Blog » Caltech’s “Mind and Body” program

1 Apr 2005

Caltech’s “Mind and Body” program

Filed under: Personal — paulcook @ 12:57 pm

I just went to check my mail (physical mail, that is), and found details of Caltech’s new graduate health initiative, “Mind and Body”, that’s just been released. Man, it’s pretty insane.

Apparently there’s been increasing concern about the health of grad students on campus, so they’re introducing three new programs:

  1. We’re required to register for one of the physical fitness courses that the undergrads currently do. They include everything from swimming to archery, so that shouldn’t be too bad.
  2. Everyone will be signed up to a “discussion group”, of 15 students moderated by someone from the councelling centre. They’ll meet every second week, for an hour, to dsiscuss “work-related issues” — whatever that might be.
  3. Diet. Yes, Caltech now cares what we eat. The pamphlet comes with a “diet review” form, covering what we eat for two weeks. One ticks off things like whether we eat fruit on a given day, how much soda we drink, and so on. Apparently it’s been put together by a Norwegian nutrition expert they’ve hired, April Olof.

Man, and I thought the REGIS system was getting strict.

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  1. Happy April Olof Day…. erm… April Fools Day to you too!

    Comment by Adam — 1 Apr 2005 @ 1:01 pm

  2. Is April hot?

    Comment by MDA — 1 Apr 2005 @ 2:11 pm

  3. Did I have you guys going for a bit, at least?

    Comment by paulcook — 1 Apr 2005 @ 2:36 pm

  4. You almost, but not quite, had me going for a bit. Caltech acutally does some touchy-feely psychology stuff, trying to teach the undergrads “how to talk to girls” and “how to sleep” and “how to not relate my self-worth to the number of hours I do (or do not) sleep per night”, etc. Looking at your title alone, I thought your post might be about something like that. However, I was increasingly less convinced:

    1) Since the individual departments set the course requirements for PhD’s, it is unlikely that the university would place a broad athletics requirement across the board. However, I would actually welcome something like this. Rice had a 2 course requirement (total) for undergrads, and I actually enjoyed the classes that I took.

    2) Caltech has lots of (useless) discussion groups. But they’d never make something like this mandatory. All that would happen is that they would end up with lots of people “in trouble” for not showing up.

    3) Norwegian nutrion expert, April Olof. Just too easy to see through, Paul. Just too easy.

    On another note: Do other people feel that REGIS is one of the more useless pieces of software that they’ve ever used. It would be nice if, instead of just letting you register for classes, it would let you look at things such as (1) previous courses, (2) grades in previous courses, and (3) billing info.

    Comment by Adam — 1 Apr 2005 @ 3:23 pm

  5. I just read that in 1987 a Los Angeles radio disc jockey played an April Fool’s joke by announcing that the highway system would be shut down for an entire month.
    Naturally, the radio station and the California Highway Patrol received hundreds of frantic calls from commuters…

    Comment by Laurel — 2 Apr 2005 @ 8:53 am

  6. To whom it may concern

    I was astonished and insulted when recently running a search for publications under my name to find my groundbreaking work at American colleges denigrated in a ridiculous student spoof. I shall be consulting with my lawyers, but in the meanwhile insist that this correspondence comes to an immediate end. Please also note that I will be the final examiner for your Caltech nutrition requirements, so some respect is in order.

    Comment by Ms. Olof — 3 Apr 2005 @ 3:54 am

  7. Phew! Good thing I’m not a caltech student– and thus can continue these heroic investigative efforts to unearth the REAL truth about the shady and nefarious background of Ms. Olof… Plus, my roommate already knows archery, so I’ll be well-defended. You’re not going to fool _my_ friends into all-poison diets, no ma’am!

    Comment by Laurel — 3 Apr 2005 @ 7:21 am

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