Monday, September 21, 2015

"Aberdeen, South Dakota, You're On the Air"

Yesterday I gave all my classes an in-class writing assignment. So if I didn't interact with them, how did each section manage to piss me off so much? I often get the feeling that they must be punking me, because there is no way they can do such a legitimately terrible job following directions.

On the productivity front, my noise-cancelling headphones have arrived.

A lot of my recent posts have been about church and religion. I'm not actively trying to turn this into a church-topics blog, but my old standby topics have not been in my focus as much. I don't want to pay too much attention to American events because I'm already uneasy about returning in the middle of the 2016 presidential election build-up. I don't want to pay too much attention to Chinese events because the only thing I can do about them is get in trouble for publicly expressing an opinion. I used to blog a lot about the idiots around me, but in an effort to implement my seventh Fundamental Truth of Life ("It's much harder to be charitable when you're paying attention"), I try to not notice them so much anymore. Besides, my work environment has changed. I see my coworkers a lot less. I interact with my supervisor a lot less. I come to school and teach, then I go home. My students bother me, but they're not worth getting worked up about.

I'd be mortified to arrive at a meeting of Christians in a chauffeur-driven car. Yeah, I know what the extenuating circumstances are. Still.

Listening to Portishead's "Dummy" right now.

Last year the teachers-versus-students football was organized by a student who appeared to have substantial authority on the pitch. This year that same kid can't get anything organized and can't manage to clear a space for us to play. I've shown up twice now and both times we kick a ball on the side of the pitch while we wait for some goals to clear out.

Another "fried chicken quarter" moment in my recent life: several months ago I read a story I wanted to share with my kids, but I couldn't find the blog post it was in. Then, the next week, the blogger posted a link to it in a post that summarized many similarly-themed posts.

Some people are going to bemoan Scott Walker's dropping out of the presidential race. But as far as I can tell, all Walker had going for him was some political successes in Wisconsin. His supporters were very excited about the prospect of implementing similar successes nationally, but you don't need a particular individual to implement a particular agenda. A presidential candidate needs to be able to generate support for his ideas in the general election, and a good measure of whether he can do that is how well he does generating support for his ideas in the primary elections. If Walker couldn't excite the people who were paying attention in 2015, why should we believe he could excite the people who aren't paying attention in 2016?

I'm thinking of spending Christmas in Vietnam this year, and Spring Festival in the Philippines.

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