Monday, July 04, 2005

Formal Logic and the Rodeo

Rodeos. An interesting concept--skills that real-life cowboys/ranchers/etc. use(d?) are corraled into a family-fun and family-friendly collection of events. The events include things like bull riding, wild-horse racing (that is definitely the most hilarious event; the horses run that show), bull-wrestling, and so on.

I went to a rodeo last night. Well, technically, since it is now the Fourth by about eight minutes, I went to a rodeo the night before yesterday. But the rodeo experience was still quite entertaining. I have to admit I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The smells were less than glamorous, and it was a little bit of a wait once we sat down. The rodeo clown was more just an entertainer--not really the stereotype of the "clown" I think I was expecting.

Bareback horse riding was one of the more tedious sports, as just about every small town in Oregon seemed to boast its own competitor, and a few other Northwest towns as well. Aside from the million and one competitors it was fun. Bull riding was also very much fun--all that eight-second excitement but with at least half the tedium of various competitors. There was something where they wrestled small bulls (would it be bull calves?) to the ground, a "wild cow milking" competition (quite entertaining), barrel racing, and my personal favorite, wild horse racing. There were a couple of other events, too.

Wild horse racing isn't really racing on a wild horse. It's really a question of which team can A) get a member on their horse and B) get the horse through to the other side, through the side door of the arena, and do it C) the fastest. I think it was the first two teams who were counted, or something, but people kept going until five minutes had passed, so perhaps everyone who got through was counted. Beats me. The point of the event, as far as I could tell, was really to see how badly these horses could torture the cowboys. More than one of these poor guys were dragged quite aways across the arena by their horses. By the end of the five minutes four horses were running free, about three or four teams had passed through the gate, and one poor cowboy was sitting on his horse very very near to the gate, trying various tricks to try and get it to go in. The poor guy wasn't getting any response from his horse, whom he and his partner had in fact gotten this far already, and I believe the timer sounded when he was still standing outside the gate.

So there is a connection between two recent things in my life: we're in the middle of formal logic in my Intro to Philosophy class, and I'm addicted to a game called "Sherlock" which revolves around discerning, given certain statements, where certain icons lie in terms of column. Look it up on some Shareware site; I'm sure it's laying around somewhere. Formal logic, as it's coming across to me in class, basically means putting things in certain terms so that they can be read as a sort of formulae. You even have to diagram some things. It's kind of like the proofs from Geometry, except that it's about more than Hexagon X,Y,Z,P,D,Q. I'm having fun at school. It's a good place, UP. And taking summer classes now means I'm meeting people in a smaller setting, as opposed to meeting them in the multitudes at the Freshman Orientation. The whole college experience should be fun.

Well, I need to start winding this thing down. I've got some classwork to do tomorrow. My weekly assignment is likely to be something along the lines of "learn how much less procrastination works in college as opposed to high school." I have a bunch of definitions for words in Hinduism to be done tomorrow, and they won't define themselves. I also need to study my logic a bit and read about Buddhism. The strangest thing is, now that I've spent a week in school, I am no longer wondering what on earth I was thinking taking these classes in the summer to begin with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was taken by your statement about the cowboy on horseback who, when the buzzer sounded, was left standing outside the gate. There is a poignancy there. Is there also logic?