From Alba to Albany

By the time this posts, I should be on my way via planes, trains and automobiles (not to mention the bus to the airport in Edinburgh). It’s hard to believe my fantastic year has drawn to a close. Needless to say, I have no wish to leave Scotland and already have my ticket back. My…

There’s Got to be a Word for It

Here’s a thing: from one of those ongoing discussions, most recently on Facebook, but other places too. There’s a phenomenon that crops up all the time, yet has eluded naming so far. As I mentioned when sharing Peg’s post (right) about director Brenda Chapman on Facebook, the usefulness of the term “gaslighting” has been amply…

BitchBuzz: Technology and Temperance + Jane Quiet

My column today springs from my annoyance with paternalistic colleagues who keep giving people the impression that academics are stuffy know-it-alls who pontificate from their position of privilege. I realise I can also be a bit unreasonable about it: on President’s Day a colleague in the midst of his “technology: bad” talk (thank goodness there…

Leaving London

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy leaving London, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the way it did happen. It was meant to be simple: tube to Bank, DLR to London City Airport. My cheap flight took me from London to Amsterdam to NYC and then Albany. Not a day I was looking…

BitchBuzz: Hate Facebook?

My latest column at BitchBuzz.com: It’s the end of the world as we know it! Where’s Buffy?! She’s averted several apocalypses (apocalypse√©? apocalypso?) already. Cameron’s behind this somehow, or Goldman-Sachs, I bet. Oh, wait — it’s only Zuckerberg? For a minute there, I was worried. Yes, as the guys at Wired have warned us, Facebook…

The Old Boys Club

We had a panel discussion on campus last night about negotiating the Catholic heritage of the institution, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet as a college for women (who still make up the majority of the student body). Most of the audience last night, too, were women. The panel, however, was entirely…

Where are my Minions?

After a week of being ill and getting next to nothing done, I am feeling the pinch. So much email has piled up in my inbox that I feel quite harried and I’ve taken the extraordinary measure of not giving my students any homework this week so far (awful, I know). It is days like…

My Symptoms

All right, the latter is not a symptom so much as what I heard as I woke up about every half hour through the night unable to breathe. There are at least two squirrels in the attic who show not the slightest interest in the trap. I would be in bed, but I need toilet…

The Thing about Vampires

Teaching is all about planning + improvisation. You have to plan well and provide a structure, but it’s also important to roll with the vagaries of the unexpected. Today was a case for this kind of flexibility. After talking about the ambiguity that signaled the 1980s shift in horror films, we were all primed to…