Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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‘Must-Haves‘ for the college-bound

Katie Huston - August 9th, 2007
You’ve finally picked a college, enrolled in classes, and chosen your dorm. You know you need a computer, an alarm clock, and a cell phone (so you can call your mom every day, right?). Before you head back to school, here are a few more things you don’t want to forget:

A laundry basket
When you’re lugging your smelly clothes down six flights of stairs, a laundry basket is far easier to carry than a bag. And if your laundry room looks anything like mine did, you definitely won’t want your stuff to fall on the floor when you’re moving it from washer to dryer. Don’t forget rolls of quarters.

3M plastic wall hooks
These stick to the wall with super-strong adhesive, and they’re usually available at stores like Target and Meijer. Get a variety of sizes, and use them to hang your towel, bathrobe and calendar. 3M is the only brand I’ve found that comes off the wall without leaving a trace and doesn’t detach under pressure--and they’re reusable, too.

A facebook account
If you don’t have a digital camera, don’t fear--your friends will be posting all of their photos on facebook. The self-described “social utility” now allows anyone to join, but it began on the college scene, where it’s trumped MySpace as the online networking tool of choice. It’s easy to keep track of new people you meet and know what your friends from home are up to (and to remember their birthdays). Besides, it’s the perfect way to stalk--er, find out if that cute guy in your anthropology course is single.

Long underwear
Go ahead, laugh now. But if you’re going to college anywhere winter strikes, you’ll want it, especially if you go to a big school where you’ll be walking a lot. And when you want to go sledding on stolen cafeteria trays, you’ll be happy to have the extra warmth.

Flip flops for showers
Have you ever peed in the shower? That’s okay, because even if you haven’t, someone else has. And in the dorms, you’ll probably be sharing a communal bathroom. Aside from the “yuck” factor, plantar’s warts and athlete’s foot are transmitted in communal showers.

A passport
You don’t need a passport to go to college, of course, but if you want to get the most out of your college experience, make studying abroad a part of it. You won’t need to make your plans right away--most students go abroad during their junior year--but start looking into your options. Find out where you’ll be able to take classes in your major, or better yet, try to get requirements out of the way so you can study what you like while you’re overseas.

Dishes and silverware
Even if you have a meal plan, you WILL be eating in your room. Invest in a few cups, mugs, plates, bowls, and sets of utensils. Don’t get in the habit of using plastic throwaways - it’s bad for the environment. You’ll be glad to have a sharp knife and a can opener. A set of Pyrex bowls also comes in handy.

A fridge
Most colleges allow students in the dorms to rent or bring small refrigerators. Not sure? Go for it. You’ll want cold drinks, and buying from vending machines adds up. When you order take-out, your leftovers won’t go bad. And it’ll be much easier to keep those “Freshman 15” off if you’re able to munch on fresh, healthy food, like fruit and yogurt, instead of Cheez-Its and Oreos.

Headphones
Even if you like watching movies on your laptop or listening to music while you fall asleep, headphones are a must. A little quiet can go a long way toward preserving roommate peace. You’ll also want them if your roommate, say, talks in her sleep or invites friends into the room while you’re trying to study, in case she doesn’t quite have the same idea.

Ziploc bags
Resealable plastic bags are perfect for stealing food from your cafeteria. Don’t feel bad as you stash baggies of cereal in your backpack. You’re paying for a meal plan, and think of how much food gets thrown away. Ziploc bags are also great for packing a lunch if your schedule doesn’t give you a midday break.

An open mind
Many colleges require students to take “general education classes” in a wide variety of subjects. It might seem like a burden, but try something you know nothing about. If you’re undecided on your major--or even if you think you’re sure--you may discover a new passion. (Alternatively, you may realize that you never, ever want to hear the word “oceanography” again. That’s also good to know.)

Athletic shoes
The fabled “freshman 15” may be an exaggeration, but studies show that college students usually gain 3-10 pounds in their first two years, much of it during the first semester. One of the causes is a drop in physical activity. College is a time to form new habits, so start out on the right foot--go to the gym, go jogging, take an aerobics class, or join an intramural sports team. If you want to stick with it, it’s best to find a regular time to fit exercise into your schedule.

USB Flash drive
If you’ll be working on any computers that aren’t your own, a flash drive is essential. It’s also great for sharing music and photos with your friends or getting digital pics printed. A 256-megabyte flash is probably big enough, although if you work with graphics or plan to carry a lot of photos, you may want a larger size.

Slippers
I’ve seen guys wearing socks around the dorms that are so grimy they look like they could sprout mushrooms from the bottom. Plus, in the winter, unless you’re heading to Florida or Arizona, your toes’ll get cold when you’re tapping away at your computer.

A sense of humor
College is a wonderful time, when hundreds of kids with clashing habits and pet peeves get thrown together in rooms not much larger than jail cells. That roommate who trims his beard over your desk may not turn out to be your best friend, but if you take it all in stride, living in the dorms can be a source of amusement and bonding, rather than the cause of your misery. And who knows--you just might end up actually LIKING your roommate’s favorite country band.

 
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