The new semester starts in 4 days. That's only 4 days left to finish planning my first few weeks of class and get something done on my diss.
Instead, I've picked up a new book that has nothing to do with the diss-- The Observationist. It was one of my $5 deals at the MLA Convention. Such fun to read. Nothing like first person narrative told by a 16 year old mid-nineteenth century prostitute-turned-house servant to chase the cobwebs off good old Willy Faulkner.
But I feel like I've also got a lot of work done in the last few days. I have my syllabus all together, lecture notes and power point slides all set for the first two and a half weeks. Lit classes don't usually employ business technologies like power point, but I'm teaching a culture and lit class that's supposed to address the entire culture of Anglo-American modernism, so I need the audio and visuals to bring in as well. Because I'm in no position to teach Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx, I'm going with Picasso, Stravinsky, and pop culture. Sounds more fun anyhow.
But this week has just underlined what an expensive year it's going to be. J's conference--a big one, that will no doubt go far in the networking department--is in NYC after Easter. Talk about expensive. Whew. But we've finally sucked it up, given up finding a cheaper apartment rental, and decided to go with a Times Square hotel. I've gotta say, I'm kind of excited. We usually stay in the Upper West Side, which I love--but part of me has always wanted to stay right in the heart of Times Square. And with conference rates, it's just as cheap, err expensive, as anything else.
Then I found out that the Hemingway conference that my paper was accepted to is $200!! I applied for a travel grant from the Hem. Foundation, but if I actually get it, I'll need to be in Kansas City (that's right, exotic, exciting Kansas city) for a whole week. Blech. I was hoping to buzz in for a few days, but this conference is a week-long lovefest for old Hem.
Put all that together with the fact that I probably will still need to do some travel for archival research and that the year's going to end with a 10 California jaunt, and it all adds up to the fact that the credit cards companies are going to be loving us this year. I may just need to build a shrine or start doing daily devotions to Our Lady of "Dear-God-Please-Let-Me-Find-A-Job- (and-not-just-any-job-but-a-good-one-in-a-place-where-I'd-actually-like-to-live-and-raise- children).
On the upside, I get to go to the beach twice this year. And one of those times it's gonna cost next to nothing-- big family reunion shindig.
Until then, I've got some Faulkner to read.