Wednesday, April 1

one: mushrooms and media mail

today is April. new month. new rules.
last month, a mere two weeks and a bit ago, I was exploring Kentucky and taking too many photos of pretty mushrooms on fallen logs. I still haven't transferred most of my photographs into any useful place, but I'll probably make a flickr album sometime. eventually. it will be mostly photographs of trees and mushrooms.

last month, just yesterday, the Tournament of Books ended. I haven't blogged even at all as much about the Tournament of Books as I should have. I haven't blogged at all about the times I randomly say to clerks at bookstores and librarians at libraries, "have you heard of the Tournament of Books? check it out." so far none of these strangers has responded with any recognition whatsoever. so I'm going to keep bringing it up to these book-adjacent people until everyone knows about it. it is a thing worth knowing about.

the finalists this year were both among the pile of books (and cookies) that dear, dear Patti sent to me the other week. she, ambitious soul, made time to read all sixteen of the contestants in this year's tournament. I've still only read one (Dept. of Speculation) and snippets of three others (The Bone Clocks before the library reclaimed it, Annhiliation until the semester got even crazier, and All the Light We Cannot See so far in very tiny bits, at bedtime).

I very much want to read Station Eleven now. it was the champion, the winner of the prize-rooster. the judges voted 15 to 2. wow.

once I read these few books--unless they are the breathtakingly, insidiously, unavoidably soul-firing kind that I might daydream about reading to my children someday--I will give them away. keeping books is not my style. friend Gina already has dibs on All the Light We Cannot See. I owe that Chris fellow a book or two or ten, I know. and who else, I wonder, would like a share of this handmedown book chain I will be starting...? I hope the books themselves will suggest future readers to me. it will be fun to find them homes among my many book-loving acquaintances and friends.

Friday, March 27

other people's art

last week most of my colleagues were at the Conference for College Composition and Communication in Florida, and many of them posted snippets of all their inspirational notes from panel sessions and special interest groups and workshops. some of them have collected these snippets from the various social media slots where they started into a more accessible space. Patti's excellent recaps are linked from her blog here. there's also this monstrous box of tangly data. it is slightly less monstrous than this bottomless hashtag pit. and plenty of other attendees have compiled their streams of conference thoughts too.

I did not go to this conference. I went to Kentucky instead. so it's nice to have so much second-hand info about the conference floating about out there. I can look at other people's notes and take what I want from them.

this blogpost is not really about any of that academic adventuring, though. I've been thinking about many other things... the story of my life. the future. solitude. light and trees and footprints and trade-offs. Robert Frost.

these street art photos were taken during a sunny walk many weeks ago. it seems longer-ago than it probably really was. today, winter saw fit to revisit us with a whole day of intermittent flurries. it's been a fairly grey week. these pictures from early March don't match. 

the twitter-thoughts embedded here originate with various strangers. they've hitched themselves interestingly into my thoughts over the past months and months and months, for one reason or another.



I wonder if it would be cool to plan out a mural or a wall-painting like some of these around town. what colors and shapes would I want to plaster on the side of a building, if I could? what marks would I leave out there for the public to walk beneath? would they tell an intelligible story?

your story can be about you, of course. but it probably isn't only about you. your voice and your colors are not the only ones telling it. 

the future is mostly a question mark, haunting and deep, but it's not only a question mark. there are a lot of other tracing and tangling lines in it, too.

Monday, March 23

on the back of a giant turtle

about a week and a half ago, there was sad news. Sir Terry Pratchett died.

this, unlike any similarly stumbled-upon news of any other famous person's death, struck me differently for a few reasons. some of the reasons are directly related to Pratchett's writing--which is marvelously entertaining and brain-massaging stuff, all in all--and some are indirectly related to a bunch of other things that are indirectly related to Pratchett's writing. since that Thursday two Thursdays ago, when I first heard that the man was gone from the world, I've been wanting to write something. I spent the beginnings of my spring-break roadtrip thinking, driving and thinking, remembering stuff that would make a decent tribute.

in October of 2002, in some old library computer lab at Utah State University, I signed myself up as a member of a message board dedicated to this fantasy author, run by one of his publishers, HarperCollins. these message boards don't exist anymore. in internet-chronology, 2002 was something like four or five centuries ago. but luckily, someone saved a bunch of the most important threads from way back then. I have them copied from Dropbox and squirreled away in a file, for posterity. there are important memories in there. or at least some of them seem important.

early in 2003, HarperCollins invited (begged? bribed?) Pratchett himself to visit our crazy little message boards and answer people's tedious questions. this event lasted a whole week, and it seemed pretty darn exciting at the time. the questions I put forth were: "I've always wondered if you are the one who composes the little blurbs to put in the front or on the back of your books" and "do you have a favorite food?"

his answers were short:
In the UK I write the cover copy, or at least that bit of it which is about the book (I'm too modest to add all the quotes from reviews, so the publishers kindly do that for me). In the US they're done in-house, but I get a chance, these days, to suggest tinkering. 
Favourite food? Oh...good sushi, maybe. Oysters Kilpatrick, possibly. Or Lyn's fish pie :-)
Terry
a seafood-lover, eh? me too.

that fall, I traveled to England to live for a year. one brave and nervous-making Saturday while I was conveniently in the same country as she was, a friend from the message boards--Grace--met me in London and we explored old buildings and cafes and sights, bundled up against the drizzly weather. a few months later we met up again, with a few other message-board folk in tow. more cafes. cathedrals. pizza.

I owe a lot of friends and hilariousness and personal growth to the strangers that message board drew together. the original boards don't exist anymore, but there is a spinoff here, and an email list there, and we've got facebook and such now too. I still chat with a handful of these no-longer-strangers. they give much-appreciated advice and take time to listen when I have silly random stories to tell. Grace and Clay let me stay on their sofa when I visited England again in 2010. Ella and I saw some Shakespeare together last summer on my last night in Scotland. friend Yvonne in Berlin has been trading me postcards and sending hours of German pop music and audiobooks. I'm gonna visit her someday, I hope. and whatever on earth would I do without bestfriendface Chris? it's very possible that I would not even at all know how to handle my life. that's what.

without Pratchett, none of these meetings and relationships would have had a proper petri dish. this man, Sir Terry... he visited our message boards for a week but he likely never had any idea how pivotal that place was. perhaps his publishers hold more of the blame for the boards' existence, anyway. but without the books, what would've been the point?

{ the xkcd in memory of }

if you haven't enjoyed any Pratchett in your life yet, you should. The Bromeliad Trilogy is short and cute and awesome. I'll recommend the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy too, since nobody ever talks about it even though it is very cool. and of course, you'll find any old Discworld novel full of delight, I promise, it doesn't matter which one you pick up. they are quirky and pointy and slightly irreverent. they are worth reading. they are worth talking to strangers about. the strangers you talk to about these chunks of fiction might not stay strangers for very long.

Monday, March 9

microscopic ice palaces

last Tuesday, my local world was made of tundra. the photo here isn't as striking as all that delicate golden foliage was in real life last week. you'll have to imagine the way it managed to shine and glint even in the grey, flat light of wintertime noon.
six days later, a change of the clocks, a turn of the page in my calendar-book, and a good two-thirds of all that tundra has disappeared. the sound and the sparkle of wet, melted ice remind me a little bit of this April day five years ago.

but April has not arrived for us. there are not diamonds dripping from the trees--not yet. the semi-cruel dreariness of wintertime is only barely beginning to thin.

and I have been thinking about slush.

a not-solid, not-liquid, half-melted stuff, slush. sometimes cohesive enough to walk upon, other times not. sometimes accepting of your footprints, other times not.
the indeterminate, transitional nature of slush. of course this is a thought my brain would enjoy swirling around with. I'll blame Postmodernism class (not that I need anyone or anything to blame).

sometimes my brain gets gently hooked by the tiniest, strangest, half-invisible ideas. the word you used there--'engaged'--does it imply more purposefulness than makes sense to imply in this situation?

or that word we always tend to use here--'about'--what kind of connection does it really invoke, and is that connection always the same in all the alwayses where we use it? what if it isn't? what if this preposition isn't all the things we secretly want it to be?

or this word--'melt'--that I want to use as a verb in seventeen different ways right now.

melt. I am thinking about slush, melting. but the slush is not only melting--it has been melting, it was in the middle of melting, and it is unfinished with melting.

yeah. melting. a process. a thing happening to the slush. but this doesn't seem good enough. it's like there is too much between-ness to fit in-between the two extremes of unmelted snow and pure water. 'melting' is too easy a word for this. I want more words. I want words for all the gradual states of change: the warming, softening, glittering, thawing, re-crystalizing, crumbling, smushing, cracking, re-freezing, dripping, hollowing, breaking, re-thawing, slurping, sloughing, hollowing, sluicing, slipping, and slushing of slush. do the eskimos have nouns for all those moments? hm?

Wednesday, March 4

empirical epiphanies

why were we talking about shoe-hats in Postmodernism class the other week? can anyone remember?

I have been blogging perhaps too much about Postmodernism class. this week's meeting was our second very neat paper day. a prospective new grad student was visiting for the last little chunk of class, during which I stood in the window to read my short essay of the day. welcome to Purdue, prospective grad student.

but enough about Postmodernism for now.

Empirical Research, my other grad seminar this semester, is a very different class. it's much less up-my-alley, let's say. its readings are not quite so exciting or inventive as those in Postmodernism--or at least not as amelia-exciting, anyway. so I struggle, and I resist, and I ask no really what's the point? with a far more serious and dejected tone than I usually do.

I woke up the other morning, after a somewhat frustrating Empirical class meeting, with some not-really-new but not-really-familiar ideas congealing in my head. I imagine they had gradually been distilling themselves from all the many, many things Dr. Sullivan is trying to teach us this semester. oh we've been reading research report after research report, designing our own small-scale research studies, and talking endlessly about the strengths and weaknesses of this method, that paradigm, these analytical tools...

it's not fun... but it's important, right? I guess?

the thoughts in my head the other morning congealed around two different (opposite?) ways of wrangling with the overarching research goal of finding things out about the world.

1. look carefully and dedicatedly at as much stuff as you need to until you can figure out what it tells you about itself.

2. think of a specific thing you want to know. figure out what questions or experiments or tests you need to set up and what you need to look at in order to learn that thing.

I am much more happy in the first of these schemes. there seems to be less planning that way. more freedom. less fiddly things that could go all wrong.

but as I pondered both of these approaches, I found myself tripping over one of the threads between them. the matching meta-question underneath the opposite surfaces:

how do you define what exactly will count as the stuff you're looking at and what won't? and why?

my realization that these decisions are at the core of any kind of so-called 'good' research isn't all that huge. but it feels momentous in my little head.

I struggle and I resist the importance of methodology and research design, in part, I think, because I have for so long been taught that there is rarely a perfect or 'right' way of doing anything we do in the humanities. there is no proven solution, no near-flawless button. and so as long as we can justify whatever imperfect choice we make, all is well.

suitable justification, as you may suspect, means different things to different people. and this makes the whole process feel a little bit pretend. a performance, or sorts, meant for pleasing an audience. what we write up in our research report might come down to what sounds good, or what meets expectations, or what makes for decently manageable data.

so many of these questions about how to best explain the best ways of claiming to know anything about any piece of that world seem to go in circles. it's a circle of biases, chasing each others' tails.

but despite all the flaws and the ignorance and holes in every sort of research, we can't just give it up, can we?

we are thankfully too curious.

and please, let us hope my curiosity will get me through this not-quite-my-cup-of-tea research class in a useful manner.

Friday, February 20

rolling credits

fall 2011, my very first semester of grad school adventuring. I took a Bibliography class and a Publications Management class at Tech, where both instructors assigned Foucault's “What is an Author?”

amusingly, they each sent out very different PDF versions of this Foucault. this semester, spring 2015, in Postmodernism class, I have collected yet another version.

this Michel Foucault guy. he is undeniably prolific, and not just of his own accord either. these are three different English translations. the essay has been collected and recollected in lots of places.

he shows up in snippet-form in a million other people's work. quotations and paraphrases and summaries and re-purposings galore.



look at all that proliferation, uncontrollable and unending. [sidenote: prolific/proliferate. hmmm. those are cool words.]

speaking of unending proliferation... when we read this Foucault (in company with "The Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes) for Postmodernism this week, I saw these theorists from the seventies prophesying the messiness of internet culture.

Barthes gets prophetic with the assertion that
“In a multiple writing, indeed, everything is to be distinguished, but nothing deciphered; structure can be followed, 'threaded' (like a stocking that has run) in all its recurrences and all its stages, but there is no underlying ground; the space of the writing is to be traversed, not penetrated: writing ceaselessly posits meaning but always in order to evaporate it.” (5)
this reminded me a bit of our class discussion the other week about memes (in particular, this one, which requires advanced Superbowl XLIX background knowledge to even attempt to make sense of--I still don't know if it's parseable, really) and their funny, short-lived, nonsensical nods at “meaning.” and I thought of Tony’s paper day presentation on Wikipedia. what is Wikipedia if not a floating, threaded, tagged, metadata-ed parade of version upon version upon version of writing, editing, responding, and so on? (this whole Barthes piece also reminded me of Doctor Who, for some reason. I think it was the talk of dimensions and eternally present texts and utterances that are always “here and now.” weird connection, I know. I'm not even any brand of a Whovian.)

Foucault's foreshadowing peeks out here, where he tells us that
“as our society changes, at the very moment when it is in the process of changing, the author function will disappear, and in such a manner that fiction and its polysemous texts will once again function according to another mode, but still with a system of constraint--one that will no longer be the author but will have to be determined or, perhaps, experienced” (222). 
he doesn't know or say what exactly would replace the standard model of authorship, and neither can we... yet. we are in this very moment. (maybe the 1970s were in it too. I don't know.) one version of my online self, a few weeks back, made a copy of a statement by some unknown writer on Tumblr about this whole idea: "we live in a post-copyright society," the guy says. Tumblr itself seems to be exactly the world Foucault is describing. on Tumblr it doesn't matter who is speaking.

I now interject with a complicatedly relevant and timely example from an (overly popular?) author/vlogger/whoever:


(for the record, I saw only seventeen--actual seventeen, not seventeen hundred--likes when I checked on goodreads the other day. there are eighteen now, and it's been reattributed. that was quick.)

later on in his essay, Foucault admits that he has “unjustifiably” limited his definition of authorship and discourse (216). what about so many other forms of creative work, he asks? what if we're talking about painting or music? what if? what if we're talking about pixels and code?

the (really awesome, I think) postmodern tendency to keep widening and broadening everything, always chopping down boundaries, tearing up labels, smashing traditions, etc. makes me want to ask so many questions. if everything counts as discourse, what then? leading up to this, Foucault also explains that “all discourses endowed with the author function possess this plurality of self” (215)... as if the self is a text, also. not only is everything discourse, everything is plural. me included. from there, it’s tempting to imagine a "death of the self" along the same lines as this famous "death of the author." someday we may only have self-functions. hmmm.

in our class forums, colleague Beth made a very cool point about the roles and threats and newnesses of technology in this whole shifting authorship/compositionship situation, citing a fellow named Friedrich Kittler on the topic of typewriters. and then friend John posted a link to this awesomeness, which I found delightfully mindboggling. I have a machine that in theory could do such cool things. perhaps I should learn.

back to technology though. technology + humans = cyborgs. and that reminds me of Neil Harbisson. and it reminds me of David Eagleman's Sum (a pretty blue paperback that I actually own). of death-switches. functions without selves. hmm.

Wednesday, February 11

mini-review-bits

there was a theatre festival.
months and months back, colleague Jen was practically giving away tickets to it. I took two of them off her hands.

there were three shows, three venues, scheduled across the evenings of Thursday Friday Saturday, the week before last.

I went Thursday night to "The Cardinals" by a theatre troupe called Stan's Cafe. Here is a semi-trippy trailer for the show. here is a review in The New York Times.

for 89% of this performance, I did not know what to think about it. but then the ending had all these resonant, echoey, pointed strings running through it and connecting to everywhere, so I decided I liked it despite it's very slow, very strange approach.

on Saturday, I walked through a light, slushy snow to Carnahan Hall for the other third of these two-out-of-three shows I'd picked to see. this one was called "No Place to Go." Ethan Lipton and his Orchestra were the performers. they have a quirky little website. there is also a review over here in The New York Times. they write some good reviews, don't they? did you notice, the 2012 Times looks different from the 2014 Times? I wonder why that is.

"No Place to Go" was much more fun. we have the introspective journey of an "information refiner" who suddenly has to move far away or give up his job. we have jazzy music and witty monologue.

this is one of the songs from the show. you can find the whole performance in video online if you look, but the versions I came across did not match the smooth and snappy live experience I enjoyed last week. on stage, under colored lights, it felt much more polished and comfortable and clean, to me, than the videos of performances from two or three years back.

or maybe the venue had something to do with it?

the work of the semester crowds and nags, but I will keep blogging. I want to blog more art. and about what I'm reading. and about the weather. and about this poem. don't let me forget.

Friday, January 30

“libidinal multiplicity” is a cool phrase?

this handy borrowed image here is my reaction to the section of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble we read this week for my Postmodernism seminar.

and this blogpost, the one you're reading here, is a slightly smoothed over and abridged version of the reading response I posted to our class forum. yes, I posted it under this very title. the phrase "libidinal multiplicity" is from this little chunk of Gender Trouble:
For Kristeva, the semiotic expresses that original libidinal multiplicity within the very terms of culture, more precisely, within poetic language in which multiple meanings and semantic non-closure prevail. In effect, poetic language is the recovery of the maternal body within the terms of language, one that has the potential to disrupt, subvert, and displace the paternal law.
see why my brain is crying Escher?

I know Butler and her theory is purposefully difficult. this section (and lots of this week's readings, actually), so crammed with according to so-and-so, and she says and he believes, and for this person, and if we accept that then, and allegedly etc., is live intertextuality. so exciting. Butler references Foucault’s “matrices of power” and seems to surrender to the fact that we are always participating in them, somehow. she picks apart Julia Kristeva's theories relentlessly, resigning everyone, much like Richard Rorty seems to do in his “What Can You Expect from Anti-Foundationalist Philosophers?” piece, to a world where everything is socially constructed and nothing else makes any reachable sense. In Rorty’s words “We anti-foundationalists have no hope of substituting non-social constructs for social constructs; we just want to substitute our social constructs for theirs” (726).

Dr. Salvo asked us, earlier, whether or not the articles and excerpts this week were going to cohere. in my notes I have tried tracing behind Butler’s complaints about the circular self-defeating nature of Kristeva's arguments. it's not easy. I am distracted by the words. libidinal. cathexis. semiotic. repression. ontological. circular.

as I ponder the word “circular,” and how many assumptions and perspectives and arguments about the world seem inescapably circular, I also let myself entertain appreciative thoughts about how satisfying circles can be. “to come full circle” in a story or a presentation or an experience always feels so right, and fitting, and complete. maybe even… coherent? I’m not sure this is anything like what Dr. Salvo is really asking, but the noticing of circular constructs seems like a theme of sorts to me.

these two Kenneth Bruffee pieces I had read before. the bibliographic essay on "Social Construction, Language, and the Authority of Knowledge" has been especially useful in previous composition theory classes. Bruffee implies that knowledge is a social artifact and asserts that because of this, collaborative learning and the synergy of working together = awesomeness. he makes an especially bold point about better conversations leading to better thoughts and then to better writing. I am not so sure about this. Richard Rorty, also dealing with authority and language, touches on and troubles a similar-ish idea. to Rorty, vocabulary matters. but he also points out what he sees as a virtue of his anti-foundationalist pragmatism: that “pragmatism doesn't provide much of a jargon. So it is hard for devotees of pragmatism to hypnotize themselves into thinking that by reciting the jargon they are changing the world” (725). however... just one page later he admits that the particular ways we talk about ourselves and our potential can be way rhetorically powerful. this latter comment seems more in tune with what Bruffee is saying, too: “I see no better political rhetoric available than the kind that pretends that 'we' have a virtue even when we do not have it yet. That sort of pretense and rhetoric is just how new and better 'we's' get constructed” (726).

that reminds me of the time I wrote this.

we are not only creating a world. we are creating the we that lives in it, too.

interesting.

Saturday, January 24

atypical adventuring

my Friday began as ordinarily as any Friday. I waited at bus stops, sat in my office prepping for class, eeked a few moments of good class discussion out of my students, talked about our Empirical readings and micro-studies. but inbetween all those things--as I walked across campus from here to there, as I rushed through the halls from office to classroom and back and forth, my insides were nuzzling up to a great and impatient longing for adventure. like burrs will collect on your trouser cuffs when you walk through an unkept field, adventurousness collected around me with every step I took that morning.
I didn't know what kind of adventure to look for. of course my imagination was swirling with the kinds you read about in fantasy novels: meeting mysterious figures with intriguing secrets--wandering up to an irresistibly inviting magical doorway--suddenly confronting some supernatural abnormality in grave need of investigation--getting gradually but totally lost on some other plane of existence-- you know.

that sort of thing seemed unlikely even for such a deeply ordinary Friday, so I realized I would probably need to plot my own excitements. they didn't include anything very supernatural. they weren't particularly hazardous or daring. they involved spending bunches of money at various random spots on my way home, and then a speck of a town called Buck Creek, and then an empty cornfield. let adventure be in the attitude of the adventurer.

first, I ducked into Von's books and acquired the $70 text I needed for my Empirical class. perhaps that was the most harrowing part of the day. the semi-grizzled old bookstore clerk was nice enough, though. book in hand, I poked through a few other shelves (of books, of hats, of coin purses, of beads and stockings and scarves and trinkets) while I was there. noticed Jessica Hische's dropcap covers all lined up on one side. stepped around an employee sorting through a massive pile of aqua pendants and baubles on my way out. kept walking, very cheerfully, taking in all the grey chill of the weekend-to-be, thinking about how it didn't really matter what I spent the rest of the afternoon doing. we'd gotten out of class early. I had no particular obligations.
on my way, I grabbed chips and guacamole from Chipotle. I puzzled at their little posted sign about not having any pork while I waited, and then waltzed out, munching (probably awkwardly) my way from there to town across the pedestrian bridge. the river was completely thawed, all the grimy-looking, jagged chunks of ice from a few days earlier were gone.

before I got home, I wandered into the candy store on Main Street. last year I made it a tradition to buy myself chocolates from this lovely shop at all ends of all semesters, but fall of 2014 left me no time. so on this adventuresome Friday, I made up for it. raspberry cremes, caramel truffles, dark chocolate everything.

it was a long walk from there to my apartment, mainly because I wouldn't let myself eat any chocolates yet. once home, I unladened myself of books and bags, tossed some trail mix + a few cookies and chocolates into a container, and took my car out of its lonely parking spot for a drive. going on drives without destinations is not usually a thing I do. the newness of such an activity gives it at least a few extra adventure points, I say.

we went north, mainly. east-ish, sometimes. west-ish other times. I think. I never once looked at the map in my back seat. my sense of direction has no reliable anchor out here in this flat place. no mountains, no visible-from-everywhere landmarks. the sun wasn't even shining. in the face of such a horizon of nothingness, I trusted a few roadsigns and knew that if I needed it, that GPS I got from my brother for Christmas was right there.
but I didn't need it. maybe that's a sign of failure. I didn't let my adventure get me lost enough. or maybe it's a sign of awesomeness--that I have at least partially, subconsciously, mastered the Indiana landscape within a certain radius of where I live. or maybe both.

I still haven't looked at a map to see where exactly my meandering drive led me. my mental map would say my path traces something like a wonkily stretched-out figure eight with prongs. way out to the northeast, around in a bit of a circle across highway 25, and then back west to where I started recognizing things. like this absolutely striking one-lane bridge over the Wabash:
months and months back, friend Priya and I got lost here, too. we were looking for the Wabash Heritage Trail but we kept missing it, for some reason. we had a glorious time anyway, and there was ice cream afterwards.
I knew where I was at this point, but it was still too early to go home. so I turned north again. and then east again. there were acres and acres of half-frozen fields. cornstalk stubs prickling from the ground for miles. I pulled over and sat in the middle of all that for a while, rolled down the window, listened, waited, hoped nobody thought I was crazy or stranded or lost.
only one (nice-looking, scruffy, young-ish) farmboy slowed down his massive truck to make sure I was alright. a few other cars drove by, adding an unfortunate layer of self-consciousness to my sitting. I regret not bringing a notebook. I could have soaked in that nowhere till it got dark. wouldn't that have been nice?

instead, I returned to the road, wound my way a few inches north, back south, further west, and west, and then southwest, southsouth, southeast, and back to town. home. I rolled out some pie crust and folded it over some turkey-pot-pie-ish filling. I continued snacking on trail mix. I put on a show and pulled out my embroidery floss. I am making my own version of one of Gina's handstitched hats.

the rest of my evening was not quite as expansively calm as an empty cornfield. but it was cozy. I didn't save the world or anything, but I'm calling it all an adventure anyway.

Monday, January 19

spring semester, 2015

I have spent much (but not enough) of this long, mostly-pleasant weekend sitting by this window, trying to focus on reading stuff for classes.
classes of which there are only three, which compared to last semester is almost going to be a springtime walk in a very nicely-landscaped park. maybe.

English 626: Postmodernism And Issues In Composition Studies with Dr. Salvo
since I arrived at Purdue and made my tangly, random brain known to my colleagues and professors here, everyone has been telling me that I will love this course. pretty sure they are right.

German 212 Intermediate German Conversation with Dr. Claudia Mueller-Green
this one-hour-per-week adventure is my fun class of the semester. on our first day, Claudia spoke nothing but German to us. ich verstehe vielleicht....80% or so? enough to manage, I think. wish me luck getting better and better. ich muss mehr ├╝ben.

English 625 Empirical Research In Writing with Dr. Pat Sullivan 
I'm excited for this class too, because miraculously I already have ideas about where I want to focus my research, and how I might approach our final project proposal. that's a weird and awesome feeling.


other things I wanted to get done with this lovely Monday off that I am running out of time for now: 
grade/respond to student posts and short writings
watch the latest Downton Abbey
take a walk or bike ride
decide between potential new apartments
write to Yvonne
write to Nic

at least I'll have time for this one:
post this blogpost

2015 is here, still all new-feeling. gradually we'll get to see both how it changes my life and how it doesn't.