Don’t let your voice go unheard — Vote!

I believe.

I believe in Democracy.

I believe in Equality.

I believe in Freedom — of Speech, of Religion, of Thought.

I believe in People.

I believe in their Kindness.

I believe in their Respect for one another.

We are all human beings.

Imperfect, maybe.

Different, maybe.

But all seeking the same Stability, Prosperity, and Happiness.

I still have hope in America.

Note: All the views expressed here are my own; I do not represent any of my former or current employers in this post.

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The box was unassuming, really. It sat solidly atop a small, square, spotless metal table. Our instructor opened the lid, reached in with both of his arms, and slowly drew out a compact, cloth-wrapped bundle. He set the bundle on the table and, with almost theatrical drama, gradually unwrapped the cloth. Slowly. Carefully. It was almost reverential — one corner peeled back, then another. Finally, the cloth was fully unwrapped, and there it was. Sitting squarely on the middle of the table. A human head.

What was a computer science student doing looking at a dissected, preserved human head in the bowels of a medical school building? There were plenty of standard introductory math, CS, and physics classes I had planned to take to obtain a computer science degree. And yet, as I searched the online course catalog for classes to take during my first winter quarter, I felt an urge to search for something…a little more unconventional. I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired by class descriptions touting matrix methods, to be honest. But as I clicked the “Next” button and loaded the next page of classes, one description did catch my eye. An introductory seminar exploring human anatomy? The influence of human anatomy on product design? Cadavers? Woah. Fast forward a week or two, and I found myself enrolled in SURG 72Q: Anatomy in Society, examining the carefully dissected ear canal of a preserved head. …

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’Tis the season of graduations. The caps and gowns are back. And with all the graduation photos that have begun to adorn social media this month, I’m reminded that it’s been a year since I walked off the stage, diploma in hand, and bid goodbye to my school and home for four years. A year since I wrapped up sixteen or so years of formal schooling. A year since I began Adult-ing.

Graduation from college is a pretty big pivotal milestone. And as with many important points in history, it can be quite interesting to see both the differences and the similarities between the before/after eras. …

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Illustration: Hard at work with Pixar’s iconic ball and lamp mascots!

It was a short drive from the house where I was staying to the gated front entrance on Park Avenue. I drove up to the guard booth and gave the security guard my name. As he turned back to verify my identity and purpose, there was a tinkling thought in the back of my mind that, for some reason or another, it was all a mistake and he wouldn’t let me through the gates. …

Valerie Hau

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