On the ground in Rochester

I thought I had timed it just right — grabbed a cup of coffee and walked straight onto the jetway. But once we were all seated they had us disembark. Problems in Detroit.

I hope this doesn’t ruin my chance of getting to Chattanooga today, let alone on time.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Update: Made it – just barely made it onto the plan in Detroit, Chattanooga on time.

Annals of domestic care

Yesterday evening I stepped on something sharp in front of the fridge, something black lurking on one of the black tiles (I have a black and white checkerboard floor in my kitchen).
It was a short black plastic . . . thing. It’s not a bolt or a screw — it’s not threaded. Its head is unslotted. Maybe it fits into a hole somewhere?
But I haven’t unpacked anything, put together any household appliances, or even bought anything plastic since I got back from Rome.
Did it fall out of the refrigerator — two days before I go on a 6 day trip (headed to Chattanooga tomorrow)?
File under: things that worry me.

But not entirely!

24 hours later (I checked my sent file for the time stamp) and none of my 14 have emailed in with queries or complaints about their schedules! Yay, them!
Further: Why am I so happy? Well, my friend, colleague, and seminar co-teacher had already been contacted by a student, as had a number of other folks. I’m always happy to hear from the future little darlings, but there’s really so little we can do before actual Orientation that’s it is good to know that none of them have immediate and overwhelming problems!

Hot and humid playlist

Sorry for the radio silence – I was away. Yankee beaches. Salt marshes. Cool nights. Bicycles. Not very much like the Redneck Riviera, where I went last year! Other than the gift shops.
Meanwhile, as I recover, here’s what I was listening to today. The playlist is 80s, Less Big.
Games Without Frontiers — Peter Gabriel — Shaking The Tree
Senior Service — Elvis Costello & the Attractions — Armed Forces, 1979
Party Girl — Elvis Costello & the Attractions — Armed Forces, 1979
Slave to the Rhythm — Grace Jones — Slave to the Rhythm, 1987
Private Idaho — The B-52’s — Party Mix, 1981
Sex Dwarf — Soft Cell — The Very Best of Soft Cell
Johnny, Are You Queer? — Josie Cotton — Convertible Music, 1982
Message is You — Gary Myrick — Language, 1983
All The Pretty Girls — The Judys — Washarama, 1982?
Heaven — Talking Heads — Popular Favorites 1976-1983
52 Girls — The B-52’s — Party Mix, 1981
The Politics of Dancing — Re-Flex — The Politics of Dancing
Love is the Drug — Grace Jones — Warm Leatherette, 1980
E=mc2 — Big Audio Dynamite
Pulling Mussels (From The Shell) — Squeeze — Singles 45’s And Under, 1982
Everyday I Write the Book — Elvis Costello & the Attractions — Punch the Clock, 1983
Tears Of A Clown — The Beat — This Are Two Tone
The End of the Party — The English Beat — Special Beat Service, 1982
Guyana Punch — The Judys — Washarama, 1982?
Two Little Hitlers — Elvis Costello & the Attractions — Armed Forces, 1979
Ode to Boy — Yaz — You and me both, 1983
Date Stamp — ABC — The Lexicon Of Love, 1982
Skateaway — Dire Straits — Making Movies, 1980
When Smokey Sings — ABC — Absolutely, 1990
Real Men — Joe Jackson — Night And Day, 1982

How Law School Admissions and Financial Aid Policies Reinforce the Elite

Interesting. It’s all about the difference between the top-top and the just-top. Sure, going to Duke with financial aid and doing well will probably lead to a great career — but not the Supreme Court.

Let me end by getting more concrete, and personal, for any law professors who might be reading this. A bunch of colleagues of my generation and older are from middle class backgrounds. Their smarts got them into elite law schools, which they easily financed with loans that weren’t too scary in size. Their elite degrees, in turn, opened the door to the legal academy: the substantial bulk of law professors today are graduates from top 10 law schools.
Ask yourself this: If you were an applicant today facing this choice, what would you decide. Think about it. You might decide to go to Harvard or Yale anyway–but that comes with at least $150,000 in debt (assuming you keep it down by working at law firms during the summers). A stint at a corporate law firm after graduation would lie ahead. If you couldn’t bear to endure several years in a firm, the loan payments that remain will cut a large slice out of your professor pay for three decades.
You might decide, on the other hand, to pass on Harvard and Yale, and instead attend an excellent law school like Northwestern, Georgetown, UCLA, or Vanderbilt, with a substantial scholarship. That would be prudent, leaving you with a much lower debt. Unfortunately, your chance of ever becoming a law professor would greatly diminish.
As for me, knowing my conservative personal finances, I’m not sure I would attend law school at all.

Maybe I should be glad we did the Rome program this year?

Euro woes. Great picture at the moment (but you know how they change those at newspaper links) of Berlusconi and the (current) finance minister, Giulio Tremonti. Tremonti has an austerity plan out on the table.

But at the end of the day, “If Italy goes, it’s no longer a domino,” said Mr. Gros, the analyst in Brussels. “It’s a brick.”

The story makes the standard reference to the soap opera of Italian political life, with Berlusconi at the center, but does get around to telling us about the scandal touching the current principe azzuro,* Tremonti.

At the same time, Mr. Tremonti has other problems. Naples prosecutors are seeking the arrest of one of his close advisers, Marco Milanese, a member of Parliament who has been accused of accepting jewelry, cars and other luxury items from an Italian businessman.
Until the accusations were made public, Mr. Tremonti had been staying in an apartment owned by Mr. Milanese. He moved out soon after they surfaced.

Ah, Italia!
via Prof Cowen.
*Italians wait for a blue knight, not a knight in shining armor.

Someone Stole the CODEX CALIXTINUS!

This is shocking – really shocking. The Codex Calixtinus is one of the most important manuscripts of all for certain kinds of art historians — those who work on pilgrimage, especially. Yikes.

On Thursday, church authorities in the Spanish town of Santiago de Compostela reported to police that the priceless 12th-century manuscript had been stolen from the Cathedral vault. According to the local press, when the theft was discovered, the keys to the safe were still hanging in the lock.

Talk about unsellable loot, though.