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Julie Plummer

Six poems for anyone who needs a fall quarter boost

Fall is a time of transition: Summer has somehow slipped through our sweaty fingers, everything is beginning anew on campus and our classes demand our time and energy again. When I arrived back at Stanford, even as a non-frosh, I felt sort of unsteady adjusting back to the life I’d put on hold since June.…

Why I love the handwritten word

Last week, I went to a concert in San Francisco with my roommate to see a folk artist in an 18+ bar. After an eventful late night drive of missed turns and near crashes with crazy city drivers, we entered the bar to see a room of people mostly in their twenties, spread lazily across…

On claiming identities

Recently, I attended a writing colloquium on Stanford campus. As I settled into a hard-backed chair and looked around at the fellow attendees, I was immediately intimidated. The room was full of writers who had come to the colloquium to learn and discuss. They looked like, well, writers. Many sported wide-framed glasses, some with edgy…

Making connections the old-fashioned way

A couple of weekends ago, I took a much-needed beach trip with a couple of friends. After a wonderful day laying out in the sun and frolicking in the chilly California water, one of my friends glanced down at the backs of my legs and said, “Dude, your legs look kind of red.” I groaned…

The pros of being stubborn

My freshman year at Stanford has been one of squeaky bike brakes. Starting about week two of fall quarter, the brakes on my (brand new) bike began making a god-awful screech every time I used them. It got to the point where I brought it up at dinner in my dorm one night and a…

A love letter to the rain

I wake up and my windows are wide-open, cold, fresh air pumping into my small dorm room. It smells crisp, clean and earthly, and I’m immediately wide-awake. When I walk out of the dorm, I’m greeted by sidewalks painted dark black by the precipitation, a cool breeze draping over my neck like a light scarf,…

Sick at Stanford: A survival guide

One of the worst feelings in the world is groggily waking up in the middle of the night to notice that there’s a sharp soreness in the back of your throat. You swallow a couple of times, hoping that it will go away, but it persists, painful as ever. You dump your head back on…

Stanford and humility

Stanford has a diverse student body of athletes, musicians, writers, performers, activists, chefs and artists. And yet, in some ways these diverse talents are not as visible as one might think. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve thought I know a peer well and am suddenly informed that they are a nationally-ranked…

The Stanford bubble of positivity

Spring quarter at Stanford is a beautiful thing. As I biked to my first class of the quarter, I grinned as I felt the sunshine hit my back, soaking in the warmth and listening to the cheerful chirping of birds in the blossoming trees around me. I could see the excitement of the new quarter…

Where did the time go: A freshman reflection

Time at Stanford is an elusive, confusing creature. When I look back on winter quarter, I’m astounded that it’s already Week 9. Just yesterday, I was driving home from my first college quarter, reflecting on how much my life had changed, and suddenly it’s March and spring break is around the corner. The weeks have…

Viewing life through Venmo

I was astounded by the fact that there’s never been a better time to live if (like me) you’re chronically worried about losing memories. Our experiences are, in fact, embedded in the digital world around us.

Music and memory

Music touches us in ways that little else can. It inspires us to dance, weep, laugh, sing, smile. Last weekend, I was studying for my psychology midterm when the song “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson started playing. Listening to this song reminded me instantly of the summer before senior year of high school, when I…

On beginnings

I recently came across a poem by the Internet poet “atticus” that goes, “At the beginning there was nothing but love and stardust. My heart yearns to begin again.” I loved this idea of starting again, of allowing yourself the time and space to step back and create a new beginning. One of my dorm-mates…

We are large, we contain multitudes

I collect other people’s words. There’s something unbelievably powerful about reading something somebody else has said and feeling the chills rush up my spine as I realize it’s a perfect way of describing an experience I’ve had, or simply a beautifully brilliant compilation of words put together in exactly the right way. My dorm room…

Selfies, streaks, and stories

I’m trying to get some reading done and somehow keep being distracted by the bright glow of my phone screen — Snapchat’s little yellow ghost taunting me with mystery pictures and chats. Sighing resignedly, I open my phone and view the snaps: selfies from my friends at different colleges, a chat from a high school friend…

In defense of memes

In the aftermath of the election, one of the only things that kept me sane was the circulation of the amazingly hilarious Obama-Biden memes on my Facebook newsfeed. From pictures of Biden plotting against Trump’s impending entrance to the White House to images featuring Obama and Biden’s epic friendship, these Internet works of art never…

The mountains are calling, and you must go

Last weekend, in a brave attempt to finally get some much-needed exercise, I decided to jog to the Dish and run (okay, walk) the loop to the top. Even though I’ve done this trek before (I grew up in the Bay Area), I still found myself overwhelmed by the beauty I observed at the top…

The best and worst of us

Family is sipping hot chocolate in a cozy condo, looking out at a raging snowstorm. It’s hauling a mini Christmas tree up to the mountains for the holidays, playing blackjack with my dad, reading Harry Potter with my mom, learning to play softball with my sister. Family is birthday cakes for the dog, pumpkin shopping…

Looking up

What makes us happy? It’s in the little things – succulents from farmers markets, a new stash of snacks from Trader Joe’s, pictures from home, the fresh smell of earth after the rain. When I asked around about what brought people happiness, they’d mention these small things – food, hot chocolate, music – but invariably…
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