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My mind feels like a graffitied wall. Emotions are scribbled diagonally and circularly in curlicue font and bold typeface. The neon colors are the random FaceTime calls from friends I miss. Black ramblings are the moments right before I go to sleep and right after I wake up and I remember why I’m in the room I left behind three years ago. Why is it that when it is mandated to stay home I want to leave the most?
We’re catchin’ gators, whatcha y’all doin? Perched on a red Kawasaki, my mom and I watched as two young guys baited their lines to catch more gators.
If your student organization has a retreat, go. Many are scheduled for all day, and at Hopkins, an all-day activity during the weekend immediately induces a heart attack. But you should go. Spending a whole day with people helps you bond with them.
An alligator suns on a log. It’s winter, but we’re in South Georgia, so that means it’s 80 degrees, but perfect.
Once upon a time in a flyover town, an only child slept in her wooden castle and was tucked away in her princess-themed tower, which overlooked the splatter-shaped moat with a swirling slide attached. Her blinds were drawn, and under the covers, she read with her flashlight because the anticipation of Christmas morning was overwhelming. The cookies were iced and were waiting downstairs for Santa Claus. Carrots and nuts for the hardworking reindeer occupied an extra dog bowl on the brick front step.
“This old heart of mine been broke a thousand times” plays from the speaker on my desk as I finish up my homework for the night. I fall down a wormhole, and I’m back in the passenger seat of my dad’s Ford F150. The heat is blasting, and the “heater seat,” as we call it, is on level three. It’s the middle of winter in Valdosta, Georgia, so it’s about 45 degrees. We hot-blooded country folk can’t handle it.
This week I held a document from 1976. What did you do?
I watched from the circular window as the fields of corn and the old courthouse shrunk to figurines. I left Valdosta. And I had been dreaming of this day since I was a kid. I always craved a life in a bustling city up north or out west, and it was finally my time. Baltimore needed to get ready for the country girl coming to town.
Circumscribed by hundreds of books, Ronald Walters leans back in his chair and prepares to tell his story. From Stanford to Berkeley, where he received his PhD, Walters moved across the country to join the Hopkins staff in 1970, and he is currently a professor of history.
So it’s junior year, and it sucks. I thought the transition would be easier because I’ve been doing this whole thing for two years now.
After writing about hook-up culture on campus for Valentine’s Day, I didn’t think twice about it being published... at first. Then I had some people tell me they really enjoyed it, and then it dawned on me that people had actually read it. I started to think of my parents and of my hometown.
Growing up in a Southern town, I was used to sororities and to seeing Greek letters on every Instagram bio, so I wasn’t concerned about going to a conference filled with Southern girls. What I was nervous about was how my friends would react to my home. I’ve told them stories about my upbringing, but for the first time, they were going to experience it for themselves.
It’s 9 a.m., and you’re trying to rush home before anyone sees you in oversized sweatpants and a T-shirt, carrying your clothes from last night. The infamous walk of shame. But why do we label it as shameful? Why do we consider sex shameful?
I wrote a piece.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I would give you a story to be thankful for.
1. Try not to sound too Southern. You don’t want your peers making assumptions on the first day of classes in Baltimore.
1. Your first pair of boots must be Justin Cowboy Boots or a worn-looking pair of brown hunting boots with a gold buckle from Muck Boots. You must wear them at least four times a week with light wash denim jeans marked with small holes in the back pockets to show that you help out on the farm or work in the woods.