The week’s ongoing experiment in trying my readers’ (or “reader’s,” singular?) patience continues. Â In a (possibly misguided) attempt to make academic labor visible, I’m documenting how I spend my days during this first week of summer, when academics are allegedly “on vacation.” Â Here is day 3.
Monday, 14 May 2012.
12:00 – 1:55 am. Â Caught and fixed a few typos in yesterday’s post. Â Responded to some Facebook stuff. Â Also responded to kind note from comics scholar extraordinaire, Prof. Charles Hatfield. Â Whenever I have questions about comics, I always turn to Charles. Â Washed some dishes, put others in dishwasher. Â Prepared for bed, read another chapter of Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?
1:55 – 8:00 am. Â Sleep.
8:00 – 8:31 am. Â Rose, 50 jumping jacks, stretched. Â Posted link to yesterday’s postÂ on Twitter. Â Checked into Facebook as well.
8:31 – 9:15 am. Â Ran 4 miles. Â In playground en route, included both upside-down push-ups (see Saturday for explanation) and chin-ups, without further injuring left hand.
9:15- 9:20 am. Â Turned on sprinkler to encourage new grass. Â Also removed some brush/weeds that I’d been meaning to remove.
9:20 – 9:50 am. Â Inside. Â Drank water. Â Checked Twitter. Â Gary Groth has posted an excerpt from his forthcoming (in The Comics Journal) interview with Maurice Sendak. Â Must read this after finishing exercises. Â His description of Maurice as “gregariously grumpy” is exactly right. Â Wrote two professional emails, and one personal one (to my sister).
9:50 – 10:20 am. Â Post-running exercises. Did abdominals, as per usual. Â For the first time since injuring my left hand, experimented with push-ups. Â The only way I can do them is to make a fist, and use my fists to hold me up — but the fists aren’t quite as resilient a structure as flat hands or hands holding onto weights. I could not do the usual number: muscles capable, but left hand starts to spasm (& so I stop). Â Disappointing, but at least I’m doing these again.
10:20 – 10:50 am. Â Breakfast! Â Also responded to some people on Twitter. Â Took a second look at the NYT‘s collection of artists’ tributes to Maurice Sendak. Â Art Spiegelman, Tomi Ungerer, Marc Rosenthal, Bob Staake, others. Â Here’s Spiegelman’s. Â (Click for a larger image.)
And check out the others artists’ work on the Times‘ page, too. Â Have added this and Michael Rosen’s tribute (hat tip to Susan Marie Swanson on Twitter) to collection of links at bottom of my tribute.
10:50 – 11:30 am. Â More business correspondence, including following up with Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics. Â Having received updated meeting notes from Lori Cohoon, I also updated the Children’s Literature Association MLA liaison’s report & sent the new version into Kathy at ChLA.
11:30 – 11:35 am. Wrote back to my cousin, Caro.
11:35 – 11:50 am. More Â business correspondence, including note to Jeff Smith’s assistant at Cartoon Books. Â So great we’ll be able to use (in our article on Moby-DickÂ and Bone) pristine images from the artist himself. Â Thanks, Kathleen!
11:50 am – 12:20 pm. Â Shower (& shave & dress) at last! Â (The problem of checking email before finishing exercises means that I also end up answering it before showering.) Â Listening toÂ Fake Natives’ Fake Natives. Â Local band influenced by late 1970s / early 1980s new wave. Â Good stuff. Â Check out title track and “West Is Best” for starters. Â After seeing them last Friday, I promised the lead singer that I’d send him a mix of Robyn Hitchcock — I think he’d like Hitchcock. Â Need to do that.
12:20 – 12:40 pm. Business correspondence: good response from Eric at Fantagraphics. I’m finding out ways I can pitch in to help move The CompleteÂ Barnaby Vol. 1 more swiftly to press.
12:40 – 1:20 pm. Lunch! Â Also read another chapter of Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?… which extended my lunch for another 10 minutes or so. Â I think the chapter “Mind” is where this book is really coming together for me — and not just because it makes extended use of the plexiglass dome in Dr. Seuss’s Sleep BookÂ (!). Â One of my tasks for this summer (I would like to say “for this week,” but let’s be realistic, shall we?) is posting a sampling of my Seuss students’ “Sighting Seuss” projects. Â Really interesting work.
1:20 – 2:00 pm. Â Barnaby-related correspondence. Â Also, revised that ChLA-MLA liaison report yet again. Â Oy.
2:00 – 2:30 pm. Â Personal-professional correspondence. Â Well, in truth, this one is more personal. Â But Jules Walker Danielson (who runs the BEST picture book blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast) is one of my children’s lit buddies. Â And music buddies! Â Speaking of, during this time period, also burned that Robyn Hitchcock mix for Dan (lead singer of Fake Natives). Â Gotta burn Jules a mix, too.
2:30 – 2:35 pm. Â Prepared to leave for campus to attend meeting.
2:35 – 2:50 pm. Â Walked to campus. Â Wish my left hand had recovered enough to work the bicycle’s brakes.
2:50 – 4:30 pm. Â Arrived 10 minutes early so that I could get a seat. Â Meeting: “Special Session of the Faculty Senate: Faculty and Unclassified Salaries. How Do We Align Salaries with 2025?” Â Room was packed. Â Excellent turn-out from faculty and staff. Â At Kansas State University, we receive no cost-of-living raises, and only get merit raises when there’s money (last one was 5 years ago). Â In January, we did get an across-the-board 2.5% raise — which President Schulz described as a de facto “cost-of-living raise.” Â But that’s a one-time event. Â In sum, the meeting was to address the long-term salary compression problems faced by those who work for the university — a side effect of the nationwide movement to privatize erstwhile public higher education. Â (Kansas State University receives 23%-24% of its budget from the state. Â The legislature and governor prefer an indirect tax on the students — in the form of tuition increases — to keep the university going. Â Kansas favors tax breaks for businesses and the wealthy, and increasing the costs that everyone else has to pay.) Â The meeting was worth attending, and our President is an effective administrator and communicator. Â However, whether anything will come of this discussion remains to be seen.
4:30 – 4:45 pm. Â Walked home.
4:45 – 5:30 pm. Â Wrote the preceding, undertook more business correspondence (includingÂ Barnaby/FantagraphicsÂ and invited talk in Missouri next spring), & sent off FINAL version of that liaison report.
5:30 – 5:50 pm. Â Personal correspondence. Â Quick note back to Jules Danielson, & note to my mother.
5:50 – 6:50 pm. Â Routledge editorial work. Â I have been meaning to get to this all day. Â I became editor of Routledge’s Children’s Literature and Culture series last June, which is proving to be more time-consuming than I’d anticipated. Â I think I was last caught up on these in… March.
6:50 – 7:15 pm. Read Going BovineÂ to Karin during dinner preparation.
7:15 – 8:25 pm. Â Watched last night’s Mad Men: “Dark Shadows.” Â Also read this and this. Â I love learning about the research thatÂ Matthew Weiner & co. build into the episodes. Â The New York TimesÂ pieceÂ that upsets Pete was a real article. Â Oh, and if you enjoy the “Inside Mad Men” pieces, here’s the one for that episode (with, yes, spoilers).
8:25 – 8:35 pm. Â Professional correspondence – which, like all such correspondence, is partially personal.
8:35 – 9:00 pm. Â More Routledge work. Also snuck in a tiny bit of professional correspondence.
9:00 – 9:10 pm. Â Added this Mo Willems piece to my Sendak links (at the bottom of this page). Â Hat tip to Jules Danielson. Â Also added this reminiscence from Alec Baldwin.
9:05 – 11:05 pm. Â Routledge work, which is: reading sample chapters, proposals, & writing responses to same.
11:05 – 11:45 pm. Â Checked into Facebook, read Libby Gruner’s Sendak tribute, which I’ve added to my Sendak links (bottom ofÂ this page). Â I think it will take all of us children’s literature people quite a while to work through the loss. It’s so huge, so vast. Â Immeasurable, really. Â Also looked at these beautiful sheet music covers by RenÃ© Magritte from the 1920sÂ (HT to Bill Genereux). Â Magritte is one of my favorite artists. Â Never seen these before.
11:45 pm – 12:00 am. Â More business correspondence, all Barnaby-related. Â Some connected to volume 1, and some connected to volume 3. Â (It’s a 5-volume series, & the goal is to publish 1 per year.)
Total work time: 7 hours, 45 min. Â Main problem today was all of that email. Â I predict a decline in email volume tomorrow, during which I will get up to date on Routledge stuff, and get cracking on this piece theorizing comics and picture books — needs to be restructured, developed, etc.
Concluding with a song. Â Predictably, it’s New Order’s “Blue Monday” (1983).
If you found this tour through the mundane to be alarmingly bland, then I suspect you’ll want to avoid:
- The full “What Do Professors Do All Summer?” series (May 2012):Â Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday,Â Thursday, Friday, & Summertime, and the Living Is BusyÂ (the final post).
- The full “What Do Professors Do All Day?” series (Feb. 2011):Â Saturday,Â Sunday,Â Monday,Â Tuesday,Â Wednesday,Â Thursday,Â Friday, &Â What Do Professors Do All Week?Â (the final post).
- Other posts taggedÂ Academe,Â Advice, orÂ Autobiography.