Tuesday, December 6, 2016

From Stanley in Statesboro.

At the last minute faculty got it cancelled.
Yes, we have a gun range on campus.


  1. Thank goodness that's the 3rd edition and not the 4th.

  2. “Where one burns books, one will, in the end, burn people.”

    -- Heinrich Heine, a German poet of Jewish origin.

    Am I ever glad I didn't become a proffie at Georgia Southern!

  3. A high-school friend of mine, Chris, shot his analytic geometry book with a deer rifle. Chris was feeling annoyed with the course, and he chose to take his frustrations out on the book. He thought the bullet would just drill a neat hole through. Instead, the damn thing blew up--paper shreds made quite the cloud, he told me--and all that remained were tattered bits attached to a bent spine.

    Chris's parents were well-to-do, so buying the school a replacement book wasn't a huge deal. The real problem was that Chris shot the book sometime around the beginning of March, and the school refused to issue him a new copy. He had to complete the last three months of analytic geometry sans book.

    1. When I first arrived at my new office as a wet-behind -he ears-grad student it was to find a copy of the (in)famously terse and encyclopedic, graduate E&M text by Jackson literally bolted to the wall above the desk.

      It seems there was a big lag in the wall from where some piece of heavy equipment has once been attached and the previous occupant of the desk had—after passing his comprehensive exam—taken his copy down to the machine shop, carefully clamped it, drilled a hole from cover to cover, and then attached it to the wall. I was to meet him a couple of years later and can report that this kind of flamboyant gesture is in keeping with his personality.

      At the time I thought it wasteful because I assumed I would want the text as a reference. In point of fact when I have an E&M issue to bone up on I always survey every other text I own on the subject before opening Jackson.

    2. OMG, Jackson E&M. I used to use mine as a doorstop.

    3. I'm pretty sure that was the text for my undergrad E&M courses. I've tried to forget that part of my life, though a few random bits do poke through from time to time. What also remains is this post-indian-summer sense of foreboding as might occur in the calm before a storm, but to call this time of year "calm" could only be accomplished ironically.

  4. Doesn't the idea that firing a gun is a good way to "take out your frustrations" run counter to the sort of stuff that they're supposed to be teaching at a "shooting sports education center"? I thought one basic tenet of gun safety was that you don't pick up a gun when you're already feeling upset (and that upset is not due to a danger that might plausibly be better defended against with a gun that with any other available tool or response).

    At the very least, I'm pretty sure there's now good psychological research showing that some of the techniques for letting out frustrations popular in the 1970s (e.g. the foam clubs that sat around in the former manse at our church, which housed marriage and family therapy during the week,and the youth group on weekends, and which were, of course, very popular with members of the youth group, especially the male ones) are in face ill-advised, since expressing anger physically has a way of feeding rather than diffusing that anger.

    Also -- given the tendency to refer to textbooks by the names of their authors (see above), I'd find this pretty alarming if I were a textbook author. (This is, I think, basically the same thought Frod is expressing; maybe people who write take books a bit more personally than others, but responding to words, ideas, etc. with bullets disturbs me).

  5. This sounds like great fun. Why did the faculty get it cancelled? Maybe there was a professor whose book would be the favored target?


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