Thursday, November 05, 2015

Friday Fragments

The Girl won third place for her age group in the costume contest at the Freehold Halloween parade. She went as a “weeping angel,” from Dr. Who.

For non-Whoovians, the weeping angels were the villains in a particularly memorable episode.  They look like stone statues as long as you look at them, but if you look away or even blink, they move quickly.  If they get to you, they send you back in time so far that by the time the present rolls around again, you’ve died.  The episode is better than it needs to be, with a strong female lead and a plot that moves deftly between sweet and creepy.

As we marched through the borough, we kept hearing people yell from the sidewalk “don’t blink!”  TG was gratified that her costume was recognized as often as it was.

Parents of girls know how difficult it can be to find costumes that are compelling and scary without being inappropriately sexual.  The weeping angel did the trick.  TW constructed the wings over several days, using foamboard and the sticks usually used to stir cans of paint.  She ordered the mask online, but painted it dark gray to match the wings.  

We may not have much longer before Halloween parties replace trick-or-treating.  They already have for The Boy.  So don’t mind if I hold on to this for a little while.  They grow up quickly when you look away, or even blink.


As regular readers know, I’m a fan of podcasts.  If you listen on any sort of regular basis, check out the latest episode (#38) of “post-bougie.”  It features an interview with Tressie McMillan Cottom that starts with reflections on the 50th anniversary of the Moynihan report but quickly branches out into a much broader discussion of race in America.  The audio isn’t what it could be, but tough it out; the discussion is funny, scathing, relevant, and wise.  


On Thursday I had a faculty meeting in the campus auditorium.  I mention it because the auditorium had been a haunted house the week before, and some of the decorations were still up.

I’d never had a faculty meeting in a haunted room before, with headless bodies in the corner and uncanny mannikins in a row in the back.  It sort of puts things into perspective.


Finally, a hearty “hear, hear!” to Lee Skallerup Bessette’s piece earlier this week about IHE as a sort of Island of Misfit Toys for writers about higher education.  Part of the reason I started blogging -- back in 2004 -- was frustration at not seeing my daily reality reflected anywhere in either the popular press or the higher ed press.  Scott Jaschik reached out and offered a platform when nobody else did.  

Widely-read platforms open to people from non-elite places are few and fleeting.  The Chronicle has pretty much let its blog section wither, and sites like Grantland shut down on a whim.  IHE has been steadfast in its support of those of us who don’t write from Harvard or a foundation.  Thanks, Scott.