Surviving Trust Fund Babies: A Summer at Oxford

I’m a graduating high school senior from a small town off the coast of Maine. This summer I look forward to work, play and adventure. I plan on working at the golf course on the island. It’s the same place I worked last summer, which would be boring except that this year I look forward to teaching my brother the ropes. That is, until I leave for Europe. I was actually lucky enough to travel to Paris, Florence, Venice, and Rome on my senior class trip a little more than a month ago, but I’ll soon return to the country …

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Harvard Kid Takes DC

It’s my first day of vacation. For some reason I thought we were going to NYC until I saw “DC” at the airport gate. After arriving at our hotel, we got lost immediately and somehow ended up in Chinatown. What can I say: the motherland was calling. (Even though I saw zero other Chinese people there.) We entered a McDonald’s and were greeted with some next-level sagging and suspicious noises. I hail from the Northwest Chicago suburbs where this is not the typical McDonald’s treatment, so we migrated to another Chinatown classic: Chipotle. There, I made the rookie mistake of …

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Summer Reportin’: Surviving the Music Journalism Industry

As I type, technology is transforming the way humans consume, create and distribute music. While we previously had to pay $12 for a single album, we can now stream millions of songs for free. With cloud services, we can collaborate on a song remotely and seamlessly with a co-writer who lives halfway around the world. Instead of shelling out several hundred dollars to attend a music festival, we can now watch live-streams of this festival from our couches for a much lower price by strapping devices to our eyes (hello, virtual reality). Yet, this innovation also instigates fear, misinformation and …

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How to be Yourself: Japanese Edition

This summer, I will be, as I like to describe it, teaching Japanese students how to “be themselves.” If this sounds like the type of hippie spiritual journey that a 50 year-old suburban mom takes after her emotionally taxing first divorce, let me explain. Beginning in early July, I will be an instructor at Toshin High School in Tokyo, Japan, as part of the Come On Out Japan program. Toshin High School is the largest preparatory school network for university entrance examinations in Japan, enrolling approximately 120,000 students in 1,000 branch schools. It is juku—also known as cram school—which is …

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Conversations and Musings: A Harvard Summer at Home

Musings on issues facing the communities we inhabit. To clarify, I despise arguments. If someone tells you that they like arguing, it means that they enjoy the feeling of putting another person down, and they gain a sense of superiority from rhetoric. The main purpose of a conversation is to understand someone, not to change their mind. Without mutual respect, none of the valuable information that each contributor brings is exchanged. Interrupting someone during a conversation is to say, “I don’t care what you have to say right now, because what I have to say is that much more important.” …

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Two Parties

What it means for a woman to casually date a woman for the first time.  In October of last year, I turned off men. What I mean is, I clicked that little button on all my dating apps that allows you to remove the sometimes-kind, often-predatory men that haunt Tinder. What I mean is: I made a conscious decision to take my queerness fully into my own hands. I decided to embrace the harder path of pursuing the kind of people I wanted, not settling for the easy ones. I joke every now and then after a few drinks that …

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Uganda love this blog (Weganda learn about baboons)

I’m experiencing the worst jet lag of my life. I’ve never been 8 hours ahead of home. I got on a plane in New York 11am, and got off in Dubai the next morning. This is messing with my head. And of course I didn’t sleep at all on the plane. Our second flight, from Dubai to Entebbe, Uganda, was much shorter. We stayed Sunday night at a motel in Entebbe. Two adorable cats hung around our table as we ate dinner. I caved and gave them some of my fish. At night, I dreamt that they climbed on my …

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Pensive in Prague: Examining Identity Abroad

Typing from a body still trying to get over jetlag – long layovers do not come recommended – I am filled with elation at the opportunity to be a summer blogger for the Harvard Independent. As a low-income, first generation Latina who has never traveled abroad before, I am very excited to be able to share my experiences during my first time in another country. For me, being in Prague isn’t just my experience – it’s a joy that I get to share with my mother and her husband, with my older sisters and their children. People who in all …

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