Yes, I Am That Small

IHE reports that Rice University closed up its all-digital university press. That’s sadly noteworthy for its own sake; it exemplifies the institutional short-sightedness that’s been afflicting the academic-research-publishing-teaching nexus for years. What really caught my eye (“bought my eye,” if you remember the Monty Python “Travel Agent” sketch) was the assessment by outside evaluators, from…

Nonfiction

Tuesday, alas, Frank Kermode died. A great many biblical scholars recognise his name for The Genesis of Secrecy, his Norton Lectures at Harvard University; some of them know his critical classic, The Sense of an Ending, or his writing and editing for the Literary Guide to the Bible. I admire his books (Secrecy more, I…

Going Around

I’m walking on air, since I know I’ll see my beloved in just over two weeks, but am thrilled to share the joy with Steve Himmer. Steve and I go way back to the boondocks days of Blogaria, we’ve couch-surfed back and forth, we’ve rejoiced and grieved together [digitally]. And now, we get to raise…

Puzzling Reasoning

Mark C. Taylor has quite a reputation in the arena of postmodern theology. I’ve never been especially enthusiastic about his writings; they struck me as uninteresting, but I have been willing to take my colleagues’ word that he’s brilliant (and his position as chair of the Religion Department at Columbia suggests that his colleagues share…

Where It Went

For some reason, it seemed to me to be a good idea to get up early yesterday morning. I know, I know, I can hear you ask “What were you thinking?” I was thinking — soundly, to a point — that I would go to a car boot sale (a flea market, in US English)…

Tick Another Box

As a footnote to yesterday’s post about Margaret’s visa application being in the mail, the other legal matter we needed to take care of before she emigrated was transferring the title of our [former] car to our friends who bought it from us. This was a great nuisance, because Pippa and I bought the car…

Alienation

In the 1970’s, the University of Glasgow elected as its rector the Communist Party member and Labour candidate for Parliament Jimmy Reid. At the time, he had triumphantly spearheaded the unions’ efforts to keep the shipyards alive by refusing not to work.   Jimmy Reid died on Tuesday, and in this morning’s Independent ran the…

Oxygen!

The sun is out; the weather is fine. Margaret’s visa application is in, and (although we take nothing for granted) that at least signifies progress toward her joining me here in Glasgow. I’ve had a relaxed morning, but full of thinky thoughts — an exhilarating feeling, one that had been rarer and rarer over the…

Candles Lit

I haven’t talked much about my protracted time without Margaret. I don’t want to seem to be holding a pity party, or to suggest that while Pakistan faces devastating floods, Haiti is still struggling with the aftereffects of the earthquake, the Gulf Coast is trying to figure out how much of the truth they’re being…

Separated By Admissions Policies

This may need explanation to US readers, but many UK universities’ admissions have closed before A-level results (like senior-year final grades combined with SAT results) have been posted. I have myself been baffled by passing references to admissions at Glasgow until someone sat me down and explained.   Back in the States, most institutions of…

Sort Of But Not Exactly

Over the past couple of days, I’ve stumbled on several links that approach, but do not coincide with, my hermeneutical interests. First, I heard a story on NPR from their series about evolution, “When Did We Become Mentally Modern?” I’m not an anthropologist or an archaeologist, but the story sounded off-kilter in a number of…