Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Year in Review 2

by J J Cohen

For part one and a prefatory apology, go here.
  • July: I went to Swansea for NCS. This sojourn was only my second to Wales. The first occurred during the backpack trek through the UK that I undertook between finishing my undergraduate degree and commencing study for the PhD. Literary nerd that I was am, I brought a copy of the Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" to read at, um, Tintern Abbey. Which I did. Ah those steep woods and lofty cliffs / And that green pastoral landscape. Ah. On this most recent trip, however, I didn't do anything quite so romantic ... but I did stay in a gulag. [serious conference write-up here]
  • August: During a troubled time, I thought about friendship.
  • September: So much of my energy was absorbed into departmental administration that I fear the fall semester of 2008 marks a low point in my teaching career. I had only one class, "Chaucer," which I can teach blindfolded and juggling cupcakes, but I don't ever want to be the kind of teacher who executes a course while on autopilot. I tried nothing especially new, I didn't introduce any radical interpretations, and (worst of all) I did not get to know my students as well as I would have liked. The course was in no way a disaster: according to the student evaluations, in fact, it was well enjoyed. But I still found the class unsatisfying, at least compared to the previous (um) 15 times I've taught it.
  • October: Eileen Joy organized the best conference I have ever attended.
  • November: I enjoyed THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. There was also this other little symposium thingy, at which I got to hang around with my ITM co-bloggers and soak up their good company.
  • December: I realized as I did the department budget that no chair in the history of GW English has ever spent so much of our funds on alcohol. This is, to say the least, a dubious distinction. I also wrote an end of the year post I like, sketched out some of my Leeds plenary, did some flash reviews ... and in general realized that I need to calm down. Maybe some time in 2010. Yeah, it's on my calendar.

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