I am fully aware of having neglected my blogging duties – it would take much greater a writer than yours truly to produce something even remotely interesting about days spent in a small university town in upstate NY in the middle of the summer. This is not to say that I am bored – not at all. The summer school is great but I feel that trying to describe the discussions that take place here would risk seriously testing the patience of most of my readers. And between the seminars, lectures, reading groups, colloquia, working in library and an odd social event every now and then, I feel kind of like living in a bubble for a third week now. I don’t read newspapers, never see TV and thus it was only the news about the death of Michael Jackson that managed to reach my consciousness recently (which, in all honesty, would be quite impossible to miss here in the US) – apart from that I am pretty much oblivious of what’s going on in the world. I’ll catch up in a couple of weeks.
I went to see roller derby on Saturday night, which was pretty much the peak of non-academic excitement of last two weeks. For my non-American friends, roller derby is a high-octane female contact sport of sorts, where two teams of girls with serious attitude problems skate on a rink and basically try to knock each other silly. After having seen it I fully understand why it is predominately female sport – if you had men competing on this it would inevitably turn into a testosterone-charged bout of pure aggression, carried out when skating at high speeds on a floor of concrete – and I can’t see how this could end any other way than very badly. The matchup of this Saturday wasn’t a very fair one – the Canadian guest team never had a chance and I think that the final score ended up something like 138:30 to the local team. I only watched the first half and left after watching the memorial moonwalk contest for the public that was held during the break.
In the middle of July there are two potentially interesting events coming up though – Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance and Finger Lakes Wine Festival. I am less excited about the latter, but the music festival features among other artists a very fine Malian singer Oumou Sangaré, so I will certainly go there.