… Well, that’s what Mrs. M said this morning. But there are sabbaticals and sabbaticals. I’ve still been going to departmental, committee, and faculty meetings, taking care of student advising, cleaning up some incompletes, and looking over student papers for Mondoville’s cross-curricular writing requirement. As it happens, the lateness of Thanksgiving means that today is the last day of class, with finals next week. I am spared the challenges of Gradeapalooza this term, however.
And there’s been other stuff going on as well, of course. I went to Nashville late last week, and among other things, spent a sizable chunk of time at the cemetery. I was able to stand there and say that some justice had been done, and while that’s not exactly comfort, there is a degree of satisfaction. It wasn’t all grim, though — I also spent time with other friends and family. It’s funny — when I get together with my friends, we sort of revert to high school, staying up late and talking about music: “Have you heard?…. Check this out…” It’s a good feeling.
And I’m still reading, of course. Most notably, I was lucky enough to score an advance copy of Lawrence Block’s latest, The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons. It’s his first Bernie Rhodenbarr novel in several years, and it continues the series’s combination of caper novels and locked-room mysteries. To be fair, the book had me from the epigraph, which comes from the Life of Johnson. But the usual combination of banter, historical trivia (much of this one revolves around a signer of the Declaration of Independence who was one of American history’s great one-hit wonders), and familiar, welcome characters makes this a delightful souffle of a novel. And to top everything off, there’s a very funny punctuation-based breaking of the fourth wall (a clue to which may be found with the signed, limited edition). I enjoyed it so much that I went ahead and ordered a paperback copy to go along with my Kindle review copy — good work must be encouraged. Larry, if this is retirement, let’s have more of it.
Oh, and did I mention I was called for jury duty here in Mondoville? This means that within a roughly two-month span, I’ve been involved in court proceedings as a witness, a victim, and a juror. The only remaining civilian position appears to be defendant, and I’d just as soon pass on that. So anyway, I found myself at the Mondoville Magistrate’s Court yesterday morning, but the jury for the first case was filled before my number came up, and the afternoon case was settled minutes before the jury selection was to take place. This means that I’m still on the hook for a few more days, but I got out early yesterday — just in time to get to a faculty meeting, which I went to even though I’m technically on sabbatical.
Which brings us full circle, and…. scene.