The Android and the Abacus- Morgan Presley ’15

Professor Saakali’s office is comfortably cluttered, with papers, books, empty coffee mugs, and various curiosities occupying the shelves, desk, and coffee table. Most notable is her display of vintage calculators, including a TI-89 from the turn of the 21st, a stepped gear calculator and a slide rule from the early 1900s, and even an abacus from untold ancient times.

“It’s rather amusing,” I say, “that the world’s leading expert on robotics and artificial intelligence surrounds herself with such ancient artifacts.”
Continue reading The Android and the Abacus- Morgan Presley ’15

Le Cirque de Sang- Emily Fockler ’17

I was up on the wire when the Ringmaster killed the clown. With my eyes closed and all my focus on my feet, I did not notice what was going on until halfway through the familiar speech that always preceded such an occurrence.

“—have betrayed the audience, your oath, and the company itself. For that you are charged to die for the benefit of the show.”
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Summer’s Boy- Julia Cury ’19

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

I met Kai on the longest day of the year, under a rainbow-colored Ferris wheel that rotated as slowly as the setting of the sun. Even at six-o’-clock in the afternoon, the sky persisted on being hydrangea blue, just the same as his eyes— hydrangea petals, petals of the sky. Standing next to the cotton candy machine, he watched me from his jubilant crowd of devotees, their laughter indistinguishable from the peals of carnival music tinkling from the speakers. His voice rang out the strongest—the only voice I could pick out from the euphony of music and happy chatter and say: Yes, that’s his.
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The Clockworker’s Son- Lulu Chen ’17

“And now for the final ingredient… Time!” the jolly clockworker announced to his son, as he sprinkled the watch with a generous helping of the fine green powder. Nicholas watched, enthralled as the hands sprang to life to a steady heartbeat of ticks and tocks.

“Wow, what is that?”

“Time, my son, is what a clock measures. And the clock is an apparatus that measures time!” the clockworker exclaimed profoundly.

Nicholas scratched his head.

“Now son, we are out of time for today but I’ll make some for you tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow, we can make time together. Now, won’t that be fun!”

And the clockworker began to close shop as the last rays of sun melted over the horizon.
Continue reading The Clockworker’s Son- Lulu Chen ’17

Canyonlands- Taimur Ahmad ’16

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

– John Muir

Red, White, and Blue: southern Utah in winter. Red rock Canyonlands stretching out in all directions, capped by an electric blue sky and blanketed in snow. The stranger pulled into town in his red pick-up, parking out front of the Kokopelli motel. It was the off-season, so there were plenty of rooms to choose from. He’d driven over from Vegas in a ten-hour push, dipping into a corner of Arizona on the way. The plan was to keep on going through the Martian wasteland of “No service for the next (read: you will die if you run out of gas) XX miles” signs into western Colorado, before finishing up the drive a little north of Boulder.
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