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‘Grief Is Like the Ocean’

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My father died of cancer in June of 2020, a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic. At first he was diagnosed with a chronic, but not fatal, inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and large joints. But after his condition continued to deteriorate, a trip back to the hospital revealed that he had metastatic brain […]

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In Four, Hold Seven, Out Eight

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As I stood in front of my 9th grade math classmates, I wished to be anywhere else. My teacher had cold-called on me to answer the question on the board. As I stood there my heart pounded, and it was so hard to breathe that it felt like a mountain had fallen on top of […]

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More Than Shyness

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“Uno out! See? I am better than you!” I laughed as I slapped down my last “plus 4 wild” card, beating my twin sister in yet another round of Uno. We would play for hours, our conversation swirling from the game to everything else. She and I often talked way past our bedtimes, and my […]

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Housing Stability Changed My Life

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My mom, my six siblings, and I moved into a homeless shelter in Brooklyn in February 2021. It was a shelter for families with children, and the apartment they put us in was horrible. The walls had graffiti and mold on them, the floors looked like they’d never been cleaned, and you could hear rats […]

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