Book Review of Dieter Brock, the Birmingham Rifle by Robert Allan Young, Reviewed by Ken David Stewart
This biography of Dieter Brock is long overdue. When I heard about it. I couldn’t wait to get a copy of it and to read it on my Kindle device. The wait for this biography of Dieter Brock was well worth it. The author writes about both the career and character of one of the greatest quarterbacks in CFL history. During his years in the Canadian Football League, Dieter Brock was the starting quarterback for both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger Cats. Dieter was appropriately known as the Birmingham Rifle because he likely possessed the strongest throwing arm of any quarterback in professional football.
For anyone who followed the CFL football during the Dieter Brock era, Robert Allan Young’s biography is a must read. For those who were serious football fans during this time, this book will bring back many memories. Dieter Brock tried to renegotiate a shorter contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers so that he could finish his career in the United States. His requests were rebuffed many times by the Blue Bomber management. The only way out for Dieter was a trade to the Hamilton Tiger cats in exchange for their present quarterback, Tom Clements.
The result of Dieter’s trade to the Hamilton Tiger Cats resulted in a great deal of angst for many Winnipeg Blue Bombers fans. A significant number of Winnipeg fans believed that Dieter Brock had betrayed them. Robert Allan Young explores this divisive issue from Dieter Brock’s point of view.
The author continues to report the history of the Birmingham Rifle’s career, during his time as the quarterback of the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL.
In conclusion, Robert Allan Young’s book, Dieter Brock, the Birmingham Rifle is an excellent read from beginning to end. It is a must for those CFL fans who want to know the true story of Dieter Brock, the quarterback and the man.
Tony Barrows lived in a basement bachelor apartment on Spence Street. This area of Winnipeg is well known for its poverty and high level of crime. Tony fit very comfortably into his present living situation.
This young man was heavy, but his excess weight was more than compensated for by the significant amount of muscle mass in his upper body. Tony had wide, powerful shoulders, strong pecs and bulging biceps. He liked to show off his upper body mass by wearing and assortment tank tops and skin -tight T-shirts. For his daily attire, Tony favored the color black as it emphasized his upper body mass and deemphasized his slight beer belly.
Tony was very proud of his impressive upper body strength, but he had come by it honestly. He didn’t have a great deal of self-discipline, but what little he had he applied to his physical training regimen.
Tony did not like doing housework or cleaning. There were more important things on which he wanted to focus his time. As Tony lived in a basement apartment, noisy heating and plumbing pipes hung from the ceiling. Although the ceiling pipes made his apartment appear even more dumpy than it already was, this cosmetic defect did not really bother Tony.
Tony was twenty-five years old, but he didn’t really have goals or ambitions that
society would hold in high regard. The last few years Tony lived in the present, one day at a time. This expression would have made Tony laugh as ‘one day at a time’ was a slogan used by most twelve step groups based on the original program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Tony walked over to a small kitchen. The walls were covered by faded strips of a sickly shade of light green paint.
Making himself a smoothie was the way Tony liked to start his mornings. He, of course, had to begin his routine with a large cup of strong Tim Hortons and a few hits from his vaping pen. Tony had sold some weed to one of his friends in exchange for a high -quality nicotine vaporizer. As far as Tony was concerned he had succeeded in quitting smoking tobacco, although he still loved his cannabis.
Tony really didn’t care that much about following strict healthy lifestyle. He wasn’t one of those guys who wanted to live to age eighty. Forty years of age would satisfy Tony if he could enjoy all the forbidden pleasures of life. He only stopped smoking when he concluded that heavy smoking was contributing to his long and frequent bouts of bronchitis. When Tony suffered from a serious upper respiratory infection, he usually had to put his weight training regimen on hold for two to three weeks.
Tony had watched part of a documentary on the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes and vaping. One day his friend Ron showed Tony the new vape pen and he bought at The Toke, a store that sells both tobacco and vaping supplies. Rod had a sepia colored vaping pen that produced a huge cloud of vapour. When his friend demonstrated how his new nicotine delivery system worked, Tony was immediately impressed.
Chapter One Hundred Twenty–Eight:
As Jack boarded The Viper, Blake brought Jack a rum and coke. He pointed to the large water soaked replica of Ogopogo trapped in the net. “I see that you snagged the big prize,” Jack said with a wide grin on his face.
“Yeah, it’s a beauty of a model,” Blake replied with a laugh. “I would sure like to meet the guy who put together that masterpiece.”
“That could be a problem,” Jack said.
“How so? Do you know the artist?”
“His name was Mike O’Grady,” Jack said.
“That name sounds very familiar. I think I knew a kid in school who went by that name,” Blake said.
Jack burst out laughing.
“Oh, come on. It can’t be the same guy,” Blake said.
“Do you remember who won first prize at the science fair in grade eleven?” Jack asked.
“Now I see the connection. Mike was the kid who built that small model of Ogopogo. It was a beauty. I remember that Mike spent weeks working on that model. So you’re telling me that Mike O’Grady designed and built the life sized model on the deck of my ship? Why would he build a full size replica and what was it doing on the lake?”
“I arranged the whole thing,” Jack said. “I paid Mike O’Grady to design and build the life sized model.”
“I was going to use the model to get back at you,” Jack said.
“What have you got against me?” asked Blake.
“Are you that obtuse, Blake? You mean to say that you don’t remember what you did to me?”
“No. I don’t remember what I did to you.”
“You quit our business partnership and took up with some sleazy married woman,” Jack answered angrily.
“She, somehow, talked you into leaving our business to become partners with her in her start-up enterprise. The worst part was that you left me entirely out of the loop concerning your new plans. I only found out about what you had done through one of our former business associates.”
“I can appreciate what you’re saying, Jack, but you are missing something here. In our previous business venture you and I were on the same page for a long time. Then, as time went by, our business ideas were starting to diverge to the point that we couldn’t agree on lunch. I didn’t see any rational reason why you and I should remain business partners. That’s why I jumped ship. I admit that I should have let you know of my change of plans in advance.”
“So why can’t I talk to Mike O’Grady?” Blake asked, changing the subject.
“Because he’s dead,” Jack answered.
“How did he die?” Blake asked.
“He had most of his right arm torn off by a junior size Ogopogo. Poor Mike died on the operating room table. I don’t think that Mike was in good enough shape to survive the surgery,” Jack answered.
“Are we talking about a real Ogopogo now?”
“Yes, it was a real Ogopogo, all right. The only thing was that this one was likely not a full grown member of the species. The little one decided that it would check out the full scale replica that we threw in the lake. Mike was taking pictures when he got too close to the railing of the boat. The creature grabbed his right arm and tore it right off. Mike was bleeding profusely all over the ship’s deck,” Jack said.
“Were you able to save the pictures that Mike took?”
“Yes, the pictures were very clear and sharp. I had them analyzed by a mutual friend of ours, Cam McDougall.”
“Wasn’t he the guy who had his own photography business?”
“Yes, that’s him.”
“Were you able to capture the small Ogopogo?”
“No, we had to rush Mike to the hospital,” Jack replied.
“Look Jack. I admit it. I did screw you around on our last business enterprise. I should have taken the time to try to work out our differences before I joined another company. And I should have told you about it. I’m sincerely sorry. It was just that Debra Lang had my head all screwed around. I allowed lust to over- take my rational mind,” Blake said.
“It didn’t take long for my relationship with Debra to blow up in my face. It took me awhile to realize that she was just using me both personally and professionally. The last straw was when I found out that she was still seeing her husband, Roman and was trying to reconcile with him. After I confronted her, our whole relationship, both personal and business, collapsed,”
Blake was trying hard to come up with a good story that would appease Jack’s wounded ego. Blake had even thought of a way to make it up to him.
Chapter One Hundred Twenty-Seven:
Jack’s crew definitely had trepidations about his plan to capture a live Ogopogo, but Jack didn’t give his crew time for any more questions. The boat was headed for Squally Point.
As they got closer to Squally Point and Rattlesnake Island Jack’s crew spotted a very large cabin cruiser in the distance. As soon as Jack Kimberley was alerted he picked up a pair of binoculars and had a look for himself. He could see two things. One was the large lettering on the boat that spelled out the name Viper. Jack recalled that when he and Blake Riley were still business partners, Blake would take Jack for cruises on his largest cabin cruiser called The Viper.
The second thing Jack saw was members of Blake’s crew attempting to get the replica off The Viper and into the lake. Blake’s crew were unable to do this as the men felt a severe blow to the boat that caused them to lose their balance. After that last hard bump, Ogopogo seemed to lose his interest in The Viper and left Blake’s vessel alone. Jack ordered his ship’s captain to speed up the vessel and head in the direction of the Viper. It occurred to Jack that he now had another chance to make a fool out of Blake Riley. All he needed was a few close up photos of Blake examining the replica and discovering that it was a fake Ogopogo.
As Jack’s boat approached the Viper, Blake picked up a set of binoculars. When he got the lens properly focused and scanned the deck of the boat he could see that Jack Kimberley was aboard the vessel. He remembered that Jack’s largest boat was named The Dream Catcher. Blake could read the lettering on the side of the ship.
Jack had reciprocated by taking Blake on a few cruises on his boat back in the good old days. Blake ordered his ship’s captain, Peter Marks, to slowly move The Viper closer to The Dream Catcher.
As the two boats met at the closest distance that they safely could, Blake called out to Jack, “Fancy meeting you out here my old friend.”
“I’m not that old and I’m not your friend. It seems that a new woman in your life and a business screw-job ended that,” Jack said bitterly.
“While we’re both out here on the lake, why don’t you come aboard for a drink and we’ll talk this out, just like the good old days,” Blake said.
“I just might do that. I have some questions to ask you and I could use a good stiff drink about now,” Jack said.
Episode Eighteen of Infinite Realities:
David texted back:
No Darren. I don’t feel like being Damien Echols today. I’ll tell you what I’ll do with the tablet today. I’m going to activate the time travel app again. I want to go back to the summer of 1965.
Darren texted back:
Go for it. As long as you have the tablet in your possession you can use it in any way you desire.
“There are some things I want to know about the tablet,” David texted.
David could now hear Darren’s voice coming from the tablet. I’m getting tired of texting back and forth. From now on let’s communicate through the Skype app on our tablets.
As David found the app on his tablet he could now see an image of Darren on the touchscreen.
“Hey Rick. Now you get to see what I look like. That’s not entirely true. The corporation has created a virtual image taken from hundreds of other people’s picture. So. In a way, you are seeing a collage, not the real me. Technology is amazing, isn’t it? What would you like to know about the tablet?”
“How long do I get to keep it?”
“As long as you want it. However if it leaves your possession for any reason you will not be issued a new one.”
“How could it leave my possession?’
“In various ways, someone might steal it from you. You might misplace it. It might accidently or intentionally get broken. And, of course, the corporation reserves the right to take it away from you if it decides that you are violating any of the terms and conditions of the contract.”
“What terms and conditions?”
“The User’s Agreement that came into effect the second that you picked up the tablet. This is a default feature of the product.”
“Hold on Darren. I didn’t know about any Users Agreement or any terms and conditions.”
“Come on, Rick. You know that no one actually reads those things. They are in small print and take too long to read. People just scroll through them and check off the box that says ‘I agree’. Don’t worry. The corporation’s legal department has gone over the contract with a fine tooth comb.”
“I have another question for you Darren. The Time Travel app allows me to visit different times in history. While I am using this app can I actually change the outcome of significant historical events?”
“Only in the virtual sense. In reality nothing will change. The corporation is not God. It can only create experiences limited only by the user’s imagination. You were chosen as one of the five select people to receive a tablet because we know that you possess a creative mind well beyond most of your peers. It’s evident in your writing.”
When Drake went to see his doctor he did not get a clear bill of health. His doctor told Drake that he had a form of mononucleosis that could lie dormant for awhile but cause later flare ups. He could not guarantee Drake that he would ever get his premorbid energy level back. The doctor suggested that Drake seriously consider a less challenging occupation that would not excessively tax his energy level.
“What am I going to do?” asked Drake. “I have been a teacher for most of my adult life and I have a family to support.”
“I know that this is not what you wanted to hear Drake, but I’m obligated to give you my best professional assessment and recommendation. I’ll tell you what I can do for you. I know an industrial psychologist that counsels people in your situation all the time. This guy is good and I know he gets results. I have already referred a few of my patients to him. You will likely be able to keep your health insurance for a few months yet so seeing the psychologist shouldn’t cost you anything.”
Drake knew that he could trust his doctor and that he would only refer him to another professional who is very competent in their field of expertise. When Drake returned home he reported the details of his doctor’s appointment with his wife, Judy. Drake was very emotional and started to weep when he told Judy that he shouldn’t return to full time teaching. He also told her about the referral to the industrial psychologist.
“ I know it doesn’t feel that way but I think that this will work out for the best, Drake. You’ve been working much too hard and you no longer have the stamina that you had before you got sick with mono. Your principal and your doctor both care about you and want what’s best for you, and so do I. To tell you the truth I was very concerned about your return to teaching but I didn’t want to discourage you. I think that you should definitely make an appointment with the psychologist that your doctor recommended. You are a very talented man, Drake, and I’m sure that the psychologist will show you many other career options that you can pursue,” said Judy.
“I’m sure blessed to have you for a wife, Judy. Most wives in your position would tell their husbands just to tough it out and go back to teaching,” said Drake as he moved towards Judy to give her a hug.
“So what’s up Streak?” asked Bill as he moved towards the kitchenette in his suite.
“I got a good one for you now, Billie. A kid died at The House of Hope a couple of days ago,” said the Streak.
Bill let out a sigh. “Not again. How many more people have to die at that facility until the administration wakes up? Most of the recent deaths have been preventable. Did you say that it was a young kid this time?”
“Yeah, early twenties. Educated too, from what I’ve been told,” Streak answered.
“Have they determined the cause of death yet?”
“ I don’t think so. I was listening in on an interview a detective was having with one of the staff. There appears to be multiple probable causes,” answered the Streak.
“Thanks for the heads up Streak. I owe you a free dinner and a pack of cigarettes,” said Bill now feeling fully awake.
After he hung up the phone Bill sat down on his old, over used sofa and properly lit up a pipe full of Borkum Riff. He needed to think this one through. After his experiences working in factories and trying to educate the workers, Bill’s political strategy had taken another direction. He now felt that he could make more of a statement as a community organizer and advocate. There were some paid positions available in this line of work but Bill wasn’t interested in applying for any of them. Not that the government or a charitable organization would offer him a paid position anyway. Bill was too well known as a radical in these circles.
If by some freak of nature Bill were ever to be hired as an official community advocate his life would be a lot different. He would be making a decent salary and wouldn’t have to worry about making every penny count. He could live in a safer part of town and afford a few modest luxuries.
But Bill could never tow the line. He’d met enough people in these paid positions to know that many of them were just lame duck bureaucrats. They had to answer to their bossses in order to keep their jobs. There were politicians that their bosses had to keep happy and the powers to be did not want anyone meddling with the present system.
The status quo worked just fine for the bureaucrats that were higher up the food chain. At the higher administrative levels the salaries were inordinately generous. The people in these positions knew darn well that they probably couldn’t make half this money if they were working in the private employment sector. Most of these upper level bureaucrats actually enjoyed their jobs. Their offices were clean, they had status and could take long coffee and lunch breaks. They would sometimes get to hob knob with the incumbent local politicians. Sure they often had to sit through some long, boring, unproductive meetings. There was tons of superfluous paper work to do and sometimes they had to hear about unhappy, over worked front line workers from different charitable organizations via their union representatives.But, all in all, life was good.
Depression blog number four
I need to make this disclaimer. When writing on the topic of depression, I am not a doctor and do not have any medical training. My blogs on this topic are solely based upon my own experience of suffering from depression. Any conclusions I draw from my own experience is only my opinion. If you think you may also suffer from clinical depression or some other kind of mood disorder have an honest talk with your primary medical practitioneror family doctor.
The only upside of depression is that it feels so good when you begin to come out of the pit. I found that this is usually a gradual process in moving from the depths of despair to feeling somewhat emotionally healthy.
I’ve often tried to analyse how and why my depressions eventually set me free. I don’t take a position one way or another on the use of psychiatric medications such as antidepressants. I have used a cocktail of different mood boosting psychotropic medications for decades. Over the years I’ve tried out a great variety of antidepressants. I also use nutritional and herbal supplements.
The choice of whether or not to use psychiatric medications as part of one’s recovery from depression is usually a decision best made between and a doctor and a patient. The bad news is that one medication may be very effective for some people and not so much for others. The unfortunate fact is that feeling less depressive symptoms is often a trial and error process when it comes to taking medications.
Episode Two of School Daze
When I was about eight years old, I joined a hockey team at my local community club. In the early 1960s there was no such thing as an indoor arena, unless you included the old Winnipeg Arena. The parents in my generation didn’t believe in giving their kids rides to their hockey games and practices. We had to walk to the community club even if it was 30° below zero. It was a good six block walk to the clubhouse from my house. By the time I arrived there my face, and hands were usually frozen.
I remember one Saturday morning when a man in a car saw the white blotches on my face that were the first signs of frostbite. Even though my parents would not have approved, I gladly accepted the offer of a ride to the clubhouse.
The smell inside the Norwood Community Club was something I will never forget. The air inside reeked of sweat, body order, old leather and musk. I came to love this smell as it signalled that I was out of the freezing cold weather. The downside was that my chilled to the bone body was about to thaw out.
The thawing out process started to take place as soon as I closed the old wooden front door of the clubhouse. As my body began to warm up the pain started. The white splotches on my face started to turn red. The same thing happened to the white spots on my fingers and toes. The splotchy colouring on my frozen body parts all gradually changed from white to red in colour. This was the start of the painful burning process. How I didn’t lose any fingers or toes to amputation during these years of playing outdoor minor-league hockey was an absolute miracle.
Depression Blog Number Three
Depression is too often taken far too lightly. It can have devastating negative effects on one’s physical as well as mental and emotional health. Depression can often manifest as torment. The worst torment for me is when I start feeling like just don’t measure up to somebody’s arbitrary standards. During these times I feel like a total loser. I think that I’ve been a failure in several of my previous employment careers, marriages, family life and other close relationships.
I’ve simply missed the mark in my life. In the past there were many people who had high expectations for me and I feel that I have let them down. This causes me enormous emotional pain as I don’t want to disappoint people. I totally blame myself for my failures in life.
The disease of depression gives me a very distorted view of myself and my life. When I am in a depressive episode and I’m really feeling down, I don’t consider the fact that, unfortunately, life is not fair. I have had to live my life with many emotional and physical disabilities. I don’t take these disabilities into account when I consider the successes and failures in my life. I’ve also had some surprising successes in my life.
After one has suffered through several episodes of depression, they can easily identify the signs and symptoms of a relapse . I am presently working through my most recent attack of depression and I’m finally starting to feel a bit better. If I wasn’t, I would not be capable of writing this blog post.
During a serious bout of clinical depression, I rather quickly lose most of my ability to function mentally, emotionally and physically. Don’t ask me about spiritual effects. I’ll just say that one’s relationship with God or their higher power comes to an abrupt halt. I will write more about the negative spiritual destruction of depression in future installments.
When I am seriously depressed my future life appears very bleak to me. My worst depressions occur during the months of December and January. As I’m now 66 years old, I look at my future with dread during a depressive episode. I hate the Christmas season with a passion. This time of the year is the most debilitating for my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
I have noticed a strange characteristic of depression. Being episodic in nature, the person with this disease will sometimes experience periods of remission. During times of remission, I feel like a different person. My wife also notices a significant improvement in my general demeanour. During these periods of relief from the symptoms of depression, I appear to enjoy life. Unfortunately, even when I’m not suffering from a major depressive episode, under the surface a mild or moderate form of depression continues to exist. This condition is known as double depression.
Around the last week of November I experienced a rather sudden change in my mood. I am presently retired, but still do substitute teaching from two to three times a week when I feel up to it. On the whole, I enjoy my part-time job. Ironically, when my most recent episode of depression first manifested, I was coming off three or four very successful substitute teaching assignments.
Normally I would feel quite encouraged by this. However, near the beginning of December 2018, I contracted an upper respiratory infection. As I’ve been diagnosed with a moderate case of COPD, my colds and flus are severe in nature and can hang on for one to four months. When I get one of these bronchial infections my regular daily activities come to a sudden halt. I become so physically debilitated that I am left to spend most of my day on the couch due to the almost complete depletion of my energy resources. Even a task as simple as brushing my teeth becomes a monumental activity.
Having suffered from severe bouts of clinical depression for much of my adult life, I’d like to share some of my observations from personal experience. If the reader has never suffered from one or more episodes of severe clinical depression they should consider themselves to be very blessed. Make no mistake about it. Depression is a serious condition that can both devastate and impair one’s ability to function in life. I know that many of my Christian brothers and sisters will take exception to what I’m about to say. I can only write from my own personal experience and to tell the truth from the way I see things.
In my opinion, clinical depression is not the result of some kind of spiritual deficit. In our society it takes an enormous amount of courage to admit that you suffer from this illness. Believe me. There is still an unfortunately large degree of stigma attached to the illness of depression. It is first and foremost a medical condition. A person with depression is no more to blame for their disease as would be the case if they had diabetes or heart disease. Yet most depressed people blame themselves for the periods of time when they cannot seem to manage to function.
Joshua Jacobson could best be summed up as being a nerd. He was seventeen years old and attended Manhattan Central High School. Joshua’s level of intelligence would be close to the genius level. He excelled in all his grade twelve subjects, but he liked his math and science classes the most. Joshua was an intellectual in every sense of the word. Although his great desire was to be a famous scientist one day, he was also a voracious reader with interests in a wide variety of subjects.
Joshua read nearly everything he could get his hands on. Although his parents were on the lower strata of the annual income spectrum, and neither one had earned a high school diploma, they were very aware and were very proud of Josh’s intellectual accomplishments. From an early age they had a sense that God had given their son and amazing brain for a reason. Although Josh’s parents were poor, they used what little extra money they had to further Josh’s ambitions. As Josh enjoyed reading and conducting research so much, his parents paid for his monthly subscriptions to Audible Audiobooks, so that their son could choose a new audiobook to listen to each month. They also invested in a subscription to Scribd, a website service that allows its subscribers to read an unlimited number of books on a wide variety of topics. Science fiction books had always been Josh’s favorites.
Attending high school was at times pure hell for Josh. Senior years schools have long been known for bullying students that did not fit the predetermined criteria of what was considered normal. The social aspect of high school was based on cliques. Every high school student ended up in a clique that was defined by possessing certain, identifiable physical and mental attributes.
There was some overlap, but generally all high school students receive a mandatory designation that they were in some group or clique. There was sometimes some overlap, but rarely war a student integrated into more than one or two defining groups.
The first category was known as the brains. This entity consisted of all kinds of all the students that were known for getting the highest marks in all subjects on the secondary education curriculum. The brains were usually not very popular with the rest of the student body. These academic high achievers were either disdained, ignored or were used by their peers. The brains could be helpful to their less academically gifted counterparts in certain situations. Brains came in handy when one needed to cheat on a test or exam or copy yesterday’s homework assignments. The trade-off or you can say. the upside for the brains was that some of their fellow students who required their services offered the brains protection from other students who would bully them, steal from them or threaten to beat them up.
The second clique was known as the jocks. This group consisted of all the star athletes in the school. A third group was labelled as the stoners. This group of students were known for regularly ingesting a wide variety of both prescription and illegal drugs. The brains and the jocks rarely had anything to do with the stoners. Stoners were not known for doing well in their academic studies because they were, as their name implied, usually flying high on some psychoactive substance that would interfere with their cerebral ability to concentrate on their school work.
There was a subgroup of students within the stoners who were talented musicians. The ones that played in a band were generally held in high regard by almost all the student body. The jocks envied the artistic talents of the musically gifted stoners and were very pissed off by the fact that student musicians who played in local bands often had more groupies than the jocks. The jocks could never conceive how these scrawny, dope smoking rockers didn’t need to have any respectable physique to attract females. The jocks never grasped the concept that these musically gifted stoners needed to practice their guitar licks just as long and hard as the football team had to practice their passing, blocking and running skills.
The last high school clique were the most unfortunate ones. This group was cruelly referred to as the nerds. The nerds presented in all shapes and sizes, but their most prominent distinction was that they all presented as being weird in some way or another. Some were morbidly obese, some were tall and lanky and had faces that were crated like the surface of the moon with acne. Many of them offended their peers and teachers because of their strong repulsive body odor.
The nerds were mostly shun by the vast majority of the student body and faculty. On rare occasions, a student that was considered normal would attempt to befriend them or at the very least try to strike up a conversation with them. Those few nerds that received these acts of kindness were often forever grateful for even the slightest sign of attention and acceptance. The few students who displayed this kind of compassion often found that the result would be that the few grateful nerds would cling to them and wouldn’t leave them alone for at least a semester.