Life Writing

Picture of cover of the book by Hurston

Literacy’s Effect on Black Women: A Personal Narrative

Janie’s narrative in Their Eyes Were Watching God exemplified this for me. It allowed me to parallel myself with Janie, to compare my experience as a Black woman with hers, and embolden me to find my own truth and seek fulfillment within my life.

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Letter from the Editors

Dear Readers, Welcome to this 2019-2020 special edition of Artifacts! Throughout the academic year, the Campus Writing Program, the Department of English Composition Program, and the Writing Center support and celebrate MU’s students

Image of Sperm Tail Lengths from Grace's Poster

Beef Cattle Fertility

The objective of this study was to determine factors of sperm structure that influence fertility within bulls. We hypothesized that as the mitochondrial sheath on the tail lengthens, the increased energy production of the sperm cell would impact bull fertility. In the results of this study, we found a positive correlation between the mitochondrial sheath length and the fertility rates of bulls, indicating that mitochondrial sheath structure influences fertility.

Original Art showing DNA and the title of the Paper

The Misleading Nature of Scientific Publications

This paper was composed as part of an honors writing intensive assignment in BIOCHM 2482H taught by Dr. Thomas J. Reilly. In the course, students were encouraged to analyze and criticize scientific publications that are often held to unrealistic standards of rigor by the public. The assignment entailed a reading of The Double Helix, which described the discovery of the structure of DNA from the perspective or Dr. James D. Watson, and then analyzing the wholly different experience depicted by this book as compared to the formal publication of the discovery in Nature. This paper explores the scientific endeavor as but one part of a web of beliefs and attitudes that constitute a social identity rather than a concept to be understood in isolation.

A picture of the eifle tower

The Burqa Ban: A Discourse on Post-Secular Religious Freedom

What—if any—authority does the government have to intervene in the affairs of private individuals? This question lies at the heart of the following discourse on the appropriate limits on a government’s right to regulate. Using France’s 2011 Burqa Ban as a framework, this paper evaluates several competing theories on these limits and their relative significance. Though none of these theories can fully capture the complexity of this subject, they provide invaluable insight into the various postulates used to justify state control over private behavior.

Author self portrait in military dress

How Has Learning English Helped Me to Build Confidence and Communication Skills?

Last year, when I was in military service in South Korea, I was taking a subway to go home during my break. I was waiting for my subway, wearing a military uniform and carrying a backpack. Then one girl came…

My mom and I posing for a picture outside the former “Luecke house” on Lemp street in St. Louis, MO. The Luecke family reunion, organized by Eric Luecke, brought together more than fifty family members.

My Discovery of Interconnectedness

As a child, my mother would always tell me stories of my ancestors and distant relatives, but I tended to brush it off like it was not a big deal. At such a young age, my goal was not to…

Image shows a city street with the STL Arch in the background

My Home is Mine to Choose

I never really did belong anywhere.   Of course, the minute I say that I’ll be ambushed with the appalled exclamations of “How could you say that? That’s not true!” from anyone close enough to be within earshot, but it is…

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Hold Me

You’ve been anticipating this appointment all week. Since your last appointment, when the woman with the bobby, curly hair held you gently and changed your mind— convinced you that you weren’t crazy. Or like your mom said, hormonal. Or like…

Can You Hear Me Now?

Modern technology and media have changed how we communicate with one another as human beings. Where does our need for intimacy fit into this new communication formula? This essay analyzes how romantic relationships and digital intimacy function – particularly in…

riley dog photo

Dogs In The Laundry Room: Mental Health Treatment in Humans and Animals

I rarely think of the tornado. Sometimes, I forget it happened and am reminded by something small: a drizzling rain, the smell of the air in May, Pizza Rolls, a map of Oklahoma, barn swallows. Sometimes I tear my bedroom…

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Nature of the Beast

I’ve always been a glutton; there’s no denying that. I’ve always licked my plate clean, not out of obligation to use what I’ve been given, but to bring about a bliss that only eating can elicit. While I tear through…

Thanksgiving Ethnography: My Family's Fryers

According to Warren Belasco, what defines a family holiday meal is its planning, its timing, its timelessness, and most importantly – its meaning. My family’s annual Thanksgiving is planned by my grandmother on my father’s side of the family at…

Breaking Machismo

MONTEVERDE, Costa Rica — Women in Costa Rica are rising out of the ashes and learning how to spread their own wings. For a long time, and some would argue still today, women in Costa Rica were considered second-class citizens,…

The Rise of the "Crazy Cat Lady"

I grew up wanting a dog. In fact, since I learned to talk up until the age of 7 all I talked about were dogs. It didn’t help that my neighbor had a real-life Air Bud Golden Retriever who would…

My Misadventures in Love, Like, Lust, & Other Attractions

My Adventures Misadventures In Love, Like, Lust, & Other Attractions “I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world.”- Mindy Kaling Disclaimer:…

Oy Vey! The Jewish Golem and The X-Files

Golems are everywhere. In modern popular culture, the Jewish Golem — sorry, Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings” books and movies isn’t a golem— has appeared in many TV shows, films and books. Most recently, stone golems called “Watchers” help Noah’s family build their life vessel in this year’s film Noah. 2013 saw Sam and Dean Winchester battle a golem in an episode of Supernatural; a golem protected a child in an episode of the new show Sleepy Hollow. Go back a few years to 2006, and you’ll find Bart Simpson taking advantage of two golems — a male and a female — in a “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons.

The Cropsey Maniac

The story of the Cropsey Maniac exemplifies a legend used at summer camp to reinforce what is expected of the group. The Cropsey legend is local to New York, and often New York City children are sent to camp during the summer as a way to experience nature away from modern city life. In a strange environment with new peers and unusual authority figures, campers may feel insecure at first.

Rocky Mountain Valleys of Southern Colorado

Rolling hills, mountain views, plenty of sunshine and history that blows through the wind—it is no secret as to why the peaceful residential mountain park of Garden Park Valley, Colorado is a primetime destination for a variety of people.