Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have moved back in with my parents, leaving the freedom and independence of my life as a young adult. The change to my routine is difficult; my daily activities once determined by pure volition now involve meeting the needs and expectations of a seven-person family. Coalescing back into a family unit once again as an adult is a different experience. This unprecedented cataclysm has given me respite and the opportunity to reflect.

Moving into my childhood home as an adult is a thought-provoking experience, different in many ways from what I left two years…

At the end of 2007, a devastating financial recession sent shockwaves through the economy and markedly altered the retail landscape. The “trendiness and glitziness” embraced in the early-aughts was abandoned for timeless and demure styles. The reason was not only the price-tag; gaudy styles were perceived as indecorous during a period of financial difficulty for many (Tepperman). The wealthy, instead, flocked to timeless pieces that were reliable and enduring. Flash forward 10 years, and the rise of social media and streetwear has struck a chord with Millennial audiences (La Ferla). This has led to “logomania”, a fashion trend that harkens…

There is a new apartment complex being built near my house. I don’t like it one bit. Its austere facade resembles a formidable compound from the setting of a totalitarian dystopian novel. The blockish architecture against the natural backdrop of trees and flowering bushes is stark, not in a pleasurably complementary way, but rather as a combative affront. The crude colors, resolute and impenetrable, emphasize its inclemency. Arid boxiness reveals an attempt at a modern urbanist style, but the formulaic predictability of the model feels less futuristic and more inhumanly commune-like. It is an eyesore, unpleasant to look at and…

Every year a week before Christmas, my family would climb into our minivan and drive to The Hill, a predominantly Italian neighborhood in St. Louis. John Viviano & Sons Grocer was a nondescript brick building with a large green awning and dark windows. A neon sign with red, white, and green stripes denoted the otherwise obscure storefront. The exterior was in every way indicative of the interior. As if frozen in time, the store lacked any indication of modernity: cracked linoleum floors, fluorescent lighting, boxes in lieu of shelves. A light layer of dust lined the tins of olive oil…

Protesters in Pittsburgh demand Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to reopen businesses amid coronavirus pandemic, citing the shut-down as tyrannical and anti-freedom.

The flagrant anti-scientific conviction in the United States is an alarming trend, visibly exemplified by the anti-mask sentiment that has insidiously captivated a headstrong audience. Proclaiming that their God-given right to freedom ‘trumps’ (pun intended) the public health concerns of a global pandemic. The data is unequivocal: masks work. Moreover, they are one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Undeniably, the CDC made a grave error when they announced in March that masks were ineffective at preventing the spread. Although they have since rescinded the comment and asserted that masks are, indeed, effective, it was…

Chef Marcus Samuelsson of the series No Passport Necessary has the enviable job traveling the country to explore immigrant cultures captured in a gastronomic experience. While I am not as lucky to share his career, the interconnectedness of the world has given me the power to similarly replicate his journey. The ubiquity of Amazon Prime has afforded me access to the world — a world that can now appear at my doorstep in 48 hours or less. Although limited in its scope, the availability of international foods has made diverse gastronomic experiences increasingly accessible.

Amazon 2-day shipping has become a…

Hic sunt dracones. Here there be dragons. Such are the words written across the southeast coast of Asia on a 16th-Century European globe. To the viewer, this denoted a place of uncertainty where the interplay of fact and fantasy, existence and imagination mingled. The land was tangible in its existence but shrouded in mystery for the globe’s European contemporaries.

Nothing fascinates the human mind quite like the places with dragons. Since the birth of humankind, we have pushed the limits of the unexplored as we traverse the globe and employ scientific methods and theory into our discovery. …

This is a discussion of my WP2 website that you can find here

Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash

What is a website?

Simply put, this website was created as a resource to read about different philosophies of life and its meaning. “What is the meaning of life?” is the quintessential philosophical question, now a hackneyed way to parody philosophers and their superfluous musings. Its cliche stems from both the ubiquity and ambiguity of the question. It is a question that everyone has asked but there exists no universally accepted answer. Even the interpretation of the question can be expressed differently from questions of origin to…

I’m going to tell you about the worst year in history. And no, I’m not talking about 2020.

I wrote about 2020 in a previous post, lamenting the barrage of difficulties that have challenged human tenacity and our notions of societal security. Feeling helpless and concerned, the year has thrown the world into uncertain peril.

But the events of this year, I realized, are not unprecedented. As a history major, my curiosity led me to contextualize my experience in 2020 and understand it within the broader scope of human existence. …

Most people, like the creator of this infographic, equate the value of a major to the average income for that major, not taking into account the multitude of other factors that should inform a calculation of value.

College is all about finding the intersection of passion and practicality, as childhood passions make way for adult practicalities. The allure of “wealth” and “status” masquerading as success has led to an over-adjustment toward the practical and a dismissal of academic passions. The failure in our education system to accommodate student passions while driving them toward studies perceived as practical leads to an educational experience where students feel detached from their learning and are less adept to succeed in the 21st century. …

Olivia Benoit

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