Hilton Head Island by Grace Meyer


Ever since I was four, I’ve called Hilton Head Island my home. True, I was born in Shaker Heights, but my vacations there have stolen a big part of my heart. From renting condos and houses in August and during Thanksgiving, I grew fond of the island off the coast of South Carolina.

When I was with my cousins, we did everything: sunbathed on the beach, spent long afternoons in the blue glass pool, zip-lined, etc. The only downside is that the shells are by no means collectible (they are smaller than a teaspoon), but we kept ourselves busy easily.

The best time of day was in the middle of the day or early evening when the sun rays bless my face on a bike ride, sometimes alone, sometimes with one of my cousins or my mom. Once in a while I would pass by a house my family rented when I was younger and memories would resurface. One time my cousin Maddie and I biked through a neighborhood and looked at the super nice houses (mansions, probably). Afterwards, biking on the beach is the best feeling when the sun sets and the wind whistles through and knots into my hair. I still have a Salty Dog sweatshirt that I most likely wore on a pitch black night, eating ice cream near the dock.

My family and I have tons of fun once we’re there, but my favorite parts are the moments leading up to it. After renting a car from the airport and beginning the drive to Sea Pines, I put my headphones on and watch the palm trees breeze by my window. The weather has gotten warmer by this point, and I am getting super excited to arrive. Once we get there, because our rental house isn’t ready yet, we can go to The Salty Dog or the beach club to get a bite. It’s always nice when the temperature is warmer than twenty degrees and there is no snow in sight. Cheers.

how i perceive makeup and how it can affect young girls’ self image” by molly spring

this past week i saw something online, and that person was expressing why they need to wear makeup because they are “so ugly without it”. that particular phrase made my stomach sink and my heart hurt.

as teenage girls, we are often taught to look our best, to wear pretty clothes, and cover up insecurities with makeup and products. we are taught to present the best version of ourselves to others and to show a sense of beauty and grace while in public. this “best version of ourselves” can often be tied to the idea that it must include a full face of makeup, otherwise it is incomplete. however, i would like to politely disagree.

i think the best versions of ourselves are shown through our passion, determination, humor, strength, and the ability to bring people together. personally, i feel as if the best version of myself is when i am surrounded by the people i love and i feel perfectly comfortable, acting as the person i truly am, not when i am wearing a full face of makeup.

i have not always had this outlook on makeup; in fact, i used to never leave the house without makeup. if i was going to school or sports practice, to a friend’s house or a family 

member’s house, to the grocery store or a walk around the block, i was rarely ever seen without some kind of makeup on. but sometime within the middle of my freshman year, i had a turning point. i started to wear less and less makeup because of the way it made my skin flare up. little did i know, i was subconsciously doing myself an enormous favor. i was giving my skin a chance to breathe, but in turn, i was able to breathe. i eventually felt more confident in my own skin and my face started to get back to normal. but even after my skin started looking better, i had no interest in going back to makeup. and then, and only then, did i truly feel as if i was presenting the best version of myself. free from anything that hid who i really am. 

that is why i challenge anybody who reads this, to try to a week without makeup and see how you feel. notice if your skin looks healthier or you feel that much better with those extra 20 minutes of sleep instead of having to put on makeup. or on the flipside, maybe you feel much more vulnerable or as if people are constantly watching you. either way, i think this challenge could be very eye-opening and transformative for young girls. no matter the outcome, just remember that you shouldn’t let makeup or products get in the way of the best version of yourself.

Who exactly IS Chonkly? by Ian Marr


His name is whispered throughout the Writing Center on a daily basis. Many have heard of him, but few truly know him. From his domain upon the back whiteboard, he silently watches all that happens within this room. The Writing Center fears him and what he’s capable of. However… what is he truly capable of? Where did he come from? Why has he made his home in the Writing Center? Perhaps most importantly, who will he decide to get first? Just who is Chonkly, the silent and omniscient deity of the Shaker Writing Center?

For months, Chonkly’s unblinking gaze has rested on room 228. He has witnessed every conference and conversation that has transpired within these classroom walls. His ominous warning, “CHONKLY will get you,” keeps writing interns and visiting students alike in line, almost as if he is daring one unlucky soul to defy his rule. What would happen to us if he were to be provoked? Would there be any glimmer of hope for survival for any of us? Is it foolish to even think of fighting back against a divine being such as Chonkly? None can say. We can only hope that none who stray into this classroom are unfortunate enough to experience his unbridled rage.

For an entity with as much power as Chonkly, there are several questions to be asked. Who or what exactly is he? Has he come to do us harm, or perhaps to save us from ourselves? Is he alive? Or does he merely exist, waiting forever for that next perfect opportunity? Is it possible for us to communicate with him? Should we even attempt to communicate with him? These are questions that we may never find the answers to. However, as long as Chonkly remains watching over us, we will continue to search for explanations.

I fear that I’ve said too much. My body feels heavy and my mind is getting hazy. The walls around me appear to be swirling with a strange light, and I can feel my consciousness beginning to slip away. What is this strange sensation? Could this be the will of Chonkly? Has my research angered him? My eyes frantically dart about the swirling room, which I can barely recognize anymore. They come to rest on four words that appear to be levitating in front of me. My vision is blurring and I can hardly make out what they say. However, I don’t need to read them to understand what they’re saying to me. I slowly close my eyes and sink into nothingness, murmuring those four words that have been repeated in the Writing Center countless times.

“Chonkly will get you.”

July 1940 by Josh Skubby

When the good guys prevail, we tend to forget the desperation they face on the route to victory.

Image result for hitler in paris

We remember World War II as a hard-fought conflict in which democracy vanquished fascism. For those who lived through the conflict, however, it isn’t nearly as cut and dry. At any point, it seemed as though the fire of freedom could be snuffed out by the Axis.

We know the war started on September 1, 1939. We know Japan formally surrendered on September 2, 1945. Such is the nature of history. Regardless of initial successes, we know the Axis lost. The past offers us certainty that the future doesn’t.

But for those 6 years, hundreds of millions woke up every day, without knowing peace would ever arrive. In particular, I believe early July 1940 appeared the most dire for Europeans opposing Nazi Germany.

Let’s run through the timeline. Before facing any serious military opposition, Nazi Germany annexed Austria (March 1938) and Czechoslovakia (March 1939). When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, the continent plunged into war.

The Nazis made short work of continental Europe. They invaded Denmark on April 9, 1940. Denmark surrendered within six hours. An entire country, government and all, collapsed between sunrise and sunset. The rest of Europe didn’t fare much better. The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg were all conquered by the end of May. France, Germany’s strongest continental opponent, fell in six weeks, surrendering on June 25, 1940. By July 1, 1940, the German military occupied 9 sovereign nations.

By that point, the only remaining nations that could stand up to Germany refused to. The Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Germany in August 1939, guaranteeing that Hitler would face no opposition from the East. Francisco Franco, Spain’s premier pseudo-fascist, certainly wasn’t fighting against Nazi Germany. Italy and Germany established their alliance in September 1939 with the Pact of Steel, before Italy formally entered the war on June 11, 1940.

Importantly, the “Battle of Britain” began on July 10, 1940. For the next several months, the German and British air forces fought tooth and nail trying to seize control of the British skies. Although the Allies would ultimately defend against the bombardment, the Luftwaffe enjoyed initial successes. These battles didn’t appear to be a shining light in the distance, but instead appeared as Nazi Germany’s war machine setting its sights on Britain. With bombs falling on English cities, the end seemed nigh.

Clearly, the Axis started off World War II incredibly well. For those who witnessed these events in real time, there was no indicator that the tides of war would shift.

With our hindsight, we designate certain turning points in World War II. Pearl Harbor and the U.S.’s subsequent entrance into the war was clearly a turning point. As was Operation Barbarossa, where the German military launched an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to topple the Soviet Union. By early July 1940, however, hardly any events had transpired in a way that gave the Allies reason for hope. The most notable such event was the evacuation of Dunkirk. At this point in history, the Allies’s greatest success was an evacuation. 

Let’s take a look at some important events that had yet to happen. The British-American alliance was informal at best, and wouldn’t be set in stone until the Atlantic Charter on August 14, 1941. The Battle of Britain hadn’t turned decisively in the Royal Air Force’s favor. As mentioned prior, the United States and Soviet Union hadn’t entered the war. At this point, World War II boiled down to a brawl between the Axis and the Commonwealth, which the Axis appeared to be winning.

As we churn further and further from this instrumental period in modern history, it’s important to remember how fortunate we are that the Allies won. Victory was not assured. At certain points, it wasn’t even expected.

The United Nations by Miles McCallum

The United Nations is famous for being inefficient, which is a real shame. Never before in human history have the means of production, the means of warfare, the means of communication, the means transportation, the means of just about every way humans live and interact been so extreme and stratified. In this way, the consequences of war, the consequences of markets, and the consequences of political structure have much vaster repercussions than they ever have had.

The United Nations formed as a response to these consequences which showed their capacity for carnage in World War II and the political structures and means that led to it. Today, we find ourselves in a world with even more potential for carnage and less of a vision for the future. Even in the destruction of a post-war world, meaning was created through bodies like the United Nations, hope was procured in self-determination, and gradual progress in the welfare of all felt like a reality. In the face of more and more global challenges in an increasingly globalized world, it’s time to restructure and reinvest in the United Nations as a way to once again create a clearer and more tangible sight for the future.

The United Nations, especially internationally, is seen favorably, and with popular support across the world, reform and restructuring is possible. Although the reform needed is vast and complex there are two structural problems I want to address that sit at the core of many of the issues that prevent the UN from being the vehicle to drive the world towards a better future: Debt-trap diplomacy perpetuated by the World Bank and IMF, and a lack of structural political investment within the UN’s principal organs.

Firstly, debt-trap diplomacy. Most famously illustrated by China and their investments in East Africa, debt-trap diplomacy is an exchange between nations in which the creditor nation provides loans, and in return accepts economic or political concessions when said loans cannot be repaid. Although China serves as the greatest known contemporary example of this, the IMF and World Bank also carry out these practices to another extreme across the developing world. In return for unpaid loans the creditor nations of these two organizations (which also have more favorable political clout under the voting systems of the IMF in particular, but also the World Bank) demand freer markets within these countries which allow for further corporate exploitation and an increased need for loans by the governments of developing countries. It’s a system that only further exacerbates wealth disparity across the globe and prevents, rather than aids, the development of basic welfare, education, and social systems of developing countries. Economics and politics are inherently intertwined, and in order to foster the growth of both sound economic and political systems across the world, it’s important for us to implement reform from the perspective of developing countries.

Secondly, structural political investment. One of the most interesting developments of the last century has been the position of the European Union. Unlike many intergovernmental institutions, the EU operates with its member states having much more political say and investment, thanks to their representative parliamentary systems as well as a few institutions that at times supersede the autonomy of its individual states (In fact, many refer to the EU as a “supranational” organization due to these elements). The UN needs to follow a similar model that requires more structural political investment from its member states. Not just single delegates, but elections from their countries that influence the UN’s role, and opportunity for the UN to serve a role in their own politics. As countries are more politically invested and active in global politics and not just those of their own states, the political importance and power, as well as cultural significance and understanding of the UN, increases for the better.

Again, the reform that’s needed is vast and complex, and these are two short summaries of much broader issues that need addressing within the UN. Its important to build political structures that are proactive, never neutral — To remain neutral or complacent allows for systems to mold into preexisting hierarchies and become victims of history, but to create the necessary structures for progress, we always need to revise, reform, and restructure.

The Best and Worst Meals at Camp by Ava Byrne

Being a seasoned sleep-away camp-goer, I have eaten my fair share of . . . questionable meals. After eight summers spent at camp, I now know exactly which meals to avoid and which meals to get seconds on.

The Worst

Cold Cuts- These are served on a large white platter that include an assortment of ham, turkey, salami, cheese slices, and lettuce. Any way that camp can incorporate cold cuts into a meal, they will. Cold cuts on buns, cold cuts on tortillas, I’ve seen it all.  

Beef Tips- I’m pretty sure this is beef stroganoff but either way I don’t eat it.

Eggs – It’s something that’s been drilled into my brain since my very first summer. Don’t eat the eggs. At one point someone told me they use powdered eggs. I had them once and they were rubbery and… just not good. Unsurprisingly, the majority of camp makes a beeline for the cereal towers when there’s eggs for breakfast. 

Ham covered in barbecue sauce- Sometimes camp gets a little… creative with their meals. This was one of those times. I’m pretty sure they only served it once. Thank God.

The Breakfast Buffet for the 3rd day in a row-The breakfast buffet is in the middle of the dining hall that includes mini bagels, mini cinnamon rolls, yogurt, two types of fruit and usually some other type of pastry. There is nothing inherently wrong with the breakfast buffet, but there’s never enough food for everyone and having it every other day gets old real quick.

Breakfast bars- Breakfast bars are a food item unique to camp. They’re breaded, deep fried and contain egg, cheese and either bacon or sausage. Breakfast bars are a very disputed food item at camp, you either love them or you hate them. I happen to be one of the people who hate them. My hate for them definitely grew after I was on dish crew and I had to spend hours scraping greasy breakfast bar residue off trays 3 times a week. Yuck.

The Best

Chicken Patties- Chicken patties (chicken sandwiches) are the crown jewel of camp meals. All of camp rejoices when its chicken patty day. They’re delicious and makes the misery of cold cuts worth it.

Grilled Cheese – The last time I had a grilled cheese at camp was the summer of 2013 and I don’t think they’ve made them since. Every summer at camp I daydream about the fabled buttery, melt-in-your-mouth grilled cheeses and pray that they’ll make another appearance on my plate.

Waffles or Pancakes- Best breakfast. Hands down. Bonus points if there’s bacon.

Beanie Weenie Night- This night is a special holiday at camp. Every thursday night, instead of having dinner in the dining hall, we eat outside and have a cookout.  On the Beanie Weenie night menu is hot dogs, water melon, beans, potato chips, and to drink is the highly esteemed bug juice (off brand kool aid). 

Pretzel Buns- They sometimes serve these with cold cuts or hamburgers. Honestly they just make mediocre meals a little better.

Spaghetti night- I love this night for two reasons; Breadsticks and Party cups. What are party cups you ask?? Scroll down.

Party Cups!!!!- Party cups are individually wrapped styrofoam foam bowls of vanilla ice cream. They only come in vanilla but you can make chocolate by mixing in nutella. And if you want to really get creative you can make a milkshake by scooping out the ice cream, putting it into a clean cup, adding milk, place another cup on top, and shaking it like crazy. Voila! Camp milkshake.


Sisterhood by Abigail Beard

Image result for legally blonde elle and pauletteOver winter break, I watched Legally Blonde for the first time. I was amazed at how the film showed Elle not as just a “dumb blonde” sorority girl, but as a complex, smart, fashion merchandising student who had been destined by her parents and by society to be a rich housewife. Instead, we see her develop friendships in the least likely places.

She formed a friendship with Mrs. Windham, the woman she was supposed to be representing, and getting her alibi in the process. Instead of sharing it, though, she keeps Mrs. Windham’s damaging secret, one that might have won the case. The trust Elle fostered with her client ended up promoting her to head lawyer.

The girl she hated the most, Warner’s new fiance, became her friend after seeing how Elle protected Mrs. Windham. That kindness earned her an ally and resulted in a surprising revelation about Warner’s admission to Harvard.

Paulette the nail tech became her friend and Elle ended up helping her take back her possessions from a failed relationship. This friendship led to the birth of Elle’s goddaughter.

Elle’s friendships all rewarded her in turn, helping her through the male dominated field of law and encouraging her to go on despite the taunts from her boyfriend and her professors that she wasn’t enough.

Sisterhood is so important to me because we as women have to stand up for each other. We have to love each other because, at the end of the day in this world ruled by rich white men, who is going to love us if we don’t love ourselves?

I Want to Write a Poem by Astrid Braun

Image result for poetry writing

I want to write a poem

But I can’t sort out my thoughts

Or feelings in a way that will

Flow and satisfy


Today is one such that

My body reflects the lethargy

Present in my mind, the swirling pool

Of emotions caused by nothing


I like to solve Sudokus

Eyes scanning, pen at the ready

Focusing on anything but the problems

That have no answer and no origin


It focuses me, in a way little else can,

A relief from constant introspection

My bad habit in excess

And my savior in uncertainty

A Critique of the Things I Watched While I was Out Sick by Claire Ockner

  1. The Edge of SeventeenA surprisingly funny movie. My mother and I watched this together since we both had the stomach flu, and both of us thought it was cute, hilarious, and sad all at once. If a movie can make both a 17 and a 51 year old laugh, I’d say it’s pretty funny. My criticisms: the movie is unrealistic. I don’t think that anyone would ever send a text even remotely as raunchy as Nadine sent to Nick. Also, I wish they had revealed how Nadine and Krista reconnected after the main conflict. There were definitely some loose ends that I wasn’t quite satisfied with, but I’d still give this movie a solid 9/10.
  2. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy TapesThis four-part documentary seriously gave me the chills. Hearing the voice of someone who was capable of doing such horrific things is both fascinating and fear-inducing. The documentary does a good job of capturing Bundy’s charming facade without romanticizing it. My criticism: I wish they had spent more time telling us who the victims were. They deserve to be remembered way more than the monster who took their lives.
  3. Law and Order: SVUDUH-DUH. Enough said.
  4. An Assortment of Cute Puppy VideosAmazing. Beautiful. Perfect. Dogs are too good for this world. I’m not sure how many puppy videos I’ve watched in the past two and a half days, but I’m guessing around 25. My criticisms: none. 10/10, perfect in every way.

Gas Station Hose and Nozzle Man by Fenner Dreyfuss-Wells

I drove into a gas station late last night, and a single pump stood alone on the concrete lot. It had no hose for bringing gas to the nozzle, and no nozzle for putting gas in my car.  It was a naked pump. I went inside and asked what was the matter with that pump outside?  “It has no hose,” I said. “No hose or nozzle at all.”

A short man emerged from a back room with the missing hose wrapped around his neck, like a mink scarf, or like a pet snake. He clung to it as if it were profoundly important to him. It was his only article of clothing. I needed that hose and that nozzle, and he knew it.  Our gazes locked together. He saw the desperation in my eyes, and laughed wildly.  

With the hose still firmly in his possession, he leapt onto the nearest candy rack. He ran along its top, shaking Twix to the ground. “Hee hee,” he said. I made a grab for his legs, intending to knock him down and remove the hose, along with its nozzle, from his possession. Instead, I stumbled into the shelf, causing it to tip and spill on top of me. When I finally dug my way out, the sinister man was waddling urgently outside, hose and nozzle in hand. I sprinted for the door, but found that he had chained it shut behind him. Gleefully, the short man unwound the hose from his neck.  I watched as he attached it to the pump and stuck the nozzle in my car.  The gasoline left the pump, flowed through the hose, through the nozzle, and into the fuel tank of my vehicle. When it was full, he let out a final “Hee hee!” and drove off. The doors rattled against their chains.