Features

Long-form investigative articles covering people, events and issues that affect the student body. If you have an idea for us to cover, contact us at [email protected]

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) This week, Aries, a close friend or colleague may provide an unusual glimpse into his emotional motives: Before mid-week, expect others to discuss previously withheld feelings, past social events or sentimental loyalties between friends. All is positive, Aries: Watch for gentle surprises, subtle declarations of love and shared appreciation from co-workers. Listen carefully for promising ventures. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Before Wednesday, Taurus, physical energy may be low: Watch for minor muscle aches, low back pains or temporary skin ailments. Expect vitality and optimism to return before mid-week. Some Taureans, especially those born in late April, may also experience increased dream activity, fresh social insight and quick romantic realizations. Expect deep feelings to emerge, Taurus. It’s time to test key relationships and create long-term romantic commitments. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Romantic frustration and social moodiness will soon fade, Gem: Over the next two days, many Geminis will receive a powerful glimpse into their own emotional needs. After Thursday, yesterday’s family relations and romantic disputes will no longer affect key relationships. It’s time to let go of the past and move on. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Over the next few days, Cancer, watch for a new level of romantic passion in key relationships. Many Cancerians have recently experienced a brief period of romantic distance or complex social pressure. Before mid-week, however, expect a dramatic shift: Both romantic partners and close relatives may now compete for your attention, demand equal time or propose unusual home activities. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Business success and romantic fulfillment now become a top priority, Leo. Over the past few weeks, many Leos may have felt restricted in working environments or misunderstood by loved ones. All of this quickly fades early this week, Leo, and will soon be replaced by dedication and renewed passion. Gather information and social energy over the next few days, Leo, and then prepare for new business projects or ask loved ones for added time, attention or commitment. A strong week, Leo: Stay alert. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Recent romantic delays or social regrets may drain your energy early this week, Virgo: Expect the vague promises of loved ones to now be temporarily bothersome. All of this, ironically, is a precursor to expanding career ideas and new workplace negotiations, Virgo. Start preparing to leave behind fear, low confidence or past employment restrictions. Late Wednesday, vitality rapidly increases: Pace yourself and watch for fast business proposals or sudden announcements from loved ones. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Before mid-week, short-term relationships or brief love affairs may be highly distracting: Expect new friends or potential lovers to present unusual invitations or rare social information. Over the next few weeks, however, loved ones will also vie for your time, social attention and continued dedication. Stay focused: At present, subtle actions and public appearance may be extremely important in close relationships. A complex and demanding week, Libra: Avoid romantic triangles, if at all possible. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Minor health concerns, infections or skin irritations are accented early this week, Scorp. Before Wednesday, expect physical vitality to be quickly changeable. Stress, social tensions or last-minute revisions may now cause delays, Scorp. Avoid taking on extra work or risky projects and all will be well. At present, both workplace and romantic partnerships may need to dramatically change to ensure success. Remain quietly dedicated: By early next week others will take the lead. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Lovers and close friends may strongly disagree this week, Sage: Expect long-term relationships to now conflict with new social obligations. Before next week, loved ones will avoid public gatherings or rapidly discount the ideas of mutual friends. Go slow and expect unusual social outbursts. All passes quickly, Sage, so not to worry. Do, however, avoid bold public statements or changing social opinions, if at all possible. After Friday, daily financial stress will be lifted: Expect important gains. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Late Tuesday, Cap, a lover or close friend may ask for rare emotional guidance. Key issues involve conflicts between relatives, divided social loyalties or doubtful romantic partners. All may seem small, but an alert attention to detail may now reflect an important emotional issue. Offer support and comfort, Cap: Social and family relations will soon regain their balance. After Wednesday, watch also for minor but annoying messages from past business associates. Avoid public financial discussions. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Daily confidence and romantic attraction are highlighted this week, Aquarius. Although workplace differences may now be complicated by ego battles or small criticisms, many Aquarians will approach business decisions with a rekindled self-awareness. Romantic partnerships may be similarly affected, Aquarius: Watch for a powerful wave of sensuality, attraction and emotional motivation to arrive early Wednesday evening. Respond quickly to instinct, Aquarius: Sincere reactions will be rewarded. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Business relationships, social invitations and group plans will clarify early this week, Pisces: Watch for the bold or obnoxious types to no longer create annoying distractions. For the most part, Pisces, this is an indication that long-dreaded workplace or financial changes will be avoided. Some Pisceans may also experience a similar emotional shift in a close relationship. Watch for loved ones to let go of negative ideas, family criticism or outdated opinions, Pisces: Offer genuine support and guidance. If Your Birthday is this Week: Love relationships will dramatically change over the next two months, Gem. Many Geminis will now experience a division between their romantic lives and home priorities. Key decisions may involve repairing a difficult family disagreement or encouraging loved ones to leave outdated influences in the past. Before late August, outstanding relationship questions will need to be settled: Don’t avoid complex decisions. Early September will usher in fast business, academic or financial demands, Gem. Expect to be busy, confident and newly motivated. ...

Incoming Editor in Chief Promises Continued Excellence for the Paper

I know what you’re all wondering: “”How can The UCSD Guardian possibly hope to maintain — let alone improve — its astronomically high standard of excellence with so many editors and staff members graduating?”” Well, not to worry. I promise there will still be good reason to grab a Guardian when September rolls around. It is true, we are losing some extremely talented and hard-working people — people who are irreplaceable, really. Our beloved editor in chief, Vincent Gragnani, will be graduating, leaving behind the newspaper that has practically defined his college career. After two years of being a staff writer for news, and one year of being news editor, Vince was the only choice to hold the reigns of the Guardian this year. And held them he has. The Guardian will never be the same without him. But don’t worry. A couple of weeks ago, Alison Norris and I were elected co-editors in chief (by freakish coincidence, we tied), and Vince has been training us for the job ever since. We cannot replace Vince, but we can bring our own ideas and styles to the Guardian, hopefully building on the quality and standard Vince has brought this year. True, we are also losing our managing editor, Bill Burger. After a year of writing, Bill became sports editor last year, and as managing editor, he kept in touch with his roots by covering men’s and women’s tennis. Bill made a perfect managing editor: He is approachable, decisive and fair, and he can even hold his own with a red pen. Luckily, next year’s managing editor slot will be filled by current news editor, Lauren Coartney. Lauren has done a great job with news this year, and we are confident she will be able to continue in Bill’s footsteps as both an editor and a manager. So we’ve got that base covered. Tom Vu, our opinion editor, will also be leaving us. Like clockwork, Tom managed to come through with a section chock-full of all the skewed and out-there opinions us Guardian weirdoes could possibly come up with. His section was rarely late, and was always solid and balanced. It will be quite difficult to repeat his performance. Facing this challenge next year are Divya Runchal and Jennifer Sposito. Divya became co-opinion editor earlier this year, so she has had plenty of experience. Much like many of our opinion columns, Divya is also skewed and out-there, so our opinion section should continue to be quite interesting. Jenny, who is co-copy editor, is an extremely eloquent writer and should add exceptional clarity and intelligence to the section. Perhaps even Ben Boychuck will agree that our opinion section will indeed be fine. Sports Editor Robert Fulton and Associate Sports Editor Scott Burroughs are also graduating, relinquishing their solemn responsibility of bringing the UCSD community all of the UCSD sports news fit to print. Robert is Mr. Dependable here at the Guardian. His section is almost never late, and in its pages are all anyone would want to know about sports at UCSD. If one of his writers was out of town or sick, Robert would just write the article himself. Scott is the best sports columnist we’ve got. Though sometimes his columns are only slightly related to sports, they are always entertaining, and from knowing the guy, they very well could all be true. And yes, Neil Dennis does in fact exist. Despite losing such talented and diligent sports editors to graduation, sports is perhaps the section we have to worry about least. It will be headed up by current Associate Sports Editor Isaac Pearlman and current Features Editor Josh Crouse. We would be lucky to have just one of these guys running sports. Isaac has worked under Robert for most of the year, so on top of being a superb writer, he knows how to consistently put out a quality section. Josh has written sports for a daily and has been an editor for almost two years now, so he has more than enough experience to run a great section. David Lee, our mysterious Hiatus editor, will no longer be pushing the limits of what arts and entertainment are. Dave expanded the scope of Hiatus to subjects that would not be covered by typical arts and entertainment sections, but he pulled it off beautifully. It is likely that the Guardian will never again have a writer quite like Dave. Knowing this, it is safe to say that the Hiatus section will be a little different next year. At its helm will be Joseph Lee and Charlie Tran. Joe was co-Hiatus editor with Dave for most of the year, so he will bring the experience needed to keep the section running smoothly. Joe is also committed to exposing the ugly underbelly of the oft-criticized San Diego music scene. Charlie, now our design editor, will bring a new look and feel to Hiatus. An avid movie critic and fan of the arts, Charlie should satisfy those who enjoy the finer arts. The Guardian would be nothing without photos, and Photo Editor David Pilz has certainly made it something. Due to the overall quality of Dave’s and his photographers’ work, there have been more pictures in this year’s issues than there have been in a long time. When he wasn’t out shooting or developing, Dave was critiquing and improving his photographers. For that reason, next year’s photo editor, Lyon Liew, is more than qualified to bring the campus informative and aesthetic photos. Lyon has a firm grasp of what photojournalism is, and his sports shots have improved to the point that they are downright outstanding. Last, but not least, Web Editor Brian Wikner is graduating. Brian was responsible for getting every issue onto the Web this year, and he’s made numerous improvements to the Guardian online edition. Coming in in the middle of the night to post the articles and photos online is a thankless job, but Brian did it with enthusiasm and care. Knowing his days at the Guardian were numbered, Brian trained his replacement, Zhi-Ning Liang, to be the next Web editor. A computer science major, Zhi-Ning should continue to improve and add to the Web site, making it more interactive and easier to use. All these Guardian editors who are graduating may just sound like names to you, but you really do know them. You know them by seeing the sections they produce week-in and week-out. You know them by the articles they write. You know them by the photos they shoot. So get to know the new crop of Guardian editors. We’re excited to carry on the proud tradition of supplying UCSD with all the information it needs to be the most informed UC school. ...

Lending a Helping Hand

It is easy to forget that there is a Third World country a few miles south of us, where living conditions are much different and health care is not an option for most people. Just south of Ensenada, however, lies a small medical clinic that UCSD students organize and run free of charge. In March, I went down with a UCSD group called Alpha Epsilon Delta to document the work that they do south of the border. Exam: A student is shown here guiding Yuvaire Elizabeth Marquez through the process of reading an eye chart. AED is a national honors pre-medical society that UCSD became a part of two years ago, and consists of roughly 300 pre-med students. Though they do many things to educate themselves about the medical field (including organizing the first UCSD pre-med group forum), the main endeavor of AED at UCSD is the medical clinic. AED shares the clinic with another pre-med group on campus that is called the Flying Sams, both of which try to go down one Saturday per month. They bring doctors with specializations that include pediatrics, women’s care and general practice. The patients they get depend on the specialization of the doctor. The students walk the patients through step-by-step. They welcome the patients in and provide the preliminary care, which involves asking the patients what their problems are, taking vital signs such as blood pressure and pulse, and staying with patients until the doctor is done with them. The students do as much as they possibly can but never anything they are not trained for. They treat patients until there are no more to treat, which is usually around 10 to 15 patients per day, though there has been an increase since the beginning of the year as more people learn about the program. Vital: AED president Cal Aboulhson takes the pulse of Luis Fernando Marquez. The students take vital signs of the patients and lead them through a rigorous medical examination. Volunteering at the medical clinic is educational for the students because they get hands-on experience that many feel is not available on this side of the border. Being able to walk the patients through each step, working with the doctors and asking them questions exposes students to many important aspects of medical and patient care. The patients who come to the clinic for treatment are much different than patients you see in the United States, according to Ethan Egan, current officer for campus affairs and future president of AED. “”People down there don’t go to a doctor unless they seem to really need it,”” Egan said. When the group went down in November, about 10 of the roughly 15 patients had serious problems. One of those patients was a baby who was extremely malnourished and had severe breathing problems. “”You could just hear this baby trying to gasp for air,”” said Asal Shoushtari, vice president of AED. It turns out that the baby had severe bronchitis as well as a bacterial infection, which prevented her from being able to absorb food into her body. Fortunately, they were able to treat the baby. “”At the end of the day, to see the relief on the mother’s face was really nice because she had gone to so many doctors and finally someone was telling her what was wrong,”” Shoushtari said. Amanda Lamond, who is in charge of running the clinic, once dealt with a woman who had breast cancer and a pain in her spine that they thought might be a sign that the cancer had moved there. They were lucky to have found a place nearby that was able to give her X-rays, which Lamond then took to the doctor. “”I was shaking when I went into the room with the X-rays,”” Lamond said. When she informed the woman that the cancer hadn’t moved, the lady started crying and thanked Lamond profusely. “”I will never forget that,”” she said. Working at the clinic has really touched the students. It has been a learning experience, not only about health care and medicine, but also about the conditions people live in elsewhere in the world. “”I am gaining an understanding of what health care is like in a Third World country … it’s very primitive,”” Lamond said. “”They don’t have the same opportunities that we do here.”” The locals are very welcoming to the group, according to AED. “”The people down there are so warm and genuine and happy that we’re here to help them,”” Egan said. Once, a lady was so grateful that she brought tamales for everyone. “”These people don’t have much money, and for them to do something like that is very powerful,”” Shoushtari said. AED member Nick Athanasiou was happy to do the work. “”We really are making a difference,”” Athanasiou said. “”We are making this possible for them, and that’s really gratifying.”” The group gets along very well with each other and has become like a family. They are able to work well together, even when there is a lot going on. “”It’s an example of how students can work together and achieve something together,”” Shoushtari said. This has been an integral year for the clinic, as it is the first year they have worked in Ensenada. At the beginning of the year, they moved from Tecate to their current location because the facility in Tecate was not large enough to hold a general practitioner clinic. They are still growing, trying to get more medicine, more doctors and be of more service to the people who need care. AED’s main problem is finding doctors to go to Mexico with them. They currently have two doctors who are willing to come down, but they desperately need more. The doctors are ecstatic about working down there and helping the people out — it is an enriching experience for them as well. AED is planning to create a presentation to show at hospitals to get more doctors involved, and hopefully the number of doctors will increase next year. “”We are all looking forward to the day when we can come back [as doctors] and help out,”” Egan said. fe ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) Over the next few days, Aries, close relatives or friends may present new career plans or financial proposals. After Wednesday, romantic tensions increase: Expect lovers or long-term romantic partners to be delightfully affectionate and seductive. Don’t disappoint, Aries: Loved ones now need your special attention and romantic focus. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Social belonging, private attractions and subtle group dynamics are accented this week, Taurus. Use this time to expand your social circle and foster new intimacy with loved ones, Taurus: You won’t be disappointed. Later this week, a close relative may require unusual business or financial advice. Long-term security or workplace reputation may be key issues: Be helpful. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Career or financial risks are promising this week, Gem: Although relations with authority figures may have been recently strained, expect new assignments and revised duties. Go slow, Gem: Romantic indecision and vague social promises will be a theme for the next four weeks. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Early this week, partnerships and written agreements may require extra examination, Cancer. Don’t let small details slip by unnoticed. After Wednesday, watch also for unexpected social invitations or family gatherings. Someone close may now be frustrated by powerful feelings of isolation. Offer guidance, Cancer: Your acceptance and social optimism may now help others to resolve past disappointments. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Educational projects and past group assignments may require unusual social decisions this week, Leo. Over the next few days, expect previously forgotten duties or postponed deadlines to demand added attention. Late Thursday, a fresh romantic attraction will be compelling: New friendships or short-term affairs are now highly favorable, Leo. Enjoy! Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Long-term relationships and deep emotional commitments may feel mildly strained early this week, Virgo. Don’t be distracted: For the time being, loved ones may be presenting a more negative view of relationships than is necessary. After Friday, letters, messages and unique phone calls may also be accented: Expect rare communications from forgotten friends or distant relatives. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Before Thursday, a romantic flirtation may cause minor tensions in a long-term relationship, Libra: Expect lovers or marital partners to now be highly sensitive to social triangles or newly revealed romantic information. Little of this can be avoided: Pace yourself and wait for others to resolve past doubts and social regrets. After Friday, key money documents may require fast changes. Pay close attention to time commitments or long-term expectations, Libra: Don’t hesitate to take quick action. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Social messages and revised invitations may create unexpected tensions early this week, Scorp: Before Wednesday, watch for friends, relatives or loved ones to require extra support. Respond quickly to the needs and observations of others, Scorp, but reserve judgment: Before mid-June, social promises and planned events will be easily changed. Avoid emotional triangles and mildly unethical flirtations, if at all possible, Scorp: Romantic passions are now highly unpredictable. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Romantic gestures and social invitations may be difficult this week, Sage: Expect loved ones to be unusually critical of new friends. Before Thursday, both friends and lovers may publicly challenge the ideas or social needs of others. Don’t over react, Sage: Private doubts or a complex emotional history between friends may be at issue. Next week, group events or planned activities will bring new relationships into your social circle, Sage: Remain patient and watch for valuable opportunities. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Before mid-week, Cap, romantic celebrations and private social events are intriguing: Watch for loved ones to openly discuss controversial plans, rare ideas or long-term emotional goals. Some Capricorns may now experience the rapid expansion of a new relationship. If so, Cap, expect a fast wave of social introductions and romantic speculation to also arrive. Later this week, recent financial promises may require quick revisions: Minor debts, misplaced documents and forgotten bills are accented. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Social risk and unexpected family discussions may be a theme over the next few days, Aquarius: Watch for friends and relatives to now compete for your attention or issue unusual social ultimatums. Key concerns may involve business schedules versus home obligations or creating extra time for private family events. After Wednesday, romantic attraction also sharply increases, Aquarius: Expect new overtures of admiration and affection from a usually shy or reserved loved one. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Quick reversals are accented over the next few days, Pisces: Before Thursday, expect vague social promises and late cancellations. Long-term friends and colleagues may now be feeling introspective or forgotten by the group. Do your best to improve the social outlook of others this week, Pisces: Friends and workmates may now need extra encouragement to change negative habits. Later this week, a past financial restriction will be lifted: Thoroughly document all new debts and partnerships. If Your Birthday is this Week: Next month’s solar eclipse may dramatically change your romantic and social outlook. After June 21, many Geminis will begin an almost three-year long period of deep emotional change in all close relationships: Key issues may involve freedom versus restriction, outdated expectations and/or letting go of past differences. By late September, long-term relationships that are intended to maintain a permanent role in your life will greatly expand: All else will fade. Before mid-November, single Geminis can expect several passionate new proposals. A vibrant and rewarding few months, Gem: Enjoy! ...

Students Get Entrepreneurial

Two UCSD sophomores have created a unique Web site that helps students selling and buying used books to find each other online. Jeremy Jung and Jordan Brinkman, roommates and co-founders of StudentListings.com, saw a need on campus for a simple and cost-effective way for buyers and sellers of books to find each other. A little over a month ago, Jung and Brinkman were talking about the flyers that they always see posted outside classrooms and in bathroom stalls that advertise students’ books for sale. “”All the tabs at the bottom were always ripped off,”” Brinkman said. “”It’s ridiculous.”” The solution was simple. StudentListings.com is an online medium for students to buy and post books for sale. Contrary to other sites of this kind, such as the online bookstore ecampus.com, there is no risk involved. Posting books for sale is free and sellers can set their own prices. The Web site requires only a five percent surcharge from each sale. Since the exchange can be done in person, there are no shipping costs or taxes. For these two entrepreneurs, creating the site was a challenge, but a fun one. “”It was more work than we originally thought,”” Jung said. “”New challenges kept popping up.”” The entire process took the two computer science majors a month and a half. Designing the Web site took the bulk of their time. Both partners have had extensive experience in computer programming. Jung’s resume includes work at Microsoft as both a software test engineer and a software engineer. Brinkman has worked for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on a project called the Human Energy Saver, a tool for planning more energy-efficient homes. “”I had a lot of fun creating the site,”” Jung said. “”It was the business aspect that was quite an experience.”” The process of creating and registering their business was done entirely over the phone and through the mail. “”It took more time to actually figure out which forms to fill out than it did to process them,”” Brinkman said. Indeed, there were many details to cover, such as getting a business license, registering with the Internal Revenue Service and registering StudentListings.com as a legal business name. Jung and Brinkman posted their site on a separate location, http://www.Readyhosting.com, to ensure reliability and accessibility at all times. The service that their company provides is not restricted to UCSD students, but they’re only marketing to this university. In theory, students from different universities could still use the service to post and buy books by simply exchanging them in the mail. There was very little financial risk involved for the two students. “”There is some start-up capital, but compared to a brick-and-mortar business, it’s minimal,”” Jung said. Aside from bank fees, legal fees and processing fees for forms, the major investment was time. “”We’ve definitely put a lot of time into it, but it’s been a great experience so far,”” Brinkman said. They both feel that it will be worth it in the end. “”If it all works out, then we’ll be very happy,”” Jung said. In talking with their friends and fellow students, Jung and Brinkman have received positive feedback on their idea. Registering on http://studentListings.com is simple, requiring basic information such as your name, e-mail address, user name and password. Books for sale are organized by class, department, condition and price, all for the buyer’s convenience. “”As far as we’ve looked, we haven’t found a service with the same or cheaper prices,”” Brinkman said. The two roommates have found working together to be a positive experience. “”It’s nice to have a small company because you can just run to your partner and make a corporate decision right there,”” Jung said. Jung and Brinkman have heard of similar business ventures going on at UCSD, but for the most part, they seem unorganized. For others thinking about creating their own online business, Jung and Brinkman suggest planning to spend a lot of time on the design of the Web site, as this was the area that required the greatest amount of time and effort. “”Come up with an idea, design it, implement it, and you’re done,”” Brinkman said. After testing and perfecting their site’s design, Jung and Brinkman project minimal need for daily upkeep. Also, designing and ordering advertising materials takes time. StudentListings.com plans on using word-of-mouth as its main form of advertising, coupled with T-shirts, pencils and flyers. “”We just want to get the word out because we provide a great service that people should know about,”” Brinkman said. ...

Supreme Court Ignored Public Sentiment in Its Ban of Medicinal Pot

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on marijuana usage, arguing that the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 leaves no loopholes for medicinal marijuana usage, even in doctor-prescribed cases. The ruling’s impact on California law will be undoubtedly widespread — 56 percent of this state’s voters approved 1996’s medical marijuana initiative, also known as the Compassionate Use Act and Proposition 215. Medicinal marijuana clinics took root in various California cities as a result of Proposition 215, and the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, in particular, became a prominent player in the tug-of-war this initiative ignited between state and federal law — the federal government sparked the soon-to-be Supreme Court case in 1998 when it began seeking an injunction against the Cooperative. Several thought-provoking and sometimes disturbing circumstances surround the United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative decision. First, consider the overlap in jurisdiction that inevitably exists here. Federal judges, who are well-schooled in law, not medicine, have eliminated the ability of doctors, who have years of training and experience in various medical fields, to prescribe marijuana to their ailing patients. It is highly unlikely that Americans turn to their lawyers when they are ill and in need of sound advice as to what sort of treatment might cure their sickness. Here, the court has taken it upon itself to serve as every American’s physician, yet the justices’ areas of expertise reside in a far different domain than that of the physician. In short, the court has left no room for doctors to engage in an individual-based interpretation of needs. Furthermore, consider the freedoms with which doctors may prescribe other drugs, such as morphine and valium, even though these are considered rather addictive, longer-lasting and generally stronger than marijuana. It is ironic that doctors are trusted to divvy out these intense narcotics to pain sufferers or panic attack victims, yet the justices feel that AIDS and cancer patients tolerating any number of painful, unbearable conditions may not be trusted to truly need marijuana’s effects or really deserve them. It seems almost laughable that the justices are allowing surgery patients continued intravenous access to opiates while denying the chronically ill access to a drug that they — and their doctors — claim is equally essential to their comfort. Also worth consideration is the 1980s-style ideology espoused by this ruling: It states “”Drugs are bad.”” However, America’s half-assed war against drugs is simply a dead topic, especially now that we have elected a former cocaine addict as president. More importantly, drug usage is considered “”bad”” or deviant only because it has historically been correlated to violent criminal activity. Labeling drugs as the cause of violent crime, and then launching a campaign against medical marijuana (which users argue is one of the most calming, mellowing drugs available) is a lamely constructed, roundabout way of throwing stones at high crime rates. While it is true that violent crime may accompany drug use, and it is agreed that fighting violent crime is a worthy cause, it is not true that all drug use instigates or accompanies criminal behavior. Thus, it is not logical that banning access to medical marijuana will have any effect upon the fears that lay at the heart of the Supreme Court’s decision and at the heart of most bans on drug usage — fears of violent crime. While it is acknowledged that this point might be too large a pill for most readers to swallow, at the very least, the unanimous ruling should present this question for discussion: Is the court removed from public opinion when it interprets the law, as was intended? It may be argued that the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative ruling proves that the court is isolated from public pressure, as it overruled medical marijuana usage even though Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington all have approved such laws. However, it seems that America’s high court ignores public sentiment sometimes, but not all the time, and that its isolation from the outside world seems to depend on the nature of the case being heard. ...

Students Practice Their Crafts

Nestled next to the Student Center among the eucalyptus groves lies the UCSD Crafts Center. Inside its walls, jewelry is crafted while pottery wheels spin into the night. The glass blower heats a small bit of glass to hundreds of degrees, allowing it to be blown into fantastic shapes. Heating: Matt Evans heats up his bit of glass to hundreds of degrees Farenheit in order to make it workable. Behind the Crafts Center, the rhythmic pounding of metal sounds as students practice blacksmithing. At the same time, golden sparks shower the area around the welder as he joins two pieces of metal together. The Crafts Center has students of all ages. Many UCSD students find that it is an enjoyable outlet for their artistic abilities, as well as an excellent break from their intense studies. The upcoming spring craft sale is the culmination of students’ work from the past quarter. Students will be selling their art pieces June 5 through June 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Crafts Center. Sculpting: Roberta Cruz plays around with her clay, getting her hands dirty and having fun at the same time. For more information on the Crafts Center, call (858) 534-2021, or visit its Web site at http://www-crafts.ucsd.edu. ...

SpotLight

Car Show: Sgt. Lorimor shows Shora Mobin everything she wanted to know about a Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-AD) at Thursday’s Revelle Car Show in Revelle Plaza. ...

An Encounter Leads to Personal Awareness

From time to time, we have all asked, “”Who am I?”” in a desperate search for identity, both in terms of cultural makeup and personality. In a world where national barriers are quickly falling down, globalization is picking up momentum and marriage between people of different ethnicities is on the rise, another question some people may ask is, “”What am I?”” Poet and writer Paisley Rekdal addresses these questions in her book, “”The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee.”” A nonfiction work about Rekdal’s own experiences, the book examines how a person of mixed heritage is viewed through the eyes of native Chinese, Koreans and Japanese people. Rekdal herself is mixed; her mother is Chinese-American while her father is Norwegian. However, she looks almost entirely white. Rekdal’s duality is set against the duality with which she examines her own identity: the micro sense of self-analysis and the macro sense of how the world views her. Rekdal humorously writes on her travels in China, Korea, Japan and the Philippines and critically explores how people in each nation view her. At the end of the book, she comes to a conclusion about ethnicity, about who she is, what she is, and likewise helps us come to our own conclusion. What is most memorable for me is that Rekdal does so through a compassionate and humorous lens, setting her book apart from other, drier, critical ethnic studies literature. She unabashedly retells anecdotes, whether embarrassing or personal. But because of this, the reader’s attention is captured and keeps him reading, even if the book is used in an Asian ethnic studies course or an Asian-American literature course. The book starts off with what the title implies: the night Rekdal’s mother met Bruce Lee. Her mother, still a teen-ager at the time, was working in a restaurant. While the introduction goes on and describes the situation in which her mother met Lee (I’m going to skip it and let you laugh about it yourself). The story humorously continues with Rekdal’s experiences living in China with a group of foreign students. It also talks about her hearing what they think about Asians, living with a conservative Japanese family, teaching English in South Korea, her travels in the Philippines and even in her own bedroom. Again, the narrative shifts back and forth between her own developing views on her identity and how the world views her. Readers are given the chance to witness how she comes to her resolution on identities and how she comes to terms with herself. I am purposefully holding back on much of the detailed descriptions of “”The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee.”” Moreso than with other books, to even hint at what transpires in this book is to give away the meaning of it: how to view oneself. While Rekdal does come to a conclusion on who and what she is, the book must be read on a personal level and the reader must come to his own conclusions. In essence, it is a book that must be enjoyed selfishly. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Asian-American literature and ethnic studies. It takes a different approach to exploring Asian identities and ethnic identity, filled with smiles and laughter. “”The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee”” will keep the reader interested, yet still provide the critical analyses that are found in similar literature. Buried beneath the humor and embarrassing moments are the opinions expressed in many Asian ethnic studies courses on racial and ethnic identities. “”Perhaps I am afraid to become as my appearance suggests — ‘merely white’ — because then I have nothing to distinguish myself,”” she writes, looking at her own identification as white and what it means to be white in relation to other races. If you’re an ethnic studies major, you know exactly what she is referring to. “”The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee”” is a fantastic book that critically examines race and identity in the 21st century, where people of mixed heritage are more and more common. It looks at the same old beliefs of racial analysis through the lens of humor and anecdotes, leaving the reader with a smile on his face, while nodding his head in understanding.”” ...

Bearing Questions: Advice on Current Issues

Good fellows, I greet you during the continuance of this great experiment. For the remainder of the quarter, I will attempt to provide you with spiritual and divine guidance, drawn not from the stars, but from the ancient Chinese Oracle, the I-Ching. I undertake this endeavor with the humblest reverence for Fu Hsi, the originator, respect for all the interpreters after him and with sincerest hopes that my labors may be of benefit to you. If you wish to delve further into the Oracle than I am able to here, there are several good volumes available at Geisel and numerous online resources. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] for guidance, or with any question I can ask of the Oracle for you. For the eighth week of the UCSD spring quarter, beginning Monday, May 21, I will continue last week’s inquiry and explore one more. You asked me: Dear Zopyra, every time spring rolls around, I get very nervous about my housing situation. On top of finishing this school year, I have to find a place to live for the next. What can I do? I asked the Oracle: “”What is the best course of action to secure housing in the San Diego Area for next year?”” In response, I received Hexagram 8, the Kua of Holding Together, with an old broken line in the first and second place, both of which will soon become solid and produce Hexagram 60, the Kua of Setting Limitations. This immediately identifies the topic of the inquiry as deserving of careful and conscientious attention. Not only has the Oracle provided a detailed response, it has begun with a judgment that strongly urges active self-examination. Entering into group housing will be highly fortuitous this year for those who do so with great care and caution. Danger comes not from duplicity on the part of potential housemates or landlords, but from within. If you arrange group housing with any devious or hidden motives, great misfortune will befall you. As ever, the I-Ching Oracle provides guidance for the present moment. As with any book of wisdom, it is filled with excellent life lessons, but the literal meaning of the Chinese title, “”The Book of Changes,”” indicates that the Oracle works by revealing the most vital of its lessons and wisdom for the context of the particular moment in which we inquire of it. In this case, the Oracle paints a picture of a group of people just beginning to gather around a leader and predicts good fortune to come. If you can gladly join a group in pursuing housing for next year, do so with haste. Make yourself an ally of the group leader in the argumentative process of finding housing by knowing yourself and your limits well. Communicate clearly and then allow the situation and the group to work things out. This last instruction is drawn from the second half of the judgment, Hexagram 60, or Setting Limitations. The groups that will prevail in the search for good housing in San Diego will be those with leadership. This is not a good year for unbalanced households, for excesses of drinking or studying. A leader who can provide balance and moderation among the group will reap great rewards for herself and all those around her. You asked me: “”I’m too stressed to figure this out for myself — should I drop this class and take a ‘W’?”” The Oracle cannot tell you what to do, only how a certain thing may be done and what to expect from doing it. I asked: “”How should students decide whether to drop a class and receive a ‘W’?”” I received another complex response, this time Hexagram 44, Meeting with old solid lines in the second and fifth places, which will both soon become broken, producing Hexagram 56, The Traveler. As you might suspect, the emphasis of this judgment is on logistical details of who and when, much more than why. The first Hexagram, Meeting, can also be called The Return of The Dark Force, and does not describe a gathering or summit, but rather the arrival of a potentially devastating temptation. This may be the slothful desire to avoid work by dropping a class. Or, if you took on extra classes for pride or other unhealthy motivations, this earlier unbalanced decision may be coming back to haunt you. Which part of you wants to drop and which part wants to persevere? Have you asked others for advice? Some of these motives and some of these people are strong and some of these are weak. You must decide which is which. It may take strength to finish the course, or strength might be required to admit that you are overburdened. If you follow the path of strength, the Oracle assures me that you will prevail. The Oracle has also provided clear wisdom for the timing of your decision: It must be soon. The arriving Hexagram 56, The Traveler, points out that whether you drop or persevere, you must move from your current moment of indecision to one of resolve. If you follow the path of strength, this movement will bring you face to face with difficulty. You are like the judge arranging punishment for the criminal. A prompt decision may be wise or foolish; a firm decision may be harsh or lenient. But delay and facilitating back and forth is always cruel. Do not spend the next few weeks torturing yourself with this decision. Identify the weak or evil inclination; have faith that you are strong enough to contest it and do so. ...