Papers to mark, houseguests to shelter, feed, and entertain, Margaret to spend such time with as is possible, email to catch up on (and always more coming in).

Pardon Me

Margaret’s flying in for the weekend, so I expect that I won’t be as active online as I usually am.

I didn’t see the State of the Union Address, but I read Tom Matrullo’s scarifying account of it.

Gary modulates from subtle Photoshoppery to PowerPoint sabotage. Brilliant.

Today Seabury observed the feast of St. Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Scandinavia, and patron saint of dyslexic hot rod drivers.

Teaching Is Like That

For a variety of reasons, I was reminiscing about my days teaching at Princeton Theological Seminary earlier in the week — when what should happen, but I got a letter from Katy and Mac Shafer, two wonderful students from those days (whose sense of humor is so twisted that they scarred their dog forever by naming him after Eric Montross — but that’s Carolina fans for you). Hi, Mac and Katy!

I remember Mac and Katy very vividly, but I can just as easily blank out entirely relative to students from my past (especially embarrassing if they come up to compliment you). More often, I forget things I said in class — I shut down the “self-conscious” part of my brain when I’m lecturing, and I allow my love of the Bible (or Greek, or of early church history) take command. Frequently when students quote me back at myself, I have absolutely no recollection that I ever said such a thing. For instance, Beth noticed my allusion to the Flying Spaghetti Monster in yesterday’s lecture on the Epistle to the Colossians. When I saw her post, I remembered mentioning the FSM, but if you’d asked me what made it into my lecture without prompting me, I doubt that I’d have been able to tell you.

The link to the FSM, though, called to my attention Chris Doyle’s Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, brought to you by the same guy who created the Mini-mizer (depicts a person in Lego units — here’s what I looked like three years ago). Kyle was asking me about the Mini-mizer and I’d lost the link, so I thought I’d bring it back here.

The clever Mini-Mizer reminded me of the cool Flickr games to which Shelley pointed yesterday: her own Flick-a-Pair game, and Scott Reynen’s Fastr. Among those two, the Mini-Mizer, and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I will have used up more than my share of your time today. Me? I have housework to do and papers to grade.

Didactic Notes

Was it just me, or did other people experience quivers of nausea at the President’s claim that “My job is not only commander in chief, but educator in chief”? Exactly what does he think he stands to teach us?

On a related note, in a chat today with Pascale, I referred to “a real edfucational institution.” Those of you who know me and my keyboarding skills will realize right away that I didn’t intend to cast aspersions; I just fat-fingered the “d” in “education.”

Pascale and I, however, saw the implications of my slip. I then alluded to the institutiona as Edfucational U, and she noted that it must colloquially be known as Edfuc U — which then struck us as a tremendous merchandising opportunity (imagine the t-shirt sales). . . .