Then I read police reports for a good two and a half hours, and enjoyed it. Incidentally, I never thought that would've happened. Personally, I like my idealism and generally like to believe, unlike "good" ol' Thomas Hobbes, that people are inherently good. I had assumed, therefore, that reading about people doing unspeakable ills would depress me and destroy my quaint little notions about common human decency. Maybe it's just because there is an element of unspeakable good, strength, etc., ad nauseam, in this specific case ... but I suppose justice prevailing or at least attempting to be served in all cases is some form of good. It's interesting and I'm rethinking my views on crime stories. Who knows, maybe in excess they'd crush my soul but I like this one.
After Gospel Choir, we went to the Floyd Abrams speech on confidentiality agreements between journalists and their sources, shield laws protecting journalists and their sources, and some of the potential consequences of abiding by such ethics (see Judith Miller and Mayron Farber for details). For any of y'all who don't know who he is, he is a renowned First Amendment Lawyer, and he represented Judith Miller (and also Myron Farber). If you don't know who Judith Miller is... you're fired. Anyway, it was a ridiculously interesting speech and I have a good four pages worth of notes. He's got a new book out, and I definitely added it to my list of things to read. Very intelligent man, and I like 'im 'cause he fights for the journalist's right to honor their promises to their sources - which is, in my opinion, better for everyone involved in the long run. Plus, he's been on the Daily Show, so he clearly deserves props. Anyway, very interesting and very educational. We were seated next to Don Gilmore, the founding Director of Silha and the first Silha professor too, which made it *super* educational, because he kept giving me extra information. Anyway, yes... interesting. Oh, that and they fed us afterward.
Even after all that, today had one more educational experience up its sleeve. As we were leaving the Humphrey Center, we saw a raccoon traipsing in a leisurely fashion across the path. He waddled his way over to the trashcan, surveyed it, climbed it, and dove in. I really didn't know what to do with myself. We watched, amused and bewildered, for a good 20 minutes as we followed him from the trash can next to Wilson Library, to the trash can in front of Wilson Library. He was completely unfazed by the human traffic, and there was a lot of it. He just meandered, and I was able to make several observations.
1) Raccoons' heads are tiny compared to the rest of their bodies, and their ears are adorable.
2) Raccoons' tails look really stubby when compared with the rest of their bodies.
3) Raccoons always look fat, and are actually kind of massive. They're the wombat of Minnesota.
4) Raccoons are very concerned with personal hygiene. We watched our subject wash his hands after his rummages.
I almost couldn't handle the last bit. I was laughing so hard at the absurdity of it all, and just because it was such a weird follow-up to the speech I had just attended.
Yikes. After all this non-book learnin' I'm beat, and will probably just pass out in short order.