Sunday Potpourri

The Spawn made it through her final band camp on Friday. She’s approaching her senior year with a combination of excitement and trepidation. I remember feeling the same way — I may be one of the only people who was rattled by my final pediatrician’s appointment during my senior year of high school. I felt like that was official — scientific! — confirmation that I was an adult, whether I wanted to be or not. It scared me. I didn’t think I was anywhere near ready for adulthood — and heaven knows I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way. But kid, if you’re reading this, you’re proof I’ve made some good ones as well, and overcome the bad ones. So will you.


“So, Mondo, what have you been doing this week, since you clearly haven’t been blogging?”

Well, I’ve done some fiction writing, banging out another story about Graham, the cowboy hero who showed up at The Big Adios a while back. I also found out that another of my stories will be coming out later this fall. I’ll give more details on that when it happens. In the meantime, I’ve also been practicing with the Berries and trying to arrange some shows. And of course, I’ve done (more than) my fair share of creative loafing, as we approach the new term — indeed, tomorrow is syllabus assembly day, and the following two days are the faculty rout retreat before classes start next week.

Along with the usual comp courses, I’ll be teaching my film course (we’re doing Westerns this term — maybe it’s the influence of Graham) and a newly specified course that basically runs from Caedmon to Spenser. It’s an upper level course, and I’m looking forward to spending a semester on a period that previously got the first half of the term in the first half on the survey. The film course is full, but there’s a fair amount of room in the other. We’ll see how many I run off.


Although he probably won’t even notice this link in the wake of the Ace-a-lanche he’s getting, Morgan has a nice post concerning a recent rise in Minnesota’s minimum wage, how one restaurant has dealt with it, and how that in turn has miffed some people. As one commenter noted:

This one took me many many conversations with liberals to figure out that they expect the business owner to eat the cost. They think business owners have [S]crooge [M]c[D]uck levels of cash laying around to fund their business.



My abusive romance with college sports resumes today, as the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team begins a six-game preseason series against several international teams in the Bahamas. I know big-time sports have corrupted the academic enterprise in a wide variety of ways (and if you don’t know that, Margaret Soltan can fill you in ad nauseam), but I still enjoy the game, and I still feel a misplaced tribal pride. There’s a reason some pleasures are guilty.


Here’s a question. I’m not trying to score political points here — I’m honestly trying to understand this.

On the one hand, we’re told that gender is performative and constructed, rather than biologically determined. On the other, when I’ve read the accounts of transgender individuals, they commonly report that they “always knew” they were wearing the wrong bodies, as it were — that they were meant to be in the body of another gender, which implies a certain degree of biological gendering. How, if at all, are these positions reconcilable?


And since it isn’t a potpourri post without a bit of music, here’s a bit of music. Although I don’t listen to as much hard rock as I once did, I’m still fond of the genre. One of my favorite acts was/is UFO, particularly when the group has included Michael Schenker. Once, before I met Mrs. M, I had been dumped, and with the click of the phone still echoing in my ear, I played this song. I still like it. Maybe you will, too.

See you soon!


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Culture, Education, Family, Literature, Medievalia, Music, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sunday Potpourri

  1. Jimmy Huck says:

    Hey, ProfMondo – I’m trying to work my way through the Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction. My wife, who is a voracious reader, thinks I’m silly for doing so. I’m wondering what you think of (1) the whole idea of literary prizes in the first place; (2) the value, if any, of reading through Pulitzer prize winners; and (3) the legitimacy of this method of selecting works to read in a limited lifetime of reading hours.

    • profmondo says:

      I don’t see such a method of selecting things to read as any worse than any other method. I’ve certainly enjoyed my share of Hugo/Edgar/Shamus winners over the years, and if we think of “mainstream/literary” fiction as another genre, the mystery chicken (pullet surprise) seems like a reasonable basis for a suggestion list.

      OTOH, one of my creative writing profs told me that the Pulitzer in his field (poetry) almost invariably went to some compromise candidate who was nobody’s favorite, but “good enough.” Does the fiction award work the same way? I dunno.

      Ultimately, though, there is never sufficient time to read everything you want to read, so you use whatever methods do the job for you. By that standard, if you’re having fun, rock on! (Libertarian enough for you?) 🙂

  2. nightfly says:

    You know, for a moment I read “Caedmon to Spenser” as “Cadfael to Spenser” and I was really interested on the ground that might be covered in a study of private sleuths. Now I’m rather sad that you’re not offering one – I could think of few profs more ideally-suited.

    • profmondo says:

      I have actually taught a course in noir fiction a couple of times, and now have two colleagues with academic and creative interests in noir, hardboiled, and tough guy fiction.

      Maybe it should become a departmental slogan: “Come to Mondoville — we’ve got noir!”

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