Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

Friday I had to go to school for a pizza lunch with my dissertation advisor and all of his other advisees at noon. Friends of mine, mostly. Or somely. Around 10:30 I started getting irrationally nervous. Like, butterflies in the stomach nervous, not sweaty palms or nauseated nervous. Ever since Evan was born I feel […]

(I can’t wait to see who finds me through Google with that title. Ha!) Today’s a day for loosening the screws.   Relaxing the body and mind but also relaxing my expectations. Sometimes without realizing it, I discover I’ve been tightening this vice around some part of me, increasing the pressure by the minute without […]

Thingly Things


I received this in my inbox recently and all I can manage to say is holy crap. Forget the fellowship. I am dropping out of school, I really am. CALL FOR PAPERS: “Things Matter” University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia Department of English March 13-14, 2008 Keynote Speaker: Bill Brown, University of Chicago iPhones and Ikea, […]

You know what, Internet? It kind of hurts my feelings that you didn’t think I would get it. You were all, “No news must be bad news” and “I bet the people who won it heard by now and they’re just letting it sink in slowly for the losers without actually telling them.” Yeah, well […]

About once every other year, I get a student in one of my classes who is different. Not has-purple-hair different or only-likes-T.S.Eliot different or refuses-to-bathe different (I get plenty of those kinds of different each quarter). Different different. Everyone-notices different. Processes-information-differently different. Stutters, perhaps, and rubs his leg while he speaks. Raises his hand to […]

Internet, I need your help. I need you to cross your fingers and to ask everyone in your family to cross their fingers. If your babies are too small or too uncoordinated to cross their own fingers, I need you to cross them and tape them so they stay. Then, I need you to go […]

Market / Place


I was reading a blog post on Crooked Timber, written by scholar Michael Berube, about how his family (particularly his wife’s parents) just don’t “get” what he does. They don’t see sitting and reading for hours as work and thus feel completely justified in, say, interrupting him while he’s “working” at their house over Christmas […]



How great is this: In a workshop-slash-talk I attended recently, two creative writers struggled to categorize us non-creative writers in the room. They kept wanting to say “for writers and ______” but didn’t know what word to use. Scholars, of course, comes to my mind. Or even academics. But instead they referred to us first […]

One of the most important things you can get out of your Ph.D. program is a better understanding of your talents, your contributions, and your commitments. Which battles are you willing to fight and which are you willing to let go? I attended a quite-enlightening event today called “Women in Higher Education: Career Strategies for […]

It’s a very strange thing when your favorite hobbies become your job. Sure, it’s pretty much everyone’s dream come true. But it also necessitates a complete reconceptualization of the self. If my job is now reading, writing, even thinking, then what do I do to relax? And, if my job isn’t tied to a clock […]