summer approaches

Nice weekend: Gin and tonic. Backyard picnic table. Friends and kids. Tire swing. Starting to feel normal again after an academic year of rushing around.

This summer I’d like to get back in the gym. Less caffeine. More yoga. Better sleep. Maybe investigate that Buddhist temple that’s not too far from my apartment.

Tonight I’m thinking about plans for summer. A part of the summer will be prepping for classes next year so that I can get more of my research done during the year while I’m teaching. In my head I’m already re-tooling my early British lit course for the fall and thinking about my eighteenth-century novel course. It will be interesting, I think, to configure my classes like games. I don’t mean games in the “this is all fun and games” sense, but rather in the “here are the rules and here is how you can score points and let’s enjoy this” sense. More on this as I think it through

In this vein, I gave this semester’s students the option of playing Ivanhoe, an online literary game. Two of them took me up on the offer and took a stab at reworking Beowulf, but I think it takes more than two players for the game to be effective. They enjoyed it, though. Now that I have Movable Type set up, it will be a better environment for the game than the MSN Groups forum that we were using.

There are a few articles in various stages of development that I plan to complete and get out to the journals this summer.

I’m also making plans to travel to Maryland to take part in the English department‘s graduation ceremony. I received my Ph.D. last summer, but there are only ceremonies at the end of fall and spring semesters. So L and I will “graduate” at the same time, which was our plan all along.

While in Maryland I’ll meet with some Romantic Circles folks to discuss (and do a bit of work on) the art gallery project we have in the works.

Air fare for my summer research trip to England still looks reasonable. I’m hesitating to commit to buying a ticket, and I’m not sure why. (I need to get on it before prices start going up.) A little bit of nervousness about arranging all the details, I suppose. I haven’t traveled internationally since 1989, when I went to visit my parents in Belgium the year before they finally moved back to the states. I guess I feel a bit rusty. I need to re-contact the Methodist Archive Research Centre and make sure they’re still okay with me coming. This will be a good trip, once I get over my mild performance anxiety.

As I wrote earlier, in July I’ll be going to California for SHARP, and I’m very much looking forward to that.

It would be nice to keep my computing skills sharp: PHP, text-encoding, image editing, maybe learn some more-than-rudimentary Perl. Maybe put Linux on my laptop.

I’m fantasizing about writing grant applications this summer to support work on my book, another research trip, maybe an ambitious digitization project. Fingers crossed.

And somewhere in the midst of all of this, I’d like to visit family and friends, who are spread out in a variety of places: Georgia, New York, Texas. We’ll see.

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One thought on “summer approaches

  1. You should definitely visit your friends in Atlanta.
    Interesting idea to conceptualize a course as game….It makes sense, you know a set of “rules” that lead to a certain type of “performance.”

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