Sink one for tolerance

It seems at least one group of students has figured out how to deal with religious differences.

Yesterday morning I was walking out of my history of Rome lecture in Angell Hall, trying to decide whether Emperor Vespasian looked more like John McCain or Dick Cheney. In the midst of my pondering, an excited male voice behind me that caught my attention.

“We had a Catholic-Jewish beer pong tournament this weekend,” the voice told a friend.

I slowed down to listen. This could be interesting.

“Yeah there was this giant 40-cup cross versus this giant 40-cup star of David,” he said. “It was awesome.”

He went on to describe how the game had gone on for several rounds.

So did Jesus best Abraham in this knock-down, drag-out fight for the ages? Or did the tribe triumph over a team of goyim?

Unfortunately, my legs were too sore from a Saturday night dodgeball competition to keep pace with the two guys. After just a few seconds of eavesdropping, I was out of earshot.

But their idea is still with me. Who’d have known? The best hope for world peace may not be democracy, negotiation or the eradication of poverty. Maybe it’s beer pong.


Teaching moment

While standing at the corner of North University Avenue and State Street, my friend and I watched as two women attempted to cross State Street. Even though the “Do Not Walk” sign was flashing, the women tried to make their way through traffic. As they dodged through the intersection, it was clear that one car was not going to stop.

The women halted in their tracks in order to avoid being hit. The car almost ran over their toes. After the near catastrophe, the women casually continued across the street while the “Do Not Walk” sign was still flashing. One person looked at my friend and me and simply said, “Must’ve been a professor.”


Dancing with a star

Last week, I stopped and watched as an older woman stopped for several minutes to dance to the music of the Diag harmonica player. While she didn’t dance particularly well, she was obviously enjoying herself. When the number was over, the musician and the dancer each applauded the other.

Together they brought a smile to this Diag-crosser’s face.


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