Stuck in the middle with me

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am
Stuck in the middle with you

“Stuck In The Middle With You” by Gerry Rafferty & Joe Egan, performed by Stealers Wheel

I’m a centrist. A fence-sitter. A negotiator and a compromiser. Under “moderate” in the dictionary there’s a nicely-etched portrait of yours truly.

Nobody likes centrists. People on the right and left think we just can’t make up our minds about anything. We fear commitment. We’re hedging our bets. Our laissez-faire attitude infuriates true believers, who are convinced we don’t believe in anything.

I understand why they’re frustrated with us. Even moderates don’t like having political discussions with other moderates. I mean, what’s the point? It’s almost certain we’ll end up agreeing with each other, and where’s the fun in that?


No asterisks needed

This has been a very entertaining World Series so far. It would be hard to top last night’s crazy finish, which saw the Rays win in the bottom of the ninth after being down by a run with two outs and runners on first and second. Tampa Bay had just the guy they wanted at the plate: Brett Phillips, who wasn’t even on the active roster until the World Series and was 0 for 2 in his previous plate appearances, and has a lifetime .202 average in 337 at-bats over four seasons. Okay, maybe they would have preferred someone else, but Phillips was all that was left after manager Kevin Cash had emptied his bench trying to keep up with the Dodgers.


Music Saturday: Josh Woodward

In 2007, I directed David Auburn’s outstanding drama, Proof, for the St. Clair Theatre Guild. It wasn’t a typical show for that group, which was much better known for its productions of classic musicals. But we had an opening in the schedule and I’d wanted to direct the show since I saw it in New York in 2001.

We put together a great group of actors and crew who were looking for the type of challenge Auburn’s play would provide. Proof won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001 and also the Tony Award for Best Play, so we were working with first-rate material.


An unexpectedly nice ride on an unseasonably warm day

Had a great ride today on my bike. I didn’t expect to get another nice, warm day to ride outside, but today was in the low 70s and sunny through the ride. Storms came through later and it’s supposed to get chilly again tonight, but for one October Friday, it was summer again.


In the pandemic, disruption may be our silver lining

The pandemic has brought plenty of changes to our everyday routines. The same is true in higher education. Beginning as soon as we closed our campus buildings in March, we had to figure out how we could continue to provide instruction and support services to students – and we had a week to figure it out. Classes moved online and to “alternative delivery methods.” Advising moved to working with students by phone and in virtual meetings. Our remaining holdout paper forms were transformed into web forms overnight.