Student Voices Forum

Menlo College

Month: April 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Self-Illusion – By Tanvi Mathur

Waves, wind, and whisper of the night,

Chaos of all beings out of sight

Drops of water flying through the breeze,

Feet soaked, thoughts flowing with ease

The ground shifting beneath,

A small terror rising within,

But one deep breath protects me like a sheath,

Still standing, comfortable in my skin

More confident than I’ve ever been

Stars shining above, a grainy canvas setting below,

In between lays my reflection, or is it just a fictitious image

of the person I want to be? What do you see?

Being Alaskan – By Brittany Woods-Orrison

I am from Alaska

The digits that I have faced were well below zero

I’ve still been known to get cold in Cali

We also deal with heat that convinces us village kids to dive into the cold Yukon deep

I am Alaskan Native, and No you did not ask

My Koyukon Athabascan elders went through assimilation and discrimination

We still feel the same hate that wants to ruin our fate

I did not drink or smoke despite the facts and stats

I did not kill myself, even as death’s suicide grip grasps our map

You did not ask, but yes, I think everyone should know

I went to a boarding school run by the state trying to get out of the money due dates

The students are Indigenous seeking empowerment and breaking restraints

It used to be run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and children with TB were sent there

The children were abused and it never made the news

My great grandparents sipped then hit

My grandfather hides and tries

My mother saved me by breaking the cycle

I am an Alaskan for Alaskans

That is why I am in California

Breathing Under the Deep End – By Brittany Woods-Orrison




The Shoes You Will Own – By Samantha Newman

How many shoes do you own throughout your life? Probably more than you can count, or at least more than you can remember. When you’re first born you have no shoes. Your parents might stick them on you, but you kick them right off and you never remember them. You typically don’t remember shoes until you’re at least 3 or 4. At that point shoes actually mean something to you.

In preschool you have many shoes you remember. You have a pair of white sandals with butterflies on the strap. You love them because they’re comfortable, but you’re sad because they are open-toed. You can’t wear them to school. You tried once and got in trouble. One day at a swap-meet you meet your new favorite pair; black boots with beads on the fringe. You love them so much, and wear them almost raw. One day at school, you step into a dog’s mess and you cry because your mom refuses to clean them, and throws them in the trash. You cry and cry. You beg your grandmother to go back to the swap-meet only to find there are no more. You will never find a pair of black boots with beads on the fringe again. You learn a new sentiment that day: resentment.

Time goes on and you own more shoes. You own red, glittery flats that are like Dorothy’s in The Wizard of Oz. They aren’t very comfortable, but they are nice. They are pretty, and you think they make you look fancy.

In elementary school you are unsure of yourself, you wear Nike sneakers almost everyday because your mom goes on about something called “arch-support”. Other kids question your fashion choices. You have other shoes too, like a pair of more fashionable Converse, some slip-ons with a cute, cherry print on them, and galoshes for when it rains. Everyone laughs at you when you call them galoshes. They’re rain boots.

Part of you still hurts over the loss of your black boots with the beaded fringe, but eventually you invest in a new pair of black boots. They are fashionable, comfortable, and go with almost every occasion – unless you’re wearing a dress, then your mom gets mad at you for wearing a dress and boots together. You wear them to the ground. You wear them in winter, in spring, in summer, and in fall. You wear them around the corner and on vacation. By middle school they are worn out. You want to preserve these black boots so you try and wear them less, switching between your comfortable Nikes and your Converse. The boots are still your favorite, though.

Other colored boots don’t really interest you. You’ve tried on grey ones, brown ones, and even a fancy pair of red ones, but you can’t seem to get past the black boot. You wonder if it’s because your mom threw away your ones with the fringe.

One day your best friend is over; she also has a pair of black boots, and she ends up accidentally switching yours with hers when she leaves. You don’t notice until the next day, and your foot slips into something alien. You quickly pull your foot out and scowl – those aren’t your boots. You text your best friend and let her know the mistake. She says she noticed, and she’ll bring them back next time she sees you.

It’s months. Every weekend she seems to forget, meanwhile her boots sit aside, unused, because they are not comfortable. She ends up wearing your boots everywhere. When you finally get them back they have holes in the sole and are unusable. You give her back her boots, the same as the day she left them, and throw yours in the trash.

You don’t own black boots for a minute after that.

When you go to high school you are over shoes. When it’s cold you throw on Converse, and most days you wear plain, black flip-flops because your high school lets you. Eventually you stop this practice though, because you’re tired of washing your feet every day after school and watching the water turn brown as it travels down the drain.

Converse become the main shoe. You also now own a pair of very expensive brown shoes; they are leather and handmade. You only wear them for special occasions, but sometimes when you are feeling down you wear them to school because of the height they give you, and the way they click as you walk on the concrete makes you feel powerful. As with all dress shoes though, you can only take them in small doses because they hurt your feet after a while.

One day, you’re making a costume for Halloween, and it calls for black boots. You grimace, thinking about all the times black boots have left you. It’s ok though; you’re in college now. That girl is no longer your friend, and if you step in a dog’s mess you will just clean it. You head to Target and buy a pair. They fit you like a glove, and make your feet look quite nice. You wear them happily for a couple of years, but they are from Target, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot save Target shoes. You eventually throw them out when they are too worn to keep your feet warm. You try another Target pair but you get the same results.

College has been tough, and you’re pretty poor these days. You could never afford fancy brown dress shoes, or even white sandals with butterflies on the straps. You walk along the shoe aisle of Savers, not really looking for anything in particular. You’re wearing Converse right now, but then you spot them. Black boots. They’re your size. They are Steve Maddens, 100% Leather, and $12.00. You blink, try them on, and smile when they fit perfectly. Better than any of the other black boots you have worn throughout the years. You don’t have $12.00 even though that’s cheap for shoes like these. You put it on your emergency credit card, and bring them home.

You wear them constantly; with dresses, to the beach, around the corner, on a date, at the airport. Practically everywhere except the shower. You’ve learned a lot of lessons about shoes, especially black boots. You know how to take care of black boots now, and even when they get scuffed up, you’ve purchased polish to shine them right up. The sole will likely wear out, as all shoes do, and you worry just a bit. Perhaps by chance or by fate you stay at an old cottage in Santa Cruz with a best friend, and it has the heater in the floor. You stand on the grate, unaware of how hot it is. When you step off there is new tread burned into them. You laugh with your best friend. You take good care of these black boots, and they take good care of you.

Lucidity – By Tanvi Mathur

Speak to others the way you would speak to yourself in the mirror,

For words display reflection much clearer

But pay no more heed to the tongue’s liberation,

Than to the deeds done, because in them lay all recognition.

Tiera Conley – Bird, Ocean

Tina Petelo – GGB, Island

Tina Petelo – Sky, Roads, Minion

Tina Petelo – Goddess of the Times

Tina Petelo – Garden, Tree, Flower

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