Op/Ed

Op/Ed

Decompressing (for free) on Babson’s beautiful trails

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Photo courtesy of Andrew Plifka

As any Babson student knows, multitasking and being extremely efficient are necessities for survival. Drowning in work, excessive stress, and the feeling of being completely inadequate compared to one’s peers are not uncommon occurrences on this campus. And, While not the best culinary experience any of us has ever had, Trim’s infamous “all you care to eat” style can really start to become “all you care to gain” on our waistlines. However, when a student looks to have a relaxing experience or peel themselves away from their overflowing email inbox, they should not simply look for the typical activities and happenings on campus. They should do something that offers a multitude of benefits for just one investment of time.

With limited financial resources, many students can seem trapped here at Babson, which is simply an unpleasant way to feel about one’s college. However, many students do not know is that they are actually within a safe walking distance to walking and running trails and multiple grocery stores. Over the past few weeks, I explored ways to get off campus for a grand total of nothing.

Right here on campus, we have a running and walking trail that offers students an innovative and healthy way to check out some of New England’s iconic foliage and fall weather in the next few weeks. Past Coleman Hall, one can find the Sudbury Path. The Town of Wellesley has actually created an expansive network of safe and easily accessible trails. I was able to start near Coleman Hall, travel through parts of Olin College, and continue into the forest near the Wellesley Recycling center. The path was well marked, clean, and close to help. It offers students an opportunity to get exercise, fresh air, and decompress after a long day here at Babson. In addition to the Sudbury Path, I have also discovered a safe route, complete with sidewalks, to Whole Food Market in Wellesley. A twenty- to thirty-minute walk each way offers exercise, an opportunity to explore the community surrounding Babson, and the chance to grab a variety of food and necessities.

So go run, walk, or take a leisurely stroll in nature; it’s actually a very feasible option. We have great resources that are not well marked or talked about. Take advantage of the benefits that these free trails and routes have to offer so you don’t find yourself as stressed out, bloated from Trim Food, or bored in the future.

Map courtesy of the Town of Wellesley

Experiences of a Babson MBA

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Editor’s note: Sun and Nicole are MBA students at Babson’s Olin Graduate School of Business.

At an average age of 28, the typical Babson MBA student arrives here with a lot of experience. But we are also filled with anticipation and excitement; we are eager to evolve, to grow and to continue to pursue our goals and aspirations, and we think we know it all.

We are all college graduates. Some of us have already completed other graduate programs. Some of us have lists of accomplishments that can barely be contained to a one-page resume. And others have lists of dreams that can barely be contained in a three-slide rocket pitch—but this is why we’re here.

We are from all over the world and right down the street, and although it’s seems like we’ve got it all figured out, we have so much in common.

We are all here for similar reasons, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to smooth sailing. Navigating the pressures of the program impacts everyone differently. Making friends seems to come easier to some than others. And, despite our best efforts, culture differences create barriers that feel impossible to break through —no matter how old you are.

Regardless of age or experience, change is hard. We all struggle in our own ways to navigate the transitions in life as smoothly as possible. But nothing worth doing is easy, and sometimes you question whether it is worth doing at all.

One day, in the office of a professor, I was told that holding back my feelings, my worries, and my questions helps no one.

No matter how silly you think what you are feeling may be, there is someone else who is feeling the same way. So I am here to say: I am stubborn. I am not a quitter. I am sad. I am excited. I am struggling. I am imperfect. I am an MBA student at Babson.

“To my fellow first-years…”

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Dearest collegiate freshman,

Here you are, the class of 2018. You’ve studied, you’ve crammed, you’ve been the president of school clubs, directors of plays, producers of television shows, and editors-in-chief of newspapers. You’ve done so much already in such a short period of time.

And now, here you are. Standing before me, I see a class filled with potential, a class that exudes charisma and charms that go beyond the classroom. Your passions bleed beyond the small Babson community into the global world. I see you all going places – some will be CEOs of Fortune 500, while others will take their innovative ideas into the nonprofit sector. Of course, there will be a plethora of careers in between, all gearing up to do more.

But before we go off and explore the infinite possibilities that lie ahead, let us take the time to reflect on some of the most important, and oftentimes overlooked, parts of our college experience. First off, high school may have adequately prepared some for the vigor of college academia, but for many of you, this is a new experience. Now, I’m no expert on college, nor do I have any exceptionally amazing credentials. These thoughts are mere suggestions and tips that I’ve picked up during my short time at Babson, and they are subjected to change as I morph into the entrepreneurial leader I wish to become. Here are three things you should keep in mind as your journey at Babson continues.

One

This marks the beginning of your adult life. You’re free for the first time – free from daily familial obligations, free to be your own person, free to explore your own boundaries and take charge of your own future. Take advantage of that freedom and go explore the unknown. Get out of your comfort zone, and be proactive about your future. Join that club or organization you’ve been interested in, or better yet, join and run for that e-board position. Take the time out of your day to recognize your strengths. Build upon them.

Two

I know this is an abstract concept, but I encourage failure. Our FME professors tell us “failing is growing” and “failure only leads to success in the long run.” But let’s be honest here: from the student perspective, failing sucks. Failing means you did not accomplished what you set out to – or that’s the definition as we know it now.

Let’s re-define failing. Failure is not defeat. Failure is a mere road bump which leads to greater understanding of our strengths and weaknesses and builds stronger leaders. We’ve been trained as a society to think that failure is the ultimate form of defeat, when in actuality, failure may lead to success. The ambitions that we, as a class, have are stronger than the adversities and naysayers that try to hold us back. We are resilient, we are strong, and we are united.

Three

As we grow up and migrate away from the metaphorical “nest,” we often lose sight of the important things in life. We change as individuals, and sometimes, we stray from our core values and beliefs in hopes of discovering something better. I’m not here to tell you not to experiment and not to find yourself. What I will say is the grass is not always greener on the other side. Sometimes you must be adamant with your beliefs and stay true to your values.

College is a time of discovery and rediscovery; it’s a time of innovation. As cliché as it sounds, it truly is the time for you to be selfish and find yourself. Don’t waste this time. Take advantage of all the resources and activities offered, and live these next four years with no regrets. Put yourself out there and stay forever young in your thoughts and unafraid of change—set forth to make a difference, and do it.

Despite support, diversity petition must be scrutinized

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In recent weeks, a “Petition for Babson College Faculty, Staff, and Administration” has circulated among students. After making the rounds on social media, it was distributed to all undergraduate students through an email from the Student Government Association. A response to recent events regarding race relations at other schools, it has met strong public support. Yet however admirable the push for diversity and inclusion is, important points have been overlooked.

Before anything else, I must commend the authors for their accomplishment. Compared to other schools, Babson does not often engage in campus-wide discussions. The authors managed to leverage current events to promote change, and, no matter how I feel about their specific propositions, I’m glad to be having the conversation.

In discussing this petition, we must first define diversity. This is its first failing; despite advocating “diversity and inclusiveness,” it does not specify what these mean.

There are a few ways to measure Babson’s diversity. First of all, there are the traditional means: the percentage of each race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and so on represented on campus. According to Babson’s website, the Class of 2018 features 31 percent multicultural students, 25 percent international students, 43 countries represented, and 29 languages spoken. Overlooking the peculiar classification “multicultural,” and assuming everyone not “multicultural” at Babson is white, we are left with a 69 percent white population.

The percentage of bachelor’s degrees conferred to white American college graduates in 2013 was 67.3 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This means that Babson’s diversity is, at least in this narrow sense, almost exactly representative of college graduates.

These, of course, are just surface measures. The type of diversity that really matters—the type that enriches us all—is diversity of experiences. So, to what extent are all types of diversity supported at Babson?

Well: Babson has a Diversity and Inclusion Council. Babson employs a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Babson has Community Unity Educators. Babson has Origins of Necessary Equality and PRIDE Tower. Babson features Multicultural Fairs, AMAN shows, and Black Affinity Conferences. Babson celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day, Black History Month, and Coming Out Week. Babson is home to the Babson Asian Pacific Student Organization, the Babson African Student Organization, Babson Hillel, the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting, and the Black Student Union. Babson holds weekly Catholic masses, Shabbat dinners, and Muslim prayer services. Babson awards full- and half-tuition Diversity Leadership Awards and honorary Pride Awards.

Babson offers courses on Hinduism and Buddhism, Arabic Cinema and Culture, Critical Race Studies, South Asian History, African Diaspora Studies, and African American Literature. Many FYS courses discuss diversity, and certain Rhetoric II courses center on race relations in America.

President Healey sent out a special message detailing her thoughts on a Babson Intercultural Group meeting she attended in the wake of Mizzou and outlining her commitment to diversity.

In the event that a hate crime is perpetrated, Babson has a detailed Bias Incident Report Protocol and a Bias Incident Response Team. Thankfully, it has not seen much use. In 2013 and 2014, “no hate crimes were reported for any of the following categories of prejudice: race, gender identity, national origin, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation,” according to annual Public Safety reports.

Babson has a gold STARS rating, for which it received perfect scores in the subcategories “Diversity and Equity Coordination,” “Support for Underrepresented Groups,” and “Support for Future Faculty Diversity.”

An early November draft of Babson’s new Academic Master Plan, composed before this petition, calls for faculty to “promote diversity, inclusion and integrity across campus,” and includes actionable suggestions.

Yet the petition states, bafflingly: “We want diversity and inclusion at Babson to be a reality, not a brand.” To me, it could not be clearer that Babson celebrates and practices diversity of every type.

I’m not saying “mission accomplished,” nor am I denying the experiences of any individual. I am, however, emphatically rejecting the premise of the petition. Diversity and inclusion at Babson may not be perfect, but the school’s commitment certainly doesn’t “ring false.”

The Free Press’ most recent editorial explained the dangers of conflating Mizzou and Yale. In the petition’s first paragraph, it does just that—then, discursively, brings in Babson. To conflate Mizzou and Yale is tragic enough; to sloppily commingle Mizzou with Babson is offensive in both directions.

Babson’s commitment to diversity is part of why it’s a great school, and part of why I love it. I’ve tasted authentic Korean food prepared by my tower-mates, studied and discussed race relations with classmates, and listened to the experiences of my friends or their relatives, about Mexico or Dubai or Ghana. These are the fruits of true diversity: an expansion of one’s worldview that leads to greater empathy. Inclusion is about appreciating our differences, and Babson affords priceless opportunities to do so.

It is impossible to fault the authors’ intentions. Diversity and inclusion are not just virtues; for an institution that prides itself on a quality education, they are necessary commitments. But it is equally impossible to overlook the petition’s faulty premise and sweeping demands, both of which prove untenable.

“So what?” one might say. “What could be the harm in raising awareness?” Nothing at all. But the petition makes specific demands, some of which would be detrimental if adopted.

First of all, it requests that diversity be “embedded in everything from Accounting to IT to FME, SME, ASM, FYS, and on throughout our undergraduate and graduate curricula,” due to the fact that “attention to diversity is the future of a productive, inclusive, and just society.”

Yet it also requests “a full audit of Babson’s current undergraduate and graduate curricula and faculty to determine…the diversity of existing cases.” The authors put the cart before the horse. Before we “courageously [edit] curricula,” let us discuss to what extent it is necessary.

Business is not so pure a pursuit as, say, particle physics. One can’t become well versed in business without studying diversity. This is why half of Babson’s curriculum is liberal arts, and why all of the clubs, events, and resources listed above exist. If there is a notable lack of diversity in the curriculum, it must be addressed. But diversity should not be shoehorned into lesson plans at the expense of core course material.

The petition also demands “a funded commitment to recruit, retain and promote more domestic diverse faculty (Opportunity Hires), specifically those of Black/African-American, and Hispanic-American backgrounds.”

When I pay Babson $64,000 a year, I expect the school to use that money to hire the best professors possible—period. If a black candidate’s experiences would make them a better professor, I would be thrilled to have them open my mind. The same is true for a candidate’s education or work experience or sexual orientation. A focus on hiring faculty rich in experiences will naturally lead to diversity in all other areas. The petition confuses cause and effect.

There is also a request for “a report on the current state (e.g., numbers, positions, time in position, salary) of domestic diversity amongst Babson’s current faculty and staff to ensure equity”—a demand I support completely. And yet, by the authors’ own admission, they don’t even know the state of diversity among Babson staff. How, therefore, could the petition possibly advocate “more domestic diverse faculty?”

I also support the request for “the utilization of orientation as a platform for not only open discussion, but also to set explicit standards.” “Explicit standards” sounds a little prescriptive to me, but I am always in favor of open discussion, and orientation seems like the perfect forum.

President Healey says she now sees the need for “dedicating more resources to our inclusion efforts.” It should be considered that every dollar put towards the petition’s demands is money that could be dedicated elsewhere: campus improvements, curriculum development, student life, or health and wellness.

Finally, and most concerning to me, there is a want of true discussion. I have spoken with perfectly reasonable people—people completely in favor of diversity and inclusion—who will not voice their concerns for fear of public backlash.

This fear cannot have been helped by the Student Government Association, who, despite their motto as “the voice of the student body,” lent their support to the petition without an effort to discover how the student body actually feels about it. Based on my discussions, there exists at the very least a significant minority who disagrees with all or part of the petition.

Governments are allowed to take stances on issues. The U.S. government does it all the time. But the U.S. government declares itself “E pluribus unum,” not “Vox corporis scholastici.” There is no pretense of consensus; no burden of representation. I encourage the SGA to consider their role in such discussions, with the respectful suggestion that they cannot represent the student voice if they don’t know that it is.

If students are being made to feel marginalized, we must do something. But it would be dishonest to pretend that Babson is not committed to diversity. This issue is much too important to rush, much too important to evade scrutiny. We must think about what diversity really means, evaluate its current state at Babson, seek public input, and, if necessary, take well-considered action.

I urge administration to think hard about any changes they implement in response to this petition, and, more importantly, to get a real idea of how students feel about diversity and inclusion at Babson. They may discover, as have I, a plurality of opinions—including one which supports diversity and inclusion entirely, but cannot support this petition.


The Free Press welcomes all voices. Responses may be posted below as comments or emailed to freepress@babson.edu to be published as Letters to the Editor.

Community Unity Educators: From “salad bowl” to “melting pot”

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On its website, Babson proudly boasts of having as many as 80 countries represented in its student population. In front of the Horn Library, international flags wave in unison as another remind of the diversity on campus. Babson even dedicates an entire residence hall, the Pride tower, towards LGBT awareness.

Yet as much as Babson strives to cater to the needs of its multicultural community, it still has a long way to go. Babson is like a salad bowl, where students of different backgrounds are tossed together, as opposed to a melting pot, where everyone contributes to the development and wellbeing of the community.

As a CUE, or Community Unity Educator, my mission is to make the melting pot a reality. I, along with four other CUES, want to start the conversation around inclusion.

One of our initiatives was a question box that asked people to explain what the phrase “BISO” means to them. Since it was anonymous, we received many frank responses. Someone wrote in that he couldn’t stand to be called a BISO, because of all the negative connotations that come with the label.

Despite the stereotype, not all international students are wealthy or exclusive. Evidentially, there is a lot of potential for a more unified community here at Babson.

To promote this vision, the CUES are hosting office hours, where students are encouraged to stop by and share your thoughts and experiences. Whether it is an offensive comment or ideas about new initiatives and events, we are here to listen. CUE can be reached on Twitter: @BabsonCUES.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

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With over a year in the books of Donald Trump’s Presidency, it is safe to say it has been a rollercoaster of a ride. There have been numerous White House and administration distractions, most recently the exile of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the soap-opera-esque battle of famed porn-star Stormy Daniels and the President himself. With these foolish distractions, complimented with Donald Trump’s un-appealing rhetoric to both sides of the political arena, the left wing media has pounced on the administration claiming “Donald Trump’s approval ratings are the worst ever!” But please don’t be mistaken, the current administration has done more than the left media gives credit.

To start according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job participation rates are rising up to 63%, and the 4.1% unemployment rate is just a start. Furthermore, the U6 unemployment rate (the official 4.1% added with discouraged job seekers and part-time workers looking for full-time employment) is at 8.2% almost matching it’s all-time low of 6.8% in October 2000. Not bad for a president considered to be the worst ever. Furthermore, since the tax plan passed more people have money in their pockets as wages have increased 2.9%, the most since the end of the recession of 09’. These labor figures have been astounding and the media should give more credit for what has been done.

Another case in which more credit should be given to this administration is in trade. The left media has portrayed this administration’s actions as insecure especially when discussing Trump’s trade motives. CNN cited the trade tactics by the president as “potentially world ending” and “nuclear war initiating” however it is these tactics that have allowed the U.S to finally have a sit down meeting with the leader of North Korea. The North Korean regime has gone through four presidencies without a meeting with the U.S. In addition, the 50 billion dollars worth of trade tariffs imposed on China and China’s reciprocal of $3 billion yields a clear surplus to the U.S. It appears as though what Trump’s negotiating tactics have conceivably done is bring China to the negotiating table on all the commerce that flows between the U.S. and the mainland. Once again, the administration is proving that it is not as bad as its common portrayal.

Lastly, ISIS has been mitigated down to nothing as Trump has given power to the military administrations to carry out strategic operations. This is something that was never achieved during the Obama administration and the effects have been tremendous with over 98% of the land occupied by the caliphate recaptured. With the facts on employment, wages, and terrorism being overwhelmingly positive, the American public and the left-wing media owe the Trump administration credit in spite of the obvious negatives that is so commonly publicized.

Suite selection process spurns seniors

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Mandell Family Hall has four-person suites.

Sunday morning, 11:30 a.m.: figures straggle into the common room one by one. “What a night, huh?” “Trim in a bit?” “I’ll give you my One Card if you get me a coffee from Dunks.”—all common phrases heard throughout a Babson suite on a Sunday morning after a long night spent studying. All participating in a scene that is as traditional as Woody at Dunks, Midnight Breakfast, or stooping.

Having the opportunity to live in a suite at Babson is a privilege. However, that privilege is currently being taken away from those who have earned it the most: seniors. After this year’s suite selection process was completed, it was clear something was awry. Instantly, large numbers of seniors took to social media to display their dismay at how quickly the suites ran out. Numbers that were previously considered locks for a suite did not even come close. One common theme was prevalent: there are currently a large number of senior students without suites.

Numbers have been thrown out, such as 65% of suites being composed of juniors. Furthermore, examples of suites being occupied by a majority of juniors are being cited left and right. Over 85 seniors without suites are currently a part of a Facebook group message. Amongst all this speculation, one thing remains clear: something went wrong.

The housing system is supposed to be designed to ensure fairness. However, there are rising juniors with better housing numbers than rising seniors. As the current housing code is written, rising juniors with enough credits to be considered rising seniors are entered into the same lottery as all rising seniors. This provision was designed considering that these rising juniors would be graduating early with rising seniors. However, there is no stipulation that these rising juniors must declare their intention to actually graduate early. This leaves a large number of rising juniors with the same opportunity to live in a suite as a rising senior.

The grievance is not with juniors living in suites. The grievance lies in the fact that certain juniors were given the same opportunity to live in a suite as seniors. It is understood that it is common practice for seniors to pull in one or two juniors to complete their suite, but the fact that there are suites composed mainly of juniors is simply not right.

Seniority is a term that has never been more applicable. Seniors who have contributed to the Babson community for three years are now being hung out to dry by the very community they helped to build. No senior wants to spend their final year living in a single in Putney while the suites are occupied by a large percentage of juniors.

Senior year is supposed to be a year spent making memories and cultivating relationships that have been formed over the first three years of college. The current housing system seriously compromises that opportunity, and something must be done.

Four- and six-person housing must be redrawn. Juniors should not be placed in the same pool as seniors unless they declare their intent to graduate early. Occupancy of suites should also be reconsidered. Suites should be forced to be occupied by a majority of seniors. Therefore, two juniors could live in a Mcullough or Pietz suite, or one junior could live in Map Hill.

As a rising senior, I want to look back on my Babson experience positively. I want a fair opportunity to have that Sunday morning in a suite comprised of my closest friends. I want the same opportunity for rising juniors when they become rising seniors. I want a housing system that rewards seniority instead of deeming it insignificant.

I am not alone in these sentiments, and we urge Babson to hear our concerns. As future graduates going out into the real world, we will certainly be asked about our college experience. Will we say that we had an amazing four years fostered by a supportive administration, or will we say #ThisIsNotOurBabson?

Why the Donald Trump represents the modern day republican party

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The Republican Party today seems astonished by the fact that Donald J. Trump is their party’s nominee in this election. The Republican establishment acts as if Trump is an unfair hand they have been dealt with, without any of their own actions contributing to his success.

There is a general outrage that the party has chosen an individual who is expressing hateful and vile judgements about various groups of potential voters.  However, there should be no surprise that Republican voters applaud Trump’s ideas such as the “Great, Great Wall” and “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” when the party has spent years telling immigrants they are not welcome here through “self-deportation”, the anti-Dream act, and anti-refugee rhetoric. The Republican Party has relied on fear mongering as a tactic for years by establishing suspicion of Latinos and Muslims long before Trump.

Republican lawmakers express shock when Republican voters cheer at Trump’s inappropriate derision and actions, even as they themselves deny our president common courtesy, for instance, by not standing during a state of the union address or by not giving a fair hearing to a supreme court nominee.

Republicans have no justification for their surprise at the rise of Trump considering that they have been laying the foundation over the last seven years for such an authoritarian and egotistical candidate. It all began when Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, said in an interview to the National Journal, “It is our top political priority over the next two years to deny President Obama a second term”. The Republican Party at that point decided to block all legislation and policy on all issues regardless of urgency or merit, with examples including: Veterans Affairs Funding Bill, Infrastructure Bill, Equal Pay for Women Bill, Student Loan Forgiveness, Bring Jobs Home Act etc… The greatest absurdity, however, is the fact that Republicans claim to back policies that support the former bills and acts, but since, it was President Obama who supported those policies, the Republican establishment couldn’t respect it.

In the seven years that President Obama has been in office, he has been filibustered over 500 times. For some context, Lyndon B. Johnson had two filibusters during the same time period. President Obama has also had 79 nominee blocks during his administration, versus 68 total for all of the other presidents combined.

That same disrespectful, uncompromising and dictatorial nature is exemplified in Donald Trump’s oratory, with examples such as, “Because you’ll be in jail” as he threatened his opponent with jail time or “You have to take out their families” referring to how to deal with terrorism through war crimes; clearly showing no respect for the judicial process.

The party is now reaping what they have sown. The Republican establishment prioritized the happiness of its right wing voter base rather than approaching the issues that mattered to the majority of Americans.

The Republican Party has not moved from that model. Even after condemning Trump’s policies, most Republican lawmakers have endorsed Donald Trump due to fear of their political futures. Until earlier this month, respected Republicans such as Paul Ryan and John McCain had backed Trump, even after Trump refused to denounce an endorsement from the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Republican leaders supported Donald Trump through comments that denigrate Latinos, Blacks, Muslims, disabled, and now women. Even now, the Republicans who are now abandoning Trump are doing so because his comments about sexual abuse affect their predominantly white right-wing voter base.

The Washington Post sums up the situation: “Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster”. Conservative leaders through their words and actions demonstrated that government, politics, and political parties were institutions that did not deserve respect, and now it is their own nominee who is taking advantage of those perceptions.

Conservatives leaders have incited nothing but fear, hate, distrust, and resentment in their most avid supporters; therefore, it should be no surprise that they have nominated Donald Trump, a product of their own actions.

Links used for Evidence:

http://www.citylab.com/work/2015/12/2015-year-anti-immigration-trump/421893/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/when-did-mcconnell-say-he-wanted-to-make-obama-a-one-term-president/2012/09/24/79fd5cd8-0696-11e2-afff-d6c7f20a83bf_blog.html

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/08/27/Top-20-Words-Voters-Use-Describe-Trump-Bush-and-Clinton

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-the-gops-frankenstein-monster-now-hes-strong-enough-to-destroy-the-party/2016/02/25/3e443f28-dbc1-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html?utm_term=.215d83f5c1f1

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/29/politics/harry-reid-donald-trump-frankenstein-monster/

The volume of words

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A rose may rise solemnly in solitude, but if it grows in unison with its brothers and sisters, it creates a beautiful scene, a backdrop, art. Words are of the same mold; when alone, their connotation is underwhelming, however, when strung together to form sentences, their essence is multiplied. An innumerable combination of phrases, arguments and statements may stem from the simple formation of words. It may be as plain as a command, or as intricate as scholarly text. Words are flavours, each with their own dynamic personality.

The words ‘interesting’ and ‘electrifying’ may be cousins in terms of similarity, but their demeanors are polar opposites. They are both incredibly valuable when trying to express a conjecture, but are used differently, at different times, and with different intent. Words also may appear ‘beautiful’ or ‘ugly’. For example, the word ‘plethora’ is an efficient and imposing word, but it reads and looks unappealing. The opposite is true for the words ‘embellish’, and ‘patronage’, which sound as good as they look.

This is the very lure of writing; it is vast and perhaps, endless. There are infinite ways to reshape a sentence and still retain its meaning. This is how authors make a living, how students set themselves apart from their peers, and how different forms of writing are conceived.

Words allow for us to personalize our plays, poems and essays. One can create a piece with a professional, serious impression, or, at the simple exchange of words, breath a radically different life into it. Our writing, just like the condition of our room and the clothes we wear, is representative of who we are. It adds an element of style and flair to our writing personas, or in certain cases, eliminates such sophistication.

This is due to the flexibility of languages; we can contort words to convey messages or to provide descriptions under any given context. For example, authors often push words to the extreme extent of their meanings and usage, in favor of creating literary illusion, or to cleverly annunciate a point. The word’s definition may not directly align with its usage, yet it is manipulated in such a fashion so that the reader still understands what is being expressed.

Beyond decorating our papers with layers of ingenuity and slick phrases, words come together for another purpose, for the very reason they were breed. Writing was, and still is, the industrious and immune foe of time. Used primarily as a method of ancient communication, its resilience allows it to stand alongside its contemporaries (the telephone, Facebook, Snapchat).

The human race, like it or not, still reads and writes,which can take the form of billboards and signs, or texts, emails and letters. We write for fun; we write songs; or we write to transmit meaning. This mutualism between writing and reading is eternally significant, for you need one to do the other. Writing possess a multitude of faces; it can be used to provide entertainment, to inform, or to teach. Writing is permeable; it disregards the bounds of languages, and passes through them all.

And writing is universal: it exists in even the most remote of civilizations, and its ubiquitous characteristics make it a necessary and very basic human right. A foundational aspect of our lives is robbed of us if the skills of writing and reading are not well, or even at all, versed.

In this regard, books are essentially the harvest of writing. Books provoke one’s desire to obtain information and intelligence. When reading, you are reading the words of another man or woman, just as you are reading this.

Significantly, this means as we read, we delve into the mind of the author’s words, their perspective on any given subject matter, and their ideas. In turn, we may borrow elements of their themes, words, and concepts. The primitive composition, or the complex amalgamation of words, is responsible for the texts we read every day.

Books, as a product of writing, are necessary in documenting our thoughts, the inner-workings of our imagination, and our intellect. It then acts as a platform to share and obtain knowledge from those around us. There is a simplicity in the book that revives and beckons the words of millenniums ago, but dually, it bears a variable element of purity that allows it to prosper yet in the modern world.

Conflicted student seeks internship solutions

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“Middle-market. Leveraged capital buyout. T­–M–T.”

My friend is wearing a pink striped tie and a blazer. He has a video interview tonight, his eleventh recently, and recites contrived phrases as he paces the room.

“Enterprise software solutions. Accretion.”

I am lounging on a bed wearing a loose-fitting kurta and sipping iced coffee. I do not have an interview tonight, nor have I had one this month or the month before.

“This isn’t for lack of trying,” I would like to write. But, except for a few consulting applications, I haven’t embarked on my Junior Year Internship Search, that all-important third-year rite. Until now, I’ve hurdled through my college years like one of those Spartan racers. Having overcome classes and clubs and jobs, I feel like a mud-streaked champion, successful if not graceful. Now, an unexpected roadblock. I can’t bring myself to upload my resume and click submit.