Friday, February 12, 2010

Things, Glorious Things

  • After a very poky Monday and a "stern" (= kind and smiley, for I am seldom stern) lecture about participation on Wednesday, Brit Lit has become much livelier and more fun. We had a very good discussion on Wednesday, and today I organized them into four teams to stage two debates onByron (we just finished DJ Canto 1) and some of the other texts we've read. The debates were, in brief, the following: Byron vs. Wordsworth ("The Death Match") on the purpose of poetry, and Dona Julia vs. Elizabeth Bennet ("Head to Head") on sexual morality and the role of women. To tell the truth, I was really nervous about this activity, because it unlike anything I had ever tried before and I was afraid that they wouldn't be willing to be a bit silly and get into it. But lo, get into it they did, and we had a fabulous time that actually yielded some very interesting insights.
  • Insight: Willingness to be a shameless ham is helpful when one wants one's students to get into the silly activities that one has planned.
  • I have to spend all day on campus tomorrow for a big recruiting event. We start at 8 am. Why in God's name do we start at 8 am? Why in God's name do people in the Midwest do everything (like get up, eat dinner, EVERYTHING) so damn early???
  • My copy-edited manuscript came in the mail yesterday; I have less than three weeks to turn it around. I am reading it, but oh, it is not a fast process. No it is not. When do I get to retire these dusty old paragraphs?
  • I ought to be grading. It would be very very good of me to grade four seminar papers this evening. Yes. I would be very sage (in the French sense of the word) if I were to grade these four papers. Perhaps I shall dwell on that for a while.
  • The cats have been reasonably well behaved lately, although Priscilla meowed at the door at 3:45 this morning and Pertelote vomited up her breakfast in a particularly disgusting fashion on Wednesday.
  • Priscilla has a new nickname. Medievalists, rejoice: Henceforth, the talkative and MOST melodramatic cat in our house shall be called Constant Mews.
  • I laugh every time I think about it. Constant Mews!
  • Ha ha ha ha!


meg said...

I have adored that name since I first got on Medtext-L!

-meg at xoom

the rebel lettriste said...

Midwesterners do things early, it's true. Dinner at 5 p.m. and shit.

clio's disciple said...

On midwestern earliness: I blame the culture of honest, hardworking farmers (up before dawn, dinner before sunset).

T.E. said...

Constant Mews! Bwaahahahaha! *tries to think of suitable Abeloise joke...*

heu mihi said...

And if you have people over for dinner at 5 pm, THEY WILL BE THERE AT 4:55.

(We had a party a while back that started at 7. At 6:58, the doorbell rang. I opened it and ALL OF OUR GUESTS were standing in the yard.)

Clio, I think you're right.

TE--I'm waiting...!

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Being a shameless ham is my favorite part of teaching.

3 weeks is a very short turn-around for copy edits. Do yourself a favor, though, and plan to finish them in two weeks, let it rest for half a week, then pick it up again and read the damn thing out loud. I did this, but only at the page proofs stage, and I caught more errors (mine) than I care to admit to -- most of them in the notes and the bibliography. The press may or may not end up charging me if they think they're excessive. If you can, do yourself a favor and catch them now.

Dr. Virago said...

Constant Mews...ahahahahahaha!!!!

undine said...

Constant Mews! Makes me laugh, too.