Random Selections from the Blog

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It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

Posted May 13th, 2010

No effort to accommodate an individual student goes unpunished. It’s true. A student when informed that the midterm will be on the first day back from Spring Break says that she will not be back from Switzerland yet. When a time for a make-up exam is scheduled, her return is twice delayed by airline strikes….

WWI: Who knew?

Posted October 30th, 2011
WWI: Who knew?

The best laid plans may go awry but small inconveniences, what the French road system terms déviances, provide marvelous surprise. We could not have planned such adventures; we did not know that these were things we would want to do; we were in general completely ignorant of our options. Serendipity is what they call it;…

Book # 13 in 2018: “Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts” by Christopher de Hamel

Posted April 13th, 2018
Book # 13 in 2018: “Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts” by Christopher de Hamel

At the time I was about halfway through this wonderful book, my Dear One and I were watching an episode of Homeland, a political thriller starring Mandy Patinkin and Clare Danes. I’ll admit it—it’s the seventh season and we’re into it. At that particular moment (the Russians are the current bad guys which seems very…

It Is Enough

Posted December 12th, 2011

The great golden globe of the moon rose above the horizon as we came around the curve in I-95 headed home. His expression was slightly drunken, a laugh out of one side of his mouth and eyes askew. Too much eggnog? An excess of champagne?  The old fellow was clearly jolly, as full of holiday…

On The Erie Canal 1: History, Boats and Changes

Posted August 21st, 2017
On The Erie Canal 1: History, Boats and Changes

I’ve got an old mule and her name is Sal Fifteen years on the Erie Canal She’s a good old worker and a good old pal Fifteen years on the Erie Canal … Low bridge, everybody down Low bridge cause we’re coming to a town And you’ll always know your neighbor And you’ll always know…

Lietuva 3: The Crossroads of Lithuania

Posted May 19th, 2012
Lietuva 3: The Crossroads of Lithuania

It’s gonna be a hot time in Kaunas this weekend. Two days of fun commence Saturday and on Friday workers were constructing stages and setting up sound systems from Kaunas Castle to the Botanical Garden and even on the banks of the Nemunas River. By late afternoon when we arrived at the Garden, a dozen…

A Mid-West Triangle 1: Sights along I-70

Posted October 21st, 2014
A Mid-West Triangle 1: Sights along I-70

The Columbus (Ohio) Airport has beautiful restrooms! Well the women’s is beautiful; my Dear One says the gent’s is small. But no mind. I entered a well-lit space both immaculate and ample. The stalls feature locks that work and toilets that flush, seat covers and plenty of toilet paper; there is a shelf on the…

Sea Cloud 1: Bon Voyage

Posted January 20th, 2014
Sea Cloud 1: Bon Voyage

We passengers walk across decks and down hallways as though lost in the embrace of drink. The swells of the Caribbean as we traveled from Antigua to St. Barthélemy shift me from side to side, back to front, a spherical motion that I haven’t quite mastered yet. This is what Aunt Helen felt in 1934…

Texas and the Terrible Waste of Minds

Posted May 22nd, 2010

As Michael Birnbaum writes in today’s Washington Post, “The Texas state school board gave final approval Friday to controversial social studies standards that minimize the separation of church and state and say that America is not a democracy but a ‘constitutional republic’.” Cynthia Dunbar (Republican) explained the new premise on which Texas will build its…

What We Read

Posted March 1st, 2012
What We Read

We—my Dear One and I—attended the 121st Turnbull Lecture at Johns Hopkins University on the evening of February 28. The speaker, John Irwin, a senior faculty member in the Writing Seminars, has just published a book on the poetry of Hart Crane and his topic was “Building the Virgin: The Triple Female Archetype in Hart…