Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Even if I am a school of medicine professor..." - showdown at orientation

Howdy. Our serene and mostly peaceful school has been recently hijacked by hordes of eager, goggle-eyed first-years. The firsties started orientation yesterday and a majority of them spent last week getting to know each other and the great city of St. Louis by participating in a community program.

Yesterday wise second years who are involved in various student-run groups were invited to give brief presentations (and by brief, I really mean brief. We were told not to exceed 45 seconds) to the firsties. Yours truly grabbed the opportunity and gave a smashing presentation. Standing ovation and all. Nah just kidding.

Anyway, that's not the story. The story is something that happened right before the event. Our benevolent school always provides enough Pappa John's pizza to feed an army regiment at most events like this. Since the welfare of students is priority numero uno, a bunch of stern guards admissions staff guards the pizza with great zeal and pride.

Perhaps tempted by the sweet aroma of the sausage pizza a faculty member stopped by. Now I know quite a bit about this dude, and he is a baller. Baller with a capital B. He is young, charismatic, creative, and insanely smart. He sauntered up to the lunch table and the following scene ensued:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Poem of the week - "One day a Woman"

This week's feature brought to you by Miller Williams who, wikipedia tells me, is from Arkansas and is known for reading a poem at Bill Clinton's inauguration.

One Day A Woman

One day a woman picking peaches in Georgia
lost her hold on the earth and began to rise.
She grabbed limbs but leaves stripped off in her hands.
Some children saw her before she disappeared
into the white cloud, her limbs thrashing.
The children were disbelieved. The disappearance
was filed away with those of other women
who fell into bad hands and were soon forgotten.
Six months later a half-naked man in Kansas
working on the roof of the Methodist Church
was seen by half a dozen well-known
and highly respected citizens to move
directly upward, his tarbrush waving,
until he shrank away to a point and vanished.
Nobody who knew about the first event
knew of the second, so no connection was made.
The tarbrush fell to earth somewhere in Missouri
unnoticed among a herd of Guernsey cows.

Pretty surrealist. Would fit perfectly in a movie trailer about supernatural happenings. 

Random stuff

I'll have another installment of 'Badass Mathematicians' up tomorrow, but in the meantime if you are hungry for more, here are some random tidbits from my life:

  • Feeling particularly like a boss right now. Mastered the art of riding my beloved bicycle without the use or need of my hands. That's right - I can now turn, swerve and roll around the streets of St. Louis on my bike AND read stimulating fare like this or this at the same time. (Both reads highly recommended, btw).
  • Visited Kansas City (unofficial motto: "We have a shitload of fountains and fat geese") last weekend. Great city, great food. A surprisingly large number of sex shops off the freeway en route, but hey, whatever floats your boat. There is an art museum with four GIANT SHUTTLECOCKS there. Easily the highlight of my day. Here's a pic of this bizarre sculpture: 

  •  Second year starts in a week. It's time to kick things into beast mode. Being a devout textbook nerd, this is my latest acquisition:

           I plan to read the whole damn thing (~1500 pages). Let's see how well that goes.
  • Not a big fan of sci-fi, but recently read "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov. Blew. My. Mind. 

Happy to be done with 100 degree weather for now...