Near and Far: An exploration of travel and the human spirit

Photograph of Ruie and Rosemary Shows, circa 2015

My grandmother speaks vividly of life’s adventures, recounting details most lose with age—styles of brothers’ shorts, colors of Easter hats and childhood prayers recited in front of the fireplace. She recalls in similar sentiment the gentleness of her mother’s fingers knitting Christmas presents for 12 children and the clammy hands that clutched her small arms as Axis bombers flew overhead. A childhood lived, in part, under the dining room table and school desks, learning to hide from the worst. For all tragedy of WWII, my grandmother adored the American soldiers who shared chewing gum and oranges with the children of her rural British town. Now, 80 years later and decidedly settled in Northern California, she leaned back on her floral couch and shared stories of youth—of younger years tinged with travel, chance love and unlooked for peace.
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Attention, Social Media and Social Change

An iPhone lock screen

We are perpetually distracted. Gathered for meals, my friends and I often place our screens into a pile atop the table, vowing the first person to touch their phone pays for the meal. 30 minutes later, we all give up. Much of our conversation revolves around the screens and memes shared online, and the frequent dopamine boosts from our buzzing devices is too tempting to resist. Who can blame us?

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Tales of a PetSmart Employee

“Do you have a phone number with us?” I ask, my hands poised over the number pad on the register.

“Yeah I might. Wait, where am I? Petco? PetSmart?” the customer asks.

“PetSmart,” I answer with my classic retail-friendly smile.

Yes, I know. No one else gives a crap about the trivial differences between pet stores with similar names. I didn’t even care until I started working at PetSmart over a year ago. Now, it stings a little every time someone mistakes our store for a –co instead of a –smart.

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Movie Review: “Us”

Sometimes we hear people say that we are our own worst enemies, and most of the time I think this is true. No one is “praying on your downfall” and your worst competition is your procrastination, your pride, just nurturing negative behavior in general. The movie, “Us,” created and directed by the brilliant Jordan Peele, explores these themes as he usually does, metaphorically.
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