The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

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Anya Schwartz

Anya Schwartz has 3 articles published.

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Anya Schwartz is the editor for the Fiction section of the Q. She is a second year English with a Concentration in Creative Writing and Mathematics double major, and she is from Brooklyn, New York.

Space Log Day 161

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Photo Credit: https://www.spacetelescope.org

It’s about 0945 on the Allure and we have, surprisingly, done no work all day.

For the first time, The Department has sent us a newspaper from Earth, and, of course, everyone wanted to read it when it first came through. There was a mad scramble towards the log computer when the morning mail alarm first read aloud the incoming paper. Jacob got there first, because he’s the tallest, and he had Tommy Filt in a headlock to keep him out of the way. But then Mrs. S intercepted and made Jacob let Tommy go and then stand across the room. She decided the most fair way for everyone to read it was for her to read it aloud.

So the rest of us crowded around her seat and we spent all day reading the news. It felt a little bit like storytime, like when we were kids, all of us sitting on the ground in a huddle, just listening. And, honestly, it was kind of wonderful. We skipped the boring stuff, because none of us wanted to listen to Mrs. S drone on about things we didn’t care about, and nor did she want to read it. But the advertisements were amazing! The first one we read was for some new face wash that guarantees no acne within a week. All of us just about died when we heard that because we have to ration our acne cream on the ship—I think The Department largely underestimated the amount of acne cream that eight teenagers would need for months and months. Alexandra demanded that we turn the ship around right then and go back to Earth to get some of the new product. Mrs. S said she was being ridiculous and to sit back down.

Jake Kelsey and Nico Soto both flipped when they saw the pictures of the new Nintendo 4DS. None of us could figure out how it worked from the full-page ad, so Jake demanded that we look up videos about how to use it on YouTube. Mrs. S let him because he’s her favorite. She even let Gwen turn all the lights off, so it felt like we were in a proper movie theater while we watched.

We also read a couple movie reviews. After reading them we argued about which we’d all want to watch; we agreed upon the new Incredibles movie. So, if you’re reading this, and you have any power over which movies The Department sends…you know what to do. Sometimes, when we’re lucky, The Department will send us a movie, although it’s never been a movie that we’ve asked for. If we’re lucky, none of us have seen it before, but if we’re even luckier, it will be a Disney movie. I nearly cried when, a few weeks ago, Mrs. S told me we’d just gotten High School Musical 2. When we do get movies, they have have poor graphics and crackly audio (I guess because the transmission of movies into space is difficult?) but at least they don’t have ads like YouTube does.

Then Mr. B came in and asked for the sports news. Apparently it’s difficult to keep up with baseball when you’ve been cryogenically frozen and then stuck on a spaceship for an extended period of time.

It’s weird to think about how sports and politics and businesses keep on functioning on Earth while we’re all stuck up here. Of course I’m not egotistical enough to think that Earth would miss us now that we’re gone, but…I struggle to comprehend how life on Earth can still be normal for some people while my entire world has been turned upside down.

Ew, that sounded super cheesy. I just reread that last paragraph and I am supremely sorry that you had to read it.

So now it’s nighttime, or as close to nighttime as you can get on a spaceship, and Mrs. S said it’s okay that we didn’t learn anything, or do any physical labor all day. She said that even we deserve a day off every once in a while to do something fun. I guess that’s a nice sentiment, but if I get to choose what fun thing to do on my next day off, it will not be reading the newspaper.

And I guess that’s all for now. You’ll be hearing from me again tomorrow!

Love from,

Me

Space Log Day 149

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Photo Credit: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Good morning Earth people!!!!!!!! It is bright and early on Day 149 and Gwen and I are the only ones awake. The clock in the log computer says it is 0618 in the morning, and while there is no time in space (or, really, no time at all, anywhere), everyone else’s bodies are synched with the log computer. Usually I’d never be caught dead out of my bunk before 0800, but Gwen and I woke up at 0500 to put glue into Nico Soto’s hair gel. I’m only telling you because you’d never be able to tell him before he uses it!

I think I am going to go back to sleep after I finish typing this, but I figured I’d do myself a favor and get writing this over with.

So, hello. It is me again. I am writing from space, as you know. With every second I am moving further and further away from you, reading this, as well as everyone I’ve ever known (aside from the ten of us that are currently on this ship). We still have no idea where we are going, but I guess that’s all part of the mysterious master plan.

Today has been the first time that me and Gwen had access to the log computer while no one else was around. I don’t know how in (almost) 150 days neither of us has thought about just waking up before everyone else to have the ship to ourselves, but this morning was wonderful. We snuck into the bathrooms, peeked around everyone’s shower caddies and poured glue into Nico’s gel bottle. We even had extra glue, so we put the rest into Alex’s shampoo bottle. We thought it’d be funny to see what happens when (or if) she notices. Which won’t be for a while, probably, because she’s kept shaving her hair since that first time she shaved it all off while on detention. But we’ll see what happens.

Then we realized that all of our pranking had only taken about fifteen minutes, and we still had hours before Mrs. S or Mr. B would wake up. Gwen suggested that we watch Vine compilations, but the main log computer refuses to connect to YouTube, and Gwen’s laptop was dead, and I lent mine to Jake and he was still sleeping. Then we thought about making breakfast, since there was no one around to remind us about food rations, but our last escapade in the kitchen making grilled cheese went so horribly that we agreed to just wait until one of the adults was awake to cook for us. So then we decided to just mess around on the log computer because there was no one who could yell at us.

I’m much better with the communications system than Gwen is, and I found a way to track these logs we send you so that we could call whoever at The Department who reads them. Just for fun, I guess. I couldn’t think of anyone else to call. And the call connected, too, but no one picked up. It just rang and rang.

The weird thing is that I almost didn’t mind that no one picked up. I mean, yeah, it would be cool to talk to the person who’s reading these logs (you, I guess), to talk to someone who’s actually on Earth, but it’s kind of amazing how calming the sound of a dial tone was. I hadn’t heard one in so long.

If you’d asked me, before I got on this ship, the top 1,000 things that I would miss about home, I never would have even thought about dial tones. But I missed them.

Sorry that this log hasn’t been super typical. I didn’t talk about what we were supposed to learn or how we did our best to get out of learning that thing, because it’s still the early morning. I guess tomorrow I’ll talk about whatever we do today. Hopefully this log was still interesting enough to be useful, or at least amusing to whoever reads it. Or else I guess I wasted my time.

Oh well. More tomorrow!

Love from,

Me

Space Log Day 107

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It’s been over 100 days, and I am still required to write these stupid logs. As if anyone back home is still reading them. Who really cares what eight teenagers in space are learning, or what they’re thinking about what they’re learning? Mrs. Something (I can never remember her name) says they’re very important for The Department’s records.

Whatever that means.

So, hello to whoever in The Department is reading this. I hope you’re having a nice day today. Kiss the ground for all of us.

Today we learned how to check the windows to make sure they stay air-tight. Alexandra Lopez didn’t show up to mandatory training, and she earned herself an hour in detention. (Detention is getting yourself locked in one of the bathrooms, because they’re the only rooms with no maintenance equipment, no intercom, and no windows. It’s really boring.) Just to piss off Mrs. S, Alexandra shaved off all of her hair while in the bathroom. It took Mr. Banks, our janitor/head engineer/maintenance man/more-that-I-cannot-remember extraordinaire, more time to get the hair out of the sink drain than Alexandra spent in detention.

Mr. Banks has gotten used to cleaning drains of hair, though. After we all woke up from cryo when the Allure got into space, all of our hair kept falling out in chunks until our bodies adapted to being alive again.

Learning how to check the windows was cool but freaky. Knowing that one wrong move could probably kill us all made everyone very still and very quiet. Which is rare, for a group of delinquents.

During training, we’re split into two groups; one with Mrs. S, and the other with Mr. B. Jacob Kelsey and Gwen Clemons, my best friends on the ship, were both part of Mr. B’s group, and I was with Mrs. S, so I was forced to hang out with Nico Soto for the whole time. But then one of the alarms went off because the plumbing was all clogged, and Mr. B had to leave to go check on it. (It was Alex’s hair.) So the groups converged into one, and we all pestered Mrs. S until she let us stop checking the windows and go back to our common area.

I really don’t know why The Department put someone like Mrs. S in charge of this mission. She comes off as a hardass, but she’s really a softie, and even though Jake is her favorite, she loves us all. I’d ask you reading this why she was assigned to us, but it would take you too long to get back to me for it to be worth it.

Now that it’s been so long into this trip, I find myself thinking about our goal more and more. Our objective. This big secret that The Department is keeping for us. From us.

Gwen thinks that they’re sending us to some new galaxy to study planets. Jake thinks that we’re going to meet aliens that The Department has already made contact with. Once we asked Mrs. S where she thought we were going, but she just smiled at us and said, “it’s a surprise.” Which made us think that even she doesn’t know what we’re doing here.

I don’t know what I think. It must be something kind of boring, because if it was important or exciting they’d send actual astronauts and not high school kids. Sometimes I think that maybe there isn’t anything we’re heading towards; The Department just wanted an excuse to get rid of us.

Their daily letters to us (which were all sent months or years ago) sound cheery, but they also don’t reveal anything about what’s going on back on the planet.

I miss home. I miss the ground, and I miss my mom. We all do.

Nico Soto says he doesn’t miss anyone, except I’ve seen him staring at a photograph of his little brother late at night, so he’s a liar. I don’t know what Nico did to get here, onto the Allure, but I suspect I’ll find out eventually. We’re stuck with each other for about…forever, as far as we know.

I think I am going to end this log here. Gwen stole some cheese from the kitchen this morning while everyone was eating breakfast so we’re going to try to make grilled cheese sandwiches, or as close to good grilled cheese sandwiches as we can make with freeze-dried space bread and an electric stove. Don’t tell Mrs. S!

Looking forward to writing to you again tomorrow. As always.

 

Love from,

Me

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