Update, etc.

The new job is going fantastically well. I’ve been at it for six weeks now, I think — and it’s been six great weeks. The next issue of Bemidji State’s alumni magazine is in page proof and edits now, and goes to press on Friday; we’ll get page proofs back and it’ll go to print on Dec. 15. It still feels early, but I have a good feeling about the way the magazine has progressed so far. It’s been my major focus since taking over in October; I’ve also been really busy on campus-wide workgroups for a variety of things – two major vice president-led workgroups on a pair of initiatives to forward some of the president’s goals for the school, one on athletics and one on student success, and others for things like enforcement and campus signage for our tobacco-free policy, and the feasibility of developing an integrated system to control the LCD TVs being used as message boards across campus. It’s been a busy time — but a very good kind of busy.

Not only is the job going well, I love it, too. I’m having so much fun with it. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it; there’s an urban legend about Ted Williams that said he could see the seams on a baseball as it twirled its way toward home plate. He discounts that story, saying only that he could tell which direction the ball was spinning in the last 20 feet.

When I go to work every day, when I think about this job, I see the seams. It’s an amazing feeling, one I haven’t had about my job in a long time.

My fall term of grad school is winding down. I turned in the final paper for my Administrative Problems in Physical Education course this weekend; I struggled to get 2,500 words on Prong Three of the federal Title IX legislation over the weekend, and finished and submitted the paper late Sunday evening. It was due at 8 a.m. Monday morning, and by the time I sent it in I was just calling it “done,” and not “good.” I got one hundred percent on the paper; out of 320 possible points in that class this semester, I missed three. That’s a final grade of 99.06 percent. I will take that.

My other class should wrap up today. There’s an assignment due today, a peer evaluation of the members in our group for a group project; I turned that in on Monday. I have a two-question, open-ended essay final that I want to try and finish tonight; I started it Monday as well, but didn’t get very far. I tried again last night and made some progress, but I wasn’t feeling very well so I didn’t get it done. I’ll try to get it taken care of tonight. I should have an A locked down in that class as well, barring some disastrous grade on this final. So, Operation: 4.0 in Grad School is off to a good start.

IDW’s “Cobra Civil War” story arc wraps up today in G.I. Joe #8. I wasn’t able to get an advance copy to review; USA Today did, and they spilled the identity of the new Cobra Commander yesterday. By process of elimination it’s not surprising that it ended up being the character it was, but in terms of how that character was portrayed during the Civil War story arc — which lasted eight months and spanned 22 individual comic books — it’s a pretty head-scratching decision. I’m curious to see how it’s justified. IDW had an opportunity to do something pretty fantastic with this Cobra civil war, but it ended up being a disastrous mix of divergent story lines that were supposed to come together for today’s big announcement — but that never remotely materialized. There were two storylines that I thought could have been very interesting; one was wrapped up after four issues of the Snake-Eyes series, and the other had a legitimate “holy crap” moment about three months ago that has never again been addressed or even referenced. This story was not what it could have been, by a long shot. I’ll pick up my copy of G.I. Joe #8 over lunch; I’ll have a complete review posted here and at The Terrordrome tonight. I’ll probably also start working on a retrospective of the Civil War storyline as well, as a lead-in to the Cobra Command story arc that begins in January.

All for now. I’m going to try again to post more here now that I’m feeling more settled into this new job. Plus, the holidays are coming up, so I’ll need to brag about all of my awesome Christmas presents somewhere. 🙂

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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