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Melina Walling

Life in Lore: History—and students—at work

Last quarter, I wrote an article urging a serious reconsideration of the upcoming renovations to Green Library. To recap, the renovations are the result of a $25 million gift from Harold Hohbach, a patent lawyer and real estate developer who passed away in 2017. The newly designed wing will work with the Silicon Valley Archives…

Revealing religion: Understanding faith at Stanford

It’s my first day at Stanford: a whirlwind of unpacked suitcases, reshuffled notebooks and crumpled bedding. My roommate and I meet each other for the first time and choose our beds. Our parents all shake hands. Then, in the blink of an eye, we’re alone for the first time. I take a deep breath and ask my roommate the question I’ve been waiting to ask: Are you comfortable if I pray?

What internship season could learn from artistic patronage

What do Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci have in common? Before you say ‘the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ I’ll point out another similarity that I’ve been thinking about recently — they all had patrons who funded and supported their art. Which means that, in a nutshell, they weren’t writing applications and scouring the…

When poetry is a luxury

I like poetry. Maybe it’s because of the abundance of Dr. Seuss books that were placed on my shelf as a kid, or maybe because of the painfully awkward and yet somehow still magical reading of Romeo and Juliet put on by my seventh grade class. Maybe it’s because poetry is a concentrated and powerful way of using words to capture the fleeting moments of life (not to wax too poetic, of course).

A $25 million potential for misused history

Let’s set the scene. You are a Stanford freshman in the class of 2024, taking your first load of courses for the fall quarter. You’re undeclared, so you decide to try lots of different things: you’ll take CS 106A, of course, but you also like writing, so perhaps you’re in English 10A, a historical class in the English core.

Charles Dickens: ‘Humbug’ and hope

Many people know me as an optimist. While it’s true that I do my best to focus on the good in life, and can often make the best of a bad situation, my internal feelings can be more complicated. Paradoxically, I find that I tend to exhibit a sunny outlook while simultaneously possessing a deeper…

The practice, and problems, of myth

In December almost exactly ten years ago, I was in the fourth grade, and excitement was in the air: we were about to start a unit on Greek myths. Well, maybe the excitement was just because it was almost winter break. But for me, as Mrs. Johnson opened her large yellow storybook with the crinkling…

A tsar’s autopsy and the midterm elections

As I’m writing this article, there are two days left until the midterm elections, and political issues are heating up as voters head to the polls. Or so I’ve heard. Meanwhile, the politics on my mind are those of Ivan IV Vasilyevich, also known as Ivan the Terrible. Allow me to explain. While I made…

Distances, decisions and dining halls: The proximity problem

I didn’t realize how much distances were affecting my decision-making until I noticed my meal plan balance last week: $40. Of the $155 redeemable dollars I had for Autumn Quarter, I had spent $115…in just four weeks. The culprit? Olives, that wonderful bearer of the quick bite to eat, nestled in the basement of Building…

On Jane Austen and the jam-packed Stanford life

I’m an English major at Stanford, and I still haven’t read Pride and Prejudice. I tried to start it multiple times while I was in high school, and every time, my eyes would glaze over. I would read the same passage over and over again. I would get halfway through one of Jane Austen’s paragraph-length…
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