It all started with Tpain. On a night damp with rain and cheap beer, we “met.” The time following spring concert was bound by the hyperspeed that is true of Amherst spring. In what seemed like a week, we shared phone numbers, then time, then hopes.
Finding our way in a chaotic post-undergraduate world
“Do you need any help?” I ask the group leaders in front of me. We’re at a busy intersection, waiting for the crosswalk to turn white. It’s a welcome reprieve from all the walking we’ve been doing the past few days. Our days on the trek are packed in one tightly concentrated schedule, so every break we can get is a welcome retreat. Behind us, ten more Amherst College students congregate, chatting about the latest event in our trek – a group luncheon we had with several Amherst alums at the World Bank.
While I was waiting to fill up my water bottle on the first floor of Frost at the Brita station that is always mysteriously and troublingly slow, I began to look at the Frost comment cards posted to the bulletin board. Most of the comments addressed how wonderful the library and its staff are, yet one notecard truly stood out. Written in all caps, it declared:
I REMEMBER WHEN LIBRARIES WERE BASTIONS OF ETIQUETTE VIA SILENCE. “SOCIAL FLOOR”IS A CUTE IDEA, BUT YOU HAVE THE WHOLE CAMPUS TO BE SOCIAL + LOUD. WHY TAKE THE LIBRARY’S ESSENCE OF STUDY AWAY FROM US?!?
The legend of Kanye West is as well substantiated as it is disseminated: in the barren post-gangsta era of the early 2000s, Kanye revitalized the genre by introducing soul-infused production and quality lyricism defined by bold juxtaposition of genuine introspection with tremendous braggadocio. Kanye continued to rip holes in the fabric of Hip-Hop for the next decade, out of which grew the diverse, mainstream genre we enjoy today. If you buy into this claim — if you recognize Yeezus’ Jamaican dance-hall vocals and abrasive synths in Kendrick Lamar’s “The Blacker the Berry,” or if you notice 808s & Heartbreak’s emotional vulnerability in chart-topping artists like Drake, J. Cole, and Young Thug — then the The Life of Pablo should seem like the logical conclusion to Mr. West’s legacy. Continue reading The Life of Pablo (Review by Elias Schultz ’18)
During my freshman year, I wrote an article for the Indicator about cultural assimilation. I discussed coming to terms with being half Mexican-American and half white. With a topic so large, I didn’t necessarily come to a conclusion. The piece was more of a reflection on identity. I expressed the need/desire for second and third generation minorities to keep in touch with their roots. Looking back, I feel like I’d been grasping at something else. Throughout the course of Amherst Uprising, I slowly realized what it was.
His grandmother sends him a book called The Thinker’s Thesaurus. The book is in its expanded third edition. It promises to provide sophisticated alternatives to common words. On the back cover, a white male linguist praises it: “This magisterial reference work is clear and authoritative. It will help you preserve the highest layers of the English vocabulary.” His grandmother is not a white male, nor is she magisterial. She is quite poor, lives alone, and can only see out of one eye. Nonetheless, sometimes she still finds ways to say hurtful things about Mexicans.
Today, I am a confident female with active goals and dreams so big that I tend to become uncomfortable telling others about them. I am of African-American, Indian, and Caucasian descent. I consider myself a child of God, who happens to be my Heavenly Father. Thus, I am royalty and entitled to the desires of my heart if it be in His will. I am full of hope, love, compassion, generosity, and humility. I am the lyrics I listen to and the things I am passionate about. Continue reading On Self-Love by Shatoyia Jones ’19
When I woke up on the morning of November 12th, 2015, grudgingly emerging from beneath my warm blanket, my first thought was of a phone interview scheduled for later that day. My second thought was wondering if I’d have enough time to grab a quick breakfast. My third, whether I could find any clean pants within the tangle of laundry on my floor.
Later that day, as I sat on the floor of Frost Library listening to my peers of color present testimonial after testimonial describing pain, anguish, and suffering, I considered the thoughts that I had not had. The thoughts that it had not been necessary for me to have the instant I got out of bed. Continue reading Reflections on Amherst Uprising by Sara Schulwolf ’17
Sitting in the Snow
“There’s one more thing you better understand. I have taught myself to sew, cook, fix plumbing, build furniture – I can even pat myself on the back when necessary – all so I don’t have to ask anyone for anything. There’s nothing I need from anyone except for love and respect. And anyone who can’t give me those two things has no place in my life.”
– Arnold, Torch Song Trilogy
When I first came out to myself, I was alone. I was away at boarding school, walking out of the dining hall. I remember it was dark outside, and I stepped away from the lamp-lit path so that no one would see me crying. I wanted to be found, because I desperately wanted someone to just ask me what was wrong, so that all the weight could be forced off my chest. I suddenly knew that I was gay – that’s what I was called – and that’s what I would need to tell my parents someday. Continue reading Coming Out by Spencer Quong ’18
The future of Amherst social life looms before us– a nebulous, half-formed vision, at best. The pending demolition of the Socials stirs mixed emotions in the community. And the most we can do is speculate about what lies ahead. I would describe my relationship with the Socials as “ambivalent”. I don’t invest too much hope in my Saturday night escapades, which means that every once in awhile, I get to be pleasantly surprised. I also appreciate having a social life that we can all collectively make fun of. Continue reading Bye Bye Socials by Samantha O’Brien ’18