The Week In Review, October 26-November 1, 2015


“Clari’s Saga,” in Riddarasögur volume 5, ed. Bjarni Vilhjalmsson , checked against Dennis Kearney’s 1990 unpublished edition and translation.

Sarah Kay, “Original Skin: Flaying, Reading and Thinking in the Legend of St. Bartholomew and Other Works,”  Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 36.1

Carol Clover, “Regardless of Sex: Men, Women, and Power in Early Northern Europe,” Speculum 68.2 (1993), pp. 263-287: 373.

Total time spent in research this week: 4 hours


2500 words in chapter three; slight revisions to earlier sections of the chapter

Total time spent on dissertation writing this week: 3 hours


College Writing I: This week our subject focus was on consumerism and American values. We read a cluster of articles about Wal Mart, and then diagram the company’s reach on the board, beginning with a local store and mapping out every aspect of society and industry ultimately affected by the company from one store through corporate. This is a very eye-opening exercise for college students, especially when after they see that everything from transportation and fuel providers, to the health system, legal system, and insurance companies, to manufacturers of products, to other local businesses, is implicated in the running of the single company, you remind them that this is true for any company that relies on customers purchasing shipped-in products for its livelihood. For the purposes of writing, it reminds us to think beyond our immediate subject, and that you can genuinely approach a subject like “Wal Mart” from almost any perspective– a legal or business lens, a consumer or employee lens, a local business impacted by its presence lens, a political or economic or international relations lens. As they head into writing their final essays for the class, I really want them to have the sense that they can write about what genuinely interests them, regardless of whether they choose the subject, simply by considering it from a particular lens.

Literature and the Arts: This week we worked on Chaucer’s Knight’ s Tale and Shakespeare’s Two Noble Kinsmen. On Monday, I lectured; on Wednesday, the students did a fantastic job in class discussion, which I rewarded them with by having a guest speaker come in on Friday to talk about chain mail and do a demonstration of how to make it. They loved it!

Beyond the classroom, this week I had a full set of essays to score–which is why very little time went into research and writing endeavors. Each essay takes between 15-30 minutes and sometimes more for formal assessment… which is something a lot of people don’t consider when they think teachers have a lot of down time outside of the classroom. 22 essays = about 8-9 hours of work for me. This is on top of my usual reading and scoring of discussion board and Twitter posts.

Total time spent on teaching this week (including essay grading, teaching, office hours, and prepping a lecture and readings for class): 22 hours


This week’s service consisted of sitting GSA office hours and responding to email, and a student leaders meeting.

Total time spent on service this week: 4 hours

Other Scholarly Activity

Publishing: received word that an article has been accepted with minor revisions at a really good journal (I’ll announce which once the revisions are done and safely in, but suffice to say I am really excited about this!)

Editing: I sent out a dinal round of Twitter and Facebook notices for the #AskaDHMedievalist initiative that Hortulus is running as a social media event.

Job search: wrote cover letters for three positions, applied for two positions, sent my committee an update on new jobs I’ve identified as possibilities, heard back from one position asking for more materials (yay!) and from another position asking me to send a missing document, which was very kind on their part, as I know they’ve received a large number of applications.

Scholarship: scanned and created PDFs of a number of book chapters to add to my dissertation archive.

Total time spent on Other Scholarly Activity this week: 9 hours

Nurturing My Self

Even though this was an incredibly busy week for grading, I was able to get out for two easy workouts and a long run, and because I’m *still* coughing from that cold a few weeks back, I made sure to take some naps on days I wasn’t on campus to try to stave off further illness developing from being worn down. We’re near the end of the semester, which is always a busy and exhausting time of year in the first place; when you add to that lingering illness, it’s a recipe for feeling crummy. Saturday, of course, was my favorite holiday, Hallowe’en, and on Sunday afternoon we saw a live performance of the Carmina Burana, which is my second-favorite piece of music to hear live, right behind Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. I played Skyrim for an hour, and watched this week’s episode of Dr. Who, but beyond that the television wasn’t even on (which, really, wasn’t a bad thing!)


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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