Category Archives: Why I Do What I Do

Sunday Potpourri: I Married MacGyver Edition

It’s a mostly cloudy afternoon here in Mondoville — at least the portion I can see through my office window. I have some lesson planning to do, but thought I might as well check in here beforehand. *** I have … Continue reading

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Triple Play

Today marks the anniversary of three very cool things. On this date in 1977, one of my very favorite albums was released. Klaatu’s second album, Hope, was a proggy space opera, telling a story of interplanetary travel, racial hubris, and … Continue reading

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Labor Day Potpourri

I’m in my office, prepping a bit for a lecture on Milton’s Areopagitica tomorrow morning and continuing my efforts to find the setting on my office fridge that doesn’t freeze randomly selected beverages while leaving others as cold as they … Continue reading

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Sunday Afternoon Potpourri: New Year’s Eve in August

Tomorrow morning at 8:50, fully vaxxed and masked, I’ll begin my nineteenth year here at Mondoville, going face to face (mask to mask, anyway) with a class full of Freshpeeps for the first time since March of 2020. I have … Continue reading

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Thursday Morning Potpourri: Arrivals and Departures

I still have a little tweaking to do on my syllabus, mostly in the form of replacing old boilerplate with new — although the underlying policies may not change a great deal, the phrasings do, and in order to placate … Continue reading

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Sunday Potpourri: Concerto for Prof and Orchestra

I’m in the office this afternoon, copying departmental boilerplate into my syllabus. I’ve been on something of an orchestral music kick for the past couple of days. Friday and yesterday were Henry Kimball Hadley; this afternoon it’s Ralph Vaughan Williams. … Continue reading

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Potpourri: Sunday at the Office, and a Musical Ghost Story

Welcome to August, gang! I’ll be back in the classroom in 22 days, with three FroshComps and my Age of Johnson class this term. It seems that we’ll be masked, at least for a while, which in turn means that … Continue reading

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“Far from the Mandarin Crowd.”

I’ve mentioned this before, but academically speaking, I’m something of a dinosaur. A leading figure in my field read my dissertation in 2002, and said that it would have been state-of-the-art forty years earlier. She didn’t mean it as an … Continue reading

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There But For The Grace of God…

… Go I. I’ll be honest enough to acknowledge that I am less a collector than an accumulator, staying a tiny bit of serotonin and a long-suffering wife from being a hoarder. Having said that, I’ll say that I came … Continue reading

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Merry Blockmas!

Yes, it’s Mr. B’s 83rd birthday, and it’s also the publication/shipping date for A Writer Prepares, his memoir of his apprenticeship as a writer, from his teen years to the publication of the first Evan Tanner novel. Yes, he’s received … Continue reading

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