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Opinion | Student Voices Columns


Duke does not have a proper arts requirement

When discussing my desire for a better arts requirement, a friend disagreed, saying that the lowest grade they ever received was in an arts class. This is a fair point given the Duke obsession with perfect GPAs; however, to quote one of my Economics professors “it’s not about the grade, it’s about what you learn.”


The Bryan Center is anti-human

If you happen to love the Bryan Center, then I can only applaud you for what amounts to building a house on the side of a steep mountain and making the best of poor circumstances. My aim here isn’t to make everyone hate the BC, just to expose some of the implicit ways its structural arrangement fails to foster the kind of integrated, collaborative, equitable environment that Duke’s current values align with. Your emotional reactions, attachments, or rejections of the building are your own to cherish or abhor, but in either case my aim is to provoke a closer, more critically engaged look at the built spaces that make up Duke.


Uninspired? Take a shower

A quick Google search will inform you that great ideas arise in the shower due to the interplay of distraction, relaxation and sensory stimulation that produce a neurological dopamine high. It isn’t that the mindless, automatic nature of showering activates creative sweet spots in the brain. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Our brain is released from high-order activities and instead engages its appropriately named “default mode network.” Showering liberates our minds from the outside noise and allows us to do something we rarely let ourselves do: be present.


Lights, covid, action

It’s simply performative; the pandemic has become more about people and organizations maintaining their political façade of choice—whether that be of collective care, individual freedom or somewhere in between—than it has anything to do with the actual health of any person.