Academic Again, and Mix Tapes

To my academic homies: I am one of you once again.  I've written almost twenty single-spaced pages of lecture(s) in the last two days.  I'm back to churnin'-it-out mode, the mode that got me through a terminal MA and a PhD in six years, the mode that produced the most corner-cuttin' dissertation all of time, the mode that was the envy of my peers and the bane of my half-assed hopes for a tenure-track job at a research university.  This mode, whatever else can be said of it, is useful for lecture writing.

I've been happy to find that writing this much about the Holocaust (note: I am teaching an 11-week course on the Holocaust starting in September) is doable.  I'm not mired in the misery of the subject, although I think I'm treating the gravity of it appropriately.  The task of explaining the history ends up being the same...it's analysis and narrative, even if the subject is infinitely more daunting than, say, the Iron Age.  The teaching part is going to be very difficult, balancing the appropriate attitude and emotional resonance against the necessity of not falling into the Nietzschean abyss (i.e. giving in to the tendency to be so empathetic that you lose sight of the intellectual task of understanding the history and the arguments historians have advanced to "make sense" of something that cannot be made sense of in any normal, quotidian way.)

The other classes are already done, but I hope to be able to swing back around once I finish the Holocaust lectures and do some revision.  I've never been happy with all of the lectures for my modern Europe class.  Examples: so...Spain existed, right?  Also...England?

Unrelated: I've been making mix "tapes" (also known as "mp3s on a CD.")  Right now I'm into making best-of collections of bands I like.  The Scissor Sisters have four albums, and about 50% of their songs are pure gay disco GOLD.  Why not put those songs on one CD?  Devo hits way higher than 50% (albeit not gay disco), but I still had fun trying to boil down their greatness to one CD for my homie (and drummer in the Nervous) T.  And so on.

It's friend S's last day visiting us from San Francisco.  It's been fun.  I look forward to being able to convert the basement into a more full-featured guest quarters type setup, but right now the air mattress will have to do.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Let me know if you need Holocaust resources, I've got a bunch of them. One big recommendation b/c it touches on resistance and gender: "Sisters in Resistance" a PBS documentary about women in resistance movements. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/sistersinresistance/more.html
Well done, interesting, and has gone over well whenever I've seen it, shown it, and discussed it.