for performing knowledge
by Nicole Johnson
Honestly, I did not mean to fall into poetry. As a child, poetry had always piqued my curiosity, but I never thought I could write like the authors I had read. My first small challenge for myself started because of a contest, sponsored by Poetry.com. I created this challenge by trying my hardest to rhyme, to fall into a good rhythm, and to make it lengthy. I had written a few poems prior to this, but they were short and very few rhymed; I felt I could do much better. The paper just absorbed the words from my pencil as they flowed from my brain; it was a strong link, a chain that could not be broken. My topic was my cat, Mickey; he is my baby, and I love him very dearly. After I finally finished, I read it over and made some tweaks and changes until I felt completely satisfied. I sent it in, never really expecting to hear something back from them, but I still had that little flicker of hope.
My Cat, Mickey
Looking at me with those big, green eyes,
it makes me so happy, I want to cry.
Always looking up to me, my best, truthful friend,
always wanting to play with almost no end.
You always brighten up my day,
in just about every single way,
comforting and missing me,
I think you’d cry if I went across the sea.
I always know you’re truthful, my extra special friend,
until you go away, I never want our fun to end.
Looking back on it now, I think it sounds silly, and I can almost feel the childishness coming from it. It is easy to tell that I wrote this when I was younger, but I still conveyed my main point. I love my cat dearly, and I always will. While I can probably write a better poem now to show my feelings, I still will stick with this one: basic, silly, and straight to the point. It was my first step towards a great beginning in poem writing. When I received a letter a couple of months later, in December,
by Danielle Boggs
Nature: open, clear, free, innocent. What are the benefits of a wandering mind? When one is left completely alone, what becomes important? When there are no cell phones to text, no calls to answer, no games to play, and no people to distract you, what enters your mind? Relationships? The past? The future? Why are distractions so important? Maybe they dissuade heavy thoughts from troubling your mind. Values are something that should come of extreme importance to each individual, yet are so easily changed by society. A seemingly simple walk changed my values, if only for a brief reoccurring period of time.
My childhood home was a simple one. But as any place, the more time one spends there, the more complicated it becomes. Overtime, the rooms themselves can cause tension. Even the front porch now clouds my mind with chaos. I move to the back of the house to overlook the countryside. Still, the house lingers over me, pressing its black shadow against my back. I stand up and begin to walk. Having no real direction, I march down the big hill through the knee-high wild oat grass. After a few minutes, I reach the creek running at the bottom; I follow its lead. Not long after, my German Sheppard, Sawyer, deserts me for the chase of a rabbit. I am now completely alone. The further I walk, the more the static in my head clears. Still hugging the creek, my boots are slowly getting heavier due to the mud clinging to them. I stop for a second to find a place to sit and clean them, so I can continue walking; that’s when I see the stand.
It stands about fifteen feet in the air. Bracing the tree, it looks as if it could hold an army. I slowly pace around the tree until … .
Prepping Drums for Recording by Keith Rawlings
“Most engineers would probably agree that recording a drum kit is one of the most challenging studio tasks” (Steve La Cerra, 24).
As recording drums is a naturally difficult task, every small detail must be accounted for. Included in this list of details are the acoustics of the drums themselves. As La Cerra notes “Obtaining a high-quality recording is a struggle when you start with a source that sounds bad” (24). In more simple terms, the higher the performance from the drum, the easier it is to obtain a high-quality recording. Engineers worry about mic placement, and mic/preamp combination’s, but the real difference in drum recording comes before you plug in the electronics. The article “Prepping Drums for Recording” in Tape Op #79, by Steve La Cerra gives many tips to help fix the small problems the common engineer has with recording drums.
There are many different parts of a drum that could produce a positive or negative effect, the most noticeable usually the bearing edge. The bearing edge is the part of the shell the head rests on. On older drums, such as drums made before the 1970’s, the bearing edge was round and wide. Today’s drums consist of a sharp and narrow edge. This edge must be the correct shape, as its job is to support a vibrating element without changing the motion of that element. A flaw in this edge could potentially cause a buzz or rattle as the drum is struck. Some shells have bad edges from being crafted wrong; others can also slowly lose shape as the wood warps or dents. It is important to be sure that with your drum, this is not the case.
by Charity McDonald
High school football is one of the biggest things in the United States. Almost everyone has experienced a high school football game. Those who have not are missing out. Not only does it involve football athletes, but marching band members, parents, gridiron fundraisers, and fans in general. The experience is one not only for the players, but for anyone in attendance, no matter the outcome of the game. Football is an American pastime.
You see the lights from miles away. Bright lights stand above the fields and buildings. The closer you get, you can see cars lined up in every space around the field. You walk to the line and wait to get in. Student prices, adult prices, hand stamps, and programs are all displayed in one booth. Two windows have moms behind them trying to get everyone in before the kick-off.
Once you are through the booths, your senses get the best of you. You smell popcorn, hot chocolate and pretzels. You hear cheers, screams, and chatter all around. Your eyes adjust to the lights as the field lights blind you when you walk past the booth. There are children all around, running and playing, playing football mostly. What your step! Candy and soda bottles are lying in a pile on the ground, where the kids have left them to play football.
You feel uncomfortable. You are on the wrong side, the opponents’ side.
by Jonathan Tyler Hicks-Oliver
For as long as I can remember, I have been writing. I guess you can say it started in the church. When I was younger, I always had a thing for poetry. I loved the way a poet could put words together. With a different combination of words one can paint a master piece, a picture so detailed it is almost like the audience is there in the moment. That is what true writing is about: painting a picture, taking a person there. Writing should be filled with passion, flavor, essence, description, and imagery. How can a person fathom what you speak of without these things? The answer is, they can’t.
I used to love early Sunday mornings when I would wake up to the smell of bacon, eggs, and pancakes. My mother can make the best breakfast, which is probably why it is one of my favorite meals of the day. I would race my sister downstairs, the two of us fighting the whole way. It would be funny, too, because my mom would say “wash those hands!”So whoever made it to the kitchen first lost, because the bathroom was before the kitchen. I would fill my face, then go upstairs and look over the clothes my mother had laid out the night before.
I would get dressed and start to go over my poems. At one point and time, I actually had a journal. I would write at the most random times,
by Eleazar Uriostegui
Even at a young age, we always have the habit of asking why. Most kids go through the stage of asking why to everything they are told. As we get older and go through school, one word answers are never enough. We also have to answer why. But what if there is no higher meaning or greater purpose? Why isn’t “just because” ever a good enough answer? We always give meaning to everything to justify things or just to give it a purpose, even if there is not a real purpose. In the book, The Stranger, by Albert Camus, a man struggles with society due to his lack of higher reasoning behind his actions. He just accepts things as they are and goes with the flow of life, without really attaching any morals, meanings, emotions, or purpose to everything going on around him.
The Stranger is about a man by the name of Meursault and what he goes through later in his life. The novel starts off with Meursault finding out about his mother’s death by a telegram and being told when the funeral is. After going to the funeral, he returns home and treats the next day like any other day. He does not spend time mourning his mother’s death. He goes to the swimming pool, where he runs into Marie Cardona. Marie had been a typist at the place where he works. They end up spending their time at the pool together and then going to a movie later that evening. She spends the night at his place and is gone by the next morning. He continues to live his life normally, and then one day meets one of his neighbors by the name of Raymond. Meursault and Raymond end up becoming friends, and Meursault is brought into Raymond’s dealings as a pimp. Meursault witnesses Raymond beat up one of his women and is asked to take the stand at Raymond’s hearing.
by Verlisa Shanklin
Why is it that we, as an African American culture, find movies that stereotype us in every way, funny? Is it because we relate to them or are these movies just pure comedy with no harm? As I look back, I think about how funny these movies are, but what is going on in these movies? There’s one movie in particular “Don’t Be a Menace” to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, with many African American stereotypes that are meant to be funny.
Don’t Be a Menace is a satire of different black movies, such as “Menace to Society”,” Boys in the Hood” and Higher Learning.” Each of these movies gives you an insight into the struggles of black men and black culture in the hood. However, these movies do not satirize issues, as does Don’t Be a Menace. In Don’t Be a Menace, every scene shown is full of comedy and meant to make you laugh. Don’t Be a Menace was written by and starred Shawn and Marlon Wayans. In this movie, Shawn Wayans plays the main character, named Ashtray. Ashtray goes back to the place where he grew up, after his mother tells him he needs to go live with his father. Mother: “now you know ain’t no positive black women in this movie”. That’s when she sends him packing, where he lives with his father. The crazy thing is, his father is younger than him and can’t teach him anything. Also, he actually takes care of his father and ends up reading him a bedtime story. This scene is a satire of a scene from Boys In the Hood, where a mother sends her only son to go live with his father, so that he can get the man-figure he needs. However, Ashtray gets the opposite guidance.
In the hood, Ashtray is confronted with his past, friends, and family. One person in particular is his friend Loc Dog, who is portrayed as a weed smoking, uneducated, 40 ounce drinker gangster, living at his mother’s house. Ashtray hangs around Loc Dog, Preach, and Crazy Legs, who tries to teach him about living in the hood.
When it comes to grandparents, the words love, passion, and caring come to mind. My grandpa isn’t the most fascinating person, but to me fascinating is an understatement. Now 56, he has worked at the same job every day since he was 18. No extraordinary job. Just getting by on an average person’s wage. Then I came along and had no father, and he jumped right into father figure mode for me. He has picked me up when I was down, told me what I was doing wrong, and always helped me out when I needed it. I remember just how he shaped me into the person I am today. The memories of him as my baseball coach will always stick out to me. During daily practices, he was there to show me what I was doing wrong and help me better myself. After years of him doing that, I realized that he was not just making me a better pitcher but a better person as well.
Robert Alan Stone, my grandpa, was there all my life not only as a grandfather but a father, coach, and mentor. When I was little, I used to watch baseball games with him and talk about the sport, so I could learn what was going on. He taught me the sport and showed me how to play the game right. When he began coaching me, there were many things that stuck out in my mind that he did not only to make me a better person but a better pitcher as well. It is very hard to pick just one memory that was very significant my life. The best thing that I remember was a regular season game that I was the starting pitcher in against our rival team from across town that many of my friends had played on.
It was the first inning as I walked out to the mound …
by Jessica Auten
The day began much like any other Sunday. The only thing that was significant about this particular Sunday was the band performing that evening. One Brick Short performed at Common Grounds; the fliers had been up for a week or two before the event took place. The flier really drew me in – a simple picture of a brick wall with one brick missing, and a picture of an octopus over it. It also said they would start at 6pm. Seeing as they did not actually start until 7pm, I don’t think they got the memo. I can’t complain, though, since I didn’t walk in until about 6:45.
The songs they played were hit-and-miss with me; I loved some of their songs and I hated others. They were all mixed together, so that I had to sit through the bad ones because I knew a good one was coming up. They played several covers, including “Pretty Woman” and “Bad Romance,” and they were actually quite good. I even found that I had some respect for their covers of songs I didn’t really like so much.
During one of the songs that was, let’s say, not one of my favorites, I walked across the room and ordered a hot café mocha. On my way to the counter, I noticed a girl with dark, curly hair texting. She seemed particularly engrossed in it; she was probably talking to her latest crush that she met at a party last night. As I waited for my coffee, I wondered why she was there. Did she really come to a coffee house when a band was performing just so she could text some guy? I was pulled out of my contemplations when my name was called. The instant I grabbed my cup of coffee, I instinctively held it up to my face and inhaled it, the scrumptious scent of chocolate and coffee filling my nostrils. I made my way back to my seat near the stage and waited for it to cool so I could drink it.
In the meantime, I glanced around at the other students in the coffee house. There was a group of guys on the couches, animatedly discussing a new video game and its ‘wicked’ graphics. The girl with curly hair was still texting, probably telling her friends what her crush had just said to her; she seemed happy, excited even. Next to her, a group of friends crowded around a small table to dish the latest gossip. I had never seen Common Grounds so full; every single table had at least one student sitting at it, and almost every chair had a butt in it. But why weren’t they paying any attention to the two guys on the stage? They all seemed too busy with other things to care about the performers, so why didn’t they just go somewhere else to text and talk about video games?
As the current song came to an end, I looked around: not one person applauded. I did finally find some students that were listening to the band play, but I only saw a few. One was a guy with dark hair, wearing jeans and a black t-shirt. He was sitting in the front near the stage, looking at the performers intently. Behind me sitting on the floor was a girl who seemed to be dating one of the guys in the band. Sitting next to her, I recognized the guy who helped set up the speakers before the performance. He occasionally suggested songs for them to play, and talked to them between songs.
Everyone else seemed oblivious to the fact that there was anything different going on today. And yet, I have never seen Common Grounds so full before. Why were they all gathered here, if not for the band? Maybe there was more to it than that. Maybe the true purpose of events like this is simply to bring people together to socialize. The girl with curly hair could text from anywhere, but why not in a coffee house where a band was playing? And where better to spend time with friends, or chat about video games? I had been so busy thinking about how everyone else was overlooking things that I never stopped to think that I may have been overlooking something: they were listening to the music, even if they did have other things going on. The girl with curly hair was swinging her leg, the guys on the couches were beating on tables and their legs, and others were just tapping their feet or dancing a little while waiting for their food.
Maybe they really were there to see the band perform. They just also wanted to see their friends and catch up on the latest gossip. But I still wish they would just sit down and focus on what was going on, instead of doing things they can do any time. A person gets countless opportunities to hang out and chat, but how many free concerts are there? I would like for people to just live in the moment – smell the flowers, if you will – and fully enjoy all that life has to offer, instead of overlooking the simple pleasures in life.
by Darrah Hulva
I have always considered my grandparents to be indestructible. My grandpa Butch grew up in a family of twenty-one children, and if one can survive that, I feel like they could survive anything. And my grandma, Ruth, may be one of the strongest women I know; she overcame Lymphoma ten years ago and recently underwent another major surgery on her lung for what they thought could have been cancer again. Despite all their struggles, they are just the type of people who seem like they will live forever. This past August, just the week before I moved into Millkin, my family experienced a scare that opened our eyes to the fact that they may not be as indestructible as we thought.
It was just a normal Sunday morning at the Hulva household. My sister and I were fighting over who would get in the shower next, and my mom was encouraging my younger brother to get his “church clothes” on. Just about the time we should have been leaving for church, our phone rang. Immediately, I took notice to the look on my mom’s face; things were not good with whoever was on the phone. My mother broke into an awful sob and told us all to grab our things and hurry up; Grandma was at the hospital.
Because grandma Ruth had just underwent a major surgery of her lung only a month or so before that day, my sisters and I imagined she was having some minor complications, but minor complications is only what we could have hoped for.