20 Things the Summer Taught Me 2015

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This summer has been all about racking up frequent flyer miles, living out of suitcases and tackling giants by the name of Universal and Disney World in the relentless Florida one-two punch of heat and humidity. Above all, these last couple of months have emphasized the sacrifices we make and the lengths we go to spend time with people we like more than the general population in extraordinary (and sometimes extraordinarily expensive) places.

A few things this summer has taught me:

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For Grandma Sally

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I’m not sure if I’ve really felt distance before these last few weeks.

The pursuit of higher education took me an ocean away from home and I have family and friends in nearly every time zone, but distance has always felt manageable because technology bridges that gap. If I ever felt homesick, I could call my parents or my sister and it takes seconds to text or tweet. My grip on this seemingly universal truth started to slip with the news that my great grandma was sick and in and out of a hospital in the Philippines. I grew up with her room only ever a few doors down from mine and after her return to the motherland, we would only get to talk once every few months over the phone and saw each other face-to-face even less. Last night, Friday the 13th of all nights, the woman I knew simply as “Grandma Sally” passed away at age 89.

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Q&A: Summer, Summer, Summer

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When I think about summer the first thing that comes to mind is that opening scene in High School Musical 2 and Zac Efron wearing that blue on blue striped shirt that makes his eyes pop, staring at the clock as everyone around him chants “summer” until the dismissal bell rings. Second, I think about unrelenting heat and absolute freedom as a kid and a student. Break out the sunglasses and passports, I’m talking about summer.

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