Yesterday, “Variety” reported that Jimmy Kimmel, host and executive producer of ABC’s late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” was considering retiring from his position when his contract expires in 2019. He has hosted the show since its inception in 2003, which makes him the second-longest tenured late-night talk show host, trailing only Conan O’Brien.

Speaking and listening across political divide in these times is challenging. We are intent on bringing conservative ideas to liberal campuses, or bringing liberal ideas to conservative campuses. We are focused on pulling in thoughts beyond our standard lines of thinking. We seek to break the assumed bubbles in which we exist. However, these efforts are often ineffective due to an absence of true listening.

The following piece was first delivered as a paper presentation to senior English majors.

When I think about the sometimes-beautiful intersections between settling down and disappointment, Middlemarch by George Eliot comes to mind. It was the first book I read for an English class at Amherst, and it has so much to say about time because it spans many years of a life in a town. The narrator often makes observations about time and describes how the characters observe their own lives and their own time. “For a while she had been oppressed by the indefiniteness which hung in her mind, like a thick summer haze, over all her desire to make her life greatly effective,” Eliot writes.

Who has access to good healthcare? Who finds it difficult to go to the emergency department? Why? Who has found the lack of representation in a hospital a deterrent to pursuing treatment? These questions puzzled me for so long. Only this summer, through the volunteer program Project Healthcare (PHC) at Bellevue Hospital, did I finally have the opportunity to observe the treatment of a diverse patient population in a major city.

Phish, a four-piece improvisational rock band hailing from Vermont, is my favorite band of all time. In my dorm room right now, there are no fewer than four Phish-related posters. I have nearly 5,000 Phish recordings in my iTunes library, and I’ve listened to nearly all of them. I’ve also seen the band in concert 37 times. One could say I am obsessed with the band. However, I am not alone in my obsession. Phish is one of the most popular touring acts in the United States. They routinely sell out Madison Square Garden every winter for their New Year’s Eve shows.

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and however you feel about the holiday, it’s hard not to have an opinion about it. Tackling conversations about love can be difficult. They run the risk of falling into sentimentality; we might worry about annoying others or drawing ourselves into pits of rumination. Especially on Valentine’s, it can feel as if there is a concrete hierarchy of love, with romantic love reigning supreme.

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