The end of the semester is always crazy. Piles of papers to grade, frantic students popping into your office trying to figure out if they’re going to pass your class or if they should drop and painfully retake the course again so that it doesn’t impact their GPA (this is a phenomenon specific to the institution I work at), administrator responsibilities piling up like the aforementioned piles of paper, grant applications to write and review, journal publications to re-revise and re-submit, and the kicker, a last minute visit from an accreditation agency, which mains a maelstrom of activity in preparation. All in the same two week period.
I have been telling myself to push hard in these last few weeks. “Hey self, in a little while, you’ll get to spend time with your family and friends in Chicago and Honolulu and you’ll get to take a short, solo weekend trip to Maui to see the sunset from Haleleaka, visit a lavender farm, and go to Hana. And of course, eat loads of yummy food.”
But until then – there is a lot of stuff to do.
Which is why it’s so ridiculous that for the past two nights I have stayed up reading “Game Change” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. But man, this is a great book. Well-written and researched, the book flows along giving readers an incisive look at both the Republican and Democratic campaigns in the 2008 election. It reminds me of Margaret Macmillan’s approach to looking at the Paris 1919 conference. The hubris and foibles of leaders. The roles of the people they are surrounded by and surround themselves with. The way events can shift in ways that can derail the best thought out plans. And in a backhanded way, the authors of this book expose the moral turpitude and irresponsibility of the US news syndicates today.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I love election season. I especially enjoy seeing how the campaign discourse ebbs and flows. I love staying up watching the map of the US get filled in and listening to the folks at NPR deliriously dissect what’s happening across the country.
But regardless, I think a lot of people would find this both interesting and informative providing fodder for critical thought as we reflect on the role of money, the media, and political spin on the election process. It is/was a great read and well worth the price I will have to pay tomorrow when I get into the office and once again deal with stressed out students, paper piles that seem to reproduce like rabbits, and wait in line to pay my utility bill at the bank. 🙂 Two thumbs up.