March 24, 2011 Volume CXXIX Issue 8

Reality is depressing

Opinion Editor

How GC students looked last week.

Last week was a glorious week for many students, faculty and staff here at Georgetown. We had a full week away from classes and structured time and NEXUS events—life was good. Some spent the break on the beach or at theme parks, and some poor, unfortunate souls spent their week studying and working. The return to normal campus life, however, seemed to elicit a giant, campus-wide sigh of depression. That is not to say that we suddenly do not love Georgetown, only that we, perhaps not-so-suddenly, do not love reality.

For me, the return to reality means a return to writing a thesis, taking my orals, writing papers, keeping up with reading assignments and homework and going back to a normal work schedule. I know many students are in a similar situation. A week in the fantasy world of Spring Break made the return to real life seem like a crash-landing in a cold, gray, soul-crushing foreign land. Actually picking up a book or writing a paper seems far too much like giving in, like accepting the oppression of schedules and schoolwork.

How we all look now.

Part of me wants to rebel. I want to refuse to rejoin the ranks of the studious and to spend my days enjoying the sunshine and the (relative) comfort of my bed, not poring over books and taking notes. The other part of me, though, the part that conforms to social expectations and doesn’t like rocking the boat or drawing attention to me, really wants to graduate on time. To do that, I have to go back to reality.

Perhaps the education system needs to recognize this wide-spread feeling of misery that accompanies the end of Spring Break by easing back into studies afterward. Instead of going straight back to a full schedule, we could spend a few days doing half-day schedules or taking assignments more slowly. Instead of this gentler return to reality, though, we are thrust back into the academic grind with a fierceness that rivals the violence of an angry badger, all in an effort to get everything done in time for the end of the semester. The “hurry up and wait” feeling is the worst of all.

However, Charlie Sheen jokes do make life a little brighter.

Politics need pragmatism

Staff Writer

Two weeks past, I wrote a short article outlining a few currents in world news. In one section I mentioned President Obama and Guantanamo Bay. Should Mr. Obama have kept a campaign pledge, the camp would have been shut down back in 2009. Mr. Obama did in fact suspend trial proceedings at Guantanamo for a short while, but he met with broad opposition against his stated intent to bring detainees to the US. Most recently, Mr. Obama has rescinded earlier executive orders, allowing the military trials to continue and authorizing the indefinite detention of prisoners held at Guantanamo.

Mr. Obama’s actions have alternately enraged both the right and the left. The right went ballistic upon hearing of Mr. Obama’s intent to move detainees to US territory, while the left is dismayed and disillusioned by his most recent ‘recanting,’ regardless of the justification. Mr. Obama’s critics decry him for simply shifting his position according to changing political winds, while his supporters justify the shifting as necessary in the face of relentless and unyielding opposition. In short, both sides grant that the game is one of pragmatic advantage, and Mr. Obama is merely adjusting his sails for a time until the winds change and he sail forward in earnest. As such he has acted similarly to most other political figures—conceding, however, that he is likely more clever than most.

I don’t begrudge Mr. Obama his games of advantage any more than the next politician, though I find our political arena lamentable insofar as there is little room for politicians to engage in a philosophical pragmatism. This pragmatism is characterized not by political expediency or even advantage (unless the advantage is measured purely in terms of the pursuit of knowledge), but accounts for the shifting of ideas within the reality of experience; error is openly acknowledged, even unavoidable. A political system open to this philosophical pragmatism would allow, or produce, political figures without a complex fear of being demonized for shifting positions or, I dare-say, admitting the error of a former view or idea.

We must keep in mind a relevant critique: if politicians were allowed the grace of openly changing positions and admitting mistaken views, the political game would only become more complex and lead to more means by which the public may be seduced by their public representatives. In short, according to this critique, the public is faced with misdirection and illusion whether pragmatism is engaged merely in a practical manner, or philosophically. What do you think?

In the next issue, I hope to treat thoughtfully with this objection. Until then, your comments are always welcome: Box 385 or

Green looks good for GC

Contributing Writer

The changes on campus are a great look for Georgetown. I’m not just speaking of the new WOW renovations or cultural diversity initiatives, but the environmental changes are a great start to a healthier campus. Have you noticed the overlarge soda bottles strategically placed around campus? Pepsi has put in efforts to help make Georgetown a more environmentally-friendly campus by offering an outlet for recycling plastic. Sidney Hall, a junior, agrees that this is a powerful start to aid in keeping our campus clean. She adds, “The size of the new recycling bins serves as a reminder when I am throwing things away around campus.” Way to go Georgetown!

The heat goes on

Features Editor

The past few days on campus have been fairly miserable for most due to the fact that it is warm outside and even warmer inside since the heat is still on. In spring. I realize that it is supposed to get cooler again around the time that this is printed, but I ask you—so what?

As I see it, there is only one logical thought process regarding the control of heating and air conditioning systems everywhere: once it turns hot (even if it will get cold again for a few days) the air conditioning must be turned on. It all boils down to the fact that when someone is cold, they can put on additional layers to get warm. If that isn’t enough, then they can huddle closer to others to get warmer still —and thus community is born.

However, when it is hot out and no climate control is utilized, one must resort to removing layers. But there is a finite amount of clothing that can be removed to help cooling. There are even less layers that can be removed if one still wishes to be dressed in a socially acceptable manner.

So my statement to the powers-that-be who choose whether or not to press the magic button that will send chilled air racing around campus and bringing happiness to all is this—give us cool air or face the consequences of a campus community that will be wearing clothing inconsistent with the Christian image of the college.

If that isn’t enough motivation, then one must consider academics. I have to think that everyone’s ability to function at the highest academic level possible is hindered by the oppressive heat. It benefits no one when students are falling asleep (read passing out from the heat) during their professor’s lectures and when professors are losing their train-of-thought due to the tracks melting. So please, Great Controller of the AC, turn on the air.


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