Sunday, October 28, 2007

Three weeks and no post

In my defense, I have been busy...

I am so far behind. But I may be on track to catch up a bit. I gave my presentation at the Ozarks Studies Symposium on Friday, and it went better than I could have hoped. The audience there was the best, most interested audience that I think I have ever spoken to. They told us that they plan to put our talks online (I did sign a release for that) and I will post a link when I get it.

The keynote speaker asked for a copy of my talk for one of his projects. That makes me insanely happy.

Now I am back to wondering what my dissertation should be. Dr. Stewart's dissertation Orders of Discourse in the Science-Based Controversy Over "Reparative Therapy" for Homosexuality Anyway, what I find interesting about this study is the bit about the discourse approaches:

In this dissertation, I sketch a framework for studying science-based controversies that integrates Goodnight’s (1982) model of technical, personal, and public argument spheres with Fairclough’s (1992) conception of “orders of discourse,” that is, “relatively stabilized configurations of discourse practices” (Fairclough, 1995, p. 2). I argue that Fairclough’s three-layered approach to critical discourse analysis enriches Goodnight’s insights by incorporating methods of bottom-up textual analysis to account for the multiple discourse practices that comprise science-based controversies, while rhetorical theory enriches critical discourse analysis by providing methods for linking text to discursive practice (the production and consumption of discourse) and social practice (ideology and hegemony) in Fairclough’s three-layered approach. I apply this rhetorical/discourse analytic framework to the science-based controversy about “reparative therapy” for homosexuality—that is, debates over whether gay men and lesbians can change their sexual orientation through psychotherapeutic or religious means.

I wonder if I could use a similar framework to look at the Ozarks? Or education? Just to get out of the pedagogy study, where I am working right now? The problem with the pedagogy stuff is that it does not relate to professional writing, or even really to rhetoric. I have considered that, and I do realize what that does to my job prospects. Frankly, I am concerned. I do not want to be stuck in the back of an English department teaching a class in methods that is not enough literature to matter and not enough writing to help. So where does that put me?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Home Improvement

Not the television show, but my life. Our toilet started hemorrhaging water last week, so we had to replace it. We wanted to replace the bathtub that had the big (filled) crack in it that felt like it was falling through the floor. We wanted to do that while the toilet was out.

So we did. The bathroom is still in pieces as we try to get a 60 in tub in a 60.5 in slot. That is what we have been doing all day. I cleaned (and bleached) the area under the tub because the old tub had been leaking so there was mold. Lots of mold. Dad came to help, which was a god-send. We really could not have done this without him (at least partially because Todd was temperamental and I was just mental by the end of the day.)

We got a lovely cast iron tub, but the problem, of course, is that it weighs 300 lbs.

My son just came dancing through the house singing, "It's in! It's in! It's in, in, in!" so I am guessing that is it in...

Just went and looked at the tub. The bathroom is shaping up to look really nice. We splurged a little on the fixtures (not that we went crazy, we bought like the second cheapest thing instead of the dead cheapest). Of course, the new fixtures look so pretty that I think we need new flooring... And new faucets would be nice, too.

Truthfully, I am just excited that the toilet will flush without having to hold the handle down. And that nothing leaks. I am not so excited about having to tile the surround. Anyway, there is still work to do, so I am off.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Today was a crazy day of meetings. I met with the thesis faculty to talk about publication options, because some of our students are really doing great work. They have been publishing some of them in an online articles forum (the bbs system), but they have been behind password protection. We are looking at ways to publish those (only with permission, of course).

I got nearly all the 12 pm papers graded. I think I lack three. Then I need to grade my 8am. Lest this turn into a giant to-do list, I think I will stop that now.

I have been reading WPA-L, the list-serv that is focused on issues of Writing Program Administrators (which I am NOT). Anyway, there has been a recent discussion about grading. A few links have been posted. One is Doug Hesse's "13 Ways of Looking at
Responding to Student Writing
." Another is from Richard Haswell.