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Acadia University’s student newspaper since 1874. January 14th, 2014 Issue 76.7

The Creative Issue

It is in me

to rebel pg 7


the Athenaeum

www.theath.ca

2

A letter from the mother

To the hit-and-run driver who struck my daughter on November 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm in the Subway parking lot in Wolfville: Lila Hope-Simpson Contributor

The KiOnce when my husband and I were driving along Highway 14, we spotted a turtle in the middle of the road. We pulled over and Ian gently picked up the turtle and carried him to a pond on a nearby farm. When I hit a low flying robin with my car one day, I drove back to check and see if it was okay and still breathing before driving off. So to think that an individual would drive a vehicle into my daughter, pinning her against an adjacent car, then leave her severely injured and alone lying on the ground, is incomprehensible to me. I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but you have affected the lives of every member of our family enormously. After you fled, my daughter called out for help and was surrounded by caring people who contacted my husband and placed a 911 call for police and ambulance. Since that night, she has had eight surgeries and has been hospitalized for over a month, and that is just the beginning of our long road to recovery. A few weeks ago at an interview a reporter asked me what I would say to the assailant if I could speak directly with that person. I reflected for a moment, then shook my head blankly and said, “There are no words.” Well, now some time has passed and I do

have a few things I would like to say to you. You and I actually have more in common than you might think. We both have had major life altering decisions to make. Mine were medical choices that would affect my daughter’s life. Your decision was based on whether to run away or offer assistance. Making choices is not easy for anyone, but I like to think that weighing the consequences of one’s actions plays a role in making those significant decisions. While you are at home sleeping at night, my daughter is woken up repeatedly in the hospital every night for blood work, IV’s, pain medications, injections, vitals and nerve block checks. I can tell you that It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep in a hospital setting because I have been sleeping in her room for over a month now. You may take walking for granted, but we don’t. It will be awhile until my girl can walk again, and never unaided. Has your life been turned upsidedown? Our lives have. Things that used to be important to us are not any more, and things were not that important before, are more important now. For many years I wrote Positive Parenting columns for the newspaper and although I confidently covered many topics relating to parenting, I never wrote about how to cope after a hit-and-run incident, so this is all new territory for me. It feels like I have been dropped into a foreign country

where I don’t speak the language, I am not familiar with the culture, I have never eaten the food and I don’t know the geography or road maps. I am kind of lost in this new territory, but experiential learning is teaching me to cope and I am slowly inching forward. Neither my husband nor I have worked since the accident. We don’t have time, we’re too busy for now learning the ropes. Make no mistake. My daughter has risen far above this event. This incident does not define her. She is positive and beautiful. She is motivated and I am confident that she will do great things with her life. We are grateful that she is alive and thriving. In fact, we don’t spend all that much time thinking about you. No, we are far too busy healing as a family and community. We have learned many lessons. Mainly we have learned that even though there was one person who committed an unspeakable act of cowardice, there are a thousand people who have proven to us that humankind is good. Anne Frank wrote in The Diary of a Young Girl, “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” Although you chose to flee and hide, our friends and community have stood by us and supported us with compassion, love, kindness, music, art, wholesome meals, funds, yarn, caring and generosity of spirit. You see, most people really don’t stand for acts of injustice and they are not afraid to speak out. Most of us prefer that justice is done. My daughter has

become every mother’s daughter and that is why everyone genuinely cares so much. My only prayer was wishing that it could be me instead of her laying in that hospital bed. But even though I was like an animal mother trying fiercely to protect her young, I couldn’t fix this one. I have shed many tears. So may tears that sometimes it feels like there are none left to weep. And even though it was my daughter who was hit that night, I too have felt broken and shattered. But there has been laughter and peace too. We have learned how to embrace what we have and each other, and appreciate the world around us. Tell me, do you ever think about that night? Does it affect your dreams? Do you wonder about the girl you hit and how she might be doing? Or is it easy for you to carry on and buy groceries and watch TV and go for coffee like everything is normal? I’m just kind of curious I guess because I don’t really get it. I don’t understand how you can carry this inside of you and keep on going as if nothing happened. As a teacher, I always taught my preschoolers that there are consequences to actions. I taught them to take responsibility for their behaviour. I would never appeal to your sense of right and wrong because you have shown me that your concept of such ethics is very different from my own, but I would urge you to take responsibility for your actions that night. Don’t be afraid. Come forward.

Somebody knows. Or if you suspect who might have committed this act, do the right thing and tell someone. Call the New Minas detachment of the RCMP and help them wrap up their investigation (902-679-5555) or contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) for a cash reward. I know I’m supposed to feel better if I forgive you, but the truth is, sometimes I still feel angry that you caused so much pain. For now, I will go back and be there for my daughter and family, and I trust that the world is a kind and nurturing place. My daughter has taught me to find peace and with her courage and the support of friends and community, I am gradually learning to do so. I don’t know you and I don’t particularly strive to know you, but I wouldn’t mind knowing who you are. You see, that would provide some closure for us. And you know what? I urge you to do this for yourself as well. After all, if we can look out for a turtle or a robin, it’s not too late for you step up to the plate for one innocent girl.

the residents of the town of Wolfville. The Athenaeum is here as a medium of expression for student opinions and as a forum for critical thought and engagement on campus. The Athenaeum strives to add to a culture of intelligent and thoughtprovoking dialogue, and to reach this point we require our student population to be engaged and critical of both the educations they are receiving and the environments and institutions they take part in.

T h e A t h e n a e u m m ay a c c e p t submissions from any student or member of our campus, present and past, and is always looking for more writers and photographers. If you are interested then feel free to contact Iain Bauer at eic@acadiau.ca or Stephanie Gumuchian at athmanagingeditor@ acadiau.ca Articles submitted will be published at the discretion of the editorial board. If there is content that we feel will not add to the philosophy, dialogue, or tone of

our newspaper, it will not be published. That being said, all of our staff members look forward to working together with writers to improve their quality of writing, and to make sure the Athenaeum remains professional and well-rounded. There are open story meetings every Sunday at 7:30pm in the Athenaeum office, room 512 in the SUB–all are welcome, and we encourage you to come! If you are interested in advertising in the Athenaeum please contact our Ad Manager Mark Pound at mark.

pound@gmail.com. If you are looking for coverage of an event or story, would like to notify us of a complaint or correction, or would like to submit a letter to the editor, contact Iain Bauer at eic@acadiau.ca or Stephanie Gumuchian at athmanagingeditor@ acadiau.ca. With business inquiries please contact our Business Manager Enoka Baino at 106198b@acadiau.ca.

editorial staff

production staff

contributors

photo credits

Sincerely, Lila Hope-Simpson Wolfville (902-542-2057 / cell 902-680-1529)

the athenaeum

modusoperandi The Athenaeum is the official student newspaper of Acadia University and is published in print and online yearround at theath.ca. The opinions expressed herein do not represent the Acadia Student Union or the staff of the Athenaeum, they are held by the individuals who contribute to the Athenaeum as essential members of our completely student-run newspaper. The Athenaeum is created by and for students, professors and the entire Acadia University community, including

the athenaeum Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Issue 76.7www ASU Box 6002, Acadia University Wolfville, NS, Canada B4P 2R5

Editor-in-Chief News Editor

Creative Editor Opinions Editor

email: eic@acadiau.ca SUB room 512 EIC Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00-5:30 Managing Editor Hours: Tuesdays 5:30-7:30

Arts Editor Sports Editor Science Editor

Iain Bauer

eic@acadiau.ca

Jacob Verhagen

Managing Editor

athnewseditor@acadiau.ca

Mira Chiasson

athcreativeeditor@acadiau.ca

Distribution Manager

Stephanie Gumuchian

Lila Hope-Simpson, Mercedes Peters, Jenn Galambos, Joseph Armstrong, Theodore Angus Bauer Saunders, Meaghan Smith, Daniel BrownHozjan, Matt Howorko, Anjuli Ripley

athmanagingeditor@acadiau.ca

Max Boulet

athopinionseditor@acadiau.ca

Deirdre Campbell

athartseditor@acadiau.ca

Eliza McGuire

athsportseditor@acadiau.ca

Niraj Nitheanandan

athscienceeditor@acadiau.ca

Production Manager Photo Editor Copy Editor Ad Manager

Rebecca Glenen If you would like to contribute to the Athenaeum please contact Iain Bauer athphotoeditor@acadiau.ca (eic@acadiau.ca) or Stephanie Gumuchian Stephanie Bethune (athmanagingeditor@acadiau.ca) Nathan Kaulback

Mark Pound

mark.pound@gmail.com

Cover: Matt Howorko


creative issue

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Sociology 1001 Mercedes Peters Contributor Keller hated night classes. He hated the professor, he hated the snot-nosed assholes that sat in the back and watched skin flicks, making crude jokes while he tried to listen to a subject he didn’t care about, and he hated that it was Cecily’s fault that he was there in the first place. Lee had been his girlfriend coming into college, and at their high school graduation they had promised that they would be together forever and always. By July he was bored, and by August when their schedules were released, Lee bitched because they didn’t have any classes together, and so he surprised her by taking on a sixth course—same as her, Sociology 1001—so that she’d stop whining and trying to catch him in the hallway between Biology and Calculus. The last thing he needed was to get caught trying to convince Jordan Marks to help him cheat on his Stats exam (and his girlfriend). And then, by the middle of the first semester when he had slept his way through two midterms—that cut his GPA in half—and half of the nursing society, Cecily found out, put up a fit, and left him alone in the only class that could save him from academic probation. In the beginning, he had enjoyed the quiet; it gave him time to scope out the chicks in the class without getting noticed. There was one in particular who sat in the front row that he had taken a liking to; once the whole Cecily issue blew over, he’d go ask her for coffee. But as time went on, he grew even more restless; a guy could only pretend to pay attention for so long. Two weeks after Lee dropped out, Keller gave up trying to absorb the lesson, and started people-watching. That is, until he caught the guy sitting three seats over digging gold out of his nose and flicking it into the purse of the girl sitting in front of him. He had to excuse himself to the bathroom to keep from woofing his cookies into the row below. When he returned, Keller sat in a different seat, much closer to the front of the room. Sitting there meant that he had to make a visible effort

to show the prof he was engaged, but it was better than sitting next to the manager of Valley Gold Mines. And it was a great place to be, or so he thought, until the girl behind him found it convenient to dig her heels into the bottom of his chair, and if the dull jab from a pair of dirty Uggs didn’t succeed in making him uncomfortable, then the smell radiating from them certainly did. Halfway through the lecture, Keller gathered the balls to turn around and ask her curtly to please put her death shoes somewhere else, but when he saw who was actually sitting there—she turned out to be a he, and he was easily a hundred pounds more than Keller could have ever dreamed of being with a scowl that could put his mother to shame—he smiled and quickly resumed his position, facing ahead. Two minutes later, he excused himself to the bathroom again and found himself even closer to the front of the room. Surely there would be nothing to bother him up there. As the lecture dragged on, the door at the front of the classroom opened and a straggler tiptoed in. Why she was attempting to go to class an hour into the lesson was beyond him; after twenty minutes, he probably would have given up and tried again the next week. At that particular point in time there were only about seventeen seats filled out of the forty-five in the theatre. Keller, sitting in the middle of an empty row had left a considerable amount of space around his spot, so when the girl dropped her bag on his toes and plunked down in the chair beside him, he was surprised. As she situated herself, Keller took a quick sideways glance at her, wondering if he had met her somewhere before, but it wasn’t a face he recognized. He chalked it up to her being friendly, and moved on to focusing on the lecture again. It took him approximately fifteen seconds to grow annoyed with her. She was small, and cute, but when she breathed, her nose whistled like his father’s did during an afternoon nap. It was easy to ignore at first, though when her breathing exceeded even the projections of his

professor, he couldn’t resist giving her a look. “D’you need something?” he asked, rather frustrated with the whole evening. The girl frowned at him, as if to say, no, why the hell are you asking, perv, and shook her head. Keller nodded, biting his upper lip, and settled again in his chair. When the dragon whistles commenced again, this time accompanied by the rhythmic tapping of her pen on the retractable desk, he turned and looked once more. She was now rocking back and forth to the rhythm of her fingers. It was Chinese water torture. Hoping to catch her attention, he cleared his throat loudly, but the tapping and the breathing continued, and so he had no choice but to suck it up and pay attention. Ten minutes before the end of the class, she decided to pop a piece of Juicy Fruit. It was the climax of an orchestra he wished he hadn’t paid to see. The pen still pounded out an uneven drumline, keeping time with the hiss, squeak, gahhh of the air being forced through her clogged nose pipe, and now, now he had the wet smacking of the insides of her mouth to deal with. Keller was at the end of his rope. He prepared to excuse himself yet again, when from the front of the classroom, the girl he had been eyeing since Cecily left laughed a little too hard at the professor’s punch line, and broke such furious wind that the plastic of the seat below her seemed to reverberate to the back of the room. The class was dead silent. Keller, now completely disturbed with the events unfolding around him, could take it no longer and leapt up from his chair. Grabbing his bag, he slid past Ludwig von Gum Smacker and took off into the hallway. The professor, who had only just registered the gassy mishap of one of his students watched as

Keller dove for the door. “Looks like someone had the cafeteria nachos,” he remarked, “that’s the third time today he’s gone for the toilet.” The students of Sociology 1001 laughed. Later on, they all agreed that there was something off about the poor kid. Keller hated night classes. He hated the professor, he hated the snot-nosed assholes that sat in the back and watched skin flicks, making crude jokes while he tried to listen to a subject he didn’t care about, and he hated that it was Cecily’s fault that he was there in the first place. Lee had been his girlfriend coming into college, and at their high school graduation they had promised that they would be together forever and always. By July he was bored, and by August when their schedules were released, Lee bitched because they didn’t have any classes together, and so he surprised her by taking on a sixth course—same as her, Sociology 1001—so that she’d stop whining and trying to catch him in the hallway between Biology and Calculus. The last thing he needed was to get caught trying to convince Jordan Marks to help him cheat on his Stats exam (and his girlfriend). And then, by the middle of the first semester when he had slept his way through two midterms—that cut his GPA in half—and half of the nursing society, Cecily found out, put up a fit, and left him alone in the only class that could save him from academic probation. In the beginning, he had enjoyed the quiet; it gave him time to scope out the chicks in the class without getting noticed. There was one in particular who sat in the front row that he had taken a liking to; once the whole Cecily

issue blew over, he’d go ask her for coffee. But as time went on, he grew even more restless; a guy could only pretend to pay attention for so long. Two weeks after Lee dropped out, Keller gave up trying to absorb the lesson, and started people-watching. That is, until he caught the guy sitting three seats over digging gold out of his nose and flicking it into the purse of the girl sitting in front of him. He had to excuse himself to the bathroom to keep from woofing his cookies into the row below. When he returned, Keller sat in a different seat, much closer to the front of the room. Sitting there meant that he had to make a visible effort to show the prof he was engaged, but it was better than sitting next to the manager of Valley Gold Mines. And it was a great place to be, or so he thought, until the girl behind him found it convenient to dig her heels into the bottom of his chair, and if the dull jab from a pair of dirty Uggs didn’t succeed in making him uncomfortable, then the smell radiating from them certainly did. Halfway through the lecture, Keller gathered the balls to turn around and ask her curtly to please put her death shoes somewhere else, but when he saw who was actually sitting there—she turned out to be a he, and he was easily a hundred pounds more than Keller could have ever dreamed of being with a scowl that could put his mother to shame—he smiled and quickly resumed his position, facing ahead. Two minutes later, he excused himself to the bathroom again and found himself even closer to the front of the room. Surely there would be nothing to bother him up there. As the lecture dragged on, the door at the front of the classroom opened and a straggler tiptoed in. Why she was attempting to go to class an hour into the lesson was beyond him; after twenty minutes, he probably would have given up and tried again the next week. At that particular point in time cont. on pg 4

Max Boulet


the Athenaeum cont. from pg 3

there were only about seventeen seats filled out of the forty-five in the theatre. Keller, sitting in the middle of an empty row had left a considerable amount of space around his spot, so when the girl dropped her bag on his toes and plunked down in the chair beside him, he was surprised. As she situated herself, Keller took a quick sideways glance at her, wondering if he had met her somewhere before, but it wasn’t a face he recognized. He chalked it up to her being friendly, and moved on to focusing on the lecture again. It took him approximately fifteen seconds to grow annoyed with her. She was small, and cute, but when she breathed, her nose whistled like his father’s did during an afternoon nap. It was easy to ignore at first, though when her breathing exceeded even the projections of h i s

professor, he couldn’t resist giving her a look. “D’you need something?” he asked, rather frustrated with the whole evening. The girl frowned at him, as if to say, no, why the hell are you asking, perv, and shook her head. Keller nodded, biting his upper lip, and settled again in his chair. When the dragon whistles commenced again, this time accompanied by the rhythmic tapping of her pen on the retractable desk, he turned and looked once more. She was now rocking back and forth to the rhythm of her fingers. It was Chinese water torture. Hoping to catch her attention, he

www.theath.ca

cleared his throat loudly, but the tapping and the breathing continued, and so he had no choice but to suck it up and pay attention. Ten minutes before the end of the class, she decided to pop a piece of Juicy Fruit. It was the climax of an orchestra he wished he hadn’t paid to see. The pen still pounded out a n uneven

drumline, keeping time with the hiss, squeak, gahhh of the air being forced through her clogged nose pipe, and now, now he had the wet smacking of the insides of her mouth to deal with. Keller was at the end of his rope. He prepared to excuse himself yet again, when from the front of the classroom, the girl he had been eyeing since Cecily left laughed a little too hard at the professor’s punch line, and broke such furious wind that the plastic of the seat below her seemed to reverberate to the back of the

4

room. The class was dead silent. Keller, now completely disturbed with the events unfolding around him, could take it no longer and leapt up from his chair. Grabbing his bag, he slid past Ludwig von Gum Smacker and took off into the hallway. The professor, who had only just registered the gassy mishap of one of his students watched as Keller dove for the door. “Looks like someone had the cafeteria nachos,” he remarked, “that’s the third time today he’s gone for the toilet.” The students of Sociology 1001 laughed. Later on, they all ag reed that there was something off about the poor kid.

Daniel Brown-Hozjan


creative issue

www.theath.ca

5

Matt Howorko


the Athenaeum

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6

the truth

In my family there are generations of climbers. All climbing the same mountains, carving their own routes. Every climber brings a knife because they know the rules of the mountain Sometimes, you have to make a cut. os On the day Ed slipped and fell his son caught galamb n n e j : y the rope b that cut into his hand splitting his palm with the strength of his resolve and the words that seared themselves into his skin I will not let you go Forty years later I stand with my feet firmly on the ground, knees bruised, palms scraped from shards of stone, smeared with sweat and chalk dust I trace the pale scar on the curve of my thumb, the cut I received the night I knew you were leaving, so I held on tighter, clinging to the brown threads of your woolen coat as you walked away into a separate darkness. sometimes, there isn’t a choice between holding on and pulling out the blade Because no matter how tightly you hold on, you cannot avoid the cut

of all climbers

Matt

rko

Howo

REVOlution JENN GALAMBOS

Each moment could have been an ending. A disaster. All we wanted was a revolution. Because we’re all standing in the rain waiting for the lightening to strike the bell tower, so that we can engrave the stones with our names so that all will remember and know who the tragedy belonged to. we’ve said too much in too many words, revealed our secrets. They’ve pried open these cabinet doors, this cage of bones and spear points to unravel the heartbeat hidden within Vulnerable, our hopes exposed, the layers peeled back and tattooed into our veins like marks of self-destruction, we will stand in our soaked skins, waiting for the march to begin, our malleable bones clutching our flagstaffs and banners, the frayed edges rippled by wind and moonlight each breath held in anticipation, crystallized and palpable in the moment before the storm breaks

Rebirth

Jenn Galambos

Matt Howorko


REVOlution JENN GALAMBOS

creative issue

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7

Rebirth

Jenn Galambos

I’m waiting for the bells to stop These old friends of mine, singing through the rain. break the metal from my bones clash the curtains with the sea breeze and set the sands to flow A pair of pigeons upon the roof of a brick wall discard the senselessness of hollow bones and plummet from the sky It is in me to rebel The blood pools in their feet as they stand listlessly staring at the shadows cast from the setting sun

Daniel Brown-Hozjan

The cat is thirsty

The cat drinks the cow’s warm milk

The cow stomps the cat

The dog is hungry The dog wants the squashed dead cat

The cow gets it first

Daniel Brown-Hozjan


the Athenaeum

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Minifest 2014 tHeodore SaunderS Contributor Minifest is a production put on by the lovely Acadia Theatre Company, where a handful of short plays are selected, cast, and directed by our department’s Theatre students. Among some of the changes to Acadia’s annual student-driven theatre production, we have decided to run Minifest much earlier this semester. Additionally, this year we have allowed students outside of the Theatre program to participate in both acting and production. So, for students and friendly members of the Wolfville community who have attended previous Minifest productions, you will still be in for a treat—but this year, it is sooner! Why should I watch this year’s 24th international Minifest? The answer is simple—why not? Whether you are a true patron of the arts or simply looking for some quick entertainment, Minifest has something for everyone. Five diverse shows and directors, each with their own unique take on their piece. This year’s shows include: Lobster Man

(directed by Hayleigh Beals), Murder of a Minimalist (directed by Mike Crowell), Leaving Nic (directed by Tyler Craig), 10,000 Cigarettes (directed by Sarah Thomas), and Good Tickets

January 22nd-25th, come down to (directed by Theodore R. Saunders). the intimate space that is Lower Denton MINIFEST 2014 and be entertained! I dare you. 10$ - Regular 8$ - Students For this year’s 24th international Tickets available at the SUB or at Minifest production, I have had the the door

pleasure of directing “Good Tickets,” a two person act starring the talented Isla Healy and the charming Blake Ward. Just as Minifest is acted, produced and directed by students, I selected “Good Tickets” from twelve plays chosen by a student committee. I knew after only a single read that this would be the first show in which to test my hand at directing. Without spoiling anything, the show takes place at the Bolshoi Ballet, where two perfect strangers meet due to a bizarre coincidence. Blake Ward plays a young up-andcoming Wall Street stock broker, while Isla plays a recently divorced patron of the arts, armed to the teeth with snappy quips. I would like to thank my wonderful stage manager, Ariel Mactavish, for keeping me on track and helping with the entire process. It has been a real treat. For me, being able to experience a piece of work like this being built from the ground up is very special. It is a brand new perspective and I cannot wait to share “Good Tickets” with an audience very soon. I hope you enjoy the show!

Nathan Kaulback

Something colorful mira dietz cHiaSSon CrEativE Editor Andre picked them up at the Belize Airport. There were a dozen of them, wide-eyed, and swaying under the weight of their too-heavy packs. They were pale; North American, sun-deprived, pasty-skinned young students. Like all tourists, they stared a lot, bewildered by this new world that was so far removed from their own. It was an ordinary day, the humidity clung to your skin and the palm trees were waving in the hazy mid-afternoon wind. The smell of smoke clung to the air; the usual dry-season fires that this time of year tended to bring plagued Belize. Even when it rained, the water evaporated so quickly that it hardly dampened the flames’ hunger. Andre eyed the students warily. They looked so young and tired. He led them to the bus and couldn’t help but notice the concealed looks of disgust as they trailed their fingers along the thick layer of dust on the seats, sitting on the very edges to avoid dirtying their clothes. Better get used to it, he thought smugly. Dust accumulates here. The students threw open the windows and started talking among themselves, munching on granola bars and swallowing their Malarone prescriptions. The old school bus coughed and sputtered to life. The biology professor

took the seat right behind him. Andre already knew him from previous field trips; he was a man of few words and a practical attitude; so Andre didn’t mind his company. As the bus rattled through Belize City’s gritty streets, Andre heard the students laughing and chattering, taking pictures of the landscape, marveling at the greenery, the palm trees, the colors... Dust, bare feet, stray dogs, garbage, fruit trees, rusty trucks, tires, vendors, fresh fruit, bus stops, goats, chickens, palm trees, hot air whistling through the windows, strange smells, dust, smoke, houses on stilts... This was his world, his everyday world, all he knew. And he loved it, of course he did. But to them, to these wide-eyed students, it was something otherworldly, a fleeting episode of their lives. They were only passing through. Of course they would remember it, but to them Belize would become a blur of colors imprinted in their memories. Later, when they thought of Belize, they would see something colorful. But what about all the shades of grey? When they catch a glimpse of the shadows, tourists usually turn away. Sunlight and beautiful colors can be deceiving. Andre knew the shades, he knew them well. One shade’s name was dengue fever. Another was called Malaria. Andre had lost his grandfather and his uncle to Malaria, a long time ago. His family hadn’t been able to afford the expensive drugs to

keep the parasite at bay. They left the city and soon were on the highway. The smell of smoke became overwhelmingly strong and suddenly the students rushed to the windows. Outside, aggressive orange flames were eating up the scenery, leaving behind only blackened, scorched soil and brush. The hungry flames licked at the highway and some of the students looked shocked. Andre almost laughed, but he just smiled to himself and kept his eyes on the road. He was used to it: blackened scars amongst the green, the stark orange against a heavy, cloudy sky, dampness in the hot air and palm tree silhouettes. The professor pointed out the outline of looming mountains in the distance. “The Maya Mountains. That’s where we are heading. Straight into the heart of the Rainforest.” He told them that Belize is a birdwatcher’s paradise and a botanists’ dream. “With a great majority of its original forest cover left intact, it is one of the most biodiverse countries on this planet.” As the landscape flew past, the professor told them a little about what lay in front of them. Then he talked a little about Belize history. “It was colonized long ago by Spaniards and pirates...” Andre stopped listening to the professor. He had just turned onto the dirt road that marked the beginning of the long and treacherous ride upwards into the mountains. The old school bus rattled and shook as it hit the potholes, and

in the rearview mirror, Andre could mess, with a lurch and a bone-rattling see the students holding onto their jump. They were bumping along on seats uncomfortably and grimacing. the road again, headlights illuminating Sometimes he caught a glimpse of the narrow road, lianas hanging down them flying into the air as the bus hit in front of the windshield, scraping a particularly deep pothole, and there against the sides of the bus. Sometimes were gasps and laughter. As it started tree branches hit the windows with a getting dark, the laughter fast died out. loud, whip-like sound and sometimes a snap when the He could tell some He had always thought branches gave way. It was late when of them were fading, that morning belonged they arrived. Andre sighed in relief when closing their e y e s, o n l y to the intrepid adventurers he finally killed the engine. His eyes were to be jolted awake once and the avid explorers. burning and his neck was sore, as was his again. They made painful grimaces. Soon, Andre jaw from keeping his teeth clenched couldn’t distinguish their faces in together. There was a stunned silence. the rearview mirror anymore, and After the loud rattling and the growl he focused on the road instead. He of the engine, everything seemed stopped briefly at a British military suddenly, mercifully quiet. The students outpost, at the crossing of the river— were eager to get off the bus, but the they were always here, the British, for professor held them back: “The lawn training. Andre waved at them and the around the research station is kept young men smiled back, squinting into short, but there still are scorpions and tarantulas and snakes around, especially the headlights. About an hour from the research at night. Walk beside someone with a station, the bus got stuck on a steep flashlight.” They filed out of the bus, rise, sliding sideways in the mud, carefully, slowly, staring at the ground wheels spinning, the engine coughing as they walked. Andre left the bus up smoke. He felt the tension in the standing near the main building. Under air as he turned the vehicle off and the cabin, some of the boys had strung stepped outside to assess the damage. their hammocks between the beams There wasn’t much he could do besides that held up the building and lit some turn the bus back on and try again. The lanterns. One of them was playing students cheered and clapped when guitar, and the others sat around in lawn the vehicle finally broke free of the chairs, beer in hand. An old horse was


creative issue tied to a pole, a thin rope around her skinny neck, her ears laid back, enjoying the welcome cool breeze. The insects were loud that night. In the morning, with the first screaming of the parrots and the familiar raucous call of the Chachalacas, Andre got up and made his way across the lawn to the main building that housed the kitchen. The smell of fried beans wafted across the camp, mingling with the rich, fruity scent of the jungle. The sun was just reaching the tip of the trees, illuminating the short, faded lawn in a golden glow. Andre walked slowly, savoring the moment. Morning was his favorite time of day. The sun was warm but not scorching, the air cool and damp as opposed to the oppressive heat of midday. He had always thought that morning belonged to the intrepid adventurers and the avid explorers. He climbed the wooden steps up to the main building slowly, thinking about the day ahead. He had to go back to town, return the yellow bus and then head home to take care of his brothers and sisters... He reached the top of the stairs, lifted his head, only to come face to face with a blond-haired young woman. One of the students. She was sitting at the top of the stairs. She looked as startled as he was, her green eyes wide in surprise. “Good Morning.” She muttered clumsily. Andre just nodded, too tired and startled to respond properly. He was about to walk past her, but then he saw the binoculars hanging around her neck. “You like birds?” He asked awkwardly in his hesitant English. She smiled, suddenly looking more relaxed. “Yeah. I love birds. That’s why I came here.” “You know many birds?” Andre sat on the steps beside her. She shrugged. “I know the ones from home. I don’t know any from here.” Andre smiled. He remembered when, as a child, his uncle had taught him to recognize birds by their vivid plumage and their songs. Some birds were more raucous than others, like the Chachalacas. This was his favorite bird, the first one he had learnt to recognize. “Hear that?” “What?” “Chachalaca. They cry their name. You hear?” Her face broke into a smile. “Yes. What do they look like?” Andre laughed. “No pretty bird. Bit like a chicken.” She asked him his name, told him hers was Lily and that she was a student from Canada. He told her how he would like to study conservation biology to help protect the birds but didn’t have any money. She looked a little sad, almost sorry for him, but he told her it didn’t matter. He would still enjoy the birds even if he had to spend the rest of his days as a bus driver. She laughed. Then the other students came out of their rooms for breakfast and she said she had to go. Andre grabbed his breakfast; a plate of roasted beans, some bread

and scrambled eggs, from the kitchen and sat on the steps alone, gazing into the jungle. After he ate he left with his yellow bus. Ten days passed. Sometimes Andre wondered about the blond-haired girl, he wondered if she was enjoying seeing all the colorful birds Belize had to offer. Soon, Andre was back at the station, loading up the same yellow bus with the same students he had driven up. They climbed into the bus smiling, brown and bug-bitten, their

www.theath.ca had tasted raw, fresh papaya. One lucky student had seen the hindquarters of a jaguar; Lily had seen only a paw print that nevertheless seemed to have made a big impression on her. Suddenly the bus ground to a halt. A vine had snagged the side view mirror and was twisted around it, keeping the vehicle from moving forward. Andre twisted around in his drivers seat and pulled out his machete from underneath it. He heard some of the students chuckle as he stepped outside

The sun was rising, burning hot and there were many small brush fires along the way. The bus left a long trail of dust in its wake. It took a long time to get back to Belize City where Lily and the rest of the students would take the plane back to their comfortable homes in North America. When Andre pulled into the Belize airport, the bus was quiet and there was a solemn sadness to all the faces. As they filed out, thanking him politely, Lily hung back, looking

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eyes bright and their minds full of stories. Lily smiled at him when she climbed aboard. Her face was darker, her hair blonder and her green eyes were full of sunlight. She sat right behind the drivers seat. Andre asked her about her time in Belize. As the bus bumped down the same dusty road, he listened to her talk. She told him about the howler monkeys and how she and two other students had run in fright the first time they had heard them, not knowing what the terrifying sound was. She talked about the leaf-cutter and acacia ants, the chicle gum trees. Andre laughed at her recollection of the nighttime scorpion and tarantula hunts on the lawn. He remembered doing this with his brothers and sisters. He smiled when she mentioned the gecko that visited them when they sat around late at night with beers in hand, watching the stars. Her voice was full of excitement, full of enthusiasm. On the trek to the River, they had seen some Macaws. Hiked to the Tower to see the view, where they saw nothing human as far as the eye could see, in all directions, except for the tiny cluster of buildings that was the research station. Their professor had showed them the caves after which the station was named. They had seen the Mayan ruins of the lost city of Caracol, climbed the ancient temples, which were still the tallest buildings in the country. They

to hack up the vine. “Only in Belize would a bus driver have a machete under his seat.” Someone commented. When they drove on, he asked Lily some more questions. She mentioned the Viper they had encountered, having walked past it several times during the day, without realizing that within a few inches from where they set down their feet, a deadly reptile had been waiting, watching their every move. Then she grew silent and stared out the window, seemingly lost in her own thoughts. As they reached the rangers’ outpost, Andre noticed some commotion. He slowed the bus down just as a handful of rangers on horseback came into the station, leading a train of skinny, almost skeleton-like horses. He killed the engine and stepped outside. He knew most of the rangers who worked here. “Chiteras,” they told him when he inquired. Guatemalans, illegally crossing over the border to harvest Fishtail Palm. “There was a raid last night. These are their horses.” The horses looked in bad shape, some barely more than skin and bones, stumbling over the loose rock. Andre turned back to the bus. The students were watching curiously. He explained as best he could in his broken English. They nodded, asked a few questions, watched the rangers lead the horses out of sight, and then they were on the road again.

Daniel Brown-Hozjan out the window, watching a plane take off into the azure sky. When the last few students stepped onto the pavement, she grabbed her bags. “I have something for you.” She told Andre, reaching into her pocket. She pulled out a feather. It was a beautiful feather, shimmering in the light, striped and speckled, black and rusty red. “It’s from a bird from my home country. A Ruffed Grouse. Not a pretty bird. A bit like a chicken.” Andre didn’t know what to say. He took the feather, twirled it between his thumb and index finger. “Beautiful.” He told her, “Thank you.” She smiled and with that she was gone, dragging her bags with her, jogging to catch up to the other students. Andre sat in the bus for a while. He thought about the stories she had told him, the stories she was now taking home with her. In her voice, Andre had discerned a new sense of respect for the jungle, of wonder and of humility. Perhaps there was a little hint of envy there too. Perhaps she was envious that the world she lived in was not as colorful as the Belize she would remember. Andre held the feather she had given him and wondered, if he ever went to North America, if he too, like all tourists seemed to, would remember his trip as something colorful.

9

The Thunder of the Earth Jenn gaLamBoS Contributor

We stand taller, our spines straightened by evolution as we shed our skins like unwanted armour.

The first dawn rises over the world. The sun shines down on the stones and through the trees of the forests, washing the pine needles with golden light. The faint sound of a flute floats like a bird song through the open air. The music moves through the branches, shivering as it passes like sunlight through the thin translucent veins of green leaves. A slow heartbeat begins to pulse through the ground. The deep sound passes through clay and stone as it travels up the curving roots of ancient trees. The sound echoes through the air, shaking the ground with the earth’s steady breath. Inside the mountains, still fresh from the earth, their drums mark the beginning of time. Clothed in animal skins, their bare feet coated with dust, they stamp a rhythm upon the ground. They beat their palms against the smooth hides of their drums, the firelight casting shadows upon their faces as the wild music rises around them. The world spins with time, announcing the birth of a new generation. We stand taller, our spines straightened by evolution as we shed our skins like unwanted armour. At night we gather together and dance, surrendering our bodies to the freedom of motion. Like creatures of music we respond to the beat, our bodies swaying to the throbbing pulse. Beneath our eyelids the past glimmers and shifts as our feet find the rhythm engraved in our spirits. Hand prints and buffalo are smeared into the walls around us, the memories of our ancestors etched into stone. The raw energy of electric touch moves beneath our skin as we dance. We call out to the night, and the harmony of our voices shakes the dust from the walls. Firelight flickers around us, our glistening limbs moving to the beat of the drum. Beneath the coloured lights we dance, our feet drumming a heartbeat on the hardwood floor. The sound travels deep, the rhythm of our drum awakening an ancient song. The earth shakes with the passion of our footsteps, the thunder of the earth.


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Strings of light Iain Bauer Editor-in-Chief I feel sharp stings as the shower’s uncontrollable pendulum between near freezing and boiling swings again towards the latter. Huddling in the corner I curse bitterly through my tears and nearly choke, trying to minimize the flesh made vulnerable to the searing droplets as they trickle from the rusting showerhead. The temperature swings again and I slip and cut my lip against my teeth in a desperate effort to use wash the soap from my hair with the freezing water. The blood mixes with the water, made yellow by the filth coating the shower walls and my own body, made more apparent now in contrast with the streaks of burnt, clean flesh from the sad, ancient, motel shower. In an effort to distract my mind and nerves from my environment, I masturbate. It is without pleasure, fantasy, or desire, just movement—methodical— disrupted only by each change of temperature. When I come, it is just release, and I feel neither euphoria nor disappointment. I know I’m taking too long, and that my father will be angry, but each moment spent weathering the shower’s indecisive, pathetic stream gives me more strength then it, or

jenn galambos

he, can take away this morning. I can hear him pacing around our tiny motel room, opening the mini-fridge, kicking our bags around the room. The icy blast hits again and I embrace it, furiously scrubbing my neck and chest. We don’t check out of the motel, the names and identification we gave last night were fake anyways and the checks will bounce soon; better just to get going and let the lies reveal themselves alone. Dad grabs my knee as we turn out of the driveway, hard, and the bruises crawling up my arms and back all ache gently, like a distant voice calling without hopes of a response. I think of asking him where we’re going next, but think better of it and lose myself to more fantastical distractions. Looking at the ditches passing our vehicle at dizzying speeds I imagine myself running beside the car, propelling myself with long elastic arms, reaching from tree to tree, pulling my body forward faster. Outrunning our car, I bound ahead. Passing every car on this highway, reaching to the horizon, wrapping my fingers around the edge of perception, slinging myself across the world’s curvature, farther than we could ever drive. In enormous leaps I circle the globe until I return to this highway,

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and resume pace with the shaky rusty car, only to wave goodbye forever and disappear into the horizon again. It’s a game I play often, even more often at night, when I can squint my eyes until the headlights, taillights, and streetlights become little globes with long tendrils reaching out and grabbing me. They pull me forward, passing me off to the next lights, like little strings, swinging me away, to a safer, warmer place, away from highway rest stops, and motels, that only little strings of light can find. My father swears and smashes the crackling stereo with the butt of his hand as we drive into radio-silence and the malaise of indistinguishable classic rock stations he’s kept tuned into across the country settles into harsh static. I tell him I need to use the washroom and he looks at me suspiciously, unconvinced. “Not now.” Eventually I begin to squirm and he pulls over muttering, accusing me of selfish dramatics. Protesting won’t help so I simply apologize and make my way to some bushes in the distance, hoping for some cover. “No, here.” Obediently I crouch, and look away, knowing he won’t. He asks me to hurry up and I say that I am and he says it doesn’t look like it and I don’t

say anything. Dad drives for hours, stopping only to buy coffee for himself and salt and vinegar chips for me. The salt burns the cut on my lip, which I make sure each chip touches on its way into me. I reach for a sip of my father’s coffee, and he slaps my hand away, which I immediately press to my cheek for comfort. As the sun begins to set, and the cold, grey, spring highway scene is bathed in a golden warmth, dad gets more excited, and turns up the newly awakened radio. “Where’s Paradise” he cries, voice choked with some thrilled frustration, and while it was unclear to whom he speaks, and whether or not he expects any sort of an answer, I feel I knew exactly what he means. He talks fanatically now, about freedom, and misunderstandings that have brought us here, and how hard it was to find a decent person these days, and many other things I don’t understand or hear. As he speaks I imagine that the twisting road ahead is the tongue of some giant faceless snake, swallowing us deeper and deeper, wrapping itself around the car, pulling us closer towards its unreachable throat. As I turn back to examine expanse of grey, cracked tongue we have left behind us, I see the flash of red and

blue at the crest of a hill, approaching quickly. I say nothing, but nervously check my father’s face and the mirrors as he continues to speak, still ignorant. Soon the sirens overwhelm the harsh treble of the radio which has been playing an old rock ballad about a girl who got away, which dad had sworn about and called garbage, but left the dial unchanged. He begins to sweat, telling me to shut up, although I am still silent. I push my hands into my eyes until the darkness swims with blues and purples that move with the heels of my hands. The noises and shouts become more distant as I imagine I am a giant, heavy, immovable rock. So immovable that to push me, is to push the world beneath me. As I rock back and forth I rock the earth, and the oceans slosh like water in a pail, and the people are thrown like leaves, and mountains collide and the long highway cracks until it is nothing but crumbling grey pebbles. I hear my door open, and feel a pair of strong hands pick me up. “It’s okay, it’s over” But I am a rock, and cannot be moved, and I know that it isn’t over and if I open my eyes the crumbled pebbles will be a highway once again and so I just keep rocking and shaking the world until nothing is left.

33

spoken word

Matt Howorko So. Let me ask you again. Let me ask you again for a light. Let me ask you for a light because you and me, we’re in an endless night that crawls its way through absolution. And I’m sitting in the dark watching a slideshow of evolution, like the shadows on someone’s cave long before there was the concept of freedom and slaves. Nobody told me it was revolution. Because I don’t remember how I learned how to walk, or the part where they told me to run, or how all the light fell out of the sun. Maybe we should go back to the start. But we know better. It’s not as easy as shifting back the moon or stamping that envelope with the note “Return to Sender” Because I may not remember learning how to walk but I can still feel the ache in my knees and the scrapes on my palms and all the past wrongs etched in on the inside of my eyelids. So that when I fall asleep all I can see is the whites of your eyes like two stars who have abandoned their constellation in search of planets not bound by their rotation. And that light that fled left a thread of darkness that stretches and spills its way into the sea. And all those inside who long to be free are screaming, “I must be blind” because they can’t seem to find a way out. And goddamnit all I need is a light. A light for the cigarette between my fingertips, the burning red ember at the base of my lips. Light this cigarette so I can send a smoke signal to those stars who shed their concern by forgetting to burn. Because I’ve lost my way home and all I have is a backwards map inked into my skin for all the places I’ve been and no flashlight to light the way home.

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Mother’s Day

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and place it on Teddy Bear’s tomb while Wagon Wheel watched from the side. As the years passed, Amanda started writing a poem for Wagon Wheel, because she didn’t want him to

“Table for three? Baker’s,” The hostess called into the crowded waiting area. Amanda and Zach guided their mother through the crowd to their usual table to celebrate Mother’s Day. It was the one time a year that they all saw each other, in a tradition that had started before either of the children were born. Their father had begun it the year their mother became pregnant with her first child, Candace. Even though she miscarried in the third trimester, he celebrated Mother’s Day with her every year since. The day always started by taking the family to see the tombstone with the tiny teddy bear on it. Every year Amanda would bring her favorite book and give it to her sister to read, while Zach would give over whatever knickknack was in his pocket, always forgetting about the day. After visiting Teddy Bear, their father would take the whole family to their favorite breakfast restaurant and they could order whatever they wanted (even two chocolate milks!). Eight years ago Teddy Bear got a new friend. She was joined by a Wagon Wheel. Their mother begged to get the praying hands for their father’s tombstone, but Amanda refused. Daddy had only stepped into a church three times in his life: to get married and to have his children baptized. Wagon Wheel was much shinier than Teddy Bear, but the three had a hard time looking at him. Teddy Bear was a fixture in their lives; Wagon Wheel was new, and painful. Amanda continued each year to bring her sister the book she deemed best for their yearly meeting, and Zach (now jokingly) would take whatever was in his pockets

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through the tombstones. They could find Teddy Bear with their eyes closed. Teddy Bear was starting to chip around the edges. She was over thirty years old now. Amanda pulled out the

feel like he was being left out. Zach started his own tradition with Wagon Wheel, smacking him in the butt and joking that he was getting muscular. When the children began talking to Wagon Wheel their mother stopped attending.

copy of Ender’s Game and placed it in front of Teddy Bear so that she could read it. Zach pulled out 48 cents in change and a broken cigarette and put them on top of the book. They moved to Wagon Wheel and Amanda read her poem

*** Amanda’s car pulled into the cemetery beside Zach’s. Amanda grabbed the package off the seat beside her and got out. “How long have you been waiting?” she asked. “Not long, the kids were getting a little crazy so I remembered that our appointment got bumped up 30 minutes,” Zach told her with a laugh, “I just drove around and got some coffee though. I’ve only been here for like 5 minutes.” He grabbed her hand and led her up the pebble path

“A Haiku for Wagon Wheel: You spin and I spin Perhaps I’ll see you again If zombies invade.” She dug a small hole in the earth in front of Wagon Wheel, placed the poem inside and buried it. She heard a loud smack from behind Wagon Wheel that was followed by a giggle. She stood and looked at her brother with a smile. “Do you want to just meet there?” Amanda asked as they weaved through

By: Stephanie Gumuchian

after three sips of gin, there’s minimal restraint behind our tongues, sputtering out all our words in a chaotic discharge, like an aimed shotgun, we have no filter.

a martini to mask our hesitant attitudes, even when dealing with loved ones, self-doubt is distinguishable from afar, slurred speeches set in, still unable to disguise our ignorance. a glass full of whiskey is a catalyst for liquid comfort, accelerating our ability to be seemingly present, altering our range of importance, there’s a stretch between delusions,

oh, the secrets within inebriated minds. a bottle of cheap wine, marks freedom from distorted interactions, with strangers and ourselves, barely containing the awareness needed to aid our farewells, we wait for the cold sleep to surround us. there’s bailey’s in our coffee the next morning, repeat, repeat, repeat, i suppose we really do what’s necessary, to fit in.

the stones hand in hand. “Yeah sure, why not!” Zach responded. T hey each g ot into their cars and drove to the restaurant. They have a standing reser vation for this day. When they arrived hostess smiled and called them up, “Table for two? Baker’s.” T h e y maneuvered through the rest of the crowd to their same table. They took the menus already knowing it off by heart. “Your ser ver will be right with you,” the hostess told them as she Anjuli Ripley turned to leave. They smiled stiffly at her back. Their father taught them to be polite, but he could never manage to get them to seem genuine while doing it. “Hi there, what can I get you two?” The frazzled server asked them. “Umm can I have a chocolate milk, an orange juice, a coffee, a chocolate milk shake, and a side of toast please?” Amanda smiled up again as the server eyed her. Zach smiled wide. She changed it every year. “I’ll just have the same please.” He smiled across the table at his sister while the server took away their menus. “Happy Mother’s Day, sis.”

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Meaghan Smith Contributor

11

Mira Dietz Chiasson Creative Editor

L’innocence disparut Avec les tombes inconnues.

C’était avant que les seigneurs des ombres Ne déclenchent la fin du monde. Avant que le voile de brume Ne s’abatte sur la lune. C’était lorsque le vent soufflait encore sur les plaines, Lorsque le soleil brillait encore sur les steppes Lorsque les rivières coulaient encore, comme le sang dans les veines. C’était avant que la terre devienne noire. Ces jours étaient comme le soleil avant la pluie, Comme le crépuscule avant la nuit. C’étaient les jours insouciants Des ombrageuses années mille neuf cent. Mais l’Ignorance prit son envol Oiseau blanc s’éloignant du sol L’Innocence disparut Avec les tombes inconnues. Jaillirent les coups de tonnerre Les espoirs fracassés Les hurlements de Guerre Les horreurs tant redoutées Le soleil sombra dans l’oubli Se noya dans les rangs ennemis Les fausses illusions se dissipèrent Et la terre fut proie à une autre folie meurtrière.

Daniel Brown-Hozjan


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YOUTH Stephanie Gumuchian From what I’ve been told, there are: peace treaty paintings, glares shot like paper planes, scowls dancing through the walls, lisp-fulfilled thieves, bedridden cowards, a dynamic duo, with no fantastic three. male figurines, not men but boys, taking shelter from destructive minds, reinactments of their fathers, toothless and extricated from broken homes, the impassive claims behind acceptance, we are not bad kids, our minds have just been rearranged.

Daniel Brown-Hozjan

, Dietetics

Athenaeum 76.7  

The Creative Issue Issue 76.7 of The Athenaeum, Acadia University's student newspaper since 1874.