Friday, September 18, 2009

Running Wild

This morning I was doing my daily perusal of ESPN and found a headline titled, 'Utah Golfer nets $1M with hole-in-one'. Naturally, I had to look because its the home state, but what is most awesome about this video is his reaction after the shot. This would most likely be the exact same reaction that I would have, either as the golfer or as his buddy. It made me laugh!

Click link above for video... if that doesn't work, cut and paste

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Take on Kanye and Michael

So there has been a lot of episodes lately concerning 'celebrities' and their civility in the eye of the public. Serena yelled profanities at a ballgirl, Congressman Joe Wilson called Obama's comment a 'lie' (what an idiot), Kanye rudely prances on stage and ruins Swift's moment, and Michael Jordan gave probably the most 'unclassy' speech of the 5 inducted. Let me go ahead and take a moment to consider 2 of these episodes.

Jordan is arguably the best basketball player to step on the court and Kanye is arguably the best hip hop artist currently on the scene (although Jay-Z's re-return may negate this). Let's take Jordan's speech first. The other 4 Hall-of-Fame inductees (Robinson, Sloan, Stockton, and Stringer) gave the most classiest, graceful, 'we're undeserving of this honor', 'so many people are responsible for getting me here', speeches I've heard. Hoping for much of the same from Jordan, he got to the podium ( and explained why he became the best player in the world... his internal competitive drive. He then made references to several players/instances which 'fueled his fire' for being better than everyone. There was a certain arrogance present in his speech that may have turned people off, but for those who knew him, that is Jordan.... Pause

As for Kanye, you have seen his rants and raves. He is the self-acclaimed best in the business at what he does. He has wrote "When someone is strong enough to believe in something only they believe in, people are going to call them crazy... sometimes crazy is a label that the average put on the exceptional." He is never embarrased at proclaiming his greatness.... Pause

My point in discussing this, is that it seems like to be the 'best,' one has to be arrogant. For how can you be the best, when you don't think (or possibly conceive) you are the best.... and compete against all others who are in your way. Both Kanye and Jordan's (and most likely Serena's, which is obvious in her dominance over the more endearing, loving Venus) actions are rooted in this thought pattern.... when I was in Jr High and High School, I often thought (but didn't yell it from the mountain) I was the best student in the school, and it seemed to work out for me. But is the arrogance, and the potential 'fall-out' (in terms of people subjugated, loneliness, etc), worth the excellence attained? Instead of competitive, self-interest, can we move to a world where cooperation leads to excellence? The importance of this question resonates in our endeavor towards sustainable cities/communities (that's right, I just tied in sustainability to this discussion).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Earning 'man' points

About a week and half ago, I got the distinct feeling of 'manliness' that I typically don't get in my daily life (riding my bike to school, attending classes, reading books, and writing papers). As a part of my GK-12 fellowship, we are visting schools from around the valley and presenting our vision of what a 'sustainable school' could/should look like. As of right now, it is in its infancy stage, but we are slowly puttting together a framework in which high schools can begin to implement sustainable change in their curriculum, campus, and community. But that is not the point of this story....

On our way to the school (about 40 min into our drive), the 4 of us in the car start to hear the infamous 'flat tire' noise (although it didn't pop or explode, like I've heard in others). To put it bluntly as possible (and not stereotypically), the girl driving did not know what to do (and she admits it to the day). We tell her to put the hazards on and pull over to the right. She doesn't know where the hazards are on her dashboard and she starts to signal left . . . hmmm

We pull over on the freeway and it looks flat and feels cushy. Not a good sign. We get to the gas station and there is no noticeable gash or 'object' poking out, so our advisors (faculty) suggest putting air in it and just getting to the school. They are adamant about us getting there on time, and even suggest putting everyone in the other car... my mind was racing with some profanities, because they wanted us to risk life to get to this meeting on time. Because they were being idiots, and I know the driver did not know how to do this, I stayed behind.

In dress clothes, and 110F heat, I jacked the car, took the very tight lugnuts off, and fastened the doughnut on all by myself (it had been since I was 16 that I changed a tire). During this endeavor, I was sweating like Patrick Ewing (check out pic, .... this picture was probably taken when Ewing just entered the game... its like a watefall down the face) and my hands were black., but I somehow didn't dirty my dress clothes....

In the end, we were late 20 minutes, the tire was severely gashed on the inside, and I got my 'manliness' in, that is so lacking in the academic life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

School of Sustainability Interview

The School of Sustainability recently contacted all the grad students to do a very introductory video in which we answer 3 questions on sustainability. They are then going to show the video to the undergrad intro class, so that they can start to see what we are all doing and what we think of the program. I am trying to embed it into the blog post, but I am unsuccessful....

Here are 2 links that will get you to my interview... if you are real bored, you can watch all my classmates too :)