All community newspapers have some space reserved for announcements of good news - even something as homy as going on a vacation, if the town is tiny enough.
In cities, business journals handle this function - for businesspeople - and the daily will let the public know if you are getting married or buried (for a price), but a lot of ordinary good news about everyday people has no outlet but word of mouth.
And, now, blogs, MySpace bulletins and the like, though then it's almost always people publishing good news about themselves - what the Australians aptly call "selling tickets" on themselves.
I'll try to fill this gap by selling tickets on my friends, from time to time. Here is some good news about my friend Greg Hazleton: He finished his dissertation and defended it successfully! He's a PhD now! He focussed on Gertrude Stein, writing in the English Department at Wash. U. Major congrats, Greg!
What's more, he did it all while being an effecting teacher, according to his students' comments on Rate My Teacher. Notice that his "easiness" grade is low (3.3 on a scale of 5), yet the other ratings judging his ability, effort and dedication (helpfulness: 4.7 with a bullet!) are high, which proves they weren't going easy on him just because he went easy on them.
Here is a typical response:
"Pretty good teacher, but extremely extremely hard grader. Despite the extremely hard grading however, the comments he provides are extremely helpful and informative. also, is there 100% for his students and always encourages you to come in for help."
Having been a not very helpful easy grader at Wash. U. back in the day, I can tell you this is the comment the writing teacher supervisor dreams of getting about his grad student faculty.
Greg is on the bill for Day of the Dead Beats 2008, to be held 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 at The Way Out Club, 2525 S Jefferson Ave. Greg is reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti. More on that gig, brought to us by Brett Underwood, anon.
Until Greg sends me part of his dissertation to publish, I leave you with my dopey sketch of him pouring me a beer at The Tap Room and saying something strangely memorable. The likeness is not so impressive, if you know Greg. One of his students on Rate My Teacher said it better: "Pop a three-point hat on him and he looks exactly like a Revolutionary War minuteman."