Thu 12 Oct 2006
Diana Davis writes on heroism.
Today math colloquium went brilliantly for the first 15 minutes. Around the 16th or 17th minute, a drilling noise began. It wasn’t that it drowned out the speaker; to the contrary, I could hear everything perfectly. The problem was that it was loud enough to be a significant noise in the room, and thereby was very distracting. I had heard the practice talk, and therefore knew that the part of the talk occurring now was key, as it linked the first and second halves together, and I was not able to focus whatsoever on what the speaker was saying, even though I knew the material, so I knew it must be even worse for the others.
I tolerated a few minutes of the drilling noise, glancing around, expecting a professor to do something about it. After it was clear that no one was going to do something, I decided that I had to do something. I weighed the relative interruptiveness of the noise versus my getting up and leaving the room, and decided that the noise was going on long enough that I needed to make it stop. So I got up, walked out the exterior door, put my glasses case in the door so that it wouldn’t lock, and sprinted away in search of the source of the noise.
Read the whole thing. Too many Williams students think that making the world a better place means something like working on global warning. Instead, they (and the world) would be better served if they just tried to help out those around them. Ask yourself: What Would Diana Do?
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