Friday, February 17, 2012

Updates 2/17/12

Hello everyone.

I'm quickly learning that top tier colleges aren't really interested in students who don't come from other top-tiered schools. I had a discussion with the head of one of the departments here, and she said that my letters were great, my work is strong, and my ethic is amazing, but the reason I'm not being accepted is the school I'm graduating from. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love this school, and it would be far from tragic if I were to undertake a graduate program here. It's just a little disappointing to see so many "Admission Denied" emails. I'm still waiting for 5 responses: 2 from Harvard, 1 from Nebraska-Lincoln, 1 from Indiana U-Bloomington, and 1 from Tulane in New Orleans. Soc programs: 1 from Harvard, 1 from Neb-Lincoln. Linguistics program: Tulane, Indiana, and the other Harvard. If I am going to continue in Linguistics, I really love Tulane's program.

Speaking of graduate schools and graduations, our Chancellor here has gone completely bonkers again. With the help of a committee, she has decided to basically denounce tradition in our graduation ceremonies. It used to be that each college within the school (College of Liberal Arts, the Law School, College of Business,) all graduated separately, with graduate students and undergraduates getting their own ceremonies. Rather than continue this model, which shows that each college is important enough to warrant their own ceremony, the Chancellor has unflinchingly lumped multiple colleges together into mass ceremonies that will last upwards of four hours, compared to the previous 2-3. The College of Liberal Arts (which in an entirely different story, is looking to change its name, as apparently "liberal" is misunderstood too often,) and the College of Mass Communication and Media will be graduating together now, with graduates participating in the same ceremony. The Chancellor said she believes this will make students undecided on graduation want to go to the ceremony. I don't see how. If I was confused about attending a two hour ceremony, I certainly wouldn't be confused anymore if they changed it to a four hour one. I'd just say no. This also adds complications to the ceremonies, in that disabled or elderly family members may have difficulty staying through such an elongated event. My brother is on a battery-operated breathing machine. I wonder how he'll fair for such a long ceremony. I wouldn't even be going if he didn't want to watch me walk the stage.

They don't think things through much, do they?

Sorry for the long rant. On to the news:

-- Wichita is going to be a little busy this weekend, as hundreds of Occupiers descend on the town for "Occupy Koch Town." Wichita is the home of Koch industries, which has released a statement condemning the protest: "This protest is a politically motivated attack and an attempt to harass and demonize an American company with 50,000 U.S.-based employees -- 2,700 of those in Kansas." Marches and speeches are some of the items planned for the protest weekend.

-- Faculty members at UC Davis have plenty to say about their Chancellor, and now people are listening. Faculty members will be casting a vote on whether or not they still have confidence in the Chancellor after the attack on Occupy UC Davis. While not a binding vote to remove or retain her, the vote will show UC leaders if the faculty finds the Chancellor able to lead. They are also voting on the so-called "privatization" of the school, as the state gives less money and the University looks for other funding with rising fees and out-of-state students.

-- A group identifying themselves as "Occupy Everything" terrorized Pittsburgh for a little while last night. The group of roughly 50 people littered streets, tried to break windows, and jumped on cars. Several people were cited after police showed up, and a vacant building was checked to discover any inhabitants. Rather than finding people, they found printed notes encouraging others to find another place to stay, as the building may not be safe.

-- Occupy Harvard teamed up with Harvard employees to protest outside of Lamont Library yesterday, as the librarians prepare for cuts to staff and major renovations. They are hoping to save the jobs of the librarians, saying that student employees cannot provide the same level of service. They are also hoping to get students more involved in the decisions, by showing them how these cuts will affect them.

-- The anti-protest bill against Occupy Nashville has passed the house, leaving only a short amount of time before it will become law. Occupiers are working on a decision for what to do when the time comes for their eviction, with many already gone. Law enforcement officials say that while crime rates have increased since Occupy arrived, it is not enough to call it a spike.

That's all for today.


To contact me for any reason, email If you've recently emailed me, but you have gotten no response, please don't be concerned. I have received and read your emails. I apologize for the lack of return emails. I've been freaking out because of exams and projects due, but rest assured I've gotten them, and I appreciate the news reports and opinions. :)

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