Category Archives: Current

August 1, 2016

Dear friends, August, famously “summer’s last messenger of misery,” is upon us. It’s a month mostly celebrated by NFL fans (for the start of training camp and the endless delusion that this might be the year) and wiccans (who apparently have a major to-do in the stinkin’ heat). All of us whose lives and livelihoods […]

July 1, 2016

Dear friends, Hi. We’re back. Did you miss us? Chip and I greatly enjoyed our holiday in Scotland; she’s the tiny squidge in the middle of the picture, smiling and waving at you. This shot captures much of the delight of our time there. It’s taken from atop Dun Beag, the remnants of a 2,400 […]

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 […]