Exit 17 - Seventh Edition
A collection of Mt. Hood Community College student essays
from Writing 115, 121, and 122
Reviewed, compiled, edited, and produced by
and the MHCC Language and Literature Department
Table of Contents
(all essays are in PDF format - requiring Acrobat Reader)
"Never give up, hope will be ended if you give up. You can still be a winner if you keep going.” The second sentence was like a tattoo carved on my skin, like my blood running around in my brain. My spirit was strengthened. I began to study harder and harder, as did my classmates.
I wanted to be close to home, to my family, but California was his home, and I was his family. These thoughts were drowning me and I could hardly breathe. With the windows down in the Caprice, the morning sun was warming my arms. I felt like I could have stretched out my arms and flown the rest of the way home. On that drive, I realized I had to make a choice.
You were sitting there in class, pounding your fist on the desk, and got a cramp in your stomach from laughing too hard. Now you are leaning over your three best friends, shaking them, hoping that they will be awake, alive. You can actually taste the fish-like smell of blood gushing through their bullet-holed clothes and you try to stop the bleeding by putting pressure on it. It is hopeless. That is my father’s story.
Then came the big moment: he showed me the proper way to get in without bumping the controls or putting my foot through a glass instrument face, not that there were many of these to break. He then closed my door, walked around to the other side, and got in, closing his door behind him. “Oh well, I guess it’s as good a day as any to die,” raced through my mind. Larry went through the start cycle, explaining to my deaf ears what he was doing. He might as well have been speaking in ancient Greek for all that I was getting out of it.
When I answered, “Yes, I am supposed to be here,” she saw “it”: that horrible, terrible part of my identity that would cause me almost more problems than it was worth. My tongue ring. She promptly grabbed me by the arm and pulled me quite harshly to the side and said, “You are not allowed to have any part of your body pierced other than your ears, and since I see that you have at least ten in each ear, I must also tell you that you are not allowed to have more than two in each. So let me ask you again….are you really sure that you are supposed to be here?”
Everybody listen up! Everybody in the city has been declared hostile! If it moves, it dies!” He held up his map and pointed to two red bridges on the north and south side of the city that he had circled in thick red ink. “Everything between here and here! The whole battalion has to get through the city and we have to secure the main road going through it so they can!” As he continued to yell orders at us, our vehicle began to rumble forward, quickly gaining speed until it was going full throttle. Artillery boomed from behind and machine guns started bursting out all around us as we rolled across the bridge over the Euphrates River and into the city.
Most of us do not routinely stumble into hairy situations with the mob, or find ourselves the unwitting target of corporate hit-men. I do not know of anyone who has had to drop everything to race off to the Soviet Union (I suppose now it would be Iraq) to save a nuclear physicist and his attractive daughter who get caught trying to defect. Well, I could tell you about it, but then I’d have to kill you.
Lengel would like to think of culture as a rock never moving because he has been inculcated into the system, with all of its beliefs, accepted modes of expression, and taboos. As a reward for his fealty, Lengel has been somewhat nurtured. He is relatively successful in the work force and respected in society as a manager of the A & P and as a Sunday school teacher. In short, Lengel is comfortable. Therefore, anything that challenges the status quo in any way is automatically viewed as a threat rather than a virtue. You can almost hear Lengel whining, “But this is the way it’s always been!” as the sexual revolution unfolds and his world crumbles around him.
I believe that every overtly negative action is born from a more covert, equally negative action or influence and until the latter is dealt with, the former will prevail. Furthermore, the overt negativity is often what is more actively addressed, while the covert, passive-aggressive causes are virtually ignored despite the fact that the damage they cause can be significantly more destructive and longer-lasting. What this means in terms of violence is that guns, knives, fists, and even bombs are only tiny, topical components of a massive machine of destruction, and as in most machines, the components that are visible from the outside of the structure are typically not the ones crucially connected to its power source.
People make the music choices that they do for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are driven by external influences. If the listener doesn’t become more discerning and personally involved in their decisions, they will soon find their options to be extinct. Disc Jockeys, marketing campaigns, and passivity on the listener’s part are undermining the smaller record labels’ chances of gaining a wide audience, or any audience at all.
On a surprising morning in February 2004, Oregonian readers’ mouths dropped open at the headline that screamed the miserable plight of their beloved Rose Quarter. “How could a building, owned by one of the wealthiest men in the world, be bankrupt?” they asked themselves. Here’s the answer: Paul Allen has allowed his liabilities to loan holders to take the back seat (with an 8.99 percent interest rate, mind you!), while “certain” other pleasurable purchases have kept him busy.