Welcome to From The Oak Desk

We are pleased to introduce our inaugural issue of From the Oak Desk. We received a great number of submissions from the talented students of Salem Community College, and it was difficult for us to choose which works to showcase. Ultimately, we feel the works included below exemplify SCC’s students’ vast talents. We hope you enjoy the poems, paintings, drawings, photographs, short stories, and essays we selected. Please feel free to share this page with others to appreciate.



By Destiny Hinton

The wind blew softly through the settling fog as the man stared at the old and rusted metal, the haunting feeling of broken memories staining his heart. This was once his life’s work, now fallen to pieces. This place was once colorful and full of laughter, but now it was just broken and run down. He missed the old times when he could be proud of what was his and not feel shattered inside when he looked at it.

The old roller coasters, once a beautiful white birch base and bright, shining silver tracks became molded. The white turned to a deep green from wear and weather, moss growing where wood met dirt and climbing upwards. The silver now a rainbow of oranges, reds, and browns, rust covering the metal like a warm blanket would, yet it brought no comfort. The coaster itself had been derailed and fallen off the track. It was now laying broken and vandalized, people having spray painted and written all over it. It was no longer its beautiful red but a variety of vulgar languages and phone numbers, Continue reading

Put Down Your Rock!

non fiction by James Beardsley

As we go through life, regardless of whether we are disabled or not, sometimes things happen that bother us. It could be something someone said to us, the way someone acted toward us, or maybe it was the way someone made us feel. These things can have a negative effect on us which can be physical, mental or emotional.

I am pretty good about letting things go and moving on. However, there have been a few things that have bothered me and I just couldn’t let them go no matter how hard I tried. Every time I saw a certain person, or if I am in a similar situation where the incident occurred, it brought back memories of a not so nice time or event in my life.

A few years ago, I took a very interesting class. One day our teacher asked us Continue reading

Different, Not Less

by Julianna Zoccola 

“I have to tell Monet about it!” Matt shouted across the parking lot.  While twisting his fingers, he memorized the license plate number and model of the PT Cruiser as it drove away.  My family and I travel around the country and Matt continues to recognize someone he met in the past: a waitress, a teacher, or a friend.  He has an amazing ability to make connections with complete strangers to their aunt, or their brother’s wife, or their bus driver.  I cannot recount the times my family received “It’s a small world” response from people only Matt knew.  Autism is a neurological condition causing inappropriate social behaviors and an inability to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings.  I often felt pangs of embarrassment from the behavior of his awkward social skills, extreme repetitive behaviors, and blunt offensive statements.  But after seventeen years of being Matt’s younger sister, I recognize the love and support he needs as a maturing adult.  To support a child diagnosed with autism, parents need to create an educational, social, and personal environment designed to help him navigate his way through relationships and life.

Creating an educational environment is helpful in benefitting a child with autism.  One way for parents to create this environment is finding a school program dedicated to assisting and developing a special needs student.   Continue reading