This third edition of Zine375, written and edited by students in Magazine Writing in the Spring, 1999 semester, has four focal points--each a chapter in this zine, under the control of a student editor.
First is Online Life, reflecting the CMU's involvement with online thinking and living. Editor Amy Berger, who worked on these stories, notes that these were writers for whom, "The internet is now a forum for sharing deep, personal emotions, meeting new friends, and even conducting business." Remarkable here is Deborah Chow's personal account of how she developed a profitable business online while enrolled at this university and pursuing her degree. It underscores an issue discussed during the semester: for many CMU students the expertise developed on their own before coming to the university characterizes their success here. In some areas even the university curriculum cannot help them move beyond a point where their personal effort already has taken them.
Hard Realities, another chapter, reminds us of the searing and profound personal experiences that surface in student writing. Editor Jane Liddle notes of these stories--which have to do with deafness, rape, and witnessing the pain of old age--that the unexpected twists and turns of life leave us helpless: "Sometimes the most we can do when something goes wrong is try our best."
Lorelei Laird, who edited Local Connection, dealt with stories about CMU and Pittsburgh. "Think about it," she says, "for people new to a city, who can't afford to drive or take public transportation much, it's very important to stay within the same few thousand familiar square feet." That's why campus-bound stories often have such passion, and why getting off campus to experience another life--such as knowing a local "horse whisperer," seems so surprising and poignant.
With Lifestyles we run the gamut of biography about an aging political activist, to traveling in India and taking performance-enhancing drugs. Editor Danielle Pieratti writes, "We write about the things that we encounter in our lives, things like music, drugs, dating, television, and culture. They give us style; they shape who we are--writers, yes. But first, we're dates, travelers, critics, athletes, and music lovers, too."
Seven students in the course gave extra effort as editors or design advisors. Amy Berger provided outstanding support in the editing process, and I thank Lorelei Laird, Jane Liddle, and Danielle Peiratti for their help, and Becca Fribush for her attention to the Table of Contents. Carrice Delo and Hilary Greenbaum provided advice about design.
Chris Allwein from the Computer Science department put this issue online.