blueollie

A bit about academia ….

No, the the university library is not the place to shoot porn. But that might be one way to get basketball players to go to the library?

Yes, when a university team does poorly and said team has a lot of enthusiastic followers, said followers get angry.

Our local university basketball team has done poorly over the past few years and local fans are screaming for blood; the coach, athletic director and university president (who is retiring after the semester is over). At the last home game, some fans booed loudly and the coach (and sadly, players) received cat calls; some were vulgar.

And yes, this was noticed and…well, an athletic department official (PR director) spoke his mind:

It is no secret that a great deal of unrest has fallen upon The Hilltop, due in large part to the struggles of the men’s basketball team. Obviously, a 7-15 overall record on the heels of three 20-loss results in the last four years is a bitter pill to swallow. I can assure you every aspect of the program is being evaluated and every effort is being made to avoid a continuation of these results into the future.

I cannot help but notice the poison being spewed at the athletic department from near and far and I find the ease at which people lash out with insensitivity disturbing. Everybody who works in a high-profile profession understands the public scrutiny that comes with the position, but that does not make it any easier to hear the many vile things that are yelled and written in public forums. Much of that public ire is being directed at my friends and colleagues, and in an indirect way, myself. It is emotionally draining and only adds stress to the job. It is stress that comes with the territory and is understood, but it is stress none-the-less.

Whenever judgment is leveled on others, I think it is a good idea to first take a look in the mirror and remember that judgment is being made on a fellow human being, a neighbor with loved ones who is giving his best effort. That moment of reflection may not change the judgment, but I hope it affects the manner in which messages are delivered.

Though I won’t dispute the message (because I agree with it), I do think that it is NOT helpful as it is hosted on an official university website; is sure smacks of “quit being mean to us”.

Note: the athletic department has made some PR gaffes (e. g. raising season ticket prices while the team was on a down cycle). And, at least there are still a lot of people who still care; they still sell 5-6K tickets per game (though 2.5-3K actually show up) and there are still 2 very active fan boards on the internet. A much worse situation is when people quit caring entirely; then the smaller on campus arena will have more than enough seats.

Note: yes, I am a fan but in some ways I am the worst kind of fan. I show up, cheer and go home, whether the team is 25-5 or 5-25. I buy new university gear when my old stuff wears out. I might give a modest amount of money but most of it goes to academics (some goes to women’s sports) and it isn’t as if my gifts are dependent on W-L records. If all fans were like me, most of the competition would be D-2 level.

Yes, college students have opinions on sex and

According to a study published in the Journal of Creative Behavior, college students find athletes and dancers sexy, but not students who love computers and science.

. This might explain my long periods of loneliness. πŸ™‚

On the other side: when it comes to teaching college, yes, at times, it might be expedient to take the easy way out and not hold students to high standards. But professors who give in to this pressure:
parents-yelling-at-teachers

can often pay a heavy price later. Those professors become known as “easy professors” and end up attracting the slackers and whiners.

Of course, you suck it up and hold them to standards because it is the right thing to do, but that isn’t always easy.

January 31, 2015 Posted by | education | , | Leave a comment

Got outside today

There is a big snowstorm on the way and so I figured that I’d run some outside. Almost all of the snow is gone for the moment, except for certain shaded area.

Currently I am listening to the Bradley vs. Indiana State game on the radio; BU ran out to a 13-4 lead and right now ISU leads 47-42 in the second half. BU is missing 3 key players due to discipline suspensions. ISU had built it to 8 points and now it is going back and forth.

I was going to take Barbara to the bus to get her started on her long trip to Southeast Asia (mostly Vietnam) and decided to get my run in before.

I went to the Riverplex, ran on the bike path to the start of the Fondulac portion, ran back and then did .5 out and back. Total time: 1:30. (39 minutes at the turn around; distance was just over 8.1 miles).

riverplexeporia8

I was unsure as to how my feet would feel as I was used to the treadmill; they actually felt good. No foot pain at all…though my thighs got heavy. I didn’t run fast; one of my “timed” mile segment was 10:40.

It was overcast and 28 F (-3 C). I saw a few runners out there; it was sort of empty.

So no gym for me today.

Now someone who knows that I work out a lot thought that I mike like this photo…not sure why: (from here)

xfitbutt

January 31, 2015 Posted by | big butts, running, spandex | Leave a comment

Delusions…swimming

Not much in blogging today; grading, grading everywhere.

Workout notes 1.25 mile (2200 yard) swim. 1000 free, 5 x (50 drill (fins), 50 swim)
200 in 3:31, 100 back, 100 in 1:42, 100 back 50 in 0:47, 150 fly practice with fins.

A high school swim team was there. Of course, they are faster. But I noticed that I was gaining on and passed one slender swimmer…turns out he was a 4x year old professor who is very slender (and a fast runner). 😦 That kind of burst my bubble. πŸ™‚

January 31, 2015 Posted by | swimming | Leave a comment

Bradley Basketball does not need this…

On the evening of a very embarrassing loss to the “then” last place MVC team ..at home

bustrip

Look at the right hand column. Oh joy.

January 30, 2015 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

Interesting meme…

runningtough

Well, this is…well…mostly untrue for me.

Ok, I do remember being gassed during “after practice” sprints in football. So, the idea of running 3-4-5 miles once seemed crazy to me.
But as I saw others doing it, …let’s just say that I have a “gee, they don’t look too special to me so I can do that too” attitude.

So, I’d have to say that running has really humbled me. I’ve met fatigue and have become a complete coward because of it. And the ultras: I never hurt as bad as I hurt during my first 3 100 mile finishes. Ok, it wasn’t that searing white hot pain one gets in the mile, but a pushing through very deep fatigue and aches. I was confronted with how weak I was in mind, spirit and body.

We won’t even talk about how I compare to those who are good at it. πŸ™‚

January 30, 2015 Posted by | running | | Leave a comment

Bad intuition …

Yesterday, I was scratching my head at an elementary problem in a graduate algebra text. I had forgotten something basic…and I am embarrassed. πŸ™‚

I did workout this morning:

Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups (not that bad…rotator cuff)
military press: dumbbells: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing.
incline press: 10 x 140 (difficult), 6 x 135 (exhausted)
machine chest press: 10 x 70 (each arm)

Then I ran 4 miles on the track (middle lane) 36:57. 9:21, 9:07, 9:13, 9:15, then 2 miles hill on the treadmill in 21:20. 0.5-1-2 (2 minutes each) repeated 3 times, then kept it on 2 the rest of the way. Foot: ok; some noticeable twinges on the track.

January 29, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | Leave a comment

Drake 69 Bradley 57….whatevers…

Drake came in to tonight’s game riding a long road losing streak and in last place in the Missouri Valley. Drake also had the worst power rating, being 4 points behind Bradley.
sagarinbasketballjan2015

The power ratings (giving the usual 4 extra points to the home team) suggested that Bradley should win by 8. The betting line was Bradley by 8-8.5 points.

Still, this was the battle of bottom dwelling teams and it was on a workday night. The crowd was “announced” at 5431, but I’d say it was closer to half of that. The only time I’ve seen a crowd that looked smaller to me was for the “snow games”, in which a blizzard mostly closed the university/city down but the visiting team was already in town…so they just made those two games “open seating”.

bradleydrake2015

So what happened? Basically, while BU got great play from its freshman forward (16 points, 15 rebounds and some good work on defense, which included blocking the shot made by Drake’s 7 foot center) Bradley had some defensive lapses in the first half which enabled Drake to hit 16 of 24 field goals including 6 of 10 3 point attempts. I stress that these were mostly open shots. So while Drake had been averaging 43 points a game on the road, they had 41 at the half and lead 41-31.

But the crowd seemed mellow… and I noted with pride the long parade of athletes on the various academic honor rolls that took place at half time. Yes, many of the men’s basketball team members are on the academic honor roll but were in the locker room at halftime.

I figured that this was BU’s usual “bad half”…but tonight there would be two “bad halves”. BU cut the lead to 7 points a couple of times, but made the usual assortment of mistakes.
Drake’s shooting went just a bit colder, but the damage had been done and the already sparse crowd emptied.

As the lead stayed between 10-13 toward the end of the game, loud cat-calls rained down on the coach and there was loud booing; more than I’d ever heard at a Bradley game.
No, I did NOT boo; I’ve previously explained why I don’t boo at college games.. (exception: I’ll boo a bad referee call). Upshot: there is no way to direct a boo away from the players (college students) to those who are getting paid big money. And in this case, the coach, athletic director and college president (who is retiring at the end of the year) are fellow university employees, albeit handsomely paid ones. So even if there WAS a way to “boo” them, I would never do it, no matter what I thought inside.

I did yell “good game Cunningham” when the star forward was taken out of the game; he did get some well deserved applause.

Yes, the 2011-2012 team probably had less athletic talent (though it did feature a walk on with a 4.0 GPA who went to medical school). The first year I watched the team (1991-1992) WAS a painful rebuilding year. But this has to be as low as I’ve seen BU basketball, given the circumstances coming in.

What happens now? Well, we are half way. BU is 2-7 in conference and goes on the road against Drake, Missouri State, Evansville, Northern Iowa and Indiana State and has home games against Wichita State, Indiana State, Loyola and Illinois State. I don’t see BU being favored in any of these, though a couple of upsets are possible. Nothing between 2-16 and 5-13 would surprise me.

Here is what the local sports media said:

alltimelow

Note: just when you thought that it couldn’t get worse, it did. After the game, one of the BU players was arrested at a local strip club for having a fake ID.

buplayerarrested

Closing note: it wasn’t always this way. Contrast the above photo from one when Bradley was a perennial winner:

bradleybballpeak

January 29, 2015 Posted by | basketball | | 2 Comments

Horsey on Religion

horseyreligion

January 28, 2015 Posted by | religion | | Leave a comment

Train wrecks are hard to look away from….

Iowa GOP hopeful summit:

What can I say?

Speaking of train wrecks, here was my workout for the day:

lifting:
pull ups (5 sets of 10; better than last time) (hip hikes, Achilles exercises)
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 7 x 170, 5 x 170 (rotator cuff)
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell, standing. (rotator cuff)
super set: 3 sets of 10 of pull downs and rows (pull downs: 10 x 150, rows: 10 x 90) done with the other machines.

running:
2 miles on the treadmill in 21:05 (every 4 minutes, increase 0.1 mph, starting at 5.5)
track: Deek 5K in 28:27 (3 miles in 27:27); middle lane, 8:43, 9:17, 9:26. slow death. 1 lap walk.
treadmill: 1 mile in 10:30
Total: 10K (actually, 6.25 miles)

Note: I saw one of the university XC women doing her steady state run (1 hour?) 9.2 mph was her “steady state pace”. We both run for an hour; she get 15K, I get 10K. That was humbling to say the least.

January 27, 2015 Posted by | republicans, republicans politics, running, sarah palin, weight training | | Leave a comment

Low quality blogging…

Yep, I suppose that I just have nothing useful to say about anything of importance.
Well, that might not be entirely true; I have posted on a few mathematics blogs: I have one on college math teaching, one about the stuff I am currently working on and one for my undergraduate topology class (which I am about to update).

But as far as the issues: well, the zealots (of every stripe) will continue to be unreasonable about their pet issues, and not much will get done in Congress because the country itself is divided (the people who elected the Representatives and Senators). Very serious person X saying that “now Congress needs to compromise” isn’t going to change the minds of the Louie Gohmerts of Congress.

And, strangely, I care very little about the 2016 Presidential race; while I’ll certainly vote, I am planning on sitting out the election, so to speak. I am starting to care less and less.

Oh what the hell. Here is a goat.

sharethisgoat

Here is a politician with a cute butt.

kharris

Quiz:
1. Who is she?
2. Whose hand is she shaking?
3. Who is in the photo behind her?

January 27, 2015 Posted by | 2016, butt, political/social, politics | , | 1 Comment