Improvement

Ah, so Ilhan Omar stepped into it again. That lady doesn’t take any breaks from saying offensive crap. But at least it’s not anti-Semitic this time, so I guess that’s an improvement.

Who votes for these dumbasses? It’s a mystery I’ll never comprehend.

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The Unusual Challenge, Day 11

Today’s unusual activity was going out for lunch and then buying a summer wardrobe:

The orange shirt doesn’t have matching pants because I already have a pair of gray leggings with black lace to wear with it.

There Is No Left or Right

A great article on how both the left and the right were completely conquered by the free market ideology (aka libertarianism). There is no left and right. Instead, there is a wholesale capitulation to market principles:

The so-called right engages in Milton Friedman’s project of making everything transactional, while the so-called left destroys every cultural authority that might stand in the way of this libertarian economic paradise.

Helicoptering

People keep saying that parents these days helicopter too much and don’t let kids play freely outside. This is wildly exaggerated because I constantly see kids playing outside unsupervised both around the neighborhood and at the park.

Here is the problem, though. Yesterday, I was driving down my street when two little girls – aged about 4 and 6, I’d say – rolled down their driveway and right under the wheels of my car. It was quite unpredictable because one minute they were in the driveway and another they shot right into the road. I was driving at the speed of 1 mph (because of the shaggy white dog who runs around unleashed and jumps under the wheels), so I easily stopped. The girls found the whole thing entertaining.

But what if somebody drives through who doesn’t know the neighborhood and is not aware of the shaggy dog situation? This could have ended badly. The other day, a delivery truck almost hit me.

It’s another question altogether why people stubbornly refuse to spend time in the backyards and let kids and dogs play there instead of driveways. We are a region where everybody is maniacally obsessed with driveways.

Scholarly Persona

People often think that college professors spend their lives teaching arcane, highly specialized subjects in an environment of publish or perish.

The truth is, though, that this is the life of a minority of us. Most of us do very basic remediation with students who are absolute blank slates in an environment of perish but don’t publish and calls to “stop intellectualizing” from the administration and colleagues.

One can hand-wring about it forever. Or one can say to hell with it and live the life one wants to be living. This means making efforts to extract oneself from the minutiae of remedial teaching and inhabiting the scholar persona that is unwanted and unwelcome at my school. One thing I do is start my day with looking who’s been reading my scholarship on Academia. Gabon, Venezuela, Morocco – this is my audience. I’m a scholar who accidentally happens to teach that Latin America is not a country. And it makes for a great party story, so it’s not all bad.