When A Professor’s Son Discovers RateMyProfessor.com

I had an interesting experience today. My son, who is in high school, told me that he had looked me up on RateMyProfessor.com. I’m sure a worried look crossed my face, but I tried my best to retain my composure. Not a lot of students have commented about me and my classes there. But as [Read More...]

Eva Kor Commencement Speech

Eva Kor was the speaker, and an honorary degree recipient, at this year’s Butler University Spring commencement. Above is the speech that she gave. Her story, and her thoughts about forgiveness, are very powerful. If you are inclined to try to spot me from the distance, here is the video of the entire ceremony: [Read more...]

Graduate Doubt-Free

The publicity material continues to emphasize the 95% job placement rate of Butler graduates, and so is presumably a pun on what students might consider preferable, namely to graduate debt-free. But when I first glanced the signage, I didn’t see the second part, as it was blocked by a vehicle. As a professor in the [Read More...]

Parque Jurasico V

I learned today of the above video, set on Butler University’s campus. It was created as part of a Spanish language course, in which students were required to make videos which incorporated multiple instances of a particular grammatical form. Can you tell which one? The video has subtitles, for those who need them. I share [Read More...]

Meow

I love this clever sign that the Modern Foreign Languages department at Butler University came up with. A bulldog saying “Meow” – now that’s a foreign language! [Read more...]

Does IU Have the Legal Right to Prohibit Discimination?

I was proud when I read the statement by Butler University’s president Jim Danko about the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” When I then saw that the president of IU Michael McRobbie had alsod issued a statement, I found myself wondering about it in relation to the law. The statement says, “we will not tolerate discrimination [Read More...]

Eva Kor to Speak at Butler Commencement

It was announced today that Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who runs the Candles Holocaust Museum, will be speaking at Butler University’s commencement this year, and will receive an honorary doctorate. Just this morning, before receiving the e-mail about the above, I saw an article about Kor forgiving a former white supremacist. Kor is quoted as [Read More...]

Bulldog Beginnings

I read recently that the Butler University use of the Bulldogs for the university team name and mascot began when the Butler team – known as the “Christians” (since the school was then still affiliated with the Christian Churches Disciples of Christ) or sometimes the “Blue and White” - played a team from Franklin, the “Baptists.” The heated rivalry led to [Read More...]

Why Go To University if You Don’t Understand What It’s For?

There was an article in my school’s student newspaper, in which a student who wished to remain anonymous, self-identifying only as an accounting major, said that they sneak out early from required cultural events, and that they have never been to one that they enjoyed. I decided to blog about it, but also to submit [Read More...]

The First Baptists, The Last Gnostics

Here’s a recording of the talk I gave about the Mandaeans yesterday to an audience of faculty, staff, and students at Butler University, as part of the Faculty Brown Bag series. [Read more...]

Brown Bag Talk on the Mandaeans

I am very impressed with the poster that Rebecca DeGrazia made for my upcoming brown bag lunchtime talk on the Mandaeans. On Thursday, January 22nd, I’ll be talking about the Mandaeans, their history, scholarship on them, and my work on translating and commenting on the Mandaean Book of John. [Read more...]


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