Letter from the Editors – December 2017

Ah. The holiday season is upon us. The season of paradoxes, such as your grandmother saying “ooh let’s give him some nickels” when the Salvation Army guy gets in your face, and then going into Walmart and jostling another lady for the last slime kit. Another paradox is the forward progress concept: as we move forward into the colder and colder months, up until December, the holiday spirit swells – touting warmth and fireside repose – and so does our pressure as students. Each day is another day closer to exams – and for seniors, when many college decisions plop into our unsuspecting mailboxes –  but also a day closer to possible snow and winter break! Oh my, I’m so conflicted.

Anyways, I hope everyone’s Thanksgivings were nice and only partially colored by uncomfortable family tensions. Side eyes and under-the-breath mutterings add a certain flavor to an otherwise bland gathering of recycled questions, like “How was the drive over?” I love my extended family though, and I love spending time with all of them who reside in the lush suburban fringes of Tampa, Florida. It’s quite an immersion in culture to see so many strip malls, so many Olive Gardens concentrated in one area.

Despite its air having a certain suffocating quality, Florida has taught me many lessons. One: never go outside for more than three minutes without bug-spray. Two: talk to someone about golf and they will like you. Three: say “thank you” and mean it. It’s important – even though its cheesy. And even though Thanksgiving was founded on this fragile and hypocritical “brotherhood” with the native peoples that soon showed its true colors of exploitation, still say “thank you” and mean it. When your mother gives you an extra slice of pie, say “thank you” and tell her you’re the luckiest kid in the world to have such a progressive parent. When that random underclassmen boy holds the door for you while you’re simultaneously holding a Campus Center bagel, say “thank you”, pour out your soul to him and transcend the physical plane with your spiritual and heavenly thanksgiving. Basically, just really think about what people do for you. Even the teachers! Or, especially the teachers. They aren’t trying to sabotage us with hard grading (although, in spirit of giving, it would be nice for a little leniency), but they are giving their lives (well, not really, but their intellectual lives, which are arguably more important!) so that we can learn something, and, I don’t know, make the world a better place or something. You guys are great, if anyone has made it this far in this letter.

This holiday season is much larger in scale, however, than just the flurry of exam papers, forced familial interactions, and hot chocolate. I will try to not get too divisive, but I’ve been deeply saddened by the news lately, as my projection that everything that is happening to our political and entertainment spherers is just sort of farcical comedy is wearing down and tiring out. Politically, I would reccommend reading Meimei’s article on the NFL kneeling controversy, as I think she very poignantly delivers a cohesive narrative on the subject. And entertainment wise, look out for next month’s issue in which we want to tackle the dark, surreptitious nature of sexual assault in, especially, the entertainment industry, and the framework that exists within it. I’m sorry to end this sarcastic ramble on such a serious and heavy note, but it is important to pivot, sometimes, away from what makes you comfortable, or is easy to talk about. We’ve got to stay politically aware, and we’ve got to stay hopeful. Thank you and happy holidays!