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essays from spring & fall 2010


It's about More than the Trophy
Katrina Berlin

"How does it feel to be undefeated for five seasons straight?" asked the soft voice on the line. “It feels great!” I lied. I should have told him how I hated the pressure to win, and I hated staring at the bottom of a pool for four hours a day. That’s not the best opening quote to an article, though, so for the time being, it was better to smile and stick with the lie.

Turning the Tables on the Blame Game
Adrian Jarvis

Reese’s well-supported argument allows him the chance to throw attitude into his writing and offer a more aggressive stance on the subject, giving his readers the slap on the wrists he so desperately wishes to give them. “Who are we to instantly become the judges of JMU’s moral standard?” (par. 7), he asks readers. Here Reese targets each reader’s ethical self-image, and does it with a pointed finger, letting his audience know that he is criticizing them directly, and not just entertaining them.

Writing Technologies: A Mystery!
Patrick Lee

Britta was the heiress to a computer store empire, and since literature is the primary export of the city, she made decent dough from all the writers. Once upon a time, she was an aspiring writer herself, but Britta never had the talent to compete with other up-and-coming writers, and with her new job as the head of her business, she'd been pretty busy. But there had been rumors of resistance coming up from the underground against computers and, by association, her stores. Word had been spreading about the pro-pencil, anti-electronics movement happening here in the city, but little was known about it.

Factory Farming: The Truth about the Poultry Industry
Jessica Stopa

The farms of wide-open pastures, free-ranging cows, and chicken pens are becoming a thing of the past. Today, the farm industry is turning into a factory--a completely industrialized machine. Animals that are raised for food are seen solely as a way to earn profit. Animals are now treated as goods, mere means to the producers, and are no longer seen as living organisms that are helping people survive.

Peering Into Peer Editing
Morgan Stubbe

I believe peer editing has limitations and needs alteration in several areas if it is to be a useful tool for improving writing. To learn more about the views of others, I decided to explore how beneficial they found peer editing based on their own experiences with the process. The aim of this study was to provide insight into the peer-editing process as it exists now and ultimately provide information that could improve the process and better students' writing.

The Art of the Epitaph
Mark Tyson

My difficulty with articulating my respect and love for my grandfather was compounded by the idea of the epitaph: a text (for better or for worse) that is enduring, that describes the person buried beneath the marker and reflects the cultural context of the period in which he or she lived. How can a sentiment be written that is both succinct and powerful, that does justice to the deceased, fully encapsulating his or her life achievements?

A Lifetime of Reading
Jordan Vinson

Books can provide an escape, a place in which nothing matters but you and the story. You are free to forget all your worries and simply be. I've attended the legendary parties at the Gatsby mansion on the arm of Nick Carraway. I've joined forces with Winston Smith in the opposition against Big Brother. I've been stranded on a tropical island during a raging war and watched alongside Ralph as my comrades resorted to savagery. I am a child of the novel.

Dear Governor McDonnell
Jasmine Walker

Abstinence-based education is not an adequate use of our time or government funds, and it is dangerous to our youth. Studies have revealed that kids who are taught sex ed in an abstinence-based school program actually become sexually active at a younger age than those who are taught comprehensive sex education.

Children of Technology
Samantha Wilkins

Advancement after advancement led to plans to insert a microchip to begin teaching language in the womb. Furthermore, they began extracting fetuses a month early so that they can develop in a programmed incubator that would display even more language education. It was federally promoted and subsidized and everyone was signing on, so we did too.

Adventures in Narnia
Maria X

It was easy for me to pretend to be straight. I used to wish that I were. I convinced myself that I was. Then, I identified as an ally to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and the whole alphabet soup of identities. I love them because they are fantastic, brave and strong for being out, and for being an example of how they're regular, real people. But back then, bisexuality in me wasn't what it was in other people. I thought it was okay in everybody else, but not in me.




volume eleven editorial board

Camille Corum
Casey Coughlin
Kathryn Crowley
Colleen Hayes
Paul Loman
Alana Massey
Kelly Morris
Ian Morrow
Chloe Mulliner
Chris Petty
Megan Reichart
Sarah Robertson
Martin Steger
Abby Ware

volume eleven faculty advisors

Karen McDonnell
Kevin Jefferson


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All authors have granted permission for use in instructional purposes only.

Unless explicitly noted, all ideas expressed on these pages are not those of e-Vision Magazine or of James Madison University.

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