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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal: Library; Julie Stopping By; Dina's New Tune; Alex Ross' Justice 
3rd-Oct-2006 01:34 am
I See You!
Hid out at the library during the big storm this evening after having a meeting with a student at 7pm. This freshman, David, is one of the really thoughtful and interesting ones: really engaging the material for its own sake, and thus really able to draw me out as an instructor. It's so stimulating to work with students' passion: students who seem indifferent are so stiffling to the classroom experience. So we dealt with some of his questions, and then I waited out the storm doing some business and such chores. (I checked the radar and saw that over Verona-way, the storm was at an intensity I'd never seen right above Mom's place....) I discovered that despite having made careful note of my teaching schedule repeatedly, my friends in the Seminar on the Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism still managed to schedule my talk on Jewish Mystical Influences in the Prologue to the Gospel of John at 3:30 on Friday. I teach until 3:50. So that was another letter that had to be written....

No sooner had I gotten home and made some turkey for dinner at around 9:00 that Jules showed up to hang out and chat. That in itself couldn't help but strike me: unlike living in dorms, the student apartments where I live is just not a place where people "drop by." After Mike and Donna moved out in July, I don't think I've had anything like that happen: social events are always planned. So the spontaneity in itself was just a welcome treat, I realized after she left a little before midnight. Kevin and Frannie Fleming were hoping that I could figure out some way to get down to Chicago to hang with them this evening or tomorrow as they were passing through, but with my teaching schedule and doctor's appointments tomorrow, that was just impossible, so Julie turned into a welcome alternative. Since Kevin and Frannie had Sophia last December, it's been harder to stay in contact because his family is (naturally and quite rightly) taking up so much more of the time that we were able to rustle up in earlier years. But, as I said, I was well-compensated. Julie and I work with one another's frequent digressions really well, so we always seem to be highly entertained by a flow of conversation that other people can find quite annoying in its stream-of-consciousness. (As evidenced in this entry.) She wanted some "immediate" feedback from the Studio 013 Refugees' show on Friday night, which I went to with Meg Rothbart. It was Parents Weekend, and they actually pulled off a pretty good show, which is never a given with improvisational comedy. In particular, their nightmarish versions of parents' visits went over very well. The troupe's utter inability to figure out some way to mime "Lithuania" – and their desperate attempts to succeed nevertheless – in one game also ended up going over well, among other randomness.

This morning I mentioned nalaladina's "cool new tune" on her MySpace account. I take that back. "Face" is a great tune. Tasteful, well-structured gospel influences and her own inspired gift for melody over unusual chord structures. Download it and be delighted.

So what else could I add? Um... friede made an off-the-cuff comment last year about having been really struck by Alex Ross' art and somehow that made me wake up to it in a big way. So thanks, Em! So of course everyone should be enjoying his painting in his ongoing 12-part series Justice, the first six issues of which have just been released as a trade paperback volume....
Comments 
3rd-Oct-2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
I hear you regarding students who have a passion for the subject and those who are indifferent. The ones who just show and sit there are deadly to a teacher's spirit. Thank God there are always some who are obviously engaged and interest/ Without them it would be hard to get up in the morning.
John
5th-Oct-2006 06:57 am (UTC)
Exactly.
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