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Expose: The Journal of Expository Writing

Expose Banner, red.

Expose biannually shares a selection of noteworthy personal and critical essays that are created by students in College and Expository Writing courses at Purchase College.

Winter 2022


The personal narratives in this issue express moments of regeneration and growth.  In “From the Ashes,” Lily Schwendener forges a new path as a college student after a career as a professional ballerina. In “Painting Change,” artist Alexa Gallo identifies that visual art is her tool to “speak up about injustices in this world.” Two writers are renewed by beloved television serials; Leah Moser’s discovery of the The Simpsons  “in their chaotic dysfunctionality, made me feel seen in a way I hadn’t before,” while for Gianna Goldey, Friends “inspired me to not follow the social norm.”  Luthier Sonberg makes a break from a parent, James Simiele makes a break from a flawed youth group, and Indi Anna Richardson finds understanding and closure in Lil Peep’s “U Said,” writing, “I’m not the best at leaning into my feelings, so I let the music I listen to lean into them for me.”

Three students from Professor Sausen’s Fall 2021 sections of College Writing analyze how reliance on technology for connection and fulfillment poses challenges to intimacy, authenticity, and engagement with the natural world by examining  short stories from Alexander Weinstein’s collection, Children of the New World. Sandhya Colucci draws a connection between exposure to trauma and an instinct for self-erasure by analyzing Jaquira Diaz’s 2019 memoir Ordinary Girls

Professor Dearing tells a story about his dog, Hobbes. Professor Dearing tells a story about his dog, Hobbes.

In lieu of a faculty essay, this issue revisits a live storytelling event for College Writing  students hosted by Professor Dearing and I at the Multicultural Center. Barbara Kay’s personal essay captures the intrinsic and transformational power that accompanies shaping a story, and sharing it with others. Our YouTube page links to many of the stories shared that evening!

Collagist, writer, and freshman journalism major Lyric Hounshell is this issue’s featured artist. In her first College Writing paper of the Fall 2021 semester, Lyric described her bedroom floor covered with “eyes, faces, hands, and clothes, the part from finding the pieces to making the collage almost a blur.” Her work examines beauty, identity, protest, and justice. 

With gratitude to this issue’s readers, Teaching Good Prose students Lea Bajgora, Maureen Guy, Amber Hahn, Barbara Kay, Gaby Santos, and Tess Walsh, as well as to readers Professor John Mitchell Morris and Professor Ellen Brooks. This issue is dedicated to Professor John Mitchell Morris in thanks for his support of Expose, his constancy in championing student writing, as well as his mentorship, kindness, and excellence in teaching during his time at Purchase College. And, warm best wishes to our new Interim Director of College Writing, Professor Emily Sausen.

Amy Beth Wright, Editor


  • Young boy with arms reaching and the word ?withstand.?

    Springfield General Grabbag

    “The Simpson family lived in my version of the real world, one that wasn’t fair and didn’t make sense. It wasn’t trying to guide you towards some squeaky clean, oversimplified moral conclusion. In fact, it actively parodied the idea that one could realistically do so.…” Read more

  • Vine with flowers and babies against black background.

    Used and Abused

    “It finally hit me one day when I was laying in bed, earbuds in, volume all the way up, “U Said” playing for what definitely wasn’t the first time. The song went on, “Running away from you takes time and pain and I don’t even want to.” She popped into my head but this time those beautiful brown eyes glared at me instead of smiled…” Read more

  • Yellow car with legs sticking out of backseat window.

    The One with the Second Monica

    “My tendencies of overthinking and getting worked up over little things were counteracted by watching Friends, because it eased my mind and always created a safe space for me. It then became the secret language of my household…” Read more

  • Hand grasping a rope.

    Jaquira Diaz: Self-Erasure Through Relationships, Substances, and Self Harm

    Through her memoir, Diaz illustrates that children of broken homes often cope with trauma through self-erasure, aiming to effectively disappear through relationships, substances, and self harm…” Read more

  • Men kneeling on cardboard mural.

    Painting Change

    “Over the past year and a half, the world has been at a crossroads and the need for people who stand up for others has skyrocketed. We have faced many injustices and the fight to correct them has never been bigger…” Read more

  • Head in background with collaged face being removed with one hand.

    Alexander Weinstein and The Implications of Technology in the Future

    “In the short stories “Children of The New World,” and “Openness,” Alexander Weinstein displays the inevitable loss of control, loss of human connection, and exploitation of others that is beginning and will continue to grow as technology overtakes society…” Read more

  • Woman in collage.

    From the Ashes

    “Ballet was my superpower and my kryptonite. It had the ability to make me fly, but it turned me into the most insecure and unhappy version of myself. It became time for me to make the greatest sacrifice I ever made..” Read more

  • Fist and tiger body, in collage.


    “It’s a surreal experience, gaining the perspective you’ve been waiting for so long. That feeling of worthlessness began to go away once I understood that the people I’d been so desperate to gain validation from were not more important than me…” Read more

  • Child, hand, and city landscape.

    A Father’s Son

    “I’ve always been told I have my father’s eyes, but our visions couldn’t be more different. And realizing that might’ve just saved my life…” Read more

  • Body with a head as a boombox.

    The Faults of Progress

    “Technology continues to advance and society alters to incorporate these progressions into daily life. Most advancements have proven to be beneficial, but one may begin to question: When has technology gone too far?” Read more

  • Collage face with eye makeup.

    Technology and the Dangerous Divide

    “Like any great science fiction author, Weinstein uses the technologies we have available to us today and heightens them, asking a lot of major what-if questions…” Read more

College Writing Event Spotlight: “Expect the Unexpected” 

  • We are the future with hands clasped and graffiti backdrop.

    Until Next November

    “I distinctly remember breaking out into hives after presenting my eighth-grade science project; running down eight flights of stairs to hyperventilate in the bathroom and calm my racing heart, only for my legs to ache on the way back up. William was the captain of his speech and debate team that year; I thought of that when Professor Dearing announced we would be doing a Moth Story Slam…” Read more