Monday, January 02, 2006
Back home and already behind
Happy New Year, everyone. I’ve decided, for now, to cave in to Christian pressure and agree to call this year “2006,” though you and I know the truth.
Janet and I attended the Modern Language Association convention in Washington, DC from December 27-30, and we got back to State College late on the 30th. It was a milestone conference for us, not because of anything about the conference itself but because Nick took care of Jamie for four straight days, driving him home from Connecticut to Pennsylvania (along with Lucy the Dog) and then being a good big brother despite getting the Cold that Was Going Around, and despite the fact that, shall we say, Nick’s sleeping habits and Jamie’s are usually out of sync by six to eight hours.
If you want some sense of what I was doing with my time in Washington, you can check here and here (it was as if all my waking hours on December 29 were covered by Inside Higher Ed—and wow, what a severe wingnut infestation in the comments on that first article!) . I’ll post my own report on the MLA later this week; it’s not very gossipy and it won’t say anything about the panels I attended (only two), because I spent most of my time working with the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee, and I have a front-row report (for those of you who are interested) on why the issue of the NYU graduate student strike didn’t make it to the Delegate Assembly floor.
While we were at the MLA, Nick called and told us that as he was driving Jamie to the movies, the Subaru (the snow car) began to overheat and smoke. That was bad. We told him to use the Passat for now, even though it’s not very good in snow. When we got back, we discovered that the Subaru was completely out of oil and antifreeze, and the Passat’s front tires were badly worn. So far, then, 2006 has been the Year of Overdue Car Maintenance. For Janet, anyway. I came home to find a big surprise on the doorstep: the copyedited version of What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts?, with a cover letter asking me to read through the manuscript, respond to all editorial queries, check all the urls in footnotes for broken links, and double-check all the quoted passages for accuracy.
And to return the thing by January 3.
So I’ve been in manic copyediting mode since New Year’s Eve, taking only a few hours’ break on the Eve for traditional Eve activities. Just the way to start the new year! No oil in the car and a 350-page ms. festooned with dozens of orange and pink stickies asking me to rephrase here, resolve an ambiguity there, and provide a full reference in the other place.
I’ll be back when this monster is done. And then I’ll start preparing my first-ever course on disability studies!