We’ve made it (almost)! Thanks for a great year, everyone. To begin our final issue of the season, Guananí brings us the scoop on student experiences of leave (1). Sol’s poetry turns insides out (4), and Leila’s engraving transports us over the Columbia River (5). Jessie covers a visit to KinkFest, accompanied by artwork (6) A student letter reflects upon the Hum protests (8), and Claire returns with another short story (9). Miss Lonely Hearts offers her final advice of the year (10). Keep up the reading and the Renn Fayre photo-uploading, and most of all, keep on keepin' on. Congrats to our graduating seniors, and to those of you who will continue your Reed career next year, the Grail will welcome all returning next fall with new content.
Anton, Claire P., Claire S., Guananí, & Kelsey
News & Features
I’m writing you this letter to ask a favor. I know I have a lot to thank you for already, since you’ve given me so much to reflect about. I don’t know if it’s unreasonable or not to ask for even more help as if I were saying: “what difference is one more favor going to make after you’ve already given up so much?” I don’t think it’s too unreasonable though, because I am asking as your classmate, and as your equal. We are all students, now part of an academic world. This sets us apart from say the world of workers, government, business, etc. Even though some of us play a part in multiple worlds, we do all share a place at Reed. We are the community of students, within the community of Reed, within the community of academia, within the U.S.A., within the world. Being part of this academic community is a great privilege, whether we got here by sheer luck (myself), or through effort, or maybe both. In the end, it really doesn’t matter how we got here. What matters is that we’re here together, for better or worse.
As a freshman coming to Reed I was fascinated and excited by Fetish Club. I went to their BDSM 101 Paideia class and had a mystical experience: tying and being tied, struggling to escape, being jerked around, and being caressed, too. That was their last Paideia class to date, because the previous signators of Fetish Club graduated, and the kinky events faded away with them. My curiosity didn’t die out so easily, however, and last weekend I decided to venture beyond the Reed community to KinkFest, a festival held in the expo center on the edge of town.
“IS TAKING A LEAVE ONLY FOR RICH STUDENTS?” the anonymous posters in the GCC hallway screamed in all caps. While the initial reaction to the news of the changing refund policy has quieted in the last several months, many students are still disconcerted and uncertain about how the changes will affect future students who take mid-semester leaves from the college. Why is the policy changing? And more fundamentally, why do Reedies take leaves in such high numbers in the first place?
Fiction & Poetry
“We’re different folk, our family.” Ma says, kneeling beside her parrot’s cage, pushing sunflower seeds through wire bars.
My great great grandmother came down to Texas from Tennessee over a hundred years ago. She stopped her wagon on grey land at the base of Tornado Alley and built a farm. Since then my family has been stuck between oil rigs and cattle ranches. We’re not really farmers, not native to the land.
I think we stay mostly for the heat.
This morning spread against my bed
Legs sprawled like a frog pinned to the dissection table
I laugh because that’s what intimacy feels like.
Even though I know what to expect,
I still hold my breath because every time
I open myself up to you,
Feels like the anxiety attacks I used to get in science lab.
Miss Lonely Hearts
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
I told my girlfriend of a few months that I love her. At the time she told me she couldn’t say
that she loved me back. Since then she’s slept over every night at my place. We continue to hang out and nothing has really changed in our relationship. I don’t know if she hasn't said “I love you” because she won’t ever love me or because she just hasn’t gotten to that point yet. I don’t want to belabor the question but I’m not sure I should stick around and wait to find out if she can ever love me. I’m having fun but the anxiety of feeling deeper thoughts for her than she feels for me is starting to get to me. When do I know to back out of the relationship? Is it worth waiting around?