One of my favorite newsletters, Andrew Taggart’s Total Work, is doing something of a reboot over the next six weeks- an extended commentary on Josef Pieper’s “Leisure”, which also happens to be one of the most influential books I have ever read.

Great time to jump on board if you’re of a philosophical bent.

This week’s newsletter link: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/andrewjtaggart/issues/total-work-newsletter-29-announcing-extended-commentary-on-josef-pieper-s-leisure-130432

As the calendar gets ready to turn from August to September I am sitting here preparing to meet another class of students. After 20+ years in the classroom (I still don’t feel that old) the start of the year is pretty much plug-and-play for me. Luckily though that doesn’t diminish the anticipation of this night. The night before students arrive. That slight itch in the back corner of your mind, half anxious, half excited. I hope that never goes away.

On the latest edition of Rune Soup Gordon read an essay by Ursula Le Guin on her love of the old stories of Antarctic expeditions. It was a beautiful exposition on the power of place. As someone who has never read much Le Guin it was a pleasant surprise to come across this piece.

I myself have always had an interest in these bygone explorers who seemed to chase after things simply because they were there. While in real life I am a model, introverted homebody, in books I am a regular armchair advernturer. In particular, Robert Falcon Scott’s journey has always captured my imagination, not least because of the pure tragedy of it. Le Guin as well sees Scott’s quest as somehow the most true. True because he admitts failure and refuses to deviate from it.

A little research shows that not only did she write this essay but she also wrote a short story that was inspired by the likes of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen. Sur, proports to be an unpublished account of an expedition to Antarctica, the first ever to reach the South Pole, mounted in August of 1909 by a group of women. Clearly, I am going to have to track this one down. It may just make it onto next year’s syllabus.

Running better this summer than I have for a few years. Finally managed to get my recuring plantar fasciitis under control, and that has made all the difference.  Here’s to finishing my summer strong with an 8 miler tomorrow.

  These Red Sox are crazy good. Every once in a while I feel guilty as a sports fan from Boston. Truly in a golden age right now. Then I remember my childhood, and my dad’s childhood and my grandfath…you get the idea. I’m just enjoying the heck out of it now.