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(09/23/13 7:21am)

We stood there. We stood just on the outskirts of the school she had attended since age three. We stood and I listened as she told me that her mother had passed away six months back at age 39. We stood as she went on about how her father works in Mombasa and this, this here was once her home. We stood and I stared at the upturned soil, heaped unnaturally above the ground.


(06/13/13 6:59am)

The nagging beep of a wire coming loose somewhere drones on as a new rescue skids through the side door. An unaffected, wrinkled old man in his pinstripe pajamas rolls in as the EMTs and nurses discuss this weekend’s best Groupon deal. Uninterested in liposuction or fusion cooking, my hand grows limp from the bed handle it was wiping, and I catch the old man’s eye. It is bleary and listless, and he watches distantly as the young EMT checks him in. I stand there, bleary-eyed too, passing the wash rag between my fingers. Why can’t I be in the trenches instead of fine-tuning my hospital corner fold? A small voice from a priority room startles me.  

A piece of dental floss

(11/09/12 9:47am)

A piece of dental floss dangles from my bathroom counter, a congealed glob of Colgate Total toothpaste to its left, a Crest lump to its right. I think about this floss precariously there—a little flavored stretch of nylon quietly littering the warped Central Campus sink. It’s not on the counter, no. But not falling off just yet either.

DukeEngage Duke

(10/26/12 3:30am)

I don’t want to write today. Not today because—although I love writing this column—this past week has been too much. Too much for me to process and to shoulder by myself. I can’t rant about Obama or Nobama. The Middle Eastern conflicts—who cares? Because what I have found and what I continue to find is that although these issues matter—of course they do—we don’t often pause to consider the seething underbelly of our own backyard. So infrequently do we tend to our own well-being. And more than we ever care to realize is at stake.

A Willert family vacation

(08/24/12 6:01am)

What’s hot this summer? Mint, strappy sandals and family vacations. You know the drill: Get all the gang to pile into the old station wagon and head off to places far and near, leaving all worldly troubles behind. Well, sort of. Not really. Okay, yeah no—just encountering new troubles. Trade that due date for bunking up with a cousin or four, that jury-duty date for a curtain-less shower and the inefficiencies of large-group decision making on “vacation.”

Our noisy lives

(05/17/12 10:37am)

I don’t want to have a thousand friends. And good thing because I probably never will. I’m grumpy and competitive. I can be stubborn, and I expect a lot. I hold grudges more often than I should. Some say I’m fiery—I like to think of it more as spunky or spirited. Truth be told though, I can count on my two hands—okay, and maybe a few toes—the number of people in my life so far that I consider to be my closest, dearest friends. Friends who get my lame puns and quirks, who know that I like to eat turkey BLTs in the shower or have peanut butter on my Oreos. And I like to think I just maybe get them, too. Their obsession with all things indie or their giant metal suns with no place to hang, or even their funny aversion to mayo.


(11/10/11 11:46am)

As a Sandbox noob, I naturally asked Recess editor Ross Green, quite simply, what is the Sandbox? Not an altogether crazy question. I’d imagine some of you reading this are wondering, or have at one point wondered, the same thing. When the answer I received included the descriptions “funny,” “not all that serious” and “about current events/ pop culture,” my stomach dropped. Let’s be real. Current events aren’t typically on my “must get done today” crumpled-up post-it note. I’m no Jerry Seinfeld [or Aziz Ansari].