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Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the doodle...

Those who teach really have no right to complain, given that we get most of the summer off while working grunts don't have that luxury.  However, we work so intensely while we teach that we really need the down-time that summer provides.

I know, I know, there are weeks left to the summer, officially, but for those of us who teach, August weighs heavily.  Course preparation looms.  You have to find your way through a new textbook or two, and make sure your syllabus matches up with what's there.  You have to explore new and unfamiliar on-line resources.  All of this takes time.  Meanwhile, there are a thousand distractions tugging at your sleeve:  the advisee who needs a form signed to be able to register for a class;  the meetings of the committees that you wish you had never volunteered for;  the phone calls and office visits from textbook salespeople, and textbook buyers.  And in the meantime, you're hoping there's time to cram in all those non-teaching activities you had planned to do over the summer, but haven't yet gotten around to, both the fun things and the chores.  I have yet to trim the yews, or clean the awning windows, or the gutters.  Or wash my sweaters;  that's a task I usually take care of early in the summer.  However, my teaching a course early in the summer screwed up my normal schedule for home maintenance.  Frankly, the rainy weather we've been having hasn't helped either.

Then there are other obligations and plans that have to run their course.  In three days, I leave on a trip for California.  First stop:  San Francisco, where I will be attending a professional meeting.  Then it's down to San Diego where I will marry my partner.  None of this will be like a vacation trip to California.  Too much of my time is blocked out by particular duties and tasks to carry out.  Certainly getting married will be exciting, but it's also kind of stressful;  despite the fact that we have tried to plan this wedding to be as stress-free as possible, it's still going to be a real challenge to get through.  And then, by the time we get back home, we will have only a week before classes resume.  (No honeymoon for us, at least not this year.)

So my summer is very shortly about to come to an end with a crashing halt, well before the end of August.  I'm still hoping to steal a few fun moments in the remaining days, but there won't be many opportunities.

So, I'm hoping you're planning to enjoy your end of summer.  What do you have planned?

AUgust 6, 2014

Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU
when you find that proficient comment.

From Puddytat:

OMG too funny (by franklyn).  Sometimes Top Comments is a great source of Top Comments
From mimi:
This comment from Denise Oliver Velez from the Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile post.
From John Stizman:
Mimikatz' comment nominated for wordy (but needfully so) explanation of challenges facing the Democratic party in midterms, and suggestions about what can help.  From gjohnsit's recommended post Answering your own question.

Also, Witgren makes a superb street-level description of how and why cutting spending on state (and by extension, federal) services doesn't reduce inefficiency, it can actually worsen it.  From tmservo433's recommended post More bad news for Brownback: S&P Downgrades Kansas Credit.

From a2nite:
the Don writes a really good LTE to counter the RW lying machine.  From JayRiestenberg's recommended post Five Major Problems with Charles Koch's Op-Ed in USA Today.
From Eric Stetson:
DocGonzoDocGonzo points out that pragmatism and corruption often go hand in hand, and that we should insist on a higher standard for our elected officials.  From gjohnsit's recommended post Answering your own question.
From ericlewis0:
In Lenny Flank's diary about the 'Wow' signal - a radio transmission picked up by a SETI-style apparatus on Earth, ontheleftcoast offered up this comment.
From your humble diarist:
I liked this comment by sidnora in tmservo433's recommended post In Kansas Primaries Yesterday, The Kochs Lost. Badly.

August 5, 2014

(excluding Tip Jars and first comments)

Got mik!

  1) Hey, Adriana's Insurance: by cai — 232
  2) And for the record I support BETTER by sideboth — 134
  3) It's the plain hatefulness that always stuns me. by Silencio — 127
  4) Did Adriana’s CEO rub each coin on his butt too? by Lefty Coaster — 109
  5) what otger conclusion is there to come to? by rexymeteorite — 104
  6) Answer, we will.. by SemDem — 100
  7) My condolences to Jennifer's family and friends. by lastman — 97
  8) I thought it was nuts for by Youffraita — 86
  9) That's the stupidest part of this -- most of us by cai — 86
10) The savagery - inhumanity - that is being by JoanMar — 79
11) middle class by melvynny — 74
12) Rand Paul......"I'm outta here." by skillet — 71
13) A profile in courage...chickenhawk style by Dirk McQuigley — 67
14) The Party Shot Liberals In the Foot. by Gooserock — 66
15) While our Congress all clapped by mjd in florida — 66
16) A counter proposal. by edg — 66
17) Way to prove to your customers that you by niemann — 64
18) Definitely meets the, "If it looks like a duck..." by pajoly — 62
19) the flaming lips used to be on my by rexymeteorite — 62
20) "Whitesplaining" in action by Geenius at Wrok — 61
21) A smart Israeli politician would be getting water by polecat — 61
22) Let Adriana Insurance Know Your Thoughts by Empower Ink — 60
23) Maybe you should READ the article before... by bobswern — 59
24) water, sanitation and electrical service has long by entlord — 58
25) Ha, I too saw this by AnnetteK — 57
26) How heartbreaking by Avilyn — 56
27) It is their right. by sideboth — 54
28) Cliven Bundy Jr., the son, was arrested yesterday by GrumpyOldGeek — 54
29) "Milwaukee" is code by Puddytat — 54
30) Embarrassing by hulibow — 53
31) I'm glad you wrote about it; I saw it by a2nite — 53
32) I diminish its importance? by bobswern — 53

August 5, 2014

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