If you're like us here in the Department of Darts & Laurels, you have four days to pull it all together and pass all your classes. Oh yes, it's crunch time. If you have eight 10-page papers to write, five exams you have to get A's on just to get C's in those classes, and homework assignments from September you have to beg your professor to accept, you've got quite a weekend ahead of you. So grab your venti iced soy mocha-frappa-whatever and stay optimistic for the next 72 hours with this week's how-the-hell-am-I-ever-gonna-pull-this-off edition of…
Darts & Laurels
We open with a her-spirit-will-fly-on-forever LAUREL for the newly named Minerva owl butterfly. The butterfly's name was auctioned off by UF scientists, and it was named for the late Margery Minerva Blythe Kitzmiller. A donor who wishes to remain anonymous paid ,40,800, which will help fund more butterfly research. Now that's what we call the Butterfly Effect.
Up next we have a now-that's-an-alternative-to-selfishness LAUREL for Florida Alternative Breaks, a student-run service organization that takes students on weeklong trips to places such as Washington, D.C., and New Orleans to help out less-fortunate people. This program provides a great way for students to volunteer while having a life-changing experience. What's a four-day, binge-drinking cruise compared to a week of helping immigrants start a new life in America?
We've got an every-time-we-sip-orange-Gatorade-we'll-think-of-you LAUREL for Dr. Robert Cade, one of the inventors of Gatorade, who died Tuesday. Just a few weeks ago, Cade visited UF for an unveiling ceremony of a plaque honoring Gatorade. Throughout the past 40 years, Gatorade has brought UF ,150 million in royalties, which go toward the UF College of Medicine.
Gatorade is single-handedly one of the most valuable inventions to come out of Gainesville. The elixir has propelled our sports teams (and other schools') to national championships. That leaves us with just one question: Should we make our opponents drink Powerade?
Perhaps Cade's family would be interested in burying him on campus? We give an orange-and-blue-are-the-new-black LAUREL to the proposed columbarium. The UF Foundation is considering a plan that would allow some people to remain on campus forever - literally. The columbarium would contain niches, which die-hard Gators fans could buy for an estimated ,3,000, to place a burial urn.
Talk about a great gift idea for that old great uncle who reminisces about his time at UF way, way back in the day. Maybe UF President Bernie Machen would want to reserve a niche - he could have it written into his contract as a bonus, we're sure.
The Gainesville City Commission election is just around the corner, on Jan. 29 (make sure you're registered to vote by Dec. 31). This time around, not one but two students are seeking seats on the commission. So we send how's-this-for-involvement LAURELS to SFCC student Armando Grundy and UF student Robert Agrusa, who are running for a District 3 and an at-large seat, respectively. Of course, you shouldn't vote for a candidate just because he or she is a student, but having people our age on the ballot will hopefully influence more students to give a damn. And if more students head to the polls to vote in the city election, hopefully they'll cast votes for the state and national parts of the ballots.
Finally, we send a we'll-finally-get-through-Archer-Road-traffic-faster LAUREL to the traffic-light synchronizing project we've been hearing about for years. Well, something is finally happening. Thanks to the Florida Department of Transportation, Alachua County, Gainesville and UF, we'll spend less time twiddling our thumbs and more time with our foot on the gas pedal. The first phase of the project should be complete by summer and all four phases by 2012.
With that in mind, you better get back to studying. You've only got 3 days, 23 hours and 50 minutes left.