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March 23, 2009

Joe Dawson ’12

Yeah, I'm ready for spring break.

It came at just the right time for me. I was seriously running out of steam. Not that I don't love Oberlin and midterms and writing literature response papers for Biology about narwhals, but I was just about dried up last Friday. Two months of school, an intense week of tests, and finally-

I get to sleep. Wonderful sleep. Oh gosh how I love sleeping. In my own bed, a full size mattress with super clean sheets (or just clean, much cleaner than my dorm's sheets anyway). Sleep is something I put very high on my list. Of things. I've gone without sleep today for a number of hours to catch up with some old friends, and so writing a blog is proving to be a funny experience. Funny like I'm laughing out loud a bit as I write this. Like the thing about the sheets. I found that really funny. Speaking of funny, I wrote a joke:

So there's this big wind turbine that meets Jack Nicholson. Jack says "Hey there, I'm Jack, good to meet you" and the windmill says,

"Oh my God! Jack Nicholson! I'm a huge fan!"

It's super good to be home. I'm starting to think about things to do in the broader world that would be cool. My friend Austin at Northwestern is taking next year off to do City Year in Chicago. Just got me thinking about stuff to do this summer, or next year, or when I grow up...

Something did strike me in an assigned reading for Biology class the other day: only 10 percent of Americans believe that natural selection occurs as a completely physical phenomenon, and about a third of high school biology teachers flat out reject the idea of natural selection. It seems like if that many people don't understand this central tenet of biology, there are a lot of people who can't understand biology generally. This is dangerous. I have no idea how one would go about doing it, but I think raising awareness about evolution could really help to promote understanding of biology, which I think we need. It just seems like blindness that is crippling in a time where we have to make decisions about ecology. Instead of taking a hands-off approach to fixing our environment, for the most part we are working towards actively fixing the problems we've caused. It will be awfully hard to vote on how to fix things if we don't fully understand how they came to be this way.

Just a thought.

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