Farewell, John Lewis.

Dear John Lewis,

Leaving my first english class of my college experience, we must also end the experience with the findings and the message of your book. On December 4, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. After more and more marches were put into action, more and more people started bringing their toothbrushes with them just in case they had ended up in jail. March 1965, a march was put together across a bridge, and was led by you, of course. In this reading, you get beaten. It was difficult to try to understand how that would even feel, how it would affect your life, your pride, your experience. Dr. King goes to visit you in the hospital. It soon became very known as Bloody Sunday. Not even long after that, 3 ministers were attacked by  Klansmen. President Johnson had decided to stand up and give a speech involving him admitting that the country had a problem. Weeks after that, a march began to the capitol. The Voting Rights Act was then signed in 1965 into law. 

Mr. Lewis, I am terribly sorry for what you had to go through in order to get a step closer to your dream. Reading about your experiences have shown me that the world is a much cruler place than anyone could have imagined. I’m grateful that you had a goal to end racism, and that you took the steps to achieve something that would impact history. 

As the new generation starts molding into the world, we can make sure you actions haven’t gone to waste by educating others about your book, and about the problems in the world. We need to open up the minds of closed minded people. We need to make sure that your work wasn’t for nothing. 


GSU Student Mo Ta


Stress in College

I am a college student who currently attends Georgia State University. I am one of the students who have experienced the heavier side of the transition to college from high school. Growing up having to deal with mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, it was difficult to gain control of things as I tried to immerse myself into a new lifestyle. It certainly was a wake up call. Many college students drop out their first year, due to the high-stress levels of homesickness, expenses, not knowing what they plan to do in life, or being unprepared for the major workload and poor time management. It’s a major obstacle not only for universities, but for society’s future generations as well.

The Author of "Stress in College."

    Writer of “Stress in College.”

The trolley bell dinged multiple times in between 25 Park Place and Woodruff Park. The air smells fresh, almost crisp. It was a chilly day for Atlanta, but there were still students sitting at the outside tables, with laptops out and coffee cups warm. The sun was barely shining, but still bright enough to see the emotionally drained looks of the local students faces. There was a constant noise of typing essays and assignments on the Macbooks around. The air being clean and tight, there were tasks to get done.

Front view of 25 Park Place.

                  The front view of 25 Park Place.

Students were moving in and out of the busy building at all times of the day. Third and fourth year students passed by in business-casual attire. A man in black slacks and a white cotton woven button-up that was neatly tucked into his pants with a belt that pulled his garments together walked into the building. On the other side of the glass walls that the building made, he took out his smartphone. Very invested into his call, he took a seat in the empty lobby where the walls ran tall. He ran his left hand through his well slicked back hair, while he opened his brown leather briefcase with his right, and carried his smartphone with his shoulder. A petite girl with short black hair strode out of the elevator, passing the young man in the business attire, and belined towards the revolving doors that played as an exit and entrance for the building. Pausing before reaching the exit, she let out a soft exhale as she set her bag to her feet. While unbuttoning her blouse to reveal a black shirt underneath that read “KUNG FU TEA”, she pulled out a black hat and continued to ram her wrinkle-free soft blue blouse into her carry-on. Running her fingers through her soft waves of hair, she quickly pulled it into a ponytail and made her way across the street to Kung Fu Tea, where she clocked in for her shift. Local students around the Georgia State campus carried their tired facial expressions with them everywhere their feet took them. All the students seemed very fatigued. 

Students were doing assignments on their laptops at the tables that surrounded the busy building. A messy blonde bun of hair sat in one of them. Her hair gathered into her tangled chaotic bun that sat on top of her head, and she had not one, but two cups of coffee sitting right next to each other on the table. Her head sat in her arms that laid on top of her laptop, and beside her bookbag. Suddenly, a phone alarm goes off. Everyone looking in the direction of the blonde, she picks her head up. Her face was tinted red, maybe pink. It could be from the cold weather, or from the aftermath of the fresh tears that had painted her face. Blondie sluggishly turned the phone alarm off, unlocked her laptop, and started typing away. 

Universities struggle to keep up with the rising number of students seeking help and support. Many universities do offer programs that are designed to help students manage their stress. College campuses that focus on creating a “sense of feeling a part of a community” and who have support programs that students can turn to in order to help students manage being able to work through their stress and challenges. The last thing a college wants is to have a high number of unhappy graduates. University staff and faculty should also have resources like counseling as a priority on campus in order to help students with effective care. They need to learn to acknowledge the power of being a community. There should be more awareness of the overall well beings of their graduates, and recognition of the value in engaging with students. 


You’re a Regular In Jail, John.

Dear John Lewis,

To summarize what I read for this March Book Club meeting, it was brought to my attention that it was quite difficult for you to get through his trip to Africa, just to return back home to the multiple problems he left in the states. The SNCC is failing, plummeting to destruction. Police officers have been arrested for murders, but they’ve been released under the word of a racist judge, Harold Cox. The marches started and many people began getting arrested. The second march, people were arrested once again. They started carrying toothbrushes to show that they weren’t afraid to go to jail. The word got around about the marches, and their numbers started to grow. You kept getting arrested over and over again at these protests. Officer Clark was one of the rude and violent officers that were going against the protests, and three days later after running kids to a jailhouse, he collapsed from chest pains. Everyone wished him a speedy recovery. Yet, he still had the nerve to come out just as rude as he went in. 

This chapter made me feel like I got deeper and deeper into the story. It made me angry, that there are really people out here that are like this, who are so close-minded towards situations like these. I wanted to say that I was shocked when those police officers who were convicted of murder were released, but it’s not so surprising. Issues like these still exist today. White privilege is still a major problem in our society. It’s crazy that people have this amount of hate to control their minds.


Freedom is What We Wanted

Dear John Lewis,

I hope that you know that your book is a refreshing new way to get students to understand the importance of these social issues. These subjects are particularly heavy, especially for people who are not used to seeing or hearing the stories of people that go through these tragedies. You were in jail during Freedom Day. People were beat for trying to provide food and water to people who were protesting. I can’t imagine having to witness it, or even go through it myself. The following assassination of President Kennedy was a major inconvience for civil rights activists. The COFO meetings gave a little hope, and created a movement culture! Reading through these pages only gets more intense. The disappearance of the three kids, was the most heartbreaking event that has happened so far. They were found, what was left of them was found, and my stomach dropped. 

I’m wondering if you knew that your book was going to be one of the textbooks used for freshmen college students in 2019. Do you know that you’re spreading awareness? I think it’s great. I know that we don’t have the same idea about racism ending, but I do enjoy that you’re doing whatever you can in order for it to be rid of one day. It’s inspiring. Today, we’re still doing protests, and trying to spread positive awareness for people who want to be educated or need to be educated on these issues. I hope one day, your goal comes true. Reading this book further on, it gives me a little more hope that there are people out there that have the same drive as you. Reading your book gives me more drive to try and help you reach your goal. I hope it will be brought to light.


Mo Ta


Racism Today, Can We End it Tomorrow?

Dear John Lewis,

In this animated book, it sets the tone with the bombing of the church. It then goes onto several cases of unfair treatment and injustice of people’s stories. The book calls out racism, and brings Martin Luther King Jr. to recite his sympathy for the “unoffending, innocent, and beautiful” lives that were lost. A flashback to January 20, 2009 is shown with our president, Mr. Barack Obama, and John Lewis. Following into the next chapter, I think it will show more of the tragic stories that have happened over the past years of our generations. 

Starting out into the book, I felt the emotions of the families and friends that had lost their loved ones. Going along with the pictures, makes it seem more real. This happened. I’m wondering why you, John, had decided to start it off with no sugar coating. I’m asking myself, what you think the significance of getting straight to the point of these stories as soon as we read the first page, meant to you. Did you want students to realize that this is life? Something that doesn’t stop for you, even when tragic and surreal events like this happen to us?

Today, racism exists. It’s sickening to the human stomach, even thinking about it. John Lewis, you think that one day, we can have a world without racism. We need people in the world to think like you do. We need the hope. However, I don’t think we can ever rid the world 100% of it. It seems very narcissistic to say. We go to college and work meeting new people with new beliefs. We learn from each other, we understand a little more of each other. We can start by individuals, to work towards seeing each other as human beings, not by pigmentation.

Yours Truly,

Mo Ta

Cultural awareness, respect, empathy, and collaboration!




Volume Without the Sound

Waking up on Saturdays where the best days to open my eyes. Did I finish my reading log? Of course I did. That was my one way ticket into the 5th  graders All-Star Ice Cream party. My mind quickly diverts to the mouth watering smell of the breakfast that was being made just down the hallway, right past the living room, in the kitchen. I already knew what to expect. Smelling garlic bread being made in the oven, I’d start making my way down my metal bunk-bed. Walking to open my bedroom door and hearing the sizzling of eggs and sausages getting slightly crispy on the edges was one of my favorite sounds. I’d walk past my sister’s bedroom, into the long hallway, past the bathroom we shared, and start slowing down once I’d peek at the sunlight shining into the living room. Right past living room was the kitchen. However, the living room was the place to be, on  these fine Saturday mornings. 

The sound of the television roared of MTV: Saturday’s Top 20 Countdown. This was it. This is how I fell in love at 11 years old. Music was my first love. The feeling of waking up to my family breakfast, the warm feeling of the sun shining through our window panes, and the  sounds of the music and cheer gave me such bless. Music had my family breakfasts filled with horrible off-key singing and atrocious dancing, yet this was where I always felt the most peaceful. It spoke to me, without having to say any words. The nostalgic feeling of these memories sends chills down my spine.  

The most heartwarming of images.

My Parents


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