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Issue of the Week: What are you thankful for?

Illustration by Cody Angell
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
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Tomorrow, UA students will sit down to dinner tables scattered across the country and give thanks for the past year. On the eve of Turkey Day, what blessings in particular should students be counting? We asked our columnists: So what are you thankful for?

In homage to caffeine, the key to survival

Thanksgiving is a great day. If you can overlook the history regarding conquered indigenous peoples and instead concentrate on the marathon of football games and enormous amounts of food, then it's one of the better holidays that we have.

However, somewhere in the midst of the gluttony and testosterone-packed gridiron action, we're supposed to show gratitude for something in our lives.

Susan Bonicillo

This year, I'm grateful for caffeine in all its forms, be it in IHOP's bottomless pot of coffee, in energy drinks like Red Bull - which tastes like a mix of citrus and diesel fuel - or in those wicked No-Doz tablets that fall just short of being considered speed.

Next to computer access and textbooks, caffeine has proven essential to my academic survival. As a result of my suffering from a seemingly terminal case of procrastination, I've had to pull many an all-nighter. I would never have made it through the long, sleepless nights without that extra boost that caffeine provides. And, as a pleasant side effect, at times the caffeine-induced hallucinations provided an enjoyable break from all the studying.

Right now I'm running off about three hours of sleep and close to two pots of Folger's. With my heart beating as fast as my fingers are typing, I'm racing to get things done before break so that I can go back to my family and rediscover the reason why, amidst family "discussions," I decided to go out of state for school. Once again, it's caffeine to the rescue.

Susan Bonicillo is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at

Daniel Scarpinato

Campus peace and prosperity this fall

Nationally, things are a big mess. Congress is spending like it's going out of style. The economy still has major recoveries to make. Our soldiers will spend the holiday season on the streets of Baghdad.

But for the first time in years, we have had a relatively calm semester on campus. Peace and prosperity at the UA may sound trivial when lined up against the problems around the world; still, if you reflect on the challenges we've faced in recent semesters, fall 2003 has been favorable.

For two years, campus has been locked in a financial mess. Word came a few months ago from our high-paid university bureaucrats that the tides are beginning to change.

Just a year ago, students and faculty in the College of Nursing were forced to mourn the cold-hearted murders of three of the college's professors. Last month, the college demonstrated its fond remembrance of those three women.

Last spring, polarized partisans fought fiercely over international issues, often unjustifiably demonizing each other. This fall, politically aware students are constructively debating their differences in anticipation of the 2004 election.

And despite the struggles our football team faced as the UA's celebrity coach finally packed his boxes and moved on, the student body came together and cemented its spirit, pride and sense of tradition by standing behind the players.

As we wait for positive changes in America and abroad, we should remember to be thankful for the peace that has surrounded us this fall at the UA.

Daniel Scarpinato is a journalism and political science senior. He can be reached at

Kendrick Wilson

Tuition still relatively low at UA

There are many things for students to be thankful for this semester, but one that stands above the rest is that the tuition increase for next year - although higher than would be desirable - will not be nearly as high as it could have been.

UA students still pay less for the caliber of education we receive than the vast majority of college students across the country. Despite the aspirations of our university's administration to make the UA a high-tuition school and the objective of our legislature to starve higher education of state money, the UA is still a school for the masses to become educated and to break through the barriers that keep them from entering high-paying jobs.

There will certainly be more tuition increases to come, and many more may be inevitable, if the integrity of the UA is to be maintained, should the legislature continue its rampage of irresponsible budget cuts. However, at least for now, most students' pocketbooks will not be stretched beyond their limits and college degrees remain in the future for those who did not grow up in wealthy households.

Kendrick Wilson is a political science junior. He can be reached at

Sabrina Noble

Give thanks for your adopt-a-turkey

I'm thankful to spend this Thanksgiving with Tybalt, my adopted turkey. While everyone else is enjoying their murderous stuffing, Tybalt and I will be stuffing ourselves with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Okay, I have no adopted turkey, and even if I did I'd name him something more original, like Tom. But turkey adoption is very real: A quick trip to will bring you to Farm Sanctuary's "Adopt-A-Turkey Project" - a program that rescues turkeys from terrible slaughterhouse conditions and helps them find purpose in shelters. For $15, you can adopt a gobbler of your very own, receiving an adoption certificate and a colored photograph of a turkey to place on your mantle for all to see. Your friends and family will be impressed with your turkey-loving heart.

But you don't have to stop there. Dedicated animal lovers can permanently home-adopt turkeys. They don't just hand a turkey over to anyone, though. You have to fill out an application, listing - among other things - "all farm animals currently living under your care." You must be a member of at least two animal protection agencies. You must not let kids ride your turkey like a Christmas pony. And above all else, you must solemnly swear that you will not eat your adopted turkey within hours of its arrival.

You can, however, serve Tofurkey, just to freak Tom out a little bit and remind him to be thankful of his new digs.

So, as the site says: "Give a turkey something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving."

After all, turkeys are people, too.

Sabrina Noble is an English and creative writing senior. She can be reached at

Jason Poreda

Our school spirit lives on the hard wood

There are many things to be thankful for here at the UA, and I could go on and on about them. There is, however, one particular aspect of our school that I am especially thankful for: Our men's basketball team.

It should be said that our entire athletics department deserves recognition for putting together some of the best programs in the country, but as anyone will tell you, our basketball team takes the cake. I love being able to tease friends at other schools about their basketball team, and every time March Madness rolls around, there is a possibility that our team will go all the way.

There is nothing that can compare to walking into McKale on game day to see Wildcat fans of all ages (they may not be as rowdy as us students, but they do mean well) rallying around our team. There are a lot of other schools and a lot of other teams around the country, but there are few that say the same about their fans - life-long followers, no matter what.

This is what I love about our school: The spirit that lives on through the basketball team. I know when I am an old alumnus and go to a game or even watch one on TV, I will be proud to be a Wildcat.

Jason Poreda is a political science and communication senior. He can be reached at

Afshan Patel

A well deserved break

It's that time of the year again - exams, projects, papers and, oh yeah, time to eat turkey and think about what I'm thankful for.

Well, this semester I am thankful for the UA community; it has been great this semester. The support for the Fast-a-Thon was very encouraging. The students and community members who signed up for this program and participated in it made it an exciting event.

I'm also thankful that Eid-ul-Fitr is during this week. It's easier to celebrate it since it's a slow week, with only one test and not a whole lot of other things due. So I can celebrate without any problems!

And then, I'm definitely thankful for the five-day break (most classes got cancelled on Wednesday, for those of you who are counting the days). After two and a half months of intense studying for exams, staying at the ILC `til 1a.m. for projects and papers, watching the football team win only two games (well, two is better than none), the UAPD cracking down on drinking, Michael Jackson going to court again (one would think he'd learn to stop having little boys over at his house), working with teams until the wee hours of the morning to finish projects, trying to survive the first semester of the Eller cohort, applying for internships, and basically just living through a junior semester, I'm glad to still be sane and happy.

Afshan Patel is a finance junior. She can be reached at

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