A 52-year-old ex-Navy SEAL reflects on his first semester as a freshman at Yale

James Hatch is a former a Navy SEAL who has dealt with PTSD for nearly half of his 52 years of life. So it was kind of a big deal when he was accepted to Yale University this past fall as a college freshman. While the Fox News crowd may have been eagerly anticipating the meaty clickbait they could mine from the potential cultural clash of this Real American and those whiney radical college protestors, Hatch beat them to the punch by publishing his own reflection on his first semester. Spoiler alert: it's probably one of the most deeply humanistic things I've read in a long time.

As the younger students started to express their thoughts, the young woman (truly a unicorn of a human) used the word “safe space” and it hit me forcefully. I come from a place where when I hear that term, I roll my eyes into the back of my vacant skull and laugh from the bottom of my potbelly. This time, I was literally in shock. It hit me that what I thought a “safe space” meant, was not accurate. This young woman, the one who used the phrase, isn’t scared of anything. She is a life-force of goodness and strength. She doesn’t need anyone to provide a comfortable environment for her. What she meant by “safe space” was that she was happy to be in an environment where difficult subjects can be discussed openly, without the risk of disrespect or harsh judgment. This works both ways.

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Mr. T as a snowflake is Brandon Bird's new 'T-mas' card design

Remember that guy with the Jerry Orbach tribute car? Well, this is his 2017 holiday card design.

For the past few years, artist Brandon Bird has put sets of "T-mas" cards for sale in his online store. All the cards feature eighties icon Mr. T in a variety of holiday scenes. This year's card is called Precious Snowflake, as it imagines the gold-chained, mohawked A-Team star's as a paper snowflake design.

Bird shares the "T-mas" origin story:

The T-mas card tradition began with "Peace" in 2006 and "Believe" in 2008, and since 2011 I've tasked myself with creating a new design every year...

But the tradition of T-mas itself goes back further, to my sister, who decided we needed a holiday to celebrate America's only true folk hero. T-mas activities include the writing of Pity Lists, the construction of wooden "fools" from sticks which are tossed onto an open fire, and of course a hearty meal including lots of nutritious vegetables and milk. Though usually held in winter, T-mas can be celebrated any day. But remember, if you disrespect anyone's mother, T-mas is cancelled and you have to wait another year!

(I pity the fool who disrespects anyone's mother.)

Here's a look at some of his past year's T-mas card designs (most are still available for purchase):

Ginger T, art by Dyna Moe

Winter Wonderland, a collaboration with Erin Pearce

Peace on Earth (the original T-mas card)

A Hero Rides Forth

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