Anne Frank House

“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank

Walking through the Anne Frank house, I felt closer to her story than I ever did before in the books I’d read or movies I’d watched about her. She fled persecution, went into hiding, then died in a concentration camp– having lived only 15 years. She was a courageous soul that despite horrific atrocities decided to believe in the good of people. In her diary, she was true to herself and gave a voice, a human story, to the millions that were slaughtered in the Holocaust. And the life that she was given? She lived it to the fullest.

Then, I discovered we share the same birthday. Sharing this day with Anne reminded me of the brevity of our lives– and the subsequent urgency to live and love and learn and fight for what we believe in. She did so much in her short time on Earth amidst tribulations– that we are warranted no excuse.

Chacun voit midi à sa porte.

This French proverb means “Everyone sees noon at his doorstep.” It illustrates that people will always (first and foremost) see their subjective opinions as objective truths. In a world where everyone thinks they are right and argue accordingly, it is more meaningful if we listen to understand and not to reply.

One Year Later: Estonia

One year ago I had about a month and a half left in the country I studied abroad in: Estonia. This was a bitter-sweet time for me. I had just finished my final exams at the university there and was getting ready to travel the countryside of Estonia in rented cars with my friends. I […]

Liberalism is Such a Drag

I have been deeply disappointed in this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. For those who are straight or a far edgier kind of gay than I, RuPaul’s Drag Race is the iconic drag competition show (formatted much like America’s Next Top Model) that, over the past decade, has become a cornerstone of the LGBTQ+ community, […]

Useless Majors

We always see and hear about useless majors. The ones that we shouldn’t even bother to study, especially not in college. They won’t earn you money. They won’t teach you real skills. Besides, isn’t college supposed to be about getting a decent paying job? These inquiries are becoming monotonous. Why study that?

How about this:

“The most dangerous risk of all– the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” -Randy Komisar

So, pursue what you love unapologetically. And by the way, those seemingly minor comments on how some can’t see the practicality of an area of study…?

Noise.

If we’re going to talk about practicality and reality, how about the reality that we’re going to die. How about the practicality that even if we pursue a high paying major and job, we can still fail?

Let me hand it over to Will:

Reality is a human construct. So, don’t be held back by constructs created by humans no smarter than you. This sentiment goes beyond majors. It extends to and beyond all the goals in your life.

Still not convinced? That’s okay. You don’t have to be. 

Thank You, Langton Hughes

Over the winter break, I picked up a dusty book from my bookshelf that contained poems from American poets. I was a try hard when it came to trying to like poetry.

But, I just couldn’t find poetry that made my heart leap, and my soul weep.

Then, Langston Hughes with his jazz poetry came along. Call me a fish, but I was hooked. *ba-dum-tshh*

I used to regard poems as confusing and downright alien. But, I couldn’t be more wrong. Poems are open to interpretation, and some are full of riddles. But, the most unique poems possess an unspoken communication that strikes the mind.

I highly recommend reading some of Hughes poetry because of both the vibrancy of his style and the truth in his words. I enjoyed how his poems have a light rhythm, but heavy undertones to address rather impassioned subject matters. Here are a few lines from some of my favorite poems of his:

“So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.”

“Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”

“My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I’m gonna die,
Being neither white nor black?”

“I wonder what makes
A funeral so high?
A poor man ain’t got
No business to die.”

On Closure

When I was in ninth grade a teacher posed this question to our first year rhetoric class: “If you could live forever, being eternally reincarnated and always remembering your previous incarnations, would you?” I was extremely surprised to discover how many of my classmates would turn down this opportunity, saying that all of eternity would […]

Reverse Culture Shock (Not)

They always say when you return from studying abroad you will have intense homesickness for your acquired country; warnings about reverse culture shock are rife and uttered in intensely somber tones whenever you are preparing to go away. When I returned from studying abroad, however, I had no such experience and I want to share […]