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BARAN | No Place Like Home

Home for Fall Break. For Thanksgiving. For the deliciously long Winter Break. Back to familiar haunts, faces and foods. The mildly annoying barrage of “back at it” Snapchats and Instagram posts.

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BARAN | Flip to a Flip-Phone?

When my mom dropped me off at Cornell two weekends ago after a family funeral, I had to screenshot directions to get back home and send them to her. Her tiny phone made the pictures grainy and hard to read. Still, she persevered and managed to get back to Maryland safely. She probably squinted and looked down at the phone more often than was safe, but she did it. And she went through this whole ordeal with a smile, for the alternative was to her much worse than some occasional inconvenience.

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BARAN | Watch Where You Sit

It’s the first day of class. You walk into Bailey Hall and enter into your oversized Intro to Oceanography course. The rakish professor, Bruce Monger, casts his penetrating gaze on you. He peers into your soul and instantly divines your stance on climate change and your innermost secrets. Unnerved but not surprised (you’ve heard the tales about Bruce), you glance about for what will be your unofficially assigned seat for the rest of the semester.

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BARAN | Climate Change Needs Alternate Perspectives

Every time a debate about climate change arises around me, I grind my teeth and waver. Should I add my opinion? Will others hear my perspective and denounce me as ignorant? Sometimes they do, but I usually speak my mind anyway. I tell them about an alternative perspective that is constantly weighing on my mind: are humans even obligated to try to mitigate climate change?