on. Your brother drinks all the time and your sister announced she found another family. She made her own,” mom slurs. Mom is no longer drinking. It’s my turn to be the heavy. No time. The lack of love and nurturing she failed to pass on was well taught and received. The tides have turned. Can she count on anyone?

broken by stephanie estes 36

illustration by alan schug



The battle of beast vs. machine rages ever on.

illustration by alan schug


illustration by alan schug



The Dichotomy of Batman and The Joker written by Andrew Lurndahl

When it comes to good and evil there are many attributes we can assign to these two concepts. Yet, as simple as it may seem, the concepts of good and evil offer all sorts of complexities and moral dilemmas just beneath the surface. There are two characters that represent the dichotomy of good and evil very well, Batman and The Joker. Unless

Batman would obviously

you live under a rock, you know

be characterized as the good

that Batman is a masked vigilante

guy, while The Joker is seen as

who dedicates his life to defending

a psychotic, dangerous mad man

Gotham City from the evil that lurks

with little remorse for the

around every street corner. The Joker

carnage that he unleashes. But

is a villain who dedicates his life to

is Batman always moral and

causing anarchy and unleashing chaos

just? Does being a vigilante who

upon Gotham City. While these two

doles out justice with brutal

may seem like the classic example

beatings make him a good guy?

of good and evil with hero defeating

The complexities of Batman and

villain and Gotham being saved once

how he deals with The Joker

again, closer examination shows us

raise some philosophical and

that these two exist in much more

interesting questions on good and

than just a black and white world.

evil and what encompasses both. The Joker is a man who murders and terrorizes without guilt, and in some cases, just for sheer pleasure. How do you stop someone


like that?

joker vs batman

rules, taking justice

by lucas vinecki Batman does not kill, so he would never kill The

into his own hands and answering to nobody. Many would consider

Joker, but shouldn’t he? Wouldn’t killing The Joker possibly save hundreds or even thousands of future lives from being terrorized or killed? Or is taking the moral high road more of a victory? Yet that is the game The Joker always seems to be playing: how far can you push a man or woman who is fifighting for the good of all before that person crosses questionable lines in the pursuit of good? Batman is also not a pacififist. He doles out brutal punishment to those

The Joker a terrorist because he terrorizes and kills people, but what makes him so different from Batman? Both are violent and terrorize others, but is it simply the intent that causes the action that makes them different? I think many would agree that the ideals these two characters live by are what make them different. Their reasons for engaging in such violent actions also play a role in differentiating the two. Yet, in the end, it is clear to see that while these characters represent different

who commit crimes and wreak havoc on innocent individuals. So are we to assume that violence can or should be used in the pursuit of what is seen as good? Can we justify violence for a cause that would seem good? In Batman’s case, the answer

ends in the spectrum of good and evil, closer examination reveals they are not so different after all. While good and evil represent very different things, they are certainly not just black and white. Recognizing the gray that exists shows us that

is yes, yet Batman still has a

maybe good and evil are not

moral compass and does have

as different as we may

his limits when it comes to


winning the good fifight. He also does not play by the






Ink & Watercolor. Illustration inspired by the friendship of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and his illustrator Ralph Steadman. The background depicts a theoretical fantasy world fueled by their explosive friendship (E.g. Guns, Mushroom clouds, bullets flying) Set in a Desert to allude to the settings of Thompson and Steadman’s work. .

by kaitlin salmela

! W O P typography design by sarah thelander 44

the laws of dichotomy written by stephanie estes designed by jake mulcahy and stephanie estes



“who wears the masks” infographic by ashley kocevar



by molly gillespie .....



Captian GMO!

Polluter of the food chain & natural resources. Making us sick with diseases.

Mr. fear

Dear “Conscious” Consumer Written by Andrea Karas

I know there are truths that pull at your heartstrings, comfortably connecting other causes you hold dear. Empowerment to shrink your carbon footprint, pushing you to remember all the pesticides and the sweatshops and the child labor and the packaging waste and the water waste. --waste. Hell-bent and determined, armed with good intentions and a cloth bag, a sacrifice to the consumer-guilt gods to pacify them for another day. You are a shopper, sanctified. But your defense is weak, justified with jargon and claims and prices just so --can’t say no.

To make you believe the lies so you live in fear. Ms. consumerism

Just let that new-purchase-endorphin-release mollify any further questioning. Eco friendly, eco frenemy. Leafy logos and neutral toned packaging Designed in the USA Made in China natural, green, sustainable, organic. Eco gold, my friend.

To get you to buy things that you don’t need! 48

s y ! u G d a B e Th the bad

guys are Fighting No more mr. nice guy! This is what happens to the against bad guys! the little guy to have control over You into living the lies of fear & being caged like an animal! While we do not We need you to be a hero...! realise it! 51



y u s G ! d o o G r Su pe Mr. Ed

Fighting for the little guy! Protecting people’s human rights, natural resources to be able to live a respectful life.

Little wings

Protector of clean air Protector of Education & information Little lady of wonder

Protector of women & rights

Little fin

Illustrations & design by Christine Zoutendyk 50

Protector of clean fresh H2O!



The Dichotomy of Life

by rebecca s. webb

Up is to down -- as smile is to frown And life is a circle that keeps going ’round. New becomes old as everyone knows, Time marches on… and onward it goes. From safety and warmth we emerge from the womb, To the chaos and cold of a hospital room. Each life is a journey from our birth to our end We have moments of joy pierced with sadness, again. We each have a purpose -- our own race to run Once you find your true passion -your life has begun! It’s black and it’s white and it’s all shades of blue, You go looking for answers while you haven’t a clue. It’s rich and it’s poor -- sometimes boring or fun The dichotomy of life – well, it’s second to none Such a wealth of experiences under our sun, Each life so unique -- now my poem is done! --

comic girl


by heather valliere

life by michelle ravellette

the path from darkness by brooke horton

if its not one thing

its the other vol



“Oh, how money can make one rich!” Can it keep one rich? “To be rich is to have money you say?” Oh, no… no… no… One who is rich with money shall sometimes be poor in other aspects of life. “Oh, how sad that one must remain poor!” Can lack of money keep one poor? “To be poor is to lack money you say?” Oh, no… no… no… One who is without money shall not always lack riches in life.To be rich in love, affection, character, and personal passion is what rich is. Money comes and goes, but to have the solid base of personal being is the main aspect of richness! To be poor at loving, showing affection, the lack of character and personal passion is what poor can represent. When one has money they can many times be poor in the more important aspects of life! Why do we judge one another on money? Why do we strive for riches but shun the poor? How does society judge and label one another on how rich or poor one is?

to be rich or to be poor by sally smeltzer “I have written this poem in regards to the dichotomy of ‘rich & evil’ in hopes to bring awareness to the falsehoods that accompanies them.”




“enemies of the flash” infographic by timothy carlson



photography by bryce blick

For Jack By Jackie Bojarski

I do but do not question why I choose to live and, by living, Die. I touch, I see, I think, I feel— I’m blind to love and slow to heal— I dribble, drabble, drink and drop

I know Death Will shelter my last breath And everyone else will take the rest,

But if Body’s loss will be Soul’s gain, I’ll happily jump the evening train. But, for now, I’ll walk with bleeding feet And measure Time that never stops This winding road you’ve set for me. And all the while, in my mind, I dare not say, Or hope, I weigh a god of a different kind. Or pray, I use my mind, T o meet you on this road My heart, Somed ay My soul But should you see me wander by To covet Truth as rich as gold With soaring heart and drawn-out And hope with Hope’s endearing eye stride, Tip your hat, smile or nod That those things that Are At one who follows a beaten god Are not a lie.


alive vs dead illustration by Brittany Defilippo 59


HEAVEN OR HELL by Stephanie Estes

One creation divided. genesis 1:4. now sons and daughters of darkness and of light, we kill each other, we kill ourselves in each other and die as one humanity.

paradox by beth kalchik

Separated Space by Lucas Vinecki 58

“beauty and beast” photography BY Stephanie Perrault “I look at the photograph and it speaks a million words. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes puts me at ease. There is always an understandable fear that goes along with American Pit Bull Terriers and their children. Being able to watch the bond between a child and a commonly feared animal is by far the most rewarding feeling. A child’s capacity to look beyond any preconceived ideas or fears society has placed on such a beautiful animal is a phenomenon I have yet to understand. These animals are her life, yet so many want to take their lives away. She laughs with them, she cries with them, she understands them, she can relate to them. She is a beauty and he is a beast.”

l A ‘‘ a A z z _ + z Z al

photography by Stephanie Perrault

typography design by Rosalyn tyge

design by michelle ravellette

2d design by kayla keenan 61


Intentional Community By Susan Odgers It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I’m in line waiting to speak with George Packer, The New Yorker magazine staffer and recipient of the National Book Award. Packer has just finished speaking at the National Writers Series in Traverse City. Author, filmmaker, and local Renaissance man, Benjamin Busch, served as interviewer. Packer, speaking about all of his books, including The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (2013) told the audience that he’s concerned about young adults in America. When it’s my turn to speak with him, I tell him about the intentional communities my college students have created as a way to counter apathy, economic hardship, and disconnection. He’s intrigued and tells me he’d be interested in hearing more. He writes his personal email address under his signature on the front of my copy of his latest article. I leave Packer’s presentation pondering the false dichotomy we’ve perpetuated in academia. All too often academic life is portrayed as inside the classroom. Everything else is outside. With all of the time students spend in the classroom, there seems to be too little connection between what they do inside school and their outside lives. School life and real life. Students often say they feel like powerless consumers up against powerful or parental universities. Life is supposedly on hold now and one’s life begins when school is over. Students are told there are “every day jobs and dream jobs”. “Dream jobs” don’t happen. You might be able to make a difference in your community once you graduate. Not now. Your community is out there waiting for you, not available in the here and now. You can’t create it as you want it now…you have to wait or be dependent upon others. Teachers are seen as being responsible for meeting all student needs, not the students helping each other. Leadership is the domain of the teacher and administration and not with the students. What students do in the classroom doesn’t matter…it’s separate from the world of work. Others can define you and tell you the extent of your opportunities and responsibilities. School is not viewed as a place to get your deep needs met…like connections to the teacher, other students, etc. There are commuter students or residents on-campus. Everything is grouped as either this or that. Students are left to wonder, is community a part of college or not? Could school be fun and meaningful instead of seemingly boring and irrelevant? What if school had no cliques? Students say they long for dialogue, listening. That they want to respect and be respected. Might we redefine our conduct with one another? What would school be like if we used “WE” more than “ME”? I’ve been teaching in higher education for over 25 years. During this time, I’ve heard many instructors complain about how disconnected students are from each other, their communities, families, and themselves. I, too, have felt this concern. Lately, many of my colleagues and I have come to realize that we need to seriously model for students a different way of being in the world. Students need more training than blaming. With that in mind, I’ve approached my NMC and GVSU UC students on the first day of class with the idea of creating an intentional community in the classroom. I’ve told them that community comes out of necessity. Most of the students have never heard of an intentional community -- a community that’s consciously created, purposely planned to meet the needs of that community. I’ve yearned to also tie a demanding course curriculum with our intentional community. I’ve wanted students to look at culture applied to the world of work and groups. In one course, we read the following books: Quiet, Let Your Life Speak, Lean In, Here Comes Trouble, Jobs, My Beautiful World, and On Writing. If community comes out of necessity, what were the student’s necessities for succeeding in class? The first thing they did was make a long list of their needs on the board. Many of the needs I had suspected but there were some surprises too. such as learning and expanding sills with technology, public speaking, writing, etc. Roles were then assigned to meet the needs on the board. The students signed up for the various roles. They were encouraged to stretch themselves. One older adult student originally offered to make food and then decided she needed to try a new role by agreeing to be the student government representative to campus. Students rotated their roles every three to four weeks so that everyone was able to try different responsibilities. Some of the basics of the logistics of the classes included: sitting in a circle or at times square pods so everyone could see everyone’s faces, adjusting and mixing up the quiet and solo work for the introverts and group and more active engagement for the


extroverts, making name plates on each desk and learning each other’s names using self-described adjectives (Academic Andrew or Jocose Jordan), distributing everyone’s contact information, utilizing multiple forms of communication -- phone calls, Moodle/Blackboard sites, emails, texting, and face to face meetings. I’ve found that texting contributes to creating community. Texting is the preferred non-face-to-face method of communication for many students. Embracing this reality allows students to ask me quick questions, let me know when they’re running late, or share thoughts and feelings in the moment. It’s not uncommon for me to receive several texts right after a class letting me know how much they liked something about class that day. The classes also decided that if someone missed a class, they would need to make it up to the group. They soon learned that if someone wasn’t there to carry out their responsibility, the whole group was impacted. A student, who missed a class, came back with an idea that each week’s handouts should be a different color for easy organizing. A bag was also created that is filled with each week’s materials so that anyone who is absent knows exactly where to go for what they missed. The students also wanted to call their intentional communities by a name, to have a formal identity. They each brought in three possible names and then utilized run-off voting to select the winner. In one class, they called their intentional community “Vocation Nation”. Students wanting to express their artistic talents in the class created a wide banner that was hung at every class meeting with ideas from their classmates depicting their intentional community. The students decided the food at each class meeting needed to be affordable, healthy, inexpensive, and served efficiently. They even decided that we needed to be more environmentally mindful of not putting excess items in the trash each week. They brought in higher quality dishes and silverware and various students signed up for taking the items home each week to wash. Students who enjoy cooking taught others to cook. In one class, a student who wanted to create a personal retreat center piloted many of her healthy recipes in her intentional class community. Her classmates gave her the feedback she needed per opening her future business venture. Other students were responsible for monitoring the classroom heating/cooling. logistics and safety, setting up and resetting the desk formations, contacting absent students with what they missed, videoing guest speakers and posting presentations on the class electronic board site, caring for, communicating with, and thanking guest speakers, handling announcements, handling celebrations (birthdays/successes, etc.), note taking, keeping time at each class, calling on students per class participation, tutoring, safeguarding manners and decorum for student presentations, acquiring and sharing books, and keeping the vibe. Keepers of the vibe are a small group of students within the intentional community who, after some training from me, give me feedback as to how they think each class meeting went. They share their thoughts with me on everything from content, class process, and the vibe of the class as a whole and per individual students. Saying goodbye to one another at the end of a class organized as an intentional community isn’t easy. Students don’t want the class to end. But they leave with real connections to one another and ways to stay connected. They also go into other classes with skills for creating (entire or some aspects of) intentional communities, and, in other parts of their lives. As their teacher, I’ve seen improved grades and content mastery, fewer absences, and more time for me to attend to teaching instead of managing barriers to their education. I come to and from class with so much energy that I can barely unwind. The students in these intentional community classrooms hold each other and me to the highest standards. I am challenged and stimulated in these environments, even after all of these years of teaching. Psychologist and theorist William Glasser said that we have four basic human needs: to be loved and give love and to be of value to ourselves and of value to others. I think the student created intentional classroom communities help them meet these needs. In Here Comes Trouble, one of the texts in one of the intentional classroom communities, author Michael Moore writes, “I learned a valuable lesson: That change can occur, and it can occur anywhere, with even the simplest of people and the craziest of intentions, and that creating change didn’t always require having to devote your every waking hour to it with mass meetings and organizations and profits and TV appearances with Walter Cronkite.” In discussing that passage, the students in their intentional community said, “That’s us! Right now we’re changing ourselves, each other and our world. One semester at a time.”



Shades of Gray

Written by Morgan Olson

When we ponder the idea of dichotomies, most would envision two things or groups that are antagonistic or mutually exclusive. I would, however, like to challenge that perception here. In my experience, dichotomies are all about perspective and context. Therefore, they are not as black and white as we might like to believe, but instead exist in various shades of gray. For example, if you look around a bar you might see a young beautiful woman sitting next to you and speaking with a clearly powerful and wealthy older man. In this situation, who would you perceive as the predator and who would you see as the victim? Is she a gold digger taking advantage of this man for his perceived wealth, or is he using his power and status to take advantage of this young woman? If you were shown a photo of a police officer with his knee in the back of a young African American man, what would your assumption be then? Do you see a minority being victimized through racial profiling and police brutality? Or, do you view the police officer as a victim defending himself against a violent criminal? All of this is determined by perception and context. As human beings we are compelled to fit each other into little boxes and say you are this, and he is that. While that is very convenient and all, humans are multi-dimensional beings who do not fit neatly into one box or another. By living life through a dichotomous lens, we lose the opportunity to understand the many dimensions which we all possess.



Artist’s Statement: I am a Liberal Studies student pursuing a degree in Physician Assistant Studies and plan to eventually specialize in psychiatry. In writing this piece, I considered how I embrace the grey within the dichotomous world of my work in medicine and mental health. I view pigeon-holing people into different groups and categories as if one is standing too close to Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. In doing so, we might see one thing, but when we step back to see the work in its entirety, we obtain an entirely different perspective. My purpose in writing this piece was to offer a different perspective so some may consider utilizing a broader lens through which to view others, a way that might allow them to see the whole person and possibly step out of the box and “embrace the differing shades of gray” that make up the “real world.”





written by Jackie Bojarski

Tonight, the stars are like freckles on the face of God, Brilliant blemishes scattered across His cheekbones and the bridge of His nose. I try to trace them with my fingers, imagine them tickling and burning And I think I hear their stories in my head, hear their singing, But it’s foreign and far away and I want to cry because I just can’t understand. I watch the sun rise with wicked glee, Watch as it dulls their fire and muffles their voices Until they’re gone, sinking into the light of day. The boy on stage has freckles, too. They stand stark, exposed under the harsh lights, against his pale skin. I watch as they dip and dive as he smiles, Disappear completely under a tide of bashfulness, And then reemerge, more radiant than ever. I watch this boy dance and sway, bending strings, And there are figures moving with him, Fallen figures desperately clinging to the light he gives off, And I wonder how long until the sun rises And pulls him down with all the rest, Tucking him in until he’s nothing more than a memory, A tiny fire burning in the heavens.

illustration by Breanna korson 67


By Alyssa Ruggles 66

Sticks and Stones Our country is one of immense diversity and opportunity. We can dream as big or as little as we please. We have the right to do what we please, to be what we please, to say what we please. It’s a wonder that some use this right to say beautiful, uplifting praises while others use it to spread hate, ignorance, and intolerance. Is the freedom to say what you wish more important than harming the ears and souls of the listener? The dichotomy is this: Some use their freedom of speech to bring change when it is needed, to utter words of graciousness to those who have helped them, to offer kind words when one desperately needs to hear them. Others use it to damage the very fibers of one’s being, to reduce a once assured person to a dejected individual, to attain dominance and superiority. And they said words could never hurt you. Speak responsibly. By: Hannah Parker



the giraffe illustration by haven thomack 68

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What I’ve Found About Losing Your Way By Katelyn Catino “Re-routing,” she says to me. Sometimes I feel like that is her favorite word. I take a deep, familiar breath. My heart sinks in dissolution and disappointment. I am lost. Instead of trying to pull pity out of my beautiful blonde mother sitting shot-gun or shaking my fists of fury at the robotic voice on my lap, crying, “WHY ME?”, one simple question bubbles up in my head. I turn to my mother, “What did anyone do before GPS?” We, as Americans, rely on our Global Positioning System in our cars or in our phones to get us from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. Pulling over and using maps are a thing of the past like corsets and curtseying. But is GPS really all that wonderful? I remember my parents having an over-sized spiral map of every state shoved in the glove box of our cherry red Suburban. It got used so much that the pages were crinkled and weathered with road trips of my childhood. Kids growing up today probably have never seen their parents use a map or have one in their household. That thought is bewildering and scary to me. How can an invention that saves time and makes everybody’s life easier be scary? I believe it is the gateway to the loss of imagination and wonder, as well as, dulling our common sense for direction. Have you ever had to use GPS over and over again to get to the same place, even though you have been there before? This is when I ask myself, “Why do I need GPS to get to work every day?” Then comes my rebellion, and I venture out into the world sans GPS. At first, the world is miraculous. I feel like Magellan with magic in every turn and every new road I meet. All at once, a familiar unfamiliar feeling washes over me. Nothing looks recognizable and I am, once again, lost. The disappointment of my failed mission sets in and I can almost hear Siri taunting me. How did I possibly end up going the opposite direction of a place I go every day? One possible explanation comes from Julia Frankenstein, a psychologist at the University of Freiburg, who believes it is very likely that the more we use GPS and other technologies, the more we are hindering our actual ability to form cognitive maps in our minds from our spatial experiences and landmarks: “Navigational devices can be time-savers, but they can easily become crutches. Break your GPS, and you may find yourself lost.” Frankenstein also refers to a fellow psychologist, Eleanor A. Maguire of the University College London, and her study of taxi cab drivers. Maguire found that the drivers’ brain structures were actually changing when they were using their spatial abilities and experiences (i.e. landmarks, etc.) to get around, rather than with GPS. She goes on to state that if we do not use our spatial abilities to form cognitive maps, we will lose those abilities (Frankenstein). Those abilities, that I have obviously lost while depending on my GPS, have helped human beings find their way, across every terrain, since the beginning of time. The pioneers were constantly moving westward, developing new areas and trying to improve their lives. In a lot of ways, that is still happening today in America, but with a very different frontier in mind. This ‘frontier’ of increasing and broadening technologies is helping to make Americans’ day-to-day lives more efficient. It is all part of the “American Dream” and what makes America such a thriving and powerful country because, as Americans, we are never settled. There is always a new invention on the pages of Skymall that improves or enhances something. So is it wrong to never be satisfied and always be striving for the best? Honestly, no, I don’t necessarily think so. However, balance is the key to harmony in every aspect of life. We


need to know what it is like to get lost and find our way by ourselves in order to fully appreciate what technology and GPS have given us. I equate this to cooking for myself once I moved out of my childhood home. I was so used to a warm meal just magically materializing itself for me to consume that I thought cooking would be so easy once I moved away. Cut to me burning a now unrecognizable piece of grilled cheese and cooking a piece of chicken until George Foreman himself couldn’t identify the type of meat. I took the art of cooking a meal for granted. With GPS in mind, I wonder if we continue to use something with fast results, how can we ever learn to appreciate it or all the other little things around us? Furthermore, what could that do to our patience in general? If we got lost more and had to use our problem-solving abilities instead of using our GPS as a crutch, we would notice things that we’ve never seen before. In today’s society, we must be faster, better, and smarter all the time because if we aren’t, someone else will be. We all know we get somewhere faster with little to no fuss by using our GPS. However, we are often so focused on cutting out the middle man or woman, in this case cutting out maps, that we follow a GPS blindly. So, what if we get lost? What is the worst thing that could happen? Perhaps, as NPR reporter Krissy Clarke observes, “When dozens of abandoned dirt roads lie between you and that destination, things can get tricky.” Clarke is referring to the roads in California’s Death Valley. Every summer tourists head out to see the beautiful salt flats with their GPS in tow. There have been many incidences of families getting seriously lost for several days in the desert and even some fatalities. A mother and son got lost for five days on a camping trip trying to follow their GPS. She barely survived and he did not (Clarke). True, not only can following a GPS blindly be hurtful towards brain activity, it can also be fatal. Most of us have used GPS, but I bet all of us have had something come easy that we take for granted. Personally, I have been lost a time or two (as mentioned in the paragraphs above), physically and emotionally. Yet, these instances both reflect on inner strength. But imagine the possibilities for a moment, without any outside influences (work, children, etc.), of all the things you could notice if you went the wrong way. You could find your favorite new restaurant, a new friend, or an exciting new way to look at your town. When you are lost, maybe in the woods, maybe on the street, maybe in your own thoughts, it shows a lot about your character. And how we react when we have no physical or emotional direction, is ultimately, who we are. I consider the times in my life when my world gets “flipped upside down” and I am lost, but in a different way. I don’t know which “road” is the right one to take. How could a GPS possibly help then? That is something silly to think about but true. We need to learn how to be lost so we know how to find our way. It is common knowledge that getting lost is not desirable. It wastes time and nobody has time to waste. When I hear these phrases, I reflect on my favorite days thus far in my life. Guess what I was doing? “Wasting time” and just exploring myself and the world around me. Certainly, getting lost can have some snags like being late for a meeting or an appointment. We all know that feeling when we are late and the anxiety is bubbling up in our bellies. When it occasionally happens, if we think of it as an opportunity rather than a burden, we could see something that fascinates us, that sparks our interest, or that makes us question everything we know. I am in no way condoning being late constantly. However, if we surrender ourselves when we get lost, it could open our world up. Yes, being lost can be frightening and GPS could possibly eliminate that fear. But what really scares me is what would I lose, if I never got lost?




POWERS Invulnerability Flight Super Strength Super Speed Super Breath X–Ray Vision Super Hearing Accelerated Healing

Heat Vision Mental Powers Ice Breath Super Hypnotism Super Ventriloquism Microscopic Vision Telescopic vision Energy Absorbing

WEAKNESS Green Kryptonite is extremely toxic. Red kryptonite affects his mental state or in some stories temporarily removes his powers. Must protect life. Will not kill. Sonic attacks. Psychic attacks and magic attacks.

ENEMIES Lex-Luther Brainiac Doomsday Darkseid Mister Mxyptlk Bizarro General Zod Metallo

“superman vs batman” infographic by desiree morgan 72



POWERS Agility Reflexes Speed Endurance Acrobatic Acrobatics Martial arts Resist telepathy Or mind control

No superpowers Interrogation Polymath Multilingualism Stealth Detective Escape artist Skillful driver Tracking Business

WEAKNESS Very vulnerable to secret identity exposure. Will not kill. Will not use guns for any reason in combat. Must protect life. Lack of superhuman abilities. Mysterious personality.

ENEMIES Common criminals Joker Catwomen Bane Scarecrow Penguin Two-Face Riddler Mr. Freeze Poison Ivy Ra’s Al Ghul


Spring 2014 - Dichotomy