Articles by Madeline Sweeney

Madeline's Montage: Forever an STP Tiger

I begged my parents to send me to public school for years–they never budged.   I’m from a moderately small city in Michigan, and my high school was surrounded by dominating public schools, all of which offered more classes, more sports teams and more clubs.   For a long time, I was completely consumed by…

Madeline's Montage: Manic at the museum

    I once did the Bernie with my two brothers in the middle of the Natural History Museum in New York City.   There’s something about running through a sea of people, knowing that the odds you ever see them again are slim to none, and it doesn’t matter how foolish you are–usually.  …

Madeline's Montage: Long live the weekend

  There’s something special about 68 degrees.   Looking back, I’m sure we can all remember a time or two when we argued about the “perfect temperature.” Throughout my grade school years, I proposed arguments against the chilly winter and boiling summer months. The perfect temperature in my book was always 68 degrees, because at…

Madeline's Montage: You can’t do it all

    Deadline is no joke.   I am an editorial intern for Cleveland Magazine in Playhouse Square,and in the last two weeks, I have spent hours calling and interviewing people,checking facts and, sometimes, twiddling my thumbs in anticipation for the story that would hit my desk next.   This opportunity has been one of…

Madeline's Montage: Dear freshman(self)

After a series of unfortunate events and an immense amount of emotional thoughts, I finally found myself settled on my couch with a steady heartbeat of 62 beats per minute (thanks Fitbit),wondering what to write for this week’s column. I soon received a text from someone very close to my heart that read, “Just graduate…

Madeline's Montage: I’ll be home soon, Mom!

  The weeks after Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas break are probably the worst school days of the entire year.   In a matter of three weeks, students must complete all final assignments and finish up with final exams.   For me, that means turning in four research papers, a final project and reading discussions…

Madeline's Montage: A letter to the M28 family

  Put 40 acquaintances and strangers on a farm in rural Pennsylvania for 48 hours and what do you get? A Christian rock band, “Ride that Pony” and a burning sense of what it means to be a family.   Over the weekend, I took part in Manresa 28, a spiritual retreat focusing on the…

Madeline's Montage: Refusing to forget

I found a piece of paper in a box of homeless things from my childhood. My friend and I talked briefly about it, but it’s been dauntingly hanging over my head all week.   It had been an assignment from kindergarten or sooner. The front read “Holy” and the inside said, “I see God…” I…

Madeline's Montage: Risky business

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve lost her.”   These are the words an English professor said aloud when I sat down in class sleepily smiling after going back and forth from Columbus three times in five days.   He did not say it due to my former absences, though. He said this out of shear excitement…

Madeline's Montage: Frozen for the moment

    In the first creative writing class I took at John Carroll, my final project was given the same title as this column. The assignment was to write a memoir, and although I wrote about a very pivotal time in my life, I’m not sure I’d write about it again.   What once was…

Madeline's Montage: Bruised knees and a lifted spirit

I like to think of people as books; some are opened, some are closed and, if you’re lucky, you get to read others’ stories while allowing them into your own.   The human brain is mysterious, and I’m not sure we’ll ever know everything about it. What is extremely profound, though, it that one is…

Madeline's Montage: Grieving to feel anything

  Fall rolls in, burying the summer grass with fallen leaves and yellowed trees. Clouds graze over the world that we live on, hiding the sun, reminding humanity the cool months are nearing. The chilling atmosphere hits without warning, and as the world begins to brown and the sun sets early, loss becomes a battle…

Madeline's Montage: Know fear; learn bravery

    Four months ago, John Carroll students pulled up to a gated retreat house that was consumed by the darkness of the sky and the claustrophobic buildings of Arbolito, Ecuador.   It was nothing like the pictures; no roaming hills, seldom bright colors, and city people starring at the white van full of visitors…

Madeline's Montage: Holding onto the twenties

In fourth grade, I was locked in a closet with my first crush and thought it was the beginning of an apocalypse.   When I turned 15 years old,  I snuck out of the house in the middle of January and had my first kiss after a few hard lemonades.   At 18 years old,…

Madeline's Montage: A stroke of good fortune

  Last Saturday, I was driving to Baldwin Wallace for my final track meet of the year when I came to a four way stop in an area I knew nothing about. As I began to accelerate, the little engine that could, couldn’t. My invincible Ford Taurus broke down; I was alone and stranded.  …

Madeline's Montage: Goodbye, Johnny & co.

  My mother has always said I was a “hello” girl. Goodbyes have never really been my thing, but then again, are they really anyone’s?   Lately I’ve been overcome with acute nostalgia toward the last three years. I’ve been reliving memories, recalling the moments that have meant most to me and preparing myself for…

Madeline's Montage: Freaking about fracking

  Take a moment and imagine that you’re standing at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. You look up and feel so unbelievably small as clouds drift over, covering the summit. After a moment, you glance up at the mountain and find that a planet has made its home right next…

The sheer present

Like any other student, I have struggled with balance. I used to be completely consumed by the next homework assignment, being late for work, making it to practice on time and hanging out with friends, that I often neglected what lied before my very eyes – the present.   Recently, a friend asked me a…