Tuesday, July 25, 2006

another summer shot

It's a busy time...forty-five hours a week teaching/grading/preparing (I actually do one for one) leaves almost none for pursuits like CESL Today, cleaning up the web, marketing, or the essence of language. My writing class is in Hawaii...my intermediate class is doing crime (Al Capone, Jesse James, DNA testing, file-sharing, etc.)- come check out our weblogs. These folks are all learning to be webloggers and are actually (for the most part) doing their homework.

On the subject of crime, though, I was watching some Hitchcock movies with my boys and we decided to write our own murder mysteries...however, a murder came to Carbondale, struck the boyfriend of my stepdaughter's friend, and took the wind out of my sails. Don't know how much of this to share with the students. Makes me wonder how much a fascination with this stuff is really helping the world. And whether a person can really affect the crime rate.

War is a tragedy, anywhere...but, here's something about the jerusalecentrism of the media...(my term- you heard it first here)...I am referring to the unfortunate obsession with the eternal conflict- one needs, after a while, to take one's boot out of the muck, if not one's mind. And remember that many people are dying all over the place- let's have a little perspective.

And if life weren't busy enough, it now appears we're moving...from west park lane on the south side to south lark lane on the west side...a momentous change for a family of ten (not to mention the animals)...but one which will make for a safer bike ride.

And, going into a twelfth year here, a full round on the zodiac calendar. Peace to all,

Friday, July 14, 2006

another memorial

Emu picture from Exzooberance; deer picture from mynaturephotos.

OK so it's me that put these two characters on every single CESL class page. I have to find pictures to divide one term from another, and I never know what might represent the next term, so sometimes I go with what represented the previous term. Early summer in Carbondale this year was notable in that both the violent deer and the emu were killed by people. I'd make a big hoo-ha about the tragedy of man's cruelty to animals, and it was a tragedy, but I really don't know what I would have done if I were them. The violent deer was a subject of my class research last year; she attacked a number of people right near Faner after somebody touched her baby. It just set her off and she was never the same again. This year she resurfaced at the lake and attacked several people before someone shot her. We have to assume it's the same deer. It's virtually never happened before.

Then there's the emu. Where did he/she come from? Why is he/she hanging around north Carbondale? Is he/she an interesting traveller or what? And why did someone have to shoot him/her too?

I don't know the answers. Too bad people and animals have this tenuous relationship. Hope it gets better. Pray for the children, and in this case, the fawns.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


My Italian is so limited, that I have to hope that the title is appropriate. Saw the entire final, the only game I saw in its entirety, at the home of friends who just arrived from Germany. Several things were typical of the tournament itself- the expert footwork & kicking; the awesome header by the Italian guy; the excellent Italian goalie. I was for Italy; I reasoned that the US had tied Italy so that would make us look good.

But I'm still shaking my head about Zidane's intentional head-butt at the end of the game. I reason that these guys always know when the referees are or aren't watching; therefore it was clear that he knew that they weren't, which made it intentional in my view. But did he really think he would get away with it? Competitive, out-of-control, confusing. Outside of that, he was so good at everything he did....it's a mystery. Why one would go so far, be so good, then blow it...shame the country, as one news story put it.

Our friends had actually lived in Germany for the entire year- said they would have been able to get tickets, if they had tried immediately upon arriving, but had other things on their minds. perspective...that's what it all comes down to, I guess...

Monday, July 03, 2006

ciao, 063

Stunning upsets by France & Portugal leave this American World-Cup fan dazed- it's hard to keep our concentration through these long tournaments, let alone games with all this back-and-forth, being settled by penalty kicks. I'm more cut out for that lazy baseball pace- though all our sports are oversaturated, they wouldn't dream of only one for every four years. Another way in which the World Cup is like the Olympics. But all our sports have also become overdone (Stanley Cup & NBA finals- in June??) - whereas I know next to nothing about soccer, so it seems fresh, new. My new philosophy- have a good defense, that way you can win on penalty kicks.

I'll get you the highlights of 063- there were a few- an update on the stalled project (even forgot the url!!!)- and a preview of upcoming papers, which could be about Iceland, Antarctica or Hawaii...stay tuned! 064 gets a-tumblin' after the holiday...