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Showing posts from 2017

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

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On the very first day of high school freshman year, I walked into the choir room with no idea what I was getting myself into. Mr. Wallace, an enthusiastic, smiley young man with a hairdo full of product greeted us and handed us a sheet of music to learn, entitled The Glenbrook Loyalty Song. He said to us something along the lines of, "This is the first piece of music you will learn here at GBN, and the last thing you'll do as a student here," explaining that we sing at the very end of the graduation ceremony.

Fast forward (it was, indeed, fast) four years and I was standing on the edge of that stage gurgling out the words "you'll find us always true" through tears. It was incredibly emotional and powerful.



High school is the kind of environment that tends to be hated or loved, and I experienced both. During most of my underclassmen years, I still hadn't fully figured out who I was or what I wanted to be. I definitely made some mistakes, big and small. B…

A SAMO Within A Project: "Saving Capitalism" Conclusion

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Robert Reich, as wonderful of an author as he is, reaches even more audiences by posting on his Facebook page about current happenings in the world and how he interprets them. He follows each post with a simple phrase: "What do you think?"

I find that of all the books CST students were given as options for this project,  Saving Capitalism was the most opinionated. Sure, you can easily file feminism, ableism, or climate change under the liberal umbrella, but Reich's ideas about the economy were clearly and indisputably left wing.

I feel that the opinion he gives leaves little room for the reader to form his or her own, and to answer the very question Reich poses so often. It's more like an agree or disagree situation. Students also may have been predisposed to how they about Reich's ideas because the little voice in their head tells them they need to follow party lines. Alternatively, if a reader didn't already know of Reich's democratic affiliation, or th…

SAMO: 'Wrecked' Identities

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The Prop Thtr was the closest thing to "hole in the wall" I have ever experienced. No, seriously. We drove past it twice. But once we went inside, it was evident that though small, the companies that performed there and the stories told were mighty. I was greeted at the ticket booth by two smiling women. When I asked the price of water, they responded that it's a dollar minimum donation and I could take any of the other food on the table too, including baked goods and candy. I donated, grabbed my water, and got ready to watch the show: "Wrecked," an original play written and directed by Sudanese woman Philister Sidigu.


It was announced that there we no playbills because they are expensive, and the theatre company is just trying to do its best to keep telling stories. Having seen most of my theatre on Broadway or at GBN (what's the difference) I was not used to such a thing, and my ears definitely perked up.

The theater space was small, but the exposed brick …

I Want To Love You, Harvard, Yale, Princeton (HYP!)

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A research based look into how elite private universities perpetuate and grow the gap between the rich and the poor

If you asked me what was on my mind at any point throughout the past two years, 7/10 times the answer would probably be college. It was (is?) my thing. Need help writing an essay? Filling out your common app? Finding the school with the best program for your major? Making a list of pros and cons? Yep, I can do all that while juggling kosher bolognas.

I was basically a college counselor to many of my friends. Now, this obsession with my future came from a couple sources. The first would be both of my parents' high degrees (pun intended) of success: My mom has a B.A. from Vassar College, a J.D. from Boston University, and a Masters in Social Work from The University of Chicago.


My father has a B.A. and a J.D. both from the University of Michigan. The second would be that for the majority of this process I was having a private boarding school if-I-don't-go-Ivy-I'…

A Lannister Always Pays His Debts

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Aresearch based look into the concept of loopholes in the American economy. 

If I'm being honest here, 108 pages into Robert Reich's examination of the current state of America's capitalist economy Saving Capitalism, reading this book scares the crap out of me. The money, government, and corporations...it's like a sad, inescapable iron triangle.

Speaking of iron, I've been reminded repeatedly of Games Of Thrones throughout reading. The Lannisters make a point of being both the most powerful AND the wealthiest family in all of Westeros. Even in a fantasy world, it is evident that the two are irrevocably tied together.



The Lannisters always seems to find a way out, or find a loophole if you will, similarly to many of the major corporations, banks, and firms in America. However, there is a common phrase: "A Lannister always pays his debts." Our Westerosi-American extended metaphor must now be broken -- these corporations will destroy anyone in their way and …

Seeds, Songs, and Being Scared: Intro to Saving Capitalism

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Welcome to the start of CST Fourth Quarter here on Gillian Thinks Thoughts! It's been a long and exciting ride here, with different essays, posts about works we've studied in class, and of course, the SAMO's. Now, you'll be getting to follow a series of blogs focused on the book Saving Capitalism by Robert Reich, whose title is pretty self explanatory. This book, along with the four blogs, are part of a larger project we are completing in CST as our Semester 2 final, entitled Gallery of Conscience.

For this project, we were given the option of many different non-fiction books covering many different social themes, from prostitution to ableism to the environment to feminism. I chose to read Saving Capitalism for a couple of reasons. The first, and simplest is that when I asked Josh to be my partner, he replied "Yeah, but we have to do the capitalism book. I already bought it."


I guess if I had enough of a lack of interest in the book I would have worked on my …

SAMO: Women's March

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We hopped on the crowded train, bright and early at 7:30am. It was jam-packed with other women and inspiring posters galore. One woman on our car passed around donuts and coffee (yes, to complete strangers). The train conductor didn't charge anyone for the ride, and later announced that this would be an express train due to the high volume of riders. Sarah, Erin, Bryn, and I looked at each other with fluttering excitement, knowing this would not be a day to forget and would go down in history ("This will be an APUSH key term one day!"). This welcoming experience on the train was just the beginning of the pride I felt toward being a woman on this day: January 21st 2017, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration: The Women's March.


Even the trek to the route of the march was full of life. Interesting people of all creeds and colors were walking on both sides of the street, everyone chittering with whispered exhilaration at the sight of so many others who care about…

Triskaidekaphobia: A Depiction of Humanity

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The Onion recently joked that The Academy just makes up a list of names for sound editing and other categories that "people don't care about." I, however, surprised my family when I got extremely excited about a particular nominee in the Documentary category: indeed, 13th and its director Ava Duvernay, absolutely slaying the red carpet game even though she lost the statute to "O.J.: Made In America." An Oscar nom is a massive honor that was rightfully deserved for more reasons than one. However, one concept Duvernay depicted throughout her documentary that latched onto me deeply was about the humanity of people of color.


The beginning of the doc goes into detail about the *coughs in disgust and scowls* "classic" 1915 American film, The Birth of a Nation. The silent movie, based on Thomas Dixon Jr.'s novel and play The Clansmen, depicted black people like raping, pillaging, animalistic savages. As noted in 13th, The Birth of a Nation confirmed the …

Forward March: Wickedly Ethical

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Over the weekend, I saw Wicked for the fourth time (yes, I know) in New York with my boyfriend Mike. Every other time I’d seen the show, I was reminded of the magic of theatre and drawn in by whimsical costumes. But this time, I noticed something new: a complex conversation about this concept of truth. Different plot points stuck out to me like blaring CST sirens: Glinda proclaims to the Wizard that she’ll tell all of Oz that Elphaba is innocent, but the Wizard reminds her that everyone will only turn against her.


The Ozians are told by the powerful Wizard and Madame Marrable that everything Elphaba says is a lie. And so the people believe them. I was repeatedly reminded of a question that had stuck out to me since we began reading Enemy of the People: What good is truth without power? 
CST is absolutely the main source of my new noticings. I push myself to put every dilemma into a Paul and Elder context in order to find the most ethical solution. However, I think that the most impact…

What it means to leave Chicago (SAMO)

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The screening began with a powerful slam poem by Rebirth Poetry Ensemble.
"Chicago is built on the concept of mopping with dirty water."

Poem by Rebirth Poetry Ensemble performing an original and award winning poem at the Logan Center for the Arts and University of Chicago. Filmed by me. 

The emotional poem filled me to the brim with feelings unknown to me. However, the performers  helped me to try and understand how they felt, and tears stung my eyes as they finished the poem: "Chicago is African Violence blooming in gun powder."

The poem was a perfect precursor to get the audience, a small mix of adults, teens, at least two babies, and UChicago students and professors, ready to hear an important discussion. The Promise of Peace Community Forum that my mom and I attended is part of a larger project with the same title that engages youth and adults in a variety of school-based and public programs including exhibitions, spoken word events, artist talks, and other event…