What you might’ve missed during fall: Scott Green’s semester in review

By Scott Green

Wow! Can you believe that so many exciting things happened this semester that my editor asked me to write this column instead of studying for a law school final that could be the difference between landing a prestigious firm job and becoming a minimum wage nasal-hair stylist?

Enough stuff went on that I don’t even have to make anything up, unlike last semester, when I wrote about an “Illinois football team” going to some sort of “Rose Bowl.”

AUGUST

The White House announces President Bush will award University professor Charles Slichter the National Medal of Science for “establishing nuclear magnetic resonance as a powerful tool to reveal the fundamental properties of molecules and solids, enabling a host of modern technologies in condensed matter physics, chemistry and medicine.” Or, as the president puts it: “Real sciencey stuff.”

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, in a move federal investigators later describe as “suspicious,” spends $3 million in state funds for a sack of magic beans.

The Illini Union Board announces it will pay former presidential candidate John Edwards $65,000 to appear at Foellinger Auditorium in October. This sparks controversy after Edwards admits that, despite being married, he had been sneaking out at night to establish nuclear magnetic resonance as a powerful tool to reveal the fundamental properties of molecules and solids.

SEPTEMBER

Father Christopher Layden, a Catholic priest at Newman Hall, is arrested for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. Students are devastated by the news, until a few hours later, when they find a new drug dealer.

A wealthy alum funds construction of the new “McFarland Memorial Bell Tower” on the South Quad. Students joke that it looks like the “Eye of Sauron” from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which makes them sound ridiculous, because the tower obviously looks more like the obelisk from episode 58 of Star Trek.

Days after claiming to find $700,000 in unmarked bills in a suit pocket he had forgotten about, Governor Blagojevich announces the new campus structure will be renamed “Mountain Dew Presents The Illinois Bell Tower Experience At Wal-Mart Park.”

John Edwards cancels his University speaking engagement after public outcry over an affair with a former staffer. The text of his intended speech is instead published as a letter to Penthouse forum.

OCTOBER

Dozens of grad students hold a rally on campus in support of Barack Obama, despite an e-mail from the University informing them it is unlawful to do so.

Further defying the University, they each pledge 20 percent of their annual salaries to support the candidate, which raises $52.17.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian claims it’s “just a coincidence” that his new clinic has opened across the street from Wrigley Field.

The College of Law announces its admissions process will no longer require applicants to submit LSAT scores. In lieu of the notoriously difficult entrance exam, students can simply send $25,000 to Governor Blagojevich.

Fat Sandwich Company, a new eatery, receives Champaign’s first permit to deliver alcohol. University safety experts are appalled, until they learn they will be included in the delivery area.

NOVEMBER

Barack Obama is elected President and resigns from the senate. Within minutes his vacant seat appears on Craigslist.

A student group rents Assembly Hall for an encore performance of retired University mascot Chief Illiniwek. The event is extremely controversial because Illiniwek represents the old way of thinking, in which nuclear magnetic resonance is not considered a powerful tool to reveal fundamental properties of molecules and solids.

An early morning fire destroys a historic building in downtown Champaign, causing $3.5 million in damage. The news turns tragic when the steakhouse Jim Gould’s, next door to the blaze, does not open until after breakfast.

Governor Blagojevich, unable to find a turkey willing to pony up a $50,000 bribe, pardons a chicken for Thanksgiving.

The Illini football team becomes ineligible for any bowl game after finishing with a 5-7 record, despite fans’ high hopes following last year’s 49-17 Rose Bowl loss to USC. “I figured we could have lost by as few as 30 this time,” said disappointed head coach Ron Zook.

DECEMBER

Because of rising salt prices, the city of Champaign announces fewer streets will be salted this winter. Motorists furiously text-message each other to complain about the unsafe road conditions.

And finally, federal agents arrest Rod Blagojevich and his hair on corruption charges. A judge offers to release the governor on a $4,500 bond, but Blagojevich refuses to give the court the money unless he receives a $90,000 campaign contribution. The whole incident reveals that, just like nuclear magnetic resonance, Blagojevich is a powerful tool.

Scott is a third-year law student who was recently appointed to the U.S. Senate.