VOICES articles

Okay Ladies, Now Let’s Get In Formation

Like any New York City kid my age, I have these events as the bookends to my childhood: Just before my first memories was the September 11, 2001 attack; Donald Trump’s election serves as the prologue to my coming-of-age. In between was a confusing tangle that included rising bigotry against Muslims; an opposite, liberal force

Photo by Sarah Chen

A Voice From the <1 Percent

        Growing up in Brooklyn, I’ve been exposed to almost every culture. This city truly is the melting pot of the world—and yet, it’s still a struggle to connect with people who identify as Native American. Even in a city as diverse as New York, at every school I’ve attended, I’ve found myself to be

Photo by Sarah Chen

Statistically Insignificant

        Stuy is a numbers game. We’re 3300 of the million high school students in the city. We all took a test, got an ID number, and go about our 10-floor, 300-classroom school every day thinking about the tests and homework that constrain our academic lives. We’re 74 percent Asian, 20 percent white, 3 percent

with their eyes

Living and Teaching September 11, in the Classroom and on the Stage

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I emerged from the subway station to see Chambers Street filled with people, all looking up. I looked up too. Both towers of the World Trade Center were on fire, smoke billowing from the gashes left by the two airplanes which had crashed into them minutes before. From

Don’t Hate, Commemorate

It’s almost ironic how I wasn’t even in the United States on that dreadful day in September, and yet I, along with many people, consistently get blamed for it. To top it all off, I find myself being ostracized for causing a war in a country I have never even been to. I’m certainly not


She was the promise of a new beginning, a crimson dawn blazing across the night sky. She was the epitome of destruction, veiled beneath a meticulously-constructed facade. She was the fiery sun, prepared to wreak havoc on anyone who dared to gaze upon her. She was the moon, vulnerable without her entourage of twinkling stars,

Un-Fair Skin

Let me give you a visualization. With my thick, wavy hair and my golden brown skin, more brown than that of most Chinese girls, I am usually mistaken for: Filipino One of Hispanic descent An island mix (My friends like to joke that I am the proof that there was an undocumented excursion to China

In Translation: Something Lost, Something Found

Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, smiles at me from a worn poster on a highway pillar, eyes glazed, lips stretched out unconvincingly. A slogan in Tamil and its translation in English are emblazoned across his chest: “A Hearty Welcome!” (I am driving home from the airport.) I’ve elected to call it endearing and say no

Regression Analysis, or How the Backcountry Taught Me to Cut Back

This summer, I spent the entire month of July backpacking with twelve other kids in Wyoming’s wilderness. The trip was organized by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), a program through which my brothers, cousin, and uncle all had their first real introductions to the great outdoors. Being the fifth Arum to traverse the backcountry

Approaching Fun, With Foam Daggers Drawn

At first, the thrumming was impossible to discern from beneath the thick cacophony of crickets and cicadas. It was just another sound of the night. As they approached the lake, however, the Lunarians decided that the low humming did indeed have an elusive, but ultimately identifiable source—human beings, twirling scarves above their heads, sprinkling sand