We’re kicking off our first edition of The Grail this fall with the History of the Scrounge (1). Thought The Grail was all words? Here’s an illustration from Oliver Jackson (3). Next we take an intrepid wander through the lesser known side of San Francisco's Land’s End park (4), followed by poems by Annie Larkin and Kate Ehrenburg (6). We do fiction too, with a story by Claire Stevens (7). Cultural Column (8) gives you an in depth review of Isaiah Rashad’s new album, The Sun’s Tirade. Finally, Miss Lonely Hearts offers wisdom on college hook-up culture and frustration with “the virgin” stereotype (10). We hope you enjoy this first round of pieces by Reedies, for Reedies!
Anton, Claire, and Guananí
News & Features
Today the Scrounge is a cafeteria quirk praised for reducing waste while feeding hungry students who don’t have board plans. But this source of free food was not always so favored, and for many decades scrounging was considered a questionable and even disgusting practice. Some accounts claim that versions of scrounging began as early as the 1960s, though reliable records in the Reed library archives don’t begin until about a decade later.
Fiction & Poetry
I broke a window on Tuesday. I stood barefoot on the toilet and reached towards the corner pane. When I slipped I took the corner with me, glass cracking in half.
I’m thinking about this window while I wait in the rain after work. When Sarah picks me up, we don’t speak.
Rejoice! Isaiah Rashad finally got out of bed, and his new album The Sun’s Tirade sounds like he recorded the whole thing not long afterwards. Hailing from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Rashad is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), the label for California superstars Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q. The rest of their Black Hippy collective, rappers Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, also call the label home as well as lesser-known artists like SZA and Lance Skiiiwalker. TDE has made a name for itself through the astronomical critical and commercial success of Kendrick and Q, a reputation that was shored up with the release of Isaiah Rashad’s 2014 EP Cilvia Demo. Cilvia was Rashad’s first widely available body of work, and showcased a laid-back, playful rapper and singer with an ear for soulful production and a willingness to tackle subjects like depression and heartbreak in his songs. I was one of many who listened to the album on repeat and quickly became a fan of the guy who wasn’t really doing anything new, but was rather doing the old really, really well.
Miss Lonely Hearts
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
I came to Reed a virgin, and sort of assumed college would happen and I'd be de-virgined pretty quickly, but a few years later I still haven't found the right person and I still haven't had sex.
It's not that I haven't found anyone that I could have sex with, if I wanted to. I've hooked up with people during my time here, and we probably could have had sex if I'd wanted to. But I'm 21 now, and being a virgin at 21 feels pretty freaking awkward sometimes.
I want my first time to be with someone I love, but I've never fallen in love with someone at Reed and been in a position where we could have sex. I do, however, hook up (i.e. make out, grind, cuddle) with guys occasionally, but I feel like the fact that I have no idea what to do with a penis sort of makes it awkward at a certain point, too.
I'm stuck in this endless loop of being self-conscious about hooking up with guys because I don't feel comfortable getting them off and then it feels weird and awkward, which makes me not want to hook up with anyone. But then if I don't hook up with anyone I will never learn what to do with a penis, which will only make me feel more shy and awkward about hooking up with anyone, and it goes on and on.
Part of me just wants to get this whole sex-for-the-first-time thing over with so I can have casual hook-ups (I feel like I might be missing out on the whole "casual college sex" thing), but I also don't really feel comfortable sleeping with someone I don't at least sort of love. What should I do?
Chaste and Confused