Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Movin Out

So we're moving this week, from a too-big house to a smaller one in town. I won't have much internet access (not like I've been using it much lately), and I'll be knee-deep in boxes for a while.

But there are truckloads of things to blog about, so I'm hoping to return to teh intertubes with gusto come (what) May.

Monday, April 20, 2009


  • Eleven days until we go to settlement on the new house
  • Ten days until we go to settlement on the current house
  • Nine days until final project conferences in the Theatre Tour class
  • Eight days until the movers arrive to begin the two-day move
  • Seven days until we take possession of the new home in an early occupancy agreement
  • Seven Days until I teach the last Theatre Tour class
  • Seven Days until I paint the dining room in the new house
  • Five days until my mentee presents his McNair project
  • Four Days until I give a talk to the graduate student group
  • Two days until the department's awards luncheon (with two of my students claiming awards)
  • One day until I can return to normal vigorous exercise on the squash court, and begin losing the 8 pounds I've gained since the arm surgery
  • One day since Willow's nephew was born (Welcome Jack Roland!)
  • One day since my mom left town
  • Three days since the last Theatre Tour excursion
  • Six days since an article was due to the editor

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Writing is Fun/Writing is Hard

There has been a bit of blogospheric discussion that welled up and then died down weeks ago about the nasty truth that what we do is actually fun for many of us: writing critical scholarship does, alas, produce pleasure for the writer.

It also, like so many other pleasure inducing experiences (ahem) produces its fair share of anxieties. I'm working on a slightly overdue article which is a reworking of a short piece I began as a performance review, and then conference paper 3 years ago or so, and which is now expanding to cover more ground. I know the points I want to make, the background material I need to marshal in support, the textual evidence to cite. It's all in my head, and frankly, that part is the fun part for me: the discovery, the new idea, brimming with promise and brilliance, the Eureka that I know will add to the ongoing discussion.

The thing is, the kernal of an idea I could probably express in a page or two: a nice blog post, even. But real scholarship doesn't work like a blog post inasmuchas it is, well, work. Assembling those quotes, and the theatre history, and the theoretical underpinnings, etc. etc.--That's not even a tiny bit of fun to me: it's work. Which is why I have spent much of the last 12 hours NOT writing this article, preferring instead to hammer out a memo requesting Faculty Senate approval for changes to the English Major, and the acknowledgements page for the collection (I learned today that only the Brits--and I--spell "acknowledgements" with that second 'e').

The only thing I like doing less that writing up an article with no discover left in it is doing the works cited when I'm done...but even that has worked as a procrastination habit. Oh, and Proofreading, at which I am miserable--as this blog can attest.

So about the writing as fun/hard/painful/whatever...Writing to think is fun, but the writing down what I've already thought? not so much.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Some Updates: very random

  • The workshop and talk (on different topics) last week both went fantastically well. I was received with great warmth by Nels there, and was thrilled to be talking with such a smart batch of colleagues and his really engaging students. I also had a little fun working with the presentation itself, using blogger in place PowerPoint for presentation slides, and then uploading much of the talk's notes onto the site ex post facto so students could use it as a resource. I'll pull it down eventually, since I hope to use this for an article before too long, but the format seemed to work well, and helped me continue the momentum from the writing marathon preceding the visit.
  • The Junebug is growing according to (or slightly ahead of) schedule. He has big feet.
  • Traveling with students for three out the last four weekends has been a blast (though exhausting). I really like getting to know them as people, and having them get to know me as a person, and in my case, that happens really well at the theatre, where I find it much harder to hide my enthusiasm or disappointment than in the classroom. Most recently, a good R&G are Dead had the conversation with my students rolling. If only I had been smart enough to cut the conversation short to get some shut eye...
  • In the meantime, with all that travel, I have been waaaaay behind: on grading, committee work, an article deadline, you name it. As soon as grading is caught up tomorrow, I'll be working on all that other stuff.
  • The move is proceeding apace. Many things in the current house are finding their way toward boxes, or at least stacks which will make boxing easier. If you don't hear from me at all during the last week of April, you'll know why.
  • I did see what may have been the funniest sight yet of my parenting days. Rambunctious went to a timeout after throwing his sister's towel in the (still-full) bathtub. He had not yet dressed. When I went to check on him, he was wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, a black mask (a la Robin), a Superman cape, and carrying a lightsaber. I shall never forget this image, since it will likely be excellent blackmail in about 10 years.
  • I have seen Hamlet twice this semester, not counting screening film clips in class (Olivier, Gibson, Branagh, Hawke). It really is that good, even in a crappy production.
  • Willow is into the 3rd trimester, which means that breathing and sleeping and eating without reflux are all challenges right now. I wish I could do more for her...