Geology Porn – Rocks of the Marin Headlands

My trip to the Marin Headlands with Ryan brought me back to my final semesters at the University of Missouri and my introductory Geology course, aka “Rocks for Jocks.” A class that was about exciting at the time as a box of… rocks.

Geological features of Hawk Hill

Walking around the Headlands, you cannot help but be drawn to the geological features of the landscape. Now I wish I had paid closer attention to those 7:00 A.M. Geology labs. Perhaps if I had, I might actually, fully understand what was going on here. Either way, it’s beautiful. Oh and we may or may not have found a few of these brittle rocks in our pockets before leaving the area…

I would sure love for my geology nerds to give me some insight here. I have some theories including sedimentary rocks + shifting plates = awesome twisted rocks. Wonder how long this transformation took.

Put your thoughts in the comments! More pretty rock pictures after the break. Continue reading

The BART Before the Storm

BART - North Concord/Martinez

While I waited for my BART back to the city from visiting my friend Marris, a storm began to roll into the station. The scene brought me back to my Art Photo 4600 days at the University of Missouri. During my second semester in the program, I started to photograph how nature affects human infrastructure and vice versa.

The photos seemed to always show how ultimately nature gets the last laugh. With bridges being overcome with flooded rivers, trees uprooting foundations or plants finding a home in the most peculiar, engineered places.

Though, on a global scale, I guess we know that nature doesn’t really win. Perhaps it was these small victories that made the photos mean so much to me.

Graduation Day

In the next few hours I’ll be walking across the stage at the Hearnes Center accepting my diploma, which turns out might add up to two or three degrees, oops!  I started this blog my first year at the University of Missouri.  It was my outlet to my friends on what I was thinking and doing hundreds of miles away from them.  However, a few years later it became so much more than a blog about school, fraternity life and travel.

This blog followed just about everything going on in my life in college.  It was sure a wild ride from my freshman year to today.  I’ve transferred to different states, different degree plans, different dorms, different apartments, different friends, different lives entirely.  But today I’m ending the cycle.  I’m finishing what I started and preparing for the rest of my life.

Through all of my hard work, heavy networking and a handful of luck, not only am I graduating today but I’m graduating with a job, something that 80% of my fellow graduates do not have.  The fact that only 19.7% of graduates this time last year had a job by the day they walked the stage is appalling and tells me even more how lucky I am.

I start with Pure full time June 1 as their Manager of Digital Strategy.  I’m incredibly excited about the opportunities that sit in my future with Pure.  An innovative company with an eye to the future that isn’t afraid to try the things no one else has.

So with this, I post my last post as an undergrad.  The next time you see me here I will be a graduate!

Thanks for joining me on the ride, let’s see where we go next together!

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Brian S. Brooks, Oopsies

Yesterday I posted an email I received from University of Missouri Chancellor Brady J. Deaton.  The email elaborated on a previous email received by University students regarding vandalism on the University’s Black Culture Center.

This email was followed up by the one I posted yesterday.

These emails were met with general appreciation on the decision made by the University to suspend the studies, while simultaneously surprised with the Chancellor’s posting of the students’ full names.  Access to the full names of the alleged perpetrators hate crime through a newspaper or  the actual police report would not be surprising.  Nevertheless, for the chancellor of a university to openly post the full names in a system-wide email, that’s interesting.

Locally, Twitter was full of students’ commentary on various facts connected to the events from their involvement in the Navy ROTC program at the University to Zachary Tucker’s home address being on Cotton Tree Drive. (click here for screenshot)

However, if you were one of the  “best students” on Mizzou’s campus, you got another email… (thanks to @ColbyWG @tdankmyer @Temrey89, who are apparently in the category of Mizzou’s “best”, for sharing this information) (click here for screenshot)

Students,

As you may be aware, two MU students were arrested today in connection with a racist incident that involved dropping cotton balls on the lawn of the Black Culture Center. I am thankful that neither appears to be a student in the School of Journalism.

In general, the best students at MU are Journalism students, as evidenced by the selection of twelve Journalism majors among 39 graduating seniors honored as The Mizzou 39. Through this program, the MU Alumni Association honors MU’s most exceptional graduating seniors. Our graduates have the highest GPAs among graduating seniors on campus, and about a third graduate with Latin honors, which is the highest percentage of any school on campus.

You are, simply, the best.

When you have a great School like ours, it is imperative that it be a welcoming and open place for students of all races and religions. It also should be a place where political, sexual and other preferences are respected.

I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but I will in light of the recent events: The School of Journalism stands for diversity and tolerance. Please make sure your actions reflect those qualities, and please report any violations to me or the appropriate authorities.

Brian

I have put the most interesting sections in bold for emphasis.

I’m not someone that is particular sensitive to the word choice of “tolerance” or “preference”.  Normally it’s just one of those difficult things to dance around.  Is President Obama our first Black President of our first African-American President?

We of course know that saying you have an “Oriental” friend is not the same as saying you have an “Asian” or “Chinese” friend.  There is a right way and a wrong way and there is also the context in which this diction is included.  That seems to be what has Journalism students and students from several other Schools at the University upset.

Brian S. Brooks is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Administration at the School of Journalism here at Mizzou.  He called his students, “the best”, gloating at their achievements and their history.  He segregated his students from the others at the University.  He pointed out the differences between J-School students and every other major, touted their superiority, in an email about diversity “tolerance” and a hate crime on a minority!

However, when “tolerance” and “sexual…preference” are used in the context of an email promoting segregation and a superior population I do take offense, as do many others, including those marked as superior.

I did not choose my sexuality, just as I didn’t choose to be white.

I chose my degree, I choose this school, I chose my religion, I chose my political views.

To call my sexuality a preference, to suggest that diversity should be tolerated, rubs me the wrong way.  It’s a sort of “separate but equal” situation.  In a time where a crime against a minority group has occurred, in an email where that is being issued, segregating your students as “simple the best” is in poor taste and entirely inappropriate.

It falls along the lines of politicians using terrorist attacks to raise money for their re-election campaign, ie Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI).

I was in the dark about this entire scandal until last night and into this morning when I finally asked for info through Twitter, where the tweets were flying.   Apparently, Brooks sent out another email today.

Seriously?

So, Brian, since we’re on a first name basis, let’s discuss your latest email.  Was the first actually a message “in support of MU’s African American students?”  I sure didn’t see anything in there giving support towards them, words of inspiration, inclusion etc.  It was an email about the accomplishments of your students, how they are better than the other students.

Saying you have a “35-year track record of embracing diversity” is like when straight guys call someone a “faggot” or that something stupid/wrong is “gay” and then follow up with “I have a gay friend” as if that makes it ok for them to say something like that.  It doesn’t.

It doesn’t make it ok for former Vice President Dick Cheney to support anti-marriage equality (aka anti Gay Marriage Rights) because his daughter is gay.  Challenging those who disagreed with the first email to check your “track record” is nearly as insulting as the original email.

You can’t tout a track record of not discriminating.  What if I said…

I have a 25-year track record of not drowning puppies and I have dozens of pet owners who would attest to that.

I have a 25-year track record of not murdering Jews and I have dozens of Rabbis who would attest to that.

I have a 25-year track record of not disrespecting minorities and I have dozens of black/latino/gay/transgender/Muslim friends who would attest to that.

It doesn’t work that way.

Furthermore, it would appear you have violated the MU Mass Email Policy.

…Mass e-mail is considered an appropriate form for communication of an informational item under the following circumstances: Emergency or crisis situations (including closings and delays due to hazardous weather conditions or power outages, the need to provide special assistance to students, etc.); occurrence of crimes that threaten public safety; sudden changes in traffic, campus vehicular access, and parking due to emergencies; planned or sudden disruption of significant computer network features; other critical and time-sensitive situations affecting the campus as a whole.

This wasn’t an emergency or crisis situation, the crimes were not active (the email wasn’t really even about the crimes) and it had nothing to do with traffic, roads, vehicles, network outages etc.  According to the Policy, there is a fee for violations like this.

I’ve spent entirely too much time on this, plus I’m not one of the Journalism Elite.  I’m sure whatever I’ve written is far below Brian S Brooks standards (insert sarc mark).

What are your thoughts?

(alleged) Racist MU Students Suspended

Letter from University of Missouri Chancellor, Brady J. Deaton.

To the MU Community:

Related to the Feb. 26 incident where cotton balls were scattered at the Black Culture Center, the MU Police Department has arrested two individuals. My statement to the media that I am releasing is as follows:

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Based on the information available to me, and in accordance with the University of Missouri’s Student Conduct Code (as outlined in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Chapter 200), I have determined it is in the best interest of the university community to temporarily suspend those students, Sean D. Fitzgerald and Zachery E. Tucker, who have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident that occurred on Feb. 26 at the front entrance of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, pending the outcome of the formal student conduct process. The Boone County Prosecutor will make a determination related to any criminal prosecution.

I commend MUPD Chief Jack Watring and his officers for their rapid and effective response during this difficult time. I also wish to thank the Legion of Black Collegians for the leadership they have demonstrated and to all those who attended and spoke out at LBC’s town hall meeting. My colleagues and I in the MU administration have listened carefully to all that was expressed and join all of you as we work together in support of our Mizzou family.

Brady J. Deaton

Chancellor

A quick search on Facebook didn’t find Sean or Zach’s Facebook profiles.  Not sure why that matters, maybe I feel I want to leave a nice post on their wall congratulating them on their new freedom from an education and on their new digs in jail, though I’m sure they’ve been bailed out by now.

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Tricky, MU Bookstore, Tricky…

UPDATE: The Bookstore read my blog post, kinda incredible, and is editing the banner. That’s pretty sweet.  Incredible customer service is more valuable to me than a few bucks.  Especially when they incorporate social media into the mix…

MU Bookstore Rocks the Social Media

MU Bookstore Rocks the Social Media

Now back to the original post:

University bookstores are famous for ripping off students with their prices for required texts.  For instance.  To buy all my books, this semester, new, from the University of Missouri Bookstore, it would cost me $266.85, $287 with tax.  So how does that play out against Amazon.com?

New Used
MU Book Store $287.00 $226.55
Amazon.com $175.14 $143.68
Savings using Amazon $111.86 $82.87

I normally wouldn’t have felt the need to post this, but today I saw an ad on the MU Bookstore website that got me going.

MU apparel, Mizzou clothes, gifts, accessories and textbooks

First off, it does its due diligence and shows Amazon.com’s cheaper price.  That was a good move.  However.  While the Bookstore felt the need to add shipping to the Amazon.com price, they sure didn’t feel the need to add sales tax to the Bookstore price.

Do the math and you find that Amazon.com is still cheaper.

New
MU Bookstore $19.95
+ Sales Tax $1.50
MU Total $21.46
Amazon.com $20.16
Savings using Amazon $1.30

Now, what if you already bought something from Amazon like, your textbooks, a CD or nearly anything else that costs $3.83 or more?  Or if you are like me and have Amazon.com Prime… What the cost of the book?

New
MU Bookstore $19.95
+ Sales Tax $1.50
MU Total $21.46
Amazon.com $16.17
Savings using Amazon $5.29

So, there you go.  The Bookstore can charge all they want for books as long as Half.com, Amazon.com and the rest are still around.  And I’ll probably still buy my book from the Bookstore because I know at least SOME of the money goes to help my academic experience be the best it can be, like the new amazing new Bookstore facilities we just got.

Just please, don’t advertise something that’s so misleading like this.  Ok, time to get off this rant and… go to the Bookstore to buy my text books 😛

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