Hope is the thing that flickers

Tales of Two Cities

“Humanity has become an isolated island among wild waves of discrimination and extremism. On this island live those isolated few, their voices fading in the midst of the roaring cries for vengeance and murder. I’m not optimistic about a population increase on that island anytime soon. But maybe in the
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Reflecting on a Coward’s brave email

Tales of Two Cities

I was studying on one of Dwinelle’s uncomfortable benches on Wednesday when I heard a faded song from afar get louder and louder. Then Dwinelle’s doors were flung open, bringing in the soft sound of the pouring rain mingled with the protesters’ song, their own version of “This Land Is
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Damascus, my eternal city

Tales of Two Cities

“I know this girl and now she’s locked up in Syria. She’s imprisoned by an oppressive regime halfway around the world.” Britta Perry, “Community.” “What could be more important than strategizing ways to publicize yourself? I don’t know, maybe the banking crisis or what’s going on in Syria …” Dan
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Cycling through barriers

Tales of Two Cities

On Monday night, I stood in Downtown San Francisco, staring at Violetta. My heart swelled with sadness over her broken state. All I wanted was to find out who did this to her and make that person pay. Violetta is the name of my violet bike (also, my gray backpack
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The world’s most powerful weapon

Tales of Two Cities

I’m sitting in my game theory class. It’s Tuesday. I have all the color-coded midterm questions our GSIs are frantically passing out. The clock hits 8:10, and a hush falls over 105 Stanley. Twenty minutes into the midterm, an alarm goes off, and white lights start flashing on each side
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Feeling good, or at least better

Tales of Two Cities

This week, I saw a girl walk into the bathroom in Barrows, messy hair stuffed into a ponytail, wrinkles all over her shirt and Cal sweatpants. She placed herself in front of the mirror, plopped her forehead on the mirror’s cold surface and just stood there silently for a few
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Berkeley is crawling with worms

Tales of Two Cities

Bookworms, that is. Last month, I left work completely overwhelmed. The 49 wasn’t coming, so I walked home on the hottest afternoon, ever. I’m pretty sure parts of my skin melted off in protest of the high temperature — I have yet to discover the patches they left behind. On
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An explosion here and bombs there

Tales of Two Cities

I was stuck in an elevator in Barrows for 88 minutes — and then there was a fireball on campus. It wasn’t as scary as it sounds, except for those two seconds in the elevator when I misunderstood the student worker who was helping us and thought she was informing us
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