“… he ran into me so then I just ran into my friend.”

So when me and my friend were walking home from school one day, um, this one guy came up on his bike and he like, he like, almost ran me over. He like - I could feel him, like, push me to the side. He's like "'scuse me!" And he said "'scuse me" like in that voice and then like me and my friend were just, like, dying about it because I ran into my friend and then - because he ran into me so then I just ran into my friend.

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“The second hit was getting a phone call that night…”

I can say one of the biggest breaches I've had, of trust - I'll try to make the story pretty short, which I know is usually what someone says before they tell a long story. But in seventh grade, I was dating somebody, in 1997. And it was my first real relationship, if you want to call like a middle school relationship a real relationship, and I will. And, I thought things were going pretty great. And the last day of school, I was invited to like this party over at a friend's house at the end of the half day. And it's pretty unusual for me because I didn't usually go to people's houses, I just was not very social like that. And so yeah, me and probably 10 or 12 other classmates went to this friend's house and we watched The Wizard of Oz in the basement with the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon soundtrack on in the background because 1997 was around the time where people my age heard about this notion that you could play The Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz and the lyrics would intertwine with what was happening on screen. But anyway, I watched that, and I sat with my girlfriend. She may have like sat on my lap and we made out. Like that whole, like, middle school thing that tends to happen and I was just having a great day and I went out and I played in the pool with my friend and we - there was a basketball hoop in the pool and we shot hoops together and everything. And, you know, eventually I got a ride home from another parent. And I got grounded because I never told my mom where I was going and since it was so unusual for me to have a social life, she was very worried. But anyway, the first hit was being grounded by my mom, which is the last time I was ever grounded for something. The second hit was getting a phone call that night and finding out that my girlfriend had actually begun dating somebody else before that day, but just didn't have the heart to tell me that she wanted to break up yet. And, as it turns out, the person she had begun dating already was the person I was playing…

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“I said ‘Get in your car. Pack it with your s*** … come live with me’.”

Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio "Have I ever helped someone who was lost find their way?" I had a best friend from the time I was 20 to the time she died. And she felt stuck at her brother's house. She had a beater car down in Tennessee, and she had PAD in her legs, P A D really bad, her legs were purple, and she was stuck at her brothers. And she would call me and tell me horrible stories about her brother and how he treated her. And I told her to pack her s*** put it in her car and come up to Michigan and live with me. She said "I don't think my car will make it." I said "Get in your car. Pack it with your s***. Bring your cat. And come live with me. Take your car as far as it'll go. And I'll come get you the rest of the way." Her car made it to Michigan. It made a little after that too. But she lived with me. We got her on disability and got her on medical Medicare or Medicaid. Got the PAD taken care of and under control. Got her a job at Pizza Hut where I was working, summertime job. And eventually, she moved into an apartment, and she lived there for two years before she had a heart attack and died.  

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“The need with dogs, their need feels always more to me.”

"Do I like dogs or cats better?" You know, I actually don't technically prefer one over the other. I have both at home. And I like both for their own reasons. Um, my dogs are great in that they are insanely good at, you know, to some extent, at pushing me, at keeping me going when I don't want to. My dogs, I find, are really, really good at that. Because the other -- their need is just so in my face and insistent and we have go O U T S I D E. Which I have to spell because they are behind me and they would go nuts if they heard that word and it is thunderstorming. We're not playing that game. And then cats, you know, I like the whole soft and purring thing and, like the dogs, they're just so, so silly to watch. Which makes a big difference too. But yeah, then the need with dogs, their need feels always more to me. And I like that they can go places with me because it's really hard to do that by myself sometimes.

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“You throw a dart and hope it works.”

"Is there a time you risked everything on just one opportunity? How did it turn out?" So that was kind of like my college, university experience. It's like that was my way of escaping from like my crazy mom and my, you know, poverty and stuff. And so I was like, you know, I've got this one chance, this is - it's like it's hard too when you don't have a lot of eggs. You just have like that one dart you get to throw. And that's what poverty is like, it's it's not like, "Ooh I'm, you know," cuz they always - whenever I read about like - I hate reading stuff about financial planning 'cuz it always assumes like "If you have 400,000 dollars, do you get to spend it all in the house or do you spend half of it on a house and half of it investing, and let's look at that scenario." And it's like um… Yeah, that doesn't apply to a whole lot of people. So, going to college going to university and going through the education route to get a career was my egg in the basket. And I mean, I don't know. It's hard. It's like as the middle class disappears, it's like did I make the right decision, did I not? Um, I got to meet people from all over the world. And you know, I got to meet a roommate from Taiwan and that inspired me to go to Taiwan. And I love traveling and that fulfills me and I got to do like artsy stuff and creative stuff. And you know and it's hard because there are certain jobs that, you know, don't pay well, but you still can't get them unless you have a bachelor's degree. But then there's other jobs that pay really well and all you need is a high school diploma and it's just it's like it's a crapshoot and I hate to say that but that's what the United States has become is just one giant crapshoot of, like, I, you know like, if you come from poverty or issues, it's, you know, throw a dart and hope it works, you know.

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Pardis Raberi

"I'm grateful that I have people that I can rely on and have fun with." So the prompt is what are you grateful for this week? I'm grateful that I was able to get a good grade on my chemistry exam after studying for entire week, but also had the chance to spend some quality time with my friends and family. My friends and I decided to go around and explore the campus and eat some delicious food afterwards and have some deep conversation about our lives. And we talked about what we plan to do with our lives. And later this week my other friend helped me out with my homework that I was stuck on. I'm grateful that I have people that I can rely on and have fun with. So yeah, this is what I'm grateful for this week.

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Janice Peng

"I am really excited to look back on these in a few years and see what my mind was going through the moment, I suppose." I am a person who has very weird dreams. Although I guess by definition, dreams are pretty weird already. Like, once I dreamed that a giant pigeon was chasing my tour group through the ruins of Ancient Rome. And the main reason we were concerned about the giant pigeon chasing us was because we were afraid it would poop on our heads. So that was an exciting dream. I'm happy to inform you that I eventually did escape the pigeon. And another time, oh! Another time, I was an alchemist peering through a telescope - no not a telescope - a scope that lets you see far, but not like into space - at a fascinating phenomenon of alchemy that I could see happening in like the ocean below the cliff that I was on. And this alchemy transformation was a bubble amongst the waves and this little boy - and the bubble was turning into a boy, and the boy was turning into a bubble. And I was just absolutely fascinated by this. And this is kind of embarrassing but when I was in middle school, I used to dream a lot about anime characters. Looking through my dream journal, I was just so surprised at how frequently in my dreams this or that anime character would appear and just do completely random things. I mean, I'm in college now and I guess it hasn't changed because sometimes I still dream about novel characters. I have been getting more into journaling my dreams recently. I very first started journaling about my dreams in elementary school, but I didn't really do it that frequently. I would maybe do, you know, one dream journal entry every few months or something like that. And I didn't remember my dreams that often, although I think I remember them more often than most people do. But recently, I've been basically journaling about my dreams every day, or at least trying to. And it's really interesting to see all the different variety of things that my brain comes up with like, day-to-day. I am really excited to look back on these in a few years and see what my mind was going through the moment, I suppose.

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Lena Abed

"I'm just really grateful to be in a new place..." Hello, my name is Lena and I'm going to be answering the question "What are you grateful for this week?" Because this is my third day in Michigan, and I guess I'm just really grateful to be in a new place because I'm from California and growing up, I didn't really travel very much, but once I got accepted into college, like new opportunities to travel began to arise and this is one of them because I'm doing an internship here with MI Diaries and I'm super excited about it. But yeah, Michigan … my first impressions were that, like, there hasn't really seemed like there's a whole lot to do here - at least, thus far. And this is someone coming from a college in, like, Los Angeles County. So obviously there's a lot of, like, hustle and bustle there. But I really do love, like, the greenery here. It's quite beautiful. And just being outside in nature is really nice and very refreshing and it's been nice meeting new people here. I'm already starting to make friends and form relationships, that's really nice. And also I'm very grateful for my parents for supporting me in coming here and taking me to the airport, like, really late at night - I think it was like 10 PM or something - and taking on a lot of the stress, so I wasn't as stressed. So, I guess, those are a few things that I'm grateful for.

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Paul Ganago

"And then he said "Best two out of three?"" This is a story about Uno. I and my friends, we used to play Uno a lot on the computer, and we always like used it to settle arguments and settle like debates if we were like too tired to actually debate something. And the running joke in our friend group was that I never win. I every -- every single time that I got close, someone just 'plus foured' me and then I had to draw and then I had to keep drawing and then I had thirty cards and everyone else had four. And then I would lose catastrophically or I would just get to thirty cards and just sit there right at the beginning the game. Or like some other random b******* would happen, and I would just be there like third or fourth place out of the four. And like we play with the rule where you need to draw until you match the color or number and we played with like stacking and jumping in, so that should have helped but it never really did and like every single time that I had an argument someone - with a friend they were like "Yo, let's settle this with Uno!" and they'd have this big ass grin on their face and I'm like, "Okay cool. Yeah. Sure. Sure, buddy. Let's let's see how many - how many dozen cards you have less than me when we - when we end." And like every single time that I played I couldn't win at god d*** Uno, which it's not even a skill based game, it's just luck and I just couldn't win. And like one time - one time one of my friends was like trying to decide where to - this is something stupid. I think it was where we should go eat and it was debating between one my favorite restaurants and just the like - just one down the street because it was easier to get to. And this friend he wanted to go to the f****** local Arby's and like I didn't want to because I had been eating Arby's for the past like three days. And we played a game. It was actually close. I got down to one card. He got down to one card at the same time. And then I…

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Sam Scroggins

"...a good line to describe sort of my perspective, which is that the places that you go shape who you are and the way that you see the world." So two years ago I was in my senior year of high school and it was I think around January-ish that everybody in the senior class got an email saying, "We're going to do senior quotes for the yearbook. If you want to do a senior quote, you can send us-" I think it was -- you had to give two dollars to the English teacher or something who was in charge of running the yearbook- "and then you can pick a quote, and we'll put it in the yearbook." And so I was super excited because I have wanted to do a senior quote since I was in -- started high school. But I realized I hadn't really thought about what I wanted my quote to be and so I thought, "I want to do something from a poem," because I really like poetry. And I eventually managed to get it down to two options- so this is after I had paid the two dollars and everything- and one of them was from a Percy Bysshe Shelley poem called Ozymandias. And the line is, "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and Despair!" and I thought you know, that would be kind of funny to do because within the poem it's a line that's the inscription on a statue that has been destroyed by time, and so, you know, it's sort of about how nothing, you know, lasts forever, even great power is gone, and so I thought it'd be kind of, like, funny and ironic because it's like- it's this super high and mighty line about something that is no longer high and mighty, but eventually I decided, you know, maybe that could be taken the wrong way. And so I decided to go with a line from a Sylvia Plath poem and the line is, I think, "And what if the sky here is no different/ And it is my eyes that have sharpened themselves?" And so the reason that I chose that was because I thought, you know, I, I've moved around in my life and I've learned to call different places home. And so, you know, I thought that it was sort of a good line to…

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