Empty Suitcase:
Economic Mosquitoes Holey Stocking Blues

My birthday is coming on this twenty first of February. I was once sweet sixteen and it was a decade ago. In 1999, I was a spoiled, nearly high school dropout and I hid under my blanket all day long before I met my very first crazy American friends (what’s up, Leif and Elizabeth!). My parents did not want to see me in their apartment during the daytime, so they bought a flight ticket to America. I spend my sixteenth summer vacation in Portland, Oregon.

I still exactly did not know why I could not go to high school and sleep twenty-two hours every day, but in the summer, I decided to study writing in America during my future, which I clearly remember.

So, I constantly sent Nachan Weekly News to Leif and Elizabeth writing about a mosquito that tried to make a friend with me like E.T., but could not fight the urge to suck the blood from the tip of my finger instead of gently caressing it with a glowing fingertip of its own (Mmmm, mosquito lovin’…) and the story was written with my beginner’s English. Those stories were probably like weekly deranged newsletters for them, and they felt safe because the little Asian girl lived over the Pacific Ocean. Most likely, she did not have enough blood to sustain to a swim over.

Then in my Japanese college era, I kept showing stories to an Australian Professor, (hello, Merryn!) and I wrote about a woman who, when asked about her leg that she previously cut half of her navy stocking off from because of a little hole answered, “It is a skin condition that causes discoloration.” To which the interviewers slowly distanced themselves to the far end of the table for fear of contagion. With a warm hart, the professor still kept those stories in her office.

In the last five academic years at IU South Bend, my dream finally came true— studying writing in America— I could not write whatever I wanted in English classes and I learned the hard way with incomplete grades; however, I had a chance to show what I was doing for ten years with The Preface. I met the awesome editors, (hi, Brandi and Jason!) and the best staff writers (sorry, I could not name all).

The reason why I named all creative and supportive people is that entire student publications had extremely harsh budget cut such as The Preface and Analecta, the award winning, literature and art magazine by English Department at IU South Bend, because of the worst economic situations.

I believe that people need college news, entertainment, art, beauty, and laughter from those publications to survive through the worsening economy. Unfortunately creative programs are always in the first line of budget cutting. With the 7.6% unemployment rate, forgetting about art and creativity is a reality because people need bread to live, not stories.

But The Preface has spirit; the spirit of young journalists, writers, and photographers. They are no longer paid until we have enough advertisements and donations like we used to receive through local and nationwide industries. Remember, those young journalists also went through struggles to pay rent. We are all the same, BROKE!

The Student Government Association (hey, Dane, Sam, and the senators!) do the best support for student-based activities under this worst economic situation. Analecta received more than enough financial support. I do not know how to express my many thanks for the SGA and I will promise as an editor to introduce fantastic beginning writers and artists from IU South Bend to the world.