2015 Letter from the Editors

Delta Winds cover 2015Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Letter from the Editors

Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Attempts. What do you think? Should we change the name of the magazine from "student essays" to "student attempts"? The origin of the term "essay" is to try something; to make an attempt. In the Middle Ages, Montaigne twisted the meaning of the word from an attempt at anything to an attempt at a form of writing. And ever since then, people have been using the essay to voice their thoughts on, as Aldous Huxley said, "one damned thing after another."

Unlike the noun "essay," the verb form of the word, dating back to those same 1500s, means to "test the mettle of," to show the courage to make the attempt. So now we have not only the attempt but the chutzpah-the boldness to take the chance.

We, the editors of Delta Winds, view the writers of these student essays as having the combination of these two definitions. In the writings found in this volume, Delta College students have had the guts to put their perspectives out for a public viewing. These writers challenge themselves to be forthright with their notions of the world and to be at times brutally honest with their own experiences.

As expected, most of these contributors rely on their memories of past events. But in this particular collection of essays, we have found a common thread: a number of the writers question the reliability of these memories. The business of recollecting can be quite complicated. It can lead to clarification and understanding, to longing and heartbreak, to forgiveness and grief. One writer registers surprise when the image of an almost-nurturing mother collapses. Another admits to the murkiness in her collection of memories. Still another peels back the layers of confusion and resentment in the process of uncovering her damaged heart. Collectively, these authors have found and remarked on concerns common to us all. And their attempts at voicing their thoughts have given us one step closer to our own.