Life in the Dorms

What life looks like in a freshman dorm at 3 AM.

I just ran across a really interesting article about life in the Stanford dorms from the perspective of a faculty member who’s been living in Donner House for 16 years.

One excerpt on the late-night scene: By day, freshmen manage the ins and outs of academic and residential life; they are dedicated students, loyal friends, committed musicians, gifted athletes, devoted community volunteers. But an RF soon learns that this everyday world is to some extent a concession on their part: theyre generally very nice people and bear us no particular grudges. Theyll play our detail- and schedule-laden game if thats what we really want. But when the adult world puts on its bathrobe and gets ready to turn in, another reality bubbles up in the hallways and lounges.

Late at night, when the everyday has lost its grip, convention, habit and expectation fall away in a general liberation from the demands of the clock. There is no etiquette for pajamaed encounters over Proust, MP3s, the Buddha, the Band. There are no courtesies between two students with toothbrushes in hand and something on their minds. During these clockless nights, students begin to find and educate themselves. The conversations are not always tony ones on religion or philosophy; students also mix it up on the design of the dorm T-shirt, the no-car policy for frosh, the virtues of Willy Wonka, the difference between mankind and humanity. And these discussions take place in the nontraditional space of no perceptible time at all.

The late-night community students seem to create automatically is an important, perhaps even vital, rite of passage from the world of inherited ideas to the world of real thought. In this nocturnal place of chaotic challenge and revelation, new worlds can be contemplated, along with the latest crush. And it was an invitation to this conversation that I refused when I reminded Brian of the time.

Except in the classroom, most of us at the University have little to do with undergraduate life. When we do become involved, we are often representing the Universitys authority to its most insistentand sometimes troublesomestudents. As a resident fellow, Ive had my share of difficult discussions. It falls to the RF, for instance, to tell a student that, delightful person that he is, hes an ugly drunk. Or, as the caretaker of the whole community, an RF will have the unpleasant task of letting a few students know that their particular brand of hilaritysexist, homophobic, or just plain loud or smellyis a pain in the collective tush. I remember once having to remind a group of young men that when our facilities supervisor (a wonderful woman who took virtually every other thing about dorm life in stride) was in the mens bathroom, they needed to refrain from using the urinals. And I remember rather twitchily seeing the students out, carefully shutting my door and collapsing in laughterat the sheer ridiculousness of having to remind smart young people of such a normal courtesy; at the very real importance of it; and finally, at the fact that no one had ever told me Id have such a conversation in my own home.

Stanford Law Prof Tries to Rein in Copyright Laws

Stanford prof tries to lessen the duration of out-of-control copyright extensions.

Lawrence Lessing, Stanford law prof, will be arguing Eldred vs Ashcroft before the Supreme Court, asking the justices (four of whom are Stanford alumni) to lessen the duration of copyright protection.

[note–edited for usage (thanks to Andrew for catching a homonym error!)]

Today’s Students

Beloit College’s 2006 College Mindset List: This year’s entering students have grown up in a country where the Presidents have all been Southerners, and in a world with AIDS and without apartheid. Saturns have always been on the street, the Fox Network has always been on television, and prom dresses have always come in basic black. The evil empire is not earth-bound, the drug “ecstacy” has always been available, and with the breakup of AT & T, nobody has been able to comprehend a phone bill.

Beloit College has released its 2006 college mindset list.

From the intro: This year’s entering students have grown up in a country where the Presidents have all been Southerners, and in a world with AIDS and without apartheid. Saturns have always been on the street, the Fox Network has always been on television, and prom dresses have always come in basic black. The evil empire is not earth-bound, the drug “ecstacy” has always been available, and with the breakup of AT & T, nobody has been able to comprehend a phone bill.

Some of the more humorous items:
11. Barbie has always had a job.
14. A “Hair Band” is some sort of fashion accessory.
15. George Foreman has always been a barbecue grill salesman.
21. The United States has always been trying to put nuclear waste in Nevada.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my mission field!

Faithfulness in Small, Smelly Things

I couldn’t help but laugh when I ran across this news article. I quote:

Counting toilet roll sheets proved a success for a vigilant British worker who won his employer thousands of pounds in compensation after he discovered that some rolls were not as long as they should be.

Turns out the rolls were less than 2/3 the size they were advertised to be. When you use 40,000 rolls a year that adds up quickly! In this case, it added up to nearly $30,000.

It put me in mind of Jesus’ parable of the shrewd manager, which he goes on to explain in Luke 16.10–12: “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?”

It’s great to be loved!

A creative way to bless pastors.

Paula and I have been out of town the last three days, and it was great!

The Nor Cal / Nevada District hosted a golf tournament.

No–we didn’t play. We did something much, much better.

We drove around in a golf cart all day both days and handed out free ice-cold drinks to parched pastors! The temperature on the first day was around 102 F and set a new record for the area, which meant that the golfers were VERY happy to see us. There were around 80 golfers, and we gave away around 400 drinks over the two days of the tournament.

It was a great way to bless the pastors, and it was also a great way to build some name recognition for Stanford Chi Alpha among this key constituency. It was also a great way to become the most loved people on the golf course!

Stanford: A Wellspring of Innovation

Stanford University changes the economy of the whole world!

Yet another way Stanford is changing the world: here’s a list of companies founded by members of the Stanford community. Among them:

Hewlett-Packard
Cisco Systems
Silicon Graphics
Sun Microsystems
Electronic Arts
Yahoo!
EBay
Nvidia

Turns out that 40% of the revenue in Silicon Valley is generated by companies that emerged from Stanford, and the employees earned around 6.5 billion dollars in 1999. Wow!

By the way, that 6.5 billion dollars would work out to $650 million dollars in tithes. For comparison’s sake, the Assemblies of God gave $350 million in 2001.

Give And It Will Come Back To You

In one of the most remarkable news items I’ve come across in a while, a sick African child receives an unexpected operation.

Mantaine Minis, 6, was living in a hut in a remote village in Kenya, in need of lifesaving heart surgery, when the improbable happened one day in June. A group of students and parents from the Langley School in McLean was on safari at the Masai Mara National Reserve, where Mantaine’s father is a game warden.

That’s when someone from the village told a Langley teacher about Mantaine’s heart problem. From there, things seemed to unfold quickly.

The teacher, Joseph Lekuton, knew that one of the parents was a Fairfax County heart surgeon. He also knew that people of the Masai village, who didn’t own much, had sold 14 cows last year to raise money to donate to relief efforts in the United States after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

So he helped launch a campfire discussion about the Masai gift and about what a group of people from an American suburb could do to return a kindness.

I’ll let you read the rest of the story on your own, so I’ll close by quoting Jesus in Luke 6.38: If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving–large or small–it will be used to measure what is given back to you.

Stanford’s Student Body

Stanford’s class of 2006 is very diverse!

In a recent article about the arrival of the freshmen at Stanford was this little tidbit:

For the first time in the university’s history, the majority of the members of the Class of 2006 are persons of color. According to statistics from Office of Admission, 40.6 percent of the new class are white, 23.4 percent of the class are Asian American; 11.6 percent are African American; 10.3 percent are Mexican-American; 5.5 percent are international students; 3 percent are other Latino and 1.9 percent are Native American/Native Hawaiian. In addition to being the most ethnically diverse, the class is the one of them most geographically diverse ever admitted.

Who Are The Davises?

Who are Glen & Paula Davis?

I first put this page online because a pastor asked me if there was some information about us online, because he wanted to copy our bio for the church bulletin.

I thought about it, and realized that all the information was scattered about and not in one place. It also occurs to me that visitors to the site might want to know a little bit more about me themselves.

So here goes:

First, I should mention that we’re the Assemblies of God missionaries to Stanford University. Now here’s some personal stuff:

Full Name: Glen Talbot Davis
Born: May 3, 1974
Really Began to Follow Jesus: at a seventh-grade chapel service
Baptized in the Holy Spirit: as a college sophomore in UL Chi Alpha
Called to Ministry: as a college junior at a Chi Alpha conference
Previous Ministry Experience: five years on staff with Chi Alpha at Southwest Missouri State University
Education: Master of Divinity (AGTS, 1999)
Bachelor of Science (University of Louisiana, 1996)
Strengths: preaching simply about complex subjects, organizational leadership, refuting false beliefs, using technology effectively
Often Heard Saying: Contrast breeds clarity
Deeply Influenced By: The Purpose-Driven Church, The Spirit of the Disciplines, Mere Christianity, The Master Plan of Evangelism
Favorite Comics: The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert
Vision for Stanford: Establish a credible, consistent and pervasive Spirit-filled gospel witness on campus.
Core Commitments (Values):
     I must nurture intimacy with God.
     I must cultivate my character.
     I must build my marriage.
     I must hone my skills.
     I must maintain healthy relationships.
     I must rigorously analyze my beliefs.

Full Name: Paula Kay Davis
Born: August 4, 1974
Really Began to Follow Jesus: July 23, 1990 at a Bible Study
Baptized in the Holy Spirit: August 1990 at a Bible Study
Called to Ministry: Summer 1992 at a youth conference
Previous Ministry Experience: five years with Chi Alpha at Southwest Missouri State University, two years as board member of New Life Church (Springfield, MO)
Education: Bachelor of Science (University of Louisiana, 1996)
Strengths: Organized, hardworking, good listener, sensitive to others, teachable
Passions: To see myself and others shaped more into the image of the Master; to help hurting people experience the love of the Father.
Hobbies: Enjoy sewing, cooking and spending time with friends

And a recent addition:
Full Name: Dana Marie Davis
Born: March 25, 2004
Often Heard: screaming inconsolably
Hobbies: pooping, spitting up, and crying

UPDATE: our anniversary is 12/21/1996.