Essays

How I Met My Mother

My childhood was periodically sugar-free. Sporadic impulses led Mom to purge the house of junk food, disfiguring the pantry with Kix cereal and Nutrigrain bars. Kix tastes like cardboard spritzed with sugar water. In 2% milk, the…

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Multicultural dinner is family tradition

T welve ramekin-size white dishes are brought out on a brown plastic tray by an older Korean woman who speaks broken English and spends her time between the front and back of house. We, the…

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You know, until you don’t

“Who do you want to be? What do you want to do?” I remember the clicking and tapping sound throughout the computer lab, the whirr of the monitor and the hushed conversations of the children…

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My small, black suitcase

I remember the continuous packing. Every Friday afternoon I would gather up my clothes for the coming school week and my ratty, stuffed golden retriever, Shadow, who was my riding companion from house to house….

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Traveling through a failing memory

With my grandmother, Elizabeth Oudhuis DeLetter, August 2015. Photo provided by Emily DeLetter. “I’ve been to Java, Batra, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes, Bali, Lombok, Sumba, Sumbawa, Flores, Timor, enzoorvort…”  I’m fiddling with my napkin. I watch…

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Jimmy with Asperger’s: The Early Years

It was a typical preschool classroom in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on a hot August day in 1997. Four-year-old kids were playing with toys and socializing with one another as they waited for someone to pick them…

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Unreal

Story and photos by Bryson Keltner I stepped on to the hot, busy streets to the sound of car horns and Arabic. I saw them, and they saw me, but in a different way than…

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At Claudia’s House

Freshman Year Flickers of orange from the cigarette on the porch. As the cloudy day turns to a dark starless night, the man disappears, but the orange continues to dance its up-and-down waltz. From mouth….

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A Bow in the Clouds

By Emma Austin I sat in the backseat of my aunt’s car, sweating uncomfortably in a hand-me-down dress next to my cousin as we circled the lake on the road leading to Grandma’s driveway. It…

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Almost Famous Friends

By Jamie Williams My friends aren’t famous to the public by any means, but they’re definitely more famous than me. After being one of thousands of viewers of their online gaming channels for years, and…

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Shopping With Mom

The author and his mom. Photo provided by Brandon Killian. By Brandon Killian I learned of mother’s diagnoses with Parkinson’s disease in 2011, when I was 14 years old. When I found out I didn’t…

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Chi Chi Danger Squirrel: It’s all in a name

Story by Joseph Barkoff Photos by Mike Ko of Silicon Valley Design and Gregg Rich of Gregg Rich Photography In roller derby you either pick the name of your alter ego, or it is chosen…

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Holidays on the High Seas

By Amelia Epley I was feeling the rocking of the boat as I fixed my hair for Thanksgiving dinner. I turned off the blower and reapplied the herbal oil behind my ears. Tonight’s seasickness would…

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The Lesson Pop-Tarts Taught Me

By Shantel-Ann Pettway With my 10-year-old hands attached to the side of the grocery cart that my god-mother pushed, I suppressed the urge I had to pick up items that weren’t on the grocery list….

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Deep Cuts

By Jacob Dick It was an average looking CD case, like any other my dad left behind. I had pulled it from the shelf by chance as I was searching for something to listen to. I…

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The Red Scare

By Lindsay Whittington I’m in Sarah’s living room with a group of people I know–all good friends, I might add–but all I can think about is the chili. It is at the center of my…

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Epiphanies of a 9-year-old

By Austin Rutland I watched my 10-year-old brother as he stared at the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that sat on a cracked beige plate. You’re going to hurt Momma’s feelings, I thought. Just eat it….

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