11 rapid-fire opinions to tide you over for the summer

The Observer Staff

The Observer: It’s encouraged to be nosy here

Aeryn Kauffman

Copy Desk Chief, Columnist

I love The Observer. It’s so easy to stay informed and feel like I’m making a difference in the local community. We’re also just a huge, weird family, one I always encourage others to join. The Observer has changed my life.

At the beginning of fall 2019, I chose a random practicum class because it was required for my professional and creative writing major. 

“Observer?” I thought. I had no idea a student newspaper existed, being a new transfer student. I seriously thought that this zero-prerequisites-necessary practicum class was some sort of TA position where I’d be observing a professor.

As someone who’s always enjoyed and excelled at writing, it was a slap in the face when one of my peers told me my first Observer piece was a dreaded “fluff piece.” 

The Observer also humbled me to listen to those who have more experience than me, even if they were born in 2001. I strongly considered quitting after my peer’s comment, especially being placed as a sports reporter. Anyone who knows me sees how weirdly inappropriate of a fit that is.

But The Observer pushed me as a writer. I learned what people care to read about, and I learned how to say it in an engaging, accessible way. This will absolutely help me in my future position as a technical writer, and it has helped my writing skills as a whole, forever.


Double Stuf Oreos are the height of hubris

Bailey Tomlinson

News Editor, Columnist

The hubris of a Double Stuf Oreo is unmatched. Subverting the ‘less is more’ ideology, it has double the cream filling in the middle than a regular oreo, and presumably that would be pleasant. 

There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, no? Contrary to popular belief, the Double Stuf Oreo is the exception to this rule. The lack of balance between cream and cookie makes eating a Double Stuf Oreo a distressing experience. The overwhelming amount of cream upsets the senses. Regular Oreos strike the balance between cookie and cream and are the superior snack experience.



Brix Tucker

Cat, Columnist





Admin, learn from the past

Mariah Valles

Orientation & Photo Editor, Columnist

Look, I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a student at CWU. Really, I did, but not when I felt administration didn’t respect student journalists. 

If you’re reading this and have no clue what I’m talking about, go to cwuobserver.com and type in, “The Observer stands for a free and unregulated press.” Even following those events, there were multiple times I felt administration was still choosing to not treat student journalists fairly or as actual journalists. 

Administrators: stop it. It’s as easy as that. Don’t disregard or ignore us because we’re students. Don’t make yourselves too busy for us because we’re students. Don’t send public affairs staff to interviews and allow them to interject into conversations because we’re students. Instead, be transparent, be available, be responsive, be trusting and let us inform the student body of the good, the bad and the ugly as we are trained to do so. 

As a soon-to-be alumna, I promise the next generation of student journalists that I will continue to push for the First Amendment rights of all journalists, student or not. 

Student journalists: don’t you ever stop trying to inform the public because one person, or even a group of people, tries to stop you from receiving information. Trust me, I’ve been there and there’s always another way. If you need me, find me. I’ll be there ready to stand with you.


I eat my words: Online classes = bad

Aeryn Kauffman

Copy Desk Chief, Columnist

Having just emerged from one of the many midday naps I indulged in this quarter, all I can say is: I eat my words. Full-time learning should never be completely remote.

Time has ceased to have meaning during this quarter. It has both moved excruciatingly slow and also surprisingly fast. My professors have been wonderful and understanding, and I went into remote learning with a very positive attitude. 

But there is something about learning in a classroom that improves the experience tenfold. Maybe it’s the constant motivation. Staring my professor in the face every day, while they gauge our poker faces for signs that yes, we did read that Joan Didion short story, stirs up some pretty strong motivation (read: anxiety). For the wrong reasons? Eh, debatable. 

With my graduation date set for winter 2021, I feel like my chapter at CWU is already coming to a fast end. A lot of it was stolen from us; I get it, it was in the name of public health, and very necessary. But I would have liked to have more on-campus experiences, especially in the quarter with the nicest weather. I think myself, and many others, learn best in person.

So, I limp across the finish line this quarter. See you in the fall.


Colin Kaepernick was right

Austin Lane

Sports Editor, Columnist

When Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem back in 2016, it caught a lot of people off guard, myself included. I wondered how that would make any difference in the grand scheme of things. I wasn’t mad like a lot of people were, but I still felt what he was doing wasn’t the right way to get his message across. 

Fast forward to today. We are seeing riots, looting, marching and protesting. It made me think back to when Kaepernick knelt during the anthem and it made me realize that what he was doing was actually the right way to get across the message. I hope there is change in this country and now I know that to make change, kneeling during the anthem was a good starting point.


I’m not angry, that’s just my face

Mitchell Roland

Senior Reporter, Columnist

I typically look like I’m angry. I’m usually not, yet the look remains. It’s not resting bitch face, it’s a step beyond that to where I just look perpetually annoyed. In the rare times I am angry, my face moves to a phase past anger, where I look like I’m going to kill someone. In closing, if you see me and I look angry, please know that I am probably not angry. That’s just how I look.


Grass lawns are wastes of space

Bailey Tomlinson

News Editor, Columnist

Grass lawns serve no functional purpose. They began as status symbols, a way to show that you had so much food you didn’t need to use your space to grow more. 

Now, with the vast majority of people not growing their own food, the status that lawns used to denote is the standard of the American lifestyle. Not only is their ostentatious original purpose now nullified, they remain as practically useless as ever. 

Grass lawns should be replaced with more practical plants, like fruit and vegetable gardens. If somebody enjoyed the aesthetic value of a monoculture lawn more than a varied garden, there are options to maintain that aesthetic value  while still planting something useful. Chamomile, for example, has many uses, and grows low and spread out enough that it can be used to make a beautiful monoculture lawn. After the first year, it can even withstand foot traffic like a grass lawn can.


If you don’t like jazz you’re a psychopath 

Teagan Kimbro

Graphic Design Lead, Columnist

It is a Tuesday evening. You want to relax, take a load off. You open Netflix. Ah yes, “Bee Movie.” You decided to take a walk down memory lane. 23 minutes and 12 seconds into the film Barry B. Benson asks, “You like jazz?” You scoff, roll your eyes, and under your breath you utter the most wretched combination of words, “No I do not like jazz, Barry.” In that exact moment, you have revealed yourself for the true heartless, emotionless being you are. 

Jazz, simply put, is silly. Downright silliness. It is somewhat lawless, playful and made to express the fleeting, spontaneous nature of each moment. Every note is a new corner rounded, composing a larger narrative right in front of one’s eyes. Silliness, in this context, has a much deeper range. The spontaneity of each moment means the notes reflect the true feelings of the artists at the time, whether that be deep pain, heartache, joy, confusion. Jazz is full of life and expression. If you don’t enjoy it, perhaps you aren’t emotionally available to understand the true reflection of humanity in jazz, unable to see it in yourself. 

Next time Mr. Benson asks if you like jazz, take a good hard look at yourself. Do you like jazz?


Radio isn’t dying

Apollo Whyte

88.1 the ‘Burg DJ, Columnist

People think radio is a dying medium.  People are wrong. Not only is radio alive and well, it’s thriving. 

A 2018 Nielsen survey found that radio was the widest reaching medium, reaching 92% of the U.S. population. Of course, radio competes with online streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music, but radio’s main function is not to provide music, it’s to provide local, relatable entertainment. Plus, anybody that has a car can easily tune into the radio. Whether people have an aux cord or not, it’s exponentially easier to turn your car on and go, leaving the radio tuned to their favorite station. 

So check out your local radio stations! Find a DJ and genre you like! Tune in to 88.1 the ‘Burg or check out the app!

And one final note: you what the real dying medium is? Newspaper.


Thank you to The Observer

Mariah Valles

Orientation & Photo Editor, Columnist
Former Editor-in-Chief

Ah, yes. My final issue being part of The Observer, which, if you don’t know, has been 75 issues. I’m writing this to thank the newspaper for all it’s given me. I would not be the journalist I am without the opportunities I’ve been given through this publication. 

When I joined The Observer, I was shy, quiet and… flat out boring. Today, while some may say I never stop yelling (whatever), I am who I am because of this newspaper. This publication has instilled confidence, eagerness and dedication within me. 

There have been nights when I’ve been angry, sad, probably too excited and overly passionate, but it’s always been with this team by my side. I knew that even my craziest of ideas, such as organizing a protest to support student press rights on campus in less than 24 hours, would be fully supported by the staff in less than a heartbeat and sure enough, it was. 

There are countless memories in Lind 115 (the newsroom) that I will cherish and take with me through life. Lessons learned, mistakes made, all of it. 

I love The Observer and can’t wait to send the Facebook page links to “The Rainbow Connection” and have new staffers be confused as all hell.