Friday, December 24, 2010

almost done - sort of

One fifteen page essay stands between me and being officially on break for a few days.

It's a good essay. It's from a good student. I gave him a two week extension because his wife went into premature labor. He sent me pictures from the NICU and everything... OK, I am a softie for new daddies.

Is it wrong that I plan to read six pages and then have some cocoa, take a nap, sing a lot of descants and then read the other six pages? I hope not....

Thursday, December 02, 2010

'tis the season

Well, it's crunch time. The exams start in less than thirty-six hours. So far I've not received any foolish questions (good) and had more than a few ask what I would be teaching next semester (also good) so I am feeling fairly hopeful. Well, OK, there is one student who has earned As on all of her assignments, but since she missed the mid-term and the make-up, it's going to hurt to assign that final grade.

I think fall semester is infinitely harder than spring. The break is shorter, it comes later, and somehow I have to cram in that last dash of grading while Christmas shopping, rehearsing with the choir, lighting candles, enjoying the change of seasons and generally feeling the Christmas spirit. Every year I fully intend to find some of the Advent reflection that sounds so glorious, but seem to have so little time in which to do it outside of church.

It's so strange to look at people for whom the year is not divided by semesters. It's normal, right? It's how most of this world goes about their lives. Odd concept, that.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I confess that I really admire the courage of the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons. They always seem to show up when I am having a crazy morning and often when I have the 'flu. The gentlemen who turned up today were very kind, understood that this was not a good day, handed me some literature and left.

I know that the men and women who come door to door do it out of deep belief, and I know that they get countless doors slammed in their faces, plenty of invective and more than a few people who play mind games with them. They do it anyway.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anthony Lane, Part II

Number two on the list of best-sellers read by Anthony Lane was Forever Amber by Katharine Windsor. This may be the guiltiest pleasure novel I have read in years, possibly decades. It's only the second book I've ever read (a biography of Emma Goldman was the first) in which I needed to keep a running guide of the names of the lovers in order tp keep track of the plot.

Is it great literature? No. Is it deliciously of its time? Oh my yes.