Annan Kirk

I was blocking the whole lane. There were like six cars behind me. I had a less-than-successful driving situation. It has to do with the Michigan lefts. So what I didn't realize is, um, you're not allowed to turn left. You have to go straight and then do a kind of U-turn to get to where you're going, and these intersections do have a sign. They are kind of clearly marked, I guess. But, the intersection in particular I'm thinking of, all of the, the signs, like the lights and that no left turn sign, they're just sort of dangling on a wire. I don't know, it's hard to tell what lane the sign applies to. So there's this intersection that's no left turns. I've been turning left. There haven't been very many cars. I've been getting away with it. It's been fine. Um, except, about a, a week ago. There were a lot of cars, it was very busy, and I went to turn left, like I normally do. And I realized at the last second, like, "Hey, there are way too many cars, I should probably go straight here. Wait, no, I can turn here, I always turn here. Wait, no, I can't turn here." And so this thought process was happening back and forth, while, you know, there are cars everywhere, I'm actively driving. I was just at a dead stop at this intersection. I was blocking the whole lane, there were like six cars behind me, and people were honking at me. I knew I was completely in the wrong, I could feel my face turning red, I could feel my ears turning, like, hot, turning red. And there was this guy who really -- he stuck his whole torso out of his window just so that he could use his arms to make rude gestures and just communicate that he didn't like my driving. Um, which, you know, fair. I was, I was completely in the wrong. Well, apparently no cops saw me, which is great. No traffic tickets. I haven't had any Michigan traffic tickets. Um, I got through the intersection just fine.

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Jessica Shepherd

"But one thing I am grateful for is the connections that we do make." This week, I moved across the country and I'm away from all of my family and friends that I had built up. Um, and it's an exciting change. I'm excited for everything that I am going to do. But it has been difficult adjusting to a different culture and a different place. But one thing I am grateful for is the connections that we do make, and those chance encounters that we sometimes have. I was at a gathering of young adults, uh, for part of my church and, while I was there, I walked in not expecting to know anybody. I looked around the room and I wasn't very excited, uh, to talk to anyone, to get to meet new people, but I looked around and, uh, as I was scanning, I saw someone from the area that I had just moved from and I was super excited, so I called out to her. I said, "Hey!" and she turned, looked at me, kind of not really expecting it to be me. When she finally recognized who I was, her eyes just lit up. And seeing her eyes light up just really made me grateful that we had made that connection earlier. It made that evening go so much smoother than I had planned, and it made moving here and adjusting a lot easier.

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Pardis Raberimiandoab

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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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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Lynsey Akin

"My heart was beating outta my throat and I, like, looked behind me." Have you ever had a strange or paranormal experience and what happened? And as embarrassed as I am to say, I think that yes, during middle school, I had one of these strange or paranormal experiences. Um, but in middle school, I, uh, was living -- like my bedroom was in the basement and our basement was set up in this u-shape. Um, so the middle of the U was where the stairs would be coming from the main level down to the basement and then on either side of like the long legs of the U was my bedroom and then my brother's bedroom. So like we shared a wall but you would have to walk all the way around the U for me to get to my brother's bedroom. And it was a fairly long basement, cause it was a ranch style house and so the basement, um, was really long and kind of narrow. And my mom had set up these mirrors down there to make it seem even, like, longer, I guess, I dunno. But they would be on either side of the entrance to the stairs such that if you like stood in front of the mirror, you could see all the way down the leg and then back into whichever bedroom, either mine or my brothers. And they were really nice mirror with like good lighting above it. And so that's usually where I would do my hair in the morning. And so I would be sitting in front of the mirror braiding my hair like Katniss Everdeen, like an -- into a side ponytail kinda situation. Um, and then I could see all the way behind me to my bedroom. And then there were two other doorways on my side of the basement that my brother didn't have. There was a door to a bathroom and right across the door was it -- er, yeah, right across from the bathroom, there was a door to under the stairs. And we -- when we moved in had never been able to get into that room. And we just couldn't get it open and it didn't really seem important to open it, so we never really tried. Um, but during the mornings when I was braiding my hair, I would sit in…

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Saanvi Dadwal

"I think the experiences and skills I developed during the pandemic and lockdowns were actually crucial to my success." For many people in March of 2020 after the Covid pandemic hit, they were displaced from work because their specific jobs required them to be in-person and they were no longer able to do so. For me specifically, being a 16 year old in high school, I was pretty distraught and confused how I would continue my education remotely, as all I had known my whole life was attending public school in-person and then doing certain assignments online, albeit the minority of assignments. After the pandemic, I had to quickly adjust along with many students with attending classes online, for the same duration that we did during the school day and also doing nearly all assignments online. At first, this change was pretty difficult for me. You know, I didn't think I had the attention span to be able to do an eight-to-three class schedule Monday through Friday remotely, and be able to give it the same attention to detail that I had usually done in class. However, working remotely was an important skill I developed through 2020 and 2021 during the lockdown periods. I had noticed, one day, that I was actually able to work in concentration for four hours at a time. This was something completely unusual for me. Now as classes have resumed in person for the most part and I am at university, I think the experiences and skills I developed during the pandemic and lockdowns were actually crucial to my success. Plenty of jobs are remote nowadays, as well as plenty of classes and classwork, and I think that learning how to maintain focus remotely is an important skill. So although the pandemic was certainly a stressful time, and certainly made us deviate away from the norm, it came with a lot of potential benefits and expansion and people skill sets, especially my own as it pertains to remote work.

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Zach Sebree

"So I lived my first week here in total darkness." These days I'm, uh, living in an overpriced off campus apartment. Very exciting, um, where they freaking -- we were freaking scammed out of like ceiling lights because for some reason in this nearly like almost a thousand dollar apartment -- over twice what I paid when I was living in my own in Strasburg. They neglected the importance of having lights on the ceiling cause you know darkness is a thing and not a thing particularly productive in terms of, uh, you know, or particularly helpful in terms of homework production. So you, so yeah, so I lived my first week here in total darkness. It was good. Very exciting. Very nice. And yeah, I'm got like three roommates here. Two guys I kind of knew before one guy I didn't really know before or one of whom I never really well before and then another guy I met the semester, but who just happens to be pretty cool. So I'll take it. Um honestly though, I spend a lot more time over in my, uh, my girlfriend's apartment. She lives like just the floor above me, so. And I'm friends with all her friends and stuff, so. I don't know, I found myself -- I also don't have video games there. So I am a lot more productive when I'm over there and it's very nice. So I spend -- and also she's there which as you can imagine is a plus so I spend a lot of my time over there -- and honestly most of my time. And anytime I'm not there, I'm usually in class slaving away as per the whims of our academic masters or walking to places where I can fulfill these whims. So it's kind of the state of my life at the moment. Very, very exciting stuff. Just thrilling.

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Sabrina Ruiz

And I looked over at my friend and I was like "Is my car squeaking or is something in the car?" I don't think I'm an enemy of bugs. Um, and I don't think that they specifically don't like me. Ive just had some bad run-ins, you know? Um, I don't hate them. I've just had bad run-ins with them. This sounds bad. This sounds like I'm making excuses or something. I don't know why I'm explaining it so much. But recently me and my friend, we went to a bonfire at my other friend's house. And at the time we were staying with her mother. And her mother was like, "I have a couple of chairs in the back if you wanna bring those to the bonfire," like lawn chairs. And so we were like, "Okay, bet. Thanks." Took em, put em in my Jeep, and we went right into the bonfire. And now, my Jeep -- I like -- when I have the windows down, sometimes I can hear like a little squeak. Like when you hit a bump, it's like, "Squeak," like the suspension. But this time when I was driving, I noticed, like, it was very loud. It was really loud and it was consistent and it wasn't just when I was hitting bumps. And I looked over at my friend and I was like "Is my car squeaking or is something in the car?" And she was like, "No, no your car is just squeaking." And I was like, "No, girl. No, girl, tha- that's crickets. There are crickets in the, there are crickets in the lawn chair." I was like, "I can't do this. I cannot do this girl." I pulled over so fast into the quickest -- into the closest, um, what was it? Like a car wash, like a touchless car wash with a big old parking lot. I whipped in and, and ran out of the car and like tore the chairs out. Because, also at the time, I had a bunch of stuff in my vehicle, so if a cricket had hopped out in there, I was just gonna have to burn the whole thing. So I ripped them out. I still heard the, the menacing sound of the crickets. And I, I, I held the bottom of the bag. I like opened the, the cord and like ripped it…

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