Tat-tuesday: Students share stories behind the ink

Megan Hix

Photos by Josh Guerra

J.D. Harris

Journalism senior J.D. Harris first inked a cross on his upper arm in 2011. He said the symbol, one of Harris’s five tattoos, is meant to be a memorial to his mother. 

“The Bible verse on my back takes up my shoulder blade,” Harris said. “I wish I’d gotten it where I could see it. It was my mom’s favorite verse.”

On his chest, Harris has his last name and his mother’s maiden name. A wing tattoo and the word ‘Family’ cover his left arm. 

“[The names] are all of people I went to high school with who died,” Harris said. 

Shion Chung

Shion Chung, a psychology and social work senior, has collected many small tattoos since getting her first when she was 13 years old. The stages of the lunar cycle she has tattooed across her forearm is one of her largest. 

“I love the lunar cycle, and it means a lot in Japanese culture,” Chung said. 

She said her most sentimental tattoo is of the bear in “The Tao of Pooh,” a book that uses Winnie the Pooh to introduce readers to Taoism. 

“A lot of my tattoos are just aesthetically pleasing,” Chung said. “I like words, like ‘This is water,’ which is an excerpt from David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech.”

Kassie Barroquillo

Journalism graduate student Kassie Barroquillo got the first of her three tattoos eight years ago. 

“My mom and I both got ‘I love you’ in sign language,” Barroquillo said. “My mom is a hearing-impaired instructor, and we love each other.”

Another tattoo features an infinity sign and “Ohana,” or “family” in Hawaiian.

“I have a pink ribbon that says ‘Live, laugh, love’ that I got for my mom’s friend who passed away,” Barroquillo said. “And I got ‘Ohana’ because I’ll still be family with her kids.”