How time flies when you’re under deadline. Got a 16-inch stack of alumni magazines here. Let’s see . . . .
Proving that you just never know where a story will come from (and that you can’t make this stuff up), Columns, the magazine of Southern Adventist University, has a story about ironing. Yes, ironing. “Pressed for Time” describes how a woman named Darlene Turner donates two hours a week to iron the church clothes for Southern Adventist undergraduates, which is awfully sweet of her. The sort of story you will only find in a university magazine, and hands down the best ironing story I’ve ever read.
Best adventure story in the last month comes from Window out of Western Washington University. Writer Caroline Van Hemert provides a first-person narrative account of a trek from Bellingham, Washington to the coast of Northwest Alaska. I don’t know why anyone would want to go out for that sort of a walk, but people do, and Van Hemert ably writes about the experience in “Pushing the Limits.”
The fourth morning greets us with more drizzle, another call to the pilot, another day of hateful waiting. Around noon, the tent’s beige, mosquito-pocked fabric brightens and I shut my eyes against another round of false hope. The clouds have remained low and stationary all day, and the forecast is for more rain. But when a harsh yellow light probes my closed lids and refuses to go away, I sit up and unzip the tent fly.
Pat is alert now, too, looking at my face expectantly. For the first time in days, my cracked lips stretch into a smile. Pat smiles back.
Within minutes I’ve reached the pilot with a weather update. “Please come. NOW.” I plead. “We can see all the way over the tops of the peaks, the sky is blue, the winds are light.” When he promises that he is on his way, we sit outside and listen for the drone of a distant plane, willing insects, birds, anything that moves, to be the sound that will save us.
Ithaca College’s IC View did something clever with it’s Winter ’13 cover that you can only do with print. Look closely at the center of the forehead on the kid in the cover illustration. That rectangle of text—”Don’t let me fall. I will be brave.”—is visible through a die cut. Open the cover and you find the text is actually on the table of contents page as part of an illustration of an iPad. The cover story, “Unlocking the Mind,” by Keith Davis, reports on speech pathologist Tina Caswell’s work using iPads to communicate with autistic kids. Smart cover.
Finally, The University of Virginia Magazine has a well-wrought science piece worthy of your attention, “The Science of Reincarnation.” Writer Sean Lyons explores the work of UVA psych professor Jim Tucker, who studies children who believe they have had past lives, or as one such child quoted in the lead puts it, “Mama, I think I used to be someone else.” (Try that as something you hope never to hear from your kid. That, and, “Mom, can I have 20 bucks for some crystal meth?”)
The story includes an infographic that set my physics nerdboy mind spinning in the best way. Click on it and expand your own noggin:
That does it for today. More coming in the days ahead, including the most dramatic redo I’ve ever seen in a university magazine. Happy holidays.