Moonlight and Kindness: TU/TD

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Good Riddance – Snow is one of those things I can only tolerate for so long. Sure, snow is nice when it’s falling from the sky and transforms the world into a quiet and picturesque landscape. Yes, not having to go to class is always great. Once the skies clear up, however, and the surface of a snowfall melts, the only thing snow is really good for is getting in the way. The massive snow fields and piles scattered around campus that have persisted since the snowstorm make it a treacherous environment. It appears that the onslaught of wintry weather has subsided, at least for now, and solace is finally here. The sun has finally decided to do its job, and the snow has begun to melt away, littering the sidewalks of Chestnut Hill with patches of puddles that force freshmen to wear their Duck Boots seemingly every day. Then again, they do that anyway, so maybe now it actually just makes sense.

A Moonlit Soirée – A wise person once told me: “Music isn’t good unless it makes you feel something.” Toploader’s version of this classic song begins with a speculative and warm melody that sets the stage for the music’s powerful spell. Listeners are transported to a warm summer evening, and suddenly, they’re on a patio lit by lanterns overhead, surrounded by their best friends. It’s a wedding reception. It’s a graduation celebration. Or it’s just a party. Regardless, carefree vibes dominate the outdoor scene as the friends dance together. They’ve come free of inhibitions, without drama, and for the sole reason of having a good time. Toploader arrives out of nowhere, and immediately begins to play everyone’s favorite song. Life moves slower for a little while.

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Knowing it Won’t Last – The phrase “All good things must come to an end” is perhaps one of the most frustrating indisputable realities of life. In particular, when it applies to good weather. A 60-degree day in February in Massachusetts only breeds false hope. The many freshmen seen wearing salmon shorts around campus are only lying to themselves and their Snapchat friends. This is New England, and it is still winter.

I’m Not Even Close to You – There is a door-holding, pseudo-kindness culture at Boston College that burdens many well-meaning people. From the Chocolate Bar to Lower Campus and everywhere in between, the tendency of students to wait needlessly to hold a door open for someone walking far behind them leads to minute yet tragic incidents everyday. The pressure to pick up your gait because someone you don’t know is 30 yards ahead waiting patiently for you to exit is annoying, especially because once you do he or she will forget you exist. If you’re bent on being my servant, feel free, but I’m not changing my walking speed to accommodate your kindness.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Editor

A Chance at Love: TU/TD

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Cosmic Irony – Each year, the country’s premier musical artists descend upon the City of Angels, many draped in more outlandish garb than one would think humanly possible. The red carpet is alight with camera flashes and the shining egos of the stars as they parade into the venue. Artists seem to be in competition as to who can give the vaguest answer possible as reporters desperately scramble for an intelligible quote. One can’t help but feel sympathy for the artists who have to attend this showboat affair, but really only care about the quality of the music they create, rather than a golden award and a stage. On a more positive note, however, the universe finally came around, and Lil Chano From 79th finally received the recognition he deserves, although in perhaps the wrong medium. The Grammys have never appeared so out of touch with the reality of the music world as when Chancelor Johnathan Bennett climbed the steps to accept his award for Best New Artist on Sunday. Despite having released arguably one of the best musical projects of the year in 2013, and continuously climbing to national fame ever since, the Grammy committee apparently failed to hear his music until three years later. Although already an accomplished and established musician who has used his spotlight to promote positive political change and messages of unison in a dangerously divisive time in the country’s history, Chance accepted his inappropriate award with grace, because who wouldn’t? Later in the night, the coronation of Coloring Book as the year’s Best Rap Album perhaps made up for the award show’s overlooking of Chance for so long, but I’m still bitter.

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Since When Are All You People Dating – The freshman sat in his dorm lounge, reading through the various social media sites he probably cares way too much about in order to avoid starting his homework. Only this night was different. It was the one fateful day of the year when corporate America decided that every single person in the country needed to feel utterly self-conscious. Scrolling down his Instagram feed, the freshman was astounded that every single picture portrayed a happy relationship, most of which he was unaware even existed. Feb. 14 has seemingly become less about actual affection, and more about publicizing that you have a boyfriend or girlfriend you know enough about to write a sarcastic caption.

Overpriced Elevation – The two freshmen exited the Comm. Ave. bus outside of Conte Forum, and their feet hit the ground running. It was 9:01 a.m. They were late, although one of them was noticeably unhappier than the other. For both of their sakes, however, the more apathetic freshman picked up the pace, and met the first of the approximately 19 million stairs that led to Gasson. About halfway through the trek, the freshman entered a state of self-realization. He was a freshman, surrounded by upperclassmen, and he was running. The shock of his lack of self-awareness and sheer predictability caused his legs to give out, sending him tumbling down from the heavens to which he was climbing. He awoke four hours later at the foot of the stairs. He opened his eyes, and watched as gaggles of upperclassmen continuously stepped over his broken body.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Editor

Chewing on Peppermint: TU/TD

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Mentha × piperita – Each winter, children rejoice at the prospect of snowfall, which brings promises of sledding, snowball fights, and school cancellations. In their childhood craze they stay up late, only retiring to bed once they’ve done an elaborate snow dance, and their pajamas have been turned inside out. Upon awakening, they rush to the window, hoping to witness their backyard covered in the white powder that indicates a day of fun and carelessness. Some children, on the other hand, feel excitement during the winter season about other things. Many have a strong affinity for the sugary treat of hot chocolate, or the world’s favorite holiday, when Saint Nick decides to pay every house a visit. I, on the other hand, love the wintertime for a different reason: peppermint. The most succulent mint of all, peppermint is a staple of my childhood memories of the winter. Peppermint chocolate, peppermint cookies, peppermint milkshakes. I’d eat peppermint with just about anything and everything. And I still do. As the snow falls and I sip my peppermint mocha, attempting to topple mountains of work, the powerful flavor of this hybrid plant still reminds me of simpler times, revealing perhaps that I am not as grown up as I pretend to be.

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Who Raised You – The girl sat next to the freshman, enjoying a bag of chips as they both waited impatiently for their delayed train. The crowded station was eerily quiet, as weary travelers sat awkwardly together in the highly-limited seating area. Without hesitation, the girl to the freshman’s left removed another chip from the bag, and boisterously began to chew, her mouth gaping open. The audible crunching of the chip cut through the peaceful atmosphere, and the freshman couldn’t help but feel a wave of exasperation come over her. How could someone be so obnoxious? To make matters worse, chip girl was now looking directly at her, peering deep into her eyes, gazing at her soul, as she smacked her lips together loudly. Discontentment erupted inside the freshman like a volcano, and she tried desperately to keep her cool, turning her attention to the contents of her phone. Only, just then, chip girl threw another morsel into her mouth and scooted closer, proceeding then to chew vehemently and uncomfortably close to the freshman’s ear. Unable to control her passions any longer, the freshman rose swiftly and snatched the bag of chips from the girl’s hand. She sprinted out to the train platform, and tossed the bag between a pair of rapidly closing doors. The freshman stood triumphantly as she watched the train pull out of the station, the device of her madness aboard, and never to be seen again.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Editor

Rats in the Snow: TU/TD

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A White, Pulverulent Cascade – Canada Goose jacket on, Duck Boots laced, and fleece-lined khakis donned, the freshman gazed up at the mystical scene above him. Standing at the top of the Upper stairs, he looked out at where the skyline of Boston normally sits, barely visible through the opaque snowfall. The onslaught of powder mystified the distance between near and far, reducing the size of the world to the immediately recognizable. He traipsed on, disregarding the sting of cold as the individual flakes hit his face, taking in the uncanny silence that accompanies a snowstorm. Nature ensured that the trek to Mac would be a treacherous one, but it also forced him to ponder. The abounding blizzard rescinded abruptly as he swung open the door. He sat at the end of one of the long tables, peering out the window. Inside, the everyday worries of campus life were overwhelming. Outside, however, the snow would keep falling.

An Underground Cult – In the underbelly of Lyons Hall, the bottom dwellers of Boston College find their home. In masses they scurry across the brick tile, in pursuit most commonly of mac and cheese, short lines, and coffee that doesn’t suck. These proud rodents prefer a tranquil atmosphere to the traditional hustle and bustle of other on-campus dining halls. Here, the rush slows down, and the wooden accents adorning the walls allow for an escape from the contemporary. Grilled chicken breasts and faux wooden tables make way for newspaper reading, coffee, and contemplation. A sewer for equanimity.

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No Bark No Bite – Eagles and Terriers alike descended upon TD Garden on Monday to witness what many humorously referred to as “The Pot of Beans.” The two student sections, towering high above the ice below, engaged in banter typical of the storied rivalry. One school in particular, however, chose to drop the ball on this matter. The Boston University students in attendance apparently decided that they would find the most irrelevant and corny jokes possible to scream that night. Upon hearing chants of “B-C Chi-pot-le!” ring out from the notably smaller sea of red and white across the stadium, those dressed in maroon and gold couldn’t help but chuckle at the sheer irrelevancy pervading the air. Cheers of “B-C Ho-ckey!” reminded everyone at the game of the identity of one of the teams playing in the game, as if the audience had suddenly forgotten. Jealous of our storied alumni, the Terriers cried “F—k Matt Ryan!” forgetting that they’ve never had a quarterback play in the Super Bowl. It’s probably because they don’t have a football team. Sucks to suck.

Featured Image by Meg Dolan / Heights Staff

Turkeys and Champions: TU/TD

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The Turkeys Are Alive – The tragic disappearance of the Upper Campus turkeys put a damper on the beginning of second semester. Students bemoaned exiting their dorms without their favorite holiday birds there to greet them. The barren patches of dead grass where the turkeys used to roam peacefully among bustling students reminded them of the friends they had lost. How were they meant to focus on school and other responsibilities now that their turkey friends were somewhere out there, lost and alone, potentially road kill, or worse, stuck between two slices of bread? Students need not fret, however, because the turkeys are alive and well. They were spotted recently close to Mac, having migrated to the other side of Beacon Street. Why the turkeys decided to abandon their on-campus habitat is unclear, but news of their safety brought some light to a relatively dreary day.

Keeping it Mello – An EDM concert in a gym doesn’t really sound like a fun proposition. Especially in one without air conditioning. But the faceless DJ dressed in all white at the helm of this function didn’t care. Students clad in neon and sports jerseys and neon sports jerseys descended upon the Plex carrying water bottles far more conspicuous than they realized. Regardless, the Jesuit mosh pit grew and grew until it was sufficiently large enough to make St. Ignatius roll over in his grave.

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Not Understanding What “The World” Means – Last night, we crowned the “champions of the world,” following their running around and throwing of a few balls to the delight of millions. Each year, those in this country most skilled at swinging wooden rods compete in the “World Series.” Ironically, however, and probably contrary to popular belief, most of the world doesn’t really care. The coronation of an American football team as “world champions” after winning a league in which only American football teams compete is pretty narcissistic, and a little ridiculous. We should probably cut it out.

“What Could Possibly Go Wrong” – What an ignorant phrase. This forsaken combination of words literally beckons disaster. How can one possibly ignore the endless multitude of potential consequences, mishaps, dangers, tragedies, explosions, implosions, fires, etc. that the universe is capable of conjuring up at will. To utter these words is to ignore the supreme unpredictability of the world and to declare one’s actions immune to the volatility of the earth’s turning. Don’t be that guy. No one likes that guy.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Staff

A Time for Caesar: TU/TD

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Taking Suggestions – It is often said that the true measure of an institution is its ability to take criticism. Some of the greatest achievements in mankind’s history have been brought to fruition through constant reflection, reassessment, and reconsideration of the way that the world works. The Wright Brothers recognized a need for more advanced methods of transportation, and so they built the first flying machine. Thomas Edison was tired of existing primarily in the dark, and so he invented the light bulb. Otto Rohwedder was fed up with having to manually separate reasonable portions of bread, and so he built a machine to slice it for him. To these brave and insightful innovators, no challenge was too daunting to conquer. We have reached a point in the earth’s turning when a new challenge has presented itself, waiting for a valiant soul to rise up and meet it. The Tuscan Chicken containers in Eagle’s Nest must be replaced. The perfect solution: Chicken Caesar Wraps.

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The Tuscan Chicken Obsession – Every Monday at around 11:50, the freshman trudges into Eagle’s Nest, desperately hoping to beat the rush following the end of classes. To his dismay, he is rarely able to out-swim the tide of students pouring into the space between the poles and yellow walls of arguably the best lunch destination on campus. The lines grow exponentially by the second, and eventually extend out of the door, up the mountain of stairs to Upper, ending finally at the door of O’Connell House. Preferring to not wait an eternity and 12 minutes for a sandwich, he often begrudgingly begins his ascent up Mount Upper to return to his dorm, famished and defeated. Lately, however, the casual Eagle’s goer has been offered the gift of salvation. Clear plastic containers containing premade Tuscan Chicken sandwiches have begun to line the glass counters normally required to bring about this coveted BC delicacy. Those estranged by the seemingly endless lines can circumvent the ordering process all together, and stride triumphantly past those in waiting, sandwich in hand. College students, alas, are fickle, and we have reached a critical moment in this institution’s history in which the Eagle’s Nest’s perception of the Tuscan Chicken as the sole desire of students’ stomachs has become archaic. Currently on the rise, the Chicken Caesar Wrap has proven a formidable challenger to the king of Tuscan Chicken among students, and for this reason deserves its rightful place inside the glorious premade sandwich containers. It is time for the Chicken Caesar Wrap to begin its conquest of the Tuscan Chicken just as Julius Caesar conquered all of Italy. The analogy was too good to pass up. I apologize.

Featured Image by Meg Dolan / Heights Staff

Duck Duck Goose: TU/TD

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New Avian Royalty – Long after the coronation of the Duck Boot royalty on the Heights, a new flying force has arrived on campus. The flock of geese, hailing from the friendly northern region of Canada, has been amassing for weeks. They have assembled a considerable force, riding on the backs of students across campus, their fur collars representing their ferocity and hunting prowess. The Canada Geese are plotting to dethrone the Duck Boot clan, overwhelming them by sheer volume. It seems that the Canada Geese have found a way to infiltrate just about every student at BC, latching on to them while secretly plotting their coup. Thousands of BC parents, concerned by their daughters’ habit of travelling to bars and parties in freezing temperatures wearing less clothing than one might wear on the average summer day, felt inclined to adopt a Canada Goose over Winter Break for their children. Although mom and dad might now sleep easier, they are unaware of the havoc they have sponsored. From atop the Gasson spire, the Duck Boots look down upon the crowds of black and grey puffy jackets, wary of the impending challenge. The Canada Geese and the Duck Boots will soon spread their wings and take to the skies in an aerial battle that will put Top Gun to shame. Sorry, Tom Cruise.

Discovering New Places – I’ve never really been a fan of doing work at coffee shops. I find it crowded, forced, and overall just too cliché to be productive. I often scoff at those doing work at Starbucks while I order my Frappuccino, throwing their work papers across the store and spilling whip cream all over their laptop keyboard. This lets them know that I think what they’re doing is stupid. However, I recently decided to be conformist and became just another olive-colored pant-wearing liberal in a coffee shop, and you know what, I enjoyed it. With my massive peppermint mocha on a white saucer I tore through my essay on The Aeneid, my fingers pounding away as I sat at a table in the corner that was just way too small to fit both a book and a laptop. Why would anyone make a table so small? Let me know. Regardless, with the scent of caffeine in the air and Gavin DeGraw playing overhead, my cliché compadres and I escaped the world for a while in our soft spoken haven.

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Where the Heck Are You – In a frigid winter downpour, the unfortunate freshman struggled to crutch down Comm. Ave. as the rain dotted her spectacles, rendering her blind. She had called EagleEscort about 53 minutes ago, yet still she remained in freezing rain, her clothes soaked, and her spirit broken. Would the fabled white van arrive? She wasn’t around find to out, as Mike in a Toyota Camry arrived four minutes later. Uber saves the day again.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Staff

Facts Are Facts: TU/TD

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Marching On – Optimism is a powerful thing. Outlook is everything. The phrase “Yes we can” is overused, but it is especially relevant. The rivers of pink hats that flowed through the streets of major cities around the world last Saturday ushered in a new climate. I wouldn’t label it a resistance. Sure, one could view these massive demonstrations as movements against the actions and rhetoric of Cheeto Supreme, but, to me, they feel more like a redirection. A person could say that women were equal in America prior to his election, but then they would be absolutely wrong and probably a sad 33-year-old man in a basement somewhere answering a poll on Breitbart.com. On Saturday, every person who gave their time knows this. Prior to the ascension of the ironic Lorax incarnated, the country was not on a path to equality. But now, the tracks are shifting. This movement is not a knee-jerk response to the coronation of a demagogue, but rather the rightful seizing of an opportune moment to promote change that is long overdue. For those who might’ve said they cared about women’s rights before, but evidently care enough now to actually make their voices heard, are marching among people who have been marching their entire lives. And march on they will.

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“Alternative Facts” – I must admit I am a little bamboozled. In an almost comical fashion, a top adviser to the President recently claimed that spreading lies to the public is okay if they come in the form of “alternative facts,” a poorly worded disguise for the more suitable and historically acceptable term “lie.” In an era of fake news and misinformation, what does one make of a person in high office blatantly stating that the White House will promulgate factoids that are just plainly not true? The irony of Donald Trump accusing publications like The New York Times of misreporting information and then his surrogates, and at times himself, literally mouth-dumping lies to the public on national television and in the White House Press Room is almost too much to bear. To try and fathom the unbelievable hypocrisy, one must put on Trump’s average sized shoes. If you were President, and were planning on doing a number of terrible things to the American people, the economy, the state of global politics, the environment, and Alec Baldwin, wouldn’t you lie about it too? You wouldn’t want people to think you were, you know, completely sinister and without good-intentions. No, that would make your job too hard, and if you were to fail, big business would come for your toupée head faster than your approval ratings are plummeting.

“We Can Disagree With Facts” – These words needed to go in print. Facts are not partisan. Facts are not up for debate. Facts are not subjective. Facts are not conjured up and made real by the stature of a person’s office. Facts are facts, and it needs to stay that way. Otherwise, we all might be in for a rough ride.

Featured Image by Meg Dolan / Heights Staff

A Reservoir View of the End: TU/TD

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The Res and Resolutions – Climate change sucks just about as much as anything. It might not be No. 1 necessarily, but it’s up there. Sometimes though, the impending doom of our planet and species can be pushed to the back of one’s mind, as the unnaturally-warm January air hits the skin. Donning shorts he figured would be retired for the season, the freshman glided down away from his dorm. Away from his worries, and out of the bubble of campus. He reached the Reservoir and began his run along the gravel loop. Music blasted in his ears, but the escape and the calm could not have been more real. The water showcased the colors of the sky as the sun slowly fell, families walked together with their dogs in the warm evening. In this sanctuary, the overwhelming universe of BC can be forgotten. The swans lining the rocky walls surrounding the water do not fret over Friday-night plans, and the trees that sway in the wind pay no mind to Snapchat stories and superficiality. Reaching the far side of the path, the freshman turned to admire the view of campus from afar. He looked on at the picturesque view of Gasson towering above the tree line and marveled at the irony of how a place in its shadow could help shed so much light on what it represents. Here, campus felt like a distant Narnia, separate from reality, as if it wasn’t just across the street. Sometimes it’s good to step back and realize we’re not alone in this world.

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The Bitter End – Rudely disturbing the peace like someone blasting music in a dorm bathroom at 6 a.m., the end of syllabus week is upon us. The time has come for shenanigans to subside, and for students everywhere to face the music. Well, really, to turn down the music, because the curtains are falling. It is a sad event to lay to rest the freedom and carelessness of this brief era, a shame to shut the gate to the playground. There may be students brave enough to venture to keep the spirit alive, and to continue to live as though the day to follow will come without essays and tests. But even they will eventually find the gust of academia too strong to stay grounded in their haphazard lifestyle. Their bodies will leave the ground, and the twister will carry them away from Cleveland Circle and right back to their dorm lounge, pen in hand. Although there may be ebbs in the wind, believe not that the cyclone will lay dormant forever. It is best to wipe the beer stains off your textbook covers, finally log into your canvas account, and bunker down for the storm.

Where Did The Turkey Squad Go – A squadron of maybe 7-10 turkeys used to roam the grasslands of Upper Campus during first semester. As of late, the turkeys have gone missing. This is a tragedy. If anyone out there knows the whereabouts of these majestic creatures, please let us know.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Staff

Syllabus Week: TU/TD

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Syllabus Week – There is joy in its infamy. A light drizzle prior to the impending downpour of daily classwork, commitments, and responsibilities. As the hordes of students return to campus, they begin a week without care, in which beer cans and solo cups crowd dorm room desks, denigrating textbooks and notebooks to the role of coasters. It might be a Tuesday, it might be a Wednesday, but 9 a.m. classes and healthy sleeping habits will inevitably be disregarded. If it were a film, one might call it: The Silence of the Lounges. The concept of the weekend becomes obsolete, blurring the line between a good time, and all the time. Here is to pretending everything doesn’t matter for a little while, as if we hadn’t just had a month long break. College students tend to overextend, but no one ever said you could have too much fun. Well, maybe someone has, but they probably hate small animals and live in a cave in somewhere in Turkmenistan. Who cares what they think.

No Longer Destroying Your Family’s Data Plan – The freshman whipped out his iPhone as his Dad drove out of the gates to Upper Campus. As his thumbs pinned the screen, they entered the usual routine. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, repeat. Only something was different. The familiar pair of thick semicircles above a smaller triangle in the top left corner of his screen had been replaced by a posse of circles, some plump, others empty. Unknowingly, the freshman had sewn the seeds of his demise at family dinner that night. His habitual social media surfing was chewing through data faster than a beaver with a cocaine problem when given a fresh log. If only data could be replenished as easily as a tray of mozzarella sticks.

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Sophomore Housing Lottery – March 14. Destiny day. Eight freshmen awake with hopes and dreams heavy in their hearts. They wait for the dreaded email, crowded around a single laptop. The freshman’s rhythmic clicking is the only sound that pervades the air as the group all stare intently at the screen. They’ve refreshed one, two, 27 times. Suddenly, an emboldened email appears at the top of the freshman’s inbox. It  has come. Before they even read the message, two of the freshmen scream, and another faints in agony. One can be heard down the hall running to throw up in the bathroom. The bravest of the bunch takes a deep breath, and opens the message. He gasps, and slowly stands up from his computer. The others drop their heads, and begin to weep. The news is unspoken, but it is clear. Their dreams have been crushed, and now two of them must be excommunicated. They’ll probably select fainty and pukey. That was weird. Definitely don’t want to live with that.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Staff

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