Augustana’s Got Talent – Recap


Augustana’s Got Talent (AGT) is an annual talent show held every winter which allows students to showcase their various talents. This year’s edition, which was hosted, as usual, by the Augustana Students’ Association (ASA), was held Saturday, February 27, 2021. Things looked a lot different this year: the talent segments were shown on a screen instead of the usual live show that is conducted in the Peter Lougheed center, but that did not make the event any less exciting!

Any current Augustana student is qualified to enter in order to compete for cash prizes: $1000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. This year, instead of auditioning before a panel of student judges as usually happens, participants were required to submit a video recording of their act by February 19. The host of AGT was Kyra Gustal, a second-year Augustana student who is currently serving on the ASA as one of the second-year representatives. She introduced each contestant, entertained everyone with her quirky, clever comments, and even showed off her cute cat.

The first of three acts was Rhea Nayak, a second-year student from Medicine Hat, Alberta who presented an incredible performance of the song “Never Enough” from the movie musical The Greatest Showman. To quote Kyra Gustal, “[I] could not get enough of her [performance]!” The second contestant was Tessa Palmer, a first-year student who has been singing in choirs since she was four years old. For her performance, Tessa sang a rendition of “Memories,” a song by the band Maroon 5. The talent portion of the show concluded with Racquel Lussier, a first-year student who played the guitar while singing “Driver’s License,” a song by Olivia Rodrigo. Her performance did not include a backtrack–simply her voice accompanied by guitar. It was incredible to learn that Racquel had only started playing the guitar recently in quarantine!

All the participants were adjudicated by Guest Judge David Draper, who is the current Vice President Academic of Student Union of the University of Alberta, who remarked that it was incredibly difficult to pick a winner amongst the three vastly talented participants. Rhea Nayak took away the grand prize, with Racquel Lussier coming in second and Tessa Palmer claiming the third prize. At the end of the show, viewers were given the opportunity to cast a vote for their “fan favourite” performer. Racquel Lussier was announced as the winner several days later on the ASA social media pages.

Hats off to all the contestants for taking part in the first ever virtual edition of Augustana’s Got Talent! So much time and effort must have gone into rehearsing and filming your entries. You all did an amazing job. There is clearly so much talent at Augustana! Thank you to all the contestants for their inspiring performances and to all the viewers for keeping an Augustana tradition alive in a new way during this pandemic year

If you missed the show but would still like to watch all the talented contestants, you can watch the entire pre-recorded show by following this link:

my being wanes as the seasons change


am I lonely,
or am I isolating myself?
my limbs can’t handle this chill that
freezes everything except my tears and
why am I crying again?

how many hours have passed without
a laugh? a hug?
these trembling fingers couldn’t possibly
put me back together.

how can you find the sun if
you’re too weak to crawl out from
the darkness that swallows all
your hope and
why am I crying again?

no one is going to help because
you plaster that smile on your face and
force light into your eyes so
no one will think something’s wrong but
something is.

remember, what freezes will thaw.
don’t be afraid just
be your own sun.

(Originally Published February 5, 2020)



There is a different kind of history which lies in all that we don’t know and never will. It’s a history of imagination in which all of the answers are wrong except for the right ones, but “right” and “wrong” are based only on common beliefs and science that is not yet past its limits. Dinosaurs roared, maybe, but maybe they didn’t, and maybe they also wore socks to keep their feet warm. Neither is proven.

There is the history of space exploration, indeed, and it is written down and recorded in various ways so that it will never be forgotten. It is significant. It is usual history. Perhaps there is also the history of a small girl by the name of Jane who looked up at the stars and said, “I want to go there,” and she spent all seventy three years of her life dreaming about twinkling lights in the night sky; but she never got there.

No, that’s silly. Her name was Faith. Or maybe it was Tessie, or Eloise, or a name I could never think of because I’ve never been to China or Greece. Maybe it was all of them or none of them, or maybe it never happened at all. This is a different kind of history, where the significance of an unrecorded life isn’t considered significant at all. Lots of people dream about the stars, they say. But I want to know who Jane was.

If I put a few words down on this paper, who’s to say it will or it won’t be read in a thousand years? Maybe that’s unrealistic. A few hundred? Could be. Six years? Might someone read it in six years? Sure, and maybe it will only be me. But if Jane had a dream about the stars, we’d never know. If Jane had a dream about the stars and she wrote it down for all the world to read, the world—whoever that is—would have read it. Maybe six years later, maybe seventy four. Jane, and the precise way she saw the stars, would be remembered.

Did dinosaurs wear socks? Maybe only the stars know.

(Originally Published February 5, 2020)



Look at the sky.

Look at the ground.

Look anywhere.

His words echoed in my head. I looked at the sky it was blue, a clear blue. I thought how unfortunate. It didn’t fit the mood. The grass I was standing on was a lush green. Pity that it wasn’t dead, like him.

The sky, the ground, anywhere I looked it was perfect. The day was perfect. The wind was blowing slightly; enough to keep you cool from the sun. The sun was fanning across the open fields enough to keep warm from the breeze.

I looked at where Jacob was standing; he was looking down at the casket staring at his own bed as he was lowered into the ground. His own eyes were confused as he looked up and locked his eyes with me. His lips were pulled into a thin line.

I pulled my gaze away from his and looked at my mother. Her hand was covering her mouth as tears rolled down her cheeks. Her shoulders shook with her sobs. My father was standing stone-faced, anger filled his misted eyes. My older brother’s head was hunched over, his hands trembled as he wiped at his face.

I watched because what else could I do? Crying wasn’t something I was capable of. Not where I was.

I turned my eyes back to Jacob; he had turned his eyes towards his family. The shattered and broken shells they were turning into.

Look at the sky.

Look at the ground.

Look anywhere.

I turned my head to the sky again before finally turning around. There it was. Mine.   

Rosalee Lane Vassberg

August 4th 1999 – December 24th 2017

Look at the sky.

Look at the ground.

Look anywhere.

But not here- that’s what he was trying to say. Look anywhere but not at me, yet I didn’t listen. I looked at him, trying to blink the blood out of my eyes. The stinging was harsh, but I had to see him.

He was worse. His head was bleeding badly, his legs were crushed and his breathing was laboured.

He died there. In front of me, and I followed.

Teenagers, drinks, cars, and blood.

Jacob was looking at me this time when I turned my head towards him. He was crouched by his tombstone. The graveyard held a gloom of sadness, no matter what the weather, it affected us as well. We were always stuck here. Everyone that came here was stuck here.

All the mourners, my family, his family. Everyone was gone.

Snow covered every inch of the ground, dead grass underneath the smooth blankets of white. The dead under the dead grass.

He ran his fingers over his name.

Jacob Becker Leckie

July 24th 1998 – December 24th 2017

Seasons passed summer, fall, winter, and then spring again and then repeat. My family came every week, then every month, and then twice a year. The day I died and the day I was born.

My brother cried over his lost friend and his sister. My mother cried over a lost daughter. My father cried out of anger. He cried over me the most. He cried when no was watching. I was watching. Jacob was watching. Slowly their tears stopped and their words came. Soon those stopped too and only flowers came with empty stares.

And we watched. That’s all we could do. Watch, because, we died.

We left a hole so big in the lives of our loved ones that nothing could fill it, not even time. We lived our life believing that no one cared about us. We lived thinking we were invincible, that nothing could touch us.

But here we were invisible not invincible. Learning that people did care, we were the ones who didn’t care back.

My mother grew old, and died. My father grew old and died. They stood next to us giving us sad smiles. Jacobs’s parents came.

We watched my brother come year after year until finally he never left himself.
Soon no one was giving us flowers.

The life we had, we wasted, and then we faded.

(Originally published December 11, 2019)



one morning you awaken and something’s shifted
you can feel it, the tingle in your fingertips
the world outside glitters
as does your heart
that undeniable urge to bake

crushing candy canes for cupcakes
prayers for Jesus and lists for Santa
the velvety sweet sounds of Michael Bublé
snowball fights and gingerbread houses
gliding on the ice, twirling like tinsel

lingering under the mistletoe
love and charity
stories around the fireplace
the Polar Express and Elf and the Grinch
the perfect ratio of marshmallows to hot chocolate

(Originally published December 11, 2019)



as with the leaves
we wake one brisk morning
and our colour has faded
winds have stripped our glory
breezes stress our limbs
we ache
as with the ravine
we wake one brisk morning
and our flow has halted
chills have captured our essence
frost glitters our surfaces
we ache
as with the season
we wake one brisk morning
and our bodies yearn for cuddles
mugs brew with pumpkin spice
bowls bear creamy soups and hearty stews
this is it, the sweater weather we have ached for
(Originally published November 6, 2019)

Horoscopes for Vol. III, Issue IX

After conversing with Jupiter I’ve been warned that there’s a rock in space that’s on course to collide with a small planet which could be devastating. However they are still a few light years away. Initially I thought it was a bad omen, but if this doesn’t represent your love life then what does Aries?

Neptune rising is saying that the reason you never found a partner for this Valentine’s Day was because you can’t find love without leaving your room. Unless Neptune is saying that your one true love is within. Whether that’s within yourself or within your room I don’t know I’m just translating energy waves here.

You know Gemini, I am so terribly sorry but I can’t read any celestial waves of wisdom because you just can’t seem to stop talking long enough. Which is exactly why you’ll never find love – because you don’t LISTEN.

I know you missed Valentine’s Day – but look for someone who seems like, if you, Cancer, were not so aware of your surroundings, that you would crash into each other. It might be a few years but just…watch for that.

Leo, you were named after the great Leo DiCaprio, and as such are subject to his same fortune. A Leo understands that with patience comes great things, deserved or not, and though you may be lonely now there will come a day after you have learned the lesson of patience where love will find you. Do not seek it.

Yeah, you were named after a Virgin, and you will stay that way forever. Do not contaminate your namesake. But anyways, that’s why nobody is dating you.

I know you have love, but if you’re thinking you want some better love then talk to a Leo in your community. It was Mercury’s suggestion not mine. I don’t even like Leos.

Scorpios sting just as much as their tragic lack of true love. If you weren’t so fiesty all the time, you’d have a companion just as devoted as you could be. Alas, you are unaware of how much you can hurt people.

The Archer, Sagittarius, is skilled with the arrow and can land a bullseye every time. Well, almost every time? It seems there’s something you’re still missing (all puns intended).

Uranus rules your sign, and you just laughed at that so your immaturity level ruins all your relationships. Ouch.

Go try looking for love at an AQUAtic centre. Plus swimming is good for you and you need the exercise.

Your heart is in pisces (HA, I meant pieces but that’s just a joke from me to you). I understand Pisces, and it’s all because your life is in pieces too. Put it back together and the empty cracks will fill themselves.

Horoscopes for Vol. III, Issue VIII


Aries, you are the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude, and with this attitude you have that’s going to be the only type of degree you’ll ever know.


Venus rules over you, watching closely. Venus is telling you to stop trying so hard to be down to earth and take a break. Live a little.


Mercury is telling you to open up to someone this new year. Stop trying to have two sides to you all of the time and just let everyone see who you are.


As the universe is vast and ever so mysterious, so is your future. Your past too. Seriously what the hell is going on with you?


Leo the Lion, ruled by the sun and fire, but not so hot. Seriously, stop acting like you’re hot s***. There’s a difference between confidence and cocky.


As we enter into February, the planets are aligning to warn you about that thing you said you’d do several times but still haven’t done. You should do it. I know you won’t, but heed this warning anyways.


God I love Libra’s. Seriously I met a Libra at the bar a few nights ago and just wow. Don’t stop.


New year Scorpio, and same exact you. Don’t feel bad. You tried and that’s what counts.


Scorpio go to mars to get more chocolate bars, Sagittarius goes to Jupiter to get more stupider. Sorry. It’s not my fault Jupiter rules over you.


Your new year has been off to a great start, Capricorn. You’ve only ordered pizza TWICE instead of your usual six. Wow. Inspiring.


The stars say happy birthday. Actually they didn’t say anything because stars can’t talk, but the Dag says happy birthday.


My favourite thing about Pisces is that I’ve never met a Pisces who didn’t cry like six times a day, which is so ironic since you’re a water sign and your symbol is a fish.