Because I have nothing new to report, I offer you these selections from Vladimir Nabokov's Pnin, which will most likely only be funny to grad students. Sorry, everyone else. Drunken escapades coming this weekend.
On the start of a new semester:
"Again in the margins of library books earnest freshmen inscribed such helpful glosses as 'Description of nature,' or 'Irony'; and in a pretty edition of Mallarme's poems an especially able scholiast had already underlined in violet ink the difficult word oiseaux and scrawled above it 'birds.'"
"And still the College creaked on. Hard-working graduates, with pregnant wives, still wrote dissertations on Dostoevski and Simone de Beauvoir. Literary departments still labored under the impression that Stendhal, Galsworthy, Dreiser, and Mann were great writers. Word plastics like 'conflict' and 'pattern' were still in vogue. As usual, sterile instructors successfully endeavored to 'produce' by reviewing the books of more fertile colleagues, and, as usual, a crop of lucky faculty members were enjoying or about to enjoy various awards received earlier in the year."
"You may laugh, but I affirm that the only way to escape from the morass...is to lock up the student in a soundproof cell and eliminate the lecture room."
"Tom thinks that the best method of teaching anything is to rely on discussion in class, which means letting twenty young blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss for fifty minutes something that neither their teacher nor they know."
Seriously. I think I may try that soundproof cell idea. Regardless, Pnin is wonderful, a real joy to read. I strongly suggest everyone do so.