Quiet Time

on the blog, but not in my life.

I have been silent here while working away on a number of tasks. This week has featured a goodly number of meetings (all day M, about half of T), syllabus prep, housecleaning, and a potluck for my (and Carrie’s) grad students.

The meetings were productive, as meetings will be.

The History of Communication syllabus is almost done. the course has colonized my consciousness for the past two weeks. I’m still messing with methods of evaluation and a couple readings, but it is going to be a really good class. The only unfortunate thing is that because of a space crunch and the fact that tutorials were not booked ahead of time, (whoever is in charge of space at) McGill cannot provide me with rooms that have moveable desks for the TA-led tutorial sections (for readers at other schools: tutorial=recitation=discussion section=confernce section=?). This is unfortunate as it makes small group exercises more difficult, at least if I want the students to face one another. Since students are known to dislike group work maybe they’ll think it’s a good thing. But I don’t. Anyway, we’ll put in for such rooms for next year and see if we do better.

After spending most of the day at school Thursday, we shopped that evening and Friday we cleaned for an end-of-semester potluck for the grad students enrolled in our courses who were still in town. The cleaning sucked, but after we were all done the place looked awesome and was soon populated by grad students and their partners. The whole thing was a ton of fun, lots of great food was brought, and I enjoyed it so much that we will be having a proper party sometime this winter or spring, as I believe we have an outstanding layout for such an event. Party hosting secret: real wine glasses, real silverware, everything else disposable or recyclable. Cleanup took about 30 minutes, with a little help from the last stragglers. Next time I’ll hopefully have a camera and take pictures.

The theremin was a hit — at least with the gearheads — and the cats even made brief appearances.

In fantasy football news, I fear that our team is doomed. Two starters had season ending injuries, and with last week’s loss, we’re one game out of the playoffs. It’s still mathematically possible, but if only we knew that Carson Palmer was going to have an awesome game against the Ravens.

This coming week should see more blogging, I hope. In that spirit, onto the next entry.

Questions of the Evening

1. Why do I believe that I should not be tired even though I’ve had way more than an 8-hour day and got up early, to boot?

2. Should I organize my history of communication course chronologically or thematically?

3. Will the students actually be ready to plow through all the weird history I want to give them?

4. If I actually decide to do the 30-day free trial of the slightly bizarre-yet-imtriguing “life balance” time-management software, how much of it should I blog? Will it be funny or pathetic? Will it work? Or be interesting?

5. Does our fantasy football team stand a chance with Priest Holmes out for the season? Is there any chance Darrell Jackson will score two touchdowns between now and the end of the game, thereby scoring for us an amazing comeback win?

A big update, eh?

Seems like the blog is due for it. I read a bunch of blogs most days, and yet they’re not up in the column. There’s a spambot going nuts in my comments (though Tobias has kindly suggested one possible solution). Winter break is coming, and this may happen. I just hope I don’t accidentally flush all the old comments or entries or something. Will have to look into backing it up. Or selling out and moving the shop to livejournal or something (don’t worry — through the wonder of frames you won’t notice the difference if I do something drastic like that).

I am happy to report that the article on disciplinarity and digital media is now out the door to the Information Society. My original plan was just to make the revisions the reviewers wanted here and there in a day. Instead, it was a complete rewrite and three days, but that’s just me. It dawned on me that all the stuff I’d cited on disciplinarity was from the 90s (except of course, the French in translation, who wrote earlier). Is the concept pretty much dead? I asked a couple people at a party Friday. Will said yes, he hadn’t seen anything on the topic lately. Nobody else could think of a decent 21st century book or article on the concept. Mine won’t be the first — I’m not being modest, but it’s for one of those special “future of the field” issues, so it’s not like I’m trying to say anything new about disciplinarity.

The end of the semester is such a relief. I’m even cleaning a little. Just don’t remind me about the 500 things I still need to do. Tally for the weekend: two nights of socializing (good, but not excellent like 3 would be; this is partly the effect of a cold), and at least for the first football game this afternoon, I’m going to sit on the couch and watch it. Maybe gaze at the New York Times occasionally. It’s a big game for our fantasy team too. If we win, we control our own destiny for the playoffs. If we lose, it’ll be hard to get in. Current record: 8-4. Here’s to hoping Brad Hoover blocks for Nick Goings and doesn’t steal carries from him.

My friend Greg D. is Awesome

Greg Dimitriadis and I went to grad school together. He’s a confidante, a partner in crime, and a lover of cats. He’s also amazingly prolific AND he’s the first person in our posse to have a book series all his own.

Today, he sent me the following email.

“Check this out—

http://www.buffalo.edu/reporter/vol36/vol36n13/articles/GDimitriadis.html

You should blog about THIS!”

and so I did. Any other suggestions, I mean besides online casinos?

December Already?

One of the many wonderful things about Montreal is that we don’t have to drive much. The car is good for trips to the grocery store, the airport, or other places that public transit is a pain to take. But most of the time, it’s the bus-metro-assemblage that works for me.

This sounds like a wonderful state of affairs and it is, but there is a problem. Parking. When Carrie and I took the place, we had the promise of a parking space behind our place, and anyway we thought the signs said “no parking Monday and Friday 5-6pm” on our side of the street in front of the place (no parking 8-9am on the other). Well, the signs turned out to be Monday THRU Friday and some buttweed moved in across the alley and started calling the police to ticket our car when it’s parked back there. The landlord said, and I quote “we can’t put the space in the lease because it’s not on the property but we’ve never had any problem.” There’s another street nearby where, if you’re lucky, you can score parking (except for Monday and Thursday 5-6) so on a good week we only move our car a couple times. I’ve even managed to coordinate grocery shopping with this state of affairs. But on a bad week we move it twice a day.

So we started looking for garages in the neighborhood. Most are too small for our car (Dodge Intrepid — big, but gas-efficient). The one that’s big enough is full for the winter. It is a nice underground garage. We will try a last-ditch bribe and if that doesn’t work, we’re stuck until a new round of spaces comes up for rent in the spring.

The good news is that between 1 Dec and 1 March we don’t have to move the car on a daily basis. The bad news is that once it snows, there will be new, more arcane rules about plowing.

And no, we’re not selling the car just yet. We own the thing outright. (Plus, legally, you can’t sell a car for a year after you import it into Canada.) And we’re midwesterners.