To misquote former Thresher cartoonist Dan Derozier, there are three reasons for alumni to write Thresher columns: loneliness, revenge and the fetishization of lost youth. This column is probably a combo of all three, although the more obvious purpose is to encourage you to write for the Thresher. Back in my day, there were a few key reasons to write for the Thresher. Ranked in ascending effectiveness: resume building, money, power, experience, attention and fun. However, in the few years since my graduation, the way the Thresher functions has undergone a paradigm shift. It used to be the Thresher news and opinion only reached a limited sphere. It certainly had its influence on campus, in the historical records, and among its 6,000 or so subscribers, but that influence was provincial nonetheless. We had a website, but the less said about that, the better.
Graduation is a lot like death. Students run around the material world of college, preparing for the inescapable end that awaits among the relentless march of time, spew-ing forth souls into an afterlife based on one's actions in the first. Do well in college, and you may find yourself in an Elysian Field of high-paying jobs. Do poorly, and suffer in the Tartarus Pit of the public sec-tor. Of course, there are those who refuse to leave - ghosts, if you will - who continue to haunt the land of the living. Beware, Valhalla is the most haunted place on campus.I find myself in the purgatory that is a New York City law school, attempting to atone for my previ-ous sins of putting way too much time into the Thresher. So expect my surprise when the current edi-tors held a s_ance, or just sent an e-mail, to hear some ghostly advice from beyond the grave. Just remem-ber, don't cross the streams.
I love blogs. News blogs, tech blogs and such, those are nice. But the best blogs are those personal blogs: Livejournal, Xanga, etc., because it is there where you can find real information. Blogs that provide analysis and whatnot just provide a new avenue to information that is already out there. But in these more personal exhibitions, people are willing to spill information they would never, ever reveal in personal conversation. Those blogs provide true insight into peoples' characters, giving little secrets straight from the horse's mouth - or keyboard. Whatever.The best thing about these personal blogs is that people will actively list their personal associations, such as home town, interests or university. With this information, five minutes of clicking can provide an interesting cross-section of campus - Christ-o-philes, coke fiends and other traditional members of the Rice fauna. In these HTML-framed journals, Rice students spill their deepest secrets and personal beliefs. While the entries may be entertaining at times, they also paint a rather distressing picture of the student body.
Rice gained a new bathroom wall this April, joining the boredat network with the creation of the boredatrice.net Web site. Boredatrice is one of dozens of anonymous collegiate posting sites, which include juicycampus.com, allowing students to post whatever they want under the protection of anonymity, with themes often trending towards the vulgar. Since the first post on April 10 - a clip of the "Charlie Bit Me" YouTube video - the Rice site has gained over 60 more posts and over 500 responses.Lovett College junior Leah Withers and Baker College senior Tiffany Lee pushed for the creation of a boredat site for Rice in November 2007 by posting on the boredat Facebook request board and received a response on April 2 announcing that the university's site had been created.
There is something to be said about the terrifying and unrelenting march of time, reducing mountains to sand and flesh to dust in the unstoppable constancy of change - especially when it comes to contemporary fashion. No matter how cool something is, it will always eventually become tired, clichéd and lame. Aristotelian physics, mercantilism and even disco have suffered under the mighty progression of history, and now we find that one of our most beloved collegiate institutions is passing gently into that good night: sex.Sex? Yawn. How trite. How droll. What is so special about sex, anyways? Everybody does it. Boring.
Last Wednesday, students across campus may have found interesting additions to their usual lunchtime routine of conversation and servery food as members of the Board of Trustees joined them in their college commons to discuss campus issues, with some members returning to the college they attended during their years at Rice. Campus growth under the Vision for the Second Century, student diversity and the differing styles of President David Leebron and former president Malcolm Gillis were popular conversation topics.Marc Shapiro, a former Vice Chairman at J.P. Morgan Chase and current Director of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, ate at Martel College along with Leebron. Shapiro explained to students the board's actual role at Rice, which is approving budgets and working with the president on long-term planning.
Since I have spent the last three years working at the Rice Thresher, I had forgotten what it is like to open the paper Friday morning and not know what the news is going to be. Last week was a great week to start. In case you missed it, students from Will Rice College strung fishing wire around campus as part of a jack. Some students tried to take it down after a girl was caught across the neck while riding her bike and thrown to the ground. But never fear, the Will Ricers wasted no time putting the wire back up - only at knee level though, because it is not like that could possibly hurt anyone.At the risk of sounding elitist or judgmental, this whole event was a great example of one of the many lessons that nearly all Rice students learn by the end of their four years: Rice students are dumb.
Ideally, the college system is a great system. Students leaving their homes, often for the first time, can find a nurturing new community within their colleges. But one cannot live in the nursery forever. However, the Rice housing scheme seems to disagree - Rice does not provide housing for students who wish to leave the confines of the college system.It may seem inconceivable to many students that their peers would want to leave the alma mater they love so dearly, but all it takes is a few minutes in the Rice Memorial Center to find students who want to graduate from their colleges but still attend the university as a whole.