Lunchbox Dilemma

Is it a bad idea to put salmon in a kid’s lunch box? She wants it but my sister says it’s rude to put things with a strong aroma in kids’ lunchboxes, especially since they eat in the classroom and not a cafeteria. On the other hand, 5-year-olds are too young for social stigma to attach to this kind of thing. I’d never do it if she were 11. But 5?

It’s rare that Klara eats fish, and I want to use any opportunity. Her window of acceptable foods recently shrank dramatically, like it happens at this age, and I feel like an idiot packing endless portions of buttered pasta.

I have 9 hours to reach a decision, so please help.

Yes, I’m very fussy about these lunchboxes because I feel like I’ve attained my purpose in life by packing them. It’s a small enough foible to have.

Helping Austerity

So what are companies with more than 100 employees do in response to Biden’s new vaccine mandate? The usual. Move everybody to part-time temporary contracts with no benefits. Outsource. This is the entire goal of this exercise. Make it easy to exercise austerity and blame it on the government and not the employers.

What Not to Wear

My Yoruba instructor from Nigeria brought me a present of this beautiful shirt:

Now I don’t know what to do. If I wear it, it’s cultural appropriation, colonialism, and exploitative whiteness. But if I don’t, it’s white contempt for Black cultures, racist disrespect, and an imposition of white beauty standards.

Thankfully, the Yoruba instructor has no idea about any of this crap. For now, at least.

Strange Mind

A literary critic’s mind works in strange ways. I can’t tell you what I did last night but today I was working on my article and realized that when I was 19, I read something in college back in Ukraine that would be a perfect quote for my article. I remembered not only the name of the book but where it was located in the book, and found the quote on Google Books within minutes.

Free Books

Our library – the one that destroyed all those books and has no money to buy anything we need for teaching or research – bought 500 copies of a novel called Circe by somebody named Madeline Miller. Copies will be handed out for free. The novel is a

#1 New York Times Bestseller — named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, the Washington PostPeopleTime, Amazon, Entertainment WeeklyBustle, Newsweek, the A.V. Club, Christian Science Monitor, Refinery 29, Buzzfeed, Paste, Audible, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Thrillist, NYPL, Self, Real Simple, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Electric Literature, BookPage, the Guardian, Book Riot, Seattle Times, and Business Insider.

So probably some woke crap. “A subversive reimagining” of something.

This is the same library that recently refused to pay $15 to get me something I needed for research. 500 copies are $5,000. If the money were used to buy Cervantes or Shakespeare, that would make sense. But why is it urgently necessary to paper the whole town with copies of this particular book? Students keep asking me why they can’t find my books at the library. The actual professor who works at this school. The answer is always that there’s no money. A professor discovered that his carefully planned course on film can’t be taught because the library doesn’t have the money to get the licenses for the movies renewed. Yet we are spreading around what I’m sure is a cute book but it’s one in a million identical novels by utterly forgettable authors.