Naomi Keusch Baker
May 3, 2018

Heimat ist für mich Lieben und Lernen und Leben und Leute…

To me, home is love and learning and life and people…

Home is a mutual acceptance of how things work, not an understanding, not a place of comfort, but a place where things make some sort of sense.

Welcome to Naomi’s censored, semi-stream of conscious rant.

Home is where I don’t agree with everyone but have a place to disagree with them, where I don’t have to hide who I am, but don’t feel the need to prove who I am.

Home is not New York City, home is maybe Atlanta, home is definitely Vienna.

Home is not about specific people except me. Home is me. I am the kind of person who “feels at home everywhere,” whatever that means.

It’s not about family and friends, no matter how important they are to me, this isn’t about you, it’s about me because I’m a drama queen and always have to be the center of attention.

I’m happy to enjoy museums and eat middle eastern food and enjoy walking among people who live here, and happy to be annoyed that there have been more tourists lately, knowing that I am not originally from here, but at least I know where I am. I am happy to walk carelessly.

To be careless does not mean I don’t care. To be angry doesn’t mean someone did something wrong, except me, for expecting things and for them not happening.

But this is not a sad boy Avril Lavigne song, this is me being proud of who I am and not apologizing because I am strong and don’t give a

Eine kleine Pause

I am having a wonderful semester in Wien and everything is completely and utterly okay except that everything is ending and I’m not good at endings, and I know I’m not special because many people are bad with endings. I don’t want to leave because this is home. Feeling good all the time and enjoying life… I know that to people from home, study abroad sounds like a prolonged vacation, and in some ways it is. But I still have classes and papers and finals to stress out about, but it’s different. It’s different because it’s here, and here one mistake doesn’t determine one's future. People are not workaholics. People relax, they have more vacation days and paid leave and children ages 5 to 27, yes 27 because often student discounts go up to that age, play in the park for hours and don’t worry about homework and the more I’m writing the more I’m realizing that my life has been a series of rules and demands and the system is messed up because there’s a better way. There’s a better way for how we treat each other, for how we raise people to see the world and it’s painful to realize that all these years I thought everyone had recess cancelled to do test prep, that everyone was expected to write three essays on the first day of Chanukah at the ripe age of nine. And I’m sorry to complain because

I know I’m privileged, I know that I am so lucky to have grown up with so many opportunities and people in my life who take care of me and love me and I’m probably just sounding ungrateful but

How many people actually read this anyway?

My mom does, hi mom.

I am so happy here and it’s breaking my heart that I simply don’t want to leave.

And I’m such a hypocrite because I’m not changing the world. I am all talk and no game. I was going to help people while I was here, and that didn’t happen. Though my “help” may not have actually helped anyone.

I came here for music and I got a world that makes sense to me because even when I disagree with people here I feel so welcome. And I am not claiming that I was “born in the wrong country” or that I want to be Austrian because even if I lived here the rest of my life I wouldn’t know what it’s like to be “from here.”

I am not a nationalist but I am the equivalent for cities, and somehow that’s okay. Somehow I am ok with having pride in New York City (despite what I say), Atlanta and Vienna. But having pride in the USA or Austria as a whole is not for me. I heard people talking about nationalism on the U-Bahn, I couldn’t even hear “which side” they were on, I just know they were talking about it, in Englisch.

I am very emotional right now so that’s an interesting change.

I don’t want anyone to worry, I will be okay. As previously mentioned, I am strong and proud of who I am, and I have faith that I will remain this way for the most part.

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Naomi Keusch Baker

<p>As a math and computer science major and music minor at Emory University, my passions range from increasing diversity and inclusion in technology industries to advocating for arts education. I want to combine my skills in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to work toward social justice in my community and beyond. On campus, I am involved in Girls Who Code, the Interdisciplinary Exploration and Scholarship (IDEAS) Fellowship, Refugee Revive, Hillel and the Media, Literature and Arts Outreach (MLAO) themed house.</p>

2018 Spring
Home University:
Emory University
New York, NY
Computer Science
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