Monday, November 19, 2012

A better present, a bolder future

Three GDMF'in' months later, the diverticulitis is getting it's a** kicked via at-home IV.   I have a "Midline" running 16 cm into my left arm, and at roughly 6:00PM every day I have a routine of sterilization, saline push, and Ertapenem.  I am no longer dependent on Oxycodone and chewable Pepto Bismol to make it through my day.  I go back to work tomorrow!  And I can tolerate rum and lime juice without feeling hungover within minutes.


My illness has allowed me the luxury of time and thus a flurry of blog posts, from Logan songs to Logan story bits.  Now I'm back in the woodshed.  I'm two chapters away from completing The Far Side of the World, and I got The Reverse of the Medal from Half Price Books yesterday, as well as the 'last zombie pirate action figure' for $2.  But that's not the coolest thing.

How is this not Heaven?

All ye brethren know that the creme of maritime museums is Mystic Seaport.  Over the summer I noticed that they had a one-month institute for teachers called "The American Maritime People" under the auspices of the Frank C. Munson Institute of American Studies.  This made me drool:  stay in an old building at the seaport, take a series of seminars from the top names in American maritime history, gain access to the Seaport's archives, tour local sites and ships.  Being a Left Coast dude with no money, there was no way I could go.  But I've done the next best thing:  I'm going to reproduce it right here.  The syllabus was put online, and "Santa" (my parents) are gifting all the books.  Better yet, I have established direct communication with Dr. Glenn S. Gordinier, co-director of the Institute, who has given me direct encouragement and promised a copy of the course reader.  I have also added a few extras, namely Konstam's bio of Blackbeard and Clifford's account of the Whydah.

The point is this.  Over the next several months I will be homeschooling myself in American maritime history.  There will be a lot of reading.  I am academic enough to know that reading is not sufficient, and so with a little guidance from Dr. Gordinier I will also be writing "papers" on the course material, with no fear at all of scholarly debate.  And who gets to read these first:  YOU!

The Munson Room

My Christmas present is the open door I've been looking for, the way to get back into the scholarly sports, if you will, but with a new game.  To quote Dr. Gordinier:  "I can relate to your interest in the maritime past.  After ten years of teaching public school, I changed my career because, having taken the Munson courses, determined that I wanted to work at Mystic Seaport.  I've been here now 33 years making the salary of a staffer at a not-for-profit, but never regretting the move."

I hope you will join me in this new phase of Lou's adventures, one that damned well might be life-changing...

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