When it comes to any decision, from the mundane (Burton or LDC today?) to the dire (shall I launch the warheads, Mr. Secretary?), we are faced with an opportunity cost. The CSA is now considering a decision that, while neither mundane nor dire, is a pressing matter both financially and socially for all of us. As thoughtful people, we the people whom the CSA serves must carefully consider the implications of this phrase that could become another part of our lives if we chose so: “Wi-Fi on the Bald Spot.”
Firstly, I want to deplore the public officials who allowed the controversy about attacking Syria to break out while our students were on campus, possibly compromising their neutrality by luring them into expressing opinions on an issue of global importance and so, in the long run, harming the planet by withering their career prospects. Obviously by “neutrality” I mean neuteredness.
Secondly, what would Paul Wellstone do?
Finally, I wonder how this issue played/is playing over in St. Olaf’s.
Of course Carleton is a diverse place and a microcosm of America. On the other hand, of course a school with a vocal subculture that celebrates the class politics of Harry Potter has a certain set of handicaps to contend with when it tries to discuss its own diversity.
While on YouTube the other day, I stumbled across a very disturbing phenomenon; girls posting videos of themselves, asking whether they are pretty or not. It was very upsetting.
You could say that some Carls had something of a “nuclear cow” this past weekend at 4th Musser, stemming from what may seem to be an innocuous tradition here: theft of a stuffed cow. And not just any cow. It was the Nolympics prize cow.
I did a bad thing.
It came from me receiving a generous fellowship to travel to Armenia for the summer, and it just so happened that my grandparents in Japan wanted to have me come visit as well. Thus followed a blur of airports and bus stations that took me from Denver to Moscow to Yerevan to Tbilisi to Istanbul to Tokyo to Denver. “There and Back Again,” someone once said.
Coming from Kenya, Cuba, India and Norway has not always been easy. Meeting family always meant adapting to new practices and traditions. However cliché it may seem, there was a certain unity in this diversity.
In fact, our only shared characteristic -- a love for cooking -- might have been the most powerful.
If I’m right that the local food movement is fueled as much by the positive search for a more authentic mode of living as it is the fear of environmental degradation (and this ought to be disputed, ‘cause though I love food, my own cooking skills never really progressed much past blue box pasta so y’all probably know more about this than me), I’d just like to point briefly to one pitfall the local food movement will perhaps be prone to falling in to.
When it comes to food, a lot of people have the mentality of “it tastes good, I enjoy it, don’t ruin it for me by telling me all the problems with it.” At least that was how I was for a long time. And while it’s hard to face the uncomfortable realities behind our habits, we cannot afford to further distance ourselves from the process that brings food to our plates.
There is a tension here that goes unspoken. As a whole, Carleton students do an abysmal job of mingling with each other, and this is symptomatic of an incredibly uncomfortable environment fueled by a lack of dialogue – differences between people, racial and otherwise, are, as a de facto rule, not allowed to be seriously discussed in a way that doesn’t imply that we’re all identical.
As students of Carleton, we understand the value of diversity. We are liberal; we are interested; we are respectful—we are politically correct. We feel uncomfortable with the homogeneity of our liberal arts bubble and thus further emphasize the value of multiculturalism. And multiculturalism is incredibly valuable. But we must understand that our understanding of multiculturalism is an incredibly privileged one.
We have become so fixated on the omissions from the “Western cannon,” so self-conscious of literature’s racially homogenous undertones, that we are resistant to incorporating non-white voices in less singularly multi-cultural ways, and we shy away from more in-depth studies of form, at more expansive looks into modernism and post-modernism.