I’m at lunch right now, taking a break from working on an article, which I will tell you about momentarily.
- The first thing I want to say, though, is that I’m working at the main campus of UMass-Dartmouth, Walter’s school, and although I am quite pleased with how accessible everything is to me, it is, without doubt, the ugliest university campus I’ve ever been on. It looks like what would happen if Le Corbusier got assimilated by the Borg. (I was going to say if Frank Lloyd Wright got assimilated, but Walter assures me that I’m not right about that—you can judge for yourself.)
- The library here has very nice bathrooms, though. They’re environmentally designed, with antimicrobial floors and walls, and incredibly high-speed hand-dryers. I am no fan of hand dryers, but these are pretty cool: you put your hands under them, and they blow so hard that your skin waves around, like those images of people in accelerators that pull their faces back. And in about three seconds, your hands are dry.
- It turns out that I have not lost my ability to write academic articles. Back in, gosh, June probably, I was invited to be a contributing editor to an online collection of rare and out-of-print 19th century documents. At that point I (stupidly) agreed—I was flattered to be sought out as a writer and scholar—and so what that means is that for this entire academic year so far, I’ve had a 30-page essay hanging over my head. Three extensions and eight months later, I considered reneging, but my colleague Claire wisely suggested that my agonizing over whether or not to do it was actually more stressful than just sitting down and doing it, so I’ve spent my spring break writing. And I have to say, it’s not bad. I’ve given it four days of solid work (reasonable work, though—I spend 6-8 hours on it and then call it quits for the day), and I’ve had the pleasant realization that, once again, I do have things to say and the ability to say them. I’ll let you know when it’s online.