Good News and Bad News

Bad News: Lindsay broke it off yesterday. I’m crying like a little bitch at work, which is just perfect considering I’m filling in for the receptionist. Nothing like coming into an office where the receptionist is crying. People must think, “What do they do? Beat their employees?”

The problem with breaking up, of course, is envisioning all the things that we would have/could have done together in the future — plans we’d already discussed that won’t come to fruition now, at least not together. I’ll discuss the “potential” trap in more detail in a later post.

Good News: I’m unofficially accepted to Kansas State’s Security Studies program, according to an e-mail I received from Mark P. Parillo, Director of Security Studiesat Kansas State University’s Institute for Military History & 20th Century Studies.

The Security Studies faculty admissions committee has reviewed
your application materials and recommended that you be admitted to
the M.A. program. I have studied the materials as well and concur
with their assessment. Accordingly, your file is being forwarded to
the Graduate School with our recommendation that you be admitted into
the M.A. program. You should understand that the Graduate School
holds final authority in matters of admission, and their acceptance
of our recommendation is by no means a foregone conclusion.But you
should also know that typically the Graduate School accepts the
recommendations of the relevant academic department or program unless
there are exceptional circumstances that have not been satisfactorily
addressed in the notice of recommendation put forward by the
department. In your case, we do not believe such circumstances exist,
and we expect the Graduate School to accept our recommendation.

In further good news passed onto me by my former mother-in-law (but good friend, nonetheless), Lindsay’s mom:

Metaphorically, at least, the nomination of Manhattan among five cities to host a new national biodefense site means war.

The city and Kansas State University are bidding against four other cities in the United States to host the facility, which will replace the government’s aging Plum Island, N.Y., facility. The site is the federal government’s premier and most secure laboratory for high-consequence animal disease research.

University President Jon Wefald yesterday likened the battle to one of the most important events in U.S. history. Winning the bid for the new defense/research center would be “the greatest thing to happen to Kansas since the Civil War.”

Consciously or not, Wefald may be on to something. Of the five sites under consideration, Manhattan is the only one in what was a Union state. The other four, all parts of the Confederacy, are in North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.

. . .

The odds, at least on the surface, seem to be stacked in favor of the South. But state and university officials think otherwise.

Kent Glasscock, president of the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization (NISTAC), said one of the criteria for the site was a large federal presence and “the comfort level” that goes with it. Manhattan should be fine, he said, because of the presence of Fts. Riley and Leavenworth nearby.

Officials downplayed the role politics might play in the decision — there has been speculation about the site in Texas getting preferential treatment because the President is from there. “This one will be on merit,” Tom Thornton, president of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, an entity formed at the Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’s request whose main focus is to attract and develop agricultural and biological research and industries in the state, said.

If merit and technological advancement alone are the sole determing factors in the decision as the Department of Homeland Security has promised, Thornton said, K-State would win hands down.

Wefald went one step further, calling the facility “so high-tech you could launch an ICBM (nuclear missile) from it.”

For more information on “National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility and Kansas’ quest to secure it,” go here.

For the San Antonio Express-News story Lindsay’s mom sent me, go here.

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