Entries from December 2007

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Improvised (In)security Devices

I’ve spent more time in more airports and in more airplanes in the past month than in the previous six years. Six years after terrorists used airplanes as improvised explosive devices, couldn’t we reasonably expect that airport screening stations would be adequately furnished for the purpose? Couldn’t we expect American ingenuity (and manufacturing initiative) to […]

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

On the Third Day He Arose

On the third day he arose at 6:00 (more than an hour before dawn) in order to arrive on time in the hotel conference room where the panel on which he was presenting a paper was to convene at 8:30. (He hates waking up in the dark.) Unfortunately, the Hyatt Regency was designed either by […]

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Jeopardy Answer: Graduate School

Jeopardy question: What does graduate school prepare you for? I’ve just spent what is always the two most rewarding hours at the annual Modern Language Association (MLA) meeting (now in day two): volunteering for the “Chats with an Editor” booth hosted by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ). This annual service provides one-on-one counseling […]

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Fiat Lux: MLA on the Second Day

I hate having to wake up in the dark, a recovered memory perhaps of the summer between high school and college when I had to wake up at 4:00 am to work in a sand pit loading sand dug from the alluvial plain of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, into dump trucks that hauled ass down […]

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

God Said, Let There Be MLA: On The First Day

Who else but thousands of scholars in language and literature would fly from around the world to a cold northern North American city between Christmas and New Year’s (as if American air travel were not bad enough) in order to confabulate, cruise, interview job supplicants . . . I mean “applicants,” be interviewed as job […]

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Blog, Essay, or Bloviation?

Is blogging but old bloviation writ small, or is it, like the emerging prose genres in the early print age, a new discourse for new ways of thinking? Is the blog the twenty-first century equivalent of Montaigne’s essays, or only the itch-scratching multimediated version of CB radio? Follow along, my friends, and we shall see. […]