“We’re really excited about this,” he said. “We’ve done a lot but we’re still not quite there yet.” Crawford said his talk would be centered on developments the College of Science is making in order “to enhance and expand research and enterprise.” Crawford said one of the goals was to cultivate Catholic tradition in the field of science. This particular initiative will be centered on the three Catholic pillars of truth, service and the common good. “We don’t want to see this program fail,” he said. “We don’t want you to feel violated when you buy books.” “A lot of universities like Michigan, Stanford and [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] were fighting for this opportunity,” Crawford said. “This is the first accelerator the U.S. government has invested in since 1982 and Notre Dame is going to build it.” “We’re going to be launching a program called Compassionate Care, largely for our pre-med students,” he said. “This will have our students partner with hospice care on the local level, but we will also be participating on the international level with sending a few students to Africa to do work in those communities.” “The first goal we have is to enhance and expand undergraduate research in our core disciplines,” Crawford said. “That way every year will be different and it will help to expand our international collaborations,” he said. “The rental idea came up on the national level,” Kirkpatrick said. “We did a pilot study in fall 2009 and we’re going to be implementing across the country next academic year.”The program will allow students to pay a fee to rent the book for a semester for a price that is up to 50 percent off the price of the new book. “The biggest plus to this program is the upfront savings,” he said. “This program also provides the incentive for professor to make the books more affordable for students because they verbally commit to use the same book for four semesters.” Crawford said even with the individual proposals, the College will continue to be involved in continuous development. This includes creating a new institute within the College for 2011 focused on pure mathematics. The institute “will bring in the best math professors from all over the world for a semester.” Director of Retail Operations for the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore Keith Kirkpatrick then took the floor to talk about a rental system for textbooks for the 2010-2011 academic school year. The plan features seven goals, most of which are centered around creating and providing more research opportunities for students within the College of Science. Kirkpatrick said he believes the price of textbooks is “out of control” and the rental program will help drive costs down. Crawford also said Notre Dame recently was awarded $3.5 million to build a new nuclear accelerator for the federal government. The Council of Representatives (COR) brought in two guest speakers at its meeting Tuesday to discuss the Strategic Plan initiative within the College of Science as well as the new service that will allow Notre Dame students to rent their textbooks. Dean Gregory Crawford from the College of Science discussed the strategic plan that is in the process of being implemented within the College. Crawford said he was there to see what the student leaders thought about the effort.“This is a really important step in having student input in academic decisions,” student body president Catherine Soler said. “This is about moving forward and forming good relationships.”
During today’s tempo run, I got to thinking about the topic for my next blog (this itself is a lesson in lack of focus). I always come up with metaphors about how running relates to life. This time I was thinking about how a car transmission and running are quite similar.As I’ve mentioned before, there are three basic components of running. These are speed, strength and endurance. Training consists of a mix of these three components, depending upon what running distance one chooses to excel at. During today’s workout, I checked my mile splits and became frustrated with how much speed I have lost over the last couple of years. So instead of beating myself up over this earth shattering news, I started to shift my thinking about how running is like the gears in a car.Gears one and two are for speed running. I think of these gears as used for those runners who excel on the track or at shorter road races. These gears use a lot of fuel and one is depleted of energy quickly. Using these gears would be like driving a Porsche all the time. Gears three and four are the strength gears. These gears are used for runners who excel at distances from the half marathon up to the marathon distance. These gears still burn a lot of fuel but are more efficient and one can go longer before running out of gas. A good car comparison would be a muscle car like a Mustang or Camaro. Gears five and six are for endurance running. These gears are definitely used for ultra distances. These gears are energy efficient and get good mileage like a Hybrid car.One thing to remember is that you need to practice using all six gears no matter what distance you like to run. You will just need to rely more heavily on one or two sets of gears more than the other. Basically, the longer you want to go the more efficient you need to be. You also have to take into account the weather conditions and your age. This is something I’m becoming more aware of after every speed workout.So in a nutshell, my running career started out as a sexy Porsche and now I’m driving around in a Hybrid. I was never very fast and running speeds are all relative but I’d still like to be able to test drive that Porsche every now and then. So if you fly by me on the road or trail just realize I’m going green!