The Week In Review, September 14-20


[…………] Unless you count researching departments to write cover letters. It was a very busy week for that kind of research.


I completed the Man of Law’s Tale section of my dissertation and converted it into an article, which took up the majority of my writing time this week. On the plus side, I’m a third of the way through my third dissertation chapter and I have an article under review. I have to remember: that’s highly productive!


College Writing I: We spent the entire week looking at revision techniques in what I have come to call “Revision Boot Camp.” Their final essays are due on Monday. We also read and thought about James Paul Gee’s “Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics,” and my students talked about their Discourse and discourse communities–a very productive discussion.

Literature and the Arts: We read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and excerpts from Malory’s Morte Darthur.  Some very good discussion about these texts, especially in terms of the relationships of the characters and gendered spaces in SGGK, and the nature of the Lady of the Lake in Morte Darthur. They turned in their critical examinations on Friday, which consider three images against one of the texts we have read in class. I’ve graded 23 of them so far, and I have to say–these students are killing it! So proud of them and the hard work they are putting into this course. It’s paying off in spades!


I presided over the GSA executive board meeting on Monday afternoon, where we set our agenda for the General Assembly. At the General Assembly on Thursday afternoon, we passed a resolution in support of the Student Government Association’s initiative to enact safety measures on a street many students live on, but which is poorly lit at night, resulting in dangerous pedestrian conditions. We also put into motion a Service Challenge Initiative, which calls on all graduate students on our campus to engage in community service and outreach through a competition for funding for conferences. On Friday, I participated in a Q&A session for new students in our department.

Other Scholarly Activity

I submitted two job applications and drafted letters for two more, and applied for a travel grant for one of the conferences I am attending. The editorial board of Hortulus is discussing some initiatives for the Fall issue. I read through the abstracts and made my selections for the Hortulus-sponsored session at Kalamazoo.

Nurturing My Self:

Another not-very-good week for self-care, culminating in a nasty cold that has had me sleeping for most of this weekend and caused me to miss S’mores and a night out with my friends on Saturday. I’m feeling a little bit better now, but I have learned my lesson–Must Self Care! There’s no time in my schedule for being sick. Also, when I’m exhausted and stressed out, I let my guard down and do not-so-brilliant things, which in turn make me feel terrible about myself. In the grand scheme of things this is never as big a deal as I think it is… but in the short term, it’s never good.


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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