Jump into our last Grail of the semester with Ben Read’s reflection piece on the occupation of Eliot (1). Next, Kelsey Loar and Wyatt Mischler have submitted two amazing poems (3), followed by a review of the thesis show, The Deluge, written by our very own editor, Guananí (4), and a poem (in three languages!) by Ema Chomsky (6). On the next page, long-time contributor, Alex Morgan, gives us a peek into the Tir na nOg community after its move to Sullivan (8). Closing our issue, catch up with this week’s DeSastre subject (9); and see what new dilemma our resident love guru Miss Lonely Hearts is dealing with (14).
P.S. If you’re interested in writing for us, we meet every Monday at 9 p.m. in the PAB Atrium.
Claire P., Claire S., Guananí
News & Features
Since its inception, Tir na nOg has beckoned to a certain type of Reedie. For many science-fiction fans at Reed, this setting—where role-playing games (RPGs) and immense, hand-sewn squids sprawl across the common rooms, showings of classic SF/F films and anime fill the evenings, and friendly-but-pitched discussions over the nuances of Tolkien’s Legendarium, the allegorical politics of Star Trek, or the continuity of H.P Lovecraft’s short stories can last well into the night—represents a community of like-minded peers that’s hard to find elsewhere. Kieran Sheldon, a current sophomore and two-year nOg resident, says of his first visit to the dorm as a prospie that, “looking in at all the Magic cards and role playing games was one of the things that made me decide to come [to Reed.]” A former Tir na nOg alum had this to say about his experience in McKinley and Griffin, “...The colloquialisms used [by Tir na nOg residents] tend to divide people into the high fantasy Tolkien nerds, the low fantasy Doctor Who nerds, the common Pokémon nerds, and the errant outsiders who don't belong.”
As the first shadow-puppet thesis show in Reed history, The Deluge combined incredible sound design, a whimsical cast of shadow puppets, and mythical storytelling to create an immersive half-hour tale of natural disaster, transformation, and courage. Violet McAfee, who created and directed the show as a component of her thesis, was inspired to create the project after taking a puppetry class in the theater department. “It was a combination of the puppetry class as well as my interest in lighting design that brought me to shadow puppetry. It's a very spiritual medium, and that lends itself well to the kind of art I want to make,” Violet explained. Violet switched to theater late in her time at Reed, and is proud to be directing an entire original show, something she never would have expected upon switching majors.
Outside the windows of Eliot Hall, the sky is gray against the orange and yellow trees that grow less orange and less yellow every day. I read The Oresteia, or my psychology textbook, or Thucydides. I watch faculty and staff eat their lunches out of carefully packaged tupperware and show each other pictures of their families. They walk by in the hallway and greet each other kindly. The wood around the windows and on the walls is old and unchanged from years of staging different and yet identical actors in its rooms.
Fiction & Poetry
Ya ni me di cuenta...
Hace rato almorcé el sudor de una máquina.
Sentí el sabor a metal y caucho de la banda transportando la cajita de espaguettis desde "La Moderna" allá por Vícam hasta la pulpería de la esquina.
Probe la mano de Doña Fabi y la paila donde puso a freír los espaguettis y el pollo en su aceite de canola Goldenjíls.
Comí algo roto, también.
The falling leaves all seem a spider
Whose legs are turned and bent and brown
And watch them, floating, try to walk
Along silk threads that are not there
Before giving up to air.
You, too, trade brilliances.
Snuff out loops, wind up our
And tie them off.
Trim the splits and scamper.
You, too, trade brilliances.
Let’s be frank: the best-dressed person at Reed is probably Samrath. A junior math-stats major who testifies to being “all about my legs,” Samrath is a regular renaissance man who spends his time brunching at Proud Mary, making his own face masks, and dancing. Among his favorite things, lemurs rank pretty high. You can catch him working at the Duke Lemur Center, where he has spent the last five summers, during his time away from Reed. Among some other favorites are poetry and pictures of himself (sources say he displayed framed photos of himself and his lemurs in his dorm during his first year at Reed). If he could recommend one book to our readers it would probably be The History of Silence by Pedro Zarraluki. From this book he learned the power and beauty of every now and then shutting the fuck up and enjoying the silence. Most importantly, Samrath describes his look as “self-satisfying sport chic and always fun.”
Miss Lonely Hearts
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
Good morning, afternoon, or evening. Whenever you read this. I do not write to you because of love. Although I wish I had a love in my life, that is not which I want to covey and ask you. I ask you if you have maybe not a solution, but at least guidance to the question of friendship. I ask not of the simple familiarity, or simply being in the same class, or simply near each other. I ask how does one achieve true, trusting friendship. The kind of friendship in every movie involving a small neighborhood kid going about his adventures with his best friend. The kind of friendship where you are not miffed whenever one of you has played a prank, because you understand the heart beneath. The kind of friendship where honesty is the first order of the day.