Category Archives: This Week In My Classes

This Week In My Classes: Being Beginners

My previous post on struggling to appreciate Persepolis (like the one not long before it on reading Maus badly) exemplifies one difference between the writing I do here and most of the writing I do elsewhere (especially but not exclusively writing for academic publications). Here I’m allowed — or perhaps I should say, here I’m not afraid — to […]

This Week In My Classes: Everything Else!

When it’s this quiet around here, that can only mean one thing: I am very busy elsewhere! The main reason I haven’t written up any new reading is that I’ve been working on a review for the next issue of Open Letters. Despite my best efforts, I’m still quite a slow and painstaking writer when I […]

This Week In My Classes: Strangeness and Subtlety

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday on Monday, my graduate seminar didn’t meet this week. If only Eliot had written her novels in a different order, we could have used that extra time for reading through Middlemarch — always the book for which I like to allow the most weeks because it demands and rewards such luxurious […]

This Week In My Classes: Looking Ahead Already!

We’ve barely settled into a routine in this term’s classes but the call already went out for us to propose offerings for next year. This request seems to get earlier all the time, and often it’s an unwelcome distraction in the hubbub of the fall term. It’s also frustrating to have to make these decisions before […]

This Week In My Classes: Reading Against the Grain

I have really enjoyed rereading Adam Bede for my graduate seminar over the past two weeks. Though I know the novel reasonably well, I have never spent the kind of dedicated time on it that I have on Middlemarch or The Mill on the Floss  — or, for that matter, on Romola. I’ve never even assigned it in an […]

This Week In My Classes: Reading, Writing, and Just a Little Ranting

We are into our second full week of classes now. I think things are mostly going smoothly, but that’s as much thanks to habit and experience as anything I’ve done particularly effectively in the past week or so. It’s not that anything is going badly — at least, not as far as I can tell. I just […]

This Week In My Classes: Back to School Edition

I haven’t been in the classroom since December 2, 2014, so I guess it’s no wonder I’m experiencing more than my usual start-of-term jitters as well as a general sense of disorientation! It’s not as if I haven’t been thinking about teaching a lot since then, especially in the last several weeks, but I can tell […]

This Week in Class Prep: Syllabus Season

It’s that time of year again for academics around here: the fall term is closing in, and that means it’s time to finalize the syllabi for our classes. For me, this is a process that generates equal parts enthusiasm and irritation. I enjoy the optimism of course planning: it’s fun to anticipate the intellectual sparks that can […]

Not a Very Good Week

I’m in a slump — a writing slump, mostly, but (and relatedly) also an emotional slump. I will come out of it, I’m sure, but so far I haven’t figured out exactly how. Some of it is my usual summertime blues, which have been exacerbated this year by how grey and rainy it has been […]

This Week in ‘Not My Sabbatical Any More’

My sabbatical actually ended officially on June 30. I marked the transition with my week’s vacation in Vancouver, and returned to Halifax ready to get back to “regular” work. It’s summer, of course, which means I’m still not teaching, but there’s definitely been a shift in my attitude, attention, and priorities. For one thing, the fall term […]

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