News headlines last week were dominated by the government shutdown and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program deals. These big ticket items, as important as they are, have taken away focus from another just as infuriating issue in President Donald Trump’s administration.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump underwent a four-hour examination of physical and cognitive health. As of late, some were concerned about Trump’s erratic speech patterns, exhibited narcissism, often poor judgment and rash decision making. He was deemed healthy, passing the cognitive test — the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, widely used to test for early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia — with a reportedly perfect score. This test is fairly high in validity but is not used to assess psychiatric disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder, anxiety or depression.
On Jan. 13, Hawaii experienced 38 minutes of fear from a supposed incoming ballistic missile attack when a state employee clicked the wrong item from a drop-down menu. One would think the U.S. government would handle nuclear prevention programs with the same degree of sophistication that makes these weapons possible. Instead, the warning for the inescapable likelihood of thousands of deaths and the beginning of nuclear war was determined by the same interface that students use to save their homework.
Does anyone else remember those little “karate belts” we tied to the ends of our recorders in music class? Perhaps a tiny white ribbon for a successful rendition of “Hot Cross Buns,” or a bead hung on a black string for the advanced version of “Ode to Joy?”
A mother has just given birth to a baby. She recognizes the signs of a blood clot. She tells her doctors and nurses, only for them to brush her concerns aside. When she finally does get the tests and medications she needed, they find she did have a blood clot and could have died if she had not advocated for herself.
For a town of its size and seemingly small cultural relevance, Gainesville actually has quite the thriving music scene, far outfighting its weight class. Nearly every night, a stroll down University Avenue into the center of town will offer you some sort of live music options from which to choose. For what might appear to be a sleepy college town from afar, Gainesville occupies a unique position in the musical environment — it has a humming live music scene filled with a spectrum of independent artists, but it also has the might of UF to bring in much larger performers every once in a while. There truly is something to satisfy each musical taste, and it is something that sets Gainesville apart from many other towns comparable in stature.
A friend visiting Charleston, South Carolina, sent me a photo of a historic building with a prominent sign inscribed “Provost Dungeon.” My friend claimed the dungeon was where Charleston placed misbehaving provosts. I have also seen a plaque in New York City near city hall inscribed, “Near this site stood the Provost Prison, where patriots died for the cause of freedom 1776.”
Darts and Laurels
You remain snuggled up in your bed as your phone alarm blares next to you. This is the third time you’ve hit the snooze button this morning, but, to be frank, you’d rather die than brace the frigid 23-degree weather waiting for you outside.
Ah, syllabus week. For some, this five-day period is used for organization and recalibration after a long month free of classes and responsibilities. For others, the infamous syllabus week is a nonstop bar crawl through Midtown and a chance to sow their wild oats before the stress and pressure of their 18-credit schedule crushes their very soul.
Campus is crowded. Like, really crowded. More so than usual, and you’re fed up with it. Everyone who neglected to attend classes or show their face in the library is finally creeping out of their dorms and apartments with the realization that finals week is just around the corner.
You are woken up by the sound of your parents and grandparents chatting loudly and energetically over coffee at the kitchen table and the smell of pies being prepped for baking. You’re still tired, but you get out of bed anyway so you don’t miss any of the family fun.