People, it is only Wednesday, and this week has been so densely packed with conversations, antics, and information that I feel I must catch some of the catchable stuff here.
1. A level-headed discussion about The Chief and collective action with my first-year students on Monday.
2. Immediately on the heels of--and not unrelated to--#1, the students' divulging of this year's date for Unofficial St. Patricks Day, a day-long custom wherein students and returning alums wake up at 7 am, don their green Tshirts and funny hats, start drinking, and then take to classes with friends who don't have classes on Friday, and which the campus and community are supposedly taking measures to prevent this year.
3. My own visible and audible relief when I discovered that said date corresponds with a designated "conference day" on our class syllabus.
4. My horrified realization (what's the opposite of relief?) that John Murphy will be on campus to give a colloquium presentation on said date. Even though Murphy is Irish and has a good sense of humor, this will be embarrassing. My immediate ditching of the plan to take Murphy to Murphy's for happy hour.
5. An overheard conversation in the locker room about how, in response to those measures mentioned in #2, some students are planning "room crawls," wherein a particular dorm room will be serving a particular drink, and students are to move from room to room. (This sounded very sad to me, but the cleanup will be a cinch.)
6. A very serious (some might say grim) discussion with a brilliant graduate student about futures real and imagined, and how the two may meet, someday.
7. Contra to #6, and a contender for the funniest moment of my professional life thus far: Cary Nelson pretending to choke on an i-pod shuffle (the tiny clippy kind) at a PhD exam.