Sunday, September 18, 2005

Fruit Salad

Dr. Henriksson (His 103 prof and Shepherd's resident European/Russian History expert) used to refer to the Balkan area as a 'fruit salad' because there was such a diverse group of religions/ethnicities/political beliefs. This has nothing to do with anything I want to talk about, except to say that I have a lot to talk about and no way to connect them, so therefore this post is a 'fruit-salad' of commentary.

Topic One: Phony Tibetan Personality Test

My boss sent me an email with a Tibetan Personality Test which, as always, claims to be 'true and accurate' and to 'grant your wish' if you 'pass it on.' Crap. Just crap.

I took this goofy test, and I laughed at some of the results.

Here is the test:

  1. Put the following 5 animals in the order of your preference: Cow, Tiger, Sheep, Horse, Pig
  2. Write one word that describes each one of the following: Dog, Cat, Rat, Coffee, Sea.
  3. Think of someone, who also knows you and is important to you, which you can relate them to the following colors. Do not repeat your answer twice. Name just one person for each color:Ye llow, Orange, Red, White, Green.
  4. Finally, write down your favorite number, and your favorite day of the week.

Here are my answers:

  1. Pig (which the test says represents money), Tiger (represents Pride), Horse (represents Family) Cow (Career) and Sheep (Love). I have a problem with this. While I like money, I don't put it above love. I think my real order goes Love, Pride, Family, Career, Money
  2. Dog (Loyal--represents your own personality) Cat (fat--represents your 'partners' personality [how does one have a fat personality?]) Rat (gross--represents your enemy) Coffee (good/needed--represents my view of sex [hahahahaha, although I've never had it, I guess sex might be as needed and as good as coffee lol]) Sea (salty--represents my view on life--I have a salty life?).
  3. Yellow--(Casey Moreland is 'somebody I will never forget) Orange--(Heather Hill is a 'true friend') Green (Casey Tyree is somebody I will remember forever [isn't that the same as never forget?]) Red (Courtney is my 'one true love' [that's pretty darn accurate]) White (Jillian--my 'twin soul.')
  4. Send it to that number by that day to get your present.

These things crack me up. They really do. I mean, red was obviously going to be somebody you love (color of passion) and it's the only one I really got right (except maybe Orange--Heather is a true friend). I'm going to remember all of my friends for a long time. I don't' know that I have a 'soul-twin.' I don't know that my life is salty. These things are goofy, but I still find time to waste by doing them.

Topic Two: Dr. Roland Bergman, Ph. D.

Dr. Bergman and I had an interesting conversation on Friday. He was talking about the idea that intelligence may or may not be related to race. He told us about a professor (tenured) at another university who made the comment that blacks can be scientifically proven to be 'not as intelligent' as Caucausoids or Mongoloids. The professor was fired by the university.

I expected that, since this belief is just plain wrong and is NOT scientifically provable, Dr. Bergman would uphold this decision to dismiss said tenured professor. However, he was not. Bergman explained that he believes that a university must be a place where you can speak freely, even if the things you are speaking make the university big-wigs uncomfortable or the idea is not popular. If, he said, professors (and others) were limited to free speech that people were comfortable with, there would be no point in allowing that professor to speak freely. In other words, free speech must protect things that we do not agree with.

This sparked an interesting mini-debate. A student asked Dr. Bergman if he believed that a professor in the biology department should be allowed to talk about Intelligent Design while discussing human origins. This idea is growingly popular amongst college professors, despite its lack of 'scientific evidence.' Bergman said he wasn't sure.

He asked us what we thought--should professors speak about things that they believe, though it may not fall into an 'accepted thought' category. I, for the first time in his class, felt moved to speak up.

I explained to Dr. Bergman that I think the professors fate should like with whether or not discussing the idea of whites being more intelligence than blacks fell into that professors area of expertise. In other words, I said, was he a professor of a discipline that would allow/require discussion of or comparing of intelligence between race, or was he in a completely different school of thought?

I told him that I think a physics professor coming in and slamming President Bush is wrong. But a political science professor talking about Bush's policies and how he/she disagrees with them is acceptable.

He said, "well, I have bias. I disagree with gay marriage. Should I be allowed to tell my students that."

So I replied, "well, I agree with you on that Dr. Bergman. I don't feel comfortable with gay marriage either. But what relevance does that have to geography? If you say it in passing or because the conversation/topics present an opportunity to discuss this topic and you present your beliefs and move on, then it's ok. But, if you come in every day and rail on gay marriage, then you should be dismissed. You are here to teach geography, and we are here to learn it. If you allow your anti-gay marriage views to interfere with our education then you are doing yourself, and us, a disservice."

He seemed taken back by this answer and said simply, "well, that is an excellent point. I've never looked at it that way--well I mean I have, but it's never been that cut and dry before."

This made me feel good!

Topic Three: Excellence. Pride. Commitment. GO RAM BAND!

First of all, I would like to remind everybody that I am a nerd and miss it greatly. Watching the Ram Band take the field at the first home game this year brought tears to my eyes (well not quite, but I still really missed it.)

Last night I went to marching band competition in Martinsburg to see Courtney's cousin, Kara. The high school bands were pretty good. Some were even awesome (cough cough ALLEGHENY cough cough).

Rather than have Shepherd do the exhibition show, though, they somehow got WVU to come and march.

The Pride of West Virginia is an excellent band. Do not get me wrong in what I am about to say...

Lee, the marching band tech and the author of all the drill used at Shepherd, says that, "pound for pound Shepherd is the BEST BAND IN THE LAND." I agree with this.

While I enjoyed the WVU's show, most of their marching is 'follow the leader,' (which can be attributed to the fact that 375 instruments don't exactly give you a lot of room on the field). They also play, basically, at two levels: Loud and Louder.

I like them. I enjoy watching them. I know I'm biased and I'm going to shock some people, but it's just that I think Shepherd is better. More entertaining. More cutting-edge. More unique. Better? Doubtful. More likeable--in my opinion, yes.

That's all for now. I want to write later (in the week that is) about Senator Robert C. Byrd's speech which he delivered here at Shepherd on Friday to kick of the first annual Constitution Day lecture series here at SU.


At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Jillian said...

Remember my little 'nerdy' comment about the freelance photographer?

I am a nerd about all things journalism/photo like you are with band.


Have a great week.


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