February 2022

Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show

The Legendary performance by big name artists

The National Football League hosted Super Bowl LVI, which was the biggest game of the 2021-2022 season. The Los Angeles Rams played against the Cincinnati Bengals The SuperBowl is usually the main show, but the halftime show is another main event itself. This year’s show featured many big name artists like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Anderson Paak, who were featured in the Super Bowl LVI halftime show. These names are considered some of the biggest artists to ever exist as they have performed for many years. Many people enjoyed this year’s lineup of artists, as it brings back memories of the first time these artists performed. The live performance was legendary, as they sang and rapped some of their biggest hits to tens of millions of people. The show began with Dre. Dre and Snoop Dogg performing on rooftops of all white structures. These structures were supposed to be replicas that represented well known buildings in Compton, California. The architectural structures represented and celebrated the city of Compton and its historical significance to many of the artists. Compton was the home of many of the artists, as that is the location they grew up and evolved their music.

The opening songs included “The Next Episode” and “California Love.” Then, 50 Cent performed his hit song “In Da Club,” while re-enacting the hanging upside-down scene from the 2003 music video. Mary J. Blige entered the stage soon after and performed “Family Affair” and “No more Drama.” When Kendrick entered the stage, he was followed by a marching band crew and performed “M.a.a.D City” and “Alright.” Finally, Eminem appeared at the very top of the stage and performed “ Forgot About Dre” and “Lose Yourself.” As a final performance, all the artists came together and performed “Still D.R.E.” Overall, the halftime show was very entertaining. Evidently, the crowd enjoyed it, because the stadium was loud. The SuperBowl LVI halftime performance was one to remember, and it was legendary for California to be the host.

Written By: Casey Watkins

Graphic By: Casey Watkins

Thoughts on The Book of Boba Fett Finale

What could the events of the finale mean for The Mandalorian season 3?

The Book of Boba Fett’s finale bore a striking difference from the rest of the series. While this series was long-awaited, it was an admittedly slow story. Rather than the action-packed and fast-paced story that audiences saw in The Mandalorian, viewers received what is more or less an origin story. This means that most episodes focused on the main character’s journey to the present and lacked much action. The final episode, however, was filled with the emotional and tense moments that made The Mandalorian such a captivating story.  

In this episode, Boba Fett finally has the opportunity to face those that killed the Tuskens. This fight, however, is not an easy one. Fett’s opponents use robots that are essentially indestructible. The conflict that emerges from the robots, and the group’s inability to kill them, then gives the audience a fight that is incredibly captivating.

 However, the tense and high-stake fight is not the only notable thing that creates anticipation for the audience. As viewers saw in the previous episode, Grogu, the Mandalorian’s foundling, was given a choice between being a Jedi or a Mandalorian by his master. In this episode, the audience finally gets to learn what Grogu chose, which was being a Mandalorian. 

While the reunion between these two was both emotional and amusing, one question remains. What does this mean for The Mandalorian season 3? The entire arc of the second season revolved around the Mandalorian, Din Djarin, searching for a Jedi that could train Grogu. Luke’s decision to make the child choose between him and his father undoes everything from season 2. One might ask: what was the point of searching for the Jedi in the first place if they are just going to hand back the child? 

This odd situation means two things for The Mandalorian, season 3. The first: the Mandalorian will continue his journey alongside his child, which is a path that would be great but could possibly undo what was done in the previous season. The second: Like some fans theorized and hoped, Din Djarin and Luke Skywalker might agree to both train the child. From the mentions of Paz Vizla’s ancestor, the first Mandalorian-Jedi, it is possible that this path will be considered. After all, why should the child have to choose?

Written by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana

Graphic by: Liza Larrabee

FPU’s Move to Online

How Students Reacted to a Brief Online Experience

The past two years have been a hectic time for many. Life felt normal until a sudden, global pandemic hit and forced everyone to take on a new way of life. It felt like time stood still for a lot of us. Two years of learning, some of us even working, from home. Through it all, we managed to make it out of that Zoom-learning-world. Fall 2021 marked the return to campus life, which brought in-person learning back at FPU. We thought COVID was through with making us learn from behind our screens. We were wrong.

The beginning of the second semester back on campus started odd. Empty parking spaces, missing classmates, and a different vibe from what we had in the fall, filled FPU. Our second semester would only last about two weeks before the bad news hit, the return to virtual learning… temporarily. The rising cases in the Central Valley, as well as the safety of the students and staff, led to the tough decision by President Joseph Jones. Two weeks of distance learning… two weeks back on Zoom. To go from seeing a masked classmate to a black screen and a name was tough. It felt like 2020 all over again, except our hopes were higher, as a return to campus loomed near. 

To better grasp the reaction of moving back to virtual learning, the Syrinx has decided to interview some FPU students.

How did you react to the email President Joseph Jones sent out about moving online?

Siena Anzaldua, Senior, English:

“I respected the position he took when he sent out the email that we were moving online.”

Zavian Cooks, Freshman, Biology:

“When he sent out the email, I was pretty disappointed. It felt like I was just getting into the swing of school and having a normal college experience.”

Isaac Davis, Sophomore, Mathematics:

“I was a bit sad about going online but not too worried at all since it was a temporary change.”

Samantha Diaz, Sophomore, Media and Film Studies:

“I was relieved because COVID cases were rising. I wouldn’t say I was surprised because I did see it coming since cases were rising.”

Angel Ruelas, Sophomore, Business Management:

“I wasn’t too surprised since other universities were already online before we were.”

Do you prefer the online setting or on-campus… why?

Siena Anzaldua, Senior, English:

“I very much prefer the on-campus setting, but when the COVID numbers got dangerously high I understood the fact that we needed to go online. It wasn’t just about us not being able to be on campus, it was about nurses and healthcare workers being able to focus on higher risk patients. I am certainly glad that I was not contributing to their stress by not being in person for classes.”

Zavian Cooks, Freshman, Biology:

“I prefer being on campus because when I’m online I’m not as productive as I should be.”

Isaac Davis, Sophomore, Mathematics:

“I prefer on-campus as it allows me to focus more, online tends to make me more lazy.”

Samantha Diaz, Sophomore, Media and Film Studies:

“I prefer on-campus since that is the setting I learn best in. Though given the pandemic I have learned to like both forms of learning as they both pose pros and cons.”

Angel Ruelas, Sophomore, Business Management:

“To be frank, either setting is good for me. They each have their pros and cons so it’s all the same to me.”

Would you have preferred FPU to start online to begin the semester and then moved to on-campus after… Why or why not?

Siena Anzaldua, Senior, English:

“I would’ve preferred starting off campus and then moving on campus, or having a staggered start time schedule. This would have been more efficient and less stressful for students and faculty.”

Zavian Cooks, Freshman, Biology:

“That would be a better transition, because I am a freshman so this college experience is new to me. It would have given me a chance to take it slow.”

Isaac Davis, Sophomore, Mathematics:

“I believe we should have started online then went in person, instead of flipping back and forth it should have been done at the beginning.”

Samantha Diaz, Sophomore, Media and Film Studies:

“Yes I would have preferred FPU to have started online as that is what other institutions were doing. I feel that this was an inconvenience to commuters and residents considering preparations that need to be made for housing.”

Angel Ruelas, Sophomore, Business Management:

“I think it would’ve made the transition easier for both professors and students if the semester started online and then gradually went back to in person classes.”

It is clear that most people are over virtual learning. Whether it be freshmen who are adapting to college life, or seniors who are trying to finish school, the sentiment remains consistent throughout. While some people have grown used to it and are not as against virtual learning, the overwhelming feeling is that on-campus is better. While we appreciate the swift action of our President in the face of rising cases, perhaps an online start would have been easier to accept. Nonetheless, it is safe to say students are happy to be back on campus and would like for it to stay that way for good.

Written By: Julian Alcaraz | Features Editor

Casey Watkins | Staff Writer

Graphic By: Casey Watkins

A Review of the Worst Fictional Couples

These couples involve manipulation, settling for the next best thing, and dating someone only for money!

Love is in the air! In the spirit of Saint Valentine’s day, here are some of the worst fictional couples in movies and TV shows. Ah, romance!

The Vampire Diaries: Damon and Elena

What can be worse than dating your ex’s brother? 

A relationship with a man who was only interested in you because you looked exactly like his ex! 

However, convoluted relationships with exes are the tip of the iceberg in this love story. What could possibly be worse about this couple? Obviously, the fact that Elena, herself, is aware of her terrible mistake by choosing Damon. Yet, she does not seem to care. How romantic! Seriously, Elena, even Damon believes you should stop “bending your morals” and justifying every horrible thing he has ever done!

Star Wars Prequels: Anakin and Padme

Age differences are not always a big deal. However, they certainly are when a  romantic interest is only nine years old. 

Sure, Padme and Anakin do not start dating until they are adults. However, we get hints of their future as a romantic pair through Anakin’s noticeable crush on Padme. Even without these hints, it is quite obvious that the two are being set up for romance, which would not be much of a big deal. This, though, is a bit odd given the fact that Anakin is a literal child while Padme is 14 years old. 

Creepy age difference aside, their relationship is also not a very healthy one. For example, Anakin displays possessive and controlling behaviors. These behaviors culminate into him choking his pregnant wife and believing he has killed her. So, these two are not relationship role models!

Star Wars: Han and Leia

Han and Leia are an iconic rendition of the enemies-to-lovers trope. Everyone loves a trope that makes the audience root for the couple. Well, if the trope is not executed successfully, the audience can be left with an abrupt romance that feels unnatural. In Han’s and Leia’s case, their trope is not developed well enough for it to be believable. Without proper time for the pair to set aside their differences and eventually fall in love, the relationship between these two feels forced. 

In addition to the obvious lack of development between these two, Han is a fit candidate for the MeToo movement. Do you recall the kissing scene? Yeah, Leia repeatedly displays signs, both verbal and physical, that she wants nothing to do with Han. Yet, he ignores them anyway. Sure, it can be argued that Leia is “playing hard to get,” but tropes as such only add to some creepy people’s delusions!

The Notebook: Noah and Allison

Does not the perfect relationship begin with a girl cheating on her fiancée  and not knowing which man she actually wants? No? What about a man that can not take “no” for an answer? 

Well, the love story in The Notebook has all of the above! Admittedly, these two have an iconic kiss in the rain, but romantic moments do not outweigh the many things that are wrong with their relationship. 

For one, Allison cheats on her fiancée, who honestly seemed like a nice guy. In addition, she flip-flops back and forth between Noah and her fiancée. She seems unsure about what she actually wants. 

When it comes to Noah, he displays worrying behaviors. One example of this behavior is his threat to jump off of a Ferris Wheel if Allison declines to go on a date with him. 

Emotional manipulation: the perfect ingredient for a healthy relationship! Remember, kids, no means no.

The Vampire Diaries: Caroline and Stefan

Stefan could not have Elena, so he settled for her best friend! On top of that, Stefan mentioned he would always love Elena. Caroline was interested in Stefan from day one, but she was never Stefan’s first choice; therefore she moved on. In addition, Caroline was interested in Klaus, but she kept her interest a secret. These two were the only single characters on the show, so they settled for each other. Overall, their relationship seemed forced, as both characters could not have the people they truly wanted. 

The Kissing Booth (Trilogy): Elle and Noah

First of all, who breaks friendship rules? Elle broke one of the most important rules between her and her best friend, Lee: no dating relatives. So, Lee’s brother, Noah, was off limits! 

On top of that, it is surprising Elle and Noah were interested in each other, because they seem like two completely different people. 

In the next two movies, Noah is very close to his female friend, and their scenes indicate there is something more between them. However, he is not the only one that is possibly harboring feelings for somebody else, as Elle starts to develop a friendship with a guy named Marco. Clearly, there was something more between Elle and Marco, because they kissed in front of thousands of people at a dance competition. All of this took place while Noah was watching in the crowd. How heartbreaking! 

10 Things I hate About You: Kat and Patrick

Who gets paid to have an interest in someone? Well, Patrick was paid! He was also paid off to date Kat, which allowed two guys to date her younger sister! They may have a connection throughout the movie, but Patrick was paid off twice! That iconic singing part that Patrick did when Kat was at soccer practice – only happened because of the monetary exchange. So, did his interest  really come from the heart? It is not fair to Kat that Patrick was interested in her, at first, because of money. If Patrick was never paid off, would he have shown interest in Kat? Now, that is the real question. 

Spiderman (Tobey Maguire’s trilogy): Peter and MaryjaneThese two are one of the most iconic couples in the comic book world, but that does not make them the best. In the first live-action Spiderman movies, their relationship was not fully developed. In the movies, Maryjane seems to like Peter, because she finds out he is Spiderman. Ouch, he is more than just Spiderman! Before she knew who he was, she would act harshly toward him without mercy. Peter, however, has also hurt Maryjane’s feelings. Let us not forget, he rejected Maryjane at the end of the first movie. In his defense, though, this was to protect her. Besides these issues, he never showed signs of wanting to tell Maryjane the truth. This is probably due to the fact that she only found out because she saw him without his mask in Spiderman 2. This reveal was unplanned! It seems like Spiderman is what holds these two together, and I am not talking about the webs.

Written By: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana | Editor

Julissa Mercado | Staff Writer

Graphic By: Liza Larrabee

Megan Fox and MGK Engagement

A Painful Wedding Ring or Biased Media Perception?

In a recent Vogue article, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) announced their engagement. The couple sparked controversy when MGK brought up the design of the engagement ring. When describing the ring, MGK stated that the ring had thorns in it, in order to connect the gemstone and diamond together. These thorns, he said, would hurt Megan Fox if she tried to take the ring off.  

When the media heard of this, news sites and channels like CleverNews, discussed the debate the engagement ring caused. For example, many expressed the idea that their relationship was a toxic one, as a result of MGK’s decision to inflict pain on Megan if she ever tried to take the ring off. In addition, others expressed the fact that MGK came across as possessive and controlling by choosing such a design. However, alongside these concerns, others have expressed the possibility of it all being a joke taken too seriously. 

So, was this all a joke? In a recent video, professional goldsmith Jordan Mantzke discussed the engagement ring and concluded that it was likely a publicity stunt. Being a goldsmith, he was intrigued by the idea that a ring could inflict pain when taking it off, but not when putting it on or simply wearing it. In his mind, the only explanation he could come up with was a design similar to parking lot spikes. Ultimately, though, he concluded that this design would be too far-fetched and opted to do more research on the ring.

 Upon doing more research, Mantzke found a blog post about the ring, which was posted by the man that designed it. In this blog post, he found several pictures of the ring from different angles. The most important one, however, was the one that showcased the inside of the ring and the pieces separated from each other. From this image, he noted that a thorn design was visible, but the thorn was clearly connected to the base of the emerald. This meant that while a thorn did exist, it was unable to cause Megan Fox any pain since it was attached completely. Therefore, while MGK claimed, whether joking or not, that the ring was painful to remove, professionals like Jordan Mantzke conclude the ring is likely not “booby-trapped.”

Written by: Saraleim Mosqueda Saldana

Graphic by: Liza Larabee

Continuing Marjaree’s Story


Working with Fresno Pacific students to honor the legacy of Marjeree Mason

In November 2021, residents from Strasbourg 3 and Jost 4 had the opportunity to work on a service project for the Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno, California. The idea for this particular service project arose from Danya Gonzalez. She had come home from an event presented by the center that was recognizing successful businesswomen in Fresno. After reading the provided pamphlet and researching the organization, we were inspired to provide women with basic needs – even if it was only in a small way. 

We encouraged residents to create goodie bags with womens’ care products. Inside were deodorants, toothbrushes, pads, hair ties, and tissues. We attached notes of encouragement to the goodie bags, so the women knew that people were thinking about them and praying for their safety in their newfound home at the center. 

This service project was meaningful, because we served Fresno women affected by domestic violence. Marjaree, herself, was a college student who lost her life at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. As women in higher education, we are incredibly thankful for the resources for women from the Marjaree Mason Center. We understand the necessity of having access to these essential products. Through the collaborative event, our residents and ourselves were able to give a small sense of security back to whoever finds themselves at the center. 

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic abuse or violence and needs resources from the center, you can call: (559) 233-4357. Or, visit online mmcenter.org. The Marjaree Mason Center has an extensive donation list that is always needing to be resupplied. If you wish to help, please send an email to help@mmcenter.org

Written by: Emily Munoz | Guest Writer

Danya Gonzalez | Guest Writer

Graphic by: Cailey Lessel

Great Self-Care Apps and Their Features

Meditation, reminder, and relaxing video game apps!

Do you need help with managing your stress? The following apps can help you meditate, remind you to take care of your physical needs, and help you relax!

Meditating Apps

Meditating can be a great way to fall asleep easier, especially on those days when your stress levels are high. These apps offer some great ways to relax and much more!

  • Sleep Sounds: This app involves white noise, which can be used for meditating or falling asleep. The best part? The app displays a wide range of sounds that can be customized to your preference! One example is the rain sound, which features various nature-like sounds such as animals, thunder, and can also make rain sounds on various surfaces!
  • Let’s Meditate: This app is a great tool for those that want to use meditation for more than one purpose! Besides featuring videos that can help you fall asleep or relax, this app offers lessons that help improve well-being. This means that the app can walk you through mediations that encourage you to set up healthy boundaries, reduce overthinking, focus on gratitude, and gain confidence.
  • Smiling Mind: This app brings you meditations and mindfulness exercises. There are programs within the app that target whatever you are missing or need at the moment. Whether you need help starting your day right, or need help winding down, this app has you covered. A great bonus is the different age categories, so if you have a child or a younger sibling, you can help them relax as well!

Reminder Apps

Do you forget to drink enough water, or eat, when under great amounts of stress? If not, do you forget to take necessary breaks from your screens? If either of these are the case, these apps can ensure that you are taking care of your health!

  • Plant Nanny: Many people struggle with drinking enough water, so this app is especially useful for those that forget. By giving you a plant to take care of, this app encourages you to drink water to help it thrive. In other words, you are providing yourself the amount of water you need when you water your plant!
  • EatWise-Meal Reminder: This app is a great tool for those that often forget to eat. With this app, you can choose how many meals you would like to have, what time you would like to eat, and how many reminders you would like to receive. Even better, you can always change your plan!
  •  Eye Rest Reminder: This app reminds you to watch your screen time and rest your eyes. Let us face it; most of us can get lost on our screens, which is not healthy for our eyes. The “Eye Rest Reminder” app has features that include intervals, break reminders, and exercises for your eyes!

Relaxing Video Games

Video games are a fun way to wind down after a stressful day. In particular, video games that lack risks can be a great way to relax without worrying about failing something!

  • Clouds & Sheep: Do you enjoy taking care of animals? If so, this app is perfect for you! With this app, you can focus on growing your sheep and taking care of their needs. One of the best features of this app is that nothing occurs if you are not on it.  This means that your sheep will be in the same state you left them in, even after a few days of inactivity!
  •  I love Hue: A colorful app that helps you relax by puzzling together color hues. It has many different shades of colors that are nice to look at. The relaxation comes from putting the different colors together in order.
  • Viridi: A stimulation app where you can take care of your very own succulents! You get to choose your own pot and plants! Your plant is meant to be treated like a real succulent so you must water it and be careful not to overwater it. The best part, though, is that it will not die as easily as a real succulent, so you do not have to stress about it.

Written by: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana| Editor

Alicia Garcia | Staff Writer

Graphic by: Alicia Garcia

Teacher Feature: Dr Chris Brownell Edition

Highlighting the Teachers of FPU

FPU is home to a slew of amazing professors. Part of what makes FPU so special is the amount of work and dedication our beloved instructors put in daily to deliver their students a quality education while making them feel at home, like family. While we acknowledge and appreciate their work, many students on campus do not see how little we know about our professors. Aside from maybe a “get to know me” icebreaker on the first day of school while going over the syllabus, students are left pretty much out of the blue as to how interesting their favorite instructors truly are. Sometimes, we might run into a professor at the store and be stunned to see them with their family. Or, we might catch them at a sporting or musical event and realize how similar our interests may be. One thing is for certain: students are not aware of how little they truly know their professors. 

In an effort to break down that “fourth wall,” the Syrinx has decided to begin a series that highlights the professors that make FPU awesome. This is a series in which we highlight – not the voice of the students – but the voice of those who see us grow as students. We love our instructors, and it is time we let them have the spotlight!

Our first ever “Teacher Feature” highlights Dr. Chris Brownell. He has a slew of publications and presentations under his belt, and he has been teaching at FPU for some time now, having taught high school mathematics for 14 years. The story of Dr Brownell starts in Bakersfield, where he was born. A bit after this, he was raised in Arvin and Davis, California before finally moving to Fresno at age 9. He graduated from Hoover High School in 1978 but took some time to himself before enrolling in City College in the spring of 1981. He was asked about his favorite activities growing up, and he responded ecstatically. 

What are some things that interested you growing up?

“When I graduated high school, I wanted to ski for the rest of my life. As long as I could ski, if it was summertime then water ski, or maybe hit the beach and learn to surf… that was really all I was deeply interested in as an 18 year old graduating high school. The summer after I graduated, I spent probably three days a week at the lake waterskiing with friends. And late in the fall, as soon as the first snow would fall, I started my job up at China peak in those days. I worked at China Peak through that first winter. And then when that was over, I moved to the beach, and I swam and slept on the beach for the next summer and fall. That’s what I wanted to do and I went about doing it with gusto. So, yeah,  when I was growing up those were the things that intrigued me. I like to read. So I always had books around and I kept reading, but as much as I could, I took these marginal jobs that required very little of me, outside of the eight hours that I would work. And then the other 16 hours of the day were available for me to do the other things that I was really interested in,” Brownell said.

Dr Brownell also opened up about his current interests when skiing is unavailable. 

Have your interests now shifted from when you were growing up?

“Now, my interests are a little more academic. I have collaborations with people around the world, and that’s a really interesting thing for me. I love being able to put these ideas together with people who have different perspectives on life. So, you know, you talked to somebody who was raised in a Hungarian school, and then moved to Finland, and now is a Finnish citizen and a university professor in Finland, who’s also a professor of creativity and STEAM education and those sorts of things that sort of fit with my larger passions,” Brownell said.

Students may think professors spend their free time reading and writing course material. This assumption could not be further from the truth! Brownell, like the rest of society, indulges in pop culture! We asked him a couple questions to gauge his likes when it comes to music, film, and literature!

What is your favorite musical artist or genre?

“Okay, so right now, I’m going to have to tell you, my favorite artist of the day is Olivia Rodrigo. But it’s because the drummer is my daughter… but that’s definitely a bias,” Brownell said. 

“My musical tastes when I’m not following my daughter around… I tend to go back to my roots, which are in the progressive rock era of the 1970s. So, I love bands like Yes, and Emerson Lake and Palmer and Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin and that whole genre, including some more early metal bands, Aerosmith, and Kiss, and so on. But I love the 80s Punk. The 90s kind of got blurry for me, I know I recognize tunes, but I don’t know that I always recognize all of the artists, but I like Soundgarden from the 90s. I also love 70s funk music like Earth, Wind and Fire and more and all those guys. And I like jazz,” Brownell said.

What are some of your favorite movies or movie genres?

“I like action movies. You know, I had friends who thought that the latest Matrix film was terrible. I found it reasonably entertaining. I always suspend my belief when it comes to movies. Like The Matrix, this one was reasonably entertaining. It wasn’t deeply philosophical. It wasn’t challenging. It was a nice Lark for an hour and 45 minutes, or however long it lasted. Mysteries, Dramas, Comedies… I just kind of like stuff that’s well done,” Brownell said.

Any other things out there that you enjoy? Books, shows?

“I like things that sort of challenge you. You know, I like a good story. Right now I’m listening, I don’t have much time to sit and read, so I listen to novels instead of reading novels. And I’m listening to a novel by Richard Powers that’s titled The Overstory. That book is just, it’s just creeping in on my mind. Whenever I listen to it, it’s just always there (in my mind). And before that, it was Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary. What a fabulous book about intergalactic species connections. It’s very much science fiction, a human is shipped off in a faster than light ship that can travel at 99.9% of the speed of light for 13 years on a tour to another star 13 light years away. He’s been sent on a mission to save Earth. When he gets there, he encounters a being from another planet that’s on the same mission. And the whole story is how these two connect and meet and learn to communicate, learn to do things, and how they’re completely different worldviews and ethos. They at times clash until they learn to get along. And it’s just a really great story, I highly recommend it. It kind of sounds like what we should be doing on Earth right now (trying to understand people),” Brownell said.

One of the much more intimate things shared in our interview was the question of why he got into teaching, and why he loves it. Primarily working with teenagers up to early 20s students most of his teaching career, Dr Brownell had a beautiful answer. 

What got you into teaching, and why do you enjoy it?

“If you were at all intrigued by education, I understand why people think that early childhood is just a wonderful time to work with people, right? Little kids, they’re just, the world is full of wonder and joy and everything, everything is new to a four year old. Right? They have so little experience. And so the world is very fascinating.I like that. I find that that’s an area of interest in research for me, but an area of excitement for experience is working with y’all (late teens early 20s) because to you the world’s not necessarily new and exciting. It’s exciting… and there’s a lot of new things about discovering freedom that you’ve been sort of held back from all your life. And what are the limits of that? And what are the dangers of that? But at the same time, watching you try those first steps, and stumble and fall and get up and keep going. That to me is just, it’s a pleasure. And I kind of get to do that in the context of the study of mathematics, which is arguably one of the most beautiful things humanity’s ever created. It’s a fabulous study, and it’s a great way to look at the world. And if I can help people see that then my day is complete,” Brownell said.

The last little piece of advice Dr Brownell gave before the end of our interview was targeted for his students, former and new. 

 What advice would you like to give your students?

“Beware of hubris but at the same time, embrace the joy of living. So we are not all we think we are, that’s the “beware of hubris.” We’re not as special as we think we are. Do you really think that this planet was made for our species? Really? I mean, really? To think so is very narcissistic and full of hubris in my opinion. So beware of that sort of attitude, but at the same time, there’s rich green pastures to wander around in and in the field of the mind, in the field of activity, or profession of applications…There’s things to do in life that can bring you joy, and you ought to go out and find which ones work for you. Be bold,” Brownell said.

Evidently, Dr. Brownell is qualified in his works. As an established professor in the mathematics department with countless work under his name, FPU is lucky to have someone as professional as Dr. Brownell. The Syrinx thanks him for his time and for allowing us to interview him for this story. 

Written by: Julian Alcaraz | Editor

Graphic by: Liza Larrabee