What do you call a cognitive scientist that plays sports? An Earthpig!

4 December 2011

When not hard at work researching or teaching, many grad students and faculty like to play sports to stay in shape, build camaraderie, and just unwind!  One way we do this is through participating in the intramural sports offered here at UCSD on our legendary intramural team, the Earthpigs.

But what is an earthpig, you ask?  More commonly known as an aardvark, the earthpig is "a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata, although other prehistoric species and genera of Tubulidentata are known."  What does that mean?  It's unique, tough, and survived while all of its competition died out!  Makes you wonder why it's not used as a mascot more, doesn't it?  After digging back into our history, it turns out that the name was suggested by Adam Long, a grad student in the first generation of the cog sci department.  As he put it, "What we lacked in skill we made up for in enthusiasm, and there was a time when (we) were, despite our relative small size, the only grad student program to field teams in all the major sports."

That spirit continues on in today's grad students.  This quarter, the Earthpigs played co-ed volleyball and co-ed dodgeball.  The volleyball team, competing in the highest levels of competition intramurals offered, enjoyed a fun quarter despite a less-than-stellar W-L record.  They also perfected the kick-dig, an underused maneuver in conventional volleyball.

Perhaps catering more to the strengths of the Earthpigs, dodgeball was an overwhelming success, with the Earthpigs routinely victorious throughout the season despite occasionally being shorthanded.  The Earthpigs made the playoffs, but unfortunately multiple members of the team were away to research conferences.  Never out, a severely under(wo)manned was a fan favorite as they fought to advance despite only sporting half a team.  Overall it was a great quarter of Earthpig sports, and we'll pick things up again next quarter!

Snort snort! GoooOOOOOOoooOOOOO  Earthpigs!!!!1!!1! one!1!!