Like the rest of the country, I am spending the morning reflecting on and reading about the shootings at Virginia Tech. As one article on Michael Moore’s website puts it, all the usual suspects have lined up along predictable rhetorical lines. Anti-gun control folks say that letting citizens have handguns on the college campus would have enabled students to stop the gunman before he mowed down 32 people. The logic in that boggles me. Gun-control advocates trot out their legislation. Nonetheless, even in the face of all the evidence about gun violence in America, I remain ambivalent about gun control. This is primarily due toRead More →

I read about a woman who used to be a punk rocker and now is a 44 year old mother. Boy, did I identify with that article, especially when I listen to the kid playing her music, which is music I used to listen to when I was younger. Admittedly, she has some rather eclectic tastes, but my point still stands, as evidenced by her desire to copy my Sahara Soundtrack, which contains classic rock from my high school days. The comments on the article are great. One specifically says that old punk rockers are the new old hippies. …Not that I was ever aRead More →

So I had lunch with the chair of my area, and he told me that what I’ve experienced with my students not showing up is the norm, not the exception. That made me feel relieved in one regard. I have always believed that students vote with their feet and that low attendance was a reflection on me. He said it was a big problem for the school. I am experiencing culture shock, I guess. I need to come up with some creative ways to reach the students. I’m open to suggestions.

Today and yesterday have been disappointing days. I assigned informative speeches to be delivered the day after spring break, and no speakers showed. Perhaps that was my mistake, and so I will remember to try something different next spring. However, absenteeism has happened consistently for each of the speeches we’ve done so far. It was just particularly bad this week. Of the students who did come to class, very few of them were prepared to deliver their speech. Students are fully aware that this costs them a letter grade on their speeches. I don’t understand why students don’t do their work. Consistently, students don’t showRead More →

Here is what The Fish wrote back: we play evanescence, flyleaf, veruca salt, the cranberries, mazzy star, sneaker pimps…that’s the ones I can recall off the top of my head. Fiona Apple, Poe, Liz Phaire, Courtney Love (we play sometimes) are possibilities!check out THE CARDIGANS and the GATHERING! Of course I’ve heard of the Cardigans, but I haven’t heard of the gathering. Looking them up, I see they are a Dutch Metal band. Which of course raises the question of Kitty. We’ll see if my email made a difference. I’m gonna start checking out their playlist and seeing how often they play women.

I emailed The Fish at 104 the X today. Here is what I said: Why don’t you ever play any chick groups or groups with chick lead singers. The only one you play is Evanescence (over and over). Why don’t you play someone like Courtney Love, or Avril Lavigne, or Pink, or Cheryl Crow, Fiona Apple, Poe, Liz Phair, Joss Stone, L7. Seriously. I could go on and on. Where are the chick’s voices? If you want to mail The Fish too, his email is: I think on Monday I might call the programming director and lodge a formal complaint. Woo.

I just discovered a friend I haven’t talked to in years wrote a book Her name is June Casagrande and her book is called Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies. I can just hear her voice saying that. She’s so expressive. Anyway, in an interview for, she said something about why she writes that struck me: Because I feel an impulse to write. There is no other reason to. Writers spend a lot of time asking each other, “How do you discipline yourself to write? How do you force ourself to sit down and just do it?” And my answer to them is aRead More →