El edificio que actualmente se conoce como el Hotel Divine Lorraine, referencia de lujo y vanguardia en su momento. Construido entre 1892 y 1894 y obra del arquitecto Willis G. Hale, se espera que vuelva a abrir sus puertas en 2016, en la esquina de Broad Street y Fairmount Avenue en Filadelfia del Norte (Pensilvania).
“The people I’ve met who really inspire me are those who take the horrendous inequality of the world very seriously, but also have compassion for any number of problems. I wouldn’t even try to claim that I’ve made it to that level myself, but I think that’s the goal. You can’t even begin to trust people who say they are concerned with equality but act like assholes. In every basic way, compassion is just an enormous thing that has to cover the micro and the macro of your life. That sounds very new-age-y, but it’s a basic approach to life.”
I am grade 12 student who has just recently graduated. You might call me accomplished, and in a way, I am, but not in the way you’d think. 12 years of pouring over text books and being lined up to be judged in front of my peers has not made me any more intelligent. I can tell you the first 45 digits of Pi and I can explain to you the difference between an acid and a base, I can recite the Pythagorean Theorem in my sleep, I will recite lines out of a textbook like they are a religion. But I cannot tell you the value of security, or of kindness. The distinct contrast between personal health and personal gain. I can tell you in grade 10 four of my classmates attempted to take their own lives before finals. I can tell you our counsellors office is always booked. I can tell you how when I didn’t understand something in AP Chemistry my teacher asked me to leave if I could not participate in his class. I merely asked him to explain a question. Instead of doing his job and teaching, he told me to leave. Told me I was not good enough to be there. Mistakes are viewed as failure in these hallways. A wrong answer is a sin you must atone to, not a human error, but a flaw so grand it defines your entire life course. There is no “average” here. We all must exceed expectations. Do your parents know that a grade that is considered average is a “C”? When I got a C in fourth grade my parents grounded me for a month. They said I was lazy and stupid and incompetent and that I’d better smarten up and stop fooling around. I never fooled around. I am driven by a deep need to impress others. I never fool around. I worked and worked and worked, with a deep hollow of anxiety in my chest. I have never been good at History, but I worked and worked and I attained at best a low B. It was not good enough. It is not said but we are expected to put our education before our personal health. It is not asked of us, but it is what we must do to achieve what we are asked to achieve. Our teachers will tell you, “Oh, I only give them one hour of homework each night.” Which is essentially true, each of my five teachers only gives me one to two hours of homework each night. Hmm, that adds up to 5-10 hours of homework, and overdue classwork, and projects. Say goodbye to sleep, say goodbye to feeling calm. I’ve developed a deep rooted anxiety disorder due to school and perfectionistic tendencies. Even when you get 100 percent on an assignment they still criticise you, it is never good enough. One slip, and you are in deep deep trouble. I can tell you that 90 percent of us try our hardest, and our teachers and parents stand in the sidelines, screaming, “You can do better than that!”
“My 5-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl.
The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.)
But my daughter was determined. She liked the story pretty well so far, but Bilbo was definitely a girl. So would I please start reading the book the right way? I hesitated. I imagined Tolkien spinning in his grave. I imagined mean letters from his testy estate. I imagined the story getting as lost in gender distinctions as dwarves in the Mirkwood.
Then I thought: What the hell, it’s just a pronoun. My daughter wants Bilbo to be a girl, so a girl she will be. And you know what? The switch was easy. Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else.”
“My type?” she asked, laughter breathy,
lighter than air but still able to pierce a room
and me. “My type is men who lash out,
people who can’t talk about their problems,
women with complexes
and soft thighs,
people who sigh too much,
people who point out their own wounds
and then snarl when you ask about them,
older men, girls with innocent mouths,
voices that sound too good
even when they’re asking you to leave.”
Trista is a wordsmith-wannabe as she defines herself, and the first of a serie of young poets I will promote and support through this blog. You can find more of her awesome words here and please support her via Facebook.