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Jeff Gordon talks about Chicago, the points, Juan Pablo, and his inevitable conquest of Earnhardt's precious win record

Being at 75 right now is absolutely overwhelming and blows me away that we’ve gotten to this number. I still don’t see where they all came from because it’s been such a blur. I know amazing things have happened to me, especially since I’ve joined Hendrick Motorsports and become driver of the No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet. I’ve just had awesome people surrounding me throughout my career, helping me win races and championships. I’m trying not to think too much about it. But I think it would be one of the coolest things...

Did he just amend the speech from Bull Durham or what?

Mike Hammer author dies at 88.

"I have no fans,” he told one interviewer. “You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends.”
More Penguin Filmaking.

In works of art that combine film, performance and sculpture, the French artist Pierre Huyghe deals with big themes such as the nature of personal identity, of art, and of reality. I know. But please keep reading.
Goodbye Mr. Keating...

Telling students to tear pages out of their textbooks seems excessive and maybe even a little authoritarian. Today the teacher is a big-hearted liberal; tomorrow he is a demagogue. Today we are tearing out pages; tomorrow we are burning books.

There was a strong material component to English; it wasn't just about words or ideas. I associated literature with the feelings of fall — the vague sadness of the end of summer, the crisp air, sweaters and wood smoke, stained glass and Gothic architecture, and the optimism that comes with new books and stationery. All of those associations took place in an institutional setting apart from teachers, though teachers were necessary because they made demands and offered their experience.

They were all considering graduate school, but their answers had little to do with what I knew they would need to write in their application essays. Sitting in a circle in the grass, backed by purple hydrangeas, they offered the following motives:

-Formative experiences with reading as a child: being read to by beloved parents and siblings, discovering the world of books and solitude at a young age.

-Feelings of alienation from one's peers in adolescence, turning to books as a form of escapism and as a search for a sympathetic connection to other people in other places and times.

-A love for books themselves, and libraries, as sites of memory and comfort.

-A "geeky" attraction to intricate alternate worlds such as those created by Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and George Lucas.

-Contact with inspirational teachers who recognized and affirmed one's special gifts in reading and writing, often combined with negative experiences in other subjects like math and chemistry.

-A transference of spiritual longings — perhaps cultivated in a strict religious upbringing — toward more secular literary forms that inspired "transcendence."

-A fascination with history or science that is not grounded in a desire for rigorous data collection or strict interpretive methodologies.

-A desire for freedom and independence from authority figures; a love for the free play of ideas. English includes everything, and all approaches are welcome, they believe.

-A recognition of mortality combined with a desire to live fully, to have multiple lives through the mediation of literary works.

-A desire to express oneself through language and, in so doing, to make a bid for immortality.

-A love for the beauty of words and ideas, often expressed in a desire to read out loud and perform the text.

-An attraction to the cultural aura of being a creative artist, sometimes linked to aristocratic and bohemian notions of the good life.

-***A desire for wisdom, an understanding of the big picture rather than the details that obsess specialists.

English is, almost always, a freely chosen major — and sometimes it is chosen in spite of parental and material resistance. English is a rebellious major, even as it draws on a tradition deeper than the contemporary American dream of success.

How many English majors on the f-list recognize these qualities as reasons you are/were an English major?

I know, for my part, several of them apply (see the bolded items, bolded anad starred being most applicable).

I want a chocolate croissant now!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
regarding why I was (and always will be) an English major
I can identify with all of those points.
Jul. 18th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
I, too, can identify with some of those. I would have mentioned something about the human condition and social justice if I'd been asked.

Also, I was definitely inspired by that movie. It's funny that the Romantic period of literature is one of my least favorites (along with the Victorian), but it's what initially inspired me to study English seriously.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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