Tuesday, May 16, 2006

getting nowhere...slowly

Though the end is in sight--grades are due by Friday, and I'm down to two stacks of final papers--I don't see how I am possibly going to have a revised version of my exam prospectus into my committee. I'm stuck on "ideology." I thought that maybe starting to write through my problem here might help, though I'm not entirely hopeful (many long walks have not solved it).

If I'm using Bill Readings and his concept of the "bureaucratic University of Excellence" as my framework and lens through which to read and critique cultural studies and critical pedagogy within composition/writing classroom, and Readings argues that "excellence" is non-ideological, as it has no content: "It has not external referent or internal content" (23). So, according to Readings, the University of Excellence is a non-ideological space, but I disagree. This is where I'm stuck. While I believe Readings can provide a powerful framework for my particular critique of CS and CP, how do I address a University of Excellence that is in my mind ideological??? Readings idea is based on the notion that corporations are non-ideological. I'm not sure I understand this entirely.

Excellence has no content. It is the thing we all agree upon without knowing what it is. It is not a criterion. It is empty. So it is actually the discourse of "excellence" that is empty? The use of the word is meaningless, but the representation is the University of Excellence, which seems to have content. Corporatized content.

I'm getting nowhere.... Try back later.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

movie break

According to this blog it would seem I take more breaks than I spend time doing work. That is the thin slice of life that is blogging though.

Dawn and I went to see Friends with Money. It was alright. Definitely a wait-for-the-DVD-and-rent-it type of film. But for me it was kind of nice to be reminded of how great my life really it. I mean, the film had no plot, was completely dialogue driven, which I often like. And, in this case, the dialoge was real. And it was nice to go sit for an hour and a half and listen to everyone else's problems. I thought the movie was a bit heavy-handed in terms of its portrayal of male/female (supposed)differences. But again, sometimes it is just about escaping into the conversations of people whose lives are way more f-ed up than mine.

Okay, avoiding grading, for a bit. Must get to it. Friday looms large.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

grading break

What makes the best break from grading stacks and stacks of papers? I am sure I must ask this question each semester.

  • Check email and sign a petition against the tracking of phone calls by the NSA.

  • Have a horribly terrifying experience where a big, scary looking spider is crawling on my mouse just as I'm about to put my hand on it. Have to figure out a way to catch spider; work through my fear so I don't just slam a book down on it; bring the spider outdoors--heart racing and feet moving fast.

  • Blog, "play" on the computer, but this ususally does not end up feeling like a break, and then I end up needing another break...

  • Talking on the phone.

  • Doing dishes, laundry, picking up little household messes, but this is always a HUGE risk. That risk being an entire house cleaning that could take hours...days even.

  • Walking around, stretching.

  • Meditating.

  • TV, but this is never a quickie. I get sucked, zoned, seduced, all of it.

  • Upload photos to flickr....

  • read the latest College English

  • Tonight I'm going to an WNBA game:
    Phoenix @ Detroit Preseason
    Pepsi Arena - Albany, NY
    That should be a fun break.

    My legs are still weak from the spider....