St. Olaf faces a conundrum: it adheres to its Lutheran-Norwegian roots, yet it seeks diversity on campus. There might be an array of majors and social beliefs on campus, but in terms of socio-economic, cultural and religious diversity, our student body does not appear nearly as integrated as some would hope. What should the St. Olaf administration do? Should it continue working hard to recruit students of racially and culturally diverse backgrounds, or should St. Olaf stick to its cultural and religious foundations? What have the experiences been like of students who do not belong to the standard blond, Lutheran-Norwegian prototype?
Admissions officers work hard to recruit students from all over the globe through a short-term or four-year exchange program. They put in a lot of work – there’s no doubting it. Yet one might ask, if skin color doesn’t matter, what does it matter that Caucasians predominate the St. Olaf student population?
It does matter. When unexposed to other races and cultures, individuals become scared of or ignorant about people with different backgrounds. In a book on education in the Bronx, sociologist Jonathan Kozol interviewed black school children. He found that these children were not just afraid of white people, they also considered them entirely different. They believed the white children had grander lives with better educations, and they aspired to be like the white children. They felt this way because they had never met white people before. However, this is not to say that every St. Olaf student will turn out unknowingly racist or religiously narrow-minded.
Please puff the magic dragon, stop drug-related crime
Published: Friday, March 13, 2009
“The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good,” (Genesis 1:12). The Chinese did it thousands of years ago at the same time they discovered the use of iron, a time considered the zenith of bronze making. President Barack Obama did it. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did it. Even mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg did it. That is right, they all smoked the reefer.
Promoters of ganja are not just Rastafarians and vegan tree-huggers. Why is marijuana illegal? What is the big deal about this green plant anyway? According to drugsense.com, “The U.S. federal government spent over $19 billion in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second. The budget has since been increased by over $1 billion.” Thousands of individuals are dying from a drug war, which could easily stop with just one word: legalization. Why does the American government spend so much just to stop people from smoking, selling and buying the sticky-icky?
Write for ten minutes, incorporating a common proverb, adage, or familiar phrase (“between the devil and the deep blue sea,” “one foot in the grave,” “a stitch in time saves nine,” “the whole nine yards,” “a needle in a haystack,” etc.) that you have changed in some way, as well as five of the following words:
Don’t worry about creating a story right now: just focus on following the parameters and writing for your ten minutes. Write down whatever comes into your head without worrying about whether it’s good or not.
On the bus, the girl next to me is busy popping her gum and texting away on her blackberry. every thirty secondsa steady buzz from her phone clacks against her ipod and i have to listen once again to the tap tap tap of her polished fingers against the blackberry’s keys. the bus was an hour late today and the cloud over new york city is a gray green blanket, suffocating all of us under its muggy fog. the bus is filled to capacity with sweating commuters gripping their bags and cellphones, licking the sweat off of their upper lips. we all look gruesome. we all look like were at a breaking point, past the whole nine yards of ammunition and running on empty shells. we’re sweating and stuck in traffic on unnamed roads in industrial new jersey towns. the old man sitting diagnol from me has spent his life working to get to the top. twenty years ago his mother bragged to the church ladies how he had his own office, the whole nine yards. now he is commuting once again to the city to find a job. the ammunition from the advertisement agency he worked in had run out. a voice comes from the hand held walkie talke from the bus driver, half hour back ups on the lincoln tunnel. a chorus of blackberry tap tap taps rise from the girl next to me. the whole nine yards did not predict——
There was motor oil; those thick lines of black between the pink of his callused flesh and the yellowing of his nails had been commonplace for the past 32 years. There had been a soft spot on the back of his hand where he once burned himself in his mother’s kitchen. Creases in his skin broke up the blistered rough surface area that was his hands, hands like mittens. Hands like mittens, covering up from the elements.
"Describe something he or she is doing with his/her hands"
He hardly noticed the five yeardolds running outside of the garage. He focused on above the rim of the thermos, which he had his hands on either side of. He thumbed the inside of the handle at the same time of the torque wrench on the black 1998 nissan altima.