desk lunch – 2015-09-17

Brought to you this week by almost, almooooost, meeting my 50-book reading challenge for this year! When this posts, I’ll be at 49 books thanks to Vol. 1 of The Wicked and the Divine, and I’ll hit 50 with either Vol. 2 of same or Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me. Or Saga Vol. 5, which I have to like, actually pick up from my local comics shop and read. I was daunted by reading 50 books in a year, and then I realized (with Goodreads’s help) that the 150 pages of comics I mainlined every month absolutely count, so now it’s less daunting. Ok, it’s not daunting at all, really, since I spend almost every waking moment reading in one form or another. I’m exhausted just thinking about how terribly well-read and well-rounded I am.

My birthday is a month away and I need to start reassuring myself now that I’m worth it.


The realization that turtle shells are ribs bones led Owen and colleagues to the most bizarre aspect of turtle anatomy. Picture a turtle: where do its legs attach? (Under the shell.) Owen quickly realized the implications; a turtle’s shoulders and scapulas are located underneath its ribcage. Yes, turtles are effectively inside out.
Did you know turtles are inside out?
Did you know turtles are inside out?
Did you know turtles are inside out?
Did you know turtles are inside out?
Did you know turtles are inside out?
Did you know turtles are inside out?
DID YOU KNOW TURTLES ARE INSIDE OUT?
This was the first thing I read when I woke up last Saturday and I can’t stop thinking about it.
Did you know turtles are inside out?
A neighbor of mine, Mitch Tropin, teaches at six different colleges in the D.C. area. Through a combination of perseverance and good karma, he has been able to align his three Baltimore schools so he teaches there on the same days, allowing him to minimize commuting time. He always aims for employment at six schools because, he says, “You never know when a class will be cancelled or a full-time professor will bump you at the last minute. Sometimes classes just disappear.”
Published in The Atlantic this week, but this very long, well-researched piece doesn’t say anything new about the adjunct plight. I’m linking it because it’s a reminder that maybe a handful of schools mentioned in the piece have agreed to meet with adjunct unions, but nothing of substance has changed. In Philadelphia, my former grad program at Temple University periodically holds hearings (#tuhearing) to discredit the work adjuncts put into their classes every day, every semester, every year. So, consider this a timely reminder that higher ed continues to collapse itself from the top down.
Thus though, the gap in quality between Wharton’s best books and her worst is substantial, the gap in pleasure is mostly nonexistent. Wharton’s smaller novels are like better, meatier Gossip Girl books, and I tend to read them when I’m looking for something junky but also excellently, precisely written. They hover close to the realm of classic trash, but are slightly better; the perfect pleasure read.

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