Hiatus. A word with mixed associations for me, having undergone surgery for a hiatus hernia some years back…
In any case, the word also has its positive meaning. I’m on a brief hiatus now, having finished my last summer course on Saturday, and having begun a week of vacation today. I plan to fritter away my time cleaning the house, and maybe watch a few shows on Netflix. Tried the first episode of “Peaky Blinders” last night, on Andrew Klavan’s recommendation. Verdict: No, not for me. Too sunny and optimistic.
My grad school course was “Back of the Book Indexing,” which I never even knew was a discipline. I knew there were indexes in the backs of nonfiction books, and that they were often very valuable. I had no idea there were different ways to organize them, and debates raging between scholars and librarians as to how they should be alphabetized. Very abstruse stuff, and in the end it tends to be kind of subjective. But I think it was probably the most fun class I’ve taken in my graduate curriculum. It didn’t hurt that the instructor was bubbly and enthusiastic and seemed to think everything I wrote was just wonderful!
In September I’ll start my final (God willing) semester of classes. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for bearing with me through the process.
A couple Sundays ago I went down to Kenyon, the old home town, for the semiannual (biannual? Every two years) family reunion. Attendance was down this year. Not only have we lost a couple archs (the patri- and matri- kind), but it seems to me as the old people pass on, the younger people see less reason to rally round. The old folks were the big exhibits that drew in the crowds. I’m becoming one of the old folks myself, but I think I lack the venerability of the pioneers.
Cousin Tom, from a distant city, said to me, “Don’t sneak away without saying goodbye. I’ve got something I want to give you.”
What he wanted to give me turned out to be the official United Cutlery replica of Anduril, the sword that was re-forged, from the Lord of the Rings movies. He’d gone through an in-law’s effects after his death, and found it still in its carton. He immediately thought of someone who’d appreciate it. And so it’s mine. Here’s an artist’s conception of how I look with it:
My plan is to mount it in the library. I don’t actually have a space that would do it justice in my house. The thing’s almost five feet long.
Much thanks to Cousin Tom. I should probably remember him in my will.