Rivalries and Reality

In a time of division, is rivalry an escape or a blunt reflection of reality?


A few months ago, I wrote about an annual tradition my alma mater carries on known as Blue and Gold Week. It’s that week prior to the UCLA vs. USC football game, when Bruins show their school pride and rally to face our cross-town rivals in football. Trojans call this week by a different name, of course, but however way you look at it, one thing is sure: it’s one week when both schools do not hold back in painting the town blue and gold and red. And it gets pretty nutty.

I’ve mentioned this before, but when I first started tinydeskwriters with Aiza and Deo, I always thought I’d for sure write a snarky little post (laced with USC burns) about why it’s awesome to be a Bruin when Blue and Gold Week rolled around. (Ideas for possible headlines: Questions for Trojans, or Did You Really Get Fooled By a Giant Toy Horse?; Brilliant Bruin Comebacks; Brown Bears Eat Gullible Humans… the possibilities are endless.) But now that it’s here, I’m finding myself at a slight loss of words. Not because I feel differently about my alma mater – I bleed blue and gold – but because I’m starting to question the merits of rivalries and their outcomes. In this age of politically heavy divisiveness, are rivalries an escape or a blunt reflection of reality?

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Lessons from my Future Self… for the Younger Me

Bunche Hall at UCLA: where all turning points of my college career occurred.


I received an email from my alma mater’s International Institute alumni network this morning. Included in this email was an invitation to reach out to them if my organization had an internship/job opening that I would like for them to promote to current students or fellow alumni. After checking out the website, I decided to create an alumnus profile.

The first page requested basic info. First name, last name, year of graduation, and so on. The next page was slightly more involved, asking for extracurriculars, activities, etc. But the third page.. the third page asked about my current role, my motivations for choosing my current path, my future goals, and my advice to current and future students at the International Institute. This is where things got interesting.

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Lessons from Pocket Treasures

China Memories
A peek into the past.


Ever have those moments when you’re rummaging in your coat pocket or purse (or even that one “miscellaneous” drawer in your house) for your keys, and instead you uncover a fistful of odd objects that you’ve accumulated over time? It could be a fistful of receipts, a shell, old gift cards, a movie ticket stub from a first date… anything that somehow (and often, inconveniently) makes it into your hand before your keys do.

 Usually, my initial reaction involves a brief bout of rage when this happens (“How and why is this easier to grab than my keys?!”), but when I really stop to think about it, these small tokens hold a lot more power than meets the eye.

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