Remembering

My Aunt Isabelle died this past weekend, and I’ve been thinking of her and touching base with Margaret and my relatives as circumstances permit. She was the eldest of my mother’s three sisters, a lovely, strong woman, a beloved mother to my cousins Martitia and Adele, and to my late cousin Daniel. We’ve had her…

Reach For Your Fountain Pens

Both Umberto Eco and Arthur Krystal have recently published columns that portend well for writers who use fountain pens. While I don’t agree that ballpoints are intrinsically without soul, style, and personality, I think that the characteristics of ballpoints (the texture of the ink, the standardized colors and points) militate against stimulating the writer’s imagination…

Pride Goeth

or something like that.   Last night when I got home from the office, I was fiddling with some of the settings on my computer and the DSL router to make the wireless connection work (I had hitherto been connecting to the router by a CAT-5 cable; how 90’s!), when I lost the connection to…

Back In The Saddle

Yesterday’s Historical Jesus seminar went so well, and the news that my home broadband connection would be up was so welcome, that I sailed through the day on a cloud of elation. I was so buoyant that I forgot that I’d agreed to meet a nearby scholar at 5:30 (I left the building, eagerly, at…

Headlines

Class went pretty well on Monday — so far as I can tell — especially since it was a ninety-minute rapid-fire monologue covering the history of Israel from David to the Mishnah, with twenty minutes or so reserved for varieties of Judaic identity in the first century. No one vomited (in the classroom; a couple…

Glasgow And Me

People keep asking, “What’s it like in Glasgow?” and “How are you doing?” The short answers are “Lovely” and “Doing all right”; the long answer to both is, “It’s more complicated than that.”   Glasgow first: Magpies instead of crows ( I don’t even see that many pigeons here).   Sandstone buildings everywhere; the question…

Status Quaestionis

It’s been a very busy week. I have to prepare two and a half syllabuses for course systems that I don’t know from the inside, for courses I’ve never taught before (well, I’ve taught Historical Jesus several times, but not in this configuration). Plus, I have to put the letter “u” in various wourds to…

Oh, Right

I was aware that my students this year would be younger — mostly second-year undergraduates — and was thinking about my courses with that in view. What I hadn’t remembered was what that implied about the pitch of campus life. For some reason, Seabury didn’t have “Freshers Week” with numerous bar-sponsored vans parked along Sheridan…

Temporarily Out of Action

In the “too good to be true” category, my flat’s broadband connection didn’t last; it disappeared while I was at church. My work day is already full, so for the time being all I have time to do is point to the photos I posted on Flickr from a cafe yesterday afternoon.

Tell Me About Your Week

It seems impossible that I’ve been in Glasgow less than a week. If old age speeds time up, perhaps we can counteract that effect by moving from familiar surroundings to strange new cities, every week or two. On the other hand, it’s so exhausting that the perceived protraction of time is squandered by naps and…