Friday, October 21, 2011

the 'R' words

Yesterday, in my physics discussion, one of my classmates said this:
"yeah, everyone got totally raped by that exam."
Uh...What? Excuse me? The students in your class got sexually abused by an exam? I don't think so.
Don't use the word rape lightly - it trivializes the act and the suffering of women who actually have been raped. (And it's not something I thought about until I took women's studies, but it is something that I think is important.) How about this instead: "yeah, everyone flunked that exam".

Here's an article from someone more articulate than I about the same subject:

There's another 'R' word that my same classmate uses all the time:
"Man, this whole seating chart thing is so retarded."
Again...What? Hold up now, sitting in assigned seats is like having a cognitive disorder? Now that's not true.
As someone who babysat for a little guy with autism, it's super annoying to hear that used out of proper context. How about this instead: "Man, this whole seating chart thing is super annoying."

The president of my university, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, likes to repeat this quote:
"Watch your thoughts, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character - it becomes your destiny."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'it takes a village'

That's a very popular phrase - it takes a village to raise a child. And I've been thinking about it for a while now. I'm on the Homecoming spirit street team at school, and as a member I've been given the opportunity to deliver spirit packs to various different offices around campus.

Have you ever thought about how a university is basically a teeny tiny nation? There is the president, who makes all the grand decisions. There's the provost and deans of all the different colleges, they serve as the rest of the government. There's the students. We serve as the civilians. There's the faculty that we interact with - they are half teachers (like they really are), half newscasters, telling us what the university expects of it's citizens. Then there are tons and tons of service people.

Here's another example: In my senior year of high school, I was involved with painting the set for the school play.  My name was no where on the program, no one really knew about my involvement - but the set was BEAUTIFUL, and everyone benefited. Think of the university as a theater or movie - there are the faculty that we interact with (the ones who teach classes), but there are tons of people that we don't interface with, who do all the backstage work. There are tons of people who we interface with, but don't acknowledge, like extras in a movie - or the woman who serves you at Chik-Fil-A.

I'll bet, for every ten students who live on campus, there's at least 2 employees who serve them (this includes the professors). It's probably more but that's my made up statistic and you get the idea.

This post has been kind of disjointed and rant-style, but you see my point, don't you? Look for the people that make your school a school, that serve you everyday so you can have a better education, and thank them. (This doesn't just apply to universities - high schools are operated in a same serve-the-students way).

Friday, October 7, 2011


Do you have the Fever!?
It's Homecoming time at UMBC!
Please go here: to vote for the CWIT office in the homecoming decoration contest - we worked very hard on Thursday to decorate! Thanks y'all!