Articles

Why reading classics is (not) important

Jan 28, 2018

So, the word on the street is that it’s sure important to read classics. Y’know, those famous old books that dead people wrote. People will…

Why read the book instead of just watching the movie adaptation

Jan 26, 2018

Movies and books are different mediums that cannot be equated. One is oriented inwardly; the other is oriented outwardly. When you move a…

Sound

Jan 23, 2018

When I sat in the small windowless room deep inside a large Manhattan hospital, I didn’t know what to expect. It was what people now call…

The fog

Jan 23, 2018

It was in Seattle that vertigo hit me for the first time in my life. Because of my nonfunctional vestibular system—a part of the inner ear…

Why closed captions are awesome

Jan 16, 2018

When I say closed captions changed my life, I’m not being hyperbolic or a drama queen. I’m stating a fact. The story of how I learned to…

Why Tess of the d'Urbervilles is a classic

Jan 14, 2018

What we anoint as “classic” often says more about our modern sensibilities than it does about the book itself. Thomas Hardy’s  Tess of the D…

How to start reading classics

Jan 13, 2018

Open the book… although it helps to come prepared and open the right one. (Or, at the very least, a pleasing one.) Reading a piece of…

My little place on the 'net

Jan 12, 2018

Welcome to my humble home on the Internet! It’s not much, but it should give you a peek into my life and writings. Here are some things you…

How to tell if a piece of fiction has literary merit

Jun 20, 2017

Literary merit can be a dangerous term. If you stand up in an English department meeting, declaring that Hemingway is an alcoholic sexist…

How to get better at English lit

Jun 2, 2017

Aha! You’re asking how you can master the Dark Arts of English Lit? Well … it’s not as simple as casting a Crucio curse on an English…

Why Anna Karenina is so famous

Jun 2, 2017

Anna Karenina  is a novel that covers the three big P’s of literary greatness—psychology, politics, and philosophy—all while being…

Travel out of focus: embracing chaos (sort of)

Apr 19, 2017

I was already feeling woozy and disoriented when we arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal. The long layover in Qatar and the 4:30 a.m. departure time…

The trouble with reading classics

Mar 29, 2017

It’s time. You have to pick up that dreaded classic you have lying around. Maybe it’s Victor Hugo’s  Les Miserables,  or even worse, William…

The truth behind the famous novels written in a creative frenzy

Mar 20, 2017

We’ve all heard the story: creative genius sits down at his (or her) typewriter, preferably hopped up on some drugs, and cranks out a  piéce…

What it's like being the only Deaf person in a hearing family

Mar 9, 2017

When I was 11, my 13-year-old sister locked herself into her room in a fit of teenage angst. Before she quarantined herself, she covered my…

Travel out of focus: the language of touch

Mar 8, 2017

Now that touch is my most reliable sense, I’ve developed a quite paradoxical relationship with being touched. Touch both brings me closer to…

The practicality of reading novels

Feb 24, 2017

We think of practicality as actions that have a direct, quantifiable payoff. The said payoff of reading books “should be” things like…

Travel out of focus: how visiting Auschwitz taught me how to sightsee without sight or hearing

Feb 21, 2017

It almost sounds like a bad Helen Keller joke: “How does Helen Keller sightsee?” “You tell her that she’s standing in front of the Eiffel…

Travel out of focus: why a deafblind woman decided to travel the world

Feb 9, 2017

Hello there. My name is Cristina and I just came back from 4 months circumnavigating the world. I’m also Deafblind. Now, I know around-the…

Reflective vs. reactive: how long-form correspondence changed my thinking

Feb 1, 2016

The letter has been on the  decline  for a long while now. First, it was the telegraph. Then it was the telephone. Finally, the Internet and…

How selling all of my furniture on craigslist restored my faith in humanity

Jan 7, 2016

It was 2010 and an air of negativity and pessimism permeated my world. I was graduating from law school amidst one of the worst employment…

The experience of hearing for the first time for someone born deaf

Dec 15, 2015

Like they say, context is everything. Those videos are flashes of a fleeting moment in someone’s life that people deem as  inspirational…

What it's like to go blind

Oct 27, 2014

To many sighted people, the prospect of losing one’s sight is terrifying. They think about what they would lose: independence, visual beauty…

How to simplify your life

Sep 18, 2014

Simplicity isn’t easy. Two years ago, amidst a crisis and a career change, I decided to simplify my life, get rid of the junk and focus on…

Why The Great Gatsby isn't overrated

Jun 5, 2013

Before we can say anything is overrated (or underrated for that matter), we should probably know how it’s rated. The rise of  The Great…