Friday, October 14, 2005

The email list is fixed - at least I think so

An email box
Originally uploaded by Brite Lights photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - You should have received a test message from me sometime in the last day or so that was just a test of our email list.

Somehow, somewhere in the electronic bowels of this Apple iBook G4, my emails lists started, well, co-mingling and it seems one of my notices about an update went to half of the upper administration at the university.

I suspect they were quite amused. (That's pure sarcasm, in case you missed it...)

In any event, after redoing the list and sending the test, it appears that the Class of '66 list is ok, and now I just need to get back to writing in this space on a regular basis.

It's more likely to happen now that I don't have any writing assignments (until Monday anyway), my sailboat is almost home (next weekend, seas permitting) and the semester is half over.

That means midterm exams and lots of grading - for my student assistant!

Iremember taking lots of tests in high school, all leading to the dreaded Regents exams. But did we take midterms, halfway through the semester or maybe in December? It seems to me that we got report cards on a quarterly basis, but I have scrubbed my memory clean of most of those details.

My students - right about now - suddenly remember that they are going to be graded in my classes and are keenly interested in what that grade may be. Just yesterday I had a very earnest young woman ask me what system I used for grading.

SWAG, I answered. I use the SWAG system.



She wasn't very amused, but pretended to be. Still eight weeks left in the semester and there is that matter of a grade at the end.

Did Harold Burgard and Hubie Davis and Henry Weiss SWAG our grades? If so, they generally guessed a little low for me, I think. Then again, maybe not.

Forty years later, those grades are pretty distant (except for the ones that doomed me to summer school). But the importance of the death of chivalry (thanks to Harold), the ability to write a sonnet (14 lines of rhyming iambic pentameter, thanks to Hubie), and the knowledge that sodium and chloride make salt (NaCl, thanks to Henry) are as close to hardwired in as a human brain can get.

I better stop here, before I lose control and start writing "An Ode to Miss Goller..."

Today's song?

Poetry in motion
performed by Johnny Tillotson

When I see my baby
What do I see
Poetry poetry in motion

Poetry in motion walking by my side
Her lovely locomotion
Keeps my eyes open wide
Poetry in motion see her gentle swaying
A wave out on the ocean
Could never move that way

I love every movement
There's nothing I would change
She doesn't need improvement
She's much too nice to rearrange

Poetry in motion dancing close to me
A flower of devotion a-swaying gracefully
Poetry in motion see her gentle swaying
A wave out on the ocean
Could never move that way

I love every movement
There's nothing I would change
She doesn't need improvement
She's much too nice to rearrange

Poetry in motion all that I adore her
No number nine love potion
Could make me love her more

Monday, October 10, 2005

Rasta Ranch wine tasters talk to San Diego

VALOIS, New York - The phone rang last week while I was on deck on Sabbatical in San Diego, getting ready for a 400-mile upwind bash to San Francisco, my nerves fraying by the minute with the weather reports forecasting, well, sloppy weather.

So it was great to hear Bob Swanson's voice, along with the shouts of the crew from Jamestown (all bunched up in this photo) who were on their annual wine tasting pilgrimage to the finger lakes, specifically about a mile from the Seneca Lake house where I spend my summers. It's the Rasta Ranch winery, home of Uncle Homer's Red wine, a personal favorite.

They took this photo - as well as some others I will post on the Yahoo! site - and several times during our conversation I could hear the group having a very good time.

I've been out of contact, offline and almost incognito for a week as I moved Sabbatical north through the worst seas I have ever been in. But we made it as far as Monterey, Calif., where the ship will sit for a couple of weeks while I get the rest of life back on track.

And, frighteningly enough, I had numerous SWCS-related dreams on the trip while we bounced off 12-foot waves and took enough green water over the bow to make the whole crew about the same color.

More on those dreams later.

For now, Cheers, Bob! Thanks for the photos.