Saturday, September 11, 2010

11 September 2010 Auspicious beginnings not dealing with religious crazies

“Of course I read the textbook.”

Actually I have read the assigned material for Dr. Colin Baxter’s History of Modern Warfare. I’m currently about two chapters ahead of the class discussion material and half way through the smaller “also suggested” book. The other two veterans in the class are also at least current. So are the ROTC students. The back half of the classroom drew wrath and ire for being un-prepared to discuss the assigned material. They got dressed down quite handily while I sat and grinned. “Nice old Dr, Baxter, white-haired, South of England accent, Department chair, has a working temper and he demonstrated it this morning.

I’m still enjoying his course. I walk out of each session with new bits of knowledge, and that’s why I’m spending the time and gasoline to get there. He also has a good sense of humor. I’ll see what he teaches next semester.

The Art-History class has thinned out by about 33% from the first session. Most of the class is female. I suspect that nearly everyone in the class is taking it for a humanities or arts elective. That is why I took a similar course some 38 years ago. I needed an easy, sleep-through lecture class to round out my all-tech/sciences 18 hours and 40 hour work schedule. I pulled an A from that course but retained far less than I wished I had.

The lecturer knows his material well, delivers it with no hesitation or flaws. He automatically stops and spells words in his lecture as if he knows that the class members will not know how to spell them. Today’s words included “lintel” as in post and lintel construction, “mortise,” “tennon,” and a few others that made me shake my head in amazement that any college student would not be able to spell such words. This is another situation that will entail spoon-feeding the test material to the students. In this case, it won’t bother me as much as it did last semester. I’m in this class for the information and knowledge that I can pick up about fine art. If it comes across in bytes, I’ll take them.

I stopped to talk to the professor after class. He’d mentioned Thor Heyerdahl during his lecture, expecting no one to recognize the name. When I said that I knew the name his eyes lit up. When I said I was auditing the course because I wanted to learn what he could teach, not to satisfy a requirement, he grinned. I may have made his day.

My art-history classmates remind me of the frat boys in last semester’s history class. They plan on coasting on their appearance and athletic abilities. They shuffle in late, drop packs in the middle of the aisle, and generally zone out.

Co-incident with art-history, a link to some very interesting music and a movie about a singer, Rosa Eskanazi as presented in the movie “My Sweet Canary.” The link was another in a long series of great suggestions provided by my good friend Dr. Paul Scotton. Paul is presently in Greece, working on an archeological project.

Paul and I met due to our mutual love of The Grateful Dead when we joined an on-line collaboration, writing a compendium of Grateful Dead shows available on tape. Yes, that long ago! As such encounters can go; this one has become a long-lasting, wide-ranging friendship that I’ve found very rewarding. I’ve always found his suggestions of musical and other links worth exploring. Hope you enjoy the little bit of music that comes along with this one, I did!

We woke up to rain this morning. Gloria decided to go into Jonesborough to a garage sale. She’s going to do a bit of grocery acquisition before coming home. There’s always something we need from the grocery store. She came in with a few luxury items that were on sale.

Now we have a rainy afternoon ahead of us. I think I will base dinner around a package of langoustines in the freezer.

Thursday night’s dinner was leftover turkey heated in broth and served over kasha-varnishka. The dog really wanted some turkey. She went through a series of play and submissive postures and repeated them while we plated dinner. We thought she wanted to play, something she normally does before she starts to eat her dog food. Gloria played with her until Loki indicated she was through playing, then took her plate and sat down to eat. Normally Loki can be trusted not to touch food on the counters. This time, when I turned my back, she helped herself to the largest bits of turkey from my plate. I was not amused. Loki was. She sat on the kitchen floor with a large doggie grin. After all, Loki lives up to her name.

1 comment:

  1. Paul, just realized that I mispelled your name. I've corrected that error. Apologies extended.