1. Am I the only one who looks at the new pope and thinks, “Konstantin Chernenko”? Face it – he’s the safe old guy appointed by the men who run things because they didn’t know what else to do and they needed to buy another couple of years while they figure out what to do with the mess they’ve managed to create for themselves. The next pope – the Gorbachev figure – will be interesting.
2. No, I’m not Catholic. I just think that a new leader for a world organization that powerful and far reaching is interesting in its own right.
3. Magnum Trivium, Omnium Trivium. If you want trivia, go to the source. Once again, the Home Campus team ventured forth last night in a trivia contest fundraiser for a local cause, and even lacking our best player we still managed to squeak out a victory against the Local Catholic Church team (who may have been playing inspired thanks to the new pope – who knows?). This event is a slightly different format than the last one. Instead of five rounds of questions adding up to a winner, in this one there are two big rounds of questions and then the top two teams face off in a Family Feud sort of round – each team member going one-on-one with a counterpart on the other team up on stage in front of everyone. They even had a little buzzer you had to push to answer first.
4. I am officially tired of snow. I am particularly tired of the fact that it seems to arrive every Tuesday and Thursday, like clockwork, as I am driving to Not Quite So Far Away Campus, which is actually a fairly long drive.
5. We still have our Christmas lights up. I don’t do ladder work in the snow. They are a pleasing shade of blue, and they go well with the snow. So they can stay for a while.
6. Indoor plumbing is one of the great blessings of modern civilization. You don’t fully realize that until the city comes along to do sewer work and tells you not to turn on the water for an entire day. Fortunately, the local burger joint not only serves good food but also has nice clean bathrooms.
7. Nobody has as much fun with the English language as Nick Harkaway. If you haven’t read his novels (The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker), do yourself a favor and correct that situation immediately. Angelmaker is a little more of a straightforward narrative than The Gone-Away World, but they’re both wonderful.
8. I got to give my lecture on Thomas Malthus in Western Civ this week. There are four or five lectures that I really look forward to in that class, and that’s one of them. It’s fun to see how he manages to undermine the entire Enlightenment with just three simple observations and two graphs.
9. It’s time for the semi-annual ad-hoc scramble, wherein I make supplications to the various powers that be so that I might be employed teaching history next semester. It’s a civilized process in many ways, but a tiring one.
10. Next week is Spring Break, and you know what that means for us faculty! Right! Grading!