Crimson opinion writer

Serena G. Pellegrino

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Chaos and Coffee Spoons

Two years ago, I heard the metallic clink of tiny coffee spoons against porcelain reverberate through a cafe in downtown Florence; the espresso machine, operated with fast, frantic precision, filled the looming frescoed ceilings with high pitched squeals. I fidgeted with two euro coins in hand as I stood in a crooked line, bothered by the inconsiderately animated conversations around me, the elderly people squinting their eyes haltingly to discern the glossy glass dessert case contents, and the wonderstruck tourists who took up too much of the limited space.

The Backpacks We Carry: Talking About Suicide at Harvard

With this most recent display proving to be one of performativity rather than progress, the ensuing lack of dialogue exposed an alarming lack of compassion, and this kind of neglect poses a serious threat.

Harvard Amnesia

There is something uniquely Harvard, in fact, about turning the passive into the active. We capitalize on forgetfulness to maximize efficiency. Forgetting becomes a useful tool for neatly discarding whatever we deem unnecessary, especially the things that are hard to remember; not because we can’t recall them but because we don’t want to. We choose to forget to save more time to be busy, and to save ourselves from dealing with whatever lies beyond an introduction.

Gravity or Gravitas?

Our time in Cambridge is a unique opportunity to be lost. Wandering, even though it doesn’t sound that impressive, is a privilege. We shouldn’t have to calculate every move and interaction in the frantic scramble for personal gain. We shouldn’t feel the need to wield our skills like weapons and shield ourselves from insecurity or uncertainty. Most of all, we shouldn’t have to reduce ourselves to our ability to market ourselves because of the looming threat of social disqualification.

Relying On Lying Online

Complete honesty is too much to ask for, and it might even go against our nature. Increased accountability and estimation of others, however, especially when we have nothing to gain – now that would be an earnest goal.

Memes and the Art of Nonsense

The power of a meme shouldn’t be underestimated just because it seems like nonsense — nonsense isn’t worthless. It allows us to laugh together. And there’s no nonsense more meaningful than that.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Online

As we live our lives online, we should remember that just because we’re not signing a physical paper contract, doesn’t mean that we’re exempt from the terms of agreement.

The Cult of the Gram

We shouldn’t let mere snapshots dictate our self worth or expectations. Believe it or not, Instagram won’t grant us salvation.

The Plague According to Camus

Life might never feel completely fair. All we can do, then, is take heart in knowing it’s the struggle that counts, and if we fight for life, just maybe this will be relief enough from any plague.

Confessions Without Absolution

We need to cultivate a culture of acceptance in which we can be competitive and eager to succeed, but receptive to the reality that we might not. Rejection is not necessarily a fall from grace.