PR: Kenn, this question haunts me: Is it still possible, amid constant inundation by the mass and social media simulacrum, for literature, poetry or a music to rouse the heart and foment rebellion against one’s complicity in what amounts to a bondage of sensibility? Naturally, we are given to outrage but, for the most part, it is directed, if we are honest, at our own sense of powerlessness against the mind-stupefying roil of events.
A loud, crashing sound startles my young farm-hand Emily Danler awake in the dark of the night. She camps out in order to start picking berries at sun-up. My dog, inside, barks. After a physically-demanding day farming, I sleep through it all.
Looking down the boysenberry field to the bottom of Kokopelli Farm the next morning, tears come to my eyes. The tall, old black oak had split right down the middle of its deep, wide trunk. I would never again see its crimson leaves announcing the beginning of Spring. Continue reading
Clif Grubbs was an economics professor of long standing at the University of Texas at Austin, and I was fortunate enough to take a class from him many years ago. Clif was a truly extraordinary person and an outstanding instructor, one of the very few that made a real impression on me and one of the two or three instructors I ever had who I still remembered fondly years after. One day in 1996 I saw an article in the paper about his death, and I called out to UT and got the details about the memorial service, held about a month later out on the UT campus. I attended the service, and it still lingers in my memory, and it and my reaction to it tells a lot about us as a society and myself as a person. Don’t know how much good it says about either.
Clif Grubbs was an economics professor of mine out at UT in my days there, more than two decades ago now. I took an intermediate economics course from him, don’t remember if it was micro or macro, those details are now lost to memory. What isn’t lost to my memory is what an outstanding teacher Clif was, how he kept the class somewhere between mesmerized and spellbound the entire hour, lecturing on economics, and how skilfully he brought the fairly dry and technical material to animated and useful life with his lectures. I wasn’t his only fan–Bill Moyers, who was a student of his in the late 50’s, did one of his Bill Moyers Reports shows on Clif in the early ’80’s on him entitled “The Volcanic Professor”, and in it treated Clif with a mixture of admiration and affection, attitudes that most all his students had towards him.