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· Triple Cause for Professional Celebration ·

This has been a busy week, as I've had conferences, tests, and papers in each of my three classes. Though I've hardly had time to think, today I thought to recall the week's memorable highlights — from the worlds of sports, learning, and, above all, college teaching.

 · Edgar Martinez · Consider the smiling face you see here, that of the Ancient Seattle Mariner, Edgar Martinez. Though now long in the tooth, Edgar's signed a new contract with the club and will return in 2004 to smack singles, doubles, triples, and homers again. Not since Birthday-Baseball Triple Play have I had such cause for greater celebration.

Consider also my student who modeled Monday the sage advice Father Walter Ong gave me back in '84: "For every good page written, there should ten thousand read." Though I try to reduce that ratio, my student's "Fictional Books Wrote a Non-Fictional Bookworm" suggests we should perhaps keep it just that high:

If I chose to forego pleasure reading entirely, I could, over the next two years, obtain 30 additional college credits at a minute fraction of their usual cost, due to a combination of rare circumstances; such a course would greatly increase my money-making opportunities, yet the bookworm in me could not accept such a decision. In my intense scrutiny of countless works of art from dozens of authors, I could not fail to acquire some fragment of worthy technique. For I have learned to understand the proper flow of a well formed phrase to a greater degree than most ever manage.

Like Martinez this kid knows already the real secret of the pros, or is that of prose? All I could say was: "Now get on with your next piece."

Finally consider my extraordinary luck Wednesday: after getting my mail here, I found myself reading, on returning to my office, not some kid's 101 essay but "Committee Assignments for 2003-2004." On reaching my neighbor's door I found myself saying:

I've an important announcement. I'm ultimately valued and ignored! I'm in Academic Nirvana; I've died and gone to heaven! Not since darkening the doorway in the guise of a teacher in 1968 have I ever been committeeless.

She smiled and, returning then to the novel I'd suggested two weeks ago — David Lodge's comedy, Nice Work — happily said she was nearing the place wittily featuring the very stylish American professor, Dr. Morris Zapp.

Although but distantly related, I am — don't you think? — perhaps partially feeling the power.


Dr. Huldah prescribes a dose of humility and a good swift kick for our friend Styles.


Posted by Huldah Marguerite on November 8, 2003 01:31 PM

Marooned here in ETS/SAT-land, Styles, I've just spent several pleasant minutes exploring your site (the first time I've done so, if you will kindly forgive the admission and the oversight). The inner technological workings — the pretty, helpful things that happen in ways I have no vocabulary for — are simply elegant. Thanks for a lovely, eloquent, literate site.

When time permits, do let us see what Styles can do with a favorite piece of art or sculpture. The golden Diana in the inner courtyard at the Met, perhaps? — ever the huntress, ever beautiful, yet armed and dangerous?

Seeing her, we understand why Venus lost her arms.

Posted by Mary Lee on November 8, 2003 02:08 PM
Posted by Styles on November 10, 2003 03:05 PM

Thanks for the recommendation and the link.


Posted by Mary Lee on November 12, 2003 08:23 PM

"Ch(arm)ed, I'm sure."

Posted by Huldah Marguerite on November 13, 2003 09:33 AM

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