... and I haven't abandoned this blog, either. It's just that I have not been in an academic headspace all summer, and thus haven't had much to blog about. (I did finish off the Shakespeare canon by reading Timon of Athens, though! Man, is that a weird play. I didn't like it very much, but I do want to see it in performance, preferably staged as a surrealistic black comedy. Also, I think Timon should fake his own death and then come out at the end to give everyone the finger, because the whole burying-himself thing makes NO SENSE otherwise.)
Right now, I'm doing some stuff for International Student Orientation and trying to get all the syllabi in order for next semester. I'm teaching almost the same set of classes as last semester, only with Late Shakespeare instead of Early Shakespeare, but it feels like everything needs to be changed. I have 23 students registered for remedial comp instead of 4, so it's going to be a totally different class, and I have to change freshman comp to a MWF schedule and Brit Lit II to a TR schedule instead of the other way around, and we can't read a novel in Brit Lit II because it got dropped in my lap last week when it was too late to order books, so I've been dipping into the Victorian fiction selections in the Norton, which are meager. I think we'll read "The Mortal Immortal," "The Old Nurse's Story," and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and have a sort of mini-unit on Tales of Horror and the Supernatural, which would be rather fun.
The Small Nephew, who has had some rather serious health issues for most of his seven months of life (one of the reasons why I have not been thinking much about academic stuff this summer at all), is doing well after his second round of surgery. It's going to be something he'll have to deal with for the rest of his life, but it is treatable, and even a generation ago it wouldn't have been. I've been thinking a lot about the Mary Jonsons and Hector Phillipses of previous generations, and all the kids whose names we don't know because they weren't related to poets, and I am awed by the level of fortitude it took to be a parent for most of human history. That is all.