Hobart Park 2010

This journal is the first Hobart Park fall edition because the journal is typically published in the spring semester. It contains four poems, nine short works of fiction, and nineteen photographs. Its senior editors were English majors Nina ‘11 Hawley ‘11 and Kate Kelly ‘11, psychology major Sunny Lee ‘11, and history major Brian Park ‘12. Kelly ‘11 and Hawley ‘11 were both senior editors of Libertas, another literary journal at the College. Lee ‘11 and Park ‘11 were both involved in the Davidsonian, the College’s student-run newspaper.

The Hobart Park 2010 journal is a collection of primarily student-created and curated works from the 2010 fall semester at Davidson College; there is one poem from professor of English emeritus Gill Holland, which is not unusual for the journal as Holland is cited as “the most frequent contributor to Hobart Park” as of 2012. [1]

According to the editors, the issue is intended to be read “with synesthesia in mind,” and subjects of war and battle are abundant throughout. Of the many photographs in the issue, only two are named: one of them entitled “War Zone;” the rest of the photos are consistent with the  themes of struggle, conflict, and transnationality in “War Zone” as well. The theme of transnationality is noteworthy because many of the authors and photographers in this issue studied abroad during their time at Davidson before this issue was published; thus, it follows that the photos and writing reflect a cosmopolitan bent and concern for global issues. 
The issue doesn’t solely ruminate on war and conflict though, as other stories concerned with the themes and issues typical of college-aged students: identity, friendship, family, and even a meta-ironic examination on what it means to be a Davidson student with “Introspections of a Davidson Student” by a student who may have written under an alias. These less serious but equally as poignant works are notably packed towards the end of the lengthy thirty-two work issue. The weightier works populate the early pages; the poem that tackles war and post-traumatic stress disorder is the second work in the issue while the Twitter satire about Halloween night on campus is the second to last work.

"Twitter Satire"

“Halloween: Every detail you (didn’t) need to know” is a short work of fiction formatted in a manner reminiscent of the social media platform Twitter, where users can interact with ‘tweets,’ or posted messages. This piece was written by Meg Jarrell ‘12, originally from Fairfax Station, Virginia, with a B.A. in English and a minor in Education. 

A multilayered work, “Twitter Satire” is a commentary piece on the irony of “connection” in the digital times and on the information shared to public forums. The piece’s ending begins with “-Luckily we had twitter to connect us in your time of need!” in reference to the users’ discussion of presumably “after-party” vomit, lost items, and a mention of herpes. Instead of conversing with one another in person, the audience follows a trail of misconstrued conversations. While these characters are essentially “connecting” virtually, by showcasing these interactions, the story presents the underlying question of “Is virtual connection really connection?” and reflects the ever-changing opinions on technological advancements. 

The inclusion of a Twitter satire in the 2010 issue of Hobart Park is distinctive of the era the issue is situated in. The microblogging platform saw record-breaking usage in late 2009 and 2010. Ashton Kutcher beat out CNN by becoming the first user with over a million followers, and every major world and sports event would see yet another record number of tweets in a day, reaching a new high with the death of music legend Michael Jackson on August 25, 2009. [2]

Expanding to 2010 social networks in general, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was named TIME magazine’s 2010 Person of the Year; the platform. The 2010 biographical drama film The Social Network, was the number one film at the American box office for two weeks, making $224.9 million worldwide against a $40 million budget winning three of the eight Academy Awards it was nominated for (notably losing Best Picture in an upset to The King’s Speech). [3] In additional tech news, the iPad was unveiled January 27, 2010. [4] It quickly becomes Apple’s fastest-selling new product ever. [5] The keynote address has also been described as the “last great keynote” entrepreneur Steve Jobs gave before his death on October 5, 2011. [6] Needless to say, a satirical commentary in 2010 on Twitter use portends the rise of a new era for social media platforms and usage. 

"Empty Blue Sky"

“Empty Blue Sky” is an eight stanza, free verse poem written by Kelsey Wilson ‘12 who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Davidson College with Honors in Russian Language and Literature. 
“Empty Blue Sky '' follows the speaker's sight of their father doing yard work, and Wilson’s deliberate word choices connote varying meanings “Digging trenches” for example, could refer to digging holes in a yard or digging battle lined trenches in war. The collapsing of the barrier between mundane tasks and warfare suggests underlying this dual meaning are reflections on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the impacts of war, and the struggles of veterans who return home, and familial relationships. 
The poem ends with the lines “-he was never scared” and “but I swear / I never seen a grown man hide from an empty blue sky.” This reflects the nature of PTSD and suggests the true challenge of war begins once a soldier returns home, as they struggle to adjust to normalcy (“blue sky”) and familial life or relationships.
The speaker refers to the disapproval of her mother who “raised an awful fuss when…” her father started digging up the garden. The speaker also notes “momma don't like us playing war in the yard/ arms crossed she huffs, looks for all the world like you're digging our/ graves.” This suggests the relationship between the mother and father has become strained since the husband presumedly returned from war. This is common amongst those suffering from PTSD; they tend to shut out those closest to them and the family can struggle to care for their loved one. From the actions of the mother, “huffs” and “arms crossed,” she doesn’t appear to be very understanding and seems frustrated. 

The aughts marked a period of several armed conflicts involving the United States in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries. The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were a national tragedy. Decades of armed conflict engulfing parts of the Middle East, with America's participation not ending until August 31st, 2022, when the U.S. combat mission in Iraq ceased. [7] These wars would have a childhood and young adulthood defining impact for the writers in this issue, who would have been of voting age for the first time as President Barack Obama campaigned to withdraw all combat troops within sixteen months of taking office—the fall of 2010.


1.  Harris, Jim. “Hobart Park (magazine).” Davidson Encyclopedia, 29 February 2012 <https://digitalprojects.davidson.edu/omeka/s/college-archives-davidson-encyclopedia/page/hobart-park-magazine>

2. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Twitter". Encyclopedia Britannica, 25 Apr. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Twitter. Accessed 8 May 2022.

3. IMDb, The Editors of IMDb. "The Social Network".  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1285016/

4. U.S. Census Bureau, Census History Staff.  "2010 Fast Facts". Last Revised: December 08, 2021.  https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/2010_fast_facts.html

5.  Dormehl, Luke. "Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces us to the iPad".  Cult of Mac. 27. January 2022,  https://www.cultofmac.com/464302/steve-jobs-ipad-launch/

6.  McCracken, Harry. "Apple's 2010 iPad launch was the last great Steve Jobs keynote". Fast Company. 27. January 2020. https://www.fastcompany.com/90455879/apples-2010-ipad-launch-was-the-last-great-steve-jobs-keynote

7. Council on Foreign Relations. "The Iraq War".  https://www.cfr.org/timeline/iraq-war

Page Authors 

Eliana B., Nathanael B., Saffron M., William B.

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