An Audobon Moment or Life is Short, Brutish, and Hard

Enroute to the chamber of horrors otherwise known as pre-calculus, not-ready for our second test of the session but reconciled with my fate, I happened upon a recently dead pigeon. The carcass lay in a bed of its own feathers, like some sort of modern presentation of pigeon tartare, carefully placed in a location sure to attract maximum attention from the morning promenade of students moving to class from the land of nod.

At first, I took the particular placement and arrangement as some other pre-calculus student’s imprecation, voodoo like, about the state of affairs. It is, after all, very unusual to see the random display of the natural world’s dark side about the bucolic, but urban, campus. The only dogs I see are fellow students, as in: “what’s up, Dog”, and we are graced with a significant feline presence, constantly purring and rubbing, but with the usual disdain at the end. There are some of the porcine persuasion, a few of whom are clearly feral, and I have encountered a snake or two. But real live nature? More rarely seen even than students of my age, who mostly move around at night or on the edge of the campus, seeking cover at every opportunity.

Loitering at the scene, unwilling to enter the classroom and endure the blather of other, even more confused students, I took station a short distance away and tried to clear my mind, in the hope that some kind of enlightenment about the use of the natural log in solving equations of x would enter my being and become a central part of my essence.

Alas, the entrance to Nirvana remained closed, and I turned my attention to the outer world. In a random movement of eyes and head, unlike the instinct of my simian brothers, with whom I grow closer with every passing class, I looked up. There, perched on a tree providing cover to the belvedere, sat a ginormous hawk! Apart from being buzzed by furious mocking birds, it sat absolutely still, with its raptorian visage focused intently on the breakfast that had been interrupted. One might even say that it looked a little peeved.

All became clear. A part of nature not normally seen, the feeding ritual, had taken place in our small nature preserve. A creature near the top of the food chain had dined on a member of some lower level in the hierarchy of existence and needs. A raptor had killed a pigeon. Life continued, each with its role fulfilled.

With that powerful thought, I marched into the classroom and sat down for my test.

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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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