Arts & Culture News Opinions

Letters to the Editor

On Retrospection and Introspection

By Adrian Lee – April 22, 2011

For the better part of the past three years, I’ve had a vicious love-hate relationship with King’s. I’ve loved so much how it has allowed me to fall into the things I’ve gotten a chance to be involved with over my academic career, from the KSU to the KTS to all the abbreviations-that-start-with-K in between; I’ve hated how thankless some of the little minutiae that is re- quired to keep King’s chugging can be; I have been blown away by the respect that some of my peers have said that they have for me; I have resented how doing a few things means that you deserve some form of raised pedestal.
But mostly, for four years, I worried about being defined by the things that I did rather than by anything else. When people referred to me as “Adrian Lee”—the sort of single- term nickname that became something of a caricature—it became even more difficult to divorce myself from the idea that I simply was someone who did a lot of things.
I’ve been told I make it look easy, too—that my devotion to the community through my extracurriculars is effortless in some way. It’s a huge compliment, and I feel privileged that people think that.
But I think it’s important to confess a few things, starting with the fact that it was not. I’ve lost relationships, lost touch with friends, and cliché as it sounds, lost touch with myself over the last three years. I’ve chosen tasks over people. I’ve hurt people in ways that I still can’t possibly apologize enough for. And over the last year, in part because of some of these issues, I’ve struggled with my mental health.
I’m making this confession for two reasons. One: I may be speaking to no one at all, like Lear at the winds, but if you are struggling at all with school, with pressures, with anything: seek help. Especially in a place like King’s, I can relate to the feeling of being like Atlas bearing the weight of the world, here in a school where everything is imbued with a crushing importance. But nothing is more important than your health. There were plenty of times I nearly lost track of that, and I urge all King’s students to keep this in mind. There is an undeniable stigma to discussing issues of mental health, but especially in a community as close and in a student body as devoted to its success as King’s, it’s a discussion I hope we have soon.
The second reason is because I want to say thank you to King’s. This month, I’ve been honoured with a few awards and recognitions, including the KSU’s most outstanding graduating student award.
And when I realized that this meant more to me than I could’ve possibly predicted, that was the moment when I took remarkable solace in being defined by the things that I did.
It was when I realized—what was I worried about?
If I am to be defined by the things that I did here, I can only look back and say that I am so gratified that I am. If I leave with the past four years as my body of work, I am proud. I have gotten to know so many people who mean so much to me. So what if no one cares five years from now? I’ve realized finally that the fact that I care right now is the most important thing.
So know that there was nothing special behind the things that I did here, other than that King’s let me do them, and I did them. Just as it did for me and does for you, King’s opens up doors and in some cases, pushes you right through them. But because I’ve never really gotten a chance to say it: Thank you so much, King’s, for all you’ve done for me. I could have done much worse for myself than
define myself against a community of people like you.
Yours, Adrian Lee
An Environmentalist’s Take on Roll Up the Rim

By Sara Kraus – April 22, 2011

Tim Horton’s annual Roll Up the Rim to Win has to be Canadian’s most beloved contest. Who doesn’t love it when their neighbour wins a fancy new car or the ever-popular free doughnut? Many Cana- dians make regular stops at Tim’s anyway, so why not win something in the process? But for the environmental- ly conscious crowd that routinely carries reusable travel mugs, Roll Up the Rim presents a moral dilemma.
I’ve experienced it myself, many times. I’ll rush over to the LSC Tim’s between classes – proudly toting my red travel mug. I’ll ask them to fill it right to the brim, hoping to savour every last drop of my French Vanilla before em- barking on a sugar high of epic proportions. Everything looks good as I’m paying – until the thoughtful cashier asks if I’d like my Roll Up the Rim cup.
As an environmentalist, my natural instinct is to say “No! That’s wasteful.” But before I can utter the words, I pause for three seconds, just to think about it…
What if the next lucky customer to order a large hot bever- age wins a big prize? What would I do? I could throw a fit and curse my parents for raising me to be such a tree- hugger – but more than likely I’d just laugh and continue on my day. After all, it would make for a great story!
Now I realize that sometimes temptation gets the better of us, so I started thinking that Tim Horton’s could really help us environmentalists out a little by changing up its contest ever-so-slightly.
I think they should print off little peel-able contest stickers for people that bring their own mugs. Not only is this sus- tainable, because it saves a lot of brand new cups from being pitched into the garbage, but the store could also save money on cups.
So Tim Horton’s, do we have a deal?

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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