“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why You Should Study with Me at Rice, Now

Hahaha. No really:

1. Rice is a tiny school of 5000 students with a huge budget. It's a liberal arts size with a liberal arts attention to individual students, with an Ivy League budget and research 1 status, with a bunch of Ph.D. programs all over the place.

2. You will get funded. Everyone gets funded. You will get paid pretty much my starting salary when I began as a professor. You will get travel money. You will get all kinds of fellowships to attend seminars and workshops that go on all year and introduce you to fantastic people from around the world.

3. We have very well funded institutes like the energy and humanities one (CEHNS) and the theory one (3CT). This means that if you are into ecology you will find your needs met all over the place. Two names: Cary Wolfe and Dominic Boyer. Look them up! There are more!

4. Because it's not on the East or West coasts, Rice is a very free and creative place where all kinds of extraordinarily interesting stuff happens. There is way less paranoia and way less sclerotic tradition. The undergraduates are incredibly introspective and hard working--some are double and some are triple majors, and there are very few minors. There are no fraternities (from day 1 of its founding) and a very enlightened alcohol policy (hence no violence to do with that) and in my experience (which has been a lot) a very enlightened sexual violence policy. These and other factors make it the most peaceful, easy to work at place I've ever been at.

5. Houston is the fourth largest and most un-segregated city in the USA. And Rice is smack in the middle of it. And the middle of it is beautiful. No one believes this unless they've visited. Trees. Lots of them. Almost like a forest. About fifteen minutes north of campus is Montrose, where the cool kids live (sorry people in the Heights!) and you can walk to the Rothko Chapel, Menil Collection and on and on.

6. Mexico City is closer and cheaper to fly to than Denver. And Mexico City is dope (hi Mario!). And then there's Belize and the rest of Central America.

7. It's a subtropical climate, i.e. we have rain. Sorry California. Forty minutes drive to the south is the actual tropics, aka Galveston, where there is 90 degree water and a gently sloping beach made of powder-fine sand.

8. You can live and eat incredibly cheaply. And incredibly well. If the quality of a $20 meal in Chicago (due north) is x, the quality of the same price meal in Houston is 5x. Sorry Chicago! New Orleans is six hours by car away. Austin is a few hours away, and the Austin folks I know wish they lived in Houston (no really). If you are in the 99% (like, all of us) you can live in the middle of a major city within walking distance of the zoo and the museums, as long as that city is Houston.

9. Oil. Energy. The belly of the beast. Come on, you know you want to. You will be able to see very up close the actual corporations that structure our world right now. It's very interesting and you get to study and meet all kinds of things and people. (FYI Texas in fact has sick amounts of wind power, a little known fact.)


Ted Geier said...

Houston/Rice ftw. We had a tops meal while watching an insane lightning storm along Westheimer this evening. Other photos Rachel took (at my request) not shared yet were a series of wind farm images, including some stark, prehistoric plateaus with windmills atop them NW of Abilene before the never-ending fields of red lights (go near dusk and prepare for a trip as the sun goes out and the wind farm lights up forever). ps, no American college campus I've ever been on, and that's a lot, feels more to me like London parks than Rice. But it's its own. The tree tunnel along the back of Herring toward West Lot is something else. Also, I can get to Montrose in 10. 5 with the right street choice.

D. E.M. said...

I'm coming!! Wait, I already have a phd. Shit.

Anonymous said...

Um...not to be my usual grey vampire self, but back in 1967 Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane told a reporter how great he thought it was that he was writing such a glowing article about the San Francisco scene. The reporter said, "Kid, fastest way to kill it." And he was right.

Matt said...

Haha, Timothy! I'd love to study with you, but the local (and campus)environment comes in very much second to your way of thinking.