Saturday, August 22, 2009

Normal Joe

Just wanted to say a few things about Joe McCauley, who died on Friday, August 21, 2009. He was a one-of-a-kind, laid-back guy. Always said hello in the hallway and at the start of this semester, after saying hello, he said, "A lovely first day of classes!" Heartland won't be the same without him.

Yeah, Joe, it was a lovely first day of classes. Thanks for pointing that out and brightening my day.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Normal Quotes and Adages

Summer has officially ended and the college students have returned. Here are some famous quotes and adages that, when slightly altered, might be relevant to Normal college students:

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." (Winston Churchill)
Altered: “I have nothing to offer but some leftover take-out and a can of beer.”

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light." (Albert Schweitzer)
Altered: “Sometimes our light goes out and we realize that our roommate hasn’t paid the power bill. Pay the bill and rekindle the light already!”

"Half a loaf is better than none." Altered: “Half a pizza is better than half a loaf.”

"He who hesitates is lost." Altered: “He who hesitates to go through a yellow light is late to class.”

"He who laughs last laughs longest." Altered: “He who laughs last shows that he didn’t get the joke.”

"He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." Altered: “He who lives by Wikipedia, flunks.”

"Rome wasn't built in a day." Altered: “Uptown Normal and campus buildings aren’t completely built until you’ve graduated.”

"Starve a fever, feed a cold." Altered: “Feed a fever and a cold with all of the comfort foods you can afford.”

"Many hands make light work." Altered: “Many hands make plagiarized papers.”

"Misery loves company." Altered: “Misery loves company and watching YouTube videos of public humiliation.”

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Altered: “Beauty is in the bloodshot eyes of the last person to leave a bar or a party.”

"Necessity is the mother of all invention." Altered: “The necessity of passing a test is the mother of creative, rambling essay answers.”

"What goes around comes around." Altered: “What goes around the Uptown traffic circle comes around again as the driver tries to figure out where to exit.”

Welcome back!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Normal Summer Fun?

Actual lines from the 2009 Town of Normal Parks & Recreation Summer Program Guide:

What is your child going to do this summer?
This hitting clinic is designed to teach boys and girls the fundamentals of hitting.
Focus is placed mostly on style and loosely on technique.
Be ready for a sticky mess as soda eruptions will be involved!
Children will be having so much fun they won’t even know they are learning, while caregivers develop tools to use at home.
Everyone will leave tired and ready for bed, ending the night with lullabies by popular artists.
This course does not provide a certification of any type but does give students valuable experience toward future employment.

By registering for a program, the registrant agrees to hold the Town of Normal harmless from any damages caused by participation in the program.

Stop for summer fun!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Normal vs. Normal Heights

There’s a neighborhood in San Diego, California, named Normal Heights. How does it compare to Normal, Illinois?

Similarities include the fact that it was named for a State Normal School, it has a used book store, an authentic Irish pub, and a coffee house (a “hipster hangout” with an adjoining performance space for musical entertainment). Also, it originally had a trolley line, it’s sometimes referred to as ‘Abnormal’, and it has crowded apartment dwellings and single-family homes.

Some of the differences are that it’s a neighborhood (not a town) platted in 1906 (not 1865), it’s described as “funky” and “sometimes rowdy” (probably not how we’d describe Normal), it has a San Diego Cheesecake Company (I wish!) and an “Antique Row” (instead of rows and rows of new houses) and “everything of interest” is located along Adams Avenue (not Beaufort/North St. or Veteran’s Parkway). Also, a carpenter (not a lawyer/tree-planter) was responsible for the main business development.

In spite of the differences, it’s nice to know that there are other, Normal folks.