Featured Essays

We Lost One of Our Own


Shannon Pierce took Comp 1 last fall at the Downtown campus of Pikes Peak Community College, and I was lucky enough to be her teacher. I loved her questions and the wealth of life experience she brought to the class. I admired how hard she worked at everything. Last spring, she became a published author in Parley, PPCC’s Student Journal, with her advocacy essay “Sorting the Trash.”

What I Stand For

Robert Miller

I stand for the little boys and girls who never seen a gifted horse and his mouth. I stand for the single parent families and ghettos of the South. I stand for the bargained lifestyle of trying to make ends meet. I stand for the young who were systematically manipulated to believe that they were weak. . . . I stand for the complications of trying to find my place. I stand for the rage, anxiety, and vexation of emotions that you endure along the way. I stand for the rose that grew from concrete that would never accept defeat. I stand for tomorrow’s dreamers, who forgot that yesterdays are yesterdays like roads under your feet.

The Blanket at the End of the Bed

Jessica Godard

It’s a lot harder than I had thought it would be, being away from my son for an extended period of time. His father and I divorced almost two years ago. His father recently moved to back to Texas. So naturally, before the school year starts, my son is spending the summer with his dad.

The Ethics of Mining

Erica Holcomb

Mistaking coal mining as more important to the cultural heritage than say, the mountains and forests, is the real travesty in this case.

A Taste of Honey

Malcolm Marchman

They say that a taste of honey is worse than none at all. Let me explain. As a child, I was a voracious reader. I imagined myself sitting among the founding fathers as they risked their lives debating the single words that would comprise the Declaration of Independence. I also had the privilege of watching the life of Dr. Martin Luther King on a grainy black and white television in the 1960's.

Hurricane Perz

Curtis Ward

I am privileged to engage in academic discussions about the war that I fought in and from which I returned. There are even days, soaked in idle moments, when I find myself longing for the war. This is because I had the benefit of being an invader, able to return home knowing that there were nearly no consequences for my successes or failures. I would even be willing to entertain the argument that, as an American, I could only ever dabble in war because I could leave it on the other side of an ocean.

A Chance to Read

Katarina Towery

After listening to the Children's Literacy Center presentation at Rampart campus and learning that 66% of fourth graders are illiterate, I knew that I needed to help. My student is 9 years old and in the 4th grade. He is reading at about a 1st to 2nd grade reading level.

The Needs of the Many

Nichole Stine

The rights of the individual are important. Utilitarianism takes the view that whatever creates the greatest good for the greatest amount of people is preferred. For people who are marginalized, such as the mentally ill, the results are not so great. When the government uses methods that control these individuals in a way that is easiest for society as a whole, the basic human rights of those individuals can be lost.

The Ends Are All That Matter

Michelle Romero

Service, though a noble act, does not define a morally just person. Service is often performed by those convicted by the law of an offense and are forced to volunteer as punishment or restitution. However, it doesn’t matter how the service to others is done or even who’s doing it-all that matters is that it gets done.

Lean On Me: How I Serve

Angela Giles Klocke

When she accepted my invitation to talk, to get to know each other, I doubt she realized she was accepting an invitation to dig at our wounds.

Lab Rats: Escape from “Universe 25” and China's One Child Policy

W. Cameron Barrett

"Universe 25" was free of predators, held an endless supply of food, water, and nesting material, and was kept at a balmy range of 70-90 degrees. As the mouse population increased, the availability of meaningful societal roles greatly decreased, causing hapless males to devolve into social rejects: "they became very inactive and aggregated in large pools near the center of the floor of the universe. From this point on they no longer initiated interactions with their established associates, nor did their behavior elicit attack by territorial males." Rather than allowing the entire population to devolve into bedlam like the lab rats of “Universe 25”, top brass in the Chinese government collaborated on family planning policies designed to stymie its tremendous growth.

A Personal Response to Letter from Birmingham Jail

Andrian Moore

Indignation is an emotion that I find surfacing within myself over and over again as I read, but nowhere is it more apparent than in King’s statement, “Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered,” (par 180). This quote resonates in me as I consider that not only has a whole population of Americans been humiliated, deemed inferior, and denied basic human rights, but they have also, in many cases, been robbed of their means to participate in our political process. The right and duty to vote is sacrosanct in the American system. We are told time and again that our message can be heard through our vote. Impeding that amounts to stealing one’s voice. African Americans endured unimaginable hardships in this land and were powerless to effect change in the system with their vote. I find this to be the height of injustice.

Cultural Learning

Patrick Riley

Shortly after arriving to Colorado Springs in late December 2013, there was an issue with some family I have here, and I was battling homelessness a week after getting into town. The homeless community is an ostracized, unseen, or ignored culture in the United States. No one wants to have them around, and yet many of them are trying to get back on their feet so they can be productive members of society again. It is very difficult for those trying to get back on their feet. Most cities are not making it easy to do so.

Global Voices

Joshua St. Onge

It was 2010, I was 20 years old and in Kuwait sweating and slowly withering away in the hot desert sun. A young kid from North Carolina who actually believed that we could help the Iraqi people in a positive way. Two weeks passed in the hot sun training for our movement into a combat zone. All the comfort we had was our fellow soldiers who passed time playing cards and telling tall tales about “home.”

MLK 2016 Writing Contest

The Occasion: To celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Parley is sponsoring a writing contest offering a $50 prize each for the first and second place winning essays. The Topic: In an essay of 600-800 words, tell us about someone who continues Dr. King’s work currently in our community, nation, or world. The Time: The submission deadline is Dec. 14, 2015. Students can submit online at ppcc.edu/parley or via email to parley @ppcc.edu.

Grey New World

W. Cameron Barrett

Along with pages including buy two get one free deals on bags of potato chips and discounts for sixteen ounce blocks of Velveeta cheese, college education has become common advertisement fodder for newspapers. A popular flyer for College America, an institution specializing in job training as well as education, features a man dressed in a cap and gown with a maniacal smile wiped across his face. Above his head he holds a laptop like a star performer holds an MVP trophy at the end of an All-Star game. Directly to the right of this display, in alarming letters, reads "LAPTOP" and beneath it the phrase "Use it in college and keep it when you graduate". The flyer includes other inviting phrases such as "Evening, day ,and online courses start monthly" and, "College America... Delivers training that employers need". What could be more appealing than an institution that not only "Delivers training that employers need" at any point in the day, but also gives away free laptops? Higher education, as it is presented in this flyer, appears to be a win-win situation.