Because Arcadia

Helen Armstrong Oct 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Am I Really Interviewing Alan Cumming?

Luck is being in the right place at the right time. Fortunately for me, my lucky stars aligned, landing me in a chair across from actor and author Alan Cumming for a one-on-one interview. Yeah, that Alan Cumming—Floop from Spy Kids, as he’s best known to anyone from the ages of 15 to 25. But...

Marcella Haddad Apr 29, 2015 8:00 pm

The Secret Histories of Scotland's Ancient Burial Grounds

Rings of mysterious stones in perfect circles are scattered across Scotland. What do they mean? Where do they come from? So far, historians have hypothesized possible explanations that, in my opinion, fail to account for the richness and diversity of ancient cultures. The possibility that these...

Marcella Haddad Apr 12, 2015 8:00 pm

We Might Catch Fire

“We should go to Ulm,” Becca says, planning our Germany trip. “It has the tallest church steeple in the world!” “Really? How many stairs is it?” I ask, because this is how I measure building height now. In America, I would have asked, “How many floors is it?” which is really just...

Marcella Haddad Mar 1, 2015 7:00 pm

I Am a Jelly Donut

“Vo ist der Bahnof?” I was ready. I could do this. My friends had sent me over to the front desk of our hostel in Leipzig, Germany, to ask where the train station was. I had been training for weeks for this in Scotland. I was finally going to do it. I was going to speak in German, to a...

Marcella Haddad Feb 19, 2015 7:00 pm

How to Be a Mountain

1. When forming patches of mud, be sure to throw in a few that are actually much, much deeper than the rest. This way, unsuspecting hikers will step in them and cover their entire leg in disgusting brown goo. They enjoy this. Hikers wear mud stains like medals and often brag about how dirty they...

Marcella Haddad Feb 11, 2015 7:00 pm

Write in This Book

There’s a strange phrase on the first page of my copy of Lullabies, a collection of poems by Lang Leav. “Write in this Book,” it says, in my messy handwriting. Followed by: Where? On blank pages, in blank spaces. What? Things that inspire you, make you smile, or that you wish you...

Marcella Haddad Nov 30, 2014 7:00 pm

Monsters in the Museum

  There is a room in the Philadelphia Museum of Art that is a replica of a French abbey, complete with a running fountain. It’s the most peaceful, beautiful, serene place in the world—unless hordes of rowdy college students are stomping through it on free admission day. “Why...

Marcella Haddad Nov 18, 2014 7:00 pm

Follow My Feet

I had the opportunity to choreograph a dance for Knight Club, the largest club on campus. The song I chose was “Follow My Feet” by the Unlikely Candidates. The dance consists of six dancers, and after months of choreographing, soul-searching, and late night rehearsals, we finally got it...

Marcella Haddad Oct 29, 2014 8:00 pm

Reality Check

Everyone has a point in their lives where they realize that they have to grow up and stop believing in fairies and magic. For me, that point just happened to be halfway through my first semester of college. It had been building up for weeks. We’d been reading nothing but realistic fiction in...

Marcella Haddad Oct 14, 2014 8:00 pm

Feed Your Reader: A Workshop with Nathaniel Popkin

I was supposed to tell a story in six pages. Some people only did one page, others went over, but I was right on the dot. I submitted six pages from the beginning of one of my novels. I sent it in, printed out the submissions from the nine other workshop participants, and nervously waited for...

Marcella Haddad Oct 8, 2014 8:00 pm

Keyword: Do Not Move

When I first set foot in Philadelphia, I was expecting San Francisco 2.0. At first, what I saw seemed to fit with this idea. There were towering buildings, cigarette-smoking, long-coat wearing people in the shadows, and, of course, the smells. But it didn’t take long wandering the city for me to...