Heroes Among Us
Colleagues, 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 pokey! 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!!