Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blogging will be light...

I'm flying out to Arizona tomorrow to do some recruitment travel and to attend the National Conference of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I will be visiting the Navajo & Hopi tribes in northern Arizona to do some recruitment. And, then from Thursday through Sunday I will be in Phoenix for the AISES conference.
I will try to blog about my travels while I'm on the road, but Hopi & Navajo land tends to be extremely rural so I don't know how much internet access I will have, but I'll try.

Flag of the sovereign Hopi Nation

I've never been to Arizona, Hopi or Dinetah (Navajo Nation) so I'm really excited to be able to go. I'm going to try and make the most of this trip and see as much as I can. Hopefully I'll be able to make it to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, among other stops.

Flag of the sovereign Navajo Nation

I'll be back in New York by Nov. 5 and will resume normal blogerly duties then.

Thanks Be to God, Boomer Sooner and GO RED SOX!
Feast of Bl. Barthomew of Vincenza (1200-1271)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

13 men I admire.

For the Thursday Thirteen I give you thirteen men I admire.

I admire these men for many different reasons. Some were great men, great leaders, and have left their mark on the history of their people, and even on mankind. Some of these men are simply important to me and have been important advisors, confidants and friends.

So, I give to you, in alphabetical order...

13 Men I Admire:
  1. Asi-Yvhola, aka Osceola, (1804-1838) leader of the Seminole-Miccosukee during the 2nd Seminole War (1835-1842). He was taken Prisoner of War while meeting with the US under a white flag of truce.
  2. Barboncito (1820-1871), Navajo spiritual and political leader.
  3. Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933-2005), Oglala Lakota author, academician and one of the greatest advocates of American Indian self-determination of the 20th Century. His book, Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, is the seminal work in Native American Studies.
  4. Goyathlay, aka Geronimo, (1829-1909) Chiricahua Apache leader and freedom fighter.
  5. Hvlpvtah Micco, aka Billy Bowlegs, (c. 1810-1864) leader of the Seminole-Miccosukee during the 2nd (1835-1842) and 3rd (1855-1858) Seminole Wars.
  6. Jesus of Nazareth (c. 6bc-33ad), my Lord and Savior.
  7. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), civil rights leader.
  8. Oren Lyons (1930- ), Chief and Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation.
  9. Rev. Scott Rodgers (c. 1977- ), United Methodist minister and my best friend.
  10. Tatanka Yotanka, aka Sitting Bull (1831-1890), Hunkpapa Lakota Holy Man.
  11. Ronald Templin (1919-1994), my grandpa and pilot who served in WWII, Korea & Vietnam.
  12. Robert Allen Warrior (1963- , Osage), my professor and mentor at the University of Oklahoma.
  13. Lindy B. Waters, Jr. (c. 1963- , Kiowa/Cherokee), Director of American Indian Student Services at the University of Oklahoma, and my mentor, advisor and friend.
Thanks Be to God, Boomer Sooner and Go Red Sox!
Feast of Bl. Antonio de Sant'Anna Galvao (1739-1822)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sooner Joke of the Week

A Sooner fan was driving down a country road when he came upon two OSU Cowboys hitchiking.

He told the Cowboys to jump in the back of his pick-up truck.

He then drove down the dirt road rather fast and lost control of the truck as they were going around a curve.

The truck landed in a lake.

The Sooner fan scrambled to the surface and swam to the bank. When he looked back at the lake, the two Cowboys were still sitting in the bed of the truck looking frantic.

As the truck began sinking the Sooner fan yelled for the OSU players to get out truck, to which they replied, "We're tryin' to get out, but we can't get the dang tailgate open!"

Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner!
Feast of St. John of Capistrano (1386-1456)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Music Monday & Let's Go Red Sox!

2007 World Series


Game 1
Wednesday, October 24
8pm (Eastern) on Fox


Music Monday

1. Bond on Bond (James Bond Theme). Bond
2. Center Aisle. Caedmon's Call
3. The Solid Rock. Charlie Call
4. Ancient of Days. Insyderz
5. The Torch. Dropkick Murphs
6. You Win My Love. Shania Twain
7. Walk Like an Egyptian. The Bangles
8. Mirror. Rebecca St. James
9. Junto a Mi. Jaci Velasquez
10. Fall Down. Jennifer Knapp

The rules, for bloggers who want to play:
Get your iPod or media-player of choice set the thing to shuffle, then post the first ten songs that come out. No cheating, no matter how stupid it makes you feel!

Thanks Be to God and Go Red Sox!
Feast of St. Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Niagara Falls

Check it out, I'm at Niagara Falls!
So, as I've said, I spent about 3 days in Niagara Falls for the National Johnson-O'Malley Conference. Johnson-O'Malley is a federal program that provides supplemental programming that addresses the unique cultural needs of American Indian public school students. It was great getting to meet so many people from across the country who work with Native students.

After the conference was over I took a representative from the American Indian Graduate Center to several New York state high schools that have high Native enrollments so he could present the scholarship opportunities available through AIGC, as well as to several higher education offices of the Six Nations of the Haudenesaunee (Iroquois).

The day after the conference we spent the morning visiting Niagara Falls, Canada. It was neat to see the falls, but I don't know if it was worth the cost. It cost us $3 to cross the bridge into Canada and then parking was $10 (and that was the cheap parking). We literally spent all of about 15 minutes looking at the falls. I mean, once you've seen them there really isn't much to do but watch more and more water fall over them. Nothing changes, just more and more water.

Well, the Canada side of the falls is a friggin' theme park! The whole time we were there, we kept talking about how ghetto Niagara Falls, NY was and we just thought it was partly due to it being the off-season, but after having seen the Canada side we knew why the New York side has become so run down. New York just can't compete with the variety of things to do on the Canada side and how family friendly the Canada side was. There was tons of stuff to keep a young family occupied for days.

It was a really great trip and I had a fabulous time. Here are some pictures from our day visiting Niagara Falls, Canada.Check out the dude climbing a rope on the Guinness sign! It was a real guy climbing the sign, not some sort of special effect. I have no clue what he was doing?

Seneca Niagara Casino

Here are some pictures from my trip to Niagara Falls.

These are pictures of the Seneca Niagara Casino which is owned and operated by the Seneca Nation.

I didn't come from an especially well-off family and my room at the casino was by far the nicest place I've ever stayed in my entire life...including any of my homes! Though, I readily admit that I'm especially thankful that my job paid for it.

I'll be staying at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix in about a week, so I'll have to see how it rates against this experience.

Anyway, here's some pics.

Taughannock Falls

So, as promised, here is the first post about some of my travels during the past week or so.

I started out heading towards Niagara Falls and stopped at Taughannock Falls (Ulysses, NY) on my way. Taughannock Falls is not nearly as big overall as Niagara Falls, but the falls are taller than Niagara and the gorge it flows through has walls as high as 400 ft. tall.

I took these photos on October 13, which was a beautiful fall day here in central New York.


Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner!
Feast of St. Hilarion (c. 291-371)

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm back & Sooner Joke of the Week

Hi Everyone,

Sorry, I haven't been posting much lately I was on a recruitment trip for my job. I was in Niagara Falls (I'll post some pics later) and up in northern New York (north of Albany by the Canada border...another great story soon) and then visited a couple of places in the Syracuse area. I was in some pretty rural places and didn't have internet or cell service. I'll try and post some stuff about the trip tomorrow or Sunday.

But, right now here's the Sooner Joke of the Week*:

Unprecedented Child Custody Ruling
AP Wire
Ames, Iowa.

A seven year old boy was at the center of a courtroom drama today when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him.

The boy had a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with the child custody laws and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained if at all possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and refused to live with her.

The judge then suggested the young boy's grandparents as possible guardians, but the boy claimed they beat him also.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was a common occurance in the boy's family, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should receive custody of him.

After two recesses to check references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Iowa State Cyclones, whom the judge found to be incapable of beating anyone.

Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner!
Feast of
St. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf and Companions

*Please note that I am in no way meaning to make light of physical or emotional domestic violence...which I totally abhor. This is simply a footbal joke.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

A new beginning.

I have a love-hate relationship with Harvard University, and this is no secret to anyone who knows me. I spent two years as a student of Harvard's Divinity School and every day I was there. I struggled culturally, socially, academically, and emotionally. It was one of the worst two year periods of my life.

But, I always have to remind myself to temper the bad times with the good. Harvard, while having many shortcomings, does have a myriad of positives. I met absolutely amazing people while I was there. The freedom to study literally anything that interests you was stimulating. The breadth of research and access to it was, and is, simply amazing.

Yes, Harvard was an extremely difficult place for me to get through...but, I did get through. I am a Harvard graduate. People look at you differently when they hear you went to Harvard. I'm pretty sure that is a bad thing, but they do it nonetheless. Oftentimes it is extremely embarrasing when people quite literally swoon at having heard those seven letters pronounced together---H-A-R-V-A-R-D. I think a lot of the awe people seem to have for the place is unwarrented, but they have it jst the same.

But, today was a day to revel in the awe. Today marked the inauguration of Drew Gilpin Faust (bio) as the 28th President (the US, which is more than 150 years younger than Harvard is on its 43rd President) of Harvard University (history of the office). President Faust is the first President to be inaugurated int the 21st Century, but more importantly President Faust is the first...Southerner (gasp!) and woman to ever hold the office.

Now I give you President Faust's Inaugural Address (and my comments):
For some reason the coding isn't working right so I put an * at the beginning of each paragraph.

Unleashing Our Most Ambitious Imaginings
President Drew Gilpin Faust
Cambridge, Massachusetts
October 12, 2007

As prepared for delivery.
*I stand honored by your trust, inspired by your charge. I am grateful to the Governing Boards for their confidence, and I thank all of you for gathering in these festival rites. I am indebted to my three predecessors, sitting behind me, for joining me today. But I am grateful to them for much more – for all that they have given to Harvard and for what each of them has generously given to me – advice, wisdom, support. I am touched by the greetings from staff, faculty, students, alumni, universities, from our honorable Governor, and from the remarkable John Hope Franklin, who has both lived and written history. I am grateful to the community leaders from Boston and Cambridge who have come to welcome their new neighbor. I am a little stunned to see almost every person I am related to on earth sitting in the front rows. And I would like to offer a special greeting of my own to my teachers who are here – teachers from grade school, high school, college and graduate school – who taught me to love learning and the institutions that nurture it.
*We gather for a celebration a bit different from our June traditions. Commencement is an annual rite of passage for thousands of graduates; today marks a rite of passage for the University. As at Commencement, we don robes that mark our ties to the most ancient traditions of scholarship. On this occasion, however, our procession includes not just our Harvard community, but scholars – 220 of them – representing universities and colleges from across the country and around the world. I welcome and thank our visitors, for their presence reminds us that what we do here today, and what we do at Harvard every day, links us to universities and societies around the globe.
*Today we mark new beginnings by gathering in solidarity (for those outside the know, Harvard's various schools rarely do anything in solidarity); we celebrate our community and its creativity; we commit ourselves to Harvard and all it represents in a new chapter of its distinguished history. Like a congregation at a wedding, you signify by your presence a pledge of support for this marriage of a new president to a venerable institution. As our colleagues in anthropology understand so well, rituals have meanings and purposes; they are intended to arouse emotions and channel intentions. In ritual, as the poet Thomas Lynch has written, “We act out things we cannot put into words.” But now my task is in fact to put some of this ceremony into words, to capture our meanings and purposes.
*Inaugural speeches are a peculiar genre. They are by definition pronouncements by individuals who don’t yet know what they are talking about. Or, we might more charitably dub them expressions of hope unchastened by the rod of experience.
A number of inaugural veterans – both orators and auditors – have proffered advice, including unanimous agreement that my talk must be shorter than Charles William Eliot’s – which ran to about an hour and a half. Often inaugural addresses contain lists – of a new president’s specific goals or programs. But lists seem too constraining when I think of what today should mean; they seem a way of limiting rather than unleashing our most ambitious imaginings, our profoundest commitments.
*If this is a day to transcend the ordinary, if it is a rare moment when we gather not just as Harvard, but with a wider world of scholarship, teaching and learning, it is a time to reflect on what Harvard and institutions like it mean in this first decade of the 21st century.
*Yet as I considered how to talk about higher education and the future, I found myself – historian that I am – returning to the past and, in particular, to a document I encountered in my first year of graduate school. My cousin Jack Gilpin, Class of ’73, read a section of it at Memorial Church this morning. As John Winthrop sat on board the ship Arbella in 1630, sailing across the Atlantic to found the Massachusetts Bay Colony, he wrote a charge to his band of settlers, a charter for their new beginnings. He offered what he considered “a compass to steer by” – a “model,” but not a set of explicit orders. Winthrop instead sought to focus his followers on the broader significance of their project, on the spirit in which they should undertake their shared work. I aim to offer such a “compass” today, one for us at Harvard, and one that I hope will have meaning for all of us who care about higher education, for we are inevitably, as Winthrop urged his settlers to be, “knitt together in this work as one.”
*American higher education in 2007 is in a state of paradox – at once celebrated and assailed. A host of popular writings from the 1980s on have charged universities with teaching too little, costing too much, coddling professors and neglecting students, embracing an “illiberalism” that has silenced open debate. A PBS special in 2005 described a “sea of mediocrity” that “places this nation at risk.” A report issued by the U.S. Department of Education last year warned of the “obsolescence” of higher education as we know it and called for federal intervention in service of the national interest.
*Yet universities like Harvard and its peers, those represented by so many of you here today, are beloved by alumni who donate billions of dollars each year, are sought after by students who struggle to win admission, and, in fact, are deeply revered by the American public. In a recent survey, 93 percent of respondents considered our universities “one of [the country’s] most valuable resources.” Abroad, our universities are admired and emulated; they are arguably the American institution most respected by the rest of the world.
*How do we explain these contradictions? Is American higher education in crisis, and if so, what kind? What should we as its leaders and representatives be doing about it? This ambivalence, this curious love-hate relationship, derives in no small part from our almost unbounded expectations of our colleges and universities, expectations that are at once intensely felt and poorly understood.
*From the time of its founding, the United States has tied its national identity to the power of education. We have long turned to education to prepare our citizens for the political equality fundamental to our national self-definition. In 1779, for example, Thomas Jefferson called for a national aristocracy of talent, chosen “without regard to wealth, birth, or other accidental condition of circumstance” and “rendered by liberal education ... able to guard the sacred deposit of rights and liberties of their fellow-citizens.” As our economy has become more complex, more tied to specialized knowledge, education has become more crucial to social and economic mobility. W.E.B. DuBois observed in 1903 that “Education and work are the levers to lift up a people.” Education makes the promise of America possible.
*In the past half century, American colleges and universities have shared in a revolution, serving as both the emblem and the engine of the expansion of citizenship, equality and opportunity – to blacks, women, Jews, immigrants, and others who would have been subjected to quotas or excluded altogether in an earlier era. My presence here today – and indeed that of many others on this platform – would have been unimaginable even a few short years ago. Those who charge that universities are unable to change should take note of this transformation, of how different we are from universities even of the mid 20th century(a very good point). And those who long for a lost golden age of higher education should think about the very limited population that alleged utopia actually served. College used to be restricted to a tiny elite; now it serves the many, not just the few. The proportion of the college age population enrolled in higher education today is four times what it was in 1950; twelve times what it was before the 1920s. Ours is a different and a far better world.
*At institutions like Harvard and its peers, this revolution has been built on the notion that access should be based, as Jefferson urged, on talent, not circumstance. In the late 1960s, Harvard began sustained efforts to identify and attract outstanding minority students; in the 1970s, it gradually removed quotas limiting women to a quarter of the entering college class. Recently, Harvard has worked hard to send the message that the college welcomes families from across the economic spectrum. As a result we have seen in the past 3 years a 33 percent increase in students from families with incomes under $60,000 (Harvard is now free for undergraduates whose family income is less than $60,000). Harvard’s dorms and Houses are the most diverse environments in which many of our students will ever live.
*Yet issues of access and cost persist – for middle-class families who suffer terrifying sticker shock, and for graduate and professional students, who may incur enormous debt as they pursue service careers in fields where salaries are modest (especially grad students in Harvard's Education and Divinity Schools who go on to low paying, but especially important jobs). As graduate training comes to seem almost as indispensable as the baccalaureate degree for mobility and success, the cost of these programs takes on even greater importance.
*The desirability and the perceived necessity of higher education have intensified the fears of many. Will I get in? Will I be able to pay? This anxiety expresses itself in both deep-seated resentment and nearly unrealizable expectations. Higher education cannot alone guarantee the mobility and equality at the heart of the American Dream. But we must fully embrace our obligation to be available and affordable. We must make sure that talented students are able to come to Harvard, that they know they are able to come, and that they know we want them here. We need to make sure that cost does not divert students from pursuing their passions and their dreams.
*But American anxiety about higher education is about more than just cost. The deeper problem is a widespread lack of understanding and agreement about what universities ought to do and be. Universities are curious institutions with varied purposes that they have neither clearly articulated nor adequately justified. Resulting public confusion, at a time when higher education has come to seem an indispensable social resource, has produced a torrent of demands for greater “accountability” from colleges and universities.
*Universities are indeed accountable. But we in higher education need to seize the initiative in defining what we are accountable for. We are asked to report graduation rates, graduate school admission statistics, scores on standardized tests intended to assess the “value added” of years in college, research dollars, numbers of faculty publications. But such measures cannot themselves capture the achievements, let alone the aspirations of universities. Many of these metrics are important to know, and they shed light on particular parts of our undertaking. But our purposes are far more ambitious and our accountability thus far more difficult to explain.
*Let me venture a definition. The essence of a university is that it is uniquely accountable to the past and to the future – not simply or even primarily to the present. A university is not about results in the next quarter; it is not even about who a student has become by graduation. It is about learning that molds a lifetime, learning that transmits the heritage of millennia; learning that shapes the future. A university looks both backwards and forwards in ways that must – that even ought to – conflict with a public’s immediate concerns or demands. Universities make commitments to the timeless, and these investments have yields we cannot predict and often cannot measure. Universities are stewards of living tradition – in Widener and Houghton and our 88 other libraries, in the Fogg and the Peabody (Yay Peabody, I worked there as a grad student!), in our departments of classics, of history and of literature. We are uncomfortable with efforts to justify these endeavors by defining them as instrumental, as measurably useful to particular contemporary needs. Instead we pursue them in part “for their own sake,” because they define what has over centuries made us human, not because they can enhance our global competitiveness.
*We pursue them because they offer us as individuals and as societies a depth and breadth of vision we cannot find in the inevitably myopic present. We pursue them too because just as we need food and shelter to survive, just as we need jobs and seek education to better our lot, so too we as human beings search for meaning. We strive to understand who we are, where we came from, where we are going and why. For many people, the four years of undergraduate life offer the only interlude permitted for unfettered exploration of such fundamental questions. But the search for meaning is a never-ending quest that is always interpreting, always interrupting and redefining the status quo, always looking, never content with what is found. An answer simply yields the next question. This is in fact true of all learning, of the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities, and thus of the very core of what universities are about.
*By their nature, universities nurture a culture of restlessness and even unruliness. This lies at the heart of their accountability to the future. Education, research, teaching are always about change – transforming individuals as they learn, transforming the world as our inquiries alter our understanding of it, transforming societies as we see our knowledge translated into policies – policies like those being developed at Harvard to prevent unfair lending practices, or to increase affordable housing or avert nuclear proliferation – or translated into therapies, like those our researchers have designed to treat macular degeneration or to combat anthrax. The expansion of knowledge means change. But change is often uncomfortable, for it always encompasses loss as well as gain, disorientation as well as discovery. It has, as Machiavelli once wrote, no constituency. Yet in facing the future, universities must embrace the unsettling change that is fundamental to every advance in understanding.
*We live in the midst of scientific developments as dramatic as those of any era since the 17th century. Our obligation to the future demands that we take our place at the forefront of these transformations. We must organize ourselves in ways that enable us fully to engage in such exploration, as we have begun to do by creating the Broad Institute, by founding cross school departments, by launching a School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. We must overcome barriers both within and beyond Harvard that could slow or constrain such work, and we must provide the resources and the facilities – like the new science buildings in both Cambridge and Allston – to support it. Our obligation to the future makes additional demands. Universities are, uniquely, a place of philosophers as well as scientists. It is urgent that we pose the questions of ethics and meaning that will enable us to confront the human, the social and the moral significance of our changing relationship with the natural world.
*Accountability to the future requires that we leap geographic as well as intellectual boundaries. Just as we live in a time of narrowing distances between fields and disciplines, so we inhabit an increasingly transnational world in which knowledge itself is the most powerful connector. Our lives here in Cambridge and Boston cannot be separated from the future of the rest of the earth: we share the same changing climate; we contract and spread the same diseases; we participate in the same economy. We must recognize our accountability to the wider world, for, as John Winthrop warned in 1630, “we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.”
*Harvard is both a source and a symbol of the ever expanding knowledge upon which the future of the earth depends, and we must take an active and reflective role in this new geography of learning. Higher education is burgeoning around the globe in forms that are at once like and unlike our own. American universities are widely emulated, but our imitators often display limited appreciation for the principles of free inquiry and the culture of creative unruliness that defines us.
*The “Veritas” in Harvard’s shield was originally intended to invoke the absolutes of divine revelation, the unassailable verities of Puritan religion. We understand it quite differently now. Truth is an aspiration, not a possession. Yet in this we – and all universities defined by the spirit of debate and free inquiry – challenge and even threaten those who would embrace unquestioned certainties. We must commit ourselves to the uncomfortable position of doubt, to the humility of always believing there is more to know, more to teach, more to understand.
*The kinds of accountability I have described represent at once a privilege and a responsibility. We are able to live at Harvard in a world of intellectual freedom, of inspiring tradition, of extraordinary resources, because we are part of that curious and venerable organization known as a university. We need better to comprehend and advance its purposes – not simply to explain ourselves to an often critical public, but to hold ourselves to our own account. We must act not just as students and staff, historians and computer scientists, lawyers and physicians, linguists and sociologists, but as citizens of the university, with obligations to this commonwealth of the mind. We must regard ourselves as accountable to one another, for we constitute the institution that in turn defines our possibilities. Accountability to the future encompasses special accountability to our students, for they are our most important purpose and legacy. And we are responsible not just to and for this university, Harvard, in this moment, 2007, but to the very concept of the university as it has evolved over nearly a millennium.
*It is not easy to convince a nation or a world to respect, much less support, institutions committed to challenging society’s fundamental assumptions. But it is our obligation to make that case: both to explain our purposes and achieve them so well that these precious institutions survive and prosper in this new century. Harvard cannot do this alone. But all of us know that Harvard has a special role. That is why we are here; that is why it means so much to us (so is this why people swoon at the Harvard name?).
*Last week I was given a brown manila envelope that had been entrusted to the University Archives in 1951 by James B. Conant, Harvard’s 23rd president. He left instructions that it should be opened by the Harvard president at the outset of the next century “and not before.” I broke the seal on the mysterious package to find a remarkable letter from my predecessor. It was addressed to “My dear Sir.” Conant wrote with a sense of imminent danger. He feared an impending World War III that would make “the destruction of our cities including Cambridge quite possible.”

*“We all wonder,” he continued, “how the free world is going to get through the next fifty years.” But as he imagined Harvard’s future, Conant shifted from foreboding to faith. If the “prophets of doom” proved wrong, if there was a Harvard president alive to read his letter, Conant was confident about what the university would be. “You will receive this note and be in charge of a more prosperous and significant institution than the one over which I have the honor to preside ... That ... [Harvard] will maintain the traditions of academic freedom, of tolerance for heresy, I feel sure.” We must dedicate ourselves to making certain he continues to be right; we must share and sustain his faith.

*Conant’s letter, like our gathering here, marks a dramatic intersection of the past with the future. This is a ceremony in which I pledge – with keys and seal and charter – my accountability to the traditions that his voice from the past invokes. And at the same time, I affirm, in compact with all of you, my accountability to and for Harvard’s future. As in Conant’s day, we face uncertainties in a world that gives us sound reason for disquiet. But we too maintain an unwavering belief in the purposes and potential of this university and in all it can do to shape how the world will look another half century from now. Let us embrace those responsibilities and possibilities; let us share them “knitt together . . . as one;” let us take up the work joyfully, for such an assignment is a privilege beyond measure.
Thanks Be to God and Veritas!
Feast of St. Seraphin of Montegranaro (1540-1604)

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

13 Favorite Athletes

Thursday Thirteen: My 13 Favorite Athletes
Note: there was a tie for first place and these are subject to change on a whim

13. Josh Heupel
OU QB 2000 National Championship team

4x NASCAR Champion

PGA Tour Pro and Navajo

2004 World Champions

Hall of Famer, Winningest Left-handed pitcher, my grandpa's favorite player

8. Greg Maddux
Future Hall of Fame pitcher and 4x (consecutive!) Cy Young Award Winner

2003 Heisman Trophy Winner & OU QB

Former OU player and current Denver Nugget

Arguably the greatest athlete of all time and Sac & Fox

Current Boston Red Sox rookie and Navajo

Super Bowl Champion QB for the New England Patriots

DH for the Boston Red Sox

Greatest NASCAR driver of all time!
Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner!
Feast of Bl. Angela Truszkowska (1825-1899)


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oh, by the way...

Cleveland defeated the Skankees
in the ALDS 3 games to 1!

Oh Happy Day!

Sooner Joke of the Week

Surprise, surprise, it's another busy work in my student services life.

I'm trying to get things organized for a week long recruitment trip here in New York state next week. It's really trying to get everything done that needs to happen.

But, what is making it really trying are the students...God love'm. Can't elaborate too much, but they just aren't getting things done that need to happen and it's gettin' darn infuriating. These aren't difficult things either. It's as if they don't even care. I could easily do it for them, but they wouldn't learn anything then. Oh well, you can drag a horse to water...

For your joyous amusement, here's the Sooner Joke of the Week!

Albert Einstein goes to a party. He introduces himself to a lady and says, "Hi, I'm Albert Einstein. What's you're IQ?"
"240," she says.
"Great, we can discuss the mysteries of the universe and other things. We have a lot we can talk about " he replies.

Later he is talking with a man and says, "Hi, I'm Albert Einstein. What's you're IQ?"
"145," he replies.
"Great, we can talk about thermodynamics," says Albert.

Later he is talking to another gentleman and says, "Hi, I'm Albert Einstein. What's you're IQ?
"43," the man manages to say.
Einstein gets a puzzled look on his face for a minute then says, "Hook'em Horns!"

Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner!
Feast of St. Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Music Monday

Well, the Skanks pulled one out last night against Cleveland, but hopefully Cleveland can put the Skanks out of the playoffs for good tonight.

Nothing much happened today. Another Holocaust Day (aka Columbus Day) has come and gone and the majority of the country is still oblivious to the atrocities carried out by Columbus and those he led.

I'm renewing a part of this blog that I let go into hibernation for a long while. At the bottom of each post I will note what/whose feast day it is according to the Catholic calendar. I will also link to a site that will tell you a little about the person or event the feast commemorates.

This is a really busy week. I'm finalizing the details for a week-long recruiting trip to western New York next week. The Dalai Lama is in town this week, and I get to see him speak on Wednesday morning. I knew October was going to be jam packed, but I'm starting to feel the pinch.

And, without further ado, Music Monday:

1. Say the Words. DC Talk
2. Nothing Else Matters. Metallica
3. Lazy River. The Mills Brothers
4. The Invitation. Steven Curtis Chapman
5. Free Fallin'. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
6. So Pray. Stacie Orrico
7. Boy Like Me, Man Like You. Rich Mullins
8. Flower in the Rain. Jaci Velasquez
9. We Were in Love. Toby Keith
10. Knee Deep. George Clinton

The rules, for bloggers who want to play:
Get your iPod or media-player of choice set the thing to shuffle, then post the first ten songs that come out. No cheating, no matter how stupid it makes you feel!

Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner!
Feast of St. John Leonardi (1541?-1609)


Happy Holocaust Day!

Happy Holocaust Day!

Some people out there seem to think that Christopher Columbus is someone to be honored, and that people who speak out against him are liberal pc whackos. I wonder if they truly know what Columbus did and/or allowed those under him to do?

Perhaps they should read the diaries of the Dominican Friar Bartolome de Las Casas, and then they might have an idea what a butcher Columbus and the Spanish really were.

A blog author that I generally like to read, though often disagree with, recently labled one of his posts Maybe Colonialism Wasn't All Bad After All. Hmm, I don't think my ancestors would agree.

If anyone has a reason to complain about illegal immigration, it is the indigenous people of the so-called "Americas."

"[The Indians] suffered and died in the mines and others in desperate silence, knowing not a soul in the world to whom they could turn for help."

Bartolome de Las Casas, 1542

"I suppose that I should be ashamed to say that I take the Western view of the Indian. I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth."
Theodore Roosevelt, 1886

"What we have committed in the Indies stands out among the most unpardonable offenses ever committed against God and mankind and this trade [Indian slavery] as one of the most unjust, evil and cruel among them."
Bartolome de Las Casas

And finally, two videos for your viewing pleasure that speak to the misinformed belief that Columbus Day is an honorable holiday (the 2nd video is really good if you can get past the music of the first two minutes or so).

Hmm, it all makes me wonder why any of us ever accepted Christianity?

There's an old story that makes the rounds in Indian Country, it goes something like this:

Missionary: If you do not accept Christ as your savior you will go to hell.

Chief: If you had never told me of this Christ, and I never knew of him, would I still go to hell?

Missionary: No you would not got to hell for it would not be your fault if I had never come or you never learned of Christ.

Chief: Then why did you tell me of him?

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

What a weekend!

Oh my, what a weekend!

All in all, it was one heck of a weekend in sports!

Now, first off, I didn't get to see the OU-Texas game for the first time in 10 years! The first time since I was a freshman at OU! Un-friggin'-belivable!

The "nationally" televised game was NOT televised in New York! Can you believe they televised the Iowa-Penn St. game? Wh-wh-what? You gotta be kidding me! There is no way on God's green earth that Iowa-Penn St. is a bigger game than OU-Texas! No way! Not ever! Regardless of polls! The Iowa-Penn St. game will never, never, ever be as a big a game in any year, under any circumstances, as the OU-Texas game. Unbelievable!

I tried to call my cable operator, Time Warner Central New York, to order ESPN Game Plan which was showing the OU-Texas game. The ESPN site clearly stated that you could order Game Plan by the week for $21.95. But, Time Warner told me they only sold the entire season. The entire season costs $129. I don't want the entire season...I only wanted this week. OMG!

But, I followed the score on the tv and ABC/ESPN cut away from the Iowa-Penn St. game with about 4 minutes to go in the OU-Texas game, so I was able to see the end. And today (Sunday), ESPNU showed the game so I watched it today.

But seriously, Iowa-Penn St. over OU-Texas? What're they smokin'?

My Sooners looked absolutely amazing against UT. They didn't dominate the shorthorns the way they did their first four opponents, but they played a solid, well-played game and I'm telling you Sam Bradford is looking friggin' amazing!

If Bradford stays healthy it is going to be one stupendously awesome next couple of years!

The Sooners can't get ahead of themselves though because we've got the #11 Missouri Tigers coming into Memorial Stadium on Saturday. This is just another big game for the Sooners...heck, even ESPN GameDay will be there for this one.

That should tell you how big this game if any of the Sooners games aren't big (ok, maybe North Texas wasn't big)! Now as long as Corso doesn't pick the Sooners and impart his friggin' gypsy curse on us!

And, in case you missed it...the Stanford Big Trees beat USC in the Coliseum!

Things are startin' to fall into place for OU to still have an outside shot at a championship. With Kentucky, Wisconsin and USC falling it opened up enough room for OU to jump up in the polls.

The only downside is that LSU won their game against Florida. Florida was firmly in control of that ballgame until they announced that USC had lost to Stanford. That just fired up LSU and they never looked back after that.

I'm not sure what's most out of whack about the football polls right now...the fact that USF (the University of South Florida has a football team? Since when?) is in the top 5, or the fact that the Kansas Jayhawks are ranked ahead of Texas and it's not a basketball poll?

You can't make this stuff up. Between the Appalachian State win over Michigan, Notre Dame's 0-5 start, and the Stanford Big Trees upsetting USC at home, it has been one hell of a football season! And we're just halfway through the regular season with the BCS poll due out next week!

Can you believe it?

In baseball, my Red Sox swept the Anaheim Angels and have home field advantage in the American League Championship Series against either Cleveland or the Skankees. Dangit, Cleveland let the Skanks win tonight to cause a game 4...c'mon Cleveland, take the friggin' Skanks out!
The Patriots are looking fan-dang-tastic and are 5-0! Assuming Dallas wins their game against Buffalo on Monday night, next weeks game against what could be a 5-0 Dallas looks to be huge!

I think, with the exception of Holocaust Day (aka Columbus Day), that October may be the best month of the year! Think about it...

  • football (college & pro) is in full swing
  • baseball is in the playoffs
  • basketball is about to start
  • hockey is starting
  • Soccer/Futball is in full swing
I swear October is a sports lovers dream!

Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner!