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Garrison: Adieu

Column by Zac Garrison, Senior from Franklin, Ky.


I often write about change. It’s an unavoidable part of life, and the best we can all truly do is to hold on and hope it works out for the best.

We say that we adapt to change, but most of the time it hits us in the face and throughout our lives we just learn to mitigate the damage.

I think about my life as a book. When one chapter ends, I simply reflect on what I just read, and turn the page. 

As you grow older and try to adapt to what the universe throws at you, you open and close a new chapter every single day. You wake up as the protagonist to your own live action chronicle and end the day ready to flip the page.

Too many people forget this. Instead of closing the chapter with a happy ending, they focus on making sure the main conflict of the storyline progresses much longer than it needs to. Too hard to forget, too stubborn to forgive and too naive to realize there is more to life than quarrels and grudges.

Instead of realizing life is a linear timeline that is constantly changing and moving forward, they grasp at conflicts that should have been long past and long forgotten. … Continue Reading

Valentine: Summertime

Column by Robert Valentine, Senior lecturer of advertising

It’s summertime.

Summer, for most of us, means an end to school for a brief respite. It does not, however, mean an end to learning. It’s not even a break in the road.

Whether you’re off to a high-powered internship in New York or a summer of part-time work (for which you have not yet begun to look), you’ll be learning things. In fact, it may be the most important time for learning. What you do and what you learn is entirely up to you.

In the summer of 1950, a tall kid named Bill Spivey spent eight hours a day working on his hook shot. “He would shoot 50 hooks with his right hand, and then shoot 50 hooks with the left,” said the old man who was his landlord that summer. “When he started, he couldn’t hit the garage with his left, but by the end of the summer he could hit every time with either hand.”

Spivey eventually grew to 7 feet, played on an NCAA finals team and was named Athlete of the Year. For him, it was a good summer.

I know a guy who, when he left for college, was told by his uncle, “I guess you’ll have to read ‘Moby Dick.’ That’s what they do at college. If you finish it, you’ll be the first one in the family to do it.” … Continue Reading

What about the little people?

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor

I recently wrote a paper for my mass communications law class about minority ownership of media – or, rather, the lack thereof.

Unfortunately, this is one of those things some people, including myself, are blind to unless it’s pointed out to them.

It’s like when you buy a new car and suddenly you can’t stop seeing it when you’re out on the road.

Or like when you pick a random position paper topic and suddenly can’t stop seeing the same dialogue on every news channel you turn to on TV.

There’s a good, scary reason for this. Five, count them five, companies own approximately 90 percent of all media. To be more specific, Time Warner, Comcast, Disney, News Corp and Viacom control 90 percent of all newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and web content. … Continue Reading

Confessions of a First-Year Graduate

April 24, 2015 Opinion, Opinions Columns

Column by Kaylan Thompson, Graduate student from Murray

She’s telling me about all the students who don’t know what to do and, while my head is nodding and mouth is smiling, my brain is thinking that was me. The professor I’m talking to continues to describe what I’m taking upon myself to name: student disillusionment.

stu-dent dis-ill-u-sion-ment


1. The false sense of security college students fall prey to that hides reality and leads them into believing they are a perpetual student. 2. A blackhole of apathy. 

I’m nearing the end of my second semester of graduate courses in mass communications and I’m just now exploring career options. Why? Because I was one of the students she’s talking about, one of the suckers pulled into student disillusionment. I took no time off between undergrad and graduate school, switching gears from creative writing to journalism partly because I didn’t want to bet my future success on my ability to write fiction and mostly because I felt lost. My plan was to buy myself some time. If the time you’re buying is graduate school hours, you must really need it. … Continue Reading

See existential crisis below

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor

There is no true way to prove my existence. 

Everything I have ever said or done during the 21 years and two months I have “been” could be a fabrication of my imagination – or yours.  I don’t know if I am real. 

I don’t know if you are real.  I don’t know if the keyboard I am typing on is real, or if you can even read the words I am typing with it. 

I can look into a mirror and justify my existence for a brief moment that way, until I consider the possible nonexistence of that mirror. 

I can ask a complete stranger if they can see me too, but I could very well be talking to thin air. 

I can ask my parents to send a copy of my birth certificate, but there is no way of knowing whether or not they are real, whether or not the piece of paper is real or whether or not I was born physically and not mentally.  … Continue Reading

A rambling rant on communication technology

Column by Kevin Qualls, Professor of mass communications

The Internet is slow today (Tuesday). Interacting with colleagues and students in the very same building is frustrated because somehow, somewhere a fragile fiber optic cable was broken. We depend on web-based applications for almost everything.  Teaching and learning, getting a prescription refilled, filing taxes and even making a phone call are all dependent on the Internet working properly.

Whether by cyber attack or backhoe incident, all it takes to stop us dead in our tracks is a fiber-optic fracture. We are extremely vulnerable.

Yes, there are concerns about privacy, government spying, hacking and the sort. But there is something much more at stake because of our dependency on fiber optics. Our personal security is at risk. More on that later.

Not making a lot of progress on the office computer, I went home at lunch to see what could be accomplished there. No Internet at all. No telephone. Every channel on the TV frozen on whatever frame was being displayed when that bit of fiber was broken. All those services are bundled on a single copper coax cable. And that copper coax cable is part of a larger grid belonging to Time Warner Cable.  They are out of business today, too.  Go to their office, and they can’t do a thing for you. Not until they have net access again. … Continue Reading

Politicians are reflections, not activists

Campaign season, while it lays out the groundwork for the future of a politician, marks the beginning of dirt-digging and scathing review of a candidate’s past.

Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State turned Democratic presidential hopeful, has been the target of skeptics (understandably) for her use of a private email server to conduct public business.

Clinton’s secret homebrew email server scandal is worth the criticism. It was wrong and against federal policy. What is unnecessary, though, is how opponents crucify her for being a “flip-flopper” on social issues.

Clinton’s campaign launch video featured not one, but two, same-sex couples – a sign of how far she’s come on the issue, just like a lot of Americans. According to a Gallup poll, support for same-sex marriage is rising among all ages. Support from 18-29 year-olds rose from 41 percent to 78 percent between the years 1996 and 2014. The same upward curve is seen in older generations.

Though it’s a thoughtful way to address the issue, Clinton’s campaign video contrasts highly with her 2008 campaign, when she said she opposed federal same-sex marriage rights. … Continue Reading

Deadlines are deadlines

April 17, 2015 Opinion, Opinions Columns

We’re all familiar with the one-sided conversation that happens between professor and student.

(Some) professors have a zero-tolerance policy for late work. Assignments are due when they are due, and not a day later.

If you miss class and cannot be here to complete class work or turn in your homework, they require the signatures of every medical professional that diagnosed your disease – which better be serious.

If you’re sick to the point of essential paralysis or if your car breaks down and strands you on the side of the Western Kentucky Parkway, too bad. Not only can you not turn in your work that was due that day, but you will also lose attendance points.

Granted, that was a little dramatic. However, I’ve heard the following line preached to me at the beginning of almost every class I’ve ever had – no exaggeration.

“Deadlines are deadlines. If you miss one in the real world, you’ll be fired.”

Procrastination Nation – Population: NOT YOU, OR ELSE.

Unfortunately, this one-sided conversation usually ends there. … Continue Reading

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