herodotus

baltimoreandme


Thick Description

. . . underdressed and overeducated


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herodotus
baltimoreandme
My LJ paid account is going to end soon, and I'm not sure I'm going to renew it - I love the people I have met here, but the technical side of LJ is not terrific, and I've been spending a lot of time on my other project, which is less complaining about work and more about music. So, I can be found here.

24 May
herodotus
baltimoreandme
I spent two hours cleaning out all the file folders and drawers and piles of stuff in my office. WHY DO I KEEP THESE THINGS? Seriously.

Next: putting books in boxes. Fun!

22 May
herodotus
baltimoreandme
Have you ever noticed that finishing things is never like it is in the movies? That is, you don't work furiously toward a goal and then reach the end of it and hurrah! - rather it's more like you're working on it, and working on it a little bit more, and then one day you just realize: it's finished. I like that feeling.

May 15
herodotus
baltimoreandme
Never work at home. Or at least, never try to work at home if you're me. It doesn't work. The morning is fine (I got like five different readings all set to go!) but the afternoon just turns into not working. I need to be at my desk to give me some discipline.

On the bright side I got reimbursed! By two different institutions! In one day! That place in California coughed up the money from my interview at the beginning of February, and I got a check from my research account for some teaching materials I bought recently. With the California place I was just about ready to send . . . another politely worded email.

14 May
herodotus
baltimoreandme
Just about done with the syllabi. I just have to do a little pdf splicing and we're set. Now, to move on to lectures/class plans! I want to get as much of this done as I can early because I have the time now. There's a little bit of an adjustment because I'm used to 75 minute class meetings or 2 hour seminars: and now it's three 50 minute class period per week. 50 minutes 3x a week is the same as 75 minutes 2x a week but it's necessary to divide things up a little differently.

And I have to take a little road trip this weekend to find an apartment. I'm afraid I left it too long - argh. I'm used to rental markets where you basically do your looking within a few weeks of the time you intend to move in. However. It is not yet the time to panic. Something will turn up.
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10 May
herodotus
baltimoreandme
Colleague P came by my office to chat this afternoon. Then my phone rang. It was Gretchen, one of our administrative assistants. "Hi, [my name] - have you seen Peter?"

Me: [mildly surprised] "Yes, actually - he's right here."

Gretchen: "Can you tell him Jim's looking for him?"

Me: "Will do." [To Peter] "Jim's looking for you."

The fact that Gretchen knew that my office was a likely place to call . . .

8 May
herodotus
baltimoreandme
This week's challenge: how to write a review of a fatuous book that clearly indicates that I think it is a fatuous book but does not contain the words "this is a fatuous book."

Sarcasm won't fly in this case because one must be professional. But I've got one draft written (I read the book yesterday afternoon) and I think I can get the whole thing off my desk some time tomorrow. They give you like three months to do things like this. It rarely takes more than one to three days even in and around other things. But I love it that they include all the time for procrastination.

3 May
herodotus
baltimoreandme
Why are novels so hard to make excerpts of? I've been dithering over what bits of Uncle Tom's Cabin to assign for next semester. The whole novel is quite long, as 19th century novels tend to be. I'm thinking I want Eliza's escape over the river, and Ophelia's reactions to slavery, and Tom's death on Legree's plantation - but even those add up to quite a lot of pages.

And I am so mentally tired right now that I almost wrote "Uncle Tim's Cabin" for "Uncle Tom's". I guess that would be the cheap knockoff of Stowe's novel? The reason my brain is fried is that I interrupted my work day this afternoon to listen to an internet broadcast of a Lieder recital and, well, sustained attention to music for an hour or two tends to end mental activity for the day - at least for me. But what can you do? 8pm CET is 1pm Central, and there's nothing you can really do about that.

My landlady brought people by today to look at my apartment. It was a young woman and her mother - the young woman has a new job at the medical center. They both really wanted to know if I was planning to sell my furniture. (I have awesome furniture.) But I am not.
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1 May
herodotus
baltimoreandme
I spent some time with EEBO this afternoon. New England had a kind of tricky PR issue in the 1630s - they had to play to the godly but at the same time avoid appearing seditious. Tough tightrope to walk. Also, our library catalog was down for some reason, which means that annex requests were not happening, so there are about fourteen volumes of early Connecticut records that I do not have. Tomorrow.

I just submitted my grades, which is nice - I'll have to send out an email tomorrow or the next day to the students to let them know they can pick up their papers if they want to.

30 April
herodotus
baltimoreandme
Ugh. I got up late this morning because I stayed up too late last night watching a dvd. And today what have I accomplished? I graded two research papers (done!) and got sucked into Mary Chesnut's civil war diary. The diary serves a purpose - I want to assign some of it next semester, and thus I have to read it to figure out precisely which thirty pages or so I am going to use. And Chesnut is very clever and funny and observant. It's a great source. But I cannot spend a whole afternoon on it!

I STILL HAVE NOT GOTTEN reimbursed for that interview in February. It's not like it's causing me awful financial problems or anything, but it's enough money that I sort of want it back, you know? I got the form they sent me in the mail (after two months) and filled it out and sent it back, which was supposed to lead to them sending me a check, and I think I am going to have to send another politely worded email to ask whether they got it or not. This does not have to be this hard.
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