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Photo by Louis Maniquet on Unsplash

The earth,

This glorious blue-green marble of wonder,

Of life, of love, of awe,

What an odd treasure we both hold and disregard,

One we take for granted (and for granite),

mining it clean for resources

while not understanding its role

in keeping us together.

This world,

which we took for granted while traveling,

seeing the amazing topography

its features created

and the features we created on it.

Cultures, geography, geology,

and interconnectedness,

all a bit more distant from us now

that we must “shelter in place”

and treasure what we have.

Is it possible that this pandemic,

this disaster of immense…

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Although this pandemic has really shaken us from the ground up, I want to offer a list of blessings it has really brought me.

While reading this, I encourage you to think of the blessings that you or others you know have received from this quarantine.

  • The concerts that the elderly couple in one of the houses across the street put on every week since April to bring the community together, using just a keyboard and a violin, which has grown to 4 members by now
  • The excitement from helping an adolescent cardinal that flew into our house, trying to escape from all the closed windows and not the open ones… we eventually managed to coax him out under a cake container after he was exhausted and…

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Photo by Alfonso Castro on Unsplash

Of all the things a snake loves most, it’s sunshine. The warm feeling on its scales is one like no other.

And that was the feeling that Noodle missed the most after being captured by his new owner. The unsympathetic little boy had spotted the poor grass snake in the garden, and with a squeal of delight, brought him inside. Apparently, the parents had a small fishtank left over from their previous (now deceased goldfish), and this is where Noodle had been unceremoniously plopped two days ago.

He felt an overwhelming sense of coldness, and lethargic as a result. Just as he was resigned to his fate, the boy came bursting into his room, schoolbag and all. He noticed the depressed snake, and thoughtfully put him on the windowsill. The rush of sunlight gave Noodle (which was of course the name the boy had given him) an unexpected burst of energy. …

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Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash

Magic surrounds us.

Not anything obvious,

but in each person.

Our gifts and talents make the

world glow, shine brighter each day.

Prompt found here:

Zoe Lee is an incoming PhD student in aerospace engineering at CU Boulder with too many hobbies, due to her insatiable curiosity. Other than writing on Medium and her travel blog (, she loves reading, singing, crafting/Etsy, learning languages, all things space and science, cultural exchange, libertarianism, and philosophy! If you’d like to become email buddies, please sign up here!

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Photo by Grant Jacobson on Unsplash

I recently graduated from my undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati. While there, I studied three things primarily: a major in mechanical engineering, and minors in astrophysics and philosophy.

I have to admit, it was definitely always fun to introduce myself to new people with that combination. There would inevitably be a mixture of reactions, some commenting on my perceived intelligence (admittedly giving me a bit of an ego boost), others confused on how these fields of study relate, and rarely, there would be people who understood perfectly why I chose as I did. …

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Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

People depend too much on their eyesight
letting one sense overpower the rest
ignoring what instinct proclaims is right
believing what they see is surely best.
Patterns of light imprinted on one’s mind-
displaying a perception of what’s true-
crowd out all other notions one can find,
deterring logic from emerging through.
“But seeing is believing,” many say;
that’s true for one-dimensional objects,
but observing a person for a day
will furnish the viewer with new prospects.
True knowledge of a person can’t be seen;
one’s innate intuition must be keen.

This poem was written in July 2015, after graduating high school, and published in June 2020, after I have graduated from my undergrad. Reading this poem now, I do feel like a different person than I was in high school, as I’ve been through so many changes in these last few years. As such, the truth of this poem is hitting me more now that I realize that it’s even harder for someone to know themselves (as life makes the human spirit rather fluid and adaptable) than I realized coming out of childhood. …

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Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

In this age of uber-connectivity, where productivity hacks promise to get you doing more work in less time, things to simply bring happiness are often pushed by the wayside.

However, with the quarantine, and the ample free time offered by staying at home more often, this can create both a sense of relief to get things done, as well as anxiety. (Even as restrictions and closures start to lift, most of us, myself included, aren’t going entirely back to normal life yet.)

You can often feel guilty, unproductive, or as if you are wasting the precious gift of time. I know that I have, as a recently graduated college student who never used to have my to-do list go to zero. When, at the end of the night, I have no further tasks to do for the next day, I either worked myself very hard, or I forgot something! …

And Most of My Last Few Weeks of Undergrad….

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Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

2020 is what so many of us looked forward to as a new start, for a clean slate in a year that sounds so nice to say. Being a part of the Class of 2020, I’ve looked forward to this year for all of my 5 years in my engineering program.

However, this year has already been plagued by several disasters and unfortunate occurrences. These have ranged from the Australian bush fires, the death of Kobe Bryant, the stock market crash, the Iranian-American conflicts, and needless to say, the Coronavirus pandemic. I only say that it’s a pandemic because both the WHO and the CDC have both agreed on this terminology. The ease this disease can spread with as compared to many other diseases has caused hundreds of thousands of cases, and an alarmingly rapidly increasing death rate. …

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Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

In the last 10 years or so, it seems as if more and more businesses have been shifting towards a convenience-based model where one stop can fulfill all of your needs. Most of them are household names, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Uber Eats, proving how ubiquitous this style of satisfaction has become.

Unfortunately, this mindset also often transitions into vacations. I’ve seen so many people who are burnt out from the “always hustling” lifestyle turn to all-inclusive resorts or cruises for a fully relaxing holiday with no obligation to plan any of it.

However, if you’re a person like me, who needs more fulfilling experiences to be satisfied, and who loves to enjoy new places in their entirety (And if you’re reading this article you probably are!), this sit-back-and-relax mentality won’t cut it. While traipsing to the tourist attractions where it’s too crowded to even get an unobstructed picture, you’d be wondering in the back of your mind what you’re missing. …

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Photo by Thor Alvis on Unsplash

Welcome to our new First Year Writer, Delta B. McKenzie!

“I got into writing at ten years old after my mom found an audio clip of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

According to my mom, I spent a week in a funk then proceeded to rewrite the ending so that the monster was happy.

I’ve still got a soft spot for monsters, which is reflected in my writing.

I like to take the dark and twisted and turn it into something relatable but still terrifying.

When I’m not diving into tales of the horrific, I spend my times writing about life, mental health, race, culture and sexuality. …


Zoe Lee

I wear many hats: new PhD student in space engineering at CU Boulder, traveler, artist & philosopher. Find some of my travel stories at!

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