These are all things that I can't -- and don't really have the desire -- to stretch into full blow posts. Since I got nothin' for a full blow post right now, I'll improvise. This is sort of like the "clip show" cop-out of t.v. series.
1) What do you think Freud would say about a dream in which a woman tries repeatedly to fix her hair like Joan Harris (nee Holloway) on Mad Men, but is continually interrupted? I don't think it is anything sexual, but I'm positive it has something to do with vanity and with tyring not to think about something else.
2) Just from reading around, I think I may have been the only person who read Catcher in the Rye as an adult -- as in about 5 years ago -- just for the hell of it, to see what it was about, and because it was on sale -- and found it enormously funny precisely because the main character was such a whiny little brat with vague and unformed opinions about anything and everything. Salinger nailed that unearned disaffection and apathy, which he could have plopped down in pretty much any time since. I found it so hilarious, too, because I remember being that inarticulately pissed off, and am aware of just how annoying that state was -- even to myself at the time. Perhaps the book is only safe in the hands of adults, who can laugh at that period of life and be grateful that it has long passed, rather than think it is somehow cool or something to take too seriously.
3) Howard Zinn was just cool. I read A People's History right at the time that I finally seriously questioned the narrow parameters of all of the assumptions that had created the narrow and miserable me that I was. I thought he was a little weak on the women, but overall, I liked that he stated up front that this work was meant to be biased and to challenged the dominant narrative of history as taught. I used it as a text one or two times, too, but the students got too bogged down in "the details" (something that they could have learned more from, based on their own vague and unsupported essays). That was o.k., then I could rip off those "details" for my own lectures.
Still, every now and then, one got it. In fact, when I announced to one of my classes that Zinn had died, one young woman got a stricken look on her face and cried, "NO!" My students, who are perhaps not up to the skill level of reading A People's History, like to hear these challenging points of view like Zinn's. They already know something is up with American history, that is isn't what they remember from grade school. They want to know why. They want their own version of "truth."
4) The beginning of the semester and this procedure thing have knocked me out of my writing groove. I have to get back into it. These are the confines of my life: a 5/5 with online classes. I have to produce within them, even if the going is slow. The slow going can be overwhelming, leave me feeling exhausted and defeated, and that has been part of my problem.
5) Someone suggested that I apply for a faculty job at a school in Texas. Another someone suggested that I do the same for the same job about a year ago. Technically, it is a better job in the sense that it is tenure-track and at a university. I'd probably have to take a cut in rank and pay, however, even with a book and teaching experience. That's not the problem. The problem is Texas. I live in the suburbs of a major city. I'm a city girl at heart. I am physically and psychologically distant from my upbringing, and I like it that way. Sometimes, sanity take precedent over prestige. I have a job for now. That job belongs to someone else, some graduate student or adjuncting PhD who will love it. Whoever she is, I've got my fingers crossed for her!
6) You know, there aren't enough hours in the day, but I could probably make more if I didn't sleep so damn much!
7) I showed my students a 5" floppy disc this week. About 3/4 of them did not know what it was. They also have no idea what an 8-track tape was. They do, however, know about records. They call them "vinyl." They also thought that my cassette tape was funny and the fact that I have a player for it even funnier. One wanted to know if I had a "hi-fi" at home. I told him that he got a gold star for knowing enough to make that joke.
8) I watched this rather painful movie, in French, called Children of the Century. At the end, I nearly laughed because George Sand -- played by the always lovely Juliette Binoche -- stood over Alfred deMusset's grave, stared into the camera and waxed nauseatingly romantic about "one true love with all one's soul" blahblahblah. It was the sort of thing that Woody Allen made fun of in the 1970s -- you know, in his earlier, funny period. Also, didn't she have a long, passionate affair with Chopin BEFORE Musset died?
In movies and stories of free love affairs, no matter what their setting, I wonder what the women did for birth control. Wouldn't there have been more infections running around, too? I'm mean, after all, in this movie, they engage in this two year or so long love affair, and she never once mentions birth control or has a pregnancy scare or needs to "take care" of a "condition"? He galavants around any brothel in a 100 mile radius and he never gets syphilis or even crabs? I'm clearly post-AIDs in my understanding of sex and STDs, but you don't have to have grown up in the era of HIV to know that sex produces babies. I wondered that about Ottilia Assing and Frederick Douglass: what birth control was she using that she did not produce a junior?
9) By the way, I want to find a flash drive that looks similar to Joan Harris (nee Holloway)'s gold pen that she wears around her neck. The sexual politics of the character are not my style in the least, but damn! she knows how to dress some curves! Being on the curvy side myself, I like that. Plus, uber-competence is always attractive. I'm more of the absent-minded professor type myself, so anything that makes me seem otherwise helps my credibility.