Hi there, classmates! My name is Royce Chen. I’m a sophomore and intended English major from San Francisco, California. (Well, that’s not actually where I’m from. But it’s what I tell people because it’s easier than orally explaining where Fremont is.)

A few of my “pet loves,” which are the opposite of pet peeves:

  • When people prepare healthy food and provide it at events, so I don’t feel like a party-pooper for either not eating it or requesting something else
  • When I feel connected to JesusPicture of me from 2017.
  • When a finished paper comes out of the printer
  • When the number of stairs leading up to an intended destination is even
  • When objects on my desk are placed at right angles

I’ll be very honest: I don’t really consider myself that much of an avant-garde person–I’ve never been especially original, and I have nothing against the mainstream. However, for the sake of this class, I’ll try to channel my inner avant-gardiste. Thanks for reading!

6 Comments on “Royce”

  1. You don’t have to be an avant-garde person to enjoy, study, and even revel in the avant-garde. Maybe one of the reasons I’m attracted to it is because I am not at all avant-garde, but can live vicariously through the daring of avant-garde writers and artists. I would argue that it’s a pretty avant-garde move to enroll in a class on the avant-garde and step out of your comfort zone of a world with even-numbered steps and neatly ordered desks! I’m glad you’re in the class.

  2. Royce, I won’t lie to you, when I read the phrase “pet loves” I fully expected a list of pets whom you love. For example, my list would say:
    1. My fish named Bear, which is subversive because he’s a fish
    2. The dying lime tree in Commons, which I named Finley
    3. My cat named Itty Bitty (Pretty Kitty) who is, in fact, hugely fat (according her the alter ego Fatty Catty)
    Do you have any pets?

    All animal appreciation aside, I think the idea of “pet loves” is terrific; what a cool way to think about life! I didn’t know you’re from California! I’m from Colorado; it’s always nice to meet someone who is from (almost) the same time zone (if only time weren’t merely a construct that governs our corporeal forms.) We should road trip sometime!

    Even if you don’t feel very original, don’t be afraid to let your garde down and really roll the dice, your voice and presence is important!

    • Abbey, I appreciate this so much; that was an incredibly encouraging comment.

      1. I have many fish, but can’t distinguish them well enough to name unfortunately…
      2. Ah, yes. The rare west coast Davidson student. I feel you on that one, ha!
      3. Love the pun “don’t be afraid to let your garde down.” That was brilliant.

      Thanks again for the comment.

  3. Hey Royce! Your comment about a freshly-printed paper is something I had never thought about, but upon reflection, I find that to be a favorite sensation of mine as well. You say you’re not really original, but the format of this piece and your decision to list “pet loves” already reveals a sense of creativity and an aptitude for keeping a reader’s attention.

    I also appreciate your decision to include your religious conviction as a prominent part of your identity. In my limited experience, it seems to me that Davidson students are hesitant to share that facet of themselves sometimes. I look forward to reading more of your work.

    • Thanks for the kind words, friend. Ironically, the “pet loves” terminology is not my own; however, the format is, and I appreciate the sentiments nonetheless!

      My faith is super important to who I am as a person. It has shaped my identity and helped me grow in more ways than I can describe. While I definitely agree that being personally Christian (rather than culturally Christian, which is pretty common in the South) can make me feel like a minority sometimes, I’ve also found that many Davidson students are actually receptive to sparking open-minded and courteous dialogue. Your affirming response is a perfect example.

      Thanks again for reading my post, Grady!

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