Tag Archives: school

Things I need to do at UVa before I graduate.

In no particular order:

1) Go to Foxfield (as a UVa student).
2) Try to see at least one horse at Foxfield that year.
3) To go trivia night at Mellow Mushroom.
4) Go to class wasted.
5) Drag Bingo!
6) Streak the lawn (!??ahhhh!?!? noooo)
7) Corner Crawl.
8 ) Finish the Corner Crawl with a Gus burger.
Why do most of these things include drinking? Lets get more cultural.
9) Participate more in QuAA and my other group commitments from 2008/2009.
10) Steam tunneling.
11) Paint Beta Bridge with blasphemous French words. I once saw “Ta mère suce des bites en enfer.” Nice.
12) Study in beautiful places like: the dome room, the lawn, McGregor room – FOR THE LAST TIME!
13) Wine tasting at the local wineries.
14) See more exhibitions at the UVa Art Museum (and get free drinks).

What’s on your list? What do you think I should do? I’m up for suggestions!!!

And below is the 2009 check list for graduates. Do we have one for this year?

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My university is beautiful!

Being abroad has really made me appreciate how gorgeous my university is. We’ve got amazing, historic gardens with serpentine walls, dogwood trees and magnolia trees bursting into bloom across grounds, and soft lawns to stretch out on in the sunshine.

How I long to sit in one of the rear gardens and pretend that I am totally invisible to everyone.

Images courtesy of the UVa magazine. And here’s a link to 15 reasons to love Charlottesville in the spring.
PS – boy am I incredibly envious of all the alumni who are posting comments about how amazing Easters was. Damnit, bring Easters BACKKK!!!
PSS – to anyone who is curious to know what Easters is, it was a week long party at my school in the spring, incredibly famous throughout the entire east coast, where thousands of people would come to party, get muddy in Madison (Mud) Bowl, and have a good time. It got canceled in the 60s, I believe, because there were just too many people and the whole town was chaos.

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Laughing in the face of death

Last night Olivier and I watched a television documentary which described a recent French research project which reconstructed the Milgram experiment. I was so thrilled to watch this documentary, I don’t get much sociological titillation here, and it was fun to revisit an experiment that American sociologists talk about so often.

The research, which was re-framed as a television game show, with the same number of participants as Milgram, chosen in the same manner, and told that they would be participating on a game show pilot test. In each “show” there was a “questioner” and a “subject” that would receive shocks. Of course, the “subject” was an actor, who pretended to be shocked out of his consciousness by the “questioner”. The “subject” was placed in a small chamber, away from the view of the “questioner,” and strapped into an electrical chair. The “subject” was then given a list of words – two words on each line, each set of words associated with one another – which the “subject” had to memorize in a span of 30 seconds (impossible), asked 30 questions to tell the “questioner” the correct pair of words, and, therefore, the “subject” obviously got each question wrong and received a shock – increasing in value with each question.

You can watch a clip of the show here (don’t worry if you don’t speak French, it’s pretty clear).

One result that was very interesting to find is that as the shock intensity increased, the “questioner” would laugh, in an attempt to externalize their nervousness and to reach the “subject” to let him know that the situation was supposed to be all “fun and games.” The laugh most commonly occurred around the “middle” shock amount and subsequently decreased as the shock (and the cries of the actor) became stronger.

This nervous laugh is extremely fascinating. Normally, the laugh is reserved to demonstrate joy, pleasure, amusement, but it has been reappropriated to express nervousness as well. The first logical explanation for this nervous laugh is that expressed in the experiment – an attempt to bring a light-heartedness to the situation. But it is still a quite disturbing image to watch someone laughing (sometimes hysterically, to the point of tears) while they believe they are shocking someone to unconsciousness, even death. Of course this brings a lot of questions to the surface, such as sadism, an innate aggressive nature of human beings, etc…I’m not sure how much I agree with either of those principles (thought I do think that humans are by nature relatively aggressive beings due to the need for survival), but I don’t think that anyone on this show consciously took pleasure in knowing that they were causing potential pain to the “subject.”

I’d love to hear your opinions about this! I’m eager to read what you have to say.

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Last Speaker of Ancient Language Dies

This is absolutely amazing and tragic. What does this mean for our world, on a long term scale? How many languages will we lose? How many races and ethnicities will disappear? How much rich culture are we destroying/overlooking/taking for granted? But, then, what can we do to prevent this from happening? I do not have the answers for this, nor do I know where to start thinking. Do you?

The last speaker of an ancient language in India’s Andaman Islands has died at the age of about 85, a leading linguist has told the BBC.

Professor Anvita Abbi said that the death of Boa Sr was highly significant because one of the world’s oldest languages – Bo – had come to an end.

She said that India had lost an irreplaceable part of its heritage.

Languages in the Andamans are thought to originate from Africa. Some may be 70,000 years old.

The islands are often called an “anthropologist’s dream” and are one of the most linguistically diverse areas of the world.

You can find the rest of the article here.

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Floating animals?

The ancestors of the current mammals found on the island of Madagascar could have been transported on floating vegetation from Africa, a study says.

Pretty rad! It’s like LOST for lemurs.

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The Anthropology of Youtube

I’ve been casually watching Youtube as a sociologist-in-training for two years now and am astonished that I never found this video sooner. If you have even watched one video on Youtube, or even if you don’t know anything about Youtube, you need to watch this! It will freaking blow your MINDDDD.

(and even though it is long, it’s definitely worth watching the whole thing!)

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Fire? Fire! Oh well.

This morning we had a fire drill at Sciences Po. Of course, there was no previous warning that there was going to be a drill, and so I thought it was a real fire. Especially when people actually came looking for us in the classroom (because my professor just continued to teach…!).

After living in Los Angeles, where earthquake drills are a regular activity, and in Charlottesville, Virginia, where fire drills are normal because delinquent kids pull the fire alarm all the time, I know the drill – do what you’re told, do it efficiently, and do it fast. So, you can understand my surprise (and the surprise of all the internationals students) when we saw the French students shuffling slowly out of the building, cramming onto the stairs, and blocking the sidewalk just in front of the school, creating a HUGE human traffic jam. People were just hanging out, smoking, even singing. Is this how the French react in times of emergencies? If there had been a real fire, we would have been absolutely screwed – and, perhaps, dead. SWEET!

Assume what you will…I’m not saying that the French cannot get their shit together (and Olivier assures me it’s because they just don’t care). But, really?

In other news, got my hair cut (and it was extremely weird because the hairdresser used an electric hair trimmer the whole time. No scissors! Is this a new technique?) and my LG Shine phone has a problem with its Bluetooth, so I couldn’t show you photos or a video of the fire drill. If you are considering buying an LG Shine, don’t.

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