Saturday, July 30, 2011

Obstacle to productivity

Hard to get work done on this Saturday afternoon...

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I just sent off final versions of the essays that will appear in the special issue of Studies in American Humor that I am editing. That feels great.

Other goals/projects I've accomplished this summer:

1) Wrote two conference abstracts (from scratch, thank you), both of which have already been accepted.

2) Sent off one journal article for consideration. (Fingers crossed on that one, but it's kind of a major journal...)

3) Taught summer school. That already seems like forever ago, although it ended less than 3 weeks ago.

4) Worked with Advising/Registration. The last session begins today and ends tomorrow. Unfortunately, the last session is always the most difficult (so few spaces left in classes) and my group this time is the biggest I've ever had. But let's be glass half-full on this one: it's the last session!

Still on the summer to-do list:

1) Finish revising my "Black Cat" essay and send it back out. I've actually done a lot of revision so far, but I need to devote a solid couple of days to it to get it completely done.

2) Get those fall syllabi ready. (One down, three to go.)

3) All of those home-improvement ideas I had in mind...working on the master bath, getting someone to put in crown molding downstairs. I have a feeling this goal won't be met. But that's okay.

4) Get a decent head-start on both of those above-mentioned conference papers. 

Okay--time for some celebratory chair dancing...this will do.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Two awesome things from last week...

Soooo busy this week, but I am taking a micro-break and posting (really briefly) about two of the most awesome things that happened last week:

1) Back from the dead! Saved!

2) 3000! And #3000 was a homer. And he went five-for-freakin'-five. And drove in the game-winning RBI. Awesome.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A bit of a fall TV preview...

Some news on SMG's (that's Sarah Michelle Gellar, for those who aren't Buffy-philes) new show, Ringer. Count me in for the premiere. I hope it's good!

Three messages from students

First two good ones, the kind that feel so very validating:

1) A recent graduate and English minor contacts me with some updates from his post-Shepherd life, including the news that he got a job (yay!). I really like this student--he's smart, hard-working, polite. He was also willing to ask the hard questions, like "Why are we doing this?" (albeit in a respectful way). That's not easy to pull off. I was sort of an unofficial adviser for him as he worked his way through the English minor and the job search. Anyway, here's the best part of his message: "Believe it or not, it wasn't my business degree that they [his new employers] wanted, but my writing skills (way to go English)." I've told him to tell everyone that. 

2) Student #2, also a recent graduate, recently had an interview with a local paper and brought writing samples from this past semester's Advanced Composition class. Here's the good part: the editor, looking over the pieces, told her, "I don't know who your professor is, but I'm glad he had you write a lot!" Now sexism aside (as the student pointed out to me, the patriarchy earns a point for his assumption that her professor was male), this comment made me quite happy. That class was terrific--we had a lot of fun, but man, did the students write a lot and their writing really did improve.

Now the third message...funny in a you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me kind of way: A student who I only know because I was his/her adviser in his/her brief time here (a semester and a half), emails me. I am surprised to hear from this student because A) again, I barely know him/her and B) the last I spoke to him/her it was about his/her withdrawing from school in one of those withdraw-before-you-are-expelled situations (let's just say he/she had something in his/her car that is a no-no). Anyway, he/she explains that he/she is moving back to town and would like me to send a recommendation email to a colleague of mine who is renting out a room in his/her house. 

Let's review the facts: all I know about this student is that he/she had failed just about every class during his/her brief time here and then left before he/she would have been thrown out. And he/she wants ME to be a reference? 

My response: "I could certainly email [my colleague] and tell her that I was your adviser, but beyond that, I don’t have much I could say. We’ve only met once or twice, after all, and the circumstances of those meetings were less than ideal. Let me know if you still want me to contact her."

That pretty much put an end to the conversation.

Happy 4th!

Interestingly, I just came across this article, while working in my office on campus today. Ha.