It’s been over a year since I got back from my Bridge Year in Ghana, and I still don’t know how to answer that question. How do I condense an entire year’s worth of experiences into one or two sentences? My frustration is with the question itself—it doesn’t lend itself to complex or thoughtful answers.
“Although the river and its people share the past, on this afternoon, the burden seems unevenly placed. The man whose socks are drying on the concrete can rest in peace knowing that his story has ended.”
I like full lips. Not so that the mouth looks large, just lips that look a little heavier than mine, so that they fall almost into a pout, curling, hanging. I like lips that say, “I’m here, I’m here to do something,” and spread to reveal a smile of wide, white teeth.
I learned my lesson long ago: there is no place for “Zahava” in Starbucks. For many years, in the overpriced land of hissing espresso machines and foamed upper lips and green-clad baristas, Zahava didn’t exist. Instead, for the ten minutes I spent each day ordering coffee, I was Zoe, or Sarah, or Lauren. It was easier that way. But I resolved recently to tell the truth about my name.
I was named in a fit of impatience. My brother Toby was six years old and frustrated that my parents referred to little unborn me only as “the baby.” Inspired by the book he was reading, one day he asked, “Can we just call her Sophie?” And so they did.
The classroom always has a smell. It’s because there are too many bodies for the space, grown bodies, breathing and milling, restless. Too many adult men looking like tea party guests behind children’s desks, legs spilling out from underneath. The … Read More