Indiana Daily Student

Erich Reinhard


Superstition checkup

If you’re crazy enough to switch majors at the outset of your junior year, or feeble minded enough to regurgitate others’ viewpoints while believing them to be your own, you’d not only fit the mold of a good many others on IU’s undergraduate scene. You wouldn’t just share something unexpectedly in common with me (at least occasionally). You might also be ripe for your latest superstition checkup.

How’s your history?

If you’re like me (younger than 25), your most reliable sense of history probably begins around the time you were born. Even so, our generation has filled out voter registration paperwork, watched CNN or Fox News daily and often perused USA Today or the New York Times (because, as students, we get it free) so as to pretend we’re reading something not spooned out for us on a digital platter.

The gray dilemma

It was the single least-stressful day in my recent memory: fishing, swimming, lazing about and reading on a lake in northern Maine, followed by a delicious nap until dinner. I’d indulged in a pleasant lack of hygiene, having not showered in some time.

Longing for the long run

Cross-country running in high school proved to be a most rewarding experience. My first season got me acquainted with the burly captain of the wrestling team who took running as seriously as he did studying. One of those self-proclaimed “seniors-who-just-don’t-care,” he taught me an invaluable lesson of high school (and formal education)’s true value and purpose.

Luv: It just ain't enough

Instead of taking a road trip to the Sunshine State this past spring break like many of my friends, I stuck around B-Town and took up a challenge on a topic I’d never even thought about before. A New York Times Magazine essay competition for college students challenged writers to answer the question: “Modern Love: What is it now?” Although the deadline would not be until the end of March, something drove me to the library well in advance to get a hold of at least a few inspirational tomes, everything from “The Beatles And Philosophy” to “Hemingway on Love.”

Enviable place, unenviable time

I know more than a few IU folks from the Chicago area. I use the term “area” because I wouldn’t want to spoil the racy feeling one gets by saying they’re from Chicago, when in truth they happen to be from Evanston, Arlington Heights or somewhere else on the unfashionable “outskirts” of the city.

Twain-based truth

One of my first college literature courses surrounded me mostly with folks of Hoosier background, with sprinklings of Illini. They filled the cramped Ballantine Hall room with a din of unmistakable dialects and raucous humor that irked my professor. Having met someone who would later become a lasting friend in the class, this atmosphere did not start out bothering me.

Summer of Schadenfreude

As orientation reaches its peak and the Class of 2012 starts gagging on the campus literature that’s being perfunctorily crammed down their throats, my feelings drift between pity and “Schadenfreude,” the German word for finding mirth in other people’s misfortunes. I’m not proud of it. It’s just a wretched impulse that seizes me when I walk past all those misty-eyed, pasty-faced “pre-frosh” on my way to work, flitting and gibbering at the heels of their parents. They thought they were ready for college, I chortle to myself. But all they’re ready for are the forces of fate that will soon swallow them whole. How will they be swallowed whole? And why? These are serious questions.

An overrated legacy

Charlton Heston most certainly isn’t rolling in his grave. If anything, his cold dead hands have temporarily come back to life and tightened their grip on the antique rifle he’s no doubt entombed with in a posthumous victory. One of his most cherished beliefs was validated by the country’s highest court last week: the civilian right to keep and bear arms.

A call from the mountaintops

Have you ever noticed how, in the humdrum of casual, college-kid conversation, the topic of politics is regarded with aversion and distaste? I fully understand the ominous feeling that overtakes you when you really aren’t ready to reveal some of your most personal convictions, especially to someone who gets a kick out of finding some superficial basis for argument.

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