Archive for the ‘Work’ category

What a broad…

I think I reacted to graduate school in the wrong way. I thought that the difficult job climate I would graduate into would mean that whoever figured out the way to teach the most different kinds of courses, and whose research commented meaningfully on the most different fields would be the one offered the most […]

Ain’t I a woman?

A few weeks ago, I attended a series of meetings with people from my workplace in which we talked about gender performance. It was mostly folks I didn’t know, but I was enjoying getting to know them. Almost everything I said seemed to be shocking, though I certainly didn’t intend it to be, and I […]

Oldness and sex

Some colleagues and I were just out having dinner and out-olding one another. One woman said she was glad to finally be old enough that our college students look like tiny soft little babies who could not possibly be sexually attractive to anyone. I responded that I feel so old I see them as being […]

Pedagogy of revision

No one’s students are sadder than mine right now. Around the middle of the semester, everyone is getting back grades for their first really major assignments, and no one’s particularly joyful about them. College is hard! And we should be challenging them to raise the stakes; that’s our job. I take that task seriously, in […]

No crying inside baseball

The conference date was approaching, and my paper wasn’t finished. To be honest, it wasn’t exactly started. Months before, I had drafted an irresistible abstract. I reread the two major texts I promised to discuss. As the weeks ticked by, some critical articles arrived via interlibrary loan. Some online research got done in the wee […]

Small-town time

So, two weeks ago, I posted while completely blacked out about how I called my mother while blacked out, because that seemed like a thing to post here. I’ve moved to a small town to teach literature for a year, and I’m not sure how time passes at all anymore. Since then, I’ve made very […]

Unexpected love

Grad school, they tell you, is the wire mesh mother. At best, they say, it’s the wire mesh mother. In Harry Harlow‘s experiments on baby rhesus monkeys, you recall, that was the one that never promised love. The little baby monkeys preferred the cloth mother doll, even if she was cold, or offered no food. […]

Night owl

As I write these words, it’s 4:37 am. Again. Sure, 4:37 comes twice a day every day, but I’ve been making quite a chum out of this particular time of day lately. We’ve been having a lot of dates recently, going hot and heavy. Sometimes I think maybe I’m not going to see 4:37, but […]

On female power

I just graded about twenty exams in a row from students who, when asked an essay question about masculine desires and feminine gender performance in American women authors of the 17th-19th centuries, responded with sentence after sentence about how this or that character shows “female power.” And I’m going to barf if I ever see […]

Extra credit?

One more week of class (not counting today), and between now and then, about fifty million research papers, essay revisions, final essay exams, quizzes, crying students, university transfer acceptance stories, awards nights, frantic stories about broken printers, group presentations, indignant stories about how someone didn’t do any work in the group presentation, tearful honors ceremonies, […]