March 3, 2005

Murphy’s gone and done it again. Though he didn’t screw us over royally, the law of anything that can go wrong struck again. But as usual, the ERAU Joint Color Guard pulled through and made a stellar performance on national television for the Daytona 500. What ended up happening was that, after two solid weeks of preparation to march out during the pre-game show, post for America the Beautiful, then do some rearranging for presenting for the National Anthem, we were told 20 minutes before actually going on that things had drastically changed. The beliefs that we were to present for the National Anthem were trashed and as it turns out, there were two organizing bodies preparing the pre-game show, one for the pre-game festivities and the other solely for the honor guard. These groups didn’t coordinate ahead of time, so when we were hired by the pre-game show organizers and given 4 minutes to get into position for the cameras initially, the presence of the second honor guard for the national anthem required us to remove ourselves from sight within the 2.5 minute commercial break and skip our “big moment.” An interesting run but definitely worth the combined 8 seconds of faded pans across the group.

In other news, I finally got a fantastically refreshing taste of real university life again with the presentation by Michael Adas, professor at Rutger’s University in New Jersey. Presenting on the “Fragile Giant” for the Honors Program’s last of their speakers series, Professor Adas touched rather in depth on the technological influence on society, politics, international government and relations, and had a key focus on the technology and architecture incorporated in the World Trade Center towers and how that impacted both the events leading up to 9/11, as well as the specifics of that date. This was particularly interesting for me not only because of my interest in such fields as they pertain to international politics and history, but also the professor’s thoughts are helping to give me some direction in my own scholastic pursuits outside of this place, particularly so with my research for my upcoming lecture in Lithuania. I had the tremendous opportunity to speak with Professor Adas just before and a while after his presentation on the notion of his help, and to my elated joy, he’s interested in meeting with me privately over the coming months to work on just that.

Time is also coming along to start considering just what to do about housing next year. One thing about living on campus, and it’s sometimes hard to appreciate unless you’ve lived on your own previously, is that being at school 24/7 not only wears on your patience, but also your sanity. There is something to be said for being able to take care of your own yard, do with your property as you please, and remove yourself from the school environment for extended periods and even at the cost of not being able to get out of bed, dressed, and into class within 5 minutes. Though many enjoy the conveniences and accessibility of having school completely around them, having lived on my own for two years, both internationally and domestically, the chance to get to a computer lab or anything on campus with little effort means nothing to me anymore. So the long trek of house/apartment searching begins. Several buddies and I have begun poking our nose around for places; some have even found things to settle on right away (the waiting list for the senior’s empty spots in May fill up very fast).

And finally, a major point I feel the need to address is the importance of finding the right fit in a school. Matching your particular interests and needs to what a school offers should be one of the primary goals on your list. I encourage all of you who are having trepidation over what school to attend, or if you’re wondering if Riddle is really right for you, to compose a list of what’s important to you and then find out what schools offer those things and, just as importantly, to what extent. Riddle has many programs, but some are underdeveloped. Some things are classified as minor but are actually major organizations (i.e. the Ice Hockey Club actually being good enough to be a varsity sport, though only classified as a club for the time being). Riddle is fantastic at what it does and you’re not number one for doing nothing. But it is different than any university out there.

If you have any questions about the actuality of a particular program, please know that all of us are more than willing to give you straightforward information about your questions. Emails always open to specific questions. Just ask.

Onwards + Upwards

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