Congratulations! You've just opened our first extended edition of the year—fourteen pages, to be exact. We begin with Guananí and Maxwell’s history of nudity at Reed (1). Next, Dan gives us his take on how to bring success into your life (4), followed by visual art from long-term Grail illustrator, Suki (6), and a poem by Sky (7). After that, first-time contributors David and Sofía showcase their skills with a story about small town blues (8) and a poem, respectively (11). To finish up our issue, read Misha’s Cultural Column (12); catch up on campus fashion with DeSastre (13); and take in some relationship advice from our resident love guru, Miss Lonely Hearts (14). 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, and Kelsey
News & Features
Nudity has played a major role in Reed community events, protests, and traditions of all sorts. The Grail went spelunking in the Archives to ask, how has nudity manifested itself at Reed over time, and how has its meaning changed? The events and traditions profiled here are but a few: there are mysterious unlabeled pictures of naked Reedies on the front lawn and reading on SU couches, acting independently from any Reed tradition, suggesting that nudity at Reed has meant everything from casual personal freedom to political statement to a symbol of community bonding to potential threat.
“You’re a failure.” “You just can’t do it.” “Give up.”
Though I was bullied until I began to lift weights in high school, and though I’ve been called many names, and been yelled at, laughed at, punched, kicked, ostracized, hungry for days, excluded, friendless, kicked out of a hundred spots when I lived in my car, dumped repeatedly, screwed over, stolen from, severely injured, and completely alone, I’m pretty sure that nothing has hurt me as deeply as the feeling of being a failure. I believe that much of the pain I listed above would fall under this sweeping characteristic, that of being a failure. Yet today, I will argue that failure, as you know it, is not a negative thing, and failure can be seen as success.
Fiction & Poetry
“Hey, excuse me!”
The waitress turned on one leg, her elbow on her hip, coffee pot in hand.
“Yeah, hun?” she responded.
“Why do you say that?”
Her face contorted into a question mark.
“What you called me just now,” he fired off, “and once before that.”
She was half waiting for a joke. “What do you mean?”
“I just can’t take it anymore! Have you ever thought that the people you call hun maybe don’t like being called hun?”
Eighteen years ago, the film American Beauty was released. The film celebrates no particularly important anniversary, so why this current moment to look into it? For this question, I have no answer other than American Beauty deserves at every moment a thorough analysis. The film follows the life and death of Lester Burnham, a upper-middleclass suburban father who gains a particular infatuation with his daughter’s high school friend. Over the course of the film, Lester attempts to return to the glory days of his adolescence, quitting his job, smoking weed, and working out. Eventually, he is murdered by his neighbor out of suspicion that Lester is in a relationship with his teenage son.
Ever met a History-Literature major at Reed? Now you have! Meet Sophia Lila Ellingson, a junior at Reed who likes to describe her fashion sense as “adding insult to injury.” If you’re looking to hang out with Sophia, her hobbies include killing two birds with one stone and calling a spade a spade. Sophia’s favorite color, “once in a blue moon,” can’t be found in your average crayon box, and please, don’t let the literature half of her major fool you—she never judges a book by its cover.
Miss Lonely Hearts
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
Despite many clues throughout my life, I’ve just recently figured out that I’m bisexual. In high school I dated some guys, but now I’m interested in exploring the other side of my sexuality. How do I initiate encounters with women? What are ways to let people know I’m interested in them without being so subtle that they don’t pick up on it? Or worse, come off as creepy?
Bi and Bi
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
I’m a freshman brand new to Reed but I have this huge crush on a senior. I kissed her while drunk at Dance Yrself Clean, but found out that she’s involved with someone else in an “open relationship.” What does that mean, exactly? Should I get involved? I feel like I might end up interfering, and there’s also the age difference. My friends think I should let it go, but I really like this person and she seemed interested in me. What should I do?