After a slow first five months, I'm back to blogging in earnest. In the forthcoming few months I plan to keep on tracking the blooming of wildflowers, the activities of bugs and reptiles and any other critters I'm quick enough or lucky enough to photograph, and to comment on ecological relationships. Since there is an increasing sense of ecological crisis among many people and more vigorous denial of such on the part of others, I will inevitably comment on the social and political dimensions of survival as I see them.
I am still an adjunct instructor in the English Department at Feather River College, but time permitting, I am available for hire as a nature guide in the region in and around Plumas County. A brochure describing my usual kinds of natural history adventures is in development. Email me c/o firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address and a statement of interests, and I'll send you a rough draft.
I have been teaching since 1965 and have recently joined the English Department as an Associate Faculty member at Feather River College. Recently taught Nature Literature in America and am currently teaching Interpersonal Communication and Basic Reading and Writing.
This magazine cover caught my eye at the FRC library the other day. I guess that's what magazine covers are supposed to do.
Here's a wider view for context. Crude refers to oil in the ground as well as the president's behavior. OK. I moved on. I was looking for articles on natural history, weather in particular.
Then I wheeled around and saw this next one on the cover of New Republic. Looked as though the same artist might have produced both.
Then The Progressive was more subtle, but obviously had at least two articles expressing concern about our president.
Nice juxtaposition here - magazine called Reason featuring an article about what's unreasonable about Trump's border wall idea.
When I got to Harper's, a magazine I greatly respect, the cover illustration cemented the idea that I was seeing a pattern here. Since seeing and trying to explain patterns is something naturalists do, I figured I'd give it a shot here. Onward...
There he is again in "destroy public schools" mode. His argument, such as it is, is based on the idea that the public schools are already destroyed. But, when I look at his "plans" for fixing the situation, starting with the appointment of a rich ignoramus to head the Department of Education, I realize that the cure will be worse than the ailment. See below, the cover of Rolling Stone.
More of the same. All about Trump putting us on war footing - again. Baiting foreign powers, showing no interest or capacity for reasoned discussion with friend or foe.
On the cover of Rolling Stone, reference to an article inside about Betsy Devos' beliefs about our educational system. Yikes. Another Ayn Rand disciple on the loose.
Click on any of these photos for a closer look so you can read what is featured.
Even the conservative Arnold realizes there's something very wrong going on.
The Chronicle of Higher Education features an insert, a magazine within a magazine, with profiles of the people providing "academic" support for Trump's decisions.
I thought I'd finish with a photo of one of the most beautiful "weeds" growing alongside the road into FRC. Henbit Dead Nettle, a member of the Mint family, just started blooming here this week. I envy them for their not knowing what's going on.
A footnote to this display of a pattern - I have a cartoon project going on in my Interpersonal Communication class. The assignment was to find at least five cartoons by a single artist that find humor in situations where interpersonal communication is challenged. We study how issues such as race, gender, occupation, place of residence, among many other factors, can make it difficult for people to communicate with each other. Each student presents his or her cartoons to the class on a big screen and gives their interpretation of the humor. Seems like quite a few students found anti-Trump cartoons. There are many new ones being created every day! Then the students were to solicit feedback from the class alternative interpretations, etc. One student came to see me with his concern that there was an overriding bias in the class. As an experiment, I suggested that he find cartoons supportive of Trump and give an alternative presentation. Together, we Googled phrases such as "pro-Trump cartoons," "cartoons supportive of Trump," etc., and then clicked on "images." It turns out that nearly all the cartoons, even when we were searching for "pro-Trump" were actually anti-Trump. Further evidence there's a pattern. Much of the biosphere is worried about our future.