Thursday, February 2, 2023

News and Updates

1. Suddenly – BOOM! – winter. After a disturbingly mild January here in Baja Canada we now have eight inches (18cm or so) of snow on the ground, for long stretches the air temperature has not had a real square root even if you measure in Fahrenheit, and I have been forced to locate my boots. I am perfectly okay with this. You can always add clothing but the reverse is not necessarily true, particularly in the United States. I’ll take this over August any day.

2. I had my somewhat-longer-than-annual physical this week and was pleasantly surprised to discover that modern medicine has determined that The Glove is not terribly effective at maintaining the health of men my age. It was perhaps the least intrusive physical I have ever had, and I for one am all for it. I have a new doctor now since the old one retired, and at the end he asked if I wanted to tell him what he was going to tell me. “Sure,” I said. “Eat less. Move more. See you in a year.” And he just nodded.

3. Somehow I have ended up on a Committee down at Home Campus. I have studiously avoided such things in my time there, but eventually one’s ability to hide in plain sight comes to an end and suddenly there I am, exposed and nominated. I have no idea how one is supposed to accomplish the mission this Committee is tasked with completing, but I suppose I will find out. And then perhaps I will avoid further such entanglements for another 27 years, by which time I will be long past caring.

4. My remote US2 class has started up as well, but at least that’s fun. We went over the general course outline and I noted that we would be covering political issues, economic developments, cultural conflicts, social and demographic changes, and – because this is an actual history class and not an ideological exercise in coddling the comfortable – issues of race, because if you leave race out of American history what you get is propaganda, not history. This of course makes the class illegal in the state of Florida so I did feel obligated to ask my students not to log in if they go down there for spring break, as I don’t need that kind of aggravation.

5. No wonder Florida Man is the national punchline.

6. I try to pay attention to the news but it’s hard when half of Congress has been taken over by howler monkeys scratching their collective ass and shrieking at the moon. So far all they’ve done is launch conspiracy-addled investigations and set the stage for a global financial meltdown. Honestly, isn’t there anyone in the GOP – anyone at all – who understands what a debt ceiling is and why defaulting on the national debt is both unconstitutional and spectacularly stupid? Anyone? Hello? Is this thing on? Hello? I don’t think there’s anybody back there.

7. I cleared off my desk at home and found a wealth of pens. I don't know where they come from, but as an academic I’m used to these office supply manifestations. I think they breed back there, behind the computer. As long as they’re not scaring the horses, I suppose.

8. I am not sure why the Dallas Cowboys fan decided to come at me about my Eagles sweatshirt the other day but I asked how he thought they liked watching the most recent playoff game on their respective televisions and that seemed to suffice. Seriously, folks. I get that some people don’t like my team – lots of people don’t like the Eagles; we don’t care – but you can’t argue that your favorite team is better if mine is still playing and yours isn’t.

9. If all goes well, I there is a possibility that I may be teaching a class this fall that I haven’t taught in a while. It’s a class I’ve always enjoyed and I’d actually be in a classroom rather than online so I’m looking forward to it. There will be paperwork to get there, though.

10. Kyiv still stands, a thumb in the eye to Vladimir Putin and dictators everywhere. It’s been almost a year, and Kyiv still stands.


Ewan said...

So do we all get to come take this remote class? :)

David said...

I suppose if you were to register for it, sure! We'd have to figure out how you'd take the exams, which are not online (it's a remote class, not an online one), but that can and has been done. See you there! :)