Monday, December 4, 2023

News and Updates

1. Yeah, it’s the end of the semester and it’s all I can do to keep my head above water these days. If I can make it to Friday most of the busy part will be done, and all that will be left will be, well, grading and more classes and more appointments and you know maybe Friday isn’t the milestone I’m thinking it will be. Oh well.

2. We’re also coming to the end of registration season, and while it is nice to see all the students coming back for next semester it did mean nearly three straight weeks of back-to-back-to-back appointments. Semester break will be a welcome thing.

3. Somewhere in there I got a new computer. On the one hand, it was time – I’d had my old one for six years and it wasn’t new when I got it, and it was running out of space in the hard drive and room for updates. Unfortunately Apple decided that the model I had – one of its best sellers, really – was simply not edgy enough so they discontinued it and now I have to cobble things together from parts. This seems contrary to how things should work, but then nobody has ever described me as edgy so what do I know. So I’ve spent the last week or so trying to get it up and running, and after much effort, a few peripheral purchases, and more than the usual amount of creative linguistics, I am almost back up to where I was before I started this project.

4. So if you’re wondering why I haven’t responded to a blog comment or an email or some other form of electronic communication, it is entirely possible that I just haven’t found it yet. I keep making discoveries and that seems like something that probably shouldn’t have to happen.

5. We belong to a Breakfast Club. It started as an impromptu gathering of friends at a wedding a couple hours away and then we realized that since we all live here in Our Little Town we could just do this a lot closer to home. It’s been fun. This weekend we decided to branch out and have the Breakfast Club over for a Cocktail Festival. Kim and I are not teetotalers but we’re not exactly keeping the local liquor stores in business with our patronage, which in practical terms means we have a vast collection of things gathering dust in a closet that we should consume sometime. We all did our best, but people brought their own bottles to join ours and I can tell there will need to be more of these gatherings to make much of a dent in the supply. This is, all things considered, a nice problem to have.

6. We also managed to see the finale of The Great British Bake Off this past Friday. This year’s show was a pleasantly focused on baking rather than whatever it was they’d been branching off into over the last couple of seasons, and the contestants were lovely as always. There is no better low-pressure hour on television.

7. We have a system down at Home Campus that allows students to make their own advising appointments directly – they just go in, set it up, and it appears on my calendar through some sort of technological sorcery that I’m not sure whether I approve of but it has been explained to me that my approval is not really necessary so I just roll with it. On the plus side, it does mean I hear from some students I might not otherwise hear from. On the down side, it also allows students to schedule appointments for 4pm on Fridays and that’s just cheeky. Engineers don’t think about things like this when they design these systems, do they.

8. I got my Spotify Wrapped this week, just like everyone else in the world, and it’s strange how effectively Spotify has converted “we’re tracking your every move” into something that people celebrate but I suppose that’s the world we live in now. There were no surprises, because it’s just telling you what you already know by definition, but it’s kind of cool to see it all in one place. My top artists this year: Laufey, Maisie Peters, Cat Stevens, Warren Zevon, and The Mountain Goats, in that order. What this says about me I don’t know.

9. Last night I made General Tso Chicken, which is a genuine nuisance to make but it’s so worth it. Every now and then you just have to do things like that.

10. It is now December and I will acknowledge the existence of Christmas. Doesn’t mean I’m going to do anything about it any time soon (see point 1, above), but at least I’ll allow for the possibility.

No comments: