(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, seventhgradeenglish.com, 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.