• 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.

Title

The Gunman Took an Uber

It was a week this week.

October 18, 2019
 
 

 

Some weeks have more drama than others.

 

At a meeting earlier this week, discussing a campus shelter-in-place event, I heard the most United-States-in-2019 sentence ever: “The gunman took an Uber.”  

 

It’s a hell of a cultural snapshot.

 

The good news is that everyone on campus was unharmed, and that both gunmen -- including the one who took the Uber -- were eventually caught.  The college is drawing lessons from the event to handle future events better.

 

But still, there’s something wrong at a really basic level with a culture in which the sentence “The gunman took an Uber” is anything more than word salad.  

 

--

 

In the last month, two of the kids’ three surviving grandparents have had multiple-night hospital stays.

 

I’m beginning to understand the “middle” part of “middle age.”

 

--

 

The Girl has started writing a weekly book review column for her school newspaper.

 

I can’t imagine where the “public writing” gene came from.  

 

--

 

TG is also in her high school’s marching band.  The band appeared at a marching band festival Thursday night, after the winds had died down.  

 

Earlier this week, we got a fundraising appeal from the band.  For five dollars, you could write a short message that the announcer would read over the P.A. system when your kid’s band took the field.  

 

Reader, it was too good to resist.  

 

When her band took the field, this blared from the speakers:

 

“(TG’s name) Remember, it’s left, right, left, right, left, right.  Love, Mom and Dad”

 

Lucky for us, she’s a good sport.








 

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