Digital Media Gallery

Below are submissions from Looking Back to Look Forward, 2018.

From Where I Stand - Rebecca Francesconi

Rebecca Francesconi, From Where I Stand, Sophomore, Psychology

Empathetic Magic


You reach out and touch

with a hand, with a heart, with permission,

and feel the shape of memories

in skin, in words, in scars.

They have curves like childhood

and edges like growing up,

alternating like the prosody

of a whispered reproach.

You feel the pattern where she cannot,

healer, smith, mage, warrior.

We wanted to be normal so badly.

And extraordinary. Strong.


Do not say this world

contains no magic.

When the nebulous night sky falls under your feet and when the luminous stars are at your fingertips, will you ask yourself – is this a dream? Forget where you are for a second. When the frosted air blurs the waterline between buildings and their mirror images, will you still hold to your belief that what you see is always true?
To seek answers, some people sort through past and stay in the past truth forever. Some people forget the past, hoping to find answers in the future. However, if only this moment of looking far into the distance and doubting feels real, be here now. Even though the present fills with doubts, remember how you come to this moment and let it be a winter dream with unlimited possibilities. Awake? Where are you right now?
Xu WeiSymmetrical Winter Dream, Freshman, Undeclared
Photos taken at Chestnut Hill Reservation, November 2018.

IMG_3185 - Reginald Anadio

Reginald AnadioWhat Will Be Forgotten?, Sophomore, Economics & Chinese

Distracted - Joshua Artman (1)

Josh Artman, Distracted.gif, Senior, Communication

How Funny

How funny;

Xiao Yu, asleep

in the back of Lao Yu’s

Audi, looping round the TV Tower,


to his father’s

awe; plastered up

in red hanzi: Loyal to Him;

Lao Yu,

looping yet again:

My god, I didn’t know

today was fifty years ago

Kevin Deng, Junior, Computer Science

IMG_3838 - Reginald Anadio

Reginald AnadioAm I the One to Tip the Boat?, Sophomore, Economics & Chinese

looking back to look forward - Nghi Ho

“Combining one of my favorite paintings I had stumbled across while traveling and studying abroad, this work is a collage piece that combines my photography with the piece. This is expressive of an identity struggle and an opening of eyes to deal with issues of a marginalization of various individuals. The unsettling eyes of youth layered over the tired painting urges you to look in order to understand the history and the present.”

AnonymousUntitled, Senior, English

Blind Faith - Rebecca Francesconi

-Rebecca Francesconi, Blind Faith, Sophomore, Psychology

IMG_0080 - Carolina Gazal.jpg

“In the tradition of Carrie Mae Weem’s critical exploration of history, I examined the religious architecture of Turkey that once belonged to the Armenian population. After the massacres and genocide of the twentieth century, most Armenian churches were claimed by the Ottoman Empire, then claimed as Turkish property while the Armenian population couldn’t claim these important sites in fear of persecution. The building in the forefront is the original “Soorp Asdvadzadzin” Church, and the building in the background is the current state of the building. In Weem’s style of looking back to look forward, I wanted to look back at the grand state of the church before the Ottoman pillaging and compare it to the abandoned pile of rocks that it is today. Turkey and the United States still deny the genocide, so I placed Adolf Hitler’s quote on both images to emphasize that in order to move forward, we must remember and acknowledge the history of Armenians in Turkey.”

Carolina GazalErased History, Senior, English & Communication

Balloons - Sophia Cocozza.png

Sophia CocozzaBalloons, Senior, English & Music

No - Rebecca Francesconi

-Rebecca Francesconi, No, Sophomore, Psychology

When I first read “looking back to look forward”, I had a difficult time understanding what it meant. In some way, it is a bit nuanced although this only made me struggle even more to interpret what this could mean. As I came to my own understanding, this really made me think about my upbringing and how my parents raised me to always think outside of the box. Which as I realized, brought my to think about my childhood in regards to “looking back.”

When I was younger, I remember my parents having the strictest rules about very specific things. I could never have sleepovers until I was a Senior in high school, and that was only allowed for special events. I wasn’t allowed to be out past 11:30pm even when I no longer had a curfew mandated by the state. No phones were allowed at the dinner table and I had to shake every person’s hand I met. As a 12-18 year old, most can imagine how annoying that was. Having to correct and abide by each “formality,” I felt like I was living inside a world that I didn’t really believe in. To me, this is “looking back” in which I am now using it to “look forward.” Although my parents were incredibly strict about certain things, they were also extremely relaxed about other things; a fine and delicate balance, if you will. They provided me with answers to my questions and love and care whenever it might have been even remotely necessary. Looking to my future, I realize how important this teaching was. Although I might not have understood their reasoning for it early on, it provided me with such sound guidance about moving forward with others and in the future, with my own family. To me, that is what “looking back to look forward” means.

Erica Hefnawy, Untitled, Senior, Economics & Communication

Broken - Rebecca Francesconi

-Rebecca Francesconi, Broken, Sophomore, Psychology

submission  - Veronica Gordo.png

Veronica GordoStill, Junior, English & Communication

Shoes and Starstuff - Kalie Paranzino

“A close friend, a second semester senior, looks back on his theater journey. Sentimental and full of stories, he remembers the glow of stage lights and the brand new kicks he sported on the night of his first show. Four years later, in the same shoes, he pauses — looking ahead to one more opening night.”

Kalie Paranzino, Shoes and Starstuff, Senior, Applied Psychology and Human Development & Theology

Daisies out of Reach - Rebecca Francesconi

Rebecca Francesconi, Daisies Out of Reach, Sophomore, Psychology

IMG_1145 - Emily Pollock

“Inspired by ‘Arms and the Boy’ by Wilfred Owen, this piece is a visualization of the brutality of war juxtaposed with the fleeting delicacy of human life. One of the greatest of the poets of World War I, Owens’ work captures this concept the best, and I merely seek to depict it. As we approach the centennial of the armistice of this war, it is important to look back to the unprecedented horror experienced by those who were called upon to fight in this war and move forward with the knowledge that we must prevent such a war from happening again.”

Emily Pollock, After ‘Arms and the Boy’, Freshman, Undeclared

March on Carney - Rebecca Francesconi

-Rebecca Francesconi, March on Carney, Sophomore, Psychology

“I created this piece during my sophomore year shortly after a very traumatic and emotional period in my life. The left side of the painting, botched with dark, muddy colors and the chaotic mark-making of my palette knife, is meant to be symbolic of the internal turmoil I was feeling. Meanwhile, the right side is lighter, happier, and cleaner, meant to represent hope for better days. Now, this piece allows me to reflect on all I have been through since then and encourages me to keep moving forward knowing this too shall pass.”

Katherine OksenSelf Portrait, Senior, International Studies & Studio Art

Barbed - Rebecca Francesconi

Rebecca Francesconi, Barbed, Sophomore, Psychology

History is really grounded in stories, not facts.

Yes, you need the facts for a contextual
foundation, but ultimately when people recall “history” they remember what happened,
who was involved, why certain events folded out in a particular way.
History tells stories—stories that are told again and again. Not unlike your favorite
childhood book, these are narratives that need to be revisited.
The kind of history that is latent with struggle, violence, social injustice—the history that
is painful—is rendered more difficult to remember. There is an eminent desire to filter
through the bad and pull out the good. But history cannot be rewritten. To be entirely
ignorant of a mournful past is just the same as pretending it didn’t happen. To me, the
outcome of this is far more threatening than the potential repetition of tragic past events.
Storytelling traditions are rooted in so many cultures. They pass down the unique
richness of ideologies and kinship. These stories shape who we are today. They impact
what and how we think. We learn and discern, we critique and applaud. We take these
stories and let them teach us, guide us, as we make our way forward. Just as our ancestors have done, we will continue to share our personal histories for generations to come.

Anonymous, “Story Telling History”, Senior, Philosophy Major

Zeus - Rebecca Francesconi.jpg

Rebecca Francesconi, Zeus, Sophomore, Psychology

Looking Back to Look Forward: A Series of Haikus


The fight is over—

At least, that’s what we thought

But it’s just begun.

They were waging war

In the ghettos and courtrooms

Us? We use Twitter.

We stand up—hands up—

We shouted “Black Lives Matter”

But they kept killing.

Man in blue is scared

Of the brother of the night

The motive? Blackness.

Fair-skinned white woman

Oh brother, don’t stare too long

She’s unfair to you.

Black woman, don’t cry

‘Cause they locked up your man and

Your son resents you.

Black sister walk away

When he wanders ‘bout white girls

They are his way out (or so he thinks).

Listen, black mother

Hold your daughters like your sons

‘Cause they shoot them too.

Nineteen sixty-eight

We fight some of the same fights

Two thousand eighteen.

Anonymous, “Looking Back to Look Forward: A Series of Haikus”, Senior, Marketing. Author’s Note: “It is simultaneously interesting and depressing how much our current social justice movements have in common with those of the past.”

Abandoned - Rebecca Francesconi

Rebecca FrancesconiAbandoned, Sophomore, Psychology

an ode to the first crocus sighting on an unusually warm day in february

after Ross Gay


in first grade

i had these

awful shoes

gray and blue

slip on skechers sneakers

with clear plastic straps

around the heels

and the stitching

peeling out the sides

because i wore them


this part is funny

every night my mom

had to put them

in the goddamn freezer

because they smelt so bad

and every morning

i’d wrap my feet in

thick pink knitted socks

with hearts or days of the week

and jam my toes

into frozen shoes.


thank god

not many first graders

know a thing

about fashion.


the school bus was

a little yellow rollercoaster

because my house

was perched on a hill and

my aunt ran the

school district’s transportation

system so she made the

driver drop me off

right at my front step

even though he would

have preferred to

leave me on the corner

and not haul that bus

up a crowded

one-way street.


i made sure to

always wear my seat belt

so the bus driver

would know i was

just a good kid

who liked to wear

skechers sneakers.


there are several dozen

red brick steps leading up

to the house i grew up in.

i counted how many

every day after school but

all i can tell you is

there were probably more

than all the letters of

the alphabet and colors of

the rainbow.

i can almost count

to one hundred.


i crashed into those

brick steps like

waves on the

jersey shore line

gently some of the time

but always with a purpose.


the best day of school

is the single warm day in february

that never has any explanation

and always throws us and

the weatherman all

off guard.

the day where everyone

kind of has to agree

climate change is probably real.


most kids my age

(remember i’m in the first grade)

would argue that the

best day of school

is the last day of school.

but hey,

my parents always said

i was very


for a first grader.

other kids went

outside to play but

i went outside

to lay in my hammock

and read books so big

they weren’t even called

chapter books

they were novels.

novels that had me

pronouncing words wrong

for years because no one

could correct the voice

on my head.

did you know “chous”

isn’t how you pronounce


i would spell it


if you asked me,

but no one asks me.

i’m in

first grade.


the best day of school

is actually the day

when the ice melts just

enough that i’m no longer

afraid of slipping up

several dozen brick steps.

there is snow on the mulch beds

and in the green flower pots

and stuck to the needles of the

evergreen tree like the

icing on cinnamon buns.

pine cones and muddy footprints

and dog piss don’t ruin this

landscape, it would just be

incredibly rude not to mention them.


really what i’m getting at

the whole point of this poem really

is that even though the

ground is freezer burnt

like the months aged

dairy-free “ice cream”

my mom tried to trick us into

believing was an acceptable dessert,

even though the snow is

to the ground like

a too-short blanket

is to your tiny toes,

despite all of this

something forces me to

stop in my tracks

skecher sneakers planted

firmly on brick steps

like the evergreen rooted in

the earth or most of

my teeth in my mouth

because today it was warm

enough that my mom

didn’t turn me into a giant

marshmallow before i left

for school this morning


i was only a mini marshmallow

in a light jacket and gloves

(my scarf and hat

that i knitted myself with

small fingers and painted

nails got a day off to rest

on the coat hook in the foyer.

they work just as hard as

me and mom do, you know)

you can find

mini marshmallows


in swiss-miss cocoa packets


i got distracted again but

truly this is


today it was warm enough

that this perfect single

purple crocus flower

managed to free its tiny body

from the cold earth.

i crouch down closer to

the ground closer to

my skechers and watch

this little miracle

beautiful and layered

with lavender and amethyst and

i can’t name any other shades of

purple because i’m only

in the first grade.

this lovely living thing

pushed past the dirt and the

mulch beds and the

snow like icing and the

evergreen needles and the

dog piss and here she is,

waiting for me to get

off the bus

after a long day

of working hard

at school,

learning how to

count all these

brick steps.


for a moment i weep for

her because tonight

it will get cold again and

we will all forget about

the chaos of climate change

and remember that

just a few days ago

the groundhog said

“six more weeks of winter”

even though he didn’t

actually say anything at all,

groundhogs can’t even talk.

for a moment i weep for

her because her upturned


is so beautiful

even though i’m only

in first grade

and i don’t know a thing

about fashion.

so beautiful and i do know

that tomorrow morning

when i am again

a giant marshmallow

and i run down

my brick steps

to the yellow rollercoaster

in my frozen shoes

she won’t have survived

the night

out there in the mulch bed


the rest of the crocuses

are still sleeping

below the earth,

they didn’t even get

to say goodbye to her.


a moment later i ask

if she’d like to come inside

and she’s like

the groundhog,

can’t talk but

i know what was said

“yes i’d like that very much.”

so my small fingers

and painted nails

pinched her by the waist

and scooped her up.

i carried her up

the rest of the brick steps

and through the foyer,

i placed her in the arms of

my mother and my mother

tucked her in my hair.


now i’m only in first grade and

i don’t know much about fashion

but she looked real nice there and

i don’t know much about dying but

that night she slept in between my

flannel sheets on my softest pillow

and i do know

that was much nicer than

sleeping out

in the mulch bed

or with my skechers

who sleep

in the freezer.


nobody likes

to be cold,

i don’t think


should have to

feel like that.

Katherine Oksen, Senior, International Studies & Studio Art

Framing - Rebecca Francesconi

Rebecca Francesconi, Framing, Sophomore, Psychology

Michael Kratochvil, Just Believe It

“We look at the world today and we see change. But we must not be complacent. Hard work, empathy and persistence are still needed to make America into the best nation it could possibly be. And sometimes that means taking a stand for what is right, even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Michael Kratochvil, Just Believe It, Senior, Political Science

Looking Forward 1 - Rebecca Francesconi

Looking Forward 2 - Rebecca Francesconi

Looking Forward 3 - Rebecca Francesconi

Looking Forward 4 - Rebecca Francesconi

Rebecca Francesconi, Looking Forward: Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sophomore, Psychology

BC the Change - Rebecca Francesconi

Rebecca Francesconi, BC the Change, Sophomore, Psychology