Paul L. Caron

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tax Prof "Guilty Pleasures"

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently carried a piece in which "several scholars shared their secret (or not so secret) guilty pleasures -- their passions outside the classroom." Chicago Law Prof Cass Sunstein responded that his guilty pleasure is the Lost TV show.

Following the lead of other Law Prof Blogs, I asked the members of the TaxProf Email Discussion Group to share their "guilty pleasures."  Scanning the list below -- reading Shakespeare, gardening, playing the accordion, etc. -- proves once again that the Tax Professorate is filled with a bunch of Wild and Crazy Guys (and Gals):

  • Byrne_6Donna Byrne (William Mitchell) (left):  "My accordion. I started a little over 4 years ago. Last Fall I had to catch up on some CLE credits. There was a farmers' market on the street outside the CLE Center in downtown Minneapolis, so I took my accordion with me and went out at lunchtime to become a street musician. I made eight dollars in an hour in the rain -- two weeks in a row. I guess I won't quit my day job just yet."
  • Linda Beale (Wayne State):  "My guilty pleasure is gardening or, in its most favored form, contemplating the garden. Somehow getting my hands in the dirt and helping something grow, bloom and prosper and then being able to admire the result seems to counter life’s many little disappointments, whether it is the occasionally tense faculty or committee meeting or the class discussion that died in the water rather than soaring like I had hoped. I especially like the possibility of indulging my creative side in a format that provides real benefits for myself (exercise, fresh air, and relaxation) and my community (a natural showplace in the making)."
  • Paul_accordian_6Paul Caron (Cincinnati):  "Jon Stewart's The Daily Show."  (Following up on Donna's "guilty pleasure":  there must be something about accordion training leading to a tax academic career.  Check out the picture on the right of my early accordion stylings.)
  • Jon Forman (Oklahoma):  "I've been riding motorcycles since college and just replaced my 1978 Honda 400 Hawki C50 with a brand new Suzuki C50 (800cc cruiser)."
  • Francine Lipman (Chapman):  "Ocean kayaking."
  • Jim Maule (Villanova):  "Partaking of chocolate, sailing on the QE2 and QM 2, driving across the country, researching family history, riding trains."
  • Ann Murphy (Gonzaga):  "People magazine."
  • Robert Nassau (Syracuse):  "Surfing eBay (for all manner of things)."
  • Allan Samansky (Ohio State):  "Reading Shakespeare plays and reading the Odyssey in the original Greek."
  • Kirk Stark (UCLA):  "Flight of the Conchords."
  • Chris Hoyt  (Missouri-Columbia):
    • Visiting Presidential Museums:  "I'm a history buff. With my travels, I have visited every Presidential Museum in the nation except for President Clinton's in Little Rock. Hope to get there someday. Though I understand that the Clinton Museum has something that I haven't seen at any other Presidential Museum: a two-drink minimum."
    • "Playing the guitar.  [Check out the YouTube video below.]  "I'm the guy with the white jacket. The bass player is also a professor. The other performers are students. I have always thought that Chuck Berry's guitar riffs are the essence of Rock and Roll. I'm still looking for that amplifier 'that goes to eleven.'"

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Hmm. Maybe only Ann and Robert are being completely candid. What you have asked is like a game played among intellectuals in a Martin Amis book. Name the piece of literature that it would be most shocking for others to know you had not read. To win the game you must "out" yourself by revealing you are not all that intellectual. Not many are willing to play to win.

Posted by: Jeff Harrison | Oct 18, 2007 7:44:43 AM