Tuesday, August 17, 2004

My favorite season

My favorite season

At the moment, it's now. Forget that spring thing (although I really love it by the end of winter) -- now is the good season. Football season is here!. Ok, I admit that last link was to Chris Bertram's invite to play BBC Fantasy Football, but that's part of the fun. Even more fun is this! Hee hee hee! To be fair, though, I think the frequently dodgy Mike Riley should have given Everton a penalty -- Cygan committed a blatent foul in the box, and it's a miracle neither the linesman nor the ref saw it.

The other great thing about this time of year is that I start gearing up for school in a big way. It's like there's a switch, somewhere between excitement and panic, that gets thrown when the kids in the neighborhood start talking about going back. It means I have about six weeks to take care of far too much stuff, but I love it. Apropos of that, I've turned in my submission to the Chronicle for consideration to be one of the job-hunt First Person people. I'd love it if anybody can think of a pseudonym for me to use -- ADM is almost as specific as my real name, in terms of the job market!

Also, I just read this really good article by Jonathan Dresner of Cliopatra on grade inflation and the need for faculty to take ownership of assessment before assessment takes ownership of us.

For now, I have to read a student paper (finishing up an incomplete -- interesting, since I'm still a contingent person and not actually employed until the quarter starts (and even then, I haven't yet received my letter of intent) and clean up my office.


Anonymous said...

I'd really like to see someone with the name "Jackson Pollack" as a CHE columnist. Or maybe "Grant Wood." --Thomas H. Benton

Anonymous said...

Oops, make that "Jackson PollOck." --THB

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Well, neither of them indicates ANYTHING about me -- male and non-medieval... I could be persuaded, if I knew more about them. At least Benton seems to have been interesting, while Pollock's life was pretty much a talented train wreck, I think. Just out of curiosity, THB, why dead artists?

Anonymous said...

I think it might be fun to get CHE columnists in dialogue with each other.

Pollock was Benton's student at one point, but he rebelled, turned against Benton's style, and went on to become the GREAT ROMANTIC ARTISTIC GENIUS of his generation, lionized by all the East Coast intellectuals who disdained Benton.

Grant Wood was Benton's shy compatriot in the regionalist movement, along with John S. Curry.

Maybe, when I retire Benton, I'll come back as Pollock and denounce everything Benton stands for, before burning out, crashing my convertable, and becoming a myth.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

I did not know that about Pollock and Benton, although I was fairly certain that Wood and Benton were contemporaries (my knowledge of art tends to be sketchy, unless it's something Romanesque (or even Roman) or Gothic.

The dialogue would be nice -- except that I'm not sure I'd be able to play nice with the couple who both got jobs at the smae place. They were very annoying and patronizing. I do hope that they take my column, though, because it's got lots of interesting angles -- non-traditional background, crowded field, returned to academia after successfully working full-time in other fields (both during the diss and for a couple of years after, knowledge of my own weak points -- and strong ones. Oh -- and what Ms. Mentor has sometimes called the sullen spouse. How much better could it be? Will people root for the underdog?

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. FWIW, the happy two-career couple columns, along with the ones by Jill Carroll, are the sort that give the CHE a bad name (and generate tons of readers). Most of us should know that scenarios like that almost never happen (and, when they do, they are used as examples to keep naive hopefuls obediently slogging along).

Probably the most important quality to cultivate as a CHE writer is the ability to generate hits and attract subscribers. Being right, in some complex, academic sense, is a lower priority than being read--and complexity is not really that easy to do in 1,000 words anyway. You can raise issues and dramatize yourself, but you can't be balanced enough to satisfy everyone. If you get the gig, get ready for a monthly influx of letters from people who think you are the promised one, along with others that always begin with "I read your column with interest" and then go on to say how you are "doing a grave disservice to the profession," etc., basically jargonized versions of "you suck, I rule."

Good luck!