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2018 17: PSU to Parkland

From the Fallout Shelter Special Edition


About Us: From the Fallout Shelter is the annual print literary and arts publication of the Penn State Harrisburg campus, as well as the online version of the magazine, and it is also the name of the student club that helps run the magazine and affiliated events on campus. The magazine and club were known for many years as Tarnhelm (a magical Viking helmet). In 2008, club members updated the name to reflect a unique feature of campus, which is the fact that the basement of the Olmsted Building is designated as a fallout shelter, complete with a few metal fallout shelter signs from decades long gone. The building may have been built to withstand radioactive fallout because it used to be part of the Olmsted Air Force Base, and it is also near the nuclear reactors of Three Mile Island. The Air Force sold some land and buildings to the university in 1966. The entire base closed in 1969, (Harrisburg International Airport now operates the old runways) and Penn State Harrisburg has been expanding ever since, with annual creative achievements showcased in our primary Spring magazine. Occasionally, we do release special editions throughout the year, with our smaller chapbook, Fission, released in the Fall, and now this year we have 17: PSU to Parkland. All selections are chosen anonymously (through blind judging) by the reading boards and the editorial board, comprised entirely of students. Students who submitted work and served on the editorial staff at the same time did not evaluate their own work at any time. We can be reached via our website, www.sites.psu.edu/falloutshelter, or join our Facebook group, called From the Fallout Shelter –-- Penn State Harrisburg’s Literary/Arts Magazine. Find us on Twitter and Instagram @FTFS_PSH. Current Penn State Harrisburg students and staff may submit their work anytime via an online submission manager, where all the guidelines are also posted: https://fromthefalloutshelter.submittable.com/submit

EDITORS Rebecca Bestwick, Elijah Hayes-Olivera, Greggory Sullivan

FACULTY ADVISOR Jen Hirt

All rights revert to the authors, artists, and photographers upon publication.

Digital Issue designed by Rebecca Bestwick.

The art on the cover, titled Xvii, was created by Madeleine Norris, who is a student at Susquehanna Township's School of the Arts.

From the Fallout Shelter

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Editors Statement: Dear Readers,

On February 14, 2018, tragedy struck Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A former student killed 17 individuals and injured 17 more with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and was arrested on scene. With this being one of the deadliest school massacres by far, 20 students took this as an opportunity to start campaigning for gun control legislation, starting the advocacy group Never Again MSD. They also coordinated the March for Our Lives demonstration throughout the United States on March 24, 2018. It is estimated that 1.2 million people attended the demonstration in the United States, not including demonstrations executed internationally. We ask that you read this with an open mind. Many students are scared, angry, and saddened by this situation. Our intent with this issue is that all submitters were required to incorporate the theme of 17 in some way, with submissions opened up to not just Penn State Harrisburg students, but high school students as well. We thought this would be appropriate for the occasion so that other students would have the chance to speak their minds on gun control, and their emotions going forward. We look at writing as a way to cope with and process major events that occur during our lives. We believe that these pieces brought a creative sense of urgency and awareness to recent events. These are some of their writings. Thank you, Editors of From the Fallout Shelter

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Table of Contents Time for Change .................................................................................................................... 3 A Voice for the Fallen .............................................................................................................. 4 Seventeen Silenced Voices ........................................................................................................ 5 School: an institution for educating children .................................................................................. 6 Enough ................................................................................................................................ 6 Remember ........................................................................................................................... 7 For The 17 Who Cannot, We Will. ............................................................................................... 8 Made in America .................................................................................................................... 9 What Right? ......................................................................................................................... 10 Who’s Targeting Who? ............................................................................................................ 11 Guns and Graves ................................................................................................................... 12 WHO’S NEXT? ....................................................................................................................... 13 Bullets of the Lies ................................................................................................................. 14 They Can’t Have Them Back ..................................................................................................... 15 The Levee Has Burst .............................................................................................................. 16 Change ............................................................................................................................... 17 The Real Problem .................................................................................................................. 18 The Road to Recovery............................................................................................................. 19

Time for Change By: Kasey Halbleib, of Elizabethtown Area High School

From the Fallout Shelter

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A Voice for the Fallen By: Michala Geraty, of Mechanicsburg High School A son A daughter A brother A sister.

These beautiful souls lost, but never forgotten. It too is our district. It is our school. And it is our class.

Your friend Your neighbor Your teammate Your lab partner. A teacher A coach

It was a gun. Each and every one deserved more than the world gave. When will the loss of innocence come to a halt?

A director A mentor. Their life... ...Their voice Their story... Stopped Short. Taken.

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It is your chance. It is your voice. And it is our turn to put an end to this injustice.


Seventeen Silenced Voices By: Mickenzie McLucas, of Warwick High School Seventeen Silenced Voices Seventeen innocent lives. Seventeen unknown futures. Seventeen humans that were violently, cruelly, and harshly taken away from our world. Seventeen defenseless victims. Seventeen broken families. Seventeen justifications for the need of stricter gun laws. Seventeen voices that are forever silenced. Seventeen subsequent doctors, lawyers, teachers, and mothers, Seventeen people that I speak on behalf of; Seventeen HUMAN BEINGS that are no longer here to speak for themselves. Fourteen students and three staff members did NOT have to die that day, neither did any of the other victims of gun violence. Raise your voice for the seventeen victims that had no idea that the day of February 14, 2018 would be their last. Stand up for the safety of every vulnerable child, every brave staff member, and every single victim of gun violence. Let your voice be heard. You never know when it could be your last day. There were seventeen victims, but there are millions of unheard voices.

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School: an institution for educating children By: Ryan Krueger, of Warwick High School School: an institution for educating children. When I wake up in the morning to get ready for school, my mind should be focused on what I need to be prepared for. The homework I need to have done and the information for tests I need to have studied for whiz through my brain. Now, the next thought intrudes. What will today bring for us? Will we be on the news? Will we be the next victims with 17 of my peers dead? Will it be me who receives a bullet in the head? Onslaught: a fierce or destructive attack. Why is the fear of this prominent in my head. I was told I would be learning real life applications. Am I supposed to be in fear everywhere I go? In elementary school I was warned of the dangers of bullies and drugs. As a high school student, we are practicing drills for what to do if there is an intruder with a gun. How am I supposed to focus on learning when I’m examining the room for an escape route? Rather than staying in school I am more focused on how to run out. School: an institution for educating children, what now feels like a building with targets filled in.

Enough By: Morgan Sayers, of Carlisle High School

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Remember By: Kristina Stokes, of Penn State Harrisburg Remember Silence broken shots fired Screams Fear Run Hide Goodbye texts Live Remember ____

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For The 17 Who Cannot, We Will. By: Alexa Frances Chaisson, of East Pennsboro High School The atmosphere of education is much different after a school shooting. When the newspapers are talking of casualties and social media shares photography of classrooms turned into crime scenes, it is difficult to navigate one’s own school, even if one never personally went through such trauma at all. You think differently in class. “Where could I fit myself to hide?” “Is my seat too close to the door?” “Would I be able to be a hero?” “Would they remember me?” The walk to school should be tranquil, bothered only by thoughts of missed homework or unstudied tests; students should not wonder where the ambulances would park when they see their school up ahead, with the blue morning sky in the background of a new day. Dark clouds of fear and trepidation should never cross the bright sun of learning, of positivity, of friendships, of Choir and Band and Math Club and English classes. Students joke about the aftermath, they joke about the scenes, they joke about the names and the faces, the social media posts, the outrage. They laugh with friends they never expect to have to lose. They joke about the things they fear and that they cannot control. No one really finds it funny. But the humor is necessary to get past the rundown of what Mr. Baker will do in the event of an active shooter, of where students should go if they hear gunfire, of what will happen if this horrible thing becomes a part of our own school history. Some students, in these times, submit threats to their school districts in hope of cancelling school. At least, that is what the rumors say. No one can fathom that these kids could really mean it. They just wanted to cancel school, like Florida’s districts. There was never any danger. Never any danger, as the nation grapples with the loss of seventeen people. In the aftermath of a school shooting, there are activists and cries for change. There are walkouts and there are protests. Students bare their emotions and are criticized. Groups form to call the events staged. One has to wonder whether they truly believe such events could be faked, or whether they just cannot bear to face that such a thing could happen here. It happens everywhere. Schools with preparation and codes ready. Schools that never consider the potential tragedy. Schools with good kids. Schools with pretty girls picking out prom dresses and post-graduation plans. Schools with guys who pretend not to care. Schools with kids who write. Schools full of kids who have the potential to effect change somewhere down the line. So some turn to gun control. So some turn to mental health reform. So some choose to walk out. So some decide to fight. So some decide that they will not stand for it anymore. And some believe that there is nothing in the world they can do amidst these times. But there is.

You can be kind.

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You can smile at the people you pass in their day. You can give compliments as freely as nature gifts us air to breathe. You can stand up for the small injustices in your everyday life. You can offer your hand to the fallen. You can offer friendship to the lonely. You can lend pencils and time and ask nothing in return. You can live kindly, for the seventeen people who can’t. For the seventeen people who did. It is not violence that will bring us together but love and care for those around us. Take a moment to imagine all of the small, kind actions that have brightened your days, all of the people you saw for moments but formed memories of that have carried you here today. You may never effect change that moves the world. But you can effect change that can inspire positivity and kindness in others, which will in turn inspire others, and continue the change. Within the calls for protests and walkouts and bans, remember that we stand strongest when we stand together. Let us walk to a safer tomorrow, one where parents don’t need to make morning goodbyes good enough for permanent ones and let us never walk alone.

Made in America By: Morgan Chamberlin, of Boiling Springs High School

From the Fallout Shelter

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What Right? By: Scyla Crozier, of Elizabethtown Area High School click, then BANG! terror en masse and a violent orchestra of screamsoff key and out of tuneas the blank, unfeeling Reaper approaches

“he sat in the back of my class, always so quiet, i never would have thought-” what do you feel when you hear them? what is it that runs through your mind?

you say that americans have the right to bear arms even more, that they need them but don’t your children have the right to live? or are they to bare their lives and watch their own deaths unfold?

go ahead and say there’s no reason to give up your guns Parkland can give you seventeen

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Who’s Targeting Who? By: Kasey Halbleib, of Elizabethtown Area High School

From the Fallout Shelter

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Guns and Graves By: Wesley Marshall, of East Pennsboro High School Guns and graves wait patiently to be used An abuse of trust causes panic in our schools Each bullet is louder than the last Waiting until the final student falls from the gun’s blast Grasping to the hope that our schools are safe We kid ourselves for sanity’s sake One through seventeen gone in a second The wreckage from the weapon leaves the nation breathless Both sides argue for a solution A pollution of political profligacy leading to no execution No laws, no reform, no revolution The human loss caused by school shootings Is unparalleled, these young students are the future Gun laws or psych tests or investigative procedures It doesn’t matter, just stop the deaths of students and teachers And find a way to make our schools safe again So we can feel good going to school again

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WHO’S NEXT? By: Caroline Martin, of Elizabethtown Area High School Souls ripped from their now lifeless bodies, Entry of bullets through young flesh. Vexed parents puzzled that their child is now dead, Erased from life in a place where they’re supposed to be safe. Now the students are plagued with fear. Tools of mass destruction are somehow still legal. Even through the web of lies, fake sympathy, and destruction, Electrifying survivors wave their flags that illuminate Never again. Without gun reform, there will be losses. More Alyssa’s, Scott’s, Martin’s, Nicholas’, Aaron’s, Jamie’s, Chris’, Luke’s, Cara’s, Gina’s, Joaquin’s, Alaina’s, Meadow’s, Helena’s, Alex’s, Carmen’s, and Peter’s. After all, you could be next.

From the Fallout Shelter

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Bullets of the Lies By: Isaiah Morales, of Susquehanna Township School of the Arts

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They Can’t Have Them Back By: Savannah Bucks, of East Pennsboro High School You can have your pretty little machines made out of shiny metals You can feel pride in your 10-point buck You can show your precious little baby at the gun show But, they can’t have their children back They can’t kiss them goodnight They can’t cheer them on at soccer games They can’t send them off to college They can’t watch their grandchildren grow up They’ll sit awake at night wondering why their child was taken from them so soon They’ll hope for a day when it won’t hurt so bad They’ll hope for a day when no parent will need to worry They’ll cringe at news articles titled “school shooting” They’ll hope for a better world They’ll hope for stricter gun laws They’ll wonder why no one is doing anything Don't you worry though, you can have your precious little guns But, they won’t have their children

From the Fallout Shelter

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The Levee Has Burst By: Rebecca Bestwick, of Penn State Harrisburg The storm has hit everyone hard. Nobody was left dry, young or old. This downpour echoes loudly throughout the nation rippling like waves. Fear us.

I’m nihilism. Life may have no meaning to me, but somehow, I know, this was real.

I’m optimism. Children’s voices push forward. Let their words flood over. Change is on the horizon.

I’m pessimism. Our sail is torn. Society has been left adrift. As we sink, I declare “abandon ship!”

I’m agathism. Tragedy has struck time and time again each form just a bit different. Yet all of these changes will lead us to ready about.

Thunderous blue ripples roar, approaching closer, foaming at the mouth: “Fear us, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and anyone else who dares to defy us!

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Change By: Aisha Onofre-Tejada, of Mechanicsburg Area High School I wake up every morning, kiss my mother goodbye, and wonder if this will be the last time I say goodbye to her. I fear every day I wake up and wonder if this will be the last day I go to school. I fear the facade of a "safe-zone" and wonder, how many schools have been marked as a "safe-zone", yet horrors awakened in their own hallways. I fear I will lose people close to me; friends, teachers, siblings, and I ache. I wonder if I’ll be the first, or the fifth, or the thirteenth, or the fiftieth. I wonder if it'll be one of us wreaking havoc; of the many of us in the school, the one who thinks purely evil, but plasters a smile on their face. I wonder if it'll be the same weapon of destruction used at the other schools. I wonder of the aftermath; the pain, the images haunting survivors, the crying, the mourning, the anxiety, the love, the support, the news reports, the debates... I wonder if it'll all change. If one day, I don't wake up in the morning fearing for my life to go to a place that is supposed to advance me further into life. If one day, I can walk in the hallways without darting eyes and sitting in classrooms devising escape plans. I wonder if one day I cannot fear guns. Change...I wonder if there will be change.

From the Fallout Shelter

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The Real Problem By: Ashley Weston, of East Pennsboro High School GUNS provide the ability to kill As much as KNIVES do. GUNS cause death As much as CARS cause accidents.

PEOPLE kill people. PEOPLE possess the consciousness To not harm others, yet they still do. PEOPLE have become a horrendous problem. From September 11th to Parkland, Florida, Lives have been devastated by PEOPLE That had bad intentions.

But GUNS are not to blame. BULLIES are to blame. SOCIETY is to blame. WE are to blame.

Be KIND to one another and save lives. WALK UP to those in need and save lives.

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The Road to Recovery By: Emily Muthersbaugh, of East Pennsboro High School For the shots have rang And the prayers sang, The lives have been lost And their returning presence has no cost, The hours spent in fright But now it’s time to make things right. A change needs to be made To help the ones who are afraid Because Parkland may have suffered But we must know no other. The world has lost too many precious souls, And now the high schools have taken control We left our schools with angels beared in mind To stand up for the lives of yours and mine A sense of safety pierced the air The students around the world declare We are on the road to recovery.

From the Fallout Shelter

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17: PSU to Parkland  

This special issue of the Penn State Harrisburg literary magazine, From the Fallout Shelter, is a collaboration between high school students...

17: PSU to Parkland  

This special issue of the Penn State Harrisburg literary magazine, From the Fallout Shelter, is a collaboration between high school students...

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