Sometimes, It’s Hard to Walk Away

indexWriting is built on relationships. Writing is composed, constructed, resurrected, and thrown together with a relationship in mind. In literature, readers -myself included- are quick to judge the characters without in depth analysis or benefit of the doubt to the situation unfolding. As readers you place your struggles and the concepts of your own personal relationships into the text, sometimes letting it overshadow the new way of thinking the writer wants you to experience.

For example, last year, I read the book Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston. This book is sewn together with beautiful language as it follows the life of Janie, a mixed race woman in the early 1900s. Though I connected to the strength and determination the main character had the entire time in the book, I couldn’t understand why she stayed married to a man who abused her. Even after reading this book, I weighed the argument that Janie had a nice life married to a pastor but was muted into submission by him. I didn’t understand why she didn’t just pack her stuff and leave. As a senior in high school I have already begun to mentally pack my bags for college and have grown to understand Janie. I’ve learned that even when the front door is open it’s hard to leave the people and the place you’ve called home for so long, that there is a relationship you have to even the drippy faucet you’ll only notice when you’re gone.

As the year progresses I take the idea on relationships Hurston gave her character Janie and now look for it in other stories. Relationships run deep. They don’t need to be subjected to a list of archetypical characters. In the long run, they are really hard to walk away from.

-Chrissy Thelemann, Submissions Editor

Senior Year

r-HIGH-SCHOOL-COLLEGE-COSTS-large570Being a senior, it’s often hard to think of the last time something was not beginning. A new test, a college application, a new email, etc. But I have recently been trying to teach myself that beginnings are not always troublesome; they happen for a reason. I was recently accepted to the college of my choice. I was attempting to create a password for my new account with them. I had so much trouble with it that I had to call the help desk. I was so entirely frustrated and ready to give up, but the girl on the other line was kind enough to set my password for me. It was a two minute phone call. So, you are asking why I am telling you this? Because it took me that long to figure out how lucky I am to be able to go to college. There I was, sitting on my nice couch, in my warm home, complaining to no end about something out of my control. I had to stop and think about my life this year. Have you ever counted how many times a day you complain about anything at all? For me, the number would be astronomical. I have decided to do more with my days as a senior than complain constantly about trivial things. I will complain about math tests for sure (that cannot be avoided), but I will try to focus on all of the beginnings that my senior year has brought to me. I can’t wait to graduate and start the next part of my education, but for now, I want to take each day as it comes. I want to focus on the opportunities that I receive and I want to learn to be more thankful for what I learn from this year.

-Sarah Buckman, Editor-in-Chief 

On What’s to Come

1392390538DouglasAndersonThe first semester of my senior year has just finished. I will never have another first day of high school, I will never be scared of my school’s mascot -a hideous puffin- at orientation, or be forced to take another Douglas Anderson-style mid-term again. I will also never have another poetry class with Mrs. Melanson, never hear “So, my children…” with a flourish of her hand as she explains just how synesthesia reflects on life as a whole. It’s bittersweet.

I’ve just started Senior Fiction, it is day three and I’m already waiting to see my prose grow the way my poetry did in the semester prior. Writing story starts, reading flash fiction- it feels weird. So far, what I’ve realized is that the most interesting part to every beginning, is the ending it leaves behind.

I first realized just how true this was when I began “Casual Vacancy,” by J.K. Rowling. The story starts when a man dies, and the entire town learns about his death. They feel things about it, their lives are changed by it and new things happen to them through it. The end of a man’s life became the beginning for so many other things. After this realization, I started thinking about other stories I’d read, other myths and parables I’d been taught. Adam and Eve begin life on Earth after their lives as angels end; monarchies are squished to bring forth republics, if Hester Prynne is going to raise her child, her good reputation and even her infatuation with the baby’s father has to be over. Sometimes good endings lead to bad beginnings, and sometimes it takes a little tragedy to bring the dawn in.

I’ve often thought about being a history teacher after school, and with that idea in mind, it’s really hard for me to “leave the past in the past.” We, of course, shouldn’t hold onto the past, we should grow from where we’ve come. But at the same time, as we start a new year, a new semester or job or relationship or short story, I think it’s important to reflect on where we -or the character’s we’re writing about- have come from. It’s important to know how all of the things that are constantly ending, relate with what’s to come.

-Savannah Thanscheidt, Web Editor