Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good news yesterday....and....zzzzzzz.....

Okay. In order to function over the last 3-4 days, I've needed at least 10 hours sleep. So, I go to bed at 10:30 and wake up at 8:30. I'm *exhausted*! This is not the usual medieval woman I'm used to being. I used to stay up until 2am working and getting my shit done. Now, I'm in bed sawing logs at early-bird special time (for me anyway)!

My good news is that I heard from the journal I sent my most recent peely-offy article too and they have accepted it and said very nice things - the reader wants me to make some really minor changes and the editor wants me to tweak the intro a bit. I'm most happy about the fact that this piece was really my book project in miniature - it was a few pages of my general argument and then basically my second chapter (pared down a bit). If the reader didn't like this article - if they thought it wasn't plausible - then there's a good chance that a reader wouldn't like my book manuscript. But, best of all, the reader said that my methodology could be extended to read other texts in the same genre as this one in interesting and new ways. Woo-hoo! I happen to have done that in several other chapters! Do you want to be the reader for my book manuscript, too?

So. I'm not going to prep for class tonight. I'm not going to write the narratives for my reappointment dossier (it's not due for a few weeks anyway). I'm not going to grade any more papers. I'm going to go to bed with my bad-ass grandma self and bang on the walls with my cane when the freelance gnomes get a little too crazy in that mosh pit they've set up in the kitchen...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crazy Student Tailz

I am so irritated at my students today. They were such complete slackers!

It reminded me a little bit of some student antics about a year ago - I happened to see this student again today and I was reminded of it.

We were reading and discussing John Donne's Holy Sonnets that day (so awesome and brilliant!) and I got a phone call from this student saying that s/he needed to talk to me about why s/he wouldn't be in class. S/he said, kind of breathily,

Student: "Uuuuum....I won't be in class to discuss those poems today because....uuuuuum....I'm a Christian and, uuuum, these poems offend me as a Christian (pronounced "Chrissss-chin?" with the slight rise in tone at the end)...."

MW: "That's great. So was Donne. It'll still count off of your attendance grade."

Student: "Uuuuum....but I'm a Christian and it offends my personal beliefs to read these poems about God battering them and stuff."

MW: (?!?!) "Well, okay. But you do know that reading and discussing the poems in no way necessitates your subscribing to their particular theology, right? And how is it that none of the other texts we've read this semester have posed a problem?"

*Paging Dr. Summoner anyone?*

Student: "Yeah. But that was all Catholic and medieval and stuff. But I'm a Christian and this offends me."

MW: "I'm sure that most Catholics (modern and medieval) would be offended by the suggestion that they're not Christian. Nevertheless, it's on the syllabus and class attendance is required, so this will count as an absence."

Student: "But that's penalizing me for my religious beliefs!"

MW: "Indeed, I'm not. Religious beliefs are not an acknowledged illness or family emergency and, thus, I'm not excusing it. You're making the choice to stay out of class and, if it is because of fervently held religious beliefs, then you need to be able to accept the consequences of your actions. In this case, the consequences are pretty mild. The Lollards didn't have it so easy, as you might remember."

Student: "Buuuuuut....."

MW: "Might your offense coincide with the fact that it's right before Spring Break and you already have 4 absences in this class?"

Student: "That offends me..."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Has it been this long?

Okay, WTF? Have I been in a time warp? Kidnapped by aliens? Where have I been? I'm asking you that like you know...

I'm breaking the silence! I've been tuning in to the blogs of others but haven't been in the mood to blog myself. But, I returned from Medieval Pop's wedding yesterday (indeed, they got married) and so I thought I'd dive back in before embarking upon yet another crazy week.

This will take bullet form:

1) The best news first: TD has been asked to come out for a visit and talk at Research Think-Tank (hereafter known as the Tank)!!! I'm so happy. It's been hard to try to get a time set for the visit to take place, but it will happen in early December. It's not (or at least it doesn't seem to be) because they're having other candidates out - in fact, TD posed many different Mondays over the next month and a half and for various reasons (all of which they were forthcoming about) it couldn't happen. Their research group is spread over 3 different states and during most of the other times TD could come (i.e., when there wasn't a wedding to go to!), various members of the group were traveling or they had some company-wide event to attend. So, he'll go out then and we hope they'll like him and hire him!

2) This news is particularly good because neither one of us is going on the academic job market this year - there aren't ANY jobs in our dismal lists that coincide geographically even a little. So, the Job Market Gnomes are sitting around and watching daytime TV, eating pop tarts, and generally growing squishy around the edges. My band of ninja warriors are considering subcontracting out for a while until I have a secret mission to send them on - if anyone knows of a small dictatorship that needs toppling in the next few months, their rates are reasonable.

3) I just recently went on a lovely trip to give a talk at a friend's college - it's so nice to be an invited speaker! I was on their college website as an event! The talk went well and the people and students were delightful.

4) I (blessedly?) still haven't heard about my manuscript or the article I sent out. I pray for the reprieve to continue through the end of the year. But now I'm starting to think that I should begin to consider my second project, whatever that may be. I know that many people already have their second major project in mind - but I don't. Jesus, how do I start to think of one? I feel like it took me so long to think of the first one! Maybe I should just play it a little cool for the next year and write a few articles? And work on getting this most recent book ms published, of course.

5) My birthday was last week - MW is now 35. I spent my birthday in an airport in transit from my talk visit. But tonight friends are taking me out to tacos and this weekend I got to see TD, so it has been the week-long birthday celebration.

6) We might have more great news soon....hmmmmm....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Settling In...

Yawn. Up at 6 this morning. I'm allergic to mornings this early. It has been a lovely weekend though; it's the first one in forever that I'm not traveling, stressing over the manuscript, or had visitors. After returning from a marathon stint in The Real Dutchmanlandia (only 2 1/2 days - which was stupid), Medieval Mom came to visit for a full week 2 days later. In the middle of the semester. And I had to peel off an article from the book and have it done right smack dab in the middle of her visit. Ugh.

The trip to TRD (see above) was wonderful, just very quick. We went for a weekend wedding of one of TD's best friends. Left Thursday night and flew overnight arriving in TRD mid-morning Friday, colossally jet-lagged and barely coherent (I can't sleep on planes). On Saturday was the wedding. We left our hotel at noon and did not return until 3am Sunday morning. Slept a little and then we were up on Sunday to visit his mom and brother; that evening was dinner with his dad. Back to the hotel at 10-ish to pack and try to get some sleep before we had to wake up at 4am to get our flight. Well, I was so high strung that I couldn't sleep at all, so I didn't. We were on the plane at 8am the next morning but had to sit there for 2 hours while something was repaired; finally went aloft for our 7 1/2 hour flight back to hub airport where TD and I had to part again to go back to our respective countries (sadness). And, b/c we were 2 hours late getting in, I had to run to catch my connection and we barely had time to say goodbye (more sadness). That was 2 weeks ago and we're traveling so much this month that I won't get to see him for another 2 weeks.

Medieval Mom's visit was ill-timed. She constantly talks - I mean all the time. A running commentary on life that makes me want to bang my head against the wall. And then I felt guilty for not entertaining her more. But I had to write an article. And prep for and teach a graduate class.

Anyway, it's been a helluva tough couple of weeks (hence the bloggy silence), but I'm finally settling into my life. I'm making an overnight trip next week to a colleague's school to give an invited lecture, but that will be an easy jaunt. Then the next week we go to another wedding...

Sorry to vent and whine! I'm going back to bed.