Back to Lucy’s Incentive

Last week, and in acknowledgment of the many incentives for spring break, I posted the first of a series of classic Peanuts strips where Schroeder, ever stonewalling Lucy’s romantic advances, finally agrees to kiss her if she hits a homeroom.  He’s convinced that it will never happen.  Here’s how it all wrapped up:

Incentive 2

Incentive 3

Incentive 4Definitely an interesting and unexpected turn on Lucy’s part.  Makes you wonder how much more the two not-lovebirds interacted after this strip (at least in terms of the original chronology).

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Today is the first “official” weekday of spring break.  Saturday was a nice “decompression day” that started like a normal Saturday and ended in time spent with friends.  Yesterday was a normal Sunday that ended with the wedding of a former student.  It was a great ceremony and an even great reception.

I’m trying to put some “spring break” habits in place so that I don’t waste the next two weeks.  It’s already been productive: organizing the DVD collection, finishing up a couple of books that I started over the last couple of weeks, that kind of thing.  The trickiest thing for me will be to engage in some philosophical back-and-forth (primarily with myself, I fear).  There are some wrinkles that I’d like to iron out with things before school starts back in a couple of weeks, mostly to do with this particular moment in time.

(images from

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Sunday’s Best: Flight of Imagination

Today’s classic Calvin and Hobbes strip is a great example of a captionless that communicates a real sense of things perfectly.  Also: dinosaurs.

Calvin Flight(image from

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The Apparent Endgame

Now that Captain Marvel has made its way into theaters, the final push for Avengers: Endgame can begin.  This morning’s new (final?) trailer was a nice surprise.  If you haven’t yet, check it out:

The callbacks to previous moments were nice.  And the trailer does a great job of showing things without giving away anything to defining or clear (case in point: who is the young woman Hawkeye is teaching to shoot a bow and arrow?).  I think genuine surprise will be vital for viewing this movie.  It will probably also be impossible.  Six weeks to go . . .

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Spring Break Incentive

We’re in the home stretch for spring break.  Last week was intense, with classes, a camp, and class service projects.  This week has been a little calmer, though things always seem to pile on as the end of a quarter nears.  I’m staying on-island this break.  I’ve already started putting things in place for using the time wisely.  Lots of cleaning and cleaning out to do.  I haven’t culled the book collection or consolidated DVDs in a while, so that’s high on the list.  I’m also trying to plan for some basic school’s-out routines, as I’m not one who handles large chunks of open schedule well.  I’ll probably fudge the line between vocation and vocation a little more than usual, as I have a lot of processing to do.  The hope is that my temporary vocational stretch will be coming to an end in a couple of months.  I need to use this time to do some rethinking.  Definitely in need of some good habits for the occasion, though.

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Mid-semester breaks are rarely good for movie-going.  That’s particularly true for the next couple of weeks.  At this point, the best I’ll be able to do at the theater is to catch another showing of Captain Marvel and a preview screening of the other Captain Marvel, now dubbed Shazam!

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One of the tricky parts of break for me involves staying connected with others.  Lots of people travel over break (myself included).  When you stick around, though, it can be easy to spend long stretches in a kind of radio silence.  I did a much better job planning for this aspect of break a few years ago.  This week has been a good week for community connection.  Celebrated a friend’s birthday and learned a new board game with friends Monday night.  Hopefully I can “take” some of that with me into the break.

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Break is a great incentive, of course.  Which is part of why this recent “classic” Peanuts strip is so funny to me.

Spring Incentive

I have a difficult time believing that Schroeder would actually make that promise.  I suppose he’s so sure of Lucy’s inability that he’s willing to take the risk.  Not having read this particular strip series before, I’m curious to see how long this plays out.  It should definitely be over before break begins.

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The Hard Work of Having Fun

This classic Calvin and Hobbes strip captures something that’s still true about part of contemporary culture: the hoops we go through to make sure we have fun.

Hard Work of Fun(image from go

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Memory and the Season

Hans Boersma, whose Heavenly Participation I hope to write through over the next week or so, just had a short piece published over at First Things.  While it is tied to the season of Lent, it definitely has implications for other areas of life.  The piece, “Memorization and Repentance,” says much about the human condition in the 21st century, particularly as it relates to the digital real.  In many ways, it reads like a theological gloss on another book I recently read, Douglas Rushkoff’s Team Human.  From Boersma:

All animals have storage capability. Only humans, however, have the ability not just to store things in the mind but also to recollect them. Aristotle therefore distinguished between memory (memoria) and recollection (reminiscentia). Past experiences shape who we are and enable prudent decision-making. In other words, virtue depends on memory.

From there, Boersma brings up memory and the nature of God in a way that dips deep into the Old Testament.  Then he pivots back to the human condition:

Nothing is as toxic to the mind as distraction. Monastic writers devised all sorts of mnemonic devices to assist in memorizing Scripture and eliminating distraction. For Hugh of St. Victor, Noah’s ark became a storage place whose innumerable cabins contained biblical events, doctrinal truths, and moral practices that offered safety in the storms of this world. For Bonaventure, the twelve branches on the tree of life contained fruits of Jesus’s life, passion, and glorification. Savoring these fruits would revive and strengthen the soul. Meditating on the ark’s cabins or the tree of life’s fruits gave stability in an age of distraction. As Hugh put it: “If, then, we want to have ordered, steady, peaceful thoughts, let us make it our business to restrain our hearts from…immoderate distraction.” Ordered thoughts make for ordered lives.

The language of the “ordered life” has root today thanks to the writings of ancients like Augustine and contemporary writers like James K. A. Smith (see You Are What You Love).  It even, at least for me, goes back to an early reading of Gordon MacDonald’s Ordering Your Private World (at least on some level).  From there, Boersma makes a final pivot to the season of Lent:

Memorization is a Lenten practice, reshaping our memories to be like God’s. When our memories are reshaped and reordered according to the immutable faithfulness of God in Christ, we re-appropriate God’s character—his steadfast love, his mercy, his compassion.  Repentance, therefore, is a turning back to the virtues of God as we see them in Christ.  Being united to him, we are united to the very character of God, for it is in the God-man that God’s virtue and human virtue meet. The hypostatic union is the locus of our repentance: In Christ human memory is re-figured to the memory of God.

It’s an interesting read, one that hits on a lot of different aspects of living a particular kind of good life in “an age of distraction.”  I encourage you to read the whole piece here.

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Sunday’s Best: A Lack of Motel Facilities

I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of work at least a little like this turned in over the next few hours.  The IncasA solid batch of Sunday strips today (including this classic Peanuts strip by Charles Schulz).  I’ll post a couple more throughout the week.

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