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MARCH 2013

A DAY OF HIJAB Bieke Bekker (The Netherlands ’14)

THIS WEEK PAGE 3 CAMPUS NEWS Did you miss the events on campus this past week due to midterms? Well, find out about Hijab Day and the immigration session with Highlands University! Also, have you ever wondered how students vote while on campus? Get all the details on page 3.

PAGE 6 WORLD NEWS Flip right to page 6 to get all the info on the Academy Awards, Oscar Pistorius and his trial in South Africa, and a controversial Singaporean casino. PAGE 9 OPINION As the semester gets busier and busier, I’m sure many of us could benefit from a little simplicity in our lives. Flip right to page 9 to get five easy tips. While you’re at it, read some entertaining Expressions commentary and more!


“Clothes make the man”, people say, and in some ways it is true: people will often judge you on your clothing. Some clothing is immediately associated with a certain group of people. Here on campus, the most obvious example of that is the hijab, which nearly everyone will immediately identify as a Muslim garment. The hijab does, contrary to popular belief, not solely consist of a head covering scarf for women. Hijab encompasses much more, it’s a term for the whole dress code that many see as a big part of Islam. There are different interpretations of the exact area where hijab applies. For women, it usually is everything but the hands and face while men are expected to be covered from their knees to the belly button. Hijab is something I do not encounter a lot in my countryside village. Still, for some of my friends here it is a big part of daily life and that is why I was very excited when

Razan Idris (Sudan/USA ’14) announced Hijab Day. I decided to take part in it, which initially turned out to be harder than expected: even with an instruction video on my screen it took me over half an hour to put on a decent looking hijab. I wasn’t the only one though; about 30 other girls had gone through the same to participate in the day. It did certainly make the dining hall a lot more colorful than usual, but of course, something as politically and socially charged as the hijab evokes a lot of discussion as well. Especially because we have students from all the extremes –some countries restrict hijabs while in others wearing it is mandatory- the range of opinions is quite big. During lunch and dinner, many people were asking questions and arguing about the rights and wrongs of hijab. Usually, it is not something we talk about because of the fear of being culturally insensitive. (continued on page 3) 1


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A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITORS Dear Readers, conversations with just about everyone around us. Yet, project week, just like any other break Alas! Project Week is finally upon us. we have, will allow us to appreciate the Throughout the student body, it’s quite easy to community that we do have. I always find that feel the anticipation that has been built up a break from UWC is warmly welcomed, but within us. But as the community jets off to only make me more eager to get back on many parts of the U.S. and beyond, it can feel campus. Have an amazing week. strange for many to once again be entering the “real world.” Every time I go home, for Thanks for reading. example, I am instantly shocked by the fact that I can drive in a car anywhere I want to Until Next Time, and can meet strangers on a daily basis. Out in Patrick on Behalf of the Literati Editors the “real world” we can’t leave valuables laying around with a fair amount of certainty that it won’t be taken. We can’t have amazing


Lara Norgaard USA-CO ’13

WRITERS Abraham Amador Mexico ’13

Edgar Jaramillo USA-CA ’14

Adrian Jennings South Africa ’14

Shobhit Kumar USA-MD ’14

Arissa Moreno Ruiz Peru ’14

Carlin RIng USA-IA ’14

Emily Venturi Italy ’14

Valentin Herrgesell Austria ’13

Caetano Hanta- Davis USA-VT ’14



Bieke Bekker The Netherlands ’14

Alexandra Hemmer Singapore ’14


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CAMPUS NEWS (continued from page 1) Now was the perfect time for finally finding out people’s opinions but also their motivations. As many people noticed and found very comical, the girls coming from Muslim countries that do not wear a hijab on other days didn’t wear it today either. Of course, the reasons varied. Some did simply not support hijab. Others of them did, but I was told that wearing the hijab for just one day and taking it of afterwards would be a disrespectful thing to do for a Muslim. For us, nonMuslims, it was ok because we were showing our respect towards the religion by trying an aspect of it. The best part of the day though –sad but true- was going to Wal-Mart. It was just as usual, except for some more people staring at me. Also, people immediately recognized me as being “one of the World College students” because apparently, I looked very foreign. I am not sure if these things were caused by wearing the hijab or because of the combination with my still obviously blond hair and freckles but it was interesting to see the difference.


Even though immigration is a reality that goes by just around the corner, a considerable group in our school has become unaware of it or maybe does not know many facts about it to believe it actually happens. By seeing this situation, two students (Caetano and Cuauhtémoc of this school decided to take action in this huge issue and gave the opportunity to other members of the community to know more about it. The small conference (but with great purposes) wanted to create awareness in this micro-community that represents, in so many diverse ways, a macro-community. We do not need to explore that far in order to prove the veracity of the situation of many humans beings that looking for a better life leave their homes; Las Vegas, the town located approximately 30 minutes on a bus from our school, is a vivid proof of this reality.

Hijab Day was a great experience that definitely made people think. It showed us that whether we agree with the concept of hijab or not, it is a way of life for some of our schoolmates and that is something we just have to respect.

Photo Credit: Cuauhtemoc Herrera

A group of students of Highlands University gathered together one day in the year 1970 in order to discuss their commonalities and differences, JUST READ IT.



speak out their minds and act out their dreams. This few individual became MECHA, which means “Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano A z t l a n ” , a n o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r m e d by undocumented students and allies that fight for the rights of the immigrants in general. Between the various scopes that MECHA talks about, the main areas are the rights of undocumented students and labor rights against any form of exploitation and injustice. The members of this group come to the US at a very young age looking for better opportunities, in many cases, they come being less than one year old. They grow as normal American kid: they go to school, socialize; but when the school is over, the decisive moment of whether or not they want to fulfill their dreams is blocked out of the circumstances. In this moment of their lives, being undocumented means facing life and society in a different way that the rest of the youth. When experiencing the situation by themselves, this crucial decision is taken in order to fight for their rights of our generation and the future ones. The conference was composed of a series of workshops that wanted to highlight important subdivisions: find the correlation between the LGBTQ community and being a immigrant and a brief story and vision of MECHA. The environment felt, more than being a conference, was a circle of people sharing their experiences and discussing about the advances done in this country in terms of migratory reforms. Maybe, the impact that these young leaders make is not big at all, but it makes the difference. The immigration phenomena is not only a matter of economics or politics, it is also a matter of sociological student. The future is uncertain, but there is still hope. In 2012, a program called DAKA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) where they give undocumented the chance to work showed that the progress is long but beautiful. This program means a huge change in terms of what is being done and how JUST READ IT.

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many people still call other humans beings “illegal”. They are fighting very enthusiastically: their parents did not have the same opportunities as they do, now they have the opportunity they have of studying in a good university. They are not protesting to feel proud of themselves, they look for the collective benefit. A special appreciation to those who came to our school and dedicated their times by putting aside social or academics commitments to show us a real problem in an inner and closer perspective.


Growing up in Italy, I was always proudly reminded of how my country is a great democracy where everyone has a voice. Little did I know that once I had grown up and left my country to pursue my own adventure, my beliefs would then be seriously challenged. Elections took place in Italy on the 24th of February 2013 to decide the future of our country, and as Italian students abroad, we could not vote because unable to register as foreign residents. The problem of students being completely cut out from the decision process in their home countries is an extremely important issue for our generation, especially at UWC, where we come to fight for a better future without being able to then take part in the decisions of our home countries. The Literati has collected many different viewpoints regarding this delicate subject matter. Italian students Niccolò Bigagli and Paolo De Giorgi expressed their great disappointment after the recent Italian elections. Niccolò stated: “When we leave our country, we do not leave it to its own destiny. We are working 4


hard abroad to then return to build a better home, but we have now been left alone by our country.” For Paolo, this is yet another example of the failure of Italian bureaucracy and its malfunction. Twenty-five thousand Italian university students are taking a semester abroad for example, and have been excluded from their elections back home this year. As well as the Italians, Asmita Barhan (India ’14) explains how you can only vote in Indian elections from the US if you possess a green card. Now she is eighteen but cannot express herself, stating “My right to vote has been taken away from me”. Even though no elections have taken place in Finland during her time at UWC, if they would have Lotta Kortekallio (Finland ’13) would have definitely felt really upset because she is a Finnish citizen, not an American, believing one of her basic rights must be to vote for her own country.

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Striving to make a difference in the world does not change depending solely on our vote back home, even though it is a great place to start. The lost vote of our generation abroad is definitely an important bureaucratic issue that deserves our attention and can only be changed with our action and determination to make our voice heard, whilst also remembering that it is not the only way to make a difference and bring on the change we want to see in our own countries and across the globe.

The American system is quite different, as Mikaela Osler (USA-VE ’13) proudly announces that American students can vote from anywhere abroad by signing an absentee ballot: “Voting makes me happy, it’s awesome receiving a sticker”. Even is Liechtenstein, as long as you are 18, you can vote from anywhere in the world, the only difference is the increased paperwork. Some students however approach the situation differently. Although German students Micha and Sandra Feifel can also not vote from abroad, they believe Germany’s policy makes sense because they both feel disconnected from their country and would not be heavily affected by the decisions taken. Even though Noya Erez (Israel ’14) wishes she had this option, she does not consider her opinion from abroad to be very important. Not many students from Israel study abroad, therefore it would not make sense to engage in this fight when other more important issues need to be faced first.




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WORLD NEWS OSCAR REVIEW Caetano Hanta-Davis (USA-VT ’14)

Ladies and gentlemen, Boys and Girls! That’s right you guessed it! This year’s classy Hollywood camaraderie got together for the biggest film event of the year, the Oscars! Ladies swayed their extravagant outfits onto the red carpet while the gentlemen marched their way to the event with swagger. The Oscars, or Academy Awards, are the most prestigious set of awards that films receive annually. The Oscars ceremony has been going on since 1929 in California. While some of us humans did not have time to see all of the movies at our lives at UWCUSA, Oscar-aficionado Patrick Drown (USAMA, ’13) guessed all the awards for best picture correctly. Maybe he should be on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), a group of nearly 6,000 actors, directors, producers and movie experts who comprise the body that votes for the awards every year. The winner for best motion picture (film) this year was Argo, a historical fiction movie starring Ben Affleck. It is based on a true story in which a CIA operative rescues six United States diplomats from Tehran, Iran, during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Sorry UWC-USA, this movie did beat out Les Mis, which however did receive a nomination for best picture, which is also very prestigious. Other movies nominated were Beasts of the Southern Wild Silver Linings Playbook Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, the Life of Pi, Amour and Django Unchained. This year’s best actor was Daniel Day Lewis, who portrayed a very realistic, older Abraham JUST READ IT.

Lincoln in the movie Lincoln, which outlines the political battle in the United States Congress for ratification of the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery. This may be a great movie to show in the auditorium sometime, as it displays the system of lobbying and campaigning in the U.S, and the role of the president of the United States in promoting bilateral agreements. Day Lewis has won this honor for a record three times. Best actress this year was Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, a romantic comedy-drama film, in which she plays a widowed sex-addict who meets Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a man with bipolar disorder who is released from a mental hospital and seeks to win back his wife. Unfortunately, she fell on her way to get her 6


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award, which several gossip magazines in the United States will without a doubt cover to the fullest. Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor (actor who does not take a main role) and HURRAH for all y’all LES MIS lovers Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress. Maybe it is time to get together in the auditorium as the past stressful IA-filled, IBmandate-deadline weeks draw to a close and check out some of the films in the day room and auditorium. Techies? Let’s get our own opinion. What do you think? Did the AMPAS get it right?

BLADE RUNNER Adrian Jennings (South Africa ’14)

The case of Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial is starting to resemble the dystopian future science fiction film which shares his name ‘Blade Runner’ (I have not seen the film). Firstly, everything that has transpired up to this point has been during the disabled athlete’s bail hearing – Pistorius was released on bail of one million rand, or about $110000. The facts of the case don’t seem to be in dispute all that much at the moment: there was a disturbance at Pistorius’ residence during the night of 14th February; Pistorius fired four shots through the door of his bathroom, three of which hit his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. It is the progression and nature of these events which are in


dispute, and on which neither side is managing to bring much to light. Pistorius’ defence team maintains this story: the couple went to bed early; Pistorius awoke to sounds coming from the bathroom, and, assuming it was a home intruder (he does not have burglar-proof bars over the window of the bathroom, he reports), he took out the revolver that he keeps under his bed and made his way over to the bathroom on the stumps of his legs (on which he has limited mobility). He then fired four shots through the door, shouted for Reeva to call the police, and, upon realising that she wasn’t in bed, beat down the bathroom door with a cricket bat to find that she had been killed by three bullet wounds. The prosecution has a different tale to tell. The state is charging Pistorius with premeditated murder, saying that the shooting was the culmination of a night of abusive violence against Steenkamp at the hands of the athlete, and that she sought refuge in the bathroom only for Pistorius to walk over (on his prosthetic legs, according to the prosecution) and shoot through the door four times, killing her.

h t t p : / / s t at i c . g u i m . c o. u k / s y s images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/ 2013/2/23/1361633040291/ Oscar-Pistorius-in-court-010.jpg



However, the case has been muddied in past weeks. Hilton Botha, the chief investigative officer in the case, is himself facing several charges of attempted murder for shooting up a taxi with some other drunken cops in 2009. Also, the nuances of the case are such that it is extremely difficult for the state to successfully convict Pistorius. The case seems heading towards a plea bargain rather than a trial, which would work in Pistorius’ favour. The true nature of the case is still unclear.


Not too long ago, there was a big fuss in Singapore about whether there should be the establishment of a casino in the country or not. Why: Simply because Singapore has always aimed to maintain an image of the “Clean and Green Garden City”. The phrase is often used in reference to the country's image and is taken quite literally. In Singapore, littering is heavily discouraged by the active enforcement of threatening punishments. If caught littering, the fine could range from S$300 to S$500. Is it effective? Yes it is. Most of the country is literally incredibly green and litter-free and generally speaking, Singaporeans are very mindful of keeping their environment clean and beneficial for the entire community.

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Singaporeans as they felt gambling would “tint the clean image” Singapore had been maintaining for over 40 years. The argument had made headlines several times and it was the coffee table discussion for months. After much hesitation and repetitive discussion, the Resorts World Sentosa Casino was finally opened in 14 February 2010, covering 15000 square meters and charging S$100 for a day’s entry or S$2000 for a year’s membership. Coming back to 2013, the casino is now one of Singapore’s main tourist attractions gaining tens of thousands of attenders, especially foreigners from Indonesia who go specifically for this. Ironically enough, the initially detested and disapproved of idea has now become Singapore’s most talked about assets with constant articles being written about locally and internationally. It has gained Singapore’s tourism so much attention that there are talks of developing another casino. It looks like the ugly duckling has once again proven to be the beautiful swan that no one saw coming.

Likewise, when talks rose about establishing a new Integrated Resort in the country that would include a casino, much distaste and disapproval sparked among JUST READ IT.



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4. Closet Organization

Shobhit Kumar (USA-MD ’14)

We all have pretty complicated lives here at UWC-USA. Why not make them a little easier? Saving seconds over and over again during the course of a day can make a tremendous difference when time is limited. This is where LifeHacks, simple tricks to make everyday life easier, come to the rescue. Let’s look at five LifeHacks that can change your daily routine: 5. Tennis Ball Versatility

By partially slicing a tennis ball, you can use its new-formed “mouth” to hold highly used items such as pens, paper, and even keys.


No matter how organized our closet drawers may be, seeing all the clothes at one time is almost impossible unless this trick is applied. Just stack shirts vertically and you’ll be able to pick out the shirt you want in the morning without rummaging through the entire drawer.



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3. Avoid Dirty Toilet Seats

cable, and even game system cables so that they look organized and are easy to access. 1. Walmart Mobility

It happens in Denali much too often: you go to use the bathroom only to find a dirty toilet seat. Instead of holding it in, just take off your socks and slip them over the seat! Then, you have a nice and comfortable toilet to use. Note: remember not to wear the socks after they’ve been there.

Coming back from Walmart and can’t carry all your bags at the same time? No probs. Use this tip and you’ll be able to get everything done in one trip.

2. No More Clumped Cables

0. Bonus Tip!

Desk cluttered with cables? Just use paper clips and organize your iPod charger, phone charger, speaker JUST READ IT.

Save yourself some soap. Use these LifeHacks and make your life more peaceful. Go out and there and have fun! 10


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Hannah Warner for her interpretation of Morgan, not the British one. What did y’all think about it... Oh sorry wasn’t talking to you guys.

Edgar Jaramillo (USA-CA ’14)

I also enjoyed Themba’s Swazi pride, though a true test of speed would be not a cheetah but a black bear, which can run as fast as an average horse and sustain it over a much longer distance. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

I don’t really know what to say about expressions. I feel like I should try to capture all the beauty and love the show closed with, but because I’m not good at talking about my feelings (what else could you expect from “a god trapped in the body of a small man”) I’ll just make fun of the show. Overall, I think that the first years really liked it and found it tastefully funny (if maybe that taste was white chocolate) for the most part. I know a certain Ukrainian from Kansas thought it was “hilarious” and that “Yall have touched our lives so much #yolo #only@UWC #expressions #veryfunny #dundermifflin” Speaking to the costumes, oh wait we weren’t, I personally found Nicola Montano’s sweater vest to be quite stunning, though I hear the real owner hasn’t gotten it back yet (*cough*cough* yay for sick day! *cough*). On a completely unrelated note the Los Angeles Lakers have clawed their way to .500 for the first time in months. An especially nice touch was hiding the programs under the seats, though some of the names were rather misleading-- seriously, why is it called Oasis??? Also, for all your future paper needs for expressions programs to phonebooks be sure to check out your nearest Dunder Mifflin branch. Giving Kozzy a nod for once, I must say that some of the dorm videos were better done than others, though I guess we can’t complain when most of them were done the night before. I know Adrian Jennings thought the Denali video was “Awsum, 4 reelz da best vid of da show. Thx d-boyz 4 dis vid!” And though Denali did get a few people perfectly (anyone else remember the goodguy Liam?), I have to give the hat tip to JUST READ IT.

In other news I became a Pokemon master on Monday.


The amount of humor at UWC is abundant and diverse, but one of the most common types I have seen plays on the stereotypes of various countries and regions. One (of many) online comics that uses this type of humor is Scandinavia and the World by Humon. Scandinavia and the World focuses on the Scandinavian countries as well as frequent guest appearances by other countries. The catch is that the countries are depicted as stereotypes as seen from the point of view of the Danish artist who makes the comic. Each country has a brother and a sister version, with the main characters most often being male, but the differences between stereotypes of males from a certain culture are interesting when compared to that of the females. For instance, brother Sweden is depicted as a scholarly know-it-all while sister Sweden is a s exually prom is c uous dom in atrix in a relationship with brother Finland. By contrast, brother and sister Finland are both fairly quiet, angry characters. Of course, no stereotypes would be complete without throwing in America. Brother America is loud, dumb, and gets 11


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progressively tanner as the comic progresses. Sister America is also loud and dumb, but with the added benefit of being tan from the get-go. It isn’t all stereotypes and laughter. Well, it mostly is, but that’s not the point. The point is that Scandinavia and the World is actually fairly educational. Many of the comics deal with historical or current events in Scandinavian countries, and while a comic shouldn’t be your main source of news, there are many things that are easily researched on their own if you find them interesting. However, I will admit that Scandinavia and the World isn’t for everyone. Bieke Bekker (Netherlands ’14) said “I’m sorry, Carlin, this must be American humor. I don’t really get it.” And while it isn’t technically American humor, Bieke can in no way be faulted for this opinion. Of course, if you’re more like Sunniva Hustoft (Norway ’13) who thinks, “Scandinavia and the World is fantastic! … I really like how it both stereotypes and gives a broader view of countries all over the world.” You may just have found your new procrastination aid.

LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS Abraham Amador (Mexico ’13)

There are two versions in this story, one of them is an urban legend the other one is a fact. Once upon a time in the XX century there was a baker who let his dough without attention and it developed some fungus. Because the oven is hot it for sure would die, and throwing away dough is very expensive so he preferred to knob it for a while, after a short time he realized... that just that dough felt great! Then he called his friends and yes it did feel great, then they called their friends and made huge reunions... where they knob more dough because it was awesome. This unknown baker JUST READ IT.

was the discoverer of LSD also known as acid (maybe maybe he wasn't real). In 1943 a swiss doctor (not physician) called Albert Hoffman synthesized LSD by accident. He started studying fungus in a medical company called Sandoz, one day he felt strangely happy and dizzy, he realized that actually he just touched some of the LSD he was synthesizing, he discovered that LSD was so strong that only by touching a very small amount of it you could get high. After a while Hoffman himself had the great idea of taking 250µg (0.05% of an acetaminophen doses) of LSD just to see what happened. Then he went to his house but the feeling was so extreme that one of his assistants had to help him get into his bicycle and take him home. When he reached home he asked his assistant to get some milk, it didn't work, also he blamed his neighbor of being a witch and said that his furniture wanted to kill him. So he went to sleep, when he closed his eyes the feeling was completely different, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds! He saw so many colors (maybe colors he didn't know existed?) and the sounds translated into colors that exploded inside his mind. The next day his senses were augmented and it lasted the whole day. Now hippies actually took 300µg doses. LSD became an icon in the 60's (2 out of 3 people had tasted it) and it doesn't leave physical dependance, there are no documented cases of overdoses so it is not really toxic, however there had been deaths out of LSD, suicides. The psychological effects of LSD are extremely high, the dependance carried to it is mainly psychological so it depends on yourself. LSD unlike other drugs doesn't lower psychosis, it is a boost to it, also for depression and euphoria.



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Men & womens! Attention, attention, attention! Now that you're listening to me here is what I have to say: Last Saturday was Expressions and quite frankly I'm disappointed. First of all because Kendall wasn't in any of the skits, and secondly because I thought that now with only 76 1/3 days left - a wave of romances would blossom this campus. Boy, was I wrong. The only thing I've seen so far more are more couples breaking up than - insert Taylor Swift related joke here. What else happened last week? Well there was Hjab day, and honestly I was a little disappointed that we didn't have any feminists protesting that*. Seriously where are they when you need them? However before I offend anyone let's move on... As mentioned Expressions is over so Appreciations is on its way. I've already begun writing skits which I will anonymously slide under first years doors... of course I'm just kidding, but after the state of the amazing show** we second-years pulled off I have high expectations. So firsties: Start writing! And to you second-years: Start telling firsties all the embarrassing stories about your coyears from your first year! In other news Project week is up next and with more than 45 second-years*** staying on campus, this coming week will be interesting. However what will be even more interesting is the question of what happens when you're ten days in the wilderness and I'm not around to prohibit any naughty behavior. And while I'm sure that some romantic feelings will come up during the California trip, working in a prison sounds like a much better background to JUST READ IT.

me.**** My advice to anyone leaving campus: Enjoy, make some new friendships and don't get kidnapped. F i n a l l y t o c o n c l u d e t h i s we e k s theFLIPSIDE: So far I've gotten submissions from three - different - people. Don't worry my email account still works. So if you ever have a free code, or want to procrastinate, just send me a paragraph or two the way you'd write this mighty column. And on a final note: CuauhtĂŠmoc (South the Border '14) reminding us via email at 2 AM that, indeed, there is an Immigration and LGBT Conference the next day. I don't quite get the connection between those topics, but than I'm just some uneducated Austrian. Jorge apparently has been off campus for quite a while without me noticing and Arissa tells us via social media that "it's complicated" in her relationship. Thank you, Facebook. Speaking of relationships: I'm still single. God is this world depressing. Sincerely,

P.S. What ever happened to Soma? *We have Shayan.. **nope, no sarcasm there, at all. ***..and Noya. ****..but then I'm also a psychopath...


The Literati Issue 17  
The Literati Issue 17  

The seventeenth issue of UWC-USA's The Literati!