Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I did a good thing today. I really want to tell someone about what I did, because it's a really good thing. I don't often do altruistic things. Not this altruistic. The good things I do usually benefit me somehow.

Some of the hows, because who doesn't like a numbered list? (Don't answer that.)

1. They make me seem more cool and/or awesome.

2. They make people like me more.

3. They make my superiors think I'm more cool and/or awesome, and therefore like me more, and therefore I am more successful.

4. It would be super-awkward not to do the good thing. (An example: I'm going somewhere with friends, and I'm the only one with a car, and all of a sudden the question "Wait, how are we getting there?" drops into the conversation like a stone thrown into a still pond, and nobody looks at me, but I know they're all thinking at me, so I offer.)

5. I have an image to maintain, a helpful, good-thing-doing image, and it's getting kind of rusty and disrepaired.

6. I feel sorry for someone, so in order to stop feeling sorry for them I do a good thing for them. It seems like it's altruism, but it's actually just selfish, because I'm doing it to make myself feel better.

See? Not really good. These all help Ian the Pontificator.

But I did something good, and I can't tell anyone what it was, or it'll stop being good.

"Why?" you ask in an inexplicable Polish accent.

"Because, dear Olaf, the only real reason I'd tell you would be to make me look better, and that would just be a strange sad mess of failure," I reply.

If I say what I did, and if I spread it around, it won't be a good thing any more. Which is indeed bothersome.

More bothersome, though, is the thought that perhaps even this blog post, vague though it be, divests my good thing of goodness. That would be an unhappy birthday.

Long live sneaky goodness.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why Is He Wearing That?

The last day of the semester, I wore ratty clothes to teach. I usually dress pretty well, so the fact that I wore jeans and a t-shirt to class was peculiar. As a "fun" "cool" "awesome" end-of-the-semester activity, I asked my students to come up with creative reasons for my change of garb. Their responses, as they were written, are below.

…because it’s Friday. Not only is it Friday, but it’s the last Friday of class and comfort was in order to tackle it.

…because he was running late after returning from his secret life of fighting crime. He and his nemesis Fierce Frosty were engaged in a viscious battle and lasted a little too long.

…he wanted to demonstrate the importance of appearance, or he wanted to be casual, or he wanted to show us what we looked like when the class began.

…because he is letting us know that relaxation is nearing quickly. Christmas break will be very relaxing, which is reflected by Ian’s clothing.

…college. -_-

…because he ran out of clean “teacher” clothes and his laundry machines are broken.

…he either forgot about laundry Tuesdays or he has given up more than his students have.

…because he is conducting an experiment testing the psychological effect of unprofessional clothing.

…he’s feeling like relaxing on the last lecture of the semester. He dressed up almost every day during the semester, therefore he wants to wear some non-fancy clothes. It also is the last lecture so it really does not matter, the semester is basically over.

…he wants to camp out for the men’s basketball game tomorrow night. He wants good seats so he’s leaving right after class to go get a good spot in line.

...because his closet full of suits was taken by the dry clean workers and thereby putting a halt to his undercover spy business attire.

…it all boils down to the occurrence at Ian’s favorite drycleaners on 12th and State St. He often takes the large van of his there weekly to dry clean and press his impressive array of dress clothes. This morning, however, when he went to pick up the laundry, he was very disappointed because…

…either you’re too busy working on grad school things or you got beat up by a hobo on your way to class and you don’t have any more nice clothes.

…this morning Professor Dejong got attacked by a pack of wild dogs while walking to his car outside of his house. He began to run and eventually found a tree that he could climb. Turns out the dogs were more interested in his clothes than him. He took off his suit and threw it to the dogs. They took his clothes and ran off with them. He ended up taking his clothes from the next guy he saw.

…because it’s the end of the semester and it’s a Friday. There is no need to provide any further explanation.  

…because he can not only dress as a classy gentleman everyday of the week, but he also has a down to earth look. Casual Friday allows him to dress like a humble barista. Even professors need to let their hair down and kick off their dress shoes for a bit. They work harder than the students do in some instances.

…because it is the last day of class he wanted to dress more casually. Or, last night Ian was preparing to go to bed, but he realized he had no toothpaste. He threw on his current outfit and ran out the door. On the way to the store he passed the nurse’s dummies. They chased him all night and he fought for his life, then came to class.

…because he decided, “What the heck, it’s Friday!” Or maybe his dress clothes decided to wage a battle against each other, trying to figure out which were warmer in this approaching winter. I like option 2—battling clothes.

…because all of the rest of his clothes randomly burst into flames when he looked at them. He may have super powers that he doesn’t even know he has where he can suddenly make things burst into flames when he’s bored. OR he just didn’t want to wear a suit because jeans and a t-shirt are more comfortable. Personally, I think it’s the super power reason.

…because he can. Because it’s comfortable and it’s pretty much the last day of school. And the shoes aren’t that holey…I have a much older junkie pair of shoes. Maybe he’s dressed like this because he’s going to work at the “Roastery” and has to wear it. Or…he’s painting…who knows…

…because he wants to dress how he feels.

…because it’s the last day of the semester and he wants to be comfortable knowing the end (finals) is near. I mean I would do the same thing.

…I believe there is a secret society in Marquette University, that the last day of class is national jeans day for teachers because my physics teacher, along with Ian DeJong. They are all probably going to party and celebrate that they don’t have to be with us any longer.

…I have no idea why Ian is wearing such an outfit today rather than his usual apparel. As much as I wish I could think of a significant reason I can not rationalize any cause for this. Instead I shall impart upon thee the knowledge of chemistry jokes. Wanna hear a joke about nitric oxide? NO

…because Fridays are chill days. Plus he ran out of time do to his laundry while grading our Unit 4 papers. He only had dress socks that were clean. No button-ups or nice pants.

…It is clearly casual Friday or it may be due to his knowledge of the bring back courts. If that’s the case, then Daniels better watch his back. Ian is already ahead in the count based on his position to the scoring of his shoes with the holes. This creates a water that brings up the question of how is Daniels still around. This will all conclude at the bring back courts later tonight during the first time for slime!

Creativity at work. What a fine source of joy.

Long live the end.