All posts by Post Script Magazine

About Post Script Magazine

Post Script is a magazine written, edited, and produced by the Creative Writing Department of Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Through our articles, stories, poems, and the occasional lifehack, we have shared some of the things most important to us. There is a remarkable diversity of talent to be found in our students and their work, and we are unified by a common respect for that diversity. The editors and writers that make Post Script possible don’t have an end goal in sight, but instead a vision of a magazine that allows us to explore, learn, and grow. We have ventured into a new medium for self-expression and self-reflection, and hope that our art and the effort that went into this project will encourage, engage, and enlighten readers of all backgrounds.

The Woman in the Japanese Hospital Bed

By Derek Frazier

The early morning shift of the Kyoto Takeda Hospital was a slow one, dotted with the occasional life or death cases. The doctors had taken to calling it “The Delivery room.” The hospital lacked the necessary equipment to deliver children, so the name stuck.

Einosuke Hada was the newest member of the Delivery, a bright young man in his late twenties who recently graduated from an American medical school (he had gone on scholarship) and acquired his position. The only sound in the common area was the clop-clop-clopping of his shoes as he paced, papers being signed, and the ringing of the receptionist’s phone.

Einosuke heard the ringing of the ambulance sirens as the vehicle parked. A split second later the doors swung open.  

A group of four emergency medical specialists pulled a gurney with a woman strapped to it down the hall towards an operating room.

“Hada-Sama,” one of the specialist exclaimed, adding the honorific to Einosuke’s last name, “give us a hand!”

The young doctor stepped quickly behind the gurney, the baggy legs of his purple scrubs fluttering as he doubled his pace.

“Status?” he asked, keeping his eyes on the emergency room doors that were growing closer and closer.

“Female in her twenties, she’s stable but her vitals are weak,” The specialist from earlier spoke.  His name tag in his left breast pocket identified him as Harada.

“Cause of injuries?” Einosuke asked, looking down at the woman before him. She wore a ripped raincoat slick with blood. Underneath Einosuke could see a well made black dress, with silver detailing working its way down from her breasts to her stomach like a spiderweb of dew. The left side of the dress had split outwards from the seams, exposing purpled flesh. Blood and scraps of fabric mixed like paint on her pale skin.

Harada’s breath came out in puffs as they rushed along the sanitized halls. Einosuke repeated the question.

“Severe blunt force trauma,” Harada said. “Witness said she threw herself in front of a truck.”

The doors to the emergency room opened with a heavy clunk, as they slammed against the light blue walls. With a grunt, Harada and Einosuke managed to lift the young woman onto the table in the center of the room.

“Left brachial and antebrachial are shattered,” Einosuke muttered to himself, looking at the signs of damage after he gently cut away the undamaged sections of coat and dress. “At least three fractured ribs and possible bruising of her left lung.”

With a sponge he began dabbing away the blood, his stomach clenched at the tender give of flesh and bone.

“Massive bruising and contusions on the left side of her face,” Harada said, pointing before leaving the room.

Einosuke lifted his head from the apron he was tying behind his back to look at an entering nurse.

“Get Doctor Hirano, and bring an oxygen mask immediately!” he exclaimed, “And notify the blood reserve downstairs that we will need a possible transfusion.”

“Of course,” the nurse said before stepping out.

Eventually, the nurse and Doctor Hirano returned. The graying doctor did her best, trying to keep up with the frantic movements of her younger counterpart.

“Her breathing’s shaky,” Einosuke said, a hint of panic seeping into his voice and clawing into his heart. The woman’s already pale skin faded into translucence.

“Let’s get her an MRI,” Doctor Hirano said, wheeling a new gurney over to the table before holding the patient’s ankles. “Slip that mask over her mouth.”

As Einosuke watched the young woman sleep in the MRI under the influence of anesthesia, he felt a lump grow in his throat.

He was just about to pray to the Buddha when Doctor Hirano made a noise in the back of her throat.

“What is it?” He asked.   

 Hirano let her gaze turn to the door of the analyzation chamber.

“She has a tako tsubo,” Hirano said.

Einosuke looked at the monitor in disbelief, blinking his eyes in hopes that he wasn’t seeing the disfigured bell shape of her heart.

However, no matter what, her heart stayed misshapen.

“Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy,” Einosuke said.

With a grumble of frustration, he ran his fingers through his straight black hair. Individuals who suffered from the ailment experienced an overflow of blood into their heart, a result of the interior tendons snapping. They died of a broken heart.

“Is there anything we can do?” He asked. “I’ve never– this isn’t something I– can we do something?”

Hirano shook her head and whispered, “nothing,” before leaving the chamber to return the patient to the emergency room.

In the staff locker room, Einosuke lit an offering of incense for the large metallic statue of the Buddha that took up most of the space in his locker.

“Take her into your arms, Lord,” he begged, tears beginning to flow from his cheeks. “There is nothing I can do…look after her,– in this life and the next.”

If the mighty Buddha accepted the offering or pledge he gave no sign, he simply smiled his bronze grin, staring back at the anguished doctor.

Who said nothing.

Who heard nothing.

 

Nine Gendered Tropes In Cinema That Are Starting To Get Old

By Elizabeth McFarland

  1. The Bumbling Idiot Husband

You can see it in The Simpsons most prevalently, and you can even see it in Friends. This trope of the Bumbling Idiot Husband is characterized by a husband or boyfriend who is always messing things up. Either, for his wife or his kids. Now, here’s the important part, the idiot must have a wife or girlfriend who is nagging, and fixes all his problems for him. This trope is particularly annoying because it is both so frequent, and so easily spottable. Within the first few scenes of a movie, or first couple episodes of a television show, anyone with any knowledge of character archetypes can spot it easily. This is the studio’s trick to appeal more to women, but it’s not very impactful. Most women love their boyfriends or husbands, and furthermore, most women don’t want to want to date or marry complete idiots.

   2. The Nagging, Nitpicking Wife

Alongside the Bumbling Husband is the Nagging, Nitpicking Wife. They always seem to go hand in hand. Clara Murphy from Robocop is a very good example of the Nitpicker without the Bumbling Idiot. Cracked.com said it best, and described this trope as “an estrogen-soaked wet blanket.” The Nitpicker is unbearable, angry, strung out, borderline abusive, and mean. Although it doesn’t appear she has any reason to be. All these Nitpickers live very cushy lives in western American suburbia. These two are usually paired together, the Nitpicker and Idiot, in order to appeal to both sexes. Normal marital problems are exaggerated, and the real, serious, detrimental problems are entirely ignored.  Normally, these personality types would be perfectly fine, if they were not so common, and entirely because of the character’s gender. Then, they become annoying and useless archetypes.

  3. The “Badass” Woman Who Is Never Actually Badass

It’s wonderful to see strong women in film and TV, but it helps if these female characters are actually brave to any extent. This usually occurs when a male is the main character, and this fake badass is his “sidekick”. The Main Character (MC) and his other hero friends constantly say how impressed they are by her supposed “Badassery”, even though she never does anything impressive, or at least as impressive as her male cohorts. However, this is not to say that having a female character who is not strong or brave is a bad thing, it’s just poorly executed when the woman never does anything deserving of her praises. Black Widow in the Avengers movies is far from badass. She mostly stays in an airplane or government building and pines after Bruce Banner but she is described as Badass by fans of those movies, only based on those movies. This has become so detrimental, that some watchers or readers won’t even bother to read books or watch movies with reviews or descriptions that read along the lines of, “I love the female lead, she’s so strong and badass!” because those reviews are unreliable.

  4. The Automatic Feminist Icon

This isn’t really a trope, per say, but the Automatic Feminist Icon is really more of a title that fans (sometimes not even fans) give to directors and writers who create a female character who can throw a punch. This is rampant in comic book franchises. This theme surrounds Storm, Black Cat, Catwoman, and most famously; Wonder Woman. Now people might disagree on the ethics of modern day feminism, however, almost everyone can agree that hitting people is not a hallmark of feminism. Unlike the Fake Badass, this character is actually a strong female character, but somehow this comes to her detriment. You don’t have to sift for long through films that display violent women as the furthest thing from a feminist. Hard Candy is a good example of that.

  5. The Blockhead Jock

I understand most film writers are far passed their high school years, and most likely were tormented by jocks, but it is simply poor writing and a use of cliche to replicate your own triggers. It demonstrates a lack of understanding and reveals whether or not a writer is outdated. This trope is so common, and in almost every coming of age movie out there, I’m surprised that they haven’t renamed these movies, “Dumb Evil Jock vs. Smart Nice Innocent Nerd”. At this point, it’s more than a trope, it’s an embarrassing cliche that isn’t even accurate. I don’t know if movie studios have caught on, but usually, in order to be on a sports team in high school, athletes need to maintain a C in all of their classes, or at least a C average. I don’t know how it was in the 80s, perhaps it was like this, but why this trope prevails in modern America is beyond me.

   6. The Explosive

This is a trope which is most common in romance genres, most notably the Twilight franchise and many, many John Green films. These male characters are common and seen as the norm in society. These men are angry, abusive, or manipulative. Sometimes all three. And they are always the love interest or one of the love interests. Abusive men are no issue in film if they’re portrayed neutrally, or negatively, as the Villain or Bad Guy. But these men’s deplorable actions are meant to be seen as romantic. That is exactly the problem. Edward stalks and manipulates Bella, and starts fights with nearly every character in the book, and the outright creepiness of John Green’s characters goes without saying. Abuse is not romantic, and it can even be said that displaying it as romantic is harmful to society.

   7. The Damsel In Distress

You knew this one would make an appearance. The most common trope to apply to women is the Damsel in Distress. This can be seen in every single classic-era Disney movie that featured a female MC. You’ll see with this trope that a common theme is not the fact this character exists, but it’s either the frequency of the theme of the culture surrounding it. In this case, it’s the former. It’s entirely okay to have a woman that needs a man to be happy. Plenty of women in real life do. Rather it’s the fact that this archetype is so frequent, it becomes boring and overdone.  

   8. The Manly Man Who Hates Affection

We all know the type, stoic, strong, battle-hardened, and even has just a touch of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He’s seen in Lord Of The Rings, Pain And Gain, Merlin, That 70s Show, and even Groundhog Day. This man will not tolerate hugs or kisses from their significant other, and certainly not any brand of affection from another man. That is if they manage to actually land a significant other, and not just lead on, and manipulate some poor sap into giving “sexual favors”. Once again, this would be one hundred percent okay if this were simply the character’s personality. However, not only is this annoyingly common, but his emotional unavailability or straight up lack of emotions is portrayed as the thing that makes him manly and desirable. The fact he is haunted and easily, literally, triggered is meant to set him apart from all of his hopelessly boring other male competition.

   9. The Girl Who Was Pretty All Along

It’s seen in The Princess Diaries, Mean Girls, The Brady Bunch, Miss Congeniality, and plenty more. This realization by the class, or male lead may happen gradually, or all at once when the nerd takes off her thick-rimmed glasses. Suddenly her perceived ugliness vanishes and a genetically flawless celebrity is revealed to be hiding underneath. This one is above all just plain irritating. Is everyone in this movie blind, unable to recognise facial symmetry? What is it? In the real world no would think that, say, Emma Watson, with glasses is ugly. That’s just plain unrealistic.

Why The Supplement Industry Is A Sham

By Madeline Marks

Dietary supplements have become a large part of health culture in America. Walk into any grocery store, find the right aisle, and you will discover walls lined with supplements. Supplements that claim to have the answers to weight loss, emotional well-being, and the common cold. I mean who wouldn’t want all of these things? It all seems to be too good to be true! Spoiler alert: it is. These supplements have not fared well in clinical trials. And their downsides can be disastrous. Where did this all come from, anyway? The prevalence of dietary supplements is at an all-time high. It certainly wasn’t like this seventy-five years ago. What changed? What started America’s supplement craze?

It all starts with a man named Linus Pauling; a great chemist, but terrible public health advisor. While supplements were in existence before then, they weren’t nearly as much of a fad as they were after the publication of Linus Pauling’s book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold. In this book, he recommended a dose of 3,000 mg of vitamin C daily, which is fifty times the recommended dose by the US Food and Nutrition Board (Barrett, Stephen. “The Dark Side of Linus Pauling’s Legacy.). Linus Pauling claimed he could not only cure the common cold, but cancer, as well. He later went on to state that vitamin C could also potentially cure heart disease, mental illness, pneumonia, hepatitis, polio, tuberculosis, snakebites, and even AIDS (Offit, Paul. “The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements.). His book was such a hit that by the mid-1970’s, 50 million Americans were taking this dose.

The thing is, none of Pauling’s claims held up in clinical trials. At least 16 refutable studies debunked his theory that vitamin C could cure the common cold. And about the whole cancer situation? A study by the Mayo Clinic involving 367 people with advanced cancer given Pauling’s recommended dose of vitamin C found that it had no clinically significant effect on their cancer. Pauling himself actually got cancer that killed him in 1994.

Thinking this whole thing looks a little shady? Allow me to introduce you to Arthur Robinson. He was a student and colleague of Pauling, who assisted Pauling in founding the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. Robinson conducted an experiment in which he gave rats Pauling’s daily recommended dose of vitamin C. His findings were shocking. He found the rats given the vitamin C developed skin cancer at twice the rate of the control group (Barrett, Stephen.

It’s not hard to imagine that Pauling was not pleased with these results. But instead of correcting his mistakes, Pauling killed Robinson’s animals, expounded him from the institute, and destroyed some of his results.

Robinson responded by suing the institute. He received $575,000 in compensation, $425,000 of which was for slander and libel. But still, Pauling’s ideas about vitamin C remained, untouched by the countless studies that refuted him.

Linus Pauling’s delusional ideas were the breeding ground for an industry worth $37 billion today; the supplement industry. However, because of current laws in place surrounding the industry, the FDA can do virtually nothing to regulate the supplements that make it to the shelves and can really only work to remove supplements that have already caused harm or injury. But why? Who is responsible for this?

In 1994, a bill was passed called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, or DSHEA. This bill basically gives the industry free reign to market whatever they want. The supplements do not have to be approved by the FDA in order to go on the market. In fact, the FDA can’t do this under DSHEA, and the FDA has to be the one to remove them if they become an issue. This results in an order in which supplements are taken off the market, with dangerous supplements being the first to be removed. Then follows products that are fraudulent or in violation of the law. The last tier is reserved for products taken for routine inspection. The supplement manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the “Supplement Facts” label and ingredient information is accurate, including the dosage.  Even the FDA states on their website, “[The] FDA does not have resources to analyze dietary supplements sent to the agency by consumers who want to know their content. Instead, consumers may contact the manufacturer or a commercial laboratory for an analysis of the content.” (Mourali, Amir. “The Dark Truth About Nutritional Supplements.”). The thing was, it was pioneered by two US senators, both of which were receiving large compensation from the supplement industry.

The supplement industry is an issue that most people don’t realize we have. So what can we do about it? Well, we’re not going to go around advocating for a change. Let’s be honest — most people don’t have the time or motivation. The best thing we can do is simply not support the industry. So stop buying supplements you don’t need. Don’t let a scam from the 70’s influence where you spend your money.

A Forest of Pine

By Olivia Teague

I stood in a forest of pine trees, observing nature in its purest form.
I watched as the little pinecones swayed in the breeze,
the needles falling to the ground, cross-hatching a pattern underneath my feet.
A cardinal flew into a tree, and began to sing.
Soon, this forest would become a development for homes.
The trees would be cut down, their old roots pulled from the soil, and the homes
of animals would disappear.
It made me sad, knowing the trees soon wouldn’t exist.
I wished I could do something about it, but I couldn’t. Corporations don’t care.
All they care about is making money and expanding the next shopping mall.
I’m not really like those people who chain themselves to trees in order to save one forest. Even if the forest is big, and looms above in a way indescribable by someone who has never seen it. Even if the birds chirp sweetly, like a choir. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Besides, one person can’t convince money makers to stop production.
Deep in my thoughts about the inescapable sentence of the trees, I didn’t notice someone come up behind me.
My friend calls me back to the picnic.
I turn, put on a smile, and follow her back, the shadows of the damned trees looming behind me. It was almost like they were calling out to me, trying to tell me to help them. But I couldn’t.
I picked up a pinecone off the ground, hoping to use it as a bird feeder.
Maybe that would help in some sense, giving birds some food and a place to stay in the woods near my house.
Maybe.

Letter From the Editor

Dear Reader,

Hello and welcome to Post Script Magazine.

We’ve come to the last edition of Post Script for the current school year.  At the beginning of this year, we were tasked with continuing the magazine to share what we love doing.  Through our works, we have shown some of the things most important to us.  The end of the year comes with a lot of stress as everyone’s involved with final exams and portfolios and performances, so this last issue is a bit smaller than our previous two.  However, the pieces are still thoughtful and well-written.

With this final issue, we’ve turned to the future for our theme.  We’ve chosen to focus this issue on “aspirations.”  While there is a lot of stress that comes with the end of the year, there’s also a lot of talk of reminiscence and hopes for whatever is down the line.   It’s full of speculation and planning for the future, full of excitement.  These are the hopes of our writers.

I want to thank everyone who has been a part of Post Script within this past year as I’m graduating and passing on the role of editor in chief.  It’s been a lot of fun working with you all and I’m glad to have had this opportunity to work with you all.  Thank you for everything.

So please enjoy, be inspired, take these aspirations as if they were your own.  And as always:

speak loudly, write louder.

Sincerely,

Max A. Gamerman

Editor in Chief

Find the index for our third issue here

Index

Poetry

Acrostic poem #9 / Derek Frazier

I Cannot Explain the Things I Fall in Love With / Maddie Lynn

if you want to reach for your dreams / evette davis

Mr. Fatherless / Derek Frazier

Success in a World Full of Shortcuts / Sean Callahan

True/False / Maddie Lynn

Nonfiction

It Started With a Book / Sara Malott

Paleontologist / Derek Frazier

Fiction

A Friend at the Door / Sara Malott

Goddess of the Moon / Aevin Mayman

Normalcy / Aevin Mayman

Acrostic poem #9

By Derek Frazier

Prophecies and fate aren’t things I believe in.
And yet I have never felt this sure about anything before. It’s
like writing my name, a part of my identity, a way to
express who I am and how I want to leave my stamp
on the world. I have dreamed of this profession for hundreds of
nights, ever since I was four years old. You don’t just choose
to ignore something like that, to turn your shoulder when all
of the signs scream your name like a coliseum’s crowd. I
love this career and, for the life of me, I do not fully understand the rhyme
or reason as to why I crave the words “Doctor of Paleontology” like an alcoholic with
gin. And I doubt I ever will.
I was put on this planet for a reason. I have a whole life ahead of me but the most
single truth I know is that this was what I was built, designed, crafted, engineered
to do.

I Cannot Explain the Things I Fall in Love With

After A. Papatya Bucak’s “I Cannot Explain My Fear”

By Maddie Lynn

I am in love with everything I see. Dancing daffodils, daisies, dandelions that we make wishes on under the summer sun. Fireflies, mason jars, sidewalks that have been turned rainbow by gritty chalk and tiny fingers. Words, books, the way alliteration sounds as it slips out of parted lips.

I am in love with everything I see. Folded shirts, bright new shoes, packed suitcases sitting by open front doors, waiting to go on adventures. Open bags, cute mugs, travel-sized shampoo bottles from every hotel room. I am in love with the bright colors of horizons, and recyclable water tins, and big dinners with a mix-and-match family that was always too large to fit at the dinner table. Empty bottles of lotion, smooth skin, a hand to hold as we walk together, toes in the sand.

I am in love with everything I see. Soft features, marble eyes, a smile that only shows once in awhile, when ocean lines and late night chatter make him giggle. Oversized t-shirts, strong cologne, calluses on long slender fingers. Ripped jeans, dimples, freckles dusting his nose, when the sunlight hits it just right, to make a constellation. Stars, galaxies, the possibility of worlds colliding in outer space. Illumination, the way that vowels drag on, a simple metaphor. A writer’s heart learns to love these things over and over and over again.

The way clothing falls over coat hangers, and sweaters drape over cold shoulders.

How riding a bike is something you’ll never forget, and how my sister had to teach me because my father wasn’t there.

How sunlight feels on bare skin, and the way fireflies sound
tapping inside mason jars.

The way that teardrops are the perfect shape, and how mascara runs in perfect lines.

Big bellies and big hearts.

I am in love with everything I see. The color black, simplicity, the crinkling sound plastic makes. Keys on a keyboard, smooth pens, the way that nothing rhymes with purple or orange so they stand alone together. Sunglasses, melted chocolate, fresh fruit. Roses. Raindrops. Rhythm.

I am in love with the lack of religion. The lack of a string pulling us all together. The lack of control, rigidity, stiffness.

I am in love with freedom. Dancing. Movement. The way that water flows from river to river, stream to steam.

I am in love with the way we all flow together. People with a similar belief. I am in love with the way we fight together, fall together.

I am in love with democracy.

My love is every single inch of me. Every makeshift corner, under every layer of skin. I cannot explain my love, because I can not explain myself in my entirety.

I am love with being in love.

if you want to reach for your dreams

By Evette Davis

I. honeysuckles drip from my scalp. my hair has been falling out. there’s a sweet sting of something insane nested deep in my follicles, there are particles of honey coating my lips. i can’t let go of this anxious reality because it kisses me silent at night when these white walls won’t do sleep justice.

II. when the bluebirds scamper and leave skid marks in the air, you will find me, whitewashed eyes pulling at loose leaf hair and camera shutter eyelids. i am trying to repeat the three to five dreams i was supposed to have last night but must’ve forgotten. i just want to dream. i am tired of the sand in my eyes hauling me back to the ground from the limitless skies. i am tragically awake.

III. it is time to for all residents to arise. welcome to no man’s land, where the bluebird’s wing is crushed and it lays motionless in white.  this is not my bed. i am lying in a casket, and they are pushing me out to sea. this no man’s land is a wasteland called real life, where one hopes to remember their dreams. i feel lifeless in this casket. i clutch my eyes tighter and try to recollect last night’s fantasies. did I have three to five dreams? did i even have one? i hope to drift off holding one, at the very least.

IV. in all of this madness- the broken bluebirds, the honeysuckle hair that is strewn on the ground, the cries of the not quite dead— i aspire to dream. maybe crystallize it, too. this reality is oh so cold, but if i close my eyes tight enough, maybe one day i’ll remember and reach for my handful of dreams.

 

Mr. Fatherless

A letter to an unborn orphan whom I will adopt

By Derek Frazier

My son,
I will not be the stereotypical
American father you imagined.

When we play sports, I will
throw baseballs through your
mother’s windows and lose frisbees
in the trees of our front lawn.

On the Fourth of July, I will
be too busy making a bonfire in the grill
to actually cook anything.
And I will spend far too much time baking
and reading to watch football with you.

I do not fish, I do not like smoking,
and I do not enjoy fighting
another person’s battles.

I will, however, be a teacher.
I will show you how to cook,
how to speak other languages
and write worlds into being.
When you fall in love or become frustrated
because of some mercurial romance,
I will be there to explain them as best I can–
and I’m sorry– because with all
my experience, I will fail miserably.

I will teach you how to fight
and stand up for yourself.
To treat others with respect no matter their color or gender.
You will learn to hold the door for someone,
to look both ways before crossing a street.
You will learn to mind your manners,
your “yes ma’am” and “yes sir.”

In the end my child of Africa, China, India,
England, or even Harlem, you will learn
from a father nonetheless.
And I will give you a home.