Completely Snowed Under
(Perhaps not the best metaphor on this amazing June day).
A few people have emailed me to find out if I'm alive and why I haven't posted since Kalamazoo. Anglo-Saxon Aloud has also gone on hiatus, and I haven't been too good about answering emails either. Sorry. Yes, I am alive, I think.
I've been learning what life is like for department chairs at the end of the year: it is like, not fun. The number of pages of evaluations is just stunning, as is all the other administrative work (i.e., spend down any leftover budget so that it doesn't get cut) and the number of meetings. Add to this a number of college-wide issues that need to be dealt with and are incredibly time-consuming. And we won't even mention that the stupid NBA has the Celtics playoff games running until midnight.
Simultaneously, I have been working frantically on our NEH grant for the Old English / Computer Science project. The scientists have really developed an excellent research dynamic (which I'll write about soon), and they like to work fast, so it has been a lot of reading, exchange of ideas, "journal club," etc. I hope to unveil some research tools by the end of the summer that will allow Anglo-Saxonists to do all kinds of pattern searching within the Old English corpus. You can never tell how things will finish up, of course, but right now it looks like the demo grant is on track and that we will have accomplished a bunch more than we set out to do. This is entirely due to my collaborators in Computer Science and Math and the amazing students who have been working like dogs to write software, build websites, etc.
Also, I had one major deadline on Friday, which I just barely met, for what I think is a pretty substantial essay on how to build a meme-based approach to aesthetics. Now I have to finish the last few end-of-year evaluations, write a book review, and finish my entry on Maxims, Aphorisms for SASLAC (it has been just about finished for months now).
But first, I have to write an entire college course on CD for Recorded Books in ten days. I did this over Spring Break for the grammar course, and it almost killed me, and now I'm doing it again for this poetry course.
By the first week in July I will either be finished or have dropped dead.