Tuesday, October 12, 2010


What is with these short unbelievably dull posts lately?

I've been booked solid, that's what.

(1) Midterms.  Which I am almost on the other side of, but still.  Only one class, my English Grammar class, had an actual midterm, but the other three classes, two of them First Year Composition classes and the other, Fiction Workshop, both require heaps of time, especially Fiction Workshop.  I love Fiction Workshop.  I do keep giving them assignments, however, which means I have to read and comment on those assignments and get them back again, and eighteen students are in the workshop (For those of you who have not taught a fiction workshop, this is Too Many.  The class was capped at 15, and THAT was too many -- it ought to have been 12, probably -- and I foolishly let three extra into the class because I knew them and they were wonderfully talented students and oh well how much extra work could it be, HA!)

(2) Crossed Genres. We're doing a double issue this month.  Wonderful stories, so I'm deeply enjoying the editing work, but still it's a heavy load.

(3) Broken Slate.  Editing chapters as they come in.

(4) Writing/Revising In The North Country, the sequel to Broken Slate, to get it ready to send out to agents/publishers.

(5) Sending out short stories/writing short stories.

(6) The APA convention this past weekend.  Which I may blog about yet.  I gave a paper ("RaceFail, or Whose Future is this?: People of Color, Science Fiction, and Cultural Appropriation in the 21st Century") and coincidentally the keynote speaker gave a speech all about how English professors and English departments focusing on issues of race, class, and gender were PRECISELY what was destroy not JUST English departments but Western Civilization, nay, Civilization in toto!

I think he actually slid into Latin at several points, the better to make his point to the great unwashed among his audience.  (His pronunciation, I noted, was high church.)  He had a degree from Princeton.  He taught Chaucer and other medieval works, not (as he noted) comic books.  (Btw, I am teaching Chaucer in the spring, so I've got nothing against teaching Chaucer, per se.  In fact, during a recent faculty meeting at our university, I became quite violent in the defense of keeping both Chaucer and Shakespeare as required classes in our curriculum.)  

"The Lolitas," he said, "have become our focus these days, not Lolita."  This was after his remarks about how students these days are not as educated as "high school girls" were in the 1890s.  

Ah, dear. Ah, me.  

In any case, besides the fulminating I had to do to get over that brief episode, the APA took up a great deal of my time.

(7) The continuing home-schooling of the 12 year old.  Man, this is a ton of work.  Maybe we should send her to a boarding school after all.

(8) Kitten!  Why didn't y'all tell me a kitten was so much fun?  All this time I should be working, I'm lying on the floor playing with the kitten.  We play get the kleenex, we play chase the cork on the string, we play where's the catnip mouse, when I'm trying to grade midterms, we play sit on the test and look innocent.  I love the kitty!

(9) Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, putting books away, etc...oh, well, actually none of these get done.

(10) So that is why none to light blogging lately.  But possibly more soon!


Bardiac said...

Boo hiss on your Chaucer dude! Some of the coolest work on medieval literature for the past 25 years has concerned race and gender issues, as I'm sure you're aware!

Athena Andreadis said...

Dear Kelly,

I didn't realize you were Delagar! I'm following Broken Slate with immense interest and pleasure. If you ever need a touchstone for these books, let me know.

Chaucer's gender relationships are actually fascinating. And the APA keynote speaker sounds like an unabashed Tarzanist: Is It Something in the Water? Or, Me Tarzan, You Ape

delagar said...

Bardiac -- I think that's part of why I was so outraged. Someone who does Chaucer, I somehow felt, ought to be better than that. I don't think he was exactly a Chaucer scholar, though. More of a general medievalist. So we can take comfort.

Athena -- I love that link! I remember reading it once before, I think during the MammothSFFail, maybe? I referenced that book when I was giving my paper. I wish I had remembered your essay then. Rats! But yes! That's exactly what this guy was like. Girls are fine in their place, which is in his audience, smiling up at him, and applauding beamingly. It's when they want to be taken seriously as scholars and, Good Lord, as artists and scientists, that Western Civilization is in peril.

He actually linked the Second World War to the opening of the humanities curriculum to something other than "real" literature.

And! And I'm glad you're enjoying Broken Slate. No one has been saying anything about it; I was wondering if anyone was even reading it (insert anxious face here).