Back to School

Yes, the dread day has rolled around again — the beginning of the semester. I’m half joking, of course. It’s always good once it starts, but there’s always so much nervousness about the semester before it starts — how will the classes be? how will I be? have I lost my touch?

Add to the usual stress the fact that I am now officially director of Women’s and Gender Studies (and all that entails, including a bunch of things that need doing now) and I am applying for tenure — package due October 1! — and well, it’s a more heavily freighted first Monday than usual. This semester is all medieval, including my sophomore level gender in medieval course, the upper division course I’m team teaching with my History colleague, Jenise, and the grad medieval class.

So much to do!


  1. Anonymous says:

    The AlreadyThereZone gives this peptalk:As much as i dote on *La Oscar* this will require being brilliant during, if not before breakfast. Then again–we are alive and He is not & Life DOES Go on…*pictures Mr. Fry standing in on The Wheel at Reading Gaol*

  2. K. A. Laity says:

    Well, I ought not complain much as my day doesn't start that early — it just goes on for a long time. But as I'm back already from the department meeting, things are looking rosier. Two classes to go: the joint class with Jenise, which ought to be fun; and the grad class which will just have to rock.I will think of Mr Fry and Mr Wilde and feel inspired (and yes, alive).

  3. Happy new school year and good luck with tenure!

  4. Anonymous says:

    What does women and gender studies mean? There are only two genders, why name one and make the other a funny neutral word? How does one teach the "other gender" ie men?

  5. First day back and my brain is already fried.

  6. K. A. Laity says:

    Cranky, I feel your pain!Anonymous, gender and sex are two different things (and many will tell you that there are more than two in either case.Women's Studies is a field that has historically explored the position of women in various cultures over times and addressed the historical denigration of women's writing, work and impact.Gender Studies is a field that examines the ways we culturally define the spectrum of gender performances. It's a field that recognizes a fluidity between the extremes of "feminine" and "masculine" and that there are a lot of shadings in between, e.g. women dressing in a masculine style. As Ru Paul says, "Everything you put on after a shower is drag."Our program had been Women's Studies, but a number of us already address the broader question of gender and want that included in the title. We will retain the "Women's" in our title to acknowledge the historical erasure of women from a lot of academic discourse.

  7. Todd Mason says:

    But…but…everyone *Knows* All Art is the work of gay men!Just as the slug line, at this late date, for 500 DAYS OF SUMMER was, A Film About The Only Two Kinds Of People There Are: Men and Women. Certainly slugged me away from attending.Break a pencil or three, to say nothing of preconceptions…

  8. Anonymous says:

    But you know Charles is an artist. He draws like a young Ingres," and do you know what Sebastian said? – 'Yes, Aloysius draws very prettily too, but of course he's rather more modern.'

  9. K. A. Laity says:

    I hate to be the one to tell you the truth about Charles and Sebastian, but there is more than cigars being exchanged between them.Aloysius is far too modern for my tastes. Give me Victorian squid!

  10. Todd Mason says:

    Waugh, among the gayest of mightier-than-the-blades (or WASHINGTON BLADEs) till Frank Miller and 300…THE LOVED ONE was much recalled by NPR yesterday due to Michael Jackson's corpse being interred in Forest Lawn. Maybe. FL knows nothing, for public consumption, about its ex-living contents.

  11. K. A. Laity says:

    Ah, THE LOVED ONE! A terrific book — a film cursed by casting. While Rod Steiger as Mr Joyboy was an incredibly delicious choice (and one he clearly relished) and the rest of the cast often quite wonderful if brief, the central and inexplicable choice of Robert Morse doomed the film. A cruel thing to do to a film co-scripted by Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood from Waugh's novel.

  12. K. A. Laity says:

    I assume you're speaking of Morse's portrayal of Capote. Uncanny indeed.

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