I’m determined to make this blog work.  Here we go again.

The semester has begun, and I’m on UNC, but not Duke, fall break.  At least I have Friday off!

Some non-academic highlights of the semester:
trying to get involved with Second Chance Pet Adoptions
helping pups get adopted through Middle Mutts (love-out to Nicole Fisk!)
chatting with Brianna about dresses
an amazing weekend in the mountains with Emily, etc.
planning a trip to DC (now postponed until December)
celebrating Tabitha’s first birthday with best sister-in-law of ALL time and Drew
started allergy shots– in a year my eyes might not be puffy all the time!

Teaching this semester has been rough, not least because my class starts at 8am.  And we all know how much of a morning person I’m not.  But I’ve also tried a lot of new things which have proven less productive than I’d hoped, like my visual analysis of comic books unit.

William Morrow Paperbacks, 1994

I had expected the rhetoric of news unit, which we’re in the middle of right now, to be better than it is, but it’s an improvement for sure.  Also, we’ve had our first round of conferences and I always feel like I have a little better grasp on things once I speak to everyone face-to-face.
Sadly, some of my students have had some serious issues, whether personal or physical, and that’s been hard to keep track of.  Nevertheless, they are all great, great kids who are tolerating this class admirably.

M Nagle, New York Times

I’ve really enjoyed my 17th century class at UNC, which is a total shock.  We started with Donne, who usually drives me crazy.  But somehow he was different this time, and that is no doubt due to Dr Barbour’s teaching. Un-freakin-believable, this guy.  I could listen (and watch– his lectures are highly dramatic) to him talk about anything.  He’s electric. Even our meetings are awesome.  He is the most thoroughly engaged, inspiring professor I’ve ever had, and has done more than accommodate me in a class that’s so many centuries ahead of my own interests.  I’m totally, totally stoked that he’ll be on my minor committee!

The Duke class is challenging, which I love.  Dr Aers leaves it all to us– here’s a recommended reading list, do what you will– and there’s a lot to be said for that kind of self-starting scholarship.  The seminar has warmed up a bit, though it’s still a bit awkward at times.  The biggest perk so far is that my new hero, Michael Cornett, gave a presentation on ALL the English (or Latin, written in England) confessions.  I emailed him to follow up and the man replied by sending me his entire nearly 900-page dissertation.  At this point in my career, every book I want to buy is close to $300, so getting his unpublished but invaluable research over my computer rocked my life.  He just sent me this damn thing, and then recommended a seminar paper topic!  Here’s the real closer, though.  He scanned a 16th century confession manuscript that follows quite closely an 8th century confessional prayer by Alcuin.  He sent me the images and I’m transcribing it now.

Speaking of book accessibility, I received my Kindle (and its burnt-orange cover) and am loving it!
More details on what I’m reading, how I’m cleaning up a massive, massive pen leak (courtesy of Tabitha) on two carpets, and how we’re spending the weekend to come.