I got my grades turned in before lunch, and so begins the catching of breath for a few weeks. But since last I posted…
The Spawn came home yesterday, where she’ll be living for the foreseeable future. We’ll go back to Flagship tomorrow afternoon to clear out her half of the dorm room, and then she’ll get to relax before resuming her academic career at Mondoville in a few weeks. She’s happy about that, and Mrs. M and I are happy to see her happy. Her creative writing teacher informed her that she should definitely keep taking writing classes — which she would have done in any event, but it’s good to get the encouragement. She’s already planning on taking a workshop this spring.
An article worthy of your attention (with a tip of the Mondo Mortarboard to Kathy Phillips Nanney via Facebook) drifted across my screen this week. When I was doing my Ph.D., my professors were a nice blend of scholars in the humanist tradition (who were at the end of their careers) and younger scholars with stronger leanings toward the theoretical and postmodern approaches to literature and culture. It’s important to note that all these folks were intellectually honest, and my experience was a wonderful one. However, there was a real sense of generational change — a sense that one approach was fading away, along with its practitioners.
Indeed, I remember taking a final exam from one of the older professors asking if the death of one of the critics we had studied that semester marked the inevitable demise of that humanistic school of criticism. I said it would continue, although probably at off-the-radar schools like the one at which I’ve made my career since then. It wouldn’t be cool enough for a flashy career, but it wouldn’t disappear altogether.
And I think I was right — I’m trying to make it so, and I’m not alone. Articles like this one remind me that others realize that others are wondering if there was something in danger of being lost, something worth preserving. Give it a read.
The Spawn passed along a link to a tumblr post (I know, I know. Get off my lawn.) that nicely sums up the change between comic book generations. It’s also pretty funny.
For the musical selection, here’s a number I remember from the summer of 1985. I had just lost the academic scholarship that had seen me through the first two years of college, so I knew I wouldn’t be going back there. I didn’t know what was coming next, but I was in Nashville, helping take care of my grandfather after he had both knees replaced. I spent a lot of days listening to Vanderbilt University’s student radio station while I sat in the living room of my grandfather’s house. While I tried to figure out how the next chunk of my life was going to happen, I developed a fondness for this song, just because it was punky and goofy, and I needed reasons to smile. The band was a Vanderbilt-based group that would later put out some metallic records under the name Royal Court of China, but I don’t think they ever did anything quite as much fun as this song, when they were The Enemy. So here they are, direct from NashVegas, with “Jesus Rides a U.F.O.”
See you soon!