Welcome to Reed (or welcome back)! We’re so excited for another great year. To begin our first issue of the season, Kate Ehrenberg gives us the lowdown on wildfires (1). Dan Schultz doles out some wisdom for handling Reed life (3). A poem (4) by a first time contributor, Sky Ford, hangs out across the page from artwork by one of our editors, Kelsey Loar (5). Another first time contributor, Ben Read, writes a story for us about driving lessons (6). Our first Cultural Column of the year comes from Alex Morgan (8). This week our Remote Report was sent in from Lyla Boyajian in Armenia (9). And finally, Miss Lonely Hearts provides her first advice of the year on our last page (10). If you’re interested in writing for us, we meet every Monday at 9 p.m. in the PAB Atrium.
Claire S., Claire P., Guananí, and Kelsey
News & Features
“routine - a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program”
We all follow a routine, whether we realize it or not. Perhaps your daily routine arose from the environment you were immersed in. Maybe you get up at 9 a.m. because that allows you just enough time to prepare for class. Maybe you do homework at night because you put it off and class is fast approaching. Maybe you hang with friends when you run into them, and you eat sporadically, because you remember to eat when you are hungry. A routine of “no routine” is itself a routine. Perhaps you’ve noticed that we (humans) seem to run in loops; we do the same things, we think about the same things, we make the same mistakes, over and over. Who we are is made up of what we do consistently; we are created by routines.
Forest fires have always been a familiar part of my life. As a kid growing up in Northwestern Montana, I had a comic book about Smokey the Bear detailing his entire (tragic) life story and ending with the familiar maxim, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Later, sports seasons were interrupted by air quality concerns, and the end of August always marked a time of blazing red sunsets due to smoke. I got a bit closer to fire than I would have liked two weekends ago, when a canoeing trip to Lost Lake was abruptly cut short by an evacuation due to concerns about the Eagle Creek Fire.
Fiction & Poetry
The highway fired like a neuron down the Oregon coast, and I was an electrical impulse. Off to the right side of the road, the waves surrendered over and over again against the shore. I imagined that at night, each individual house, cars in the driveway, shone as its own lighthouse, for whatever that house had lost to sea. Each one had lost something, some thing taken, something discarded.
absorb the pain
from the feet that tread
on me. I’m not sure why they do it—
move their silly little ligaments until they break,
and suck in wind through paper-thin lung tissue until it
shreds. I guess they like the view, which is strange, because
they’re only looking out at more of what they just climbed. Once, one of
them scuffed up their feet so badly they bled streams, but they kept walking,
and whooped as they inhaled dust, and swirled into the blood
cascading down my slope were
tears of joy.
In 1824, if you wanted to disseminate an image of innocents senselessly killed in the Mediterranean during a brutal conflict, you had to paint one yourself. If you were talented enough, your painting would be exhibited, analyzed, studied, and eventually hung in the Louvre, but above all it would remain your painting, forever connected with your name. In 2015, if you wanted to disseminate an image of innocents senselessly killed in the Mediterranean during a brutal conflict, all you needed was a Twitter account. Just over two years after the body of a refugee child washed up on the shores of Southern Europe, the iconic photo of him—face down, red-shirted—has appeared atop the pages of nearly every major newspaper, on numerous humanitarian websites, and in countless social media feeds. Very few of the people who posted this image knew the name of its photographer, or that she was a twenty-nine-year-old reporter who’s worked for Dogan News Agency (DHA) since her teenage years, or that she’s spoken in interviews about the pain of seeing the dead child. I myself knew nothing about her until I started researching this article.
In July, I moved to Gyumri, Armenia, and began teaching English and Spanish at a language school. My first class was one where I helped an English teacher with her class of six-year-olds. When I finished introducing myself the the students, one of them, a little girl, told me I had an American smile. Afterward, I devised the following definitions of American Smile.
Miss Lonely Hearts
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for almost two years now. We started dating in our senior year of high school after an extended period of awkward flirting, and flash forward a few months, ended up deciding to go to the same college. We’re very happy together, and I am very, very much in love with him. But here’s the thing: I really like somebody else, too. And I think he might as well.