Monday, January 24, 2011

Good for what ails ya

So, hey. Thanks for all those great suggestions on that last post. They ALL went into a packet that is going to form the basis of this good old fashioned close reading unit.

In other news, I'm waiting on stuff, including final word about sabbatical and the department's decision about my tenure (also the fate of the book ms., but that's on a less predictable timetable). In fact, while I already got preliminary word on sabbatical, and my department's beautifully clear tenure requirements have left me with comparatively little to worry about, I still find myself anxious about these pending pieces of news.

And so, in the face of the self-doubt that such waiting inevitable occasions (for me, at least), I've done a little patting of the self on the back by autogoogling at Google Scholar. How nice it is to find oneself quoted in articles, syllabi, dissertations and in two cases, a book. Now, these are still just smatterings. I've not written anything so monumental that it is blowing up the search engine. But even so, what a lovely and affirming moment to see that an M.A. thesis devotes well over half of its pages to engaging an idea that I advanced in a recent article.

See? There really is a conversation. And I really am part of it! How nice!

And now, back to the inexplicable worrying.

ETA: Of course now I can add worrying about the burst pipe in the basement--explicable worrying on top of the inexplicable.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Pop Quiz, Hotshot

Quick: name, in your experience, the single best poem, pre-1900, to teach close reading to new English majors. Bonus points if it involves sex.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Readings on "Why Major in English"

A few years ago, either Profession or PMLA had a "Why Major in English?" forum. I want to use those readings, or perhaps others clustered around them, for the gateway course that we are implementing this year. So, does anyone remember where that forum appeared, and also, has anyone had particular success with other readings about the discipline?