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Angela Zhao

Pumping up bike tires and myself

When I first got to campus, I told my dad that I wouldn’t need to bring a mechanical bike pump. I had scoped out the school during Admit Weekend, and Stanford’s gleaming website assured me that the campus was well stocked with bike repair stands. Those were famous last words. The first time I wandered…

The perils of rainy nights on campus

Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive, on campus on a rainy night, rainy night. This is a good tune to sing in your head when you’re swimming. Or walking. Or dancing in the rain. Or when you nearly get hit by a car. Yeah, when you get hit by a car. That’s not what you usually think…

Lies I tell myself to sleep at night

Let’s face it: Sometimes you go to sleep after you’ve told yourself a couple of white lies to ease the way. 1. I’m definitely going to sleep at midnight. I … have unhealthy sleep habits. My parents know, my roommate definitely knows and I very much do know how late I sleep at night. But…

On the importance of birthdays

Birthdays. Cake. Pizza. Ice cream. Glitter. Balloons. Just the very word conjures images of hyper, sugar-drunk children, exhausted parents and the ever-present, enduring idea of hired Disney princesses, who may or may not stage potentially traumatic crises in the middle of a darling child’s beautiful, optimistically perfect day. But accusations and dodgy music videos aside,…

CRISPR-Cas9: A double-edged sword

What if someone handed you a tool and said that you could better the lives of people before their birth by changing their genes? Would you do it? CRISPR-Cas9 is one such tool. It’s an efficient and effective gene-editing technology that works by tagging a section of DNA with an RNA segment, and then using…

On inclusivity and exclusivity

What does it mean to be inclusive? Exclusive? Inclusive often means to be taken in, to include. Exclusive is many times means pushing something out of some sort of group, thus creating an element of specialness because of restricted entrance. Being inclusive is typically the opposite of being exclusive. By the virtue of including something…

Freshman year: Kindergarten in disguise?

Reflecting back onto the first half of the quarter, I’ve often thought that my all-frosh dorm is designed to be as welcoming and as comfortable as possible — just like kindergarten. In some sense, that is true. There are RAs, the PHE, the resident fellows, the RCC for the technologically challenged and even a SLErt…

Facing my moral imperfections

Title: Facing your moral imperfections. Welcome to adulthood. There was a lecture today that attempted to demonstrate the Socratic Method. The professor asked this question: If you could alleviate or eliminate suffering at a relatively low cost to yourself, should you? The overwhelming answer from the audience was yes. As a society, we generally perceive…

Your life as a story

Maybe you’re a rabbit in disguise. Perhaps you’ve eaten enough gummy worms that even earthworms are afraid of you. Or you’re Q masquerading as a human. Most likely, you’re a normal person — as normal as it gets here — and your life is not a story. Not at all. The rain does not pour…

On what binds society when religion fails

The other day, two well-meaning old ladies approached and invited me to their church meetings; I politely declined. They had sought me out precisely because I was Chinese and spoke Mandarin, but even with the wealth of culture that we shared, they felt the need to create another bond – the bond of religion. Religion…
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