Tesserae

The poet Denise Levertov used Tesserae (a tessera is a tile in a mosaic) as the title of a collection of autobiographical prose.  The poet John Hollander used it as the title of a collection of poetry.  I’m using it here as the title of a post listing a bunch of random junk.  (Deal with it.)

  • It’s time to make another to-do list on the blog.  It really helped me to see the biggest to-do items in the sidebar.
  • The New RU faculty meeting was fascinating.  One’s eyes are never quite so innocent again.  One faculty member objects to something the dean says: is he sincere?  Showboating?  Missing the point altogether?  Are the others supporting him or placating him?  I think I know, but in six months I might have a completely different interpretation of the situation.  I introduce myself to as many people as I decently can, and resolve to attend at least a couple of department events this semester even though I won’t be teaching until January.  A few days later, Tenured Radical’s excellent post on being a good visitor shores up my resolve on this.  
  • The New CC classes seem to be coming together OK, though a phone call on Friday to check up on the textbook revealed that the order was never placed (“My e-mail’s been acting up lately,” explains the textbook coordinator on my voicemail.  Then she goes on to explain that to place the order, she really needs the ISBN of the book I want, in a tone of voice that implies that I don’t understand how crucial this bit of information is.  Of course I know how crucial it is; that’s why I put it in the e-mail). 
  • It’s early days, of course, but so far the students at New CC seem to be a nice lot.  On Monday, however, I’m probably going to have to tell a bunch of them no, they cannot add the class.  There were 50 people in the room last week (enrollment cap is 35).  Six enrolled people didn’t turn up last time, but I don’t think I can legally drop them until they fail to turn up a second time.   And this is composition; sure, I might take two or three over the cap on the assumption that there will be some attrition, but I can’t do a good job with 40, let alone 50.  Fortunately, New CC’s computers generate waiting lists up to 20, which I have to follow, so I don’t have to rely on my own personal judgement about who needs the class the most.  
  • The Snork Maiden started soccer this week.  It’s neat how much more focused and skilled the girls are, compared to last year at this time.  They lost 1-0, but played well. 
  • I took a catnap yesterday with New Niece napping on my chest.  Divine.
  • Have to get back to the dissertation this week.
  • The copy of Anything for Jane I reserved has come in at the library.  Will try to exercise the self-control not to start it right away (too much grading to do anyway) in order to save it for my public-transportation commute on Tuesday.  It will probably still be hot enough that the p.-t. commute will seem less desirable than riding in an air-conditioned car, so the novel will sweeten the deal.
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