Category Archives: Grad School

How’s that for a start

Tools for a pleasant day on bedrest: comfy couch and pillows, helpful husband, affectionate cat, and a few good books.

With that in mind I had to laugh as I started my morning reading with this sentence, “The issue of delegitimation raises a second objection, which concerns the subgenre of forbidden books called libelles–slanderous attacks on public figures known collectively as ‘les grandes.'” Leave it to an historian to open a discussion about revolution, royal sex and pornography in the 18th-century with a sentence like that. But I liked the book, actually, in the end. So I could simultaneously enjoy reading and pretend it’s work. I don’t work on 18th-century France, though, so I only needed the gist of the book, but oh well. I’ve read almost all of it. I say almost all because there’s no way I can convince myself that reading the actual 18th century French porn and tracts of political libel included in the appended anthology is justified. I’ll leave that for break time.

Shortly after I finished reading, Kate, Theo and Max arrived! No pictures though, sorry folks. You’ll just have to believe me that we all really were in the same room.

Today: rest and read about Christian evangelical publishing 1789-1880. Not nearly so much fun.

22 Weeks

On another blog someone made a comment about how a woman who has had a miscarriage won’t start to feel safe until the baby starts moving regularly. Well we’re at the latter stage in this house now but the former feeling hasn’t quite kicked in. I wonder when that happens? Maybe in about 18 years plus 3 months? Or maybe when I die myself of old age and this baby and his children live on, then maybe I can feel like there’s a right order about things in the world.

Oh, it’s really not that bad. I’m doing fine. Some anxiety but not terrible. I’m almost energetic actually, which, although I used to feel it often, now seems quite foreign to this body. Makes me suspicious. That’d be a nice one for the doctor on call this weekend – help! I don’t know what to think – I’m feeling too okay.

The news of my pregnancy has now spread to the elderly faction of the inlaws. One of the members just called now and “can only wish [me] the best of luck.” That’s fine as well. She’s not the prayer-offering type, and really, luck is fine. But there was a funny moment in the conversation. She was asking how my work was going and commented, “So I heard you changed your major again.” Huh? Yes, actually, now I’m going for a Phd in electrical engineering….How do these rumors get started? The first problem with the statement reveals a fairly common misunderstanding. Grad students don’t have “majors.” I’m getting a Phd in history. I’m not doing coursework in anything else – my major was American Studies in college but I graduated 8 years ago. No changing it now. Second problem – I’ve been an Americanist focusing on the early period (colonization through the Civil War) since I entered grad school in the fall 0f 2002 and haven’t changed. My diss topic has been the same since I started it 2.5 years ago. So I haven’t changed anything. It doesn’t matter but it’s weird to think there’s discussion going on out there about me changing. It’s not that surprising, however, because it seems every time I talk to my father-in-law and he asks about my dissertation topic, he responds as if it’s the first he heard of it. It’s as if I’m the most fickle scholar/student in the world, when really I’m quite consistent.