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The Dissident Prof Cat, SparkyPosted March 22, 2013, by Mary Grabar: Dissident Prof's cat frequently serves as her muse by providing comedic relief in her battles with academic radicals by running down the stairs to her office and dropping mice (the toy kind) at her feet.  She is forced to take her mind off for a moment from the latest outrage, like "sex week" and reviews of The Vagina Monologues, for the necessary praise and petting to bolster his self-esteem (especially because Sparky, having been orphaned, never learned to hunt real mice).  Sparky's Hamlet-like (Hamletonian?) indecisiveness at the door one dark and rainy evening led her to remember a book of verse called Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Feline Verse by Henry Beard, and then a particularly misanthropic professor she had in graduate school, and then the tragic loss of Shakespeare and Eliot from the canon, and then sundry other things like the brilliance of A Confederacy of Dunces, dissidents (what are they?), The People's Cube... It ended up with this essay in Minding the Campus, "Cats, Comedy, and Common Culture."

The above photo is of Sparky helping the Dissident Prof unpack from her trip to New York City for the National Association of Scholars conference, which she blogged about on these pages.  She was happy to see a mention at National Review's Phi Beta Cons blog and a post at the National Association of Scholars site.  

Thank you to George and Ashley for spreading the word about Dissident Prof.  No doubt you can appreciate the literary qualities of cats.

Photo by Tom Greenstoneby Mary Grabar, posted Sept. 11, 2015: I was probably the last person on the planet to learn about 9/11.  I was in the midst of writing my dissertation at the University of Georgia and did not log in to my email until mid-afternoon.  We all remember the horror we felt when we heard that our nation was attacked.

That evening NPR, however, was full of cluck-clucking about attacks on Muslims.  Virtually all of those claims turned out to be bogus.  First responders were dying as they searched for survivors, and the people at NPR were more concerned about a Muslim being called a bad name. Further horror came as one of my colleagues told me how he had conducted discussion in his freshman composition class the following day: he used the New York Times to explain the "history" behind the attack, and how American policies brought it on.

Read, read, readBy Mary Grabar, Posted December 17, 2013: It's been a busy year with the last talk last month, on "Weather Underground in the Ivory Tower" with Tina Trent, sponsored by the National Association of Scholars.  A membership to NAS, which includes a subscription to Academic Questions, would make a nice Christmas gift.

Books always make good gifts too, and here are a few:

Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer with the Weathermen by the late American hero, Larry Grathwohl (reissued by Tina Trent). You can order here (especially of interest to young people who are being indoctrinated with tales of heroism by the likes of Bill Ayers).

No peeking!Posted August 5, 2014, by Mary Grabar: The Dissident Prof has spent many an agonizing hour with the student who has insulted her intelligence by copying and pasting large pieces of text into her own paper.  She has followed the policy of the various institutions in which she has taught and punished students accordingly.  She remembers one case of a solid B student who in the midst of the rush or the excitement of the end  of the semester decided to use the cut and paste functions on her keyboard for large portions of the final paper.  Alas, I had to inform her that her paper received a zero.  Her final letter grade dropped down to the next one.  That is one reason why college professors always have boxes of tissues on their desks.

Our First PresidentThe following was published in Townhall on George Washington's real birthday (and coincidentally Ash Wednesday this year), February 22nd, a date we used to celebrate just for him instead of for "presidents."  Dissident Prof was happy to report that the column was picked up by Pew Sitter, an online Catholic News Portal.  Stephen Browne also wrote to say he enjoyed the column and that it reminded him of naming his son George, in Polish Jerzy, when he was born a couple weeks after 9/11.  His name is Jerzy Washington Browne and you can read the account, including about dealing with the Polish bureaucracy that forbids certain names, at his blog, here.

Teaching George Washington When Professors Aim to 'Stop' Santorum

In an age and time when I find most of my college students unfamiliar with the story of Adam and Eve or the origin of the phrase, “judge not lest ye be judged,” I enter discussions about religion with some caution.

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