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  • Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

Confetti on the Table
February 3, 2011 - 9:13pm

- Twitter’s coverage of the revolution in Egypt has been revelatory. Jillian York (@jilliancyork) has singlehandedly done a better job than all of the tv networks and newspapers combined. I started doing Twitter as a lark, but it’s really proving itself. Katrina Gulliver (@katrinagulliver) is emerging as a breakout star of the medium. Highly recommended.

- The dining room table is covered in what looks like confetti. Since I’ve been struggling with the organization of the book, I decided to write ideas down on small strips of paper, then arrange the strips into groups as they made sense. TW has been a good sport, but I’m acutely aware that I’ve only used half of the strips thus far, and have already covered an entire placesetting. My goal is to get everything in reasonable order without having to add the leaf. Luckily, it’s cold enough that I don’t think there’s much danger of anybody opening a window.

- Okay, enough snow days. Seriously. Meeting schedules and deadlines are complete disasters at this point, and there’s really no place left to put snow. The kids and the dog are getting cabin fever, and I don’t even want to think about when their summer vacation will start. A snowblower should not be an everyday tool, and the daily battle between the road plow and the bottom of the driveway feels like an allegory for something.

- Why doesn’t Amazon have a Kindle app for WebOS? I know WebOS isn’t huge, but how hard could it be? With Apple getting more territorial about taking a cut of everything, it seems like diversifying the platforms would make sense. If not a full-blown app, then at least an easily used mobile-scaled website for Kindle.

- Patton Oswalt’s Zombies, Spaceships, Wasteland is better than I expected. He captures the frustration of being a basically decent person trapped in an absurd situation, whether it’s a doomed multiplex in high school or a tragic comedy club in Canada. The book has its share of jokey bits, but I was impressed at how reflective most of it was. Several chapters really capture the sort of walking sadness I remember vividly from my own teen years. His reflections on male nerd culture at a certain historical moment ring true. Thoughtfully done.

- The Boy won a certificate for the President’s physical fitness challenge. Mercifully, it never occurred to him to ask if I had...

- Life’s awkward moments: someone on campus recently recommended that I start reading “a blog by this guy, Dean Dad.” I nodded, and smiled noncommittally.

- This weekend, we are all cheeseheads. The Onion pretty much nailed it with its headline “Ben Roethlisberger One Win Away from Being a Good Person.” Go, Packers!

 

 

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