This, my friends, is the season of decision notification. After gleefully reading an acceptance letter from the University of Wisconsin, I have systematically been humbled by some of the finer institutions of America. Part of me thinks there is a History Department Roundtable that convenes and decides to trick students into thinking they are worthy, only to follow up with a plethora of "sorry, but we just had so many applicants this year..." letters. Fortunately, two discoveries have given me a modicum of enjoyment during this apprehensive time: one close-minded professor and an unrelated bit of free software.
My wonderful political science professor, Rodney Grunes, makes our class read the New York Times everyday. I've been following the primary season using precisely that outlet, and in Tuesday's Op-Ed section I found an interesting piece. Apparently they had the neat idea of asking several different experts what questions they thought were being ignored in all the debate. Most of the respondents seemed thoughtful enough, but then I got to the questions of one Ruth Wedgwood, professor of international law and diplomacy at Johns Hopkins University. JHU is one of those schools that, unfortunately, will not be graced with my presence this coming fall, and reading the ridiculously hawkish, narrow-minded, stupid comments of Prof. Wedgwood took most of my rejection pain away. Her first, and, reason leads us to believe, most natural, question, was,
Senator Obama, as commander in chief an American president must understand the sense of honor that motivates his armed forces. Last September, MoveOn.org ran an advertisement in The Times that mocked Gen. David H. Petraeus, the American commander in Iraq, as "General Betray Us." You chose not to vote on the Senate resolution that condemned the advertisement. Would you still characterize the Senate vote as a "stunt" and "empty politics"?
Wedgwood also takes a parting shot at Senator Clinton when she says
The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution bars any former president from election to a third term. Is it truly consistent with the spirit of the Constitution to have the same professional couple occupying the White House for 12 years? Isn't this all the more true when Bill Clinton promised that voters would receive, during his first term, "two for the price of one"?Only finding such absurd and embarrasing comments has made me realize that I could never be happy at an institution that rewards such an obvious lack of scholarship, intelligence, and courtesy. I'm going to go out on a limb, temporarilly ignore my rule gainst generalizing, and possibly even display a tiny bit of animosity, and say that I doubt such statements would ever come from the lips, pen, or keyboard of any professor from any department at the more progressive, prestigious, and higher-ranked-by-US News & World Report University of Wisconsin-Madison, a beacon of learning that provides cultural, intellectual, and practical support to an entire state of cold, loving, Packers-cheering people.
The latter half of the title to this entry refers to my newfound interest in open source software, specifically the Ubuntu distribution of Linux. Some kind soul left an installation CD in the library, and I've since tested it out and fallen in love. It should be noted that I'm writing this blog after booting from the CD. I've decided that the first thing I buy with my next paycheck is going to be an external harddrive, partly so that I can backup my music and other files, partly so that I can install Ubuntu (or possibly Xubuntu) on my laptop. It's very exciting.
To close, I'll give you what Newsweek's Conventional Wisdom would look like if I was writing it this week: Microsoft goes down for not keeping up with the times, the NYT editorial board goes up for providing me with a laugh, Google goes up for making viable server-side solutions to propriety software, dedicated nerds all over the world go way up for slowly paving the way to a post-Microsoft world, the JHU board of trustees drops for hiring Beth Wedgwood, and every citizen of Wisconsin climbs to the top for never allowing such a tragedy to happen.