Friday, January 31, 2014

When I heard about this, it made me cringe. Not to dispute that there are better paying jobs, and more opportunity in applied fields than in the humanities, but why is it necessary to single out one field to be the butt of a crude joke? He might just as well have retold the quip that has the tired punchline "do you want fries with that?" Art history majors and art historians -- and by extension, the entire discipline of art history -- are an easy target, I guess.

Just yesterday I was talking to students about what I describe here (the "no offense" woman, not the student with the question). I have also been remembering recently that in high school, teachers warned us EVERY DAY that we would never get jobs because the economy was so bad. They never said, study the practical thing, or told us why we should love their subjects. Instead, PhDs were driving taxicabs in NYC, so we were doomed. The economy and generally pessimistic mood of the late '70s reminds me much of today.

So I studied what I loved, and did not give a thought to how I'd apply it. I have never had a regret about my humanities / social science liberal arts degree in history. It has served me very well, in fact, in preparing me to pursue graduate study, in honing my research and writing skills, in sparking a lifelong love of the field. I have never been unemployed, so there.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ha ha. After the prior post, I couldn't resist this link. I don't think I've ever seen a student doing this in my classes, but there's always a first time, I guess, so maybe this semester?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sometimes a picture really is worth 1,000 words

Classes start tomorrow! I am sorry to have less time for my kindle and Mark Twain and Elwyn's diaries. But ya gotta do watchya gotta do...

Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm basically all ready for the semester to begin next week. And...I learned I will be teaching grad classes instead of one of my foundations sections starting in '14-'15. Yahoo! This means I may make it to 67 without getting burnt out.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I expected to write here quite a bit recently since it's winter break, but as it turns out, I have spent time doing other things instead, and now spring semester looms (my classes start January 23).

Yesterday little Rosie had four warts removed & her teeth cleaned. I was nervous, since she's old, and she had to fast just in case she needed to be knocked out, as one tooth may have needed to be pulled. But as it turned out, she didn't lose any teeth and everything was done with a local (for the warts) and a sedative. She was an angel! She was groggy and wobbly afterwards, but her teeth look like a young dog's! Today she is 100%.

This was last night.

I've been reading Empty Mansions. There are two authors and the writing style is a little choppy, but overall it's an interesting read. It's clear the writers developed deep admiration for the father of the main character, a self-made fabulously wealthy businessman who eventually became a senator. At one point they "diss" Mark Twain because he wrote a 1907 essay that blasted the senator. It was very clear they were almost personally offended by the criticism. I felt the same about what they wrote!

I didn't recall reading the 1907 essay, so I started looking for it. It appears in a DeVoto edited book, published in 1940. I don't own it (hard to believe), and it's not available in an ebook (I am never buying paper again). I was thinking it might be in the new autobiography, but I didn't remember it from the first volume. However, while searching I discovered the second volume was published in October 2013! How did I not know this? 

So I bought it...and put Empty Mansions aside. No surprise there!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Here is my sister's latest post, about what has also been consuming me: kindles and Elwyn's diary.