Sunday, March 30, 2008

In which I come to account

What I Did on My Spring Break, by St. Eph

On my spring break this year I reached level 70 on World of Warcraft. It was a good break.

Yeah, so that happened. And there was the conference in Post-Apocalypic Zombieville (but with lovely public sculpture), which was a nice break from this terrible, horrible, no-good winter that will never end. I fell in with a bad crowd (Marlovians!) and had a good time and some decent Tex-Mex food. My seminar was beautifully run, with a good-sized crowd of auditors as well, and I think I'll be in touch with a couple of participants about some diss-related topics down the road. And the professors' dance party was fascinating and delightful. I can see why Cheerleader Advisor has been pressing me to attend this particular conference for years.

And then I came home and perfected my chocolate-chip cookie recipe. Seriously, it's absolutely perfect now. I can do no more. I also slept a lot, played video games, studiously ignored my diss, and finally cleaned my apartment. (This last because the landlords had work done on our floors and then surprised us with one day's notice that an appraiser would be coming by. We do nothing, apparently, if not on deadline.)

The one real accomplishment, though, is that C. talked me through a total re-structuring of the dissertation. I had already planned for a introductory chapter where I'll do a kind-of lit review, but I wanted it to be more conceptually organized. So, now I have a keyword for each chapter (report, account, register/narrative, reckoning) that I'll set up in the intro as the argumentative thread. Yah! Like so! It's really far more exciting to me than it should be, but I take what I can.

And with this accounting here, I'm officially putting the mess of winter term behind me. It was a dire time, a hangover of a quarter, but it's done. Now we look forward to: my really cool UChaos class, which has a waiting list, even! And another jaunt through Big Willie at St. Happy, which is as familiar as a bathrobe by now. In both classes, though, I'm going to try out an approach to presentations that I heard about from a fellow seminarian in Zombieville--a mini-panel each week, with 3-4 students acting as the experts on the texts. I think the UChaosers will dig it, but I'll have to pitch it to the Happys as being experts on their own critical opinions, which may still be a hard sell. But the more I teach in my own field, the more I think that having some kind of accountable ownership over the text adds immensely to both the individual experience and the group dynamic. I'm probably projecting here from my own undergrad experience, where it was exactly the feeling that a particular text was mine that lead me to... well, where I am now, actually.

Also on the horizon: baseball! Opening day! (Sadly, I'll be on a bus or train for the first pitch. Grr.) A trip to see my mom and visit Niagara Falls! Old 97's releasing a new record and playing my town! Possibly leaving my apartment for things other than class! Rumors of spring and/or summer!


Flavia said...

Excellent-sounding break!

And hey: depending on when your trip to NF occurs, and how long it is, keep me in the loop. Might be able to meet up for a drink or summing.

St. Eph said...

I'll definitely be in touch before we head out! My geographic knowledge of the area is nonexistent, so I'm glad to know you're in visiting range of the Falls!