By: Jackie Kim
Ever since I was young, I’ve had a great relationship with people who were older than me. I’ve always loved visiting my grandparents’ home, something that plenty of my peers despised. I’ll certainly never forget the time when my grandma whispered in my ear that I was her favorite grandchild and the feeling of guilty satisfaction and pride that welled in my heart. Later, when I moved to America in middle school, I was on texting basis with the majority of my teachers in each of the schools I attended.
During high school, I discovered my love for the nursing home. I found talking to and interacting with the residents naturally easy and comfortable, and it wasn’t long before I started traveling to the home twice a week to provide company to the senior citizens. Whenever I walked into the toasty nursing home, the residents’ faces melted into crooked smiles. I loved how they called me “Jackie Wacky” and “Honey,” how I always had to assure Audrey that I’ll always love, how Carol snuck me the centerpiece after I told her I loved flowers, and how Ken always asked for a kiss before I left.
Continue reading Why I am Best Friends with A Ninety-Year Old
By Juli Kirkpatrick Leach
“Can we help you?” If my roommate Wendy and I had smart phones or even internet access back on January 7th, 1989, we might never have heard those reassuring words spoken by two young, nice-looking Italian guys on that fateful Saturday night. Wendy and I had just arrived in Florence the day before to start a three month overseas studies program. We were placed with a host family, the Miniati’s, in the “suburbs” and we could only get home by bus from the city center. According to my travel journal, we had gotten on bus 23C, realized it was the wrong one, and then got off, completely turned around and lost. We found a payphone, but then realized that we needed a special token called a getone to use it, and we had no idea where to get one. Had we had our handy dandy mobile devices, we could have done a number of things like look up the bus schedules and routes, gotten exact directions to our host family’s house and hailed a taxi, or just have even called our host family to come get us. Instead, we just stood on the street corner not knowing what to do, laughing because it was better than crying.That’s when we heard those magic words first spoken by Leonardo, a tall slim guy with dark hair, deep-set blue eyes and an authentic Italian nose. He was accompanied by his buddy, Filippo, who was more boyish looking. We told them we were lost and needed a getone to make a call and they got us one. They also offered to give us a ride home. Wendy and I looked at one another wondering if we could trust these guys, and then Leonardo offered to show us his ID. That cinched it for me.
Continue reading A World Without GPS
By Shelly Hacco
This happened early on a Monday morning, around 7am. While most people at this hour are happily dreaming in their warm beds, I was crossing the street in LA’s downtown financial district, at 7th and Flower to be exact. See, I live in North Hollywood and I work at USC, a major distance for someone who does not drive and has to be on campus at 7:30 in the morning. However, as horrible as this situation sounds, this daily commute is actually thoroughly enjoyable. I take a 25 minute train ride down to the 7th St. Center Metro stop, usually wait about 5-10 minutes for the bus, and then ride the bus to campus for another 15 minutes (and then vice versa back home). With the bustle of a busy work day, this daily journey is usually the most relaxing part of my day. Instead of impatiently trudging through traffic, cursing the overpopulated freeways and lack of free parking around campus, I get to sit back and enjoy my favorite pastimes, reading novels or listening to music/intriguing podcasts, while scoping out my fellow commuters. Let me also note that I am an LA native who remembers a time when Los Angeles did not have a subway and when downtown was a dead zone infiltrated by the homeless. These days, when I ride the metro, I think about what a privilege it is to zoom to my destination, to bear witness to the growth of businesses in the downtown area, and to see more and more office workers, students, artists (and yes, even residents) reclaim the city.
Continue reading Downtown Walking Can Lead to Major Fines