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Catching a Chimp

I once heard a story; About a very clever method; For catching a chimp. To be sure, I confess; I am truly uncertain; As to the true veracity of the tale; Yet, whether true or false; The implications are; Quite utterly profound! Start with an elongated; Heavy metal or ceramic urn; New or used will do; Do not monkey around! Put a tasty banana; Or olfactorily-pleasing cookie; At the very bottom; Of the weighty container; Now simply relax and wait; For soon you will see; A curious chimp; Actually a chimpanzee; Will sniff a tempting treat; With greed and desire; Arm...
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My Bout with the Flue

One winter windy city weekend in 1984, my wife, Barbara, and I were nearly killed by a squirrel but were saved by two dogs – and my sister.   The weekend promised to be uneventful. Typical frigid February, Chicago-style, blustery wind, blistering wind chill, sub-zero deep-freeze temperatures, windows shuttered, furnace on, non-stop, and us keeping warm in our cozy (read: very small) Evanston starter home. We planned to stay inside the entire weekend. I was working feverishly on my dissertation and Barbara was catching up on paperwork and house-cleaning. Sometime on Friday, unbeknownst to us, a squirrel fell down the chimney and...
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Difference Makers

Students often beseech me about how critical it is for them to get an “A” in my courses. “Dr. Gelman,” they implore at semester’s start, “I need an ‘A’ in your course. I have a 4.0 so far and I just have to graduate with a perfect GPA.”   A ‘perfect’ GPA is often a matter of personal pride or accomplishment. Some define it as a psychological victory; a affirmation of self-worth or vindication of having risen above life’s adversities. For others, perfectionism is the only driving benchmark; nothing less will do, as if absolutism achieves absolution. A few wily students attempt...
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