Wednesday, February 17, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 95

Baroski on Hatred

Staff Editorial

Letters to the Editor

Editorial Cartoon

About the Cougar

Return of the killer tissue balls

Amanda Mahmoudi

You don't have anything if you don't have your health. Isn't that how the saying goes?

For the past week and a half, I have felt more than just a little under the weather. It isn't just troublesome; it's gross. Fever, chills and an overall weak feeling have taken over my entire physical being.

It is impossible to perform any task without disrupting an already ailing state of health. Concentrating on coursework puts more pressure on the brain. Listening to lectures only adds to the ear ache. Note-taking requires too much energy from the body -- which leads to suprising pangs of hunger. (The mere thought of food was absolutely nauseating less than half an hour ago.)

Seeing healthy co-workers with bright smiles on their rosy-cheeked faces doesn't help either. They try not to act superior when they find me huddled in a corner with the economy-size box of tissues that seems to have attached itself to my hip. I hear them laughing and immediately I plot my plan of revenge. They'll see who's laughing once I'm feeling well again....

Maybe if I had a sunny disposition, things would be different. I would be able to walk around like other infectious students on campus, without a care in the world as to who the next victim of the nasty flu bug may be. I would blow my nose proudly during all my classes and leave the phlegm-filled, tissue balls on as many desks as possible, depending on mucus productivity levels.

Here's a better idea: I could cough heavily on all the receivers of all the pay phones on campus.

Why do I sound so bitter? I feel that I am unjustly afflicted with sickness. I lead a rather solitary existence here at the University. I don't talk to many people or frequent campus hang-outs (wherever those may be). Prepared for all types of climate, I dress in layers and always carry an umbrella. I eat healthy foods, aside from the occasional sweet, and do not overexert myself in any kind of physical activity. Most importantly, I stay away from people whom I know to be sick.

So, why am I ill? The only logical explanation is that I caught the cold from someone else. Considering my anti-social tendencies, the contagious culprit is most likely a stranger. A lazy, careless, selfish stranger.

Is it too much to ask that one pay extra attention to hygiene when one is physically ill? The idea centers on basic respect for yourself and for other human beings.

My healthy Scandinavian dreamboat Johann tells me constantly that inner peace is the best remedy for illness (obviously something he learned while fishing on the high seas). I should let my anger go and just concentrate on getting better. How can I do that when I know there are still an abundant amount of contagious characters out there?

For example, I could have just written a column for all the people who supported impeachment. It is, after all, a joy when one's political beliefs and opinions are vindicated on a global level. I also could have reported on how my Valentine's Day celebration went: An American and a Scandinavian found themselves sitting knee-deep in sushi ... that would have been interesting.

I choose instead to be on the cutting edge. I choose to tackle the tough issues.

I want reform. I can walk onto any parking lot on campus and see countless parking tickets waving in the wind. Are those parked cars really any harm to society?

I would rather walk outside on campus and see students walking around with hygiene masks and warnings from the Health Center. It may sound crazy, but wait until you spend two nights in a row coughing up a lung.

Mahmoudi, a junior French and German major,
remains medicated and confined under doctor's orders,
can be reached at

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