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Changing world: When the seam splits, will it be chaos or fairness?

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Recent events have had me wondering: am I living in Minnesota, or just another State of Confusion?

I can almost hear the world's seams beginning to tear under the weight of everything that is happening at once, from the Middle East to our eccentric neighbor that is Wisconsin.

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After Egypt's successful revolution last month, Middle Eastern dictatorships have been dropping like flies. Every week brings news of new countries that are threatening to revolt or are in the process: Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen. The Middle East is a domino chain-reaction that was started and Tunisia and continues to spread across the Middle East. I guess it won't stop until all the dominoes fall.

In Wisconsin, the protestors who stormed the State Capitol have been stationed there for over two weeks, defying deadlines and urgings to leave in the hope of making their voices heard. Fourteen Wisconsin senators have left the state and remain in hiding.

Meanwhile, I went to parent-teacher conferences last week.

"Your son is a pleasure to have in class," one teacher prefaced, so as not to give my mom the impression I am completely worthless. "But he seems to be missing a few assignments."

I stared absently at the posters on the wall -- If You Believe, You Can Achieve and The Best Time to Study is Between Yesterday and Tomorrow -- while my teacher laid out my test scores, my homework completed, where I stand with the other students in my class.

I diverted my attention from the disappointed stares to the windows on the far side of the classroom. In spite of their small size and the bars that cover them, presumably to keep students from escaping, I could get a fairly good view of the outdoors.

There wasn't much to see -- just a parking lot and some snow -- but it was what I couldn't see that kept me interested.

I thought of the big world out there, which loomed just over the horizon and out of sight. How can people be happy here, I thought, when there's so much to do and learn out there?

It is senior year and the world is changing at a pace no one anticipated. How can my classmates and I be bothered with high school?

Sometimes I fancy myself storming a State Capitol or waving "Down with Dictator" signs on some town square in the Middle East. But the dream never lasts too long before I wake up to the cold and unchanging realities of Statistics and homework and finishing the year strong so colleges don't retract their invitations. It makes me tense and anxious to think of the world turning while I remain standing in one place.

When the seam rips and the center of the world drops out, will we step into a better society of democracy and fairness, or a land of chaos and extremist, despotic rule? Only time will tell us that. Until then, I just want to be on board for the ride.

Nathan Kitzmann is a senior at Detroit Lakes High School.

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