Five Myths of the Creation of Daniel Wolfert

In which all is revealed.



In the beginning was the Word and the Word was a singularity that spoke amid darkness, “Let there be light,” and from this singularity came all things: white dwarf stars and sea lions and ricotta cheese and all things were entropy as Space/Time raced inexorably away from itself. As it raced onwards, the Word that was a singularity that spoke amid darkness folded itself up into an infinitesimal idea, collapsing ever inwards until it fell, like a star, into the belly of a woman that lived by the Pacific. Inside of her belly grew a boy, and although she did not know it yet, his hands would be small and his heart would look like entropy, which is to say, all things.


The Cartesian coordinates (0,0,0,0) of the four-dimensional life of the boy with small hands and a heart that looked like entropy are a chair at a desk by a window in a bedroom. They are the earliest memory of the boy, although there are rumors that he existed before this. They are the sight of the pink dawn, and the scent of Chocolate Soymilk, and the sound of Jim Dale reading the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, saying “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”


Beginnings and endings are relative. As you read this, the universe itself is expanding, sending each celestial body further away from one another in eternal redshift. Space/Time itself is growing.

When the boy with small hands and a heart that looked like entropy learned this, he was sitting in a desk in a school made of bricks by the Puget Sound. He looked out the classroom window, past rustling oak leaves, past other brick buildings, out to the heavens beyond.

He considered the stars he could not see, racing inexorably away from him through space. He considered his own life, racing inexorably away from him through time.


My name is Daniel Wolfert. I have a mother and a father. I have two sisters and a dog.

My hands are so small. But if I could stretch them wide enough to catch all your pain, I would. If I could, I would fold up the world until it was a singularity in my palms, all safe, all sound.

My heart looks like entropy. To bring it to the light is to see white dwarf stars and sea lions and ricotta cheese and the heat death of the universe. It is to see how life creates the paradox of saying:

I have tried my best.

I’m sorry.

I have tried my best.

I have no apologies.

I have two sisters and a dog. I have a mother and father. My name is Daniel Wolfert.


In the beginning was the beating heart of Space/Time, which contained all things – white dwarf stars and sea lions and ricotta cheese and every moment of everywhere in the universe. Space/Time, being lonely, looked inside itself and saw through the eons it contained the sight of love. It saw hands stretching out to hold one another. It saw hearts growing ever wider in redshift acceleration. And as it saw these sights, the heart of Space/Time broke with loneliness, initiating what we now call entropy.

Every story of every moment of everywhere in the universe raced inexorably forward, and every story was the Word, which looks something like small hands and something like entropic hearts, and every story was Heartbreak, which looks something like a supernova and something like growing up.

In the beginning was the End, which is to say, the change from What Was to What Will Be.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was a singularity that spoke amid darkness, “Let there be light,







On the Docket

In which Daniel lists the ten most important things he must do during the last free summer (possibly) of his life.

To do list written on paper with blue pen

To my dear reader,

With graduation one day away, I am coming to see that I have one real summer – from now to mid-August – to do whatever I please with. That isn’t to say one real summer to waste time – on the contrary, once I start really working, it’s more likely that I’ll waste my free time than now when I can put all my free time to good use. Therefore, below are ten things of priority for me to make happen in the next three months.

  1. Play the video game Oblivion – This is the prequel to the video game Skryim, which my sister Hannah and I played sporadically across nine months together. Since the game is older, the graphics will probably be awful. I’m so excited. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
  2. Make DwolfMakesMusic, my Youtube channel and Soundcloud Page for my original music, look professional – That shit is a hot mess.
  3. Find a job for when I move back up to Tacoma in mid-August – I hear that’s important, although then again, I hear a lot of things.
  4. Cook something interesting and new twice a week for two months – If you read the description in my blogger profile, I describe myself as a “mediocre chef.” It’s pretty true. Let’s change that.
  5. Watch the new season of the ABC Family drama The Fosters – Five days ago, freshman Ivin Yu starting watching this in the basement of my house and across the next four days, about fifteen people could be found at any given moment in the basement watching with (or without) him. The Fosters is love. The Fosters is life.
  6. Go to some sort of LGBTQI event out there in the real world – I’ve been slacking in this department for the past twenty-one years. Better late than never, right?
  7. Go beat up North Carolina governor Pat McCrory – Patrick, if you didn’t read my last post about you (, you really should do so. And then you should run, because you’re in for a world of hurt.
  8. Read Cathrynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home –This is the last book in her Fairyland series, of which I read the first at the end of my freshman year. They guided me through college, and will thus guide me away.
  9. Use my dog as a pillow – This might be more important than Oblivion. Unsure.
  10. Start finding another way to get my writing out in the big, bad world – I do, after all, only have one more blog for the University after this.

With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert

No For An Answer

In which tenacity is not to be overlooked.


To my dear reader,

With only days until my college graduation, the omnipresent, looming question is “What will you do after graduation?” My own answer, as of right now, is “I am unsure.” To my chagrin (although certainly not to my surprise), absolutely none of my job applications for the Tacoma area have been accepted, in spite of the countless hours I have spent across the entire year contacting the people I wished to hire me and polishing my applications. I am due to return to a house in Tacoma sometime this summer with no pre-conceived course of action.

This is not really what bothers me. Given my life, and my luck, I would expect nothing less from the universe than this formalized middle finger. I have been through worse things. What really bothers me, however, is the look of feigned concern or sympathy on people’s faces when they hear this news. “Whatever will you do?” their expressions say to me. “However will you survive in the big, bad world?”

These people – and you, dear reader, may undoubtedly be among them – are effectively saying to me that they doubt my talent, and moreover, my tenacity. They are saying that I must have somehow seriously fucked up in order for the road ahead of me to be unclear, as if I am a little boy who is incapable of making good decisions. They are saying that, when the universe speaks, I am willing to take no for an answer.

Incorrect. I know myself. I know the story.

Do not doubt my tenacity for even a moment. I am irascible and ill-tempered beyond your wildest dreams. I am willing to take many things from the world, but no for an answer is not one of them, and if you think otherwise, perhaps you don’t read my blogs as thoroughly as you think you do.

With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert

Please and Thank You

In which payment is due, because all things have a cost.


To my dear reader,

I will be the first to admit that, across the past seven eight months, most of my blog posts have been either explicitly or implicitly negative. I am not apologizing for this. Time is so short; we must say the things that matter. But I will also be the first to admit that I want to be a greater source of positive energy in the world, and that if gratitude is (as I’ve been told so often) pivotal to happiness, I am not doing all I can to ensure my own happiness. It is for these reasons that I will take a moment to list a few things for which, across my four years at Puget Sound, I have been thankful.

  1. My Freshman Year Roommate – During the fall, he went home every weekend to see his family. During the spring, he dropped out of school, allowing me to have the room to myself entirely. I’m not glad he had to drop out of school, but I am glad that I’ve only ever had a roommate for one semester of college. He also was nice.
  2. The Green Tea Fraps at Diversions Café – Amid a freshman year spring semester filled with boredom and disappointment, these drinks were a glorious Friday afternoon treat, and the Diversions baristas that complained about making them can literally shove those fraps up their butt holes.
  3. My Dog – I have a tradition of taking a picture of my dog during the break between each semester and making it the background photo of my phone for the subsequent semester. When I’m falling asleep, I like to pretend my pillow is her tummy. I use her as a pillow at home all the time.
  4. Other People’s Dogs – There are so many people that have dogs in Tacoma that let students pet them, and the dogs are so cute amid a college experience that can be distinctively not cute.
  5. The Spring 2015 Science Fiction and Classics Convention – It was at this convention that I met fiction author/classics whiz/literary genius/all around nice person Cathrynne Valenete, which was undoubtedly the greatest moment of my life thus far. No joke.
  6. Christopher Krull – He’s the guy that runs this blog and hires the student bloggers, and for Lord-knows-what-reason, he decided to rehire me every semester since the beginning of my sophomore year. Thanks for this incredible opportunity, Chris. I bet you regret that now, don’t you?

With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert

Make a Ruckus

In which nice and pretty and accessible are none of the words with which to describe Daniel Wolfert.


To my dear reader,

Introducing the eponymous musical piece on my March 2016 composition recital RUCKUS: A Recital of New Music by Daniel Wolfert, I forewarned the audience that it might be unappealing to some. The piece, I told them, was long-winded, confusing, and oftentimes purposefully ugly. The piece, I told them, was not nice or pretty or accessible. The important thing to remember, I told them, was that I wasn’t there to be nice or pretty or accessible. I was there to make a ruckus.

Walking away from my last concert with the Adelphians Concert Choir – the mixed voice musical ensemble I have been a part of since the beginning of college – I cannot help but feel relieved to never have to sing in it again, but also unsurprisingly dissatisfied. Looking back on my time here, I cannot help but feel that my successes – among them, my recital itself – have primarily been unrelated to, or even in spite of, the School of Music.

I spent the first two years of college studying with a voice teacher that was widely disrespected by the other students, and was responsible for teaching me so ineptly that I was in almost constant pain from singing by the end of my sophomore year. When I finally informed the head of the vocal department of this, she kindly moved me to a better teacher for the first semester of my junior year. The next semester, however, that teacher was on sabbatical, to be replaced by an old-fashioned vocal professor that clearly considered me a second-tier vocalist. Although that teacher left and the second teacher returned for my senior year, this still only gave me three semesters with someone that had any interest in me and my voice. I am leaving college feeling exhausted and insecure in my own vocal abilities.

I’ve spent the past five semesters studying composition with a teacher that taught me well, but due to the design of the school, was unable to give me the opportunities a school that catered to composers might. He certainly meant for the best, but the response from the school concerning my compositions was one of general disinterest. In spite of the fact that I was one of the few students in the School of Music creating contemporary classical music, I was not given particular interest or time by the students or faculty, and have never received any sort of recognition for my contributions in this regard. I am leaving college feeling disregarded and unappreciated.

Perhaps this is a question of games. Belligerent and irascible child I am, I have never felt I have succeeded in the School of Music because I have little interest in playing by their rules. Do not misunderstand; I have learned a great deal from the School of Music. But if this is the game, I have no desire to play it.

I am not here to play games. I am only here to win them.

I am not here to make nice. I am only here to make a ruckus.

With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert

Four Truths of a Withering Heart

In which Daniel publishes the speech he gave at Puget Sound’s first annual Suicide Prevention and Awareness Forum.



Once upon a time, there was a boy with small hands and a withering heart. A withering heart, you see, is not the same as a broken one – no, not at all. A broken heart is an ugly thing, cracked and torn and worn by the world, but it is the sort of heart whose empirical evidence acts in accordance with Newtonian physics – action and reaction, tragedy and heartbreak. A withering heart is a different beast. It will hide its suffering from the world, as piece by piece, it crumbles away, the everyday battles of degradation and disappointment wearing it down to dust. Its empirical evidence acts in accordance with the law of entropy.

All things follow entropy; the center cannot hold. The heart is a singularity of time divided by experience divided by memory, all to the power of the derivative of the heart’s singular, drumlike beating. And with each beat, a little more of the singularity is released, giving the finite amount of energy it contains away to the blood and bone and marrow and skin and wind and waves and world around it. The heart ripples out through time and space and loses itself as it goes. I wish, says the heart. I wish.

Wishing is a form of entropy too.

But this is not just a story of wishing. This is not just a story of empirical evidence or singularities or small hands or even of entropy – although all things are just stories of entropy at the end of the day, I suppose. This is a story of a boy, and the heart he did not wish to have. And in the beginning was the Word and the Word was a singularity that spoke amid darkness, “let there be light,” and so we can conclude through the transitive property that words are singularities are stories are light. And this is the magic of the Word and the words: light is precious in a world so dark.

The boy with the small hands and the heart he did not wish to have lived in a gray house with a bedroom with a window to the roof. The boy sometimes stood on the roof, and looked out across the ocean of suburban houses. The boy sat by the window, and stared out into the sky. The boy’s years raced toward entropy, and his space by the window became the Cartesian Coordinate (0,0,0) on the three-dimensional graph of his world. The boy’s heart raced toward entropy, and as it withered, it beat like a singularity. Let there be light. Let there be light.

Come close, my friends, and I shall give the four truths of a withering heart. Come close, and I shall give light amid darkness.


I know sorrow, and it is a scar on my heart the shape of love I cannot have. It is the sight of the first boy I ever liked, on a field by the playground, running to catch a frisbee in the sun. It is the sound of his voice calling my name. How lovely you are, I thought to myself. I love you. It is the weight of my heart as a nine-year old, lying in bed as I turn over the thought of him like a treasure in my hands. It is the horrible, sinking realization that I could never tell him, or else face the shame and anger and disappointment that would inevitably come. It is ten-year old me in the lunch line beside him, resisting the urge to hold his hand. It is seventeen-year-old me looking at him across a classroom like a remnant of a life I wish I’d never had.

I know sorrow, and it is the color of the night sky above Palo Alto at 3 in the morning. It is the whirring of bicycle wheels as fourteen-year-old me out across the small city, searching for something I cannot name. It is an ache inside my stomach that is part hunger and part growing pains and part terrible yearning for escape velocity from the solar system of my disappointment in myself. It is writing the same poem over and over again as the sun rises, saying to myself that this time would be the one, the key to me realizing why I could never be freed from the foolish body of a boy with small hands.

I know sorrow, and it is the train tracks that run halfway between my house and my high school. It is the wreaths of flowers left by my peers for classmates that have leapt in front of trains across my years in school. It is the footsteps in the mulch I have left as I have walked along the train tracks, asking myself if I have just enough strength to make the leap too. It is my footsteps on the pavement as I walk away from the tracks, deciding that I do not. It is the whimper of my sinking stone heart as I decide that I will never be strong.

If you hold sorrow heavy enough, it becomes your world.


I know anger, and it is a B- on a ninth grade algebra test that I could not will myself to study for. It is me brushing off the grade with a laugh and a shrug, saying that math was never my strong suit. It is the knowledge that I was living in a vicious cycle of self-loathing and disappointment, saying that I had never done anything special and so was not of importance, so that I never tried to do anything special, so that I never did anything special, so that I continued to feel I was of no importance, a serpent coiling to consume its own tail. It is the trembling fury that said There is something magnificent within you but you will never be able to let it out and you will die having never shown anyone anything magnificent.

I know anger, and it is the sympathetic voice of a teacher telling me that I was intrepid with sensitive topics, and that one day, I would grow out of that. It is my disbelief as I took in those words, and my confusion as I mulled them over for days. It is me laughingly telling others about the incident, making a joke of this moment when my courage was called childish. It is me thinking back on the moment years later, and realizing that the man in question had no right to my heart, and no right to my voice. It is me hearing the words “you’ll grow out of it” over and over again, chasing me like echoes in a house I can never escape.

I know anger, and it is my trembling hands as I hold thirty NyQuil pills, unable to put them down and unable to swallow. It is my buckling shadow as fifteen-year-old me full-body cries, resisting the urge to scream as I lay on the bathroom floor. It is the knowledge that this is the same place I have been one thousand times, trapped in a netherworld between living and dying, unable to poison myself and incapable of being a real boy. It is me steadying me small hands, angry that I am playing this same game with myself instead of sleeping or writing or drawing or dancing or kissing a boy or building a world. It is me calling myself a coward from trying to kill myself. It is me calling myself a coward for failing to do so.

If you bear anger dark enough, it becomes your world.


I know my heart, and it is a dappled shadow that dreamt of being a real boy. Most days I feel less than human – more like a space on a bookshelf, more like an echo across a desert, more like a flock of sparrows across a vast ocean, like a shattered light bulb, like the ruins of a cathedral where I once prayed to the God I wish I believed in. Most days I feel I am assembling my skin and my bones into something human, something real boy. Most days, I feel as if I have not succeeded.

I know my heart, and it is forgiveness like soft rains on an ocean of rooftops. I forgive my feet for not running fast enough. I forgive my hands for not reaching far enough. I forgive my mouth for not speaking loud enough. I forgive my arms for not stretching wide enough. I forgive my eyes for not seeing a way out of the darkness.

I forgive my family for not seeing my sorrow. I forgive my friends for not reaching me sooner. I forgive my teachers for turning away, I forgive my classmates for being so blind. I forgive every boy that has left a scar on my heart the shape of a love that I cannot have. I forgive every adult that has said I would not be enough. I forgive myself for believing them.

This is the magic of the Word and the words: what others call you, you shall become.

Become the Word, I said to myself.

This is the magic of the Word and the words: call yourself what you wish to become.

Become light, I said to myself.

I know my heart, and it is the sunlight falling on a boy sitting beside me on a school bench as I wait for my father to pick me up from my last day of high school. It is the sound of his small, scared voice, unexpectedly telling me that he is afraid that he is not loved, and has never been loved, and will never be loved. It is his bewildered face when I ask him why he is telling me this. It is the words he told me then: You’re the one people come to for hope.

It was with those words that I began to believe in a way out of the darkness. It was with those words that my withering heart paused and began, slowly to turn like a planet or a flower forward through time, onward, away.

If you have a heart wide enough, it becomes your world.


I know the story, because it is the same one I have told one thousand times before. It is the same one I will tell one thousand times again. I am a creature of habit, of this we can be sure. Time winds on and the years pile like scraps. Always the same equation, although the variables may change – a secretary rather than a dragon, a handsome boy rather than a supernova, the word “heartbreak” rather than “the omnipresent Law of Entropy.” All systems move towards chaos, no matter the system. All children move towards heartbreak, no matter the child.

Do not be sad; there have never been new stories. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was a singularity that spoke and amid darkness, “let there be light,” and the light of the singularity of the Word contained all things. I have no new stories to tell you. I merely have new ways to tell you. All things follow entropy, but not all things follow in the same way. Come close, my friends; light is precious in a world so dark.

I know the story, and I thought it would choose me. I thought that one day, a whirlwind would arrive, or a rabbit would come calling, or a giant would knock down my door, and then at that point the story would finally begin and I would not feel as if I am drowning at every moment of every day. I thought that I would be chosen as an ill-tempered and irascible child, or a curious and inquisitive boy, or a lion-hearted and chivalrous hero. I thought that that the story would begin, and take from me the heart I did not want.

I know the story and I have made a choice. I thought it would choose me. but no one is chosen. Not ever. Not really. To change from a reader of your own story to an author is a story all its own. Do not blame me for struggling. Beginning is always the hardest part. But this is the magic of the Word and the words: when I saw that there was no one left to choose me, I chose myself.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was a singularity that spoke and amid darkness, “let there be light.” All things follow entropy; all things will change. Even stories. Even human hearts.


Once upon a time, I chose to gather my stories in my small a hands and spin a life, a light, a world out of them. Fractured, yes, heartbroken and mournful and elegant and clumsy and brilliant and wondrous and mine. For in the beginning was the Word and the Word is me, and this day is the singularity, and these words are the light, and this moment is the beginning…

…For if you tell a story big enough, it becomes your world, and this is only the beginning of mine.

An Open Letter to Pat McCrory

In which the foolish actions of a pompous snollygoster incur Daniel’s insatiable wrath.


To Republican and current North Carolina governor Pat McCrory,

When my family moved from the highly liberal city of Palo Alto, CA, to the less liberal city of Raleigh, NC, I was immensely pleased to find that North Carolina felt more like to home to me than Palo Alto did in many ways. I loved the long stretches of road, the small flurries of snow in January and the spacious spread-out of the city.

I have found, however, that I seemed to have reached an emotion impasse with the fine state of North Carolina. This impasse is because of House Bill 2 – your recent so-called “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act,” which forbids transgender people from using the bathrooms of the gender with which they identify because they are “perverts,” alongside reversing the right to pass nondiscrimination legislation to the state government, and some cute little wage cuts you snuck in there. This impasse is because I am, most certainly, most indubitably, most egregiously, homosexual. I do, in fact, like dick.

Moreover, although I am not transgender, the bill is absolute bullshit and is completely unacceptable. Perhaps this might help: compare biological sex to ethnicity and gender identity to culture. I am born of an Eastern European father and a Filipino mother. That being said, culturally, I am absolutely American, and I do not readily identify with the cultures of my ancestors. What you are born as doesn’t shape who you are – the expectations of others and yourself do.

More pragmatically, why do you care so much about the genitalia of people in the bathroom near you? If you’re taking a good look, you’re the pervert.

I am standing beside Laverne Cox, Graig Meyer, Bruce Springsteen, and the entire LGBTQ community and its allies. I am standing beside the part of the U.S. constitution that separates church and state, therefore literally invalidating every single law that oppresses people because some Christian is getting in a tizzy. You can take the church and go fuck yourself with it. And if I return to Raleigh in five weeks, and find this bill still in place, you will incur my wrath in earnest.

This is an open letter because I want the world to see this, and I want the world to see you seeing this. So go on and respond. Call my bluff. I dare you.


With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert

I Know What I’m Doing

In which Daniel provides his five best tips for being a successful college student, musician, writer and human being.


To my dear reader,

How do you balance it all, Daniel? How do you manage to write and compose so much all the time? How do you maintain your flawless physical appearance and/or air of effortless ease and approachability?

In the rare few times I’ve ever received these questions, they have been accompanied by an accusatory look and passive-aggressive tone clearly meant to imply, “You’re just screwing it all up, aren’t you.” Well, the short answer to that one is “yes,” BUT the long answer is that’s been a difficult and perilous road towards becoming the responsible, stunningly attractive, well-adjusted quasi-adult that I am today. It’s been fraught with trials, from my passionately lackluster romance with weight training to taking my pants off publicly more times than I care to admit.

But how did I transform from this stunning, bow-tied child prodigy…


…to this dazzling specimen of maturity…


…while looking like this on a daily basis?


Well, dear reader, here are my top five tips for success that have led me on such a progression across my twenty one years of life:

  1. PERSERVERE: In my first semester of college, I decided to begin watching the TV show Lost, and became immediately hooked. I decided to forsake most social activity in order to make it through all six seasons in four months, and in the face of adversity/anxiety-inducing socializing, I trudged on through the show and made it out victorious/still socially inept in the end.
  2. BE ADVENTUROUS: I once read that green tea can be used as a natural deodorant, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and put tea bags in all my dresser drawers to test this theory out. True, it made all of my wardrobe smell like seaweed for about a month, so… yeah. It’s so clear to me that these things are related.
  3. ALWAYS BE LEARNING: One time, I was preparing to dress for a vocal studio performance by ironing a vest of mine that, unbeknownst to me, had small metal components on a certain section. After about 20 seconds of ironing, the vest promptly burst into flames, which in turn caught onto the papers in the nearby vicinity, and I was forced to sprawl myself on top of the table to simultaneously put out the vest and the other burning debris. That day, I learned that ironing is not my strong suit.
  4. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF: At the end of my very stressful sophomore year, I received word that I had been turned down for a job to which I’d applied. Trying not feel discouraged, I went to the bathroom to poop. Upon sitting down on the toilet, I proceeded to defecate, urinate and burst into tears simultaneously. It was the most physically liberating experience of my life. Don’t worry; it all ended up in the toilet bowl.
  5. DON’T GIVE A FUCK: Goodness, do you believe that anyone is ACTUALLY paying attention to your life? The likelihood of this is much lower than you think. Go do your life; if people don’t like it, maybe they should go write their own blogs about it.

With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert

In the Land of Misfit Toys

In which vulgarity is used, kings are named, and much has been lost, but so much more has been gained.


To my dear reader,

I would consider much of my life to have been wasted. If I were to point to two things that I am proud of, however, one would be my time in my a cappella group Underground Sound. The other would be my time in the Delta Epsilon colony of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Both are places full of unexpected individuals, unpredictably put together – lands of misfit toys, of which I am most certainly one.

When I first joined Underground Sound, it was a frail, unfocused group of poor musicians. Leadership was weak, rehearsals were ineffective and performances bland. For two semesters, I watched as the group floundered, losing members and failing to draw in audiences.

When I first joined Beta Theta Pi, there were no other members aside from the representative from the national fraternity there to recruit new members. Even as the chapter size slowly grew, the members were often apathetic and confused. For three semesters, I eyed the colony warily, and felt an emotional distance I was sure was insurmountable.

I became a musical co-director of Underground Sound in my sophomore year, and alongside my co-director Lisa Hawkins, I struggled, fought, cried and reshaped the group’s entire approach to a cappella across the past two years. In October of 2015, we were unexpectedly accepted to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, making us the first Puget Sound group to do so.

Underground Sound A Cappella, Dec. 9, 2016

Underground Sound A Cappella, Dec. 9, 2016

I attended a Beta leadership program called the Wooden Institute in my junior year, and began to take on leadership within the colony. Alongside my brothers, I wrestled, wept, celebrated and formed a community across the past year. As of January 26th, 2016, after extending bids to the few students we connected with, we have acquired only two new members – an unexpected and disappointingly low number.

The Delta Epsilon Colony of Beta Theta Pi, Jan. 26, 2016

The Delta Epsilon Colony of Beta Theta Pi, Jan. 26, 2016

Some would call my time with Underground Sound a success. They would be correct. It has taught me how to inspire a group, organize rehearsals and communicate clearly and efficiently. It is because of my time there that I am confident as a musical director and leader.

Some would call my time in Beta Theta Pi a failure. They could not be more incorrect. It has taught me how to trust others, give selflessly and uncover the unending depth of my own heart. It is because of my time there that I have ever felt a home at the University of Puget Sound.

Some people will look at Underground Sound and scoff at its earnest but musically imprecise performances. Some people will look at the Delta Epsilon colony and sneer at its small size and poor recruitment record. To those people, I have only one thing to say:

Fuck you.                                                             

Fuck your arrogance, fuck your derisiveness, and fuck your judgement. I have learned and loved more than you can possibly know. The land of misfit toys is my kingdom, and you’d better believe that I am the King.

With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert

Seven Memories Abroad

In which Daniel circumnavigates Europe.


To my dear reader,

There’s a certain irony to the fact that, in spite of the grand scale of the adventure, the summer of 215 spent studying music and literature in Milan, Italy, is something that seems so unreal in retrospect. This isn’t to say that it was earth-shatteringly good, yet thinking back on it makes it seem like I might have read about it in a book, or seen a movie, not went there myself. A few memories do float to the top, however, and these are those memories.

  1. The Tree of Life


I’m standing at the World Expo, an enormous fair wherein countries create exhibits addressing a specific global issue – this year, food sustainability. It is fitting given my sophomore year spent as the Director of Sustainability in Puget Sound’s Residential Life. The crowd I’ve joined has circled an enormous statue of a tree which, amid the Verdi opera aria blaring from the speakers, has begun to bloom huge cloth flowers.

  1. Many Boats


At the largest art museum in Milan, there is a small room with one glass window for a wall and mirrors for the remaining surfaces. Blue cloth is piled on the floor with small, antique boats on top, and although there are only three boats in the tiny room, the mirrors multiply the number, and multiply again, until the room seems like an endless fleet of tiny boats.

  1. Verdi’s Café


The proudest moment I have during this time abroad is in Verdi’s Café, a small restaurant near the IES Abroad Center that I frequent. With only two days of the program left, I have become quite proficient in Italian, and as I look around the café, I’m shocked to realize that I can understand the words on every poster in the room.

  1. In the Black Forest


After the program ends, I spend two weeks wandering Europe, and in this time, I end up visiting Shoshana Strom, a fellow Puget Sound student studying in Freiburg, Germany. On one adventure, we arrive at a café in the Black Forest, and it is there that I have the best meal I can remember eating. It is a Potato-Leek Soup, with Black Forest Cake and a Café Macchiato. I have since tried and horribly failed at recreating this meal.

  1. Cobblestones


Salzburg is the Europe that I had dreamt of before coming to Europe, but never received. I unexpectedly befriend two Korean girls that are staying in the same hostel as me, and we stumble upon a tiny tavern together amid the rain in the tiny, cobblestone streets.

  1. Delicate Shades


Vienna is the first city on my free adventures in Europe that makes me realize how homesick I am. The city is so much more crowded than the others I visited, and I’ve become nervous and anxious in the crowds. While wandering the city with two Korean boys I’ve befriended, I find a quiet chapel. The windows seem peaceful.

  1. One Night Town


The last city I visit before I return to Milan for my flight home is Bled, Slovenia, and although it is small, t bustles with life. On my last night there, I befriend a large group of students from around the U.K. and, after buying some pizza, we unexpectedly decide to go on a bar crawl. When we return to the hostel in the wee hours of the morning, we find that someone has stolen my pizza, but left the box. Although I’m not too irked, the group seems irked on my behalf, and I find myself feeling a strange affection for these strangers that bemoan my lost pizza for me.

Does it all mean something? I wouldn’t know.


With all due respect,

Daniel Wolfert