American Black Bears: A Book Report

photo 1 (2)The fall semester is winding down, with Halloween in the rearview and Thanksgiving next week.  But before Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa arrives (or Festivus, as it’s celebrated at FTS HQ…), college-aged Black Bears buckle down for finals.  So, in the spirit of solidarity with our student friends, we’re hitting the books, too.  They say to write what you know.  Well, we’ve never professed to be the smartest of guys, but if there’s something we do know, it’s cheap beer.  But a close second is our love for that mightiest of creatures, the most noble in all the animal kingdom – the Black Bear.  From the forests and mountains of the great state of Maine to the ice rinks, the top of the key, and the hardball diamond – and beyond – the Black Bear is feared, respected, and loved by those who call Orono home.  We’re proud to present our 2014 FTS Thesis… American Black Bears by Molly Kolpin: A Literary Criticism.  We hope you enjoy it.


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Let’s start with the beginning.  All American Bear states that Black Bears are masters at surviving in the wild, with their fur, teeth, and claws.  All true, but Ms. Kolpin forgets a key element of surviving the freezing cold while waiting in line at the Alfond: Allen’s Coffee Brandy provides warmth, comfort, and camaraderie for those cold winter hockey games.


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Big Bluffers says that Black Bears are not very aggressive.  However, when defending home ice, the Black Bear can become extremely agitated, worked into a frenzy to protect its home environment, and will violently swat away threatening pucks, sticks, or puny opposing BU players.


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Black Bear Country:  Black Bears have been spotted as far away as Florida, at the beginning of baseball season, and even as far west as Alaska, during the opening weekends of the hockey season.  Of course, we know that Orono is ground zero for Black Bears, but here at FTS, we hope to see the Black Bears invade Dayton, Ohio in March in the coming years.

Also…  What’s that BS?  Black Bears don’t have FEW natural enemies!  The Black Bear is threatened by NOTHING AND NO ONE!


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Green Eating: No real critique here, except that they left out Buff Chick Night at York Dining Hall.


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On the Hunt: Black Bears also eat Terriers, Great Danes, Wildcats, Eagles, Huskies, Catamounts, Friars, Minutemen, and Seawolves, among other prey.


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Deep Sleep:  Yeah, let’s face it – hibernation might be the best way to make it through an Orono winter.


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In the Beginning:  Ummmm…  We’re going to let you take Dr. Sandy Caron’s Black Bear Sexuality course on this one.


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Growing Up: Some Black Bears also grow up to be 6′-8″, 305lb offensive linemen, too.


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Amazing but True!:  It’s true that not all Black Bears have black fur.  Some have no fur, and have blue letters painted on their bodies.  It takes all kinds, even when you’re a Black Bear.


The End.  Well, Ms. Kolpin did a pretty good job, in our opinion, outlining what it’s like to be a Black Bear.  She did leave out a few key items, though, which is somewhat unexpected of the finest of collegiate textbooks.


(What’s that?  It’s an early reader?  Well, I, for one, found it very challenging!  Oh yeah?!??  Your FACE is an early reader!!!)


Anyway…  The Literary Criticism department at Fill The Steins concludes that the basic premise of American Black Bears by Molly Kolpin is sound – that Black Bears are the undisputed kings of the animal/collegiate world!  But you already knew that…  Good luck on those finals, Black Bears!



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