A Modest Proposal

It is the weekend, and I am in New Orleans singing with WWOZ. I have been hanging out at an excellent conference wherein smart professors and graduate students spoke. It has been very refreshing. I feel as though I am beginning to right my sails. While driving back and forth I considered everyone’s posts on … More A Modest Proposal

Memorandum 3

To all faculty at Harvard, Michigan, Yale, and similar schools: In your book prefaces, please be a little more discreet about the fun you had writing them. We know your smart graduate students read this book in draft – in fact, to do so was their seminar – and made useful comments. We know you … More Memorandum 3

Memorandum 2

To all students with cute nicknames: The time to introduce these nicknames to me or to the class is not when you are in a desperate circumstance and need a special favor. The effort to portray yourself as a kitten or puppy by suddenly beginning to sign your e-mails “Mikey” or “‘Becca” is very transparent. … More Memorandum 2

Memorandum 1

This is the first of seven memoranda to seven groups, ranging loosely from the least irritating to the most.  To all “non-denominational” “Christian” students: I understand very well that your home-schooling mother and your pastor may have given you to understand that you, like them, are members of a superior species, and that in this … More Memorandum 1

On Sincerity

Over a year ago I had an argument with a blogger in which he accused me of insincerity. One of his blog friends looked at the exchange and said that actually, I was sincere “to a fault.” This was very interesting and I have thought about it since from time to time. I was first … More On Sincerity