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Humans of Oxford: Brody Flinders: Creating meaning through music

Music has been a part of Brody Flinders’ life for as long as he can remember. His mother, grandfather and uncle exposed him to a variety of artists and genres from a young age and he’s taken an interest in almost everything over the years. “I grew up listening to some of the greats, like Bob Dylan and Stevie Ray Vaughn,” Brody said. “I’ve always been somewhat involved in music, whether it be singing or playing drums or playing guitar or ukulele or whatever, and I just brought it with me to Miami.” Out of all his musical talents...

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The Promised Land: freshmen journey to walmart

It wasn’t until Nick Klinkenbergh and Nathan Connor had walked all the way through the crisp fall night to the bus stop that they realized they didn’t know if the bus was even coming. “I figured one of you guys had it under control,” Nathan said, looking up and down the road as if the bus would appear if he looked hard enough. Their destination was the holy grail of college shopping. The place where two weeks of meals could cost as little as four dollars. Where psychedelic graphic tees in the wrong size could entice a fun-loving, money-blowing, young adult to use that new debit card. These freshmen were headed to Walmart. Eventually figuring out that the bus was, in fact, not coming anytime soon, the pair began the cold walk back the way they came. They would get a ride with a friend’s roommate, who happened to have a car on campus. Lucky break. “Bruh…This place is huge,” Nick said, laughing and gawking as he cleared the sliding doors. “That’s Walmart for you,” Nathan said, grabbing a cart then quickly putting in back in favor of one with nicer wheels. He was clearly the more experienced of the pair when it came to grocery shopping. As the pair began to stroll through the aisles, a realization seemed to set in. They didn’t really know what they were...

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Humans of Oxford: Survivor with a scar

She has graduated high school and gone off to college, made new friends and left old ones behind. She is a new person now, but not for any of those reasons. This 17-year-old girl has been through more hardship than most will go through in their lives. She was an innocent high school kid, engaged in classes, a loyal friend, a hard-working student and a Gibson’s Bakery cashier. She was the person she thought she should be, and who she might still be if not for the events of a cold November night in an even colder king-sized bed. She thought she knew people, thought she knew how they worked and how they acted around the ones they care about. She really thought she knew this boy. She was lied to. She was hurt. She was raped. She couldn’t sleep in her own bed for 120 days; she couldn’t even talk about it for 240. And now, nearly 700 days later, it still lingers. It still comes back to her when she least expects it, and she’s not fine. She is no longer an innocent 17-year-old girl. She’s no longer the passionate student and trusting friend she was before. She could have been anything, done anything with her young and free life, but now she couldn’t be that person even if she wanted to. Now all she can be...

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