eading Luther Abel’s “What in the World” column last week, I had many thoughts — one of which I feel obligated to respond to as the current editor-in-chief of The Lawrentian. In the most recent edition of the column, Luther writes, “Most campus jobs exist only to exist. […] For that matter, Lawrentian staff don’t need to be paid. Campus jobs are created not because the roles are necessary, but because it’s included in financial aid packages as an offset for ludicrously high tuition.”
The recent push on campus to make the minimum wage $15 is well-intentioned but misguided. It may not shock the good readers of The Lawrentian that I would be of this opinion, seeing as I’m purportedly a conservative shill for capitalism. This is undeniably true — the “I Heart the Koch Brothers” t-shirt in my dresser proves it — but I’m here to win hearts and minds for my corporate overlords, not rain on good-hearted folks’ parade. Thus, I’ll refrain from wailing,
Out of all my terms at Lawrence, this spring term has truly been one of the worst (at least so far). So many factors can explain it...not having (great) friends, not having any work-life balance, being slightly depressed and binge-watching Survivor on Hulu, etc etc etc.
The Progressive Left adores Harry Potter, analogizing nigh endlessly from the books and it is easy to see why. Open-carrying deadly weapons, a select subset of children attend a highly traditional and successful private school with barely a speck of government oversight. These lucky few inhabit an exceptional realm cut off from the rest of the world by a physical wall, lest those from the outside wish to share in the benefits of a magical society.
I have never really thought of myself as a talented person. When people think of “talent,” they often equate it to fame. People will list figures like Einstein, The Beatles and Audrey Hepburn. Because of this skewed perspective of talent we have all come to adopt, I have forgotten to appreciate all that I can do.
I was walking around Times Square when my buddy, trombonist Alan Ferber called. He was stuck on a train and couldn’t make it to his show on time, and he asked if I could sub for him at the last minute. I quickly ran over to the theater for Catch Me If You Can, threw on Alan’s tuxedo (which was 5 sizes too big for me) and sight-read the entire 3 hour show. It was nerve wracking to say the least, but exhilarating too.
The murder of George Floyd was just one instance in a string of many victims of police brutality. This one turned the eyes of many — more than ever before — to the U.S government as the time for change was overdue. It was a turning point in the history of our nation. As with many other major events, like the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, it gives us a chance to radically restructure fundamental parts of society, our government, and, in this case, our justice system.
At a place where career fairs, job lectures and internship notifications seem to pop up left and right, it is difficult to think about anything other than your career when peering into what you want your future to look like. We quite literally sleep, eat and live at an institution designed primarily to prepare us for a career. As important as it is to plan for these things, and as fortunate as we are to be in such a place that will set us up for successful careers, it’s important to take a step back and ask ourselves what else we want out of life.