Mind the Gap: Potpourri

Sorry I haven’t posted lately — between grading and the continuing cleanup and restoration of the Mid-Century Mondohaus (which we hope will return to its antediluvian status in the next few weeks), I’ve been busy as the proverbial one-armed paperhanger, but that doesn’t mean I’ve utterly disappeared.

***

One of the cool things about grading freshpeeps’ papers is that you find the occasional gem amidst the slag. I found one this weekend, and today after class, I told the young lady that she should consider a major or minor in English. Turns out she’s currently leaning pre-med. I said, “Well, that’s cool, but you still might have room for a minor, anyway. And of course, if you can’t stand this stuff –”

“Oh, no!” she said. “I love English — it’s my favorite subject. It always has been.” I think I’ll have to mention the Mad Doc to this freshpeep. The Mad Doc’s undergrad majors? French and music. Still, this is the stuff one does when our main approach to recruiting majors is to poach them from other departments. Ah, life in the Humanities.

***

Over the weekend, I discovered Existential Comics, a weekly strip dealing with philosophy and philosophers — think of it as xkcd for the Humanities Department. It’s worth a look.

***

At another point this weekend, the Spawn and I caught the film version of one of her formative canons of literature: R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. She has something approaching a complete run of the books, and has been anticipating the film with the frenzy of a Mahdist awaiting the return of the Twelfth Imam. I’ve read a few of the books over the years, and heard about most of the others via my daughter. So we went, and it was actually a lot of fun.

The male lead seemed way too old to play a high schooler, but was serviceable in the part. Jack Black (as series author R.L. Stine) essentially played a Jack Black character, but didn’t do his typical level of scenery-chewing. The plot was exactly what one would expect — formulaic, with a mix of humor and mildly scary moments. If you’re familiar with the series, you can pretty much call the shots in the movie, but it doesn’t keep it from being fun. There are a couple of meta-references that made me laugh, and the real Mr. Stine makes a cameo late in the movie. So I was entertained by an honestly constructed flick without pretensions to Cinema, the popcorn was good, and it was a joy hanging out with my kid, who was delighted. What’s not to like?

***

It finally cooled down enough to feel like fall in Mondoville, enough for me to buy some apple cider. I’ve also been spinning discs from the Halloween Nuggets 3-CD set recently, and was reminded that there was an awful lot of sub-“Monster Mash” stuff that came out in the early 60s.

But there was some pretty cool stuff as well. Here’s one that seems seasonally appropriate. From Madison, WI (home of  the Leopard Print Lounge radio show on WORT-FM, where they play the Berries!), here are Kiriae Crucible, with 1968’s “Salem Witch Trials.”

See you soon!

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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, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

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