the Macomb Community College journal of student words and images 2018
Hi there! I’m Katherine Highland, I’m a Media and Communication Arts student majoring in Design and Layout. I’ve been drawing all my life, but I began taking art seriously in high school. I was inspired to create this piece by the chaos we experience in our everyday lives and how it makes us savor the peaceful moments. I illustrated what that feels like using Micron pens, Copic markers, and a hint of surreal imagery. I imagine our everyday problems as ocean waves. Some are little, some are stronger than others. Sometimes they’re so strong, they become overwhelming like riptides. In rare occasions, we find ourselves at peace with life. In those moments, we can forget about our ocean of problems. Serenity.
“Serenity”, Katherine Highland
2018 the Macomb Community College journal of student words and images ISSN 2574-0024
From the Editors: When we were hired as the student editors for Sketches, we never could’ve guessed just how much we would learn while working on the magazine.
The experience of being able to hear the perspective of someone with a writing background in conversation with one with a background in design was invaluable.
This is the first edition of Sketches to give students the opportunity to be involved as editors, so the magazine itself was breaking new ground by hiring one editor with experience in design (Bailee), as well as another with experience in writing (Aaron). And although we both had some knowledge under our belts and some feathers in our caps, it’s fair to say that we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. With that in mind, we count ourselves very lucky to have received mentorship from Kate Lutes, the managing editor of Sketches, and Bill Tite, our faculty advisor from the Media and Communication Arts (MACA) department. Kate advised us from the moment we set the magazine’s timeline to the final minutes of editing and final touches before print. Bill’s keen eye and expertise in design were indispensable in developing the layout, as well as the format of this issue. Our mentors pushed us to take our work to the next level, to polish this issue and make its submissions shine. We wouldn’t have been able do or learn half as much as we did without them, and we can’t thank you both enough. As student editors, we’ve had to juggle a considerable amount over the course of the semester. Our jobs outside of Macomb, classwork, and other responsibilities kept us busy at all times. But, our work on Sketches was a bright spot in our lives. Along the way we’ve both learned a lot of things, from big picture stuff, like how to work on a team producing a magazine, to little things like how to write a professional email. A lot of things were daunting, due to the fact that all of this was completely uncharted territory for the both of us. The experience of writing an email that will be sent to all faculty and staff will probably never feel natural though. Many of our favorite moments during the production of the magazine came from the discussions our whole team had as we reviewed the wealth of submissions from students. It was really enjoyable getting to talk about the things we liked about certain pieces, highlighting their strengths, and persuading others who were on the fence. The experience of being able to hear the perspective of someone with a writing background in conversation with one with a background in design (and vice versa) was invaluable. It almost felt like we were sharing trade secrets. Somehow even the stress of waiting for last minute submissions to roll in added to the fun. Not everything was all fine and dandy; there were times when stress and deadlines threatened to overwhelm us. Everyone leads busy lives, and getting the schedules of everyone involved to work together is a lot like getting the stars to align. Face to face communication often times wasn’t a viable option, so a lot of communication was done through the phone or email, which isn’t ideal in a world full of people who receive hundreds of emails every day. But, it was just something that we had to get used to, and make an effort to make sure everyone was on the same page. Before we began our work on Sketches, we weren’t used to a lot of freedom being given to us in the workplace, so it came as a pleasant surprise for us to have influence on decision making as well as setting deadlines for those decisions, in matters both big and small. Though we’re very grateful to be given the opportunity to be in charge of something for once, we couldn’t have done it by ourselves. More importantly, the students of Macomb are the ones who actually create every issue of Sketches, as both contributors and readers. We are extremely 2>
We hoped that by grouping together similar pieces, as well as the ones that empowered each other, we could solidify the topics represented by Macomb’s students.
grateful to every person who submitted to the magazine. Our work as editors was made a lot easier due to the high quality of their pieces. Although our call for submissions welcomed all themes and genres, as we were putting this issue together it was impossible to ignore that many pieces had things in common. In a trend similar to that of American culture in general, we received plentiful representations of women in design and writing, as well as works emphasizing the process of creating a submission: sketches, in a way. The focus of “Serenity” by Katherine Highland—our first-place winner for design—is a woman. Highland’s presentation of her subject is remarkable due to her use of the elements of design, mainly color and space She utilizes varying soft shades of blue, and frames her subject with waves of water amid bountiful sea life that gives the feeling of gently floating underwater. In the same vein, Erisa Kanani’s “Anna Karenina: A Literacy for Everyday Life”—the first-place winner for writing—is personal narrative about her relationship with reading and writing, and throughout the piece she employs engaging language alongside powerful description to make her experience come to life for the reader. Our second-place winner for writing, “Dungeons and Dragons: Office Training in Disguise” by Sean R. Bowker, is a wonderful, creative take on the assignment that shows how imagination and fun can be tools in the workplace. Michael Pawlusiak’s multimodal art movement poster “Vienna Secession” is our second-place winner for design, and is an excellent representation of the strength a piece can achieve by employing both visual and written work if presented in clean, interesting way. This issue is also dense with submissions in the form of architectural pieces, comic designs, and studies that give the reader a peek into the creation process. And after all, a magazine with a title like ours would be remiss if it didn’t feature some sketches. We tried to follow the threads that students gave us and tie them together, emphasizing their themes through the organization and layout of the magazine. We hoped that by grouping together similar pieces, as well the ones that empowered each other, we could solidify the topics represented by Macomb’s students. Our goal was to enrich the experience for the reader, as well as every submission through the magazine’s presentation. The amount of submissions that explore these topics can’t be just a coincidence. Perhaps these are the things that are on student’s minds, and represent the things they wish to see more of in the spotlight. In any case, we’re very satisfied with how this issue turned out, and overjoyed to present the results of hard work from some of Macomb’s students. Sketches wouldn’t have been possible without every member of our committee. We thank all of them for all of the time, energy, and enthusiasm you provided to produce this issue of the magazine. We couldn’t have asked for a more skilled group of people to work on Sketches this year. Sketches Editors Aaron Raceles — Student Editor, writing content Bailee Pilon — Student Editor, design content Kate Lutes — Managing Editor, Coordinator, South Campus Reading & Writing Studios Bill Tite — Faculty Advisor, layout and design (MACA department) Sketches Editorial Board Brett Griffiths — Director, Reading and Writing Studios Christina Rybicki — Faculty, Humanities Leah Bublitz — Coordinator, Center Campus Reading and Writing Studios Jonathan Benefiel — Faculty, Math Michelle Valin — Director, Center for Health Careers Jessie Hastings — Faculty, English Stacey Macleod — Faculty, English 3>
Angelena Chronis Prof. Dettmer Jennifer Eckenwiler, 36
It is ten minutes to grab52 three. Johanna I Kubiny,
Feb. 7, 2018
Battle of the Flights Going on a flight is one of the most exciting, adrenaline Lanel Thomas, 50
Anna K a A Liter renina: acy for Everyd ay Not a v Life ery lon g time ag o, when ever pe ople as k
My Heaven on ENGL 1180-c1609
Janet Ostergaard, 27
Shadha Rashic, 25 Angelena Chronis, 28 How My Life Changed from Simply a Book
Growing up, I was raised with no rules and regulations, yet I thought I was Fearnco living a Amia Brown
Mazin Shalal, 53 Kyle Collins, 16 normal lifestyle. Sex, English alcohol, 1180and drugs all seemed normal while I was growing up since in Shee Lor, 58
Lauren Brohl, 22
Silence Professor Krot middle school all my friends were doing it. I was in high school, my parents divorced ByWhen Ashley Fearncombe 8 February 2018
hat Dairy Queen Really Think
You’re was never lectured, nor was I ever punished for anyPretty… wrongdoing that was performed because by Sierra Spehek
Looking over the heads of people she stared out the large window behind t Sierra Spehek, 78 Ashley Fearncombe, 64 “You’re pretty”, “you have nice hair”, and “you’re so friendly” are nice
Yang Amia Brown, 23 Rachael Yang, 59 they wouldn’t even notice. Apart from my home where I Rachel wasn’t noticed, my daily life I spen
Winter is a misundercompliments unless they’re followed by for a black girl . Whether it be intentional or a orchestra. Stars shined against the night sky, the pale moon illuminating the darke stood mistress that takes minor misinterpretation, those words hurt.aIt room, is not a compliment. It isknew a reinforcement being the center of attention. When I walked into everyone who Iofwas, and if the vocal beatings by
halls of her home.
the stereotype that black women, more specifically “dark aren’t to beautiful, or nice, thosegirls”, who choose not
didn’t, within five minutes they would know me and would remember see the beauty of her. me after that day. I w Jeff Mogge, 48 or have pretty hair. Jeff Mogge, 29 Connor Wyckoff, 6 Daniel Schulz, 40 A Browse Sliding her feet out of sweaty back pressed against theof wall she silen My melanin proficiency heels, often resulted in color complex among my group Through normal clothes, yet it the was as if I was naked because of how tight they were around my body Does the friends in every school I’ve attended. Being the darkest girl at the lunch table, I was Parrot StoreAffordable hummed cool marble floor chilled her skin, curling her legs close to her. ShI I was a aIftarget matter whoasWhen I the wanted, Iusually got. there was a place I Act wanted to work, I was hired for ridicule and the subject of all the inside jokes amongst the other immediately. kids, Care child, my faNeed to be while the lighter-skinned girls were vorite Linda Leo, 43 Zihanpraised. Ahmed, 72They always knew that those girls were animal out slowno steady breath watching as the people in colorful gowns danced minb therea were positions open, they would create a position for me specifically, and Iand would beautiful. They fit the standards of an ideal black girl put on by society and the black
community. But for me it took time, years for to even consider me to be cute(ish),for me. If I workingher. within a week. If Idoors wanted jewelry, orthem clothes, they the were bought before The double wide openbags, spilling light into hall. Her bare arms beautiful, even for a dark-skinned girl.
needed money, it was given to me. Life wasphrase easyI because I used my power as a Awoman to Pretty a black girl. Apeople know to well. the red liquid at times prickled at the cool air as sheforwatched drink, almost statement that implies that my people aren’t usually
control men, and I was able to attain whatever I wanted.
onto the polished stone floor, the having to raise the serving trays high ab attractive. As if the fact servants that I have dark skin minimizes 4 >and black are opposing words. my worth. As if beautiful
There was something essential missing from my life that made me feel lost, and noth
Sean R. Bowk
at a t
e a si
Spanish Kissing Katrina Brown, 63 was less than a the state Ityear of being male or female. This ago today that I went to Granada Spain, and it has left cultural me with to social and differences, rather enough stories to Melody Momper, 76
Taylor Monreal, 18
onal concept of gender is
cally used with reference Jesika Parra, 37
I Woke up today Opened my eyes As I lost all Taylor Kennaugh, 44
Christian Lupo, 7
Brittany Laura, 42
c White Girl”
Shahran The Basketball Mo Choudhury By Mar Shahran Choudhury, 69
Mya Thomas, 77
Game of Thrones Poems
Deep in the west‚ Far in the
east‚ Who is the man and who
Ciarra Ratliff, 51
is the beast? House Stark
“Petro for THREE, GOT IT,” the Nets a Stark are the days of long summers past.‚Ä®Now
Sarah Dorshkind, 46
One Chilling Day in July Andrea DiMaggio, 61 When I think of my brother, I try
theMya Maola, frigid icy26winds,
Martin Nucullaj, 54
mes to mind? Is it in sipping onPetrovic’s a his home the NBA. deadly shot a so hard to remember the good
times, but there weren’t many,
and after that day in July, there
were none. I can barely remem Allya Rende, 32
ber the big brother that I used Richard Schilk, 66
Kristina McNeil, 12
Run, Jump, Fly: Night Art of Pole Thepuffs BasketballThe Mozart White Vaulting When people of air left think of track her lips like and field, run-
Tyler Seelman, 46
Europe, but his situa of UGG boots? Maybe it’s inwatching
American basketball did not have much respec
Lauren Brohl, 67
Luke Hyde, 32
hocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream?
the game of basketball was admired, and that fu
ite girls and drunk stylegetting has inspired manyon ball players and fans al 5>
I am 18 years old and started this type of design in a high school AP Art class. When this design became my focus I began putting it on shirts and sweatshirts. To ceate each design I first sketch ideas in pencil followed by outlines in thin tipped pens. And finally the illustrations are completed with alcohol-based markers.
While taking a Black and White film class at Macomb, I had to take a photo in the style of Irving Penn. I needed a white background and directional light so I placed my sister in front of a bright window in my bathroom. My mom held a work light with her arms outstretched while standing on a chair. The light was too harsh so I used a bedsheet to soften the light. untitled, Christian Lupo
8> “Vienna Secession”, Michael Pawlusiak
I am currently a student in the Media and Communication Arts (MACA) program. This is an art movement poster and info booklet created for my MACA 2050, Design 3 class. I was assigned the Vienna Secession. Researching and collecting data about my topic was imperative in order to create a design that emulates what was typical of the time period. I took inspiration from pieces created during the movement. A color palette was created by sampling colors from popular pieces created during the time. Brainstorming help differentiate ideas through thumbnail sketches. The final poster was created within Adobe Illustrator, and the info booklet was constructed with Adobe InDesign.
“Interstellar”, Kristina McNeil
Anna Karenina: A literacy for everyday life Erisa Kanani When I first started writing this literacy narrative, I had been living in America for less than three months. It was my first big assignment in English 1180, and my first instinct was to make my essay as short and simple as possible so that I would not make any grammatical mistakes nor end up with something that would feel weird and foreign to an English speaker. I will always be grateful to my English professor Dr. Jane Asher, whose support and compassion helped me go for something bigger and more ambitious—to fall in love with the English language just like I love my native Albanian. Writing and sharing this essay has taught me one thing: although we come from different cultures and speak different languages, there are experiences that feel true, beautiful, and sincere to each of us. Find beauty in life and connecting with others make up the essence of being human, and that is what writing is all about.
Not very long ago, whenever people asked me what my favorite childhood memory was, the only thing I could think of was myself at the age of ten,
bent in front of a thick book, eyes and cheeks burning, fingers trembling with anticipation, and eyes devouring the dancing words. I would be so focused I believed that if someone was to get close to me and look me in the eye, they would not notice the brown of my irises but rather a vivid reflection
of everything that was being described in the book: they would see Harry,
Ron, and Hermione running through Hogwarts’ corridors and trying to avoid
touching the ghosts. They would see Lyra Belacqua riding an armoured polar bear through the icy landscapes of the Arctic, a dance of northern lights and
a coven of witches flying in the sky above her head. They would see Kai and Gerda happily singing and playing in the window box garden full of roses
until the Snow Queen arrived in her white sleigh carriage, full of silver little
bells. My best childhood memories were not my own and I was fine with this, for I loved living inside my head.
My love of reading—and later, writing—was wholeheartedly supported by
my family. Nobody in my family particularly loved to read or write; most people in Albania do not. However, Albanians do have a great amount of respect for reading and writing as activities and tend to think that whoever engages in them is super-smart. So, in the eyes of my family and friends, I was this quiet little intellectual creature that carried piles of thick books with her
wherever she went. I would sometimes read while wandering around Korça’s quaint grey maze of cobblestone streets. I would only stop reading from
time to time to try to remember where home was or to stare at the surrounding Morava mountains. The Morava mountains, with their green cloaks of
moss that softened their harsh grey in the summer and their white traditional Albanian fezzes on their peaks in the winter, looked like ancient guardians or
grandfathers whispering tales into the cold air. I had a childish belief that the stories I came up with in my head were actually the tales that the mountains whispered because I could not explain where they came from. People in my
neighborhood also believed that reading a lot had actually given me the ability to understand the mountains’ language, and they would send their kids
over to our house every evening to hear me “translate” those stories to them. The thing with Albanian people is, they don’t know much about literature, so they don’t really care what you’re reading or writing—the most important
thing is that you are doing it. So I just kept on reading fantasy and adventure books, and under their guise and the influence of Albanian ballads, I also
wrote fantasy and adventure. I felt like a bona fide writer. I kept on carrying those opinions into my teenage years when I wrote religiously because I
was determined to become a great author. I wrote short stories, and I even 13 >
started writing a novel that, today, is in what it feels like its millionth draft. I
loved writing for the same reason that I loved reading: it provided an escape from my boring, monotonous everyday life.
Then, there came a time in my life—I believe I was sixteen—when I discov-
ered I was not happy. This discovery originated from a conversation I had with my little sister Jola during one of Korça’s worst winter days. We were blocked inside our houses from the snow, and she and I sat next to the fireplace while the snowstorm was raging outside. We started talking about everything,
from the newest gossip around town to philosophical questions about life. I
think we had filtered almost the entire universe into that conversation by the
time she dared me to go two months without reading or writing anything but school homework. Surprised, I asked her why would she dare me to do such
a thing, and she said she did not think I could make it. I thought her statement was ridiculous, but I agreed to the challenge anyway.
What followed was the worst two months of my life. I understood that the
only thing that kept me happy every day was the reminder that I would crawl in my bed at night and forget about everything that surrounded me as I read. I realized that one day I would grow old, and I would have no memory of my own to think fondly back on as my favorite; I would die full of regrets. And yet, I could find nothing that would make me really happy in my everyday
life—it was just so dull and uneventful and small. I won the bet but lost my
enthusiasm about reading and writing; I felt like they were the reason for my new unhappy state.
But, if it was reading and writing that put me in that condition, it was reading and writing again that saved me from it. I asked my Albanian teacher—a grumpy old man with a wonderful gift of storytelling—what his favorite
book was. He sighed, complained that kids just don’t understand how books are supposed to be loved, said everyone should know that it is impossible to pick a favorite. He said he would never ever share his favorites with the young generation. But he wrote down a whole list complete with his own commentary anyway. I picked a random book from the list to get at the library that day. That book was Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.
Words cannot express how much I loved Anna Karenina. It was not like any other book I had read before. Just thinking about it brings back a kaleido-
scope of moments: a meeting in a train station, a meeting in an ice rink, a
dance at a ball, an accident in a horse race, a proposal via a word game on a card table, a reunion between mother and son, a death at the train station... Anna Karenina is actually very simple from a storytelling point of view and yet, as I finished reading it, I felt more overwhelmed than I had ever felt
finishing any other book before; I wanted to close my books and just go live. And I don’t mean live as in have adventures or try to do something new and
thrilling; I mean I just wanted to do normal things, because, in Anna Karenina, everyday life was earnest and beautiful. I started noticing the smallest things that happened to me everyday, and I discovered just how much happiness they would bring me. I loved long conversations with my sister next to the 14 >
fireplace. I loved playing catch underneath the huge oak tree with my cous-
ins, as lost childhood continents inside its hollow made us feel like children
again. Hand in hand with my friends or students I did not even know, I would come back home from school on winter days and relish how we seemed like a chain of human beings that tried to walk on frozen pavement and
help one another not to fall. We would have freezing sparrows and kittens on our shoulders, silver roses painted by snowflakes on our hair, and the
warm clouds of our breaths made us look as if we housed dragons inside our chests. I would crawl on the roof of my house to watch the sunrise. I mar-
veled at the dancing streams of golden light that kissed the mountains and
at the cobblestone streets and the droplets of dew. While I was listening to
old serenades on grandpa’s old radio, I would hear my grandparents tell me stories about their youth. I met my friends at our favorite café as we talked
and laughed and shared secrets. Adorned in my prettiest dresses, I walked around a certain neighborhood hoping for a certain someone to notice me while covered in my warm blankets as car lights painted the walls of my
little room with phantasmagoric shapes, I loved listening to jazz albums late at night. All these things were always there but I had always taken them for
granted and never noticed how much I loved them—and how I would miss them if I were to lose them one day.
I loved these things so much that I started writing about them. I did not stop
reading and writing fantasy. Instead, I read differently. I realized that some of the fantasy books I had read earlier in life reiterated the message I had found
in Anna Karenina: love life’s little moments in all their glory. However, before
Anna Karenina this message was hidden behind a veil of fantastical creatures and events, and I had not truly grasped it. As my attitude towards reading and writing changed, so did I.
Today, when people ask me what my favorite memory is, they usually regret
it because once I start talking, I never stop. I start to recite a never-ending list of things that I do everyday, things that I learned to love as I was experiencing them through a dance of words in a book written almost two hundred years ago.
untitled, Kyle Collins
“Wild”, Taylor Monreal
Dungeons and Dragons: Office training in disguise Sean R. Bowker
Imagine you are a sitting at a table with four of your friends, you’re in some-
one’s basement or at their kitchen table with a smaller table for snacks off to the side. Three of them are, like you, scribbling out words and numbers onto
sheets of paper, the fourth person, your Dungeon Master, surveys the rest of you over a carboard privacy screen. It’s your first time playing Dungeons and
Dragons, but thankfully, the people around you are willing to help you figure it out. You are struggling to decide your class; will you play a clever Wizard?
Perhaps a mighty Barbarian! Maybe a swift Ranger or cunning Rogue? Once
you make your decision you start rolling the dice and filling in your stats and backstory. Will you make a totally unique backstory for your character, or
decide on a simple, if cliché, backstory? Will you end up an evil person, a paragon of justice, or some flavor of neutral? Now that you have your character; the game finally starts and you are sent into a fantastical story of adventure
where it is up to you and your party to decide what kind of story it is. As you play and your party grows and faces new challenges you learn to meet and overcome those obstacles in different ways. What started as one introduc-
tory session has turned into a bi-weekly event that you look forward to and plan ahead for. It is, by far, the most entertaining form of office training one can undergo. How does something like D&D constitute training for office
work? Well, to name a few, it trains you in a few key areas like: problem solving, team-building, public speaking, and working under pressure. Problem Solving
Problem solving is a skill that is required in any profession, and office work is no exception. You may find yourself in a bind with no easy way out, so you
must find a unique solution. That solution might be something mundane like calling in an outside expert to validate that critical documentation you need-
ed or something odd like tricking a band of goblins into raiding the bag guy’s castle so you can get rid of the goblins and beat a now weakened bad guy. Your problems may not always require out-of-the-box thinking, but being able to see those option will always help. Team-Building
Team-building is the act of bringing a group closer together and promot-
ing cooperation. Weather it’s working with your party or your coworkers,
and sometimes they overlap, the ability to work with others is invaluable.
Being able to work within an eclectic and sometimes internally antagonistic group and rally them towards completing your tasks may be the difference
between your Lawful Good Paladin slaying the Chaotic Evil Sorcerer in your party and them working to defeat a greater threat. It could mean the differ-
ence between your group finishing the big project on time, or scrambling at the last second because Tim couldn’t handle working with Laura. 20 >
While not always required of everyone in the office or the party, public speaking is a skill that can only help. If you are required to present that big project your team just finished you may be the only one comfortable enough to
stand before your peers and deliver the pitch. You can thank your experience playing D&D for that confidence, because if your Dungeon Master hadn’t
forced you to stand and act out the dance your character was performing as
a distraction you might not have found that you enjoy being the center of at-
tention. Your coworkers will thank you for taking the hit and presenting while the people you are presenting to will note your apparent lack of nervousness and find themselves considering your proposal more seriously. Working Under Pressure
Your party is nearly wiped out and you’re the last one standing, if only barely and you have one chance to save the day, but only if you can land this hit.
Instead of going for the power attack like you had previously and sacrificing your bonus to hit, you choose instead to make a normal attack and roll the dice. You need a fifteen or higher to hit, and the dice comes up showing a
fourteen- but wait- you have an attack bonus which brings you up to seventeen! Your hit lands and the day is saved! The same principals apply in the
office. Working under pressure does not always mean working fast when the deadline rolls around. It also means making the smart choices under mounting pressure. The result may be the difference between a party wipe and a
parade in your honor. The difference between making a mistake that costs
your job and a parade through the cubicles in your team’s honor for landing a new account.
These are the skills that are most ubiquitous in office work and beyond.
Dungeons and Dragons happens to be a great way to cultivate these skills in a low-impact environment. It is often far more fun to pretend to be an
adventurer and maybe learn a thing or two on your journey than it is to sit
in a training seminar. It is also one of the few methods to help you tie these skills together, to come up with a unique solution with two teammates
that hate each other, an army bearing down on you, and only five minutes
to think and enact your plan. The results may not always be spectacular, or even work, but that’s the risk you take when you roll the dice at the game table or in the office.
22 > “Frida”, Lauren Brohl
“You’re pretty,” “you have nice hair,” and “you’re so friendly” are nice compliments unless they’re followed by for a black girl . Whether it be intentional
or a minor misinterpretation, those words hurt. It is not a compliment. It is a reinforcement of the stereotype that black women, more specifically “dark girls,” aren’t beautiful, or nice, or have pretty hair.
You’re pretty Amia Brown My melanin proficiency often resulted in a color complex among my group of friends in every school I’ve attended. Being the darkest girl at the lunch
table, I was usually a target for ridicule and the subject of all the inside jokes amongst the other kids, while the lighter-skinned girls were praised. They always knew that those girls were beautiful. They fit the standards of an
ideal black girl put on by society and the black community. But for me it took
time, years for them to even consider me to be cute(ish), beautiful, even for a dark-skinned girl.
Pretty for a black girl. A phrase I know to well. A statement that implies that my people aren’t usually attractive. As if the fact that I have dark skin minimizes my worth. As if beautiful and black are opposing words. Since when
did the shade of my skin determine my beauty? The most ironic thing is that colorism even exists within the black community.
Almost every female who has been told that, despite the fact that they are
dark they’re good-looking, will tell you they heard it from another black person. Imagine that. A race oppressed by the entire world because of our skin, degrading their own women because of theirs. Imagine a little girl trying to find and accept herself, all while constantly being reminded that she will
never fit the societal standards of beauty, but dreaming of it anyways be-
cause her light-skinned African-American peers make fun of her. Just picture
it. How can a young girl be expected to love herself when she isn’t appreciated by those around her?
Your have good hair...for a black person. Why does that amaze you and what’s your definition of good hair? What about my hair irritates you so
much that you deem it unprofessional and tacky, yet as soon as I wear a
weave you say it’s because I don’t have any self-worth? Whether it grew
out of my scalp or was sewn in, I love my hair and will take care of it as if it
were a child. You see, my hair needs attention and nourishment or it will act unruly. It has a mind of its own. It is not unkempt, it is gravity-defying. My
kinks and curls were not created to please you, so I refuse to chemically alter them for the sake of a job or to be accepted by anyone. And before you ask, the answer is no. You cannot touch my hair!
You’re the nicest black girl I’ve ever met. I can only wonder what you
presumed about me. You must’ve expected me to be a bit louder and have a lot more sass. Maybe you were anticipating a lot of attitude before you approached me. You haven’t even heard me speak, yet you feel like you 23 >
already know me. Too often I find myself apologizing for getting upset or
emotional because of the offensive stereotypes that black women are too
boisterous and obnoxious: or with lack of a better word, ghetto. As a black girl, I am denied emotions. Anger becomes the equivalent of bitterness,
sadness is weakness, and excitement is appalling. Sometimes I feel like I deserve to have an occasional meltdown to compensate for all of the feelings I shouldn’t show.
Skin tone stratification affects every one of us, but is the most unacknowledged and undiscussed issue. While all African-Americans are subject to
discrimination, the severity and frequency vary tremendously by skin tone.
The introjection of this concept continues to systematically affect our lives.
Research shows that fair-toned black women are more likely to be hired for jobs, earn more money, marry “higher-status” people, and even serve less
jail time than their darker-skinned counterparts. It pains me to know that skin color still plays such a considerable role in our community and society.
To know that black girls, still struggle to love their skin hurts. Our skin does
not define us, but it will always be a part of us. We might as well start accepting it. For so much of my life, no one seemed to think I was beautiful because my kind of beauty is slow and sneaky . As you try to decide what you think of
my face- what you think of me- you realize that my features are not the cause of your hesitation- it’s my skin. My hair. It’s the possibility that I may explode if you say the wrong thing. But I have grown to cherish my own beauty. It’s a
newly-confident, very subtle beauty, but it’s mine. I no longer seek validation of my worth. I can do it myself. So thank you, but no thank you.
You can keep your backhanded compliments.We built a very strong relationship over a short period of time, and I was able to show my younger sisters
how to always step up and help an individual when they seem distressed or in need of help.
When I first volunteered at the Hamtramck Public Library, it was out of
excitement. I had never done a volunteering job previously in my life, and
that was the only opportunity I had. I volunteered at the Hamtramck Public Library for the last three years from 2012 to 2015. It was mostly during the summer time for the “Summer Reading Program” to assist kids. When I
volunteered at the Hamtramck Public Library, it was to assist children with
reading, drawing, and crafts. This process allowed me to develop a special
relationship with them. I hope that one day these same kids will think about how they should pay it forward by volunteering or doing something for
the community as they grow up. Kids are naive, they learn and pick up on
everything they are taught very quickly. They are our future leaders, speakers, scientists, and doctors. Our future depends upon them. We have to
make sure, we mold them in the correct way so our lives are in safe hands. I have always believed that volunteering is something we as citizens should
always contribute some of our free time to do. It’s a great way to develop our relationships with others, and it also characterizes us. This ongoing cycle of
life consisting of words to actions, actions to habits, and habits to characters 24 >
molds a person into who they are. As an individual, I am humbled that I was able to help out others and create smiles, also I was able to impart knowl-
edge to those who needed it like the children of today who will be the future
of tomorrow. Come forward and think about Nelson Mandela’s words, “what counts in life is not the mere fact we have lived. It is the difference we have made to the lives of others.”
“Architecture”, Shadha Rashid
Game of Thrones poems Mya Maola
Deep in the west
Who is the man and who is the beast?
Do the vines tangled ever to and fro.
Far in the east
Stark are the days of long summers past.
Now the frigid icy winds, blizzards and snow will last.
Upon the frost do numerous armies march,
Towards the heavens do their bloody arrows arch, as
The North remembers all the young who have fallen,
As the Great War rises upon sworn bannermen. Brothers of honor, born low or born high,
All must stand proud against The Long dark Night.
The Old Gods watch, always silent and sure. Winter Is Coming.
They’ve all said it would.
And until the glorious day when we all die
Upon the glorious garden high,
The war is done, victory is nigh. Let the prettiest flowers grow. Such beauteous queens
Of thorns and roses do they speak. Shall lions purge, attack their prey
High in the womb of the Red Keep.
Sisters, brothers, From Seven to Three
Among the roots do ensnare many weeds.
Growing Strong, they strangle you in your sleep. Mother of mercy divine,
Let the cunning seeds arise.
By fire they die, snuffed out by ambition.
Only from you will they recieve contrition. Tend the garden well. Endure.
Lest how quickly the tide will turn. Lest it do what dragons do, For you they will burn.
Shall the whispering weirwoods stand high.
a dynasty rises from the ashes.
The dynasty fated by prophecy
From ancient lands far and wide, Brought across the Narrow tide,
The pride of a thousand hearts.
Is such fiery power to enthrall the masses.
Golden coin deafens golden pleas
Thrice does the wild enchantment flare
Driven ten thousand miles apart.
Murderous testimony slices golden knights in white cloaks.
And now The Rain of Castamere croaks.
The Hand of the King, in pockets does it swell. The Vipers bite and the Lions pounce. Oh, the tales they tell.
As the lion’s roar echoes sevenfold,
And “Dracarys!” is heard loud and clear. Fly, oh children of dusty scrolls
Your fire enlightens the tales of old.
Viseryion, golden as the dead lion’s mane, his claws that catch and jaws that bite.
His brother Rhaegal, green as the fields on a midsummer’s night.
Finally Drogon, black as fright
“A Lannister Always Pays in Gold”.
The Queen whose fire brings suffering tears Now all high or below does Westeros fear. The debt is paid and the time draws near. ‘Tis that bloody roar you will hear.
Your fire glows with bloody light.
Across the Narrow Sea the scaled beasts fly. Hark, the Mother of Dragons is nigh! Valyrian roots and Andal mud. Westeros united under Fire and Blood
The prey is ignorant and blind
The Vale of the Rock will defy even fate.
The huntsman draws his mighty bow And now he reaps what he hungrily sows. My, how the arrows fly!
The blood of thousands runs through his veins. Yet, now only one heir remains.
The beasts of the wood fell to sword, axe and cleaver.
Lining the halls are wolf, sheep, stag and beaver. Upon the mantle does Heartsbane lie, Until a father’s love for his son died.
High in the North did his son’s blood freeze
Though in the power of knowledge he strongly believed.
Deep in the south many proud men march, Little knowing their bodies will be charred.
And as the bow pierced the heart of the stallion, The mighty huntsmen were burned by the
untitled, Janet Ostergaard
Impregnable walls and high spiked gates You fool, you too shall fly
And throw out your arms to the distant sky. Pride and honor, highest above
The lady of the nest grows mad with love.
The mockingbird sings with sharp quick notes
While elsewhere his claws slit unwise throats. With arrogance and fame will chaos arise.
But opportunity grows and fates intertwine. Yes, the falcon soars above the moon, But t’will meet its end soon.
The wolf will howl into the night
As the wings break and feathers fall
Blood runs red down the mountain side And death’s the end of all.
How my life changed from simply a book Angelena Chronis Angelena Rose Chronis was born in Macomb, Michigan, and lived in Miami, Florida the past four years where she was introduced and converted to Islam. She has a presence that will make you feel immediate comfort and can make you smile in the darkest of situations. Angelena has a deep passion for writing and is known for her gift of captivating readers with her insightful reflections and poetic writing. She is willing to step out of her comfort zone and patiently overcome any challenges that come her way. She intends on becoming a published author, so she can reveal her story with the aspiration to make a difference in the world.
Growing up, I was raised with no rules and regulations, yet I thought I was
living a normal lifestyle. Sex, alcohol, and drugs all seemed normal while I
was growing up since in middle school all my friends were doing it. When I
was in high school, my parents divorced; I was never lectured, nor was I ever punished for any wrongdoing that was performed because they wouldn’t
even notice. Apart from my home where I wasn’t noticed, I spent my daily
life being the center of attention. When I walked into a room, everyone knew who I was, and if they didn’t, within five minutes they would know me and
would remember me after that day. I wore normal clothes, yet it was as if I
was naked because of how tight they were around my body. No matter who
I wanted, I got them. If there was a place I wanted to work, I was hired immediately. If there were no positions open, they would create a position for me
specifically, and I would be working within a week. If I wanted jewelry, bags, or clothes, they were bought for me. If I needed money, it was given to me. Life was easy because I used my power as a woman to control men, and I was able to attain whatever I wanted.
There was something essential missing from my life that made me feel lost, and nothing fulfilled me. The pain I felt from my parents and by being hurt
and lied to many times before by individuals led me to build a barrier wthere
I didn’t have close relationships. I developed what felt like a cement covering
that overlapped my heart. The only things that mattered were material items, wealth, and status in my eyes because human beings just brought me pain.
No matter how much money I had in the bank, how much jewelry and clothes and bags I owned, the private planes and vacations I took, it didn’t matter
because there was such an emptiness inside me. I would soon find out that a book could lead me on a journey that would significantly change my life.
February 15, 2016, when I was twenty-three years old, my life changed. I didn’t know much about Islam. The only things that came to my mind were 9/11, suppressed women, and terrorists. A Muslim woman invit-
ed me to a lecture that was being held that night by Yasmin Mohaged.
Yasmin is an Egyptian Muslim woman and a psychologist who wrote a
book called How To Reclaim Your Heart .That night I attended her lecture and listened closely as she explained her book and how it was a manual on how to empower the heart by freeing it from the slavery of pain. It is
a book that provides people a new prospective on love, loss, happiness,
and pain. She explained that pain is a protective measure that God gives us to tell oneself that a change is needed to be made. If someone feels
pain, rather than try to numb it themselves, they need to figure out what
it is telling them, what needs to change, and just then they will find what is wrong. Allah (God) never changes the condition of a person until they 28 >
“Venom”, Jeff Mogge
first change the condition that is inside themselves. This is what her book is all about, finding yourself and reclaiming your heart. After this lecture, I
knew this was for me, and it was what I was missing, and that night I took my Shahada (conversion to Islam). I changed within hours. The once half-naked girl walking around who was the center of attention was now covered in a
veil and loose clothing protecting her chastity and modesty. The once home wrecker was now shy even to look a man’s way. The once liar and cheater
became the most honest and loyal person. I was soon to find out the easy
path I once walked would become full of rocks, bumps, and split paths where I needed to decide which path to follow.
At the time, I was working at a Lexus dealership. This was one of the jobs
where I walked in for the interview and they had no positions open, but they created a position called VIP Sales Specialist, and I was hired the same day. My job required me to lie to customers daily. I was to speak to customers who brought their car into the service department and inform them that I
could get them out of their lease into a new vehicle with no money down. In
reality, we were taking the remaining money and putting it on top of the new car payment, which was their scheme. My religion states, “The curse of Allah be on him if he is one of the liars” (Surah an-Nūr 24:8). Many Qur’anic verses and traditions condemn the sin of lying and describe its evil consequences. After finding this out about my new religion, I quit my job immediately. I
didn’t think twice about this decision because I was used to getting any job,
any day, any time because it was easy for me. This time I would soon realize would be very different.
My hijab, loose-fitting clothing, and modesty towards men made it incredibly hard to find a job. Walihi (I swear to God), it took months and my bank account drew lower and lower as each day passed. I remember the last
week before I received a job. I filled out twenty resumes, went to sixteen job interviews because of my impressive resume, yet only received two calls back from women who offered me a position. The jobs that were offered
were nine dollars an hour jobs when I was used to making up to $10,000 a
month in my previous work history. This was a complete change, going from a monthly $1,500 apartment and big checks every month to sleeping on a couch in a friend’s apartment while working three jobs, two of which paid
eight dollars an hour, selling jewelry at Macy’s and being a receptionist at a
spa. My third job was ten dollars an hour at an Islamic school as a P.E. teacher. I was not used to this, and a few times I thought to myself, what did I get
myself into? Luckily, when I believe something, I stick with it and stay strong; therefore, I kept practicing Islam. I continued working hard at these jobs and developing my character every day that went by for months on end.
It was like a dream. The more I followed the guidelines of Islam and pushed
through the trials and tribulations, surprisingly amazing things occurred in my life. One day, I checked in what seemed to be a normal client at the spa and
treated him like every other client, with respect and attention. At the end of his session as he was checking out, I gave him information that he let me know
he never received before, and he has been a client here for the past two years. 30 >
As my previous work history, I have a lot of experience with people and
management, so I said, “I’m sorry that you have not received this information even though you have been a wonderful client with us for a few years now. I will keep a note and make sure you and all other clients are aware of the
benefits up to date, and furthermore all clients will be receiving this information upon every visit from our staff.”
He was taken aback and asked me, “I’ve seen you a few times here. What do you do exactly?”
I let him know that I was a front desk representative for the time being, working very hard every day so I can grow within the company. He replied with an answer I wasn’t expecting.
“I want to hire you simply from what you just said and your character that I have noticed every time I am here.”
He picked up a pen and grabbed a loose-leaf paper that was sitting on the
desk and wrote down his email and left. I tried not to scream in excitement as I grabbed the paper and placed it in my bag, patiently waiting to get off work so I could go home and send my resume.
That night I sat on my bed, a couch at my friend’s apartment, and sent my resume and waited for a reply. A week later, I received a call for an inter-
view, and I was told to stop by that same day. I prepared myself nicely and went in for the interview, and I was hired as a full-time Business Analyst of
Myhomedoctor, LLC. I walked out thinking my life just took a 360. God says in the Quran, “Verily with hardships/difficulties comes ease” (Sûrat Al-Shar, 94:5). With hardship, the three jobs I was working living in an apartment
with only a couch to sleep on and my clothes stuffed in a bag, came ease,
receiving a highly paid position in a company, my title being directly under the CEO’s. Not to mention, I was able to move into The David Williams
Condominium in a beautiful apartment in Coral Gables, Florida, that was only five miles from my job.
Since February 15, 2016, when I converted to Islam, my life changed
completely. Individuals that once knew me in my past do not even recognize me if they see me today. I never grew up with guidance, was never taught
right from wrong, and was living a life I thought to be completely normal. I realized after two decades of living, it was completely abnormal. I look at the Quran as if it is the book of life, and what changed me was Islam. The
one who created me also created this book, and this book gives me all the
answers on how to live my life and the rules and regulations I need to follow to protect myself. I believe only the one who created me is the one who
knows how the creation works, and if I listen to what is written in the Quran
and live by it, only then will I have fulfilled my purpose in this life and be able to succeed.
The art of pole vaulting Luke Hyde
This Communications 1 assignment was to write an essay on any topic that was visually interesting. My parents helped me come up with the idea of pole vaulting. This was a great idea for the essay because I have been pole vaulting for about two years. I have struggled, but have learned a lot and I hope to share not only the technicalities of pole vaulting, but also my personal journey with the sport.
When people think of track and field, running races are what comes first into their minds. However, many different events are not as publicized and can
go unnoticed to the public eye. Imagine athletes sprinting as fast as they
can while carrying a long pole in their hands and then using that to jump as high as they can into the air. That is the basic premise for the intricate yet
fascinating sport of pole vaulting. Pole vaulting is a sport with many different pieces that the jumper must complete correctly to get the optimal height. If
done incorrectly, the vaulter will not clear the bar, and the vaulter could end up seriously injured. Overall, pole vaulting is a sport which can be summed
up by the phrase, â€œhigh-risk, high-reward.â€? Personally, I have felt this risk first hand on multiple occasions, but I have also felt the exhilaration of making
a personal record. Hopefully, I can give a basic understanding of the steps
of pole vaulting and also tell the roller coaster ride that is my pole vaulting experience.
As stated previously, pole vaulting is a complicated sport which requires
the use of an athleteâ€™s entire body. It is a mental and physical challenge that 32 >
“Team Prism”, Allya Rende
requires perseverance, determination, and strong will. I would say the most
important psychological aspect of this sport is a vaulter’s belief in them-
selves and their technique. Pole vaulting is not an event where athletes control all of their movements likes swimming or soccer; this is an event where
you are putting your life in the hands of a piece of equipment. However, the pole does not entirely determine the performance of the vaulter; there is a
vital chain of events the jumper must perform to jump as high as possible.
1. The Run: Vaulters can run anywhere from 50 to 100 or more feet away, but the goal is to build up as much speed as possible for
when they jump. While running, the vaulters are slowing dropping
their poles so that they can plant adequately.
2. The Plant: At the end of their run, athletes must jump off the ground and plant their poles in a metal box. Optimally, the jumper will have his or her right hand (for right-handed vaulters) extended
straight up and kept their left leg extended back.
3. The Swing: The plant must be held for a moment to start the bend
of the pole, but then the swing commences. In this stage, athletes
keep their leg extended and swing it all the way up until it is paral33 >
Hey, I’m Allya! I have a variety of interests—anime, cartoons, exercise, haircare, makeup—but creating my own characters is something I will always love more than all of those combined. I am passionately involved with writing adventure novels and bringing the scenes to life by illustrating the significant characters. (I actually have thousands of characters and over forty novel length stories!) Developing a character’s complex personality and seeing how they grow over time as I draw and write about them more is an experience unlike any other! I typically draw in ink, color in marker, then make slight enhancements in Adobe Photoshop.
lel to the pole. While swinging, vaulters have to drop their shoul-
ders, so their bodies are entirely in line with the pole.
4. Turn and Release: Lastly, vaulters must pull the pole down along their
legs to shoot their legs up even high. This pull initiates the vaulters turn
around the pole, in which they end up with their backs to the runway, and
once they let go, jumpers fly over the bar with their stomach down.
Here is a diagram showing the steps I just explained.
However, not everything always goes according to plan in the sport of
pole vaulting as demonstrated in this video: https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=iN-rWSM0ZzM My Journey
My interest in pole vaulting began not with me, but instead, with my dad. I had participated in track during 8th grade and running the hurdles was my
main event. When the 9th-grade season came around, I was very excited
to hurdle again, but one day my dad recommended I try pole vaulting as I had a combination of good strength and speed for my size. I tried pole
vaulting a few times, but it was hard to split up my time between pole
vaulting and hurdles. After a while, my teamâ€™s best hurdler got injured,
which opened up a spot for me in more races. Because of this, I decided
to stop pole vaulting to focus on hurdles. By the end of the season, our
top hurdler recovered and came back, which sadly pushed me out of the
spotlight. Now that I did not have to practice hurdling as much, I wanted to
give pole vaulting another shot. As mentioned previously, this was near the end of the season, so with little time to practice I was not able to success-
fully clear a bar at all my freshman year. This failure disappointed me, and I
could have quickly given up, but on the contrary, it pushed me even harder. I knew I could succeed in the sport; I just needed proper coaching and
more practice. Soon after the end of the season, there was a pole vaulting
camp an hour away from my house. I decided to take up this opportunity, and I am sure glad I did. At the camp, I found a good coach and learned
there would be summer practices at this same place. Even though I fell on my back during practice and got the wind knocked out of me, I was not
discouraged. Â I was determined to succeed.
The summer after 9th grade I practiced almost every week, and I improved
significantly. Pole vaulting had turned into a new family obsession; my mom, dad, and I were all deeply committed to my success. It is a good thing we 34 >
were because pole vaulting is not a sport you can just practice anywhere.
We would travel hours for practice almost every week, and it was all worth it. Fall and winter came and of course, brought colder temperatures, so I had to
figure out where to practice now. Luckily, right here at Macomb Community
College, the Sports and Expo center had open track practices every so often,
which worked out great. In February of 2017, I even went to the National Pole
Vaulting Summit in Reno, Nevada with a group of athletes that I vaulted with.
At the summit, I got to see professional pole vaulters in action and competed myself. This competition was short lived for me as I made a mistake on my second jump and ended up hurting my back. Although it was not too
grave, I was very sore afterward and was unable to continue competing. On the bright side, I got to meet and talk with some professional pole vaulters, including the silver medalist in the women’s pole vault from the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sandi Morris. On the right is a picture I took with her. Once my back was better I continued practicing and soon my 10th grade track
season was upon me.
I was ready for the season and determined to
jump high. I was hoping I would be the best
pole vaulter at my school, and the first meet proved me right when I won first place by a
significant margin. I was flying high, but soon
I would come crashing down, figuratively and
literally. A few days after my first meet, I was
practicing on a pole that was a lot longer than
the one I usually competed with. I went to jump
and instead of flinging me straight up, the pole flung me off to the side and I landed off of the mat on my wrist. My family and I then rushed
to the hospital, and our horrible suspicions had been correct: I had broken
my wrist and would need a cast. When going to get the cast, I discovered I
would need to wear it for four weeks and then a splint for two weeks after,
so I was unable to pole vault the rest of the outdoor season. At this point, I think many people believe me to be crazy. How could I still want to pole
vault after all this misfortune and many other misadventures I didn’t even
name. However, I knew I had great potential, and I wasn’t going to let these
trivial obstacles stand in my way. This sport has taught me the difficulties of pushing through even when things seem hopeless.
Now, I am fully recovered and have been pole vaulting since August of 2017. It took me a little while to get back to where I was before, and although breaking my wrist significantly set me back, I believe it happened for a
reason. High school isn’t over yet; I still have two track seasons left, which means my long ride is far from over. Overall, pole vaulting has taught me
that if I am passionate about something I have to keep striving for the best, no matter what the obstacles are and try to go as high as I can.
â€œLucyâ€?, Jennifer Eckenwiler My name is Jennifer Eckenwiler and I have been attending Macomb Community College since 2015, but I have only been in the MACA program full time since 2017. I am studying both Design & Layout, and Creative Imaging & Illustration. This portrait of Lucille Ball was completed in a rendering class where I learned the art of using both cool and warm grey Prismacolor markers. I also added colored pencil in certain areas for a splash of color.
Gender in society across cultures
The traditional concept of gender is the state of being male or female. This definition is typically used with reference to social and cultural differences, rather than biological ones. While the U.S. Census Bureau officially recognizes only
two sexes, many American people accept a far wider range of possibilities when it comes to gender. The postmodern world understands that “the body, sex, and sexuality are
socially constructed”(Hawkesworth, p. 652). Together we will dive into the Native American and Samoan cultures,
and compare the impacts of having multiple genders in the societies that encompass those who are affected.
As of late, gender has been a hot button issue. While some argue that sex determines gender, others argue gender is
born from the inside out. The New York City government, at this point in time, allows residents to choose from thir-
ty-one gender identities (Hassen). On the other hand, the
current president of the U.S.A. stands in opposition to transgender persons choosing which bathroom they use.
Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people
with a wide range of gender identities, which are different from the sex assigned at birth. The term is increasing in
familiarity globally, although other culturally-specific terms may be used to describe people who have non-gender bi-
nary identities, such as... fa’afafine (Samoa)… and Two-Spirit (indigenous North Americans) (Thomas, Pega, Khosla, Verster, Hana, & Say).
In different cultures, such as the Native Americans and the
Samoans, persons with different gender identities and biological birth sex are seen as they wish to be seen. In these cultures, it is not only welcomed, but embraced.
In other cultures and countries “including Australia, Ban-
gladesh, Germany, India, Ireland, Nepal and Pakistan--rec-
ognize a third gender both in laws and in cultural traditions” (Thomas, Pega,
Khosla, Verster, Hana, & Say) Prior to 1962, sodomy was considered a felony punishable by incarceration in all of the United States. Until 2003, many
states still held laws which would punish the accused of such acts. While
transgender people still have many of the same healthcare needs as cisgender people—those who perform in a gender role which society deems to
match the person’s assigned sex at birth. They also have a wide range of other medical needs. Some of these needs include gender-affirming hormone 37 >
I wrote this essay for an Anthropology class with Professor Akers-Berg. Growing up in the Mexican culture, certain ideals were instilled in me. We tend to hold each other to different standards depending on perceived gender. I have a family member who is in the process of transitioning, and too many of our family members either could not accept it, or did not know how. This is why I chose to gain a wider understanding of other cultures’ feelings about gender variants, and how they navigate the every day. I had no experience developing a research paper of this magnitude. Through the process, not only did I develop an understanding for other viewpoints, but I gained a better understanding of how to conduct research and where to reach out if I need assistance.
therapy and surgery. Unfortunately, transgender people suffer from a higher proportion of mental health diseases, as well.
In addition, they experience barriers to accessing health care and healthde-
termining resources, such as education, employment and housing (3). These barriers are largely attributable to legal, economic and social deprivation, marginalization, stigmatization, and discrimination, including non-recognition of a gender identity that is different from the sex assigned at birth (Thomas, Pega, Khosla, Verster, Hana, & Say).
Because transgender people have been stigmatized for far too long, they
often cannot access adequate medical care that they so desperately need. While transgender identities have been around for many years, it has just recently become a topic for open discussion in America. Gender equality
advocates are speaking up for their loved ones and themselves. We as a
population have been striving for equality of all sorts. Now it is time to speak about, and recognize, topics that may make us uncomfortable. Equality has at all times been an uphill fight, but it is a fight worth being had.
In the Native American culture, there exist persons known by the widely
accepted term two spirit (Pullin, para 4). This term replaced the Anthropological term berdache, which means “kept boy,” as it held many negative
connotations. The two spirit peoples take on the dress, role, mannerisms, and status of the opposite sex. These terms do not refer to one’s sexual
interests; they are far more spiritual, sacred, and ceremonial. The Elders of the Two Spirit’s ceremonial community officially recognize these persons.
Not all tribes have defined gender roles, but those that do typically have at least four: feminine woman, masculine woman, masculine man, and femi-
nine man. It is also important to note that a gay native is not automatically a
two spirit person. Prior to 1990, many tribes had their own terms for persons
who expressed different gender identities. For example, the Navajo used the
term nadleeh, which translates to “the changing one”; the Zuni had ihaman; the Lakota had the terms lila witkowin and winkte; and the Plains Cree had a’yahkwêw. “At least 165 tribal gender traditions existed in North America histori-
cally, when many of our Native cultures accepted and respected individuals encompassing a balance of both feminine and masculine qualities” (Pullin,
para. 8) The variety of terms which were available throughout the culture is a great representation of how widely accepted these persons were. As we have learned in class, when a culture has multiple synonyms for a word, it implies the significance of the concept.
In the Samoan culture, there exists persons known by the term Fa’afafine.
(Kluger, para. 3) These persons identify as a third gender. Fa’afafine is com-
prised of the words Fa’afa (which means “in the manner of”), and fine (which
means “woman”). The Fa’afafine are genetically male at birth, and exemplify both masculine and feminine gender traits. These persons are integral to
Samoan culture. While some choose for themselves, others are chosen to
be raised as Fa’afafine. This will typically happen if there is an abundance of males in the family, and the females require more assistance. 38 >
Androphilia refers to sexual attraction toward adult males. The kin se-
lection hypothesis posits that androphilic males help kin increase their
reproductive output via kin-directed altruism, thus offsetting their own
lowered reproduction and contributing to the fitness of genes underpinning male androphilia. Support for this hypothesis has been garnered in several Samoan studies showing that feminine androphilic males (known locally
as fa’afafine) report elevated willingness to invest in nieces and nephews in adulthood (VanderLaan).
This is further evidence of how intrinsic the fa’afafine are to their culture. It
would be a mistake to label all fa’afafine with western labels such as “gay, drag queen, or homosexual.” In Samoan culture, there is no such thing as
being gay (Herdt, p. 299). Fa’afafine are known to have sexual relations with males and females but never another fa’afafine. This separate category of
gender is so common in Samoan culture that almost every Samoan is friends with at least one fa’afafine.
According to lgbtqia.ucdavis.edu, one can identify with over twenty different genders. To someone unfamiliar with the issue, this may seem overwhelm-
ing at first. Women in general experience their own form of oppression. Now
try placing yourself in the shoes of someone who does not identify as neither male nor female.
Try placing yourself in a body that feels foreign to you. Try placing yourself
inside the mind of someone who society is trying to coerce to “act according
to their gender.” For many years, individuals who do not identify as cisgender have been persecuted. When European settlers first saw a two spirit, they were appalled by what they saw.
“I saw a devilish thing,” recalled Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, “I saw a man married to another man.” One was typical and less noteworthy, but the
other was “covered like [the] women” and performed “the work of women” (Hawkens, P.C.).
People are often afraid of what they do not understand. When people are afraid, they are quick to make their own judgements without a basis of
knowledge. Because of the ever controlling fear, people are quick to label
“deviant” behavior as morally wrong. These “deviant” people are often persecuted, and do not receive the same support that their “normal” counterparts receive. In their work, Shepler and Perrone state:
Research regarding sexual identity development and sexual orientation in relation to psychological wellbeing has produced mixed results. Studies conducted before the
1980s often indicated that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people were less mentally healthy and more likely to suffer from depression, suicidality, and self-destructive
behavior than were heterosexual people (see Savin-Williams, 2005 for a review).
More recently, research has shown that while young adults engaged in developing a
LGB identity may experience more psychological distress (Bagley & Tremblay, 2000), certain environmental and societal factors, such as parental support and increased vis39 >
ibility of LGB role models (Savin-Williams, 2005) and access to LGB-affirming media (Bond, Hefner, & Drogos, 2009) allow for healthy development that is similar to that experienced by heterosexual youths (Savin-Williams, 2005).
This is evidence that when persons with differing gender identities are ac-
cepted by the societies who encompass them, they are able to thrive in said communities.
In summation, transgender identities are not a new phenomenon, and they
are not going away. It is possible for the whole world in its entirety to accept and embrace transgender people the way the Native Americans and
Samoan people do. The two spirit and the fa’afafine bring a center of balance to their communities and their cultures. Why is it that the LGBTQIA, or any
other persons who have any differing gender identities, are not treated the same in the American culture? When will we all learn to love, instead of
close our minds to it? Every day we need to take the baby steps that are necessary. We have learned to crawl, now we are learning to walk. Who knows, tomorrow we could be running free.
“Star Wars ATAT”,
Citations Hassen, P. (2016, May 24). New York City Lets People Choose from 31 Differ-
ent Gender Identities. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from http://nation.foxnews. com/2016/05/24/new-york-city-lets-people-choose-31-different-genderidentities
Hawkesworth, M. (1997). Confounding Gender. Signs, 22 (3), 649-685. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3175248
Hawkins, P. C. (2012). New World Sodom: Biblical Tales of Conquest and Acculturation. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, 15. Retrieved from http:// go.galegroup.com.libproxy.macomb.edu/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=lom_macombcc&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA322780465&asid=71c41e76c5a30171fcaea2f88fa75703
Kluger, J. (2016, May 19). Transgender Bathroom Debate: Hereâ€™s What
Science Says. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from http://time.com/4341695/ bathroom-science-transgender-north-carolina/
Herdt, G. (1994). Polynesian Gender Liminality Through Time and Space. In
Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History, Pp. 285-328. New York: Zone.
Pullin, Z. (2014, May & June). Two Spirit: The Story of a Movement Unfolds.
Retrieved April 09, 2017, from http://www.nativepeoples.com/Native-Peoples/May-June-2014/Two-Spirit-The-Story-of-a-Movement-Unfolds
Shepler, D., & Perrone-McGovern, K. (2016). Differences in psychological
distress and esteem based on sexual identity development. College Student Journal, 50 (4), 579+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.libproxy.macomb.edu/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=lom_macombcc&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA474548666&asid=2090fd1dc49d6c55ce246e827c98368b Thomas, R., Pega, F., Khosla, R., Verster, A., Hana, T., & Say, L. (2017).
Ensuring an inclusive global health agenda for transgender people. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 95 (2), 154+. Retrieved from http:// go.galegroup.com.libproxy.macomb.edu/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=lom_macombcc&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA481518247&asid=cd30ca6236bbb125449df032ba06ce48
VanderLaan, D., Petterson, L., Vasey, P., VanderLaan, D. P., Petterson, L. J., &
Vasey, P. L. (2017). Elevated Kin-Directed Altruism Emerges in Childhood and Is Linked to Feminine Gender Expression in Samoan Faâ€™afafine: A Retrospective Study. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 46(1), 95-108. doi:10.1007/s10508016-0884-2
“Step into a book”, Brittany Laura
A browse through the parrot store Linda Leo When I was a child, my favorite animal was the Scarlet Macaw. Captivated by their red bodies and tail feathers of yellowish green, I drew the rainbow bird of the rainforest over and over. My second place science project, my
book report, and even my dad’s desktop all contained detailed drawings of the bird.
I was partial to the animal because, like it, I had a circle of dried skin around my right eye. Yet, unlike the creature, mine was caused by a skin affliction and not nature’s design. However, like psoriasis, my interest in the bird
disappeared with time. There were goldfish, guinea pigs, rabbits, and dogs to play with and take up my time. No parrots lived near me. Nevertheless, on a whim, I entered a parrot store years later.
Cages of tropical birds cluttered the store with occupants constantly on the move. Parrots hung from rafters, flapped their wings, dashed across their perches. They looked busy, but confined within their cages, they had no places to be.
In the far back, I saw large parrots sitting in a neat row, facing potential
buyers on perches, and there were the Scarlet Macaws! My childish delight
vanished within minutes as I inspected the birds thoroughly. Where are their red shiny feathers and rainbow-tails like they had in the parrot books?
These Scarlet Macaws had dull eyes, listless heads, and like their Hyacinth Brittany Laura is a duel-enrolled MACA student studying Motion Design and Interactive Web Design, with a completed degree in Graphic Design. “Step Into a Book” is a digitally composited image created with royalty-free stock images, assembled to create a fantastical image that is intended to capture the spirit of classic high tension adventure novels.
neighbors, the blue parrots with yellow feathers across their jawline, were
balding. Am I looking at plucked chickens? They’re supposed to be beautiful. “I’m not buying, just looking,” I told the owner who greeted me, towing bags of seed in hand. “My mom’ll kill me if I bring home a bird.”
A persistent symphony of shrieks and caws followed my tour. Amused by
the cockatoo Angel, I watched her bob her head, every time I said her name. When I turned away, she’d thrash her wings and scream in protest.
“Someone likes attention. I think Angel’s a little spoiled given that her name’s Angel!”
The owner smiled. “Yeah, she loves attention. We have to keep boarded pets in their cages, but she’s out all the time at home.”
I placed my hand near her cage and she brought up her claw to match it. “She’s so smart!” I was astonished. “So, the ones on perches?”
“Most of them are rescues. People don’t realize how long parrots live. 43 >
They’re not dogs. We often get them when their owners pass, go into
assisted living or get tired of caring for them. Sometimes, they come to us in boxes. They don’t even wait for us to open.”
“That’s how that puppy died,” I told her. “I saw it on the news the other
day. It was snowing real bad and the Humane Society wasn’t open and the man just left it in the kennel. Never had a chance,” I said with a bad taste in my mouth. “Would’ve been better to just let it run free.”
“Yeah, someone in a car could’ve picked it up. That happens a lot.” She
sighed and slipped the bags of seed onto the floor. “That one over there,” she pointed to the mute Hyacinth with a snarly, long tail, “came outta the
rainforest from the pet trade. When she got to the U.S., her owners didn’t know how to care for her. They’d stuff her in a closet anytime she made a sound. She’s likely gonna be with us the rest of her life.”
Atop her perch, the unsellable bird showed no signs of life. No movement and an absent gaze from decades of neglect. So, this bird was taken from its flock to come to the United States just to end up in a dark closet?
I realized all of sudden, surrounded by piercing chatter, they didn’t speak or look at one another! They’re all grieving for their humans, but they can’t comfort each other. In the wild, they’d groom, live, and eat as a
flock. Parrots are social birds. They’re supposed to be together! In my
revulsion, the birds on display seemed more like antiques gathering dust in a corner than living creatures.
Her phone rang. “You’re welcome to look around.” She scurried to the
The world’s turned cold
You should be prepared
What I heard me say
Was myself and
All I heard
I talked to the heavens
How people still pray
I can’t help but wonder
Is the latest craze
In the grass I graze
Sheisty type of people
I see a bunch of snakes
Deception goes on
While real is fake
Truth isn’t true
Of the lies we face
As I lost all faith
Woke up today
A Song by Taylor Kennaugh
Opened my eyes
back, leaving me to wander cage to cage.
“Thoughts Provoked” is a rap that I wrote with no music, it was written latenight as I was up wondering about life. I write late at night because when it’s quiet, thoughts can flow freely. I hope this reaches out to someone whom it may benefit because that’s always been my goal. Life is an ongoing process of bettering ourselves and I hope to do that by continuing to write and share my thoughts freely. Everyone has stuff they go through. The thing to remember is it’s how you handle your situations and not what the situation is that can make the difference.
I strode by an African Gray with the most mature eyes I had ever seen. I laughed, reading his nameplate. “You’re older than me!” Two yel-
low-headed parrots squabbled over seeds. “Boys, stop,” I said. Rapt,
they came to the bars. When I moved away, they returned to brawling.
Another reprimand pacified them. Pacing their perches, Amazon Greens nodded their heads. Fanning their tails, they splayed orange and yellow colors feathers. However, once I turned away, the birds lost their vigor and turned to stone. “See ya later, toots!” the African Gray said in the voice of a sixty-year-old man.
The owner returned and apologized. I thanked her for her time. “I can’t imagine caring for so many birds. It takes a lot of strength to take in abandoned animals and rehabilitate them.”
A weight looked lifted from her shoulders. Flattered, she admitted, “It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it. This one, Betty’s getting a new family. They’ve been meeting with her weekly to bond and they check out.”
“Really? That’s awesome,” I peered down at the cockatoo. If it hadn’t
been for her yellow crest, I wouldn’t have been able to identify her breed.
She looked nothing like her counterpart, Angel. Her nervous plucking had exceeded the others. She looked like a lollipop on a stick. Her collarbone and large mass, her pumping heart, were starkly visible. I positioned my hand near the bars and the bird blinked. Slowly, Betty brought up her
claw and my thoughts stirred. Where are the beautiful Scarlet Macaws
from my old parrot books flying free over the Amazonian rainforest? Like any other parrot dropped off in a dark box. Cohabitation with humans
That this curse was a blessing
That’s when I finally realized
But still couldn’t
You dared me
In MY Nikes
But don’t fit
The same size
You might be
Of the path
You couldn’t walk half
Pick myself back up
I’ll dust off
And if I ever fall
If there’s a breath
Never die off
To see myself succeed
I’ll do whatever
By any means
So be ready for
You haven’t hit
But best beware
You did your best
No one left here cares
smothered their inner fire.
Listing all the ways I am a “basic white girl” Sarah Dorshkind
When the term “basic white girl” is used, what comes to mind? Is it sipping
on a steaming cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte while wearing a pair of UGG
boots? Maybe it’s watching The Notebook while crying into a pint of Ben and
Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream? How about going to a bar with a group of equally basic white girls and getting drunk on margaritas while
screaming the lyrics to “22” by Taylor Swift at the top of their lungs? If you said yes to all the above, you are absolutely correct! Falling into the basic
white girl category myself, I will willingly admit that we are some of the most
obnoxious people ever to be placed on planet Earth. The list of oh-so-charming characteristics that we all tend to share could go on for ages and could
very well be infinite from everyone coming up with something else to add.
untitled, Tyler Seelmann
For the sake of this paper and your sanity, however, I have made a short list
comprised of my Top 4 favorite requirements to be considered a basic white girl: favorite movies, favorite food/beverage, music choices and hobbies.
Before we even dive into this list, I would like to start by pointing out that my name is Sarah, I have blonde hair and blue eyes, and I have a small dog that
I would gladly carry around with me everywhere I go if I could. If that doesn’t
scream “basic white girl” then I don’t know what does. Now, without any further delay, let’s get into this list, shall we? Favorite Movies
When it comes to a list of my favorite movies, I don’t think it strays too far from the basic white girl stereotype. Movies such as The Notebook, Mean
Girls, Get a Clue, She’s the Man, Twilight and Titanic are just a few classics that would be top notch girls’ night material. Basically, any movie that fits into
the chick flick or romantic comedy genre will always have a special place in my heart.
Almost as fun as watching these movies, however, is using quotes from
them in my everyday life. We girls know that sharing a good “She doesn’t
even go here!” with someone could very well be the start of a beautiful
friendship. Don’t let the tears and cuddles that these movies bring on fool
you, though. No one should ever mess with a girl that spends 3 hours and 15 minutes of her life that she will never get back just to watch Titanic. Favorite Food/Beverage
Let’s face it, we all know what this category is going to consist of. Our love
for Starbucks and Chipotle is almost as strong as our love for pictures of tiny puppies in tiny tea cups. At one point while I was living at Wayne State, my
day was not complete without waiting in a ridiculously long line at Starbucks to get a caramel macchiato with extra caramel. There really is nothing like laying on me couch on a rainy day while watching a movie on Netflix and
drinking a delicious cup of Starbuck coffee to keep me warm. Throw in a burrito bowl from Chipotle and that is my dream come true.
Another food item that really gets me excited is sushi. I love going to a
quaint sushi restaurant and trying to master the art of chopsticks, only to fail miserably and end up just using my fingers. For us basic girls, having a meal
isn’t just about eating and enjoying the food and drink. Before we even touch
the food, we must pull out our phones and take an aesthetically pleasing,
Instagram worthy picture that we can post later because if you didn’t post a
picture of your food, did you even really eat? Music Choices
If I were to play music from my Spotify account right now, most of the songs
would be pop with a little bit of rap and country music thrown into the mix
as well. Now, when I say rap, I mean Eminem and Drake so don’t get too ex-
cited. I think that is probably for the best, though. Have you ever seen a basic white girl try to dance? Just in case you haven’t, let me enlighten you. http:// krisbianessa.tumblr.com/post/111661662674 47 >
As much as I dislike Taylor Swift and wish that I
hated her music too, her songs are just so catchy,
and I find myself screaming along with “I Knew
you were Trouble” in the car after a bad break-up. I would say that it makes me a basic white girl
that I love Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran too, but honestly who doesn’t love them, right? Then
there’s the obvious song that everyone thinks
of when they are referring to a basic white girl’s go-to for karaoke, and I’m almost positive you
know where I’m going with this. It doesn’t matter
where I am or how loud it is in that room, I will un-
doubtedly hear the beginning notes of “A Thou-
sand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton and stop dead in
my tracks to dramatically play the air piano while
singing as if I were auditioning for American Idol. I like to think of it as a hidden talent. Hobbies
The last and final category that I believe is a
crucial puzzle piece in the art of being a basic
white girl is how we spend our free time. Social media is a big part of a basic girl’s life, making
Instagram and Twitter the way we interact with
each other. We spend hours taking selfies just
to pick the perfect one, add a quick filter or three,
and then spend another hour trying to come
up with a witty caption. Let’s not forget about
Snapchat and the fact that the dog filter seems to have become our unspoken mascot. When
a basic white girl enrolls into a university, she is
almost guaranteed to join a sorority and embrace her inner Elle Woods. Speaking from experience,
I don’t think I have ever felt more basic than when I was wearing matching outfits and chanting my
Alpha Gam pride with my sorority sisters during Rush Week. Monograms on bags and sweaters are what our dreams are made of and hurrying into the bathroom at a bar to wash the x’s off our hands so we could get white girl
wasted becomes a weekend ritual.
In the beginning of this paper, I told you that because my name is Sarah and I have blonde hair and blue eyes, I am automatically your quintessential basic
white girl. Now, what if this paper was called “Listing All the Ways I am a Perpetual Emo Teenager” and I said that based on those same features, I would
fall into that stereotype? That doesn’t sound right, does it? Almost every time
a term like this is used, there is an automatic image that pops into our brains
of what that person looks and acts like. The same effect happens when we look at someone, and based on what we see and hear, make an automatic
judgment and place them into a stereotype without even knowing them. 48 >
Jeff is a multifaceted artist, filmmaker, cinematographer and film extra. Jeff has a passion for films and comic books. He draws his style and inspiration for his illustrations from classic comic book art from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. “Gwen Stacy” was drawn after the great John Romita, and “Venom” (page 29) was heavily inspired by Mark Bagley.
“Gwen Stacy”, Jeff Mogge My older brother is a weight lifting, beard growing, tall, and very intelligent
political science major, who also happens to get more excited than me when Pumpkin Spice Latte season arrives and who once told me that Taylor Swift
is his spirit animal. Looking at him and hearing him talk about politics, one
would never guess that he is more of a “basic white girl” than I am, and I do
not miss any opportunity I get to remind him of that fact. While some of my
favorite movies are chick flicks and I do love a good caramel macchiato, there
are so many other things about me that are far from the basic white girl status quo. My point here is that it’s human nature to gauge people based on first
impressions, but then instead of stopping there and letting that initial judgment define that person, we should start talking and getting to know what
they’re really like. You never know, some people may just surprise you. 49 >
Battle of the flights Lanel Tomas
Going on a flight is one of the most exciting, adrenaline rushing thing I love do to. My first flight experience was on U.S. Airways to Orlando, Florida, Lanel Tomas is planning on going into nursing at Macomb Community College. In her English 1210 comparison essay, “Battle of the Flights” Lanel compares her two flight experiences. This essay was enjoyable to write because she added a little sass and humor. She really hopes that people will enjoy reading about her experiences and that feel like they are on the flights themselves. She also plans to continue to make more unique essays along her journey at Macomb.
while my second flight experience was on Spirit Airlines to Myrtle Beach,
South Carolina. Both flights were fun and interesting in their own ways. The window seats had magnificent views of the world below me that I enjoyed looking at during both flights. Taking off was one of the best moments
because it was amazing to see the world shrink as the plane was ascending.
U.S. Airways was the better airliner, because the flight attendants were welcoming, the seats were comfortable, and I never felt turbulence.
Flight attendants are supposed to make passengers feel comfortable during a flight, but the ones on Spirit Airlines were anything but welcoming. They did not welcome us on board and acted as if we weren’t even there. My
mom asked one flight attendant how to shut off the air conditioning and she told my mom that she should have worn a jacket if she was that cold. Well,
sorry it was eighty-five degrees out, and my mom didn’t think she needed a
jacket. The flight attendant was old and cranky, which explains her rudeness. I am not saying that being old is a bad thing, but it could have been a factor
as to why she acted the way she did. Also, the flight attendants did not come out often to ask us if we needed anything such as snacks and drinks, so we
had to wait until someone came around to ask for a glass of water. I would have thought that since they seemed older and more experienced they would know how to treat passengers, but I guess not.
Not only were the flight attendants hard to deal with, but my seats were
plain horrible. On the flight to Myrtle Beach, my seat was in the last row and
I couldn’t even move my seat back to make it more comfortable for my back. The seats were also ripped and not fully cushioned. On the flight back home, my seat was in the third row and I could feel everything, from the plane turning to the plane going up and down. It was kind of boring sitting in front of a
blank wall for two hours, although staring out the window and looking at the tiny world below me was nice. Also, turbulence was terrifying. On the first flight, there was a storm we had to go through and the plane was shaking
like no tomorrow. There was only ten minutes left of the flight and people
were getting ready to land. Then out of nowhere, the plane started shaking
side to side and up and down. Everyone on board screamed for a good two minutes until the turbulence was over. It was one of the scariest things I went through and overall one of the worst flight experience ever.
Before the mess that occurred on Spirit Airlines, my first ever flight on U.S. Airways will forever be my favorite. The flight attendants were extremely
welcoming and made sure every passenger was comfortable. They always
had a smile on their faces and seemed like they loved their job. The stewardesses came around every twenty minutes with a cart full of food and drinks
filled with cookies, fruit, cakes, dinner meals, juice, coffee and so much more. 50 >
They gave us whatever we needed and answered all our questions. They definitely made the flight more comfortable and calming.
Comfortable seats and no turbulence certainly is a plus during a flight. My seats on U.S. Airways were in the middle by the wing and I could push my seat back to make the two hour flight relaxing. The plane was new which
made the seats new with full comforting cushions. There was absolutely no
turbulence on both U.S. Airways flights. On our flight back home, it got dark and gloomy and thick clouds came our way. We then went through a storm
with rain and lighting, and as we were landing pounding rain was coming on the plane and yet there was no turbulence. I did not expect there to be no
turbulence, but I was thankful I did not experience that on that stormy flight. Overall, U.S. Airways won in my book for the best flight experience. I never
felt more calm and relaxed on a flight, especially for being the first plane ride I went on. I was comfortable and well taken care of by the flight attendants, unlike Spirit. I know for a fact I will never book a flight on Spirit again. As for
U.S. Airways, it no longer exists but has merged with American Airlines and I will for sure book my next flight with them. untitled, Ciarra Ratliff
It is ten minutes to three. I grab my things and put them in my handbag
then step out from my hotel room. I can smell the aromatic incenses along the hallway. It creates a mystical atmosphere of this island. Bali Island; the
My heaven on Earth Johanna Kubiny
beauty and its culture have brought people
from around the world
to come and enjoy their relaxing time on this island. The hotel’s lobby is decorated in a traditional way; the expression of Balinese art and culture. There are some engraved hardwood sculptures of birds shape, human characters,
and flowers which are carved beautifully. Some paintings on the lobby’s wall show an experience of remarkable evolution in their art. Traditional in painting means of expressing religious and mythological ideas. The black and
white tiles of the hotel’s floor show the symbol of the balance of the good
sides and the bad sides of life. On the right and left of the main door, there
are two statues with the same shape of human replicas. They are wearing sarong, black and white clothes from waist to knees as the symbol of Balinese balance life. Those statues are called gatekeepers.
I continue my steps to the streets to go to my favorite place, Kuta Beach.
Every time I have a trip to Bali, Kuta Beach is always my sunset destination. Walking along the sidewalk on Pantai Kuta Street will lead me toward
the beach. It takes fifteen minutes walk from my hotel to get there. The
heat of the sun still strokes my head. I feel hot and sweats of my body are coming out from my skin pores. My ears are filled with the noise from the
motorcycles on the street. I see people from the different nation are walking on the sidewalks. The flavor smell of freshly grilled sea nature makes my
stomach growls. The fresh looked at the cold drinks makes my dry throat is begging for some water. Again, I look at my watch, it is fifteen past three. I turn my feet toward the place where makes that distraction. I stop in front of a traditional Balinese restaurant. My eyes look around the inside. It is a
comfortable place to enjoy some local traditional food. Bamboo chairs and
tables, there are hand painting surfboards, palm trees around the porch area,
and an authentic tiki bar serves many kinds of beverages. I am looking down; it is not tile floors but white smooth sea sand. I am still amazed by the fan-
tastic decoration of this place. A lady is walking toward me; she is wearing
traditional beautiful flowers pattern clothes. She greets and leads me to the
table. I order their famous dish and a glass of house cold drink. About fifteen minutes, I have my order in front of me. Wow! That is the first word comes out from my mouth when I see a unique presentation on my table. It has
brought my excitement. I can’t deny that suddenly my appetite is raised. I
am impressed how they serve the food on the flat giant seashell plate with
the smooth beach sandy glass for my drink. I just can’t wait any longer to eat them. The taste of the food catches my tongue; my mind and my stomach find its contentment.
After finishing my early dinner, I stroll to my last destination, Kuta Beach. It takes only five minutes from the restaurant to the beach. I look around to
find the best spot to sit and wait for the sundown. There are some little kids are playing in the sand and water on the beach, smiles and full of energy. I 52 >
see couples are walking hand in hand, share their romantic moments and
built their good memories. Some others are just sitting; sharing words and
enjoying the palm leaves are whispering each other. Maybe they recall their good time in the past or just talk about their future dreams.
I feel the freshness of the air like a summer breeze, the glare from the sun hit the water on the sea like sparkles of floating crystals. The waves are ceasing each other. The surfers keep their balance on the boards that are swung by the ripple of the waves. The white sands along the beach like a giant rug where people can sit lay down for sunbathing, walk and have some fun.
My mind starts flashback to my past time. A few years ago, I have a lot of
laugh and dreams for our life on this place with my beloved ones, the good memories that never leave my mind. I see the sky gradually changing its
color, from white calm blue become tinged with gray and some reddish spot marking sundown. The sun turns from orange to red, but it doesnâ€™t have its sting anymore. I can see the small dim of the closest star with my naked
eyes. I get lucky because of the sky is clear and no rain today. I can enjoy
the perfect sunset on the horizon. The hectic beach during the day turns into calm and quiet place. I wait until the sun is completely leaving the sky.
The natural beauty of Bali Island has rejuvenated my soul, especially the
unforgettable sunset at Kuta Beach and its good memories behind it. Their
hospitality, culture, art and paintings creativity of the Balinese people make this island become a place like a heaven on the Earth. Heaven is a place where everything is beautiful and lifts the burden of the weary soul.
untitled, Mazin Shalal
Photo credit, Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com
The basketball Mozart: v Drazen Martin Nucullaj “Petro for THREE, GOT IT,” the Nets announcer Spencer Ross shouted as Dražen found his home in the NBA. Petrović’s deadly shot and prolific scoresheets had
earned him the name The Basketball Mozart in Europe, but his situation in the NBA came with struggle since
American basketball did not have much respect for
Euro stars. Dražen’s demeanor and focus on the game
of basketball was admired, and that fueled his success. Petrović’s beauty,
passion, and style has inspired many ball players and fans alike. ”He had a
presence about him that made people feel good watching him. His enthu-
siasm and humble nature made him truly stand out amongst the crowd of
big egos and spoiled superstars” (Dražen Petrović). The Croatian sports hero has left a mark in basketball that may never be duplicated and his story will
never be forgotten.
Dražen was born in Sibenik, Croatia, Yugoslavia. His childhood was spent
much like many other kids in Sibenik playing basketball and running around, but even in his childhood there was something special about him. His
childhood friend Neven Spahija, said “Everywhere we went, Dražen had a
privileged status. In our younger years, older guys constantly were beating
on us younger kids. But, they never touched Dražen. In fact, they protected
him. Dražen was extremely clever and smart and he was aware of his status”
(Dražen Petrović). Little Dražen would dribble a basketball, that was bigger than himself, the entire time. That was the start for the love of the game of basketball. As he became older and able, he started to play pickup games
and his competitive nature grew. “Defeats, defeats … he could not handle
them well. He hated defeats. When he would lose on the basketball play-
ground, he wouldn’t talk to anybody for hours. He even hated to lose playing
card games,” his friend, Neven explained (Dražen Petrović). At the age of
fifteen he made the professional first team of Sibenka. Many youngsters hope
to work their way through junior leagues in order to make professional, but
that was not the route for Dražen. He was too talented. His talent was earned through hard work and spent hours at the gym. Dražen’s brother Aleksandar
took note of his restlessness work. “Workaholic, fanatic…addicted to basketball - yes, he was. And do you know why? Not because he spent seven, eight hours a day in the gym, but because he never took a single day off” (Dražen
Petrović). Nobody knew the force that drove Dražen to train so hard. Five
hundred shots every morning before school, hours of practice after training
without his team. He would train alone in the gym, dribbling around chairs
nonstop. Young Dražen himself said, “No one in Sibenik forced me to work
this hard. At least not as hard as I did. For me, this was perfectly normal...” For me to miss practice was almost like a deadly sin”(Dražen Petrović).
The rise of his European stardom started with leaving his local club Sibenka. Dražen stated in order to achieve what he wanted he had to leave Sibenka, 54 >
but the club will always be in his heart. Sibenka gave him the opportunity to
succeed, but it was the time to leave. Notre Dame coach “Digger” Phelps try to convince Dražen to cross the pond and play in the U.S. Dražen was only
interested in playing for Cibona Zagreb, where his older brother Aleksandar played for. Dražen’s four years at Cibona was beautifully scripted. This was
Showtime! A performance that Mozart composed himself. The first thing he
did in his arrival to Cibona, he scored 56 points against his former boyhood
club Sibenka. Dražen was a devil on the court. While dropping basket
after basket, Sibenka’s fans were desperately yelling Dražen, you are ours! Dražen, please stop it! he kept scoring. After the game he was questioned
on cruelty of his 56 points on his former club, “No, it wasn’t hard. Memories are memories, love is love, but on the court I don’t recognize anyone. I will
score 56 again against them, if I get a chance” (Dražen Petrović). Showtime was not over yet. He would continue his first season averaging 32.2 Points
per game, and he would score whopping 112 points against SMELT Olimpija. In the following 1985/6 season he averaged 43.3 ppg domestically and 37.0
ppg in European leagues (Dražen Petrović). Dražen was not only a fantastic
scorer, he was a leader when Cibona needed him. Dražen hit 7 three pointers
in a row against Limoges (France), while being down by 16 at the half. Cibona
was down 9 points to Simac (Italy), but Dražen’s 47 points and 25 assists led
Cibona to victory.
Dražen has won everything he could in Cibona, Two times European
Champions, European Cup Champions, National Champions, National Cup Champions (Dražen Petrović). During his four-year reign he averaged 37.7
ppg domestically in Yugoslavia and 33.8 ppg European competition. Dražen
would move on from Cibona and join Real Madrid basketball club in Spain for the 1988/89 season. His one year at Madrid showed similar results in
Cibona by winning and becoming a show that one cannot miss. Madrid won
the European Cup, and Dražen scored 62 points in the final game versus Ca-
serte was ‘an icing on top of the cake’ (Dražen Petrović). Nobody knew that
his first year at Madrid would be his last in Europe. Dražen was pressured to
take the final step in his career, the NBA.
The questioned was asked why leave Europe, Dražen? You are superstar
there. The competitive nature of Petrović wanted more. “Why did I leave Madrid? Europe could not offer me what I wanted. In fact, every night
was the same and what else could I have won in Europe? To win another
European championship? So, what, people would say, OK…you’ve already
won it. Didn’t you win it couple of times before? This is a challenge that I
have no right to miss. I don’t know what to expect but I know that I can play here” (Dražen Petrović). Dražen was sent to join the Portland Trail Blazers
in 1989/90 season. Little did Dražen know the situation was not right for
him. Dražen would not see the floor often. There were four other guards in
rotation Superstar Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Danny Young, and a later ad55 >
dition of Danny Ainge. Despite having the ability to scoring 8–10 pts in four
minutes, Blazers coach Rick Adelman never found a role for Dražen. Dražen
would often call his friend Vlade Divac, Yugoslavia National teammate and
Los Angeles Laker, and voice his dissatisfaction. Divac said it was sad to see
Dražen score 40, 50, 60 points in Europe and see him get joy in scoring 2pts
(Once Brothers). “Eighteen months in Portland was a living hell for Dražen,”
claimed his brother Aleksandar (Dražen Petrović). Dražen would frequently read the bible during the season to find hope that he could truly show he
was the Mozart of Basketball. Why didn’t Rick Adelman play Dražen more? Nobody knows but him. Clyde Drexler claimed he had the talent to be an
all-star. Dražen knew that his only obstacle to succeed is playing time. The following season Dražen grew impatient, Portland decided to let go of Dražen and traded him to the New Jersey Nets.
Petro is his new name dubbed by the New Jersey fans. Petrović was re-
born wearing a Nets jersey. He was given opportunity immediately. In the
91–92 season he was named starter and did not disappoint. Averaging 36.9 minutes per game and averaged 20.6ppg; 51% FG; 45% from 3. He quickly became the rising guards in the league. “It felt like he was born again. He
was playing,he was accepted, he was so happy. New jersey was happy.
Everyone was happy,” Dražen’s mother said joyfully (Once Brothers). In the
following season he became a top guard. Averaging 22.3 ppg; 52% FG; 44%
from 3. He was receiving the recognition from other players that he deserved. Reggie Miller told Jan Hubbard, basketball journalist, that he loved playing
against Dražen because he can talk trash in four languages (Once Brothers).
Miller even went as far as claiming Dražen was the best shooter he has ever
seen (Open Court). Joe Dumars, a premier defender said he was a shooting
machine, “He dropped 30 on me so fast that night. I got hand in his face I am
right up on him and was just like a machine” (Once Brothers). Petrović scored NBA career high in pts with 44 points against Hakeem Olajuwon’s Rockets. Dražen would make a reunion playing against his former team, Portland
Trail Blazers. Dražen received a standing ovation from Portland fans. Dražen commented on the situation, “At times, I felt very uncomfortable… they ap-
plauded me throughout the whole game. And that meant they liked me. And believed in me” (Dražen Petrović).
After the the 93’ NBA season Dražen decided to take a trip back home to prepare for the 1993 Eurobasket in Germany. He arrived in Frankfurt, Germany
where he arranged to meet his girlfriend, Klara Szalantzy, who promised to
wait for him at the airport. Dražen took the passenger seat of a red Volkswa-
gen Golf, while Szalantzy drove. Dražen decided to take a nap through the trip. It was a rainy day. Szalantzy going as much as 100 mph on the Ger-
man Autobahn, and she did not have the ability to stop promptly. On June
7th, 1993 5:20 PM, Dražen Petrović died in car collision with a truck on the
highway (Spehr). Dražen was 28 years old. His funeral drew 100,000 people
in the capital. Croatia viewed Dražen as a national hero, and many Croatians
felt they have lost a son. When Dražen’s mother visited his tomb a month later, a man and his grandson said to her, “Don’t be sad. You gave birth to him, but he doesn’t only belong to you, but us too (Once Brothers). 56 >
I was born four years after Dražen’s death. Dražen has inspired me through his passion and enthusiasm about the game of basketball. I never had the
chance to watch Dražen live, but when I watch Dražen play in film, you
cannot help but root for him and feel the passion he plays with. His emotion is so contagious that it makes me want to play basketball in the middle of
the night and try to master his perfect shot. If Dražen were alive today, who knows what he would have accomplished. Would he be a bigger star than he was? Would he be an all-time NBA great? Chuck Daly NBA coaching
legend said it perfectly, “You know, there is a saying that we have about
JFK, John F. Kennedy—“You know, Johnny, we never got to know you.” And
I kind of feel that way about Dražen. I felt that the whole year that I was with him went by too fast and I really never got to know him the way I would
have liked to” (Dražen Petrović). Dražen was taken from us too soon, but
regardless of what Dražen Petrović would have achieved in NBA, he left a
legacy, a story, that inspires us till this day. Dražen was not only the Mozart
of Basketball, but the living proof of hard work. Dražen motivates me to
achieve through hard work and practice. As the saying goes, if Dražen can do it, you can too.
Works Cited Divac, Vlade, narr. Once Brothers . ESPN, 2010. Film. Dražen Petrović . N.p., 2003. Web. 7 May 2016. <http://DraženPetrović.
Open Court . NBA TV . n.d. Web. 7 May 2016. Spehr, Todd. “The tragic death of Dražen Petrović.” Sports Illustrated . N.p.,
30 Mar. 2015. Web. 8 May 2016.
“Wolves”, Shee Lor
Winter is coming Rachel Yang Winter is a misunderstood mistress that takes the vocal beatings by those who choose to not see the beauty of her. Many flock to Summer because
of the instant gratification they receive when going outside. Summer is full of life blooming to its peak, its beauty is in full view, and the sun kisses the
skin ever so boldly. Summer is comfortable and vibrant, caressing the world in warmth, a stark contrast to the bold and unapologetic cold that Winter
brings. Surely if Summer is so great then Winter cannot possible compete,
or can it? Winter brings with her a different kind of gratification, one that has more value than anything Summer can bring. She is forever blessed with
fleeting beauty, she transforms the world before the eyes of many, and she
lays to rest the life of Summer. There is more to Winter than meets the eye, if one knows where to look.
Winter spreads her beauty to a select few places and even then, only for
a short time. Seeing and understanding her takes time, so many become
complacent in dealing with her, rather than experiencing her. Excluding the polar ice caps, no place is permanently showcasing her beauty. The innocently deceptive snow, the unsuspecting icicles, and the crisp winds are
forever receding to give spotlight to Summerâ€™s green. Many people do not
have the opportunity to ever see Winter outside of a picture. They never fully experience what it feels like to be immersed in a world so different, yet so
similar. The world Winter offers is unseen to those who simply walk by and only ever see what is on the surface. To find her beauty, one must take the
time to truly immerse themselves in everything she has to offer. To paint a
picture, imagine taking a walk down a snow covered path, snow piled high
and trees blanketed. The crisp wind giving tingling kisses to the cheeks and
the comfortable silence of the world. Just as there is beauty in a world full of life, there is beauty in a world void of life.
Another wonder Winter brings is the ability to change the environment
without altering it beyond repair. Many places in the world see the warming weather Summer brings every day of the year. Many experience Summer
and all her shining gifts. She is like the safe space that people can submerge themselves in when they seek comfort and familiarity. Repetition can be
good but change helps to breed new perspective. Unfortunately, not everyone has the means to travel, whether because of money or lack of vacation
time. Winter can help give a fresh perspective without ever having to move
from home. It morphs the once familiar world in to something new, without
instilling hesitancy. It transforms the very ground many walk on into a subtle but new experience. A change in temperature allows a shift in perspective
and only Winter can give that. Along with this new environment, new opportunities arise, like building snowmen, ice skating, and snowball fights. She
brings variation in to the world of complacency many of us are familiar with. Like a dice, there are multiple faces to the same entity. 59 >
Buzzing along, Winter has the perk of not having any bugs, both inside and
outside the home. In fact, during the Winter they either migrate or hibernate in some way in order to survive. With the decrease of bugs, the chance of
getting an insect carried disease decreases, the amount of tree killing bugs
decreases, and the chance of letting a fly into the home decreases. Summer breathes life into the world and bugs are a vital part of that life. However,
being able to walk around without having to worry about bugs landing on you or skittering around in your home is a comforting idea. Though, many overlook this in favor of complaining about how cold it is.
Now, many may say that Summer is better because she is has more pleasant weather and is easier to cope with. Well, while it is true that Summer has
more pleasant weather, does it not feel even more pleasant after facing the
chilling weather that Winter brings? You do not know what you have until it
is gone. By experiencing all the hardships that Winter brings, one can appre-
ciate what it means to have Summer. Being surrounded by the same environment causes people to take even the most trivial matters, like having food to eat or a home for shelter, for granted. The same principle applies to the
weather. If one has never experienced what it means to be cold then one can
never truly appreciate what it means to be warm. Sometimes the best course of action for development is not the easy or pleasant way but the hard and
difficult way. Another statement people frequently say is that Winter makes them drearier. While that may be true to some degree, due to the depen-
dency on vitamin D, perhaps what needs to change is the attitude towards
Winter. Winter will not and should not be the same as Summer. Summer is a time for activity and completing external goals. It is a time of expenditure and creating bonds with others. Winter should be a time of reflection. The world becomes silent, giving peace of mind and the opportunity to learn
more about oneself. It is a time of rest and preparation, and more people
should see it as such. So instead of harboring negative emotions towards
Winter, maybe people should find the silver-lining and make the best out of a harsh situation.
Winter is a hidden beauty. Winter is a healthy change. Winter is the Earthâ€™s
resting and preparation time. Like a mother she can be harsh but not without wanting the best for her children. Without the contrast of Winter, Summer
would not be so beloved. Some people like to resent Winter because they
would rather take the easy route than the hard route. This stagnates the will to evolve in the face of adversity. Winter is like all the hard work put into a
project and Summer is the pay off. Winter is the back bone that allows Summer to stand up tall. Winter is the villain that allows Summer to shine like a hero. Winter brings its own form of endearment, one simply needs to look.
Andrea DiMaggio When Andrea was given the assignment of writing a narrative essay, she knew her subject matter very well. In fact, she would have to relive every painful detail and bring it to the forefront. The process of writing this narrative essay was painful, yet cathartic for Andrea. Her recovery from this assault was both long and arduous. Because the emotional pain was far worse than her physical injuries, Andrea needed therapy to learn the coping skills necessary for her recovery. She lives every day with debilitating anxiety attacks knowing that this essay is her reality and not just a bad dream. Unfortunately, many women live with this heartbreaking existence. It is her most sincere wish that she inspires others to act against the epidemic of domestic violence, domestic assault and all violence against women and men. Andrea hopes that by reading her essay, she can inspire others and give hope to someone in need who is searching for the courage to speak up or speak out.
One chilling day in July Andrea DiMaggio
When I think of my brother, I try so hard to remember the good times, but
there weren’t many. I can barely remember the big brother that I used to love and respect. The memories I do have are filled with nightmarish thoughts
of lies, drug use, and physical abuse. Most people think that love is uncon-
ditional especially when it to comes to family. However, I have learned that love is conditional, and it does have boundaries. I remember one day in July 2006 when I discovered those boundaries, for it was truly frightening.
The day started out just like any other picture-perfect summer day. It was
twelve o’clock in the afternoon, and the sun shone brightly in the sky. I can still smell the sweet, yet pungent smell of my mother’s prized roses in the backyard. However, the blissful silence of that gorgeous Saturday in July 2006, would be shattered forever by the disturbing events of that day.
After a morning of cleaning my house, I decided to relax a bit by reading the latest novel topping the New York Times’ bestseller’s list. However, my concentration was broken by the ding donging of the front doorbell. I opened the front door only to find two Oakland County sheriff’s deputies staring back at me.
I can still remember that feeling of unrelenting nervousness in the pit of my stomach as they asked, “Is your brother here?”
Then the officers said with a straight face, “Tell him we were here, and he needs to call us immediately or we’ll be back to pick him up!”
With my eyes as large as plates and my body shaking uncontrollably, I
simply nodded. I had just lied to the police knowing full well that my brother was fast asleep in his bedroom. Why did I lie to the police? Moreover, was I making myself complicit in some sort of crime? Little did I know at the time
that visits from various law enforcement agencies would become commonplace in my household.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the sheriff’s deputies pulled out
of my driveway. There I was standing in the doorway staring out into space
wondering why they wanted to speak to my brother. As I shut the front door, my eyes caught the gaze of the neighbors who were outside tending to their lawns. All of them carefully watched me like I was a criminal. They had all witnessed the show in my front yard, and I was mortified.
As my brother slept the day away, I found myself becoming angrier by the
minute out of sheer embarrassment. When he finally woke up, I tried in vain to get him to tell me why the police were looking for him but to no avail. I guess I was hoping that for once in his life he would be honest and make some sort of confession to me. One minute he would be on the verge of spilling his guts, and in the next he would give me the silent treatment. 61 >
He would play this kind of cat-and-mouse game with me all day thus making
me feel that I was making steady progress towards the truth. Instead, he was
digging himself deeper and deeper into a cavernous hole of his own creation. Although I didn’t want to become aggressive, I knew I had to be. That tactic only infuriated him, but I had had enough of his ridiculous game. Later that day I gave him an ultimatum.
My brother always felt that he was being slighted in some way. His pompous and inflated sense of entitlement would follow him into adulthood.
Clearly, he was a dishonest and troubled individual. My brother had a choice to make. He could be truthful with me, or he could pack his belongings and
leave my home at once. Nevertheless, he chose not to leave, and with that, the fisticuffs began.
In the blink of an eye, his hands were wrapped tightly around my neck
squeezing my throat like a python would constrict its prey. Slowly but surely, his vice-like grip was cutting off my air supply. I can still remember the hun-
dreds of little black spots I saw before my eyes because they kept multiply-
ing. Soon there would be thousands of them, and I know this because I was
trying to count them only in my fight to remain conscious. He then loosened his grip only to lift me up by my neck with the drug-induced strength of
three men and began to slowly yet methodically pound the back of my head against the family room wall. I could feel the warmth of the blood oozing
down the back of my neck, not realizing then that the gaping wound in my skull would need six staples for it to close and heal properly. Although, I
have little recollection of that specific moment, it does tend to play like a movie strip in my mind from time to time.
I must have been screaming at the top of my lungs because one of the neighbors who stood on his front lawn staring at me ever so suspiciously called
911. Though the battle felt like it lasted for hours, it was over in minutes. I was safely in the back of an ambulance on my way to the closest trauma center. My brother was taken away by the very same two Oakland County sher-
iff’s deputies and charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm,
possession of a controlled substance, uttering and publishing, and fraud. He would plead guilty to a single charge of simple assault because all the other
charges were dismissed. As much as I demanded justice be done, dismissing charges for a first-time offender is par for the course.
In the end, I did find out what the truth was. My brother had been addicted to controlled substances for quite a long time, for he had lied and stolen
from everyone to get his “fix.” He had left his family behind in his wake of
utter devastation to pick up the pieces and move on. As a direct result of his disturbing and atrocious behavior, my family and I did just that.
I haven’t spoken to my brother since that picturesque Saturday in July 2006 for good reason. The events of that day have affected me profoundly in 62 >
several ways. Because of that blitzkrieg-like attack, I suffer from crippling
anxiety attacks. Even to this day, I still feel the need to look over my shoulder and take note of my surroundings. In other words, I am in a constant state
of hypervigilance. The repeated blows to the back of my skull have caused
permanent nerve damage and at times debilitating pain. The boundaries that I have had to put into place continue to protect me to this day. I now live in a gated community which is patrolled twenty-four hours a day, and my brother’s name is on a list of people that are not allowed entry.
It is never okay to abuse anyone, especially family. Regardless of whether the abuse is physical, emotional, financial, or verbal, it is never acceptable, and it should not be tolerated. To love someone responsibly means to never harm them in any way, shape, or form. Therefore, love can’t possibly be uncon-
ditional under those circumstances. Love doesn’t have to hurt, and it never should. After living through my own real-life nightmare, I now know that
“Art Nouveau”, Katrina Brown
having boundaries is paramount in all aspects of a healthy and fulfilling life.
Ashley Fearncombe Looking over the heads of people she stared out the large window behind
the orchestra. Stars shined against the night sky, the pale moon illuminating the darkened halls of her home.
Sliding her feet out of sweaty heels, back pressed against the wall she silently
hummed as the cool marble floor chilled her skin, curling her legs close to her. She let out a slow steady breath watching as the people in colorful gowns
danced and mingled before her. The double doors wide open spilling light into
the hall. Her bare arms prickled at the cool air as she watched people drink, the red liquid at times almost spilling onto the polished stone floor, the servants having to raise the serving trays high above their heads to avoid people.
Their chatter was only a distant low rumble of white noise to her ears, the
band blasted upbeat sound, crescendos and flares of trumpet horns rattled
and vibrated along the floor and walls. One hand spread flat against the floor surface, she felt the various rumbles the band played.
Soft sponge like domes rested snug in her ears, a cord attached to the buds ran down to her music player. The soft melody of the piano played in her
ears, creating a different scene and drowning out the muffled noise of the party. Raising the hand not on the floor, she curled her fingers around a
thin solid metal stick in her hair and pulled, a few strands of hair fell along
the nape of her neck. The pad of her thumb traced the ornate design of the hair pin along the curving shape around the emerald stone diamond as it
wrapped around the centerpiece like a vine. Emerald green stone flickered against the light; the round crystal rock accentuating the simple design
to look elegant. She set it gently in her lap, the rose pink dress wrinkling
slightly, accommodating the weight of the hairpin. Taking another pin out
she felt the heavy weight of her hair tumble down her back as she removed and placed them next to her in a pile. She released a sigh of relief from the painful strain of her tied up hair. Her dark tresses curled and then settled, warming her arms and neck from the cold air.
A sudden intense vibration traveled through her whole body, causing her
to look up and see her mother on stage. The womanâ€™s black tresses pinned back, half up and half down, jewels sparked in the light as her mother
showed off her white teeth as she sang. Her father she caught out on the balcony to her left, wondering if he noticed his daughter sitting in the hallway,
hair undone and shoes absent from her feet. Looking back to her mother she frowned and glanced back to her father, his back was turned to her as she
took in the woman next to him. His hand wandering toward various places of the woman not his wife. With narrowed eyes and lips curled into a snarl, she jerked her head back to the party and huffed, nails digging into her skin.
With a heavy sigh she pushed herself up, palm flat on the small table next to her. The ornate pin clattered to the ground as she removed her ear buds, the 64 >
volume increased slightly but she still had trouble hearing clearly what people were speaking about. Keeping close to the wall, her bare feet slapped against the cold white marble, her dress swaying in a gentle imaginary
breeze. She ignored the men around her at the punch bowl as they seemed to be intoxicated at the moment.
One around her age approached. She watched his mouth move but could barley make out the words he produced. She glanced up into his eyes and could only stare. He smiled and held out his hand to her that she briefly shook and quickly released. With a tilt of her head, she smiled, her right hand taking a
plastic cup, she gave a slight bow of her head and turned her back to the boy. Looking down at her scattered bobby pins and heels, she knelt down and
grasped the golden pin. The plastic cup rested next to her near the leg of the small table. She groaned to herself, her vocal cords vibrating, burning her throat as she tried to make a sound. Reaching for one of the pins furthest
from her current knelt position she froze as the weight of someoneâ€™s hand settled on her shoulder. With a startled gasp she turned, bare feet kicked out missing the target and slamming hard onto the floor, the cup spilling the black pins. The gold pin held out like a weapon, sharp end facing the
attacker. She took in gulps of air, heaving as she realized it was the boy from earlier. Furry took over her features she shook the pin threateningly at him. He held his hands up in a sign of surrender, palms facing her and held just
above his shoulders. His mouth moved but no actual sounds registered in
her mind. When she continued to glare at him, he pointed to the scattered black pins and with his hand, clenched his left fist in a motion of grabbing
something, and with his right hand holding his drink, dropped the imaginary item into the cup, once more pointing to the mess.
Eyes widen in realization that he wanted to help. Letting her body slump to the floor, she scooted herself back against the wall and nodded. She
watched as he became animated, waving his arms about as he imitated a soldier or other character.
It occurred to her that he seemed to not notice she has not spoken throughout the whole meeting. He sat crossed legged in front of her, his black suit
jacket on the floor beside him. Pointing to himself he mouthed something, and then pointed to her, eyes wide and a grin on his face. The request for
a name clear in his expression. With a small smile that did not fully spread across her lips she shook her head side to side. When she saw his look of
confusion she giggled and pointed toward the banner hanging in the foyer. His eyes widened as he read the big cursive letters.
â€˜Happy birthday Eleanorâ€™ it read. He laughed and grinned, avoiding her eyes for a few seconds before mouthing an apology. She smiled and gave a one sided shrug in response. She glanced
back toward the balcony and saw her father and the woman were gone. Taking 65 >
a quick glance for her mother inside, she found her still up on stage. With a roll of her eyes, Eleanor tapped the boy on the leg, and then pointed toward her mother on stage. He opened his mouth but she held up a hand to stop him. Standing up, she grabbed her golden pin, held before her, imitating a mic,
and proceeded to sing. Pressure began to build up in her eyes, misty as she
saw his face light up with hope and then frown as no sound emitted from her throat. Lowering the pin she pointed to her ear and shook her head. Muscles tense, she watched as understanding dawned on him, her hand held the pin till her knuckles turned white as he turned his back, picked up his jacket and
left. Her body shook and her heart felt like it was being stabbed and torn at, her stomach clenched as she shook, holding back her emotions.
The house shook, bursts of colorful lights lit up the hall sporadically. Raising her arm clutching the pin, she threw it to the ground. Storming toward her
heels, she slipped one on, lifted it above the emerald gem, as the light be-
hind her flared brilliantly, her face twisted in rage, teeth bared, eyes red, she slammed her heel into the stone, breaking it into millions of pieces. The hall once more bathed in shadow.
untitled, Richard Schilk
It was just another celebration of disappointments.
Night Lauren Brohl White puffs of air left her lips like clouds into the night sky. Each step the girl
made crushed the already dead leaves beneath her feet. She was on her way
home from her friendâ€™s house. The night winds whizzed past her, blowing her hair straight back. With absence of the ivory plate from the sky, it made the
girls shortcut through Crystal Falls forest feel like an opening scene to a Supernatural episode. The girl was starting to regret not leaving when the sun
was still out. She swore she could feel the gritty texture of the tree branches scrap against her skin. Using a flashlight, she gained light from her void-like surroundings. Her shoes had become damp from the moist forest floor.
Without delay, another gust of wind blew past her with it bringing a bone
chilling sensation to her spine. She froze in her tracks and shined the light all around her, peering into the open woods. Fiery orange orbs reflected at her. A gasp left her cracked chapped lips. Moving the light around the creature hidden under a bush, she soon found it to be a small rabbit as ran from its
cover into the black night. Hesitantly, she started up her slow stride again on the path to her house. The forest had remained dead silent, all except for the whispers of winds.
As soon as she reached the near end of the forest, a sigh of relief left her lips. She was glad to be almost home and out of the dreary forest. Her
thoughts were invaded by a bloodcurdling scream from behind her. Quickly she peered over her shoulder seeing a new set of yellow orbs staring into
her soul. Flashing the light to view the creature she believed to be another rabbit, her stomach became rotted.
Suddenly, standing a few feet away from her was a wolf towering over a
rabbit barely moving. The vile metallic smell of blood hit her nose leaving a bitter taste in her mouth. The wolf must have been on one of its nightly
hunts. Crimson covered the wolfs once angelic fur. It peered back down at its prey watching it struggle and with a quick crunch it had brought death to the poor creature. Its yellow orbs again peered into the girlsâ€™ also to seem like it
was deciding on whether doing something. The girl felt like the wolf was the Grim Reaper and was deciding if she should live or die this night.
After what almost felt like forever to the poor girl, the wolf picked up the
lifeless body of the rabbit and walked away into the black abyss of the night. Without a second thought the girl bolted out the forest and fast as one of
Zeusâ€™s lightning bolts until she was on her front porch. Struggling with her
keys and shaky hands to unlock her door, she finally managed to get into her house and slamming the door behind her. After locking it she slid down the down, taking deep breaths, waiting for her air to catch up to her.
Immediately, her face turned ghostly as she recalled the close encounter she had with Death only moments ago. The girl sat leaning against the door for what felt like eternity. She could not forget the scream of the rabbit or the metallic smell of its blood. It brought an acidic taste to her throat and felt
sick. Her whole body trembled like a leaf being blown on a tree branch. Still
in the long run, she was in relief that the wolf had decided on leaving instead of taking her down like the rabbit.
Should the federal minimum wage be increased? Shahran Choudhury
If we take a moment to look back at our life, we would find a moment
when we thought we received much less than we deserved. Can the same thing be said about the federal minimum wage which is $7.25 an hour? The federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times by Congress,
most recently in 2009 when it went from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour (Rugaber, 2016). Should it be raised once again? Do people deserve more than $7.25 per hour? Is this amount enough for people to support their families? Do people need more money?
Even though money is consid-
ered one of the most essential things for living, many people
say it can also be the root of all evil. Without money, we think
we are helpless, we think we are going to be in poverty (Dyerâ€™s PowerPoint, 2014). But is the
root of all evil actually money?
To get money we need to work. To work we need to get em-
ployed. But are all employees payed equally? According to
Racial, gender wage gaps persist in the U.S. despite some progress (2016).
We can say that race and gender plays a big factor how much a person gets payed. Looking at the statistics, we can say that white men earn more than
black and Hispanic men and all groups of women, except for Asian men and women (Patten, 2016). Even though all of them might have the same experience and education, they are still payed differently. So, is money the root of all evil or are the people who
are giving out the money? Is it the
economy that needs to be changed or the federal minimum wage that needs to increase?
I believe that the federal minimum wage should be increased and the economy should be changed. I
think the federal minimum should be increased to $15.37 an hour
from $7.25. According to the Department of Numbers (2015), the
average rent in America is $959 per month for a one-bedroom apart69 >
ment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015), Americans work an average of 38.6 hours per week. Getting the minimum wage of $7.25, that person would only get around $1120 per month. That amount would
hardly be sufficient for a person to maintain all their expenses throughout
the month. Raising the federal minimum wage to $15.37 an hour would help those people out a lot.
Even if the federal minimum wage is raised to $15.37, will it actually solve the social problem of poverty in the U.S.? I do not think so, because only
870,000 workers earned exactly the minimum wage, and 1.7 million had
wages below the minimum wage, altogether they make up about 3.3% of
all the hourly paid workers in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics,
2015), which is really not a big number. Raising the federal minimum wage would help make things better for those few people.
The official poverty rate in the U.S. is about 13.5 %, based on the U.S. Census Bureauâ€™s (2015) estimates. That year, an estimated 43.1 million Americans
lived in poverty according to the official measure. The poverty rate is about 10% higher than those who are receiving the minimum wage. I do believe that the minimum wage should be increased, but I do beive itâ€™s the main
reason for the social problem of poverty in the U.S., but it does play a role in it. I think the main reason is the weak economy and lack of education.
Americaâ€™s weak economy has caused an increase in unemployment. Some companies have been forced to cut jobs or even close their doors for business. Others have chosen to ship their factories overseas in order to save
money by hiring foreign workers at a much lower wage than American work-
ers. All of these decisions by companies were a direct result of the economy, and without cutting jobs or moving them overseas, these companies would have most likely shut their doors too (Haveman, 2013). With the companies moving overseas, many people became unemployed and eventually were not able to support themselves, let alone their families. The other major
factor of unemployment is the lack of education. Many people in the U.S. are part of the lower-class family and cannot afford to go to college. Therefore
the only jobs they can get are low paying with little to no benefits, and then they have to support themselves and their families on a low salary (Have-
man, 2013). These jobs are getting cut or moving overseas so the company can save money by hiring foreign workers at a much lower pay. Because of this, it becomes very difficult for lower class Americans to find jobs, which eventually leads them to poverty.
There are many debates on whether the federal minimum wage should be increased, regardless of its affects on the social problem of poverty. I am in favor of raising the federal minimum wage, because it can help those
few people who are receiving the federal minimum wage worry less about
poverty, and not cause the poverty rate in the U.S. to get higher. But the fact
remains that just increasing the federal minimum wage is not going the solve the social problem of poverty. The U.S. economy has to improve.
“Celery”, Bill Tite
Does the Affordable Care Act need to be reformed? Zihan Ahmed
As humans, we differ from one another in many ways. Culture, ethnicity, statues, etc., but we also have many things in common. One of which is health.
Whether we are rich or poor, we all get sick. The difference between the rich
and the poor concerning their health is when the rich get sick, they can easily get treated and the poor cannot. Because of this, a few countries around
the world have made health care systems so that everyone can get treated
when they get sick. This system is really beneficial for the poor. One of those countries is the United States of America. The U.S. has made a health care program called the Affordable Care Act for people with low incomes. But
does the Affordable Care Act solve most of the health care problems for the people with low income? Does the Affordable Care Act solve some of the
main problems in the U.S. health care such as, inadequate health insurance, the high cost of health care, and inadequate mental health care?
One of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to expand insur-
ance coverage, and ultimately, increase access to care. The ACA expanded Medicaid coverage in participating states to all nonelderly adults with
incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL), about $16,000 for an individual or $33,500 for a family of four. It also provides subsidized
insurance through the health care marketplaces for small businesses and
individuals without access to employment-based insurance. Since the ACAâ€™s first open enrollment period during the Fall of 2013, the number of uninsured
Americans has fallen from 41 million to 27 million (Glied, 2017). Thanks to the ACA, many people who were not able to visit the doctor, hospital, or other
health care provider, are now able to. A recent Commonwealth Fund survey found that 72% of those enrolled in a marketplace plan or in Medicaid had
used their insurance to visit a doctor, hospital, or other health care provider. More than half said they would not have been able to access or afford care
before getting coverage through the ACA. There is also evidence to suggest that the ACA has significantly reduced health disparities between racial and ethnic groups (Glied, 2017).
Even though the Affordable Care Act has many benefits, it also has its fair
share of drawbacks. One of those things is the cost of the ACA. It is true that the person who is receiving the ACA does not have to pay for it, but it does not mean another person in the family who is making an income and is not receiving ACA does not. Medicaid is a welfare program for the poor, blind
and disabled. Medicare is a welfare program for the elderly. Both of these programs are used to help them pay for their health care (MDHHS, 2017).
Almost everyone 65 and older can qualify for Medicare. For older Americans, it is said that 23% of their total family income on medical care is spent out of their pocket. That is an enormous amount of money being spent for health 72 >
reasons (Walker, 2016). The government pays a huge amount for health care, cur-
rently 43%. The insurance companies pay
one third and the consumer pays about one fifth of the cost. Problems with this are that
many families cannot afford it at all, and the numbers keep increasing (Walker, 2016).
Compared to other industrialized nations
such as Canada, Australia, Japan, Iceland, New England, etc., the U.S. spends the
most money on health care (Dyerâ€™s Pow-
erPoint, 2014). Even though we spend the most money on health care compared to the other nations, we have less healthier
populations compared to them. Our infant
mortality rate is higher compared to theirs, and we also have a lower life expectancy compared to the other countries (Dyerâ€™s PowerPoint, 2014).
Many of these reasons can be due to our food choices and lifestyles. Another reason can be because of the way our health care industry is organized and financed compared to other industrialized countries.
The other industrialized countries use a common fee schedule so that
hospitals, doctors, and health services are paid similar rates for most of the patients they see, as opposed to the U.S. where how much a health care
service gets paid depends on the kind of insurance a patient has. This means that health care services can choose patients who have an insurance policy
that pays them more generously than other patients who have lower paying insurers, such as Medicaid (Kane, 2012). Because of this many hospitals,
doctors, and health services do not accept Medicaid. This then makes the options limited for those who have Medicaid. In the United States, 1 in 5 U.S. adults
experience mental illness and 1 in 20 had
a serious mental illness. Most of them are usually men (Dyerâ€™s PowerPoint, 2014).
Men usually have mental illnesses because of their pride. Men tend to not want to
visit the doctor and fight through the pain because they believe that the pain will
eventually go away. In most cases this is
true but many times the smallest pain can mean something much bigger then it can 73 >
let on. Another reason can be because of the limited options for those who
have Medicaid, since many of these mental health issues require you to see
a specialist. Those who have Medicaid often have to travel a longer distance
because neighborhood hospitals, doctors, and health services do not accept Medicaid (Newkirk II, 2017). Since most people do not usually want to travel
the distance, they tend to convince themselves that it is really nothing when it could actually be life threatening. This is all thanks to the way the U.S. health care industry is organized and financed.
Other than the U.S., many industrialized countries have made it a right to
guarantee health care to all its people. Because of this many people are in fa-
vor of the idea Senator Bernie Sanders suggests: the single-payer health care system (Schallhorn, 2017). In this system Americans are not given health care as a privilege, but as a right. The government serves as the sole payer for
health care costs. Like the current health care law and recent GOP proposals to overhaul it, single-payer plans are controversial (Schallhorn, 2017).
Sanderâ€™s Medicare for all plan will take about four years for it to be imple-
mented. In the first year, the plan would call for the improvement of tradi-
tional Medicare for seniors and people with disabilities by covering dental, vision, and hearing aids, things that are not covered under the current law.
The plan would also allow children under the age of 18 to enroll in the Medicare for All program in the initial stage of implementation. Through the first
three years, Sanderâ€™s plan would increase the eligibility for Medicare. By the fourth year, Universal Medicare would be expanded to everyone. Keeping
in line with a large promise of ACA, Sanderâ€™s plan promises that Americans
will be able to choose their health care providers. The plan also promises to
lower the costs of prescription drugs (Schallhorn, 2017). This plan is still getting debated as we speak. Many republicans are against it because it would
affect government spending by placing taxes on the rich 1% who own about 50% of the U.S. wealth, and with Trump in the office all we can do is keep our fingers crossed.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many Americans who were not able to
visit the doctor now can. It helps Americans with low income in many ways, but it still has not solved many of the major U.S. health care problems. The reason is because of how the U.S. health care industry is organized and
financed. That is where the biggest problem lies. This is why I am in favor of
the single-payer health care system. That way many Americans will have the flexibility of choosing their health care providers. That way many of the main
U.S. health care problems such as inadequate health insurance, the high cost of health care, and inadequate mental health care will have a better chance at being fixed.
Works Cited Sherry A. Glied. “Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Health Care Access.” Commonwealthfund.org, 8 May 2017, http://www.commonwealthfund.
org/publications/issue-briefs/2017/may/effect-aca-health-care-access. 15 February 2018.
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS). “Health Care
Programs Eligibility.” Michigan.gov, 9 October 2017, http://www.michigan.
gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71547_4860-35199--,00.html. 15 February 2018. Doug Walker. “An Increase in Social Security Benefits in 2017” Blog.ssa.gov, 18 October 2017, https://blog.ssa.gov/an-increase-in-social-security-benefits-in-2017/. 15 February 2018.
Kimberly Amadeo. “Is Obamacare Worth It?” Thebalance.com, 1 August
2017, https://www.thebalance.com/obamacare-pros-and-cons-3306059. 15 February 2018.
Consumerreports.org. “Why is health care so expensive?:“Why it’s so high,
how it affects your wallet and yes, what you can do about it.”” Consumerreports.org, 1 September 2014, https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/11/it-is-time-to-get-mad-about-the-outrageous-cost-of-healthcare/index.htm. 15 February 2018.
Jason Kane. “Health Costs: How the U.S. Compares With Other Countries.”
Pbs.org, 22 October 2012, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/healthcosts-how-the-us-compares-with-other-countries/. 15 February 2018. Vann R. Newkirk II. “How the American Health Care Act Would Affect
Mental-Health Coverage: “The Republican bill would decrease access for millions, and in the process, dismantle the tools used to fight substance
abuse.”” Theatlantic.com, 26 May 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/poli-
tics/archive/2017/05/how-the-american-health-care-act-would-affect-mental-health-coverage/528291/. 15 February 2018.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn. “Single-payer health care: What is it?” Foxnews.com,
20 September 2017, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/09/20/singlepayer-health-care-what-is-it.html. 15 February 2018.
Spanish kissing Melody Momper It was less than a year ago today that I went to Granada Spain, and it has
left me with enough stories to write several novels. I could talk about the Spanish Gelato, rides on the back of a motorcycle, Friday night drinks, or
even about the insane amount of people who come into the city every day looking to get hitched. Yet what I am going to tell you about it something
that shocked me almost immediately upon my arrival, Spanish kissing. You
would never believe how complicated kissing can be in Spain. But you don’t need to worry because I am about to walk you through everything I know
about the intricacies of a Spanish kiss, starting with two kisses on a cheek, a single kiss on the cheek, and a kiss on the lips.
Before I continue I want to make clear who exactly is kissing who. It is the
rule that hangs over all the others I am about to talk about. This rule is gender. Gender is what you have to keep in mind when determining if you are
going to kiss someone. Girls can kiss girls and boys can kiss girls, but boys
never kiss other boys. Instead, you will see the two of them shake hands in a way of greeting. The only times they will kiss is if they are family or they
have a really close friendship that resembles family in its own way. This is
yet another complex layer to the proper way of kissing someone in Spain. When I first got off of the bus in Spain, I was greeted by my host family. It
was a blur of grabbing bags and people waving hello. My first introduction
was with my host’s father. He came right up, leaning in, and gave me a kiss
on both cheeks. Never before in my 18 years of life has anyone kissed me on both cheeks, let alone an older man! However, that is a normal occurrence
in Spain when greeting someone for the first time. The two cheek kiss is for
greeting someone you don’t know or have just met. Typically you start it off by leaning to your left then going to kiss them on the right. As an American, I was greatly shocked by this because kissing of any kind is for people who are deeply familiar with each other and not for strangers.
Now the next kind of kiss is only on one cheek. You might think that knowing someone for longer would mean more kisses but that is not the case. After
knowing someone a while they stop being a stranger and become a friend or an acquaintance who you kiss once on the cheek in greeting and parting. In
fact, if you try to kiss them a second time on the cheek it can come across as rude. Yet what you need to keep in mind, is that the rules of kissing are the same. You start by leaning in left, except this time you don’t lean right and
kiss their cheek. So, by the time I had finally started to get the hang of all the
Spanish kissing, I was thrown for a loop once again. Even greeting a friend in Spain is complicated by this simple yet complex greeting. The next kind of kiss throws cheeks out the window entirely and moves on to your mouth. As straightforward as you may think this one may be, it is not. Yes, family members will kiss each other on the lips and so will significant others. 76 >
Although, what you may not have considered is how children greet each
other at this age. Talking with my host in Spain he grew up kissing his friend
(who happens to be a girl) on the lips all the time. It was found totally acceptable and not something perverse in any way. Though if that was seen here there would be phone calls home to the parents. However, to them, a kiss
was the equivalent of a hug or handshake. Though as they both grew older
and into their teens, they moved towards greeting each other with a hug in-
stead. Yet, even a simple kiss on the lips has different rules and expectations in Spain than it does in the United States.
Kissing is not as simple as one two three. Instead, there is a long list of ac-
ceptable etiquette that you must remember at all times. This way you don’t kiss a stranger once and a friend twice, or lean right when you should lean
left. All that you need to remember if you kiss someone in Spain is to kiss a stranger twice, a friend once, and people you are really familiar with on the lips. This is the proper way to kiss in Spain.
Mya’s illustration is from a series she calls “Mama Skillet”. The name of the tiny girl is Colby and she lives in a world called Ebria, along with her sister Bri and Mama Mein. This scene depicts Colby’s messy lifestyle and her love for food.
“Mama Skillet”, Mya Thomas
What Dairy Queen workers really think Sierra Spehek Customers are always right, even when they are wrong. Many people come to fast food places and expect to be treated like royalty, but that isn’t the
case. I have been working at Dairy Queen for more than a year and I know
the ins and outs and the do’s and don’ts of what I can do for the customer. I have had problems with rude customers who come in and think they are right, so here are just a few reasons why customers are wrong.
When I take orders, I ask many questions to make sure the customer gets what they want. For example, I will say, “do you want everything on your burger,“ or, “what size would you like your blizzard?“ So, when someone
comes in and orders a small M&M blizzard with vanilla ice cream (which is
made with vanilla ice cream, crushed up M&Ms, and chocolate sauce,) I will then ask the person if they want the chocolate sauce in it. They will say yes so, I make it like normal. After I pass out their blizzard they will come back
up to me and say, “I asked for vanilla ice cream!” I would then have to fix the “mistake “ and make it with no chocolate sauce . So, in the end I was wrong because I gave them what they wanted and they ended up not wanting it. Now let’s talk about our food menu. At Dairy Queen we have this thing
called 5-buck lunch, which is chicken strips or a burger, fries, drink, and a
small sundae. Dairy Queen advertises that it goes all day, but in reality, it is
up to the owner of the franchise as when it ends. Either it goes all day or ends at 4 pm, at my work it ends at 4 o’clock. If I ring it up after 4 o’clock I can get
in trouble, so when someone comes in after 4 and tries to order it we politely say the button is out of our system and we can’t do anything about it. Even if the customer asks to speak to my manager, he will say the exact same thing to them. My favorite line is when someone comes in and says, “I came here
last week and I was able to get the 5-buck lunch at 6 o’clock.” I can promise
you that they are lying because everyone at work knows it ends at 4 and will not touch the button after it’s over. So, sorry I was wrong because you came in late and I can’t ring up the lunch special for you.
Moving onto our discount policies. If you have a military ID or a discount
card, we can give you 10% off your total. There are a few things we can’t give a discount on which is the 5-buck lunch and happy hour items. This is a cor-
porate rule, not the owners’ of the store. If we wanted to change the rule, we can’t. The reason why we can’t give out the discount is because the price is
so low already that we would be losing money if we gave a discount to every 5-buck lunch or happy hour item. Every employee, even if they don’t know how to take orders, knows we can’t give people the discount.
Dairy Queen has a thing where we flip the blizzards upside down to prove
how thick the ice cream is. If we don’t flip at least one blizzard on every order we would have to give you a free blizzard on the same trip. At my store we get extremely busy during the summer and we have lines out of the door. 78 >
In the drive thru we can easily get a line of twenty cars or more. When we
pass out the ice cream we have to make sure we pass it out before it melts, which on a hot summer day we have a minute or two to pass out a cone.
So, because we are so busy and we’re moving so fast to make sure all the
customers are happy with their service and their ice cream isn’t melted we just don’t have the time to flip the blizzards on every order. It may seem
like we’re just mean, but if you want your ice cream thick we just can’t flip
it. Please don’t get upset at the workers, it’s not our rule it’s our manager’s. But if you are polite we may just flip it for you. If you say you would work here just to flip a blizzard we would hire you, but have fun delivering ice
cream and food. Instead, be ready to: help take orders; know the difference between blizzards that look exactly the same; find the correct place for the order; clean up after every customer; and, deal with angry customers who say we messed up. Also, don’t forget to smile when in reality... YOU JUST WANT TO SCREAM. In the wise words of one of my coworkers, “If you know so
much, punch in and do it for me.” Remember, we are humans too and we may make mistakes, but we will do our best to fix it for you. But do not come in and expect us to do something for you when you know we can’t do it , or
say we did something wrong but in reality, you know we didn’t. The workers at the store will try their best to do what you ask, but sometimes they can’t do what you ask.
MACOMB COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES Jennifer Haase, Chairperson Frank Cusumano, Vice Chairperson Katherine Lorenzo, Secretary Roseanne DiMaria, Treasurer Kristi Dean, Trustee Joseph DeSantis, Trustee Vincent Viviano, Trustee James O. Sawyer, IV, Ed.D., College President
The Macomb Community College journal of student words and images.