Parley is a commonwealth of academic and creative works that symbolize the excellence and diversity of PPCC's student body.
Shannon Pierce took Comp 1 last fall at the Downtown campus of Pikes Peak Community College, and I was lucky enough to be her teacher. I loved her questions and the wealth of life experience she brought to the class. I admired how hard she worked at everything. Last spring, she became a published author in Parley, PPCC’s Student Journal, with her advocacy essay “Sorting the Trash.”
My inspiration for the piece was how electronics serve man, and man serves nature, and vice-versa. But again, its how we came from nature, and in turn we help nature, like how a tree grows and gives us oxygen, and we prune the branches to make it stronger. It was a shout out, really, of appreciation for the simple things that are taken for granted.
I see a soldier who was brave and strong when others were tearing apart who she was as if it would impact what she offered. Her story is the story of hundreds of soldiers, and countless others who have stories that are different from hers, but are stories nonetheless. Soldiers who joined the military when society still referred to them as “kids.” Soldiers who have left their families, their homes, and their ways of life. Soldiers who marry and forego honeymoons for overseas assignments or miss the births of their first children. Soldiers who hold their two year old children on their laps, then do not see those children again until they are a year or two older. Soldiers who kiss the people they love good bye one last time without really knowing it. Soldiers who are fighting for what I, a civilian, stand for.
I have seen parts of the world filled with so much beauty and other parts so decrepit that unless you were by my side to see it for yourself, no amount of details or pictures could depict an accurate portrayal. I have been thanked and welcomed home by the most loyal patriots, but also protested against by the Westborough church extremists at the gates of the base. I have pushed myself to my own limits while pushing the enemy well past theirs. But most importantly, I have had the chance to serve alongside and lead the most passionate, loyal and fearless people on this planet.
When I was in high school, in creative writing class, I would look outside to the Weeping Willow outside in the courtyard. The branches almost hit the ground and looked like tears falling from the top of the tree. I could get lost staring at the tree at times, drowning out my teacher and classmates. There are times now I can remember the feelings of staring at the willow and feel a connection to the tree.
The Delano Grape Strike, led by Cesar Chavez, to put it simply, was a boycott and 300 mile march from Delano to Sacramento determined to achieve a living wage for migrant workers in the United States. Jan went down to Delano for a weekend to join in the heart of the strike to show her support and learn more about the people who were fighting for their civil rights and the lives that they had to live in order to provide for their families while still being used and exploited in their only option for work.