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    Despite its best attempts at hounding down http://www. ucsduncensored.com, the university has yet to provide an alternative that would let UCSD students interact online. For example, an online community might start evaluating courses in a more meaningful way than the current C.A.P.E. system of “”students found this teacher’s laundry hamper drier than Julia Dreyfus on a Saturday night”” (8). It might let students get to know each other’s pasts and thoughts without having to sit down for coffee. It might allow for free and open discourse on entirely random yet pertinent issues ‹ like the city burning down. It could let prospective students get a feel for the UCSD community and solicit opinions from students.

    Amazingly enough, such a thing exists, if only in embryonic form, at http://www.livejournal.com/~ucsd. Yes, that Livejournal ‹ the blogging site that half the freshmen that have stepped into the dorms this year use to post melodramatic song lyrics, endless online quiz results and veiled threats against cherished friends. To be more specific, Livejournal is a Web site that allows people to post random updates throughout the day about the meaningless inanities of life (“”8:03 a.m.: I’ve just brushed my teeth. Excited about the day.””) using a Web-based interface. It makes showing the rest of the world the utterly trivial aspects of one’s life much too easy.

    Despite (or maybe because of) its somewhat seedy/stellar reputation among our age group, the Livejournal system has spawned a “”community”” of around 400 UCSD-affiliated members. The “”community”” is nothing more than an amalgamated online journal, where just about anyone can post an update, to which everyone else can respond. Since message threads are shoved back regardless of their importance, the site is dynamic, and it encourages members to constantly watch and participate, lest they get left behind.

    The calamities of last week (and the utter lack of useful correspondence from the administration in a place where students would normally look) highlighted the benefits of paying attention to the UCSD Livejournal community. Nearly immediately after the notice went up on StudentLink (a place you just don’t visit unless it’s registration or grades time), the information had propagated throughout the community. Even more interesting was the response from the students, which ranged from child-like glee to consternation. A lively debate raged about whether or not one should be happy about the entire mess. This is not to imply that the level of discussion was on par with, say, what you might find in a certain student newspaper: “”All of those who are celebrating about there being no school tomorrow are narrow-minded shit-heads.”” Or maybe it is on par.

    Since the announcements and subsequent discussion of fire-related news, the journal community has chatted about upper-division classes, helped a student choose a professor for MMW5, and given admissions advice to a Colorado high school student. All silly and inane, but at a school where more than half of the students commute and on-campus life has been flat-lining for the past two decades, any amount of inane interaction should be welcomed by the powers that be. Even if it has a name that is in part trademarked by the Regents.

    aybe I’m being partial to John Muir College, but having talked to each of the provosts at length (with the exception of Revelle College’s, and no doubt Dr. Tom Bond is legendary), I cannot emphasize that UCSD has lost a great man in the passing of Dr. Patrick Ledden, provost of Muir College, last week. The school has lost its best provost. While there is undoubtedly already an endless queue of people that have lined up to say beautiful things about this genial and intelligent man that knew him much better than I did, this writer feels obligated to describe how, having only talked to him at length twice in my time here, he has been one of the most guiding influences in my college experience.

    During orientation, he showed up to help Muir freshmen register for classes. It was Dr. Ledden’s doing that landed me in the physics 4 sequence, which, in turn, has turned me into a physics major and hopefully a physics graduate student next year. It was his words of conviction in the vibrancy and intelligence of the UCSD student population that tipped the balance in deciding against transferring out of this school. I will remember Dr. Ledden as the person that reminded me how beautiful I found numbers and pushed me to study what I found beautiful. I am forever in his debt for that.

    That is his impact on one insolent undergraduate with whom he had only tangential contact. I cannot begin to imagine the impact he made on UCSD students over 30 years.

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