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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, March 2, 2024

Opinion | Column


The Causal Decline of Education column graphic
Column

The Casual Death of Education: Lots of children left behind

Imagine that you are a kid in middle school, and you are struggling with algebra. You go in, take a midterm and score a C. Not bad, but also not great. To improve your next test score, you’re hoping to receive some extra attention from the teacher and maybe some out-of-class tutoring. Now imagine if none of those things happen. Instead, your school is closed, your teachers have been fired and you must move to another school. Unfortunately, this isn’t an imaginary situation, it is the reality being lived by millions of American students and teachers at this very moment.



Graphic by Charlene Tsai
Column

The Policy Perspective: What caused the inflation crisis?

In June of 2022, inflation hit a 40-year record high, with consumer prices rising 9.1% over the course of one year. It surpassed economists' expectations and captured rising costs in everything from rent to automobiles, particularly in food and energy. Understandably, the magnitude of the inflation spike sparked a debate as to what was responsible for such high levels of inflation.


The Casual Death of Education Column graphic (UPDATED)
Column

The Casual Death of Education: What is the point of public education?

I started this column to discuss the ongoing collapse of America’s educational system in the face of limited funding, lack of parental involvement and bad policies. But before we get to any of that we must address a very serious question: Why do we have a taxpayer funded mandatory public education system in the first place?


From Classroom to Clinic Column Graphic
Column

From Classroom to Clinic: End-of-life conversations — there’s empathy in foresight

Palliative care is a unique sector of medicine that treats patients with terminal diseases. Palliative care physicians have conversations with families to identify patient wishes, particularly when they are facing death. These physicians are equipped with training that emphasizes empathy, comfort and patient autonomy. Freedom of choice during the dying process gives patients the power to reclaim their agency amidst a process rife with uncertainty.


Ukraine At War
Column

Ukraine at War: Two families killed in a Russian attack in Kharkiv

Taking a psychoanalysis class this semester brought me to a frightening realization — most of the dreams that I remember upon waking up are war-related nightmares. The dreams have a repetitive plot that always revolves around the aftermath of Russian attacks: burned-down buildings and dying family members. On Feb. 10, when a Russian drone attack caused the fire that killed at least seven people in Kharkiv, that dream partially came true.



Policy Perspective Column Graphic (updated)
Column

The Policy Perspective: Fund the IRS

If there’s one thing that many Americans can agree on, it’s that they dislike the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service is a federal agency responsible for collecting and administering federal taxes. The IRS primarily ensures that everyone pays their taxes, often by auditing individuals or businesses, and processes requests for tax refunds. It’s understandable the IRS is not popular, especially as 56% of Americans feel their tax burden is unfair and a majority state that the complexity of the American tax system “bothers them a lot.”


From Classroom to Clinic Column Graphic
Column

Diet drugs: A paradigm shift in weight management?

Ever since Ozempic took center stage, it’s been hard to look away. In my family medicine clinic, it seems like every patient is inquiring about weight loss drugs. These drugs seem like little miracles stuffed in once-per-week injectable pens, boasting weight loss of up to 34 pounds after about a year of treatment. We know that obesity is dangerous. I recall the exhaustive lectures on how excess adiposity increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, Type 2 diabetes and death. Now, we have this drug that seems like a cure for obesity, an issue that ravages about 2 in 5 adults in the United States.



Policy Perspective Column Graphic (updated)
Column

The Policy Perspective: The case for charter schools

The idea of charter schools is simple. They are publicly funded by taxpayers but operated by independent groups. In the face of traditional public schools that seemed to be failing, charter schools were an alternative. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools face less governmental regulation, but they must meet accountability standards. They are also not beholden to teacher unions and can experiment with different learning styles. 


graphic for Justin Hong's column "the budget line"
Column

The Budget Line: Thinking of buying the MBTA semester pass? Don’t bother

The last day of class is upon us and only finals remain between us and the sweet escape of winter break. We did it, Joe! Whether it was your first semester or if you’ve only got one more left, it’s an exciting but hectic time of year. It’s also time to plan out next semester. I know, it seems early, but, let’s face it, you’re probably not going to get to all those things you want to do over the break.


Replacement graphic for Ben Choucroun's column "Antisemitism Unpacked by Ben Choucroun"
Column

Antisemitism Unpacked: The myth of the Jewish hive mind

The saying “two Jews, three opinions” can be frequently heard in Jewish circles, and it’s true. As a Jewish person, the stereotype that Jews argue and disagree with each other a lot is pretty true. My grandfather even likes to joke that Sephardic Jews were kicked out of Spain for arguing too much. ...



Graphic by Charlene Tsai
Column

The Policy Perspective: Improving air travel

As many of us look forward to flying home for Christmas, there’s one part of the journey that we dread: hearing the announcement that our flight has been delayed or canceled. Flight delays and cancellations have become an increasingly common part of the air travel experience; in the summer of 2023, 61% of travelers had experienced a flight delay or cancellation and most of those travelers lost money due to those cancellations or delays. Flight cancellations also increased in 2022, and there have been several massive flight cancellation events, such as Southwest’s infamous meltdown during the last holiday season.


Graphic for deeksha bathini article “from classroom to clinic”
Column

From Classroom to Clinic: Medicine and motherhood, the case for cryopreservation in residency training

For most women, medical training coincides with their reproductive prime.The average age to matriculate to a medical residency program is 27.5 years old. In 2016, a study found that 24.1% of female physicians attempting conception struggled with infertility, compared to11% of the general female population in the U.S. When asked if study respondents would do anything differently, some subjects said they would have tried to have children sooner, chosen a different medical specialty or tried cryopreservation.


graphic for Justin Hong's column "the budget line"
Column

The Budget Line: Boston under 30 bucks

We finally made it.Fall break officially starts on Wednesday, though for some, perhaps, it started as early as last Thursday. For many, it means heading home and catching up with family or friends from high school.


Graphic by Charlene Tsai
Column

The Policy Perspective: The importance of climate policy

Over the past few years, Tufts has made it easier and easier for students to act in environmentally conscious ways. One only needs to walk a few steps into the Joyce Cummings Center to see the carefully separated trash, recycling and compost bins with useful labels to help students dispose of their waste sustainably. These steps aren’t insignificant, but they’re often less significant than we are told or may assume. 


antisemitism.jpg
Column

Antisemitism Unpacked: The cyclical nature of antisemitism

In my last column, I discussed how antisemitism differs from other forms of racism because antisemitism allows a few Jews to very visibly succeed in society. Another important difference between antisemitism and other forms of racism is the cyclical nature of antisemitism. Oftentimes before the worst antisemitic massacres in history, Jews appear to be prosperous, well-integrated minorities.


Graphic for deeksha bathini article “from classroom to clinic”
Column

From Classroom to Clinic: Navigating reproductive rights in the wake of Ohio’s Issue 1

As a native Ohioan, the recent statewide referendum that included Issue 1, formally titled “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health Safety,” has been on my mind. The citizen-initiated amendment that passed on Nov. 7 provides the “right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions” on abortion, contraception, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care and fertility treatment.