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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“We were gonna get a matching tattoo together.”

I have thought about a tattoo. Me and my mom actually talked about it last week. We were gonna get a matching tattoo together. We don't know what we're gonna get yet, but I kind of want either a heart that matches hers or her handwriting and it says "I love you". But I definitely wanna get something to match my mom, just because me and her have such a close relationship together.

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“… It started out skinny and it just grew and grew and grew because I kept accidentally adding stitches.”

I learned the basics of knitting, which is just knit and purl stitch, from my grandma when I was about eight years old. And she... Yeah, she gave me some needles and some yarn, taught me how to do knit and purl which makes like a stockinette stitch, which is the stitch that, you know, you see in a t-shirt or like it's a smooth - like one side is smooth and has Vs on it. So like a machine knitted scarf or whatever would probably have stockinette. And I made a square, a square of yarn, and that was it. And then never did anything else with it and she died when I was 16. But then when I was 18 and a freshman in college, I picked it up again. I just got some cheap yarn from Michael's and tried to remember what she'd taught me. And it's like I just made up a cast on and I just, I only remembered how to purl. I mean knit, not purl which, if you just knit on both sides, then you get a bumpy stitch, which is also great. So I made these, like, scarves 'cause I didn't know how to do any shaping or whatever, and like I remember I made one for my roommate and it was so bad 'cause this yarn that I chose, it's like this really nubby fluffy yarn, which is great for scarves, but it was really hard to see your stitches and so like this one scarf I made her. I mean, it started out skinny and it just grew and grew and grew because I kept accidentally adding stitches. It was so awful, but she wore that thing. She might still have it as far as I know.

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“I can also make bird sounds like whistles.”

I can do that no one else I know can really do is play the flute. I mean, I know people who play the flute since I'm in band, but like my circle now like no one can play the flute. That's such a random thing. Most people play like the piano, the guitar, the drums, but I play the flute. I played - I started whenever I was in sixth grade, so I don't even know how old I was at that point. 12? Something like that. So I've been playing for like 15 years, which is crazy to think about. It's like the only hobby I have that I've been into that, like, seriously, and I have mixed feelings on it. I think I've talked about it before, but yeah. Yeah, it's pretty sweet. I can also make bird sounds like whistles. I don't know what kind of bird it is. It's just more like a stim for me, but it's really satisfying to me. I'll try and do it, hold on a second. ((bird sounds)) Yeah, I don't know how that all came through on a phone recording but I can also clack my tongue really freaking loud, like it echoes and it's almost kind of painful. I don't know. I guess in addition to the flute thing, I can sing and play the flute at the same time, which is kinda interesting. It makes like a buzzing sound while you play.

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“… It feels like I’m a tea kettle that’s about to boil.”

I've been noticing something over the last couple of weeks. And it's a feeling in my body. And the best way I know how to explain it, is it feels like I'm a tea kettle that's about to boil. Like, this anxious feeling that's like building up, and it hasn't spilled over yet, but it feels like at any moment it could. And I remember feeling that way all the time in grad school, and at other times in my life, but that was kind of when it was the most consistent, I guess. And at that time, you know, after two years of being in school. Well, six years really 'cause undergrad. I didn't really know how to relax, like, there are a couple examples that spring to mind. The first was I was in Newport, Rhode Island, which is kind of a nice vacation spot, sort of. Or scenic spot, I guess, in Rhode Island. So there's like a cliff walk you can do and there's big mansions you can tour. And it must have been at the end of one of my semesters. I don't think it was my final semester. But we went on a walk, that cliff walk, and we got to the end and my friend was like, "Oh, let's sit down and like watch the water." And I kind of couldn't. Like I sat and I just kept - I just felt very jittery, like "Why are we doing this? There's no point to this, like we need to go back." And I just kind of recognized that I wasn't able to relax, and I wasn't able to do something that wasn't - that didn't have like a "purpose". And then around that same time I guess. Well, this would've been maybe like the semester before. I was at home and I was working on a paper. It was over Christmas break, and my dad had just gotten an oximeter which it tells you your blood oxygen levels and it also tells you your heart rate. And my dad's not a fit person. He doesn't eat well, he doesn't exercise. And his resting heart rate was like seventy, maybe, so he's showing me how it works. And he put it on my finger. And it told me that my resting heart rate was like a hundred or something, or my heart rate. I…

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“She was really good at finding the little four-leaf clovers.”

And then the four-leaf clover, I kinda, sorta, got that for my grandma. She's still alive, but she is one of those people that could spend, like, a prolonged period of time just, like, standing in a clover field and find, like, five four-leaf clovers and she was always really good at that. So I have a bunch that have been, like, laminated and they're, like, pressed, that I've hung onto… I need to find a couple of those. But there's one that's stuck to my piggy bank at home that I've had since I was a kid. But yeah, I have a bunch of those just, like, everywhere 'cause she's always finding them. Like, she has a knack for it and I've never… I think I've been able to find one, but she's always able to walk away with, like, a couple and she was really good at finding the little four-leaf clovers and I thought that was, like, the coolest thing ever when I was a kid, so I just wanted that.

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