The Last Word

Hello, and welcome to 2010! If you’re an avid reader of, you’ve definitely read something I’ve written in the past, as I’ve been writing since August. If not, welcome! This column will delve into the issues that are currently on the minds of most college women; such as how to get a job, the decision to move out or live at home, and learning how to be independent in a world that often discourages it, or at the very least frowns upon it slightly. It’s a column by one of you for all of you. I’m an average woman trying to navigate one of the most unsure times in my life– everything is up in the air, and I hope this blog will help show you how I brought it all down.

I rang in the New Year (and decade) in Paris, France, under the Eiffel Tower and let me tell you, when that clock struck 12, I felt the world shift beneath my feet. Okay a little dramatic, but I feel sometimes one needs to be dramatic in order to propel oneself forward. In other words, I got the kick in the “pants” I needed to shake my bad habits and start my new decade off right. I made resolutions, like many of you, and plan to stick to them. My main resolution is to do things for myself without regrets and apologies. I feel like women–myself and peers specifically–often apologize for so many things that do not require apologies, and so I plan to use this blog to try to help you change your point of view as I change mine.

Here’s the newest thing that currently has newspapers, bloggers and others speculating, reporting and gabbing. It affected me personally on my trip back this past Saturday.

Let me guide you through my trip back to the States. I woke up at 6 a.m. in Paris and boarded the Eurostar to head back to London in order to fly home to NYC. My bags, passport and ticket were checked three times and I passed through a “scanner.” THEN I got to Heathrow international (did a little duty free shopping, because really how can you resist shopping EVER!) and they checked my bags again and asked me what I believe is the most ridiculous question in the world– Did you pack your bags yourself? What person would say NO? Seriously! How can they think this is a “security measure?”

Next, I walked to the security gate and was reminded, by numerous signs, that ONE carry on was the limit– however everyone had two, or three. This is what the problem truly is– the airlines are not enforcing their own measures. These people should have been forced to check their bags as I was. Of course you want all your clothes, purchases and belongings with you, but that’s not acceptable and needs to be enforced.

Anyway, as I made my way to the gate (because I was cleared rather quickly through the third scan of my day) I was shocked to see that for a 11:00 a.m. flight, at 10:15 a.m. everyone was still waiting for the call to board. Turns out the flight attendants had no idea how long the new security measures would take. When they called us to line up at 10:30, we were directed to separate men from women and simply wait. I waited in line for 2 hours as they went through everyone’s carry on and physically patted people down. That’s all well and good, but I think in order for this to be a successful means of protecting americans and visitors to our country, the process needs to be stricter and more streamlined. It’s not acceptable that every plane takes over 2 hours after their scheduled time, and it’s not acceptable to allow terrorists to board planes. So what to do?

I think those full body scanners, like the one’s the UK will be instituting shortly, are vital to our safety. Many Americans believe that this will be a violation of our privacy, but I have to honestly say that I don’t think this is true. At times, privacy must be sacrificed in order to protect the greater good. You can’t yell FIRE! in a crowded room, which is technically a “violation of free speech,” because it’s dangerous. Dangerous situations need to be monitored by the government– that’s what it’s there for. And I for one would be happy to walk through the airport in my underwear in order to ensure that I will safely arrive at my destination.

Have thoughts on this? Comment below, or find me on one of the social networks: FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. I’m looking forward to hearing thoughts and ideas as no topic is off limits for The Last Word. Have a great week! And remember to always have your opinion heard, whether it’s the last word or not.

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