Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Adventures in Mid-December

First of all, I should say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! I can't remember how many years she's been around, but I know it's more than me and less than Grandma. She was born somewhere in between.

Second of all, I should mention what I've been doing lately. Mostly, I've been marking final exams and projects. As usual, the monotony has been broken by a few smile-producing responses, none of which I can remember at the moment since I just woke up. Maybe once this cup of coffee starts to work it's magic, I'll remember that in response to the questions "Is your best friend the smartest person in the world?" most of my students answered "Yes, s/he is". One of my loyal, but oh-so-honest students wrote "No, she isn't. but she's a very nice person."

Finally, I've been counting the days until I head home for Christmas. Only 3 days and 2 nights until I have to make sure my seat back and chair table are in their fully upright and locked position in preparation for take-off. WooHoo!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Adventures in American Justice

I suppose I could have called this entry 'Adventures in Capital Punishment', but that just didn't seem right.

This afternoon, I caught Larry King Live as he covered the impending execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Half an hour later, I caught The Green Mile. Together, they got me thinking about capital punishment, justice, retribution and restorative justice. I'm not going to go into a great long diatribe at the moment, as I'm reluctant to just blurt out my 'top-o-the-head' opinions when it comes to important things. (I've got no problem blurting out opinions about non-dairy whipped topping, sport sock/dress pants combinations or the west-coast penchant for socks with sandals, but the death penalty is an entirely different matter).

I will however mention that I was greatly pleased to see Mike Farrell speaking on Larry King as chairman of Death Penalty Focus. You may remember him as B.J. Hunnicut on M*A*S*H. He was articulate, passionate and polite. I was impressed, and was glad to hear him say:

And it seems to me that when this society begins to realize the damages being done us by the damage we do others, only then, perhaps, will we begin to realize that we can reach out to be representative of the values that we hold dear."

It seems to me that vengance, revenge, and a refusal to forgive cause as much damage to those seeking vengance as to those at whom the anger is directed. (I'm sorry, if I weren't so sleepy, I'm sure I could have made that sentence readable.)

Before I paddle myself into waters I'm not ready to swim in, let me just plug in the link to the Centre for Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University. It's worth the read if you're interested in such things.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I have a head cold. Wednesday was the sore throat, Thursday was the hoarse voice, Friday was the headache, today is the runny nose and sneezing. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.