Tuesday, December 05, 2006

#89 Academic Immersion

Smart people are everywhere on this ship When a question comes up in conversation, likely someone is around who knows the answer. Art, architecture, history, economics, business, religion, music, medicine, real estate investing, beekeeping, techniques of lucid dreaming, textile analysis, puppetry, urban step dancing, Methodist ministering, massage therapy, Reiki, Tai Chi, left wing Democratic politics…it’s like having Wikipedia in your pocket. Where’s a good Italian restaurant in Saigon? Where’s the closest ATM to the port in Kobe? How long will it take to drive 130 km along the Dalmatian coast? It’s like having Wikitravel in your pocket. Some of the faculty are bloggers:
Erika Day
Tom and Dianne Klein
Larry Silver
And the learned are not without a sense of humor. Our psychology prof taught his 9-year-old son (who operates under the pseudonym “Mucous”) the following song, who in turn taught it to me:
PhD version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Propel, propel, propel your craft
Gently down the liquid solution Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically,
Existence is but an illusion.

Here’s an enjoyable excerpt from an email sent to one of our students from their academic advisor back home in Colorado. I found it to rank high on the unintentional comedy scale.
Hi Everyone, I hope you are all enjoying and settling into your new classes and schedules. I have enjoyed meeting with many of you in the last few weeks. I wanted to write and pass along some important dates and announcements that have come across my desk in the last week. Today at 5 pm is the last time you can add a class for this semester without the instructor’s signature… I am working on a project on squirrel feeding and nutrition. I am in need of squirrel carcasses. If you see any dead squirrels on the road that are not badly degraded and their skulls are not crushed, please bring them in to me wrapped in several plastic bags with a note on where and when you found the carcass. I am storing them in a freezer downstairs. Thank you very much for your help. I hope you all have a very pleasant and enjoyable semester. Please come see me anytime. Sincerely, (name withheld)
Yours in enjoying all the benefits of academia,

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