Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sweet Dormancy

The good people from Time Warner Cable will be at our apartment Wednesday evening to connect up Road Runner. Like a watering can to dusty pods, Internet access from home is sure to perk things up around here.

Until then, this:

At the SU info fair on Thursday, I picked up a copy of the men's and women's soccer schedules. Consider this: photocopied, one color on orange paper, four by six. Splayed next to them were grand, elaborate football schedule posters--multicolor, glossy-coated and so on. I had to call E. to let him know that futbol just isn't getting its due at SU. For one dollar admission, maybe I'll take in a match this fall. Or, maybe not. I'll be hefting around quite a load of work.

I was surprised to see E. & Co. ranked fifth nationally in the NAIA preseason rankings. What gives? Why so low?


Gerry Clark, professor of theater at SU, gave a fantastically performative talk on diversity the other day. She roamed the room, bantered humourously with orientees, stirred things up and brought the grand catchword "diversity" into terms I hadn't considered carefully before. I left my scattered doodle-notes at home, but her inventory of listening types hit on antipathetical--styling it as the sort of attention we give when we dismiss, with diregarding nods, item after item, until we hear something so ridiculous and outlandish that we jump it. Kind of like: whatever, whatever, whatever, BAM! (antagonistic, contestatory, etc.). V. nice.

She also invited reactions to Rockwell's "Freedom from Want" oil painting. It's the lily, pristine, family-scape--too perfect for most people to appreciate. But then there's the one on "Freedom to Worship," which didn't get mentioned in the talk on diversity. It's the only one of the four freedoms with a written decree; it goes like this: "Each according to the dictates of his own conscience." from the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1943, is there a tender conception of diversity in that?


Had this conversation twice this week (with different people):

Not me: Winter is hard in Syracuse. Where are you from? Kansas City, right?
Me: Well, yeah.  But I grew up in Michigan.  We had snow there.
Not me: Where at in Michigan?
Me: Central Michigan; Mt. Pleasant.  It was legit.  The snow was deep and cold; winters long.
Not me: Some areas around Syracuse had eight feet of snow in a stretch of four days last winter.
Me: Ah.  That's easy.  Nobody goes out when there's eight feet of snow.  But that's a lot of snow, you're right.  I'm sure we'll be able to weather it.  What else have I got to do besides sitting inside, reading, writing?
Not me: Blinding. You can't see through the snow here.  It's that thick. Cold.  Gives me shivers just to think of it.
Me thinking: Snow drifts on Winn Road were ten feet deep.  We carved out forts in the banks high enough to stand up inside.  And have you ever seen a snowman with five body segments?  When I was a kid, Frosty was my favorite Superhero, for chrissake.  We used to have to knock the ice from the dogs' watering bowls every night and carry a pitcher of boiling water to them so they'd have two minutes' chance to drink.  I'm so winter-ready, I have dreams about licking icicles and shoveling snow.  My blood is Ice-9 (see Cat's Cradle).  I was the one who dared friends to touch their tongues to the steel swing set legs and flag poles, and I can change out wet-felt liners faster than you can spell Antarctica.

But then it started to seem cold this morning when I woke up and it was in the 50's...and it was August. I'll be taking back all the hijinx about cold weather.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at August 22, 2004 1:25 PM to Unspecified

Hey Mr. D,

I hope all is well. I am glad you have your cable and RR. Now, I could keep up with what is going on with you. I think about you guys everyday. I miss you guys more than you know. The guys on the have asked me to say hello and they miss you as well. Please say hello to PH and D.


Posted by: E at August 23, 2004 1:32 PM

Regular blogging should resume later this week, but I've been promised a whole bunch of reading, writing and teaching work that might interfere from time to time. But updates...yes. There'll be those.

Just finished a day-long welcome to the CCR program. Good stuff. The only question I can't get answered is where to find a pouch of berbere powder. Still haven't found the equivalent of Ethiomart in Syr-town.

Hope the alumni game went well; sorry to have missed it.

Posted by: Derek at August 23, 2004 3:48 PM

Good to have you back, Derek. I love the "my winter is harder than your winter" conversation. When I was a kid, the most popular winter urban legend was the story of the kid who walked into a clothesline in the winter and his eyeballs froze to it. This was followed later by the more widespread kid licking a pole in the schoolyard and having his tongue frozen to it.

Out here in Cali, no one tells hard winter stories. So we have all that extra time in which to be "laid back."

Since you are in planning mode, you and some of the fellow TAs might have a look at my last two blogs where I document my first course in FYC with rationale. I suspect I come at the planning question differently than when I started out back when the Olympics weren't even televised.

Anyway, glad you are settling in and look forward to your reactions.

Posted by: John at August 25, 2004 9:37 PM

The clothesline story is an urban legend? That's a good one. As for the frozen tongue gag, I've participated in that experiment a time or two (okay, so three times I stuck my tongue on something deep-frozen, metal). Once I was a teenager, I knew to have a warm cup of water in hand if I ever had the hankering for a tongue-to-metal experiment. But yes, the regional/seasonal sizing up is both weird and frequent. One of the students in my cohort is a Northern Californian. The winter-weary have been trepidating on her far more than me, thank goodness.

I glanced at your FY comp entry, and mean to spend more time reading it in the next day or so.

Posted by: Derek at August 25, 2004 10:08 PM