Thursday, April 06, 2006

Golden Apple and Registration

I saw my Sci-Fi teacher, Eric S. Rabkin, give a most excellent lecture today. He was awarded the Golden Apple award, which entitles him to some cash and school wide recognition, but the real prize is being able to give "your ideal last lecture" to a gathered audience in the historic Rackham auditorium. 
The man is a genius, a simple google search will confirm that for you. His talk was equally fascinating. A Rabkin lecture is always difficult to try to explain to someone who was not there, but I will do my best because it was truly something special.
His primary thesis was that words can create meaning and affect the meaning of other words. (At least, I think that is what he was driving at. Believe me, at the time it all made sense) He took, as an example, two words and related them together. Such as Cranberries and Discombobulated. To eat cranberries, we must discombobulat them, was what a member of the audience (at Rabkin's behest) concluded. This now gives us a new meaning to the term discombobulated without violating the meaning of the word or anything of the sort.
Some really amazing stuff happened in between, and then we arrived at CUVWEBS. From a massive list of things he sought to do to improve his life and himself, he honed it down to 7 items.This is Rabkin's basic recpie for living better, and it goes like this:

C - Choose Goals
U - Use Time
V - Value People
W - Work Zestfully
E - Enjoy Life
B - Be Direct
S - Sleep Sufficiently

That is the amazing thing about Rabkin, he can speak for a great length of time about something very technical - in this case, linguistics - and then come back with something so personal, spiritual, and humanisitic that you are just struck dumb and end up wondering just what in the hell happened!
The second part to this story is registering for my classes. That happens in about 5 hours and some change. I declare my major next week - if everything, godwilling, goes right. 


jamie said...

Noticing the time of your post, I'm thinking you might need to work on the "S" part of "CUVWEBS." Best of luck with declaring your major. Keep in mind that you are a mere 19 years old and that all (OK, most) decisions are reversible. Your gut will tell you what to do, and if it's wrong, you can always feed it some bad meat for revenge.

Little Max said...

The worst part was that I had to be up early to register for classes. That gets several votes for not cool.
And thanks for the words of encouragement - i have been pretty antsy the last few days.