NINE DAYS?! (Also: Kurt Vonnegut)

Posted on December 16, 2012Filed Under Outside links | 4 Comments

(Update: I found about 10 typos in the first posting. Still too angry about the outage to type clearly.)

No, I didn’t just give it up. No, I didn’t just forget about you. No, I didn’t die. Yes, I still have a job. Yes, it is still the same teaching job. So yes, you’re still stuck with me. Hope your rss feed lets you know that I am back, baby.

My soon-to-be-former web host, Lunarpages–heretofore known as Loserpages–just sort of, well not really sort of, killed the server everything I own (in a web sense)  was on, and couldn’t fix it for NINE WHOLE DAYS!

As somebody on Loserpages facebook page said, “What is this? 1995?”

NINE DAYS without personal e-mail. NINE DAYS with ALL my websites down, including my day-to-day class page, this here blog thang,, everything! Fortunately, I have the current year mirrored on the school website, and most of the kids follow that link for homework and such. But all my archives from previous years were inaccessible. NINE DAYS wondering if the last 14 years and 20GB worth of data will ever return. (Yes, it did FINALLY return, and the backup has 11 minutes left downloading. I ain’t gonna get caught short again.) NINE DAYS.

Anyway, I will be moving very soon. It will be seamless to you folks at home (I hope), and so let’s us just put this whole ugly incident behind us, and focus on the beautiful thing I have to share now that I am back.

Every now and then in the course of my regular news and net reading, I come across something that just makes my day. No, it’s not usually a cat video. A couple of weeks ago, before the NINE DAY LUNARPAGES OUTAGE, I came across a final exam, of all things, that really made my whole day.

It was a letter from Kurt Vonnegut to his students in his “Form of Fiction” class at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1965. I guess he wrote all his assignments in the form of a letter. Actually the article said this, so I am not guessing. This  was the class assignment for their final term paper. I chuckled for several days over the final paragraph. And the third one, reproduced below, which advice you should follow in reading the letter/assignment:

I invite you to read the fifteen tales in Masters of the Modern Short Story (W. Havighurst, editor, 1955, Harcourt, Brace, $14.95 in paperback). Read them for pleasure and satisfaction,beginning each as though, only seven minutes before, you had swallowed two ounces of very good booze. “Except ye be as little children …”

The assignment can be found here. Chuckle chuckle.

See you tomorrow.




4 Responses to “NINE DAYS?! (Also: Kurt Vonnegut)”

  1. Mrs. M~ on December 16th, 2012 10:13 pm

    Well, thank goodness! You have no idea the thoughts that ran through my head . . . did he get in trouble and have to take down the blog? Did he get fired? Did one of his students hack his site? I am not ashamed to admit I even was semi-stalkerish and checked your school’s webpage to be sure you were still listed as faculty. I was going to give you one more week before sheer panic and true stalker behavior set in. 🙂

    Anyway, welcome back! A pox on Loserpages for throwing you back into the Dark Ages for so long. Thank god for Google Reader alerting me you were back on the horse.

  2. mrC on December 17th, 2012 12:27 pm

    Ahhh, you did miss me… I’m touched (in the head). I actually got a couple of e-mails wondering if I had crossed some sort of line and gotten myself muzzled. Not just yet, thanks.

  3. Kara on December 18th, 2012 7:07 am

    I also feared the worst, and did a similar online-almost-stalker search. I’m so glad you’re back!

  4. Heather on January 2nd, 2013 9:37 am

    Add me to the list of stalkers that checked your school page to make sure you still existed and had a job 🙂 Glad you’re back – your stories and tips have become part of my daily routine.

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