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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

After finals end, take time to reflect on this term

<st of the hustle and bustle of life at Carleton, it sometimes is difficult for one to stop and think about what a particular event means.One may pause and read the newspaper at breakfast or lunch, but there is always the next exam or paper after that. There is never time to stop completely to think, because the Carleton life does not afford such a luxury.

But after finals end and dorms close to Winter Break, perhaps that opportunity will present itself. If, and when, it does, it will become clear that many things happened during the course of Fall Term. Some insignificant, but, when all is said and done, much history was made.First, at Carleton: the completion of the Arts Union became delayed after the economic crisis, which was a harsh blow to the future of the arts at Carleton. The new residence halls continue, though, and in just the past few weeks have begun to take shape. The eventual completion of the dorms will have a significant impact on the shape of student-life on campus.

And of course, the results of the campus-climate survey were released, leading to many worries and concerns about the state of things on campus. It is clear that there is unhappiness and discontent, and it is going to take some time to get to the root and cause of it all.

Moreover,Carleton’s student-athletes on the soccer and football teams have truly enjoyed “unprecedented success,” put nicely by President Oden in an all-campus e-mail this week. The football team defeated St. Olaf – at St. Olaf nonetheless – for the first time in over a decade.After this issue of The Carletonian is published, the football team will play for the MIAC Championship, one of the most highly anticipated football games in years.

On a national level, the United States teetered on the brink of another Great Depression, the consequences of which will take some time to climb out of. And of course, Barack Obama was elected the first African-American President of the United States. Certainly everyone knows that it happened – one would have to live under a rock at Carleton to not know the outcome of the election – but has everyone taken the time necessary to understand exactly what that means for the United States?

Put in the context of the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day this past Tuesday, the election of Barack Obama is that much more significant. Barack Obama’s election reaffirms the importance of the American Dream, an ideal that had become less and less possible in the past four, and even eight, years. And ultimately, that is exactly what those brave American soldiers were fighting for when they took to the front lines of World War I, the “Great War.” Many lost their lives for that ideal, and many continue to lose their lives abroad. But Barack Obama’s election shows that what they are fighting for is not lost. It always was right here, and is beginning again.

So, after that inevitable deep breath, the parting hugs, and the preparation of being away from Carleton for six weeks, take time to remember all that has happened these past ten weeks.

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