Saturday, February 26, 2011

Aerial View

It would appear that I still have little to say.

(Actually, I could talk your ear off, but it doesn't mean that any of it's worth saying. Also I'm pretty tired. In blogospheric news, however, I did get to catch up a bit with both Dame Eleanor Hull and The Rebel L this weekend! RL and I even got to celebrate her first night out in living memory. Good times were had.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Cat Picture

Because I've got like nothing to say, evidently.

So there you are.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Apparently the Field College yearbook does these "superlative" awards for faculty and staff--who knew? They're mostly on things about sports team fan-hood and other stuff for which I wouldn't particularly want to be competitive, but they seem like a nice enough idea.

I know about this because I'm apparently a finalist for one of them--there's been a tie, so they're having a vote-off. I'm in the running for "Most likely to be a friend after graduation."

I surely do think that's sweet (though it must be said that my money is on the other contender.)

And you know, I don't think that my students' thinking of me as having friend potential undermines my authority. I am pretty much positive that my students respect me--and, if they don't, I don't know about it. My classes are difficult and my evaluations very good; many of my students work hard in my courses. I seldom get the sense that anyone is trying to pull one over on me; this is not to say that they never do, but I'm okay with letting the occasional con artist get away with something* if it means that, on the whole, there is trust between me and my students (as well as the peace of mind that comes with not looking for cons).

This is, by the way, a marked change from my first year or so here. I knew that a lot of my students liked me back then, but I knew that a lot didn't--and, more to the point, I felt highly embattled. I did have disrespectful students. They freaked me the hell out. And even when I didn't run into open hostility, I was highly alert to the possibility of disrespect. I think that a lot of this--and a great deal of my stress and unhappiness--came from being afraid of my students. That's a perfectly normal new-teacher feeling, I think, but it doesn't make for a sustainable career.

And now, you know, it's just a pleasure to walk around campus, especially because we're such a small school, and to have to pause every few seconds for a "Hi, Chelsea, how's it going?" or "Lou! Congratulations on the law school admission!" or "Hey, Veronica, you feeling better this week?"

It's nice. It's a community. And, in a weird way, it is precisely my position of relative power and authority (as a professor) that enables me to make all of these fond and dispassionate connections--to be friendly without judgment, as it were. I don't need to assess these people as peers; I merely need to be compassionate, and fair, and courteous, and somehow, that makes me love them.

*We're NOT talking plagiarism here--that's a different issue--and one that I do catch on occasion.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I'm not even on the market and looking at the job search wiki (for like a second--to see whether a job that a friend interviewed for has been filled [it hasn't]) made me feel terrible.


Friday, February 4, 2011

An Impossibility

Reading a review of one's own work.

I think I'll just let it sit on my desk for a couple of days.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First Review

I'm filled with JOY this afternoon. And it's only partly because we're having at least 1.5 snow days (starting this afternoon and possibly lasting through Thursday--Wednesday is definitely off). This is the third actual blizzard I'll have witnessed this year--bringing my Grand Lifetime Total up to 4. Ironically, the blizzard is requiring the cancellation of a climate change denier's speech. Heh. Earth doesn't like him.

Anyway. The main reason for my JOY is an email that I've received from one of my Medievalist Heroes. Actually, she is probably my One True Medievalist Hero. Truly a fabulous and awesome scholar. I love her work--it's erudite, compelling, and an actual pleasure to read.

She emailed me because she's reviewing my book...and she likes it! In fact, she's sending me a couple of her own off-prints in the hopes that I'll find them interesting! (By the way, isn't that just a nice thing to do? I'll have to remember it for when I'm big & fancy.)

First of all, it's honestly thrilling for me to have anyone who's a medievalist (i.e. not my mom--whose first words about the book, by the way, were, "I don't mean to be critical, but there were a lot of typos," so maybe she's not the best counterpoint here) actually think that my work is legitimately good. But to have such a medievalist say so--well! I might just need to dance around the living room to "Come on Eileen." Too ra loo ra loo indeed!