A world of my own


The world is full of geeks. Everywhere you go you see someone reading a book, talking about a video game, going to see a movie about superheroes, or flipping through a comic book. There’s a reason for this, and I believe I have found it.

How many of you when growing up told your parents that when you grew up you wanted to be a superhero, or a wizard, or a princess? I myself said I wanted to be the Red Power Ranger. And how many of you grew up to read books, watch shows and movies, and play games about those very things? The answer is probably quite a few of you. These things became important to us because of those impossible childhood dreams. Every time we read a book about a fantasy world, or flip through the latest issue of Batman or Captain America, we become those things we dreamed of, if only for a little while. It is that little reprieve that keeps us returning to these mediums that many consider to be odd, or nerdy, and as we mature we find new sources of escape. Personally, I’ve gone from being a devoted Potterhead, to an avid watcher of Game of Thrones and back again on more than one occasion.

The worlds created by the likes of JK Rowling, George RR Martin and so many others often seem more appealing than the drab everyday life of a high school student that I live everyday. Who among you can honestly say they’d rather attend algebra instead of Defense Against the Dark Arts? Or live in a world of hashtags and hipsters rather than one of heroes and mutants? Not many I’d wager, and that’s why geeks are still around, and why the number of them is only increasing.

People so often write geeks off as weird, or losers, and they deem their reprieves as stupid and a waste of time. They fail to see what these things really mean to them. Where one person might see a video game, another may see an adventure they’ve been through more times than they can count, and where some might see a battered old book, others will see a world they wish they could be a part of and characters that they’ve been able to connect with better than any person they’ve met in the real world.

These other worlds that have been created mean something to many people, and these worlds that we so often find ourselves in are often ones we desperately wish to be a part of. I can honestly say there are days when I’d much rather be a wizard at Hogwarts, or an earthbender, or a demigod at Camp Half-Blood, than a high schooler from Delaware, but unfortunately this is the world i live in, and I have to make the best of it, luckily I have hundreds of other worlds I can go to at any time if I’m need of a respite. So, if you’d like, feel free to comment what worlds you enjoy escaping to, I have to go fight the forces of evil.


Finding Your People


It’s not easy finding a tribe, I spent most if my tweens and early teens with few, if any true friends, but now that I’ve gotten older and matured, I’ve found those kindred spirits that I think constitute my tribe, they’re insane, rarely reliable, and to be perfectly honest I can’t stand them half the time, but they’re mine, and I’m theirs and somehow it just works

The Waiting

I have always liked thinking about the relative simplicity of early humans. I imagine that they lacked the need to organize their peers into little piles like we do today: best friends, colleagues, schoolmates, hated enemies, people they drank with, people they prayed with. There was no hustle and bustle to meet with the disparate groups at dumb meetings. All the human interaction our distant relatives needed could be found within their clans.

The clan just was. In the day-to-day task of survival, there was no time or necessity to look for others outside it who you could “identify” with better or who would support your idealized image of yourself. You were too busy inventing fire, not because you wanted to patent it, but because you needed it to survive. There was no “unfriending” if someone looked at you weird or said something that ran counter to your view of…

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Separate Paths


The school year is drawing to an end and to me this means one thing, I’m going to be a senior. Some people are ecstatic for the approaching end to the four year fiasco that is high school, but honestly I’m dreading it. I’ve spent the last three years making the best friends I’ve ever had, and by this time next year I’ll be preparing myself to say goodbye to them. I understand that this is just a part of life that everyone must go through and I’ll eventually make new friends at college, but right now I just want the friends I have to stay with me.

I’m terrible at making friends, I’m quiet, shy, and altogether antisocial. I didn’t have any really close friends until the ninth grade, and even then I only really had two, and for a while that was all I needed. It wasn’t until this year that I really started to make new friends, and now my small tight-knit group of friends has grown a little bigger, but this was with the help of the friends I already had, without them I’d probably still be a loner that everyone knows as the “quiet guy” and avoid social situations at all costs. I’m still pretty awkward, and I don;t particularly like large social events, but I’m getting better, I’m incredibly comfortable around people I consider to be my friend and I can at least attend big events and enjoy myself just a little, although I still prefer staying at home to attending large parties and school dances.

I worry a lot about whether I’ll be able to make friends when I go away to college (wherever I end up going), and whether I’ll stay in touch with my old friends like we say we will. Everyone also says we’ll stay in touch and remain friends, but I’ve how little power that holds as my brother’s old friends, who have gone away to college while he remained in Dover, hardly ever contact him except on holidays and during school breaks and while he’s found new friends thanks to his job, I think he misses the friends he used to have. We all plan on going to college in many different places, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, and here in Delaware. These locations aren’t exactly far apart, they’re not exactly near each other either. Not to mention there’s other things to take into account, such as our classes and course load, the jobs we’ll all certainly have, and commitments we’ll make with the school programs we plan on joining such as band, jazz, a school paper (that’s me specifically), and so on. There’s always a reason to stay, always a reason to not come home for the weekend, to leave the friends you use to have behind.

I understand that this isn’t exactly an uncommon problem, and it is something that everyone who chooses to attend college must go through, but still, my fears are justified and my hopes are clear, and in the end, our educations and the pursuit of our happiness will ultimately outweigh almost any other option, I just want to keep my friends.

Dancing While Rome Burns


I thought it was interesting that many of the photographs show fairly mundane activities, instead of the harsh environment associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I also liked that it shows war veterans and how they have dealt with the transition they must go through when they return home

the literate lens

VanAgtmael2 Technically speaking, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. The last American forces pulled out of Iraq in 2011, and President Obama recently announced that all U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 . But for many Americans, Iraqis and Afghans, the conflict lingers—whether in real terms (through suicide bombings and sectarian violence), in physical scars (there are at least 1,500 major limb amputees to date from both wars), or in psychological traumas that visit every time a car backfires or a firework goes off.

Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael is intimately acquainted with the real-life stories behind these facts. In 2006, as a twenty-four year old Yale graduate in History, he set off for Iraq to photograph the war there. Over the next six years, van Agtmael spent large amounts of time in both countries, often embedded with troops who were being sent on risky…

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