Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I just went to my research cubicle in the library to make a mass return because I got tired of having books recalled by other patrons or going overdue by several days before I could get in to the library.

The plants I'd put in there--all of which are hardy succulents, by the way--were partially dead. I apologized to them as I watered them. I was also apologizing to the abandoned books, the abandoned work, the advisers who might actually have thought they'd see something useful from me this summer--and to myself.

I am desperate for this summer course to be over so I can begin to do something with my own work. I have given a lot of myself for a good while now, often to students who gave very little back. I need to read and write for myself as much (or maybe even more than) those plants needed water.

In part because I haven't felt particularly encouraged in or about my own work, I think my academic identity has become much more invested in teaching than in research during the past few years. I know I can teach fairly well, and I do feel that teaching is the most important thing most of us do as academics. But I can truly say, from the bottom of my heart, "Thank God I will not be teaching this year." Thank God.

I had plans to write something about the fifth anniversary of 9/11 today, but I'm underwatered and overworked. Other people will and have done better jobs, anyway.