Archive - Nov 2004

November 30th

Lincoln and Grant

In preparation for lectures on the Civil War, I have been reading Carl Sandburg's Lincoln again. What a book. Rich in anecdote but sweeping in perspective and scope, as well as poetic in its expression, I do not see how anybody could improve on this classic.

November 29th

Semester winds down

As we enter the final two weeks of classes at UMC, some of the students are catching on that they aren't doing so well. Some are wondering what they can do for extra credit. It is too late for that, of course. I do tell them that if they get their act together on the last test, I will give it greater weight. I have offered this in the past and don't recall anybody improving enough to have it matter.

November 26th

Getting Away

I haven't spent time away from home for quite some time, so today I am hanging out in Grand Forks. It's a bad day to be out retailing, but I did it anyway. I think the Black Friday crowds were reduced somewhat by the icy roads.

November 25th

The first Thanksgiving

Here is an extremely interesting article in the New York Times about depictions of the first Thanksgiving in the history books. This is history at its most interesting.

November 23rd

Crossing things off the list

Today was a good day. Cold but clear. Plenty to do. I made a list in the morning and spent the day crossing things off the list. I did what one is supposed to do but seldom does: attack the least desirable task first and the next least desirable task after that. Boy, does that make one feel good.

November 22nd

More pictures

I find myself nostalgic for Arizona, especially knowing I probably won't get there this winter. Here is a picture of a pottery store in Tubac, AZ. I believe Tubac is at about 5,000 feet elevation. The colors are more vivid at that elevation, it seems.

Winter's slow arrival

It gets a little colder each day, yet it is still surprisingly bearable. We can't complain--no snowfall yet, and we're nearly to Thanksgiving. Some is predicted for tonight, but I am betting against it.

I sure like my gas fireplace this time of year. It toastens the room up real nice when the wind howls outside.

November 20th

Memories of summer

Here is a picture of my favorite summer phenomenon: A thundercloud heading to the east late in the evening after passing overhead. This picture was taken at Lakeview Resort on Maple Lake last July.

A fun day of teaching

Yesterday was a fun day in the classroom. Odd, you just can't predict when lectures will go well and when they will flop. I felt blase going into the day, and then things just worked out. The students were in a pretty peppy mood, for the most part.

We started the Civil War in American History with the first shots at Ft. Sumter. It helped that I pulled some books off the shelf and read up on some of the more interesting details. The textbooks, with their one-paragraph-per-major-event approach miss all the interesting stories.

November 18th

The last day in paradise?

The weather is threatening to turn tomorrow--but today was perfection. I went to town about sunset and snapped some pictures, including this one of the drugstore building's brick facade.

I don't know if this building was built with Fertile bricks or not. For those of you not familiar with the history of Fertile, the town used to have a brickyard. In fact, the great-grandfather of my carpenters, the Kronschnabels, founded it.