Holy shit IT WORKED

My student loans have been forgiven. They are gone. They are ex-loans. I am, at 45, done paying for my degrees.

If you work for a school district (even if you don’t teach; literally just if you work for a school district) or are in any way involved in public service at your job and you have existing student loans, click here and check the TEPSLF program out right now. (Note that to the best of my knowledge everything in that piece is still accurate except for the refund check, which I think only applies if you’re still making payments while they’re processing your paperwork; those specific payments will be refunded. I no longer think I get any of my excess payments back, although I’d love to be wrong.)

Close to 70 grand, y’all. Poof.

I’d like to issue a public thank you to the Biden administration.

Happy motherfuckin’ Monday.

On failed pilgrimages and also sandwiches

I told this story on Twitter just now, and after much searching discovered that somehow I have never told it on the blog. So:

I gotta drive to Bloomington now. Back tomorrow.

On the mighty Jordan River

Indiana University, my alma mater, has decided to remove eugenicist David Starr Jordan’s name from all campus properties. This includes the biology building, a parking garage, a street (they’re still working this part out with the city) and the mighty Jordan river, which cuts through campus.

Shut up. It is mighty. And it is a river.

Now, to be clear, 1) I support this decision, and 2) I couldn’t have told you David Starr Jordan’s first or middle names if my life depended on it prior to ten minutes ago, nor was I aware that he was a eugenicist. Not that it matters much, but apparently he got into that after ending his association with IU. I am not terribly pleased with the insanely boring choices they’re going with for new names (the Biology Building, the East Parking Garage, and the Campus River) but it does appear that they’re considering those names temporary placeholders while they work out better names for them. I can live with that.

This is not, however, why I’m writing this post. I’m not attached to Jordan’s name for the building or the street, and certainly not the parking garage. Rename those all you want. But I have just discovered something fascinating about the way my brain works, which is that despite knowing all four of those things were called the Jordan Whatever, and despite knowing at least vaguely that there was a biology dude who used to be affiliated with IU named Jordan, it never once occurred to me that the river was named after the same guy and not the river Jordan in Israel. Which, like, I’ve been calling that damn river the “mighty Jordan” for twenty-six fucking years as a mild little personal joke, with the understanding that people who I’m saying that to know we’re comparing it to the real one.

(Those of you who have never been to Bloomington: this thing is three inches deep at its deepest, and most of it you can jump across. For those of us not emotionally invested in it, it is a creek at best.)

I don’t know how my brain did that. You can damn near see Jordan Hall from the Jordan River and it never even once crossed my mind that they’d been named after the same dude. So, yeah, part of me doesn’t want the river renamed; I just want them to start lying about how it got named that, and insist that it’s always been named after the river in Israel, so I can keep making that joke.

Probably not entirely reasonable, I know, but I have to make exceptions for my own idiocy sometimes.

Okay, seriously now: am I watching the debate tonight? And if I am, am I liveblogging or livetweeting it? Decide for me:


So we left on our vacation yesterday.


Today was a Driving Day; get from northern Indiana to Louisville, with a stop in Bloomington along the way.  I haven’t been in Bloomington for years, so it was great to get back into town.  Also, we got to explain what “college” is to the boy.  We only really had time to eat lunch and tour the southwestern part of campus, but that’s where most of the fun stuff is so it worked out.


Wright Quad!  The window to the left of the door there was my dorm room the only year that living in the dorms mattered.  I considered trying to swing by my apartment my junior and senior year and then realized I probably couldn’t find it without thinking hard.


Some things never change; there are still shoes dangling from damn near every overhead power line.  Don’t ask.IMG_5923

Some things do change:  The Von Lee used to be a movie theater.  The building is still there, and it’s still the Von Lee, but it’s apparently a Noodles now?  Which I feel may be a bit of a demotion.


Sample Gates, the unofficial doorway to campus.  My favorite Sample Gates story has nothing to do with me: my brother was going to propose to his fiancee (now wife) there, but had to rapidly abort and find another location when someone else was already proposing when they got there.


Most of the buildings on campus are made from southern Indiana limestone.  I always enjoyed this quote, especially the odd hyphen in “master-spirit.”


My wife, a journalism major, poses with Ernie Pyle, an IU grad.  The boy appears less certain about him.


The Student Building.  It’s not called that for any clear reason that I was ever aware of, but I’ve always loved the clock tower.  IMG_5926

Herman B. Wells and his Missing Cane.  This statue and the flowers around it are new since I was there.  The pained look on the boy’s face is because that’s a bronze bench and it was hot outside; to his credit,  he allowed us to photograph him before remarking that he was partially on fire.  IMG_5929

Immediately behind where the last picture was.  IMG_5930

The mighty Jordan River!  Shut up it is mighty.IMG_5931

I am aware, intellectually, that I have the sky and clouds at home, and that the sky at home is the same sky that I look at when I’m in Bloomington, but I swear the skies are prettier down here anyway.  God, I miss this town.

We swung by my mom’s childhood house in Bedford at her request and I managed to stealth a couple of pictures of the house without the current homeowners noticing.  I remember this hill being a lot steeper and taller, but that’s what 30-year-old memories will do for you:



I played on this rock a lot as a little kid.  Couldn’t resist having the boy take a picture there.  IMG_5969


Today, I shall pet a giraffe.

facepalm emoji

Because shit is too serious right now:  you may or may not be aware that my wife’s mother passed away a couple of weeks ago after a long illness.  I alluded to it here a couple of times but I don’t think I ever actually came out and said it.  Do not bother expressing your well-wishes in the comments as I am about to spend this post making fun of my deceased mother-in-law and your sentiments will feel inappropriate.

My wife spent part of her day today helping her dad clean the house out, and in the process of throwing out a bunch of newspapers and magazines somehow came across this.  I am seriously considering getting in touch with the President’s office over at Purdue on the off chance that the letter this is responding to is still in an archive somewhere, because oh my God how batshit crazy must the letter this is responding to be:


Kudos to President Beering, seriously; this is shade of the highest order and I am very impressed.

(NOTE: This was published, obviously, with my wife’s full knowledge and permission.)