Wednesday, June 13, 2007

in the news

First, Judge Pearson, of the infamous $67.3 million law suit against Custom Dry Cleaners, is in court this week not on the bench but rather representing himself in what he calls the worst case in D.C. history of "egregious or willful conduct." He has, apparently out of the goodness of his heart, reduced his lawsuit to a mere $54 million. Maybe he's slowly recovering from the emotional anguish and trauma induced by losing a pair of pants.

Just a little bit more locally, this past weekend saw the seventh annual Reacting to the Past Conference here at Barnard College. Reacting to the Past originated back in the mid 1990s in a single classroom on the 4th floor of Lehman as a new concept of teaching history, the brain child of Professor Mark C. Carnes. Mark Carnes was one of the best professors I had in my four years at Barnard, and this is saying a lot for a place so overflowing with brilliant and amazing faculty. Not that I'm remotely biased or anything, mind you. But Mark truly is an incredible individual, entertaining and yet full to the brim with a deep understanding of history; passionate about his students, about sharing his enthusiasm with his students. I was lucky to have him as a professor, a friend, and advisor, and it's great to see that what started as one lone first-year seminar has grown to include more than thirty universities and colleges.

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