Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

A Valentine’s Day Reset

Monday, February 13th, 2012

#engineerproblems

In the words of famed social psychologist Pat Benatar, “love is a battlefield.”

Indeed, it seems that every year around February 14th, two camps pitch metaphorical tents and lob pithy arguments at one another, as both the happily romantically involved and the victims of SAD (singles awareness day) weigh in on the relevance or irrelevance of this candy-hyped holiday.

Fact or Fiction: discerning the reason for the season

Curious as to the origins of this spat, I went one deeper and checked out the origins of the holiday itself.  My discoveries were surprising, to say the least.  The only definitive fact about the origin of Valentine’s Day is that it honors two Christian martyrs (both named Valentine, of course) who were executed in the second and third centuries A.D.  Not only is there no evidence for some mystical monk sending love letters between star-crossed lovers: the notion of an amorous holiday recognizing violent religious persecution seems utterly… well, unromantic.

The most prevalent unsubstantiated myth suggests that Valentine was a priest who performed secret marriages for soldiers legally bound to celibacy.  Even this less-bloody story, like the martyrdom story, indicates a more important, more universal theme than the Hollywood-ized version of Cupid and candy hearts: the survival of love in the face of adversity.  Faith overcoming death, love overcoming law.

This greater, original theme suggests that Valentine’s Day is all-inclusive.  Whether you’re maintaining high school friendships despite thousands of miles of separation or pursuing classical flute training while balancing a heavy ChemE load, ultimately your passion has overcome your challenges.  Perhaps the best examples of this inextinguishable love are the hundreds and thousands of Stanford students who hurdled socioeconomic barriers to attend our University and pursue their love of learning.

Only one day to celebrate love? (more…)

Roe v. Wade in White Plaza

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Every year, pro-life students gather on the anniversary of the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade and plant “memorial” flowers in White Plaza as an anti-abortion demonstration. Today, the pro-choice students took to the plaza as well, vocalizing their (opposing) position a friendly ten feet away. Just like the crazy bible guy who shouts in White Plaza sometimes, the flowers in White Plaza have become a staple of free speech at Stanford–and an annual reminder that social conservatives still exist on campus and are really into planting things.

And while it’s good to see free speech alive and well, Stanford still has free speech issues: namely, that White Plaza is a “free speech zone” and the rest of the University isn’t.

I'm not very good at math, which I why I try to avoid it at all costs.

Pro-choice churned out t-shirts on which you could choose what you wanted to write.