Orange Wall

May 2, 2010

by Mwila Kapungulya

Every Tuesday evening when the door cracks open the wall smiles, so delighted it can almost touch the ceiling.

It counts every minute and second that goes by, dreading the time to come when it will have to say goodbye.

So on Tuesday night when the door closes shut, the wall cries. “The wall?” you ask. Yes, this is no ordinary wall.

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The After Effects

April 29, 2010

by Saadio Aden

The alarm clock went “ding….ding… ding.” I woke pretending I couldn’t hear it, because I didn’t want to get up. My mom was yelling at my sister and me, “Get up girls it’s time to go school.” I didn’t understand why she was so excited. I miserably dragged myself out of bed; I just wanted to crawl and hide and the blanket. It was a cold day in March 1999, I was fourteen years old, and it was my first day of school in America.

I was scared. My sister and I got ready, but we were not happy. We knew we had to go to school, and mom would not let us stay home. We walked to the bus stop right across the street from our house. A few minutes later, a big yellow bus pulled up right next to us. We looked at each other and my sister said, “Here we go.”
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The House in the Wood

April 23, 2010

By Lyubov Anderson

Instructor’s note: Don’t skip this story set in the Siberian Taiga.

It had been ten long years since I last visited my grandparents’ house. Eventually, I made up my mind to take a trip to the house, which was located in a small village named Lenovo near Krasnoyarsk in the cold land of Siberia.

I took a bus, the only means of transportation at that time, which was an old, small, green-colored vehicle and whose route was through the world’s largest forest, Taiga. The roads were extremely rough and I felt every bump in my lower back. The air conditioning on the bus was out on this hot summer day, but it did not bother me a bit because I was enjoying the picturesque scenery of Mother Nature through a widely-opened window. I was fascinated by the magic patter of Taiga’s endless forest with green pines, light blue spruces and cedars trees mixed with golden-brown and dark red leaves of birches and maples. The forest stretches across the entire Yenisei River which is often referred to by Russian folks as the “Sleeping Beauty.”
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A Fish Can Walk

April 21, 2010

by “Mud Skipper”

What do you mean, Grandma and Grandpa are still married? I thought Grandpa was married to that lady he lives with,” my daughter said innocently. I had no answer. Like a pin puncturing a balloon, these questions popped the bubble of silence I had inhabited my whole life. Sitting at the ordinary formica table on the ordinary straight-backed chair, I suddenly saw how extraordinary my family situation was. We had never talked about it. None of us had ever said out loud, “Dad is an alcoholic and a liar.” My siblings and I were fish in a pond, unable to see the water.
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Culture Beat

May 4, 2010

by Long Huynh & Mwila Kapunguyla

Music is used by cultures around the world as a means of expressing traditional values that the community lives by which have been handed down from generation to generation. This paper will look at similarities and differences in Vietnamese and Zambian culture. It will focus on traditional music and its function in society, such as to commemorate historical and personal events, entertainment, communication, and to tell stories of ancestors.
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The Leftovers

May 4, 2010

by “The Leftovers”

Everyone knows how it feels to be left out.  It’s an experience everyone faces at one point or another.  Learning how to deal with being a leftover and finding the positive lessons can make the ordeal a lot less painful.

I have always considered myself a shy person. Growing up with a twin sister who was more outgoing and popular was nice, but I have always disliked comparison between us; after all we are two different individuals. “You kill the fun,” those were the words many of my young friends and relatives used when describing me. I felt sad every time they called me that.
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Arizona: The Land of the Free or the Home of Bigotry?

May 4, 2010

by Anna Volovik

The inscription on the second floor of the Statue of liberty reads:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Unfortunately, as these “tired and poor” settled in, they have forgotten where they came from. Almost 50 years since the Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech and two years into the first United States presidency by an African American, Arizona is trying to stem the achievements of human rights supporters. It is clear that Arizona does not want anyone’s “huddled masses,” “wretched refuse,” “homeless,” or “tempest-tossed,” no matter what they yearn for.
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Waiting Children

May 4, 2010

by Brenda Applequist

Bill Clinton, Marilyn Monroe, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Armstrong all have something in common. They have each contributed their talents and gifts to society in their own way but yet each share the common bond of adoption (Adoption Open). Adoption is a word used rather lightly in our society. You can adopt a pet, adopt a mile or even adopt a family for Christmas. What does adopt actually mean? According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, it means to take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child. Waiting Children is the term used to describe older kids in foster care who wait for a “forever family” of their own. No matter the age or special needs of the child, all children deserve a permanent place to call home.
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Rehab or Prison?

May 2, 2010

by Kristin Mitchell

The United States has a drug problem. There’s no denying it. About 6.8 million people in the U.S. are drug users. There are over two million prisoners in America’s prison system, and about one-fourth of them were convicted for a drug offense. We send more people to prison for drug charges than any other country in the world (Natarajan et al. 1). Out-of-prison rehabilitation and treatment for drug offenders provides better results than imprisonment. It is more cost-effective, reduces recidivism rates, and helps users control their addiction in healthy ways, allowing them to lead more productive lives and stay out of jail.
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Just a Kid

May 2, 2010

by Brenda Applequist

I’m sure that mom was feeling alone and overwhelmed. The divorce was final and we were finally settled in a house of our own. The five of us kids were in the routine of school and daycare. At 31 years of age, mom was working two jobs. I don’t remember exactly how or when it happened. I just know that one day he was there. Read the rest of this entry »

Depression Through the Eyes of Three Twenty-Somethings

May 1, 2010

by “Dopey,” “Happy,” and “Grumpy”

Depression affects people from all walks of life, yet few people are willing to talk about it openly. These three young women who have experienced it firsthand are here to share their stories.

“Dopey” has suffered from depression for six years and still struggles to cope:

I know what it’s like.

I know how it feels.

I am a soldier, fighting myself.

Many a night, I sit on my loveseat, staring blankly at my computer screen in front of me. My TV is white noise in my ears as I click from one website to another, seeing things I have already seen. Read the rest of this entry »

Children of My Own

April 29, 2010

by “I.M. Wyzer”

Sitting in the grocery cart ahead of me in line was an adorable, curly-haired boy. Smiling at me, he reached over to grab a candy bar while his mother unloaded the cart. She saw the candy bar in his hand and said, “Not today, honey.” The little cherub responded by transforming into a wailing, flailing demon. I smiled at his mother in sympathy but thought to myself, “No child of mine will ever act that way in public”—and then I had children of my own.
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Is It Just Me?

April 29, 2010

by “Anita Neulyfe”

At times you just have to wonder, “Is it just me?” My day started out like any other. However, once I arrived at the gym for my early morning workout things began to change.  So there I was in my navy blue track pants, loosely fitting t-shirt, tennis shoes, red faced and sweating profusely.  I went into the small equipment room at the gym to grab a resistance band and start in on my bicep curls.  At the end of my work out, as frequently happens after you have jostled yourself around, the displaced air in my body sought an exit point.  So, being the nicely brought-up gal that I am, I glanced around to see if there was anyone near that I might offend. Since there was not, I decided to allow some air passage.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Day in Paradise

April 26, 2010

by Kristin Mitchell

Just yesterday, I was in the humid, lush green rainforest in Monteverde, Costa Rica.  This morning, I am enjoying a delicious breakfast of gallo pinto—the traditional Costa Rican dish consisting of black beans and rice—with juicy, sweet pineapple, steaming hot coffee, and freshly squeezed orange juice.  My Spanish teacher wanders over to our table and greets my breakfast companions and me with a lively “Buenos dias, chicas!”  He is decked out in a floppy hat, t-shirt, cargo shorts and his trademark Birkenstocks and woolen socks—not exactly the epitome of high fashion.  Despite his embarrassing, dorky attire, we are all in high spirits.  After all, why wouldn’t we be?  We’re in Costa Rica, having the time of our lives!  After breakfast, we’ll be on our way to the beach, which everyone has been anticipating since we landed in Alajuela near the country’s capital just a week ago.
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Banana Lips Speaks

April 26, 2010

by Anonymous

When I was in the fifth grade, I was extremely popular and well liked.  I had many friends and I was very confident.  That is very different from how I am today.  So what happened?  I was teased and bullied in elementary and middle school, and that had a permanent effect on my self-esteem.
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“Teri With an I”

April 26, 2010

by Deborah Weber

The rush of bodies pushes me along the hall. I might make it this time, I think. I just need to make it down three flights of stairs to the door. My heart starts beating faster; my arms are heavy from the burden of my books. I’ve made it down two flights of stairs — one more set to go. My salvation is within sight!

Suddenly, she is there. I look over into her face and she smiles. It is as if she can smell my fear and wants me to know that she has me exactly where she wants me. Read the rest of this entry »


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