||College Editor's Welcome: May 21st-25th, 2013
By Amanda Perlmutter, College Editor
Luci Shaw once said “A poem is a little lens through which we can examine at close range some of the details of the universe.” Poetry has grown to be timeless, and broad in style. It can be structured or free verse—and it can be about any topic you choose. Regardless of its ambiguity, majority of poems both old and contemporary, are about romance or love. I can’t complain because I’m a hopeless romantic and I completely eat these words up. People who are more cynical toward romance, more power to you, but I can settle down with some love poetry even on my worst day.
“If ever two were one, then surely we. / If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;” (lines 1-2 “To My Dear and Loving Husband” by: Anne Bradstreet”)
“I know exactly what I want to say, / Except we’re men. Except it’s poetry,” (lines 1-2 “For J.W.” by: Rafael Campo).
Though the first poem is written by a woman in 1678, and the second is written by a gay man in 1994, I feel like without having known those facts, I could find a connection between the first 2 lines of both of their poems. Anne is speaking to her husband, and Rafael is speaking to someone he expects to share his life with in the moment where they first met. However personal every romantic experience in poetry is, isn’t the romantic audience always the same person; your love? Whether Anne was writing to her husband or Rafael to another man, they could both theoretically be talking about the same scenario. The same amount of passion can go into either direction, whichever they follow.
To say each poem was different because one was written by a man and one by a woman (regardless of sexual preferences) is kind of unjust because in many cases if you read a poem without knowing the sex of the author, it takes some deduction. In the case of these two poems, it is spelled out in both, who they are speaking to, which can be seen in those same intro lines I spoke of earlier. Other than direct clues of audience, the speaker’s styles are different from each other. I can’t really say if that’s specifically gender oriented, or if it’s due to the 316 year difference in publication. Poetry is timeless but poetic style can perhaps show its age based on the richness of language. That is really displayed in comparing these two poems because Anne uses words such as “thee” “thy” “doth” and “ought”. Rafael’s poem is more contemporary and none of those words appear but we do see “potato chip” “paper plate” “porch” “fizzing”. That’s why I wouldn’t say their poems vary based on gender; the language really depends on the era.
Another thing I found interesting is the approach each poet took. Anne’s poem started off with a good, strong intro and let it build up to an ending that was meaningful and even more powerful than the intro. It went uphill. Rafael’s poem had a through line and basically stayed at the same level the entire time but in language it came full circle.
“The while we live, in love let’s so persevere, / That when we live no more, we may live ever.” (lines 11-12 Anne Bradstreet)
“And poetry is too precise. You know / That when we met on Robert’s porch, I knew.” (lines 3-4)
“I want to comfort you, and say it all. / Except my poetry is imprecise.” (lines 24-25 Rafael Campo)
Anne’s last line is saying that she wants her & her husband to love each other so much that they’re love will survive even after they both die. The concluding lines evolved immensely from professing her love of her husband in the introductory lines. As for Rafael, the key words that stood out to me were his use of “precise” in the first stanza and “imprecise” in the last stanza. It visually and mentally draws that circle of your journey from reading the whole thing through. To put it mildly, it almost comes across as playful and cute. Even though he wrote this beautiful poem, he acknowledges within the poem itself that its far from ornate and elaborate, its slightly above colloquial, but that’s what makes it charming—its “imprecise”.
Poetry has grown to be timeless, and broad in style. These days you can write like Anne “thee” “thy” “doth” or you can write like Rafael “potato chips” and “paper plates”. As long as you can convey your feelings in a way that will appeal to readers, then you’re a poet. Poetry is not about precision, it’s about being perfectly imperfect.
||College Editor's Welcome: May 6th-10th, 2013
By Justina Tran, College Editor
“What is your greatest regret?” is probably my new favorite question to ask people. I’m aware that the question has a slight negative connotation, so sometimes I switch it up with, “What’s one mistake you made that you learned from?” Either question yields wise answers!
This past academic year, I was fortunate enough to meet with my college’s alumni who have “made it” in their respective industries (i.e. entertainment, marketing, publishing, etc.). I did not hesitate to ask them my favorite question.
One alumna (who happened to work for The Rachael Ray Show
) answered that she wished she hadn’t let her unhappy demeanor and facial expressions demonstrate her negativity while she was an intern. She said that when she had to do menial tasks like filing or organizing papers while her peers completed more interesting duties, her attitude and appearance made her jealousy and discontent apparent. Consequently, she advised that it’s better to focus on being grateful for having the opportunity to intern rather than thinking about the mundane task at hand.
Somebody who worked in the publishing industry said that his greatest regret was taking on too many jobs at once. He explained that when you focus entirely on quantity, the quality of your work suffers—it is better to pour your time and effort into a few projects than try half-heartedly on numerous projects. (Unfortunately, I’m starting to learn this lesson myself. I shall elaborate on a future post!)
Lastly, a former Disney Fellow informed me that his greatest regret was not working harder. He said that he did work hard, but he wished that he could have invested more effort into his work and tried out different activities.
I’ve committed all three of these mistakes! But it’s seldom too late to learn and change. As for my own greatest regret, I couldn’t tell you yet. But I’ll keep you posted!
||College Editor's Welcome: May 1st-5th, 2013
National Teacher Day
By Megan Tyson, College Editor
May 7, 2013 is National Teacher Day. This is something that will eventually be a part of my life because I am only one year shy of completing my degree for my teaching license.
I never realized how much my teachers actually impacted my life until I really starting taking all of my core teaching classes in college. A lot of my classes had me reflect on what I learned from my teachers, not just the curriculum, but also what I thought about their teaching styles and what I liked/disliked as well. It is really surprising what you notice about your teachers once you reflect on your time in school. I always wanted to be an education major, and I can honestly say that I chose to be an English teacher because of the four amazing English teachers I had while in high school.
Even for my friends who are not education majors, they still realize how their teachers from high school impacted their lives or their choice of major. One of my friends specifically became a Biology major because of a class in high school. She really loved her anatomy class and that teacher was her favorite.
People do not realize how much their teachers impact their life until they are out of school, if you want to learn more, check out the National Education Association’s website: http://www.nea.org/grants/1359.htm
||College Editor's Welcome: April 25th-30th 2013
"You use it, or you lose it."
By Raisa Garcia, College Editor
Sometimes when busy with school we may take the bodies and the fitness we could have for granted. According to Dictionary.com, “fitness” refers to: (a) the state of being physically fit and overall healthy, and (b) being a suitable fit in fulfilling a specific role or task. Although the dictionary refers to two separate situational definitions, my definition involves the two combined. This has to do with the idea that people are not all physically created equally, and life paths are not drawn similarly. We are all born with a set of physical tools and a mission to fulfill in our lives. It is a responsibility to take great care of our tools to help maximize our potential and abilities to do our duties the best we could. When we do this we achieve fitness.
“Sleep is for the weak.”
I will admit that during graduate school I did not always fully utilize my body and mind (with the brain being the connection between the two). I was fortunately born with all four limbs and the ability to experience all five senses. My downfall was not maintaining my body the best I possibly could. I lived by a school with a track, but only made it out there on the weekend. I bought vegetable-filled Subway sandwiches, but with bacon, ranch, and chipotle sauce. The reason behind the lack of activity and the over-consumption of sodium was lack of sleep. When there did not seem to be enough hours in the day, I sacrificed my recommended eight-hours-a-night sleep to finish responsibility and duties, from preparing for a meeting to finishing essays. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, lack of sleep led to lack of energy, which then led to less-than-stellar performances. The mental blanks or simple mistakes during tests, the sluggish-vibe at outings—those were negative consequences of poor maintenance.
“30 Minute Meals.”
I always wondered how Rachael Ray cooked so many dishes in such a short amount of time. The answer was organization. She knew when and where she could sneak in an extra task to maximize her time. As a PhD student for clinical psychology, I worry that the workload of graduate school will wear me out physically, and therefore mentally and emotionally. How functional will I be by the end of the five years? I need to exercise and eat better even while I barely have sleep. This is where a formula will come in: bites of plants before and after extra steps. Parking further, taking stairs instead of elevators, and doing jumping jacks while waiting for the bus are a few simple ways to sneak in fitness exercises. Before and/or after those, should be some small healthy snacks such as bananas, mandarins, Moringa in tea, and tomato juice. These are energy-sustainers that can be eaten or drank on the go. This quick eat-exercise plan may not train me to run a mile significantly faster, but it can help nourish my body and mind in the midst of my busy life. That is fitness.
||College Editor's Welcome: April 21st-25th 2013
Hold Me Gently
By Amanda Perlmutter, College Editor
What do you see when you look at me?
Do you see my eyes as reflections of skies
Or do you see that inside, I’m a surprise
There’s more to me than meets the eye
A cliché sort of line
Seemed to fit this rhyme at the
Next time you try
To look me in the eyes
Look beyond what you see
And there lies the true “me”
If you’re lucky I’ll let you see
All that I am and all I can be
But I’ve been there before
Lead life like an open door
Open book, giving it to anyone
Who’s willing to take a closer look
But now I keep myself under lock and key
Less open book, more like a diary
So hold me gently because my papers are worn
Some have been ripped out, crumpled up, and torn
But the spine remain
Left behind as I fade
Bring me back to life
Show me the light of day
I sure hope you stay…
||College Editor's Welcome: April 6th-10th 2013
Composing a Letter to Your Future Self
By Justina Tran, College Editor
There’s a website called Future Me (http://www.futureme.org/
) which allows you to write an email to your future self and determine the delivery date. The website also features "public" letters that past people have allowed future strangers to read!
I initially stumbled upon the Future Me website back in late 2011. Since I had a strange addiction to writing letters at the time, the website was perfect for me!
The year 2011 marked two of the most important events in my life so far. It was the year I graduated from high school as well as the year I moved across the country to attend college as a freshman. Unfortunately, I was quite the angsty college freshman and spent most of my time feeling dejected and being asocial. I had an extremely difficult time making new friends, adjusting to city life and communicating with my family back home (I always had a strained relationship with them). Needless to say, my letter to my future self was pretty emotional.
I don't recall everything I wrote in my letter, but I remember sobbing as I composed it. Since I had dangerously low self-esteem, I wrote about how I felt at the time and what my personality was like (i.e. asocial, awkward, passive, etc.). The latter part of my letter included my aspirations and goals. I wrote a heartfelt paragraph about what I hoped my future self would be like. I wanted my future self to be everything my college freshman self was not (i.e. confident, daring, motivated, talkative, successful and active).
In retrospect, I'm not sure why I was so emotional when I wrote down my aspirations. Maybe it was because I wanted so desperately to change and become the person I've always wanted to be, but I lacked the motivation and know-how.
On another note, I forgot the exact date I set the email to be delivered to me. If I remember correctly, it should arrive sometime around October 2015. By then, I'll be one year out of college. I can't wait to read my letter from my past self and determine if I reached all my goals!
So that's what I wrote in my letter to my future self. What will you write?
||College Editor's Welcome: April 1st-5th 2013
(Almost) Senior Year
By Megan Tyson, College Editor
Within the next week or so, I will be scheduling for my senior year of college. It only feels like yesterday I was moving into my dorm room as a wide-eyed and excited freshman wondering how all of my stuff was going to fit into half of a room.
As of now, I’m filling out student teaching applications, logging observations hours like no other, writing papers about all sorts of educational topics as well as anything in the world of English, and running in and out of classrooms and different schools around the area. It is a nonstop process.
To keep myself from wanting to rip all of my hair out during the upcoming fall semester, I’ve decided to take the last of my general education classes over the summer. Statistics and Biology, here I come! But with that combination, I may just want to rip it all out before the semester even starts.
My last semester of actual college classes is going to consist of: Teaching English, History and Structure of English, Teaching Adolescent Literature, and a Seminar in Creative Nonfiction. All of that is leading me up to my last semester ever of college, which will be spent in the classroom student teaching.
It doesn’t feel like these last years flew by like they did, but my final year of college is on the horizon and that’s when the real world begins.
||College Editor's Welcome: March 25th-31st, 2013
Mama, I Thank You
By Raisa Garcia, College Editor
Two years after I graduated from undergraduate school I finally have my diploma up. On that diploma I have four names: my two-part first name, maiden name, and last name. I made sure to include my maiden name in honor of my mother's hard work and dedication in giving me the best education possible. In 2013, I am now finishing up my second year of graduate school, very close to earning my Master's degree in clinical psychology. I could not have reached this point of my life without my mother. She celebrates her birthday in this month of March, and I want to dedicate this editorial to her.
Mama, without you I could not have done many of the things that got me to where I am now. Thank you for preparing everything for me, from my organized backpack to the comfortable bed I slept on. Thank you for modeling that I should have as many experiences as possible and develop my own interests—I tried volleyball, track and field, student body leadership, acting, skating, dance, and band, just to name a few. Thank you for making it to as many performances as possible and saying you are proud of me after giving the constructive criticism. Thank you for keeping me safe. I may not have liked the idea of going to daycare for six years, but I learned more social skills and cultural sensitivity there than I ever could in a classroom. Thank you for encouraging me to achieve the highest standard of education, pushing for straight A’s every year. Thank you for helping me to reach such standards. I could not have gone through those years of being two years advanced in math without all your help with my math homework. Thank you for instilling in my mind that not attending college was not an option. I needed college in my life and you knew it. Thank you for allowing me to pursue my own passion and interests. A combination of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and radio-television-film sounded “interesting” within the context of our bigger family, but you said, “Whatever makes you happy. It’s your life.” I have many more things to thank you for and a letter will never display and hold enough of that appreciation and love. I thank you everyday in my heart.
We may sometimes take all the efforts of our parents/guardians for granted now that we are in college with our newfound independence. If you have not done so, take time to thank them for their hard work. I am certain they will appreciate it :)
||College Editor's Welcome: March 21st-25th, 2013
By Amanda Perlmutter, College Editor
Did you ever write something and not know why you wrote it, or where it came from, but then later you revisit it, and it all makes sense?
I wrote this poem over 2 months ago, and I had no definitive reason to write it. I didn’t have feelings like this; it was so foreign to me. But on this day, as I sit at my laptop looking for something to share with my SOL readers, I can say that this has been an interesting week.
For the first time since I started college (I’m in my freshman year, second semester), I actually took time to explore my campus and I met some unforgettable people. I’ll leave you with this; don’t go looking for life, let life happen to you.
I put on the perfume I used to wear
Before I belonged to you
And the fragrance sent me back—it reminded me
Of who I was…who I used to be
Then I realized, why did that go away?
I should still be me when I’m with you
…but I’m not
So g o o d b y e
Why should I
Keep fighting for what we have
Just keep pushing me away
Why should I stay?
Is love not enough?
I thought I was enough
Were you lying all this time?
I’ve been here before
Why was I blind?
I need to change my mind
I want to help you
Don’t push me away
I wanted to help you
©Copyright 2013 Amanda Konstantine Perlmutter
||College Editor's Welcome: March 6th-10th, 2013
Thoughts Regarding Time
By Justina Tran, College Editor
Over these past few months, I’ve become more conscious about the idea of time. Of course, time could simply be defined as the measurement of change. To some people, however, time is much more than that—some say it’s even equivalent to money!
I think I’m more aware of time these days because I’m graduating next spring. Although an entire year seems like a decent bit of time, I understand that time has a tendency to flee swiftly. Before I know it, I’ll be a graduate and then wonder what I’ll do next. Will I go straight to graduate school? Will I take a gap year and work for a while before attending graduate school? Will I just scrap the idea of graduate school altogether and just work for the rest of my life? Hmm...
It’s also an interesting concept to consider that people have different perceptions about time. For some, time seems rather slow whilst others perceive time as exceedingly fast. I’m not sure where I stand on that spectrum of time perception, but I will guess that I’m somewhere in the middle.
I implore you to use your time wisely. I would advise setting a schedule (I’ve reached a busy time of my life when I have to use a daily calendar to keep track of everything I need to do) so that you have an idea of how you’re using your time every day. At the same time, please don’t forget to pause every once in a while to enjoy and be thankful for the present moment. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I concur!
With that, I wish you good luck on your midterms and hope you have a safe spring break!
Read Past Editor Letters