Given the current state of the education system and the obvious need for reform in crucial areas, one thing remains the same — it is up to individuals to have complete control over their education. That is, individuals need to strive to be the best that they can be and to learn as much as possible during their period of existence. It is also imperative to ensure that they’re getting the best education possible, or in the case here at UR, to ensure that they’re making the most of their education. What they do today will affect their future and the future of those that come after them.

A few years ago, while attending a class in college, I observed a film on how certain doctors, psychologists and scientists were conducting experiments and tests on animals and later humans. In one experiment involving laboratory rats, the scientist created a maze and separated a group of rats into two groups, one he labeled “smart,” the other “dumb.” He taught the rats in the smart group how to successfully go through the maze, by coaching them, while completely ignoring the rats in the dumb group. When the final analysis was made, the rats in the “smart” group successfully walked through the maze, while the rats in the “dumb” group did not.

It was not because these laboratory rats were inherently smart or dumb — they were simply responding to stimuli controlled by outside forces. By themselves any rat from either group could have successfully gotten through the maze, but because of the aforementioned situation, some did and some didn’t.

Similar experiments were conducted on other laboratory animals and, later, humans. As I saw these and other experiments being conducted on humans by humans, it made me begin to wonder about how humans live their lives. Unlike animals, humans have the innate ability to mold, shape and sometimes create their environment.

With this in mind, I began to ask myself, “Since human beings have this ability, why aren’t we putting it to good use? Why are we, even in our adult years, responding to external stimuli in our environment, rather than working to control it or at least make it work for us? Why don’t we strive to overcome the obstacles and tough times, rather than succumb to them? Why, when we can control our own fate, do we allow others to determine our fate, especially when our fate eventually resides in the hands of the Lord?”

With these questions in mind, I began to focus on real-life scenarios that I have witnessed. I also began to reflect on my personal experiences and the mistakes that I have made during the process. I also began to reflect on what I’ve learned from those mistakes, in order to live a better, more productive life. It is an ongoing process — we humans are imperfect and prone to mistakes. How we learn from them will greatly determine how we live.

People must strive to educate themselves as much and as thoroughly as possible, and to strive to be the best that they can be despite the negative stimuli surrounding them. They must not fall victim to certain “experiments,” and to persevere and add to the fulfillment of their lives as well as others.

Jackson can be reached at

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.

UR Softball continues dominance with sweeps of Alfred University and Ithaca College

The Yellowjackets swept Alfred University on the road Thursday, winning both games by a score of 5–4.

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.