COLUMN


11/30/2010 10:39pm

The inherent value of learning

When I graduated from high school, there was one complaint I thought I would never have to hear from my classmates again: “When am I ever going to use this in real life?” I am sure everyone has heard it, and maybe they have said it themselves during some particularly obtuse lecture or another. Surely UNC is a place where we can all pick a major and then only study exactly what we are going to use in our future careers — nothing more, nothing less.


11/30/2010 10:37pm

Taking one step back and two steps forward

I graduated with a philosophy and psychology major two years prior. During exam time, I was much more devoted to the construction of the moat in my fraternity than to the tests which would ultimately result in the underwhelming grade point average with which I left UNC.


11/29/2010 10:24pm

Why I'm not a 'first-year' student

Freshman or first-year? Our class will probably never reach a consensus on the issue of our collective status. The reason for this polarizing debate is the same reason for all arguments nowadays: discrimination in the form of sexism. To some, the fact that “freshman” is used without any corresponding feminine term is an appalling representation of the ongoing subjugation of women, even in the 21st century. To them, “first-year” is preferable because it is sexless, and therefore a moderate alternative. The cause for change is understandable but irrational.


11/28/2010 10:21pm

We can't go 'home' again

Thomas Wolfe said it best: “You can’t go home again.” We all tried over Thanksgiving break. We made our strongest efforts to integrate ourselves back into our hometowns, our old friend groups and our families. Between bites of turkey, we attempted to remember how we used to do it — to remember where we fit into it all. Audience by audience, we noticed that things simply weren’t as we left them.


11/22/2010 10:20pm

Can you pass the humble pie?

The media has overly sensationalized the rough economy in which we live. For many families, this economy has indeed created dire times. But our quality of life is not as bad as many would have you believe nor as bad as many seem to believe. So this year, when you emerge from your college bubble, let me suggest giving thanks for a sadly disappearing generation that embodied being humble, independent and basically American.


11/21/2010 10:37pm

Sex and the older woman

It’s no secret that society wants older men to be the same sexual stallions that they were in their 20s. With Jimmy Johnson (Extenze), and Hugh Hefner (Playboy) leading the salt-and-pepper herd, men in their 50s and 60s are supposed to continue being sexually active. But what about older women? They have the images of the old maid and the spinster. Some changes are developing via the rise of the “cougar” stereotype (albeit with its own set of problematic implications), but the myth of the asexual older woman still remains strong.

11/18/2010 10:18pm

The immigrant economy

Fresh off their victory in the midterm elections this month, Republicans in Congress are prioritizing their agenda for the 112th session. At the top: jobs, debt, and the economy. Meanwhile all signs of addressing real and necessary immigration reform are fading quickly. In light of this, let’s take a look at how immigration reform could aid in growing the U.S. economy.


11/17/2010 10:56pm

Soda tax: A solution to a big problem

Beyond our nation’s borders, we are known as a country of fatties. When I was studying abroad in Argentina last fall, my host family thought they knew the answer to why so many Americans are fat — they eat too much peanut butter. My host family may have been on the right track, since processed foods and beverages high in fat, like peanut butter, are so much cheaper than fresh produce. Eating or drinking large quantities of processed foods and beverages is one of the major causes of our nation’s obesity epidemic.


11/17/2010 10:42pm

Fighting indifference, through tea

When Elie Wiesel recently came to UNC, he argued that our generation needs to work together better. And according to Wiesel, that requires “getting everyone in the same room talking.” This Friday morning, the Black Student Movement, the Campus Y, the Carolina Review, Carolina United, College Republicans, Cornerstone, Episcopal Campus Ministry, the Faculty Council, Hillel, Muslim Student Association, NAACP, the Roosevelt Institute and Young Democrats invite the community to the Campus Y for the first three cups of tea, coffee or apple cider.


11/17/2010 12:04am

Seeing red: being desi(RED)

Recently, I had the privilege of shooting a HIV/AIDS public service announcement. This advertisement featured scenes of other activists and me answering questions about why we got involved in the AIDS awareness movement. While we each were asked specific questions about our involvement, we all were asked, “How can the average person get involved?”


11/16/2010 11:15pm

3-year-old illiteracy not a problem

Did you know that children who begin reading earlier perform better in school as students, are more successful as young adults, have higher self-esteem and have been shown to be 56 percent better than children who are simply average readers? And for the price of $14.95, your three-year-old can learn to read at a first-grade level. I made the last stat up, but the first three were pulled word for word from the “Your Baby Can Read” website.


11/15/2010 10:47pm

I'll be a United States-er abroad

As soon as I said the word I knew I had made a mistake. I watched uneasily as formerly friendly faces morphed into more hardened countenances. As I frenetically struggled to explain myself, I silently cursed myself for being so careless. Because really, I knew better. Everyone who has ever taken a Spanish class knows better. It is such a convenient little cognate, though, so much more fitting and easier to say than the alternative, just a little –o at the end…


11/14/2010 10:06pm

A bigger problem than registration

Last week’s registration brought back painful memories of CTOPS. Luckily, we have developed quite a bit since that awkward two-day period. We are no longer walking around with those tacky lanyards on our necks. We’ve put down the campus maps and we’ve found better places to keep our keys.


11/11/2010 11:09pm

Reflecting on our journey, half way

As the effects of Halloween have finally worn off and exams loom in the not-too distant future, there is a lull in our typical fast-paced lives as students. We in student government are taking this time to stop and reflect on the journey we have taken since beginning our term last April. The October Report chronicles all of student government’s activities in the past seven months and is one way we maintain transparency in everything we do


11/10/2010 9:09pm

This is your brain on love

What is love? The question has been contemplated throughout the ages by authors, philosophers and Haddaway alike. But now science is entering the conversation. Through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, neuroscientists have finally begun to uncover what’s going on inside the brain of somebody in love.


11/9/2010 10:43pm

HIV myths: being empowe(red)

On a routine trip to Wal-Mart, I found myself on an aisle with a rather loud woman on a cellphone. For those of us who frequent Wal-Mart, this is no surprise. She was discussing the recent actions of one of her friends when she screeched, “She needs to stop making out with guys at the club. She gonna catch AIDS or something.”


11/9/2010 10:37pm

Testing diversity by nixing race

Three years ago, the NAACP buried the N-word. The word isn’t as forgotten as Middle English, but it did seem to alleviate some racial tension. Yet I don’t think we should focus our efforts on a genocide of racial epithets. What I think this country is ready for is not giving attention to racial rhetoric as we seem to do, ripping people for the slightest racial faux pas, but rather a scenario without the concept of race (represented as skin color as it often is) altogether.


11/8/2010 10:10pm

The population we can all hate

In the quaint little town of Chapel Hill, nestled in the bucolic milieu, is a population of millions that are oft neglected, or at least until they cause a commotion. They roam freely in the lounges, the bathrooms, the classrooms, the dining halls — they are everywhere. They don’t pay tuition or taxes or dues of any sort. Their only contribution to society is the misery they evoke.


11/7/2010 10:28pm

Shedding light on the nature of light

As a student of physics, I’ve noticed that a lot of times, it’s helpful to think of certain difficult concepts in terms of simple things with which I’m already somewhat familiar. For example, I sometimes think of electrical circuits as water flowing through a series of little pipes. In this analogy, pumps represent batteries, water flowing past a certain point represents electrical current and some sort of obstacle that impedes the flow is a resistor.


11/4/2010 10:26pm

Crazy crowds change to crazy cops

A line of heavily armed men on motorcycles simultaneously rev up their engines preparing to push civilians out of their way. The intimidation factor is heightened by their impenetrable helmets and black uniforms. Behind this tightly packed line of motorcycles marches armed men followed by a huge empty bus, a fleet of patrol cars, and several enormous public works vehicles.