Category Archives: Opinion

From the Editor’s Desk: Weathering away attendance policies

By: Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief

I’m heading into my final three months at Towson, and I can safely say that through taking 160 credits, I have never had a professor with the same attendance policy.

I’ve taken hybrid courses where attendance was only mandatory for the four test dates during the semester. One honors seminar required me to be there every class period. Some professors never took attendance, while some had two, three, four or even more days that you could miss without “excused absence” before missing class affected your grade.

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The Big Picture: Letting go of plans and living in the moment

By: Annie Sragner, Assistant Arts and Life Editor

Time has a mysteriously beautiful way of taking care of things. Think of that big obstacle you were worried about a couple months ago. It has probably settled and passed into memory.

I am a person who loves plans. I love the process of making plans and having something to look forward to in the future. I consider my life a collection of memories that I keep recorded in my journal or in my memory bank. I want to do as much as I possibly can while I can, which is why I often stress when things do not go according to plan.

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The Big Picture: Dealing with different opinions

By: Annie Sragner, Assistant Arts & Life Editor

 

This past week, I had an experience with a newly-met person that changed my perspective about how I understand others. I was in class and we were discussing a topic that I am close to and feel passionately about. After I contributed my opinion, a fellow classmate said he felt completely differently, and then shared his thoughts.

At first, his words left me a little miffed, maybe even disrespected, but sense and a little decency returned as I considered what he was saying. His experience on the matter differed from mine because we had very different backgrounds, which affected what we thought.  But that does not devalue or invalidate either of our opinions, nor does it make either of us a jerk. At least it shouldn’t.

Ideally, education is essentially the process of catching everyone up with what the rest of humanity already understands. We all see the world with different eyes, and it is impossible for any one person to know everything about everything.

But sometimes we believe we do. 

Even something as mindless as driving can reveal our dark side. Our commutes are probably the most dangerous part of our day.  Most of us believe we are the best driver on the road while everyone else is less capable and automatically a deserving target of road rage. However, in reality, all of us have about the same skill set on the road. 

It is the “my way or the highway” beliefs in perception and expectation that are often the core catalysts of conflict. Almost any misunderstanding can be boiled down to someone acting one way and someone else expecting something else.  These two persons’ histories have left them on different pages without effective communication.  But, as with driving, a little patience goes a long way.

Patience is a virtue, and it is frequently necessary for avoiding or resolving misunderstandings with differently-experienced individuals. Instill empathy in your words and actions with others to discover where they are truly coming from. Words are only sound waves that we use to connect with others, and it is important to govern them with care. 

We each construct our own individual character and tendencies based on what we have experienced to date. You may know much more about certain things than others do, and others know more than you. Individuals must keep open minds in order to learn as much as possible during this short life.

Don’t negate, investigate. See their visions of others and ask them questions.  How different could things be if we heard and listened?

Letter: Charlie Hebdo and free speech at Towson

By: Alex Woodfin, Senior

I’m writing this from Avignon, France, as a foreigner among 66 million French nationals in grief over the horrific attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Four million people (30,000 in my town alone) participated in peaceful marches on Jan. 11, bringing to life what one of the greatest writers in French history wrote in 1770: “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.”

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Big Picture: Reaching the top

By: Annie Sragner, Assistant Arts and Life Editor

Throughout life, and particularly campus life, we face frequent challenges that allow individuals to rise to the occasion or to crumble under the pressure, the difference being that the former sustains the momentum of hard work, and the latter discouragingly surrenders the reach to the top.

The concept of reaching the top is not the same for everyone. Each person’s dreams evolve differently, until they reach a certain extent that they become satisfying. A life-spectrum exists in the thresholds of each individual’s ambition, along which they pursue their dreams.

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From The Editor’s Desk: Towson un-bucket ist

By: Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief

Now that I’m beginning my final semester at Towson, I’m starting to do some introspective thinking.

I’d describe myself as an introverted extrovert. I really don’t like putting myself into new social situations, because I get far too awkward for my own good, and I’d much rather hear about other people’s lives than talk about my own to my friends.

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