Drive the Plow and Übermensch

Throughout Drive the Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Astrology is present in Janina’s mind. She studies the characteristics stars and planets give to people and uses her findings to explain how some people are the way they are. She also believes that she can tell a person’s time and reason of death based on astrology. Janina is a spiritual person, although her practices are unconventional. When she is revealed to have murdered three men, I started to question her beliefs. She accurately predicted that Big Foot died because of an animal, and she did not interfere in that instance. I wonder if she had preconceived notions about the other three men based on astrology and assumed that it was her job to make her predictions come true. The fact that the men die in the ways Janina predicts makes the reader question whether her predictions were true or not. If you take it one way, you could say that the entire thing was determined by fate and it was predetermined for Janina specifically to kill them. If you take it the other, it makes Janina’s beliefs seem flawed and illogical; she would have seemed to force her prediction to come true, and without her interference they wouldn’t have come true. I think Janina assuredly believes in fatalism (the belief that every event on earth and all outcomes are predetermined by the universe or a higher power,) and this makes me question her beliefs about karma. I do not think Janina believes in karma, and because of this she is driven to take it into her own hands for these men to get what she thinks they deserve. This is in line with Übermensch, the idea of someone who believes themself to be above any moral or belief system and enacts their own idea of divine judgement. Many of her values and morals are contradictory and she doesn’t subscribe to any religion, which makes me think that she views herself as an Übermensch. She mentions her feelings of being a “vessel” for nature itself to enact judgement, which is a perfect example of this idea. I also wonder if she is partially motivated to inflict such violence because she “knows” when she is going to die. She supposedly knows her time and cause of death using her birthdate and astrological theorems. Does she commit these crimes because she knows she won’t die?

Dear Miss Trapeze

Dear Miss Trapeze,

I have often struggled with using the bathrooms at OPRF due to social pressure and anxiety. Do you have any advice for getting more comfortable using them or alternative methods?

Dear Writer,

Similarly, I have found myself bored, disgusted, or overwhelmed using our bathrooms, but fear not, I have a variety of solutions. These are distractions for taking your mind off of the panel dripping unknown liquid from the ceiling. For the creator or writer, take note of each mark on the walls. Studies have found that coloring can help reduce stress; use this to your advantage. You, too can contribute to our collaborative art pieces in the bathroom. Bring a pen or marker with you and the sky is the limit; feel free to draw or write on the stalls, floor, ceiling, or even mirrors! Some wonderfully meaningful words I have seen in the stalls are as follows: “<–poop alone poop with friends–>” If you aren’t artistically inclined, there are still plenty of other pastime activities. This next one is only for those who use the women’s restrooms: press those little buttons on the menstrual product dispenser. These are free, so using them excessively is encouraged; for a fun game, see how fast you can make the dispenser run out of inventory (my personal record is 28 seconds.) Make sure to tamper with all of them before throwing them away so that people can’t use them. This next activity involves peer cooperation, but can boost morale and companionship between you and your friends. Using a vaporizer in the bathroom not only helps make the room wonderfully fragrant, but also adds lovely fog for ambience! Passing the vape around betwixt your peers makes them think of you fondly during this bonding session. Sharing is caring, after all! I hope fun adventures await your next bathroom visit, dear writer.


Miss Trapeze


A motif that is strongly present in King Lear is femininity and what it means to be a “good” woman. Cordelia is described as kind, compassionate, submissive, and level-headed, which are the most wanted traits of women at the time. Goneril and Regan, however, are strong-willed and cruel, yet it begs the question: are they antagonized by their power or because of their power? The reader can recognize, of course, that their actions are vicious and heartless, but they are portrayed as worse than their husbands, whose actions are similarly as awful. Cornwall is the one that actually gouges out Gloucester’s eyes, but Regan is made the villain moreso than him. The play consistently brings up masculinity and femininity, especially women’s emotional states. A recurring idea is that women’s tears are weapons, and the larger idea behind that is that women express emotion more than men and that ability allows them to manipulate men. Lear consistently talks about tears, when he overtly calls women’s weapons tears and also when he refuses to cry although “he has more than enough reason to weep.” This contrast of masculinity and femininity gives some societal commentary on how madness and violence is perceived across genders.

After the Love Has Gone

After the Love Has Gone” appears in Earth, Wind, and Fire’s album I Am, which came out in 1979. The band is wildly experimental, venturing into jazz, funk, disco, gospel, R&B, and pop. The general style of “After the Love Has Gone” is R&B, with slow progressions and a variety of instruments including trumpet, electric piano, and trombone.

“After the Love Has Gone” conveys the speaker’s troubled relationship and how it started from the beginning to the present. It also shows the confusion of love, desire, and logic in relationships. The speaker doesn’t know what happened to make the relationship feel so blue or lose its spark.

Somethin’ happened along the way
And yesterday was all we had

He uses the word ‘somethin’ instead of explaining what that something is, which alludes to his confusion about what actually happened to lead him and this relationship to the way it is now. It seems as though their past together was happier and more stable, as the word yesterday is in the past, but metaphorically it means the entirety of the past, not just yesterday in particular.

For a while, to love was all we could do
We were young and we knew, and our eyes were alive

He explains that relationships need much more than love; they need maintenance, logic, perseverance, and other traits to be fully functional. It insinuates that at that time there were stark stressors and all they could do was love, and instead of really gaining something from the relationship they only stuck with it because they felt it was the only option.

Oh, after the love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found?

It also turns upside-down the thought process of people found when the base of their relationship, love, is lost. He specifically shows the disruption using the phrase “what used to be right is wrong” showing that the idea of love and his relationship played such a big role in his life that it seems as though he’s lost everything. He also asks a rhetorical question that seems like a last-ditch effort to restore what they once had, or could even be denial of the idea that they have no future together.