Yesterday’s Student Research Competition (SRC) flashed so many poorly conducted PowerPoints that I now get weird just walking by a pulled down projector screen (not that I wasn’t weird already). A few standouts caught my eye though, and I’m sure the judges as well, four of them, all professors at Chico State. Let’s see, Communications, Biology, English, and Physics made up the judging pool. Only two humanities students stood before them, myself and another that worked on a linguistic-slash-phonetics problem of dual language learners that even I found fascinating.

All in all, though, I felt that the research competition pool reflected too few students. Maybe the word did not get out properly. Whatever the cause, the lack of students – in a matter of fact way – only brought to the fore a certain level of quality in the presentations. Perhaps if departments pushed their instructors to encourage and engage more students in the value of competition, the SRC would have risen to a higher quality level.

There is value in competition! Just ask the men’s basketball team from San Diego State University. The Aztecs have the best record in NCAA division one, but they play in the Mountain West Conference. Thus, the media ranks SDSU at number six, while other teams with worse records but from more “competitive” conferences are ranked higher. Fair? I think so.

Not saying that I’ll win the SRC, that linguistic exercise was alright! But I did well enough. To my delight, though, Professor Robert Tinkler came by watched and afterward commented on some other issues I’m involved into. CSU, Chico is lucky to have him.

Anyway, the prize is an all expense paid trip to Fresno. Hmnn. Do I really want to win? Come on Linguistics!

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