The Only Easy Semester is Last Semester.

While I may be paraphrasing a Navy SEALs saying, the sentiment is the same. This one has started off fast and furious. In this first two weeks of the semester, I’ve had three papers due, three quizzes (with one more tomorrow at 9:45AM) and have been introduced to a program called RStudio. I believe a more appropriate name would be FUstudio, if you get my drift.

But I am still totally digging it. ESCI 1001 (Earth and it’s Environments) is playing off nicely my ANTH class from last semester. HIST 3052, Introduction to Ancient Greece, is very interesting. We are currently reading The Iliad, by Homer, while a poem, it still gives much insight into Greece back then. For instance, Hera and Zeus, husband and wife, fight like a modern couple; “Maddening one…you and your eternal suspicions—I can never escape you. Ah but tell me, Hera, just what can you do about all this? Nothing. Only estrange yourself from me a little more—and all the worse for you.” (2.674-678) Although it was cut from the text, I believe Hera’s response was “Go fuck yourself, you immortal asshole!” At least words to that effect.

Today for POL 3085 I spent an hour observing people to see how they cluster. My first thought was to go to the Mall of America and watch families and visitors at the Lego station. But then I realized sitting there for an hour taking notes and watching kids play might get me arrested as a pedophile. So, I chose the IDS Atrium at 3:45PM. I kept notes and found the hour to be so much less boring than I thought it might would. My notes included:
• Nobody notices me observing them. Might take off my pants.
• One potential oddball, black man putting on white robe with stars of David on them. Now putting a white scarf on his head. I think he might be a member of the Black Hebrew Israelite Church.
• Big white guy in hoodie talking to him and laughing with him.
• Female police officer approaches the big guy in hoodie, taps him on shoulder twice, white guy with hoodie puts in ear piece and takes off. Turns out he is an undercover officer in the IDS.
I kid you not, this and more all happened in my hour observing. It was actually quite fun. And everybody, EVERYBODY, consulted their phone at least one time. Next time I do this, I’m bringing a manual typewriter and every now and then will pick it up, talk to it and laugh.

The scene at IDS Center Atrium.

My final class is HIST 3020 Hands on History, Rise of the Hindu Nation, which could not be more timely with what President Modi is doing to Muslims in India and the rise of a blind nationalism there. History doesn’t repeat itself—contrary to the old saying—but what it does do is mimic it. And Lord, that is happening over there. Replace Modi with Hitler, and well, you get the idea. The class is heady and brilliant.

That is about it with one final note. Just as everyone in the IDS Atrium was on their phone, I stood in line to get a Subway sandwich yesterday (spicy Italian) in the basement at Blegen Hall and again, everyone passed the time on their phone. I was the only one in line reading the Star Tribune and holding an actual newspaper. Several in line were snapping photos of me to show they’re friends a Boomer reading the old fashion way. I wasn’t upset, I just smiled and said something I think Hera might have.

Here is the secret to Subway: they have an App and you can order the sandwich from your phone and avoid the line. Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks!

More later, Yip Yip.

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