A Tradition of Thanks

Blog Post Tradition PicThis past June I made my way across the Atlantic to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Coliseum. While waiting for my ticket to be purchased to get inside, I made my way to the many vendors set up with various tchotchkes, postcards, and more. A man with a cardboard box hung around his neck approached me and tried to get me to purchase one of his knock- off Rolexes. I told him over and over “No, thank you” but he just couldn’t take that for an answer. Since he hounded me with so many offers, I decided ask him where he was from. He told me that he and many of the other vendors were from Somalia. I then asked him why he was here in Italy, he nonchalantly replied with one word, “Money.”

“I need a passport and she needs school: to read.” he said. The man then proceeded to point to a little girl behind him who looked to be about three years old. This was all they had, just a worn out lawn chair, a box of fake Rolexes and what little hope they had left.

Thinking about the life I had left for two weeks back at home made me realize how good I had it. My father wasn’t trying to make ends meet by selling watches outside the Coliseum gates. And I knew how to read. I had never been thankful for being able to read. Now with the holidays around the corner, families coming into town, I cannot think of a better tradition to end the holiday season with; being thankful. My friends, my school that has allowed my love for writing to be nurtured, my home, a country where I can speak freely, my mother, my father, everything. Every opportunity that has been put at my feet even if it ended in failure. Everything.

And after that trip I began writing in a journal one good thing that happened to me each day- which I still do. Whether it is passing my math test, waking up on time, or learning something new, I know I have something to be thankful for every day. So as I close out this year and ring in the new one I hope that this tradition will continue to open my eyes and allow me to take in so much more of this world.

-Madison George, Social Media Editor


A World Within My Own

Kat BP pic 2All people do their entire life is try to figure out who they are as a person.  Many people die trying. As for myself, I can’t say I know the essence of my entirety. My mind and soul and body are on wheels spinning in different directions, sometimes on different continents, it seems… But what I do know is that I understood myself less before I poured into the pages of the Harry Potter series. I’ve found my fingers flipping J.K. Rowling’s pages, becoming lost in the labyrinths of her plots, carried away in the compassion flowing from her characters.

As I’m reading this series, all these people see the body of the book, its spine, or the cover between my hands wherever I am. I heard things like: “I read that series in elementary school…” I couldn’t help but feel a flush of red overpower my cheeks and almost feel ashamed for being a seventeen year old reading this series. I kept reading and it was soon that I decided reading this series was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Anyone I’ve met that shares an interest and love for this series has felt instantly like family to me. These books hold so much invention and creativity, from creatures such a as hippogriphs and phoenixes, to things like death eaters and giant serpents, to settings of moving staircases and talking portraits…The plethora of uniqueness drips from page to page.

Perhaps the love I feel for the Harry Potter books is mostly due to its characters. Like Ginny, I am often shy and quiet around crushes. Every now and then I am the clumsy and unlucky Neville. Sometimes I am the ambitious and overachiever Hermione. I am the animal enthusiast, Hagrid. I am the embarrassed, red cheeked Ron as my parents discuss bills, or my sibling’s triumphs surpass my own. I am the average person who found out they are indeed brave and special and worth something.

Someone smart once said “you must love yourself before you can love others”. In a way, finding who I am is a step closer to being able to accept and love myself. I may not live in the world beyond the bricks of 9 and ¾. I may not fly Firebolts and speak to elves like Dobby, but that’s the magic of fiction. I can coexist as myself, in this world, or I can apparite into another world.

And to J.K. Rowling, you’ve made a world in which I love the characters, and in return, have found ways to appreciate myself. And so for all the days and nights flipping pages, I give my most real and honest thank you.

-Kathleen Roland, Art Editor