Friday, April 13, 2007

Excerpts from a Suggestion Book Groupie

Some comments in the suggestion book are just plain bizarre, like this string of comments, all apparently written in the same hand over a period of years in the late 1990s:

3460. Avoid CONFUSION – it causes energy waste. The cost also is in time. So the loss equals energy plus time. Total time loss to confusion shows up as zero accomplishment. Does total energy loss to confusion show up as inability to complete the task?
We answered: I’m too confused to answer!

3474. Which is worse for the student – pandemonium or confusion? Pandemonium expends a lot of energy. Confusion causes paralysis. Which of these calamities is worse?
We answered: According to Webster’s dictionary, pandemonium = a state of turmoil, mild uproar. Confusion = disorder, uncertainty of mind. Which is worse? Different people have different preferences, but most of us would prefer to avoid both if possible.

3481. What can be done about mega-learning? This is when more study leads to less learning – negative learning. The unfortunate student caught in this dilemma may be driven to distraction – to escape. They may never return from the limbo of mega-learning. Have you recent reports from these rootless retention-reversing runaways?
We answered: No, this problem is new to me! However, to assist victims of this affliction we suggest the following books: Up Your Grades and How to Study in the Careers LB section.

3485. Is there a limit to confusion? Total confusion is understood to be 100% In that case, things are so confused you don’t even know it. Is total confusion the same as unconsciousness or must we be conscious of confusion to conclude complete chaos?
We answered: Your comment put me in total confusion!

3501: Why don’t people eat elephants? They easily swallow a whale of a lie.
We answered: Just to hard to digest, I guess.

3516. A person may be lost, which is not as bad as being hopelessly lost. Hopelessly confused is similar. Worse is to be both hopelessly lost and hopelessly confused. Is it knowledge to know you are hopelessly, helplessly lost and confused
We answered. I suppose to know oneself is knowledge but this sounds like a situation where ignorance is bliss.

3358. As the number of outrages increases, man becomes desperate. This is called Modern Language Destabilization (MAD). Outrage and insults abound. The innocent bystander suddenly may be attacked verbally. A flood of course statements can cripple the victim. How can we avoid outrages, insults, coarse statements, crippling invective and total victimization?
We answered: One way to avoid “outrages…total vicitimization” is to stay in your home ALONE. Seriously, victims can be found on our campus and even in our Library, …but one can be alert and aware of these MAD situations and try to defuse them before they become too heated.

3556: Is my existence really essential
We answered: The meaning and value of life is a vital one for human beings and can be discussed on several different levels – psychological, spiritual, physical, to name a few. If you would like to discuss this with someone at the College, you might want to talk to a counselor.

3565. Who’s what? Doing the impossible – is that called impossibilism? Doing it twice – is that double impossibilism? Finally, if it is possible to do the impossible, when is impossible possible? For example, pleasing everyone in the Library is impossible. So are librarians impossibilists?
We answered: “Pleasing everyone in the Library is impossible”, but we librarians always like to give it a shot! Librarians are optimists.

3623. Jests & Fests as Valentines
Joking and Buffoonery make life interesting
An interesting life seems more worth living
Coarse and offensive jokes wreck pomp, pretension
Should a jester then be recognized as loving, giving?
We answered in kind:
In the Library we like too to jest
But we like serious research the best
When pursued in the right spirit
With good intentions, care and wit
Both jokers and learners are loving and giving
And make life much more interesting and worth living

…Especially when there are no cell phones ringing!

3624. Science has the answers sound
Still the people get more round
Epidemic fat to death is leading
How can we stop people from eating?

We answered: I don’t know if we want people to stop eating altogether (I for one enjoy it too much!)… Did you know that the Humanities Division sponsors a literary contest, open to all?
[in 2007, we don’t know if our faithful suggestion-book correspondent, sometime poet and sometime philosopher, ever entered the literary contest, but we sure hope so!]

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