Thursday, March 23, 2006

"...using a graphing calculator..."

So I did not end up getting falafel for a second night in a row. Got a crepe. Which is really the Parisian dilemma, or at least was my dilemma when in Paris--falafel or cheese crepe? NYC surely has more options for a cheap and quick dinner, but months of near-daily Two Boots this fall and winter have made me no longer exclaim with glee, "Look, there's a Two Boots!" every time that opportunity presents itself.

Speaking of Paris, I can think of some good reasons to do your crepe-or-falafel-eating in the West Village rather than in the Marais. Something about cars burning, or students protesting, or the divine right to work five hours a week with 35 hours a day to leave work and eat a massive-yet-weight-loss-inducing traditional lunch. There may well be legitimate reasons for the youth of the France to go nuts, but the situation could really not fall into national stereotype any better than it does. I mean, there were already maligned Arabs burning cars, a Jew scapegoated, what left if not a protest of this nature, on this scale?

Speaking of stereotypes proven true, I was just reminded, via Peter's post on Crescat, of the study that allegedly "proves," once and for all, the narstiness of the University of Chicago undergrad women. I choose to think of the situation as less about UChicago women (or men, for that matter) being ugly than about a different beauty ideal existing at Chicago than at other schools. For those who prefer a more tanned, blond, robust population, perhaps the University leaves much to be desired. But if you prefer geeks, it's fantastic. If you like women with artfully unbrushed hair (it exists, and can be done quite elegantly) or "effeminate intellectual" (words of a prospective student who went with Harvard) men, you will be happy. If you are a woman and your ideal man would not excel at football, nor would a football player give you a second look, try Chicago. If you're a man who... you get the idea.

The best part about the "study" is this passage:

"After that we analyzed the sample data from the 35 girls at each school using a graphing calculator..."

Uh, uh, um, was it a TI-83? Or was it a, err, um, TI-85? Or, better yet, no comment.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I choose to think of the situation as less about UChicago women (or men, for that matter) being ugly than about a different beauty ideal existing at Chicago than at other schools."

Perhaps. But I think you're discounting the fact that Chicago is an entire city filled with ugly people. No matter how much nerd chic is inside the university walls, the general ugly of the city outside is bound to seep into the mix.

Matticus said...

According to the notes I took while visiting the UChicago math textbook factory last summer, "graphing calculator" is not the proper term, since it excludes computer graphers. However, the term "automatic grapher" was deemed "antequated" and, at that moment, the two elders I was eavesdropping on walked away. Tant pis.--I haven't touched my TI-83 since high school and am much happier for it.

Uchicago didn't seem all that full of ugly people to me, but then, I was there in the summer...does that make a big difference?