#Crimea = #Ukraine

Today there was a massive rally in the Crimea, celebrating the annexation of the peninsula by Russia a year ago:


Yes, it was as massive as Putin is tall but there is no more money in Russia to pay people to pretend they are celebrating. Putin pays a little under $5 to each person who comes out on his marches and rallies but it’s getting too costly for Russia to do that.

And. . .

. . . it’s summer. A hot summer with an angry, unforgiving sun. Our summers last from March to November. And that’s after only 3 instances of snowfall in all of this so-called winter.

But I shouldn’t complain. California only has enough water left for a year, so we should consider ourselves super lucky in contrast.

In other bad news, Putin has resurfaced. He looks unhealthy but these over-Botoxed creatures do looked permanently puffed up and freaky. People are saying that his disappearance was a ploy to distract everybody from the recent murder of the dissident Boris Nemtsov and from the growing concentration of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border. 

In good news, there are just 7 weeks to go until the end of the semester and then I can concentrate full-time on my research for the next 8 months. Over the spring break, I did no grading and no class prep and had a blast. When one is immersed in writing a scholarly book, everything that distracts one from it is annoying.

So 7 more teaching days, and I’m free to write.

Funny Philologists

One expects philologists to be careful with words, yet sometimes when a fellow philologist says, “Do come by our panel on online learning for a few minutes, maybe answer a question or two”, what she actually means is, “Deliver a talk at our conference. And, by the way, you are scheduled to speak this Friday.”

I don’t mind much because I have a mile-long bibliography on the evils of online learning, so I can talk away but it’s still funny how this all came about.

Research Projects

This year’s research projects by my colleagues that I’m evaluating on my committee are so good that I just want to drop everything and camp out next to their offices in the hopes they’d give me progress updates.

I wonder if it’s appropriate to ask these scholars to sell me the first copy of their books in advance of publication. I’m not allowed to share what these projects are about but they are excruciatingly interesting. I feel very honored to work with people who do this kind of fascinating research.