Letters to the Editor

United we will heal

I’m writing simply to thank the UM community for its compassion in its response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech. I joined the UM faculty as a lecturer in the English department this year, but I originally hail from the Southwestern Virginia area; both my father and brother are Tech alumni, and Dr. Loganathon, one of the slain professors, was very fondly remembered by my brother as a popular and inspiring teacher.

My brother wanted me to let my students know that he and many of his former classmates were deeply touched by this message of support and that in this time of great sorrow… this gesture went a long way towards making them feel better. What happened on one campus has been felt on all of them, and united we will heal. Thank you.

Dr. Deborah Christie
English Department

Media focus is off target

I’m from Virginia, and I know students at Va. Tech. I’ve been watching the irksome news coverage.

Death is always sad, but the silver lining is that it brings people together. Solidarity is why people are so compelled to tune in, and while Facebook has been great for that, the media sucked. Facebook may be prone to rumors, but you can tell who’s missing and who to be concerned about.

The media, however, have been eking out widespread political implications of this tragedy, instead of bringing people together.

This event does have political ramifications, but the media has missed the mark by saying things like, in a nutshell, “He was born in a different country! Let’s make this about immigration, despite the fact that most of his formative experiences were here in the US because he had lived here legally since he was eight!”

Or there’s “How on earth could this psycho get a gun? Well, it was a completely mundane, legal purchase, and he bought it with ‘chilling simplicity.’ Let’s interview the merchant and harp on gun control!”

Even on a 24-hour network, there are no gray areas in politics, so their coverage is ill-suited even for the wider audience. Gun control and free speech may be slippery slopes, but when free speech demonstrates a violent psychosis, how about a little gun control?

I hate to be blunt, but we all know the Cho type, and as individuals, we should reach out like the teacher did. As a campus policy, I’m not suggesting that loners should be branded on the forehead, but when a kid confuses fantasy and reality, expresses violent fantasies and suicidal thoughts, and finally gets sent to the counseling center while you’ve got him in the straightjacket, confiscate his registered guns.

Bethany Quinn
Senior and former Hurricane columnist

Take a break for breakfast

We’ve all been there: you rush off to class without so much as a glance at your micro fridge, but before your first class is even close to over, your stomach is launching an all-out massive protest, growling with resentment and gnawing on your insides as it scavenges to find any hidden scraps of sustenance that it may have missed. Sure, there’s a little embarrassment as onlookers stare at you trying to determine the origin of such monstrous sounds, but, otherwise, it’s no big deal, right? Well, not so much. You need food to function, period. Skip the most important meal of the day if you like, but be prepared to face the possible consequences.

There’ll be no surprise when your grades start to slip; after all, you can’t seem to focus during class, you get frequent headaches, and you constantly mope around in an energy-less stupor – not to mention it’s striking how everything seems to resemble your favorite breakfast foods. After a while, you’ll be forced into isolation by ex-friends due to your incessant crabby disposition and constantly trying to mooch off their food-this will make you miserably depressed and dejected. Your metabolism will slow, and your voracious appetite will cause you to overeat at your next meal and/or binging on junk food, which, over time, will result in an expanded waistline.

Dramatic, yes-but all very true. Skipping breakfast is like trying to drive your Benz to the grove on gas fumes. It’s just not going to happen. After fasting all night during sleep, your body needs some fuel to get going. Put in a Twinkie and don’t act surprised when your engine starts to knock, but put in some good quality fuel-like some fresh fruit and low-fat granola-and you’ll have the fuel you need to keep you going until your next meal time. So, the overall message? Of course, eat a healthy breakfast everyday, but it goes deeper than that for ambitious UM college students-stop putting yourself low on the priority list and do what it takes to feel good and be happy. The health of it all just falls into place when you’re doing what’s right for you.

Ashley Falcon, M.P.H.
Asst. Director, Wellness and Recreation