Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bad news/good news: semester half gone edition

I spent my entire spring break grading. I did not write. I did not read the books I'm reviewing. I did not jet off to a tropical location or even see a bunch of movies or curl up with a good novel. I hung out with my gentleman friend and I graded midterms and essays and more midterms--and 11 days were over like that.

Today I returned to campus, feeling grumbly but more or less prepared. I walked into my Renaissance drama class, Revenger's Tragedy under my arm and skull in my hand--only to discover that a) I'd actually assigned The Roaring Girl, and b) my students are better at reading my syllabus than my mind.

We got through 90 minutes (during which the skull was not particularly useful), and I returned to my office to find a package from the U.K. containing a CD with digital images of this manuscript, which I've been trying to get first photographed and then sent to me for almost two years. I gasped when I put the disk in my computer: I've never worked with digital images of early texts, and these are gorgeous. I'm not sure they'll make checking my transcription any more fun, but seeing them made me excited all over again about that particular project (which has suddenly started moving forward and I hope hope hope will be under contract soon).

In sum: there are still seven goddamn weeks in the semester. But if I learn how to read a syllabus, I might just make it.

11 comments:

Renaissance Girl said...

Did you say "under contract"? I cheer and whoop and swoon with joy in your behalf. "Soon" is the best word I've heard all day. And yes, I am aware that you used the word "hope" a number of times, but I have no doubts.

Flavia said...

I did--but it's got nothing much to do with me at this stage (either the fact that it's now moving forward or the hopeful-eventual fact that it may have a contract). Still, I'm very excited. Especially given that the monograph that dare not speak its name is nowhere close to such a fate. Or indeed, completion.

Pantagruelle said...

That is so weird! On Monday, I ended my class by saying, "And on Wednesday we start Epicoene". My students promptly corrected me. We're actually starting The Roaring Girl today and I was clueless. I think there's something about Spring Break and trying to distance ourselves mentally from work, even while still grading and doing work, until the last second before we have to walk back into the classroom. I also forgot that I had 3 meetings the first day back. And I do feel your pain. We've still got 7 long, hideous weeks to go too. Ugh. Congrats on the images as something fun to look forward to!

Doctor Cleveland said...

Or, apparently, something about The Roaring Girl.

Sisyphus said...

You brought a skull to class!!! All is forgiven at that point.

Fretful Porpentine said...

All in all, I think it's cooler to be The Professor Who Brings Skulls To Class On Totally Random Occasions than The Professor Who Brings Skulls To Class Only When They're Relevant, although I agree with Sisyphus that they are both pretty cool.

Ink said...

I agre with Sisyphus and FP...and I'm curious. Did you mention why you brought the skull or did you just carry it in, not use it because not discussing that text, and carry it away? That would be extra-cool, not to have even acknowledged that it was there...quite goth and mysterious.

But honestly, I admire how calmly you just went ahead and taught the book you weren't thinking you'd be teaching today. That's downright amazing!

Ink said...

Er, that should be "agree"!

miltonista said...

Now when you actually teach The Revenger's Tragedy, you'll have to outdo yourself by bringing a full skeleton. A full, sexy skeleton.

Flavia said...

Sis, Fretful, and Ink: in the interests of full disclosure, the only way this managed not to be a total disaster--especially given that I don't work on drama, have never taught this class before, and in most cases barely know the texts--is that I happened to have taught The Roaring Girl this past fall (for the first time), so both remembered it reasonably well and (more importantly) had a decent lesson plan stored on my computer, just around the corner and one flight of stairs up from my classroom. Had I accidentally read RG when I'd assigned RT, on the other hand, I'd have been fucked.

And yeah: it would be cooler if I actually carried my skull around randomly. But I'm not that cool and I don't.

I do have an awesome print of a 17th C. engraving of an anatomy theatre on my wall, though, which features lots of skeletons around the periphery--and if I could get my hands on a complete skeleton, I'd totally have that in my office, too.

Fretful Porpentine said...

I am not awesome enough to have a skull or an anatomy theatre. I do, however, have a plastic frilled lizard that my advisor gave me, which once got pressed into service as a demon in a classroom performance of Dr. Faustus, so I guess that's something.