Friday, August 27, 2010
Arbitrary but Frantic Friday
Wow, the past two weeks completely got away from me. And no wonder! Classes began this Monday, and I am doing 23 things at once—not just directing Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, which involves holding meetings, making plans, holding more meetings, thinking up stuff, getting in touch with people who might know where to put stuff, scheduling things, looking around for places in which to schedule things, calling people, redesigning the website, writing letters, sending out notices, configuring two new laptops with a new email program, writing the copy for the film festival, planning peoples’ itineraries, devising a new alphabet, inventing a wheel, and holding some meetings, but also writing my syllabus for my first-year seminar on disability studies and putting it on the interwebs and making sure all the hyperlinks to essays on electronic reserve actually work and then scrambling to find a new classroom when it turns out that the one to which I was assigned has no (a) computer (b) wireless capacity or (d) air conditioning. Oh yes, and looking around for places to show the three films I’ve assigned.
Also, I’ve had a whole bunch of incredibly minute personal things to attend to. I did manage to get the bicycle fixed up and get myself a new helmet and mirror and bottleholder, but then forgot to get the kind of water bottle that you can use while wearing a hockey helmet and full face-guard—you know, the kind with a long built-in strawlike thing. I did remember (just today) to bring my spacey dreamy ambient music to my new office (there’s a personal stereo mounted on the wall!), and I remembered to get all my asthma meds refilled, which I can do now that I’ve finally seen a doctor for the first time in five years, but the sneakers I ordered still haven’t come in, and I have to get stuff dry-cleaned before Geoff Harpham shows up next week to deliver our Inaugural Fall Lecture, so that I can look nice when I crash into his car.* Also, the lawn could stand another mowing. Funny, I don’t even care.
Need I add that Jamie doesn’t start school until next Tuesday? He came to my class yesterday, and he came to my pickup hockey games Monday night and last night, and he’s been setting up shop in the Institute conference room with his laptop and his movies and his Harry Potter games every day this week. He’s a good good kid. And he likes the strawberry-kiwi juice we keep on hand here.
So, dear readers, I apologize for being away for so long. I haven’t really been paying attention to the news, either—apparently Alan Simpson flipped out when Shango Shabazz X walked by the Catfood Mosque? And Ken Mehlman is boycotting Target?** Did I miss something?
Oh, well, at least some things are clear—the Washington Post editorial page is kinda sleazy and corrupt, but on the other hand, Oaktown Girl and Michael O’Hare have some great things to say about economic justice. Go read those things.
I don’t know when I’ll be back—I have to hold some meetings and read a lot of stuff. But for your enduring listening pleasure, here’s this week’s Dueling Covers of Sixties Classics:
(H/t to Jamie, who found this in an obscure corner of the webs.)
(From my parents’ record collection, just like the Baez from last week. Yes, I grew up in that kind of house.)
* Comment 11 in that thread still makes me laugh so hard. Comment 51 is pretty great, too.
** Mr. Gregg Steinhafel Target CEO sir, if you’re reading this far, thank you for spending all that money to help save my marriage from Teh Gays! Janet and I are one in our strong and very heterosexual decision to take the four or five thousand dollars we drop in your stores every year and spend them elsewhere. We thus totally refudiate your First Amendment rights, though we have to add that we’re glad that nasty Moveon.org “Bush is Hitler” crew can’t show their ads on the teevee, because that would be bad for democracy.