A microphone on a stand in front of a blurred-out crowd. Photo courtesy of Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash.

Q&A with Emily Hsieh

Drawing of the author's school with poisonous flowers stemming from the roof. Drawing by the author.

The innocent-looking poison

Class of 2023 SCR Elections instructions to-do list for candidates running in fall 2020. Photo taken by the author.

Winning a class election as the new kid

"2 x 2" written on a hand in black ink. Photo taken by the author.

The approval we need

A white chess piece knocking a black chess piece off the game's board. Photo courtesy of GR Stocks on Unsplash.

Sophomore year in a chess game

The author's electronics. Photo taken by the author.

The sorrows of a young high school introvert

Rose Gold iPhone 6S on top of a planner with items written on paper in pen, next to a laptop. Photo courtesy of Jessica Lewis on Unsplash.

A hectic to-do list

Headphones and a pen next to a yellow sticky note with a sad face on it. Photo taken by the author.

Exam answers from a student during COVID-19

Person covering their face with a book. Photo courtesy of Cottonbro on Pexels.

The student loan debt crisis is sinking Americans

A photo of the author's physical planner. Photo courtesy of Haruka Nabeshima.

Five ways to boost your productivity

An example of how a student would track the behavior and academic performance of other students. Photo courtesy of Payton Qin.

Four things we can learn from the Chinese education system

Book displays at Brookline Booksmith. Photo by andtheywerebookmates via Instagram.

Seven things to do to make reading a real habit

An open book with words written in Spanish next to a drink in a clear glass. Photo taken by the author.

A tale of two "hobbies"

Seven white doors lined against a wall. Photo courtesy of qimono on Pixabay.

Thinking about my future

Screenshot of the author's assignment score, reading "YOUR SCORE: 109. 100 + 9 bonus." Photo courtesy of the author.

Bonus problems make a difference

Photo of an empty chair against an outdoor wall, on front of a desk full of textbooks, notebooks and a laptop. Image courtesy of Jaeyoung Geoffrey Kang via Unsplash.

Looking back at the last year

Color-coded excerpt of a daily schedule. Photo taken and submitted by author.

I live in a dystopia

Photo of a lamp and wall art against a light-colored wall, courtesy of author.

Given the circumstances

Photo of stick figures propped up on hand-drawn houses. Image by @congerdesign from Pixabay

The experience of time during the pandemic

Photo of a marquee sign that says "The world is temporarily closed." Image courtesy of Edwin Hooper via Unsplash.

College, stress, and the coronavirus

Photo of a student working on a laptop at home. Image courtesy of Amy Spratt via Unsplash.

Learning to thrive, remotely

An illustration of two figures, with one telling the other that, "You can do anything you want." ILlustration by Xochitl Tai-Dawson.

Finding the one teacher that understands you can change your life

A meme image of Spongebob looking disapprovingly at a piece of paper. The paper is captioned "You need to take breaks." Meme by Justis Porter.

Why I appreciate having a busy schedule

Children in a Classroom. In the back of a classroom, are children about 11 years old with a female teacher talking about the subject - "If Someone in Your Family Has Cancer." Photograph by Michael Anderson, photo courtesy of the National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.

The one-size-fits-all model of public education is failing its members

Grey and white click pen on white printer paper with multiple choice test bubbles on it. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash.

Colleges shouldn’t require standardized testing

A blue lotus flower. Photo courtesy of Cupcake Media on Unsplash.

Lack of focus

Photo of palm trees swaying against a clear blue sky. Image courtesy of Kapil Sharma via Unsplash.

A week in my life in the Dominican Republic

A monarch butterfly on a pink flower, against a blue sky. Photo courtesy of Camerauthor on Unsplash.

Butterfly effect

Photo of the author at seven years old in hockey gear. Photo courtesy of the author.


A photo of part of North America on a globe. Photo courtesy of Sigmund on Unsplash.

Language is the key to a voice

A white and red striped blanket crocheted by the author. Photo taken and provided by the author.

Yarn to masterpiece

Photo of a black pug sitting on a stool. Image courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash.

One day

Photo of author making a half-heart shape with their hand, with the moon in the background. Image courtesy of author, Mabel Chen.

Dear diary

A Sabbath dinner table, including Shabbat candles, a loaf of Challah, a guidebook to celebrating Shabbat, and a glass of wine. Photo taken by the author.

Lonely star

A snowy view from the porch of the author's house in Jamaica Plain. Photo taken by Lauren Johnson.

Money shouldn’t be a taboo subject

A vortex made of books. Photo courtesy of Pixabay on Pexels.

What choice do I want for myself?

Three pairs of shoes — one large grey pair of Vans with brown laces, one white pair of Vans with white laces, and one baby-sized pair of black and white sneakers. Photo courtesy of Lisa Fotios on Pexels.

Same blood, own soul

House with a straw roof and "Love" written in hot pink cursive on the outer wall. Hot pink bicycle in front with flowers in the front and back baskets. Photo courtesy of Bernard Hermant on Unsplash.

Love languages

Black and white photo of a person's hand holding a pen, with homework, and calculator and backpack on a classroom desk. Image courtesy of Oussama Zaidi via Unsplash.


Image of a message written in multicolor, "Our education system can [be] better." Photo courtesy of author, Francesca Attis.

How can school be better for teachers and students?

Woman in a red long sleeve shirt sitting in a grey chair. Photo courtesy of Cottonbro on Pexels.

Procrastination and you

Photo of a hand writing notes in pencil. Photo courtesy of Green Chameleon on Unsplash.

Take college courses in high school

Photo of baseballs on a mound. Image courtesy of Mike Bowman via Unsplash. 

I wanted to play baseball

Statues of people carved into a building in Rome, Italy. Photo courtesy of Carlos Ibáñez on Unsplash.

My classics aspirations

Black Android phone displays a calendar app in a dark room. Photo courtesy of Ales Nesetril on Unsplash.

The nightmare of LinkedIn

A close-up of a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments. Photo courtesy of captainmk via Pixabay.

Just another day

Many vintage clocks. Photo courtesy Jon Tyson via Unsplash.

My life, five days a week

A pencil and a sharpener sitting on a notebook. Photo courtesy of Angelina Litvin via Unsplash.

English Class

P.P.F. short description list in "TiP notebook." Photo by Amir Rivers.

Early December reflections

Pocket Watch lays buried in the sand. Photo courtesy of anncapictures on Pixabay.

My past, present and future

Children sitting in a classroom. Photo courtesy of Megan Soule via Unsplash.

Being Asian in the classroom

Woman touching a rainy window. Photo courtesy of Milada Vigerova on Unsplash.

That kid

Ship on a body of water in front of a mountain. Photo courtesy of Oskars Sylwan on Unsplash.

Gloomy days

Person using their laptop in the dark with a surgical mask on. Photo courtesy of Egin Akyurt on Unsplash.

Missing the quarantine from May

A yellow flower growing through cracks in the desert. Photo courtesy of Klimkin on Pixabay.

Working on ourselves during quarantine

File photo of a teacher speaking with one of her students in a brightly-colored classroom.

The Boston Teachers’ Union should meet with students

A Scrabble board with scattered pieces and pieces arranged to say "Carpe Diem." Photo courtesy of Faby Green from Pixabay.

The case for learning Latin

A needle on a vinyl record. Photo courtesy of Pexels by Pixabay.

Quarantine has us all on edge

Photo of the author with their head on a pillow. Photo courtesy of Stacie Bruillant.

The world is crazy right now

A plate of fried chicken. Photo courtesy of Sally Phan.

Exams seem to never go away

Green and red rope on wood. Photo courtesy of Lauren Johnson.

I actually miss school

Writing Through the Distance logo. Photo courtesy of WriteBoston.

When will change mean change?

Photo of a large academic building. Photo courtesy of Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay.

Back in session

Different road signs with altered text to encourage reading. Photo courtesy of Barbershop Books.

Reading opened up my world

Writing Through the Distance logo. Photo courtesy of WriteBoston.

Learning to express myself

A loading browser bar with the caption "EQUALITY loading..." Photo courtesy of The Update.

Taking a backseat on Zoom

Writing Through the Distance logo. Photo courtesy of WriteBoston.

How reading became my biggest strength