Editors' Choice Introduction

Delta Winds cover 2002Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Editors' Choice

The Editors' Choice essays are works published in previous volumes of Delta Winds. As a way of commemorating the fifteenth volume of Delta Winds, the editors have selected these essays for special recognition.

Homemade Dresses

(Originally published in 1992 in Delta Winds Volume 3)

Nearly ten years after its publication in the third volume of Delta Winds, Michelle Cox's essay "Homemade Dresses" emerges as one of my favorites. In its simplicity, the brief essay highlights her honest reflection and regret about saving her own reputation by not standing up for someone else being ridiculed. It is at once a personal memory of fear, shame, and regret, and an analogy for a much larger issue: if we each save ourselves, ultimately, we are made more vulnerable to that which we are trying to avoid. It is what the Native American saying, "Walk in another's moccasins" argues against. It is what enables holocausts to occur. It is what Arthur Miller writes about in his play After the Fall: "If everyone broke faith, there would be no civilization." It is the choice we face every day in a myriad of ways. And, it is as simple as risking ostracism even as children when another is rejected for appearing different.

Jane K. Dominik
Editor (1991-1996)

Racism and Sexism in Advertising

(Originally published in 1997 in Delta Winds Volume 10)

This essay provides striking evidence of how advertisers send implicit messages that perpetuate racist and sexist stereotypes. Shafeeq Sadiq brings these messages to our attention and explains the subtleties involved. His essay is used in English courses across the country as it has been reprinted in a college textbook, The Compact Reader: Short Essays by Method and Theme by Jane E. Aaron and published by Bedford/St. Martin's Press.

A model for student writing, "Racism and Sexism in Advertising" shows us how to organize the essay into a clearly defined introduction, body, and conclusion. The body paragraphs contain very specific details and transitional devices to add unity to the writing. Also, students take note of the content. Recently, after having read the essay in English 79, students viewed and discussed advertisements in the Super Bowl with a much more critical eye. And this is what good writing can do -- make us more aware.

Bob Bini
Co-editor (1997-present)

Me and My Shadow

(Originally published in 1997 in Delta Winds Volume 10)

I like this essay as an essay. The title alludes to a well-known song and fits perfectly with the content. Cathy gives background information about guide dogs, about her former guide dog, Coral, and about the event which is to take place. Then she builds suspense in her narrative, sharing her anticipation and doubts, until the happy moment where she meets Shadow. The special bond between Cathy and Shadow is evident and touching.

The essay is more special because of my personal knowledge of Cathy and Shadow. They were enrolled in my American Literature Survey class (only Cathy officially, I guess). We often joked that Cathy could stay awake during lectures, but not Shadow, who stretched out and thoroughly enjoyed a deep sleep soon after class started.

Will Agopsowicz
Co-editor (1997-present)