Archive - Aug 2004

August 30th

First day of class complete

I was pretty shot after I got done with the third lecture today. I was forgetting what I had said to which class about what, and I think I started to repeat myself.

The students seem quite different from when I last taught. Perhaps it is because UMC has changed its clientele since I last taught, I don't know. They seem a bit more worldly and a little less innocent, although that probably doesn't translate into having some background in history. I sensed today that we were pretty much starting at zero, which is fine.

New office

I am sitting in my new office at the University of Minnesota in Crookston. I am sharing it with a fellow adjunct lecturer. I finished my first class an hour ago.

There were more people than chairs, so two girls had to sit in the corner on top of an unused table. Most of the students looked very young. I had expected more older-than-average students.

August 27th

The best time of year

Everybody is complaining about the early fall, but I love it. It feels like football weather outside. Don't like the game much, but the weather is great. Allergies have been minimal this year--too cold for the pollen, apparently.

The Twins are in the lead. The weather is cooling. School is starting, and I get to teach some of it this fall. (We'll see if my attitude is the same in one week after I have actually started.)

August 26th

Politics

It is apparent that John Kerry spun some tales about his Vietnam experience. It is also apparent that he didn't deal with the problem real effectively when it arose in the campaign. He is being hung out to dry right now, and it really is his fault.

August 25th

New job

Attended a faculty meeting today, my first ever. It wasn't necessary for me to go; I am merely a adjunct lecturer, not a full time faculty member, so I have none of the responsibilities which fall on the full-timers. However, the meeting involved a free steak lunch, so I thought I might go and meet some of my fellow teachers.

August 24th

Silva Succeeds

The Twins lead the Rangers 3-2 in the eighth inning. Carlos Silva did well, although he had to leave with a cramp in his shoulder. Juan Rincon came in and got out of the inning without giving up the lead. It's a good game.

A LOUD THUNDERSTORM came through about 3:30 this morning. Crash and boom. The power blinked, which always turns on my sound system full blast. ESPN was on. Sports, sports, sports. I couldn't muster the energy to get out of bed and shut it off. The storm raged on. So did the sports.

August 23rd

Santana makes it look easy

For once, things worked out as planned: I looked forward all day to watching Johan Santana pitch tonight, and that is what I have done tonight--watch him mow down the Texas Rangers. For you non-baseball fans, Santana's recent streak of good pitching has been favorably compared to any streak ever, including the best streaks put together by the great Sandy Koufax.

August 22nd

Cool Sunday in August

I do love this weather. I am not one for heat. I get allergies about August 20 each year, and they happen all of a sudden. The tickling and sneezing kicked in last Thursday evening. However, the cool weather makes things a lot more bearable. If it were hot, I would be too drugged on antihistamines to write.

I am getting restless to start on the house--the cool weather makes me think that fall is coming fast. Of course, we are still right on schedule. No worries yet. The slab should be poured in the next couple of weeks, and then we're good to go.

Shopkeeping

Spent the day yesterday manning the store. Several dozen people came to view the gardens. Some bought a few plants of the few remaining for sale. Others simply had questions. In between customers, I worked on my classes. It was a good way to pass a cool, fall-like day.

August 21st

Stars

Cold a clear last night. Had a visitor from the city, an old college friend whom I hadn't seen for a dozen years. He had never seen the Andromeda galaxy, so we headed outside to look at the stars with the binoculars late last night.

The Milky Way was as vivid as ever last night. It was utterly clear. Andromeda was easy to spot. Also spotted Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, near the eastern horizon. Only a blur to the naked eye when it is low in the sky, the cluster was pulled into clear and spectacular focus by the binoculars.