Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Up to Speed

I've just finished reading this whole blog from start to finish. I am impressed and disappointed not to have been reading it while it was being written. I'm tempted to offer as an excuse for not following the move more closely the fact that during the six months between July and December of 2005 I was undergoing chemotherapy three days out of every two weeks following the removal of most of my colon at the end of May. I know better, though.

Right now it's three in the morning. I'll be getting up at five to go to my job as interlibrary loan coordinator at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois. That's about as far south on the Metra Electric as Waukegan is north on Metra's North Line. (I should know- I don't drive: Waukegan is farther but they're both end of the line.) After an 8:30 to five day shuffling books and affiliated papers, including a lunchtime meeting of the Friends of the GSU Library Historical Society I'm trying to foment, I'll be meeting with the board of the South Suburban Heritage Association till passed ten. Shimer's got me pulling another all-nighter.

I graduated from Shimer the same year as Young Kim, 1973. Same year but maybe a few months earlier. I completed my coursework in three years, one in Oxford sandwiched between two in Mt. Carroll. Alas! The comprehensive wasn't offered until late in the following fall so I didn't get the degree until the February of my fourth year. I still claim to be an early extrant.

What gave me a jump was the placement exams and the preparation for them that I had gotten from my parents and my high school. My parents met at the University of Chicago in the late Hutchins era. They participated in one of the early Great Books Foundation's reading groups
and the kids of all their friends were our friends so we all grew up with the same books. And the parents all took an interest in what was going on in the schools. And our favorite teachers were all U of C graduates or spouses of U of C graduate students. So when I got to Shimer I was used to small group discussions of seminal texts. And while I found myself quite at home, it was not at last but still.

I came to Mt. Carroll in the aftermath of the GIS. There were still students around from the time of that catastrophic event, and we listened to their tales of the bygone glory days, and the Grotesque Internecine Struggle like ghost stories around the camp fire. Oh! would we had a blog such as this of that!

Anyway- I see that 5am is pressing closer and I'll have to break off soon and haven't gotten to any of my points. I've got some, really. I just had to put up something so Sara would know I was serious about getting permission to post.


Saradevil said...

"Grotesque Internecine Struggle"

I love that and have no idea what it means. But I like it.

Welcome to the blog. I look forward to your points when you get to them. Don't worry, as you can tell from the quietness of late we are all damn busy people.



Eric Nicholson said...

Here's a website that includes a nice description of what the GIS was, but as to what it means....?


Eric Nicholson said...


Main Entry: in·ter·ne·cine
Pronunciation: \ˌin-tər-ˈne-ˌsēn, -ˈnē-sən, -ˈnē-ˌsīn, -nə-ˈsēn; in-ˈtər-nə-ˌsēn\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin internecinus, from internecare to destroy, kill, from inter- + necare to kill, from nec-, nex violent death — more at noxious
Date: 1663
1: marked by slaughter : deadly; especially : mutually destructive
2: of, relating to, or involving conflict within a group "bitter internecine feuds"

Chris Vaughan said...

Eric's link to the pages on the GIS was not working. I found the one's that do:


Interesting reading by someone on the faculty in the 60s. I remember when I went to Shimer in the 80's, the few students who had been in Mt. Carroll were *still* talking about the GIS, nearly 20 years later. Now *that's* college lore.