I’ve seen two really good movies this weekend. In the Valley of Elah and Eastern Promises. In the Valley of Elah, directed by Paul Haggis, was very moving and disturbing to me. Much more so than the movie Crash, which I felt ended up reinforcing white privilege as much as challenging racism. One review called the movie “lacerating.” That’s a great word to describe it. I can’t say much about the film because just describing it will give too many spoilers. Apparently, it is based on a true story, however. One of the themes of the film is how the young soldiers in Iraq dealRead More →

At Jena High School, students of different races customarily seldom sat together. Black students traditionally sat on bleachers near the auditorium, while white students sat under a large shade tree, referred to as the “white tree,” in the center of the school courtyard.During a school assembly on August 31, 2006, a black male freshman student asked permission from the principal to sit in the shade of the “white tree.” The principal told the students they could “sit wherever they wanted.” The following morning, three nooses were discovered hanging from the tree. What follows below is a chronology of racial violence in Jena over the pastRead More →

Randomly, I wondered whether or not cats can taste sweet things. According to this link, they cannot. Apparently, they lack the gene and the taste receptors, whatever that means. Actually, my wondering wasn’t so random. My cat keeps trying to get my grapes, but when I finally offer them to her, she turns her nose up at them. I suspect it is because they are still covered with water from when I washed them. Or perhaps she just wants to play with them.Read More →

1. I am grateful for the great staff at my job. The library staff gave a wonderful presentation for my class, and the library scavenger hunt that my colleague and I wrote. Also a staffer from facility services was helpful above and beyond the call of duty today regarding my office key. People are so nice here. 2. I am grateful that I have a better teaching schedule this semester, and I hope I’m as lucky next semester. 3. I am grateful who people still come by my blog even though I’m not really blogging. ∞Read More →

I finally finished reading Breach of Faith (by Jed Horne) for the One Book, One Community dialogues that are going on. The man is an amazing writer. His ability to evoke images is impressive. One of the librarians here said in regard to the BRCC book club discussion of the book that most people found the first part of the book compelling, but they didn’t like the second part. The second part is where Horne gets political. Not in a ranting sort of way, but in a narrative style that shows how Kathleen Blanco was set up by the Bush administration again and again. Horne’sRead More →