Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Middle of the Week Mélange

News of the day: Dr. Charles Petty, the chief forensic pathologist that served as an advisor to the review of President Kennedy's assassination has passed away. Petty, who as recently as 2003 remained supportive of the Warren Commission's conclusions including the fact that President Kennedy was killed by two bullets, was a main instigator of the "Magic Bullet" theory. It's interesting to me the timing. In the last month there has been a great deal of talk about the Warren Commission as the late President Ford was the last living member of the Commission. Also, when discussing running mates the name John Connally, former governor of Texas, was mentioned. As one might remember Connally was riding in the same car as Kennedy and was also shot in November of 1963. Petty's passing has been a reminder to Kennedy assassination historians that there are few people still living who were directly involved in the assassination review; the only name that comes readily to mind is a man who as a young lawyer also had much influence on the Magic Bullet Theory--Arlen Specter.

Please remember that tonight President Bush will address the nation revealing his plan on how to proceed in Iraq. Everyone is expecting this to be a request to deploy more troops to Iraq. My guess is the Democrats will have a response to this immediately as there is already talk by some, including Ted Kennedy, of blocking any sort of funding for this action.

Difficult and trying days at ISU continue for me. Trying to extend my stay at ISU in order to continue and complete the processing of the Stallings Collection without overwhelming myself with a full class load has been a contentious and difficult issue. This in combination with my uncertainty on my plans for graduate school has been frustrating and I've lost a great deal of sleep and a few tears over the matter. It is amazing how connected a person can become with a project and my attachment to the congressional papers of Richard Stallings is no different. Without a miracle worker in the History department I'd be up a creek without a paddle right now. Evidently seniors are expected to graduate and be anxious to do so...

A side note on music: I listened to "Drops of Jupiter" at a quite high volume this morning on my way to school. It's my way of coping with stress, I think. But this particular morning, the "sassy girl song" as my younger brother once called it (I refer to it as the "independent woman" song, tells you how different our perspectives are) was greatly motivating. You can only go to school in the dark and go home in the dark so many times before it wears on you. When I arrived at school a dear friend of mine in Red Square sent me Taylor Swift's "A Place In This World" song and I absolutely love it. The first few lines say it all: "I don't know what I want, so don't ask me/Cause I'm still trying to figure it out/Don't know what's down this road, I'm just walking/Trying to see through the rain coming down."

And last but not least, there should be a few newspaper articles to look forward to in the coming days. I'm in the middle of writing a story for the ISJ about my hilarious trip to the ISU bookstore yesterday and there is a reporter with The Bengal who is doing a story on the fallout over the ISU referendum and my resignation. Should be worthwhile.

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