Open Mic

Postcard from Iran

Sep 22, 2015

The postcard read, “One memory of Iran, that I present of my very perty (sic) Sara,” and was signed, “Bahman and Reza.” 

The card showed a picture of a young girl, maybe 14 years old, working at a loom—“A girl carpet weaver of Isfahan, Iran,” read the caption.

Back to School: Chaos and Umbrellas

Sep 3, 2015

It’s back-to-school time once again. Students everywhere are returning to campus excited to see each other and catch up – but Roanoke College Professor Brent Adkins wants to know something. He wants to know why students are in school in the first place – and encourages them to look beyond the degree.

Why are you here? This is a question that I ask all of my classes in one form or another. Let me tell you how the conversation usually goes.

Me: Why are you here?

Open Mic Essay: Mother Would Not Be Pleased

Jul 16, 2015

I’ve always told my children, “Don’t hitchhike and don’t pick up hitchhikers.” But, in truth, from my own experience, I’ve found that hitchhiking can lead to some interesting adventures.

Essay: When the Bums Came

Jun 5, 2015

Economists speculate about the extent of recovery from this country’s great recession.  Since 2008, many families have faced hard times, but Charlottesville writer Mary Alice Hostetter says things were tough for some folks when she was a child, growing up on her parents’ farm in Pennsylvania.  Sometimes proof of the nation’s economic troubles would arrive at the farmhouse door.

Cast Aluminum Nurse with IV (New Kensington, PA)

Top entries from the 13th Annual Celebration of Reflective and Creative Writing (2015):

It’s never easy to deal with sickness and death, but nurses do it every day.  In her essay, UVA graduate student Melissa Beth Behl   explains how  and why she’s  able to cope with the stress of caring for patients.