Student Article
International Mafia

We sat around a table in the lobby of the “President” hotel, 20 accented voices in chorus arguing about the proper way to play the card game “mafia”. Argentina asserted it was played with two people adopting the role of guardian. Estonia refuted this, claiming that only one person was chosen as guardian but three people got to be the “mafia”. Meanwhile, Brazil confusedly turned in her seat...

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Student Article
The Moment I Was Aware of A Cruel World

I tend to confuse myself and others. I am an extreme pessimist, I expect the worst. Yet I have an upbeat attitude, and have the willingness to hope for things. I think global warming will depleat the planet, and corrupt politicians will hurt others, but I have a hope that humans will do what they believe is the right thing to do, and people will stop ignoring the signs of a dying planet. I have...

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Student Article
My Guatemala

As soon as I heard that Eli’s family had an opening for their trip to Guatemala, I knew I had to go. They were taking teenagers to Antigua to learn Spanish and volunteer. It took some convincing, but they said yes! And, more importantly, my parents agreed to let me go. My high school Spanish would be put to the test in intensive language classes and volunteer work. The other teens opted to help with...

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Student Article
da Vinci Day

As my foot landed on the elaborately tiled floor, a chilling atmosphere pricked my body. The air that embraced me was suffused with the history, the art, the surrealness of the images and work inside. In trips prior to this, San Diego’s ambience welcomed me as a sun stained, satin blanket would. Each summer vacation, it’s humid kiss faithfully rested on the cheek full of all my touristic desires,...

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Student Article
The Treasures Concealed by Mesas of Arizona

“We’re here!” my sister shouts, as our van turns onto a dirt road. The faded sign says “Welcome to Immanuel Mission.” As our car bumps along the road, kicking up dirt into the hot Arizona air, I am in awe of an almost untouched America on this Indian Reservation. An expansive desert with cacti and tumbleweed, horses roaming free, and a mesa rises in this landscape while the sun sets in the...

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Student Article
California Dreams

The sound of waves crashing paired with memories flashing behind my closed eyelids overwhelm me as I stand in front of the salty shore, and I wonder what actions in my life have led me to this one perfect moment of golden state. The trip I took with my family to the Los Angeles region is one to never be forgotten. I tried to remain open minded, but the movies and cartoons that depict Hollywood as...

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Student Article
The Philippines: Living in a Childhood That Was Never Mine

To visit the country that my parents remember so vividly from their childhoods is difficult; living an Americanized life really detached me from identifying with Filipino culture. They grew up knowing the off-brand soda sold in cheap sandwich bags, the 5-mile walks through thick vegetation to get to school, the nights where they could only eat a steaming cup of rice after the fish spoiled — things...

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Student Article
Go Play In The Snow!

The wind tugged playfully at my hair and the cold nipped at my redding cheeks. I pulled my scarf tighter around my neck and ran down the airplane stairs onto the tarmac. I had never felt more invigorated. I took a deep breath of the mountain air, letting it fill my lungs and mingle inside of me. I looked up at the towering mountains, and suddenly I felt microscopic in comparison to the vast expanse...

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Student Article
Santiago’s Tears Of Joy

Pilgrims drop to their knees, tears of joy hit the ancient stone, Scottish music plays, church bells ring, and the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela towers above the square. El Camino de Santiago, La Chemin de Saint-Jacques, or The Way of Saint James. The Camino began after the death of Saint James in 812 AD. Originally a religious pilgrimage, thousands of pilgrims journeyed to Santiago de Compostela,...

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Student Article
A Winding Road

As I climbed up the stairs, I underestimated the significance of the next few steps I was taking. I struggled to hoist my luggage up the winding staircase and finally joined the group on the upper level of our massive double-decker bus. I sat down ready to settle in and rest during our 12 hour ride but instead found myself transported by the beauty of the Andes Mountains. The summits weren’t so much...

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