The Beauty of Submissions by Raquel Silberman

The greatest part about submitting my work is the suspense and excitement that overtakes me when waiting for a response. If my teachers do not urge me to check my emails more often, submissions sure do. Every marking period, CW students must submit to three places—journals, magazines, etc.—to showcase their writing voices and possibly get published. My first submissions took a great deal of courage. Reading poems to my classmates was one thing, but sending my work into the world for everyone to see was terrifying. After a year of monthly submissions, I take pride in saying I am a published writer. Submissions have become one of my favorite CW assignments because they give me a chance to extend my voice and share my annoyingly long poems I cannot burden others to read aloud. Another joy I have encountered through submissions was my first bilingual poem. CW has been notably helpful in strengthening my poetic voice, but it is not often I get the chance to read or write my work in another language. Last year I decided to submit a poem in both English and Spanish and to my surprise, it was published. 

The first person I sent the poem to was my grandma and while it may be a stretch to say submissions brought me an inch closer to my family, I like to think she was not exaggerating when she said: “I’m your number one admirer. Besos!” Now, I submit a piece in Spanish every other marking period for good luck, I call it my besos! 

Last night I got a package from a writing magazine which happened to contain a book with my besos poem. I’m proud to say my grandma still admires it.

These moments of joy happened separately from CW but they all link back to one assignment. Without the requirement to submit, I would have never known my work was submittable. Submissions are more than just a slight ego boost, they are an empathetic sort of encouragement in the form of a text message that always seems to come at the right time.

Clothing Optional

by Lizzie  (’14)

When we think of the people of this world, we picture them clothed, all their subtle ridges and proportions masked. One could argue that clothing is a vital armor of day-to-day life and one could also argue that the coverage of the human body is directly correlated to the insecurities we hold toward our image. Yes, clothing protects us from the cold and the brutalities of the weather, but what about when clothes are not necessary? More often than not, clothing is used to smother our self-consciousness, hiding what we’re uncomfortable with—but what if we did not have that defense mechanism? What if clothing was not only optional but useless?

Everyone in the world has something they wish they could change about themselves, and that something tends to be physical. For example, if someone is not pleased with the appearance of his midsection he is able to cover it up with flowing or bulky shirts. He is insecure because he is afraid of what people might think if they saw it. However, if nudity was the norm, he would have nothing to hide; his body fully exposed lifts the veil of secrecy.

Not only would nudism diminish physical insecurities, it would also dampen the separation between the rich and the poor. “They buy me all these ices. Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and that Donna Karan, they be sharin’, all their money got me wearin’ fly,” sings Fergie in the famous Black Eyed Peas song, “My Humps.” The clothing brands mentioned in the lyrics are notoriously expensive. A fan of the Black Eyed Peas may listen to the song and find herself desiring the brands Fergie mentions but she may not have the money to spend on such frivolous investments. This digs a deeper trench between the rich and the poor. Without clothing, that trench between the affluent and the less wealthy would be shallower and easier to pass through, thus creating a more united society.

If society came to the point of simply viewing humans as naked, in their natural state, physical insecurities would be dissolved and class alienation would be less definitive. So when hip-hop artist, Nelly, sang, “Take off all your clothes,” in his smash hit, “Hot in Here,” he was not only making a statement about the heat but also about how to subside many people’s irrational and unnecessary insecurities.