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A kitchen-sink post on failure

Yesterday was the International Day for Failure, which I heard about via the Library Loon and various others on Twitter. I’d been mulling this post for about a week, and I was going to actually write the thing yesterday so as to be timely, but, well, I kinda failed at that. It was prompted by several […]

Penelope work

So I frogged a sweater last weekend. For those of you who aren't knitters, "frogging" means unraveling a knitting project. (It's a pun, because when you're unknitting something, you rip it, rip it, rip it…get it? Ribbit?) This was no partial unraveling to get to a mistake I'd discovered too late; this was a complete […]

Thoughts on libraries and a cultivated sense of curiosity

(This is a semi-stream-of-consciousness post. I'm thinking out loud rather than posing a question I have real answers to. But it's been on my mind lately; if any of you have any better answers than I do, have at it in the comments!) A couple of the people I follow on Twitter posted links today […]

Remembering the memory theater

Some days, it feels like my career trajectory from literature-scholar-in-training to academic librarian has taken me a long way from my old set of intellectual interests. The things that interest me now, that make me sit up and say "hmm!", aren't the kinds of things I even knew to look for when I started grad […]

Re-entry link post

Hello again, blogosphere! I'm back from my almost-two-weeks-in-the-UK mostly-vacation, having richly enjoyed nearly every minute of it.* There will be more of a travel narrative before long, with pictures; right now, I'm still catching up after a couple of mostly internet-less weeks. Which means it's time for a quick link-roundup post of things seen here, […]

The Slow Food approach to scholarship

Reading Anthony Grafton’s recent NYRB blog post on the impact of budget cuts on British universities (and especially the paleography program at King’s College London), I was struck by the following paragraph: There was a Slow Food feel to British university life, based on a consensus that people should take the time to make an article or a […]

Graduate school and the follies of youth

Thomas Hart Benton (a.k.a. William Pannapacker) has a new column in the Chronicle of Higher Ed in his ongoing “why you shouldn’t go to graduate school” series: “The Big Lie About the ‘Life of the Mind’.” The key paragraphs, for me, are these: [T]he problem is that there is still almost no way—apart from the […]

MLA 2009

The Modern Language Association convention was a weirdly schizophrenic experience for me this year. On the one hand, I got in more happy reunions with friends (from both offline and online) than I've had in the whole rest of the year put together. There were cheesesteak expeditions with the perpetually awesome digital humanities crowd, and […]

A New Year’s revelation

I started writing this post on New Year's Eve, at the end of a decade that started with Y2K panic and only got weirder from there. I'm not going to write a year-in-review post, much less a decade-in-review one, and I'll post a longer wrap-up of the highlights of MLA 2009 in a day or […]

Anyone going to MLA this year?

The MLA convention is in Philadelphia again this year, and the prospect of revisiting one of my favorite cities, plus catching up with old friends from grad school and newer friends from the blogo- and Twitter-spheres, was more than I could resist. For those of you who'll also be there, here's some of my provisional […]