Friday, December 11, 2009

Summer is long gone, but I still enjoy working with the treasures I found at the University of Louisiana, Shreveport, where I had a summer fellowship with the outstanding Noel Collection. I fell in love with Louisiana because of the people and the land. I also taught three classes during the summer one of which was an upper-division course in the neo-classical tradition. I enjoyed a summer of rare books, alligators, thunder storms, Plato, Socrates, Horace, Longinus and the gang along with Dryden, Pope, Johnson, and the Club.

Now that I have successfully denied the onset of fall by enjoying the crisp air, gray skies setting off orange leaves, the return of ocean swells, and eating pomegranates, I am sad to say good-bye to fall. This was a good fall. I had the privilege of teaching to upper-division discursive writing courses this fall at California State University, East Bay and two critical thinking courses at Las Positas College. I look forward to keeping in touch with my students. This fall I also had the opportunity to attend the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Conference.

I gave a paper: “With Anger, Zeal and Love: Samuel Johnson on the Inutility of Useful Passion.” What I enjoy about regional conferences is the feedback I receive on my continuing projects, and this conference did not disappoint. The paper is a section of a larger project, and I always benefit from feedback. Opportunities abounded this fall; in October I participated in the Colonial Peru Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific Perspectives Colloquium, hosted by University of Wisconsin, Madison, at which I gave a paper: “How Peru Comes to Signify in English Eighteenth-Century Print.”

I received useful feedback, and made some new friends. This was the first time I took my work on how Peru comes to signify in eighteenth-century print to scholars outside of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies national and regional conferences. I met wonderful people and fell in love with the campus. I am fickle because my work with the eighteenth century has taken me across the country and to Canada, and I fall in love with all these places.

I am looking forward to a winter of playing in the white water—the waves are too big for my lack of skill with my body board, riding my bike in the early morning cold followed by hot peppermint tea, playing Scrabble via the Internet with my niece in Spain, and working on several projects. As for teaching, I will have to wait and see what shakes out in the land of Furloughs.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ready, Set, Go Summer!

I am looking forward to a summer of research, writing, teaching, body boarding, cycling, hiking, gardening and playing with technology.

This summer I am giving a presentation at the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) International Conference:
During the spring quarter at CSUEB I was part of a Teaching and Learning Faculty Learning Community. I was lucky to work under the leadership of Professor Rafael Hernandez and with a group of innovative faculty. I was able to share what I learned from the learning community at the 12 Annual CSU Regional Symposium on University Teaching, at which I gave a presentation titled "Not Your Grandmother's YouTube: Using YouTube to Create Universal Access" . My presentation at MERLOT will be a continuation of my work on using YouTube in the classroom, which now includes teaching students how to make their class related YouTube publications universally accessible.

I will be finishing two book reviews, one article and several conference papers this summer. My summer will keep me close to Samuel Johnson and eighteenth-century Peru. I will spend one week in New Hampshire with my sister and her family, which should put a skip into my step.

I am looking forward to my summer classes and the joys that come with summer teaching: warm weather and fresh summer fruit during class breaks, at which I have a chance to chat with students about their other classes, work, families and communities.

Ah, summer!