I finished reading The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes yesterday. This morning I typed up my notes on this book. I’ve also started Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich as related to and edited by Solomon Volkov. As I read the latter, I am finding the Barnes novel to be a nice sheen on the material. I think I will be able to sort out the Shostakovich of the novel from the Testimony. In fact, I am hoping that is where Barnes got most of his character and story. But we’ll see.
It looks like I am now officially not an employee of Hope College. This is the cause of a slight sigh of relief for me since my experience of this institution has been largely negative. This is despite the idea that Eileen and I were looking for a small town with a college in it when I finished my Masters degree in 1987 and chose Holland and Hope College. The irony of course is that the resources I was hoping a small college would provide to an otherwise provincial situation of living in a small town in America are abundantly available online.
So much are these resources available that the fact that I can no longer access Groves Dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, and Jstor online with my Hope staff status does not trouble me as much as I feared it might.
I never quit this position. Just like I never quit my adjunct position at Grand Valley State U. I just turned down teaching (playing class in the case of Hope) for specific semesters. It will be interesting to see if Hope follows GVSU’s pattern of never contacting me again.
In the meantime, I seem to be relaxing into vacation even though it ends for me this Saturday when I drive back to Holland for church on Sunday. I’m almost done with The News: A User’s Manual by Alain de Botton. One of his main points is that news should provide perspective with more in depth and imaginative reporting. Perspective for myself is something I am seeking in my respite this week. I hope it works.
Turkish Leader Erdogan Making New Enemies and Frustrating Old Friends – The New York Times
Long report/analysis. Good example of investigative reporting.
In Dissents, Sonia Sotomayor Takes On the Criminal Justice System – The New York Times
A clear overview of Justice Sotomayor’s first year of dissents. She is a shining light on the court as far as I’m concerned.