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“If prayer is good, and Barack Obama is on the side of good, shouldn’t he be promoting it?” Bill O’ Reilly.

This was Billy Bob’s response to Obama’s decision to lessen the importance of National Talk To Invisible Man Day (also known as National Prayer Day).

How many hicks can you see nodding their heads in response to Bill’s question?

F you Bill

F you Bill

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I Advertise

I got the job.  I spent weeks preparing, I bought I book on interviewing, I read an entire alcohol-awareness meeting summary for information about the boss, and I used at least $25 in printer ink and it seems to have paid off.  I’m officially an Account Executive for The University Daily Kansan.  It’s a long road of learning ahead to be sure, but what else was I planning to do with my summer besides my two classes?

One of my main hopes for the job is that I’ll be able to create some of the ads myself-including drafting the campaign theme and designing the ad.  Even if they’d just let me do some of the photography I’d be happy.  I love doing it, and my new Nikon needs more experience.  

Here’s what I’ve been working on for my final project in Message Development: 

Sunflower Outdoor & Bike, “Keep Going” campaign

 

Model Casey Prohaska

Model Casey Prohaska

Model Casey Prohaska

Model Casey Prohaska

 

Model Casey Prohaska

Model Casey Prohaska

Can you see Casey?

Can you see Casey?

Now if only my TV ad would turn out this good…

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Modern Philosophy

I check my phone.  It’s 3:17 p.m.  Only two minutes have passed since the last time I checked.  I don’t have to hide it anymore.  No more pretending to grab a pencil out of my backpack as I hurriedly flip on the cell to steal a glance at its digital numbers, hoping for those magic digits, 3:45, that tell me it’s OK to walk out of the room.  

In fact, I now hold the phone in both hands with my elbows lazily propped up on my desk, and the bright little screen ten inches away from my face.  What do I care?  The Professor probably wouldn’t say anything about it even if he noticed, which surely he won’t.  A young man with a strained face at the front of the room has had a persistent hand in the air, waving it impatiently like a blade of grass in the wind.  It’s been up for at least three minutes.  If the Professor can’t notice that, he’ll never notice me-sitting almost in the far corner of the room with an open Vanity Fair and my phone.  Apparently the only thing I’ve deemed noteworthy in the first 45 minutes of this lecture is the date: 04/16/09.  I had written it hastily at the top of my page, and there it sat alone, far from the glassy, geriatric eyes of the droning toad sitting at the front of the room.  

The Professor spoke in a low and monotonous voice of the hyperbolic doubt characteristic of the modern philosopher Descartes.  At least, that’s what I think he had been talking about.  I hadn’t heard a word since I sat down.  His voice merely seeped in and out of my subconscious, sounding more like the low rumble of an air conditioning engine than a human voice.  If one were to truly listen to the man, one might soon realize that he indeed had thorough knowledge of his subject.  That much could be conceded.  The problem, however, was not in his intellect, or the familiarity he had with the material at hand.  The problem was that he was at least 15 years past his prime.  The problem was that he failed to recognize the 20 or so students sitting out in front of him.  It was if he had been sitting in front of a mirror in his home, practicing a poorly organized speech for a freshman communications class.  He was totally unaware of the fact that a good percentage of the class had already finished the crossword puzzle in the newspaper and had moved on to the “Free For All” comments section.  The problem was that the man simply had no passion for teaching, or at least he concealed it impeccably.  He had no command of the class or the students in it.  His presence went largely unnoticed save for the time or two he got up to scribble cryptic notes on the whiteboard behind him.  I’m paying hundreds of dollars for this?

I used to love philosophy.  For the last year and a half at KU it was always the class I consistently looked forward to, and the only class I truly enjoyed for that matter.  Journalism had been my first calling.  I wanted to write.  I was given thousands of dollars in scholarships from wealthy alumni to write.  But after an introductory philosophy course, I knew (or thought) I had found the perfect subject for me, and it was something that wasn’t based on the prospect of compensation, since there isn’t a dime to be made in philosophy.  I made it a second major so I could keep the journalism money and I dropped all of my Political Science courses (my then minor).  Every philosophy class I took after the Intro course was a success-nothing lower than an “A”.  I loved the teachers I had.  They had all been dynamic, loud, commanding, curious, fair and intelligent.  They incorporated the students into the lectures.  They cared what the students had to say, and they took every comment seriously.  They realized how dry the readings could be, so they were sure to bring their subjects to life in discussion.  They were good teachers who loved philosophy and who loved to teach.  And they received glowing end-of-the-year reviews from me and probably most of my classmates.

But to whom must the bad teachers answer?  If I can him on his review, will my professor receive a meaningless reprimand from whoever his superiors might be?  Will he lose a couple of days of vacation?  I know he won’t be fired.  I’m sure many other of the punishments are meaningless.  And he is too old to change his ways now. 

You’d think paying tens of thousands of dollars in often borrowed money to attend a big name university would earn me consistently good teaching.  You’d think wrong if that were the case.  I can’t stand Modern Philosophy.  I drag myself to the class every Tuesday and Thursday just so I can be sure not to miss a handout or a test.  I can’t drop the class because it’s required for a BA in Philosophy.  All I can do is force myself to pay attention for at least half an hour until the tedium overcomes me and I’m forced into the New York Times or a computer game on my iPod, knowing that my money has been permanently wasted and the man responsible will forever remain uncaring, and perhaps unaware.

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