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July 2nd, 2006

on future dating and zidane

Friday afternoon saw me go out drinking with two of my instructors. Most of the conversation revolved around the difficulties of teaching evolutionary theory to kids who don't want to learn in the first place (it seems "change in the genetic structure of a population" is too hard for most to remember), as well as some of the politics surrounding the current batch of graduate students at the university. I was also warned about the difficulties in striking up a relationship with someone after entering grad school - the thought being that the only people you meet are the other students in your department, which can lead to all kinds of trouble.

While I will admit that it's much harder to make fun of Unilinear Cultural Evolution with someone who is unfamiliar with the teachings of Lewis H. Morgan, anthropology is such a far-reaching discipline that it should provide opportunities to talk with academics from a number of other fields. I spent time with graduate students from the biology, math, and philosophy departments last semester before going out with anyone from the anthropology department. In fact, one of the biology students was interested in song acquisition among a species of forest-dwelling bird - so despite the ornithological context it still opened up the chance to talk about linguistic theories with a non-anthropologist. Perhaps this is a case of "your mileage may vary"?

Of course, educational psychology is one area that remains taboo. All my cultural and linguistic anthropology classes to date have included at least one reading that discusses how researches in the field are clueless when it comes to conducting cultural studies. In addition to this, dating Vivian (the girl who recently banned me from her livejournal) two years ago provided a real-life example of those very same complaints. Consider yourself warned.



In other news, I watched the quarterfinal between France and Brazil at Josten's apartment on Saturday and was the only person in the room supporting les Bleus. Everyone kept talking about how Brazil was going to tear apart the aging French defense, but when the final statistics were posted the South Americans only managed three shots during the entire game.

Zidane, it must be said, is a maestro. He may be 34 years old, but you wouldn't know that from the way he played on the weekend. Zidane outclassed Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Robinho to make the entire Brazil squad look like a third-tier team content on packing everyone back in defense. I don't think there is a sports paper on the planet that didn't name him player of the match - and who would object after seeing the magic he brought to the pitch? Oh, that sombrero around Ronaldo was simply sublime.

Tuesday is a national holiday in the United States; it also happens to be the date of the semi-finals.
You can probably guess how I'll be spending my day ...