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Walker Walls-Tarver

Walker Walls-Tarver

Dear Reader,


Most of my scientific education comes from Bill Nye. I learned about static electricity by watching “The Science Guy” don a long wig to play with a Van de Graaf generator, and I became informed on the principles of balance after an inexplicable clip that involved a team of grannies playing tug-of-war. Another demonstration, which caused a very brief interest in astronomy, stuck with me even into college. 

We start with an aerial shot of a student, a peer who represents ourselves. Then the camera zooms out to encompass her house, her town, then her state, then all of America, this continent and Earth. Then the camera hurtles upwards, out of the solar system and into the Milky Way. After pausing for a moment to admire the panoply of spiral galaxies, the camera zooms back in, rushing through the tour of the universe at light speed, back to a student reading an elementary science textbook in the front yard of a suburban home.

This clip helps self-absorbed preteens better visualize their place in the universe. It is ahumbling reminder of our cosmic insignificance can also empower us. It is easy to see “home” as only your mailing address or the town in which you grew up. However, home exists in thousands of forms, from a forced triple in the Nunnery to the cosmos shots in the Bill Nye video. 

In this issue of Cipher, one writer examines the issues facing CC through an honest appraisal of student government (page 10). Another contributor explores how his home became someone else’s through “the sharing economy” (page 20). A music enthusiast compiles reactions to a nostalgic song (page 26), and a writer discusses how her home in Lesotho is drowned under misrepresentation and media bias (page 34). 

Rather than fall back on old clichés like “Home is Where the Heart is” or “Where Your Mom is” or “Where Your Dog is,” the writers in this issue confront the theme through different lenses, sometimes personal, often painful, always proud. 


-Anna Cain and the Cipher editors