First Person

Natural Cycles

The friendship between two scientists goes back decades, winding through life-changing episodes, as their teacher-student relationship evolved toward a career-long collaboration, and, indeed, a shared vocation.

A Life in Exile

Elias Wondimu spent his first 20 years growing up in Ethiopia, a country riven by civil war. A casualty of that strife has been the nation’s history itself, which leaders often rewrote or erased. Wondimu is determined to secure his nation’s history.

Sense Ability

When senior Griffin Guez hears a chorus of singers, he sees a rainbow of colors. Guez has synesthesia, in which stimuli associated with one sense trigger a response in another: He sees sounds; music sparks visual images; numbers have colors. Once thought to be a disorder, synesthesia has been increasingly researched in the past two decades and is now considered a neurological characteristic. This is Griffin Guez’s story, as told to Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.


Jumping Time

What are we supposed to do in life and how do we figure out how to do it? Los Angeles writer Lynell George ’84 has been talking with L.A. artists about the fault line between seeing the path of one’s life and staying on it. She tells us what she’s seen and learned.

In and Out of Toon

Van Partible has a success story that’s almost too successful to be true: college student creates animation for senior thesis, graduates, takes a job to get by doing day care, then becomes golden when his professor shows the idea to a friend at Hanna-Barbera. Partible’s idea became the Cartoon Network’s hit “Johnny Bravo.” Imagine our surprise when, after we asked if he’d write about the experience, Partible said he wanted to write about failure.—The Editor.

Crossing Over

Matthew Campanella ’13 is an investigative reporter on “The Real Death Valley,” an immigration documentary hosted by reporter John Carlos Frey for The Weather Channel. The film focuses on Central Americans who make their way on a dangerous path through Brooks County, Texas, a throughway to U.S. cities to the north. While filming, Campanella and Frey also attempted the 40-mile sojourn. We asked Campanella to describe what he experienced while walking through Texas’ death valley.

Journey South

For three decades, Professor Rubén Martínez, Fletcher Jones Chair of Literature and Writing in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, has described the intermingling of family, politics, culture and geography from Los Angeles to Zacatecas, El Salvador, and Guatemala City. His roots reach all of these places. In books, articles, interviews and a documentary, Martínez has drawn together the places of his and his ancestors’ lives, erasing borders that separate peoples and nations. When we invited Martínez to write an essay about political violence in Mexico, he gave us a story of his family.—The Editor