Thursday, December 27, 2007

Logical Proof for the Existence of Santa Claus

Okay, this is a few days late, and going to be fairly esoteric, but since many of my readers are medievalists (and at least two recovering medievalists), I present:

A Logical Proof for the Existence of Santa Claus.

(And remember: I never claimed to be anything other than a big nerd.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Romancing the Nervous Breakdown

I have never been one of those truly driven scholar-types. I have admired them, however. In fact, what held me in thrall was less the accomplishment than the craziness that fueled it. Example: at age nine (or thereabouts) I saw the movie The Paper Chase (the one where John Houseman intones, "You get grades the old-fashioned way: you earn them"). I fell in love with the idea of law school. Not with being a lawyer, mind you, but with law school: the stress, the challenge, the idea of pushing myself to the breaking point, then just a bit beyond. I think it's something akin to the mentality of people who run marathons.

As it has worked out, I have seen what this looks like in academia, and I'm not really it (except on those rare occasions when I am). I enjoy pure entertainment, company of other humans, walking in the rain, browsing bookstores, or just sitting in coffee shops just watching the world go by far too much to be that kind of scholar.

But I have to confess that I still find a perverse romance in it all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Girl Scholar Does the Holidays

Dateline: Home City

Today, 36 hours after leaving Fellowship City, I finally finished the last of this semester's errands -- you know, the semester I'm on leave? Yeah, that one. Anyway, the grad exam reports have been faxed in, the article MS sent off (later than I'd like, but not too late), and I'm traveling with work, because nothing says "Christmas" quite like two fragmented former dissertation chapters and a stack of articles.

Am I the only one who does this? Travels with work, I mean? I don't always actually do the work, mind you, but I've long ago ceased to be able to travel without at least three photocopied journal articles for every five days of vacation. It's a sickness, I know.

In other news: all but one of the presents (mom -- dear god) has been purchased, and I say thank the gods for Amazon, which will ship directly to the family homestead, where I can wrap them as they arrive. I am also lusting after a couple of consumer purchases for myself that I know the family won't be able to afford. And I helped dad decorate the tree tonight... and learned that there is a fine line between tree feng shui and OCD.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On leave, my ass.

So, I thought that being on leave would make it relatively easy to keep up a blog. But here's the dirty little secret about being on leave: You aren't, not really.

In the past two weeks, I have graded two graduate exams (okay, one, and am in the midst of the other), devised an independent study contract for a student of mine that I'll be supervising next spring semester, even though there will be someone else as instructor of record, written a couple of letters of recommendation for a former student trying to get into a Ph.D. program, and kept up with correspondence on a couple of issues at home having to do with salary and my teaching when I return. I've also got my annual review in the back of my mind, but I'm just not going to worry about that right now. Can't possibly.

The point is, even though I'm two time zones away from my home campus, I'm still working.

In other news: I finished the revision of The Never-Ending Article, and would have sent it off today if I'd have gotten out of the house before the post office closed. I've also been preparing to leave Monday to spend holidays in Home City, and been dealing with a flu of some kind. And to add to things, there have been Interesting Developments in my personal life. Huh. Wonders never cease.

All in all, it's been a busy couple of weeks. I have been lax about keeping up with my fellow med-bloggers out there, but I figure that this is a busy time of year for everyone, so hopefully all will be forgiven, as I send what I hope will be regular dispatches from Home City.