I am a fourth of the way through the semester! And next semester I won’t have to teach at night! Huzzah! So here are some random bullets:
- My Monday night class, a grad theory class, has GREAT energy, and as much as I’m hating teaching Monday nights, I really am grateful for them and their awesome exuberance. Yes, I did have to make a rule tonight that we can’t talk about any of the texts, most of which are written by women, as “whiny” (mostly directed at the Lone Male Student in the course), and I also had to caution that we can’t dismiss the one male student in the class’s comments outright based on the fact that “you’re not a woman” (mostly directed at one older female student), and I had to instruct everybody about white privilege, but all in all, great conversations happening in there and they are all super smart and grand (which has not been the case with every grad course I’ve taught at my institution, given my institution – honestly, my undergrad students have historically been stronger than the graddies, which actually does make sense, at my type of institution).
- I successfully refrained from replying back to my assistant chair’s shitty response to my “I must decline this opportunity” email, in part based on my mother’s advice. When I told my mom about the whole situation, she confirmed a) that my initial response to the request was appropriate and b) that I should avoid replying to that email, which I already knew, but I apparently needed my mama to tell me so in order not to actually do it.
- There is a terrible war going on between two of my colleagues, and I’m doing my best to stay out of it, though it’s hard because I’m pretty clearly on the side of the “crazier” (by reputation) of the two. But while I support that colleague in theory, that colleague really is responding in Problematic Ways. And as for the colleague whom I don’t support, I know that fighting him on Problematic Response Colleague’s behalf would only hurt that colleague more, and also hurt me, in the end. Much of this war is taking place over the department listserv (the words “despicable” and “uncollegial” have been deployed in writing, and those in combination, if not singly, are clearly the Nuclear Option). It is very stressful and very unnecessary. And I actually feel very sorry for my newly instituted chair (whose leadership has so far impressed me), because who wants to come in and to have to deal with this bullshit that is, at least in part, left over from the way that the previous chair (now on leave) handled things? Also, I feel sorry for all of us who basically want to say, “Why can’t we all just get along?!?!?!”
- GRANT APPLICATIONS. I’m not sure which is worse: revising a grant application that last year got 3/4 “excellent” ratings, or writing a grant application that almost certainly won’t be funded because it’s for a “new” project (let’s note, my current book project isn’t done, so I’m anticipating the NEXT project here, just so that I can have it get rejected a few times and really be in a position to get it when I next am eligible for a – competitive – sabbatical), or writing an internal grant application for something that almost surely won’t be funded because those who decide such things tend to think that humanities projects don’t actually require “project” funding for “students to assist in a faculty member’s research.” In other words, I’m investing hours and hours of time in grant applications that likely won’t get me shit. But if I don’t apply, I won’t have a chance, and it’s also the case that applying for grants is now a Major Deal at my institution. So. Note to readers in the sciences (especially): please understand how few grant opportunities there are for humanities folks and how competitive those are, and also understand that we in the humanities are not trained in how to seek such opportunities… so please don’t wax poetic about how it works in the STEM fields, because I get the grant pressure my colleagues in STEM fields face but I also know that they have a lot more support for their endeavors. Even at a regional institution such as my own, but more especially at research universities. And yes, I’m a whiny baby.
- I am tired, tired, tired. And also still too keyed up from teaching to sleep. Time for me to try knitting or reading or something to make myself feel relaxed enough to actually go to bed. FUCK this night teaching and having to be back on campus less than 12 hours after I leave.