Tuesday, September 14, 2010

14 September 2010 observations off the wall and unfounded

The ball cap of the day is my IDF OD cap. I don’t wear it that often but it seemed to be appropriate this morning. Wandering past the library, waiting for my classroom to empty, I ran into the Gideons handing out their mish-mash of Tanach extracts and their new testament.

“Have you been offered…” says the smiling late-middle-aged man.

I look at him, point to the logo on my cap. He wishes me a good day and I wish him the same. He gets to go home and tell people he met a real Jew on campus. I get grist for my blog.

The dressing down delivered last Thursday had some effect upon the class as questions about Napoleon suddenly provoked responses from a different group of students. The bulk of discussion still began in the Vets/ROTC group. We’ve finished with Napoleon and will be moving on to the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War next week. Thursday we will have a guest speaker.

The class occupying the classroom prior to my history class is an African-American studies class covering pre-Revolution to ca.19th century. There seem to be some empty seats in the room so I asked the instructor if it would be alright slide in and audit. She has no objection. If the parking lot dance is productive and short, and if the classroom door is left unlocked, I may pick up a bit more education this semester than I had bargained for.

After history 3940, into the Pathfinder and off to Krogers, looking for an influenza immunization. The line to sign up was slow, the wait, while not really that bad, was longer than I had hoped for. In addition, there was a pharmacy student training there today and the pharmacist asked if I would mind letting her perform my immunization. Being more interested in a rapid exit than anything else, figuring it would help keep the process moving, I agreed to be a training patient. She did a good job, minimal pain.

Returning to campus, I found a very convenient parking spot within 30 meters of my afternoon class. The handicapped parking tag makes it mine for the afternoon. I decided against sitting outdoors and trying to see the monitor and having minimal wi-fi connectivity. Instead I’m in one of the art buildings, with acceptable lighting, air conditioning, and no wi-fi.

Gloria called when she parked and we met for a brief bit of PDA. We have sequential Trout Unlimited license plates that stand out vividly once you’ve see them. We also have what are probably the only two Grateful Dead front plates on campus. We can recognize each other’s vehicle coming or going.

Wi-fi suddenly kicked in. How many Jews at ETSU is the search of the day. Wi-fi is gone again. To be continued later and elsewhere.

Art-history delivered more amusement today. Pawlowicz took the time to relate a synopsis of the Epic of Gil-gamesh. No one asked for spellings or if it would be on the test. Today’s list of words that college students are apparently not considered able to spell are: obsidian, cuneiform, Jericho, ziggurat, and votives. Study hard boys and girls. You might be graded on your spelling. If I were teaching, I’d expect students to spell things correctly and hold them responsible for looking up proper spellings.

Another in a long series of indications that I was right to not become a teacher.

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