Over the summer I’ve been working on some things, as I noted in the previous post; some of these have been professional and some personal.
To begin with the personal. I found out, basically by accident, two things about my family: first, that the central branch on my mother’s side is Dutch; I had never known this. Second, that they first arrived in North America (in what is now Brooklyn) much earlier than I had ever realized; in the mid-1600s, in fact. Furthermore, the house that the original arrivals built still exists, now as a part of the Brooklyn Museum. I’m making up for lost time here: I’m learning Dutch on Duolingo (and it’s so far my favourite language I’ve ever studied), and I’m reading about the Netherlands and also about Brooklyn. I’m not sure if this is ever going to lead in a scholarly/professional direction, but at this time that’s not the point.
Professionally, I’m working on several projects: for the first, I’m working with a team of other researchers on how students self-present in academic integrity cases. We’re trying to discover what frameworks students use both to understand and to explain their situations in this stressful context; we hope to use what we find to help foster an environment in the classroom and at the university that makes it easier for students to avoid getting into such messes in the first place. For the second, I’m taking a course through my university’s Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation on excellence in post-secondary teaching. For the third, I’m working on several writing projects: an essay on the character of Rita Farr in the early-60s Doom Patrol comics, and an essay on the narrative motifs of space, the body, and knowledge in Tamaki and Tamaki’s YA graphic novel This One Summer. I also have a few other writing projects on the back burner.
And of course I’m resurrecting this blog. Like other people I’ve been on social media a lot over the past few years, but I’m becoming pretty tired of it. The short-form blasts of Twitter are pretty much endless annoyance; I miss the longer form of the blog. Even though neither of these posts are what anyone might call true long-form writing, I’m looking forward to stretching myself out a little bit again.