Heroes Among Us

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    Early this last July I was here in East Hall late one night and as
I walked by the colloquim room I heard what sounded like the battle cry of
a very enthusiastic group.  I heard footsteps toward the colloquim room
door so I darted behind that big statue of the mom and dad and kid holding
hands.  I watched in utter surprise as several members of the C&P faculty
bursted through the door in what appeared to be super hero costumes!  They
dispersed rapidly; some flew out of the window toward the parking
structure, others rode jet powered motor scooters through the halls and
some simply disappeared leaving behind only the smell of brimstone.  I was
left bewildered.

    Since that night, I have invested every waking moment to uncover
the secret identities of our Super Faculty.  I have followed them on car,
foot, bike and sled throughout the United States and Canada always making
sure to remain hidden.  Here is what I have found so far.

Super Hero:  The Mind Splitter
Real Name:  Patti Reuter-Lorenz

    It turns out that while at Dartmouth, our own Patti was bitten by
a radioactive callosotomy patient and from that day forth has had the
ability to disconnect people's hemispheres (including the thalamic
connections via the massa intermedia) with will alone.  She prefers to
fight the forces of evil in larger, more culturally diverse cities such as
Toronto and Chicago during the jazz festival.  It is a pure pleasure to
watch her render otherwise potent enemies completely harmless with a mere
snap of her fingers.  A usually quick and decisive criminal finds him or
herself reaching for a gun with the right hand (via the left "analytical"
brain) and a sword with the left hand (via the right "wholistic" brain).
Chaos emerges within the mind of the criminal and before long the left and
right brains are duking it out with deadly weapons.  The result:  Chalk on
up for the good guys!

Super Hero:  WordSmith
Real Name:  Ed Smith

    One day, as a boy in New York City, Ed accidentally underpaid for
his usual coffee and newspaper and was cursed by the old gypsy behind the
cash register.  "From this day forth," the gypsy said "the most unlikely
interpretation of everything you say will come true!"  Ed scoffed at the
old gypsy and said, "Up yours, I'm going to school."  Ed knew the gypsy
meant business, however, when he suddenly found himself at the bottom of
the Hudson River swimming with a large group of mutated Sea Bass.  Ed
lived life in misery for some time and had to avoid anything having to do
with a pen or his good friend, Seymour Buttz.  One day, however, he came
upon two young thugs who were picking on his grandma.  He yelled, "Hey,
leave my Grannie Smith alone!"  Suddenly, the two thugs found themselves
face to face with a large apple and the real Grannie Smith was safe and
sound at home.  From that day on, Ed realized he could use his curse for
good.  Since then, Ed has turned all of his battles into battles of
semantics.  Any "bank" robber unfortunate enough to butt heads with Ed has
found himself with a lootbag full of wet sand and a quick ticket to the

Super Hero:  Magneto
Real Name:  Thad Polk

    Thad used to work nights as a janitor at CMU in order to make ends
meet.  One fateful night, he was waxing the floors at the medical school
and decided the MRI suite could use a high shine.  Upon entering the room,
both he and the highly ferrous waxer he was using were pulled through the
bore of the magnet.  Upon recovery, Thad realized that he had been
transformed into a 3T magnetic coil himself!  The doctors at the hospital
realized the crime fighting potential of this human magnet and fitted Thad
with a special suit that allows him to turn himself on and off.  Now, any
evil doer with ferrous metal chronically implanted in his body that gets
within 10 yards of Thad finds himself giving Thad a very close and
uncomfortable hug.  All evil war veterans, epileptics gone bad, and those
with pacemakers who are up to no good, beware!

    Stay tuned, true believers, as I continue to unmask the secret
lives of our Super Faculty.  Join me, as I pry into the secret vaults of
The Adjudicator's (Frank Yates's) secret lair and transcend reality to a
land of complete abstraction in the world of The Modeller (Colleen
Seifert).  Some of the heroes will be at Charley's today at 4:00 p.m. to
sign autographs and discuss the possibility of a "super hero area" in the
brain to be revealed by fMRI.  See you next time!!

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