Regarding the stuff about academic labor from last week, I have been so interested to read all of the comments to the couple of posts I wrote. That said, I’m also feeling overwhelmed by it all. I’m mulling over what to do to keep this conversation going in a way that makes it a true conversation, as opposed to me just yammering on (which I feel like my second headed in that direction if it didn’t make it all the way there). So here’s what I’m thinging. A weekly forum sort of a thing, something that can deal with tiny pieces of these questions in a discrete fashion, and then once those conversations are exhausted then maybe I can write something to pull it all together? What do y’all think? Because I do think that one of the reasons these conversations seldom get anyplace is because they’re not conversations – they’re… I don’t know – just really irritating 🙂
So yeah, I think what I’ll do is this: I’ll come up with a table of contents for 6-8 topics for discussion and by the end of this week, I’ll post that, along with dates for when each of the topics will go live and when comments for each will close, some procedural things about protocol for commenting, and just a general “mission statement” about goals for the forums. I’ll do some sort of post for each of those weeks in order to steer the discussion and get some people talking (which I think my “Lies about Casualization” post did fairly well), but the point here isn’t about me being an expert or the main voice – it’s about me facilitating an actual conversation (which makes me excited). I know, what I’m describing sounds a lot like running an online seminar, doesn’t it? Look, people: I’m used to teaching 4 classes a semester, and I’m itching to do something teacher-y but what with sabbatical I am not going to be teaching until January. Help a sister out. So anyway, I’ll get all of this together and going maybe today, but if not then definitely by mid-week. Oh, and if you have ideas for (narrow) topics leave them in the comments to this post. That would be tremendously helpful 🙂
Ok, now that I’ve got that out of the way, what about me? Well, FL has gone, and it was a nice visit. There’s more I could say, but suffice it to say that it’s interesting how much people stay the same and in what ways they stay the same. It’s also interesting how one’s perceptions of those same things change. So yes, nice and good, but also… well, let’s just say that I’ve been inspired to reflect a bit on some things as a result of it.
The other news, such as it is, is that I’ve started doing Weight Watchers. I’ve been doing it a week, and it appears to be a good thing. I figured that if I’m ever going to take that on that now really is the time – 1) it’s a break from my scholarly pursuits to think about it and to plan meals and work out and such; 2) I feel like I’m sort of at a tipping point where either I deal with my weight or I just decide to be an overweight person for the rest of my life, which doesn’t sound like a very sensible option given the health risks, etc. So. I’ll periodically report about how that’s going, but for now, I suppose it’s enough to report that I’m doing it.
As for work, on this week’s agenda is to write a letter in support of a friend of mine who’s going up for full, to do some major planning tasks for the conference that I’m hosting next year, to finish with some theory things that continue to linger, and to get into a groove where I spend 3 hours per day actually writing (as opposed to planning, thinking, making notes, etc.). I also need to make some appointments for doctor/dentist, and I need to look at what I need to submit to get the remainder of my summer fellowship money. Anyway, in other words, a busy week.
Again, do leave potential topics for discussion in comments, and in the next few days I’ll get everything up and running.