Last week was incredibly busy. I certainly hope the speed with which it flew by and the number of meetings I had to attend is not an indication of the coming semester. The highlights were:
- The Presidential Inauguration. That was just awesome. I was completely won over by the Sunday celebration at the Lincoln Memorial (MP2's saxophone teacher at UNT was invited to play in the inaugural band). The entire event set a great tone re: the arts. I watched it twice, so I knew I'd be glued to the Inauguration. I was. As an anthropologist, I cannot help but focus on how (and even wonder exactly WHY) we all (ok--many of us) have a new and hopeful sense of collective belonging. We do. It cannot be all about the end of the Bush er[ror]a. We had colleagues over for breakfast and to watch with us (CP and B) and I think they'd agree that it also goes beyond his youth, embodiment of globally, single-motherly, lived-experience and his brains and the adorableness of the first girls and all that. It was kind of like watching a world renewal ceremony in the religious sense of the term. I'm sure I'll be blogging more about that as the economy nonetheless continues it's apparently long-coming dive.
- On fashion and Michelle O. I think she's just young(er) than most first-ladies. And she dresses herself accordingly. I don't think she's the fashion maven everyone is setting her up to be. I think the day dress was great and not the evening dress. It was TOO prissy for her. IMHO. But the pressure is on her now. I wish the press would just let us all enjoy her failure to dress like a frumpy old woman and leave it at that. She can dress herself beautifully and professionally, but the comparisions with Jackie-O seem over the top.
- Wednesday was a first meeting of the semester for the new exhibit. Famous California Indian artist brought some photographs from his personal collection of historic photos. These were taken in the 1920s by Grace Nich*lson. He is loaning them to us for the next show, which will also feature some of the museum's paintings by F*ank D*y. It's going to be a fun and cool exhibit all around (we are also soliciting bits of family heritage from NAS students), but these old photos will be the centerpiece. Thank you F*ank L*P*na.
- Thursday was a looong day. Haircut in the AM, meeting with new (interdisciplinary) museum grad student mid-morning, lunch with my favorite gossip girls at citrus H20 deli, and then dentist in the pm. Actually got some research and writing done that night (though not much, I admit).
- Thursday was also the day our Fall evals appeared in our mailboxes. So for the second semester in a row: 4.97. Yipee. Fall 07--my first semester after official tenure letter, was higher than normal, too--and actually--there's another semester prior to that (the one immediately after I filed, which will count in the next review, too--or maybe it's that whole year. I don't know if they counted my Fall 06 scores. I brought my file up to late November 06, so maybe they did. Ramble, ramble ramble. Anyway, what this tells me is that tenure has been good for my teaching. Er, something. I don't know. I file in Fall '11. Considering there will be a sabbatical semester or year in there somewhere, that's not all that far away. That's the last big, guaranteed raise.
- Friday am we had another exhibit committee meeting and I met three new and interesting people (one student, two faculty). One of the faculty people does ethnography of teaching. I'm stoked. He will be a great help on this exhibit. I looked at his webpage up last night and read a paper he presented at the AAAs in 2007. Very interesting. He's theoretically current, too. Double-nice.
- And finally, yesterday's faculty meeting was not bad. Our new hire will not be axed (I didn't think it would, but part of me was sweating bullets until official word came out). Nor is the WS position. So work on two search committees last semester is going to bear some valuable fruit for the department and the college. Still waiting to hear about the assoc. dean search. I know our dean will appoint one of our two top-ranked candidates, just not entirely sure which one. Especially now that I hear the Dean's Search will also move forward. Change all around next year--but probably the ailing state/univ. budget will drive virtually all decision-making.
Off to buy frames for the exhibit. Big one-cent frame sale at local Art Supply store.