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Annotating myself (#1018)

Topics/tags: Autobiographical, longer, end-notable

Like much of what I write, or think, or say, my manuscript for English 207 is riddled with names and ideas that are likely incomprehensible to anyone but me. I thought it would be fun to fill in a few of the details from the manuscript that you may have read recently. In addition to the explanations of various things, I’ve also tried to include some notes about the broader piece and how I was responding to some of the tasks that I set for myself.

I used my endnote system for the annotations. I suppose that I could have used or learned a way to put them next to the things I was annotating. But I was more interested in saving my time than yours.

This piece is long, even for me. I’ve added about 3,000 words of annotations to the 2,000 words in the original work. Feel free to skim around, looking only for annotations on parts of interest.

And if you don’t want to scroll through, looking for the song, it’s Jimi Hendrix’s version of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower. You can read about lyrics and choice in endnote 65.

Office Hours

There’s a board outside the door. The board contains an unexpected variety of ephemera: a piece of cloth reading Faculty for Self-Gov [1], a colorful 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper saying Safe Space, an envelope full of Title IX resource cards [2], a reproduction of Zoe Leonard’s I want a president [3], a Daniel Pinkwater standardized test (on it, a student has scrawled I took this!) [4], the ubiquitous No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor [5], cartoons by Keith Knight [6] and Gary Trudeau [7], a manifesto that suggests As citizens and computer scientists we are obligated to assess and understand the impacts of computing on society [8], a photograph of a faculty member in a Tigger outfit [9], the cover of a book entitled Experiments in Java [10].

The first thing you notice as you enter the room is the sheer volume of books. Or the oriental carpet, incongruous [11]. A red stapler [12]. The paper, piled everywhere—on the table, on the desk, on chairs, on that carpet—piles, on piles, on piles. Some playing cards, alone and in decks. Vases full of flowers at both ends of the desk [14]. A drill from a dentist’s office [15]. Paintings and photos, displayed on high and at angles. A Barbie® doll [16]. What appear to be two red, deflated, soccer balls, perched on a shelf [17]. Candy wrappers. A green plant, overflowing the top of the file cabinet by the door [18]. A slab of marble. Your exam, carelessly strewn but nonetheless sitting patiently on the table, awaiting discussion.

You deflect, or perhaps I do. The large round stone, filled with holes, perched on the shelf? A fossilized whale bone, or so my mother told me, found beachcombing on the Vineyard [19] in the early 1970’s, back when we still went to the Vineyard. The Tang Horse, perched on its fading box, displayed proudly on the too-high window sill? Mom was invited to give a speech in China soon after it opened to the west; she brought that back. A giant, hand-painted, uneven, somewhat oval, orange smiley face, tacked to the south wall, and only visible once you sit down at the table? One of my kids made that; it makes me happy. Which child? I’m not sure [20]. Six garish pink boxes labeled What’s your point? One of my favorite alums helped design that game, a hybrid of an improv activity and a PowerPoint presentation with a previously unseen deck [21]. Those red, appetizing, glossy, deflated, substantial, soccer balls [22]? I took sculpture during my last sabbatical. One of my fellow students cast them. I think they left Grinnell for architecture school after that semester. In any case, I liked their work and they were willing to share. I may have traded them a few of the half-pyramids (more precisely, Lower half, horizontally bisected square pyramid with 45° slope [23]) that I sawed, molded, formed, and cast. Another peer’s piece lies on the floor outside the office. Perhaps you noticed it [24].

The questions continue. The stack of keyboards, piled in the corner [25]? ITS was going to throw them away [26]. I thought I’d pry off the keys and use them for an art project. I’ve since had the good fortune to visit an exhibit of Elias Sime’s [27] work at the Wellin [28]. Now, I may be too humbled to start. The slab of marble? Rescued from the discard pile when the sculpture near East Campus was made. The mailbox face? Trash picked when the bookstore was closing; I recall Kington making a joke when he saw me in the dumpster [29]. In any case, I appreciate the aesthetics and its ties to a Grinnell of old. The unassembled boxes, leaning against one of the many bookshelves? I’m moving offices, a smaller space [30].

Some items seem somehow detached from the sentiments expressed in the signs tacked outside the office. Why the plastic, perky, unnatural and unachievable representation of the female figure? You think, It’s somewhat creepy that an adult has that doll in their office, still in the packaging. I explain that it’s Computer Engineer Barbie® and I bought it because I appreciated the effort to encourage young women to consider careers in computing. Plus, Computer Engineer Barbie® has Tux [31] on her shelf. Libre [32]! I hate the children’s book they released at the same time, a book which completely undermines the doll’s positive message about women and computing [33]. I prefer the feminist remix, which I have somewhere else in the office, but pull up on my computer instead [34]. You think, They’ve said way too much about this doll, or at least have too rehearsed an explanation. Perhaps creepy is right.

You ask about the flowers and plants. I must admit that they are plastic. But they do brighten up the place. Once upon a time, an alum, having recalled them, brought me a live plant. It died within the month. Its corpse remains on the window sill [35]. Naturally [36].

An inspirational poster labeled Challenges [37] reminds you of your high-school guidance counselor’s office. Surely college faculty would be more sophisticated than that. Then you read the underlying message: I expected times like this – but I never thought they’d be so bad, so long, and so frequent. You empathize, but continue to wish your faculty would exhibit more sophistication.

Is that large framed poster containing a large photograph of a metal object also intended to inspire? And why is the glass cracked at the bottom [38]? You lean closer to read, and learn that it quotes Bishop Desmond Tutu, We don’t want our chains made more bearable; we want our chains removed. Perhaps you’ve heard that quote already. Liberated [39]. You also learn that the accompany photograph is by Reginald L. Jackson, Ph.D. and is entitled The Shackle. Is it appropriate for me to have such a poster? Have I appropriated [40]? You don’t want to ask such questions. I notice your puzzlement and point you to the plate in the lower-right-hand corner: Presented by Community Change, Inc. to Dr. Freda Rebelsky in appreciation for a lifetime commitment to racial justice. Interesting [41].

You glance back at the table. Your eye strays to a page of hand-written hieroglyphs, seemingly scrawled by a left-handed doctor after three consecutive nights of call, failing to notice their pen is running out of ink [42]. You decipher some sentences. The first two read: You enter the office, and query about Klein’s bottle [43]. They regard your question, and respond using Magritte’s Pipe [44]. Your brain speaks critiques—first quietly, then louder, then unbearably—critiques echoing from a small classroom in the northwest corner of a cottage on the southeast corner of campus [45], from one or more rooms up the stairs from that classroom, from a seemingly comfortable living room down the hall, from a Methodist temple to writing [46] promiscuous in its spirituality [47], from a seemingly quiet oasis of wisdom deep in the belly of a hog butcher [48], from a metaphorical Little Red Schoolhouse in a large lecture hall in a faux-Gothic cathedral of knowledge in the pit of that butcher’s belly [49], from a desk or small round table with but two or three people gathered around [50].

Too much symmetry makes this piece seem like it’s written by a computer. Know your audience [51]. Explain; not everyone will understand your terms. Vary your sentence length. Vary your sentence structure. Eschew obfuscation [52]. This piece is sophomoric, perhaps even puerile. Ambiguity [53]! Don’t feel compelled to use the second person just because that’s from the most recent piece you read [54]. Fewer adverbs! Infuse your objects with meaning while acknowledging their provisionality. Don’t feel like you have to fit everything in [55]. Ambiguity! My two-year-old daughter, in the crib, could write better than this [56]. Don’t use the word interesting [57]. Know your genre; place is not memoir [58]. There are at least twenty basic sentence structures; learn more than one [59]. Even competent writers struggle to make meta-writing seem natural [60]. Thank you for this piece, it will serve as a useful example of habits other students should avoid [61]. Ambiguity! [62]

You ignore the voices. You ignore the voices. You ignore the voices, but they insist on being heard, raising new points, finding additional flaws, encouraging the author, encouraging you to ignore the obvious power dynamic in the room and share their words with me [63]. You grab a fidget from the table to quiet the voices lest you speak their truths. They insist that you address at least one of the critiques, at least to yourself, before they fade.

You enter … They regard. They enter … I regard. I enter … You regard. Phil enters … Prof. R regards. Student enters … Professor regards. Ashley enters … I regard. Professor enters … Student regards. [64] The combinations are nearly endless.

You settle on You and I [65] for reasons you enumerate. That quiets the voices, at least for a time. But why haven’t I done the same? Unlike the president, who you’ve heard avoided writing courses in his B.S., M.D., M.B.A., and Ph.D. [66] (so many letters!), I seem to embrace writing [67]. I must hear similar voices. We’ve been through that, that experience of detailed critiques. You’re tempted to suggest changes. But this is not our fate. The power differential is too great; comments seem too risky. You search for something else to say. You consider the volumes around you.

Have I read them all? I’ve finished a few, perused parts of many more, rely on the rest as references, save some that serve to support students [68]. From Barbie to Mortal Combat: Gender and Computer Games [69]? That’s there because many of my students want to write about computer games and I know it serves as a good resource. Or, more precisely, it once served as a good resource; gender and gaming has changed significantly in the past decade [70]. A biography of Hallie Flanagan [71]? Most students don’t know that Grinnell’s Flanagan theatre was named after her. I appreciate a quote from Harry Hopkins near the beginning, President Main taught us the value of the arts, and the WPA will reflect that value. That’s what made America great [72]. Sol LeWitt: A Retrospective [73]? I am enamored of his concepts, want to live within those conceptual walls. Experiments in Java? No, it’s not an anthropology text; it’s a CS lab manual I wrote in the distant past [74]. I wish my publisher had chosen cover art that embraced that ambiguity [75].

You page through the lab manual. Computers are precise. Computers are organized. Computers expect humans to be organized. Zeros and ones, neatly categorized. Computers will not abide ambiguity or subtlety or disorder. How to explain the space which faces you?

Some peers have told you that they’ve heard me say that I’ve tried to make my office look like the typical dorm room so that students feel at home [76]. You ask anyway. I might tell you that it’s an art installation, in progress, entitled Entropy, for reasons that I consider obvious [77]. Or perhaps I’ll say it’s a scientific study, in progress; is there really a difference [78]? Speaking of studies, I might pull one out from a stack (always organized [79]) and show you that researchers discovered that some people can achieve clarity only by filling their lives with distractions; sensory overload forces them to focus [80]. Are you convinced? Perhaps not. You’ve watched enough TV to know that there’s a more obvious answer: Hoarder. You don’t know that buried deep—somewhere amidst the piles of papers, or perhaps tucked in one of the books or under a tchotchke—is an article that says that students become more comfortable when they can find an object in the room to fixate on, ask about, or use to initiate an extended conversation [81].

Now you’re ready to discuss the exam.

I included the following when I shared the work yesterday. It seems that I should also annotate the titles.

Which of the following titles would you suggest? Please select one or more.

  • A remarkable lack of self-control [82]
  • Ambiguity
  • Apophenia (The experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data) [83]
  • CW: Academic feedback [84]
  • Fredric Brown’s only mainstream novel [85]
  • Hoarder (I would drop the italicized word from the last page)
  • June 17, 1882 [86]
  • Lineage
  • Office hours
  • Privilege [[87]
  • Student/Professor
  • Thank you for your feedback
  • Unclear! [88]
  • Welcome to my lair
  • Other:

Postscript: Perhaps the thought processes on display in the manuscript and these annotations explain a bit of why I’m a hoarder. As a peer suggested, my descriptions in the piece demonstrate what they’ve heard about the mindset of a hoarder.

[1] Faculty wore those on our robes at one graduation. I’m not sure what the particular incident was that motivated that concern for the loss of self-governance. I do, indeed, have that posted outside my office, along with another slogan that I tagged on my robe in another year. (Or I did, since I’m currently away-from-office). I can’t recall what the latter says.

[2] The resource cards tell me what to do if a student reveals a possible assault. More importantly, they have both confidential and non-confidential contacts to share with a student. I hope that I will not need these cards, but I consider it important to have them ready. Since our class mentors are required reporters, I think they should have a place that they are at hand. Victims, too, might grab a card subtly if they need a list of resources.

[3] Zoe Leonard’s I want a president is an artwork that takes the form of an enlarged broadside, of sorts. It begins,

I want a dyke for president. I want a person with aids for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia.

I saw the work at the Des Moines Art Center and carefully removed the reproduction from the catalog of the show that I acquired. I strongly agree with the sentiment of wanting a president who has suffered in the ways in which those they represent suffer.

[4] Daniel Pinkwater is a children’s book author and occasional NPR commentator. He once wrote a short story entitled The Eggplant and the Hare, a somewhat absurdist (he says nonsensical) take on The Tortoise and the Hare. Someone tasked with writing test questions for one of the many New York standardized tests modified the story to be The Hare and the Pineapple (presumably because children are more likely to know about pineapples than eggplants) and then added the kinds of reading comprehension questions you expect for a standardized test, such as Before the race, how did the animals feel toward the pineapple: A-Suspicious; B-Kindly, C-Sympathetic, D-Envious and The animals ate the pineapple most likely because they were A-hungry, B-excited, C-annoyed, D-amused. But this wasn’t just wasn’t done on a lark; [it ended up on a standardized test](( You can even see the original, which I posted outside my office.

It’s outside my office for a host of reasons. I like Pinkwater as an author. I used to listen to a tape of his NPR pieces. I tend to dislike standardized testing. Plus, it’s absurd.

And yes, a student did scrawl I had to take this test, or something similar, on the test as it sat on my board.

[5] You’ve seen the sign. I have multiple copies, including one in my office window, facing the JRC. It’s an important sentiment. I got my copies from the Office of International Studies, or whatever it’s called.

[6] As I suggested in the text, Keith Knight is a cartoonist. He writes multiple strips and multiple kinds of strips, some autobiographical, some political. You can support him on Patreon. I have his One Black Teacher on my board, in part to remind people of why we need faculty who embody diversity.

[7] I’m pretty sure that most of my readers know who Gary Trudeau is. He’s the prime minister of Canada. Or was. No, that’s the wrong Trudeau. Gary Trudeau writes Doonesbury. I have an early strip on my board, one in which Mark Slackmeyer is getting ready to expose an engineering student to the wonders of the liberal arts. I’d like to have the I wanna give a gym! strip on my board, but I’ve been too lazy to track it down.

[8] That’s from my MathLANifesto.

[9] That’s me.

[10] That’s my book.

[11] I’m pretty sure that the rug came from mom’s front hallway. We didn’t have a place for it at home, and it makes my office look homey. Of course, my students joke that you don’t know it’s there because there’s so much stuff on top of it.

[12] There is, indeed, a red stapler on my table. But I included it in this piece because I think of it as signifying the TV show Office Space. Of course, I don’t watch the show, so I could be wrong. As mom used to say, Vast swaths of American Popular Culture have passed me by.

[14] Both came from the chest in the front hallway in Billings Park.

[15] No, I don’t have a dentist’s drill in my office. The last two pieces we read both involved drills, and I thought this would be funny. Self-restraint is not one of my strong suits.

[16] Explained later in the piece.

[17] Explained later in the piece.

[18] I’m pretty sure I trash-picked the fake plant. I still like how it works in my office.

[19] Martha’s Vineyard, in case that wasn’t clear. In part, I think of my piece as being about privilege. That comment is supposed to be a signal.

[20] In fact, I don’t want to be sure. Nonetheless, I love the piece.

[21] It’s a great game. Let me know if you’d like a copy.

[22] How can they be simultaneously deflated and solid? Because the artist cast them in plaster, using deflated balls as the molds.

[23] Yup, that’s what I called them. They make nice building blocks. I used them as such in a participatory piece in our pop-up show. I like the wood ones the most, but they also take the most effort. I should find a way to mass-produce them. I suppose I should add that to the too-long list of things I’d love to do but will be unlikely to find time for.

[24] That piece makes me both happy and sad. I assume most people who walk down the hall notice it; two slabs of wood, looking somewhat like mold or a fungus, on the floor by the bench. They make me happy because they let me think back to sculpture and because I appreciate the texture of the work. They make me sad because someone stole two other slabs that went with them and because FM removed the title of the work during a repainting and never replaced it. Unfortunately, I recall neither the title nor the artist.

[25] To be honest, the keyboards are in my lab rather than my office.

[26] More precisely, I asked ITS if they had any keyboards they were planning to throw away.

[27] Elias Sime is an Ethiopian artist who works in different media, but primarily in discarded computer parts, which he fashions into amazing, quilt-like structures, but with more dimensionality.

[28] The Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art is at Hamilton College. Sime’s exhibit Tightrope was on display while I was there. I recall starting a musing about his work, but I can’t find it. I have the exhibition catalog on order. Its publication has been delayed twice. I was at Hamilton for an external review.

[29] Yes, that’s true. Kington and VP Voos and a few other administrators walked by while I was looking through the bookstore’s discards. I don’t think it’s appropriate to quote publicly what Kington said to me. (Damn you, Ralph.) (That’s not what Kington said; that’s what I’m thinking as I realize that I have to apply some of the ethics of nonfiction that Ralph is trying to drill into my head.) When I returned later in the day, Security chased me away.

[30] More precisely, I moved to another office, at least for this year. But the boxes were there at one time. I also moved previously, but that’s another story.

[31] Tux the penguin is one of the iconic mascots for Linux, a piece of Free and Open-Source Software.

[32] More precisely, Free, Libre, and Open-Source Software.

[33] You can read a New York Times article about the issue.

[34] Here’s the remix by Casey Fiesler. I’m not sure Feminist is the right term. Perhaps just Appropriate.

[35] I’m pretty sure that I finally discarded it when I had to move from my office. But it was a nice way to think of the alum.

[36] I wasn’t happy about achieving item #5 on my assignment with the same word as Abbey. However, it seemed so natural for this place in my piece. I’ll admit that I struggled to find something better.

[37] The Challenges poster is a Demotivator® from Despair, Inc.. I learned about Demotivators from Charles Cunningham and have them scattered around my life.

[38] I’m not sure. I think it cracked in a move.

[39] This was my other attempt to achieve #5 on my assignment.

[40] I thought that was a good pair of questions, both conceptually and in terms of the way the writing works.

[41] Yes, I have intentionally used a word that most faculty would tell you to avoid. I address the issue in a subsequent paragraph. Plus, it falls into the strategy of Include a glaring problem for people to identify so that they don’t notice the other problems. That strategy failed.

[42] I had fun trying to write this sentence. I wonder whether I should have gone further.

[43] A Klein bottle is a higher-dimensional analog to a Möbius strip. Just as a Möbius strip has only one side, a Klein bottle is a container, of sorts, in which there is no way to distinguish inside and outside. There’s an etched-chalkboard rendering of a Klein bottle, entitled Klein’s bottle, on the staircase landing in the Math/Stats wing of Noyce. I was part of the team that selected the artist. I like the whole series.

[44] René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images is a famous painting of a pipe with the words Ceci n’est pas une pipe. underneath. There is also an etched-chalkboard rendering of that painting, labeled Magritte’s pipe, next to the Klein image. I appreciate the implied This is not a Klein bottle, because it’s not. It’s a two-dimensional rendering of what I think of as a four-dimensional object. (I never recall whether Klein bottles are three-dimensional or four-dimensional, but feel like you need a fourth dimension to create them, just as you need a third dimension to put the twist in a Möbius strip.)

[45] Mears Cottage is at the southeast corner of Grinnell’s campus. It is currently home to our departments of English and History, although they will soon be evicted. I’m taking ENG-207 in the room in its northwest corner.

[46] My instructor went to Wesleyan. I’m pretty sure it’s named after John Wesley, founder of Methodism. I wanted to find a way to imply that it was the Connecticut Wesleyan, but failed. Perhaps I should have used Middle or Midland or something.

[47] Annie Dillard taught creative writing at Wesleyan. She also wrote the first piece we read for class. Some online biography I found said that she describes herself as spiritually promiscuous.

[48] Carl Sandburg described Chicago as Hog Butcher to the World. Grinnell partners with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest for a writing program at the Newberry Library in Chicago each fall.

[49] I took Graduate and Professional Writing at the University of Chicago. The course had the nickname Little Red Schoolhouse.

[50] I wonder whether my subconscious was trying for Where two or three are gathered in my name.

[51] I used to claim that this was the one common thing that all Grinnell students learned; I expected that we all teach it in Tutorial when we teach writing. But I’ve since been told that not everyone emphasizes the concept.

[52] As I’ve said, I have difficulty restraining myself. This was a meme, of sorts, long before we identified them as memes.

[53] I’ve been taught that ambiguity is central to creative nonfiction. I recall an instructor saying Ambiguity. Ambiguity. Ambiguity. I added the emphasis.

[54] That’s me speaking to myself. I’d just read Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place.

[55] Almost certainly me talking to myself. Also, Gerald Mast commenting on my typical essay, and my own reaction to many Tutorial papers.

[56] Students used to claim that one of my colleagues in Math/CS had been known to write something similar on their exams: When my daughter was two, she could have solved this problem better than you did. When I mentioned this to someone else in the department, they said Have you met his daughter? It’s probably true.

[57] One of the maxims I provide to my students. A chance to have a joke at my own expense.

[58] While the piece claims to be about my office, it is almost certainly about me. On the other hand, we’ve learned that most creative nonfiction bridges genres and subgenres.

[59] See The Art of Styling Sentences. A reader who spends most of their time as a faculty member in English shared this critique with me, although they did give me credit for using two different structures, and not just one. Expect a musing on that topic in the future.

[60] I’m writing about meta-writing. Does that make this meta-meta-writing?

[61] I have never heard nor given this comment. But doesn’t it feel like the kind of thing you’d expect some curmudgeonly old faculty member to write on your work?

[62] In case it wasn’t clear, this whole paragraph was item #4 on my assignment: Reverse a trope or role. Rather than me critiquing the student’s work, the student is critiquing my work. Or perhaps even my critique of their work.

[63] Item #2 on my assignment: Rule of three, using two identical short sentences and then expanding in the third.

[64] While I did not try all of these combinations, I did explore how to identify the two characters in the piece.

[65] Not only is this the choice I made, but it’s also the start of the song lyric. You and I, we’ve been through that, but this is not our fate. It comes from Jimi Hendrix’s performance of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower. I appreciate Dylan’s lyricism, even though I don’t attempt to replicate it in this piece. My piece is about feedback, and I associate Hendrix with feedback. Lines near the beginning also seem to resonate with the piece: There’s so much confusion; I can’t get no relief.

[66] Yes, Kington possesses all four degrees.

[67] In retrospect, this feels nastier than I had intended.

[68] I’m not sure that anyone commented on the alliteration in this sentence. I worried that it was yet another instance of my failure of restraint, but perhaps it was okay.

[69] Yes, that’s a real book title. Many of my peer reviewers were not sure.
I can’t believe I misspelled Mortal Kombat.
There’s also a sequel, Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming.

[70] I need a fact checker. From Barbie to Mortal Kombat was released in 2000. It’s two decades old. Even its sequel was released more than a decade ago. At least I’m correct that the dynamic and understanding have changed. I wonder what I should have on my shelf now.

[71] Joanne Bentley’s Hallie Flanagan: A Life in the Theatre.

[72] I’m not sure if my political commentary succeeded.

[73] Sol LeWitt is a conceptual artist known, among other things, for his sequence of Wall Drawings. The work is the instructions for the drawings people to make on the wall, rather than the drawings themselves. Or maybe it’s a combination. In any case, I appreciate his work and loved the opportunity to see a large retrospective of it at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

[74] I would not recommend that you purchase a copy. It’s outdated and not completely accurate.

[75] That’s true. I loved the ambiguity of the title.

[76] That is my most common statement to students entering my office and looking around.

[77] I have also said that about my office. I appreciate how things just seem to fall from the stacks I make.

[78] Would you expect someone in a science department to say that art and science are the same. This was my attempt to achieve item #6 of the assignment: "Violate the reader’s expectations of one of the characters’.

[79] I probably shouldn’t be fitting more than one technique in this late in the piece, but Abbey’s is also near the end. Item #7: Add an appropriate, but somewhat sarcastic, parenthetical comment about something unexpected you’ve just revealed about a character.

[80] I have no idea whether or not there’s a study about this issue but I recall reading it somewhere. In any case, it’s how I experience the world. I work better in chaos, which I generally tune out. I do better with mess than emptiness and with music than silence.

[81] I do not own that article. It’s another factoid that I’ve been told, but can’t prove. Still, it feels right and it’s a nice sentiment. And we can stretch the truth a bit, right? If not, I can always write the article, perhaps even post it to Wikipedia and then print it out.

[82] That describes my failure to limit my choices to insert things in the work.

[83] I learned about the term in reading about All Along the Watchtower. I also learned that there’s a story about the song in which Hendrix asked Dylan how Dylan felt about the new arrangement of his song, and Dylan said something like It’s your song; I just wrote it.

[84] CW is Content Warning

[85] Fredric Brown wrote genre fiction, mostly mystery and SF/fantasy. But he did write one novel intended for the mainstream. It’s called The Office.

[86] The date of the cyclone that tore through Grinnell.

[87] The description of what I own and how I acquired it, as well as my ability to own that much stuff, reminds me of my privilege.

[88] I had to sneak in one more comment from the instructor.

Version 1.0 of 2020-02-14 .