December 8th, 2012 → 10:34 am

“These blessed candles of the night.” – Merchant of Venice

Happy first night of Hanukkah!  You know how hard it was to find a Hanukkah-appropriate quote in Shakespeare?  Let me just say, not as hard as I imagine fighting with the Maccabees was, but harder than lighting a limited supply of oil and just watching it burn.  Either way, let the celebrations begin!

Filed under: Blog & Other

Gift Giving

December 6th, 2012 → 8:36 am

“…the very soul of bounty.” – Timon of Athens

The gifts have started to pour in for the holiday season.  Packages from Grandma, UPS shipments from Montana, so much colorful wrapping paper!  I have got to get my own gifts in order this weekend…

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life


December 4th, 2012 → 8:26 am

“The pleasing punishment that women bear.” – The Comedy of Errors

I hear Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant.  Congratulations!  Though it’s also reported that she’s violently ill.  Bummer.  Here’s hoping she gets the rest and care that she needs.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Semester’s End

November 30th, 2012 → 8:53 am

“I see, as in a map, the end of all.” – Richard III

Another semester at school is ending and, as always, it feels weird.  Weird that I won’t see the same student faces every Monday and Wednesday, bright and eager and ready with questions, weird that I won’t continue my lectures on these important topics…  The semester always ends too early, just as I’ve gotten to know my students and begun a friendly rapport with them, just as some of our knotty policy issues have begun to unravel.  It always feels so abrupt to me, that it just ends one day.  But, as in a map I suppose, roads eventually do.

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life


November 22nd, 2012 → 5:57 am

“O lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!”  – King Henry VI, Part II

I really, really liked the op-ed this morning in The New York Times on not being dead.  It rang so heart-felt and true to me.  Here’s to not being dead.  One day, we all will be, and when our day comes it may even be a kind of relief.  But until then, give thanks and enjoy life, even the traffic lights.

Filed under: Blog & Other


November 17th, 2012 → 5:40 pm

“Is not their climate foggy, raw and dull?” – Henry V

Well, yes, but the people are nice!  I was in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, trying to take a picture of myself (because you aren’t allowed to take one in the Abbey itself – too bad as I couldn’t get Shakespeare’s monument in the Poet’s Corner either), when a really nice guy came up and offered to take my picture for me.  I think I must have looked rather pathetic with outstretched arms and pressed back face, trying to take my own silly picture.  Thank goodness Mr. Random Londoner came by and saved the day.

Thoughts on London so far:

  • So much history!
  • GREAT architecture.
  • Why are the sidewalks bordering the River Thames so uneven?  I’ve almost tripped and fallen on my face like a million times already.
  • The European economy really is in trouble – my London cab driver lives in Spain most of the year to save money ?!?!
  • Why do the fares for the tube have to be SO confusing?
  • Does no one use artificial sweetener in this place?
  • I like how they’ve cleaned up Trafalgar Square.
  • Impressive that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was given his own monument in Westminster Abbey – impressive both that an American is in there at all, and that Britain bestowed such an honor on our former President.
  • The last time I was in London was with my mother; not long, really, before she died.  I really miss her…

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

Daylight Saving Time

November 4th, 2012 → 8:09 am

“And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale.”  – As You Like It

Daylight Saving Time ends today.  Enjoy your extra hour!!

Filed under: Blog & Other

Happy Halloween

October 31st, 2012 → 6:11 am

“There’s hell, there’s darkness, there is the sulphurous pit,
Burning, scalding, stench, consumption; fie, fie, fie!”  – King Lear

This quote just sounds like Halloween to me, though the joke is that, if you read earlier in the text, Shakespeare is actually talking about a woman’s private parts here.  Ha!

Filed under: Blog & Other

Hurricane Sandy

October 29th, 2012 → 6:00 am

“Blow winds and crack your cheeks!  Rage, blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head!  And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!”  – King Lear

I hear Hurricane Sandy is going to be a doozy.  Here’s hoping it doesn’t drown the East Coast too terribly.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Witches, Jews, and History

October 19th, 2012 → 5:52 am

“If you prick us, do we not bleed?  
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?  
If you poison us, do we not die?”  – Merchant of Venice

This is just a small excerpt from the much longer speech by Shylock about being a Jew.  What is fascinating to me is that I just learned, last night, of the reference to witches in this that contemporaries of Shakespeare’s time likely understood, but we today miss.  In the 16th century one test of a witch was whether she bled or not when you pricked her (it was assumed that she did not), so Shylock is saying here, hey, Jews are not witches!  We bleed too!  Just like you.

Filed under: Blog & Other