Monday, April 23, 2012

A Reckoning

In a nutshell: It's been a crazy busy six weeks, but the semester is winding down, and my future is falling into place.

Well I was going like gangbusters there for a while, but I haven't posted a new entry since March 11. I was not planning to include diary entries on this blog, but I feel the need for a reckoning. Apparently I do have some regular readers and one or two of them may wonder where I've been for six week.

Well, for one thing, it's just been a crazy busy second half of the semester. I was flying from here in Columbia, SC, home to Brooklyn, NY, almost every weekend there for a while, what with spring break, Passover, and, sigh, tickets to Jesus Christ Superstar (production overall better than, and individual performances not as good as, the critics would have you believe). When I finally had a respite from my travels, it was time to focus on my paper for the "Romosexuality" conference that took place this past week in Durham, UK. Fact is, I could afford neither the time nor the money to attend, but I was afforded the opportunity to present my paper via YouTube video, which the conference organizer told me came off without a hitch.

And then, aside from all the travel, holiday celebrations, theater, and academic paper writing, well, there was good old fashioned teaching of my three very demanding classes: 1) classical mythology, which is material with which I was quite familiar, but a large lecture class setting with which I was not; 2) Great Books II, Renaissance to the Present, which included material that I have never taught, and that I myself have not even read since I was in college 30 years ago; and 3) Introduction to Graduate Study in Language, Literature, and Culture, a sort of proseminar for first-year master's and doctoral students in my department, which was an exciting challenge, but a potentially daunting one.

Now all of that is behind me. All that remains are final exams and course grades. I vacuumed. I've trotted out my dissertation and resumed working on the manuscript revisions that I put aside in February 2011 and have not touched since. Which is a shame, because I have an editor eagerly waiting to see it. Not a contract, mind you, but an enthusiastic expression of interest. Just tonight I ran over to the Thomas Cooper Library here on the University of South Carolina campus to grab some books that I found myself wanting to refer to. Now I'm sipping some tea while laundry spins down in the basement of my apartment building. Yes, all that remains are finals and grades.

And what of next fall? Well, first there is the coming summer, when I am teaching Latin at the CUNY Summer Latin/Greek Institute, the fulfillment of a 30 year-old dream (I began my own study of Latin and Greek at the Institute in the summers of 1982 and 1983, respectively). In the fall, I am teaching one section of Classical Cultures at Brooklyn College, a special section for students in the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) program that I have found particularly rewarding to teach in the past. I chose this course of action in preference to a full-time academic position in the fall for a number of reasons, including a desire to be in the house I own in the city I love with the husband, kitty cats, and life I adore. This situation will also afford me maximum opportunity to continue working on academic publications (like the aforementioned manuscript based on the dissertation, for example), which mentors, advisers, and kibbitzers agree should be my number-one priority in terms of improving my chances of obtaining a tenure-track academic job.

One would hope there will be some more pedagogish posts on Pedagogishness in the coming weeks. 

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