A Great World

As Klara ran around the park with a gaggle of happy gigglers, I ruffled through the offerings in a Little Wooden Library and found a parenting book from the nineties. There’s a sentence at the very beginning that I loved:

As significant as it may be for children to believe that “I’m a great kid,” it’s even more crucial for them to believe that “it’s a great world.”

Of course, you can’t teach a child something you don’t believe, so step one is to realize that “I’m great and the world around me is wonderful.”

Great News

WHO announced today that it’s necessary to reduce the cycle count in PCR tests for COVID! This is wonderful because it will reduce the gigantic number of false positives that PCR tests produce. Finally, WHO has acknowledged it and took action. I’ve known this since early August but OK.

I don’t even care that it was timed to benefit Biden. I’m happy that it will bring us closer to resuming normal lives.

Christmas has come early in 2021, people. The funereal campus might actually come to life one day.

And by the way, my union organizer who’s a professor of music at my school performed at the inauguration today. I’m very happy for her; it’s a big professional achievement and a fantastic PR victory for the school, but the manner in which people word their congratulations is very . . . non-inclusive, let’s put it that way.

I also want some credit for not behaving in an embarrassing way over the inauguration like every person on the left did 4 years ago. Not that I behaved embarrassingly then, even though I was on the left.

Funereal Procession

I was showing our Yoruba instructor from Nigeria around campus today, and it was a sad, sad business.

“Here’s is where we used to have our student lounge where people could get together to speak the languages they are learning or just hang out with friends.

Here are the faculty offices. On a regular day we used to hear half a dozen languages spoken at any given time.

Here was the big-screen room where students could work on projects together.

Here was the Plasma Room where you could watch TV channels from all continents.

Here was our theater. Here were the art workshops.

Here we had all our student organizations.

This was the museum.”

It’s like visiting a cemetery where everything that used to make us a real college is buried.

I was almost in tears by the end of the excursion.

Solution Was Here

It’s first day of class for me, and I’m teaching a single course on Latin American dictatorships.

I was unhappy in my job because I was fed up with teaching beginner language courses. I thought I needed another job. But at my level and in my field it’s well-nigh impossible to find anything. So finally I relaxed and said that OK, I’ll trust that things will work out as they should without my pointless fidgeting. And the moment I did it, it happened. I saw a way to avoid the dreaded language courses while staying right where I am. Now I’m Chair, and I only teach what I want.

The solution was always here but I didn’t see it.


Wow, I found out today that there are people who think that Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” (which is a masterpiece, obviously) is a religious song.


I’ll never stop laughing. I mean, it’s cute that people are so . . . unspoiled.

Hasn’t everybody had a Leonard Cohen stage in their personal lives? Not in the sense that they listened to the music but having the experience that the song names.

Helen Burns

So are there any Jane Eyre fans on the blog? How do you feel about Helen Burns? She’s Jane’s friend at school. The Jesusy girl who dies of consumption.

Everybody at the book club loved her but I always hated this character. I don’t think that masochism is cute and I see no value in forgiveness that’s given from the position of weakness. If somebody is pummeling you while you are lying on the ground and you are yelping, “I forgive you! I forgive you!,” it’s pathetic because it’s not like you have an option not to in any meaningful way.

When does the spirit of Christian forgiveness become a screen for excusing your passivity and fearfulness?