An Ode To Middleton, The Reggie's Of Libraries

An Ode To Middleton, The Reggie's Of Libraries

I went to one poetry class so now I'm a poet, right?
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LSU's Middleton Library,

When I walk through your sliding doors and get hit with your stale, crusty air, I can literally feel depression hit me in the face.

It's probably not your fault. You are just a building.

But you're a pretty gross building.

Middleton, you are the Kevin Malone (yes, the weird dude from "The Office") of buildings. This honestly could be either an insult or a compliment, take it however you want.

Middleton, remember when Kevin spilled all that chili on the ground?

Well, I have literally gazed upon spilled chili on your second floor. It was green though, and I'm pretty sure it barked at me.

Why Middleton?

Why are you so offend referred to as "Club Mid?"

It is because you are the Reggie's of libraries?

Like Reggie's, you could possibly give us diseases and though we all act like we don't enjoy you, we all still go to you at least once.

You both have your regulars and you both have your sticky floors, but still, you manage to keep us coming back.

You both give us the same feeling when leaving your fine establishments: sad, exhausted and covered in smoke from the chain smokers outside.

While I type this I look down at your yellow tiled floor.

I can't even find the words to describe the colors of all these stains.

Truly unique. Truly disturbing.

Why so many stains?

How many students have tattooed your floor with their over-priced coffee or tears of failure?

Are these your "scars to your beautiful?" as the song puts it.

Are your stains what tell your story? If so, your story appears to be quite crusty. I am worried for you, oh Gross Building.

Why does it smell of feral cat pee in here?

So many questions, Middleton.

Though you are nasty, you still have taught me more than I could have ever hoped.

You taught me to never buy sushi from a library.

I was not a very smart freshman. I had no idea it was possible for rice to be so sticky, yet so crunchy at the same time. Truly unsettling.

To this day I remember purchasing that sketchy sushi.

I remember going up to the second floor, where I proceeded to contemplate eating after noticing a weird yellow stain in the corner of the room that looked like my dog.

Those were the days...

Though you are just a dingy library, you have also given me good memories.

Memories of meeting new friends and crying while we studied.

At the moment, they seemed like awful times, but looking back, this is where I formed some of my best friendships. Nothing creates a strong bond like a musty room and an upsetting amount of accounting homework.

Thank you, Middleton, for providing this musty room.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Gerety

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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