Taralei Griffin

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Category: Opinion (page 1 of 5)

Who is the Unifier?

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If you know me at all, it’s pretty obvious that I support Bernie Sanders. Many people support me in this – many others think I’m crazy, and say I should support Hillary Clinton. When I ask why, the most prevalent answer is that she would be our first female president.

When I answer that I don’t believe that is a good enough reason to choose our future leader, people tear me apart – and while there have been a few men who called me crazy, the women who support Hillary have said much worse.
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Superficial Independence

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We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!

The 1996 film, Independence Day, is one of my favorite movies ever. Many people think I’m crazy when I tell them this, so I have dubbed it my “guilty pleasure” movie. I watch it at least once a year, on July 4th – and I usually end up watching it a few more times throughout the year, as well. Obviously, I was excited to hear about Independence Day: Resurgence, set 20 years after the original. I took myself to see it last weekend, and believe the 1996 version was better. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – in fact, I think it is a great comparison for the general atmosphere in the USA.
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Unreasonably Fed Fears

As a young girl, I would skip and walk comfortably through public places, smiling at everyone I passed and allowing myself to get distracted by what was happening around me.

As a woman in my mid-twenties, I walk purposefully and stare straight at ahead, headphones on so that I have no reason to react to strange men who believe I need to know what they want to do to me.

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As a teenager, I was comfortable asking the nearest, non-busy person for directions.

As a woman traveling on her own, I seek out slightly older, motherly-looking women if I am lost.

One of the only things I have not learned to fear as a grown woman is using a public restroom.
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Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard

Sunday, April 10th, 2016:
It’s the final day of the Democracy Spring march that began in Philadelphia 9 days ago. We’re going to be arriving in D.C. later that afternoon. At our morning rendezvous, one of my fellow marchers hands me his car keys.

“I want to march today, can you drive support?”

“I’d love to! Which car?”

“The Denali over there.” I glance to where he’s pointing, then do a double take and look at him like he’s crazy.

“That big truck?! I’ve never driven anything larger than a small SUV.”

“You’ll be fine. I trust you.” He pats me on the back and walks off, leaving me nervously holding the key to someone else’s very nice truck.

Okay, Tara. You can do this. You’ll be able to take it nice and slow since you’re driving along with the marchers.

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I hoist myself up into the truck, see an auxiliary cable, and instantly pull out my iPod. I put it on a dance playlist, adjust the seat and mirrors, buckle up, roll down the windows, and put the truck in drive. I very slowly pull out of the parking lot, panicking slightly when I bump a curve, but then I’m on the road. Everything is intact, and this gigantic truck is actually easy for me to maneuver. Who knew?

Prince’s 1999 starts playing, and I turn it up as I drive past the marchers, waving and cheering them on.
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Nerd Of All Trades

It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time for a throwback! On this final Thursday of being a 24 year old, I want to appreciate my nerdiness, and how it started.

My parents often had Star Trek reruns on the television, and nights watching the original Star Wars movies were an extremely regular occurrence in our house. My sister and I were raised on the classic animated Disney VHS tapes. When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published in the USA, my mom read the book to us (with different voices for all the characters) and thus started my lifelong obsession with J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world.

My personal nerdiness began to truly shine through when my sister and I decided we no longer wanted to be the same thing for Halloween anymore. For years, my mom had made us adorable matching Halloween costumes, but Marissa and I wanted to start differentiating ourselves with more than just the fact that we were sisters who looked nothing alike.

1993

Halloween 1993

Note the pumpkin with Simba painted on.

Note the pumpkin painted with Simba’s face.


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