Meaningless Rankings

The Times Higher Education has published its highly subjective (50% “reputational”) rankings of the top 200 universities in the world — and although such ranking are quite unreliable, I was pleased to see that my Masters alma mater is third in the world, my doctoral alma mater was 14th in the world, and that although…

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…

Orbitz FAIL

Last night after dinner, I settled down to arrange my plane flight to Glasgow. It was supposed to be pretty easy; the last time we bought a ticket, we had paid Orbitz a little extra for a previous ticket, for the prerogative of being able to exchange it for another ticket if (as we expected)…