Sunday, January 6, 2013


I realize that it is a little late to begin with a New Year message, so I will not do so aside from this sentence.

I realize also that I have not been as regular in my blogging as I usually am--however much that may or may not be.  There have been things happen that have taken me away, and I have spent most of the last week trying to get myself back to normal from them.  The end of the last term at work was not the best.

But I am back in New York City, and I am trying to get back to whatever it is that counts as "normal" in my own life here.  Christmas decorations have finally come down at the apartment I share with my beloved wife, and I am finally getting back to a place from which I can write.  The latter is particularly good; by my training and profession, I associate quite a bit of my self-valuation with the quantity and quality of the writing I do (and I know that this blog is not the best example of it), so that when I am not doing much writing, I begin to conceive of myself as not doing what I ought to do.

Some of you who read this will mock me for such a comment.  Some of you will look to this article, which I ran across through my dissertation advisor, Prof. Jennifer Vaught of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and think that I, who teach English at a technical college in New York City, am whining overly much.  And perhaps I am.  (Although if I am, it is not by so much as might be thought; this article is not inaccurate in its assertions.  Too, if the ideas that certain people have about legally introducing guns into schools carry through, I will be a lot more likely to get killed than is currently the case.*)  I know that I have a high standard of living; I am able to sit at home and type out a blog entry rather than attend church because religious observance is not compulsory for me, and I do not have to scramble to find food for my wife and me to eat today and maybe tomorrow.

I am thankful to have the life I have.  But that does not mean that I do not want to work to make it better.

There is some hope for it.  I received my copies of the December 2012 CCC and the 2012 Profession on New Year's Eve just past.  I have not started reading them yet (I have been staying close to home this past while), but when I do, I will inevitably have something to say about them.  It will get said here, as usual.  And there are always other projects that will get figured up here.  So there is that.

*I live in New York City as I write this, crime statistics for which can be found here.  Also, I attend classes at the New York Aikikai, if not nearly so often or regularly as I ought.  So there are parts of the groundwork for that comment.

About the gun control thing...this argument has been raised before, that those civilians who are legally permitted to carry firearms ought to be able to carry them into schools so as to be able to successfully defend themselves from assailants.  I view it as a bad idea, for while it is true that the dedicated criminal will not be dissuaded by legislation, the normally law-abiding citizen will.  I teach college and was trained to teach middle and high school.  Many of the students at each of those levels are subject to hormonal influences that destroy higher judgment and increase reactions to anger substantially.  Allowing them to have guns in the classroom--which some of the proposals regarding expansion of concealed carry would enable, since states such as Texas allow concealed carry at age 21 (or 18, under certain circumstances)--means that when I hand back an assignment that has a failing grade marked on it (not a rare occurrence), I would have to worry more that the student will have a firearm handy and that I will be shot in the face.

I am not eager to be shot in the face.

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