Category Archives: Etc

A Contracts Problem

Mars Hill professor resigns after student undresses in class

Mars Hill College has accepted the resignation of a longtime professor after he challenged students to disrobe in exchange for an A in his sociology class and one of them took him up on the offer.

College President Dan Lunsford said the professor didn’t expect the student would actually take off his clothes during the class last Thursday evening. The instructor’s offer was intended to illustrate cultural differences and that public nudity is unacceptable in American society, he said.

“He did not expect it to happen,” Lunsford said. “The professor realized that this had gone much beyond what he ever anticipated, and he was shocked and dismayed.”

Lunsford said he would not release the name of the professor or student because of privacy concerns. The student will not be punished, he said.

The incident has been the talk of the campus at this Madison County school affiliated with the Baptist Church. Senior Kat Marotta said it disturbed her.

“I feel a lot of the responsibility is on the professor in how he handles his classroom,” she said. “I’m very disappointed.

“People were very upset about it. It’s probably the juiciest thing that’s ever come out of this campus.”

But students such as senior Josh Dye do not believe it was that serious.

“As part of the classroom setting, I don’t think it should have been done, but it really didn’t affect me,” he said.

Lunsford said the professor, who has been with the college for more than 25 years, acted professionally by resigning. He has tenure and is eligible for retirement benefits.

“The professor has requested to activate his retirement, and it has been accepted with my expression of appreciation of his service to the college in the past,” he said. “I am concerned about the negative perception it may generate, and the professor was equally concerned in his conversation with me. However, it was a mistake.”

The professor apologized in an e-mail to students in the class. Lunsford said the student will not be punished because the incident would not have occurred if the teacher hadn’t issued the challenge. However, the student will not receive an A for accepting the offer, he said.

“In my view, in American society and in an academic environment, public nudity is not acceptable to illustrate a point,” he said.

Offer and acceptance?

[Original draft 2/21/2004. In preparation for my blog redesign, I found draft blog posts that somehow never made it to publication. This is one of them.]

2010: Link-rot has struck. Here’s the version. I imagine I didn’t run this because it seemed a little risqué somehow for around here and I felt sorry for the guy. And I suppose the contract is void on public policy grounds?

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A Brief for Time Travel in History

Grant McCracken:

[E]ven if time travel is not possible, we should prepare for it anyhow. Why? It is, I believe, the single best way to teach history at high school and college.

Sounds fun, but very expensive.

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Quick Quiz

What do the following names have in common:

Dean, Felix, Gustav, Ike, Noel, Paloma

Answer will be posted (below the fold) tomorrow unless someone gets it in comments. Don't Google this; it's too easy.

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Could Be a Good Day

It's not even lunchtime yet, and I've learned two interesting things.

(1) The NYT brings me the lovely and occasionally necessary word, “shatara,” which it defines as “the Arabic word for cunning and guile with a hint of deception.” It even gives an example:

An example of shatara once overheard in Beirut: “I’m not going to cheat you,” a landlord told a prospective tenant. “Well, I am going to cheat you, but not a lot.”

I encountered shatara when shopping for a shirt in Egypt, and I gather it was the hallmark of certain legendary Deans.

(2) The reason modern Western carrots are orange is because they were bred that way, in the 16th and 17th centuries, in tribute to the Dutch royal House of Orange (via Boing Boing – see the nice 'carrot rainbow' photo).

Now, I admit that neither of these additions to my information store is absolutely essential. But like any dragon curled around its hoard, I am very happy to have them.

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For My Relatives and Friends in DC

Snowpocalypse With Soundtrack

Yes, it's a Baltimore weather forecast, but it's right next door….

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Too Busy To Blog

Work. Work. Work.

Little things to tide us over:

  • A modest proposal § Unqualified Offerings: “In the future Costco will run law schools.”
  • Bumper sticker spotted on the road: “When do we get to vote on your marriage?”
  • Gary Farber notes that Jerry Falwell's Liberty Counsel has launched a new program called Adopt a Liberal™. “This program encourages people to pray for those in leadership to restore poor leaders to right thinking.”
  • FedThread looks cool.
  • So does TinEye which offers handy browser plug-ins.
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