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KANKANHALLI | Who Taught You That?

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week! I, for one, am proud to express my gratitude for my educators past and present…from the comfort of my bedroom, as I consciously neglect attending class…but still! Gratitude! Laziness aside, it’s crucial to actively realize the impact of educators. The humility that characterizes most teachers I’ve known frequently goes unrecognized.

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KANKANHALLI | On Religious Warfare

Asifa Bano bore witness to the utmost depths of human cruelty in only her eight years of life. She died at the metaphorical intersection of Hinduism and Islam in Jammu and Kashmir, a dispute-ridden territory contested by India and Pakistan for ages. Bano’s birth into a nomadic Muslim community sealed her fate tighter than any inherited characteristic ever should. Her title was compelling enough to invite gang-rape, beating and strangulation from Hindu occupants of Kashmir. No apology is enough.

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KANKANHALLI | Hungry For Justice

The realization that most on-campus eateries are closed on weekends strikes me as a fresh blow every time I remember. Are we, the students, presumed to be fasting on weekends? Have weekends somehow still maintained their rosy reputations as periods of rejuvenation rather than periods of barreling anxieties? I don’t mean to speak for the entire student body, but I have a feeling that this bold claim carries a speck of universal truth: we’re still alive on weekends! We’re not hibernating, pleasant as that would be, and we’re absolutely in need of sustenance.

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KANKANHALLI | Who’s Behind the Trigger?

Voices flock to controversy like bees to honey. The case surrounding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting is no outlier — without delay, a multitude of sentiments regarding the affair has peppered the national landscape. As in prior responses to tragedy, we have heard vehement accounts from survivors, onlookers, afflicted families, and of course, politicians. This is precisely what we would hope for in response to an unthinkable calamity, is it not? Hardly.

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KANKANHALLI | Why the Super Bowl?

You’re told to write about what you know — with good reason, in order to avoid assuming the likeness of a total dud and expounding on topics that are far beyond your expertise. Today, though, decorum begs to be broken as I attempt to comprehend the national spectacle that is the Super Bowl. Powerful enough to coax a purr out of President Donald J. Trump, Super Bowl LII transported us to an alternate universe where viewers’ pride and happiness are inextricably linked to the wins of their athletic counterparts. [Spoiler Alert] “Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!” — a tweet posted last night from Trump’s own account, staggering and confounding in its authenticity, begins to capture the scope of this annual match. Such a priority is the occasion, in fact, that previous commitments are rescheduled and responsibilities are dismissed for a fateful few hours.

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KANKANHALLI | I Never Learn

What do a green circle, a blue square and a yellow triangle all have in common? You might recognize these humble shapes by their sturdier aliases: Open, Closed, Wait List. Student Center’s three beloved icons, occupying hardly a few pixels on screen, command quite a few fates. In my experience, they share a mandate to gamble recklessly with my intellectual journey. They taunt me, as if saying “it would be a shame if you accrued massive debt to attend Cornell and didn’t glean a single practical thing from your stay, huh?”

Yeah, it would be.

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KANKANHALLI | Intermission

Pardon me for conveniently overlooking finals week, but we’re just so close to Winter Break. Risking my immediate success but securing my longer-term sanity, I would rather dream about a post-finals utopia than dwell on what is required to usher that utopia into being. So, the holidays! They are less than a month away now, and in college time, that’s hardly longer than a heartbeat. I’m usually not one for prior planning (in cases where it actually matters), but when something as liberating as Winter Break is around the corner, I’m a fan of shirking the present and doting on the future.

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KANKANHALLI | The ‘I’ in ‘Team’

Recently, I’ve been grappling with my group identity. My courses this semester have placed an emphasis on collaborative group projects, and as such, I’ve been viewing myself through the lens of my teammates, as a part of a whole, rather than as a completely individual entity. In academic settings, the concept of group work is interesting in that it anchors a set of strangers, without much consistency in background or passion, to a common goal – likely a desirable grade. Usually, then, after teams are selected, the professor gradually decreases the level of imposed structure, and the madness begins. Four of my six classes have currently assigned ongoing group projects: one of my teams is designing a website, one of them is building an application, one of them is filming a video and the last is dedicated to studying the role of technology in group work.

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KANKANHALLI | The Weather Outside

Cornell under 60 degrees feels more like a battlefield than a college campus. It gets this way every year without fail, but the initial hints of winter are always jolting. As the daylight fades, so do motivation, energy and moods. For the average college student, these virtues are not especially high to begin with, so the impacts of a shift in seasons are profound. Thankfully, Cornell is generous with its winter break.

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KANKANHALLI | To Netflix: Chill

Veiled by political unrest and other persistent distractions, Netflix has been up to no good. The company recently increased its standard monthly subscription prices from $9.99 to $10.99, which I would have totally missed had it not been for some pointed research. Granted, $1 extra is a reasonable trade for surplus dopamine, so maybe this is justified with some business terminology. Still, it was a bold move, considering 600,000 forward-thinking, likely SolarMovie users closed their accounts following the 2011 Netflix price hike. What’s worse than the increased rates, though, is Netflix’s ascension atop the Internet Ethics soapbox.