Sunday, October 12, 2008

little bitty updates

Just a few small bullets on a sleepy Sunday evening:

  • The writing day seems to be working. Thank goodness! Data analysis progresses and writing is on track again. All hail the beloved mentor/friend and her sage and timely advice.

  • Stanley Fish makes me tired. Seriously. He should venture out of the humanities and join those of us in professional disciplines and social sciences once in a while. I am so glad he isn't my boss. And all props to Rachel Toor, who is clever and thoughtful and got herself a great gig with the Chronicle, but couldn't she find a woman to look up to? Stanley Fish, Stanley Crouch, and Stanley Hauerwas... testosterone-laden ego on a platter times three. I understand why they are attractive to her; after all, I was into Continental philosophy for years as an undergrad and grad student, and that is nothing but a tour of male ego. But perhaps she could stop looking to be a Stanley and model herself along the lines of an Eleanor or an Ella or even a Katha. Or maybe her essay just reinforces that Rachel isn't a lesbian feminist and I am.

  • The gf and I am so much wanting to meet a friend's young child that we may actually travel over the Thanksgiving holiday to their house. That is a BIG DEAL, because no less than 7 years ago, I pledged that I would never again travel for Thanksgiving. It is a terrible thing for an academic to do... it comes at the worst time in the semester (full of grading and end of semester minutiae), the flights and drives to and from the airport are subject to the whims of the worst weather, and EVERYONE IS FLYING!!! I hate that kind of rushed and busy travel, but the gf and I have so much going on that our visiting options are severely limited.

  • The annual job search/recruitment process is upon us, and I am playing the game on all sides once more. If nothing else, it is a major time drain... writing letters for doc students, researching schools for myself, reading CVs and cover letters, googling everything... Honestly, I am pleased that I get anything else accomplished.

  • Can I just say that, even though Dean Dad thinks that there may be an upside to the budget crunches we are facing, I think that academic administrative life is gonna suck bigtime for a very long time! More saying "No" to requests, more cutting, and less building and creating. And it won't be a short-term problem, limited to one area of the country with a specific economic profile. Nope, it is going to affect all of us in many ways for years to come. And it will be worse for those of us at public schools, facing cuts from our state legislators without a big endowment cushion to fall back on. I have been keeping my head down and hoping that all of these issues sort themselves out quickly, but I know that that perspective is delusional.

  • And, finally, I think the country is figuring out what I have known all along. Obama is gonna win, and he is gonna win big. He will remake the electoral map, upset the common wisdom of the last 20 years regarding the South and the Midwest, and perhaps help us get back to protecting civil rights and civil liberties, a fairer distribution of wealth, and actually working in tandem with other countries. Our next president will have a very difficult job, but I feel confident that Obama and the team he assembles will be able to make some positive changes.

Well, that's all from me. Hope you had a great weekend.


sheri said...

When the big endowment cushion is all you have for funding, and the big endowment is invested in the stock't be so sure that public schools will be in worse shape. We may get help from donors, but, uh oh, they are all losing $$ in the stock market, too. Shit! It sucks all around, but it sucks less in academia than it would fearing for our jobs in the middle rungs of corporate america!

Dr. Crazy said...

Stanley Fish is even annoying to those of us in the humanities - dare I say, even more annoying to those of us in English :) You are not alone, Lesboprof. He makes lots of us tired, and for reasons that you probably haven't considered, many related to "reader response theory" (for why would you, if you're not an English type?) :)

Lesboprof said...

I hear you, Crazy, on the RRT. I am familiar with it, having been an interdisciplinary type who took grad English classes for fun. Seriously. I also lived near where Fish was holding court at one time, so I got to hear about lots of his academic and administrative ideas. Sigh. So thanks for the shout out.