• Punktober, not Pinktober

    As the fall sports seasons came to a close, high schools everywhere announced one of the most anticipated weeks of the year: Spirit Week. This year, my school's student government planned out the themes for each day far in advance. Monday was 'Murica Monday, in which everyone wore patriotic clothes. Tuesday was Family Day, where the freshmen dressed up like babies, the sophomores dressed up as kids, the juniors dressed up as adults, and the seniors dressed up like senior citizens. Wednesday's theme was "On Wednesdays we wear pink," which at first glance seems like a Mean Girls reference.

    The fine print, however, revealed that it was also for breast cancer awareness. Naturally, I thought. It's October. And October means Pinktober.

    Pinktober is such a widespread phenomenon that, as I am typing this, Google Drive drive doesn't put a red squiggly line underneath the word. Every October, everything becomes "For The Cure."

    Almost any fathomable activity can be done For The Cure. "Sail for the cure." "Shower for the cure." "Sleep in for the cure." "A cruise for the cure." Everything we do is suddenly "for the cure."

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  • What's right with Hermione

    I first read Harry Potter at six years old, because my mom wanted me to come with her to the bookstore midnight release party of Deathly Hallows. She felt it would be unethical to take me without having provided any exposure to the series. So I became obsessed, reading all the books as quickly as possible.

    I was a fangirl. Over the years, I've read the Harry Potter series more times than I'd like to admit. When I was younger, the magical adventures were what drew me in, but as I've gotten older, it's the characters that keep me coming back for more. Their complexity, honesty, and nonconformity are rare for the genre, even now.

    An outspoken, bookish, fluffy-haired kid, I was immediately drawn to Hermione Granger: clever, smart, and, best of all, appreciated for her nerdiness. The other characters accept the fact that she raises her hand in every class, reads textbooks for fun, and can always be found in the library. They sometimes tease her, but she knows that, in the end, they love her for it. In fact, Hermione's knowledge saves their lives, many times over. In the last book, as the characters are on the run from the evil wizard Voldemort, its her learning that protects them. Without her spells, quick thinking, and command of a magical artifact, their story wouldn't have ended so well.

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