Monday, March 31, 2008

I am a sinner and a fool


Danica is down in Vermont for the day. I'm now on day four of fevers and aches. I could tell it was going to be a bad day wellness-wise when I felt a dull pain begin to creep up my spine up to my neck. Rods of pain spreading over my back. A fierce headache is next, followed inevitably by chills and fever. Being sick always makes me feel really lazy. Being sick means not upholding my end of the bargain. But Danica has been really good about looking after me: feeding me, going to get ginger ale from the store for me, putting drops in my ears (ear infection), etc. The only good thing about being sick is that you get to read all you want, which is what I did. I read The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene, which blew me away and reminded me a bit of J.M. Coetzee, of whom I am a big fan (is there anything more perfect than Waiting for the Barbarians? While reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road I kept thinking, "I wish the Coetzee of Life and Times of Michael K had written this."). I started reading Dusklands by Coetzee, his first novel, but I didn't care much for it so I stopped. I also spent a lot of time getting caught up with what has been going to in Basra with Maliki and Muqtada al-Sadr. I definitely want to check out Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq by Patrick Cockburn when it comes out. You should do the same. Cockburn really knows his stuff when it comes to Iraq.

Speaking of reading, Danica gave me a gift card for Chapters bookstore for my birthday (yesterday) and I've already used it up. I ordered three books: Selections from the Prison Notebooks by Antonio Gramsci, Écrits by Jacques Lacan (all 900 pages of it), and The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters by Slavoj Zizek. The first two make up part of my Ambitious Reading List. The third book is just for fun.

I can't afford to be sick today. I need to go turn in a paper and pick up some books on hold for me at the library. And of course it is snowing. Again. Again and again. Forever. I'm hoping my class will be canceled today, as the part-time teachers are on strike and all of my teacher are part-time. I am 100% behind this strike action. These teachers get treated like shit. The administration expects them to work "for the love of teaching," paying them next to nothing and offering no benefits. They haven't had a contract for six years now. It's really grotesque. We'll see what happens. I wish the student union would encourage students to join the strike. Students usually sympathize with their teachers.

There was a rally at my school that I wanted to go to this morning, protesting the proposed tuition increase for international students, but I didn't want to aggravate my fever.

OK, time to go to class.

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