The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

All content by Julie Ham

“All of us are dead” leaves viewers emotionally dead

Korea gifts yet another doom story that toys with the emotions and flight-or-fight instincts of viewers * spoilers ahead *
Julie Ham
March 15, 2022
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a day of wallowing and tears. Whether you’re single, in a couple, or anything in between or larger, Feb. 14 is a holiday to be enjoyed by all. Love is one of the most beautiful and cardinal human emotions felt. 
I have to admit that I was never a big fan of Valentine’s Day. My past boyfriends were low effort, and I was too preoccupied with schoolwork to pay any real attention to the timeline that was passing in my background. Now, with the burdens of college admissions off of my shoulders, it’s like my surroundings have demystified, and I can see life clearly now. And one thing that I can see is how in love I am with my friends and myself.
Self-love will always be a constant uphill slope. You don’t even see it coming – the next thing you know, you’ve regressed to a place that you long thought was in the past. Or sometimes you just don’t feel like yourself. These are obvious blanket statements for introspection that cannot, for the large part, be characterized. But something that I’ve learned in my brief time here already is that you only have yourself. And even if you’re in a difficult place with that, I think that at least superficially, it’s possible to treat yourself with kindness and an outward appearance of love. It’s hard, I know, but the month of February should then be a moment of decompression - a moment to cherish yourself as much as your loved ones do.
I feel that something even more profound than the idea of romantic love is the love for friends. Despite Washington and Lee University’s similarity to a high school in size, no longer are you defaulted into friendships over shared classes and periods. You pick and choose the friends that you love, and in my experience, these people I want to keep close. I’m consistently growing and learning from them and discovering more things about myself through them too. The love I have for them is something akin to platonic soulmates, and it’s an emotion that I feel beneath my skin because I chose these people, and they chose me. The bond is completely contrived yet is arguably stronger than family because it is this mutual decision and agreement that contracts you together. So treat yourself and your closest groups to a picnic or a fancy dinner even if you’re a not-secure-in-his-masculinity-type guy, and if you’re not into big gestures, just tell your people you love them. The smallest actions sometimes speak the loudest. 
Even if you’re not as emotional as I obviously am, there’s no reason not to enjoy the endless candies and pinks offered every which way. Valentine’s Day, for me, is a holiday where the hodgepodge of admiration I have for the loved ones around me is shown in gestures that they’re almost too used to. My plan (shh keep it a secret) this year is to make construction paper cards for my girls asking them to be my Valentines. If you thought the idea is cringy, then the low-maintenance route is probably your stream. Just know that no expression of affection or attraction is at all embarrassing because it displays a raw and untranslatable connection within your boundaries.
Christmas you give gifts, Thanksgiving you give turkey with a sprinkle of thanks, but what holiday is there where you give the simple feeling of love?

Valentine’s Day is the best holiday

Don’t argue with me on this. Christmas is a close second, okay.
Julie Ham
February 15, 2022

Encanto – Disney’s magnum opus (but not Miranda’s)

“Encanto'' is arguably Disney’s most well-made film to date but one of the least grossing
Julie Ham
February 1, 2022
The breakfast burrito can be found at Co-op. Photo by Jess Kishbaugh, ’23.

The Art of the Breakfast Burrito

Within the Co-op menu lies a hidden treasure trove: the breakfast burrito.
Julie Ham
December 14, 2021
The Bookery is a brief walk away from Washington and Lee’s campus, sitting in between Lexington Pet Place and The Palms. It’s been a community staple for 34 years. Photo by Lilah Kimble, ’23.

A life of “organized chaos” in The Bookery

Lexington’s downtown bookstore, headed by Marysue Forrest, holds not only 50,000 books, but just as many artifacts of the past.
Julie Ham
October 26, 2021

A love letter to Wenwu: a take on Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a must-watch for those who like plot, action, and #daddies
Julie Ham
October 12, 2021
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