Saturday, December 02, 2006


I taught my last classes of the semester on Thursday: Huzzah!

I am now free until 17 January. Free to work on my own articles, fellowship applications and manuscript, free to read what suits me, free to sleep past 8am, free to take a while to respond to e-mails. And I'm not going to MLA, so free to Not Be Anxious Dec. 27-30: Huzzah!

I love my new car. Thanks to some excellent family bargaining, I managed to get the fancy, souped up Impreza for close to the same price as the no-frills version. So now I am the proud owner of a Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. With a tremendous sound system, satellite radio, automatic climate control, ipod jack, four wheel drive. If I wanted to, I could even drive up to "God's Country" (Midwestern Family Seat) and Canada this winter instead of flying, though it would probably even out in gas and motel costs. I'm already fantasizing about road trips this summer. My first longish drive will be Friday, when I drive east to Big Fancy Research Institution's Medieval-Renaissance Seminar to hear a talk on Islam in the Renaissance. Maybe if I ask one of my "Look at Me!" questions I'll get noticed like I did at SAA and then they'll invite me to present or collaborate with them. (Oh come on, a girl can dream). I'm so excited. Mobility and comfort are beautiful things: Huzzah!

And I've been added to the Graduate Faculty here, so I can be a reader on two Masters Thesis committees. Both are smart, talented young women writing about Renaissance drama. One single-handedly created the Early Modern Reading group. The other is applying to a number of very good Ph.D. programs: Huzzah!


Hilaire said...

That's all such good news. And wow, that is one long break - yay!

calendula said...

You're one lucky new professor, I say. Adroit family bargaining is the best. Are you levantine? I figure that from your interest in Islam and the West, and belonging to a family of good bargainers.

muse said...

Hey, thanks hilaire and calendula . . .

Being American, I have rarely seen the word "levantine" used before, except perhaps in Victorian novels. Is it an anglo term? I'm intrigued by it, because I think it might actually be culturally inclusive enough to describe Arabs and Jews together. And because I like old words. I wonder how far back in my family's history I'm allowed to go to call myself Levantine? I think maybe I'd have to go back at least a thousand years to actually place them in the Levant. Unless you count my Israeli cousins. I guess that would make them Levantine, but not me.

Of course, plenty of cultures engage in bargaining, not just "levantine" ones. It's just American capitalist pigs that seem to lack the skill. All capitalist families are alike; those families who bargain, bargain each in their own way.

I teach Shakespeare, Milton, Donne. I'm writing a book about Early Modern English-Ottoman culture and antiquity, so that's where the "Renaissance Islam" interest fits in-- with the emphasis on Renaissance. "The East" is also the hot sexy topic of the moment in Renaissance Studies.

I don't think my work has much to do with my being of Eastern European Jewish extraction, but there's probably a link somewhere.

My dad always thought (perhaps wished is a better word) there was some Sephardic blood in us. Les grandparents de Muse Papa came from Belarus, and Muse Maman's father's family came from Ukraine and had a Polish name, BUT Muse maman's maternal grandparents had a Hebrew or Spanish or acronymic name, so maybe I'm 1/4 Sephardic. It might explain why folks think I'm a Spanish teacher down here.

Flavia said...

Oh, congrats! I still have a week left (although we're off until the *very* end of January, so I'll likewise be luxuriating in an extra-long break--why don't all institutions give their faculty 6 glorious weeks??).

And I totally bargained down on my car, too (paid about $500 over invoice--not MSRP, but *invoice* price). So satisfying.

Enjoy your break and good luck with all your projects!