“I don’t believe in that mumbo jumbo,” communication senior Alex Loeffelman said.
Was it really “mumbo jumbo” that the world was predicted to end or did the Mayans have a valid prediction?
The prediction of the end of the world came from the Mayan calendar in which they broke time up into different increments.
“It’s not unlike our number system really,” social sciences department chair Terry Jones said.
Jones said the biggest unit of Mayan time is the baktun, equivalent to 400 years.
The end of the world would have been a result of a baktun turning over. Jones said it is the same thing as our changing of millenniums.
There was one site in Mexico that had the slightest sign of something negative happening when this baktun was to roll over, according to Jones.
“There (was) only a vague hint of the end of the world and the basis (was) pretty weak,” Jones said. “It (was) far from a clear, detailed prediction.”
The world was supposed to come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012, or Dec. 23 on our calendar. This would have been right after the the fall commencement.
Loeffelman was determined to continue his education despite this prediction and he already had a job set up for him when he graduated at the end of fall quarter.
When asked how he would feel if the world ended and cut him short of the working world, Loeffelman said, “I would be upset; school is a huge commitment and now I can’t apply myself and my skills.”
This dedication to education was apparent in parks, recreation and tourism administration sophomore Hailey Gausewitz as well. Even when Dec. 23 was nearing, Gausewitz had already registered in 16 units for winter quarter.
The thought of the end of the world did not sit well with graduating business administration senior Emma Haberlach.
“Graduation is something I really wanted to accomplish in my life and worked very hard toward,” Haberlach said.
Despite the possibility of losing all chances to pursue a career, Haberlach still planned to complete her senior project and work with professors to network and find jobs.
Cal Poly academics did not seem to be affected by the Mayan prediction, as Plan A Student Schedule (PASS) was still intact, students registered for classes and faculty planned their schedules.
Luckily, Jones’ opinion of a weak Mayan prediction proved right because Cal Poly graduates will still be making their mark in the working world.
In agreement with Jones was philosophy junior Alex LeBrun.
“I just think back to all the other end of the world predictions, like the guy who predicted the rapture twice a couple years ago and the Y2K bug that was supposed to annihilate us,” he said. “It seems like every five or 10 years a new prediction comes up, and every time, that prediction falls short.”
Loeffelman, also a defender on the Cal Poly men’s soccer team, said despite the possibility of the end of the world, his team is still planning to recruit freshmen for the upcoming season and is excited to continue on and further their reputation.
LeBrun shared the same optimistic spirit as Cal Poly’s sports teams.
“I am a college student, and a party theme is a party theme,” LeBrun said. “Nothing says, ‘Let’s have a good time tonight,’ more than thinking the world is ending.”
Sororities and fraternities are also continuing on with their events. Mechanical engineer senior and member of Alpha Epsilon Pi Sam Shaffer said his fraternity planned events for winter quarter even as they knew Dec. 23 was approaching.
“We will be doing rush in winter quarter and getting a new pledge class,” Shaffer said. “We’ll be going to conclave in Vegas with all the West Coast chapters in February and we have a good number of social and philanthropic events on the calendar.”
Cal Poly students were not surprised by the failed prediction and neither was Jones as he said, “I really don’t know how the hysteria got started, but I’d be willing to bet on Dec. 24 we’ll still be around.”