Monday, August 28, 2017


Just poking my head up to say that I'm not dead--and might conceivably post again in the future! But it looks to be a busy semester.

Here are the haps:

1) I'm rotating in as Director of Undergraduate Studies, and at just the moment when the department is talking about overhauling a curriculum that hasn't been substantially changed since the 1960s (though it's been patched so many times that duct-tape is now a structural element). If there's one kind of service I care about, it's curriculum, and having already been through one complete renovation at one institution I guess I have some relevant skills and perspective. But it was a heavy lift then, when I was just a committee member, and it will be an even heavier one now.

2) I'm taking first-year German. I'd like to keep studying Italian, but we don't offer anything past the 200-level. And since my scholarship has been taking increasingly lengthy detours into Patristics (and shorter ones into the Continental Reformation), German seems like a language I ought to know my way around. Of course, this will bring to five the number of languages I've studied at the college level . . . while the number I can truly speak or read with ease & speed remains somewhere just slightly above zero.

3) I have a fun new class. But it's a class most of whose texts I've never taught before (and some of them are novels! And LOOOONG).

4) My scholarship may be more engrossing now than it's ever been.

5) I've finally started on that non-academic writing project. What it is exactly I don't know--a series of essays? a book?--but I'm trying to commit to at least 90 minutes or 500 words a week. That's not grand, but it might be doable. However, it occupies some of the same headspace that this blog has historically occupied.

6) Well, you know: THE WORLD. I try to keep my broody hysteria to myself, but it still takes up energy.

I miss y'all, though. I'm a crappy tweeter, but sometimes I do tweet. Hit me up there, if you like.


Comradde PhysioProffe said...


Unknown said...

Thanks for your update, Flavia. Love hearing about what you're up to. And support your non-academic writing projects in lieu of blog posts, at least for a while! Keep the faith and the flame alive. Your words are valuable!

Jeff said...

I hope you have fun with German! In recent years I've managed to get to the EU's "low intermediate" level, and (I say this in all seriousness) the structure of the language has taught me a great deal about German culture, particularly about the inability of their precise politeness to map onto English. And if you need recommendations for catchy German synth-pop that helps build vocab, I've totally got you covered....

Flavia said...

Thanks, friends! One week down, fourteen to go.

And Jeff: I'd take those recs! Just a few nights ago I found myself on YouTube, watching the videos for some pretty deep cuts by Falco.

Jeff said...

Oh, Falco will drive you mad, especially when he sings in a macaronic mash of English and Austrian slang!

Check out Die Prinzen, who sing nice and clearly; their songs are simple for the newcomer to the language, but they deepen when you're ready to detect wry humor. Also, the pop band Wir Sind Helden and German megastar Herbert Groenemeyer. You might also look into Max Raabe, who sings old show tunes as the leader of an imitation Weimar-era orchestra. The TV channel ZDF also has tons of German-language content, there's a good "Slow German" podcast out there, and I'd recommend, with no embarrassment, "Die Sendung mit der Maus," a famous program for very small children. I've forever missed the window for fluency, but it is fun to dabble...