The Alligator Columns
I was the Tuesday opinion columnist for UF's campus newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, during the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters. As a columnist, I met weekly deadlines to write 31 columns, totaling more than 18,000 words.
Please click here for some introductory notes about these columns, if you're interested.
Below is a selection of 20 of the columns I wrote, arranged by topic. The columns marked with a are personal favorites.
Love and relationships
Golden rule applies to relationships
September 15, 2009 » A column arguing that people should act kindly and ethically in relationships, not because their partner at any given moment might be "the one" but rather because their partner probably isn't.
People in relationships shouldn't settle
October 27, 2009 » A column arguing that settling in relationships — that is, being in a relationship with someone you don't really love (or like) — isn't just a bad idea, but an unfair and unethical one, too.
Infidelity should not be normalized
January 19, 2010 » A column arguing that cheating on your partner is wrong, in response to a relationship advice column written by two colleagues at the Alligator that defended infidelity.
Ending relationships has its positives
February 2, 2010 » A column discussing how break-ups, while decidedly sucky, connect us all and help shape our relationship with love.
Singles should seize V-Day opportunity
February 9, 2010 » A Valentine's Day column! I encouraged everybody at UF who would be single on Valentine's Day to ask out their crush as a way to fight the commodification of Valentine's Day and love.
The freshman columns
Freshmen: It's OK to not like college
September 22, 2009 » A column asking freshmen at UF how their first five weeks were going and offered reassurance that it's really okay if it's not going well, despite how rah-rah everybody is about UF.
Holidays create 'Garden State moments'
November 24, 2009 » A column discussing what I call the "Garden State moment" — the moment you realize that someone or something that seemed so important to you when growing up isn't relevant to your life anymore — in the context of going home for Thanksgiving.
First year doesn't set tone for future
December 8, 2009 » A column asking freshmen at UF how their first semester went and offered reassurance if it was terrible, using my own terrible freshman year as a point of reference.
Death and suicide
For friends in need, love can ease pain
November 17, 2009 » A short story, told in the second person, about someone whose friend tried to commit suicide.
Say what you would regret leaving unsaid
December 1, 2009 » A column in which I asked several people the question, "If you knew you were going to die this evening, and you couldn't talk to anyone between now and then, what would you most regret not telling someone?" and recorded their answers. (It's more fun than it sounds.)
Suicides should inspire compassion
March 30, 2010 » A column discussing the suicides during the 2009-2010 academic year at Cornell University.
Coming Out Day should be made easy
October 6, 2009 » Remember Pastor Terry Jones, the Gainesville, Fla. preacher-guy who got a lot of media attention for threatening to burn a Quran in 2010? Before his day in the media spotlight, he was a local homophobe who protested a Gainesville pride festival. I interviewed him while he and his congregation were protesting and wrote a column calling for respect for LGBT people.
Case against marriage equality faulty
October 20, 2009 » A column drawing comparisons between a Louisiana justice of the peace's refusal to marry an interracial couple and a Maine referendum that would rescind marriage equality for LGBT people in the state.
Michigan ordinance similar to local Charter Amendment 1
October 30, 2009 » A column noting the similarities between a Gainesville, Fla. referendum to rescind anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and one happening in Kalamazoo.
Doubt should be component of faith
September 1, 2009 » My first column! I discussed how being a person of faith necessarily means being a person of doubt, and how that doubt binds us together as people.
Art project puts message over money
October 13, 2009 » A column discussing the PostSecret art project and how the remarkably uncommercialized project is a rarity in our culture. I interviewed project creator Frank Warren for the column; a heavily truncated Q&A from the interview was published separately here.
'Support the troops' not just a phrase
November 10, 2009 » A column published a day before Veterans Day that tries to take a nuanced look at what supporting the troops means.
Last decade produced culture of fear
January 6, 2010 » A column discussing the 2000s, and how war, fear, and the exploitation of both made that decade terrible.
Gators shouldn't support sweatshops
February 23, 2010 » A column encouraging UF's student body to vote in favor of affiliating the university with the Worker Rights Consortium, a anti-sweatshop advocacy group.
People are connected through empathy
April 13, 2010 » A column discussing the importance of everyday empathy and viewing people as real human beings.
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