Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Round Up of Things...

I
No blogging yesterday. I went to a very interesting meeting last night. The meeting did not end until late. The topic of the meeting concerned an individual who has political ambitions and a serious chance of getting elected. The discussion was very interesting indeed. I learned a great deal about Louisiana politics. It seems that my views and skills were considered an asset by the group.

One thing I realised late on in the meeting is that I was the only white person who had been invited (I am not too good at detecting people's race). I feel very honoured. It seems that my activities supporting my neighbours have not gone unnoticed. I got to meet a very interesting, bright and fun bunch of people. My favorite line of the evening (amongst many excellent ones) was "The only color today is green!" I wish some of the bloggers who rant and rave on the topic of race had such sensible views.

II
Our classes start this week, after the break. I taught my first class today. It was almost nice to be 'back in the saddle' after all the travel. What made things especially fun was the fact that a number of the students, I have taught before. They are all quite good. Although many bloggers like to complain about their students, many seldom remember to mention the nice, good, hard working students that usually out number the immature fools. Keeping this in mind would probably improve people's moods.

To be quite frank, I am getting a bit sick of folks complaining. If you do not like your job, do something else! There are many grad students who have been on the job market recently and are hoping to hear from places that they have interviewed with, who would kill to be in such a position to complain! Talk of
'oppression', 'energy sapping environments' and all the other silly complaints are just that: silly.

The week before classes started, it was interesting to see that it was the productive faculty members (i.e. those who publish) who were in our building. Most of them seemed reasonably chipper and would joke about the beginning of classes. Now the others have returned too, and suddenly the corridors are full of complainers again. I wonder what these people did over the break?

III
On the topic of University matters, I was very upset to hear about the horrific events at Mustansiriya University, in Baghdad. I do not have much sympathy for murderers, or killers of any kind (and this includes the Marine Corps.). However, it seems to me that there is something especially barbaric about such attacks at an institution of higher learning. I was also appalled at the kidnappings that happened at Baghdad University, last November. Yesterday's news was yet another outrage.

No matter what the politicians are claiming, unless I am mistaken, this sort of thing did not happen in Iraq before the US invaded. This seems like an unequivocal case of a bad result.

IV
Finally, I received e-mail from a student of mine who recently got married. Sometime ago, he was nice enough to invite me to his wedding. I was very honored to attend and it was a lot of fun. He went to a place with a tropical beach for his honeymoon. He attached a very amusing picture to his e-mail, of himself drinking 'something' out of a coconut, with a hat on, whilst sitting on a lovely beach. He looked very relaxed and happy. I like to see my students looking this way. I wish that those poor dead Iraqi students could have been so lucky.

The CP

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