Back to School

What I am studying
I started my final semester of graduate school tonight; I am taking two courses this spring, but one is going to require me to write a short paper and nothing else, so it doesn’t count. The one that counts is called Common Good, in the educational leadership core. I don’t have a good handle on it yet — after all, tonight was only the intro — but it seems like it could be pretty interesting. More to come on this as the course unfolds.
What I am watching
The fourth season of Archer debuted tonight on FX; pretty solid start for what is hands down my favorite show (although The Walking Dead gives it a run for its ones some weeks).
I am glad Archer started strong, because another show I have become quite invested in — American Horror Story — has had the bottom fall out of it during the second season, and now it is a complete train wreck of a show. It is just a wild unfocused mess with too many characters and no ability to decide what the main story is — or even who the main character is. The first season — which is fantastic — focused on the house. It may have seemed to be a show about Dylan McDermott’s family, but it was about the house and Tate. Clarity. The second season could be about any of a half dozen characters really; could’ve been Dr. Arden; could’ve been Lana; looked early on to be about Jude (but isn’t); pick anyone really. But the second season never decided if it was about insane asylum inmates or Nazi war criminals or alien abduction or zombies or or or or. There is just too much shoehorned into the show, so it isn’t abut anything and the things it includes never have time to be adequately developed. I am glad next week is the season finale; it needs a break to reset and try again in season three.
Between Lance, Mantei and nobody getting elected to the baseball Hall of Fame this year, it has been a pretty crappy month for sports. At least the NHL lockout ended; I am not even an NHL fan but at least it is good news in sports. That, and the NFL playoffs so far have been fantastic.
In the college realm, the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers were finally admitted to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association today, putting a merciful end to their three-year effective exile from the sport as an independent. The CCHA giving them the stiff-arm three years ago quite nearly killed them, but they have been heroic in working to keep their program afloat until they could finally secure a conference home.
Having the Chargers in the WCHA is good for the league and good for college hockey. And it will allow Bemidji State to resurrect one of its greatest rivalries. Everyone wins. Kudos to the WCHA for giving Huntsville the home it deserved.
I have been playing catchup on my comic pile after falling basically the entire month of December behind. I caught up on the last two issues of Hawkeye, which remains a completely terrific title, and I have been slowly catching up on Saga, which remains my favorite current book — and there really isn’t even a close second.
Invincible seems to be getting back on track after an entirely-too-long time with powerless Mark (and therefore an entirely too long time with a book called Invincible that wasn’t really about Invincible); IDW’s G.I. Joe franchise continues to be a hot, barely readable mess aside from the always excellent Cobra series; and I am so far behind on Transformers I barely know where to start. I will get to those.
Finally, the new Dark Horse Star Wars series, set between A New Hope and Empire, actually isn’t bad. It is a testament to Brian Wood’s abilities as a writer — which are high — that he was able to pull this off. I am in for a few issues to see where he goes with this.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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