Theme I: Boredom, Introduction

“Bored to Tears” by Shawn Paik

Do you ever get so bored you cry? Like, your nonstop yawning induces your tear ducts to flood your vision in a pathetic attempt to add something, anything, to your present life. Ever been that bored?

You just spent all of January crudding on your New Year’s resolutions by marathoning a show that you don’t even think is that amazing.

You’ve been listening to the same 100 songs for the past month, which seems like a lot, but you skip about 70 of them because they were only good for the first three listenings.

Your kitchen stock is weak. Your cooking skills are weaker. The greatest thing you’ve ever made is popcorn.

You say, “there’s nothing to do,” implying that you’ve exhausted the fun out of every activity the world has to offer.

The biggest problem in your life is that you have nothing to do. People dream of that.

              ***

Enjoy this week’s theme, boredom, and Shawn’s introduction that he was too bored to finish. Happy reading!

—Tia Ramos, Under the Arch Editor

Theme I: Boredom, “For Now”

By Gerry Adetola

So, you would think that the word boredom would have been

eradicated from my vocabulary.

Out of the Garden state to the Empire State, via the Holland

Tunnel;

Straight to the city that never sleeps or slumbers;

I have learnt a couple of street names and I can tell you what

train to take to Brooklyn or Queens.

I just left the Bronx a couple of hours ago.

I don’t remember the names of anyone in my class, except that

of my laboratory partner, which my professor assigned to me

days ago.

After months of hoping and wishing I would get out of the

suburbs of New Jersey.

And for once be surrounded by people making earthly noises

and not cars cruising by and trees swaying in the wind.

Funny enough, I still find myself wondering what to do next?

There is here and there is there.

There is a myriad of places to be seen.

I didn’t enjoy my time at the Museum of Moving Images,

*whispering*

However, there is a plethora of activities and a million other

places to scout.

Get involved! Get involved!! That’s all the transfer advisors seem

to have on their agenda.

I know I will get used to it eventually.

I know my feet won’t hurt this much, by next week, from trekking

from Broadway to East 24th street.

Hopefully, I would have made a couple of friends, by next month

maybe.

But for now, I still find myself looking from the outside in.

At the back of the room looking at old friends catch up on

activities from the winter recess.

At the bar watching lovers whisper and giggle like high school

kids.

I am excited, still for the prospects of what the future holds.

It’s the famous New York City.

It has to be all that they claim it is and more.

But for now, I still find myself sampling and not savoring.

I find myself not bored, but on the sidelines.

That is the dilemma of the new Alice in Wonderland.

Theme I: Boredom, “Departure from the Couch”

By Sebastian Muriel

I was sinking deeper and deeper into my couch as I mindlessly embarked on the action-

packed quest to save the galaxy. It was my favorite game to play on X-Box every Friday night;

my mom never seemed too happy when she came back late at night and saw me knee-deep in the

couch.

It was about three hours since I started playing, and my mom still wasn’t home. When I

played for hours on end, I fell into a state of indifference towards the world around me. That

indifference only lasted for a little while. But I played anyways, even though it was quite boring.

It was getting dark. I heard the piercing slap of a hockey stick against a puck outside in

the street. It was my neighbor, Dakota. Him and I were pretty good pals, but he was always

playing outside. We hadn’t hung out in a while. Just as I was about to kill the supreme galactic

overlord, I heard a knock on my door. It was Dakota.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“Let’s go round the back of the country club,” he said. He professionally twiddled with

his hockey stick, half-bragging. “There’s a wedding. Let’s crash it.”

I could hear my galactic troops calling for reinforcements in the other room. “So what

there’s a wedding? I’m busy.”

“C’mon. I’ve got no one else to play with. Barely any kids live here.”

My mom came walking up the steps of the porch. She suddenly looked excited, which

irritated me. I knew where this was going.

“What’re you boys up to? Gonna go out and play?” she asked. Though she said “boys,” she

was looking at me.

I stood uncomfortably still. Dakota innocently smiled at my mom, then slyly looked at

me, as if he had just accomplished his grand coup against me.

“C’mon, son.” She said. “Make some friends.” She looked at me with a kind of

hopefulness that I did not want to satisfy. But her hopeful look was, for some odd reason, enough

for me to leave my galactic troops behind.

“Okay, let’s go.” I said, half-excited.

Theme XII: Belief, Introduction

I saw a shirt last week that said “kindness is my religion.” It made me wonder — do we need to believe in kindness to be kind? What other acts or behaviors do we feel strong enough about to call them our religion? For me, it’s the story of my grandfather that has guided my values. But maybe for you, it’s a bad experience, a friend, a book — that has influenced your deepest convictions. This week our writers explore what their core beliefs are, including their thoughts on the afterlife, personal growth, and family legends.

Happy Reading!

Hannah Treasure, Under the Arch Editor

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Prisoner’s Cinema” by Nicholas Ng

Who Needs Personal Growth Anyway?” by  Bill Bodin

A Fulfilled Absurdity” by Sebastian Muriel

Second Place” by Hannah Treasure

Stupid of Me” by Laura Casado