Thursday, May 15, 2014

Graduation Day

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter
and those who matter don’t mind,”  Dr. Seuss
I’ve never been asked to deliver a commencement speech, but if that ever happened, I’d be tempted to fill it with Dr. Seuss quotes, maybe with a little Kurt Vonnegut thrown in.  This is the first IUN Anne Balay will miss in eight years.  I’d go and hold up a “Retain Anne Balay” sign where IU president McRobbie could see it if I didn’t think it would be counter-productive.

Anne Balay writes: “As usual, my student evaluations are incredibly positive, saying that I challenge them, and teach them to read critically, and that I'm enthusiastic, and make them like reading again, and see things they had never noticed about the world. One says I talk about sex and lesbians way too much. My average is over 4.9 out of 5. Yup, kids, that's why I wasn't tenured. It's that one student in every group that my administration validates. Happy graduation day, IUN.”

Ray Smock wrote: The latest and hottest issue of Steel Shavings just arrived right out of the blast furnace of your blogosphere (a reference to the cover photo of “Steel Closets”).  Glad to see you taking on your university for its failings in the tenure department.  When are these university administrators going to wake up to the real world?  I like what the courts in India have done by recognizing transgender people as a third gender with equal rights and subject to affirmative action because of traditional discrimination.  I am not sure they can enforce it completely, but it is a marvelous step in the right direction.”  I replied: “A main reason I started keeping a journal/blog was your example.  Your musings while you were on the Bicentennial Committee (and probably earlier), constitute an important historical resource; and perhaps years from now a historian will discover them among the shards and midden heaps of the past.”

In “The Runaways” episode of “Mad Men” Megan pressures Don into a three-way with her assistant Amy and is uncomfortable around his pregnant hippie “niece” Stephanie, almost as if she thinks Don is the dad. First wife Betty’s marriage is cracking up, as well as her relationship with her kids.  Would it be insane to predict that Don and Betty re-unite at the end of the series for the sake of their kids?  Plus there still is a sexual attraction.
 Gilda Radner as Babwa Wawa
Barbara Walters, 84, is retiring after 50 years in television.  Ridiculed when co-anchor on the Today show and ABC Evening News and satirized as “Babwa Wawa” by Saturday Night Live’s Gilda Radner, she gracefully appeared on SNL skits that made fun of her accent, age, and unique ability to draw out celebrities with questions about their personal life.  She will continue as executive producer on “The View.”  Married four times, she had affairs with former Senators Edward Brooke and John Warner and who knows how many others.  On the negative side, she’s friends with Fox evil genius Roger Ailes and was slimeball Roy’s Cohn’s fake date back when the closeted McCarthy aide was persecuting gays.

Nicole Anslover, winner of this year’s university research award, is readying her case for promotion and tenure.  She should be a slam dunk, but the same could have been said for Jerry Pierce and Anne Balay.

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