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Malia Mendez
Welcome to my corner, friends! I'm big on emotional intelligence, empathy, and expanding the definitions of art and creativity. I love hearing new voices and stories so please talk to me about whatever's skipping around in your head anytime.

They aren’t lying about social dance

My first introduction to dancing was a ballet class for toddlers that concluded with a performance to the Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. After toddler ballet, I went to jazz, then lyrical, took a quick dip into hip-hop (a mistake) and quit dancing altogether shortly thereafter. My teachers gave me panic attacks…

‘Poses’ and the inhumanity of the woman in media

Spanish artist Yolanda Dominguez uses art to raise social awareness, especially pertaining to gender and consumption issues. In her 2011 project, “Poses,” Dominguez assigns a group of real women to translate poses of women in fashion magazines to everyday scenes. One participating woman lies contorted in front of a flowerbed, and a disturbed passerby inches…

Happy holidays?

“Every holiday I feel that depression/From all of this pressure/And maybe it’s all worth it just to see if we can outrun it/And I look at you across the room/Your eyes like sinking balloons/Merry Christmas, babe, I hope we make it through” -Mt. Joy, “Every Holiday” “So we sing carols softly/As sweet as we know/A…

The most horrid assigned readings

I was the kid who got in trouble for reading under the dining room table. When I picked up a new book, I would shut myself inside my room for the whole day, not coming out until evening, and when I finally did I’d be so emotionally drained from empathizing with every damn character that…

A sophomore slump sestina

I can confidently say I feel like I’m dying,  My body crying and my bucket of shits empty,  Mom says this stress is like an infection,  And, sure, the elitism has made my personality dry,  Elite education has positively spoiled my youth,  But at least I’m not alone!  There are times when everyone cries alone, …

Odd nostalgia for my one-room double

At the end of my freshman year, I could not have been more eager to leave my dorm. There’d been moments throughout fall and winter quarter when I felt myself already dreading the day I’d have to take the gold lights down and leave my room barren. By spring, though, this sentiment was long gone. …

On drinking with my parents

My parents have always been relatively laid back about drinking. They’d assumed that desensitizing their children to alcohol in our teens would make us less inclined to abuse it later on, so they gave us sips of wine at family dinners and allowed us to drink cider at summer picnics. And thus far, their theory…

Treasures from the Stanford Bookstore

My field work for this piece consisted of a treacherous race to the bookstore at 7:45 p.m. before it closed at 8:00 p.m., followed by a semi-aimless wandering around the sale and supply sections. Maybe college has drastically lowered my standards for fun, but I honestly did enjoy it and even regretted leaving my wallet…

I didn’t choose my college, and that’s okay

As May has come around again, I find myself reliving the panic of this time last year — letters and envelopes, financial aid requests and reevaluations, pro-con lists. This strange quiet. I’ve been obsessively checking the Instagram bios of kids from the graduation year below me, disappointed when their decision is not blatant and in…

Taking the dusty DSLR off the shelf

My best friend’s house is exactly how you would expect a household of four artists’ children to be—littered in magazine clippings, replete with stacks of thrifted photo books and with not a single bare wall. Therefore, I wasn’t all that surprised to find two random DSLRs sitting in the corner of her room. I knew…

Favorite quotes to live by

Because I have tried my hand in pseudo-STEM classes this quarter, I haven’t entertained my words-obsessed self in a while. This is my attempt to do so and share a bit of word porn in the process. Disclaimer: considering limited dorm space, I’m in long distance relationships with a significant number of my favorite books,…

My fear of darties

As I sit quietly stirring my Lucky Charms until I create a conglomerate of charms large enough for me to spoon into my mouth without prematurely consuming the marshmallow treasure, I am interrupted by a phrase that can only signal profound and imminent danger: “It’s gonna be a darty.” At the utterance of the word,…

On filling that longing for tween magazine quizzes

When we miss tween magazine quizzes predicting our dream summer date, we go running to BuzzFeed — but is it enough? A few weekends ago, my friends and I made a pit stop in Walgreens before taking the CalTrain back to campus, and I experienced a heartbreak unlike any other. Upon walking to the magazine…

Dining hall creations

This past week, one of my friends decided to test the limits of the Stern Dining toaster oven for the sake of cuisine variety. To sum up a long and extravagant journey of excitement and anticipation, she set a marshmallow on fire in the toaster, which a frustrated dining hall worker then had to unplug…

How big companies ruin social justice

Before I kiss goodbye my thus far cultivated neutrality as a Grind writer, I want to insert a couple disclaimers: I’m not against social justice campaigns. Disagreeing with me is obviously okay! Many probably will. There are a handful of companies that are doing things really well. But the heart of the matter is that:…

Things I’ve lost at Stanford

I used to mourn my chronic failure to keep track of my possessions, and then I realized the comic relief I could conjure by itemizing these lost (and sometimes later found) belongings in article format. After all, why write if you aren’t going to sprinkle some self-deprecation and semi-cohesive morals into the mix? So without…

Southern Californian quirks

Although about 40 percent of the class of 2022 graduated from California high schools — and I assume a decent portion of those students come from Southern California — I still find myself on the receiving end of daily taunting for the idiosyncratic #socal things I do. The first major point of cringe lies in…

Learning from children’s books

This past week, in my second class that required me to awkwardly introduce myself, my professor asked us students to share where we hoped we would be in 10 years. Although not an uncommon question, I was taken aback by my instinctual response: I hope to be writing children’s books. My affinity for childish things…
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