Reading our way into the weekend

We had freshmen in the building today. First year students, the direct admits, came in and heard from the dean. He determined very quickly that we are all old. They don’t know who David Letterman is. He’s been off CBS for six years, which is a long time, but he still has his longform interview show on Netflix.

It reminded me of the time I used a photo of Dan Rather to set up a key point in a classroom lecture and none of the students knew who he was. I’d anticipated that. It was just a picture of Rather at a lectern. So I had a second image of the longtime news anchor. He was there at the desk, a graphic box over his shoulder, the CBS bug in the corner. No one knew who he was. He’d been off the air for a little over two years at that point.

Time moves quickly, but it also helps if people are familiar with the character in the first place. Somehow, it’s harder to imagine people being unfamiliar with Letterman.

Anyway, the dean offered a top ten list, but said it wasn’t funny. It wasn’t, but it was useful, and hopefully some of it will stick for them.

This evening there was a grad student welcome program. The day in between is already a blur of meetings and seeing familiar faces for the first time in a long time.

It’s always fun when people come back, until you lose track of how many miniature reunions you’ve had. In a few days I’ll ask a student, not for the first time, about their summer. The week is over, the semester is here, but first …

Let’s do a little reading. This is from one of my grandfather’s magazines, the January 1954 edition of Popular Science. We’re looking at a few of the ads from the thing. We started this particular magazine last week and you can see the first five ads if you click that previous link. Click the image below and you can see the next six advertisements of worth and merriment.

If Popular Science doesn’t interest you, you can see the rest of the things I’ve digitized from my grandfather’s collection. There are textbooks, a school notebook and a few Reader’s Digests, so far. It’s a lot of fun.

At this rate we’ll be reading this Popular Science for several weeks, so there’s a lot of fun yet to come.

Just like your weekend, I hope. Big plans? Little plans? No plans?

We’ve got the same plans. Good, now-traditional, staying safely removed from people, bike riding, book reading plans.

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