Carol Khorramchahi

The sun bloomed on the horizon, golden petals stretching ever outwards into the rich blue. It was the brilliant flower of the sky that warmed my day. It was the invitation to a new day, that sunrise so ordinary yet, extraordinary. It peeked up over the waves, and the thin rays glistened over the sparkling undulations of the ocean. Upon the sunny beach, upon the rising gold, my eyes listened to the light as it played upon seawater, streams of pulsing light saturated the surface with a golden haze. It was a loud silence. The horizon was stitched with a line of silver.

With browning legs curled under, dusted with sand like flour on bread, I sat close to the lapping waves. Warm and cool, like tea that had been forgotten and returned to. My fingers wiggled in the water, in the lips of the ocean as she sang. The waves broke around the rocks in the shallows, their foam crests became chaotic lace over the blue. I watched it swirl, mesmerized, as if the movement of the water choreographed my thoughts. The waves of sunlit skies pulsed upon shore in a steady rhythmic beat, coming in as the dancing hem of a long and flowing gown, some crashing like hands of the sea pounding on the seashore.

I meandered forwards until the water soaked my bare feet, my shoes already dangling in my left hand, tasting the brine as much as I smelt it. Waves came as finest strands of blue-green hair, infused with sunlit white. For these were the great locks of our goddess the sea, of she who breathed life into the world and kept her steady shoreline beat. When these boats of nature’s tide, these free sailing sun-kissed branches, came to rest upon either pebbles or golden sands, they sat as kings adoring the seawater view. 

I settled on the pure, primrose sand, my eyes moved from sand to stone, from rock pools to breaking waves. In the gentle spring sunshine I felt as if I were swimming in the briny aroma, as if the new rays of the day brought a frisson of energy to my fingertips. It was a day for letting my eyes stay open, as I was an old fashioned camera, remaining still while the image developed. The gulls brought their high notes to the percussion of pebbles at the shore, their wings are like the pages from my childhood storybooks flying high in the sunny rays.

My hand scooped the sand that ran like cold lava through my star-fish fingers and onto the dry beach. I gazed at the falling sand like a child, overtaken by love and awe. Below it rose a drip-castle, a sandcastle that looked for all the world like a melted candle, for me it was the towering castle of my story books, in which my childhood was locked in. The best of my memories as far back and forwards as I could reach, formed the golden thread of both soul and spine. Memories, the good and painful, are photographs – and I could choose what kind of album I wished to build, as I looked around the infinite blue that surrounded me, I wanted all my albums to be filled with azure.

Are We Really Alive?

By Pedro Venancio

Deep in my essence, the confusion corroded my lost soul, and strangely; the feeling became part of me.

On that day, the intense sun left me with a languid soul as if every thought slowly danced through my heavy mind and every moment I lived, I could only wish I didn’t. Until I drowned in the own calamitous ocean of my unquiet mind. Although the immense magnitude of heat left a scar on me, when nighttime arose from the dead, I weirdly missed the brightness. The sun hammered people’s essence but at the same time gave purpose to their spirit. At dawn is when people are reborn from the period of unconsciousness. For a couple, rapid hours in the dawn, people feel vivid, feel infinite as their lives are never going to end. But it’s also in the dawn when they most complain about their scar. People complain about the warmth that the greatest star shares with them; people complain when the small stars take place and they feel their bones numb as if they were inside a freezer; why are people that sensitive to nature? Maybe that’s the reason why they destroy it, their own sensitivity; people complain about themselves, others, and life; but when someone’s life end, they cry a river of sadness, impeding them from once again seeing the sun in life and accepting their fate to live scarred. Isn’t that a paradox? When the bright star goes to rest at the other end of the world, people miss the spark and soon are stuck with the white moon which brings the wintry-weather.

As the dusk reigned the world, chilly temperatures knocked on people’s soft skin. Myself, in my compact yet strangely comfy apartment, I felt the wind take my soul on a tour to desolation in isolation. My frightened body approximated to the mirror, scared of what I had to see, alone in my mind but full of people in my life. Usually, the misconfigured reflex would let someone see themselves, but I couldn’t tell what I felt or saw. Deep in my essence, the confusion corroded my lost soul, and strangely; the feeling became part of me as if I was holding the weight of the world in my back even though my head felt as light as paper. Inside the depth of my eyes, the windows to my lost soul, I felt lonely as if the dusk made me realize all the problems, or the dawn made me create all the problems? The girl in the mirror was not the same as me. Somehow the same person in appearance but not the same in essence. I just wanted to change places with the girl inside the mirror, solemn: A life everybody desires. The dusk took my will, the moon was full while I was empty. The wind blowing through my hair and carrying the thoughts away to another day. Physically, I was alone but I knew that despair was sitting by my side. I softly touched the other side of my peculiar identity and woke up to reality confused, wondering, are people only alive to a degree?


“You know,” I start, my voice failing to hide my hesitation, “Sometimes I like to pretend the moon is there solely to adore me.”

I turn my head to look at her.

“Up there, in the soundless, emotionless void of space, the moon stays, gazing down at me with a total, endless love, as though that is all it is there for. Even in the day, when the moon should be outshined by the sky’s surrounding light, it stays adoring.”

“What about the sun?” She asks.

“Not the sun,” I respond quickly, my voice louder this time. “Never the sun. It is much to harsh to be loved, never mind be capable itself of love.” I crack a small smile in the dark. “The moon, although somewhat cold and distant, is never harsh.”

I sigh.

“I wish to be loved so deeply and so fully that sometimes-”

I raise my hand up to the sky, my fingers grasping for the moon.

“It’s unbearable.”

No Place For The Weak

By Veronica Streibel-May

From the moment she stepped out, a freezing sensation swept over her and it practically consumed her. 

As the sun was creeping up on the chaotic city, and with it the thought of what the day held loomed over like a dark cloud. The single spark of joy that bloomed in her mind was the smell of baked cinnamon rolls that would soon captivate her nostrils. Little did she know that soon enough the scent of gasoline would interrupt the sweet sensation of the freshly baked goods. As she shoved herself out the door, she reached for a jacket before leaving, hoping it would not only protect her from the winter chill, but also the feeling of loneliness living in this overpopulated city. From the moment she stepped out, a freezing sensation swept over her and it practically consumed her. 

Her stride was languid in an attempt to appreciate the contemporary buildings that danced before her eyes, yet still escaping her on days where her thoughts echoed endlessly in her mind. 

The juxtaposition between this hectic city and her hometown is uncanny. The constant tapping and drumming of elephant feet drowned out anything pleasant. The screeching of the hunks of metal flooded her ears like a tsunami. There was no hope of protecting or salvaging her damaged eardrums. Nonetheless this is the place where dreams came true. A place where she could touch the sky just as skyscrapers do. However they have bodies of concrete and cold glass while she has pieces of flesh stuck together.

With this thought swirling around, she needed to ascertain that next time, she would take an alley that didn’t send shivers down her spine or force the need to touch her pockets every two seconds. She knew this city was safe, but like all the buildings constructed here, people wouldn’t rush to help you. They stayed in their own lane, never looking left or right. Only when driving did they break this stereotype. People’s interpretation of the traffic laws as suggestions proved unfamiliar and strange to me.

How to Write A College Essay

By Felipe Bauer

I realized I don’t have an exciting enough life to use a significant event as a launching pad through which demonstrate my very vivid and exquisitely rich personality. That is why I make the conscious decision to lie, or rather, embellish the truth. After all, you have no way of confirming my story.

Because I need practice.

And you see, Mr. Admissions Officer Person, practice makes perfect. That shows a lot about my person because it demonstrates that I’m a hardworking individual. That is why I would be a good addition to this arbitrarily selected course I’ll probably drop anyway once my privileged self realizes money doesn’t grow on trees, or on analytical essays on Shakespeare.

But perhaps I am getting a bit ahead of myself. To avoid cliches, I selected this totally specific writing prompt, through which I will recall a most significant event that occurred to me, that is, the person writing this essay, in my short existence on this Earth. It was a rainy Saturday night, on the day of – a date that I very specifically remember – when working with the beggar I had helped on the streets the previous days, three kittens were saved from a burning building by the valiant efforts exerted by our persons. 

From the life-changing experience that was witnessing a building burning on a rainy day, I realized I don’t have an exciting enough life to use a significant event as a launching pad through which demonstrate my very vivid and exquisitely rich personality. That is why I make the conscious decision to lie, or rather, embellish the truth. After all, you have no way of confirming my story.

Now with that exhausting recollection out of the way, I must tell you why I have chosen, this, again, meticulously selected course. It is due to these very specific reasons that apply only to me and to no one else. Firstly, I greatly enjoy partaking in intellectual pursuits within this area of study. Secondly, I hope to one day work with such a subject matter. Thirdly, it was the least competitive option offered at your prestigious learning institution, and to me, quite frankly, name recognition is more important than human integrity. What’s the point of a challenge if you don’t win, my grandfather, a retired Vietnam war veteran used to say?

The point, or should I say, purpose, is that you grow from the experience. And with that, my hardworking person has produced an essay with structural coherence. I have high hopes that this was enough to convince you that I am, indeed, a human being, and not just a number on a screen and to prompt in you a certain curiosity for my character, which is not the one I have fabricated, enough so to let me attend your esteemed institution.

The 5 Easy Steps to Quickly Say Nothing and Pretend like you Contribute

By Felipe Bauer

Getting people to read your writing is all about having a point that feeds into people’s confirmation biases, a title that’s highly controversial, and an image.

“Hooke’s law is a law of physics that states that the force (F) needed to extend or compress a spring by some distance (x) scales linearly with respect to that distance” (“Hooke’s Law”). That means that further you deviate from the title of your essay at the start (x) the greater the force your hook will be, as the reader wonders what is the correlation between the thing they payed for (in kindness, because we do this for free) and whatever desperate attempt at comedic relevancy the author is attempting. 476f6f640a. It’s kind of like being a social media influencer. Getting people to read your writing is all about having a point that feeds into people’s confirmation biases, a title that’s highly controversial, and an image.

The “point” part is usually called a “thesis,” in which you state your focus and your arguments to prove you are right. It is usually followed by the most boring sentence of your piece, as you struggle to gain your footing after spending over 60 minutes thinking of Hooke. That is your first topic sentence. As a matter of fact, all topic sentences are boring, like social media influencers, because they have to connect with the next paragraph, and as someone who wants to get off on minimal work, you can’t be bothered writing a joke that will span multiple paragraphs and actually be intelligent. 

As a matter of fact, experts claim that only 10% of people will make it past your title. Most will be turned off by it’s controversy, some by it’s uselessness. Those who make it past the title will then check it the article contains an image, followed by a skim over the introductory paragraph. It is important, to leave something extremely random and confusing in the first few sentences for seemingly no reason. This forces the few active readers to check through your body paragraphs for clues, like that hexadecimal is a great coding system. People with English degrees call these things “literary devices.” An example would be the recurring motif of mentioning social medial influencers for no reason. I, on the other hand call them “making it seem like I made more than one draft, even though I’m totally making this up as I go along.”

The 5 Easy Steps to Quickly Say Nothing and Pretend like you Contribute

Including an image somewhere between the third and second paragraph is crucial for reader retention. They can play the role of distracting the reader from the fact that you have no idea what you are doing and completely forgot what that great joke was you came up with when you were in the middle of your introduction. This might not even be necessary if your target audience are social media influencers. Such a method has an effectiveness of 47%, and that is because images between paragraphs serve to completely break the flow off the essay. Preferably make them as large as possible, with no text. That is because the areas of the brain responsible for word and image comprehension are completely different, forcing a break in the first to activate the second.

Now that you have the random images, the dumb titles, and the well crafted thesis that always comes off worse when re-written for the conclusion, how do you make sure the readers keep coming back for more? The key word is interaction. Ask rhetorical questions. Make a random sixth point in your 5 step guide instead of actually writing a conclusion, making the conclusion and the thesis much longer than your body paragraphs. Those make the reader feel like they are part of the text, and have a connection with you, the author. That voice they make for you in their heads will make sure they see you as more then words in a piece of paper. Another piece of advice, and this goes for those trying go attract a more intellectual crowd, is to include random facts. In verbal or numerical form. Can be correct or completely made up, sourced or unsourced. It just needs to sound the slightest bit believable so that nobody actually bothers checking if there are sources. Soon, there will be hundreds of people saying that the brain uses two different sectors for word and image recognition. When someone finally decides to check it that’s correct, the only Google result will be your article. Then the entire population will be split in two sides: those who are hooked on your big brain, and the social media influencers.