Unselfish Vulnerability

Today, in Capstone Research, we continued discussing a research article analyzing the movie Big Hero 6. It thoroughly examined the setting of the film and its characters, making the argument that the film doesn’t fully realize its potential to move us forward in deeply accepting other cultures. A main sentence from the paper’s abstract: “Big Hero 6‘s agenda to promote hybridity is undermined by latent hierarchies suggested by the process of its world construction and binary oppositions constraining the development of its secondary characters.”

I didn’t like it for the primary and petty reason that I found the writing style was eloquent at best and almost overbearingly dense at worst. Therefore, going into the meat of the piece, I already had preconceived notions—that the author was pretentious. That then helped me see the piece as a ‘Social Justice Warrior’-type perspective on race—did the author really need to find fault with something as basic as the landscape of San Fransokyo? Did the movie directors really need to fully explore each side character’s backstory in order to fully promote a message about race? Continue reading

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How To Enter Senior Year

(Disclaimer: I speak recognizing my place as an incredibly privileged, upper-middle-class student. More on that later.)

1. With trepidation.

Because we’re human. And we’ve been waiting for this. I know that for me, I often think, “I’m never going to be 30,” or “Yeah right, people get married, but that’s never going to be me.” Throughout middle school, I lived in an “I’m never going to be a high schooler: that’s crazy.” Throughout high school, I’ve convinced myself, “I’m never going to be a senior—never going to reach the college application stage and face those beasts. That’s crazy.”

Here I am.

Time works real weird when we quantify and personify it like that, and so here I am, much too quickly, near the end of my high school career. Tomorrow is going to be my last first day. This is going to be my last HS fall semester. It’s mind-blowing to think that I’m at the ’12’ in ‘K-12,’ and simultaneous with the thrill of being on top and in sight of the tunnel-end light… is some variation of fear.

Continue reading

My Relationship with my Body

So here’s the thing: I’ve grown a lot thicker since even eighth grade. What’s surprised me is my own attitude about it.

I don’t think I can just be “accepting” of my own body. Unfortunately, ballet is not a sport—it’s an art form, and art is created and curated for visual pleasure. We as a society haven’t reached the point where skinny and plump are interchangably beautiful, probably for the very real reason that obesity is unhealthy, and it’s survival instinct to be attracted to fit people in order to replicate healthy genes. My point is that no one goes to watch a fat ballerina dance. It’s visually unpleasing. Essentially, my body is my tool for my craft in the same way a pianist’s piano is, for instance, or an artist’s canvas and paints. Your art is limited in some respects by the quality of your main tool. And the quality of a ballerina’s body is comprised of height, flexibility, strength, and thinness. I used to have decent amounts of each. What happened to the last? Continue reading

To the Boy On Whom I’ve Had a Crush Since Sophomore Year

The way I feel about you is the way I feel about most things (definitely). Nothing special, because multiplicity breeds normalcy. To crave a fulfillment is to give in, & what I mean by that is I constantly catfight with biology. / At the same time, I can’t fake apathy. I can’t fake the thrill of new and alive things the same way you can. I haven’t spent enough time doing this—catharsis as a mood rather than an action, when the blood brings back the bad no matter how hard I try to be creative, lovely, or master. / Focus, you say. Help me, as if there’s anything I could have touched thoroughly. I never envied myself until I stopped believing your realities. / Anger & its comrades, they’re meaningless here as I hunt for paths around cliché. Your eyes are like jumping bugs; I bet you’ve never heard that one. And I’m sick of writing to & about you because it won’t change anyone or anything but me.

==> In other words, I like you hormonally and I wish I didn’t because I can’t.

HA.

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Day 9: Travels & An Incident [Sucre, Bolivia 2017]

Arrived in Panama City around 7am, left for Houston around 9:45. Arrived in Houston, cleared immigration, then spent 3 hours stuck in the baggage claim area before customs because of a very bad thunderstorm. Proceeded to freak out a little and get into survival mode. Eventually, everyone made it through and I started freaking out about how I was going to get to Notre Dame.

 

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When I say goodbye to my teammates, hugging each one turn-by-turn, I already feel some heartache of perfect times over. When I arrive at my gate, C11, and sit down at an iPad-equipped high table, it hits me like thunder.

“I am leaving paradise.” Continue reading

Day 8: Final Day in Sucre [Sucre, Bolivia 2017]

Today was our ‘fun’ day! We went to El Patio around 9am to get salteñas. It was a good time of fellowship, exchanging some gifts, talking. Then, we broke off into little groups to go shopping, sightsee, etc. I went with Carmen, Tina, Silas, Josue, and Marco to shop, then look at Casa de Liberdad Bolivia’s equivalent of Independence Hall. Then we looked at a store/’museum’ featuring real hand-made textiles. Women sit at a special loom and can spend 6 months making an 18″x12″ piece, creating shapes and using colors to tell stories. I ended up buying a beautiful poncho made on a different electric-powered loom from alpaca fur. If you see me wearing it, now you know the story 😉 Continue reading