• In my International Journalism class this past week, we had to choose a story that caught our attention and bring it into class. One angle my professor said we could take was looking for stories that we thought were not getting enough attention. I took this angle, and it brought me to the Sudan protests. As someone who reads the news religiously every morning, it is surprising that I am still shocked that major news from certain parts of the world is so systematically excluded from our media. The protests in Sudan, continuing now as they have been for weeks, are an... Read More
  • Ryan's Question: What do you think the role of technology plays on a college campus? Amberly's Answer: To be frank, I think it would be easier to ask what part of campus and college at large isn't affected by technology. Everywhere you look, you will see a laptop or a phone out, ready to connect with the internet and the world. The lobbies (at least in the Honors College) have a TV screen, ready to play the Superbowl or the latest episode of American Horror Story. In classrooms, we have an increasing number of projectors and smart screens. We use sites like Moodle and... Read More
  • Mass General Law Chapter 272 Section 80D states the following:   “No person shall sell, offer for sale, barter, or give away as premiums living baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl under two months of age; violation of which will result in a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.”  Notwithstanding the enumerations of the first statement, such a sale, barter, or other exchange is permitted if 1) the person(s) acquiring the birds is a breeder buying for commercial use; and 2) that the birds are sold past the first day of May in quantities of two dozen or more; or 3... Read More
  • This past weekend asylum seekers from Central and South America faced tear gas from American authorities as they tried to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. It has been hard for me to figure out what’s really happening because so much focus has been on Trump’s rhetoric instead of the people themselves. Here are some points that have helped me get a grasp on the situation (taken from the articles at the bottom): The U.S. cannot get rid of its legal obligation to accept asylum seekers, but the process can be delayed/prolonged. Migrants are facing tear gas, unsanitary... Read More
  • Next year I am planning on studying abroad for a year to work on the languages that I’m studying (Spanish and Arabic). In college, through watching all the volunteer options and talking to my international friends, I have become really aware of how problematic volunteering abroad can be. There is a problem in this country with how Americans in general approach “helping” people in other countries. Often the programs are designed to cater to the volunteers, not the needs of a community that might be better off if the volunteer had just donated the price they spent on the... Read More
  • The news since Election Day has been dominated by musings about what kind of outcomes the Midterms could lead to. It’s been hard to address this question when two races still haven’t been called (for governors in Georgia and Florida), but even with the uncertainty, there's a lot of material to spectate off of.  There was a lot of cool action on campus leading up to the election. The #Yeson3 campaign was holding phone banks and campaigning around campus. Christine Hallquist and Danica Roem visited to talk at a transgender rights protection rally. The UMass Democrats... Read More
  • At face value my horoscope should everything the celestial bodies have in store for me. I checked mine today. It prophesized the following: “You may have recently inherited either some money or some free time. This is a real gift, and if invested wisely, it could lead to some important self-discoveries”. Now I’ll say that both today and recently I neither have money or time by virtue of this celestial “inheritance” or from work, or from any Mars in retrograde or what have you. This is not the objection I draw. Mine is that by making such bold assertions and in such... Read More
  • Alarming new information was released regarding climate change and the planet’s future in a UN report. This report said that “there is no documented historical precedent for the scale of change required,” and that the world may have just over a decade to get climate change under control. Here are things students (or anyone) can do:   Do your research: Take an Enviro class Reduce emissions in your travel: Take public transit Ride a bike Car-share Switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle Fly... Read More
  • My first blog post will be more about who I am and less about what I have to say. The posts afterward will be the opposite. I’m dedicating the content of my blog not to personal pontification, but to showcasing the accessibility and diversity of the knowledge and wisdom in the community. This could be from faculty, classes, or a conversation on the street. Wherever it comes from, I want to present not what to think, but ways of thinking, arguments, stories — all to show you my journey in learning how to think. Critically. I welcome comments and hope that, at the very... Read More
  • As it comes time to choose classes, I find myself with the (good) problem of there being too many classes I want to take and not enough time to take them all. This means I have to find a way to sort through and prioritize what will be most important for me to learn. In doing this, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the classes I take now will benefit what I do later in life in so many different ways; in practical ways as well as providing necessary background for each situation that I may find myself trying to help. Recently, I had a conversation with a student activist... Read More

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