Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I finished grading all the exams! Of course I have now been reduced to a lifeless blob with no energy. Actually, the beer I had with my tacos for dinner might have had a hand in that.

I must interject here, however, that the tacos you can get at the local taco trucks are really, really tasty. For me, the holy trinity or the trifecta are 1 carne asada, 1 carne adobada, and 1 pollo. I then put a lot of lime on them and add some taqueria salsa I bought at Trader Jose's. Pair it with the aforementioned cerveza and you are set to go.

I am now supposed to prepare my lecture for tomorrow. It is the last class before break. I don't feel like lecturing, the students don't want to be there, and the weather is nice outside. Can you think of a worse set of conditions? I am so tempted to finish off the material I did not get to today, give them their exams back, and send them off into the glorious sunset of spring break.

This whole week was designed to be a soft week. After the midterm and before break, I knew even several months ago that enthusiasm and motivation would be non-existent. That is why I scheduled the fieldtrip to the homeless shelter that I mentioned yesterday for this week. The topic for the week is art and clothing. Important topics, of course (I would not want to offend any artists or tailors), but not an intense or complex area in the discipline of anthropology.

The visit to the shelter was to complement the ethnography Tell Them Who I Am that I mentioned a while back. We had to walk about a mile and a half from campus. Try leading a big group like that in a hurry. We only had the fifty minutes of class time to get there, hear the director, take a tour, and get back. It all worked out pretty well. It was rushed, but I think the students liked it. It was good for them to see that even shelters are not horrible or depressing places and that homeless people are in fact people who are in a precarious situation for a huge variety of reasons - not just those you usually hear about.

Onto a completely different topic. I have been thinking about the whole bruhaha the Bush administration is making about Lebanon and Syria. Why now? I think it is one of the following reasons:

a. They want to justify the invasion of Iraq by showing that the new domino effect is occurring in the Middle East with different conflicts being resolved.

b. Looking for more excuses to beat up Syria to get back at them for their lack of concern with movement between Syria and Iraq. In other words bully Syria to feel more macho.

c. Distract everyone from the fact that Iran is still pursuing nuclear program, despite the tough talk of the Bush administration, and that nothing is being done about North Korea who admitted to having nuclear weapons. In other words pretend to be macho with the wimp who doesn't have nuclear weapons.

d. Distract everyone from the failure to sell the Social Security reform crap. In other words, pretend to be macho so people don't see you as the wimp that you really are.

e. All or some of the above.

Not that it really matters. That is probably why I have taken to writing about events of my mundane life rather than politics or social issues. I guess I hint at things or let an odd comment out here or there. I have, however, been avoiding writing about politics out of sheer frustration (or perhaps it is ever growing cynicism). Not that it really matters.

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