August 2023 - Volume 07 Issue 03

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at ASU

A u g u s t 2 0 2 3

V o l u m e 0 7

I s s u e 0 3

A J o u r n a l i s t i c C o l l a b o r a t i o n o f t h e

A r i z o n a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y O n l i n e C o m m u n i t y

Preparing for a

Successful Semester

Written by The Spark Staff and Alumni

It’s August and you know what that means…

It's the start of the Fall semester! If you’re

looking to change up your studying methods,

here are the top four tips and tricks brought

to you by the Spark Newsletter.

Continued on Page 12

In This Issue

Friendships &

Generosity 03

The Reading Nook 09

Preparing for a

Successful Semester 12

Not Your Usual Love Story

Ch. 6: 15

Finding Hobbies 20

August 2023




1 2 3 4


6 7 8 9 10 11 12


Session B




14 15 16 17 18 19





A/C Start

23 24 25


27 29

28 29

30 31
















- Colorado Day

- National Coloring Book Day

- National Watermelon Day

- National Water Balloon Day

- National Disc Golf Day

- Summer Session B Ends

- National Lighthouse Day

- National Cat Day

- International Day of Indigenous People

- National Spoil Your Dog Day

- Mountain Day

- National Bowling Day

- Melon Day

- World Lizard Day

- Indian Independence Day

16 - National Roller Coaster Day

17 - Fall Session A/C Start

18 - Hawaiian Shirt Day

19 - International Bow Day

20 - National Radio Day

21 - International Self-Care Day

22 - National Bao Day

23 - Slave Remembrance Day

24 - National Waffle Day

25 - Uruguay Independence Day

26 - National Toilet Paper Day

27 - Crab Soup Day

28 - National Heroes Day of Philippines

29 - National Sports Day

30 - International Whale Shark Day

31 - International Overdose Awareness Day



Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023



By: Frances Ogbunamiri

As one gets older, friendships become less important. Things change,

and the devotion to friendship usually gives way to other things, mostly

partners and children. I’m lucky to still have one good friend in my life.

It was Duane's birthday last month. We’d known each other since

we were preteens. There was no one who knew me for this long that

I could still stand, and who could still stand me. Most of my

former friendships had fizzled to distance, both physical and

emotional. The few close friendships I had blew up rather than

fizzled. Duane was the only person with whom I’d grown up with

that I still deeply cared for. However, I hadn’t seen her in person

since before the pandemic. My teen years had been fraught with

growing pains and mental health issues, and she stood beside me

the whole time. My adulthood was not much better, and, though

she was miles away, I knew I could still count on her. My anxiety

became so bad that I couldn’t leave the house to see her on the rare

occasion that she was in town. I was immobilized by the bad

happenings in my life, but she had been patient with me when no

one hadn’t.

When Your Friends Make More Than You 03

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

Then came a milestone I couldn’t miss. If

I wasn’t going to leave town for my best

friend, when would I ever leave? Therapy

had helped my agoraphobia, and I started

doing things I thought I wasn’t capable

of. I bought a plane ticket to Missouri. I

now had the ability to show up for her in

a way that mattered.

We’d gone to brunch that first morning, and spoke as if no time

had passed. It was then that Duane casually mentioned paying for

everything for the duration of my visit. I gaped at her, and blinked.

“I put away a bunch of money

for this weekend,” she said, blaise

in between bits of shrimp and

grits. Her words were puzzling,

and more than that, a little

insulting. It was her birthday. By

all rights, I should be paying for

her. But I had gone back to

school recently and my library

circulation job didn't pay much.

Even the last minute plane ticket

had set me back.

When Your Friends Make More Than You 04

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

I started to protest. I felt ashamed. Perhaps this was why I was

afraid to leave my house, to interact with the real world. I was

so behind my peers. The life I had imagined for myself when

Duane and I were still in high school did not account for the

pitfalls of deep childhood trauma, the perils of capitalism, and

surviving assaults. My well-adjusted, mentally-typical friend

could pay for her three-bedroom-plus-a-basement home in a

pretty midwestern neighborhood, while I was struggling to scrap

together the pieces of my life in Texas. She had a salary job

heading quality control at a plastic water bottle plant. Before

that, she’d done something similar, but for chicken plants.

“Working for the Man,” I’d teased when she got her first job.

“The Man pays good,” she replied with a snort, and

she was right. In America one really had no choice

but to comply with the questionable morality of

capitalism, whether that was making sure all the

plastic that ended up in the ocean was adequately…

plastic-y, or surveying the hormone-plump chickens

that go into our grocery stores and bellies. The

alternative was not being able to afford healthcare,

or living with roommates or one’s parents forever.

When Your Friends Make More Than You 05

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

The most frustrating part was that I am frugal with

my money, in a way that didn’t fit into Duane’s

lifestyle. She ordered breakfast every morning via

DoorDash. I go to the grocery store every two weeks

and meticulously plan my meals. She got whatever

she wanted shipped to her whenever she wanted it.

Everything I’d bought in the past few years had been

painstakingly researched and pondered, second and

triple-guessed. I like to put off buying anything at all

until I absolutely need it. I never eat out unless I’m in

a pinch, and I’m usually too anxious to fully enjoy

what I’m eating. I could definitely not live this way

forever, but I remind myself constantly that it is short

term and try to find joy in cooking my meals while

drinking cheap wine or saving up for something

ethically made. Being frugal helps me feel in control,

and anti-consumption makes me feel less wasteful.

Duane and her flagrant spending habits had made me

balk. She was long done with college and in a stage of

her life where she didn’t have to painstakingly save.

She did not care about delivery fees.

When Your Friends Make More Than You 06

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

There were certainly times where our different incomes

had made things awkward, particularly on a moral

level. Frugality was a virtue to someone like me, and

Duane had often complained about the people around

her (particularly men she dated) that couldn’t keep up

with her lifestyle, one I considered a bit excessive. I

didn’t live like that, and Duane knew it. It would be

cruel to expect me to stretch my thin wallet just to hang

out with my best friend, so she didn’t ask. Despite those

differences, life wasn’t a competition or contest to her.

“I make more than you,” she shrugged with the same

blunt indifference she treated nearly everything. “I

don’t mind.” My body, tight with anxiety, loosened

considerably. Because Duane didn’t mind paying for

everything. She didn’t mind that I was frugal with the

little money I made, and she didn’t mind that I wasn’t

comfortable spending the way she did. I had projected

my insecurities onto her, creating a scenario where she

resented and thought less of me, but that wasn’t reality.

The two of us were just happy to be together again. So

I let her pay for the things she wanted to pay for. In

turn, I bought us movie tickets, got her bag filled with

cute gifts I knew she would love. And if she reached for

the check at our upscale farewell dinner party, well, she

chose the restaurant. In truth, the only person that

truly had a problem was me.

When Your Friends Make More Than You 07

Graduation Countdown



Add Article Title Here 08

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

By: Natasha Geiger


Currently Reading:

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

I’m a huge Kate Quinn fan, so this book was an obvious one that I’m flying through as

we speak. This story is unlike some of her other historical fiction books that follow a

character in England or Germany during World War II. We get a front-row seat into the

Russian and Ukrainian sides of the war, following the life of a woman sniper in the Red

Army. So far, I am completely immersed in this book and can’t wait to see how Quinn

builds this character up and if she will be brought back down.

Books are a uniquely portable magic,

Stephen King, On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft. I approach each book and review just

like that - magical moments. These newest books transported me to another time,

another city- from New York to San Francisco, the 1930s to the 1990s.

Each story, a little more special and a lot more magical.

The Cuban Heiress by Chanel Cleeton

5 out of 5 stars

“The Cuban Heiress” is about two women aboard a cruise ship from New York to

Havana, Cuba. One woman, Catherine Dohan, is traveling with her fiance and his

daughter, while a solo traveler, Elena Palacio, has ulterior motives for being on the

ship. Catherine and Elena's lives clash on the boat, and they have a past together, but

how? I gave this book 5 stars because it has every characteristic of a cliffhanger

ending. Reading the summary of the book, I was pretty sure I knew the general plot,

but I was so wrong!

5 out of 5 stars

Once I got to the middle of the book I started to have a creeping feeling that something else was

about to happen, and it did. Chanel Cleeton delivered the ‘wow’ feeling of surprise and

phenomenal writing to keep me interested and strung along for the entire book. If you’re looking

for a book that will blow your mind, pick this one up!

“The Cuban Heiress” was a great palette cleanser as I geared up for these next two reads. Does

this mean I’m in my James Patterson era?

The Reading Nook 09

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August 2023

3rd Degree (Women’s Murder Club, #3) by James Patterson

5 out of 5 stars

“3rd Degree” is the third book of James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club and

continues to follow the lives of San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer, medical

examiner Claire Washburn, reporter Cindy Thomas, and D.A. Jill Bernhardt, as they try

to solve several gruesome murders surrounding the G8 summit in California.

Together, they follow leads and track down suspects to a vigilante group, but things

start to get personal as the murderer targets D.A. Bernhardt, putting everyone on high

alert. To make the storyline even more dramatic, the suspects are targeting

communities and public spaces.

You really can’t go wrong with this series by James Patterson. This book will get your

heart pumping within the first three chapters, guaranteed. This book has the perfect mix

of mystery and emotion; you truly feel like you’re right there fighting the fight. I’ve said

this many times about Patterson’s books, but his writing is unmatched. You truly feel

like you’re going right along with the crimes and the women helping to solve them.

4th of July (Women’s Murder Club, #4) by James Patterson

5 out of 5 stars

“4th of July” is the fourth book of James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club and picks

up with Detective Boxer, Claire Washburn, Cindy Thomas, and a new woman added to

the club, but I can’t say who! This particular storyline focuses heavily on Detective

Boxer after she shoots two teenagers in self-defense and is then tossed into the

spotlight after the teenagers' parents sue Boxer and the City of San Francisco for the


I especially enjoyed this book because it felt like it was less about the crimes committed and

more about the lives impacted and how they dealt with them. I also felt like I could relate to

this storyline. While it takes place in the 1990s, the crimes and issues at stake are very much

in the spotlight today. Although the outcome was somewhat predictable, I enjoyed how

Patterson kept me thinking and wondering how the different crimes and characters tie

together. To me, this is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a quick read with some suspense!

The Reading Nook


Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

You’ll be shocked to read that there isn’t a James Patterson book on this next list, but one book I’ve

been dying to get my hands on and another that caught my eye at the local bookstore.

The Bullet That Missed (Thursday Murder Club #3) by Richard Osman

I’ve been patiently waiting for this book to come out in soft cover for months, and

I’m so happy I noticed it tucked away in the mystery section. We head back to a cute

little English countryside where a group at a retirement community solves murders

in the most interesting ways.

The Radcliffe Ladies’ Reading Club by Julia Bryan Thomas

I’m a sucker for a cute cover, and this book doesn’t disappoint!

We’re taken to the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1955 when a woman

opens a bookstore that soon becomes more than just a place to buy books.

You may be thinking ‘Wow, five stars for everything, huh?’. I know; I was shocked too. This was the

first time I’ve rated all the books five out of five stars, but trust me- I’ve been bit by the mystery

thriller book bug and I can’t complain.

See you next month for more reviews!

The Reading Nook


Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023




The Spark Newsletter Staff & Alumni

Continued from

Cover Page . . .

1 Tip

#1: Read, take notes, repeat!

Tip #2: Create a to-do list based on

your upcoming assignments and be

sure to check and revise daily.


Preparing For a Successful Semester 12

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

Tip #3: Change of scenery! If your study

session looks like it’s going to take a couple

of hours, start in one place and then move

to another each hour.


Tip #4 (and highly preferred method):

Take creative breaks. Sometimes

your mind can be bogged down by

so much information that your mind

gets overloaded and needs a break.

Move your body, read, create, draw,

do something that you don’t

necessarily have to use your mind

for. Afterwards, you’ll feel refreshed

and able to focus better.

Good luck to everyone

during this Fall semester!

Preparing For a Successful Semester


Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

Find Us


Find Us Online 14

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023


Love Story

CHAPTER 6: Major Fight Part 1

Last month, in June, we celebrated our one year anniversary and I couldn’t be

happier. I really love this guy and I was having a great time just being with him. I

got a call from one of our allies situated in San Francisco which brought me back

to reality as I answered the call.

S: Hey, Ryan. How are you?

R: Hello Sara. I am well. I have a proposition for you. Do you have time to talk

right now?

R: I want you to buy my company and take over as the CEO.

S: Yeah, sure. What is the proposition?

S: Excuse me? You must be kidding.

R: Not at all. You know how we work ,we have worked on numerous projects

before and it’s time for me to step down.

S: I need time to think about this. You need to tell me everything about why you

have come to this decision.

R: Yes, I will, but more thing; If you take this, you’ll have to move here.

R: Here’s why I am stepping down.

S: I figured as much. Okay, now the background.

Not Your Usual Love Story: Chapter 6 15

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

We spent the next hour talking about the details and what this

career move would entail. If I take this job, I will merge both our

companies and work from San Francisco. Since most of our clients

are from America, it made sense career wise but I didn’t know how

this would affect my relationship with Oliver. Our entire life was

based in London and I had no idea how shifting to America would

workout. This would be a great opportunity for me, but I wanted to

talk to Oliver before finalizing anything.

S: Hey, I need to talk to you about something. It’s good news... kinda. I’ll tell you in person. When do you

have time to meet?

O: Tonight at 8 pm works for me. We can have dinner at my place.

S: Great. I’ll see you tonight. Bye!

O: Bye! See you soon!

We met according to plan and after dinner I told him about the

offer Ryan sent me. After my explanation, he just stared at me

for a few seconds. He had a passive expression on his face, giving

no indication as to what he was thinking. Finally he said “So you

told him no right?”

“You told him that you won’t take this job right? Because that won’t work for our relationship.”

“Did you say yes?! You do know that we won’t work if you move to San Francisco?”


“No, I didn’t say no. I..”

“Okay, first of all, I didn’t say yes and I thought we could discuss this.”

“What’s there to discuss? You have already made the decision of going.”

“So that’s it? Did you call me here to break up with me?”

“I think you have already said enough.”

“What gave you that idea? I think this is a great opportunity for me.”

“I never said that. Why won’t you let me speak?”

Not Your Usual Love Story: Chapter 6


Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

I looked at him in complete shock not recognizing the person in front of me. “Fine. I am

leaving. And for your information, this is known as a break up.” I yelled at him and sprinting

from his house. I got home and for the first time in many years, I cried myself to sleep.

The next morning when my annoying alarm woke me up, I was tempted to throw my phone

out the window to get rid of it. Regardless, I woke up and sent a quick text to Linda telling

her that I was working from home for the day. I checked my phone for any message from

Oliver, but his chat remained silent. I just stared at his name on my phone and the profile

photo I set up for his contact. The longer I stared, the more angry I got. I wanted to strangle

him and kill him. I wanted to scream and yell at him to listen to me. Instead, I blocked him.

Honestly, the job was a good opportunity and I was thinking that maybe we could make

long distance work. I knew the chances were low, but I had faith in us. Us being together

sounded like a fantasy right now, considering how we ended things. I got up from my bed,

brushed my teeth, put on some comfy clothes, made myself a cup of coffee and started

working. When the day ended, I was still angry, but I wasn’t going to be the one to apologize.

That’s when an idea popped into my head. Moving to San Francisco was a great opportunity

for me and the only thing stopping me was Oliver. With that thought, I quickly texted Ryan.

R: You’ll take the job?

S: I’ll take it.

S: Yes, send me the contract. When do I have to be in San Francisco?

R: Thank you! I will send you the contract in a few minutes. Can you be here in 10 days?

R: Great! See you then. Thank you again.

S: I can. I just need to wrap up some things here.

S: See you.

After that conversation with Ryan, everything felt like it was fast forwarded. I made

arrangements to leave and after 10 days, I left London without looking back.

Not Your Usual Love Story: Chapter 6


Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023


After my breakup with Sara, it felt like something died inside of me.

It’s been over two weeks since we last spoke and I miss her. I knew I

was wrong in not supporting her when she needed it. I was selfish. I

knew it was a great opportunity, but I didn’t want her to leave. I was

afraid that I would become less of a priority for her. Because of that

fear, I said things I didn’t mean. She stopped answering my calls so

one day I went to visit her in the office when Linda informed me

that Sara had left for San Francisco. When I heard that, I felt numb.

My eyes shone with unshed tears as I left the office, knowing that I

had made a huge mistake.


Not Your Usual Love Story: Chapter 6


Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023









Advertise With Us! 19

Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

Finding Hobbies

By Madison H

It can be so difficult to find hobbies these days; with life

being hectic, it’s hard to stop and take a break. Since I am

in my mid-twenties, I have done a lot of research on

hobbies and reached a point in my life of wanting to better

myself as well as do things for myself. Not for some school

project, a job, or a friendship group- I want to do

something that makes me happy.

With that being said, I have been on the “self-discovery”

journey to find things I can do. I have been through plenty

of hobbies before and I was very lucky to have a great

family who encouraged me to try things. I grew up in a

crafty family, so I have tried most craft-related things.

Throughout most of my childhood, I bounced around from

hobby to hobby, from activity to activity, never truly landing

anywhere- other than reading, which I fell in love with.

Finding Hobbies 20

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August 2023


Finding Hobbies


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August 2023

Finding Hobbies


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August 2023


Finding Hobbies


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August 2023


Finding Hobbies


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August 2023

Finding Hobbies


Volume 07 Issue 03

August 2023

Meet the Team


Natasha Geiger

Madison H.

Sayalee Chivate

Frances Ogbunamiri


Morgan Achard

Imani Mitchell


April Fan

Terri Wilson

Workshop Team

Sayalee Chivate

Leslie Madrid

Advisory Team

Brianne Frazier

Roxanne Wilcox

Board of Directors

Leslie Madrid

Editor in Chief

Annelise Markussen

Director of Editing

Sayalee Chivate

Director of Writing

April Fan

Director of Graphic Design

Delaney Crocker

Director of Operations

Sydne Ware

Director of Communications

The Spark Team

The End

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