May 17th, 2005
I was just reading Steven Johnson’s blog and admiring his publicity schedule. I’m not impressed. Let me describe to you my last Wed. through Sunday.
Wednesday evening I arrive home at 7pm from the McMaster Text Analysis Summit. Isabela is still awake to greet me because I’ve been gone since Sunday. I feed her a bottle and put her bed. I rest.
Thursday I wake up and study for my final exam for a few hours while waiting for the person who is fixing our ceilings to arrive to finish fixing our ceilings. I wait some more. He arrives at 2pm to tell me that he can’t work becuase he doesn’t have the right paint. I’m about to leave to go to a meeting at Maryland to see Jean Daniel Fekete. I have set up a babysitter at UMD for this purpose. I return home that night to feed the baby and put her to bed. The ceiling guy is still there. He leaves at 9 pm. I carry to the basment no less than 13 cans of paint and throw out 5 bags of trash (John, who bless his heart was taking care of the baby while I was in Canada was not taking care of trash . . . or dishes . . . or laundry, it turns out). There was 1 inch of dust in every bedroom. I went to bed in denial.
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April 4th, 2005
Now, I’m just messing with the different settings on Flickr to see how this works. Plus, I obviously like this picture. Surprisingly enough, this was the day (10 days ago) when Isabela worked up a 104 degree temperature. Yet, she isn’t even breaking a sweat in the photo!
February 14th, 2005
I’m very happy to announce that I just got a paper accepted at the ACH/ALLC 2005 Conference. A first and it sure makes me feel like a big kid! 😉 If you’re interested and care to comment, please see the abstract. Don’t they pay you a million bucks when you give a paper? At least that’s why I got into this business . . .
January 24th, 2005
O.k. not a very clever title, but I’m a little behind on this stuff. I’m currently reading Copyrights and Copywrongs and writing a paper and came across foucault.info. I don’t know, I like it, I guess. The site seems to comprise some of the values of free access that make digital academia seem headed in the right direction. The author is unknown, no one makes money from it (it seems), there’s a weblog, and (one hopes) accurately updated texts. Perhaps, of course, as a potential author myself I’d like to see someone get renumerated for what they’ve done, but as a scholar . . . I like the access and the conversation. It makes my paper-writing easier. Now, how to cite it . . .
October 14th, 2004
A tool that “not only indexes the full text of e-mail messages and word processing documents, but also gives people the option of creating a searchable archive of all Web pages they visit and all instant messages they send and receive with AOL software. ”
“The goal for the application was for it to behave like a photographic memory for your computer,” said Marissa Mayer, Google’s director of consumer Web products. “So in addition to being able to search all of the files on your computer, it also indexes the Web pages you have seen.”
If I weren’t so utterly exhausted I would say more about this . . .but for now, wow . . .
August 10th, 2004
. . . and uh, dislike . . . well, you plan to vote for Kerry, check out this little tidbit and click on ‘watch the video ‘. Keep in mind, we should all be mending our fences this time around . . .
July 22nd, 2004
The Chicago Tribune has published one of those lists that gives you pause–the top 50 magazines. You always think these would not be the ones you’d pick but somehow someone has picked them and it’s just fascinating to figure out why and who and in what state of mind? And then you figure, hey, they must make sense in terms of “the way the world works.” In particular, I dislike that the magazine Real Simple is listed as number 2 (above The Economist and below Wired). This magazine is one of those infuriating magazines aimed at women which implies that you can do, make, buy, be, transform into anything if you just tried, you lazy good-for-nothing, all within a small budget and in natural fibers. I was pleased to see, however, that Cooks Illustrated as number 4 (except for the fact that it’s behind RS). This magazine is a true find a great gift for a friend, truly. It makes a science out of cooking (as it should). The layout is no-frills with little advertising with that kind of paper that still feels like paper, dry and not glossy. It feels like someone has given you a manual with your groceries and covers REALLY useful things like who makes the cheapest and best tasting vanilla extract (turns out that CVS makes a tasty imitation that is cheap, cheap, cheap) or which blender is the best buy–affordable without completely falling apart. Most impressive are its articles on some of the recipes. The chef usually approaches a classic dish (or not so classic dish) like scones and goes through, step-by-step the different things the chef did (more butter) did not (less cream) do to make sure that darn scone was the crisipiest, most moist yet least difficult to make scone you’ve ever encountered. The chef wil go through the different temps he or she tried, the different amounts of butter, cream, salt, etc. and the different outcomes. The point of the magazine is to teach you how to think about the process of cooking, why some ingredients produce this miraculous or that disastrous outcome and why not. If you have the time to read it, it’s great. Unfortunately, CI has one added disadvantage that other mags don’t incur: when it piles up on the floor alongside your much coveted RS, you are not only missing out on fascinating cooking science, you’re missing out on a crispy, yet moist, scone.
July 20th, 2004
Looks like Duke is going to give a free iPod to every incoming first year this fall, according to today’s Chronicle of Higher Education. The article reports, “The goal of the giveaway is education, not entertainment, Duke officials say.” While I don’t doubt that there are many fine uses for the iPod (the article lists some great ones) I wonder a few things about a trend I see in higher education.
My aunt, who attended Duke in the mid fifties says they gave her incoming class a carton of Camel cigarettes. Keeping in mind that the Dukes made their fortune through tobacco and the very eccentric daughters kept camels under a tent on their manicured, cliffside Newport estate well into the 1990’s, was that goal education too?
What is this move toward glamming up a university’s leisure amenities (the gym, the student union, the rooms) about? Is it cheaper than paying professors more, giving more scholarships to needy students, hiring more associate professors instead of lecturers? It seems like our society (our coporations) are usually more inclined to financially support mindless products in higher education than productive minds. At least in the fifies, they were brutally honest–cigarettes were for fun, to attract students to a “fun” school. Though I’m not arguing against better exercise facilities and more technology in higher education and I do see the educational benefits that result from these improvements, I find myself wondering how, if, and when these amenities will improve our current, most serious problem at the university level: how do we insure that the students, who are currently shouldering tens of thousands of dollars of debt, can pay for it?
And finally, why doesn’t anyone give me a free iPod?
July 18th, 2004
So the “book people” say that at six weeks many babies become fussy, irrascibly fussy. Why? Becuase all of a sudden, she’s looking around and taking it all in. She’s never seen a flower or a tree or blinking lights on the stereo or (well, look at that!) it’s a blank white wall. I think I’ll lie here and stare at that for a bit and then cry.
It’s very complicated . . . breathing, seeing, holding up your head. It takes practice and lots and lots of crying.
July 16th, 2004
It seems I’ve fallen off the face of the planet. Trying to write a paper while tending to a newborn means the floors don’t get swept, the milk goes bad without notice, and the blog . . . well, let’s just say I’m sitting her trying to figure out how to work in “throwing out the baby” but . . . I’m experiencing what my beloved husband calls “mushy brain” . . . a chronic prenatal, postnatal disease. If writing is the baby I so incautiously threw out with the bathwater that was everything else in my thinking life, then this becomes my first attempt at getting back–as it were–the baby.