Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Junebug has recently learned to clap, which means that he claps at all sorts of things, but mostly himself. He also like being clapped for, and if I'm not clapping for him often enough, he'll reach over, grab my hands, and clap them for me. Too cute.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Summer Grad Class

You perhaps have seen references in the sparse previous posts about a summer graduate class that I'm teaching, one that is a lot of fun already, but is killing me. I've devised a way to make the reading more manageable to the students--by making half of the essays "supplementary" and then assigning 2 people to present the arguments of each one, I've cut the reading from 16-20 essays a week to 10-12. It's still a lot of reading for them, but they seem to be doing it. I however, am still reading 16-20 essays a week.

This has meant that I've had to put writing on the back burner, and will instead have to write like a fiend through July and August. In the interim, I'm going to try to clean up a few article drafts I have laying around, to perhaps get them out to readers in order to supplement my tenure file, which goes forward this fall.

Lesson learned? Teaching a summer grad class is a great deal of fun: laid back and focused at the same time. But I shouldn't ever count on doing anything else with that time.

Monday, May 24, 2010


If I had time for a full post right now, I'd write one on pruning--on trimming back what seems like fertile growth, but which stretches the root structure past capacity. I pruned some oregano and sage back (also, I wanted the herbs), and thinned out some dill this evening (while the twins finished their dinner), and thought, "boy, do I need to do this with my life."

Because I suspect if I pruned back the extra teaching, the extra trips to soccer practice, the friendly morning meetings over coffee, I wonder if a writing plant would flourish?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Mostly, the semester is done. So I can finally breathe easy.

I've got comments on grad papers, and a few lingering undergrad assignments, to write.
I've got two incompletes to expect work from.
I've got a dissertation draft to read.
I've got a summer session I course that begins in 6 days.
I've got a book project whose first deadline I just blithely blew off.
I've got a tenure file to begin assembling.
I've got an invitation to contribute an article to a very good journal outside of my field that I really should NOT agree to.
I've got a backlog of email.
I've got a nagging feeling that a shoe is going to drop.
I've got this sense that optimism will have to stop sufficing for actual labor, and that things like my herb garden and my Netflix account and sometimes even the kids' soccer practice are going to have to wait while I do these things, these things that I've said I'd do, that I need to do.
I've got to go.