Some recently published well-wrought pieces deserve your attention. Melanie Wang, a senior at Harvard, penned “Learning Space,” for Harvard Magazine‘s recurring column “The Undergraduate.” She begins in promising fashion:
I maintain that the foremost reward for returning to Harvard as a senior is to walk through campus knowing where the trashcans are. Forget theses and job searches and the social petri dish. It’s the small victories that are strongest. Being able to absentmindedly deposit an apple core or a muffin wrapper during the half-jog to morning lecture—this is a peculiar, important kind of wisdom.
Then she follows through with a wry, seasoned essay that is unflaggingly charming. I have flipped it into the UMag flipmag.
Another nicely turned personal essay arrived in Monmouth University Magazine. It’s by Jon Warhol and yes, he’s one of those Warhols—Andy’s great-nephew. Young Jon has a bemused take on his famous relation and what it means to have him in the family tree.
“Are you really related?” Yes. “Have you ever met him?” No. He died in 1987; I was born in 1991.
“Do you have any of his paintings?” No.
“You kinda look like him.” If you say so.
“That’s cool that you are related.” I guess.
My name is Jon Warhol, and the American pop art icon Andy Warhol is my great-uncle. For most of my life I didn’t have an understanding of Andy’s importance, or the origins of the Warhol family. It wasn’t until recently when I sat down with my father John and my uncle Mark that I felt an appreciation for the family name and history. To better understand Andy, and Warhols in general, you must first know the name’s origin and where our people come from.
“Warhols are unnatural. We’re not a natural thing,” my father John says.
My uncle Mark explains, “Warhol is a catch-all phrase meaning an argumentative quarrelsome person.”
If you’ve been following the Kickstarter funding and development of Neil Young’s Pono digital music player—ah c’mon, I can’t be the only one here who’s in mourning over Apple discontinuing the iPod classic—you will want to read Kate Silver’s “Righteous Fidelity” in the summer issue of WPI Journal from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. [The link takes you to the epub edition of the magazine. One of the drawbacks of alumni magazines posted online this way is I can't place the stories in the flipmag.]
Speaking of that Flipboard publication, there are a few more new pieces:
— “Streams and Echoes,” Tim Page’s nice profile of composer Chou Wen-chung in the fall issue of Columbia Magazine.
— “Inside the Monkey Cage,” pertaining to political scientist John Sides, in GW Magazine from George Washington University.
— Finally, from the University of Texas’ Alcalde, there’s “Through the Unthinkable.”
And with that, ladies and gentleman, it’s past 5 pm on a Friday evening and there’s a gimlet out there with my name on it. I’ll be back soon with a post about the merits of deliberate mistakes and the value of antagonism. I know something about the latter.