The Lost Art Of Ink

The Lost Art Of Ink

When paper says so much more than technology.
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One of the great elements of human nature is our ability to express ourselves. There are oodles of ways people can show their individualistic souls to the rest of the world, whether that be through music, painting, speaking and one of my personal favorites: writing.

For my 20th birthday, my dad gifted me a quill and ink set.

It's one of my absolute favorite things I've ever received because I love writing poetry, and I love finding ways to shake my poems up. Just a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had bunches of stationary at my hand, eagerly waiting for ink. Then I thought, rather than send a text, why not surprise them with a handwritten letter?

And I did just that, and I urge you to do so, as well.

Not only did my messages get the whole works: spilled ink, smudges and too thick/thin of letters, they were given personality with glorious enhancements from human error. Not all mistakes are ugly.

After three days of having sent the letters out, my friend got in touch with me to tell me how much of a day-maker it was to open her campus mailbox and see a letter from me. Making a simple part of her day better was just as rewarding as it was to write the note.

The glory behind manually scribbling a letter is taking that step away from bright pixels and putting true creativity to work. Phones and email all come with boring old default fonts. The art behind handwriting is another story, and it's one that needs to be told.

So where did this lost art run off to? People nowadays are so afraid to spare 10 minutes to pen a note and take it to the post office. But they don't realize that writing is therapeutic itself. Driving or walking the message lets a person get out of the house. Sure, stamps can be pricey. But hey, so can a phone bill.

Manually inking paper isn't meant to be perfect, and that's actually a good thing. We need to prove that we're humans. And as humans, we were given the gift to scribe, and we must thrive on this. I'm not saying technology is evil or completely out of the question, but we shouldn't rely so heavily on the personality of an email when we have the option to express ourselves artistically.

When someone writes you a letter, you take into consideration that this person spent time thinking about you. They physically chose the paper they wrote the note on, the color of the ink and what they said to you. Letters are physical and collectible. Emails and texts are virtual and replaceable.

Writing is truly a work of art, and we must protect it.

And since we're on the topic, I'd like you to try something for me. Think of a person. Any person who has had an impact on your life in some way. Great, you're halfway there! Now, this next step is very important.



Cover Image Credit: Erin Croucher

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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