Thursday, February 08, 2007

The week of academic meet-and-greet

Talk about getting all of one's semester of socializing taken care of in a single week! This week marked not only the first week of "spring" classes, but also a busy week for my department. We interviewed potential job candidates in my subfield, meaning that grad students and professors came out of the woodwork to greet them. We ate lovely fancy dinners and drank coffee and discussed potential classes, methods, approaches.

This week also started the spring semester, adding a further element of busyness. I'm a TA for the second time ever, and I was happy to say that this time I felt a little less nervous than last. We'll see how that continues into the actual discussion groups next week!

Not only that, but one of our professors announced that she's pregnant, causing much enthusiastic discussion amongst, well, just about everyone, on top of discussion about new classes and job candidates. That same professor also co-edited a book, the publication of which is being celebrated this afternoon at some kind of eat-drink-and-be-awkwardly-merry event.

To add the final touch of craziness to this week, tomorrow, we grad students are starting a series in which we introduce each other to the rudiments of our subfields. We all take classes on approaches to the study of religion, but this often leaves Islamicists without a working knowledge of the rudiments of Buddhism or Christianity - or vice versa - not to mention what it means to study religion in America or what, after decades and centuries of debate, accurately describes the current state of discussion about the origins of Christianity. Each week is devoted to a different topic with a grad student presenter, and we're all supposed to pretend to be totally ignorant and ask really basic questions. The presenter has 20 minutes, and then there are 40 minutes for questions. I think it'll take about 4 minutes for someone to gripe that "this is an essentializing narrative of X religion that doesn't take into account the Western hegemonic narrative of oppression that causes X religion to be described that way, when really isn't it all just about power?" Thus will commence a great intellectual food-fight amongst overeager graduate students. Yee-haw!

Oh... what's that? This is a knitting blog and you hope I won't mention Foucault? Don't worry, I won't. You want to know if I've been knitting? ... Oh yeah, right...

You see, my various "friends" in the archives have been sort of captivating my attention, making a nice quiet distraction from academic angst. I loved all your comments about love in the archives, by the way! From the way things are going, I certainly know the "type" I'm looking for, just not quite why!

I don't know if I should confess this here, but I haven't actually touched the needles since... Sunday? How... very odd! Am I ill? (Oh, yeah, I did have an upset stomach on Monday or Tuesday that made me want to lie down rather than click the needles). Have I actually posted three times now about academic rather than knitting? Am I actually in a knitting slump? Have I really truly been more interested in school than in socks? How very bizarre! If this course of events continues, I might have to consult Dr. Knit!


Anonymous said...

Sounds busy and crazy and wonderful all at the same time. Sometimes I long for grad school days of conversations like the ones you described. And then I remember 3 hour lectures and come to my senses! ;)


P.S. Sorry to have missed you all last night. Wasn't feeling too well and didn't think driving was a good plan.

Lynne said...

Hee, I'm making up for you! I'm almost out of yarn on the seafoam scarf I've been knitting on my commute to choir, so by default I've probably only got a couple more pattern repeats.

Plus, I'm knitting the Fuzzy Feet slippers as a Valentine's Day present for Hyoun, so tonight alone has included: my first project with circulars; my first project with increases and decreases (k2tog, p2tog, and ssk); and figuring out what order to pick the Vs up and how for the heel turn. It's so incredibly outsize right now that it looks like I'm knitting a baby hoodie!

Anonymous said...

Fear not, I personally saw Lazuli knitting last night, working on what I believe is a clapotie (sp?). No need to call Dr. Knit yet.


Sheepish Annie said...

You're in the homestretch, school-wise. I think it's only logical that it takes up more of the time and thought processes right now.

I never get to go to the fancy-schmancy sort of gatherings. I get elementary school class parties and potlucks. But there are usually Rice Crispy squares so I can live with it. :)

schrodinger said...

I think knitting, just like other interests, has ebbs and flows. It's great that work is keeping you so interested though, enjoy :)

Lone Knitter said...

Say, what's your secret? I need to get my prospectus pumped out in two weeks, and I have no ambition! Yet, my socks-in-progress are looking great. Sigh.

Angel said...

LOL- I was working on socks the other night and totally thinking of you my lovely-sock-knitting-academic friend.

I'm sure its just a minor knitting slump. I go through those all the time, and now I am currently fixated on baby booties.

Oh and Happy Valentine's day to you