Monday, May 17, 2010

Ready for the World!

On Thursday, May 13, The Boston Globe North published four stories of local college graduates in both its print and online editions. Each was written by a Fellow with the Gordon College News Service:

"A dream of greening Afghanistan drives Endicott student" by Alysa Obert.

"Working hard to ensure his kids will have it easier" by Amanda C. Thompson.

"A false step, then on to success with Mandarin Chinese" by Maggie Roth.

"Syrian woman defies tradition to educate herself, help others" by Muriel Hoffacker.

Congratulations to the Fellows and the graduates!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Opinion: Forced Encounters of the Fourth Estate

By Alysa Obert
Gordon College News Service
May 6, 2010

I am terrified of two things, even though both happen to be in my blood: journalism and airplanes. I have an insatiable itch for truth and a curiosity for new lands. And yet, I know that with each interview, as with each walk down the jet way, comes an invitation, an inevitable flirting with death, and an obligation to defy the comfort of my own germ-phobic skin to interact with the Other.

On a recent flight from Chicago (home) to Boston (college), for instance, a plump tan man with a Marine Corps bag caught my eye. Is the bag for pleasure or for politics? I thought, amusing myself with the cleverness of me. What I actually said was, “Is Boston home?” “No,” he said.  “Redwing, Minnesota. I commute twice a month.”

Gary was uncommonly gracious. I was cranky that the plane was late. I was mad that I wouldn’t finish my article on time and most of all I was annoyed that on this Boeing 737 with twenty passengers, he sat next to me.

Opinion: One Graduate’s Gift for Mother’s Day

By Muriel Hoffacker
Gordon College News Service
May 5, 2010
(This editorial appeared May 8 in The Salem News.)

At age 15, nothing is more humiliating than having your mom poke your elbow with a fork at the dinner table reminding you to get it off, when the boy you’re dating is sitting right across from you. Hours later, he breaks up with you saying, “You’re a little too weird for me.”  Your mom insists that she knew all along he wasn’t “Mr. Right.”

How about the time she dropped you off at school during the bustle of the morning traffic, singing the American national anthem at the top of her lungs, insisting on starting your day with excitement as you climbed out of the car? You slammed the door relieved that her sound would be muted, only to hear the Canadian national anthem streaming out as she rolled down the windows. All your peers stared at you and you were convinced your heart was beating so fast you thought it would burst.  Years later Mom visits you at college, takes you out to lunch and then when she drops you off at the dorm, she does it: She belts out the national anthem. Again.

Opinion: An Open Plea to Kill the “After-Graduation” Question

By Maggie Roth
Gordon College News Service
May 3, 2010
(This editorial appeared Saturday, May 15, in The Salem News.)

Dear Friends, Family and all others generally concerned with the future of college seniors:

As we enter the month of May, many things start to happen. The leaves turn green again, the birds start chirping more often, the sun finally decides to break the gray “November through April New England haze,” and of course, seniors graduate.

 I, myself, as one of these upcoming graduates, feel the need to enlighten those who care with a small piece of information: Most of us don’t have a clue what we’re doing immediately after we pack up our dorm rooms and head for our cars.

It seems to me that the word “senior” and the phrase “what are you doing after you graduate!?” are synonymous these days. The thing is, I don’t know what I’m going to do. And when I get asked time and time again by people I know and people I don’t know, I start to get a little stressed out and the question becomes a hot-button. And when I get heated who knows what act of violence I might commit.

Opinion: On Being a Loser

By Amanda C. Thompson
Gordon College News Service
May 4, 2010

Every time I go home from college for the summer, I find myself excavating the closet under the eaves in search of something I’ve lost. This also happens at Christmastime, Easter, Thanksgiving, and on sundry weekends throughout the year. I can’t help it; I’m a loser.

My favorite pants went missing for more than half a year. I haven’t seen my hiking boots since high school. There is a tragic space between Mae and Muse on my CD shelf where Matchbox Twenty should be. Sometimes when I leave my dorm I don’t even know where I parked my car. For the record, I hardly ever lose the keys.

But these things are only misplaced. More regrettable are the things that promise to stay lost: the poem I wrote in fourth grade, the recording of my best friend singing about green tea, the plush bear my birth father gave me when I was born (one of the only mementos I had of him).