This week, things got meta when I wrote a guest blog post about academic blogging over at the University of Oregon’s Digital Humanities blog. You can check it out here to find out why I argue that blogging is the sandbox of academia.
Somewhere beneath miles of books, journal articles, loose leaf paper covered in the scrawlings of a madwoman, and class handouts, the author battles valiently against the monstrous Term Paper…
Will she win? Will she lose? Will the shreds of her sanity catch fire and drift away in the breeze? Tune in again in December to find out.
PhD school is madness. Glorious madness. Infuriating madness. Madness kept barely at bay by coffee and salt and vinegar chips and Netflix binges and half-price Halloween candy and cookies and pie. More elucidation to follow when the term is over. Or when my procrastination needs grow too great to resist efficiently.
*ducks back into battle*
In two-ish weeks, I get to register for classes. In three or four weeks Jim Butcher’s new Dresden Files novel comes out. Right now, though, it’s finals and, like thousands of other instructors, I’m wading through a seemingly endless pile of grading. Like, this pile would have filled and overflowed Mary Poppins’ magic bag, that’s how neverending it is.
So, I leave you with one of my recent obsessions: “Graveyard” by The Devil Makes Three.
Part two of the UO Visit involved LOTS of walking. We took a hike up to Spencer’s Butte, courtesy of our lovely host, and then we explored downtown extensively. I found a pie shop, several book shops, and the public library, so I am pretty much set. Those are the necessities (well, those and coffee, burgers, and fries. But the latter three items can be found pretty much everywhere in Eugene). There aren’t many pictures of downtown, partly because I got lazy and partly because my camera died, but mostly because I was too busy exploring to stop and take pictures every thirty seconds.
I’ve had an…interesting…trip. It started out with flight delays that meant my entire visit was condensed severely, and ended with a completely canceled flight and a 24 hour wait in L.A., during which time an unidentified man (who was possibly homeless, according to the news anchors), drowned in the swimming pool at the hotel where the airline put us up. My SO and I woke up to news anchors JOKING about this event on television, and when we went to the window to look at the pool, it was already open for business again…
Oh, L.A. *sigh*
(Above to the right: The Pioneer who is supposedly Eugene Skinner, the founder after whom the city is named. When we left Eugene, we flew over the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas and between the mountains and the statue, I couldn’t help but think about the Donner Party).
Does anyone else remember reading this book as a child, or is it just me?
Until this past weekend, this book (and Swamp People) were the only signifiers I really had for alligators (well, those and–less accurately–the Crocodile Hunter). The following photos (taken at Paynes Prairie Preserve outside of Gainesville, FL) are evidence that I now have a more realistic reference point for alligators:
I am currently visiting University of Florida, and because I am visiting and don’t want to spend all of my time online, this post will be something more like a photo essay. This is the first full day of my visit. I hope to see more of the town itself tomorrow. For brevity’s sake, I’ll give you my first impressions of the campus as adjectives: big, green, beautiful, green, busy, green, wet, green, and odoriferous (in a good way–it’s a very distinct plant/moisture smell that I tend to associate with Little Rock, AR and Chatanooga, TN for reasons pertaining to my childhood). Yes, I’e been a bit starved of the color green. My little corner of the world has been in a drought for at least 13 years.
There will probably be more photo-posts to follow. Stay tuned.
Disclaimer: the entirety of this post (except, you know, this italicized part) is tongue-in-cheek. I am a planner, through and through, and have spent hours (oh, so many hours) debating, making pro/con lists, emailing faculty and grad students with questions, researching, etc. I take this choice VERY seriously, but I also need to decompress from research-mode so that I can visit both places without all of the facts swirling around in my nutty-little-noggin’ and just experience each place before I make my final choice.
Here’s a not-so-hypothetical situation for you: you’ve been accepted to a couple of PhD programs, you’ve researched them extensively and, although the programs are different, they’ve both got lots to offer. There are pros and cons to each place, sure, but no matter how many times you tally them up and compare, you come to the conclusion that they’re both great choices–and, despite the different atmospheres they offer, they’re both about equal in terms of education/career opportunities.
What do you do in that situation? How do you choose? I’ve compiled a handy list of possible solutions:
- Paint the toenails of one foot in one school’s colors and the toenails of the other foot in the other school’s colors. Choose whichever school’s colors last the longest.
- Dress your pet up as the school mascot–which costume is more flattering? Choose that school.
- Take a long, hard look at the school colors. Which ones work better with your complexion? Choose that school.
- Pin a map to your wall, take a couple of shots of whiskey, spin around just enough that you are dizzy but not so much that you vomit, point to a spot on the map: whichever school is closest to your finger is the school you should choose.
- Flip a coin.
- Grab an apple and twist the stem while chanting the ABC’s schoolchild style. When the stem twists completely off, take note of the letter you landed on: whichever school’s name is alphabetically closer to that letter is the school you should choose.
- Ask a magic eight ball.
- Keep an eye out for license plates from the states your potential schools are located in: whichever state you see first is the winner,
- Base your decision on which mascot you like more.
- Whichever school contacts you next is the one you should choose.