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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 9.5.18

On moms, phones, and irregular communication.


I love to call my mom. Often. For many reasons. Maybe I'm just a mama's boy. Maybe I rely on parental guidance a little too heavily. I'm a (relatively) long ways away from my home in Texas, and I've gotta keep in touch in the ways I can. FaceTime is all I've got. No train rides home to Long Island for me. Sometimes, it's hard for me to convey my feelings without breaking into Sandy Cheeks' hit song "I Wanna Go Home."

Moms are really helpful when you think about it. They're master resumé proofreaders and will talk you back from the edge following a catastrophic Statistics midterm. They'll give you interview advice, and listen to your academic woes and petty interpersonal gripes. Moms have that magical ability to help you get your life in order, even from 1,743 miles away.

In college, your relationship with your mother changes. It was always just me and my mom growing up. Back in home, we were more like roommates than anything. Coming to Penn has complicated this dynamic. Distance leads to gaps in regular communication. You have to choose which events and inner thoughts are worth expressing through telephone. Gone are the days when you once could share the minutia of your day–to–day over lasagna. Now you have to be careful. What anecdotes and weekly tidbits are worth sharing? What pieces of information can best convey where you're at as a person, and how you've changed since you last saw them face to face? What will make her worry? What will put her at ease?

Truth is, I have no idea what the future will hold for my relationship with my mom. I don't know how far flung I'll be, or which coast I'll end up on. But I know certain things will never change—our French bulldog photo back—and—forth, our convos about what's happened in San Antonio in my absence. I'll still call regularly, especially when shit hits the fan.

And mom, if you're reading this, I've got some laundry advice to ask you later this week. I promise I'll respond to your emails about Wall Street Journal articles this semester.


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