New Semester Begins

To welcome in the new semester, let me quote an article that seems to have elicited a lot of response while I’ve been snoozing over my books:

University professor tops the Jobs Rated report of least stressful careers for 2013. The field’s high growth opportunities, low health risks and substantial pay provide a low-stress environment that’s the envy of many career professionals.

I only have to be present at work on Tuesdays between 5 and 7:30 pm this semester, so how can I disagree? It’s a beautiful profession for those who are suited to it.

I wish everybody who teaches a very productive, enjoyable, and intellectually enriching semester. Remember, we went into this career to read books, generate ideas, and share knowledge. Everything else is just noise.

Temptation and Downfall

If you are wondering why I haven’t been blogging a whole lot this weekend, here is the reason. When I was in Montreal, I accidentally walked into the Las Americas bookstore (which is the best Spanish-language bookstore in Canada or the US). I always resolve to avoid it whenever I go to Montreal, but once I’m there, I tell myself, “Well, I’ll just pass by and look at the newest arrivals. It isn’t like I have to buy anything.”

Once I get to the store, I begin to feel tempted.

“OK, I’ll just get one small book,” I tell myself. “There is no harm in that.”

In the process of looking for one small book, I realize I can’t choose.

“Well, I will get two small books then. One book, two books, what’s the difference?”

A few moments later, I realize that I’ve been kidding myself.

“Fine, three medium-sized books it is. And after that, I’ll just leave.”

And then thoughts about the temporary nature of being begin to visit me.

“Life is so short, and what is this small temptation in the grand scheme of things? Faced with the enormity of the universe, one should feel ashamed of begrudging oneself a few books,” I tell myself and begin lugging every book in sight to the check-out counter.

Then I come home, lie in bed, place the books in piles around myself, and achieve nirvana.