acquiescence vs. allegiance

do you remember?
sun-dappled days, sprawled on the polyester carpets of middle school, paging through piles of amateurish poetry and prose;
all invariably describing some fallen rose petal or ballerina’s pliè.

do you remember?
us matching down to the labels on the back of our chestnut jeggings, evergreen-striped shirts, and torn-up old boots, perhaps bought that way. two ponytails swinging down halls together; matching laughter trailing be- hind.

do you remember?
legs swinging off the harbor dock, fall’s cold breeze sweeping in, chatting about some old crush or another, we’ve long joking about how I never make eye contact.

do you remember?
white dresses, floating on the slightly damp breeze of new May days, cupcake-spattered bodies, soaked in rainwater and coca cola, newly-minted children chasing each other down the street.

will you remember?
in some apple-smelling, New England liberal arts college,
with roommates and study buddies and a plethora of people more pertinent than me,
when you’re a stranger to whoever you were at thirteen.

every year, all our recollections occupy a smaller percentage of your memory as you collect a thousand new experiences to hold close.
am I worth remembering?

Post written by AnneMarie Caballero

A Poem

Let not your resolve grow thin

Or trust the night to solve your troubles;

Find shelter from the light within.


As you ponder your world chagrin

And your mind rises and bubbles,

Let not your resolve grow thin.


A subtle smile or beaming grin

Will strengthen the heart in doubles;

Find shelter from the light within.


Although the wild ones may sin

They find mercy in the deplorables;

Let not your resolve grow thin.


To those with complexity wherein

Take part in the cornerstone that rumbles,

Find shelter from the light within.


And out of those barely akin,

A friendship that nearly befuddles.

Let not your resolve grow thin.

Find shelter from the light within.

Poem by Emily Graham

A Love Without Privilege | A Photo Series

I wanted to do a piece about the difficulties of love and the uncertainty of enduring through those hardships. This was inspired by the separation of my best friend’s parents, two very close family friends, who have been separated due to a sudden change in their status as immigrants in the United States.


I included these images in a short book that I wrote called “A Love Without Privilege”. I first reflected on how so many people are privileged to have a love that is not hindered by borders or technicalities or physical obstacles, and further touched upon the uncertainties and difficulties that come with an adverse love.


I wanted to highlight the beauty of love within the difficulties through the contrast of richer, brighter colors with cooler, darker tones.


Post and photographs by Gabby Baniqued

Maps | A College Essay

Whenever I dust off the cover of a world atlas and open its large, rarely turned pages, I get a whiff of childhood curiosity: my long search for my place in society as a Filipino-American. My parents gifted me map puzzles, pin-maps, and globes over video games as a child to keep me occupied, building the foundation for what would grow from an obsession with identification of countries to an eagerness to learn everything about the world. While history was not a heavy focus in my Montessori curriculum, it drew me in with its promises of stories about mankind: who we have become, who we used to be. I soon found, however, the word ‘we’ was not inclusive. I still have a shelf full of picture books about the 1950s Civil Rights Movement that gives insight to my brief obsession with that part of American history; my mother claims I was once adamant on naming my future children Martin and Rosa. With an immature understanding of history, I saw these abridged glimpses into the American fight towards equality and tried to seek my own history within it, even once asking my mother where my family would sit in a segregated bus. The purely black and white focus in these books set me up with a flawed understanding of where I belonged as an Asian American, leading me to believe that I needed to fall under one or the other: black or white.

History textbooks mirrored these picture books in their inability to include other cultures. “World History” class meant “European History and Others” class – even past elementary school, my peers and I were spoon-fed a Westernized version of history that failed to mention other countries except in the context of colonization. While textbooks have recently gone through a significant change in content, I often wonder how ignorant these textbook writers and editors could be to label any non-Eurocentric history as unimportant. “Unimportant” always seemed to be the word of the day – because I did not see myself in history, in media, or even in my school, after transferring to a middle school with only three other people of color in addition to myself, I began to feel unimportant.

In middle school, I expected theater to be an all-inclusive environment where teachers worked to make sure that no child felt left out. Unfortunately, it was not helpful that there was no precedent for my directors to cast against a character’s given race. If Dorothy had light, fair skin, the girl cast as Dorothy would have the same. In a funny way they eventually did so: casting myself as a black female character, and two young white boys as Chinese characters. The discomfort I, along with the few other people of color, felt during this musical only further engrained into our minds the same repeated message we had always heard, “As a person of color, you are unnecessary.” The Garwood Whaley auditorium stage, where I perform today, was a monumental factor in changing how I viewed myself as a Filipina. For the first time, I had not only seen diversity among characters generally cast as white, but I saw a Filipino boy cast as a lead role in a musical. Reviews of the show praised his exuberance on stage and his reception of an award for his performance affirmed a truth that I had long been blind to: that could be me. My junior year was marked with my role as a lead in our spring musical as well as my nomination for best featured-female actress. That experience helped me recognize the importance of representation and the urgency for it; society is discouraging to people of color in many ways, and not only in the theater and film industries. Representation opens up doors with a resounding shout of, “Look, someone just like you can do this too, why not you?”

Post by Gabby Baniqued

The Best Views | A College Essay

The best views are not seen from the peak of a mountain. Of course, the top is the destination, the reason why we woke up at 2:00 am and started hiking at 3, but the breathtaking view from the top didn’t compare with what I saw in the hours leading up to our final push to the summit.

At the top, we saw clouds that seemed to be just in our reach, mountains that expanded for hundreds of miles and faded to a deep blue, calm rivers, still glaciers, boulders that appeared smaller after having climbed up them. The euphoria of peaking the mountain was unlike anything any of us had felt before. Our noses and cheeks were red from the wind brushing past them and our lungs were hot from the altitude, and yet we didn’t feel anything except for pride and relief. However, although we triumphed that day, my most vivid memories come from our journey.

Around 4:00 am, while it was still dark, we stopped for a break, and instead of continuing our conversations, we stayed silent for one minute. We looked at the sky with its enumerable stars. I thought about how many people the sky might have seen at that moment and about the stories of all those people. I thought about the people in my life, how they were distant like the stars, yet how close I could hold them. The world felt so vast in that moment and I felt so small. I looked around at everyone else and wondered what they might be contemplating, but as I looked at their faces, I saw complete awe, serenity, and wonder, and knew that regardless of what thoughts ran through their heads, they were taking in the moment in its entirety. We were all here, on this vast earth, together. There is something so comforting and profound about being with others in complete silence, even more so when amongst the mountains. All at once, I didn’t feel so small because I was with my closest friends, experiencing something that I could never know at home in my busy life, and I knew that even across the distance, I held those important to me in my heart. After the minute was over, a small voice broke the silence telling us that it was time to go.

That sight of everyone sitting in the dark looking at the same stars and sky, everyone being totally present, was beautiful and will be forever imprinted in my memory. I cherished the time we spent at the peak, but I treasure every moment between our beginning at the trailhead to our finish at the top even more. The conversations, the smiles, the laughs, the challenges, the falls and pickups, those are the things that give substance to our lives. The journey, not the destination, fosters our most valuable experiences and creates our fondest memories.

Later that morning, after the silence but still hours before we had summitted, we watched from the middle of a drainage as a bright red sun slowly ascended over the horizon into a sky of yellows, oranges, pinks, and blues.

Post written by Grace McCaffery