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A Visiting Professor in UD’s Department Whines About the Weather.

Howard Jacobson, a British novelist, teaches at GW next semester. As he notes in The Independent, his arrival has been bumpy.

… I am in Washington being a visiting professor. Seemed like a nice gig when I was offered it, but that was before the snow fell. Let’s not be churlish: it still is a nice gig, or it will be if George Washington University ever reopens. The minute we landed, the city’s institutions began to close their doors. You’ve never seen so much snow. Lock yourself in your room and don’t come out is the advice on radio and television. Which is all very well if you’re in your own home and have a freezer stuffed with pizzas, but an apartment hotel with a complimentary sachet of coffee, two tea bags, and a packet of chocolate chip cookies – the difference between civilisation and barbarism is the difference between an English biscuit and an American cookie – is no place to be holed up in for a month.

… Trader Joe’s turns out to be the best grocery store with principles I have ever shopped in, and that isn’t just desperation talking. Yes, you can get your slivered seeds if you want them, but you can also get salamis soaked in red wine, puttanesca sauce made with red wine, excellent red wine vinegars, red wine mustard, and best of all, red wine itself, organised not only by country but by grape. Suddenly I don’t want the siege to end; God willing I won’t have to do an hour’s teaching and can sample every pinot noir the state of Oregon can produce before I fly back home again, assuming a thaw, in March…

Margaret Soltan, February 12, 2010 9:00PM
Posted in: snapshots from home

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