Friday, July 29, 2005

Is That a Motion To Move the Previous Question in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Glad to See Me?

Those among my readers to whom this blog is meat, drink, their after-dinner mint will have noticed below and to the left a new link to a new blog. The blog is the USF Journalism Forum, a renaming -- to facilitate a discussion of the future of journalism at my university -- of the blog originally created in honor of my cat Oliver. (Which is neither here nor there but which explains the URL which contains the phrase oliversmojo. Just clearing the underbrush, Keep going.)

We may be at a turning point. I will not vex you with the details, but we may be ready to take yet another giant step toward creating a journalism major in the department of Media Studies. Or we may not. I can promise you that we will talk, we'll reflect, we'll simmer, we'll pronounce and inveigle and finally we'll vote. And then we will go down the road happy boys and girls together.

I'm talking about the full-time faculty. It's a sight to see us going down the road happy boys and girls together after a full and frank discussion.

It's politics. It's academic politics, which can be, uh, zesty. When you are first in the academic game, academic politics is like your first discovery of sex: in the halls, in the offices, in the closets, under the table over coffee, anywhere and anytime, you just can't get enough of horse trading, trial balloon floating, vote pairing, argument parsing, doomsday scenario-ing and general global positioning. You just can't get enough.

And as you grow older, yes, it's still like sex, a powerful force, even a necessary force, but no longer quite so all-consuming. And then at the end -- your scrawl grown shaky on the wipeboard, the crumbs trailing down your belly's ample swell -- well, I have to admit my god this just is too good to give up.

I will give up my academic politics when they pry my Roberts Rules of Order out of my cold dead hand.

Is there a second?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Terror Software: Spelling Things Out in Words of One Syllable

I don't know whether to call my small band of readers the DarWinos -- you find DC(AD) intoxicating -- or the CatAtonics -- you're already bored stiff so a little more lumpen pissing and moaning ain't going to make no difference one way or the other.

But what you do already share I'm guessing is a taste for Juan Cole's Informed Comment. But but maybe maybe you missed his post today on how the "software" of terrorist thinking gets installed on the young and impressionable.

I like this post. It is accessible. (You mean you can climb into it without hitting your head or cutting across a field and climbing through barbed wire? Oh grow

Here it is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nekkid, No. Utterly Confused and Unprepared, Yes.

Smart readers -- and anyone who lingers here is smart ex officio -- have already figured out that my "gauche" posts about how teachers get fired and what for reflect something going on way down below the ocean of my subconscious.

As Shakespeare would have written, "Methinks, duh! Lay on, McFreud, and damned be he who first says, 'I think your 50 minutes are up.' "

But my anxiety is general, not specific to the possibility I'm about to go all sexist about my students in class, in blog, in the halls or on the green playing fields of USF. It's a lot simpler and a lot less interesting. Next month on or about the 21st, I will return to teaching as my lovely sabbatical comes to an end. That is to say, I haven't uttered a word of vertical wisdom -- I lurk behind the lectern and, suddenly, I stride about -- in 14 months.

Maybe I've forgot how?

Many things comprise the teacher's art, including careful preparation, Maoist self-criticism, long hours reading some very dreary student prose (and some very dreary expert prose, too) and long moments of carefully considering how one modulates criticism so that it fits the kid and her/his particular set of skill, idealism, resentment and inertia. But somewhere at the heart of the game is a taste for and an enthusiasm for performance.

Teaching is a one-man show. That's what I think. The pyrotechnics may reside in the provocative argument, the sly joke, the bow tie artfully askew. Everybody's got a trick or two the point of which is surprising the classroom and throwing it off balance. I'm not saying every teacher in every classroom has to throw open the window and shout, "Help! Help! I'm surrounded by idiots!" when your students slip a little too deep into that Soviet state of mind best summed up by, "We pretend to learn while they pretend to teach."

But teachers




And college teachers IMHO (In My Haughty Opinion) have a special responsibility because, dammit, our students are so tame, lovely and quiet that you simply don't have to work that hard to survive. Discipline is not a problem. Disruptive kids are not a problem. Filthy in the classroom and gunfire in the halls aren't a problem.

You need to shake your little wisdom-maker for the boys and girls. That's what I'm saying. Wondering if I'm still crazy (enough) after all these years still worries me, particularly after all these years.

This is the time of year I have nightmares about teaching. Simple stuff but terrifying. In my dreams, I realize I'm late for class and can't find the classroom; I know what I'm suppose to be teaching but I can't find my notes and my mind goes blank. There's a lot of self-regard in such self-laceration, of course of course. Oh pity the drama king. If the classroom is a battlefield, at USF it's Grenada. I bow before those teachers for whom every day is a Normandy landing. I remember when my wife was teaching junior high school and I was in graduate school. The night before her first day of school she could never sleep. We would take long after-midnight walks as she gathered her courage. My dear brave girl. I rant about teaching as entertainment. In her school the hallways were the running of the bulls in Pamplona and the classroom was Siegfried and Roy on one of those nights the audience was wearing meat cologne.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

You Have to Read Down Down Down to Get the Why Why Why

The "gauche post" fracas continues. A female member of the string has spoken, and it appears that what we like to think is a non journo/educo is sending her sinister emails. This is why I don't like the "internet conversation" sometimes.

On Jul 25, 2005, at 9:00 PM, JT wrote:

This from my new e-mail friend...

Let me guess. A b i g girl are we? 200-225 lbs.? Angry, oh so angry.
And righteous, Vindictive too. Lucky to have a job and scrambling to
keep it.

Stand down Prunella. Take it easy. Things will work out. You don't
need to push so hard.

:-} And have a nice day.

Back to me. Ouch. Doesn't that have an eerie "I'm down in my parents' basement rewriting the conclusion of Silence of the Lambs" tone? Genuinely creepy, the mastery of which is a skill. How much I would like to come to JT's aid -- which apparently she does not need -- with a shutdown comeback to the Midnight Creeper. Unfortunately, I have learned that I will never be able to push some people's buttons with the cruel precision that they can press mine.

But I would like to. I guess it's a guy thing compounded by being a word thing.

Monday, July 25, 2005

If I Tell My Wife One of My Students Reminds Me of Her, She Knows What I Mean

Here is one of the uses of blogging: I pass on stuff read elsewhere to my webfeed faithful. (Darwin's Cat, a proud RSS site since July 2005.)

I've been dipping into an email conversation among journalism educators about the novice adjunct fired for blogging that one of his students was "hot" but/and -- I'm not sure which -- really smart. (Scroll down. Read. Whatever.) Now this from that conversation, from one Gerald Grow who teaches journalism at Florida A&M, and who always has something interesting to say.

I've made my effort to identify underlying issues in this thread that has
drawn such vigorous responses. But apparently my idea -- that teachers need training to acculturate them to the profession, especially adjuncts and returning journalists -- found few takers. So I ask those of you who have taken an interest in the "Incredibly Gauche" thread: What are the underlying issues here? What should we take away from this discussion that is larger than the debated points about the specific individual who was fired?

What larger issues need to be discussed still?

Again, I could be wrong, but I sense that there are issues and experiences
beneath this discussion that could be very much worth considering. It is rare that a specific incident evokes so much discussion unless something else is at stake.

Good question. I will continue to interface with this conversation and bring back the news. My only contribution to the discussion is that from the practical point of view you have to fire the guy because if you don't the possibility of a lawsuit is very much alive. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But for an adjunct I don't thiiiiiiiink so.

Addendum: And perhaps this is the last nail in the coffin lid beneath which this series of posts will now rest. Again, from the email thread:

One of the issues for me in this discussion has to do with the
headline that the Chronicle used: "Incredibly Gauche." That, to me,
treats what happened in a rather dismissive manner, reminiscent of the
"boys will be boys" philosophy. This is further underscored by the
fact that the Chronicle, along with another article that was
referenced on this list, merely said that Mr. Gee had called the
student "hot." It did not cite the verbatim language - that she had
"sloe eyes" and a "bitchin bod" - nor did it include his statement
that because of this student's "hotness" he found it hard to pay
attention to the other students.

This is an important point. If Mr. Gee had simply said the student was
"hot," I could reasonably see how he could be reprimanded but not
fired. However, because he used incredibly lewd terms to describe her
- "sloe eyes and a bitchin bod," and because she distracted him from
the other students, it raises the level of his indiscretion to one
that is unacceptable in an academic environment. Neither the Chronicle
nor the other publication printed these facts, leaving the reader with
the impression that, once again, political correctness had run amok
and some guy was fired because he called some chick "hot."

Where the addenda never stop. Finally finally really finally from our last speaker:

It is the context in which he made these comments that troubles me. If
he had gone to a senior colleague and said, "boy, I'm having a hard time
teaching adults. I've got this one student..... What do you advise in
this situation?" The language would be obnoxious, but I'd not fire
someone for it. Here, however, it feels more like bragging? bar talk?
locker room talk? and at that point, I'd say he shouldn't be talking
like that about his students and counsel him differently; reprimand,
fire on second offense. The publishing aspect makes it different. It
takes bragging to an extreme. It makes it possible for it to get back
to his students, and it can't be dismissed away as bar talk. He's lost
all credibilty with those students. How could he continue to teach that
class? If he can't do the work because he's easily distracted, or
because he's completely lost credibility, then why would a department
keep him?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Once More unto the Britches, Dear Friends

This from journet, an email-based discussion group in which I lurk but seldom speak. Apparently, some of the list's male members -- none of them, I'd guess, attorneys -- thought the guy shouldn't have been fired.

Objectification is inane, anti-intellectual, and juvenile whether
directed toward a man or a woman. Age and power differentials enter
into all of this, but perhaps framing it as a more personal
illustration would help. For example, if the male professor in
question were referred to by a higher ranking woman administrator and
assured that he was "hot" rather than qualified, would he be flattered?

Actually, I'm not entirely certain I want to know the answer....

Maybe we should just agree that we are all "hot" in our own way, and
shut up about it in the classroom....

Which Comes First: The Joke or the Excuse for the Making off the Joke?

In this case the excuse, though it might more properly be called an opportunity.

Tomorrow -- or as soon as we eat up all the fruit in the house -- we start the South Beach diet. Sabbatical has been a wonderful time, and my wisdom has swelled in volume, as the oceans of the world are swelling as the polar icecaps thaw which, if I understand Bush correctly, was prophesied in Revelations, so kwitcherbellyachin'.

I digress.

My wisdom has swelled, and my waistline, too, since I've spent most of the last year in sweat pants and baggy shorts. For what is an old and familiar leather belt with a fixed number of holes but an early warning system in the flab wars? But now I must cram myself into my fusty musty pedagogical wardrobe. So I say to Mr. Anonymous (I know who you are) who snarked away at my most recent post:

I assure you that when it comes to my return to university teaching the only pants I am interested in getting into are my own.


I believe that this is the moment someone utters an appreciate groan, is it not?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

We Are All Ghosts in the Machine

I just pulled this off the Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog:

Administrators at Boston University have fired a part-time professor for making rather forward comments about one of his students on an online message board. Earlier this month, Michael Gee, formerly a columnist for the Boston Herald, posted to about his first day as a college professor. In doing so, he referred to one student as "incredibly hot" -- a comment that he described, after the university dismissed him, as "pathetic, juvenile, and boorish."

If Mr. Gee's students had happened to come across the comments, they couldn't have taken long to figure out who the smoldering student was: Only six people are enrolled in the class. (Associated Press)

This is something I would never do. Hot? Students who are hot? Somebody's hot I say open the window. I am a teacher. Gender doesn't register on my pedagogical radar. Indeed, I am not perfectly certain whether my students have a fleshly existence or are pure spirit robed in shining light.

All I know for certain is they are very very quiet.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

My Wife Was Surprised at the, Uh, *Duration*

My sister and her husband visited us for a week, and it seemed like a week -- no more, no less. We were glad to see them come and glad to see them go. Better than that it does not get, my friend, unless you are besotted with family, a condition out of which comes clan war and vendetta.

We are the working model. Countries should get along so well.

Events took place. Things transpired. I got a parking ticket for not turning in my wheels on what the San Francisco police claimed was a three percent incline. Oh it wasn't. But every other car on that mildest of declivities had its wheels turned in. It should be reflexive, should it not? I deserved the ticket and am glad to be a lesson to the young people.

We had some nice meals, we saw some sights, we drank some wine.

Oh oh we saw a couple having sex on the beach. Now there's a story on which my sister and her husband will eat out -- Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Denny's, perhaps a Sizzler on surf 'n turf night -- up and down the state of Tennessee. We drove up the coast to Mendocino last Sunday, and the coast was foggy so we were not able to provide the vistas of sun-dappled sea we had been promising. Just below Mendocino enough of the fog had burned off to give a tolerable view, so I turned off onto one of the minor overlooks. The sands were far far below. My sister, my brother-in-law and my wife, all three possessing a refined and noble attitude toward nature, fastened their attention on the high sky and the tumbling sea. But I leaned over the edge just for that little frisson of risk and saw two white dots back near where the sand joined the bluff, two small white dots juxtaposed as if ....

Nay, Madam, not seems but is.

Got the binoculars and confirmed, as a coast watcher or birder might do. And there they were, cooperating away. Now there is a lesson in this. There is always a lesson in nature, and this was certainly natural, encompassed in those 360 degrees of which human life is comprised. The lesson is that what interests me most now and interested me most at the time is/was that my reaction to the thing engaged me more than the thing itself. I've seen pornos -- not many; no need to talk of addiction and prepare to intervene. I've seen enough soft core "adult" movies on the rowdier cable channels. There were no lessons to be learned from what was transpiring on the beach. Lesson was in how we reacted. First, laughter since a multitude of things is veiled by laughter. Then, slight embarrassment because curiosity quickly shades into voyeurism, and voyeurism is essentially solitary and forlorn. Then, speculation. We wanted context. We were not content to take the thing at face value as a spontaneous overflow of emotion (I'm channeling Wordsworth here) to be recollected someday in tranquility. (Like in Titanic. You remember the way the basic plot was framed.)

I mean, there was a stately quality to this performance, a choreographed quality. Were these folk exhibitionists? Was it, in fact, a porno shoot? Was there a camera person lurking near the cliff face out of sight? Speculating and intellectualizing, we watched for a while longer. Put up the sign: anthropologists at work.

And then my wife said with utter seriousness -- I know her irony; this was not it -- she said I think that man has a physical problem. And I said what? And she said he has been going on for such a very long time, which can't be natural can it?

At which point I herded everyone into the car saying if we lingered any longer we would get to the bed and breakfast too late for the five o'clock wine and cheese.

Speed, it seemed, was suddenly of the essence.

Addendum: That reminds me. Here's part of a poem by Henry Reed, of WW2 vintage, dealing with a similar experience. It's one of five related poems dealing, it would seem, with his military training.

Reed, Henry. "Judging Distances." New Statesman and Nation 25, no. 628 (6 March 1943): 155.


Not only how far away, but the way that you say it
Is very important. Perhaps you may never get
The knack of judging a distance, but at least you know
How to report on a landscape: the central sector,
The right of the arc and that, which we had last Tuesday,

And at least you know
That maps are of time, not place, so far as the army
Happens to be concerned—the reason being,
Is one which need not delay us.
Again, you know
There are three kinds of tree, three only, the fir and the poplar,
And those which have bushy tops to; and lastly

That things only seem to be things.
A barn is not called a barn, to put it more plainly,
Or a field in the distance, where sheep may be safely grazing.
You must never be over-sure.
You must say, when reporting:
At five o'clock in the central sector is a dozen
Of what appear to be animals; whatever you do,

Don't call the bleeders sheep.
I am sure that's quite clear; and suppose, for the sake of example,
The one at the end, asleep, endeavors to tell us
What he sees over there to the west, and how far away,
After first having come to attention.
There to the west,
Of the fields of summer the sun and the shadows bestow

Vestments of purple and gold.
The white dwellings are like a mirage in the heat,
And under the swaying elms a man and a woman
Lie gently together.
Which is, perhaps, only to say
That there is a row of houses to the left of the arc,
And that under some poplars a pair of what appear to be humans

Appear to be loving.
Well that, for an answer, is what we rightly call
Moderately satisfactory only, the reason being,
Is that two things have been omitted, and those are very important.
The human beings, now: in what direction are they,
And how far away, would you say?
And do not forget

There may be dead ground in between.
There may be dead ground in between; and I may not have got
The knack of judging a distance; I will only venture
A guess that perhaps between me and the apparent lovers,
(Who, incidentally, appear by now to have finished,)
At seven o'clock from the houses, is roughly a distance

Of about one year and a half.

Just below the rock at the lower right is a blue blanket on which yadda yadda yadda. And then they changed positions and yadda yadda yadda yadda. Yadda. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Credit Card Monte

Perhaps, I shall simply present the facts and skip, for once, the kicker.

The facts: Last fall my wife and I took my mother-in-law to Scandinavia for a month. We did not have the cash in hand to pay for the trip. Alternatives included: putting it on a credit card and paying it off at high interest; getting a personal loan at moderate interest; getting a home equity loan at what would have been pretty good interest, around six percent with a nice tax deduction.

But I got a letter offering a pre-approved no-fee credit card, one of its benefits being a cash advance that would accrue no interest until June of this year. That seemed unduly generous, but I called and checked and a nice young man -- a kind of East Coast young man with a certain amount of pizzazz -- assured me all I had to pay was a one-time transfer fee of $60.

I signed up and asked for the maximum advance: $13,200. The bills began to arrive. The bank charged no interest. First month we paid a thousand. Next month and the next we paid the minimum. In December another offer arrived for a pre-approved no-fee credit card offering a cash advance with no transfer fee and no interest charged until June 2006. It was clear we weren't going to get the first card paid off in time. (By the way, it goes without saying we weren't using the card we got in August. We were using our regular credit card and paying off the monthly balance as we always do.)

Last December I applied for the card with the cash advance on which no interest would be charged until June 2006. I got a cash advance of $11,500 and paid off the balance on what I will call the August 2004 card -- and no fee for the advance.

There was, however, a slight catch. Hidden in the small print was the requirement that I use the new card at least once or, after six months, interest would be charged on the December 2004 cash advance. Of course, during month three of the new card I made my monthly charge one day late. (Yes, interest was charged on these required purchases, but the total amount was so small it was only a few dollars.)

I checked with the December 2005 credit card. A rather tart young lady confirmed that this month interest would begin to accrue on my cash advance.

Woe woe.

But the more credit cards I collected, the more pre-approved no-fee credit cards I was offered, many of them offering CASH ADVANCES ON WHICH NO INTEREST WOULD BE CHARGED UNTIL *NEXT* SUMMER.

Yes, last month at the last minute I applied for yet another credit card and for no charge got a cash advance of $7,000 sent directly to the December 2005 credit card, paying it off.

No interest will be charged on that cash advance until June 2006. Six hundred a month will pay it off in time. We should be able to handle that. A nice young lady called -- no East Coast pizzazz at all; rather embarrassed at calling -- and offered me disability insurance on the cash advance for a mere 69 cents per hundred dollars of credit card debt. If I get sick and can't pay, I don't have to!

For less than $50 a month.

I feel fine. I said no.

No comment, please, step back and let Mr. Robertson through....

Hah. Of course, I'll comment! If you give people a credit holiday, it would seem the crack actuaries and statisticians at the top of the credit card game have calculated that most of us will simply run up additional credit card debts until -- no matter how fast we skip from card to card and offer to offer -- finally on some card some day we will have to start paying interest, probably quite a lot. That has to be their calculation

I guess. Otherwise, Santa has given up on chimneys and is going the mail box route, instead.

Oh yeah.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Steal This Blog (Oooops. My Paradigm is Showing)

Big Pat Daugherty and I caught a Giants game at La Nouvelle Candlestick yesterday. We did not actually catch it. It came at us in the way a soiled Depends might come at you when you are downwind of a hurricane tragedy, some oldster up-ended and then bare-ended in Force Three winds. The game came at us, and we let it pass, the Giants clowning it up just enough to lose.

Of course, speaking of up-ended oldsters, Big Pat Daugherty and I are somewhat hobbled by time, ourselves somewhat constrained in gait, somewhat entangled by the tangles in our DNA. Of course, the young girls can see what fine men we were once, but they are tourists in our ruins and pinch our cheeks and tell us milk toast isn't on the menu but All We Have to Do is Ask.

Oh we remember when All We Had to Do Was Ask, oh yeah, I mean All We Had to Do was Ask.

But we have forgotten the question.

Anyway after the game we stopped for beer -- which our prostates which if externalized would resemble W.C. Fields nose bade us surrender almost immediately. We stopped for beer and talked about our novels in progress, and we agreed -- we agreed -- that even in the unlikely event that our novels were published, praised and robustly successful, that is, if in short in the shadow of our dotage we suddenly became a bit of a name with a bit of a bank account....

My god it's too late it wouldn't matter. We have our simple lives. We have our complicated women. Small to moderate fame and fortune would change nothing. We would go on as we have, being too close to the end to point our nose in a new direction. And huge fame and fortune would only confuse us and make us play the fool since that capacity is a thing that only increases with age more's the pity more's the wisdom.

I thought to myself: here's a little plot for a story. Someone like me at my age being given the opportunity to inhabit the last years in the life of a famous writer, you know, a jump a transference into the middle of someone else's life, keeping one's own sense of self, too, being given the ability to be two in one. Oh we've seen this little story before, of course. You become someone else and discover it's not so wonderful after all. Suddenly you're trapped in the life of the genius and learn he is filled with despair that he can't do what he once did. He remembers being really good but has forgotten how to do it. Or perhaps he still can do it but is dying and doesn't have time to do it. The variations are endless. The lesson always has to be the same: The grass isn't greener. I had a Wonderful Life, didn't I Clarence. How do I get back to Kansas?

It would be just too subversive, wouldn't it, if you jumped into the skin of someone supposedly better wiser smarter happier and discovered they were in fact better wiser smarter happier. And you got to stay in their skin and reaped every benefit of being Not You at last there's your happy ending. That would be avant garde, wouldn't it?

Avant garde. Nobody uses that expression any more, do they?

So having run through this little mind game, rolling seven when eight was the point, I open my New Yorker today and read that the late Roald Dahl -- taken from us at 74; only a baby -- in his writing cottage kept:

on a side table, a jar containing gristly bits of his own spine, which had been removed during an operation on his lower back. Next to the jar was a waxy-looking knob that turned out to be Dahl’s hip bone, along with a titanium replacement.

Me and Big Pat: I'm okay he's okay. We still right now at this point in time only show our gristly bits to those we love.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Slowly You Learn

Just let me say now that I understand the gospel of the RSS feed -- which means what I write will be "pushed" to those interested in reading it, sparing them the disappointment of coming to this blog and finding the cupboard bare -- the pressure is off. The blog is now like junk mail. You get it, you glance at it, you discard it.

But junk mail is better than no mail at all.

What do I mean the pressure is off, practically speaking? I mean I don't have to be long, fine or deep. I can be short, glib and shallow. I don't have to produces tomes. I can write postcards.

So: I read a review of a movie called "Murderball," which describes rugby played, the review said, by"quadriplegics." I have been knowing that paraplegics have lost the use of their legs and quadriplegics have lost the use of their arms and legs. Therefore (I'm thinking) who is responsible for this damn sloppy language? A quadriplegic can't play violent wheelchair games.

I google. I find the website -- it took a while. And I discover that there are degrees in quadriplegia:

Players must have a combination of upper and lower extremity impairment to be considered as eligible to participate. Most of the players have sustained cervical level spinal injuries and have some type of quadriplegia as a result. Players are given a classification number from one of seven classifications ranging from 0.5 - 3.5. The 0.5 player has the greatest impairment and is comparable to a C5 quadriplegic. Of those eligible to participate, the 3.5 player has the least impairment and is similar to a C7-8 incomplete quadriplegic. Both male and females are encouraged to play, and because of the classification process gender advantages don't exist.

In the review, one player said he was a 3.0: one good hand and one "shitty" hand. As in most things, it's a matter of degree. We all live on a continuum. Indeed, we live several. Our lives are an intersection of an infinite number of skills, limits, passions and disinclinations, each of which (if we think about it) can be expressed as some number carried out three decimal places on a scale of one to a billion.

Oh sure it's true, and it's obvious blah blah (you say). I been knowing that (you say). Don't waste my time with the obvious.

Well, recall the conclusion of Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find," where the mass murderer's minion (say that three times fast) says the old lady was a pretty nice old lady, and the mass murderer says (I'm paraphrasing) "All she needed was someone to kill her every day."

Hey a day without Flannery O'Connor is a day without sunshine and periods of intermittent cloud cover.