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Editors Note

Editor’s Note

As a student at Washington College, you are exposed to the best a liberal arts education has to offer. Business majors are exposed to Wordsworth in a Dr. Gillian English class, and English majors are forced to learn statistics with Prof. Hamilton. Everyone discovers what they love and hate about majors, instead of just their own. But business majors may discover a love of poetry, but find themselves without an outlet for it. The Collegian offers a way for everyone to feel like a published author. We do not discriminate on any basis other than content. Any major can submit and finally receive feedback for talent.

I am ecstatic to be the new Editor-in-Chief of The Collegian. Our literary magazine serves as an open forum for writers of all walks at Washington College. We publish the best poetry, prose, short stories, and photography that our college has to offer. It is a wonderful experience being a part of something as diverse and as open as the Collegian. This year we have a brand new staff of writers and an all new freshman class submitting their works. I encourage you to get to know these students through their exquisite writing styles and discover which is your favorite.

Abigail Schwartz
Editor-in-Chief 2012-2013

Is it Ironic?

by Sarah DiPasquale

That the day after consumer reports
reveal that Friendly’s restaurant goers
feel the wait staff is cold and the food is colder,
that a Friendly’s burns down in Middletown,
Deleware?
Eight volunteer firefighting units are called to douse the flames.

Is it ironic that the night after the fire
I sat at my kitchen table elbow deep
in Friendly’s Frozen Yogurt Forbidden Fudge
Brownie?
Feeding the hole in my heart
makes it easier to pretend it’s not there.

Is it ironic that the cliche
of forbidden love is what drove me
to put the spoon in my hand?
Is it ironic that the flames
you spark inside my heart
could start a Friendly’s
fire of their very own?

Spain 2012: Why is Life So Good

by Sarah Masker ’13, Staff Writer

I could write about the shenanigans I’ve been getting into lately here in Ecuador, but that would be silly, because I haven’t even shared stories about my summer in Spain. Don’t go getting ahead of yourself, Sarah.

Let’s start by stating the obvious: Spain in July is hot. Hot, hot, hot. I studied at the Universidad de Alcalá in Alcalá de Henares for four weeks, and somehow I managed to survive without air conditioning. I wish I could say I also managed not to get sunburned, but everyone who knows me is also familiar with my evil twin, Sunburned Sarah, who likes to make frequent appearances throughout the summer months, and even occasionally in the winter. I write this with a red nose and the nickname Rudolph. So original.

When I tell people I spent a month in Spain, they get really excited and ask, “Where?” They expect me to say something like Madrid, Barcelona, or Granada…places they went on high school Spanish trips or vacations with Mom and Dad. Maybe the grandparents own a house there, or they visited once on that Europe tour that everyone but me seems to have experienced. The thing is, spending a week in Spain does not make them experts on the country; a lot of my American classmates suffered from this delusion. When I arrived in late June, a bunch of students had just finished up their first month of studies, and were ready for another round. One girl in particular considered herself quite the expert when it came to all things Spain. I received several lectures from her about Spanish laws that I had no intention of breaking, but of course she was just looking out for me. She definitely wasn’t trying to make me feel inferior.

Anyways, when people ask where I stayed and I answer “Alcalá de Henares,” the common response is a confused “Where?” These people, these wonderful geniuses who are so knowledgeable about El Reino de España that they could make bank as tour guides, have never heard of the town where Miguel de Cervantes was born and baptized. Miguel de who? Okay, people, take a literature class. Then brush up on those UNESCO World Heritage Sites. When you’re done with that, review some history, and ask yourself: where was Catherine of Aragon born? Oh yeah, Alcalá. I could just make the whole thing easier and say I was in Madrid – meaning the autonomous community of Madrid, where Alcalá is one of the largest cities – but that would just confuse those Spanish experts because they’d think I meant Madrid, la ciudad. What other kind of Madrid is there, you silly blond?

The next question people usually ask: “What did you do there?” Well, you see, I received one of five scholarships from Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, to study and learn, so those were kind of my main activities. If someone else wants to pay for my education, I’m going to make the most of it. I took two classes, and due to a schedule that was one part torture and one part brilliance, we managed to fit in a whole semester’s worth of information in just four weeks. I sat in a room with weird slanted desks for 2.5 hours, ran away to quickly down a weird, small coffee, and then returned to those weird slanted desks for another 2.5 hours of truly fascinating conversation. Four days a week. Always. The. Same. By the time the very last Monday arrived, I did something completely unprecedented, and slept through half of my first class. I don’t want to make excuses, but I did just return from a long weekend in Paris. “Professor, I’m a French minor. I had to go!” He wasn’t impressed.

Apart from the 80 hours I spent daydreaming/attempting to be intellectual in a classroom, I also spent a lot of time travelling. I arrived early to spend several days in Madrid, and after making some friends in my hostel, I went to the Santiago Bernebéu stadium to watch on the big screen as Spain took on Portugal in the Euro2012 semi-final. My Spanish swearword vocabulary was put to excellent use, and I almost got to watch my new Australian friend beat up a pothead who kept accidentally elbowing me. It was fantastic. When Spain beat Italy in the final, I was one of those maniacs running around town with Spanish flags painted on my cheeks. Hey, at least I wasn’t swimming in the fountains like some people.

I visited Chinchón, a small town that’s home to the world’s only square-shaped bull fighting ring. (No, I did not go to a bullfight while in Spain, even though I was there for the San Fermin Festival. Even if bullfights are part of the culture, I consider them inhumane, and don’t want anything to do with them). I went to Aranjuez to see the summer palace there, and that’s when I decided to start picking out a house for future Sarah. I still can’t decide between the palace in Aranjuez or Louis’ marvelous Versailles, which I visited while in Paris. I guess it depends on whether the Spanish or the French government is more willing to let me take up residence in an important historical building.

I went to Burgos, a town more to the North that also happens to be a stop on the Camino de Santiago. I saw El Cid’s tomb and a statue in his honor, and if you don’t know who he was, obviously you weren’t in my Special Topics class with Elena Deanda last fall. Your loss.

I spent two weekends in Andalucía touring Sevilla, Córdoba, and Granada. In Sevilla, I fell in love with the Plaza de España, and tried not to be too creeped out by the guy that tried to get me to follow him into the park “for a favor.” Even though I’ve never been to Morocco, I decided Córdoba had quite the Moroccan vibe. In Granada, I went to the Arab baths, and discovered that there is, in fact, heaven on earth. I also went out to a club that overlooks the Alhambra from its upper level, while the lower levels are caves. Yes, that’s right, caves; I went clubbing in a cave. Camborio was a blast; I highly recommend it. If you flirt with the guys right, they just might buy you drinks.

My last weekend was devoted to Paris. Paris is one of my favorite places in the world, as long as I choose to ignore the overpowering smell of urine. After a month of Spanish food (eggs, potatoes, lettuce with salt, white bread, unidentifiable meat), Paris was like a trip to Willy Wonka’s; my friend, Shannon, and I were eating six meals a day, and let me emphasize that we did not care. When we couldn’t decide between pasta or falafel, we had both. Pain au chocolat or an éclair? We had both. Wine and cheese or a real meal? You guessed it: we had both. I even tried cactus, and it was pretty good. The phrase of the trip quickly became “Why is life so good to us?”

In three days, I managed to do everything I wanted to while in Paris. I asked for directions without sounding stupid (at least I hope so), ate a baguette while wearing a beret, tried escargots and every other food my French classes ever taught me about, got sweared at by a rude waiter, and climbed the steps to Sacre Cœur without fainting. Paris truly is enchanting. Shannon and I listened to Edith Piaf while strolling along the Seine at dusk, and we even ran into other students from the university. Small world, right? The only things missing were singing gargoyles at Notre Dame and, of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. This English major really would have liked to meet them, dang it. Hollywood, way to disappoint me.

I learned a lot while travelling around Spain. I met two guys from Senegal while waiting for the bus to Sevilla, and I figured out really fast that switching back and forth between Spanish and French really isn’t my strong point. I’m pretty sure I made up my own language at one point there…let’s just call it Spench. I learned that calamari isn’t all that bad (ohh, but octopus is) and sangria comes in juice boxes, straw and all. I learned that Americans really are hopeless when it comes to history; every time my professor would ask who was president when this or that significant Spanish event occurred, we would go through maybe ten names before landing on the right one. Well, the rest of the class did. Not me, I’m brilliant.

As educational as my classes were (I am now an expert on Spanish art, which made visiting the Louvre ten times more exciting), the real lessons came from travelling around and having to navigate a foreign country on my own. Studying abroad isn’t like class; if I don’t know a word, I can’t just ask my English-speaking professor “Cómo se dice…?” and instantly expand my vocabulary. I can’t settle into old habits, like driving anywhere I want to go, and I can’t expect the grocery store to have all the foods I want. Living with a host family—and a grouchy cat—was completely new to me, but I came to Ecuador prepared. I like to think of my month in Spain as a warm up for this semester. I’ve already been in Quito for a month, and so far it’s been “pan comido” (a piece of cake), thanks to the wonderful opportunity that was my adventure in Spain.

My Mind Wanders to You (In Latin)

by Valerie Dunn ’15, Staff Writer

do, dare, dedi, datum,
I do, I do, I do
dare to give you
the vast wanderings
of my mind.

Did you know
the Latin noun
basium, basii (a kiss, of a kiss)
is neuter?

The verb also lacks
gender. The Romans suspected,

I suspect, kisses are for everyone.

I wouldn’t kiss everyone
but yours is savium,
a mouth ready for kissing.

So, basio, basio, basio!
I kiss, I do kiss, I am kissing.
Basio te et identidem.

Kisses are the affair of lips,
language barriers
that of tongues.

I call you
mea delicia.
You call me
cannibal

like I mean to eat you,
like you are delicious.

Maybe you are,
but I wouldn’t eat you,
my darling. Perhaps I would

conjugate you into a corner,
find you in French, distract
you as you have done to me.

Te cum basiis distraho.

My tongue curls around the R.

As I remember you cannot
roll your tongue,
my magister calls on me.

I decline.

amo, amare, amavi, amatum
amo amare
amo amare te.

Shepherds

by Alex Vidiani ’15, Staff Writer

Do somnambulatory shepherds still count their sheep?
One lamb, two lamb,
Black lamb, bedlam.
Do they still wander off to find the lamb gone astray?
Skipping, hopping,
Rejoicing, falling.
And do they cry over its woolen corpse, finding it
Splayed across a rock beneath a cliff face?
Grabbing, sobbing,
Unseeing, disbelieving.
But upon waking simply see one less in the flock,
Clench their jaw

And carry resolutely on?

A Tiny Toothpick Ship

by Alex Vidiani ’15, Staff Writer

A tiny toothpick ship,
Drowning in a small sea.
It voyages for ancient lands,
New lands, any lands
But something they can set
A steady foot on.
All hands on deck;
The black flags are hoisted,
Fastened, secured.
Blip, blip, goes the captain
Blurp, blurp, confirms the first mate
As he looks through his telescope –
No land in sight.
So they sail endlessly on,
Bottled and corked.

Jörmungandr

by Rachel Brown ’16, Staff Writer

When she was younger, she took the bees,
asleep in their hives, and set them in the river,
straining to see them go down in the dark.
She went home, to hope for their coming back to her city,
the ghost touch of honey pressing into her hand
where she sat, waiting for the snake in her flowerbox to take root.

In everyone, she seeks the ghost of Jörmungandr, gnawer of roots,
coiler of the universe. If he lets go, the bees
will never come back. In the flowerbox, her hand
shakes with care on the snake’s honeyed skin, as she tells it about the river,
and her words dry. For the thirsty, there is no water in the city;
all the plants are painted or plastic that unravels in the dark.

Away from the city, she could not see them disappearing in the dark,
but she could taste their ghosts in the honeysuckle. The root
of all evil was asking why, and then fearing the answer. Her city
placed flowerboxes like coins in each of its closed eyes, and the bees
vanished as they stumbled down the feverish river.
Only the snake saw where they had gone, but he was dying in her hands.

In her dreams, the snake places seeds in the dirt in her hands
and they draw life from her veins and branch into the dark.
Like everyone, her blood is full of metal, of rivers
too harsh for anything living to have roots
in. She wakes up next to the ghost towns the honeybees
have left in her flowerbox, in the flowerboxes of her city.

As the snake died, she imagined in each flowerbox a city
of mourners placing honey on his grave. Her hand
grew numb with the weight of his ghost, of the bees
and she wished that they hadn’t died in the dark.
If blind, it is easy to ignore a world sick to its root,
to pretend there never was any water in the river.

The snake sheds his skin in the shape of a river,
a sly curve of green trailing the edge of the honey-sun city.
Look, he says, this was always going to be how I take root.
There always had to be a death, my ghost in your hand
for you to understand how to find us in the dark.
He smiles. He uncoils from her flowerbox, to make room for the bees.

She remembers the river from its honey touch on her hand,
from the flowers it helps grow in the city, from its whisper like ghosts in the dark.
She remembers the snake twined in its roots, the knit world, the chorus of bees.

Bibliography

by Samantha Fine-Trail ’15

The most accomplished person to ever come from a particularly boring small town in Nebraska,
she cares far too much for historical accuracy.

A man who is as old as he is arrogant, he feels that the fact he has been divorced three times is
both relevant and important enough to reiterate once per page.

A feminist with no other discernible traits, she has a doctorate and uses it as a shield to avoid
divulging that she is female, as she believes it will prevent her from being published.

A man who understands that, with all the loose material floating around, no one will notice a
compilation of other people’s ideas passed off as original.

A high school teacher who calls himself a professor, he writes about Shakespeare because that’s
the only writer he knows to possess enough literary merit and fame that he’s familiar
with.

A particularly useless article written by a particularly useless man; he’s published the same
article fourteen times with slightly different syntax because he knows he can get away
with it.

Someone who was published despite using an admittedly witty tweet as one of their professional
citations.

Someone of ambiguous gender who cares far too much for details and has far too much time on
their hands; Canadian.

A woman who is sick of being the smartest person, she truly believes her readers to be complete
morons.

A source of no real importance, written by no one of note; at best it was used to confirm some
information, but it is largely here to meet the minimum of ten sources.

HarryGatsby

A Confession (A Sestina)

by Amanda Klute ’16

Jay Gatsby is my father,
who is taller than any other,
and married Lily Potter only to find
no Daisy. He bred an Emma Woodhouse
and a mystery child, a stranger.
This is the man who in his study

sits high, plans tacked all around to study,
intending to make him a better man, lover, not father,
in such irrelevant pursuit of a stranger.
About him justifiable this, that, and the other:
His past tales of pity, in a woeful woodhouse,
and of desires lost—only to find

her, the universal her, who said, ”Go find
a gold hat, sir, and you better bounce high.” In his study
he showed me a picture of his old woodhouse
with an evergreen, a Daisy, and him
suspended with the snow. “No other
girl would do,” he said. “I am, to her, no stranger.”

In deficient love he married another,
my mother, Lily Potter, and couldn’t find
his firstborn in his heart where his other
cool, smiling daughter reigned. Emma was all over his study
walls. Perhaps his first mystery he was not meant to father— ?
Daisy would have borne him, regardless, his Emma Woodhouse.

Nevertheless, my Gatsby father looks upon daughter Woodhouse
with eyes like awkward phrasing. Today I see a tin stranger,
and he sees himself as “The Great Father”;
sincere faith his gold hat and high bounce will bring
. He’s written a schedule to study,
to be a suitor like no other—

failing to see the other
side of his Daisy, his fantasy by that woodhouse;
guilting all in his path while I conduct a study.
I observe his love is not a Daisy, but yet another stranger.
Her reality is with her Tom, her children, and she won’t find
another gold-hatted, high-bouncing substitute. Give it up, father.

Your other daughter shows a side that is stranger
than fiction. Forget the woodhouse, take off the gold hat, and find
in your study a spot for me.

 

Image, “Harry Gatsby,” by Sam Bitzelberger ’14.

Three Poems

by Kayla Kyle ’16

Why I Read Poetry

I eased into swirling similes, mesmerizing metaphors.
I dove into the depths of sweet sonnets
And twirled through the waves of wonder.

I glided over high-strung hyperboles.
I soared through loopy lyrics
And floated on clouds of curiosity.

I felt the smooth sharpness, the white wistfulness.
I heard the witty whispers
And sensed the secrets of serenity.

I became one with pure poetry, secret simplicity.
I delved into soft simmerings
And grew from Poetry’s mists of mystery.


Take Me with You

Take me with you
Across dark forests, open oceans, and long mountain ranges.

Let me fly with you
Through wet clouds, soft green grasses, and crisp brown leaves.

Let me glide with you
Like a majestic plane, a bird of prey, a mysterious butterfly.

Let me swirl, twirl, and whirl with you
Throughout the sky, world, and universe,
For you are my soul and I long to be your wind.


All as One, One as All

The way we move together

Like the mysteries under the sea,

Constantly moving, mixing, musing,

Colors swirling, twirling, whirling,

All as one with the rhythm of the waves,

Each flamboyant being a piece placed in Poseidon’s palace,

All shapes and sizes conjoining, compiling, cohering,

Each blissful bubble thriving, striving, surviving,

One as all, as the sea expands

North, South, East West,

Reaching to unite all consciousness with the growing paradise below,

Creating one phenomenal force