Tuesday, December 26, 2006


The kids are happy. Right now, Todd has taken Olivia out to ride her new bike. Her FurReal pet was not as happy an experience, though. It died. One day old. So sad. I guess I'll fight the crowds tomorrow to return it.

My best Christmas present was early. I got an A- on my paper and a A- in my class. I survived my first PhD class. Considering my masters degree was in Education, it feels pretty good to survive a PhD level class in English.

When I was young, and realized that the choices I had made precluded a top level graduate school, I really wondered what I had done. So I went back and got my post-bach teaching certification, and a masters in Instructional Technology (school library). Then I *was* a school librarian for a year. Then I taught English for two years. Then I took a year off (freelancing). Then I added part time writing teaching to my freelancing. Then I went full time teaching writing. With a M.Ed.

It has dawned on me the last two years that I cannot continue in the university setting with just a masters degree. But I still have the results of my choices from years back. My husband and three kids, who have attachments here. So I found an online course of study from a real university.

So back to Christmas. Instead of kicking back and relaxing, though, we have work to do on the house. I need to paint the trim in the dining room. And I need to put together a portfolio for my freelance web design. And take down the Christmas tree. I am feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


My paper is done.

Of course, now, I am wondering about whether or not I even made the right argument! It really does not matter as it is turned in.

I'd like to write more about the folklore of the Ozarks. Really, since Randolph died, not much has been done. Nothing much since Ong, Foley, etc. have made their contributions to orality.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Vance Randolph

For my paper on Ong, I am reading Vance Randolph's works that he collected in the Ozarks.

What is striking me today is that I may be asking the wrong question (not what I want to know when my paper is due on Wednesday). Should I be looking at the self conscious way the Ozarks informants talked about orality as something people "used to do"? I am finding, juxtaposed in between Chaucerian stories and Beowulf variants, stories about people with "book learning" or without it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Cosmic Thoughts was reading Ong and reflecting...

I am still working through Ong and applying his work to Randolph's. And the thing that drives me to distraction is that I *really* need to see Randolph's transcripts. I need to see *exactly* what his informants said... I need to *hear* the recordings (when they exist). For far too many of the stories, Randolph relies on his memory and his own mid-west dialect instead of what the informants actually said.

So how can I know if they are copious or use formulaic language???

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The semester is winding down, thank God. I am so over-committed this semester. Teaching four comp classes, Honors Core I, Vino, plus three tutorial students was just too much. But what could have I possibly cut out? Each was important to me, either personally or professionally (or both).

I have a nervous breakdown scheduled for next week. Copious amounts of adult beverages would probably make this more fun, but alas, I don't indulge...