Beware the Ides of March!

30 Mar

This is one of those posts where I apologize for taking some time off from blogging. I suppose I had some good reasons: I was sick, I’m TAing a new class, I was finishing various projects such as conference proposals, chapter revisions, research, and so on. These are all just excuses, though, and not particularly helpful or necessary to the blog here itself.

So here’s what I’ve been procrastinating about sharing with everyone. I guess that’s a start, right? A prelude to what is likely to be 6+ months of musings on course construction, assignment planning, grading, lecture preparation, Powerpoint foibles, and all the other assorted gifts.

  • There was a fantastic conference about Maps and Place. I took a dozen pages of notes and was very inspired to do some map-making to help my own projects. See this earlier post and this fledgling Google map. Thankfully at least some memory of the conference already exists thanks to the work of Diana Maps. See her posts on Day 1 and Day 2.
  • I also went to great talk on Godzilla and Japanese memory of WWII.
  • I’ve been continuing to work on my Twitter project and thanks to some great work done by others, I’ve begun making progress on my prayerwalking Tweet archive.
  • Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) in June 1856 (...

    Henry David Thoreau via Wikipedia

    In a similar vein, I’ve been trying to index the biblical verses cited by my dissertation’s primary sources. The biggest challenge so far is trying to figure out how to efficiently link the spreadsheet database with the various different Bibles that my sources use.

  • I gave a talk about Henry David Thoreau and his essay “Walking.” I’ve got most of a post whipped up on that, but I’m still tweaking it and adding pictures. I wonder, too, whether I might make a digital version of my presentation as a permanent part of my site. In the long run I’d like to add a number of permanent topic-specific pages, but you can only do so many things at once, right?
  • I’ve been reading quite a few things that merit discussion. I finished The Wind-up Girl and I also devoured China Mieville’s The City and the City. I’m reading Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken, too, and that is a whole barrel of “that’s just what I was thinking.”
  • I managed to score a number of great deals at the local Borders close-out sale. It’s an interesting group of things I got at 60% off, worth discussing as the remainders of a book firesale as well as important contributions to my growing collection of items on American intellectual history, religious memoirs, and mythology.
  • Finally, as if this list could ever really end, there’s also the movie and tv roundup to consider. I consumed much of March Madness, caught nearly all the Oscar winners and nominees at the $3 theater and became enamored with several British TV series I missed on this side of the pond such as Hyperdrive, Primeval, and Survivors.

So, there you have it. A late-March rush to say things previously unsaid if only circumspectly. Back to the front lines of the effects of California’s long fiscal crisis on course size, course diversity, TA discussion section size, and wild over-enrollment and the hideous beast that is “crashing.”

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