Wednesday, April 23, 2008

greetings, earthlings

Newsy bits first, before the rants begin...

Elizabeth has been accepted (to 6 of the 8 colleges she applied to, by the way, including one Ivy, said the obnoxiously proud parent) and will be attending Washington University in St. Louis this fall. She intends to double in literature and African studies.

Yes, this means that simultaneously Jonathan will be at the University of Washington and Elizabeth will be at Washington University. That's funny. Dawn and I think we should get t-shirts that say UWASHU.

This won't be for long, however, since Jonathan is racing towards the victory line on his undergraduate; he may finish this very December, with a degree in southeast Asian studies. He's looking towards graduate school in perhaps the fall of 09. He also made Phi Beta Kappa. 'Bout time he gets recognized.

Beth will hopefully work this summer, in between her graduation trip and family reunion and orientation. (Apparently the number one pet peeve of Wash U students is that after saying you're going to Washington University in St. Louis, people routinely ask, 'where's that?') Jonathan is headed off to immersion Cambodian language learning in a program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I guess it's the Baptist heritage...

Beth's graduation trip, like Jonathan's was, is to visit her Aunt Kathy in England in June (and LGBC alumna Connie as well). Howsomever, her route there is a tad different. That's because many persons, including the few beloved readers of these humble pages, contributed to make it possible for Dawn to walk the Camino de ('del'?) Santiago pilgrimage in northwestern Spain this summer. But...since she didn't want to go alone, she is going with Beth. Then when she comes back to the States to go back to work, Beth will fly on from Madrid to London.

In other news, in early April I got the permanent position in philosophy and religion at El Centro College, which I badly wanted. (I did not even sent out a resume to any other possibilities, was how sardined in all my eggs were in the El Centro basket.) Community colleges in Texas don't have tenure per se, but this is the equivalent--and, by contemporary standards, is beaucoup job security.

The Sweaty Moment in the process was due to the fact that in teaching-oriented institutions, candidates are often asked, as part of their formal job interview, to do a teaching demonstration for the search committee. This is faintly bizarre, since the committee may be faculty, administrators, or staff, and with anything from no interest at all to lifetime professional specialization in whatever you're asked to teach them. As it happened, my assignment was in religion rather than philosophy: compare Christian and Muslim notions of compassion. So I had to (well, friend Cynthia said *I* had to, although no one else would have *had* to) do a word study on the terms in the New Testament and the Quran. But I don't have Arabic, I'm just looking stuff up in concordances and dictionaries and so forth. And then the kicker is that I walk in and the committee has a fluent Arabic speaker on it. Fortunately, I apparently didn't botch that part, because I got the job...

That news caps happily two years of full-time probation at the College. This term I'm teaching intro philosophy and world religions and ethics, as always, but I'm also teaching a course in contemporary philosophy as well, which has been lots of fun. I'll do bread-and-butter stuff over the summer, and then get to teach ancient philosophy in the fall.

More anon from moi, but first, and last...Dawn's mom Diane continues with us, lovely CurrAngela continues with us, my folks are okay, and my underappreciated sister Rachel got big-time travel industry kudos for the new portal her team developed for travelocity. Check it out:

The roses at the BabySwiss house are blooming in wild profusion. It is encouraging in the morning...


OpenID Joshua Rudd said...

Sounds like good news all around. Thanks for the update!

11:02 PM  

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