In her reflection in the bathroom mirror, Ashley searched for her mother. She surveyed her face, looking for features she knew weren’t there. Her tired eyes remained the wrong shade, her nose too small, her cheekbones unrefined. Despite her efforts to fabricate similarities between them, her reflection refused to change. Her older sisters, with their towering height, tight blonde curls, and clear blue eyes, were their mother’s spitting image, a feat Ashley had desired her entire life. Having just turned thirty, they had a little over a decade before they’d live longer than mom ever had, and even then they’ll still see themselves in each other. Soon Ashely wouldn’t even look like herself. “You and me,” her mom used to tell her, “we’re the same on the inside, deep down where it matters most.” It used to comfort her; now she laughed at the irony. Continue reading “Reflection by Deanna Krikorian”
For one of my classes I was assigned a piece on a pop-punk band that had started a tour around the United States. I had never heard of the band, or of the venue for that matter. Neither of those things surprised me because I am not an avid pop-punk fan, and the music venue is in a town an hour north of where I live. So I thought there should be no reason to worry about what I might get myself into. This was my last journalism class, and I didn’t want one of the last memories of this degree to be me half-heartedly working on an assignment that I had no passion for. Plus, I had done fairly well in all of my courses; I wanted to continue that pattern if I could. I was going to do my damnedest to make the experience of completing this piece something that would equate to more emotion in the final piece.
The day of the concert I looked up the address of the venue, but found nothing. I thought there may have been a chance the owners were old-school and didn’t believe in using a website; I wasn’t sure what the pop-punk crowd was into. I opted to call them instead. A man picked up and I asked where the venue was. Instead of giving me the address he asked who I was. Strange. I told him I was a student trying to cover a band playing there, and that I had gotten his phone number from one of my classmates. He asked me if I was the police. I told him no, and he begrudgingly gave me the address. This worried me a little bit, but not enough to deter me from going. I did the thing that all people who get killed in horror movies do; I justified everything creepy that happened by concluding it was just coincidence. Continue reading “Turns Out, I Would Risk My Life For A Grade by Olive Riley”
Lent 2017: Junior Year
When looking at my schedule outlined in my planner, with the highlighted notes and cramped handwriting, I try to think of what else I am missing. Did I write down that meeting with my advisor? Did I ever respond to the three emails my boss sent me today? How long is today’s recruitment meeting? Will I have enough time to grab dinner with my roommates? I can’t cancel again. Did I ever respond to my boyfriend’s text? Has that due date been moved for the paper? Or did I miswrite that? What wasn’t recorded from the emails that I recently received? What if somebody told me something in person that I don’t remember?
I was busy, but I was the sort of person who thrived on being busy. It gave me a purpose. I knew my schedule was bad when my roommate asked me what I was giving up for Lent. Continue reading “My Schedule and Me: The End of Love by Madeline Miller”
While the existence of trauma for adults is a major topic of study and accepted as a true issue, adolescents deal with their trauma while enduring the reactions of a society that does not believe in the legitimacy of their feelings. Youth are “more likely to experience impairment than adults” from trauma, and without support from their parents or community, their trauma symptoms intensify. The adolescent mind remains an important but often unacknowledged space, craving understanding. Young adult fiction provides an avenue to understand adolescent mindsets and critique parental behavior. Throughout young adult literature, adolescent narrators deal with trauma, prompting them to isolate from family, friends, and their community. Differing depictions of isolation emphasize nuances in adolescent experience where seclusion is a tool with varying outcomes. Texts, such as Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, showcase isolation’s role in adolescent trauma, magnifying youth’s unacknowledged complexities and adults’ complicity. Adults within young adult fiction and within reality need to be more cognizant of the struggles of adolescents, but these texts also demand that readers view isolating behaviors holistically, realizing the depth of young adult experience. Continue reading “Isolation and Parental Attachment in Adolescence: Young Adult Fiction as a Window by Madison Glennie”
I have four sisters. I have zero biological brothers. But I had one legally bound brother—my brother in law, Dion. He died this summer. Three days before he died we had our first and last fight. Continue reading “On Pain and Remedy by Sydney Moore”