Saturday, April 30, 2005

Poetry Grudge Match 2

Poetry Grudge Match 2

It's not like Robert Herrick wants much ...

What Kind of Mistress He would Have

Be the mistress of my choice,
Clean in manners, clear in voice;
Be she witty, more than wise,
Pure enough, though not precise;
Be she showing in her dress,
Like a civil wilderness,
That the curious may detect
Order in a sweet neglect;
Be she rolling in her eye,
Tempting all the passers by;
And each ringlet of her hair,
An enchantment, or a snare,
For to catch the lookers on;
But herself held fast by none.
Let her Lucrece all day be,
Thais in the night, to me.
Be she such, as neither will
Famish me, nor overfill.

Nice work if you can get it, I suppose. But then it's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?

Update: Ancarett goes all metaphorical ... And Sharon gives us Thomas Carew's more sensible demands

Friday, April 29, 2005

Poetry Grudge Match -- for Sharon

Poetry Grudge Match -- for Sharon

Because he's even better ... I give you ... Andrew Marvell! Winner takes the belt and the title ;-)

To His Coy Mistress

HAD we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave 's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Although perhaps The Beautiful South would disagree ... "Hold me close (underground)!"

Update: I've been served!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Still in the Running

Still in the Running

Woohoo! Just got a message from almost perfect job. I'm still in the running and they wanted to know if I were still interested. Duh! Plus there are now five jobs plus the Dean job for which I can apply. Only down side to almost perfect? 5-5 teaching load. A little scary. Also not in as beautiful a place as where I am now. But I'm still in the running and I really liked the people. Yay.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Saturday Silliness

Saturday Silliness

Thanks to a friend from work who sent me links to online dating services (NO THANKS!!), I give you:


Indeed, you are 79% erudite, 83% sensual, 45% martial, and 45% saturnine.

This Egyptian supreme Goddess is certainly the most influential deity on subsequent cultures. She was the ideal figure of womanhood, usually compared with the Greek Goddess Demeter or her Roman version, Ceres.

Isis was one element of a Holy Trinity, the remaining two figures being her brother and husband Osiris and their heroic son Horus. She was the Goddess of Magic for her brilliance, as well as the Goddess of Love because of her tenacious devotion.
She is often shown with wings, curving to caress coffins and sarcophagi of many a king. In certain papyri she is shown with her falcon wing headdress, covering her ears. One of her sacred symbols is the sistrum, a musical instrument that was believed to ward off evil spirits. Isis' sistrum was carved bearing the image of a cat and was representative of the Moon.
Isis was the High Priestess and an omnipotent magician as well as the only being ever to discover the secret name of Ra. She invariably carries the ankh, the symbol for eternal life. Her name is, by the rules of numerology, adding up to the number “2” and she just so happens to be depicted on the tarot card “Key 2 – The High Priestess”.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 0% on erudite
You scored higher than 33% on sensual
You scored higher than 33% on martial
You scored higher than 66% on saturnine

Link: The Mythological Goddess Test written by Nitsuki on Ok Cupid

Monday, April 18, 2005

Didn't Get It

Didn't Get It

Perfect Job turned me down. But they were really nice about it. Still waiting to hear on Almost-perfect job.

Update: I copied this from my comments below, because you guys are so nice!
I have options. Kind of. I've still got two TT jobs to apply for, and there is an opening for a Dean position where I am now -- the app deadline is next week, and they've only recieved one application so far. I have a huge amount of faculty support, in the sense that people keep asking me to apply. The question is, do I want to apply for it? Or do I want to hope that I can pick up enough adjunct work to get me through the year. I'm paid through the summer (chose the big lump o' money at the beginning of summer pay option) and am slated for two online courses this summer. If they make, that's some money I can put towards padding the academic year if I can't get a full load. And I can most likely pick up 4 courses (argh)in the fall. Winter also looks like a possible full load (between two schools). The big thing is health insurance. If I can manage to get two courses at one state school, I keep my health insurance. If I don't, I COBRA it. decisions, decisions ...
Anybody have any suggestions?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Because I'm a lemming

Because I'm a lemming

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

20% Yankee

15% Upper Midwestern

5% Dixie

0% Midwestern

I don't know where I got the Yankee, and I'm a bit surprised about the lack of Dixie, having lived around southerners for many a year. But there you are.
via New Kid

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Be Very Afraid

Be Very Afraid ... ?

Because yesterday, I saw my first glimpse of this. I knew it was coming. I will undoubtedly see it. After all, it has an amazing, high-testosterone cast (and by that I mean lots of studly actors, from Orlando Bloom to Liam Neeson -- and Jermey Irons, maybe not studly, but an incredible actor when he chooses. But, er, here's part of the blurb:
"Kingdom of Heaven is a monumental epic of tolerance, honor and humanity, starring Orlando Bloom and set against the turbulent, emotionally charged and world-shaping Crusades. From master filmmaker Ridley Scott, it traces the story of Balian, a common man of extraordinary conscience who rises to knighthood and embarks upon a life-changing journey to find peace and a better world"

They do explain the common-man-to-knighthood thing by making him the illegitimate son of a noble. And it's Ridley Scott, who just can't make a movie that looks bad -- and has made some of my very favorite films. But still ... I am afraid. On the other hand ...

Teaching Moment!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Be Afraid ...?

Be Afraid ...?

In my box yesterday was a flyer from HBO. It asked me to go here. Ok. Looks interesting. Ooh! Ciaran Hinds is Caesar! And then I look a bit more and find that this is not just HBO, but that it's an HBO-BBC co-production. Now I love lots of stuff put out by the BBC -- generally high quality. And I've adored several of HBO's in-house productions, especially the first couple of seasons of The Sopranos, all of The Wire, and Deadwood (after BtVS, possibly the best. show. ever.). I'm even a bit hooked on Carnivale, which is weird, but I get it (except that someone "accidentally" erased the last 5 episodes in the series before I could watch them). But you know ... this is Rome dammit. And I've seen the previews. But it is HBO and the Beeb. So why am I filled with trepidation?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

OK -- I'm over it

OK -- I'm over it

Yep -- wallowed a bit last night (obviously) and then thought, "none of my employed friends has yet stopped speaking to me because I am less employed." That and I found three more jobs to apply for (but really want one of the two I'm still waiting on). And I still have Kazoo 2006 to look forward to, with perhaps a second panel now! So I'm excited.
Meanwhile, it seems our student government has decided to start persecuting a student for distributing Communist Party literature on campus. They say it's some kind of violation of campus policy. It isn't. It only is if it's people coming in from outside campus. And they've extended this to a new club (the goal is anti-imperialism and social action) that the student belongs to ... the club was seeking funding and the officers and sponsor were asked questions like, "does this club advocate the violent overthrow of the US government?" WTF?
So I'm off to make sure that some faculty concerns on this issue get aired at our Faculty Senate Council meeting. Ugh. Still, it's a break from the job worries!

And since this is a blog, after all, and I haven't linked in a while ... just call me Sister Spikey Mace of Reasoned Discussion

via scribblingwoman

Quick update question: Have just been told by Doktorvater that two panels at one conference is a bad thing because they dilute each other. Also true if the two panels are vastly different? Opinions?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Unaccountably depressed

Unaccountably depressed

So I just got the call about the job for which I interviewed today. Despite the fact that I really didn't like the job or the way they ran the interview, I'm really depressed that they chose someone else. This is despite my misgivings about the whole interview process, which just got worse. One of the questions on their sheet (same questions for all candidates) was "With your emphasis on American History, how do you make it relevant to students and bring it a global perspective?" I admitted that I was not an Americanist, and was actually surprised to find I was the only person on the list who wasn't. They said that the person they hired would essentially be the History department. I asked if there were any future plans to expand the department to reflect the diversity and expertise necessary to teach well all the subjects they envisioned: US, World, ethnic studies, women's studies, indigenous peoples, global studies. Not any time soon. Or perhaps I totally screwed up the "challenging student and how I dealt with him" question. In which case, I probably totally screwed it up at MW LA college. I gave an example of a challenge, the fact that I'd been so thrown that I'd actually asked a colleague to observe the class and see if the dynamic I felt was real (challenging everything I said because I'm a woman and to impress the rest of the class -- mostly 16-20 y.o. women), and then eventually, after trying other methods, resorted to shutting the student down in public. I was clear that felt I'd not managed it as I'd liked, but that I had tried other things (but I don't think I emphasized those other things) and did it only as a last resort. And that every class is different and that there's no one way to deal with these things. Or maybe I was too bossy (I like to think I was pushing for rigor) in teh group exercise? Or maybe they just brought me in to make up numbers? So not happy at the moment. Really hope one of the others offers. Wondering if I can still get apps out there, or if I should just go ahead and count on adjuncting again and trying next year. At least there's that, if I don't get the perfect job at MW LA college or the really decent, I'd be good and very happy job in NE.

Funny thing is, I looked over my union-mandated tenure report (even though I was not in a TT position, they had to do the report in case my contract could be extended). It talks about my contributions, service, collegiality, and the fact that I'm a really great teacher. How is it I'm not able to show it in an interview? Except, of course, that I got the job I'm in by interviewing, and was one of five candidates. Maybe I don't suck that much. But I feel like I do just now.

Interview from Hell

Interview from Hell

Imagine, if you will, interviewing with your competition. They give you a question that you need to present as if to a class, and then watch you work together to see how you handle it. Oddly enough, the hard part was not the working with the others in the sense of their being competition. It was in the sense of any team-teaching gig where the people involved have not yet worked out roles and where some people have very different pedagogical ideas than the others. It's so funny. I really don't think of myself as being a structuralist in the classroom, but I just. wanted. to scream a couple of times. Not really. I was very polite. But I really wanted a plan. Where are we going with this? I wanted direction -- ok, so I let myself be swayed into letting the "students" work on a group activity, but then watched the groups allowed to just discuss concepts. Damn it -- shouldn't we have a clear idea of where we want to go? Of course, the possibility is that we all had different ideas of that. But I was very disappointed that what we discussed in our 'prep' was not clearly articulated to the 'students' and thus we did not actually have a clear outcome. Please let my personal interview go better. And please let me get a job offer out of one of these torture sessions!

Now to wait for a couple of hours ...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Two Questions

Two Questions ... and Other Stuff

Ok, first question: among the other medievalist types out there, are Cranky Professor, Tiruncula (I think), and I the only Ancient/Medieval types? I mean, not that anyone is really a "type" -- most of us have to be generalists anyway, unless we teach at R1s. But sometimes I feel like there aren't so many bloggers who come at things from the early side. Just wondering.

Second question -- a favor: Will you all please send many vibes towards a job offer at small midwest LA college? Oh my goodness. Grueling interview/demo day -- about 10 hours, 25 faculty, 8 students. I loved it. Talk about a place where someone who loves teaching could be happy. I could happily move the 2000 or whatever miles without reservations and no connections and love every minute of it. I'm working on the thank you note now. I realized when I got back to the hotel room that I had perhaps not articulated things as well as I could have (duh) and need to reassert some things. At this point, I realize it's mostly about how well the candidate will fit in, so I'm just hoping they think they could work with me better than the others. Just an awesome place. Fantastic people. And the students -- if the ones I met were representative ... smart, articulate, mostly non-traditional, and just so clearly comfortable with ideas of gender and power and questioning things. Can you tell I am in love? I just have to keep reminding myself I have a 25% chance of getting this job (numerically) and must not get my hopes up too much. And still write a kick-ass letter.

Of course, I have campus interview number 3 this week. Also all day. I actually know two of the other people being interviewed by reputation. It looks like they're only interviewing local types, and the grapevine's pretty good. But it also shows that they are casting an amazingly wide net. One's an Americanist, and the other has been adjuncting not very successfully for several years. So I'm very blase about what comes out of the interviews. I'll do my best and hope for an offer, but Ireally have no idea what they want. If I don't get an offer for the job I just interviewed for, I'll be a sad ADM.

Otherwise, the new prep is still kicking my butt, I've got meetings coming out of my ears this week, and a realtor coming to look at the house today. And some rat bastards stole our lawnmower sometime last week. SO not happy about that. Must check the sheds and see if anything else has been stolen and file a police report. Taxes are ready to go -- need to call the accountant and pick them up. Hoping we owe nothing. Really hoping for a refund.

Then, it's on to the further chronicles of ADM: revival of a career. The story of how an academic who let the integral part of herself that is being an academic take second place dragged herself back, kicking and screaming, into a respectable niche. Fame and fortune surely to follow. Although I'll settle for tenure, a good crop of well-educated students, and a little respect.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A quick note

A quick note

Just saw a good post over at What Now's blog. She's (I've always assumed WN was a "she") talking about a relatively recent (in that way that medievalists think anything in the past hundred years is contemporary) film version of Snow White. The post is short, but a good conversation starter for me, especially because I really like kid lit, but don't think fairy tales are for kids. Actually, there's a lot to be said there, because so much kid lit is based on fairy tale imagery, I think, and I wonder if that's some literary form of presentism in action. I'll have to work that out and blog about it LATER!

Classes from Hell -- in a good way

Classes from Hell -- in a good way

My students are kicking my ass. Actually, only one class is. As with last quarter, the enrollments are abysmally low. I've got 13 in one section of the modern survey, 6 in the other. And I have 7 in my Modern China survey. They are killing me. Seriously. In a good way. These students are all over the document book. Forget the textbook -- we need no lecture, Dr. ADM. We will just sit here and blow you away as we link the documents to what's going on at the time. We will discuss them in terms of bias and evidence and anything else you wish, and we will do it well. I now have to work twice as hard, because they are really good. Thank goodness, I'm still able to find things in the documents that they haven't, and can put together a big picture just to remind them, but man, oh man. I'm now revising the entire damned syllabus.

Morning survey is not too bad. I really like the students, and they seem to be willing (mostly) to do the prep. They need a bit of nudging in the right direction -- we had awkward moments today when I attempted to build on yesterday's discussion and no one had taken notes. I think they've realized they need to do more than just spew. They are also one of the most wholly smart-assed groups I've ever come across. They make me laugh.

Afternoon survey. Makes me want to cry. 5 students, and 3 not the kind to do the work and contribute. Yesterday (third day of class) only two showed up, one a non-native speaker, which meant it was pretty much a two person conversation. I have to cut them loose half an hour early, because it was just too hard.

Lots of work tonight, so naturally I'm blogging. Must get together for the next couple of days, so that I can really prep for Friday's EIGHT HOURS (including two 15 minute breaks) of interviews. I'm exhausted already and really want to do well. Which leads me into my next piece of advice for those of you considering a career in academe. Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today (big picture). Do not assume that it will be easy to jump the track and come back. Once you start the diss, finish it and get in your practice on the conference circuit when you are relatively fresh. Because you do not want to be the sad person who took time off for personal reasons only to realize that you will always be an academic at heart. By the time you do, you may have put yourself in a position where it's very hard to get back on track. And you might also be older and have less energy. Or maybe not. Maybe you should just make sure your significant other really understands what it means to be a working academic (the successful kind) before you make a lifetime commitment. And yes, for those of you who are curious, ADH is soon-to-be-ex-ADH.* Let's hope I'm still good enough to get that job!

*But please, not a discussion for the comment section. I'm only saying this because a very nice one of you e-mailed to ask and I felt obliged to be a bit less cryptic. And because I think (especially having read Ms. Mentor and any number of articles on women academics and the pressures they sometimes have to deal with) it's a conversation worth having in a more abstract way. But not here at the present.

Must. Go. Prep. China class has posted an average of 4 comments each, and it's only Tuesday! These students are just so damned cool!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Go There!

Go there!

Hey everybody! History Carnival #5 is up at Clioweb. I've just skimmed it, but it looks really great.

I'm blogging more slowly these days, but plan on being back soon. Just got an editing job that, if I told you what it was, would blow my cover entirely. But I anticipate it taking a bit of time. Campus interviews each of the next two weeks. Lots of housework. Major upheavals on the home front. Conference paper to sort out (in terms of topic). Taxes. New prep. And now, to housework. Wish me luck on Thursday, when I fly to large midwestern city to interview with the small 4-year that sounds really cool. I am so happy that, if I do get an offer at any of these places, I really think I could fit in to any of them and do well. Please, Please, Please, make me an offer. I can't refuse!