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Amanda Rizkalla
Amanda Rizkalla is a sophomore from East Los Angeles studying English and Chemistry. In addition to writing for the Daily, she is involved with the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program and is a Diversity Outreach Associate in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She loves to cook, bake, read, write and bike around campus.

FLI abroad

When I was researching Stanford before I applied, I remember browsing through the Bing Overseas Studies Program’s website in a state of disbelief. I could learn Italian in Italy if I wanted to, learn how to snorkel in Australia while studying coastal ecosystems or learn about social justice in the context of Cape Town’s history and politics.

The value of cooking classes

For three hours each Friday last spring, it was me and 15 other students at Arrillaga working our way around the Teaching Kitchen in our chef hats and closed-toed shoes, sautéing, searing, chopping. We were in BIOE 32Q: “Bon Appétit, Marie Curie! The Science Behind Haute Cuisine,” an introsem for sophomores. For about an hour…

Thanksgiving on campus

There is one consolation this time of the quarter, with exams and essays and presentations and group projects piling up — it is almost Thanksgiving break. We are two weeks away from this necessary week off — a week with no classes to go to, no club meetings and, if your professors are moral, no…

Talking Stanford to family back home

Let’s say it is your first year at Stanford. You are adjusting to the rhythm of life here — the sunny bike rides from class to class, the varying dining hall hours, maybe even being away from home for the first time. Your parents were not able to help you move into your dorm; your…

Stanford must lower the cost of textbooks

Three-hundred eighty-seven dollars. This is the number at the bottom of a two-week-old receipt of mine from the Stanford Bookstore. It is what I spent on textbooks this quarter. This quarter, I rented all of the books that had the renting option available, looked through the Facebook group “Stanford Free and For Sale” for cheaper…
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What should you do with your life?

For many of us right now, as we start preparing for summer, but especially for the class of 2018, with graduation and “real life” approaching fast, we might find ourselves reflecting on our time here. With the school year’s end in sight, some of the haze that comes with the constant busyness starts to recede;…

Busy

We all know we are busy. 20 units, a job, internship applications— a lot of the time, our schedules write themselves. To help us keep track of our busyness, Stanford’s Resilience Project created a printable weekly planner that breaks our days down into hour-long increments, with columns spanning from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. In other…

Learning with stories

When I am a teacher, I am a storyteller. The bright colors of whiteboard markers bought in bulk, the empty space on the board – when they come together, I get to make worlds. If I am teaching chemistry, I can make hydrogen into a person and explain how, yes, she’s on the smaller side…

Our president

Let’s start with the basics. If you are middle-aged or a millennial, if you’re middle-class or if your family is on food stamps, if you are any color, if you are gay or straight or anything in between, if you’re sure of the left or if you prefer the right, if you are a citizen…

Staying in the present: A gift to yourself?

We are time travelers. Eyes closed, we can remember back into the past and suddenly we are there – 6 years old, wrapped in blankets next to mom on the couch, half the height we used to be. Or maybe we are reliving the presentation we gave yesterday, thinking about the moments we stumbled over our…

Sexual assault and solidarity

Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Steven Seagal. If you’ve read the news lately, you have probably seen these names populate the headlines. Each of these men — actors, a director, a politician — stand accused of sexual abuse. As time passes, more names get added to the list. More survivors step up,…

The second time around

Six weeks into my second year here, and Stanford feels new. We have new dorms, new dining halls assigned to us, new routes to class as construction wraps up. We walk around and notice things we didn’t freshman year — the shortcut behind Green Library, the small burst of forest between Toyon and Arillaga. Some…

Affirmative action: A seat at the table

Editor’s note: This piece was originally published in our NSO magazine issue on Sept. 22. When it came in the mail, I looked at it a while before opening it. The packet, white-enveloped and Cardinal red, contained a letter that, on weighted paper, read, “It gives me very great pleasure to invite you into the…

A trip to Poland

I don’t understand it. I try to wrap my head around it, try writing words on paper and connecting them to each other in webs to see why, how people are different. I know that we are made to see differences — it’s what keeps us alive. Differences are why our ancestors were able to…

Humor with activist intent

When it comes to attracting people to a cause, the method matters. Several researchers agree that a tempered approach – a nonviolent, humorous one – engages people just as much, if not more, than more austere means of protest.

Praising the process

Growth mindset — those two words have been everywhere lately. People meet a failing grade on a midterm with a shrug and a solemn “Growth mindset, right?” The Academic Resource Skills Center prescribes the words as a remedy to a dip in GPA.
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