St. Charles and Isaac

For 3 months, I’ve been dreaming of going back to St. Charles, a beautiful colonial-era town in Missouri that is filled with quaint shops selling all kinds of fascinating things. St. Charles is made for walking, but who could face being outside in the horrible heat we have been experiencing in the region?

Finally, it became marginally less hot, so I planned a visit to St. Charles for tomorrow. And then I discovered that Hurricane Isaac is moving in our direction.

So I called my father to share my disappointment with Isaac’s untimely visit.

“Yeah, blame the Jews!” my father joked*.

After living in Southern Illinois for 3 years, I have become one of those desperately boring people who talk about the weather.

* In our culture, Isaac is perceived as a Jewish name. Of course, the hurricane is giving rise to many Jewish jokes in our Jewish family.


“Don’t Make Me Be a Jerk!”

The following statement is based on an idea that I find extremely repugnant:

Students have an ethical obligation not to cheat, of course. But faculty also have an obligation not to create situations in which cheating is likely to occur.

If we follow the logic of the quoted statement, it must be acceptable to say things like:

– Of course, rape is a crime. But potential rape victims have an obligation not to create situations in which rape is likely to occur. They should not wear provocative clothing, for example.

– Of course, stealing is a crime. But potential crime victims have an obligation not to create situations in which stealing is likely to occur. Don’t leave your bag unattended or somebody might be provoked into stealing your wallet.

– Of course, beating people is wrong. But they shouldn’t have provoked me into hitting them by saying things that annoy me.

If you think that faculty members have “an obligation” to save you from your cheating nature by removing every temptation to be dishonest, this means that, on top of being extremely immature, you are devoid of any sense of morality whatsoever. There are tragic life-and-death situations where people feel forced to do things they would never consider doing otherwise. But if something as insignificant as the format of an assignment you receive in college makes your integrity crumble, then you, not your professor, are at fault.

Question: when will we finally start treating students as the adults that they are?

A Favor Needed From Google Reader Users

If you read Clarissa’s Blog in your Google Reader, I have a huge favor to ask of you. Could you click on an article from this blog in your Reader and tell me what the URL looks like.

Does it look like this:


Or do you see a shorter, cleaner version that is like this:

Please tell me in the comment sections.

The reason I ask is that some blogs offer the longer URL when you click on  them from the Google Reader and I end up quoting those blogs less because it’s often a drag to find a shorter URL that can be used for creating a link. There are two blogs in particular that I stopped linking to altogether for this reason. Now I’m wondering if my blog has the same problem.