Providing a political panorama of a society always comes with the risk of missing important details and therefore misinterpreting the general picture. However, if a certain viewpoint is established first, the essential issues may be easier to detect. This can be an appropriate method regarding the Chinese political climate. Starting from the beginning of the past summer a new political season, at least within the social media, has begun. Two interwoven elements emerged, the rule of law and the state’s efforts to “correct” public opinions.

Do you remember the increasing and paralyzing fear two weeks ago when we thought the government would remain shut down and we would run out of money? Well, the crisis has been averted, for now.

My parents visited Amherst this past weekend, but my ma didn’t even know that it was parents’ weekend until she noticed the multitude of cars parked haphazardly along the freshman quad drive. Although she certainly confirmed that I am the youngest of four in a busy and distracted family, she also pointed out an aspect of parents’ weekend that can make life difficult when trying to eat out: Amherst gets packed. Thankfully, I guessed correctly that late on a Sunday morning, I could find my favorite corner bakery ready for business and blissfully peaceful, even when more lively than usual.

The biting cold was no match for the warmth emanating from the Alumni Gym on Saturday evening as the Black Student Union’s annual Harlem Renaissance kicked off around 7:30 p.m. This year’s theme was “Night at the Apollo.” Students of all classes dressed in their best formal wear and lined up, tickets in hand, eagerly waiting to be allowed into the well-decorated space as jazz quartet melodies drifted from the main floor into the hallways. No longer was the Alumni Gym a cold and uninviting practice space for athletics.

When I was younger, for about two months every year my parents sent me away to rural New Hampshire to attend sleep-away camp. This was probably a good thing for me. Being away from television and video games for a while balanced me out, and although I wasn’t a social butterfly, camp provided me with enough experience to survive the social battlefield of post-pubescent life. Though much of our time was taken up by activities, we cherished the few hours of freedom we had to ourselves.

As a history major at Amherst, I’ve taken numerous classes specializing in slavery in the US. I thought I could understand something of the history, the pain, the suffering, the anguish. I thought, to whatever extent it was possible for a white kid in the early 21st century to know, I knew. I was wrong. Sitting in the theater watching “12 Years a Slave,” I felt the inescapable grasp of history around my neck and I couldn’t do anything about it. Never before have I felt so clearly and achingly the tragedies upon which America is built. I felt helpless, my face contorting in anguish.