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Monday, February 21, 2011

Ring Toss

I try to be a good sport. Usually, when people ask me to participate in silly things, I do so. I am thrilled that someone thinks my participation can be a draw, though I understand mostly people want to laugh at a Dean doing the un-Deanlike. Last year I participated in the ASR Chocolate Festival booth game of milk-pong, a derivation of a popular drinking game. And I still haven't lived down my awkward music video with Michael Elder.

I have drawn the line at dunk tanks, because I look better dry than wet, and because I don't need to be any more of a target than I already am. As a young Resident Director I participated in a pie throwing contest in which a student I kicked out of the dorm took the opportunity to aggressively smash the pie in my face. Lesson learned.

The most unusual request I have received, though, was last week from my colleague Caroline Keener in Intramurals. She invited me, Dr. Raphael Moffett, Ben Newhouse (shown above... above), and Josh Beebe, all of Campus & Community Involvement, to wrestle one another in an exhibition for the annual IM wrestling tournament on February 27 and 28. Naturally, we all declined. First, I am not a wrestler and also not a big touch-er. Second, I think we would all look stupid. Really stupid. Which is what I think students really respond to. I also think that Caroline didn't really think this through. I think students would be really into it until we would actually start to wrestle. Then I think there would be lots of awkwardness and a lots of let-down.

Fortunately, for Mitch Hagney, I had just turned down this request when I received an e-mail from him asking me to be a dunk tank participant in TUVAC's World Water Day on March 22. Feeling like a kill-joy already, I am prepared to help out Mitch. Students will pay a nominal fee to dunk professors and administrators and the proceeds will go toward water projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mitch thinks it would be a huge hit if I would participate, which is code for he thinks I would look stupid. Which I think students really respond to.

But at least I don't have to wrestle. So Mitch, you're on. Who can argue against water projects in Africa? Besides, I think I could do much worse. And already have.

Photo doctoring by Clara Wells.

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