I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

May 15, 2014 - 10:11 a.m.

To Curmudge or Not Curmudge. That is the Question

Ackk. I'm starting this way later than I wanted to. I'm giving a final today and I have to print it out before I give it.

So there's a huge mess with students who missed the final. they just didn't want to reschedule it. They though they shouldn't have to take it I was remiss. I didn't check my email this weekend but that doesnt mean they get to miss the final. They were at school and I said, "take it later" and they just wouldn't. One said, "I thought I didn't have to take it so I didn't study." Ugh. So they are getting on the dean who is getting on my chairman who is a doll and is nicely telling me about it. I'm lucky that my direct boss is great.

I am still not in a great emotional state. I wasted too much time yesterday and didn't grade the final at all. I did grade the precalculus third test. It was a take-home. I'd be ashamed to have turned in most of the tests. They made so little effort. Knowing no math you could see that just from the way things were presented. Things are just scribbled on a page. Many cheat of course but didn't even try and understand what was written. If it became obvious they had no idea what was going on they got no credit. I'm sorry if you write "In x" for ln x you clearly don't even know the ln function exists. One tip for all students. Even if you write neatly If you write in pencil you have to press down hard. I had to shine a flashlight on one student's paper to read it. It was so light. How does someone reach college and never have that pointed out?

I did not take care of myself in terms of eating. I didn't make dinner and just had peanut butter and chocolate spread on a bagel. But of course that did involve chocolate. I also had Trader Joe's Babka and chocolate covered marshmallow. I had a lot of chocolate. That's taking emotional care of myself.

I decided that my greatest contribution to western civilization is the back-formation of the word curmudge. I can be a verb. "I did some serious curmudging about today's Question of the Day." It can be a noun, "I had a serious curmudge with today's Question of the Day." I use it on the WFUV Question of the Day Players Group and it has come into general usage there. It's a useful word.

As I hope you have picked up from my writing I love language. I was going to say I'm a logophile, a lover of words but it's beyond that. I do love words but I love the combinations of words, I love syntax too. I don't edit much for mistakes but I do constantly recast sentences to make them sound better. I love alliteration. I love pointing out the oddity of language. One of my favorite jokes is from Through the Looking Glass where the white knight says that his helmet is stuck as fast as lightning. That's genius. I love that flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. I love that we drive on the parkways and park on the driveways. It's the Wright way to look at things.

I have to leave in an hour and I have to make breakfast so this will be very short. I wanted to write about Tolkien but once again can't. Every day I either dont' have time or have too many other things to write about.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile May 15, 2014
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