Friday, February 17, 2006

We are overrun with squirrels - we have moved the bird feeder several times to try to outsmart them - but they hang by their back feet from a branch, next to it, using their little hands to get the seed so their weight isn't on the feeder, and the trap doors stay open. We do have some birds coming also, but I think every squirrel in Castleton is coming here, they far outnumber the birds. Ma says, "tie the cat out there."

Speaking of the cat, we moved the bird feeder to a bracket near the kitchen window (we still throw corn on the ground for the squirrels) and now Edna is perched on the sink, watching the "banquet." It is a real banquet for the birds, and an imaginary one for her.

Bob and I had a funny conversation last night. Strange, but funny. We were discussing the odd weather - such a warm winter. Then, today it is extremely windy and the temperature is dropping something like 60 degrees in a 24 hour period. So I said, "maybe the world is ending." He agreed, suggesting that the assumptions that it has to be by freezing or fire could be wrong. I told him that if it is, I don't want to be one of the chosen ones, who is left to pick up the pieces. I might be capable, but I am not interested. That got us to thinking about writing up a list of rules for the new world. Something that future people could find and follow, believing prophets were the authors. Some of our bullets: In the New World, there will be no cars. In the New World, there will be no television. In the New World, there will be no lattes. In the New World, there will be no WalMarts. In the New World, there will be no Targets. In the New World, there will be no sports. In the New World, everyone will be a vegetarian. In the New World, wine will be free. There were others, but I'll stop there. It would make a science fiction story, if I was so inclined.

I don't want you to think from this that I am some kind of conspiracy theorist, or caught up in morbid end of the world thinking. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is the sort of stuff we would amuse ourselves with in college - groups of friends would sit around, talking about the new ideas we were learning, and letting the conversation meander wherever it wanted, sometimes into absurd territory. I see an absence of that today on campus, it is crowded out by cell phones, blackberries, instant messaging, television, ipods. But then my day class this semester seems to be a throwback, filled with students who are introspective, and like to discuss theories. So perhaps I shouldn't generalize.

One other thought, about students. I am struck, every semester, about how so many people look alike. I have about 120 students every semester, in my four classes. Approximately 90 of them are in my on campus classes. In every class, I have a few students who either look almost identical to someone from a past semester, or resemble some friend or relative of mine strongly.

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