Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.


We are in the path of the full solar eclipse and over 1,500,000 people are traveling to the region to see it. And I have first day of classes. Some people are cancelling because they want to see the eclipse. Should I? How big of a deal is it? If it were during the semester, I’d just ask students how important it is to them. But it starts before I get a chance to meet them. 

We are not in the exact spot where you can see the totality of the eclipse. For the totality, one has to drive about 20 mins south. People say there’s an enormous difference between the totality and just 99% but I’m definitely not driving anywhere. Crowds of eager eclipsers on the highway are not the environment I want to be in. 


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10 thoughts on “Eclipse

  1. I’ll write more on my blog later, but the full eclipse experience is not to be missed if you have a feasible chance to see it. Partial is…. meh, full is amazing (if brief).

    Get 20 minutes south by hook or crook and you won’t regret it.


  2. A total eclipse is a big deal.


  3. I’m inclined to agree with Cliff arrayo. Experiencing a total eclipse isn’t something you get often, if at all, in most people’s lifetimes. Some people may call it a spiritual experience, I don’t go with the hokum, but it is a natural phenomenon of some power.
    I experienced it once, out in the Devonshire countryside and as the sun darkened, the birds stopped singing and the cattle moved down to the bottom of the meadow and lay down, as if it was night. Then the process gradually reversed and there was a ‘dawn’ chorus of birds. It was remarkable.
    Go south and see it, take a photograph or two. It’s an event to show Klara and to remind her that she saw it, when she’d old enough to be impressed.


  4. Socal dendrite on said:

    If I am reading the website ( correctly then the last total eclipse that covered a substantial part of the USA in a similar was was in 1979. The next will be in 2024 and then 2045 (and these may not be anywhere close to where you are).

    I think it is a big deal, and if I was in college I would be grateful if class was rescheduled so I could see it.

    Of course it is your decision whether to travel or not but if I was so close I would visit the region of totality like a shot, crowds or no crowds! I have only ever seen partial eclipses, which are definitely “meh”, but I have heard that being in the region of totality is very different.


  5. Dreidel on said:

    If I were only a 20-minute drive away from viewing a total eclipse like you are, I would definitely cancel classes and drive to see it!

    The totality will be passing over 900 miles north of southern Arizona, so I’ll only be seeing about a 65% reduction in the light — should still be interesting, since I’ve never seen any eclipse at all.

    REMEMBER NOT TO LOOK DIRECTLY TOWARD THE SUN during the event, even with sunglasses (which don’t provide safe filtration from the harmful rays).


  6. Stille on said:

    I’m still kind of sore about missing totality in ’99, so in your place I would cancel first day and drive to see the totality. What time does the eclipse happen at, btw? You might be able to avoid the rush


    • Dreidel on said:

      “What time does the eclipse happen?”

      According to Time magazine, the totality will move in a southeasterly direction across the U.S., making landfall about 10:16 a.m. pacific time on the coast of Oregon, crossing Illinois about 1:20 p.m. central time , and leaving the U.S. about 2:48 p.m. eastern time on the South Carolina coast.


    • “I’m still kind of sore about missing totality in ’99”

      That’s the one I saw (in Hungary though, Szekesfehervar to be exact)


  7. The Dark Avenger on said:

    They don’t occure very often. I was in your neck of the woods 38 years ago, when it was a partial eclipse. Unless you believe you have the longevity of a Galapagos tortoise, I would make an effort to see it.


  8. anonP on said:

    Go to the totality area, it is an once in a lifetime thing, I saw the one in Hungary and I will never forget it. You see the shadow approaching as a huge distant dark thunderstorm with no clouds, the quality of light is changing and there is a weird atmosphere, as animals think it’s the evening and the birds stop singing. Then, the Sun is switched off. Just like that. When this happens, it is very emotional, a horrifying primeval feeling, even if you rationally know what will happen. And then you see the beautiful corona around the eclipsed Sun and the diamond ring once the Moon moves enough so that the Sun’s rays shine through the valleys in the Moon’s mountain ranges.

    99% eclipse doesn’t do this. Drive to the path of totality. You could maybe arrange a bus an take all your students there instead of cancelling class?


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