Recoveries and Updates

. . . and what a week it was. First, some personal news: I will teach this summer, and I get to teach World Lit. Compressing sixteen weeks of half-assed lectures into six weeks of kick-ass lectures ought to be good. I hope this works. Current plans include just a research paper, abstract at two weeks, progress form at four weeks, conferences M/T/W of the last week, a midterm exam at three weeks and an essay exam at the end. I was going to sit in on Bill's Chaucer course in the summer (and I might just to harass my Spenserian friend C-- P--), but that's still up in the air.

Yesterday was tough but fair; I spent the morning getting mad at the spotty wireless connection in my office, which had just enough connection to work but not enough to stream a Doctor Who video from Netflix (which I just noticed I was allowed to do now), which ate up most of the morning. You see why I don't get work done?

Ah, I say to you, but I did: the reading journals for Bob Brinkmeyer's class are done. I understand why we do these reading journals: like the 2000-word "reviews" we did for Lynda's Gender and Sexuality 600-1100 CE course a few years ago, short reviews are practice for when we actually do get to pick apart the books in our field. I am looking forward to writing reviews when I get the chance, and I also enjoy reading them, especially the at times quite vicious ones in Speculum . I just don't like doing them for short works of criticism in which I am only marginally interested.

Did I get any work done on my papers? No.

Did I grade any more of my students' papers? No.

Am I ready to teach Montaigne's "On the Imagination" on Monday? No.

That's when the potentially useful becomes frustrating busywork.

. . .

Finally, my thoughts are with the people of Virginia Tech as they recover from the loss of so many, including the brave and the clearly brilliant. We will mourn them as we here have mourned the loss of John Locke -- privately, and quietly, and with sympathy. As usual, my response to this tragedy is mostly directed at the media (even NPR is bad about this), who have taken this opportunity to do everything but be useful. Meanwhile, Ted Rall has it right. But that's another story.

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