The Trouble With Writing — At the College and Beyond
Through this column, I wanted to peel back that tour-esque veneer and reveal the intangible culture of each postgraduate school at Harvard. Yet when I sat down to write each piece, I couldn’t help but feel lost. Somehow, my quotes, pictures, and notes had the audacity to remain meaningless and unconnected, instead of autonomously organizing themselves into some easily digestible narrative that I could then transpose onto my document.
The Political Tendency of the Parachurch
I challenge HCFA and other parachurches on Harvard’s campus and beyond, as well as individuals who do not identify as Christian, to hold these seemingly diametric narratives at the same time: Personal fulfillment and vital religious community can come from within parachurch organizations, and we can recognize and rectify the political and sociological consequences of their development.
Identity Is Forever Fluid
Viewing other individual or cultural identities purely through the lens of one’s own is a recipe for epistemic disaster. Recognize that differences in how someone else views the nature or fluidity of a particular identity, though potentially unfamiliar to you, are nevertheless authentic and do not represent a license for mockery, derision, or mischaracterization.
Summer-Camp Sadness: Meditations on Friend-Making
We want to be seen and to see others. We inevitably go through summer-camp phases to figure out how we fit into each others’ lives, if at all. Sometimes, we slip through the cracks and find ourselves alone, but as long as we put our genuine energy into the world, I believe we’ll cross paths with the right people.
Read a Book! Write a Rhyme!
Rhymes are often thought to be what only kids enjoy, but sometimes simple, silly stuff can bring the greatest joy! And so it is my hope for us that maybe over time, we’ll learn to find the joy in life. We’ll learn to find the rhyme.
An Ode to the Kirkland Basement
This column has been about considering the unseen, about looking at what usually goes overlooked in front of us and defending it when others don’t see it. When the Kirkland House basement is eventually remodeled, preserving small imperfections such as the textured walls and upside-down map is crucial for recapturing the quirky, cozy atmosphere it has today, and maintaining artifacts like the murals and library is essential for continuing our connection to the past.
Who Cares About Aesthetics?
Don’t worry too much about how your unique aesthetic tastes in art, music, clothing, or anything else are perceived by friends and family. If we are to discard any remaining notions about the dualism of body and mind and accept the preponderance of empirical evidence that the latter arises in some fashion from the former, then we must logically conclude that sensations such as aesthetic pleasure possess a fundamentally biological basis.
Realize Your Impact: Stop Stalling, Start Swinging
When you think of society as some type of swarm consciousness — a group of billions of individual actors motivated by their own incentives — it’s easy to take a fatalistic view. Whether it’s in scope, size, or speed of impact, we tend to underestimate the role an individual (again, read: “you”) can play. We shouldn’t.
Taking the Ivory Out of the Ivory Tower
Higher education appears to be locked in a vicious cycle: Students of color have less access to support and mentorship, leading to less faculty diversity, which in turn makes it harder for students from underrepresented communities to envision themselves in faculty positions. Underrepresented students should be supported at every step on the path to professorship.
What Harvard College Can Learn From Longwood
If the College wants to fulfill its mission of providing an intellectually transformative experience beyond narrow professional learning, it cannot be afraid to completely reform its curriculum á la HMS. The “cornerstone” of the Harvard College curriculum (as the General Education program is officially presented) must truly encourage students to think critically and engage with the material.
A Message To Evangelical Christians
What I realize now, and what I’d encourage evangelical Christians everywhere to realize, is that a narrative does not need to be complete and tied with a bow to be told. It does not need to come to a conclusion regarding the acceptance of Jesus to be a worthy narrative of faith. Your testimony is not a cover letter. It does not need to be created with the purpose of being shared. It’s one thing for personal testimonies to be encouraged in Christian culture. It is another for them to be constructed with the sole purpose of being shared, rather than catharsis or healing or personal reflection.
Towards a Mentally Healthier Harvard
The mental health crisis on campus rages on, and it is still not clear what to do to address the depression and anxiety that plague the student body. There are two approaches which may improve the mental health of this community: a top down approach, where the existing medical care is made accessible to everyone, and a bottom up approach, where a culture of care and support is allowed to bloom.
Why Networks Net-Work
Within the cost-benefit analysis of Harvard networking seems to diverge from the animal kingdom, we each have the potential to make connections with anyone and everyone with little or no consequence; we are afforded the luxury to choose. Rather than networking for survival, we network for problem set buddies, friends in high places, and critical professional connections that can help us secure selective dream jobs and future plans. This element of choice can lead to some negative consequences of social interactions.
It’s Okay To Do Less
I still worry I should do more. But if you’re feeling a bit frayed, please try to take a breath. Take a nap. Request that extension. Cancel that hangout. I personally know it can feel radical to care for yourself, especially with mental health struggles.
Cults of the Underground
There is a recurring pattern of groups emerging for the purpose of exploring the underground. All of these societies are drawn to the tunnels despite real danger. Nevertheless, new disciples keep appearing, often exercising an almost religious reverence for the exploration of the unknown. They are the worshippers and the tunnels are their gods.