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December 15, 2004



Care to boost your ego a bit more? Check out your latest reviews on Rate My Professors, they are down right gushy! (if not a bit embarrassing).


A small contingent of young Republicans this quarter seem to have acquired the impression that I was on their side, or a fellow traveller in some sense. This doesn't usually happen. I assidiously avoided commenting on contemporary politics (although I did allow a Thucydides discussion to veer off toward discussion of other, more recent imperial wars and their difficulties). Someone wrote in their final exam that I said George W. Bush was a modern day Pericles. The only explanation for that is one of us must have been drunk that day. I don't think it was me.

A bouncer at a local bar that has many of the good indie rock shows was in my class the first time I ever taught seven years ago. If it's not sold out, I often get waved in sans cover...


Not as nifty as a free dessert, but at my grandmother's funeral, the funeral director happened to be a former student of my aunt's from about 30 years ago. This was very helpful in our quest to slip Grandpa's ashes into Grandma's coffin (since state law and/or cemetery rules required us to have had the grave dug twice as deep even though Grandpa was cremated).

We did get busted when the headstone arrived with two names, though.


GW as a modern-day Pericles? I rather like that for its absurdity. I want to know who the modern-day Alcibiades is...

Kelly, I just went. Yikes. I try not to visit that site too often, knowing that if I become too "puffed up" by positive reviews, negative ones may send me crashing! (And someone said I was old.)

Zuzu, thanks for the story -- and for pointing out what strikes me as an odd state law.


I think your conjecture about it being a function of personal projection is correct. I think it happens as people try to make connection between what you are teaching and what they already know/believe. But the line blurs and things they come up with, results of the addition- get attributed to you. fact of life, it is hard to keep incoming knowledge separated.


Hugo, it was presented to us as a health law, but I'm sure the cemetery industry had something to do with it, since it costs more to dig a deeper grave.


i can't believe you're dissing Julius Caesar! Have you forgotten that on the Lupercal he was thrice presented with a kingly crown, which he did thrice refuse?

(please excuse me. i'm going batty from the stress of finals)


My punk feminist english lecturer had the worst case of "what she said" syndrome the other day; a ex-student met her in the hall along with the principal, and was enthusing about how much he loved her lessons. He was particularly keen on the film they'd watched the other day, telling the principal "it was great, she explained about how it was all about white power". The film? American History X

I'm sure 50% of students only hear what they want to!


Hmm.... I tend to think 100% of them do, myself included. Perception is always tainted by one's personal beliefs. That's one of the reasons that I enjoy your lectures, Hugo..they're very balanced!! It's a little disturbing to me that this is a rare occurence in my college experience so far.

It makes it much easier to get the actual information out of the lecture. When a biased professor lectures, I find that I'm distracted - by MY bias - from what he or she is saying, if it is obviously biased.

Since I'm conservative, I've found that this happens quite a lot to me...haha. Thanks for making the effort.


Zuzu, my family managed to get my grandma's cat's ashes buried with her, per her wishes. Of course his name wasn't on the tombstone. It broke any number of ridiculous laws, though, I'm sure. Although I'm sure some folks would take that quite seriously.

Hugo, I wonder if that guy had taken another history course and remembered liking the affective environment of your course, but perhaps remembering a comment made in the other, and then, memory melding the two together. Just another possibility. My mind plays tricks on me like that all the time. Perhaps our tendency to want to attribute good to one particular person...


I remember that one time you blogged about how women should be more quiet, and listen to men before speaking. I've really taken it to heart, and it's changed my life. Thanks for saying it!

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