Bad students have this aggravating trick where they say something like, “Professor B is failing me because I don’t understand the difference between assonance and consonance!” And it sounds like Professor B is a monster, indeed. How can you fail a student for something like this in a survey of Spanish literature course?

And it’s true, the student in question doesn’t get assonance. Problem is, it’s the least of his troubles. Aside from assonance, he failed to understand all the rest of the material covered in the course because his Spanish is extremely poor. It’s so poor that he can’t say “His name is Cervantes.” 

The worst part is that the student fully believes his own story. He is absolutely convinced that his only problem is assonance, and he’s unfairly persecuted. Any attempt to make him recognize that it’s a fact of objective reality that he made 127 language mistakes in an 8-page essay elicits nothing but a string of sullen complaints about the blasted assonance. 

It’s the complete blindness to one’s own faults that bugs me. You make 127 mistakes in 8 pages. Seeing yourself as a victim in this situation takes the kind of obviousness that scares me. 


Garlicky Mushrooms, Kale and Baby Potatoes

The cruel irony of fate! Who could have thought that, of all people in the world, I would be forced to become an (almost) vegan. I’m so befuddled that I feel the need to explain the reason why I’m buying a vegan cookbook to the cashier at the bookstore. 

“It’s for health reasons,” I say, terrified she’d think I’m an ideological vegan. 

My body is definitely grateful for the veganism but my mind rebels. 

Here is a dish I just came up with to utilize leftover produce. 

I sauteed baby carrots and baby potatoes in water, adding a lot of chopped fresh ginger, 6 cloves of crushed garlic, a cinnamon stick, a bay leaf, and a few allspice berries. 

No salt because I forgot. 

Then I added several large mushrooms that I broke in half and a lot of chopped kale. 

And that’s it. I’m at home with Klara and can’t explore complex recipes, so it’s pretty easy. It turned out shockingly not bland. 

Hobby Destroyed

I had this innocent little hobby where I’d buy a couple of magazines every month and read them on the verandah or in the bathtub. But now the hobby has been killed for me. Every time I go to the bookstore, all I see are rows of magazines that have Trump on the cover and promise nothing but permutations of the seemingly inexhaustible Trump topic. 

I got so desperate that I approached the lady mag section. But the first one I opened had an article on Ivanka’ s new book on working girls or something. So I left without a purchase. 

There is so much fascinating, good stuff happening. But it’s extremely hard to trace it because everywhere one looks it’s all Trumpocalypse all of the time. I don’t think there’s much of a chance to unseat somebody who manages to make himself so relevant for so long. 

For Women and Mexicans

Here is an article about the young Mexican inventor who came up with a cancer diagnosing tool that’s more effective than a mammogram

Note how shitty the source is and how ridiculous the title and the picture are. But at least they are reporting this because nobody else is. 

All of the people who poured an ocean of ink into the entirely ridiculous and trivial subjects of Trump’s pussy-grabbing and Mexican comments are ignoring a story that can prove to be the most important piece of news for women in decades while improving the image of Mexicans dramatically. You know why? Because they don’t give a crap about women or Mexicans. All they want is to feel outraged in their unblemished virtue. 

I ask students in my Hispanic Civ course what they associate Mexico with and the response is invariably “drugs, immigrants and beaches.” Wouldn’t it be simply awesome if Mexico added “science and invention” to that list?


Purdue acquired Kaplan and is trying to integrate it into its operations. This is very troubling because N’s PhD is from Purdue, and we don’t want the diploma to drop in value because Purdue is tarnishing it’s reputation in this way. The stench of online scams isn’t easy to get rid of.