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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Exclusive Inclusion

The University of California at Berkeley is looking to hire its first Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, and I think it's about darn time. I'm heartened to know that with this renewed focus on recruiting students and faculty from underrepresented groups, Berkeley's agents will soon be scouring Iowa for devout homeschooled virgin boys. Young men returning from service in Iraq, likewise, may find a warmer reception than they would have received in years past. And no doubt many young parents, as well as retired executives, will soon be submitting their applications to the more equitable and inclusive Cal-Berkeley. Observant pro-war Jews, aspiring Christian filmmakers, chaste young pro-life activists — all are welcome under Berkeley's big tent, right?

I mean, surely this isn't a guise to continue the insular practice of recruiting from a narrow slice of the American political, geographic, religious, and social strata, is it? Is there a possibility that, for all the rhetoric, this represents a continuation of Berkeley's Orwellian effort to produce a student body in lock-step agreement with the warmed-over intellectual tripe that has dominated its social science and liberal arts departments for the past half-century?

Say it ain't so.

posted by Woodlief | link | (0)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Birthday Sugar

The thing about giving up sugar for Lent is that Lent stretches over March, which is when birthdays occur in my house. A forward-thinking man would have considered this, and given up something else, like cursing in traffic. But no, I gave up sugar.

The thing about having birthdays in March is that sometimes Nana visits. Nana also has a March birthday. That's one more cake in the house. Banana cake, with cream frosting. It looked delicious.

The thing about Nana visiting is that she makes chocolate-chip cookies. Chocolate-chip cookies are my favorite treat in the entire world, except, perhaps, for Breyer's chocolate-chip ice cream.

(Pause to reflect on the joy of scooping up chocolate-chip ice cream with a chocolate-chip cookie, and then eating it.)

The thing about giving up sugar for Lent is that it's about to drive me crazy. I know, we're supposed to reflect on the sacrifice our Lord and Savior made for us, how he gave up everything that we might have eternal life. In the face of that eternal gift of love, what's a little sugar? This is the outlook I am supposed to have.

I am a weak and wicked man, because mostly I just think about those chocolate-chip cookies in a big plastic bag in my cupboard, and how heavenly it feels when your teeth shave clean through a cool soft chip, and how the chocolatey sugar of the chip mixes with the sugary crisp dough of the cookie to create a taste that simply must have been in the Garden of Eden, for Adam and Eve to have wept so much upon being cast out. Which means, if you think about it, that in Heaven there are probably chocolate-chip cookie trees, with big disks of milk-chocolate laden goodness weighting down their branches.

I could be wrong, but I imagine I'll learn soon enough, because any day now I'm going to die from sugaritis deficitis. It's real. You can look it up.

For Eli's five-year-old birthday we went to the petting-zoo, where the thuggish sheep ganged up and scared him back to four. They all wanted the little food pellets clutched in our hands. This is what welfare does to creatures, you know. Isaac, meanwhile was unfazed, even though a little billy goat hopped up on the bench where he was standing and got eye-to-eye with him. Isaac doesn't back down from anyone.

Eli told me he was sorry I couldn't have sugar. I told him that I can have one kind of sugar. He didn't get it, until I grabbed him up and kissed his face and neck about 100 times. Big, slobbery kisses. He giggled and told me it was disgusting, but he didn't fight too hard to get away. His mother's the same way.

I suppose that's the best kind of sugar, isn't it?

posted by Woodlief | link | (0)