It’s starting to feel like springtime here on the shores of Lake Agassiz. And as snow and cold season gives way to mud and melt, I’m getting read to trek out to the Bakken to do some sight seeing and to promote my recent book, The Bakken: An Archaeology of an Industrial Landscape. (NDSU 2017). If you can’t make it to Williston or Minot this weekend, you can join the 79 other people in watching me and Bret talking about the book here on Prairie Pulse.
At the same time, I’m gearing up for my summer field seasons in Cyprus and Greece and trying to wrap up my work on the Wesley College Documentation Project and my two classes.
Further adding to the excitement of spring, North Dakota Quarterly, has announced the Dakota Access Poetry Prize competition. If you’re a poet, check out the call for submissions! If you write non fiction, fiction, or cool poetry, send them our way as well!
If none of that is your cup of tea, then maybe something else will strike your fancy in my quick hits and varia:
Chris Gayle is racking up runs in the IPL, the Sixers just beat the Heat at home, J.P. Crawford can suddenly see the ball, and Red Bull racing has won a Formula 1 race. Let’s hope these trends continue even as our unseasonable weather has given way to a proper spring here in North Dakotaland.
Now all I have to do is survive the last three weeks of the semester and get my life together to head to Cyprus and Greece for my summer field seasons.
In the meantime, you should all go and download my most recent side project, The Letters of Edward P. Robertson, President Emeritus of Wesley College from 1935. I’ve blogged about it here, or you can download it here.
If passionate and compelling letters of obscure college presidents are not your bag, then please enjoy this further list of varia and quick hits:
Spring is forcing us to acknowledge its presence here in North Dakotaland. We might even get comfortably above freezing before I decamp for the Eastern Mediterranean this summer.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to sit by the fire with the two dogs, enjoy the balmy nights of Indian Premier League cricket, watch the boys of winter (the NBA) wind their way through the playoffs, and savor the Formula 1 and NASCAR seasons. Heck, I might even get some other work done.
Whatever your weekend plans, enjoy some quick hits and varia:
Still Milo with Slobber Duck
You’ve be excused if you didn’t believe that spring was upon us here in North Dakotaland with a substantial dusting of snow last night and another 6-8 inches expected later today. A quick glance at the television, though, shows us that the boys of summer are back and, in our household, the boys of [North American] winter (the Australian cricket side) are wrapping up their season (and not a moment too soon).
It’s also Holy Week, for those of you who observe, and the official start of the short quick slide to the end of the semester.
So whatever your predilections this weekend whether basketingball, basingball, cricket, or quiet meditation on the nature of Christ’s incarnation, here’s a little list of quick hits and varia:
Springtime is weird for academics. On the one hand, we all celebrate the return of longer and warmer days, the the first spring flowers peaking up from the melting snow, and the musty smell of the thaw that promises the sunny days of summer. On the other hand, it’s the end for us, the end of a semester, the end of an academic year, the end of the classroom routine and the opportunity to learn from students, and campus goes into its quiet summer reverie.
It not that spring is bad or that summer is bad, but there is something a bit melancholic about the spring.
In the ambivalent spirit of an academic springtime, then, I offer a little gaggle of quick hits and varia:
The trailing weekend of spring break always reveals the futility of my ambitious plans to “get work done.” That being said, I have recharged my batteries, done some fieldwork, and chipped away at a long-delayed project. So I can’t really complain too much.
On Monday, I spent about 5 hours completing the drawings of Corwin and Larimore Halls at Wesley College at the University of North Dakota.
On Tuesday, I worked with my old buddy Mike Wittgraf to document the sound of the Corwin/Larimore Hall, and we posted a video of the concert on the ole blog on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, I drove out to Minot State University on a brilliant spring day in North Dakotaland with the sun shining off the snow-filled fields and the crystal blue sky overhead. The biggest treat of the trip was a visit to the new gallery spaces in the library at Minot State. They were stunning and a remarkable reminder that despite all the hand-wringing about the death of the arts and humanities on college campuses, there is still great work going on that will undoubtedly fortify these programs, their students, and the community into the future.
Finally, on Thursday, I did get back to work, despite being distracted by the very short, shorts of the University of Rhode Island basketballing team, but I’ll admit that my little list of quick hits and varia is slightly more impoverished than usual, but here it is:
It’s the Friday before spring break here in North Dakotaland and we’re bracing for the massive influx of spring break revelers who will come to the Red River Valley to enjoy flat countryside, cold weather, and soggy snow.
To avoid the rush, I’ll be staying busy on the Wesley College Documentation Project, some college basketballing games on the old TV, some cricket (of course), and some books and writing that need to be attention. Plus, dogs.
If you have to go out into the mob of celebrating students, here are some quick hits and varia:
After what seemed like two months of intolerable cold, we’re finally looking forward to some milder weather this weekend with the high in mid-20s and some light snow to tidy to tidy up the neighborhood.
This week was hectic, but a mild weekend offers a great chance to hunker down, read, write, and recharge for another busy week.
In the meantime, here are some quick hits and varia:
After Wednesday was a balmy 33 degrees, today’s 2 degree morning felt downright disrespectful even for North Dakotaland. So I’m looking forward to spending some quality time in an unheated, soon-to-be-demolished building on campus this afternoon, but plan to hunker down for a weekend of books, writing, and NASCAR after today.
I find there’s almost nothing better to fortify me over a long weekend than a little gaggle of varia and quick hits:
The boys are ready for their shot at gold in tandem napping.
(There is a slight deduction in form).
The cold is never ending here in North Dakotaland and according to our forecast the warmest it’ll be into the foreseeable future is 4.
So, it’s a good excuse to stay inside and read and write and do wintertime things. To help that along, do check out the most recent book from The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota, the first volume of the Epoiesen Annual. Check it out here.
If that’s still not enough, here’s little gaggles of quick hits and varia:
Personal Space Issues.