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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail bag

    Despite luck, Mock Trial didn’t lack for hard work and dedication

    My name is Jeremy Zarzycki and I am a coach for Mock Trial at the UA as well as an alumnus. In the Tuesday “”Mailbag,”” a “”Mike Harmon”” (a fictitious name based on a prior mock trial character) wrote a letter entitled “”Mock Trial participants benefitted from luck as well as skill.”” While I don’t disagree per se with the sentiment that both luck and skill are involved, I wanted to clarify a couple things.

    First, the rule only permitting two teams per school has always been in effect for the national championship tournament; at least it’s been there every year of Mock Trial’s seven-year history. However, this year, the rules changed, narrowing the championship field from 64 to only 48 teams. So, in that respect, it was much harder to qualify this year than in the other years the program made nationals. Also, this year saw the creation of a new super-regional system, meaning Mock Trial had to go through regionals and super-regionals to make nationals, unlike in prior years where we (I was a competitor on our first nationals team) made it straight out of regionals.

    That being said, sure, there is some luck at play. As a fun example: This year, MTUA had an eerie parallel to our men’s basketball team. Both Wildcat basketball and MTUA were the last teams selected for national tournaments (based on some degree of luck.) Both Wildcat basketball and MTUA proved that selection a worthy one by making it out of the first weekend of competition. And both MTUA and Wildcat basketball were destroyed the second weekend. And, last but not least, both MTUA and Wildcat basketball were full of tough, dedicated kids who played their hearts out against high adversity.

    In the end, I am extremely proud of all the kids in the program. I would also like to thank this “”Mike Harmon”” for the continued free publicity and attention. I encourage anyone who wants to join MTUA next year to e-mail me at jzarzycki@gmail.com. It’s a program with a proud tradition of winning three national championship tournament apperances, two silver (basically NIT) tournaments, a national third place finish and countless individual awards in seven years.

    Jeremy Zarzycki

    Eller College and James E. Rogers alumnus

    Noble birth no prerequisite for literary genius

    Mr. Dillingham, your editorial on the Supreme Court and Shakespeare was carefully reasoned and entirely persuasive. (“”Supreme Court in a tussle over Shakespeare,”” April 21, 2009) The Shakespeare-doubters are fueled by the worst kind of snobbery: the assumption that, if a writer does not come from a wealthy and privileged background, he cannot be any good. Shakespeare, like most of his contemporaries, never saw the inside of a university, and he was certainly not an aristocrat.

    Ben Jonson, the best comic playwright in the English language, was the posthumous son of an impoverished clergyman and his stepfather forced him into the bricklaying trade. Thomas Kyd, who wrote the most influential play of the English Renaissance, as well as the original “”Hamlet,”” was the son of a scrivener, a writer of documents. John Webster, an English dramatist best known for his tragedies in the early 17th century, was the son of a coach maker. The fact is that virtually all great English writers come from middle- or lower-class families.

    The Shakespeare-doubters also suffer from an appalling ignorance. How many of them understand that Shakespeare was a founding member of the era’s best acting company and that he acted as well as wrote throughout his career? (He performed both in his own plays and those of contemporaries.) How many doubters realize that Shakespeare was part-owner of the Globe, the most successful theater in London? How could a prominent theater-owner and actor, known to actors and audiences and other playwrights, have been part of a conspiracy involving his identity? And let’s not forget that he collaborated with several other well-known playwrights, including Thomas Nashe, George Peele, Thomas Middleton, and John Fletcher. The theatrical world of Elizabethan London was small by our standards; everyone knew everyone.

    At a time when the UA is being transformed from a university into a polytechnic, it would seem that the Humanities are, more than ever, essential.

    Frederick Kiefer

    English professor

    Duty to change government policies lies with citizens

    I want to commend Gabriel Schivone’s Tuesday column “”A horror movie lies behind UA corporate contracts.”” Once again he’s shown his commitment to issues of moral and social conscience.

    In his references to Noam Chomsky, he eloquently points out that according to Chomsky those responsible, “”namely ourselves””, are all implicated in “”criminal acts … because we are providing the decisive military, economic, diplomatic and … ideological support”” for it.’ Chomsky goes on to comment that we can act to change the policies of our government, if we do not like the fact that we are directly participating in the massacres of our government. This makes me think of another assertion by Chomsky, and that is that the United States is the freest country in the world.

    I believe this assertion, and if it is true, we are also freest to change the machinations of our country, both domestically and internationally. I hope that “”those directly responsible”” for the atrocities of our country, will take the observations of Noam Chomsky and Gabriel Schivone, not as an indictment of their apathy with their government, but as inspiration to change it.

    Christopher Floess

    German studies senior

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