Voices of Trinity: Snow Haiku: Poets of ENGL 150February 23, 2014
Trinity is blessed with a very talented group of poets in Professor Eleanore Lambert’s English 150 Class! With Professor Lambert’s careful guidance, these students took advantage of all the snowstorms this winter to create some beautiful haiku, and they have given me permission to share it with all readers of this blog. Enjoy!
Cotton dreams so cold
Cover the street.
Not all the glam
in the world could compare
to those diamonds that fall
When I was younger, I hoped for you
Now you make my days difficult
Oh! How our minds change like the seasons
Kids outside playing in the field
Full of snow angels and snow men
but so cold when it hits the grass and the ground.
Flakes spinning circles,
Turning against the moonlight.
All day it’s snowing
A gentle, beautiful snow.
Where is the shovel?
You’re white, fluffy, and stick to the ground
Please don’t come again
The snow has arrived!
Running, acting as if I were five
We are under attack
When will you be over!
No more childish longings and anxious arrivals.
Then there was spring.
Waiting on you spring
She falls from heaven covering the land
Like a blanket
Yet she is cold blooded
I’m a rat
trying to get far away
and out of this snow
At night the moon’s too bright
Huge flurries blowing fast, face gets tight
Sunrise in freezing air
Snow is falling,
as it dances around me,
gently covering the pavement
Beautiful white flakes fall from the sky,
Footprints on a slushy pavement.
sparkling in the light—
waiting for rebirth
Snow makes everything white,
Pretty as lilies and the valleys
Is a chilly enjoyment
Awaiting Spring Time
White flakes falling on an opaque day,
Yet kids are ready to run away.
Freezing hands, cars rolling past;
waiting for the next day to look
5:26 at night
ground all covered in white,
sitting by the fire with a blanket held tight.
Winter bliss has fallen;
Rock salt, windy snow—curved around their own shadow;
Mountain top jewels.
Everything white and pearl—
The earth turned into a new world.
Snow covers the window,
But inside the love warms my heart;
Thank you Mother Nature.
-Danielle ScottRead comments (0) Add Comment
Barbie’s Olympic FailFebruary 19, 2014
In the very week that American Olympic women athletes are piling-up medals in snowboard, skating, skiing and other sliding sports, Sports Illustrated has teamed-up with the toymaker Mattel to make it clear to girls everywhere that what really counts are not muscles and grit, but breasts and butts. In a breathtakingly cynical marketing ploy, Mattel has placed its iconic Barbie doll as the cover wrap around the Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit issue that features a great deal of the female anatomy and almost no swimsuits, at least on the real cover. Next to the vast expanse of gluteus maximus that the three cover models proudly parade for all the world to see, Barbie looks like what she truly is…. a 55-year-old plastic doll in a slightly updated version of the black and white onesie she was born in sometime in 1959.
Actually, Barbie now appears to be starving to death. But I digress….
Bloomberg reports that Barbie sales have skyrocketed in the last week, proving once again the oldest marketing adage in the book: sex sells.
Barbie has always been the sex kitten of the kiddie set. Many moms, including my own, banned her from the house ages ago for precisely that reason. But old fashioned prudishness is not the reason why seeing Barbie paired with the SI Swimsuit almost-barenaked gals evokes an “ICK!” response at best. Nor is this about the well-known criticisms of Barbie’s unrealistic body image issues. This is about the “blurred lines” that uses a child’s icon alongside adult reading material in a way that comes off as just, well, sleazy. The swimsuit edition is a well known device for pandering to a certain demographic that loves to oogle nearly naked women. In an era rife with ugly tales of child sexual abuse, why would any responsible adults use a child’s toy in such a provocative manner? OK, “responsible adults” and marketeers may be divergent concepts, but still. SI and the readers who buy the swimsuit issue are entitled to their babes, but why include a baby’s toy in that steamy mix?
Mattel is using the vaguely incriminating slogan #Unapologetic for its Swimsuit Barbie marketing campaign. What are they not apologizing for anyway? Did they do something wrong? The idea, so they say, is to let the world know that Barbie makes no apologies for her figure. Of course she doesn’t. She’s a doll. She has no feelings. She has no brain. She’s a hunk of plastic. She is a creature of her corporate masters whose only concern appears to be how many more dolls they will sell with this particularly repulsive pairing of doll and dolls.
Sports Illustrated and Mattel could have teamed up to make Barbie an Olympic champion. Imagine how many girls would have rushed to buy Barbie clad in the cool snowboarder gear of Kaitlyn Farrington and Kelly Clark, gold and bronze medalists in the halfpipe. Or imagine the ambitions Barbie could have stoked had she worn the ski ensemble of mogul medalist Hannah Kearney, or the sleek slalom style of Julie Mancuso? Barbie could have gone for the lycra look of skeleton medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace or the glitz and glitter of Gracie Gold in a figure skating confection.
Barbie and her masters have missed an Olympic opportunity to inspire girls in a good way, to get them off their couches and into the gym, to show them that muscles and athleticism are the new standard for beauty.
By seeming to be more about the “Mad Men” era than the age of ski moguls and half pipe tricks and slopestyle champs, Mattel and Sports Illustrated have revealed a shocking lack of understanding for what really motivates girls and women to be #unapologetic — measurements of achievement that are not about waistlines and bustlines, but about finish times and medal counts.Read comments (0) Add Comment
SNOW DAY!!February 13, 2014
Trinity is closed today because of the biggest snowstorm in years. Please send your photos to email@example.com and I will post them on this blog or on my Twitter feed @TrinityPrez
Here are some photos from our intrepid Facilities Team who are hard at work clearing the roads and walkways on campus — THANKS, guys! What a great team! YOU are amazing!
Thanks to the Aramark Facilities Team, the campus is clear and looks great, but we’ve decided to stay closed on Friday, February 14 because travel conditions remain difficult and there’s more snow and freezing in the overnight forecast.
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Dreaming of JusticeFebruary 4, 2014
Today was a great day for Trinity and Trinity students now and in the future. We were part of a press conference announcing the creation of a new scholarship program for undocumented students, also known as Dreamers. This program became possible because of the great leadership of Donald Graham, the former owner of the Washington Post and a major philanthropist who is also a great friend to Trinity. Trinity students may not know Mr. Graham personally, but several thousand have reaped the benefits of his leadership in creating the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program and D.C. College Access Program, and before those programs he led the Eastern High 500 Club.
Today Mr. Graham announced the $25 million Dreamers Scholarship Fund (TheDream.US) organized with the help of Democratic activist Henry Munoz III and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed $10 million, and other individuals and organizations contributed the balance.
Trinity is one of 13 colleges and universities who are the first partners in this program. We were honored to be the only private non-profit college on the list since we are well known for our commitment to social justice.
Dreamers Scholarships are a step forward in addressing a terrible injustice in our society. Dreamers are students who came to the United States as very young children with parents who entered without documentation. The cruel and disparaging phrase “illegals” is used as a cudgel that denies the fundamental humanity and dignity of these individuals who were not so fortunate as others to immigrate to the U.S. “the right way.” One of the symptoms of the deep prejudice that runs through our society is the refusal of members of Congress and many state legislators to permit student financial aid — Pell Grants, student loans — for these students.
As the grandchild of immigrants who I never met on either side of the family, I often ponder “legal” versus “illegal” status. Grandfather McGuire from Ireland was apparently a somewhat sketchy character, and I often wonder if he bothered with papers at all. Who knows, and what does it matter, his grandchildren are doing their part to be contributing members of this society — as today’s Dreamers will do in the future. What matters is how we live our lives, not what stamps of approval or pedigrees or status symbols we carry around.
The refusal of the wealthiest country in history to extend equal college support for undocumented college students is a grave injustice. Fortunately, private philanthropists like Mr. Graham and the other creators of TheDream.US have stepped up to begin to address a part of this injustice for some students. This new fund will aid several thousand Dreamers; but hundreds of thousands will remain unaided unless legislators have a change of heart. Fortunately, the coalition that has created the new scholarships is bipartisan, and that offers a glimmer of hope for some change in public policy in the future.
This Dreamers initiatives is also consistent with Catholic teachings on social justice and the dignity of human life. Flowing from those teachings, the U.S. Catholic Bishops have been passionate voices for justice in immigration reform, and they have urged Catholic colleges and universities to make special efforts to welcome and support Dreamers.
Here are remarks I gave at the Dreamers Scholarship press conference today:
There’s no greater gift than the gift of a college education to lift the spirit, spark imagination and ensure prosperity. For Dreamers, however, these huge benefits too often remain a mere fantasy, a grave injustice because of short-sighted public policies on student financial aid.
I knew Dreamers long before I knew that word. Over the last two decades as Trinity’s president, I can recall the young women who would visit my office bearing passionate letters of their ambition, sobbing through tales of treacherous border crossings, of hopes that soared through triumphant high school achievements only to crash against the barriers they faced to paying for college.
They wanted these degrees not for their own glory, but so that they could provide for their families, so that they could maybe get their mothers to stop working so hard, so that their children could live more secure lives.
It broke my heart when I realized we could not meet all of the need of these talented, ambitious students. Some even begged me to let them wash dishes or work in housekeeping or other jobs to barter their tuition.
We managed to help a very few, not with bartering but with grants, but for most, we simply could not close the gap because we already fund so much need among our D.C. students. Trinity’s median family income is just about $25,000; we provide millions in Trinity grants, which are mostly unfunded tuition discounts, but most of our students also need Pell grants and federal loans. Up til now, for Dreamers, we have not been able to close the gap.
Now, thanks to Don and Henry and Carlos, the Gates Foundation and the great supporters here today, in January we were able to enroll our first Dreamer, Lourdes, a graduate of Bell Multicultural High School, active in the Junior ROTC, successful in her AP courses, a young woman from Guatemala who now proudly wears Trinity’s purple and gold. She is the first of a long line of Dreamers who will become extraordinary Trinity graduates, young women like Hillary and Sulamon who are here today from Cesar Chavez High School. We are pleased and proud to work with great partners like Deputy Mayor B.B. Otero who founded Centro Nia, one of our great partner organizations; and Lori Kaplan of the Latin American Youth Center; Argelia Rodriguez of the D.C. College Access Program; Maria Tukeva of Columbia Heights Education Campus; Maria Gomez of Mary’s Center; the Cristo Rey Network, and so many others.
So many thanks to Don Graham and all of the funders who are making TheDream a reality!
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Yes, Again.January 26, 2014
“Not Again!” seems too much of a cliche to start a reflection on yet another shooting tragedy. The scene this time is Columbia Mall in Maryland, about as conventional a place for modern Americana as you might find. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and yes, the family of the shooter as well who must also be suffering immense grief at the thought of what their relative has done — and whether anybody could have stopped him.
As I watched the news reports from Columbia, with tales of shoppers and employees diving under counters and sheltering in place in locked storage rooms, my mind went to a time long ago when we children were taught to hide under desks in our classrooms in anticipation of great destruction. Baby boomers in the 1960′s grew up thinking that the worst thing that might happen to us was a nuclear bomb launched by the only real foe we heard about, Russia. As we grew older, we learned to fear and hide from other threats, but mostly we felt fairly safe as the years went along and the Cold War climate grew warmer. September 11, led to a whole new national obsession with sheltering in place and “being ready” for personal annihilation. Untold billions have gone into threat assessment and strategic defenses against terrorism.
To protect ourselves against the terrorist’s murderous plots, we have even quite willingly given up many of our civil liberties, from being treated like suspects at airports to shrugging at the thought of the NSA listening in on our phone conversations. Anything to protect the public!
Really? Then why can’t we find a way to deal with the greatest threat we really face, the prevalence of guns?
America in 2014 does not need to shelter in place against the next great terrorist attack or random nation-state bomb. The real threat to the daily health and well being of the more than 300 million people in this country comes from the person next to us in the checkout line who harbors homicidal ideas and cold steel under his coat, the co-worker who plots a rampage to relieve stress and anxiety, the classmate in the lab with a thirst for revenge, the father or mother or sister or brother who decides to act out fantasies of violence in spectacular public ways.
What is wrong with us as a nation that we willingly stand shoeless like sheep in the TSA lines but shrink from the thought that we can control the guns that are killing Americans at increasingly alarming rates each day?
A little over a year ago, after the great tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, for a fleeting moment it seemed that American common sense and collective will might finally come together to enact some reasonable laws to control the flow of guns into the hands of mentally unstable individuals. But meaningful gun legislation was not to be, thwarted once more by the shamefully self-serving rhetoric and lobbying of the gun lobby among the craven legislators who never met a campaign dollar they didn’t like. The fact that the lives of tens of thousands of Americans are snuffed out each year by gun violence seems to count for little when the National Rifle Association threatens to work against the re-election of a politician.
The N.R.A. says that the only effective solution to the “bad guys with guns” is to have more “good guys with guns.” That is such rot it’s hard to know where to begin. That logic would be akin to suggesting that the only way to combat terrorism is for all of us to carry explosives and box cutters, too.
The purpose of government is to protect people from harm, not to set up a corral where people can have a shooting match. On the topic of guns, the government has failed the people utterly and completely. To say the government has no power is ridiculous. The federal government makes laws and rules that intrude into just about every aspect of life and liberty. I can’t smoke in the shopping mall but I can carry a gun there. This is nuts.
The end result of governing cowardice is a never-ending body count amid the most mundane places of our daily lives, the schools and shopping malls and places of work where, of all places, people have a right to feel safe and secure.
By the way, I heard a guy on the radio this morning advocating now for metal detectors in shopping malls. There we go again, giving up one more scrap of our freedom to move around without fear while bowing to the gun lobby’s refusal to accommodate public safety in any modestly rational way.
Maybe we all should just stay home, shop online, and telecommute to work. Maybe we don’t need a free society, just some secure caves where we can all shelter in place forever.Read comments (0) Add Comment