Answer 1: The end of the semester. Like everyone else in the academic blogosphere, I've been conferencing with students, grading, cleaning up my office, etc. Sadly, nothing new under the sun, though let me just say that my morning survey class--you know: 10 students at 8:30 a.m.? Absolutely phenomenal. I have never seen a survey class so uniformly capable of independent thinking, of actually taking me at my word when I tell them that I hope their papers will actually advance an argument we didn't hear in class. Gendered national sentiment in Orlando. Dueling notions of performativity in Orlando and Written on the Body, nation and sports in Tom Brown's School Days and Wilfred Owen's "Disabled," and my favorite: maternal rhetoric of colonialism as an expression of masculine anxiety over the power ceded to women in the domestic sphere in Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" and Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9. These were a very very nice way to end the semester.
Answer 2: I have gone on a fairly serious weight-loss regime. I've been spending a lot of time doing exercisey things, many at the gym, and some more time thinking about what it means to be doing things to my diet and my exercise regime, which leads me to ...
Answer 3: I had a brief blog affair with another space. That is, When I decided I was going to get very serious about changing my body, I tried, briefly, to make something of an art project out of it. Therefore I created a blog, now deleted, with the following mission:
Over the next month, I will photo-document my own weight loss regime. I will also document my exercise routine and my changing eating habits. I will also use this space diaristically and confessionally, exploring my own history with food, with my body, with masculinity as a construct. As a student of language, bodies, and performance, I will try to be aware of the language I use, almost certainly gendered, and the social texts into which I am interpellated.This was an interesting project, in part because it helped me jumpstart the actual process (disciplining myself to report my daily exercise and food intake to the blogosphere was good incentive not to cheat), and it also helped me articulate some of the implications of the decisions I was making. Problem was, I wasn't ready to take the risk of telling anyone about the site, even though it was anonymous and had photos chopped off at the neck. And I was having trouble posting every day after about a week. I'll probably post more about this whole project in the next several months. But I've already lost between 4 and 6 pounds.
Answer 4: I took a lovely little jaunt to my old stomping grounds, in part to see many good friends, and also my advisor. I shall post about that perhaps some other day. But it was good.