Category Archives: personal

White Skies

Fire and Smoke Map (airnow.gov) I didn’t require my students in my online classes last year to turn their video cameras on, not only because I don’t have a webcam (I left my old one behind in Colorado) and didn’t want to force students to do something I wasn’t doing myself, but because I’m a firm believer in students’ rights to privacy, especially in their own homes. Some of my students may have just logged into Zoom and gone off to another room to play…

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Dried Out

The West’s historic drought in 3 maps (cnn.com) One of the local news stories from this past spring that didn’t register on my radar as strongly as it should have was a prolonged fire advisory here due to lack of rain. There was actually flooding going on around here when I first came to Wisconsin nearly three years ago — so much so that the route I should have taken here from Madison was cut off, and I was forced to take a detour far…

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Like an Unplugged Cable

I’m pretty sure that I’ve already spent more time on campus after the end of this past spring semester than I spent during the semester itself. All of my spring classes were online, so it wasn’t like there was much work I needed to do on campus in those months, and it’s just generally easier for me to take care of non-urgent business there when it’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit outside than when it’s 25 degrees (or, as is usually the case here during the winter…

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No Go

The spring after my father died, Mom insisted on selling our two minivans and getting a PT Cruiser to replace them. My parents had ridiculed the PT Cruiser mercilessly when it first came out, but after Mom had a chance to ride in one, she fell in love with them. What was most striking about her insistence that we get this car, though, was that she hadn’t been driving for years, and I’m fairly certain that her driver’s licence had expired years earlier as she…

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Sidelined

Between the large number of classes I wound up teaching this past spring semester, and all the other craziness that’s been sideswiping me here in 2021, my ability to do research for my next book just hasn’t been what I want it to be. When I relaunched my Patreon last summer with an exclusive-content model, where a substantial amount of that content is going to be my extended thoughts about the books I’ve been reading, I vowed that I would read a minimum of five…

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