Tuesday, May 10, 2005



Final grades have been submitted. Another year of intellectual promise has gone fabulously awry. By September, I suspect my pathetic, teacherly illusions — that I might transform a world or two through the magical touch of my words, or that I might encourage my students to hurl themselves into a life-long enthusiasm for the past, or that I might persuade my students to filet the rich and mount their heads on spikes — will revive themselves, just in time for another monotonous cycle of hope and exhaustion. Another year has passed in which I did not bring a shotgun to work, or create a nationally-televised hostage situation, or drink myself to death in my own office. Nor was I singled out for public ridicule in the local newspaper*, assaulted by disgruntled students on the sawdust floor of an untidy barroom, or poisoned by colleagues for my shoddy performance on university committees. There will be time, perhaps next year, for all that.