Double Meaning

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 40. 28-31


Home Sweet Home Alabama

My wife’s great-grandmother passed away earlier this week, so Thursday morning, Caroline and I drove 10 hours to Huntsville, Alabama for the funeral.

With both Alabama and Arkansas being southern states and also located fairly close to each other, many people, especially over-generalizing Yankees*, would probably think that they were very similar. I am sure there are many similarities, but there are also some glaring differences, and I’m going to briefly mention a few I noticed over the past few days.

1. There are way more southern accents in Alabama. Now, Fayetteville might be somewhat of a high-brow locale compared to much of the rest of Arkansas, but I’ve also lived in more rural Searcy, Arkansas, and there is still no comparison: the southern twang is much more prevalent in Alabama.

2. Apparently, there are Old School, non-Supercenter Wal-Marts in Alabama. In my part of Arkansas at least, this is not the case.

3. Funerals are way different. Not only was the funeral at a local funeral home instead of the church that Caroline’s great-grandmother attended, but the family also sat up on a stage off to the side, out of sight of everyone else. Once the funeral was over, a curtain closed over the stage; I guess so the family could have privacy while looking at the casket. Different.

4. The Alabama/Auburn rivalry is way intense. Being from Arkansas, where the Razorbacks get top-billing in everything, this is completely foreign to me. I think it’s neat having the vast majority of the state unified in support of a team, but coming from a state with no real rival, the intense rivalry thing seems pretty cool too.

5. According to a sign we passed, in Alabama, coon dogs are apparently a very, very big deal. At least, more so than they are here.

*Yes, the ironic word choice was intentional.


Leaving the Razorbacks

The Razorback Nation is reeling this week after the announcements that Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn and Freshman Quarterback Mitch Mustain are both leaving the University of Arkansas.

Malzahn announced on Monday that he would be leaving the Razorbacks to go to the University of Tulsa, where he will be Co-Offensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach. More importantly, he will be able to implement the hurry-up, no huddle offense that he is famous for, yet wasn’t allowed to use at Arkansas. It was also reported that Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt was planning on demoting Malzahn to Co-Offensive Coordinator at UA, and after a season where Malzahn was named the National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Rivals.com, it seems like that was the last straw.

One day after his former high school coach decided to leave, Mustain, the former Parade Magazine High School Player of the Year, was granted a release from the program as well. After compiling an 8-0 record as a starter, Mustain was replaced at QB by Casey Dick (2-3 as a starter this season), and was reportedly very upset when Malzahn, his mentor, decided to leave. At this point, Mustain hasn’t announced where he will transfer, but he won’t be suiting up for the Hogs next fall.

Both Malzahn and Mustain have been very diplomatic about their departures, and have had absolutely nothing negative to say about Houston Nutt, but that speaks more for their character than his.

What has become abundantly clear is this: in December 2005, when Nutt hired Malzahn as Offensive Coordinator, he didn’t do it to help out the Razorback offense; he did it to lure the prized Springdale recruits and ultimately, to save his job.

Once he succeeded in saving that job, he couldn’t have cared less about Malzahn and Mustain, and in fact, seemed to resent their presence as a constant reminder of how they had saved his job.

I wish the best to Malzahn and Mustain, and hope they succeed at their new schools.

On the other hand, Nutt has proved himself (time and time again) to be a petty and dishonest man (as well as a pretty mediocre coach), and he needs to be fired.

• • •

As the third piece of a staggering hat-trick to the U of A, I also have decided to leave school.

This might come as somewhat of a surprise since it wasn’t that long ago that I got accepted, but believe me when I say that no one is more surprised about this than me.

I went to class for the first time on Tuesday, met with my adviser, and then began my reading assignments. It became very clear to me that the program was going to be very difficult, but it being difficult was not the reason for my decision. However, because it was going to be difficult, it made me stop to consider the reasons why I decided to begin the program in the first place, and I discovered that they weren’t very good.

There are certainly several good reasons to go to graduate school, including:

1. You are really interested in what you’re studying.
2. You need to have a graduate degree to get the job that you really want.
3. You really like being in school in general.

There are also several bad reasons for deciding to go to grad school, such as:

1. You don’t know what you want to do in life and are just putting off figuring it out.
2. Your brother and sister went to grad school and it just seems like the thing to do.
3. You don’t want to grow up.
4. You want to continue your college ultimate frisbee career.

When I was honest with myself, I realized that I didn’t really have any good reasons for being in grad school, and that (as you probably surmised) my main reasons were the bad ones listed above.

I really think it was the right decision, but it was certainly a very difficult one. It’s a little scary when you change the plans that you made without having a new plan to replace it. But it will be okay.

So, my defection from the University of Arkansas might be more surprising than those of Gus Malzahn and Mitch Mustain, but at least it wasn’t caused by Houston Nutt. Though, he certainly didn’t help. And he should still be fired.


A Wasp that can do Brain Surgery?

I don’t usually post for the sole purpose of linking to something I think is interesting, but tonight, I will make an exception.

As a Christian, I am always interested to find occurrences in nature that seem too remarkable to have happened just by chance, without a Creator behind it. This is certainly one of the more remarkable things I have come across.

Apparently, during its reproductive process, the emerald cockroach wasp does what basically amounts to a form of neurosurgery on a cockroach that makes it docile and ultimately suitable as a nest for the wasp’s larva.

But maybe this is no evidence for a Creator at all, and the wasp just decided one day to try and operate on a cockroach after watching an episode of ER.

Yeah, maybe the Cubs will win the World Series this year too.

The Doc File © 2006-2012 by Luke Dockery

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