No Fancy Name
Friday, March 24, 2006
spring break! (finally)
I am now officially on Spring Break.

Of course, this means nothing to me besides "don't have to spend 10 hours on campus next week." I suppose that's something, but it's not like Spring Break causes books to be magically read on their own, or essays to magically write themselves. That would be nice, though....

So no classes for me until April 5th. Break is the week of the 27th, but I only have classes on Wed and Thurs so it's kind of like a Break and a Half. Or not.

I'm taking the GRE subject test on April 1st. That should be tons of fun. I'm kidding. All it will show is my complete lack of knowledge of anything before the middle of the 18th century. I plan to memorize everything in the Blackwell Companion to All Things Not British or American from 1789-1935. I took this test 15 yrs ago and did really mediocre, but at the time I had almost no American lit and zero theory. I firmly believe I will do much better this time around, which is good because the stakes are much higher. Then again, half the schools I'm applying to don't require the subject test.

Anyway, that's in a week.

I hope to get all 13 remaining book chapters kicked out this week. I managed to reduce my load by one, by telling my publishers that a chapter I planned to go in the book makes no sense, the stuff doesn't work, I don't know what I was thinking, and I won't be writing it. So, my completion percentage jumped from 57.5% to 59.4%. I'll take any positive sign toward completion, at this point...

Also, work stuff. But trust me, you really don't want to hear about that. I swear a lot about it. Ask my boss.

Thirdly, am getting really close to having a test of the big ol' searchable Steinbeck bibliography dealybob I'm working on with my grad chair/director of the Steinbeck Center. It will be really useful for Steinbeck scholars or people interested in Steinbeck-era culture, because the Center has a ton of crapinteresting things in their collection. I'll write more about it when we're in the testing phase and I ask some people to help me test it out.

Fourthly, for academic bloggers who use WordPress, I'm working with the lovely folks at WRT: Writer Response Theory to create a WP plugin for academic citations. You can see the original blog post that caused me to say "oh hey, we can do this!" here. We're several steps into it and will have an initial release in a couple days, followed by a few more releases that add more administrative functionality. Jeremy Douglass, instigator of this thing, is a grad student at UCSB who also works on Voice of the Shuttle for those of you for whom that means something. He's also my grad coordinator's son, which is how I "know" him (in the virtual sense). Trust me, I'd be helping out on this wee project even if he weren't a Douglass. It's just cool that he is. Anyway, it'll be a really neat thing. [Edited to add: and I will be creating some sort of similar functionality for Blogger users, but it will be entirely different, code-wise, Maybe MT too. Dunno.]

As an aside that probably means nothing to anyone but me—working with academic folks on various projects, including folks who don't really know technology but know what they want to do, these people have been better "project managers" than any actual clients I've dealt with for lo these many years in high tech. I truly believe it has to do with the ability for abstract thought. So many clients/project managers/marketing folk/people who pay my company to do things for them are just stuck in their own little heads, with absolutely no ability to step outside the box/off their linear list of things, or to think ahead, think about issues, contingencies, etc. It's a nice change.

Fifthly, I've de-committed/de-volunteered myself from another project for faculty. I discussed it with several folks beforehand who helped me determine that it was an ok thing to do, and I'm glad of it.

Sixthly, my men's tourney bracket is blown to hell. Oh well!


job / books / new blog

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