Sunday, March 27, 2011

College Dictionary

It turns out that there are certain phrases which exist in English (or, more often, other languages, but are used in English texts anyway) which elude the high school curriculum. It is not until college that these words show themselves, suddenly appearing in nearly everything a college student reads.

It amazes freshmen, who are not yet accustomed to the terminology, that such phrases need even exist; after all, one was able to communicate just fine without them in the past. Why can't simpler words be used to express the same ideas? I, for one, believe that simpler phrases should be used in place of these. While some new vocabulary can add meaning, much of the "advanced" vocabulary is overused in academia (a fancy term for "the academic community," that is, students and teachers at universities).

Half Dollar

The other day, I saw what appeared to be half of a dollar bill on display. Although I later learned that it was simply just a regular dollar folded over, such that half of it was no longer visible, it got me thinking. What would happen to half of a dollar bill?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Elephant

I have known for a while that Jumbo the Elephant was relatively important; that is, he was an elephant in P. T. Barnum's circus, he was hit and killed by a train, and his stuffed hide was donated to Tufts. He is now our official school mascot. It was not until recently, however, that I learned just how influential that creature truly was.
Jumbo! He is slain.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I'm supposed to be studying for two mid-terms now. So I'll get back to that in a moment, and I'll save the suspense of some new posts I'm working on for another time. But this one just has to be posted today.

This weekend was the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) for the American Mock Trial Association tournament in White Plains, New York. Tufts sent 2 teams (the maximum permitted per school) to the competition, as a result of our amazing performance (3rd and 4th places) at the Regional competition in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The New RAs (and Where We Found Them)

Today's Daily included an article on the RA selection process, so anyone interested in learning that was like should take a look. It also mentioned that I will be training in the fall, 9 days before school (or orientation?) starts. The process includes a camping trip (awesome!) and simulated emergencies, like suicides (scary!). I can't wait!

Mostly, though, I just read the article for the picture. That elephant is adorable; he's also my current user icon on my laptop.


The children's game, Tic-Tac-Toe, was mentioned in a recent Rational Choice reading, which got me thinking: Where does the name come from? Is it really not winnable for skilled players?

They actually sell these now. Profitable? No idea.
In the modern information age, I have it easy: a quick few minutes on the internet, and I can know anything I wish to know. It's pretty amazing; older generations would have had to ask someone who may or may not have a reliable answer, or else go to the library and find a book dedicated to the history of the game. My research is effortless in comparison. It's a wonder everyone growing up today doesn't simply spend their whole lives furiously reading everything the internet has to offer, learning about every famous person, foreign culture, or popular movie from all of time. Sometimes, my friends and I do end up reading and learning about one thing or another, and then sharing that information. Such is the case now for Tic-Tac-Toe, so here's what I dug up.

TMT Weekend

Monday's Daily featured a front-page article entitled, "Tufts Mock Trial advances to Championship Series." As a member of that team, I'm attending a few too many practices to write long blog posts at the end of the day. So go read the Daily's article. If the photo looks familiar, it's because Jon stole it from me. I think. I guess it's possible it's coincidentally and eerily similar.

Speaking of eerie, "spooky metaphysics" was the de facto topic of today's Rational Choice lecture, which guest-student visitor Sam attended. That was fun. Sam visiting for the weekend, that is. The weather was nice, too, at least Saturday, for walking around Boston and whatnot. And apparently Tufts' eggs are better than Penn State's eggs. Score.

Quotes of late include:
"There will be a massacre here in a few hours if you'd like to join us" - Colonially-dressed Bostonian
"I'm really jazzed about this competition" - Clark University President

In other news, spring break is only 250 hours away. Not that anyone's counting.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hot Off the Press

Publishing in print once again, Peacelight has rewritten our Onion satire for the Tufts Daily. Available as an Op-Ed on Tuesday, the work had to be edited a bit, a joint effort of myself and Daily staff. Reworked both to include a more pointed message about consumerism and to account for its near two-week delay in publication, the new article is entertaining readers at this very moment.

Personally, I think it works well. The photograph really helps remind readers of the humor of the evening, allowing the satire to be better received. The last few lines aren't as good as some of the middle content, which I think is unfortunate; it's best to build up to something incredibly witty. I'll have to try harder next time.

In other news, PETA has announced that its speaker series, "Elephant Hides and How to Care for Them," will finally be making its way to Tufts. The program started 36 years ago in California and has taken its time in getting here. Oops.