There is nothing more ubiquitous on a college campus than backpacks. The assemblage of outfits that pass through Homewood each day are as diverse as the students who wear them – yet for the most part, they all include backpacks. By the same token, however, backpacks are some of the most unique and individual pieces a person can own. Shapes and sizes abound, color options run the span of the rainbow and back – but what truly makes each backpack unique is what’s on the inside (awww). The items one deems important enough to carry around in between their shoulder blades every day can say multitudes about their lives, interests, and personalities. So with that in mind, I decided to give you all a little tour of myself via a little tour of my backpack – enjoy!


Well, here it is, my backpack. As you can see, it’s bright red and a bit on the smaller side. To be honest, I’m not sure what insights you could really glean from just looking at it – maybe that I try to be flashy? That seems like a bit of a stretch, though. I think I’ll just leave this here to provide some nice visual context for the rest of the blog, so, uh, take it all in I guess.


Oh yeah, here we go, definitely more what I was after. This here is my thermos – I use it every day for coffee purposes, probably too many times a day if I’m being real. I’m not a coffee snob, because I will pretty much drink anything that is at least mildly bitter and caffeinated, but I feel like at this point I can say what good coffee is, and I think Hopkins has good coffee. As far as I know, there are three cafes on campus, plus two Starbucks within a block radius off campus (if there is a hidden mystery coffee shop that I am missing, somebody please tell me). Of these, my favorites are Levering Cafe and Brody Cafe – both conveniently located, reasonably-priced, and tasty. If you are the type who would frequent these establishments for coffee, a thermos is a great tool to have for two reasons. 1. it saves a bunch of paper cups and is therefor good for the environment, 2. the cafes only charge 99 cents for you to fill up your thermos with coffee, regardless of size, so it saves a bunch of paper dollars as well, and is therefor good for your wallet. I’m not sure if I’m breaking the rules by filling up my entire 24 ounce thermos for 99 cents, but I’m just gonna go with it and say its ok.


Here is a view of the inside of my backpack. Once again, this is more for visual context, because there’s a bunch going on and you can’t really see all the individual components, but we’ll get into the details soon.


Ok, here are the details. This is my Hillel water bottle that you can see placed at the very top of my backpack in the previous picture. Before you say anything – yes, I realize the only two objects I have featured so far are large drinking receptacles. I don’t know why that is or what it points to about me, but lets just move on and pretend it never happened. Anyway, I spend a very significant portion of my time at Hillel – I even get up in front of a bunch of people every Friday night at our communal Shabbat Dinner and try to orchestrate the evening without making a total fool of myself – so I guess it makes sense that this bottle is front and center. You might assume from the size and prevalence of the bottle that I am a person who likes to drink a lot of water and stay generally well hydrated, but in reality, I am just a person who likes the idea of drinking a lot of water and staying generally well hydrated, but consistently leaves his water bottle in his bag all day and forgets about it while he goes thirsty. I guess you really can’t judge a Jonah by his water bottle.


These are the rest of the contents of my backpack as of Thursday, September 28, 2017. I made the picture extra big so that you could clearly see everything in it. I will discuss the objects in clockwise order from top-left.

  1. Macroeconomic textbook – For the first time in my life this semester, I am learning about economics. I’m pretty happy about that, because economics was a major topic that I really knew nothing about, and anytime I got in a discussion with anyone about anything related to the economy, I would have to preface it with, “Ok, so I don’t know anything about economics, but…”- so maybe now I won’t have to do that. On the other hand, I’m scared, because I am incapable of making sense of anything with numbers, and macro seems like the type of subject I’d be particularly awful at. Well, fingers crossed.
  2. Arabic Textbook – This is my third semester taking Arabic, and I gotta say, it’s a pretty neat language. Its linguistic and grammatical structures are super interesting and all come together in a really satisfying way, and I always feel super cool when I can whip out a nice Arabic phrase on the spot. That being said, as with numbers, I am very near incompetent when it comes to learning foreign languages, so the class is a pretty big struggle. Coupled with macro, it should make for quite the semester…
  3. Computer – I use my computer pretty much more than anything in my backpack, even my thermos. It has a bunch of stickers on it that definitely say a lot about me as a person, but there’s too many of them and it’s getting late, so you can read them yourself and draw your own conclusions – I’ll allow it.
  4. Planner – At the beginning of every school year dating back three or four years, I buy a planner. At the beginning of every school year, I use said planner for around a week and then forget about it. That’s just how I am, there’s nothing I can do to change it, and I’ve resigned myself to that fact. Planning and organization be damned.
  5. The story of American Freedom, by Eric Foner – This is one of the books for my super cool U.S. history class – “Making America: Race, Radicalism, and Reform”. I’m really into history, and this class provides an awesome look at some of the most dynamic sociopolitical and cultural aspects of Antebellum America. Also, Ronald Walters is an awesome professor, and you should all take one of his classes if you get the chance.

Well, there you have it, that’s everything there is to see in my backpack. I hope you found my rambling enjoyable and maybe learned a bit about me and/or Hopkins in the process. Until next time!