Good News, Bad News
Sorry no posts for so long. I've been enjoying the relaxing break that we lazy college professors get every year when we do nothing for a month or so and then return to our jobs of luxury.
The day after New Year's email brought good news and lots of additional work. I have had a couple of articles out at journals since the end of July, one which I discussed here. That one was given a very gracious, positive, "revised and resubmit" by a much more prestigious journal than the one that had rejected it back in November. The other was accepted by Oral Tradition, but I also had to do some significant revisions. I also had a deadline to finish my own J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia entries and my Introduction, and I had to write my syllabi -- this coming semester is going to be great, with an advanced Beowulf in OE course, a Tolkien-only course (offered for the first time at Wheaton and also for the first time open to the general student population) and the second half of the Math / Science Fiction course. I also have to finish up the course book for the Fantasy course with Recorded Books (we recorded that in two marathon days in NYC in December), write the SciFi course for Recorded Books (we'll record that in two marathon days in NYC in March), do the editing and layout for Tolkien Studies volume 3 (due to the printer soon), and write the paper I'm giving at the "Form and content of instruction in Anglo-Saxon England in the light of contemporary manuscript evidence" in Udine, Italy in April. And my daughter started a new school, which has made life hectic.
And this all has to be done before the galleys for How Tradition Works arrive on the 20th (Finally!!!!!!!)
But, things are good and I hope to have a response to the comments on the previous post (in particular the distressing story related by M. Smith) soon.
Now, quick story about the inexorable nature of fate, or just being cursed: We recorded 13 of the 14 lectures for Recorded Books in NYC back in December -- and I had a really terrible cough that I suppressed with about 8 times the recommended dosage of cough medicine, sucrets, hot tea, etc. (mmmmm, woozy). By the time we got to the last lecture, we were cutting it very close to my missing my plane. So we bailed out on it, decided to record the last lecture at a studio in Boston, and I left. Of course I had Mario Andretti as my cab driver, and we got to La Guardia in 20 minutes (at 3:30 p.m.). Then my flight was cancelled and then the replacement delayed for 5 hours due to weather (so obviously I could have finished up the last lecture without any trouble beyond my wrecked voice).
So we schedule studio time in Boston for the end of the next week. In the meanwhile, the stomach flu works its way through the family (son on Friday, wife on Sunday, daughter on Tuesday). By Friday, I am sure that I have somehow escaped the stomach flu. Go to the studio, do the lecture, and during the last ten minutes I start sweating profusely. I figure I've taken too many cough drops, finish up, and leave. Let's just say that I did not miss the stomach flu, and missed having a very bad time at the studio by about ten to fifteen minutes, and sorry about that patch of sidewalk in front of Symphony Hall. So perhaps the final lecture for the Fantasy course was in fact cursed. I hope it comes out ok. If we were to try to record it again, a runaway milk truck would probably crash into the studio or an escaped python would strangle me.