Friday, March 21, 2008

Update, Somewhat Later than Scheduled

So obviously my plan to do a daily/near-daily update of comps progress, including a page count, fell by the wayside. It's probably just as well, as there's something of a disparity between the number of pages the books have and the number of pages I read.

But I marked a little milestone today; I wrote my 13th annotation, which means I'm over 1/3 of the way through my special interest list. I'm hoping to finish it and my review essay by the end of June, leaving me the rest of the summer to polish my article and finish reading my historical list. And do sundry other things before mid-to-late September, when I'm hoping to take the oral exam.

In other news, I'm watching Enchantment, which is delightful. I wasn't too gung-ho on seeing it until I saw Amy Adams in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, which was a pure joy. Seriously, how cute is Frances McDormand? So cute.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hm, it's been a while

But I have, of course, been reading.

Pages Read: Uh...let's see. 265 of Bede, 30 of "Parlement of Foules," 190 of The Tempter's Voice. I think I'm forgetting something in there somewhere, but that's what, 485 pages? Eh.

Pages written: Some

Other things accomplished: I met with my historical-list adviser on Friday to talk about what I'd read thus far and just generally check in. It went fine; he talked my ear off and I returned the favor in spades. I was pleased that even texts I had read two months ago managed to come back as I was talking about them (my mouth started and my brain kind of followed along in its wake) and I could say smart things about their themes and even bring back details. My adviser seemed pleased, as far as I could tell. If nothing else, he gave me some insider information on the job search the department's doing, so I guess he was feeling relatively well disposed toward me.

In other news, Nebraska loves Barack! (Well, the 33% of it that's Democratic does, anyway.) That's two out of the three states I've lived in. I'm not counting on Texas, frankly, but I'm hoping.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Comps Update

Read: 3650 lines of Castle of Perseverance (I don't know, 60 pages or so?), plus 70-odd other pages (40ish of Beryl Smalley's magnum opus, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, and 32 pages of the Venemous Bede's The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which is proving suprisingly readable).

Wrote: Finished an annotation, couple of pages of notes on CoP, and a bit on Smalley.

Other things accomplished: Center for the Book application assembled and sent, annotation turned into advisor and feedback received, mental meltdown at thought of having to comp in May (based on random comment from a well-intentioned faculty member; I don't think they know how seriously we graduate students take their every word sometime); special interest list redirected and partially reresearched.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Comps Update

I worked with Lindsey from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (with a few breaks for meals and griping here and there) today, so totals look better than usual. Amazing how having someone else with you makes you quit jacking around, if only for appearance's sake.

Pages read: 130. (Finished Brian Murdoch's The Medieval Popular Bible: Expansions of Genesis in the Middle Ages. Extremely well-supported argument that was ultimately not that insightful, but pithily written and covering a geographically huge amount of ground.)
Pages written: 2 pages of notes on MPB.

Other tasks accomplished: Rough draft of personal statement for book studies certificate program application. Helped Lindsey make a list of names that are also measurements (Graham, Miles, Elle, Jewel, Stone) for when she names her children.
Comps Update

Pages read: ~85 (Chapter 2 of BIME [total slog] and Intro-Ch. 2 of Medieval Popular Bibles)
Pages written: eh

Other tasks accomplished: Student evaluations read and 1/2 responded to, plagiarism quiz graded, job talks attended.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Highlights from Student Evaluations

I had some particularly extreme classes last semester, so I knew student evaluations were going to be especially delightful this go-round. Man, I was totally right.

Critical Comments [My response in brackets.]
  • "Felt like there was one main interpretation for everything that everyone was supposed to get out of the material & I didn't understand the title of the class if that is the case."
  • "Not be such a strick [sic] grader." [I get this a lot.]
  • "Needs to work on new techniques of teaching besides class discussion." [Yes, I see your point. Less discussion in a discussion-based class. Let me make a note.]
  • "Very long reading assignments...they were sometimes difficult to understand which required me to think more."
  • "Instructor was too incompetent to merit seeing outside class." [Um, ouch. This kid also accused me of being antisemitic, of not allowing him to express himself, and of only discussing the plots of things. I just hope he asks me for a letter of recommendation someday. It makes me so mad that I gave his arrogant ass an A.]
  • "Bullshit," accompanied by a drawing of two penises. [I may frame this. On seeing this eval, my officemate commented, "How nice. He drew you a little self-portrait. I wonder if he did it from memory or had to check there in class."]

Positive Comments

  • "If we just sat there like bums she demanded we come up with some sort of response. This is a good trait to have as a teacher."
  • "She really has a broad point of view." [Ha! Take that, stupid kid who accused me of antisemitism.]
  • "Her biggest strength was being able to push a discussion that was going nowhere into soemthing interesting and somewhat intelligent."
  • "Learned a lot of new vocab from Josh C." [Josh C. = suspected penis artist.]
  • "I LOVED HER!" [I loved this student back. She told me in an e-mail that I have a "happy little spirit," which still makes me laugh.]
  • "Some of the readings were actually exciting."
  • "The atmosphere was pretty balmy." [I think he means it was a relaxed class, but it was sometimes too warm in that room.]
  • "One of the best teachers I've ever had." [I feel like I should put that on a book jacket or something.]

By and large the evaluations were more positive than negative, even in the class that gave me fits all semester. Of course you always dwell on the negative comments, so now I'm concerned with my competence, even though I know that, in general, I'm capable and comfortable in front of the classroom. I resent being made to question that by a 19-year-old nippledick. It makes it very hard to be balmy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Comps Update (for the past few days)

Pages read: ~65 (Deplorably few. Working on Biblical Imagery in Medieval England; also read an essay on historicity in medieval biblical exegesis that was interesting if excessively theoretical)

Pages written: like, half an annotation on aformentioned essay and a page of notes on BIME?

Other stuff accomplished: turned in draft of article to article director for review, finished panel organization for MMLA, instructor self-evaluation for last semester's...instruction, taught first class (seems okay? maybe?), attended two job talks, renewed and turned in the last of last semester's library books

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Comps Update

Pages read: ~40 (finished Le Goff's The Medieval Imagination, which was marvellous and strange, started Biblical Imagery in Medieval England, 700-1550, which promises to be equally good if quite different)

Pages written: <1 (eh.)

Other tasks accomplished: Syllabus completed, decided topic and found secretary for M/MLA panel I'm chairing in November, sent various academic e-mails, dealt with the third grade complaint from last semester. Great.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Comps Update

Pages Read Today: ~65 (35 historical, 1 article for special interest)
Pages Written: 3 (1 annotation; 2 pages of historical list notes)
Other work accomplished: 45 minutes studying Old Norse, meeting scheduled with article advisor
It's about to get boring up in here

On the off chance a stray person wanders by due to some extremely bizarre Google search, I'm going to start using this as a way to track my progress as I study for comprehensive exams in September. Hopefully. If I don't get bored of it.

Blog Archive