Posted on December 1, 2010
Filed under Favorites
Posted by Lauren Kahn
Margrette Kuhrt’s “The Pink House on the Sidewalk or How I Learned to Dream Again” is a piece that many Duke students would be nodding their heads to (as I did) when reading about the process of self-discovery and independence that comes with college. She takes us through her growing need to break free from the life she was “supposed to live” and rediscover her imagination. I particularly enjoyed her writing about the sidewalk chalk drawings and how they mean something to her:
“You see, whenever I draw a rectangle, it is around the number I wish to distinguish as the final answer to the math problem I have been working on. And I don’t ever have the occasion to draw triangles. But the longer I look out to the sidewalk, the more I’m captivated by the unmistakable four right angles of a lucky rectangle that gets to be a house, drawn in sure pink lines” (3).
I love the way she focuses on the shapes as a way to show the difference between her life (dictated by math classes) and the lives of these children (driven by their creativity). Throughout the piece she does a great job inspecting the different dimensions of her discoveries, starting with her frustration and stress and then ending with the realization that she needs these children—and the imaginative mindset they represent—to balance out her life. I admire Margrette’s self-reflection and the way she works through her thoughts in her writing, taking the reader through her discoveries. I will forever think of this piece whenever I see sidewalk chalk and will remember to take the time to appreciate the details of the children’s uninhibited imagination.
I also truly appreciated Alexandra McKnight’s raw and honest writing in “Tags for A Moment” about her devastating break-up and strong recovery. My favorite section reads,
“True love was simple. It was not filled with hidden secrets, insomnia filled nights, or broken promises. Love was a simple equation: what you put in, you get back in return. My situation was also simple: I deserved better than Brandon. Carefully and with a new perspective I touched the lavender tipped paintbrush to our canvas: Love = Love. I left the Center a bit happier, a bit more complete; like a single shard of glass had been properly places back into the frame.”
Xan’s last sentence is particularly beautiful and poetic. She is able to find beauty after heartbreak. Though “Love=Love” was originally intended as a sign of LGBT, Xan is able to adopt the symbol to make meaning for her own situation. Thank you for sharing such a powerful and personal piece.