Saturday, 7 May 2005

Why I do what I do

Every time I have some little complaint about my job, I should remind myself of today—or at least days like today, for today was commencement at Millsaps, and my first commencement as a faculty member (here or elsewhere). While I didn’t know these seniors as well as I might have liked, I hope I touched at least some of their lives in the way that professors past have touched mine.

Of course, it was a bittersweet day for me and a few other colleagues, including the oft-mentioned Kelly, as it also marks the official end of our employment by the college.* To all the friends, colleagues, and students (not mutually-exclusive!) I have encountered, it’s been a blast, and I’d do it all again… well, as long as I got a tenure-track contract next time!

* I will be teaching over the summer at Millsaps on an adjunct contract before moving to Durham in early August. Technicalities are annoying.

My new career as a bookseller

In preparation for moving, I’ve decided to get rid of most of my collection of computer books, including a large chunk of O’Reilly’s catalog. If I could figure out how to make a link to the list at, I would… in the meantime, here’s my lameass storefront where you can at least search my listings…

Update: Here's the full list of what's for sale.

Northern Ireland short on future sons of God these days

One of the more disturbing results of Thursday’s general election in Britain was the heavy support for hardline Nationalist and Unionist parties in Northern Ireland, where hardliners captured 14 of the 18 parliamentary seats up for grabs. Among those losing his position in Parliament was David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist party leader who negotiated the Good Friday peace agreement with retiring SDLP leader John Hume.

Then again, perhaps the hardliners can have an “only Nixon can go to China” moment… but I’m not holding my breath.

A real ho-down

From a recent 7th Circuit opinion:

The trial transcript quotes Ms. Hayden as saying Murphy called her a snitch bitch “hoe.” A “hoe,” of course, is a tool used for weeding and gardening. We think the court reporter, unfamiliar with rap music (perhaps thankfully so), misunderstood Hayden’s response. We have taken the liberty of changing “hoe” to “ho,” a staple of rap music vernacular as, for example, when Ludacris raps “You doin’ ho activities with ho tendencies.”

Sounds a lot like my paper grading over the past week. (þ: BTD Greg)