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.
-- It’s school break week for K-12, so we’re off to see Plymouth Rock. I’m told there isn’t much of it to see at this point, but history is history. My favorite New England historical spot is still the plaque in the sidewalk off Boston Common that marks where Paul Revere saw the lanterns in the North Church; you can still see the steeple from there. Someday we’ll take them to Salem for halloween, but they might not be quite old enough yet.
-- Someday I’ll find the strategic planning language for “spread virally.” No, that’s not an oxymoron. There’s a process to put in place to make viral transmission much more likely, and it can be done with forethought. But that requires translating concepts like non-linear growth into the language of strategic planning. Wise and worldly readers, is there an elegant way to translate that?
-- The Boy has started drawing comics. I’m biased, yes, but the kid is good. He draws just well enough to sell the humor, but the humor is the point, and he understands the punchline-followed-by-comment structure that separates a comic from a joke. Typically, a strip will have two characters talking to each other in a minimally drawn setting. Panel one offers the setup, panel two the punchline, panel three a silent pause, and panel four a sardonic dig at the joke-teller, sometimes with a comeback.
The kids have nearly memorized our Calvin and Hobbes books, and TB reads the comics page daily. (Yes, we’re so retro that we actually get a dead tree newspaper every day.) They’re already figuring out the conventions of the genre. As a nerdy Dad, I’m hugely proud.
-- Has anyone else noticed Google Docs suddenly getting weird about editing? From out of nowhere, it suddenly seems to have gremlins. The cursor jumps randomly, arrow keys behave oddly; this is not good...
-- I’ve been teaching the kids how to play chess, and we’ve been playing a lot of it. The Girl suggested the other day that chess would be more exciting if individual pieces had “power up” settings, like in video games.
Fearless prediction: someone will do that, and get filthy rich in the process. Future tycoon, you’re welcome.