Category Archives: Current

June 1, 2016

Dear friends, They’ve done it again. After 32 years at Augustana, I’m still amazed and delighted each spring. For all that I grumble about their cell phone-addled intellects and inexplicable willingness to drift along sometimes, their energy, bravery and insistence on wanting to do good continue to inspire me. I wish them well and will […]

May 1, 2016

Dear friends, There are days in spring when I’m not sure whether what I’m hearing is ticking or dripping. My students know that the end of the school year is nigh. If they glance up from their phones, it’s to glance out the window and across Augustana’s campus. It’s always pretty here, even in November, […]

April 1, 2016

Dear friends, Sorry about the late launch of the Observer, but we’ve been consumed by the need to deal with a campus crime. Someone stole the dome off my academic home, Old Main, early on the morning of April 1st. The barstids! If you play the accompanying video (probably best with the sound muted), there […]

March 1, 2016

Dear friends, It’s spring! Sort of. Despite the steady, light snow falling outside my window, March 1 is the beginning of “meteorological spring” and I’m indisputably in the middle of Augustana’s Spring Break. (It always looked better on MTV.) Spring training, both for major leaguers and my son’s high school team, has begun. There are […]

January 1, 2016

Dear friends, Talk about sturm und drang. After 75 days with in which the stock market rose or fell by 1% or more, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index managed to roar ahead to a gain … of 0.29%. Almost 3000 mutual funds hung within two percentage points, up or down, of zero. Ten managed […]

September 1, 2015

Dear friends, They’re baaaaaack! My students came rushing back to campus and, so far as I can tell, triggered some sort of stock market rout upon arrival. I’m not sure how they did it, but I’ve learned not to underestimate their energy and manic good spirits. They’re a bright bunch, diverse in my ways. While […]

July 1, 2015

Dear friends, We really hope you enjoy the extra start-of-summer profundity that we’ve larded (excuse the expression) into this issue. We took advantage of the extra time afforded by the June 30th leap second and the extra light generated that night by the once-in-two-millennia conjunction of Venus and Jupiter to squeeze in a family-sized portion […]

June 1, 2015

Dear friends, They’re gone. Five hundred and twenty-six Augie students who we’ve jollied, prodded, chided, praised, despaired of and delighted in for the past four years have been launched on the rest of you. They’re awfully bright-eyed, occasionally in reflection of the light coming from their cell phone screens. You might suspect that they’re not […]

May 1, 2015

Dear friends, It’s May, a sweet and anxious time at college. The End is tantalizingly close; just two weeks remain in the academic year and, for many, in their academic career.  Both the trees on the Quad and summer wardrobes are bursting out. The days remaining and the brain cells remaining shrink to a precious […]