Ned Gallagher in Havana.

Ned Gallagher:
What I’m Up To


End of Summer 2022



Back To Work

This past summer was dominated by my move across campus into a new house after 27 years in the same dormitory apartment. This took place while I was teaching summer school classes (two high school courses, one middle school course, and a mini-course online for adults) as well as taking a few classes as a student. So it was a busy time, to say the least. The process of packing up and sorting through all my accumulated stuff was much more of an ordeal than I had anticipated, but even though the move itself turned out to be exhausting, now that I’m on the other side of it, I feel I accomplished a lot by purging what needed to go and re-organizing the possessions I kept. Once I got settled into the new abode, I invested in new indoor and outdoor furniture as well as rugs, bookcases, closet shelving, art for the walls, and other needs to make the place feel like home. It’s likely I still will be pulling stuff out of boxes for the rest of the fall, but I am very comfortable in the new digs at this point. And life got considerably better once the air conditioning equipment—delayed for weeks in the height of the summer due to supply chain issues—was installed at the end of August.

Some quick takes on other stuff going on of late:

  • Dealing with movers and furniture deliverymen in my house regularly the last two months made me realize the extent to which I largely live a cashless existence. I had to go out of my way to the ATM a few times in order to keep some bills on hand for gratuities. I rarely use cash anymore. I’m too much of a points junkie not to whip out the plastic at every point of purchase. And even that image doesn’t capture my spending habits, as most credit cared expenditures are carried out digitally, either as online transactions ot with my smartwatch via ApplePay. When traveling abroad I change as little currency as I can, since the exchange rate is better with credit cards and I hate getting stuck with the local money when I head home. As the big deliveries are now winding down, I’ll soon be back to carrying around the same small wasd of bills that I never spend. My only cash needs will be for tipping hotel staff when I travel. And checks? Forget that. I might write a check once, or possibly twice, a year.
  • I spent a lot of time watching U.S. Open tennis matches, taking advantage of the big screen and surround sound of my new living room setup. This year’s tournament was a particularly compelling one, starting with the Serena Williams farewell drama, and concluding with the star turn from Carlos Alcaraz winning his first major title (and presumably there will be plenty more). Plenty of gripping matches throughout the two weeks, too. Though I didn’t make it down to Flushing Meadows this year, I felt pretty engaged by the action in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center throughout.
  • The spiffy new home theather setup resulted in me watching a LOT of films this summer, too, as the list below indicates. Plus, I was taking two film classes online and teaching another, so that led to a cinematic immersion of sorts.
  • One of the highlights of the summer was attending my high school reunion. I always head to these occasions with a bit of trepidation beforehand and end top having a blast reconnecting with folks I’ve know since boyhood. I left wishing I had more time to spend with these people beyond just a few hours some July afternoon.
  • A colleague and I have liberated ourselves from the tyranny of the textbook in our government course sequence for juniors and seniors. We just got fed up dealing with the publishing companies: outrageous prices, too-frequent edition updates, and difficulties getting the books we want to use. It was a bit of work to overhaul the readings in the syllabus, but we have found we can tackle the same topics through close readings of documents like the Federalist Papers, materials from the Case Method Institute, and an assortment of contemporary articles.



What I’m Reading

Working On Now:

  • Mark Leibovich, Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump’s Washington and the Price of Submission
  • Sarah Schulman, Conflict and Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair
  • Lynda Barry, Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor
  • Steven A. Steinbach, With Liberty and Justice for All?: The Constitution in the Classroom
  • Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler, God Is Disappointed In You

Recently Finished:

  • Rachel Khong, Goodbye, Vitamin
  • Belle Liang and Timothy Klein, How To Navigate Life: The New Science of Finding Your Way in School, Career, and Beyond
  • Tim Miller, Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell
  • Dominic Bliss, Rafa Nadal: The King of the Court
  • John Morrow, Kirby & Lee: Stuf’ Said! (Expanded Second Edition)
  • John Lloyd, Dear John: The John Lloyd Autobiography
  • Jacob Howland, Glaucon’s Fate: History, Myth, and Character in Plato’s Republic

On Deck:

  • Maggie Haberman, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America
  • Andrew O’Hagan, Mayflies
  • Bono, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story
  • The Annotated Arabian Nights: Tales from 1001 Nights
  • Alex Ross, Fantastic Four: Full Circle

For Courses I’m Taking This Fall:

  • William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
  • Kandiaronk, “Dialogue on Religion”
  • A Jonathan Edwards Reader
  • Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
  • The Federalist Papers
  • The Anti-Federalist: Writings by the Opponents of the Constitution
  • Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio
  • The Rule of St. Benedict
  • Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias
  • Maimonides, The Guide of the Perplexed
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (Book 1)

For Courses I’m Teaching This Fall:

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther
  • English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • Michael G. Roskin and Nicholas O. Berry, IR: The New World of International Relations
  • Joseph S. Nye and David A. Welch, Understanding Global Conflict: An Introduction to Theory and History
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Andrew Gordon, A Modern History Of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present



What I’m Watching


  • Stath Lets Flats, seasons 1–3 (HBO Max)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Amazon Prime)
  • She-Hulk (Disney+)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife, season 1 (HBO Max)
  • Game of Thrones: The House of the Dragon (HBO Max)

Recently Finished—Television:

  • Light & Magic (Disney+)
  • The Orville, seasons 1–3 (Disney+)
  • I Am Groot (Disney+)

On Deck—Television:

  • Andor (Disney+)
  • The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, season 7 (Showtime)

Recently Finished—Films:

  • Nope (d. Jordan Peele, 2022)
  • McEnroe (Showtime, d. Barney Douglas, 2022)
  • Before Midnight (Paramount+, d. Richard Linklater, 2013)
  • Before Sunset (Criterion Channel, d. Richard Linklater, 2004)
  • Before Sunrise (Criterion Channel, d. Richard Linklater, 1995)
  • Funny Pages (d. Owen Kline, 2022)
  • Double Indemnity (d. Billy Wilder, 1944)
  • The Harder They Fall (d. Mark Robson, 1956)
  • The Caine Mutiny (d. Edward Dmytryk, 1954)
  • Kimi (HBO Max, d. Steven Soderbergh, 2022)
  • Afterschool (AMC+, d. Antonio Campos, 2008)
  • Event Horizon (Showtime, d. Paul Anderson, 1997)
  • Deadline - U.S.A. (d. Richard Brooks, 1952)
  • I Love My Dad (d. James Morosini, 2022)
  • From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians (PBS Passport, d. William Cran, 1998)
  • 37 Words (ESPN+, d. Dawn Porter and Nicole Newnham, 2022)
  • DC’s League of Super-Pets (d. Jared Stern, 2022)
  • The Enforcer (d. Bretaigne Windust, 1951)
  • Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (PBS Passport, d. Brent Wilson, 2021)
  • Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (Kanopy, d. Angela Robinson, 2017)
  • Bullet Train (d. David Leitch, 2022)
  • Citizen Ashe (HBO Max, d. Rex Miller and Sam Pollard, 2021)
  • Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police (Amazon Prime, d. Lauren Lazin and Andy Grieve, 2012)
  • Justice Society: World War II (HBO Max, d. Jeff Wamester, 2021)
  • Beat the Devil (Amazon Prime, d. John Huston, 1953)
  • The African Queen (d. John Huston, 1951)
  • The Departed (HBO Max, d. Martin Scorcese, 2006)
  • In A Lonely Place (Amazon Prime, d. Nicholas Ray, 1950)
  • GoodFellas (HBO Max, d. Martin Scorcese, 1990)
  • Knock On Any Door (d. Nicholas Ray, 1949)
  • Carlito’s Way (Starz, d. Brian DePalma, 1993)
  • Key Largo (d. John Huston, 1948)
  • The Wild Bunch (HBO Max, d. Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (HBO Max, d. John Huston, 1948)
  • The Graduate (d. Mike Nichols, 1967)
  • Scarface (Starz, d. Brian DePalma, 1983)
  • Dark Passage (HBO Max, d. Delmer Daves, 1947)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (HBO Max, d. Arthur Penn, 1967)
  • The Big Sleep (HBO Max, d. Howard Hawks, 1946)
  • In the Heat of the Night (HBO Max, d. Norman Jewison, 1967)
  • Sahara (d. Zoltán Korda, 1943)
  • Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (d. Mike Nichols, 1966)
  • To Have and Have Not (d. Howard Hawks, 1944)
  • The Hustler (d. Robert Rossen, 1961)
  • Thor: Love & Thunder (d. Taika Waititi, 2022)
  • All Through the Night (d. Vincent Sherman, 1942)
  • Casablanca (HBO Max, d. Michael Curtiz, 1942)
  • The Maltese Falcon (HBO Max, d. John Huston, 1941)
  • High Sierra (d. Raoul Walsh, 1941)
  • The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (HBO Max, d. Francis Ford Coppola, 1990/2020)
  • The Godfather, Part II (HBO Max, d. Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
  • The Godfather (HBO Max, d. Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
  • Dead End (Kanopy, d. William Wyler, 1937)
  • Black Legion (d. Archie Mayo, 1937)
  • The Petrified Forest (d. Archie Mayo, 1936)
  • Jurassic World Dominion (d. Colin Trevorrow, 2022)
  • Al Capone (d. Richard Wilson, 1959)
  • Ulysses (d. Joseph Strick, 1967)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (d. Joseph Kosinski, 2022)
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (d. Stephan Elliott, 1994)



What I’m Listening To


  • Talking Heads, Talking Heads 77 [Deluxe Edition]
  • Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Fitzgerald Meets Iriving Berlin
  • Yo-Yo Ma et al., Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach


  • The New Yorker Radio Houe
  • The Whiskey Rebellion

Audiobooks/Radio Dramas:

  • The Sandman, Act III (Audible)



What I’ve Been Attending

  • Bloomsday celebration, Dublin, Ireland, June 16
    • The United States v. Ulysses staged reading, Pavilion Theatre
    • visit to the Reading Room and the Joyce and Yeats exhibitions, National Library of Ireland
    • screening of Ulysses (1967), National Gallery of Ireland
  • also on my Dublin trip in June I was very much looking forward to seeing Brian Friel’s Translations at the Abbey Theatre, where I first saw the play in 1996, but a last minute COVID situation resulted in the performance being canceled
  • Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, Massachusetts, July
  • St. John’s College Summer Classics, online course: Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, July
  • St. John’s College Summer Classics, online course: Plato's Meno and Phadrus, July
  • St. John’s College Teachers Institute: “The Trial and Death of Socrates,” online, July
  • high school class reunion, Long Island, July
  • Teaching American History conference on the Federalist Papers and the Constitution, Pittsburgh, August
  • Elm City Shakespeare’s outdoor performance of The Tempest, New Haven, August



Where I’m Traveling

Upcoming Trips:

  • long weekend getaway in Chicago at the end October
  • mystery trip the week before Thanksgiving, at the mercy of a Choate alumnus who is flying me out to somewhere in California for an occasion to be revealed



What I’m Learning

  • the best way to hang pictures on a wall



What I’m Looking Forward To

  • finishing unpacking boxes of stuff from my summer move
  • keeping my car in a garage once the cold weather comes


Thanks to Derek Sivers for his concept of the /now page.
Revised: 17 September 2022