Today, I’m speaking of a community that spans the entire globe: The Ignoramati. Yes, that is a fake word and, no, I did not come up with that. Credit goes to the old man. Again… He presented the word to me as one might find it in the dictionary: Ignoramati
Noun
1) The fellowship of the ignorant
2) Members of the fellowship of the ignorant
See "illuminati.” As he explained it, the ignoramati are those who spread ignorance and refuse to enlighten themselves while their leaders are those... Read More
One of the things that my father has drilled into my head is that life is pretty bland without two things: Curiosity and bravery.

Of course, he doesn’t say it that way for fear of sounding corny like me, but that’s the gist of it. However, he always seems to emphasize the curiosity, whether he realizes it or not.

He’s even ended one of his letters with “Be well.  Be interested.  Be open to wonder.  Be wildered.”

Quirkiness aside, he’s made it clear to me that without... Read More
We’ll, we’re back! To those returning, I’m glad to be seeing familiar faces all about and catching up with you. To those just joining us, welcome to UMass!

I hope that you’re enjoying the warmth and getting ready for the cold. Summer ends quick and, in the Stark words, Winter is Coming.

Forget about that though! You’re at college! You’ve spent the first week acquainting (or reacquainting) yourselves with the campus, discovering your new teachers and classmates, and perhaps partaking in... Read More
This is always the saddest part of the year for me. I know that most of my peers anticipate the end of classes with bated breath, but the end of school means something different to them. To them it means an end to work and thinking, an end to deadlines and stress for the most part, and an end to social drama and commitments.

To me, it means an end to stimulation, an end to motivation and achievement, and an end to friendships. I love the subjects I study and I enjoy the conversations I have with my... Read More
The greatest illusion in life is separation. Everything is connected and we know it.

One of the problems with being human is that our instincts and our reason are always conflicting. Our instincts tell us that medicine should be avoided because it tastes repulsive. Our reason tells us to suck it up and take the medicine if we want to get over an ailment.

Our instincts also tell us that the world is divided. Physically, it is divided by oceans, mountains, and any number of other... Read More
Spring has sprung! I thought we’d hit it a few weeks ago when people were walking around in tank tops and napping out on the grass, but nature decided to crush our hopes, dreams, and newly planted daffodils by dumping about five inches of snow on us.

In April.

But, hey! The sun’s out and we get to enjoy the glory of our campus! Look at the beautiful trees! The green grass! The budding flowers! The backhoe tearing up Morrill! The clear sky! The campus pond that could count as a biohazard!... Read More
My father hasn’t really shown up in this blog lately, so here’s one of his recent observations:

As with any relationship, our chats seem to hark back to certain topics time and again, one of which being my generation’s involvement with social media.

This time, he said that he realized the letters which he wrote to me were sort of like having his own blog “with an intended audience of one.” We recognize that people like to be in the public eye. We’re attention hogs. Why else would we be... Read More
The cost of education is ridiculous. It’s not just the tuition itself though. It’s everything associated with it and a lot of those “required” materials come from dubious sources. The College Board has a monopoly on costly, ineffectual standardized tests which, thank the gods, are seemingly on their way out the door. Certain online programs that professors require cost a hefty fee, sometimes charging for a year’s subscription even though you only need their services for one semester. Textbooks cost a mint and are... Read More
One of the first things that just about anyone learns growing up is that friends come and go. Sooner or later, you also learn that romantic relationships are even more evanescent. Your parents will comfort you through breakups, tell you how to help maintain your bonds, or, in my parents’ case, make jokes at the backstabbing SOB’s expense to help you get over it.

However, there is one thing that, if done right, never goes away. It never fades, never betrays you, and is about as constant as a golden... Read More
Well, we cast our votes last week. The first round is done. Now things are just going to get worse.

As if the campaign ads for the primaries weren’t bad enough, we all know that the actual campaign is going to inundate every TV channel, every magazine, and every website short of, I don’t know, pornhub. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if a political ad showed up there too…

The point is that the ads become ubiquitous, almost omnipresent. They’re flooded into our lives so that favorable... Read More

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