Expose: The Journal of Expository Writing
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.
““A word after a word after a word is power.” ―
Writing is a gateway for growth, and this issue of Expose is packed with moments of metamorphosis. Shakira Cherimond reconnects with her identity as a student after working with children, and Melina Wojcik finds self-discovery through identification with Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Nora Nilsen Healy tackles performance anxiety after finding similar identification within Nathan Felder’s The Rehearsal. Sabrina Kenny, Risa Tirado, and Alexander Uzobuife build new relationships with writing, and Hallie Krause and Emma Pat both shed their long hair and find new clarity and self-possession.
This issue also offers powerful critical analyses. Emma Blacksmith, Spencer Corona, and Robyn Graygor argue that technology is superseding our ability to connect, empathize, and communicate with one another, through analyses of short stories by Alexander Weinstein. Medha Chandwani looks at the different ways we mediate grief through analyses of short stories by Carmen Maria Machado, Eugene Lim, and Ted Chiang. Sofia Mancz compares Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” to Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person.” In argumentative essays, Isaiah Mojica unpacks how homophobia within religious communities has created barriers for inclusion, and Frances Johnson examines pay inequities in the public school system. In an op-ed from Introduction to Digital Publishing, Elizabeth Baldino articulates what’s at stake in letting social media determine contemporary fashion trends.
With gratitude to senior Jillian LaPalme and alumna Emma Reid ’20 for being this issue’s featured illustrators. Jillian’s intaglio works explore time and memory, while Emma’s digital drawings are visual mind maps that evoke feelings and time periods. Thanks to freshman sculptor Bunni3 Gilot for sharing a new work in our Faculty Essay column, and to Hallie Krause for sharing new drawings as well. Thanks so much to Professor Ellen Brooks, Professor Deborah Cooper, Professor Emily Sausen, and Professor Emily Stout for reading for this issue, and to Expose Editorial Fellow Eden Marsh ’26, who brought genuine passion, inspiration, and curiosity to her responses to the work of student writers. This spring our department establishes the annual Chris Konzelman College Writing Award. Professor Konzelman was part of our department for many years, and his approach continues to inspire us.
Also this spring, Professor Brooks, Professor Sausen, and I participated in a faculty committee focused on the growth of writing instruction at Purchase. This work clarified some ideals that I believe guide our Expository Writing program: In addition to offering students a springboard for academic success, we hope they will write and thrive as individuals, independent thinkers coalescing language and structure with their own intuition and artistry.
—Amy Beth Wright, Editor
Breakthroughs: Writing About Writing
In “My Mind in a Moleskin” and “Poetry,” Sabrina Kenny and Alexander Uzobuife explore moments when writing became a more prominent part of their lives, and the changes in self-possession that followed. Read more
If The Mind Creeps, Let It: Finding Identity in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”
“As unpleasant as this moment was, their reaction, or lack thereof, reiterated my connection to “The Yellow Wallpaper” strongly. I could also see the woman in the wallpaper, and I needed to free her…” Read more
Inside The Fight for Inclusivity in Religions for LGBTQ Individuals
“The issue of discrimination in religion only causes separation, because it makes it uncomfortable for gay people who feel a spiritual connection to be fully immersed in the religious practice they choose. This overall stifles a religion’s ability to grow as a whole…” Read more
Bronx Dreaming & Dark Nights
“Finding Jonny’s music showed me the impact that writing could have. Writing could make you feel seen and tell stories you’re not used to hearing. These stories can shape who you are and provide you with a sense of direction or clarity…” Read more
Two Autobiographical Essays Connect Hair, Identity, and Empowerment
Hallie Krause and Emma Pat explore change from the outside in–how a change that feels like a risk leads to new avenues of strength, self-worth, and empowerment. Read more
Public School Teachers Are Egregiously Underpaid
“If we cannot provide teachers with necessary resources, it only hurts their students’. If we cannot allow them the freedom to feel at ease in the classroom, that intrinsic happy feeling is lost. That feeling that drives the connection of ideas and emotional engagement with all the possibilities of learning…” Read more
Three Writers Shed Light on the Different Ways People Grieve
“Three short stories, Carmen Maria Machado’s “Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead,” Eugene Lim’s “What We Have Learned, What We Will Forget, What We Will Not Be Able to Forget,” and Ted Chiang’s “The Great Silence,” illustrate the denial of bad news, mental confusion, and acceptance as completely different and valid reactions to grief.” Read more
The Expectation That Women Conform Is Timeless: An Analysis of Works by Jamaica Kincaid and Kristen Roupenian
“Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian is a short story that exemplifies the struggle young women face regarding trust and the navigation of the early stages of romantic relationships. “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid is a brief narrative that follows a mother’s advice to her young daughter on how to survive in a patriarchal society. Throughout both, the strict expectations placed on women, like how they must conform to the male gaze or their anticipated perfection, negatively affect women and their ability to be themselves…” Read more
Examining Technology’s Impact on Relationships: Three Critical Studies of Alexander Weinstein’s Short Fiction
In analyses of three contemporary short stories by writer Alexander Weinstein, writers Emma Blacksmith, Spencer Corona, and Robyn Graygor explore how our trust in technological devices as a surrogate for human relationships is inhibiting our ability to connect with one another…” Read more
The Diary of a T.A.
“He explained how the district was always looking for T.A.s, feeling the fit may be good. He offered to write recommendations if needed. In stumbling across this job, everything finally clicked…” Read more
No Rehearsal for College Actors
“I thought I was going to watch a cringe comedy series, but instead, I found a mirror of myself and my insecurities and felt strangely comforted…” Read more
Introduction to Digital Publishing: How Social Media is Compromising our Ability to “Fashion” Trends that Define Our Era
“The rise of social media did not create the cycle of quickly rotating trends, but it influenced what this cycle has become. Fashion trends and the intention behind them have ceased to embody the realities of their time, largely due to how the digital world impacts our culture.” Read more
An Interview with Senior Auditor Michael Feinstein
“With writing, you’re really looking to specifically reach people, I think. Maybe some of it is like a diary, where you’re following your thoughts to see where they go. But the thing I like about writing is that you are ultimately communicating with people, and they’re communicating with you…” Read more