Grief is a complex emotion.
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Grief is a complex emotion.
In Oct. 2012, when I was 12 years old, my aunt gave me a gift: a copy of Red by Taylor Swift. By late Nov., my mom had limited the amount of times I could play it in the car during the week, leaving me no option but to download it on my iPod and replay it incessantly. I’m not exactly sure why I treasured it so much at the time—I definitely couldn't relate to many of the experiences she sang about. Nevertheless, I lived vicariously through her music. I listened and daydreamed about being “happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way.” Now that I’m actually 22—well, almost—listening to Red (Taylor’s Version) feels like a gift all over again. It allows me to relive the emotions I once experienced nine years ago—backed by an arsenal of new memories and life experiences.
For three nights on the first weekend of November, PDGC (Penn Dance and Glee Club) filled the Iron Gate Theater with spectators for their 20th annual collaboration. The Penn Dance Company, Penn’s premier performing modern dance company, and the Penn Glee Club, the longest continually running glee club in the country, joined forces to present their fall show, “Are You Watching Closely?” The two–hour show alternated between dance numbers, covers of songs with an accompanying live band, and a cappella.
When I think of Ed Sheeran, I think of my thirteen–year–old self scrolling through tumblr. I think of warm drinks and cozy blankets, listening to the soothing guitar strings that defined his debut album + (Plus). I remember listening to “The A Team” and “Drunk,” pretending I could relate to the lyrics despite my limited life experiences. In my head, the image of Sheeran and his music had remained pretty stable since then—even through his new albums and newfound status as one of Gen Z’s big inside jokes.
Singer–songwriter Gracie Abrams released her first EP, minor, during July 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. From her bedroom, she was able to reach listeners through her melancholic songwriting and soft vocals. The EP was accepted by Abrams’ fans with open arms. It was a product of its time, an intimate and nostalgic project that allowed teenagers in quarantine to long for a better time. As a whole, the project is special because of how utterly personal and relatable it is. Now, as the air turns chilly and the leaves signify the arrival of fall, Abrams’ music becomes a perfect companion for the season.
Last year, the Spain–based Argentinian singer and rapper Nathy Peluso blew up on Twitter after an appearance on “A COLORS SHOW,” where she sang “SANA SANA.” To call the performance lively is an understatement; it showcases her eccentric performance style in the best way possible. Soon, users began to share clips of the video to poke fun at her outlandish performance style, referring to her as “hip–hip–hoppa girl” based on the song’s chorus. The video demonstrates the aspects that set Peluso apart in the way she uses performance to convey her artistic persona.
Meals were never a big deal at my house. While many families consider mealtimes a way to bond, during my childhood, my parents and I mostly rummaged through the kitchen to see what we could find and ate separately. It wasn’t that we didn’t enjoy food at all, or that we didn’t spend enough time together as a family. Making home cooked meals together was just never a priority.
Through star–crossed, Kacey Musgraves narrates the cautionary tale of life after a beautiful marriage and a devastating divorce. Despite the hype she created surrounding her recent release—with promotional efforts such as interviews and a short film—she tells the story gently and thoughtfully, almost like a secret told to a close friend, in hushed tones and wistful sighs.
The past week was a major moment for music this year as it saw the debut of Drake’s album Certified Lover Boy (CLB) on Sept. 3, featuring 21 new tracks. The record succeeds his 2018 hit Scorpion, which discussed topics expected from the rapper—fame, women, a balance between insecurity and confidence, and long–standing feuds—with a layer of exploring unanticipated fatherhood. CLB delivers classic “Champagne Papi”—yet despite its successful moments, there isn’t much thematic diversity when compared to his past work.
On Aug. 23, Billboard reported that Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever led their Top 200 chart, which tracks the most popular albums in the country per week based on “multimetric consumption.” Doja Cat’s Planet Her and Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album SOUR followed Eilish on the Aug. 28–dated chart. This ranking garnered attention, as it was the first time solo female artists dominated in over a decade.
On July 23, 2021 the Foundry—the Fillmore’s “club within a club”—traveled back to the early 2010s. The intimate venue was mostly filled with a crowd of young women, some of them wearing shirts indicating which group of fandoms they belonged to: One Direction or the Jonas Brothers. As a self–proclaimed “Directioner,” I found the experience amazing, joining others living out their fandom dreams at the “Best Night Ever: One Direction vs Jonas Brothers Dance Party” event.
Name: Andrew Lam
Sciaska Ulysse (C '21) began to visit Penn in ninth grade, when her brother was receiving treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Sciaska recalls taking breaks during hospital visits, walking around, and finding herself fascinated by Penn’s campus.
Name: Vraj Shroff
Name: Sarah Simon
Name: Sabrina Ochoa
Name: Mitchell Cornell
Noah Silver’s (C '21) Penn career promised to be unique the moment it started. Accepted when he was 16 years old to Penn’s Class of 2015, he decided to take a break from school before starting his first year of college. Many students choose to take gap years—some decide to explore the world, others spend time learning more about themselves before committing to a specific major. Noah, however, used his gap year to focus on his growing acting career.
Like many Penn students, Cassandra Ingersoll’s (C ‘22) schedule is consumed by extracurricular activities. In addition to working towards her major in health and societies and fulfilling her pre–med track requirements, Cassy splits her time among the Johnson Scholars Program, Alpha Phi, and the Strictly Funk dance team.
It seems like Penn has a club for everything. Performing arts groups, business fraternities, and debate simply scratch the surface of everything there is to offer. Despite over 650 clubs and organizations being available to students, it’s still possible to find that there isn’t a club for a specific interest.