Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Five

I'm having a Movie Madness weekend. The Fame remake, The September Issue, and Adam are all coming out this weekend. I haven't decided which of the three I'm going to see, although I suspect Fame won't stay in the theaters long, so I should probably prioritize that one.

And tomorrow, I'm having a "bad movies we love" marathon with some friends. The line up includes The Karate Kid, Empire Records, and Stargate. I still haven't decided whether my contribution will be the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie or the original Fame.


I finally ordered a new computer---a netbook. My laptop has gotten ridiculously slow. I had sort of accepted that I couldn't watch videos online and that I could only buy one or two songs at a time from iTunes before the computer would crash. But now, even the most basic functions---just typing a single sentence---take forever.

And the "four" key fell off.

So now I'm just biding my time until Amazon decides to send me my new netbook. The case arrived yesterday, so I'm hopeful that the computer won't be far behind.


I'm about a quarter of the way through the term, and I'm already freaking out. This term was supposed to be "light." I'm only taking two classes. But I'm also TAing and working part time and trying to complete the prelims I was supposed to have done over the summer and rewriting all my grant proposals.

So not so much "light."


TAing is going well so far. I think. The beginning of the term has been complicated by the H1N1 virus. The university has overdone its awareness campaign, so now every student who wakes up a bit tired or with a scratchy throat thinks that he or she has the flu. And the university decided to make a policy that students don't need to provide a doctor's note for the flu, so they are even more likely to decide that they have the "flu."

Overall, though, my students seem nice and relatively bright. The discussions are going well, and they are turning in their assignments. I have a few problem children---including one girl who seems to think that my job includes chasing her down to schedule a make-up quiz and get her caught up on work after she was absent for two weeks and a few students who haven't yet figured out which section they are actually registered for---but that's to be expected. Of course, they haven't yet discovered how mean I am---you know, with expecting them to give the correct answer on exams and write a college-level research paper.

I got my student evaluations back from the summer session, and a good number of them thought that I was a hard---"unfair"---grader. A good number of them also undermined their point by adding that I was a hard grader "for a summer course." Apparently I didn't get the memo that summer classes were supposed to be an easy A. Oops.


I told my co-advisor about my plans for library school. She was a little surprised---and a little concerned that I meant that I was dropping out of the anthropology program---but generally supportive. She asked some good questions that I need to find the answers for.

We also had a great conversation about my concerns with being an anthropologist---namely that I don't feel like I have the overwhelming drive needed for anthropology. I think anthropology is interesting; I like studying it and talking about it in class and writing the occasional paper on it; but I'm not completely absorbed by it. I don't want to curl up with an ethnography at night or spend my weekends with a stack of journal articles. I think my research site is interesting, but I'm not itching to get into the field and I've never wanted to stay any longer than I absolutely had to. I want a balance between my work and my life.

Dr. W. suggested that I perhaps had a skewed perception of the practicing anthropologist that comes more from what people present themselves as rather than what they really do---that most of the professors in the department do find a work/life balance, even if their boundaries between the two sometimes are a bit flexible. And I think she makes a good point. My perception of how I "ought" to be is based on how the people around me---particularly my fellow grad students---think they "ought" to be presenting themselves.

At the same time, though, I think I know at least some of the other students well enough to know that they are authentic in their passion for anthropology, both the theory and the fieldwork, to a degree that I'm not.


At 6:13 AM , Blogger Liz said...

I don't know what kind of librarian you want to be, but if you're interested in academia, most colleges prefer that you have a MSW plus a master's in another field.

At 9:38 AM , Blogger Charitie said...

A comment about anthropology, I definitely do not have any interest in reading journal articles or ethnographies all weekend (ok some, but not too many). I do however love my fieldsite. And I think there are other aspects of anthropology that you do like - you aren't completely miserable, right?

About the movies, even though you missed half of Stargate - what did you think? If we ever have a part two I have a good choice that I randomly watched last night.

And one last thing - Madras Curry might be a new favorite!

At 11:55 AM , Blogger Lisa said...

Liz---I'm leaning strongly towards academic or special collections. I already have the masters degree in anthropology; it's just a matter of whether I complete the PhD (which I'm still planning to do alongside the MLS).

Charitie---I'm sorry I fell asleep! If it's any consolation, I was very close to falling asleep during the first movie, too. I think I might have to watch Stargate again to give it a fair assessment. I was very confused, but that's probably just because I spent about 2/3 of the movie asleep or blocked by Rowen's head.

I did try to find the language. The best information I could find was that the "Ancients" spoke a proto-Latin language with some Egyptian sprinkled in, but the articles weren't clear on whether they were about the movie or the TV show or whether the language was a real language or a fictional "proto-Latin" language.

At 2:54 PM , Blogger Liz said...

that's what I meant- you'll be set!

At 4:23 PM , Blogger artemisia said...

I am in a similar place with American Studies. It is fascinating. I love thinking about it and having discussions. I enjoy reading a variety of material.

But if I have the choice between AMST stuff or cooking a new dish? I am firing up the burner.

I always thought I would get a PhD and now I can barely squeak out a MA. I feel, not right.

I am glad you spoke with your advisor, though. I think that was SMART, SMART, SMART. Little Miss Smartypants.

At 7:41 PM , Blogger Charitie said...

They were referring to the t.v. show. That business with the "Ancients" wasn't an element in the movie. I think they were just speaking Egyptian or a dialect of it in the film. (I looked it up too).


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