Authors of Tomorrow-Scholarship Winners

Authors of Tomorrow
Deadline: December 2007

Scholarship winners have been chosen and contacted. Listed below are three of the six essays that were selected for scholarships. The other three authors have decided that they would not like to be featured on our website or in our publication. Thank you to all who participated. The judges had a very difficult time deciding scholarship allocation.


AN EXHIBIT OF SYMBOLISM

To learn by example - a concept that is the perhaps most widely preached and yet widely disregarded. As a general society living in North America, we find ourselves drawn to the allure of a self-involved existence based predominately on individual happiness. It matters not if this happiness comes by the cost of others nor if it contradicts all lessons derived from precedent.

A museum designed to reflect my entity in truth - to reflect my values and reveal my aspirations, would essentially be an expression of my own fixation with happiness. The three most significant objects in my possession that I feel are most worthy of creating such an explanation of myself include: my green shoes, dessert cookbook and personal journal.

For me, green shoes are an expression of freedom and a statement of individuality - the vessel that is to carry me through life. Living in Canada, I am blessed with the gift of freedom and have every right to self-expression. By exercising this right in the face of conformity, even on the smallest scale, I am laying question to the many stereotypes I am associated with. I believe that as much as it is human nature to fit in, every person strives to be recognized on an individual front; in striving to achieve such recognition by means of differentiation from the ordinary, confidence and a satisfaction are derived. With the success of allowing myself to break away from the common mould I am becoming a freer person who dares to envision a sea of different perspectives waiting to be explored and unheard voices waiting to be amplified.

A dessert cookbook - seemingly materialistic and devoid of individual significance, is for me an expression of personality and uncharted waters of opportunity. Just as a serious play needs scenes of comic relief, I find myself drawn magnetically to the kitchen to balance any stress or profound monotony in my life. My general routine is not to have one, and very rarely will I use only the ingredients listed in the recipe, instead letting myself be ruled by inspiration. It is at times such as these that my friends and family are exposed to an impulsive, artistic, and genuinely optimistic facet of my character.

The most significant object that I own is my personal journal. It is a composition of unedited thoughts that once accompanied strong emotion. As, inevitably, memories fade, I find that by review of my journal I can recall more clearly the events that led to my reaction. The invaluable quality of my journal is the insight it gives me unto myself. In a collection of pages, I bear witness to the mistakes I have made, my own algorithm for learning, the life lessons I have ignored, what is important to me, my own disillusionment with regards to our uncorrupted society, and my intertwined need and hesitance to take action, in this voyage that we call life.

Janna Byford

A PAISLEY MATCHBOX

The continual advance, studded by the obtainment of experience and wealth, is unwavering. We exist to learn, to accomplish, and to gain. Wealth can come in the form of wisdom, emotion, or in the sense it is most often applied: material wealth. For some it is the bane of their existence, for others it is the elixir they rise each morning to drink. It forges a link of memory, emotion and physical anchors, investing it into fibers and textures. Aside from the memories of others, material relics are all that remain of a life. It is undeniable that over a lifetime, these relics become sacred in their significance. Concrete in their presence, they are an opening and a trigger to the memories of yesterday.

My life contains relics, selected after considerable contemplation, or arguably deliberate hesitance in admission. When I sit down and really consider the most important of my possessions, they are unchangeably those I have laid out on the table in front of me. My choices are inflexible.

A creaky floorboard flinches in protest as a visitor approaches the first display case. Peering over the edge, a curious face is lighted in the first glimpse. Minimalist, alone and sequestered, a solitary tea cup is innocently resting from a life of hardy use. With a terracotta base, delicate blue flowers are translucently projected in permanence onto the sides. Gazing upon the ornate inside, there is an unscathed covering of varnish. A perfect blue shimmers as the curve of the bowl indicates subtle and intricate webs of intentional cracks. Held by the varnish, suspended in its apparent imperfection, the cup symbolizes the suspension of time and responsibility. Its owner never drank from its perimeter without the washing of spare time. Relaxation embodies its smooth exterior, and its beauty of design speaks volumes to the visual poetry found in taking a moment to slow down.

Just past an enclave, a second display case basks in brilliant incandescent light. Laid out from largest to smallest, three keys are spread on a bed of white. Rusted and furnished with the indications of time and maturity, the keys were purchased at a flea market in Vienna. Rummaged from a ripped shoe box, they belonged to people whose faces are smudged in the expansive landscape of time; I will never know them. Wide oval loops grace the tops, simple ornamentation unlatch its counterpart. This idea, that the key to an unknown, even if the unknown is of another time, is in my possession is what fascinates me. It is emblematic to own the keys to unknown limitations.

A third case presents a sleek manual camera. It is not showy, humble if anything. The age of digital cameras chased this species to the foothills of immortality. Its significance is simple in that it captured fleeting sentiments. The film developed told of stationary ponderings of a world in motion. Visual elegance, set onto cr???¨me paper.

Embroidery of a life spent learning.

Elliot Cudmore

A CONSCRIPTED CALL TO DUTY

The greatest literature of the centuries glorifies the pitiable squadrons of men who would fight for their cause, casting off all those who would restrain them. There is a certain honor to being one of the few who defies the societal standard; there is a certain accompanying dread when that standard relates to the democracy of the few, not the many. There are those of us noble few who would seek a sad regression into immoral conscription, this time in pursuit of a more perfect union. This can never be the answer.

A misbehaving teenager cannot be made to stand tall, and speak with courtesy to his elders; so to cannot a defiant old man be made to vote with his heart. In pursuing a policy of a conscripted vote, we seek to apply a way of living unilaterally across the nation. We seek to remove the privilege of a vote and replace it with an institution, which, at its heart, is no better than those which we rail against around the world.

This nation has stood for equality of opportunity, never equality of outcome. Our collective people have watched as leaders in the vein of Martin Luther King Jr. have asked for the ability to create opportunities for themselves. We, as one nation, granted them that right.

In emphasizing our own rights and privileges, we must never forget that these are merely conduits for action. Like electricity racing through a circuit, when the nation seeks change, our people can charge any atmosphere. In refraining from the use of these known conduits we utilize another, oft overshadowed route to action; the abstention.

Rather than look to declining turnout as a sure sign of the doomsday, perhaps we should look to the process itself. Month after month, we hear of lewd public acts, illegal profiteering, blatant disregard for human life, and a refusal to acknowledge responsibility.

In a nation fast becoming polarized away from the far left and right, our pluralistically elected officials cannot continue to preach partisan interference. The mantra is quickly becoming ?¢â??¬??Do Something.?¢â??¬â??¢ This can only lead to increasing political participation in both elections and in the day to day workings of our government?¢â??¬â??¢s bureaucracies.

It would be vindicating to believe that every citizen had a candidate and a cause they felt compelled enough to exercise their privilege to vote for. Reality is a much harsher mistress, and many are left with choosing to abstain from such a fundamental privilege. In seeming to mar our democracy with their refusal to participate, these ordinary people are the ones who choose to preserve it.

We may never match Australia or Luxembourg for participation percentages, but we have always prided ourselves on being ?¢â??¬??the land of the free.?¢â??¬â??¢ In an era of increasing restraint, why should we place one more shackle on what each of us must do to live up to the high ideals of this country?

Daniel Huntley