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A letter to Carleton voters

Never have I seen red “I Voted” stickers worn with such pride. But then, rarely does it come with such a sense of victory and achievement. For managing to vote amid the press of 9th Week, “I Voted” not only signifies a successful and meaningful act of civic engagement but…

What is America?

We are beset with a maelstrom of words. Still your hearts, silence your minds: listen. What is America? I hear people say it is missing, that democracy is betrayed, the republic is dying. People fear their lifestyles will cease. I tell you, something lives on. We the people have seen…

One-inch wide focus

“For just one second, the entire universe is one inch wide.” So read a line of shirts depicting the paper targets used by precision shooters, capturing a point (conjecture, not bull’s-eye) that most of us miss: we lose sight of ourselves and therefore can jump to blame. The art of…

Beauty is

Delight in that frizzy-haired yawn of a greeting, revel in a mudsmeared face framed by burrs, enjoy the smile of someone dressed up for no occasion whatsoever! Dependence on conceptions of ‘beauty’ too often limits us to the norms and demanded mannerisms. Why should be it be incumbent of every…

Call me farmboy

Home is what you make it— and what you make it for other people. Different elements of your experience, the people in your home, and how you think about your space make it your home. Carleton has been my favorite home, but it is hardly home now. Opening my eyes…

The Butterfly’s Name

With a heart heavy and burdened by difficult thoughts, I share a story of my life and make a broader plea. Our campus, a web of family and acquaintances, and the international community recently lost Qiguang Zhao. As scholar and sage, friend and enthusiast for life, he taught by living…

Reframe the Blame

Someone’s gone missing, turned up in a hospital or worse yet is just suddenly and impossibly gone. How often do we hear the stories about what’s to blame, hear the gossip about what drives people to their lowest extremes? How often do we encounter despair turned into a joke, like…

I want to be a kid when I grow up

I was singing on the sidewalks when I was told “to grow up.” My peer was only a year and a half older, and he was apparently disappointed in my behavior. A couple days later I was told that my discomfort around strangers meant I was acting “childish” and that…

Dungeon on Division: Alum Opens Game Store Downtown

Shuffling cards and rolling dice now have a place to pay out social capital. Giving back to Carleton with gaming, Daniel Lessin ’11 just opened the Quill and Blade, a game store, in downtown Northfield on January 12, 2015. The shop offers not only the goods necessary for gaming, but…

Garden of Truth

If knowledge power, then self-knowledge is a weapon. Without using it conscientiously, this tool of cultivation probably turns its blade toward others or even yourself. Put to its true use, self-knowledge can be a great tool for personal and interpersonal growth. Without being truthful, knowledge about yourself poses the risk…