The Stories of Our Halls Ep 01: Love

Firdous Khezrian, Associate Audio Editor

In the first episode of The Stories of Our Halls, Firdous Khezrian explores the idea of love, but in the non-traditional way. Listen to hear about one student’s love of something, not someone.

Reported and edited by Firdous Khezrian. Music by Blue Dot Sessions. The full transcript can be found below:



Firdous Khezrian: Welcome to The Daily Texan’s newest audio series, The Stories of Our Halls. For our first episode, we asked the UT community to tell us about something that they love, not someone.

In this episode, we hear from Justice Morris, a first year UT student who told me about her intense love for her grandmother’s tortillas.

*Music continues*

Justice: I started loving these tortillas as soon as I was conceived [laughter]. Growing up, I was very fortunate to be close to my grandparents and great grandparents respectively. So as a young girl, I would often be in the kitchen a nd it was just a sense of community and just bonding for my family. So from a very early age, I remember not being able to reach the top counters, like counter space. And just watching her cook and my grandmother, my great grandmother, sorry, loves her long red nails. And I often have my nails painted red like her. But when she’s living those tortillas on the go model, she uses the nails, so she hasn’t burned her fingertips. So I just watch her do this. And what I love about that is the attention to detail because to this day, like when I eat them, you can see the little indents and it’s just so sweet.

*Music continues*

Justice: It’s what I miss the most. My great grandmother’s cooking specifically, like her tortillas, enchiladas, like just Mexican food. I’ve had a hard time adjusting to Austin in terms of like, culture, especially with food. Like there are places on Guam that are like Mexican food, but it’s more Tex Mex. So I’m missing that sense of home.

I will say, growing up in Corpus Christi like South Texas, you know, being Tejana. It’s just that sense of validation, like, this is my culture, and this is – these are my people. I know I have a hard time feeling validated in some senses because I’m not fluent in Spanish. It’s something that I’m working on now. And to help with that, I will call my grandmother who is fluent in both English and Spanish. And I’m at this point now where this is the most Spanish I’ve ever been able to speak with her. So it’s just really reaffirming to be able to do that.

Firdous: I asked Justice what she wishes other people knew about her intense love for her grandmother’s tortillas.

Justice: That it’s much more than eating the food. There’s so much work that goes into it. I mean, my great grandmother often cooks for the family, like the family as a whole. She was married to my great grandfather who’s now passed for almost 70 years. And they had five kids together. And so many grandkids great grandchildren, I’m one of many. And it’s just the opportunity to bond and really show your love apart from just a hug, a kiss, embrace.

So it’s, it’s these things that I’ve grown up with and I treasure so much. I’ve learned these recipes just because I want to be able to pass that down one day to where my grandchildren are like, “Oh yes, my grandmother does with me as well.”

Firdous: Justice shared that this love has even influenced her studies at UT.

Justice: This upcoming semester, fall 2023. My sophomore year, I am adding a second major that being Mexican American Latino Studies.

Again, growing up in Corpus Christi, you would think that our stories would be taught but no, they often weren’t. And it was something that I had to look for on my own. And in this age and stage at my education, I have the like free will to pursue topics especially in history that are interesting to me.

Firdous: After hearing about Justice’s love for these tortillas, I wanted to know what she would write in a love letter to them.

Justice: I would thank the many generations of women that came before my great grandmother because my great grandmother mentioned that she she always compares herself. The bar is her great grandmother, in terms of like the quality or like fineness of the tortillas themselves. So, as much as I praise them, I know she’s a critic of herself, so I would thank her for her recipe, but also the women that came before her.

Firdous: We closed our conversation by talking about what she hopes to carry when she takes on her grandmother’s role of making the tortillas.

Justice: The parts of love that I hope to carry will be central to like having a family and being able to share what’s been passed down to me. My first major and what will be like one or two majors next fall is history. Right? So I’m my family’s de facto historian. So that includes having a document of stories, photos, recipes, so it’s just one key to who I am as a person and with being able to give that love and what I’ve learned from my family that came for me to the family that I will have and create.


Firdous: That was Justice Morris, a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, who shared the story of her passionate love for her grandmother’s tortillas.

This has been a production of The Daily Texan’s Audio Department. Reported and edited by me, Firdous Khezrian, and supervised by Audio Editor Molly-Jo Tilton.

Music from Blue Dot Sessions Even Dreams of Beaches.

For The Daily Texan, I’m Firdous Khezrian.