21 Sep 2012

Jesuit Final Exam

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Steve Bodio offers a bit of a challenge.

This was sent by the biographer [Anne Winter] of the late legendary Jesuit adventurer, mountaineer, hunter, and my sometime mentor Father Anderson Bakewell, S J, who found it in an 80’s Jesuit newsletter among his effects. It has been around in various iterations, but I wonder, given the rifle, if he were also involved in its creation. His was the only sloth bear in Rowland Ward’s top ten guided by “self” and he was the youngest member of Tilman’s Everest crew, whose pioneering south route was finally accomplished by Hillary– among a lot of other things.


New York Times, November 21, 1999:

BAKEWELL-Anderson, the Rev. Reverend Anderson Bakewell, a Jesuit priest, missionary, mountain climber and explorer died of cancer at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 13, 1999. He was 86. Fr. Bakewell was born in St. Louis, MO. He graduated from St. Louis University in 1937. In 1942, he entered the Society of Jesus, volunteering five years later for a mission to India. He worked with fellow Jesuits at the Haffkine Institute in Bombay, preparing antivenin for snake bites and studying cobras, krait and vipers. After ordination in Calcutta in 1951, he worked at a jungle mission in Bihar. Returning to the U.S. in 1955, he raised money to build a Jesuit retreat house in Faulkner, MD. Later he served as assistant pastor at Holy Trinity Church, Georgetown, where the Kennedys attended Mass. In 1967, he volunteered for a mission to Delta, Alaska where he had a 35,000 square mile parish, ministering to four churches and three pipeline camps, twice carrying out rescues at 70 degrees below zero. In 1978, he became chaplain of the Carmelite Monastery in Santa Fe. In 1939, Father Bakewell made the first ascent of Cristobal Colon, the highest peak in the Columbian coastal range. In 1941, he was in the first party to climb Mt. Wood, in the St. Elias Range, Yukon, then the highest unclimbed peak in North America. In 1950, he participated in the first attempt to climb Mt. Everest from the south. In 1965, as a member of the Explorers Club, he participated in the first nonstop, round-the-world flight across both poles. As a naturalist he collected reptiles, mammals and plants material for U.S. scientific institutions. He was also a trophyholding big game hunter. Funeral masses were held in Santa Fe and St. Louis. Burial was in St. Louis.


INSTRUCTIONS: Read each question carefully. Answer all questions. Time limit: four hours. Begin immediately.


PUBLIC SPEAKING: Storming the classroom are 2500 riot-crazed aborigines. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.

ENGINEERING: The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.

Complete examination.

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Maggie's Farm

Saturday morning links…

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