Thursday, January 26, 2017

And then of course there's politics

Other than this morning's rather chipper remarks about my upcoming semester, I haven't posted since well before the election.

And then the election happened, and I couldn't bear to write for a while.

And then it seemed like there was too much to say.

So I'm not just ignoring it, although it looks that way here. I marched on Saturday. I've sent postcards. I may volunteer for the statewide women's political caucus (ideally after July...). I've donated or pledged more money this year than I've ever given before, and I have plans for more. (Next up: donating to a domestic violence shelter in "honor" of Super Bowl Sunday.)

But I think that this could be a very good time for my scholarship, because it has come to feel like a refuge from the political world. When the news overwhelms me, I open a chapter draft and dive in.

Lemons, lemonade (she said somewhat cynically).

And may the revolution bring us all some giant bubble fun.

How the Semester is Shaping Up

Quick comparison:

  • Last semester, I had 111 students in one class (I was responsible for grading the work of 24 of them) and 14 in the other.
  • This semester, I have 5 students in my grad class--two of whom are auditing, and therefore not writing papers--and 4 in my undergrad class.
  • Last semester, I had complicated assignments: required journals in the smaller class, optional journals + a lot of papers + exams in the bigger class.
  • This semester, the pendulum has swung the other way and I have very simple assignment structures.
  • Thus whereas last semester I graded more than 600 journal entries, 150 papers, and 36 exams, this semester I will grade a total--a TOTAL--of 14 papers.
  • Last semester, I gave a talk in March and a paper at Kalamazoo (in May)
  • This semester, I am serving as a respondent at a conference in March, then presenting papers at Kalamazoo (May), Berks (June), another conference (June), and ACLA (July).
  • Oh, and it's the last semester before I go up for tenure, so I'm pushing hard to get my book in near-submittable shape.
Somehow I think that this semester is going to be busier than last.

Still, I'm pretty psyched about the grading thing.