"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


done every little thing i know to do

Things I have been meaning to blog about, but am unlikely to have time to cover in any detail due to the unbelievable number of things I have to accomplish before 11:45 on Tuesday morning:
  1. The random strangers who are apparently reading my blog. Why? Why do you care? Who are you? What is so interesting about my rants on life, music, and football that compels you to bookmark this site? I am simultaneously frightened, intrigued, and amused.
  2. 2. The church (at left) I saw in East Nashville's hip Germantown neighborhood yesterday, Progressive Sunshine Baptist Church. Best church name ever!
  3. 3. A really funny article about the MLA in the Chronicle of Higher Education. This guy goes to the MLA not for professional reasons, but with the goal of finding the most ridiculous paper topics/titles he can.
  4. The Postmodern Generator, which I found via the above article, and its related Adolescent Poetry Generator, which is way funnier because all the poems are titled "I Am," are written entirely in lower-case letters, and contain phrases like, "i am not able to trust in / his ways to put his own / pajamazon." Both are run by the Dada Engine (something like it is explained here), which reminds me of my friend Elizabeth's seminar in which they all had to demonstrate what Dada is/was (does it exist if it's not art? something to ponder). All I remember is that her demonstration involved lighting a cigarette in an Aggie classroom and that her professor called it genius. Which of course she is.
  5. Ooh! And there's a Band Name Generator. My band's name is, appropriately enough, The Politics Addiction. What are the odds that if you click refresh six times that would happen?
  6. The stellar new issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine. The January/February 2006 issue is full of the standard Yale m.o. (Which can be summarized, briefly, as "everyone who ever did anything important or significant ever went to Yale." It sounds snobby and it is, but you have to remember that everyone from Noah Webster to Eli Whitney to Walter Camp (creators/developers of, respectively, the dictionary, the cotton gin, and football) went to Yale.) The issue has a couple of really great pieces, including one on the Man and Myth that is Professor Charlie Hill. It just so happens that I was the Great One's teaching assistant in the fall of 2001. My take on the man is that he's a genius and if you disagree with him, you're not necessarily wrong, but you'd better think really carefully about your position. A few weeks after 9/11, he handed around an article about the Bush Administration filling up the SPR and said, very matter-of-factly, "They'll invade Iraq." This was November of 2001, when almost nobody was talking about Iraq, but there you go. I had spent the summer working for a lot of Bush appointees and thought, "My gosh. He might be right." And he was. The thing about Professor Hill, though, is that he's not arrogant or unkind. He's one of the best teachers I've ever had the privilege of watching, and he genuinely cares about his students' success. Unlike most of his colleagues, he also seems to truly enjoy teaching undergraduates. He devoted an entire course day to talking about Their Future with the students, encouraging them to follow their passions and dreams rather than what their parents/professors/Yale said they should do. He really cares about students and takes the time to help them figure it out. He did that for me. When I was having the hardest time deciding whether to stick with the Foreign Service (his lifetime profession) and becoming a teacher, he talked over the advantages and disadvantages whenever I needed to. But then one beautiful October afternoon when the leaves were changing and PhD program application deadlines were fast approaching, he just looked at me and said, "It's time to take a walk and decide." It was the best advice I could have gotten, and I am forever grateful to Professor Hill for the gift of getting to learn how to teach from him. Plus he's one of the funniest classroom teachers I've ever known. One day he told the students some incredible story about something or other that began with, "So ever summer I have to go to Stanford for my sins..."
  7. The awesome CD's I've found lately in the used bins. Since I can't get new music for the next few months, I bent the budget a bit. Here are things I've found for cheap, cheap, cheap / cool rare finds: Golden Smog, Down by the Old Mainstream; The Walt Wilkins Band, Fire, Honey, & Angels (reviewed by my pastor on amazon.com - ha!); Steve Earle, Just an American Boy: The Audio Documentary; Amadou & Mariam, Dimanche a Bamako; Allison Moorer, The Hardest Part AND Alabama Song.
  8. Richard Rohr. My hero Suzii came back from her trip to Washington just raving about how great he was and how he and Anne Lamott made Jim Wallis look like a lightweight. This "cloud of witnesses" thing they used at her conference is pretty cool - it talks about people like Cesar Chavez, Etty Hillesum (whose book you have to read), and others, and then there's a mirror - what are you going to do? Anyway, now I'm having to rethink my feelings concerning Richard Rohr. His book Everything Belongs was kindof like that too. It was usually to self-helpy/hippie-loopy for me, but then he'd write something really profound that made me think. I don't know, but now his other books are on my wishlist.
  9. Fun things I have seen around Nashville, including this fun scene from the church all my friends who have babies attend.


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