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My first boyfriend was an interesting man. He was a phenomenal cellist that never really practiced, a swimmer that hated the way chlorine made his fingers feel and the biggest foodie I had ever met (that has very much changed since getting to Hopkins). We were very similar; everyone made it a point to tell us and we knew it, too.
On a morning walk with two of my best friends, bundled in our winter coats like pigs in a blanket, we realize that this year, we all have Valentines. It’s almost hard to believe. How could we all be happy at the same time? Is there enough space in the atmosphere for all our smiles? The moment doesn’t last long. A cool wind cuts through us when my friend says, “Probably not where you thought you’d be this time last year.”
This year I blew out my birthday candles a week early. It’s the first time I’ve been away from my family for the big day, so before I left for Baltimore, we sang around a Publix cake on the kitchen island.
As an International Studies major, I am required to take a foreign language. For freshman fall, I signed up for Intermediate French I, feeling excited for what was ahead in college but nostalgic for my experiences with French before college. Namely, the six years of French I took in Huntington, N.Y.
Among the many things in life that have been affected by the pandemic, my Christmases are one of them. Rather than whisking away to the winters of China to spend Christmas Day with family there, our first pandemic holiday last year was spent at home under the Philippines’ heat due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 surges. At that time, I was still taking online classes on a nocturnal schedule.
The iconic American writer Joan Didion passed away on Dec. 23. While literary legends are often remembered for their storytelling, Didion was known for changing the very craft of storytelling. She was documentarian of America’s conscience during an era in which we struggled to hold onto one. Doing so meant a clear-eyed, honest and brave gaze into our outer and inner worlds. She stripped artifice from narrative nonfiction and, in doing so, woke us up to what we chose not to see.
Last semester, I experienced the first of many lasts as a senior. I know. Weird. The thought that I am going to graduate in less than six months is beyond fathomable right now because I’m still not over how fast last year went by.
Once when I was young my mother brought home a bag of kumquats, a dozen of them, small and ripe, picked from a friend’s tree.
A pain surged in my chest when I saw the pictures side-by-side on the wall. Even though I transitioned years ago, I tend to be very protective of that old self because of the backlash that I experienced at Hopkins in going from one state of being to another.
I have known three homes of my paternal grandparents: the Old Westbury house on Bacon Road — the one that my cousins say has since been painted to look like a Taco Bell — the Asharoken house on the north shore of Long Island and now, and finally, the one in Northport with the house number that always manages to slip my mind.
My life savings are stored in seven 5.5 x 8.5 faux leather journals. A bit odd, but it’s true. When I was a child, and someone asked me the classic “If you had to save three things during a fire, what would they be?” my answer was always (in this order) my dog, my glasses and my journals. In these books, you will find doodles drawn in the deep hours of the night, dreams scribbled while I was half asleep and, most importantly, my never-ending collection of stickers.
5, 6, 7, 8... Step here... Spin... Wait, shoot, I missed a beat. It’s okay. As the choreo chairs like to tell us, the audience won’t know you messed up if you exude confidence in your movements.
I’m an indecisive person. Deciding where to eat for lunch is as difficult a choice for me to make as deciding my majors was. I go over the options relentlessly until I feel (mostly) confident I’m making the right choice. I find it nearly impossible to act spontaneously.
It’s fall again, but this year is a little different. To me, fall is the time to reflect, to daydream about summer beach days and the tide rising to fill its vacancy, to remember the sunny shirtless days I spent on the roof reading The Alchemist and Where the Crawdads Sing — but more importantly, it’s the time to hunker down, to prepare for winter on the horizon.
“We can buy that for you,” my mom told 4-year-old me, “but your dad will have to sweat a whole wok full of sweat for us. Do you still want it?”
“Wait, so how are they going to make the beam of light that stops the meteor that’s magnetically attracted to the moon pool?” my friend asks me, equal parts confused, concerned and amused.
I’m a graduate student in Engineering for Professionals (EP) at the Whiting School of Engineering. A previous article described how a Hopkins math professor discriminated against me, horribly, as a disabled person. The summer after that class, I reached out to Student Disability Services (SDS) for help.
I started playing the cello when I was 6 years old.
If you asked 8-year-old me to share a fun fact about herself, she’d tell you that she has so many pets she basically lives on a farm. She would probably even count them off for you, only exaggerating a little bit for dramatic effect, of course.
Hopkins presents the unified aim of managing waste and reducing any harmful release of chemicals into the environment. The University encourages all members of the faculty and student body to participate in this goal in the name of sustainability.