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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Kopp's Weekly — Unfinished Business

Kopp's Weekly — Unfinished Business

What can the back of a dollar bill tell us about determination and progress?

Dear Students,

On the back of the one dollar bill is an unusual symbol of an unfinished pyramid, with 13 layers of stone bricks, but the tip of the pyramid is not yet in place. The unfinished, massive construction represents the foundation of the U.S. — an evolving set of ideas being hammered out by thought, discourse, aspiration and discovery. The pyramid lies beneath a watchful eye said to be that of Providence, who, according to the Latin inscription under the seal, favors our undertaking, a favor granted not because of a final product but because of the continuing discourse of our democratic experiment. We were reminded of that unfinished business at the presidential inauguration a couple of weeks ago, an event which itself represents an ongoing process. As President Kennedy said, "American history is not something dead and over. It is always alive, always growing, always unfinished."

At a personal level, we all have unfinished business. Though we have a foundation below us and many accomplishments on which we can rightly stand with pride, each of us may ask what are the next challenges ahead. For me, that open question is very energizing. Rather than feeling I have an "incomplete grade," we can think of unfinished business as questions which define ourselves and our aspirations. Both as scientists and as individuals, those questions and unfinished business can guide us to the paths we want to follow. What's your unfinished business?

Sacha Kopp
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
College of Natural Sciences

PS: March 6 is the Health Professions Fair from 10am - 2:30pm in the Texas Union Ballroom. The event is is an opportunity for you to meet and talk with admissions representatives from practically every health professions school in the state and many from across the country. Rather than having to go out and visit every school, the Health Professions Office has brought the schools to you.

PPS: This week, Feb. 5 (Tuesday) is the Ace your Interview Workshop sponsored by the Career Design Center. It runs from 5:30-6:30pm in NHB1.720. Learn skills from our Career Design Center Staff and guest employers to make your job interview the best it can be. Free food will be served. RSVP HERE: http://tiny.cc/Interview2013

PPPS: This Saturday Feb 9 from 1-2pm is the 21st Annual Great Lecture in Astronomy. Professor Volker Bromm will present "The First Stars and Galaxies" in ACES 2.302. Dr. Bromm will present the remarkable story of how the first stars and galaxies formed, a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Dr. Bromm's work was featured in the 2011 Hollywood film The Tree of Life.

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Comments 1

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