I was talking to @conorlenahan about this earlier, but this thought has been bumbling in my head for the past few weeks.

Upon on the housetop, reindeer pause


Up on the housetop, reindeer paws


Up on the housetop rain deer paws

It’s undeniably a pre-search engine sort of question, since the obvious solution is just to get the text of the lyrics, but I think it’s more fun to ponder the ambiguity.

It’s also not a question for biologists or people who care about physical fact / nouns: deer have hooves.

It’s not a question if you don’t pronounce the ‘au’ in ‘pause’ longer, ordinarily, than the ‘aw’ in ‘paws’. For  you, this is indistinguishable, and nothing that is more confusing because the rhythm of song obscures vowel length. (or does it?)

No — it’s a question only for Lu.

Oh, in other news: I’m going on a trip, and intend to foursquare obnoxiously. They should be showing up @luzeng because the Connect to Facebook feature is broken (for me), though, so far, I’ve checked in to Tweed New Haven Airport (which is to say, a high school + soccer field), and it hasn’t showed up. We’ll see.

Update: pretty sure the Twitter thing isn’t working. Don’t worry, I’m doing fine.

reading university-wide emails

Brown is losing Ruth and searching for a next president to lead the University. Chancellor Thomas Tisch sent out the presidential search statement, and I decided to have a glance.

So: the search committee writes, with regard to Brown’s Future, all emphasis mine:

(it was published via scribd and a pdf, so there might be some copy/paste jumbling here.)

Brown’s Future:

Brown University is seeking as its nineteenth President a leader with a clear vision that embraces its longstanding core values and is relevant in a contemporary context. Consistent with Brown’s historic commitment to engagement at all levels, he/she will bededicated to preparing the University, its faculty, students, and staff for the realities and opportunities of the new era we are entering. Specifically, he/she will have a global perspective and understand the ways in which Brown can enhance its impact and stature within the global academic community and ensure that all members of the Brown community can compete on an international basis.

recruiiiitmennnnttttt;  –> research

Brown will also need to expand its presence and impact locally, ensuring that Brown’s evolution benefits the broader community in Providence and Rhode Island.

build build build. But for CLPS, ENGN, Alpert, ?

In addition, Brown will need to capitalize on the potential presented by the digital revolution to improve and support both teaching and research.

You mean, online distance masters programs? ~> University of Phoenix?

Diversity, which has always been a priority at Brown, will continue to require investment and attention, and Brown’s next President will have a demonstrated commitment to diversity, broadly defined.

Cool. Ugrads. Where mentioned? Right, those longstanding “original core values” that are to be embraced.

It is a sign that Brown has fulfilled its original goals of conveying a liberal arts education, as well as the importance of a liberal arts education, that I fear for the future achievements of these goals.