Saturday, November 24, 2012

Isabel gets a brother...

Congratulations Holly! Guess we had your thesis review timeline down to a VERY fine wire.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

snickers and earrings

I love talking to my mom when she's herself, and not angry or confused. I hope when I'm 83 and otherwise a pain in the neck to my kids that I ask of them a "really big favor" like the one mine just asked of me: "can you send me some butterfingers and snickers, and also some earrings?" Pretty cute. She loves the caretakers at her assisted living place, is walking again, and is doing some limited socializing on site. For instance, she apparently went to a bible study this morning. I hope her money holds out so we can keep her there forever. She has made the turn (we, on the other hand, still have to deal with her house and her fantasy that one day she'll get to go back and be in-charge of emptying and selling it).  Meanwhile, I am really thankful that her daily needs are being so well-attended to and that all it takes to make her feel really special is some earrings and a few candy bars.  Hope this mood holds till Christmas.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

cannot wait...

....for tonight! Three lectures to roll through and one last thesis chapter to edit, and then we're headed out to C*lshakes with some friends to see Hamlet! So excited!

Monday, July 9, 2012

eleventh hour chaos rethought

Just got off the phone with one of my grad students who is one week away from submitting the thesis to grad studies for a summer graduation. We've been through more rounds of substantive and stylistic revisions--not to mention formatting edits--than I can remember. It is a very good product. I'm very proud of the student and the work. So, so happy it's about to take flight. Then what happens? An interviewee, blithely ignorant of the more practical ramifications of doing so at the last minute, calls student today and says she has decided she wants to withdraw her interview. "It was a great experience and all,"...but she's shy about sharing the content with a wider audience, not sure it was her place to participate in the discussion on behalf of her community and so forth. Understood (but kind of unfortunate, too, as she represented a particular group and perspective that would have been valuable for others, including her own peers, to read and hear about), but couldn't she have made this decision a year ago, before the interview was transcribed, the data integrated into the thesis, the transcript labeled as Appendix D, and cited as such (here, there and everywhere) throughout the larger body of the thesis? Sigh. I've never had this happen before, and obviously neither has the student.  Our solution? Leave the cover sheet for said appendix/transcript (stands now as appendix "D"), remove the name of the individual, leave the date and place of the interview, then insert a single page to follow, noting that the interviewee elected to withdraw the transcript just prior to the filing of the thesis. We'll note that any direct references to the individual or the interview content have been removed from the qualitative data discussion, but any discussions of percentages or other quantitative analysis reflects the complete corpus of interviews. Or some such statement. This way, the student won't have to relabel (and change citations for!) all the other transcripts D through P or whatever it is--because locating and changing all those in-text citations would be trickier than a simple search and replace. Also, I don't think it serves any real end to completely obliterate the fact this interview took place.  And given the theoretical and methodological discussion to which this thesis contributes, it sort of instantiates the argument to have a community member withdraw her interview. At least that is what we are telling ourselves now. At this eleventh hour. But, I also think it is true. So I guess I've almost talked myself through this. Now to talk the student off of the precipice.
from an exhibit at MP2's alma mater 

Very clever birds, eh? I could use a cigarette right now...tequila and triple sec will have to do, since I'm not a smoker. But's been a long day. Of dealing, mostly, with the entirely predictable fall-out from one colleague's affair with the wife of another colleague. So yeah--a withdrawn interview isn't such a big deal in the wider scheme of things..right? 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 years

I almost forgot. Today is the 5th anniversary of my very haphazard blogging adventures. Life is busy and I don't want to get too distracted from my actual work, but I feel like I should post something just to mark the day. When I was in Chicago last month, my brother and I went through some images my S-I-L found in my mom's house. This is a hastily taken iPhone copy of a photograph of my mom with her mother and brothers. Must have been taken around 1940 in Arkansas or Louisiana (will have to check the 1940 census to see where they were living), but she was born in Bentonville (home of the big box store, much to her dismay), and I suspect that is the setting for this photograph. I must say, my uncles were loads of fun. The older one was an avid hunter and the one on the right was gentlemen rancher who sold insurance for a living.* They'd be great models for characters in a novel. But I've got other things to write, at least for now. 

*I spent one of the best summers of my childhood at his family's ranch--culturally, it was a world away from the snooty Denver suburb we lived in at that time. My mom and dad were the only kids in each of their families who moved away from their parents. I've always wondered what it would have been like if we had grown up around our g-parents and cousins (who all married and had kids really young). Instead, my parents were (for better or worse) the "escapees" from their families of origin. Isn't it interesting to think how lives are variously made and unmade by such decisions? 

Monday, June 25, 2012

trying again w/creepiness

Thanks to Anthea's comment on my last post, I now realize that it is kind of difficult to read the ad. Here we go again. I just think it is beyond creepy that this was RIGHT next to an ad related to construction bids for an Indian boarding school. Sick.