Friday, April 14, 2006

The Future of Academic Study

So in writing my fourth chapter I am eyes deep in Hardy, and yesterday while reading through some of Hardy’s letters exhaustion gave way to strange thoughts. Now I am footnotes junkies, whenever that little number appears I scan the bottem of the page to find out what the brouhaha is, and then I began to think about the last time that I actually wrote a letter and let me tell you it has been a long time. Yet I keep in touch with more people around the country now then I ever did when I wrote letters. How? The wonder of email. Which leads me to this question: in 100 years will literary research mean rooting around through someone’s hard drive instead of dusty attics and libraries for communication from long dead authors? More frightening, will the emails get lost in technology or will they be saved? Will emoticons be the subject of textual analysis? It’s a scary thought indeed, and I will be happy that I will not be there to see it, but since communication has become increasingly virtual, where will primary text come from if not online? Now don’t get me wrong I adore places that the Victorian Research web, the Victorian women’s writing project and project Bartleby, they allow me to access information that I couldn’t find anywhere else but London. And for someone with horrible allergies from dust and mold, the seduction of staying out of special collection if hard to resist. But I have always loved the feel of books, I like to hold them in my hand, to leaf through the pages, to examine the cracked spine and the margin notes that I wrote years ago, or were left by someone else. And so I am vacillating between the love of the material and the ease and accessibility of the virtual, but I will not linger here long, I have my own work to do.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Helluva Week

So I know that I have not blogged in a week, and I swore that when I did I would have pics of the blanket that I am making for Steph and the little pink sweater I started for someone else, but am finishing for the new baby girl Pietruszynski, but I have not taken the pics or loaded them into my computer. Why? Because I have had one helluva week. And no that is not a mis-spelling, if you have had the week I have you would spell it that way too! Since last weekend I have: finished and sent off chap. 3 of the diss, and started chap 4, graded 40 position papers while explaining that making a point clear is not somehow aesthetically incorrect and how I do not choose page length for my own amusement, I have graded 35 finals paper for my online class, which has made the notion that I need a stronger prescription a fact and not an abstract idea, I have peer reviewed an article for the online journal that I work with, I have scheduled three (count ‘em baby) more campus interviews, taken over a 101 for the rest of the semester, and registered for summer, written a mid-term for my independent study and finally prepared a lecture for my large group gen-ed class for Mon. Wow. I am tired just looking at that list, but it is done now, and tonight I get to have dinner with an awesome colleague who is making Mexican! Amazingly in all of this I have found time to work on Steph’s blanket because I found that knitting for at least 30 minutes helps me sleep. And so now here I am on a rainy Sat. thinking about all that next week holds and already longing for summer. But I have way too much to do before that, and more to do this summer to finish that damn PhD. Before I had thought about my degree as something that would come eventually, I guess I was waiting for the right time, the place where I felt like I was deserving. Yeah we know how well that has worked. But I am on a schedule now, and will work diligently to finish before I am too old to use the damn thing! And I swear some updated pics soon, I know how much everyone loves the projects in progress section of this blog. But I just wanted to let everyone know that I have not fallen off of the face of the earth, I have just been busy!


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