Saturday Potpourri: The Long and Windy Week Edition

So the week started with a hurricane and ends with a football game. And there was other stuff too.


We caught the fringe of Irma’s northeastern quadrant, but that was enough, thanks. All the same, the Dean pulled the plug on classes for Monday, and on Tuesday morning as well. Because I pretty much teach morning classes exclusively, this meant that I had to fit my week’s worth of syllabus into fewer class meetings and change a couple of due dates, but judging from the downed branches and trees in the neighborhood, it was worth it. We’re here to improve our students’ brains — not to have them dashed out by tree limbs.

Of course what we got is negligible compared to other folks who had to deal with the brunt of the storm. Here in Mondoville, we still recall the ugliness of the 2015 flood, so even the prospect of heavy weather can be unnerving. I wish the folks who caught a rougher deal this time a speedy recovery.


One of the people who ran into trouble is Pam Stack of Authors on the Air radio (who will also be publishing a new anthology that contains a story of mine.) Irma demolished her apartment, and then the wreckage appears to have been scavenged/looted before she got back. Friends have set up a GoFundMe account for Pam, and if you have the resources to spare, you might want to drop by. She’s good people.


I happen to be a member of Mondoville’s Tenure and Promotion Committee, and that means that I sometimes observe my colleagues in the classroom. While obviously I can’t go into specifics here (or anywhere outside of meetings with the candidates and committee), I can say that I find it rewarding to see how other folks run their classes and get their information across.

My own style is rather dated, I guess. Professors are often categorized as “the sage on the stage” or “the guide on the side.” I’m pretty much in the first group, and am far more likely to rely on the traditional lecture than many of my peers. Typically, I’ll give historical/cultural/personal background on whatever we’re reading, and then we’ll walk through the text together, and I’ll ask questions to make sure everyone gets what we’re discovering. As I said, I think that’s probably passé in an era devoted to the pedagogical idea that students “construct their own knowledge,” but it works for me, and I managed to learn some stuff that way, so what the heck.


This afternoon marks the home opener for Mondoville’s footballers after a couple of rough outings on the road. This one should be — well, a different sort of challenge. We’re facing Virginia U of Lynchburg, an HBCU that recently lost to the non-scholarship U of Wisconsin at Oshkosh by 60+ points. In fact, a search of the records indicates that for several years, games against VUL may not have been considered as real games under NCAA rules. Unlike other “non-countables” (some of whom I’ve discussed here in the past), however, VUL is a real school with a lengthy history, and they have resumed their position as an NCAA-acceptable team.

All the same, this may be one of those situations where Mondoville can name the score. I just wish the visitors a safe trip, and hope that no one on either side suffers significant injury — a real risk for both sides in mismatches like this.


Anyone familiar with my gig reports knows that the Berries had a base of operations at the Art Bar, in a neighborhood of Real City called the Vista, not far from Flagship U. Unfortunately, ugliness can happen anywhere, and shortly after two this morning a drive-by shooting near Art Bar wounded eight people, with injuries ranging from serious to critical. Not the sort of thing one wants to wake up to. Fortunately, none of our friends at Art Bar were injured, but as I’ve learned, that’s cold comfort to the folks who were hurt. I hope the victims make the fullest possible recovery, and to the Columbia police? Good hunting.


In much happier news, this is the Mad Dog’s birthday, and he’s celebrating it at a horse show with the Mad Doc and one of the Mad Pups, who happens to be competing at same. I’m glad to mark the occasion, not least because it reminds me that both of us are about to complete another trip round the sun. Hope to see y’all soon!


Meanwhile, it looks like I’ll be getting back on the road again myself in the coming weeks. I’ll be in Toronto at Bouchercon in mid-October, and in December, it appears that I’ll be doing a Noir at the Bar reading in Durham, NC. Details will follow.


As is my habit, I’ll close with some music. Since it’s the Mad Dog’s birthday, I think I’ll close with a tune from his favorite band. This one is a moderately deep cut from what is likely their definitive album, and it’s one I actually prefer to the better known tracks on the album. It also was my dad’s favorite song of theirs, and it pleases me to recall that today as well. From Queen, here’s “’39”. Feel free to sing along.

Happy birthday, Todd. See you soon.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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