Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Il me restera...

  I'm forcing myself to use this venue to be more reflective,  and it's a good time of year to be reflective. it's funny how there seems to be a not-so-coincidental congruence of events  around this time of year.  For some reason (autoethnography, perhaps?)  we are to bring in mementos today.  I can honestly say that, for me at least, mementos aren't mementos until the signified is gone. Before that, they're just things that you normally don't even give a second thought to. There's only about three things I have in this world that were born as mementos,  because we knew they would be long before they were made.  A Photo CD,  a DVD,  and those cool clay impression cases... not quite sure what they're called.  The case with the footprints will never leave the house... I have a copy of the discs. After all these  years, I don't mind perusing through everything as an individual... I think of the happy moments  I was able to have with such an amazing soul.  For some reason, sharing them beyond myself is like picking at old surgery scars... painful, demoralizing, and usually absolutely unnecessary.  Maybe today will be different... maybe not.

Jean-Jacques comes to mind..."Il me restera...des rêveries sucrés, d'autres amères, et le mal au coeur de tems en temps...Il me restera des souvenirs...des visages et des voix, et des rires" and these "babioloes...que je ne jourrais pas jeter"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is this where I am headed?

You know, I have heard mentors and collegues say or dance around the same thing I read this weekend in Goodall'sWriting the New Ethnography.  Is this where I am headed? To take some poetic license with the NLT, what do I benefit if I gain tenure but lose my own soul? Is anything worth more than my soul?

This goes out to all my tenure hounds who give up X (writing, praxis, whatever) for the title: 
(Oh, stuck in my head now)

It's about time we had our own song
Don't know what took so long
Cause nowadays it's like a badge of honor
To be an associate professor....


"I received the official letter one afternoon late in May. A surprising thing happened. I opened my tenure letter, saw in the first line that I had been granted tenure and was promoted to associate professor, and found myself incapable even of forcing a smile. Instead, for a long, suspended moment, I stood there with the letter in my hand and a sense of loss in my heart. The humid air was as thick as syrup, warm and sticky as the road to hell, and perfectly still. I looked down at the letter and read the words again, as if maybe I had missed something on the first reading, something that would make this moment feel good. That didn't happen. I had come to a desired destination, but I wasn't happy about it. 

Why? The question was my own. Its echo, in that suspended moment, defined my life. 

The answer did not take long in coming to me. Every thing I had done to win tenure, every word I had written to gain a promotion, no longer seemed worth it to me. I had won a place in academe, but had lost my soul."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How Long Has This Been Going On?

Apparently, thirty years!

Is this a service that everyone enjoys but us poor Amurkins, or is this a Brazilian phenomenon?

A very cool idea. I guess, in a sense, that textbook companies are testing this out for foreign languages. I know of a few companies who could use a call or two when they make their signs...

My question made me think of Ace...

Monday, May 17, 2010

The World is Stone

Every once in a great while, I feel the full effect of the down side of what Dean Dad rightly (IMHO) dignifies. It really is hard, and sometimes it is harder than others. Case in point:

  • Today, I realized that the kids had opened up my car the night before to look for something (turned on the interior lights to find said item), and did not shut the door tightly, resulting in a dead battery as I turned the ignition as I headed out the next morning, only to realize that I wasn't going anywhere quickly...
  • When I got to my office-not-really-only-for-the-summer-former-dorm-room, I still had no ethernet connection and the wireless was misbehaving, so I had to pack up and move my office to the library.
  • My IRB (my first one solo, mind you) came back from my advisor looking like it had been through the metaphorical shredder, which I appreciate, but I know it frustrates her and makes her wonder why on earth she puts up with me, because she has it coming at her from all sides, too. I'm usually just another thorn in her side, another brick in her wall...if only I could be the perfect advisee...
  • I need to spend some serious time teasing out theories and figuring out what bloody lens I'm using on  what is arguably a research project that could propel my career, but that requires time, silence, and some lucidity. I can never seem to find a space where I get all three at once. On a beau tout avoir... Really, I can barely manage to eek out 2 of the 3. Understandable, perhaps. But nothing can be done about it, expectations cannot be lowered at this level, I get it...believe in it. Still easier said than done.
  • Summers are supposed to be calm and serene, so that a research project doesn't seem so daunting. Of course, the summer that I throw my hat over the wall would be the summer that I get dislocated, thrown into a major course hybridization project, and a host of other good problems, good any other summer but this summer.
  • Of course, the feeling of undeserved honor leads to previously expressed feelings of imposterism.
  • Ma cherie amour doesn't ask me to do at lot for her during work hours, but she has the uncanny knack of asking when I'm up to the gills in meetings and just can't, which then frustrates her and makes her wonder why on earth she puts up with me (are we sensing a theme here yet?)
  • Of course, this IRB really needs some time, love and tenderness this week as to not cause the advisor any more grief, storm und strang, but...I have a friend coming in as a consultant on the aforementioned hybridization project, and she'll get my undivided attention for the next 2 days...
  • I have a 16-page prospectus and several hundreds of pages to read in association with the aforementioned undeserved honor...and about 1.5 weeks to do it.
  • I don't know who is more excited to see me get around to finishing, ma cherie amour, the kids, my advisor, or me!
So, I was doing my old-school mini pity-party cum pick-me-up virtual self-abjection via music....Le monde est stone was seeming particularly fitting today. Today was a light day, the Celine Dion version was sufficient. I like the Garou version better, but it's a little heavier...gotta be a cry-worthy bad day to put this one on. Today, I was resonating with the third stanza:

J'ai plus envie d'me battre
J'ai plus envie d'courir
Comme tous ces automates
Qui bâtissent des empires
Que le vent peut détruire
Comme des châteaux de cartes

For you poor French-deprived souls, there really is no way to translate this and do it justice. Yes, it can be translated...that doesn't mean one understands it or catches the lyric ennui. I always hope, though, so I was rooting around, and I had no idea so many people had taken on this song! And Cyndi Lauper? really?

This is my least favorite version of the song (big surprise), but actually, this song kinda works for her. Doesn't hurt that Tim Rice worked on this. Still lose 90% of the awesomeness of the text in translation, but it's still a good song.

Oh, BTW, I have divorced my FB page from Blogger, because I really think I should leave this for people who seek it out, not foist it upon the innocent! Because it is about to gear up again as a very therapeutic corner of reflexion for me......

I'll try to be more prolific....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Now THIS Rosetta Stone, I would buy!!

I'm fascinated and slightly unnerved all at once...It may be as close as I ever get to getting "chipped" (and you all know I'd do that in a heartbeat)...

Basically, I can purchase a basic data tag for around $225 from Objecs, where I can then embed up to 1,000 words of prose about myself in the third person for when I am gone.  Then, when the tag is installed on my tombstone, any RFID-enabled phone (think future iPhones) can scan the tag and read the embedded information. Right now, I could have a memorial story and a photo, but who knows what the future could hold (movies? books?). The tag's internal microchip will use the RFID phone's own magnetic field to power up just long enough to let the phone read the data, so in theory, the company claims that the tags should last at least 3,200 years. 

Honey, add this to the post-mortem checklist!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Online News Readers don't want to pay for news online

Newspapers think the new business model is to "digitize" the old analog business model. Good luck with that...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Diacritical Marks for your iPhone / iPod Touch

Who knew holding down the keys could bring you so many options?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nothing is Original Anymore!

1232.ii. demoiselles mout mignotes, qui estoient en pures cotes et trecies a une trece, fesoit Deduiz par grant noblece em mi la querole baler; mes de ce ne fet a parler come eus baloient cointement: l'une venoit tot belement contre l'autre, et quant eus estoient pres a pres, si s'entregetoient les bouches qu'i vos fust avis qu'euss 'entrebessoientou vis. Bien se savoient debrisier. (see the manuscript page!)


Monday, January 11, 2010