I'm so bored with this herniated disk problem. I'm bored with the pain, I'm bored with the treatment, I'm bored with lying around in my pajamas, I'm bored with the boring blog posts that have resulted from my extended convalescence. Last night, I was in too much pain to join Clara for dinner with a pair of Carleton trustees, so I stayed home and, in the depths of my boredom, watched television. I watched a show called Bones for the sole reason that it starred David Boreanaz; I watched House; I watched an unspeakably awful show called Numb3rs.
Numb3rs appears to be about a college math professor who helps his FBI agent brother solve murders. The murders (committed by a numerology-obsessed serial killer/tattoo artist who thought he was Jesus) were gruesome, but the worst thing about the show was the depiction of college professors. Hollywood college professors are all incredibly good-looking, like Andrea Roth (left), who played a professor of numerology (!) on last night's show (in a short skirt and lots of cleavage). Hollywood professors talk like textbooks and seldom say anything, even in casual conversation, that isn't related to their field. Hollywood professors have only to stand up in front of a large lecture class and spout the worst nonsense ever devised by Dan Brown to be considered brilliant and inspirational teachers. In The Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon stands in front of his class at Harvard (where he's a professor of "religious symbology") and lectures in his rich baritone voice ("like chocolate for the ears") about Phi, and all the girls "beam at him." Dan Brown writes: "Even in the darkness, Langdon could see they were all astounded. He felt a familiar warmth inside. This is why he taught." I feel a familiar gag reflex inside.
On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the professors at UC Sunnydale share another personality trait: they're all mean. Several of them kick Buffy out of class, or single her out for ridicule in front of her classmates. The worst of the lot, Dr. Maggie Walsh, is not only mean, but she's assembling a demon in her private lab.
When Clara got home from her dinner with the college trustees, she quickly changed into a miniskirt so she could use her knowledge of Greek and Latin to help the FBI catch a serial killer. Such is the life of a college professor.
My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .
The frontispiece from Countee Cullen's The Black Christ and Other Poems (1929). Illustration by Charles Cullen. Click to enlarge. On...
Here's the poem I wrote and read for the student-organized International Day of Peace gathering in Bridge Square on Wednesday, Septembe...
Two of my very brief essays were published online this summer. The first was the essay " Telephone ," which appeared in June in t...