Thursday, February 26, 2009

Even better.

Yesterday's news was good.

Today's is better:

The college committee voted to grant me tenure and promotion.**


**Technically, nothing's official until the Provost signs off, and she has until June 1. But the college committee was the last major hurdle. So, if there are no objections, I'm going to go ahead & start celebrating now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well, that's nice!

A small but important personal triumph, in the non-academic vein: the fellowship fifteen are gone! I won't go into the dull details, except to say I did it the hard, boring way: I ate better, and exercised more.

But that last leads me to report another milestone. Check out the picture at left. That's right: tonight, the odometer on the bike that I brought home in late August** rolled over to 1,000 miles.

That's just pretty darned cool.

**With full props to ID, who paid for half of a very zippy bike as a birthday present last summer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dear College Tenure Committee

According to the calendar of deadlines the University provided me with last fall, my deadline to respond to your report and recommendation regarding my tenure & promotion decision is this Friday, 5 p.m.

When may I expect your report?


Notorious Ph.D.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bonehead Move du Jour

When you have a job candidate on campus...

...and when you are talking to another colleague who asks you what you've thought of the candidate so far, and you're about to start saying things (albeit nice things) about not only that candidate, but the previous ones...

...and even when you've already looked down the hallway both ways to make sure that said candidate isn't hanging about where s/he could hear you...

...make damn sure as well that the closed door that you're standing outside of isn't also the door to the chair's office. You know, the one with the vent in the bottom half of the door? Where the candidate is currently having part of his/her interview?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Carnivalesque LXVII!

I'm a little sorry that I volunteered to host Carnivalesque, because it's shown me how much really interesting stuff there is out there that I haven't read. As if I weren't already feeling guilty about that with books.

In any case, I got about twice as many suggestions as I could use – an embarrassment of riches! – but I saw a theme begin to emerge, and decided to run with it. So now I present to you:

Carnivalesque LXVII:
When the Ancient/Medieval and the Modern Collide,
and How to Survive the Aftermath.

Starring Indiana Jones, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama!

  • First, the post that started it all: I innocently mentioned in the comments thread that I'd like to nominate it for the next Carnivalesque, and Another Damned Medievalist leapt in to ask, "Do you want to host?" Me and my big mouth. But read the post, and you'll see why. Matthew Gabriele's frustrating encounter with an amateur historian in the editorial pages of a local newspaper is not just a meditation on the Crusades and their meaning for the modern world. It's a post that raises questions about the place of the would-be public intellectual. Do our degrees, once a sign of expertise, now mean that we're the last people the public should trust to tell them about history?
  • More archaeology… sort of. Well, not really. But hey: Indiana Jones!
  • Jeff Sypeck at Quid Plura concocts a beverage recipe out of a rhizome that saw its peak of popularity in the West during the Middle Ages, then sadly disappeared from our culinary repertoire. Click here to see how it turns out.
  • The Dalai Lama becomes an honorary Roman, but seriously old-school. Tell me he doesn't look delighted.
And some stuff that didn't fit in, but that I just had to include:
  • And, making her second appearance on this edition of Carnivalesque, Judith Weingarten muses on the meaning of neolithic "venus figures" -- a post that I find interesting, since I had to lecture on this very topic only a couple of weeks ago.
And that's it! Make sure to check in at the Carnivalesque page to see who'll be hosting the next festivities, and don't forget to stop by here again on Monday the 2nd for the first meeting of our online roundtable on Judith Bennett's History Matters!

Oh, Happy!

Two of my friends from Fellowship City got engaged! Hooray!

Full disclosure: I was never one of those people who daydreamed about her perfect wedding, or sketched wedding dress designs on her school notebooks. As 40 approaches, I am not panicked that I'm not married. I think marriage is a nice public gesture, and certainly has its practical benefits, but I don't think it's for everyone, and I don't think it's necessary to happy couple-hood.

But just the same, when two people you care about, and who you have watched find each other, lose each other, and negotiate the bumps in the road to find each other again decide to make a big, fat, public commitment to each other, that's pretty damn cool, and worth celebrating. A lot. And if all goes well, I'll be in Fellowship City for a long weekend this summer, doing just that.

So, if either of the two of you are reading, congratulations! Yay, you!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What I Need

1. Carnivalesque submissions. Actually, I've gotten a lot of these in the past week, but I can still accept more today or tonight, if you know of an ancient/medieval post that needs more attention.

2. Tranquility. And right now, dammit. I'm actually going to yoga tonight, because this has been one seriously fucked up week.

3. To finish tinkering with my lecture: class starts in 10 minutes.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Two Carnivals for the Price of One!

Okay, folks, time is running short: I'll be posting the next Carnivalesque Logo on the 21st (which also happens to be my father's birthday, so: Happy Birthday, Notorious Dad!). BUT.... but, but, but... butt is what you need to get off of and SUBMIT YOUR SUGGESTIONS for the best ancient and medieval-themed blog posts of the past three months. Three whole months!

Item number two: The redoubtable Historiann and I have hatched a plan for an online roundtable (or one-book club, if you prefer) on the topic of Judith Bennett's History Matters. Each Monday in March (women's history month, you know), one historian-blogger with interests in women's history, feminism, or both will post her (I think we're all hers right now) reflections on the book, and how it has shaped our thinking in terms of research, teaching, and/or feminist praxis in an academic context. Here's the schedule:

First Monday: Me!
Second Monday: Historiann
Third Monday: Tenured Radical
Fourth Monday: Another Damned Medievalist

You'll notice that that leaves a whole fifth Monday. We may have a fifth poster (details to be announced), but we'll also be inviting all of our readers to take that Monday to post their own reflections, either on the book, or on the conversation that it's generated.

So, submit something for Carnivalesque, then go pick up a copy of Bennett's book and stop by again in March (if not sooner; you know I always love to see you) and take part in the conversation.

(Yes, I am addicted to parentheses. What of it?)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Week two

...and already feeling behind on my classes.

Okay, this is week two of the semester. I'm struggling under four preps (including one grad course and a senior seminar) -- very few students, but lots of preps. I'd like to be making progress on my research, but hoo boy.

I'm so scattered that the idea for a post that I had when I logged in 90 seconds ago is already gone. But it was somewhat interesting, I swear. So instead, I'll talk write a much less interesting post about my classes, and hope the idea comes back later.
  1. Upper-division medieval survey: The upper-division survey is the product of our university's agreements with the local community colleges who send us about 40% of our students: we don't offer lower-division courses that aren't commonly available at the CCs. It makes a bit of sense, but it's a bit weird to teach. Anyway, I have about 25 students in this class -- and only four of them are women. That's unusual. Due: reading guide and essay question; grading of short assignment.
  2. Early gender history: Also upper-division. About 50-50 male-female, but the men do the slight majority of the talking. Good contributions, but this is a bit odd for this class in particular. So far going well, but I fear that my initiative to rewrite the first third of the lectures may fall by the wayside. The two new ones I've done so far, however, have been needed. A lot. Due: as many new lectures as I can.
  3. Senior seminar on the crusades: 6 students, 5 of whom I've had before, including Sigibert, who seems to be fine since this is the only class he's taking this semester. Discussion this week was great, but it's hard to say, since next week really gets into it. Due: Grading of beginning-of-course portfolios.
  4. Graduate class: One student. Yes. One. We had our first real meeting yesterday, and it seemed to go fine. Due: Grading of short assignment.
Bleah. Week two, and I'm already behind.