1. Actual ping pong
2. Buying the most expensive meal on the menu
3. Introducing the guys in your fraternity, who “Aren’t actually that bad.”
4. Waking up as they are knocking at your door to bustle about, cleaning out the fridge, the counters, the floors, and hiding the trash bin.
5. Offering to drive your car so they can top off your gas tank since you haven’t bothered to fill all quarter
6. Having an actual reason to put off homework until Sunday night.
8. What we previously knew as Humans vs. Zombies... we present: Parents vs. Students
9. Visiting Terre Haute
10. Executing the Hulman Hundred in your parents’ car
(Students may kindly ignore this article... which is the precise action you are quite adept at doing when you see a large body of text.)
First of all, I would like to welcome you to our humble abode here in good ‘ol Terredise... as we are apt to call our beautiful city. Now, I don’t want there to be any animosity between us. It was just this fall you dropped your wonderful child off at this fine institute for the first time... or second time... or third time... or maybe even the fourth time for some of the lucky ones. Now your child has had some time to himself or herself. You may look at the child you once knew and ask yourself if you still even recognize the button of a baby they used to be. However, you might ask yourself from time to time what your child actually does here in between the weekly phone calls during which your child rudely interrupts your household updates by exclaiming his torrentially busy schedule just before hanging up. You might be discontented or irritated at first, but after you have a little time to roll it around in your head, you may come to wonder what your child actually does here that makes the chip off the old block too occupied to have a half an hour conversation. “What makes little Johnny’s schedule so much busier than my own?” You might ask yourself. “I have a full time job, bills to pay, clients to call, dinner to cook, lawns to mow, other children to care for, and a laundry list of other clothes to wash and things to do.” Allow me to let you in on a little secret. The average student here receives about eight minutes of homework a week. (RHIT conCensus 2010) The vast majority of the time which we are entitled to includes all sorts of productive activities. Every night around 1:30 AM inherently merits a Taco Bell Run (TBR) in which we engorge ourselves with an invention which parallels that of the printing press: A beautifully crafted taco with an oversized dorito as the shell. How has it taken so long to arrive at this feat of humanity? I digress. During the two hours before that, you may witness us enjoying several consecutive rounds of the lovely card game of Euchre. Now, I must admit that this form of entertainment may lack a few students. However, I assure you that these students have other (productive) activities in which they delve into. You know that each student must buy an issued notebook computer at the beginning of freshman year. Information which you may not be privy to is the fact that these laptops come pre-loaded with “World of Warcraft,” “League of Legends,” “Starcraft,” “Minecraft,” and “Skyrim.” This is due to the necessity of these games through normal interaction at this institute. If one simply does not play these computer games, they are not likely to have the ability to participate in any sort of conversation around campus. These games are required for the sake of student interaction. You may be reminiscing about your days in college... “What ever happened to intramural or attending/participating in varsity athletics?” There is simply not enough time anymore to fit such trivial activities into our daily schedules. This brings us back around to that weekly phone call you have with your child. And now, hopefully you fully understand the commitment it takes to attend this school and the struggle to fit a conversation through the daily grind of these salt mines.
Miriam Remmers • guest writer
Senate Blocks New Gun Control Measures
The beginning of a bipartisan compromise on new gun control legislature was defeated in the Senate this Wednesday. The defeated measures would have increased background checks for gun buyers and banned high-capacity gun magazines and assault rifles. The bill fell to a filibuster, lacking the 60 supporting votes that would have overridden the filibuster. In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary and Newton shootings, many politicians, including President Obama, have made increasing gun safety one of their highest priorities. Instead of altering the bill, and thus removing substantial portions of the proposed new restrictions, Senate leaders have chosen to put it on hold for the time being.
Iran Shaken By 7.8-Magnitude Earthquake
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook southeastern Iran on Tuesday. The quake, which experts initially feared would take thousands of lives, now appears to have been relatively benign, as it began about 50 miles underground, rendering the tremors less devastating to those above it. Fortunately, the earthquake was also centered in a sparsely populated, rural area, although it was felt throughout may of the countries on the Persian Gulf. The area is home to roughly two million people, concentrated primarily in the cities of Zahedan, Saravan and Khash. Authorities in all three of these cities have indicated that they do not expect casualties to be high, although several villages in the area were damaged by the quake. This prediction stands in a positive contrast to the 6.1-magnitude earthquake Iran experienced last week, which took the lives of at least 30 people.
Margaret Thatcher Passes Away at 87
Margaret Thatcher, known as the Iron Lady, passed away from a stroke last week at 87 years old. Thatcher is the only woman to have ever been British Prime Minister, an office she held for 11 years. Although Thatcher suffered from dementia in her later years, she was a ruthless, combative political force during her time in the British government. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, were notable in their attendance, as the Queen has not attended the funeral of a Prime Minister since that of Winston Churchill in 1965. There was some concern regarding the security of the funeral after the bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday, but Wednesday’s ceremonies were completed with only a few disturbances.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program recently awarded Senior Emily Yedinak with the academic Fulbright Fellowship, which gives students the opportunity to travel to another country and study there for a year with travel and start-up costs covered along with a stipend. Yedinak, who will graduate with degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering, will go to Chile in 2014 to work on carbon nanotube/electroceramic composite materials, take classes in advanced inorganic chemistry, and expand her knowledge of the Spanish language and Chilean culture. According to Yedinak, she is very excited for the opportunity.
“It is still kind of surreal to me,” she said. “Because the date that I will be leaving is so far away, it hasn’t really quite hit me yet that I, some random person going to a very small private college in Indiana, would get to travel and study in an entirely different country.”The process to apply for the fellowship was lengthy. In addition to typical application requirements, Yedinak sought out three recommendations, wrote a personal statement, took a formal language assessment, and found an institution in Chile into which she could be accepted. She then had to find a program advisor to serve as her mentor with research that applied to her. Finally, she also composed a “Statement of Grant” with details about her proposed project and what she planned to do in Chile, which she also explained in an interview by a board of faculty members. Yedinak did all this by October with the hope of being able to travel abroad someday.“Unfortunately, coming to Rose I had already fulfilled most of my humanities requirements and, with taking on a second degree, studying abroad would have actually set me behind,” Yedinak said. “One of my sisters gave a presentation about options to do after graduating college during my sophomore year, and the Fulbright kind of stuck.”Students are only allowed to apply to study in one country for the Fulbright fellowship. Yedinak said that she always wanted to visit a Spanish-speaking country, but figured that South America would be more opportune than Spain. Chile was the first country to come to mind.“I have seen some pictures of Chile, and the mountains are beautiful,” Yedinak said. “Growing up in the Midwest, I have only ever known flat lands, so this experience will be very eye-opening.”Dr. Sam Martland, the Fulbright Program Adviser for Rose-Hulman, attributed her selection to the success of host project, research, career planning, and enthusiasm to studying abroad. Receiving the fellowship is a testament to her dedication to being a great student.“The Fulbright is an honor to her because selection panels in Chile and the US decided that sending her to Chile would help the US, Chile, and her and that she was the best candidate in a competitive field,” Dr. Martland said. “Rose should be able to produce Fulbright winners fairly often because many countries are looking specifically for science and engineering students, and we have a lot of them.”The deadline to enter for next year’s fellowship is Thursday, Oct. 3. Those who will be seniors next year and are interested should visit www.us.fulbrightonline.org.
Last month, Dr. Adam Nolte was named Head of the Chemical Engineering department, an office that takes effect July 1. Dr. Nolte, who has been an assistant professor of chemical engineering since 2009, decided to apply for the position after serving as the interim department head and directly experiencing the responsibilities, strategic leadership, and interaction with “great faculty, staff, and students” that comes with the job. According to him, he enjoyed the job so much that he wanted to stay there.
“If I had to pick one quality that best qualifies me for this job, I would have to say it is my passion for what I do here,” Dr. Nolte said. “Like no other place, Rose-Hulman puts its money where its mouth is in terms of commitment to engineering education and service to the student, and that sense of dedication and purpose makes this both a meaningful and fun place to work.”According to Dr. Nolte, the strong performance of students in the department and positive career feedback from alumni prove that the chemical engineering department and its degree programs are as successful as ever.“Chemical engineering degrees continue to be extremely versatile, and as long as our students are performing well and our alumni are telling us that they remain prepared to face the latest challenges, I don’t foresee any major changes to the foundations of our curriculum,” he said.However, Dr. Nolte pointed out that the department is always trying to improve itself through new electives, concentration areas, or material and course re-evaluation. “We spend a considerable amount of time as a department discussing our course content and asking how we might best teach the most relevant material,” he said.That discussion may lead to “merging courses, rearranging material, or offering specialized electives” or looking into the future and integrating emerging fields like energy and sustainability into the curriculum. Whatever that may be, it’s for the good of the students’ education.“My goal is to ensure that the department continues to graduate well-trained engineers who are competitive in their chosen fields because they understand and can engage the challenges facing our discipline in the future,” Dr. Nolte said.Dr. Nolte also mentioned the department’s new Master of Chemical Engineering degree that is designed to “to deepen (students’) knowledge in the field and increase their competitiveness in the employment market.” In that sense of looking ahead, Dr. Nolte also mentioned that multidisciplinary education will be important as engineers will have to cooperate more and more with people not only from different lines of work, but also different parts of the world.“A certain global competency—the ability to collaborate with and learn from individuals from other cultures—will also only grow in importance as the world becomes more interconnected and the global balance of economic power continues to tip towards the east,” Nolte said.On chemical engineering more specifically, Dr. Nolte believes that “by and large the industrial picture will look similar in a decade or so to how it does now,” but also that more emphasis will fall on meeting regulatory specifications and emissions guidelines. Chemical engineers will be called for their knowledge in “behind the scenes” fields like sustainable process and product development, energy conservation for industrial design, life cycle analysis, and green product manufacture, according to Dr. Nolte.However, the big question for Dr. Nolte is exactly how the department can more effectively teach the skills and knowledge a chemical engineer needs for the future. His answer: relationships between faculty and students.“I feel that the key is getting more students to take ownership of their education, in the sense that they make the most of their time at Rose-Hulman through active engagement of their coursework and good communication and contact with their professors,” he said. “I feel that if a student isn’t taking advantage of the extremely low barrier for collaboration between faculty and students, then he or she is missing something vitally important that we have to offer.”On the other hand, professors also have a responsibility to motivate, inspire, and challenge willing students to perform their best in order to be prepared for whatever lies beyond graduation, Dr. Nolte said. Essentially, the road to better education is a two-way street.Overall, Dr. Nolte believes that the school is “taking many positive steps in this regard” with its new strategic vision and plans on doing what he can in the chemical engineering department to fulfill that vision.“In the chemical engineering department, I want to do what I can to help faculty secure resources to provide new educational opportunities for our students, and to support student programs that encourage team-building, multidisciplinary work and research, and other such professional development opportunities to help them achieve their fullest potential.”
Art can imitate life and life can imitate art. These are clichés, but both of them are true.
I was recently reminded of these statements’ veracity. This term, my literature students are reading a half-dozen novels from around the world that consider different kinds of conflict. On Monday, we began working with Robert McLiam Wilson’s Eureka Street, which is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the mid-1990s, the tail end of a time period known as the Troubles. For those who don’t know, the Troubles were roughly three decades marked by sectarian and political violence between Catholic nationalists (or republicans), who desired for the province of Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland, and Protestant unionists (or loyalists), who desired for Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. Most of the violence was committed by republican and loyalist paramilitary groups although the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the majority Protestant police force, were also occasionally guilty of perpetuating rather than solving the Troubles.While most of the conflict was confined to the six counties that comprise Northern Ireland, the violence spilled over into the Republic of Ireland, England, and elsewhere. According to the Guardian’s Data Blog, 3,568 people were killed during the Troubles, 1,879—over half—of them civilians.Eureka Street is simultaneously hilarious and poignant, and McLiam Wilson is not shy about dealing with the violence of the Troubles. It’s art imitating life. The novel takes on violence as a major theme and contains numerous violent scenes, including one that forms the narrative’s centerpiece (no spoilers beyond that). In the first chapter one of the protagonists, Jake Jackson, meditates on the nature of bombs, a favored paramilitary method of inflicting harm in Northern Ireland. Bombs “were loud and frightening in your gut like when you were a child and you fell on your head and couldn’t understand why it hurt like panic in your belly. . . Bombs were like dropped plates, kicked cats or hasty words. They were error” (McLiam Wilson 15).One of my students pointed out this passage and discussed its significance to the novel’s early depictions of Belfast and of Jake. In response, I said something about bombs being part of lived reality in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and in other parts of the world—but far less so in America.Later that afternoon, I learned about the two bombs that went off in Boston, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Like just about everyone, I became more horrified and sad as details emerged. It didn’t help that I spent last weekend in Boston with my dad and my brother, or that I know people who live there. The three of us were never in danger and, thankfully, everyone I know is fine.The same can’t be said for the three people who died, the ten people who had limbs amputated, the more than 170 people who sustained injuries, and the uncounted number of people who are and will continue to be physically and emotionally traumatized by a senseless act of violence. All week, I’ve thought about what happened in Boston. I keep coming back to Monday morning’s discussion of Eureka Street and to the work we’ll do with the novel, as the investigation into who slaughtered, maimed, and injured all those people continues. It’s life imitating art.One might think it frivolous to emphasize the importance of studying a novel about a historical moment in a distant land and relating it to a tragedy that just occurred in this country. True, Boston isn’t Belfast, but dismissing the connection denies the ability of art to perform one of its vital functions: to exert positive influence on the lives of people, even and especially during a traumatic time. Art that imitates life, even if the imitation is of something ugly or unpleasant, can help us deal with that ugliness and unpleasantness. In the coming weeks, years, and months, those who were affected by the Boston bombings will find solace in and maybe even create art in response to the events. Art will enhance the individual and collective healing processes.In fact, it’s already begun. Two Boston museums opened their doors for free on Tuesday and the Boston Conservatory Theater is offering free admission to an upcoming series of performances. And on Wednesday night, when the Boston Bruins faced off against the Buffalo Sabres, the crowd sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in unison.Art imitates life and life imitates art.
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