Wednesday, February 27, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 102



It's OK to take a break sometimes

A disconcerting way to wake, to find everything in place. The world goes on without my faith in anything ... 

—The Gloria Record

Mary Carradine

After reading that President Bush was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last week, I knew I needed to take a much-needed break
from the world. I felt my blood warming, my stomach turning and my general contentedness with life taking a slow dive.

Similar feelings are achieved upon reading about domestic politics, the Middle East conflict, our blind "war on terrorism," the Andrea
Yates case and countless other newsworthy events.

I've always considered myself a very peaceful, dreamer type. I try not to get worked up and angry about current events, but since Sept.
11, the blitz of news has been too much. One can only roll with the punches and keep reading about depressing news for so long
before collapsing with apathy.

My collapse occurred last week; I knew I couldn't write my typical assault of a column. I'm just so sick of feeling angry all the time.

I'm wondering if any of you are sick of it all, too. Do any of you feel nauseated when you read about Israeli children dying of shrapnel
wounds outside of shopping malls?

Do any of you feel depressed when you read about President Bush boasting about his plan to rape the Arctic Wildlife Refuge for a
paltry 180-day supply of oil?

Sometimes it's all just too much, and one cannot garner the energy to fight or disagree anymore. How do we pick ourselves up time
and time again?

For starters, I decided not to read the news this week. Of course, I kept up with the big things, but I didn't do my ritual all-day combing of
every news Web site I know. Before I knew it, I wasn't angry and thinking about the dead innocent Afghan children that I have no
control over, but my plans to go to a bar later that evening instead.

I wouldn't walk away from my computer in a foul mood anymore. I would just chat with friends or read about the weather and sports.

Granted, we cannot live with our heads in the sand. Keeping aware of the news is essential, but letting the media's spin on the world
embed itself into your psyche is another. We can only go to bars and read about overtime games and cold fronts for so long before
another Sept. 11 shakes us to our foundations and we find ourselves emotionally unstable again.

But there are ways to avoid the overwhelming negativity that accompanies each day: Think of one thing you do like about the world for
every time you hear about something you don't like. It sounds cookie-cutter as hell, but there has to be something you do like about the

Listen to music — good or bad. For example, the Toto song "Africa" was my soundtrack for the past seven sentences. Who can really
sulk while listening to that song? It's so bad it's good.

So take a deep breath and rest assured — today I don't complain, and today you don't read about it.

Carradine, a senior computer engineering 
technology major, can be reached at

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