by Garrett Spagone
There is a distinct sense of pride that comes from looking at something and being able to say, ‘I made that’. Humans are the only animals capable of imagining what could be and making that hypothetical into a reality. This is the basis for Sea Change: The student made arts and literary magazine at Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) which is made up of work submitted by the members of the 4Cs community including students, faculty and alumni.
“It gives 4Cs a chance to highlight people’s creativity in a time where it often feels like STEM can eclipse everything.” said Professor Rebecca Griffin, who teaches Producing a Magazine of the Arts (ENL170), the class in which Sea Change is created each spring semester.
The magazine publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, as well photography and other various forms of art, thus representing creativity in the community, during a time where students may be becoming more and more burdened by the workload of other classes.
Griffin explained that was placed in charge of overseeing the creation of the Sea Change magazine four years ago after the magazine experienced a previous five-year hiatus where it was not being produced. She has since made it a personal goal to bring creative students together in a way where everyone involved can feel accomplished of what they have done.
Griffin said, “I could not believe they were giving a new faculty member such a great opportunity.”
As every edition is unique, Griffin provides her students a classroom environment where they are the ones in charge. Tasked with the larger goal of producing a magazine, ENL170 students have complete freedom to turn Sea Change into whatever they want it to be.
“It is so exciting to see that spirit evolve over my time here,” expressed Griffin.
In the years since it’s return the magazine has resulted in a variety of styles, from a minimalist design one semester to a colorful display of motion on paper in the next. One part of what makes this publication so endearing is just how much personality is put into it by those who conceptualize the design choices.
Caleb Burroughs, correspondence editor of the 2019 edition of Sea Change said,“What they’re doing is part of a bigger story through history.”
Each edition of the magazine is unique in that it is a culmination of the work that has been submitted by the 4Cs community, presented through the design choices of the ENL170 students alongside those in Professor Scott Anderson’s Graphic Design 2 class who take the magazines staff’s concepts and turn them to reality. Of the many submissions the magazine receives, usually 10-15% are accepted. The pieces that get accepted are those that fall in line with the vision that the class of ENL170 has in mind for the final product.
“It is a hands-on class where I found myself taking on more responsibility than I had ever been comfortable with before.” said Burroughs.
This may come across as a frightening prospect at first glance but, as Burroughs can attest, at the end of the day this class provides students with a life changing experience for the better. Burroughs stated that the process “made [him] feel like the creative things [he] liked to do could be something [he] could do for work.”
He also shared the fact that by the end of his time in the class he felt he had found a stronger voice when it comes to “projecting [his] opinions.”
ENL170 is a class which hopes to provide a realistic, yet still gratifying look into the process of producing a magazine start to finish within a judgement free environment that can provide students with the ideas and ramifications necessary to better themselves as well as create something physical that they can be proud of for years to follow.