Class of 2020 Blog

Posts from the Johns Hopkins Class of 2020

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There’s No Place Like Room

What’s in my room?

The question is as much metaphysical as it is physical. Sure, the answer could simply pertain to discreet objects. A chair, a desk, a bed, – a dresser and some posters. But certainly, there’s more that goes into my room than just those objects – something that makes it my room, and no just a room. As I see it, it’s the stories behind the objects that give my room its character, and truly make it mine.

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UCLA merchandise? On a Hopkins blog page? Blasphemous! Despite there heretical qualities, these pennants represent a good amount of my childhood. They represent my hometown, Los Angeles.They represent my love of sports – especially college basketball and football. They represent the dozens, if not hundreds, of Bruins basketball games that I went to with my dad and friends. When I look at them, I see the shiny court of Pauley Pavilion and my dad jumping up and down like a kid whenever our team would score a clutch basket. I hear the crowd roar and the band play after a big win. I smell kettle-cooked almonds and frozen lemonade, peanuts and Sprite. I’m transported back to a slice of childhood happiness – and who couldn’t use that every now and then?

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Sloth may be one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but there’s also one on my wall. I couldn’t quite tell you when I developed my affinity for the slow, three (or two) toed creatures, but they’ve managed to find a place on a fair amount of objects in my life. My computer home-screen background, my favorite notebook, even a patch on my jacket – all emblazoned with the face of an animal so lethargic that algae grows on its back. Sloths tend to remind me of friends – back in high school, my best friend shared my fixation and we’d spend cumulative hours in chemistry and biology classes editing and sending sloth pictures or memes to each other (give me a break, it was high school). This picture itself was bought for me on a small side-street in Jerusalem by one of my closest friends during my gap year in Israel.

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This printout is one of those good ideas that never really takes off. I’m currently taking Arabic here at Hopkins – to fulfill both my International Studies major language requirement and my personal interest. At the beginning of my last semester (each course level lasts for two semesters), I taped the Arabic alphabet up to my wall, in hopes that I’d look it over every night before bed, and quickly memorize the letters. In the nearly five months since, I’ve looked at the sheet maybe twice. That being said, I’ve managed just find to get the alphabet down, so at this point, the sheet serves as decoration as much as anything.

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The most recent addition to my wall, this poster displays a quote from Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer and author – and one of my idols. Among Sagan’s many works are two of the most formative books that I’ve read to date – Pale Blue Dot and Cosmos. Aside from mind-blowing information and fascinating stories about astronomy and space exploration, these books convey a universal perspective of life and existence that I find incredibly impactful. To cite the quote on the poster, which comes from a public lecture that Sagan gave in 1994 at Cornell University, “The Earth is a very small stage in a very large arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.” Pretty cool, huh?

I hope you enjoyed this little foray into my life, come by again soon! 

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