Friday, September 05, 2008


The Return of Friday Fragments

Classes have started, and the usual first-week crises have ensued, so I'm far too wiped for a proper post. Instead, it's the return of Friday Fragments.

1. My Mom sent The Wife some old pictures of me, from high school and college. Actual conversation:

TW: You look so skinny! Look, you barely have shoulders! You're like a rail!

The Girl (reassuringly): Now you're nice and big, Daddy.

Uh, thanks, honey.

2. Conversation from earlier this week:

The Boy: Dad, do I have to go to grad school?

DD: Noooooo. Noooo, you don't. Nope.

TB: Really?

DD: Yup.

TB: Whew! I'd be tired of school by then!

DD: Yeah, probably.

3. I'll admit to a perverse fascination with the unfolding of the whole “Presidents Gone Wild” thing in Iowa. The President of Iowa Central Community College, Robert Paxton, got fired after a pretty unpresidential photograph of him ran in the local paper. (Judge the photo for yourself here.) His punishment included settling for a $400,000 severance payment and several years' worth of health insurance. Given that the young woman in the photo wasn't a student, and was of age, I'm not completely sure what he actually did wrong. That said, if a $400,000 check and several years' worth of health insurance is a punishment, I'm sure I could dig up a skeleton of my own somewhere.

4. I'll also admit to wondering about the possibilities of maintaining a squeaky-clean image in the age of cell phone cameras. It's much easier now to not know when your picture is being taken. I try to maintain a professional demeanor when I know I'm representing the college, but when I'm schlepping the kids on errands, sometimes I just look like the harried Dad I am. (And I don't even want to think about what a picture of me at the end of a workout would look like!) In an age of ubiquitous information and images, maybe we have to change the way we look at isolated moments.

5. And yes, we're all flawed. I had to confront a flaw of my own this week as I watched Sarah Palin. Sure, she's ideologically offensive, ethically tainted, and comically unqualified for her role; as a friend of mine wrote me in an email, her speech sounded like she was running for class president. And yet, even granting all of that, there's the basic, irreducible fact of her hotness. She's a poutier Tina Fey, and, well, I'm not made of stone, people. I'm not about to go do something stupid like vote for her, but I'll admit I don't mind seeing her picture in the paper.

6. The Boy started a new school this week, which involved riding a bus for the first time. As fate would have it, our stop was the first stop on the route. Not knowing any better, he sat right in the front row, and actually greeted each kid at each subsequent stop upon boarding. I'm torn between pride in raising such an earnest and sweet kid, and terror at how the other kids will read that. Unless things have changed pretty radically from my bus days, bus culture has rules, and “don't sit in the front seat and act as some sort of &*)(_&^ greeter” is a basic one. Poor guy.

(And I don't even want to think about what a picture of me at the end of a workout would look like!)

Yes. I work out at our campus fitness center and I have often wondered as I'm changing in the locker room how much a picture of a naked 55-year-old physics professor is worth on the "OMGlookatthis!" circuit.
Sure share your awareness of the "always under scrutiny" risk in a college town.

But, OTOH, I'd say "a STUPIDER Tina Fey." Mentioning her in the same sentence with Tina Fey is an insult to Tina Fey. And chicks with eyeglasses.

Oh, but calling them "chicks" is such a compliment.
I feel like we've got to have only one or two presidential elections left before all available candidates have naked or semi-naked pictures from their MySpace days circulating.
. . . I would argue you have much larger flaws to worry about (as evidenced by your irrationally offensive screed) than your physical attraction to Sarah Palin.

Beauty is skin deep, but stupid (and rude, and intellectually dishonest, and ideologically warped) goes straight to the bone.


You really need to get out more- and stay away from "The Daily Cause [sic]" as your only source of news.

The longer I spend in academia, the more I believe the entire industry is grossly unworthy of ANY public funding . . .

(p.s. this is the polite, cleaned up version.)
She's sure not my cup of whatever, but de gustabus non disputandum est, DD.
Hey, to each their own -- some folks get off on the whole Dominionist thing, and it's as harmless a fetish as most.
Odd how the same folks who are insisting that we "focus on the issues" are authoring the most scurrilous, libelous, personal attacks on Sarah Palin.

Christian Discipline? Say What?

Also, how does

- ideologically offensive (to less than 40% of your negihbors)
- ethically tainted (libelous bullshit)
- and comically unqualified (compared to who? Mr. Change? Laughable.)

rise in any substantive way above gratuitous assertions and ad hominem?

Shame. You claim to be an educated "seeker of truth."

The recent crap from the screeching left makes me sad- and angry. It's pitifully desperate and hypocritical. I'm glad I turned my back on the one-party system years ago.

(and no- I am NOT a Demmican/Republicrat and NO I am NOT voting for McBama.)

Yeah, it's your blog and you can cry if you want to- but how about "Confessions of an ideologically monolithic and intellectually dishonest community college administrator" for a tag line.

At least that would be honest.

The self examined life is the only life worth living after all . . .

(still pulling punches for hte sake of politess)
It seems that people are so fed up with politics that our standards have sunk so low. The people running for office barely deserve a vote.

I have hesitated using our campus gym or pool for fear of potential pics. I can't believe that they fired that college president over that picture. Tomorrow's academics, politicians and CEOS will all have so much digital data via myspace, facebook, etc. no one will get hired. I will enjoy the day when Presidential elections will include an onslaught of "look at his/her myspace page from college" negative ads.
Conversation from my house:

Setting: Watching the DNC convention. My husband (a former Republican) is wearing an Obama T-shirt. The Girl (who is three) is sitting in his lap.

Husband (pointing at the TV): That's Obama! I have on his T-shirt.

The Girl: Did you steal it?
The first thing that I did after I handed in my doctoral thesis was swear a solemn oath never to take an exam again, and you know what, I simply could not emotionally handle the one or two courses I tried to take afterwards. I'm with your kid
Are many college presidents as ripped as that Iowa one? Somehow, I doubt it.
On a related note, Tina Fey is hosting SNL next week. Wonder if there'll be any Palin skits... :)
Re: presidents gone wild. See, I didn't have any problems with his partying after work hours, not if everyone involved are consenting adults and of legal age. Although having his son there with him was a little squicky. I'd never party like that with my rugrats -- major eewww factor.

My problem was with the last couple of paragraphs of the article, where it mentioned he'd had a leadership role in tampering with athletes grades if I read it right. I think his ass should have been fired for that.
Wait, I just re-read the article. Was he partying with students of the college? I'm not sure if that was clear. Legal age or not, that sends red flags waving for me. I wouldn't party with my students any more than I'd party with my own kids. I may have to re-think what I just posted.
Nice to see you have an open mind about the candidates. It helps to prove just how wrong David Horowitz is.

Oh, wait . . .
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