Bright Day

November 15, 2003


The winds have settled down, and while we might have overnight rain, this morning is crisp, cool, and wonderful.

The weather makes a good metaphor for my emotions today. I was in bed for a good long time, 10:30 to 7:00, and while I had broken sleep I also had much needed rest. Six nights in a row of six hours of sleep had begun to wear on me.

So today I will be reading the draft of chapter three, and grading homework (still badly behind), and - hopefully - playing in the yard, and going to Home Depot, and being, well, academic in the morning and suburban in the afternoon.

I let a lot of house projects slide this week while writing. I will be letting more slide later this month. I feel bad about it; I suspect that my strange dream last night relates to my guilt about not getting enough done, but I do have to prioritize.

What this means for you, dear readers, is that this weekend I will again be putting my A-level writing energy into my real work. Any blog entries will be short, self-absorbed, and hopefully funny.

I still don't know how I am going to combine Walt Whitman, the Compromise of 1850, and the Wilmot Proviso into a lecture that matches the title "Railroads, Telegraphs, and Riots." I can see several short sections, but I am having trouble figuring out how to tie it all together. My earlier thought, to use workingmen's culture as the glue, falls down on the Compromise. Talking about sectionalism falls down on riots (anti-Catholicism) and really falls down on Whitman.

It is not quite like solving a jigsaw puzzle, because in a puzzle you know that the pieces do fit together and you just have to figure out how. It is more a problem of how to take a pile of legos and make a cool car that looks like a house and uses all the blue and yellow blocks. It is a fun problem, but it will take some thinking time to solve it. Then again, this sort of problem solving is part of the real fun of teaching.

And so to read chapter 3.

Posted by Red Ted at November 15, 2003 09:19 AM | TrackBack