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Broadening My Worldview Through Writing

April 7, 2021

This pandemic has no doubt made learning a huge challenge—but if anything positive has come out of my learning experience, it’s that I am constantly pushed to think critically about the world every time I put pen to paper.

Uniqueness in Writing

March 4, 2021

What makes me a unique writer? This is a question I ask myself often. As an identical twin, saying that I have gone through a bit of an identity crisis is an understatement. I am constantly confronted with the reality of my own uniquenesses, or the lack thereof, especially when it comes to writing.

2020: A Reflection

December 4, 2020

2020: A Reflection By Tony 2020 has been…quite a surprise, has it not? It feels so long ago now, but I remember how my 2020 began. I was in the midst of fellowship writing and making preparations to return to … Continued

Fear of Criticism and Failure

October 14, 2020

Once upon a time, I had to defend the “prospectus” or plan for my dissertation to my committee members. I spent many months researching, drafting, and revising my prospectus. I focused on making my ideas clear. I memorized the main points of my argument. When my prospectus defense began, I shared with excitement everything I had learned and planned to do. And the first question a committee member asked me in response was: “So… what’s your dissertation about?”

A Day in the Life: Online Learning Edition

September 23, 2020

When virtual classes were announced, I immediately thought about how this meant four more months without my favorite Chapel Hill study spots. As a senior, I owe a lot of my success to the environments that have fostered my creativity (I’m looking at you Wilson Library steps, Meantime Coffee Shop, and the courtyard outside of Swain Hall). Having relocated to Newport, Rhode Island for the semester, I spend a lot of time curating study spots that help me stay motivated. Anything to help me avoid slipping into the monotony of daily routine.

To Iraq and Back: A Veteran’s Writing Journey

August 19, 2020

When I came back from Iraq in July 2010, I was eager to enter college. It wasn’t that I desired to learn all that I could but that I felt behind. Most of my high school classmates were starting their second year of college when the 747 that delivered me from Iraq to America landed in Gulfport, Mississippi. I wanted to get my college education started because part of me felt that, if I didn’t start soon, I would never go.

How I Write and Learn: Love in the Time of Corona

May 1, 2020

Another day of quarantine means another day of enforcing structure, something that I am sorely missing since UNC’s shift to online classes and the state’s subsequent stay-at-home order. Like many of my peers, I am struggling to maintain work-life separation and am mourning the loss of the people and patterns that would usually give my days some direction. However, I have found that I am leaning even more on those that I care about not only to help me cope but also to help me stay motivated.

A Day in the Life: Grad Student Edition

April 22, 2020

Hi! I’m a Ph.D. student at UNC, and I’m here to write about how I’ve been trying (sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully) to stay productive as a work-from-home student. I’m in the dissertating phase of graduate school, which means I am no longer taking classes. As a result, most of my work had already been self-motivated before entering quarantine. For me, acclimating to working in isolation has been mostly about protecting the routine I had before and finding ways to keep support networks alive while I’m not able to leave the house.

An Open Letter to the Class of 2020

April 20, 2020

Wow! If you told me in January that we would be completing the Spring 2020 semester remotely, I would’ve thought you were joking. But, here we are. As a senior, I feel devastated. Many other people are experiencing losses large and small at this time, but all losses are legitimate. So, I thought I would write this honest blog post about how I’m coping with being a senior during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

A Day in the Life: A New Routine

April 15, 2020

My alarm goes off, which cues Cappuccino, one of my cats, to commence her morning ritual of meowing very, very loudly until I get out of bed. She has officially made it to where the “snooze” button is no longer an option for me. It’s the same sort of wake-up call I’ve had each morning of this school year, so not much feels different at first on this Tuesday morning.