(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rowing Dreams?

Dreamt last night I was pledging some kind of frat. It was more a movie gaze than a 

There were like ten of us in a barracks together and it was very clear either myself or one other guy would be the leader within our group, so to test us, they sent a sorority to kidnap us. Took us out on a lake where apparently the western men and women's rowing teams were having some kind of skirmish regatta. 

I ended up on one of the coach barges but we hadn't been out on the water more than five minutes when it was needed for the regatta so myself and the boat driver got shoved into the back of a women's eight. Somehow they rowed with us sitting between them. We passed two men's eights warming up and two singles that looked mostly capsized racing. I remember seeing my friend Thomas in one of the eights. At first I thought he was coxing, but when I looked again, he was stroke seat. One of the singles had a blonde guy with long hair in it and he must have been defying the laws of physics to still be rowing at that point, the boat was so far under water.

We went past the finish line and exit launch and turned around. Somehow on the way back we took a wrong turn and ended up in a narrow canal with barely enough room for the boat, it conveyor belted us past the start launch and out of the water. We had to carry it back and it was mostly my friend Alix and I with it on our heads at opposite ends.If it hadn't been for Alix and I it would have been dropped multiple times, no one knew how to carry a boat.

It was a funky black shell that had fold away handles. Someone behind me mentioned Cy being short. Got it back to the water and the women took over. 

Back in the barracks somehow it was very clear i'd won the leadership challenge but was still under scrutiny. I was showering when everyone walked in. Approached my counterpart since he looked really disappointed. He essentially hadn't made the frat-thing. I asked him how he felt about watching the rowers since he and most of the guys seemed fascinated. I told him that if he doesn't make it he should consider joining the team as an alternative.

Woke up feeling powerful and inspired, like I can do good in the world. Today will be a good day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This Text is a Sheep in [Beo]wulf's Clothing

Alrighty, lovely blog readers, as promised, here's a copy of the paper I wrote for my English 307 class.

When the Roman Empire departed Britain at the beginning of the fifth century, it took with it the military might that protected the island nation so that there was little resistance when the pagan Angles and Saxons invaded and took over, their culture quickly becoming dominant. In part because of the early Christianization of Britain by the Romans, when mission work returned to England conversion became a far easier task. Beowulf, transcribed in the early years of 1000 but purported to have been taken from an oral narrative with origins as early as 700, reflects the competing influences of the dominant Anglo-Saxon culture and the Christian church in England. 

While it predominantly follows the hero narrative more traditional of the Anglo-Saxon paganism, the Christian influence on the written record of Beowulf paints not only a Christ-like image of the title character, but an evangelical one to readers that serves to transform the hero into an allegorical redemptive savior. By characterizing Beowulf as both a hero and a Christ-figure, he bridges the gaps between Anglo-Saxon paganism and Christianity.

In setting up Beowulf to arrive as savior, the first part of the story takes place in the Danish kingdom Hrothgar rules where the people still followed the Norse religious practices that would be familiar to the Anglo-Saxons. When the Danes are first beset by Grendel, they

offered honor to idols
At pagan temples, prayed aloud
That the [devil] might offer assistance
In the country’s distress. Such was their custom,
The hope of heathens.” (175-179).

The Danes prayed to their non-Christian gods because none of the Danish warriors could defeat the monster besieging their kingdom. As an evangelical text setting the stage for Beowulf as a Christ-like savior, it is important to characterize the Danes as both non-Christian and ineffective against Grendel. In his rebuttal to Unferth’s story, one of the first things Beowulf does is recognize that the Danes do not resist Grendel's attacks (591). When Beowulf and his men land on Danish soil, they are wished “the almighty Father guard you in his grace” (316) as they continue their journey to King Hrothgar. While grace in this line is suggestive of “almighty Father” as meaning the Christian God, given the pagan roots of the Danes, it is more plausible that “almighty Father” refers to the Norse god Woden who was commonly referred to as the “All-Father.” From such strong conditions of paganism attributed to the Danes, who are unable to defend themselves, the poem begins to set the case that it is only as an outsider that Beowulf is able to defeat the monster in battle. This is developed throughout the rest of the poem up until Beowulf’s battle with Grendel where it is ultimately proved true. Beowulf is distinguished as an outsider both by being a foreigner and by his Christian faith. Again and again it is emphasized that Beowulf is a Geat, both in the repetition of his lineage and in his address. 

In his opening speech to Hrothgar, Beowulf, after establishing his lineage and knowledge of the Dane's plight, mentions putting “his faith in the Lord's Judgement” (440-441). Within Norse mythology, references to the gods were not as commonly related in terms of “faith” and “judgement” as is the case in Christian language.The Geatish warrior is the first character after Hrothgar to make reference to the Christian God. When Hrothgar tells his retainers that “Holy God in His Grace has guided [Beowulf] to us” (381-382) it is tempting to make the same attributions to Woden as with the sea guard, but the use of the Old English “Holy” here is reflective of the Latin use of sanctus more than the original Old English use meaning “whole” or “inviolate” (OED). The language Hrothgar uses here is indicative of a Latin and therefore Christian influence. This characterizes Hrothgar as king being just above the pagan morals of his people. While he is of the Danes, his Christian faith alone is not enough to save them, it does not lend them the authority of the non-pagan influence needed to fight Grendel. It is in part the Christianity of the great hero Beowulf that allows him to defeat the monster where all others are unable.

Beowulf cannot enter the kingdom and defeat the monster without first proving himself and in doing so converting the Danes. To save the Danes from the monster, Beowulf must first save the Danes from their pagan ways. When challenged by Unferth with the story of his race against Brecca, Beowulf counters with a list of accomplishments that while having caused him to lose the race, showed himself as a far greater warrior (529~). When Wealhtheow approaches, Beowulf’s words “well pleased that woman” (639). By his actions and words in the mead hall, Beowulf’s boasting impresses the Danes so that they will accept him as a hero of great renown. It is shown that they accept him when Hrothgar entrusts to Beowulf “the great hall of the Danes” for the first time since he “could hold and hoist a shield” (656). This early in the narrative, it is harder to imagine the impact of such a symbolic action, but in accepting Beowulf as their savior from Grendel, the Danes are also accepting his faith and Christianity. Beowulf, taken as an allegorical figure, as the most Christ-like character is Christianity so when the Danes accept Beowulf, they are accepting a proxy of Christ.

This change becomes apparent when Hrothgar speaks at the feast following Grendel’s defeat at the hands of Beowulf and is further shown after Beowulf defeats Grendel’s mother. The very first thing Hrothgar does is offer thanks to the Almighty and gives praise to the “Shepherd of glory” who works “wonder upon wonder” (930~). All of Hrothgar’s language after the defeat of the monsters by Beowulf is greatly saturated with references to God compared to the scant one or two mentions he makes before Beowulf’s victory. At the end of this first speech, Hrothgar gives honor to whatever woman had “borne such a son into the race of men” and says that “the God of Old was good to her in childbearing” (945). While an indirect reference at best, this suggests a comparison between Beowulf and Christ through a blessed mother, i.e. Mary.

Beowulf’s characterization to resemble Christ throughout the rest of the text furthers this acceptance by Anglo-Saxon readers of Christ-as-Beowulf as their Savior. When Beowulf searches out Grendel’s mother, he comes to a place that, to the Anglo-Saxon people, would very closely resemble hell. In some respects paralleling the narrative of the harrowing of hell, Beowulf’s fight with Grendel’s mother is like the story told of Christ in the days between his death on the cross and the Resurrection. Beowulf descends into the depths of this hell-place, defeats a devil and returns with a prize. While he is gone, he is assumed dead by the unfaithful Danes, but when he returns it is as if he is resurrected and the faithful Geats rejoice (1600). In Hrothgar’s speech after the defeat of Grendel’s mom, he says that Beowulf’s “glory is exalted throughout the world, over every people” (1704). Coupled with a few lines from the very end of the text where Beowulf is described by his people after his death “of all the kings of the world, mildest of men and most gentle, the kindest of his folk and the most eager for fame” (3180-3183), we can see how Beowulf is placed so far above normal men. Like Christ, he is a king of kings and is honored as such wherever he goes. When he returns home, he is offered land for the deeds he has done and treated as highly as nobility as any king or prince.

The kind of glory that Beowulf seeks throughout the narrative brings him fame and wealth. This search stems from a Germanic tradition of seeking glory and fame by going out and fighting monsters and wars to acquire wealth, but by virtue of Beowulf’s characterization also contains connotations of Christian glory, which is glory through and for God. This duality is reflected in Beowulf’s last word when, after having Wiglaf go to the den of the dragon and bring some treasures to show his dying lord, Beowulf first thanks “the eternal Lord, King of Glory” (2796). Beowulf’s constant reference to the Christian God makes his self-sacrifice in giving up his life to defeat the dragon for his people makes him even more Christ-like. 

Not once does the text mention any attempt made by King Hrothgar to defeat Grendel for the Danes, so as a King in a similar position later in life, Beowulf does not need to face the monster himself. Like Hrothgar he could choose to send his thanes out to fight it or wait for an adventuring hero to do the work for him, but he chooses to give up himself for the higher good of his people. In doing so, he is ensuring their safety by saving them from the dragon; by defeating the dragon he is gaining immeasurable wealth, fame and glory; and like Christ on the cross he is giving up himself so that they may live thereby attaining for them glory through God.

As much as he is characterized as Christ-like, it is where Beowulf fails as a Christ-figure that emphasizes the evangelical nature of this text and makes his character a better bridge between the Norse/Germanic influences of the Anglo-Saxons and the incoming Christian powers. When Beowulf is introduced to Hrothgar's court, he is challenged, his authority and renown are questioned. To counter this, he boasts of all his accomplishments (Sections 6, 8, 9). While such boasting defies the humility of Christian teaching, it would be a familiar cultural practice amongst the Anglo-Saxons. As discussed above, Beowulf's journey is partly inspired by a search for treasure. He does his work as a warrior for fame and glory, to gain renown. Like the boasting, this material focus is un-Christian behavior, but is a perfect example of the Germanic tradition in Beowulf. While he is characterized as a Christ-like, he is still very much a product of the Anglo-culture familiar to Old English readers. Where Beowulf crosses this gap and fits uncomfortably in both sides of the pagan/Christian duality he acts effectively as a bridge between them. Anglo-Saxons reading this story are more likely to accept the hero-Beowulf with all the aspects of Christian-Beowulf in tow.

By portraying Beowulf as a Christ-figure, his actions and the relations he has to the Danes and Geats serve an evangelical purpose. Within the text, Beowulf as an Anglo-Saxon hero is treated as Christ, turning the hero of a pagan tradition into the savior of a Christian one. This mixing of two legendary figures creates a common ground between the two conflicting cultures, making Christianity more easily acceptable to the pagan Anglo-Saxon audience. Beowulf the text, like Beowulf the character, inserts itself into the culture of the people, bringing with it a host of Christian faith to reacquaint them with ideas and themes that would seem fairly common. It shows that by taking in Christ, here represented as Beowulf, they can be saved.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Untitled Post

As human beings, we spend so much of our time and energy screaming, “Understand me, understand me, for the love of God, someone please understand me.” We scream until we are hoarse, until we lose our voices and fall to the ground of exhaustion.

And yet somehow we fail to hear the multitude of voices surrounding us, screaming in time with equal amounts of pain and frustration and longing. We fail to notice the equal vacuum of need pulling at us from all sides.

It is a sad state of affairs when we cannot acknowledge our own hurt, let alone that of those around us.

So I'm trying to retrain myself.

Whisper with me, “Help me understand you.”

It seems so simple. Create a pocket of silence in this chaos and wait. Transform our own energy and need into something useful.

Recognize the world isn't about me.

I need that reminder from time to time. The world isn't about me, I cannot focus on my wants and needs alone, but this also means I cannot be everywhere for everyone. We are not superheroes. It is selfish and arrogant to think that we must solve everyone else's problems.

Rather, and this is something I've learned from social justice communities, we must strive to empower people to take action for themselves, stepping in with further action only when it is absolutely necessary.

So what is most valuable in a world where all anyone wants is attention, love, validation? How do we empower people to find this within themselves?

Start with leading by example. Instead of adding to the noise, remove yourself from it. Turn down the volume even just a fraction. People are drawn to silence, to the open heart and listening ear. It's something we can feel from deep within.

To understand another, you must first start by seeking to understand yourself better. I don't think it's ever possible to understand yourself fully, but in coming to terms with the fact that we will never completely understand and accepting this, we gain something immeasurable. We gain the ability to move on and instead work on being ourselves.

If this sounds absurd to you. If it sounds ridiculously easy, easier said than done, I am not challenging you. It is indeed easier said than done, but this is no reason not to do it anyways.

So go out and find yourself. Come back to me with your findings. Help me understand you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why Don't We Talk About Sex the Way We Talk About Food?

On Monday night, the Sexual Awareness Center office will be showing the documentary Let's Talk About Sex. While I urge anyone reading this to go to that film showing at 6pm in VU 522, I am not writing this blog post as a representative of that office. Considering we live in a culture that inundates itself with sex, where “sex sells” and “everybody's doing it,” we're awfully reticent to having frank and open discussions about sex and sexuality.

For eight years, we had a Presidential administration that almost exclusively advocated abstinence only sex education,which given rates of sexual abuse, unplanned pregnancy, sexual violence, and sexually transmitted infections (STI), completely ignores the fact that young people are having sex and under an abstinence-only model are having sex unprepared for the consequences of their actions.

The problem though is not merely systemic, it's cultural as well. We don't allow ourselves a space to healthily discuss sex. Within the public domain, we rarely hear about condoms until at least puberty, and even then the focus is on preventing pregnancy with little to no mention of STI prevention. Few parents would be able to overcome their embarrassment to bring up condom use to a teenager beyond surreptitiously leaving a pack bedside and assuming they'll know what to do with it.

Even this discourse completely ignores the range of emotional and social pressures that come along with sex.

About six months ago, I purchased a copy of the Guide to Getting It On by Paul Joannides, an irreverent, comprehensive sex manual that with glossary covers 982 pages. At times it exhibits language that makes me uncomfortable for its misogynistic, heteronormative or culturally-incompetent connotations, but it attempts to be inclusive and is reflective of the idiomatic culture that spawned it, so I would still recommend it for anyone interested about sex.

My favorite part about this guide is not its wide range of sexual positions and detailed descriptions of what to do in bed, for that kind of information I would actually recommend you to a copy of the Kama Sutra or Cosmo, but the way in which this book emphasizes the connection and communication between partners.

Most sex ed that I've encountered deals almost exclusively with the mechanics of conception and rarely STI prevention. This is your basic anatomy. This is how it functions to make a baby. This is everything that can go wrong. If you're going to have sex, use protection or die. What's missing from this approach is pleasure. It tells you nothing about how to make sex better, which comes most strongly from responding to what you and your partner want.

Now, I've been an advocate for good communication skills probably since about the time I became literate. Sexual literacy and communication is no different. A sexual relationship is still, first and foremost, a relationship. Even if it's casual hook-up sex, if only one partner thinks of it that way, problems will occur.

Having sex with another person is intimate. We're trained to keep it behind closed doors both physically and mentally. So acknowledging that you're with another person who has wants and needs and boundaries is the first thing we should be teaching youth.

If your brain is the most important sexual organ, your ears are the second.

Part of what will help make this process of education easier is changing the way we talk about sex. The other day I was at a presentation by Cynthia Morrison from the Washington State Department of Health and a question she asked our scant audience of eight was why do we not talk about sex the way we talk about eating.

The question was mostly meant to address language use in a sex positive culture. Consider for a moment the slang used for masturbation. Jacking off, beating one out, spanking the monkey, choking the chicken, ad nauseum, I would go on, but doesn't this list seem rather violent, and it only really talks about male masturbation. Or for another matter, what does it mean that some of the worst insults are related to body parts?

I like to eat standing in the kitchen as I'm making food for other people. Sitting down is a rarity.

I like to fuck in bed, being penetrated while on top, riding my partner.

Okay, so you wouldn't exactly talk about sex the way you talk about eating and I apologize if that last sentence gave any of you far too graphic mental images of me, but the language we use is important. I would rather hear about spicy, succulent, delicate, aromatic, tasty things in bed than I would this pseudo-violent harder, faster, aren't-I-such-a-good-little-bitch, use me, rhetoric we most often ascribe to sex. 

Can you imagine if it were the other way around? You're a bad apple, I'm going to have to take a bite out of you and swallow you whole. 

Yeah... this is still a developing series of thoughts.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The true-life account of a conversation I have at least once a week

“So, Danny, what are you majoring in?”

“Um, I'm actually double majoring.”

“Oh wow, really? In what?”

“English Lit and Kinesiology.”

Short pause.

“That's an interesting combination, what are you going to do with it?”

How the conversation reaches this point changes, but the exact wording of the exact same questions is surprisingly stable for the number of times I've had to explain myself.

I like English. I've known since about the eighth grade that when I went to college I would most likely would end up as an English major. Sure, there was a period in high school where I considered a Journalism major, but this was only because it was similar enough to English and would have allowed me to continue in my passion for journalism. I realized pretty quickly after getting to college that my passion wasn't for journalism itself, but for the journalism community I had build up around me in high school.

So as I neared the end of my sophomore year, I was struggling. I was running out of GUR classes to take and needed to declare in order to get into the upper division classes I would take within whatever major I chose.

As I sat with this decision, I knew I didn't want to be one of those people who starts at university straight of high school and takes forever to finish their undergraduate degree because they waffled and wavered and switched majors five times. I didn't want to get so far in a program only to realize it wasn't for me with a year left before graduation.

So I looked around me. I had one professor tell me that if I went into English I should be prepared to work in a non-English field. There are so many people majoring in English out there, but only so many jobs related, and with the critical thinking abilities you get through an English major you're able to go into things like teaching or data analysis or even law should you apply yourself in that direction.

As an English Lit major I've learned to deconstruct a text, to pick it apart and analyze it in order to see both the broad implications and the minute interrelations between facets. This appeals to me. I love reading something and just mulling it over until I see the socio-cultural, political, narrative, historical implications. For example, rereading books by Orson Scott Card with the knowledge of his conservative politics has completely reshaped how I interpret them.

I'm a better feminist, queer and activist because I can better understand the plurality of discourses at work in any given conversation. That kind of bigger picture, holistic mindset is something I've learned to strive toward.

But at some point I realized this isn't what I want to do. I want to do this and I want to apply it everywhere in my life, but it's not something I want to make a career out of. So I looked at what else fascinates me and eventually concluded that the only other fields of study that really held my interest were related to human bodies.

There are multiple reasons for this, not the least of which stemmed from watching my mother go through physical therapy the latter half of my high school career. As an extrovert with an interest in serving people, a health-related field seems natural in a way. That and my experience rowing on the crew team gave me an appreciation and understanding of myself I never knew I had.

Yeah, in all reality I was the weakest guy on the team, but I was consistent and determined and absolutely captivated by the dynamics of movement involved: the kinesthetics, chemistry, and physics behind each muscle contraction, the leverage necessary to generate each little movement, all of them have captured my attention. And it taught me to be physical, that I can do something with my body beyond just move from place to place.

Growing up I was always a bookworm, eschewing the outdoors and ball games of my peers in favor of flying through the works of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and countless others. In a similar way, I've come to appreciate the human body as a book I want to learn to read. Not just muscles either; the whole thing, from nutrition to psychology to immune responses.

And as a double major with English, I can do that. If I take the time to understand material, I feel like I can explain it and make connections clearer than I would be able to otherwise.

That's not exactly why I'm double majoring, which has far more to do with me being stubborn and wanting to be well-rounded.  But it helps explain why I would choose such disparate majors.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I saw a squirrel today. It had picked up a discarded apple core, carried it up a tree, and sat on a branch to eat it. Something about this made me smile, so I walked back and took a picture.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Linguist Boy: A Missed Connection

So I posted this poem to Craigslist earlier. We'll see how this goes.


Linguist Boy

Linguist boy,
I would forgive you your bilabial trills
if you would do the math
and make them quadrilabial.
Would you, for me,
cut down that Indo-European tree
so we can keep warm in its ashes?
Linguist boy,
save some sibilants
for my ears in the dark
and maybe I'll teach you
the anatomy I've been learning.
See, that fricative is begging me to stop,
but you left it unvoiced
and it got swallowed in the laryngal folds.
Linguist boy,
I want to explore that interdental space
and touch your alveolar ridge with my tongue.
The topography of your body
is a morphology I want to learn to read
but the phonetics contains sounds
I've never heard before.
Here's a clause, let's draw a tree:
"Linguist boy," that's a noun phrase
with embedded adjective phrase. Linguist describing boy.
"warm up my bed."
I admit the verb phrase suffers some
lexical ambiguity.
Do I mean warm as in heat
or warm as in ffffffuriction
between all those parts you linguists ignore?
We can blend our bodies like
two free morphemes to make something new.
Linguist boy,
do you consider "boyfriend" to be monomorphemic,
or are we two free morphemes
unbound by labels and only loosely 
connected by word order?
These looks and smiles we share
have a semantics of attraction,
but the meaning gets lost in 
a convoluted syntax of time and distance:
wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.
Linguist boy, 
have I said too much?
I don't want this to be the 
false etymology of a relationship, 
but maybe you can pause
and analyze my language variation. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Western Front: Censorship and spending

I've decided that if I want to call myself a former student journalist, I should start reading my campus publication regularly. Activists throw around words like solidarity, but I think it's equally viable to apply the term to other ares (and I think in many forms journalism has the potential to act as a stimulus for activism). It's also good policy for knowing some of what's going on.

So let's start with yesterday's Volume 156 Issue13, November 1, 2011.

I'm tempted to play a game of count the inaccuracies, but that's just mean and detracts from the content. So I'll focus on two stories that caught my eye.

The first, an unobstrusive seeming piece that starts hidden in the bottom right corner of the front page, has a headline that seems rather dry: “Resolution would ask publications to censor content in online archives” but blossoms into what must easily be a 1200 word piece when it continues on page four that is further continued in an editorial on page 12. This was my first clue that this was a story stirring up trouble in the WF offices. Journalists report the news, they don't make the news, why would they be writing so much about something they're directly involved in?

Ah, censorship.

It's a bane of the journalist's existence, more so of student journalist who have to deal not only with media law and ethics, but campus ethics and codes and policies. So what is this resolution that has our friends at the Western Front scared? Apparently there's a little something-something dancing around on the Student Senate floor saying that online content could be subject for removal or alteration.
In short, because of the ease with which it's possible to make changes to digital media, someone says it might be worthwhile to erase some of those ill-conceived comments made by students that could otherwise be construed as indiscretions.

I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy for that line of thinking. Assuming this isn't some kind of undercover operation that would never happen with a campus publication, if you're being spoken to by a journalist (and if they're interviewing you in such a way that you could be quoted, you'll know they're a reporter, they'll have said so), you should always triple think what you say before you say it.

If we were all minors, it would be one thing. The vetting and verification process for content would likely be a little more rigorous and permissions might be a sticking point, but this is college. We're supposed to be adults. In fact, any of us could be interviewed by national news organizations and all our stupid little “um”s and “like”s could be broadcast to the world. A college paper, not so tough cookies. If we need to limit what gets posted by our campus publications, what's the point in having them?

And that is what's scary about censorship.

The other story that caught my eye was a guest column about university spending during budget cuts that made me want to cry a little. Why don't people research how the system works? Buchannan Towers are not being remodeled, those things under construction were additions so we could fit more students (i.e. more freshmen crowding classrooms and helping split the cost of our ever growing tuition).

The money for that was likely budgeted and allocated to that project at least a full year before it began. I'm assuming a good chunk of the funding came from some kind of donations or government grants having to do with building maintenance and updates that while significant in amount tend to be fairly regulated and specific in what they're used for. If the state gives me ten thousand dollars but with the stipulation that I have to use it for shoes, if I try to buy socks, they're going to take it away, so I'm going to buy as many shoes as I can. That's a reality of the way these kinds of institutions work.

It's a similar story with the rebranding brought up in this guest column. The money was spent a while ago, we're just now seeing the results. And for a corporation like a university, because yes, the two are increasingly similar in how they're run (how long until I can call up CEO Bruce Shepard?), branding is important. It's how you get more of those out of state students (holla to my OSSA peeps) who you can charge higher fees to help offset the money you're losing from in-state students losing higher education funding from the state.

Rather than piss and moan about how Western is spending it's money, why not yell and shout (or send a polite but strongly worded email to) your state representatives who are allowing all these cuts to higher education? The AS Board, and especially our Vice President of Legislative Affairs (there's something so satisfying about typing out the entire title instead of VP of LegAff) Iris are working their asses off to get people riled up enough to show the state that Western has had enough.

When people say vote with your wallet, they usually mean give money where it's worth giving, but I also think it should mean vote with your wallet in mind and choose people who are going to represent you and spend your tax dollars the way you want it to be spent.

Anyways, that's my two cents on the news. Someone give me a dollar and maybe I'll write about the whole issue next time.