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The Nonacademic Interest

December 13, 2012   

Surprisingly, in the week preceding finals I have entertained an almost unprecedented number of nonacademic pursuits.  Ideally, I would have utilized my free time for studying—and I have, to some extent.  But really, the majority of my commitments are decidedly nonacademic.

Monday night found me at a rather energetic debate practice.  Side government brought the case that we should institutionalize production, and therefore grant citizenship to, genetically-engineered humans.  Side opposition’s main critique was that the resolution seemed almost copied from the game Halo, and he did not want to live in a virtual reality.

Tuesday I decided to venture out for a long run shortly after 4 in the afternoon.  The sun set around 5.  I managed to find my back to campus a little before 7.  It was pitch-black out; my legs ached from pushing through countless miles on concrete.  It was an exciting night, filled with fast cars, loud music, and plenty of farm animals—all of which I ran by.

Wednesday, a friend and I went to a lecture by author Wade Davis, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.  He talked in great detail about Mallory and the first great mountaineers on Everest.  He considered the role World War I played in the lives of these explorers—most of them had, in fact, been fighting in the trenches not three years prior to their expeditions on Everest.  Davis concluded the Great War gave them new outlooks on life—one filled with greater vigor and ambition in life and less fear of death.

And finally, we come to Thursday, the last week-night.  Outside of the usual debate practice, I am heading off to the premiere of the Hobbit at midnight.  I’ve given my roommate ample warning: expect a return around 3 in the morning.  But the short night of sleep will definitely be worth it—I hear rumors some movie-goers may dress up as wizards and hobbits and all sorts of magic creatures.

But of course, the end of this week brings the full weight of finals to bear.  Once Friday comes, I’ve no excuse; I need to start studying.  But this week has been one last burst of fun.