March 8th, 2006

In Jackson WY–Jan. 2006

Personal: End of the Day

End of the Day kibbles and bits:
• I alternate between deeply admiring Martin Luther and wanting to hit him off the side of the head with a cast-iron frying pan.

• I got my official award letter from the grad school today, confirming not only the Teaching Fellowship for next year, but also offering me $13,500 in 18 hours of tuition scholarship which I don't need/can't use because I'm done with coursework. I wonder if I could sell the credits below cost?

• Thanks to everyone who grabbed me in that West Coast-inspired brief flurry of Facebook adds. Is this such a staple of modern electronic/academic life that I should take that account more seriously?

• I'm currently downloading a torrent of tonights "American Idol" episode for a friend. I'm gleeful because this means I'll never again have to tolerate any more editorial comments from her when her husband and I discuss any given night's Battlestar Galactica episode. At length. In fact, I think I now have a strategically-overwhelming position, rhetorically.

Some random elderly professor in a wheelchair who I'd never seen before [EDIT: Fr. John Naus, S.J.] stopped me as I was buying lunch by loudly announcing to everyone in the Union cafeteria that I had the most wonderful smile he'd ever seen, and that (I guess by way of qualification) that he taught Philosophy of Humour. I had never heard of that as a field here, but I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I responded that, as coincidence would have it, I was the Fourth-Funniest Man in the Universe.

• Super-powered historian of Religion in America, Prof. Patrick Carey, gave an absolutely kick-ass first Kelly Lecture today after taking the Kelly Chair from Fr. Coffey this last year. "History and Theology: The Assault on Objectivism" had a lot of places it could still go by the time he finished up, but it was a wonderfully critical (in the reflective sense) discussion of the threatened loss of the ideal of objectivity in American historical work. The generally-ignored, if not unthought, question of what Theology as a discipline had to offer History or the rest of the Academy could be very provocatively pursued from this starting point. Carey, I think I mentioned, just paid me the honour of asking to be on my dissertation board. I'm more excited by that now than ever.

• I finished building a set of idiotic storage shelves from Staples and have reclaimed half of my home office/den floorspace. Next, over the next few days, I will reclaim mucho closet space by assembling my new chest of drawers:
I See You!

Theological Notebook: Irish Abuse Article, Intra-Islamic Debate

Report Covers Decades of Abuse in Ireland
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Mar 8, 2:56 PM (ET)

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, rocked for a decade by sex scandals, on Wednesday made its biggest admission yet: 102 of its Dublin priests past and present, or 3.6 percent of the total, are suspected of abusing children.

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