Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for December 2003

A Man, A Can, A Plan

with 4 comments

For Christmas I received a cookbook from my grandparents titled A Man, A Can, A Plan: 50 Great Guy Meals Even You Can Make. The premise of the book is that any man can cook if shown small pictures of brand-named canned items and if he is given easy instructions.

Take the recipe �Pig in a Pinwheel� as an example. This new classic uses a five-ounce can of Hormel chunk ham, � cup of Philadelphia cream cheese, two eight ounce cans of crescent-roll dough to create a dinner version of the cinnamon rolls. Other recipe titles include �Weenies with the Works,� �Beer-�n�-Sausage Bake,� �Cluck Finn on a Raft,� and �Beans-on-Fritos Pie.�

Watch out Chapel Hill!

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December 26, 2003 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Laughter

Return of the King

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On Sunday I went to see Return of the King, directed by Peter Jackson. Overall I had pretty positive impressions. As may be widely known I have read the books twice per year since high school, so I am generally highly critical of Jackson’s interpretation. After having seen The Two Towers I referred to him as “the apostate filmmaker.” This movie hasn’t absolved him of his sins but he did do an admirable job with many parts in this movie.

In the extended entry, linked below, those readers who care to can see my nit-picky compliments, exasperations and criticisms. But as you can see the list of plusses is considerably longer than the list of minuses. All and all Return of the King was a good movie and not a bad version of the book.
Read the rest of this entry »

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December 24, 2003 at 10:50 am

Posted in Reviews

A Poem

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My youngest sister’s roommate, C*, recently had major surgery. Before the surgery I wrote her to say that I would be praying. Several days after the surgery I received an apology for not replying sooner. Moved by this and the Milton biography I have been reading I penned these lines, posted for your laughter:

Be sorry not, O convalescing sister’s friend!
Thou hast had trials and tribulations in thy state.
Lack of email shall not our acquaintance end,
Nor shall thy correspondence ever be viewed as late.

I wish thee healing health and rest,
In Barbie-pink shoes may thou convalesce.
Though the state of thou state may be weird,*
In thou’s heart may it remain endeared.

* — C* resides in California.

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December 23, 2003 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Laughter

Milton

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Tonight I finally dived back into the literary world and am intrigued by A.N. Wilsons The Life of John Milton. I started being interested in Milton senior year of college when I took two Milton classes from a highly regarded professor in the English department. Dr. Morrisseys Milton classes were highly influential in my development in many ways, especially regarding his teaching style.

I happened onto A.N. Wilson by picking up his biography of Tolstoy during the summer of 2000 and thought it was fantastic for two reasons. The first reason was that Tolstoy was a rather interesting character in his own right. The second was the numerous insights which Mr. Wilson wrote about topics which make me ponder; literary theory being one I particularly remember from the Tolstoy biography.

Tonight I happened upon this passage which lies at the end of an extended comparison of Miltons Christianity to the Reformed faith (which I wish I could have read during my heavy Milton days). I think this passage resonates with me because it touches on the themes of intellectual investigation and work/vocation which I have been wrestling with as I think about what a professor is. Wilson writes:

But a man could not live by writing poetry, not merely because poetry makes no money, but because poetry cannot possibly take up the whole of a mans day. Study, learning, the curious search into knowledge was, as his nephew said after his death, the grand affair perpetually of his life. But was this enough? (pg. 53)

It makes me think about the insights of LAbri and wonder about how this plays into contemplating a life in the Ivory Tower.

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December 20, 2003 at 11:32 pm

Posted in Reflections

E Arrives

with 3 comments

My middle sister, Elizabeth, arrived home last night from a year and half in Bosnia. Our family arrived in Santa hats to welcome her to America after 23 hours of travel. Elizabeth’s first comment this morning was “Andy! The glasses are soo big.”

Welcome back to America Elizabeth!

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December 19, 2003 at 9:34 am

Posted in Pictures

The Causes of Terrorism

with 9 comments

I’m typing from the lecture hall where the class I TA for is taking their final. So far the best answer turned in is in response to the question:

“What are the two root conditions identified in the lecture that motivate people to become terrorists?”

One girl’s answer: “The level of US involvement in a country’s government and culture.”

This answer leads me to a startling conclusion — Britney Spears is actually a cause of terrorism.

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December 17, 2003 at 9:08 am

Posted in Political Science

Finished

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I’m grateful to say that my first semester at UNC is officially complete. I’m a little unsure of what my first set of grades will look like but I am confident that they will be better than my Clemson grad school grades!

We haven’t found out any of our final grades yet but our statistics professor was kind enough to break down our statistics grades by Duke vs. UNC students . . . sadly we lost numerically (but hey let’s face it, we are better looking and the Dookies needed some affirmation). The worst part was after giving us the point spread our professor said “but given the sample size and variation the difference in points is not statistically significant.”

How’s that for a sense of humor?

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December 16, 2003 at 4:11 pm

Posted in UNC

The End is Coming

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Finals week is officially upon us here at the University of North Carolina. I’ve just walked out of my statistics exam. The professor brought cookies. Being a grad student does have its perks. That was the nice part of the test. The rest was definitions and some calculus. I’m hoping for mid-70s.

Coming early next week are my international relations theory exam and paper. Once those are completed you might here a sigh of relief in your corner of the globe. That’s me. Hopefully over break I can blog about things which are more interesting. I’m already getting hyped about a Milton biography. I realized yesterday that I have only read one book in the 4 months of grad school I’ve been here. For a guy who averaged one every 10 days last year this is a big difference.

You should also be prepared for some ravings concerning the final LOTRs movie. I watched the first disc of the extended version of the Two Towers last night and will hopefully watch the other half before I depart. I’ll rant about those soon as well.

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December 13, 2003 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Political Science

My Sister and Her Verbosity

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I had a lengthy conversation with my youngest sister, Katie, tonight. It was a great way to recoup from 2 straight days of stats. During our conversation she mentioned that she feels that her education is beginning to show dividends. This is a sampling from a recent email she wrote:

dude. yeah. sweeeetttttt.

ohmygosh have a superfly trip, dawg.

*************

Is my sister cool or am I just slap-happy from another 8 hours of statistics?

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December 11, 2003 at 12:42 am

Posted in Laughter

Exams

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Today I hosted my International Relations Theory class for my last class of my first semester of graduate school. Exam week is now looming on the fast closing horizon. As I was reading my stats text book today I came upon this comment about the Poisson distribution:

“This distribution became famous because it fitted extremely well the frequency of deaths from the kick of a horse in the Prussian army corps in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.”

Statistics can be interesting!

(Prayer is welcome for the exams and paper.)

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December 8, 2003 at 10:35 pm

Posted in Political Science

Whew.

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I’m normally opposed to putting up article links but this one, sent to me by Katie, is interesting enough that I will anyway.

God on the Quad – New England’s liberal college campuses have become fertile ground for the evangelical movement, which is attracting students in record numbers. But after they graduate, will they keep the faith?

My first response is that I am really curious about a way to study the dynamics of the after college transition. My second response is that he hit the nail directly on the head with his descriptions of the struggle to be respected as a Christian in the University. Everything in it struck me as descriptively accurate (although I haven’t seen any of homosexual struggles first hand).

Whew. I’m still whirling from it. I’d love your thoughts from those of you who are out there.

(PS. It may go off-line so if you want to mull over it, it might be a good idea to save it as Word document.)

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December 7, 2003 at 12:34 am

Posted in Reflections

Am I Crazy?

with 3 comments

Some might ask what people in Chapel Hill like to do on 36 degree Thursday night at UNC in the pouring rain. The answer for yours truly is to head out to the intramural fields at 10pm for . . . soccer! Apparently the Campus Rec department is committed to keeping a tight schedule so the Poli FC team is going to brave the elements for the glory of the game and the efficiency of the rec department.

In my humble opinion this is a foreseeable consequence of having two intramural fields for 25,000 students. But hey, the artificial turf should be extra squishy tonight! But alas! The draw back is that the weather will diminish the number of spectators.

(If I don’t blog for a few days it may be for health reasons!)

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December 4, 2003 at 9:07 pm

Posted in UNC

Married Bloggers

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With their latest entry devoted to Carolina basketball, Michael and Kristen have won their way into my heart and onto my blog. This Classical Life has recently posted some thoughtful posts on LOTR’s translation into movie format (which is another way to score cool points with me). If you check them out, watch out for political discussions, discussions concerning the Church, and lots of comments.

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December 2, 2003 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Blogroll

The Perils of College Life

with 16 comments

I recieved this email this morning from one of my students.
************************
Hey Andy,

I have quite a problem at the moment. Sorry if I gross you out, but my dog has acute diarrhea at the moment and she is vomiting. Yesterday, apparently my roommate’s IDIOT boyfriend fed her 4 bowls of pork stew and it didn’t exactly settle well. I have been awake literall all night taking her outside and she is still sick. I am afraid to leave her alone, and if this keeps up I will have to take her to the vet. I have already missed one class (from being sick) so I really really do not want to miss another, but I don’t know what to do. Is there any way I could make up the quiz?
Thanks, R****

******************
And this was my response,

R****,

Sorry that your dog is so unwell. Hopefully your roommates boyfriend will become a little wiser before he is responsible for children!

Youre welcome to attend any of the below recitations in place of coming to class today. If you do it will be your responsibility to get the quiz you take in that class to me.

Best, Andy
***************
And this was her response

Thanks Andy,

I will definitely attend one of the other recitations this week. And after this experience, I don’t know how anyone has kids… Falling asleep just to be woken up every 45 minutes does not work for me. See you soon! R****

Written by furthermusings

December 1, 2003 at 8:01 pm

Posted in UNC