Saturday, March 31, 2012

Quote of the Day

A scene from the classic film Lawrence of Arabia came to mind during my session today at the 32nd Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies at Fordham:
"You know, Lieutenant, in the Arab city of Cordoba were two miles of public lighting in the streets when London was a village."
— Sir Alec Guinness as Prince Faisal in Lawrence of Arabia

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Medieval Video Games

Apparently, it is "medieval week" in The Sims Social, a Facebook-based game that is a spin-off of the original computer game that cost me many hours of my wayward youth. Click to enlarge any of the images in the illustrated review that follows.

There is, naturally, a fire-breathing dragon at the base of a rickety tower:

... and knights in shining armor sending people off on quests and offering to let them use their golden loos beforehand (because everyone knows that wealthy kings and knights would go off on adventures and bring back enough gold to cast all their indoor plumbing solid from the stuff).

There is even non-standard orthography:

...oh, and free snails (?!).

Perhaps that is because they're like little knights, running around in a suit of armor? No, surely it's because everyone knows that the middle ages was slimy, kind of gross, and hard. (I suspect that it's just too much to hope that this is actually a sly reference to medieval snail marginalia.)


I'm generally opposed to medieval kitsch, but somehow, medieval kitsch in video game form (Assassin's Creed, anyone?) kind of charms me. This, though, is taking me back to my original, unqualified position that medieval kitsch just isn't a good thing. It's not a clever enough satire for it to be really enjoyable, which is unfortunate. In fact, it's misleading entirely in that it's more like a send-up of Shrek than anything else. (Sorry, I know. Leave it to the specialists to analyze the fun out of everything.) There is actually a whole standalone Sims Medieval game which I bought for myself to play after my doctoral defense. I still haven't opened the package, because it turns out that after I filed my dissertation, the last thing I wanted to do was to spend more time at my computer. I have a sense from the reviews, though, that it'll be a more amusing thing altogether. Further bulletins as events warrant, as we say when there is breaking medieval news, and some real content, inshallah, as soon as I finish a book chapter for which I have a major deadline closing fast.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bad Metaphor Time!

I thought this weekend that I had painted myself into a corner with the argument in my book chapter in progress, but in fact, I had just run out of paint. Today's activity? Get more paint.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, 101 Years On

The old Triangle Shirtwaist Factory is now an NYU classroom building, and every year there is a small memorial for the young women who were killed there:

Today's Activities

Contemplating the infinity of Baghdad and Berlin and making good use of semicolons.

The Week In Links (Are We There Yet? Edition)

The Observer's special section on Spanish food, including an interview with Claudia Roden:

OFM Spanish Food Special

And because apparently the Guardian conglomerate wants all its readers to have a really good time in Spain:

A Local's Guide to Seville

And two articles on nightlife in Madrid.

As seen @fsharden: What are you supposed to do with Spanish literature?

It's been interesting to see how biographical writing has gone from being what I envisioned as the theoretical framework for eventual book #2 to insinuating itself into the revisions of my dissertation book. The material does, obviously, lend itself to that kind of reading, but it's also obviously what's on my mind these days. So it was interesting to read the preliminary thoughts of another academic on the matter:

Questioning Biography Writing

The first image in this slideshow is right around the corner from my department:

Occupy Wall Street March in Pictures

Edited later in the day to add a bonus link: I'm not really sure what to make of this. It's not the old straw man that accuses professors at research universities of having cushy jobs because we "just" teach six hours a week, with the implication being that we're just hanging out the rest of the time, rather than doing the research and writing that is both expected of us and that definitely takes well above 60 hours per week. But it seems like it's a bit at the top of a slippery slope:

Do College Professors Work Hard Enough?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Placebo for Writer's Block

My "dissertation book" is going to look nothing like my dissertation. (And thank God for small favors, too!) It's going to deal with the same group of translators but address and fundamentally different question and treat the parameters of the corpus slightly differently. So the groundwork is pretty well done, but I'm still working out a lot of the new argument. I'm really fortunate in that I'll have an opportunity to workshop a chapter of the book with a really amazing mix of peers and very senior colleagues in just a drop over two months. It does, though, mean that I have to get the chapter into shape. And I've been feeling really badly blocked, getting no work done, and making my writer's block worse by virtue of wasting time and energy on freaking out.

Part of the problem is that I actually do very little revising. I tend to walk around with an awful lot going on in my head, looking like I'm being terribly unproductive, but with all of it stewing around and sorting out. In an ideal version of this process, by the time I sit down to write, I come up with a basically finished product in purple (or at least lavender) prose. What I do write during this period looks like writing but isn't: It's very long-form notes that incorporate observations on what I've read and the beginnings of my own ideas about the material. As a process, I've discovered that this doesn't work especially well when I have proximate deadlines or lots of balls in the air to juggle. But it's been hard to break the hold of the fantasy of sitting down and writing something close-to-done on the first go. I couldn't get less-than-perfect or less-than-complete onto the page. It was a problem for the short schedule for my dissertation, as well. I think I've managed a better work-around this time, though, one that will hopefully be useful in the future since I don't see the workload letting up any time soon.

I added the following note to the top of my document:

Prefatory note for the Tel Aviv workshop: This paper represents the framework for what will become the first chapter of my book, currently in progress, that examines the changing attitudes towards Arabic as a source language amongst the various generations of Tibbonid translators. My own approach to academic writing is one in which I carry much of my material in my head until I am ready to sit down and write a fully elaborated and articulated argument; before that point, what looks like writing is merely a very particular style of note-taking. In a very real sense, then, what follows — coherent, directed and working towards a specific point though it all may be — is an elaborate set of notes that I will use to unpack and elaborate upon the textual problem that is of greatest interest to me, which for the moment is encapsulated in the paragraph on page 8. — SJP

It's definitely not my intention to leave that note atop the draft that I ultimately circulate before the workshop, but for the first couple of days, I at least allowed myself to think that in the worst case scenario, I could actually get away with leaving such a huge caveat in place. And it's silly but it worked. Thinking about it as just one more set of long-form notes rather than as a book chapter completely freed me up to just get some work done, to get something down on paper that I could edit, refine and add to later.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Open" Access

Edited on 3/19/12 to add: Site statistics tell me that this post has been linked to at another blog, so I just wanted to add, for any reader who came here via there, that I don't actually agree with the commentary that was made there with respect to my post. Yes, I think that this practice is outrageous and rather akin to usury. Yes, I reserve special ire for Brill and Routledge/T&F because their costs are so unspeakably outrageous. But I don't actually either predict or hope for the downfall of the publishing house or the academic press as institutions, even and particularly university presses in spite of their recent trend towards publishing fewer books in any given year. I think that the editorial process is incredibly valuable and can't easily be replicated in a self-publishing environment. And I think that the rise of digital humanities is really exciting, but I also know, because I do know a bunch of really interesting people doing work in this area, that that's not simply going to take the form of digitization of scholarly monographs; it's a different thing entirely -- a completely different conception of how to present information -- that is still going to leave room for the traditional academic book. Plus just as a rule, I don't generally condone wanton name-calling. Re-edited on 4/1/12: And if I were going to engage in extended name-calling of other people in the profession, at a minimum I'd do it with a more extensive vocabulary.

I woke up this morning to notification that I have the option of approving open access for a short essay that I have forthcoming. Open access is great, since many academic journals are archived digitally in a way that requires affiliation with an institution that subscribes to them for access; and since many university libraries are cutting back on their subscription budges and many academics just don't have jobs, the more open access, the better, really. I was slightly aware that there is frequently a cost to the author to make his or her work available freely online, so with a bit of trepidation, I clicked on the link in the email, which took me to the following screen.

(Click to enlarge to a readable size.)

That there would be a cost to me is an understatement, as it turns out. $3,250?!

Open access isn't one of those things I feel tremendous passion about, nor is it one about which I've done tons of research and reading about how it can work in pushing digital humanities forward. I do have colleagues who advocate for it, and in what little reading I have done, I have seen that some universities want to move towards requiring open access for anything that will be included in the tenure dossier. But when the cost to offer that kind of access to a piddling little under-2000-words essay -- not even a major research article! and not even everything I'm going to publish this year! -- is greater than the sum total of my annual research budget, there's really not much I can do. T&F guidelines say that I can put a post-production typescript up on my own web page, so I'll definitely do that, but my ability to participate in creating a centrally-located archival database of a journal is totally curtailed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Bit of a Grading Conundrum

I pride myself on writing really extensive comments on my students' work. A page, at a minimum, is the norm for me per essay. Now that I'm teaching large classes, this is becoming a bit more of a challenge, but I think it's worth it.

To a certain extent, my comments are highly stylized; that's not to say that they are repeated student to student, but rather that I definitely still use many of the techniques that I learned through the Knight Institute at Cornell, which definitely has a very prescribed program of how student writing should be commented-upon and marked. But it works, so I stick with it. Examples of the techniques include: descriptive rather than prescriptive commenting and sticking to the text both to model good analysis and to avoid passions running high when papers are returned (ie, "The essay lacks specific citations" rather than "You didn't cite your sources").

But this most recent assignment for my intro lecture course offered students a choice of three essay prompts, one of which tended more towards creative writing: Students had read a work of short fiction in which a Christian count laments his flagging popularity and his adviser recounts to him the story of an Umayyad caliph who expanded the Great Mosque of Cordoba, making that his legacy; I asked the students who chose that option to write their own short work of fiction in the same style, reflecting some aspect of the ways in which Christians and Muslims viewed each other's cultural achievements. But now that I have the assignments in hand I'm not really sure how to write comments on these effectively. If anyone out there has experience in marking and commenting on more creative-type writing (I hate the term, because it implies, especially to students who may not really know any better, that a really good analysis isn't creative, but that's beside the point) in a literature/history class, I'd very much appreciate hearing how that worked out.

Edited on 4/2/12 to add an image of the assignment sheet to facilitate the discussion happening in the comments thread:

(Click to enlarge to readable size.)

The Week in Links (The I'm Not in Boston at the 222nd Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society Edition)

Don't you hate it when your 14th-century Slovakian castle catches on fire?

Slovakian Medieval Castle Burns Down

Egyptology. The state pen. This week's curious news from the ancient Near East:

Hieroglyphics Turn Prisoner Away From a Life of Crime 

Of course I'm biased because it's part of my university, but ISAW does a very nice little exhibition. I haven't seen this one yet, but if it's like their others it'll be well worth a trip:

Artifacts Show Sophistication of Ancient Nomads

I'm familiar with loads of versions of the life of Alexander the Great (because, as this video explains, "Alexander was great at being a dead person"). This one is possibly my new favorite. In addition to being amusing, it's interesting in the way it treats the question of what is construed as "greatness" in history:

Alexander the Great and The Situation... the Great?

Always nice to see the dead-and-deadlies (that's ancient and obscure languages, for readers not up on the terminology) featured in the press:

An Indigenous Language with Unique Staying Power

Rule, Britannica:

Encyclopedia Britannica Halts Print Publication after 244 Years

Expensive, Useless, Exploitative

Oh, and this was just cool:

Art Historians Say They Have Found Evidence of a Hidden Leonardo da Vinci

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Review: The Lifespan of a Fact

The new book The Lifespan of a Fact is a glossed reprint of an essay written by John D'Agata. The glosses are the transcript of correspondence between the author, the man assigned to fact-check the essay, and their editor. They record a debate over the value of facts, the nature of precision, and the values upheld by non-fiction writing.

I approached the book expecting to very sympathetic to the author against the fact-checker, because there are occasional moments in my own writing where I find that if a fact were only slightly different, the whole thing would sound a lot better or the narrative would be a bit better crafted. But I found myself surprised by the extent of what D'Agata thought was necessary: Is the all-time record of 118 degrees really that much more dramatic than the real temperature on the day in question, the record for that year of 113? Did the month's worth of factoids that he collapsed into the single day of the suicide that was the subject of his essay really pack that much more of a punch having happened on the day of his death than in the month in which he died?

It did leave me wondering how many of the discrepancies were written into the text because D'Agata simply has a superior ear and I can't appreciate the difference, and how many of them were left because he has become a diva and is no longer obligated to play by even some semblance of the rules; and I'm pretty confident in my ear. Like I said, I started out reading totally sympathetic to his position, having argued over questions of style with many an editor and occasionally having wished fervently that small details (both in academic and essayistic writing) could have been just a little bit different, but the extreme to which it seems to be carried out is, well, extreme.

As a book, The Lifespan of a Fact is a fascinating exercise and a beautiful example of a modern glossed text. But it left me more interested in the facts than the lifespan. I came away with exactly the opposite conclusion of the one I had expected and hoped to draw. I think I failed to take the larger point of the glosses to heart; but it's a compelling voice that Fingal has that was able to convert an inveterate storyteller to the side of fact.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Canticle for Daniel, Part I

This will be a three-part series. The prologue is here.

Sometimes I wonder about the validity of the hedonistic, comfortable life I lead with my head buried deep in books or in the thirteenth century. Particularly if I've had a frustrating time teaching, I have a sense that I'm doing nothing to improve the world or make a mark. So I suppose that one small, quiet thing that I can do is to make different types of knowledge accessible, organized in an original and thought-provoking fashion — that is, be a certain type of long-form talking head and hope for the best. The medieval can be a guide, but so, too, is the twentieth century with its nationalism, new borders, cycle of despotism and the fearless reporting that was the first draft of it all. What follows is a most literary excerpt from that first draft, a lesser-known 1934 essay by Jorge Luis Borges entitled "Yo, judío," translated here by Eliot Weinberger:
Like the Druzes, like the moon, like death, like next week, the distant past is one of those things that can enrich ignorance. It is infinitely malleable and agreeable, far more obliging than the future and far less demanding of our efforts. It is the famous season favored by all mythologies.
Who has not, at one time or another, played with thoughts of his ancestors, with the prehistory of his flesh and blood? I have done so many times, and many times it has not displeased me to think of myself as Jewish. It is an idle hypothesis, a frugal and sedentary adventure that harms no one, not even the name of Israel, as my Judaism is wordless, like the songs of Mendelssohn. The magazine Crisol, in its issue of January 30, has decided to gratify this retrospective hope; it speaks of my 'Jewish ancestry, maliciously hidden' (the participle and the adverb amaze and delight me).
Borges Acevedo is my name. Ramos Mejía, in a note to the fifth chapter of Rosas and His Times, lists the family names in Buenos Aires at that time in order to demonstrate that all, or almost all, 'came from Judaeo-Portuguese stock.' 'Acevedo' is included in this list: the only supporting evidence for my Jewish pretensions until this confirmation in Crisol. Nevertheless, Captain Honorio Acevedo undertook a detailed investigation that I cannot ignore. His study notes that the first Acevedo to disembark on this land was the Catalan don Pedro de Azevedo in 1728: landholder, settler of 'Pago de los Arroyos,' father and grandfather of cattle ranchers in that province, a notable who figures in the annals of the parish of Santa Fe and in the documents of the history of the Viceroyalty — an ancestor, in short, irreparably Spanish.
Two hundred years and I can't find the Israelite; two hundred years and my ancestor still eludes me.
I am grateful for the stimulus provided by Crisol, but hope is dimming that I will ever be able to discover my link the Table of the Breads and the Sea of Bronze; to Heine, Gleizer, and the ten Sefiroth; to Ecclesiastes and Chaplin.
Statistically, the Hebrews were few. What would we think of someone in the year 4000 who uncovers people from San Juan Province everywhere? Our inquisitors seek out Hebrews but never Phonecians, Garamantes, Scythians, Babylonians, Persians, Egyptians, Huns, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Ethiopians, Illyrians, Paphalagonians, Sarmatians, Medes, Ottomans, Berbers, Britons, Lybians, Cyclopes or Lapiths. The nights of Alexandria, of Babylon, of Carthage, of Memphis, never succeeded in engendering a single grandfather; it was only to the tribes of the bituminous Dead Sea that this gift was granted. 
In Borges' reality, to be made a Jew is an act formed of malice and "outing;" in the present reality to be baptized is articulated an act of kindness. But the Mormon act is nothing more than the flip side of what was done to Borges in Crisol; both make being Jewish a flaw to be identified and remedied. Borges, though, walks cleanly down the line between what is and what might have been, fantasizing and stopping short of becoming his own inquisitor. Though he might have wished it to be different, he does what he can with the past he can identify and leaves the rest to hope, prayer, imagination.

He extends the same courtesy to his ancestors: In the realidad histórica, there are two: the visible Spanish viceroy and the missing Israelite. As an essayist, all he can do is present the gaping short distance between them rather than remedy it.

He also raises one of the interesting archival problems that the Mormon baptismal project creates. Intimating an answer of not much at all, Borges asks: "What would we think of someone in the year 4000 who uncovers people from San Juan Province everywhere?" What would we think? By posthumous baptism, the Latter-Day Saints are creating a world where future historians will find Mormons everywhere. They are creating a world where the five-hundred-years-from-now versions of ourselves will find people of San Juan Province everywhere. They're not making themselves the new Israel like early Christians did, or even like the Boston Puritans who made their colony a beacon on a hill as a light unto the nations; instead they are making themselves a latter-day Israel, the unqualified obsession of the modern age.

This is the enrichment of ignorance.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Last Couple of Weeks in Links

Theft of art from a cemetery in Cairo. If you're in a position to circulate these images to a relevant audience, please do it. Hopefully the pieces can be recovered:

Two Historic Qiswa Were Stolen!

More from Cairo, earlier in the, uh, millennium:

Practical and Theoretical Medicine in Medieval Eastern Societies: The Case of the Cairo Genizah

Ancient Greeks, meet Ottoman Jews. Homer, now in Ladino:

Holocaust Survivor Revives Jewish Dialect by Translating Greek Epic

Another video about ancient Mesopotamians because yo mama... well, because my mama studies these guys:

Mysteries of the Ancient Unknown: Yo Mama Jokes

Cornell has very strong statements on civil discourse and I found them to be really useful in establishing a good classroom environment, so I'm always interested to see what other universities issue. This one isn't for general use in that way, but of interest nonetheless:

A Statement Concerning Personal Attacks on our Student, Sandra Fluke

"Where books are burned, in the end people will burn." Please let's don't go down that road, not here:

Rudolfo Anaya on Mexican-American Studies and Book Burnings

So excited that this has finally opened at the Angelika:

The Stuff of Life in Bitter Marginalia

Some thoughts on literary translation:

Tomas Transtromer's Poetry and the Art of Translation

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Miterm Course Evaluations

Today we asked the students in the intro lecture course the fill out midterm course evaluations. This was partially for our own informational purposes (ie, for the stated purpose of a course evaluation) and partially to give the students a sense of ownership in the course and combat what is sometimes a common perception in larger classes that we don't particularly care what they think or what they want to accomplish in the class.

The evaluation consisted of four fill-in-the-blank statements with three blanks each: 1) Three things I do to support my own learning in this course are... 2) Three ideas, concepts or skills I have learned so for in this course are... 3) Three things that I would like to do more of, less of, or differently are... and 4) Three things that I wouldn't change at all are... The purpose of the first two questions was really to remind students that they are partially responsible for their own learning and to remind them that they have actually learned things, thereby cutting down on responses along the lines of this course is useless or you make it too hard for us, responses that are neither constructive nor valid. We didn't completely eliminate those, but they were definitely not the overwhelming majority (or even close to it). I also got some really useful suggestions from a senior colleague about other ways to word those two prefatory questions that I'm anxious to try in the future.

The most useful outcome of this exercise was a number of comments that said that the class felt too much like parallel tracks and that aren't enough points of context between the Iberian and Latin American material. I think that that's a fair critique and something that can be modified in any of several ways for the rest of the semester and for future iterations of the course.

One slightly troubling thing was that several students wrote that to support their own learning, they google. I'm not quite sure how to handle that, except perhaps to spend more time teaching them about research resources and how to critically analyze pages that they find via Google. I'm really pleased, at least, that none of them wrote that they use Wikipedia. Small victories.

Some of the feedback was more typical student complaints and misperceptions of what this kind of course should look like. We got pretty consistent complaints about the amount of reading, which we'll address by telling them that 100 pages a week (and sometimes a lot less) is a completely reasonable amount for an introductory lecture class. (I'll not tell them that a friend of mine who is a high school teacher was outraged that our students would complain about that workload because she gives her students more than 100 pages to read per week.)

We also got a few negative comments about the fact that we both prepare written lectures and read them. I can't speak to why my colleague does it, but for me, it serves a lot of needs that allows me to be a better teacher: First and foremost, I stutter a little bit when I'm nervous. Having everything written out in front of me cuts down on that. It also allows me to model good rhetorical form. I like a carefully turned phrase, but I'm not one of those impresarios who can speak in purple prose off the cuff. Writing it all out allows me to be eloquent in a way that I couldn't be in speaking from notes. And the material that I'm presenting does have lots of moving parts: If I forget to explain what the caliphate is, the whole setup of the arrival of Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula is going to make a lot less sense. Writing it out means that I don't forget to mention any little details. I suspect that as I get more comfortable with the lecture format and with this set of lectures in particular I will be able to move at least partially away from the much more prepared format, but I'd definitely still defend its validity.

Overall, though, it's really good that they voice these concerns because it points out to us the places where we can offer a bit more meta-narrative and explanation . Ideal would be that we didn't have to do those things; but doing so isn't a bad mediation between our expectations and their perceptions.

In that same vein, though, we also got this gem (unedited for punctuation, grammar, etc.): "Why do you guys write an essay to lecture off of and read it verbatim. We would read the essay without a professor. Professors should lecture from memory if they really know what they're talking about." Where to begin even? Perhaps with the fact that this student couldn't read the "essays" without the professors because they wouldn't exist? Perhaps with the fact that if a student can't handle 100 pages of reading a week then, no, we really can't expect them to read another 20? Perhaps with the fact that writing it out keeps me from forgetting to mention something, not from forgetting it completely? Perhaps with excuse me??

I'm optimistic that the exercise will have served its purpose, but honestly, I'm a little bummed out, too, even if it was just one off-base, cocky, know-it-all comment.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"My Name is Daniel Pearl... My Father is Jewish. My Mother is Jewish. I am Jewish."


I don't really want to write about politics or contemporary religion in this blog. I wrote about Occupy when it was on campus, because that seemed relevant to my academic life. I think I'm going to make an exception, though, now that the the latest story has emerged with the identity of another dead Jewish person who has been baptized in the Mormon Church. At some point, as academics, we have a responsibility to engage with the modern world. I've written before about my threshold for disregarding that modern world as being pretty high. But I've reached it. Maybe it's because I'm Jewish, maybe it's because I'm a scholar of religious conflict and coexistence, maybe it's because I miss the younger, invincible version of myself who fearlessly wanted to be a war correspondent. Whatever the reason, I'm climbing the privileged cloistered walls of the academy and of the middle ages to say this:

Cut it out. Now.

This is a man who died trying to bring us a story that would have made us all more human because it would have allowed us greater insight into the war being waged in our national name. He was courageous and he died professing his religion. He suffered for being a journalist, and he may have even suffered more for being a Jew. The title of the video that depicts his death was "The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl." Those are the two things he died for: The story and the faith. Leave him, in death, with both of them.

Since Mitt Romney, who is Mormon, began his campaign for the Republican nomination for the presidency, the media have focused much more attention on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Some of that media coverage has been deeply unfair: How many stories about Mormon sumptuary strictures included the phrase "magic underpants"? But some of it has also drawn attention to the deplorable practice of baptizing dead people as Mormons. Recently, most attention has gone to the posthumous baptisms of the parents of Elie Wiesel and Simon Wiesenthal, all of whom perished in the Holocaust, but it turns out that President Obama's mother was also baptized after her death from cancer. We are taught as children not to speak ill of the dead because they cannot defend themselves; surely co-opting and commandeering the spiritual lives of the dead who have no choice in associating themselves or not with a particular set of beliefs should fall under the same prohibition.

The pace of the internet and the blogosphere is such that I wanted to post something while this was still newsworthy and not a week or a month from now when I will have had more time to reflect in a historically-informed and rigorous fashion. I've been struggling for a while to formulate, in intellectual terms, what bothers me so much on the gut level about this practice of posthumously baptizing Jews as Mormons — that is, to perform my responsibility as an academic and offer some kind of thoughtful and contextual commentary on a serious issue of the contemporary world. On some level, my rational self argues back: They're dead. And none of it's real. So why get so exercised about it? But every time I see a story like this one, it eats away at me. I'm still shaking now thinking about Daniel Pearl. I'm not yet ready to function with my academic hat on. Not about this. I'm still just trying to put one foot in front of the other wearing my human hat. So there will be more about this topic in this space.

But for now, please, just leave my dead alone.