If I were living in Great Britain I could imagine being a member of a loyal opposition – the monarch is, after all, somewhat legitimate (I know way too much history to think that the Hanoverian monarchy is God-ordained).
Barack Obama is the legitimately elected president of the United States of America – but that does not mean I have to be nice about him. We are not a constitutional monarchy.
He is a Giant Onion of Fail (thanks to Prof. Reynolds for the analogy). Peel a layer off and find another layer of fail. His Permanent Campaign is going to impoverish a big chunk of the working population. I have pretty secure insurance . . . but goodness knows where that will go next year! I’m sure I – single, never married, no children – have already been paying whatever someone thinks my share of birth control, abortion, and gender-reassignment surgery costs should be.
Until now, dental and optical have been options. What’s going to happen there? Not to mention that all my married-with-children colleagues now get to carry their darling limpets to 26. What will that cost me?
I’m delighted to see Obama’s numbers dropping – especially as the young folk figure out that Big Government is not always their friend.
Actually, it began well before I decided to give up. Only 7 out of 25 students appeared for my 11:55 a.m. class – and two of those left at 12:45 (45 minutes early).
What happens when you host a conference on Disability Studies and the venue is not fully accessible? Scholars in wheelchairs write about you and the word gets out. Yes, that’s my institution. Maybe we’ll get a few more ramps out of it – but an elevator for my building? Not in anyone’s dreams.
“These kinds of setbacks are so wearing and frustrating and humiliating that it’s hard to absorb,” said Kuusisto. “The organizers of the conference are well-meaning people and yet they were insufficiently mindful of ADA 101.”
And why was Professor Kuusisto so nice about it? Well, he’s a nice guy, a member of the Hobart class of 1978, and the son of a former president of the Colleges. But he’s right – well-meaning people do bad things, too. I think it’s a pretty good description of Academe.
That’s your loyal, if lately somewhat irregular, author leaning against a column at the Great Church in 2009.
This really is one of the highlights of any semester for me – the building is such a perfect contrast to the Pantheon, which we studied just a few weeks ago. They exemplify very different approaches to architecture – both their structural systems and their handling of space. We really don’t know what the Pantheon was for, but Hagia Sophia is a really interesting synthesis of basilica and rotunda. I think the Great Church may have been the perfect vessel for the imperial liturgy – goodness knows it worked for 900 years. I can even understand it working as a preaching space, something I’m never so convinced about for basilicas of a similar scale before artificial amplification.
Interesting article about the slow decline of Wikipedia. I gave up as an editor in 2002 or so. My problem wasn’t what’s described here – it was the futility of bringing expertise to the early Medieval entries in the face of idealized amateurism.
Bowie State University drops student health insurance – get on your parents’ policy or go to the state exchange, the University says.
I’m of mixed opinion about this – one of the perverse incentives of Emory’s student health insurance, which was cheap and useful (at least if one were single and not intent on bearing children), was that I stayed enrolled longer than I should have (that is to say Emory rewarded my procrastination).
Here’s an interesting article about the difficult job college and university presidents find themselves doing. I know I’d never stand for it! If nominated I will not be interviewed, if chosen I will not serve.
The article linked above was written in the atmosphere of a recent failed presidency (you’re fired, and please don’t set foot on campus) at Marquette University. There are always presidential problem children (you do follow Professor Margaret Soltan, don’t you?), but there do seem to be an increasing number of them.
And if the average term of college presidents has fallen, as the article suggests, from 8 to 7 years, our Mark Gearan is way above average. He’s about halfway through year 15.
Further: And here’s what may be the shortest – 4 months.
I’m starting the round of having small groups of my Rome students over to dinner – I had 2 art history and one studio major over tonight. Simple food – but by the time they’re juniors, anything is better than the dining service! It’s good to get to know them a little bit better as people (especially the ones I already know as students!) before we go.
In April of 1985 I stopped drinking Coca Cola. In May, I fled the country.
I went to France with a party of Emory students and stayed until late July, when Classic Coke was reintroduced.
Likewise, I leave in early January for Italy. Perhaps I will never return.
It’s already advisement season for next semester!
Mid-40s and overcast all day – but the rain all the weather folk predicted hasn’t shown up yet.
I started the day at a Board of Trustees session on our curricular review and reform. Somehow I got assigned 5 minutes to explain the current curriculum. I only took about 6. Of course, when I do it for a first year seminar, I spend about half an hour the first day and lots of little chunks thereafter. Still, I’m pleased with how the committee-from-purgatory has rounded out – and we already have one volunteer to run for the 5 open faculty positions on the Committee for Curricular Review and Reform.
The rest of the day – grey.
. . . it’s been a long 10 days. Looks like the committee from purgatory is almost finished.
Try shopping here – Facsimile Finder! I use facsimile manuscripts a lot in medieval classes, but the library never wants to buy them for me.