It’s almost always around the same hour, sitting on the same orange wooden stool where I get a good scope of Cherry St., sipping on the same honey matcha drink, that contains not regular milk, but almond milk. It’s right at that bittersweet moment where I think of what could’ve been, and what should’ve been, but didn’t.

The fact of the situation is that it just fed a particular type of hunger, one that leaves an aftertaste that’s so nauseating. Despite that, I can’t deny nor dismay the lessons learned, the memories made, and the people we’ve become. Please forgive my attempts at romanticizing this post, things have been quite emotionally triggering here at Columbia, and let’s not forget, that “starving artist” stereotype finds itself well suited in this situation.

Being within the concrete walls of this diverse midwestern state for almost a month or two now, it’s safe to say that I’ve found my foot fall, and have become better acquainted with Columbia’s quaint whereabouts. Not that much happens out of downtown, but a couple of weekends ago, the monthly event titled “First Friday” took place, and gave me a better understanding of the art scene present within Columbia. From meeting the renowned underground cartoonist and fine artist Frank Stack, to the recent MA Fine Art graduates who just had an exhibition at Jesse Hall, it was eclectic, engaging, and eye opening.

Adding onto that, I was able to attend the annual True/False Film Festival which was quite a feast for the eyes. Not only did it showcase the screening of various short films, and documentaries which I was able to attend, but it exhibited Columbia at its prime. Some of the documentaries that I attended were “Amazing Grace” a documentary about Aretha Franklin that received rave reviews for its mesmerizing and transformative visuals, “N/N:Mysterion” a documentary directed by Pirjo Honkasalo which was about her trip to Puhtits, a Russian Orthodox convent located in a polluted corner of northeastern Estonia. Finally, a documentary that I intended on watching but couldn’t due to a midterm submission was “Home, Sweet Home”. It was a documentary that chronicles 35 years of director ISE Shinichi’s niece’s struggle with epilepsy.

After the rollercoaster of a weekend, I was immersed back into my studies as it was that time in the semester where we had one too many midterm submissions, reports to write, and existential crisis causing midterm exams to take. Despite the pressures of academia, I truly have grown fond of the education system that Mizzou offers. From the complexities of the body and the bones that make it up in my Anatomical Drawing class, to the societal construction of race and intersectionality in my Gender and Identity class. From the prolonged hours in class, to the interminable hours spent at Ellis library which’s now called home – or so I’d like it to be.

From the plethora of visuals and essays present in the books I’ve borrowed, to those in this post; It’s easy for you to acknowledge that I’m dedicating my time here in Columbia to enhance and enrich both, my academic as well as my artistic experience. As spring break is approaches, everyone’s talking about their travel plans and how they intend on “letting loose”. I’ll hopefully be making a trip to Washington D.C. and possibly New York, so until then, stay safe & keep on pushing through this semester for it’ll soon be over.



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