Easter is a’comin’

Easter is right around the corner.  Whether you’re headed to your nearest mall to get pictures with the Easter Bunny, you’re searching for candy filled eggs in your backyard, or you’re headed to church with your family: Easter is a holiday that we can all get behind.  This Easter, I bestow unto you two YouTube videos revolving around my favorite Easter treat: Peeps.  These videos come from two of my favorite YouTube channels: RatedRR and Carsandwater.

Picture source: http://thenewforty.areavoices.com/files/2012/04/marshmallow_peeps.jpg

The first YouTube channel, RatedRR, is, in essence, a channel about shooting objects with large guns.  The video that I will link here is “How Many Peeps Can A .50 cal Go Through?”.  In this video, the host shoots a .50 caliber sniper rifle bullet through hundreds of Peeps (traditional Easter eating).  Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAExnkOcIJA

Second, is a stranger channel.  This channel, called “carsandwater” is filled with videos entitled “RHNB and ______”, in which the blank is some other noun.  RHNB stands for “Red Hot Nickel Ball”.  The host of this channel heats a nickel ball, with a blowtorch, until it is red hot.  He then drops it into various items to see what it does.  In this video, entitled “RHNB-Peeps”, you can imagine what happens.  Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKQ1RVo_ZEA

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The Great Email Outage of 2014

A dark cloud fell over the Wabash College on April 14, 2014.  While we students were flitting betwixt our classes, something was stirring within the email servers in the basement of Baxter Hall.  I believe that I was one of the first effected by this awful tragedy; I received my last email at 1:22PM on Monday, that fateful day.  Whispers began to permeate the campus.  ”When will ballin’ take place?” muttered one distressed student.  ”How will I know that Tuesday chapel is going on?” another pined.  Student senators ran wild through the mall, not knowing that Student Senate would meet Tuesday at 7:00PM in the Goodrich Room of the Lilly Library, as it always does.

The aftermath of my Wabash email after the fix.

Without the constant reminders for these events, what would the students of Wabash do with themselves?  I, for one, relished in the silence that came along with the absence of the constant Microsoft Outlook email alert.  For almost 27 hours, the vibrating mechanism in my phone got a rest from the ceaseless, redundant emails that come along with having “everyone” and “student” listservs. Although, I think that the abolishing of these listservs would be horrendous for the culture of the campus.  As every Wabash student, and recent Wabash alum, is aware: email wars are a quintessential part of Wabash life.  If we can’t argue with each other in one of the formats least conducive to vocal inflection and the use of one of our most powerful senses, how can we have productive conversations?

Tuesday, April 17th at around 4:30PM was the end of the living hell that was no campus email.  The IT angels of campus were hot on the trail of the problem until they got it figured out.  I can now return to my homeostatic state of checking and mass deleting emails every hour.  Phew.

 

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What Does Wabash Mean To You?

This past week there were displays on both the mall and the steps of Pioneer Chapel.  The mall on-goings were much less philosophical and more functional.  Some of Wabash’s largest organizations (Wabash Christian Men, ‘shOUT, MXI, Sphinx Club, Wabash Democrats, and Wabash Republicans) got together for a #Stand4Freedom.  This is a movement to raise awareness for the 27 million people that are slaves worldwide, many who are victims of human trafficking.  One of the largest organization involved with this is “End It”: www.enditmovement.com.  You may have seen people marking their hands with red X’s earlier this year.  This symbolic gesture was on behalf of the End It movement.  The aforementioned groups did their own symbolic gesture by standing on the mall for 27 hours straight.  I went to the table that they had set up, took a flier, and got some quick information.  I applaud all of the Wallies that were out there participating and showing their support for this issue.

The #Stand4Freedom table.

The other thing that I mentioned took the form of a giant, wooden “W” that was placed on the steps of Pioneer Chapel.  This “W” had white paint markers around it, and people were asked to write what Wabash meant to them onto the W.  While some of the scrawling was tongue-in-cheek, such as “Wabash means $46,000 a year to me”, others were meaningful and serious, such as “4 tough, life changing years” and “logic+passion”.  My own contribution to the mural is what really Wabash means to me. Underneath the learning, the personal maturation, and the crippling debt, I have found more than just friends within these halls.  There are people here who I know I will never lose contact with, Independent and Greek alike.  To me, Wabash means family.

 

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Glee Club Joint Concert

For 16 years, the Wabash College Glee Club has put on a joint concert with the University of Indianapolis’ Woman’s Chorus.  I have participated in this concert for 3 years running, and I have to say that the UofIndy woman’s chorus is fantastic.  This year, their numbers were much smaller than they have been in the past: only 20 or so.  This lack of numbers did not stop them from sounding amazing.  Combined, we had over 80 voices filling Salter Hall with beautiful music.  This joint concert is a great pairing, and I hope it continues for many years after I am gone from this college.

Mother Nature has graced us with some gorgeous weather the past few days.  60′s and 70′s and lots of sun.  Today, it is a little overcast and breezy, and for the second day in a row I am sitting in an empty field with friends just enjoying the weather.  Welcome to the 21st century, in which Wifi is located everywhere.  

This weekend I made an excursion to a small restaurant in town in which I had never visited: Diggers cafe.  Diggers is located on Market Street, right across from Walgreens and right down the road from Old Town Pizzeria.  They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods, and have a special of the day.  I got country fried steak and eggs, and a half order of biscuits and gravy.  Everything was fantastic.  Another member of our party got the daily special: a fried fish sandwhich.  He said that it was quite tasty, and affordable!  So, if you’re ever deciding on a place to eat in town, try Diggers Cafe!

 

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Anja Niedringhaus

Today, it was reported that Pulitzer Prize winner Anja Niedringhaus was killed in an Afghan shooting.  If you do not know who Anja Niedringhaus was, do not fret, neither did I. She was a German journalist and photographer who was gathering information in regards to the Afghanistan presidential election that is happening tomorrow.  She and a Canadian reporter were fired upon while seated in the back of a car, and Niedringhaus suffered fatal wounds.

Niedringhuas, while a reporter, was also a photographer.  She has taken some of the most beautiful pictures I have seen recently.  Below, I will embed some of my favorites:

Source text: “School children pass by a graffiti reading, “ballot not bullet” on their way back home on the outskirts of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan.”
Source: http://www.anjaniedringhaus.com/image/80577665875

Source text: “An Afghan boy holds a toy gun as he enjoys a ride with others on a merry-go-round to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009. Eid al-Fitr festival marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.”
Source: http://www.anjaniedringhaus.com/image/52128487198

Source text: “An Afghan police officer watched a checkpoint near Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak province.”
Source: http://www.anjaniedringhaus.com/image/51976181573

It is sad to learn of the death of any human, but especially the death of one so apparently talented and still, relatively young, at only 48.  These photos and many more can be found on Anja Niedringhaus’ webpage: http://www.anjaniedringhaus.com/

 

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Campus Concert and Registration

The Glee Club Campus Concert was Sunday, and I deem it a success.  Salter Hall was almost a full-house, and the audience was fantastic.  We sang a full concert, so it was around an hour and a half.  The full Glee Club performed, along with some smaller ensembles from the Glee Club.  We also got to watch the premiere of Dr. John Zimmerman’s Spring 2014 Tour Highlights.  The concert ended in a way that I always hope it does: someone in the audience yelling for an encore.  Below is a picture of the Glee Club.

Photo credit goes to Sherry Ross.

I finally got to experience what it was like registering without standing in a line for hours on end.  Rising seniors are given the oppurtunity to “preregister” on the Thursday and Friday before the normal registration period.  This ensures that the seniors get priority in picking classes that they may have to take in order to graduate.  After much deliberation, I have gone through my penultimate registration process.  Here is my class list for first semester senior year:

  • Islam and Religions of India
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Research in Social Psychology
  • Psychology Senior Project
  • History 101

You may be wondering why History 101 is stuffed awkwardly in that list.  I assure you it has nothing to do with distribution.  It does, however, have everything to do with having the required 34 credits to graduate.  I wanted a class that sounded fun, and that would let me be finished with classes before noon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  History 101 filled both of those requirements.  It looks to be a fun schedule, and I am very excited.

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Glee Club Campus Concert

In what is clearly the better of the two concerts taking place on campus this weekend, the Wabash College Glee Club will be performing in their campus concert on Sunday, March 30th at 4:00PM in Salter Hall.  Along with the full Glee Club, the 2014 Spring Tour Group, T-Tones, an eight-hand piano ensemble, and a soloist will be performing.  The performances will last around an hour and a half, with snakes afterwards.  Come out! Tickets are free, and I promise you wont be disappointing.

My friend, and fellow Glee Club member, Patrick Stroud ’14 made a Facebook event (if you’re into that kind of thing).  You can find that here: https://www.facebook.com/events/227500554107138/.  I hope to see you there!

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Honor Scholarship Weekend Activities Fair

Yesterday, I was up a little earlier than usual.  This is Honor Scholarship Weekend, in which students come to campus to compete for millions in scholarship.  Every Honor Scholar Friday, there is an activity fair in Knowling Fieldhouse.

From left to right: Me, Joe Mount ’15, and Michael Smith ’15.

This activity fair consists of every participating organization on campus, including fraternities.  Each body gets a table and a placard, and we get to give our spiels to all of the uninterested prospectives.  This year, I manned the ‘shOUT booth for the entirety of the fair, from 9am-11am.  Our president and treasurer, Joe Mount ’15 and Michael Smith ’15, were also present.  One of the interesting things about the ‘shOUT booth this year was that we were giving away condoms.  ’shOUT is in the midst of a safer-sex campaign, so we found it apt.  Some of the prospective students were hilarious to talk to.  I introduced myself to one, and only got “this is Wabash’s gay-straight alliance” out of my mouth before he cut me off with “I’m not gay”.  Cool, guy.  I’m not gay either.  That’s why it’s a gay-straight alliance.

Everyone speak of how amazing Honor Scholar Weekend is in forming their decision to come here.  Here are my most salient memories from my Honor Scholarship weekend:

Friday:

After the activities fair and testing, I remember guys talking in Ball Theater lobby about their AP Test and SAT Scores.  I thought it was vapid then and, looking back, I find it more hilarious.

This was the night of the Phi Delt bouts.  They were cool, I guess.  Even cooler were the Red Bull girls who were there giving out free Red Bull.  I left those early for something much cooler: Glee Club concert.  Glee Club put on an Honor Scholarship Weekend concert it was directly responsible for getting me to join.  Who knows if I would be a third year Glee Club member without that wonderful concert.

I think this was the night that I went around to fraternities.  I wound up at TKE, and I had a nice conversation with Liam Smith ’13 and Andrew Kunze ’12.  They were great guys, and I would get to know them each a little better as time wore on.

I was staying at a fraternity that will be unnamed.  I was much more quiet then, I hadn’t really broken out of my shell.  I wound up in a room full of people, guys and girls, and I was immediately offered a beer from the mini-fridge to the left of the doorway: a Natty Light.  I politely declined, I didn’t drink then (also, there were some important tests to take in the morning).  I spent that night sleeping on the floor of the cold dorm, using my jacket as a pillow.

Saturday:

More tests, and going home.  Much less eventful than the night before.

Most people don’t share the parts of their Wabash experiences that weren’t wonderful, so I gave you mine.  If something seems to good to be true, it probably is.  It’s okay to be skeptical.  My first impressions of Wabash were mixed, but the bad things did not dissuade me from coming here, as we can see from this blog that I’m currently writing.

 

 

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Wabash Happenings

Have you ever wondered if Superman catching a freefalling damsel in distress would crush her body from the impact of Superman’s rippling arms?  Or, have you ever thought about the Flash’s uniform catching on fire due to the friction of his supersonic speed?  While these questions might not be exactly what are being answered, the Society for Physics Students is putting on an event entitled “The Physics of Superheroes”.  They will tackle the plausibility behind some superhuman abilities that have been portrayed in comic books and movies.  This is taking place tonight at 7:00PM in Ball Theater!  Here’s a link for more information: http://wabash.edu/news/displaystory.cfm?news_ID=10220

The 121st Honor Scholarship Weekend is happening this Friday and Saturday.  High school students are coming to take exams in English/History or one of six foreign languages, and mathematics and biology, chemistry, or physics.  These students are competed for $3.5 million in scholarships.  I partook in Honor Scholarship Weekend when I was a senior in high school and it was a great experience.  While I won’t be taking any of these exams, thank God, I will be involved in some way.  Each Honor Scholarship Weekend, Knowling Fieldhouse is transformed into a campus club symposium.  Every participating club gets a table, and they get to decorate it accordingly.  I will be manning the ‘shOUT booth for the entirety of the event and will, hopefully, convince some incoming freshman to join the cause.

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Slaughterhouse Five

My experience with Vonnegut is limited.  Specifically, I have two experiences with his works.  I own, and have read a bit of, Breakfast of Champions.  What I have read of that book, I have really enjoyed.

My second experience was in high school.  Freshman or Sophomore year we had to read Slaughterhouse for Academic Team (Academic Decathlon? I don’t know what these things are called anymore).  I remember disliking the book.  As a matter of fact, I remember really disliking the book.  I can’t remember why I had such a negative opinion regarding it, however.  I have just chocked it up to angsty, “I don’t like this because I have to read it” teenage stuff.  Now that I’m older, more refined, and not quite as ignorant (just a tad less ignorant), I have decided to give it another shot.

My personal copy of Slaughterhouse that I have had since high school.

The Wabash Society for the Furthering of the Liberal Arts (whew, that made my fingers have to stop and take a breath) is the organization, on campus, that is reading this book right now.  WSFLA is an organization that is dedicated to extracurricular, peer learning.  We teach each other things that are not readily available as classes at Wabash.  Earlier this semester, we ordered a few copies of the mass-market paperback edition of Slaughterhouse. Patrick Stroud ’14 decided to head the project as it is one of his favorite books, and because he has put a lot of time into reading, rereading, and thinking critically about it.

Today was our first “meeting” regarding the book, and the thoughts that other guys had concerning just the first chapter were very interesting.  This is one of the benefits, in my opinion, of reading and discussing a book as a group.  There are such wide discrepancies in interpretations that it is almost like freshly rereading passages over and over again.  It’s practically magic.

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