Collegiate Scholar 2014

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Spring 2014

A publication of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars

The Collegiate Scholar

“Art is not what you see, but what you make othersSpring see.� 2014 -Edgar Degas


The Collegiate Scholar The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) is an honors organization that recognizes and elevates high achievers. NSCS provides career and graduate school connections, leadership and service opportunities and offers nearly a million dollars in scholarships annually. NSCS members are deeply committed to scholarship, leadership and service and as a result, are impacting their campus and local communities every day.


The Collegiate Scholar

Spring 2014

Contents Caitlin Adair Mark Apuzzo Gabriel Aristizabal Leah Brown Roy Browning Granville Carroll Marianna Cohen Karly Danos Nick Dial T.F. Fenelus Kevin Gibbons Miranda Hajduk Erika Karcher Sara Lemmer Sara Lemmer Alexandria Luxon Cherry Mathis Mahbuba Matovu Andrew Miner Nathaniel Nowak Meghann Patterson Elijah Peters Niccola Piscitelli Samantha Pollock Tessa Salomone Stephanie Sanderbeck Alicia Settle Sade Sims Jason Sloan Ana Suarez Ana Suarez

3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 13 15 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 41

Heights That Night No Courses on Life Amidst the Great Storm The Rise of Inspiration I am Mesmerized Blue On The Days Without My Soldier Tired Old Cop Awake A River Blind Sailer The Plunge from the Edge Blessed Are We Family Stays Butterfly Hidden Gem Pick Me! The Blacktop Time Flies The Sea Girl Soldier’s Lament Longing for Betterment Letter of Appreciation Summer Solstice Winter in Alaska Inescapable Not Simply My Future To Frame On the Horizon A Dialogue Between Integrity & Despair A Foul Play


Madison Sudon Chloe Suk Aashna Sunderrajan Sarah Trump Elizabeth Vazquez Jessica Wierman Eric Wilson Sophie Yanik Sophie Yanik Hannah Breece Megan Burton Granville Carroll Daniele Gabriel Daniele Gabriel Demi Jacques Taylor Kemp Nilofar Khanbhai Sirron Kyles Patricia Krupinksi Patricia Krupinski Kristie Kim Kristie Kim Hannah Marter Hannah Marter Nathan McGuire Cheryl McMaster Sarah Meanwell Elizabeth Sawyer Noelle Miles Noelle Miles Carol Munro Ella Noyes Ella Noyes Megan Pugh

42 43 44 45 46 47 48 50 51 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 78 79 80

On the Corner of Alexander and Third When it is Autumn Wild at Heart Contradictions and Infinite Oddity Flaws The Undertow A Lost and Beaten Man Eleven The Cycle A Close Look at Nature Hopeless Calming Sunrise Bounded Perspective The Earl and Prince in Wonderland City of Lights Floating The morning came, still the same Native American Rain Dance 1890 Young Love St. Elizabeth Movement The Chase Arlington Cemetary Face Study Loomings Vacant Beach Letting Go Burn Marks Dark River Enter If You Dare Behind the Glass Door Farm Child Flowers in Blue Light of Heaven

Aashna Sunderrajan Yui Suzuki Kaitlyn Sheridan Cassandra Vagher Sean Trauth Samantha Achaia Nicolette Beuther Felicity Duran Alexandra Gallo Jason Gibert Rocio Guenther Sarah Grace Hafen Emory Hughes Courtney Hytower Julianna Lyle Rachel Lyle Lucy Mahaffey Katrina Marks Deanna Mattia Nick Mogensen Jourdan Moschitta Justyna Obrzut Preetha Palasuberniam Anne Piervil Qualicia Quiles Momina Qureshi Carrington Riss Sonia Roman Cassie Ryan Archana Sareen Sarah Lin Trump Carson Williford Kim Woo

82 83 84 85 86 90 95 96 98 103 105 108 109 111 113 117 120 125 127 130 133 135 137 139 143 145 147 149 153 155 157 161 164

Wirework The Endless Music Bells Orange in the Nude Twilight Fog The Box Go GREEK To Be CHIC? Absolutely True Katherine Inadequacy and the Fear of Failure Blurred Identity The Swing Set A Changing Man The Kitchen The Deal My Diagnosis Lche et’frei A Story to Tell New Beginnings Old Soul, Puer Aeternus Love Lines The Train Ride Country Roads, Take Me Home Shining Bright at Sevalaya Reflections of a Senior This I Believe Justice Hasta que tu muerte nos separe Goldilocks Goes To Hollywood First Step Past Fear Mr. Smith Has a Cinematic Heart-to-Heart Does a Heart Beat? The Man Who Never Slept

“Breathe in experience. Breathe out


-Muriel Rukeyser


The Collegiate Scholar


Spring 2014



The Collegiate Scholar

Heights By Caitlin Adair They say that everything looks better from far away. That even the dirtiest cities are beautiful, from fifty feet above So when it was over, I climbed the tallest skyscraper looked down and thought, that I missed you.

Spring 2014


That Night By Mark Apuzzo Your curly-haired head on my lap Eyes slowly shutting tighter and tighter. My hand running through your hair And gently gliding down your back. You finally fall asleep and I kiss your head. What are these feelings I have? Could this be love I’m feeling for her? I would later find out, It most certainly was.


The Collegiate Scholar

No Courses on Life By Gabriel Arisitizabal With a school schedule as crammed as the city These beautiful days being wasted, the fog will roll in But the deadline is screaming, it has no pity Then the weekend comes and smoking cigs is no win Losing sleep at night about the tomorrows test And is this even what I want, what I’d do best I’ve seen two jobs in my life, never a career My life is being decided and how, I’m not clear Where is the life, the adventure, I came here for Stress, failure, or denial... I want more Where are the college students protesting war How can they march when there is no floor Five digits in debt and just got my first job Only way to make THAT money is with the mob Babysitting kids to help pay the rent When can I start helping my parents Enough of this looking for help, there is none Everyone struggling to provide for just one. I’ll create a future for me, full of glee But imaginaction is needed to succeed Starting a real club through facebook is tough I need signatures, a “like” is simply not enough And a teacher who brings nothing to the table An older not an elder, spiritually disabled CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Spring 2014


The club is started but the attendance weak Without my the friends I trusted, I speak The few people there itch for their iphones Crushed and disheartened, alone in their home We play but the kids can see I’m in misery The parents talk about my schools ministry Of course, I chose a Jesuit University Never knew god, maybe thats why I’m empty The new curiosity is great but I’m afraid Seeking help from the nuns I basically pay The story is beautiful, their air is so calm I swallow its worth, feel the warmth of his palm My learning is great, my classes expansive My outings are long, my support network massive Sheltered from the whirlwind of questions and doubt Knowledge, solutions, and friendship hold mental clout The spring is coming,sprouting like a weed Among all the ignorant bliss, coming out of the need Enough destroying our planet, our people, our dreams Quit playing into the hands of the horrid schemes I looked all around but and saw nothing in man These times are dark, greed skewed the plan Believe in yourself, empower your brother Trust that support from the earth, our mother Nothing is perfect but together theres hope God’s earth may be flawed but we can complete it I’ll start it in college, slanging love not dope Then move on with this powerful passion forever lit


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Amidst the Great Storm By Leah Brown The grains of sand are a desiccated garden, And I am a victim of daffodils and dye Ten steps away, instead of a desert, My mouth and my faith stand uphill to dry. The killer is savage—unyielding and grave— But my heart is scarlet— I’m willing and brave. Still my fear is suppressed and obscure: No thoughts are released ‘till they discover a cure. I hear a faint hum from a sullen, faint seed Possibly my sun, possibly my rain, Absolutely my need. The calm before the tempest—I know it is true; For then was my calm, now my tempest is due. A shower of rain wells from my eyes-Trifle but stagnant—oh, the pain it implies. Then, just beside me, a pink little daisy Takes refuge in me to properly form. And now there is hope from my beautiful angel, And beautiful hope, amidst the great storm.

Spring 2014


The Rise of Inspiration By Roy Browning Have you read a story that at first thought leaves shock and awe Only to close that book with thought of whim and flaw Those dreams that were dreamt you have dreamt before Those feelings that were felt have transformed a spore The relentless pursuit of what has been seen by mind’s eye The meticulous strategy to mold precise plan to not wry To be induced by standards of excellence The vow to reach goals and never fall into decadence Task tethered together to build as a pioneer engineer To be enshrined as a commandeer of the frontier Enlightened by predecessors surpassing the suppression Creations created leave an impressive impression The people who dream have received their invitation Cordially invited to the rise of inspiration


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I am Mesmerized By Granville Carroll Slowly I awake as the sun’s warm soothing rays reach into my window. Welcoming my eyes to a fresh new day. Welcoming my soul to a fresh new way. The vibrant light enters my soul. I am mesmerized. The ground trembles as the night sky is awakened by intense light. The sound of water dripping, opening my ears to the beauty of the world. The fresh wind caressing this vessel I possess. What excitement it brings to see mother nature so. I am mesmerized. The crash of such powerful waves refreshes my spirit. Giving me a sense of purity, a sense of love. A glimpse into a heaven on earth. Beauty is existent in the mind. I am mesmerized. Peering into the night sky. Into its vastness and entirety. The sun and the moon working cohesively as one with our planet. Revelation has taken place in my mind. We are one and I am mesmerized.

Spring 2014


Blue By Marianna Cohen In this dream The music and art of the world flow endlessly in blue. And my green eyes scan the landscape, wondrously. Looking at the world as a painting, taking in each aspect. Hilltops with white flowers that smell sweetly in the breeze, The sun sets into an orange haze and my hands feel the velvety grass beneath me. It seems like a dream, completely surreal. So what would happen if I ran down the hill to the city at the bottom, with my shoes in my hands and my feet bare? I wish I could live like this forever. But life takes you back to reality like a tiger capturing a wandering deer that is too helpless to fight back. And tomorrow the blue jays and bluebirds will be flying again. And the city will awake as the sun rises, slowly and gradually, escaping from the night. But blue will still remain in my heart. It makes me want to scream, want to shout out to the hills. Jump into the bluest pool of water, and all the while I’d throw away my cares, into Blue.


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On The Days Without My Soldier By Karly Danos My groggy eyes unstick from the dark night’s slumber to the smell of stale bleached linens and half of the elevated bed empty craving your warm silk of skin my sorrowful mind is already in a state of wretchedness when I look upon the brunette, unbreakable, unwelcoming side of the wardrobe to see the 6o blood red paper chains1 representing the days left before we can once again hear the beautiful utterances of each other’s tonality; peering out the half shaded pane I predict the air to be crisp and biting minty fresh tooth paste globs of thick lotion and subtle make up the scent of warm and inviting vanilla resting gently upon my skin I push the heavy, cold, barrier to flock to the only moment of calm, clandestine peace in my daylight toasty, crunching victuals2 luke warm coffee blissfully dancing down my throat off to the mundane desks and chairs brisk walking in the stinging air of a new culture I have faced without your presence turns to talking with the companion of my liking offering slight relief to my throbbing yet oh so numb endocardium plays a quiet song of tenderness and seeking CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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I visit the boxy, confusing letter receiver nothing of a tree’s offspring lies waiting inside3 heavy water balloons slide down my flesh saltiness in my mouth the brush of a sand paper handkerchief gliding across my profile quick writing with such a sloppy and azure instrument on the light weight translucent scrap of the word beneficiary I end my sorrowful nighttime with a glance at the piercing light of the computing device seeing your face upon the pixilated screen4 wishing I could vocalize to you crawling into my inviting patch of linens speak my rituals5 fill my young lungs with oxygen ‘till they nearly burst drift off into the pictures of my subconscious a sense of pride emits from my very soul for the toiling sacrifice we share. 1. Paper chains refer to paper chain links taped together each representing one day. One paper chain per day would be cut off to signal how many days were left until my soldier would be seen again. 2. This process would be repeated everyday- from the victuals, to talking to my companion. 3. We could only write letters to communicate; sometimes I would go six or seven days without a letter. 4. The screensaver on my laptop was a picture of us. 5. I say a prayer every night.


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Tired Old Cop By Nick Dial An officer walks down a beaten road, the effects of crime have clearly shown. Windows are busted and graffiti on walls, ghost towns now sit in once bustling strip malls. As he turns the corner while walking his beat, he hears the pitter patter of young and old feet. The Officer sees a dad with daughter in tow, he raises his hand to gesture hello. A father and daughter walk by the old cop, the father looks with contempt and does not want to stop. While passing the officer, the father decides to talk, which then begins chastising the tired old cop. “You’re nothing but thugs with badges in blue, you’re all the same, I know others like you”. The officer smiles, with wrinkles on his face, a tired old cop in a tired old place. The officer has received such anger before, but decides to stop and endure some more. While facing the father, with daughter in tow, the cop speaks softly, his years start to show. “I can see that you’re angry, you appear to be mad, and to you everything I stand for, must truly be bad.” “It’s easy to forget cops are individuals too, we all wear a badge that seems the same to you.” “However, if you stop and listen to an old man’s side, you will see that I am honest and have nothing to hide.” The father reacts with confusion, at such a reply, and then stops to listen to figure out why. “I have seen good and evil, the years have flown by, and my face has been wrinkled by hardships of time.” CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Spring 2014


“I see you have a daughter, I have one too, and wear this gun on my hip to protect her and you.” “This badge on my chest, I wear with pride, but we are all individuals and differ inside.” “I know your hardships, and share in their pain, as a father myself, our fears are the same” “You wish the best for your daughter, and I do too, that’s why I put my life on the line for her and you” “When I put on this uniform, I do it with zeal, to combat the evil of men’s free will.” “There are those who despise me, without hearing a word said, and would much rather see me lying here dead.” “While some want to hate me for the uniform I wear, this is a cross I choose to bear.” “Evil is real and unchecked roams free, unless good men stand up, to be its enemy” “Many before me have laid down their life, only to be survived by children and wife.” “They fought for an ideal so you could be safe, to walk down the street, any time and any place” “While there will always be bad along with the good, many have given their life, and remember them we should.” “While we are not perfect and human for sure, we will risk our lives and continue to endure.” “I hope you can forgive a tired old cop, but I had to inform you, a thug I am not.” “I hope you can see, the relations that we share, and will stand firm with us in this cross that we bear.” “Policing is a cause that’s not separate from you; it takes all of us together to make it through.” “And while I may sit here, as survivor of the years, tomorrow another officer will be buried in tears.” The father stood silent, with tears down his face, ashamed of his words, while his daughter embraced. Jaded from the past he thought his anger would not stop, until the day he listened to that tired old cop.


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Awake By T.F. Fenelus We’re dying everyday. Everyday. Everyday. Does this scare you? We were born—we woke up, we never fell asleep Then we die—we fall asleep, never having known until we wake up (but we don’t).

So then what is this? This “being awake”. This life. What is this?

babies, cigarettes, Kardashians, tickles, ballgames, petals, shoelaces war, skyscrapers, plastic, nitrogen. Goddamn. Goddamn. Goddamn.

And then God. The Buddha. Jehovah. Vishnu. Horus. Allah. Zeus.

So we tried. We searched for purpose, for vindication in the beginning. We made sacrifices, pyramids, bibles, torahs. We shed blood and we saved blood, Then in the early morning, suit pressed, eyes glazed and dress primed, we gathered on Sundays—to drink blood. But we got no further. We have learned nothing except confirmed that our hearts are, in fact, nothing. So we tried again. We read Kant and Socrates, discussed physicalism and logic—“I think therefore I am”. Over drug-induced slumber and smokefilled basements we listened to Watts and pondered Leary. But still we got no further. We have learned nothing except confirmed that our minds are, in fact, nothing. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Spring 2014


So we tried once more. We turned to Ptolemy’s model, then Copernicus. We looked through Galileo’s telescope and found vibrant sunspots, blazes of light and shadows darker than we ever imagined. We stumbled through calculus and relativity to discover multi-verses and string theory. We searched for facts. To scare us then enlighten us, then frighten us again. Alas, we got no further. We have learned nothing except confirmed that we are nothing. A small nothing, caught in a big something. The best we have come up with And when I look at the vast, beautiful sky, while smoking my last cigarette. I should be content to know that despite it all, I am still present. I am here. I exist. Whatever that entails.


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A River By Kevin Gibbons Upon the River’s edge at dark we choose to stay As day gives way to night’s romance And silent, in each other’s arms we lay As we watch the spheres of Heaven dance Oh would that I could stop the drum that beats the time for Time’s unceasing march! Then I could keep this quiet kind of peace, and hold this still that’s in my heart. Yet Time’s careening blitz halts not for me, and still, despite my wearied verse, I find to my chagrin what’s said is true: No River’s ever like the first.

Spring 2014


Blind Sailor By Miranda Hajduk The sails are waiting for the sky at night – The sailor’s dreams find comfort in the sun, Who paints its canvas pink (to his delight) And sings the songs foretelling what’s to come. But no such Sun predicts my own waves’ tide – No color comforts me or warns my sky. I’m left a sailor, blind, to stay or hide From storms I fear, and pain that they imply. If I were brave, I’d set sail anyway. I’d turn my sails to catch the unknown wind. But am I brave? That’s not for me to say. For time will tell if I or waves rescind. So through this storm or through this sunset sail, For either way I’ve come too far to fail.


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The Plunge from the Edge By Erika Karcher wanted to try something new You spread your wings You want to fly, you want to soar Feel the sun’s warmth That runs along the length of your skin So friendly and welcoming Take one flap, just to see Feel the breeze beneath them Strong and outstretched A force to be reckoned with That’s when it hits you Then you freeze Unsure, unsteady, and insecure You hesitate, and that one moment will cost you It doesn’t matter if the doubt came right out of the blue Because it already got the best of you Take a second glance The land in front of you is no longer your friend But an enemy trying to swallow you whole And that breeze, it’s not easy It’s a full strength gale that will take you down Falling at the speed of sound The tumble won’t end until you’ve met the ground So the next time you try and take the plunge You may hesitate again and turn and run Away from the problems Away from the doubt Away from the unknown CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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But if it weren’t for moments like these How would we learn? How would we grow? How would we really know what we are made of? It takes a brave few to remain on the edge And far fewer who actually jump Some may soar, others will crash But failure is not the greatest defeat Because if you already turned and ran You’ll never know what could have been And those three words will haunt you Until you too take the plunge


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Blessed Are We By Sara Lemmer Blessed am I that I can dream That I can cherish the moments I’ve lived in. Blessed am I, that I can take chances, That I can forgive And forget. Blessed am I that I can dance out of nowhere, That I can stand out And stand up for what I believe in. Blessed am I that I can show who I am, That I can be myself, That I can use my voice. Blessed am I that I can never give up That I can follow my dreams And let them lead me. Blessed am I that I can ignore the pain And live through the sorrows. Blessed am I that I can use my talents And show the world who I am. Blessed am I that I can laugh loud, And sing louder. Blessed am I that I can seek the morning, With no doubts about tomorrow. Blessed am I that I can treasure my friends, And know they’ll always be with me on this road called life. Bless the day, Bless the hour, Bless the minute, Take your life and live it, Live it the way you want to live. Take your thoughts, And make them words. Take your words, And make them actions. Blessed am I that I can change. Blessed are you that you can change too. And blessed are we that we can change together.

Spring 2014


Family Stays By Sara Lemmer The distance traveled, As life is unraveled, To meet again, The ones you love, Family is... As family does, And you’ll never change That fact because, The memories traded, And the memories held dear, Are never lost or forgotten, Year after year, We may bicker and fight, But it’ll always be alright, Because the ones you love Will never let go, Until they know You’ll soon meet again. And never forget, Even though you may stray, They’ll always be there, To guide your way, And to let you know, That everything will be okay. Forever and Always, Family Stays.


The Collegiate Scholar

Butterfly By Alexandria Luxon Pin me up, bind me down, let the world see all you’ve found. Glass me in, polish me clean, make me greater than I seem. Dissect me in two, figure me out, breathe me in to let me drown. Cherish me now, abandon me forever, scorn any chance of being better.

Spring 2014


Hidden Gem By Cherry Mathis A hidden gem Shrouded by her environment Never given the opportunity To truly sparkle Her true value is concealed Her wealth of love and compassion untapped Her brilliance taken advantage of Time and time again A soul bared to all But none bared back An inner beauty so blinding That none care to see Her nurturing quality More precious than most A caregiver at heart Receiving no care herself A life filled with sadness Sometimes solemn acceptance But never contempt. Forever waiting, forever undiscovered.


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Pick Me! By Mahbuba Matovu Love me and I promise to love you back. Choose me and I will take care of you. Stay with me and I promise never to leave your side. Pick me and I will make your happiness my life mission. Trust me and I will to protect you. Believe in me and I will work to please you. Walk with me and I will light the path for you. Hold my hand and I will be your strength when you are weak. Stand with me and I will support you in the darkest days. Look into my eyes and you will see the truth in my heart. All I have ever known and wanted is to love you from within. To cherish you from the heart, And feed your soul with true love. Every blessing I have, I will give to you. And I will live my days in pride, Knowing that I have you. Love me, and I promise to love you back.

Spring 2014


The Blacktop By Andrew Miner Here, everything makes sense. Serenity and chaos mesh into A forest-wooded nothingness In sun-kissed snows, raggedy rains, or humid heats. Here, there is no time. No pressure, no expectations All is forgotten; but not forgiven Perfection demanded. Here, one is free Away from the politics of the game Free to respect it And to play free. Imagination roams the blacktop Like cattle over western plains, Transparent solidarity, suspended ten feet. Nothing else matters but Smells of hot leather and The bounce of the ball that Paints tar on the hands As sweat lathers the blacktop. Here is clarity. Free of lies, Free of stress, Life’s lessons from teacher Patience. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


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Here is invincibility Escape from raw emotion, Escape from people, Ball and pavement suffice. Here makes sense amid failure When wisdom hides And opportunities ring hollow Here is a comfort zone. Yet, here is reminiscently shameful Blacktop loneliness derived from uselessness Driven to it by failure Blacktop tar cannot hide humiliation Still, there is only hard work And reward. What is done in the darkness of the blacktop Will shine in the light.

Spring 2014


Time Flies By Nathaniel Nowak Time flies when there is nothing you have done But the world is done with you, Borne of the maggots of age That every night crawl under the skin, Corrupting the youth, with tiny jaws That smile a toothy, winsome smile As they bite down on something toothsome And when done sprout angelic wings. The mind: the soul survivor, The body: a brave soldier that fought The march of precise, rhythmic steps, That viciously circle about face Always close at hand, tireless in pursuit; The mind outlives the body. Time flies in great humor, A sight to behold, a feast on the eyes, Sparing the rods and spoiling The kind, milky gaze that looks To that sweet, cloying land, And cries out over its spilled ilk And loss of eyeteeth from candy apples, And mourns the mellifluous melodies That once poured into one’s teacup skull And caught even those with acetic assiduity; Replaced by the swarm that drones And instills a tempest fugue state, A fleeing of the mind, Attempting to prosper once again. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


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Time flies attracted to the fruit of one’s entire existence, Though when chary of the unimpeachable Motives to bury it with lime and aplomb And overtired asking “do I dare?”, Becomes a remnant of entropy’s warpath, Like the ashes of the stolen flame That caused the mind to be eternally bound, By the ironclad chains, that tie Predator and prey alike; to the flesh That will pass through the gut That will pass through others Torn down and built back up, Piecemeal by mealworms, Until a piece of mind is found.

Spring 2014


The Sea Girl By Meghann Patterson I had a dream about a little girl Who knew only of the sea I watched as she danced in the sand As if life just let her be Everyday I’d see her Like the world had left her alone At peace with herself, yet no one else Would believe that, that wasn’t her home She didn’t talk to many people But the sea would whisper her name One with the water, a long last daughter When she left she felt estranged I asked her one day, “What makes it so special, The sea doesn’t have a care?” “The sea is the only one,” she said, “I trust will always be there.”


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Soldier’s Lament By Elijah Peters Here now we depart. Out into the World we go With despair in our hearts. What are these foul winds that blow? Through plains of fear We march with might. Under the Sun that sears We march to face our plight. For our Brethren are lost; They forget their home Under the spell of the malicious Host. Forget they what is outside the Dome? The journey is wearisome; Our vitality is drained. Far away we see them come. Alas the World shall set aflame. Woe to he who despises war not. Pain, fear, and death corrupt Men, While everywhere bodies rot. What is this war in which the Enemy hath nothing to defend? I dare not curse the King, But question rather the iniquity of the Enemy. For how could exist such a thing From one who hath beheld the King’s serenity?

Spring 2014


Longing for Betterment By Niccola Piscitelli Chaos and uncertainty cloud our world with each new day. Awaking to a beautiful sunrise with rainbow colors painted across the sky, Hope awakens the soul and pain awakens the heart. Love is a beautiful entanglement of hearts and minds. The very mystery of this emotion is still a puzzle to the greatest of intellect. With every success that is met, the growing soul still hungers for more. The mind should never be squandered, as it should be enticed. So often it is forgotten that the most important matters are the simplest. The heart awakens at every step of growth. The mind races for the next project to conquer. Never taking a breath the tongue utters the word of truth that remains in the heart. A chamber of life and love is in the heart. Fear is the enemy inside all of us, holding back creativity and truth. Every day should be the start of the rest of your life.


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Letter of Appreciation By Samantha Pollock Focus. Place your attention on the different dimension: the love in the lens. A love that cannot be broken. What you see is like a sea, filled with a beauty you capture and share with me. The love in every shot is not lost in these eyes. I feel it. It’s like a gift that just gets better over time. With every flash and every angle I am inspired. Motivated to write another line looking through your posts for a story, a picture that i can paint with this pen of mine. Just thought you should know that your shots are amazing and every photograph I see gives me a rush of motivation. And I’m overflowing with anticipation for your next pictures, cause with every idea, shot and angle, your work gets better. Greater.

Spring 2014


Summer Solstice By Tessa Salomone We are compromised, sunflowers gazing upwards, following the light to stay alive. Our roots only deepen. Sunflowers gazing upwards, we will refuse to set. Our roots only deepen as our stalks turn coarse. We will refuse to set, rising taller, never looking beneath our petals. As our stalks turn course, our roots cannot keep up. Rising taller, never looking beneath our petals, we do not know our shadows. Our roots cannot keep up as shelled seeds are spat out. We do not know our shadows following the light to stay alive. As shelled seeds are spat out, we are compromised.


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Winter in Alaska By Stephanie Sanderbeck The night is here to carve a tomb Of memories encased in gloom. The demons of the dark now bay A haunting requiem of day. The icy wraiths begin to claw, And fight the temporary thaw. A symphony of colors dance, And put those below in a trance. A biting wind begins to blow, Its breath freckled with flakes of snow; And gives the land its solstice right: An unforgiving land of white.

Spring 2014


Inescapable By Alicia Settle It comes creeping through the shadows like a spirit in the night. We’ve all heard the tales of its unexpected sight. How even the most hearty are afflicted with its plight, And none can escape its reach. Young children hear whispered tales of what it’s like. They know it’s out there waiting, just waiting, to strike. They wonder how it’ll catch their watchful psyche; It catches all unaware So what can be done to escape this haunting passion When there are no weapons against it that can be fashioned The willing go easy, and the strugglers go too. It’s coming; Love’s coming, For you.


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Not Simply My Future To Frame By Sade Sims No I don’t want to be someone’s doctor. No I don’t want to be someone’s lawyer. No I don’t want to be someone’s president. Forgive me if I don’t want to be these things. I still wish to make a difference. I still can change the world. I will mold the children that aspire to be these things. I will be a teacher. A teacher who encourages children to strive to do their very best. A teacher who is willing to spend extra time with those who need it. A teacher who is loving to all students. A teacher who cares. Education is important to thrive in this world. The foundation of education is even more important. An elementary school teacher gives students a foundation. A foundation that they will build on for the rest of their lives. The teachers of this foundation teach life-long skills. Can a person thrive in a world without this foundation? Without knowing how to read or write? Without knowing how to add or subtract, multiply or divide? So forgive me if I don’t want to be a doctor, lawyer, or president. Instead I want to shape young minds. Teach them life skills. Encourage them to be whatever they want to be, to better our world.

Spring 2014


On the Horizon By Jason Sloan I wish the world were truly flat So there would be no horizon To keep you from my sight. The sun would arc above, Warming us while we rush To the edge of the Earth. We’d look over into nothingness, A nearby river emptying itself Into darkness, only to evaporate And return to us as clouds When the sun drops below And heats the ground from beneath. It would warm our backs As we lie on the grass, Counting the stars, waiting For the sun to return And revolve around Us forever.


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A Dialogue Between Integrity & Despair By Ana Suarez My Sweet Teresa: I once was great. I was timeless: a protégé of when mouths moved and no sound was as sweet as silence. I could have been anything. I could have been a fighter, my red cape seducing Taurus, or perhaps a lover of the South, with an intent to live under the smells of sweat and spirits. But I chose a life of normalcy. I chose what has now become a vast array of nothingness, for you. I see the spitting image of death, coming to take me away from this so-called life. I feel as though I’m going mad Teresa; instruct me as you always have: What is it that I must do to please my goddess? CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Spring 2014


Dearest Husband: You have placed your dreams and aspirations that I once garnered as inspiring on the shelf in our room, along with my jewelry and your socks. You were a man once. No, you were never going to run with the bulls, or live on a plantation, and I laugh at the thought of you on the screen. I don’t remember you ever claiming these great feats as possible, or plausible. However, I do remember you saying you wanted to build a house for your family; a place where we could grow old and wither away amongst the gardens and trees we would plant together. And I remember you saying you wanted a family.

I can’t instruct you, Nicholas. I won’t instruct you. I will smile, and claim it will all be alright.

It will be alright my love. Your goddess commands it so.


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A Foul Play By Ana Suarez Will we be able to forgive long enough to lie next to one other, I do not know. I don’t think I could ever forgive the man who instilled such a madness in my heart—wanting to ensure that he would never again see through those black holes he calls eyes. Your willingness to forgive my atrocities, as you call them, is laughable. My atrocities consisted merely of loving the miniscule inches of your twisted and corrupted soul, which you insist on claiming as humane. There is nothing gentle, or loving or consistent about you. My hunter, my woodsman from the forest with needles embedded in your hands, You will forever desire me as you always have. I am your lioness: I stalk my prey with only you in mind, and after I have returned to you, my Scorpion King, I see that you have kindled a flame on my behalf. The stars claim we have crossed for life, but our stubbornness passes the hours like fishing for the old: a shrivel of excitement to forget those who we have propelled our sadistic nature upon. No one should ever play a pawn in our game, for once they are a piece, they shall be used, and manipulated to our sickest whims, until you consume them and I discard the body. My lover, my disgusting, demonic, disturbed, and dangerous lover: you are mine, and I am yours. We are trapped forever in this one and only lifetime that we have inherited from our king in the sky. My past, I wish you the best of luck, and when we meet again in due time, for we always do, I pray that you carry with you the crumbs and shreds of what we claimed to have had, those so many times ago. My lament is for you, Sir Scorpion. My intent is to carry you once and for all to my shore of songs. No more waiting, my love, for time is always impatient, And I am ravished. Spring 2014


On the Corner of Alexander and Third By Madison Sudon In white desert dance together Wool and mink intermingle Against backdrop of night Light, don’t care About starlight Just taste My heart, honey Drumbeats, music floating Falling Drifts, we’re crawling I kiss you Darling, on Alexander Street We fall in love


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When it is Autumn By Chloe Suk It is as subtle as a speck of dust That happens to drift from Somewhere particularly unknown It comes with a rush of rain on a cool autumn day But do not weep by its tender Touch For it will come Only so that it could leave; Already on its way to oblivion

Spring 2014


Wild at Heart By Aashna Sunderrajan The humming mosquitoes swarmed around me In the sweltering heat of the day; Accompanied by the low drones of the birds. The beeches stood tall above my head, Covered in thick, soft moss. Its branches hung low, Like arms waving in the calm breeze. But the shade didn’t stop the sticky sweat From making my top cling to my back. As the seconds passed, the whimpering of the cubs grew louder; Their soft whispered words echoed in the clearing. The fragile fur balls scurried on top of each other, Crawling awkwardly, speaking a language unknown; Softly biting each other on the ears. Slowly, the cubs made their way to the sweet bottles of milk; The patter of their little feet matching mine. They lay there, in the arms of their keeper, Breathing quietly, And my tiny hands grasped their paws And held on. As the days passed, a strange silence began to grow, Enveloping the space and blanketing my heart. The usual noise, of paws on the bone dry grass was gone. Instead, I heard a roaring, a terrible shriek; and I saw the tigers, In place of the cubs that wandered this exact spot, Ripping up a carcass; tearing it to shreds. Cutting and biting, they dragged the remains, And ran into the darkness, As the savage beasts they had become.


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Contradictions and Infinite Oddity By Sarah Lin Trump My fingers are not keys, nor are my reading glasses calibrated for 3-D. These concentrated thoughts do not take me to desolate mountains, and mangos are surely not yummy Chapstick fabric. Her skin is not a dazzling shade of turquoise, like dreamy aliens that aren’t the size of minivans crashing. Nineteen years have not taught me when to color within the lines, and childhood mentioned nothing of trips down stairs: bounce, bounce, ouch. Vanilla is not a distaste sensation, and time is not an approximation of coffee creamer. Technicolor has never been a dark, murder drama, while IMAX can never be a lame birthday reel. These cups do not define hard cola on rocky shores, and the moon doesn’t look scrumptious tonight. An orange can never be fog cresting the bow of the sinkable shipwreck, while oceans have ceased to be pristine machines. These oblong trees can never be kaleidoscope salad, and their children will never not breathe rusted human fumes. Tonight will never be a fortress made of Hostess cupcakes, and these thrumming beats are not soft violin lines.

Spring 2014


Flaws By Elizabeth Vazquez Please don’t ever point out my flaws to me, because I can assure you, I noticed them way before you did. I magnify them when I am alone. They taunt me like a snake does to its prey before devouring them whole. They are my dirty little secrets, that can never seem, to, remain, secrets. They are the demons that cling to my back, and whisper in my ear, and drag me to my hell. They are the dark shadow that is always around, always with me, always listening, sometimes a step ahead, sometimes a step behind, but always there nonetheless, impossible to leave behind. They are the ongoing voice in my head, that remind me of everything I’m not, and everything I unfortunately am. They are the haunting reflection in the mirror, which I find myself avoiding, on those really bad days. All of my insecurities reflect in my eyes, and cause my glare to focus purely on what’s beneath me, in hopes of hiding them from even myself. They are everything I am trying to get rid of and I don’t need you to remind me, of what I am trying to forget.


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The Undertow By Jessica Wierman Information overflow; social media overdose Laden with lies; a social disease Addictive yet untreatable With pharmaceutical discoveries. Irreparable damage Caused by one erroneous click; Expressions of discrimination Build hatred houses of brick. Viral videos infiltrate Malleable minds; Demonstrations of demonization Teaching children to surviveSurvival of the fittest, however No longer applies. Living based on disparagement Is the only way to get by. Treatment lies in the untouched soul, The part hidden behind the screen. Innocence is the undertow That we cannot flee.

Spring 2014


A Lost and Beaten Man By Eric Wilson

Written as an elegy for his father, June 2005

A white facade of function, a stable house of cards commands respect and homage in the street, but when the soul in secret dies slashed and torn on jagged shards of broken hearts and shattered hopes, the artifice collapses in defeat. At the apex of profession, on the zenith of esteem ride doubts and covert miseries of mind; while the public sings his praises he nurtures goalless dreams, and wearily he seeks but does not find. He strives for what he does not know but knows he’s falling short, too old and set to make another plan. And for all his wealth and stature he’s a low and worsted sort, at his core a lost and beaten man. Ruled by the iron fist he once professed to love, a small reluctant subject in her home he plods along in bondage the past in ancient mist, and recklessly his eye begins to roam‌. Betraying creed and principle in soft and subtle style, remaining yet a model for the youth, he floats in wretched limbo, in torment all the while for in his heart he sees the naked truth.



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In private guilt and fear his shrinks from judgment up above, a hypocrite he flounders in disgrace. Prompting accolades and envy, but not receiving love he gives in up and settles in his place. Threats and bribes and futile prayers make his reality the shade that blocks him daily from the light. He’s shielded from exposure, but not mortality; the force which dulls his wits and dims his sight. So all the disappointments, the failures and the lies which haunt his nights in unrelenting shame, become at last his legacy; the faith he kept, the race he ran, The burden carried with him to the end And in spite of all maltreatments, He’s got himself to blame That he’s in his grave a lost and beaten man. THE END

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Eleven By Sophie Yanik I think not about the sunlight Spreading shadows on the grass; But instead, of pounding rainstorms Making droplets on the glass Of a window in a room Where I slept silent in your arms; Now I sleep alone, As it gently snows, With eleven months gone past.


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The Cycle By Sophie Yanik When I need to die, I’ll die with the trees, I’ll fall with the snow, and let go with the leaves. When winter blows fair, in its bitter despair, it howls and it tears and it kills all the trees. The trees need not know, wherever to go, at rest with their countenance covered in snow. But I’ll wear my branches of brittle repose Nestled in briar: the casket of snow. O Spring, you return, with ephemeral grace, The Lord himself knows not what beauty you lack; You trees have your blossoms and happy embrace, But I have my soul And I’ll never come back.

Spring 2014


“Creativity is a natural extension of our

enthusiasm .� -Earl Nightingale


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Art & Design

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A Close Look at Nature

Hannah Breece


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Spring 2014



Megan Burton


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Calming Sunrise Granville Carroll

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Bounded Perspective Daniele Gabriel

The Earl and Prince in Wonderland Daniele Gabriel


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City of Lights

Demi Jacques


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Taylor Kemp

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Native American Rain Dance 1890 Sirron Kyles

The morning came, still the same Nilofar Khanbhai

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Young Love

Patricia Krupinski


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St. Elizabeth

Patricia Krupinski

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Movement Kristie Kim


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The Chase Kristie Kim

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Arlington Cemetary Hannah Marter

Face Study


Hannah Marter The Collegiate Scholar

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Nathan McGuire


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Vacant Beach Cheryl McMaster

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Letting Go

Sarah Meanwell


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Burn Marks

Elizabeth Sawyer

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Dark River Noelle Miles


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Enter If You Dare Noelle Miles

Spring 2014


Behind the Glass Door Photo & Short Story By Carol Munro “I say George, are you looking at what I’m looking at?” asked Queen Mary. “What’s that dear?” replied King George V. He knew what his answer should be but he always asked “What?” because he knew Queen Mary wanted to say what it was. King George and Queen Mary had been in the wood and glass display cabinet for some time now, possibly even a few years. It was a wonderful cabinet. It was made of a dark wood, had a nicely embellished carved top and glass window panes on the door in the front. It also had intricately carved wooden feet. Inside, there were three sparkling glass shelves, which occasionally had a little dust that was by and large, usually dusted off just in the nick of time before Queen Mary could begin her unseemly sneezing. The cabinet had a light which illuminated everything and made it all look shiny and pretty. The light shone on all the royal memorabilia, highlighting the age of some pieces and the beauty of others. The other occupants of the cabinet were not so imposing as King George and Queen Mary. They had been there longer and had become used to the day to day activities taking place on the other side of the glass. The little boys ran around and occasionally stopped to glance at themselves in the reflection, looking to see


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if they were still cool and if their Elite basketball socks were still at the correct angle. They had gotten used to the occasional thump of the vacuum cleaner, the feather duster and the spray of the Windex against the glass. The other occupants were mostly glass too, and carnival glass at that. The top shelf however, was superior; the occupants were mostly porcelain and much more in keeping with the social positions of King George and Queen Mary. Queen Mary was glad to be up there, wearing her crown, in full royal regalia, high above everyone else, looking down on everybody. Even her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II was beneath her as was her own son, Bertie, King George VI and her naughty father-in-law Edward VII. Queen Mary kept her lips tightly together and didn’t smile much, she worried a lot about Bertie who had a speech disability and she worried about her other son Edward who seemed to like divorced American women far too much. It was going to cause a crisis she knew that. King George was more placid and had a kind face with a distinguished mustache. He wished he could get out of his uniform and take his hat off, but knew this would upset his wife. He loved his wife but allowed her to rule the roost or at least the glass cabinet that had become their latest resting place. Over the years King George and Queen Mary had been above fireplaces on mantles in England, they had been for sale in a French antique shop and they had finally made their way across the ocean to Canada where they sat in a house for thirty years looking like they needed a good clean. After the death of their Canadian owner they were finally sold to the present owners at the Portland Antique Show. They were glad to be clean and on show again now. The cardboard box hadn’t been much fun for people of such superior social standing. “George,” Queen Mary said in her clipped English accent, looking around; “I think we are surrounded by our relatives.” “Yes, dear” a slightly bored King George replied. This was always the same conversation. He knew the next comment would be about the light in the cabinet. “George, I do wish these people wouldn’t leave our light on all night, it’s very hard to sleep.” “Yes, dear” said King George already nodding off and pretending to snore. This was how the day always ended; it had been just another day behind the glass door.

Spring 2014


Farm Child

Ella Noyes

Flowers in Blue Ella Noyes


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Megan Pugh Light of Heaven


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Aashna Sunderrajan


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The Endless Music Yui Suzuki

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Kaitlyn Sheridan


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Orange in the Nude Cassandra Vagher

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Twilight Fog Sean Trauth

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“Either write something worth reading or do something � .

worth writing -Benjamin Franklin


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Short Stories

Spring 2014


The Box By Samantha Achaia Staring out of the window awaiting your return seems pointless because I know you’re never going to walk through the Iron Gate and down the path to the door ever again. I know that you’re not going to ever leave the door ajar in the summertime in order to let the summer breeze inside. Yet still, I sit by the window every day at four o’clock and I stare out at the road in front of me, watching the cars drive by, watching the people walking past and sometimes I hope that I will see your ’76 Mustang pass by or that I will see you turning the corner. I can always be hopeful. She crumpled up the piece of paper she was writing on and threw it on the floor, wiping her tears. It had been three years since he had been gone and although she knew and understood that he wouldn’t be back, she couldn’t stop herself from thinking, and slightly believing, that this was all a terrible nightmare that she would one day wake up from. She walked into the kitchen and put up a small pot of water. She never used the coffee pot anymore. It didn’t make any sense to since it was just her who was drinking out of it. She mixed the instant coffee with the creamer and sugar and began to drink the coffee while sitting at the empty kitchen table. The house was too big for her to live in by herself with a three year old, but she didn’t want to sell it. Too many memories lurked around the house for her to just sell it and while that would be a reason for someone else to sell a perfectly renovated house, it wasn’t a good enough reason for her to do so. She took a slow walk around the house, looking at the pictures on the walls that she just couldn’t bring herself to take down. She looked up the stairs and decided that she would indeed take the trip up there this year. It was about time that she stopped using the sofa bed in the living room as her bed. She figured three years had been long enough. She needed to move on from it now. She walked into the living room, opening a drawer on a side table, to take out the key to her room. Walking up the stairs, she decided to put both keys in her pocket, deciding to open the door to her son’s room; a task she figured needed to be done before she could go into her room. Turning the brass knob to the door, she took a step inside and closed the door behind her. She glanced around the room, her eyes sweeping over the calm, peaceful blue of the walls that had cartoon characters on them and then gliding


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over to the mattress, still in its plastic, leaning on the box to the crib. She paused in the middle of the room and glanced around at the blue bags propped on the floor that were filled with blankets, sheet sets and stuffed animals, milk bottles and sippy cups were probably in those bags as well. A white dresser was in the corner with the drawers stacked on the floor with bubble wrap around them. All of this, stuff that he picked out, stuff that he carried up to the room. Stuff that she couldn’t go through after everything that happened. With a heavy heart, she walked toward the door that opened up into her room. Unlocking the door she walked inside and everything was the same way he left it. Clothes were hanging out of his drawers, the deodorant can was still in the garbage pail, his socks were on the floor and his pajamas were on his side of the bed. She didn’t want to rearrange anything. The only things that changed in the room were the time on the clock and the normal room temperature depending on what season it was. The amount of dust, she figured, changed as well since the room accumulated a lot of dust in the past three years. She opened up their walk-in closet where all of her gowns and dresses were hung in front of his suits, one that matched every gown and dress and ten others that were for work. At the very end of the line were her white wedding gown and his white tuxedo. She ran her hands over it, pulling it out so that she could take a glance at it. She immediately put it back when the tears started to come out. She wasn’t ready for this. Not yet. Not now. As she sat at the edge of the bed, letting her tears out, she noticed a box that peeked out of the corner inside of the closet, a box that she had never seen before. She wiped her tears and kneeled down in front of the closet where the box was and she pulled it out. The box was brown with lilacs and red hearts painted all over it and had a key hole in the shape of half of a heart. She had never seen the key before, so what was this and where could the key be? She put the box on the bed which was made up perfectly and had a nice baby blue comforter on it. She examined the box carefully and began to shake it. She heard something moving around but whatever it was, it was too thick to make a loud enough sound for her to know exactly what it was. She decided she would have to look around the room for it but then that meant that she would have to sift through the clothes and relive all of their Spring 2014


memories, a task she put off for so long. She had no other choice. She was interested in the box. She walked to the opposite side of the room and decided to check the safe where all of her jewelry was kept. If there was any place that he would hide the key, it would be in there. She got the keys out of her other pocket and put in the keyhole then turned in the combination. Taking out all of her jewelry, she started to relive the memories of when she was gifted them but she quickly cleared her head to focus on the task at hand: finding the key to the box. She noticed how some of her necklaces had hearts on them, especially one; a locket. She opened the locket to see if the locket was the key to the box but it didn’t work so she put it to the side. “What else could it be?” She asked the silence around her. Then it hit her, there was a chain that he bought one year, one that had their initials on it and it was half a heart since half went to her and half went to him. She went into her top dresser drawer of her white vanity and found her key chain, but that didn’t open it either. She continued to sift through the jewelry boxes and when nothing in there was able to open the mysterious box, she decided to check the safe to make sure she wasn’t missing anything and sure enough she had. It was a small box that she never saw before and it was wrapped in black wrapping paper; an odd choice. She opened it and inside was a small folded letter. “I hope you find what this belongs to before you find this. Or else, I just drove you insane.” The letter read. Putting the paper to the side, she lifted up the small foam that was guarding whatever was in the box. It was a silver half heart that had their wedding date on it. She took it into her hand, feeling the cold of the metal against her skin and she opened the box with it. Inside of the box was a heavy, letter-sized envelope and under it were pictures of them together and her wrist corsage with his boutonniere; things that she believed she lost forever when she moved from their first apartment. She looked at the pictures one by one and couldn’t figure out how he saved these pictures. She always assumed they got ruined in the fire. Moving on from the picture, she opened the envelope and she found all their love letters in there, some had burn stains on them but they were mostly all in tack. In the back of all the letters was a letter that wasn’t smeared


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and wasn’t burned and was folded horizontally. She opened the letter. Dearest Amelia, If you are finding this letter that means you found the box and if you found the box that means that I’m already gone. I love you, Amelia. I’ve loved you ever since we met. You lit up my life like no one else could and you loved me like I never knew I could be loved. There was something about you that made me want to live when I told you that I was dying and you refused to leave my side. I know it was craz y of me to stay in the burning building to get all of this stuff together but you and I both knew that I wouldn’t last much longer and that these memories are what would keep me alive for years to come. I could never fathom that truth that I had to be without you and you had to be without me but that’s just the way life is, Amelia. Don’t you, for one second, show your hatred at the world for taking me away! I have lived forever in your arms when you’d hold me close at night, when you’d hold my hand to claim me as yours in the streets. It is only because of you that I was able to hold my head up high. So when you walk those streets every day, hold out your hand Amelia because I’ll be right there to feel the warmth of it to make me feel whole once again. Thank you, Amelia, for giving me a life beyond anything I ever thought that I would have. Keep that beautiful smile on your face and let those dimples show, if not for yourself, do it for me and Nicholas. Nicholas needs you now, Amelia. He is the epitome of our love and don’t ever make him feel like he’s not getting enough of it. I know how much you love him and want to protect him so do it for the both of us. Don’t ever make him want for his father. Show him me, talk about me. Let him know that yes death hurts but there’s something that lifts the heaviness of it and that’s love and hope which you have so much of Amelia. I love you. Forever. Since February 14, 2007 and way beyond the world’s death. Love Always Yours, Jake

Spring 2014


Amelia’s tears slid down her face as she held the letter to her chest with her knees drawn up. The pain in her heart was much more than she can bear and she felt the same way now as she felt back then when he died with his hand in hers in the hospital bed. Jake had a brain tumor and there wasn’t anything the doctors could do but let him live out his days. She found out when they were dating a year that he didn’t have too long to live and she decided that she would give him the time of his life and six months later they were married and a year later she was pregnant with the only child she would ever have; a boy named Nicholas. Calling her parents to let them know that she was on her way to pick up Nicholas, she thought, today is the day we begin again.


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Go GREEK To Be CHIC? By Nicolette Beuther Ladies, we can all admit going away to college can be a scary transition. However nerve-wracking our new class schedule appears though, there is usually something we are much more anxious about—entering the social scene. Is joining a sorority the only way to unsure your social status on campus? To an incoming freshman deciding to rush a sorority can appear to be a pivotal decision to make right away. Sororities to an outsider looking in suggest popularity, parties, friends and boys; however there are more aspects of Greek life to think about before taking a lifelong pledge of sisterhood. My advice is to do your research. Turn into that super secret stalker agent on the internet that we all do when we have a new crush. Consider the sororities on your campus as prospective love interests, and learn about them before you pursue any further. Another suggestion is to take your time. Although it may seem as if everyone is rushing the first week of school, it doesn’t hurt to wait a semester. Continue using those detective skills to scope out each sorority. Find out what you’re getting yourself into, because no girl wants to admit they have a crush on the guy with a bad reputation. Most importantly, do what feels comfortable. Joining a sorority can certainly have its perks, but committing to one of those crushes is not the only way to have fun in college. If the only letters you want to rep are GDI, own them and be your own kind of chic.

Spring 2014


Absolutely True By Felicity Duran This is hope in words: the completion of a seemingly unbelievable continuation. — It was a difficult truth that adults lied, and this Nat knew all too well. There were the silly lies like her uncle used to tell her with an overly serious façade, “If you’re good the Candy Fairy will come with her Candy Truck tomorrow.” Then there were the ones used to simply mess with you like, “You’re face will be stuck like that if you keep frowning.” For a while Nat thought these things were the absolute truth. Then, as most adults would say, she “grew up.” That was the biggest lie of all. “Everything will be alright,” she heard an aunt whisper worriedly to a small child who was blankly walking to an empty space. In reaction to the comment, Nat sighed; yet another grown-up lie. So when the woman finally cleared a path with a resigned expression, the remaining family was in disarray and that was when the teenager spotted her. For the most part, the adults ignored the child as she crept over to one corner of the living room and sank to the floorboards in a miniature bundle, clamping her tiny arms and elbows around the knees that she had drawn up to her chest. A cream-colored dog plush was held away from her at arm’s length. The child’s fingers gripped desperately to its faux fur as if she were clutching to the side of a cliff for dear life rather than a toy. “You know,” Nat said to the little girl tentatively as she crouched nearby, tucking in her legs as well. “You don’t have to be sad.” She gave Nat a questioning look, strands of licorice black hair swaying to one side as she observed her new companion. The older female knew that had the child been in a more jovial mood, her complexion would be less pale and all the more rosy. “Why not?” the dejected girl asked quietly. “Well, there’s a story I was told before,” and the teen tapped her chin with some heartfelt bravado, “Do you want to hear it?”


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Already her spirits began to lift and the kid nodded her head enthusiastically. Glancing over to her stuffed acquaintance, she clutched it snugly to her chest and gave Nat the queue to begin as she was listening intently. For a moment, the teenager was hesitant because what she was about to do included her saying a “grown-up lie.” She wanted to say something with a sense of meaning, a sense of absolute truth, yet there was something in the pit of her stomach that pulled her in that certain direction. Nat knew what she had to do, and that was to give hope to someone who needed it. Nat grinned and asked her if she liked yellow butterflies, to which was received with a curious, “Yes.” “The story goes that when somebody leaves people they love, you should always look out for a yellow butterfly,” She continued and was urged to go on. “They say that if you see this butterfly a lot that means that it is the person you miss that is following you and watching out for you,” then she smiled warmly and patted the little girl’s hair, “just like your little sister.” There was a contemplative look on the face of the young girl as if she could not quite figure something out, and then, quite suddenly, she pointed to the window in front of them and genuinely brightened in such a way that she had not in days. Outside, a bright yellow butterfly was fluttering its wings next to the painted flowerpot on the windowsill, a stark contrast to the deep azure of the late afternoon. It was then that Nat realized that she really had not grown up just like the adults had told her over and over again, and this was for a simple reason. She believed with all of her heart that her perceived lie would actually come true. In that moment she understood. She really knew what it was like to be a grown-up unlike the ones she had already encountered, to be a true adult, because growing up never meant that one had to age and change and physically become full grown in the real sense, nor did it mean that one had to cease believing. Not at all. It meant learning to understand and learning to accept the things that are difficult to. It meant that no matter what, no matter how cruel it seemed, life would go on and the world would go on, because time never stopped for anyone and the earth would continue to spin. But never does it mean that people stopped living. ­— This is life in a word: continued… Spring 2014


Katherine By Alexandra Gallo On a piece of newsprint, torn from the local paper and tucked into the pocket of a man’s black suit jacket, April 25, 2009: Atwood, Katherine J. Katherine Atwood, 18, passed away suddenly on the morning of Sunday, April 18, in her home in Scarsdale, California. Born April 3, 1991, Katherine is survived by her parents, Ethan and Diane Atwood; paternal grandparents, Robert and Julianne Atwood; and uncle, Joseph Rudolf. Services will be held Sunday, April 25 at 9 am in the Scarsdale Methodist Church. Family and friends are invited to celebrate the life of Katherine in her memorial service and burial afterward at the St. Vincent Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. On a card, tossed on the kitchen table in the afternoon sunshine, April 21, 2009: The Senior Class of Woodrow High School Announces their Commencement Exercises Friday, the Thirtieth of April Two Thousand Nine Please join us to celebrate the graduation of

Katherine Julianne Atwood

At 9 am in the Woodrow High School Gymnasium On the sidewalk outside Woodrow High School, written in sidewalk chalk, April 20, 2009: We will never forget. On a birthday card, tacked haphazardly to a bulletin board in a bedroom with yellow walls, April 3, 2009:


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KAT! I’m so excited you’re finally 18, now you can buy cigarettes and porn! (Because I totally know that’s what you wanted to turn 18 for) Wishing you the merriest of birthdays and reminding you that we GRADUATE in 27 days!! We’re going to have so much fun this summer. I’m so excited! I’ll see you at your party this weekend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Maggie On a Woodrow High School bathroom stall, scrawled in blue pen, April 14, 2009: It feels like drowning, while you watch everyone around you swim. On Lawrence County School District letterhead, folded and placed in an envelope, addressed to 8997 W. Brooke Ave., April 14, 2009: To the Parents of Katherine Atwood, On behalf of Woodrow High School, I am pleased to inform you that your daughter, Katherine Atwood, has been selected as valedictorian for Woodrow High School’s graduating class of 2009. With a cumulative grade point average of 4.35, Katherine has demonstrated outstanding academic abilities throughout her four years in high school. Having earned a title of such high esteem, Katherine will be recognized at the graduation ceremony on the morning of April 30th. She will receive an engraved plaque during this recognition, as well as a special set of cords to wear with her cap and gown. Again, I wish to congratulate Katherine on her outstanding academic abilities and emphasize the enormity of this accomplishment. You should be very proud. Best Wishes, Duncan Alexander Vice Principal

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On a small note tucked into a large bunch of lilies, delivered to 8997 Brooke Ave., April 22, 2009: Ethan and Diane, We are so sorry for your loss, and our prayers are with you and your family during this trying time. Love, The Clines On a crumpled, coffee-stained napkin in Lulu’s Coffee, scribbled in blue pen, April 5, 2009: It’s like seeing a headscarf on a cancer patient, or looking at a picture of 9/11. You’re beautiful in a perverse way, in the way that what defines your beauty will singlehandedly destroy you someday, in a way that you will look at yourself and always be disappointed by the girl staring back. On a torn piece of stationary, stuck to the refrigerator, written in red pen, April 18, 2009: Went to run errands with your father. I left some cinnamon buns on the stove if you wake up hungry. XOXO Mom On a sheet of lined paper, taped neatly to a bathroom mirror, written in blue pen. April 18, 2009: Sometimes you wish you had cancer, because you think it would be easier then. Because people would see a scarf on your head, and they would know something was wrong. Cancer is real. It’s tangible in a way that anxiety isn’t. It’s treatable in a way that depression will never be. Anxiety can metastasize, but it’s nothing like cancer. It’s illusive, in the way that you can have an army of little orange bottles fighting for your sanity but never feel sane. It’s elusive in its incurability, in the way that self-medication will only work to some extent, and prescription medication makes you feel less sane than you did without it. It’s easy to hide, and no one has to know you’re struggling with it, in a way that cancer isn’t. It’s deadly because it’s your body attacking itself, and in that, it is like cancer. It’s described as a “mental defect”, some biological deficiency that keeps you from


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functioning like a normal human being. And at first you try to run from it, because you think you’re stronger than it, because you still think you can beat it. So you change your diet, eat more natural, healthier. You start running, because endorphins are natural antidepressants. You drink green tea and do yoga to calm yourself down. You read somewhere that St. John’s Wart is a natural antidepressant, too, so you add that into the mix. And you run in your new Nikes and drink tea and read books in the sunshine under trees, and you think you’ve outrun the demons that had strapped themselves to your back, but you’re wrong. They didn’t let go, but sunk deeper. They’re heavy, and you can feel them sitting on your chest when you lay in bed at night, and you can feel them pool in your bellybutton when you lie on your back. And you can feel them wrap around your spinal cord, but if you run fast enough you can pretend you don’t feel them. You can pretend that you beat them. But you didn’t. Because when you get back from your run or finish your tea, the girl in the mirror will stare back at you, and you will see the demons in her eyes. She’ll point out the unsightly curve of your nose and the way that the fat pools at your jawline. She’ll scrutinize the acne on your chin. She’ll see you in your underwear, and she will laugh at you. She’ll show you how your stomach folds when you slouch, she’ll call you fat and then she’ll remind you that you weren’t even strong enough to starve yourself. She will stare back at you and scrutinize every flaw she can find. And you can go to as many therapy sessions and read as many self-help books as you want, but she’ll still be there. And you know that no amount of endorphins or antioxidants will change that. No amount of alcohol will drown her. The girl in the mirror will always be there, and she will never forgive you for being who you are. And you stand there and you listen to her. You stand in front of her in your underwear and you believe what she says. You are fat, and ugly, and worthless. And the running and the tea-drinking and yoga-doing are just ways to distract yourself from who you really are, the person you hate most. You’re not strong, and you can’t outrun the reflection. And because you don’t have the strength to break the mirror, you break the girl in front of it. I loved you guys more than you could ever know. Katiebear

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On a gold plaque, laser-engraved, mounted on a marble monument outside Woodrow High School, April 30, 2009: In Loving Memory Katherine Julianne Atwood April 3, 1991 to April 18, 2009 We loved you more than you could ever know.


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Inadequacy and the Fear of Failure: A College Student’s Perspective By Jason Gibert For many young people college is a dream. A place where students realize their passions, strengths and discover who they want to be for the rest of their lives. However, for many students college is a nightmare. Many students come in with dreams of grandeur, and leave with the pain caused by not making it to the end of the collegiate journey. Every year myriads of students drop out of college and give up on their dreams of higher education that they once possessed. These students experience the nightmare of college, which devours their time, money and effort. A nightmare which haunts many years after the attempt of higher education. Travis Waldron, writer for, cites a study by Harvard University which reveals only 56 percent of students receive a degree with 6 years. In “Study: Nearly Half of America’s College Students Drop Out Before Receiving A Degree” Waldron states “factors are causing American students to drop out before receiving their higher rates than in other countries.” With the aforementioned information, the fear of failure is indisputably present. The fear of my failure in college became one of my main concerns as I entered my first year of college, a fear created by my own inadequacy and conquered by my own successes. As a college student I possess qualities which statistically raise the chance of not achieving the dream. As a first generation African American student I have received a statistical disadvantage before even allowing my work from high school to tell my story; A story which further condemns my statically chances for success on a collegiate level. I graduated high school with a derisory grade point average; a derisory, inadequate grade point average of a 2.43. In “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College” Thomas Gray wrote “Ignorance is bliss.” However in the twilight of my high school career I was far from ignorant of my situation and as a result far from blissful. I vividly remember walking down the hall way after school visible distraught by the path of underachievement I had taken. One of my teachers saw this pain I was carrying and asked for a word. This is where I first revealed my inadequacy and my fear of failure. I informed him of the fear that I caused myself and how I was afraid that my rode to a better life would end before it started. I remember shedding tears as I told him that I was afraid that I would fail to succeed in college. Though he consoled me, it was a fear I still carried.

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Entering my first year in college, this fear of failure that I harbored came to the boiling point. I tried to hide the fear under the thin veil of confidence like a child hides his fear of the dark under a thin blanket. In both cases there is a feeling of comfort yet the fear never really disappears. I understood that my fear of failure was caused by my inadequacy I felt in the classroom compared to other scholars in my school. There was a point in my life in which I thought I was academically lesser because of what I could not accomplish in high school. This directly contributed to my fear of failure. A fear which rose to the surface every time I underperformed on a test or was late to class, a fear I knew I had to conquer in order to where I wanted to be. Denis Waitley wrote “loser lives in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.� The teacher consoled me that day in high school texted this to my phone in the first week of my start in college. Now it one of the pieces of knowledge which I live by, I never forgot the inadequacy I displayed but I did not let it get in the way of my vision for success. I remember how I felt at the end of my high school campaign and I refused to feel that same pain twice. This motivation helped me earn an overall grade point average of a 3.92. I also received admission into my schools honors program as well as many other accolades. I refused to live in my inadequate past and ended removing the fear of failure. My academic success helped remove my fear of living the collegiate nightmare and pushed me closer to achieving the college dream.


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Blurred Identity By Rocio Guenther Raindrops hit the pavement, making the dust from the streets levitate. Umbrellas up. In New York, people are prepared for anything, something I have yet to learn. Unfortunately for me, the only protection against the rain was my freshly bought book, Blurred Identity. “Great,” I muttered. Rain hitting heavily on me, I jogged across the wet street and stood under a breakfast joint whose entrance shielded me from the storm: “Joe’s coffee & pastries.” How cliché, I thought. Before I could put my book back into my purse, pieces of scattered paper slapped my face and my book thumped to the floor. “Oh crap,” said someone in front of me. I gathered the crumpled sheets from the floor, and gave them back. “Thank you,” said the stranger. He had tousled black hair, and wore a fedora. His coat was light brown and his crooked smile was engaging. His facial features were very pronounced thanks to a strong bone structure. “Your book…” he sighed, as he picked it up. Its cover was decorated with droplets of rain, its pages soggy, making the book full of lumps. “That’s fine, books with no bent edges or coffee stains have no personality,” I said, grabbing it from him. He was taken aback from my answer and pointed at my book. “You like when objects bring back a memory?” he asked. I stared at his dated brown loafers. “That too.” “You’re still missing that coffee stain. What do you say we go inside and have some warm coffee?” he challenged. I smiled, and answered by gesturing toward the breakfast joint. By now, the rain was falling lightly, just a drizzle. I breathed in that faint smell of rain, and entered, ringing the little bell attached to the door. “Name’s Ernst by the way,” he added. “Ernst Bucklevaugh.” A jaded waitress led us to our table. “Interesting name.” I feel as though I’ve heard it before, I puzzled. “I’m Eve. Just Eve.” I placed my book on the table and he opened a menu. Spring 2014


“So I don’t get the privilege of knowing your last name,” he stated. “No, not yet,” I intoned. The waitress came back, and Ernst ordered a coffee and a Danish roll. I just ordered coffee. “So, do you go to college here?” he asked. “Yeah, it’s my first year. I’m a New York newbie. But I’m getting around.” The waitress came back with our drinks, and I noticed that her nametag read “Shirley.” I decided to cordially acknowledge her. “Thanks Shirley.” Her face changed, and she smiled warmly. “So, Ernst, what do you do for a living?” I asked, as I took a sip from my cup. For a minute he struggled with the weight of the answer. “I travel,” he confessed. “So, you’re a man of the world,” I guessed. “You could say that.” He sipped his coffee and took out a polished pocket watch. “I hope to see you soon Eve, I would really like your help sometime.” He seemed uncomfortable now, unsure of his words. “With what?” I furrowed my eyebrows together. “I can tell you like to read Eve, you are inquisitive. I can tell you assimilate into your surroundings well. You are prepared.” Now he was confusing me even more, starting to scare me even. “What do you mean, Ernst?” I managed to say as I accidentally slapped my cup of coffee, and tipped it over. But when I looked back up Ernst was gone. I grabbed a few napkins to soak up the coffee, but for my book it was too late. A huge coffee stain had seeped into the edges of its pages. I decided to open it and analyze the damage. Right there in the very first paragraph was my answer, which just posed more questions: “Ernst Bucklevaugh was no ordinary man. Every day of his life included risky escapades. Ernst traveled around the world, and even through time to find the perfect helpers; it was his specialty. He was gathering up a group of individuals to help him with...” As I closed the book, a quick shiver invaded my shoulders. Shirley came back with the bill. “Well, hon, I sure hope those two cups of coffee were sufficient.” Two cups? I just drank one, but Ernst…


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“Excuse me but, did you happen to see anyone come in here with me?” Shirley bit her lower lip as she tried to remember. “Not that I recall hon, I take note of every customer who comes through that door.” I need to read less and get some more sleep, I thought. “Thanks for stopping by, hope you come again!” she continued. As I walked out into the bustling streets, breathing in the recent smell of rain, I took out my copy of Blurred Identity and couldn’t help but think: I have a feeling this is going to be a very good book.

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The Swing Set By Sarah Grace Hafen I sit on the cracked plastic swing with my head against the chain. As I sway the structure lets out moans, and the metal reverberates through the chain and into my head. The moans turn into screams when you are close enough to listen. They screech. I slowly raise my gaze from the pile of dirt I have been unconsciously making at my feet. My eyes travel from the cracked earth sprinkled with dots of dead grass, to the dandelions and the faded fence. There are stripes and ragged spots on the fence where it is still a jade color but it has been covered by dirt. I can’t manage to bring my eyes up to the blue sky. I know it’s there, cloudless, but just the thought of looking into makes my eyes start to water. So I pick a knot of wood and trace it with my vision. It seems to us within the fence looking out that nothing inside has been left untouched. The goal of a mother is to protect her children from harm. I think when my mother walks into the yard and sees the blue slide rusted through to the dirt underneath she sees her failure, and she can’t risk that. So she stays inside watching the dust motes pass across the dining room table, and over the fake rose in the pot of dirt. I sometimes wonder if she thinks at all anymore. The spot of sunlight is her cage, mine is the fence. Is this what happens when you become too afraid of the world too afraid of what has been done? If I take my head away from the chain I will have to listen again. I am listening for his rushed step, the quick inhale as he coils to strike, the tension in my muscles that I can’t control, the dizziness that spins the blue sky on it’s head as I lie in the dirt with the swing seat swaying over my head. I would rather listen to the screams from the swing set echoing in my head than my cries. But eventually I have to face it. Not because I must now be brave, not because I no longer fear, simply because life does go on even if I don’t. There is no question of can, only of do. After I have spent a majority of my life running there is no turning and fighting. I have forgotten how to do that. When I panic I do what I have done my entire life. I run. I run away from pain, and fear. Fear, the thing that seizes my life and holds me rooted to the ground, for he is gone but his shadow remains dancing on the edge of my vision.


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A Changing Man By Emory Hughes How far have we come? To think, just yesterday you were staring at me with those newborn eyes, wondering who I was. You were so fresh to this world; God how you have grown. I feel ashamed to say I cannot recall the first time I held you in my arms. But, it was different then, wasn’t it? You may not even remember me, but your eyes have never stopped being curious. There is no excuse to why I was never there. Or why my care as a big brother fell short when it came to you. Maybe the man you see occasionally is something more. I’ve learned that as soldiers, we train to embrace the worst of situations. And that in turn we tend to bask in the thoughts that destroy us. We may show no fear in the face of death; we kill without mercy and we die for the millions that are ironically naive to our cause. We are wasted, and those who oppose the orders given to us spit at us. We return to broken homes, and a shattered life-style beyond the point of repair. Yet despite the hard times and the long days, every morning we gaze into the mirror and try to make sense of it all. Some of us lose hope. Some of us find it in ourselves. Most of us will go home and drink it away; swallow the screams and torments of our demons in one sitting…it does become hard to argue with that action. One day you will understand. One day, when you are older, I will explain it to you. There is no difference here, between the sunsets and the sunrises. Every color is another reminder of the beauty we cannot grasp. The days collide into one another and the nights pass with the wind, in the blink of an eye. I have lost all feeling in this war, in this campaign, but I have never lost feeling in you. Neglect is a hard thing to make up for and sometimes I wonder maybe the best thing I could do for you is to die honorably in a war you may not even remember. Or to use that, as motivation to live that much more so I could right all of the wrong when this is done. So that you can be proud of your older brother who at one point in time envied your existence and overlooked your smile, but sweat, bled and fought to preserve it. I will never let anything happen to you. I will stand between you and the evils of this world. Even if it means I have to be away for long periods, you will be protected, and you will be loved. I’ll find hope in the laughs that remind me of you, and in the childish way, you made me smile. My only regret is that I cannot be there to watch you grow up. I can’t be there for your birthday or on Christmas when Santa comes (even though your face gives it away that you know it’s dad). I can’t Spring 2014


be there for any of your soccer games, or piano recitals. One day though, my little sister, I will be there for good and life will be normal. I will make up for lost time, I promise. I promise life has changed me for the better, and the years without you hurt every second. Know that I love you and that I miss you and that every day is a struggle until I come home again. If I never get the chance to explain it to you, just know that this is something every man has to go through in order to find himself. Every path is different, and mine has led me away from you but one day, one day we will be brother and sister again.


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The Kitchen By Courtney Hytower It was a kitchen gathering the old and new, creating a sort of nostalgia for fashions lost to the 1970’s alongside modern day appliances. The room was covered with wood furnishings in every possible way except for fading burgundy wallpaper plastered on just above the countertops. It was impossible to make a step without hearing the repercussions of such through an eerie eye squinting squeak. A hint of daylight shined through the single window next to the kitchen sink that managed to hit the stainless steel microwave at just the right angle, as to create a stripe of a rainbow on the dated hardwood floors. Cobwebs formed in the vases of fake yellow sunflowers that sat gathering, unnoticed on the edge of the ledge under the window. A recent garage sale item stood to the right of the sunflowers holding a few scattered potatoes for Sunday’s pot roast special, looking anything but eatable with cracked wrinkles and whiskered dimples. On the side of the snack cabinet my mother had painted on a chalkboard, set to remind both my father and I of our responsibilities to the house as her “rent paying tenants”. Of course we obliged but there are also times when I can admit to having purposefully walked past the kitchen to avoid a dooming list of chores for the day. On any given night it was probable that one would hear my father rummaging through the refrigerator for some sort of midnight snack to satisfy his unrealistic cravings. While he may have had a taste for a slice of warm Dutch apple pie, the best he would find without the new recruits of grocery day would be a half-eaten cup of chocolate and pistachio ice cream sporting a clear label that reads “DO NOT TOUCH”, written in my mother’s chosen assertive handwriting. He would of course contemplate the idea of taking a few spoon-fills, but will ultimately shut the door of the freezer and trudge back upstairs in unsatisfactory disappointment. Mostly when summer came and the moisture in the air started to become more noticeable, a colony of strange mutinied ants liked to set up camp in the kitchen. They were tiny, smaller than a single grain of rice, and had v-shaped antenna’s that protruded from what I believe were their faces. We never too much cared for them, and if I were to be honest I despised them, as they rudely marched across the countertops I had just wiped down, and invaded the dishwasher full of newly cleaned plats. It was never their territory to claim, I often thought, and so whenever the opportunity presented itself to remind them of such, I was the first remove the lethal Spring 2014


bug spray from the cupboard and bring them to an untimely death. My mother often found my actions cruel and unnecessary, yet I would jokingly explain to her that in times of war there are sure to be a number of casualties along the way. A 1950s-esque chair was placed somewhat awkwardly next to the snack cabinet with the chalkboard. On more than one occasion I have been the unfortunate soul cursed with the reoccurrence of stubbing my toe against the chair in search of the light when the kitchen grew dark. It was a sour apple green that glistened still even after its round-about in a stuffy antique shop on the north-side of Chicago. Equally spaced metallic buttons ran alongside the curved sides of the chair until they joined at the top center giving it a rustic and well-aged look. Aside from the occasional group of boxes in need of being taken to the basement or pile of unfolded clothes from the laundry room, the chair went untouched. I had always imagined myself one day taking the time to sit down in that chair, as however ill-suited its placement was, the chair had the best view of the kitchen by far. Sitting there, I can see the flash of sunlight that hits the microwave in that remarkable way, and see the fading burgundy wallpaper plastered on just above the countertops. I can see the shimmer of the cobwebs that fill the vase of plastic sunflowers and the sickly looking potato’s that sit awaiting their time in the croc-pot. When I look out of the corner of my eye to the right I notice the list of chores on the blackboard, and of course pretend not to see them. If I try really hard, I can just about imagine my dad, delicately trying to tip-toe over to the freezer in search of his late night fix, and catch a glimpse of his disgruntled face when he realizes he must leave empty handed. More than anything, when I squint my eyes a little, I am able to make out the small mutant creatures that try to take over my kitchen every summer. As I sit here imagining these ants who I have grown to view as my enemies, I can’t help but solute them, as I wave an imaginary white flag in the form of surrender for the past summer has been our last encounter for the rest of time. We are moving you see, and so now the countertops, the dishwasher, the squeaky wood floors and all that encompasses the kitchen will belong to them. It is their territory and they have won the war.


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The Deal By Julianna Lyle When I walked into my dorm room for the first time it was like entering some freaky new world. There were tons of weird posters of images I didn’t recognize or understand. One in particular had some sort of blue telephone booth-looking thing in space…Another said “I Believe in Sherlock Holmes.” Some of the posters were of cartoons. Others I actually recognized but would never, ever, want to hang on my walls. I mean seriously what kind of girl loves Lord of The Rings or Star Wars? And Harry Potter? Along with the bizarre posters were piles of books and DVDs and…comic books? What kind of college girl actually reads comic books? And why would she bring all of this flotsam here? Such a mess! I mean, with all of this stuff where is the mirror going to fit? Where will she even fit her textbooks? Who would fill all of her space with this strange junk? “Who are you, Lilly Freed?” I wondered aloud. “I was born in 1994, grew up in Southern Florida, planning to study animation and I am your roommate, I assume.” I turned around and saw her for the first time. She was a bit shorter than I was, with dyed bright red hair pulled up in a sloppy bun, big purple glasses, pimples, no make-up and wearing a t-shirt with Pikachu on it and pajama bottoms. And she was eating Doritos. “I just stepped out to get a snack,” she explained, wiping her cheesy hands on her pants. She extended her hand, “So who are you, Miranda?” “Miranda Banks,” I shook her hand, “Also born in 1994, from Ohio, and I’m pre-law…” “Great to finally meet you,” she beamed and sat down on her bed, quickly picking up her laptop. “So, what’s with all the stuff?” “Oh, well, you know, I couldn’t bear to leave them behind. I just wish I could have brought more. These are only my favorites.” She could have brought more? I looked again at her plastered over walls and cluttered piles on the floor. How is that even possible? Spring 2014


“Is it your first time seeing what a nerd’s room is like or something, blondie?” Plucky, I thought. Oh, so that’s what she is, a nerd. And all of this stuff is nerd stuff. At least now things are starting to make more sense. Of course I wouldn’t recognize or understand what a nerd likes; I’m not a nerd! “I guess so.” Lilly rolled her eyes and shifted her attention to her laptop and put on headphones. Guess our conversation was over. Great. I’m stuck with a weirdo as my first college roommate. This is fantastic. How the hell am I supposed to live with this? I was expecting a normal girl, like me. Someone I could be great friends with. Go out to see chick-flics; work out; go to parties and watch out for each other. But no, Lilly Freed just had to be a nerd. The first week Lilly and I barely talked to each other. We didn’t have anything in common. There wasn’t anything to talk about. I did all I could to stay out of the room because she was always there, on her laptop blogging or curled up reading. So I just stayed away. I spent my free time with some girls, normal girls that I’d met in Composition I and got set on my work-out regimen, and quickly signed up for clubs and volunteer groups. While I was out there beginning my college life, Lilly stayed in. I was eating out with a friend. Lilly was probably back at the dorm, in her bed, eating her crappy ramen noodles. “You really need to try to talk to your roommate.” I stared back at my new friend Sarah. “She’s a complete nerd. I like having fun and she just stays inside all day. We don’t have anything in common.” Sarah looked me in the eye. “How can you be so sure? If you would just put in a little more effort to get to know her…” “But–” “Miranda. People are not that simple. I’m in engineering, I interact with tons of nerds every day. They’re really not as anti-social as you think they are. Don’t believe in such a lousy stereotype. It’d be like me thinking you’re dumb because you’re blond.” I thought about it. So when I got back to my dorm, I decided to take Sarah’s advice, to talk to Lilly. As I expected she was, again, sitting at her laptop watching some cartoon with her headphones on. But I was set on talking.


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“Hey.” No response. “Hey! Lilly!” “Augh!” Lilly pulled down her headphones and glared at me. “What.” Not the best way to start a conversation meant to bring us closer, but I powered on. “I just wanted to talk.” “Why? We don’t talk.” “That’s what I wanted to talk about. I think we got off on the wrong foot. So let’s just start over, and get to know each other a little better.” Lilly looked at me like I just suggested that we tried to find big foot. “Are you serious?” “Yes. Yes I am. So, Lilly, tell me about yourself.” “Why, party-girl? You want your laughs?” Party-girl? She thinks I’m a party-girl? Man, we really needed to have this conversation. “What are we, five year olds? No, Lilly, I won’t laugh at you. And for the record, I’m not a party-girl, but we can get back to me. Tell me about you.” Lilly sighed, not really believing me, but she answered. “I love sci-fi and fantasy and cartoons and comics and books. I have two older brothers and a dog named Stinker.” “I already knew most of that, go on.” Lilly straightened herself and took a deep breath. “I don’t like doing the things that girls like you do. I like to stay in; being around lots of people is really draining and uncomfortable. I like hanging out with a few close friends, watching our nerdy shows and movies together.” “Ok, my turn! I love going out and being active, but I’m not up for partying all the time. I prefer to hang out with just my friends too; just we’re more into chick flicks and the beach. I’m an only child, but I also have a dog, Mr. Fluffymunch, who I adore.” We weren’t that different. Spring 2014


Lilly sat back. “Why are you pre-law?” “Since I was six I’ve dreamed of being a lawyer like my mom. Wearing pencil skirts and being able to right wrongs just always seemed fun to me. Why are you in animation?” “I’ve wanted to go into it since I was a kid too. I’ve just always loved cartoons and drawing.” “That’s really cool. I could never be creative like that.” “I could never wear a pencil skirt to work every day.” Lilly smirked, I laughed. “Do you think we could be friends?” Lilly considered the question. “Maybe…” “Then how about we get some coffee? There’s like a dozen coffee shops on campus, and they all have super-cute baristas.” Lilly looked back at me steadily through those glasses of hers, a glimmer in her eyes. “Only if we can get Doritos too.” I laughed. “Why not?” “It’s a deal then.” “Deal.”


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My Diagnosis By Rachel Lyle All the worries and fears I’d been trying to ignore had collected like rain in a well, and now I was drowning. I was trapped. I cried. We both did; Julianna, my twin sister, and I. “I just want to know what’s wrong,” I said, my voice cracked and broken. Through the blur of tears I saw Julianna nod. It had been months. I felt awful, like there were hundreds of weights pulling me down. Doing anything took so much effort. I was too tired. I was thirsty too. As a drink passed through my lips I would feel a short respite, but once I swallowed I was thirsty again. The most distressing symptom was my weight loss. In the beginning I had lost ten pounds, my first warning, but now I was losing more on and off again. Every pound lost was a painful reminder of the problem. To my horror, my pants stopped fitting, and I could see my own ribs. I was starving, even though I felt full. I felt disconnected from my body. I wasn’t this slow, tired, thirsty person, and this wasn’t my body. I hadn’t told my parents at first. Doing that would have been admitting to the existence of the problem. I shouldn’t have needed anyone’s help unless something was truly wrong. Julianna thought something was; I saw her looking at me with concern every day. She was trying to ignore it too, but she, nor I, could ignore it all the time. I’d linger in front of a mirror to check for more bones showing, she’d watch intently as I guzzled a drink. But we couldn’t do anything about it. I had to find someone who could, and, like most children, I went for my parent’s aid first. We were out at dinner. I told them about the weight loss, my constant thirst, the fatigue. Dad said I might be diabetic, or maybe I had a parasite or tapeworm in my system. I had known I was sick but I had never thought I was that sick. The gastronomist ran me through a bunch of tests; mostly blood tests, so many that my blood filled an entire tray of vials. To distract myself from the frightening implications of needing so many tests, I imagined that they each looked like a jewel. They were all a very deep red, deeper than what I had ever expected, and they were pretty. Pretty, not terrifying. They couldn’t be terrifying.

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I was tired of the worry, of the tests, of being sick. I knew then that whatever it was that was wrong, it was serious. I might have died. I might have needed surgery. I might have had the early signs of a lifelong disease. And now Julianna and I were crying in the middle of chemistry class. Ironically, at the same time Mom got a call with the results. I didn’t know this then, but she had cried too. When she came to pick us up after school, her voice was shrill and she was rushing us into the car. She said I was diabetic, and I needed to go to the hospital. The well of my worry and fears of not knowing was instantaneously replaced by a torrent of fear for what this would mean for my life. Apparently my immune system had savagely attacked my pancreas. My insulin producing cells had died in the battle, and my pancreas was left effectively dead and useless. Because of my pancreas’s defeat, my body could no longer create its own insulin, and so insulin would have to be delivered in from the outside world. Insulin is like a messenger in my bloodstream that tells my body tissue to digest carbohydrates. Without it all the sugars got piled up in my blood, and my body starved. As my body tried to flush out the sugar from my blood, I drank a lot. As my body was desperate for energy it went to its emergency stores and broke down fat cells all over my body, I lost weight. The doctors tried to mitigate the bad news by giving me a teddy bear. His name was Rufus and he was diabetic too. I was fifteen so I didn’t really need him. Still, I liked having him around. Though there is only so much a teddy bear can do. I knew that diabetes could still kill me. It could still destroy my life; it could take my eyes or my limbs, it could cause a seizure, a coma, heart disease. Any day it could kill me. I had to keep all that from happening myself. I couldn’t watch when they gave me my first injection, but I could feel the needle pierce through the skin of my arm. It was a sharp and brief moment of pain, followed by a strong relief. My energy came back, and I finally felt like myself again, like I was back in my own body. As painful as the shot was, I knew I had to do it, I could literally feel how my body needed it. The second time I watched as the needle disappeared into my stomach. They needed me to learn how to do it myself before they could let me leave. In just a few hours of training I was expected to leave fully capable of caring for myself. At first I was paranoid about having bad blood sugar. Every time it was too high or too low I worried about what it would mean for my future. I saw every bad number as a personal failure. I was angry, I was frustrated


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and I just wanted to be healthy. But I had to get over that fear to live my life, and eventually I did. I learned how to cope. The threat is no less real now than it was then, but a few bad numbers will not ruin my life. Diabetes will not ruin my life.

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Lche et’frei By Lucy Mahaffey His sword, drawn because of the guards, was covered in blood. It menacingly hung in front of him, suspended by his strong, empowering arm. The first thing he noticed was that the fire was lit, as it most always was. It burned a deep orange-red, and sizzled and cracked constantly. The glow was mesmerizing to most anyone, but Carnyae’s focus was on the grand four-poster bed, which currently held the body, mind, and demonic state of a man who could give or take a life on the whim of a moment. The next thing he noticed was a deep, raspy, terrible cackling sound. It was coming from the warlord of Drastanea. Tyran’s face was cast into light by the flames’ reflections. Not only was he cackling, but his eyes were utterly piercing. Lightening blue, they met Canyae’s quickly, and if looks could harm, both men would have exploded. Tyran was also smiling a demonic, hate-filled, wrathful, power-crazed smile that would have caused any warrior with sense to flee. Carnyae, however, was past sense or reason. After what seemed like hours Tyran spoke, “And so, the ‘puecarti’ son has come to kill the king? Where’s your friend? Oh Randolf, Randolf?” Randolf had heard Tyran from where he stood guard in the atrium. He didn’t move, though. This task had to be Carnyae’s, but as he always had Randolf started to mutter under his breath suggestions that Carnyae should attempt. Carnyae advanced to the figure in the bed. Kill him, just kill him, Carnyae’s mind was chanting, but his body refused to obey. He was about to tell Tyran to stand up and fight him. Carnyae wouldn’t kill a man that was lying down, even if it would be doing the world a favor. Tyran, however, had others plans. Just as Carnyae opened his mouth, Tyran interjected, “I love you!” Carnyae froze in the middle of his step. The words spilled forward into his mind, sunk deeply into his heart, and then they festered. Tyran had just mimicked the only piece of family that had known and cared for Carnyae—the only person that had saved his life when he was an infant and raised him—his mother. Tyran’s imitation was perfect, and Tyran observed Carnyae closely. When Carnyae froze Tyran sneered. “Those were her last words, you know,” the demon said and then heartlessly continued, “She tried to convince me that


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she really did love me—you don’t know about women. I know. They’re only one thing: foolish. Remember how she died, eh?” Carnyae had been prepared for blood, rage, physical pain, and even death but not this. His throat choked up, and he couldn’t think clearly except for one memory that raced through his mind. He did remember how she had died, but died was not the right word. She had been murdered—killed in front of his eyes by the man that she loved and Carnyae despised. Yes, Tyran had slaughtered two things that day: Carnyae’s mother and Carnyae’s hope. He closed off his heart, as he had learned to do the day his mother died, and continued with his chant: Kill him. Kill him. Kill him, now. Before Tyran could hiss more woes into Carnyae’s heart Carnyae yelled, “FIGHT ME!” Tyran, this time, did not say anything-- he did not even blink-- but his smile did not fade. Carnyae’s eyes didn’t leave Tyran’s, and the blaze from both eyes seemed to give off a heat. In truth the heat was from the fire. It had started to slowly fade, but its slight warmth still made both men uncomfortable. Now it was calmer and the light was changing to yellow and orange-- considerably cooler flames. Sneering, Tyran finally responded, “No. We both know who would win that. I think your goal is to live tonight, is it not? No, no. I will not fight you. You wouldn’t have a chance. I am a glorious leader. I give weak-links a fair chance. I’ll not fight you, but instead let you make the first move. That’s what you wanted, isn’t it? Go on. Kill me…if you can. And when you can’t, I’ll kill you slowly and painfully. Then I’ll kill everything you love, and that puecarti trusted friend of yours.” Carnyae was absolutely clueless on how he should respond to this. Should I charge him? Should I run? Should I call to Randolf? Should I try baiting him into standing? He made his decision and spoke, “Trusted? Oh, I do not trust. You have always trusted too much, heathen. It has been your downfall. It will not be mine. I will not be trusting in my rule. Any last words, demon?” Tyran laughed hysterically and then snapped back, “Downfall? You won’t live long enough to have a downfall! You, puecarti, are weak.” Tyran’s smile grew the most devilish Carnyae had ever seen, “Weak—like your mother.” Carnyae’s heart throbbed as he attempted to shout, “ENOUGH!”

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Tyran cut him off. “Now you will die like her, too: Helpless, hopeless, and WEAK!” He had produced a dagger from beneath his pillow and rapidly leapt towards Carnyae’s heart. Carnyae was paralyzed. He remembered his mother’s eyes—green, loving, and considerate. He recalled Randolf’s laugh—carefree and reassuring. Then he remembered his father’s eyes—his own eyes. They were similar. If he let his father kill him then he wouldn’t have to worry about turning out just like him, a power-crazed madman. Carnyae wouldn’t have to worry about endless pressure from his people, battles, heirs, or dishonorable death. He could just end it. He would just end it—now. No! A voice erupted inside of his mind. It was his mother’s voice. It had been one of the last words she had uttered before saying “I love you.” The reason she had been killed was because his father had wanted to kill him. Tyran had always wanted him dead. His mother had died for him. She made sure that he would not be killed, and then took the blow herself. He would make sure that her actions were not in vain. His survival skills kicked in, and he attempted a move that had been taught to him by Randolf. The move which had always managed to stump Carnyae in duels with his friend, was what he now used—flipping backward while simultaneously thrusting his sword inward. Tyran’s dagger struck where Carnyae’s chest had been a second before (now thin air.) Carnyae’s sword made contact with Tyran’s neck. As Carnyae’s feet came nearer to the ground, they caught Tyran’s back, and pushed him down to the ground. Before Carnyae had truly realized what was going to happen, his ever-faithful sword had successfully completed the task swords are meant to complete—the task of conquering the attacker. It had severed the head of the Drastanean warlord. Carnyae’s feet touched the ground, and his breath was knocked out of him. He gasped for air, and then turned to see the dimmed face of his father staring at him. The embers from the dying fire cast light on the eyes of the vanquished leader, and a circle of blood had already started to form. Quickly, Carnyae collected Tyran’s severed head and his right hand, the two body parts that had given the world the most trouble, and cast them into the dying fire. He then took a glowing log from the fire and cast it upon the bed, where he had laid the body. As much as he desired to, he did not further destroy the body. The dead could not feel anyway, and so no joy was to be gathered from such action.


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The fire quickly started up again, and it filled the room, slowly. Carnyae stepped into the atrium but didn’t take his eyes off of the fire. He watched it consume the head, hand, body, and bed. It slowly oozed onto the walls, tapestries, rug, and the books. As it gained momentum, it burned the decrees and letters and then moved on to the guards’ bodies which Randolf had managed to pile (unnoticed by Carnyae) into the fire’s path. The two men made their way to safer ground, and Carnyae’s thoughts whirled. He hoped maybe, just maybe, the fire could consume the horrid memories infested by his father’s presence, but he knew deep down this hope was in vain. He would never forget. They ran through the passage-ways, and Randolf looked at him quizzically. “The fire is not strong enough to burn the entire palace-fort,” Carnyae answered Randolf’s unasked question as he ran, “Just the... necessary things.” Randolf nodded, and they were able to reach the guest room that they had plotted in earlier. They had both placed medicinal items, food, and clothes into the bedchamber so that should they need to attend each other or flee they would be prepared. They quickly washed using a basin with water and then changed clothes to avoid any questions on why they were covered with sweat or blood. Afterward, they ran through the passages again but to a different destination. After a matter of minutes they reached a rooftop diagonal to Tyran’s burning wing of the palace-fort. Together they watched in silence as the flames leapt up and exploded against the night sky. Overhead the stars gave off an air of peace and the moon against the flames was a serene, yet somehow peculiar sight. They remained silent for a time observing the sky, the flames, and most importantly, each other. Nothing needed to be said, but many things had to be thought through. Randolf broke the silence soon, “Are you sure tha—” Carnyae answered the question before it had been fully asked, “It’ll be fine, and no one will guess we killed him, but the killing isn’t done yet. An hour before dawn, we must go after the cap-chilae.” Randolf nodded. Dawn was in a few hours. They resumed watching in silence. “Ze’del mane che.” Carnyae said, mainly to himself. Randolf looked at his friend first with consideration and then in respect. Carnyae met Randolf’s eyes after a moment, and said, “Thank you for telling me about everySpring 2014


thing. I don’t know what I would’ve done, without you.” Randolf understood what Carnyae meant. Besides what had just been said, he realized that even though there had been tension the whole night Carnyae believed Randolf, and Randolf believed himself. They were friends, and no matter what happened, they would trust each other. Randolf had seen Tyran’s mistakes and vowed he’d fail to repeat them. He relaxed a little for the first time in hours but remembered what was to come, “Well, like you said, it isn’t over yet. We still have to plan, a lot.” “I know.” Carnyae could see that Randolf, like almost always, understood what he was thinking. The two were still more like brothers than just friends. Randolf gazed at the blazing before them and then said to his friend, “We should stop the fire. It is growing, rapidly.” “No. Lche’et frei. Lche’he frei.”

Pronunciation Guide and Drastanean Translations: • “Drastanean” is a person from Drastanea (said drass-tan-ee-uh) • “Puecarti” is also a profane word that is extremely insulting if used by a relative, especially a father figure. (Pronounced: pooh-ae-cart-ie) • “Ze’del mane che.” means “I hate that man.” (Pronounced: Zhae-dell-man-e-chay) • “No. Lche’et frei. Lche’he frei.” Means “No. Let it burn. Let him burn.” (Pronounced: No. Le-shay-et-free-ae. Le-shay-he-free-ae.)


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A Story to Tell By Katrina A. Marks I know stories. Since the ones told at bedtime, and the ones I read under the covers on school nights, and the ones I thought up in some discreet, shadowy corner of my mind, I have lived inside the stories. But those were fiction. The characters, however strongly I felt about them, were never flesh and blood. Journalism tells the stories of real people, real events, real life. It is a different type of story, in a different style—one with stronger boundaries and infinite challenge. I love these stories—since the day I was introduced to them in journalism class my junior year of high school. And, both in telling these stories myself, as a writer, and in teaching my fellow staff members how to tell them, as an editor, I believe that I have learned something else: how to make other people love these stories as much as I do. It was a rocky beginning—no argument. I had only one year of experience as an opinion editor before I was chosen as Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. We were not a formal affair. We printed out of the teacher’s lounge. Our staff titles were nothing more than suggestions of purpose—I enjoyed the opinion section but had no more focus on it than the other staff members did. We shared space—and computers—with the yearbook class which met in the same room during the same period. And we were slowly but surely dying. The schedule advisors, who knew it, made every effort to fill the class. They succeeded—too well. The influx of new students was both a blessing and a curse. It meant that the paper could grow, gain a broader perspective from the many ideas of many different people. It meant that those ideas could receive more focus from the writers—a thing in stark contrast to the previous year, when a writer’s attention was often divided among two or three different stories. However, it also meant that, to tell the stories and to expand the ideas to paper and ink, the new writers needed to gain a comprehensive knowledge of journalism—very, very quickly. My high school had no formal class on the practices of journalism. The journalism class was the practice. Three veterans—myself included—twelve new students, eight working computers and two weeks later, our first issue was due to print. I was learning as well, learning how to lead, how to teach, how to edit, how to make the paper the best I could make it. And learn I did. Mistakes were made, often. I learned that, where before my writing had been—first and foremost—for myself, I now had a duty to make it for my readers. I had to foresee the way that the students, the teachers, the administrators and all the unnamed, unknown persons who read the paper would respond to my words. I am Spring 2014


not a very good clairvoyant. I am fairly competent at offending people unintentionally. But I learned. And I now feel that I have a much better understanding of how to understand, how to detach, how to put myself into someone else’s head—and then write the words that will allow that person to appreciate my story. While I was learning what not to write, I was also attempting to help my fellow staff members learn what and how to write. I remember that shock—that silent, nearly subconscious sense of rebellion—when you learn that, this time, you can’t write your feelings, your opinions, your experiences. You are no longer the fountain; you are the channel. And there is an ocean of other people’s stories for you to find, hear and tell. I wasn’t nearly so articulate when I tried to explain this to the confused new staff members suffering from the same shock that I remember. I had never had to teach anyone how to write before. Grammar editor, yes—a thousand thanks to my brilliant, terrifying ninth grade English teacher— personal walking thesaurus, yes, MLA format expert, yes; but explaining a style, a form, a new way to use words—this was a new sort of undertaking. I have never particularly enjoyed oral communication. My vocal cords prefer softer tones and minimal vibration. A keyboard or a pencil is, to me, a much better medium as I can weigh my words, shape them and dust them off before setting them in front of someone else. But it is not so efficient. My fallbacks when speaking are most often wry humor, sarcasm or personal accounts. These proved helpful over the course of the year—especially when I needed to keep the staff’s attention. But I also had to develop my skills in clear, concise dialogue in order to offer my peers coherent explanations. I tried. I—for the most part—succeeded. But, most importantly, I recognized the shape of improvement—where it was and where it was needed. I keep that shape in mind, even if its surroundings have changed. The journalism class itself is dead now, the newspaper in the throes. However, the staff and I live on. We as individuals keep writing, learning, moving. My first year at my university’s newspaper has continued this process. It is a frightening one, and at times painful. The coming years can only heighten the experience. And yet I embrace them. No, I dive toward them with every ounce of impatience my inner adventurer can muster. It is not fiction anymore. It is real. There is a world beyond the walls of high school, beyond even the threshold called the university. It is filled with people. It is filled with stories. But sometimes they can’t tell the stories themselves— because there is a language, or an ocean, or a grave in the way. I want to tell their stories. More than that, I want people to hear their stories.


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New Beginnings By Deanna Mattia Jackson Taylor hated cemeteries, thinking about the millions of dead bodies that had been laid to rest just six feet under the soles of his boots made his stomach churn. He was happy they had chosen an outdoor burial; it didn’t seem as confining. He knew he would never be able to handle walking into a mausoleum and being surrounded by wall-to-wall graves. Sure, the building looked nice and it was always clean, but he had never been very good at handling death. He knew he would have to visit. He promised he would. It was a good decision, choosing an outdoor grave. Being able to look up at the wide, open, sky helped him relax. The view of flowers and trees brought extra comfort and allowed him to imagine he was in a park or a field, anywhere but inside a cemetery. Another bonus of choosing an outdoor grave was that Jackson could stay an extra hour longer before they closed the gates at night. Despite the benefits, he still found it hard to visit. It was a constant reminder of what he had and everything he lost. His sister Marcia, a child psychologist, firmly believed that her brother’s fear, grief, and reluctance to start dating again was unhealthy. She understood her brother’s phobia of death, it stemmed from losing their mother and grandmother within the same month during their childhood. At the time, Jackson was twelve and still a bit young to properly understand how to manage his grief. Therefore, his feelings manifested into a complete phobia of doctors, hospitals, and cemeteries. She figured he would eventually grow out of it, but in Jackson’s mind, it wasn’t that simple. Dying instantaneously in a car accident, for example, is easy. There is no struggle when it comes to immediate death. There is no suffering or pain. It just happens. The deaths Jackson had witnessed in his lifetime were not peaceful. His mother had suffered a long and agonizing battle with lung cancer. His grandmother suffered a heart attack and died a week later. Then there was the most recent accident. The event that Jackson refused to allow his mind to replay for the millionth time. Marcia had given her brother the recommended mourning time. She let him grieve alone, so he could process his feelings and get his life back in order. However, after a year, it became clear that Jackson was traumatized. He avoided social gatherings, preferred to spend his nights smoking and drinking, and was increasingly uncomfortable around fire. His appearance seemed to be suffering as well. Jackson had always been in shape, but Spring 2014


his current weight-loss was borderline alarming. The bags under his blue, bloodshot, eyes implied little sleep and he often complained of illness to get days off from work. He was showing every sign of Chronic Depression, which prompted Marcia to take over. She started by forwarding him E-mail articles about his condition. She encouraged him to try doing activities he used to love, like painting. She recommended self-help seminars and fellow therapists she thought could help him. The only problem was that Jackson didn’t want help. He showed reluctance, anger, and defiance towards her constant pushing. The more Marcia tried to help, the more distance Jackson put between them. After two years of working on her own, Marcia recruited a few of Jackson’s close friends. She hoped they would be able to break down the walls her brother built, but each of them failed. Unfortunately, Marcia became convinced that Jackson was beyond help and finally agreed to give him what he wanted most -- solitude. She settled for seeing him once a year after his annual visit to the cemetery. Jackson hoped things would be different this time, that Marcia wouldn’t bring up any more ways to fix him. Dinner the previous year had not gone well. He remembered leaving the restaurant with his blood boiling. Where did his sister get off saying he wasn’t happy? He wasn’t ecstatic, but at least he felt content. He was living in his little, crappy, apartment with his dog and had a decent job doing construction. His life was no longer perfect, but it could be far worse. He stopped off at a liquor store and bought a bottle of whiskey and a carton of cigarettes. Life in Marcia’s world was easy. She had a husband and kids, a high paying job, and an enormous house. She was the success story of the family. Jackson was the black sheep. He was the idiot who quit Law school to pursue Art, got married too young, and failed to do what others thought was best for him. Marcia had suggested finding a new religion, as if that would magically fix his problems. He still believed in God, he believed that God enjoyed seeing him suffer. His family and friends were under the impression that starting over was simple. If he went back to church, maybe God would forgive his sins and his luck would change. If he met someone new, maybe the hole in his heart would miraculously mend itself. It was all a load of bullshit, Jackson thought. December 1st brought along the first snow of the season. A gentle dusting of powder clung to the ground, the trees, and the tops of the tombstones. It was almost peaceful, or it would be, if it wasn’t so cold. Jackson adjusted the blood red scarf that was wrapped around his neck, so it would cover his nose. His face was numb and he was beginning to lose feeling in his fingers, but it was his own fault for wearing fingerless


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gloves. He really needed to get a new pair. He had never been a good shopper. It was always something she nagged him about. At the time, Jackson couldn’t think of anything more annoying than being nagged about buying a new pair of gloves or a new coat. Now, he would trade his soul just to hear her voice again. After about a ten minute walk through the long, quiet, rows of the graveyard, he finally found the stone he was searching for. The sound of shattered glass pulled him away from his thoughts. He knelt down to examine the small, broken, frame. It was a picture of her. He figured her parents must have brought it with them. They visited twice a week, while it took Jackson eleven months to build up enough courage to walk through the iron gates once a year. He cursed, knowing that he would have to return later in the week with a new frame, unless he could convince one of his friends to do it for him. He stared at the photo. It had been taken a month or two before she died. Her long, black, hair was loose and curly. It had taken her forever to style it while he nagged about them being late. He could almost see the reflection of the camera in her sparkling sapphire eyes and her makeup had been done just right. Everything about her had always been just right. Jackson smiled as unshed tears clouded his vision. He made the sign of the cross and prayed. He lost track of time afterwards talking about his life, work, and plans. It had been five years since the accident and his life was finally starting to come together. He decided one night in a drunken stupor that changes needed to be made. His dog, Pablo, agreed. Luckily, those ideas for change stayed with Jackson, even after one of the most vicious hangovers of his life. When it was time to meet Marcia for dinner, Jackson stood and pocketed the broken picture. “I love you.” He whispered to the stone and walked away.

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Old Soul, Puer Aeternus By Nick Mogensen The clock hit the midnight hour and the bell began to toll in the ancient church steeple down the road, and at last the time had arrived. The Nike Frees felt right on my feet, ready to loyally carry me once more to wherever I wished. It was the 6th of August, and in this the first minute of my birthday newly arrived, I began my run through the silent streets of the sleeping German village and towards the mountain ridge beyond. I was jogging and letting the night envelope all around as I felt the cooling breeze tendrilously caress and slowly bring forth adrenaline into the bloodstream. The mountain ridge rose out of the night, illuminated in brilliant flashes of lighting from an approaching storm still a long way off over it and to the West of Friesdorf. Innumerable trees towered all across its hulking and intimidating form. It dared me once more to charge and ascend, rush in and engage in the great test, a battle of endurance. The gradual rise became steeper as I passed the last house in the village and was now running into the Cimmerian shade of the forest. But I was ready for it. I knew my way well by now, even if it was my first time here in the night. It made the entire event a worthier experience though. Up and up the road twisted and meandered into the higher calignosity. I knew I was passing the Schloss somewhere to my right as I kept going and pushing forward. The mountain road went ever higher into the trees. I was born for this sort of thing and it hurt and I hated it and I loved it. At last I made it to the top and had conquered the long stretch. Just where I knew it would be, the vast plateau with the fields full of horses and the farm, invisible, went on endlessly into the dark. It was here that I stopped, breathless, to sit atop the fence of the fields. I was Puck and Peter Pan, and all things between that are wild and youthful and without restraint, all things that every man has within him but most men forget, encumbered by the burdens of society and civility, as they grow older. I was once and now and hopefully forever a Lost Boy, an increasingly endangered breed amongst my ever-aging generation, growing and experiencing but growing no older at heart. There atop the mountain above the world and looking across the plateau that was eventually swallowed in the impenetrable darkness that is the German forest, I let forth an all-encompassing yawp that would have made Whitman teary-eyed.


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My verdant vociferation, rugged, ancient, asymmetric, and all things modern life was not, issued forth and hung and echoed throughout the open expanse of the night. It was as much a salute to an era and an age now past and gone, no more a teenager, as much as it was a promise to a future unknown and unseen as the night but ever-optimistic as I solemnly swore to never grow up. To never grow up and give it all up, this feeling of eternal optimism coupled with indomitable ambition, as I made the same sacred oath I’d been making annually on my birthday night runs since I turned 18. An oath of allegiance to all things innocent and pure and praiseworthy. To see all things as though for the first time as a child does. To not be callow so much as remain unjaded by the onward march of time and experience; I was and am ever mindful of all the external duties and gravity that being a future Army officer entails. Even still, to never fail to be awed by new and wondrous sights and compelling associates and to seek them out all my life. To always endeavor to appreciate the simplicities and eccentricities over the mundanities and normalities. Sunrises and nighttime kisses and snowball fights and mountains and talking to homeless people and barbecues, the Texas 2-step and dancing unashamedly and running in the rain when the streets are flooded and I am the only soul in the world. That unmatched feeling when you return home from yet another far-flung place. Raising hell around the house with Mark, Kelly, and Scott to the playful fatigue of poor mom. Night driving and speeding and starlight and loud music and Washington at night. I was flying down the mountain now as the storm hit in all its fury, knowing that I was closer than ever to my departure from Germany in a few days. But then there would be Ireland and my buddy Kelly and Sam and Lauren and Emily and I expected we’d make a wild time of it there. Then the return to America, landing in Washington and the long drive back to school in Texas. Yet, there was no longer lachrymosity or regret or wishes to stay longer, no more heartache about leaving. For I only wanted to go. To go and go and go, all my life, forward and upward, onward and into untried and exhilarant enterprises. This, perhaps, was the secret of life, discovered at the age of 20. To not disremember my past circumstances but not decelerate and shy from new exploits either, to know that everywhere and every day was the grand adventure you made of it, fashioning your destiny anew with the coming of each freshly granted morning.

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I was thinking of the frenetic, gridlocked streets of Manila and the sun setting behind Kilimanjaro and the immaculate Caribbean waters of Cancun and the Yucatan. I was once more standing with the children of the dirt floor classrooms I had taught in Tanzania. The happy friends I’d met in the village on the outskirts of Ensenada, who had hardly any food of their own but munificently shared with us. The night with Tanguy and Marion, stargazing in the clover and learning French. I was thinking of the overlook of the Key Bridge in the night from Georgetown, Rosslyn one gigantic lightshow across the Potomac. Feeling the heat of the Texan sun and the thrill of 90,000 people throwing the entirety of their very souls into a game of American football of the purest kind on Kyle Field. I felt the endorphins rushing to my brain, elation in the bloodstream; the pinnacle of the Runner’s High. I remembered what it had felt like the first time I came in under 10 minutes in the 3200m. I thought of all the nights I hardly slept and innumerable laughs I’d had and was always having and all of the sagacious conversations with friends both ancient and newly arrived. I remembered planes and trains and bikes and cars, runs and walks and Recklessnesses and Romances. I knew in these moments, as I came once more into the silent streets with my fleetly flying feet and palpitating panting, that from here to Texas and everywhere in between and without, I was entering a brand new decade that promised no longer years and salaries, facts and figures, but only one true thing that mattered anymore: 3,652 individual days, each a new, spectacular, and undiscovered adventure, awaited me in this new decade, and the first would come with the rising sun in a matter of hours. I was very much in love with life and being alive in those moments and I am now and think I shall be forever. What a life this is, and as I came to my house and turned the key in the door, I knew I’d only just finished writing the prologue of something that is increasingly promising to be nothing short of extraordinary. ~The Heart of a Lost Boy


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Love Lines By Jourdan Moschitta It isn’t always easy to fall in love, especially when the falling in love has happened to you for the first time. You wind up like an old working clock, filled with tension, every tick bringing you closer and closer to the final explosion. It is there that the uncertainty lies. What will this explosion bring? Is it the beginning of something new or the end of what could have been? I fell hard. I fell quickly with no sense of what exactly I was falling for. By the time I came around to it, I had felt too much and didn’t know how to feel any differently. Maybe I didn’t want to. I wonder if I enjoyed the pains of unrequited love so much that I didn’t let go when I should have, when maybe feeling the pain was better than feeling nothing at all. I went through every possible scenario. I drove the miles. I walked the line. I promised myself that no matter what it took, I would have my happy ending. But when you’re standing at a crossroad and you don’t know where you’re going, that choice you must make becomes blurred. The lines you walked become blurred and you forget how to tell what was real from what you imagined the real thing would be like. That’s the hardest part. Climbing the mountain isn’t easy, but when you discover the mountain is no more than a molehill, looking down is the hardest part. I looked down and saw that I was really two feet from the ground and the mountain I thought I was climbing didn’t really exist. That’s when the tears come. Out of all the pain, I did learn something. I learned that living in a fantasy is fine. Escaping the real world for the one you’ve created is fine, as long as you are prepared to deal with the consequences and false illusions. But there is a line, and one day you have to choose between life and fiction. Sometimes they are indistinguishable, especially when you want them to be. But they are always different. They run like asymptotes to their mathematical function. They are very close, but they never actually touch. Loving someone is hard. Loving someone who doesn’t love you is even harder. Loving with reckless abandon and sacrificing your heart is the hardest. There are days when I’m not sure what exactly I’ve gotten myself into. There are days when I feel like it will never end. Even though time has passed and the pain has faded, I still feel his presence. Whenever I smell the salty sea air, or I hear the thumping of my own heart thumpSpring 2014


ing for somebody else, I think of him. I know that he will dance to the rhythm with some other girl, but I hope he doesn’t forget me. I know he will look down to see he is on top of the world, but I hope he doesn’t forget me. When he sees a brown-eyes beauty or smells flowers that smell just like me, I hope and pray that he will not forget me because to forget someone who offered their entire being to you is the same as spitting on Cupid’s grave. I learned that love is hard to give, and it is hard to find. When you do find it, hold on like hell and never let it go. Love is the greatest gift in the world and to have it as a part of your life is to achieve greatness. Learning from love is a hard to do, but every lesson should be cherished and embraced because if you allow yourself to be swept up, you may just be swept away.


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The Train Ride By Justyna Obrzut As I was standing alone in a train station early in the morning, I watched different people pass me by. I recognized a few of the faces and smiled back. My facial expression lasted for a few seconds, and then I hide it into my packet like it was some kind of an electronic device. During this time one express train passed through the station with people inside hurrying to get to their destinations, and one Red Line train stopped at the station for a long time. Every one of those trains reminded me of the different friends that I encountered in my life, and their effect on me. As I was remembering the past, my train had not arrived yet. Neither did my friend. When I was in kindergarten, I viewed friendship as a non-binding commitment. We shared toys and meals with girls that sat with me at the dining table. At this time I did not choose my friends, but my teacher assigned them to me. Karolina, who was my best friend through elementary school, was sitting with me at one table in every class. We helped each other with homework and everyday problems. We spend hours talking, retelling old stories, remembering previous teachers and boyfriends. She convinced me to go to the art club, and then a dance team even though I could barley draw or dance. This friendship, although based on sympathy, required constant compromises on my part. Karolina was the leader of the relationship while I was standing on the side, hiding behind the trees, observing as someone else played my life like a doll. The more time we spent together, the further I drifted from being myself, and becoming her clone. As we grew older, she started adding little pieces to me—piece-by-piece creating a mosaic that did not fit as a whole. I did not want to wait helplessly in the window anymore looking if she was coming to see me as promised when she did not call to cancel. That is when our friendship was at the top of the hill, and all we needed was the fast ride down to get to an end. One day, she gave me a letter saying: “We cannot be friends anymore because we act like a separate group in the class, and I want to make new friends.� Our friendship did not survive the hard test of time. We grew up from childish games to experience the world of adulthood. I run away from memories of this friendship to the United States, and Spring 2014


I started to rebuild myself into who I am now. I recaptured the missing pieces and added new, more important ones. I learned my lesson and I understood that I am not able to have a friend until I create a strong base for myself. Friends need to be someone I can rely on, trust, and share my perception of the world. But as long as I am growing, my principals change with me. If I were to take a pen and a paper and write down all the characteristics of the right friend, I would never stop revising and editing because I am constantly changing. Once I will develop my perception fully without changing for someone else to accept me, I will be able to go out looking for the right person. After all, friendship is like those trains. Some of them run express to take us to our destination quickly, but we do not remember the views from the window of people inside. The right train, however, is worth waiting for. It takes us to the perfect destinations, allows us to see the views from the window and recognize some old and new faces inside. The right train, or rather friend, gives us the freedom of choosing our own seat and our own future. As of now, I am waiting with my list of designed characteristics for a train like that to climb aboard and meet my best friend.


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Country Roads, Take Me Home By Preetha Palasuberniam The sun has started glistening in the sky, the daisies are slowly emerging from the soil and spring is finally coming to an end. This can only mean one thing, “I get to go home!” I can stop counting pennies to do my laundry, eating more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than recommended, and pretending to be an adult. I get to go home! Well, most of us do. At this time of the year, a little fire of jealousy burns in me, not for those lucky kids who get to go to the Bahamas, but those who get to go home every year. The same home they took their first steps in, the kitchen where they burned their first batch of brownies, the driveway their dads taught them how to ride a bike. I am insanely jealous of those people; those people who have a defined place they can call “home sweet home.” As for me, I never could. Going home is, to say the least, challenging. My home is amorphous. In my family of five, every member is currently in a different state or in a different country. I am lucky if I get to see more than one member at a given time or even see anyone at all for a long time. I have always known this to be the way of life, as work and education is paramount in my family. If I go home, to whichever home it may be, it would mean I get to sleep on a pull out bed and live out of a suitcase. I get to visit my friends, whom I got to know once upon a time, and accustom myself to the newly sculpted personalities, on whom time and experience had taken a hold. Habitually, I am always flabbergasted by how differently my, once upon a time town and home appears; the new buildings and landscape, the new ice cream place around the corner, and even the bothersome new neighbors. With every little change, it gets harder for me to call any place home sweet home. The playground where my sister and my mom taught me to ride a bike has now been demolished and has transformed into a parking lot. The only roof that sheltered every single one of my family members, which was for about four years, is now a home for a lovely couple and their two daughters. Despite all these austere changes, they have taught me a grandeur life lesson; home is where the heart is. Nonetheless, I am still afflicted once the holiday season comes around and I have to spend the time with friends and their families, I have learned that everything occurs for a reason. Moving all my life has taught me the Spring 2014


significance of “home� and family. Many people take home for granted but, the next time you complain that your parents want you home for the weekend or you have to see your crazy, eccentric family members, just remember there are many people like me who would eagerly take your place.


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Shining Bright at Sevalaya By Anne Piervil My journey to India has one that shows my motivation to service. My journey in India defined my life journey to always lend a helping hand. It all began when I received an email about a travel stipend from the Florida State University office of Global Scholars. I have always wanted to travel and be a global volunteer. This email was heaven sent; I started to do research on countries with great need in my field of study. Being Haitian-American, I was hoping to find an organization in Haiti doing social reforms in the community or therapies for the affected communities of the latest earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. In my application I explained my intent to go to my parents’ motherland and give back to the communities that are still struggling. I fluently speak, read, and write the native language of Haiti; growing up in a Haitian household I am very accustomed to the culture too. Early in my spring semester, I received an email congratulating me; I was one of the recipients of the FSU Global School Travel Stipend. This travel stipend was an opportunity for me to do some international service. I headed to Global Scholar’s office and spoke with Ms. Young. Together we searched the Omprakash website to find a destination for me where I could get appropriate field experience and where I would feel comfortable. I found a site in Peru called SKIP, they were doing studies on the children and parents. I would be leading and observing group sessions. I needed to speak fluent Spanish for this program and I do not. After yet another let down, I began to feel like I would never find a site to serve at. Then I got an email about Sevalaya. Sevalaya is an orphanage in India. They currently have four hostiles: a girl’s home, a boy’s home, an integrated home for the staff, and an old age home. I applied to do social work services and to counsel the children in the orphanage. Sevalaya eagerly accepted me and I was thrilled that this site had a little everything I wanted to do. Upon my arrival to India, I realized I was not on vacation; I was in a third world country and these people needed my help. My first few days were rough; I did not feel welcomed and I was very homesick. On my third full day in India, I had a breakdown. I felt I was lied to and that I was not needed. I know the sacrifices that I had to make and why I came to Sevalaya, but I just felt alone in this country with nothing to do. After speaking to a few other volunteers I realized that I had to see the bigger picture. Sevalaya has about two hundred kids Spring 2014


and five caregivers for all the children. With me there now the children had another caregiver and a friend. I began to go the orphanage for hour upon hours to simply play with the children. I could not speak the native language, Tamil, so I smiled and listened. Soon the staff and children began to communicate with me and I found my purpose. I gave the children that were sometimes forgotten attention and I listened to the elderly that was ignored. I grew to love Sevalaya and everyone there because the openly accepted and were truly kind to me. I spent nine weeks in India where I was taught to shine bright and I made many memories: A Day in my Beloved Classroom If you walked into my class; UKG, which is basically a kindergarten class, my children will rise and say “good morning sistuh or brotha”. Then they would try to pay attention to their other teacher who would be giving out directions. I would patiently stand and wait for a young girl to bring me a mat and place in front of me. Once it was properly arranged I would take my sit. After morning prayers and meditation, the children like to go wild. They love to jump on me and start singing a song I taught them. Row row row your boat and Everywhere we go, people want to know are their favorites. They like to hold up one index finger and say “sistuh one time...please”! So I’ll smile and say okay okay. Then I will start singing and they happily join in. After we sing each song twice, I point to body parts that they know then I teach them two new body parts. Then, together we start at our eyes then name our body parts to our toes. By the time we are done it’s morning break time; the girls line up then the boys and they walk down the hall to the bathrooms and sinks outside. When they return they are all usually wet and someone is always completely drenched. The other teacher usually steps out and leaves me with the kids. For the first five minutes we sing and play. But, once they realize she’s not coming back and time soon, they go wild. The first time this happened I was in disbelief. I watched little boys box, girls leap off counter tops, and others fight over toys. I was trying to do everything at once and they barely know English so we could not communicate. That was my first day in class, now when they get out of hand I say Ellaih which means stop. Most of the kids still carry on but, I get some of their attention and I speak very slowly to them. Once I get them settled down and seated, we start singing and making music. Every day, I wake up excited for the adventures I will have in class. I truly adore the children and they love my company. If they see me outside the classroom, no matter where they just drop everything and run into my open arms. It’s


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so cute. I could never have dreamed of this and in less than four weeks I will be leaving these wonderful children. It’s so bittersweet! Beach Weekend in India After a crazy but, always enjoyable week in India I thought I need an adventure. We decided a beach weekend was in order. As the news spread, all the children were excited to see us off and couldn’t wait till we would be back with pictures. We left Saturday morning already 7am; I could hardly sleep I was up around 5am. Bailey, Katharine and I walked to a bus stand which was maybe a mile away to wait for the bus to Avadi. In Avadi, we had breakfast at our favorite restaurant where we had dosa and great coffee. The coffee was so good I had two. After, a great breakfast of basically bread and sauces we were off for a three hour bus trip. Riding buses in India are always fun. You never know who you see inside or outside the bus. I sang the whole three hours. The woman next to me didn’t mind. She stared at me once then smiled. As we got closer to the beach, the scenery changed. There were beautiful hills, fields of palm trees and flowers; everything was so exquisite! We finally arrived at our destination around 1pm. We were in Mamalapuram. This is a small beach town outside of Chennai, which is a large city in India. Once we got off the bus, everyone was trying to sell things to me. They would follow us for five minutes trying to sell me seashells. I admired their determination. We got a room with three beds and no AC for 800 rupees. That’s like $5 a person. I love India! After we dropped on bags off; it was shopping time. Mamalapuram has many sites to see and tons of rocks and caves so everyone had stone carvings and other things of that nature. We found great antiques and gorgeous jewelry. I was in heaven. Late afternoon, we found a music store that gave music lessons. The owner was more than happy to teach me who to play every instrument. I played a flute that calls snakes and I really enjoyed the drums. Once we left that shop, we could hear the waves crashing and we could not wait any longer. It was time to dive into the ocean. It is not common, to find people in their bathing suits in India; you usually go in fully dressed. The water was absolutely perfect. It was so refreshing to let my hair down and relax. I soon began to start hunting for seashells. They were everywhere in every size and shape but, the tide would wash them away as I tried to pick one up. I had a blast chasing seashells and the locals thought I was funny so they would point out seashells to me. In disbelief, I watched a woman throw her trash away in the ocean. I stared at her and she simply laughed Spring 2014


and walked away. After many pictures and a pocket full of seashells, we returned to our hotel to get ready for dinner. For dinner, we went to Moonrakers, a well- known Indian/Chinese restaurant. It was lightly drizzling so we could not eat on the roof deck but our room was very spacious and nicely lit. I ordered paneer marsala with chatipatti; which is an Indian cheese in a tomato sauce with a tortilla like bread to dip in it. I was actually really really good. After dinner, we went to a bookstore to see its selection. The owner buys back books and was friendly. As the night ended, I went to sleep watching “Tom and Jerry”! The next morning, we went to the Blue Elephant. I had chocolate banana pancakes and toast with Nutella. I was in true bliss. After breakfast, we went site-seeing. I climbed Krishna’s Butter Ball aka Butterball. After I took pictures and posed with the children that wanted pictures with me; I SLID DOWN! It was so exhilarated.. We saw temples, caves, meditation rooms and so many other cool things. As it came time to leave we saw monkeys. Yes, monkey roaming the streets. Around 2pm, we gathered our things and took our seats on the bus. This would be a beach trip I would never forget. I had such a good time. I was sorry to leave but, I truly missed the kids at Sevalaya. This summer I had an amazing opportunity to travel to India and intern at an orphanage. I was in India for nine weeks; nothing could prepare me for what I saw. I have worked with many children from many different backgrounds, but these by far are the most joyous or “jolly” as they would say children that I have ever met. I interned at an orphanage called Sevalaya which also has a primary school, secondary school, free clinic, old age home, and organic farming. Sevalaya means temple of service and that is exactly what I did Service! I worked in clinic, I read and sang in the old age home, I taught English, and I spent the majority of my time simply playing and dancing in the orphanage. As open and cultured as I thought I was entering a foreign country really challenges you to see the world in a different light. The people of Sevalaya taught me their language, how to survive in a third world country, and how to be happy in life no matter what. I truly enjoyed myself and I loved the work I did. The children touched me and I hope I have a chance to return and continue serving this wonderful place. My journey to India will forever be in my heart because not only did I get to change a life but, my life was changed.


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Reflections of a Senior By Qualicia Quiles My college life, it started out with so much to look forward to and now I have so much to look back on. I remember freshman year and how I was full of anticipation and ready to see where this all would take me. In my imagination I envisioned myself joining clubs, making friends and being a cross between a busy bee and a social butterfly whizzing around gaining all this experience that would one day be my successful life story. However, I failed to realize that I had brought more of high school with me than I thought I did. I was still too focused on grades and not enough on contributing, in short I did not understand the importance of getting involved like I thought I did. As a commuter I struggled to stay on campus for any amount of time after my classes was over I was conditioned to get myself to a designated area where I knew I would be picked up and taken straight home. This old habit from high school had followed me to Montclair and I was unaware of its presence then but I am now. Despite being in this new setting on a whole new level I was trapped in my old ways and thinking back I’m sure they cost me some great times but there is no bitterness in this realization, just clarity. I clung to my favorite little spot in College Hall where I sat and ate, read or studied in-between classes. I always got a cheese Danish and settled in as I watched students and professors go up and down the hall. I basked in my fresh independence and I could have sat there all day if I had chosen to. That’s the wonderful thing about college, it’s all choice. As an individual you choose to go to college, you choose to go to class, you choose your classes that make up your schedule and you choose to do the work. These choices ultimately determine the type of “college experience” that you will have or in other words the type of experience you will give yourself. As a student your ability to choose gives you the power to pick the things you will learn, the skills you will acquire and the people you will meet. In high school I chose to focus primarily on my grades and ignore other opportunities to explore my other talents and creativity. Since grade school all I knew was the satisfaction of getting an “A” on a test or paper but it was time to prove that I could be more than just a good grade. I had a few failed attempts freshman year, I picked up tutoring in my sophomore year, by my junior year I was still tutoring and helping out the Spring 2014


Disability Resource Center with my note taking skills. My biggest change did not arrive until my senior year. This year has proven to be the most exciting and rewarding. I have found myself doing more than just listening to lectures, taking notes and regurgitating material but the material that I am being exposed to is affecting me to a point in which I want to take action. In my senior year I have fully embraced the importance of taking risks in order to find my passion. With all the choices that college has to offer there is more than enough activities to spark a person’s interests, the trick is sparking the ones that will motivate your life’s work. Before you get your acceptance letter and before you get your degree the concept of “get involved” is stressed beyond reason, but I am happy to say that I have grasped some meaning in that phrase for myself. The words “get involved” for this senior means applying to internships, going to psychology club meetings every Wednesday, running for vice president of that same club, interviewing to become a peer advocate, becoming a mentor for a local school and forever keeping an open mind about any new opportunity that presents itself. In retrospect I can say that I am well pleased with the changes that have come over me. My perspective is new and my independence has increased with every passing semester. I have reflected on where I have been and I know where I am trying to go, but until I get there I’m content with where I am. I am forever learning and working on a new goal because I have pinnacles to reach. I would not be a senior in college had I chosen not to go and I would not be the leader that I am if I chose to simply follow.


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This I Believe By Momina Qureshi There is poverty. There is loyalty. There is force. There are decisions without reasons. There are decisions with tradition. There is henna. There is street food. There are camels and horses trotting down the beach. There are mangos sweeter than any ice cream. There are cigarette butts. There are motorcycles crushed under their five passengers. There are pankis and rickshas. Between all of this there was also me. Perhaps on the day I had learned to open my eyes I had unwittingly caused something irreversible to happen. I had planted roots. Roots right into the soil on which that hospital stood. And yet deeper still. It wasn’t just the soil or the land I had claimed as part of me. I took on from that moment the past as well as the future of my family and my culture. Born in the bustling New-York like city of Karachi, Pakistan. Layer one. Moving to the unknown “western world”. Layer two. Understanding a “bare necessities life”. Layer three. Being labeled in the aftermath of one of America’s biggest tragedies. Layer four. Held to account as the eldest of four. Layer five. I’ve perhaps oversimplified the sophisticated, intricate process that is life. Life isn’t a simple layering process as I’ve come to learn. It is not horizontal, nor is it vertical or diagonal. It is—in the best way put—the equivalent of a beach with sands that come under and over depending on the currents; constantly being pulled back or pushed forward. I found in my life that there is no such thing as a solved problem. My culture clashes, my poverty lifestyle remains, the world’s perception of me, my heavy responsibilities always seem to resurface in different combinations each time. No matter much drifting and moving my sand does however, the age old roots wrapping around me anchor me to my beach. The values distilled into me of family, respect, sacrifice, pursuit and commitment cannot be thrown away after their eighteen years of growth within me. My roots and past hold me begrudgingly close and I find that there is never true shut and close of problems from my past but I also find that the ideologies that carried me through in the past are the same ones carrying me through it now. But every time there’s a little change. Change enough for me to understand how to solve something better this time instead of last time.

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I once heard that it’s our difficult pasts that make us the artists we are today. The source, the person is vague in my memory now but the words carry their leverage. My every experience has unwittingly pushed me further, to the point where I feel fortunate for going through so much. For the people going through life in an easy manner, for them I almost feel sorry. The difficulties in life are what have made me who I am today and given me a chance to understand my culture and my roots every time I call upon them to help me through. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t enjoy being poor—what kid likes to get a toy only once every year? What person doesn’t mind sacrificing countless weekends to changing baby diapers instead of doing the millions of absurd things teenagers without a care do? But when I look back over my shoulder I see the thick roots growing stronger and reassuring me. I see a beautiful sand beach no matter what the current brings in.


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Justice By Carrington Riss There is a fine line between insanity and reasoned reactions. The sound of voices permeated Town Hall, waiting for the judge to return from his quarters. The jury had already begun filing in, everything from remorse and reserve to anger and elation splayed colorfully across their faces. Horses snuffed outside, sensing the commotion inside this wooden building. This man, who sat at the front of the room, had ended up dismembering the limbs and masculine parts of another, and left the body to rot in a furrow just beyond the old saw mill that the children tell horror stories about. The news of this tragedy traveled quickly, bringing in a hundred people from outside of town, as Wyatt Wallace was hunted and arrested for this crime. When the mangled body had been found, a pocket knife with Mister Wallace’s initials lay in the dirt next to the mess. WOW, his initials spelled out the astonishment on every person’s face in that room as they were painted a new picture of what this well-known, revered, and apparently kind-hearted man had become. Mister Wallace towered over most men in the town and was well built, but as he sat silently, he looked withered and beaten, showing wear on his unshaven face. His blue eyes had faded to gray as though he had aged thrice beyond his true age. The only bright thing left was his auburn hair that lit up like fire in the sunlight sifting through the windows high in the eaves as he was led up to his chair hours earlier. But, even that diminished in the dark corner. Chatter was still prevalent; only two were silent. The dull gray eyes of Wyatt’s met the warm liquid amber eyes of a young lady in the crowd, as her skin shone with the fairest tanned skin that God had ever given to a woman. Chapters and books were shared between the two as a tear ran down her lovely face, because she knew he had done it for her. He was facing death’s fate placed in the hands of a measly group of ungodly men who wasted their time counting their dollar bills and slaves. Even so, he’d hang again for protecting her honor and self-worth. She couldn’t take much more. Her left fist trembled, holding the feather pendant, slightly jingling, as a small precious stone showered her face and the surrounding walls with a light so divine. But even as her outer beauty shone, he only saw the goddess from within his native woman. Absentmindedly, he twisted his bound hands, reaching for his hand feeling the Spring 2014


cool metal on his fourth finger. The jury had settled and they knew the time for the decision had come. The light drizzle from her eyes erupted into a waterfall, still holding his gaze, as tears began to slowly drip down his face. The rustling of a black gown passed the threshold, penetrating the immediate silence following the click of the hall’s door opening. A chill swept through the room as the judge floated down the aisle, passing the woman, passing the once rampant spectators, up to the very highest place in the great hall. As he took his seat, the shroud enveloped the velvet chair, covering the frame of his body, leaving only his white face out in the open. A raspy voice shattered the silence, uttering the phrase he knew all too well… “And the verdict is..?”


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Hasta que tu muerte nos separe By Sonia Roman Eran las once de la noche. Yo aun seguía sentada en el sofá, tomándome la tercera copa de vino tinto, esperando a que llegara mi esposo. Teníamos cinco años de casados y no fue hasta ese último año que comenzamos a tener problemas. Carlos empezó a llegar tarde a casa, cada vez con una excusa más estúpida que la anterior. Dejé de pedirle explicaciones y decidí buscar la verdad por otros medios. Esa noche lo enfrenté con lo que yo creía ser la verdad. Las luces del auto alumbraron la sala por un instante y luego se apagaron, dejándola de nuevo oscura. Se abrió la puerta del coche, y luego se cerró. Se escuchaban sus pasos y el tintineo de las llaves. Los pasos se dejaron de escuchar. La llave se introdujo a la cerradura, y poco después se abrió la puerta. Entró Carlos y encendió la luz. Desde el sofá podía ver que debajo de esa chaqueta seguía teniendo un cuerpo atlético al igual que cabello que jamás se despeinaba. —Llegas temprano, —le dije con la copa de vino en la mano, — Creo que hoy no vas a tener que inventar una explicación—me burlé. — ¿Vino? ¿Te acabaste el tequila?—me contestó riendo un poco mientras colgaba las llaves y se quitaba la chaqueta. —Ya te he dicho que no soy ninguna alcohólica. —aclaré con resentimiento. Él rió de nuevo. — Y no me cambies el tema. Ya sé porque llegas tarde. —Me volteó a ver con preocupación. —Lo bueno es que no tienes otra mujer y que yo aun sé cómo usar un arma. Lo malo es que habíamos acordado que ya no iba a tener que usarla. — tomé el último trago de la copa y luego la coloqué en la mesa de centro, esperando a que Carlos reaccionara a mi declaración, pero él seguía callado. — Carlos, sé que estas metido en muchos problemas. ¿Y sabes por qué? Porque eres un idiota. Si me hubieras contando, yo te hubiera podido ayudar. Pero ahora, Carlos…— siguió sin decir nada. — ¿Cómo se te ocurrió meterte en líos con esos criminales? — le pregunté, pero ni siquiera subía la vista para mirarme. — ¡Carlos, contéstame! — grité molesta. Spring 2014


— ¡Cállate! — me gritó, agarrándome del brazo y tapándome la boca con la otra mano. Las luces de un coche alumbraron la sala de nuevo y no se apagaron. Tampoco se dejó de escuchar el motor, pero si se escucharon las puertas que se abrían y luego cerraban. Varias personas se bajaron, se podían ver las figuras con el contraste de la luz proveniente del auto. Debieron ser cuatro hombres, tal vez más. No recuerdo muy bien, solo recuerdo que las sombras eran de hombres grandes con armas. —Son ellos, — murmuró Carlos y ambos corrimos hacia la parte de atrás de la casa. Tomé mi bolso donde tenía guardada mi pistola. – Tenemos que irnos,-- murmuro de nuevo. Salimos por la puerta de atrás, saltamos la cerca y entramos al jardín de los vecinos. Ellos sí tenían jardín. Carlos y yo lo intentamos cuando recién nos casamos pero ninguno de los dos tenía mucho interés en las plantas y poco a poco murieron todas, hasta las malas hierbas murieron. Tuvimos que robar el coche de los vecinos para poder escapar. Íbamos a unas cuantas cuadras de la casa cuando Carlos vio por el retrovisor un resplandor. Nuestra casa, que aun no terminábamos de pagar, se quemaba. Aun un poco intoxicada por el alcohol, comencé a llorar. — ¡Deja de llorar!—me gritó con impaciencia. — ¡Debí casarme con una mujer que no tomara!—siguió gritando. — ¡Yo debí casarme con alguien menos estúpido!—Le respondí entre lloriqueos — ¡Así en vez de descubrir que mi esposo está metido en líos con criminales hubiera descubierto que me era infiel!— — ¿infiel? ¡¿Infiel?!—Carlos me gritaba, con un tono burlesco. –Por favor, Sonia. Tu sabes que eres la única mujer que amo y amaré,-- dijo sin gritar, --aunque seas una borracha, histérica. — murmuró entre dientes. — ¡Te escuché, Carlos!—me volteo a ver y luego regreso la vista a la carretera. -- Ya te he dicho que no soy ninguna alcohólica. —dije en voz normal. —Siempre dices lo mismo, pero no dejas de tomar. — dijo. —Mis problemas son diminutos comparados con los tuyos. —le contesté. —No son tus problemas y los míos. Son nuestros. Estamos casados, en las buenas y en las malas. —me contestó y detuvo el coche. Por estar dis-


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cutiendo con él no me di cuenta en donde estábamos. No había mucha luz porque estaba nublado y no se veía la luna ni las estrellas. — ¿Dónde estamos?—le pregunté preocupada. —Quédate aquí. Vuelvo pronto. —dijo al salir del coche y comenzó a correr hacia un edificio grande, como una fábrica. — ¡Carlos! ¡¡Carlos!!—le grité, pero él seguía corriendo. Me quedé sentada en el coche intentando decidir qué hacer. Saqué mi pistola y salí hacia la noche oscura, fría, y silenciosa. El silencio fue interrumpido por un disparo dentro de la fábrica, luego cuatro más. Corrí hacia la fábrica sin pensar en el peligro, solo pensando en ayudar al hombre que amaba más en el mundo. Fui hacia donde se escucharon los disparos pero ya no había ruido. Abrí la puerta por donde Carlos había entrado. No había mucha luz, pero mis ojos ya se habían acostumbrado a la oscuridad y pude ver que el cuarto estaba vacío. El olor a pólvora seguía en el aire. Caminé hacia una puerta entre abierta, pase a un pasillo que me llevo a una bodega vacía. Me detuve ahí, escuchando, intentando descifrar el paradero de mi esposo. Avancé hacia la otra entrada a la bodega, con la pistola siempre al frente. Seguí caminando hasta que llegué a un cuarto que parecía que alguna vez había sido una oficina. Había un escritorio de madera, varias impresoras y otras maquinas que no podía distinguir en la oscuridad. Sobre el escritorio había más de doscientos billetes falsos, algunos de cincuenta, otros de cien. Ya sabía que Carlos estaba involucrado con personas que tenían un historial criminal, pero no sabía exactamente cómo. Esta era una pista más. Tomé mi pistola, uno de los billetes y me dirigí hacia la puerta. La abrí, y al salir estaba un hombre esperándome fuera. —Hola, — me dijo. Voltee asustada pero antes de que pudiera hacer cualquier cosa me disparó en el pecho. Caí al piso. —Carlos… — alcancé a decir. El hombre pasó sobre mí, entró al cuarto y luego volvió a salir. Pude ver cómo sus botas negras, sucias y usadas pasaban frente a mí, pisando la sangre que me salía del cuerpo. Comencé a tener mucho frio y luego no sentí nada. Pasó lo que pareció una eternidad. Recordé todo lo que había sucedido aquella noche. Pensé en el carro robado de los vecinos, y eso me recordó a su jardín. ¿Por qué es que no pudimos ser como ellos? Una pareja feliz, con hijos y un jardín. Un par Spring 2014


de zapatos se pararon frente a mí. Una mano se movió hacia mi cuello, y luego acaricio mi rostro, pero yo ya no lo sentía. Volteó mi cabeza un poco y logré ver su rostro. Era Carlos, decía algo, —En las buenas y en las malas, Cariño. Hasta que la muerte nos separe. — Dejó de tocar mi rostro y me observó unos segundos más. Luego su mano se volvió a acercar a mi cara, hacia mis ojos. Luego oscuridad. Escuché sus pasos alejarse.


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Goldilocks Goes To Hollywood

Reflections on a Midwestern film student’s summer internship experiences in the Hollywood entertainment industry By Cassie Ryan As the Dos Equis ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ might say, “I don’t always spend my summers in Los Angeles, California, but when I do, I work as an unpaid intern for a corporate film company as well as an independent entertainment conglomerate, both on top of teaching Zumba fitness classes three times a week.” Most young ladies my age spend a respectable portion of their time mingling with pseudo-celebrities in trendy clubs exploring their ever- expanding options, but I prefer to do way too much work resulting in way too much pressure I have a painful tendency to put on myself. Reminiscing on all my strenuous work sitting in an office reading scripts, answering phones, and enjoying other thoroughly thrilling intern duties, I take away three lessons learned during my stay in the city of angels. First: consider your audience. Second: watch your tone. And above all: stick to your guns. I’ve set my structure, established my protagonist, so all that’s left is to cue sound, roll camera, and then mess up the rest of the call because most of my experience is in an office, not on set. 1. Consider Your Audience I signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement for all three of my jobs, so if you’re reading this in hopes that you’ll discover some juicy Hollywood secrets, shame on you. Otherwise, I will tell you the tale of a wide-eyed little blondie who went to Los Angeles aspiring to be a big-time talent agent. Not only are my sunny, golden locks gone, but I also decided to set my sights higher than a Hollywood talent agency. I attend a conservatory-style film school in Dayton, Ohio, so the idea of working in the “biz” was always more of a fantasy than a reality to me. Once I had the chance to immerse myself in the mainstream film industry as opposed to the scenically safe, indie film streams inhabiting the hippie towns of Ohio, I became a born-again film geek. Surrounded by Ivy League competition, words of wisdom came from a superior who reminded me, “It’s not the school; it’s the student.” While my education aids me in my future endeavors, it does not define me. My potential audience is much wider than I ever imagined, and I’m more than ready to entertain the masses. 2. Watch Your Tone My roots are in classical theater, and for a while I thought I was destined Spring 2014


to be an actress, but The Julliard School of Acting didn’t care for my monologue from George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. The populous that inhabits Hollywood consists of many “failed” actors, writers, and other creative-types, but these tough cookies have tinsel-town all figured out. Just because they’ve had their run in one career path doesn’t mean that there isn’t another place for them within the cosmos of the entertainment industry. It’s true: making it in the big city is tough. Luckily, success is not measured by how quickly one ascends to glory, but rather by the guts it takes them to get there. My grandfather tells me I possess chutzpah, which is defined as “supreme self-confidence, nerve, or gall”. Assuming this is a compliment and he’s not calling me “cocky” in Hebrew, I plan to harness the powers of my inner chutzpah by committing to pursue my dreams despite my doubts. Courage can take you farther than you think, and so far it’s gotten me to Hollywood and back. Hopefully, it can take me back again, and maybe even get me a paid gig. 3. Stick To Your Guns I’m the type of girl who loves to throw around hollow buzzwords like “believe” and “try” which most people don’t like to think about, talk about, or let alone do. Believing in yourself is for babies – sometimes you have to play the disappointing cards you’re dealt – but those posters on the walls of your elementary school classroom weren’t kidding around. It has never been cooler to be smart, and the more you know about what you want you to do, the better your chances are at achieving it. My rule for my career is as follows: so long as I am making art that expresses values that are honest, progressive, and inspiring, then I’m on the right track. Unfortunately, that sentiment is easier to retweet, repin, or repost in hopes that I’ll actually become the person I wanted to be back when I was a kid. It will take time, probably longer than anticipated, but I am serendipitously prepared to make my childhood-self proud. At my Zumba certification session, as pointless to my core career path as it seemed at the time, our instructor told us that two traits are responsible for holding human beings back from achieving their goals: fear and laziness. The future definitely freaks me out, but it doesn’t scare me enough to make the luxury of slow-paced, Midwestern living seem like a viable alternative to the intoxicating insanity of working in the Hollywood entertainment industry. I will finish the final semester of my college career not only knowing that I have what it takes to make it, but firmly believing that my motivation, tenacity, and optimism are all I need to take me back home to Hollywood, California.


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First Step Past Fear By Archana Sareen I kept telling myself, “No one is going to do anything for you. If you want something, you have to work for it yourself.” These sentences are the ones that I kept repeating to myself this summer. I’ve spent so much of my life being passive and missing opportunities because of my fear of failure. That’s really what my obstacle was, a fear of failure and rejection. However, no matter how hurtful or disappointing it was to be faced with rejection, it wasn’t the end of the world. Failure to be accepted into a program or given a chance at an interview was disappointing, and there was a sting that comes with being told “Thank you for applying for…. However, at this time we cannot accept you.” However, no matter the disappointment or failure, it wasn’t the end of my world. I applied to a bunch of different jobs at nearby locations to my home. No one called. I compiled a list of the locations I applied at along with their store phone numbers. For days, I’d grab my paper with my list on it and sit on my bed with the phone. A couple of times I’d even start to dial the number, but then I’d chicken out at the last second. Finally, I got fed up with myself. I asked myself, “Why can’t I do it? Why can’t I just call up these places and follow up on my application? What’s so difficult about this?” The answer was that there really wasn’t anything truly difficult about calling up these places, but it was my own mental block that was preventing me from taking those first steps forward. This is when I came up with my mantra, “No one is going to do anything for you. If you want something, you have to work for it yourself.” Before making a call to a place I’d take a deep breath and repeat that mantra to myself and then place the call. With every breath and with every repetition of my mantra it got a little easier to make the call. In no time at all, I finished all of the places on my list. Some of the places told me immediately that they weren’t hiring at that time. Some of the places told me that I wasn’t what they were looking for. Two places told me that they would contact me soon about an interview. Only one of those places actually bothered to note down my name and find my application. While the instant rejections or letdowns were disappointing, it was freeing to know that I had done my best even though I didn’t get the exact response that I was looking for. I decided to wait for a response before applying to more places. Finally, after all of my waiting, I got a call about an interview. Again, Spring 2014


my fear overwhelmed me. Thousands of thoughts ran through my head: “How am I going to do this? Can I really handle it? Should I just go ahead and cancel?” I forced myself to breathe. In and out. In and out. I repeated my mantra to myself again “No one is going to do anything for you. If you want something, you have to work for it yourself.” Thankfully, I managed to calm myself down. A few days later, it was time for my interview. After agonizing over what I was going to wear, I finally decided on a nice skirt, white shirt, and black flats. Of course, it decided to rain on the day of my interview. Thankfully, I brought an umbrella otherwise I would have been drenched as I walked from my car to the store. As it was, my shoes were squeaking a little as I walked through the store. Sitting in front of the two managers was definitely nerve wracking. I tried so hard to keep a smile on my face and to be bubblier during the interview. I didn’t really succeed as well as I had hoped. I was too tense to be too bubbly, but as we kept talking, it became easier to just breathe and relax a little. My smile became more natural, and my posture became a little less rigid than it was. At the end of the interview I made sure to thank them and shake their hands. I’ll admit, I breathed a sigh of relief at the end of it, but it went a lot better than I thought that it would. Again, I was forced to wait for them to make a decision. But this time it was easier to wait. I had finally realized that at the end of the day while it would be a bit of a disappointment if it didn’t work out, I could still work towards something else. Just because one path ends doesn’t mean there aren’t other paths to take, right? I just had to keep in mind when faced with a new path and that old fear “No one is going to do anything for you. If you want something, you have to work for it yourself,” and then, take that first step forward past fear.


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Mr. Smith Has a Cinematic Heart-to-Heart By Sarah Lin Trump Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, directed by Frank Capra in 1939, is a splendid American tale of one man’s righteous struggle to combat a Congressional conspiracy. The scene from this cinematic masterpiece to be examined herein involves the main character Jefferson Smith and his senatorial secretary Clarissa Saunders, played by Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur, respectively. Directly after a ghastly accusation is made toward Mr. Smith by fellow senator and idol Joseph Paine, played by Claude Rains, Smith steels away to the Lincoln memorial to contemplate leaving D.C. for good. Clarissa appears with the intent of coaching him into defending his honor instead of fleeing. What ensues is a passionate conversation without which the famous filibuster scene would not be possible. This scene involves a great deal of photographic pleasantries. It is comprised of long shots, close-ups, and medium shots. The long shots primarily involve Smith standing, for example when he is staring up in deep thought at Mr. Lincoln. The mediums and close-up appear more frequently as he and Clarissa sit down for their conversation. We see Smith’s face as he cradles it in his hands and sobs at the awfulness of a situation that once seemed like such a magnificent opportunity to create real change. She appears to the right with a medium shot and begins to speak, altering him to her gaze. Smith’s then becomes a medium, too, as he hurries to wipe the tears and not look so undone in her presence. The creators of this shot sequence have done a great job because the audience feels his sorrow, then her invasion of this private moment, and finally his move to bring himself to her level in a psychological sense. The camera angles used in this scene are eye level, high angle, and low angle. The high angle shots appear at the beginning and end of the scene. Smith has had some sort of revelation while staring at Lincoln and this prompts him to go sit alone back and to the left near the front steps. This movement is captured from a high angle as he transitions and the audience gets a better view of the venue than before. In the same vein, his exit scene with Saunders is shot in this high angle that displays the Doric columns vividly. The low angle is used to display the physical height and impending philosophical wisdom of Lincoln himself. Lighting has an interesting effect on black and white cinema. This scene is shot in high contrast lighting, adding to the melodrama of two friends Spring 2014


heatedly fighting for their opinion of the best course of action. High contrast creates dark shadows that all but engulf the characters in their central problem. There is also the element of back lighting, allowing Smith and Saunders to pop off the pale wall behind and appear closer to the audience. A particularly awesome use of direct lighting appears at the very beginning of the scene. As Smith reads the inscription of the Gettysburg Address, there is visible lighting on the last three lines which reads “and that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth,” suggesting not only Smith’s literal reading of the text but its bearing on his current situation of political corruption. Mise en scéne, the placement of items on the stage, has shifted to now also refer to the placement of items and people in the shots that comprise a film. This particular scene provides a sparse background, thus limiting the number of props with which the actors work. That, however, only serves to make the items they do have at their disposal hold a greater purpose than may have otherwise been the case. Smith and Saunders’ outfits, period pieces as we see them today, were indeed common professional suits for the time. They are both wearing hats, a practice considered essential, and the character interaction with them features predominately into how the audience perceives the characters themselves. For example, Saunders is hiding behind the tilted brim of hers when she first appears. Smith removes his and then proceeds to fidget with it as she takes a seat, suggesting his discomfort with her viewing of his private display of sorrow and the situation in general. He does not let go of it until placing it back on his head in a hurry as they rush off. Mr. Smith’s luggage is the central prop detached from the characters themselves. The two rectangular suitcases and smaller briefcase go from being mere symbols of his intention to give up to being also convenient stools for both characters in their ideological exchange. The director or other creative force behind this decision had a deliberate idea of functionality and continuity. The number and shape of the bags were relatively negligible, as well as their existence at all. Jeff could have had seven suitcases, no briefcase, three identical bags, or no bags at all. All of these variations would instantly change the scene immensely. Each extra bag would make Smith out to be more conceited as he would have obviously put more time into packing his belongings than disappearing into the shadows of his former life. No bags at all would have the opposite effect, but would also create the dilemma that it is the central way in which the audience understands his intention to flee in the first place.


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The movement in this scene reflects the action of the characters and their mood. They go from morose and deeply contemplative, almost meditative, to the medium speed of conversation, to finally a face-paced desire to begin anew with their hope-filled plan for resolution. When Smith transitions from the marble of Mr. Lincoln to his dark corner of misery, the camera follows in one continuous run. This allows for the Doric columns to obscure the protagonist twice before he settles upon sitting near the base of the second. This same technique is applied in reverse and much faster, but undoubtedly from the same movable space as before, when he and Clarissa make their exit. Clarissa and Jefferson have nervous movements throughout. She is aware that whatever she says must convince him to change his mind and do what’s right. He is aware that she will try. Most of this is gleaned not from their dialogue, although that does help, but from their carefully synced movements that correspond to the context of the scene. She has her hands clasped tightly together resting on the lap her skirt. Smith’s are grappling with his hat, a literal parallel for his internal gymnastics. His lengthy lamentation has no corresponding movement toward her and this suggests unconsciously to the audience that the problem primarily rests on his shoulders and not hers or theirs jointly. Clarissa’s resultant monologue has her leaning in towards Smith as the passion grows, needing to change the proxemic pattern from shallow personal/far intimate to basic intimate. It suggests her fervent need for him to comprehend what she is saying. The editing for this scene is pretty minimal when compared to, for example, the much longer and more detailed concluding Senate chamber scene. That again places more emphasis on the use of them because they are so sparing. As Smith gazes at the Gettysburg Address and then its author, there are multiple cuts made. Our introduction to this scene is the uppercased carving of words, and then the reaction of the man synthesizing its timeless message for his contemporary problem. We cut then to his fuller body from the former bust as he gazes up at the marble representation of the sixteenth president in a cut on action shot. The repetition of these short editing shots is then interrupted by the long shot that encompasses his journey to the darkened area and subsequent mental breakdown, until Saunders makes her appearance unbeknownst to him. Once the two are seated for their conversation, the shots alternate between medium and short as the dialogue dictates. Monologues, of which each has one, are medium shots as their words frame the mood. Back and fourth dialogue corresponds with shorter shots and close-ups. This Spring 2014


impacts how natural the audience believes the scene is. For example, one long shot could easily have done the functional job of displaying two people having a conversation. That would not, however, pick up on the subtle nuances of tears, hopelessness, passion, or desperation. It might also have the added detractments of boring the audience due to its unnatural feel. Frank Capra and his team did a magnificent job creating a cinematic atmosphere that convinces that audience in the power of the human narrative. This scene would certainly have been different if shot in another era of moviemaking. If created today, for example, this scene would probably have a much richer set. The actors’ outfits would have been greatly emphasized by the addition of color and high definition. Also, with a higher aspect ratio there would be room to see and experience much more detail than 1.37:1 could provide us with. Today a filmmaker would take advantage of the plentiful supply of extras clamoring for screen time and industry connections to let tourists roam freely the Lincoln memorial as they do in real life. There may even be a crane or bird’s eye view of the scenery, overall building structure, or many of the other landmarks scattered in that corner of the world.


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Does a Heart Beat? By Carson Williford Alternations of red and blue drown the moonlight filling the shattered glass. Safety has arrived, but safety can do little here. The tree has fallen, its roots so firm yet height so lofty. It has snapped in two, twisted, toppled to the ground with gravity’s force and landed on top of the ‘97 Buick; if only he had not hit the tree—but it was inevitable. He was fatigued and sleep had become too strong, wrestling with him even as he tried to fight it, to keep his eyes open, focused on the road, on the wheel in his hands, all to no avail. His eyes were bound to close, too heavy to be lifted any longer. If only he had pulled over, if only he had accepted how tired he had become—no, the bird became so used to flight that it forgot how to walk. The sirens cease, a veil removed from the scene, revealing the power of the first movement of Beethoven’s 14th piano sonata, the music emanating from the wreckage. Yet, unlike safety’s lights, music does not resonate in the shattered windshield, the glass of its spray; it cannot be heard, the muted tones and modulations, keys pressed of notes written by a man who was just starting to stop hearing them—through this glass there is only silence. Pages of a manuscript have spilled from the car, unable to be contained during the impact. They blow in the wind, tossing and spinning. Safety rushes to help, not noticing the pages that blow down the expanse of country road. He is in the driver’s seat, sitting alone, contorted; his seat is forced against his back under the weight of the tree so that his position mockingly resembles sitting, perversely natural. Safety now attempts rescue. They tear open the door and see him in full in the car, thinking if anything that this should not be. He is too young. He is bleeding, his eyes closed. They cut his seatbelt and pull him from the car, wanting to be gentle but having to use force. They hate the feeling and hate themselves for it. They want to cry, but they don’t know this. Tear-filled minds hide behind dry faces. He’s too young. They’re all too young. Beethoven plays in the background as the wind passes down the road and through the empty windows. It lifts corners and half-sheets of the partial manuscript that fills the backseats, the pages covering to near completeness the innumerable books that lie beneath them. The Brothers Karamazov, The Metamorphosis, a Bible, a copy of the Bhagavad Gita—these just a few of the books buried in the Spring 2014


manuscript, piled but hidden from sight. They lay him down and feel his future fading with every passing second, his consciousness hiding. If he is dead the loss is not just ‘a shame.’ He is young, and he may have a girlfriend, a wife, living parents, a newborn, brothers, friends, lovers, cares, hopes. His manuscript blows in the wind—he had cares and hopes. They check his vital signs: breathlessness; stiff and still, frozen in a moment, they mirror him, dead. They knew it from the start. The tree was too large and had fallen just right, just close enough to force the back of his seat and him forward—as if the initial impact of hitting the tree hadn’t been enough. He could have been ejected from the car, but his seatbelt held him in. The glass shattered into the moonlight, and his seatbelt held him in. Had he not had it on he might have been thrown from the car over the ground before him, perhaps landing beyond the glass in the moonlight in some position much less awful than jarred by the tree. Either way, he wouldn’t have made it. The impact of the wreck, the shattered windshield, the crushing tree and unnatural position—no matter how natural it appeared; any of these would have been too much. He didn’t make it. The crash, more than he could bear, made level the peaks of his now vain EKG, peaks of mountains flattened by the fall of a tree, crashing and resounding with a sharp, pulsating thrum even though he is not present to hear it. This new, constant pulse deafens Beethoven with its own minor tones. Extracted from the wrist of the freshly dead, this flat line of sound becomes a new horizon—yet through this glass there is only silence. His parents will miss him, but safety cannot help this. They take care of the body; find it, check it, remove it. His parents fear they don’t have time to collect the manuscript, the stories lying on and beneath each other in its pages. They rush to the scene and immediately begin gathering its many sheets. They hear the faint sound of Beethoven’s moonlight sonata beneath the pulsing of the EKG, perhaps feeling the same inexorable sleepiness their son felt before his crash. They don’t attempt to read, but only follow the windblown pages, tracing backwards their son’s tire marks along the worn, country road, hearing the pulsing ring the whole length as it passes down the middle and spills across its shoulders. They call his loved ones and other family members to help them, to gather all of his books, too. They try to thank safety for what it has done and watch as it drives off, hating to wave goodbye as it carries away their beloved son, brother, friend, husband, perhaps father, dead in the back. He is not in


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their hands anymore, and they are left alone, together. The family and loved ones are filled with more than they can bear, more than they could ever articulate. They disperse as they pick up pages and catch them in the gentle wind, most crying, many angry, some too young to understand what has happened and none understanding what they are doing. They see no more pages, but still search. As they wander, each reads passages from the portion of the manuscript held, their eyes opened to the deceased in a new way, a value that was never before there found intrinsic in their experience of the man. When they are ready, reluctant yet ready, each will return to the scene of what they call the accident, and though the wreckage will have been hauled away, the fallen tree, its damaged trunk, and the shattered glass will remain ever present, too rooted and ingrained to be removed. They will gather themselves, hugging, consoling, collecting the manuscript and cherishing the story more than ever. They will arrange it properly, dirty and tear-stained, and share it on the spot, listening carefully to the precious words as they are read over the thrum of the EKG, creating a soundscape that rings joyous and painful over the indelible mark that has been made in the earth. If the story is funny they will laugh, if it is sad they will cry, if it is mysterious they will wonder, and if it is good they will do all of these. These loved ones, having only themselves and each other, will share, will experience, and will carry. They will stand before the fallen tree and the scarred, glass-covered earth, and each will read their portion. Strung with the whole story and the many it comprises, they will stand hand in hand, and listening, feeling, will leap as one over the glass of the wreckage onto a ground too distant for any body to be thrown. The droning pulse, the transmuted sound of the dead man’s silent wrist, fades, falling into the background alongside the music of Beethoven and the voices of others, and through the loved ones’ leap is transformed into pure movement, a bloodless pulse, raw and pure, pumping so strongly that mountains rise and wrists are lifted, sound giving way to inner movements of a heart that beats too loudly to be heard—for through this glass there is only silence.

Spring 2014


The Man Who Never Slept By Kim Woo There was a man who never slept and never dreamed. He had wandered for as long as he could remember, and he had always been alone. He knew nothing of art or literature, although he sometimes came across them in the rubble. He used to study them, and sometimes he even touched the dust covered faces with his rough, sunburnt hands, but now they all blended into the devastated landscape. The ancient colors and symbols held no meaning for him, depicting a world that he could never know. Everywhere he went it was the same. He saw neglected, decaying buildings and rusted machines that didn’t work. There were no birds in the sky and no creatures that walked the earth. He had never seen another living human being, although he knew they had once existed. The pictures of them were everywhere. And the bodies. There were always bodies. He searched night and day for something that he didn’t know, swept along an unseen, unyielding current. He saw the blackened remains of what had once been a great civilization and knew in his heart that the world had not always been this way. He thought he was searching for people like him, or to find out what had happened to the world, but as the years passed and all that he saw were neglected, decaying buildings and rusted machines that didn’t work, he realized a much simpler truth: he searched for the sake of searching. He didn’t want to spend his entire life in one place, even if it was the same wherever he went, but if there was a purpose for him, he didn’t know it. In the end, he searched only to preserve his sanity. He was an old man, still searching for the sake of searching. He had always been alone. His aching feet were tired of carrying him through the wasteland. He wanted to die now, to add one more body to the wreckage of the shattered landscape and finally stop searching. Finally rest. For days he wondered how he would end his life. He thought of drowning in the poisoned river, of hanging by his neck from a dead tree branch, of cutting himself open with the broken glass on the ground, but none of these seemed to fit. While his mind was occupied, his feet still carried him through the familiar patterns in yet another unfamiliar place. It was on such a day that his feet brought him to a place that was different. He stopped thinking about death and looked around with wide, startled


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eyes. Here, the buildings were clean and whole and the rusted machines had been cleared from the streets. Suddenly the world didn’t feel so empty. He ran to the nearest building, for he had seen movement inside. He peered through a window and saw people. Not bodies, but living, breathing people! They saw him and greeted him at once. He did not understand the sounds they made, for the only language he had ever known was the stuff of his own thoughts. Nonetheless, his eyes filled with tears and he followed them inside, desperately wanting to understand. Some tried to communicate with him using simple words and gestures, which were easier to comprehend. They gave him good food and he sat on comfortable cushioned seats and enjoyed their company. Hours passed. He smiled and laughed so much that his face ached. His heart felt like it could burst. The sun slowly set, plunging them into darkness. The other people left the room, yawning and rubbing their eyes. They gestured to him, but he did not understand. He waited alone on his cushioned seat for them to come back, but they didn’t. After a time he decided to go look for them. He searched all the rooms in the building that was clean and whole and, eventually, he found them. His heart stopped. Their eyes were closed and their bodies still, draped across old furniture or lying flat on the ground. His breath rasped in his throat and his heart began beating again, thudding in his ears like a horrific drum. He himself had never slept, and he had only seen corpses lie so still. He had spent a lifetime alone, always alone. He had been ready to die when these people took him in. What sort of cruel god would put him on this earth to spend his life searching for these people, only to kill them as soon as he found them? The injustice of it made him clench his trembling hands into fists. He could not be alone again, not after this. Not after the years of endless searching. He climbed to the top of the building that was clean and whole and breathed in the night air. The stars winked cheerily at him and the full moon illuminated the worn out husk of the once great human civilization. The empty streets were as pale as broken bones in the moonlight and the wind sighed, caressing his tearstained face with its icy fingers. He threw himself from the building that was clean and whole, putting an end to his endless searching. He had always been alone. Spring 2014


Spring 2014


Not all great minds think alike. The Collegiate Scholar is a publication of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) that showcases the poetry, prose and art of our members. NSCS is a college honor society that not only recognizes the academic achievements of our members, but also the dedication and innovation put forth by our members skilled in the arts. The Collegiate Scholar will introduce you to a few of these writers and artists.

The Collegiate Scholar, Spring 2014


The National Society of Collegiate Scholars 2000 M Street, NW Suite 600 Washington, DC 20036

The Collegiate Scholar