Loving the Backstory

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A practicing poet and essayist, English instructor Karen Craigo discusses her process of peeling back the layers of a place to learn from its history. In this essay, she posits that love–whether of place or of person–requires some backstory.       In the town where I used to live, I knew of a paint store with a speakeasy in its basement. The stage had not been occupied, the gaslights not lit, since Prohibition days,…

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‘She Was Here With Us in the House’

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It is difficult to wrap one’s mind around the horror of a passenger plane exploding in midair. It is impossible, however, to consider the greater horror of someone deliberately shooting down a jetliner. The world was forced to face this sickening reality earlier this week, when pieces of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 rained down on a small village in Ukraine. American news outlets showed pieces of the aircraft in village streets, in the yards of…

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Humanities: Forging Connections

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When I was a kid growing up in the Appalachian corner of Ohio, I always enjoyed the opportunities that took me to the nearest major university. Ohio University is the site of many of my fondest memories. Solo and ensemble musical competitions, literary festivals, and educational enrichment opportunities beckoned me time and time again to the Athens of Ohio—located, appropriately enough, in Athens, Ohio. I have always felt that a university should be a beacon…

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