Miscellany

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Whining

I am more than ready for a vacation, believe me. However, I don't know about this travel schedule I've gotten myself into for March:

March 9-16: Home (Florence, AL) for spring break

March 18-19: Washington, DC for a special trip funded by the UNC system so that selected ECU faculty can meet with program officers with NEH and the Department of Education

March 20-24: New York City for CCCC

March 26-28: New Jersey for a meeting with MediaCommons

Yikes!

On another note, I just want to express how frustrating and irritating it is when I send stuff to people a couple of weeks or a month early, they forget all about it, then they snipe about my tardiness. What does one do about this? I want to send items out as soon as I have them done; do I also have to send reminders that I sent the items?

Unrelated Tidbits

1. Here are two good posts related to the African Diaspora.

2. To the person who just surfed on in here from a calpoly.edu IP address by searching for spelling atwood metaphor essay, I really hope you won't paste my essay on Burke's "Four Master Tropes" into a word file, put your name on it, and turn it in. I worked hard on it. Thanks. It probably wouldn't address the assignment directly, anyway. Feel free to use it as a reference, though.

3. Guess I'll have to watch Lost online tomorrow. They're preempting it here once again for basketball.

4. In your opinion, what are the most important things new graduate students need to know (in terms of professionalization)? I have my own ideas: I think they need to have a strong handle on how they intend to position themselves in the field, specifically which conferences they plan to attend regularly, what their target journals are, what listservs they want to participate in, what professional organizations they want to join, what kinds of jobs they want to apply for (and whether they want to do national, international, or regional searches), etc. They need to have a clear understanding of what the term research agenda means. What else?

5. Where are the prolific graduate student bloggers in rhetoric and composition nowadays? Well, obviously I know where a lot of them are -- see the Rhetoric section of my blogroll -- but I'm interested in the bloggers I don't yet know about: the ones who are now in their second or fourth semesters of coursework, who are posting their reading responses for class and reading notes, the ones who are wrestling with theory in public (Smackdown!). If you're out there, I'm interested in getting to know you.

Quick Takes

Not that anyone's been asking, but yes, I have been following the M&M controversy intently. To make a long story short, the John Edwards '08 campaign asked two excellent bloggers, Amanda Marcotte* and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister, to write for the Edwards campaign blog. They were hailed by lefty bloggers, not only because they demonstrated web savvy by picking established bloggers who had built audiences, but also because these particular bloggers were women, who are, as we know, underrepresented in punditry.

Then the protests began, spearheaded by Michelle Malkin and Bill Donohue. They, along with some other politically conservative bloggers, objected to posts Marcotte and McEwan had written about the Duke lacrosse team rape case and about reproductive freedom. The Catholic League called for their termination from the Edwards campaign. Edwards seems to have decided to keep them, at least for now. You can find more detailed analyses at Noli Irritare Leones, Obsidian Wings, oh, and a couple thousand via Technorati.

Web 2.0 network ecology stories. This, to me, is potentially a very productive methodology for understanding networks and social software.

If you haven't yet read this stunning and courageous narrative by Eric Fair, do so now.

Watch A Girl Like Me, a film by Kiri Davis. Via BlackProf, and read that post too.

Anyone know how to tweak Google Reader to filter out all stories related to sports? I subscribe to Google News and BBC News, and I want to keep those, but I don't give a yotz about sports.

* whom I'd love to hang out with now that she's in Chapel Hill!

This would yank my heart out and put it through the shredder

I feel terrible for poor Leta, Jon, and Heather. Read this entry; it's written wonderfully. It may, however, make you question whether or not you're too emotionally wimpy to have children.

Promotions

NCTE has a new blog called the NCTE Inbox. They currently do an email newsletter of sorts called the NCTE Inbox, and I'm wondering if this will replace or just augment it. I've been told that it may only be updated once a week or so, but do add it to your feed reader. Oh, and I'm digging this nod to open access:

Free access to NCTE journal articles mentioned in the Inbox blog is provided for 21 days from the date of the blog entry post. After this free access period expires, articles are available to journal subscribers only.

The challenge, of course, is that good blogs have a distinct point of view and consistent set of positions. It'll be interesting to see how candid and non-milquetoast-y NCTE is willing to get.

Also, February 14, 2007, in addition to being Valentine's Day, is hereby declared to be Happy Woman Professor Day.

Cruel but Hilarious

Depression is a serious disease, and I know it's terrible to make light of it, but this article is gut-bustingly funny. This is the piling-on, outrageous humor that showcases The Onion at its best.

Wins and Losses

Number of publication rejections I've received in the past three days: 2

But it was balanced out with an exciting editorial opportunity that I'm not sure I should talk about now. Squee!

Also, I hate State Farm Insurance. I'm trying to get renters insurance, and they are making the entire process positively prohibitive. They're asking for information about the history of the house and the structural features that my landlord doesn't even know -- which is to say, his homeowners insurance reps didn't ask him to provide. The kicker is that I'm asking for such a low level of coverage; even in the event that the entire house was destroyed, the payout would be so low for them that I don't understand why they're treating this situation as so high-risk. Why can't they just sign me up and take my money? [Edited: Yes, I suppose they have to know if my heating and electrical units are fire boxes about to blow any day now, but my point stands that my landlord's homeowners insurance company was apparently fine with insuring this house without that information.]

Serious Research

Do you ever, when walking in crowded areas, pretend to talk to someone on your cell phone so that no one will try to talk to you? I'll confess, I do it every day. I had always thought of these as my nonversations. However, upon trying to corroborate this using Urban Dictionary, I found that I was wrong:

1. nonversation
When you're sitting at a table full of people (pref. boisterous and social) but you're between two conversations, and no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to get into either of them.

So you end up staring at your drink.

Sad.

Alone.

"Hey Rod, why so quiet?"

"Wha--? Oh sorry -- I'm stuck in the nonversation over here."

2. nonversation
When 2 or more people are together but not talking. Or when a group of people are talking together, but one or more of them is sitting in silence.

*silence*

Thats a nonversation.

What I'm really engaged in is a cell faux:

1. cell faux
Pretending to be engaged in a cell phone call so as to avoid someone or something.

noun: A device that pretends to be a cell phone

verb: Pretending to use a cell phone that is not turned on.

She was so intent on avoiding her worst enemy in the same theater queue that she pretended to be chatting on her cell faux the entire time.

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