Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
July 8, 2020

Voices

Hopkins is a diverse university where an incredible mix of cultures, academic interests and personalities coexist and thrive. Here is the section where you can publish your unique thoughts, ideas and perspectives on life at Hopkins and beyond.



Detoxing from Instagram gave me a fresh perspective

In late February, I deactivated my Instagram account for about a week. On Monday, I said goodbye to my lovely 1,449 followers and pulled the plug. I might reactivate it in a week either out of FOMO or a desire to showcase a cute picture but definitely more for the latter reason than the former. And in a month from now, I’ll be kissing my account goodbye for another week.



PUBLIC DOMAIN
Picasso is just one famous artist known to have mistreated women.

Can we really separate the art from the artist?

Since childhood, art museums were my safe space. They were hushed and contemplative, a place for solitary reflection as well as interesting (murmured) discussion. It started with encouragement from my parents. My dad is an artist and my mother an avid art lover, so they made it a priority to expose me to art as early as possible. 




Courtesy of HFHD/ CC-BY SA 4.0 
Choi volunteered with the organization Habitat for Humanity this break.

Finding small gifts of happiness in West Virginia

While working with Habitat for Humanity in West Virginia over spring break, Steve, one of the supervisors at the work site, told me, “That’s the great thing about volunteering — it just needs to make you happy.” It was easy for me to understand Steve’s sentiment. 


Lorie Shaull/CC By-sa 2.0
Senator Klobuchar has been accused of mistreating members of her team.

Why I care about how politicians treat their staff

What do you look for in a political candidate? Voters often consider a candidate’s past policy work, their campaign platform and social identities they value. As election season gears up, prospective supporters should account for yet another factor: how a politician leads their own team. 


The Idiot and realizing adults can still evolve

Last summer, I bought The Idiot by Elif Batuman — partially because of its interesting title and partially because it had a buy-one-get-one-half-off sticker. It was collecting dust on my shelf until a month into the fall term. There couldn’t have been a better time to start reading it, given that it’s a book about the narrator Selin’s experience as a freshman. 


How my experience with emotional abuse taught me to stick to my truth

I was always a secret romantic. I wanted the love we saw in movies: the passionate kind, the heart rumbling, fire sparking, all-consuming love that is glorified in Hollywood movies. But what I didn’t realize in my early teens was how similar this “all-consuming” love was to emotional abuse. How behind the romantic gestures made by the male actors was a deep rooted objectification of female bodies. 


Confronting the ridiculous but real pressures of swimsuit season

Spring is here (at least in my mind). It’s that time of jazz quartets and daffodils, iced lattes, and new romances. Do I sound like Gossip Girl? GOOD. Carrie Bradshaw? EVEN BETTER. I want to sound like her, she was super talented. Rest in peace, Carrie. (I like to think she was trampled by a camel after the second Sex and the City movie ended.) 


Public domain
Strawberries are one kind of spring ingredient to look forward to as they come into season.

What I’m putting on my menu this coming spring

Although I’m writing this column a few days before its publication and I’ve learned to remain wary of weather forecasts (just as I don’t trust Roombas, wall-safe tape and people who don’t like anchovies), I can’t contain my excitement at the prospect of a 64-degree day. Even if it will be mostly overcast and rain will arrive in the evening, this Thursday is expected to be relatively warm, and I can’t wait.


Tips for listening when people confide in you

If listening was simply paying attention to a sound, such as what someone is saying, with great eye contact, nodding your head and with open body posture, it would be easy. At least, I would find it easier than it really is. However, people often come to talk to you about something and want you to say something in response. Sometimes this can be an affirmation of their feelings, telling them that you really hear them, but some people need more of a nudge to keep talking. 



COURTESY OF LYNN GILBERT/CC BY-SA 4.0  
Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique catalyzed second wave feminism. 

Why supporting the feminist movement remains vital in our current times

Before you dismiss this as a ranting feminist article, hear me out. Even in liberal, American cities about 23% of men find feminism unnecessary. Even 7% of women find feminism unnecessary. There are countless photos of women on the internet holding up signs which read: “If I’m wearing a top like this I want you to look” and “I don’t need feminism because I love men!” There are endless other examples of women who are not only complacent but adamant that their role in society is justified. 


The downside of Hopkins’ emphasis on research

Why did I come here? This is a question I have been asking myself a lot recently. In a school that produces primarily STEM and Public Health majors, and especially those focused on boosting their track records for medical school, my Political Science major and pre-law aspirations have often felt a little out of place. Even in the world of the humanities, I’m vastly outnumbered by students in programs like the Writing Seminars and International Studies. 



COURTESY OF PATAFISIK/CC BY-SA 3.0 
Each of us is a puzzle made up of pieces of those that have inspired us .

Discovering new role models here at Hopkins

Pre-Hopkins, whenever I was asked who my role models were, my answer was immediate; almost mechanically, I would respond with, “my mother and Audrey Hepburn.” One from real life who taught me what it is to be both strong and kind, and one who taught me what grace and elegance are but whose character I could only infer from others’ encounters. 


 Courtesy of Laura Oing
Redzinski  with the cast of the play she directed with Witness Theater called “The Importance of Being Terry.”

A thank you to the home that theatre has offered me

For the past four years, I have been a part of the student-written, student-directed theater group on campus, Witness Theater. It was the first activity that I participated in my freshman year, and I have written, acted, and directed for them, sometimes all at the same time, ever since. I was even elected the Workshop Coordinator this past year, which means I got to help other students edit and polish their short plays.


Redefining success based on my own needs

We have all heard this story before. What we were in high school and what we imagined ourselves becoming in college. Our reality, unfortunately rarely matches up with our expectations. In high school, my work-load was never enough to fulfill me, so I always did more than the required amount. I debated and I wrote and I took Literature and Math and all of those AP classes that I’m sure half the population at Hopkins took. 


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