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Weekend Wonk

I See By My Outfit

"Clothes," they say, "make the man." But that is just the start of what they say. The more you think about clothes, the more fascinating the subject becomes. And before I go any further, I would like to acknowledge and recommend a good book on the subject, Alison Lurie’s The Language of Clothes (which is probably out of print, alas, so you will have to scrounge for it). Lurie builds an extended metaphor around the idea that clothes are actually a language, which is an idea that we can, I think, readily agree with: what you wear "speaks volumes" about you.

Hired Gun

Were I to sidle up and whisper “grammar teacher” in your shell-like ear, I bet I know what your gut reaction (beyond screaming “PERVERT!”) would be. Grammar teacher. Not just pursed lips but a pursed face and probably a pursed soul. Stunted aspirations and reptilian mien and metabolism. Gleeful tormentor of schoolchildren. I know these things as well as the rest of you because I was once one of those schoolchildren. And now, yes, I am a grammar teacher. Worse, I revel in diagramming, the old Reed/Kellogg system that has been around since the turn of the century.

Kairos II... The End of Time

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand
In the moon that is always rising.
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

(Dylan Thomas, “Fern Hill,” final stanza)

Kairos I

Last week I said that there were no time-outs until the final one. Perhaps I was a tad hasty.

A few years ago I underwent my first and—I hope—only major surgery. I expected to be put under the way we see it on TV, with me lying there on the operating table, a plastic mask over my nose and mouth and a nurse saying, “Now just relax and breathe normally.” Off I would slowly drift to dreamland.


Winged Chariot

Ok, so last week I left you with a teaser about chronos and kairos, the two faces of time. Well, I should know better: I would be very severe with a student who proposed a five hundred word essay on "time" ("Sure that’s big enough for five hundred words, Sparky?"). The topic has turned into a writhing kudzu and just escaping with my life will be the best I deserve. This week chronos, then; next week, or some week, kairos. If I find the time.

Me, Myself, and I

Hi. Shea here. I am going to risk a rather prosaic opening (but to what will be, after all, an enterprise of prose, so at least there is an odd appropriateness to it). Matt Cone has invited me—he bought me lunch to clinch it!—to write an occasional column for Macinstruct. Needless to say I was flattered and, flattery going a long way with me, here I sit—at my Mac, of course—about to introduce myself, explain myself, perhaps even proleptically defend myself.

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