- I can be a bit much at times, and he reminds me not to take myself so seriously.
- He is my biggest supporter, especially in terms of my work. He often listens to me expound on my academic inadequacies, but he also encourages me to remember that I am smart, capable, and hard-working.
- He makes really good grilled cheese sandwiches.
- He fries an egg just the way I like it.
- Sometimes he gets up with Wild Man (who tends to wake up at the ungodly hour of 6:00 am), closes the door to our bedroom, and lets me sleep in.
- He gives me a big hug when I do the same for him.
- He tells me to go out with my friends more often.
- He goes to the grocery store.
- He stays home with Wild Man when he is sick so I can keep working on my dissertation.
- He wipes off the floor under Wild Man's chair every night after dinner.
- He hangs clothes out on the clothesline for me.
- He rubs my feet regularly and rarely complains that I almost never return the favor.
- He recently apologized for making me move to another country.
- He is my partner in every sense of the word.
- He loves me, with all my quirks and neuroses and oddities. In fact, sometimes I think he loves me because of those things.
- I love him because he is C.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I know she doesn't call because she assumes I am working--as I have been today. But what she doesn't seem to understand (despite the fact that I have told her this at least twice) is that it takes a lot of time to read and respond to her text messages. And I can't just ignore them because when I do that she sends the same message over and over again until I respond. I've actually taken to telling Wild Man's teachers to call me on my office phone if there is an emergency rather than on my cell so I can turn my cell phone off and ignore my sister.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I checked my email a little while ago for the first time since Friday morning, and there was a message from the head of WS at CU Land telling me that due to operational issues she wasn't able to offer me what she told me she was going to be able to in her last email. She then told me the upper-level course on Women's Slave Narratives we'd discussed would be available for the Fall, although she didn't specify which Fall. Given the nature of the email, I assumed that both courses had been nixed due to budget issues and that she was asking me to teach in the Fall of 2009. I emailed her back and told her I understood and asked her to clarify when she wanted me to teach the upper-level course. I then called C, who is teaching today, and explained the situation to him and promptly started crying for a bunch of reasons. First, I haven't not worked since I was 18, and the idea of not working has been creating a bit of an identity crisis for me. Second, C is making a really good salary, but Canadian taxes are high. Over a third of his salary will go to taxes, so the extra money, although not essential to our survival, would have been nice. Third, I really feel like I'm coming into my own as a teacher; I'm at a place where I am confident in my teaching abilities, and I want to keep teaching. Plus, I'm a happier person, and thus, a happier wife, mother, and dissertator, when I'm teaching.
As C was listening to me and trying to reassure me that everything would be fine, I received an email from Dr. Philosophy (this is the best pseudonym I can come up with right now since I don't know this woman very well; about the only thing I do know is that she is the head of the WS program and she teaches philosophy). Apparently I overreacted to her vaguely worded email. She does want me to teach, but because of budget reasons she can't offer me the one-year, part-time appointment which she had worked out. So I will be teaching the upper-level course in the Fall. There are no guarantees for the Spring, but if the course generates interest, I will likely be offered a course in the Spring. It all worked out in my favor, thankfully, but I'm still feeling a bit frustrated that her email was so vaguely worded as to make me think I would not have a position in her program at all this year, and I also wish I was not so prone to assume the worst.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
*Note I did not write all of the following posts today, although it does appear that way. My internet connection has been spotty, so I've written these throughout the week and have only been able to post them today.
Someone just handed me the original manuscript of The House of Mirth. I am in literary heaven. . .
I also just learned, after spending 45 minutes looking through the letters Wharton wrote around the time she published The House of Mirth, that I can't read French as well as I thought. Apparently if I want to read these letters I need a translator.
As I flipped the letters over I realize that Wharton reused her old typescripts. Several of the letters her secretary wrote for her in 1919 had fragments from The Age of Innocence on the back of them.
After a rather harrowing morning, we finally made it to
As soon as I started reading the letters Phelps wrote to Eliot, I was no longer annoyed. I hit the jackpot. Not only to these letters directly reference the publication of The Story of Avis as well as the emotional and physical toll writing the novel took on Phelps, but they include some fairly blatant statements about marriage. Most of what is in the letters is expressed in the novel itself, but having it in Phelps's own words will make my argument stronger. My entire trip was worth it just to see these 4 letters.
Tomorrow I will spend the entire day with Wharton, and although I don’t really expect to find anything new, I am so excited to look at this collection.
Here is a letter, which I transcribed this morning (Tuesday) that Elizabeth Stuart Phelps wrote to Sarah Orne Jewett on 14th June 1888:
Are you there? Are you anywhere? How are you? What? Where? Why? Whence? Are you strong again? Do let me know. And when will you come to see me?
I love this letter from one friend to another. I especially like that Phelps dispenses with all the usual niceties. She just begins and asks Jewett how she is before demanding to know when she will come to see her.
I spent the day going through the many letters of Fanny Kemble that the Houghton Library has. I'm a bit cross-eyed from trying to decipher her handwriting. I'm not sure at this point if any of the letters I transcribed will be useful in my chapter on Kemble, but as several discuss her divorce from Pierce Butler in detail, I am hoping I will at least be able to use something from them to contextualize the publication of her 1838 journal.
D and I wandered around
This evening D let me use her computer, which has a camera installed, to chat with C and Wild Man. It was good to see my little boy, but he got a bit upset when he realized he could see me but couldn't touch me. When our connections ended abruptly (the apartment we're staying in has a very slow connection speed), he started crying, which made me want to start crying too. He seems to be doing well, and Yetta and Pita, who, for once, isn't living up to her name, are following most of my instructions. C keeps saying, "No, Wild Man can't eat that." Otherwise, things are fine. Tomorrow I start on Phelps. I'm hoping I can finish up at the Houghton in the morning before heading over to the Schlessinger Library, which is part of Radcliffe. Here's hoping I actually find something useful.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
My friend D, who was my roommate when we were both completing our MAs, lives within driving distance to Boston, so she's decided to hang out with me for the week. While I'm at Harvard's various libraries, she's going to be finishing up the last chapter of her dissertation. Then she has graciously offered to drive me to New Haven and hang out with me there. I'm glad to have her to distract me. . . right now six days feels like an eternity.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
All in all, it was a wonderful birthday!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
- The chair of C's department, whom I am naming Dr. Nice Guy, and his wife, Mrs. Nice Lady, were wonderful. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome and to answer any and all questions we had. Dr. Nice Guy even drove C around town one evening and helped him determine the best areas for us to look at homes.
- First, Dr. Nice Guy convinced one of the grad students in the department, who is out of the country for the summer, to let us stay in her house so we didn't have to stay in a hotel room. This was extremely generous of this woman, especially considering all her furniture is vintage (on a side note, the house was cute, but the interior looked like a page out of Architectural Digest circa 1950; everything was retro-modern, including the 1950s toaster that I'm certain she stole from my grandmother!), and one of the house guests was a 19-month-old. Having a kitchen and a yard made our lives much, much easier. In fact, we only ate out twice during our entire stay, and Wild Man burnt off lots of energy pulling Dr. Nice Guy's son's wagon around the back yard.
- Second, Dr. Nice Guy pestered the dean into pestering the head of the Women's Studies department into meeting with me. I went into this meeting with no guarantees of a job and came out 45 minutes later with the promise of a part-time gig. It seems that CU doesn't have anyone who can tackle both race and gender in literature, and apparently their Women's Studies students are very interested in such issues. I quickly explained that I had in fact taught all the courses on my CV. The head of Women's Studies was confused because technically my title is Teacher's Assistant; she thought I had graded for all the courses (about 8 different courses). Once I explained I had taught every one of them myself, she said, "Well, so tell me what you can teach at CU." After brainstorming for about 10 minutes, she asked me to teach a course on Women's Slave Narratives, so I'm very, very excited. She's supposed to get back to me by mid-June to let me know if I'll start in the Fall or the Spring, but either way, I know I will be teaching sooner rather than later.
- Third, Mrs. Nice Lady, who is a teacher at a secondary school in CU Land, explained the Canadian school system to me. By Wednesday, I was getting very, very frustrated with our real estate agent, whom I felt was being dismissive about my questions regarding school districts. She kept saying, "Well, it all depends on where you want to send him. . ." and then would change the subject. It seems that CU Land only has 1 school district, which is very, very good (Mrs. Nice Lady has sent me the stats via email, and I'm really impressed). But we can choose to send Wild Man to public school, Catholic school, or French-immersion school. Catholic schools are fully subsidized by the provincial government, and many of these are very good. I didn't know this, so every time the real estate agent said, "It depends on if you choose public or Catholic school" I wanted to throttle her. Once Mrs. Nice Lady explained this, I suddenly understood: I was asking the wrong questions. C and I have since learned enough to decide that if we're in CU Land long enough we will send Wild Man to the French immersion school, which is essentially a magnate school. It is part of the public school system, but we have to sign him up for the school about a year in advance.