The 16th birthday party is a staple in American culture, but for this English class, the number 16 represents a huge milestone.

The COC English Department has been putting on a student magazine for over a decade. What started out as a brain child for Professor Alene Terzian-Zeitounian, has now turned into an outlet for students to express themselves through written word and art.

Professor Terzian-Zeitounian took a moment to reflect on the journey her English 122 students went through this semester.

“We literally walk into class day 1 with nothing, like it is just air and talk. And then at the end of week 16, where we are now, we have created this magazine cover to cover.”

Students, faculty, and parents made appearances at the Performing Arts Center to celebrate the release of the 16th issue of Cul-de-sac. Although this event takes place every year, this event marked the first time in three years the English department was able to host the magazine release in person due to COVID.

Cul-de-sac business manager Daniella Belen Guzman spoke about the drastic change from online releases to this week’s event.

“Through Zoom, you aren’t gonna meet people on a screen, you’re gonna meet them face to face. And it was a different kind of pressure, it was like being shut out for long – that you think you can handle it – and then you realize you don’t have the barrier to protect you.”

Students were able to look back and take pride in all their hard work and creative freedom in making the magazine over the 16-week course.

“We are creating it entirely from scratch. Everything from the theme, to the decorations, to the social media posts, it is all coming from the students. So if you decide to take it into a completely different direction than any other years done before, you can absolutely do it,” said Allison Alben, the magazine’s editor-in-chief.

Cul-de-sac hopes to return for its 17th edition this fall semester.

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