• Over this past weekend, I had the privilege of attending a field trip for my honors “Health Inequalities” political science course with Professor Dean Robinson to the UMass Center at Springfield, a satellite campus to UMass Amherst offering programs in nursing, education, business and more. Like most college students, waking up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday to go on a field trip really wasn’t my cup of tea. While I might’ve woken up that morning desiring nothing else but a few more hours of sleep, the field trip proved itself as a valuable learning experience. Our class had... Read More
  • The death of Nipsey Hussle has hit a lot of people I know really hard. The mourning is in part due to what an amazing person he was and what he was doing for his community. However, it also has to do with what his death represents to a lot of people: the dangers that black and brown men face in our country, specifically if they are rappers or community activists. The stories of what he was doing in his community have blown my mind. Often we talk about what we would like to see people do or change in their communities, and rarely do we acknowledge the people doing it.... Read More
  • I’ve discovered that it takes trying something to determine whether you truly hate it or not. I have a vast array of interests and the myriad of possibilities (especially in career choices) has nearly rendered me paralyzed. There are so many options that I don’t know where to begin and, when I’m about to pursue something, I wonder if I’m making the wrong choice and should chase something else. For example: I have been toying with the idea of getting involved in the government and public policy for a few years now, and Trump’s election brought the issue to the fore. As... Read More
  • School and society as a whole want us to believe that, in order to succeed or get what you want, you must assiduously attend to whatever work is put in front of you and otherwise submit to someone else’s course. That means always doing your homework, putting everything into your job, getting involved in your community however you can . . . the list goes on. This is a mindset that’s pounded into our heads from the moment we start preschool. You want to go play in the sandbox? Well, Jimmy, you have to learn your ABCs first! It makes sense too. It’s a productive mentality... Read More
  • You know how 2016 was a royal mess and how some people had hope that 2017 would make up for it? Well, it’s not looking too promising so far. Illness has befallen my family and, now that I’ve noticed it, maladies seem to be spreading throughout the country like a vicious rumor. Everyone in my family has had, or will soon have, surgery and everyone around me seems either to have the flu or be in a cast or sling. The thing is that, just like the flu, three mental states travel as fast as the news can: Fear, ignorance, and hatred. Observe how quickly these things spread and... Read More
  • Hello and welcome back to UMass, folks! Some of you might have returned after reluctant and teary partings with family, some may have sprinted out of their homes to get here. Whatever the circumstances, I hope that you feel relieved and excited to be back. A lot of you will already have found your niches and are eager to return to your friends and activities that make UMass a part of your extended family. For those of you who are taking a bit longer, as I did, never fear! Each semester is like starting all over again. Yeah, you’ve got the same people in your dorm, but... Read More
  • Memory's a funny thing. It’s entirely subjective, prone to corruption, and infamous for these failings, yet we depend upon it for, well, everything. Everyone’s had that quarrel with their parents or friend where one party says that Doug leaned on the big red button while the other party says that Maxwell clipped the wrong wire. Either way, things went *boom* and all that’s left is the results and finding who to blame. I mean, look at some of the students here on a Saturday morning! I heard someone say that figuring out what you did the night before while on a bender is... Read More
  • November 4th, 2016- Thought process during the election: 10:00 p.m.: “Wow, a lot of those states are turning red.” 10:30 p.m.: “Okay, this is ridiculous, but Hillary can still catch up.” 11:00 p.m.: “Okay, now it’s a long shot.” 12:00 a.m.: “All hope is lost.” I woke up the next day thinking “Geez that was a weird dream. Better not turn out like that tonight.” Then I looked at my phone and discovered that, no, “tonight” had happened the previous night and that it was no dream. The Donald is going to be our new Commander-in-Chief. If you’ve been paying attention to... Read More
  • If you haven’t noticed, my father’s kind of a history geek. Must be where I get it from. Anyhow, we were talking about how much of a circus this presidential election is and he mentioned a concept that a man named Joseph Goebbels came up with in the ‘30s. Pretty much the idea is that if you lie copiously and vary the lies every time, then the fact-checkers can’t keep up. Something we might’ve noticed from climate change deniers and rumors about My Chemical Romance getting back together is that it takes more time to debunk a lie than to make one up. As my old man put it... Read More
  • Today, I’m speaking of a community that spans the entire globe: The Ignoramati. Yes, that is a fake word and, no, I did not come up with that. Credit goes to the old man. Again… He presented the word to me as one might find it in the dictionary: Ignoramati Noun 1) The fellowship of the ignorant 2) Members of the fellowship of the ignorant See "illuminati.” As he explained it, the ignoramati are those who spread ignorance and refuse to enlighten themselves while their leaders are those who benefit from others’ ignorance. The people who profit are those who fund climate... Read More

Pages