I am a big fan of the written word. To me, the processes of writing and reading are some of the best ways to know what you think and think what you know. Like all of us, I have a lot of gut feelings as I experience life going by from day to day. My inner petulant child is always looking at these gut feelings and asking “why why why?.” Why do I feel this way? Why must I feel this way? Why should I feel this way? Sometimes, the answer to these questions is not obvious, sometimes to a painful extent.
I have always found summer break to be a really weird time of the year. Some people have incredible internship opportunities, and some people are working 9-to-5 jobs. Some people stay home, while others go on luxurious vacations. Obviously, when we’re all in school together, we’re on a somewhat similar path, but summer break is where our plans diverge. Sometimes the openness summer break has to offer can almost be discouraging. “Am I doing the right thing with my summer, or am I just wasting my time?”
In a well-intentioned but ultimately ignorant article published last week, one of The Lawrentian staff declared that the terms Zionism and anti-Zionism were “causing more trouble than they're worth” and that we should simply stop using them in political discussions about Israeli occupation and the Palestinian struggle. For an American audience who is already quite unaware of the immense urgency of Palestinian liberation, saying a statement like that is just tightening the blindfold that American audiences are so used to wearing when it comes to Israel-Palestine and the American sponsorship of Palestinian ethnic cleansing. I’m here to take that blindfold off and show you exactly what Zionism is and how it has single-handedly caused the apartheid state, which renders Palestinians second-class citizens in their homeland.
I moved into the dorms this year knowing that on that same day in 2020, I was moving to Oxford, England to study at Oxford. I can’t believe it has been a year. I have so many feelings about that, and as many more students are able to study abroad now (rather than just two students in fall 2020), I wanted to reflect.
I am so glad that the Viking Room has reopened on campus and that The Lawrentian was interested in my opinions on the matter. However, last week’s article didn’t shine a light on the real stars of the show: graduating managers Angela Caraballo and Jailene Rodriguez and incoming managers Valeria Núñez Herdoiza and Prince Mukuna. They, along with our staff supervisor Greg Griffin, are the ones who deserve the credit for the VR’s smooth and safe reopening.
We're at the point in the spring season and spring term where we can feel summer approaching. I've been thinking about one of my favorite songs, "Summer Soft" by Stevie Wonder. There's something about the song's dense texture and Stevie's incomparable voice that reminds me both of summer's restless heat and the nostalgia of school ending. In the song, Stevie shares with us an evocation of summer and winter and how he feels fooled and heartbroken when they end. He references this again and again in the chorus, singing "and he's gone" and "and she's gone.”
Since I turned eighteen, I have spent the last three summers working at a nearby paper mill. For me, that meant working three to four 12-hour shifts (no breaks) for 36 to 48 hours a week, for two weeks of days and two weeks of nights. My schedule was always Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, 6 am to 6 pm, or 6 pm to 6 am. In short, it was a lot—but I felt like I should give these time frames to explain exactly how it has consumed the summers of 2018, 2019 and 2020 for me. While I can be bitter about this, I weirdly do love it and think fondly of it (but based on my early Variety articles, I’m pretty sure I depict it as Stockholm Syndrome).
Dear Editor, I have spent this year at Lawrence fighting for academic disability accommodations. I need them due to a diagnosed mental health condition. I have had them since the fall of 2018. When the pandemic hit, and Lawrence switched to distance learning, the accommodations I needed changed. Interacting and communicating over Zoom is extremely difficult for me. I requested new, temporary accommodations to deal with this issue and was vehemently denied by the accommodations coordinator who told me that my accommodation request “was not a reasonable request.”