Kelsey Pursel & Samuel Santiago, Editors
William Connor, Managing Editor
LouLou Alkurdi, Associate Editor
Editorial Board Trinity Golden, Rachel Li, Nicholas Nalence, Justin Sabu, Eric Seamans, Ala Streater, Andy Vo, Kellina Wanteu, Bridget Welsh
Faculty Advisor Jimmy J. Pack Jr., MFA/MA, Creative Writing
Assistant Faculty Advisor Hudson Saffell, MA, English
Art Coordinator H. John Thompson, MFA
Notes From The Editors
It is going to be weird moving forward after graduation, not having this club looming over my head all of the time. Though, it was never a bad loom—The Abington Review constantly pressured me to do in situations where I would have otherwise been static. Edit yourself more harshly, revise more thoughtfully, read more—write more! In the end, it worked; the loom of The Abington Review ensured that I kept doing. Without having been a member of this club, my experience as a writer and reader would have been halved, and I would not have met many of the awesome individuals that I have worked with over the last few years.
This edition of the magazine is something of a send-off for myself several other seniors. I would like to thank them and wish them luck, our head editors—Will, Loulou, and Kelsey—who so stoutly dedicated themselves to this club. Sometimes through vicious arguments and sometimes through calm revisions, they, alongside the entire editorial board, committed admirable effort and a consistent criticality to develop this magazine. I would also like to thank those across our campus who have so majorly contributed to my evolution as a writer and growth as a thinker over the last four years: Dr. Naydan, for her outpouring of advice and support, both professional and personal, and for her unparalleled, contagious positivity; Dr. Nicosia, for leading a series of classes which forged my abilities as a reader and writer, and broadened my ability to study and enjoy literature; Dr. Weekes, for her classes which transformed my perceptions of the world; Dr. Salguero, for his so thoroughly exposing me to new cultures and philosophies; Miss Esposito, for encouraging my writing and inspiring me to pursue English studies; Dr. Knodt, for her mentoring of me as a future educator; Mr. Wolkow, for leading some of the most enjoyable and nonconventional class experiences I’ve ever had; Hudson, for his cool-headed wisdom throughout the process of building this magazine; and, of course, Jimmy—the faculty adviser of The Abington Review. He not only helped me establish and discover myself as an academic and creative individual, but in the process became close friend who’s advice and example has made me a better person.
Moving on from this great group of people and onto new things is daunting, but by their collective guidance and friendship I have been made wise enough not to dread the future and instead be excited for what it holds.
I’ve always had a passion for reading. My experience with The Abington Review began simply as an outlet to practice what I love most, but it became a more eye-opening and enriching experience than I could have imagined. As I witnessed the growth of others’ writing, my own was also inspired. A year ago, I never would have predicted that I would comfortably publicize my creative writing. The editorial board and I were immensely lucky to work with Jimmy Pack and Hudson Saffell, who guided us in surpassing our limits as writers, and prompted us to constantly adopt new perspectives and challenge our preconceptions.
The Abington Review, in many ways, has helped me realize and actualize the skills that I’ve acquired throughout my years at Abington. I would like to thank those who committed to my development of those skills in the first place.
Dr. Marissa Nicosia has been a bigger help and stronger support system than I could possibly express. As a teacher and an advisor she fostered the growth of my writing and helped me maintain my mental wellbeing as I neared graduation and considered my future. I would not have been able to accomplish what I have without her, and will always be thankful for
I am grateful for Dr. Karen Weekes, who bettered my life as a college student by going out of her way to consider my personal needs, and I admire her leading classes which confront difficult but important topics.
I would like to thank Daniel Wolkow for encouraging me to try new kinds of writing and for his classes being full of personality, making their subjects even more enjoyable to study.
Finally, I want to acknowledge my fellow editors, Sam Santiago, Loulou Alkurdi, and Will Connor. They are the glue that held this iteration of The Abington Review together, and without our collaboration, this accomplishment would have been impossible. The adventure of creating this magazine would have been a mundane, incredibly stressful task without their company.
During my last two years at Penn State Abington, I have had the privilege of being the Managing Editor of The Abington Review. Supported by Abington’s skilled Writing Department, nourished by the burgeoning college writers and artists, The Abington Review has produced consistently creative, innovative, elaborative, reflective, and explorative magazines setting a high bar for all other undergraduate literary and art magazines.
Through working with the Review, I have been fortunate to work with Professor Jimmy J. Pack Jr., Professor Hudson Safell, Editor Sam Santiago, Editor Kelsey Pursel, Editor Loulou Alkurdi, and the talented, conscientious, and driven staff members of The Abington Review. Without the support of the English Department, the College of Liberal Arts, and the undaunted pool of talented college students, The Abington Review could not be the masterpiece that it is. Penn State Abington and The Abington Review have provided nurturing, intellectually stimulating safe havens that have allowed my classmates, my Review compadres, and I to expand our intellectual horizons and develop professional skills we can use to help shape the world, enacting change and progress, while, more importantly, finding employment. As Malcom X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” So laugh, cry, think arduously, reflect, and, above all, indulge in the works brought to you by Abington’s brightest young minds, enabled by the wisdom of Abington’s faculty.
The words and images that fill these pages have been delicately crafted by Abington students, and chosen by the dedicated The Abington Review editors, staff, and advisors. The Abington Review consists of a group of passionate writers and artists; with the help of thoughtful and encouraging advisors like Jimmy and Hudson, we are capable of publishing a magazine that surpasses our expectations each year.
As a writer, I constantly find myself searching for new inspirations. Reading and interacting with the work submitted has provided me with the motivation to seek new limits in my own writing. After four years at Abington, I finally took the risks in my writing that Jimmy Pack had been patiently encouraging me to try. Without him, or Dr. Naydan—who has inspired and guided me through so many difficult times—I would not have sought new opportunities as a writer and the chance work with The Abington Review. I also have to thank Dr. Heise for the structured feedback and environment created in his English 412; I would not have been able to share the process of my new venture in writing without him, nor would I have been able to survive the past year without the constant support and comic relief of my fellow editors and friends Sam, Will, and Kelsey. Most importantly, none of this would exist without the authors and artists who submitted their work to share with and inspire the readers and fellow writers of The Abington Review, thank you.
Introduction To This Issue—
Two weeks before we sent this magazine out to be printed, national news was suddenly abuzz, reporting the reevaluation of a set of bones discovered in 1940 on Nikumaroro, a remote island in the western Pacific. Remeasuring the bones and comparing those measurements to relevant databases, the scientist heading the reevaluation—Richard L. Jantz—concluded with unprecedented certainty that the bones were those of Amelia Earhart. This scientific and historical revelation—a mostly concrete conclusion to Earhart’s eighty year long mystery of disappearance—was nationally celebrated. Earhart, as a figure of bravery and progress, has inspired and informed this edition of The Abington Review.
Earhart attended our Abington campus around 1916, when it was still the Ogontz School for Young Ladies. Over twenty years later, after having realized and committed herself to her passion for flying, Earhart aimed to circumnavigate the world. Only 2000 miles off from completing that goal, she vanished. The mystery of her disappearance and the courage of her actions has captivated and motivated people for generations. But, with this newfound sureness that Earhart’s bones were those found on Nikumaroro, her tale has met a disturbing and sorrowful ending. Whatever her plane’s malfunction, it stranded her upon a desolate island to await a bleak demise. However, she may not have been totally alone. Though his remains were never found, Fred Noonan, veteran sea captain and aviator, accompanied Earhart in her circumnavigational ambitions. The two of them displayed extraordinary bravery in electing themselves to embark upon such a treacherous journey.
We doubt that any students of Penn State Abington would be so bold as to directly compare themselves to the heroism of Earhart and Noonan, but our campus’ many contributors to this magazine have also been on treacherous excursions, forcing themselves to uncover their own bravery. While, admittedly, not as life-threatening as circling the globe from miles above, the writers and artists within this collection have faced many fears, both harbored within themselves and heaved upon them by the world—their journeys were of self-confrontation, knowing that the results of their introspection would be revealed to the public through this magazine. That, we think, is something of boundless bravery.
This magazine is full of Earharts and Noonans alike—those underrepresented or unknown making a voice for themselves for the first time—whether they are shy students finally publicizing their craft, or are from cultural histories which too often go undiscussed, finally bringing their stories to the foreground. We are proud beyond measure of the bravery displayed by the creatives who challenged themselves and their world to build something new, and then dared to display their works with pride. This may be just one edition of an undergraduate magazine from a satellite campus, but it is also a beacon of dedication, accomplishment, and camaraderie.
—Kelsey Pursel & Samuel Santiago