Why We Write- Maggie’s Story
There is a beauty in nature that can only be described with words; words that mask the complex equations that explain the scientific process which create the colorful and sometimes frightening phenomenon. To only look at equations and not truly take in the wonderful and intense beauty would put everything I have spent years learning to waste. Filling my time purely studying science may make my logic and math skills stronger, but it does not always help my creative side flourish. To fill my brain with only equations sometimes makes the beauty fade. To only see the science and not be able to explain the pureness of it becomes a key reason as to why I write it down.
Hidden beneath the science is a path that not many see, a distinct frustration when your brain is full of too much of one thing, too much science, emotion, life. My life has been a rollercoaster since the day I was born; words help me escape the chaos. To escape the struggles of life, and make them clearer when I read over the ink and am not just trying to decipher invisible ideas that float through my brain. To have so much happen, with little understanding of why or how I am going to push through, I write to clear the cloudiness of life, and move through stronger then I was before.
One of the first moments I used writing to clear the cloudiness was when experiencing the sudden death of my grandfather; never had I experienced something so emotionally overwhelming. Every other death in my life had been when I was too young to fully understand the complicatedness of it; my Papa’s passing was different. I was old enough to know what happened, old enough to feel the same emotions as my parents, and to fully take in all of what was happening around me. I felt numb when my parents told me, I had no clue how to react, what to say, I was frozen with a rush of thoughts, and no way to decipher what was right and wrong.
I remember going into my room, and seeing my notebook sitting on my desk, a pen perfectly placed next to it, and immediately I was pulled towards it. I don’t remember how long it took me to write, but when I was finished I cried. Emotions escaped from me, spilling onto the paper, and suddenly everything that had been jumbled suddenly flew into a clear realization.
At first I wanted to keep the poem secret, it was mine, but I slipped it into my Papa’s casket, not expecting anyone to read it. My dad came up to me, moved by what I had written and asking a question I never expected. He wanted my poem shared at the funeral, so my words could be shared with the people who didn’t know what to say. I didn’t read it myself, but I remember the feelings as my word’s slipped by the Pastor’s lips.
That feeling is why I write.
These illustrations accompany the article, “Diagnoses plantarum novarum asiaticarum, V.” by C.J. Maximowicz.
Captions for the illustrations read:
"10-15 Ajuga Iupulina"
"16-20 A yezoensis"
"21-25 A pygmaea A. Gray"
Why We Write- Katja’s Story
The summer before I entered the fourth grade, my mom moved us to the grassy suburbs on a new side of Indianapolis. My sister and I loathed her for this because it meant a new school district away from our friends. The invisible label “new girl” left me without many acquaintances for the first few weeks of school.
But my teacher was the coolest. Her name was Mrs. Moll (pronounced “mall”) and she always started the weekdays off by telling us a funny story about her golden retriever, AniMOLL. I remember being intrigued by the combination of the word “animal” and Mrs. Moll’s last name. It was the cleverest play on words to ever happen, like, in the world.
One day, Mrs. Moll assigned the class to write a story about an animal, and remembering the play on words that enticed me, I decided to unravel a story of AniMoll running away from home and the journey of her finding her way back to the loving arms of Mr. and Mrs. Moll. I devised encounters with wild bunnies and squirrels, took time to pick just the right words to draw the scene, and I made sure my readers knew the sound of AniMoll’s metal name tag tapping against her metal water dish. Ting, ting, ting. After Mrs. Moll read through the classes’ stories, she pulled mine up onto the overhead projector and praised my story in front of the entire class. And I’ve got to say, she really helped to put my name on the map and get the kids to notice me, per say.
I was hooked. The thrill of unburying the gems, jewels, and pearls of words turned into my new favorite hobby.
A Thesaurus was like gold inside the treasure chest. The simple fact that there are multiple words that mean the same thing amazed me. I could use my slight Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to my advantage when I rearranged words in sentences to make them sound like myself, and looking at each word to determine if that was really the best word. My mom was always the biggest fan of my writing, and she asked to hear it aloud frequently, which gave me the chance to critique the way it sounded. I was never satisfied and I always thought there had to be a better word floating around out in the sea of words.
As I transitioned into those awkward teenage girl years, I learned that writing could also be an outlet. I learned how morph the voice and tone of my writing to fit to my emotions. It was fascinating to be able to transform my literary voice from a delicate, innocent voice to ferocious sentences.
And the passage into “adulthood,” has proven to me that whether it is pencil to paper or finger to keyboard, I write for myself. I write because I simply love it. My words on paper help me to untangle my thoughts and unwind.
Prepare for #cheesy
My writing makes me whole.
LIGHTER SELECTION COMMITTEES
We hope to see you at our Selection Committee Meetings this week. Join us for pizza and drinks in the Lighter Office (2nd floor VUCA) as we discuss and select the works to be featured in the next issue of The Lighter!
POETRY Monday 8pm
PROSE Tuesday 8pm
ART Wednesday 8pm
DEADLINE for art submissions has been extended to OCTOBER 16. As always, all forms of art welcome, video, sculpture, drawing or otherwise. Email The.Lighter@valpo.edu with questions or if you want to drop off a physical submission.
turnscrew said: Are you allowing VIDEO ART submissions this year?!
A post by Brad Martin at londondesignz. I Love that ‘S’!
The Society of Revisionist Typographers at Fortnum & Mason.
As part of the London Design Festival, The Society of Revisionist Typographers (known also as SORT Design) were running a Letterpress workshop at Fortnum & Mason in London’s Piccadilly. I popped in to see them and the lovely examples of their work being showcased.
Driven by a passion for traditional printing skills, Thomas Boulton and Theo Wang founded SORT with the aim of bringing these skills back into active use through application and practice. While this philosophy underpins their work, they don’t let it limit their creativity. The examples above demonstrate a maturity, depth of knowledge and firm grounding in typographic practice.
For anyone visiting them at Fortum & Mason, SORT were giving out personalised note pads, the catch being that you had to print your own! Once they had composited and inserted the type, the lucky recipient had to operate the Letterpress - one swing of the lever and my notepad was ready. No prizes for guessing what I had printed, but I’ve included a couple of photos above if it wasn’t obvious!
Dark Universe, the new Hayden Planetarium Space Show premiering November 2 at the American Museum of Natural History, is produced by an acclaimed team that includes astrophysicists and data visualization experts. The script is written by award-winning science author Timothy Ferris. In addition to penning several best-selling books and consulting on space exploration policy for NASA, Ferris has another intriguing credit on his résumé—in 1977 he produced the “Golden Records” carried by the two Voyager spacecraft on their journey through our solar system and beyond.
The famous Nobel-winning scientist, Marie Curie, once said: “A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale.”
Casey Dunn is just trying to bring a little bit of that fairy tale back to science.
A Brown University scientist, Dr. Dunn has added animation director to his list of titles over the last four years. In 2009, with money from the National Science Foundation for an audio podcast project, Dr. Dunn was convinced by a student — and a squid — to create animations instead. That student, Sophia Tintori, was working on a project on the squid’s very changeable colors. Once Dr. Dunn saw what she created, he said there was no turning back.