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With finals week just around the corner, many of us are already in the summer vacation mindset and have started making plans with our friends and families for exciting events. Especially for those who are graduating, summer 2018 is a time for relaxation and freedom from school-related stress. Although we should definitely dedicate time in our end-of-year plans to our friends and families and enjoying ourselves after a long semester of stress, exams and existential crises, we should also devote a significant chunk of our schedules to pursuing intellectual and personal growth.
On March 29, five Turkish teachers and a Turkish doctor in Kosovo were secretly deported against their will by order of the Turkish government. The teachers were working at the Mehmet Akif College, an institution affiliated with the Fethullah Gülen movement, which is a group that has been the target of constant ostracization and scapegoating by the Turkish administration and media. Their arrest is being justified simply by their affiliation with the movement.
It is the year of 2018, and speaking more than one language has become an expectation rather than a fun fact to add on a resume. In a country as diverse as the United States, bilingualism is an extremely prevalent property that has engendered cultural awareness, adaptation and competition among all Americans. But, despite the convenience of using “bilingual” as an umbrella term to refer to people that speak two languages, it is essential to recognize the significant disparity between people who have simply learned a second language and people who have carried a language with them for generations.
Florida. Lindhurst. Sandy Hook. Columbine. These are instances of one of the most horrifying recurring tragedies in this nation — school shootings. Last week we were reminded of the gut-wrenching feelings of loss and helplessness that tragedies like this are always accompanied with. School shootings do not just affect immediate communities. They send ripples of pain and anger throughout the country.
As the world is currently struggling with a tense and polarizing political and social atmosphere, people have been tested with a significant issue: communication. By analyzing paramount historical eras and events we are able to recognize that communication has consistently been utilized as an outlet for aggression and defense rather than a tool for progress — this past year has been no different. As society begins to deal with more complex issues, it engenders a greater necessity for people to learn how to express and consider opinions effectively. Rather than arguing for the sake of proving a point or criticizing someone with a different perspective, humanity as a whole must strive to argue for the sake of understanding and progress.
“Nine-year-olds should not have iPhones.” “Back in my day we’d talk to people, not screens.” “Kids are growing up too fast these days.” These comments represent just a few of the copious qualms people harbor about the upcoming generation and its addiction to technology.