Here’s a random observation inspired by the past few days of indolent leisure: blogging is hard when you’re consuming neither print nor digital media 90% of your waking day! Anyhoo–I’m still on the road, and still feel like a big emptybrain after all of that reunion partying last weekend (curse you, second bottle of wine! I curse the day you were bottled!), but fortunately there are still folks out there thinking and writing and making stuff happen. To wit:
- CatieCat writes: “I’ve been thinking a lot about defensiveness: why I feel defensive, when do I feel defensive, what am I defending, all of that. . . . And the single thread that’s coming to me through all the times I can recall where I’ve felt defensive is this one: it was about defending my privilege.” Discuss!
- Marc Nouri meditates on the rank of (Full) Professor, and concludes that there are too many “early birds” who haven’t really earned it, even if their title changes. He writes, “So early birds, who do you think you are coming up for full professor within a few years of getting tenure at your institution? By sheer dint of will and ego, and determination, and the weak will of promotion committees composed of equally confused faculty, you may very well succeed, but will you really be a full professor? That honor, in a more intrinsic and meaningful sense, is reserved for those who take a different path, a more patient, methodical and dedicated path, driven by a deep desire to be something really special as a scholar and as a member of his or her university community. You’ll have the title for some years before they do, but theirs will actually mean something.” I realized a few weeks ago that I could potentially apply for full next year, but I think I’m going to wait until I’ve got another book fully cranked out. (Or am I just being defensive?) The luxury of tenure is not having to rush, right? (Unless you’re in one of those dreadful unis that wants all Associates promoted after just 5 years! Yikes. What’s the point of tenure then, anyway, if they’re still speeding up the hamster wheel?)
- Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar writes, “[w]hen you’re single with no children, it’s easy to let the academic part of your identity take over your life. But lately I’ve been remembering that before I became an academic, I was a bunch of other things.” (She’s turning 40 soon, so she’s feeling philosophical. Indulge her! It’s free.) 40 is awesome. I stopped caring what other people think about me, and it was the biggest blow I’ve struck for mental health in my feminist lifetime. I yam what I yam, as Popeye would say, and people can take it or leave it.
- Finally, here’s a golden oldie from 3 weeks ago I’ll leave for your delectation: “when the hell is President Obama going to send in the Navy Seals, or the Army Corps of Engineers, or someone to clean up the ongoing environmental travesty happening in the Gulf of Mexico? Is it really the best policy to expect the irresponsible polluters to stop the pollution? If it’s true that the U.S. government and armed forces combined have zero expertise to stop the spewing of oil and natural gas from the ocean floor, then this looks to me to be a hair on fire lapse in national security! Could a terrorist have done worse than BP and Haliburton here?” I’ll just add one more rhetorical question: Could the American environmentalist left be any more impotent? What a bunch of stooges and cronies. If it were a Republican president presiding over this slo-mo disaster, they’d be all over hir. OK, just three more rhetorical questions: Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?
I hope you’re someplace warm, clear, and un-foggy, unlike me. But, that’s what I always say: summer in Maine can feel like November in Ohio, and January on the high plains desert! (OK, we’ll cut Maine a break: there’s a reason summer starts on July 1 and runs through September!)