A love letter to Tucson

Dear Tucson,

I suppose everyone has these phases, but it’s so funny now to remember that eight years ago, I was desperate to be somewhere else. And now that I’ve left home — the thing my 14-year-old self wanted most — I just want to tell that little girl that there’s no need to rush.

Some of my best friends returned to school last month. Some of them have moved on entirely, across state lines and national borders. And I’ve moved back to Los Angeles, this time for much longer than 10 weeks. I’ve been on a crying streak all summer, but it hit its peak this weekend, to the point that just before we got on the road to L.A. Friday morning, I burst into tears again without even seeing it coming. My mother asked why I was crying and I exclaimed I didn’t know, it had just happened.

But of course I know why I cried then, and why I cried during every goodbye I had to say this summer, and why even now in my cute little sunshiny studio in Koreatown I feel an urge to weep even though I’m not sad. New beginnings are exciting, of course, but they are also a little scary and a little overwhelming and a little lonely. But mixed in with all that excitement and fear and loneliness and exhilaration is so, so much gratitude. And that’s worth a few tears too.

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What we can learn about the First Amendment from that guy with the ‘you deserve rape’ sign

I’ve been musing for a while about a Daily Wildcat story on a student who held a sign that read “you deserve rape” on campus on the same day that the Take Back the Night rally was held to raise sexual assault awareness. As a journalist, I’ve been taught not to say how I feel about a story, especially one in a newspaper that I edit. But it would be a little ridiculous to pretend I don’t have a bias here. Of course I’m biased against a guy who says I deserve to be violated if I wear a short skirt. I would not argue with claims that his speech is hurtful. I do not believe Saxton should deliver a sermon that perpetuates victim blaming and slut shaming.

But I do believe in his right to do so without fear of retaliation through physical harm or legal means. Continue Reading

Why I write

Over winter break, I vowed to write every day. And then I didn’t. It’s been ages and ages since I’ve blogged. I’m still not blogging here. Instead, I’m cross-posting something I wrote for a group blog by my creative nonfiction class. I’ll write there sometimes, and so will plenty of other cool kids.

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“I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race — that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” — The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

For a long time, my parents were sure I’d go to law school. They couldn’t quite grasp why I wanted to study journalism and become a writer. To them, I might as well be pursuing a degree in poverty and minoring in hungry forever. So it’s funny that part of the reason I write is because of them.

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