Sometimes the audience isn’t so receptive.
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Sometimes the audience isn’t so receptive.
Dartmouth likes to tout its commitment to providing opportunities for students to expand their horizons. From joining clubs to volunteering to interning, we’re constantly being recruited, mentored, probed to try anything new. While Dartmouth facilitates the discovery of different interests, for students like me, coming here was already a bound out of our comfort zones.
Neocolonialism is a strong term, with implications of extractive and abusive control of a weak state by a strong one. It conjures up ideas of the dominant predator insidiously creeping up on its unsuspecting prey. It is also the term most frequently used to describe the fast-growing economic relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the African continent. But although this relationship certainly has grown quickly, with the value of Chinese trade with sub-Saharan Africa rising from $15 billion in 2003 to $100 billion in 2010, it cannot be described as neocolonialist. Despite how it is popularly portrayed, the relationship is not a destructive one. Africa’s industry and population have benefited from the rise of China.
The modern Republican Party is built on contradictions. Classical liberals and social conservatives never had much in common past a shared hostility toward communism. Yet the GOP alliance has proven strong. Republicans pander to bigoted elements within American society, but often as a means to an end; social conservatism rallies for a core policy of limited government and free markets. Republicans need to incorporate social conservatives in order to win elections and promote their agenda.
The National Football League is struggling and seems unable to get out of its own way. From controversies over national anthem protests to concussion research, recent public opinion of football has been far from stellar. The drop in ratings echoes this sentiment. However, one of the greatest impediments to the success of the NFL lies not in external factors, but within the very broadcast booths and media outlets which are supposed to foment enthusiasm for the sport. In their constant haste to render the game exciting through their commentary or discussions of the latest strategies or roster moves made by teams, these individuals have unwittingly managed to oversaturate the market with content. They have created an environment that feeds off of nostalgia, precipitating a sense of apathy that can explain many of the league’s recent quagmires.
Since the launch of the Virginia Slims’ cigarette campaign in the late 60s, feminism has sold in the mass market. Feminists today wear our pussy-hats to the grocery store, plaster our laptops with popular feminist witticisms, layer our “smash the patriarchy” sweatshirts over matching t-shirts and pin buttons printed with the female sex sign onto our backpacks. Our wallets bleed feminism. It soaks into the soap we buy, the makeup we wear, the tampons we carry. But in a market where feminism is thrown at us from all directions, it begs the question: Are we actually feminists, or are we simply buying a label?
What's a president to do when the government shuts down?
Politicians like to cast immigration as a partisan issue with stark alternatives and difficult trade-offs: open vs. closed, natives vs. outsiders, safety vs. liberty, efficiency vs. equality. But what if it was possible to give America the best of both worlds? The United States has a powerful set of core values that can lead this country to greatness if we have the courage and the ingenuity to apply them to the challenges of our day. With bipartisan immigration reform on the horizon, America has the rare opportunity to strengthen its economy and its democracy while answering the plea of the American worker.
I love America.
President Donald Trump’s mental fitness has come into question more than once. With his “bigly” vocabulary and “stable genius” behind the trigger of Twitter 24/7, individuals skeptical of the president feel that they have ample evidence to raise concerns. While many of my peers and I disapprove of the president’s actions and demeanor, is mental illness a just reason to remove Trump from office? The careless imprecision and accusatory tone we use surrounding the president’s supposed mental illness is frightening and further excludes those with mental illness from “normal society.” While one may not agree with or even disdain Trump, the reason for that opposition should not be his mental fitness.
The United States currently has a problem in the realm of academia, and for once it is not solely budget related. Instead, this particular issue stems from advanced placement courses, the likes of which have proliferated throughout the nation’s high schools. The dilemma is in the growing lack of curricular flexibility precipitated by their presence, which promotes adherence to a label rather than the pursuit of one’s interests.
Dartmouth is unique in that it has an unusually long winter break (appropriately called “winterim”), and I’m certainly not complaining. This chunk of time allows for productive activities such as a cappella tours, service projects abroad and training trips for athletic teams. It also allows for down time to unwind from the fall term. These activities are primarily student-directed, and the College remains relatively inactive during this six-week period.
Questions about the effectiveness of the new house communities tend to elicit responses of hearty ambivalence. Students refer to the communities’ irrelevance, their failings and their lack of utility. It seems glaringly apparent that the houses have little to no bearing on students’ lives, that they already exist outside of the zeitgeist. In fact, it often seems that their only relevance is found in the brightly-colored shields emblazoned on merchandise and hung from the ceiling of Foco.
This past December, I spent some time with the Dartmouth Outing Club in Big Bend National Park, out in West Texas along the Mexican border. We hiked through dry washes and over plateaus and camped out along bluffs by the Rio Grande. Driving out on the morning of the last day, I saw the sky flare up red along the horizon, a stark beauty against the desert.
In another installment of "Recollections, A Dartmouth Experience," winter sets in...
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This principle is said to govern the machinations of the entire universe. Scientifically or otherwise, it certainly makes sense: All actions have consequences. The United Nations does not seem to have accurately understood the principle in its responses to North Korea. Every North Korean infraction of global policy does not precipitate an equal and opposite response; No, every action gives way to a meager — and nearly always ineffective — set of sanctions.
I hope you enjoyed your winter break. Perhaps you traveled somewhere: to another country for a few weeks or another state to visit family and friends. Or maybe you visited a more local attraction, like I did. My family and I endured a two-hour car ride to Joshua Tree National Park, a desert named after the shaggy, Dr. Seuss-esque trees dotting the otherwise barren landscape. At one particular sight, Skull Rock, we clambered up the boulders to join the equally eager throngs of visitors who, like us, hoped for a picture with the rock resembling a human skull. Near me, a middle-aged woman, clutching her phone camera, prepared to take photos of her husband and pre-teen son who were standing a few boulders away. She audaciously hollered across the way at the pair, instructing them to stand up straight, shuffle a bit to the left and smile, alternating between Mandarin and Cantonese. This exercise continued for several more minutes until the woman was satisfied with the photos she had taken.
Weather and climate: they aren't the same.
Money matters, and some college students quickly learn the value of saving it. But money management does not enter mainstream conversations or the classroom nearly as often as it should. Only 17 states require high school students to take a financial literacy course, and that number has remained constant since 2014. As a result, students entering college often lack knowledge of topics such as financial aid and budgeting; this lack of knowledge correlates with lower credit scores and higher debt delinquency. All 50 states should therefore require high school students to learn personal finance skills before they graduate.
In this age of political divisiveness, social unrest and social media prevalence, genuine human interaction is more important than ever, yet unfortunately overlooked and undervalued. Our conversations have become smiles in passing, our smiles in passing have become Facebook reactions and those have faded to the ever prevalent “let’s get a meal sometime!” texts. There is no debating that the way we communicate has changed greatly, and much of that change has marked a transition from valuable conversations conducive to growth and learning to simple transactional relationships and interactions. With 2018 just beginning, this resolution is worth your attention: Build better relationships.