Category Archives: Boundaries

Draping Over Nature’s Boundaries

An exploration of Christo’s controversial Over the River Project in Cañon City

by Joel Minor, staff writer; illustrations by Teal Francis, staff artist

Pop quiz. Why do cities in Northern Colorado have names like Longmont, Westminster, and Livermore, which sound like they could be in Connecticut or Surrey, but cities in Southern Colorado have names like Antonito, Buena Vista, and La Junta, which may as well be in Ecuador?

If you answered, “because until the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo of 1848, the Arkansas River was the boundary between the US and Mexico,” you would be correct. Continue reading


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Stuck on a Yo-Yo: Southern Origins, Diaspora and Homecoming

Part II: An interview with Jeff Livesay, Colorado College Sociology Professor

by Max Thorn, guest writer; photos courtesy of Jeff Livesay

What follows is the second part of the series “Stuck on a Yo-Yo: Southern Origins, Diaspora, and Homecoming.” The first installation appeared in the September 2010 issue of the Cipher, and was my own narrative introduction to a series of stories that belong to an underrepresented and rarely-discussed group here at Colorado College: Southerners. This piece is a transcript of two conversations I had with Jeff Livesay, professor of Sociology, about his own Southern story. Much of Livesay’s story is translatable to more universal kinds of experiences—leaving home, returning home, making sense of oneself in contexts both familiar and unfamiliar—but the specificity of time (the 60s) and place (Mississippi; Harvard) combined with his sincere reflections make Livesay’s a story worth telling and re-telling. Continue reading

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Driving to the Middle

Hertz helps CC towards sustainability – and makes money in the process

by Sam Brasch, editor; illustrations by Eleanor Anderson, editor

“This is it,” said Logan Dahl, my host for this demonstration of the Hertz Connect carsharing program. The grey Prius sat north of Tutt Library, without any presumption of its own importance other than a small decal on the passenger door and a tiny black card reader on the inside of the front windshield. Logan took out his Hertz membership card and offered it to the automobile, but the car stubbornly refused. “Sometimes she gets a little pushy,” Logan explained. “As soon as I get this text message we should be good to go.” Just as he prophesied, his phone buzzed, letting him know the Prius was his for the next hour and a half. With an invisible signal from the Hertz headquarters, the car let its defenses down, going from a prudish daughter worried about her own security to a welcoming maternal hostess. Keys and a credit card for gas waited inside the dashboard, attached to the car with a thin nylon string. Logan smiled. “We’re good to go.” Continue reading

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Full of Hot Air

Early mornings and melons at the Arkansas Valley Balloon Festival

words and photos by Katie Schrader, guest writer

About a hundred miles southwest of Colorado Springs lies a little gem of a town called Rocky Ford. This town, which boasts a population of roughly four thousand, is located in the Arkansas Valley, a group of small farming communities east of Pueblo on Highway 50. It’s no surprise that most of the local economy is tied to agriculture. What might surprise you, however, is that Rocky Ford, Colorado is the (self-sworn) melon capital of the world, and nothing makes its residents more proud. In fact, the town even went so far as to model their high school after a melon, dubbing it “The Melon Dome” and painting it with the school motto: “Motivate, Educate, Graduate.” Continue reading

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Love is Dope

Discovering the chemical components of the soul

by Johanna Holbrook, guest writer; illustration by Lucy Holtsnider, staff artist

I rebelled during my first month of Neuroscience.

“Everything comes down to action potentials,” Dr. Bob Jacobs explained calmly from his podium. And the humanities-loving Eternal Idealist within me cried out in opposition.

Everything comes down to action potentials? So what we are essentially, is a collection of nerve cells that, when impelled to fire, release chemicals that determine our reactions to the external world. It was a rudimentary, simple explanation—too simple, I thought, to account for the vast, indefinite range of human emotional complexities. Could those conniving chemical marauders known as neurotransmitters accurately explain the numerous levels and varieties of love? Could they justify the intrinsic drive to create and self-express? Are they capable of indicating the sense of wonder and awe we feel as we gaze upon the stars, and the heightened awareness of our own consciousness? Continue reading

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Sound of the Police

A CC student takes a ride with a Colorado Springs police officer

words by Kathleen Hallgren, editor; illustration by Sarah Wool, editor

An odd hybrid sound of a high-speed train and the twang of a guitar string, the dispatch bell rang out just as Colorado Springs Police Officer Benjamin Poole* finished his sentence. Though I couldn’t see the electronic message that was running across the screen of the mounted C5-30 Toughbook laptop, Poole was becoming more animated by the second. His excitement was contagious, and I found myself in my bulletproof vest subtly leaning toward the center console, hoping Poole would fill me in. Continue reading

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