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In the 4th grade I was assigned my very first “research project.” It was to write an eight to ten page handwritten report on one of the 50 states, excluding California because we lived there and had already done an extensive class unit on its history. I don’t remember which state I chose, but I do remember my dad accompanying me to the library to pick out a book about it. As we scoured...
I’ve always liked Delaware, even the way it was treated like a truck stop by my parents on drives to less gray skies. I’ve always liked that transitory feeling, that a place people make homes and build lives could be treated as so momentary to so many people. I’ve had friends go to college in the state, and they enjoy the same feeling: they put some roots there, but not all of them, a...
I never thought to question whether I even liked the rap I used to listen to until recently. Rap was a part of identity more than a voluntary cultural consumption choice. I identified with the other white boys dressed in dunks and fitteds in my high school in New York City, and music was part of that identity. There was no choice. In our opinion (I did not have opinions of my own back then),...
I am basically Rory Gilmore. I switched to private school my junior year. I read in library corners instead of talking to other children. And, perhaps most importantly, I grew up in the small Connecticut town of Mystic, complete with an antique drawbridge that went up and down to let the sailboats through, a pizza restaurant that inspired a Julia Roberts flick, and a tiny record store filled with classic vinyl from ‘70s Brit-pop...

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