Guest Post – Trump Talk

August 30th, 2016 → 5:00 am

    “I am no orator, as Brutus is;
    But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man.” – Julius Caesar

In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, writer Mark Thompson argues that Trump’s ‘I just tell it like it is’ style of speech is actually a historically familiar rhetorical style, shared by Mark Antony, Silvio Berlusconi, and Adolf Hitler.  It is an “anti-rhetoric” rhetoric, which aims at taking a dig at the establishment by pretending to be uber authentic.  It’s been done before, and, frankly, not by leaders we necessarily admire.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Sickness & Disease

August 26th, 2016 → 4:51 am

    “Now remains
    That we find out the cause of this effect,
    Or rather say the cause of this defect,
    For this effect defective comes by cause.” – Hamlet

A colleague of mine told me yesterday that he’s had a sore throat for six months now (um, maybe it’s time to go see the doctor?).  My cat turned over on his back last week and we watched his belly distend and fall to the floor (the vet says it’s an allergy – ??).  My son came home from the first week of school and felt so dizzy he laid on the floor all night rather than try to stand (he seems better now).  What’s going on with all this sickness suddenly around me?  More seriously, my colleague’s ex-wife died two days ago, and on the same day I scheduled my next surgery at the Mayo Clinic.  Ah, health.  Ah, the frail human body.  Ah, sickness and disease.  I dream of the day when medicine is so advanced we just step into a machine and after three minutes of laser treatment, we’re all cured.  Wouldn’t it be nice?  Why not dream?

Filed under: Blog & Other


August 20th, 2016 → 5:28 am

“Why art thou old and not yet wise?” – The Rape of Lucrece

Why do we associate wisdom with age?  Trump is 70 and from everything I can tell, he’s as stupid as he’s ever been.  As I get older I accumulate more knowledge, sure, but I also become increasingly aware of the gray boundaries of my widening unknowns.  Wisdom doesn’t equal facts, of course, and maybe that is how this is generally meant.  That wisdom is an approach, a perspective, and an experience that grows with age.  I just have to say, though, that there are some pretty unwise elderly people out there.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Stupid/Evil People


August 16th, 2016 → 5:21 am

“Study is like the heaven’s glorious sun.” – Love’s Labor’s Lost

If only my students thought that!  Here’s to the beginning of a new school year.  For my son, this week.  For me, next week.  Back to the books!

Filed under: Blog & Other

Learning to Swim

August 8th, 2016 → 7:03 am

    “Like Arion on the dolphin’s back.
    I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves.” – Twelfth Night

As summer nears its end, we’re trying to get in as much pool time as we can.  Yesterday, my son abandoned his Spiderman swim vest, and of his own volition swam and jumped in the pool unaided.  It was lovely.  A mother’s dream (and nightmare), watching her son grow up before her eyes.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

2016 Summer Olympics

August 4th, 2016 → 5:27 am

“The game is up.”

I recently learned that this phrase, “the game is up,” originally meant ‘the game is afoot,’ or, the ‘game is about to begin.’  In other words, it originally meant exactly the opposite of what it means today.  That cracks me up for some reason.

As for Rio, in today’s parlance, let the games begin!

Filed under: Blog & Other