Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One inspired professor:

"On Fridays, no matter what the weather, I show up to lecture in an aloha shirt. Bonston winters make this sometimes an intrepid idiosyncrasy, but a thick-knit fisherman's sweater and a leather jacket keep me warm across the freezing Harvard courtyards, before I strip down to red flowers and blue fish in time to begin talking about evolution. I do this for two reasons. Like a good mood on a hanger, an aloha shirt on a cold, gray day preempts the winter doldrums and makes it much more difficult to maintain a December pout. But just as important swirls a simple, yet fascinating uncertainty: How well will the idea catch on?
At the beginning of each semester, while sunny fall days still promise rewards for eschewing tweed, I encourage undergraduate and graduate students to don aloha shirts too- all to inoculate an infectious good mood, and as an ongoing experiments in the ecology of ideas."
(Stephen R. Palumbi)