Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Unfinished Business

The first column that I authored for The Sun was a repurposed high school essay. I bet I can even dig up the prompt if I ventured into 2014 territory on my laptop — it asked for something along the lines of a satirical piece inspired by a celebrity. Anyway — I freaked out, okay?! 800 words, a whole novel’s worth, to introduce myself to a nameless, faceless, potentially imaginary body of peers and faculty and parents and alumni and…? Yeah.

Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Cheers to You

Not even my centennial replay of “thank u, next” had the power to distract me from what was transpiring outside my headphones. The conversation — or interrogation, judging by its tone — went something like this:

“You got the job! So, Wren must have pulled for you.”

“Uh, yeah, I mean, I saw her briefly.”

“Right. That’s crazy. How did you even—that’s crazy.

Students walk through the snow on Ho Plaza in March.

KANKANHALLI | Places We’ve Been

Memory isn’t just internal. It’s not individual. It’s all around us, in places and objects and moments. Within our own campus, there are memories buried in classrooms and halls and dorms and libraries. Year to year, even semester to semester, our routines change drastically.

Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Is Silence Complacency?

The modern political landscape needs no introduction. Domestically and internationally, the gaffes and wrongdoings of those in power echo with dramatic ricochet. As civilians, most of us thankfully equipped with moral compasses and appetites for justice, we respond and we participate. We compete for our myriad viewpoints to be heard in a sea of stubborn politicians, and understandably so: our voices are our primary — and sometimes only — vehicles with which to elicit change. Yet, this collective context — relying on volume alone to capture the attention officeholders — creates an unhealthy rift.

Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Office Hours: An Exposé

There’s a saying that goes something like, “it’s all about who you are when nobody’s watching.” It’s the principle behind the Panopticon, but it isn’t too far removed from daily life. It’s open to interpretation, but I take it as an appeal to some internal sense of morality. Do good, be good, even in solitude, even despite an entire force of chaotic energy at your disposal. It isn’t a huge ask — maintaining civility in the absence of an audience — but, admittedly, it isn’t my natural instinct when I enter a sweet, relieving, empty room. That is what I was hoping it would be — a sweet, relieving, empty room — when I strolled into my weekly office hours on Sunday, a confidential number of minutes tardy, footlong sub in hand, ripe for consumption.

Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Woman Versus Wild

Asked to outline their morning routines, many would allude to breakfast, a hot shower, or some form of planning or light productivity. Early risers may describe a zen-like energy in anticipation of the day to come. Late bloomers — I’m speculating — would likely miss the question altogether in the midst of incessant alarm-snoozing and hastily dunking essentials into an overflowing carryall. In most aspects, my morning routine is not much different. It follows a similar arc, customized with the staples of student life: waking up with the sharp regret of failing to fall asleep sooner, munching on a granola bar and running some quick calculations on how much more, if any, of my attendance grade could be sacrificed.

Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Not About What’s Next

The start of every new school year brings with it a rush of emotions: excitement, anticipation, motivation and a slew of other positively-connotated feelings. O-Week rewards us prematurely with waves of blissful ignorance and the chance to bask in ironic nonchalance at a rigorous institution. The shrewd among us manage to reign over Add/Drop so supremely that they might not have a real class for weeks (kudos!). At the advent of Senior Year, though, I find myself grappling with a different set of emotions -— impatience, urgency and agitation prime among them. At the heart of this agitation is the paradox of choice.

Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Who Taught You That?

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week! I, for one, am proud to express my gratitude for my educators past and present…from the comfort of my bedroom, as I consciously neglect attending class…but still! Gratitude! Laziness aside, it’s crucial to actively realize the impact of educators. The humility that characterizes most teachers I’ve known frequently goes unrecognized.

Picture1

KANKANHALLI | On Religious Warfare

Asifa Bano bore witness to the utmost depths of human cruelty in only her eight years of life. She died at the metaphorical intersection of Hinduism and Islam in Jammu and Kashmir, a dispute-ridden territory contested by India and Pakistan for ages. Bano’s birth into a nomadic Muslim community sealed her fate tighter than any inherited characteristic ever should. Her title was compelling enough to invite gang-rape, beating and strangulation from Hindu occupants of Kashmir. No apology is enough.

Picture1

KANKANHALLI | Hungry For Justice

The realization that most on-campus eateries are closed on weekends strikes me as a fresh blow every time I remember. Are we, the students, presumed to be fasting on weekends? Have weekends somehow still maintained their rosy reputations as periods of rejuvenation rather than periods of barreling anxieties? I don’t mean to speak for the entire student body, but I have a feeling that this bold claim carries a speck of universal truth: we’re still alive on weekends! We’re not hibernating, pleasant as that would be, and we’re absolutely in need of sustenance.