© 2023 by Jessica Priston. Proudly created with Wix.com

WRITING

A selection of articles for written for various publications.

At 16, most kids dream of living in a huge house with a pool, bowling alley, and three sports cars in rotation.

But the house in Brookline native Duncan Jurayj’s dreams isn’t a mansion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: a 7 by 12-foot home skinny enough to fit in a driveway.

And it’s not just in his dreams. He’s building it.

Jurayj, who begins his junior year at Beaver Country Day School in August, has been building his “tiny home” since school got out in June. With the help of a $5,000 grant from Beaver, his mission is to spread the philosophy... read more

The phrase “second wave feminism” often calls up an image of young white women burning their bras, led by Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem in a Playboy bunny outfit. “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965-85,” which opened June 27 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, wants to change that.

Originally compiled and curated by the Brooklyn Museum, “We Wanted a Revolution” tells the story of the black female artists who were excluded from both white feminism and the male-dominated black art world. It features works ranging from paintings and sculpture to photo and video, accompanied by original notes and documents by and between artists.

The Brooklyn Museum is home to Judy Chicago’s famed second... read more

Protesters Demand Action on Immigration from State House

co-authored with Jules Struck - June 20, 2018

Protesters gathered today at the State House to demand immigration reform from the Massachusetts legislature. Thousands rallied on the street before heading inside, where they chanted for Governor Charlie Baker and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo to come out and speak.

While the protest was taking place in Boston, President Trump signed an executive order to keep children and families together at the border in the face of widespread outrage from both ends of the political spectrum about a zero tolerance policy that had resulted in horrifying reports of children in cages.

 

The state senate passed a budget amendment in late May with a number of provisions to protect the state’s immigrants. It outlaws the creation... read more

In 1888, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall opened as one of the first public spaces available to all Bostonians. At the same time, Boston’s elite were enjoying rapid financial growth inside opulent ballrooms and saloons, well out of sight from the masses.

Today, artist Liz Glynn bridges that gap with Open House, a public art exhibit on display on the Comm Ave. Mall through November 4. Twenty-six pieces of concrete-cast Louis XIV-era furniture are positioned on the mall—and they’re open for the public to lounge in

.

Glynn, a Boston native and Harvard grad who now lives and works out of Los Angeles, originally exhibited Open House in New York City... read more

It’s hot. It’s humid. And sitting in hours of traffic to go to a crowded Cape beach is only going to make it worse.

Luckily, you don’t need to look any farther than the good ol’ MBTA to make an escape. Your best bet for a quick swim may lie away from the coast at these quiet but gorgeous swimming holes that are just a bus, train, or commuter rail ride away.

1. Upper Mystic Lake

Medford’s pair of tranquil lakes, called the Mystic Lakes, are hidden gems complete with swimming areas and picnic tables. Shannon Beach... read more

for Fancred Sports

We’ve all seen the video: Conor McGregor going ballistic on his opponent’s bus before being forcefully dragged away by security guards. He was later charged with assault and criminal mischief after turning himself in, but like any other millionaire, got off on bail.


Now the question becomes, where does he stand with UFC going forward? The organization (which is run on Dana White’s very, very tight leash) has set an extremely lenient precedent when it comes to its fighters getting in trouble with the authorities.

 

Jon Jones, who is still routinely fighting in UFC matches, has had a past riddled with legal accusations, most of which have been proven correct... read more

As of Monday, the hottest commodity of the offseason is finally off the market as of Monday. The Phillies stepped up to the plate (so to speak) and signed former Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta to a 3-year, $75M contract with an opt-out clause after two years.

 

Aside from the relief of finally finding a home for the season, it’s likely that Arrieta is less than satisfied with this deal. Several reports circulated in the offseason of him saying he expected to sign a $200M contract coming off of his stellar second half in 2017.

 

Arrieta himself wasn’t the only one surprised at this relatively low salary. He is, after all, a Cy Young winner and World Series champion who... read more

With Selection Sunday just a month away, the nation is getting ready to sit back and watch the most exciting tournament in sports.


Why does March Madness entertain us for almost an entire month year after year? It’s addicting with its sheer volume of single-elimination games and perennial unpredictability. Friends and co-workers form long-standing traditions of making brackets and embarrassing the fool who chose their 12th-ranked hometown team to take it all.


But the real reason behind the unpredictability and excitement of March Madness lies in the increasing prevalence of the one-and-done: top-ranked players going to college for a single year before declaring for the... read more

By the time the Feb. 8 trade deadline passes, the only familiar face left on the Clippers roster may be Austin Rivers. And that may or may not have something to do with his dad being the head coach.


Monday’s decision to send forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a first-round pick, and a second-round pick came as a shock, but the Clippers have been trade-happy since June.


The Clippers lost a perennial All-Star in Griffin and a good chunk of depth with the accompanying trades of Willie Reed and Brice Johnson. But Doc Rivers still emerges the winner by passing on Griffin’s five-year, $173 million... read more

for The Gavel at Boston College

If Boston College Women’s Hockey beats Vermont 3-2 in overtime at home Friday night, but no one is around to see it, did it really happen?

Technically, yes. But looking around Conte Forum, you would never know that Boston College is home to the No. 2 women’s college hockey team in the nation.

“Seven Nation Army” blasts over a crowd of less than 100 people after Kenzie Kent scores the first goal of the night. The audience is largely comprised of parents, local Newton families, and what looks like a high school girls hockey team.

BC students in street clothes wander in and leave after a period... read more

Joe Lunardi of ESPN added Boston College Men’s Basketball to his NCAA Tournament bracket Thursday after the Eagles took down No. 1 Duke on Saturday, Dec. 9. Eleven games into their season, the Eagles are seeded 12th in the Western division.

Saturday’s upset over Duke earned BC national attention, the first time the program has been part of tournament conversation since its 2014 upset of then-No. 1 Syracuse. The Eagles have come out on top in each of their last three meetings with top-ranked teams.

Their first loss of the season knocked the Blue Devils down to No. 4 in the nation Monday, just barely allowing them to keep their projected... read more

Boston College dropped the 24th meeting of the Holy War Saturday, losing to rival Notre Dame 49-20.

 

Early offensive efforts by running back Jon Hilliman and starting quarterback Anthony Brown kept the Eagles competitive, but the Fighting Irish’s strong rushing offense behind Josh Adams and Brandon Wimbush duped the BC defense to win the game.

With Harold Landry noticeably absent from the field, defensemen Zach Allen and Lukas Denis picked up the slack and came up with several key tackles to stave off Notre Dame’s momentum in the first half before the Irish found their offensive footing... read more

After his first three mile run at the beginning of his freshman year of high school, Nathan Whitaker, MCAS '18, wondered whether he should quit the cross country team at the end of the week. Six years later, he’s completed three marathons and is one month away from his fourth: Boston.

Looking at Whitaker now, you couldn’t picture the unathletic high school freshman struggling to get through one cross country practice. Sure, he’ll be the first to assure you that he is by no means a fast runner, but his overall athleticism is undeniable. With three marathons under his belt since his first in his hometown of Seattle his senior year of high school, he’s no amateur when it comes to finishing the 26.2 mile course. And—as if running wasn't enough—Whitaker spends 20 hours a week practicing and racing for... read more

Press Pass: Erika Reineke

December 7, 2016

Erika Reineke’s first memory on the water is of her eight-year-old self learning to sail in Fort Lauderdale by following the best sailors around on the water. Now, with four consecutive National Singlehanded Sailing Championships under her belt, she’s no stranger to being the fastest in the water. That same relentless drive to improve still burns within the senior, feeding a desire that has been at the front of her mind since age 12: to compete in the Olympics.

Like most Division I athletes, Reineke hasn’t exactly had the “normal college experience” here at Boston College. While her classmates fill their hours of free time with a laundry list of clubs and activities, she spends her time outside of class training, conditioning, sailing, and driving back and forth between campus and the water. But, she doesn’t begrudge “always having... read more

for The New England Classic

MALONEY HALL — After intense pressure from multiple news outlets, alumni, and students, Boston College decided to rescind the honorary degree granted to Bill Cosby in 1996. Initially, despite the outcome of his trial, Boston College stated that it would honor the degree as a matter of policy.

 

University spokesperson Jack Dunn was quoted as saying that the degree “is meant to honor achievement at the time of the award.” During the trial, such achievements were proven to include the drugging and assault of at least 3 women.

 

In light of the backlash from community members, Boston College revisited the debate concerning Cosby’s degree and, taking into account the... read more

CHESTNUT HILL  — Thirty-eight percent of current Boston College undergraduates share the same one black friend, according to a recent study by the Department of Sociology. Researchers found that being friends with Marcus Williams (MCAS ‘19) provides over 2,000 students with an excuse to “jokingly” say the n-word and casually stereotype minorities.

“You know Marcus too?” remarked over a quarter of the student body when asked to comment. “Yeah, we’re tight, man. It’s crazy how similar we are, you know, considering.”

Williams, whose Ghanaian and Nigerian family has lived in Danbury, Connecticut for over sixty years, failed to identify over 75% of the... read more

The administration of Boston College, a Jesuit, Catholic university, released a video Thursday which suggests that they believe in magic, but have yet to provide evidence that the university believes in the existence of LGBTQ+ students.

Students, tour groups, and Potterheads alike have been drawing comparisons between the architecture of Main Campus, where the administration treats everyone who isn’t straight like fictional characters, and the fictional campus of Hogwarts, the wizarding school where the majority of the action takes place in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling series Harry Potter.

With the recent video receiving such positive reviews, the admin...  read more