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Sophomore at Duke University

My Garmin blinks the time back to me — 7 AM. Already, last night’s rain begins steaming out of the gravel trail beneath my sneakers. It’s July. As each mile passes, I can see rays of sunlight pierce through damp trees and hear the cacophony of frogs and cicadas around me growing louder. It seems as if the insufferable heat was getting to them too.

I feel sweat starting building on my brow, and instinctively I try wiping it off with my shirt. But I remember that I’ve started running without a shirt this week.

My mind lapses backward. “Was…


Over many bowls of congee and ice cream, I spent the past month watching Avatar: The Last Airbender.

For those unfamiliar with this animated series, I’ll offer a (very brief) synopsis here:

The Last Airbender takes place in a world in which humans have the ability to “bend”, or psycho-kinetically control, one of four elements: water, earth, fire, or air. People, nations, and even spirit-beings are divided along these elemental lines. After 100 years of war between the Fire Nation and the other three elemental sovereignties, two water tribe members find a mysterious boy in an iceberg. They later discover…


Reposted from The Chronicle. Co-authored with Ryan Williams.

Black lives matter. This phrase isn’t simply a political platitude or social media trend. It is the recognition and affirmation of Black people’s humanity. Whether straight or queer; male, female or non-conforming; rich or poor — all Black lives matter. They have always mattered, but at times like these — when police violence plagues the streets of cities across the country and when the President of the United States’ words add fuel to the fire — we must advocate harder for systemic change.

The deaths of Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd…


When you lose your first love during quarantine, what do you do?

Obviously, the first thing that you do is cry. You hope that simply enveloping yourself in heartbreak’s folds will cure you of pain, like sucking venom from a snake bite. But after trying this approach, you find that it fares much more recklessly than expected.

By diving headfirst into anxiety and sadness, you allow them to overwhelm the brain and the body soon after. Over the next few weeks, you spend several mornings over the toilet, vomiting, and only manage half a bowl of soup for dinner. Therapy…

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