“A lot of college is like high school, only a little different.”

This is a comment I overheard on the fourth floor of Wilson Library while studying last week. Of course, my take would be, “College is a lot like business, only you don’t get paid and the food sucks.” Thankfully there is always the exception, which is breakfast at Al’s.

My sweet spot at Al’s Breakfast, is right by the grill.

Forgive my bereft postings but I’ve been busy with homework, inundated with 100s of pages of reading, papers to write and preparing for quizzes. But let me give you an update on my classes.

Better take a good look, in a half a billion years it’s going to be all different.

Earth and its Environments, 1001: The Atlantic Ocean is spreading getting larger and the Pacific Ocean is getting smaller! We are all going to die! Yes, it is true. In 500 million years, give or take we will be able to walk from San Francisco to Tokyo over a bridge. and New York to London? Forget it, the airfare will be totally out of what you can afford. It’s all because of subduction plates and mid-ocean rifting. This realization that we are all doomed has had an effect on my grades in the class, I am holding at a medium B. If you put it in perspective regarding certain death and the futility of mankind, I guess it doesn’t matter. At least that is what I propose to bring up with my professor.

“Vishnu?” “I don’t know, vishnu with you?”
(Thank you National Lampoon, circa 1971 when I was first at the U.)

In my Hands-On History class, 3020, The Rise of Hindu Nationalism is absolutely fascinating. While it is about Hindu Nationalism (as I’ve mentioned it makes our race issues look modest), it is really about who owns history and how fluid it is. It is certainly a bunch of facts—Columbus discovered America in 1492, India became an independent nation from the British on August 15, 1947, and Robb Green has yet to pay me back the 50 cents I lent him on October 23, 1962 in sixth grade—but it is so much more. It is a bunch of dialogues, each with its own perspective. Usually that dialogue is written to favor the writer and dismiss the opposite side. As an example, the Chinese army’s oppresive force at Tiananmen Square is well documented throughout the world with the exception of in China. If the Chinese population were to know the real facts, it would be very hard for the Communist regime to stay in power. But they control the narrative. And, God forbid the Chinese find out the oceans are expanding and condensing. Right now I have a pretty strong A going but as it is history, it is a grade written in the wind. Maybe in my case, hot air.

The man who left the circus to join a family.

Week before last, I did find time to stop by and visit my old friend, Dudley Riggs and his wife Pauline, a U of MN professor, who live next door to the Guthrie. The guy is still as sharp as ever, a snappy dresser and an articulate listener.

Dudley, earlier in his life showing off his new espresso machine for his theater. If you look up strong, funny and determined in a dictionary (well, my dictionary), you will see this photo.

Back to classes: Ancient Greece, Going very well. Our professor so enjoys this subject—and is so knowledgeable on it—I imagine he eats gyros five times a week. To tie past classes together, I have been able to bring up comparisons to the writings of the historian Solon, 630-560 BCE with Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616 and with another historian, Tyrtaeus. I have a pretty strong A going and I think mentioning I was a Sigma Chi the first time around and wearing a toga to class is helping.

Finally, my POL SCI class, Quantitative Analysis in Political Science, is very challenging. And very fun. This program I have to learn, RStudio, is pretty awesome. The downside of this class is, I am on my third laptop, having thrown the first two out the window in frustration.

My role model for higher education.

That’s it for now, I’m going to watch Back to School for inspiration. If you can’t learn from Rodney Dangerfield, you can’t learn from anyone.

More later, Yip Yip.

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