Single in Academia

I can't imagine I have any readers left, but in the case that I do, I came across this and it seemed like it was something that many of you - like myself - might find it worth a read: it's a piece from Antenna about being single in academia.

Hope you're all well. Enjoy.

The Last Blog Post

Wow, look at the cobwebs here.

Sorry to have neglected this place for so long. Sadly, it's a bit of virtual/intellectual real estate that's only going to be further abandoned. I'm in the slow process of starting up a site that is a more public face (complete with real name) to help deal with an increasingly competitive field, and since I didn't have the focus to do this one justice, I know I won't have the focus to do two of them any service either.

And that's a shame as this was a damn good time. And a new "real name" blog won't allow for nearly the snark this one did (though I bet some still sneaks through). So thanks, dear readers, for the good times. Maybe someday I'll get with it enough to juggle two blogs - or, more likely, I'll find the need for sarcasm that the stodgy professional spot just won't allow.

Til then...

Irritate Your Prof - a MadLib

In order to fill out the story below, please provide the following:
  1. Name of your major
  2. Name of another major or department which feels like the opposite of your major
  3. keyword which has is mentioned in the course description and in every lecture so far
  4. keyword which has never been mentioned in this course's syllabus or lectures so far, related to your major
  5. Noun
  6. adjective
  7. Proper name
  8. Your favorite letter of the alphabet
When you have those answers for each of those, fill them into the story below and e-mail it to your professor, for much hilarity. They'll love you, I promise. And if you feel like it, you can post your answers in the comments, too! What fun!

Hey __________ (5),
I am writing because I have a question about your class. I was under the impression the course would be focusing on __________ (4). But we're now several weeks into the course, and I think the course may be focusing on _______ (3). I am feeling _______(6). I'm a _________(1) major, and thought this course would be useful. My friend, _______(7), said that only __________(2) people would find this course interesting or useful. Is there any chance you'll change the course so that it works better for those of us in _______(1)?

Thanks! See you in class.

North American Calendar Possum

I'm supposed to be writing. Well, editing and adding. Whatever.

Today's the first day in the new term that I've managed to get completely to myself, free from anything but chores and what-not. Naturally, I have ridiculous writer's block, even though I'm editing and adding. Or whatever.

I made the leap at the start of the term to keep better track of my schedule. I'm on a Mac, and I have an iPhone, and it all syncs up nicely, so why not put stuff into the calendar since my school finally has a set-up allowing Macs to connect to things like campus e-mail and such? And I've been dutiful about it, thus far, making sure to plug in events. I've also been trying not to say no to invitations out.

Only now opening the calendar is enough to paralyze me for awhile. I should at least have the decency to fall over and play dead or something when it happens instead of just standing stunned, waiting for the shoe to drop. But no!

First off, I hate that I've hit a point where I can't remember all the details myself anymore. I'm consoling myself that isn't that I'm getting old, but rather that somehow there's more stuff to keep track of. But second, that level of organization feels more than a little confining to me. It was the fascists who wanted the trains to run on time, after all. This much order in my own life feels confining. Certainly, I like a bit of it - no doubt there are folks reading who are laughing a little to themselves thinking of all the amusing moments where I like to impose rules on myself and others. Still, I like the chaos, too (I'll take a picture of my desk sometime if you don't believe me).

So that's the start of the term. My classes are going well, though I'm still struggling to get enrollment for them, but I'm getting there. And if I can get this writing thing (well, editing and adding...whatever) under control, it won't be so bad at all.

Sí se puede

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Remember that without unions and laborers, you'd likely have been working 80 work weeks since you were children for scrip. And don't forget that there people who still are working those long weeks as children from scrip.

And so it begins again...

There is not much to be enjoyed at the start of a new term, truth be told. For whatever reason, the number of meetings that are crammed in to the first two weeks are ridiculous. And, of course, there are the panicked e-mails from students which are like a slap in the face after a quiet summer. And yet, I'm still having a bit of fun here at the start of the second year. Most of it, though, is happening off-campus.

Need a couple things to enjoy? There's the joy that is @feministhulk on Twitter. And I've finally, after years, paid for the full membership to LibraryThing and have been taking the pleasure that only a nerd truly can in cataloguing all sorts of things. Don't be surprised if you see movies and video games appear in that little box towards the bottom of the right-hand column. But mostly I've been plugging along at book edits, and hoping there are no more calamities that get in the way before I can ship the whole thing off to my (rightly-so) agitated editor, and making sense of the conferences I want to head to this year. Among them are one in San Antonio, New Orleans, and maybe Athens, Greece. We'll see how it goes.

You're Leaving on a Jet Plane...She's Not.

Continuing with thinking about the trip, there are a lot of good bits to remember.

I found myself running through the best stories from the trip with a friend on the phone last night - most of them involved airport travel or Americans abroad - and other than running into my old undergrad adviser unexpectedly - the best story happened on the flight back, as I was making a plane change in Shannon, Ireland.

In front of me, stood two American recent college grads - a boy and a girl - and they were chatting each other up in the way that American college kids do (you know, with the assumption on at least one of their parts that if the conversation goes well it equates to them likely hooking up later). And so I hear them swapping travel stories, trying to one-up each other with where they've been or how much they've spent or how long they've stayed. And then flight begins to board.

They call for the first round of regular boarding, and the two kids begin to head towards the ramp, with the girl remarking she's not in this boarding group (evidently the conversation is going well). Neither is particularly bothered by this, no doubt assured by their recent college graduate status and certain sense of entitlement that might come from age or from being American or from having been through so many airports. The boarding guard, an Irish gentleman in his middle years, balding, takes the boy's ticket. Then the girl's. Then he hands it back.

"It's not your time to board."

The boy, feeling his victory close at hand, goes for the kill, no doubt wanting to show both his entitlement and the level of cool control, "Oh, it's okay. She's with me."

The boarding guard looks him over for just a second, sizes up the situation, and says with just enough sense of sarcasm and finality that every young male in the room would've winced and cupped themselves, "Not any more she's not. Get aboard, please."

And with that, head hung in defeat, our young protagonist was left to head alone down the jetway, his dreams of summer fling put coolly to bed. And I must say, seeing it, and hearing the Irish accent and the sarcasm saying it, made the many walks through security well worth the trip.