After clicking on the first link for the readings this week and seeing that it was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I immediately jumped into the piece. My excitement came from the fact that I have a deep love for the film and I had the pleasure of being casted in my high school’s musical, The Wizard of Oz, as Glinda the Good Witch of the North. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to read the original novel that inspired both the film and theatrical interpretation. After reading the first chapter, I realized that we, as the students of Columbia, are represented in this story through Dorothy. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle who; 1. Don’t have any emotion, 2. Show lack of interest in anything, thus making their surroundings grey and miserable, and 3. Don’t understand anything when it comes to their niece. Dorothy, on the other hand, is a young, carefree girl who has a light that illuminates so intensely to the point where her guardians don’t necessarily know what to do with her. I feel that we, we meaning those weird kids who are deemed social outcasts because they aren’t a part of the social norm, are represented through Dorothy, who, too, is a social outcast. Like Dorothy, I grew up in a bland town that had little in the way of activities. I was often misunderstood for being different, whether it be for my skin color or just the way my personality was. As the story moves forward, Uncle Henry notices that a storm, or a “cyclone”, is approaching. Unfortunately, Dorothy doesn’t make it to the cellar, where they’d all be safe. Instead, she and her home are whisked away in the tornado and taken off to a distant land. In the story we meet and come to love all sorts of characters that she comes across throughout her journey in Oz, even though her main objective is to return home. Coming to Columbia was both a daunting and thrilling experience. Leaving your family and having to live without them for several months at a time–that’s probably the most terrifying thing I could ever think. That would be my cyclone. The night before classes started I allowed myself to overthink, causing my thoughts to go out of control. I had to call back home at one in the morning just to get some reassurance that I’d be okay. That I was going to make it. This is me landing in Oz. I have developed friendships and started collaborating with different people and personalities on my journey. This is my Scarecrow, Tin man, and Lion. Being able to reach out to my mom for help and encouragement, she’s my Glinda. For some, this piece is viewed as just pure entertainment. But as for us, the weird kids, this is the story of our lives. (Allyah Evens, City of Stories Student).