Monday, February 27, 2006

Various matters pertaining to academic life

I just realized I haven't blogged much of anything with academic content for a while. About all that I've mentioned is the typical TA grading grind, and me announcing the death-by-grading of every sharpie I go through is getting a little old (even to me). There are several reasons for the dearth of academic commentary here, but most find their source in one: the fact that I accidentally burnt myself out by reading all through winter break and the first month of the new term. If we count numbers of books read, I was very productive — I got a lot done with the "a book a day" project and in the weeks that followed it. However, success in numbers of books read came at a high cost. I'll spare you unneccessary detail. Suffice it to say that enough DANGER: IMPENDING RETURN OF BAD DEPRESSION warning lights were flashing by February that I eventually had to pay attention and figure out how I was going to make things better.

That's why there hasn't been much academic blogging. I haven't felt like it, and there hasn't been a lot of time with all of the reading for classes and my teaching responsibilities, anyway! Also, when I've had spare time, I've tried to watch DVDs or forget myself reading fun books. I have no qualms about saying that right now, escapism is my main motivation for fun reading.* When I read a few chapters in HP6 en español or pick up something by Ursula LeGuin or Garth Nix, I just want to stop remembering for a little while how long it is until spring break or summer vacation and that I'm feeling homesick.

On the "yours truly as grad student & pursuer of Ph.D." front, this has been an odd semester in that while I haven't read nearly as many novels, short stories, poems, plays, ... (in class, that is) as I'm accustomed to studying, I have made my way through dozens of articles. With respect to the other half of my academic existence, on the whole, teaching has been going fine. I am very thankful for the group of students I have this semester.

*Usually, it isn't this way — discounting most periods of depression and junior high.