Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Potpourri & A Compendium of Scholarship

One of the goats at the county fair last week wanted my attention as I was passing through the exhibit building. He started by sniffing my pants leg before he jumped up onto the railing to get closer.

Some of my classes have already started; others will be starting next week. Those of us who teach online have to spend more time preparing for the start of classes because of what we have to make available to the students on the first day of class, that is, the syllabus, the first assignment, the supplemental information, and the calendar entries. I stayed up late last night preparing one of my classes and discovered how much easier it is adjusting classes in Angel instead of Blackboard CE. Blackboard CE requires that I re-add many of the pages in Learning Modules each semester because the formatting changes if I attempt to edit pages online. That problem, I’m happy to discover, doesn’t occur in Angel.

Except for not adding books related to my teaching, my LibraryThing account is current and contains 674 titles. These are books that I own, most of which are kept in one room, the same room that holds my computer. It will probably be a few months before I acquire any more books. There are some I’ve haven’t read or haven’t finished and have stacked on my nightstand and dresser.

Moving around my books to input the ISBN numbers aggravated my allergy to dust, making it difficult to breathe and giving me a sinus infection. It’s ironic that the things that I love, while seemingly benign, can lead to poor health. It’s probably a good thing that I haven’t been working in libraries verifying the text of particular poems because it would require leafing through the dusty volumes at places like Oxford and Cambridge. Not all scholars in English write criticism; in fact, it is possible to specialize in bibliographic studies of a particular author and/or the textual analysis of his/her work. Others of us who choose a career in English pursue teaching (and sometimes writing depending on one's teaching load or one's employment status). Spending one’s days in a library working with previous editions or the manuscript pages of an author’s oeuvre typify that romantic view of a scholar.

I have added a link to a g-mail account on my profile page for those of you who may want to contact me at some point in the future.