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.


Learning how to express my unique masculinity

May 2, 2019

A few days back, I found an LA Times article online: “To fight K-pop’s influence in China, a club teaches young boys to be alpha males.” Intrigued, I read it. The author explains that a masculinity crisis has developed in China, thanks to the kinds ...

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Backlash against K-pop leads Qian to ponder traditional masculinity.

NEHA SANGANA / PHOTOGRAPHY STAFF
Ome and Ko celebrate the time they’ve spent working on The News-Letter

Reflecting on our time as Editors-in-Chief

May 2, 2019

It’s not often that you get to lead with your best friend. The summer before this year — our senior year — we road-tripped up to the Jersey shore and stood on the beach with no idea of the year that was ahead of us as Editors-in-Chief. We had been close for a long time, but this was the year that we became inseparable. Twenty-plus-hour News-Letter work weeks, bookended by weekends full of laughter, reflection and nights in Baltimore and Brody. And now, with only a few weeks until graduation, we can’t help but look back on this whirlwind year and marvel at how it’s all coming to a close so soon.


I was looking for the "American college experience." I found so much more.

May 1, 2019

About a week ago, I was sitting down in Brody Cafe interviewing another student for an upcoming feature about Earth Day in the News & Features section of The News-Letter. He explained that he and some of his peers were working on planting a butterfly garden outside the FFC. They were going to plant milkweed in that little patch of land so that migrating Monarch butterflies could stop and feed while making their long journey home.

 
COURTESY OF DIVA PAREKH
Parekh reflects on the community she found during her years at Hopkins.

COURTESY OF ADAM BIELAWSKI CC BY.SA 3.0
While Farrar knows Flo-Rida’s music isn’t great, its still important to him.

Discovering the good in bad music

April 25, 2019

Everybody has music that defines their childhood. Maybe if your parents were massive dead-heads, you’ll think of The Grateful Dead. For a lot of people, it was whatever was on the radio, or what their older siblings were into; usually some combination of The Killers, The Backstreet Boys or Destiny’s Child.


Learning how to express my voice as a survivor

April 29, 2019

We don’t talk about what makes us uncomfortable, but we should. Sexual assault is not a new phenomenon. It is not, and never will be, a result of the way someone dresses or the way someone acts. Burkas and ball gowns know assault just as booty shorts do. The male gaze is as pertinent as ever; the powerful gazing upon the marginalized as if their stares can strip autonomy. It’s the 21st century and survivors are just now finally gaining space to be able to share their experiences. 

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The best ways to keep up with politics as a student

April 25, 2019

As a busy Hopkins student, I’m guilty of joining my peers in a familiar refrain: “I wish I had more time to read the news!” Throughout high school, my family always had cable television news or the news radio station as a backdrop to our daily lives. Without this passive flow of information in my college routine, I’ve had to adjust how I consume my news in order to stay up to date with the latest political happenings.


Finding community in my uncle’s Italian deli

April 25, 2019

In the weeks following spring break, I’ve been struck, yet again, by constant hankerings for the flavors of home. As I’ve already written in this column, these cravings include the meals my mother and the other phenomenal home cooks in my family dish out to my clamoring cousins and me. However, I also find myself longing for my favorite bites from mom-and-pop businesses all over North Jersey.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BILLYTFRIED / CC  BY.SA 3.0
Sandwiches like #1’s and pasta salads are a staple across Italian deli’s

Opening myself up to embrace change in life

April 18, 2019

I’m not the type of person who opens up. I don’t have a lot of experience letting the people around me know how I’m feeling at any given moment. I often feel like I’m caught between who I am and who other people think I am. As a result it feels like I’m constantly walking on eggshells to be the person everyone expects me to be. That’s always been difficult for me, but I thought it was just normal. I thought walking on eggshells was human nature.


Owning my style and being more confident in my fashion choices

April 18, 2019

This morning I emerged from the shower, fully prepared to dress myself in the clothes I had picked out last night, and paused. “What am I getting dressed up for?” I flashed back to 16-year-old me picking out high-waisted black pants from my uniform and remembered hearing, “You’re going to school, it’s not a fashion show.” Slightly reluctantly, I zipped up my red knee-high boots, wrapped my sparkly black, white and red coat around me, and tossed my tote bag on my arm.

 
COURTESY OF ARROSER/ CC BY-SA 3.0
A pair of Louboutin shoes or a sparkly coat can be a source of confidence.

 
COURTESY OF LAURA NUGENT
Cabaret made Oing rethink how to reconcile differences of opinion.

Reconciling political differences in friendships

April 18, 2019

In this week’s issue of Art and Activism, I will be taking a break from my regularly-scheduled programming (i.e. socially-engaged film and fiction) to talk about socially-engaged theatre, specifically the Barnstormers spring musical production of Cabaret. First performed in 1966, Cabaret focuses on a cast of characters in a seedy nightclub in 1930s Berlin. The German political scene is rapidly changing as an American man named Clifford Bradshaw falls in love with one of the nightclub’s dancers, an English woman named Sally Bowles. 


Reflecting on the experiences of the women who made me who I am today

May 2, 2019

My grandmother grew up in an orphanage — not because she didn’t have a family but because she couldn’t find them. She was six-years-old, maybe seven, when she was separated from them during the Korean War. Raised by the Anglican nuns at the orphanage, she graduated first in her class and left at 18-years-old to pursue a college education during a time when few people, let alone women, had college degrees.

COURTESY OF KELSEY KO
Ko was raised by her grandmother in Korea until she was four years old.

Confronting microagressions as an Asian American

April 11, 2019

Here’s a common situation: I’m sitting with my friend, Kelsey, and another person comes up to us and says, “Has anyone ever told you that you look alike?” We both tense, smile placidly and respond with something like, “No. We don’t really look alike.” 


COURTESY OF PBALLYAN/ CC BY-SA 4.0
Hasan has come to miss the seviyan, which she would have for dessert.

Realizing all that I love about Pakistan from afar

April 11, 2019

Pakistan was long warm nights. Pakistan was roadside cafes. Pakistan was pebbled streets and pavements merging into one another. Pakistan was friends and family and colored, dirty cloth on a table. Pakistan was chai made right. Pakistan was greasy nutella paratha and greasier fries. Pakistan was eating food that you knew would give you an upset stomach.


Embracing my passion for writing at Hopkins

April 11, 2019

Some weeks, it feels like I spend every waking hour writing. Whether it’s for The News-Letter, a class paper, or even just for fun, it still blows my mind that some weeks at Hopkins I write more than I would have done in the entirety of my hardest high school semesters. I can’t blame anyone but myself for this. In my four semesters here, I’ve taken eight writing intensive classes. I don’t have to write nearly an article a week for The News-Letter, but I want to. Even on weekends, when I find a new album or movie I’m really into, I will write a review only to delete it. Even though nobody reads these pieces, through them I gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the art I’m consuming, which is what matters to me.


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Transitioning from viewing myself as a victim to a survivor

April 14, 2019

Before you read this article, I want to provide you with a content warning if you are someone who might be affected by reading about sexual assault. I wrote this article after I got to a point where I stopped blaming myself. Through it, however, I work through my own negative and destructive experience with graphic self-blame. So if you’re someone who can relate, I hope reading this can help you — but please make sure you’re at a place where you feel like it will help and not hurt you.


What I learned by sharing my column with you

April 11, 2019

For the past few months, I’ve really enjoyed writing this column. Being able to engage in open conversations about the things and moments that have impacted me most these past four years has been a very fulfilling experience. But unfortunately, as we get closer to the end of the semester and I prepare to graduate and head off to get my MFA, I’ve decided to bring this column to a close. 

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Redzinkski gained a new appreciation for vulnerability through her column.

COURTESY OF MARCEN27/ CC BY-SA 2.0 
Perlman is taking after the popular Demi Lovato song “Sorry Not Sorry.”

Women shouldn’t say sorry for their choices

April 11, 2019

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.


Tips for expressing how you're actually feeling

April 4, 2019

Oftentimes when you are talking to a friend, it’s about how your day is going, what you’ve been up to recently and vice versa, all that surface level stuff. If we are being honest with one another, that’s just small talk. Once you tap into your feelings, then you really start to listen to what the person is saying and understand how they are feeling.