Bleeding Crimson

Home(less) at Harvard

6 days ago

{image id=1323693 align=right byline=true caption=true}About a year ago, I filled some boxes and lugged them up five flights of stairs. It wasn’t a big deal or anything—I was just leaving my friends, family, and anything I ever considered home back in New Jersey and welcoming four white walls and a sloped ceiling as a shoddy substitute for the word, the feeling. The ceiling paint was chipping, the skylight dark. Four new roommates filled in the slots of the four people I left three states away. Sooner than I thought, those walls were decorated, the skylight waxed and waned bright, and those four people became much more than just strangers.

And for a long time, I tried to avoid calling that place home. It was the room, the dorm, my bed. It was like when you tell someone not to think of an elephant and they begin describing a gray hide, a snaking nose, ivory tusks under flapping ears—but deny the image its rightful name. A portrait without a frame, if you will. My home had always been my little green room of five paces by two, nothing more, nothing less. Yet, my will eventually caved. We took a group picture. I bought a frame. Weeks sprouted roots, months began to grow under the skylight, and soon enough I had to change my idea of what was home, or how many homes one could have without the word losing its weight.

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Summer as a Status Symbol

August 01, 2017

{image id=1323638 size=medium align=right byline=true caption=true}Sunshine. Beaches. Barbecues. Warmth. Bathing suits. Days poolside, wasting away under the severity of the sun lambasting your back. No work in sight. You’re lying down, and it’s not the laying you’re focusing on but the down part. Flat, planar, no stress knotting your spine or fears knitting your toes, causing that arch in your back to point ever so slightly higher. Complete and utter tranquility—even just for a moment—before the flotsam and jetsam of school and work and responsibilities resurfaces, and you re-submerge into the murkier pool of quotidian life instead of the chlorinated pool of summer. And that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? The ideal breather that term time-you envisions, that childhood-you envisioned, a respite from the norm to reflect on what has passed. Or summer is a time to not do that, to spend time thinking about the thought of doing nothing at all, which in itself is doing something, doing more than what summer requires.

Yet, most Harvard students don’t experience this summer. This isn’t to say that the antithesis of this lax watercolor is the bane of all imaginable summers. It’s the opposite actually—the vast amount of interests that are pursued throughout the summer by various students are quite laudable. Studying abroad, doing research in laboratories, interning at important causes and with notable companies, cultivating their own businesses—the list extends from there. Summertime activities help to give context to what a student is interested in and will continue to pursue throughout their time here. However, the activities each student chooses to participate in—or, more appropriately, has the opportunity to participate in—can be a representation of and status symbol in the elitism omnipresent at Harvard.

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Harvard on a Friday Night

July 18, 2017

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The night has cracked open and yolk is smeared across the sky as many young Lamonsters close their textbooks and feel for the braille on their foreheads, reminding them to get to class. Thursday has unfurled into Friday under the limelight of library desk lamps, yet again. These student know the drill by now: The walk of shame from the library to the classroom is easy, as though their soles have been trained to follow this path. They walk on eggshells as the day unfolds into the afternoon and the afternoon leaks into the night. Another weekend arrives like Atlas shrugging to lift the stress of the week before it. The two day vacation promises to be a reprieve from the craze that might be associated with the typical flotsam and jetsam of an academic week at Harvard.

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Gauchito Gil and the Lifespan of Change

July 04, 2017

Robin Hood never had another name—as far as we’re told. In our childhoods, there was only one acceptable version of his story, and it was channeled through a whitewashed vessel, where pallid tongues and bleached palms cradled the tale from one set of wide young eyes to the next. Robin Hood was the tragic hero, the delinquent iconoclast, the arrow of hope arching from the poor to the rich and boomeranging back with hope to thread their clothes into something more than just rags. His story is powerful and touching and sows seeds of resistance against “the system” in the next generation. But whom is this story for? Who receives the privileged notion that if you steal from the rich and give to the poor you will be remembered for the charitable life you lived?

There’s another version of this story.

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Freeing Kodak Black

June 20, 2017

“Free Kodak Black, he ain’t do nothin wrong!”

The lockers blatter together like church bells, clattering under the fists of students running amuck in the halls. Snickers erupt from outside the room, snake under the closed door, and fill the room like smoke. The footsteps grow louder, flowing towards the room, and a young girl walks in, asking for tutoring in math—and the noise ebbs away behind her.

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