Death-Defying Sledges

Windows into History

Heland sledgeSnippets 97. In 1815 George Head, the assistant commissary-general of the commissariat of the 3rd division of the Spanish army, undertook a journey across North America, snappily titled Forest Scenes and Incidents in the Wilds of North America, Being a Diary of a Winter’s Route from Halifax to the Canadas. His diary was published in 1829. Starting his journey in November, in Halifax, he experienced the first fall of snow of the year and was astonished by the speed of all the sleighs that emerged to travel across the fresh snow.

Some of the drivers were good, others bad, but all drove fast, so that, notwithstanding people were obliged by law to have a certain number of bells about their sleigh, the eyes of Argus were insufficient to protect a foot-passenger, who, after all possible pains to get out of the way of the carriages, gained nothing more…

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Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize


I can’t say I’m very invested in the debate about Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature, but I can picture how the deliberations might have played out. The plus side is fairly simple. His songwriting played an enormous role in shaping the sensibilities of a seismic cultural shift in the 1960s and thus (insofar as it was a seismic shift) of cultural trajectories thereafter. I imagine all at the table would also grant that Dylan has proven himself both a great and highly prolific songwriter.

But, respond the naysayers, songwriting is at least as much about instrumentation and melody and musical coordinates as it is about the verbal. Dylan may have had as profound an impact on culture as such previous winners as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison, but does the verbal element in the songs, on the page without the music, reach the same level of word-built architecture as

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Fall 2016 Masters Schedule.

Ordinary Adventures

As I was falling off the face of the blogosphere last year, I was also in the process of going back to school. I fell out of blogging before I even got to tell you guys what I decided to get my masters in or what my career, academic, and life goals were! Don’t worry, I’ll just answer the first one about my degree today, but no promises I won’t get around to everything else eventually.

Here’s a super, tiny, little background summary: I got my bachelor’s degree in history, got a job as a special education teacher’s assistant, and was thrown into the only spot available which was in the English department. Getting that salaried job finally got us financially stable enough for me to start the crazy adventure of getting my masters and finally achieving my dream of becoming a teacher. The only hitch was that I was beginning to fall in…

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