Thursday, January 17, 2008

Big Scary Liberal English Professor who Wears a Lot of Black

I seem to have only 28 students this semester. Almost as small a number as I had my first semester here, when nobody knew me or wanted to have anything to do with Renaissance poetry or material culture theory.

I have eight shining, eager hardworking faces in my grad seminar; fourteen men and women in section one of my lower division course, plus six gals in section two. We have a lot of fun, and I'm getting to know them much better than my other students.

I don't know why there are only six women in section two, but I'm secretly hoping it's because I scared off everyone else by using the word "feminist" in the course title.

I guess there are perks to being a Yankee professor in the South. Either that or I've just tarnished my sincerity by learning how to manipulate the system.

One of my "virtual ratings" describes me as too strict and serious and supports this with the evidence that I "wear a lot of black." I found this uproariously funny- especially because I always dreamily imagined I could hang with the cool kids in college and grad school, you know- the ones who wear all black and theory glasses and smoke and talk about Bruno Latour and are all a little bit bisexual, but I was too nerdy or guileless ever to get accepted by that gang. It's funny that I get to be one of them here in the South. And I'm starting to learn how to make it work to my advantage.

Now there's really no reason why I can't send out three new articles this semester.

Friday, January 11, 2008

How d'you like my New Look?

The Petticoat has a New Look for the New Year!

I'm still trying to figure out how to put the font back to Roman Antique, but I'm loving the new colors. For some reason it matches my dining room. One of my friends said my taste in interior decorating was all about "Museum Exhibition Wall Colors." Evidentally, so is my taste in blog color.

Little Reminders that What I do is Important

Are you familiar with the blog (and the book it spawned) Postsecret? A bit sensationalist for my taste, but nonetheless compelling. Back in graduate school, I imagined that my dissertation and first book would be about "Renaissance Secrecy." I wrote a whole proposal on it. And then promptly scrapped the idea when I realized that I would rather read about secrets than write about them. Anyway, on Postsecret people create their own postcards revealing their personal secrets and then send them in anonymously to the blog's P.O. box, and some of them show up on the blog every week. This one caught my eye and made me smile.

I'm currently stressing out about the syllabus for the graduate course I begin teaching on Wednesday, and fretting too much about having to drag my Could-Not-Be-Less-Interested arse to the two sections of comp I'm also obligated to teach this semester. I have exactly the same number of students as last semester (a petite 40), but I'm teaching 3 days a week. Ugh. I wish spring would come soon. Anyway, I need little reminders like this one to keep me going. We all do.