Another epic night of interdisciplinary dodgeball, red in tooth and claw, rocked the Allen Center this evening. In a touching show of liberal arts brotherhood, an assortment of Wabash Gentlemen showed up to root for (and heckle) their friendly neighborhood scientists. It was a record turnout year and we welcomed President White to the sidelines as he took time from his busy schedule to cheer on the guys. The honorable warrior code of dodgeball was recited (…rules, blah, blah, blah, Not in the face! blah, blah, blah, more rules…) and the entropy of the system (and surroundings) increased quickly for the start of this spontaneously fun event.
Lon “Texas Red” Porter signaled the start of the match and rushed over to support the chemists. The first game of the Bell match was a nail biter and shifted back and forth like a clock reaction. The chemistry seniors, along with the Wonder Twin powers of the first two Wabash biochemistry seniors, aimed to exert kinetic control and extend their dynasty to a five-year winning streak. This year, the team was also joined by Laura “Rhodamine” Wysocki, recently recruited from the high stakes, underground Wisconsin street-dodgeball scene. Uncertainty ran rampant, but guys were quickly reminded that wavefunctions for particles with these masses are very small; you really can ascertain the position AND momentum of a dodgeball with GREAT certainty when it knocks you flat. After following major metabolic pathways, ATP was expended and the chemists claimed first blood.
The biologists naturally selected to stage a comeback and secure a victory tonight that would reestablish series equilibrium to 4-4 and reduce the percent yield on chemistry swagger. Both sides expressed some savagely selfish genes that provided little room for anything but survival of the fittest. The sides decayed in a pseudo-first order manner until only two competitors remained on each side. Two unfortunate head-shots nearly ended the game in great controversy that would have synthesized the mother of all !student email wars. To their credit, the gentlemen acted in the sporting fashion and replayed the final phase of the game. Electrons were pushed, activation barriers were overcome, and Punnett squares were filled…however, in the end…the biologists demonstrated their ability to dig deep and metabolize success.
The final game of the match quickly elevated to some crazy level of excited state that probably violated at least two fundamental laws of thermodynamics! The biologists clearly looked to lay down the central dogma and introduce the chemists to their new niche…pain! Nothing on the phylogenetic tree was held back! Ultimately, it was the chemists that failed the push those electrons in the right way; no mechanism for victory could be found.
Tomorrow, the Hays Bell will move over to the biology side of the 1st floor Hays Hall display case. However, the bonds of friendship and scholarship remain ever strong (covalent of course, right about 154 kJ/mol at last glance). It was great fun and yet another tradition that many of us hold dear. Thanks to all the folks who participated and to those who came to laugh at the spectacle. As many of us settle down with a cool beverage and a crossword puzzle (as Dr. Polley might recommend), we hope that those anti-inflammatory, organic synthetic targets kick in and work their biochemical magic…I’m looking at you, ibuprofen…until next year, Wabash!