Yesterday, my mom was going through a bunch of old papers and finding out what things she needed to shred and get rid of. There were documents from all parts of our lives, from Duncan (my lab who passed away almost three years ago) and his many medical procedures to old school worksheets. While I was working on something else, my mom gave me a long envelope with a packet that she told me she wanted to read. In that packet? A psychological evaluation from when I was eleven years old in 6th grade. And in that packet, I had…

Chris Burns

If I may begin to reflect (which I do every week), I’ve just been sitting around with the fact that things are significantly going to change in the next month. Vaccine rollouts for all adults have started in most states, cities are bustling back like usual, and maybe I’ll be in a classroom in the fall. It just seems like things may genuinely be heading closer to “normal.”

But that instinct and feeling to return to what we would consider being “normal” are unsettling to me. And this sentiment that’s only been growing in my mind since we got sent…

As I reflect almost daily about where my life will take me, I’ve spent a lot of time the past few weeks thinking about one term: “academic.”

Before I even want to consider or discuss that current thought, I’ve been reminiscing about all the previous visions for what I wanted to do when I grew up. From the earliest memories, the first “career” I thought about pursuing was being an archaeologist. My fascination with Ancient Egypt and discovering the past was enough for me to get drawn to the idea of spending the rest of my life back on the…

Orlando Barría/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

When I visited the British Museum and the Tower of London (home to the Crown Jewels) when I was in seventh and later eighth grade, I was confused. I saw artifacts, diamonds, books, and weapons from all corners of the world, concentrated under two roofs. And, even in my middle school mind, with little international political understanding, I asked myself and my family one question: “So when are all of these things being returned?”

In the nearly seven years since that first visit to the British Museum, I’ve grown to understand and develop what I feel like is a more…

Is there anything about this past quarter that has not been said? No.

Amidst a polar vortex, a pandemic, inflexible school-wide grading policies, winter 2021 was rough. In terms of fatigue, physical and mental exhaustion, no quarter has come close to this. I am frankly just drained. And I feel like now I’m just getting a chance to look at how everything went as a whole, from then to now.

The first few weeks of the quarter were surprisingly mellow. I had felt like I was on top of everything and was pacing myself well. My readings were really up…

Tomorrow will have been one year since I wrote a blog post I never knew I would ever write.

A year ago this past week, COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic, and I along with all of my classmates were booted off campus to go home at the end of spring quarter. It was amidst packing up, saying our goodbyes, and somehow completing finals that I was reassured that my approach to college was the right decision: live it to the fullest. Those first two quarters, I sought most to attend whatever events, concerts, or talks I could. …

This picture is too good for this post lol

During elementary school, I’d compete in those summer reading challenges at the Redwood City Public Library. You remember those programs where they’d incentivize you to make sure to read and in exchange, you could go get some free pizza (Round Table in my case)? In the few years, I did participate, I don’t think I ever cashed in and used my pizza reward coupon. But I did read. It was the jostling with my mom at times about being excited to go to the library to pick up a new mystery or graphic novel that was peak excitement and joy…

When I grew up, the consensus and pride that existed amongst my Ethiopian family members were that Ethiopia was never colonized. We needed to be proud of our fighting off against the colonialism of the Italians, and we later teamed up with the British to defeat Mussolini and the fascists. I had grown up to feel immense pride about the history of the Battle of Adwa and the presumed independence that we had. I really believed that we were truly and completely sovereign.

As it were, my development and understanding of how Africa under neocolonial occupation and development by the…

Photograph by Griffin Lotz / Rolling Stone / Shutterstock

In the early morning hours of February 19th, 2020, I had come back from a long session working at the library right by my dorm. It was around 1:30 AM, and I had struck up a conversation with my roommate about what we’d been listening to recently. At the time, Roddy Ricch was an omnipresent part of my daily routine, and I felt like for once, the number one song on Spotify’s US charts was something I agreed with (“The Box” of course). But what I had been also consuming that week was the recent release of Meet the Woo…

I struggle to go back and forth with how I should approach watching films about Black people. I’ve spent so much of the better part of my life as a journalist looking to find the best portrayal in Hollywood of our people. I professed at one point how Black Panther was inspiring and a transformational moment right here on this blog almost exactly three years ago. I kept looking and seeking for my perspectives in products that I thought were meant for me…

That’s where I begin to realize my perspectives: “meant for me.” Is any of this stuff meant…

Noah Tesfaye

Just someone trying to share my story and find who I am, one post at a time

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